Move that body when you’re stressed out

Yoga is the key to keep stress away (Thinkstock)Yoga is the key to keep stress away (Thinkstock)
Stress is an inevitable part of our lives today. No matter where you are or what you do, modern lifestyles mean that stress is never too far away. And as lives become more fast-paced and hectic, working out tends to take a backseat. Many people assume that the last thing they should be doing when they are stressed out is exercising. But what they don’t realise is the fact that moving your body at this time will actually make you feel better.

The importance of working out when you’re stressed
Agrees certified yoga expert from the Government of India (Ministry of AYUSH and Quality Council of India) Ankita Sood, “Stress instantly disturbs our mind and body. It immediately increases the heart rate, blood sugar levels and blood pressure levels, muscles become tense, breathing is fast and you may start sweating. This sends erratic impulses to the brain centre — Hypothalamus and the mother gland — Pituitary, which then creates disturbed responses. All these factors indicate that one has disturbed the normal functioning of the body and activated stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. Balance is what the body and mind should aim for at all times. Yoga is a holistic approach and helps maintain in this harmony. Yoga is the key to keep stress away as the combination of various techniques — asanas, pranayamas, shuddhikriyas, meditation and relaxation help balance the sympathetic and para sympathetic nervous system. The body protectors and regulators i.e. the ductless endocrine glands are activated. The three humors in the body — vata (wind), pitta (bile) and kapha (mucus) are balanced. Thus, yoga helps in relieving frustration and releasing emotional tension by relaxing the body and mind.”
Adds masala bhangra expert, Riddhi Gupta, “Working out releases certain hormones that help battle your stress hormones. It’s absolutely miraculous how pre workout you could be anxious, stressed or depressed and post workout, that feeling is oblivious. Dance and fitness release endorphins, which are often called the happy hormones. These also ease tension in the muscles, which is great because you tend to ease the body out completely and, at the same time, strengthen and tone it. Stress can be detrimental especially in extreme cases. Movement and rhythm have always shaped the mind positively and therefore, it will have only most rewarding benefits. The body releases happy hormones that make you feel content.”

How yoga helps

“Yoga is not just a physical practice but a holistic way of life. A combination of the following with consistency is very important — shuddikriyas (cleansing techniques), asanas (postures), pranayamas (expansion of bioenergy), mudras (energy-circuit), bandhas (Energy lock), eating the right food at the right time (Ahara), relaxation (vihara), healthy routine (achara), positive thinking (vichara) and meditation. These practices should ideally be done under the guidance of an expert yoga teacher, keeping in mind you health problems, if any.”
The following techniques have many benefits but I am mentioning the important benefits related to stress release.


Sex of the baby may play important role in would-be mother’s immunity

Sex of the baby may play important role in would-be mother's immunitySex of the baby may play important role in would-be mother’s immunity
A study reveals would-be mothers, carrying female fetuses may exhibit a heightened inflammatory response that can contribute to sickness-related symptoms, such as achiness and fatigue.

According to researchers, women, over the years, have claimed that body of a mother, carrying male and female baby, react differently.

The study, published in journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity, shows the sex of a baby is associated with pregnant women’s immune responses.

Inflammation is a critical part of the immune response involved in wound healing and responses to viruses, bacteria and chronic illnesses and excessive inflammation is stressful to the body and can contribute to sickness-related symptoms, such as achiness and fatigue.

Researchers from the Ohio State University’s wexner medical center in the US followed 80 pregnant women across the course of their pregnancy and examined whether women exhibited different levels of immune markers called cytokines based on fetal sex.

The analyses were conducted on levels of cytokines in the blood and levels produced by a sample of immune cells that were exposed to bacteria in the lab.

“While women didn’t exhibit differences in blood cytokine levels based on fetal sex, we did find that the immune cells of women carrying female fetuses produced more pro-inflammatory cytokines when exposed to bacteria,” said principal investigator of the study Amanda Mitchell.

“This means that women carrying female fetuses exhibited a heightened inflammatory response when their immune system was challenged, compared to women carrying male fetuses,” Mitchell explained.

Adding, “This research helps women and their obstetricians recognise that fetal sex is one factor that may impact how a woman’s body responds to everyday immune challenges and can lead to further research into how differences in immune function may affect how a women responds to different viruses, infections or chronic health conditions (such as asthma).”


