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!
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 🙂
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.
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 🙂
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!
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!
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.
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.
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/
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!
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.
We’ve been playing a fair few games lately (as always :P) and recently we’ve been diving into as many free to play PC games as we can, this blog will be a sticky one that we constantly update with new games as we play them but for now we’ll start things off with a few unique and rather good games for your PC that will cost you nothing but the data to download them 🙂 (the titles for each are download links, videos are short gameplay tests captured by GGPC NZ)
ARGO – A hardcore tactical first-person shooter, jump straight into combat in this official standalone FREE total conversion of Arma 3. This one has us fighting for supremacy in a familiar but new setting – the Mediterranean island of Malden, complete with dense urban areas and wide open plains ideal for snipers you’ll find each location has been built to provide an optimal experience for each game mode 😛 What really makes this one stand out for us here at GGPC so far is the new Combat Patrol CO-OP mode in which you can team up with some friends and fight against AI opponents with both randomized objectives and procedural generation of enemy forces making each session of Combat Patrol unique. Combine this with three competitive game modes and a pretty good looking Scenario Editor with which you can create your own missions with and you’ve got ARGO, it’s a pretty darn impressive free to play war gaming experience 🙂
Dreadnought– This is a medium paced arcade action game which puts you in command of a massive sci-fi battleship, similar in many ways to Fractured Space and Cloud Pirates below but with some really beautiful landscapes to wage war on this is one can be a stunner with settings cranked to high. Customisation for your starship is first class from guns and turrets to coatings and decals and there are a range of configs for each ship class so you’re sure to find one that fits your playstyle perfectly. Massively enjoyable in a group or alone, we’ve been playing this one since early BETA days and it just keeps getting better!
Atlus Reactor – A rather refreshing and unique take on turn-based tactical combat. Engage in 4v4 team battles with a short moment between each round to lock in your players actions after which all eight players will execute their command lists. Each character has a range of moves available to them that will initiate at different times in the action que depending on the type of move selected, this makes playing Altus Reactor a game of predicting what your opponents might do which just keeps getting better the more familiar you become with the growing roster of freelancers available (numbering 25 as I write this). Once you reach level 10 there is also a “Seasons” XP event in which players can complete challenges and receive some extra bonus loot to customise their characters.
Paladins – A team-based shooter set in a vibrant fantasy world and features a diverse cast of Champions ranging from sharpshooting humans to mech-riding goblins, mystical elves, jetpack-clad dragons, and bomb golems. Each Champion brings a unique set of abilities to the battlefield and new Champions are regularly added to Paladins, keeping the game exciting. With strategy elements and character customisation through a unique collectable card system, players can amplify and augment a character’s core set of abilities to play exactly how they want to play.
Cloud Pirates – Arcade airship based combat awaits you in this science-fiction fantasy battleground game 🙂 Remarkably tactical but also good fun early on for a casual run-and-gun play style, as you progress though you’ll gain access a bunch of unique upgrades for your airships, captain and crew which leads to much more challenging matches and modes as you progress. There are numerous visual customization options to tinker which as you go and plenty of airships to choose from each with their own unique handling and firing arcs – snipers, tanks, dps, tackle – there really are a lot!
Warframe – A team based hack’n’slash shooter with some pretty action packed moments, heaps of gear and hours of fun 🙂 The “War Within” update recently went live live for this one so it’s a great time to jump into the fray and hack some enemies to pieces. You play as a Tenno, an ancient warrior, a weapon master… You wield the mighty Warframes and command their awesome powers – the Grineer Empire grows stronger as a cryptic adversary surfaces. Underpowered, unprepared and forced out of your comfort, you must find it in yourself to improvise, not just to save yourself but the fate of all Tenno. The Queens’ Fortress awaits, where both Warframe and Operator will be pushed past their limits as they slowly unravel mysteries about the Tenno’s past and their true capabilities.
Blade and Soul – A rather excellent MMO set in a world of martial arts masters and mythology 🙂 A tale of revenge at its core that will have you exploring a beautiful, cinematic world inspired by the distinct visual style of acclaimed artist Hyung Tae Kim. This one’s got detailed character customization tools, offers some brilliant PVP matches and has an excellent action based combat system. The storyline is very good, especially the introduction to the game world and no matter which class you choose the cross server PVE multiplayer instances are quick to find match ups.
