EVGA’s GPU overclocking utility now has a handy ‘boost lock’ feature

(Image credit: Future)

EVGA has updated its Precision X1 overclocking utility for GPUs, and while it is a minor, the sole addition of a "boost lock" feature is a welcome upgrade for some users.

The newest iteration—version—is just the third release to not have a "beta" label attached, even though EVGA has yet to issue a 1.0 version. It’s fairly polished, both in the visual presentation and functionality.

With regards to the new boost lock feature, this allows you to "lock the graphics card frequency to the highest performance state," EVGA explains, adding that it does not support SLI.

This is sort of a throwback to overclocking in the days of old, as Overclock3D points out. Activating the boost lock toggle essentially does away with a card’s programmed boost frequency and variable clockspeed settings, and replaces all that bouncing around with a fixed frequency.

Our friends at TomsHardware briefly tested the feature in a short run of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, using a GeForce RTX 2080 Ti FE graphics card.

(Image credit: TomsHardware)

If you look at the graph in the upper-left corner, you can see how the GPU jumps around a bit at default settings, represented by the jagged line. The green bar highlights when the boost lock feature was enabled, first at 1,635MHz (the card’s base boost value) and then at 1,755MHz. In both cases, the line is flat because the GPU is staying put.

It’s not exactly an essential feature for overclocking, though it’s nice to have that option, for those who want it. One thing to note, though—the GPU stays locked at whatever clockspeed you set, even when idle, so overall power usage is going to be higher with boost lock enabled.

You can download the latest Precision X1 release here.

This Skyrim mimic mod has completely ruined chests

(Image credit: Bethesda/Mihail)

Dear God, just look at it.

(Image credit: Bethesda/Mihail)

Mimics are the worst, tricking oblivious adventurers into becoming a snack. This Skyrim mod appears to be based on the most grotesque of the lot of them: Dark Souls’ mimics. There’s not one part of them that isn’t incredibly unsettling, but it’s that horrible, diseased tongue that turns my stomach. 

Skyrim modder Mihail created them for the original version of Skyrim, but they’ve recently been added to Skyrim Special Edition, letting you ruin your dungeon dives once again. You can download it here

Other creatures from Mihail’s menagerie include some lovely flying stingrays and this intimidating robot. It’s big, it’s angry, it breaths fire, and it’s not half as scary as a mimic. 

While you’re here, check out the best Skyrim mods. 

Get one of our favorite NVMe SSDs, the 2TB Samsung 970 EVO, for $120 less than normal

Get one of our favorite NVMe SSDs, the 2TB Samsung 970 EVO, for $120 less than normal
(Image credit: Samsung)

Picked up a solid state drive yet? If not, you really should. As well as cutting back the boot and load times of regular systems and programs, as well as games, the best SSDs for gaming also make everything feel more responsive. NVMe alternatives are even better and, as luck would have it, the Samsung SSD 970 EVO 2TB model is currently on sale over at Amazon. It’s just had its price slashed to $479 (the lowest we’ve seen for a while). That’s a bargain on one of the best NVMe SSDs you can currently get your hands on, and it’s around $120 less than we’ve seen anywhere else. 

Reluctant to drop that much cash on an SSD? Fair enough; the 1TB version is on offer for only $170 at Newegg. That’s excellent value for money and the cheapest price we’ve ever seen for that particular model. 

Either way an SSD is a great addition to any rig, and one that can be neatly dropped in, whatever stage of build you’re at.

2TB Samsung SSD 970 EVO | $479 on Amazon ($120 off)
NVMe SSDs are a great investment if you’ve got a compatible M.2 slot on your motherboard, and getting $120 off makes it even better.  View Deal

1TB Samsung SSD 970 EVO | $170 on Newegg (more than $30 off)
If you don’t have the budget for the 2TB model, this 1TB alternative is still a great choice. It’ll speed up your rig’s boot and loading no end. View Deal

As things stand, the Samsung 970 Evo is our overall favorite NVMe SSD. It nabbed the top spot on our buying guide thanks to an excellent performance, affordable price, and a sizeable capacity to boot. As we mentioned in our review, "Samsung’s 970 Evo is one of the fastest NVMe SSDs, with reasonable prices… It’s not a massive change relative to the 960 Evo, but it’s clearly better". With options up to 2TB, it’s an even easier sell. Better still, Samsung’s a trusted brand that’s been at the top of the pile for a long time when it comes to SSDs. We wouldn’t advise hanging about for too long, though. There’s no telling how long this deal will last.

