By Kirk / News / 0 Comments

 

HP has announced a new line of desktop workstations designed to meet both the compute and security needs of today’s workforce as they tackle solutions using emerging technologies such as virtual reality and machine learning.

The company’s new Z desktop workstations feature a wide range of comprehensive security features including SureStart (the first self-healing BIOS with intrusion detection) and HP Client Security Suite as well as a host of others.  Cyber threats have evolved and the company has designed a line of PCs ready for the challenges ahead.

The director of Workstations, Thin Clients, Retail Solutions and Immersive Computing, EMEA at HP Inc., Gwen Coble stressed the importance of these new features and highlighted how they will make the HP Z8 workstation ideal for professional use, saying:

“The stakes for world-class security have never been higher or more important for workstations. Workstation users create the most valuable IP for a company and HP is meeting the security needs with the world’s most secure and manageable desktop and mobile workstations. As the most powerful desktop workstation in the world, the HP Z8 Workstation can deliver the extreme power and the security demanded by our customers.”

 

All of the new workstations can be outfitted with Thunderbolt 3 ports as well as Dual 1GbE ports to allow data and video to flow freely to and from these machines.  The HP Z8 stands out from the rest of HP’s lineup because it is the fastest and most powerful workstation currently available from the company or its competitors.

The Z6 and the Z8 will also support dual CPUs as well as optional dual 10 GbE network modules for high speed networking at a fraction of the cost of HP’s previous workstations. The device can even be fitted with up to three TB of main memory for additional rendering power.

The HP Z8 Workstation is expected to be available in October with a starting price of £4,100 and the Z6 will retail at £2,300 during the same time period.  In December, HP will also sell the Z4 Workstation at £2,100.

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By Kirk / News / 0 Comments

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or a particularly large PC chassis, you may have noticed that Apple just announced the iPhone X.

I seem to remember words like ‘revolutionary’ and ‘game changing’ spoken on stage in hushed, yet reverent, tones, as if trying to summon a shy woodland sprite into existence. It might not have been quite those words, as I was a bit light headed after consuming too much pizza.

However, after much hype, the iPhone X was revealed, and while it is undoubtedly a nice-looking phone, the most revolutionary aspect of it is the price. Apple wants us to pay $999 (£999, AU$1,579) for the cheapest version, and then probably expects us to write Tim Cook a note of thanks afterwards.

Spending spree

However, as anyone who has seen the state of my trousers will have guessed, I don’t have $1,000 lying around (otherwise I’d be wearing solid gold trousers. They cost $1,000 right?). But, since the reveal of the price, I’ve been fantasizing over what I would spend $1,000 on – and an iPhone isn’t one of them.

Of course, the first thing on my fantasy shopping list is some solid gold trousers. That’s a given. And also some sort of mode of transportation, as I won’t be able to move my legs.

I’d also be seriously eyeing up some major upgrades for my PC. An AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X would be a lovely addition, and is just shy of the $1,000 iPhone X price tag.

However, I could never question someone’s desire to spend $1,000 on an iPhone when I’d be willing to pay $1,000 on a 16-core monster of a processor that is, let’s face it, probably overkill for most things I use my PC for. It’s a status symbol (albeit a very geeky one). The best of the best.

In other words, what I love about the Threadripper is exactly the same things that makes the iPhone X so appealing to people that aren’t me. Perhaps, Mr. Cook, you and I are not so different after all.

I do know, however, that the Threadripper won’t be outdated for many, many years, unlike the iPhone X, which will be outdated in exactly one year. Or, as Android fans will love to tell you, it’s already outdated. Meanwhile, Windows Phone fans, mainly clustered around the Redmond area of Washington, quietly weep.

Maybe spending $1,000 on a CPU is a bit over the top. I could, instead, get a couple of GTX 1080 Ti graphics cards, in our view the best graphics card for gamers. With a bit of careful shopping around, two of them can be had for around the same price as the iPhone X 256GB version.

Build a gaming PC for less than an iPhone X

I could also build a whole new gaming PC from the ground up for less than an iPhone X. Sure, if you’re in the market for a smartphone, you’re not really going to be swayed by buying a gaming PC instead, but it’s an interesting thought experiment.

For a price of around $900 (£700, AU$1,200), I could build the following PC:

It’s not the most powerful gaming machine in the world, and the price assumes you either already have a key for Windows or are willing to use Linux for gaming (LOL). But, it does put into perspective what you can do with the money that Apple is asking for.

