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Resident Evil PC Technical Review
January 16th, 2015 in PC Gaming
Capcom returns to where it all started with a remastering of the original Resident Evil. We give it a shot to see how it fares in terms of PC features and performance in our review.
Kojima Productions teaser title Metal Gear Solid V Ground Zeroes is out now on PC; we took it for a spin to see how it shapes up in terms of PC features and performance.
Catalyst Omega: AMD Takes Its Drivers to the Next Level
December 9th, 2014 in Graphics Technology
AMD has released Catalyst Omega, a major driver release with performance enhancements and lots of extra features. We take a closer look.
Dragon Age Inquisition PC Technical Review
November 21st, 2014 in PC Gaming
Bioware returns to its roots with the tactics heavy Dragon Age Inquisition; read our PC review to find out how it fares in terms of PC optimization.
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Brad Wardell explains why you should be excited about DirectX 12
Jan 26, 2015 at 04:25 PM by seanR3D
Stardock's Brad Wardell has a new blog post up, detailing in "oversimplified" terms why everyone should be excited about DirectX 12. If you haven't researched the API much or at all, it's a good read from an experienced programmer.

In short, DX12 allows programmers to make potentially all CPU cores talk to the GPU instead of just one (as it has been), resulting in massive performance gains, a la Mantle.

Last Fall, Nvidia released the Geforce GTX 970. It has 5.2 BILLION transistors on it. It already supports DirectX 12. Right now. It has thousands of cores in it. And with DirectX 11, I can talk to exactly 1 of them at a time.

Meanwhile, your PC might have 4, 8 or more CPU cores on it. And exactly 1 of them at a time can talk to the GPU.
Let’s take a pause here. I want you to think about that for a moment. Think about how limiting that is. Think about how limiting that has been for game developers. How long has your computer been multi-core?

But DirectX 12? In theory, all your cores can talk to the GPU simultaneously. Mantle already does this and the results are spectacular. In fact, most benchmarks that have been talked about have been understated because they seem unbelievable. I’m been part of (non-NDA) meetings where we’ve discussed having to low-ball performance gains to being “only” 40%. The reality is, as in, the real-world, non-benchmark results I’ve seen from Mantle (and presumable DirectX 12 when it’s ready) are far beyond this.
Wardell says DirectX 11 improved the limitations somewhat, but there is a much, much bigger leap with DirectX 12.

DirectX 11: Your CPU communicates to the GPU 1 core to 1 core at a time. It is still a big boost over DirectX 9 where only 1 dedicated thread was allowed to talk to the GPU but it’s still only scratching the surface.

DirectX 12: Every core can talk to the GPU at the same time and, depending on the driver, I could theoretically start taking control and talking to all those cores.
That’s basically the difference. Oversimplified to be sure but it’s why everyone is so excited about this.
The GPU wars will really take off as each vendor will now be able to come up with some amazing tools to offload work onto GPUs.
Source: Little Tiny Frogs
Geforce 347.25 driver improve performance, optimized for Dying Light
Jan 22, 2015 at 01:08 PM by seanR3D
NVIDIA has released its 347.25 certified driver today.

Changes include heavily expanded multi-frame sampled aliasing (MFAA) support (almost all DX 10 and 11 games are included), various performance improvements, Dying Light optimizations, SLI profiles, and support for the newly released GTX 960.

MFAA, if you're new, is said to be yet another effective yet performance-considerate form of AA (hey, it's hard to have too many), and a variation on the brute-force MSAA.

Hit the source for details if you like, and here for the driver.

Source: Geforce
Fable Legends video shows off DirectX 12
Jan 21, 2015 at 04:18 PM by seanR3D
A trailer is here for the upcoming multiplayer RPG Fable Legends, and offers the first look at DirectX 12 gameplay. Legends doesn't look like an overly demanding game by any means, so no doubt we'll get a better idea of what the API can do later on, but it's decent for now.

If you haven't been keeping up with DirectX 12, one of its main goals is to reduce driver overhead, enabling much improved performance, in line with AMD's Mantle.

