Jump to content
  • Tech|Inferno News, Reviews & Guides

    The latest and most interesting news, reviews and guides found on Tech|Inferno and elsewhere.

    A New Battle Royale Experience - Ring of Elysium
    I'm sure by now everyone is familiar with the battle royale genre that took PC gaming by storm with PUBG's introduction last year. Since then, Fortnite and many other BR clones hit the market and that trend shows no signs of slowing down in the future as well known franchises such as Battlefield make the foray into battle royale. 
     
    Tencent, one of China's largest game publishers, is currently testing its own free to play BR game in Asia called Ring of Elysium (ROE). If you haven't heard of Tencent, they're the company that Bluehole (makers of PUBG) partnered with to create the mobile version of PUBG and they also own a large chunk of Epic Games which makes the game engine for both PUBG and Fortnite.
     
    Free to Play In Asia (for now)
    Ring of Elysium is Tencent's version of PUBG for the desktop which is currently beta testing in Asia with plans to expand availability of the game in the future. The only way to get this game if you are a NA/EU player is to download the Garena client and go through a few additional steps to get it working. You can skip ahead to the download instructions and grab a cup of coffee while ROE downloads and you finish reading the rest of this article. 
     
    Quality of Life Improvements
    ROE has the same premise as PUBG and Fortnite where players eject from an airplane onto the map and then frantically search for weapons and armor to fend off other hostile players before the zone closes in on them. Even the inventory UI (user interface) in ROE looks eerily similar to PUBG but when you look beneath the surface and dig a little deeper, you'll find ROE plays quite differently than PUBG while also bringing with it sorely needed quality of life improvements that PUBG still lacks.
     
    When I began my first match, I noticed there was no lobby like PUBG but instead I was already inside the airplane coasting along in the sky with less waiting time than a traditional PUBG lobby.  Next, a sound rang out indicating it was time to eject and when I did, my character was equipped with a glider which seemed more maneuverable and enjoyable to use than a parachute.
     
    The first place I landed was a theme park aptly named "Ocean Park" and quickly made my way to a table containing weapons and grabbed the LVOA-C (a 5.56 mm AR) and accompanying ammo while watching the player adjacent to me do the same. I lucked out and managed to dispatch my opponent with the LVOA-C and immediately noticed a difference in the gun play compared to PUBG, my bullets hit exactly where I aimed despite the high ping to Thailand. Next I ran over and grabbed an SMG (MP5) along with a 4x scope, 2x scope and vertical foregrip. 

     
    While perusing through my inventory, I noticed each gun had two slots for scopes and that I could switch between them using a hotkey--a simple yet badly needed quality of life improvement I'd always yearned for in PUBG! I tossed the 2x scope on my MP5 and 4x on the LVOA-C and continued running around looking for more loot when I came across the G28 DMR. I figured I'd toss the MP5 in favor of a AR/DMR combo and as I grabbed the G28, I noticed the vertical foregrip and 2x scope automatically switched from the MP5 to the G28 so I didn't have to manually remove and add them myself like I would have had to in PUBG. Here's an example of this mechanic at work:
     
     
    Another quality of life improvement that is featured in ROE is the ability to ping 3D positions using a hotkey which makes callouts infinitely less cumbersome than trying to describe the location of your opponent based on landmarks like PUBG. Additionally, ROE has hit markers so when your bullet hits another player, feedback is given to the player via a hit indicator which gives better feedback than a tiny speck of blood like in PUBG. 
     
    Hit Detection, Bullet Velocity & Combat
    Having grabbed a level 2 helmet, backpack and vest, I was ready to make my way out of Ocean Park and head towards a town called Whale Town (these names are probably placeholders). While heading over there, I saw a guy about 150 meters out running out in the open and I decided to take a shot at him with my G28 + 4x scope. As I tracked him, I led my shot like I normally do in PUBG and fired but noticed I missed because I had overcompensated thinking bullet velocity and drop were like PUBG when in fact they were nothing alike. Next, I aimed slightly ahead of him and fired again and the bullet hit him dead on and I continued by firing a few more successive shots until he was dead. 
     
    ROE bullets seem to travel at a greater velocity and have less drop (even though they are affected by wind like PUBG) compared to PUBG. In addition, the hit detection seems to be spot on for the most part (when taking high ping into account) unlike PUBG which can quite often seem spotty. I wanted to test this theory further by trying other sniper weapons out and I eventually came across a Remington 700 5.56mm sniper rifle and gave up the G28 in favor of it. 
     
    Thanks to the quality of life improvements, my extended mag and scope from the G28 were automatically added to the Remington 700 and I was good to go. I decided to perch on top of the roof and wait on a victim to test out the Remington 700 and it wasn't long before I found my next target who was blissfully running across an open field about 150-200 meters out. Seeing how little I had to compensate for movement with the G28, I figured the Remington 700 would be similar and I was right, as soon as I fired, the bullet lasered in on the guys skull and he was down for the count. I also noticed there was no delay when aiming down the sights compared to PUBG and other games.
     
     
    Some players who value realism above all else may argue that less bullet drop and immediate ADS isn't a good thing but it seems Tencent has decided that a more casual approach to gun play could be more enjoyable for many and for me personally that is indeed the case.
     
    Dynamic Weather
    As I was running from one town to the next trying to survive the onslaught of other players, I noticed the weather had changed from a sunny day to one with rain and strong winds. It turns out each ROE match has unique dynamic weather which includes rain, wind, lightning and fog.
     
