GOT BOOST? Rocket League GTX Bonus!

BOOM! Those fine folks at Nvidia have boosted in with a sweet GAME BONUS for those grabbing a new GTX 1050, GTX 1050Ti or GTX 1060 Graphics Card, Gaming PC or Gaming Laptop featuring this awesome hardware 🙂

This is a register to redeem promotion so once you’ve geared up with your new hardware simple visit the website below depending on your chosen flavour 🙂

Gigabyte Redemption Site

Asus Redemption Site

MSi Redemption Site (Please note, their site’s down as I write this but we’ve let them know :P)

EVGA Redemption Site

Below is a quick Gameplay FPS Test with the GTX 1050 in Rocket League with very high settings and a resolution of 2560×1440, super smooth even at this higher resolution!

Now if you’re thinking to yourself 1440p is nice but why not 4K you’d be the same as us, sadly for reasons unknown the options with the game only go as high as 2560×1440? Lucky for us though a little tinkering within the config file allows you to set your own resolution 🙂

Here’s a quick 4K game capture with the GTX 1050 – this amazing little graphics card (exact settings shown at the end of the video) still manages to keep above 60FPS when in game and only dipped into the high 50’s during the replays – crazy cool!

If you’re wondering about laptop performance rest assured things are looking just as good 🙂 Though it’s a little harder to find a 1440p screen on a laptop we managed to have a quick go with the new Gigabyte Aero 14 which packs a GTX 1060 inside and performance was excellent as you can see for yourselves below!

This promotion is valid from the 30th May till the 31st of July so get your details in and we’ll see you in the arena!

GAME ON!

Good Gaming – Fallout 4 Free Weekend

Those fine folks at Bethesda are making their epic game, Fallout 4, free to play via Steam this weekend! 

If you’ve someone missed this one (or maybe just experienced it on a console) Fallout 4 is a massive post-apocalyptic role-playing extravaganza that’s quite brilliant, you can play in a bunch of different styles and if you really want to rush it, you could actually complete the main storyline over the weekend 😛

The PC version is MOD ready and plays well on range of graphics cards, we’ve tested this one quite recently with the new Gaming Laptops as well and it ran like a dream!

If you’re lucky enough to be packing something like a GTX 1080 in your system you can even use our custom settings below and get crazy good performance at 4K \o/

Res: 3840×2160
Anitaliasing: Off
Anisotropic Filtering: 16 Samples
Textures: Ultra
Shadow Quality: Ultra
Shadow Distance: Medium
Decal Quality: Ultra
Lighting Quality: Medium
Godrays Quality: Low
Depth of Field: Standard
Ambient Occlusion: SSAO
Weapon Debris: Off (ON test)
Screen Space Reflections: On
Wetness: On
Rain Occlusion: On
Motion Blur: Off
Lens Flare: On

GAME ON!

 

Good Motherboard – Massive ROG Towel Bonus

GGPC ROG Motheboard Bath Towel BONUS

UPDATE: Promotion extended, now 1st June 2017 to 31st July 2017.

Asus Republic of Gamers have a sweet new bonus offer available now for those gearing up with selected ROG STRIX series motherboards, it’s BIG, RED and is the leading cause of dry skin in the world – a giant ROG towel \o/

With all the rain lately in NZ this promo really couldn’t have come at a better time, when summer returns it’ll also be great for the beach, it’s certainly easy to spot 🙂

Asus ROG STRIX motherboards have killer looks and an all important feature which allows you to control a host of RGB devices from a single software package – we’ve done some special builds to demonstrate this and we know you’ll agree, when building a PC around Asus AURA RGB things really do look good!

GGPC ASUS ROG AURA SYNC

Getting your ROG bonus is pretty easy, once you’ve geared up with your killer new motherboard simply visit the ASUS Redemption Site to fill in your details on the form below.

Not all the motherboards listed in this promotion on the Asus website are available in NZ right now and others have just arrived making them a little hard to find, below are quick links so you can check them out – we’ll add to this as more arrive 🙂

ASUS STRIX Z270E GAMING

ASUS STRIX Z270F GAMING <- We used this one in the build above

ASUS STRIX Z270H GAMING

ASUS ROG STRIX H270F GAMING

ASUS ROG STRIX Z270G GAMING

ASUS ROG STRIX Z270I GAMING

ASUS ROG MAXIMUS IX HERO <- We used this in our Corsair Black Sails build \o/

ASUS ROG MAXIMUS IX CODE

ASUS MAXIMUS IX FORMULA

GAME ON!

