AMD

Good Gaming PC – AMD THREADRIPPER

The AMD THEADRIPPER 1950X is just about to release in New Zealand \o/ We’ve already begun testing these extremely high-end CPU options with our own custom PC builds here at GGPC NZ and things are looking pretty good!

Wanting to keep everything AMD we kitted out our first test system with twin Sapphire Nitro RX 580 Graphics Cards and begun making our way through the usual stuff like Cinebenchmarks to quickly compare with to others around the world before jumping into some games to really have some fun checking things out \o/ These new ThreadRipper CPU options are a part of the Ryzen family but both the 1920X and 1950X do require a special motherboard socket to use, you find these on new motherboards with TR4 and X399 in the name, like the AORUS GA-X399 Gaming 7 🙂 It’s not just a socket change up either, specific details around support for quad channel RAM configurations, a cache size increase and expanded PCIe support have been added to take full advantage of these mighty 16 core processors, M.2 ultra fast storage and all the supporting hardware these highest end PC will undoubtedly be using in the future.

One thing popped up as each of us started builds, we all thought to ourselves… this CPU is massive, where should I put the thermal paste? Thankfully, the CPU Cooler options that we’re attaching on top still have the same surface area as before so just a blob in the middle like normal worked for us, it’s going to interesting to see if ThreadRipper specific cooling options emerge after release though 🙂

Because Nvidia ShadowPlay is excellent for capturing 60FPS 4K gameplay for the ThreadRipper FPS tests we’ll be using our Aorus GTX1080 Ti config, with 16GB of G.Skill 2400Hz DDR4 and a Samsung EVO 245GB SSD for storage.

Keep your eyes on the GGPC YouTube channel for the latest!

GAME ON!

 

GGPC at techXpo NZ!

UPDATE: GGPC Workshop spots are currently fully booked, spots may open on the days though!

Coming up this weekend, the Vodafone Event Centre plays host to a tech fair with friends from Gigabyte, Asus, Cooler Master, G.Skill and Logitech G showcasing their latest tech devices and solutions for end users like us!

They’ll be hosting demonstrations and lending expert tech advice while displaying their latest products for you to get hands on with. Brand experts will be at each booth to take you through their tech and share with you their knowledge on PC Gaming. The event centre will also host various entertainment setups such as full gaming setup areas, a drone enclosure offering drone flying sessions, workshop classes, hands-on PC builds and more!

The crew from GGPC will be there hosting a workshop packed full of handy tips & tricks for water cooling, case modding, and getting the best performance for your dollar plus there will be awesome prizes up for grabs throughout each day – and a bunch of lucky attendees will get the chance to build their own dream PC at half price! 

This event is free to attend so if you’re a system builder, gamer, tech guru or just interested to see the latest and greatest electronics and digital technology in New Zealand, JOIN US AT THE NZ TECHXPO 2017 THIS WEEKEND!

 

Good Gaming RAM – G.Skill Flare X for Ryzen Gaming PC

GGPC GSkill FlareX for Ryzen Gaming PC

With the new AMD Ryzen 5 series just about to launch it’s time to go crazy preparing a range of new builds featuring this new generation of processor \o/ But Ryzen 5 isn’t the only good thing in AMD gaming – those fine folks at G.Skill have just released a DDR4 RAM kit for the AM4 platform they’ve named the G.Skill FLARE X series 🙂

Featuring a very aggressive looking heat-spreader (when compared to the sleek V-Series we know and love) this new RAM is especially designed to be compatible with new Ryzen processor range, enabling top tier performance. It uses high performance integrated circuits (IC) screened specifically for the AMD platform, kits are put through G.Skill’s rigorous testing processes to ensure the best reliability and stability in your system.

If you’re thinking of grabbing a new Ryzen 5 and building an AMD Gaming PC there are a lot of motherboards that will look great with this new RAM kit – check out the Gigabyte GA-AB350 Gaming 3Asus PRIME B350 PlusROG Crosshair VI Hero motherboards for sure but the best match for this ram comes from the ASRock AB350 Gaming K4 which has some pretty awesome red metal heatsinks of its own that align with the colouring of the G.Skill Flare X pretty perfectly!