    Dynamic weather isn't just for looks (though it looks great), as it drives players to change their tactics. In a sunny setting, one can easily discern other players footsteps and see them from a distance but when the weather shifts to strong winds and rain, footsteps and other sounds become more muted and visibility is also reduced which forces the player to be more careful and aware of their surroundings. Here's an example of the dynamic weather at play (yeah I got shot up pretty bad): 
     
     
    Eventually, the rain cleared up and I continued on my journey to the center of the zone and came across a silly looking Mr. Bean car (a mini cooper knock-off) and decided to take it for a spin.
     
    Vehicles Not Quite Up To Par
    While PUBG's vehicle physics aren't exactly the best, they do have ROE beat by far for now. As I mentioned above, I was driving around in my tiny Mr. Bean car and while accelerating, I tried turning and and rather than a gradual turn like I intended, it did a hard right into a tree. You could argue this is a side effect of a 230 ms ping but that isn't exactly it, the vehicle physics seem almost non-existent and as a consequence, they drive more like a cheap mobile game than a fully fleshed out desktop BR game. However, since the game is in beta testing and nowhere near complete, this can be excused. 
     
     
    Performance & Limitations
    The good news is that despite being in early beta, the game runs quite well and anything with a 1050 Ti and above should run it smoothly at 1080p. Unfortunately, because the game is still in its infancy, Tencent hasn't fully fleshed out all the graphics and bind options yet so you can't technically go above 1920 x 1080 px resolution unless you tab out of the game and use the NVIDIA control panel to manually adjust the resolution above 1080p. Similarly, rebinding keys to the mouse isn't yet possible so one workaround right now is to use your own mouse's software (e.g. Razer Synapse) or a third party one like X-Mouse. 
     
    Should You Try It Out? Of Course!
    Even with the game limited to Asia right now, it is free and well worth checking out if you are a battle royale and especially PUBG fan. It offers a similar experience to PUBG with with the noted quality of life and gun play improvements I mentioned above. In addition, the map itself is quite beautiful and is definitely a step above what PUBG has to offer. I've been playing this game for roughly two weeks now and haven't gotten tired of it yet so I recommend every BR/PUBG fan to give this game a try since you have nothing to lose. 
     
    How to Download Ring of Elysium (Updated 5/2/2018)
    Downloading ROE has become a lot less complicated now thanks to official English language support from Tencent. So let's begin:
     
    1. First thing you will need is Garena client so head on over here and grab it:  https://www.garena.sg/gpc
    2. Next, launch Garena and switch your region to Thailand and then restart your Garena client.
    3. Select Ring of Elysium from the list of games in the Garena client and start your download. 
    4. Once the download is complete, launch ROE.
    5. Hit Esc and press the middle button (see picture below) which is for settings and you will then see a drop down menu that lets you change the language from Thai to English, do this and then press the "Apply" button (it will be in Thai, see second picture below). Afterwards, it will prompt you to restart the game which you will need to do. 

    6. Restart ROE and now it should be in English.
     
    And you're all set! 
     
    Come Join Us!
    If you would like to join the T|I crew and others in a game of ROE (and other games), then hop in our discord and say hello! We're always looking for new players to game with. 
     

     
     
    Everyone knows of the plight Syrian refugees have gone through since their civil war started and I'm sure some gamers out there have wondered how they could help out. Well UNICEF has created a pretty cool website that lets you register and download an application that runs on your PC utilizing your GPU's spare power to help mine ethereum that will be used for the children. Here's their explanation about why they're doing this:
     
     
    Check out UNICEF's website for more information if you'd like to help out with a good cause: https://www.chaingers.io/en/index.html
    Having pondered over a eGPU build I instead decided to put my GPU inside my 15.6 laptop by extending the laptop base. I have a Dell optiplex 390 where my GTX 750ti LP once lived but as I now spend more time with my laptop on the sofa the Dell optiplex is now a donor for my gaming laptop build. I'm using the Dell motherboard for this build. It has a i5-2400 CPU - 8GB DDR3 RAM - MSI GTX 750ti LP GPU. The Dell PSU is too big for this build so I will be using a Seasonic SS-250SU 250W PSU. The laptop used for this build is a Fujitsu LifeBook AH530 that has a 1366x768 LED screen, this screen will be replaced with a higher resolution 1600x900 screen. The extended base of the laptop is now 6.5 cm.
     
    Parts needed to complete the build:
    Seasonic SS-250SU 250W PSU
    PCI Express 16x Flexible Extension cable
    LP156WD1 (TL)(B1) 15.6" LED 1600x900 screen
    LCD Controller Board
    Ultra slim keyboard with touchpad
     
    Work so far in pictures:
     
       








     
     
    Continue reading the full thread here: 
     
    Hello all here at T|I, I have good news!
     
    OK so it's a lon,g story, I'll try to make it short but I want to give as much informations as possible so it can help anyone interested about such project.
     
    The story is how to go from this (stock 675m):
     

     
    To this (MSI GTX 1070 MXM):
     

     
    I used to be a gamer when I was younger, then I worked a lot and had no time to play. I came back to gaming last year, and noticed my 2012 M17X R4 was not really up to date for gaming, so it needed to be upgraded. Before you try to do the same, you must be sure you have pretty good knowledge of computer hardware and software, because you may brick your laptop or your GPU in this process, be careful!
     
