Hardware

May 19, 2011

Dont miss out on your chance to save the galaxy with your FREE STEAM COPY OF MASS EFFECT.


Do you feel down about the state of the galaxy? Do you wish you had the commanding authority of a super badass bent on eradicating evil while at the same time being dashingly awesome or terrifyingly douchy? Well wish no more!!! Now is your chance to win a FREE steam copy of MASS EFFECT. Its your turn to travel the galaxy kickin in doors and nut sacks, saving the day and getting the freakishly hot alien chick.

Ill keep it simple. All you have to do is share your thoughts with TGB. You MUST post 1 comment under this article and then post 5 comments under any article (all 5 comments do not have to be under the same article) and let us know whats on your mind. Posting 1 comment here and then 5 comments anywhere else will enter you into this contest, and you must be a registered user to participate. The promotion will run for a week and end next Thursday 5/26/2011 at 12pm (noon). TGB staff are not eligible for the promotion.

This is a Steam game and will require steam to download and play, if you dont have steam heres a link to get it, http://store.steampowered.com/about/, its free and quick and easy to set up. Whoever wins the game will either have to add me as a friend in steam or give me their email address so that I can deliver the game to you. If there are any questions feel free to post them here or contact me at pimpmasterf@thegamersblog.com.

 

System Requirements:

Supported OS: Microsoft Windows® XP with SP2 or Windows Vista*
Processor: Intel P4 2.4 Ghz or faster / AMD 2.0 Ghz
Memory: 1.0 GB RAM or more (2.0 GB for Vista)
Graphics: DirectX 9.0c compatible, ATI X1300 XT or greater (ATI X1300, X1300 Pro, X1600 Pro, Radeon 2600 HD, and HD 2400 are below minimum system requirements); NVidia GeForce 6800 or greater (7300, 7600 GS, 8500 are below minimum system requirements)
Hard Drive: 12.0 GB or more free hard drive space
Sound: DirectX 9.0c compatible
DirectX®: 9.0c

* WINDOWS VISTA OR WINDOWS 7 USERS: Launching “Mass Effect” from Steam requires the setting “Run as Administrator”. If the User Account Control feature of Windows Vista is enabled, launching “Mass Effect” from Steam will result in failure. For users with User Account Control enabled, launch Steam using the “Run as Administrator” option or launch from the windows shortcut.

March 24, 2011

AND THE WINNER IIIIISSS!!!!

THE PROMOTION FOR THE METRO 2033 GAME ENDED LAST NIGHT AND THE DRAWING HAS BEEN DONE.

I WOULD LIKE TO THANK EVERYONE WHO PARTICIPATED AND FOR CONTRIBUTING TO THE SITE, WE CONTINUE TO GROW AND ITS BECAUSE OF OUR MEMBERS AND CONTRIBUTORS THAT WE DO SO 😀

THE WINNER IS IFINNERS

IFINNERS WHERE DID YOU HEAR ABOUT OR COME ACROSS THEGAMERSBLOG.COM?

THE NEXT STEP IS FOR IFINNERS TO SEND ME HIS/HER EMAIL SO I CAN DELIVER THE GAME, IF YOU DONT WANT TO MAKE YOUR EMAIL PUBLIC YOU CAN SEND IT TO gamersblg@gmail.com, IT IS A STEAM GAME SO IF YOU DONT HAVE STEAM YOU WILL NEED TO DOWNLOAD AND INSTALL IT TO RECEIVE AND PLAY THE GAME. YOU CAN DOWNLOAD STEAM HERE

http://store.steampowered.com/about/

AGAIN CONGRATULATIONS, IM HOPING WE CAN DO THIS AGAIN IN THE NEAR FUTURE 😀

March 22, 2011

Things to know about the Nintendo 3DS

Today 3DS games will hit the shelves five days before the 3DS system itself. Such games will include The Sims, Madden, Ridge Racer, and Ghost Recon to name a few. So in light of the upcoming release here is a few things to note about the 3DS.

– The 3DS is backward compatible with all DS games (non-3DS games will not use the 3D effect)

– Nintendo added a left joystick for better movement and accuracy

– Added “Home” button. This will pause the game allowing you to to access other items like the Nintendo shop without having to stop the game

– The light for battery now shows others colors for other notifications. Red- low battery, Green – normal, Orange – Friend, Blue – Wi-Fi

– The 3D effect can be turned up, turned down, or completely turned off

– The top screen is 10% larger than that of the DSI model

– Like the DSI model comes standard with cameras. Three instead of two (one inside , two outside) allowing the ability to take 3D pictures

– The 3DS will come with a charging cradle

– Built in motion sensors for side to side, up and down, as well as tilting (games will use the different effects)

– Will include a 2GB SD card

The Nintedo 3DS will be 249.99 and games around 39.99. Will it be the next big thing or will it pull a PSP Go?

