Maximum PC - Gaming http://www.maximumpc.com/articles/22/feed en No BS Podcast #231: AMD and Origin PC Settle Past Dispute on the Show http://www.maximumpc.com/no_bs_podcast_231_amd_and_origin_pc_settle_past_dispute_show <!--paging_filter--><h3>Plus: AMD's commitment to high-end CPUs, DDR4, 5-way GPU support, 20nm GPUs, and more!</h3> <p>In a bit of a surprise to us, <a title="amd" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/tags/amd" target="_blank">AMD</a> and <a title="origin pc" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/tags/Origin_PC" target="_blank">Origin PC</a> wanted to come into the podcast room together for <a title="No BS podcast 231" href="http://dl.maximumpc.com/maxpc_231_20140828.mp3" target="_blank"><strong>episode 231 of the No BS Podcast</strong></a>. As you may recall, this pairing is kind of surprising considering that last October, Origin PC’s co-founder and CEO Kevin Wasielewski announced that the company would be <a title="origin pc drops amd gpus" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/origin_pc_now_dealing_exclusively_nvidia_graphics_claims_amd_gpus_are_problematic2013" target="_blank">dropping AMD graphics cards from its systems</a>, stating, “This decision was based on a combination of many factors including customer experiences, GPU performance/drivers/stability, and requests from our support staff.” He then later added, “Based on our 15+ years of experience building and selling award winning high-performance PCs, we strongly feel the best PC gaming experience is on Nvidia GPUs.”</p> <p>Well, not only did we get Wasielewski in the room, but we also got AMD’s VP of Global Channel Sales Roy Taylor and AMD’s Director of Public Relations Chris Hook to come on. In the show, the two parties settle their past dispute with Taylor suggesting that AMD is now committed to giving hardware partners like Origin PC more support and communication. In the podcast, he outlines some of the strategies to do so. Wasielewski also confirmed that you can now get AMD video cards in Origin PCs again and shot down any <a href="http://semiaccurate.com/2013/10/07/nvidias-program-get-oems-like-origin-pc-dump-amd-called-tier-0/" target="_blank">rumors</a> that Nvidia was compensating Origin PC to slander AMD late last year when the announcement came about.</p> <p>Taylor also asserts that AMD’s graphics drivers have gotten a lot better over the past year, but admits this wasn’t always the case and that the company is still getting burned by that bad reputation.&nbsp;</p> <p>While Gordon was away on vacation, he did submit several questions for the rest of the crew to ask on the air, and in the show we cover a ton of ground from topics that range from:</p> <ul> <li>The possibility of 5-way GPU support</li> <li>AMD’s renewed commitment to battling Intel at the high-end CPU market</li> <li>AMD’s plans to start using DDR4</li> <li>Origin PC and AMD’s thoughts on Valve’s upcoming <a title="maximum pc steam machine" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/everything_you_need_know_about_steam_machines_2014" target="_blank">Steam Machine</a> initiative</li> <li>AMD’s take on the&nbsp;<a title="oculus rift" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/tags/oculus_rift" target="_blank">Oculus Rift</a>/VR</li> <li>Freesync monitor availability</li> <li>Why <a title="AMD ssd" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/amd_reportedly_gearing_sell_radeon-branded_line_ssds_2014" target="_blank">AMD is getting into the SSD market</a></li> <li>AMD’s presence (or lack thereof) in the laptop/gaming notebook segment</li> <li>20nm GPUs</li> <li>And then we of course top it off with your fan questions!&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/dTB2Uk43LKU" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>The old format isn’t going away, and Gordon’s rants will return, but in the meantime, give this episode a listen, and let us know what you think!</p> <p><a title="Download Maximum PC Podcast #231 MP3" href="http://dl.maximumpc.com/maxpc_231_20140828.mp3" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u160416/rss-audiomp3.png" width="80" height="15" /></a>&nbsp;<a title="Maximum PC Podcast RSS Feed" href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/maximumpc/1337" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u160416/chicklet_rss-2_0.png" width="80" height="15" /></a>&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/maximum-pc-no-bs-podcast/id213247824"><img src="/files/u160416/chicklet_itunes.gif" alt="Subscribe to Maximum PC Podcast on iTunes" title="Subscribe to Maximum PC Podcast on iTunes" width="80" height="15" /></a></p> <h4 style="margin: 0px 0px 5px; 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Noble Nook Store</a></h5> <h4 style="margin: 0px 0px 5px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 19px; vertical-align: baseline; letter-spacing: -0.05em; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-weight: normal; color: #990000;">Stalk us in a number of ways:</h4> <p>Become a fan&nbsp;<a title="Maximum PC Facebook page" href="https://www.facebook.com/maximumpc" target="_blank">on Facebook</a></p> <p>Follow us&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/maximumpc" target="_blank">on Twitter</a></p> <p>Subscribe to us&nbsp;<a title="Maximum PC Youtube page" href="https://www.youtube.com/user/MaximumPCMag" target="_blank">on Youtube</a></p> <p>Subscribe&nbsp;<a title="Maximum PC RSS Feed" href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/maximumpc/1337">to our