Feeling stressed? Try prebiotics

IANS | Feb 11, 2017, 02.12 PM IST

Feeling stressed? Try prebiotics (Thinkstock photos/Getty Images)Feeling stressed? Try prebiotics (Thinkstock photos/Getty Images)
Finding it tough to cope with stress in your life? Eat prebiotics fibers that may help protect the beneficial bacteria in your gut and restore healthy sleep patterns after a stressful event, researchers suggest.

Prebiotics are certain types of non-digestible fibers that probiotic bacteria feed on, such as the fibers found in many plant sources like asparagus, oatmeal, and legumes as well as in breast milk.

The findings showed that stress could upset the gut’s microbiome, as well as restful sleep — essential elements for a healthy life.

“Acute stress can disrupt the gut microbiome,” said Agnieszka Mika, postdoctoral fellow at the University of Colorado Boulder, in the US.

A diet rich in prebiotics was found to increase beneficial bacteria as well as protect gut microbes from stress-induced disruptions.

In addition, prebiotics also lead to the recovery of normal sleep patterns, since they tend to be disrupted after stressful events.

“So far no adverse effects from prebiotics have been reported…and they are found widely in many plants, even present in breast milk, and are already commercially available,” Mika added.

For the study, published in the journal Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, the team tested rats that received prebiotic diets for several weeks prior to a stressful test condition and compared with control rats that did not receive the prebiotic-enriched diet.

The rats that ate prebiotics prior to the stressful event did not experience stress-induced disruption in their gut microbiota and also recovered healthier sleep patterns sooner than controls, the researchers said.

As the stressor that the rats received was the equivalent of a single intense acute stressful episode for humans, such as a car accident or the death of a loved one, the results may be relevant in humans, noted Robert S. Thompson from the University of Colorado Boulder.


Valentine’s Day gifts for your fitness fanatic partner

Valentine Day gift ideas for a fitness freak partner

1/8Valentine Day gift ideas for a fitness freak partner

Valentine’s day doesn’t have to be all about chocolates, flowers and jewellery. Here are ways you can please your partner who is into fitness and wellness…

​Activity tracker (FitBit, Jawbone, Samsung etc)

2/8​Activity tracker (FitBit, Jawbone, Samsung etc)

If your partner is a fitness freak, nothing can be a better gift than an activity tracker. Activity tracker will help your partner to keep a track of his fitness activities throughout the day and even night.

​Gym bag, skipping rope, workout bottles

3/8​Gym bag, skipping rope, workout bottles

Be it a new yoga pant, flashy new gym bag or an interesting workout bottle, new things make you feel motivated and enthusiastic about your workout. You can gift these individually or make a small gym bag hamper!

​A green tea mug with an inspiration quote

4/8​A green tea mug with an inspiration quote

All fitness freaks incorporate this habit of having green tea and black coffee in their regular routine. So how about if you give your partner a new mug so that they have a new reason to have it.

​BMI machines

5/8​BMI machines

While losing weight, one is advised to weigh themselves everyday in the morning. And along with your weight, your BMI also matters. So it’s best to gift your partner a BMI machine of his/her own.

​Gift Sugarbox, fitness edition

6/8​Gift Sugarbox, fitness edition

This fitness edition is curated by fitness expert Namrata Purohit, who feels fitness today is more than just a person’s external image – it’s about being fit internally. For me fitness has always been about having fun and Sugarbox seemed like a great medium for me to convey this message to the audience.

​A brand new yoga mat

7/8​A brand new yoga mat

After gymming, yoga has become the new fitness trend. And if your partner is a yoga freak, gifting a yoga mat would surely make him/her happy. You can go for customized yoga mats as well!

​Assortment of soothing teas

8/8​Assortment of soothing teas

A combination of healthy teas will help your partner to take a break from their boring routine of having the same tea every day. After all variations and changes are loved by everyone.

(Picture Courtesy: Shutterstock/Thinkstock/Pixabay)


IIT-Kharagpur to establish country’s first Quality and Reliability school

The aim for establishing the school is to improve the quality of life for the people of India as well as develop quality conscious global citizens, said Director, IIT-Kharagpur Prof P P Chakrabarti.