March 12, 2011

Playstation Phone (Xperia Play)

Ever since its first release Ive been a fan of the PSP, all up until the PSP Go which was way smaller than it should have been, a slimmer slider PSP is way cool, but they should have at least kept it the same size. Instead Sony made it smaller and something that only a small child could properly handle. Now I get that the Ipod touch has always had a smaller screen than PSP and it does just fine, however the ipod didnt start with gaming as a soul purpose thus a smaller screen was justified. Having said this its not surprise that the PSP Go didnt do as well as was hoped, and now Sony is trying to pick up the slack with a Playstation Phone. As a phone everything the smaller size will be justified. The smaller size is acceptable as we have more reason to carry a phone with us than a portable gaming system, and lets face it, we all want better gaming capability out of out phones to keep us entertained. The Playstation Phone dubbed the Xperia Play as its official phone name, as of right now will ship with the following specs:

4″ 854×480 Multi-touch LCD screen
5.1MP Camera
Memory Card support up to 32gb MicroSD
Included 8Gb MicroSD
1Ghz Scorpion ARMv7 CPU
Qualcom Adreno 205 GPU
Will run on Android 2.3 OS (Gingerbread)

I would expect no more out of the Xperia than I would any other droid as far as the phone/network capabilities go, gaming capability will far outshine anything out there if for no other reason than it will be getting games developed exclusively for it. It will work the same way as the PSP Go where you buy and download your games from their online store, the downside is your available gaming library depends on your storage capacity, memory cards have gotten cheaper but they arent that cheap yet. However a 16Gb MicroSD card will probably go a long way for the average individual.
There is said that there will be around 50 or so games available at launch and the phone will ship with crash bandicoot installed, as far as game pricing ultimately the final price is up to the developer but you can reasonably expect games to release from $5-$8. The Xperia will also come with Asphalt Adrenaline 6, Bruce lee, Star Battalion, The Sims 3 and Tetris.

All in all The Sony Xperia Play is looking like it could be a big win, it will release on the Verizon Network and Im anxious to see if it will be 3G or 4G, personally my money is on 3G. Also I would expect the typical $2-300 price point with a new contract but no official pricing has been released yet.

March 10, 2011

!!!!!FREE GAME GIVEAWAY!!!!!METRO 2033!!!!!

Dont have Metro 2033? Well now is your chance to score a copy of the PC version.

ENTER TO WIN A FREE STEAM COPY OF METRO 2033!!!

SIMPLY POST A COMMENT TO AN ARTICLE IN THE PROMOTION SECTION OR WRITE AN ARTICLE IN THE PROMOTION SECTION. EASY RIGHT!!! (ALL posts must be in promotion section so I can keep track of entries, articles will be moved to appropriate section by the admin once credit has been given)

Articles are worth 2 entries and comments are worth 1 entry, there is no limit so start commenting or writing!!!!

This promotion ends on Wednesday 3/23 and the drawing will be held Thursday

The game will be delivered through steam and to streamline that process please include your email address associated with your steam acct with your first post/comment.

OH AND JUST FOR CLARITY, THE COMMENTS IN THIS POST ARE ELIGIBLE FOR ENTRIES, JUST CUZ ITS THE ANNOUNCMENT POST DOESNT MEAN ITS INVALID.

ANYONE WHO WANTS TO SUBMIT AN ARTICLE BUT DOESNT HAVE THE PERMISSIONS TO SUBMIT THEM ON THE SITE CAN WRITE THE ARTICLE THEN SEND IT TO gamersblg@gmail.com.

February 19, 2011

R.A.T 7 Review: Gods Gift to Gamers?

If you are here you are probably wondering what the hell that weird looking $100 mouse is that you saw at your local microcenter, Best Buy or Newegg and if it is truly worth the rather steep price tag that is attached to it that my made your girlfriend question dating you and you wife consider leaving you. 

I decided to pick this mouse up after all the hype I have heard around it and the fact that every time I went to ask about it somewhere it was almost always sold out.  I have been going to my local Microcenter after work for 3 weeks now trying to pick one up.  I finally managed to get one today and have been playing with it. 

