If DXRacer and Playseat weren’t going it for you in the upper tier levels of gaming chairs, SPARCO is now throwing their hat into the ring. The racing seat producer has expressed their interest in tackling the needs of eSports, sim and everyday players who want a comfy chair during their experience.
SPARCO breaks these down into 3 categories for their product line:
GRIP: Their entry level unit introduces contouring, synthetic leather for durability, lumbar adjustments and reclining features. It has the staples of many entry level products you see on the market for gaming chairs.
STINT: For those working from home or practicing in long sessions the design goals change, aiming to ventilate the backrest through a shift in fabric and cushion materials, their goal is improving blood flow which helps keep users focused and comforted.
COMP: Touted as the Luxury model of the group, the series actually has a split within itself as the C and V. The C series takes a unique presentation with a carbon fiber backrest while the V uses a matte black fiberglass backrest. Both units have DNA from the SPX SPARCO seat.
It’s an interesting pursuit on their part, users have paired racing seats from many companies to their own simulation rigs for a while now, having one with casters certainly would be a nice shift but I don’t know if it’s enough to really grab the market as pricing isn’t available.
As someone who uses a DXRacer King Series I’ve been quite happy with my chair and it’s been well over a year since I bought it. While it’s nice to have durable and comfortable seating that caters to my height, it’s also important to cater to the audience differences as enthusiasts aren’t all 5’7″ 155lbs. Features like the C and V series have are interesting but performance gains from a carbon fiber backrest on a wheeled chair aren’t really anything I can claim exist, it’s more of a vanity thing unfortunately.
We’ll have to see where things take off from here when SPARCO gets their products to retail and understand where this line is going from there.
Older console ports to mobile are becoming a trend, Marvel vs Capcom 2 is joining that list on April 25, 2012 with full action for fighting fans. The game is set to pack the full 56 character roster that made the game a hit in arcades and on consoles for so many years. No word remains on online multiplayer options or even how the control scheme has been designed yet but its safe to say this might be best experienced on an iPad over a standard iPhone simply for real estate space on your screen.
For those wondering, judging by the screens this is a port of the classic version of the game not the HD version found later on the Xbox, that should give some hints at how the mechanics will be balanced as well. Check out the gallery for more info and pick it up when it drops next week if you’re up for the challenge.
Capcom gets pretty crazy with their Captivate show, jumping all over the world to announce their latest games and updates to the industry and fans. This year we get 3 goodies to sink our teeth into with some smaller tidbits as well.
Lost Planet 3
The extreme and unpredictable conditions that characterized the Lost Planet® series return, harsher than ever before in Lost Planet 3. Players take on the role of Jim, a utility rig pilot who has left Earth to take on a hazardous but lucrative contract on E.D.N. III. Delivering a diverse range of gameplay, including third-person on-foot battles and intense first-person utility rig action, players will need to brave the uncharted terrain, hostile climate and threat of indigenous Akrid creatures. With a number of multiplayer modes and a compelling single player experience, Lost Planet 3 will delve deeper into the Lost Planet universe, uncovering hidden truths when it releases in early 2013.
Resident Evil 6
Captivate represented the first opportunity for media to see the highly anticipated Resident Evil 6 in action, with the game’s development team showcasing one of Leon S. Kennedy’s missions. Full of tension, the action has Leon and partner Helena Harper searching for an escape route from the Ivy University campus, the site of the most recent bioterrorist outbreak and the zombies that now stalk its hallways and grounds.
Resident Evil 6 will also see a global release date of October 2, 2012 on Xbox 360 and PS3 with a PC version arriving later
Street Fighter X Tekken
Announced and showcased during Captivate was the Cross-Platform Play for the PS Vita system version of Street Fighter X Tekken which allows owners of the PS Vita system version to compete against owners of the PS3™ version anywhere in the world, via Wi-Fi or 3G. Other features confirmed for the PS Vita system version of Street Fighter X Tekken were the introduction of touch controls, local and Wi-Fi multiplayer plus Near functionality alongside all the content from the home console version.
