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James Archer

4 months ago

Feature: Zero to scar-faced hero

Hands on with Asus’ MOBA and FPS-friendly Hero II and Scar II laptops

The phrase "mid-range gaming laptop" often seems a bit silly, considering that even this tier – in theory the most sensible one – is still occupied by mad, distressingly angular notebooks costing as much or more as a 4K-ready desktop. That said, there’s certainly a gap worth aiming for between bulky, plasticky entry-level models and the swish but even more punishingly expensive high-end. This is…

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Feature: Live long and prosper

Roccat’s Vulcan mechanical keyboard is one to watch

One of the surprise highlights of this year’s Computex has been, of all things, a keyboard – and a Roccat one at that. It’s not that the German firm makes a load of bad kit – the Khan Pro headset and Leadr mouse are both recent successes – but they’ve also never really broken through to becoming first-rate purveyors of must-have peripherals. The Vulcan, however,…

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5 months ago

Feature: Case in point

The best bonkers case mods at Computex 2018

This year’s Computex will probably be remembered for both AMD and Intel’s duelling “Mine’s got more cores than yours, pal” processor announcements and the conspicuous absence of the new Nvidia Turing GPUs. But if there’s one thing that nicely encapsulates the show as a whole, it would be the assortment of mad custom case designs on display. They’re the logical conclusion of where, judging by…

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9 months ago

Feature: Strixly come dancing

AMD Radeon RX 570 review: An all-round 1080p card

Back toward the end of last year, the AMD Radeon RX 570 looked like the saving grace of AMD’s graphics card line-up. However, with prices still ludicrously inflated thanks to the ongoing Great Mining Drought, even the RX 570 has now been hurled violently over the £300 barrier violently over the £300 barrier, taking it worryingly close to its vastly superior big brother, the AMD Radeon RX 580. With…

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Feature: Strixly speaking...

AMD Radeon RX 580 review: Our top pick for 1440p gaming

The AMD Radeon RX 580 is the patriarch of AMD's Polaris architecture family and was, until a few months ago when all graphics card pricing went out the window, our recommended centrepiece for mid-range PC builders. Indeed, while it still occupies the top spot for 1440p gaming in our best graphics cards 2018 article, its main rival, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060, is actually significantly…

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Feature: AMD's 4K fighter enters the ring

AMD Radeon Vega RX 64 review: Finally some competition for the GTX 1080

Just as the Radeon Vega RX 56 targets the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070, the Vega RX 64 is AMD’s precision strike on the mighty Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080. About damn time, too – by focusing solely on the mid-range and entry-level RX 400 and RX 500 series (which you can read more about in our AMD Radeon RX 580 review), AMD has given Nvidia free reign of…

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Feature: A 4K titan of industry?

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070Ti review: Better than the GTX 1080?

The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070Ti is a bit of a funny old thing. I've spent countless hours trying, and failing, to determine where this 4K-bothering card sits in Nvidia's overall strategy,  and while its position in the Nvidia hierarchy is obvious – between the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 and the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 – it seems to be more of a toned-down 1080 than a souped-up 1070.…

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Feature: Generation game?

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080Ti review: A 4K monster that isn’t worth the extra cash

As muscular as the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 is, there have been some not-entirely-unwarranted grumbles about its underlying tech; specifically, that it’s basically a GeForce GTX 1070 with more of the GPU’s cores enabled. The GTX 1080Ti is much bigger break from the rest of Nvidia’s 10-series, and a much more overtly 'high-end' card. It uses the bigger, beefier GP-102 GPU, same as in the…

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1 year ago

Feature: Only three remain!

The International 2017: Three teams standing, two new heroes, and one TERRIFYING AI

The final day of The International 2017 looms, with only Newbee, LGD.Forever Young (LFY) and Team Liquid still in the running to win pro Dota 2’s highest accolade – yesterday saw both Invictus Gaming and LGD Gaming eliminated in surprisingly one-sided lower bracket matches. But first... new heroes!

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Feature: The competition is ramping up!

