Hardware

MSI GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Power Edition @ TweakTown
eVGA GTX 660 Ti @ PC Advisor
Asus GeForce GTX 660 Ti DirectCU II TOP @ Expert Reviews
Areca ARC-1882i PCIe 3.0 RAID Controller @ TweakTown 

Games

Darksiders II PC @ Gamespot

The increase is attributed to integrated units:

Graphics cores inside Intel’s processors made it into 6.3% more desktops and 13.9% more notebooks on-quarter, while those figures are 13.6% and 3.8% year-over-year. AMD’s integrated GPUs shipped in 13.8% less desktops and 6.7% notebooks from the first quarter (we couldn’t find on-year figures and it’s worth noting that JPR doesn’t include handsets or tablets, so Nvidia’s Tegra chips aren’t covered).

The outfit’s highlights also jump back and forth between quarterly and yearly changes when discussing the discrete market, making it tough to draw direct comparisons, so we won’t (for example, AMD’s discrete desktop GPU results are displayed on-year and Nvidia’s are on-quarter). Anyhow, both outfits seem to be doing okay and JPR says the overall trend for discrete GPUs is up with a CAGR to 2015 of 5%.

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This is what happens when you break (allegedly) those pesky NDAs with Nvidia:

TweakTown would have to fight tooth and nail to get access to review samples – despite the company’s PR working very amicably with other media – and later simply stopped inviting the staff to events.

Apparently someone at Nvidia was furiously flinging accusations of TweakTown breaking Non Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) but Wilmot denies this has ever happened, and even that, if it is made aware of an NDA through an Nvidia partner, honours them. When Nvidia blacklisted TweakTown, the website would just buy its own copies.

MSI, allegedly thanks to Nvidia’s bullying, felt forced to cut off TweakTown. “It baffled us to receive the email from them,” Wilmot said, although they have now come to an agreement.

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Dubbed “Shamoon”, the virus not only steals user data but leaves their machine unusable:

We’re getting news of a particularly nasty Trojan targeting Windows-based PC today, which anti-viruscompanies have dubbed “Shamoon.” Like most malware, Shamoon exists to steal data from computers connected to the Internet, but what it does afterward is quite evil. In an effort to cover its tracks, it begins deleting files, including the Master Boot Record. This, naturally, leaves the PC unbootable, and can cause some major headaches. The malware itself is a 900KB file that uses many encrypted resources, as you can see below.

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Again…..:

In the copy of the memo posted by Ziegler, Bradley remarks that the new team will be “dedicated to delivering the best mobility solutions in the industry,” and that the company’s “soon-to-be-launched commercial tablet” computer will still be the responsibility of the company’s PC business unit.

Ziegler notes the formation of the unit comes a year after former HP CEO Léo Apothekar shuttered the unit making the company’s tablets and phones based on the Palm “WebOS” operating system software. No mention of specific software is made in this memo, be itGoogle‘s (GOOG) Android or Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows 8 or another system.

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Unfortunately Crytek CEO, Cevat Yerli, was mum on any additional details regarding the title:

A report from December 2011 suggested the project had shifted from the Xbox 360 to the Xbox 720, which is rumored to ship in 2013 withKinect 2.0.

Speaking to the rumor of Ryse shifting console generations, Yerli said, “I don’t know!. We’re still working with Microsoft, so obviously we can’t change platforms. But if you mean within Microsoft–that I can’t comment on.”

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For those interested, the beta will begin in September:

Big Picture mode would be the next step in bringing PC games into the living room by beaming Steam onto a TV with menus fully navigable with a gamepad. ”In early September you’ll be able to hop into a beta, click a button, and see Steam reformatted for your TV and usable with a PC game controller, or a mouse and keyboard if you want to play that way,” said Valve’s Greg Coomer in an interview with GameTrailersTV.

“There are some games are better made with controller input than others, so those will be the best experiences in the living room, but everything will be there so you don’t have to give up your favourite stuff once you walk from the den to the living room.”

While this is a big step in bringing Valve games to the living room, Gabe Newell still insisted that there were no plans for a Valve console.

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For a limited time, Ubisoft is offering deep discounts on fan favorites  in exchange for signing up for the service:

Uplay, Ubisoft’s online services and distribution platform, now has more than 35 million members and is available across Ubisoft games and across platforms. Uplay PC replaces individual game launchers and lets gamers access all their Uplay-enabled PC games and Uplay services in the same place. Uplay PC also includes new features, including an integrated shop, the direct purchase and download of games, a friends list and chat system that add value to PC players’ experience.

To encourage players to download and try Uplay PC, Ubisoft is making PC versions of Driver ®: San Francisco, From Dust ®, Silent Hunter ® 5 and Tom Clancy’s ® H.A.W.X. ® 2 available for £1 for a limited time. Other popular titles — including Anno 2070™, Assassin’s Creed ® II, Assassin’s Creed ® Brotherhood, Assassin’s Creed ® Revelations, Might & Magic ®: Heroes ® VI,  Tom Clancy’s ® Splinter Cell Conviction ® – are discounted up to 75%, also for a limited time.

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IGN had an opportunity to play Far Cry 3 at this year’s Gamescom. Here’s a snippet from their write-up:

We only saw a small slice of the map. Ubisoft said it was 1/20th, which looked about right on the map’s scale. Even in that tiny portion – what, like a square kilometer? – there were all sorts of different places. Cliffs to climb, caves to explore, beaches, outposts, centuries-old structures in the sides of valleys…I really enjoyed being on this island. After so many scripted mission demos, I expected to hate Far Cry 3 for not being Far Cry 2, but I’m in love with it now for similar reasons I adored Africa.

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Maybe I’m in the minority here, but why bother throwing down $250 for hardware that will be trumped by Sony and Microsoft’s next-gen offerings next year:

Developer Sumo Digital’s new Sonic racer is graphically “on-par” with current generation consoles – “or maybe even better”, according to publisher Sega. Sega marketing exec Ben Finch made the comment to Eurogamer as we tested out the Wii U version of Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed at Gamescom.

The 3DS and Wii U versions will exclusively support Mii characters, Sumo also confirmed.

The racer allows you to pilot both aircraft and boat forms of your vehicle – necessary for each course’s airborne and aquatic sections. It’s similar to Nintendo’s own racer Mario Kart 7 in this regard, although Sega said that the Sonic project was started before Nintendo’s was announced.

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