Guy builds 747-simulator .. AMAZING
Matthew Sheil has built what could easily be one of the most elaborate big boy's toys in the world, and his efforts have earned him a Guinness world record. Sheil is the top gun in the surreal world of flight simulator enthusiasts, where virtual pilots join virtual airlines, fly virtual routes and are assisted by virtual air traffic controllers.
For most, a joystick and Microsoft's Flight Simulator PC software is sufficient, but, over the past 10 years, Sheil has built what Guinness describes as the "world's most expensive home flight simulator".
A homebrew version of the $60 million simulators used to train pilots, Sheil's contraption is almost identical to the cockpit of a 747-400. Thanks to 45 different software programs running on 14 different computers, the simulator allows Sheil to fly to and from 27,000 different airports around the world with breathtaking realism.
By day, Sheil runs a trucking parts company but at night he takes to the skies with other enthusiasts from around the globe. The simulator is stored at his warehouse in Chipping Norton. It is able to mimic real-world weather conditions in any country with startling accuracy, and the hydraulics system means Sheil can feel every bump.
The simulator cost him $300,000 to build - a far cry from the $60 million price tag on the professional simulators - but many of the parts were donated to him because of his charity work. Sheil is a veteran real-world pilot and owns a Beechcraft Baron B58. He said he preferred flying a real plane but enjoyed the simulator because there were no limitations.
"The [real] plane I fly you take off and you point it in the direction of Melbourne and you press a button and away it goes until you come into land, whereas a simulator you can do whatever you want - if you want to fly upside down, fly upside down," he said.
"If we hit a mountain or the ground the simulator just freezes in its current state and everything goes red - and then we just hit reset." [via smh.com.au]
Click here to check out his homepage, just go to the photo's and be amazed what this guy achieved.
** link updated
Far Cry 2 turns us into killers
According to investigators he played Far Cry 2 the night before the shooting took place.
In the aftermath of the massacre, Premier Horst Seehofer is again pushing for the ban on violent video games.
ECS GeForce GTS 250 Graphics Card
Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS) announced the launch of its latest NGTS250-1GMU-F graphics card- to meet the requirement from hardcore gamers. With its powerful 128 processor cores, the ECS NGTS250-1GMU-F graphics card realizes the gaming desire without any compromise of the graphics performance. For hardcore gamers, NGTS250-1GMU-F supporting NVIDIA PhysX , 3-way SLI and 3D Vision technology which bring gamers multiple amazing performance in realistic gaming experience like never before. As well as NVIDIA CUDA technology, NGTS250-1GMU-F provides excellent qualities and efficiency in video converting between different formats to mobile device. For the upcoming of Microsoft Windows 7, the powerful operation system of the next era accelerated by GPU processing, NGTS250-1GMU-F is ready for computing the GDI applications to bring users the best visual effects like Aero Shake.
The ECS NGTS250-1GMU-F comes with 1024MB GDDR3 memory and a 256-bit memory interface, and 740 MHz core and 2200 MHz memory clock speed.
I have not checked out the shader domain clocks just yet, but a sample already has arrived. And since it's following reference clocks, it has to be 1836 MHz. More on that soon in our review.
Zotac to intro GTX 285 with Acellero Xtreme
It is quite interesting to see this so shortly after the CeBIT. We have been talking with Zotac on CeBIT and we'll bring you some product reviews on their gear this year as well. For now, it seems that Zotac is working on their own design GeForce GTX 285. Custom PCB and customized cooler. The cooler is obviously the most interesting thing here as it is using the Acellero Xtreme from Acrtic Cooling.
We will have a review with this cooler upcoming week actually, yet from Inno3D. Strangely enough the clock frequencies on this card follow NVIDIA's specifications: 648/1476/1242 MHz (core/shader/memory).
PCB wise the voltage regulator domain has been rearranged. The card now has 6 vGPU + 3 vMem power phases. Apparently one extra vGPU phase has been added for redundancy and stability.
This product will be equipped with Hynix N3C 0.77 ns GDDR3 memory. 1000:0.77=1299 (x2) = 2600 Mhz. Surely this card will be tweakable, very much.
And yes yes .. we have a photo :)
2Gb Radeon HD 4870 spotted
If you like to throw away money ... then this product might be something for you. Okay that sounded a bit too harsh rather then the intention really is. But Sapphire released a 2GB version of the Radeon 4870. It's labeled as the Vapor-X and is spotted in some German webshops for 242 EUR.
The bump from1 GB towards 2GB is controversial, and gaming wise will just not make a difference as 99.95% of the titles out there have plenty of graphics card memory with a 1GB framebuffer. Only if you'd go really high in monitor resolution and your AA settings, at best you can gain a few % performance increase .. and that's at best.
