The Far Cry franchise gained notoriety for its impeccable graphical fidelity and enthralling open world environment. As a result, each release is incredibly useful to gauge the current state of graphics hardware and performance across various resolutions. Although, Ubisoft’s reputation has suffered in recent years due to poor optimization on major titles such as Assassin’s Creed: Unity and Watch Dogs. This means it’s essential to analyze the PC version in a technical manner and see if it’s really worth supporting with your hard-earned cash!
Far Cry Primal utilizes the Dunia Engine 2 which was deployed on Far Cry 3 and Far Cry 4. Therefore, I’m not expecting anything revolutionary compared to the previous games. This isn’t necessarily a negative concept though because the amount of detail is staggering and worthy of recognition. Saying that, Far Cry 4 was plagued by intermittent hitching and I really hope this has been resolved. Unlike Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, the latest entry has a retail price of $60. According to Ubisoft, this is warranted due to the lengthy campaign and amount on content on offer. Given Ubisoft’s turbulent history with recent releases, it will be fascinating to see how each GPU this generation fares and which brand the game favours at numerous resolutions.
“Far Cry Primal is an action-adventure video game developed and published by Ubisoft. It was released for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on February 23, 2016, and it was also released for Microsoft Windows on March 1, 2016. The game is set in the Stone Age, and revolves around the story of Takkar, who starts off as an unarmed hunter and rises to become the leader of a tribe.” From Wikipedia.
Here at eTeknix, we strive to give the consumer the best possible advice in every aspect of technology. Today is no different as we bring you the SLI review of the latest budget pleaser from NVIDIA, the GeFoce GTX 950.
The NVIDIA GTX 950 is the newest card to be released based on the Maxwell architecture and aimed to bring solid 1080p performance for under £150. Sub vendors went completely nuts with this card and produced some simply great options that have put the squeeze on AMD in the budget gaming segment.
Now we don’t really ever consider low-end options for SLI for cost effectiveness reasons, but some consumers may only have £150 now and £150 next month and want to play straight away.
Because I had the choice of three different cards, the smart move would be to test the two most powerful options, the Inno3D iChill GTX 950 and MSI Gaming GTX 950. These both can be purchased for under £140 each through a wide range of retailers and work extremely well together. However, a matching set would give the best possible performance as the computer wouldn’t need to throttle one card to match the others performance.
That’s enough of an introduction, let’s find out how well this compact duo performs in the real world.
Following on from our GTX 950 round-up article, PNY has sent a model which looks extremely promising. We have already seen that the GTX 950 range performs extremely well and the price is extremely attractive for a cheap gaming build.
The PNY GTX 950 is the cheapest GTX 950 that PNY offers and features a single fan design. This is a step away from the usual dual fan designs that PNY produce and personally I really like the subtle design on this.
This card is essentially an unmodified NVIDIA version with an improved cooling design as it features the same base and boost clock speeds as the reference model or 1024MHz base and 1188MHz boost.These speeds don’t sound that impressive, but the overclocking capability of Maxwell and the GTX 950 range, in particular, will see this overclock well into the 1400MHz range.
Packaging and accessories
The outer box is simple and follows the design that everyone can relate too from graphics cards manufacturers by donning a ‘mascot’.
It’s refreshing not to be bombarded with information when you flip the box over. Instead, a few key features are outlined and a quick link to visit if you need more information.
Accessories are simple, with a quick installation guide, driver disc and DVI to VGA adapter.
Originally launching in both a 2GB and 4GB variant, Nvidia is reportedly planning to discontinue the lower capacity model. By offering only a 4GB tier, Nvidia is hoping to make the card more attractive to buyers as they will only see the 4GB version. At this point in time, there is no word yet if the 4GB 960 will keep its current price or drop to fill in the void left by the departing 2GB model.
The GTX 960 features the full GM206, Nvidia’s budget Maxwell die. While the card does decent against AMD’s R9 380, it does fall behind a bit in terms of overall performance. With the launch of the GTX 950 as well, the 960 has become even more of a niche product. The 950 features only 256 fewer shaders and 12 TMUs, not a large margin by any means, placing its performance to near 960 levels. With such competition, it is understandable why Nvidia will try to differentiate the card more by only having a 4GB model.
The biggest question is whether or not the GTX 960 will actually need 4GB of VRAM. While 4GB might be needed for 1440p, the 960 is solidly a 1080p performing card. That has historically been the domain of 2GB of cards and by the time 4GB is required for 1080p, the GPU core of the 960 may well be lacking. One also must consider the fact the 950 also has a 4GB model and would age about the same as the 960. Both cards are also limited by the 128bit memory interface which may hinder the use of such a large frame buffer.
Undoubtedly though, the extra frame buffer would make the 960 more future proof if only just. It will be interesting to see if Nvidia does follow through with this move in the end. We will follow this story as it develops and bring you more information as it arrives so stay tuned!
