Graphics Cards Platform RSS Feed | Graphics Cards RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Metro Exodus Adds DLSS 2.0 and New Ray-Traced Graphics Thu, 29 Apr 2021 14:56:57 -0400 David Carcasole

In true Metro Exodus style, the latest upgrades to the game make it the best-looking version of the first-person shooter yet, as Metro Exodus will now feature NVIDIA's DLSS 2.0 technology and advanced ray-traced reflections, improved ray-traced global illumination, and ray-traced emissive lighting.  

NVIDIA has also released a new driver update to prepare PCs for the new upgrades. Players should check their GeForce app to prepare for the experience of new ray-tracing effects. 

The catch, however, with these upgrades for Metro Exodus is that they are unfortunately exclusive to specific GPUs, namely graphics cards with ray-tracing capabilities. This means only the latest cards from AMD and NVIDIA's 2000 and 3000 series cards will be able to take advantage of the upgrades. 

There's also no word as to whether support for AMD's version of DLSS, DirectML Super Resolution, will be added. For now, DLSS 2.0 support is only available for NVIDIA hardware. 

While the exclusivity for ray-tracing capable cards is unfortunate on the DLSS side, it also isn't surprising. The update will be available to all current owners of Metro Exodus but will have to be downloaded as a separate version of the game called Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition, which will be available on Steam on May 6, 2021.

Nvidia Geforce RTX 3070 Review: Power to Game Fri, 08 Jan 2021 13:21:10 -0500 Jason D'Aprile

Nvidia’s new superpowered graphics cards have arrived, as they do, with no small fanfare in the gaming community, especially the company's flagship RTX 3080 and 3090 cards. These high-end GPUs do magical things for an ultimate 4K gaming rig, but they also cost a ton. $700 for the 3080 and a whopping $1500 for the 3090. /p>

If you’re at the new console price point of $500, however, and tired of trying to buy one of those —  or just love PC gaming — the RTX 3070 is a much more comfortable bet with little in the way of meaningful compromise.

There’s a lot to like about the 3070. The card is using the same Ampere GA104 GPU as the RTX 3080 and RTX 3090, if not quite as beefy for obvious reasons. This ensures the card offers the various new and impressive bells and whistles of the RTX line. Specifically, the highlights are ray-tracing and Nvidia’s impressive DLSS AI technology for improving frame-rates (in some cases quite dramatically). 

Nvidia Geforce RTX 3070 Review: Power to Game


To put things into a more direct perspective, for $200 less than the RTX 3080, the 3070 frequently proves to be a notably better performer over last year’s $1,000 RTX 2080 Ti. The 3070 lets you rocket past 1080P to extreme details at 1440P and, at the moment anyway, offers exceedingly good 4K performance.

Admittedly, while 4K HDTVs are certainly common enough, PC monitors hitting that level aren’t quite as ubiquitous. 

For games like Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone, and Gears of War 5, framerates at 1440p are well over 100fps in our testing. Fortnite with DLSS performance mode turned on hits over 200fps and in quality mode, it was close behind that number.

Other games with notoriously trying engines like Control and Metro Exodus benefit immensely from Nvidia’s DLSS tech. Control in 4K with full details and ray-tracing, for instance, is a slideshow without it (tanking at times as low as 12+/- fps). With DLSS on, the game holds at just around a reasonable 60fps. At 1440p, however, that same high-detail DLSS with ray-tracing goes up to nearly 100fps for Control.  

Another surprising perk comes with Minecraft. Nvidia has worked diligently on creating a truly amazing showcase for the powers of ray-tracing in the sandbox game. Right now, even though the feature is officially supported and out of beta, it's still only available on specific RTX-labeled maps. The effects, however, are gorgeous. Lighting and liquid effects look ethereal, adding an intense level of atmosphere to the maps. 

Nvidia has proven themselves to be reliably adept at updating their drivers to accommodate new releases. As a result, we expect the 3070 to hold an exceptional level of performance in most upcoming games, even if the gains aren’t quite as high as those seen in the 3080.

Testing the 3070 with 3D Mark led to impressive results. We installed the card into an Acer Predator Orion 5000, which sports an Intel i7-8700K CPU and 16GB RAM. Results for 3D Mark's Time Spy benchmark ranked as "Great" with a score of 11,153 (or better than 91% of all results according to 3DMark’s statistics). So, from a pure benchmarking standpoint, the 3070 is no slouch.

Honestly, stress-testing framerates isn’t necessarily the best way to express the performance of a video card. Even at a devoted 4K resolution, it proved unlikely to find any game unplayable on the 3070 after a few minor tweaks to some of the game’s graphics settings. For players who are still good with 1080P, the 3070 is definitely the new card to get, offering intensely high performance at the HD resolution with no compromises.

There are a couple of other reasons to consider the 3070 over the 3080.

It uses around 100 watts less than the 3080, for one thing, so cooling is a bit easier (and quieter). Nvidia recommends a 650-watt power supply at minimum to handle the card. 

The 3070 also has a smaller footprint, coming in at just over 9 inches long (as opposed to the 3080, which is just under 12 inches). This means it fits more comfortably in a wide range of cases, so those with more compact rigs will find this a better choice. The RTX 3070 also sports three DisplayPort 1.4a outputs and an HDMI 2.1 port, so it can handle up to four monitors if needed. 

Nvidia Geforce RTX 3070 Review — The Bottom Line



  • $200 cheaper than the next card in the line
  • Better than last year’s high-end RTX 2080
  • DLSS tech makes ray-tracing and extreme graphic effects smooth and gorgeous
  • Smaller footprint, less power drain, plenty of monitor ports make it fit in a variety of cases


  • $500 is still a lot of money
  • 8GB of RAM might be an issue for future games at 4K
  • If you only game at 4K, probably go the extra $200 or so for at least the 3080

The general rule of thumb for building and upgrading a gaming PC is getting as much power as you can afford. No matter how you look at it, though, spending between $500 to more than $1,000 for a single component is still painful. So, for those looking for the middle ground between price and super high-end performance, Nvidia’s RTX 3070 is a remarkable video card.  

As it stands, the Nvidia RTX 3070 is the best mid-range card on the market. It easily surpasses anything AMD currently has in this price range and comes close enough to the higher-end cards to not feel like a painful compromise.

For 1440p and 1080p, this card smokes anything we threw at it, with full details and ray-tracing thanks in part, at times, to Nvidia’s DLSS. For 4K, it still proved to be an exceptional card and our primary caveat might be that with only 8GB of onboard RAM, it’s conceivable newer games in the next year or so might need some visual downgrades.

Granted, even the RTX 3080 for $200 more might have this problem as it only has 10 GB. But it’s hard to say if that will matter at all in the next few years.

[Note: Nvidia provided the RTX 3070 GPU used for this review.]

Amazon Prime Day Deals: Gaming, Hardware, and More Mon, 15 Jul 2019 11:14:35 -0400 Josh Broadwell

It's that time of year again, when Amazon puts hundreds of random products on sale for members of its Prime program. This year, Prime Day lasts for two days, running until July 16 at 11:59 pm PST.

From video game console bundles to gaming PCs, games, SD cards, and more, there's a lot on offer for techies and gamers, so we've rounded up some of the best deals to save you the hassle of endless scrolling.

Nintendo Switch Prime Day Deals

The Switch doesn't get much in the way of discounts yet, but Amazon is offering a bundle similar to one we've seen before, plus some discounts on controllers.

There are some games discounted for this Prime Day too:

PlayStation 4 Prime Day Deals

There's a slightly sweeter Prime Day bundle for the PS4, one that includes a console and two highly praised games.

And, of course, there are some game deals as well.

Xbox One Prime Day Deals

While there aren't any snazzy hardware deals for the Xbox One, there are still some game deals to choose from.

Tech Prime Day Deals

As always, there are plenty of tech and hardware deals to go around this Prime Day.

Chief among them is a top-of-the-line GPU:

Then there's the usual PC and accessory sales:


We'll update if there are any other major deals that go live before Prime Day(s) end. However, it's important to keep in mind that Amazon doesn't label many of these deals as time sensitive, despite the fact that they are. It's always possible the prices listed here could be higher or lower when you go to the product page.

To NVIDIA and Beyond: Every GeForce Rumor Analyzed Wed, 01 Aug 2018 17:18:19 -0400 Ty Arthur

Following all the game announcements at E3 2018, the just-around-the-corner Gamescom expo in Germany kicks off August 21. Word on in the street is that PC power gamers are in for some very good news, especially when it comes to near hardware and, potentially, GPUs. 

The day before those festivities officially begin, NVIDIA is set to jump start the expo with a press conference at a secret location. Dubbed a "gaming celebration," it's scheduled to run from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. EDT on Monday, August 20

This seems like the perfect time for new hardware to be announced -- except for one potential little snang.

At the Computex expo in Taiwan back in June, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang made an off-hand comment about the next generation of GeForce graphics cards not being revealed until "a long time from now."

With info finally beginning to leak and the press conference set for August, it seems like that "long time from now" may very well have just been a little over two months.

New GeForce Video Card Announcement Rumors

If you happen to be in Cologne, Germany, on the 20th, you can still sign up to attend the GeForce celebration in person by signing up here. However, since it doesn't seem like the event will be live-streamed, the rest of us will have to wait for info to start leaking from attendees and stories posted by attending outlets. But it's probably safe to surmise that what those participants are going to discover will likely dominate hardware news for months to come.

This statement from NVIDIA about the pre-expo, off-site celebration has got the message boards lighting up:

The event will be loaded with new, exclusive, hands-on demos of the hottest upcoming games, stage presentations from the world’s biggest game developers, and some spectacular surprises.

It's those last three words in particular that are fueling the rumor mill right now. We're overdue for a new generation of graphics cards powerhouses, with the 1080s getting a little long in the tooth at this point, and Titans already going through some iterative changes.

Beyond a simple desire for ever more horse power under the hood, there's good reason for new cards to hit soon. With 4K G-Sync HDR monitors already here and with gamers constantly searching for more horsepower to run their games at 60fps, it's just flat out time for more graphical processing power.

 If you've got cash to burn, this is the future of PC viewing hardware

New GeForce Video Card Names

We know new cards are coming, and it's highly likely they will be announced August 20, but we don't quite yet know what they will be called.

