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Surprise! Razer Cortex and Other Software Have Been Spying On You For A Long Time

Posted on May 25, 2018 by Rae Michelle Richards

With the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) coming into effect today a number of tech companies have been quick to abandon older versions of the software, discontinue services entirely or just simply block EU users from accessing their websites. Perhaps the company in the hottest water right now is Razer, maker of LCD infused Keyboard / Mice and really expensive light-up gaming notebooks. 

See, Razer’s terms of service when it comes to data collection currently allows them to collect, and I quote: 

Data Processing by Cortex. Cortex boosts and optimises your system and game performance by collecting and streamlining data relating to your system settings and system processes. When you launch Cortex, it will collect and use such data automatically. By installing and using Cortex, you consent to certain data collection and usage by Cortex for its recommendation engine to function. Cortex recommends game deals and makes price comparisons based on a variety of websites. To do so, Cortex will need to collect and process certain data from your computer, specifically your email address, IP address, game settings, installed games, game performance metrics, device type, user interaction patterns, operating system and browser type. To optimise the advertisements to be communicated to you and the performance of our services, such data will be used with Google’s Doubleclick Ad Exchange and Google Analytics respectively. For the purpose of highlighting discounts as they arise on other websites and displaying price comparisons, Cortex needs to access data relating to your game-ownership and game-wishlist(s), if any, on retail websites of your choice.” 

Twitter User Stephen Swires pointed out in a recent thread that the older version of the Razer Cortex Eula allowed them to collect a lot more including analyzing your keystroke patterns, logging which web pages you visited and “other information about your activities using our hardware”. Sounds very vague…. 

In order to be compliant with the GDPR Razer has dumped support for older versions of Synapse as well as the Mobile version of Razer Cortex. It is not known as of press time how the GDPR update that was rolled out on the recently released Razer Phone affects European users. 

If you’re reading this and currently use a Razer product, does knowing that for a time they were collecting your keystroke “patterns” and web pages that you visited give you pause? Would you buy a Razer product now? Let us know in the comments section! 


Razer Announces Successor To The Popular Black Widow Chroma Keyboard

Posted on January 25, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

Peripheral manufacturer Razer has announced the successor to their very success BlackWidow Chroma keyboard with the introduction of the aptly named BlackWidow Chroma V2, which will replace the original at retail. This improved keyboard brings with it some smaller improvements that may entice existing owners to upgrade as well as one larger one – a brand new line of switches underneath the keys!

In addition to the orange and green switches which were part of the original BlackWidow Chroma razer has added the brand new yellow switch option which are targeted specifically at MOBA and First Person Shooter players with their reduced travel design and much more silent key-press with compared with the other two types of available switches.  For extra comfort the BlackWidow Chroma V2 also includes a magnetic wrist cushion which looks a lot more comfortable than the plastic wrist rest that shipped with the original version.

The BlackWidow line of keyboards was originally introduced more than half a decade ago in 2010. The original Black widow Chroma was released to retail in March of 2015 and was met with several positive reviews.  Chroma technology – also featured in several Razer products like the Razerblade Stealth Laptop – allows users to light up individual keys with custom programmed patterns and when playing supported games like Overwatch and Black Ops III key functions like special abilities and reloading weapons.

BlackWidow Chroma V2 will retail for the same MSRP as the original $229.99 CDN or you could pick up the original version for a bit of savings at $199.99 CDN.


PS4 Pro Announced at PlayStation Meeting

Posted on September 7, 2016 by Ellen McGrody

PS4 Pro announced, launches November 10th

PlayStation4 Pro announced, launches November 10th

Sony officially unveiled the much-rumored PS4 Pro at today’s PlayStation Meeting. The PS4 Neo improves performance and offers higher resolution graphics. A new, slimmer base model will accompany the PS4 Pro’s launch in November.

Insomniac Games's Spiderman shown running on PS4 Pro

Sony’s Mark Cerny demoed the console’s 4K graphics with games such as Horizon: Zero Dawn and Mass Effect Andromeda. Because the console features enhanced hardware, games will be able to employ higher resolutions and greater detail. In addition, HDR lighting is coming to all PS4 models via a software update.

