Posts Tagged ‘Hardware’

Warning: Windows 10 May Auto-Install On Your PC

Email subject line: “Windows 10.” From my father. ‘Should I upgrade?’ he wanted to know, a question surely posed by a hundred thousand parents to a hundred thousand adult offspring across the land. I didn’t know what to tell him. I like Windows 10 well enough; I even think it’s the best operating Microsoft have ever made. There’s nothing about it I could say anyone on Windows 7 really needs, however, and when it’s a case of someone with only rudimentary technical skills running the OS upgrade gauntlet, I wouldn’t say it’s worth the risk.

Before too long, though, the decision may be taken out of his and my hands – I may end up fielding the post-disaster support phone call regardless, as it seems Microsoft are stepping up their attempts to waft Windows 10 on as many PCs as possible. Even to the extent that the OS is seemingly now automatically installing itself.

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Asus PG348Q: Second Coming Of The Monitor Messiah?

OK, this is a little embarrassing. Last July I hailed, albeit with the usual journalistic qualifications, the Asus MG279Q as the Messiah of Monitors. Now I’m doing it again. And it’s another ruddy Asus monitor. But there’s nothing to be done. I cannot unsee what has been seen. And what I’ve seen is the new Asus RoG Swift PG348Q in all its 34-inch, curved-screen, IPS-panel, G-Synced and 100Hz glory. Nurse!

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Can A Real-World Car Lover Truly Dig Driving Games?

I like games. I like driving. But driving games? Not so much. Not since I could actually drive, at least. But in the name of natural science and fortnightly deadlines, I’m having another crack at it. As is my remit, I’m going heavy with the hardware. With the Laird Gaming Dungeon™ now operational, a top-notch driving-sim setup should provide for empirical exposition. Before that, however, please allow me to bother you with a broader theory of games that explains why driving sims have failed to fire my pleasure neurons in adulthood…

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! The HTC Vive Costs $799/£560, Shipping Starts April

HTC and Valve have just broken cover with price information on their much-anticipated upcoming Vive VR hardware, and it’s bad news if you were hoping it’d be cheaper than the contentious $600/£500/€700 pricetag on the Oculus Rift.

Hell, it’s bad news if you were hoping it’d cost the same – in fact, the headset, wireless motion controller & location-tracking base station package costs an almighty $200 more than the Oculus. Though it is a bigger bundle of hardware (and theoretically capable of many more things) than the Rift, bear in mind the quoted $799 price is before we even know the full damage of shipping and tax.
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Is Your Feeble PC Ready For VR?

This is not virtual. This is reality. The two big beasts of the coming VR revolution are lumbering into view. It’s actually happening. By the end of April both the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive VR headsets will be on sale. Things you can actually buy. Yes, yes, virtual reality has had several false starts. But this time, you can sense it. This time, it’s different. Well, probably. Oh, OK, nobody knows how big an impact VR is going to have in the next few years. But what I can do is help you to understand how much PC power you’re probably going need to get the most out of the new headsets.

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XCOM 2 Performance Fix: Partial Solutions And More Tips

A big ugly fly in XCOM 2 [official site]’s deliciously deadly ointment is that Firaxis’ game runs like a Psy-Zombie on quite a few folks’ PCs – even those with relatively monster systems. It’s not universal woe – for instance, it runs fine for Adam, hence his only mentioning passing problems in his review, but on my slightly superior PC I can’t even hit the golden 60 frames at minimum settings, while high sees it drop to single digits. In either case there are huge, frustrating lag-spikes throughout, and my PC’s running so uncharacteristically hot that I’m pretty sure I could roast a marshmallow over the rear vent.

I’m far from alone, as a glance at the Steam forums, official boards or Reddit will very quickly reveal. It’s a damn shame, crossing the line from ultimately meaningless visual sacrifices into actively annoying slowness. Firaxis and 2K aren’t giving anything away about what the problem is or when a fix will land, though they do tell us that they’re “aware some players have experienced performance issues” and that they’re looking into it. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do in the meantime – including one particular off-the-beaten-track fix which damn-near doubled my own frame rate.
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HTC Vive Vs. Oculus Rift: How Do The VR Headsets Compare?

Back in the day, I’d often get asked whether PlayStation or Xbox was best. Helpless efforts to argue “well, actually, PC is…” aside, I’d defuse their concerns about which had the superior graphics by naming which games you would or wouldn’t get on each. It’s not going to be any different for VR.

But for now, when numbers are really all we have, I’m going to list some numbers at you below. It’s too early to say for sure which headset you should buy if you’re planning on buying one at all, but this should help you to determine whether one virtual reality headset or the other might have better image quality or motion tracking.

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