 

 

Good Gaming – Overwatch Birthday Event LIVE

It’s live!

The party has begun and Blizzard kicked off their  celebration by adding three new Arena maps to the Arcade, unleashing more than 100 Anniversary rewards which include their largest-ever release of new Legendary skins! You can check out all the new emotes and skins here 🙂

You’ll earn Anniversary Loot Boxes as you play, plus pick up a free box when you log in between May 23 and June 12, 2017.

The new arena maps are smaller and designed for intense action. Eliminate all enemy players to win a round – and, ultimately, win the match. As part of the Anniversary event, the three new maps can be found in the Arcade Mode and support up to 3v3 elimination matches.

Everyone will be able to play Overwatch during the FREE weekend event which is on between May 26th and 29th (Likely 27th and 30th here in NZ)

A lot of us have been playing Overwatch for more than the year, the BETA tests where frequent before its release so thought we’d have a bit of a reminisce about all the good times we’ve had and share some of our favourite videos from a year+ of playing Overwatch with all the sweet sweet graphics cards that have released over that time – and it’s certainly been a treat!

The first test we posted on YouTube for Overwatch was on April 16th 2016 with a GTX960m Gaming Laptop, I do remember playing a lot of Soldier 76 at first as he felt the most familiar – after all Overwatch really did shake things up in the world of Class Shooters and some of the character options like Winston took a lot of getting used to… but soon enough I was running around with Bastion and flying around with Pharah – it was on this day I captured my first POTG as well, it’s an unlisted video but you can check it out here 🙂

Overwatch introduced us to some really cool game modes over the last year as well, the gameplay below is from release day and the mode allowed us to use our powers with a 3 second cooldown! I’m not sure how a mode like this would play out today with players having a little more experience using the characters but part of me hopes that they fire this one back up during the birthday celebrations 😛

When Overwatch first started being played a lot there where a lot of comparisons made to Team Fortress 2 and looking back I can kinda see it, especially within the moving objective modes – we game capped the clip below on the 26th of April 2016 \o/

Fast-forward to the 9th of August and competition was getting fierce, players knew the game pretty well now and the objectives became real hot points within matches – the clip below was captured on the release day for the now iconic RX 470 which has just been updated to the new RX 570 \o/

Before Blizzards own online competitive Overwatch had officially begun there were LAN tournaments you could enter and test you grit against other teams, Ping Zero was the first of these in New Zealand and GGPC had two teams enter the competition – we got smashed! Looking back though, specifically at the guys who won the competition you might recognise a player in the team…

AVRL, who just got elected to the NZ Overwatch Committee for the World Championships played as captain on that team, you can check out the extremely excellent finals in the gameplay captured below – or you could watch this unlisted clip of me camping and killing AVRL 😛

Being in New Zealand our internet connection has it’s ups and downs, and while we could keep on linking great gameplay like the matches above I think i’ll leave this blog with some gamecap of us using our exclusive NZ internet to peek over the wall – we’ll be updating the GGPC PC Gaming Blog with all the details as the event itself unfolds and of course join in on all the fun ourselves from Taipei as we’re just about to head over and check out their brand new Blizzard Gaming Arena \o/

We’re looking forward to another great year ahead! 

Good Gaming Laptop – GTX 1050 Sabre 15

It’s not often that we see a gaming laptop with such amazing price/performance but the new Sabre 15 GTX 1050 Gaming Laptop brings it all together pretty perfectly, before we dive into the gameplay FPS tests though let’s take a quick look at the specifications.

Essentials…

– NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 2GB GDDR5
– Intel Kaby Lake Core i7 7700HQ
– 16 GB RAM
– 256GB M.2 SSD + 1TB HDD
– 15.6″ 1080P Display
– AC Wireless + Bluetooth 4.2

With a very quick M.2 SSD for loading times along with mass storage for games via the 1TB HDD the Sabre 15 is a versatile and agile gaming laptop, the i7-7700HQ and GTX 1050 combo is backed by an unexpectedly large 16GB of 2400MHz DDR4 ram also.

The frame of the laptop screams gamer with aggressive detailing on the lid and also along the rear cooling vent, and the chiclet keyboard glows with a cool white LED which can adjust manually or automatically via the light sensor. This chassis supports a range of connection options including the USB type-C and twin Mini DisplayPorts along with the must haves like HDMI and USB 3.1, it even sports a discreet 6 in 1 card reader which is pretty handy to have!

