22.06.18 | ISSUE 57
While precious few new products launched in the last few weeks, June is always an exciting time in the tech industry as there are two big shows to look forward to. The Computex show takes place in Taipei, the hometown of many tech giants, while game developers gather in Los Angeles for the E3 gaming show. Here is our pick of the best new tech and games that just got revealed.
1. Overclockable 28-core Intel desktop CPUs
The highlight of Intel’s press conference at Computex was a demo of a new range of forthcoming high-end CPUs with a ton of cores. The demo on stage featured a 28-core, 56-thread Socket 3647 processor, the same socket as Xeon Scalable CPUs. However, unlike the existing Xeon Scalable CPUs, this new processor series is intended for desktop PCs and is overclockable. Thanks to an exotic water-chiller Intel had even managed to overclock the all the cores to 5GHz, resulting in some epic performance compared to 2.5GHz 28-core Xeon Platinum 8180. There’s a lot about this new platform that is still unclear, including its name, but from what has been revealed so far it strikes me as very similar to the old Skulltrail platform, as in it takes the best from the server world and tweaks it into a new ultra-high-end desktop product.
2. 2nd gen AMD Ryzen Threadripper and Zen 2 update
Not to be outdone, AMD also announced that its 2nd gen Ryzen Threadripper CPUs will be coming in Q3 of this year with up to 32 cores and 64-threads. That’s a big step up from the 1st gen Ryzen Threadripper CPUs which have up to 16-cores and 32-threads. With a new Intel 28-core CPU also in development, the high-end CPU market is going to be very interesting later this year.
AMD also demoed its first Zen-2 based EPYC processor. Scheduled for release in 2019, Zen-2 will be the third major update to the Zen platform, with not only architectural improvements but also a die shrink from 12 to 7nm. The die shrink should yield massive improvements in core count, frequency and power consumption so Zen-2 CPUs should be a big leap forwards in capabilities over existing EPYC, Ryzen and Ryzen Threadripper processors.
3. Intel Core i7 8086K
40 years ago Intel launched what is arguably the most influential PC processor of all time, the 8086, pictured on the left in the image below. Running at between 5 and 10MHz this 16-bit CPU laid the groundwork for what has since become known as the x86 architecture which every PC processor since has maintained backwards compatibility with. This amazing legacy means that any modern CPU can run the same software that was written for the original 8086, albeit a fair bit faster.
The 8086 was quickly overshadowed by the 8088, a cost reduced version that did away with the external 16-bit bus and ran at a 4.77MHz. It was the 8088 that IBM chose from its original Model 5150, the archetypal computer that all modern PCs can trace their ancestry too, and happily enough was the authors very first PC (thanks Dad). However, to celebrate the 40th birthday of the 8086, Intel is releasing a limited edition Core i7 8086K CPU. Based on the Coffee Lake architecture Core i7 8700K, the 8086K ups the base clock from 3.7 to 4GHz and the turbo clock from 4.7 to 5GHz. With a limited production run the Intel Core i7 8086K processor is available standalone or in a professionally overclocked 3XS System.
4. The Best of E3 2018
Below are the games we are the most excited for, announced at E3 2018 , lets take a look at the best from this years show.
Anthem is an open-world online coop shooter by Bioware, an interesting turn for the RPG maker. Scheduled for release in February 2019 the video below includes an extensive QA with three of the lead developers.
From the developers of the acclaimed The Witcher series, Cyberpunk 2077 got a big cinematic trailer at E3. It looks sumptuous, but there’s still no gameplay or release date yet so it I doubt we’ll be seeing the game anytime soon.
2016’s reboot of Doom was a very pleasant surprise, putting the big daddy of first person shooter franchises back on the right foot after several decades in the wilderness. The next incarnation is Doom Eternal, and looks to follow very closely in the footsteps of the 2016 reboot, adding in twice as many demons. Enjoy the trailer.
