Author: GGPC

GGPC DECEMBER 2021 WITH LOGITECH G!

HO HO HO! December is finally here and that means we’ve got amazing new Logitech G gaming goodies up for grabs!

Get yourself a GGPC this December and you can register to redeem a G240 Gaming Mouse Pad to go with your new Gaming Rig. The G240 Gaming Mouse Pad provides edge-to-edge performance on a clean surface with just the right amount of friction for low-DPI manoeuvres. Crafted for maximum control of your mouse movements, your gaming will benefit from the consistent surface texture, also giving your mouse sensors better imagery for translating mouse movement into cursor movement.

An excellent mouse pad for any mouse, but that’s not all we’ve got up for grabs, our awesome December Gaming Prize Pack will also be going out to one lucky NZ gamer!

IMPORTANT: To be in to win the MEGA Prize you must register for the Logitech G240 Bonus!

Our grand prize pack for the December 2021 event is oh so good! Comprised of the latest wireless Logitech G gaming headset, a wireless TLK RGB gaming keyboard and a great new gaming mouse (also in white) to match – all the gear comes together to create a very impressive full setup for our lucky winner – so let’s take a quick look at all this wonderful Logitech G gaming gear!

The G203 is crazy cool, with a band of glorious RGB that our winner can customise to suit. The classic six-button design provides both comfort and confidence to explore new gaming worlds, cast spells, and play just like you want, plus, it’s using the latest version of Logitech G HUB software to assign in-game commands, system controls, or key binds to buttons for the competitive edge, or just improved quality of life!

The primary left and right buttons have a Logitech G exclusive metal spring button tensioning system which delivers precise button actuation and consistent experience-click after click, it’s beautiful, but it’s not all that our lucky December winner will be taking away… 🙂

Next up, and weighing in at a feathery 165 grams, we have the latest release from Logitech in their new Logitech G435 Gaming Headset! It’s incredibly comfortable and packed full of advanced technology sporting both the LIGHTSPEED wireless and Bluetooth connectivity. The versatile feature set means our lucky December winner can use it with their new PC, and all sorts of other gadgets too.

With 40mm drivers, G435 delivers crisp, clear sound that makes your game come alive. The microphone has no boom, instead using twin beamforming microphones, working together to provide voice clarity in a very stealthy way.

Up next is the Logitech G915 TKL Wireless Gaming Keyboard, a small form factor option which is also featuring LIGHTSPEED pro-grade wireless with advanced LIGHTSYNC RGB. The slim design is a feat of engineering ideal for gaming on the desktop or in the lounge, with high-performance low-profile mechanical switches.

Crafted meticulously from premium materials, the G915 TKL is a sophisticated design of unparalleled beauty, strength, and performance, and with the TLK (ten-key-less) compact form factor, it’s also a better fit.

Such a great keyboard for sure!

WOW! What a bunch of prizes!

Check out all the latest Gaming PC builds and Logitech G prizes, and keep your eyes on the GGPC Blog as we’ll announce the lucky MEGA PRIZE PACK winner at the end of the month!

GAME ON!

Good Gaming – Free to Play PC Games

We’ve been playing a fair few games lately and recently we’ve been diving into as many free to play PC games as we can, this blog will be a sticky one that we constantly update with new games as we play them but for now, we’ll start things off with a few unique and rather good games for your PC that will cost you nothing but the data to download them. (the titles for each are download links). 

Halo Infinite – The legendary Halo series returns with a fun and frantic free-to-play multiplayer mode! Even though it’s officially in open BETA still the gameplay is so polished we’ve gone ahead and added it to our list. Game modes include the large maps with Big Team Battle modes and many smaller 4-player team VS team arena match types to get into. The attention to detail is awesome, it looks and plays like our favourite Halo games in the series but it’s new at the same time, with weapons, vehicles and oh so many grenades!

