Overwatch

Good Gaming CPU – Intel Kaby Lake Game Tested!

GGPC Intel Kaby Lake Gameplay FPS Tests

GGPC has been busy capturing gameplay with the new Kaby Lake CPU range from intel \o/ We started things off with the new i3 (we even managed to get the new “unlocked” i3-7350K!) and we’ve gone all the way into the powerful i7 🙂 As usual we’ll be testing in-game but this time with no additional graphics cards fitted in our systems…

Gaming with no dedicated graphics card might sound a little crazy, and in most cases it really is but with the right game you can still enjoy some pretty high settings and go for that 60FPS @ 1080p sweet spot 🙂

Of course when you throw a much heavier game at the CPU with no Graphics Card supporting things it gets a lot tougher! Below is a quick test playing Overwatch with just the i5-6400 CPU and while it’s still very playable we’ve had to turn down all of the beautiful graphics settings and we still couldn’t quite get to our 60FPS 1080P target – got pretty close though!

Swinging back around to a game that’s a lot lighter but still pretty popular we jumped into a CSGO match to see just what the CPU alone could do, while we maintained pretty close to 60FPS things were definitely still pretty tight! Much like Overwatch above adding a little GPU like the RX 460 goes a long way performance wise 🙂

When we hit League of Legends with the Skylake i5-6400 things really started looking good, we were pretty amazed to see LOL running so beautifully and we managed to get into a nice brawl in the bottom lane for the capture, settings wise we’ll show them at the end of every video – this is Character Detail: Very High, Environment Quality: Very High, Effects Quality: High and Shadows: Medium and in the clip you’ll see the FPS dip slightly below 60FPS – this provides us with a nice comparison point as we move into the tests with the new Kaby Lakes!

For our Kaby Lake system we’ve built using the very affordable ASRock Z270 motherboard, Avexir 2400MHz DDR4 and a 250GB SSD loaded with Windows 10 Home 64Bit. Originally we set things up with the B250 chipset but quickly realised we’d need to move onto a Z series for testing the “K” series unlocked CPU 🙂

All of the Kaby Lake CPU we’ll be testing for this blog are packing integrated graphics known as Intel HD Graphics 630 series so we don’t expect too much swing between the quad core i5 and the i7, what’s going to be really interesting is see how things go with the new dual core unlocked i3-7350K so let’s get started there!

Firstly, seeing as this is an unlocked processor we jumped into the bios (by pressing DEL as the computer was turned on) and edited the CPU Ratio + Fixed Voltage values shown here for a quick & easy 5GHz overclock. Once in game a little tweaking was still needed for the settings bringing down shadows and effect quality a little to ensure FPS stayed very close to 60 during some pretty colourful team fights 🙂

Jumping into a few quick matches with the new Kaby Lake i5 saw solid boost in FPS and even allowed us to push up the effects details again which was really nice, the peak framerate difference between the i5 and previous i3 (even with our 5GHz OC) was instantly noticeable and while both performed well above expectations, if you’re about to build a new system the i5-7500 certainly hits a pretty sweet spot \o/

Rounding up the tests we move our way through the new i7 range, as expected performance in game was very similar to the i5 above although again the peak FPS did reach just that little bit higher, it would be very hard to spot this in game though as once the action starts up both do really well. We played a few extra matches with these ones just to double check the shadows quality settings couldn’t be pushed to max and in most cases it can, however in the bigger team fights (especially around bases or big rift beasts) fps can dip very slightly under 60 with the shadows higher than in the gameplay FPS test below and as we like to turn V-Sync on usually keeping everything above 60 is the goal!

So what’s the verdict with Kaby Lake? It’s GOOD!

The i3-7100 at 3.9GHz performance was right up there with the unlocked i3-7350K in game, if you’re wanting to have a play around with overclocking though that “K” i3 sure is a great way to get into things (just make sure you grab a Z series mobo!) – we didn’t expect to hit 5GHz stable so easily and if it was ours (this one was a loan from intel) we would have kept going for sure 🙂

Once you hit those sweet Kaby Lake i5 things get really good, the quad cores pushed out some fantastic performance right through from the i5-7400 all the way up to the i5-7600K – These are pretty great really and going forward GGPC will be using them for most of our Gaming PC designs.

