Razer has definitely made a name for itself in the world of gaming notebooks, but for the past few years, the Blade family of laptops has had a black sheep: The Razer Blade Pro. This 17-inch machine was the company’s original thin gaming notebook, but it lingered in obsolescence after Razer introduced the more popular 14-inch variant and, later, the Razer Blade Stealth. For years, the smaller machines were given modest CPU, RAM and graphics updates while the ironically named “Pro” lagged behind with a 4th generation Intel processor. Those days are over. Today, Razer announced that the 17-inch Razer Blade Pro is back — and it’s finally going to live up to its moniker.
Razer is calling the new Blade Pro the most powerful system its ever built, and indeed, this thing is a beast. An Intel Core i7-6700HQ CPU, 32GB of RAM and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 graphics pulse under the aluminium chassis. That, by the way, is as thin as ever, measuring 0.88-inches at its thickest point. The laptop also has a dizzying collection of ports, including a Thunderbolt 3 connector, three USB 3.0 ports, HDMI output, a 3.5mm headphone jack, an Ethernet jack and an SDXC card reader. All that, plus the new Blade’s 17.3-inch 4K display, are more than enough to qualify it as Razer’s “Pro” laptop — but that said, there is one thing missing from the flagship gaming machine: Razer’s iconic Switchblade interface.
The Switchblade interface used to be integral to the Razer laptop brand. It was a set of ten customizable keyboard buttons that each housed their own tiny screen. Paired with a trackpad that also featured its own display, it allowed users to create a custom set of keys to fit any application. It was neat, but Razer told us it was eliminated to make way for “more performance focused components.” That doesn’t mean the Razer Blade Pro’s keyboard isn’t special, though — the 17-inch Blade Pro will be the Razer laptop to feature its new “ultra-low-profile mechanical switches,” which are supposed to emulate the actuation of a full-size mechanical keyboard.
So, what’s a thin, 17-inch gaming laptop with the latest graphics technology, a ton of RAM, a 4K display and the world’s thinnest mechanical keyboard cost? At least $3,699, possibly more if you want more than 512GB of SSD storage. Razer doesn’t have an official launch date yet, but expects to start shipping orders sometime next month.
This year has been a busy one for NVIDIA, what with the introduction of its highly anticipated GeForce GTX 1080 and, most recently, the high-end Titan X graphics cards. But the company isn’t forgetting about the entry-level crowd. Today, it announced the GTX 1050 and GTX 1050 Ti, a pair of GPUs built for people who want to get into PC gaming. They’re both based on NVIDIA’s Pascal architecture, and the company says you’ll be able to play many titles at a “smooth” 60 frames per second in 1080p. That includes games like Bioshock Infinite, Grand Theft Auto V, Star Wars Battlefront, The Division and more.
As for the difference between the two, the GTX 1050 Ti is slightly more powerful, featuring 768 CUDA cores and 4GB of GDDR5 RAM. The GTX 1050, in comparison, offers 640 CUDA cores and only 2GB of GDDR5 RAM. Neither card supports virtual reality platforms, but that’s not surprising given their low starting price. What’s more, although there’s no external power connector needed, the company promises that the cards’ performance won’t disappoint.
You can buy the GTX 1050 on October 25th at $109, while the GTX 1050 Ti is expected to arrive around November 8th for $139 and above. And if these aren’t good enough for you, don’t forget NVIDIA also has the GTX 1060 and GTX 1070, which cost $249 and $379, respectively. Unless, of course, you prefer AMD’s budget-friendly gaming cards, the RX 460 and RX 470.
Almost exactly seven years ago, Alienware joined the Tokyo Game Show for the first time to launch its redesigned machines since Dell’s acquisition. This week, the American company is once again present there to launch the Alienware 17 and 15 laptops for Japan, with one of their main selling points being their VR capability courtesy of NVIDIA’s GTX 10-Series graphics. While this won’t change the fact that high-end VR rigs are still relatively expensive, global marketing director Joe Olmsted reckons the mobility aspect will be enough to turn VR into the new home party machine that can be shared between friends — much like what he did with the Nintendo Wii back in the days.
“I don’t know if you remember but ten years ago it was hard to get a Wii, and yet everyone wanted one, everyone wanted to play it, everyone wanted to do tennis and bowling,” recalls Olmsted, who first joined Alienware 13 years ago. “So we had one, we just lugged it around in a bag and went from place to place to place, you know, be wherever our buddies were at on a Friday night.”
“With VR, I can see that happening; I certainly do it myself.”
