Overwatch

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 – Overwatch World Cup 2017 SYNDEY!

The Overwatch World Cup 2017 is underway and the next live event is pretty close to NZ, taking place just over in Syndey 🙂 Running from July 21st through to the 23rd at the Star Events Centre it’s the second of four group stage qualifier events. Australia’s top 100 Overwatch players fought hard to get the 13th position in the pool of 32 qualified nations putting them into Group C where they will be competing against Sweden, Italy, and Portugal. The stage in Sydney will also play host to Group D, which will be a battle between Finland, Japan, Spain, and Vietnam.

Our recently elected NZ World Cup national committee have selected the New Zealand team which is assigned to Group G, with our live event set to take place in Burbank USA! 

Keep your eyes on our PC Gaming Blog and we’ll update with more as the battles continue to rage!

Good Gaming PC – X299, Intel Core i9 and i7X Gameplay Tests Begin!

GGPC has been busy playing some games with the first arrivals from a new i9 CPU range from intel \o/ We’ve started things off with a tasty new i9-7900X which boasts 10 cores and 4.3GHz Turbo Boost (4.5GHz with TB3!) but before we dive right in there is even more sweet hardware that’s released alongside the new intel CPU and it’s all looking suitably awesome, X299 motherboards have appeared in NZ already from those fine folks at Gigabyte and Asus!

For our first build we’ve used a beautiful Aorus X299 AORUS Gaming 3 motherboard in black (this one has really cool detailing on the headsinks too) and, much like the previous X99 motherboards these new X299 versions spread out the ram slots to the left and right of the CPU socket which really does help to make a build look EPIC 😛 With our test i9-7900X build we filled all the slots up with G.Skill Trident Z RGB Ram for a total of 64GB and it does indeed look epic when all the ram slots are lit up 🙂

Diving into the latest version of Minecraft 1.2 with Optifine and Sildurs Vibrant Shaders version 1.61 we were treated to some excellent performance at 4K, the quick test couldn’t have been in a better spot with the latest water effects on display as we ran around a village right beside the ocean 🙂 

Jumping into a little Overwatch next we has a blast happily charging around in our new D.VA Police Skin shooting down Pharah with Mercy in tow 🙂 Our FPS never dipping below 60 even with the settings cranked to a custom epic preset with SMAA on max at 4K \o/ 13 seconds into the video I muted the sound to talk to another GGPC tester – will have update this one soon 😛

From here we jumped into a bunch of games until we finally hit one that couldn’t quite hit our 60FPS 4K target, well at least not all of the time 😛 Black Desert Online is currently featured in the massive Steam summer sale and the player base is MASSIVE right now – perfect for some really hardcore testing 🙂

Starting things off with the most popular activity in the game we began hunting for large mobs to kill so we could really test things out with lot’s of effects on screen, we tried several areas and found the heaviest zones to be the forest and giant canyons, especially the area below which was covered in a thick fog at the time of testing. We followed this up by putting even more stress on the system by turning the Ui off which activates a filter in BDO, check out the Ui Off, Farming Mobs FPS test here and Ui Off, Fighting a Giant in the Forrest test here.

The largest city in the game is known as Calpheon and it’s pretty massive, this area is notorious for reducing even the most powerful systems to low FPS but we didn’t have a bad time at all riding our horse through the town with the biggest dips happening only for a moment right in the middle at the marketplace.

Rounding off the Black Desert tests we wanted to see what performance was like with hundreds of players in the area so we headed to the smaller town of the Velia which has a popular fishing spot, it didn’t disappoint with so many players loading them happened in chunks!

Blown away by the performance of this “not really intended for gaming but pretty darn good at it i9 CPU” we decided to fire up the latest Final Fantasy Stormblood benchmark check out another new CPU that’s coming out for the same new X299 platform – an i7-7740X \o/

This Final Fantasy Stormblood benchmark is FREE to download here so you can try it out on your system at home and compare your scores with ours.

Pretty cool right! Even though we loved every minute gaming with the i9 our little i7 did great in the benchmark test – we can’t wait to try this one out with even more games 🙂

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 – 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 eSports – Overwatch World Cup NZ

UPDATE: Congrats to AVRL, SMITE and NESTY for being selected as our NZ Overwatch World Cup Committee!

