Need for Speed Heat Gameplay Trailer Leaves Us Wanting More

Need For Speed Heat’s first gameplay trailer has dropped and it seriously gives off the vibe that it’s going to be a mix of the Undergrounds series and Most Wanted.

Customization, cops and street racing all make a return in Need for Speed Heat. You can choose whether you want to race legally in the day in Speedhunter Showdown races where you win money to upgrade your cars or the night where you illegally partake in street races for notoriety and street cred.

In the day, cops will play by the rules and fine you for overspeeding and such. At night, however, the cops will try to take you down and won’t hesitate to use any means to do so.  And if you aren’t careful, they’ll total your car and you will get busted.

You will have a garage that acts as your hub to modify your character and your character. Speed cards have been thrown at the window and now you unlock parts by gaining rep in the night and then spending your cash earned in the day to buy them. Almost every car in the game is customizable and it seems like almost every part of the car will be customizable. Even the exhaust can be tuned to sound the way you want it to.

You can also customize your character with a plethora of options including Adidas Original items. Other than that, you can modify cars and create wraps for cars right now using a mobile app so that when the game releases, your creation will be waiting for you.

Need for Speed Heat releases on November 5th for EA Access and Origin Access members and November 8th everyone else for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.

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Rainbow Six Siege is Getting a Battle Pass

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege is getting a Battle Pass starting with the Year 4 Season 3 and it is titled “Call me Harry”.

Call me Harry is a mini-battle pass that will be free for all players. This battle pass will last for 7 days with the end reward of a chibi Harry charm. This mini-battle pass will launch with the Embers Rise update.

A proper Battle Pass will also come to the come to the game in Year 4 Season 4 with a free and a “premium” variant. While you can unlock items in the free variant the premium variant will probably have exclusive items. The battle pass will also use Dr.  Harishva “Harry” Pandey as the narrator who will shed more light into the world of Rainbow 6 and its operators through comic books and other media.

This announcement has left a bad taste in the mouth of most of the Rainbow 6 community. There’s a lot of bugs that haven’t been fixed yet and on top of already paying for the game and different operators, they’re now also adding a paid battle pass to the game. The game now feels choke-full of microtransactions.

In free games like Fortnite, it is understandable and in PUBG, it’s also somewhat understandable as every season brings in a new Season Pass but the only thing you pay for in that are skins, that too if you want to.  In R6, you pay for the game and then if you don’t want to grind a bunch, you also have to pay for operators. And then you have microtransactions for Skins like in most games along with a Battle Pass now which has really ticked off most people.

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Kingdom Come: Deliverance Has a Hen in Every Cutscene!

Easter Eggs are big in video games with some Easter Eggs being found years after the game came out while some games like the Black Ops Zombie mode being built around finding Easter Eggs. Kingdom Come: Deliverance also has plenty of Easter Eggs with many pop culture references but they also have the mother of all Easter Egg. Literally!

In every cutscene of Kingdom Come Deliverance, there’s a Hen in some shape or form. Finding them is not easy as even those who work at Warhorse, the studio that made the game, don’t know about it. This information came to light during a recent AMA on Reddit in which Cinematic Director Martin Komárek revealed this information after being asked about Easter Eggs that weren’t found yet.

“There actually is a running joke throughout all cutscenes. In every single one of them, appropriate or not, there’s a hen somewhere in some form.”

This seems like something that people would easily notice but thanks to some creative placement, they’ve managed to make them somewhat challenging to find.

Still, it sounds like an absurd and time-consuming thing to do but they seemed to have enjoyed the challenge. Now, we can’t really verify the validity of this because we’d have to watch hours of footage but I’m sure someone on the internet will go all Mythbusters on this. It is pretty interesting to have the quintessential egg layer as the most amazing easter egg in a game though.

Source: Reddit Comment by dev

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Sea of Solitude: What It Is and Why You Should Play It

Sea of Solitude is a game developed by Jo-Mei Games, a studio based out of Germany and published by EA as part of the EA Originals line-up. The game has a very intriguing visual style and thematics that are not found in most games. So who is this game for and should you play it? Keep reading because we’ll answer all of that and more.

What Is: Sea of Solitude

Sea of Solitude is a game that seems to come from very personal inspirations and deals with heavy themes that most games don’t really get into like depression and crippling loneliness. These mental illnesses physically manifest themselves and turn people into monsters. You play as Kay, a young woman who is exploring a flooded city that’s filled with monsters and corruption as she tries to get rid of the corruption and find out why she’s turned into a monster.

