Gaming PC

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 – 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 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!

PREPARE FOR BATTLE – For Honor + Ghost Recon Wildlands YOU CHOOSE GTX BONUS!

GGPC Wildlands For Honor Nvidia GTX 1060 1070 1080 ti Free Game You Choose Bonus

UPDATE: This promotion has now ended, you have until the 30th Jun to redeem your codes.

 

Play a battle-hardened warrior in For Honor or go behind enemy lines to take down the cartel in Ghost Recon: Wildlands. For a limited time, claim your choice of these Ubisoft games as a bonus when you gear up with selected GTX 1070, GTX 1080, GTX 1080Ti graphics cards or Gaming PCs and Gaming Laptops featuring these beasts!

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 🙂

UPDATE: Gigabyte Game Code redemption site is now live

UPDATE: EVGA Game Code redemption site is now live

UPDATE: Asus Game Code redemption site is now live

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 Custom PC – Certified Components and Systems

For us here at GGPC the exciting world of PC Gaming splits into two separate parts, the first being all the wonderful components we get to test out when reviewing new tech and the second being actually playing games on the completed systems for fun, our YouTube channel and now eSports thanks to competitive gaming events \o/

For system designers and builders there are literally thousands of component options to choose from, and within each component type there are masses of variants available for each with slightly tweaked voltage configurations, ascetic options and more. Luckily for everyone involved in this process the biggest players at the heart of the manufacturing side like Asus, ASrock and Gigabyte have excellent technicians that make lists available showing which parts they’ve certified for themselves. This certification sometimes carries on to the extreme level, when it does the item actually gets a special badge added to the specific hardware involved – items like these killer Asus Republic of Gamers RAM kits 🙂 These are certified versions of Team Group T-FORCE Dark memory with the classic Mayan style heatsink and have passed ROG stress tests thus becoming T-FORCE Dark ROG overclocking modules. Having these along with a ROG motherboard’s optimizing Ai overclock function (update that bios!) will enable you to automatically tune these kits to ROG limits.

GGPC ROG Certified Gaming RAM

Further down the line there is yet another form of certification, this time as much from the players as it is the makers – like IEM (Intel Extreme Masters) which requires a system to meet certain specs in order to get the special badge. These usually have a set of guidelines that must be followed in order to be considered for certification, as you’d expect with the IEM ones these use specific gaming savvy intel CPU and Kingston RAM. Intel Extreme Masters is the longest running global pro gaming tour in the world. Started in 2006 by ESL, the competition features Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, StarCraft II and League of Legends tournaments across multiple continents with the next big CS:GO event scheduled for May 6th – 7th in Sydney, Australia.

 

Good Gaming – Ryzen CPU Testing Begins!

With the arrival of the new AMD Ryzen CPU things are getting pretty interesting in the highest end space for system builders, graphic designers and gamers. There are three CPU available now, Ryzen 1700, 1700X and 1800X.

Time to jump into the games! With the Ryzen 1800X and GTX 1080 combo being so so powerful we’ve started testing out things with two goals in mind, firstly we want to play in 4K (3840×2160 to be precise) and secondly, we want to be able to hit 144hz framerates at 1080p.

With the Witcher 3 hitting 60FPS at 4K was still a challenge with just a single GTX 1080 to power things, to achieve this we’ve turned down the draw distance a little while leaving the other options on ultra – exact settings used are shown at the end of all videos 🙂

When turned everything up to max except hairworks performance in the Witcher 3 was still very impressive.

We then continued to test at 1920×1080 which allowed us to turn all the settings up in Witcher 3 (even full hairworks) and still enjoy FPS over 60 even when running the streets of the massive Novigrad city! When we switched settings to the lowest Witcher managed around 100FPS, not quite ready for our 144Hz target but pretty close 🙂

Overwatch was a joy to play and we hit 4K 60FPS with EPIC settings, happy with our 4K gamecap location we then moved on to chase our 144FPS target 🙂

We dropped down to 1080p and chased our 144hz monitor target FPS while still being able to keep EPIC settings and 100% render, fun times ahead for a designer by day / gamer by night with performance like this! If you’re interested in comparing we’ve captured gameplay on the lowest settings in the same location.

We thought it would be good to check out some of the slightly older, but still very popular games like Counter Strike and Minecraft – while still chasing our 4K resolution target of course 😛

CS:GO looks pretty good! Performance wise the system is total overkill for a game like this but if it’s what you want to play – go for it!

With Minecraft we installed the latest version then modded in some extremely high end shaders to give the GTX 1080 something to do. The Ryzen inside did very well with a few noticeable dips around water but aside from the that it was a great little run around and Minecraft was looking good 🙂

With H1Z1 we tested by driving quickly through a large town and the Ryzen 1800X  + GTX 1080 combo handled very high settings and 4K well, more testing of large battles is needed but as anyone who’s played this one will know – surviving to the end is tough!

With such great performance and those super sweet RGB CPU Cooler Bundles we can’t wait to build lots of powerful Gaming PC featuring Ryzen, we’ll continue testing things out with the new range so keep your eyes on the GGPC YouTube channel and PC Gaming Blog for the latest!

GG!