The School will be truly interdisciplinary in which faculty members as well as students will be from various disciplines, said Director IIT-Kharagpur

The School will be truly interdisciplinary in which faculty members as well as students will be from various disciplines, said Director IIT-Kharagpur

  • Bihar plus two exams 2017: Bar coding to be used in answer sheets
  • Shahnaz Husain’s detailed interview makes its way into Harvard University curriculum
  • 10,285 vacancies for teachers in Kendriya Vidyalayas: Prakash Javadekar
  • CBSE: Three language subjects may become compulsory for Class 10 boards by 2020
  • Roll back age criteria for NEET 2017: Petition filed in apex court

IIT-Kharagpur will set up a school on Quality and Reliability (Q&R), a first-of-its-kind in India.

The Institute, which set the trend for engineering, management, medical technology and IPR law education in IITs in India, has now ventured in the domain of quality with an aim to improve the trinity of Process, Planet and People (3Ps) targeting Engineering, Human and Natural systems, a release said.

Views of Director, IIT-Kharagpur:

  • The School will be truly interdisciplinary in which faculty members as well as students will be from various disciplines, Prof P P Chakrabarti, Director, IIT-Kharagpur, said
  • Apart from traditional Q&R areas, the School will have a holistic view on various application domains of 3Ps, he said adding, the aim for establishing the School which is to improve the quality of life for the people of India as well as to develop quality conscious global citizens
  • The school, in collaboration with other academic units in the Institute, will offer academic courses, research and mission-mode programmes in the area of Quality and Reliability, which will bring social transformation, Chakrabarti said
  • “It shall also serve as a hub of Intellectual Property in Quality. The School will be a trend-setter, as has been many of IIT-Kharagpur’s initiatives, particularly those supported by the alumni,” he said.
  • source”cnbc”

IITs to come under Single Engineering Entrance Exam from 2018

The ministry has decided to conduct single engineering entrance test every year and it will be designed in a way that the linguistic diversity of the country is taken into consideration

IITs to come under Single Engineering Entrance Exam

IITs to come under Single Engineering Entrance Exam

  • Bihar plus two exams 2017: Bar coding to be used in answer sheets
  • Shahnaz Husain’s detailed interview makes its way into Harvard University curriculum
  • 10,285 vacancies for teachers in Kendriya Vidyalayas: Prakash Javadekar
  • CBSE: Three language subjects may become compulsory for Class 10 boards by 2020
  • Roll back age criteria for NEET 2017: Petition filed in apex court

On the lines of NEET-examination, a single engineering entrance examinations will be conducted for admission into engineering colleges from the academic year 2018-19.

It is learnt that the coveted IITs, for which a nationwide competitive examinations are held, may also be brought in under the ambit of the new test.

HRD sets stage for one engineering entrance exam:

The HRD ministry has recently asked the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to explain and mention suitable norms for holding such an exercise.

The HRD ministry has told the AICTE that the proposal is in line with the government’s policy and it could incorporate suitable regulations to enable the holding of such a test, sources said.

The AICTE, oversees the aspects related to technical education in the country, had discussed at a recent meeting proposal for having a single entrance test for engineering colleges for undergraduate courses

Single Engineering Entrance Exam to be conducted multiple times every year:

The ministry has taken this decision to bring in greater transparency, maintain higher standards and also try to ensure that students are saved from the burden of taking too many tests, the sources said. The ministry is also in favour of seeking constructive suggestions from states and Deemed Universities for the successful holding of such a test, they added.

It has also been decided that the single entrance test would be conducted multiple times every year and it will be designed in a way that the linguistic diversity of the country is taken into consideration, the sources said.

A common NEET exam for admission to medical colleges already exists, but there are a number of exams for entrance into engineering colleges.


JNU students block entry of teachers, officials in admin building

A nine-member delegation met the President and briefed him about various issues ranging from the issue of 100 per cent weightage given to viva-voce, intimidation and surveillance of faculty and students and the restrictions on freedoms of movement, assembly, speech and expression,” JNUTA president Ayesha Kidwai said.

