Far Cry Primal Graphics Card Performance Analysis

Introduction


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.

Rise of the Tomb Raider Performance Analysis

Introduction


Rise of the Tomb Raider originally launched on November 10th and received widespread critical acclaim from various press outlets. Unfortunately, the game went under the radar because Fallout 4 released on the same day. This was a strategic error which hindered the game’s sales and prevented consumers from giving it their undivided attention. It’s such a shame because Rise of the Tomb Raider is a technical marvel when you consider the Xbox One’s limited horsepower. Even though it’s not technically an exclusive, PC players had to wait until after the Christmas period to enjoy the latest exploits of everyone’s favourite heroine.

The PC version was created by Nixxes Software who worked on the previous Tomb Raider reboot as well as a number of other graphically diverse PC games. The studio is renowned for creating highly polished and well-optimized PC versions featuring an astonishing level of graphical fidelity. Prior to release, NVIDIA recommended a GTX 970 for the optimal 1080p experience and 980 Ti for 1440P. Since then, there have been some performance patches from the developer and driver updates to help with scaling across various hardware configuration. This means it will be fascinating to see the performance numbers now that the game has matured and gone through a large number of post-release hot fixes.

Rise of the Tomb Raider is an action-adventure video game developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Square Enix. It is the sequel to the 2013 video game Tomb Raider, which was itself, the second reboot to its series. It was released for Xbox One and Xbox 360 in November 2015 and for Microsoft Windows in January 2016. It is set to release for PlayStation 4 in late 2016.

The game’s storyline follows Lara Croft as she ventures into Siberia in search of the legendary city of Kitezh, whilst battling a paramilitary organization that intends on beating her to the city’s promise of immortality. Presented from a third-person perspective, the game primarily focuses on survival and combat, while the player may also explore its landscape and various optional tombs. Camilla Luddington returns to voice and perform her role as Lara.” From Wikipedia.

So, let’s get to it and see how some of the latest graphics cards on the market hold up with the latest from Crystal Dynamics!

EVGA Introduces GeForce GTX 980 Ti VR Edition

Virtual Reality is the new thing for 2016 as there is more than one VR device on its way. To pull this kind of hardware you need the rest of your hardware to play ball too, at least if you want the best possible experience. EVGA now released two new graphics cards that are the same except for the attached cooler. The new cards are called the EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti VR EDITION and come either with a reference cooler or the much beloved ACX 2.0+ cooler.

The new GTX 980 Ti VR EDITION is built around Maxwell architecture and comes with 6GB GDDR5 memory and 2816 CUDA cores, much like any other GTX 980 Ti card. The difference with this one is that one of the HDMI ports have been moved to the other end of the card and thereby acts as an internal connector rather than a rear one.

What might look silly at first does have its reason as the VR EDITION comes with an included 5.25-inch drive bay. This unit offers you a front HDMI 2.0 port that will be connected to the internal one on the graphics card as well as two USB 3.0 ports. The idea behind this is to give you easy access for connecting and disconnecting your VR device and input devices used at the same time.

EVGA didn’t reveal a pricing or availability at this time, but we can expect it to be priced very similar to existing GTX 980 Ti cards and with a slight premium added for the extra functionality.

 

Key Features

  • Built for VR: Included 5.25-inch Drive Bay with Front HDMI 2.0 and USB 3.0.
  • Internal HDMI: Connects to a 5.25” Drive Bay, no visible external wires!
  • ACX 2.0+ Cooling: EVGA’s latest cooling solution offers improved cooling, reduced fan noise and better overclocking.
  • 6GB of GDDR5 Memory: Gives you access to higher texture qualities in games, improved 4K gaming performance and optimized for the next generation of gaming.

Rumours Suggest Upcoming NVIDIA GeForce Price Cuts

AMD has gained some foothold on NVIDIA as of late and we’ve also recently heard that the long-awaited new Fury-based dual-GPU card might make its appearance soon. That leaves the ball in NVIDIA’s corner and it is time for the to hit back. The latest rumours now suggest that NVIDIA might be preparing a series of price cuts on their GeForce GTX 900 series graphics cards. The price cuts, if the rumour is true, will affect the GTX 980 and below graphics cards, so should you want a GTX 980 Ti, then the price might stay the same for a bit longer.

The price cuts should make the holiday shopping a little nicer for those who are in the market for a new NVIDIA-based graphics card. With the new pricings, you should be able to get the GeForce GTX 960 for $179 USD, the GeForce GTX 970 for $299 USD, and the GeForce GTX 980 for $449 USD.

All three cards that are set to be discounted have their own market aspect. The GTX 960 is perfect for League of Legends or DOTA gamers that don’t require a large amount of GPU horsepower while the GTX 970 is perfectly suited for 1080p to 1440p gaming of all sorts. The GTX 980 is a really sweet card that can pull 1440p with the best of settings in most games and even makes some games playable in 4K.

A price cut could also tempt many people to opt for a second graphics card to their already existing and get a sweet SLI setup going. Would a price cut like this tempt you to get a new NVIDIA graphics card or are you holding back a little longer? Let us know in the comments.

Windows 10 Drivers Gives AMD R9 Fury X Advantage Over Nvidia 980 Ti

We only have two major players left in the consumer graphics card market, AMD and Nvidia, and Nvidia has had the lead for quite some time now. The new AMD Fury, Fury X, and Nano cards are impressive on their own, but they still couldn’t quite beat Nvidia’s cards on the full scale.