Sign up for the Legends beta and check out the FAQ here, if you're interested.
Windows 10 will be a free upgrade
Jan 21, 2015 at 01:46 PM by seanR3D
Microsoft has just announced at its Windows 10 event today that the new OS will be free to upgrade to for the first year after its release. This applies to all Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 users.

To put it frankly, Windows hasn't changed much since 7, so if Microsoft insists on "interim" operating systems, then free works great.

Also announced: Fable Legends (running on DirectX 12), some kind of Steam support, Xbox One streaming to other devices, and more.

Resident Evil PC Technical Review
Jan 19, 2015 at 07:07 PM by seanR3D
Capcom returns to where it all started with a remastering of the original Resident Evil. We give it a shot to see how it fares in terms of PC features and performance in our review.

Resident Evil PC Technical Review @ Rage3D.com
Grim Fandango Remastered incoming
Jan 13, 2015 at 03:30 PM by seanR3D
Double Fine Studios is taking it upon themselves to remaster the adventure cult classic Grim Fandango, dubbing it simply Grim Fandango Remastered. The game will release in just two weeks (January 27), and will feature vastly improved graphics ("repainted, hi-res character textures" and "new, dynamic lighting"), new optional control schemes, a re-recorded score, and more goodies.

Hit the source for more.

Source: GOG
Grand Theft Auto V PC delayed, system requirements include 7870
Jan 13, 2015 at 03:21 PM by seanR3D

Grand Theft Auto V
has been delayed on PC to March 24 for "testing and polish". This is no doubt disappointing if you were highly anticipating playing the game in all its glory, but if waiting means a strong PC port, then it'll be well worth it.

The system requirements are finally out, too, which might be taken as a sign Rockstar really is in the final stretches and not clamoring to release a half-decent port in March.

Minimum specifications:
OS: Windows 8.1 64 Bit, Windows 8 64 Bit, Windows 7 64 Bit Service Pack 1, Windows Vista 64 Bit Service Pack 2* (*NVIDIA video card recommended if running Vista OS)
Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q6600 @ 2.40GHz (4 CPUs) / AMD Phenom 9850 Quad-Core Processor (4 CPUs) @ 2.5GHz
Memory: 4GB
Video Card: NVIDIA 9800 GT 1GB / AMD HD 4870 1GB (DX 10, 10.1, 11)
Sound Card: 100% DirectX 10 compatible
HDD Space: 65GB
DVD Drive
Recommended specifications:
OS: Windows 8.1 64 Bit, Windows 8 64 Bit, Windows 7 64 Bit Service Pack 1
Processor: Intel Core i5 3470 @ 3.2GHZ (4 CPUs) / AMD X8 FX-8350 @ 4GHZ (8 CPUs)
Memory: 8GB
Video Card: NVIDIA GTX 660 2GB / AMD HD7870 2GB
Sound Card: 100% DirectX 10 compatible
HDD Space: 65GB
DVD Drive
Supported features will include GTA Online / GTA Online Heists (with 30 player support), 1080p, 4K, 60 fps, triple monitor support, and the Rockstar Editor.

Hit the source for new 4K screenshots.

Source: Rockstar Newswire
Monster Hunter Online benchmark available now
Jan 7, 2015 at 01:59 PM by seanR3D
NVIDIA and Crytek have released a benchmark for Capcom's Monster Hunter Online, which runs on the latest version of CryEngine. The game is equally demanding and gorgeous; if you want to run it through its paces yourself, hit the source. Be warned a GTX 760 or equivalent is recommended for decent results; even my R9 290 struggled with it.

Source: QQ.com
Witcher 3 system requirements include R9 290
Jan 7, 2015 at 11:04 AM by seanR3D
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt may have been delayed recently, but the system requirements are now out so I'd guess the game is indeed coming along nicely. According to them, you'll need quite a formidable rig to play it smoothly at maximum settings. The game is due out May 19.