Path of Exile – You are an Exile, struggling to survive as you fight to earn power that will allow you to exact your revenge against those who wronged you. Created by NZ game studio Grinding Gear Games, Path of Exile is an isometric online action RPG is set in the dark fantasy world of Wraeclast. It offers excellent co-op gaming with extremely deep character customisation, the best skill tree we’ve seen in a long long time and even a hardcore mode in which staying alive actually matters 😛 The game is completely free and will never be “pay to win”, the community is excellent and graphics are top notch. All in all this is our most recommended game right now, crazy good times to be had playing on your own but in a group with some friends the game really shines.
Planetside 2– It’s a very different experience from most first person shooters because instead of the usual 24v24 firefights – battles in Planetside 2 can typically involve a few hundred players. This war takes place over several continents each of which has a defined landscape, there are 3 factions to choose from each with there own infantry weapons, ground vehicles and aircraft. The scale of the game can be quite daunting at first but for new players if you go Engineer class and get a Sunderer vehicle you’ll rapidly begin leveling up while being a great addition to the war effort, doing this will allow you to quickly amass enough experience points to buy new weapons, vehicle mods or abilities. The game world is large, but getting around is easy thanks to an instant action button on the map screen that will take you into hot spots, you can also hover over locations to see just how many players from each faction are fighting in that specific sector which is excellent. Community wise (NZ players) we highly recommend jumping into this one on a Sunday afternoon, it’s pretty crazy!
Paragon – Is a multiplayer online battle arena game that feels a bit like SMITE, but with some beautiful graphics 🙂 There are a range of heroes to choose from and a new ones joins the mix every three weeks so it’s going to be great to see just how diverse the range will become. Like most MOBA games the action starts out pretty slow and this escalates as the players level up and unlock more and more abilities leading to some great end game battles, there is also a card powerup system with which you can tweak each character to your play style a bit. It’s hard to say where to start with this one, having played so much League of Legends and DOTA 2 this game just seems to make sense right away.
Mechwarrior Online – A slower paced, tactical online shooter set in the BattleTech Universe. Victory requires a mastery of tactical positioning, teamwork, and firing discipline to prevent overheating and the dreaded shutdown (overload only works so much!). Each battle will reward you with credits depending on performance and these can be spent on new weapons, equipment and mech chassis to full your hangers. For new players there is a rotation of free to play pre-configured mechs to take into battle and these will give you a good taste of how each weight class performs so you can spend your credits wisely. Once you’ve brought a BattleMech of your very own there is a faction warfare system and if you spend a little time in each jumping from faction to faction you can quickly amass a bunch of personal hangers to store more and more of your own mechs in, this becomes more important with multiple variants of the same frame offering different hardpoints to mount weaponry on and new skills to unlock as you progress. It’s not an easy fight and don’t expect to just run in and win, this is a thinking persons shooter for sure.
Fractured Space– Another MOBA at its core but very different from Paragon above, this one has us controlling a large battleship in space based 5v5 combat pushing our way towards a large enemy base that your team can only reach by pushing a spacelane all the way up. Each multiplayer match provides some pretty intense team battles and also some smaller skirmishes with ships able to quickly warp to other locations on the map. The starships themselves look beautiful, there are three factions/manufacturers in the game right now each with their own unique art style for each class of ship available – each class backs some pretty awesome weapons and abilities that you can further tweak to suit your play style as you progress in the game. Fractured space is in early access now and we’ll be excitedly watching this one as it evolves, right now though it’s in pretty excellent shape and certainly a blast to play!
EVE Online– The new free to play mode in EVE will allow you gain a lot of skills with no money down 🙂 Leveling up an EVE Online character has always been a little different from most MMORPG, every player in the game controls a clone which they train in new skills over time (even when you’re not logged in) as opposed to the far more common “kill this and fetch that for XP”. As your clone learns more and more you will be able to fly more ships and kit these out with new modules and equipment. When you die you respawn into another clone but depending on when you last did a clone imprint that new clone may or may not have the skills you previously acquired and it’s this investment in time that makes up one of many factors that gives each life in EVE a real feeling of value – there are of course the in game monetary losses involved with death in EVE, losing your favourite ship certainly hurts! The new alpha clone state will allow you to get some pretty potent ships like the Caracal below, armed with many heavy missile launchers you’ll be a fine addition to fleets around the univese 🙂
DOTA 2–Originating as a fan-made Warcraft 3 modification, Dota was an instant underground hit. After coming to Valve, the original community developers have bridged the gap to a more inclusive audience, so that the rest of the world can experience the same core gameplay, but with a level of polish and depth that’s unmatched.Much like League of Legends,Dota is a competitive game of action and strategy. Players can choose from a roster of over a hundred unique heroes, forming two teams of five players. Radiant heroes then battle their Dire counterparts to control on a beautiful fantasy landscape, battling one another with cunning, stealth, and outright warfare.
