Dell Black Friday in July: Deals on laptops, desktops, TVs, and more

Dell Black Friday in July: Deals on laptops, desktops, TVs, and more

It may be the middle of summer, but it’s beginning to feel a lot like November. Amazon Prime Day is just around the corner, and last week Dell unveiled its Black Friday in July sales event.Both Dell Home and Dell Small Business are offering Black Friday-esque deals on computers, TVs, and other electronics. Even better, in addition to the deals already listed, both sites will be featuring Black Friday-style doorbuster deals each day July 9 to 13. And in Black Friday style, Dell is dubbing next week “Cyber Week” and will feature new doorbusters July 16 to 20.To make it easier for you, we’ve listed the doorbuster deals below so you don’t have to go searching for them. But be sure to check back daily as we’ll be updating this article with new doorbusters as they become available.
July 10 doorbusters
July 9 Doorbusters

Microsoft announces cheaper Surface Go tablet, launching August

Microsoft announces cheaper Surface Go tablet, launching August

Mere hours after Microsoft teased its upcoming Surface device on Twitter, the company has unveiled its newest and cheapest entry in the range – the Surface Go.With a thickness of just 8.3mm and weighing in at 1.15 pounds (520g), the 10-inch Surface Go is aimed at portability and could be perfectly placed to take on Apple’s own cheaper iPads, with Microsoft seemingly targeting the same student demographic that Apple’s recently been chasing.

The Go is powered by an Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y processor and comes in either a 4GB RAM, 64GB storage configuration or 8GB RAM, 256GB storage for $399 (AU$599 / £TBA) or $549 (£TBA / AU$TBA) respectively.
Best tablet 2018: the top slates tested and rankedFurther specs
The Surface Go’s display offers support for Microsoft’s existing Surface Pen stylus (priced at $99) including its 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity, and like other Surface devices uses a 3:2 aspect ratio – in this case, with a resolution of 1,800 x 1,200 pixels.While the Go includes Microsoft’s proprietary Surface Connector for charging and dock connections, you can also charge this smaller unit via its USB-C 3.1 port, which (as you’d expect) can also be used to plug in external accessories.As it’s intended to to be used on the move, the Surface Go’s battery should get you up to 9 hours of usage, according to Microsoft, thanks to the efficiency of the Pentium Gold processor and Windows 10 S combo. Users can upgrade to the full Windows 10 for free if they wish, although that’ll likely mean taking a hit in battery life.
Microsoft Surface Book review
Accessories and pricing
The availability of accessories globally is yet to be confirmed, but you’ll be able to get a black Surface Go Type Cover for $99, with red, blue or silver “Signature” Alcantara Type Covers costing $129.There’s also a new Surface Mobile Mouse for $34.99, which will be available in the same red, blue, or silver color options as the Signature Type Covers and the existing $99 Surface Pen.Pricing will start from $399 / AU$599 (we’re working to confirm UK pricing) and the devices will be available for pre-order from Wednesday 11 July globally. The US will see the Surface Go land August 2, while Australia and New Zealand will get it August 28.
Microsoft Surface Pro review

MacBook Pro 2018: what we want to see

MacBook Pro 2018: what we want to see

Apple has quite a lot of expectations to break through when it reveals the MacBook Pro 2018 – as it has to keep fans happy, as well as surpass the 2017 MacBook Pro.When you weigh all the rumors and speculation surrounding the cheaper 13-inch Retina MacBook and MacBook Air supposedly coming out this year, a MacBook Pro 2018 can’t be that far off. It’s been more than two years since the MacBook Pro was refreshed with the Touch Bar and Thunderbolt 3, after all – so Apple has had plenty of time to mess around with the hardware. And, now that Apple has come out and admitted that some of its keyboards are faulty, we’d be surprised if it didn’t mention the keyboard when the MacBook Pro 2018 whenever it’s announced.Right before the WWDC 2018 keynote, we saw some leaked benchmark results for a new 14.3-inch MacBook Pro with a 6-core Intel Coffee Lake CPU. Then, a month later, we saw another leaked benchmark for a 4-core U-series Coffee Lake processor. This falls in line with the latest rumor that we’re getting five MacBooks this year – there’s room for both of these models. However, we don’t have any other solid information, so make sure you bookmark this page to get all of the latest news and rumors about the MacBook Pro 2018 model as they come in.   
Cut to the chase
What is it? Apple’s most powerful 2018 laptopWhen is it out? June 2018 at the earliest?What will it cost? Hopefully no more than current models
MacBook Pro 2018 release date
In spite of all the rumors and leaks we’ve seen, we don’t really know when the MacBook Pro 2018 will actually come out. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t speculate based on previous MacBook Pro releases.Last year, Apple gave us a surprise release of the MacBook Pro in June, immediately following the WWDC keynote. This was so surprising because of how soon it released following the MacBook Pro 2016.
We wouldn’t expect much about the MacBook Pro price to change year over year.Prior to that, the MacBook Pro was receiving piecemeal updates since the last major revision of 2012, also released just after Apple’s June WWDC of that year.However, it looks like Apple is going to break away from tradition this year, as WWDC 2018 came and went without a mention of any hardware.Right now, we’re going with the likely release window of Holiday 2018, just in time for that Black Friday rush. So, we’re kind of kicking around the idea of Apple hosting a full hardware event in September, instead of just an iPhone event. However, it is possible that the MacBook Pro 2018 will come out before that, there is a rumor floating around that we’re going to be getting five MacBooks this year, all supposedly running macOS 10.13 – we might get them sooner than we thought. Either way, we’ll keep this page updated with any MacBook Pro 2018 information that comes our way.