    In order to get a MSI GTX 1070 MXM fully working on a Alienware M17X R4, you need:
     
    - unlocked BIOS
    - the 120 Hz screen
    - UEFI boot with GPT partition
    - find a MSI GTX 1070 MXM
    - dremel the chassis
    - mod the heatsink so it can fit the GPU
    - make good BIOS settings so you can boot with the new GPU
    - install driver with modded .inf
    - fix GPU throttling issue
     
    OK, let's go for the big upgrade, step by step.
     
    Unlocked BIOS
     
    Eveything you need to know is here: https://www.techinferno.com/index.php?/forums/topic/1516-m17x-r4-unlocked-bios-versions/ Thanks to svl7 for this great share!
     
    120 Hz screen
     
    You can find it on Ebay, for example here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/162380820165?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
    It's required because pascal GPUs need EDP mode to run. The nice thing is there is one LVDS connector in M17X R4 motherboard, even if you have a 60 Hz screen, so you can make the upgrade.
    It's pretty easy to install, but you may have no boot issue with it, like I had. This is when I had to install unlocked BIOS so I can set graphic settings which let laptop boot with the 120 Hz screen. From what I remember, required setting  was "Primary display" to PEG, see here:
     

     
    GPT partition and UEFI BOOT
     
    I had MBR partition, and since I'm using my laptop for working I didn't want to reinstall everything. I used a very nice tool to convert my system SSD parition from MBR to GPT called EASEUS Partition Master (they also provide partition and data recovery tools for years, maybe you already know this company): http://www.easeus.com/partition-manager-software/convert-mbr-to-gpt.html
    They offered a discount so is cost me around 30$ to convert without having to reinstall, which is cheap for the time and all datas it saved me.
     
    Then, you just need to make sure your boot options are set to pure UEFI, which means Load Legacy option ROM is disabled, here in the BIOS:
     

     
    I noticed it can't be disabled if you're running a GPU which vbios doesn't have UEFI compliant driver. If this is the case, you'll get the "can't detect MXM card GOP driver" error like this:
     

     
    Once again, thanks to svl7 you can fix this using vbios with UEFI driver for your GPU: https://www.techinferno.com/index.php?/forums/topic/2079-m14x-r2-m17x-r4-m18x-r2-uefi-fast-boot-secure-boot-gpu-issues-solved/ This is not what I did, I just enabled integrated graphics again (it's UEFI compliant), so I can disable Load legacy option. Then I could put the 1070 in, and boot successfully. With this option enabled, I had 8 beeps "GPU not recognized" error at boot, stuck with no POST like a loser.
     
    GO BUY A GTX 1070 MXM
     
    Here too, you can get headaches. It's expensive, and hard to find. I searched a lot, and I can give you a few advices. For me, you have mainly 3 choices:
     
    - contact Lee James Wood, who is member of this forum and very serious seller: https://www.techinferno.com/index.php?/profile/3501-lee-james-wood/
    You can also check his website: https://store.alezka.com/en/ and his Ebay store: http://stores.ebay.com/woodzstack666?_trksid=p2047675.l2563
    I must say I contacted him, and at one point I had no answer, so I contacted another seller. But he explained me it was because for some reason he didn't received notification from the forum so he didn't knew my message, and missed the sale. But even he was not the seller, he gave me some advices which were really helpful when I was stuck with 8 beeps no boot problem because of the Legacy mode yesterday. Thanks a lot man, maybe you missed this sale but I'm sure you'll get lot of others since you're so helpful, thanks again!
     
    - go buy directly from China, where you can find it much cheaper. You have one chinese marketplace to rule them all: it's called taobao: https://world.taobao.com/
    Problem is if you don't speak chinese, you may have trouble just to get their chat software working, it's same kind as alibaba trade manager for those who knows. So buying from taobao is like entring an unknown area, sellers there mostly only speak chinese, some don't want to sell out of China, so it's really weird to buy from there. But prices are really interesting, for example around 3000 Yuans (410$) for a GTX 1060 MXM, and around 4900 yuans (665$) for a GTX 1070 MXM. If you're looking for a cheap pascal MXM GPU, this may feel like heaven:
     

     
     
    -instead of trying to learn chinese, find a way to make dropship. There are lot of companies for taobao drophip, like Yoybuy for example.
    I found a russian MSI forum member whose nickname is Onside182, his name is Andrew and I made the deal with him. He knows Taobao sellers, so he dealt with that for me. He was serious and helpful too, and you can chose to contact him on russian forum: https://forum-ru.msi.com/index.php?action=profile;u=1111063 (you must be registered there to see his profile), or just contact me so I give you his email address, he'll deal for your taobao order and you can pay him with paypal.
     
