This waterblock is specifically designed for CPUs with the heatspreader removed

What’s being billed as the world’s first waterblock for naked die cooling, the Ncore V1, has landed on Kickstarter with a goal of raising $14,090. At the time of this writing, 27 backers have pledged $3,605 towards that goal.

The Ncore V1 is unique from other waterblocks in that it is purpose built for processors without an integrated heatspreader (IHS). Intel and AMD don’t sell their chips without this critical piece of metal, of course, as it serves to both protect the die from damage and transfer heat to a larger surface area, on top of which sits a cooler of some sort (and thermal paste).

Read more: Donut County review

In the ongoing quest for superior cooling than what’s available out of the box, enthusiasts resort to all sorts of tricks. Some people sandpaper the IHS in an attempt to create a smoother surface (known as "lapping"), and others embark on the delicate process of delidding, choosing to remove the IHS altogether.

For those who are brave enough to try the latter—and "it takes balls to perform this type of the surgery," the wife of the Ncore V1’s designer candidly admits in the Kickstarter video—this waterblock is supposed to make cooling an easier affair. It features an in-socket mounting system, so it drops right in without having to install a separate bracket. It’s compatible with socket LGA 1151 Intel processors and motherboards.

The designer of the Ncore V1, Arek Tobiszewski, is a CNC CAD/CAM designer. He’s dabbled in other projects, none of which have seen mass market appeal. Tobiszewski hopes this one will be different, at least in so much that serving a niche market allows.

According to the Kickstarter page, prototypes of the cooler have shown a significant reduction in temperature on a Core i7-6700K, compared to using a standard waterblock on both regular and delidded chips.  The Ncore V1 essentially acts as the IHS, enabling coolant to flow 20x closer to the CPU, Tobiszewski says. In that way, it supposedly offers the same protection for the CPU die, while kicking up cooling performance.

Early Bird pricing is set at £69 ($97), with an estimated delivery of August 2018. There’s also an £89 ($125) tier that includes a frame for delidding. You can check it out here.

MSI 6-core gaming notebooks are available for pre-order

Intel made a series of announcements today, including new 8th Gen 6-core mobile processors. Right on schedule, there are a slew of new gaming notebooks sporting these chips from all the usual suspects. Here’s a look at MSI’s, with updates to its three main gaming notebook brands.

The GS65 Stealth Thin is the follow-up to the GS63VR, with a much thinner bezel that effectively puts a 15.6-inch display into a 14-inch chassis. MSI manages to do this without moving the webcam to the bottom of the display, thankfully. The display is also a 1080p 144Hz IPS-type panel, though without G-Sync. For graphics, the GS65 supports either the GTX 1070 Max-Q or a GTX 1060 (non-Max-Q). It supports the new Core i5 and Core i7 6-core mobile processors and includes a large 82Wh battery, weighing 4.14 pounds. It’s available for pre-order on Amazon and Newegg, with the i7-8750H, GTX 1070 Max-Q, and 256GB SSD starting at $2,099; the GTX 1060 model starts at $1,799.

MSI’s beefy GT75VR Titan is at the opposite end of the spectrum, with a large and bulky 17.3-inch chassis and either 4k 60Hz or 1080p 120Hz display. It supports up to the Core i9-8950HK, a GTX 1080 or 1070 (not Max-Q), and includes 10Gbps Killer Ethernet. The GT83 Titan and GT63 Titan models are also being updated to support the new 6-core processors, so if you’re in the market for an even larger gaming notebook with SLI support, MSI is ready.

The full-fat GTX 1080 SLI model with 1TB of NVMe SSD storage will set you back $5,699, while the GT75 with a single GTX 1080 starts at $2,799.

Finally, the GE63 and GE73 Raider line also gets the 8th Gen Core treatment, while continuing to offer the GTX 1070 or 1060 6GB. The Raider line is the middleman between the thin-and-light and desktop-replacement extremes. The 15.6-inch model weighs 5.5 pounds and the 17.3-inch model weighs 6.2 pounds, and both feature 1080p 120Hz displays. Pricing starts at $1,599 for the 1060 6GB and a 128GB SSD, and runs up to $2,049 with a 256GB SSD and a GTX 1070.