MacBook Pro 2018 price
Again, none of the rumors or leaks regarding a MacBook Pro so far have made any mention of the possible pricing, but this isn’t terribly surprising. Those bits of information don’t tend to drop until we get closer to an expected release date.That said, we wouldn’t expect much about the MacBook Pro price to change year over year. Apple has already hit a sweet spot of prices for its various MacBook Pro models, starting at $1,299, £1,249 or AU$1,899, for one without the Touch Bar.
You can probably bet on Apple doubling down on its co-processor strategy this year.From there, to purchase a Touch Bar model will increase the price to $1,799, £1,749 or AU$2,699. Of course, the 15-inch models (all with Touch Bar) pump up the price even further.If pricing were to change this year, we’d wager that Apple would simply make room for that rumored 13-inch, entry-level MacBook by upping the hardware inside the low-end MacBook Pro and hiking up the price. Otherwise, Apple could simply wipe out the Touch Bar-free model and reserve the ‘Pro’ moniker for laptops with the Touch Bar.

We’ll look out for new rumors and update this article as soon as the MacBook Pro 2018 price begins to grow clearer.

What we want to see in MacBook Pro 2018
Of course, this lack of any truly substantial information about the forthcoming 2018 MacBook Pro gives us plenty of room to draft up a wishlist.So, here’s what we want to see from a MacBook Pro for 2018.
Longer battery life
Apple’s laptops have always been notable for their lasting power, but the MacBook Pro has struggled to uphold that standard in recent years. For instance, the most recent MacBook Pro model lasted just 6 hours and 37 minutes. That’s a far cry from models of years previous and short of Apple’s own claim of 10 hours.So, we’d like to see the rumored performance enhancements of the next macOS coupled with Apple’s rumored, self-made processor designs inside the next MacBook Pro to give its battery life the boost it desperately needs. Either way, we just hope the next MacBook Pro doesn’t issues with a swelling battery.
More power across all models
With the onset of Intel processors with AMD graphics onboard, we think this is the perfect opportunity for the smaller MacBook Pro models to get a power boost. For too long have 13-inch MacBook Pro models been relegated to Intel’s integrated graphics, which doesn’t do much to back up that ‘Pro’ moniker.In working with both AMD and Intel, it’s easy to theorize that the next MacBook Pro would be able to better render video and photo work more readily with AMD Vega graphics on board. Better yet, such a processor might be able to better handle sharper screen resolutions with less of a battery draw.As we mentioned above, there are rumors that the new MacBook Pro will come with a six-core Intel Core i7-8750H processor and up to 32GB of RAM. If those rumors are true, then our wish for a more powerful MacBook Pro 2018 will have been answered.
More ports, and a new MagSafe charger
These are admittedly ‘pie in the sky’ requests, but Apple’s MagSafe power adaptor was beloved for a reason, and charging via USB-C is a poor replacement for it. It’s hard to believe that there isn’t room for such a dedicated port, and it truly can be a laptop (and person!) life saver.Plus, the move to solely Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports has left people still using SD cards in a lurch. The next MacBook Pro would do well to avoid trying to push the industry too far, too fast – especially when such rapid change may not be necessary.If Apple were to make just these two wishes true, the MacBook Pro would be in a fantastic position.
A better keyboard
Unexpectedly, when the MacBook Pro was refreshed in 2016, we didn’t hate its implementation of Apple’s butterfly mechanized key switches. The keyboard was a massive step up from that of what was then the 12-inch MacBook, which would feature more tactile inputs despite having the same amount of travel. This was a design decision that went on to inspire the 2017 MacBook Pro. It’s not clear how its keyboard could be improved, but Apple has come out and said that some MacBook Pro keyboards are faulty – likely a response to the class action lawsuit Apple faced over its keyboards.However, there’s a rumor that the Cupertino-based tech behemoth is considering implementing a virtual touch-screen keyboard with haptic feedback. Who knows if this would make it into the MacBook Pro 2018, but it would solve some of the sticky key issues.
Apple has also addressed some of the controversy surrounding its butterfly switches with a recently filed patent that describes a kind of ‘guard structure’ to prevent spills and crumbs from sneaking under the keys. If it’s actually real, we would appreciate not having to worry about pressing the spacebar and nothing happening. 
These are the best Macs that 2018 has to offer so farGabe Carey has also contributed to this report