If you’re going with the i7 series you’ll still notice a difference in game, but it’s harder to spot vs the difference between the i3 & i5. As with our eSports Skylake builds we’ll likely be using these ones in special gaming PC designed to stream gameplay via Twitch, XSplit and YouTube 🙂 Even these super powerful CPU have a little trouble when it comes to shadows, but hey – graphics cards gotta have something to do right!

We’ll continue to update this blog as we learn new things and get our hands on our own i3-7350K for potentially destructive max OC check 😛 Lots of fun times ahead so be sure to keep your eyes on the GGPC Computers Blog for the latest!

Good Gaming – Overwatch Free to Play Weekend

GGPC Overwatch play free

It’s going to be a busy weekend 😛 Overwatch is up as a Free to Play from the 19th (should be live around 4am) until the 22nd of November and you can download the game client now (12GB) from your battle.net client.

For this free weekend, Overwatch’s full roster of 23 heroes and 13 maps available for play in a variety of modes, including Quick Play, Custom Games, and the latest Weekly Brawl. Players will also have the ability to level up, earn Loot Boxes, and unlock a variety of different customisation options (if you decide to purchase a copy of Overwatch after test driving the game, you’ll get to keep any progress that you made during the weekend – just be sure to use the same battle.net account)

It’s easy to think everyone’s played this one before due to its popularity but if it’s your first time in here are the basics – It’s a 5v5 first person shooter and you’ll fire your primary weapon shoots with a left click, each character has different weapon but some also have a secondary fire mode assigned to the right click like Pharah which will detonate a rocket mid flight or Roadhog that will fire a longer ranged, narrower shotgun blast. Every hero can also perform a quick melee attack with the ‘V’ key and this is ideal for finishing a low health enemy off while they reload 🙂 Ultimates are the game-changers, powerful abilities that can turn the tide of battle when you press ‘Q’,  you’ll automatically charge them over time, but you can gain charge faster when you deal damage. As long as you don’t switch heroes, your ultimate’s charge level will stick around even if you die. The best tip I can think of for newbies is try not to go into fights alone, when you stick with your teammates you’ll ensure that your support heroes can easily protect allies, and coordinate with your attacks on opponents.

It’s certainly going to be a target rich environment new players from around the world jumping in – GAME ON!

Good Gaming Laptop – Gigabyte GTX 1060 P55Wv6 is GOOD!

UPDATE: GTX 1060 Laptop Gameplay FPS Playlist

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!)

Keep your eyes on our GGPC YouTube Channel for more gameplay to check out!

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 🙂

Gigabyte P55Wv6 Gaming Laptop GGPC Edges

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!

GGPC Good GTX 1060 Gaming Laptop

Good Graphics – AMD RX 480, RX 470 and RX 460 available NOW!

AMDRXGraphicsCards

UPDATE: We’ve added gameplay playlist links below for each of the new GPU 🙂

AMD are back in the game with their latest generation of graphics cards and our gaming tests with the RX series are looking very good indeed!

With three amazing and affordable options AMD might just have the perfect graphics card for your next build and with so many AMD Crossfire savvy motherboards available now (at very reasonable prices) it’s going to be really interesting to see what we can do with this excellent new tech!

From AMD “Gamers and consumers today are being left behind. Today only the top 16 percent of PC users can afford GPUs that deliver premium VR and gaming experiences. Hundreds of millions of gamers have been relegated to using outdated technology. Notebook gamers are often forced to compromise. And tens of millions more can only read about incredible PC VR experiences that they can’t enjoy for themselves. That all changes with the Radeon RX Series, placing compelling and advanced high-end gaming and VR technologies within reach of everyone.”

Starting out with the new RX 460 Graphics Card we find it to be perfect for games like Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Star Wars Battlefront and Overwatch as expected, when we continued the tests with the very heavy Witcher 3 game it still did well, but this is certainly a title more suited to the cards more powerful big brother, the RX 470.

