Nvidia court Youtubers with ShadowPlay recording feature: "like Sky Plus for PC gamers"

Dave James at

Nvidia have just launched their latest high-end graphics card, the GeForce GTX 780, and an impressively quick, but expensive card it is too. Alongside that we’ll also be getting some interesting updates to the GeForce Experience as well, including the intriguing ShadowPlay feature.

GFE is about to become an opt-in component of the Nvidia’s driver downloads, and given that it’s already had around 2.5 million downloads in its beta form already those numbers are likely to get bigger.

And that means it’s only going to get better and more reliable too.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 review

Dave James at

Just as we were warming up for Intel's Haswell CPU, Nvidia go and drop a whole new generation of graphics cards on our laps, with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 at the vanguard.

Well, when I say "whole new" that needs to be qualified just a touch. Nvidia haven’t suddenly forgotten all those roadmaps they've been showing off. This isn't one of the new Maxwell GPUs. The GTX 700 generation is essentially a refresh with the same basic graphical technology that we saw in the GTX 600 series, though the GTX 780 is itself a bit of an exception to that. It's actually taking the Titan's GK 110 GPU and shaving a little power off the top, giving us a card that performs slightly below Nvidia's state-of-the-art monster at a lower price point, ostensibly making the GTX 780 the oft-rumoured GTX Titan LE.

An Nvidia spokesperson pitched it as being "for everyone who loved Titan but couldn't stump up to an £800 graphics card." Does that claim stand up?

Nvidia surprised the Titan outsold the year-old GTX 690 in just 3 months. We're not.

Dave James at

Nvidia’s dual-GPU behemoth, the GeForce GTX 690, has been out in the wild for over a year now, but the equally freakishly expensive GTX Titan has outsold it in less than three months. Now either the GTX 690 sold a pifflingly small amount (quite possibly) or the GTX Titan has been better received than even Nvidia thought.

According to Nvidia, it’s the latter.

Download NVIDIA's new uncanny valley-thwarting face rendering demo

Shaun Prescott at

Getting faces across the uncanny valley is one of the loftier challenges facing modern day graphics folk, but they're slowly getting there. Shirking the age old tradition of using wrinkly old men in CG facial expression demos, Nvidia has opted instead for a middle-aged bald guy. Middle-aged bald guys with lots of feelings are usually to be avoided, but this is different. 'Digital Ira', according to Nvidia, "represents a big leap forward in capturing and rendering human facial expression in real time, and gives us a glimpse of the realism we can look forward to in our favorite game characters."

SLI remarks: two Nvidia GTX 650 Ti Boosts are faster and cheaper than a GTX 670

Dave James at

As a techie person and all-round good egg, people often ask me for advice and assistance putting gaming systems together. And more often than you might think I get asked specifically about building multi-GPU setups. Normally I’d scoff, put on my best smug face and patronise them mercilessly.

“Whatever you’re going to spend on a multi-GPU array,” I’d say, “go and spend that on the fastest single-GPU graphics card you can afford. You’ll thank me in the end.”

And then Nvidia go and release the GTX 650 Ti Boost, immediately putting that received wisdom into question.

Asus GTX 670 DirectCU Mini review

Dave James at

I really, really want to love this diminutive new card from Asus. It’s fantastically well engineered and at once quicker, quieter and cooler than the reference design card from Nvidia itself. It also fits in with the recent trend of squeezing top-end gaming performance down into mini-ITX form factors.

A total graphics win, you’d have to say. Right?

Asus GTX 670 DirectCU Mini: pint-sized without compromise?

Dave James at

Asus have unveiled their latest effort to squeeze performance components into a miniscule form factor. The diminutive GTX 670 DirectCU Mini has just landed on my desk and what they say is true; size doesn’t matter.

This card is a fully-fledged GTX 670 card measuring just 170mm tip to tail compared with just under 250mm for the reference version. But there’s no hint of compromise in order to squeeze this sort of performance into a pint-sized card, in fact Asus have managed to overclock the DirectCU Mini too.

