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.
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.
After we unveiled the Large Pixel Collider to the world, one of the first questions we received was, "Where did you get the cash for that sweet rig, brah?" And while we can't reveal just how many of our own organs we've sold to black market buyers, we can tell you how much each part costs, in this handy dandy video. We even use Monopoly money to illustrate the point, because it may be the only money we have left.
Valve want to revolutionise the living room box industry, and plan to do so with their newest invention: the grey box. It will be competing with other leaders of box manufacturing, notably the wonky black box and the '80s tribute box. It will also be competing with alternate versions of itself, with any living room based PC console running SteamOS becoming, in effect, a third-party grey box, or "Steam Machine". Gaming PC manufacturer iBuyPower has revealed their own Steam Machine prototype, and are hoping to capture a slice of a market with their particular design: a grey box with a light strip cutting through its middle, so as to resemble a plastic neon sandwich.
How real is real anyway? Oculus Rift creator Palmer Luckey thinks the best solution to motion sickness problems when using a virtual reality headset might be rethinking how movement is simulated in all games, not just those that plan on exploiting the new technology.
Nothing delights us more than building a nice computer. Except for, well, building an irresponsibly powerful one. Today we'd like you to meet the Large Pixel Collider, the most inspiring, dangerous, and liver-damagingly potent PC we've ever built.
I'm about to write a bunch of really weird words in a row, but I need you to hang in there. We'll get through this together. Are you ready?
ASRock has just released a new motherboard series designed specifically to mine for Bitcoins. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time PC hardware has been built with Bitcoins in mind. Actually, these are the first PC components built to, theoretically, make you money.
The standard display refresh rate is 60Hz—that's 60 images per second—but fancy GPUs can render way more than 60 frames per second. We like more frames. More frames means more responsive input—and screw compromise!—but when out-of-sync rendering traps multiple frames in a single refresh, the Horrible One emerges: screen tearing. The best we can do now is tame the beast with V-sync, but in Montreal today, Nvidia unsheathed a new weapon which it claims will put tearing and stuttering down for good.
Even as Valve is trying to ease access to PC gaming in the living room, its plans for the Steam Machine won't be held up by an adherence to a single manufacturer of graphics hardware. The proposed SteamOS-based systems will support a variety of graphics builds with GPUs from AMD, Intel, and Nvidia when they launch next year, according to a report at Maximum PC.
If there's one downside to being a PC gamer, it's probably making sure that all our pieces of hardware behave appropriately with one another, as well as keeping their associated drivers updated and making sure they don't interfere with anything. Man, the drama. Improperly updated drivers can leave remnants of old drivers strewn about your system, hindering your system's all-too-precious performance. That's why Driver Fusion, the newest addition to Steam's software selection, is looking pretty sweet.
Mechanical keyboards! They're great! Unless you don't like the click-clack, but even if you don't like the click-clack, they're great! They feel so good to use, really, and Corsair's new Vengeance K70 might become a contender. "It's more mechanical" says Corsair, meaning it uses Cherry MX Red switches (which actually aren't too clacky) under every key. It's also got lovely customizable backlighting and contoured WASD keys "so you can find them fast." Well, I think finding WASD is a skill most PC gamers don't need help with, but maybe it's more comfortable.
CPU Boss emerged on the Interknot back in January as a one-stop tool for browsing, comparing, and ogling at the various processor chips for your motherboard's square-shaped embrace. Plenty of other PC parts fit well with the website's performance breakdowns, including the almighty video card. Here's GPU Boss then, which helps you pick the right graphics card for your machine with head-to-head stat face-offs, features, and pretty charts.
Shopping for the perfect chip to grace your motherboard's silicon throne can turn quite tedious, especially when delving into the finer differences between model versions. CPU Boss wants to turn all that into a painless process, and it does so with easily digestible rating lists, a comparison tool, and reviews for nearly all current chips on the market.
Amidst rumors that the 2012 apocalypse would be caused by Intel discontinuing production of socketed CPUs, causing thousands of system builders and overclockers to cry out in anguish, our friends over at Maximum PC have given the all clear. Intel has no plans to begin welding their processors inseparably to motherboards to the exclusion of producing the removable kind we've all come to know and love. Life as we know it, so it seems, will go on.
Memory specialists Kingston have hit us with a one-two combo of brand new solid state drives and a whole new memory module they’re calling the Beast.
As if the memory market wasn't already macho enough, Kingston are looking to sex things up with the latest addition to their Predator line-up of memory upgrades. It’s all ostensibly dual-channel DDR3 in speeds ranging from 1600MHz up to 2400MHz and in kits of up to 64GB (sixty-four gigabytes! I felt that needed emphasising), with a range of memory latency ratings too. The Beast title is being given to the modules carrying the new “viciously aggressive” heatspreader design and that 64GB capacity is the largest in the HyperX performance memory family.
Mad Catz specialise in creating keyboards that look like they've been assimilated by the Borg. The Strike 7 divided opinion when it was released a few months back. If you were tempted, but put off by the $300 price point then you might be interested in the Strike 5, a $200 alternative that replaces the touchscreen pop-up module with a terrifying glowing doom-eye and some analogue buttons.
Corsair's quest to shake off its reputation as a purveyor of fine PC memory and replace it with a reputation as purveyor of fine PC memory AND peripherals continues today, as the firm has announced it's to acquire German mouse and keyboard manufacturer Raptor.
Raptor, which was founded in 2004, only started selling outside its native German market recently, and from what I've seen of it in PC Gamer its line-up consists of mostly budget kit and a well priced mechanical keyboard, the K1. Sadly that's the one thing I haven't had chance to review as it's not generally available in the UK.
Starcraft, the most mouse and keyboard game known to man. As much about frantic clicking and precision control as it is about grand strategy. It would be impossible to play any other way, right? Wrong. This video, spotted appropriately enough by Joystiq, shows a man achieving the impossible, playing Starcraft 2 with a joystiq. Read on to find out how and more pressingly, why.
When Microsoft unveiled the Surface, its new tablet PC, one curious detail managed to slip beneath the radar. The tablet's integrated keyboard boasts pressure sensitive keys which, as Ars Technica have pointed out, could finally offer PC gamers the chance to control the speed of their movement.
I love my mouse and keyboard like tiny, mechanical brothers, but there are some things they don't do well. I'm secretly envious of our console playing brethren's ability to walk at whatever speed they choose, all dictated by the nuanced tilt of a game pad's analogue thumb stick. Our mice may be precision pointers of death, and our keyboards may offer us more buttons than a joypad owner's wet dream, but when it comes to movement we either walk very slowly, or run full tilt.