    Let's make some room inside
     
    Yeah  know it's bad, but honestly I don't care about chassis integrity when it's time to get overkill Firestrike score. So yes, you have to dremel the chassis to make some room so the MSI GTX 1070 will fit in. First, you need to disassemble the whole laptop, so you can get the motherboard out:
     

     
    You need to remove little sides on the MXM connector, so the card can fit in. Before
     

     
    After:
     

     
    You must get a modified MXM connector like that:
     

     
    Then you also need to cut part of the chassis, here is the result:
     

     

     
    Now, you can install the card:
     

     
    MOD the GPU heatsink to improve cooling
     
    Here you have 2 ways: keep stock heatsink, and mod it so it can fit as explained here: https://www.techinferno.com/index.php?/forums/topic/10982-m17x-r4-gtx-1060-upgrade/#comment-155003
    Or build a custom made heatsink. This is what I did, I ordered this heatsink with the GPU: https://world.taobao.com/item/540331819333.htm?spm=a312a.7700714.0.0.ZzDuN1#detail%201%20sortie%20sur%20le%20cot%C3%A9%20ok%20et%204%C3%A8me%20stripe%20pour%20cpu%20ok
    It was designed for a MSI computer, but it can be modified for the M17X R4 since copper stripes are soldered horizontally. You need to unsolder it, and solder the copper stripes and radiator from stock heatsink instead. You also need to cut off the part which must cover the CPU heatsink, which is not useful. This way, you have a more efficient heatsink, because it was designed for pascal GPU:
     

     
    Soldering heatsinks is crap, when you heat one side, you can easily unsolder the other side by mistake because all heat will be transmitted everywhere very quicly. The trick is to put side you don't want to unsolder in water, and heat the other side where you want to unsolder with a torch. But I warn you: soldering this stuff is a real nightmare.
    With my modded heatsink (which is so ugly and crappy I can't even make picture of it for now), I reached 72°C max while benchmarking, which seems to be pretty good temp. Right now writing on forum, GPU temp is at 55°c.
     
    Spend some time finding the good BIOS settings
     
    You'll have to try out some settings, and you may have no boot issues, black screens, and many errors. You'll feel very lonely at this time, I know. But searching forums saved me most of the time! If you're in trouble, just search and ask
     
    You can boot? Well you still have to wait a little until it works!
     
    Once we're here, we can boot with the GTX 1070 inside the laptop, and it appears as something like Microsoft basic display in Windows device manager. So we need to download official driver from Nvidia, extract it and mod the .inf file. I used this howto: http://null-bin.blogspot.fr/2015/08/how-to-modify-nvidia-notebook-driver.html
    There are many others, it's well documented on the web.
     
    Lines I added are those ones:
     
    %NVIDIA_DEV.1BE1.057B.1028% = Section408, PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_1BE1&SUBSYS_057B1028 and NVIDIA_DEV.1BE1.057B.1028 = "NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070" Then it just installed fine after disabling Windows driver signature enforcement of course. I could even install whole Nvidia Geforce experience stuff.
     
    The GPU POWER LIMIT throttling issue
     
    OK so you think it's installed, now it's over, after all those countless hours searching, testing and tweaking our good old M17X R4? Of course you launch a benchmark, and now you notice another problem. GPU core frequency is good, then it goes low, then it goes high again, then low again... GPU is throttling. I went into HWinfo, and noticed GPU power consumption was going higher than 110W, then I had GPU throttle, it went down around 50W, then it went up again, and so on... I searched and found nothing. I thought it was because I only have 240W PSU and I must change for a 330W one. Then and angel appeared and said to me "Hey, man, this must be a BIOS setting related issue, just fix it". So I went in the BIOS again, and I noticed this setting called "adapter warning". I just disabled it, and now it's running fine. When checking, I can see I still have POWER LIMIT message, but it doesn't slow down GPU frequency, no throttling anymore.
     
    This is the funny part where the 2012 laptop kicks ass to BGA craps
     
    Yeahhhhhhhhhhhh!!! We can say we made it, the MSI GTX 1070 is working in the Alienware M17X R4:
     

     
    Now, please have a look at this latest Alienware 17 R3 (BGA crap) Firestrike result: http://www.3dmark.com/fs/8941795 Yeah I know, this is serious expensive hardware we have here: a 6820HK CPU and a GTX 1070, such Alienware laptop must cost around 2500$, no? Of course, my poor old laptop cannot not beat this beast, what do you think?
     

     
    Here is benchmak I just made today, with little OC, it's not optimized at all: http://www.3dmark.com/3dm/19201328
     
    Ladies and gentlemen, on the left we have my 2012 M17X R4, and on the right a brand new 17 R3: http://www.3dmark.com/compare/fs/12289770/fs/8941795
     
    To finish, before I can go at last trying to play GTA 5 at maxxed out settings, here are some links which were very useful, and can help if you want to make such mods.
     
    MSI 1070 in Alienware ranger by loafer987: http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/msi-1070-in-alienware-17-r1-ranger-success.797893/
    German Alienware forum with huge CPU and GPU heatsink mods: http://alienware-forum.de/index.php/Thread/7254-AW-17-R1-CPU-Heatsink-Pipe-Mod/
    http://alienware-forum.de/index.php/Thread/7254-AW17-R1-CPU-GPU-Heatsink-Pipe-Mod/?pageNo=2
    http://alienware-forum.de/index.php/Thread/8042-AW17-R1-3D-120Hz-GTX-980-N16E-GXX/?postID=69530#post69530
    Zotac BOX GTX 1070 MXM in Alienware 17: http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/alienware-17-r5-gtx-1070-mxm-3-1b.800137/
     
    I hope sharing all those informations helped M17X R4 owners to keep faith in this old good laptop. I'm pretty sure it can also handle a GTX 1080 by the way, if someone is willing to try (I can't be the guinea pig for the next step) it would be nice

    This post has been promoted to an article
    EDIT: Due to the extremely alpha state of the game, the server has been put on hold until it is more feature rich. 
     
