Nvidia Experience

Good Gaming Laptop – Gigabyte 120Hz P57x V7!

New Toys!

We got very lucky and had the chance to test drive the latest 17.3″ Gigabyte GTX 1070 Gaming Laptop, well, not that exact version actually – ours came with a very quick 120Hz display!

As we uploaded our first GGPC YouTube video however, we realised this was going to be a tough one to show you… the problem being that our maximum frame rate using the built-in Nvidia Shadowplay Game Capture is just 60FPS and the frames displayed on our screen were going as high as 120FPS!

With the Destiny 2 BETA underway we decided to jump in and see what this awesome laptop could do, testing first to see what our base FPS would be like at 1080p with low settings before tweaking upwards to get our 60FPS target on the highest settings possible, we found the best settings for this in Destiny 2 on the P57Xv7 was to run with MSAA turned on (crazy heavy!) and high settings across the board with textures tweaked up to the highest settings.

If we turned the MSAA setting down to SMAA our framerate skyrocketed upwards allowing us to capture between 90-120 FPS even with the resolution increased to 2560×1440, we are using the in-built FPS counter, found within the gameplay settings tab in Destiny 2, but we’ve also captured another test with our temperature and CPU/GPU usage stats up top left if you’re interested in checking these out.

Jumping into some Overwatch we turned everything up that we could, customising the EPIC preset to increase the antialiasing quality right up to ULTRA – SMAA HIGH (odd that epic doesn’t include this as standard right?) and also pushed our resolution all the way to 2560×1440. It’s nice that this higher resolution is available (some P57x models even have 4K!) and even better still to see that still supported a blazing 120Hz! Even with these extremely high settings though we still spent most of our time enjoying a crisp 90FPS, which, after experiencing the super visuals on the laptop itself, just isn’t done justice in the video below!

From here we decided to move into some Battlefield 1 and encountered a similar issue, even at the highest settings with our resolution set to 2560×1440 we were getting frame rates well into the 80’s – lucky for us the map rotation eventually swung around to the Amiens City which is notoriously heavy late game and we were able to snap a quick shadowplay with plenty of explosions, tanks, players and smoke everywhere helping to drop our FPS around 60 🙂

From here we moved into testing out our favourite space sim at the moment – the still-in-development Star Citizen \o/ We played with the settings for a while and found the best setup (right now, it changes with each update) is to play at 1080P with the graphics preset on HIGH. This gives you all the coolest effects like ambient occlusion and also adds some extra definition to the “space clouds” which I feel gives you something to visually gauge your speed and direction – turning things down to the lower preset does free up around 20 more FPS though so we captured a quick Shadowplay for those settings as well.

We decided to round off our gaming tests with a bit of Black Desert Online and set off on an adventure! Finding ourselves in an Orc village at dawn with rain pelting down we tweaked our settings for a smooth and beautiful combat experience at 1440p 🙂

Gaming performance aside there are a lot of things to like about this laptop, yet again the build quality is good with very little flex on the screen, the hinges on the screen are robust (and still orange) and if you tip the laptop upside-down you’ll see the impressive dual exhaust cooling system which, when at 100% speed (a setting we highly doubt you’ll use, auto is fine) has a noise output that is reminiscent of the noise from a kettle boiling. It’s packing most of the features we look for in a modern system like AC Wireless, Bluetooth, USB Type C, and HDMI 2.0 for 4K 60FPS, sadly no DisplayPort this time but ours did have a Blu Ray drive hidden on the front! The laptop has a nice white LED keyboard backlight that can be switched between half strength, full, off and of course auto mode which adjusts to suit the lighting around you

Battery on the P57Xv7 lasted us 1 hour & 11 mins at full brightness while looping videos which was excellent, we ran all the tests above with the fan profile set to auto which revs the cooling up and down as needed. As with our previous tests with the P57Xv6 we again set out to restrict airflow so we could see when things started to throttle and noted 90 degrees as the tipping point to watch with the CPU usage – during these high temps we still had no system crashes or instability.

