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Sunday, 25 June 2017

PCMark 10 Free and Advanced Editions now available

Futuremark, the company behind the widely used PCMark, 3DMark and VRMark benchmarking tools has now released PCMark 10 for all users. This is an updated version of the benchmarking tool for Windows 10, featuring new and improved workloads all wrapped up in a faster, more user-friendly application. Previously, only PCMark 10’s Professional Edition was made available but now, everyone can download it and benchmark away.

PCMark benchmarks measure overall system performance by using tests based on real-world applications and use cases. In this latest version, workloads reflect tasks performed in the modern workplace. There are three versions of PCMark 10 launching, a basic, advanced and professional edition. The basic version is free and officially became available yesterday. The Advanced Edition is also now available via FutureMark and on Steam. It currently costs $23.99 but after the 5th of July, it will go up to $29.99. The Professional Edition is reserved for businesses, press and government users- this is the edition that became available three weeks ago.

Here is what’s new in PCMark 10:

  •     Improved design produces a single PCMark 10 score that reflects the system’s performance for typical tasks in a modern office. There are extended, express, and custom run options for exploring other aspects of system performance if needed.
  •     Just click run and start benchmarking. In PCMark 10 you don’t have to choose between the Accelerated and Conventional benchmarking modes used in PCMark 8.
  •     We’ve streamlined the workloads so that running the main PCMark 10 benchmark takes less than half the time of the equivalent test in PCMark 8.
  •     Multi-level reporting – each benchmark run produces a high-level benchmark score, mid-level test group scores, and low-level workload scores. What’s more, you can now compare two results side by side in the app.
  •     New yet familiar design – PCMark 10 uses the same style of user interface as 3DMark and VRMark.

Here are the three different tests you can run with PCMark 10:

  •     PCMark 10 benchmark: The main PCMark 10 benchmark test measures your PC’s performance for a wide range of activities from everyday essentials and productivity applications to demanding work with digital media content.
  •     PCMark 10 Express: A shorter benchmark that focuses on basic home PC use. It includes the Essentials and Productivity test groups. It is less demanding than the main PCMark 10 benchmark.
  •     PCMark 10 Extended: Expands the main benchmark with demanding gaming tests that measure GPU and CPU performance. The PCMark 10 Extended benchmark gives you a complete view of your PC’s performance for the widest range of activities.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Netgear's newest wireless router will give your home network whiplash

Not the fastest, but pretty close

Remember when an AC1900 router was considered top shelf? It was not all that long ago, though by today's standards, an AC1900 router is simply average. Case in point, Netgear apparently felt its AC3200 Nighthawk X6 (R8000) was not fast enough, so it's now offering an upgraded variant, the AC4000 Nighthawk X6S (R8000P).

The new model is not even Netgear's faster consumer router—that distinction belongs to the next-generation AD7200 Nighthawk X10 (R9000), followed by the AC5300 Nighthawk X8 (R8500). Still, the X6S is near the top of the stack and brings blazing fast performance spread across three bands.

As is common among router makers, the speed designation represents a combined tally of all available channels, even though you can't actually combine them into a single super-fast band. As it pertains to this model, the 2.4GHz band operates at up to 750MHz and each of the two 5GHz bands deliver up to 1,625Mbps of throughput. Add those together and you arrive at AC4000.

In most cases, those speeds are not going to make your Internet connection any faster, as any modern router is more than capable of delivering the full speed offered by your ISP, and then some (there are exceptions). Where these speeds come into play is when streaming and/or transferring files through your home network.

Antenna strength is also important. That can have a direct impact on your Internet performance, depending on how far away your PC is from the router. Netgear's Nighthawk series has traditionally been very good in this regard. We suspect that will be the same with this model, which features six external antennas.

Beyond a simple speed bump, Netgear added some new features to its X6S model, including link aggregation. As with most routers, there is a built-in four-port switch for wired connections, though somewhat unique is the ability to combine two of the Ethernet ports for faster speeds.

You'll also find a USB 3.0 port and USB 2.0 port on the back of the X6S. These can be used for external devices to share storage and/or a printer across your home network.

