Afitting alternative title to Feist would be Bullying Simulator 2015. Not only does everything in Feist’s murky forests hate you with a passion usually reserved for Ebola-infected traffic wardens, but certain creatures seem to actively enjoy inflicting pain and misery upon you. Feist may look cute and pretty, but it will soon have you weeping in the school toilets as it tries to kick down the cubicle door to give you a swirly.
Friday, 14 August 2015
Old pieces of tech shouldn’t just be left out for the binmen. Our guide will help you dispose of unwanted kit the right way
While many of us are getting our PCs and laptops ready for the free Windows 10 upgrade, many will also have ageing PCs around the home which simply won’t make the step up. If you’re unlucky it could be your main laptop that needs replacing, or it might simply be time to finally retire that old PC lingering in the study. Either way, we’ll explain the best way to get rid of old hardware responsibly and safely – whether it’s a PC or something more domestic.
Are our computers damaging our mental health? And if so, can they also help us overcome that damage? Sarah Dobbs finds out…
How many hours per day do you spend on a computer? For most of us, at least eight, right? We sit in front of a computer all day at work and then probably come home and use our own PCs to browse the internet, play games, interact with people on social media or watch Netflix. Throw in the time we spend messing with our smartphones, and it adds up to an awful lot of time spent looking at a screen, rather than other humans.
Skylake brings DDR4 into the mainstream. Orestis Bastounis investigates
New memory standards are launched far less frequently than new microprocessors, graphics cards or chipsets, so the use of DDR4 with 100-series chipsets and the Skylake platform is a milestone, being the first time a consumer chipset has used this type of memory. DDR3 has been around since 2007, where support for it debuted with Intel’s P35 chipset. With speeds ranging from 1333MHz up to over 2000MHz, the standard was a faster, more efficient evolution from DDR2 rather than a brand-new technology. SDRAM itself has been around for decades, with only relatively minor tweaks along the way.
As with nearly every other modern Intel processor launch, a new architecture introduces a new socket type, breaking compatibility with existing motherboards, and making a new motherboard mandatory if you want one of the new chips. In the case of Skylake, the new socket is called LGA1151, and the motherboards use the new 100-series chipsets. At the top end is the Z170 chipset; however, as with previous chipset launches, there will be cheaper variants with slightly fewer features as well.
It’s early days for Skylake, so you can expect a wide range of Z170 boards from just about every manufacturer to go on sale soon. However, as the launch of Skylake was so close to our print date, very few boards were available to test. Asus was quick off the mark getting the feature-laden Z170 Deluxe into our hands though.
First test of Intel’s Skylake platform
Intel’s tick-tock strategy has become slightly less predictable recently. The idea is that, in alternating years, Intel first shrinks the lithography of its chips, boosting efficiency, then brings out a new architecture the following year with a focus on performance. The cycle historically repeated every two years. However, the move to 22nm transistors with Ivy Bridge was over three years ago, which is where desktop processors have remained since. The shrink to 14nm with Broadwell was so heavily delayed that we ended up with a Haswell refresh, called Devil’s Canyon, last year, and now Broadwell has already been superseded by Skylake, Intel’s new 14nm CPU architecture.
The Thing meets Fallout as post-apocalyptic survival is put on ice
Winter is coming? No, ’fraid not It’s already here, and not only is it bloody freezing, but an asteroid has destroyed almost all of humanity, and what’s left of the world is in a perpetual snowstorm. And you thought Game of Thrones’ White Walkers were bad Impact Winter is the story of a band of survivors, but it’s up to you how long they stay in that state. Taking on the role of group leader Jacob Solomon, you must manage thirty days until help arrives, and keep as many hearts beating as possible.
Microsoft’s cheapest handset to date costs a mere 40 quid in some UK retailers. Does it have what it takes to surprise us, or will the price reflect its performance?
With the Lumia 640 and 640XL taking up the majority of our time recently, we decided to carry on the theme with an ever cheaper device. If you think that £109.99 is cheap for a Lumia 640, Microsoft can go lower. The Lumia 435 is the company’s cheapest device ever released, coming in at a miniscule £40 in some retailers. For that price, you’d be lucky to buy a dumbphone, let alone a smart one. It really has no competition when it comes to the cost but is it actually usable? Let’s see.
Microsoft is back with what could be the company’s final smartphone before the launch of Windows 10 Mobile. How does it stack up against similarly priced phablet devices?
With Microsoft recently revealing plans to scale back its mobile division in an obvious attempt to lure more third party manufacturers to the Lumia-dominated Windows Phone operating system, it highlights the difficulties faced by a platform with only one true marketable brand. Its decision to cut back the Lumia line to only six phones per year is further evidence of this, with the Redmond technology giant taking an Apple-like stance of quality-over-quantity that will hopefully make them stand out in a crowded marketplace.