Thank you HWBattle for providing us with this information
Microsoft has accidentally preempted the upcoming announcement of the flagship Lumia 950 and 950 XL. According to a listing on Microsoft’s UK Store, both devices will feature a WQHD display and 20-megapixel rear camera with ZEISS optics. The 950’s 5-2 inch panel offers an enhanced pixels-per-inch rate and comes in a sensible size.
In contrast to this, the 950 XL is extremely large with a total display size of 5.7-inch. Additional information regarding the storage limits was divulged and it looks like both handsets will include 32GB as standard with a microSD slot allowing for up to 2TB of expansion. Early reports indicate the 950 series will utilize a USB-Type C connection and support fast charging. Microsoft is also bundling the handsets with their latest operating system.
The mid-high end market is awash with a number of exceptional value-for-money handsets including the One Plus 2 and Hauwei Honor 7. It’s been quite a while since Microsoft launched a top-tier handset and the specifications are usually more modest on Windows Phone due to the light resources required by the operating system. Microsoft is hoping to bring more customers to Windows Mobile as their current market share leaves a lot to be desired.
What do you think of the Windows Mobile platform?
Thank you TweakTown for providing us with this information.
It is that time of the year again, no it’s not Christmas yet, but rather the time where we see a lot of new games and codes bundled with selected graphics cards. Yesterday we could report that MSI bundled Assassin’s Creed Chronicles codes with selected AMD cards and today EVGA has something for Nvidia fans. For a limited time, EVGA is bundling an exclusive Kaija Diablo Bundle for Heroes of Storm with the purchase of selected graphics cards.
The exclusive Kaijo Diablo Bundle includes the Diablo hero, Kaijo skin, and a 7-day Stim Pack. The bundle comes with the purchase of a qualifying EVGA GeForce GTX 950 or 960 graphics card. The list below will show which cards are eligible for the bundle.
For MOBA gamers, the GeForce GTX 950 provides the competitive edge in every battle with blazing fast performance and an incredible level of responsiveness. Get 3x the performance of a GeForce GTX 650 and the power of NVIDIA Maxwell architecture to transform your PC into a full-HD gaming rig capable of playing the latest titles. Or choose the GeForce GTX 960 for even faster performance!
The deal is valid for a lot of retailers and you can check up on that here. The promotion runs from the 23rd September 2015 and until the supply runs out of the promotions gets canceled again.
Samsung’s latest release to the SSD Market is the 950 Pro SSD. It is the fastest consumer SSD the company have ever made for the consumer grade market. Samsung have managed to achieve a whole new level of speed into their flash storage by incorporating V-NAND and NVMe technology, the device uses NVMe rather than AHCI to communicate with the storage controller, many SSDs use the much older AHCI protocol to communicate with the storage controller; this was designed 11 years ago in 2004 by Intel for standard spinning platter hard drives.
The 950 Pro can offer sequential read speeds of up to 2500 MBps and sequential write speeds as fast as 1500MBps. That’s pretty impressive in my opinion, the new model is more than four times the read speed of its predecessor, the 850 Pro, and three times the write speed. It even beats their previous top performer, the OEM-only SM951, in terms of read speed.
The 950 Pro will be available in retailers this October, with prices for the 256GB version starting at £130, and £230 for the 512GB model.
The 950 Pro also uses the newer M.2 form factor, meaning it won’t be usable unless you have a motherboard with one of the m2 connectors. Most motherboards have this nowadays but it’s something to bear in mind when buying one.
Thanks to The Verge for providing us with this information.
With all of the hype surrounding the GTX 900 series recently, it has been hard to imagine what the lower end of the graphics card market would hold for the refined Maxwell architecture. We originally saw Maxwell in the mighty GTX 750Ti, but it was only when the GTX 900 series was released that we received the Maxwell that we know today. Our reviews and news have focused heavily on the GTX 980Ti and Titan X graphics cards, so information on the GTX 950 has been scarce to say the least; that is about to change. In today’s review, there is not one, not two but three GTX 950’s in for punishment; the ASUS STRIX GTX 950 2GB, Inno3D iChill AIRBOSS ULTRA GTX 950 2GB and the MSI GAMING GTX 950 2GB.
The GTX 950 is hot off the manufacturing line and features some lack-luster, but pokey specifications; knowing NVIDIA, less is more and we should see a stormer of a graphics card here regardless. Most of the options will feature 2GB of VRAM due to the product placement, but we will see some 4GB models which should make for a very capable SLI configuration for not a great deal of money. So with a price tag of around £120 depending on the manufacturer, performance isn’t going to be outstanding compared to the bigger options. However, the estimated performance and price tag makes this an extremely attractive option for 1080p and online gamers. Personally, I feel that this GTX 950 will be the final piece in the puzzle for NVIDIA; it will then have a great graphics option at almost every price point.
