Bandai Namco Humble Bundle!

 

Humble Bundle is having a great weekend sale on a handful of Bandai Namco games. It is a good time to pick up the Dark Souls games if you haven't tried it before. Dark Souls 1 and 2 are at ridiculous prices and so is the latest Dark Souls 3. If you love a challenge, this trilogy is something you definitely want to give a go. You don't necessarily need to play these in order but some people do recommend it, I started at DS3 and enjoyed it!

 

 

Another good pick up is Project Cars which has amazing graphics for a racing game and VR support. Definitely a great game to look in to if you are a car guy! 

 

 

Here's a sneak peak of what they have, click the picture to head over there now!

 

Oculus Touch Pre-Orders Available Now!

 

Oculus has their new controllers out and you can place your pre-orders right now! These will be rivaling the HTC Vive's VR set which really did not have much competition until now. These VR controllers should be shipping December 6th! If you have purchased a Oculus device on the website previously you will be moved to the front of the queue for accessories. 

These rift controllers are suppose to be naturally intuitive and fluid in motion, "as natural as using your real hands". Along with the release of the controllers will be 35 new games. 

Here is the pricing:

  • Rift: $599
  • Touch: $199
  • Rift + Touch: $798

You can place your pre-order here!

 

 

SpaceX Mars Mission Envisioned in a Video Game!

 

Last week SpaceX's CEO Elon Musk revealed his plan to make life multiplanetary. SpaceX intends to bring 1,000,000 people to Mars over the course of a few decades. If you have not heard of Elon Musk and his companies, he is deemed as the real-life Tony Stark and he's also a PC gamer!. Elon's goal is to bring humanity out of Earth and onto different planets, he states this is the only way our species will survive in the long run. At the International Astronautical Congress, Musk presented his plan that included an intricate render of the mission and it looked like a Sci-Fi movie trailer! Now what does this have to do with gaming? Well, in one of my first articles, I shared one of my favorite games with you guys and that is, Kerbal Space Program. Unlike most space games out there KSP is a game that is adored by NASA and Elon Musk. It is also one of the only games that is respected by real-life industries in the genre. 

In this tweet Elon shows his enthusiasm for KSP after Marcus House shares his rendition of how SpaceX's Mars transport mission would fold out. We will not being going too in depth about this Mars mission but in summary it is a large, reusable rocket with an estimated cost of $560 million USD. It has an estimated capacity of about 100-200 people. If you are interested in going, SpaceX is hoping to make tickets somewhere in the range of $150,000 to $200,000 per person, (about the cost of a small house in some places but you get to live on a different planet instead!) if you really think about it, it's somewhat a reasonable cost for residency on a different planet. For those of you who have a tendency for cold feet, this is not a one-way trip as the vessel will have to make its way back to Earth. For the pioneers however, Elon estimates that it will take roughly 40-100 years for Mars to be fully self-sustaining. SpaceX hopes to send the first people to Mars by 2024. If you are interested in seeing the presentation you can find it here. During the presentation we get a short video of how the mission is suppose to go, alongside it you can see the exact same mission played in Kerbal Space Program. 

Here is SpaceX's video:

 

Now here is the same mission simulated in KSP:

 

Now in KSP the situation is more controlled as there is substantially less variables that could cause failures but I'd like to think of it as a great way for the community to experience something of this stature in their own homes. Marcus House's video is a great representation of how the game should be played, just a enthusiast simulating space flight. The game is likely the best game out if you want a realistic experience with orbital flight and vessel launching. 

This is not the first brush that the video game industry has had with ground breaking technology. NASA uses VR along with Unreal Engine to create an environment for their astronauts to train in. Also, a couple months ago Nvidia's CEO provided a DGX-1 supercomputer to OpenAI (a non-profit AI research company) to assist in democratizing artificial intelligence technology. 

 

 

Gone are the days of people saying that video games are counter-productive, now this does not apply if you play Call of Duty all day (unless you're going to 360 no scope your way to enlisting). The real-world application of these "gaming companies" is now increasingly productive. It's amazing that the same technology we use to play video games is used for the research and development in advancing our civilization.

