Hey game developers: Enter to win an iBUYPOWER Revolt 2 and more!

Presented by Intel


Games like Grand Theft Auto and Resident Evil set the bar for commercial success, and indie gamers are increasingly rising to the occasion. But it requires sophisticated tech to develop, cash in hand to cover production costs, a solid marketing plan to launch, and confidence that your game will run beautifully across the whole spectrum of consumer hardware out there.

And Intel is on the case. Right now, they’re offering developers an opportunity to get free testing and promotion by Intel when you submit your PC game for free testing through the Intel Test Suite by December 14.

The first 50 PC games accepted to be tested will receive free testing — a $750 value. To make things even sweeter, the top 50 titles to pass testing will also get $5,000 worth of social promotion across Intel channels.

Better yet? Submission also means you’ll be entered to win an Intel​ CORE i9 PROCESSOR worth $1000, an iBUYPOWER​ Revolt 2 Pro Z370 worth $1750, or an @ASRock​ X299 MOTHERBOARD worth $390.

The Intel Test Suite consists of preferred test methodologies and tools to determine your game’s performance and playability on Intel® Core™ processors and Iris® Graphics. And a Runs Great on Intel® technology certification means that your game delivers the best experience on the most platforms, plus offers you a chance to be considered for software bundles, partner stores, and other opportunities to get big.

The company has long been a source of support for game developers through its Intel Game Developer program, which offers libraries, performance analyzers, and other tools to optimize PC games, a resource library and developer forum, plus contests, networking opportunities, trade show collaborations, and go-to-market programs to expand a game’s reach.

Check out Intel’s suite of free optimization tutorials, testing tools, and other resources before you submit your game for certification.

Hurry – the contest ends December 14. Get your game tested now, and get big!


Sponsored posts are content produced by a company that is either paying for the post or has a business relationship with VentureBeat, and they’re always clearly marked. Content produced by our editorial team is never influenced by advertisers or sponsors in any way. For more information, contact sales@venturebeat.com.

Submit your PC game by December 14th for free testing and be entered to win an @intel​ CORE i9 PROCESSOR worth $1000, an iBUYPOWER​ Revolt 2 Pro Z370 worth $1750, or an ASRock​ X299.

ENTER & WIN: Submit your PC game to the Intel Game Dev Program

Comparing Motherboards For the Coming Core I7 Processors

In the next few months, more and more buzz will be generated for new motherboards. That's because with the launch of Intel Core i7 processors, only new motherboards with the X58 chipset can be used. In other words, if an enthusiast wants to upgrade a CPU, the motherboard has to be upgraded as well.

A lot of information has been released by technology news websites on various motherboards such as the ASUS P6T Deluxe OC Palm, Intel DX58SO, MSI Eclipse and EVGA's X58 SLI motherboard. In order not to be overwhelmed by the plethora of articles on these motherboards, it may be a good idea to be clear head and focus our attention on the critical elements.

Crucial element 1: Speed

The overall speed of the computer system depends on the multiplier values ​​of the system. For example, you can achieve higher performance if you tweak the multiplier values ​​of the CPU or the memory. Overclocking enthusiasts will be most interested to know if the system can run reliability at the overclocked values.

In this area, the ASUS P6T motherboard offers an extra in the 2.5 "LCD displays that presents system configuration information, overclocking data, etc. This is useful for overclockers who want to tweak and monitor the system while it runs.

Crucial element 2: Graphics

The graphics of a computer system is another major component to take into consideration. Many software applications require a lot of graphics processing power to run smoothly. This includes professional software, such as video and audio editing software that performs a lot of zooming, panning, modeling of 3D objects, etc. Many 3D games also require powerful graphic processing for best effects.

Enthusiasts should check whether the motherboard has SLI (Scalable Link Interface) support. SLI is a technology developed by nVidia, and it's used for multi-GPU processing. Not all motherboards support this feature because manufacturers are required to pay a royalty to nVidia if they want to offer support for SLI.

Since SLI is meant for intensive graphics processing, only those who need it for business applications or gaming need to consider having this feature.

Crucial element 3: Memory.

