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Category: Technology

windows phone remote desktop

One of the things I’ve wanted to see implemented in Windows Phone is a remote desktop client. This was already possible for the longest time on Android and iOS devices using clients like Teamviewer for Mobile, but it was never really the kind of experience that made it an easy thing to work with, especially if you were logging into an operating system that didn’t really like touch controls. Later iterations of these apps and services made the experience much better and when Windows 8 came around everything became much easier but it was plainly obvious that this was a market that Microsoft had completely missed out on.

Well, thankfully someone in the Windows Phone department finally vetted through a proper remote desktop client for Windows Phone 8.1. This isn’t a half-baked attempt at support, mind you – it’s the real deal, complete with support for gestures in Windows 8 and server 2012. If you’re a Windows admin and don’t want the weight of a tablet or laptop to be carried around with you, you can now do this all on your phone. Hit the jump to find out more.

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Gigabyte Z97X-SOC Force box

We’re about three weeks away from two things – one is the launch of Intel’s Haswell refresh processors and the 9-series chipset for LGA150 motherboards and the other is knowing which political party we’ll be complaining about for the next five years (if you’ve forgotten already, 7 May 2014 is election day). Intel’s launch seems much more appealing because the 9-series chipset brings some interesting features along with it as well as future support for Broadwell processors which will continue to use socket LGA1150 but likely won’t work in existing 8-series motherboards.

To drive up hype for the launch Gigabyte has revealed some of the high-end Z97 motherboards they’ll be unleashing in a few week’s time. Hit the jump for your daily dose of hardware porn.

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amd never settle forever new additions

AMD’s Never Settle campaign has been really successful in the past, driving sales of their graphics cards well thanks top a great selection of bundled games. Never Settle has been without new games for a while now and AMD has been casting around to look for games that it thinks gamers will appreciate and in a few cases it’ll include games which run really well on AMD hardware. For 2014, the new Never Settle Forever lineup includes a roster of many modern titles released in the last year as well as some popular indie games and a few classics. For the first time ever, the Never Settle campaign also stretches down to the very cheapest graphics cards in AMD’s stable. Hit the jump to find out more.

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System-builders-600-x-272

In this, our last System Builder’s Guide of the month, we take a look at some pants-sweatingly expensive hardware that most of us could only dream of owning. This time, however, there’s a bit of a twist at the end and it’s all thanks to Intel’s launch of the Haswell-E and LGA2011-3 platform later this year. It throws a spanner in the works when considering my highest-value recommendation and it also makes things a bit uncertain for buyers today eyeing out a X79 system. If you’re shopping anywhere at this level, be sure to check out this week’s episode of the guide to know more about why I think you should wait if you have R30,000 burning a hole in your pocket.

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MSI Gaming series logo 600x

As the world gears up for a refresh on Intel’s Haswell processors (the majority of which don’t look that interesting) motherboard manufacturers are lining up their new products in preparation. While Haswell refresh brings nothing new to the table processor-wise, these new motherboards will pack in better hardware along with options to add in a M.2 solid state drive. Unlike m-SATA drives, M.2 uses the PCI-Express bus to speed up things considerably, going way beyond the current capabilities of SATA 3.

Plus, these new motherboards from MSI are dead sexy. I don’t know who’s designing them, but they are taking the “Gaming” range pretty seriously. Geek out on some extremely detailed hardware porn after the jump!

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intel-logo

Intel is almost at the ready for a slew of new processors to be fed into the consumer market, but they aren’t the ones you were probably hoping for – instead these processors are still based on the Haswell architecture. They still use regular thermal paste under the heatspreader. Clock speeds are still mostly the same. There won’t even be any new features on the CPUs themselves, although the new 9-series motherboard chipsets will pack in some interesting storage options. Intel should be shipping the “refreshed” processors this week with availability in mid-May 2014.

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System-builders-600-x-272

We’re back with another System Builders guide and this time we’re ducking into the mid-range segment, covering builds between R11,500 and R16,500. Historically this segment of the guide is the least exciting because the hardware doesn’t vary too much. Occasionally there’s a processor change here, a SSD there and a chipset or board change to support new features but overall, the mid-range market is pretty boring. On the GPU side there’s also a performance gap that makes it difficult to spend more than R3000 on a GPU, especially if you’re playing at 1080p. If you want to see how I’ll address that, follow me after the jump!

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sid-meiers-civilization-beyond-earth

You know that goosebump-inducing trailer for Sid Meier’s Civilisation: Beyond Earth? Well, there are some interesting things that haven’t gotten nearly as much attention as that epic music or the fact that the series is finally returning to the stars – namely the technologies that the game employs. Beyond Earth is the first Civilisation game that supports OpenGL, Linux and Mantle all in a single package. Its also one of the bigger AAA titles in recent memory that will simultaneously release on Windows, OS X and Linux platforms thanks to Valve’s Steam client. PC Master Race indeed?

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xbox one header

For the current generation of consoles, Sony and Microsoft have the same problem on their hands – both the PS4 and the Xbox One are based on the X86 processor architecture, whereas both of their previous products were based on IBM’s PowerPC acrhitecture, which is very different from anything else on the market. Both the PS4 and the Xbox One already have a decent library of titles to choose from, but both brands have an incredible back catalog of games that they could emulate or otherwise offer backwards compatibility for.

While Sony works out the kinks for PS Now and deals with PS1 and PS2 emulation on the PS4, Microsoft is doing its part in the matter and is investigating the chances of emulating Xbox 360 games on the Xbox One.

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System-builders-600-x-272

The System Builder’s Guide has been around for roughly two years. I started writing this bi-monthly column in March of 2012 and before that I contributed to the System Builder’s thread on the NAG Forums together with JP “Chevron” Dormehl since its inception in 2009. I’ve been writing and compiling these guides ever since and it’s mostly been unchanged in the presentation – a wall of text, some options in green highlights that were linked and a little total at the bottom. Starting from this month to coincide with the April issue of NAG Magazine’s 2014 revamp, I’m switching the look a little bit to something that’s easier to understand and nicer to look at. I can’t promise there won’t be walls of text but I can promise it will be prettier. Follow me after the jump!

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