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Celebrating 10 years of Innovation, Performance, and Excellence, ORIGIN PC Upgrades the Big O Custom PC

ORIGIN PC is celebrating its 10th anniversary of building world class high-performance custom PCs for gamers, enthusiasts, and professionals with a one-of-a-kind gaming system showcasing the best of PC gaming and console gaming. The system is called Big O, which combines a high-powered gaming PC with an Xbox One X, PlayStation 4 Pro, and Nintendo Switch inside a modified ORIGIN PC GENESIS chassis. This build is a throwback to the original award-winning Big O system built in the early years of ORIGIN PC's history that at the time combined a powerful gaming PC with an Xbox 360.

By using their case modding and PC building expertise, the ORIGIN PC team spent countless hours testing, designing, and building the modern Big O as a stunning technical showpiece. With inspiration from previous custom builds, the Big O offers an incredible hardline liquid cooling solution for the Intel Core i9-9900K CPU and NVIDIA TITAN RTX GPU, which also extends to the Xbox One X and PlayStation 4 Pro. As for the Nintendo Switch, the team built a custom dock in the front panel of the Big O using the original hardware in order to retain the complete "docking" capabilities of the system. Thus the Nintendo Switch can be docked for full screen gameplay or removed to take gaming on the go.

NVIDIA Does a TrueAudio: RT Cores Also Compute Sound Ray-tracing

Positional audio, like Socialism, follows a cycle of glamorization and investment every few years. Back in 2011-12 when AMD maintained a relatively stronger position in the discrete GPU market, and held GPGPU superiority, it gave a lot of money to GenAudio and Tensilica to co-develop the TrueAudio technology, a GPU-accelerated positional audio DSP, which had a whopping four game title implementations, including and limited to "Thief," "Star Citizen," "Lichdom: Battlemage," and "Murdered: Soul Suspect." The TrueAudio Next DSP which debuted with "Polaris," introduced GPU-accelerated "audio ray-casting" technology, which assumes that audio waves interact differently with different surfaces, much like light; and hence positional audio could be made more realistic. There were a grand total of zero takers for TrueAudio Next. Riding on the presumed success of its RTX technology, NVIDIA wants to develop audio ray-tracing further.

A very curious sentence caught our eye in NVIDIA's micro-site for Turing. The description of RT cores reads that they are specialized components that "accelerate the computation of how light and sound travel in 3D environments at up to 10 Giga Rays per second." This is an ominous sign that NVIDIA is developing a full-blown positional audio programming model that's part of RTX, with an implementation through GameWorks. Such a technology, like TrueAudio Next, could improve positional audio realism by treating sound waves like light and tracing their paths from their origin (think speech from an NPC in a game), to the listener as the sound bounces off the various surfaces in the 3D scene. Real-time ray-tracing(-ish) has captured the entirety of imagination at NVIDIA marketing to the extent that it is allegedly willing to replace "GTX" with "RTX" in its GeForce GPU nomenclature. We don't mean to doomsay emerging technology, but 20 years of development in positional audio has shown that it's better left to game developers to create their own technology that sounds somewhat real; and that initiatives from makers of discrete sound cards (a device on the brink of extinction) and GPUs makers bore no fruit.

Batman: Arkham and LEGO Batman Series Arrive on Origin Access

Electronic Arts announced that they've added six Warner Bros games to their Origin Access subscription service. The new titles belong to the Batman: Arkham and LEGO Batman series. This is an important feat for EA as it's the first time that a third-party publisher has allowed their games to join The Vault. According to EA, this is just the tip of the iceberg as they are planning to add five more games, including the award-winning indie title "The Witness", in the upcoming weeks. For those players who are interested in trying Origin Access, EA is currently offering a seven-day free trial from now through March 26, 2018.

EA Publisher Sale on Origin and Amazon with Discounts Up to 75%

Electronic Arts is currently running a big sale on Origin and Amazon that you simply cannot miss out on. There's an excellent selection of titles that includes Battlefield 1, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Mass Effect: Andromeda, Star Wars: Battlefront II, Titanfall 2, and many others. The good news is that the discounts also extend to several DLCs and game bundles. It's worth taking a look even if you're not a big fan of Origin. The EA Publisher Sale runs through until Tuesday, March 6, 2018 at 10 am Pacific time. As is the custom, we've highlighted some of the more interesting offers.