    Survival games are all the rage these days it seems and while games like Rust, ARK and DayZ have grabbed the lions share of attention, Funcom has decided to toss its hat into the fray with the release of Conan Exiles. Loosely based on the movies, you are an exile in a hostile land where you start out nude with nothing but your wits and will to survive. The game is populated with hostile NPCs such as hyenas (and boy are they frustrating), rhinos, undead, giant spiders, humans etc. that are all out to kill you.
     
     
    This game features a very robust crafting and building system similar to Ark/Rust but with a more medieval take on it. There are no guns in this game so you will be fighting hand to hand with most people in PVP servers such as the one run by Tech|Inferno. Currently the Tech|Inferno server is run on a dedicated box that has been optimized for Conan Exiles and we invite everyone from our community to come join us! 
     
    BONUS: If you are a Tech|Inferno registered member, let an admin in-game (5150 Joker or HuskyMatt) know and you will be granted bonus starting items such as medium armor, sword and shield. 
     
    Server information:
    IP: 158.69.120.222
    Port: 24000
     

     
    See you there!
    Well, 2016 sure flew by quickly but it was a pretty interesting year in technology with the release of NVIDIA Pascal, the announcement of Nintendo Switch, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 disaster and much more. We also lost some iconic actors like Carrie Fisher and elected a new President of the United States who is set to take office this month which should make 2017 quite a year to remember.
     
    To all of our loyal visitors, we wish you a happy and prosperous 2017, thank you for sticking with us. 
    We previously mentioned that Ubisoft was giving away free games to celebrate it's 30th anniversary and in case you missed out on any of them, now is your chance to get them all as a bundle! There are a total of 7 games which include Rayman Origins, The Crew, Tom Clancy Splinter Cell, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Beyond Good & Evil, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon and last but not least Assassins Creed III. 
     
    You will need uPlay and an Ubisoft account to redeem this bundle so if you're interested in free games courtesy of Ubisoft, check out this link. 
    For those that are not already aware of the issue, the folks at Futuremark seem to be struggling to keep a consistent product in the latest 3DMark benchmark. In particular, Fire Strike. Sometime around the release of Time Spy things started getting screwy with Fire Strike and now it seems with every Fire Strike GUI update the effect is lowered benchmark scores, and specifically the physics portion of the benchmark.
     
    Kudos to @Papusan for noticing this months ago. He been going back and forth with Futuremark about the problem and it seems they are either ignoring him or don't care. Maybe because most people are not observant enough to notice or care.
     
    Some people might say you cannot compare results across benchmark software versions, but that shouldn't hold water here. There is a leaderboard and searchable database of results and if there is not a high degree of consistency between GUI versions the results in their database will become irreleant, as will their leaderboard. The search filter does not have a field to filter by GUI version, so we can expect the results from the database and leaderboard to be misleading, inaccurate and unreliable.
     
    You will notice from the examples posted below that with each new version of Fire Strike the scores get lower and lower. These examples are consecutive runs on the same day, same machine, and identical CPU and GPU settings. The only thing that changes is Fire Strike benchmark results. We need Futuremark to understand and correct this.
     
    http://www.3dmark.com/compare/fs/11047304/fs/11047179/fs/11047154
     
     
    Here is a similar example from @Papusan: http://www.3dmark.com/compare/fs/11036017/fs/11035883
     
    If you agree this is a problem and want it to be fixed, please complain to Futuremark and let them know they need to put the brakes on and not do anything else with 3DMark until they have this mess under control. Gimmicky features are one thing, but inconsistent benchmark results makes 3DMark unreliable.
     
     

    This post has been promoted to an article
    UPDATE 12/15/16: Ubisoft is now giving all 7 games away together in a bundle this weekend from December 15th to December 18th. Check out the link below to get them now. 
     
     
    ORIGINAL ARTICLE:
     
    Ubisoft in celebrating their 30 years of making video games is giving away a new item everyday until December 23rd. Thanks to some sleuths on Reddit, we now know what they will be giving away each day. You can grab these items by having a registered Ubisoft account (we recommend uPlay) and grabbing the items from there. Today (12/7/16) they're giving away Assassins Creed 3 for the PC. After that it is mainly just wallpapers and miscellaneous items until December 15-18 when they give away some nice games including The Crew, Prince of Persia, Rayman Legends and Splinter Cell. 
     
    Here's the full calendar below courtesy of Reddit:
    Date Offer Nov 24 RAYMAN CLASSIC on Mobile Nov 25 30% off Ubisoft Games Nov 26 Exclusive Collection of E3 2016 Cards Nov 27 Ubi30 Exclusive GIF Nov 28 For Honor GIFs Nov 29 Ubi30 360 Image Nov 30 Just Dance Greeting Card Dec 1 Ubisoft DIY Advent Calendar Dec 2 Steep Wallpaper Dec 3 Exclusive Digital Posters from E3 2016 Dec 4 Rabbids HoliDec Goodies Dec 5 WWW Wallpaper Dec 6 Ubisoft Cocktail Recipes Dec 7 Assassin's Creed 3 on PC Dec 8 Ubisoft Wrapping Paper Dec 9 300 Game Giveaway Dec 10 Watch_Dogs 2 Wallpaper Dec 11 Ubisoft Gift Tags Dec 12 Ubisoft Dessert Recipes Dec 13 Ghost Recon GIFs Dec 14 Wallpaper for Mobile Dec 15 Prince of Persia on PC Dec 16 Rayman Legends on PC Dec 17 Splinter Cell on PC Dec 18 The Crew on PC Dec 19 Rayman GIF Dec 20 Steep GIF Dec 21 Exclusive 2017 Digital HoliDec Cards Dec 22 Ubi30 Wallpaper Dec 23 Ubisoft HoliDec Decorations    
    Today Nintendo announced it's brand new gaming system dubbed the Switch which will go on sale March 2017. The Switch features a tablet sized screen with detachable controllers called Joy-Cons allowing it to be docked to a unit at home to serve as a traditional console or have the controllers attach to the side of the screen giving gamers the ability to take the system with them on the go.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    (image: Polygon)
     