Other notable bullet points include beamforming support, MU-MIMO for smoother simultaneous streaming of data to multiple devices, and compatibility with Amazon's Alexa digital assistant (you can control your home network using voice commands).

The Nighthawk X6S is available to preorder at Amazon for $300, with availability listed for June 30.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Corsair K68 review

Corsair K68 Gaming Keyboard - You won't regret if it spills out this time!

Corsair is a brand name that needs no introduction, every PC gamer or enthusiast has come across the brand in one way or the other be it through their famous Hydro series CPU liquid coolers, Power Supply Units, Chassis or even the very reliable Memory kits.
Corsair has been constantly innovating and upgrading their keyboard lineup mainly courtesy to their partnership with Cherry, a global leader in manufacturing keyboard mechanical switches. Talking about innovation what do you do when you've done almost everything in the field of gaming keyboards by launching the likes of the K70 and even the uber premium K95 Platinum? Well it simple you make them spill and dust proof! Why? Because you can and most of the people these days need it especially who tend to use their gaming stations as their lunch stations aswell!
The Corsair K68 Gaming Keyboard aims to do just that and much more. Thanks to Corsair India I'm having one on my table right now for review.

The Corsair K68 is a standard sized gaming keyboard with standard features like a 1000Hz polling rate, 100% anti-ghosting, media keys and even mechanical keys, the CherryMX Red to be precise. For some it sadly has no RGB but a solid red color backlight. Its rated for IP32 protection to earn it that 'spill and dust proof' tag and we'll discuss it later on on how just that really is.
Its priced in at $99 or Rs 12,500 in India backed up by a solid 2 years Corsair domestic warranty.

What's in the Box?

Corsair brings the K68 in their now signature black and yellow packing. The new Corsair logo is at the top left corner followed by the product name and Cherry MX switch glimpse at the bottom right corner. A large glossy picture of the keyboard occupies most of the front side which is good move.

Flip the box and at the back you see that Corsair has clearly mentioned the spill and dust free function along with basic details about the keyboard and its layout via a marked diagram. Yes, its CherryMX Red we get that by now but yet again its mentioned all over again.
All in all the outer packing is brilliant and goes perfectly with the theme of the board.

Inside the box there is another thin black box that contains the contents in a tight and organized manner. The packing is neat and organized to avoid any damage while transit to this product which is a good move in my view.

Open the black box and you'll find the K68 keyboard, a detachable wrist rest, a user manual and warranty card. The accessories with this keyboard are bare minimum and even lack the Corsair signature contorted textured keys that come with most of their keyboards now. The only possible reason can be the cost cutting factor here but a few plastic caps wouldn't have hurt that much.

The K68 Keyboard!

Looking at the keyboard itself you realize immediately that its similar to the K series keyboards from Corsair and is quite boxy in terms of looks. The Corsair K68 clearly seems to bridge the gap between the K63 and the Corsair STRAFE with a bit more features and keys than the former but lesser number of colors than the latter.

This 1.12Kg matte black keyboard is basically all plastic and no metal, not even to the least of bits. This is primarily done to save cost aswell as to avoid any accidental shocks in case of a liquid spillage. The layout is pretty basic and you get the standard Corsair keys with the space-bar key being textured.
An interesting thing I noticed about this keyboard is that that Windows keys are really slim in comparison to the CTRL or ALT keys. This is strategically done to ease the access of Space-bar and CTRL keys together minimizing the distance between the two to make it a more 'gamer friendly' design.

At the back nothing much is going on and we find five rubber feet to securely hold the keyboard in place once placed on a surface to avoid slipping and unnecessary budging. These feet do their job quite well for a keyboard of this size and weight plus you get two stand offs to tilt your keyboard a bit if you like to. So nothing much to discuss or complain about over here.

The wrist rest provided along with the K68 is made out of plastic and a very thin one to be precise with the top textured area being made out of plastic only and not rubber. Its a uni-body design so the wrist mat is fixed and no swap-able. But it gets the job done and only poses discomfort during gaming marathons or while typing long reviews such as this since the textured plastic is hard with no cushioning.