In picture, JNU students protesting against the new administration rules

In picture, JNU students protesting against the new administration rules

  • Shahnaz Husain’s detailed interview makes its way into Harvard University curriculum
  • 10,285 vacancies for teachers in Kendriya Vidyalayas: Prakash Javadekar
  • CBSE: Three language subjects may become compulsory for Class 10 boards by 2020
  • Roll back age criteria for NEET 2017: Petition filed in apex court
  • 10 IIMs get government appointed directors

The new administration rules of JNU triggered a huge protest among students, even the officials were stopped on Friday from entering into the administrative building. The teachers’ association met President Pranab Mukherjee and sought his intervention in the matter.

Why are the students protesting?

The students have been agitating against the recent amendments in the admission policy of the university following certain guidelines by the University Grants Commission (UGC) and remained adamant on preventing the officials from entering office until their demands were met.

JNUTA demands President’s intervention:

The students action comes as members of JNU Teachers Association (JNUTA) met President Pranab Mukherjee, who is also the Visitor to the university, and sought his intervention into the amendments in admission rules causing seat cuts for Mphil and PhD programmes.

“A nine-member delegation met the President and briefed him about various issues ranging from the issue of 100 per cent weightage given to viva-voce, intimidation and surveillance of faculty and students and the restrictions on freedoms of movement, assembly, speech and expression,” JNUTA president Ayesha Kidwai said

View of JNU students’ union:

The JNU students union claimed that they were peacefully protesting and wanted to seek an appointment with the Vice Chancellor to discuss their grievances with him. JNUTA which has also been opposing the recent amendments, claimed that it raised the issue of “hasty and unthinking imposition of all the changes in JNU’s admission policy which are in violation of Constitutional provisions”


How to join Microsoft’s Office Insider program on any platform

microsoft office logo feb 2015

Microsoft is all about showing its work these days. You probably know Microsoft shares preview builds of Windows 10 leading up to major releases, such as the upcoming Creators Update. But did you know Microsoft offers an Insider program for Microsoft Office as well?

If your heart starts racing at the thought of trying out new Excel power features, enhanced editing techniques in Word, or special rollouts like MacBook Pro Touch Bar support, then the Office Insider program is for you.

Microsoft offers two levels for Insiders. There’s the Fast level for those who want the earliest possible access to new features. The downside of this level is that it’s more prone to bugs and other issues that could make using Office a frustrating experience. Then there’s the Slow level, which offers substantially less risk. Both options are available for Windows PCs and Macs, while other platforms may offer just one of those options. Here’s a look at how to join the Office Insider program whether you’re on a PC, Mac, Windows 10 Mobile handset, an Android phone, or an iOS device.

Windows 10 PCs


Ian Paul/PCWorld

The Office Insider program on Windows 10.

Joining the Office Insider program for Windows requires an Office 365 subscription on either the Home, Personal, or University plan. Open a file in any Office 2016 program on your PC. Then go to File > Account. Then click the Office Insider tile, and from the drop down menu select Join Office Insider.

In the box that appears, click the checkbox labeled Sign me up for early access to new releases of Office. Then select your desired Insider level—Fast or Slow—and click OK. Windows 10 will then put up a User Account Control (UAC) window. Click Yes, and when you return to your program you should see confirmation that you’ve joined the Office Insider program.

There’s a second process for joining the Office Insider program if that one doesn’t work for you. Go to the Additional Install Options page of your Office account, signing in if necessary. Choose your download in the Fast or Slow version. You’ll also have to decide on 32- or 64-bit builds depending on which version of Windows you’re using.


Mac users don’t need to have an Office 365 subscription to join. All they have to do is open an Office application on their Mac. Then click on Help > Check for Updates. When the Microsoft AutoUpdate window opens, check the box labeled Join the Office Insider program. Choose the Fast or Slow ring, and you’re done.



Ian Paul/PCWorld

The Office Insider Community for Android.

On a Windows 10 phone, you first need to join the Insider Program for Windows 10 Mobile, and choose the ring you want. Once that’s done you’ll be automatically opted in to the corresponding version of Office, because these programs are built into the system.

Joining the Office Insider program on Android is like joining the beta community for any other large app. First, join the Office Insider for Android Community, then wait a few hours for Google to confirm that you’ve joined. Next, follow the links provided in the lefthand column of the Community page to get the pre-release apps.

