Misc

The upgrade cycle begins, with Microsoft’s latest operating system--the highly anticipated Windows 10--rolling out over Windows Update for free, for users of Windows 7, 8 and 8.1. For those that are ready to take the plunge over the weekend, there are some things to note. While this guide is by no means exhaustive, there are some useful reminders here as well as some potential pitfalls that may rear their ugly head during the upgrade process. So far, Microsoft has been rolling out the upgrade in waves and stages. If you are not one of the ‘lucky’ ones to be in the first wave, you can take... Read more...
PC enthusiasts tend to spend a lot of time sitting in front of their systems. We spend hundreds of dollars on monitors, graphics cards, and processors without a second thought, to ensure the best experience we can afford. So, why do so many of us sit ourselves down in inexpensive and inadequate thrones for extended computing and gaming sessions?If your body is your temple, does it not deserve the finest in enthusiast seating? There are two prominent companies crafting these enthusiast chairs, DXRacer and Maxnomic, though there are a plethora of smaller players as well.  DXRacer was a pioneer... Read more...
If your any kind of a computing enthusiast, you're quite familiar with EVGA, even if you haven't bought and of their hardware. From power supplies to motherboards and graphics cards, the company has established a solid reputation for producing high-quality, enthusiast equipment. EVGA recently sent over one of their new Torq X10 gaming mice -- does this new entrant into the crowded high-end mouse market deserve your gaming dollar? Let's take a look. Of Mice and Markets: Ask ten gamers if a high-end mouse is important for gaming and you'll likely hear universal agreement. Ask them to name the... Read more...
For Windows users of all kinds, the Windows "Blue" 8.1 update has been long-awaited. Those who've been using the base OS since launch have no doubt been anticipating some of the enhancements that are coming, while many others have been waiting patiently to see if the update manages to right enough wrongs to help persuade them to make the move. Has Microsoft succeeded in either of these cases? That's what we hope to find out. At the moment, Windows 8.1 is available only as a preview, and if you are looking to give it a try, there are a couple of things to be aware of. The most important is... Read more...
History has a funny way of repeating itself, and the more things change, the more they stay the same. Nearly six years ago to the day, Nintendo completely changed the way the world viewed console gaming. The Wii remote (affectionately dubbed Wiimote by most) was a brand new paradigm in gaming control, and it ushered in a wave of motion-based gaming that forced Sony to follow suit with the Move, and Microsoft to do likewise with Kinect. Pundits seemed certain that Nintendo's risk taking would be its undoing. They seemed certain that motion-based gaming could never be a success in... Read more...
Let's cut right to the chase. The first and most important thing you need to know about Max Payne 3 is this:  It's not a happy game. In the first Max Payne, you assumed the role of a deep undercover DEA agent tasked with breaking a massive drug ring. On the night of the worst snowstorm in New York's history, Payne finally breaks the case and avenges the murder of his wife and daughter three years earlier. Max Payne 2 was more morally ambiguous, but there was still a sense of being one of the good guys. Bringing the Payne - In Max Payne 3, you play a bitter, middle-aged drunk. Max remains unnaturally... Read more...
It’s been a while since our last case roundup--a long while, actually--so it’s high time we did another. We take a look at a slew of (mostly) mid tower cases on the following pages, each designed for a slightly different consumer.  Every case in this roundup has strengths, weaknesses, and features that the others may not have, although each also has its own value proposition.  If a case is flashy and feature-laden, in general, it will come with a higher price tag as well. If it’s more stripped-down, it'll generally costs less. If a case is targeted as an attention... Read more...
Last week, Futuremark released the latest version of 3DMark.  We've taken the new benchmark for a spin using CPUs from Intel and AMD as well as GPUs from AMD and NVIDIA. The new version, dubbed 3DMark 11 (in reference to its level of DirectX support, not the upcoming year) includes a fresh set of tests, a game demo sequence, and measures CPU performance rather differently than its predecessor, 3DMark Vantage. 3DMark 11: Now with additional oceanic encrustations. We've run the benchmark through multiple tests, comparing it across AMD and Intel CPUs as well as AMD vs NVIDIA GPUs. According to... Read more...
Prior to its launch, Mafia II was portrayed as a deep, character-driven drama that would take full advantage of PhysX to add depth and realism to the game. With the game out and available, we sat down to investigate how PhysX enhances Mafia II; our review of the game is on page three. The term APEX is also used when discussing PhysX in Mafia II, often in ways that don't explain the difference between the two. NVIDIA describes the difference as follows: "Rather than providing a low-level API that requires a programmer to use it, APEX creates an environment where artists can create complex high-level... Read more...
In all of our experience with personal computers, we've never quite came across a device like the one which is the focus of today's review, the PistolMouse FPS by MonsterGecko.  Suited primarily for first person shooters, the PistolMouse is an 800dpi optical mouse masquerading as a Glock pistol.  When we first laid eyes upon its flashy red and black box, visions of laying waste to opponents in on-line matches flashed in our minds.  Soon after, we put in a call to MonsterGecko to see if the PistolMouse was truly up to the task.        CLICK ANY IMAGE... Read more...
  The Massworks ID-75 USB Touchscreen Limitless Possibilities? By, Marco Chiappetta September 5, 2001   Recently I was presented with an opportunity to test a truly unique product from a little known company based in Albuquerque, New Mexico...Massworks.  Massworks has developed a compact USB Touchscreen controller for Windows and Linux based PCs called the ID-75.  Initially, Massworks introduced this product to us as a "USB Touchscreen Game Controller", but once the product was in our hands and functional, it was painfully obvious that the ID-75 is capable of so much... Read more...
  MadOnion Boot Camp Or a "San Francisco Boondoggle", which ever you prefer... By Dave Altavilla - October 6, 2000   Hi there folks!  We are just now getting around to posting the incriminating photos...... err I mean coverage of our trip to San Francisco last weekend. We met with the MadOnion folks and learned a little more about their current and next generation products, XLR8R, BAPCo Sysmark2000, WebMark2001, 3DMark 2001 and Video2000. The following shots are an on scene look into the event and what kind of mayhem went down during our visit.  We didn't get as many... Read more...