GGPC GSkill FlareX ASRock AB350 Gaming K4 Ryzen Gaming PC Match

We’ll update this blog with the all the latest news as we start our build and test things out for ourselves, keep your eyes on our PC Gaming Blog for the latest!

Good Gaming PC Case – CM MasterBox 5 Dark Mirror

We’ve been treated to so many good chassis lately and today we’re looking specifically at a very reasonably priced computer case from those fine folks at Cooler Master – white MasterBox 5 with a dark mirror front panel 🙂

Starting things off, this isn’t the first in the MasterBox 5 series and there are also options if you wanted to grab this one in black, or with mesh instead of tinting on the front – that’s really what Cooler Master has been all about lately as well, options!

This chassis provides a really good base to start just about any kind of build in, an included power supply shield will help keep things super tidy inside. There are mounting holes all over the place which allow for multiple positions when fitting storage devices, the movable hot swap HDD caddy has a clip hinge with the CM logo on each drive bay as well. This case is ready for various sizes of motherboard, from the tiny ITX though to large ATX like we’ve used below in our little AMD test system.

The chassis does include 2x black CM 120mm fans which are mounted in the front, with these fitted the mirror effect for the front panel is pretty good at reflecting whatever your PC is facing – this panel is actually a deep tint so if you decide to put LED fans into the position you’ll cancel out the mirror somewhat and a things will light up the front, you can check this out in our RGB MasterBox 5 build shown at the bottom of this blog 🙂 The top of the case provide quick access to dual USB 3.0 (which aren’t coloured blue, we like this) and also audio jacks with the power button having a white LED light behind it. The side window panel is massive so when it came time to add in the little extra lighting we mounted this on the front aiming backwards, that way if you’ve got the PC on your desk at eye-level you won’t have a blazing LED shining directly into your eyes 😛

GGPC MasterBox 5 Dark Mirror Custom Build

Even though the chassis is inexpensive compared to others of similar looks and quality (it’s under $150 NZD at the time of writing this) it’s so tidy looking you really can put in the highest end components and things won’t be off balance. There is space for X99 motherboards and dual graphics card builds, you can rear mount your radiator or even front mount a 240mm liquid cooling kit in a push/pull configuration and it even fits the absolutely massive air cooling units like the MasterAir Maker 8 – crazy cool!

GGPC CM MasterBox 5 Dark Mirror Multiple Custom Builds

We like this chassis so much we’ve decided to use it for our own top selling build – the GGPC Hero GTX 1050 Gaming PC \o/ With this build being a part of our latest series of custom rigs you can tweak the components and the new visual tool will show you what your system design looks like as you choose/change components. You won’t need to be a hardware guru to design a system, we only provide options which are compatible with each other. The tool works by providing a range of fully functional base builds from which you can customise your system upwards, adding additional graphics power or digital storage depending on your needs. You’ll be happily swapping out components to get the perfect look with no worries 🙂

We’re looking forward to doing more Custom Gaming PC builds with this chassis, with such flexible mounting options and killer looks it’s hard not to love this case (or the others in the series) but among the current range this white dark mirror version is certainly a favourite of ours 🙂 On that note we happily give this fine Cooler Master chassis our GGPC recommends award – the MasterBox 5 Dark Mirror Case is GOOD!

 

GGPC Recommends Cooler Master MasterBox 5 Dark Mirror Gaming PC Case

 

 

Good Graphics Card – DOOM RX 480 BONUS!

 

GGPC Gigabyte AMD Doom RX 480 bonus

Just announced! If you’re gearing up with a beastly new RX 480 (ohhh that second one for crossfire:) or grabbing a Gaming PC featuring this graphics card you are in for a treat!