 

EVGA Motherboards - Then and Now


In 2005 we released our first motherboard with the nForce3 chipset. From that day we have made a huge impact on the motherboard category, our boards are for the everyday gamer, enthusiast and content creators. We've come from a yellow theme to a slick combination of black and red. We began at Athlon 64 and now we're at Broadwell-E. Come take a close look development and design transformation of EVGA boards over the last 11 years. 

2005 nForce3

This is was the first board we revealed in our venture into the motherboard market. This board support Athon 64 (Yes we used to support AMD) and Single Channel Memory. The memory dimms were placed above the CPU socket so that users could put the memory in first and avoid and with it getting in the way of all the other connections. 

2006 nForce4

I think the person who designed this board was an UCLA Bruins fan. This board supported AM2, dual channel memory and SLI!2007 e-7150

Deemed the Ultimate GPU and Motherboard solution of its day, this board had a 7 series GPU built in and supported a whopping 1333mhz of ram. 

 

 

2006 680i

"A third PCI Express graphics expansion slot making your system ready for the future"

2008 790i FTW

When I built my first computer, this was the board of my dreams but at that time Intel was too expensive for me.. This had a 775 socket and support 3-Way SLI.

2008 X58 SLI

Black PCB's were always more aesthetically pleasing in my opinion. 2009 P55 FTW

The affordable successor the the LGA 775 socket which features support for LGA 1156 i5 & i7 processors.  Tons a features included over the previous mainstream generation at a price that made it available for everyone

 

 

2010 SR-2

The SR-2 was EVGA's first dual processor motherboard. This board supported 2 Xeon chips and DDR3 ram. 

2011 P67 FTW

Black and red glory! This P67 FTW had everything you need to overclock. It included triple BIOS support and 12 Phase PWM. 2012 SR-X

The SR-X was the successor to the SR-2.  The dual socket motherboard made great improvements, and introduced Mini SAS ports, 4-way SLI support, onboard Blue Tooth, and both PCI-e & Dimm disable switches.

2012 Z77 FTW

Introduced support for 3rd Generation Intel Core processors, with full PCI-e 3.0 and 4-way SLI support.  It also included the addition of a 6 pin PCI-e power connector on the board itself for multi-card stability.

2013 X79 Dark

The EVGA BIOS we know currently was first released with this board. It was a huge update to the design and functionality of our BIOS. 2014 Z97 FTW

Brand new design features and aesthetics, such as a GUI BIOS, new software interface for overclocking in the O.S., and M.2 Socket for storage.  The board also featured a new looking power delivery heatsink, in a Round barrel type design, which set it apart for its competitors.

2014 X99 Classified

The latest and greatest Enthusiast grade motherboard supporting the 2011-V3 processor, the X99 is at the top of its game.  All black PCB and neutral color scheme, with a touch of the EVGA red "E" logo for contrast.  DDR 4 Support and featuring a I/O cover for a clean looking motherboard in side any case.2015 X99 Micro2

This Micro ATX is next on my list. It has all the benefits of any top of the line X99 and comes in a compact form factor and a great price.  With many of the feature of a full size board and supports 3-way SLI with the single slot 980 Ti Kingpin graphics cards!2016 Z170 FTW

A clean and neutral looking board which would fit in any build and stand out with its features.  Has an update BIOS GUI interface and 4 DIMM sockets supporting up to 64GB of memory.  

2016 X99 FTW K

This is my favorite board because it was released on the first day I started working at EVGA.  Said to be a very reliable board, this X99 FTW K is one of the top rated boards both aesthetically and functionally. If you are looking for the crème de la crème then look no further. 

 

Our motherboards have come a long way from the yellow designs you saw in the first two pictures. These motherboards have become more reliable, more advanced and ultimately unique. EVGA is THE motherboard choice for enthusiast and overclockers. There are many improvements that can and will be made for the future. Our first motherboard was released in 2005 and within 11 years we have made many optimal enhancements, we hope to share our innovations with you guys for years to come!

 

Let us know what your thoughts are and what you would like to see in future designs in the comment section down below!

 

Samsung Takes it Up a Notch with the New 960 Pro and 960 Evo SSDs

 

Samsung just announced their new 960 NVMe SSDs. The 950 and 850 series were hugely popular with system builders for their reliability and performance. These newer cards will be substantially faster and will include 1TB and 2TB versions. The 960 EVO will cap at 1TB and the 960 Pro will be at a whopping 2TB. These drives will be a must have for many system builders. The sequential read speed for the 960 Pro peaks at 3,500 MB/s and the write speed will peak at 2,100 MB/s. The 960 EVO, slightly tuned down, will have a max sequential read of 3,200 MB/s and max sequential write of 1,900 Mb/s. This is a great increase from the previous model.

