Tag Archive: Computer


Read the full in-depth review HERE

Developed By: 2K Games
Platform: Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC
Players:1-2 (split-screen)
Online: 4 Player Co-Op

What It’s All About:
Welcome to Pandora, a bandit-ridden wasteland that draws the attention of off-world scavengers for one reason: The Vault. The Vault is a mysterious structure that is believed to hold the most powerful and wealthiest treasures in the universe, and everyone from scavengers to fortune seeking global corporations wants to get their hands inside. This is the setting you will find yourself wading through with Gearbox’s latest title Borderlands, a FPS meets RPG.

What It Did Right:

  • Great character development
  • Unique art design
  • Reward system
  • Fantastic Gunplay

What Brings It Down:

  • Vehicle Control
  • Lonely, anti-social single player experience
  • Cock slap of an ending

The Final Verdict:

Borderlands succeeds as a perfectly balanced combination of the RPG and FPS genres. Along with it’s unique gameplay style, it boasts an art design that makes Pandora come alive and will keep calling you back to the bandit ridden wastelands. With satisfying character development and an impressive arsenal of weapons, this game will keep you busy for a long time. There are a few places that the game could be improved, especially when it comes to the anti-social and lonely nature of it’s single player experience. All in all, Borderlands is a great title that is well worth checking out.

8/10

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Snow Leopard Review

review_LZWE7N The hotly anticipated Operating System dubbed Snow Leopard has finally hit shelves for Mac consumers across the globe. With it’s competitor Windows 7 sitting right behind it, how does the new OS X hold up?

First of all let’s layout the specs of the two machines we have tested Snow Leopard with.

Machine 1
Macbook – Aluminium Model
2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
2 GB 1067 MHz DDR3 RAM
Nvidia GeForce 9400m

Machine 2
iMac
2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
4 GB 1067 MHz DDR2 RAM
Standard Intel Graphics

Installation is a breeze, simply pop in the disc, hit the install and away you go. No need to launch direct from the disc, Snow Leopard installs like an update rather than a clean installation. This is good in one respect, bad in others. For those who aren’t into the nitty gritty of their technology it’s a welcome prospect, feeling more like a system update than the daunting task of changing over to a new operating system. For the technology savvy the lack of ability to start a fresh is disappointing. When getting a new OS it’s always nice to start clean and fresh so you can put the new beast to the test. Snow Leopard simply doesn’t offer this feature, and while it’s not a deal breaker, it certainly is a feature that many will be sorely miss.

Installation time on the Macbook clocked in at a smooth 48 minutes, add an extra 5 minutes for the machine to index. For the record the Macbook had recently been formatted and didn’t have any photos, music or movies, just a bunch of documents and some work applications. The iMac on the other hand has been running for twelve months without a format. The iMac also has 85gb of music, thousands of photos, documents and a number of applications. The installation on this machine took 1 Hour and 25 minutes, with a further 15 minutes for indexing. Whether this was to do with the amount of data on the machine, or it’s inferior CPU is yet to be determined. Regardless the install time is rather standard and isn’t excruciatingly long. There in no user input after the installer starts so you can set it off and go out of the room and do something else which is a bonus.
Immediately after the indexing completed you can really notice a great speed boost in browsing your Mac. The dock is a lot smoother, stacks don’t take long to open up and are now scrollable, and launching applications is a lot quicker. This is due to Snow Leopard running everything in 64bit Architecture. It is simply amazing that a new operating system offers a speed boost, regardless of your machine specs.

Browsing through Finder is now more refined, and now viewing documents in the Cover Flow view is more stable, reliable and useful. Scrolling through documents but not sure the one you have selected is the one you are searching for? Simply hit the space bar key and you will be able to scroll through a real time preview of the document. It’s a handy feature for those who have their documents folder chocker-block full.

You may be surprised to see your hard-drive space suddenly increase. Apple claim that installing Snow Leopard will give you back approximately 7GB of hard drive space due to it’s smaller footprint. On the Macbook system we were give back 10GB and the iMac gave us back a whopping 12GB. For those of you running low on space, those seven or so gigabytes might help you out just that little bit.
Another huge feature set of the Snow Leopard OS is the complete make over of the Quicktime system. With a new intuitive interface, and the ability to import movies directly into Quicktime and export to Youtube, Quicktime has come a long way. The interface is clean, easy to use, and for many will now replace the freeware VLC player used by many.

