Good Gaming PC – X299, Intel Core i9 and i7X Gameplay Tests Begin!

GGPC has been busy capturing gameplay with the first arrivals from a new i9 CPU range incoming from intel \o/ We’ve started things off with a tasty new i9-7900X which boasts 10 cores and 4.3GHz Turbo Boost (4.5GHz with TB3!) but before we dive right into some games there is some more sweet hardware that’s releasing alongside the new intel CPU and it’s all looking suitably awesome, X299 motherboards have appeared in NZ already from those fine folks at Gigabyte and Asus!

For our first build we’ve used a beautiful Aorus X299 AORUS Gaming 3 motherboard in black (this one has really cool detailing on the headsinks too) and, much like the previous X99 motherboards these new X299 versions spread out the ram slots to the left and right of the CPU socket which really does help to make a build look EPIC 😛 With our test i9-7900X build we filled all the slots up with G.Skill Trident Z RGB Ram for a total of 64GB and it does indeed look epic when all the ram slots are lit up 🙂

Diving into the latest version of Minecraft 1.2 with Optifine and Sildurs Vibrant Shaders version 1.61 we were treated to some excellent performance at 4K, the quick test couldn’t have been in a better spot with the latest water effects on display as we ran around a village right beside the ocean 🙂 

Jumping into a little Overwatch next we has a blast happily charging around in our new D.VA Police Skin shooting down Pharah with Mercy in tow 🙂 Our FPS never dipping below 60 even with the settings cranked to a custom epic preset with SMAA on max at 4K \o/ 13 seconds into the video I muted the sound to talk to another GGPC tester – will have update this one soon 😛

From here we jumped into a bunch of games until we finally hit one that couldn’t quite hit our 60FPS 4K target, well at least not all of the time 😛 Black Desert Online is currently featured in the massive Steam summer sale and the player base is MASSIVE right now – perfect for some really hardcore testing 🙂

Starting things off with the most popular activity in the game we began hunting for large mobs to kill so we could really test things out with lot’s of effects on screen, we tried several areas and found the heaviest zones to be the forest and giant canyons, especially the area below which was covered in a thick fog at the time of testing. We followed this up by putting even more stress on the system by turning the Ui off which activates a filter in BDO, check out the Ui Off, Farming Mobs FPS test here and Ui Off, Fighting a Giant in the Forrest test here.

The largest city in the game is known as Calpheon and it’s pretty massive, this area is notorious for reducing even the most powerful systems to low FPS but we didn’t have a bad time at all riding our horse through the town with the biggest dips happening only for a moment right in the middle at the marketplace.

Rounding off the Black Desert tests we wanted to see what performance was like with hundreds of players in the area so we headed to the smaller town of the Velia which has a popular fishing spot, it didn’t disappoint with so many players loading them happened in chunks!

Blown away by the performance of this “not really intended for gaming but pretty darn good at it i9 CPU” we decided to fire up the latest Final Fantasy Stormblood benchmark to do some side by side tests with the i9-7900X and another new CPU that’s coming out for the same new X299 platform – an i7-7740X which, with the higher clock speed is geared more towards this highest end gaming category 🙂

This awesome Final Fantasy Stormblood benchmark is free to download here so you can try it out on your system at home and compare your scores with ours.

With the Final Fantasy benchmarks we’ve kitted both systems out with an identical config that uses just a single 8GB stick of ram, this is because while the i9 can happily rock around with the 64GB config we used in the tests above the i7-7740X has a 32GB limit.

i7-7740X + GTX 1080 Ti + 8GB 3000MHz DDR4 Final Fantasy Stormblood Benchmark

i9-9700X + GTX 1080Ti + 8GB 3000MHz DDR4 Stormblood Benchmark

Pretty cool right! Even though we loved every minute gaming with the i9 our little i7 outperformed it by a decent margin in our benchmark tests – we can’t wait to try this one out with even more games 🙂

GAME ON!

Good Gaming – LawBreakers BETA Tests BEGIN!

Ohhh this one is good, really GOOD 🙂

The first BETA tests have just begun but if you’re quick enough you can sign up here and get a BETA KEY for Steam right away!

Bring your skills and prepare to deliver death from every angle as you compete in unprecedented gravity-defying competition from legendary game designer Cliff Bleszinski and team.

LawBreakers challenges even the best players to get off the ground, and learn new ways to play in fast-paced, omni-directional multiplayer FPS combat unlike anything you’ve experienced before. Choose from 9 distinct roles represented by 18 unique characters for all FPS play-styles from offensive Battle Medics that can heal and kill, to high-flying Vanguards that can soar in 360 degree movement — all featuring multiple weapons, thrilling ability combos, dynamic movement systems and more!