Best mining rig 2018: the top pre-built mining rigs for Bitcoin, Ethereum and more

Best mining rig 2018: the top pre-built mining rigs for Bitcoin, Ethereum and more

With the prices of graphics cards rising due to the cryptocurrency gold rush, it’s now more sensible to buy a pre-built device for mining cryptocurrencies, which is where our best mining rig 2018 list comes in.Unlike the best mining desktop PCs, which can be used for other day-to-day tasks as normal PCs, mining rigs are specially-designed for one purpose only: to efficiently and effectively mine cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.This means you won’t be able to use a mining rig for other tasks, but it does mean you’ll be getting the very best mining results thanks to the best mining rigs being designed to eke out the maximum return when running.If you still want to build your own mining rig, check out our guides on the best mining GPUs, best mining CPU, best mining motherboards and best mining SSDs to help you get started.

Shark Mining is a well-regarded company that makes some excellent pre-built mining rigs. Its Shark Mini is a compact rig that comes with four GPUs. The base model comes with AMD RX 570/580, but your can configure it to have a NVIDIA GTX 1070 GPU or 1070 Ti GPU, which could net you an extra profit, and you can also add a touchscreen display for keeping an eye on the rig. Shark Mining estimates a profit of $200 a month if you mine ZCash , and up to $300 a month with Ethereum if you use the base model with, though of course that could change.
Buy now from $2,690 (around £2,034, AU$3,642) 
The Bitcoin Gold GPU Miner 2000 H/s from Ethereumminer.eu  is a pre-built mining rig that offers the potential of a pretty excellent profit. While values may fluctuate, you could see this rig paying for itself after not long at all. Especially as it has recently had a price cut – something of a rarity with mining devices which usually see price rises! This rig can also be customised to suit your needs and budget.
Buy now for €2999.95 (around $3,600, £2,700, AU$5,000)
Application-specific integrated circuit chips (ASICs) differ from other mining rigs as they don’t utilize GPUs to do the mining, which means price and power consumption is reduced. They can also solve Bitcoin blocks faster, which means they are definitely worth looking into. This ASIC miner from Mineshop.eu is a good mid-range miner that has a hash rate of 19.5 GH/s. Definitely one to consider if space is at a premium.
Buy now for €499.87 (around $583, £441, AU$789)
Shark Mining has another entry in this list of best mining rigs, this time with its Shark PRO mining rig. Like the Shark mini, this is a well-built device for mining that comes with a range of configuration options. The base model comes with six AMD RX570/580 cards, but these can be upgraded to NVIDIA GTX 1070, GTX 1070 Ti or GTX 1080 Ti GPUs. It’s an expensive rig, but the build quality and potential profit makes it a very tempting choice if you’re serious about mining.
Buy now for $3,790 (around £2,866, AU$5,130)
The PandaMiner B5 Plus is a brilliantly put together miner that’s compact and attractive, while also being excellent at making profits when mining for cryptocurrencies. However, it is very expensive, and due to its popularity it can often be sold out. Luckily Pandaminer has a number of different models to choose from.
Buy now for  ¥12,000.00 (around $1,800, £1,400, AU$2,500)Best ASIC devices for Bitcoin mining in 2018