For a limited time AMD NZ are bundling coupon gamecodes for DOOM with the RX 480, this bonus is valid on purchases between Feb 21st though to May 21st 2017 through selected retailers 🙂

Doom is a multi-award winning first-person shooter video game developed by id Software and published by Bethesda Softworks. Gameplay is extremely action packed with a large arsenal of iconic weapons (go chainsaw!) to collect which can be freely switched by players throughout the single player game, multiplayer sets itself apart with the ability to unlock and equip two favourites with more death dispensing options available as pickups throughout each round.

Getting your gamecode is easy! Once you’ve got your powerful new hardware simply visit the registration site depending on what flavour you’ve choosen, currently you can visit the Gigabyte Redemption Page or PB Tech has setup an AMD Rewards page with details to get your codes for Sapphire and Asus also 🙂 Once completed you’ll receive visit www.amdrewards.com to redeem your coupon code for DOOM! (Even if you’ve already signed up there is a moment to confirm you date of birth, this game is rated R16!)

GGPC AMD DOOM Redemption

Below is some spoiler free multiplayer gameplay with the RX480 in Doom on our own GGPC Ranger Gaming PC, we’ve turned the settings up past ultra with shadows set to nightmare and as you can see from the gameplay below – the AMD RX 480 handles this one with ease! Better still you can actually run the game with Vulkan and enjoy even greater performance!

AMD Goes RGB with RYZEN!

GGPC Ryzen AMD Wraith RGB Cooler

UPDATE: You can use Asus AURA Software to configure the RGB LED on the cooler 🙂

The new AMD Ryzen 7 series CPU will be with us very soon and details have released for the three new options in this lineup 🙂 They are the high end part of a new range incoming which will also include the Ryzen 3 and 5 series.

These new beasts are set to become available on March 3rd in New Zealand and are all looking pretty tempting with 8 cores and some nice benchmarks released by AMD, you can check out the basic specs for each below.

AMD Ryzen 7 1700 CPU <- this one!

AMD Ryzen 7 1700X CPU

AMD Ryzen 7 1800X CPU

At GGPC we can’t wait to get into testing these new CPU out in game, but there’s also something else which is looking pretty cool for system builders looking to use this new series – some of the versions include an RGB cooler! We’ve seen three versions coming with cooling solutions so far, one is called the Wraith MAX which looks to be very similar to our current square Wraith series (not a bad thing, it’s a great quiet cooler option) – the other two are named Wraith SPIRE (70mm and 80mm fan versions) which look awesome with a circular shape and the best bit is…  ALL versions look to have a RGB lighting ring around the top!

Currently the SPIRE is included with this Ryzen 7 1700 CPU processor model, it sports a round aluminium heatsink with spirally projecting fins to keep things cool 🙂

We’ll confirm all the details as we get into testing but one things for sure, with these new RGB Coolers the Gaming PC builds are going to look GOOD!

 

Good Gaming PC Case – The Segotep SG-K7 RGB!

Throughout 2016 we were treated to a range of outstanding new chassis as manufacturers embraced both tempered glass and RGB lighting in their chassis lineups 🙂 Of all these new cases though one has really stood out, from a manufacturer known as Segotep who also made our orignal GGPC Shaman chassis known as Warship. This new case is a massive leap ahead in quality and looks a lot like the InWin 805 but with slightly different front IO placement, a big PSU shield and comes pre-fitted with 4x 120mm RGB fans.

GGPC Segotep SGK7 BoxGood looks aside there are a lot of other things Segotep got right with the SGK7, firstly the way it’s all packaged up is excellent with a sturdy double box and no polystyrene to be found 🙂 The foam padding holds everything securely and both sides of all the glass panels (two sides and front) are shrink wrapped for extra protection. The RGB fans are fitted 3x in the front and 1x in the back and come pre-connected to an included hub so you can control the colours and effects easily via the front IO. It also contains a decent manual for new builders which we really appreciate, and even a cleaning cloth which is a must for any glass build as they do tend to become fingerprint magnets 😛

GGPC Segotep Custom Gaming PC BuildThere’s no better way to get to know a chassis than building a gaming PC in one so for this blog we designed one that’s using the new B250m motherboard from Gigabyte and fitted the new i5-7500 taking a little time to wrap the cable up on the included CPU cooler so it looks nice. Another good thing about the new motherboards is we get to use 2400MHz ram this time around – the previous 2133MHz limitations are removed giving us access to a much larger variety of kits at the faster speed which is great for us as we like to try out new parts whenever possible – the new G.Skill Trident RGB is coming in 2400MHz so we’re extremely happy about this little change up!

