Evan stopped by the Intel booth at PAX to talk about the 3K and 4K laptops on display, and what kind of gamer might want one. He also picked up an ASUS ROG GL551 laptop, which we're getting signed by everyone we interview at PAX (Chris Roberts and Tim Schafer among them so far)—we'll be giving it away to a reader next week!
Having spent a long time using 4K monitors I’ve become a bit jaded about next-gen gaming resolutions. They don't tangibly deliver anything above what you can get from a beautiful 27-inch IPS 1440p screen. The problem is, while 4K does deliver a huge upgrade in terms of pixel count, it doesn’t make a huge difference in games where the texture resolution hasn’t changed. All you’re really doing is shanking your frame rate in return for the possibility of being able to knock your anti-aliasing settings down a notch. If you want a dramatic upgrade of your gaming monitor you should have a good think about the new ultrawide 34-inch 21:9 screens trickling out of all good monitor manufacturers’ factories at the moment.
It might seem pretty weird calling a £600 / $650 monitor ‘the budget option’ but that’s exactly what the Asus PB287Q is in the burgeoning 4K space. When the first 4K screens I tested cost six times as much you can probably see why I might get a bit excited about a ‘cheap’ 4K display hitting my testbench. This is the first realistically affordable monitor I’ve checked out, rocking that full 3840x2160 native resolution, and it’s lovely. I had my worries, but Asus has put together a 4K screen that can claim bargain status without looking anything like a budget monitor. How have they managed this feat when others are into four figure price tags?
The Infinity Vesuvius is a monster concocted by AMD and Overclockers, powered by a quadfire-tastic Radeon R9 295X2 pairing inside. Those four GPUs, housed in a sturdy Corsair chassis, will let you play at 4K resolutions without having to sacrifice top-end graphics settings, but you'll pay £4K / $6k for the privilege.
Nvidia’s GTX Titan Black was released to the public a few months back. I'll admit that it didn’t interest me much. With standard GTX 780 Ti cards retailing for some £300 / $500 less than the price of the GTX Titan Black, and with almost identical specs, I got the feeling that it was only really relevant for the homebrew 3D rendering crowd.
But Nvidia have been marketing it as the “the ultimate gaming GPU for a pure gaming experience—the perfect balance of sleek design, uncompromising performance, and state-of-the-art technologies.” That would seem to indicate that it had been designed for PC gamers, so let's take a look.