What looks to be the first benchmark results for the GeForce GTX 1080 have surfaced on 3DMark. It provides some of the firmest details yet on what we can expect from Nvidia’s next graphics card, which is rumoured to be revealed live tomorrow during the Battlefield 5 stream.
First things first - the specs. As we know the GeForce GTX 1080 is utilising a GP104-400 GPU manufactured using the 16nm FinFET fabrication process. While we have no details on the core count, we do now know it ha 8GB GDDRX memory, a 2500MHz memory clock (10GHz effective) and a 256-bit memory interface, providing total memory bandwidth of 320 GB/s.
Anything that can be done to bring down the price of SSDs is a winner in my book, and AMD has taken a step toward this with the arrival of its first Radeon R3 SSD drives. Following on from the launch of its Radeon R7 SSD series back in 2014, this R3 SSD series is aimed at the budget conscious gamer.
As of launch the solid state drives are going to come in four flavours - Radeon R3 120G SSD. R3 240G SSD. R3 480G SSD and the largest R3 960G SSD. AMD claim these each offer a 10x speed boost over standard hard drives, come with a three-year warranty and are housed in a 7mm thick 2.5” form factor.
Earlier today Sega announced the release period for the next Warhammer 40K RTS, Dawn of War 3. To help us all ponder what level of computer hardware we may need when Dawn of War 3 drops in 2017, let's take a look at how DoW3 is currently shaping up. What better way to understand the required Machine Spirit than by comparing some of Dawn of War 3's in-game visuals to its predecessor, DoW2. Remember though, Dawn of War 2 released way back in 2009, which will be an eight-year release gap by the time DoW3 releases.
First off let's take a look at a Dawn of War 2 Space Marine Dreadnought and compare it visually to the new Dawn of War 3 Titan.
I have to say I didn’t expect news on this for a good few months yet, but what look to be the specs of the first of Intel’s 7th generation Kaby Lake processors have surfaced. Going under the name Intel Core i7-7700K, the Kaby Lake CPU will be manufactured on the same 14nm process as the current Skylake. The i7-7700K will be the new flagship of the Kaby Lake family, packing a quad-core processor and hyperthreading support.
According to data from early benchmark tests on an engineering sample, the Intel Core i7-7700K comes packing a 3.60 GHz base clock speed and a boost clock of 4.2 GHz. The 7700K also features 8MB of L3 cache and 256KB of L2 cache, while the integrated graphics features 24 execution units and a clock speed of 1,150 MHz. Despite this we’re still a number of months out from its launch, so these speeds could in fact be increased by the time the final chips arrive.
Nvidia has been sending out kits teasing a so-called ‘Order of 10’ event this coming Friday. Those piecing together the cryptic conundrums have discovered it points towards the reveal of its next-gen Pascal GeForce GTX 1070 and GeForce GTX 1080 graphics cards on May 6th. The eagle-eyed among you will note that is the very same day as Battlefield 5 is revealed, and this is no coincidence.
May 6th is reported to be a showcase not just for DICE and EA’s Battlefield 5, but also a chance for Nvidia to show the latest and greatest multiplayer shooter running on the latest and greatest GeForce graphics cards. In the world of PC gaming it’s about as big a megaton as you could hope to get.
While at times it can feel like the wait for SSDs to drop in price is never-ending, if you’re keeping your ears close to the ground you’ll notice there’s a change afoot. We’ve got our hands on the Crucial MX200 500GB, a SATA 2.5” internal drive, which launched last year for £210. That very model is now available for almost half the price, retailing for £112.98. While still expensive compared to its hard drive counterpart, it’s a sign of SSD storage entering an affordable age.
If you’re still holding out for an upgrade then it’s probably never been a better time. While not massive enough to store your entire library of Steam games, the MX200 is a decent enough home for some of your biggest hitters along with an operating system. The MX200 itself is the direct successor to the MX100, with solid performance for a reasonably low cost. The SATA 3 connection allows for transfers of 6Gbps, with a max sequential read of 555 MB/s and max sequential write of 500 MB/s.
Microsoft has announced Forza Motorsport 6: Apex is coming to PC in beta form next, racing into view on May 5th. The free-to-play racer is the first ever time a Forza game has made it to PC, and comes packing a full single-player career mode, DirectX 12 support, and resolutions of up to 4K. If the Xbox One Forza games were anything to go by then Forza Motorsport 6: Apex will look eye-melting good on PC. Slick visuals come at a cost though, and Forza 6 requires the V8 of gaming PCs to max out.
There's a bit of a trend of massively high system requirements output when it comes to Microsoft's first-party output on PC, and Forza Motorsport 6: Apex is no different. Fortunately that doesn't apply across the board, and you can see Apex's minimum graphics card demands are very reasonable indeed. Both the GT 740 and R7 250X are down at the bottom tier of their respective families. That means there's a wide spread of compatible graphics cards, so at the very least most should have what it takes to get Forza Motorsport 6: Apex up and running at Low settings.
Confirming what was rumoured lately, AMD corporate vice president Roy Taylor has said both Polaris 10 and Polaris 11 will be affordable GPUs aimed at the mainstream market. Taylor cites the Radeon R9 290 and the GeForce GTX 970 as being near to the sweet spot for gamers, offering great performance for a reasonable price, but much can still be done to expand the reach of gaming graphics cards.
“The reason Polaris is a big deal, is because I believe we will be able to grow that total addressable market significantly,” said Taylor. “If you look at the total install base of a Radeon 290, or a GTX 970, or above, it’s 7.5 million units. But the issue is that if a publisher wants to sell a £40/$50 game, that’s not a big enough market to justify that yet.”
They say you can never have too much screen real estate. Well, they don’t, but it sounds like sound advice, although perhaps Philips has gone a little too extreme with this mantra when it comes to its gargantuan new 43” 4K IPs PC monitor. Just to put that into perspective, that has a 221% larger surface area than your bog-standard 24” display.
That’s basically front room television size, and it’s also packing a 4K 3840 x 2160 resolution. Plenty of 4K TVs suffer from 30Hz displays but the Philips BDM4350UC PC monitor offers a 60Hz refresh rate which should help for gaming purposes. Some might balk at the 5ms response time but it’s pretty decent for a larger 4K display. It also packs a 178 degrees viewing angle and support for both HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort connections.
The first benchmark results are in for AMD’s Radeon Pro Duo, and as you would expect from the fastest graphics card in the world they make for impressive viewing. The graphics card features a dual-Fiji GPU on a single PCB, effectively offering twice the hardware of a Fury X, including 8GB HBM and 16 TFLOPs of performance. This unfortunately doesn’t translate into twice the frame rate, but the Radeon Pro Duo stomps all over the single-GPU variant and knocks the GeForce GTX 980 Ti for six.
At $1500 it's by no means a cheap graphics card though, and it guzzles on no less than thee eight-pin power connectors, with a total TDP of 350W. In other words, it's an absolute monster.