On iOS, download the TestFlight app, then apply to join the Office Insider program for iPhone and iPad. Office Insider for iOS is available only at the Fast level. You’ll be notified once you’re approved. Microsoft says its iOS preview program has a limited capacity, so it may take some time before you get to join. Microsoft may also drop you from the preview program if you’re not actively testing the apps on iOS.


Hands-on: EVGA’s sensor-laden iCX technology revolutionizes graphics card cooling

evga gtx 1080 superclocked 2 icx 1

Graphics cards aren’t what they used to be—and that’s a good thing. Nvidia’s ferocious GeForce GTX 1080 blows the pants off its predecessor in sheer, overwhelming performance while actually drawing slightly less power, and generating only slightly more heat overall. But here’s the thing about traditional video cards: A single sensor on the graphics processor determines how cooling is handled for the entire board.

That’s bad, popular hardware maker EVGA says, because the “Pascal” GPUs inside the GTX 10-series are so power-efficient that a graphics card’s memory and voltage controllers actually generate more heat than the GPU itself. So today, EVGA’s rolling out a revolutionary new “iCX” graphics card cooling solution that relies on not one, but ten different sensors to monitor and intelligently adjust how each and every part of the board dissipates heat.

The fancy new tech is debuting in several of EVGA’s GTX 10-series models, which we’ll dive into in more detail later. EVGA sent PCWorld one of its new GTX 1080 Superclocked 2 graphics cards—a cousin to the beastly GTX 1080 FTW that we loved so much—and an updated version of its Precision XOC software (which is also going live today) so we could dig deeper into the iCX cooling technology. Let’s go!

evga gtx 1080 superclocked 2 icx 2

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Brad Chacos

The EVGA GTX 1080 Superclocked 2 with iCX cooling technology.

The story behind the story: The inspiration for EVGA’s iCX cooling actually comes from a scandal surrounding the GTX 1080 FTW late last year. The Internet rioted when several of the cards died in explosive fashion. Subsequent sleuthing revealed that the hardware lacked cooling on its voltage regulator modules. EVGA acted quickly, offering free thermal pads and pushing out a BIOS update that increased fan speeds to lower on-board temperatures. Even though an internal investigation proved that the EVGA GTX 1080 FTW wasn’t failing at a higher rate than previous-gen graphics cards, the tempest provoked EVGA to examine how graphics card cooling works in the Pascal era.

“That really opened our eyes to take a deeper look at cooling on cards, and how we can improve the efficiency overall of cooling,” EVGA product manager Jacob Freeman said in a phone interview. “If you only focus on the GPU temperature, then you’re really neglecting all the other components of the card, which would still run really hot. On the flip side, if you focus on those other components, then you’re not offering the best noise level possible, because the GPU doesn’t really need the fans to spin that fast.”

Getting granular on graphics temps

The solution to the problem? Sensors, sensors everywhere.

evga icx thermal sensors

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EVGA’s iCX cooling technology still includes a traditional GPU temperature sensor, of course, but it adds nine additional ones—a sensor for the rear of the GPU, three for the graphics card’s memory modules, and five for the power controllers. You can monitor them yourself, too. The updated version of Precision XOC shows the average temperature for each hardware category in its main interface, or you can see the temperatures for each and every sensor by clicking the newfound Sensor icon, which will cause a secondary window to open.

asynchronous cooling

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Those sensors affect how the two fans on the front of the graphics card behave. Unlike most video cards, which run their fans in tandem based on the temperature of the graphics processor alone, the EVGA GTX 1080 Superclocked 2 (like all iCX-equipped EVGA models) dedicates the left fan to cooling the GPU, and the right fan to cooling the memory and PWMs. Each fan changes speed dynamically to react to the temperatures being put out by those individual elements of the GPU. If the memory’s heating up rapidly but the GPU itself is staying relatively cool (as was the case when I ran the Furmark torture test on the card for an extended period), the dedicated GPU fan maintains a slower—and thus quieter—speed, while the memory fan ramps up.