Square Enix Puts Final Fantasy XV Up for Pre-order and Releases Benchmark Tool

Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition will be released on March 6, but hardcore fans can pre-order the game now through Steam, Origin, or the Microsoft Store. The $49.99 price tag remains the same independent of the place of purchase. However, the preorder bonus differs hugely. Consumers who pre-order through Steam will receive the "FFXV Fashion Collection" which contains a collection of four t-shirts with different buffs for Noctis to wear. The buffs include strength enhancement, HP recovery rate acceleration, critical hit rate boost, and maximum HP increase. Microsoft Store preorders, on the other hand, come with a "FFXV Powerup pack" that provides players with a sleek Dodanuki sword which reduces enemy defense with each slash, 10 phoenix downs, and 10 elixirs. Origin seems to draw the short straw this time around. The Origin preorder bonus is the "FFXV Decal Selection" comprised of different decals to modify the cosmetics of the Regalia car.

Square Enix has graciously released a benchmark application to help future Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition players configure the game to get the best performance out of their systems. The zip file weighs around 3.37 GB and is available for download right here at TechPowerUp, or, if you don't like our servers for some unfathomable reason... from the developer's website. The benchmark only runs on 64-bit versions of Windows and requires Microsoft .NET Framework 4.6 to be present on the system. Users also need to have a graphics card that supports DirectX 11 and a monitor with a minimum resolution of 1280 x 720. Unfortunately, NVIDIA SLI and AMD Crossfire configurations are not supported at this time. The application lets users choose between the Lite, Standard, and High quality presets and resolutions from 1280 x 720, 1920 x 1080 to 3840 x 2160. The entire run takes around 6 minutes and 30 seconds. The score and performance evaluation are provided at the end of the run.

On The Story of AMD's Ryzen Threadripper Product Development

In a Forbes interview conducted by Anthony Leather, AMD officials Senior Vice President and General Manager Jim Anderson, Corporate Vice President of Worldwide Marketing John Taylor, Sarah Youngbauer of AMD's communications team, and James Prior, AMD's Senior Product Manager, have shed some light on the development process for AMD's equivalent of a flash hit - their HEDT, HCC Threadripper chips. Threadripper, which leverages AMD's Zen architecture used in their Ryzen and EPYC processors, makes use of an MCM design with up to 16 cores and 32 threads, with AMD's svelte Zen, 8-core base units linked through the company's high speed interconnect Infinity Fabric.

This has allowed the company to scale designs from four core processors with Ryzen 3, all the way towards the current cream of the crop Threadripper 1950X. It's an extremely scalable design, which brings with it improved yields and some pretty significant cost savings for AMD due to smaller dies. This, in turn, means the company is able to more agressively price their Ryzen and Threadripper processors compared to the competition, at least when it comes to high core and thread counts for the same price bracket - and the success of that business decision is showing.

For our forum lurkers, this article is marked as an editorial.

ORIGIN PC Launches A New Line of Ready-To-Ship (RTS) Systems

ORIGIN PC announced today the availability of their brand new line of Ready-To-Ship (RTS) systems for the holidays. ORIGIN PC's RTS line of systems come pre-configured using only high quality parts specially chosen by the ORIGIN PC engineers. These high-performance systems are available while supplies last and offer the same unmatched quality and performance as every custom ORIGIN PC without the wait and without any compromise. Every RTS system is put through the same rigorous benchmarking and testing and built and supported in the United States. With included popular PC games, features such as professional overclocking and award winning Lifetime 24/7 Support, the ORIGIN PC RTS system makes the perfect holiday gift.

ORIGIN PC Now Shipping Touch Enabled Windows 8 Desktops and Laptops

ORIGIN PC is now shipping Microsoft's new Windows 8 Operating System on their full line of award-winning desktops and laptops for gamers, artists, professionals and enthusiasts. Windows 8 has been redesigned with a new intuitive interface that provides instant access to contacts, apps, games and personal data, yet still offers the same foundation from Windows 7. Windows 8 adds a variety of new features such as significantly faster boot up times, cloud connectivity, multi-touch support for the EON17-SLX laptops, and multi-touch support for 3rd party Microsoft certified peripherals to provide a new experience on your ORIGIN system. ORIGIN PC will continue to offer and ship orders with Windows 7 post launch to provide a robust custom experience for all customers.

LucidLogix and ORIGIN PC are Exclusive Launch Partners of VIRTU MVP Mobile for EON

LucidLogix and ORIGIN PC today jointly launched Virtu MVP Mobile GPU virtualization software, available now with the award-winning ORIGIN EON laptops. With Virtu MVP Mobile, gamers can enjoy increased system performance, better responsiveness, tear-free gaming and reduced power utilization; unlike that of any other laptop on the market today.