The city itself is ever changing as you slowly clear corruption and help monsters. It’s visually an impressive sight and really hooks you in with the change in visual tones from bright and vibrant to dark and gloomy in an attempt to depict life.

Along with the visuals, the story also does a great job to hook you in and make you want to learn more about Kay, the monsters, the city and about why it’s all happening. There’s a lot of mystery that slowly unveils itself through voice-overs and cutscenes.

Where It Falls Short

However, the writing itself feels somewhat sloppy and heavy-handed and at times feels like it’s just not delivering enough. It feels like it gets in the way of the story the game is trying to tell. That mixed with the somewhat sub-par voice acting really pulls you out of the world and dampens the experience. This could be attributed to the fact that the devs are a small team from Germany and English not being their first language.

On a similar note, the gameplay loop itself gets repetitive and doesn’t change much. It turns into a boring and monotonous grind that you do just so you can learn more about the story and the world of the game. There are also a few collectibles that you can go out of your way to collect by exploring the city and its area.

The game has a lot of platforming which isn’t too hard and is most-often pretty easy, especially when you’re trying to reach areas of corruption. The act of getting rid of the corruption itself also doesn’t feel as impactful or satisfying. After its gotten rid off, the city does change but it all tends to look similar which makes it hard for you to figure out whether or not you’ve been to a certain place or not.

The Verdict

The game starts off brilliantly and absolutely hooks you at the start but as the initial awe wears off, the monotony of the repetitive gameplay loop starts to set in. There are moments of brilliance, some of which do a fantastic job of evoking the feelings of anxiety and stress that make you feel empathetic towards the character, however, these are far and few in between and tend to get overshadowed by the mediocrity of the game.

The game itself is somewhere around 4 to 6 hours long and is quite linear in nature with simple platforming and other game mechanics. This means that it is easily accessible and can be played by even those who just want to experience the story but might not be very skilled at playing games.

 

So who is the game for? If you want an experience that takes a look at some of the more darker themes about the human mind and mental illnesses and how it affects you and the people around it, this game might be something to look into. It’s also visually gorgeous and easy to get into so if you’re looking for a good experience that doesn’t require you to be extremely skilled then too this game is for you.

Score – 7/10

Sea of Solitude is available Worldwide for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.

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HyperX Sponsored ESL Summer Season Concludes On a High Note

Mumbai, India, 1 July 2019: HyperX sponsored ESL India Premiership, which is one of India’s best esports tournaments, for the Fourth consecutive year to support Indian Gaming. This three-month long ESL Summer Season of this tournament had a series of qualifiers leading to the finale event on 29th & 30th June at Phoenix MarketCity in Mumbai.

Apart from the sponsorship, HyperX also showcased its new brand colors, with an exclusive super engaging gaming booth. Like always, their aim was to let the audience experience their favorite games with HyperX products and peripherals at different price points. HyperX even announced its signature Flash Sale with limited products at a flat 60% discount. The brand had record number of matches played at their booth with over 360 CS:GO 1v1 matches on PC, and over 400 Street Fighter V 1v1 matches played on PlayStation.

 

The brand surprised their recently sponsored esports Team – Entity Gaming – where they revealed their fan-sent messages on a wall, followed by a signing activity with their fans.  HyperX also promoted ‘Game Streaming’ with special invites to select budding streamers and conducted workshops for it on both days. Apart from that, the brand had a lot of social media contests to excite the gaming enthusiasts and energize this competitive ESL platform.

 Other than the champions, HyperX gave eight Pro-Gamer Awards to MVPs from DOTA 2 and Counter Strike Global Offensive, for showing ultimate efficiency and devotion.

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Nubia Red Magic 3 Gaming Smartphone

The Nubia Red Magic 3 is a smartphone that is aimed at gamers. Whether it be PUBG Mobile or CoD Mobile, the Nubia Red Magic 3 will easily run those and then some. So what does the Nubia Red Magic 3 offer gamers, let’s find out.