Now just because the GTX 950 is aimed at the lower price market, do not assume that you are not getting the full NVIDIA treatment. As with almost every NVIDIA GPU you will get the following:
GPU Boost 2.0
The GM206 GPU core makes its second appearance here since the GTX 960 options; however, it seems to have had a shave to bring the performance down. Would this be enough or will we see another Titan X and GTX 980Ti scenario here, let’s find out shall we.
With Nvidia’s GTX 950 expected later this month, it’s not surprising to see that some listings and pictures of the card have started to emerge. Today we bring you the first listing for a GTX950, the ASUS STRIX GTX 950 DC2OC. As expected from the model name, the card should be quite similar to the GTX 960 Strix with an oversize DirectCUII cooler on a small PCB. There are multiple listings out now at about €240+, but we can expect the launch price to be closer to €150 to replace the 750Ti as the currently listed prices surpass those of the 960.
More interesting is the first glimpse of the GTX 950 from PNY. From the packaging, we get the usual 3 years PNY warranty along with “High-Resolution Graphics Cards” which probably means it can support 4K output. The cooler is relatively simple and we can see that the PCB is larger than that of the 750Ti and closer to the 960 though we don’t know if it’s a custom PCB. The low power nature of the 950 does betray itself as we can see that the cooler is a simple radial aluminum heatsink, likely without any heatpipes. Given that the 960 has a much beefier heatsink, the extra PCB is probably there to support more power delivery components and support the larger heatsink.
The GTX 950 is based on the GM206 with 768 Maxwell shaders on a 128bit bus with 64 TMUs and likely 32 ROPs. With performance likely to fall around the R7 370, we can expect pricing to be about the same as well. Nvidia has already cut the price on the 750Ti so the 950 should be arriving imminently.
Thank you Videocardz for providing us with this information
Just after we’ve received word on Nvidia’s new GTX 950, it looks like Nvidia is prepping things up for the card’s arrival. According to Hardware.fr, Nvidia is set to cut prices on the 750 Ti by about €10 – €15. It looks like Nvidia wants to clear out as much of the 750 Ti stock before the replacement 950 arrives.
Given how close the specifications are between the 750 Ti and 950 are, it’s not surprising Nvidia wants to get rid of the 750 Ti as fast as possible. The 750 Ti comes with a core configuration of 640:40:16 which is only a tad less than the 768 shaders the 950 is armed with. While I don’t know how many TMUs or ROPs the 950 has, it likely falls around between 40:16 and 64:32. With the 960 above at 1024:64:32, there is little room for a 950 Ti though Nvidia has not been shy about filling up every possible niche, even if it means cannibalizing its own cards.
With 768 Maxwell 2.0 shaders, the 950 should do battle at the old 750 Ti price point of about $120-$150 USD. This should put it right against the R7 370 for low/medium 1080p which performs a bit ahead of the 750 Ti. Given the large gap in price between the 950 and the 960, Nvidia may end up launching a 950 Ti with 896 shaders or with 768 shaders and improved TMU and ROPs. With Pascal not likely to come till late 2016 especially for the low end, the 950 may be here to stay for quite a while.
We’ve heard a lot of news about high-end graphics cards lately on all fronts, Nvidia GTX 980 Ti as well as AMD’s new Fury line-up, but not everyone can afford nor need the best and fastest graphics card. There is a large customer base that wants a more affordable, yet good mid-ranged card.
Nvidia are working on a new GM206-base product that could very well result in the GTX 950 and GTX 950 Ti cards aimed more at the mid range of systems. The information is still sparse, but what is known so far is that the new graphics processor is codenamed GM260-250, it is a GeForce product, and it is a full GTX product.
That really isn’t a lot of information at all, but it is what a lot of people have been waiting for. Something to replace their current GTX 650 or 750 series with and it looks like they don’t have to wait that much longer.
The GM206-250 is a cut-down version of the GM206-300 that is used in its full capacity on the GTX 960 cards. Looking over to the red side and we’ve seen that AMD compares their R7 370 and R7 360 to the GTX 750 series, meaning that these new cards could cause a stir in the low-end pool, if priced properly.
Thank You VideoCardz for providing us with this information
It’s that awesome time of the week again, as we prepare to bring you an incredible competition courtesy of our friends at Antec US. We’ve got a great prize bundle to give away to one lucky winner, where they’ll receive a new chassis, water cooler and PSU to upgrade their system, or even to use as the basis of a new system altogether, it’s really up to you!
To make things even better, we’ve also got three other prizes to giveaway, with more of the prizes becoming available based on how many entries we receive. The more of you enter, the better your chances of winning! If we pass 600 entries, we’ll be giving away all four prizes to four lucky winners.
We recently reviewed the GX300, which you can read here. It’s a great chassis and the addition of a new water cooler and the stylish new Edge PSU, would be a great addition to anyone’s setup.