GDC 2013: Hawken "destruction demo level" brings down the house

Phil Savage at

GDC may be over, but there's still the clean up operation to be performed. Discarded bits of news lay strewn across the show's floor, waiting for us to scoop them up and put them on their digital shelf. What's that in the corner? A burnt-out mechanical husk - misshapen and trampled by excited IGF nominees - informing us that Nvidia's APEX demo featured a Hawken map that utilised the destruction tech in multiplayer. Let's scan it's sparking memory banks to see if... yes! A video!

GDC 2013: Nvidia tech demo shows massive real-time destruction

Phil Savage at

If this was a movie, the end of this video would pull back to reveal a round-table of world leaders staring dumbfounded. Then, Nvidia's PhysX SDK Research Lead Matthias Müller-Fischer, would appear on their screen (possibly with a cat), point his omnipotent crosshair of ultimate destruction at Big Ben and start reading out the transfer details for his Swiss bank account.

Instead, it's a clever GDC tech demo experimenting with real-time dynamic fracturing. As yet, it's not a perfect physics simulation - those structures aren't collapsing under their own weight. That's something Müller-Fischer says should be working soon.

Nvidia GeForce 314.22 drivers boost BioShock Infinite, Tomb Raider performance

Omri Petitte at

As it typically does for a major game launch, Nvidia has updated its GeForce card drivers to 314.22 for boosts in performance and stability. It claims recent titans BioShock Infinite and Tomb Raider both get a significant bump in frames-per-second, with the former increasing by 41 percent and the latter by an astonishing 71 percent.

Warframe jacks into open beta with a PhysX trailer

Omri Petitte at

Digital Extremes isn't just working on naked space dinos. It's also busy with bringing us armored space cyborg ninjas in Warframe, its co-op third-person shooter showing up later this year. It hit open beta earlier this week, and Nvidia has shared a tech trailer showing off the slick PhysX effects owners of its cards can glimpse while cartwheeling off walls and stabbing things with nano-swords.

Nvidia unveils Face Works - video capture tech accurate to a tenth of a millimetre

Dave James at

It seems like you can't claim to be in the business of next-gen technology these days until you've wheeled out a giant floating man-face. David Cage summoned the disembodied head of Max von Sydow to boggle over the stage at the PS4 reveal, and now, not to be out-done, Nvidia have revealed their own real-time face-o-tech at their GPU Technology Conference in California.

Aiming to help us clamber up the other side of the uncanny valley, Face Works uses a face and motion capture technology developed at the University of Southern California’s Institute of Creative Technology (ICT). The Light Stage technology is able to capture data to within a tenth of a millimetre using photographic techniques that capture the geometry of an actor's face as well as the light transmission through human skin and the reflections that come from the oils too.

Tomb Raider patch provides hair care for Nvidia users

Phil Savage at

Think of this latest Tomb Raider patch as the conditioner for AMD's fancy hair tech TressFX. Owners of Nvidia cards had been experiencing extreme optimisation issues when choosing to let Lara's hair wave free and loose. The update should smooth out those issues, bringing specific stability fixes for Nvidia and Intel cards, as well as "small" improvements to TressFX rendering.

Is Tomb Raider's performance trouble the herald of things to come for Nvidia's gamers?

Dave James at

Lara's locks are proving a problem for Nvidia customers, whose graphics cards are struggling to handle the AMD-developed hair-rendering technology. Given that Nvidia owns two thirds of the GPU market, that's an awful lot of Tomb Raiders out there suffering from shoddy performance - if they can even get into their game at all.

