Hero

Good Gaming PC – The GTX 1050 Hero

Good Gaming PC NZ GGPC Hero GTX 1050Fresh from the workshop our latest GGPC Hero Gaming PC returns armed with EVGA GTX 1050 graphics \o/ Like all GGPC builds we’re always tinkering with slightly different components to see if we can squeeze out a little more performance for each $ spent, and on that note – let’s take a look at the latest tweaks!

Firstly, a really cool update that effects all our Gaming PC in the GGPC custom chassis – we’ve taken out all the LED strip lighting kits and static fans and replaced both with RGB cooling 😛 A total of three RGB fans are now fitted in the front panel of the chassis and both the colour and fan speed can be adjusted via an included remote control, we left the rear 120mm outtake in the chassis as a standard GGPC black fan so you can game comfortably without a blinding LED directly in your line of sight. When the rig is on your desk and the glow from the front shines backwards to light up the beautiful components inside 🙂 Taking out the strips has also brought down the internal temperature a little and being able to tweak the fan speeds allows the gaming rig to run even quieter than before.

Another little tweak is a small update to the internal AC Wireless cards we use which now supports Bluetooth 4.2, this gives us improvements in three areas – co-existence (bluetooth and 4G (LTE) didn’t get on well, this is now fixed), smarter connectivity (improved re-connection timeout for saving battery life) and improved data transfer (connects more things!). Oh, one last thing – it’s wayyy faster than the previous versions 😛

Now onto a tweak specifically for the Hero build – we added a new GTX 1050 from EVGA 🙂 This one’s as much about ascetics as performance with the new GPU being a nice gunmetal grey that suits the case perfectly and in-game it’s a little beast!

In our last blog on the Hero we tested to see just how much performance we could get by overclocking the graphics but before we get into that let’s see what the new graphics card can do at factory settings with some in-game performance tests, after all “What is a good gaming PC?” can only be answered by “it plays the games you want to play!”

First up, the new Hero proves itself to be a good gaming PC for Overwatch players by keeping things very smooth as we get up close and personal with Roadhog and his wonderful hook 😛

If you’re thinking about getting a good gaming PC for Minecraft you’ll probably be interested in playing with Shaders on, for our tests here we installed Optifine HD D3 Ultra + Sildurs Vibrant Shaders v1.153 Medium and then went for our signature run around looking for a nice town by the water 🙂

This next one’s still under development so we’ll be stepping back in to test things out with each update but right now the just released Star Marine early access for Star Citizen is working very well with these gaming PC specs, we happily ran around the awesome looking space stations chasing down bandits while having a blast being sneaky in space 🙂

Heaps of more games to test and fun times ahead! You can check out more GTX 1050 Gameplay FPS Tests here and many more on our GGPC YouTube Channel, keep your eyes on the GGPC Computers Blog and we’ll update with the latest.

Good Gaming PC – The GTX 950 Hero

Of all the Gaming PC builds here at GGPC New Zealand, the Hero is the most popular and it’s no surprise really with such good looks and remarkable performance at around $1299.

Like all our builds we constantly test Hero with slightly different components to see if we can squeeze out a little more performance for each $ spent, and on that note – let’s take a look at the latest tweaks 🙂

Our GTX 950 DCUII Edition is being replaced with a slightly larger, quieter and more powerful Asus STRIX version, to match this we’ve also changed the motherboard from the Gigabyte H110M-S2H to the almost identical Asus H110M-A which has a slightly different shape and darker colouring.

This new configuration also fits the requirements for a “Powered by Asus” system which is nice for future special promotions coming directly from Asus NZ.

What do these changes mean for you?  Well, previously our stock settings Final Fantasy Benchmark test came in with an average score of 6239 – with our new graphics card being a larger, cooler and quieter we couldn’t resist seeing what kind of score the new build would be able to hit with a quick graphics card overclock – our target being a 10% performance increase for a score of 7000 😛

For our OC software we’ll be using the free Asus GPU Tweak II package that is included with the graphics card, if you’ve never tried overclocking before it’s an ideal starting point for monitoring temps and tweaking your settings.  Using this software we were able to boost the systems score from 6443 (the new stock average is higher) to a very nice 7212!  This had another cool effect we didn’t expect and the systems rating changed from “Very High” to “Extremely High” 🙂 That’s almost a GTX 960!

Overclock7000

You can download the Final Fantasy Benchmark software via the blog from Nvidia Benchmarks, it’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.  Below is the settings we used if you want to try this out your own GTX 950 at home, it doesn’t matter which flavour of GTX 950 you are using either – the Asus GPU tweak II software will still work 🙂

Overclock2

Fun times ahead with the GTX 1070 and 1080 just around the corner 🙂 We’ve just had a bunch of new chassis arrive in the workshop from our recent component hunt in Taipei so keep your eyes on our Computers Blog for more custom PC builds, benchmarks, gameplay FPS tests and more!

GG!

Good Gaming – Battlefield 1 Trailer + FREE DLC Packs + more great full game trials with Origin!

The Battlefield 1 trailer is here and things are looking awesome!  Exciting times for fans of this epic series, check out the trailer below for the awesome new game that’s coming our way!

What should we do while we wait?  For starters Dice and EA are celebrating by giving away free access to DLC for Battlefield 4 and Battlefield Hardline so you can pick up the Battlefield 4 add-on ‘Dragon’s Teeth’ and the Battlefield Hardline expansion ‘Robbery’ until the 10th and there is also some sweet trial offers going on right now at Origin!

An Origin trial will let you play the full version of a game, depending on which you’ll be able to play for different amounts of time and this doesn’t have to be in one session – if you have a 12 hour trail you can split this over multiple gaming sessions and that’s pretty cool. Don’t worry about the time it takes to download either, origin will start the clock from when you first log in to play and if you like the game so much you end up buying it you’ll keep all the progress you’ve made along the way 🙂

You can check out the full list of Origin trial games here and below we’ll highlight a couple of our favourites!

First up – Battlefield 4 for 168 hours!   This 1st person shooter (or 3rd if you’re in vehicle) has the famous battlefield environment which changes as war wages, sometimes in a rather breathtaking fashion.  In the shanghai map you can bring down an entire skyscraper which is a pretty amazing experience, especially if you’re under it when it happens….  This game is action packed and if you’re lucky enough to be packing a card like the GTX 970 below you can reach 100FPS on ULTRA!  You won’t need the highest end hardware to enjoy the game though, this one is extremely optimised and runs well on all our AMD R7 +R9 series and Nvidia 900 series Gaming PC.

Star Wars Battlefront for 4 hours!   If you’re a fan of Star Wars you’ll have just enough time to do a full map cycle which is likely going to leave you eager for more – this is one of the best looking games out and although it’s not quite the dynamic ever changing warzone we enjoy in Battlefield above it’s pretty incredible!  Yet again this one will run great on all sorts of gaming hardware as you see with our GTX 950 Hero Gaming PC FPS test below!

There a bunch of other free game trails to check out, one is even the SIMS!  You can also sign up for Origin Access which will give you game trails for even more like the upcoming Mirrors Edge 2 – exciting times ahead indeed 🙂

GAME ON!