UPDATE: RX 460 Gaming PC FPS Tests

Showing off some outstanding performance the RX 470 now positions itself as the best value solution for those looking to build a VR Ready Gaming PC, as seen below (not the most exciting video, but does the trick) this new AMD GPU passes the VR test when paired with the very affordable intel i5-6400 🙂 Incredible stuff!

Pretty crazy cool, we quickly tested Overwatch with the RX 470 also and the performance of this new graphics card is excellent!

UPDATE: RX 470 Gaming PC FPS Tests

The RX 480 delivers extraordinary visual power and technological innovation, enabling premium experiences in the new wave of high-end VR games, entertainment, and applications. It can power through the most graphics-intensive games allowing us all to step into fantastic virtual worlds with lifelike realism, and rich interactivity.

UPDATE: RX 480 Gaming PC FPS Tests

When it came to our tests with the RX 480 and Overwatch we were able to achieve 100+ FPS as well, we found in some of the more action packed moments framerates dipped into the high 80’s.

Dark Souls 3 with the RX 480 was a frame locked 60FPS experience for us during the first boss fight, some odd drops down to 1% GPU usage shown but no drops in performance – odd but nice :/

Memory speed changes a little also with only the RX 480 coming in at 8000MHz while the others look to be clocked at 7000MHz. Each of the new cards are going to come in two choices for memory size, for the RX 470 and RX 480 this is a choice between 4GB and 8GB GDDR5, for the smaller RX 460 we’ll get to choose between 4GB and 2GB versions and some models don’t require an additional power cable 🙂

Keep your eyes on our GGPC Computers Blog for the latest gameplay tests, new custom gaming pc builds and more!

 

Good Gaming – Overwatch Summer Games Event

Summer Games Overwatch

 

Starting today (and for the duration of the event), any new Loot Boxes you earn or purchase will be sporting an updated look, but the packaging isn’t the only thing that’s changed! Inside, you will have a chance to find a variety of new cosmetic items commemorating the Summer Games – including themed sprays, emotes, victory poses, highlight intros, player icons, and some very special skins 🙂

Though they can’t be purchased with credits, each seasonal Loot Box you receive is guaranteed to contain at least one item from the Overwatch Summer Games 2016 collection. While any Summer Games item you unlock will be yours forever, the collection will be heading back into the vault on August 22 when the event concludes. So, if you’ve got your eye on something specific, there’s no time to lose!

A Summer Games event wouldn’t be complete without a display of athletic expertise, which is why the Overwatch team has unveiled a brand new brawl: Lúcioball! This futuristic spin on soccer places you in a fast-paced, 3v3 match featuring everyone’s favorite beat-dropping Brazilian and really does look a lot like Rocket League 😛 Teams will face-off in the beautiful Estádio das Rãs, located in the heart of Rio de Janeiro. Equipped with jump pads and speed-boosting walls, this unique arena amplifies Lúcio’s abilities, allowing players to punch, glide, block, bounce, and boop and their way to victory.

For this brawl, his primary fire has been replaced with a melee attack, allowing Lúcio to punch the ball – perfect for dribbling, passing, and shooting from short range. When you need to launch the ball across the map, Lúcio’s alternate fire emits a blast of sound that gets the job done nicely.

Rocket League Overwatch

Unlike other game modes, the speed boost from Lúcio’s Crossfade only affects himself in Lúcioball (Amp It Up will still increase that boost, as normal), and his ultimate ability, Sound Barrier, now pulls the ball toward him from anywhere on the field. Each game of Lúcioball lasts four minutes, and the team that scores the most goals in that time…wins!

GAME ON!

Good Gaming Monitor – Asus 1440p for Overwatch eSports

The power of our Graphics Cards have increase substantially recently with the release of the AMD RX 480 and the GTX 1070 from Nvidia, things are so good in fact that if you are lucky enough to be running with one in your system you’re pretty much good to leave the 1080P world behind and jump right into 2560 x 1440 resolution for your games, of course that means you’re probably going to have to find yourself a new monitor that can handle this higher quality.