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Fortnite Shop Update: Live free or die as the Anarchy Agent

(Image credit: Epic Games)

If you’ve ever thought Fortnite needed more Ed Hardy in it, your (weird) wish has been granted. The new Anarchy Agent skin is available now in the Fortnite item shop.

The Anarchy Agent is only an uncommon skin, so no crazy effects or anything, but it is appropriately tatted up, and sports a fully camouflaged pair of pants and a tank top. Credit where it’s due, he’s making that blue mohawk work for him.

If you needed any other reason to pick him up, the Anarchy Agent is ripe for classic dad jokes. How, you ask? Take a look at his right arm and you’ll notice the Ace playing card tucked into his sweatband. So whenever you get a kill, just say you’ve got an ace up your sleeve. Brilliant, even if he isn’t exactly sporting any sleeves.

Anarchy Agent is 800 V-Bucks in the Fortnite item shop for the rest of the working day. You can also gift him to a friend. For another 500 V-Bucks, you can get the Chaos glider with the same logo he’s got on his tank top.

Don’t get left behind with all the new stuff coming out in Fortnite, too. Check out our guide to Fortnite season 10.

A new Need for Speed and Plants vs. Zombies are coming to PC this year

(Image credit: Electronic Arts)

Electronic Arts has been very coy about what’s coming next for the long-running Need for Speed driving series, but it seems likely that we’ll be hearing more about it in the near future. The company confirmed in its first quarter financial results for the 2020 fiscal year that a new Need for Speed game will be out sometime between October 1 and the end of the year, and while it didn’t reveal the subtitle, Austrian retailer Gameware may have.

The listing, via IGN, is for something called Need for Speed: Heat; the entry isn’t accessible through the search anymore, but for now at least, the URL is still live. The title (and probably the release timing) will be officially revealed at Gamescom, which runs August 20-24 in Cologne, Germany. Need for Speed developer Ghost Games said in a May update that "the next time we talk, we’ll be packing our bags and heading south for the full unveiling" (Ghost Games is based in Gothenburg, Sweden, and it’s a pretty straight shot south from there to Cologne), and EA CEO Andrew Wilson confirmed during today’s earnings call that the new game will be revealed for Gamescom.

EA also said in its financial report that a new Plants vs. Zombies game is coming to PC in the same window. Plants vs Zombies 3 was announced earlier this month, but EA confirmed at the time that it’s strictly for mobile devices. This PvZ will be a shooter, Wilson said during the earnings call, presumably a new addition to the Garden Warfare spinoff series: Eurogamer reported earlier this month that an alpha test for the new game, codenamed Picnic, is set to get underway on August 1.

Microsoft Flight Simulator preview build registration is coming soon

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Microsoft Flight Simulator’s Insider Program, which started taking sign-ups last month, will start giving members a behind-the-scenes look at the game’s development in August. Early in the month, Insiders will get a preview of the development roadmap, clips captured from the build and details on the first preview build.

Insiders will be able to register for the first preview build in early August, while public participation sign-ups will start in late August, along with a more details about the build itself. Microsoft Flight Simulator was the low-key best reveal of E3 2019, so we’re pretty excited to get our hands on it. 

In September, Microsoft will sharing its plans for keeping people up to speed on the game’s development and how it will integrate the community. If you want to join the Insider Program, you can find all the details here

Let’s watch that ridiculously pretty announcement trailer again. 

Another development update is due on August 8. 

Cheers, DSOGaming

Dota Underlords is getting separate ranked and casual modes

(Image credit: Valve)

Players who want a low-stress way to play autobattler Dota Underlords without risking their precious rank will soon be able to do that, as it’s getting separate casual and ranked modes in the next update. As Valve’s blog post puts it, with tongue firmly in cheek, "we’ve made the ground-breaking design decision to have two ways of playing".

To unlock the ranked mode you’ll have to complete at least five games in casual. Daily challenges can still be completed in casual mode, and you can queue up solo or with friends. However, in ranked mode you’ll only be able to queue solo, which is bound to be a bummer for some people.

There’s also a new rank system coming, one that’s designed to be more transparent, and in which "your Rank is now a number you can see that moves up and down in a predictable way. This change is based solely on where you finish in a Ranked match and does not depend on your opponents’ Rank."

You can read the full announcement here.