RSS feed</a></p> <p>Subscribe&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/maximum-pc-no-bs-podcast/id213247824" target="_blank">to the podcast on iTunes</a></p> <p>email us at:&nbsp;<a href="mailto:maximumpcpodcast@gmail.com">maximumpcpodcast AT gmail DOT com</a></p> <p>Leave us a voicemail at 877-404-1337 x1337</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/no_bs_podcast_231_amd_and_origin_pc_settle_past_dispute_show#comments 231 amd cpu ddr4 episode graphics cards maximum pc No BS Podcast nvidia origin pc rumors Gaming News No BS Podcast Thu, 28 Aug 2014 20:37:32 +0000 The Maximum PC Staff 28441 at http://www.maximumpc.com Civilization: Beyond Earth Hands-On http://www.maximumpc.com/civilization_beyond_earth_hands-on_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3>We play through the first 100 turns of Firaxis' next Civ game</h3> <p>We're still a couple months away from the retail release of Civilization: Beyond Earth (C:BE), but publisher 2K Games couldn't hold back the horde any longer. We've been eager to try it out because it's Civ, but also because it feels like a spiritual sequel to Alpha Centauri, which itself dealt with a nagging question from earlier entries in the series: What happens when you win the game by launching an interstellar ship into space? Where do those people go? At first glance, C:BE looks like a sci-fi Civilization V with an exotic color palette, but a number of new layers unfolded during our time with it.</p> <p>Most Civ games begin with selecting your starting conditions (unless you like to live on the edge and randomize all your choices). Your options include the usual things like world size, continent shape, and faction leader characteristics. In the build that we played, we could choose from three randomly generated planets. We could also let the game randomly choose one of those three for us, or we could tell C:BE to roll the dice and generate three new worlds. If that's not your cup of tea, we could also go to the "Advanced Worlds" menu and choose from about ten worlds with scripted conditions. 82 Eridani e, for example, has no oceans and little water. Or we could choose Archipelago, which was basically the opposite. Eta Vulpeculae b, meanwhile, has one large continent and an abundance of resources and wildlife.</p> <p><img src="/files/u160416/screenshot_terrain_lush02.jpg" width="600" height="354" style="text-align: center;" /></p> <p>Six of the worlds that are accessible from this menu come from the Exoplanets Map Pack, which you get by pre-ordering the game before October 24th. Each of these planets will randomize its geography each time you play, leading to an additional layer of replayability. We were not able to dig up a menu that allowed us to fine-tune specific map or gameplay attributes (such as disabling neutral factions or hostile wildlife), but this was not a final build.</p> <p>Then you can also choose to begin the game with a soldier or worker unit, instead of an explorer. Or you could have a clinic installed in your first city automatically. This building improves the city health stat, which indicates population growth and the happiness of your citizens. You will also choose what ship type you want to use to arrive on the planet. This determines bonuses like starting with 100 energy (the currency of C:BE); the initial visibility of coast lines, alien nests, certain resources; and the size of the fog of war around your first city.</p> <p><img src="/files/u160416/screen_combat_satellitebombard.jpg" width="600" height="341" style="text-align: center;" /></p> <p>Then you choose your colonist type. For example, the Refugee type adds +2 food to every city, which promotes growth. Engineers give you +2 production in every city, which decreases the time it takes to construct buildings. Scientists, unsurprisingly, give you +2 science in every city, which increases the speed at which you research new technology. Lastly, you designate your sponsor, which determines who your faction leader is. There are no historical leaders this time, like George Washington or Ghandi. This new gang consists of fictional characters set in a speculative future. We had eight sponsors to choose from. Going with the African Union grants us +10% food in growing cities when their Health rating is 1 or greater. With the Pan-Asian Cooperative, you get a 10% production bonus for Wonders, and 25% faster workers.</p> <p>So after agonizing over all of those branching decisions, you can finally drop into the game. If you're familiar with the last couple Civ games, the interface should be pretty familiar. Your resources appear in the upper right-hand corner, with positive and negative numbers indicating gains or losses per turn. Hovering the cursor over each one gives you a detailed breakdown of where the resources are coming from, and how they're being consumed. Your lower right-hand corner is for notifications and to run through your list of available actions The lower left-hand shows you your selected unit (if any) and its abilities.</p> <p style="text-align: right;"><a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/civilization_beyond_earth_hands-on_2014?page=0,1" target="_blank"><strong>Page 2: Exploration, affinities, and virtues</strong></a></p> <hr /> <p>But while the UI should be familiar, this is definitely an exotic planet, with unfamiliar formations like canyons and craters, clouds of poisonous gas, alien critters used for resources, and other alien critters that are actively hostile. It's definitely dangerous terrain for a fledgling civilization. But you'll find resource pods dotted throughout the landscape, which usually contain caches of energy or satellites. Satellites are launched into orbit and extract energy from the planet's surface, though it's not clear how. They stay up for a limited time, though, so you'll need to keep finding them, or produce them on your own. You'll also encounter stations, which behave similarly to city-states in Civ V.