The memory on a system affects the overall speed of the computer. With powerful processors, enthusiasts have to make sure that there will not be a bottleneck when it comes to memory. Having insufficient memory could mean that the system will run at substandard performance.

Motherboards with the X58 chipset offer support for triple channel DDR3 memory kits. Various memory manufacturers from Taiwan and China have already released memory kits that are timed perfectly for the Core i7 processors.

Enthusiasts should pay attention to the number of slots available. For instance, the ASUS P6T motherboard has 6 memory slots, allowing a max memory of 12 GB. Other motherboard options may have only 3.

As far as the motherboard is concerned, there are various editions available. Of course, one can expect the high-end editions to be much more costly. However, enthusiasts can still enjoy the increased performance at an affordable price if options are selected wisely.

Oculus Rift needs a streamlined update in 2018 to boost VR adoption

The push of VR toward mainstream adoption is at an interesting moment. On the one hand, we have more VR headsets on the market than ever before powered by technology from Microsoft, Facebook, Sony and Google, with manufacturers including Samsung, Acer, Lenovo, Dell and HP all trying to cut off a piece of what is still a small market.

On the other hand, it was a tough year for many of the VR developers out there who found themselves struggling with low adoption numbers. One of the early social VR apps, AltspaceVR, ran out of money and its remaining team got swiped up by Microsoft. Meanwhile, one of VR’s earliest and biggest proponents, CCP Games, halted all its VR work. Those are just two of the highest-profile situations. There are many more examples of developers struggling in 2017.

The combination is almost enough for naysayers to trot out their overused comparisons to 3D TV and try to claim a premature “VR is dead on arrival.”

The truth is that the biggest issue facing VR adoption continues to be cost. The all-in price for any quality VR headset and the computer which draws the virtual world you visit is still significantly more than $500. Plus, almost all VR headsets on the market in the United States today require multiple pieces to work. It is expensive, and a pain, to get into a VR experience with a friend. Still, major manufacturers did their best this year to lower the barriers and widen the appeal of VR hardware. Here’s a quick summary of what happened in 2017:

  • Facebook’s Oculus Rift drops from $600 to $400, with Black Friday deals bringing it down to $350.
  • Microsoft licenses HoloLens tracking technology to PC manufacturers allowing them to build compelling VR headsets that are easier to use starting at $400, with Black Friday deals bringing the entry level down to $300. Microsoft also embracesSteam.
  • HTC releases Vive Trackers that can increase a sense of presence.
  • Sony bundles the camera with PlayStation VR headsets for $400 and streamlines its hardware a bit.
  • Google significantly upgrades its Daydream View for greater comfort and longer-term use and rolls out a huge feature allowing wireless streaming to Chromecast.

While these efforts are all steps forward in driving greater adoption of VR, I would point to the efforts of Facebook and Microsoft as having the biggest impact in widening the pipeline so developers have more people to which they can sell VR software. I would also point to these two companies as being best positioned to drive adoption even wider in 2018.

Next year, we know Facebook is planning Oculus Go to offer an entry level all-in VR price of just $200, combined with instant-on functionality that will make it easy to jump into VR and find a friend at any moment. And we also know Microsoft is at least considering adding VR features to its Xbox One consoles.

But what of the Oculus Rift?

The device which arguably kickstarted VR’s renaissance has been on the market as a complete package with hand controllers for less than a year at this point, so it might be premature to discuss potential hardware upgrades. But the reality is that Facebook isn’t just competing against the likes of Microsoft and Google, it is also competing against the clock. Each passing month without a robust install base of VR headset owners makes it hard for inspired VR developers to make rent and feed their families, turning away talent that could help jumpstart a new medium. Meanwhile, each passing month costs Facebook a lot of money.

An update to Rift’s hardware — while still being aggressive with pricing — could multiply the VR install base.

Is Oculus Rift Ready For A Tracking Update?

We know Facebook is planning to release standalone kits to developers in less than a year featuring more convenient tracking technology. The updated “Santa Cruz” prototype headset, which I tried with redesigned hand controllers at Oculus Connect 4, dials up the freedom you can experience in a VR headset while bringing the same ease of use people will enjoy early next year with Oculus Go. It is unlikely, however, we’ll see consumer standalones from Oculus with the same kind of freedom you can experience in an Oculus Rift until 2019 at the earliest. That’s because Facebook’s public timeline only points to the release of developer kits in 2018 for a standalone full freedom of movement VR headset.