This 27-inch 4K gaming monitor is just $260 right now

(Image credit: LG)

Investing in a new monitor can always be something of a gamble, but when you can get them on the cheap and don’t have to risk a ton of cash, it’s always good to pounce on great deals. That’s the case with the LG 27UD58-B 4K gaming monitor up for grabs right now for a considerable amount of cash off. 

Newegg has the LG 27UD58-B for just $260 right now, which is $140 off its original price of $400. It usually retails between $290 and $350, and has never dropped down to $260 until now. Newegg Premier members can also snag free 3-day shipping to sweeten the pot, so you can get the monitor even sooner. 

You get a 27-inch IPS display for the money, with 4K resolution at 3840×2160, as well as FreeSync tech. It includes one DisplayPort 1.2 on the back, as well as 2 HDMI ports  to get you started. The refresh rate could be better at just 60Hz, but it’s still very much a quality monitor for less than $300, and that’s a deal worth looking into further. 

With a wide, sturdy base, 5ms response time, and adjustable pivot, swivel, tilt, and height, you can customize the monitor to your liking so you can get comfortable while settling in with your favorite game, work that needs finishing, or your latest streaming session. 

LG 27UD58-B Gaming Monitor | $260 (save $140)
Pick up a perfectly competent 4K gaming monitor for a decidedly low price that’s well worth dropping the cash on. View Deal

Need something bigger and beefier? You’re in luck! There are tons of other options—have a look at our picks for the best gaming monitors available to see what else is out there. 

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The Logitech C920, our favorite webcam, is now just $40

(Image credit: Logitech)

Even though the Logitech C920 is several years old at this point, it’s still one of the best webcams you can buy. It offers a good balance of video quality, features, and low-light performance, and now it’s even cheaper than usual. The C920 has now dropped to $39.99, the same price it was during Prime Day earlier this month.

The C920 HD Pro supports up to 1080p video calling, though some video call clients might only support the 720p 30FPS mode. There are dual stereo microphones built in, with automatic noise reduction. The clip is designed to easily sit on top of a laptop or monitor, but it can also be easily mounted on a tripod.

If you need a webcam for any reason, the C920 is a great all-around option. Thanks to its popularity, it works with just about every operating system and video chat application out there.

Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 | $39.99 ($60 off)
The all-around best webcam has returned to its Prime Day sale price. Buy at Amazon, Buy at Best Buy

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Team Fortress 2's hat market has crashed and rare items are going cheap

(Image credit: Valve)

An influx of rare items is playing havoc with Team Fortress 2’s economy. Unusual quality items are appearing in a high number of crates and the marketplace is starting to be flooded with them, driving down their price. Today, a warning went up on the unofficial Team Fortress 2 subreddit telling players to stop trading items until the glitch is fixed. 

"There have been numerous reports, and sightings in the wild, of an apparent serious economy flaw that is resulting in the guaranteed uncratings of Unusual quality items," wickedplayer494 wrote. "As a result, demand for certain types of crates believed to be affected has soared, and supplies of Unusual quality items are flash flooding the market."

Wickedplayer warns that unsanctioned real-money trades taking place outside of Valve’s official Community Market are especially high risk at the moment, though dabbling in any grey market comes with lots of risks.

While Valve is yet to confirm the glitch, its impact is already being felt by the 12-year-old game’s still lively economy. A quick hop over to the Community Market shows the significant increase in Unusual items. Good news for people hoping to get a sweet hat they’ve never been able to afford, but probably less so for people who treat Steam trading like a second job.

(Image credit: Valve)

Take a look at the Unusual Birdcage above. It’s a level 10 hat that’s exactly what it sounds like, a birdcage you can plonk over your head. Over the last month, it’s sold for anything between $19 to $110. Sales are often all over the place as people who don’t know the value of the item chuck them in the marketplace for a quick buck, but today saw it hit a new low, going below $4. So far, 89 of these hats have been sold just today, compared to 20 across the last month.

With players and presumably less scrupulous sorts getting wind of this exploitable glitch, Team Fortress 2 has seen an explosion in concurrent players. It’s been teetering around 60,000 players or just below, but today saw that leap to more than 90,000. People love their hats. And a fat Steam balance. You can see the most recent numbers at SteamDB.

Even if Valve manages to fix things today, it’s unlikely the Community Market will recover quickly, if at all, with all these additional and once incredibly rare items floating around. Perhaps more drastic measures will have to be taken, but I expect there will be a lot of pissed off people if their sales get reversed.