While the release of Xbox exclusives to Windows 10 under the UWP program is undoubtedly a positive, there are still many questions about the Unified Windows Platform. Due to the limitations on UWP and making it universal and more sandboxed, certain features common to games are unavailable. Fortunately, it looks like Microsoft will be adding some of these features to UWP with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.
According to Microsoft, the changes to UWP are due to the negative feedback when Microsoft first released games based on the platform. Firstly, modding and overlay capability will be added. This will allow PC gamers to mod to their heart’s content hopefully, one of the highlights of PC gaming. Overlays will bring back the ability to have Afterburner or other apps run alongside the game to provide extra functionality.
More importantly, AMD’s FreeSync and Nvidia GSync support will be added. The adaptive refresh rate technology from the two graphics firms has been one of the biggest improvements to gaming in recent years and support should have been built-in from the get-go. While these moves go some way to alleviating some of the more prominent problems, the question remains if UWP is the way to go for future PC games due to their more restrictive and closed down nature.
I’ve never really been a fan of buying a monitor, I tend to only look at three key aspects; screen size, resolution and the overall appearance. While that is generally a good way to choose a monitor, there are a multitude of other features that require your attention depending on your intended use.
If you are a gamer or avid video editor, the response time and refresh rates would be of key interest to you to ensure that there is little input lag from your input device and that there is little screen tearing. Professional photograph editors may be less interested in those features, but the contrast ratio, brightness and available colours are more important.
Today we have the gaming orientated AOC G2460PG G-Sync enabled monitor. One of the cheapest G-Sync enabled monitors on the market at approximately £300. While this still isn’t cheap, you have to pay for the quality and performance that G-Sync will bring to your gaming experience. This monitor packs in a great feature set, with an ultra low 1ms response time, 144Hz and a huge 80m:1 contrast ratio. This monitor also features Ultra Low Motion Blur (ULMB), which drastically reduces the blur on screen which can occur in some face paced games such as the racing genre. I will not be testing this feature as it can only be activated with G-Sync off.
Packaging and Features
The front of the box is very plain, focusing primarily on the logo, screen and key details regarding the monitor such as QHD and IPS panel type. The image displayed on the monitor itself leads itself to be desired more by the professional buyer than the general gaming enthusiast.
AOC kept the website clean with more professionalism for those looking for information. The key features that were outlined apart from the QHD and 3-Year warranty are AOC flicker-free technology, integrated speakers and ergonomic stand.
A couple of weeks ago an ASUS support rep accidentally leaked an alpha build of the Nvidia mobile GPU driver, build version 346.87. The link was quickly removed again, but not before some people had downloaded it. The people over at PC Perspective got their hands on the driver and set it up for a test on their ASUS G751 for a row of testings and the results are somewhat surprising.
The first thing they were greeted with upon installation was a popup telling them that they had a G-Sync display connected – on a laptop that doesn’t have one. What could just be an erroneous popup from an alpha driver, had to be investigated further.
So benchmarks were run, games were played and the results were studied. Verdict, at high FPS mode the display performed like a GSync enabled monitor would, but at lower FPS it had a little trouble at times. The investigation continued as the monitor could have unused functions built-in ahead of the official mobile GSync release. The gaming laptop was taken apart, but nothing unusual could be found.
This is very interesting and somewhat suggests that either the GSync module isn’t needed at all, or that Nvidia has found ways similar to FreeSync to enable it without – for future products. Whichever is true is pure speculation, but interesting.