Checkpoint: KB/M PC 4K Edition

Checkpoint: KB/M PC 4K Edition

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My girlfriend and I tried playing Overwatch [PC] on my LG OLED55B6P over the weekend. We used an old Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse combo I bought for HTPC use, rested the keyboard on our laps and used the mouse on a plastic/steel mouse pad beside us.  

It worked surprisingly well.  

It worked so well that I’m considering investing a bit of money to upping this setup. I already have a USB extension cable for the KB/M wireless receiver so I’m thinking I could just swap it out for a USB hub so I can use a wired keyboard and mouse.  

The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1070 G1 Gaming video was able to run the game at 4K and above 60FPS fine but the fan kicked into higher gear. I’m thinking I need to check if airflow is an issue. I was even thinking I need to ditch my open air style card to my brother and pick up a blower style 1070 (or 1080?!) instead.

We’ll see. 

Checkpoint: LG OLED55B6P Edition

Checkpoint: LG OLED55B6P Edition

posted in: Editorials & Features | 0

My goodness is this TV ever pretty. My LG 55LE8500 bit the dust last week and the stars aligned for me to pick up an LG OLED55B6P for $2299.99 ($700 off). It’s worth every penny despite the fact that I’m not able to fully appreciate the screen’s capabilities yet. I still have yet to receive the new A/V receiver to enjoy my home theatre speaker setup with the 4K goodness. 

First impressions of the screen is that it’s remarkably thin and light. My old LE8500 was 79 LBS without the stand and this new screen is a mere 36 LBS or so. It’s super thin at its thinnest point but half the screen still has a bit of a bulge for electronics, speakers and all the other bits that make TVs usable. The picture quality was very dark and saturated by default but after a bit of tweaking it was much more appealing. Motion resolution and clarity of image is what I’m most taken aback by. I’ve only played Nier: Automata on it but everything looks crisp still and in motion. 

The built-in speakers are quite poor but it’s not surprising considering how little space they have to work with. The interface and “Magic Wand” remote are a joy to use which is a huge step up from the clunky and laggy interfaces of old. I have yet to try any of the built-in apps but it looks there’s a solid app marketplace on there.

 

Checkpoint: PlayStation 4 Pro Edition

Checkpoint: PlayStation 4 Pro Edition

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The PlayStation 4 Pro was officially unveiled earlier this week and I’ve already pre-ordered mine. You may be wondering why I would invest in a more powerful PlayStation 4 when I have a PC that’s a new video card away from being awesome. The answer is simple: it’s currently cheaper for my brother and I to share games in the PlayStation 4 ecosystem.

Steam has game sharing but it doesn’t allow for him and I to play multiplayer games with a single copy. Then there are titles like Overwatch that costs $79.99 CAD on PlayStation Network but ends being cheaper compared to two $39.99 USD copies of Overwatch on Battle.net which ends up being $104 CAD for the both of us.

The cost of PlayStation Plus sucks and I would rather not pay to access multiplayer but the Instant Game Collection offers have been decent. I’m not opposed to indie games so the likes of Journey, Tricky Towers or Rebel Galaxy being offered is welcomed.

What about the hardware being offered though?

4K – I don’t have a 4K TV. I don’t want to pick up another LCD so I’m waiting for a quality 55″ OLED screen for about $2500 CAD. It may not be powerful enough to push native 4K but hearing that the reconstruction/scaling produces impressive results is pleasantly surprising.

HDR – I’ve heard about HDR and its benefits for quite some time. It’s the true game changer — more so than 4K resolution itself. I haven’t seen the difference in person but I don’t doubt that people’s claims.

1080p Improvements – Even if Sony didn’t highlight the 1080p gaming improvements, I would have picked a PS4 Pro because of the improved hardware. Faster hardware running existing games should yield some improvements. Games that struggle to reach their performance targets may reach those targets with more consistency. Games that have uncapped framerates will given more resources to work with. We’ve seen the New Nintendo 3DS reap the benefits of improved hardware and the same with the Xbox One S and its marginal GPU overclock. But Sony is asking developers to go the extra mile with new releases and include a Pro specific improvements in visual fidelity. Some older titles will see PS4 Pro patches that will bring visual fidelity improvements.

VR – More powerful hardware will undoubtedly help PlayStation VR but since I have little to no interest in VR at the moment, I don’t really care how much of an improvement it brings.

The $499.99 CAD price may be $100 more than what our American counterparts are paying but it could have been worse. For whatever reason, it is $50 CAD cheaper than the PlayStation VR which was a $399.99 USD product that was inexplicably converted to $549.99 CAD.

I’ve reached my season 2 goal of reaching Diamond level in Overwatch. I should put Deus Ex: Mankind Divided down and wait for the upcoming PlayStation 4 Pro improvements but I’m enjoying it too much to do so.

Dell introduces two 4K monitors

posted in: Technology News | 0

4k-logoI’ve been a big fan of high density displays ever since I laid eyes on the iPhone 4’s display. Since then I’ve been keeping my eye on high resolution displays. I’m not running out and buying 4K HDTVs yet (I’m actually waiting for reasonably priced OLEDs first) but I have been keeping my eyes on 4K displays of all shapes and sizes.

I’ve owned three of Dell’s UltraSharp line of monitors. They’re fantastic monitors and when Dell announces a new set of monitors, I’m there to check it out.

The 32″ crowning jewel known as the UltraSharp UP3214Q will set you back $3499.99 and the more affordable 24″ UltraSharp UP2414Q can be yours for $1399.99. Those prices are a too rich for my blood but the 28″ UltraSharp UP2815Q that Dell says will debut next year for under $1000? That piques my interest.