Overall it’s been a pleasure to game with, and the Gigabyte P57Xv7 with it’s GTX 1070 + i7-7700HQ combo is most definitely good – on that note we happily give this fine gaming laptop our GGPC recommends award – the P57Xv7 is GOOD!

We’ll keep testing all the way upto 4K 🙂 Keep your eyes on our GGPC Computers Blog for more!

Good Gaming Laptop – GTX 1050 Sabre 15

It’s not often that we see a gaming laptop with such amazing price/performance but the new Sabre 15 GTX 1050 Gaming Laptop brings it all together pretty perfectly, before we dive into the gameplay FPS tests though let’s take a quick look at the specifications.

Essentials…

– NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 2GB GDDR5
– Intel Kaby Lake Core i7 7700HQ
– 16 GB RAM
– 256GB M.2 SSD + 1TB HDD
– 15.6″ 1080P Display
– AC Wireless + Bluetooth 4.2

With a very quick M.2 SSD for loading times along with mass storage for games via the 1TB HDD the Sabre 15 is a versatile and agile gaming laptop, the i7-7700HQ and GTX 1050 combo is backed by an unexpectedly large 16GB of 2400MHz DDR4 ram also.

The frame of the laptop screams gamer with aggressive detailing on the lid and also along the rear cooling vent, and the chiclet keyboard glows with a cool white LED which can adjust manually or automatically via the light sensor. This chassis supports a range of connection options including the USB type-C and twin Mini DisplayPorts along with the must haves like HDMI and USB 3.1, it even sports a discreet 6 in 1 card reader which is pretty handy to have!

Inputs and Outputs…

– 1 x USB 3.1 Type-A port
– 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C port
– 1 x USB 3.0 port
– 1 x USB 2.0 Port
– 1 x Mic-In/Headphone-out
– 2 x Mini DisplayPort
– 1 x HDMI 1.4
– 1 x RJ45 (for LAN insert)
– 6 in 1 Card Reader
– Auto-adjusting Backlit Keyboard
– Webcam and Mic build in.

Jumping into gaming with the Sabre 15 we see the performance align with it’s desktop brothers, and considering this system has a monitor and keyboard built into it the value kicker is that much better – investing in both a gaming keyboard and gaming mouse is advised though as this one can connect to your TV in the lounge via the HDMI for a wonderful console killing experience 🙂

Looking specifically at Overwatch we were able to maintain our 60FPS target even with the texture filtering quality set to EPIC, furthermore we recorded this very heavy battle with the built-in Nvidia Shadowplay Game Capture tools which can now even stream to Twitch, Facebook and more… and our CPU usage spent most of its time in the 30’s and didn’t even cross the 50% usage mark… insanity!

Swinging around to an older game that won’t use much of the graphics card but should put more stress onto our CPU we fired up CS:GO 🙂 Again using the built in Shadowplay Game Capture to record the clip below we where able to hit a whopping 69% peak usage in an online match with both bots and real people playing.

Rounding off the tests with a quick game of League of Legends we set out to get into a large team fight and succeeded 🙂 Even with all the explosions and effects on screen (game settings on MAX) our lowest dip was to 62.4FPS and that was only for a microsecond, crazy cool!

While the performance for this laptop is excellent it’s not quite invincible 😛 for our final test of the night we headed to Novigrad – the largest city in the Witcher 3 and got into a some fights just at daybreak when the lighting effects hit hard 🙂 Even with all the settings turned down for this one hitting our 60FPS target wasn’t quite possible in the city although we did come close with around 45FPS even during our bomb test on a poor chap with shield 🙂 If you’re looking for great performance in Witcher 3 there is also another version of the Sabre 15 with a GTX 1050Ti we’re about to test and also check out our latest GTX 1060 Laptop tests with the Aero 15, it handled the Novigrad run insanely well!

