It's always easier to replace a video card than it is a CPU and motherboard, so it's not surprising to find people with a GTX 1060 or RX 480 surrounded by comparatively ancient components. These setups are sacrificing some performance by bottle-necking their GPU, sure, but exactly how much is going to waste?
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It's a big year if you're a PC gaming enthusiast. Alongside Intel's new Extreme Edition CPUs, both Nvidia and AMD have released new graphics cards. All price points from $300 to $1200 have been overhauled with new GPUs offering much-increased performance, more efficient power consumption and new VR-friendly feature-sets — so here's how they all perform relative to each other.
Just a moment, NVIDIA fans! If you took some weird joy out of AMD's recent RX 480 driver issues, well, it's time for some self-flagellation. Reportedly, the company's latest software is causing audible crackling and stuttering issues on its GeForce 10 series of chips.
Later this month, NVIDIA is releasing what it calls "its first game" onto Steam. That game is a short virtual reality experience called VR Funhouse. It's built on Unreal Engine 4, and it's designed to show off the graphical and physics-enhanced power of the company's GeForce 10-series GPUs, including the new (and more affordable) GTX 1060.
After the launch of NVIDIA's top-of-the-line GeForce GTX 1080 and GTX 1070, gamers with deep pockets jumped at the opportunity to buy these new, powerful cards. But at $700 for a 1070 and over $1100 for a 1080 in Australia, a lot of PC enthusiasts simply didn't have the spare cash or disposable income to drop on a new GeForce card. That's why so many people were — and still are — keen on AMD's equally new Radeon RX 480, which is barely over $300.
To counter that, NVIDIA has a third card to release in 2016, designed to battle that RX 480 on both price and performance. It'll be $US250, and it's faster than last generation's top-end GTX 980: meet the GeForce GTX 1060.
About a year ago, NVIDIA quietly put everyone on notice. If you wanted the latest drivers and the latest updates to their GeForce Experience middleware program, you'd have to register an account. Simply forking out for a NVIDIA GPU wasn't enough; you had to hand over some of your details.
GeForce Experience has quietly motored on since then, but could be about to change. NVIDIA has rolled out an update to the beta branch of the software that completely overhauls the user interface and the way the ShadowPlay/Share software is packaged. And if you want any of it, you'll have to login.
With the GeForce GTX 980 celebrating its second birthday soon, in the world of GPUs that puts it squarely over the hill. To further confirm that notion, we have its successor: the new GeForce GTX 1080 offers 60% more performance at what should eventually be a $US50 ($68) price premium.
While all everyone was wrapped up in E3 and the excitement around New Video Games, there was a ton of drama in the tech world when it came to graphics cards.
EVGA has since come out and taken a stance on the matter, declaring to all consumers that "What You See Is What You Get". But what exactly is going on?
There's been plenty of buzz around NVIDIA of late, and with good reason: the GTX 1080 and 1070 are damn fine cards if you don't mind paying the price. But all that buzz has helped paper over a small issue with their drivers, which haven't been as rock solid as usual.
It's resulted in some frustrating stuttering in The Division, issues with Total War: Warhammer, and most recently thermal throttling with reference versions of the GTX 1080. But according to the latest patch notes, all of those problems have finally been corrected.
During Intel's keynote for Computex 2016, the chip manufacturer showcased a multiplayer VR experience called Raw Data. The game was playable at Intel's booth for the annual tech show, so naturally I had a go.
What I didn't expect to get was a nausea and queasiness that lasted for hours. What I expected even less was the fact that I enjoyed the game so much that I'd give it another go.
40 lines of code. That's how much of an effort was needed before The Witness was compatible with NVIDIA's upcoming tool for in-game photography, Ansel. Only 140 lines of code were needed before you could start taking 360 photos in The Witcher 3.
Ansel hasn't been released to consumers yet, of course, and the compatibility process is undoubtedly more complicated for some games than others. But after spending some time with Ansel at this year's Computex, I can't wait until support for Ansel becomes more widespread.
As enthusiastic gamers, we don't usually give a lot of attention to pre-built gaming machines, especially desktop PCs — they're often out of date before they're launched, with inferior graphics and CPU options. HP's new Omen gaming desktop and laptops, and an accompanying 32-inch monitor, though, are impressively modern and might just make sense if you're looking to pick up a new PC to handle the next few years of gaming.
NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1080 is a top, top graphics card. Unfortunately, it's also priced like one: $1179 was the cheapest available after the retail embargoes lifted, with $1199 to $1299 the more common price point. Ouch.
Fortunately, if these first prices are anything to go off, the GTX 1070 will be much more affordable.
NVIDIA might be crowing about how their GeForce GTX 1080 is the new king of graphics cards, but for many gamers their interest lies more in the smaller Pascal sibling — the GTX 1070.
We don't have an Australian price or release date yet. But after spending just over an hour with the card, I have something that's equally useful: benchmarks.