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.
Nvidia is suddenly all over the news this week, announcing that it's working with the new SteamOS and boasting about how much more powerful PCs are than consoles. Given that Nvidia was skipped over for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, it's understandable that it wants PC gamers to know it loves us very, very much.
This week, it seems, everything is coming up Linux. First Valve announce their own Linux-based OS, and now, Nvidia are making moves to get more involved with the open source community. Nvidia's Andy Ritger contacted the developers of Nouveau - an open source, reverse-engineered version of Nvidia's proprietary drivers - offering information on the workings of their GPUs.
Remember Microsoft making some noises about the Xbox One’s cloud-rendering power? To somewhat offset the fact they’re jamming a weaker GPU into their gaming slab than Sony is with the PlayStation 4, Microsoft is employing 300,000 servers to bolster processing of “latency-insensitive computation”. And now Nvidia has just announced CloudLight, something which sounds more than a little bit similar.
Nvidia released a technical report on CloudLight on their website outlining what it could mean for games. They call it a system “for computing indirect lighting in the Cloud to support real-time rendering for interactive 3D applications on a user’s local device.” In practice, this means Nvidia can use GeForce GRID servers to compute a game engine's global illumination to ease the load on your gaming device of choice.
Nvidia upped the clocks on its cut down GK 104 and EVGA decided to go one better with the GTX 760 Superclocked. But with the reference card’s GPU already hauling as much gaming load as its silicon can handle, is there any point in a more expensive overclocked version?
We’ve already seen the standard Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 today, and there will likely be many reference versions hitting the shelves as I type, but there will also be a slew of these factory-overclocked cards. Is it worth the extra cost? Let's find out.