Virtual reality, SteamOS, fiber broadband, 4K displays, holodecks (you know, maybe)—the next five years of PC gaming will radically transform our immortal hobby. What new experiences will the PC games of the near future provide? How will technology surprise us? This April at PAX East 2014, we'll look into that glowing future with the innovators and PC gaming stakeholders shaping it.
Did you find yourself yawning at the idea of a new budget-priced GTX 750 Ti yesterday? If you're looking at the top end of the market, Nvidia's GeForce GTX Titan Black might suit. Their new premium card is designed to oust the Titan, and can be yours for the hefty asking cost of £785.
The GeForce GTX 750 Ti is an Nvidia first, in many ways. It's built around the new Maxwell GPU architecture, and I reckon it’s also the first time Nvidia have released a new graphics design without launching a top-end iteration first. The GTX 750 Ti may still be rocking the same 700 series badge, but it's a new generation of graphics silicon.
The GTX 750 Ti is a reasonably priced graphics card - at £115 / $150 it’s designed to sit in the volume end of the market and offer an upgrade to as wide an audience as possible. Thanks to its new design it actually spreads the net far wider than previous cards at the same price.
There's a big showdown happening in the world of affordable graphics cards this week. AMD and Nvidia are releasing the latest editions in their £100 / $150 range, an important battleground, given that cards at that range easily outsell their flashy flagship $1000 tech. AMD are bringing some rebranded and boosted versions of their last-gen GPUs to compete with Nvidia's GTX 750Ti and GTX 750, which will give us our first look at their new Maxwell GPU architecture.
Nvidia is launching a couple of brand new graphics cards in the entry-level arena. Normally that wouldn’t be a particularly exciting event, but this is going to be our first taste of Nvidia’s new Maxwell GPU architecture. It'll be the first time Nvidia have launched new graphics architecture without housing it in a top-end graphics card. You could argue that’s because they simply don’t need to with the likes of the GTX 780 Ti delivering the goods against the hot and hungry Radeon 290X.
It was a muted January for Steam's hardware stats, perhaps due to all of December's lovingly gifted Christmas RAM. There were minor gains in expected areas, and minor losses that chipped away at the lead configurations. So where last month, 19.97% of polled users ran Windows 8, this month, it's 21.31%. But while the numbers aren't earth shattering, there are plenty of trends to mull over.
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.
Asus are planning to expand their Republic of Gamers line-up with two new high-end Nvidia cards - The Poseidon GTX 780 and the GTX 780 Ti DirectCU II. The Poseidon will add a hybrid cooling solution to the GK 110 GPU at the core of the standard GTX 780.
I do love a bit of PhysX support. Nvidia's proprietary technomagic is great for flappy tarpaulin, windswept cloaks and... other stuff, I guess. As demonstrated by a new effect-laden video, Assassin's Creed IV: Let's Pirate Like It's 1599 has been updated with PhysX support, ensuring the game will be filled with lovely, pointless, view-obscuring smoke effects.
In case you hadn't noticed, this site is called PC Gamer. As you might expect from that title, we're pretty keen on PC games and the PCs that play them. So when an employee of Nvidia says something to the effect of "the PC platform is far superior to any console when it comes to gaming," part of me thinks, "well yes, obviously it is." Of course, part of me also thinks, "well yes, you would say that, because your competitor is making graphics chips for both next-gen consoles."
As the world and their virtual wives get all giddy about a couple of new AMD-based mini-PCs from Sony and Microsoft, Nvidia has set themselves up to compete with the new console generation for the Christmas holidays. In partnership with a bunch of system building folk Nvidia wants to push small form factor gaming PCs, with serious graphics power, into the mainstream. It's called the Art of Gaming.
DinoPC’s Mini Ultimate is one such system and, while the £1,500 sticker price is more expensive than three new consoles together, it’s a mighty fine gaming rig for the money. This is a seriously high-end machine in a snug little chassis.
You could fry an egg on AMD's Radeon R9 290X chip and it gobbles up power like a volt-starved Pikachu, but its speedy performance has forced Nvidia's hand - find out why in our 290X review. AnandTech report that they're dropping the price of the GTX 780 by $150 to $500, and the price of the 770 by $70 to $330. The former just undercuts AMD's new flagship GPU, and the latter puts the 770 in a competitive range with the AMD 280X.
With the Nvidia Shield's PC streaming function now out of its beta phase, the handheld's latest update should bring more flexibility to an already innovative device. The machine's new patch also introduces a new console mode and increased gamepad support for touch-screen games, alongside Android 4.3, according to a press release today.
Everybody knows that if you try to get a cat to do what you want—sit up, fetch a stick, search for explosives—it will do nothing more than stare at you with contempt. That’s why console pitches to PC gamers tend to fall flat: we’re generally not as interested in hearing how a bunch of suits want us to play our games. Nvidia took a much different approach with the Shield, on the other hand, that seems to account for what PC gamers have in common with cats: give us great hardware and the freedom to do whatever we feel like doing, and we’ll show ourselves a great time.
Nvidia announced they’re hoping to spoil the AMD party by dropping a bomb on the gathered press out in Montreal last week: the GeForce GTX 780 Ti. If the rumours are true and the incoming AMD Radeon R9-290X can beat a GTX Titan in a stand up gaming fight then Nvidia are going to need some sort of riposte. But what exactly?
AMD have repeatedly assured the public the brand new Radeon R9-290X is going to be released this month and there’s not a long time left in October. That’s coming soon and I don’t reckon the new GTX 780 Ti is going to be far behind.
Nvidia is making big announcements in Montreal today. We've got G-Sync, which flips the V-sync idea on its head and synchronizes monitor refresh rates to GPU output; recording and Twitch streaming features coming to GeForce Experience; and finally, the hardware: the GeForce GTX 780 Ti.
During an Nvidia event held today, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang discussed a new feature that’ll supposedly make your amazing, video game-related exploits all the more believable to your dubious friends: ShadowPlay.
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.
Update: Well, that didn't take long. Activision's support Twitter account has just confirmed that these specs are not official. Original story follows inside.
While it's not official, the likely PC requirements for Call of Duty: Ghosts have been posted on Nvidia's website. The minimum requirements are pretty friendly to those without giant rigs, but a slight step up from previous CoDs given the transition to new console hardware.