The naming conventions for these new cards are up in the air, but there are three in particular that have gotten traction. It seems likely the architecture for the new GeForce cards will be code-named Turing, although the words Ampere and Volta are also getting thrown around by unnamed industry sources.

Following the recent numbers pattern of previous cards, it seems likely these new GeForce cards will be the 11 series of 1160, 1170, and 1180, but that's not guaranteed.

Many hardware sites are expecting a change in the prefix to a whole new naming convention, with the 2060, 2070, and 2080 currently topping the running.

There's also been some speculation that the suffix will potentially change this year as well, going from 60, 70, 80 to 65, 75, and 85 to further differentiate from previous generations. But right now, most things are up in the air and we'll just have to wait and see. 

New GeForce GPU Release Dates

Based on the upcoming press conference and previous GPU release dates, the most likely scenario right now is that the new NVIDIA video card lineup will officially launch at the tail end of the summer or early fall. The exact dates however, are still a bit of a mystery.

YouTuber Gamer Meld recently posted a video revealing supposedly leaked documents from a hardware supplier, providing some insight into when new cards and GPUs might arrive. The validity of the document in question is unknown, as obviously NVIDIA isn't commenting on it, so take it with a grain of salt.

According to this source, three separate card types are coming in staggered releases at a rate of one a month from August to October of this year, with one video card potentially being called the 1180+ instead of the 1180ti (yet another unconfirmed convention).

This is disputed by other sources claiming to have leaked info, however. Wccftech supports the three card theory, but is claiming the GPUs will all be released in September on a staggered weekly schedule.

New GeForce Pricing

No matter when the release date(s) will be, the biggest question right now is price point. Anyone who has built a gaming rig recently knows there have been huge spikes in graphics card prices over the last two years, with attempts directly from NVIDIA and retailers failing to do much in the face of cryptomining.

All things considered, we should expect the high-end cards to cost more than the current 1080s but probably lower than the current Titans, although specific price points just aren't available beyond wild speculation. For those looking to get in on a new graphics card before the new lineup arrives, be sure to head over here to find the 5 best tools for locating cheap graphics cards.

The impending lineup of new cards could potentially be good news for budget gamers, too. The current catalog of GeForce GPUs, specifically the 1070s and 1080s, still run modern games very well. With the release of new cards, prices for older graphics cards are sure to decrease -- and if new unit release before the 2018 holidays, you can bet that Black Friday sales will discount the previous models even more. 


Right now, that's all we know about the current state of NVIDIA's GPU catalog and it's upcoming lineup of cards.

What do you all think -- are we in for an 1180, a brand new Titan, a 2075, or something else altogether, and what are you hoping the specs will look like on the all new top of the line cards?

Sound off in the comments below, and check back in with us on August 21 after the official announcements are made for the latest info!

5 Best Tools for Finding Cheap Graphics Cards Tue, 15 May 2018 13:50:21 -0400 Ty Arthur


While prices for both the latest, bleeding-edge cards and the mid tier of gaming hardware remain high, all indications point to a drop coming soon. Stay on top of all the possible sales so you don't miss out on the deal of a lifetime!


Which of these video card price-checking tools do you use most often, and did we miss any great free services that should be added to the list? Let us know how you find cheap graphics cards with websites, browser extensions, and coupon codes in the comments below!


Newegg Price Low To High


While the point of the various tools in the previous slides is to have a program do the work for you, they aren't always perfect and don't catch everything. Sometimes a little legwork is necessary, and you can't always beat just setting the "price: low to high" option on the gaming graphics cards section of Newegg.


They remain one of the most well-known hardware retailers for a reason, and with regular sales and offers, you can find new video cards for as cheap as $100 on the low end, with occasional big dips in prices on the higher-end cards if you check back regularly.


Amazon Assistant Chrome Extension


While Camel Camel Camel will tell you when a price on a specific product drops, it won't always notify you of Amazon's daily deals and other price-saving measures for similar video cards.


With the Amazon Assistant, you can stay up-to-date on daily Lightning Deals in hardware to find that elusive sale on a graphics card, as well as view similar products while searching to add new video cards to your wish list (and then add 'em to your Camel Camel Camel notifications).


Honey Chrome Extension


Coupon code- and discount-searching browser extensions are a dime a dozen these days, and there are plenty worth checking out. One of the biggest and most reliable is Honey, which automatically searches any given site for coupons to get a better deal at checkout.


Honey tends to have plenty of coupons for sites like Newegg, so you can get bigger price reductions over already-reduced sale prices if you check back frequently on any part, from RAM to video cards.


The codes aren't always still valid, but having the option available means you never pay full price if a code is available.




If you are looking to build your own rig and not sure where to start, PCPartPicker puts everything all in one location and makes it simple to see what you need and what it's all going to cost.


Best of all for those looking for a bargain, though, the site includes a "price drops" section to let you know what deals are available so you don't pay full price while choosing any of your components.


Just click "Video Card" on the left side to automatically see any recent price drops across the main hardware selling sites, like Newegg, B&H, OutletPC, and SuperBiiz.


While you may still want to shop around to see if a lower price exists, at the very least, you will have a good idea of what specific cards are going down in price to get started finding the best deal.


Camel Camel Camel


Essentially, Camel Camel Camel cuts out the time and effort of constantly checking to see if a price on anything -- from blockbuster summer DVDs to blenders -- has dropped through Amazon.


Sign up for an account, search for something specific, like a GTX 1080 graphics card, and then Camel Camel Camel will notify you automatically whenever the price goes down.


It's bargain hunting made easy since you will always know the best price as soon as it happens instead of relying on luck.


Built back in 2015, my gaming rig is getting a little long in the tooth and in need of an upgrade, so it was time to take a look at the options on new components. Like many gamers, I was stunned to find the top-of-the-line graphics cards these days will cost more than an entire bare-bones computer system, if they are even in stock at all.


RAM and graphics cards alike have seen huge spikes in pricing over the last two years, especially seeing as crypto-miners have heavily relied on gaming hardware to strike it rich. While RAM pricing isn't expected to go down any time soon, there may be a light on the horizon for those in the market for a new graphics card.


Several factors have been driving the price spikes, like new smart phones using higher-end hardware and edging out home computer buyers with their large-scale orders. Cryptocurrency data mining operations placing orders for very large quantities of hardware has further kept the prices high, but hopefully, that's coming to an end.


With the volatility of cryptocurrency spiking and prices plummeting -- and with big names like John Oliver covering crypto in segments warning people against throwing all their money into a potentially hazardous situation -- love for these oddball currencies is waning. That isn't immediately going to fully solve the problem, however, as scalpers move in and buy the remaining stock when the costs are low, then list them as third-party sellers at inflated prices.


Pricing on graphics cards has risen so far above the suggested retail prices that NVIDIA released a statement asking their trading partners to prioritize gamers building new rigs over big mining operations. Essentially, they want sites to limit the number of graphics cards sold in single orders, or drop the prices altogether.


While the effectiveness of that plea is up in the air, prices are going to go down naturally either way. Fewer people are now buying graphics cards in bulk, so inventories are finally going up, which means prices have to eventually be slashed to move product.


1080s have already seen big drops from a normal cost of around $900 down to $600 in just a handful of weeks. The lower-end cards remain at higher-than-normal price points but are expected to drop in the coming months.


Here's the big issue, though -- prices may spike again, particularly if currencies like BitCoin and Ethereum see a sudden surge in value and the large mining operations ramp up activity again.


That's why you need to stay on top of all the best methods for finding the lowest price if you have any intention of building a new gaming computer or upgrading your existing machine this year. Here are all the tools you need to find the best price:


Read on for an in-depth look at each of these tools that can help you find a reasonable price on graphics cards.

Best Graphics Cards Under $500 For Budget PC Builders in 2017 Thu, 16 Nov 2017 12:11:27 -0500 Serhii Patskan


Sapphire Radeon NITRO+ RX 570


Price: $294.07
Buy it on: Amazon


Last but not least, this contender for the best graphics card under $500 in 2017 is the RX 570 model from Radeon. Sure, its core clock numbers are the lowest among the batch, but the price and the support of all modern technologies should give you enough reason to consider this bad boy.


It has everything from CoolTech to Nitro Free Flow technologies for noiseless cooling, the full support of AMD LiquidVR and Eyefinity for a smooth virtual reality experience, AMD XConnect and Nitro Quick Connect for adding or switching extra graphics cards, and many other cool features.


Sapphire Radeon NITRO+ RX 570 Specs:

  • VRAM: 8 GB GDDR5 256-bit
  • \n
  • Cooling system: Dual-X
  • \n
  • Max resolution: 3840 x 2160
  • \n
  • Power supply requirements: 500W
  • \n
  • Core Clock:\n
    • NITRO Boost: 1340 MHz
    • \n
    • Silent: 1244 MHz
    • \n
  • \n



And there you have it: the best graphics cards under $500 in 2017. From NVIDIA to Radeon and more, these graphics cards will get you the biggest bang for the proverbial buck -- especially if you're building a PC on a budget. 


If you have other suggestions for graphics cards in this category, then be sure to leave your feedback in the comments section below. And be sure to check around during Black Friday and Cyber Monday -- a few of these cards are sure to be on sale, saving you even more money. 


ASUS GeForce GTX 1060


Price: $329.00
Buy it on: Amazon


If the previous three options look good but are still too expensive, then consider this slight downgrade from the 1070 model with a little less VRAM on the board.


The GeForce GTX 1060 graphics processor is one of the most powerful in the mid-level gaming class at the moment. The newest Pascal graphics architecture provides amazing speed, and the support of the latest technologies maximizes its functionality.


The DirectCU III cooling system is highly efficient due to a special fan design  with optimized impeller geometry and Auto-Extreme technology that guarantees its long-term durability.


ASUS GeForce GTX 1060 Specs:

  • VRAM: 6 GB GDDR5 192-bit
  • \n
  • Cooling system: DirectCU III
  • \n
  • Max resolution: 7680 x 4320
  • \n
  • Core Clock:\n
    • Boost: 1809 MHz / Base: 1594 MHz (OC Mode)
    • \n
    • Boost: 1785 MHz / Base: 1569 MHz (Gaming Mode)
    • \n
  • \n

Gigabyte Radeon RX 580 XTR


Price: $459.99
Buy it on: Amazon


The RX 580 is another modern solution from Radeon that is based on a GDDR5 memory architecture -- unlike its sister model VEGA. It has practically the same characteristics as the 1070 Ti from GeForce, but is a bit cheaper ($459 vs $489).


