Posts Tagged ‘week in tech’

Guide: The Best Gaming Monitors On A Budget

The version with the perpendicular panel costs more...

You say jump. My only question is how high? Last time around we dissected the state of play in PC monitors. But there was a problem. Some of you are skinflints. Or just, you know, normal people who may not have £400/$500-plus to blow on acres of liquid crystal magnificence. Either way, if that’s you then this is your post. I bring you profound insights into the more prosaic end of the flat-panel market. Yup, I’ve been slumming it with cheap screens. So, join me on the other side for a deep dive into the maths of colour depth. And some other stuff.
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The 2015 PC Gaming Monitor Mega Guide

All the screen you actually need?

Is capitalism in all its ghastly splendour is to blame? Or is it just us, we first-world punters, who have a problem with our priorities? I’m not sure. But what I do know is that, while parts of the world can’t get the basic human rights thing worked out, we’ve sure as hell nailed it when it comes to choice in the PC monitor market. 4K, adaptive-sync, 144Hz, curved screens, superwide aspect ratio – where to begin? And how can you end up with the right screen for you?

You see, I’m no latter-day socio-economic sage. But I can tell you which of this new-fangled monitor malarkey actually matters. So, who’s with me for some LCD-themed retail therapy?

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Do DirectX 12 & Windows 10 Make Your Games Faster?

Something something low-level abstraction. Something something optimised pipelining.

The mixed blessings of Windows 10 have been ours to experience for a few weeks now, and that means a new gaming API thingy (technical term) in the form of DirectX 12. We’ve touched on the possible impact of DX12 for all things gaming previously, how it promises to unleash CPU performance for free, bring the PC level with consoles when it comes to reducing overheads and all that jazz. Well, now it’s out, some early DX12 software has emerged and there’s all kinds of intrigue going on between AMD and Nvidia, the big noises in PC gaming graphics.

So pull up a pew and let’s see if DX12 makes games run faster on the graphics card you’ve already got… Read the rest of this entry »

Nvidia GTX 950: The Cheap GPU We Were Waiting For?

Monster GPUs, 4K screens, zillions of pixels pumped per picosecond. These things are exciting. But are they relevant to most of us? When a top graphics card costs over £500 and arguably has an optimal working life of about 18 months to two years, I’m not so sure. Either way, most of us simply don’t buy that kind of clobber. Instead we buy things like the Nvidia’s new budget offering, the £120 / $160 GeForce GTX 950. And we buy them because, well, they’re actually affordable. But what exactly is life like at the more prosaic end of the pixel-pumping spectrum? To find out, I’ve been slumming it with the new 950. This is what I have discovered.
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3D Card Update: AMD Fury, How Much Graphics Memory Is Enough, Nvidia’s New Budget Graphics

It’s time to catch up with the latest graphics kit and developments as fully unified shader architectures wait for no man. Nvidia has just released a new value-orientated 3D card in the GeForce GTX 950. We’re talking roughly £120 / $160 and so entry-level for serious gaming. But could you actually live with it?

Meanwhile, AMD’s flagship Radeon R9 Fury graphics has landed at Laird towers. Apart from being geek-out worthy simply as the latest and greatest from one of the two big noises in gaming graphics, the Fury’s weird, wonderful and maybe just a little wonky 4GB ‘HBM’ memory subsystem begs a potentially critical conundrum. Just how much memory do you actually need for gaming graphics?
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How To Keep Your PC Cool

Lordy, it’s hot. Well, hot if you’re British. Call it seasonable by sticky Manhattan standards or a bracing Spring cold snap for Aussies. But it’s over 90 in old money and the nation’s infrastructure is melting. Well, my kitchen PC has just fallen over again with a CPU thermal trip. So, as far as I’m concerned, it’s chaos out there. Which reminds me. We’ve never really discussed how to keep your PC cool. Given gaming is probably the only thing most of us do that loads up both CPU and graphics, this is an oversight. So here are my top eight tips for keeping your PC cool. Most of them won’t cost you a a penny and they could well help your games run faster.
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Computex 2015 Round-up: Robo PCs And A Whole Lot More


With tech conference Computex 2015 a wrap, it’s been a launchtastic week or two for PC clobber. We’ve seen a new GPU from Nvidia, those new Intel CPUs, 144Hz-plus-IPS-plus-G-Sync, all kindsa new SSDs, Transformer-style PC cases, G-Sync-touting laptops, pr0n-proof keyboards with pseudo-mechanical switches. The notion that the PC industry has become dull and commoditised hardly stacks up.

Here’s a round-up of the Computex news and what of it matters to you.

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Intel’s Baffling New Broadwell CPUs

Intel has finally, belatedly, possibly even reluctantly wheeled out its latest 14nm Broadwell CPU architecture in desktop processor trim (we’ve seen it before as a mobile chip). And it’s all a bit baffling. The new chips are not really direct replacements for Intel’s existing Core i5 and Core i7 gaming favourites. They’re not really faster, except when they occasionally are. And they set new standards for integrated graphics but still make absolutely no sense for gaming. In short, you needn’t rush out and buy one.
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The Best $700 / £500 Gaming PCs You Can Buy

It ain't pretty, but it will play games

Can you even buy a proper gaming PC for £500, or approximately $700? Not a PC that occasionally turns its hand to the odd ancient game. Quake III will run on an old smartphone, but that’s missing the point. Well, it’s missing my point, which is to sniff out whether half a grand is enough for a PC bought specifically, or at least substantially, for gaming. If so what you should go for and what, exactly, do you get for your money?
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Can AMD Make Gaming CPUs A Two-Horse Race Again?

This. Is. Zen. Probably

The roulette wheel of rumours that is PC hardware news is usually pretty pointless, unless bun fights over shader specs or clock speeds are your bag. But, occasionally, something really significant for the future moves into view. This is one of those times. AMD has been talking about its upcoming PC products and technologies in the last week or two, including a completely new CPU core and some fancy memory technology that might dramatically change the way we all think about integrated graphics and gaming. Is Intel’s stranglehold about to be loosened?
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