Plans for the next generation of processors are beginning to shift into focus, with both Intel and AMD outlining launch windows for their respective Kaby Lake and Zen CPUs.
Intel was first, with CEO Brian Krzanich announcing during a Q&A session with investors that Kaby Lake CPUs are finalised and shipping to PC builders for use in complete systems.
AMD has released its Q2 fiscal year 2016 results and in a slightly shocking turn of events has actually managed to crawl into the black after years of losses. AMD’s revenue was $1.027 billion over the last three months, up 9% year on year and 23% from the last quarter. The launch of its eagerly anticipated first Polaris chip is partly responsible, with the Radeon RX 480 met with favourable reviews and keen consumer interest.
Non-GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) income was $3 million for the quarter, while GAAP was an $8 million deficit. Overall net income was $69 million over the period.
Buying an HTC Vive is an expensive process. An eye watering £743.74 including shipping on the official Vive store. That’s just the start though, because replacement parts are also hideously costly. HTC Vive’s accessories store page has just gone live, letting Vive users pick up replacement controllers, face cushions, link boxes and base stations, but prepared to rinse your bank accounts dry.
These are all the bits you’ll need to properly use the HTC Vive, and up until now if any of these parts broke you were kind of stuck. Controllers, of which two are needed, will set you back a whopping £116.99 each, while the base station is £121.99.
Arriving from out of nowhere, Nvidia has announced its new flagship graphics card - the GeForce GTX Titan X. Not Titan Y or Titan P as previously rumoured, but exactly the same nomenclature as the 2015 edition. The GeForce GTX Titan X will be the most powerful graphics card on the planet, packing an astonishing 3584 CUDA cores for 11 TFLOPS of performance.
Equipped with a full fat GP102 Pascal GPU, the Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan X 2016 won’t come cheap, retailing for $1200 in the US, nearly double the price of the current champion, the $699 GTX 1080. If you do lay down all that cash though, Nvidia claim you’ll be getting your hands on an “irresponsible amount of performance”, which on the face of it seems difficult to argue with.
Razer has just put up pre-orders for its own virtual reality headset. Designed by the open standard OSVR consortium, it’s a VR headset designed to be totally open source with no hardware or software limits in place on its use. Where things get really interesting though is that the Razer OSVR HDK 2 has basically identical specs to the Oculus Rift, all while retailing for a significantly cheaper price.
Pre-orders are available from now up until its shipping date on July 29th, with the OSVR HDK2 setting you back $399 / £399, significantly undercutting the $600 Oculus Rift and $800 HTC Vive.
Unless you've had your head buried under the sand for the past couple of years, Microsoft has made an absolutely ridiculous song and dance of the capabilities of DirectX 12. It was going to save gaming, exponentially improve performance, and make things even easier for developers.
First of all we had to deal with the disappointment of Windows 10 exclusivity, then the limited performance gains for the first games which supported it. Now though we're getting the first graphics cards to arrive in a post-DirectX 12 era, designed from the ground up to support Microsoft's latest API. Let's see how the MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G fares...
The rest of the world might be going faster and faster with SSDs and M.2 SATA, but Seagate still has its sights firmly set on bigger. The hardware manufacturer has just unveiled an absolute monster of a consumer hard drive, weighing in at an incredible 10 terabytes.
Speaking from experience, hard drive space really doesn’t go all that far with the number of 50GB+ games around. Install 15 or so of them and you’re already looking at 1TB, add on patches and DLC and they really start to rack up. However, the dream of downloading your entire Steam, Origin and Uplay libraries is once more alive with Seagate’s Barracuda Pro 10TB though, enough for 200 50GB games.
Yesterday we got a pair of GeForce GTX 1060 reviews up, but due to time constraints we weren’t able to squeeze out any Vulkan performance benchmarks. Well now we’ve got time, so we’ve been putting MSI’s GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G through its paces in DOOM, which was recently updated with optional Vulkan graphics API support.
Boot up DOOM and you’re now presented with two options - the original OpenGL 4.5, or the newer Vulkan standard. Vulkan is low overhead API which builds on the achievements of AMD’s ill-fated Mantle, offsetting CPU usage to the GPU and more effectively distributing workloads across multiple CPU cores. It’s been likened to a console-like level of optimisation, squeezing out the maximum potential performance out of the hardware available to a user.
By now you’ve probably seen the lowdown on the GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition already. We have our verdict here. Where things get really interesting though is when Nvidia puts this powerful hardware in the hands of manufacturing partners, all competing to have the best version of the GTX 1060. We’ve got our mitts on one of MSI’s three GTX 1060 models - the MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G, and here’s what you're getting your hard earned money.
If you want a sign of just how crucial this mid-tier level of graphics cards is to Nvidia, AMD, everyone really, then look no further than MSI having three different 1060 variants available on launch day. Down at the entry level we’ve got a base MSI model available for £249.99, the ARMOR model version for £279.99, and lastly the Gaming X for £299.
To complete our Nvidia GTX 1060 video benchmark review roundup for now, we felt like we had to include a driving game. Where better to look than over at Codemaster's awesome Dirt Rally. So lets see how well the GTX 1060 can run Dirt Rally at 1080p screen resolutions. We will then take a look to see the difference between the reference GTX 1060 Founders Edition versus the overclocked GTX 1060 MSI version of the same card.
Dirt Rally Review