All of these notebooks should start shipping on April 17.

My Time At Portia 'livestock update' adds farm animals, horse riding, and improves dating

Early Access farming sim My Time At Portia gained several new features in a major update last week, namely the update’s namesake: livestock. That’s right: you can now keep, raise and breed your very own sheep, chicken, ducks and cows. 

The update also added the option to ride horses, though for now you have to rent a horse from MacDonald Farm. Developer Pathea Games says a future update will add the option to raise and ride your own horses. But hey, at least you can also ride your rent-a-horse with your romantic partner, which leads us to the livestock update’s lovey-dovey additions. 

My Time At Portia is something of a distant cousin to Stardew Valley, and like Stardew Valley it lets you romance the locals. Thanks to the livestock update, you can now romance them by stargazing and chatting in the meadow, and once you’ve wooed your sweetheart—perhaps one of Portia’s newly added new partners, like the buff furniture maker Paulie—you can now hug or kiss them anytime you want. 

Other, less romantic additions include a new desert dungeon and a museum where you can sell and showcase relics. Just as importantly, the update contributed some strong contenders for the strangest patch notes of 2018 (check out 2017’s wonky list here), including such gems as: 

  •  Cat bed for Pinky. 
  •  Your spouse can sit on a chair at home. 
  •  Chicks and chickens will help Emily during sparring.  

You can view the full patch notes here.

My Time At Portia will launch from Early Access later this year. Lauren dove in last year and enjoyed her time in Portia despite making a total fool of herself—more on that here. 

GOG weekly sale discounts Spelunky, Rogue Legacy and other great indies

GOG’s latest weekly sale includes a healthy mix of revitalized classics and modern indie darlings. The sale is live now and runs through 3 pm Pacific on Monday, April 9. You can view the full selection here, and some of the best games and deals below: 

If you’re looking for more cheap indie games, have a look at Humble’s 19th indie bundle, which is available through Tuesday, April 10. Chipping in $6 or more gets you SOMA, one of our favorite horror games of 2015, and $14 or more gets you quirky FPS Superhot. 

Some online stores give us a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Read our affiliate policy for more info.  

Kansas passes 'anti-swatting' bill in light of December police shooting

The Kansas senate has passed an "anti-swatting" bill named after Andrew Finch, the 28-year-old who police shot in December after receiving a false report of a murder and hostage situation at his home.

The police visit was a result of a swatting, a "prank" whereby an aggrieved gamer calls in a false police report of a serious crime in order to trigger an armed response. Finch did not play games himself, and reports at the time suggested that the perpetrator wrongly targeted his address believing that somebody else lived there.

The Andrew T. Finch anti-swatting bill, if approved by Governor Jeff Colyer, would mean that anyone placing a swatting call that results in death or extreme injury could face between 10 and 41 years in prison, depending on their criminal history.

Finch’s mother, Lisa Finch, told KSN that she was "very happy" that the bill had passed. "It is amazing to me. I’m very happy that it’s named after my son. If it prevents even one tragedy like this happening to another family, that will be amazing."

Thanks, Destructoid.

90,000 people sign petition against Valve's new CS:GO trading rules

Valve tinkered with Counter Strike: Global Offensive’s trading rules this week, and sections of the community are ticked off about it. Under the new rules, added in an update, any items you receive through trading will have a seven-day trading cool down, which stops you moving them on to another user quickly. 

The aim is to stop automated Steam accounts from trading items very frequently through third-party services, Valve said in a blog post. "Unfortunately, some of these third-party services have become a vector for fraud or scams. Unlike players, these services rely on the ability to trade each item very frequently. In contrast, a given item moves between actual players no more than once a week in the vast majority of cases," it said.

It acknowledged that the change would be "disruptive to some players", and the response of the community suggests it was right. A petition that says the rule change "destroys trading interactions as a whole", and that it should be scrapped, has amassed more than 90,000 signatures. The change has serious implications for CS:GO skin gambling, as well as for players that just want to do a lot of trading.