The card is a Polaris-powered graphics card that utilizes the AORUS graphics engine, which is intended for fast overclocking and effective heat dissipation. With the help of the Xtreme Engine software, you can easily adjust the frequency, voltage, fan modes, RGB backlighting, performance parameters, and more.


All of these settings can be changed in real time, according to your preferences, so that's an added quality of life touch that sets this Radeon graphics card apart from others on this list. 


Gigabyte Radeon RX 580 XTR Specs: 

  • VRAM: 8 GB GDDR5 256-bit
  • \n
  • Cooling system: Windforce 2X
  • \n
  • Max resolution: 7680x4320
  • \n
  • Power supply requirement: 500W
  • \n
  • Core Clock:\n
    • OC mode: 1439 MHz
    • \n
    • Gaming mode: 1425 MHz
    • \n
  • \n

Gigabyte Radeon RX VEGA 56


Price: $499.00
Buy it on: Amazon


The Gigabyte Radeon RX VEGA 56 is an equally impressive alternative to the GTX 1070 Ti graphics card, but it puts a stronger focus on VR gaming due to its implemented Polaris technology. This new architecture combines low latency, smart software, and powerful computing that together provide a silky smooth virtual reality experience.


VR is also the reason why this graphics card is based specifically on the second generation of High Bandwidth Memory (HBM2), which is especially useful for performance-sensitive consumer applications, such as virtual reality.


Additionally, the Polaris graphics architecture guarantees smooth performance for all those interested in streaming games through platforms like Twitch while maintaining a high-quality broadcast without sacrificing gameplay quality. 


Gigabyte Radeon RX VEGA 56 Specs: 

  • VRAM: 8 GB HBM2 2048-bit
  • \n
  • Cooling system: Air cooling
  • \n
  • Max resolution: 7680x4320
  • \n
  • Power supply requirement: 650W
  • \n
  • Core Clock:\n
    • Boost: 1471 MHz
    • \n
    • Base: 1156 MHz
    • \n
  • \n

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1070 Ti


Price: $489.99
Buy it on: Amazon


The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1870 Ti is the perfect solution for any gamers looking for the best graphics card under $500. There are several other options with the same processing power on the market from Asus and MSI, but the innovative cooling solution from Gigabyte delivers the most effective heat dissipation capacity for highest possible performance currently on the market.


This graphics card is built for extreme overclocking, engineered with the same high-grade chokes and capacitors as those of Titan X graphics cards. This technology protects the card from overheating and provides stabler voltage output.


Lastly, the 3D Active Fan provides semi-passive cooling, allowing gamers to enjoy gameplay in complete silence. 


GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Specs: 

  • VRAM: 8 GB GDDR5 256-bit
  • \n
  • Cooling system: Windforce 3X Blade Fan Design
  • \n
  • Power supply requirement: 500W
  • \n
  • Max resolution: 7680x4320@60Hz
  • \n
  • Core Clock:\n
    • Boost: 1721 MHz / Base: 1632 MHz (OC Mode)
    • \n
    • Boost: 1683 MHz / Base: 1607 MHz (Gaming Mode)
    • \n
  • \n

This year's flagship in the graphics cards department, a fully-enabled nVidia Titan Xp, resulted in a much faster build than previous throne holders: GeForce GTX 1080 Ti and Titan X. It's hard to say whether this is good or bad for the market, but it sure is costly, reaching well over $1000, which is not what most gamers are looking for.


So how do you approach the similar level of performance without investing so much money? Fortunately, the manufacturers of GeForce and Radeon graphics cards offer several excellent solutions all under $500.


If that's what you're looking for, then check out this top 5 of the best budget graphics cards of 2017.

Should You Be Buying a New Graphics Card Now? Wed, 31 May 2017 12:21:47 -0400 blake_1321

If you're a serious PC gamer, sooner or later you will need a new GPU. But is right now the perfect time for buying a new graphics card? With the era of VR at our doorstep, Nvidia was forced to release the Titan Xp. Sure, this amazing GPU is a massive milestone in the industry, but its impact on the current GPU market may be even greater than that.

The emergence of this latest high-end card has caused a drop in prices for all other graphic cards out there. This alone may be the reason why 2017 might be a perfect time for you to rejuvenate your computer and purchase a new graphics card.

Still, this all depends on what kind of graphics card you want to buy, and what price range you can afford. So let's take a look at the three tiers of graphics cards -- entry-level, mid-range, and high-end -- and determine the best picks in each price range, along with the right time to pick them up.

Entry-Level Graphics Cards

Entry-level GPUs are sufficient enough for typical day-to-day usage, HTPC machines, and casual gaming. In recent years we've witnessed a surge of non-GPU intensive games such as League of Legends, DotA 2, CS: GO, and many others -- and these entry-level cards are more than capable of delivering decent framerates at 1080p with high details.

The two best entry-level models out there right now are AMD's RX 550/560 and Nvidia's GTX 1050/1030.

AMD Radeon RX 550/560

RX 560

AMD has an inclination towards re-branding their chips into new generations of graphics cards. This is exactly what happened with Radeon RX 500 series. The fact that they've been using the 14nm process on their Polaris chips for a year gave them the ability to clock them higher out of the box and re-brand them as the RX 500 series.

AMD has unlocked this chip to a full 1024 cores, and clocked it significantly higher. Besides the new RX 560, we also got the RX 550, which is a cut-down version of the RX 460 but with a price tag of just $80 USD.

Nvidia GTX 1050 (Ti)/1030

GTX 1050

Nvidia’s entry-level GTX 1050 and 1050 Ti recently earned a younger (and weaker) brother -- the GTX 1030.

While the 1050 slightly beats AMD's RX 560 in DX11 games, in DX12 it is the other way around. The 1050 Ti is better all-around, but could be considered a bad purchase. Its price hovers around $160 USD -- which is dangerously close to the 20% faster RX 570 that sells at $185 USD.


You won’t be making a mistake if you go for either the RX 560 or the GTX 1050. These are priced similarly and are neck-and-neck performance wise. But if you tend to play less graphics-intensive games such as League of Legends or Dota 2 both the RX 550 and GTX 1030 ($80 USD) are a decent purchase as well.

Mid-Range Graphics Cards

The problem with high-end cards is that no matter how good they are, you are not paying just for their performance. You are also paying for the exclusivity to use the newest, most powerful GPU on the market -- especially if that GPU has a clear advantage in game performance.

So people who value high-quality graphics, but are still reluctant to pay more than these devices are worth, are more likely to go with a mid-range GPU, such as the AMD RX 580 or 570, or the Nvidia 1060 or 1070.

Nvidia GTX 1070

GTX 1070

Performance-wise out of the four, the GTX 1070 is far ahead of the rest of the pack -- but it also costs considerably more at around $400. However, the price is directly proportionate to its performance. For twice the price of the RX 470, you get almost twice the performance in games such as The Witcher 3 at 1080p and 1440p. Though this card is borderline high-end, it slid to the mid-range bracket after the release of the 1080 Ti and Titan Xp.

If smooth performance at 1440p with high graphical quality is what you expect from your card, then the GTX 1070 is your best bet.

Nvidia GTX 1060 (+)

GTX 1060

This card is a decent mid-range product which comes in two versions with 3GB and 6GB GDDR5 memory. A few weeks back, Nvidia introduced a refreshed version of the cards, the GTX 1060+, with a 9Ghz clock on the memory. With a price tag of around $250, it is a decent purchase for gaming in 1080p at high detail. To keep smooth framerates at any higher resolution, though, you'd have to compromise on the level of graphical fidelity.

The main drawback with this card is that it doesn't support SLI, and the 3GB model is not suited for gaming in 2017.

RX 580/570

Next up are the RX 580 and the RX 570. Both of the cards pack the same Ellesmere chip on the PCB, with either 4 or 8GB of GDDR5. The difference is that the RX 570 has 256 shader processors (less than its bigger brother), and has lower clock speeds for GPU and memory. In reality, though, those discrepancies translate into single-digit framrate differences. In a 1080p run of The Witcher 3, for example, the RX 580 has 64FPS while the RX 570 manages 58FPS.


The absolute champion of this category is the RX 570. The card is just a small percentage slower than the RX 580 and the GTX 1060, but is considerably cheaper. A custom version can be bought for as little as $185 USD.

High-End Graphics Card

GTX 1080 Ti

Finally, there are some people who simply don’t care about the price of their GPU -- all they want is the best possible gaming and graphic experience. Gaming in 4K was hard to imagine a few years ago without several cards stacked in CrossFire or SLI. But now that 4K gaming seems to be the next horizon for the industry, that's changed -- especially with the emergence of single cards that can handle that sort of workload, like Nvidia's GTX 1080Ti and the Titan Xp. 

  GTX 1080 Ti Titan Xp
Shader Units 3584 3584
ROPs 88 96
GPU GP102 GP102
Transistor Count 12B 12B
Memory 11GB 12GB
Bus 352 384
Clock 1480/1582 1418
Memory Clock 1376 1251
Price $699  $1200


While there are slight variations in numbers, the performance among these cards is pretty much the same -- which makes the 1080 Ti the best possible high-end purchase at this moment. It will devour any game you throw at it, and do so in stunning 4K. The only real reason to go for the Titan version is if you run neural networks and deal in machine learning.

Should You Wait for New Models to Come Out Before Updating Your Graphics Card?

AMD has announced the official release its Vega based GPUs by the end of June. This particular GPU is something eagerly expected by both gamers worldwide. This particular entry is expected to be a game-changer for graphics processing, which is why it might be worth your while to postpone the purchase of high-end graphics card for at least the next several weeks.

In the end, terms such as ‘better’ and ‘more cost-effective’ are quite subjective. Some people are ready to pay unlimited amounts for even the slightest edge in performance. What card is best for you really boils down to what you really need that GPU to do, and how much you're willing to pay for it. 

How Video Games Teach Us Life Lessons Thu, 06 Apr 2017 08:00:01 -0400 Karthik Krishnan

The title of this article has you utterly bemused right? “Video games, teaching you life lessons how?” That must be one of the questions running through your mind now. Like most folks, you probably view video games as just another pass time when bored.