The newest Windows 10 drivers seem to have given AMD an edge again as they have shown performance increases on all current generation AMD cards. However, the most impressive result to come out of this is that the Fury X managed to leap ahead of the Nvidia GeForce 980 Ti according to the latest comparisons by TechPowerUp via WCCFtech.

With the older test setup, Nvidia was ahead of AMD most of the way. The GTX 980 Ti was 8% ahead of the R9 Fury X, and the GTX 980 was 2% ahead of the R9 390X at 1440p. Moving up to 4K resolution and the GTX 980 Ti and R9 Fury X come in at the same result and so do the GTX 980 and R9 390X.

Older drivers and test setup

After the move to the newest Windows 10 drivers, which aren’t the recently announced Crimson update, Nvidia’s lead shrinks. At 1440p, the GTX 980 Ti that previously was 8% ahead of the R9 Fury X now comes in at the same result while the R9 390x makes up 5% and gets 3% ahead of the GTX980. Even the R9 290X gets a huge boost of 9% over the GTX 970 card.

Again, moving up to 4K resolution and we see that AMD takes the full lead. The R9 Fury X jumps ahead of the GTX 980Ti by 5%, the R9 390X and 290(X) also stay ahead of the GTX 980 and GTX970/GTX780 Ti respectively. This is pretty impressive and really shows what a driver optimising can do.

New Windows 10 AMD Drivers

Gigabyte Launch Geforce GTX 980 WaterForce

Gigabyte has just announced their new GeForce GTX 980 WaterForce graphics card, known as the GV-N980WAOC-4GD, if you want to get technical. Gigabyte are known for their premium cooling solutions when it comes to graphics cards and this one is no exception. It features an all-in-one liquid cooler that is going to let the card run harder, longer and cooler, which is always a great thing for a gaming system.

The card boards high-quality components and has gone through “GPU Gauntlet Sorting” so that only the best GPU cores are picked for this lineup, giving you the best chips for overclocking and performance. The AIO cooler and its top cover don’t just sit on the GPU either, and will bring benefits to the VRAM and MOSFET, helping further enhance the performance of the card.

The 120mm silent fan, as well as a low-noise pump mean that the WaterForce will perform up to 38.8% cooler than the reference cooling solution.

Super Overclock – GPU Gauntlet Sorting
The GTX 980 WATERFORCE is fitted with only the top-performing GPU core through the very own GPU Gauntlet Sorting technology that guarantees superior overclocking capabilities in terms of excellent power switching and thermal efficiency. Only the strongest processors survived can be qualified for the GTX 980 WATERFORCE, which can fulfill both gaming enthusiasts’ and overclockers’ expectations with greater overclocking headroom, and higher, stable boost clocks under heavy load.

More Experience-Optimizing Features
GIGABYTE takes multi-display further by utilizing its patented technology to provide dual DVI support in addition to the 3 DisplayPort and 1 HDMI. Compared to the reference, the GTX 980 WATERFORCE offers more flexible output connectivity options. Gamers could optimize their gaming experience at ultra high resolutions with extended flexibility in arranging multiple-monitor configurations and making future system upgrade extremely easy.

You’ll also find an LED Gigabyte logo on the card, a microfiber gaming mouse pad included and support for OC GURU II. No specific details on price right now, but we expect they’ll crop up very shortly.

Overclockers UK Launches Huge Graphics Cards Sale!

Overclockers UK often engages in heavy promotions and offers some of the best prices for components. In particular, their huge graphics card range caters to various budgets and aggressively targets the UK’s lowest price-point. As a result, consumers can acquire graphics cards at a discounted price and other retailers try to price match to become competitive. However, many struggle to compete with OCUK’s staggering buying power and stock levels.

Today, the company launched a comprehensive sale across a wide array of graphics cards. This includes budget-orientated models like the R9 270X all the way up to the GTX 980Ti. Interestingly, OCUK’s graphics card promotion spans to a number of older-generation cards at rock-bottom prices. For example, you can purchase an MSI Frozr Gaming GTX 780 for only £169.99. This performs similar to the GTX 970 while being approximately £100 cheaper! There is also a reference designed MSI GTX 770 for £109.99 and GTX MSI Gaming LE 780Ti for £239.99. These cards are all backed with a 2-year warranty.

For the price, the 780Ti is astonishing value and used to be a top-tier graphics card. In terms of real world performance, the card competes with the GTX 980 which retails between £375-£450.

Finally, you can pick up the Fury X for £499.99 and the R9 Nano is priced at £469.99. Thankfully, the Fury X prices have come down to the RRP as inflated prices were imposed by retailers due to stock shortages. On another note, the KFA2 GTX 980Ti is available for £479.99 and built on the Titan X PCB. This makes it a good choice for custom water-cooling configurations. My pick of the sale has to be the EVGA GTX 980Ti Superclocked+ which retails for £509.99.

This particular card is used in my own personal rig and features a core clock of 1102MHz and boost of 1190MHz. Additionally the ACX 2.0+ cooling system results in quiet operating temperatures and utilizes a semi-passive 0db mode under low load. The GPU implements a lovely EVGA logo and branding via white LEDs and opts for a hefty backplate.

Please note, only the NVIDIA 900 series cards are eligible for the free game promotion.