Steel Battalion™ Heavy Armor, a collaboration between Capcom and From Software and an Xbox 360 exclusive,introduced a brand new online four player Cooperative Multiplayer Mode available on the Xbox LIVE® online entertainment network when the title releases on June 19 in North America and from June 22 across Europe. Attending media were invited to work together, using the innovative mix of Kinect™ for Xbox 360 and regular controller play, and defeat the enemy’s Vertical Tanks.
Comics and video games are always crossing up in one way or another, today 3000AD and DC are bringing a comic called Line of Defense based on the 3000AD lore. Taking readers into space where Galactic Command is at odds with opposing forces taking over resources on a distant planet and super weapon is in the works to make it even worse.
The comic will launch with a special public first issue at San Diego Comic-Con this year at the DC Comics booth and it will serve as a launch platform for the upcoming video game as well. Private viewings will be available at popular conventions for industry like E3 as well, hopefully I can sneak a look at it there when we hit the show in June.
Some back story on the comic from 3000AD:
For many years the Terran military forces of GALCOM have been engaged in various conflicts with the Insurgents – a splinter group of military personnel opposed to the Terran governing body. In a surprise move, the Insurgents setup shop on the long abandoned planet of Lyrius, previously used by GALCOM for weapons testing, R&D and other forms of military operations. This move wouldn’t normally warrant a deep space troop deployment, except for the fact that the Insurgents were rumored to be developing a super weapon on the planet. The “Firefight” comic tells the story of the brave direct action team sent by GALCOM to neutralize the threat and destroy the weapon.
As a prequel we can only hope it serves as a full-bodied story and not just something designed to leave a lot of cliffhanger moments, comics are a great medium to build attention off when used properly. We’ll have to see how it turns out when preview pages start making their way out.
End of Nations is rolling into beta status soon, to kick that off the folks at Trion have unveiled a video teaser to get everyone amped up about their massive online free-to-play RTS. We got a chance to sit down with the team at a preview event last month and the impressions were good, while the dynamic online was a shift back to reminders of C&C 4 it didn’t try to pretend it was ever offering base building capability.
Users will need to calculate their expenditures in End of Nations as they build their company teams to go into battle, as things heat up those 3 groups will be all that helps determine the chance of success as all out war strikes. Forgot to include AA into your ground troop package? Good luck with that one, the same applies to any group though and everyone will need to be on top of their game in team battles to push the other side into submission.
SimCity is coming back in a big way, the new game is slated to attack a new generation of gamers on the PC in 2013, there’s a lot of road to clear between now and then and Maxis is determined to demonstrate their efforts so far in this latest video. The clip demonstrates the power of the GlassBox engine driving the entire experience for users. The goal of GlassBox is simple, everything around you is active and acts as a messenger to the larger game engine, all the changes and choices you make feed back to the larger simulation engine active and shape your destiny and the destiny of your city.
It’s an interesting look at what helps shape a game like this and how much complexity rests under the hood and is never seen. Check out the clip below for part 1 and we’ll keep you posted when more clips go live.
F2P concepts are taking over, you have so many games in the market making the switch that even World of Warcraft has made their own grab at capturing the crowd. This week we saw the announcement of Aion announcing truly free gaming for the 3.0 update as it reaches Ascension. SOE has also announced Everquest (1 not 2) will go free to play as well on March 16th with the option to upgrade to Silver or Gold memberships.
The details we have so far:
Launches March 16, 2012
Offers Free, Silver ($5.00) or Gold ($14.99) membership tiers
Former, new and current players will have access to all expansions
Four Races will be available to Free and Silver players, Gold will get full access
No level cap will be installed on lower tiers
Free players get 2 slots, Silver get 4 slots and Gold get 8 slots per server
Spell ranks are capped at Rank 1 for Free and Silver while Gold is Unlimited
Prestige items are locked for Free and Silver members
So we’ve heard about Gotham City Impostors for a while now, unfortunately today we hear a sad tale from WB where the game is been pushed back to February now with no specific date of when to expect it.
