|TR's Christmas 2013 system guide||64|
|An update on Radeon R9 290X variance||117|
|Brawling my way through Batman: Arkham Origins||40|
Itching for a walk down memory lane? Then you might want to head over to Good Old Games, where the first two Fallout games from Black Isle Studios—as well as Fallout Tactics—are downloadable for free until 9:00 AM, Eastern Time, on Saturday.
All three games work with Windows 8, 7, Vista, and XP as well as OS X 10.7.5 or newer, according to GOG. It looks like you get a boatload of bonus content with each title, too, including manuals, soundtracks, wallpapers, artwork, and concept videos. Not bad for zero dollars and zero cents.
I remember playing the Fallout demo on my iMac back in 1999. I was 14 at the time, and I couldn't afford the full game, but I still enjoyed the heck out of blowing enemies' limbs off with the submachine gun. Killing two-headed cows was also fun, even if it usually made me feel bad afterward. Poor, defenseless things...
Anyhow, I never got around to grabbing the full game, and I think I might go ahead and do that now. Fallout 3 was fun, but there was something so much more visceral about dismembering bad guys in the original.Thursday Shortbread
Eight is Enough
Read more... Updated: Some GPUs are in short supply, but why?
You may have noticed, as we did when preparing our latest system guide update, that some of the highest-profile gaming GPUs, like the Radeon R9 290 and R9 280X, are hard to find in stock at online retailers right now. Consequently, prices have risen, not just on Radeons but on the competing GeForces, as well.
The question is: why?
We've seen some chatter in forums and at other media outlets about how the rise of GPU-based virtual currency mining could be driving unusually strong demand for high-end graphics cards. It's an interesting narrative, given the way that some early Bitcoin miners apparently profited nicely.
Problem is, I've seen zero concrete data to support this narrative. A handful of media reports have cited a rise in Bitcoin/Litecoin prices as a proof point, but that's weak sauce in the grand scheme of things.
Let's be clear: in this case, the grand scheme involves an already massive and vibrant market for PC gaming hardware. Take this estimate from March for example, which put the market's value for 2012 at $20 billion, with 8% growth from the year prior. This estimate and others project even more growth in the years to come.
Given how dynamic and hotly contested the PC graphics space is, one of the toughest challenges for GPU makers is sizing the market. Through a combination of data-driven projections and gut-feel guesswork, companies like AMD and Nvidia have to place their orders for wafers of GPU chips months in advance of when they'll be selling. If they order too many chips, the company can be stuck carrying millions worth of inventory that's inevitably declining in value by the day. Order too few, and you'll see shortages, rising prices, and—perhaps worst of all—the ceding of market share to your rival firm, if they happened to make a better guess about the demand picture.
We've seen this story play out in nearly every possible permutation over the years. You may recall the Radeon X800 XT Phantom Edition or the shortfall of both 40- and 55-nm GPUs in late 2009. Neither firm has been immune to making bad guesses, and both have suffered simultaneously, at times. I believe in the case of the 40-nm shortages back when, another firm (probably Qualcomm) was absorbing the lion's share of TSMC's 40-nm capacity, leaving the GPU makers both short.
So what's happening right now, with apparent GPU shortages and rising prices, is nothing new. What's different is the widely whispered suggestion that somehow, enthusiasm for virtual currency mining has managed to inject a new and noteworthy uncertainty into a very large, established market that was already difficult to predict.
In the total absence of data, this assertion seems almost laughable. Sure, the scenario has a certain plausibility, since GPUs can be quite good at specific types of computational tasks and there's some speculative value to using them for mining. Heck, mining could be growing massively and driving quite a few GPU purchases. But without concrete proof, in the grand scheme of things, you've got to think the present shortages are being driven primarily by the larger currents of supply and demand in the PC gaming market. To put it tritely, until we see hard data to suggest otherwise, I'd suspect any surge in demand is probably driven more by Minecraft than mining, more by Borderlands than Bitcoin.
Update: Looks like we're starting to find some hard data to support the theory that Litecoin mining is driving Radeon sales beyond what one would expect. Although the competing GeForce GTX 770 offers very similar gaming performance, there are a series of eBay auctions out there, like this and this and this, where R9 280X cards have sold at prices of $450 or higher. That's well above the $299.99 list price, and most of the eBay listings mention Litecoin mining specifically. All told, that suggests folks are paying more specifically for the Radeons, and not just for gaming.