Nvidia Prepping Full GM204 990M for Gaming Laptops

With the inevitable march towards efficiency due to improved architectures and process technology, laptop GPUs have never been closer to their full-fledged desktop cousins. Right now Nvidia’s top mobile GPU, the GTX 980M, only has 1536 shaders, less than the number found in the GTX 970. That’s all set to change with the arrival of the 990M, based off the same GM204 as the once flagship GTX 980.

With 20148 shaders, the 990M will have 33% more shaders than the 980M. While clocks will likely be below that of the desktop 980, performance should still be on par with the 970. This would put performance below previous rumours but should still be respectable for 1440p gaming though 4K is still a ways away. Even with the lower clocks and Maxwell’s inherent efficiency, laptops boasting the 990M will likely still require a substantial power delivery system and an equally beefy cooling system.

With 28nm long in the tooth and 16nm just a few months away, it begs the question why Nvidia is introducing a new mobile flagship. One possibility is that Nvidia wants to target gamers who want both performance and mobility. Another reason might also be AMD’s Nano GPU. With the Nano, AMD has substantially improved their efficiency, meaning a cut-down Fiji die may very well compete in the same segment as the 990M. Nvidia may simply be introducing this card to retain their mobile crown. Whatever the reason, the card is set to launch later this year.

Thank you TechRival for providing us with this information

Nvidia Rumors Point to GeForce GTX 990M that Surpasses GTX 980

Despite already dominating the dGPU landscape, Nvidia seems to keep wanting to push the limits. According the latest rumors, Nvidia is planning a mobile GPU that is set to surpass the current 980M SLI. Dubbed the 990M, the new chip is set to also beat out Nvidia’s desktop GTX 980, making it the strongest mobile GPU ever, being able to beat out two of the current top chips in SLI. As the chip surpasses the MXM specification, the 990M will likely be soldered on directly.

While not much is known, the most important fact is that the 990M will beat the 980M SLI. The 980M SLI has 2 GM204 chips with 1536 shader ALUs and 96 TMUs each. Despite having a combined total of 3072 shaders, this SLI setup barely beats the GTX 980 by 10% and is barely more power efficient. With the single chip 990M though, Nvidia should allow the top-end mobile GPUs to regain their efficiency. Given that we can expect performance at least 10% higher than the 980, we can assume the chip will probably have more than the 2048 shader.

As it is generally better for efficiency to have more shaders and lower clock speeds, we can expect at least 2304 or more shaders clocked about 1.1 Ghz. Given the efficiency gains over the 980M SLI, we can expect the TDP to be about 150-180 Watts which while high for a single chip, may be doable. While Nvidia may hold the lead with the new 990M, AMD may find their own answer in the R9 Nano, which hits almost the same TDP range, though no news about a mobile variant has surfaced.

Thank you NotebookCheck for providing us with this information

Nvidia AIB Partners Cut Price on GTX 980 and 980Ti

For those of you debating on whether or not to snag a card from the green team, now may be the time. Following the launch of AMD’s R9 Fury many of Nvidia’s AIB partners are cutting prices on their 980 and 980Ti cards. MSRP are dropping about $20 for both cards, with the 980 dropping from $499 USD to $479 while the 980Ti falls from $649 to $629. This time around, the price drop is silent, with no official announcement coming out from anyone.

While a price cut of $20 isn’t much, that’s another extra $20 that can be put to a larger SSD, better case, CPU or power supply. With this price cut, it looks like Nvidia and it’s AIB partners want to have their cards be more competitive. The R9 Fury currently has an MSRP of $550 and the R9 Fury X at $650. While the 980 won’t make too much difference, dropping the price of the 980Ti below the Fury X will make more of an impact.

These price drops will be sure to put more pressure on AMD. Nvidia appeared to have been planning these prices drops for a while already, waiting till AMD had launched their new lineup. It’s important to note that while the MSRP has dropped, not every card has dropped by that amount, with some hitting above and below $20. AMD may not be able to afford to drop prices yet on the Fury’s given their new launch and tech. It will be interesting to see how AMD will react to this price drop in the near future.

MSi Showcase Latest Graphics Cards @ Computex 2015

Computex 2015 – MSi offer a superb range of graphics cards with some awesome cooling solutions; with the release of the GTX 980Ti 2 days ago, we were hoping to see a custom design model.

They showcased most of the current range of Maxwell graphics cards that they have to offer, some in special edition colours such as the Green 100ME and Gold Edition. Both are based on the trademark Twin Frozr V cooler, just with different colours. Something that sets MSI apart from the competition is the use of the Military grade components and all of these graphics cards features these. The GTX 980Ti features

The GTX 980Ti features the reference MSi Twin Frozr V red cooling design that comes standard on all MSi graphics cards (apart from the special edition and reference cards obviously). Along with the graphics cards, we spotted a set of MSi Gaming SLi bridges which would really set off a MSi or red themed build.

   

We look forward to getting the GTX 980Ti in for review in the near future. We will keep you updated with any news and events from the rest of Computex 2015.

NVIDIA GTX 980Ti Specification Confirmed

We have been eagerly awaiting the correct and confirmed specifications for the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980Ti for a few weeks and now it seems that we have them confirmed by ASUS. This is a pretty solid confirmation, it’s not a random confirmation from a forum or a lesser known website.