It’s an unfortunate setback for the game as it is set to pit 12 players head to head in mock super hero and super villain teams using licensed material from the Batman franchise of course. Xbox, Playstation and PC users will be able to get access to the game as a downloadable title and battle it out to their heart’s content. I saw the game in action at E3 2011 and it looked decent enough but unfortunately we’ll have to hold out a while longer to see if it’s worth jumping into.
For more info keep an eye on the Gotham City Impostors homepage for details. Otherwise check out the video below to get an idea of what feels like a Batman themed TF2 massive shooter.
GELID got into the custom cooling late in the game, 2008 was the first experience to the world while everyone was already pursuing the next trend to come in cooling tech. It hasn’t taken the company long to come forward from that point, today we have a unique setup with their GX-7 CPU cooler. A 7 stage heat-pipe design that directs heat not only using near flush connected heat-pipes but a stacked system as well. The stacked part is where things get sketchy, normally the idea is to spread your pipes equally and maximize the surface absorption and distribution, you’re still getting that in the GX-7 design though. The change is the 5 pipes handle the surface contact while the upper 2 remove excess heat over the center of the cooler as that’s where the silicon and primary heat rest.
With that breakdown said, let’s get into the details of what we’re running and jump into testing.
AMD Phenom 9750 B3
Jetway 790GX HA08 ComboL
ASUS EAH 6850 DirectCU
4GB Crucial DDR2 800 (5-5-5-12)
Hitachi 1TB 7200RPM
Seagate 300GB 7200RPM
Cooler Master Real Power Pro 650W
NZXT Phantom Case (extra NZXT 200mm on top)
AMD OEM Cooler – Standard Phenom
AMD Black Edition Cooler (2 Heat-pipe design)
Cooler Master Hyper 612 PWM
GELID GX-7 (2-fan w/Wing 12PL PWM)
GELID GC-Extreme Thermal Compound
Core Temp 1.0
AMD OverDrive 3.1.0
HyperPI 0.99b (12M calculation for stress testing)
SiSoft Sandra 2011 (Arithmetic)
Saints Row: The Third
With all the details out-of-the-way let’s get rolling!
The GX-7 packs everything you need in a slim case, the packing is enough to protect it from shipping trauma and they make sure to keep the extra screws and panels isolated to their own box to prevent confusion.
As a special case with this review we have an extra 120mm GELID fan to attach so we’ll be using those extra wire tension bands for the rear. What will not go into use is the default cooling paste as we’ll be using the GELID GC-Extreme compound instead so we can max this out.
Out of the box the GX-7 is conservative looking for a cooler for this market, the pipes on top are capped off with a plastic cover, the side fins are extremely tight together allowing for little turbulence to develop as wind passes through. Speaking of which, the frosted finish on the back of the blades gives the cooler a dull appearance when it’s not running, crank up the power and the and the glow fills the blades and the case itself.
From an external viewpoint the design comes off like a sleeper until it goes live, once the juice hits the fan all bets are off.
From a technical standpoint, the design of the GX-7 is unique, the finish is competitive with current generation offerings, nothing too smooth for the finish but it’s not unpolished either and leaves a slight mirror effect. The pipes are welded with care and in touch testing there was a noticeable level of heat gathering in those pipes that would normally fall to rogue currents or a basic heat sink. Copper pipes to aluminium fins channel the main power and the PWM fan takes up airflow duty from 800 – 2000 RPM depending on your workload. If you plan to run dual fans I would say try to get the same model fan so you’re not suffering with turbulence in the fins as one pushes harder than the other.
Installation is a snap with the GX-7, by that I mean it’s about as hard as any other performance cooler on the market and that in itself is incredibly hard the first time around. Fortunately GELID has heard the cries of the fallen and has attempted to help with their setup this time around.
How it works:
Remove your old CPU cooler (remember to clean the top and re-apply paste)
If you have an access port big enough to remove the back plate for the cpu bracket then do so
If not, remove the motherboard and remove the bracket and plate
Install the included washers over the mounting holes for the bolts and then slide the bolts through as shown in the diagram.