You will be shocked to learn the number of life lessons to be gained from them. Whether your game is a purchase or a download here is some of the life lessons to be garnered from it:

Not giving up

battlefield 4, poster

In a nutshell, this is the most important lesson you’ll learn. How many times have you tried passing a mission on a video game but failed? The answer to that is maybe in the thousands. Despite the setbacks, you faced from time to time, you did not relent and still went on like a mad person. Similarly to video games, life is full of numerous of setbacks. How you handle them is critical to how your life will turn out. Instead of giving up you should strive to soldier on through all the hardships life presents. Practice a bit of Edisonian thinking, and your bulb may just work the hundredth time around.

Using different tactics

 How many times have you failed a mission in a game and had to look for a different way of tackling it? A conservative guess is in the hundreds. The same way a game provides a challenge for you to solve is the same way life is. You will have to figure out a way of solving the problem if your solutions keep on failing. Different tactics to ones used before will have to be employed to solve the problem. From this information, you learn video games make us devise new tactics. The use of new tactics when previous ones fail is how we should handle challenges in life.

Look for shortcuts

cs:go, counter strike

When playing a game, some missions will have shortcuts to achieving the set objective. As a smart gamer, you will be required to identify the shortcuts and use them to your advantages. Life is similar to video games in that some challenges will have an easier way of solving them. However, the trick lies in identifying this easier path. The shortcut will save time and money thereby making your gamble on it a worthwhile investment.

Help eye-hand coordination

Games require you to stare at the screen while your hands are on the controller. This greatly improves your eye-hand coordination. Your eyes are able to track the movement of the hand by sending signals to the brain of your hand movement. The importance of eye-hand coordination cannot be stressed enough.

People with poor eye-hand coordination find it hard to do easy tasks such as writing. You may also find tasks such as exercising hard since there is a breakdown in communication between your brain and your hand. In extreme cases, reading may also be affected.


From the point listed above it is clear as day that games are not only a great way to pass time, they also improve our quality of life. It’s time you started viewing video games in a different light.

11 Awesome Video Game Bromances Sat, 18 Mar 2017 21:59:59 -0400 Ricardo melfi

Since the conception of the term "bromance," we've seen more and more examples of this type of friendship in all forms of pop-culture. To those who still don't know, a bromance is the relationship between two male friends that breaks the walls of mere friendship; they become "brothers." If there's one thing women hate the most, it's their man in a bromance.

We've had movies (mostly comedies) portraying this inseparable bond between buddies but (all alliteration aside), video games have used many bromances in their own stories, Here are STG's 11 Best Video game Bromances, bro... 

Mass Effect Trilogy

Commander Shepard & Garrus Vakarian

Garrus:"Nobody would give me a mirror. How bad is it?" 

Shepard:"Hell, Garrus, you were always ugly. Slap some face-paint on there, and no one will even notice." 

Garrus:"Ha-ah! Don't make me laugh, damn it. My face is barely holding together as it is. Ah, probably for the best. Everyone was always ignoring you and hitting on me. Time for you to get a fair shot at it."

Throughout their adventures in the Mass Effect series, Shepard and Garrus form a strong bond while trying to save the galaxy. If you played as fem-Shep, then you could have formed an even tighter relationship... Ahem.

But this is about the bros, so it stands to reason that sharing multiple near-death experiences would have only strengthened their friendship. Having similar personalities and a sense of humor helps, at least in our play-through.

Gears of War Trilogy

Marcus Fenix & Dom Santiago

Marcus: "What are you doing here?"

Dom: "Getting you out. Here, put this on." 

Marcus: "You could get into a lot of trouble for doing this."

Dom: "Not anymore. Things have changed. C'mon."

Another tale of friendships strengthened through battle and near-death experiences -- all while trying to save the world -- Marcus and Dom shoot their way through multiple alien species, as their mission is to eradicate all and save humanity. Two muscle-bound bad-asses carving their way through tough-as-nails aliens, all while spouting one-liners? This would definitely solidify a bromance.

Assassin's Creed II, Brotherhood, & Revelations

Leonardo Da Vinci & Ezio Auditore Da Firenze

Leo: "The blade is finished, though it will require the removal of your ring finger. It is the way the blade has been constructed."

Ezio: "Bene (fine). Do it, quickly."

Leo: "I'm just joking with you Ezio. In the past such a sacrifice was required but I have found a way to modify the blade."

This was always going to be a good combination. A master craftsman, painter, engineer, and all-around genius working with a sneaky, efficient master assassin. Ezio and Leo are the prime example of a great bromance, willing to risk their lives for one another and achieve their goals together. A bromance spanning across decades and countless Templar conspiracies sees this relationship to the list. 

Jak & Daxter Series

Jak & Daxter

Daxter: "Please, Jak, you're such a wimp. I could have taken them myself! Maybe you should sit on MY shoulder for a while."

This mischievous duo requires no introduction to many gamers. The Jak & Daxter series scored a massive following due to the captivating platforming, dialogue, and beautiful graphics. Naughty Dog definitely know how to create their characters/worlds and these two are no exception.

Daxter is usually riding Jak, pushing him forward and showing a somewhat false, yet still inspiring, sense of bravado from atop Jak's shoulders. However, when the time comes, Daxter has proven to be the ultimate ally as they go on a quest to not only change the furry friend back to his original form, but also to save their world as they know it.

Ratchet & Clank Series

Ratchet & Clank

Ratchet: "If I can get that, I can get past those robot guards."

Clank: "Robots are not so easily fooled."

Ratchet: [trying to trick Clank by pointing at something] "Ahh! What's that?"

Clank: [falling for the trick, Clank turns his head] "What?"

Ratchet: "Uh-huh..."

The only other duo that seemed to pick up hot on the tails of Jak & Daxter, this ingenious little robot and his marsupial accomplice span their known galaxies going on bounty hunts, stopping villainous henchmen and bosses along the way.

Ratchet & Clank are right up there with the Jak & Daxter games (though they have released a few more installments than the former).They have amassed their own cult following, even managing to take part in one of the most dangerous combat sports arenas in the universe and survive!

Street Fighter Series

Ryu & Ken

Ryu: "Let's leave the talking to our fists!"

Ken: "Can these things even talk?"

Everybody's favorite fighting duo from the Street Fighter series undoubtedly belong in this list. With a bromance spanning decades now (how do they stay so damn young?) and more than a few ways that it could have ended very, very badly, these two show us what true brotherhood and friendship can be. 


Contra Series

Bill Rizer & Lance Beam

Considered one of the hardest game series ever made, Contra puts games like Dark Souls and Battletoads to shame with its insane difficulty system (a true SNES staple). Many controllers have been broken against walls via fits of rage and epic moments of completion in this game, which solidified its place in history.

Contra brought forth two bad-ass bros, Rizer & Beam. Shwarzenneger and Stallone got nothing on these two. Side scrolling, shooter action at its finest.


Army of Two

Tyson Rios & Elliot Salem

Phillip: "No problem, fuck-o."

Rios:  "Fuck-o? Who says that?"

Phillip: "I'm gonna kill you both, slice you open and go to an aerobics class wearing your intestines for leg warmers!"

Salem: "I mean... does that even make sense?"

Elliot Salem & Tyson Rios, two bad-ass dudes who clearly live through hundreds of death-defying moments together, covering each other's hides. Their job? Being a complete 'Army of Two', with Salem & Rios, flanking, tactics, firefights and one-liners are literally their life.

Playing as these two mercenaries really pulls everything together if you have your very own bromance buddy sitting next to you playing co-op, even if things get a little weird.

Telltale's The Walking Dead -- Season 1

Lee & Kenny

Kenny: "Hey. Lee. You know how to pick a lock, right?"

Lee: "No, why would you say that?"

Kenny: "Well. You're... you know... urban?"

Lee: "Oh, you are NOT saying what I think you're saying."

Kenny: "Jesus, man! I'm from Florida! Crazy shit comes out of my mouth sometimes. Sorry."

Lee first meets Kenny at Herschel's farm after saving Clementine from a couple of zombies and bringing her along with him. Kenny has his wife Katja and his son 'Duck' there with him and things seem to be going kind of well.

As this is Telltale's TWD, this peace and serenity is short-lived. After a chaotic and surprising zombie attack, Herschel's son is killed and the gang are banished from the farm.

Lee and Kenny continue to do what they can with the ragtag group of survivors they meet up with but Kenny starts to lose his wits. This forces Lee to make some seriously hard decisions for all of them. A bromance that stands the test of time (or at least until the last episode of Season 1), Lee & Kenny are the perfect example of a true bromance, looking out for each other (and their subsequent 'families') no matter what happens; arguments, punch-ups, and all. 

Uncharted Series

Nathan Drake & 'Sully' Sullivan

Sully: "I'm sweating like a hooker in church!"

Drake: "You took a hooker to church?"

Sully: "Nate, let's just pretend for a minute that I don't really care about any of that and cut to the chase will ya?"

Drake: "Man only interested in the climax. You must be a real hit with the ladies."

Sully: "Never had any complaints."

Now there can be the argument made here where Sully isn't really a 'bro' and more of a father figure, however as they are not related by blood, this still counts as a great bromance. 

Throughout the Uncharted series, Sully is Drake's mentor and partner, keeping him focused and getting him to continue using his head and not his, erm, other head. Regardless of how you personally view their relationship, Sully is bonafidede bro in all aspects of the term and continues to be there for Drake no matter what.

Now Nathan's real brother, on the other hand.

Sonic the Hedgehog Series

Sonic & Tails

Sonic: "We good to go or what, Tails?"

Tails: "I've built a TV out of paper clips..."

Sonic: "Yeah..."

Tails: "...and reprogrammed a super computer using dish washing detergent and a toothpick..."

Sonic: "I know..."

Tails: "...So look, fixing a propeller on a biplane? That's about as difficult as taking a nap."

Sonic: "Kay, I did not need your whole life story. A simple "good to go" would have been cool."

Tails: "Alright. Good to go!"

These two heroes need absolutely no introduction to the gaming world (unless you've been living under a rock you're entire life). Sonic & Tails are the ultimate bros, taking part in adventures throughout the entire Sonic the Hedgehog franchise.

Once thought to be a female, Tails' first name is actually Miles, so show us one woman with that name, but I digress. Tails can fly and Sonic can run really, really fast. Put these two together and you have a bromance that spans across decades and still moves strong to this day.


