YouTube

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 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 – Battlerite FREE WEEKEND incoming!

GGPC Battlerite Gameplay FPS Test Begin

UPDATE: Battlerite is available as early access on Steam right now but this weekend it opens up and we can all play free!

An action-packed Team Arena Brawler focused on competitive combat. Fight side by side with teammates to the sound of the roaring crowd in vibrant, colosseum surroundings.

The game itself is a little bit like League of Legends and Smite but without the lanes and creeps so the focus is purely on fast paced PvP matches with a range of champions that have different strengths and abilities. There are 15 champions available currently and these provide players jumping in with a decent split of melee, ranged and support to play with. Once in matches it’s all about timing and precision where predictability leads to punishment. Each battle is a race to win three rounds, the rounds are generally pretty fast paced, usually over in around 1 minute – to ensure an entertaining fight a force field will start to move inwards pushing the players in together for a final clash in the center of the arena.

We’ve taken one of our new Custom Gaming PC in for a quick 3v3 match with the starting character Jade to see what the performance is like and as you’ll see from the YouTube gameplay framerate test below – things are looking very good indeed 🙂

Next we moved tests onto the new GTX 1060 Gaming Laptop to see how good things would be with this latest generation of mobile hardware. Battlerite matches were starting to get tougher as we increased in rank and now a more tactical approach was needed to win each round, playing as Varesh our roll was to debuff enemies while shielding allies against incoming damage and the GTX1060 + i7-6700HQ config was able to keep above 60FPS even during these most intense moments.

Finishing up the first round of testing we installed on our GGPC GTX 1080 Dark Knight jumped in Sirius, a melee healer with some excellent teleports that can heal teammates and deal damage to opponents, the matches now were getting pretty darn difficult with players teamwork becoming necessary to split opponents up. Performance was excellent at 4K with max settings and the added clarity certainly makes watching opponents ragdoll on death a lot clearer 🙂

So far we’ve had a blast in Battlerite and can’t wait to see where the developers take this one, if you’re looking to a battle that’s quicker than ARAM this could be the perfect ticket 😛

GAME ON!

Good Gaming Gear – Logitech C922 Pro Stream Webcam

GGPC C922 Game Stream WebcamIf you’ve looked into webcams for YouTube channels or Twitch streaming before you’ve likely seen a fair few people out there recommending the Logitech C920, it was (and still is) a great option for capturing video while still being pretty affordable.

Now Logitech are bringing a new Webcam into the mix with a feature set that’s designed to meet the demands of serious streamers everywhere, the C922 Pro Stream makes it easy to produce clear, professional content. You can stream and record video in your choice of sharp, true-to-life 1080p at 30fps or a fluid 720p at 60fps to match the speed of your game. Uploads are fast and smooth thanks to built-in advanced H.264 video compression, freeing up processing power and network bandwidth to keep your game smooth while you broadcast.

It’s even packing a digital dynamic background replacement powered by Personify, so you can easily integrate your live image into the game on Twitch or YouTube without a complicated green screen setup. Automatic low-light correction and premium autofocus through a full HD glass lens adjusts to your movements and environment, so you have a consistent broadcast even in the dim, fluctuating light gamers regularly experience.

C922 Game Stream WebcamThe C922 Pro Stream could well be the perfect all-in-one choice for getting into streaming and although getting yourself a dedicated directional microphone is definitely going to make things even better the C922 does have built-in dual omni-directional noise cancelling microphones to capture stereo audio from every angle which is pretty good.

It also includes a fully adjustable tabletop tripod lets you record from the most flattering angle for your stream 😛

Logitech have also teamed up with gaming broadcast software XSplit and a complimentary 3-month XSplit Premium license for Windows is included so you can easily start streaming and recording your PC games with professional-grade tools and features right out of the box.

The Logitech C922 Pro Stream Webcam is available now and below is a quick test with the Personify feature, this and all the other goodness it brings with it this one’s sure to go down well with gamers around the world!  On that note we happily give it our GGPC recommends award – the Logitech C922 Pro Stream Webcam is GOOD!

Good Gaming – Fractured Space free-to-play space MOBA early access is LIVE

GGPC Fractured Space EARLY ACCESS

Fractured Space is a free-to-play tactical space MOBA that will have you fighting for control in spectacular close quarter battles with massive warships for dominance.

Brought to life in the stunning Unreal Engine 4, you captain a vessel of unmatched combat authority choosing from an ever increasing number of specialised galactic warships. Mastery of a single ship is your first step, understanding your own capabilities and that of your team before taking the fight to the enemy is crucial for success though as things can turn bad very quickly 😛 As your experience increases so will your ability to choose which victories to chase and when to warp out and re-group for another epic clash.

Pick a manufacturer, choose a class and customize your weapon loadouts. As you play you gain the right to command more ships while earning credits to add them to your fleet. Tailor your craft to your combat preferences with crew and weapons options then take on your your interstellar juggernaut into battle. The composition of your team’s fleet is vital to your success, battles may be fought with firepower but they are won with positioning. Your team of five will face an equally ambitious opponent in a ceaselessly transforming fight for control. Your plans will evolve, tactics will shift but as a team you will emerge triumphant. Your individual prowess may be great but it insignificant next to well organised communication, support and teamwork in this one!

Fractured Space is now available to download via Steam Early Access, if you like MOBA games like DOTA 2 or League of Legends and spaceships then this ones definitely worth checking out 🙂

GAME ON!