Is the iPhone X worth that money? Is a CPU or a gaming PC worth it? Is anything? At the end of the day, if it’s your money and you spend it on something that makes you happy, then it is worth it. 

For some people that will be Apple’s latest smartphone. For others, it will be a ludicrously powerful processor. For a special, wonderful, few … it will be solid gold trousers.

  • You could spend your money on one of the best laptops of 2017

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By Kirk / News / 0 Comments

Asus has unleashed an impressive array of laptops and 2-in-1s upon the Australian people today. Amongst them is the ROG Zephyrus GX501, a sleek gaming machine with a clever twist.

The ROG Zephyrus is officially “the world’s thinnest gaming laptop powered by an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080”, and it truly is thin at just 17.9mm. To allow for the added heat this top-of-the-line GPU produces, the chassis of the Zephyrus cracks open when you lift the laptop’s lid to ventilate the innards.

This premium kit comes at a cost though, starting at $4,999 this is certainly a laptop for the hardcore gamers with hardcore wallets. You can grab it now from Mwave here, as it seems to be out of stock at the official Asus Store.

The rest of the gang

Alongside the Zephyrus gaming powerhouse, Asus has made available a number of its premium ZenBook range as well as several of its more mid-range oriented VivoBook laptops and 2-in-1s.

The ZenBook Flip S is a seriously stylish 2-in-1 that will give Microsoft’s Surface Pro a run for its money, and the ZenBook Pro is a serious contender for the prestigious position that is currently held by Apple’s MacBook. They start from $2,199 and $2,499 respectively.

The VivoBook line, on the other hand, has gotten a bump of four extra entries. The VivoBook 14 (X405/K405) for $1,099, the VivoBook S15 (S510/K510) for $1,499, the VivoBook Flip 14 (TP410) for $1,099, and the VivoBook Pro (N580) for $1,699.

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Apple, the infamous tech giant finally took wraps off it’s new iPhones in the Keynote 2017 annual event at Steve Jobs Theatre, Cupertino. Out of all the major tech launches during the year, the level of excitement around Apple’s is unmatchable. TechRadar has covered each and every detail about all the announcements from today’s event. Soon after the launch we got lucky enough to get some concrete details on the India price for newly launched iPhones. 

The event was special this year because, obviously, it’s Apple’s tenth year anniversary. Most of the announcements were leaked, and there was hardly any surprise hidden in store for us. The new iPhone, marking Apple’s anniversary was the show stealer without any doubt. The phone is special not just because it’s ten years of Apple but also because it’s the best iPhone till date. The Apple fans from last two years were awaiting to see a design overhaul from last two years but that change has happened today. The phone this time comes with a totally revamped bezelless design that looks stunning from each dimension. But the question is, how much would it cost in India?

Some said Apple will break the 1 Lakh price mark this year, which apparently turned out to be true. So without further ado, let’s find out the price and availability of the new iPhones, and Watch Series 3. 

Apple iPhone X price and availability India

The new iPhone X along with the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will be coming to India in the first wave. The iPhone X will be available from Nov 3rd with a starting price of Rs 89,000 for 64GB and the 128GB promises to put a hole in the pocket at Rs. 1,02,000.

Apple iPhone X: Everything you need to know

iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus price and availability India

Apple to launch the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus in India on September 29, starting price Rs 64,000 for iPhone 8 64GB, Rs 77,000 for iPhone 8 256GB. 

Apple iPhone 8: Everything you need to know

On the other hand the iPhone 8 Plus 64Gb will cost you Rs 73,000 and the 256GB variant will cost Rs 86,000.

Apple iPhone 8 Plus: Everything you need to know

Apple Watch Series 3 price and availability India

Apple Watch series 3 launching in India on September 29 for a starting price of Rs 29,990. Series 1 will still be available Rs 21,900.

Apple Watch Series 3: Everything you need to know

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During its iPhone 8 and iPhone X event – not on stage, but on its website – Apple has at last revealed the macOS High Sierra release date: September 25.

Apple’s latest version of macOS will be available for everyone to download through the Mac App Store in just two weeks, like so many versions of the operating system (OS) before it.