Tech Specs

OS Android 9.0 (Pie); Redmagic 2.0
Chipset Qualcomm SDM855 Snapdragon 855 (7 nm)
CPU Octa-core (1×2.84 GHz Kryo 485 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 485 & 4×1.80 GHz Kryo 485)
GPU Adreno 640
Card Slot No
Internal 256 GB, 12 GB RAM, 128 GB, 8 GB RAM or 64 GB, 6 GB RAM
Battery Non-removable Li-Po 5000 mAh battery
Charging Fast battery charging 27W
  USB Power Delivery

 

The Nubia Red Magic 3 ships with a Snapdragon 855 and an Adreno 640 which means that any game you throw at it, it will run buttery smooth. Along with a minimum of 6GB RAM, you won’t have issues with opening apps. All that with a 5000mAh battery with fast charging means that you won’t ever have to worry about low battery.

Display

Type AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 6.65 inches, 108.6 cm2 (~80.5% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution 1080 x 2340 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~388 ppi density)
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass (unspecified version)
DCI-P3 100%
90 Hz

 

The Screen is a 6.65 inch AMOLED with a 1080×2340 resolution. Games and videos will look great on this especially with the deeper blacks. The phone also has a 90Hz display which means buttery smooth movements. Everything will be much smoother and fluid allowing you to have a better advantage against opponents in fast-paced games.

Camera

Back Camera
Single 48 MP, f/1.7, 26mm (wide), 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, PDAF
Features LED flash, HDR, panorama
Video [email protected], [email protected]/60fps, 1920fps

 

The back camera can record 8K videos at 15fps and 4K videos at 30 and 60fps both. Images will be really good looking thanks to the 48MP camera and the wide lens.

Front Camera
Single 16 MP, f/2.0, 2.0µm
Features HDR
Video [email protected]

 

The front camera is a 16MP camera which also supports 1080p video recording at 30fps.

Body and Features

Type AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 6.65 inches, 108.6 cm2 (~80.5% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution 1080 x 2340 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~388 ppi density)
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass (unspecified version)
DCI-P3 100%
90 Hz
Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
DTS XU1tra sound
32-bit/384kHz audio
Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
RGB light panel (on the back)
Pressure sensitive zones
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, aptX, LE
GPS Yes, with dual-band A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO
Radio No
USB 3.0, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector, USB On-The-Go; accessory connector
Sensors Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass

The phone has an impressive screen-to-body ratio at 80.5% and Gorilla Glass Cornering. It also retains the 3.5mm audio jack along with a Type-C connection for the charger. It has a fingerprint sensor on the back along with an RGB light panel. There are also pressure sensitive zones on the body of the phone that acts as triggers so you don’t have to buy extra accessories for it.

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Rakazone, Dynamo, SikhWarrior and Other Streamers Discuss the Indian Gaming Community

The Indian Streaming Community has been on the rise ever since the big boom that came along with PUBG Mobile and with all these different streamers and viewers there comes a bit of conflict, misunderstanding and a need to grow.

During RakaZone’s recent live stream, he along with a lot of the well known Indian streamers took to Discord to discuss various topics, especially around the relationship between the audience and streamers, the Indian Audiences absolute love for PUBG Mobile and how they can grow the Indian Streaming Scene and Community by playing different games and such. There were a lot of interesting topics and points brought on by the various Streamers present in the lobby.

The live stream is linked below and is timestamped to when the discussion first began. If for some reason the time stamp doesn’t work, skip to 04:01:30.

With that being said, I’d like to discuss and bring to light some of the topics and points that they brought forward and I feel should be discussed for the sake of improving the Indian Gaming Community. The whole discussion was quite lengthy so I decided to sum up some of the key points and common points that were brought up during the discussion so let’s start with it.

Why is the Indian audience only watching PUBG?

This is one of the most common points of discussion throughout the video and a lot of Indian content creators in general.  The majority of the Indian Audience on Youtube tends to want to watch mostly PUBG, that too only the players who are good at the game and get a lot of kills and wins. Even when streamers try to move away from the game, the viewers want to watch PUBG. So the only options left are to either lose your viewership but continue to stream the games that you want to play or listen to them and continue playing the same game. There were a lot of different opinions regarding this on the podcast but those were the two that stood out.

Another reason is that the audience is new to video games in general and they only have been exposed to PUBG. PUBG is very accessible to people, especially on phones so it makes sense that it has brought in a lot of new players and viewers. Besides that, PUBG has a good competitive scene in India with loads of tournaments with cash prizes that entice people to continue to play the game.

The Indian Gaming Community and Audience

A question was raised whether or not India has a gaming community scene or not. A couple of those in the Discord said that it’s more of a PUBG community and less of a gaming community. This is something that is somewhat true because the PUBG community is huge in India whereas those who are into other games and more deeply invested in the Gaming Scene, in general, are a minority.