With the top 32 regions now selected by Blizzard (New Zealand slides in at #30!) it’s time for us to vote on who is going to be on our Overwatch competition committee.

Whoever we choose now will be responsible for selecting and recommending to Blizzard the strongest Overwatch team for our region.

You can cast 3 votes in total, there are seven candidates to choose from – let’s take a quick look at who’s in the running for the positions!

AVRL is the current lead analyst and caster for the Overwatch Pacific Championship, he was also lead analyst and caster for the Oceanic Summer Series and the former coach of JAM Gaming and Team Skyfire!

ezy is a full time eSports host for Full Circle who are currently covering the Overwatch Pacific Championship. He’s got the skills to see what potential players can do based on their mechanical skill and picking which personalities work well together.

Joker has played competitively since the release of Overwatch last May and watched the best players NZ has to offer rise so he knows who works well with who.

Lokistar is a psychology major who has been playing Overwatch since BETA. With extensive knowledge of both the game and the Blizzard gaming community.

Nesty has both experience and passion for the game. Reaching the top 500 on more than one account with a good knowledge around the mechanics of gameplay.

Pixie casts the matches in which champions are crowned, he knows what makes winners win. A vote for Pixie is a vote for knowledge, experience and moustaches!

Smite is a colour caster and analyst on the biggest Pacific tournaments Overwatch has seen, packed full of sweet as Kiwi pride, he’s a top choice to help New Zealand take on the world.

Vote for your chosen representatives here, as I write this there are just days left so get in quick with your selections!

All 32 teams will compete in a group stage event for a chance to make it to the World Cup playoffs at BlizzCon in November \o/

Good Gaming – Heroes of the Storm / Overwatch D.Va BONUS!

Heroes of the Storm has had a massive update, the game now has a much better level up progression system, a new battleground, and, of course, loot chests!

The Nexus Challenge 2.0 also begins and as a reward for playing some Heroes of the Storm you can unlock a new new skin for D.Va in Overwatch (available in week two, but you have complete week one’s challenge as well) + this event will also give us another chance to secure the Oni Genji skin which was up for grabs back in November when the first Nexus challenge event was revealed. With this one a new quest will unlock each week and only one can be active at any given time – complete all four quests to get your bonus. This event is set to run until May 22.

Quest 1 is now live – Play 5 games with a friend in Versus A.I., Quick Match, Unranked, or Ranked. This will unlock a Orochi Hovercycle, Warbanner, Spray and Portrait for Heroes of the Storm + the Oni Genji Skin, Player Icon and Spray for Overwatch.

Quest 2 is set to begin on May 3rd (NZ), again we have to Play 5 games with a friend but this time no A.I. so it’s just Quick Match, Unranked, or Ranked. (remember to complete quest 1 first!) and the DV.A skin that’s up for grabs is pretty awesome looking, turning our mech into an awesome police robot of justice – along with this you’ll also get a pretty sweet police themed hovercycle mount to use in Heroes of the Storm 🙂

The event finishes itself off with some Lootboxes to crack open, the first 10 for Heroes of the Storm followed by another 10 for Overwatch.

Let the grind begin! We’ll be on our new GGPC Twitch channels if you want to check these things out, you can actually get the first 5 wins really quickly by entering matches against the Ai, don’t worry if you don’t have any friends on – local chat is full of peeps looking for groups to smash out the event and unlock the new skins 🙂 Even a loss counts so don’t worry if you get smashed.

Just don’t forget to friend up or it won’t count towards the match totals to get these sweet unlockables!

Good eSports – Overwatch Pacific Championship NOW ON!

GGPC Overwatch Pacific Championship eSports NZ

UPDATE: The event has begun and you can watch the games with English commentary via the Full Circle eSports Twitch channel – damn good gaming so far with Blank eSports taking 7 wins so far putting them at the top of the table!

Now you might be thinking to yourself “hey GGPC, why are you writing about this in your New Zealand Blog when these chaps are from Australia?” and fair enough! Well, the guys covering this one at Full Circle eSports are actually in NZ!

GGPC Blank eSports Team Overwatch Taipei

UPDATE: The new Blizzard events center is now open! Aussie team Blank eSports have landed in Taipei and the first big tournament begins April 8th \o/

Blizzard TW have just officially announced a new Overwatch League for the Asia-Pacific Region with an event named the Overwatch Pacific Championship \o/ Up for grabs is MASSIVE prize pool of approx 380K NZ (8.3mil TWD). League events will start 8 April 2PM local time and it will last for 13 weeks! League will be held at the new venue to be launched on 30 March, details below.