Putting it all together was a quick process and once we successfully did a little boot test I thought I’d spend a moment doing something with the Segotep SGK7 I haven’t really seen any other chassis do – adding a custom RGB name plate!

GGPC Segotep RGB Custom Name PlateTo do this you need to remove the front glass panel so you can access some screws, once those are out a little clear plastic panel (with the default Segotep sticker on it) can be removed. When we peeled off the sticker it left a little residue which we quickly cleaned off with some meths, using the old sticker as a sizing template I began hunting around for something the right size to use. We then simply printed GGPC on a piece of paper with black around it, the LED glow is powerful enough to shine through the paper but if you take a little time to cut out the name it really blasts through – just put your gamertag on the plastic backer and screw it back in you won’t need any glue etc – it’s that easy 🙂

We’ve not seen a chassis this good available for so little before especially in New Zealand and on that note, now that we’ve built a Good Gaming PC in this chassis we are happy to give it a well deserved recommendation to anyone looking for a top chassis at a great price – The Segotep SG-K7 is GOOD!

GGPC Segotep SGK7 Good Gaming Case

Good Gaming – Battlerite FREE WEEKEND incoming!

GGPC Battlerite Gameplay FPS Test Begin

UPDATE: Battlerite is available as early access on Steam right now but this weekend it opens up and we can all play free!

An action-packed Team Arena Brawler focused on competitive combat. Fight side by side with teammates to the sound of the roaring crowd in vibrant, colosseum surroundings.

The game itself is a little bit like League of Legends and Smite but without the lanes and creeps so the focus is purely on fast paced PvP matches with a range of champions that have different strengths and abilities. There are 15 champions available currently and these provide players jumping in with a decent split of melee, ranged and support to play with. Once in matches it’s all about timing and precision where predictability leads to punishment. Each battle is a race to win three rounds, the rounds are generally pretty fast paced, usually over in around 1 minute – to ensure an entertaining fight a force field will start to move inwards pushing the players in together for a final clash in the center of the arena.

We’ve taken one of our new Custom Gaming PC in for a quick 3v3 match with the starting character Jade to see what the performance is like and as you’ll see from the YouTube gameplay framerate test below – things are looking very good indeed 🙂

Next we moved tests onto the new GTX 1060 Gaming Laptop to see how good things would be with this latest generation of mobile hardware. Battlerite matches were starting to get tougher as we increased in rank and now a more tactical approach was needed to win each round, playing as Varesh our roll was to debuff enemies while shielding allies against incoming damage and the GTX1060 + i7-6700HQ config was able to keep above 60FPS even during these most intense moments.

Finishing up the first round of testing we installed on our GGPC GTX 1080 Dark Knight jumped in Sirius, a melee healer with some excellent teleports that can heal teammates and deal damage to opponents, the matches now were getting pretty darn difficult with players teamwork becoming necessary to split opponents up. Performance was excellent at 4K with max settings and the added clarity certainly makes watching opponents ragdoll on death a lot clearer 🙂

So far we’ve had a blast in Battlerite and can’t wait to see where the developers take this one, if you’re looking to a battle that’s quicker than ARAM this could be the perfect ticket 😛

GAME ON!

Good Graphics – No Man’s Sky Gameplay FPS Tests Begin!

PEW PEW! No Man’s Sky has finally released on PC and we’ve begun our Graphics Card FPS tests to see what the performance is like for both Nvidia and AMD in this epic new space odyssey 🙂

Starting out with the just released AMD RX 460 Graphics card things are looking pretty good indeed, transition from space to the planets surface is acceptable with frame rates dipping into the high 20’s, once on the surface our FPS increases to a rather impressive 45!

