Why You Don’t Need Multiple Graphics Cards

By Jeremy Laird on February 26th, 2015.

Stop that. It's silly

Apparently contrary forces, but suddenly complimentary. Are AMD and Nvidia about to become the yin and yang of the PC gaming world? Possibly. Rumour has it graphicsy bits of that DirectX 12 thing that arrives with Windows 10 will allow for asynchronous multi-GPU (graphics processing unit). In other words, you’ll be able to use AMD and Nvidia cards in the same rig at the same time to make games run faster. As rumours go, this is pretty spectacular. But it does rather remind me. Multi-GPU is basically a bad idea. Here’s why.
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Why You Need A Monitor With Adaptive Sync

By Jeremy Laird on February 19th, 2015.

We’ve done IPS panel tech. We’ve done high refresh. So let’s wrap up the holy trinity of gaming-relevant monitor technologies of late. It’s time to talk frame syncing or adaptive sync. Probably better known via brand names like Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync, frame syncing technology is all about getting your games running smoother and without any nasty screen tearing. But here’s the twist. It does that without requiring that your games run faster or that you buy a $/£1,000 mega-GPU. And it really is rather lovely
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Why You Need A High-Refresh / 120Hz-plus Monitor

By Jeremy Laird on February 12th, 2015.

Did somebody say something about IPS and high refresh?

Last week we rolled out the first in a new series of why-you-need-stuff posts. The idea being, assumptions about what is good and why come a little too easily with the ongoing churn of PC hardware news and product launches. So, let’s go back to basics with these assumed goodnesses. I kicked off with IPS monitor technology and while healthy discussion of the pros and cons of IPS ensued, so did some wailing and gnashing of teeth that a gaming website had appeared to be dismissive of high refresh rates and glossed over 120/144Hz.

This was because high refresh rates are a separate issue from panel type. Something worthy of a post of its own. This post, in fact. Is faster really better when it comes to screens?
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Why You Need An IPS Monitor

By Jeremy Laird on February 5th, 2015.


Welcome, everybody, to the first in an impossibly exciting new series of posts in which I tell you why you need to buy stuff. Or maybe why you don’t. If that sounds a lot like what I’ve already been doing with Week In Tech, there’s a twist.

The point is that a lot of jargon gets thrown around when it comes to PC hardware. Too often assumptions are made. Assumptions about what is good and bad. Assumptions about what everybody understands or cares about. With all that in mind, we thought it would be good to go back to basics with stuff that sometimes seems obvious but actually isn’t. We’ll start with IPS panel technology in PC monitors. If you’re thinking about buying a new screen, you need to know about this.

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Week in Tech: Is Nvidia’s New £150/$200 Graphics Good?

By Jeremy Laird on January 29th, 2015.

Almost definitely not what a retail 960 will look like...

Ah, the glories of high-end graphics chips. The billions of teensy little transistors. The preposterous pixel pumping power. All terribly impressive. But not hugely helpful if you simply want half-decent frame rates on a plain old 1080p monitor without re-mortgaging everything short of the shirt on your back. In an ideal world, what most of us really need is an affordable £150/$200 graphics card that’ll hook up to that 1080p monitor and run almost anything you chuck at it without worrying about optimising the settings. Well, it just so happens Nvidia has a new GPU that fits the bill, on paper at least. It’s the Geforce GTX 960. Is this the mainstream marvel we’ve all been waiting for?
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The Old Weird Web: Formative Online Gaming Experiences

By Jeremy Laird on January 22nd, 2015.

Usually you’d find Week In Tech in this spot, but it’s been a particularly big week in tech already. With the big Microsoft Win10 and Holowhatsit announcements covered here and here and here, for this column I’m proposing to go off the reservation. Let us, each one of us, reminisce and indeed celebrate our earliest experiences of the internet and of course gaming thereon. And then ponder what the future holds for our internet connections and how we game on them.

I’m thinking less social history, more unapologetic geeky nostalgia. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is Windows 10 Good For PC Gamers Or XBone Owners?

By Laura Hudson on January 22nd, 2015.

“It’s time for us to talk about gaming in Windows,” promised Head of Xbox Phil Spencer in December. A little over a month later, Microsoft has finally stepped up to the plate with a slew of big announcements about Windows 10, Xbox and PC gaming delivered at its Redmond campus yesterday morning.