A lot of those in the PUBG community are those with exposure and access to only mobile gaming so console and PC gaming is something that doesn’t interest them or isn’t viable for them. Hence, leading to a general lack of ignorance of anything other than PUBG.

Another annoying issue raised by the streamers was that viewers would act very dumb when viewing their streams by asking questions like “What game is it?” even though the name of the game was very clearly written in the title of the livestream and said that the same people wouldn’t ask such questions when watching streamers like Shroud and such.

They also discussed how a lot of people in the audience would try to create “masala” and controversies for their own enjoyment and also to create content for their channels which would always get views because people love those spicy controversial videos. They were likened to people similar to those who enjoy “Bigg Boss” because they live for that.

The Remedy

Various solutions were discussed as to how to diversify their content and to expose the audience to different games and content.

One solution was that people should be made more aware of PC gaming and that it is a viable option, even when on a low budget nowadays. They discussed how they should start doing more PC Hardware related giveaways.

Another one was to collaborate with other streamers and with those who might not have a big following. This way people would come and stay for the interactions between the streamers and gradually move away from watching streams for a game and instead watch streams for the personality.

They discussed the importance of moving away from just PUBG because they need to continue to bring in brands so that they can get paid and have a career and if anyone decides to become a streamer in the future, they’ll be able to make a career if there are various different brands and an audience that was more open to different games.

Furthermore, they discussed how they and the community should stop creating a rift between those who stream and play on emulators and those who play on PC on consoles. They realized that this caused a lot of bad blood which turned people to become toxic and spread hatred.  They talked about how this should be changed and how content creators and streamers should not be disrespected because of the platform they play on. They want people to enjoy making and watching the content they want to create and/or watch and not create a metaphorical wall between the different types of viewers and streamers.

A topic that had a lot of mixed response to was what the current top Indian streamers should do. Some said that they should be the trendsetter and play different games to expose the audience to new games while others said that they didn’t owe anybody to do that and since they had grown enough to become a brand, they wouldn’t want to risk the loss in viewership as they were accountable for it.

Youtube and Twitch were also called out by these streamers. They stated that Twitch did nothing for Indian streamers which is why most of them migrated to Youtube. The criticism for Youtube was that their trending page, especially for gaming, was really bad as it would recommend random things that had no relation to gaming or games. They wished to tweet to let Youtube know to fix and improve this and hoped that a streamer that was closer to Youtube would do so to start it off. They also want to have some sort of streamer community to help educate the audience and spread awareness about being more positive and supporting other streamers and games.

The most interesting decision made during this discussion was the start of the 7 Day 7 Different Games challenge, something that a streamer RoboTM just completed. They decided that they would challenge one another to play 7 different games for 7 days to introduce their audiences to different types of games.

This was a very interesting discussion that had a lot of different streamers bring up different issues so I recommend you check out the discussion if you have the time.

Keep in mind that this is just a subset of the streamers of the Indian Gaming Community which features a lot of well-known streamers but not all of them. This discussion also lacks a lot of the various content creators, the various journalists, and reporters who work hard to create great content including some of whom have been in the industry for a long time so while this is an interesting discussion, don’t take it as fact or law. Support these content creators, journalists, and reporters and help bring a positive change to a growing community and market that could be exploited or fizzle out if not done properly.

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FIFA and Scripting: Fact or Fiction?

If you’ve played any of the recent FIFA games, online or offline, you probably have noticed how during certain occasions the game suddenly starts to feel off. Either your passes and shots are misplaced, your AI teammates act very dumbly, you keep hitting the post or maybe a player seems to have boosted stats during a match. Well, it’s not just your mind thinking that because the game might actually be making it harder for you based on a patent by EA themselves.

This patent that was first found by Juan Pablo caught a bit of traction after Youtuber jerrysoh619 made a video about the patent who discussed what was in it and how it affected FIFA. The video is linked below and contains mature language as the person in the video seems pretty livid with this patent.

We took a look at the Patent ourselves and decided to talk about all the points that we found interesting and how it would affect your FIFA gameplay. So let’s begin.

The Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment System

Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment is what this patent is called and its name makes it pretty clear as to what this system aims to do. The basis of this system is to get players to play more as seen from this statement in the first block of the patent:

All the quotes taken are excerpts from the Patent itself along with their block number in case you want to go through it yourself.

