Mass Effect

Next installment in the famous and most critically acclaimed science fiction action role-playing third person shooter video game series known as Mass Effect was rumored for long until BioWare finally took the wraps off and presented a gameplay preview of the next Mass Effect, which is rumored, but not officially confirmed, to be called Mass Effect 4, at Electronic Art’s E3 2014 press conference. This small reveal made quite a fuss in the online gaming community, but in coming days the dust settled down. However, now, the developer has uncovered a load of new details about the next Mass Effect in a panel at San Diego Comic-Con, and fans are getting excited again.

Mass Effect

BioWare Shares New Details and Images for the Next Mass Effect Title at Comic-Con – Male and Female Armors Showcased and New Video Shows New Mako in Action

It is somewhat a trend now that video game publishers reveal their major upcoming titles either at Electronic Entertainment Expo or at Gamescom, but that doesn’t mean you should stop looking around when these two events are not near to happen. Just recently, BioWare revealed a ton of new stuff and details about the next big Mass Effect game at its “Charting a Course: Developing the Next Mass Effect” panel at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, and contrary to the rumors, the developer confirmed that the next game in the hit sci-fi franchise will not be called Mass Effect 4.

The panel was being conducted by a mix of developers from Bioware’s Edmonton and Montreal Studios, and Carl Boulay (lead animator), Mike Gamble (producer), Noel Lukasewich (senior artist), Fabrice Condominas (producer), and Jessica Merizan (community manager) were taking the covers off some new important details such as the design of new in-game male and female armors and the first look at the new Mako in action.

AMD Elite Hexa Core Logo

[Rumor][Debunked: Fake] [See comment below for more information] The first CPUZ shot of the much awaited next generation APU has finally leaked out. The source is someone I have never used before but the site in question is of very high ranking. However, I am still going to tag this as rumor because of a single inconsistency mentioned below. The website is Guru3D .

AMD A-Series Old RobotAMD A-Series Mascot Robots

AMD’s Flagship 20nm Carrizo APU A10-8890K – 95W TDP, Hexa Core and 4.4 Ghz Clock

Now a CPUZ from a reliable source is pretty much what any news house worth their salt hopes for. And this appears to be just that. The first thing I noticed is that AMD is continuing the standard APU nomenclature and the new Carrizo APU will be called the A10-8890K. The A10 prefix indicates its part in the A-10 Elite series and K suffix indicates that this particular APU will have an unlocked multiplier. Now if you take a look at the logo you will notice that it says “Elite Hexa Core”, which means that Carrizo APU has 6 cores and considering the TDP (95W) and core clock of 4.4 Ghz thats pretty damn impressive. Take a look at the CPUZ yourself:

Motorola Moto X Release Date, Specs and Footage Leaked

Google’s Nexus program has seen its fair share of doubt. It was put on a hold after LG’s announcement that it would not be manufacturing any Nexus devices for the foreseeable future. This led to speculation that the program would be replaced by the Android Silver program. New life was blown into Nexus after Android Police reported what it believed to be a Nexus Tablet in the works. The tablet was HTC’s 9” Volantis, and was said to be the next Nexus device. The tablet is expect to come with Android L. Google’s Dave Burke then confirmed that Nexus was indeed alive at an interview given at Google I/O.

Now its Android Police once again who believes that Motorola has a Nexus phone, the alleged Nexus 6 in the works. Motorola’s Moto X+1 is the phone that has been causing all the hype recently. A month back there was a huge Moto X+1 leak, which ended up covering pretty much everything about the device. Now Android Police believes that Motorola has another smartphone in the works, codenamed the Motorola ‘Shamu’. This may indeed be the next Nexus phone.


Sony’s Xperia Z3 has caused quite a buzz lately. Just a couple of days back, we covered a huge leak of the flagship smartphone. This covered almost every specification of the device and was courtesy of well known tipster @evleaks. According to @evleaks, the Sony Xperia Z3 is to come with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor. This can be clocked at 2.4 GHz. In addition to this the Xperia Z3 will come with a Adreno 330 GPU and 3 GB RAM with 16 GB internal. For complete information, check out the link above. Well, we have more Xperia Z3 news for you today. Well, less of news and more of pictures really. Pictures of the Xperia Z3′s exterior have allegedly been leaked straight off a manufacturing facility.