Corsair oddly opted to use a non braided silicon coated USB wire to connect and power the K68! A move which is totally unfathomable since its not a cheap keyboard both in terms of price and feature set so a braided cable is the least one would expect. Thankfully this silicon material isn't too hard and I didn't face any problems in straightening the cable out before use. The cable is a standard Corsair cable with a large plastic head at the end with no USB Pass Through wire.

The Corsair logo this time is non-backlit and is a plain silver Corsair sails logo which is definitely not a finger print magnet and compliments the color scheme and design of this product. Sadly this keyboard doesn't have a USB port on board like the other K series boards and even the STRAFE which is basically done to seal out any open areas for liquid to seep in from. Guess spill proof has its own price.

Very much like the other gaming keyboards the K68 even comes with on board multimedia buttons which are located to the top left corner. These feel nice upon pressing and have a nice feel to them but sadly the volume control is done by three buttons rather than a dial which I'd thought would become a standard for all the budget/upper budget keyboards from Corsair after they implemented it successfully in their K95 Platinum.

Turn your gaze a bit to the left of the media keys and we find two dedicated buttons for two specific functions namely as Light brightness control & Windows lock key. The brightness control buttons lets you switch between three levels of brightness and even switch off the lights completely while the Windows lock key  simply locks both the Windows keys on the board to avoid irritating moments when you simply jump back to the desktop from the middle of a game by an accidental press of a button!
Also I don't think that the media keys nor these two keys discussed above are spill proof and I was wary to test it out myself so if you buy this keyboard make sure you don't go berserk with liquids just for the sake of fun.

For those of you not aware of the fact, mechanical keyboards are a great performer but at the same time noisy due to that clicking spring under each key but Corsair overcame this problem to quite an extent by putting a damping material right inside the switch housing, this patent and exclusive to Corsair key is known as Cherry MX and is present in all the new fleet of Corsair keyboards including the K68. Simple yet effective move I'd say!
Also these are Cherry MX Red switches which have a actuation force of 45g and 2mm depth. These are almost identical to the Speed Switches with just a difference of 0.8mm on paper and are used in the K63 and STRAFE aswell.

Take off the key caps and you'll find yourself the conventional CherryMX Red switches at the heart of the K68 Gaming Keyboard. The only thing noticeable here is this red colored silicon like protective material which is quite soft and reminds me of something more intimate! It prevents the liquid spilled on the board from entering inside and damaging the electronics and PCB underneath and hence making it spill proof.
This mushy material doesn't distort the LEDs underneath but does damp the sound of the switches a bit to which I'll come later on.

One thing that is fairly noticeable here is that the LED lights are greatly defused in the K68 in contrast to the STRAFE which has light bleeding out at the corners. This has been achieved mainly by the lower cap height & the protective layer underneath which kind of contains the lights within allowing no bleed out.
Lower cap height also helps in tackling with dust accumulation in the long run so making it dust proof.

Nothing special just a bunch of photographs I managed to click with different lighting configurations and the same red color!

Corsair Utility Engine (CUE)

Corsair has brought out an entirely new software suite with the K68 Gaming keyboard. CUE as Corsair likes to call it is a suite to bind all the three gears, namely as the Void Headset, MM800 Mousepad and Scimitar Mouse, together as one taking a more holistic approach. CUE can be downloaded from the Corsair official website for free.

This new version of the CUE is quite well laid out and has all the comprehensive and complex options hidden deep within. The demo devices listed on the starting page are actually a bunch of emulators that users can  use to get a feel of the lighting and various options available for the enlisted peripheral. The top has an advanced button for bringing down the more in depth options for the users & I personally advice that one uses the same as its required to reap the full potential of such a premium device!

Select the K68 and you'll find three tabs on the left labeled as Actions, Lighting Effects and Performance. We'll be discussing all these three one by one so let's discuss the first one first that is the Actions sections.

