Can a new option in your OS really improve performance?
Just last week (and yet somehow an eternity ago, in terms of world events), Microsoft announced that they’d soon be adding something called ‘Game Mode’ to Windows 10 with the aim of improving games’ performance, but gave away few details about what this might involve. Are we talking real framerate gains, suppressing potentially bothersome background tasks or just freeing up a wee bit of RAM?
With the first iteration of Game Mode due to arrive as part of Windows 10’s optional early Insider builds due today, I had a chat with Kevin Gammill, Partner Group Program Manager, Xbox Platform, spokesperson for the group building Game Mode, to find out what this thing actually does, which games it will support and what kind of control users will have over it. Read the rest of this entry »
Terrible name, promising CPU
Something good is about to happen. I’m fairly sure of that. RPS isn’t exactly hardware rumour central, of course. There’s plenty of that elsewhere and, frankly, I can’t compete. But after the downbeat tone of my recent Intel Kaby Lake coverage, I reckon it would be remiss not to balance things out with a quick preview of what to expect from AMD’s new Ryzen CPU. It’s definitely coming soon and will probably go on sale in around six weeks. Exactly how good is Ryzen going to be? I don’t know. But all the indications are that it’s going to be at least good enough to make AMD CPUs relevant for gaming again. Read the rest of this entry »
An indie/retro/moba box in your pocket
The PC is dead, long live the PC, etc. By which I mean ‘a big box that sits underneath your desk’ is an increasingly inaccurate definition of PC. The concept is heading off in all sorts of directions, from patently ridiculous laptops to transforming tablets to all-in-one giant touchscreens to surprisingly games-capable laptops to yes, big boxes under your desk but also small boxes on top of your desk. And, as I’m looking at today, teeny-tiny boxes that just about fit into the back pocket of your trousers or can slip behind your TV.
Can a $235/£188, 12x12x3cm box really work as a PC? And, more pertinently, can it possibly be any kind of games machine? Read the rest of this entry »
Four cores and many years ago...
Behold. Intel has a new PC processor. Does it game, will it blend, is it AMD’s Ryzen CPU you really want and what the hell happened to ‘Tick Tock’? For answers to at least some of these questions, including the shattering news that the arrival of Kaby Lake means the era of ‘Tick Tock’ is over, summarily usurped by ‘Process, Architecture, Optimisation’ (or if leaked roadmaps are anything to go by, make that ‘Process, Architecture, Optimisation and One More for the Road’), join me on the other side. Read the rest of this entry »
Pretty pixels cost pounds and pence
Last time, we had a sniff around AMD’s latest entry-level pixel pumper, the Radeon RX 460. It was not impressive. This week, it’s time for the 460’s nearly-but-not-actually competitor from Nvidia, the GeForce GTX 1050. Except I’ve actually got the 1050Ti, which is in turn the 1050’s slicker, slightly more expensive sibling. So, can the Ti win where the 460 failed and deliver good-enough gaming at an affordable price? Read the rest of this entry »
Mostly awful, but I enjoyed the slug balancer
Multi-bazillion-transistor behemoths like Nvidia’s Titan or the AMD Radeon R9 Fury are all very well. But the stats suggest hardly any of us actually buy them. Not a single Titan shows up in the latest Steam survey. If that’s some kind of driver-related GPU flagging anomaly, the next rung down in the form of Nvidia’s GTX 1080 clocks a mere 0.3 per cent of Steam gamers. On the other hand, the third most popular GPU on Steam is Nvidia’s old budget board, the GeForce 750 Ti. Enter, therefore, AMD’s latest attempt at a parsimonious pixel pumper, the Radeon RX 460. Aspirational it ain’t. But could it be that an entry-level board now makes for good-enough gaming graphics? There’s only one way to find out.
Read the rest of this entry »