Cheaper, smaller Microsoft Surface tablet has passed through US regulators

Cheaper, smaller Microsoft Surface tablet has passed through US regulators

As first detected by German publication WinFuture, Microsoft has pushed a “portable computing device” through to the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) in the US, that’s likely to be a new Surface tablet.Microsoft has been rumored to be developing a budget Surface tablet with a 10-inch screen and USB-C for $400, aimed at tackling the iPad market with its more portable and lightweight design.Meanwhile, the next true iteration of its Pro line, tentatively titled the Microsoft Surface Pro 5, has been rumored to be landing in mid-2019, which suggests that the lightweight model mentioned above is indeed what we’ll be seeing first. 
 Surface Pro 5 release date, news and rumorsWhat we’ve got to work with
The FCC filing refers to the product as Model 1824 and doesn’t have any mention of updates or changes to an existing certified device, which rules out the chance of a mere update or reconfiguration of existing Surface tablets, and cements this as a new hardware product.Within the documents, there is a previously-unheard of battery from the same manufacturers that handled the last generation Surface Pro batteries, further hinting at a new product in the Surface line. There’s also mention of a 24W power supply – two-thirds the power of the existing 36W supply for the Surface Pro – which heavily suggests this is a more lightweight and economical tablet.
Lightweight tablet surfacing soon
However, this “portable computing device” (a term Microsoft used in its regulator applications previously to describe the Surface line) may be sporting an Intel-based CPU rather than the Qualcomm ARM processor we previously thought a cheaper Surface model would receive.WinFuture notes that the application mentions a discrete Wi-Fi Bluetooth chipset manufactured by Qualcomm, a component that would otherwise be integrated into the processor if it were to be manufactured by the same company.While we’re not positive when this new Surface will see the light of day, an FCC listing usually implies that the product will be announced shortly afterward, and an included confidentiality agreement that lifts on December 28 suggests we’ll definitely see an announcement before the year is out.
 Microsoft’s iPad killer? Budget Surface tablet said to be in the works 

The best Prime Day deals: how to get the best Amazon deals in July

The best Prime Day deals: how to get the best Amazon deals in July

Amazon Prime Day deals are coming your way in July and we want to help you find the best deals in what is usually the sales event of the summer.Thanks to a leak we exclusively uncovered last week, it looks like Amazon Prime Day is probably going to start at midday on July 16th and carry on until midnight the following day on the 17th. That’s one hell of a long ‘day’ Amazon. The date has not been confirmed officially yet but we’ve got all our money firmly placed on those days.We love a good deal here at TechRadar and we’ve been bringing you highlights of the best prices for years now around Prime Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Boxing Day, Memorial Day, bank holiday sales and every day in between too. And yes, we’ve got you covered for this weekend’s 4th of July sales too. So if you want to see the best deals rounded up by seasoned pros instead of seasonal enthusiasts, we’d very much like to see you right here on July 16th.For now though, take a look at our top tips on how to get the most from the best Amazon Prime Day deals so you can get ready in advance to have a stress free shopping experience on the day. And you don’t even have to leave the house. Remember those days, when you had to go out to buy things? What an awful time.
How to get the best Amazon Prime Day deals:

1. Come back to TechRadar.com for the best deals
We’ll be pointing you towards the best Amazon Prime Day deals throughout the event here at TechRadar with our dedicated 20-strong team of deal hunters tracking down the best bargains. We’re looking for deals all year round, not just Prime Day and Black Friday, so we’re pretty handy at spotting the genuine bargains over the fake discounts that aren’t worth your time. So feel free to bookmark us if you want to stay up to date with the finest deals.

2. Get Amazon Prime membership beforehand
To get the best Prime Day deals from Amazon you’ll have to be a member of Amazon Prime. Signing up doesn’t take long at all, but considering some of the deals can potentially sell out in minutes, it’s a step you really don’t want to be doing on the day.Pro tip? If you’ve never signed up before, you can actually sign up for a free 30-day trial right now, which will last right through the sale in mid-July. You can enjoy all the membership benefits straight away too like fast delivery and the excellent Prime Video streaming service. We’ve actually written extensively about the benefits Amazon Prime offers. Here are some links to the free trial in the following countries:  US, UK, Canada, India and Australia.

3. Compare previous prices with CamelCamelCamel
An odd site name for sure, but CamelCamelCamel.com is a fantastic resource for checking just how good a deal is. Simply copy/paste in the Amazon URL on the site of an item you’re thinking of buying and you’ll see an extensive price history for it on Amazon stretching back over a year. This way you can see if that day’s deal is really the best ever price, or how often it gets a similar discount and how likely it is you’ll see a similar price in a few months’ time.

4. Remember, you don’t have to buy it
With so much hype around Prime Day deals it’s easy to get swept away by the huge amount of deals and supposed big discounts. So yes, use CamelCamelCamel like we mentioned above, but even if it is the lowest price yet, that doesn’t mean it’s the right deal for you.If you’ve set aside a budget and you know it’s important to not overspend, try and stick to your guns. Prime Day is not the final sale of the year, hell it’s not even the final sale of the summer, there will be plenty of other fantastic deals and it’s our job to find you the best ones all year round in our Deals section. So while that exact TV might not be available at that price again for a while, you can be sure some nigh-on identical ones will be before the kids go back to school.

5. But don’t wait too long to buy
The best Lightning Deals on Amazon Prime Day could be gone in matter of minutes, so be sure to check how many have been sold with the information provided on Amazon’s site. Deals of the Day will have an expiry date, but some will sell out long before they reach that time. Game consoles and 4K TVs are especially popular on Prime Day, so if you see a price you like on your lunch break, you’re risking it being gone by the time you get home from work.