This, of course, is not the first time anyone has had access to the OS. High Sierra has been available to everyone that was interested through a public beta test that has seen several revisions since its reveal during WWDC 2017 and subsequent seeding.

Though, you had to jump through a few hoops (i.e. a special beta program sign-up) to get it, and the builds were never as stable as this final release will – or should – be.

This is how Apple announced the macOS High Sierra release date

What’s all the fuss?

Nevertheless, people have been clamoring for the latest version of macOS for a few key reasons. Well, beyond the fact that we’ve all grown quite accustomed to a shiny new Mac computer OS every September or October.

The most notable of reasons for the hype is the long-anticipated debut of Apple’s brand new file system, dubbed the Apple File System or APFS. This new approach to cataloging and typifying files replaces Apple’s longstanding Hierarchical File System or HFS, and aims to make all Macs past, present and future that much faster for it, with faster metadata operation.

High Sierra also brings with it HEVC, or H.265, video compression to Mac, which will make for much stronger and faster video streaming, especially at 4K resolution, not to mention far less space eaten up by compressed video files that are locally stored.

Other major improvements include overhauling the Photos app with stronger sorting tools as well enhancements to Safari to thwart ad tracking – not to mention official support for external graphics cards and virtual reality. However, the latter is not set to truly launch until spring 2018.

While these are mostly tweaks and enhancements to the existing macOS platform, these changes could have far deeper impact on the whole Mac experience than most. That possibility alone is worth getting hype – just try to contain yourself until September 25.

  • Don’t worry, all of the best Macs will support High Sierra, too

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By Kirk / News / 0 Comments

Apple’s forthcoming iPhone 8 launch event will already be chock-full of brand new products, if the wave of leaks and rumors is any indication, but what about that iMac Pro?

You know, Apple’s insanely powerful all-in-one PC for professionals that was announced back during its WWDC 2017 show.

Sure, we know already that it’s to launch this December, but knowing the exact date is kind of crucial at this point in the game – especially for those looking to pre-order one, say, during Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

Plus, this would be a fine opportunity for Apple to tout exactly which types of 8-core, 10-core and 18-core (!!!) processors from Intel the device will use, not to mention the specific AMD Radeon Vega Pro graphics chips that the computer will feature.

To really nail the perception that Apple is back to firing on all cylinders with all of its product lines, throwing in the exact ship date of its hotly-anticipated iMac sounds like a no-brainer.

Surely, discerning Apple fans would like to know specifically which processor and graphics chip are inside their new Mac computer that costs, at the very least, $4,999 (£4,949, about AU$6,720).

If Apple could throw the Mac crowd this little nugget while touting everything that’s great about the upcoming macOS High Sierra (which will almost surely get a release date), its diehard fans will feel that much more taken care of. Not to mention they’ll have a firm target to save their extra cash against.

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Since its launch in March 2017, the Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti has proved to be one of the best graphics cards ever made for enthusiast gamers – it even earned one of our coveted Best in Class awards. 

With a huge 11GB of GDDR5X memory, 3,584 CUDA cores and a memory clock of 5,505MHz, it remains one of the most powerful GPUs around.

As is usual with GPUs, a number of manufacturers have made their own versions based on Nvidia’s hardware. These often boast additional features, custom designs and improved clock speeds that make small, yet important, differences to the performance of the cards.

So, if you’re serious about fitting out your gaming PC with the best graphics card you can currently buy, read on for our list of the best Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti graphics cards in 2017.

If you’re sticking a powerful graphics card in your PC, then you’ll likely want to shout about it, and the ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is the perfect choice for people who want to pimp out and show off their rigs thanks to the Aura RGB LED lighting system.

It’s not all about the looks, however, as the Asus ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1080 Ti also features a design that keeps the GPU cool even when overclocked, while a dust-resistant fan is another nice bonus.

Overall, the Asus ROG Strix GeForce GTX is an excellent package, and the best overall version of the GTX 1080 Ti.

Using water cooling to keep your graphics card chilled, and quiet while in use, is very effective – but it’s also risky and complicated. The EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 TI FTW3 iCX Hydro Copper makes things easier, as it comes with the waterblock already installed onto the GPU, so you don’t have to remove and replace any fans. You can then hook it up to an existing cooling solution, or use a pre-built setup. The added complexity and price of the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 TI FTW3 iCX Hydro Copper makes it suitable for only the most accomplished gamers; however, if you want the ultimate in water-cooled power, it’s a fantastic choice.

The MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti GAMING X 11G is another GTX 1080 Ti variant that delivers impressive power while running as cool and quiet as possible. To keep it cool, the MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti GAMING X 11G utilises carefully-designed heat pipes that maximise heat transfer, and a lot of thought has gone into the design of the fans, with a steeper curved blade that helps accelerate airflow. It also features MSI’s Zero Frozr technology, which turns off fans when the card isn’t being used under heavy loads. By only using the fans when they’re needed, the MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti GAMING X 11G runs very quiet – although you pay a bit of a price when it comes to graphical grunt, as this card doesn’t run quite as fast as some of the other GTX 1080 Ti cards on this list.

Thanks to its power, the GTX 1080 Ti in any form is an excellent graphics card when it comes to virtual reality. However, for VR fans, the Gigabyte Aorus GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Xtreme Edition is the best choice, as it comes with a handy additional front-facing HDMI port that allows you to easily plug in a HTC Vive or Oculus Rift without having to crawl around the back of your PC, while having plenty of ports to display additional footage to connected monitors. It also has some impressive cooling features, including a copper back plate, and the ‘Windforce stack’, which stacks three 100mm fans to help with heat dissipation. This is also one of the fastest 1080 Ti cards in our list.

If you’re looking to build a compact and discrete PC for your living room that will blow traditional games consoles like the Xbox One and PS4 out of the water,  there really is no other choice if you want to harness the power of the 1080 Ti. The Zotac GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Mini is around two inches shorter than many of the other 1080 Ti cards on this list, yet it doesn’t compromise on performance. This means it’s easier to fit the Zotac GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Mini into small form factor PC cases. However, there have been some compromises made to create such a small GPU. Specifically, because of the small size, Zotac hasn’t employed as advanced cooling solutions as on other GPUs, so the Zotac GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Mini runs hotter than other cards. Because of this the fans will kick in more often, and as they’re smaller they produce more noise. Still, if size and power are all that matter, the Zotac GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Mini is an excellent choice.

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By Kirk / News / 0 Comments

Apple’s much anticipated iPhone 8 launch is just four days away and there are a lot of expectations from the Cupertino giant this time. One of the reasons for this hype is that this is the 10th anniversary edition of the iPhone, making it much more special.

The iPhone 8 will be announced at 1PM ET / 10:30PM IST on Tuesday, September 12 at the Steve Jobs Theatre, a fitting place to announce the special 10th anniversary edition.

When there is so much anticipation and hype over a device, rumours and leaks are quite normal. In this post, we are going to quickly go over all the rumours, leaks and expectations from the Apple iPhone day 2017.

Three new iPhones expected

Apart from the iPhone 8 which will be the premium, the company is also expected to announce the iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus. So far, we expect the iPhone 8 to come with an OLED display along with a TouchID sensor integrated inside the display. If this turns out to be true, the iPhone 8 may come without a capacitive home button.

As reported by various sources, Apple will launch three devices, the premium device will come with an OLED panel and the other two will come with LCD displays of 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch. There is still no confirmation whether the device with the OLED display is the iPhone 8 or the iPhone X and this is something that will be revealed on the launch day.

While some rumours claim of a TouchId sensor integrated inside the display, there are other reports that indicate that the company may replace the TouchID sensor with a facial or iris recognition technology. Some rumours have indicated that Apple may skip the iPhone 8 and launch the iPhone X, to celebrate the 10th anniversary edition of the iPhone.

Some leaked schematics have revealed that the company may ditch horizontal alignment of the dual camera setup and go for vertical alignment, with the LED flash being placed between the two sensors.

Coming to the pricing of the devices, the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus may be priced around $649 and $769 respectively. Additionally, the iPhone 8 may be priced above $1,000, way above the pricing of the iPhones currently available in the market.

Homepod

Apart from the iPhone trio, Apple is also expected to reveal more about the HomePod that was announced during the WWDC 2017. While the WWDC 2017’s announcement revealed the HomePod’s audio performance, the company is expected to announce more details about how the HomePod works in sync with Siri.

To recall, the HomePod is a smart speaker from Apple that competes against Google Home and Amazon Echo. To start the speaker, you need to say the wake phrase “Hey Siri” and then ask it to perform various activities like play music, check weather and traffic among other things. The HomePod will go on sale in US, UK and Australia from December this year for $349.

