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Creative Labs was instrumental in evolving PC audio with notable products, like the Sound Blaster 16, AWE 32, AWE64, Live!, Audigy, X-Fi, and Extigy, and algorithms like EAX technology. Most of its competitors through the last three decades, like Yamaha, ESS, Turtle Beach, Auzentech and M-Audio, evolved their product line-ups or faded into obscurity. There were acquisitions of Aureal and Sensaura technologies that further boosted Creative's technology portfolio, too. Sound cards seem passé nowadays, as motherboard manufacturers hop up high-definition audio codecs with higher quality op-amps, capacitors,... Read more...
It was not that long ago when the idea of buying a gaming laptop meant spending a heavy premium versus a desktop setup. That was always a tough pill to swallow, because for the most part, there was no way to upgrade critical components like a GPU, down the road a bit. What you got is what you would have to live with for the life of your laptop. That latter restriction remains today but now, more than ever with more powerful mobile platforms, gaming laptops can offer a reasonably good return on investment. That is certainly true of the EON15-S from Origin PC, the 15.6-inch frag-ready notebook... Read more...
Gaming enthusiasts understand the impact that a proper gaming mouse can have on their performance. Whether it be for fast flick-shots in CS:GO or for programming macros in MOBAs, having a gaming mouse tailored to your needs is an absolute necessity. For this review, we compared three newer mid-range gaming mice from a few top PC accessory brands: the Corsair Sabre RGB, SteelSeries Rival 500, and the G.Skill RIPJAWS MX780.  It is important to note that there are different factors that could determine the way a user performs with each mouse. That being said, this review will act as a specification... Read more...
There was a time when laptop options were basically a choice between desktop-like performance in a heavy and bulky form-factor, an ultralight with integrated graphics, or something in the middle, around 5-lbs with a low-end GPU. NVIDIA sought to solve this choice compromise with its Max-Q Design initiative that was announced at Computex last month. Max-Q Design is a holistic approach to notebook graphics design that ensures a svelte exterior, light weight, quiet thermals and optimal performance.ASUS and NVIDIA joined forces to produce the 15.6-inch Republic of Gamers (ROG) Zephyrus GX501, the first... Read more...
Dave Haynie, one of the chief engineers that worked on the Amiga back in its heyday, put it best when he said, “Amiga users make Macintosh users look like PC users”, in the Viva Amiga documentary that was released early this year. Those of us that were around when the Amiga initially debuted knew Commodore had something special on its hands. At the time of its launch, the Amiga was the most advanced personal computer money could buy – bar none. It offered multimedia features that were unmatched for many years, it was affordably priced (relatively speaking), and was the first personal computer with... Read more...
Dell updated its Alienware 17 gaming laptop at PAX West 2016 with NVIDIA Pascal graphics, but at the time Intel’s quad-core Kaby Lake mobile processors weren’t available yet. It was a short-lived update, however, as the Kaby Lake-powered Alienware 17 was announced a short time later at the start of the Consumer Electronics Show this past January. Today, we’re checking out the newest Alienware 17 R4 gaming laptop featuring the latest of both technologies. The chassis may look familiar, but its all-new on the inside with two 7th-Generation Intel Core i7 processor and four NVIDIA Pascal graphics options.... Read more...
The slim, sleek Razer Blade gaming laptop we'll be looking at here is an interesting beast that does its best to perform a balancing act of sorts. The gaming laptop arena is a landscape full of compromises. Gamers generally crave the most powerful technologies on the market, but until we can cram 8K displays into a fanless 13-inch form factor with dual Titan X GPUs and physics-defying thermal headroom, sacrifices obviously must be made. And we love high-end, 10 pound gaming battle stations, don't get us wrong, but sometimes situations and use cases call for something actually portable.... Read more...
It used to be that large physical dimensions were a telltale sign of a Herculean gaming PC. Looming desktop towers with wild looking exteriors indicated the presence of serious hardware inside. Cracking one open might reveal multiple graphics cards and fancy liquid cooling setups, both almost considered prerequisites in order to crank up the eye candy in demanding games and to play at high resolutions. But somewhere along the way, things began to change. While some of the most powerful gaming systems still reside inside gargantuan full tower enclosures, a growing number of decked out desktops have... Read more...
The AMD Radeon RX 580 has been in the wild for over a month at this point. AMD pitched the Radeon RX 580 as an ideal choice for gamers looking to upgrade from graphics hardware acquired a couple years back. Specifically, in the lead up to the launch, AMD compared the performance of the RX 580 to cards like the Radeon R9 380. So, with that in mind, we're in the lab today to test that claim using the recently launched Prey reboot from Bethesda Softworks and developer Arkane Studios, as our primary benchmark and game engine to explore. The game also just so happens to look fabulous.  This is... Read more...
Buying a shiny new car is an easy way to get the latest in-car technologies, but it’s not the most economical. I've had my fair share of new car purchases in the last decade – a 2008 Chevy HHR SS, 2011 Volkswagen Routan SE, 2014 Mazda 5 Sport and a 2015 Nissan Leaf – and driven hundreds of press cars featuring the latest technologies and infotainment systems. Despite new cars being technically superior on paper, the average age of vehicles on the road in 2016 was 11.6 years old, according to IHS Markit. We’ve seen substantial upgrades to the car stereo and infotainment systems in the last decade,... Read more...
The wonderfully retro and incredibly rare Nintendo PlayStation has now been made fully functional. The Nintendo PlayStation did not initially include any games. Gaming and electronics freak enthusiast Ben Heck of the Youtube channel The Ben Heck Show, however, recently managed to get Super Boss Gaiden running on the console. How did Ben get the console to work? After experiencing a few initial roadblocks, Ben replaced a number of capacitors in order to get the CD ROM to work. The board contained a CD ROM controller chip, a digital signal processor, and a microprocessor. The microcontroller... Read more...
When I first heard about Nintendo's plan to build a hybrid console, I thought it was a long shot. And truthfully, it was. But I also reckoned the response to a 2-in-1 console (or 3-in-1 if you count tabletop mode, as Nintendo does) would ultimately be lukewarm. Having now spent the past couple of weeks actually playing with the Nintendo Switch, I can say I was (mostly) wrong in my original assessment, and certainly in my expectations. We'll get to my own thoughts in a little bit, but first let's talk about the Switch's reception. Despite the skepticism by myself and many others leading up to the... Read more...
Your Tinder profile may be getting some unwelcome attention, since a machine learning platform recently uploaded facial data from roughly 40,000 Tinder profiles. The data is available on GitHub and has been uploaded under a CC0: Public Domain License. The data set “People of Tinder” was released with six downloadable zip file, four of which contained around 10,000 profile images apiece and two files with sample sets of 500 images per gender. Some users have scrapped multiple photos, so it is possible that there are less than 40,000 images. The profile pictures are from Tinder users around... Read more...
Wake up sheeple! Merriam-Webster recently added “sheeple” to its online dictionary, and a quote regarding Apple fans was used a prime example of the word. According to Merriam-Webster, the word is naturally a blend of “sheep” and “people”. “Sheeple” are defined as “ people who are docile, compliant, or easily influenced: people likened to sheep”. Sheeple was first used in 1945, but has gained popularity over the last few years on websites like reddit, 4Chan, and Tumblr. Merriam-Webster provides two examples of sheeple. The example from CNN’s Digital Trending News Writer Doug Criss stated, “Apple's... Read more...
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