Good Gaming PC – The GTX 1070 Dark Knight

GGPC DARK KNIGHT GAMING PCWith our most recent Dark Knight eSports edition we changed things up a lot upgrading to a very nice new chassis, an unlocked and water cooled intel i7-6700K + 500GB SSD and massive 4TB HDD for storage but the biggest change came from us fitting an EVGA Hybrid GTX 1070, which also has a very fancy all in one liquid cooler attached 🙂

And this is where things get fun 🙂 The GTX 1080 + i7-6700K is able to hit a whopping 19400 in the Final Fantasy Benchmark run which is pretty excellent, our tests with the GTX 1070 + i7-6700K in Paladin gave us an impressive result of 17800 which was actually a lot closer than we thought it would be… this might actually be possible with an OC. In game it was very difficult to tell the two graphics card apart performance wise (both run most on ultra settings pretty darn well) but the EVGA Hybrid 1070 under full load is much much quieter, something we specifically wanted for this build as it’ll be used for a lot of live game streaming.

We had such a good time testing things out in our GTX 950 Hero Overclocking Blog so we thought we’d do it again and see if we how close we could get to the 19400 score with our Dark Knight 1070 by making full use of that sweet cooling 🙂

dark knight

The rules are simple, overclocking of the graphics card is savvy but we’re not going to touch the CPU or RAM at all 😛

We’ll be using our favourite FREE benchmark for this one set to maximum detail at 1920×1080, you can download the Final Fantasy Benchmark software via this blog from Nvidia Benchmarksit’s free so you can install and test your own systems at home and compare with various configurations we have in our Gaming PC Benchmark Playlist.

For overclocking we’ll be using the Asus GPU tweak II software (also FREE!) as we love how easy it is to use, feel free to use any software you want for this though as it all does pretty much the same thing. It doesn’t matter which flavour of graphics card you are using either – other software choices like Afterburner or Precision will still work just fine 🙂

Starting with a base test at stock settings we exceed our previous base test and score 18000, this is going to be easier than first thought but we’ll still be needing around 9% performance gains to get reach to our dream target of 19400 \o/

We then started tweaking a little, first cranking power limit to max for a run before we tinker with the all important Core Clock and Memory Clock. We then tweaked these up with basic +100 to each, with GPU tweak II you can click and type in target clock speed rather than using the sliders, also don’t forget to click the tick to apply the settings. This gave us slightly better results with a score coming in a 18400, now to close the gap!

With a little tweaking and a few long tests to be sure it’s stable we managed an impressive 19228 with the 1070! (less than 1% off our GTX 1080 score!) You can check out the final scene in our benchmark run video below, with a quick snapshot of our settings shown at the very end to make things easy if you’re wanting to tinker for yourself at home – maybe even push things up a little higher!

If you’re overclocking to see just how far you can get remember that not all graphics cards limits are identical and overclocking results can vary a bit from card to card but that makes it all the more fun when you get a really good one! Go slowly as you increase the clock speeds look out for graphical glitches so you know when the limits of your card are getting close. The first one to keep an eye out for is pop in (or missing) textures, if you see odd colour dimming or pink and green flashes your OC is likely a little too high 😛 If you go wayyy to far you’ll crash either the benchmark software, nvidia display driver or force reboot your PC so play it safe and go slow so you avoid having to reboot.

Lot’s of fun to be had with this kind of thing in any case, keep your eyes on GGPC Computers Blog for the latest gameplay tests, custom builds and more!

 

Good Gaming – GO GIGANTIC Open BETA about to begin!

GGPC Go Gigantic OPEN BETA

This one has been in the works for a long long time now and it’s almost ready to release!

Gigantic is a free to play third person battle arena game with a great art style in which we can battle against Xbox One players from our PC, part of the new ‘Play Anywhere’ range this will require us to do our PC installs via the Windows 10 store.

With a starting roster of 16 Heroes (might be more, rotation roster) each featuring a nice skill tree allowing for different play styles this open beta features three maps, Siren’s Stand, Ghost Reef and Sanctum Falls. Teams can work together to attack the enemy while claiming points on the map to summon powerful Creatures to aid in battle. Players can power up their team’s Guardian by controlling the battlefield and defeating enemies. Victory will be rewarded to the team who can overpower their opponents’ Guardian.

We’ll be testing this one out on a range of Gaming PC builds as soon as it becomes available – GAME ON!

Good Gaming PC – eSports Edition Live Streaming Tests!

GGPC Live Stream tests begin

A good gaming PC should be able to play the games you’re wanting to play and with our latest designs in our lineup, the eSports editions of Paladin and Dark Knight, we wanted to make rigs that could not only play the games but also stream them simultaneously via Twitch, YouTube, Xsplit and other services. This of course means a lot of testing in the background to make sure things are GOOD! We’ve been quietly checking out several configs over the last few months and now that we’ve got things perfect (massive thanks to Bubba Kush for all the help with this!) it’s time to start sharing some game streams so we can check out things for together 🙂

Today at around 2pm (New Zealand Time) Gabbu will be live streaming a bit of Witcher 3 and League of Legends on the i7-6700K + GTX 1070 config, if you’re tuning in make sure to set quality to “source” so we can double check our settings are good, we’ll be increasing these throughout a series of tests on different internet providers and packages to get a feel for what’s possible over the various connection types in NZ. Once we’ve got a good feel for things we’ll begin capturing a series of new tests via our GGPC YouTube channel with settings used and any helpful tweaks so everyone can join in on this rather fun way to play games with people around the world 🙂

GGPC set quality to source