The Last of Us Remastered

Recently, a news broke in claiming that the upcoming most anticipated PlayStation 4 exclusive action-adventure survival horror video game title known as The Last of Us Remastered delivers better in-game shadows with the 30fps lock option enabled, making many fans believe that the quality of shadow maps has been lowered by the developer in order to achieve 60fps. However, it was officially confirmed later that while shadows look really stunning at 30fps, the quality has not been lowered and they look great at 60fps as well, and the same can be seen in The Last of Us Remastered post day one patch screenshot and GIF comparison that was leaked recently and has been shared below.

The Last of Us Remastered (10)

The Last of Us Remastered 30fps vs 60fps Post Day One Patch GIF and Screenshot Comparison Shows Improved Shadows at 30fps

There are only a couple of days left before the online video game retailers and the local shops get flooded with the PlayStation 4 users demanding their copy of one of this year’s most anticipated exclusive video game titles known as The Last of Us Remastered. Looking at all of the leaked in-game media content and the claims of the developer and those who have tried it, it appears that The Last of Us Remastered is really something that Sony and PlayStation 4 users should be proud of.

The Last of Us Remastered was recently encircled by some doubts when a news emerged on the internet claiming that the game performs better and delivers improved shadows while running at 30fps. Many started believing that Naughty Dog, the developer of the game, has lowered the overall quality of shadow maps in order to achieve 60fps. To clear out the doubts, Graphics coder Corrinne Yu, came forward and explained that the in-game shadows still look much better at 60fps compared to the original game running on the PlayStation 3 console.

Intel Logo

Intel is releasing their HEDT Haswell-E processors in the coming months which includes the flagship Core i7-5960X CPU. Since the processors are built for the high-end desktop market, their target audience would be overclocking fanatics and enthusiasts. My friend, Kevin Owi at OCDrift has revealed an interesting feature regarding the new processors which will help overclockers in setting the fastest frequency records.Intel Haswell-E Core i7-5960X De-lid

Intel’s Flagship Haswell-E Core i7-5960X Processor De-Lidded – Uses Soldered TIM

Kevin was able to get hold of an Intel Core i7-5960X processor which will be the flagship part of the Haswell-E lineup and de-lidded it to reveal that it makes use of soldered thermal interface material instead of inferior thermal paste material which was featured on Ivy Bridge and Haswell processors which is blamed as one of the reasons for the high temperatures we got to see on those processors aside from the fully integrated voltage regulator (FVIR) which is being phased out after Broadwell generation of processors.

The Core 4000 series processors based on the Haswell microarchitecture were launched a year ago at Computex 2013. The processors featured the latest 22nm core 3D Tri-gate transistors technology which improved the IPC and efficiency by a decent amount of Ivy Bridge. While the Haswell processors were met with a great response and backed by a variety of overclocking features, the processors didn’t happen to be great at overclocking due to the cheaper application of TIM between the IHS (Internal HeatSpreader) and the Haswell silicon itself which resulted in the heat to remain trapped between the chip due to poor contact.

Logo Apple iPhone

A couple of days back there was word about something else coming with the IPhone 6 this fall. According to some sources, Apple was reportedly in talks with its partners to launch a Mobile Wallet. Through the Mobile Wallet consumers could make payments directly from their iPhone 6. This would eliminate the need for credit cards or any other form of payments as long as you had your iPhone 6 on you. In addition to this, Apple was reported to base the Mobile Wallet platform around Near Field Communications or NFC. This, coupled with a secure element on the iPhone 6 would make the smartphone suitable for mobile payments. Well now has some photos which it claims are of the logic board of the iPhone 6. On the logic board shown in these photos NFC is present as well.