We’ve had a blast testing this one out for ourselves and look forward to playing more games with the Sabre 15, right now we’re on the hunt for a good one to try and use up some more of the that ram… (16GB really is a lot) and we’ll update our GGPC PC Gaming Blog and Gameplay FPS Test YouTube Channel with the latest \o/

GG

Good Gaming – Nvidia Overwatch Screenshot Competition!

Those fine folks at Nvidia and Gigabyte are having an Overwatch screenshot contest with some excellent GTX gear up for grabs \o/

This one’s as easy as playing some Overwatch and taking some sweet pics along the way!

When you’ve captured your amazing screenshot you then upload it the hi-res gallery here and register your details. Once that’s all set if you also want to post it onto Facebook use the hashtags #GAMEREADY #PLAYOVERWATCH – this competition is set to run until the 28th May.

When it comes to taking screenshots you can use the classic ‘printscrn‘ button on your keyboard but that great shot will get overwritten if you decide to ‘printscrn’ again. A better option here is to use the screenshot tool within Nvidia Experience, it’s tied to ALT+F1 by default and with this you can happily take as many shots as you like. They’ll automatically save to the videos folder, the same one as your Shadowplay clips to save in.

This also presents another really cool way to do screenshots, you can record a Shadowplay clip and then afterwards capture the perfect screenshot from it!

In Overwatch you can turn your HUD off with ALT+Z, this happens to be the default shortcut for Nvidia Experience also so be sure to change one of them before you jump into a game, or you could find yourself stuck in NO-HUD mode 😛 Without all the stats on screen you can capture some beautiful shots like this quick one we captured below, now we just need to get a good POTG with our new D.Va Police skin

GAME ON!

Good Gaming PC NZ – GGPC Twitch Tests Begin!

Here at GGPC we’ve been happily using our Youtube channel for just over a year now (approaching 2 million views fast!), uploading hundreds of in-game performance tests as we try out all the wonderful graphics cards for ourselves and we absolutely love it, it’s through this channel that we recently started getting requests for info around what the performance is like when streaming – specifically lot’s of people wanted to know more about Twitch but until recently the quality options for that have been more suited towards console gaming than PC so we only tested things out case by case.

Now that Twitch has rolled out their enhanced video and streaming playback, upgraded to include 1080p/60fps support – we’ve jumped in officially to join in on the fun!

Eight of us have created new accounts with a fun quest to kick things off, we’ve got a lot to learn but love gaming so it promises to be good \o/

We will be hosting all the individual gamers on our main GGPC NZ Twitch channel as well, because we each have our own favourite games to play and rather unique gameplay styles it’s going to be a fantastic mess featuring everything from Monster Hunter Online to Star Citizen and Hearthstone. If you’re wanting to give streaming a go for yourself we highly recommend using Nvidia Experience to connect to Twitch, it works in a very similar way to the Shadowplay function we’re all familiar with and is wonderfully easy to use.

GAME ON!

 

 

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 – Ghost Recon: Wildlands BETA about to begin!

GGPC Ghost Recon Wildlands Closed BETA

UPDATE: This game is now a part of the Nvidia You Choose Bonus promotion

Ghost Recon: Wildlands closed BETA test has just begun sending out the emails with codes so check your inbox and you could have a special Game-Code waiting for you!

If you’ve not already opted in for this one via Nvidia Experience, you can still try by signing up for the BETA test here – the servers are set to go live on the 3rd (likely early morning 4th in NZ)

Don’t worry (too much) if you’ve missed out – there is another OPEN BETA coming up again soon 🙂 

GGPC Wildlands BETA

Wildlands is said to be the largest open world that Ubisoft has ever made, and coming from the makers of the Far Cry series that’s saying something! Set in the not so distant future we’ll be running and gunning in Bolivia this time around, with the country being the largest cocaine producer in the world money is plentiful and our enemies will be well armed. The Santa Blanca drug cartel has turned the country into a narco-state, leading to lawlessness, injustice, and violence. We will play as Ghosts, an elite US Special Forces team sent behind enemy lines to wreak havoc and takedown the cartel \o/

The download for this one is 22GB, pre-load is active and the servers are just about to go live!

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GAME ON!