 

 

Now many new motherboards will support these drives. One thing you need to look out for if you are planning on upgrading is whether your motherboard supports this. You will want to make sure the the M.2 slot on your mother board is PCI-E interface. The 960 Pro is the consumer version of the SM961 and the 960 Evo will be the consumer version of the PM961. If you are interested in how the new drive compares to the previous versions please see the chart below.

 

 

Here are the MSRPs of the new models:

  • 960 Pro 2TB: $1,299
  • 960 Pro 1TB: $629
  • 960 Pro 512GB: $329
  • 960 Evo 1TB: 479
  • 960 Evo 500GB: $249
  • 960 Evo 250GB: $129

Samsung is expected to release these around October. I am definitely excited for the release of these new drives and they are certainly on my upgrade wishlist. 

 

UCI Opens its Esports Arena

 

The University of California, Irvine has brought esports to a whole new level. Just recently they opened their "UCI Esports Arena". This gaming center is meant for gamers to come and practice for events or just play for fun. With the huge collegiate leagues around, I am sure this is only the first of many arenas that will brought to college campuses. 

UCI is known as the biggest college for gamers and they are even now offering scholarships for esports competitors. This is a huge movement for the esports scene and can only grow from here. After Counter-Strike: GO was aired on TBS, Heroes of the Storm and EVO 2016 were on ESPN the scene has been expanding even more so. 

 

 

The main sponsor for this arena was iBUYPOWER, these guys are known to many events in the esports scene and especially around southern California. They are also one of EVGA's system partners, huge shout out to these guys for their active role in contributing to the growth of esports. Most of the computers here were donated by IBP but there will be a fee to play here, $4/hour. This seems to be just slightly higher than other LAN centers I've been too but this is one of the nicer ones I've seen, the other being Esports Arena in Santa Ana. I can't wait to go an check this out soon.

 

Let us know your thoughts college gaming and where would you like to see one of these gaming arenas?

 

Nvidia's Approach to Self-Driving Cars

 

As gamers we mostly look at Nvidia as a enormous company that makes graphics cards. Although throughout the years, Nvidia has been developing advanced technologies to improve society. Just recently they announced their partnership with Baidu to create a cloud to car autonomous platform. The two companies will pool together their technologies, Baidu's cloud platform and mapping technology alongside Nvidia's autonomous vehicle control and parking will be making a large impact in the automotive industry. 

 

“We’re going to bring together the technical capabilities and the expertise in AI and the scale of two world-class AI companies to build the self-driving car architecture from end-to-end, from top-to-bottom, from the cloud to the car,”  - Nvidia's CEO Jen Hsun Huang.

 

This is not Nvidia's debut to the automotive scene, their technology has been used in cars that we know today. Honda had Nvidia processors in their in-car audio and information system and Honda Connect was powered by Tegra. Since then they have partnered with other car companies such as Tesla, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo. Without much competition so far, Nvidia has the opportunity to fully develop as a primary contributor to the self-driving car movement. I for one cannot wait to own a car with this technology. 

 

 

On Monday, September 12 Nvidia unveiled their DRIVE PX 2. This is a palm-sized device that only uses 10 watts of power. This will be initially used for Baidu's cloud computing car. "More than 80 automakers, tier 1 suppliers, startups and research institutions developing autonomous vehicle solutions are using DRIVE PX", the original processor made by Nvidia. 

 

It's amazing how much a company which stems from computer hardware can accomplish, Nvidia will no longer be known as a video card company but they will now be known as a company who is innovating technology. There is a lot of room for the expansion of the automotive industry now that AI technology is involved. If one day all cars were autonomous, there would be no traffic and no accidents. Imagine a freeway where everyone is going the same speed and not a single person is slamming on their brakes. Personally I cannot wait to see how this technology develops. Here's Nvidia's car during testing.

 

 "Look ma' no hands!" - That guy.

 

What are your thoughts on Nvidia's expansion into the automotive industry and would you personally sit in their car?