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Dying Light PC Technical Review
January 28th, 2015 in PC Gaming
Developer Techland strikes out on its own with a spiritual successor to Dead Island they like to call Dying Light. Read our PC review to find out how it fares in terms of PC features and performance.
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.
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Wasteland 2 will be ported to Unity 5 engine
Feb 27, 2015 at 12:59 PM by seanR3D
Post-apocalyptic RPG Wasteland 2 currently runs smooth as eggs and looks pretty good doing it on the Unity 4.5 engine, but developer inXile is taking it a step further: the game will soon run on Unity 5.

This means visual upgrades (physically based shading - yes please), mod tools, and changes to the character system, some of which will affect gameplay.

When this will come to fruition is unknown. In the meantime, there's a new patch out which fixes bugs and improves the user interface further.

Source: Kickstarter
NVIDIA CEO makes statement on GTX 970 controversy
Feb 25, 2015 at 01:53 PM by seanR3D

NVIDIA's GTX 970 caused quite a controversy once it came to light that sometimes only 3.5GB of its 4GB capacity was being put to use, and even then, less efficiently.

The company's CEO Jen-Hsun Huang has addressed the matter in an NVIDIA blog post, where he states this is all as intended, but was not communicated to marketing and reviewers. It's difficult to believe this was also not intentional, but it would seem we'll never know for sure.

"We invented a new memory architecture in Maxwell," Huang says. "This new capability was created so that reduced-configurations of Maxwell can have a larger framebuffer – i.e., so that GTX 970 is not limited to 3GB, and can have an additional 1GB."

"GTX 970 is a 4GB card. However, the upper 512MB of the additional 1GB is segmented and has reduced bandwidth. This is a good design because we were able to add an additional 1GB for GTX 970 and our software engineers can keep less frequently used data in the 512MB segment."

"Unfortunately, we failed to communicate this internally to our marketing team, and externally to reviewers at launch."

"This new feature of Maxwell should have been clearly detailed from the beginning."

"We won’t let this happen again. We’ll do a better job next time."
Source: NVIDIA
Assassin's Creed Unity PC patch 5 improves performance, connectivity, stability
Feb 20, 2015 at 12:22 PM by seanR3D
Following a brief delay, Ubisoft has released the fifth patch for Assassin's Creed Unity on PC. This one focuses on bettering performance, connectivity, and stability - the UI, save games, and gameplay are touched on a little as well.

Hit the source if you want the notes; boot uPlay for the patch.

Source: Ubisoft
Dragon Age Inquisition patch beta program opens up
Feb 17, 2015 at 05:05 PM by seanR3D
Bioware has opened its patch beta program for Dragon Age Inquisition. If you haven't been following, it's a decent PC port, but needs a lot of work, which the developer has committed to (or some of it at least). Read our tech review for more information on what needs fixing.

You can sign up here. Doing so may get you access to patch 5 (slots are limited), and possibly future patches as well.

Included will be the free Black Emporium DLC (an underground shop with all kinds of goodies, plus the ability to change your character's appearance), an auto attack key, a shader quality setting, party storage, as well as many other things not currently detailed. Based on what Bioware has been saying, we'll see UI optimization, better keyboard and mouse controls, and more, if not in this patch, then another.

Source: Bioware
Dying Light PC patch 1.4 improves performance, enables mod support
Feb 17, 2015 at 04:36 PM by seanR3D
Developer Techland has released the 1.4 patch for the PC version of Dying Light.

With it comes performance improvements tied to RAM, VRAM, and load times, as well as "numerous general performance optimizations". Besides that you get an option to disable film grain and various bug fixes. Most notably, an issue where "extremely low resolution textures on certain objects [are seen] regardless of texture quality settings" is fixed. This was one of the few complaints in my tech review, so hopefully it's all good now, or at least improved.

The developer notes it's still working on the screen flickering seen when using dual GPUs.

Hit the source if you want the full notes; boot Steam to grab the patch.

Source: Steam
Geforce 347.52 drivers released, include performance optimizations for Evolve, more
Feb 10, 2015 at 03:47 PM by seanR3D
NVIDIA has released its 347.52 drivers today. This set includes performance improvements for the newly released shooter Evolve, as well as Assassin's Creed Unity, Battlefield 4, Dragon Age: Inquisition, The Crew, and Alien Isolation, among others.

According to the company's internal benchmarks, framerate is improved anywhere from a few frames per second to about 15, depending on the game.

Grab the driver here and not through Geforce Experience for the time being - NVIDIA says it's currently experiencing an issue on that front.

Source: Geforce
Dying Light PC Technical Review
Jan 28, 2015 at 08:13 PM by seanR3D
Developer Techland strikes out on its own with a spiritual successor to Dead Island they like to call Dying Light. Read our PC review to find out how it fares in terms of PC features and performance.

Dying Light PC Technical Review @ Rage3D.com
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

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