Over the last few months, Olmsted has been bringing his company’s next-generation VR-ready notebook (he sure likes to tease) and his own HTC Vive — all tucked into one bag — to friends’ houses for extra entertainment at parties and gatherings. As he quite rightly puts it, “it’s basically a portable VR [rig].” Neither do the Vive nor the Oculus Rift have to be stuck at home because of the bulky desktop PC they’re tied to, as the latest high-end laptops can perform just as well, let alone whatever future model that Olmsted is already using. For those planning on doing the same, you may also want to bring tripods to prop the trackers up.
According to the exec, the GTX 10-Series graphics is the biggest performance jump he’s ever seen on laptops, but that’s not to say the previous generation isn’t good enough for VR, either. Take Alienware’s VR backpack, for instance: It’s essentially an Alpha R2 mini PC powered by the older GTX 960, and it’s utilized by Australia’s Zero Latency to host its six-player VR zombie game. Obviously, for those who are buying a PC now for the sake of VR, you’ll want to go straight to the GTX 10-Series to be as future-proof as possible. In the case of the Alienware 17 and 15 laptops, they’ll be hitting the US store on September 30th and then its UK counterpart on October 4th.
For a gaming company’s first attempt at an ultraportable workhorse, the Razer Blade Stealth was pretty great. It had a stunning chassis, a strong CPU, a gorgeous display and the unique ability to link up to a desktop GPU. Unfortunately, it was held back a bit its limited storage options and a disappointing battery life. Not anymore: Today at PAX, Razer announced a Razer Blade Stealth refesh that packs in more RAM, more options for storage and a bigger battery.
At a glance, you wont’ be able to tell the difference between the new and old model, but any Blade Stealth bought from today will pack a significantly more powerful punch. Specifically, the Stealth has been upgraded with an Intel Core i7-7500U CPU with Intel HD 620 graphics and up to 9 hours of usable battery life. The base model starts at $999 and comes with a 2,560 z 1440 QHD touch display, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of SSD storage, but for a little more users can snag a configuration with twice as much RAM, and up to 512GB of storage. A higher end, 4K version of the Stealth is availble too — packing as much as 1TB of internal storage for $1,999. The new Blade Stealth is available from Razer’s online store starting today, and should be in stores in the coming weeks.
Looking for something a little more powerful without the need to tack on Razer’s external GPU core? No worries — the gaming company has updated its standard Blade laptop, too. The updated gaming rig now rocks NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1060 GPU, a touch-enabled 3,200 x 1,800 QHD+ display, 16GB of RAM and up to 1TB SSD storage. Gamers who want to target higher framerates at lower resolutions will be able to opt for a Full HD non-touch matte display. That machine starts at $1,799. Sadly, you’ll have to wait a little for this machine: the new Blade is available to pre-order today, but won’t ship until next month.
Dell has revealed a 13-, 15- and 17-inch lineup of thinner, VR-ready Alienware laptops that pack new designs and whiz-bang eye-tracking features. For gamers, the main attraction is support for the latest NVIDIA laptop cards. The big-screen Alienware 17 gets the top-end NVIDIA GTX 1080 chip, while the Alienware 15 and 13 get the GTX 1070 and 1060, respectively. That means that all three models will be “VR-ready” for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive headsets.
The 17- and 15-inch models have been completely redesigned, with the hinge point pushed forward. That allowed Dell to put additional parts and cooling at the back, making for 25 percent slimmer devices. The chassis are built with anodized aluminum and magnesium allow, with steel reinforcing, making for better build quality and rigidity, Dell says.
As for what’s inside, there are sixth-generation Intel Core i7 CPUs (not the next-gen “Kaby Lake”) with the flagship 17-inch model getting an overclocked, “k-series” option, Dell says. The 15- and 17-inch models carry 1080p IPS screens with 120Hz refresh and G-sync support, plus 2667 MHz DDR4 RAM. The larger models have Dell’s “TactX” keyboards with 2.2mm of travel, RGB LED key lighting and simultaneous multi-key press support (up to 10 keys at once).
To be as tech-cool as possible, Dell added Windows Hello cameras to all models, letting you log in just by putting your face in front of the screen. It also added Tobii eye tracking tech that can do a few new tricks. They’ll disable the keyboard backlight when you look away from the screen, for instance, and even let you lock or unlock the device using your eyes. Much as with MSI’s laptops, it will “detect your gaze [and] allow you to record and export your gaze pattern as a coaching tool to help improve you gameplay.”
Dell hasn’t revealed the all-important pricing yet, but the 15- and 16-inch models arrive in the US on September 30th and hit the UK by October 4th. The 13-inch model will be available in both countries sometime in November.
In a fairly surprising turn of events, Chinese search engine giant Baidu and NVIDIA announced a partnership that will see both companies working together to develop an artificial intelligent platform for self-driving cars.
NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang made the announcement today during the Baidu World Conference, noting that the companies will unit to merge their individual technical capabilities to crate a new self-driving car architecture from scratch: “end-to-end, top-to-bottom, from the cloud to the car,” as Huang explained.