Dying Light 2
Dying Light 2 promises more first person shooter action set in a decaying city afflicted by an outbreak of zombies. This time round you’ll have more influence on the world than in the first game, having the ability to change the fate of city districts through your actions.
Bethesda had a very busy E3, announcing multiple new games, plus giving a bit more detail on Fallout 76. Unlike the previous games which were story-based singleplayer RPGs, Fallout 76 is an online survival game. Scheduled for release on November 14th, Fallout 76 appears to have the usual survival game tropes such as base building.
Forza Horizon 4
Microsoft’s latest racing game is coming in October, and will introduce several new vehicles such as hovercraft, plus seasonal weather conditions.
Everybody’s favourite assassin simulator is returning for another chapter in November, and the good news is that this time it won’t be episodic, so the whole game will be released at launch. Feast your eyes on the rather gory trailer.
Another first person shooter set in a dystopian future; Exodus looks to be largely set above ground for the first time in the series, with plenty of mutants and horrors to make your skin crawl.
I’m still not quite sure that the thoroughly mediocre first person shooter Rage deserved a sequel, but there’re more on the way in Rage 2, this time with a more vehicle driving. Hopefully there won’t be any hideously low resolution textures this time. The trailer below also includes a gameplay preview.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
The next Lara Croft adventures releases in September, in the meantime here’s a slickly put together sequence of story clips and snippets of gameplay.
The rumour mill has been whispering about a new sci-fi game from Bethesda for years, and at E3 the game finally got confirmed and named as Starfield. The teaser below gives almost nothing away, all that has been confirmed it that it will be a singleplayer RPG.
The Division 2
The Division 2 is coming March 2019 and moves the action from Manhattan to Washington DC. As a result the environment looks a lot more open and varied. Check out the gameplay trailer below.
The Elder Scrolls 6
Bethesda also confirmed that The Elder Scrolls 6 is on its way, although there’s no release date or name, and from the video it’s hard to work out which land in Tamriel it will be set.
Also new for Bethesda, Youngblood marks a new direction for the Wolfenstein series, as it’s a co-op game starting B.J. Blazkowicz's twin daughters in alternative 1980s.
5. Cast your vote in the PC Pro Awards 2018
Our friends over at PC Pro magazine are asking for customers to vote on the products and services they have recieved in the last months. If you complete the online survey you not only help to share your experience with other shoppers, you’ll be in with a chance to win some great prizes. Please visit the PC Pro awards website for more details and to share your opinion.
"A thoroughbred, high-performance system"
Check out the latest issue of PC Pro magazine for a review of the 3XS Gamer PC, featuring the AMD Ryzen 2 2600X processor and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 graphics. Scoring 5 out of 6 and earning a Recommended Award, more details on the 3XS Gamer are available online.
"The 3XS LG15 Vengeance Pro is excellent"
Custom PC took a close look at the 3XS LG15 Vengeance Pro laptop, which sports the Intel Core i7 8750H processor and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics in a thin and light design with RGB lighting and mechanical switch gaming keyboard. Scoring 87% and winning a Premium Grade Award, more details on the 3XS LG15 Vengeance Pro are available on the Scan website.
"A great all-rounder"
Custom PC also reviewed the 3XS Horizon Ti gaming PC, which sports the AMD Ryzen 2 2700X processor and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics. Scoring 89% and winning an Approved Award, more details on the 3XS Horizon Ti are available on the Scan website.
"A seriously impressive build"
To mark the release of the seriously enormous Corsair Obsidian 1000D case, 3XS Systems designed a special new system. Previewed by HEXUS, the system features two PCs in one case. The primary system is sports an Intel Core i9 7980XE processor with two NVIDIA Titan Xp graphics cards in SLI, while the secondary system features an Intel Core i7 8700K with NVIDIA Titan Xp graphics. You can find out more about the amazing 3XS Carbon Fluid Extreme Xp SLI on our website.