Posts Tagged ‘Hardware’

Cheap SSDs? It’s All About The Brand

You might think you’re a person. Wrong. Like each and every one of us, you are a brand. So says Stephen Colbert and who am I to argue? I haven’t quite finalised the specifics for the impending launch of my own one-of-a-kind curated Lairdstyle offering, but in the meantime, I do have a serious point to make about brands. When it comes to SSDs, brands matter. Especially cheap SSDs. This week, I’ll not only explain why but also give you an easy option for a stoopid-cheap SSD that’s actually rather good. I even bought one myself. With my own money. I know, right? So, if you need a cheap SSD for your gaming rig, read on.

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HTC Insists Vive Deliveries On Track Despite Complaints

Lately there’s been no small amount of worry that folk who pre-ordered Valve & HTC’s future-goggles weren’t likely to get them at the predicted time – which, for the first-wave of adopters, should be any day now. With reports of payments being automatically cancelled, deliveries being delayed and express shipping add-ons defaulting back to economy, folk were getting shaky – especially as the more definite delays to Oculus Rift shipments had set something of a precedent. The future might be here, but getting it into a cardboard box and onto a lorry is another matter entirely, it seems.

HTC have now broken cover about the problems, attempting to clear things up and reassure people that they’re not looking at major delays.
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2016 Awesomeness: Nvidia’s New Pascal Graphics

If it was a car it would be a gold-wrapped, kleptocrat-owned Bugatti Veyron ostentatiously double parked outside a Knightsbridge hotel. It’s still bloated, it’s still overly complex and you still can’t afford it. But it’s a graphics chip and a harbinger of things you might actually be able to buy. I give you Nvidia’s new Pascal GP100, a 15.3 billion transistor beast and the beginnings of that 2016 awesomeness I promised for the new year. In other words, if you’re thinking of buying a new graphics card, you might want to hold fire. Meanwhile, Intel has also taken the wraps off a massive new chip you can’t afford and the final piece the Laird Gaming Dungeon™: Driver Edition has arrived. Yup, I’m liking 2016.

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Oculus Rift Guide: Everything You Need To Know Before You Consider Buying One

The Oculus Rift is here. Not on a showfloor for a brief demonstration, but in our homes, where I’ve been able to play with it for the past week. I’ve tried official games, apps and movies, and I’ve experimented with some of the unofficial software available, and I’m ready to answer questions. Want to know how easy it to use, whether it’ll make you vom, and what the games are like? Read on.

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My Main Reservation About VR

RPS has sealed itself inside a chocolate egg for the duration of the UK’s long holiday weekend, to emerge only when the reign of Mr Hops The Doom Rabbit has run its dread course. While we slumber, enjoy these fine words previously published as part of our Supporter program. More to come.

I am a big VR believer, no question about it: I’m in for the long haul myself. But I don’t think it’s going to become anything like mainstream until it’s very, very easy, and right now it’s anything but. The possible exception to that is the PlayStation VR, which I haven’t used yet but benefits from a fixed hardware spec and lower ambitions, but in the case of the Vive and the two models of Oculus Rift I’ve used so far, the reality is a nightmare of cables and turning things on.

They make your workspace unavoidably look messy, but worse still it’s never a simple matter of sticking a headset on and getting going. There’s all this tiny stuff to be done first: turn on each controller, plugin the motion sensors, load up the SteamVR application, clear the floor…
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Vulkan API: It’s Gaming, Jim, But Not As We Know It

One API to rule them all. Wrong fantasy franchise, perhaps, but that’s the idea behind Vulkan, the snazzy open-source successor to OpenGL, alternative to Microsoft’s DirectX and something that might shake up gaming on everything from PCs to phones. But what’s an API? And why should you care? We’ll come to that. For now, if Vulkan is everything it’s cracked up to be, it’ll make games run faster and look better on your existing PC. It might make that SteamOS thing a goer, too. Anyway, version 1.0 is out, so the chattering weberati will be casually trading Vulkan references to prove their PC gaming prowess. Time to bone up. Plus I’ve just sat through a five-hour keynote stream on Vulkan from GDC 2016. So humour me. This stuff is actually quite interesting.

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HTC Vive Guide: Space, Comfort, Image Quality & More

You’ve seen and read a bunch about the Valve & HTC Vive being demonstrated on a show floor or in some cavernous conference room; you might even have been able to try it for yourself in such a space. What’s been more of an unknown is how the much-anticipated ‘room-scale VR’ hardware holds up when used in a more average-sized house, and for long periods rather than just the length of a demo. I’ve had one in my small terraced home in Brighton for just short of a week, and I have a great many things to tell you about it. Specifically, things about space, comfort, image quality, performance and cables. What that all boils down is the essential question of whether this is a device I’m going to use a lot, or just a little. Or: is the VR revolution here yet?

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