Doing a little GPU shopping? We know what to put on your list
When you’re trying to figure out the next PC upgrade you should buy, there are at least two ways to go about it. Some people like going through lots of pages of benchmarks, analysis, galleries of the component in various states of disassembly, forum debate, and pictures of fluffy kittens. And that’s great, when you have the time. But not everyone does. For people who want a quicker breakdown of choices like which Nvidia video card you should buy, we can condense that into just a couple of pages. We’ll give you a quick tour through the various choices that you have at different price points, and what the pros and cons are at each stage. Then we’ll select an overall winner.
Improvements to be enabled via DX12 and Vulkan APIs
Graphics cards are currently “not living up to their full potential,” says AMD, and the company is adamant that the forthcoming DX12 and Vulkan APIs will change that. Specifically, the red team says that these APIs will be able to take advantage of AMD’s asynchronous compute engines (ACE), which are inherent to AMD’s GCN architecture. These asynchronous compute engines will allow future games that support them to accomplish more simultaneous tasks at a time. AMD infers that this is tantamount to hyperthreading for GPUs.
Thanks to the continued advancements into HTML5, YouTube has decided to kick Adobe Flash to the curb and default to the open standard instead for playing videos. YouTube would have made the move earlier, but said there were limitations that prevented HTML5 from becoming its preferred platform -- most notable was the lack of support for Adaptive Bitrate (ABR) that allows the streaming site to show more videos with less buffering.
Logitech today announced its new ConferenceCam Connect, a portable all-in-one videoconferencing solution with a cylindrical design and flexible compatibility that slips in between the company's entry-level BCC950 ($250) and high-end ConferenceCam CC3000e ($1,000). It works with any computing device with a USB port (PC, Mac, Chromebook) and plays nice with just about every videoconferencing software, such as Microsoft Lync and Skype, Cisco Jabber and WebEx, Citrix GoToMeeting, Blue Jeans, and more.
Gaming at 4K is still a pipe dream for many people. Too many roadblocks exist, one of them being the need for high-end hardware to push all those pixels around on a screen at a comfortable pace. However, for those who are equipped with sufficient GPU horsepower, you'll be glad to know that companies are paying more attention to 4K monitors. One of those companies is Asus, which brought its ROG Swift PG27AQ 4K IPS gaming monitor with G-Sync technology to the Consumer Electronics Show.
Expected to hit the market sometime during Q1 2015
Among the many companies strutting their stuff at this year’s Blizzcon was computer peripheral maker Rosewill. Maximum PC Online Managing Editor Jimmy Thang visited the company’s booth at the Anaheim Convention Center to find out what exactly they were up to and found them parading a couple of upcoming products: the all new Viper ATX mid-tower chassis and the RGM 1100 gaming mouse, the successor to the RGM 1000 laser gaming rodent.
In April, Parametric Sound Corporation’s gaming audio brand Turtle Beach announced a multi-year licensing deal with Blizzard Entertainment around the gaming bellwether’s upcoming freemium MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) title Heroes of the Storm. That partnership has led to the creation of the Turtle Beach Ear Force Heroes of the Storm Gaming headset, which the peripheral maker happily showed us during Blizzcon 2014.
With the much-anticipated release of Warlords of Draenor, the fifth expansion pack to World of Warcraft, just around the corner, the just-concluded Blizzcon 2014 gaming convention came as a great opportunity for gaming peripheral manufacturer SteelSeries to tout its Siberia Elite World of Warcraft Edition headset, and that is precisely what the company did. On Friday, our Online Managing Editor Jimmy Thang stopped by the company’s booth at Anaheim Convention Center to check out the headset on behalf of all you Maximum PC readers.
Is it a compact all-in-one PC or a massive tablet?
Over the past two days, Maximum PC Online Managing Editor Jimmy Thang has been scouring the fairly busy Blizzcon 2014 show floor in Anaheim California for stuff worth writing home about. One of the many (video) postcards he has sent us features a new all-in-one (AIO) PC from Lenovo. And lest you make the mistake of thinking of it as a run-of-the-mill AIO device, let us make it clear that we’re talking about an AIO PC of the portable tabletop variety.
I'm back again with another video, since being on camera has made me drunk with power. This time, we're showing off Zotac's shiny AMP! Extreme Editon of the GTX 970, with boosted clock speeds, big cooling, and even a carbon fiber-esque backplate. This card uses Nvidia's new "Maxwell" architecture, which improves power efficiency and performance, in addition to adding features like Voxel Global Illumination and Multi-Frame Sampled Anti-Aliasing. You can read all about that in our review of the GTX 980, which is the 970's big brother (as its numbering probably indicated).