Leisure

Boutique, custom-built Gaming PCs from some of the more prominent brands are almost always a cut above mainstream pre-built computers from larger OEMs. However, even among premium boutique brands, build quality, design aesthetics and cost can vary greatly. Maingear has delivered its share of ultra-high end killer gaming rigs to us for evaluation over the years, but perhaps nothing so custom and so premium in design as the machine we're about to dig deep on today. We got a look at Maingear's highly custom F131 back at CES 2018 in Las Vegas, and though we came away impressed at the time, it... Read more...
The war resumes in Middle-Earth Shadow of War and we’re on the front-lines reporting in with a fresh review and performance analysis. This month Warner Bros. Interactive released their action-RPG sequel to 2014’s Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor. Middle-Earth: Shadow of War is here placing players in the familiar shoes of Talion, a highly-capable human Ranger with special powers. Together with the dead Elf King Celebrimbor, whom shares his body, they must use their combined skills to traverse the various lands of Middle-Earth, dispatching or "Dominating" the many Orc hordes in hopes of amassing an... Read more...
Last year we offered a detailed exploration of NVIDIA’s GeForce Experience tool set for capturing screenshots and videos. Since then, a few bells and whistles have been tacked on to further enhance the experience. The most recent of these is ShadowPlay Highlights, a slick feature that intelligently identifies your finest moments (or epic failures) in games and records them for your viewing and social sharing pleasure. The Highlights feature requires developer support for implementation and therefore is currently only working in select titles. The latest, great addition to the supported titles list... 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...
Have you ever wanted to send a message while playing an intense MMO, but did not have time to type? Microsoft has the solution for you, as the company has just released the pilot for its Game Chat Transcription feature for Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs. Game Chat Transcription features speech-to-text and text-to-speech capabilities. Speech-to-text converts what a player is verbally conveying into text. Text-to-speech enables typed text to be spoken aloud to other players. This feature is perfect for deaf or hard-of-hearing gamers, or gamers who are simply doing a lot of multitasking. According to... Read more...
There has always been a parallel between building and modding performance PCs and tuning muscle cars, both of which revolve around squeezing every ounce of power and speed available out of a careful selection of parts, a practice that Maingear helped spread to a wider audience. Maingear took an obsession enjoyed by a niche crowd of overclockers and modders and turned it into a full-fledged business that's now going on 15 years strong. That is not to say Maingear was the first boutique builder on the block. Far from it. However, it might be the only vendor whose founder, Wallace Santos, actually... Read more...
When Windows 10 Build 14997 leaked in December, it foreshadowed a lot of updates and functionality that would later be introduced to official testers with Builds 15002 and 15007. One of the features that drew the interest of the enthusiast community was the discovery of the performance enhancing Game Mode. Microsoft for the first time this week confirmed Game Mode, and announced that it will soon be available for Windows Insiders to try out. “Windows Insiders will start seeing some of the visual elements for Game Mode this week, with the feature being fully operational in builds shortly thereafter,”... Read more...
A good rule of thumb when purchasing a gaming laptop is to buy one with the fastest GPU you can afford. Unlike desktop PCs, you usually can't rip out the graphics adapter and upgrade to something faster (not in most cases, anyway), so when that once shiny and fast laptop starts feeling a little sluggish, you're looking at dialing down in-game settings until you've saved enough scratch to buy a new laptop. That's an expensive proposition (it's called throwing the baby out with the bath water), but if gaming on the go is what you're after, you don't have much choice in the matter.That's still the... Read more...
Boutique gaming PC system builders are a flourishing breed these days with new brands popping up on the scene regularly it seems. It's a testament to the fact that PC gaming, and the hardware the fuels it, is not only alive and well but kicking some major butt, especially with the advent of the eSports industry. Maingear has been building high-end rigs in boutique fashion since 2002 and in the process has racked up many awards over the years, including a few here at HotHardware. Today we're taking a look at a refresh of the Maingear RUSH SuperStock, a series of high-end PCs that we haven't looked... Read more...
Fans of the original Mirror's Edge will be happy to hear that a follow-up title is in the works, dubbed Mirror's Edge Catalyst. ME Catalyst revisits the dystopian world of the original game with a fresh new story that expands on the origins of protagonist Faith Connors. The beta test just wrapped up last week. It offered a brief window into the look and feel of ME Catalyst, which is the unofficial reboot of the original 2008 parkour adventure from developer EA DICE. Back then, while known primarily for their success with the Battlefield franchise, EA DICE gambled on something completely new with... Read more...
While discussions about the best desktop gaming PCs tend to be divided between do-it-yourselfers and fans of pre-built PCs, gaming laptops spark a different debate, typically between large system builders versus, smaller boutique system integrators. Many of the industry behemoths kick-started or bolstered their gaming system lines by acquiring boutique SIs (think of Voodoo, which was swallowed by HP, and Alienware, which is now a part of Dell), but some niche builders are still going solo, including well-known players like Falcon Northwest and Maingear. Mythlogic is another custom builder providing... Read more...
Since its launch in 2013, Slack has risen to superstardom. In a recent blog post, the company highlighted some of its recent milestones, which includes hitting 2.3 million daily active users by its second anniversary, over 675,000 paid seats, and over $64 million in annual revenue. Not bad for a software solution that came out of nowhere just a couple of years ago. Given its meteoric success, it's only a matter of time before this cloud-based collaboration tool gets snapped up by a bigger company, but that company apparently isn't going to be Microsoft. According to TechCrunch, Microsoft apparently... Read more...
Do you think Microsoft might be a little stoked about DirectX 12? You better believe it. Microsoft's excitement over its next-generation API spilled over into a short video demo comparing the visual effects of DX12 to that of DX11, while also explaining some of the benefits, like reduced latency and smoother frame rates. "DirectX 12 is a ground-breaking Microsoft technology that gives game developers the ability to harness the full capabilities of a PC’s GPU(s) and raise the bar on graphic fidelity and immersive gameplay," Microsoft explains in the video's description. The neat thing about DX12... Read more...
Microsoft held a massive event Tuesday in New York City at which the company unveiled a number of new devices, including the hot Surface Pro 4, new Lumia-branded Windows 10 smartphones with Continuum, and the surprise no one saw coming, the slick Surface Book hybrid laptop. But before any of those new devices were actually shown, Microsoft demoed some exciting new HoloLens mixed-reality technology, dubbed Project X-Ray, that allowed a gamer – named Dan -- to battle holographic robots right on stage, live. During the demo, Dan “held” a holographic gauntlet gun that he used to fire lasers and blast... Read more...
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