PS4 Pro will make its debut on November 10th for $399.


Powerhouse GeForce 10 GPUs Headline New Line of AORUS Laptops

Posted on August 16, 2016 by Rae Michelle Richards

We’ve written quite a bit about the desktop iterations of Nvidia’s next-generation GeForce 10 line of graphics cards but now the first laptops with the mobile versions of these GPUs are about to hit the market.

Laptop manufacturer AORUS has announced their brand new slim line of gaming laptops aimed directly at players who are looking for the cutting edge in terms of performance power combined with features that give the new AORUS line a distinctly high-end feel like RBG backlit keyboards that include per key lighting and impressive 120hz screens.


The AORUS 17.3 inch X7 DT provides owners with desktop grade performance with a slim profile that has actually one the manufacturer at least one major award. In terms of components, the X7 DT packs in a GTX 1080, a 6th generation i7 processor which has been factory overclocked. This powerful 17.3 inch laptop also includes the world’s first portable computer with a 120Hz display with a 5 millisecond response time.

For potential owners looking for something a little smaller Aorus offers the AORUS X5 V6 which sports a 15.6 screen combined with the more than capable GeForce GTX 1070, ensuring that even the latest titles come out with a crisp frame-rate and visuals. Alongside a factory overclocked Core I& the X5 V6’s 15.6 inch screen boasts an future proof IPS WQHD+ screen with a resolution of 2880 x 1620. Like the X7 DT this laptop supports the built-in RBG Fusion Keyboard.


It’s not just AAA titles like The Witcher III  and Call of Duty: Black Ops III that will sing on AORUS’ new hardware but also Virtual Reality titles as well.  The AORUS X3 Plus V6 aims to remove VR experiences from the desktop with a powerful Nvidia GeForce 1060 – a card we’ve actually covered quite a bit.  Like the other laptop’s covered in this article the X3 Plus utilizes a 6th generation Intel i7, however it is the display on the X3 that deserves a special mention. With a mouth watering resolution of 3200 X 1800!

AORUS doesn’t just manufacture laptops they also produce their own brand of mechanical keyboards, mice and other accessories. Their hardware is carried in Canada at Memory Express in western parts of the country and in America through retail chains like Newegg, ProSTAR, TigerDirect and Xotic PC.


Roccat SOVA Hardware Review

Posted on August 10, 2016 by Broken Joysticks

Review by: J. C. Campbell

The Roccat Sova is a handsome black illuminated PC keyboard and mouse pad for your lap. It’s designed to deliver the same control you’d expect from a normal desktop setup, but in your lap. Either while you’re sitting on the couch or anywhere else you might have a flat surface. It meets this goal admirably as long as you’re using it on a PC with Windows. It does not have linux at the time of this review, beyond simple USB keyboard typing.

IMG_20160808_183534 (1)

The full glory of the SOVA (couch not included)

The styling of the Sova is black and sleek, but it’s by no means undersized. It’s made of thick, very sturdy, black plastic. The design wouldn’t be out of place stashed next to any modern gaming PC. The mousepad features a large grey-on-black Roccat logo and there are several other Roccat logos subtly embossed into the plastic in various places. If there’s one thing that you want in a lapboard, its comfort, and the Sova delivers it. The keyboard is a full-sized keyboard but without a number pad: this leaves more space for the mouse pad. The unit had plenty of spare space for mouse use, while still sitting comfortably in my lap. The keyboard itself measures 300mm long by 120mm tall.

10The blue illuminated keys make it easy to find the key you’re looking for, even in the dark. Unfortunately, the model I was delivered was stuck in “breathing mode” for its backlighting. However, the backlighting is supposed to have multiple modes, and 6 different levels of illumination. The keyboard itself seems very high quality for a membrane keyboard. The keys are as high quality as the best membrane keyboards I’ve used, but of course it cannot compare to a mechanical keyboard. The upside of the unit having a membrane keyboard is that it’s quieter. The keys do not make any kind of clicking or clacking noises when pressed. There is a mechanical version of the Sova available for an extra $50 US, however.