This leaves at least a year-long gap where headsets powered by Microsoft’s tracking technology could try undercutting Rift on price while also offering easier set up. That is, unless Oculus releases a new Rift with updated hand controllers and the tracking tech I saw on Santa Cruz.

At OC4 I talked to Nate Mitchell, an Oculus cofounder and the head of Rift. I expressed to him how frustrating it is to set aside three USB ports on your PC and run cords around your house to three cameras in order to enjoy a fair amount of freedom in an Oculus Rift. I asked him if those things would improve eventually.

“We have more in store for Rift in hardware and software,” Mitchell said. “We know Rift pain points better than anyone. I live Rift’s pain points every single day. I love Rift, I do think it is hands-down the best VR product that’s available at the absolute best price. Can we do better? Absolutely. Are we going to do better? Absolutely.”

My personal experience with Santa Cruz was joyous. Its tracking system did a remarkable job — using four cameras on the headset — to track my hand movement even in weird positions somewhat behind my body. In comparison, headsets powered by Microsoft’s technology only feature two wide angle forward-facing cameras that can miss some of these areas. The Microsoft system does a good job of capturing some movements when your hands aren’t in view, but the four sensor design employed by Oculus seems to offer a much larger tracked volume.

For those unfamiliar, both Santa Cruz and VR headsets based on the tracking technology Microsoft pioneered with its expensive HoloLens AR system use something called “inside-out” tracking. This means the headsets essentially track themselves as they move through space, without any external hardware needed. Current headsets like Rift and Vive require the installation of cameras or spinning lasers around the outside of your room to track a headset and controllers.

“With three external sensors with Rift when you have a full almost room-scale experience, the level of tracking that you’ll get in some of those edge cases is gonna be better [than inside-out tracking],” Mitchell said. “The beauty of Santa Cruz and the beauty of the inside-out tracking solution is that it’s actually pretty rare that you fall into those spots.”

The below photo from an Oculus presentation shows the range of controller tracking possible with the four sensor inside-out approach seen on Santa Cruz.

VR headsets are of course also held back by the limited resolution of their displays, but as PSVR’s adoption has shown, a lower resolution is still acceptable to many buyers. Enthusiasts get a little hung up on a resolution upgrade being a prerequisite to a “Rift 2.0”. I’d argue that cost and the superior ease of use that would come with a headset-based tracking solution is what’s holding back Rift adoption more than the number of pixels on the display. VR headsets need to come in at lower prices and offer easier setup in order to unlock a greater install base, and that’s what Facebook could do with an updated Rift that employs the tracking technology I saw in Santa Cruz.

Such a Rift update would still have a wire and it would still use a PC to power it, but it would be as easy to set up as any of the Microsoft headsets while offering tracking quality in the same ballpark as what you have with a Rift today. If Facebook stayed aggressive with pricing, it might even be able to lower cost a little bit more in this process by eliminating the external cameras.

This is all, of course, mostly conjecture. I don’t have any confirmation of Facebook’s plans beyond indications from Mitchell that he’s aware of what a pain it is to set up cameras around a room and that they have hardware updates planned for Rift in the future.

“Tracking is a fundamental part of a great VR experience especially when you go six degrees of freedom headset, six degrees of freedom controller,” Mitchell said. “You never want your mouse to freeze or disappear or float away…We’re not by any means saying we’ve perfected tracking across the industry or anything like that but we believe it’s a fundamental ingredient and an area where you can’t shortchange the experience.”

This story originally appeared on Uploadvr.com. Copyright 2017

The PC Gaming channel is presented by Intel®‘s Game Dev program.



Cooler Master Announces MasterLiquid ML120L RGB and ML240L RGB CLC: Lighting Up The Night

Cooler Master has introduced its MasterLiquid Lite RGB series of closed loop coolers. The MLL series of radiators are being touted by CM as reliable, well performing, and have quiet under load. The company is using a dual dissipation pump, which isolates the warm air inside the CPU block, as well as 120mm Masterfan Pro Air Balance RGB or Air Balance (non)RGB fans to push air through the radiator and keep the CPU cool. 