Also, this post by a TR reader attempts to translate increases in coin mining production rates into an increase in GPU counts dedicated to the task. If he has his math right, the potential number of GPU sales there is considerable. We'll keep watching to see what more we can learn.ASRock intros Killer gaming mobos, includes M.2 connectivity
While tossing and turning in bed, great minds often stumble upon the same philosophical questions of life. Are you there God? What is love? And what are the definitive attributes that differentiate a gaming motherboard from regular motherboards? Now ASRock elaborates the definition of real gaming motherboards with their new Killer Series – Z87 Killer, B85 Killer, 990FX Killer and FM2A88X+ Killer!
Well then. All the boards share a collection of common features. True to their branding, they're equipped with Killer NICs that boast packet prioritization software. The integrated audio combines a high-end Realtek codec with a Texas Instruments amplifier chip, upgraded capacitors, extra EMI shielding, and isolated PCB traces. The boards also sport HDMI inputs that allow one's screen to be shared with an additional device.
Although the boards have largely identical features, the most intriguing addition is limited to perhaps the most unlikely candidate. The 990FX Killer is the only one in the bunch with an M.2 connector for mini SSDs.
Now, this isn't the first motherboard we've seen with an M.2 slot; Asus' Maximus VI Extreme has a similar connector. That slot is limited to a single lane of PCI Express bandwidth, though. ASRock claims the 990FX is the first motherboard with a two-lane M.2 implementation good for 10Gbps of bandwidth.
Thanks to additional interface bandwidth, M.2 SSDs can offer higher performance than existing SATA models. It's a little puzzling to see such a cutting-edge feature tied to a motherboard with such a limited upgrade path, though. The 990FX platform is 2.5 years old, and its AM3+ socket is basically a dead end as far as future CPU upgrades go. Perhaps the chipset's bounty of PCI Express 2.0 connectivity played a role in getting the M.2 slot onboard.Nvidia's G-Sync is smooth as expected; more soon
You may see a few previews of Nvidia's G-Sync technology around the web today. I also have a pre-production G-Sync monitor here in Damage Labs, and I've been playing with it for the last little while. I'm just not quite finished collecting impressions, high-speed videos, and everything else I want to include in my write-up.
As I hinted in my earlier post on the subject, I think G-Sync is one of the most interesting and promising new technologies in the PC gaming space in quite some time. Having it here in person hasn't dulled my enthusiasm. I just need a little longer to wrap my head around this technology's practical impact, and I'll have more to share soon! Now, I have to stop typing, or I'll start spilling half-baked impressions before they're ready to... eat? Ugh, need more coffee.Steam beta hardware ready to ship, SteamOS downloadable Friday
Valve has announced that the first Steam consoles will leave the factory on Friday. The systems are going to 300 Steam users selected to participate in the initial beta test. Each of those lucky folks will get to play with not only a custom-built PC running SteamOS, but also a unique controller that has dual touchpads instead of analog sticks. Both components are visible in Valve's pictures from the production line:
Although the hardware is reserved for a select group of users, Valve is casting a much wider net with the software. SteamOS will be available Friday, as well, and it won't be limited to beta participants. Everyone from individual consumers to commercial system builders will be able to download the gaming-centric Linux distro. The OS may have a few rough edges, though. "Unless you're an intrepid Linux hacker already," Valve says, "we're going to recommend that you wait until later in 2014 to try it out."
That's hardly an ominous warning, so don't let it deter you. The relatively limited library of Linux-compatible Steam games is a larger concern. Valve intends to address that issue by streaming Windows games from local PCs. However, in-home streaming doesn't appear to be part of the SteamOS build coming on Friday. Valve says a separate streaming beta is coming soon.Apple granted patent for head-mounted display
Apple has patented a head-mounted display that looks a little bit like the Oculus Rift. U.S. patent number 8,605,008 was granted yesterday and first spotted by Patently Apple. The application was filed way back in 2008, so it pre-dates a lot of the augmented and virtual reality headgear we've seen lately.
The patent abstract describes the head-mounted display as a "goggle system for providing a personal media viewing experience." It notes that the goggles could be linked to a range of devices, including computers, televisions, smartphones, and gaming systems. Interestingly, that's the only mention of gaming in the entire document. The goggles seem to be geared toward passive media consumption rather than something more interactive. I can't find any references to head tracking, which would be essential to delivering a good virtual reality experience.