</p> <p>And your explorer (scout) unit can excavate native ruins and giant animal bones to grant more bonuses, like free technology. He can only carry one of these excavation kits at once, though, and he needs to return to a city to get more. It also takes five turns to excavate something. This slower pace maintains the unit's viability for a longer stretch than in previous games, and compels you to make more agonizing decisions. Competing factions also don't like it when you excavate something that's closer to their territory than to yours. So you have to balance your desire for discovery against your long-term political risks.</p> <p><img src="/files/u160416/screen_fielding_diplomacy.jpg" title="text-align: center;" width="600" height="341" /></p> <p>Meanwhile, you'll be conducting research on new buildings and units. Instead of going left to right and hitting up pretty much everything along the way, you begin from a central point on the research map and must choose between different branches, each of which contains "leaves" or individual research choices. Each branch has a theme, usually divided into cultural, military, and scientific categories. You can try focusing on one theme, or it might be better to balance as many as you can. Since we were limited to 100 turns, we weren't able to see which turned out to be the better strategy. The things you encounter on the map, the things you build, and the tech you research will frequently trigger binary choices. At one point, the game made us choose between two stations to conduct business with. One station specialized in converting military equipment for civilian use, while another could increase our science score. Both choices have effects on your relationship with the planet's flora and fauna, and you have three affinities to balance: Harmony, Supremacy, and Purity.</p> <p>Each choice grants you a mix of experience points in each affinity, and enough points in one will move you up a level and grant you a bonus. Hovering your mouse over each affinity (located in the upper left-hand corner) tells you what different levels will do. Level 1 of Harmony, for example, reduces the aggression level of the native creatures. Eventually you'll actually gain health from the poison clouds (called "miasma"), and the highest level of your primary affinity grants a critical element for one of the five available victory conditions. At the same time, you'll eventually be at odds with the factions that have different affinities than yours. You can attempt to smooth over relations by establishing lucrative trading routes, engaging in joint military actions, and good old-fashioned bribery. Or you can attempt to wipe them off the map, if you're not into the whole diplomacy thing.</p> <p><img src="/files/u160416/screen_ui_virtues.jpg" width="600" height="341" style="text-align: center;" /></p> <p>And let's not forget about the Virtue system. These operate like Civ V's social policies, but this time there are four of them with nine tiers, so there's more focus and depth to your choices here. On top of that is a grid of synergies, designed to encourage the exploration of multiple virtues. Activating the first tier of each virtue, for example, gives you a bonus activation of your choosing.</p> <p>Eventually, the 2K staff gently ushered us out the door, and we were reluctant to leave. Beyond Earth has a more layers of faction evolution and political intrigue than we're used to seeing in Civ, and we were eager to see the choices that the game would present us with next. We also wanted to build more stuff, of course, and establish more trade routes, explore more of the map, investigate the critters, and maybe start a war or two. Thankfully, we only have about eight more weeks until the game launches into orbit.</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/civilization_beyond_earth_hands-on_2014#comments alpha centauri beyond earth civiliation pc game PC gaming pre-review Sci-fi Sid Meier strategy Games Gaming News Features Web Exclusive Thu, 28 Aug 2014 18:43:23 +0000 Tom McNamara 28439 at http://www.maximumpc.com Amazon Acquires Twitch, Rumors Say Acquisition Was up to $1.1 Billion http://www.maximumpc.com/amazon_acquires_twitch_rumors_say_acquisition_was_11_billion_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3>Who saw that coming?</h3> <p><img src="/files/u166440/twitch_logo.jpg" alt="Twitch Logo" title="Twitch Logo" width="200" height="113" style="float: right;" />Up until now, everyone was expecting <a title="MPC Google to bu Twitch" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/google_reportedly_going_after_twitch_1_billion_buyout_offer_2014" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Google to purchase Twitch</span></a>. Rumors had been passed around that Google was going to purchase the video game streaming service for $1 billion. Instead of Google being the one to buy it, <strong>Twitch ceo Emmett Shear announced today that Amazon has acquired Twitch</strong>. However, Shear didn’t disclose how much Amazon had spent, though speculation is that the price was $1.1 billion.