During a presentation held in Taiwan, motherboard manufacturer ASRock unveiled their latest HEDT X99 chipset motherboards which include the X99 Extreme 6, X99 Extreme 4 and X99 Killer. XFastest was able to grab shots of these new motherboards which we saw back at Computex where they were displayed in engineering state, while now they have been updated with the final heatsink designs and layout for Intel’s upcoming Haswell-E CPU lineup.ASRock LGA 2011-3 Socket

ASRock’s High-Performance X99 Extreme 6, X99 Extreme 4 and X99 Killer Motherboards

ASRock has showed three high-end desktop motherboard based on the X99 chipset which include the ASRock X99 Extreme 6 and X99 Extreme 4 which were seen back at Computex 2014 and a new addition to the lineup, the X99 Killer which is more of a gaming oriented and feature packed offering. Each motherboard supports its own set of features for overclocking and the latest LGA 2011-3 socket to support Haswell-E processors which will be shipping in the month of September in retail. The latest X99 Express chipset features featuring 14 USB ports (6 USB 3.0 and 8 USB 2.0), 10 SATA 6GBps ports, integrated clock support, 8×1 PCIe 2.0, Clarksville GbE PHY and the Realtek Audio Codec.The chip has a max TDP of 6.5W and measures 23x22mm which is larger than the X79 chipset. The platform would also be the first to support DDR4 memory.


It looks like Nvidia has finally spoken officially about Mantle. And turns out that they think that Mantle is basically useless (for Geforce GPUs) and there is no sense in supporting it. This is probably one of the most painstakingly obvious PR reports I am going to make. There was just no way Nvidia would end up supporting Mantle, regardless of the fact whether Mantle could or could not have been of use to them. The sheer rivalry and competitive nature of their relationship just would not have permitted this to happen.

NVIDIA DirectX 11 API Advancements GeForce 337.50 BETANvidia’s “Wonder Drivers”

Nvidia’s Official Stance on Mantle: Hasn’t Happened, Wont Happen and Not Needed

The actual PR statement was made on a Podcast at MaximumPC and the transcript has been taken from Before we begin lets take a look at that they said, here is the first para:

“We don’t know much about Mantle, we are not part of Mantle. And clearly if they see value there they should go for it. And if they can convince game developers to go for it, go for it. It’s not an Nvidia thing. The key thing is to develop great technologies that deliver benefits to gamers. Now in the case of Mantle it’s not so clear to me that there is a lot of obvious benefits there.” – Tom Petersen & Rev Lebaradian.

Basically Nvidia stated that if you take a look at their recent driver updates you will notice almost no performance difference between the new drivers and Mantle API in configurations that matter which is possibly a reference to the fact that extreme amounts of CPU Overhead is rare (e.g: coupling an i3 with a GTX 780 Ti SLI). They are of course referring to the wonder drivers that matched Mantle’s performance increases on the DX11 (something I released criticism on too) which was quite an achievement. The problem is that, nearly every other game is optimized differently so it becomes very hard to distinguish between an API’s Low Level Optimization and just plain old driver optimization. The end result is that the battle becomes blurred and the stage remains unchanged.

“It’s possible to pull performance out of DirectX, we’re approving that, and so you can argue that maybe it’s not a good idea to put extra effort into yet another API that does the same thing essentially. Feature wise there is nothing more.” – Rev Lebaradian

“DX12 is coming and a lot of the features, the benefits of having a lower level API (the extra calls and stuff), it’s going to be in DX12.” – Tom Petersen

Nvidia of course mentions the same argument, that there is performance yet unearthed in the DX11 API and finally raises the end game that anything Mantle gives, DX12 will too, so they won’t adapt it. Rationally speaking there was just no way Nvidia was going to adapt Mantle, not with DX12 providing the same level of Low Level optimization at any rate. The thing is, while I enjoy the competition between both Red and Green, corporate ego is undeniably there. And that is something that will never change. I am pretty sure AMD will never adapt G-Sync (AMD is currently working on Free Sync) and its not because its expensive (B2B transactions don’t work this way) but there is nothing wrong with that. Because at the end of the road, it is this fierce rivalry between companies that gets us gamers and enthusiasts true innovation.

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There is no match to the things that the modding community on PC can carry out with some fairly old games. It doesn’t matter if the game is an year or so old, if modders put their magic into it, it starts shinning like a newly polished product. The latest example is Rockstar’s open-world action-adventure video game, which has been completely redone by some very talented PC modders. The game is more than half a decade old, but the recently released 3.0 version of iCEnhancer mod makes it look like it was just released yesterday.


