I just walked out of Valve’s SteamVR demo and can say that it is the best VR experience I’ve ever had. And this is coming from a guy who has tried nearly all of the VR headsets out there, including Oculus VR’s newest Crescent Bay prototype. This is the closest thing to a modern-day holodeck we have at the moment.
We interview AMD Graphics CTO Raja Koudari about the company's VR initiative
Providing presence inside a virtual reality headset, or trying to make you feel like you are somewhere you aren’t, is a difficult challenge for developers. AMD is trying to help VR headset maker like Oculus VR and other head-mounted display (HMD) manufacturers better solve that issue with its newly announced LiquidVR SDK.
The Game Developers Conference is taking place just around the corner between March 2-6 and we’ll be in San Francisco covering it. There will, of course, be a bunch of game discussions and demos as usual, but we wanted to approach it from a hardware/PC perspective. Having said that, this year is going to be an interesting show for hardware with Valve finally pushing the Steam Machines again along with its VR system. On that notion, expect Valve and VR to be the talks of the show. Seriously, guys, this is going to be the year of VR.
I built my first PC when I was 12 and believe that if you have any love for the platform, you should learn how to build one yourself. Having said that, however, I realize that not everyone has the time or patience to learn how to build a rig (even though it’s really not hard to do). I’ve been doing a lot of research lately, as I’ve picked up the system reviews beat for Maximum PC, and notice that there’s a negative stigma against people who buy pre-built machines. “Just build it yourself,” these judgmental commenters say. As much as I want everyone to know how to put together their PCs, I’d rather them buy pre-built PCs if it might be their only entrance into our awesome clubhouse. In essence, I think it’s OK to buy pre-built.
PC gamers have been fiddling with graphics settings since the dawn of time, but it takes a special kind of know-how to understand what each of those settings actually does. It doesn’t help that there aren’t any standard naming conventions, which means that options like "model" and "object" quality are usually one and the same. To help clarify, we’ve rooted out what all of the most common graphics settings actually do.
Showcasing the sexiest, most photogenic game screenshots this side of the Internet
We're celebrating February with a gallery full of amazing screenshots. As always we've got a few obligatory Minecraft and Skyrim screens, but we've also got shots from newer games like Dragon Age: Inquisition and Ultraworld. Some supremely helpful folks over at /r/GamerPorn have again volunteered their work for this month's edition ofGraphics Porn.
Computer cases are usually made predominantly of metal and for good reason. Metal's a sturdy material that can support the weight of meaty components. Chris Albee's "Dancing Iridescence" bucks that trend by combining his woodworking skills with his obvious modding abilities. Only the front panel's made of wood, but the complete effect is still stunning and totally worthy of being named this month's Rig of the Month.
Few things evolve more quickly than the desktop PC, but there is one constant: the process of getting smaller. The first computers took up entire rooms (and required a college degree to operate). But these days, you can get a gaming PC the size of briefcase delivered to your front door. But if you prefer to build something small, should you go with a microATX system, or is it time to go even smaller with mini-ITX?
One of the best reasons to be a PC gamer is modding. There is a passionate and dedicated community that helps to breathe new life into many PC games because of it. Yet while the scope and diversity of mods available are vast, we are focusing on mods that will improve a game’s graphics.
Learn how to wring every last bit of performance out of your video card
Overclocking a graphics card used to be more trouble than it was worth, but things have changed. EVGA Precision X and MSI Afterburner are just two of the most popular choices for software overclocking. AMD even bundles its own overclocking solution—AMD OverDrive—with its Catalyst drivers. Wringing more performance out of your graphics card is now as simple as moving a few sliders and testing for stability with a benchmark.