Posted on 13th Jul 2011 at 07:41 by Antony Leather with 142 comments
For me, water-cooling began out of necessity. I water-cooled my first PC nearly ten years ago, when, living in a house with a flat roof, my bedroom got incredibly hot in the summer months. I was already hooked on overclocking at the time and strove to save money by buying cheap, but very overclockable hardware. Unfortunately, the combination of the house's architecture and high system temperatures meant that my PC was intolerably noisy and unstable.
Infuriated, I made the move to water-cooling - not a particularly easy one as there were few guides and even fewer off-the-shelf components back then, which resulted in regular trips to the local DIY store to search for parts. I initially water-cooled my CPU, and my overheating and noise issues were solved instantly - my PC went from a hot, noisy box to a cool and quiet machine of wonder. I had more overclocking headroom than before too.
Every one of my main rigs since then has also seen me spend entire weekends building and leak-testing. In fact, the last three PCs I've built have had a water-cooled CPU and GPU, as well as the various hotspots on the motherboard too. However, a lot of today's hardware simply doesn't need water-cooling as urgently as its equivalent back in the day. People still want water-cooling, but it seems to be a desire that's separate from the need to actually cool the hardware.
Posted on 8th Jul 2011 at 14:20 by Podcast with 11 comments
It's been a while since our last podcast so James, Paul, Antony and Harry had plenty to talk about when they took their seats in the studio this week.
First on the agenda was James and Paul's trip to Computex in Taiwan, where they got to see what the industry had planned for the next six months. Certain things were of particular interest to us though such as the LGA2011 boards being shown at the exhibition.
Posted on 26th Jun 2011 at 10:44 by David Hing with 9 comments
Back when mobile phones were still thought of as a new idea, Nokia's 3210 was highly sought after in many circles for its built in version of the highly addictive game Snake. Fast forward a decade, and Hard Lines is attempting to be a worthy successor to that classic title.
The mechanics of Hard Lines are simple. With simple directional strokes of your finger, you steer a line around the screen towards randomly spawning markers, accruing points while avoiding other lines that enter from the sides of the screen.
Slick and neatly designed, Hard Lines is clearly influenced by the Light Cycles from Tron, yet it doesn't limit itself to that one style of play; there are several variations. In some modes, you gain points by getting opposing lines to crash into you or the walls; in others you race against the clock, or just try to last for as long as possible. There are also some good bonuses, such as the occasional power up that enables you to crash through any other competing lines without killing yourself.
Posted on 21st Jun 2011 at 12:00 by Podcast with 19 comments
We're joined by Mode 7 Games
, the developer of Frozen Synapse
This week the team chat about Duke Nukem Forever
and the controversy surrounding its release and reception. The conversation then moves on to Prey 2, and the fond memories most of us had of its predecessor.
Posted on 15th Jun 2011 at 07:41 by Podcast with 8 comments
Joe, Clive and Harry are joined by David Hing and sit down to help discuss the wealth of news that poured out of E3 2011 last week. This includes the unveiling of the Nintendo Wii U and the PlayStation Vita, as well as the release dates for Mass Effect 3 and Battlefield 3.
We didn't limit ourselves to just E3 announcements, though. A croaky Joe also let us know what the Duke Nukem Forever launch party was like, while the rest of us speculated about how the game would shape up. Check out the Duke Nukem Forever review
to see how right everyone was in their predictions!
Posted on 13th Jun 2011 at 07:29 by Clive Webster with 24 comments
The latest trailer for Star Wars: The Old Republic has been released and it’s freaking awesome. This follows previous cut-scene and video releases that have been similarly impressive, engaging and enjoyable. However, with the game looking a bit duff
, I’m wondering if Electronic Arts, Bioware and LucasArts could be persuaded into releasing a cut-scene-only version? I’d happily pay to watch a short film made from them.
Posted on 11th Jun 2011 at 10:06 by David Hing with 35 comments
Three of my five weapons were offline and leaving small ion trails in space, my cargo hold was full of rare and expensive artefacts and a band of pirates was chasing me down a frantically plotted and improvised course. With a route that picked its way in and out of asteroid fields through systems that were well and truly off the charts, it is fair to say I was panicking. I was also pretty sure that my eyes had stopped blinking.
I loved Freelancer; Microsoft's space trading open world game. It resembled an extremely stripped down Eve Online, but with gameplay replacing the spreadsheets. I'm aware that it was a
condensed version of games that did the same thing better and with more depth many years before, but I found it to be a deep and beautifully realised sandbox. In fact, I'm convinced that most players only ever scratched its surface.
Posted on 8th Jun 2011 at 07:28 by Clive Webster with 70 comments
While it’s good news for customers that Intel is aiming to make superportable laptops that rival the MacBook Air affordable for many, via its ‘ultrabook
’ project, it shows a slightly outdated mode of thinking. When asked what would make superportable laptops successful, Intel’s executive vice-president Sean Maloney replied that a low price would do it. Low price = more sales = more profit, the conventional wisdom goes. Or does it?
Posted on 7th Jun 2011 at 07:53 by David Hing with 5 comments
In Gaming Digits' Chicks vs. Kittens you’re charged with ensuring the safety of a mother bird defending her nest against a hoard of poultry-hungry kittens. This is achieved by hatching chicks and weaponising your offspring against the feline invaders. As you do.
Games for iOS live and die by their personality, though, not whether their premises make sense, and Chicks vs. Kittens has plenty of personality. Your ammunition flaps around happily while it waits to drop onto enemies, while the climbing kittens are more lovable than sneezing baby pandas, with animations that are clear and crisp even when they’re blown up to iPad size.
As far as the controls and gameplay go, Chicks vs. Kittens is a simple reaction test with a little bit of tower defence strategy thrown in to boot. The influence of the latter is manifested in the way you equip your chicks to perform different roles through the use of hats. Hats can be used to increase the strength of chicks, to upgrade your leaf-based economy or to change the way they attack kittens. Variations are constantly added throughout the game.
Posted on 5th Jun 2011 at 11:50 by Joe Martin with 31 comments
I’ve been playing Star Wars: Jedi Academy lately. I didn’t play it when it first came out, but good word of mouth and a budget Steam price proved hard to resist. Overall, it’s a pretty good game too, although I’ll never be as effusive about it as my pals. One thing I can’t get over, though, is how incredibly dated the game looks.
It’s been hard for me to pin down exactly why Jedi Academy feels so dated, as the graphics actually hold up very well for a seven year old game using the twelve year old id Tech 3 engine. Lately, I’ve come to think that it’s the sparseness of the levels that makes it feel archaic. There are too many empty desks in the cantinas, too many barren walls; there’s not enough clutter in the world.