Star Citizen Interview, Pt. 2
Talking electronic & info warfare, server architecture, & more.
Rosewill's New Mini-ITX Box
... can fit a Titan Z and HERCULES PSU.
Star Citizen's FPS Mechanics
Discussing FPS gameplay in the impending space sim.

It’s no secret that AMD recently has been posting losses. In fact, just two years ago, AMD reported massive losses of about $1 billion in an earnings report. This was the catalyst for layoffs and organizational “restructuring.”  AMD’s (NASDAQ: AMD) large losses were not unique, though -- both Intel and AMD saw their stock price plummet in 4Q12. Rumors of PC death abounded, but the story wasn’t over quite yet.

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In 2013, AMD had much lower losses of about $83 million. AMD may have overall losses this quarter (and already predicted them) but their $1.4B revenue for this quarter is a 28% increase over last year. Losses are down 86% from this time last year and the company even beat out analysts’ predictions; much of this can be attributed to the growth of APUs and console deals, though the largest portion of AMD’s profit comes from its GPU division. Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) also recently reported that they had a profit of $1.9B for 1Q14 that, when compared to the 4Q13 profit of $2.6B, seems numerically bad, though it still beat out analyst predictions for revenue and is above par for this part of the year.

 

We've been following Star Citizen fairly extensively since its 2012 campaign. As journalists, part of the job is "discovering" games before they make it big; I always task writers with dedicating some portion of our time at PAX to discovering indie games, the hope being that one goes mainstream after we've made it in the door early. I vividly remember Star Citizen hitting the $800,000 mark on Kickstarter and feeling like I'd missed the boat for journalistic success -- it was at the height of its campaign and everyone else had already started talking about it. Even still, we linked up with CIG CEO & Chairman Chris Roberts to discuss technology in-depth (lots of hardware conversation in that link), which had been entirely unexplored up until that point. It's still one of my favorite articles I've worked on, and much of that content remains relevant through today. Funny how much I've learned since then, too.

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Months later, we caught up with Roberts at PAX East 2013 shortly before a discussion panel (filmed). Fast forward to July, and we found ourselves at the Cloud Imperium Games office in Santa Monica. At this point, Roberts' next major goal was $21 million; that'd allow him the freedom of ditching private investors in favor of crowd-sourcing the entire game, he told us, and it was no longer a pipe dream to do so. Everyone in the room knew the funding target was on the horizon, it was just a matter of when. I don't think any of us could have told you that Star Citizen would be sitting at $42 million -- more than double our July meeting -- less than a year later.

Time for another weekend hardware sales round-up. First, for those of you building new gaming PCs, check out our latest ultra-budget gaming PC build for some guidance on a $475 computer. Moving on to the sales, this weekend we feature some amazing deals on the NZXT Phantom 820 case, an 80+ Bronze PSU from Cooler Master, WD's Blue 1TB HDD at 7200RPM, and a 480GB PNY SSD.

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Child of Light is one of 2014’s most eye-catching role-playing games. Developed by Ubisoft Montreal—the same team behind Far Cry 3—it features a water color-inspired art style, provides its own take on turn-based combat, and takes advantage of the unique UbiArt engine – used most notably in Rayman Origins and Rayman Legends. Gamers are already quite curious as to what they will uncover in the game’s story, but I found at PAX East that it’s the story behind the story that’s just as compelling.

child-of-light-yohalemCenter: Jeffrey Yohalem, Lead Writer of Far Cry 3, AC: Brotherhood, and now Child of Light.

It's been a while since we've done a true Cheap Bastard's gaming PC build -- our last one was our $506 Titanfall gaming computer back in February. This time we've done it a bit differently than before. My goal here is to build an entry-level gaming rig at the lowest price possible while offering plenty of room for upgrades. This build would be great for the gamer who plays games that do not require a great deal from the GPU. I included an FM2+ motherboard because it provides all the newer features missing from the dying AM3+ platform, like PCIe 3.0, an onboard USB 3.0 header, and a newer Bolton chipset that makes it a more viable option than an older AM3+ motherboard.

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In this $475 ultra-budget, cheap gaming PC build, we'll make component selections for building your own computer for lightweight gaming; a how-to video guide is included below, as is a list of upgrade options for those with a bit more cash to spend. If you've got some more money, we'd suggest checking out the $740 EverQuest PC (Intel) we posted recently.

So let's get to the build.

In late 2013, AMD came out with their new GPU series that included the R9 290 and R9 290X, both of which ran quite loudly and at 95C. This has led to a plethora of custom coolers for these two cards being released by third-party vendors. One of the most unexpected being VisionTek’s CryoVenom, a liquid-cooled 290 for $600.

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