Posts Tagged ‘NVIDIA’

Nvidia’s New GeForce GTX 1080 Graphics

Hate to say I told you so. Or rather, I don’t and so I’m going to gloat. Contrary to numerous comment protestations, Nvidia’s 2016 graphics awesomeness has begun in the shape of its new GeForce GTX 1080 and 1070 cards. Based on the new Pascal architecture and teensy 16nm transistors, the new GPUs are exactly as expected. And yet also quite different. Meanwhile, AMD has dropped some hints regards the shape of Radeons to come. It all adds up to an exciting summer for PC graphics and a very good reason to put your GPU purchases on temporary hold, especially if VR is your bag… Read the rest of this entry »

Flash Bang Wallop! Nvidia Ansel’s Screenshot Tools

Nvidia have unveiled their next top-end GPU, the GeForce GTX 1080, which they say can draw lots of really nice pictures really fast. Look, I’m sure Jeremy and his Week in Tech will have more to say about that soon, but what’s interesting to me is the software they announced alongside it. Nvidia Ansel will let people take fancier screenshots, pausing the action to rearrange the camera, apply effects, take ultra-high-res snaps, make 360-degree panoramas compatible with VR goggles, and so on. Support for Ansel is coming to Nvidia GPUs for games including The Witcher 3, The Witness, and No Man’s Sky, and it’ll work on many cards older than the 1080 too.

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2016 Awesomeness: Nvidia’s New Pascal Graphics

If it was a car it would be a gold-wrapped, kleptocrat-owned Bugatti Veyron ostentatiously double parked outside a Knightsbridge hotel. It’s still bloated, it’s still overly complex and you still can’t afford it. But it’s a graphics chip and a harbinger of things you might actually be able to buy. I give you Nvidia’s new Pascal GP100, a 15.3 billion transistor beast and the beginnings of that 2016 awesomeness I promised for the new year. In other words, if you’re thinking of buying a new graphics card, you might want to hold fire. Meanwhile, Intel has also taken the wraps off a massive new chip you can’t afford and the final piece the Laird Gaming Dungeon™: Driver Edition has arrived. Yup, I’m liking 2016.

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Vulkan API: It’s Gaming, Jim, But Not As We Know It

One API to rule them all. Wrong fantasy franchise, perhaps, but that’s the idea behind Vulkan, the snazzy open-source successor to OpenGL, alternative to Microsoft’s DirectX and something that might shake up gaming on everything from PCs to phones. But what’s an API? And why should you care? We’ll come to that. For now, if Vulkan is everything it’s cracked up to be, it’ll make games run faster and look better on your existing PC. It might make that SteamOS thing a goer, too. Anyway, version 1.0 is out, so the chattering weberati will be casually trading Vulkan references to prove their PC gaming prowess. Time to bone up. Plus I’ve just sat through a five-hour keynote stream on Vulkan from GDC 2016. So humour me. This stuff is actually quite interesting.

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Tom Clancy’s The Division’s Trio Of Trailers

With The Division [official site] coming out next week, Ubisoft are releasing a flood of trailers. You can now watch the official launch trailer for a parade of press quotes, dramatic music, and voiceovers. Or you might prefer a trailer focused on technological PC prettybits. Or, if you want to drill down into it, another trailer gets technical with the game’s Nvidia Gameworks effects (you might want to nod knowingly at terms like ‘HBAO+’ and ‘PCSS’). You might find something right up your Fifth Avenue.

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Is Your Feeble PC Ready For VR?

This is not virtual. This is reality. The two big beasts of the coming VR revolution are lumbering into view. It’s actually happening. By the end of April both the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive VR headsets will be on sale. Things you can actually buy. Yes, yes, virtual reality has had several false starts. But this time, you can sense it. This time, it’s different. Well, probably. Oh, OK, nobody knows how big an impact VR is going to have in the next few years. But what I can do is help you to understand how much PC power you’re probably going need to get the most out of the new headsets.

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2016 Will Be Great For Gamers: Part 1, Graphics

This year. Soon to be so last year

Four long, desolate years. Yup, it really was 1,460 sleeps ago, almost to the day, that the very first 28 nanometer graphics chip was launched, allowing card-makers to squeeze billions more transistors into their GPUs – meaning better performance for theoretically lower costs as a result. But here we are and 28nm is still as good as it gets for PC graphics. That’s a bummer, because it has meant AMD and Nvidia have struggled to improve graphics performance without adding a load of cost. It’s just one reason why 2015 has kind of sucked for PC gaming hardware. But do not despair. 2016 is going to be different.