Destiny 2 – If you’re looking for responsive first-person looter shooter combat with an array of abilities, weapons and armour that lend to the customisation of a unique character – Destiny 2 is a solid game. Excellent solo and even better with a couple of friends, the cinematic story is a joy to play. Explore the various planets, each with a their own look and feel, you could say in many ways it’s a lot like Warframe below – but with a first person / Halo combat evolved feel to it.

Enlisted – This World War shooter combines the expected FPS shooter style storm the beach gameplay with a brilliant little twist, there is a mode within the game that gives squads of NPC rather than just your single player character. As you get killed, and you will, you’ll pop into the next available member of your squad until depleted. This one-player-being-five makes the battlefield a target-rich environment with more enemies than ammunition and it’s brilliant fun. There are multiple maps each playing through the series of scenarios as you take and lose positions., as you progress you’ll unlock teams with tanks, planes and all sorts of guns and gadgets to be upgraded.

Genshin Impact – A 3D platform adventure game that takes notes from the popular Nintendo Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. This anime adventure begins in a large world named Teyvat, and quickly establishes a solid main quest line to get the ball rolling, introducing new gameplay mechanics and puzzles via a party of four characters, each harnessing the power of the elements to overcome specific obstacles. This quickly expands with more characters, with more creative puzzles and solutions becoming available as you progress.

Dauntless – Dauntless is a free to play co-op action RPG, very well done and super fun to play with friends, it will certainly make a fine addition to your gaming library if you’re looking for something to co-op with mates 🙂 Filled with airships and giant beasts this one is very similar to Monster Hunter although the art style is completely different. Players team up to take down a range of Behemoths, bashing and slicing bits off to collect the parts needed craft and upgrade weapons and equipment with which we then proceed to hunt down larger Behemoths and smash them. Combos are a big part of the game, learning patterns of the monsters another – it all comes together perfectly in what feels like an almost finished, excellent game.

War Thunder –  This one gives us action-packed battles on the ground and in the skies, and now also at sea, it’s crazy how good this game is with beautiful graphics and a massive line-up of tanks, planes and boats for us to use in the PVP battles + recently the game’s creators added a new PVE game mode named Assault which is a blast to play. We’ve done 3 quick videos to show gameplay from each mode, the tanks, planes and boats are all so unique too which is great for keeping things fresh and interesting. 

The online gameplay has many modes making War Thunder a good game to enjoy with friends, with easy grouping and menus that just make sense. Each mode has a deeper layer of difficulty settings taking the gameplay from Simulation to Arcade to suit players.

You could say it’s similar in many ways to World of Tanks and World of Warships but ultimately War Thunder wins the day with a seamless combination of modes and unmatched intensity of aerial dogfights. A truly great game that deserves a download 🙂

Race Room – This free to play racing sim looks great, and also works with VR. A selection of free-to-play race cars and tracks are yours to drive with unlimited wheel time in multiplayer and single-player games modes. Sponsored competitions and other free-to-play events allow you to enjoy premium game content at no cost. The level of detail is excellent, with cars from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Chevrolet, Ford, McLaren, Pagani, RUF, Radical, Volvo and Saleen all racing around the virtual world.

Warframe – A team based hack’n’slash shooter with some pretty action-packed moments, heaps of gear and hours of fun 🙂 With a massive range of characters, powers, customisation and mission types to get stuck there’s a lot to do, and as you progress through each planet you’ll unlock even more missions and events to team up with other players in. The player base is very large, so auto-matching a group is hassle-free. The ongoing (and massive) updates introduced new open worlds which are beautiful, the developers are very active too, steaming all kinds of behind the scenes goodness and sometimes even jumping into the game and hunting groups of players by taking control of what is usually, an evil NPC named Stalker. One of the best bits about Warframe is you start out extremely powerful, able to flip and slow-motion dive while shooting enemies to pieces. You play as a Tenno, an agile weapon master who wields the mighty Warframe and commands some awesome powers – Overpowered but unprepared and often forced out of your comfort zone, you must find it in yourself to improvise, not just to save yourself but the fate of all Tenno.