Enter the Asus VX24AH 🙂 This awesome Asus monitor is quite unlike any we’ve had the pleasure of using before. The super sleek 2560 x 1440 panel produces an absolutely stunning image that has to be seen in person to appreciate fully, while most monitors above 1920×1080 resolution use the 27? size because this one is only 23.8? the pixel density is much higher and when you’re gaming on it graphics look oh so crisp – IMO even better than our 28? 4K monitors! The colours are vibrant and the monitor is apparently 100% sRGB accurate, although we haven’t used it for editing yet it’s a pretty safe bet that it would be a great choice for this as well as gaming 🙂

GGPC eSports NZ

We recently equipped our GGPC eSports teams with the VX24AH for Overwatch and the game has never looked so good! The monitor also has nice and wide viewing angle so it made things easy for spectators watching the gaming with us as well, it’s also really really slim and this was a great asset for us having limited desk space for each players setup.

GGPC VX42ah OverclockAlthough the monitor is certainly ultra slim it does still have twin speakers for those moments when you don’t want to wear your headset, there is a headphone jack on the monitor along with the twin HDMI ports which also support MHL so if you’re lucky enough to have a MHL compatible smartphone you can view it on the VX24AH while simultaneously charging the device, and that’s certainly handy to have around 🙂

The monitor is 60Hz and since we had a little downtime between matches we checked out just how far we could overclock this and managed to increase to 69Hz stable for a 15% performance gain – nicely done Asus!

Oddly there isn’t a DisplayPort input on the monitor so if you’re thinking of going triple screen be sure to check your graphics card outputs and be prepared to get some HDMI-DisplayPort cables as the monitor only includes HDMI-HDMI cables in the box.

Now that we’ve had a really good go with this Asus monitor we are happy to recommend it to gamers who are looking for a really nice 1440p screen – This Asus Monitor is most definitely GOOD!

GGPC recommends VX24AH

UPDATE: Still haven’t found a better looking 1440p Gaming Monitor in NZ yet!

Good eSports NZ – The Road to Victory in Overwatch!

Nerf This Champions of Ping Zero

New Zealand just had it’s first Overwatch tournament at Ping Zero and it was GOOD!

There were 9 teams entered in the eSports competition, including two of our very own Good Gaming PC teams all chasing the glory of taking out this first tournament…  It was a tough fight but one teams consistent teamwork, strategy and gaming skill led them through all the brutal firefights and onto the winning podium – that team was NERF THIS led by team captain AVRL and wow, these guys certainly know how to play some Overwatch!

The teams composition subtly adapted as the levels and game modes changed but for the most part the core combination remained the same, the captain AVRL was a supporting class character named Zenyatta and stayed largely out of the direct conflict calling team targets while he buffed his teammates and hexed their opponents. Pharah (played skillfully by ELECTRIC) was a very versatile and mobile offensive hero for the team, often seen with Mercy (expertly played by TAK4N) being towed behind and increasing Pharahs damage by 30% while staying in a good position to reach anyone else in the team that could use some urgent healing.  Players WARFEAR, ELIAAS and GYMAR showed off their versatility by switching between a combination of Roadhog, Reinhart, Soldier 76, D.VA and Widowmaker depending on what the team needed to accomplish. Most importantly, even when things went badly they remained focused as a team and had a lot of fun in the matches.

Round after round passed and although some victories were narrow, Nerf This were only stopped in one round throughout the entire tournament during an earlier matchup vs LessThan3.

Below is some sweet game capture from the final matches in the tournament between teams NERF THIS & LESSTHAN3 and it’s got all the important team communication left in so you can check out what it takes to be a winning eSports team!

Pretty excellent stuff right!

Just before the finals our second team was put against NERF THIS in a match up – having already seen what they could do we decided to target and kill their team captain AVRL relentlessly, after all if you’re going to lose best to try and look good while doing it! Below is our favourite kill of the LAN 🙂

The next tournament is coming up soon and GGPC is ready to roll, if you’re a gamer and have been thinking of getting into eSports now is the time\o/

GG!

Good Graphics Card – Asus GTX 1060 available now!

GTX 1060
What a treat! This time around we got to skip the founders edition and move straight into testing out the latest Asus ROG STRIX GTX 1060 graphics card!