What I do like about the Vapor-X is the cooler, using 'vapor chamber' technology. Other then that the clock speeds are reference as well at 750 MHz on the core and 900 MHZ (x4 DDR5) for the memory.
Command & Conquer Red Alert 3: Uprising Available
Available now as a direct download from EA's online store, Electronic Arts released Command & Conquer Red Alert 3: Uprising in seven different languages, today. To get your hands on a physical copy of Uprising though, you will have to be a little bit more patient and wait until April. Command & Conquer Red Alert 3: Uprising directly continues where Red Alert 3 ended.
Good news: you do not need Command & Conquer Red Alert 3 in order to play Uprising. Be careful though! At 5,9 GB in size, it will take some time until the download will be finsihed. This add-on focuses on single-player action and there is no multiplayer modus included. Available for $19.95, these are some of its new features:
- Four new campaigns - Battle your way through all-new campaigns featuring classic fast, furious, and fun C&C action. New stories and missions feature all three factions, plus experience a new twist with the first-ever C&C dungeon-crawler campaign!
- Eleven deadly new over-the-top units - Conquer the world and crush your enemies with 11 new units from the Soviets, Allies, and Empire of the Rising Sun, such as the Cryo Legionnaire, the Steel Ronin, and the Desolator!
- The biggest cast ever in a C&C expansion
Download: Nvidia Bios Editor 4.9 (nibitor)
Johan relased NiBiTor 4.9 aka Nvidia Bios Editor, which allows graphics card enthusiasts, or the hardcore overclockers to have full control over some advanced features and functionality found on firmware of supporting cards. Doing so users gain some extra performance, enable certain hidden features, tweak memory latencies, provide extensive information, adapt boot up settings, change fan speed options and/or get extra stability on the NVIDIA based graphics accelerators.
Changes in version 4.9:
- Added GeForce GTX 285
- Added GeForce GTX 295
- Minor Update and Bugfix
Download - click here.
Dell Introduces All-in-One-PC Studio One 19
Today, Dell introduced the "Studio One 19", an All-in-One-PC, in Japan. Going on sale in late March (in Japan), it features an 18.5 inch 16:9 touchscreen display, which supports a resolution of up to 1366 x 768. Additionally, it will come equipped with a wireless keyboard and mouse. Its customizable hardware features are going to be:
- Intel Pentium Core 2 Duo processor or Core 2 Quad processor
- Up to 4GB of RAM
- Up to 750GB of HDD space
- NVIDIA GeForce 9200 or NVIDIA GeForce 9400
- 1,4 Megapixel webcam
- Six USB 2.0 ports
- Onboard LAN
- DVD or Blu-Ray drive
- Windows Vista Home Premium, 32-Bit and 64-Bit versions
Besides that, the "Studio One 19" will be available in four different colors, as well: pure white, powder pink, charcoal gray, and navy blue.
NVIDIA GeForce GTS 240 got canned
As you guys know NVIDIA has been on a renaming streak lately. The GeForce 9800 GTX+ received a transformation towards GeForce GTS 250.
There however was supposed to be another model getting a makeover. The 9800 GT supposedly was to be rebranded towards GeForce GTS 240. Apparently that isn't happening anymore. Either way at 149 USD the GTS 250 is a very sound buy of course.
Even most AIBs are a little puzzled, but it is confirmed (by Guru3D) there will be no GeForce GTS 240. As to whay that is ? No clue.
Now if we'd ask NVIDIA about this product, they'd say .. GTS 240 ? That product never existed.
Sure sure .. ;)
Daily hardware deals (Mar 13 2009)
It's time for the weekend update with Seth M... ehm, Hilbert Hagedoorn ! Today another overview of some nice hardware deals we found. In this bulletin I'd like to focus on processors. And of course we can't leave out that Phenim II X3 720 which apparantly for some batches .. simply have four cores. Enable ACC in the BIOS .. and you might get lucky.
- AMD Phenom II X4 940 Quad Core Processor - spotted for $234.99
- AMD Phenom II X4 920 2.8GHz, there's just so much value here at $199.99
- AMD Phenom II X3 720 Triple-Core, this the Black edition Processor as well (!) only $149.99
- Intel Core i7 I7-920 Quad Core Processor, my personal favorite really, $288.99
- Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Processor, the one processor that set a milestone in history, $194.99
- Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Dual Core - still HEAPs of performance, priced at $164.90
If you want some advise, there are several extremely good deals here. For AMD, that 720BE processor really is kick ass. You can overclock it easily to 3600 MHz and with a bit of luck enable the 4th CPU core as well. Next in line would be the Phenom II 920 processor. Real value there folks.
Intel wise I'm just too big of a afan of Core i7. The Core i7 920 just offers massive performance and is really overclockable as well. Mind you that a DDR3 memory upgrade and X58 motherboard are mandatory, making it an expensive purchase in the end.
