A List Of Expensive Technological Items I Continually Crave, And Why I Should Not Have Them

I always want something, and that something is almost always technology. I can very rarely afford it, which only makes the itch, the hunger, the need all the more acute. Here are just a few of my persistent fixations, and more importantly the reasons I absolutely should not buy them. I write them here in the hope it will prevent me from a drunken credit card binge any time soon.
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Is Intel’s Skylake Finally A New CPU To Get Excited About?

Hello, good evening and give it up for an all-new Intel CPU. By chip industry standards, it’s been a long time coming. But with a nonchalant shrug of its 14nm FinFETs, Intel’s new Skylake chip has crashed the desktop PC party. Dare we hope for genuine progress? Or is the new Core i7-6700K yet another samey CPU from Intel? I also have an early take on the new Z170 platform that pairs with Skylake, in the form of MSI’s Z170 Gaming M5 motherboard. Without giving much away, Skylake is something we desktop gaming dinosaurs can definitely get excited about. But not necessarily for the reasons you might expect.

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To 4K Or Not 4K? The Pros & Cons Of Ultra-HD Gaming

With Laird Towers currently undergoing major renovations, RPS’s hardware coverage has been forced to retreat to the vaults. But that hasn’t stopped me. No, I’ve battled through the dust, the rubble, the builders lumbering about the place at ungodly hours of the morning (I regard consciousness before 9:30am as rather uncivilised) and the relentless tea-making to bring you some reflections on 4K gaming. We’ve covered several interesting alternatives to 4K of late including curved super-wide monitors, high refresh rates, IPS panels and frame synced screens. So does that experience put a new spin on plain old 4K, aka gaming at a resolution of 3,840×2160? Read the rest of this entry »

Should You Upgrade To Windows 10?

Note – we originally published this Windows 10 feature earlier this month, but it’s now revised and expanded with new information to coincide with today’s release.

Windows 10 [official site] is out today. No, don’t ask about Windows 9. I’ve been running Insider builds of Microsoft’s new, we’re-so-sorry-about-Windows-8 OS for around a month now, which updated to the release version last week, so I reckon I can help you to decide whether you should or shouldn’t upgrade to it. And, indeed, how you can upgrade to it.

Here is the tldr take-home for you: I’m now running Windows 10 as my main and in fact only operating system on both my desktop and my laptop, and I don’t regret it. It’s a little more complicated than that, though. Always is, isn’t it?

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Windows 10 Is Quietly Sharing Your WiFi Password

It wouldn’t be a new version of Windows without at least a few entirely bewildering decisions on Microsoft’s part, but this one’s a high speed collision of face and palm even by the standards of the company behind Windows 8. In a nutshell, there’s this feature in Windows 10 which will automatically share your wifi passwords with any and all Outlook, Skype and Facebook contacts who also use Win 10. Or, were they to manually enter your password into their Win 10 device, it would by default be treated as ‘their’ network and shared with their contacts. In other words, be vigilant – otherwise you’ll end up with Kevin Bacon using your internet connection whenever he wardrives past your house.
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Asus MG279Q: The Messiah Of Monitors?

27-inch IPS LCD panel? Check. 144Hz refresh rate? Yep. Some kind of frame-smoothing adaptive sync technology? Present and accounted for. 2,560 by 1,440 pixels? Count ‘em. A price you can afford? Bit borderline, but that was inevitable. Is Asus’s new MG279Q therefore the perfect LCD panel, the one we’ve all been waiting for, the veritable messiah of PC monitors? I’ve been eyeballs-on. All will now be revealed…
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How To Keep Your PC Cool

Lordy, it’s hot. Well, hot if you’re British. Call it seasonable by sticky Manhattan standards or a bracing Spring cold snap for Aussies. But it’s over 90 in old money and the nation’s infrastructure is melting. Well, my kitchen PC has just fallen over again with a CPU thermal trip. So, as far as I’m concerned, it’s chaos out there. Which reminds me. We’ve never really discussed how to keep your PC cool. Given gaming is probably the only thing most of us do that loads up both CPU and graphics, this is an oversight. So here are my top eight tips for keeping your PC cool. Most of them won’t cost you a a penny and they could well help your games run faster.
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Why Curved Monitors Aren’t So Crazy

click for a bigger version

In a revisionist purge of Stalinist, possibly even Balderickesque, proportions, I deny everything. I definitely did not say that curved LCD screens are an appalling gimmick conceived to exploit our most base consumerist tendencies. Or anything about delicious, plump-breasted pigeons. Not now that I’ve actually seen one, I didn’t. A curved screen, that is. Not a pigeon. I’ve seen those before. That’s not to say curved is the next big thing. But bent isn’t so bad after all. There’s something in this curved malarkey after all- here’s why.
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TUXFACE: CryEngine Adds Linux Support

The mythical ‘Year of the Linux Desktop’ never arrived as explosively as many predicted (surprise surprise) but the open-source operating system (don’t even start, pedants – it’s been a long week and I will tear your windpipe out with my own gnarled hands) has steadily become a fairly attractive alternative to Windows. Games were always a big problem, but look at us today: most major game engines run on Linux, and Valve have made a dedicated gaming OS out of it.

You can now add CryEngine to your list of Linux Game Things, as Linux support arrived in its latest update. Crytek also added native Oculus Rift support.

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Is AMD’s New Fury GPU A Titan-Killer?

AMD wheeled out a whole new family of graphics cards at E3 this week. And there was much rejoicing. Well, there was much scripted triumphalism on the keynote stage, at any rate. I say a whole new family. Inevitably, there’s some (read: a lot of) rebadging of existing GPUs. But there is one entirely new GPU, known as Fury. It’s an absolute beast and it costs a bomb. So not many of us will be buying it. But it does debut that snazzy new HBM memory tech. Anyway, as Uncle Ben would say and would probably make for more compelling dialogue than the gunk that actually makes the big-screen cut, with new GPU badges sometimes comes much improved value for money… Read the rest of this entry »