We already knew the basics: 6GB VRAM, PCI-e 3.0, 7010MHz memory clock, 1GHz/ 1076MHz core/ boost clock; what we have been waiting for is the core count. The Titan X has a CUDA core count of 3072, the GTX 980 has 2048; so it would make sense for the GTX 980Ti to have somewhere in the middle. Nope, it has around 90% of the cores of the Titan X; 2816 to be exact.

The constant flow of information coming in, we have to be expecting the release of the GTX 980Ti very soon; my guess would be for the launch of Computex so that is all the participants will talk about, steal AMD’s thunder. However, AMD seems to have pre-emptively fixed this by having the Radeon 300 series launch at E3.

Pricing is still under wraps, but if the specifications are around 90%; we could see pricing around 75-90%.

Thank you to VideoCardz for providing us with this information.

Inno3D Join in the GTX 980Ti Teasing

We have been teased with pictures and specifications on the expected NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980Ti for a few weeks now, some of our previous coverage can be found here.

So with the release of AMD’s new Fiji graphics card(s) featuring High Bandwidth Memory (HBM) roughly a month away; NVIDIA seem to be pushing the release of the GTX 980Ti out to take some of the limelight.

The Taiwan team at NVIDIA posted, and almost immediately removed, a teaser image of a new GTX graphics card to be released on 2nd June. Some speculate the release of an upgraded Titan or possibly a lower powered GTX 950; the general thoughts are towards the GTX 980Ti.

With Computex just around the corner, we are starting to see companies using Facebook to gain interest; here’s Inno3D’s attempt.

Well, it seems that the GTX 980Ti will be announced at Computex. I feel that if this card is as big as specs state, we should see something simply amazing. What do you think the performance of this card would be? Just a little better than a GTX 980 or a little slower than the Titan X? Let us know in the comments.

Thank you to VideoCardz for providing us with this information.

NVIDIA GTX 980Ti Pictured

The GTX 980Ti, a hot topic for the last few weeks for NVIDIA to try to claw some of the limelight from AMD and the proposed graphics cards. We have heard about specifications, possible release dates, but now we have pictures.

There isn’t much to shout about there, the cooling shroud is that of a typical reference GTX branded graphic card; ‘GTX 980Ti’ smashed in the usual place, a black heat sink and a PCB that look very familiar to the Titan X.

Sadly, when we turn the card over, we can see the very absent backplate, Jensen says “they are not adding backplates, because it would affect tri-SLI airflow.” Just give me my backplate and I will shut up, seriously just give me my own personal engraved backplate.

Early benchmarks can tell us a lot about a graphics card, but the Ti range is slightly odd. Remember back to the GTX 780Ti, when that was released; it pretty much dethroned the original Titan. Let’s hope NVIDIA have reeled this in enough for the Titan X to still deserve the top spot.

With the imminent launch of the GTX 980Ti, are you waiting for the release to choose your new graphics card or will you be waiting on AMD? Let us know in the comments.

Thank you to VideoCards for providing us with this information.

NVIDIA adds Batman: Arkham Knight to GeForce GTX Bundle

Nvidia is currently bundling keys for the upcoming Witcher 3 game with their GeForce GTX 970 and GeForce GTX 980 cards, but they decided to add one on top of that and give their customers even more freebies.

There will be a second game code added with the cards and this time it’s for the new Batman: Arkham Knight that is set for release in June. This is a great deal with a retail value of £100 MSRP on top of a great graphics card. Both these games are of course built on the NVIDIA GameWorks and as such should present themselves in full glory on the GTX 980 and GTX 970 cards. We all love free stuff, so this is nothing but great news.

“Both Batman: Arkham Knight and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt raise the bar for graphics, rendering two very different open worlds with a level of detail that we could only dream of last decade. On the PC, each game is also bolstered by NVIDIA GameWorks – increasing fidelity, realism, and immersion.”

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is set to launch on May 19th while Batman: Arkham Knight will be available on June 23rd 2015. Two great games to tie you over for the summer holidays, bad weather, or just for some extra free fun and gaming.

GALAX Reveal Custom GTX HOF Water Cooled Edition Graphics Cards

Do you like your graphics cards to be a faster and cooler? Of course you do! GALAX have signed on the design held of Diamond Cooling to create their stunning Custom GTX HOF Water Cooler Edition graphics cards, something that will no doubt please the enthusiast gaming/system building crowd amongst you.

The Hall of Fame (HOF) series of cards are already well known for their blazing fast, high-end performance and impressive cooling capabilities, but the new custom water cooling blocks are set to take that even further.

“Working in-conjunction with Diamond Cooling based in Europe, specialists in all things custom and cool, KFA2 has developed a water cooling solution designed to fully unleash the raw potential of the GTX 980 and 970 HOF graphics cards with the unprecedented cooling capacity needed for extreme overclocks.”

The cards will feature full PCB coverage water blocks, a stunning design, high-quality materials and will be available in two styles, one with a white acetal top and another with PETG acrylic top.

Key Features:

  • Fits both KFA2 GTX 970 and GTX 980 Hall Of Fame graphics cards
  • Custom engineered design to maximize coolant flow and heat transfer
  • Pure copper blocks
  • Nickel plating
  • PETG acrylic / white acetal top
  • Full PCB coverage including power connectors
  • Coolant channel specially built for optimal flow with bidirectional hookups

The custom GeForce GTX 980/970 HOF water cooled editions are available in limited quantity by special order. Click here for more information.