6. Use the desktop version of Amazon if you can
While the Amazon app and mobile sites are pretty reliable most of the time, Prime Day last year saw quite a few buyers struggle to complete purchases with adding items to the basket being as issue.We’re confident Amazon will be better equipped to deal the huge numbers of traffic this year, but all the same, we’d recommend browsing the deals on a laptop or PC if you can as the desktop version of the site might be a bit more stable.

7. Make sure delivery date promises are kept
In the UK many items will be eligible for free next day delivery or two business days in the US and Australia. Now as a Prime member, you’re paying for that delivery promise, well unless you’re on the free trial, then it’s free. But if your delivery doesn’t turn up on the day it’s supposed to, then you need to put in a complaint to Amazon. This has happened to us a small number of times over the years and Amazon is keen to make it right. We’ve had an extra month added to our Prime membership for free as an apology and even had the whole cost of some cheap items refunded in full without having to return it. Naturally, if you’re not home when Amazon try to deliver on the original date that’s on you. You’ll find a nice orange slip informing you what to do next though.

8. Don’t forget about the other retailers
While Amazon will be the main focus of course, last year we saw a wide range of rival retailers cash-in by having a sale of their own too. So it’s certainly worth checking to see if they’ve price-matched Amazon or have maybe gone even lower.And unlike Amazon Prime Day deals, you won’t have to be a ‘member’ at other stores to get the deals. Or if you have a points-card elsewhere, it might be a good opportunity to bag a decent haul. We’ll be keeping an eye on other retailers for you to give you as many options as possible on the day.

