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!
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 laptopperformance 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!
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 470which 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…
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!
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 🙂
As usual the hardest part is going to be deciding which game to choose, so let’s take a closer look at both options.
First up – Ghost Recon: Wildlands!
Bolivia, a few years from now. The country has become the largest cocaine producer in the world. The Santa Blanca drug cartel has turned the country into a narco-state, leading to lawlessness, injustice, and violence. The Ghosts, an elite US Special Forces team, is sent behind enemy lines to wreak havoc and takedown the cartel.
This one enjoyed the largest turnout during the Ubisoft open beta phase and is best played with a group of friends, if you find yourself in solo queue being a helicopter pilot or driver for a bunch of randoms is still pretty darn fun as well!
Next up – For Honor!
This new hack’n’slash capture’n’hold game proved itself early on with some very beautiful graphics and a slick melee battle system that had us ramming our way through the ranks to take on opposing warriors in fierce hand to hand (or blade to blade) combat.
Many, many hours have been spent in For Honor at GGPC NZ, the matches often become fantastically close battles with the skill based player matching systems working very well indeed – this one is truly exceptional if you play often, you’ll start to recognise opponents from previous encounters in game and the focus shifts from an all out battle to hunting each other down relentlessly with some face-offs lasting the entire round.
This is a register to redeem promotion, once you’ve got your awesome new hardware simply visit the registration sites as below depending on your chosen flavour, enter the details as prompted and you’ll get a game code via email 🙂
When the GTX 10 series laptops first appeared late last year we were blown away in our tests with the new GTX 1060 and GTX 1070 variants, both in terms of performance but also with how close these portable solutions were to their desktop brethren. With the GTX 1060 Gaming Laptop power efficiency had become so good that when running on battery it was almost as powerful as when it was connected to mains power – as you’ll see below in our long test with Battlefield one it was very close but still required a little settings tweak when switching between the two.
In a perfect world a gaming laptop will allow you to switch between powered and battery modes with no tweaking of settings required allowing us to truly game on the go.
And that’s why we’ve been excitedly awaiting the new GTX 1050 gaming laptop release, and today a pretty cool looking new one just got announced!
The new Sabre 15 Gaming Laptop in coming our way \o/ Featuring the new Kaby Lake Intel Core i7 processor and equipped with either the newly announced GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB or the GTX 1050 2GB we’ll be putting both versions though some GGPC gaming tests to see exactly what these machines can do! We’ve recently updated our GTX 1050 Desktop playlist with new tests with a range of titles to compare with and it’s going to be blast finding out what these new gaming laptops can do.
Future tests aside (for now) the new Sabre series is looking really good, they’ve taken away the orange trim in favour of a clean all black look and the keyboard has been improved and is now fitted with 2.2mm travel scissor type keys, for that extra feel and precision 🙂 There will be options for a either a red LED or a glorious RGB backlit keyboard with 16.8 million colours to choose from.
Gear up with a new GTX 1070, GTX 1080 or grab a Gaming PC or Gaming Laptop featuring one of these and you can register that powerful new graphics card to get a game code for Watch Dogs 2 \o/
It’s time to explore a massive and dynamic open world offering an incredible variety of gameplay possibilities. Hack your way through traffic while you engage in dangerous car chases through the winding streets of San Francisco, traverse the rooftops of the colourful and vibrant neighborhoods of Oakland, and infiltrate the cutting-edge offices of Silicon Valley companies. There are many secrets to uncover in the birthplace of the tech revolution. In Watch Dogs 2 we get to explore the birthplace of the tech revolution as Marcus Holloway, a brilliant young hacker who has fallen victim to ctOS 2.0’s predictive algorithms and is accused of a crime he did not commit. In Marcus’ quest to shut down ctOS 2.0 for good, hacking is the ultimate weapon, and players can not only hack into the city’s infrastructure but also every person and any connected device they possess, to trigger unpredictable chains of events.
From Ubisoft “Watch Dogs 2 is already considered a tremendous addition to the open-world action adventure series and we’re confident that millions of players are going to love it.”
A new saga begins for one of the most acclaimed video game franchises in history, GEARS OF WAR 4! After narrowly escaping an attack on their village, JD Fenix and his friends, Kait and Del, must rescue the ones they love and discover the source of a monstrous new enemy. Set 25 years after the Imulsion Countermeasure weapon destroyed all Imulsion and took with it the use of fossil fuels, forcing humanity to adapt new ways for survival – but hey, at least it took out the Locust and the Lambent as well right 😛 Following the aftermath of the Lambent Epidemic, the reformed Coalition of Ordered Governments estimated that only hundreds of thousands of humans are left on Sera. To prevent the population from declining, walled-off cities were built to protect the citizens from the dangers outside but tensions rise with a new faction known as the “Outsiders” who choose to live outside of the COG jurisdiction…
Getting you game code is easy, once you’ve got your awesome new hardware visit the registration page for Gigabyte, EVGA or Asus (depending on your chosen flavour 😛) and click the REDEEM button at the bottom of the pages, follow the steps along to register your new graphics card – once completed you’ll receive an Nvidia code via email and when you’ve got that simply visit the Nvidia redemption page and enter it in!