Few details are provided on the display, which could be just about anything. "The goggle system may include any suitable display generation component," the patent says. The document goes on to explain that 3D scenes may be simulated by presenting different images to each eye, which is what the Rift does today.
In a unique twist, the patent describes adjusting the images for each eye to account for myopia and other vision impairments. The patent doesn't get into specifics, but it indicates that users could input their prescription or have their eyes automatically analyzed by the device. Bespectacled folks would be able to ditch their glasses when wearing the goggles.
Although Apple has been granted the patent, that doesn't mean iGoggles are imminent. I wouldn't be surprised to see some sort of head-mounted display eventually, though. We seem to be on the cusp of a virtual reality revolution, and it's unlikely Apple will sit on the sidelines.Dell introduces its first Chromebook
The Dell Chromebook 11 features a 1366x768 display resolution, a Haswell-based Celeron 2955U dual-core processor, 2-4GB of RAM, 16GB of solid-state storage, and a 720p webcam. Connectivity includes 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, HDMI, and USB 3.0. Dell quotes a battery run time of up to 10 hours, and it says the system is less than an inch thick and weighs just 2.9 lbs, which sounds plenty portable.
There will be two variants: one with 4GB of RAM, which will be available next month, and another with only 2GB of memory, which Dell plans to make available "during the first quarter of 2014." The Dell Chromebook 11 is "expected" to sell for less than $300 when it goes up for sale on Dell's website, though the company doesn't say exactly which variant will cost how much. It's not clear whether regular joes will be able to buy this thing, either.
I think Dell may be on to something here—not with the Chromebook 11's hardware, which seems pretty run-of-the-mill, but with the focus on education. Chrome OS is much too limiting for my personal use, but its limitations could be assets in the classroom. Just think about it: you could wipe and reset these things in a heartbeat, and there would be little chance of students installing malware or any non-approved software, since Chrome OS pretty much only supports web apps. Chromebooks also tend to combine low cost and solid build quality, which is always helpful when kids are involved.Race the Sun is on Steam, and you should play it
I've been waiting for an excuse to write about Race the Sun. Now that the indie arcade title has made its way to Steam, I finally have one. This game has actually been out for months, and in that time, it's become one of my favorite ways to unwind. There's an almost zen-like quality to Race the Sun that's intense and soothing at the same time. For a taste, check out the launch trailer from August:
The gameplay is simple: collect points without crashing into anything. Solar power provides the propulsion, adding a unique twist to the old-school mechanics.
Race the Sun is all about threading through increasingly dense jungles of obstacles. The controls feel appropriately tight, which makes the experience instantly engaging for me. The game is quick to pick up for short sessions, and it's easy to lose hours chasing higher scores and further progress into the world.
Race the Sun's hypnotic soundtrack deserves some of the credit for the game's calming quality. So does the instinctive nature of the gameplay. Of course, the serenity only applies to the standard world—the hardcore "apocalypse" world rachets up the difficulty in a much more chaotic setting.
One of the neatest things about Race the Sun is the ever-changing game world. The standard and apocalyptic landscapes reset every 24 hours, presenting the player with new challenges and leaderboards. Even though the basic building blocks stay the same, this reconfiguration keeps the levels feeling fresh.
Variety is further enhanced by player-created content. Race the Sun includes an in-game level editor that looks pretty easy to use (there's a basic tutorial here). Player-created worlds can be accessed from within the game, and some of them aren't half bad. I suspect there will be a lot more user-generated content now that the Steam community is in on the action.
Given the stripped-down gameplay, it's only fitting that the graphics have a minimalist vibe. The stark beauty of the retro-inspired environments elevates the visuals above the flat textures and low-poly models.
As one might expect, the basic graphics translate to modest system requirements. Race the Sun only calls for a dual-core processor and a DirectX 9-class graphics card. It runs pretty well on Asus' Bay Trail-based Transformer Book T100 tablet, so any halfway-decent PC should be able to deliver smooth frame rates.