Just the keyboard is affixed to the unit, the rest pops off quite easily

Just the keyboard is affixed to the unit, the rest pops off quite easily

The Sova has a great system for keeping pesky mouse cables out of the way. There are long channels molded into the back. These channels are designed to route cables through. In addition,  a mouse-cable holder snaps onto a variety of positions along the back of the keyboard. This holder grips your mouse cable and brings it up to the top of the board, ensuring you always have just enough cable for your mouse. This is a great feature which means there’s no worry that your mouse cable will get caught or trapped and prevent you from making the perfect head-shot.


The Sova includes a two-port usb hub. One of the ports is for your mouse, and the other is for your cell phone or other accessory. Unfortunately, connecting a cell phone to the keyboard is just like connecting a cell phone your computer. Because, this is a data transmitting USB port, the phone will recognize the keyboard as a computer. Phones only request 500 milliamps from computers so as to not stress the power supplies. This means it will only charge the cell phone very slowly. Roccat’s website indicates that eventually a cell-phone-holder accessory will be made available which clips onto the back of the Sova.


The USBs go in the back.

The keyboard and USB hub connect to your PC via a single long “breakaway” USB cable. The cable uses a 4-pin mini-DIN connector rather than a standard USB connector. If you misplace or break your Sova’s USB cable you will have to order a new one from Roccat. The USB cable also has two plugs and is meant to take up two USB ports. I suspect this is to provide extra power to ensure that the keyboard, mouse, and third device can all be powered without overloading a port on your PC. However, Roccat doesn’t explain this anywhere that I can find.

The mouse pad, wrist rest, and lap cushions are all removable, and according to Roccat replaceable. However, the keyboard doesn’t come with any replacements, so you’ll have to buy those separately if yours wear out. The mouse pad and wrist rest are both held in with magnets The lap cushion snaps in with plastic tabs. I like the use of  magnets, because it makes it easy to detach things, but they still feel secure. The keyboard is built into the Sova and cannot be removed. Since it’s on the left, and the mouse pad is on the right, if you use a mouse left-handed, the Sova will not work for you.


The “rail” on the back of the keyboard currently holds the mouse cord holder, but Roccat has promised that more accessories will come later.

The mouse pad is, quite honestly, the best mouse pad I’ve ever used. My mouse glides so smoothly over the surface it’s almost like it was floating on air. Combined with the mouse cord holder, this delivers an incredibly smooth mouse feel. I also tested it with Roccat’s own Kova mouse, and the experience was equally good. Right now Roccat is giving everyone who preorders the Sova a free Kova mouse.

Features like n-key rollover, (anti-ghosting) and illumination control do not work without the Windows drivers installed. So, if you’re looking for a lapboard keyboard to play on consoles or to control a home-theatre media PC that isn’t Windows, the Sova isn’t going to work as advertised. In fact, until you set the key illumination up with the Roccat software, it’s stuck in a pulsing mode that would be quite distracting while watching a movie. I was never able to get it out of pulsing mode, but I assume this is something that will fixed with a driver update.  Unfortunately, I was unable to obtain drivers for the Sova via Roccat’s Swarm software. I can’t confirm any of Roccat’s claims about n-key rollover (anti-ghosting), illumination control, polling rate, or any of the other advanced features. Hopefully the drivers and features will be available when the Sova is officially released. 

After reaching out to Roccat’s community manager Tuan Mai I recieved this “the driver (with the features you mentioned) will be available when the product ships.” The version we reviewed is the cheaper version with a membrane keyboard (not a mechanical keyboard) and with only global illumination control. The more expensive version has per-key lighting control. At the time of writing, the Sova is available for pre-order from NewEgg in the United States for $150.