"Virtu MVP Mobile gives our customers an even better competitive edge," said Kevin Wasielewski ORIGIN PC CEO and co-founder. "Crisp graphics without tearing and rapid fire response are among the many exclusive benefits they can enjoy while gaming at home or on the road."

Apacer Announces AH354 USB 3.0 Flash Drive with Sliding Cover Design

Apacer has launched a series of hot-selling USB 3.0 flash drives. It seizes the opportunity and introduces its latest product, AH354 USB3.0 flash drive, which adopts the next-gen USB 3.0 specification with a reading speed of up to 80MB/s and a capacity up to 32GB. It has an exclusive U-Ring design, combining the ring with the hidden sliding cover. Its shiny crystal blue color and rounded contour design is definitely a sight to behold.

AH354's "U-Ring" design originates from three features of the product itself - Ultra Fast Speed, Unique Design, and User-friendly Experience. The unique U-Ring integrates the ring with the sliding cover structure, rendering a sleek and clean look. Its pebble-like smooth, rounded contour along with the crystal blue U-Ring highlights its elegance and velocity. The U-Ring not only prevents the cap from missing but also allows personal accessories to be freely attached to show distinctive style.

Human Head hasn't Worked on Prey 2 in Months, RUNE Sequel Possible

News that Prey 2 had not been cancelled, but rather delayed, was relieving to fans of the original. However, why has there been such secrecy surrounding the project over the last several months? According to a Shacknews source who asked not to be identified, Human Head was not happy with the terms of its contract with ZeniMax, and deliberately stopped work on the game in November so it could try to negotiate a more favorable deal. While doing that, many on the development team were laid off, with the hope they would be rehired if the contract issue was resolved favorably. The process seemed to be gathering some positive momentum until January when ZeniMax's responses all but stopped, causing some of the laid-off Prey 2 team to wonder if the game would ever see the light of day.

By March 1, the source said, things had progressed a bit, leaving the Prey 2 team hopeful that they would return to work soon. But that quickly soured the following day. The source could provide no further first-hand details after March 2. When contacted for a response, an official at ZeniMax responded that "we aren't commenting on the game's development beyond what was said in the statement that was released this morning." In light of the new information, the official stance that "the delay is due to the fact that game development has not progressed satisfactorily this past year, and the game does not currently meet our quality standards" seems to throw Human Head under the creative bus. With development stalled for months, it's no surprise that the game would be unable to meet so-called "quality standards."

SEGA to Offer Top Games on Origin

Electronic Arts (EA) Inc. announced today that SEGA will bring its most popular PC game titles to Origin, EA's direct-to-consumer gaming platform. SEGA's Total War Shogun 2: Fall of the Samurai is now available for pre-order to PC gamers on Origin.

In addition to SEGA, other new publishers joining Origin today include Team 17 Software Limited, Rebellion, Kalypso Media Digital Ltd. and more, bringing the number of game publishers and developers on Origin to 35 partners. PC downloadable titles from each of these partners will be available on Origin in the coming months.

ORIGIN PC Launches the World's First 3D Laptop with Dual Graphics Cards in SLI

Last week ORIGIN PC announced the availability of their new EON17-X desktop replacement laptop, the most powerful laptop for gamers, artists, and professionals. Today ORIGIN PC announces the world's first 3D laptop with dual graphics cards: The EON17-X3D featuring the latest Intel X79 chipset, 2nd generation Intel hexcore processors, and dual overclocked NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580M graphics cards in SLI. The EON17-X3D marks the first 3D laptop from ORIGIN PC with a customizable backlit keyboard with three lighting zones and seven color options.

ORIGIN PC Announces the FROSTBYTE 360 Liquid Cooling System

ORIGIN PC announced today the exclusive availability of their new FROSTBYTE 360 liquid cooling system. With the FROSTBYTE 360 ORIGIN's professional overclocking teams are reaching speeds up to 5.2 GHz allowing them to routinely set new benchmark records and stay on top of the competition. Featuring silent pumps, a high efficiency triple 120 mm radiator, and zero maintenance, the FROSTBYTE 360 liquid cooling system allows for extreme overclocking in a more affordable solution. The award winning ORIGIN PC GENESIS configured with the FROSTBYTE 360 starts at $1,599.

