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Joffy S
on 26 August 2016 at 15:34

Whoops, it’s backtrack time. Last week Tom’s Hardware exclusively revealed that the new PCI Express 4.0 standard would be capable of delivering upwards of 300W from the PCIe slot alone. As it turns out this isn’t the case. Electronics standards consortium PCI-SIG has come out and explained that the 300W figured is obtained with supplemental power connectors, as per usual, and that the actual slot is still capped out at around 75W.

“PCI-SIG reached out to tell us that the power increase for PCI Express 4.0 will come from secondary connectors and not from the slot directly,” explained Tom’s Hardware. “They confirmed that we were initially told incorrect information. We have redacted a short passage from our original article that stated what were originally told, which is that the slot would provide at least 300W, and added clarification."

Joffy S
on 26 August 2016 at 11:19

After the rest of the competition has disappointed, theme park fans' attention inevitably turned to the hugely promising Planet Coaster. It's under development at Frontier, the fine folks behind RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 and Elite: Dangerous, so it's most certainly got some pedigree. It's been loitering around in Alpha form for some time now, with promising murmurings from those who've played it. Frontier recently announced a November launch date, and now we've got our hands on the golden ticket - Planet Coaster's official system requirements. Be warned though, this ride isn't for everyone.

Last time around we only had access to the minimum specs for Planet Coaster. These remain unchanged, but they're now joining by a towering set of recommended system requirements. Planet Coaster's larger theme parks are sure to be a stern test for even the most capable CPUs, so Frontier recommends you have a least an Intel Core i7-4770 or AMD FX-8350. These are both towards the high end of the scale, but will really come into play should you set Planet Coaster to a high level of detail and zoom the camera out.

Joffy S
on 25 August 2016 at 14:18

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided launched this week, and if you hadn't noticed it's quite the looker, with a set of system requirements to match. A GeForce GTX 970 is recommended, but we thought it would be interesting to see how Nvidia's current budget-priced offering, the GeForce GTX 950, could handle Adam Jensen's latest cybernetic adventure.

The particular model we've got our hands on is PNY's GeForce GTX 950 OC XLR8 2GB. It's a mid-low range graphics card sure to be phased out by the inevitable GTX 1050, but it's still more than capable of playing the latest AAA games. It's going to be backed up by a powerful Intel Core i7-5820K processor and 16GB DDR4 memory.

Joffy S
on 24 August 2016 at 16:03

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided has launched around the world, and if you're anything like me then you've probably been scrabbling through the graphics options trying to find the best balance between performance and jaw-dropping visuals. Doing that is an absolute time sink though, so hopefully this Deus Ex: Mankind Divided performance guide will help you out. 

We've tested the performance impact of each and every one of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided's performance options, finding 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.

Joffy S
on 23 August 2016 at 15:00

And now we’ve got a double bill of good news for AMD fans. Not only has Team Red clawed back a significant portion of the graphics card market share from Nvidia, but the value of AMD’s stock has risen a massive 330% year on year.

Firstly, that all important graphics card market share. The last we heard AMD had inched up to around 19% of the global GPU market. That was three months ago. Now it’s pulled itself up to 29.9%, a quite incredible turnaround in such a short span of time.

Joffy S
on 23 August 2016 at 10:03

In a bit of a surprise announcement, Larian Studios has announced we'll be able to get our hands on Divinity: Original Sin II a little earlier than we'd anticipated. It's dropping on Steam Early Access on September 15th ahead of its full launch in December, giving players the opportunity to jump into a slightly rough around the edges pre-release version of the game. Visually it's no slouch for a top-down RPG, and there's a significant level of detail upgrade over the original. That means a bump in hardware demands, so, without further ado, here are Divinity: Original Sin 2's official system requirements.

Without a doubt we are seeing quite the bump in hardware requirements for D:OS2 in comparison to its predecessor. A low-end Core 2 Duo did the job back in 2014, now you'll need an Intel Core i5-650 as a minimum, or an AMD equivalent. Remember you can see how your CPU stacks up against the minimum specs over on Divinity: Original Sin II's game page.

Joffy S
on 22 August 2016 at 17:07

Today has been a bit of a crazy one, at least in terms of new tech advancements. First of all we had news of HBM3, then DDR5, now it’s the turn of PCI Express 4.0. It’s been six years since PCIe 3.0 became a standard so it’s been a long time coming. PCIe 4.0 brings with it a bandwidth bump all the way up to 16 GigaTexels/s, along with power delivery in excess of 300W.

This means we can essentially say goodbye to power cables. Motherboards outfitted with PCI Express 4.0 will be capable of powering all but the most high-spec graphics cards purely through the motherboard. The motherboard will still need to be supplied with the appropriate power, naturally, but not having to wire in a graphics card should significantly improve air flow. I can almost hear the fans of neat wiring trembling with excitement.

Joffy S
on 22 August 2016 at 16:30

It's that time of year again. A new football season means new football games, with Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 arriving in September alongside FIFA 17. The system requirements for PES 2017 are out, and this gives us a great opportunity to see Konami is treating the PC port this time around. For the last few years we've been lumped with the old engine and Xbox 360 graphics, is PES 2017 finally the year we get equal treatment to PS4 and Xbox One? Don't hold your breath. 

The sad thing about these system requirements were templated from the PES 2015 system requirements, with a few minor tweaks, and those were in fact templated from PES 2014. To say Konami's PC ports of Pro Evolution Soccer have taken a backseat is an understatement. PC gamers are being treated like second-class citizens. We've got the most capable hardware and yet we're once again being delivered a port on par with the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions, consoles running on tech over a decade old. Meanwhile PS4 and Xbox One players get a next-gen version on the Fox Engine.

Joffy S
on 22 August 2016 at 14:00

HBM3 wasn’t the only exciting memory-related goodness to come out of Hot Chips; we also got some of the first info on DDR5 system memory. The new RAM specification will succeed DDR4 in 2020 if development goes to plan, with the big changes being a nice big bump up to a maximum RAM limit of 128GB, along with a doubling of bandwidth.

As it stands the chief aim of DDR5 DRAM is to offer twice bandwidth at 1.1V, making for a huge leap in memory efficiency. In short this means greater performance while consuming less power, particularly useful for mobile devices such as gaming laptops. Clock speeds will vary from 3200MHz all the way up to 6400MHz once the technology matures. Exact specifications for DDR5 are expected to be released later this year.

Joffy S
on 22 August 2016 at 11:15

Hot Chips is taking place this week, a conference dedicated to high performance microprocessors. It kicked off yesterday and runs through until tomorrow. There’s already been plenty of juicy news regarding graphics memory, including the first tease for third-generation High Bandwidth Memory, or HBM3. It will supposedly offer twice the bandwidth of HBM2 (which has yet to hit the market for gaming graphics cards), and yet will be cheaper to produce. But the best bit? It’ll allow up to 64GB VRAM in the coming generations of graphics cards.

Up until now our experience with HBM has limited to the first generation seen on AMD’s Radeon Fury graphics cards. At 128GB/s per package it was quite a leap up in terms of bandwidth, while its 3D stacking mean for far smaller form factor graphics cards than GDDR5. HBM2 is set to double the bandwidth to 256GB/s and double the capacity when it presumably arrives alongside AMD’s Vega GPUs, but it’s HBM3 which now sits atop the memory throne. This will offer speeds of 512GB/s per memory stack, along with up to 64GB HBM3 capacity.