[0001] “The longer a user plays a particular video game , the more
likely that the user enjoys the game and thus, the more likely the user will continue to play the game.”

If a player plays a game for longer periods of time, especially if that game has microtransactions, they will most probably spend some money. So how do they ensure that the player plays the game AND spends money on the game? They dynamically adjust the difficulty to stop it from getting boring.

[0002] “Often, games that are too difficult or too easy will result in less enjoyment for a user. Consequently, the user is likely to play the game less. Thus, one of the challenges of game development is to design a game with a difficulty level that is most likely to keep a user engaged for a longer period of time.”

The first description of this system which aims to get people to play for longer periods of time by changing the difficulty level to make it either easier or harder.

[0009] “With some implementations, the modified execution of the video game is undetectable by the user.”

In some implementations of this system (which seemed to be almost the majority), the user won’t be able to tell when the game’s difficulty has been modified because it won’t tell the user.

[0029] “Before or during game play , the prediction model is applied to information about the user to predict the user’s expected duration
of game play. Based on the expected duration, the system
may then utilize a mapping data repository to determine how
to dynamically adjust the difficulty of the game, such as, for
example, changing the values of one or more knobs to make
portions of the game less difficult.”

One of the implementations of the system takes place either before the game starts or during it. This system takes into account a lot of different information about the user and then tweaks the difficulty(referred to as knobs).

[0034] “Embodiments of the present disclosure can be used to modify various aspects of game state of a video game, which may
or may not affect the difficulty level of the video game. For
example, in a game where weapons are randomly dropped,
if it is determined that a user prefers to play a game using a particular in – game weapon, the game may be adjusted to
present the preferred weapon to the user more frequently . In
some cases, such as when all weapons are evenly balanced, the type of weapon dropped may not impact the difficulty of
the video game and thus, such an adjustment may be based
on user play styles or preferences rather than difficulty level
preferences.”

One of the use cases of this system is to change what items can be dropped in a game and to drop a weapon that is more favourable by the player to keep them in the game. This may or may not affect the game based on how weapons are utilized in the game. This example doesn’t really seem to signify anything FIFA related but the one below will make it clearer.

“Some other non-limiting examples of features of the video game that can be modified, which may or may not be detectable by the user can include providing extra speed to an in-game character, improving throwing accuracy of an in-game character, improving the distance or height that the in-game character can jump, adjusting the responsiveness of controls, and the like. In some cases, the adjustments may additionally or alternatively include reducing the ability of an in-game character rather than improving the ability of the in-game character. For example, the in-game character may be made faster, but have less shooting accuracy.”

This example is something that every FIFA player can somewhat relate too.  Your players suddenly start feeling sluggish, players like Cazorla might outjump Ramos and your AI teammates might straight up act dumb. This is what this system can do and more.

[0040] “Further, the knobs may include variables that modify the video game in a manner that is not perceivable by a user or is difficult to perceive by the user. In some cases, whether or not the modification to the video game is perceivable by the user may depend on the specific video game.”

Even more talk of how the “knobs” includes variables to finetune the change of difficulty of the game that the user/player won’t be able to notice in most cases.

[0063] “In some cases, the adjustment of the difficulty may be dynamic and may occur during a user’s interaction with the video game. Further, in some cases, the difficulty adjustment may occur in real-time or near real-time.”

This right here makes it very clear that this system can work in real-time and can happen while the game is being played and is dynamic. The sudden change in how your team just turns into a squad of bumbling fools who may have never touched a football before happens in a matter of moments and this properly explains why.

[0065] “In some embodiments, the prediction models are applied at the beginning of the game to determine how to adjust the difficulty of the entire game. In other embodiments, the prediction models are applied at different times during the game and/or at different stages in the game.”

Again, it’s describing how it can be changed during different stages of a game including the beginning. This could be why sometimes it’s easy to score a goal at kick-off while other times it doesn’t happen.

[0104] “Further, the user clustering system may parse chat
message data of the user to determine the user’s engagement
level and/or how difficult the user finds the video game.”

This right here has me worried. Going through your chat messages to find out whether or not you found the game difficult or how you feel about the game seems quite unethical. It may be hidden in the user-agreement for games that people seem to always skip over so that’s probably how they got away with this. Still, this seems like an invasion of privacy and I really hope there’s a better explanation for this.

[0116]  “If another user does not have a problem timing jumps, but has trouble aiming a weapon, the difficulty configuration system may generate configuration values that make it easier to shoot objectives by making the hit area of a weapon larger. In some cases, both of these changes may be made without the users realizing that the game has been modified.”