There are four options to choose from in the MasterLiquid Lite series of coolers. First are the non-RGB LED models found in 120mm and 240mm radiator sizes. They are outfitted with either a single Master Fan Pro Air Balance fan for the 120mm or two in the case of the MasterLiquid Lite 240. The MasterLiquid ML120L RGB and ML240L RGB use the Masterfan Pro Air Balance RGB fans for the lighting as well having RGB LEDs on the top of the pump lighting up the Cooler Master name. The tubing connecting the radiator to the CPU block and pump is double layered and made of FEP on the inside and has a braided sleeve on the outside for aesthetics.

Both of the RGB units include a wired RGB controller and RGB splitter in order to synchronize its RGB with your motherboard supporting board partner’s software. This includes ASUS AURA Sync, GIGABYTE’s RGB Fusion, MSI’ Mystic Light Sync, and ASRock’s RGB LED applications (see compatibility list HERE). The wired controller is able to cycle through six preset modes, adjust the color, and brightness. The CLCs will fit Intel LGA2066/2011-v3/2011/1151/1150/1155/1156/1366/775 sockets while AMD compatibility is listed as AM4/AM3+/AM3/AM2+/AM2/FM2+/FM2/FM1 sockets.

The radiators are made of aluminum and are painted matte black. Cooler Master says it is a low resistance radiator yielding a higher flow rate and better heat exchange efficiency. We are not able to confirm the fin density through published specifications. The Air Balance fans range from 650-2000RPM, are PWM controlled, and rated to deliver 66.7 CFM and 2.34 mmH2O (max). Noise levels are said to range from 6-30 dba. The Dual Dissipation pump, which isolates heated coolant from the cooled coolant, is rated to less than 15 dba for noise and is controlled via a 3-Pin connector. 

 

The non-RGB models can currently be found on Amazon while Newegg carried both the RGB and non-RGB models. With all units priced under $70, they are some of the less expensive AIOs on the market, especially those using RGB LEDs. 

MasterLiquid ML120L / ML240L and ML120L RGB / ML240L RGB
CPU Socket Compatibility Intel-  LGA 2066/ 2011-3 / 2011 / 1151 / 1150 / 1155 / 1156 / 1366 / 775
AMD – AM4 / AM3+ / AM3 / AM2+ / AM2 / FM2+ / FM2 / FM1
(Theadripper optional)
Radiator Material Aluminum
Dimensions ML120L – 157 x 119.6 x 27mm
ML240L – 277 x 119.6 x 27mm
Fan Dimensions 120 x 120 x 25mm
Speed 650 ~ 2000 RPM (PWM) +/- 10%
Air Flow 66.7 CFM (Max)
Air Pressure 2.34 mmH2O (Max)
MTTF 160,000 Hours
Noise Level 6 ~ 30 dBa
Connector 4-Pin (PWM)
Pump Dimensions 80.3 x 76 x 42.2mm
MTTF 70,000 Hours
Noise Level < 15dBa
Connector 3-Pin
Price ML120L – $49.99 / ML240L – $59.99
ML120L RGB – $59.99 / ML240L RGB – $69.99
Warranty 2 Years

Related Reading:

Desktop Processors – A Brief Guide

The Stone Age:

If you are like me, you have spent the majority of your life in the PC Age. I can remember toying with the very first Personal Computers. In those days you were generally required to write your own programs in BASIC and your code or programs were stored to either a cassette tape, or, if the program was small enough, to a 5 f floppy. I spent many a day playing true gaming classics like Oregon Trail or a two-dimensional Star Trek game played with the up and down arrow keys on a keyboard. One thing is certain; PC performance has increased automatically exponentially since their inception.

As I write this guide, I am surrounded by a flaw glow that comes from my well loved Macintosh Color Classic PC, which at the time of its manufacture, came with an
"An Oh So Powerful" 16 MHz processor and an 80MB Hard Drive. I was so impressed with my Mac when I purchased it; it had a small but bright color screen built in, a hard drive, and a 3 1/4 inch floppy drive. Thanks to Al Gore I could hook up a 1200 baud modem and access a world of ASCII websites via the
"Internet". I truly viewed my Macintosh as a portable PC, it was reliably light and easy to tote around and I took it virtually everywhere I could. Today my Macintosh is still functional, however the only real purpose it serves is as something of a curiosity to any visitors I may have under the age of 25.