</p> <p>“Today, I’m pleased to announce we’ve been acquired by Amazon,” <a title="Twitch Announcement" href="http://www.twitch.tv/p/thankyou" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">said Shear</span></a>. “We chose Amazon because they believe in our community, they share our values and long-term vision, and they want to help us get there faster. We’re keeping most everything the same: our office, our employees, our brand, and most importantly our independence. But with Amazon’s support we’ll have the resources to bring you an even better Twitch.”</p> <p>The acquisition of Twitch appears to be a great deal for Amazon. Back in 2013, the streaming service had reported that there were 45 million users who had viewed around 12 billion minutes of video. Aside from primarily being used to stream games on PC, Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One also feature Twitch, increasing the services reach and consumer base.&nbsp;</p> <p>Despite Twitch’s popularity, it has been receiving quite a bit of criticism for some recent policy changes. Earlier this month, it <a title="MPC Twitch changes policy" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/twitch_enables_copyright_scans_and_limits_archiving_vods_2014" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">announced</span></a> that it would no longer save VODs for an indefinite amount of time. In addition, it has started to scan VODs for copyrighted music in 30-minute increments. If copyright music is detected, then that 30-minute block of video is muted.&nbsp;</p> <p>But how do you feel about Amazon’s acquisition of Twitch? Is it a better alternative to Google? Sound off in the comments below!</p> <p><em>Follow Sean on&nbsp;<a title="SeanDKnight Google+" href="https://plus.google.com/+SeanKnightD?rel=author" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Google+</span></a>, <a title="SeanDKnight's Twitter" href="https://twitter.com/SeanDKnight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitter</span></a>, and <a title="SeanDKnight Facebook" href="https://www.facebook.com/seandknight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Facebook</span></a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/amazon_acquires_twitch_rumors_say_acquisition_was_11_billion_2014#comments $1.1 billion amazon Amazon buys Twitch Emmett Shear Google twitch Gaming News Tue, 26 Aug 2014 01:21:25 +0000 Sean D Knight 28417 at http://www.maximumpc.com Microsoft Uses PCs to Showcase Xbox Game at Gamescom http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_uses_pcs_showcase_xbox_game_gamescom_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u166440/xboxonelogo.jpg" alt="Xbox Logo" title="Xbox Logo" width="200" height="194" style="float: right;" />Caught again</h3> <p>Over the past few years it seems that both Sony and Microsoft have, at one point or another, demonstrated console games on PCs instead of on consoles at gaming events. This time, <span style="color: #ff0000;"><a title="Centrumher" href="http://www.dsogaming.com/news/gamescom-2014-microsoft-caught-using-once-again-pcs-to-showcase-its-xbox-one-games/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">CentrumHer</span></a>&nbsp;</span><strong>caught</strong><strong> Microsoft using PCs to showcase an Xbox game at Gamescom</strong>.</p> <p>CentrumHer was able to take a couple of&nbsp;<a title="CentrumHer XB1 pic" href="http://www.centrumher.eu/wp-content/uploads/xbox-One-Ori-2.jpg" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">pictures</span></a> that showed a demonstration of the game Ori and the Blind Forest crashing to a Windows 7 desktop rather than the company’s current operating system Windows 8. But that isn’t all. The pictures taken also showed that the PCs were most likely using Nvidia GPUs rather than AMD GPUs. An interesting thing to note, considering that the current generation of consoles are all equipped with AMD GPUs. In <a title="CentrumHer XB1 picture" href="http://www.centrumher.eu/wp-content/uploads/xbox-One-Ori-1.jpg" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">one of the pictures</span></a>, you'll see a notification at the bottom right corner of the screen informing the user that “An updated version of GeForce Experience is available.”</p> <p>Showing games on PCs at events such as Gamescom and E3 are common practice when it comes to developers like Ubisoft. Developers and publishers want to show off a product in the best possible way and that is on the PC. To be fair, though, Ori and the Blind Forest is expected to be released on the PC platform as well as the Xbox 360 and Xbox One.&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-style: italic;">Follow Sean on&nbsp;</span><a style="font-style: italic;" title="SeanDKnight Google+" href="https://plus.google.com/+SeanKnightD?rel=author" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Google+</span></a><span style="font-style: italic;">, </span><a style="font-style: italic;" title="SeanDKnight's Twitter" href="https://twitter.com/SeanDKnight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitter</span></a><span style="font-style: italic;">, and </span><a style="font-style: italic;" title="SeanDKnight Facebook" href="https://www.facebook.com/seandknight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Facebook</span></a></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_uses_pcs_showcase_xbox_game_gamescom_2014#comments microsoft Microsoft XB1 PC Ori and the Blind Forest XB1 PC Xbox On Xbox One PC Gaming News Fri, 15 Aug 2014 00:26:00 +0000 Sean D Knight 28351 at