Hardware

28% Slow in PC Sales Growth Predicted for 2012

By Published December 10, 2011 at 2:29 am

Computer hardware market analysis firm IHS iSuppli has informed us that it expects 23 million fewer computers to ship in 2012 than it had originally forecast, currently projected at 376 million shipments down from 399 million shipments. The decay in PC sales growth will drop the industry from a 9.5% global spurt to 6.8%.

ihs-2012-forecast

Re-Spec Your Skyrim Character, Change Race, Appearance

By Published December 10, 2011 at 1:24 am

For those of you contemplating your character's existence in Skyrim, this small utility lets you change your race, skills, health, magicka, stamina, gold, appearance, and much more in TES V. This nifty program was added to Skyrim Nexus just recently. Here's the break-down.

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World's First 4TB HDD Shipped by Hitachi

By Published December 09, 2011 at 4:58 pm

The days of 4MB drives being massive are long passed, thankfully, and now we're breaking into new hard drive capacity territory. Despite the HDD industry's slow recovery speed, Hitachi has shipped its most recent Deskstar 5K, a 4TB HDD that runs at 5900RPM (dubbed the 'CoolSpin' by Hitachi), 32MB of cache, and a SATA III interface (6Gb/s max bandwidth).

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AMD Performance Driver Update 11.11c

By Published December 03, 2011 at 4:29 pm

AMD has released yet another driver update for their popular RADEON series video cards. This update focuses on improving overall performance, geometry artifacts, and intermittent crashes/black screens for the games Skyrim, Battlefield 3, Rage, Batman: Arkham City, and Assassin's Creed: Revelations. You can view a full list of changes below:

HDD Prices to Remain High Through Spring, says WD

By Published December 02, 2011 at 9:44 pm

As we warned in our recent budget gaming PC build, for the last month or two now, hard drive prices have skyrocketed as a result of the flooding in Thailand (again, our hearts to those affected). As an example, WD's Caviar Blue and Caviar Black series have both shot from around $40 to the $150 range; some drives are altogether unavailable now, especially most of the mid-high range drives, leaving only poorly performing hard drives at inflated prices.

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Best Skyrim Graphics Mods: Before and After

By Published December 02, 2011 at 2:42 am

Update: For a total Skyrim graphics, mechanics, and content overhaul, view our newest guide!

After posting our recent article about the best graphics mods out for Skyrim, we had to put together the best possible comparison to truly showcase the wondrous power of the modding community; this graphics comparison experiment uses a native PC copy of Skyrim set to the maximum graphics settings and an ultra-modded, heavily-tweaked version of Skyrim that is otherwise "beyond max." We'll let the pictures do the talking -- the mods used are described in depth below all of them. If you want to make Skyrim less gray, this is your ticket.

We kept all times, weather patterns, and locations identical (or nearly so). Images on the right are modded; left are native.

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Thermaltake Announces Commander MS-I Snow Edition Case

By Published November 30, 2011 at 8:06 pm

thermaltake-commander-snow1Thermaltake's sleek Commander MS-I case has been re-colored in a wintery white-black theme. The Commander MSI- Snow Edition provides a more appealing solution to those who might not be aesthetically tickled by the case chosen for our $482 budget PC build.

 This newest edition of Thermaltake cases proves their legacy as designers of "gamer-esque" cases, as the Chaser MK-I E-Sports case originally established.

 

NVIDIA GTX 560 Ti 448-Core Detailed, Launches Today

By Published November 29, 2011 at 12:41 am

If you're ragequitting over the fact that your current system won’t quite be able to run Star Wars: the Old Republic and you can afford something more powerful than our $482 budget pc build, there's good news for you: nVidia will be releasing an updated version of the mid-range 560 Ti with similar architecture to that of the GTX 570. The new card has been officially named the 560Ti 448-Core, but to prevent confusion in this news post, we'll be referring to the old variant as the "v1" and the new one as "v2."

nvidia-570

Battlefield 3 Marked Down to $30 for Black Friday

By Published November 25, 2011 at 12:10 am

EA's Origin has currently listed Battlefield 3 as $30, 50% off, and says the deal will last for only today (Black Friday). The deal is allegedly available only to North American users of Origin, so if you're interested in BF3 and haven't picked it up yet, now might be your shot to do so.

If you haven't already seen our Black Friday Survival Guide by FJ, check it out here to capitalize on those deals!

It's fair to say that all of us, deep down inside, knew that TES:V would be no different from its four predecessors: buggy, crash-happy, and aggravating. While the game might make up for the crashes in its freedom factor for some, the infamous "Skyrim failed to start (error 51)" bugs, crashes when Skyrim loads or zones, black screens on alt-tab, and generally Skyrim crashing to desktop nearly stopped me from playing altogether.

I persisted, as we preach on our support forums, and found an equal number of potential fixes to the crashes and bugs (even the graphics artifacts and texture tearing). Now, since I don't have the same configuration as all of you do, the best I can do is tell you what has worked for me and others -- if none of these work for you, feel free to comment below and we'll try to figure it out together. That said, if you know of a different solution, please post it in the comments to help others who visit this page. Let's get started with our Skyrim crash fixes!

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