Will you be ordering one of these gorgeous new graphics cards?

GTA V – The Way It’s Meant to Be Played – 4K and Nvidia Shield

Introduction


In September 2013, Grand Theft Auto V finally hit our screens, albeit via the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, consoles that I loved playing on, but which were kept as a lead platform for far longer than they should have been. They weren’t incredibly powerful systems to begin with and time wasn’t kind to them. The buffed up release on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 sure looked pretty, but they still weren’t the way I wanted to play Grand Theft Auto V, not even close.

The PC release of the game was a mystery for so long, but I kept my faith. I was sure that it will be happening and it comes as little shock that I was right on the money. The only downside to the PC release was that it took so much longer than the console editions to be released. I’ve stuck to my guns and since the original console release, I haven’t played a single minute of GTA V, I don’t know the story and the only things I have seen of the gameplay are funny videos that get posted to YouTube and Reddit.

So why did I wait so long? The promise of 4K gaming, frame rates that are at least above 30, increased texture detail, longer draw distances, mods and the multitude of other graphics enhancements that PC gaming provides us. On top of that, I love my Nvidia Shield and use it to stream games around my house, the prospect of playing GTA V on a tablet while laid in bed is just too tempting. The prospect of playing it streamed to my big screen TV in 1080p at 60FPS with the graphics dialed up to ultra, even more so.

Nvidia GTX 980 Ti Coming This Summer?

The rumour mill is spinning with full force this morning, as the guys at SweClockers report that Nvidia will be launching a more affordable GM200 based GPU this summer.

The new card, expected to be the GeForce GTX 980 Ti, will feature the GM200 hardware with 2072 CUDA cores, the same as the current Titan X. However, the card is expected to feature less memory and perhaps a few other refinements to help bring the cost down to something more affordable.

What’s crazy is that the Titan X is already proving a big hit, Nvidia is actually selling their $1000 cards like crazy, despite the concerns most of us have when we check our bank balances or try explaining such a fanciful purchase to our SO. If Nvidia can get much of the performance of the Titan X into a price point that won’t be such a bitter pill to swallow, then that can only be a good thing for consumers, because I think we can all agree that flagship GPU prices are getting out of hand.

The 980 Ti seems like a sure thing, especially given it will no doubt launch at the GAME24 event and be around the same time as the AMD 3xx series launches; Nvidia would be mad not to have something to compete with at that time.

Image courtesy of Videocardz.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt GeForce GTX Bundle Now Available

NVIDIA has previously indicated that they will be shipping a copy of the most anticipated RPG game of the year, The Wither 3: Wild Hunt, along with select graphics solutions. For those who are not familiar with the game, The Witcher titles are excellent storytelling RPGs, with a lot of branching quests and morally ambiguous choices.

In the latest title, NVIDIA made sure that the game uses advanced graphics. By ‘advanced graphics’ we mean that CD Projekt Red, The Witcher’s developer, has teamed up with NVIDIA to add its new techniques and the latest effects in order to bring fantastical scenes to life with the help of NVIDIA GameWorks effects, including HBAO+, HairWorks, and PhysX.

NVIDIA is apparently giving a copy of the title bundled with its “Undeniably Epic” GeForce GTX 980, 970 or 960 graphic cards, for both desktop and notebook solutions. A list of retailers can be found here.

Source: GeForce

ASUS 20th Anniversary Edition Graphics Cards Coming Soon

This year marks the 20th anniversary for ASUS in the graphics cards business and that will be celebrated with a couple special graphics cards. Little is known about the cards so far, but the GTX 980 is said to come in the same Tyrant gold colours as the Z97 series while the GTX 970 will come in a black and red themed DirectCU version, but surely with a special and highlighted 20th anniversary addition of some sort.

The cards are still in the development stage and both the release date and other specifications are still unknown, but sources said to prepare for something awesome. We are prepared, now it’s ASUS turn to show what they got planned.

Thanks to VR-Zone for providing us with this information

ASUS ROG Announces Matrix GTX 980

 

We’ve seen a few leaks and last week we were teased with the Matrix GTX 980 from ASUS’ Republic of Gamers department, but now it’s official and the Matrix GTX 980 has been announced. The new card has already created an impressive 3DMark 11 score of 28,557 with higher scores expected once the world’s overclockers get their hands on this new beauty.

The highlighted features on this graphics card are the DirectCU II cooler with CoolTech fan, the matt-black heat pipes and the ROG LED that will show the real-time load for those who have side panels with windows or open case systems. For the extreme overclockers it packs a memory defroster on the bottom side of the PCB, an extra 4pin Molex power connector and a reset button if the overclocking failed to bad.

There are many other features too, as the Matrix GTX980 will come with ASUS DIGI+ VRM with 14 phases, upgraded Super Alloy Power bits and 10k black metallic capacitors.

The card features a boosted GPU speed of 1342 MHz which is said to give up to 13% better performance in gaming, quite a nice accomplishment. The base clock is running at 1241MHz and the 4GB GDDR5 memory is running on a 256-bit interface at 7010MHz.

The Matrix features the ROG edition of GPU Tweak that adds detailed GPU load-line calibration and VRM-frequency tuning and it lets users share on-screen actions over the internet in real-time.

