Blue & Green Launches

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti

There’s a new NVIDIA video card that will cost you at least $649.99 USD which is a lot if you’re not used to the high end video card market. But if you’re in that market, a video card that’s only 3% slower and 35% cheaper than the GeForce GTX Titan X is a hell of a bargain. As always, I recommend AnandTech or The Tech Report’s reviews.

If you’re afraid of reading long articles, the bottom line is this: Unless you’re bound to NVIDIA, the recommended conclusion is to wait to see how AMD’s upcoming Fiji and its High Bandwidth Memory will stack up.

I’ll admit though, NVIDIA’s G-SYNC and its growing crop of monitors is making the green team very enticing

Windows 10 Launches July 29

Windows 10 has an official launch date. The Technical Preview is shaping up nicely and I can see them hit that launch date comfortably. I’ll be there on day one.

If you’re not as gung ho as me, be sure to reserve your upgrade regardless because the free upgrade offer will not last forever.

Broadwell on Desktop Lives

With Windows 10 just around the corner, I realized that my current PC will have gone through 3 operating systems on Intel’s 2009 Core i5 750.

I was already toying with the idea of building a new PC with Intel’s upcoming Skylake architecture but was curious if Broadwell ever made onto the desktop. Yesterday’s searches bore no fruit but today Anandtech posted their early look at some limited Broadwell desktop chips.

Looks like Intel are going to release some niche chips and simply move quickly to Skylake because these aren’t the chips that we’re looking for.

Odds & Ends

  • Thunderbolt 3 could enable a one cable future
  • XCOM 2 was announced for PC – Unsure if it’s PC exclusive or not but I’ll tell you this: I love this short media cycle.
  • Fallout 4 teased for E3 reveal – I said I would be very cautious approaching Bethesda’s next game and unless something convinces me otherwise, I’m waiting for the discounted GOTY version.

I Welcome the Adaptive-Sync Future

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amd-logoVESA announced the inclusion of the “Adaptive-Sync” feature in Display Port 1.2a specification today. What does this mean for us?

Adaptive-Sync provides smoother, tear-free images for gaming and judder-free video playback. It also significantly reduces power consumption for static desktop content and low frame rate video.

If this Adaptive-Sync specification and AMD’s Project FreeSync feature is comparable to the NVIDIA G-Sync solution, then we are all winners. It will force NVIDIA to adapt its G-Sync feature to accommodate Adaptive-Sync and we shouldn’t see silly markups on monitors with NVIDIA exclusive features.

I wouldn’t want to be tied down to NVIDIA GPUs if I purchased a G-Sync capable monitor. What if their GPUs fall out of favor? People do not change monitors as often as video cards.

This standardized feature will also enable a wider array of monitors to choose from. I don’t want some cheap TN “gamer” monitor. I want IPS, OLEDs and other display technologies to incorporate this game changing feature.

FreeSync: AMD’s Answer to G-Sync

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amd-logoI’ve been wanting this ever since NVIDIA announced G-Sync late last year. G-Sync works well but it requires NVIDIA’s GPU and a G-Sync enabled monitor. I am okay with having to own an NVIDIA GPU but a G-Sync enabled monitor? That could take some time and could be very costly to me.

AMD’s FreeSync will not require display modifications, they only need to support the VESA standard for variable VBLANK. And all AMD needs to do is enable FreeSync control in their Catalyst drivers and owners of their modern GPUs will be able to use FreeSync with compatible displays. (There’s also the added bonus of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles supporting this feature since they both sport AMD graphics.)

This all sounds fine and dandy but I have a few questions:

  1. Why did it require NVIDIA’s introduction of G-Sync for AMD to enable this feature?
  2. How many displays out there support the VESA variable VBLANK standard?
  3. Will it work as well as G-Sync?
  4. When will end users get access to this FreeSync feature?

This all sounds too good to be true. I’m optimistic but seeing how they hardly made any noise over this, I’m thinking it’s going to be quite some time before we see FreeSync in the hands of end users. I don’t even expect it to work as well as G-Sync. If it performs better than VSync but below G-Sync, I would be happy.

Dell introduces two 4K monitors

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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.

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