Describing how attributes of the player and opponent can be changed on the go to make it a more enjoyable experience without the user recognizing that there’s been a change. Reminds me of sudden late comebacks in FIFA when you’ve been dominating the whole game.

[0119] “In cases where the user computing system does not have a network connection to the interactive computing system , the video game may be configured to dynamically adjust its difficulty based at least in part on user interaction data stored in the user interaction history repository.”

And this system can happen even if you’re offline. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing singleplayer or multiplayer, online or offline this system can work. It can use your console, can be stored on disks and can be done on the server too.

The Conclusion

After reading all this you might think to yourself that this can’t be happening or it’s too vague or that it doesn’t really ever talk about Sports games but mainly other genres of games so there’s no way it’s on FIFA. But here’s the thing, it’s almost extremely likely it’s on FIFA and we’ll tell you why.

FIFA is EA’s biggest revenue bringer and brought in about $800 million in net revenue from Ultimate Team in 2017 and has only gone up since. Now consider the fact that they want to use this system to make people play for longer and to spend money. You add 2 and 2 together and it’s pretty clear that this system has already been implemented in FIFA 19 and has been in the older FIFA games as well in some form or the other.

If you have been following FIFA for a while you might remember things like “Dramatic Moments”, “Momentum”, “Home Advantage” and such from the older titles which all aimed to dynamically alter the tide of the game.

So does FIFA really have some sort of scripting going on which screws with you or is it just you being bad, that’s for you to decide based on the information given above. If you’d like to read more about this, a tweet is linked below along with a link to the Patent which I highly suggest you read through because it goes over the Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment system in a lot more detail and is quite a fascinating read.

Tweet

Patent Link

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Intel’s 10th Gen CPU Performance Leaked?

Intel’s 10th Generation Ice Lake performance may have leaked thanks to CPU-Z benchmarks which leads us to believe that they will have massive performance gains.

A member from a Chinese forum leaked an image of various single-thread benchmarks for CPUs which includes the upcoming Ryzen 3600X, 3700X and 3800X along with Intel’s current CPU lineup. The list also features the score of two new Intel CPU’s based on the Sunny Cove architecture and one new Comet Lake CPU.

These benchmarks are really interesting as you can see the leap in performance of the 3rd Gen Ryzen CPUs and the upcoming Intel CPUs when compared to the 9th Gen CPUs including the i9-9700K and the i9-9900K.

The i9 9900K @5Ghz scores 600 while the 3600X @4.6Ghz thanks to Precision Boost scores 609 points. The 6c12t Sunny Cove CPU @3.6Ghz outscores the aforementioned CPUs with a score of 630.

The other Sunny Cove CPU which is 4c8t @3.7Ghz outperforms the Ryzen 3800X @4.7Ghz and the 7700K @5.2Ghz with a score of 693 which is also quite impressive. And finally, the 8c8t Comet Lake CPU @5.2Ghz scores 640 which is just 5 points shy of the 9700K @5.3Ghz.

Intel had claimed that they have achieved an 18% IPC Improvement from Sky Lake and that improvement goes up to 40% in some workloads. While there have been no 3rd party benchmarks yet, these CPU-Z benchmarks do showcase the performance gains in Single Thread performance and it even confirms Zen 2’s IPC gains that AMD had claimed.

Time will tell how accurate these benchmarks are but they don’t seem too farfetched to be true and has us excited for the next generation of CPUs to launch.

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Review: XRIG X1-G1 Portable Gaming Desktop

When it comes to desktops, space and portability are two of the most common problem areas for a PC gamer. But that doesn’t mean that you have to compromise on one or the other, because today we’re going to talk about the XRIG X1 G1 gaming PC, an adorable desktop box that packs quite a punch.

 Design and Tech Specs

CPU Intel i5-9400f
GPU ZOTAC GTX 1660 6GB
RAM 16GB DDR4 3000MHz
Storage 200GB SSD + 1TB HDD
Ports USB 2.0, USB 3.0, HDMI, 3.5mm audio, PS/2, LAN,
Cooling Noctua 140mm 3000RPM Fan
Price INR 73600 (MD Computers)

The XRIG X1 G1 is a cute little rectangular box that can fit anywhere in your room without causing much of an issue. But don’t be fooled by its size, the PC packs quite a punch. At the heart of it is an Intel Core i5-9400f coupled with a ZOTAC GTX 1660. It comes with 16GB DDR4 RAM running at 3000 MHz along with dual storage options, a 240 GB SSD for your OS and softwares, plus a 1 TB 7200 RPM HDD for storing games and media. And it comes with a carry bag, so you can simply pack it up and take it with you without any hassles.

