Update Your Sig: 3DMark Launches New Direct X12 Test

The most essential item for PC gaming is not a mouse, nor a keyboard, nor even a PC. Without a sweet forum signature proudly declaring your 3DMark [official site] scores, you may as well give up and play Monopoly. I’m sure you’ll be both overjoyed and anxious to hear that 3DMark devs Futuremark have expanded the graphics benchmark with a new test stressing DirectX 12 performance. How powerful is your PC – your box, your rig, your beast, your beefy big boy, your cyberhog, your chip-slapped datajack, your silicon-snorting framecrusher – and has anyone noticed your sig still lists old scores?

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NVIDIA GTX 1080: A Big Leap, But Not Quite A 4K Slayer

GPU season is in full swing on the PC, and in typical fashion I’m ambling nautical miles behind the action as the interwebs battle to be the first with the benchmarks. But why be first when you can be 33rd? More to the point, why wheel out eleventy-six benchmarks when the web is already creaking under the strain of metrics in every conceivable manner? Instead, I shall cast objectivity to the four winds and deliver a more subjective take on Nvidia’s new top-end graphics card, courtesy of the economically monikered MSI Gaming X 8G Twin Frozr VI GeForce GTX 1080. After all, if you can’t feel the difference, what is the point?
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Nvidia Ansel Now Snapping In Mirror’s Edge Catalyst

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst [official site] is the first game to receive support for Ansel, Nvidia’s fancy new tool for taking good-looking screenshots. Ansel’s basically a photo mode, letting players pause games to reposition and adjust the camera, only it also supports post-processing effects, creating 360° panoramas, and more. It looks mighty handy for amateur video game photographers. Two problems: it’s only for Nvidia cards; and games must be patched to support it. But hey, for all its flaws, Catalyst is certainly a pretty enough game to start with. The Witcher 3’s coming too, you know.

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How To Build A PC

The PC is brilliant. It’s brilliant for all the things you can do with it. But it’s also brilliant for being something you can build yourself. Yes, you at the back. You too can build a PC. Almost anyone can. And it’s not just easy. It’s fun. Once you get the knack, you won’t want to turn back. You’ll also be much more confident in future whenever you have to crack open the case. So here’s the RPS guide to the basics of building a PC.

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What Is The Best VR Headset? Oculus Rift vs HTC Vive

Pity me. I have two different VR headsets in my house, so my PC is a mess of cables, USB hubs and strained video output adaptors. My suffering is unimaginable. I have swaddled myself in wires and made my forehead sweat for your benefit, however: to try and give you some sense of how the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive compare to each other in daily practice. While many of the baseline specs are all but identical, there are a raft of smaller differences between the two, even once the matter of the Vive’s room-scale support is discounted. I do, somewhat reluctantly, now have one headset I recommend over the other at this point in time, but with important caveats.
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Quake On Oculus Rift Is Magnificent

Resolution. Anti-aliasing. Crisp text. “Image quality.” The bugbears of virtual reality in 2016.

All of this matters not in Quake. Perfect square pixels, no shading or soft shadows. Almost wordless. It is ideally-suited to VR, in theory. In practice? Best VR time ever, so far.

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