http://www.maximumpc.com Twitch Enables Copyright Scans and Limits Archiving of VODs http://www.maximumpc.com/twitch_enables_copyright_scans_and_limits_archiving_vods_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u166440/twitch_logo.jpg" alt="Twitch Logo" title="Twitch Logo" width="200" height="113" style="float: right;" />Copyright infringements results in VODs being muted</h3> <p>Back in May it was rumored that Google was looking to purchase <a title="MPC Google Twitch" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/google_reportedly_going_after_twitch_1_billion_buyout_offer_2014" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitch for $1 billion</span></a>. While we wait for confirmation on this rumor from either side, Twitch is making some big changes. According to its official blog, <strong>Twitch has enabled copyright sweeps and has limited archiving of video content</strong>.</p> <p><a title="Twitch audio scans" href="http://blog.twitch.tv/2014/08/3136/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitch announced</span></a> that it has partnered with <a title="Audible Magic webpage" href="https://www.audiblemagic.com/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Audible Magic</span></a> to help scan past and future VODs for any copyright music that might have been used during live streams. While scans will look for music owned by Audible Magic, or controlled by its clients, Twitch also revealed that the scans will look for in-game and ambient music.&nbsp;</p> <p>30-minute blocks of VODs will be scanned and, if any copyrighted music is detected, the audio for that block of time will be muted and the volume controls disabled. However, Twitch stated that such scans will not happen during live broadcasts only for past broadcasts and highlights.</p> <p>In addition, the company has also <a title="Twitch archive VODs" href="http://blog.twitch.tv/2014/08/update-changes-to-vods-on-twitch/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">made changes</span></a> to how long it will archive past broadcasts and highlights. The most immediate change was the removal of the “Save Forever” button. For regular streamers, VODs will now be saved for only 14 days while Turbo Subscribers and Partners will have their past broadcasts and highlights stored for 60 days.</p> <p>Providing a reason for why past VODs would no longer be stored indefinitely, Twitch CEO Emmett Shear said, “We found that the vast majority of past broadcast views happen within the first two weeks after they’re created. On the days following, viewership reduces exponentially. We also discovered that 80 percent of our storage capacity is filled with past broadcasts that are never watched.”</p> <p>With these changes, will you continue to use Twitch to stream your gaming sessions?</p> <p><em>Follow Sean on&nbsp;<a title="SeanDKnight Google+" href="https://plus.google.com/+SeanKnightD?rel=author" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Google+</span></a>, <a title="SeanDKnight's Twitter" href="https://twitter.com/SeanDKnight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitter</span></a>, and <a title="SeanDKnight Facebook" href="https://www.facebook.com/seandknight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Facebook</span></a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/twitch_enables_copyright_scans_and_limits_archiving_vods_2014#comments Audible Magic copyright music twitch Twitch Audible Magic Twitch VODs VODs Gaming News Thu, 07 Aug 2014 23:34:18 +0000 Sean D Knight 28312 at http://www.maximumpc.com Graphics Analysis: Wolfenstein: The New Order http://www.maximumpc.com/graphics_analysis_wolfenstein_new_order_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3>We compare Wolfenstein: The New Order's low, medium, high, and ultra settings with pics and video</h3> <p>For this graphical analysis feature, we examine the graphical capabilities of Bethesda's Wolfenstein: The New Order. When the first-person shooter was released on PC, it had tons of graphical glitches, which included long load times and massive texture pop-in issues. Luckily, most of these problems have been sorted out with a few patches.</p> <p>Now the new Wolfenstein title is known for being a beautiful-looking game, so we wanted to take this graphical behemoth for a test run to see how it looks across its different graphics presets. Is this game going to show off your graphics card in all of its glory? Read on to find out!<iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Neztt453910" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Testing Methodology:</strong></p> <p>We wanted our tests to be easily replicated, so we ran the game in 1080p, using Wolfenstein’s preset graphics options, which include "Low," "Medium," "High”, and “Ultra”. We should mention that the point of this test is to analyze image quality and visual fidelity. This is not a frame rate performance test.</p> <p>We captured our screenshots and video with a fairly beefy gaming rig, which sports an Intel Core i7 4770K CPU, 8GB of 1600MHz G.Skill RAM, and a GTX 780 video card.