Gamers and Publishers Worldwide Log On to Origin

With more than 9.3 million registered users and partnerships now with 21 different publishers, Origin, the direct-to-consumer gaming platform from Electronic Arts (EA) Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) has quickly become one of the industry's leading online game services in just over two quarters since launch.

Origin announced today that seven more publishers have agreed to offer their games for purchase and download. Led by Remedy Entertainment who will bring Alan Wake to Origin, additional publishers include Focus Home Interactive, Iceberg Interactive, Strategy First, Macro Games, Selectsoft and Legendo Entertainment. These publishers join 14 previously announced Origin partners, including Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, THQ, Capcom, Trion Worlds and Robot Entertainment.

Origin Expands Games Catalog, DRM-Free Evangelist Joins DRM Scheme

Origin is the fledgling online download account-based DRM service from Electronic Arts launched last June, that is home to Battlefield 3. To compete effectively against other similar services, the industry-leading Steam in particular, it must offer more content. To this end, Origin has added 11 publishers to its portfolio, reports CVG. These are Trion Worlds, Robot Entertainment, Freebird Games, Recoil Games, Autumn Games, 1C Company, inXile entertainment, Paradox Interactive, Core Learning Ltd, N3V Games and CD Projekt RED. That last one is interesting, because CD Projekt RED owns and runs www.gog.com, the website dedicated to selling DRM-free games.

MegaUpload.com Shuttered: One Month 'Black March' Media Boycott Slated For March 1st

Yesterday, the website of MegaUpload was shuttered for good by the US Department of Justice over copyright infringement aka 'piracy' and various criminal charges (see the domain seizure graphic). This was done regardless of the many non-infringing files that people were also using it for, so for anyone that had their only copy of a file on the site, this is very bad news. It's also arguably even worse news for the site's operators, as they have been arrested and face extradition from New Zealand to the USA for criminal trial, all their assets seized, including all the domain names and computing infrastructure to run them, plus many personal belongings of very high value, such as fancy cars like Maseratis and Rolls-Royces and huge 100 inch TVs to name just a few.

However, this story, isn't really about this and we have linked to reports below which cover this in great detail (hot beverage recommended). MegaUpload was one of the biggest file sharing sites out there and in fact, one of the biggest sites out there, period. This means, that an awful lot of people all around the world have very much noticed its sudden demise (especially those with their only copy of a file, because they didn't bother to back it up, tsk) and are met with that highly unwelcome Department of Justice graphic, instead. Hence, the chances of an almighty backlash against this shutdown not happening are slim to none. In fact, Anonymous have already hit the websites of the DOJ, RIAA, MPAA & HADOPI (French three strikes) and others in retaliation, with likely much more to come, which is good or bad, depending on one's point of view and how effective one believes it will be.

Anno 2070's Draconian DRM: Guru3D's Graphics Card Review Killed Off

Anno 2070's Draconian DRM: Guru3D's Graphics Card Review Killed Off (UPDATED)

Hilbert Hagedoorn of well-known PC tech review site guru3d.com recently bought a copy of Ubisoft's Anno 2070 and wanted to use it in one of his graphics card reviews. However, he became badly unstuck. This game comes on the Steam platform and the store page states: "3rd-party DRM: Solidshield Tages SAS 3 machine activation limit". Unfortunately for Guru3D, they found out exactly what this means, which resulted in just one performance graph, an aborted review, an unplayable game - and bad publicity for Ubisoft once again. They have published an article about their experience, pledging not to use their titles again because of this DRM.

Leak: The Intel Medfield Files

VR-Zone have been having a little chat with Intel 'sources', who have leaked some juicy tidbits for us to enjoy in the form performance and power news. The upcoming next generation Medfield platform is Intel's first true System on a Chip (SoC) and is designed to compete with various low power ARM offerings in the tablet space. To help achieve this, they've gone through an internal restructure, merging four business units into just one: Ultra-Mobility, Mobile Wireless, Mobile Communications and Netbook & Tablet PC. The business unit is now simply known as Mobile and Communications. It's being run by Mike Bell and Hermann Eul and the first product to emerge from it will be is the 32 nm Medfield SoC solution.

VR-Zone explained that the competition will be "Apple's A-Series, NVIDIA Tegra, Qualcomm Snapdragon, Samsung Exynos, Texas Instruments OMAP and the likes. Out of all the chips mentioned above, only Samsung's Exynos is currently manufactured in 32nm process, just like Medfield."
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