So just how much of a difference will 64Bit Architecture make to your Mac experience? Going from the Apple website you are looking at 1.3x faster performance on Quicktime Player Launch, 1.5x for Safari JavaScript and 1.2x for opening a large PDF Document. From all out tests, applications certainly open faster, scrolling through finder is smooth, fast and responsive, and everything just feels to be so much faster.

The big selling point for corporate users is now Apple’s Mail will completely interface with Microsoft Exchange 2007 environments. Office users in a Microsoft Environment will now have no trouble whatsoever accessing their mail, contacts or calendar appointments.

All these features aside Leopard users aren’t going to notice a huge upgrade in the way of cosmetics or functionality when upgrading to Snow Leopard. Many of the conventions introduced in Leopard back in 2007 have just been more refined this time around.

In that respect this really feels like more of an update rather than a new Operating System. Cosmetically it’s no different to Leopard, but for those of you who get down under the hood of you mac experience, you will notice a quantum leap with the 64bit architecture, Open CL and many of the new features.

The Final Verdict
Simply put Snow Leopard is a fantastic package that takes the technical side of OS X to the next level. Unless you are down with the mechanics of you Mac though, the lack of cosmetic upgrades will make you feel like this was more of a system update rather than a new Operating System. It may not be as revolutionary as Leopard was in 2007, or the upcoming Windows 7 for PC, but it certainly will keep Mac users happy for the next few years.

Overall
9/10

Killing Floor Review

KF2

It seems Zombie Shooters are back in fashion this season, going hand in hand with tight situations, big guns and tension at an elite level. We’ve already seen what kind of tension can be brought out of this situation with Vavle’s smash hit Left 4 Dead, but Tripwire Interactive has tossed their hat into the ring with their latest FPS Horror title Killing Floor.

Killing Floor is set in London where the city is overrun by flesh consuming “specimens” courtesy of a biotech firms experiments. These frightening creatures have decimated the city and have killed a majority of the public. You will be filling the shoes of one of six survivors, either a soldier or police officer, as you fight for your lives and try to clean the streets of this evil one at a time. Each of the characters has a short profile trying to explain their story, but it feels forced and doesn’t contribute to the gameplay whatsoever.

The Final Verdict

It may lack that style and flair that Valve’s Left 4 Dead had, but it makes up for it in content. Killing Floor is an excellent online experience, offering a co-op experience that is just as good, just as terrifying and with more classes of enemies than its competitor. If you are sick of Left 4 Dead this is the game for you, it has enough gameplay options to keep it fresh on your hard drive for years to come.

9/10

In-depth review with scores can be found here

Little Bad Boy!

shuttle_1

Ever been to a LAN and think to yourself “Jeeeze I wish I had a kick ass PC that was like, a quarter of the size of this bad boy”? Well your prayers have been asnwered! Shuttle have unveiled it’s newest liquid-cooled SDXi Carbon Extreme gaming solution.
Featuring a top of the line Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9770, dual Nvidia GeForce GTX 280’s, and with enough room for up to 16GB of DDR2 this machine will easily keep up with, or dominate other PC’s in the room.

That being said it is bound to produce a bunch of heat right? That’s where Shuttle implement their new liquid cooling solution, custom built for small form-factor systems, keeping things ice cold and whisper quiet.
Price is unknown, all we know is we’d like a few here in the office The company claims this new liquid cooling solution delivers the most efficient performance in an extreme small form-factor system, while at the same time keeps it quiet even during the hottest gaming session. Cosmetics-wise, the SDXi Carbon looks decent as it’s painted in a unique-looking premium automotive level finish.

Keyboard of the Future

optimus-keyboard_300.jpg 

Once again Apple, those guys who brought us the Mouse are bringing in a Keyboard that is hoping to change the way we see keyboards forever!

A patent application filed on March 13, 2007 shows that Apple have been researching a dynamically changing keyboard using OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes) on each key face. Some will say this is not revolutionary as they have seen the widely advertised Optimus Keyboard. But this begs the question, which one will ship first?

By modifying the key faces, keys could reflect the current functionality, rather than relying on memorizing shortcuts. When introducing the iPhone, Apple boasted that the lack of physical keys meant that the user interface was entirely flexible. OLED-lit keys would provide similar flexibility.

Imagine using photoshop and having all your Cut, Copy Paste and most used features in Picture Format on your keyboard rather then remembering all those Apple + Z or Shift + L shortcuts. This could be very very cool!