After opening the box and playing with it there several things that really stand out to me.  Have you ever heard the phrase “They don’t build things like they used to?”  Well, this is how they used to build things.  This mouse is sturdy and unlike the Razer Deathadder mouse that I have that feels and looks like it is made of cheap plastic this thing is made of  solid aluminum core and the plastic pieces are extremely sturdy.  I did not feel like I could break this mouse and to top it off the “clicking” of the buttons feels robust and responsive.  I actually feel like I could drop this or even throw it at a wall and the wall would probably take more damage then the mouse.  It also comes with some interchangeable parts that can be swapped out to change the overall feel of the mouse to suit your taste. 

One of the biggest selling points of this mouse was its completely adjustable to almost any hand configuration.  These advertisements are not oversold  and this mouse has more adjustments then a watch and it’s still stylish looking to boot.  I’ve got a oddly shaped hand so if I game for any extended amount of time or even just doing basic office work my hand will start to hurt.  The biggest thing I liked about this mouse is that I can elongate it to keep my wrist off of the desk.  This keeps it from putting pressure on the bottom of my hand and prevents me getting wrist pains after about an hour.  The mouse can be shortened, widened, elongated, and even adjust the weight of the mouse by removing the weights on the bottom of the mouse.  In total there are 15 different adjustments  that can be made on the house and literally hundreds of different layouts you could configure it to.  This mouse will fit nearly anyone’s hand and be comfortable.  This by itself is almost a deal maker for me. 

Well that’s all good that the mouse looks and feels good but does it perform?  The R.A.T 7 is a 5600 DPI mouse and it’s the smoothest gameplay and performance I have ever had.  In addition to that it comes with configurable software that lets you adjust it to your specific needs and sensitivity.  Some other features i feel that need to be mentioned is the DPI on the fly.  You can by pressing a button on top of the mouse change the DPI to 4 different levels.  This is great if your going from using a SMG to using a sniper rifle.  It will tone down the sensitivity greatly and give you far more control over your weapons or army management.  It also has a “Precision Aim” button which allows you to cut the DPI by a set amount by just pressing that button.  This is great if you are customizing it for a specific game or application such as Counter-Strike, Bad Company 2, or Call of Duty: Black Ops.

Is this mouse worth the heavy price tag?  In my opinion, if you are serious gamer, yes.  There are so many adjustments that can be made to that can improve your performance in your game big time.  In addition that it actually make it far more comfortable and safer to play games for extended periods of time.  This mouse may not be for everyone and the $100 price tag may put it out of reach for some people.  The R.A.T 7 is by the best mouse I have ever owned.  Anyone who is looking for a solid gaming mouse should look no further. 

*  There is also a wireless version of this mouse but I am not a big fan of wireless and it also carries a higher price tag.   I choose not to get it. 

Here is a video of the adjustments:

  

December 2, 2010

Eyefinity Reveiw and Setup Instructions

So this Black Friday I decided to hang around newegg and I found myself 2 x Hanns·G HZ251HPB Black 25″ in addition to my Hannspree HF289H 28″ monitor.  I decided to do this because I already owned a Sapphire 5850 1GB and I had never messed around with multi monitor displays.  I’ll cover my results and the parts required to make it work.  I searched the internet far and wide for instructions on how to set this up and make it work and I finally got it all figured out and I’ll cover it below. 

So lets start with my build.  I’m running on a Gigabyte motherboard, with 8gb of DDR3 CL7, AMD Phenom II 965 and a Sapphire 5850 1gb and the monitors listed above.

To do an eyefinity setup you need 3 monitors and a ATI card capeable of doing eyefinity.  I believe all DirectX 11 Radeon cards are capeable of doing eyefinity.  I would recommend at least a 5850 to do an eyefinity setup otherwise you will run into some performance hits.  One of your monitors needs to have a Display Port Adapter shown here on the right.  If your monitor does not have one of these Display Port Adapters on it you need to purchase a ACTIVE display port adapter.  My monitors did not have Display Port Adapters so I had to purchase one seperately.  I purchased a Powercooler Display Port Adapter.  If you don’t purchase an ACTIVE display port adaptor then it will not work. 

Once you have all your parts in hand all you need to do is hook them up.  Connect one of the montiors to the display port adaptor and hook it up to the display port on the video card.  Hook the other two up to the DVI ports on your video card.  Now you have to enable enable eyefinity.  Once you have them all hooked up open your ATI Catalyst Control Center -> Desktop Displays.  You should see three monitors under that tab.  Disable two of the monitors *you have to disable them to do this following step*.  Once you have disabled the two monitors right click on one of the displays and click create group.  It should let you choose several configurations 1×3, 3×1, 2×1, etc.  We are going to assume you have three monitors and choose 3×1 configuration.  Finally it’s going to ask if you if the monitors are configured correctly.  If you can move your mouse from the far left monitor all the way over right monitor then they are configure right if you can then click no and it will let you choose the layout. 

