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!
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.
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.
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.
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 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.