The new ASUS ROG Matrix GTX 980 is said to be available from starting mid-December, but the most shops have an estimated time of arrival set to the 2nd January. Overclockers UK currently has it listed as pre-order option at a price of £629.99 inc VAT.

While the black and red coloured theme might not be every ones cup of tea, they are the ROG colours. And even looking aside from the colour choice, once can’t deny that this is both a beauty in optics and a beast on the specifications.

Thanks to ROG for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of ROG

eTeknix 2014 Christmas Tech Buying Guide

Christmas time is almost here and as we wrap up warm over winter, we’re also wrapping up on a year of incredible products here at eTeknix HQ. We’ve had hundred of reviews this year, but no doubt many of you are eagerly writing your letters to Santa, or at least dropping hints to your parents, partner or friends for what you want for Christmas. Of course, there’s no doubt a fair few of you who are eager to treat themselves to something cool this Christmas. We’ve scratched our heads and had a really good think about what some of our favourite bits of technology are from this last year, and if you’ve still got some money left after the manic Black Friday sales, perhaps some of these products will be perfect for you.

While I admit that I couldn’t fit all of our favourites onto this list, its certainly a killer list of great products and they’ve all won awards from us here at eTeknix for one reason or another. If you’re after a headset, a chassis, a new keyboard, graphics card, or other cool gadget, you’ll find something that’s right for you in our guide.


Astro A38 Wireless Gaming Headset

The Astro A38 headset really stood out for me, not only is it one of the more stylish looking headsets I’ve ever reviewed, but the sound quality is nothing short of incredible. They’re a little expensive, but you certainly get what you pay for and Astro have yet to create a product that was anything less than stunning. They’re a perfect gift for yourself or someone else and ideal for those who love to listen to music and play games on the go, and the wireless technology and NFC pairing makes them very user friendly.

Check out our full review here – £144 from Astro Gaming


NZXT H440 Mid-Tower Chassis

A great PC deserves a great chassis and the H440 is certainly one of my all-time favourites. It’s not the biggest, and it may not even be the best chassis ever, that much is subjective, but it’s certainly got a lot of great features.  From the PSU shroud that helps keep cable management looking neat and tidy, to the comprehensive set of dust filters, thick sound dampening material lined panels and the large side panel window; you’ll find a lot to love about this chassis.

Check out our full review here – £89.99 from Overclockers


Thermaltake Core V71 Full Tower Chassis

Not all chassis’ are created equally, the Core V71 packs an incredible range of features that make it an ideal choice for high-end systems. The Thermaltake Core V71 looks great, but the real magic comes from its extreme flexibility. It has class leading radiator and fan mounting support and there’s no doubt that you’ll be able to build a stunning air-cooled system thanks to its array of 200mm pre-installed fans, or an incredible custom water cooling loop thanks to its modular interior. If you need extreme performance without spending crazy amounts of money, this chassis needs to be at the top of your list.

Check out our full review here – £131.34 from CCL Computers


Cooler Master Novatouch TKL Keyboard

Treating yourself to a high-quality mechanical keyboard is a solid investment for anyone who uses their computer a lot. Mechanical keyboards are expensive, but their overall build quality and performance goes a long way to justifying the cost. The NovaTouch TKL isn’t your average mechanical and features something called Hybrid Capacitive Switches that offer a truly premium and luxurious typing experience. If you want to treat your fingers to a more enjoyable typing experience, try out this keyboard!

Check out our full review here – £149.99 from Overclockers


Zowie FK1 Gaming Mouse

I have yet to use a Zowie mouse that wasn’t impressive and the FK1 is by far one of their best. While this mouse only offers minor revisions over its previous model, such as a slightly larger body and an improved sensor, it’s performance is second to none. It’s ambidextrous, has one of the best performing sensors available, great ergonomics and a stylish design. If you’re serious about your gaming and want something that offers eSports levels of performance, then you’ll love what the Zowie FK1 has to offer.

Check out our full review here – £49.99 from Overclockers


Nvidia Shield Android 5.0 Gaming Tablet

Mobile gaming is something that never really excited me, but Nvidia have really pulled out all the stops with their Shield Tablet. It’s powered by the incredibly powerful Tegra K1 graphics chip and it’s one of the fastest tablets on the market. It recently received an update that added the latest Android 5.0 operating system, as well as enabling Nvidia’s GRID cloud gaming service and all this comes on top of features like in-home game streaming, 4K video output, wireless controller support and a whole lot more. The Shield Tablet is easily one of the most versatile portable on the market.

Check out our full review here – from £239.99 at Overclockers


Nvidia GeForce “Maxwell” GTX 970 Graphics Card

Nvidia are on our list once again, first they dominate the mobile gaming market, now they’re showing their worth once again in the desktop GPU market. While we admit that the GeForce GTX 980 is an incredible graphics card, you’ll not be disappointed by their GTX 970 as it offers most of the performance of its bigger brother at a much more affordable price tag. This card is packed with the latest features, it looks fantastic and for gaming, it’s one of the best cards you can buy right now. If you want to welcome your computer into the world of high-end PC gaming, this is a great place to start.

Check out our full review here (Asus Strix GTX 970) – from £247.99 at Overclockers


Asus Rampage V Extreme LGA 2011-3 Motherboard

Intel really set a new standard for PC performance this year with the launch of their consumer X99 chipsets. It’s not a cheap upgrade right now, but a new support for the latest high-end CPUs, DDR4 memory and a wave of new features make this motherboard perfect for the enthusiast and professional markets. The Asus Rampage motherboard series has long been a popular choice and the V Extreme is certainly one of the best available right now.

