Checkpoint: Silent Profile Edition

Checkpoint: Silent Profile Edition

posted in: Editorials & Features | 0

Silence is golden. It’s one of the primary reasons why I purchased an electric vehicle. So it’s no surprise that I want my PCs to be silent as well. 

The Gigabyte GTX 1070 G1 Gaming video card is more than enough for my 1080p gaming needs but as soon as I do anything graphically intensive, those fans can be heard. There was a moment of dread but it subsided quickly after I realized there are fan profile settings in the “Xtreme Engine” utility.  After launching the gaudy utility again, I switched on the Silent fan profile and it was aural bliss. Admittedly there was an uncomfortable amount of heat emanating from the case but I wasn’t worried. The temperatures were kept in check — below the max temperature of 94 degrees Celsius — and I didn’t hear the fans from where I was sitting. 

We’ve come a long way since the days of the GeForce FX5800 and its infamous “Dustbuster”.

I’ve made a couple of gaming related mistakes over the past few days. I started both TitanFall 2 and Picross 3D. I’m not disparaging those two titles — quite the opposite, actually. I’m just saying that I have two other games on the go that need to be wrapped up first. I’ve barely started Gears of War 4 and I’m right in the thick of it with Dragon Quest VII but Picross 3D is really good. And that TitanFall 2? It’s pretty incredible in its own right as well.

 

 

Checkpoint: Witness GTX 1070 Edition

Checkpoint: Witness GTX 1070 Edition

posted in: Editorials & Features | 0

And just a few days after witnessing the sheer compute power of my buddy’s GTX 1080, my Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1070 Gaming G1 arrived. Installation in the Silverstone Raven Z RVZ02 was painless with plenty of room to spare.

Shamefully, I’ve yet to put the video card through its paces. (I blame Overwatch and its Halloween event). I installed it, ran the Gears of War 4 benchmark and that was it. Unsurprisingly, it completed the test with 1080p at ultra settings without breaking a sweat. I’m hoping to play actual games with it some time today or tomorrow. I promise it’s not just going to be a Gears of War 4 benchmarking machine.

Oh, I did change the LED color to orange and made it pulsate like it was “breathing”. A truly useless feature when the case which the video card is installed is windowless.

I understand why people poo poo on the GeForce Experience for requiring a username a login but when it offers easy install and update of video card drivers, it’s tolerable. I don’t know how well it optimizes game settings to my hardware but at least there’s a baseline to work with.

Dragon Quest VII is surprising me with changes to the party members. It may end up being a temporary change but to see a major character just up and depart was eye brow raising.

Checkpoint: $655 Video Card Edition

Checkpoint: $655 Video Card Edition

posted in: Editorials & Features | 0

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.

Timid Fury

Timid Fury

posted in: Technology News | 0

The AMD Radeon Fury X isn’t exactly the $649 USD NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti killer that AMD hoped for.

The Radeon R9 Fury X is a big advance over the last-gen R9 290X, and it’s a close match overall for the GeForce GTX 980 Ti. However, the GeForce generally outperforms the Fury X across our suite of games—by under 10%, or four FPS, on average. That’s massive progress from the red team, and it’s a shame the Fury X’s measurably superior shader array and prodigious memory bandwidth don’t have a bigger payoff in today’s games.

If I were going to spend $649 USD on a video card, why would I spend it on a Fury X? For the water cooling unit? The LED lights? Why would I spend money on a video card that cannot deliver frames in a smooth manner?

Speaking of which, if you dig deeper using our frame-time-focused performance metrics—or just flip over to the 99th-percentile scatter plot above—you’ll find that the Fury X struggles to live up to its considerable potential. Unfortunate slowdowns in games like The Witcher 3 and Far Cry 4 drag the Fury X’s overall score below that of the less expensive GeForce GTX 980. What’s important to note in this context is that these scores aren’t just numbers. They mean that you’ll generally experience smoother gameplay in 4K with a $499 GeForce GTX 980 than with a $649 Fury X. Our seat-of-the-pants impressions while play-testing confirm it. The good news is that we’ve seen AMD fix problems like these in the past with driver updates, and I don’t doubt that’s a possibility in this case. There’s much work to be done, though.

I thought AMD was on the road to improving their drivers and yet to this day, they’re still struggling to get a handle on it. Again, why would I spend money on this?

I’m not content with this outcome because it just means that NVIDIA is running unopposed which isn’t good for consumers. We need healthy competition in the video card space.

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