I’m one of these unlucky folk, the once-proud owner of a GTX 670, and I can’t even get into the options screen, let alone play the game. Of course, loads of games have had dreadful launches, marred by server problems and driver/graphics card issues; even the likes of Half-Life 2 and Diablo III had trouble getting out of the gate. But the current disadvantage experienced by Nvidia customers could go beyond Lara's bounteous bangs. With AMD components sitting in next-gen consoles, this may not be the only time Nvidia's driver team find themselves left behind at a major game launch.

Tomb Raider's GeForce performance issues being looked at by Nvidia and Crystal Dynamics

Phil Savage at

Nvidia released a new beta version of their GeForce driver this week, once again squeezing more incremental improvements from a bunch of games, both new and old. But one prominent release was missing from the list of tweaks: Tomb Raider. Lara's latest outing may continue Square Enix's quality porting form, but, as Chris notes in his settings overview, GeForce cards attempting to use AMD's new fancy hair tech TressFX suffer a drastic performance hit.

PC Gamer US Podcast #345 - Does PS4 Even Lift?

PC Gamer at

This week, Tyler, Omri, and roguish host/space cowboy T.J. discuss whether or not Sony's PS4 announcement is relevant to PC gamers. And if it is, how relevant is it, really? Also, Nvidia's GTX Titan card, the return of Blizzcon, Crysis 3, and BioShock Infinite.

Plus listener questions and playlists, on a short but sweet PC Gamer Podcast 345: Does PS4 Even Lift?

Resident Evil 6 benchmarking tool prepares your PC for the coming horror

Phil Savage at

Whether you want to play Resident Evil 6 is a matter best left to reviews. Whether you can play it is something we can answer right now. Nvidia and Capcom have teamed up to create a benchmark app for the upcoming action horror sequel. Think of it as a separate game for you PC, in which it's forced to battle with extreme hordes of polygons and lighting. It's even given a score and end-of-level Resi-rank.

Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan review

Dave James at

When I first saw the Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan a couple weeks before launch Nvidia’s Tom Petersen explained that it was their “love story to gamers. It looks great, it sounds great and it has great performance.” And while he is right on pretty much all fronts, the GTX Titan is likely to only ever be a matter of unrequited love for all but a tiny percentage of PC gamers. When you price up a single graphics card at the same price as a performance gaming PC, that’s immediately most of your audience cut out.

So what is it? This is the fastest single-GPU graphics card on the planet and the very top-end of Nvidia’s Kepler architecture. We knew when the GTX 680 launched that it wasn’t home to the full-fat Kepler core - that was held over for the Tesla range of professional graphics cards, which need the amount of double precision compute performance the top GK110 GPU affords.

Nvidia unveil the GTX Titan. An elegant weapon for a more civilised age.

Dave James at

Anyone remember Cray unveiling their new Titan supercomputer at the tail-end of last year? Y'know, that vast data-munching machine housing 18688 of Nvidia’s Tesla K20 graphics cards, each of which go for around £2500/$3500. I remember looking down mournfully at the GTX 680 in my test rig and thinking “wouldn’t it be nice to have just one of those graphics cards?”

Well, now you can.

Nvidia has re-engineered the GK110 GPU that sits at the heart of the professional Tesla cards and stuck it in a gaming-focused desktop boards. Thus, the GTX Titan is born.

Nvidia and AMD go head-to-head in the bundle wars. Do you want triple-A titles or free-to-play freebies?

Dave James at

Nvidia have hit back in the great bundle wars with their own $150 F2P content giveaway. That’s around £100 in real money. If the lure of having a brand new performance pixel-pusher chucking polygons around your PC’s monitron wasn’t enough to entice you to part with your hard-earned cash, Nvidia are hoping that giving you extra pocket-money in three of the top free-to-play games around will sway you their way. It’s a different take on the game bundle than rival GPU manufacturer, AMD, have used. They recently launched their Never Settle Reloaded bundle, offering triple-A games with newly-purchased graphics cards in their HD 7800 and HD 7900 series.

Nvidia though is banking on the explosion in the free-to-play market being more of an attraction than a bundle of new titles. Which would entice you?