11 best open world games on PC today

11 best open world games on PC today

In 2018, the best open world games are the gift that keeps on giving – and they’re not going anywhere. These days it seems like even game franchises that used to be linear experiences are embracing the open world. From shooters like Far Cry to expansive RPGs like the Witcher 3, we can see why everyone seems to love the best open world games on PC. It’s not hard to see why some developers are abandoning more linear experiences – just look at how franchises like Metal Gear and Final Fantasy benefited from the ‘open world’ treatment. They didn’t lose anything, and they gained everything. We love it.In recent times, there have even been plenty of unconventional indie games embracing this open world style. Titles like the Long Dark, Neo Scavenger, Rust and more embrace open maps and player freedom – and are some of the best open world games you can buy today.But we’ve picked our favourites out of the best wide worlds gaming has to offer. Disagree? Shout at us on Twitter.Gabe Carey has also contributed to this article
I mean, you know what this is about. There isn’t a gamer reading this today who isn’t aware that Minecraft consists of; exploration and crafting in a blocky, bright 8-bit world. And when night falls or when you go deep underground, monsters come out… and that’s not just on the multiplayer servers.Though it’s now on every last platform going, from iOS to Linux and even to Amiga, its fundamentals are the same – a large open world to explore, with no purpose beyond the one you which you create yourself. If you want to create a moving replica of Mark Hamill’s face or the hanging gardens of Babylon or just a suburban house built exclusively of dynamite, Minecraft can do it.If you’re bored of Minecraft, you’re bored of life. But if you really are bored (of Minecraft and/or life), either try the 2D Minecraft Terraria, its sci-fi sibling Starbound or wait for Subnautica. They’re lifesavers.
Yes, Fallout 4 is the latest, most mechanically-complex and least ugly of the series, but Fallout: New Vegas is, for me, the best of the games. It brought back the weirdness and smarts of the original titles to post-apocalyptic America – perhaps because as many of the team members from developer Obsidian worked on Fallout 2.The series always drops the player in an open world wasteland, where you must fight and talk to survive, often exploring the bizarre vaults beneath the desert or battling the mutated creatures that scrape by. Its combat system called VATS is divisive (i.e most people think it’s rubbish), but it introduces tactical flexibility to an otherwise brutally-hard game.In Fallout: New Vegas, you play as an anonymous Courier. Left for dead, you roam the strange wastes around Arizona, Nevada and California, hunting for your killer, or exploring weird side quests. Turning on the hardcore game mode also means that food, water and sleep are essential, making it into a classic open world survival game, like S.T.A.L.K.E.R.
The first two titles in the Witcher trilogy were compelling and strange, but only enjoyed minor success. However, all the word of mouth about the first two games paid off when the Witcher 3 came out and absolutely blew up. It was a massive step up in quality, as well, and probably one of the best RPGs of the last decade. You step in the role of Geralt a mutated monster hunter, or witcher, searching for his adoptive daughter in a medieval world ravaged by war.The open world setting of the game is uniquely well-realized, completely blowing something like Skyrim away. Geralt can walk, ride, or sail across the war-ravaged lands of Novigrad and Velen, or sail across the monster-riddled and frost-ridden islands of Skellige in the North. He can forage for herbs, explore under the seas or the back alleys of cities, and encounter all kinds of folk and creatures.And the other elements of the game are spectacularly polished as well – limber, agile combat, a deep levelling system, and a storyline with some unusually-smart storylines.
We know that Grand Theft Auto V is one of the best open world games out there. It’s a huge pastiche of L.A. that you can drive across, or hop on a train, or a boat or a plane – an amazing achievement, and the fact it works in multiplayer is astounding.Saint’s Row IV is more limited, we accept. But where GTA V seems to have a dislike for all its characters, Saints Row IV manages to love its cast. It’s also uproariously funny throughout, with throwaway jokes about Mass Effect, Prototype, Crackdown, The Matrix, and Metal Gear being built into ridiculous missions.As the (criminal) President of the United States, you receive superpowers, fail to fight off an alien invasion, and end up exploring a simulation of your giant home city of Steelport where you must rescue your pals from their own personal hells.
The plot may have made less sense than a mumbling monkey with a mouthful of marbles, but Hideo Kojima’s swansong was a masterpiece of layered open world mechanics.In its twin deserts of Afghanistan and Angola, your character Big Boss has a range of objectives to achieve. He traverses these areas on foot, horseback, or in a variety of ground vehicles. You can take either lethal or non-lethal weapons, and a variety of strange AI companions.The world itself is believably bleak, weather-torn and heavily-guarded. Uniquely, it learns from your behaviour – overuse a particular tactic, and enemies will adapt. For example, rely too much on headshots and they’ll start to wear metal helmets.Away from the frontline, you can develop Big Boss’ base, by building new facilities and airlifting enemy soldiers, prisoners, resources, vehicles, animals and anything else you want to from the battlefield.
Klei’s indie survival horror game takes the drawing style of Edward Gorey, the twisted monstrosities of the Binding of Isaac, and the crafting mechanics of Minecraft and creates an unholy, dark 2D world for players to explore. Suffice to say, it’s a joy.As players explore the world, they encounter (and die at the appendages of) its various flora and fauna. Eventually, the player might have enough knowledge to not die from starvation, not to be eaten by monsters, not to die of thirst… and then they might learn how to survive winter.Beyond that, Don’t Starve has tremendous replay value from unlockable characters, the Together expansion that allows for multiplayer survival, and the Shipwrecked expansion which introduces a whole new area to be eaten by monsters in.
The inaccessible indie open world game par excellence, Dwarf Fortress’ world is open in space, but more importantly in time. Before you even start playing, the game’s engine generates thousands of years of history for its huge fantasy world, then narrows in on a tiny slice of its history and geography.Players can then either take control of a single adventurer, exploring this generated world or a caravan of dwarfs, setting off to found a colony in the history-saturated wastelands. Taking the latter mode, you have to establish supplies of food, beer, weaponry and a hundred other essentials for a comfortable dwarf dwelling.Inevitably, they come under attack by hideous monsters, either wandering through the world or having been unearthed by Digging Too Deep. And then they all die or go insane.If you’re looking for a much more accessible version of the game, you could try Keeper RL – which allows players to take control of dungeon full of monsters attempting to wipe out humans, dwarves and elves.
An entirely text-based open world? In 2016? Well, sure. Failbetter’s Fallen London story world has been developing for seven years and by now probably has more text in it than the Bible. And it’s better written too.Despite that, it was the Fallen London spin-off, Sunless Sea, that has won the studio plaudits. Failbetter has taken the same choose-your-own adventure model and built it into a game where you’re exploring an underground sea adjacent to Fallen London.The shipping and combat is so-so, but the game is driven by its amazingly rich storyline, full of charming devils, malevolent icebergs and soul-filled great apes. There’s no peace in Sunless Sea’s dark waters, just endless storylines to explore – and you will.
Far Cry 5 might just be a benchmark of what the best open world games  on PC will look like in 2018. Far Cry 5 is unique in the fact that it allows you to truly go anywhere on the map – and do anything. And, it doesn’t water this freedom down by limiting the amount of space you have open to you either, it’s perhaps one of the biggest game maps we’ve ever experienced. You’re dropped into the middle of the Montana wilderness, and while it does feature a loosely connected plot involving cultists or something, that all falls into the background as you wander around and get lost in the massive world Ubisoft crafted here. We still haven’t ‘finished’ this game, but we don’t think you’re supposed to.
Now that a ton of Yakuza games are coming to PC, PC gamers can finally experience the insanity that is so unique to the Yakuza series. Yakuza 0’s map isn’t as capacious as some of the other games on this list, but it is dense with activities. Everywhere you turn either has a mini game, a side quest, or some other kind of content that you can interact with. If you’ve never played a Yakuza game, do yourself a favor and try Yakuza 0 on for size – it’s unlike anything else you’ve ever played, we promise. 
Where to begin with Assassin’s Creed Origins? Have you ever wanted to explore Ancient Egypt, from Memphis, along the Nile to the steps of the Library of Alexandria? We think ‘yes’ is a safe assumption to make. This is the most truly open world game ever released in the Assassin’s Creed franchise and it’s stunning, rich and completely alive. There’s endless amounts to see and do while you traverse a country that’s been created with an incredible attention to detail by the Ubisoft team. Even better, with the game’s free Discovery Mode you can purely explore this glorious open world and learn about the history behind the game. 