Path of Exile – Created by NZ game studio Grinding Gear Games, Path of Exile is an isometric online action RPG is set in the dark fantasy world of Wraeclast. It’s very similar to Diablo and offers excellent co-op gaming with extremely deep character customisation, the best skill tree we’ve seen in a long long time and even a hardcore mode in which staying alive actually matters 😛 The game is completely free and not at all “pay to win”, the community is excellent and graphics are top-notch. All in all, this is our most recommended game right now, crazy good times to be had playing on your own, but in a group with some friends, the game really shines. Each new season adds to game, so even if you’ve played previously it’s worth logging in to see the latest updates.

Apex Legends – A recently released 3 player team shooter set in the Titanfall universe. Apex Legends features top-notch graphics and an excellent communication system that allows players to clearly call objectives, item locations and enemy movements without voice chat. Players can choose from a lineup of outlaws, soldiers, misfits, and misanthropes, each with their own set of skills ranging from tanky shield bubbles to evasive grappling hooks. The Apex Games welcome all comers – survive long enough, and they call you a Legend.

Crossout – An enjoyable car building combat deathmatch game with a populated wasteland to explore in a mad max type fashion. The world of Crossout is pretty enormous, with deserts, destroyed cities, abandoned factories, and more. There is a huge arsenal of weapons including car-mounted chainsaws and power drills, machine guns, rocket launchers, even flying drones and stealth generators to really mix things up. PVP and PVE modes are both lots of fun, and play styles change with new gear collected along the way.

ARGO – A hardcore tactical first-person shooter, jump straight into combat in this official standalone FREE total conversion of Arma 3. This one has us fighting for supremacy in a familiar but new setting – the Mediterranean island of Malden, complete with dense urban areas and wide open plains ideal for snipers you’ll find each location has been built to provide an optimal experience for each game mode 😛 What really makes this one stand out for us here at GGPC so far is the new Combat Patrol CO-OP mode in which you can team up with some friends and fight against AI opponents with both randomized objectives and procedural generation of enemy forces making each session of Combat Patrol unique. Combine this with three competitive game modes and a pretty good looking Scenario Editor with which you can create your own missions with and you’ve got ARGO, it’s a pretty darn impressive free to play wargaming experience 🙂

Valorant – Riot takes on the competitive shooter in their latest 5v5 tac-shooter. If you’ve enjoyed CS:GO and Paladins, this one will have you and your mates teaming up yet again to plant or defuse the Spike in a one-life-per-round, first to 13 series. The characters are called Agents in this one, and depending on which one you choose you’ll be getting powers. use them to create new opportunities to let your gunplay shine.

Warzone – the latest addition to the Free to Play battle royal genre and this time with a Call of Duty theme! Packed full of super familiar gameplay with dashes of originality mixed in to keep things fresh, it’s the usual drop in and survive scenario with an ever constricting wall of deadly gas keeping everyone together but when you die you get one chance to fight your way out of prison to re-join your team – die again and your team can still buy your freedom!

Paladins – A team-based shooter set in a vibrant fantasy world and features a diverse cast of Champions ranging from sharpshooting humans to mech-riding goblins, mystical elves, jetpack-clad dragons, and bomb golems. Each Champion brings a unique set of abilities to the battlefield and new Champions are regularly added to Paladins, keeping the game exciting.  With strategy elements and character customisation through a unique collectable card system, players can amplify and augment a character’s core set of abilities to play exactly how they want to play.

Magic: Legends – Equally as enjoyable with mouse & keyboard as it is with a controller, this isometric adventure combines dual aim action combat with a deck of spells to customise in random rotation. Choose from a range of Magic the Gathering Planeswalker heroes, each with their own mana colour/spell theme and always available abilities. Magic Legends starts simple and becomes more complex the more cards you get for your library.