Once entered this section provides a plethora of serious options to the users. Its a section that means serious business and nothing else. The options are Macro, Text, Remap, Media, App Launch, Timer, Disable and Profile Switching.
Macros as the name suggests is the place where you can program all your macros you want to any key you like! Aside from the keystrokes and delays, the CUE software can also record the relative mouse movements, clicks and scrolling. I was amazed to see that you can even set a particular sound to be played when a macro key is pressed along with the ability to assign follow up actions and even repeat rates of the macros.
Text as the name suggests can be used to assign any text message to a key which when pressed will insert the programmed text into the message box or wherever required. Since it actually types the text and doesn't copy paste it the uses of this function is limitless including insertion of cheats at a single key press in classic games like GTA San Andreas or the classic DOOM 3.
Remap Key is simple and is used to remap any key to any other key including mouse clicks! Also you can program a key for the time its held down or for the number of times is pressed a nifty little feature to make your pistol fire like an assault rifle in CS:GO with a single key stroke!
Rest of the options are fairly simple with the App Launch option allowing the user to launch any application through a dedicated key on the keyboard for quick switching.

Lightning Effects is the place where you want to be for customizing the lights and patterns across the board. One can assign different brightness, patters etc to individual keys along with the media keys and mute key! The obvious part is that since its a non RGB red color only backlit keyboard so you won't be able to change the colors but you can choose from a pallet that has a variety of shades of red and believe me your girlfriend can't even name them all!
These effects and lights once saved would stay on the K95 RGB keyboard even when CUE is not installed on the system via the 8MB onboard memory.

Third section called the Performance section which has some straightforward basic settings including disabling of Windows key and combinations such as ALT+F4 which might be an issue during gameplay. If you feel you can clear the onboard memory aswell of the keyboard to start afresh or update the CUE version too. Not too feature rich section but basic stuff can be found here.

Going to the settings sections you can tune basic settings including polling rate, keyboard layout format and even brightness. Settings for the MM800 Polaris and VOID are even present to give you a taste of these devices aswell. Great marketing from Corsair I'd say!

If you click on the Corsair sails logo on top you'll be greeted with the various profiles that you've created for the keyboard to select from. Its noticeable that you can link a created profile to a certain application on your system aswell so that the keyboard performs accordingly, for example you can make a custom profile for a particular game and link it to that so that the profile loads up when you launch that game or link it to Photoshop or any other content production application to use the created macros for that particular applications on the go without any hassle. This feature somewhat compensates for the absence of the profile switch button on the keyboard.

Performance - Time to put those keys to test!

Whenever I review a keyboard or mouse I like to use the device for atleast a week putting it through my daily usage varying across the week. My usage is obviously more inclined towards typing and I mean lot of typing with various keyboard shortcuts combinations, followed by casual gaming mainly racing, open world or FPS. So lets classify the K68 Gaming Keyboard performance across two broad categories of daily use and gaming.

Daily Affairs

Corsair K68 is a very competent keyboard when it comes to typing paragraphs swiftly and smoothly.  The CherryMX Red switches due to their quick response & lower actuation makes it really easy to type long paragraphs with great speed without hurting your fingertips. Though it does need a little getting used to since the keys are quick but with a few minutes into training your fingers you'll find yourself using it with no problem. Since my fingers are thick I did accidentally push the Caps Lock key at times since the key is quite big and at almost no separation from the main alphabetical keys, people with slimmer fingers might not come across this issue.
I didn't feel much difference between these and the CherryMX Speed switches when it came to typing or anything else & so won't most of the people since the difference is extremely minute. The keys are not slippery and the slim design makes them a good landing pad for the fingers imparting reasonable grip. Overall I loved how the keyboard performs in my daily use.

Game On!

Gaming is the area where this keyboard really shined for me since I personally prefer the CherryMX Red switches for gaming purposes. The keys are just perfect and due to logical actuation force and distance its neither too sensitive nor too hard. I generally find CherryMX Speed switches a bit too quick and can't be used without some practice but these I'd say are a buy and go for most of the buyers out there. Still sometimes I found pressing a key accidentally as my finger was resting over it & managed to press it down just by a little, namely the spacebar.
Rapid key strokes is where the keyboard proves its metal as they keys offer high resistance with distance and hence reset quickly so rapid strokes are easy and swift making it easy in game like Rise of the Tomb Raider.
The keystrokes produce a good clicky sound but it is somewhat damped by the silicon mesh underneath but that's not a deal breaker in fact it creates a unique sound which I did like as I don't like a noisy cricket for a keyboard on my desk.