So there you have it. The 11 Best Video Game Bromances that STG thought deserved some attention. Next time you pick up any of these games, see how much you notice.

So what did you think about the list? Any that should have been mentioned or that we seemed to forget? What did you think of the bromances listed? Leave a comment below and look out for our next article!

The 9 Best Hilarious Video Game Deaths Sat, 11 Mar 2017 09:00:01 -0500 Ricardo melfi

Sometimes it's just not enough to see a certain villain or comrade die in (mostly violent) different ways. You may feel the need to see them die in hilarious and outlandish ways because of, you know, entertainment and stuff. There have even been moments where the situation is supposed to be sad or upsetting, yet the way the character dies is just too good not to laugh.

We decided to compile the very best deaths that we considered hilarious (which means they have physically and literally made us LOL). Here are our 9 Best Hilarious Video Game Deaths!

Johnny Cage - Fatality

Mortal Kombat X

Yes, it is a surprise that Mortal Kombat features on list of hilarious video game deaths. But the crew over at MK have never really taken fatalities that seriously, which is perfect for scoring unlimited laughs.

The series veteran, Johnny Cage, is still here carving out fatalities against his unfortunate opponents. His latest one sees Johnny go up behind his beaten foe and literally open them up from the back, peering through the gaping hole in their torso. This isn't what makes it great though, as Johnny pays homage to one of my favorite movies, The Shining, by saying, "heeeeeerrreeee's Johnny!"

Gold... just pure gold.

Spider-Man - QTE Sequence

The Amazing Spider-Man

There's a sequence in The Amazing Spider-Man, by Activision, in which Spider-Man (Peter Parker) has to execute a string of QTEs in order to pass the scene. Not an ultimately difficult sequence to keep up with, as Spider-Man is ever graceful. However, miss just one button and Spider-Man ends up flat on his face, extremities spread out as if he was squashed like a bug.

The above video shows off all of the hilarious death animations, but the first sequence is the most funny, with another having him spread out flat after hitting a wall. Cheap laughs? Absolutely, but still hilarious...

Daedalus & Sons- Hang Glider Plummet

Red Dead Redemption

Everyone loves Red Dead Redemption, as Rockstar absolutely nailed the harsh and untamed world of the Wild West. There are a few zany missions in this gem (that is still played today by the way) but the best one in our opinion is the Daedalus & Sons, hang glider mission. You see, Daedalus is determined to be the first man to fly using a hang glider, and is even willing to risk himself in order to prove it works... by jumping off a very high cliff.

After John has finished amassing the items that Daedalus needs and progressing to the end of the mission, we see him finally take the jump. Unfortunately, his hang glider isn't quite what he expected and he plummets to his impending doom, all the while screaming in true Rockstar fashion.

Horrifying? Maybe. Hilarious? Definitely. Rest in peace friend, the world will never know of your exploits.

Face McShooty - Embracing Euthanasia

Borderlands 2

Usually when someone asks you to shoot them in the face, you consider what that could mean? The person's obviously crazy, right? So what do you do? Well, if you're playing Borderlands 2, you happen to come across Mr. McShooty who basically begs and screams for you to, erm, shoot him in the face. No sooner does he say it that a mission automatically appears instructing you to actually go through with it.

It's got to be a trick, so you wait... and wait. Once he starts to repeat himself, you think, "Why the hell not?" Now the hilarity doesn't actually stem from this moment but with the immediate, "THANK YOU!" he shouts, milliseconds AFTER being shot.... in the face.

Leon Kennedy - Big Fish in a Small Pond

Resident Evil 4

Leon Kennedy has seen some weird shit in his life when it comes to bioweapons (ahem, zombies and mutated monsters). He works hard and barely gets time off. Entering into Resident Evil 4, Leon has his work cut out for him as he has to save the president's daughter. Still, all work and no play makes Leon a dull boy, right?

Thus, we all decided to go lake fishing and started taking pot shots at the fish swimming around. It was kind of relaxing, if we're being honest. However, after taking too many pot shots at the defenseless, small fish in the lake -- found midway through RE4 -- will not end well for Leon. He thinks he can just push those fish around? Well not today!

After too many pot shots, a massive bio-weapon fish launches out and swallows Leon in one go. Yeah, that's what you get for picking on creatures smaller than you.

Carmine - Keep Your Head Down, Stupid             

Gears of War

Carmine, you poor, poor rookie. We understand that you're still working out the kinks in your soldiering but just a little piece of advice for you. When it comes to being in battle zones, don't keep your head up. Stay down, at almost every opportunity, as Carmine finds out the hard way. Kneeling to fix a jam in his gun, he cops a round to the head after not staying behind cover. Tough break, man. Maybe you'll do better next play-through... oh, it's scripted.

Rag-doll Physics - "I'm Faaaaabulouuusss"

Almost every game, ever

Rag doll physics are reason enough for spontaneous laughs almost every time. I'm not sure how these kinds of physics are supposed to make the game seem more realistic, but due to some of the rags we've seen over the decades, rag doll physics still haunt our darkest nightmares. Other times we lose our (collective) shit. You know what we're talking about.

Chained, Whipped, Beaten & Killed

Crash Bandicoot Series

That brilliant bandicoot was the epicenter of my young, gaming life, collecting every damn box, gem, relic and crystal this series had to offer. The first installment became insanely hard the further you progressed, with punishing saves and checkpoints. This meant that you would die, a lot.

Even as a professional Crash player honing my skills over the decades, I still manage to lose a lot of damn lives towards the later half of the game. As one would expect, every one of Crash's hilarious deaths are burned into our memories. Every, single, one.

Pop Culture Resurrections

Sunset Overdrive

Everyone loves pop culture classics like Dracula, The Ring, Back to the Future, all of the Superheroes, Portal, and even Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, so it goes without saying that the (very versatile) re-spawn animations in Sunset Overdrive are a real treat.

The nods to many great films and pop culture appear and yes, we know they aren't technically 'deaths' but you do have to die in order to see them. Check mate?


Proving that not all deaths in video games have to be such serious circumstances and that laughter is good for the soul, even if it is at someone else's expense -- but they aren't real, so it's fine. But for now, that was my 9 Most Hilarious Video Game Deaths!

Did we miss anything obvious or did you find some hilarious game deaths of your own? Leave a comment below and get involved!


Opening Doors to the Public Is the Worst Thing That Could Happen to E3 Thu, 09 Feb 2017 05:56:29 -0500 Jeffrey Rousseau

Today it has been announced by the ESA that E3 will be open to the public. The Electronic Entertainment Expo has been exclusively a press only event, but for the first time in a while the public will be able to purchase tickets from February 13. 15,000 tickets will be available for purchase priced at $250 or $150 for early buyers.

The event is scheduled for June 13 to June 15 and will be held from the Los Angeles Convention Center. The ESA will be partnering with Geoff Keighly for interviews and features.

Now I'm set to argue this is a mistake. The event should have remained a press only invite. My reasoning doesn't lean on a holy grail mentality -- my opinion is mainly from a logistics standpoint.

In a Nutshell...

Let's say you have anxiety issues over crowds. This would be terrifying and that's putting it mildly. Now, perhaps you have no problem with crowds. Understandable, but tell me how fun this scenario would be? You would be essentially swimming through crowds of 15,000 across your 3 days at the expo -- these numbers don't include members of the press, or other industry employees (developers, PR, marketers, etc).

History lesson

Before we continue here's some history to reflect upon. E3 is the industry's largest annual trade show and party. It was founded in 1995 and has had attendants numbering over 60,000. Now the show effectively is where companies are competing to gain attention among the press and public whom could gain attendance.

In 2006, it shifted to invitation only. The reason for this change was that exhibitors felt the battle for best booth, and so forth, became too much. They reached their breaking point, and so with this change the show became quieter. Thus, over the years it has lost some of it's luster -- but it's place of importance remained.

So what lead to that the tipping point that made gaming companies demand it become press only? It became bigger and harder to manage than they imagined. The money being spent didn't make sense in the midst of the chaos.

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Now should you go? Allow me to explain with the picture above. Now this isn't E3 but this is an example of what you'll be seeing. Mind you, if you watched any show of E3 over the past few years, you'll notice something. It's already crowded and that is only the press and other industry individuals -- how much of a positive experience could you have with this?

For every booth, presentation, and demo you'd like to visit there will be nearly 10,000 plus wanting to do the same. An overcrowded party is definitely not a fun party. Long waits, getting around in cumbersome fashion, and that general awkwardness that arises from crowds.

In a more serious note, the matter of security is also important. Of course it'll be secure but it would be far too easy lose your items in this madness -- let's assume no one would ever steal anything, it's easy to get jostled, and drop something.

The Show Must Go On...

Now let's move to how this would effect the show. So the main purpose of E3 is that it's a showcase.

This influx of people would get in the way of press doing their work. Tell me how effective the coverage of show will be with 15,000 more bodies to get through? An example; there's an indie title or game that seems really interesting. However, the press may overlook it due to having to make enough time to make it to AAA demos -- games will be overlooked and that would be a determinant for everyone at large -- as wading through crowds takes time right?

The other victim would be an effective show for viewers at home. Let's say that a publication is at a demo and conducting an interview. How effective will that interview be when drowned out by thousands of extra (unnecessary) voices? I'd be willing to wager it won't be a very good one. With the quality of work being effected readers, viewers, and consumers overall would be the losers. The only interviews which would be any good, are the ones who are conducted by larger publications with more money for high end equipment -- such as high end directional microphones, and camera rigs.

Coming full circle...

Another reason why this is a bad idea is because history would be repeating itself. The Expo moved away from a large showing because of the levels of stress it brought. What was being affected was that the attendance numbers took away from the show. It was more party than industry annual show. The ESA will of course do their best to organize the show overall. You know what you can't control? A lot of people. That's a massive, unpredictable, variable.

The other argument I offer is that the audience may not necessarily understand the show's purpose. I mean yes, everyone knows it's a show of previews and demos. Companies often take the time to create a workable and presentable demo for their titles. In truth, these demos may not be a proper representation of a game in anyway. Now combine the fact they can only be played for say 5-10 minutes, the said title could end up receiving unfair public opinion.

In the End...

...the show is best left in its current form. It should be a show for the industry and those work to provide us all the news surrounding it. It's a big spectacle anyway, and it already does well without the extra visitors. As of now E3, while yes it's not perfect, but it's fine without the extra white noise.