Until December 16, Race the Sun is selling for $7.49, 25% off the regular price. Considering the number of hours I've sunk into the game so far, that's a steal.Ubisoft's Snowdrop engine makes The Division look incredible
Tom Clancy may have passed, but his legacy lives on in video games. The Division is the next title to bear the author's name, and it looks fantastic. The official gameplay reveal was one of the best things to come out of this year's E3 show. Now, Ubisoft has released fresh footage highlighting The Division's next-gen Snowdrop engine. I recommend blowing this up to full screen at 1080p resolution.
Wow. I'm not sure whether I'm more excited to play the game or just to walk around in its version of New York. The Snowdrop engine's lighting and particle systems produce particularly compelling visuals. I really like the environmental damage on display, too, though it's unclear how many in-game elements can be shot full of holes.
The trailer even has a canine component—all the cool kids are putting German Shepherds in their video games these days. Sadly, this pooch appears to be hobbled by a bit of a limp. I can almost hear Sarah McLachlan's SPCA commercial echoing faintly in the background. Sniff.
Ubisoft confirmed in August that The Division is coming to the PC. In fact, Executive Producer Fredrik Rundqvist promised a "first-rate PC experience." We won't be able to enjoy that experience for a while, though. The Division is expected to hit shelves late next year.No Man's Sky has procedurally generated planets, looks amazing
After seeing clips of Star Citizen, I didn't expect to be impressed by another indie space game so soon. And, as it turns out, I was quite wrong. Check out No Man's Sky, a procedurally generated space game under development by Hello Games, the four-person team behind the Joe Danger series:
The guys over at Rock, Paper, Shotgun spoke to the developers and gathered more details about No Man's Sky.
Apparently, the game will let players loose in a galaxy filled with alien planets—some Earth-like, some not. Putting the scale of the game into context, Rock, Paper, Shotgun says No Man's Sky may be the first title without a skybox: "If you’re standing on a planet’s surface and look up," the site explains, "every single dot in the sky is an actual star you can go visit."
Activities will include exploration and resource gathering, both in spaceships and on foot. This will be a multiplayer game, and players will be able to share the discovery of new planets with others. But don't expect heated firefights. According to Hello Games' Sean Murray, "[G]enerally people are playing together cooperatively to the benefit of everyone."
The Rock, Paper, Shotgun story has plenty more details, and I recommend reading the whole thing if you're interested. One thing's clear, though: No Man's Sky looks amazing, and I'm now eagerly awaiting some kind of playable demo or beta.Samsung brings 840 EVO to mSATA, drops new firmware for 2.5'' version
Bite-sized mSATA SSDs are perfect for notebooks and small-form-factor systems like Intel's NUC. Their storage capacities used to be somewhat limited, but not anymore. Samsung has rolled out a family of mini 840 EVO SSDs that includes models up to 1TB.
This Samsung blog post announced the new additions, and the performance ratings provided for the flagship model match those of its desktop counterpart: 540/520MB/s for sequential reads/writes and 98/90k IOps for random I/O. We've actually been testing the 2.5" 840 EVO 1TB for an upcoming article. That drive is very impressive overall, so the mSATA version promises to be one of the fastest SSDs out there.
The mSATA version of the EVO supports TCG/Opal and IEEE 1667 encryption standards out of the box. Similar functionality is now available for the desktop drive via the latest EXT0BB6Q firmware update. Interestingly, that update includes a tweaked algorithm for the TurboWrite flash cache. (The EVO combines TLC main storage with an SLC write cache.) The mSATA drive presumably has the same optimization baked into its initial firmware.
The 840 EVO also supports RAPID mode, a DRAM-based caching scheme that works through Samsung's SSD Magician utility software. Version 4.3 of that app brings RAPID support to the 840 Pro, though I wouldn't recommend enabling the feature. RAPID mode delivered mixed results when we tested it on the 840 EVO a few months ago. We didn't see an improvement in application load times, and using the scheme to cache writes could be risky. Still, it's nice to see Samsung deliver on its promise to port RAPID mode to the older 840 Pro.Next Windows release could be more desktop-friendly
Rumors about the next major Windows release are starting to crop up. Earlier today, Paul Thurrott of the eponymous Supersite for Windows posted a story about Windows "Threshold," which he says we can "think of as Windows 8.2." The story suggests that release may do more to cater to desktop users than Windows 8.1 does.
