We all know AMD is currently beavering away on its next generation of Navi graphics cards for launch in 2018, but the rumour mill has been fired into action in regards to AMD utilising the upcoming GDDR6 video memory standard in addition to HBM2 or, potentially, even the rumour HBM3.
A sleuth over on Reddit spotted a glaring truth on AMD employee Daehyun Jun’s LinkedIn profile. Daehyun Jun is a ‘principal member of technical staff at AMD’, and the experience he lists includes work on a new GDDR6 DRAM controller for AMD Radeon.
Much has been made of the cryptocurrency mining craze, which has recently seen the value of Bitcoin balloon past $10,000 for a single coin. Its effect on demand for graphics card hardware has been keenly felt, with prices skyrocketing throughout 2017 as miners seek the best bang for their buck. According to AMD CEO Lisa Su though, demand for GPUs from cryptocurrency miners is actually a "very small percentage" of AMD’s overall business, clocking in at single digits.
Instead, Su claims it’s a generally increased demand for all things high-performance computing. PC gaming has been on the up and up for years, while AMD also has high-profile custom chips in both the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One X.
If you thought the cost of buying a VR headset was prohibitively expensive - think again. An HTC Vive is just a drop in the ocean compared to the sort of gaming PC you'll need to meet DOOM VFR's minimum system requirements. DOOM VFR truly is the foie gras of virtual reality gaming. If you're planning to rip and tear with the best of them then it might be time to think of an upgrade...
In short, you're going to need a BFG (Big F--king Gaming PC) to play DOOM VFR. Virtual F--king Reality indeed. If you're serious about VR then in all likelihood you've got a mighty fine system to go along with it, but those looking at DOOM VFR and contemplating a VR headset purchase would be wise to start jotting up the costs of meeting the minimum specs.
The HDMI Forum is very capable of making us 1080p gamers feel very belittled indeed. No sooner do we hit the age of single-GPU 4K gaming do they announce the new HDMI v2.1 specification with support for up to 10K resolution. I mean, just look how tiny 1080p looks on the image below. Gulp. Who knows, perhaps in about a decade we may actually have the hardware that can take advantage of this tech.
We still impatiently waiting for the critical mass of VR headsets to take hold, but Q3 2017 represented the biggest step yet. It marked the first quarterly period ever where one million premium-tier virtual reality headsets were sold. Make no mistake, this is a huge milestone, indicating VR is climbing out of that launch slump and achieving some form of commercial success.
Sony’s comfortably in pole position on this front, aided by offering the cheapest of three main VR headsets in conjunction with the simplest hardware requirements - own a PS4. 49% of the VR headsets sold in Q3 2017 were PSVR, indicating total sales of close to half a million units in a three-month period. Oculus followed up in second place with 21%, the HTC Vive shifted 160,000, while ‘Others’ were responsible for the remaining 14%.
City builders are ten-a-penny throughout PC gaming history, but Haemimont and Paradox's Surviving Mars is a little different. As you've probably guessed, Surviving Mars is set on the Red Planet, where one of the first human colonies is being built. Players will have to manage everything from oxygen management to land cultivation on a planet that is much harsher than Earth. Don't just blast off into space willy-nilly though, here are the official Surviving Mars system requirements.
It should be said that the minimum and recommended CPUs for Surviving Mars are just based off of Haemimont's recommendation for "dual-core CPUs" and "fast quad-core CPUs" respectively, so they may differ between now and launch. That said, considering the generally very low-end minimum specs we don't see many people having trouble running Surviving Mars, provided they're willing to sacrifice the resolution.
Pillars of Eternity was one of the finest RPGs of the year when it launched in 2015, which is no mean when its chief competition was The Witcher 3. Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire is looking to expand on it in just about every conceivable way, taking players on a quest across the high seas to the archipelago of Deadfire. Adventures and beard stroking await. Before you roll those dice though, be sure to pay close attention to PoE2: Deadfire's PC system requirements.
Remember Pillars of Eternity 1? Of course you do. If you don't, start playing that one first. For the rest of you returning players, the system requirements for Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire remain 100% identical. The minimum specs for PoE2 mean you can run this on just about any old DX9-compatible potato. Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire's minimum system requirements are very low-end indeed, making this old-school RPG perfect laptop fodder. If somehow, you are still struggling with performance, PoE2 is very slow-paced and combat can be paused, so a stuttery frame rate isn't a game breaker.
If you’ve still got some money burning a hole in your pocket after Black Friday, AMD’s got a pretty decent deal running for Radeon fans. A promo’s running from now through until December 31st, 2017, wherein anyone who buys a Radeon RX Vega 64 or Radeon RX Vega 56 graphics card will get copies of Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus and Prey for free.
While it’s probably not enough to tip most people over the edge and fork out $400+ for a graphics card, these are two very solid games from Bethesda that run great on AMD Radeon hardware. The big selling point is that these games would cost you $100 when bought normally, although both are available for 50% off right now in the Steam Autumn Sale. Still, free’s free, so mustn’t grumble.
We live in a world where technology currently seems to be only getting more expensive, but AMD Ryzen is bucking the trend. Prices of AMD Ryzen CPUs have been slashed dramatically over the weekend, despite no official announcement from AMD, nor the usual fireworks that would accompany such a change.
Practically AMD’s entire Ryzen lineup from Threadripper down to Ryzen 5 is now available for their cheapest prices yet. Stacks of stores seem to have got involved in across the board price cuts, including Amazon, knocking as much as $200 off the price of a Threadripper CPU. Just to clarify as well, these price drops are being spotted around the world, including the US, Australia, UK, Netherlands and Germany.
Okami is one of those games a lot of people are sick to death of seeing re-released, but in the 11 years since its launch, it's still never found a home on PC. Unless you've made use of the myriad emulation options available out there, that is. Still, here we are, in 2017, and Okami HD is coming to PC. For those after a Zelda-style action-adventure, this is absolutely top drawer stuff, and here are the system specs needed to run Okami HD.
At its heart, Okami HD is just an up-resed version of a PlayStation 2 game from 2006. In that respect, the system requirements are surprisingly high. They're not a patch on a modern AAA game of course, but still pretty demanding for a game that's been kicking around in various forms for a decade.