In fact, it’s not just graphics that’s getting a long overdue proverbial to the nether regions. Next year is almost definitely going to be the best year for PC gaming hardware, full stop, for a very long time. So strap in for what is merely part one of my guide to the awesomeness that will be 2016.
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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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NVIDIA Cards To Get PS4-Style Remote Game-Sharing

it’s 2015: if you’re not streaming your game while you play it, you will be summarily asked to leave society. Don’t you dare try to play a game by yourself any more. Privacy is dead: everyone wants an audience, always and forever. Do you want to watch me shower? No? Well, how about watch me ineffectually flail at a pack of Nekkers in The Witcher 3? No? Well, how about you take remotely control and fight those Nekkers for me, to put everyone involved out of their misery. NVIDIA have, in theory, a way to make that happen.
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To 4K Or Not 4K? The Pros & Cons Of Ultra-HD Gaming

With Laird Towers currently undergoing major renovations, RPS’s hardware coverage has been forced to retreat to the vaults. But that hasn’t stopped me. No, I’ve battled through the dust, the rubble, the builders lumbering about the place at ungodly hours of the morning (I regard consciousness before 9:30am as rather uncivilised) and the relentless tea-making to bring you some reflections on 4K gaming. We’ve covered several interesting alternatives to 4K of late including curved super-wide monitors, high refresh rates, IPS panels and frame synced screens. So does that experience put a new spin on plain old 4K, aka gaming at a resolution of 3,840×2160? Read the rest of this entry »

Asus MG279Q: The Messiah Of Monitors?

27-inch IPS LCD panel? Check. 144Hz refresh rate? Yep. Some kind of frame-smoothing adaptive sync technology? Present and accounted for. 2,560 by 1,440 pixels? Count ’em. A price you can afford? Bit borderline, but that was inevitable. Is Asus’s new MG279Q therefore the perfect LCD panel, the one we’ve all been waiting for, the veritable messiah of PC monitors? I’ve been eyeballs-on. All will now be revealed…
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Killing Floor 2 Demonstrates PhysX Flex Tech Using Guts

PHYSICS!

Demos for new physics technologies usually look like Bodyform commercials, with gentle blue water sloshing around and lots of smooth rippling fabric. That’s how Nvidia have shown their new unified particle-based physics tech PhysX Flex so far – lots of rubbery water balloons flopping about and leaking blue wet. Pssh, it won’t look like that in the games we actually play.

Killing Floor 2 [official site] will be the first Flex-using game to ship, and a new look at how it uses the tech is more how Bodyform ads should be: scattering gutfuls of fluids, globs, and guts.

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The Witcher 3 Has Better Hair Than You

The Witcher 3 promises to be 'shaggy' in more ways than one.

This is why you don’t schedule meetings for 5pm on a Friday. I can just picture the team at Nvidia sitting there, itching to get home. “Last item on the agenda. What can we name the new GameWorks hair effects?” A pregnant pause and some furtive looks towards the door. Someone at the back eventually pipes up. “…HairWorks?” A growing murmur of approval and some scooting of chairs later, here we are: with a trailer showing off a bunch of cool physics effects in The Witcher 3 [official site] (including, yep, HairWorks) exclusive to those of you with Nvidia cards. Looks like AMD fans are stuck with less luscious locks than their Geforce friends.

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Can Tech Demos Cry? Square Enix’s DX12 Witch Chapter 0

Being a cold and distant sort, I don’t know what to make of crying. It’s the thing where your face gets wet without swimming, yeah? I’ll trust Square Enix when they say “the human emotion of crying” is “one of the most difficult representations for existing real-time CG technology” but not know what to make of their fancy new tech demo with high-def crying.

Squeenix last week showed off a new DirectX 12 tech demo with a crying lady running on a chunky PC packing four Nvidia GeForce Titan X GPUs. the demo named so-very-Squeenixly ‘WITCH CHAPTER 0 [cry]’ is some pretty fancy pixel-pushing, but even to my reptilian eyes I don’t think we’re out the weird creepy puppet people phase yet.

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Why £200 / $250 Is The 1080p Graphics Card Sweet Spot

Is this the best sub-£200 board you can buy?

What’s the best graphics card mere mortals can buy for around £200 / $250? This is a question for the ages. Or at least for a slow Thursday evening. In all seriousness, the £200 / $250 price point ticks a lot of important boxes. It’s been in and around the sweet spot for balancing price and performance for properly gameable graphics for a while. I reckon it’s also pretty near critical mass in terms of how much you lot are willing to spend on a video board. At a push, most of us can stretch to £200 / $250 if the payoff is great gaming. Luckily, it is.
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Wot Does Wot: Grand Theft Auto V Graphics Settings Guide

Extended Distance Scaling, Particles Quality, Tessellation, Grass Quality… if you’re trying to squeeze a few extra frames per second out of Grand Theft Auto V [official site], you might be a mite confused by some of the settings in its options. How much of a visual change do they make, how much do they affect performance, and what do some even mean?

Handily, Nvidia have put together a fancy guide explaining what they all do, showing off the visual difference they make through comparison screenshots, and investigating the performance costs.

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G-Sync vs. Freesync: Which Dynamic Refresh Is Best?

The best things in life aren't free

It feels like whole months since there was a good old fashioned fisticuffs between AMD and Nvidia. They do so love a PR punch up. But this one’s a bit different. Nvidia’s G-Sync technology versus AMD’s FreeSync isn’t the usual trench warfare over fractions of a frame per second. It’s much more interesting than that. It’s all about something called dynamic or adaptive refresh and how that can make games run much more smoothly without necessarily upgrading your video card and even at modest frame rates. G-Sync has been available for a while. But now the first FreeSync panels are out battle can commence…

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