Planetside 2 – It’s a very different experience from most first-person shooters because instead of the usual 24v24 firefights – battles in Planetside 2 can typically involve a few hundred players. This war takes place over several continents each of which has a defined landscape, there are 3 factions to choose from each with there own infantry weapons, ground vehicles and aircraft. The scale of the game can be quite daunting at first but for new players if you go Engineer class and get a Sunderer vehicle you’ll rapidly begin leveling up while being a great addition to the war effort, doing this will allow you to quickly amass enough experience points to buy new weapons, vehicle mods or abilities. The game world is large, but getting around is easy thanks to an instant action button on the map screen that will take you into hot spots, you can also hover over locations to see just how many players from each faction are fighting in that specific sector which is excellent. Community wise (NZ players) we highly recommend jumping into this one on a Sunday afternoon, it’s pretty crazy!

Mechwarrior Online – A slower paced, tactical online shooter set in the BattleTech Universe. Victory requires a mastery of tactical positioning, teamwork, and firing discipline to prevent overheating and the dreaded shutdown (overload only works so much!). Each battle will reward you with credits depending on performance and these can be spent on new weapons, equipment and mech chassis to full your hangers. For new players, there is a rotation of free to play pre-configured mechs to take into battle and these will give you a good taste of how each weight class performs so you can spend your credits wisely. Once you’ve brought a BattleMech of your very own there is a faction warfare system and if you spend a little time in each jumping from faction to faction you can quickly amass a bunch of personal hangers to store more and more of your own mechs in, this becomes more important with multiple variants of the same frame offering different hardpoints to mount weaponry on and new skills to unlock as you progress. It’s not an easy fight and do not expect to just run in and win, this is a thinking persons shooter for sure.

Battlerite –  If you enjoyed League of Legends but just want the team fights, you should check out this one for sure. A PvP arena brawler and the spiritual successor to the critically acclaimed Bloodline Champions. The unique combination of a top-down shooter meeting a fast-paced fighting game and take part in highly competitive, adrenaline-fueled 2v2 and 3v3 battles. Engage in quick and intense action as you take control over one of many Champions, each with unique abilities to master. Welcome to a world where Champions dedicate their lives to the Arena.

EVE Online – The new free to play mode in EVE will allow you gain a lot of skills with no money down. Leveling up an EVE Online character has always been a little different from most MMORPG, every player in the game controls a clone which they train in new skills over time (even when you’re not logged in) as opposed to the far more common “kill this and fetch that for XP”. As your clone learns more and more you will be able to fly more ships and kit these out with new modules and equipment. When you die you respawn into another clone but depending on when you last did a clone imprint that new clone may or may not have the skills you previously acquired and it’s this investment in time that makes up one of many factors that gives each life in EVE a real feeling of value – there are of course the in-game monetary losses involved with death in EVE, losing your favourite ship certainly hurts! The new alpha clone state will allow you to get some pretty potent ships like the Caracal below, armed with many heavy missile launchers you’ll be a fine addition to fleets around the universe 🙂

Cloud Pirates – Arcade airship based combat awaits you in this science-fiction fantasy battleground game 🙂 Remarkably tactical but also good fun early on for a casual run-and-gun playstyle, as you progress through you’ll gain access a bunch of unique upgrades for your airships, captain and crew which leads to much more challenging matches and modes as you progress.  There are numerous visual customization options to tinker which as you go and plenty of airships to choose from each with their own unique handling and firing arcs – snipers, tanks, dps, tackle – there really is a lot!

Dreadnought – This is a medium paced arcade action game which puts you in command of a massive sci-fi battleship, similar in many ways to Fractured Space and Cloud Pirates below but with some really beautiful landscapes to wage war on this is one can be a stunner with settings cranked to high. Customisation for your starship is first class from guns and turrets to coatings and decals and there is a range of configs for each ship class so you’re sure to find one that fits your playstyle perfectly. Massively enjoyable in a group or alone, we’ve been playing this one since early BETA days and it’s still a lot of fun 🙂

Atlus Reactor – A rather refreshing and unique take on turn-based tactical combat. Engage in 4v4 team battles with a short moment between each round to lock in your players’ actions after which all eight players will execute their command lists. Each character has a range of moves available to them that will initiate at different times in the action que depending on the type of move selected, this makes playing Altus Reactor a game of predicting what your opponents might do which just keeps getting better the more familiar you become with the growing roster of freelancers available (numbering 25 as I write this). Once you reach level 10 there is also a “Seasons” XP event in which players can complete challenges and receive some extra bonus loot to customise their characters.