Inputs and Outputs…

– 1 x USB 3.1 Type-A port
– 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C port
– 1 x USB 3.0 port
– 1 x USB 2.0 Port
– 1 x Mic-In/Headphone-out
– 2 x Mini DisplayPort
– 1 x HDMI 1.4
– 1 x RJ45 (for LAN insert)
– 6 in 1 Card Reader
– Auto-adjusting Backlit Keyboard
– Webcam and Mic build in.

Jumping into gaming with the Sabre 15 we see the performance align with it’s desktop brothers, and considering this system has a monitor and keyboard built into it the value kicker is that much better – investing in both a gaming keyboard and gaming mouse is advised though as this one can connect to your TV in the lounge via the HDMI for a wonderful console killing experience 🙂

Looking specifically at Overwatch we were able to maintain our 60FPS target even with the texture filtering quality set to EPIC, furthermore we recorded this very heavy battle with the built-in Nvidia Shadowplay Game Capture tools which can now even stream to Twitch, Facebook and more… and our CPU usage spent most of its time in the 30’s and didn’t even cross the 50% usage mark… insanity!

Swinging around to an older game that won’t use much of the graphics card but should put more stress onto our CPU we fired up CS:GO 🙂 Again using the built in Shadowplay Game Capture to record the clip below we where able to hit a whopping 69% peak usage in an online match with both bots and real people playing.

Rounding off the tests with a quick game of League of Legends we set out to get into a large team fight and succeeded 🙂 Even with all the explosions and effects on screen (game settings on MAX) our lowest dip was to 62.4FPS and that was only for a microsecond, crazy cool!

While the performance for this laptop is excellent it’s not quite invincible 😛 for our final test of the night we headed to Novigrad – the largest city in the Witcher 3 and got into a some fights just at daybreak when the lighting effects hit hard 🙂 Even with all the settings turned down for this one hitting our 60FPS target wasn’t quite possible in the city although we did come close with around 45FPS even during our bomb test on a poor chap with shield 🙂 If you’re looking for great performance in Witcher 3 there is also another version of the Sabre 15 with a GTX 1050Ti we’re about to test and also check out our latest GTX 1060 Laptop tests with the Aero 15, it handled the Novigrad run insanely well!

We’ve had a blast testing this one out for ourselves and look forward to playing more games with the Sabre 15, right now we’re on the hunt for a good one to try and use up some more of the that ram… (16GB really is a lot) and we’ll update our GGPC PC Gaming Blog and Gameplay FPS Test YouTube Channel with the latest \o/

GG

Good Gaming Laptop – Aero 15 GTX 1060!

Update: Aero 15 Laptops are available for order in NZ now!

These new ones have a slightly bigger screen size, but by opting for a class-leading 15” 5mm bezel display the new Aero 15 offers you greater display real estate without increasing chassis size allowing them to keep their signature, super slimness 🙂

Little tweaks to the design, like placement on the webcam and mics within the hinge keep things very slim indeed, and nice touches like the carbon fiber detailing on the back along with the way the RGB led shines through the dual cooling fans is just beautiful 🙂 When comparing with the previous Aero 14 the rear cooling vents on the Aero 15 have been extended and air blown out from two positions on the back of the laptop while gaming, and to go even further, a Thunderbolt 3 port has been added for a premium ultra-fast transfer speed at 40Gbps and the ability to connect external graphics enclosures (we tested this by adding a GTX 1080Ti), or run with twin 5K external displays… truly a mobile powerhouse without limits!

Specifications wise it’s packing the latest 7th gen Intel Core i7-7700HQ, a 6GB GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card along with 16GB of DDR4 ram and a super quick PCIe M.2 for storage. They’ve also done wonderful things to the keys on these new version and the new Aero 15 now sports a RGB Fusion chicklet keyboard with the best keys we’ve even seen – vibrant but with little light leakage!

In-game the Aero15 is excellent, far above expectations. The GTX 1060 inside was able to keep our framerates high in a range of games and when we tested the i7-7700HQ with a little CS:GO we were pleasantly surprised to see the CPU usage keeping around 50% even while using the built in Nvidia Shadowplay Game Capture tools. You can manually set fans speeds via the control center but leaving them set to auto is just fine, the laptop will pulse up the speed as needed when you’re gaming – we did a quick test to see at what point the CPU begins to throttle itself and the mark is 89 degrees, at this point the fans kick in and the CPU changes from its 3.8GHz boost to 3.2GHz (base is 2.8GHz) to keep things cooler, during these moments we noticed no bumps or jumps in game 🙂

We’ve continued adding to our GTX 1060 Laptop Test YouTube Playlist and as you can see in the latest Witcher 3 Novigrad gameplay test below – things are looking very good indeed!