GTA 4 Stock Trailer vs iCEnhancer 3.0 Enhanced Trailer; Rockstar’s Six-Year-Old Game Looks Like it Was Just Released Recently

No matter how much people berate the gaming scene on PC platform, one thing is for sure, you can’t question the talent of modding community on PC. For proof, just check out the iCEnhancer mod for GTA 4 running on the world’s most powerful platform. It has been updated once again to the latest 3.0 version and it continues to make a six-year-old game look better than some recently released major video game titles.

With the release of version 3.0, iCEnhancer mod further improves the visuals and graphical aspects of GTA 4, taking the graphical fidelity and in-game effects of the game to a whole new level. The mod introduces a variety of new features for GTA V and also packs some tweaks for the preexisting ones to improve the over all visuals of the game. Ultimately, it makes GTA 4 look like something that could be released this year. Check out the full changelog for iCEnhancer 3.0 here.

Xbox One

It appears that some lucky Canadian gamers availed the one-time opportunity of their lives today when they logged onto Best Buy, which is one of the most well-known online multinational consumer electronics retailers, and stumbled upon a listing for Xbox One console bundled with Rayman Legends, going for just $45 CAD. Yep, you read that right, one whole brand new bundle of Microsoft’s latest video game console going only at the price of a new game disc.


Lucky Gamers Claim Microsoft’s Xbox One Console with Rayman Legends for Only $45 on Best Buy

The listing was first discovered and made public by a Reddit user known as Z3ppelinDude93, the one who posted the image shared above. Of course, Best Buy has corrected its mistake and the price has now been converted back to normal, but those few lucky gamers who managed to grab this deal of a lifetime are now being discussed in the Reddit thread. “Almost all of the orders were cancelled but a lucky few made it to pick theirs up,” wrote the original poster.

Several commentors said that Best Buy reserves the right to cancel any placed orders and so those who ordered it for delivery might not be able to get their hands on it, but some users mentioned that it is not necessary to order online for delivery, rather, the trick is to order online, reserve at a local store, and then rush over their to put your hands on the astonishingly cheap Xbox One console that you just became an owner of for nothing.

Hardware Industry

NVIDIA’s next generation Maxwell core architecture based GeForce GTX 880, GeForce GTX 870 and GeForce GTX 860 will launch in October this year, as reported by GDM.OR.JP. The site which is part of one of the most major hardware retailers in Japan have been pretty accurate with their earlier leaks so we will assume that the October launch time-frame is quite accurate considering the launch was planned for Q4 2014 was narrowed down to October / November a few weeks ago and now we have a much more accurate schedule of NVIDIA’s Maxwell GPU launches.NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880

NVIDIA Maxwell Based GeForce GTX 880 and GeForce GTX 870 To Launch in Early October

The first two Maxwell cards to launch in the consumer market would be the high-performance GeForce GTX 880 and GeForce GTX 870. These cards will feature the GM204 core architecture which is the successor of the GK104/GK114 core from the Kepler generation. From little things we know thanks to the leaked PCB shot of NVIDIA’s alleged GeForce GTX 880 graphics card, we come to know that the core being used for the sample variant was GM204-INT41684-A1 however there has been a little variation in the codename and it is now called GM204-CS0-A1 (note that the CS stands for Consumer Sample) which means that final testing is under way and the chip will soon end up in the consumer market as the GeForce GTX 880. The chip is also the first of four variants which will make their way to the rest of the lineup including the GeForce GTX 870.

The GeForce GTX 870 on the other hand will be a cut down variant of the GK204 core featured on GeForce GTX 880 with some disabled SMM (Streaming Multiprocessor Maxwell) units. Its not know what specifications does the GM204 hold in general but it does feature a die size larger than its predecessor which is due to the existing 28nm process technology and the card will make use of high-frequency SKHynix H5GQ4H24MFR 0.5G clocked at 7 GHz. We will most probably be looking at a 256-bit since the memory arrangement as seen on the ES board is similar to the GeForce GTX 680 ES board and the final consumer variant. The card was shown with 8 GB GDDR5 memory which is a lot of VRAM for a reference card but we believe that the cards will ship in 4 GB variants. Aside from that, the total power consumption would be similar to Kepler around 195W but it will deliver performance on scale with some of the overclocked GeForce GTX 780 Ti’s we have seen. If the recent GeForce GTX 880 benchmark is taken for reference, we might be looking at a 20-30% performance uplift from Maxwell over GK110 which is insane and makes us wonder the performance uplift with the GM200 core which won’t ship to consumers till next year.


