Optimisation is a thorny issue here on Game Debate. Seldom can a big release arrive or a system requirements article go out without its performance and optimisation becoming a hotly debated problem. Ultimately game optimisation isn't black and white, and not every game is going to work satisfactorily on every piece of hardware.
Here we want to delve into not just what optimisation is, but how we can identify how well optimised a game is. First off, what is optimization? The word has a few different definitions, but we'll be looking at the one that's related to the gaming world. As we all know, each and every game is based around an engine. Each different engine has its own hardware requirements, dependant on how advanced that particular toolset is. Naturally, when AI and graphics are applied to create a game, those requirements go up. Way up.
The Greatly anticipated Steam Controller is still nowhere to be seen, seven months after Valve decided to postpone releasing anything in favour of more tweaking, but the web may have just got a new glimpse at what’s to come. The most striking feature of this purported latest design is what looks to be the return of a D-pad on the left side.
The image was posted on ValveTime.net by a staff member with the handle ‘Omnomnick’, who added that the designs were taken from files contained within the latest Steam Client beta update. He could only speculate as to the exact function of the D-pad design on the left touch pad.
As the last major week for PC gaming releases of 2014 has seen Elite: Dangerous and Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes finally grace our monitors, Nvidia has launched a new Game Ready set of GeForce beta drivers to ensure that your system will support these and other recent releases with panache.
As well as driver versions 347.09, Nvidia has also improved game profiles for several other big recent titles, including Project Cars, Alien: Isolation and Far Cry 4. Among the usual performace tweaks, some of these new profiles specifically improve compatibility with stereoscopic 3D monitors and 3D Vision performance. Playing Alien: Isolation on Nightmare Mode and in 3D after these upgrades will not be for the faint of heart!
This one might have surfaced a few days ago but it appears we overlooked it. And besides, it’s jawdropping. The ‘it’ in question is a new PhysX flex trailer from Nvidia, showing off the exclusive graphical effects possible with its proprietary GameWorks features.
As most of us are aware the smoke and liquid effects used in games are often visual tricks, and don’t actually behave in a realistic manner. Enter real volumetric smoke and fully simulated liquid physics, demonstrating dynamic interactions created on the fly. Basically you need to see it action to understand what the fuss is all about, but it's jaw dropping stuff.
Rather than introduce a suite of new features and graphical effects, we know by now that the advent of DirectX 12 is tantalisingly all about performance improvements. When it comes to sheer power we know that today’s high-end hardware is absolutely monstrous, but when it comes to optimisation even the mightiest can struggle in some games - I'm looking at you, Arno.
The thinking behind DirectX 12 is to offer the opportunity for console-esque optimisation on PC hardware. It’s going to work by using a low level API in a similar manner to Mantle, and it should mean a significant power boost for all DirectX 11-based hardware when it arrives late next year. Now the first performance charts have leaked, demonstrating the benefits that DX12 will provide in terms of CPU capability and optimisation.
We’ve been patiently twiddling our thumbs waiting for an announcement for lower-end GeForce GTX 900 series graphics cards, but at last it appears there’s some movement going on behind the scenes. As it stands the top-end GeForce GTX 980 or the GTX 970 are the only options in Nvidia’s latest range, but it’s looking like a more affordable GeForce GTX 960 is set to launch next month, during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
CES typically plays host to all sorts of tech treats, but we’ve got our eyes squarely on Nvidia for this event. A new model has just been certified at Nvidia HQ, codenamed PG301, and it's expected the Maxwell-based GM206 graphics card will be the GTX 960. Early indicators suggest in terms of raw power it will be roughly on par with the GTX 770, providing twice the performance per watt and 135% more performance per core.
Everyone might be worrying about the price and capacity of solid state drives these days but Seagate looks to have the solution to all of your storage woes with its newly unveiled 8TB internal hard drive.
The average install size of games has gone way, way, up in the past 12 months, and storage space has increasingly become a concern. The mammoth Elder Scrolls Online was a ridiculous 70GB at launch, meaning for many with 120GB SSDs it meant only one full game could fit on their SSD. By comparison, this new 8TB hard drive from Seagate has enough room for 114 copies of The Elder Scrolls Online, or more than 1,300 installs of Skyrim.
AMD’s hotly anticipated Catalyst Omega driver has arrived, the first in AMD’s newly planned large-scale yearly driver rollouts. The graphics card gurus will still be pushing out smaller incremental updates throughout the year, but this Omega Driver release marks an apparent sea change in AMD Radeon performance.
In addition to the usual bug fixes, the Catalyst Omega driver brings with it some other significant changes, including some impressive performance improvements and all-new features such as Virtual Super Resolution, FreeSync, Frame Pacing, and 5K Monitor Support. If you listen carefully you can just about hear your graphics card weeping at the sound of that last one.
Dying light requirements were released yesterday and they showed some outrageously high PC specs. Techland have since adjusted those monstrous Dying Light system requirements to something a little more digestible for modern PCs.
So here is a quick update to those specs, so you dont all cancel Dying Light pre-orders or turn your back on this title entirely because of them.
AMD has taken the wraps off its most drastic GPU driver update in years, the Catalyst Omega. The Catalyst Omega driver provides a total overhaul, including a new built-in downsampling tool called VSR, as well as ironing out a host of bugs and improving the performance of AMD graphics cards across the board.
Key to the Omega drivers is optimisations to many hardware configurations which should boost efficiency and, AMD claims, provide up to 19% better performance on dedicated graphics cards than the previous driver release, Catalyst 14.11.2, and a massive 29% boost in performance for systems sporting AMD APUs.