Now that we’ve had a really good play with the new GTX 1060 Aero we happily give this super slim and powerful little laptop our GGPC Recommends Award – the Aero 15 is GOOD!

We’ve got more new laptops incoming, keep your eyes on the GGPC Computers Blog for the latest!

Good eSports – Intel Extreme Masters Gaming

Sydney just hosted a massive gaming event, an Intel Extreme Masters CSGO tournament and it was GOOD!

This tournament goes hand in hand with another cool promotion on now in NZ, IEM Certified Gaming PC \o/ Grabbing a system that’s certified in this way gets you a really sweet golden sticker for your new PC, that holographic certificate guarantees quality that meets only the highest standards from Intel and it also signals a FREE GAMES BONUS!

Looking specifically at the current games in the IEM Certified Gaming PC bundle there are a few “Free to Play” ones, the bonus with these comes in the form of in-game currency that you can use to add a little customisation to your tank, battleship or hero. If you’re wanting to check these out for yourself right away you can find the download links in our GGPC Free to Play PC Games Sticky Blog 🙂

You’ll also get Just Cause 3, Warhammer Vermintide (This one is multi-player Left for Dead style gaming gold) and the space battleship brawler Dreadnought  \o/ which we’ve been happily playing since early BETA testing:)

Topping the bonus games list right now is the recently released Halo Wars 2! Real-time strategy Halo style with Spartans, Warthogs and other classic Halo fighting forces. You’ll get the full game with the IEM bundle but there is also a Window 10 Store Halo Wars 2 demo available now you can check out now 🙂

The setup for the event was absolutely first class, from the moment you walked through the doors intel had a range of latest gaming laptops and IEM custom desktops ready to go with games to play and you could even join in on mini competitions in everything from a quick round of 3v3 CSGO to VR Racing time attacks.

The quality of the interactive experiences on offer were what made this opening experience so enjoyable though, it wasn’t just a nice seat for the racing games, intel had flown over VESARO force feedback equipment to give players genuine motion, these racing kits actually move with you and give you a real feeling of acceleration as you push yourself to take poll position and take away some of the prizes which flowed throughout the event.

Once we had made our way through the first gaming zone (pretty tough to do as they had an early access VR spellcasting fighting game right before the stairs to the arena) we got to check out the main event stage which lived up to the hype \o/ Some pretty epic lighting and smoke machines ensured the announcements for each match were exciting and the triple massive screens above would make following the gameplay easy. Behind this main stage a backstage team monitored everything, and further behind this there was another studio setup reminiscent of the Full Circle studio here in NZ – it would be from here that the casters did there sportscenter like commentary of each match.

Although early we could see from behind the stage that the arena was already starting to full up 🙂

The commentators were brilliant and whoever was responsible for switching the player camera to show the best moments of each round was amazing, they deserve a medal and speaking of! Between the two teams 5v5 gaming setups was a MASSIVE round medal, the trophy for the competition.

With the stage set we attempted to find our seats, which although reserved, had been claimed by some very excited chaps, they were kiwis as well who had flown over especially for the Intel Extreme Masters, we all enjoyed the matches together and had a great time debating (was more of a yelling match) who was going to to take the win for each round 🙂

The arena filled up fast and the weekends gaming begun with a roar! Massive applause welcomed each team as they approached the main stage, fun times ahead!

We estimate around 7000 people spectating in the arena and the competition was both fierce and extremely close, with the finals proving themselves to be the best! The rounds swung back and forth with bomb disarms coming down to microseconds and jumping knives being thwarted by deagles 😛

You can check out all the matches for yourself with the IEM Sydney game replays available via this link, because the games were so close it take a while to watch it all but it’s worth it 🙂

The local area in which the event was held was originally built to host the Olympics and handled the crowd with ease, special mention here to just how nice everyone was, both staff and attendees 🙂 two instances, in particular, stood out though, the first was meeting a chap that had lost his phone so we let him use ours to call it and a someone nice had handed it to the staff already. The second was the aftermath of the event, or lack of, we hung around for a bit after the finals chatting to some of the intel team and when we eventually left the outside wasn’t trashed, a little rubbish here are there but honestly pretty good with that amount of people!

We had a blast and can’t wait for the next big event, full credit to the teams from ESL and Intel for putting this one together so flawlessly – hope to see you at the next one!

GG