Blade and Soul – A rather fun MMO set in a world of martial arts masters and mythology 🙂 A tale of revenge at its core that will have you exploring a beautiful, cinematic world inspired by the distinct visual style of acclaimed artist Hyung Tae Kim. This one has got detailed character customization tools, offers some brilliant PVP matches and has an excellent action-based combat system. The storyline is very enjoyable, especially the introduction to the game world.

Counter Strike: Global Offensive – You’ve undoubtedly already heard of this one, a team based first person shooter with a range of real-world weapons options, maps, and a passionate community of players. The base game puts terrorists against a counter-terrorist force, with the bad guys trying to plant a bomb and the good guys trying to stop them, and this leads to some amazing engagements, team tactics and replays. There are missions to save hostages too, with the counter-terrorists having to successfully escort them back to the starting point of the map, making things quite intense in the final dash. With CSGO joining the free to play ranks, you can now you can enjoy the FPS shooter without paying a cent. The original Counter-Strike took the gaming industry by surprise when the unlikely MOD became the most played online PC action game in the world almost immediately after its release in August 1999, and since then, it has continued to be one of the most-played games in the world. It’s very popular in eSports circles, and you can run it well without the need for the latest hardware.

DOTA 2 -Originating as a fan-made Warcraft 3 modification, Dota was an instant underground hit. After coming to Valve, the original community developers have bridged the gap to a more inclusive audience, so that the rest of the world can experience the same core gameplay, but with a level of polish and depth that’s unmatched.Much like League of Legends,Dota is a competitive game of action and strategy. Players can choose from a roster of over a hundred unique heroes, forming two teams of five players. Radiant heroes then battle their Dire counterparts to control on a beautiful fantasy landscape, battling one another with cunning, stealth, and outright warfare.

Fortnite – More than just you vs 99 battle royale with even changing modes available (50v50 is great!) what really sets this one apart from other 3rd person shooters games is the building system, with almost all the objects in the map being able to be smashed apart into useful wood, stone, and metal. These can then be used to build ramps, walls, floors etc to create a defensible building, protect your team, or access a hard to reach the area and flank your opponents. It all takes place in one large map, with a zeppelin battle bus full of opponents (and some friends) all scrambling to grab a whole lot of guns. Construct and destroy environments while engaged in intense PvP combat, explore, or just riding around in golf carts if that’s what you do – with so many players no matter what you’re up to it’s likely you’ll stumble into some crazy fun times along the way!

League of Legends – A popular take on the multiplayer online battle arena game type that first came about as a mod for Warcraft 3 named DOTA back in 2003… or was it 2002, anyways it was a while ago 🙂 League of Legends released to the public in 2009 and it has since become one of the most played games in the world today with some very cool new heroes to play as and more joining the ranks constantly. It’s quite a wonderful game to play if you’re a gamer that’s short on time with matches lasting from twenty minutes to one hour depending on how well each team performs. The game is both newbie friendly and deep enough to keep a long term player interested, the roster of heroes to play as changes often and there is even a rune loadout enabling you to tweak you heroes slightly using various power-ups you can purchase using currency accrued as you play matches.

Killer Instinct – This one has been made available via the Windows Store so you’ll need a Windows 10 Gaming PC to try it out. It’s the same Killer Instinct we remember playing in movie theatres wayyy back in the 90’s but with some wonderful new graphics to enjoy 🙂 The free version of this one gives players a single character with which you can access all game modes, including online multiplayer!

We’ll continue adding to this list as we test more and more Gaming PC, if you know a great new free game you think we should test out please drop a comment in via our GGPC YouTube channelwe are on the hunt now for another nice driving game!