New Razer Huntsman gaming keyboards work via lasers – seriously

New Razer Huntsman gaming keyboards work via lasers – seriously

Not satisfied with the myriad key switches available for gaming keyboards today, Razer has developed another of its very own for two brand new products: Razer Huntsman and Huntsman Elite.The Hunstman Elite is a full-sized gaming keyboard replete with number pad, a plush detachable wrist rest and media control keys beset by Razer Chroma RGB lighting not only beneath each key, but the entire device itself. (The version missing the ‘Elite’ moniker simply dials down the RGB lighting, loses the wrist wrest and lacks a macro saving feature.) But, those aren’t even the marquee features of these new keyboards.That has to be Razer’s very own key switch that it calls ‘opto-mechanical’. If you hadn’t already guessed, the switch works through optics.
Specifically, underneath each switch is an infrared light beam that is claimed to precisely detect the actuation of key presses at a 1.5mm actuation point, as opposed to most other gaming keyboards that use mechanics to do the same thing.
Razer’s new ‘opto-mechanical’ key switchLight is better than metal
Razer says that, because these switches actuate at ‘the speed of light,’ they’re 30% faster than traditional mechanical key switches. Not only that, but Razer says that these keys require a lighter actuation force of 45g than its previous Razer Green mechanical switches.Finally, because these switches feature fewer mechanics, the opto-mechanical switch is rated for up to 100 million key presses – that’s double the reliability of proper mechanical switches, according to Razer.Will beams of light turn out to be better than mechanical key switches in the end? You’ll have to wait for our full Razer Huntsman Elite review for that answer.The Razer Huntsman and Huntsman Elite gaming keyboards are available now on Razer’s website for $149 / AU$249 (about £119) and $199 / AU$339 (about £159), respectively.
These are the best gaming mice we’ve reviewed this past year

Has Nvidia’s first graphics card with GDDR6 memory shown itself?

Has Nvidia’s first graphics card with GDDR6 memory shown itself?

While we can’t be certain exactly which, Nvidia is clearly hard at work on its next-generation graphics card, judging by a recent Reddit post. Since deleted, the post shared a photo of what appears to be a prototype printed circuit board (PCB) for a graphics card using the next-gen GDDR6 video memory.Scooped up by VideoCardz, the website notes that this supposed leak post – which was not only deleted, but its author’s account was also erased – could very well be what many expect to be Nvidia’s next gaming-focused graphics architecture, Turing.However, it’s entirely possible that the PCB shown could be that of an upcoming Quadro or Tesla processor; either of which would likely use the latest GDDR6 video memory regardless. The reason for this uncertainty is two-fold.
Turing or Tesla? Well, we know it’s GDDR6
First, this is clearly an early version of a graphics card PCB, with its many elements far more spaced out whereas a final product would be much more compact. Second, there is no actual graphics processor, or GPU, found on the board.Of course, the presence of the GPU would be a dead giveaway for exactly the type of card it is, likely emblazoned on its metal surface. Instead, all we see are three 8-pin power connectors and 12 modules of memory maker Micron’s latest GDDR6 video RAM surrounding the area where the processor die would sit.In short, assuming this is even the real deal, there are still far too many unknowns to simply peg this as the rumored Nvidia GTX 1180 in development. This PCB could very well be a testbed for any of Nvidia’s upcoming GDDR6 products. At any rate, take this as a sign that Nvidia is likely hard at work on getting cards with GDDR6 video memory on the shelves.
These are the best graphics cards we’ve tested this generationImage Credit: Reddit

