This is going to be a good year for PC gamers. With new consoles coming out, developers are finally going to start revealing games and game engines that are not targeting 8 years old hardware. Epic Games, the company behind Gears of War and the Unreal Engine, demoed the latest version of their industry standard game engine at GDC yesterday. The demo, running on a single off-the-shelf GTX 680, shows off some very impressive lighting, animation, and detail in the environments. With the next generation of game consoles targeting GPU performance under that of a 680, the performance target makes sense. So “next-gen” is finally here now that the consoles are catching back up. Well, catching up to a few years ago in PC hardware anyway. Check out the demo below:
So it looks like I will finally be getting something to put my GTX 680 to use. Well, one of them anyway.
I have been playing a lot of PlanetSide 2 lately, and went online to look up some weapon reviews to see what guns and upgrades I wanted to start unlocking. In the process of looking for those videos, I ran into this series called PlanetSide 2 War Correspondent. It is actually a pretty cool idea. The author of the videos plays the part of a news reporter and embeds himself with a real outfit of players on live servers. He follows them around and documents the fight as if it was a real war. With the HUD off and some solid camerawork, he manages to pull it off pretty convincingly. It certainly doesn’t hurt that PlanetSide 2 is absolutely massive in scale, providing endless footage for him to pick from. The game isn’t bad looking either. Take a look at two of the most recent videos below. I know I will be looking forward to future ones.
Unknown Worlds is releasing their biggest post-launch update yet for Natural Selection 2 today. The new update, titled “Gorgeous”, includes a number of new abilities for the Gorge, railguns for the Exo, and new map titled “Descent”. Also included are a number of engine optimizations and new rendering features such as bullet decals and reflections. There is also a new video tutorial system to help get new players into the game and first person spectating.
To celebrate, the game is also going to be 50% off on steam.
There are very few games that I ever pre-order, and when I do it is either because I am 99% certain the end product is going to be good or that I know even if its bad I have to play it. In either case, I also only pre-order for tangible benefits, such as getting $20 store credit. Pre-order bonuses such as skin and weapon packs just don’t do it for me at all. Too many people blindly pre-order games for no real good reason, and then end up getting screwed in the end. Just look at the recent release of the abysmal Aliens Colonial Marines that only did well because of pre-orders. People don’t seem to learn their lesson either, with Bioshock Infinite on the top selling games list on Steam a month before its release. This is a digital game guys, it cant possibly “sell out”. Although honestly I can only think of one or two instances ever where physical games were difficult to pick up on release date.
I think its time to let TotalBiscuit and Jim Sterling explain why you shouldn’t pre-order games anymore:
Crysis 3 came out today, so that means only one thing: its time to upgrade again. This time around I decided to grab a 2nd GTX 680 and run them in SLI. Some might say its overkill, but when you start trying to run games like Crysis 3 maxed out and in 3D at acceptable frame rates for multiplayer you almost need it. I also took the opportunity to finally do a slight overclock on my processor from 3.4GHz to a little over 4.3Ghz. I might try taking it up even further to 4.8GHz, but it is good enough for now and runs at around 52C under load.
I also decided that if I am getting a 2nd 680 it would be nice to actually be able to see it. So I went ahead and ordered a new side panel for my 600T that has a window. Of course, if you are going with a windowed case you need some sort of lighting. I am not a fan of the old school Cold Cathodes, so I decided to go with the NZXT Hue. It is a pretty nice LED controller that allows you to change colors, lighting modes, and brightness. The mesh front goes pretty well with my case, so that was also a nice plus.
With the additional GTX 680 also comes an additional power draw. My older UPS just was not going to cut it, providing me very short battery run times. I had been looking at the APC BR1500G and decided to just go ahead and buy it now. The software it comes with is infinitely better then the terrible software that came with my TrippLite UPS. I don’t think I will be buying any more TrippLite products from now on.
My current specs:
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-3570K CPU @ 4.3GHz
CPU Cooler: Corsair H60 w/ two Air Series SP120 Quiet Edition High Static Pressure 120mm Fans in a push-pull configuration
Memory: 16GB Corsair Vengeance
Primary Hard Drive: 120GB OCZ Agility 3 SSD
Other Drives: Over 3TB of storage across 3 HDD
Optical Drive: LG Black 14X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 5X DVD-RAM 12X BD-ROM 4MB Cache SATA BDXL Blu-ray Burner,3D Play Back
Video Card: 2x NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 in SLI
Monitor: Asus VG236H 120Hz 3D Monitor
Speakers/Headphones: Corsair Vengeance 2000 Wireless 7.1 Gaming Headset & Logitech X-540 5.1 Speakers
Keyboard: Corsair Vengeance K90 Performance MMO Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
Mouse: Logitech G500
Mouse Surface: Razer eXactMat
Operating System: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
Motherboard: ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3
Computer Case: Corsair Graphite Series 600T
Power Supply: Corsair HX Series HX750