NVIDIA Announces Geforce Now Game Streaming Service Thu, 05 Jan 2017 00:50:55 -0500 Ainyan

At CES, NVIDIA announced the upcoming launch of its video game streaming service Geforce Now.

This service will connect users with non-game ready PCs to powerful PASCAL-powered computers via the cloud, allowing gamers whose computers are unable to handle modern AAA games (such as PCs with integrated graphics, Apple computers, or note/netbook computers) to access a variety of games and apps, including Netflix and their full Steam library. Previously available on the Nvidia SHIELD, Geforce Now will be available to all PC and Mac users.

Users will be able to use virtually any device to access and play the available library -- but instead of having to have their own gaming rig to connect to as with Steam's Big Picture streaming service, they would connect to a series of gaming-ready computers managed by NVIDIA.

This would open up PC gaming to a large number of people -- estimated at one billion by NVIDIA -- who currently lack the necessary hardware. It will even allow Mac users to access their entire Steam libraries -- including the plethora of PC games that are unavailable on Mac OS.

Geforce Now heads into Early Access in March 2017, with initial pricing set at $25 per 20 hours of gameplay. Other plans with increased features will also be available.

Yes, You Can Build Your Own Gaming PC -- Even if You're a N00b Sun, 04 Dec 2016 06:35:39 -0500 Lampstradamus

So you want to be a be a PC Gamer. You've heard all of the amazing things about the world of PC Gaming, and you want to join -- but you're scared. Building a PC from the ground up can seem like the most complicated thing in the world. There are many parts and pieces to worry about, and it seems like a very complicated and intricate process.

Despite what most people may think: building a computer isn't rocket science. In fact, building a PC is actually way easier than you believe.

First of all, if you're on this article that means you have two advantages when it comes to building your PC.

#1. You Can Read

Anything and everything you buy for your PC has a manual. If you're wondering what goes where the manuals will tell you what goes in what hole and where to mount it. Many parts and cables will only go in certain places; square pegs will only go in square holes.

If the manual isn't good enough to explain what to do, then you have a second advantage.

#2. You Have the Internet

Troubleshooting and finding instructions is easy as pie when Google is everyone's friend.

There are many websites and forums where you can look up instructions, manuals or troubleshoot your most difficult issues. You are never left without an avenue for information. The Build a PC Reddit is a great place to start. There are many people in there who are willing to answer questions.

The biggest benefit of being in an online society is the power of video. Making a PC from scratch with no prior knowledge back in the day probably would've been the worst thing, but nowadays, we have videos for everything, including building a PC.

There are many guides and videos by people in the PC community about how to build a PC. There is a playlist on Youtube called 'My First PC Build,' which is a nice, easy-to-follow guide for beginners.


Advice on Preparing to Build Your PC

If you're actually looking into building your own PC, there are a few things that a beginner would love to have.

PCPartPicker is a great website to use for beginners. You can list out what parts you have or what parts you want, and the site will note any potential incompatibilities. The website will also tell you where the cheapest place to get the parts is, as well as list out the price history of certain parts, all super awesome information for the beginner.

Newegg is a good place to buy components. They have sales on components very frequently (much like Steam does for PC games) and sometimes they have bundle deals, where you can pick out several PC parts and buy them as a package, saving, even more, money.

Advice on Actually Building Your PC

When you're actually at the step of building your PC, grounding yourself on some metal (just touching any metal) before working on the parts is always needed. Some people suggest getting anti-static bands, but not everyone wants to get one. Regardless, you want to do this because it will discharge any potentially dangerous (for your parts) static electricity. 

If you're installing the motherboard, make sure there are standoffs (basically little platforms, so that the motherboard isn't touching the case -- or else you might have an electrical short, which obviously isn't good. 

One of the more stress-inducing processes of building a PC is installing the CPU into the motherboard. Make sure you're grounded before touching the CPU.  Also, when you're lowering the handle on the CPU after installing it, there will be some resistance, but make sure the CPU is in properly.

And of course, you'll have cables everywhere at this point.

Cable management is something that many seasoned builders prefer, and cases that provide spaces for this are nice, but unless your entire case is full of junk, cooling shouldn't be affected too badly. Essentially, cable manage if you can and if you want; however, it isn't a necessity.

Bonus: A Simplified Process: Step by Step (If You Need It)

When you have all of your parts and tools for your first build, one of the most important things to have is space. You want to know where everything is and you don't want to lose any parts. 

The next thing builders do when they're first building a PC is they install the CPU into the motherboard. Remember: Discharge any static electricity before touching the CPU! 

Most people build the motherboard on top of the box it comes with just so that it isn't touching anything that may short it out or damage it. There will probably be a plastic cover over where your CPU will go, but this will come off when you install the CPU.

You'll be lifting up the arm on the motherboard's CPU slot to install the CPU. After this, match the notches on the CPU to the slot and make sure it fits correctly. As you lower the arm to lock the CPU in place, you will feel some resistance but if you put the CPU in correctly, it should lock in place.

After installing the CPU, you should install whatever cooling system you are using for the build, which varies depending on if you're going with a stock fan or something special.

Then you can install the RAM. Most motherboards come with 4 RAM slots, and if you have dual sticks, you want to install them in matching pair slots (slots 1 and 3 or 2 and 4). Make sure the sticks line up with the slots, and everything should just click into place when you press down.

After this, you'll move onto your case. Install the I/O Shield before you install the motherboard. Find out the orientation of the board and how the I/O Shield needs to be placed by reading any manuals beforehand.

Figure out where the standoffs for the motherboard need to be installed into the case, and then screw them in. Install the motherboard on top of the standoffs.

After this, you'll be installing things such as hard drives, video cards, power supplies, etc. Note: Video cards will require you to remove some shielding in the back of the case and will click in place like RAM.

Cases usually have dedicated places to put hard drives and SSDs. Usually, installing drives is simply a matter of using the right cables and installing everything in the right slots.

What's more, some cases have dedicated places to put the power supplies as well as holes where you can route the cables to power the motherboard, drives and video cards. Some cables are marked with what they are for, and you simply need to install them where they're needed.

You Can Build Your Own PC

Even if you know nothing about building a PC, you can build a PC. It isn't impossible. If other people can build a PC, then you know it's possible.You can always learn. No one knows how to build a PC out of nowhere.

You can always ask for help, too. No one is going to judge you for not knowing what to do In fact, many people in the PC building community encourage people to ask for help. So what are you waiting for? Get out their a build the PC of your dreams!

Have any other advice for beginners just starting their PC-building journey? Leave them in the comments below! 

Like Building Your Gaming Rig? You Should Upgrade These Parts in 2017 Mon, 28 Nov 2016 06:00:01 -0500 Lampstradamus

If you're a PC gamer, you're always looking to upgrade your rig even if it might be working perfectly fine. There is always something to upgrade or replace and sometimes you might not know what you might want to change out. Here is some advice about what you could upgrade.

Upgrade Your Graphics Card

Ah, the basics of the basics when it comes to upgrades for a gaming rig. The two main companies that you will probably be looking at will be AMD and Nvidia.

With Nvidia's release of the Geforce 1000 series, the prices of older generation graphics cards have fallen. The Geforce 1000 series itself is also very affordable when it comes to performance, compared to the previous top of the line Titan X card.

AMD has also been releasing their own cards to compete on the price to performance aspect of cards.

If you're looking to game on higher settings or if you're looking to pick up a VR headset, upgrading to a new graphics card is definitely a major consideration.

Upgrade Your CPU/Motherboard

If you're gaming on an older CPU, now might be the time to switch, especially if you're planning on upgrading the other components in your rig.

You might not need a top of the line CPU and a workstation-grade motherboard, but anything more recent than whatever you had in that pre-made Dell in high school would be good.

A top of the line graphics card upgrade with an underpowered, five-year-old CPU means that you won't be getting the biggest bang for your buck. In fact, you're leaving some pixels on the floor when it comes to your games.

So definitely look to upgrade your CPU/Motherboard if you're going for a large overhaul of your system.

Upgrade Your RAM

RAM sticks are actually one of the things that you don't really have to upgrade or update too often since they'll typically last you for years. The only reason that you should think about upgrading your RAM is if a stick is dead, you're moving to a new motherboard that can use top-of-the-line RAM or if you want more RAM.

Normally, 8GB of RAM is enough for most casual/non-power gamers. 16GB of RAM should be enough if you just want some breathing room -- or want to crank your graphics settings to maximum.

Upgrade Your HardDrives

If your drives are starting to run out of space, you can either delete some things or you can buy some more drives. 

Most gamers have traditional hard-drives because they're inexpensive and they sometimes massive in terms of storage space, however, solid state hard drives have been increasingly adopted by gamers.

SSDs improve load times. Traditional hard drives have a needle that needs to move on a disc to read data. SSDs, however, have no moving parts, so they don't have to constantly move to access games data.

SSDs do have a downside, however: They are pricey but smaller in terms of storage space, so keeping a traditional hard-drive for general storage is a good idea.

So, Do You Need to Upgrade?

Not everyone needs to upgrade.

If you're not looking to improve your gaming experience, then upgrading isn't something you need to worry about. PC gaming is great in the idea that you have a choice. You choose to upgrade when you want and you get to choose your upgrades. 

Figure out your budget, do your research, find your parts and upgrade as you please.

Nine Coolest Things That Happened in Gaming 2016 Sun, 27 Nov 2016 16:30:24 -0500 Lampstradamus


In 2016, many new things appeared and excited gamers, while many old things popped up out of their graves and surprised us. Some of these trends might continue into 2017 and some might not. Let's hope a majority do. 


We can't predict everything that is going to happen, so we can just wait and enjoy what is to come. 

Second Lives for Old Games

There are many games that try to make a mark on the field of gaming and sometimes, it just doesn't happen. Games fail to make a mark and simply disappear and die off. The fan bases for those games are often left without much else and have to move on. However, we saw something different happen this year: Evolve got a second life.


Released back in 2015, Evolve was a highly hyped game but left many disappointed. The game had a big player base that died off a few weeks after its release, and the game was proclaimed dead by the gaming community. 


But Evolve went free to play in 2016, giving it new life. Turtle Rock Studios opened the floodgates and tried to resurrect their dead game -- and it actually worked. There was a massive influx of new players wanting to try out Evolve as well as an influx of returning players wanting to see what was new.