Tighten the nuts down to the motherboard base so you have all 4 exposed
After that, lower the cpu cooler on the 4 posts and use the special twist caps with springs to tighten the cooler down on each point, move in an X pattern to give equal pressure to each side.
Once tightened plug-in the PWM fan to the port and you’re ready to roll!
How it really worked:
Everything went relatively well until it came to installing the cooler on the posts, I had to remove the clips holding the fan on the heat sink to get my hand in to tighten the posts on that side.
The clips are actually easy to use, just remember to keep tension and equal pressure on them or they will pop off during fan installation.
Comparing this to the Hyper 612 is tough, if you’re scared about supporting the cooler while sideways or you’re not a fan of having your board upside down to mount and tighten the screws the GX-7 starts to step in as your cooler. If you’re fine with that it’s really a toss-up that our performance area will help you decide with.
The GX-7 took no mercy just like the rest of the lineup, I did go ahead and split coverage up with the 2 fan and single fan setups though for fair representation. Idle measurements were made after 30 minutes in Windows 7 with no active applications running (Steam/Origin/etc). Load was taken with HyperPi running all 4 cores to 12M at normal priority once temps reached an average plateau. Load was verified again against Battlefield 3 in-game and Saints Row: The Third as they’re both CPU intense especially on mid-range models.
The results are interesting, 2 fans do make an impact on the GX-7 results, high does bring a bit more noise into the scenario but leaving it at auto for the PWM to work seems the best choice for those who have no wish to constantly adjust the fan speed by hand. The most interesting area was the configuration differences with the GX-7 and Hyper 612, the idle temps were higher than the 612 but the performance of the cooler at higher temps held low, it’s a trade that users will have weigh on their own. Lower idle temps vs roughly equal load performance once the real use goes into effect. In game, average temps between high load often left the cooler in the high 30’s most of the time.
Given the setup of this review it’s a unique situation to discuss loudness of this cooler, I’ll break it down based on the type of user you might be.
Power User: Using manual control to force the fan to 100% load will bring some extra noise, no more than the Cooler Master variant in real world application. When using a dual fan setup there is a bit of extra noise created and the trade-off versus auto mode is questionable.
Casual User: Using auto control leaves the GX-7 to manage itself and the noise level is able to stay at the bottom end of the spectrum. If you’re gaming you’ll rarely ever notice the fan kicking up in speed and in dual fan mode the same will stay true as the cooler rarely brings itself to 100% fan speed by default.
Over a stock cooler the GX-7 makes the time for installation well worth the effort, no tiny fans spinning up to high dB levels creating annoying sounds. Instead the 120mm just hums along cranking out high cfm through the cooler and you rarely ever notice it speeding up during games.
At $69.99 the GELID GX-7 is a solid performer, at idle temps the cooler runs a little higher than the competition but when then the pressure is on it matches up against top coolers in the field around the same price. The perk with the GX-7 is the gamer focus of the cooler with the LED PWM fan that really is super bright in the case, it saves users from having to invest in a new fan for another brand and essentially shelve the packaged fan.
If you’re a modder looking for an all-in-one CPU cooler that delivers performance and lighting then look no further than the GELID GX-7. You get a bit of everything with the cooler, design, lighting, performance and a simpler installation system. I do feel that some might find the design of the mounting system itself to be a huge plus over other installations, be sure to follow the guidelines packaged with the cooler so you don’t install the washers on the wrong side though.
With GELID looking to expand in 2012 the enthusiast market certainly has something to look forward to. If you plan on investing in the GX-7 I would say do yourself a favor and get the Wing 12PL to go with it and take up those 3-4c off in temps.
As you can see, they’re blowing out as much crazy goodness as they can, you have another 3.5 hours to still get the games from yesterday too such as Hitman. Score up while you can, you wont see something remotely like this until the summer sale.
For final objectives, there are none, go out and capture everything you’ve missed!