It’s another lesson learned from the GTX 1080 FTW’s overheating fiasco from late last year. The BIOS fix EVGA pushed to compensate for the lack of VRM cooling simply kicked both fans up a notch, and as a result the card wound up running louder, GamersNexus tests revealed. The improvements offered in iCX’s asynchronous cooling addresses that design quirk and lets EVGA eat its cake and have it too. Precision XOC allows you to set custom, individualized fan curves for both the left and the right fan if you want to get fancy.

precision xoc furmark

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Brad Chacos

Precision XOC’s new Sensor interface lets you see the exact temperature of each sensor on your EVGA iCX graphics card. (Click to enlarge.)

In my tests with the stock fan curve profiles, the iCX-equipped GTX 1080 Superclocked 2 ran noticeably quieter than the older EVGA GTX 1080 FTW, which uses the company’s original ACX 3.0 cooling solution. The main GPU temperature topped out at 69 degrees Celsius running a lengthy Furmark test, a full 8 degrees lower than the 1080 FTW—though it’s important to note that comparing the GTX 1080 Superclocked 2 against a heavily overclocked GTX 1080 FTW is far from an apples-to-apples comparison. Nor am I equipped to test the heat output from the older GTX 1080 FTW’s memory and PWMs, which is a major point of iCX. (PCWorld’s FLIR thermal imaging camera is in our San Francisco office; I work from New England.)

evga icx cooler comparison

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EVGA’s in-house tests showing the granular temperature differences between iCX- and ACX-equipped Superclocked graphics cards.

EVGA has all of the required testing equipment on hand, however. The company says that in its tests, the iCX cooling solution drops the main GPU temps by a few degrees, but other parts of the board see even bigger benefits—up to a 5- or 7-degree temperature decline in some components. That’s huge.

Update: JayzTwoCents tested the iCX-equipped EVGA GTX 1080 FTW 2 with a thermal camera, applying both an overclock and custom fan curves, comparing EVGA’s new card against the GTX 1080 FTW with ACX 3.0. It’s a great video that’s well worth watching, but tl;dr EVGA’s iCX technology functions as promised.

evga gtx 1080 superclocked 2 icx 4

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Brad Chacos

The iCX LED indicators on the side of the EVGA GTX 1080 Superclocked 2.

Even niftier, you can see the effects of iCX with your own eyes. The side of iCX-equipped models display separate RGB lights labeled G, P, and M, for the GPU, PWMs, and memory. The color of each indicator depends on how hot each type of hardware is running. A blue light means everything’s nice and cool, a green light means you’re actively using the graphics card but temperatures are in the safe range, and red means danger, Will Robinson! 

Watching how the iCX technology affected the GTX 1080 Superclocked 2 as it hummed along in The Division wasn’t it just insightful, it was fun—and I dig how EVGA managed to use RGB lighting for a practical purpose rather than simple aesthetics.

precision xoc rgb configurations

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Brad Chacos

Diving into the new “Thermal LED” tab in Precision XOC’s options lets you fine-tune the temperature ranges for each RGB indicator, as well as alter the color for every stage of each indicator. Click the image above to enlarge it if you want to see the interface up close.

Redesigned hardware

The sensors, fans, and RGB lighting is just part of iCX. EVGA’s radical cooling solution also overhauled the design of the cooler itself to keep your graphics card running cool.

evga gtx 1080 superclocked 2 icx 3

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Brad Chacos

The EVGA GTX 1080 Superclocked 2’s backplate.

Both the baseplate and the backplate were designed to come into contact with all the crucial components of the card, allowing them to serve as quasi-heatsinks. Raised bumps on the backplate help add to the overall surface area, helping with heat dissipation, while numerous cut-outs help airflow through the body of the GTX 1080 Superclocked 2.

evga icx fin pin

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Tiny “fin pins” on the interior baseplate offer the same advantages as the backplate’s bumps.

evga icx airflow

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The actual heatsink inside the card, between the graphics processor and the fans, has also been tweaked to optimize airflow. The fins were refined both to provide more contact surface and achieve better airflow, and they were also perforated with tiny holes to allow air to flow horizontally throughout the card.

I asked Freeman if that reduced surface area harmed the cooling endeavor. He said that the increased airflow more than makes up for it, pointing to the temperature comparisons shown previously as evidence.

evga icx safety fuse

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The iCX safety fuse.