We’ve jumped into the action with a GTX 1070 Gaming PC to check things out, be ready to stack that RAM up though – this one uses everything it can but WOW is it looking smoooooooth!

 

Good Gaming Laptop – HP Omen GTX 1050 AX!

If you’re on the hunt for a well priced, somewhat classy, gaming laptop that’s good – definitely check out the latest HP Omen AX which packs the excellent 4GB GTX 1050 Graphics + intel i7-7700HQ combo into a very tidy 15″ package 🙂

The current configuration for this one (AX246TX is the exact model) available now in New Zealand sports a 1TB Hard Drive and also 256GB of extremely fast NVMe M.2 Storage along with 16GB of 2400MHz DDR4 ram to ensure smooth performance while you’re multitasking. Although it’s quite thin the Bang & Olufsen dual speakers can still pump out some glorious audio and the built-in wide vision webcam allows you to keep everyone in frame when video calling friends or family.

It’s got all the extras we look for in a modern laptop too, essentials like an HDMI output for gaming on the big TV are there but they’ve also made sure to include handy tech like Bluetooth 4.2 and dual band AC wireless which is great to see. The keyboard is full sized with a num-pad and glows with a red LED backlight that shines right through the letters for clean even look that’s pretty perfecto and to top it all off the 1920×1080 IPS screen is anti-glare 🙂 There is also another version of this laptop (exact model is 5-AX238TX) and it’s got a beautiful 3840×2160 display paired with a GTX 1050Ti.

It’s going to be a lot of fun comparing this one to our recent tests with the Sabre 15 below as the internal specs here are the same, keep your eyes on our PC Gaming Blog and our GGPC YouTube Channel for the latest!

Good Gaming – ARGO Free to Play Available NOW

Just released, Argo is a hardcore tactical first-person shooter, jump straight into combat in this official standalone FREE total conversion of Arma 3. This one will have us fighting across unrestricted terrain, where a single bullet is all it takes…

Master your craft to rank up and become (in)famous on the battlefield.

– Clouds vs Flames – Take on the role of a mercenary and be contracted by one of two rival factions. Start out as a rookie operator and gain experience to unlock new weapons, attachments, and gear.

– Malden 2035 – Be deployed to the 62 km² Mediterranean island of Malden – a modern re-imagination of a classic Bohemia Interactive terrain. Ranging from dense urban areas, to wide open plains, and other unique points of interests, Malden features a variety of combat zones that have been built to provide an optimal experience for each game mode.

– 3 Competitive Game Modes – Compete as part of a 5-man unit across 3 different competitive game modes. In Clash, two units battle over territory in a series of combat engagements. In Link, the objective is to capture a chain of points before the enemy takes control. Raid tasks one unit to find a data terminal while the other unit needs to defend the three possible locations.

– Combat Patrol Co-op Mode – Team up with up to 10 hired guns, and fight against AI opponents in an open-world setting. Thanks to the randomized objectives and procedural generation of enemy forces, each session of Combat Patrol is different. Success depends on your ability to plan, work together, and adapt to new challenges.

– 3D Scenario Editor – Build and play your own missions using a built-in Scenario Editor. With its intuitive interface, you can place entities, assign waypoints, set triggers, and much more, in just a few simple steps. Creating your own content is more fun than ever before.

We’ll be checking this one out on our Gaming PC here at GGPC, keep your eyes on the PC Gaming Blog for the latest!

GAME READY – Destiny 2 Free Game Bonus with Nvidia

TEAM UP AND FIGHT ON! Those fine folks at Nvidia and Gigabyte have a killer DESTINY 2 PRE-ORDER GAME BONUS for those grabbing a new GTX 1080 or GTX 1080 Ti Graphics Card or Gaming PC featuring this awesome hardware 🙂

This awesome bonus is valid on purchases made between the 13th of June 2017 and 27th of June 2017 so get in quick! This is a register to redeem promotion so once you’ve geared up with your new hardware simple visit the website below and follow the steps along.

Gigabyte Redemption Site

Asus Redemption Site

MSi Redemption Site

EVGA Redemption Site

The PC version of Destiny 2 just had its release date confirmed at E3 and is set to become available on October 26th 2017, below is a tasty little 4K trailer to check out while we wait!

GAME ON!

Good Gaming Speakers – Creative Sound BlasterX Kratos S5 RGB!

Just landed in New Zealand! The Sound BlasterX Kratos S5 Gaming Speakers is the latest, best-in-class 2.1 gaming speaker system from those talented audio wizards at Creative. This new set is designed to sound great and look good too with an Aurora Reactive lighting system 😛 The pack contains two 4” satellite speakers and a 6.5” subwoofer built entirely out of wood for better resonance damping delivering clear highs, detailed mid-range, and deeeeep bass.