    In addition, the Switch will utilize mini cartridges as a medium for its games although it remains to be seen whether it will have built in storage to accommodate downloadable games and/or content. There are no details yet about online gaming although given the fact that it's 2016 and the emphasis in the trailer (see below) is on social gaming, it would be a huge oversight not to include it. 
     

                                                                                                                                                                (image: Polygon)
     
    Unlike Nintendo's previous Wii U console which saw poor partner support, Nintendo today announced a fairly healthy list of developers for their new console which include EA, Activision, Bethesda, Capcom, Sega, Ubisoft, Square Enix, From Software, Warner Brothers, Codemasters and Atlus.
     

     
    Finally, it was rumored that NVIDIA would be behind the Switch and today it was confirmed that they are indeed the ones that engineered the Switch in conjunction with Nintendo - the full press release by NVIDIA is available at the end of this article. 
     
    The Nintendo Switch in action:
     
    NVIDIA press release regarding Nintendo Switch:
     
    Subnautica by Unknown Worlds brings a whole new light to survival crafting games. We've all played them, cut down a tree, gather some rocks, build a home, loot or craft weapons. But all of this is done on dry land with relatively easy to find resources and stereotypical enemies. Zombies, bears, wolves and other human like NPC's.  Subnautica is different. Subnautica adds a whole new, strange and alien world to the survival mix. You start the game crash landing in an escape pod onto an uncharted alien water world with nothing but some water and food in the escape pods storage.
     
     
     
     

     
    From there you're on your own. No tutorial, no hints, just you and your fabricator bench that tells you little about the items you can craft, only what you need to make them. Stepping outside of your pod is breath taking. You may think a water world isn't much to look at, why should it be? There are no radiated zones to conquer, no naked men running around trying to beat you to death with a rock, no green men without any arms exploding next to you. It isn't the waters surface that will get you going but rather what is underneath it.
     
    Once you dive below you will see a thriving ecosystem with mostly non-lethal life. Corals, alien fish, seaweed and just about anything else you can think of. That doesn't mean you should let your guard down. There are hostile sea creatures lurking in the shadows, some of them are easily dealt with. Others you want to do everything you can to avoid.
     

     
    As you find blueprints and resources and begin to get on your feet you will be forced to go into more dangerous areas with these creatures to find better resources but the resources within these areas are well worth it. Eventually you will build your own underwater base that can extend up well beyond the surface of the water if you feel a need for such things. You can make a greenhouse in one area, storage another, aquarium in another to house fish to eat for later.
     
    As I played the game my goal was to build the largest sub you can get in the game called the cyclops. You can potentially use this as your base if you'd like. You can even make a small fish tank for food inside of it. I don't want to spoil too much. Just get to work gathering and crafting items and a base to call home. Be careful with storage as items do not stack and will take up all of your storage before you know it. Also jump on getting your communications relay operational as soon as possible. Some interesting things start happening as a result. All in all I have to say that Subnautica is the most interesting survival I've played to date and for only being in early access I would still pay as if it was a fully released game. Head to steam and check it out.
    Come join us in discussing the future of MXM in gaming notebooks, especially if you are a recent Clevo owner. With the release of NVIDIA's new 10 series graphics cards, they have ushered in a new era where full desktop cores are ported to gaming notebooks. One would think we are living in a golden era of notebook gaming but that couldn't be further from the truth as these new Pascal graphics cards are no longer offered in MXM format by NVIDIA and instead it is left up to Clevo and other OEMs to design their own modules. Unfortunately, as of right now, these modules are proprietary and offer no backward compatibility with recent notebooks that used MXM modules like the 980.  -Brian
     
     
    Blaise Pascal
     

     
    N17E-Gx 'MXM III' VERSIONS
     
     
     
    CLEVO REFRESH MODELS
     
    P870DM2/3(-G) aka 'PHOENIX 2.0'
     
     
     
     
    P775DM2/3(-G) aka 'WINGMAN 2.0'
     
     
     
     
    P75xDM2(-G) aka 'BATMAN 3.0'
     
     
     
     
    P6xxRS/RP6(-G) aka 'WINGLING'
     
     
     
     
    Join us in the ongoing discussion here and let us know what you think:
     
    Specs:
    11 TFLOPS FP32 44 TOPS INT8 (new deep learning inferencing instruction) 12B transistors 3,584 CUDA cores at 1.53GHz (versus 3,072 cores at 1.08GHz in previous TITAN X) Up to 60% faster performance than previous TITAN X High performance engineering for maximum overclocking 12 GB of GDDR5X memory (480 GB/s)  
    https://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2016/07/21/titan-x/
     
     
     

    Due to a stupid accident by me, I acquired a 980m with a chunk knocked out of the core. Not wanted to scrap a perfectly good top end PCB for parts, I wanted to replace the core. You can see the gouge in the core to the left of the TFC918.01W writing near the left edge of the die.
     