Roccat also claims that CAD (computer-assisted design) files for people with 3D printers will be made available. The idea is that owners with 3D printers would be able to print their own accessories that snap on to the Sova in the same way the mouse cable holder does. One accessory I’d like to see would be a clip to hold my TV remote control.

The Sova is designed for one thing: gaming comfortably, and it delivers that. It’s robust, made out of sturdy plastic with many removable pieces.  Just don’t spill your drink on it. The biggest problem with the Sova is that it currently lacks driver support. Overall, I’d recommend the Sova for anyone looking for a simple solution for gaming on the couch.


Nintendo announces Mini Collector’s Edition NES

Posted on July 14, 2016 by Fionna Schweit

Its what you always wanted right? Ok, maybe not. But its a good start. After the success of Pokemon Go it seems Nintendo have decided that cashing in on nostalgia will be their business strategy. I am not at all surprised to see Nintendo announce something like this. Its a good time for retro. 30 retro games, in a nice tiny package, just in time for holiday! Its a good time to be a Nintendo shareholder.

Ok so what is it already

Its an NES, but tiny, and with an HDMI port. Its going to be ready packed with 30 games. Nintendo of Canada’s General Manager and Senior Director Pierre-Paul Trepanier said of the device.  “We wanted to give fans of all ages the opportunity to revisit Nintendo’s original system and rediscover why they fell in love with Nintendo in the first place The Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition is ideal for anyone who remembers playing the NES, or who wants to pass on those nostalgic memories to the next generation of gamers.”

Nintendo says this is a near identical mini replica, I assume the buttons wont work, as the thing is literally palm sized, and that also means all the games are emulated. Two player support is confirmed with a second controller costing 10$

The NES Classic will be available to purchase in stores on Nov. 11 for $59.99. All of games available to play on the console are listed below.

This looks like something that I would find at walgreens

This looks like something that I would find at Walgreens when I forgot to buy a toy for a kids birthday

What games?

The system comes packaged with an HDMI cable, an AC adapter, and one NES Classic Controller. But you really just want to know the full list of 30 games, right? Here it is.

·      Balloon Fight


·      Castlevania

·      Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest

·      Donkey Kong

·      Donkey Kong Jr.


·      Dr. Mario

·      Excitebike


·      Galaga


·      GRADIUS

·      Ice Climber

·      Kid Icarus

·      Kirby’s Adventure

·      Mario Bros.

·      MEGA MAN® 2

·      Metroid


·      PAC-MAN

·      Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream

·      StarTropics

·      SUPER C

·      Super Mario Bros.

·      Super Mario Bros. 2

·      Super Mario Bros. 3


·      The Legend of Zelda

·      Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

Man thats a lot of games, if your still reading I applaud you, I know i stopped after about 10. Some good stuff in there including the two Zelda titles and the three Mario titles. Since the games are just emulated im guessing plenty of people will love this thing for homebrew. So the list of titles may expand.


Turtle Beach announces Elite Pro headset at E3 2016

Posted on June 24, 2016 by Fionna Schweit

I don’t usually consider the thing that sits on my head while I am gaming a premium piece of hardware. Usually it’s just whatever headphones I use for editing video or audio. Turtle beach wants to change that with their newest set of headphones, the Elite Pro headset. The Elite Pro sells for $200USD and Turtle Beach have pulled out all the stops making this one.

Here you can see the adjustment for how tight the headset sits on your head

Here you can see the adjustment for how tight the headset sits on your head

E3 2016 with Turtle Beach

The first thing turtle beach said to us was that this headset has been designed with “competitive gaming” in mind. I was a skeptical, but when Turtle Beach sat me down and started to tell me about the features this headset had, I started to believe that claim.

E3 is a crazy haze of booths, competing with noise, colors, and size for the attention of the people who enter the Los Angeles Convention Centers two main halls.  Turtle Beach knowing this had a full stage for E-Sports set up and was blasting a loud speaker, full tilt, e-sports of one sort or another. Their booth was full of colors and lights, and loud announcers; this struck me as odd because the new headset is anything but flashy.