Check out our full review here – £329.99 from Overclockers


Gigabyte Z97X Gaming5 1150 Motherboard

Extreme motherboards are one thing, but they’re a little out of the reach of your average consumer. The Gigabyte X97X Gaming 5 series of motherboards offers a lot of exciting features that make them a great choice for high-end gaming PCs, without the colossal price tags that you’ll find with enthusiast grade products. We loved this motherboard when we review it and while the black and red colour scheme is getting a little bit repetitive in the gaming market, it’s still a great looking board that is perfect for a wide range of systems.

Check out our full review here – £109.99 from Overclockers


Gigabyte Brix Ultra Compact System

A lot of the fame and glory goes to big gaming rigs with multiple graphics cards, loads of hard drives, water cooling and all that other crazy stuff, but this system turns all that on its head. The Brix may be small, but it packs enough power to be worthy of our Extreme Performance award! When space is limited, this little rig will fit on the back of your monitors VESA mount and it packs enough performance to get through a heavy workflow with ease. It’s a little expensive, but for a full-fledged PC that’s small enough to fit in a backpack, it’s a bargain!

Check out our full review here – £503.96 from Scan


PC Specialist Vortex 440 System

If you’re looking to upgrade to an X99 equipped system, then it’s likely that you’ll also be investing in DDR4 memory, a new CPU and a whole host of other components, so why not take all the fuss out of the process and invest in one of the best systems we’ve reviewed this year, the PC Specialist Vortex 440. We loved this system, partly because it was packed full of high-end hardware, but also because it was incredible value for money. Despite what the high price tag may suggest, the Vortex 440 actually worked out cheaper to buy than it would to build it yourself; now that’s a deal we can get behind!

Check out our full review here – around £1500 (customisable) from PC Specialist


OCZ Arc 100 240GB SSD

There’s a lot of SSD hard drives on the market right now and there are so many great ones that it’s now very easy to find one suitable for your system. The OCZ ARC 100 really stood out for us as it offers excellent performance, solid reliability, lots of features and it’s also competitively priced (per GB). Upgrading to an SSD is a great way to give your system a new lease of life, your system will boot faster and all of your games will benefit greatly from the speed boost. There is a cheaper 120GB model available, but the 240GB is the best balance of storage and value, making it a great choice for a boot drive.

Check out our full review here – £94.99 from Overclockers


Asus RT AC68U Dual Band Wireless Router

A really great router is something a lot of people overlook, it can be daunting spending a lot of money on tech like this, but the rewards soon pay for themselves. With more and more devices becoming internet connected, it’s likely that you’re not reaching the full potential of your devices networking capabilities. If you’re wanting to stream movies around your house from a NAS, play games online, while browsing the web from smartphones, tablets, consoles and other devices, then you’re going to see huge benefits from a router that can handle the most demanding workloads without sacrificing performance. The Asus RT AC68U looks great and offers a simple way to improve your home network. It’s expensive, but you certainly get what you pay for.

Check out our full review here – £166.98 from Overclockers


Crucial 32GB 2133MHz Quad Channel DDR4 Memory Kit

DDR4 memory marks the first major update to RAM memory formats in desktop systems in years, but it comes with a steep price tag. However, should you choose to make the leap for your high-end X99 platform build, then you should really consider the Crucial 32GB 2133MHZ kit. If you’re not too bothered about the aesthetics, this memory really does impress in terms of performance and offers excellent value for money vs many of the other DDR4 products on the market.

Check out our full review here – £319.99 from Overclockers


So, what will you be asking Santa for this year?

MSI Referred to Watchdog by Aria

Earlier this year MSI released their 980 GPUs, when doing so they did a special launch offer and priced them at £424. Once this offer was over, MSI requested that its prices were raised to £449 .99 which is £10 under what the minimum suggested price was. One company, Aria, refused to increase its prices in line with MSI’s suggested retail prices despite numerous requests. Other companies then followed Aria as they would lose out on sales if they did not; which is fairly understandable.

This sounds like it’s a win – win for us consumers, right? Not really. The MSRP is there for a reason, one is to ensure that pricing is competitive and also it ensures that the company releasing the product keeps the equity.

“When demand is high and stock is in constraint, around a major launch, we will notice if resellers appear to be selling way below MSRP, which affects the product launch structure and results in the consumer losing faith in the product. We would naturally flag that to the reseller to make sure they have not made a mistake. That’s just good service for the mutual customer.” said MSI in a recent statement “Thinking that they may have mispriced the product, we made contact and tried to solve the situation, which seems to be misunderstood under pressure, and we are working closely to resolve this amicably.” They added.

With Aria refusing to drop the prices, MSI understandably stopped the supply to them and Aria was forced to use alternative products. This doesn’t reflect well on Aria at all as MSI is a very big name in the industry. With Aria being a reasonably small retailer, in comparison to OverclockersUK and Scan for example, it’s hard to see why they would be throwing their weight around.  Hopefully, the issue will be resolved soon and they can start restocking products that they wish to sell.

Source: CRN.

GIGABYTE Launch Crazy WaterForce Tri-SLI GTX 980

Maybe you’re interested in rendering Pixar’s next animation or run Crysis release number nine on seven different monitors. If so, GIGABYTE has just released a product you might be interested in.