    First I had to get the dead core off:
     

     
    With no sellers on ebay selling GM204 cores, my only option was to buy a full card off ebay. With no mobile cards under $500,I had to get a desktop card. And with this much effort involved to do the repair, of course I got a 980 instead of a 970.
     
    Below is the dead 980 I got off ebay:
     

     
    You can see for some reason someone removed a bunch of components between the core and PCI-E slot. I have no idea why anyone would do this. I tried the card and it was error 43. PCB bend seemed to be too little to kill the card, so those missing components had to be it.
     
    GPUs can be dead because someone removed or installed a heatsink wrong and broke a corner of the core off, so buying cards for cores on ebay is a gamble. This core is not even scratched:
     

     
    Preheating the card prior to high heat to pull the core:
     

     
    And core pulled. It survived the pull:
     

     
    Next is the 980 core on the left cleaned of solder. On the right is the original 980m core:
     

     
    Next I need to reball the 980 core, and lastly put it on the card. I am waiting for the BGA stencil to arrive from China. It still has not cleared US customs:
     
    https://tools.usps.com/go/TrackConfirmAction?tLabels=LS022957368CN
     
    When that shows up expect the core to be on the card in 1-2 days.
     
    So some potential issues with this mod besides me physically messing up:
     
    I believe that starting with Maxwell Nvidia started flashing core configuration onto the cores, like intel does with CPUID. I believe this because I found laser cuts on a GK104 for a 680m, but could not find any on two GM204 cores. In addition, Clyde figured out device IDs on the 680m and K5000m. They are set by resistor values on the PCB. The 980m has the same resistor configuration as the 680m for the lowest nibble of the Device ID (0x13D7), but all of the resistors are absent. Filling in these resistors does nothing. Resistors do exist for the 3 and D in the device ID. Flashing a 970m vBIOS on my 980m did not change the device ID or core configuration. If this data is not stored on the PCB through straps or the vBIOS, then it must be stored on the GPU core.
     
    So I expect the card with the 980 core to report its device ID as 0x13D0. The first 12 bits pulled from the PCB, and last 4 from the core. 0x13D0 does not exist. I may possibly be able to add it to the .inf, or I may have to change the ID on the board. With the ID's 0 hardset by the core, I can only change the device ID to 0x13C0, matching that of a desktop 980.
     
    An additional issue may be that the core may not fully enable. Clyde put a 680 core on a K5000m and never got it to unlock to 1536 CUDA cores. We never figured out why.
     
    Lastly, there was very tough glue holding the 980m core on. When removing this glue I scraped some of the memory PCB traces. I checked with a multimeter and these traces are still intact, but if they are significantly damaged this can be problematic for memory stability. I think they are OK though, just exposed.
     
    Due to Clyde's lack of success in getting his 680 core to fully unlock I am concerned I might not get 2048. If I don't at least I should still have a very good chip. Desktop chips are better binned than mobile chips (most 980s are over 80% ASIC quality, while most 980ms are below 70%). In addition this 980 is a Galax 980 Hall of Fame, which are supposedly binned out of the 980 chips. Having a 90%+ ASIC would be great to have. The mid 60s chips we get in the 980m suck tons of power.

    I want to give a special thanks to Mr. Fox. This card was originally his. He sent me one card to mod and one to repair. I repaired the broken one and broke the working one. The broken one is the one I've been modding.
     
    Article update: SUCCESS!
    Core finally reballed. If the mount is poor I will be very very angry...

     
    Card cooling. New brain installed.

     
    So it actually works with the 980m vBIOS. I tried modding too soon. I just needed to reinstall the driver. I only ran a very lightweight render test because right now the card is only running on 2 phases. I'm pulling the phase driver from my 980m now to get the 3rd phase back up.

     
     
    Follow the rest of the discussion here:

     
    Miscreated by Entrada Interactive LLC, is a gorgeous survival crafting game using the latest version of CryEngine. Currently the game is in alpha state and at times it shows. The game has issues with staying connected to servers, freezing and crashing but the buyer should obviously understand this buying an early access game. There is a screen even warning the player of such matters after launching the game. Updates are far and few between but once an update is released it's of a large scale usually including numerous fixes and twice as many features.     Miscreated takes place after a nuclear fallout and nature is slowly taking the world back. Weather can be harsh, from down pouring and lightning to intense fog. In fact, the fog is sometimes so dense that you can't see more than 6 to 7 feet in front of you.  If you think that's the worst of it then you'd be wrong because the game also has tornadoes, yes you read that right, tornadoes.   If you survive the weather then you must face the wildlife. As of right now in the current state of the game, wolves are the only hostile wildlife but as this team seems to be focusing more on PvE than PvP, I am willing to bet we'll be seeing a lot more wildlife aiming to serve you up as supper. If that doesn't already make survival seem harsh, there's also areas of radiation which give off a faint glow and poison you and then you need to quickly scavenge for anti-rad pills or face a slow miserable death.   The game also has a sparse amount of loot available in the game world and unlike Day Z, you don't quickly find weapons laying around everywhere. Food and water is pretty easily found throughout the world so getting the bare essentials is at least feasible. Like H1Z1, there are stores scattered throughout the map with barren shelves that sometimes contain enough canned food and water to help you survive. If you happen to run out of canned food you can always hunt for your food and eat it raw or use a campfire to cook it. Water is even easier to find as you will come across plenty of canteens in your journey which you can refill at any large water source such as a river.   Once you have sufficient food and water to survive a few days and nights, your next course of action is to seek out better clothing such as backpacks, shirts, and cargo pants to help you hold more loot. There are also helmets, hats and beanies for your head as well as masks. Currently, as of patch #36, clothing does not have an armor value but will soon. Once it has been included finding something as little as steel toe boots will make a difference. You're going to need armor for those wildlife and mutant attacks. Oh yes, mutants rather than zombies, original right?      Mutants are far and few in between. This is largely in part due to the game being in such an early alpha state and the developers waiting on Crytek to update the engine to better handle AI by consuming less CPU cycles and allow bigger maps with increased server stability. Currently there are only two types of mutants in the game, a normal mutant and a hunter mutant which is much faster and stronger. Mutants can be dealt with pretty simply by running from them if you do not feel like confronting them as they will only chase you for a short distance and disappear back to their original locations. I hope this is something that will change in later builds of the game.     There are also vehicles in the game you can find but get ready to work for them. As most will need spark plugs, a battery, fuel, drive belt and tires. Tires aren't needed as you can drive without them just at a slower pace.     As it stands, in my opinion, this game is shaping up to be a DayZ and/or H1Z1 killer. Hopefully I'm not let down by what seems to be a bright devlopment team. These types of survival games have been done many times over and while this game isn't entirely original, it takes what has been done and seemingly improves on it. In addition, unlike other survival games like DayZ, this game seems to be focusing more on the PvE aspect which may entice players to band together instead of killing a new player on sight for no reason other than the sake of PvP. If you're interested in this game,  I highly suggest snagging this title and following each update as they roll out. And maybe I'll see you in the wasteland.
    NVIDIA announced it's newest Pascal based GTX 1060 today that is expected to go on sale July 19th for $250 and $300 for the Founder's Edition. The GTX 1060 will feature 1280 CUDA cores, 6 GB DDR5 memory with a boost clock of 1.7 GHz which NVIDIA claims can easily overclock to 2 GHz. In addition, NVIDIA claims the 1060 is on average 15% faster and over 75% more power efficient than the closest competitive product at stock speeds which would be the AMD RX 480. 
     
     
     
     
     
     
    The following is their PR release: 
     
    Media:

    For starters I'll get this out of the way. Yes Street Legal Racing Redline is an old game that is littered with bugs and hiccups. From release SLRR has never been a stable game and most likely always never will be with new operating systems and hardware that it was never meant to run on. Luckily there are two website in which I've found with an extremely dedicated community that is willing to help anyone with any problems. They are currently working on complete rebuilds of the game itself to bring it up to date, you can see this here: http://streetlegalmods.com/index.php and http://vstanced.com/page.php?id=407 .
     
    Now on to the game itself. It's hard to find a starting point as the game is very in depth and offers hours of gameplay due to the fact that you build a car from the frame up. You must build the engine, drivetrain setup and even match tire sizes to the wheel. Once you have built a car you can start tuning it or upgrading it by stripping it for weight or adding turbos or superchargers. Once you start adding mods the possibilities are endless.
     
     

     
    So you begin with little cash and must go to the used car dealership to obtain your first vehicle. These cars will always have problems whether it be a blown engine, tranny or entirely missing both. Money management is crucial at first; get this car in running order and hit the street. There are three tiers to move up in, green, blue and then into red. To move up you must challenge people to races around the city during the day that either you or the AI will set a route for. Once your reputation has built up a bit you can then go into the night time drags. These races are what move you up the bracket within each tier until you eventually hit the top and you may also race for pinks in these. But beware as you may lose your ride and if you do and don't have the money to build a new one your game will be finished.
     

     
    Once you do you will be able to enter the RoC (Race of Campions) after paying a fee to enter. The RoC is a desert race with a large cash pot and car as prize. And you may do this race as many times as you like as the game never ends. Graphic wise the game isn't the best. After all it is from 2003, developed by Invictus and published by Activision. The game presents a very early step into soft body damage physics and does so nicely considering what was available in 03. Making mistakes such as sliding sideways into a curb or tail whipping a tree has large repercussions.  This on top of the AI traffic and police chases make for some very exciting and very frustrating moments. Overall I would say the game is worth a shot. Despite all of its issues the game can be fun. Whether taken seriously or using cheats to just build cars and go drifting on the test track. There is something in it for every driver.
     
     
    AMD's new RX 480 $200 graphics card is out and delivers GTX 970/R390 performance as promised. However, there are some conflicting reports of the new Polaris GPU drawing more power from the PCI-e slot than it is rated. According to Tom's Hardware, the RX 480 draws 86 watts peak from the motherboard's PCI-e slot although the official ceiling is 75 watts.
     
     
    After Tom's Hardware published their report, other websites such as PCPer followed up with their own testing and reported similar findings: 
     
     
    Additionally, there are some users that reported potential issues with their motherboards that arose after using the RX 480 in their systems:

     
    Keep in mind both of those reports do not 100% confirm the problem is the RX 480 but given the reported issues with it's power draw and these users boards experiencing problems after installing an RX 480, there is a strong possibility that it is the cause.
     
    There is a reddit thread in r/AMD on this topic and AMD's Robert Hallock has issued the following response:
     
     
    We're awaiting AMD's full official response which should hopefully be coming soon. 
     
    UPDATE: TechPowerUp contacted AMD and received the following official response:
     
×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.