Apple Watch

Apple is also expected to announce some new variations of its smartwatches. With each new iteration, the Cupertino giant adds some new features to the Apple Watch. This time, reports suggest that the new watch will come with 4G LTE support, allowing it to work even when your iPhone isn’t nearby.

The new Apple Watch 3 rumors are trickling out for the Apple Watch 3, but we’re still not seeing anything concrete that the device will appear alongside the iPhone 8… however, there’s a really good chance that an all-new Watch would gain a huge halo alongside this massive phone reboot Apple is planning.

Apple TV with 4K support

The new Apple TV is expected to ditch the full HD resolution and move towards ultra-high def 4K resolution. Apple recently allocated over $1 billion for production and acquisition of original content over the next one year.

If Apple launches a 4K supported Apple TV, it will pave the way for 4K content on the iTunes store. This will enable users with 4K TVs to enjoy ultra-high def content. However, this may not be relevant to those who do not have a 4K TV.

Nothing has been confirmed with regards to this and it would require a great deal of negotiation on Apple’s part to establish a bundle that would offer a competitive enough price to lure consumers in. However, it would be a creative solution to the fact that Apple currently only offers individual channels and apps. 

iOS 11

iOS 11 has been in beta for a long time now and we may finally get to know about its official availability on September 12. iOS 11 comes with improved Live images, better compression, revamped iMessage, better notifications and more. The major addition will be the integration with ARKit, Apple’s augmented reality platform. ARKit will provide developers an easy way to develop AR apps without any hardware requirements.

Not just iPhone users, but iPad users will be benefited from iOS 11 features such as an expanded dock, new app switcher, drag and drop and Apple pencil support.

Airpods

While there hasn’t been much talk about a new iteration of the Airpods, Apple recently patented earbuds with biometric sensors built into them. This could mean that the company is working on Airpods that will provide users with improved health and fitness tracking.

It would be interesting to see how Apple reiterates the new wireless earphones as it saw mixed reviews from users around the world. We hope Apple fixes the issues put up last year and comes with a more complete and logical piece of technology. 

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There are few things that will provide the life-affirming rush of adrenaline from the comfort of your home quite like playing a horror game. While there are, of course, horror movies (and we’ve gathered together the best of them here) games have the edge in that they put you squarely in control.

When you’re the one holding the controller and making the choices that could mean life or death, every moment is tense and significant. 

We’re now better at scaring ourselves than ever and games have moved beyond simple gore and jump scares. Though these elements still play an important role in the genre, our approach to horror has more nuance than ever. 

What follows are what we think are 12 of the best horror games that you can play on PC and consoles today. Go ahead and spook yourselves silly.

Little Nightmares is a great example of a game that manages to inspire fear and disgust without using traditional blood and gore.

The game puts you in control of a young girl called Six and has you navigate a a frightening world that’s far too big for her, populated by a wide array of giant and grotesque creatues.

You don’t have to fight these creatures, you just have to sneak around world and hide to get past them in what is absolutely a platforming puzzle game. 

Little Nightmares is a great horror game in that it perfectly creates a feeling of helplessness while making it clear that you’re capable of escaping. It takes familiar and the domestic areas of the home which should be comforting and turns them on their head by making them repulsive and unsafe. 

Little Nightmares can be played now on PC, Xbox One and PS4

We’ve all watched a teen slasher movie at some point (it’s hard to escape them) but they’re surprisingly uncommon in the gaming world. Probably because it’d be so hard to get it right.

Fortunately, Until Dawn is a game that tried the trope and got it right by combining both game and movie elements. 

This PS4 exclusive game follows a group of teenagers going on a trip to a remote cabin in the mountains where, shockingly, there’s a frightening presence interested in picking them off one by one. 

It’s up to you to make decisions for the characters in the game which means whether or not they live or die is entirely down to you. Make the wrong decision and your favorite could meet a very grizzly end. Until Dawn is a great horror game because although it’ll genuinely scare you, you get a sense it’s having a lot of fun doing it. 

Until Dawn can be played now on PlayStation 4

After so long away, Resident Evil’s return could have been something of a disaster but fortunately for fans of the series the seventh installment was a great success. 

