AMD’s new Ryzen CPU and gaming: Take two

As we saw two weeks ago, AMD’s new Ryzen CPU is excellent in many regards. Hurrah. But its most conspicuous weakness is gaming. Haroo. Ryzen really is awfully important for all PC enthusiasts, so it’s worth a closer look at just what is going on with Ryzen and PC gaming. Be warned, however, for now there aren’t any easy answers. Read the rest of this entry »

Scattered thoughts on the Nintendo Switch

Sound the treachery alert! An insidious infidel prepares to discuss a games console on a PC site, using the flimsy excuse that supporter posts have a more open brief than public ones! Let us pray this pagan does not share too many of his monstrous opinions before we nuke this entire website from orbit! It is, after all, the only way to be sure. Sure of PC games and PC games only.

(I bought a Nintendo Switch and I’m going to tell you a bit about it).
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Hands on with AMD’s fab new Ryzen CPU

Rejoice, for AMD’s new Ryzen CPU is here. And it’s good. Thank science for that. Another dud from AMD didn’t bear thinking about. Instead, we get to ponder just how good Ryzen is and indeed how good it truly needs to be. It isn’t the very fastest CPU money can buy or the greatest gaming CPU ever. But that’s just dandy. It’s still going to blow the PC processor market wide open and force Intel to seriously up its game. Read the rest of this entry »

Razer Blade Stealth + Razer Core review: the external laptop graphics card dream

you get kitchen chairs instead of a dusty floor this time

Consider this a slight tangent from my ongoing quest to decide which gaming laptop to buy by reviewing a bunch of them. The Razer Blade Stealth is not a gaming laptop, despite coming from a company most known for aggressively ‘gamer’-orientated technology. It’s an ultrabook, which is to say very thin and light, which means no discrete graphics card and a low-power processor. The Macbook Air would be the most obvious point of comparison.

The situation changes when it’s hooked up to a speaker-sized black metal box known officially as the Razer Core. This is an external graphics card enclosure, which, with a single cable connected to a port on its outside edge, enables the Stealth to run a desktop GPU. Too good to be true? As it happens, no. Read the rest of this entry »

Behind the scenes: how we arrange hardware reviews

When I ran my review of the Alienware 15 laptop the other day, someone in comments asked how this kind of thing comes about, given we’re talking about thousands of pounds worth of technology. So I thought I’d write a slightly tedious behind-the-scenes post about the world of technology reviews for you. BUCKLE UP.
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Nvidia’s new $700 1080 Ti in theory beats $1200 Titan X

With Nvidia‘s long dominance of the top end of the graphics card market potentially under threat from AMD’s upcoming RX Vega line, they’ve just offered a speculative riposte. The Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti is a buffed-up take on the year-old 1080, and though conventional wisdom (i.e. Nvidia naming traditions) would place it between that card and their $1200 Titan X, the claim is that their $700 new’un actually beats the X.

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ZeniMax seek injunction shutting down Oculus SDK

Following a partial victory (and partial defeat) in their legal battle with Oculus over cybergoggles, ZeniMax are trying to shut down a load of Oculus’s software. ZeniMax are owed $500 million in total over Oculus breaking an non-disclosure agreement which gave them insight into John Carmack and ZeniMax’s work on VR, and are now seeking an injunction to shut down anything that benefitted from that knowledge. Basically, they want Oculus to stop using anything built upon that knowledge, stopping the Rift SDK and other software. That’s a big ask which could have huge consequences for Oculus, if approved. Read the rest of this entry »