Though 2k is stopping production of the game even after the resurgence of interest, this little experiment shows us that dead games don't have to stay dead. Maybe developers could resurrect other old gems, too.

"Development Hell" Games Releasing

The only wait that seems as long as waiting for VR to become a thing is the eventual release of a "development hell" game. Several games that many gamers have been waiting years for are finally releasing (or have a release date).

The world will finally get their hands on games like Final Fantasy XV, The Last Guardian and Persona 5. Many gamers have been waiting for these games since the last generation of consoles and though Persona 5 is releasing in 2017, we have do (finally) a release date for it.


The wait will finally be over.

Nvidia Geforce 1000 Series

Though this is more relevant for the PC gamer, the fact that Nvidia managed to develop and release an entirely new line of graphics cards is great. The Geforce 900 series released back in 2014, so the release of the 1000 series is a nice upgrade for those of us looking for new tech.

With the 1000 series being more affordable than Nvidia's Titan Xs, gamers can look forward to cards that won't completely break the bank. And even if you don't want to buy a 1000 series card, the 900 series of cards will obviously go down in price, since they are no longer the latest tech on the market.

Cross-Platform Play

Cross-platform play is something that many gamers have wanted for quite some time. From some wanting to crush players on other platforms to prove console superiority, to others just wanting to play with friends who own other platforms, cross-platform play is something that many gamers thought may never actually happen.


But in 2016, it did. 

With Microsoft pushing integration between Windows 10 and Xbox One and with Rocket League opening up cross-platform play with PCs and consoles, the barriers between platforms are slowly but surely crumbling.

Class Based Team Shooters

From Overwatch to Paladins and Battleborn to Paragon, any gamer can see the interest in team shooters increased in 2016. After the release of the last really memorable team shooter, Team Fortress 2, there had been a drought of class-based team shooters. 

Though a couple of these games haven't been fully released (some are still in beta) and Battleborn having basically died, it can be seen that there's an emergence of interest in team shooters from gamers and developers alike.

FPS Resurgence

The first-person-shooter genre had been in sort of a rut for a while. With many gamers swapping genres, sticking to staples such as Counter-strike, or just downright bemoaning about the lack of innovation, the FPS genre was thought to be in decline.

So when several excellent FPS games released in 2016, everyone was surprised. DOOM surprised many gamers with its excellent single player campaign. Battlefield 1 excited players with its World War One setting. And TItanfall 2 gave gamers an interesting campaign, which built upon the polished gameplay from the first title.


In a nutshell: 2016 has been a good year for the FPS genre.

Virtual Reality Gaming

Virtual reality is finally here. After decades of dreaming and waiting, virtual reality is finally in the hands of people. Though it may be more for enthusiasts at the moment, virtual reality and virtual reality gaming exists, and it isn't completely terrible.


Of course, there are issues with virtual reality, but it is still young. From the pricier headsets and setups on the PC with the Vive and Rift, to the the first console headset in the PSVR and the affordable Gear VR and Google Cardboard, VR is here to stay -- and we can look back on 2016 as the year it really took off.

Japan Embraces the PC

For the longest time, if you wanted to play an English port of a Japanese game, you'd have to get it on a console. But since 2015 Japan has been porting more and more games to the PC.

With games such as Zero Time Dilemma, the Danganronpa series and God Eater making their way to the PC, some Japanese developers have showed that they understand that there is a market for their games on the PC and hopefully, other developers and publishers will see the same.

Pokemon Go

Arguably one of the most talked about games during the summer months, Pokemon Go released and took the world by storm. Anyone and everyone was talking about it. Everyone was writing about it. And everyone was playing Pokemon Go. Old players and new players all picked up their phones and installed the app, wandering the world to catch pokemon. Even if the fad has died down since, Pokemon Go left its mark.


The gaming industry is always evolving and changing as the years go on. Trends always change and technology is always being invented. And despite how some people may say that the gaming industry hasn't changed or that it is in a rut, there are clear signs that great things have been happening and that the industry is trending up.


Here are 9 of the coolest things that happened in gaming in 2016.

Why You Should Build Your Own Gaming PC Mon, 07 Nov 2016 02:00:02 -0500 Lampstradamus

As newer and better PC components come out, the prices for older components go down. With the holiday season fast approaching this might be the best time to build your own PC.

Switching from Consoles

A majority of gamers start as console gamers. It's easy, it's fast and there are advantages to playing on the console as opposed to a PC. However, many of these advantages seemed to have dwindled in recent years.

Consoles used to have the advantage when it came to the sit and play aspect, being able to just pop in the disc and play, but with the current generation consoles that advantage has disappeared. Like the PC, you have to put in the game disk, and then have it install the game, on top of any patches which will be downloaded after. With many gamers switching to digital download only, the physical media factor of the console has dwindled.

Consoles still have an advantage when it comes to first-party titles/exclusives and the native ability for couch play (but if you really wanted to you could play on a TV with a PC). If you don't mind playing on a monitor, and there aren't any killer console exclusives that you want -- then you probably already have a PC.


Depending on how much you spend on your PC, or how often you might choose to upgrade parts, a good PC will last you longer than a console. The last generation of consoles lasted many years, a good 8 years for the Xbox 360, but the current one already seems to be getting updates to their hardware with the Xbox Scorpio and the PS4 Pro. Both being announced only 3 years into the current generation.

Why Should I Invest So Much Money Into a PC?

It's a known fact that PC gaming is expensive depending on the machine you build, but a PC is an investment. Though you are spending money to build a gaming machine, a PC is more than that; it is a computer. If you aren't playing a game you could be using it for school or work.

Where there are places where you can spend money, there are places where you can save money. There aren't any mandatory services where you have to pay monthly for multiplayer -- outside of select MMOs. There are always plenty of sales for video games, whether it be on Steam, a Humble Bundle, or on Parts are always getting cheaper and you can always find a sale, especially with Black Friday approaching.

If you don't want to spend too much money at once you can buy lower-end components and upgrade them when you feel like it. The benefit of building a PC is choice. You don't need all of the top-of-the-line components but you can if you want to.

But I Don't Know How to Build a PC?

Ah, the biggest road block that everyone comes across when it comes to building their own PC. Contrary to popular belief, assembling a PC isn't rocket science, barring some troubleshooting issues. With the age of information and the internet being a thing, being able to look up instructions or ask for help is easier than ever. The BuildAPC Reddit has a really nice beginner's guide for anyone looking to get started. And even if there are some bad eggs in the PC community, many people are always willing to help newcomers out -- there are several websites dedicated to PC Gaming as well.

And if you're still overwhelmed about the idea of building a machine from scratch, there are companies that offer services where they'll build a PC based on what parts you want. A simple custom part picking service, coupled with professional builds, also comes with warranties and full testing of the whole system -- companies like OriginPC or Dell/Alienware offer these services.

"I'm still on the fence"

If you're still undecided about building your own PC don't worry. As I said in the beginning, PC parts are always getting cheaper and you don't have to build one if you don't want to. Even if it's after Black Friday, you can always find a deal somewhere. The point of building your own PC is choice, you can choose to build it now or you can choose to build it later. There are always ways to play games that you might've missed, or even improve the ones that you're already playing with mods. PCs have been around for a long time and will probably still be around for a long time, so there is never a bad time to get into PC gaming.

Why Aren't Game Studios and Companies Sponsoring More Esports Teams? Thu, 03 Nov 2016 06:00:01 -0400 Aaron Grincewicz

To the casual gamer/fan, eSports can seem like nothing more than playing games for money. That may have been the case a few years ago, with limited league play available. Now, eSports and competitive gaming have grown to rival some professional sports.

With growth often comes complexity. The world of eSports is beginning to emulate pro sports leagues in many ways. The most important similarity could be the way eSports teams and players are sponsored, and exactly who is sponsoring them. To understand the situation a bit better, I'm going to dive into a few sports management topics.

The League/Franchise Model also applies to eSports

Let's use the NFL as an example; all 32 teams are franchises. The owners are the franchisees. In short, each team is like its own business, and as long as they meet certain guidelines they can participate in the National Football League. The same thing applies to other companies like McDonald’s; Not every restaurant is owned directly by McDonald’s. A lot of them are owned by entrepreneurs called franchisees. The NBA, MLB, NHL, and NFL follow this business model (Major League Soccer follows a different structure with many similarities). Now, the pro sports league conversation has grown to include eSports.

Completely Different Structure 

The current landscape of eSports is chaotic at first glance. There are several leagues around the world, some focusing on one game franchise, others on several games.  Along with those leagues, there are dozens upon dozens of eSports organizations.  Some groups stick with one league, like Major League Gaming, while others participate in several leagues simultaneously. This is mostly because the concept of a franchise differs significantly compared to a typical sports team.  One eSports franchise can have several teams with each focused on one game.

Let’s say my organization, ASG Gaming has a Team CoD, Team LoL, and Team GoW.  Team CoD just finished a season in MLG, and now wants to start a season in another league. Once qualified, nothing is stopping them from doing so.  While Team GoW has never competed in the MLG. This is because eSports does not have one ‘Super Bowl', or a mutual agreement between leagues to determine a world champion.  Major League Baseball technically has two separate leagues, each with some minor rules differences (National and American), who have reached an agreement to have their best teams play in a World Series. Right now there is an open competition between leagues to see who will become the NBA of eSports. 

Neutrality: The Golden Rule 

The relatively unorganized system for eSports has managed to keep one major similarity to pro sports, and that’s the independently owned teams. The reason that leagues like the NFL don't own teams is that it creates a conflict of interest. They might occasionally take financial control of a team if it’s current owners violate league terms (default on loans, severe capital loss) but they often sell it to a new owner as quickly as possible. This has happened in the NBA with the New Orleans Hornets. The Hornets were eventually sold and rebranded as the Pelicans. Was the NBA to maintain control of the team, how would it look if the team started winning a lot of games, or getting referee calls in their favor? Rather than even think about the problems and scandals that could cause, it’s in the league's’ best interest to remain neutral.

The rule of neutrality applies to eSports teams, too. Activision Blizzard might own Major League Gaming, but it’s really nothing more than that. MLG allows players to compete in games from some of Activision’s publisher rivals like EA, Microsoft, and Take-Two. Now, that’s a smart business move on their part. MLG has a credit system where you pay real money to access tournaments for various games, no matter the publisher. This will most likely continue until publishers decide to institute a contract system. EA could easily limit it’s eSports participation to its own league, with a set number of teams that have agreed to a league franchise contract. Should that happen, and be successful for EA, others will follow. Some publishers could allow their games to be played in multiple leagues with the stipulation being they send their best teams to a mutual championship match at the end of the season.