The 8 invited teams include:

ahq eSports Club (Taiwan)

Blank Esports (Australia)

DeToNator GOLD (Japan)

Flash Wolves (Taiwan)

FireBall (Thailand) – (previously known as SweetTime)

Hong Kong Attitude (Hong Kong)

Machi Esports (Taiwan)

SunSister (Japan)

Original Article: Blizzard Taiwan is an exciting extension of the Blizzard global family. Located in the vibrant heart of Taipei City, they’ve just extended their support with a new venue which will be hosting gaming events soon 🙂 Blizzard Entertainment CEO and co-founder Mike Morhaime will personally come to Taiwan to open the venue, with the afternoon promising a professional team stage competition.

For Overwatch specifically, rumors are already spreading that there will be a Overwatch League event sometime in April. There are also rumors that teams from Australia, Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan will participant this upcoming League. We can expect to see Taiwanese teams like Flash Wolves and AHQ had announce their Overwatch rosters plus we’ll get to see known players like Zonda and Baconjack from Flash Wolves to compete in the upcoming Overwatch league. More news should be announced during the launch.

We can’t wait to check this one out for ourselves when GGPC hits Taipei for Computex (this is right around the 1st Birthday for Overwatch on May 24th and should be massive!) and will update with lots of sweet photos when we do, be sure to check out our Instagram for the latest \o/

Good Gaming – Quake Champions BETA Sign up begins!

It’s almost time to return to the arena, so dust off that railgun and prepare to test your rocket jumping skills – the highly anticipated BETA tests for Quake Champions is about to begin! 

From the gaming giants at Bethesda Softworks this one follows in the arena shooting footsteps that were laid down over 20 years ago, the original Quake set new standards for multiplayer competition and pushed the boundaries for both graphics and gameplay (you could look up and down, this is the first FPS game I remember being able to do this in) with fast-paced, skill-based arena-style competition that turned the original Quake games into multiplayer legends paving the way for the arena based shooters we know and love playing today.

This latest version looks to have taken a few notes from those that have come in-between as well, with characters now available sporting different combinations of health, armour and speed as well as unique abilities like healing totems, shields and teleports.

You can register here now for a chance to be involved in the upcoming closed BETA tests for this one, and through your feedback help shape the game into a multiplayer masterpiece worthy of the Quake lineage 🙂 Lot’s on fun times ahead testing this one out for ourselves with our own Gaming PC here at GGPC NZ.

GAME ON! 

Good Gaming Laptop – Gigabyte Kaby Lake GTX 1060 Aero!

GGPC Gigabyte GTX 1060 Kaby Lake Gaming Laptop

Gigabyte have continued to update their excellent line up of GTX 10 series gaming laptops and now the first of the Kaby Lake refresh has arrived in New Zealand – among which is the absolutely stunning Aero series which is now packing the mighty i7-7700HQ and a 6GB GTX 1060!

Gigabyte Aero GTX 1060 Laptop Marco Keys GGPC NZWhat makes this series so darn impressive is the laptop sports a gorgeous 2560×1440 resolution IPS screen packed into a very portable 14″ package, it’s simply a joy to look at 🙂
Weighing in at around 2KG this is one of the few laptops available now that’s perfect for work (it’s so fast!) and also great for gaming after hours. It’s super thin too, coming in just under 2cm slim and yet those talented chaps at Gigabyte still managed to fit very comfortable auto-adjusting backlit keyboardand individual macro keys!

Aside from the very latest in hardware inside you’ll also find it has all the connections we look for like USB Type-C and HDMI 2.0 for connecting to a 4K 60FPS screen should you decide that you want to play a little League of Legends on the TV when you get home 😛

UPDATE: We were blown away when we first tested the GTX 1060 in laptops and with this new, more portable option things are certainly looking even better now for the gamer on go 🙂 Even with the new slimmer frame this GTX 1060 Kaby Lake combo still pushes out the frames like a big gaming PC and with that beautiful 2560×1440 screen games are a joy to play! Even in the most intense firefights, the Gigabyte Aero manages to keep thing nice and smooth as we try to capture the flag in Overwatch below \o/