Next up for the green team we jet through the asteroids and down to the planet below with the excellent Nvidia GTX 960 graphics card, this mid range card has been a favourite for a while now and with it the gameplay is smooth managing to hold around 49 frames per second during our re-entry and landing test.  Great work from Nvidia!

For the AMD RX 470 graphics card test we extended the journey (2 minute test) to include blasting off from the planets surface and then headed back down again.  FPS held up very well with majority of the flight being in the 70’s and only a short stutter into 30’s during our landing sequence, so far for us these dips typically occur around landing or when entering a planets atmosphere for the first time.

When it came to the Nvidia GTX 1080 tests we opted to jump right into 4K gameplay and used ShadowPlay to capture the video below, oddly although the game settings say “Full Screen” this is not the case and it’s actually running in a window – we got around this for our game capture by setting ShadowPlay to record the desktop and it worked great!  Some stutters in the usual places for sure but this is 3840×2160 at almost max settings with game cap running and it still manages to hit around 60FPS!

One thing is for sure, No Man’s Sky is going to be one epic adventure with a whole galaxy to explore, filled with unique planets and lifeforms, and constant danger and action!

GAME ON!

Good Graphics – AMD RX 480, RX 470 and RX 460 available NOW!

AMDRXGraphicsCards

UPDATE: We’ve added gameplay playlist links below for each of the new GPU 🙂

AMD are back in the game with their latest generation of graphics cards and our gaming tests with the RX series are looking very good indeed!

With three amazing and affordable options AMD might just have the perfect graphics card for your next build and with so many AMD Crossfire savvy motherboards available now (at very reasonable prices) it’s going to be really interesting to see what we can do with this excellent new tech!

From AMD “Gamers and consumers today are being left behind. Today only the top 16 percent of PC users can afford GPUs that deliver premium VR and gaming experiences. Hundreds of millions of gamers have been relegated to using outdated technology. Notebook gamers are often forced to compromise. And tens of millions more can only read about incredible PC VR experiences that they can’t enjoy for themselves. That all changes with the Radeon RX Series, placing compelling and advanced high-end gaming and VR technologies within reach of everyone.”

Starting out with the new RX 460 Graphics Card we find it to be perfect for games like Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Star Wars Battlefront and Overwatch as expected, when we continued the tests with the very heavy Witcher 3 game it still did well, but this is certainly a title more suited to the cards more powerful big brother, the RX 470.

UPDATE: RX 460 Gaming PC FPS Tests

Showing off some outstanding performance the RX 470 now positions itself as the best value solution for those looking to build a VR Ready Gaming PC, as seen below (not the most exciting video, but does the trick) this new AMD GPU passes the VR test when paired with the very affordable intel i5-6400 🙂 Incredible stuff!

Pretty crazy cool, we quickly tested Overwatch with the RX 470 also and the performance of this new graphics card is excellent!

UPDATE: RX 470 Gaming PC FPS Tests

The RX 480 delivers extraordinary visual power and technological innovation, enabling premium experiences in the new wave of high-end VR games, entertainment, and applications. It can power through the most graphics-intensive games allowing us all to step into fantastic virtual worlds with lifelike realism, and rich interactivity.

UPDATE: RX 480 Gaming PC FPS Tests

When it came to our tests with the RX 480 and Overwatch we were able to achieve 100+ FPS as well, we found in some of the more action packed moments framerates dipped into the high 80’s.

Dark Souls 3 with the RX 480 was a frame locked 60FPS experience for us during the first boss fight, some odd drops down to 1% GPU usage shown but no drops in performance – odd but nice :/

Memory speed changes a little also with only the RX 480 coming in at 8000MHz while the others look to be clocked at 7000MHz. Each of the new cards are going to come in two choices for memory size, for the RX 470 and RX 480 this is a choice between 4GB and 8GB GDDR5, for the smaller RX 460 we’ll get to choose between 4GB and 2GB versions and some models don’t require an additional power cable 🙂

Keep your eyes on our GGPC Computers Blog for the latest gameplay tests, new custom gaming pc builds and more!