League of Legends – A popular take on the multiplayer online battle arena game type that first came about as a mod for Warcraft 3 named DOTA back in 2003… or was it 2002, anyways it was a while ago 🙂 League of Legends released to the public in 2009 and it has since become one of the most played games in the world today with some very cool new heroes to play as and more joining the ranks constantly. It’s quite a wonderful game to play if you’re a gamer that’s short on time with matches lasting from twenty minutes to one hour depending on how well each team performs. The game is both newbie friendly and deep enough to keep a long term player interested, the roster of heroes to play as changes often and there is even a rune loadout enabling you to tweak you heroes slightly using various power-ups you can purchase using currency accrued as you play matches.
Killer Instinct – This one has been made available via the Windows Store so you’ll need a Windows 10 Gaming PC to try it out. It’s the same Killer Instinct we remember playing in movie theatres wayyy back in the 90’s but with some wonderful new graphics to enjoy 🙂 The free version of this one gives players a single character with which you can access all game modes, including online multiplayer!
War Thunder – This one gives us action packed battles both on the ground and in the skies (also boats are in BETA!), it’s crazy how good this game is with beautiful graphics and a massive line-up of tanks and planes for us to use in the PVP battles + recently the games creators added a new PVE game mode named Assault which is a blast to play. A perfect game to play with friends this one has options from Simulation to Arcade, it’s similar in many ways to World of Tanks and World of Warships but ultimately War Thunder wins the day with it’s seamless combination of modes and unmatched intensity of aerial dogfights. A truly great game that deserves a download 🙂
We’ll continue adding to this list as we test more and more Gaming PC, we’ve got our eyes on Battlerite but if you know a great new free game you think we should test out please drop a comment in via our GGPC YouTube channel – we are on the hunt now for a nice driving game!
Another great Cooler Master chassis called the MasterBox Lite 5 has just landed in New Zealand and we couldn’t resist opening it up to see what improvements they’ve made over the already excellent MasterBox 5 Dark Mirror which we fell in love with just a few months back 🙂
Starting off with the packaging it’s pretty standard stuff coming in a nice brown box with handles which, once opened, reveals a foam packed chassis inside, you can faintly see the transparency of the dark mirror front panel within the protective bag.
Removing the outer protective packaging we can see that the two dark mirror areas have a secondary protective layer on them also, with the window panel the screw holes are also fitted with rubber protectors and there is a subtle pattern along the edges. We had a bit of a funny moment during our first build when we were re-attaching this panel (upside down it turned out) and it we couldn’t quite align it – so yep turn it around if that happens to you, just letting y’all know!
Inside we find a handy little instruction booklet, warranty card and an assortment of essential screws and handy zip ties full cable management, the little brown box inside however has something really very cool – two optional colour plates for the front panel are included with the chassis!
Swapping out the coloured trims is an easy process with screws and clips holding everything in place but the best bit is Cooler Master didn’t stop there, those fine folks know the community has awesome ideas of their own so with that in mind, they’ve made 3D printing schematics for both the top and bottom trim available right away and you can download the files for 3D Printing your own MasterBox Lite 5 parts here \o/ Fun times ahead!
Looking at the main body now we find an included 120mm fan pre-mounted on the rear exhaust which sports a nice all-black 3-pin cable to keep things looking good. Along the top we don’t have any mounting holes for fans but the front is savvy for mounting an additional 3x 120mm intakes or a massive radiator for a killer water cooled system.
Everything has a clean black coating, even the dual USB ports are dark grey instead of the usual blue and they’ve made things great for system builder by adding the common little details like the good tool-less drive trays (the ones with the sliders) and also the not-so-common ones like the power supply bracket which is just wonderful to see.
Build wise we’ve dived right in and created a nice red/black themed Ryzen 5 + GTX 1060 system to test it all out for ourselves, with the PSU shield now extending all the way to the front and the brilliant worked done by CM design with those additional cable management slots along the right of the motherboard we were able to make a nice and tidy Gaming PC in this chassis extremely quickly, it’s a absolute pleasure to build with!
We can’t wait to do more builds (as I write this we’ve already done some quick GTX 1050Ti, GTX 1060 and GTX 1070 builds with a range of different Ryzen) and we even setup the cameras during our first build so we’ll be adding a quick timelapse to this blog soon enough but anyways – onto the best bit – Cooler Master have created an exceptionally good chassis here, not only does it look amazing and sport those neat little trim mods that are super easy to tweak but everything is just right on the inside and on that note we happily give this case our GGPC Recommends Award – The MasterBox Lite 5 is GOOD!