This startup wants to kill the CPU and GPU in one go

This startup wants to kill the CPU and GPU in one go

Just over a month ago, Tachyum, a small tech startup, announced a new processor family, Prodigy, which it calls the world’s first universal processor platform. Beyond that new label though are a number of hard-to-believe claims that the company has put forward including the fact that it delivers a 10x performance improvement on conventional processors.We caught up with Tachyum CEO Dr. Radoslav ‘Rado’ Danilak via email, to find out more about the venture and where exactly does these seemingly outlandish claims come from.
1. How is it different from the Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) Foundation?Tachyum’s Prodigy processor is a new and innovative processor architecture, developed using a hardware and software codesign from day-1. It has a single programming model, a single instruction stream, fully coherent memory, and fully coherent inter-core communication. We have also added data parallelism to our processor programming model in order to better address certain AI applications. 2. Your press release mentions an AI chip, GPU and CPU as being part of that family. Can you tell us more?Tachyum’s Prodigy processor is a single unified architecture, which exhibits out of order performance, with processor hardware (read: transistor counts / core size) similar to simple in-order execution machines. We have accomplished this by offloading to our compiler, tasks traditionally implemented in CPU hardware. The resulting IPC, clock speed and power reduction improvements not only offer a compelling value proposition in our core market, Hyperscale Data Centers, but they also enable Tachyum’s Prodigy processor to exceed NVIDIA Volta performance on Neural Nets.Tachyum has created a new processor architecture which not only outperforms the competition in Data Center workloads, but also outperforms the competition in all AI disciplines. Prodigy demonstrates an order of magnitude better performance on Symbolic AI, Bio AI, and General AI (due to their control intensive nature) than existing AI-centric chips. Tachyum has NOT combined a CPU, GPU, and AI chip.Tachyum has developed an innovative processor architecture that offers a disruptive value proposition across multiple application domains. We have also included in the Prodigy architecture certain architectural improvements to enhance its performance on AI workloads, such as compressed 8-bit floating-point coefficients and matrix multiply-add operations.3. Your company is promising to durably disrupt the compute market with some, frankly extraordinary claims. How did you achieve so much by spending (in relative terms) so little in R&D compared to the likes of Samsung, Nvidia or Intel.The Prodigy architecture is the result of decades of experience that I developed designing processors (e.g. Playstation 2, Tesla), flash memory controllers (Sandforce), and flash based systems (Skyera). Several years of self-funded R&D preceded Tachyum’s emergence from stealth mode. I have always been interested in solving “device physics” challenges, such as reliability issues in dual level cell flash memory, as I did at Sandforce. Prodigy is another example of that. With the decade long stagnation of processor clock speed, due in large part to slow wires relative to transistor switching speed, and coupled with CPU architectures which were designed when wires were infinitely fast compared to transistors, a fresh look at an optimal 21st century processor architecture was warranted. We started from a clean sheet of paper with a design philosophy of reducing the number of slow wires on a chip, and reducing the average length of existing wires. The result is breakthrough performance and low power consumption.4. Why can Tachyum succeed where larger organizations have failed?I would have to say it is due to my technical instincts born from hard won experience, along with learning from others’ mistakes, and disciplining myself to work only on important challenges. Even in large companies such as Intel and NVIDIA, the real innovation usually springs from a small group of innovators. At SandForce which I founded, my competitors were Intel, Samsung, Toshiba, Sandisk, Micron, Western Digital, LSI, Seagate, and many others with 1000s [of] engineers, and with less than 100 employees we won.Having the instinct to go in right direction is important, hiring best team, learning from mistakes of competitors, and working only on important stuff. An example is the Intel Itanium that failed on compilers, so we developed compilers first and build architecture around compilers. Even at nVidia, key innovation was done with a couple [of] groups with ten engineers, not thousands. If you have team of “gods”, [head] count is not that critical and can be filled with contractors.5. You say that building a candidate for the human brain project will take less than three years with about 250,000 of your chips, is it safe to assume that this processor has a peak performance of 4 teraflops?Tachyum’s 64 core Prodigy processor, will generate ~128TFLOPS. We claim that in 2020, with volume production of Prodigy underway, system integrators will be able to assemble ~250,000 Prodigy processors into a network capable of running human brain sized neural nets. The processing density of Prodigy, combined with its disruptive low power consumption, enable these systems to be built beginning in 2020. 6. The management of Tachyum was involved in the sale of Skyera to WDC. Does storage and compute therefore share the same fundamental scale issues?Tachyum and Skyera are two completely different companies, except that some founders of Tachyum were at Skyera. We make no claims about similar scaling issues between the memory and processor domains. 7. We spoke a lot about hardware but what the role of software in your plans? Our smart compiler is essential to the Prodigy solution, handling many processor tasks traditionally handled in hardware. We have GCC today, and will provide LLVM next year as well as Java JIT. Linux and FreeBSD will be natively supported. We will work closely with application developers to insure they can fully exploit the performance characteristics of Prodigy for both data center apps, as well as AI applications in all domains. 8. What is your business model? Do you plan to license the IP to third parties (similar to Rambus and Arm) or do you plan to take on the whole market?Tachyum is a semiconductor company. We sell chips to end customers, ODM’s and OEM’s. Tachyum is not an IP provider.