Resident Evil 7 was a much needed breath of fresh air for the series, bringing in a modern understanding of both horror movies and games while managing to retain that very distinct Resident Evil feel. 

By moving the perspective from third to first person it also made the fear feel closer and more immediate and it also made it possible to include a genuinely frightening VR experience to the game. 

With a great story and tight gameplay, Resident Evil 7 was the addition to the horror series we all wanted and feared we would get. Read our full review here

You can play Resident Evil on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. 

Dead Space, three games published by EA and developed by Visceral Games, is among the contemporary classic horror games. The story, first set on an abandoned space vessel (duh), takes terrifying twists and turns – most of which involving zombified aliens waiting around said turns.

Following the formula established by Ridley Scott’s classic “Alien” certainly helped – besides, the first Alien game to pull it off didn’t release for another few years. (See all about that one in a few slides.)

All in all, Dead Space was one of the pioneering horror games of the modern era, inspiring a renaissance in the genre that hasn’t yet died down. That comes down to some simple tenants: a compelling story, believable visuals and proper pacing.

You can play Dead Space on Xbox 360, PS3 and Windows.

Released in mid-2012, Slender is based around long pauses followed by sudden movements that are totally unexpected. In other words: jump scares. Essentially, it is a horror film in video game form. It’s a bit cheap, but – boy – does it work.

Your mission is simple: Don’t get killed, collect the eight pieces of a book and run. The “thing” pursuing you – known as Slender Man (directly inspired by the meme) – is a faceless, eerily (unnaturally) lanky man in a pinstriped suit.

Basically, he’s the perfect horror game villain.

The game relies heavily around the player having virtually no resources beyond a flashlight and the ability to jog. Naturally, both of which are limited for obvious reasons, making escape all the more difficult.

Overall, Slender is a fun, not-so-clever horror game that is guaranteed to scare you senseless nevertheless.

You can play Slender: The Eight Pages on Windows and OS X.

While Left 4 Dead came first, the second version saw Valve nail original creators Turtle Rock Studios’ vision. Set in a world overrun by zombies, the game follows four characters in their mission to survive through several cooperative and competitive online modes, which – in conjunction with mods on PC – make for a veritable ton of replayability.

Our friends at PC Gamer have ranked it among their top FPS games of all time. We’re pretty certain that most PC players would agree with that.

The game was originally banned in Australia due to its graphic content, a de facto seal of approval, if you will. The ban has since been lifted, and so lovers of hardcore horror games are sure to rejoice in its gross, lengthy scenes of devastation and destruction worldwide.

You can play Left 4 Dead 2 on Xbox 360, Windows, OS X and Linux.

Outlast and Outlast 2, developed by Red Barrels Studio, are now must-plays in the horror genre. Both games put players in control of investigative journalists but while the first is set in an asylum for the insane, the sequel takes place in the much more open location of a dilapidated rural part of Northern Arizona. 

What helps make the Outlast games, well, last is that they follow a cardinal rule of horror games: don’t empower your players too much, otherwise it’s no longer a horror game.

Offering a refreshing break from zombies and aliens, Outlast and its sequel are fine games to play if you want a longer – and arguably scarier – break from your average gun-toting jump scare-fest.

You can play Outlast and Outlast 2 on Xbox One, PS4, Windows, OS X and Linux.

Of the countless games to use this precious creative license over the years, developer Creative Assembly is the first to actually create a game that lives up to it. The game takes place 15 years following the events of the 1979 Ridley Scott film, putting players into the space boots of Ellen Ripley’s daughter, Amanda Ripley.

Taking on a first-person perspective and squaring you off with a single xenomorph hunting you across a vast space station in darkness, Isolation nails what it felt like watching the film for the first time. The vibe is so much of what makes an amazing horror game, and Isolation feels as if you’re playing through the movie.

Throw in excruciatingly clever artificial intelligence afforded the alien, and an absolutely gripping virtual reality experiment, and you have the trappings of a modern horror classic.

You can play Alien: Isolation on Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One, PS4, Windows, OS X and Linux.

SOMA, released in 2015 by Amnesia developer Frictional Games, is a thoughtful – and thought-provoking – game that could easily be considered an interactive film. Are you sensing a theme here at all?

The game contains neither zombies nor aliens, but instead a shift between 2015 and 2104, when humans have been wiped out by a comet and what’s left of humanity must fight to survive underwater in an abandoned research facility gone rogue.