Setup is easier than ever, the left and right speakers connect to the subwoofer and from there to your Gaming PC via a USB cable. Optionally if you want to connect them to a something via a classic 3.5mm it also includes a dual RCA-to-stereo adapter which is nice.

You can use the speakers ‘as is’ or optionally install the Creative Sound Connect software package which has preset modes for specific games like Overwatch (brilliant!) and Dota 2 but also additional modes for concerts, movies and much much more. Power and volume control is done directly from the handy control pod with a twist of a large knob, you can also connect your Gaming Headset and/or Microphone via this pod to help keep everything convenient and tidy 🙂

 

Essentially, Creative have made a really nice set of speakers and then added RGB lighting just to top it all off. The Aurora Reactive system gives customisable RGB LED lighting along the base of the satellite speakers , you can choose from six presets or tweak colours and patterns to match your other RGB savvy gear – you could even integrate it with other Aurora Reactive enabled gaming gear like the Creative Sound BlasterX Siege M04 Gaming Mouse or Vanguard K08 Gaming Keyboard \o/

GAME ON!

 

Good Gaming – Incoming from E3!

This years E3 was jam-packed full of awesome trailers for loads of new games, remakes and teasers of hardware to come! As always we’re most interested in what’s coming for out our Gaming PC so let’s take a look at some of the top picks from this massive gaming event \o/

Topping our show favourites list is the game ANTHEM from those talented folks at Bioware 🙂 This one’s looking a bit like Warframe meets EVOLV in a team based action game in which we get to run (and fly) around in some beautiful looking environments killing all manner of monsters and mecha beasties. One of the most impressive game trailers to be revealed this one’s geared for 2018 and we can’t wait for the BETA tests to begin!

Another fantastic looking treat shown was the Monster Hunter World trailer and it’s looking good! We’ve been lucky here at GGPC to have played quite a bit of the existing Monster Hunter Online (with a little tinkering and some creative networking) and it’s fantastic, with Monster Hunter World we’re looking forward to going on even more glorious hunts and we can’t wait to jump in and start swinging our swords, axes and hammers \o/

Far Cry 5 had a great teaser also setting the stage for a new story that’s going be fantastic fun for sure – they’ve brought in just the right amount of crazy as usual and getting mixed up with a doomsday cult is undoubtedly going to get messy… BRING IT ON!

If you like playing World of Warships but enjoyed the pirating within Assassins Creed Black Flag you’ll be happy to see the Ubisoft are taking to the seas yet again with Skull & Bones – the pre-alpha video they’ve released is looking solid, gameplay wise they know what to do here already and those water effects with reflections are looking very good indeed- nicely done!

Metro Exodus! Such a good trailer and this epic series is going BIG, set in the post-apocalyptic wasteland with large environments to explore this one already has our geiger counters ticking furiously with anticipation 🙂 The clip is actually captured from in-game engine footage, it’s a missions ending sequence that takes place in the game but with the HUD and usual quick-time-event prompts removed.

From the creators of the award winning Ori and the Blind Forest comes the highly anticipated sequel: Ori and the Will of the Wisps! This incredible platformer adventure phenomenon is set for a new beginning and we’ll be embarking on an adventure to discover the mysteries beyond the forest of Nibel \o/ If you’ve not yet played the first Ori game now is the time, it’s absolutely fantastic 🙂

This is just a slice of what has been on show and things are looking good in the months ahead for gamers around the world \o/ we’re pretty keen to jump into some VR Fallout for sure and Star Wars Battlefront 2 is looking beautiful as well – hopefully we’ll see both of these officially release soon, there are certainly some fun times ahead!

 

GO GIGANTIC – Arc Play Free Weekend about to BEGIN!

Starting this Saturday at 5am through till Monday, June 19th 7pm, Gigantic will be open to ALL PLAYERS via the Arc platform. You might be already playing Go Gigantic via the Windows 10 Store but with Arc stepping into the mix it’s now going to work if you have Windows 7 or 8 as well (you can use Arc on Windows 10 also, totally up to you)

You can download and play Gigantic on Arc here \o/ This weekend event is part of the Arc server stress-testing and matchmaking process, so we might hit a few intermittent connection issues 😛

Want to know what the best part is? All 18 Heroes will be available to play for free all weekend long! You’ll have plenty of time to try out each Hero and experiment with different gameplay styles over the weekend. You will also get to keep your progression once Arc expands into Open Beta.

Just a few important notes around this special the preview weekend:

– The ability to copy your Windows 10 Store progress will be made available when Arc officially joins the Open Beta. More details will be made available when the transfer is available.

– If you plan to use the Account Copy feature to bring your Xbox One/Windows 10 progress to your Arc account, any progress made over the weekend will be overwritten.

See you on the airship!