Leather and fabric

You can just see the fabric peeking out of the leather ear cups in this shot

Ancient history

If you have been a gamer since the PS2 and Xbox era you probably remember when Turtle Beach was the absolute last word in gaming headsets. Their wireless sets dominated the market for years, with their precision sound allowing hard core gamers to hear their enemies before they ever saw them. Sadly as the years rolled on Turtle Beach began to focus on more options, and their ultra high end sets started to suffer a bit as they played to the dominant market force of low cost. As brands like Astro and Razer rose, Turtle Beach found themselves in an increasingly crowded market with too many products and no focus.

Enter the Elite Pro

The Elite Pro Tournament headset is their answer to that problem. Created they say from the ground up for ESports team OPTIC, and clearly marketed at the very top end of all gaming headsets, Turtle Beach is hoping that the Elite Pro can see them return to the top.

The first thing I noticed about the Elite Pro was that it wasn’t wireless. For me at least this is a good thing, if you want maximum performance, you don’t use a wireless headset. The second thing I noticed was the muted colors, many gaming headset are very concerned with the idea of having you be seen wearing the headset, Turtle beach have gone instead with a muted black color scheme with a few orange accents.

In this shot you can also see the $200 TAC

In this shot you can also see the $200 TAC

yah but what does it do?

Features wise the headset has a pair of 50mm drivers, that Turtle Beach says use “NanoClear” technology, when I asked what that was, I was told it was proprietary, so I have no idea what that is at all. These speakers nest in a huge set of foam ear pads which are very round and have plenty of cushioning.  One really neat feature with the ear padding is a sort of pull that allows you to create a channel in the padding for glasses. The cups use combined leather and fabric the leather provides a beautiful finish while the fabric prevents major ear sweating during long gaming sessions.

Beyond the comfortable ear cups, the headset does a few other things with comfort in mind. Turtle Beach says they have designed this headset with long gaming sessions in mind, and so have put in some features to help that. The set uses a well-padded floating headband to try and prevent any painful contact points on the head itself. As well as an adjustment on the headset band itself for tightness. This one seems like it’s a bit excessive but if the shoe fits.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to try any of these comfort features so I can’t tell you if they really make a different feel, and the only set that was available for a demo unit wasn’t hooked in to anything so perhaps more importantly I can’t tell you what it sounded like to have them on. What I can tell you is that the marketing people really sold the set as being gaming first.

Gaming Performance

Turtle Beach promises that this is first a gaming headset, and so they haven’t spent a ton of time working on the sound response. Instead they have focuses on making sure that you can hear your opponents coming and that your team mates can hear you when your talking to them.

To that second point, Turtle Beach have said that they have deigned an all new microphone with the same quality as a boom mic so your teammates never miss your call out of one enemy at B site. There is an inline mic mute and volume control. The headset will work with any 3.5mm jack, but Turtle Beach recommends plugging it in its 200USD Elite pro Tactical Audio Controller (TAC) for best results. Again I was totally unable to try the microphone so I can’t speak to its ability to block outside sound (a major feature of tournament grade microphones) or its fidelity.


This is the full list of accessories for the Pro line


Turtle beach are also making two accessories to go with the Elite Pro Headset. First you have the $200 TAC, and then the Elite Pro noise canceling microphone ($30). The TAC’s purpose is the same as the old Astro mixamps, to control the levels of various things.

To use the TAC you’ll need to plug in the headphones, the microphone, and the controller you are using. On the back you’ll find an Aux in port, a stream out port, a selector switch to tell the amp which device you are on, Ethernet in and out, and optical in and out. There can be no doubt that the TAC has a lot of cables when it is all plugged in, but what you get in exchange is a huge degree of control over in game sound. The Ethernet ports are not for internet, but instead daisy chaining multiple mix amps together.