The big news for gamers—aside from holograms—is that Windows 10 will not only support multiplayer gaming between Xbox One and PC, but allow you to stream Xbox One games locally to PCs or tablets.

Which is all well and good for Xbox fans, but where does that leave PC gamers, especially ones who don’t particularly care about Xbox?

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Hands On With HoloLens And Augmented Reality Minecraft

By Laura Hudson on January 22nd, 2015.

“Is it real?” I ask. I’m looking around at the landscape of Mars, where a dusty, rocky desert stretches in every direction, reddish mountains rising in the distance. It looks so vivid, so strangely plausible that it’s hard to believe that I’m actually looking at the surface of another planet and not the set of a sci-fi movie.

The gentleman who works for Microsoft assure me that it is, in fact, real—depending on how you think about it. I’m currently wearing a prototype version of the HoloLens, a new augmented reality headset announced yesterday by Microsoft, and exploring real three-dimensional images collected from the Mars Curiosity rover using a tool called OnSight.

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Microsoft Announce HoloLens Augmented Reality Headset

By Graham Smith on January 21st, 2015.

Microsoft have announced the HoloLens, an augmented reality headset for games and general computing. Which is maybe not what we were expecting when we were invited to Redmond to hear about the company’s future gaming plans this evening. While our correspondent is trying the thing on as I type, you can whet your appetite for impressions with the video Microsoft used to introduce the device. It’s not clear what parts of it are hypothetical and which are already functional – depicting augmented reality glasses from a third-person perspective is hard, after all, so it’s all mock-ups – but the gaming application depicted is, predictably, some form of Minecraft.

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Extra Win 10 Reveals: Free Offer, DX12, More Xbox Games

By Alec Meer on January 21st, 2015.


Our roving reporter at the big Windows 10 event in Redmond is currently playing with Microsoft’s newly-announced holo-goggles, more on which soon, but she has been able to send back to useful bonus info about Win 10 and games in the meantime – including whether DirectX 12 is exclusive to the new OS, how this ‘upgrade to Win 10 free for a year’ offer works and whether there’ll be keyboard/mouse support for streamed Xbox One games.
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So I Bought A Mechanical Keyboard

By Alec Meer on January 20th, 2015.

Note – this piece is aimed at people who are as ignorant about mechanical keyboards as I was until around a week ago (and probably still am), not at old hands.

For the longest time, my major interest in a keyboard has been whether it’s got big, easy multimedia controls. Apart from that, it’s a plastic thing with buttons on it, right? Then people (including our resident tech-head Jeremy) started talking about mechanical keyboards and how they were the best thing to happen to both typing and gaming since Ian Keyboard invented the keyboard in 1426, and I started to worry about being left behind.
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Week in Tech: New Intel Chips, More Mega-Monitors

By Jeremy Laird on January 15th, 2015.

There but for the grace of US immigrations officials...

It’s January and that can only mean one thing. Well, apart from New Year’s resolutions serially and unceremoniously defenestrated by the second week and a general sense of futility. No, I speak of the festival of capitalism gone completely mad that is CES in Las Vegas. Which actually happened last week. CES isn’t exactly the epicentre of all things PC. But it’s so bleedin’ huge, even a tiny fraction of it dedicated to the PC adds up to a lot of interesting things. This year is no exception, what with bonkers-fast SSDs, screens that push all my IPS, 120Hz-plus and frame-syncing buttons, integrated graphics from Intel that might be (oh OK, won’t be) good for playing games and a cheap PC case from Corsair that looks tolerable. I know, I’m really selling this stuff.
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Week in Tech: 2015 Hardware Hotness

By Jeremy Laird on January 8th, 2015.

Your new gaming PC...

We wrapped up 2014 with the best hardware bits of the year. Ever the innovator, I’m thinking how better to start 2015 than a look at the likely highlights for the next 12 months? Empty speculation and a dash of rampant SEO cheekiness? Perish the very thought. Instead, hang your cynicism on a coat hook for half an hour and humour me. With upsides that start with faster graphics and cheaper SSDs and might extend to some free gaming performance for your PC courtesy of Microsoft, turning your TV into a massive gaming rig for under £100/$150 and perhaps even a VR revolution, 2015 might not be so bad after all.

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