</p> <p><strong>The settings we used for each test are shown in the screenshots below:</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154280/2014-06-02_00001.jpg" alt="Low settings" title="Low settings" width="600" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Low Settings</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154280/2014-06-02_00002.jpg" alt="Medium settings" title="Medium settings" width="600" height="338" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Medium Settings</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154280/2014-06-02_00003.jpg" alt="High settings" title="High settings" width="600" height="338" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>High Settings</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154280/2014-06-02_00004.jpg" alt="Ultra settings" title="Ultra settings" width="600" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Ultra Settings</strong></p> <p><strong>Video Scene Analysis:</strong></p> <p>Note: You can click on the images below to see an animated GIF comparing the scene running across low, medium, high, and ultra settings.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Mech scene" href="/files/u154280/output_f9fq3a.gif" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u154280/mech_scene.png" alt="Mech scene" title="Mech scene" width="600" /></a></p> <p><strong>Mech Scene:</strong></p> <p>The first scene has the main character, William Blazkowicz, inside of a mech suit. When the game is rendering in Low settings we see very little detail in our character's clothing. His sleeves gain more texture and color as we go from Low to Ultra settings. The mech suit also has some differences going from Low to Ultra settings, but they’re very minimal. For example, the gauges on the left-hand side gain more texture and lighting as we ramp up graphical fidelity. The rest of the scene looks almost the same across all four presets. Yes, there are a few extra textures sprinkled into the landscape in High and Ultra settings, which Low and Medium don’t have, but again, this a very small difference and you really have to pixel peep to notice them. &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Soldier scene" href="/files/u154280/output_qzb5rg.gif" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u154280/soldier_scene_3.png" alt="Soldier scene" title="Soldier scene" width="600" height="338" /></a></p> <p><strong>Soldier scene:</strong></p> <p>In the Soldier scene above, we see there’s less texture and definition in the soldier who’s standing in the left corner of the screen. His clothing gets more texture as we go up in graphical quality. The same can be said for the soldier in the middle of the screen too. The texture quality of his clothing is better in Ultra than in Low settings, but the rest of the scene looks almost the same across the other presets. The dark colors and low lighting in this scene's background make it hard for us to discern any other meaningful differences.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Airplane scene" href="/files/u154280/output_ile9i3.gif" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u154280/airplane_scene.png" alt="Airplane scene" title="Airplane scene" width="600" /></a></p> <p><strong>Airplane scene:</strong></p> <p>The hardest scene to tell any difference between the three presets is the Airplane scene. We couldn’t see anything inside the aircraft which looked noticeably different. The ocean in the game's Ultra preset looks the best of the four scenes, but that’s the only noticeable difference we could effectively draw here. The interior of the cabin looks very similar across all four presets.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Conclusion:</strong></p> <p>Analyzing Wolfenstein's different visual settings, we were surprised by how hard it was for us to tell the difference between any of the game’s four presets. At times, we really had to dig to bring out the nitty gritty details. In general, we found that characters look more fully realized the higher you crank up the settings. If you’re not looking at soldiers on screen, the game looks very similar across all the settings. The similar look and feel in all four presets is in part due to Wolfenstein's dark color palette. When Wolfenstein adds in more textures onto gray, black, and brown surfaces, it can be hard to notice much of a visual improvement. If the game was brighter and offered a wider color palette, it may be easier to pick up on the differences. Regardless, as it stands, it doesn't look like Wolfenstein: The New Order is going to shock and awe anyone at the highest settings, at least not compared to the game's lower presets.</p> <p>Which game would you like us to do a deep dive graphical analysis on next? Let us know in the comments below!</p> <p><span style="font-style: normal;">Follow Chris on&nbsp;</span><a style="font-style: normal;" href="https://plus.google.com/u/0/117154316323139826718" target="_blank">Google</a><span style="font-style: normal;">+&nbsp;or&nbsp;</span><a style="font-style: normal;" href="https://twitter.com/chriszele" target="_blank">Twitter</a></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/graphics_analysis_wolfenstein_new_order_2014#comments graphics analysis graphics card maximum pc pc version settings wolfenstein the new order Gaming News Features Thu, 07 Aug 2014 18:03:09 +0000 Chris Zele 28164 at http://www.maximumpc.com Latest Update Lets Raptr Users Record and Stream Games http://www.maximumpc.com/latest_update_lets_raptr_users_record_and_stream_games_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u166440/raptr_logo.jpg" alt="Raptr Logo" title="Raptr Logo" width="200" height="201" style="float: right;" />Record gameplay and your own reactions simultaneously</h3> <p>Last month AMD introduced the <a title="MPC Game DVR" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/amd_adds_game_dvr_beta_raptr_software_new_update_2014" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Game DVR beta</span></a> to its <a title="Raptr website" href="http://raptr.com/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Raptr</span></a> service. Today, a new update has been released so <strong>Raptr users can record or stream gameplay videos now</strong>. The update also adds a solution that facilitates seamless uploading and sharing of videos.