Baidu will use the platform created in tandem with NVIDIA to roll out self-driving taxis in China. Though that’s the primary purpose for the partnership, the software’s applications are numerous, as both Baidu and NVIDIA are working to make it open for other automotive creators to fit with their own plans for self-driving vehicles.
NVIDIA already has its own ideas for autonomous cars, with the Drive PX supercomputer for processing data that’s inbound from various sensors, a cloud-based 3D map, and an AI operating system. It’s called Drive PX 2, and Volvo is already testing it with a set of self-driving vehicles.
Baidu has been hard at work with its own self-driving car deployment, and it plans on having a self-driving shuttle roaming the roads by the end of 2018, so this partnership with NVIDIA should have it well on its way.
The company is looking to go into mass production with autonomous cars in five years.
VR Funhouse, the free carnival game NVIDIA built to show off its latest video cards, is becoming much more than a sideshow attraction. Starting today, developers will also be able to add their own touch with the VR Funhouse Mod Kit, a new tool that’ll let them edit levels and other aspects of the game. To kick things off, NVIDIA is also launching five new mods, all of which are slight twists on VR Funhouse’s existing mini-games.
Naturally, by opening up the game, NVIDIA is also hoping developers will build experiences that’ll highlight its latest GPUs. To that end, the company is also making VR Funhouse’s entire source code available on Github. That’ll allow devs to take a close look at how NVIDIA implemented its latest technology, and hopefully help them use it in their own VR experiences.
Even though it’s the company’s first game, VR Funhouse has been a successful project, according to NVIDIA’s Victoria Rege. It’s already racked up over 100,000 downloads on Steam, which is impressive since it’s only available to people with a GTX 980Ti or newer and an $800 HTC Vive.
NVIDIA and LightSpeed Studio have teamed up to create Vault 1080, a special add-on level mod for Fallout 4.
The mod, which is free to download and play, will add on a side quest that offers an extra hour of gameplay within the confines of Vault 1080, sending players through an area described as a “foggy, murky marsh” to the ruins of an old church where previously the congregation embraced “darkness and sickness” to survive.
There’s no telling what kind of twisted goings-on happened within, but it’s up to you to uncover it in this horror-based mod that took over 6 months to develop. It’ll require the same system requirements as Fallout 4 and utilizes the same NVIDIA GameWorks tech like volumetric lighting and FleX-powered weapon debris. Sounds perfect for the gloomy Vault 1080, doesn’t it?
If you’re interested in trying it out, you can grab the mod via Bethesda or read about it further at the official NVIDIA blog.
The Witness drops you on a beautiful island full of mind-melting puzzles that subtly feed into one another. It’s a relaxing, picturesque locale that you can now photograph with NVIDIA’s Ansel in-game camera. Unlike a regular screenshot tool, which simply captures what you’re looking at, this software allows you to reposition the camera almost anywhere. That freedom can produce some incredibly artistic shots — to get an idea of what’s possible, just look at these screenshots taken with a similar system inside Uncharted 4 (courtesy of Engadget’s own Tim Seppala).
With Ansel, you can capture screenshots beyond your monitor’s maximum resolution, which is great for high-res wallpapers and art prints. You can also capture 360-degree panoramas, which are viewable with Google Cardboard, and tweak the final image with a variety of filters and color enhancements. All you need is a supported NVIDIA GPU and the latest NVIDIA drivers installed on your gaming PC. Once you’re up and running, it’s just a matter of pressing alt-F2 to bring up the relevant control panel. Now you can be a video game photojournalist. Or photographer. Or whatever we’re calling this lovely new form of video game documentation.
NVIDIA debuted its Drive PX2 in-car supercomputer at CES in January, and now the company is showing off the Parker system on a chip powering it. The 256-core processor boasts up to 1.5 teraflops of juice for “deep learning-based self-driving AI cockpit systems,” according to a post on NVIDIA’s blog. That’s in addition to 24 trillion deep learning operations per second it can churn out, too. For a perhaps more familiar touchpoint, NVIDIA says that Parker can also decode and encode 4K video streams running at 60FPS — no easy feat on its own.
However, Parker is significantly less beefy than NVIDIA’s other deep learning initiative, the DGX-1 for Elon Musk’s OpenAI, which can hit 170 teraflops of performance. This platform still sounds more than capable of running high-end digital dashboards and keeping your future autonomous car shiny side up without a problem, regardless.
On that front, NVIDIA says that in addition to the previously-announced partnership with Volvo (which puts Drive PX2 into the CX90), there are currently “80 carmakers, tier 1 suppliers and university research centers” using Drive PX2 at the moment. For the rest of the nitty-gritty details, be sure to hit the source link below.