Most of the tech industry’s major players are located somewhere in California – a state that has, in our experience, proven to be very large and very saturated with horrifyingly bad drivers. It also happens to be saturated with leading technology innovators and game development companies; the hardware split is pretty even between SoCal (Orange County, Fountain Valley, LA, Industry) and NorCal (home to Silicon Valley). Game developers mostly hang-out in San Francisco and San Jose.

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We’ve previously toured both regions, with some of our best content focusing on nVidia’s silicon failure analysis lab (San Jose) and Kingston’s automated RAM/SSD manufacturing line. Following Game24 and the GTX 980 launch, we returned to the Los Angeles area for more. In our most recent California trip, we visited NZXT, HyperX, CyberPower, and iBUYPOWER to see their assembly lines and warehouses.

MSI certainly didn't invent second-hand embarrassment or technology industry sexism, but you might think that to be the case after watching one of their “how to build a PC” videos that features bikini-clad women (semi-NSFWhow to build an MSI computer” video). I suppose you'd be less likely to ESD a component with fewer clothes, but something tells me that it wasn't MSI's intention to convey that helpful advice. Corsair wants in on the second-hand embarrassment “gaming” videos, apparently, and has done so by inking its keyboards with a tribal tattoo.

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“Gaming glasses” have been in the industry for a number of years now. Anyone who's been to a convention or tournament has likely seen the yellow-tinted lenses in the wild, generally sourced from Gunnar Optiks, one of the only makers of gaming glasses in the market. The glasses are meant to reduce eye strain during extended computer use by acting as a simple filter – as a yellow lens would do, “gaming” or not – and reduce some of the more intense blue light. For users who do experience eye fatigue or strain, renowned (former) Penny Arcade journalist Ben Kuchera included, “gaming glasses” have reportedly worked in calming the eyes enough for longer use.

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The problem is that Gunnar Optiks wants to make about $100 off of you.

For yellow lenses.

Online backup solution BackBlaze has been publishing its data on hard drive reliability since January now, with its last update shedding some light on HDD endurance. The company uses thousands of hard drives for online backups of consumer and corporate clients and has elected to publish its performance data. DOAs are fairly common across the industry, but those are more survivable – a failed hard drive means lost data.

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Innovators in wallet abuse by owners, Valve today announced an update to its client that aids in streamlining the discovery of new titles. “Discovery” is one of the more tangible benefits of real-world shopping that has been lost to the sands of time (or EB Games); there’s a very distinct, satisfying experience that accompanies finding a new title, buying it, and taking a chance. Steam hopes to bring eyes to its thousands of titles with greater ease, noting that the company has brought-on more than 1300 games in just nine months.

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You didn't read this wrong. We’ve put together an ultra-budget “Cheap Bastard’s” gaming PC build for just over $400. At around the same price of a current gen console, you can build a quality entry-level gaming PC. Featuring an Intel G3258, 8GB of DDR3 RAM and an MSI R7 260, you get a great gaming PC for games like LoL, DOTA2, WoW, GRID, Titanfall and TOR.

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This budget gaming PC build takes the DIY approach to building a custom computer for games like Titanfall, priced far below our usual $500 budget target.

Weekend Hardware Sales - $188 4690 CPU, $188 GTX 760

By
in Sales
Published September 21, 2014 at 11:12 am

188 years ago, on 9/21, the construction of the Rideau Canal began in Canada. That has absolutely nothing to do with this weekend sales round-up. It is also a pure coincidence that two of our sales items are only $188 – I promise. This week, we feature a GTX 760 for $188, a 10-button laser gaming mouse for $35, an i5-4690 at only $188, and a 27” G-Sync monitor for $600.

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NVidia’s GPUs bring all the manufacturers to the yard. The release of GM204 first saw our review of the reference GTX 980 – presently the objective best video card we’ve ever tested – followed-up shortly by coverage of ZOTAC’s new Amp! Overclocking GPU lineup. While at the Game24 unveil event, we managed to catch up with MSI to discuss its SKUs for the GTX 970 and GTX 980 series.

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MSI brought their GTX 970 4G “Gaming” video card along, equipped with an updated Twin Frozr cooler using dual 100mm push fans and a somewhat standard heatpipe / heatsink design. Let’s get into the specs.

Following-up on our GTX 980 benchmark and review that went live yesterday, board manufacturers now have their own variations on the new Maxwell cards up for sale. Most of the manufacturers have altered the design in some way: a cooler overhaul, pre-overclocks, heavier-duty capacitors, and additional pins for power are a few of the common changes. Zotac has done all of these with their “Amp! Omega” GTX 970 GPU we got hands-on with.

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Zotac’s new GTX 980 and GTX 970 both ship in standard (unmodified GPU specs + aftermarket cooler), Omega, and Extreme editions. The Omega and Extreme GPUs host a suite of OC-tuned hardware features and a slightly boosted clockrate.

It’s been a months-long journey of GTX 800, then GTX 900 rumors, broken embargoes, questions, and anticipation. The GTX 750 Ti saw the debut of NVidia’s Maxwell architecture almost 7 months ago, making for one of the first times the company has ever unveiled a low-end product before its architecture flagship. Then things went silent. Time passed, and as mobile 800-series GPUs began shipping, we still hadn’t heard about what would eventually become the GTX 900 series.

Then a box showed up.

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“The World’s Most Advanced GPU” was written on the hefty black and green box, a few phone calls were made, and we knew it was time.

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