This beastly new graphics card looks utterly amazing, even when it’s off.  Turn it on and not only does Republic of Gamers start glowing with a vibrant LED but half the card lights up to go along with it – you can check these out for yourself on our GGPC Instagram 🙂  It’s a Aura RGB Lighting system so you’ll be able to tweak things so the card will match your setup perfectly.

It’s a massive card, much larger than we expected but comes packed with all those fancy ASUS technologies like their DirectCU III with a triple wing-blade 0dB fan designed to deliver maximum airflow and quieter performance. It also features GPU-controlled fan headers you can connect to system fans for targeted supplemental cooling which we’re looking forward to playing around with 🙂 We were surprised to that even this massive aftermarket version didn’t have an SLi bridge though!

GGPC GTX1060 build
Performance wise it doesn’t disappoint, we’ve begun testing out our favourites and as you’ll see in our quick Overwatch FPS below the in game results are pretty excellent!  This new graphics card also meets the requirements for a VR ready PC which is sure to put at the top of many peoples upgrade lists, and if you’re thinking of upgrading from the Nvidia 700 series this new graphics card is certainly a fine choice.

 

This time around it’s a little different from the other recent 10 series launches with the aftermarket cooler versions being available and the Nvidia Founders edition only being sold directly by Nvidia, sadly that means it’s pretty unlikely we’ll see the reference version down here in NZ 🙁

There are a few different flavours available for the GTX 1060 now in New Zealand and they are all quite unique, the new GTX 1060 G1 Gaming edition features the new dual fan cooling system with alternate spinning fans and 2 composite copper heat pipes with direct touch to the GPU, much like the Asus GTX 1060 above the fans shut off during low usage for silent operation. Gigabyte have additional GTX 1060 models coming including a both a mid sized and small form factor version!

G1 GTX 1060 top

EVGA have created what’s looking to be the best GTX 1060 options with a very cool, very small graphics card on offer as well.   Seriously how cool are these!  These cards also feature EVGA ACX cooling technology which once again allows for silent operation and also feature optimized swept fan blades, double ball bearings and an extreme low power motor, delivering more airflow with less power which EVGA say allows additional power for the GPU.

EVGA 1060 small and big

Pretty cool right!  We’ve uploaded our first GTX 1060 custom build to PC Part Picker for you all to check out, and be sure to swing by the GGPC YouTube and GGPC Facebook for as we have a lot more gameplay coming from these excellent new graphics cards 🙂

 

GG!

OVERWATCH – OPEN BETA early access now live!

GGPCOverwatch

If you pre-ordered Overwatch you’ve been flagged for early access to the latest open beta tests!  If you haven’t already entered your codes then check that inbox for two early-access keys – there should be one for you and one for a lucky friend 🙂

This BETA opens up to everyone on the 5th so even if you’ve not already joined the battle you can in just a couple more days, the game is extremely fun to play and features a wide array of unique heroes, ranging from a future soldier with deadly aim, to a hook throwing, potion slamming warrior, to a transforming robot tank.

Every hero in Overwatch plays differently, and using their abilities at the right time is the key to dominating your opponents. We’ve begun testing each systems performance for the best settings to use for a 60FPS target (1080p 100% rendering) and we are happy to report solid performance on both AMD and Nvidia graphics cards, check out the videos below from our GGPC GTX 950 Hero and R7 370 Shaman Gaming PC!

GAME ON!

GGPC Shaman Gaming PC (R7 370 + AMD FX-6300)

GGPC Hero Gaming PC (GTX 950 + i5-6400)

Overwatch – Pre order for BETA Access +1

OverwatchBETA

UPDATE: Overwatch Birthday Event

Want a chance to check out Overwatch ahead of its May 24 launch?

Form a team of friends and try out the team shooter of tomorrow in the Overwatch Open Beta, coming in early May to PC!

As a newly added bonus, if you pre-purchase Overwatch at www.buyoverwatch.com you will also get early access to the Open Beta for you and a friend from May 3–4.

After that, everyone will have a chance to play free during an all-access Open Beta period from May 5–9.