Let it Spill out!

Since the Corsair K68 is marketed as a 'spill proof and dust proof' keyboard I didn't hesitate to spill some water, ice and even coffee over this keyboard and it passed all these testes with flying colors be it while it was powered on or switched off. I was a bit apprehensive so as not to get electrocuted but the K68 didn't pose any such danger due to its well sealed body and all plastic body frame.

Overall the keyboard is rated for IP32 protection and while water level 2 is pretty typical for spill resistant devices, dust level 3 is perhaps a bit more debatable. Dust level 3 means it is protected against objects larger than 2.5mm, which is actually quite large by dust standards. Practically speaking, it might be better to call the K68 crumb resistant, as dust will still be able to make it in tight spaces over time. So in short the Corsair K68 is a snack proof gaming keyboard!

My Verdict

Corsair did a splendid job with the K68 gaming keyboard in almost every way possible. Its a robust and well build keyboard that oozes quality from every inch of it.
CUE software is more comprehensive and intuitive as ever before and the people at Corsair did a wonderful job at designing this utility keeping every needed feature right where one would like them to be. Thanks to this the K68 even though being a non RGB keyboard gets a plethora of features embedded into it adding some brownie points to it.
Build quality is surprisingly very good for a plastic keyboard which is mainly due to the fact that its all tight and seep proof to keep that IP32 tag intact. I do miss the volume knob and the USB pass through port on this keyboard, a price that one has to pay for a spill proof design. But the absence of a braided cable is something I didn't like at all. LED lights diffuse nicely and don't hurt the eyes or distract one even when brightness is at its fullest.
Keystrokes are swift and feel good under the fingers once got perfectly used to. Gaming or typing a letter to your mom *wink* on the board is a delight making it a versatile keyboard without any restrictions. The silicon material underneath the caps keep them quite and add a nice sound to them when typing.
Coming in at $99 the K68 finds itself in a land full of competitors including Corsair's own STRAFE which offers USB Pass Through and RGB functions at the same price but is not IP32 rated. This creates a drift among the potential buyers due to obvious reasons based on ones own preferences and usage.
I recommend the Corsair K68 to everyone who uses their PC Table as their make shift dining table aswell since the keyboard offers unmatched spill, oops I mean snack proofing! It does exactly what the brand promises and ticks nearly every right box. But if you aren't someone who likes to munch around your PC and love RGB and need that USB Pass Through function then probably you'll be better off looking at the Corsair STRAFE otherwise the K68 is the thing to go for.
Pros -
  • CherryMX Red switches with damping material
  • Good typing and in game performance
  • Spill proof
  • Solid build quality
Cons -
  • Non Braided cable
  • No extra key caps for gaming 
  • Only red color LEDs which some might not like
I give it 7/10 earning our Gold Award

MSI announces GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Lightning Z

Legendary Lightning strikes again!

MSI is proud to officially announce the latest of its legendary LIGHTNING graphics cards. Built to be perfect, the new GeForce® GTX 1080 Ti LIGHTNING Z combines cutting edge new technology with proven features such as TRI-FROZR design with TORX 2.0 Fans, SuperPipe technology and Military Class 4 components. The GeForce® GTX 1080 Ti LIGHTNING Z is nothing short of an engineering masterpiece.

Unmatched Thermal Design

MSI’s reputation in thermal design is well-known to be excellent. The improved TRI-FROZR design on the GTX 1080 Ti LIGHTNING Z utilizes two 10cm and one 9cm TORX 2.0 Fans combining the advantages of both traditional fan blade and dispersion fan blade, generating huge amounts of airflow while remaining virtually silent. Two 8mm SuperPipes transfer heat much faster to the fins, enabling up to a whopping 700W of heat dissipation.