A couple of days back Xiaomi launched the Mi 4. The Mi 4 was very much anticipated not only in China, but all around the world. This was because of the fact that initial specs of the device showed it to be a considerably powerful device, available at a reasonable rate. After the launch of the Xiaomi Mi 4, these facts did seem to hold water. With a quad-core Snapdragon 801 which clocks at 2.5 GHz and 3GB of RAM, the Xiaomi Mi 4 does really seem to be on par with other flagship smartphones out there. This is coupled with a 3080 mAh battery and a 16 MP rear camera.

All of this is available in a large variety of customizations being offered by Xiaomi itself. You can choose the back of the Xiaomi Mi 4 from an astounding 20 different options. These have been subdivided into ‘textile’ ‘leather’ ‘wood’ ‘bamboo’ and ‘marble’ for your convenience. Take a look below.


While we wait for The Last of Us Remastered to be released on the PlayStation 4 console, Sony is busy setting its stage for Gamescom 2014, the famous trade fair for video games that is held annually in Germany. Being held next month, this Europe’s largest gaming event will be attended by several major video game companies, and it looks like Sony is planning to own it all. Just recently, a German PlayStation website uncovered the Japanese platform holder’s Gamescom 2014 lineup revealing some previously unannounced PlayStation 4 ports such as Journey and Until Dawn.


Sony’s Gamescom 2014 Lineup Confirms Journey, Until Dawn and Other PS3 Exclusives as Playable titles on PS4

As Gamescom 2014 is getting closer, video game developers and vendors are getting ready to show off their new products at the event. Sony is one of the major video game brands that will be attending the event and while we already have many rumors and leaks regarding Sony planning to make its show worth your while, the official Gamescom 2014 lineup has been released by the company on it’s German PlayStation website, and according to the list, several PlayStation 3 exclusive titles will be playable on PlayStation 4 at the show.

The list was taken down after the PlayStation 4 playable games were spotted by fans, but a NeoGAF user managed to note down all the titles that were listed. According to the list, PlayStation 3 hit title Journey, The Unfinished Swan and many other exclusive video games will be playable on PlayStation 4 at the conference in Germany this August, apparently this means that these games will soon be coming to the console as well. The most notable inclusion is of Until Dawn, a game inspired by teen-horror movies that was revealed at Gamescom 2012.


There have been countless leaks and rumors about Nvidia’s Second Generation Maxwell Architecture. Some of them have been pretty far fetched while others are almost confirmed. I have wanted to do an aggregate post summarizing all the authentic leaks so far for quite some time now but haven’t gotten the chance up-till now. I would also like to point out that the Majority of the Maxwell Mobility details have been spotted by the now well-known user Cloudfire (over at NotebookReview Forums) while the desktop variant leaks have multiple sources, including but limited to:, and Our Own.Maxwell-GTX-880-

Geforce Second Generation Maxwell Architecture – GM204, GM206 and GM200 Overview

Lets start with the desktop counterparts first. As you can probably guess, all Nvidia cores starting with the prefix GM2xx are Maxwell Second Generation cores. Now the first generation of the Maxwell Architecture was the GM107 which is present in the GTX 750 and GTX 750 Ti. Now the first generation of Maxwell introduced some very impressive performance gains on the same node. However, due to some drastic change of plans behind the curtains, Nvidia seems to have abandoned the GM1xx completely; at least as far as Desktop is concerned. Currently all reports have pointed to the GM2xx Dies being developed on the 28nm node and this begs the question what is the difference between GM1xx and GM2xx. There are two possibilities, one is what I want to hear: that the GM2xx might contain ARM cores and the other which I logically know is more probable: performance gains and a better architectural revision. The cores are as follows:

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