&nbsp;</p> <p>The new video capture solution is called the Game Video Recorder and provides users with the ability to stream or record gameplay videos. Instead of recording just 10 minutes of footage, like the Game DVR beta, GVR will let users record 20 minutes of gameplay even after events have transpired. Users will also be able to automatically upload and share recorded gameplay with an online destination that is shared amongst the Raptr community.&nbsp;</p> <p>Both AMD and Nvidia GPU users will be able to take advantage of the service that, according to Raptr, will have virtually no affect on system performance.</p> <p>“Watching recorded and live-streamed PC gameplay footage has quietly become a massive trend involving tens of millions of viewers and billions of hours spent watching,” said Raptr co-founder and CEO Dennis Fong. “But to date, only a modest fraction of gamers actually record and stream some of their gaming exploits, because the tools haven’t been easy, accessible or resource-efficient enough. We’re excited to be improving the process and experience in all of those areas, and at the same time offering nearly universal support for all the latest GPUs regardless of manufacturer. This marks another big step forward in our ongoing effort to help make PC gaming consistently awesome.”</p> <p>Raptr is claiming that both GVR and live-streaming features are supported by over 5,000 games. A significant amount compared to the 169 titles, according to Raptr, that Nvidia’s GeForce Experience supports. In addition, users will also have the option to include their own real-time reactions in the recording sessions through the use of a webcam and microphone to create a picture-in-picture effect.</p> <p><em>Follow Sean on&nbsp;<a title="SeanDKnight Google+" href="https://plus.google.com/+SeanKnightD?rel=author" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Google+</span></a>, <a title="SeanDKnight's Twitter" href="https://twitter.com/SeanDKnight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitter</span></a>, and <a title="SeanDKnight Facebook" href="https://www.facebook.com/seandknight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Facebook</span></a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/latest_update_lets_raptr_users_record_and_stream_games_2014#comments amd Game Video Recorder GVR Raptr Raptr Game Video Recorder Raptr GVR video game streaming Gaming News Mon, 28 Jul 2014 23:08:34 +0000 Sean D Knight 28256 at http://www.maximumpc.com Aorus Launches the Thunder M7 MMO Gaming Mouse http://www.maximumpc.com/aorus_launches_thunder_m7_mmo_gaming_mouse_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u166440/aorus_thunder_m7_06.png" alt="Thunder M7" title="Thunder M7" width="200" height="177" style="float: right;" />Looking to satisfy your MMO macro needs</h3> <p>As the MMO genre continues to expand, so does the options for a suitable gaming mouse designed for MMOs. The newest addition to the roster of MMO gaming peripherals comes from <strong>Aorus that has announced its Aorus Thunder M7 gaming mouse</strong> that features 16 programmable buttons.&nbsp;</p> <p>According to Aorus, "The <a title="Aorus Thunder M7" href="http://www.aorus.com/m7.aspx" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Aorus Thunder M7</span></a> is specifically designed for MMO gamers, who emphasize on emitting accurate and fast attack commends at the battlefield; therefore, Aorus developed the best allocation of the MMO hot-keys with great effort and time to bring the most ergonomically mouse for the gamers."</p> <p>Of the 16 programmable buttons, 11 of them are located on the sides. Eight of those buttons are located on the left side of the mouse. For those wishing to change the device’s DPI on the go there are two buttons assigned to change it from 800 DPI to 8200 DPI.&nbsp;</p> <p>If you are worried about the durability of the buttons then you should know that, according to Aorus, the Thunder M7 is equipped with Omron switches that are expected to last up to 20 million clicks. It also has the Aorus Macro Engine built-in that allows users to switch between five different gaming profiles.&nbsp;</p> <p>The Aorus Thunder M7 mouse is currently available at participating retailers.&nbsp;</p> <p>Will the Thunder M7 suit your MMO needs?</p> <p><em>Follow Sean on&nbsp;<a title="SeanDKnight Google+" href="https://plus.google.com/+SeanKnightD?rel=author" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Google+</span></a>, <a title="SeanDKnight's Twitter" href="https://twitter.com/SeanDKnight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitter</span></a>, and <a title="SeanDKnight Facebook" href="https://www.facebook.com/seandknight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Facebook</span></a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/aorus_launches_thunder_m7_mmo_gaming_mouse_2014#comments aorus Aorus Thunder M7 gaming mouse Thunder M7 Thunder M7 gaming mouse Gaming News Fri, 25 Jul 2014 23:48:22 +0000 Sean D Knight 28244 at http://www.maximumpc.com Game Developer’s Average Salary Down From 2012, According to Gamasutra Survey http://www.maximumpc.com/game_developers_average_salary_down_2012_according_gamasutra_survey_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u166440/gamasutra_logo.jpg" alt="Gamasutra Logo" title="Gamasutra Logo" width="200" height="200" style="float: right;" />Results cover indie and salaried game developers</h3> <p>If you have been wondering whether or not becoming a game developer is a career path worth pursuing, you might want to take a look at what the average pay is like. <strong>Gamasutra has posted the results of its annual Game Developer Salary Survey,</strong> with some interesting statistics based on the response from 4,000 developers worldwide. The survey was conducted in May 2014 and covers game developers over various disciplines that include audio and design for 2013.