Checkpoint: Witnessed GTX 1080 Edition

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I helped a buddy of mine build his new PC yesterday. It was an impressive setup with Intel’s Core i7, 16GB of RAM and a GTX 1080. Although he only has a 1080p HDTV, it was refreshing to just crank up all the options in Gears of War 4 and Forza Motorsport 6 Apex and just watch the framerate counter barely waver off 60FPS.

It’s been a long time since I built a PC in an ATX case so this may color my opinion a bit but that Fractal Design Define R5 Black case is incredibly well designed. I’ve been wading deeper and deeper into smaller cases so it was eye opening to see a $130 case that has sound deadening material, cable grommets and nice aesthetics. It’s larger than I would like but that’s a preference thing.

My GTX 1070 will be making its way to me by Wednesday this week. I look forward to seeing how it fares compared to the beastly GTX 1080.

I’m very impressed with the amount of effort Blizzard invested into their Overwatch Halloween event. They’ve also done right by the player base by allowing them use in-game coins to purchase unlockables this time around. The 4-player co-op brawl mode is also well made with wonderfully cute Halloween touches. It doesn’t have much lasting power as the rest of the game but the hardest difficulty is challenging enough to keep me checking in. Overwatch is my game of the year so far and these kinds of post-release content updates justify it.

Checkpoint: $655 Video Card Edition

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I originally intended to buy a video card for my new PC some time in the “near future” but I kept putting it off as games kept piling up for my PlayStation 4. I even went ahead and pre-ordered a PlayStation 4 Pro before considering finishing my new PC. Then Microsoft and NVIDIA announced their free Gears of War 4 with a 1070/1080 promo and after a bit of shopping around, I pulled the trigger on an MSI GeForce GTX 1070 ARMOR 8G OC. This purchase is up there with my NVIDIA GeForce 7800GT as one of the most expensive video card purchases.

I was essentially convinced to pick up the video card by a free copy of Gears of War 4. I wanted to buy Gears of War 4 when it hits $30 price range in a few months’ time but this promo accelerated those plans. With the Xbox Play Anywhere initiative, I’ve effectively abandoned my Xbox One. I only had it to play Microsoft’s exclusives and now that they’re bringing titles like Forza Horizon 3 and Gears of War 4 to Windows 10, I’m left wondering why I bought this console.

I just finished Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and I was left feeling like I’m missing another half of the game. I enjoyed what I played but the way they’ve left the story was disappointing to say the least. Up next? I’m probably going to start Dragon Quest VII.

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.

The future of real-time physics

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Below you will find a video demonstrating real-time physics simulations running on a NVIDIA Geforce GTX 680.

I wonder how many years it will be before we see this level of simulation in games. And I don’t mean rubber duck simulation games. I don’t mind seeing realistic physics for the sake of visual flair but how will the realistic jiggle of water balloons affects gameplay.

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