They’ve announced their new GeForce GTX 980 WaterForce Tri-SLI product, incorporating three beastly GTX 980 graphics cards cooled by three 120 x 120mm radiators all linked in a water cooling loop.

Each of these three cards are coming out of the factory pre-overclocked to 1228MHz, with abilities to accelerate this to 1329MHZ, coupled by a memory frequency of 7000MHz. The massive water cooling device is said to be the main focus of this product, offering the ability to have each fans RPM and the total coolant pressure controlled fully through a front LCD panel installed on the device. The WaterForce obviously cannot be sat within any standard casing due to its size, so GIGABYTE has kindly suggested you layer it on the top, or maybe stick it to the side.

Alongside the basic system pictured at the top of this article, you’ll also receive a custom SLI-bridge, video card jack (to hold them in place) and a 5.25-inch front panel bezel in order to run your tubing externally.

Unfortunately, there is no expected release date or announced product pricing for this new flagship product, but looking at it shows it’s obviously not one built for your standard consumer. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen companies provide massive external cooling solutions to our products, but it’s not often you see them coupled with video cards out of the factory along with all the pre-cabling work done for you.

We’d love to get our hands on this to test, so if you’re listening GIGABYTE – we’re open for business!

Images courtesy of Mydrivers

Japanese Manufacturer ELSA Releases 4GB GTX 980

Japanese graphics card manufacturer Elsa has just announced they will be bringing out another contender into the ever-growing GTX 980 market race.

Named the GTX 980 4GB SAC, Elsa will release their new champion product with a dual-fan cooling design. The card comes with a stock core clock of 1152 MHz, optional boosting to 1253 MHz clock speeds and 256bit GDDR5 memory interface clocked at 7010 MHz. The outputs consist of three display ports, one HDMI and one DVI setup; allowing for easy multiple monitor support.

There’s been no current word of sale pricing or availability in any other countries, but sources point out that this card will likely be available only in Japan at this stage.

Since their founding in 2003 we haven’t really seen Elsa in the headlines, a quick Google search will bring up a few 7 series NVIDIA articles and the odd product page, and comments on various message boards point out the same. Could this be a return to the scene? Because we’re interested to see how the card performs. If you’re reading this Elsa, we’d love to try one out.

Image courtesy of Coolaler

New XOTIC Reaper PC Revealed – Costs $4299.00

XOTIC PC have gone all out on their latest pre-built gaming rig, the Limited Edition Reaper. The new system features many of the latest and greatest components from Asus, Crucial, Corsair, In Win and Samsung to create a gaming rig with truly devastating performance. The new Reaper system is the first in a series of limited Edition Xotic PC systems.

“We’re always looking for the next best thing, not only in terms of performance, but also in looks and esthetics,” said Josh Keller, XOTIC PC sales executive. “The new S-Frame from IN WIN has to be one of the most unique chassis to ever hit the market. Pair that with unbelievable ASUS and Republic of Gamers components, and the REAPER will definitely turn some heads.”

Equipped with the ultra-premium quality of the In Win S-Frame, the Xotic features the latest Intel Core i7-5820K Haswell E processors, an Asus X99 motherboard, a pair of Asus Strix GTX 980 graphics cards, 16GB of DDR4 memory and a whole lot more.

For the privilege of owning one of these crazy systems, assuming they haven’t all sold out by the time you’ve got the cash to afford one, is just $4299.00.

Thank you XoticPC for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of XoticPC.

Colorful GeForce GTX 980 iGame Revealed

Colorful are preparing to launch their new flagship GeForce GTX 980 graphics card, the GTX 980 iGame. The company has quite a reputation for going completely over the top when it comes to their flagship graphics cards and the GTX 980 iGame is no exception.

The Colorful GTX 980 iGame comes equipped with a massive cooler and a monster sized VRM that makes any other GTX 980 series graphics card look small in comparison. The board ships with a non-reference PCB which was designed by Colorful, which features pure silver traces, a ridiculous 14-phase VRM that draws power from a pair of 8-pin PCIe inputs, server grade tantalum capacitors, DPAK MOSFETs, high-current solid-chokes that won’t whine while under load.

All that hardware is put to good use from some impressive overclocks which are set via the cards dual-BIOS. The first bios runs the card with a 1127 MHz core, 1216 MHz boost and 7 GHz memory clock. The second bios runs at 1178 Mhz core, 1279 MHz boost and 7.01 GHz memory. Each BIOS can be selected via a simple toggle push switch located on the card. The overclock might not sound like a huge leap given the over the top hardware on this card, but you can bet it’ll run cool and stable. Colorful have left plenty of headroom for enthusiasts to push the clocks even further and we don’t doubt for a minute that this card can do a whole lot more thanks to the coolers triple slot design, which is equipped with a compound aluminium fin-stack heatsink and three 100mm fans.

The card also features three DisplayPort 1.2 ports, a single HDMI 2.0, one dual-link DVI connector and a solid metal back-plate. No details on price, but expect this to be one of the fastest and most expensive GTX 980’s on the market.

If that wasn’t enough, iGame are promising an even faster GTX 980, the GTX 980 iGame Kudan which you can expect later this month along side their new GTX 970 iGame; we can’t wait!

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of TechPowerUp.