Exclusive: ASUS Xonar Essence ST Sneak preview
You read it right, ST .. not to confuse with STX.
The PC audio market has been churning out some great new high fidelity soundcards lately. A good example here is the recent release of the new Essence STX headphone card, which stirred up the audio community and caught the attention of people who usually look for external headphone amplifiers. Some of you may know there were rumors of ASUS expanding the Essence Line-up with possibly a PCI model.
Guru3D has the prototype the engineering sample of the Essence ST in our audio lab today, and will bring you a sneak preview on it to show you what ASUS is working on inside that chocolate factory of theirs.
Check out this Guru3D sneak preview right here.
Onkyo intros TX-SR607, AV Receiver with Dobly ProLogic IIz
AMD ships 50 millionth ATI Hollywood graphics processor for Wii
AMD shipped the 50 millionth ATI
X-Men Origins: Wolverine 'Uncaged' trailer
It doesn't look bad really, the game will be available for DS, PC, PS3, Wii, and Xbox 360.
CryENGINE 3 ready for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360
CryTek has announced CryEngine 3, a new engine for regular games and MMOs alike and that's easily scalable and supports both PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The developer is also touting the new engine is geared towards the next generation of consoles, i.e. beyond PS3 and Xbox 360.
Crytek GmbH is excited to announce that they will introduce their latest all-in-one game development solution CryENGINE 3, at this year's GDC Expo (March 25th - 27th) in San Francisco. CryENGINE 3 is the first development platform for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, MMO, DX9/DX10 that also is truly Next-Gen-Ready - with scalable computation and graphics for all major upcoming platforms. It provides the complete game engine to create AAA quality next generation games, and includes the CryENGINE 3 Sandbox level editor, a production-proven, 3rd generation "What you see is what you play
Best Selling PC Games For February 2009
Alright here we go. These are the best selling PC games in the USA for the entire month February according to NPD. Have a peek:
- World Of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King / Blizzard / $36.55
- The Sims 2 Double Deluxe / EA Maxis / $19
- Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War II / Relic / $38.99
- World Of Warcraft: Battle Chest / Blizzard / $37
- F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin / Monolith / $44.99
- Spore / EA Maxis / $45
- World Of Warcraft / Blizzard / $18
- The Sims 2 Apartment Life Exp. Pack / EA Maxis / $20
- Fallout 3 / Bethesda / $41.70
- World Of Warcraft: Burning Crusade Expansion Pack / Blizzard / $28
- Call Of Duty: World At War / Treyarch / $42.95
- Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 / EA LA / $27.99
- Left 4 Dead / Valve / $43.64
- The Sims 2 Deluxe / EA Maxis / $3 (Averge)
- Civilization IV / Firaxis / $21
- The Sims 2 Mansion & Garden Stuff Exp. / EA Maxis / $18
- StarCraft Battle Chest / Blizzard / $20
- Spore Creepy & Cute Parts Pack / EA Maxis / $18
- Diablo Battle Chest / Blizzard / $34
- The Sims 2 Pets Exp. / EA Maxis / $19
Lithium Batteries Charged In Seconds
Think of your laptop, cellphone, digital camera, or even hybrid car. They all have one thing in common. They use lithium-ion battery technology. Most of today's electronic devices which rely on a portable power source, use lithium-ion batteries.
In Yesterday's issue of Nature, two researchers, Byoungwoo Kang and Gerbrand Ceder of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, published an article regarding a revolutionary breakthrough in charging time for those kind of batteries. Their discovery might lead to a laptop battery being fully charged in about one minute.
"The speed at which a battery can charge is limited by how fast its electrons and ions can move - particularly through its electrodes. Researchers have boosted these rates by building electrodes from nanoparticle clumps, reshaping their surfaces, and using additives such as carbon. But for most lithium-ion batteries, powering up still takes hours: in part because the lithium ions, once generated, move sluggishly from the cathode material to the electrolyte.
That seemed to be the case for lithium iron phosphate, a material that is used in the cathode of a small number of commercial batteries. But when Ceder and Kang did some calculations, they saw that the compound could theoretically do much better. Its crystal structure creates "perfectly sized tunnels for lithium to move through", says Ceder. "We saw that we could reach ridiculously fast charging rates."
The authors helped the ions by coating the surface of the cathode with a thin layer of lithium phosphate glass, which is known to be an excellent lithium conductor. Testing their newly-coated cathode, they found that they could charge and discharge it in as little as 9 seconds." [via Nature]
Update 03-13-2009: As the German magazine "Spiegel" reports, this new technology was already licensed to two companies and will be available in new products, in about two to three years.
Futuremark Releases Peacekeeper - The Browser Benchmark
Now of course being a Futuremark product, the speed of the results are not only tied to the browser itself but also the hardware inside your PC. You could actually overclock your processor and ram and get a better result!
To test the beta go here: