hardware

We built the Large Pixel Collider Jr., an insane gaming PC for the living room

Evan Lahti at

We love building PCs. Last year, we set out to assemble the most irresponsible gaming rig imaginable, and we called it the Large Pixel Collider. Over the past nine months, we’ve spent a ton of time writing stories, making videos, and playing around with our absurd, $10,000 computer.

But as Valve’s incursion into the living room started taking shape this year, we wondered: what if we could build an equally ridiculous but smaller PC suited for playing games on a couch?


Roccat Nyth MMO mouse supports 3D printed buttons in a fully modular grid

Andy Chalk at

The world of specialty gaming mice is about to get a little more exotic thanks to Roccat's new Nyth MMO mouse. It's a "fully modular" design, meaning that gamers can customize its mouse grid with any kind of layout they like—and if you don't like what Roccat has to offer, you can use a 3D printer to whip up your own.


Logitech unveils the G402 Hyperion Fury, claims "fastest gaming mouse" title

Andy Chalk at

Logitech's G402 Hyperion Fury "Ultra-Fast FPS Gaming Mouse" promises to be the fastest mouse on the planet, capable of reliably and accurately tracking at speeds of over 500 inches per second.

Gaming in 4K: the future is now, if you give up 60 frames per second

Wes Fenlon at

The future—aka 4K gaming—is made up of very, very small pixels. After spending the past two weeks checking out games on Samsung's U28D590D 4K monitor, I'm still going to call 4K gaming the near future rather than the present. Yes, you can play games at 3840x2160 pixels right now. Yes, 4K monitors are becoming more affordable. But are they worth it? After spending a couple weeks using one, I can comfortably say: no, not yet. Even for a high-end graphics card (or two), 4K is too demanding for max settings and high framerates. If you're willing to play at 30 frames per second, though, 4K is a different story.


Nvidia announces Shield Tablet and wireless controller, an 8-inch Android tablet focused on games

PC Gamer at

Last week Nvidia was rumored to be prepping the reveal of a new device running Android and capable of streaming games from your PC. Today, it revealed the Shield Tablet, an 8-inch tablet that uses Nvidia's Tegra K1 chip to do just that.


Nvidia rumored to be working on new PC-streaming Android box

Andy Chalk at

Nvidia is reportedly taking another run at the living room with a device that will bring PC games to HD televisions through the company's GeForce Experience technology. The device will also run Android software and make use of a "budget-priced separate controller," suggesting that it might actually be positioned as an all-in-one box meant to compete with both Steam in-home streaming and Ouya at the same time.


Alienware Alpha: impressions of the $550 Windows 8.1 Steam Machine

Wes Fenlon at

I met with Alienware at E3 2014 to look at the only prominent PC at the show: the Alienware Alpha, a miniature Steam Machine going on sale around the end of the year. This Steam Machine won't be running Valve's Linux-based SteamOS, or ship with a Steam Controller, though—when Valve delayed final releases of both to next year, Alienware decided to switch to Windows 8.1 with a custom UI and boot sequence that launches straight into Steam Big Picture. What I saw was an early, rough version of that UI, but Alienware made it clear that you shouldn't ever have to see Windows when you boot up the box. Unless, of course, you want to.


Alienware's Steam Machine is "Steam ready" but will ship without SteamOS or controller

Andy Chalk at

Alienware Alpha is a $550 Steam Machine we looked at earlier this week, during which we noted that SteamOS, the backbone of the system, isn't quite ready. That, and the inclusion of Windows 8.1 in the system specs, understandably led to some existential questions about whether a Steam Machine without SteamOS is really a Steam Machine at all; and the answer, according to Alienware, is "yes."


Oculus Rift interview with Nate Mitchell at E3 2014

PC Gamer at

The Oculus Rift was one of our favorite things about last year's E3, so we were even more excited to see it at E3 2014. While both Evan and Wes got to try the new Rift DK2 unit and a trio of demos, they also spoke with Oculus vice president Nate Mitchell about the company's big hires—such as Naughty Dog co-founder Jason Rubin—and big plans for first-party content.


Razer expands into PC cases with custom-designed NZXT H440

Wes Fenlon at

First Razer built mice and headsets and PC accessories. Then Razer built its own computers—the Razer Blade laptop and the modular Project Christine. Now the inevitable has happened: Razer's built a PC case. The company's big product reveal for E3 2014 is a custom Razer-designed NZXT H440 case, a sleek black obelisk with the usual neon green highlighting.


The NZXT H440 is part of Razer's "Designed by Razer" initiative, which means they didn't actually manufacture the case. Instead, they took a mid-tower case design from NZXT and ran it through Razer's design team in San Francisco, tweaking the materials and aesthetics to meet Razer's specifications.