Quoting unnamed sources, Thurrott says Windows Threshold's desktop interface will let users run Modern UI apps inside windows. Translation: no more Modern UI apps monopolizing your entire screen, unless you want them to. On top of that, Thurrott expects Windows Threshold to revive the Start menu. (Windows 8.1 brought back the Start button, but the menu is still AWOL.)
Also interesting are a couple of stories by ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley. Both stories are linked in Thurrott's article, and they reveal some more general details about Windows Threshold.
The first story, posted last week, claims Threshold will arrive in the spring of 2015 and will "include updates to all three OS platforms (Xbox One, Windows and Windows Phone) that will advance them in a way to share even more common elements."
The second story adds that there could be three separate Threshold releases (or SKUs) for consumer devices, desktop PCs, and enterprise systems. According to Foley, the SKU for consumer devices would be "focused on WinRT apps," while the desktop release would "be customized so that mouse/keyboard users will be able to continue to have some semblance of productivity and familiarity with Windows." Presumably, the Start menu and Modern-UI-apps-as-windows functionality to which Thurrott alludes would show up in that release.
(Thanks to Neowin for the tip.)Asus teases custom Radeon R9 290X with DirectCU II cooler
The Radeon R9 290X is a beast—and a toasty one at that. Cards based on AMD's reference design appear to be thermally limited, especially with the blower running in "quiet" mode, which is already pretty loud. We've been waiting for card makers to come up with alternatives, and Asus has now teased its first custom solution. Behold the R9 290X DirectCU II:
The DirectCU II cooler relies on dual fans and fat pipes. The CoolTech fan on the left differs slightly from the spinner on the right; it includes an inner blower to help direct airflow to the rear exhaust vents. This hybrid fan debuted in Asus' mini GeForce GTX 670, and you can see a video of it in action here on YouTube. At least versus grains of rice, the CoolTech combo looks like an effective one. I'm curious to see why Asus went with a standard second fan, though.
In addition to dual fans, the DirectCU II cooler has 10-mm heatpipes that make direct contact with the GPU. Asus has also come up with a custom power delivery system that includes digital PWMs and other fancy electrical components.
The Asus post doesn't discuss specific clock speeds or noise levels. However, it does mention delivering "a consistent level of performance, lower operating temperatures in game and overall quieter operation." The custom cooler may be able to maintain higher GPU clock speeds than we've observed on retail 290X cards. There's plenty of room for improvement over the reference design's acoustics, too. We've had good experiences with Asus' other DirectCU cards, so we're optimistic.
Unfortunately, we don't have any information on when Asus' custom 290X will be available. Let's hope it arrives soon. Newegg is completely sold out of 290X reference cards right now.Report: NSA put agents in World of Warcraft, Second Life
The whole NSA spying scandal just took an unexpected turn. According to a document leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden, spooks have infiltrated the virtual worlds of Second Life and World of Warcraft. The Guardian has the details, including the revelation that the NSA also has "mass-collection capabilities" for Xbox Live. Ugh.
The document describing the NSA's gaming activities was authored in 2008, so this has been going on for a while. Interestingly, the NSA may have been partially inspired by a presentation given by a Second Life COO. In 2007, the unnamed executive reportedly told the NSA that Second Life gave the agency "the opportunity to understand the motivation, context and consequent behaviours of non-Americans through observation, without leaving US soil." The folks behind Second Life declined The Guardian's request for comment, as did Microsoft. However, Blizzard said it was "unaware of any surveillance," and that anything along those lines was being done "without [its] knowledge or permission."
Agents operating in online games didn't just come from the NSA. The CIA and FBI were reportedly in on the action, and so was the British GCHQ. In fact, there were so many snoops running around that a special group was established to ensure that they didn't interfere with each other. There's no word on whether these activities are ongoing, so consider my use of the past tense as wishful thinking.
Although the leaked NSA document claims that gaming accounts have been associated with IP addresses linked to terrorist groups, there doesn't appear to be any evidence linking video games—or communication within them—to actual terrorist plots. The only piece of usable intelligence mentioned by The Guardian relates to a case involving credit card fraud. So much for the "target-rich communications network" described by the NSA report. I wonder how many man-hours have been logged by government agents
leveling up hunting for terrorists.