On the front you have a large volume knob, and 4 sliders. Each slider has a center click to tell you when you are at 50%. The 4 controllable sliders are for game volume, background noise cancellation, outbound mic boost, and mic monitor level. Since this is a powered amp your going to be able to do a lot more than you would with a just the headset. The TAC comes with 4 preloaded presets, but if you are spending 200 USD on an audio set up, you should probably be setting your own levels.

The second accessory is the $30 noise canceling microphone. This microphone has a bit of magic in it, with a front mounted mic that pics up noise around you, and then uses the mixamp to filter it out that noise.  Once again I have only the word of the rep giving the presentation to go by on this one, but hopefully independent testing will arrive in the future to verify this claim. According to the current reviews that are out there the consensus seems to be that there was very little difference between the default Elite Pro headset and the extra offered microphone.


There are a lot of ports on the back of the TAC

The final word

Overall this headset looks promising, unfortunately I am unable to bring you and real “testing” of the set as Turtle Beach have not provided a review model, but I can say this. This is a very well-constructed pretty headset. The Elite pro is designed with  comfortable long gaming sessions in mind. It is a project that comes from a need in the space for a dedicated tournament grade headset. If you are in the market for a new high end headset, this should for sure be on your short list. Hopefully when Turtle Beach has the available inventory for reviewers, I can get one set for you our audience to do a full run down with.


Xbox One Slim leaks before E3

Posted on June 12, 2016 by Fionna Schweit

Xbox One

Xbox seems to have been scooped. Despite there being a tight wrap on their supposed hardware announcements tomorrow at their press conference, at least one photo of a new Xbox Slim has leaked. The post first appeared on Neogaff but has since been verified by separate sources.


that’s about it, you get a 40% slimmer box, with a larger hard drive, the ability to push 4K video with HDR sound and a stand to make it vertical. Also announced with this apparent leak is the smaller slim controller, which is described as Sleeker, slimmer, sharper.

This box is not to be confused with the newer more powerful model of Xbox which is code-named “scorpio” and will presumably be announced tomorrow at the Microsoft E3 press conference.


AMD’s $199 Radeon RX 480 Graphics Card is VR-Ready

Posted on June 1, 2016 by Fionna Schweit

Welp, its a good year for graphics cards. First we have the whole set of NVida 10xx cards which are more powerful than the current hi end 1000$ cards that with a price point of about half. Now it seems that AMD is not going to die quietly and from their skunkworks comes the announcement of the new RX480 at just the tiny tiny price of $199USD. Stop, wait a minute, 200USD?! for a VR ready GPU? The Radeon RX 480 is scheduled to launch on June 29, with a model that is certified to power the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.

here are the specs :

CUs 36
Memory Bandwidth 256 GB/s
Data Rate (Effective) 8 Gbps
Memory Size 4/8 GB GDDR5
Memory Bit-rate 256-bit
Power 150 W
VR Premium Yes
AMD FreeSync Yes
Display Port 1.4/1.4 HDR

This is one of the craziest contrasts that I have ever seen in GPU’s. Last month AMD reveled the the $1500 Radeon Pro Duo. Which is designed for VR developers, and obviously the exact opposite of this card. Do you think this card is going to outsell the new Nvidia cards?


Nacon’s New E-Sports Focused Controller Aims To Bring Precision To Players

Posted on May 21, 2016 by Rae Michelle Richards

Competitive E-Sports are dominated by the use of the classic Keyboard and Mouse even at the highest levels of play. Naccon hopes to change this with their PC-centric, E-sports focused Nacon GC-400ES controller. A crowd funding campaign to make this peripheral a reality, a crowdfunding campaign will be launched on Indiegogo on Monday morning.

What will set the Naccon GC-400ES Alpha Pad aside from other top tier hardware like the Razer Sabretooth or the Xbox One Elite?  The Alpha Pad includes two different modes that can be selected before use – the industry standard “X-Input” method used by the Xbox 360 and other controllers. Its second mode is what sets it apart – the Naccon GC-400ES can emulate a keyboard & mouse by using the included software. Players are able to create profiles for AAA games like League of Legends and Counter-Strike.