Finally, iCX adds a unique safety feature inspired once more by the overheating debacle: An integrated safety fuse designed to protect your card in case that 0.01 percent chance of a catastrophic failure actually strikes. You’ll still need to send your card back to EVGA for an RMA if the fuse blows—but it’ll protect the core components of the graphics card from suffering a fiery death and possibly affecting the other hardware in your system.

Part of the family

One thing decidedly lacking in this write-up: Gaming performance results. I received my review sample from EVGA on Thursday, in the midst of a New England blizzard that was causing my power to flicker—not exactly the ideal testing scenario. And as I said, comparing a beastly FTW model against the less-beastly Superclocked version isn’t apples-to-apples.


This week in games: Overwatch gets a server browser, Project Cars 2 targets 12K and more

Project Cars 2

More Kickstarter news this week. Can you believe it? Last week I joked about a renaissance but now I’m pretty sure it’s actually happening.

That, plus Overwatch gets a server browser, South Park delays a second time, a bevy of launch trailers and announcement trailers and trailer trailers, and Project Cars 2 talks about supporting 12K resolutions. Mmmm, that’s a lot of pixels.

This is gaming news for February 6 through 10.


Another chance for me to talk about Stasis? Excellent. If you don’t know, Stasis is the best horror game you (probably) didn’t play in 2015. An isometric horror game in the vein of the classic Sanitarium, Stasis is some excellent derelict space ship sci-fi.

And now the developers are working on a follow-up, titled Beautiful Desolation. Like PC Gamer, I apparently missed word on this in January, but there’s a Kickstarter campaign and everything. I’m not a huge fan of the name, but I am a huge fan of the art on display so far, and fervently hope it reaches its funding goal.

Tormented Bards

Let’s keep on the crowdfunding theme for a second and talk about inXile. The studio released details on both the upcomingTorment: Tides of Numenera and the slightly-less-upcoming Bard’s Tale IV this week, with a look at Torment’s story and Bard’s Tale’s combat. Here’s Torment:

And Bard’s Tale:

Finish the fight

Halo Wars 2 launches next week, at least for Ultimate Edition buyers. Will it be good? No idea, but it sure does have some beautiful cinematics.

Live to serve

It’s not the sexiest update, but Overwatch is getting a server browser to complement its bevy of matchmaking systems. Want to play a custom game with friends? You can finally—nine months after release—do so.

Project C2RS

I’d sort-of forgotten that Slightly Mad Studios has been working on Project Cars 2. Hard to forget, given the stink people made when the sequel was originally announced, coming as it did mere months after the release of the original. But regardless, I’d forgotten.

There’s video now though—gorgeous video. Also, support for 12K resolutions (12K!) and more. Time to upgrade your graphics card, sim racers.


Speaking of racing games…well, actually no. The big news this week is that Playground Games, developer of the beloved Forza Horizon series, is working on a new game—and it’s not a racing game. According to , Playground is opening a second studio and branching out into a new genre, in addition to (presumably) the 2018 Forza Horizon game.

If this mythical second project ends up even half as good as Forza Horizon, we’re in for a treat.

South Park: Still Not Whole

Bad news, South Park fans: Latest game The Fractured But Whole has been delayed yet again, this time to a rather ambiguous “sometime this year.” That’s the second delay for the superhero-themed sequel, which was originally supposed to arrive in December and then was pushed to early 2017. Now? Well, we’ll see.

Cue the Miyamoto quote about a bad game being bad forever, and et cetera.

Siege lifted

Ubisoft’s doing just okay with-or-without South Park though, I imagine. Case in point: Rainbow Six Siege is still humming along, still 2015’s best shooter, and just about to start its second season of DLC characters and maps. You’ll get four minutes of that below, with a look at the new “Velvet Shell” operators and Coastline map.

Oh, and Ubisoft also brought back the Rainbow Six Siege Starter Edition. For $15 you get the game and access to four operators, with a whole lot of grinding if you want to unlock the rest—or you try it, enjoy it, and buy the full game (maybe when it goes on sale?) to continue as normal. Your call.


Okay, more Ubisoft news. Ghost Recon: Wildlands is set to release in March. Ubisoft’s continued its tradition of “Silly Live-Action Trailers” for this one—except this time they’ve made a whole live-action movie. There’s a teaser below. Go microwave some popcorn. I’ll wait.