In related news, several of the biggest tech companies have banded together to call for surveillance reform. Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, LinkedIn, and AOL have all joined the Reform Government Surveillance group, which has laid out a series of principles covering privacy, accountability, and oversight. Perhaps Blizzard and other gaming companies should join the party.Bay Trail could power $99 Android tablets
Intel is hungry for a larger slice of the Android tablet market. At least, that's the vibe I'm getting from a DigiTimes story posted earlier today. The story says Intel will launch a new flavor of its Bay Trail Atom processor aimed at cheap Android slates next year.
How cheap are we talking? Well, DigiTimes specifically mentions 7" tablets with price tags ranging from $99 to $129. It also talks of "7- to 8-inch models at US$149-199." As far as Android tablet pricing goes, even $149 is pretty close to the bottom of the bargain bin.
DigiTimes says the chip meant to power those offerings will be known as the Atom Z3735D. Word about this chip comes from "sources with Taiwan's tablet supply chain," who also expect a launch in the first quarter of 2014. Sadly, there's no mention of clock speeds, core counts, or anything of the sort. The Atom Z3735D might have a lot in common with its current, quad-core siblings, or it might be a pared-down dual-core part—we just don't know.
Either way, it sounds like Intel may be ready and willing to trim its historically ample margins in order to woo makers of cheap Android slates. Given how popular 7" Android tablets are these days, that kind of a move could do wonders for Intel's market share.Rumor: Google cooking up Nexus TV box
Google's Nexus product family may expand beyond phones and tablets next year. According to newly established tech blog The Information, a Nexus-branded set-top box is on the way. The Information's story is stuck behind a (pretty steep) paywall, but Engadget has the Cliff's Notes version.
In short, it sounds like the Nexus set-top-box will be an Android device capable of running both games and video streaming services. Users will be able to control it with their smartphones or tablets, and Engadget says the thing will be "aggressively priced" and intended as a "gaming box."
The Information, which quotes "people who have seen the device or were told about it," says Google could be planning the launch for the first half of 2014.
It's not clear how, if at all, the Nexus set-top box would differentiate itself from standalone Google TV devices. Those are available today from firms like Asus and Netgear, and as far as I can tell, they're capable of running Android games. I haven't seen those marketed very aggressively, though, and according to Gigaom, Google plans to ditch the Google TV brand and push Android for the living room.Friday night topic: Awkward moments
What is one of your most embarrassing or awkward moments? Discuss.Friday Shortbread
Read more... Deal of the week: IPS displays and 7'' tablets
One would expect slim pickings in the wake of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but there are still some nice deals to be found out there—provided you know where to look.
For instance, Newegg has two IPS monitors on sale for less than $200. The first is LG'S IPS234V-PN, a 23" 1080p display that's down to $129.99 after a $10-off promo code (EMCWVXR44). Judging by the four-star average rating out of 51 customer reviews, this looks like a quality offering for the money.
Need something a little bigger? Then check out Acer's S275HL bmii, which is on sale for $189.99, also after a $10-off promo code (HVEHDENH27). The S275HL bmii stretches out the same 1080p resolution across a 27" panel. The resulting pixel density may not match that of those nifty Korean monitors, but hey, you're paying way less here.
And now for something much, much smaller: Newegg has the 2012 version of Google's Nexus 7 tablet down to an even $159. That's with a 7", 1280x800 display, a Tegra 3 processor, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage capacity. The device apparently comes with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean pre-installed, but Google rolled out Android 4.4 Kit Kat for both 2012 and 2013 versions of the Nexus 7 last month, so you should be able to upgrade.
North of the border, it's always worth checking out NCIX's latest sale. This time, it's called the Sweet Holiday Deals sale, and items of note include a 3TB 7,200-RPM Toshiba hard drive for $109.99, a 120GB Kingston SSD for $89.99, and a 430W Corsair power supply for $29.99 after a $20 mail-in rebate.
|Steam beta hardware ready to ship, SteamOS downloadable Friday||53|
|The pre-Bethesda Fallout games are free on GOG.com||22|
|Updated: Some GPUs are in short supply, but why?||83|
|ASRock intros Killer gaming mobos, includes M.2 connectivity||13|
|Nvidia's G-Sync is smooth as expected; more soon||75|
|The TR Podcast 147: Amazon airlifts, 4K goes mainstream, and 290X goes wobbly||16|
|TR's Christmas 2013 system guide||64|
|Apple granted patent for head-mounted display||80|