Mystic Light Sync with Brilliant RGB Effect

MSI’s Mystic Light enables you tocustomize the RGB effects of your hardware to give your system a different look whenever you feel like it. Using the MSI Mystic Light software, you can even synchronize colors and effects of your graphics card, motherboard, case-fans and peripherals. Give yourself or the audience a show!

Dual BIOS and Enhanced Power Design

The special LN2 BIOS on the card provides extreme overclockers more capibility for overclocking records without special hardware modifications. By removing restrictions, the full potential of the graphics card is unlocked. The enhanced power design contains more power phases than other models to ensure plenty of power is available for record-breaking performance. LIGHTNING’s custom 10-layer PCB is fitted with 14 phases for GPU and 3 phases for Memory to ensure power delivery can handle the most extreme loads.

Military Class 4 Components 

Equipped with Military Class 4 components, the MSI GTX 1080 Ti LIGHTNING Z is built to deliver the best quality and stability. The components have gone through rigorous testing by a third-party laboratory to satisfy the MIL-STD-810G standard. Featuring DrMOS 60A power phases, the highest rated available ensuring plenty of power. Hi-C CAP cores, Super Ferrite Choke, and Solid CAP, each aspect of the LIGHTNING Z ensures the best possible performance.

On-board and in control

With MSI's exclusive OC kits you're in complete control of the GTX 1080 Ti LIGHTNING Z. V-Check points allow you to accurately measure GPU, Memory and PLL voltages. Multiple Temp Monitor checks the real-time temperatures of the GPU, Memory and PLL while Quadruple Overvoltage allows you to overvolt those same components in order to achieve higher clock speeds.


The GeForce® GTX 1080 Ti LIGHTNING Z is expected to be available in July.


As a world leading gaming brand, MSI's aim is to become the most trusted name in gaming and eSports. We stand by our principles of breakthroughs in design, the pursuit of excellence, and technological innovation as we have continued to raise the bar for ourselves and have accomplished a great deal of pioneering work in the industry. For more product information, please go to

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

MSI’s X299 Tomahawk Arctic motherboard brings the chill

A feature-rich motherboard for Intel's Core-X series

If you're planning to build a system around one of Intel's new Kaby Lake-X or Skylake-X processors, some of which went up for preorder today, you'll need a new motherboard based on Intel's LGA 2066 socket. One such option is MSI's new X299 Tomahawk Arctic.

Built for "ice-cold domination," the X299 Tomahawk Arctic is essentially a white and gray-themed X299 Tomahawk with plenty of cooling potential. The motherboard is outfitted with six fan headers and offers full fan control through the BIOS and software. Either way, you can configure four temperature targets for the CPU and motherboard, and the fan speeds will adjust automatically based on your parameters.

There is also a dedicated water pump PIN header that supports up to 2A. This can also be controlled through the BIOS and software.

Beefy heatsinks cover the chipset and VRM. These along with the rear I/O shroud also feature brushed aluminum inserts.

Other notable features include reinforced PCI-Express ports to protect against bending and EMI, dual M.2 ports for gum stick-sized SSDs, double grounding layered mounting holes to prevent ESD damage, and a built-in amplifier for using headphones.

You can install as much as 128GB of DDR4-4266 (OC) memory into this motherboard. There are four PCIe x16 slots, two PCIe x1 slots, eight SATA 6Gbps ports, a U.2 port, and a fairly wide selection of USB 3.1 and 2.0 ports.

MSI did not say when this board will be available or what it will cost.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

AMD’s Crimson ReLive 17.6.2 drivers fix a performance issue in Dirt 4

Back to the garage for a tune-up.

AMD already released an updated GPU driver package to optimize performance in Dirt 4—as did NVIDIA—but apparently there was a flaw that still needed hammering out. The latest Crimson ReLive driver package addresses an issue where performance is lower than expected with the latest game build when using 8XMSAA.

The release notes for Crimson ReLive 17.6.2 make no mention of any other changes, which makes sense since this is an incremental update over the previous Crimson ReLive 17.6.1 release.