Minimum System Requirements:
Intel CPU Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz
AMD CPU Phenom II X4 940
Nvidia GPU GeForce GTX 660
AMD GPU Radeon HD 7870
OS 64-bit Windows 7 or 64-bit Windows 8 (8.1)
DirectX 11
HDD Space 40 GB

Recommended System Requirements:
Intel CPU Core i7 3770 3,4 GHz
Nvidia GPU GeForce GTX 770
AMD GPU Radeon R9 290
OS 64-bit Windows 7 or 64-bit Windows 8 (8.1)
DirectX 11
HDD Space 40 GB

Source: GOG
Metal Gear Solid V Ground Zeroes PC Technical Review
Dec 18, 2014 at 11:14 AM by seanR3D
Kojima Productions teaser title Metal Gear Solid V Ground Zeroes is out now on PC; we took it for a spin to see how it shapes up in terms of PC features and performance.

Metal Gear Solid V Ground Zeroes PC Technical Review @ Rage3D.com
Catalyst Omega: AMD takes its drivers to the next level
Dec 10, 2014 at 03:25 AM by Lupine
The new Omega driver is getting a lot of response in our forums (link). We were able to test-drive it for a few days before its release and even threw some benchmarks to the mix. Click away to see our first impressions.

Catalyst Omega: AMD takes its drivers to the next level @ Rage3D.com
Catalyst Omega driver adds Virtual Super Resolution, Mantle capturing, more
Dec 9, 2014 at 03:04 PM by seanR3D

AMD had elected to push its major driver feature additions to a new yearly Catalyst release dubbed "Omega", the first of which is out today.

This release (14.12) includes the addition of Virtual Super Resolution (VSR), which is AMD's answer to NVIDIA's Dynamic Super Resolution (DSR). Both techniques allow for improved image quality at a very high performance cost (which is fine if you have plenty of power to spare). For now, VSR is supported on the R9 285 and R9 290 series cards, but more will be added in the future.

Besides that you get performance improvements for select titles (Beyond Earth, Advanced Warfare, Assassin's Creed Unity, Dragon Age Inquisition, and Far Cry 4), and on a general level (albeit on a minor scale), frame pacing improvements for most major titles, issue and bug fixes, Mantle capture and streaming support (unfortunately it's through the dreadful Gaming Evolved client, but at least it's an option), FreeSync support, 5K support, better video playback, and more.

Hit the source to download the driver and/or to see the full notes.

Source: AMD
Dragon Age Inquisition PC patch #2 released, improves controls, Mantle
Dec 9, 2014 at 02:36 PM by seanR3D
Update: For those experiencing graphics issues after the patch, see this post for a temporary workaround.

The highly anticipated second patch for Dragon Age Inquisition is now here at last. This release includes a reasonably long list of key UI and control fixes, as well as bug fixes, many of them PC centric.

Among what's included: scrolling out with the mouse wheel will now enable tactical camera mode, hiding the HUD will now hide everything, war table and conversation screens should now always be responsive, and various control tweaks. Besides that, you get improved Mantle performance (previously it caused additional stuttering) and better stability.

Regarding the keyboard and mouse controls, Bioware says this is simply the first pass at improving them, and "our next priority is to improve the PC mouse/keyboard controls further. We’re investigating how to expand on PC usability and functionality to address specific requests from the community."

Hit the source for the full notes; download the patch through Origin.

Source: Bioware Blog
Dragon Age Inquisition PC patch #1 releasing December 9
Dec 8, 2014 at 04:41 PM by seanR3D
The second and much awaited patch for Dragon Age Inquisition (DAI) has been delayed for consoles, but PC gamers won't have to suffer, as it will release tomorrow, December 9.

No details have surfaced as of yet on what the patch will include, but players have been asking for a banter bug fix, music bug fix, user interface improvements, performance improvements, gameplay bugs, and more, so hopefully at least some of that is included.

If you haven't yet, be sure to check out our DAI tech review for the skinny on the PC specific features.

Source: Twitter
Far Cry 4 PC patch 1.5 released, fixes graphics and control issues, more
Dec 8, 2014 at 04:36 PM by seanR3D
Ubisoft has released the 1.5 patch for Far Cry 4 on PC. Among other things, this release fixes numerous graphics, controls, and interface issues. Unfortunately, the stuttering issue still persists, according to many user reports.

See the full notes at the source if you like; download the patch through uPlay.

Source: Ubisoft forum

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