What a Difference a Decade Makes:

I am writing this guide on a Dell Latitude Laptop which I purchased a mere 13 years after the Macintosh. My Laptop is far from the latest and greatest in portable technology, yet it is hundreds if not thousands of times more powerful than my beloved Macintosh.

We all recognize that Personal Computers serve many functions in our lives, from reducing complexity, to entertainment, the list is virtually endless and their impact on out lives really astonishing. Central to the seemingly unreal advancement in PC performance over the last 2 decades is the processor. Processors or CPUs as they are commonly called are present in virtually any electronic device that you touch today. Whether you are looking to upgrade your current PC or buy an entirely new system, you can quickly become confused by the sheer range of processors that are available and the terminology associated with said Processors.

The purpose of this guide is to give you a basic understanding of CPUs and to help you make a good decision when deciding on what CPU is right for you.
This guide is not meant to be a technical dissertation; its goal is to provide very general information and designed to give you, the reader, a general understanding of what a processor is and to help you make a good decision when it comes time to purchase. If you are more technically oriented, I would suggest the many tech-detailed guides available elsewhere online.

First Things First: What is a CPU?

CPU stands for Central Processing Unit, and even after many years of refinements in PC technology, the CPU is still the central part of your computer's operations. A CPU manages the flow of data throughout your entire PC. The role of a CPU is to manipulate (process) data that passes through your PC, reading it from your PC's devices, manipulating it as required, and then sending it out to storage or display devices.

Physically, a CPU is complied with millions of microscopic transistors which are etched onto a layer of silicon via chemical and lithographic processes.
Transistors themselves are exceptionally simple devices that store binary
(on / off) values, and it's from these on / off states that more complicated processes can be performed. Modern transistors are extremely complex; a CPU such as AMD's Athlon 64 FX-55 is comprised of just fewer than 106 million transistors. A dual-core chip such as Intel's Pentium Extreme Edition 840, that transistor count jumps around 230 million.

Simply put, the CPU is the brain of your PC. All of your PC's functions rely on the CPU and all functions interact with the CPU on a constant basis.

Deciding on a CPU that meets your needs is not simply a matter of price point. There are an extreme number of processors available for purchase today and they can range in price anywhere from $ 2.00 to $ 2,000. CPUs are the central component of a PC's processing power; however they are a part of a whole. There are many components within any individual PC and they all must
"plug" into what is known as the PC's motherboard. To put it simply, the motherboard is the component of the PC that integrates a PC's individual components, the CPU being one of them.

When upgrading a PC or building one at home, it is important that the CPU you choose is compatible with the Motherboard. I will talk in more detail about determining the compatibility of a CPU with any given motherboard later on in this guide.

When purchasing a CPU you should consider the capabilities that you're looking for in a processor, and the types of software you're likely to run on your machine. It's much better to make the right choice and get a PC that's ideal for your chosen applications than end up with something that sounds good on paper, but can not run the core tasks you need.

The Two Major Brands: AMD and Intel:

Intel and AMD offer us a wide range of CPUs and the two companies' products are in direct competition. AMD and Intel CPUs are capable of running the same PC software and are not software specific or proprietary in nature. The primary differences between these processors are technical in detail that for the purpose of this guide will be considered inconsequential.

You will generally find that pricing in the CPU market is very competitive and, generally speaking, Intel chips are more expensive than comparable AMD processors. On the higher end, Intel offers the Pentium 4 in numerous configurations with names to match. Terms or names that you may see tied to the Pentium 4 include Hyperthreading, Extreme Edition, Dual Core and Intel Duo. Intel Processors come in both 32 and 64 bit versions. AMD was the first CPU manufacturer to offer a 64-bit CPU and come as both the Athlon 64 and Athlon 64 FX. The Athlon FX and the Intel Pentium 4 Extreme Edition are competitive chips for power users.
You may have heard of 64-bit processing, it is available in both manufacturers CPU lines. The primarily advantage that 64-bit processing has over 32-bit is in the amount of data that the processor can address. 32-bit chips can handle around 4 gigabytes of data while a 64-bit chip can handle
16 BILLION gigabytes – quite a difference. 64-bit processors can run most 32-bit applications but require a 64-bit operating system to function properly. At this stage, 64-bit processing can be considered as something of overkill as a 32-bit processor, especially one that is dual core, which can efficiently run the majority of today's software applications.