AMD touted up to a 30 percent performance bump in its previous driver release for Radeon RX 580 owners who enabled 8XMSAA, compared to the Crimson ReLive 17.5.2 driver package. In addition, it added a small performance bump to Prey—up to 4 percent, a metric that also applied to Radeon RX 580 graphics cards. Apparently the driver release was not living up to its promise, at least in Dirt 4, hence the incremental update.

While the latest driver package fixes a performance issue in Dirt 4, there are a few other known issues affecting other games that remain. They include:

  •     Graphical corruption may be experienced in Tom Clancy's: Rainbow Six Siege when MSAA is enabled.
  •     Adobe Lightroom may experience an application crash with GPU acceleration enabled on Windows 7 system configurations using Radeon RX 390 Series graphics products.
  •     A small amount of apps may experience issues with Borderless Fullscreen mode and AMD FreeSync technology if other applications or game launchers are running on the primary screen in the background.
  •     Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and World of Warcraft may experience flickering or performance issues the first time the game is launched on a system boot with AMD FreeSync technology enabled. Workarounds include exiting and restarting the application or task switching (alt+tab) in and out of the game to fix the issue.

And as it pertains to AMD's ReLive utility, known issues include the following:

  •     The Xbox DVR application may cause conflicts with Radeon ReLive, users are suggested to disable Xbox DVR if Radeon ReLive is experiencing issues.
  •     Radeon ReLive may fail to install on AMD APU Family products or experience a system hang or failure to record when using the recording feature on AMD APU Family products.
  •     Radeon ReLive may intermittently fail to work after performing task switches of applications. A work around is to disable and then enable the feature in Radeon Software.
  •     Radeon ReLive may exhibit corruption in recordings when capturing Microsoft Office applications.
  •     Radeon ReLive may experience recording or streaming issues when task switching using ALT+TAB.

If you're not planning to play Dirt 4, you can probably skip this update without any repercussions. Otherwise, you can grab the latest driver release here.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Logitech’s latest mouse pad continually charges new wireless gaming mice

Perpetual battery life

One of the potential downsides to gaming with a wireless mouse is that the battery might die at the most inopportune time. There have been various workarounds, such as detachable cables and swappable batteries, but Logitech's new "Powerplay" charging system—basically a wireless charging pad—aims to solve the problem by providing a continuous charge at all times.

Logitech claims its proprietary wireless charging technology took more than four years to develop. The reason Logitech built its own wireless charging standard instead of going with one that is already established is because its Powerplay system covers the entire surface of the mouse pad, according to what Logitech told The Verge. That is also what makes it unique from Corsair's Qi-based Project Zeus concept, which limits wireless charging to one corner of the pad.

"Recent advances in wireless charging technology have made it easy for nearly anyone to keep their mobile phone topped off without plugging in. We’ve studied technologies like this, but determined they had characteristics that weren’t ideal for gaming. Specifically, they require very precise placement due to their small field sizes, and are unable to deliver charge while the device is moving. And they’re usually kind of thick—up to 1-2cm in some cases," Logitech explains.

Users can flip the top portion of the Powerplay mat for a smooth or hard surface. Either way, there is an electromagnetic energy field that goes through and is captured by a small module on the underside of a compatible gaming mouse. Logitech says this system can ceep charging even through high-speed flicks shots and while lifting and repositioning the rodent.

To kick things off, Logitech outfitted its G900 and G403 wireless mice with "Lightspeed" wireless receivers and rebranded them as the G903 and G703, respectively. Both feature upgraded microswitches that are rated to deliver 50 million clicks, up from 20 million clicks in the original models.

Of course, charging is not the only concern gamers have with wireless mice, there is also the issue of lag. As it pertains to the G903 and G703, Logitech is advertising a 1ms report rate, "gaming grade" performance, and "lag-free" responsiveness from these rodents.

Beyond the upgraded switches and Lightspeed integration, the G903 and G703 are virtually the same as their predecessors. Both are available now—the G903 costs $150 and the G703 runs $100.

We're anxious to put Logitech's claims to the test. Assuming that lag is not a problem and that the Powerplay system can keep compatible mice charged even while gaming, as Logitech says it can, it would be difficult to go back to using wireless mice the old fashioned way.
Originally reported by PCGamer