Having taken the covers off the GeForce GTX 780 a week ago, Nvidia is ready to release their next part in the GeForce 700 series. Giving us our first look at the GeForce GTX 770 is Gainward, with their special Phantom edition card featuring an upgraded cooling solution, factory overclocking, and 8-phase PWM.
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Ever since Razer started making its skinny 17-inch Razer Blade laptop, I've been wondering when a gaming PC company was going to come along and deliver a powerful gaming laptop with the slender form factor of an Ultrabook. That would be today. Meet the new Razer Blade, a 14-inch gaming laptop that's skinnier than Apple's Macbook Air.
Although this year's Tomb Raider reboot made our latest list of most anticipated PC games, I must admit that it was one of the games I was least looking forward to from a performance perspective. Previous titles in the franchise have received mixed to positive reviews, but gameplay aside, their visuals weren't exactly mind-blowing so we've never bothered doing a performance review on one — until now, anyway.
Built with CryEngine2, the original Crysis raised the bar for PC gaming graphics in 2007 with stunningly detailed visuals that crippled even the fastest of rigs. Looking back at our first Crysis performance article, which was based on the game's demo, the fastest GPU available at the time (the GeForce 8800 GTX 768MB) struggled to average 30fps when running at 1920x1200 with high quality settings on DirectX 10.
"Why didn't you tell me about this sooner?" It's a question I've heard with increasing frequency the past few years, uttered by friends who've finally dipped their toes into PC gaming, discovering what it has to offer them. Before taking the plunge, they had been wary, citing the prohibitive cost and overly complex nature of PC gaming.
Last March, boutique PC maker Digital Storm unveiled the Aventum, a powerful gaming PC with a custom-engineered cooling system. They called it the "world's most advanced PC" and models started at nearly $US4000. Now Digital Storm is readying the Aventum II.
There are dozens of places to purchase a custom gaming PC on the internet. Companies with colourful websites with flash-animated front pages and rotating images showing off their latest products in the best possible light. Then there's AVADirect, a custom PC builder on the outskirts of Cleveland with a website that looks like it was built a decade ago.
Gamers tend to take a lot of pride in building their own rigs, but it's generally not enough to have top-notch performance without the looks to match. For those who wade deep into the enthusiast side of things, part of the fun of assembling a new machine is coordinating components so everything is pleasing to the eye. It's easy to get sucked into the aesthetics of a new system, and not just with external parts.
Designed exclusively for PC, the original Far Cry sold 730,000 copies in the first four months following its March 2004 release and was hailed as one of the best shooters, combining an adventurous plot that followed ex-Army operative Jack Carver's heroic exploits on a mysterious Micronesian archipelago with engaging sandbox combat and some of the period's most advanced graphics courtesy of CryEngine.
AMD kick-started 2012 with the release of the Radeon HD 7970, the first member of the Radeon HD 7000 GPU series. This launch marked the introduction of the first-ever graphics card to be made on a 28nm design process, representing the company's most complex GPU to date, with 4313 million transistors in a 352mm2 die.
For Call of Duty fans, developer Treyarch just delivered an early Christmas present when they released Black Ops II. As the ninth game in the Call of Duty franchise and the sequel to the 2010 game Black Ops, we are hoping to see something meaningfully new from Black Ops II. We say this because last year's release (Modern Warfare 3) was somewhat lackluster on the PC, and also because the competing franchise Medal of Honor: Warfighter has received mixed, if not poor reviews overall.
It's hard to describe the benefits and drawbacks of a specific gaming mouse, in many ways. Certainly, I can discuss whether the drivers work, whether the buttons work, whether any programming is intuitive and whether the product works as advertised — and in a moment, I will. The biggest problem with describing a mouse, however, is that it's got to be the piece of hardware most overwhelmingly subject to personal preference.
Computers relying solely on age old hard disk drive technology should be deemed a thing of the past. Mechanical devices suffer from slow response times, so if and when performance matters, spending a small amount of money on upgrading a PC's boot drive could pay off enough to render other potential upgrades useless.
Video capture devices confuse the hell out of me. For years I've wanted a hardware solution for PC video capture, perhaps something I could also hook a game console up to, but after a string of ill-informed purchases and a box full of cards that didn't do what I wanted them to do, I settled on a resource-hogging software solution instead.
Stop me if you've heard this one before: "PC? Oh hell no. That's way to expensive and complicated. I like my 360 just fine." There's something to be said for that. We've reviewed many a high powered, high-priced machine here at Kotaku, and even the peripherals can add up. $400 for an Xbox 360, with a network that all of your friends are already on, as compared to $1500 or more for a PC, seems like a no-brainer to most players. And in a way, it is.