While SOMA may not be as outright scary as, say, Amnesia, it is still a fantastic game, thanks to its brooding atmosphere, surprisingly fresh subject matter (for horror games) and incredible audio design.

You can play SOMA on PS4, Windows, OS X and Linux.

Five Nights at Freddy’s is – undoubtedly – a different kind of horror game. With a premise seeing players “surviving” a night in a kid-themed pizza parlor, it’s unlike almost anything else in the genre.

However, it’s a surprisingly fun game to play, once you can get past the terrifying visage of an animatronic teddy bear guitarist come to life in the dead of night. Generally, players combat these twisted, possessed figures with security cameras – what? Poltergeists don’t like leaving evidence.

The game is the work of Scott Cawthon, an independent developer, who released it in 2014. Since then, there have been three more direct sequels, all of which have received positive reviews. Talk about staying power.

You can play Five Nights at Freddy’s on Windows, iOS and Android.

As the name would suggest, this game is about forgetting things – but the only thing the player will not forget is how damn scary this game is. The game is based around a series of puzzles, which the player can opt-out of with dramatic consequences (usually a gruesome death).

Made by Frictional Games and preceding SOMA, Amnesia follows a protagonist – i.e. you, from the first person perspective – trying to figure out what is going on after waking up in a torturous dungeon. If you don’t, you get slaughter by some disgusting, slack-jawed humanoid creature, and that’s that.

Our friends at PC Format once said, “[it] isn’t a game, [but] a trip into the human psyche’s darker spaces. Not for the faint of heart, but horror junkies will lap it up.” You can’t really give much higher praise than that.

You can play Amnesia: The Dark Descent on Windows, OS X and Linux.

One corner of the gaming medium that has never managed to pull off horror well is two-dimensional, or 2D, games. With Superflat Games’ Lone Survivor, that changes now.

Driven by its unique gameplay style and ambiguous character placement, the game is immersive, curious and surprisingly unsettling given its visuals. The ending, too, is a break from gaming convention and just highlights how different Lone Survivor is from the pack.

In this game, you are the last survivor of an epidemic that has to wear a mask at all times in order to survive. There are so many unanswered questions in the game – for instance, the lead character’s name – that it becomes a horror-within-a-horror: you jump at every attack and at your own revelations.

You can play Lone Survivor on PS4, PS Vita, Wii U, Windows, OS X and Linux.

The Evil Within comes from the mind behind Resident Evil, Shinji Mikami and if that doesn’t give you reason enough to pick it up, we’re not sure what will. This is a third-person survival horror that’ll pull you into a nightmarish world populated by grotesque and frightening enemies. 

Now is a great time to pick this title up, too, as there’s a sequel coming on October 13 2017 which will see its protagonist return in a new and sure to be equally as terrifying story. You can read everything we know about The Evil Within 2 right here. 

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By Kirk / News / 0 Comments

More evidence has emerged of how well AMD’s Ryzen line of processors are chipping away at Intel’s dominance of the CPU market.

The new confirmation of AMD’s rise comes from German retailer Mindfactory.de, which has released its CPU sales data (which were then picked up on Reddit) for the period between March and August 2017.

Back in March, AMD CPUs accounted for just 27.6% of the retailer’s CPU sales, compared to 72.4% for Intel. However, in April after the Ryzen 7 1800X, 1700X and 1700 had launched, and which saw the introduction of the mid-range Ryzen 5 chips, AMD’s share rose to 36.5% while Intel’s dropped to 63.5%.

This pattern of AMD clawing back market share from Intel is repeated throughout the year, and in August 2017 AMD actually overtook Intel – 56.1% to 43.9%. That’s a remarkable turnaround from the start of the year.

Reading the omens

Of course, this is just data from a single retailer in one country, but such a huge swing in AMD’s favor means it’s very likely that we’ll see an overall shift to AMD, though maybe not quite so pronounced.

It’s also worth noting that Germany is a very big market for PC components, so even with this limited data, AMD must be feeling pretty happy right now – and Intel feeling a bit nervous.

AMD will reveal its quarterly results in the next month or so, which should give us a better idea of how its doing. 

As for Intel, this may be a wake up call that AMD’s aim of offering high core and thread counts at very competitive prices is doing real damage to their market share. Could we see more competitive prices from Intel in the future? We certainly hope so.

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