Roccat Sova revealed, a mouse and keyboard solution for Steam Machines

Cory Banks at

Back in January, Evan expressed his doubts in the Steam Controller. No matter how hard Valve tries, it simply cannot replace the mouse and keyboard (though its recent delay indicates that Valve certainly wants to try). "An innovative controller can’t and won’t replace the decades-long relationship PC gamers have with WASD," he wrote, "because PC gamers don’t like compromise." And he's absolutely right.

Roccat agrees with us, and has developed a solution that it says can put the control of a mouse and keyboard setup into the living room (say, with a Steam Machine). The company today unveiled that solution to PC Gamer, a lapboard it calls the Roccat Sova.


Alienware Alpha revealed, a $550 Steam Machine available this holiday

Cory Banks at

Today at E3 2014, Alienware unveiled its entry in the Steam Machine lineup. The Alienware Alpha gaming console is a gaming PC designed from the beginning to bring your favorite Steam games into the living room—even if SteamOS and the Steam Controller isn't quite ready yet.


Xbox One controller review

Andy Kelly at

Like it or not, gamepads have become an important part of PC gaming. Can you imagine playing Super Meat Boy or Street Fighter IV without one? The 360 controller has been PC Gamer’s go-to for years now, but yesterday Microsoft finally released Windows drivers for the Xbox One pad. I've spent the morning testing it out on a variety of games, which is both an excuse to spend my Friday playing games and an opportunity to tell you if it’s worth upgrading or not. Everyone wins!


Roccat reveals the Tyon gaming mouse at Computex 2014

Andy Chalk at

PC gamers can be pretty picky about their choice of mouse. It is, after all, the most direct method of interfacing with games, which is the whole point of all this horsing around. I like to keep it simple, which is why after all these years I still pine for my Logitech MX510; others prefer odd shapes, variable DPI with on-the-fly switching and more buttons than they have fingers. For them, Roccat has unveiled the Tyon, a new gaming mouse with a thumb paddle sticking out of it.


Asus unveils slim, Core i7-powered GX500 gaming laptop with 4K display

Andy Chalk at

My own laptop is several years old, weighs a little more than a cinder block and gives me enough time during boot-up to make a sandwich and watch a Barney Miller rerun. I am, therefore, perhaps a little more impressed by the new Asus GX500 gaming notebook revealed today at Computex 2014 than others might be. It packs a Core i7 CPU—and more importantly, a 4K display—into a laptop package less than two centimeters thick.


How to buy a graphics card—Six things you must know about GPUs

PC Gamer at

In a perfect world, the hardware experts at PC Gamer would accompany you on a shopping trip to pick up your next graphics card. We'd happily share our experience and tell you what to watch out for, what to avoid, and what you need from a GPU to squeeze the highest number of frames per second out of your gaming rig. Then again, would you really want to spend an afternoon with our posse of hardware-obsessed game addicts? The good news is you can receive the same benefit by reading our new buyer's guide below. When you're done, you don't even have to shake our clammy, mouse-worn hands.


The keyboard of the Large Pixel Collider

Wes Fenlon at

We've picked a keyboard that can handle the gaming demands of our supercomputing overlord, the Large Pixel Collider.


Logitech announces G502 gaming mouse with 12,000 DPI sensor

Wes Fenlon at

Logitech has a new gaming mouse, and that gaming mouse has an edgy name to go with its ridiculous new 12,000 DPI sensor: Proteus Core. Logitech's G502 Proteus Core is the successor to the G500s, which is just a year old. Logitech calls the 12,000 DPI sensor "the world's most powerful and accurate sensor" and say it's a brand new design that no other mouse on the market has.

The DPI race doesn't say much about sensor quality—most gamers use a DPI setting in the low thousands, and no one can realistically control a mouse at 1200 DPI—but Logitech claims the sensor has "zero acceleration, zero smoothing or filtering, and zero pixel rounding." Those are all magic words to hardcore gamers worried about mouse acceleration throwing off their aim. The Proteus Core's big new feature is the ability to calibrate the sensor on different surfaces to optimize tracking and lift-off distance


Nvidia's smooth G-sync tech impresses at CES 2014

Dave James at

Nvidia’s big press conference at this year's CES I was given a reason to go green in the ongoing battle between Nvidia and AMD - G-Sync. It enables the GPU and monitor to work together to ensure frames are delivered to the display consistently and smoothly. Your monitor only updates the frame when the GPU is ready, eliminating screen-tearing and reducing stutter.


First prototype Steam Machines, Steam Controllers shipping December 13

Emanuel Maiberg at

Brace yourself. Today, Valve announced that it's ready to start shipping out its first batch of Steam Machines and Steam Controllers to the lucky 300 users selected to participate in the beta. If all goes according to plan, the machines will ship out of the factory this Friday, Dec. 13.