Large Pixel Collider
The Large Pixel Collider—our "ridiculously overpowered because we can" super machine—considered mining Bitcoin for a while, but with that mountain crumbling, it's taken to indiscriminately swiping shiny objects in Thief. We sneaked into its clock tower lair to capture some video at 1440p with the settings cranked as high as they go.
If you plan on playing Titanfall on a laptop or want to install it on a solid state hard drive, you might need to prepare in advance for the game’s March 11 release date. Responding to a question from a fan, Respawn Entertainment’s Vince Zampella said on Twitter that the PC version of Titanfall’s will be a 21 gigabyte download, and will take up a whopping 48 gigabyte when installed.
Never mind that I'm such a bad shot I couldn't hit the side of a giant mech—here's the Titanfall beta in glorious 1440p with the settings cranked as high as they go, recorded on the Large Pixel Collider, our four-Titan Voltron which we built with help from Digital Storm and disrespect for the natural order.
That's right, the most powerful gaming PC known to mankind cares about you. Or rather, is willing to spare a few of its computing cycles to give you special consideration—certainly more than it gives most humans. It's pretty busy spanning massive Titanfall images across three 1440p monitors, or rendering Metro: Last Light video at ridiculous image quality. But it's still thinking of you, with at least one of its four GTX Titans, and it wants you to be its valentine. Because it loves you with every megabyte of its RAM, puny human.
The Titanfall beta is live (read and watch our impressions), and what better PC to run it on than our own Large Pixel Collider, with its four GeForce GTX Titans? We actually only powered up two of the Titans for this battle (a long story involving watt meters and circuit breakers), but that didn't stop us from spanning three 1440p monitors for a total resolution of 7680x1440.
The Elder Scrolls Online is a gorgeous game, so much so that we had to see how it looks on the Large Pixel Collider. We cranked every setting to maximum, but it was no match for the world's most dangerous gaming rig. Here are the results, along with gameplay impressions from Editor-in-chief Evan Lahti and Managing Editor Cory Banks.
The Lara Croft of 2014 may have fancy TressFX hair and a killer bow, but we still have fond memories of the original Lara, who fearlessly explored mysterious and oppressive tombs way back in '96. The rebooted Tomb Raider's Definitive Edition may be a console exclusive, but we say the definitive Tomb Raider has been on PC for 18 years.
To prove that the sunglass-wearing Lara looks as sharp as ever, we grabbed Tomb Raider 1+2+3 from GOG and installed the games on the Large Pixel Collider. The LPC deemed Tomb Raider's original resolution unworthy, however, and opted to run the game at 2400x1800–about 3.5 million more pixels than the Voodoo graphics cards of the '90s were used to pushing. We left everything else about the game pure and unmodified. No mods. No texture packs. Original 4:3 aspect ratio.
Things we're bad at: driving cars in Next Car Game, staying on the track for more than five seconds. Things we're great at: Flipping, barrel rolling, and straight-up wrecking cars in Next Car Game. Is it a skill, or an astonishing lack of skill? Either way, it turns out annihilating automobiles in Next Car Game, which is currently on Steam Early Access, is more fun than racing them. The cars crunch and shred and break into so many wonderful pieces, we had to record their destruction in animated GIF form.
Thanks to the physics processing prowess of the Large Pixel Collider, we could record at 1080p and 60fps while barrels and tires and bumpers bounced across the screen. We've compiled our 11 favorite crashes below, but don't worry about them taking forever to load. They're embedded in HTML5 video form, which can compress a chunky 14MB GIF into a digestible two megs. Give 'em a click for a larger version and a link to the original GIF.
Funny story: the Large Pixel Collider demanded such overwhelming graphical power in its towering shell (four Nvidia GTX Titans) and so much piping to keep the liquid coolness flowing, we ran out of space for a sound card. While our eyes were being treated to 11 million pixels spread across three monitors, our ears were feeling left out.
As funny as this sounds, when we built our absurd gaming supercomputer, the LPC, we actually hadn't picked out what displays we were going to use. We knew that 4K was our minimum goal, but many companies remain at the prototype stage for their 4K monitors.
The Large Pixel Collider—if you haven't already been introduced to it through the faint but ominous humming that now haunts your dreams—is the most powerful gaming PC we've ever built. With four Nvidia GTX Titans and an irresponsible surplus of everything else, we're using the LPC to capture gameplay footage of supreme quality, with ambitions to go beyond 4K and into a resolution super-realm populated by beings of pure light energy.
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.
Running Battlefield 4 at 1440p is impressive, but the Large Pixel Collider doesn't merely seek to impress. It seeks to destroy all humans (maybe, we don't know what it's thinking about) and destroy all things less than miraculous. With a gurgle from its coolant tank, it commanded us to instead span three 2560x1440 displays and submerse our eyeballs in a gallon of 7680x1440 levelution.
Have you seen the Large Pixel Collider in action? We built the most dangerous computer the world has ever known, and we're capturing gameplay footage of the most graphically-intensive games at settings that would cause conventional PCs emotional harm.
Last week, we debuted our footage of Arma 3, with gorgeous results. This week, we have Metro: Last Light, running at 1440p with every graphical option set to Ultra. Is it enough to bring the LPC to its knees?
I don't know if you heard, but we built a ridiculous computer. The first thing we fired up on it was Arma 3, a fitting inaugural test of our four GTX Titans. Here's the result, captured in first-person and with help from Arma 3's Splendid Camera.
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.