The promotion runs from today until October 30th, the game is a part of Xbox Play Anywhere so you’ll get a copy of the PC version and Xbox One also which is nice and also a bit clever as Gears of War 4 supports Cross Play across Xbox One and Windows 10 in all of the game’s modes – fun times ahead indeed!
Those fine folks @ Nvidia have uploaded some tasty 4K gameplay to tide us over until we get to try this one out for ourselves 😛
Sporting a similar look to it’s big brother the new P55W v6 Gaming Laptop looks a little sleeker with its 15.6″ frame in black with a subtle orange trim running down the sides (a perfect match with the new Prodigy Gaming Headset from Logitech G), inside is a killer i7-6700HQ + GTX 1060 combo so we’ve got the power needed for some pretty high end gaming and when connected to mains power this laptop is also a VR Ready system \o/
Starting tests off with a good long game of Battlefield 1 the Gigabyte P55W v6 is looking very good indeed running above 60FPS at ultra!
Quickly making our way into the Witcher 3 the GTX 1060 does very well yet again, with a little tweaking of the settings we hit our 60FPS target while slicing down bandits 🙂 If you’re lucky enough to have somehow not played the Witcher 3 yet a Game of the Year Edition has just released and you’re in for a treat as this single player game looks good and plays great.
The multiplayer esports hit Overwatch plays pretty flawlessly on this config also, busting out over 100FPS at times while playing at maximum settings. Competitive play is in full swing and if you’re looking for a laptop to play on the go, the GTX 1060 is ready for the challenge!
For Virtual Reality you’ll want to be connected to mains power and below is an extremely boring video showing the performance check 😛 Until we figure out the best way to capture the 90hz this is the best way we can show performance but once we figure things out we’ll replace these videos with some actual VR Gaming 🙂
When checking out the performance on battery we tested a couple of important things out, the first being battery life while heavy gaming which was 82mins (impressive) and the second, more interesting thing was how being on battery affected the performance of the dedicated GTX 1060 graphics inside. For this test we ran on battery while playing some Battlefield 1 and brought the charge down down to around 35% remaining then recorded some gameplay showing the differences in performance you can expect when gaming on the go – this gaming laptop did much better than anything else we’ve had the pleasure of testing with only a very small settings tweak needed to keep playing with excellent FPS. (It’s quite possible the GTX 1050 laptops will be able to play without tweaking settings between plugged in and battery, can’t wait to see!)
Looking closely at the machine itself we find excellent build quality and very little flex, the full sized chiclet keyboard has is a clean white LED that makes things easy to read and we see the addition of a USB Type-C port which is great for transferring massive files. It has HDMI 2.0 for connecting to a 4K screen all the other little mod cons we look for like Bluetooth 4.1 and a cup holder (JK) but yet again – no DisplayPort sadly! The 1080P IPS display looks beautiful though with great colours and very little reflection or glare from the matt panel 🙂
UPDATE: We’ve continued testing out everything this excellent new laptop has to offer (we also checked out other versions from MSi and Asus to compare) and now that we’ve had a really good go with it we’re happy to give the Gigabyte P55Wv6 our GGPC recommendation – This GTX 1060 Gaming Laptop is GOOD!
Update: A new open beta for Paragon has begun, the first phase has begun and will run until May 1. The second phase begins on May 5 and will be playable until May 8. The servers will be online from 9 AM PT/5 PM UK time for both events. Please note, Epic Games have said “The first stress test will include invites for the first 500,000 people who signed up for the beta only, the second stress test will include invites for anyone who signs up before May 1.”
You can sign up for the beta, or buy a Founder’s Pack for early access at www.paragon.com. Founder’s Packs include Master Challenges, which let you level your heroes to achieve mastery and claim unique rewards, completing a Master Challenge unlocks a taunt and the exclusive Master Skin that showcases your dedication and skill.
Paragon is designed so that every player can compete and win without ever having to spend money. New heroes every three weeks, community events, and daily and weekly rewards give you the opportunity to hone your skills and try out new play styles. This is a game where skill matters – where you aim, when you attack, and how you move – putting you in direct control of the action in a fully 3D world.
Cards give your heroes unique powers and capabilities on the battlefield. You build up your collection by playing, and can create decks that will hopefully lead your team to victory – because cards affect power in game, they can only be earned by playing the game.
We’ve been happily testing Paragon out with a mix of gaming hardware and as you can see in our GTX960m Gaming Laptop test below, the game is looking great!