Thats it… eyefinity is enabled.  If you want to use eyefinity within a game all you have to do is go to the video settings and choose the proper video settings.  If you have 1080p monitors then you would choose 5760×1080.  Now lets cover our thoughts on eyefinity. 

Pro:  I tried Bad Company 2 first with eyefinity set and it looks simply stunning.  The immersion factor with 3 montiors is amazing and breathtaking.  You really feel like you are in the game and with that said it makes the game that much more enjoyable.  I also enjoyed the peripherial vision effect.  While some may argue that it is useless I submit that it actually gives you quite the advantage when playing in FPS games as it allows you to see a great deal more then everyone else who doesn’t have it.  Some will disagree with me in this but I am proud to say that you don’t really notice the bezels or lines inbetween the screens.  I have a good 2 inch gap between my center monitor and the two side monitors and after playing for about five minutes I barely noticed it anymore.  It’s also easy to set games up to play eyefinity.  I even got Neverwinter Nights running on eyefinity with no issues at all and all I had to do was switch the resolution.  Eyefinity does give you an advantage and as I mentioned previously you really do see a great deal more on the screen.  You can see people who are beside who you wouldn’t of been able to see before.

Cons: Cost vs performance is a big issue here.  Running Eyefinity will put a massive strain on your video card.  I was able to max Bad Company 2 at 1920 x 1200 before I installed my additional monitors.  Once I had installed the monitors and changed to the Eyefinity the game was unplayable and I had to turn down to medium quality settings.  Once I had turned the settings down the game played extremly smoothly.  Having said all that you can setup Eyefinity to work with cheaper models of the 5xxx cards but you will loose overall graphical quality.  I would suggest if you are doing an Eyefinity setup to at least get a Radeon 5870 or above. 

The second issue I ran into was drivers.  I initially started on the catalyst 10.3 drivers and then upgraded to the 10.11 drivers.  Onc I upgraded I had several major and annoying problems the most prominant of which was scren flickering and tearing.  It was so bad I tried reinstalling it and still ahd the same issue.  After several reinstalls and several frustrating attempts to fix the issue I uninstalled the 10.11 drivers and reinstalled the 10.3 drivers.  Not everyone may have this issue but it was a painful one for me.  I would like to see in the future, more stable drivers and support for this product and some better support and for the love of God add an Eyefinity tab to the Catalyst Control Center so it’s easier to setup. 

Screen distortion of the side monitors is another thing i didn’t expect when I set this up.  The resolution on the side monitors can appear distorted or stretched.  This is apparently normal for the Eyefinity setup and apparently it shouldn’t be of concern.  I however did not know this and I spent several hours trying to figure out why it looked the way it did. 

Finally, the biggest issue I had wasn’t with the product itself but with the information out there about how to actually set it up.  I had to search far and wide for information on setting up this product, buying the parts and the difference between active and passive display adaptors.  None of this information appears to be easily or readily accessible from AMD and it would be nice to see some tutorials on how to use and prepare for buying an eyefinity setup.  If it hadn’t been for me casually mentioning my desire to purchase an eyefinity setup to one of my friends I would of purchased a Passive Adapter instead of a Active one. 

Conclusion:  When I first heard of Eyefinity the first thing I said was “this is stupid and won’t make a difference” and “the breaks in between the screens will make for a terrible experience”.  I am here to say that I was completely wrong.  After playing Team Fortress 2, Counter strike, Left 4 Dead 2 and Bad Company 2 for several hours now using my eyefinity setup I am going to say that I am never going back.  I am a complete believer now in multi monitor gaming.  After playing for about 10 minutes I didn’t even notice the breaks between the screens and the addition of the monitors helped add to my overall awareness of the maps I was playing on.  Overall, even through it’s faults, Eyefinity is a fantastic technology and I look forward to seeing it developed and perfected over the next couple of years.  I hope someone out there finds this review useful.  Below I have some pictures of my setup and parts and I’ve also got a video of Eyefinity in action.

July 16, 2010

Do You Need More Vespene Gas?