Should a league organization or publisher take sides with one, or several teams by funding them, the notion that they're being favored comes into play. There is a similar comparison in pro sports leagues with a salary cap. Basically, salary caps exist so one team cannot be unfairly stacked with the best players. With no system of checks and balances in place for eSports, one league could lure every notable team to it’s stable by supplying them with gear and paying them. As it stands, the prize pools are what attract the best teams.

Maintaining Integrity

If eSports is to continue its success, the leagues and publishers must preserve their credibility by remaining a neutral authority.  Offering the same prizes and opportunities to all qualifying teams without directly sponsoring them will reinforce this integrity. Not only is this beneficial to the leagues and companies directly involved in making the games, but also the businesses that sponsor teams. 

A company like Microsoft could easily fund a team and be the only sponsor on all their gear (like the Seattle Sounders). Without direct sponsorship, other companies are given the opportunity to display their logos on team jerseys, and just about anything associated with the team. As any business owner will tell you, that can be the difference between success and failure. It’s because of this that I realized just how many companies are creating products aimed at gamers. All those brands would have a much harder time fighting through obscurity were the big companies taking up space.

Maybe someday soon there will be courses and degree programs offered in eSports Management. Until that day arrives, I can only hope that everyone involved in eSports takes a page from those textbooks to make it at least as successful an entity as the NFL or NBA. The responsibility also falls to the teams and the owners of those teams. As enticing as it sounds, if a developer or publisher tries to sponsor one team over many, it’s in the best interest of the team to decline. Many, many companies will jump at the chance to put their logo next to your teams.

Do you agree that the game companies should remain a neutral authority? Would you major in eSports Management if it were offered? Does the idea of an ‘NFL of eSports’ appeal to you? Let us know in the comments below.

13 Awesome Gaming Laptops That Aren't Asus ROGs (and Where to Buy Them) Mon, 24 Oct 2016 05:14:23 -0400 Pierre Fouquet

Finding the right gaming laptop for can be a minefield of brand names and high price tags. Looking through thousands of laptops is boring, time consuming, and oh-so-very confusing. And most of the time, you'll end up feeling like an Asus laptop is your only choice. 

But what if we told you it's not?

We love Asus as much as the next PC gamers, but sometimes it's good (and kinder to your wallet) to look at rigs outside the Asus ROG name. So we've done the legwork for you and found 13 great gaming laptops that don't come from the Asus line. From portable 12-inchers to hulking 17-inch beasts, we've covered just about every size and style of laptop you could ask for. And all of them will handle games like an Asus. 

12-14" Laptops

These are the tiny powerhouses that are ultraportable, so you can game while literally flying.

Dell Inspiron 14"

The latest model from Dell, this Inspiron has an Intel i7 5500U, 1TB of space, 8GB RAM, and a NVIDIA 920M under the hood.

While it's going to knock your gaming socks off, it is still ultra portable at only 14". It will play almost every game at 30FPS when set to the lowest settings -- it even plays Crysis.

It may not be the best graphics-rendering machine, but you gotta sacrifice something to game on the go.

Lenovo Ideapad 510s 14.0"

Another surprise for this list is Lenovo's Ideapad series. It comes packed with an Intel i7 7500U processor that's slightly weaker than the Dell, and also has 8GB RAM. The much smaller 256GB SSD (rather than a HDD) will feel a little faster, though.

It also has an AMD Radeon R7 M460 GPU -- which like the 920M, won't be running games at top spec. But most games will run at least 30FPS.

[Editor's Note: I used a Lenovo Ideapad for 2 years of great gaming. It's worth it if you need the ultra-portability.]


MSI make some of the best gaming laptops around -- only you will have to fork out some cash for one. But with an Intel i7 6700HQ, 128GB SSD and 1TB HDD, 16GB RAM, and a NVIDIA GTX 1060 with 6GB packs a punch.

No game will be unplayable at 1080p on this 14" screen. Even if you will have to drop some settings to keep a solid 60FPS, the GS43R will run perfectly while you play anywhere.

Razer Blade Stealth 12.5"

The Razer Blade Stealth is the smallest laptop on the list, at only 12.5". But it still packs a massive punch with its Intel i7 7500U, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, and an Intel HD Graphics 620.

Like with the previous laptops, you will find yourself playing at 30FPS with low settings selected, but with a chassis that looks like this you won't care too much.

15 - 16.9" Laptops

These mid sized laptops are both portable and powerful, while gliding through the air, while gaming one handed is out the question, you will be able to take these everywhere.

MSI Ghost Pro Gaming Laptop 15.6"

With an Intel i7 6700HQ, 8GB RAM, a 1TB HDD, and a NVIDIA GTX 960M (with 2GB GDDR5 VRAM) you are not going to have to ask "can I run this?"

The answer will be yes -- just don't try to run anything at 4K.

[Editor's Note 2.0: I traded my Lenovo Ideapad for an MSI and couldn't be happier.]

Lenovo ThinkPad E560 15.6"

Featuring a powerful Intel i7 6500U, 16GB RAM, 500GB SSD, and an AMD Radeon R7 M370, you will be able to run any game at a minimum of 30FPS.

Just don't expect to be playing at over 60FPS for more demanding games, and you are set.

Dell Gaming Laptop 15.6"

With a powerful Intel i5 6300HQ, 8GB RAM, and a 256GB SSD, you will be zipping all over the shop. Then with the extra 8GB memory module, you won't be stumped with a random lack of RAM.

Powered by a Nvidia GTX 960M, this laptop is among the best for price and power.


Filled to the brim with power, this laptop pack an Intel i7 6700HQ, 16GB RAM, a 1TB HDD and a NVIDIA GTX 1060 you will be able to play VR on the go. Then with a 256GB M.2, you will booting your laptop completely in 30 seconds tops.

Dell Inspiron i7559-3763BLK

Housing an Intel i7-6700HQ, 16GB RAM, and 1TB HDD, you will never be lacking with this Dell. The NVIDIA GTX 960M will keep you playing at good frame rates.

If you want value for money, then this is it (alongside the Dell Gaming Laptop 15.6").

17"+ Laptops

These are the monsters of laptop gaming. While they are not the most portable, 17" laptops are your stop if you want the best specs and the best viewing experience.


4K gaming on the go will cost you a pretty penny, but you can do it all and then some with this MSI rig.

With the Intel i7-6820HK, 64GB RAM, a 1TB HDD and a 1TB SSD, plus the NVIDIA GTX 1080 GPU and a 4K screen, you will get stunning images on the go.

HP Pavilion 17t Gaming Laptop

You don't often see HP in a list of gaming laptops, but with an Intel i7 6700HQ, 16GB RAM, a 512GB SSD and a 1TB HDD -- all propped by by the wonderful NVIDIA GTX 960M -- HP is not messing around.

And for those wondering, yes -- it is a 1080p 17.3" IPS display. So HP definitely didn't cut any corners there.


MSI continues to have a bunch of great laptops, with the Intel i7-6700HQ powered, NVIDIA GTX960M quality you know. Then with 16GB RAM and a 1TB HDD, you are not at a loss with power.

It's even one of the better priced MSIs on this list, giving you slightly better power fpr the high cost.

Razer Blade Pro

Announced only very recently, the Razer Blade Pro has a lot going for it -- and it needs to with a price that high.

This rig packs a 17.3" LED backlit multi-touch screen, an Intel i7 6700HQ, 32GB of RAM, and 512GB (and up to 2TB) of SSD space, all topped off with a NVIDIA GTX 1080. On top of that, it has the world's first ultra-low-profile mechanical keys.

The high cost makes a bit more sense with that considered, but if you take a look at its full specs, you'll get a better picture of all the great stuff you're getting at that cost.

While Asus has certainly got some quality builds that have dominated the market for some time, these 13 gaming laptops are great alternatives if you're looking for a different brand. They're packed with power, and there's something here for every price range.

And if you're thinking that you might be better off getting a full-blown desktop rig with the money you'd spend here, we've collected lots of great gaming-ready PCs for under $1,000.

What gaming laptop do you love the most? Let us know in the comments!

Announced Intel VR headset promises new features Tue, 16 Aug 2016 18:09:36 -0400 LoganKrum

Intel Corporation has developed its own virtual reality headset with key features that other VR gadgets may not offer yet. The company, known for its chip technology, is joining the ranks of numerous other technologically based companies to invest in VR technologies.

Called Project Alloy, the headset will feature front-facing 3D camera technology known as RealSense which will allow the user to see physical objects nearby while in use. It will also support the use of hand gestures as information input, as opposed to physical controllers. 

The headset also boasts the feature of not needing to be connected to a computer in order to operate. This could give it an advantage over the Oculus Rift, which requires a connection.

Project Alloy may be Intel’s shot at regaining some market dominance it once held. Once a spearheading company in computer technology, the company’s profits gradually dropped once other companies caught up to it technologically. In this year’s second quarter the company’s profits fell 51%, and it announced a staff layoff of 12,000 by the second half of 2017.

With VR a growing trend projected to explode into the market soon, Project Alloy’s features could set it apart from its competition.

Radeon Wattman Gives Users Full Overclocking Control Sun, 17 Jul 2016 10:43:09 -0400 Noor Sami

AMD’s Radeon Wattman is a program that lets gamers have full control of their Radeon graphics cards. Wattman displays a histogram that details tuning parameters such as GPU activity, clock speeds, temperature, and fan speed so that users can note exactly how their cards are working and how to change that. According to AMD’s recent blog post, by allowing users full overclocking control, Radeon Wattman can help you do the following:

  • Achieve higher graphics and frame rates
  • Greater efficiency and power savings
  • Cool and quiet operation
  • Improved operational stability
  • Extended service life

Additionally, Wattman allows gamers to assign specific overclocking profiles to games, so that you don’t have to redo the settings each time you put on a different game. After allocating the profile to the game, every time you launch a detected game, the appropriate profile will be applied to it. After closing the game, Wattman will revert to the default settings, which users can also select.

Radeon Wattman is compatible with the Radeon RX 400 Series.