The International 2017: Five Dota 2 teams remain – who are they and how are they doing?

Four days into the main event and The International 2017 - Dota 2’s $24 million world championship - is down to its final five teams. Only Newbee, LGD.Forever Young, Team Liquid, Invictus Gaming and LGD Gaming remain, the other eleven squads to grace the main stage of Seattle’s KeyArena having fallen from the lower bracket and out of contention for the trophy.

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Feature:

Dota 2: Everything you need to know for The International 2017 main event!

The main event of Dota 2’s premier mega-tournament, The International 2017, kicks off today – and the first round of matches has been decided by a group stage full of surprises. Here's everything you need to know to get you up to speed (or to bluff your way through a conversation with Dota-loving friends!)

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Feature: Everything you need to know

The International 2017: Your guide to the biggest tournament in professional Dota 2!

The International, Dota 2’s biggest competitive event (as well as esports’ most moneyed), returns to Seattle this week. This is the culmination of Dota’s year-long season schedule – all of it, all the Majors, third-party tournaments and rosters shuffles, have led to this 18-way showdown where over $23 million is up for grabs. Here's our James to explain what you're watching and give you crucial…

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Feature: Dota in front of an audience

What I learned playing Dota 2 with a professional player

Our James ventured out of unranked solo queue and ended up on a Dota 2 [official site] team captained by a professional player and being streamed to thousands as some of the most famous casters in the scene commentated his efforts. No pressure, then! Here's a little account of what happened and some advice for if you ever find yourself in this not-at-all-highly-specific situation... Last…

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Feature: Points win invites to win prizes!

How Valve’s Majors and Minors can heal pro Dota 2

With the biggest event in the competitive Dota 2 [official site] calendar – The International 2017 – due to take place next month, it might be a little early to start thinking about The International 2018. Unless, that is, you’re Valve, who have revealed a massive overhaul to how the entire next professional season will play out. Here's an in-depth look at why these changes…

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Feature: It's the journey not the destination

Why OG winning their fourth Major isn’t bad news for professional Dota 2

Four of the five Dota 2 [official site] Major tournaments have gone the way of team OG. But does that mean the professional Dota 2 scene is becoming predictable? Our James argues not... Fans of professional magician-punching were treated to a familiar sight at the recent Dota 2 Kiev Major: team OG, suddenly $1 million richer and lifting yet another first-prize trophy. As an organisation,…

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2 years ago

Feature: It's basically Dota 3

Dota 2: The New Journey – why update 7.00 is such a MASSIVE game-changer

For an idea of how much Dota 2’s New Journey/7.00 update is A Big Deal, consider this: Dota, in general, has been in version 6.somethingsomething since 2005 - the Dota All-Stars mod days. It was around this time that the mysterious Icefrog originally took over development. That’s endured all the way through Valve’s Dota 2, right up until now, when all our expectations of the…

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Feature: Major drama

Dota 2 Boston Major: Highlights and must-see matches

Another multimillion-dollar Dota 2 Major tournament has come to a close this weekend as top teams from all over the world battled for the Boston Major's Eaglesong trophy and a share of the $3m prize pool. Would OG be able to defend their title with a remixed lineup or would some feisty newcomers be able to snaffle it away? In case you're still avoiding spoilers…

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Feature: All the action from Boston

The Dota 2 Boston Major: Everything you need to know

A new professional Dota 2 [official site] season means new, ultra-high-stakes Major tournaments, and the first is upon us: the Boston Major is underway, with a $3,000,000 prize pool and a neat bird-shaped trophy on the line. The event is live right now, and below you'll find all the information you need on the teams and the tournament, as well as the links you need…

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Feature: Top tips for watching pro esports

How to watch Dota 2

Dota 2 [official site] begins its next season of multi-million dollar Major tournaments in earnest on December 3, with the Boston Major set to take over the lavish Wang Theatre. While only a relatively small number of viewers will be able to fit inside to see the ridiculously monied spell-storms up close, potentially millions more will be watching via stream – including you, if you…

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