Starcraft 2 releases on July 27 and kotaku.com posted the final specs on Starcraft 2. Like you I was also wondering how my machine would hold up. Well wait no longer, here they are :

Minimum System Requirements*:

PC: Windows XP/Windows Vista/Windows 7 (Latest Service Packs) with DirectX 9.0c
2.6 GHz Pentium IV or equivalent AMD Athlon processor
128 MB PCIe NVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT or ATI Radeon 9800 PRO video card or better

Mac: Mac OS X 10.5.8, 10.6.2 or newer
Intel Processor
NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT or ATI Radeon X1600 or better

PC/Mac: 12 GB available HD space
1 GB RAM (1.5 GB required for Windows Vista/Windows 7 users, 2 GB for Mac users)
DVD-ROM drive
Broadband Internet connection
1024X720 minimum display resolution

*Note: Due to potential programming changes, the Minimum System Requirements for this game may change over time.

Recommended Specifications:

PC: Windows Vista/Windows 7
Dual Core 2.4Ghz Processor
2 GB RAM
512 MB NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX or ATI Radeon HD 3870 or better

Mac: Intel Core 2 Duo processor
4 GB system RAM
NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT or ATI Radeon HD 4670 or better

July 13, 2010

Boxee Beta – A New Face to Home Theater

For those of you who keep up with the home theater world “Boxee” is most likely a concept that you have heard about before.  Boxee is a formal media center application that was built based on the xbmc open-source project.  Boxee is a software front end that displays media from your computer and other network connected devices.  Boxee also has the ability to connect to various internet sources, and stream media directly from the net.

Around 6 months ago Boxee finally moved into the Beta phase and has a download that is available for major Operating Systems (Windows, Linux and Apple).  Create a new account on boxee.tv and reap the many features that Boxee has to offer.

User Interface:  8 out of 10

The user interface on Boxee beta is unbeatable.  It is clear and concise without too much eye candy.  The top of the UI focuses on media and media libraries, where the bottom focuses on social networks and feeds.  The UI is extremely easy to navigate and even easier to get around using any MCE remote.  The reason I gave Boxee’s UI an eight out of ten was due to the inability to customize most of the skin and color scheme.  I definitely love the way it looks as it is, but others might enjoy a different feel.

Media Setup:  6 out of 10

Pointing Boxee to your stored media is a fairly simple task in itself.  The problem lies in Boxee’s ability to match your media to its database.  Boxee uses IMDB and other resources to match your media with the covers, correct titles, and summary.  If your media is named in the proper naming convention, Boxee has little to no problems identifying all your media and categorizing it correctly.  Personally I am a stickler for naming conventions and can’t stand a messy library so Boxee’s media setup was a breeze.

More Info:  The proper naming convention for Boxee is:

TV:  ShowTitle.S##E##.extension – where ## is season number and episode number

Movies:   MovieTitle_(year).extension

Movies and TV:                  10 out of 10

Boxee has a wonderful UI in the way of tv and movies go.  It lists all the episodes from each of your tv shows and marks the ones that you have watched and leaves the ones yet to be watched highlighted.  This is a very handy feature for people like me who get attached to too many shows at the same time and forget what episode they are currently on.  Subtitles are but a click away and every aspect of the payback can be controlled with a remote or mouse.  I couldn’t find a flaw in the way their tv and movie section runs, I love it.

Music:  10 out of 10

Boxee music setup was simple and it works flawlessly.  It groups your music collection by artist and album.  It also has filters that allow you to sort by year, genre, recently added, or alphabetically.  I personally leave Boxee’s music section running on my home theater pc constantly.

Boxee Apps:  8 out of 10

To be perfectly honest I haven’t spent too much time working with the applications that can be added to Boxee.  I have Pandora, World Cup: South Africa, and Netflix.  Each of those apps work perfectly and as you would expect.  There are many apps that can be found in the Boxee repository such as Digg, Clicker, YouTube, CNN and so much more.  I gave the apps an eight out of ten due to the time it takes to load the repository and the wasted time to find the app you are looking for.

Summary and Final Score:  8.4 out of 10

Overall I have to say that Boxee Beta is a big leap forward from the previous alpha version. The user interface is well thought out, and navigating throughout the ecosystem was a breeze. There is still some work that can be done in the App Library.  I would also like to see some more views added to the Media Library and more thought but into the movie details page. For someone who likes to be able to customize and have more control over the experience Boxee just might not quite do it.  However for the person who just wants something simple that is easy to navigate and not have to worry about some of the complexities involved with other media center applications, Boxee might just be the answer.  Since Boxee cleaned up its stability issues combined with the Boxee Box, could make for an excellent product that could finally bring the media center concept into the mainstream, something AppleTV failed to do.

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