AMD’s not-really-new Radeon RX 500 graphics

And lo on the 18th day of the fourth month, verily did AMD wheel out its latest but not necessarily greatest new graphics cards. I give you the new AMD Radeon RX 580, 570, 560 and 550 – precision engineered to smite the evil Nvidia. Except they’re not really new. Instead, they’re basically dirty old re-badges of existing graphics cards. That doesn’t automatically mean they’re not of interest. But it does mean we’ll have to wait a little longer for something really revolutionary from AMD.
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Dell Inspiron 15 Gaming review: cheapish portable power

My ongoing quest to find the perfect gaming laptop – at the conclusion of which I shall buy my favourite – continues. I should note at this point that ‘perfect’ can mean several different things in this case. Clearly, attractiveness, features and performance are the main draws, but this is by no means a money no object deal. If a decent lappie is cheap enough, the fact that I won’t spend months trying and failing to justify the cost to myself means it might tick the ‘perfect’ box despite falling short in other areas.

And so to Dell’s £1000 Inspiron 15 Gaming, aka the Inspiron 7567. A diamond in the rough, or a get-what-you-pay-for folly?
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What Xbox ‘Project Scorpio’ means for PC gaming

Microsoft has dished the deets on its upcoming ‘Scorpio’ hardware update for the Xbox console, and in what amounts to uncharacteristic detail and candour given the ruddy thing isn’t going on sale until the end of 2017. But what are we poor PC peasants to make of the Beast of Redmond’s latest game box and its towering on-paper capabilities? In short, what influence will Project Scorpio’s trick new hardware have on future PC games? Read the rest of this entry »

Windows 10 Game Mode tested: minimal gains, unless you’re unusually cruel to your PC

Microsoft chucked out the Windows 10 Creators Update this week, which is the sort of thing that true-blue enthusiasts of IBM-Compatible home computers used to call a Service Pack back in the day. It’s a surprisingly game-focused update in its way, a built-in streaming service (akin to Twitch, only inevitably far less popular) known as Beam, a concerted effort to put all its game-related settings into one place and Game Mode – a new setting that, in theory, can boost game performance.

We talked to Microsoft about their own hopes for Game Mode a couple of months back, but now it’s time to see what – if anything – it does in practice. Read the rest of this entry »

Nvidia release the most powerful GPU ever for the fourth time in under a year – but why?

It hungers for --new blood--

I appreciate that headline inclines a little towards melodrama, but this is really the situation: with AMD having spent the past year as something of a sleepy giant, Nvidia have been engaged in serial one-upmanship with themselves. Just under a year ago, their GTX 1080 GPU became handily the world’s most powerful consumer graphics card, followed by the even beefier 2016 Titan X shortly afterwards, which was then marginally pipped by the comparatively affordable GTX 1080 Ti last month. Now they’ve leapfrogged themselves once again with a new $1,200/£1,180 brute known as the GTX Titan Xp.

Specs’n’that below, but I think the bigger question here is ‘why are they doing this?’ Are they scared of AMD’s long-delayed riposte, or are they trying to trounce yesterday’s reveal of Microsoft’s new 4K Xbox?
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Mad Catz files for bankruptcy

Mad Catz, the controller company known for their plastic guitars and mice which look like cars from a cyberpunk anime, has filed for voluntary bankruptcy. The company has ceased operations, its directors and officers have resigned, and they’re starting liquidation. Mad Catz have been in financial trouble for a fair while and tried to turn it around, including selling their Saitek flight sim line to Logitech in September, but this looks like the end. Read the rest of this entry »

LG’s bonkers new 38-inch superwide monitor

Behold the stunning breadth of its super-wide proportions. Marvel at the lustrous sheen of its impeccable anti-glare coating. Is LG’s new 38-inch, 21:9-aspect FreeSync-capable masterwork not every gamer’s ultimate fantasy? You’d think so. But it just goes to show how complex the monitor market has become, especially for we gamers, that the LG 38UC99 falls surprisingly short as a gaming companion. There’s a broader lesson in here, I reckon, when it comes to picking gaming panels. Read the rest of this entry »