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Tag: Opposable Thumbs (Page 1 of 134)

AMD puts two GPUs and 32GB of RAM on its latest Radeon Pro Duo graphics card

Enlarge / AMD's new Radeon Pro Duo GPU. (credit: AMD)

A little over a year after launching the last Radeon Pro Duo graphics card, AMD is back with an all-new version that has the same name but makes a whole bunch of changes. The new Radeon Pro Duo mashes two separate 14nm Polaris GPUs with 2,304 stream processors, 128 texture units, 32 ROPs, and 16GB of graphics RAM apiece (for a total of 32GB) into a single card. As the name implies, the card is being aimed primarily at professional users rather than gamers. It's based on the Radeon Pro WX 7100 workstation GPU, which uses one GPU with most of the same specs as the Radeon Pro Duo but with 8GB of RAM instead of 16GB.

You can find the full spec list for the card here, which will launch at "the end of May" for $999.

The card is quite different from last year's Radeon Pro Duo—that card launched at $1,499 and featured a pair of 28nm Fiji GPUs with 4,096 stream processors and 4GB of RAM each; it was also a power-hungry monster, requiring its own closed-loop liquid cooler, three external PCIe power plugs, and as much as 350W of power. The new card only needs two power plugs, uses an air blower typical of most GPUs, and has a rated TBP (typical board power) of 250W.

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Heroes of the Storm: 2,490 matches later, here’s why I can’t stop playing

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Not quite an RPG, not quite an RTS, MOBAs are fierce, fast games that combine swift fingers, strategic thinking, and uproarious bursts of skill. Two teams of five players duke it out to destroy each other's base with the assistance of computer-controlled units that march forward along set paths, or lanes, as the terminology has it. It's a simple concept that allows for a huge amount of depth, and when two teams are in full flow, firing on every cylinder, it's a joy to watch and play. But there's a precipitous learning curve at every level of skill, and it can just as easily become an exercise in frustration and self-flagellation, especially if your teammates aren't up to snuff—or if you're the rube but you don't know it.

I've played Heroes of the Storm for two years, starting just after it left beta. In that time I've played 2,490 games. Each game takes an average of 20 minutes, though they can last anything from about 12 minutes during an outright stomp to upwards of half an hour, if both sides consist of woeful morons. By my calculations, that's exactly 830 hours of furious mouse-clicks and grimaces of anguish, or just over 34 and a half full days of gaming. That's a lot. [Pfft, I had over 700 days of World of Warcraft play time! -Ed.]

Since mid-2015, I've obsessively devoured patch notes, posted several despairing notes on Reddit wondering why I always seem to find myself partnered with imbeciles (surprise: the team imbecile is often me), and even found myself watching tournaments played by men and boys 10 years my junior with frightening dedication to the game, and faster fingers than I'll ever have—e-sports being something I'd never expected to find pleasure in. These things, if you let them, have a way of taking over your life.

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Sega built a real Warhammer 40K Power Fist, then let me smash things with it

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According to Warhammer: 40,000 lore, the Power Fist (also known as the Power Glove) is a late-41st millennium weapon wielded by honoured Space Marine Captains and Chapter Masters. While slow to use, its powerful hydraulics mean the fist can hammer straight through the side of tanks, and end conflicts with a single, powerful blow. And yet, despite the fist's theoretical technological prowess, no one has seen fit to turn it from fiction into fact.

That is until Sega, clearly with a marketing budget surplus to burn through by the end of the fiscal year, decided the best way to promote its latest real-time strategy game Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War 3 was to build a replica 3000psi Power Fist, and then have journalists and influencers smash things with it. Yes, it's a classic PR stunt the likes of which gaming hasn't seen since that time THQ asked people to literally break into parked cars with a hammer and steal copies of Red Faction: Guerrilla(!), or when Activision renamed Edinburgh Zoo's wolverine "Logan" to launch X-Men Origins.

And it's just as brilliantly pointless.

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Ars is teaming up with GOG and we’re giving away The Witcher to everyone

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The giveaway is back on! We think we've squashed our tech issues and anyone can now once again get codes.

Here at Ars, we like to celebrate the classics—especially classic video games—and we've long been fans of the folks over at GOG (formerly known as "Good Old Games"). They sell modern games, sure, but the site is a treasure trove of DRM-free hits from days gone by. Want to grab a copy of Tie Fighter that works on modern computers? Boom, ten bucks. Want to replay Wing Commander IV with upgraded DVD-quality cutscenes? Here ya go, $5.99. Never got a chance to try your hand at managing global thermonuclear war? DEFCON, six bucks. And there are more—so many more.

As it turns out, GOG likes Ars, too! We've been in talks with the GOG crew for the past couple of weeks and as of this morning, I am happy to announce that Ars and GOG are entering into a partnership—which means there are some cool things that are about to happen.

First thing: You get a free game! And you get a free game!

The first of those cool things is that we're giving away a few hundred thousand copies of The Witcher: Enhanced Edition—all you have to do is click in the sidebar over there to claim a code. You'll need to supply a valid e-mail address, because we'll e-mail the code to you (this is just to keep some control over distributing the codes—we won't be keeping the e-mail addresses once the giveaway period is over). Once you have a code, head to GOG.com to redeem the code and download the game. It'll work on Windows or MacOS (sorry, penguin fans—there's no Linux version of this particular game, though there's a buttload of Linux-friendly titles on GOG).

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A chat with Ron Howard after watching his Einstein series premiere

Enlarge / Ron Howard speaks to Ars Technica at March's South By Southwest festival. (credit: Sam Machkovech)

AUSTIN, Texas—Writer, director, and actor Ron Howard is very careful when considering his place in the geek-media universe. Over 20 years ago, his film Apollo 13 kicked off a trajectory of major science-and-heart storytelling, which recently crystallized as an ongoing series-development deal with National Geographic's TV channel.

This Tuesday's premiere of TV mini-series Genius, which sees Geoffrey Rush playing the role of Albert Einstein, won't be the last of that deal, either—and Howard laughs at how that fact might look to people in his past.

"My tenth grade science teacher, Mr. Dowd, would be, you know, rolling over in his grave!" Howard says with a laugh during an interview at last month's South By Southwest festival. "No, no, he'd enjoy it. He had a great sense of humor. The fact that I'm telling stories about science"—and saying this makes Howard laugh uncontrollably—"well, he thought I was a nice guy. He knew I didn't get it."

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