In terms of hardware the Naccon Alpha Pad with built-in memory for up to 4 game profiles, allowing players to switch their game of choice on the fly. The weight of the controller can also be adjusted to make sure that it fits into player’s hands perfectly.

The Naccon Alpha Pad GC-400ES has been under development for the past 18 months at the small electronics company. By partnering with French E-sports Tekken champion Norman “Gen1us” Chatreir the developers of this controller can ensure that the needs of hardcode players are well met.

More information about the Naccon GC-400ES is available on their official website or by watching their YouTube promotional video below. No pricing information is available at this time – but we will update this story when the crowdfunding campaign launches.

[youtube id=”BCOGThMkkIs”]


Lucid Sound wants to reinvent gaming heaphones

Posted on April 24, 2016 by Fionna Schweit

How many times have you been out while wearing your gaming headphones and thought “I bet I look pretty un-professional”? If you answered yes to this question Lucid Sound has the answer. Found by a series of alumni from Triton and Mad Catz these folks are no strangers to video game peripherals.  We got a chance to talk to Alex Verrey about the brand new product and I was quite impressed.


For the audiophiles of you out there here are the technical specs of the headset:

Speaker Size: 50mm

Sound Space: Amplified Stereo Sound

Power Output: 70mW 32ohm per channel

Frequency Response: 20 – 20,000 Hz

Characteristic SPL: 97 +/-3dB

Lucid Sound also includes 3 EQ Modes already baked in to the headset: Normal, Bass Boost, and Treble Boost

The headset I tried out is the current production model the flagship LS-30. I got to try out the white model of the LS-30 (color makes no difference in quality i just like white headphones).  I found the LS-3o to be extremely comfortable, Alex told me it weighs just 188 grams and so I hardly felt it sitting on my head. Padding was ample with out being obnoxious. He went on to explain that the idea was that this is an everyday headset, to use with your phone or PC to listen to music, but to also use when you are sitting down at your Xbox or playing CS:GO.

To accomplish this goal of every day carrying (EDC) Lucid has done several things, first and easiest to see, these are just dam pretty headphones. Modeled off of hi-end sets like the AT-M50Xs and the Beats range of headphones they are sleek and made of metal and hi grade plastics. Appearance is a huge part of EDC headphones for me, so seeing something as professional looking as the LS-30’s always makes me feel more confident that I look good.

The second thing that’s been done is to remove clunky gaming controls, and integrate all of the controls in to the headset it self. It sounds odd, but its quite intuitive. The volume is a twist of the right ears outer casing, the balance of game vs voice is on the other side. Both controls feel smooth and are easy to use. Tapping one side mutes your mic, with the other silencing the speakers. This has the effect of removing the large amp box that many gaming style headsets come with, and means you can be rocking out to your music one minute, then go right back to your game the next with out fiddling with a bunch of cords.


The LS-30 can be operated either wired in to your choice of sound sources, or wireless with what Alex told us was a “new proprietary loss-less Bluetooth technology”. I got a few minutes of playing some Call of Duty in with the set and I have to say, despite it running on wireless the base was deep, footsteps sounded good, and I couldn’t see much of a difference from my much more expensive “gaming” headset that has wires strung across the floor of my living room.

The unit is fully rechargeable and Alex told us that a brand new set would get up to 12 hours of battery life on a 2.5 hour charge. Many people will appreciate the fact that the boom microphone is removable, but that even with out the boom mike the headset can function as a hands free phone device, as there is a secondary mic tuned for just this purpose. At an MSRP of $149.99, the LS=30 is available at Best Buy, Game Stop, and Newegg. If you are interested in more information you can check out  the Lucid Sound website




AMD releases new dual GPU, GPU Radeon Pro Duo

Posted on March 15, 2016 by Fionna Schweit

AMD is coming out swinging this year. Their latest line of Radeon cards, the Fiji line, have put up a serious competitor to NVidia that hasnt been seen in the last 4 or 5 years. Now they have entered the double card package market, previously occupied by the lone NVida Titan card. If the specs released today are true, this is in fact not a competitor, but rather a Titan killer. AMD has started this card off with two Fiji chips, which means we’re still looking at two GPUs with 4GB of HBM RAM each. Which does feel a little odd since AMD already has an 8GB card in the R9 390 and its pretty much the lowest cost 8gb card that exists at just over 300$.

To set it apart from the 390, the Pro Duo has a closed loop water cooling solution built right in. It required three separate power connectors, as you can see in this image below, and its a hefty beast of a thing. Some back of envelope math, and a little googling tells me that if this GPU actaully needs all three of those PEG connectors, its pulling close to 450 watts of power. Say good night to your wallet, and hello to hi power bills. AMD

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AMDs Next Generation GPU Architecture Codenamed “Polaris”

Posted on January 1, 2016 by Rae Michelle Richards

AMD’s next round of graphics cards, presumably to be released under the Radeon 400 series moniker, will be powered by the company’s next generation architecture codenamed “Polaris”. Currently AMD’s graphics cards, as well as the graphics processors used in the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, are powered by the GCN framework (graphics card next) originally introduced in 2011 with the Trinity APU line and Radeon 7000 series.

This latest leak regarding the Polaris architecture comes from well-known graphics card insider @GFXChipTweeter who tweets a lot of information about graphics card advancement and in particular AMD related technologies. Raja Koduri posted an image the described Polaris as:

AMD Polaris Leak

This isn’t the first major leak in AMD’s recent history or even in the past fifteen years. While the company has been very forthcoming about the ZEN architecture that will eventually replace the AMD FX line of desktop chips a leak of a supposed roadmap that leads into 2020 calls for a new high performance class of the company’s APU processors and a release of new graphics card technologies every two year. Let’s not forget that the major Doom 3 leak from 12 years ago was eventually traced back to the precursor of AMD’s Graphics division, ATI technologies.


2016 and Gaming: A Year in Preview

Posted on December 28, 2015 by Kenny Keelan


As we’re closing in on the end of one year and getting ready to start the next, a lot of people are reflecting on the year that’s past and others are looking at the year to come. I’m one of those looking to the future and I’ll tell you why: 2016 and the coming years after are going to be an extremely exciting time for games. While gaming has always been a longtime passion of mine, I do have to admit that it has felt like, in the last couple generations, innovation and creativity had been been steadily decreasing while market saturation has been steadily increasing. It wasn’t looking good as the market was looking stale and things weren’t change. Sure, there were gimmicks that came and went but nothing really stuck. There were few real surprises and the things that jumped aboard the hype train were mostly games we’d been anticipating and asking for, for years. There was a lot of vaporware, a lot of E3s that came and went that left us wanting more and spending more time laughing at the flaws than celebrating the wonders. In my honest opinion, the fifth generation was the last generation that truly brought us wonders we never thought we’d see possible and all the last couple generations did was expand on that. We never saw anything truly groundbreaking and that’s part of why 2016 is going to be an exciting year: we are going to see a lot of broken ground and whether or not it will be truly successful, we finally see companies going out and taking risks and those are the kinds of moves that change gaming for the better. Follow the jump for our preview of the year to come and what to watch for!

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PS4 To Recieve price Cut In Europe

Posted on October 21, 2015 by Fionna Schweit

It often seems that with consoles Europe gets left in the dust, so it usually comes as no surprise when months after a US price decrease the same thing is finally applied to Europe. Such is the case again with the PS4, the MSRP will not be €349.99/£299.99.  A spokesperson for Sony said “Since the launch of PS4 our aim has always been to provide players with the best gaming experiences at the best value, and we’ve been thrilled with the amount of players who have joined our world,” Most of those players joined at a price point close to double the standard US prices.

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe boss Jim Ryan said:

“With this year’s biggest blockbusters and next year’s best exclusives such as Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End set to thrill players, there has never been a better time to join the PS4 community.”

Truly this can not come at a better time, as Sony continues the push of the current generation in to the holiday season.



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