Both Intel and AMD offer budget versions of their processor, Intel's offering being the Celeron
– a striped down version of the Pentium. AMD's budget offering is the Duron; both Budget chips again offer similar performance and pricing.

Hyper-threading VS Dual Core:

Most of Intel's Pentium 4 processor support a technology called Hyperthreading. Hyperthreading allows the processor to be used correctly as two processors as one. This technology can give a boost to performance; however it should not be confused with Dual-Core processing. Hyper threading utilizes software to create two "virtual" processors out of one in an effort to allow for multiple applications to be processed simultaneously. A Dual-Core processor, such as Intel's new Extreme Edition physically contains two separate processing units on one chip and offers far greater performance.

Naming Conventions:

Manufacturers methods for naming their processors can be very confusing for the average user. Until recently Intel simply used the clock speed of the processor, for example 3.2GHz Pentium 4, while AMD uses names based on the processor's suggested capabilities. For example, an AMD XP3000 + may have a clock speed of 2.16GHz but in practice it performs more like a 3GHz processor. Intel which for years used clock speed to define its processors has moved to a new 3-digit naming convention. Intel processors will now start with a 3, 5 or 7 – each group representing the type of processor and the motherboard that it is compatible with.

Sockets and Pins:

Simply put, Sockets and Pins are terms used by manufacturers to define the compatibility of a processor and motherboard; a description of a processor should always contain what socket type it is. Motherboards designed to utilize an Intel Socket 478-pin processor for example, will not accept an Athlon Socket A processor, and vice versa.

Front-side Bus:

The front-side bus (FSB) is the interface between the CPU and the main system memory and determines the fastest type of memory your system can use.
The faster the FSB the quicker data can be passed between the CPU and the memory.

Cache memory:

Cache Memory is memory that is added directly to the processor.
Manufacturers add this memory as a way to eliminate potential data "bottlenecks" and to speed the CPUs handling of information. Cache does this by storing frequently used data directly on the CPU itself. Greater Cache generally means faster and better overall performance.


Upgrading:

Most users PC's can be upgraded from their current configurations. Often times you can save yourself hundreds of dollars by performing a little research about your existing PC. Many times PCs can accept much faster processors than were originally included by the manufacturer. A little research on the subject can go a long way toward saving you money and extending the life of your PC.

If you are interested in upgrading your PC you can generally determine sooner easily if your existing PC will accept a more powerful processor than it originally came with. A little research into the exact model number of your PC and the computers motherboard will allow you determine what processors are compatible with your existing PC. Many tools are available online to help you determine what processors are compatible with your existing motherboard.
Often accessing your motherboards manufacturers' website and researching your specific model will give you all the information you need to determine what processor is right for you.

How to Choose the Right Processor:

Determining what processor is best for you requires that you take an honest account of your computing practices. If you are a power user and use your PC for high end gaming, demanding applications or video editing you should look toward the latest and greatest processors available. You will want to pay attention to Speeds, Cache and Front Side Bus speeds and purchase the best CPU you can afford.

If you are a standard home or business user and require your PC to handle tasks such as word-processing, e-mail, photo editing and internet access, it would be a waste of money to invest in a high-end CPU.

The following links are available as a manufacturer tool to help you determine the matching chipsets for any given processor: Intel indigo.intel.com/mbsg/ [http://indigo.intel.com/mbsg] and AMD www.amd.com /us-en/Processors/TechnicalResources/0,,30_182_869,00.html

By doing your homework and making an honest assessment of your computing needs, you can be sure that the processor you choose will be the processor you want and need.

Copyright 2006 www.hcditrading.com ,
Brad Calli