Nvidia has allegedly accelerated its plans for its next-generation Volta GPUs, planning a full launch in Q3 2017. Previously it was through Nvidia would be opting for a Pascal refresh before jumping into next-gen with its Volta chips, however it’s now being reported Nvidia has changed its plans and will release an entire new series of graphics cards later this year.
The GeForce GTX 10 series originally launched with the GeForce GTX 1080 and GeForce GTX 1070 roughly a year ago, so a Volta launch in Q3 2017 would be about an 18-month gap. This fits in with Nvidia’s usual release cadence, however we’re used to seeing minor architectural improvements before totally new generation of GPUs.
In a promising indication of Microsoft’s potential future plans, Halo Wars: Definitive Edition is coming to Steam this week. Originally bundled in with Halo Wars 2 as a Windows 10 Store exclusive, Microsoft has loosened the shackles and allowed its most iconic brand onto the Steam store.
The very fact this is happening is probably more exciting than the game itself, which is very much a console friendly RTS-lite with basic base-building that calls to mind Command and Conquer 3 & 4. The port shows Microsoft is open to experimenting with Steam, and happy for its games to co-exist on both platforms. It’s still a long way from Gears of War 4 coming to Steam, but it’s looking a whole lot more likely now.
Kind of out of left field, a marketing campaign has emerged in China for AMD’s Radeon RX Vega graphics cards, suggesting a full reveal and launch could be on the cards soon for AMD’s next generation graphics architecture.
According to the leaked video, the Radeon RX Vega will feature a full fat Vega 10 GPU with 8GB of second generation HBM2 and an all-in-one liquid cooler. This pitches the Radeon RX Vega in the same sort of target market as its previous Fury graphics cards. Liquid cooling should obviously ensure better thermal performance, which could come in handy if AMD is choosing to crank the core clocks up high.
There's a bit of buzz surrounding Rime right now. The studio behind Deadlight has been beavering away on this sun-dappled third-person adventure game for the best part of five years now, and it shows. Parallels have already been drawn with Sony Japan's Ico series. Those particular games have never appeared on PC though, so Rime promises to be quite a treat. Rime is much better looking than your typical indie game though, so don't go expecting you can run it on a calculator like Super Meat Boy. Here's the official Rime PC system specs so you can find out if it runs on your system.
As far as your typical indie titles go, Rime is one of the prettiest we've seen. Its style of reminiscent of The Witness meets The Last Guardian, with a lovely minimalist aesthetic. The simple texture work bleeds through to Rime's system requirements, which are very low end when considered in the AAA space.
Nvidia is teasing a major new reveal coming later this month. A short clip has been posted to its social media accounts with the cryptic message “It’s Coming”, teasing an April 29th reveal for a new product.
Just what the heck it could even mean remains a mystery. Nvidia has only just launched its most powerful graphics card yet, the GeForce Titan XP, so yet another graphics card seems unlikely. There is a tiny chance it could be the Pascal GPU series refresh, complete with HBM2 memory, but this would just be another major slap in the face for those who’ve snapped up Nvidia’s latest top-end graphics chips.
In an interesting turn of events, Microsoft’s Project Scorpio will become the first ever console to support AMD FreeSync, a variable refresh rate technology which prevents screen tearing and micro-stuttering. AMD FreeSync is already supported by AMD’s current crop of graphics cards and certain compatible monitors, however this is the first such time adaptive sync has made its way into the console sphere.
If you’re familiar with Nvidia’s G-Sync, AMD FreeSync is much the same thing. The benefits of FreeSync are threefold; eliminating tearing, stuttering, and input-lag. It works by allowing the FreeSync compatible monitor to refresh at a dynamic rate, matching the output of the GPU.
AMD's eagerly anticipated Ryzen 5 processors have dropped and are available to buy around the world right. They range in price from $169 for the low-end Ryzen 5 1400, up to $249 for the Ryzen 5 1600X. Their chief competitors from Intel are its Kaby Lake Core i5-7000 series CPUs, which AMD is hoping to under on price and beat in terms of performance.
Early reviews are out, largely for the $189 Ryzen 5 1500X and the $249 Ryzen 5 1600X, so we've compiled some gaming benchmark scores to see just how these stack up to their Intel variants.
Bayonetta is out on Steam today at 16:00PM BST, bringing SEGA and PlatinumGames critically acclaimed action game to PC with 4K support and additional advanced graphics options. It should mean Bayonetta will look better than ever, complete with a higher frame rate.
Of the PlatinumGames roster, Bayonetta is one of the most highly thought of, however the lack of a PC release has always been a sore point. While the Xbox 360 version was decent, the PS3 edition of Bayonetta was plagued with crippling frame rate issues. On PC this should obviously no longer be an issue, letting PC gamers throw the full force of their gaming hardware at the action-packed masterpiece.
The first 3DMark benchmarks are out for the Nvidia Titan XP, and as if you had any doubts, it’s the fastest gaming graphics card in the world. Just. Nvidia’s $1300 Titan XP is roughly 10% faster than the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, and roughly as fast as a GeForce GTX 1070 SLI configuration. It’s the best of the best but it’s shockingly poor value for money.
Before I get on my soapbox though, those all-important benchmarks. The GeForce Titan XP pulls in a score of 24,937 in 3DMark FireStrike, 15,115 in Fire Strike Extreme and 8,073 in Fire Strike Ultra. A GeForce GTX 1080 Ti can score 14,467 in Fire STrike Extreme and 7,535 in 4K Fire Strike Ultra. That’s equivalent to around a 10% difference in score, which is kind of the minimum you expect when spending almost twice the money.
After last week’s reveal of Microsoft’s Project Scorpio console there was precious little to get excited about beyond theoretical gaming performance. It was all specs, promises and marketing spiel. There was one shining light though - a port of the PC version of Forza 6: Apex running at a rock solid 60 frames per second at 4K.
My one lingering doubt was whether the graphics had to take a dip in order to accommodate this, but that’s not the case says developer Turn 10’s software architect, Chris Tector. He claims Forza 6: Apex is running at PC Ultra settings with everything maxed out, and it’s currently using 88% of the available GPU horsepower.