Prominent traders and pro players have also spoke out against the update, including Astralis AWPer Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz. He said on Twitter that the update would do nothing to stop scamming. "The only winner of this update is Valve and the money the market will generate from this."

What do you think of the change?

Protect your PC from power spikes and outages with this $100 UPS

Every so often, we see CyberPower’s battery backups go on sale. If you missed your chance to pick one up at a discount the last time it was marked down, now is the time to take a mulligan—the company’s 1000VA/600W model (CP1000PFCLCD) is on sale for $100 at B&H Photo.

There are no mail-in-rebates to fuss with, just click on the $50 coupon on the product page before adding it to your cart. You also get free expedited shipping with this deal.

The CP1000PFCLCD is one of the better uninterruptible power supplies for the money. This particular model is a less beefy version of our top pick in the UPS category, the 1500VA/900W CP1500PFCLCD. That means less time to save your work before shutting down properly in the event of an outage, but you still get a useful LCD screen for monitoring and true sine-save support, in a compact package.

For plugging in hardware, there are 10 outlets, five of which offer both battery backup and surge protection, with the other five offering surge-only protection. It also has Ethernet and coax connectors.

You can find this UPS on sale here.

Some online stores give us a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Read our affiliate policy for more info.

Watch these Fortnite players make love not war

I’ve always thought it was a bit tragic that Fortnite is a kill-on-sight kind of game. I mean, I get it, it’s a battle royale. But does that mean everyone has to be your enemy? That’s a question that redditor ‘zblockariah’ answered when they shared this heartwarming video of love and friendship blossoming on the field of battle.

As the video shows, zblockariah is whacking away at a house with his pickaxe when he encounters an unnamed player, who will henceforth be called Mr. Bones. Without a weapon to defend himself with, zblockariah knows he’s done for so he begins dancing and dropping his inventory as a peace offering. Instead of killing him, Mr. Bones also begins dancing and, amazingly, drops some items for zblockariah to use. And thus begins the greatest love story ever told.

The next few minutes are a montage of zblockariah and Mr. Bones dancing excitedly next to one another and sharing resources. And then, in a tragic moment at the edge of the deadly blue circle, Mr. Bones drops the remainder of his inventory, emotes one last time, and walks off to his death.

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Or so I thought. Like all the best love stories, this one has a happy ending—well, up to the point that zblockariah and Mr. Bones were both killed off by other players (thankfully this part isn’t in the video). But still, considering these are two strangers who are supposed to kill each other, I love that they ended up becoming fast friends instead.

Of course, this is against the rules in Fortnite. You’re forbidden from teaming up with  enemy players, as commenters are quick to point out. But I say fuck the haters, true love isn’t bound by your stupid rules.

Be sure to check out the full video here.

I’ve reached out to zblockariah to see if he knows Mr. Bones’ real name and to find out, against all odds, if they somehow managed to connect out side of the game.

Sea of Thieves devs working to improve access issues, player rewards and achievement delays

Sea of Thieves has had a busy week. Launched last Tuesday, a surge of players forced Rare to temporarily suspend new faces from joining the pirate sim’s servers. A controversial death tax was tabled and subsequently scrapped, and player rewards—a service that grants players gold and reputation when cashing in rewards—haven’t surfaced for some players. 

The developer’s Joe Neate and Craig Duncan address the latter in their latest developer update:

At the time of writing, Sea of Thieves’ servers are down for maintenance, which is when Rare hopes to tweak everything mentioned above. This blog post identifies player rewards as the developer’s "key priority from an in-game experience perspective", and advises players refrain from quitting and restarting during peak times. "If you continue playing," says the post, "rewards should flow through eventually." 

The post adds that, all going well, achievements will be reactivated by the end of this week; while those struggling to connect during peak times—"9pm–2am BST/4pm–9pm EDT/1pm–6pm PDT"—should find the process easier following today’s update. 

In the meantime, Rare suggests players "try matchmaking into a crew that is already out on an adventure, as you will join an in-progress session rather than going through the server matchmaking flow."

Point your compass at Tyler’s Sea of Thieves review. Learn more about voyages, factions, and making money here.