Good Gaming – Paladins Champions of the Realm – OPEN BETA is LIVE

GGPC PaladinsPaladins BETA is now live via Steam and we can all jump into the action offered by this new free to play FPS MOBA game 🙂 Those familar with Overwatch gameplay will pick up the game quickly but it’s pretty good for new players also with an early set of player vs bot matches to get you used to things. The easy matches give players a nice opportunity to try out all the new characters – We highly recommend having a go with Fernando who has a shield a lot like Reinhart but instead of a hammer he’s wielding a transforming flamethrower lance.

There is a card power up system which is pretty cool and every hero has a unique set of power-ups specific to them, with Makoa we got cards that caused our shell spin to heal and another that added lifesteal to our dredge hook attack along with all the usual +HP and run faster stuff 😛

While Paladins might not be as polished as other options it’s still a lot of fun and that free to play price is oh so good 🙂 Performance wise, with the game being in early access things could change a lot but right now the RX 460 + i5-6400 combo pumps out around 100FPS 🙂

GG!

 

 

Good Gaming – Battlefield 1 OPEN BETA begins!

Battlefield 1 Beta

UPDATE: You can now download the Battlefield 1 BETA here

It’s time to go boots on the ground at the dawn of all-out war! The Battlefield 1 Open Beta has begun and we’ve started testing out graphics cards for our GGPC YouTube performance test channel with the two game modes on offer – Conquest & Rush \o/

This Battlefield 1 beta takes us into battle on the Sinai Desert map, which features horseback combat, dogfighting in planes and an epic looking armoured train of death! The map supports 64 players so the action should be thick and fast.

Kicking our frame rate tests off we jumped into a game with the new and very affordable Gigabyte RX 460 Graphics Card, we got solid performance from the little GPU and wow does this game look GOOD!

Next we check out the GTX 1060 Gaming Laptop performance and things are looking very good indeed on this new generation of mobile gaming systems, keeping our heads well above 60FPS in the Sanai Desert Conquest.

For those looking to turn up those graphics settings we’ve got the massive Gigabyte GTX 1080 Graphics Card which dominated Battlefield 1 at 1080p but also performed amazingly at 4K!

We’ll continue checking out more graphics card performance with the Battlefield 1 BETA so keep an eye out for more videos soon – there’s certainly a lot going on in the map!

When one side needs a boost, an Armored Train Behemoth will be spawned in order to up the challenge for the stronger team. The train offers a range of weapons and can make a huge difference if used effectively. This means the opposing team will need to adjust to the new presence. Bomber planes are pretty effective if their pilots’ aim stays true, though the train is also susceptible to a surprise attack by an organized group on horseback armed with anti-vehicle grenades. But as you might expect, the Armored Train won’t go down without a fight.

The map also offers different weather than many of the others, including the occasional sandstorm that wreaks havoc on visibility and the gameplay dynamics. Strong winds blowing up sand is bad news for snipers and planes alike, though skilled pilots may be able to take advantage of the chaos. Things like these sandstorms and the variety of locations makes sure you can have just as fun with any of the infantry classes as you can with vehicles, and create a great variation of intensity throughout the map.

And while there’s a ton to do on the ground, there’s just as much going on in the skies. One of the flags can be even taken by plane if you have the skills to safely fly inside the capture zone – you’ll want to make sure to disable the Anti-Aircraft on the ground first, though, as someone could be lurking around on the ground just waiting for you to fly in. If you’re more interested in dogfights, there’s plenty of interesting opportunities for that as well and some of the people at DICE claim to have gotten pretty good at ditching would-be attackers by flying through the canyon without crashing – challenge accepted!

GAME ON!

 

Good Graphics – No Man’s Sky Gameplay FPS Tests Begin!

PEW PEW! No Man’s Sky has finally released on PC and we’ve begun our Graphics Card FPS tests to see what the performance is like for both Nvidia and AMD in this epic new space odyssey 🙂

Starting out with the just released AMD RX 460 Graphics card things are looking pretty good indeed, transition from space to the planets surface is acceptable with frame rates dipping into the high 20’s, once on the surface our FPS increases to a rather impressive 45!

Next up for the green team we jet through the asteroids and down to the planet below with the excellent Nvidia GTX 960 graphics card, this mid range card has been a favourite for a while now and with it the gameplay is smooth managing to hold around 49 frames per second during our re-entry and landing test.  Great work from Nvidia!

For the AMD RX 470 graphics card test we extended the journey (2 minute test) to include blasting off from the planets surface and then headed back down again.  FPS held up very well with majority of the flight being in the 70’s and only a short stutter into 30’s during our landing sequence, so far for us these dips typically occur around landing or when entering a planets atmosphere for the first time.

When it came to the Nvidia GTX 1080 tests we opted to jump right into 4K gameplay and used ShadowPlay to capture the video below, oddly although the game settings say “Full Screen” this is not the case and it’s actually running in a window – we got around this for our game capture by setting ShadowPlay to record the desktop and it worked great!  Some stutters in the usual places for sure but this is 3840×2160 at almost max settings with game cap running and it still manages to hit around 60FPS!

One thing is for sure, No Man’s Sky is going to be one epic adventure with a whole galaxy to explore, filled with unique planets and lifeforms, and constant danger and action!

GAME ON!

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!