In addition to being compact, the X1 is quite the looker too. The well crafted and polished design is nothing short of luxurious, and the classy black brushed aluminium finish is a sight to behold. It’s simple, minimal and elegant, with a glossy XRIG logo on the front. It’s cutting edge too, quite literally, because the edges are actually pretty sharp.

When it comes to connectivity, the X1 offers plenty of options. On the back, there are 4 USB 3.0 ports, 2 USB 2.0 ports, two PS/2 ports, 3.5 mm audio jacks, and one HDMI and VGA port each for onboard graphics. The GTX 1660 comes with 3 DisplayPorts and one HDMI port, and there’s a Wifi card as well. For front I/O, there is one USB 3.0, one USB 2.0, two 3.5 mm jacks and a power button with an LED ring around it. One option that’s missing and I would’ve liked to see is a USB Type-C port.

Performance and Tech Specs

Packing an Intel i5-9400f and a GTX 1660, the XRIG X1 G1 is a pretty powerful device, capable of running most of the latest games at 1080p 60 FPS at medium to high settings. It’s more of a mid-range build, but it gets the job done without any problems. One great feature that the X1 G1 comes with is a custom overclock profile for the GTX 1660 in MSI Afterburner. Just press ‘Scroll Lock’ with Afterburner running, and you can see your GPU overclock to preset values, giving you about at least 10% boost in game performance. Take a look at the numbers yourself.

Starting off with Cinebench R20, the Intel Core i5-9400f powered XRIG shows itself to be a very capable processor, scoring 418 points in the single-core test and 2340 points in the multi-core benchmark.

Moving to the 3DMark Time Spy Benchmark, we see an overall well rounded performance from the X1, with a graphics score of 6030 and an overall score of 5933 in the overclocked profile.

Running the DX11 based 3DMark FireStrike tool which tests the PC’s performance for 1080p, we get impressive results. The system obtained an overall score of 11685 points, with the individual graphics score being 14006 points in the stock profile, and 13284 and 15895 with the overclock.

PCMark is a benchmark tool that provides metrics for your PC’s overall general performance. Being a gaming PC, the XRIG is more than powerful enough to handle almost any task you throw at it, obtaining an overall score of 5444 points in the stock profile and 5577 points when overclocked.

Before moving on to the in-game benchmarks, we also tested the X1 using Unigine’s Superposition tool on the 1080p high preset, where the system scored 8363 points, with an average framerate of 62 FPS while overclocked.

Moving on to the in-game benchmarks, the X1 continued to impress us with its performance. We ran a bunch of tests and were more than satisfied with the results in each case. In Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 DX 12 benchmark running on the High preset, the X1 obtained an average framerate of 81 FPS at stock speed, jumping up to 90 FPS when overclocked. In Metro Exodus, at High with RTX off, we obtained an average of 47 FPS and 54 FPS without and with the overclock respectively. Keep in mind that Metro’s benchmark tool is more intensive than the actual game in general and hence the in-game framerates while playing will be higher.

We also tested GTA V with the graphics settings set to Very High, and obtained an average 100 FPS with the X1. Here we saw the biggest jump in performance after overclocking, with the FPS boosting up to 133. Concluding our benchmarks with the Vulkan World War Z test, we obtained an average of 89 FPS at stock speed, with an increase to 99 FPS while running the overclock profile.

When it comes to a compact form factor, the biggest concern for any user is the thermals. But faces no problems on that front either, thanks to the 140mm Noctua fan at the bottom. The max temperature we observed during testing was 82 C for the GPU and 78 C for the CPU with the overclock profile active, without any throttling at any point. The system does create some noise when under load, but it’s not enough to cause any discomfort, and barely discernible if you have a headset on.

The Verdict

With its compact design and pretty powerful specs, the XRIG X1 is a solid option for 1080p 60 FPS gaming, provided you don’t care about running every game on the highest settings. It’s easy on the eyes, and a great PC for both casual and esports gamers.  For those who are short on space and want a compelling, well-rounded pre-built PC, at a price point of INR 74,000, the X1  G1 is not a bad deal at all.

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