Seldom a week goes by where some sort of record isn’t broken by solid state drive manufacturers. Nimbus Data is the latest to join the throng, announcing a frankly ridiculous 100TB SSD with three times the storage capacity of any 3.5” storage drive that has come before it. The announcement comes just a month after Samsung announced the world’s largest 30TB SSD, which now looks teeny tiny in comparison.
Nimbus claims the ExaDrive DC100 draws 85% less power per terabyte than its nearest competition. Its 100TB size is large enough for 1,388 copies of Grand Theft Auto V, 20,000 HD movies, or 20 million songs. I’d be very interested if that makes it large enough to store each and every game available on Steam, it’s certainly got to be a close-run thing. Get one of these and you’d never have to worry about storage again.
Rare has made quite the song and dance of how Sea of Thieves is playable on just about any PC, even integrated graphics. The fairly simplistic visual style and scalable graphics should ensure that just about anyone can take to the high seas. But is Sea of Thieves playable on a low-end PC? To put it to the test, I went rooting through our graphics card graveyard and dug up the Radeon HD 5770.
AMD’s Radeon HD 5770 is over seven years old now and it is, for want of a better word, a bit crap. It’s got just 800 Stream Processors, 1GB of VRAM, and a clock speed of just 850MHz. For today’s AAA games, it’s pretty much a non-starter. But how does the Radeon HD 5770 perform in Sea of Thieves? Let’s find out.
Ahoy there maties, Sea of Thieves has set sail today on PC. Rare's return is co-op pirating across the high seas, featuring plenty of the studio's trademark charm. Here's every graphics setting in Sea of Thieves PC benchmarked and tested for the Frames Per Second performance hit. Using the chart below you can find out just how demanding each setting is. Along with this, we've given priority scores based on how important we believe it is to enable these graphics options.
It’s almost unimaginably obvious that for VR to make the mass market breakthrough it needs, both reduced costs and improved ease of use are absolute necessities. The HTC Vive Pro is neither of these things, the newly announced $799 price point targeting a vanishingly small niche of a niche.
The VIVE Pro Head Mounted Display will set you back $799 for the headset alone and doesn’t include the base station tracking sensors nor the motion-based controllers. However, the HTC Vive Pro does promise to be the most premium VR headset on the market. The HTC Vive Pro features dual-OLED displays with a combined resolution of 2880 x 1600, a 78% increase over the current Vive’s 2160 x 1200 screen resolution.
BattleTech has been flying so far under my radar it's barely registered as a blip. Until I laid eyes on it that is. From the tantalising duo of Harebrained Schemes (Shadowrun) and Paradox Interactive, BattleTech just screams hardcore tactical strategy. It's a turn-based mech combat game at heart, one in which MechWarriors can be customised down to the smallest nuts and bolts, while terrain, position, weapon selection and special abilities all must be mastered in order to outplay your opponents.
In true Paradox form, Battletech looks hideously deep. It's a fair bit more demanding than their typical grand strategy games though, here are BattleTech PC requirements.
Nvidia is allegedly gearing up to announce a new real-time Ray Tracing (RTX) technology for GeForce GameWorks tomorrow, created in partnership with Microsoft. The new cinematic rendering technique will afford developers the opportunity to add real-time Area Shadows, Glossy Reflections, and Ambient Occlusion to their games, offering hitherto unforeseen levels of lighting and shadow quality.
The new technology’s API has been created in conjunction with Microsoft and support will be rolling out to major game engines, including the likes of Unreal Engine, Frostbite, and Unity.
This week a rumour emerged that both Nvidia and AMD are considering slowing down their graphics card release cycles in order to generate greater profits from each generation. To my surprise, I discovered most folks in the comments were actually supportive of investment in new technology being lessened, pointing towards the fact they wouldn’t be required to upgrade as often. This could save PC gamers hundreds of dollars a year, particularly those who just can’t resist the allure of a new GPU generation.
It’s an understandable view, but I do believe one of the strengths of PC gaming is the unstoppable march of technology and the constant choice in the upgrades available. Without new hardware, PC gaming would increasingly begin to look like console gaming, held back by the whims of the hardware manufacturers who could ultimately decide to withhold powerful GPUs with the aim of mass-producing cheaper, older graphics cards.
Yet more benchmarks have leaked for AMD’s upcoming Ryzen 7 2700X, providing us with some further insight into the sort of performance we can expect from AMD’s upcoming chip. The first wave of AMD 2000-series Ryzen CPUs are due to launch in April, and the AMD Ryzen 7 2700X will be near the top of the pile in terms of performance.
The latest benchmarks come via benchmarking utility Geekbench. The benchmarks demonstrate the Ryzen 7 2700X is an 8-core / 16-thread CPU clocked at a base frequency of 3.7GHz, at least for now. The boost clock speed is, therefore, likely to be around 4.1GHz, although last week’s other leaked results had it pegged at 4.35GHz, although this may be down to overclocking.
One year on from Ryzen’s launch, AMD is being incredibly bullish about its current place in the CPU market. Jim Anderson, SVP and GM of computing and graphics at AMD, has said that he anticipates that AMD could once again begin to dominate the market in the fashion it did over a decade ago.
“I don’t see any reason we can’t get back to historical share levels that AMD has enjoyed in the past,” said Anderson. The overall aim is to achieve the same levels of success as AMD enjoyed in the early 2000’s with Athlon 64, and Anderson believes it’s entirely possible.
Wow, this is a bit of a blast from the past; V-Rally 4 has been announced. The rally racing series was a big hit back in the PlayStation / N64 era but sunk without trace after the 2002 appearance of V-Rally 3.
Now, V-Rally was actually an old Infogrames series back in the day, and Infogrames has since been consumed by the atrocious Atari. Have no fear though for Atari won’t be getting their mitts on this one, V-Rally 4 is being developed by Kylotonn Racing Games (of WRC fame) and published by Big Ben Interactive.