&nbsp;</p> <p>According to Gamasutra’s findings, the average yearly pay for a salaried game developer, across all disciplines in the U.S., was around $83,060 in 2013, which is down 2 percent from 2012. Meanwhile, Canadians were up 9 percent, with an average of $71,445 USD, whereas European developers remained flat at $46,232 USD. Breaking it down to the various jobs in the U.S. saw people in business and management earn an average salary of $101,572, audio professionals earned $95,682, programmers $93,251, producers $82,286, artists and animators $74,349, and quality assurance testers were paid an average of $54,833.</p> <p>The survey also covered the indie side of things, on a worldwide basis, which revealed that non-salaried, solo indie game developers earned an average of $11,812, which is down 49 percent from 2012. On the other hand, individual members that were part of an indie team averaged $50,833, which is up 161 percent.&nbsp;</p> <p>If you are interested in reading all the results from the survey, then you can view it over at <a title="Gamasutra Survey" href="http://www.gamasutra.com/salarysurvey2014.pdf" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Gamasutra (PDF)</span></a>.&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Follow Sean on&nbsp;<a title="SeanDKnight Google+" href="https://plus.google.com/+SeanKnightD?rel=author" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Google+</span></a>, <a title="SeanDKnight's Twitter" href="https://twitter.com/SeanDKnight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitter</span></a>, and <a title="SeanDKnight Facebook" href="https://www.facebook.com/seandknight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Facebook</span></a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/game_developers_average_salary_down_2012_according_gamasutra_survey_2014#comments average game developer salary game developer game developer salary indie gamer salary Gaming News Tue, 22 Jul 2014 21:16:23 +0000 Sean D Knight 28217 at http://www.maximumpc.com Nvidia Supposedly Working on New PC-Streaming Device http://www.maximumpc.com/nvidia_supposedly_working_new_pc-streaming_device_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u166440/nvidia_geforce_logo.jpg" alt="Nvidia GeForce logo" title="Nvidia GeForce logo" width="200" height="193" style="float: right;" />Another contender for the living room</h3> <p>Looks like Nvidia isn’t done trying to get into the living room. According to the <a title="BBC News" href="http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-28290861" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">BBC</span></a>, <strong>Nvidia is developing a new device that will play PC games</strong> on televisions, making use of the developer’s GeForce Experience software. It will also run Android software and, BBC reports, will have a “budget-priced separate controller.”</p> <p>Purported to be powered by Nvidia’s Tegra K1 chip, the unnamed device boasts a 192-core GPU and was shown last month running a demo of the Unreal Engine 4 on the Android L mobile operating system. While it will run Android games natively, it is also rumored to have the ability to stream PC games via Nvidia’s GeForce Experience. However, if the device makes use of the software, then it would be restricted to the company’s more recent cards.&nbsp;</p> <p>Aside from the additional cost of purchasing a new GPU to take full advantage of the device, it would also be in contention with Valve’s own in-home streaming service. Not to mention that it would go up against Valve's Steam Machine which has been pushed <a title="Steam Machine delay" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/controller_tweaks_prompt_valve_delay_steam_machines_until_2015" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">back to 2015</span></a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>For now, Nvidia has declined to confirm the existence of the new device.&nbsp;</p> <p>Could this device be a sequel to the Nvidia Shield, which hasn’t been very successful, or will this be a brand new product?</p> <p><em>Follow Sean on&nbsp;<a title="SeanDKnight Google+" href="https://plus.google.com/+SeanKnightD?rel=author" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Google+</span></a>, <a title="SeanDKnight's Twitter" href="https://twitter.com/SeanDKnight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitter</span></a>, and <a title="SeanDKnight Facebook" href="https://www.facebook.com/seandknight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Facebook</span></a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/nvidia_supposedly_working_new_pc-streaming_device_2014#comments geforce experience Hardware nvidia Nvidia gaming device shield Gaming News Tue, 15 Jul 2014 23:59:58 +0000 Sean D Knight 28172 at http://www.maximumpc.com