GAME ON!

GGPC NOVEMBER 2021 WINNER ANNOUNCED!

UPDATE: This event has now ended, check out the latest GGPC Promotions here!

UPDATE: Congrats to the October Event Winner Daniel H!

Oh yeah! November is finally here and that means we’ve got awesome new Logitech G gaming goodies up for grabs!

Get yourself a GGPC this November and you can register to redeem a G240 Gaming Mouse Pad to go with your new Gaming Rig. The G240 Gaming Mouse Pad provides edge-to-edge performance on a clean surface with just the right amount of friction for low-DPI manoeuvres. Crafted for maximum control of your mouse movements, your gaming will benefit from the consistent surface texture, also giving your mouse sensors better imagery for translating mouse movement into cursor movement.

An excellent mouse pad for any mouse, but that’s not all we’ve got up for grabs, our awesome November Gaming Prize Pack will also be going out to one lucky NZ gamer!

IMPORTANT: To be in to win the MEGA Prize you must register for the Logitech G240 Bonus!

Our grand prize pack for the November 2021 event is so good! Comprised of the latest Logitech G gaming headset, a slim TLK RGB gaming keyboard and a great new gaming mouse – all the gear comes together to create a very impressive full setup for our lucky winner – so let’s take a quick look at all the new Logitech G gaming gear!

Weighing in at a feathery 165 grams, the new Logitech G435 Gaming Headset is super lightweight, and with both LIGHTSPEED wireless and Bluetooth connectivity, it’s super versatile, allowing our winner can use it with their new PC, and all sorts of other gadgets too.

With 40mm drivers, G435 delivers crisp, clear sound that makes your game come alive. The microphone has no boom, instead using twin beamforming microphones, working together to provide voice clarity in a very stealthy way.

Up next is the Logitech G915 TKL Wireless Gaming Keyboard, a small form factor option which is also featuring LIGHTSPEED pro-grade wireless with advanced LIGHTSYNC RGB. The slim design is a feat of engineering ideal for gaming on the desktop or in the lounge, with high-performance low-profile mechanical switches.

Crafted meticulously from premium materials, the G915 TKL is a sophisticated design of unparalleled beauty, strength, and performance, and with the TLK (ten-key-less) compact form factor, it’s also a better fit.

Such a great keyboard for sure, but we’re not done yet! Our lucky November winner is going to need a good gaming mouse and we’ve got that covered with the wireless Logitech G305 in black to match!

At first glance, you may think the Logitech G305 Gaming Mouse looks a bit basic in comparison to our usual 500 series offerings, but don’t be fooled, this G305 packs incredible technology within the sleek design. A HERO sensor delivers exceptionally accurate and consistent performance with zero smoothing, filtering or acceleration from 200 to 12,000 DPI. G305 can save up to 5 profiles with up to 5 DPI levels each on the onboard memory, and limitless via the Logitech G HUB.

That revolutionary new optical sensor delivers class-leading performance and up to 10 times the power efficiency (compared to the previous gen), and that’s an essential specification as this mouse is WIRELESS too!

WOW! What a bunch of prizes!

Check out all the latest Gaming PC builds and Logitech G prizes, and keep your eyes on the GGPC Blog as we’ll announce the lucky MEGA PRIZE PACK winner at the end of the month!

GAME ON!

Intel 12th Gen Desktop CPU releasing on the 5th of November in NZ!

UPDATE: Intel 12th Gen is available now in the Intel Store 🙂

Woohooo! The latest Intel 12th Gen CPU finally have an official release date set for New Zealand and it’s November 5th so we don’t have very long to wait 🙂 And with the first wave of K and KF series options now revealed, we can start planning new builds too!

What makes this launch so cool is that some of the new motherboards releasing alongside support brand new DDR5 ram kits, and because the socket is updating to a much larger LGA1700 – we’re going to get a bunch of new CPU cooler options soon too.

Important note: The 12th Gen CPU is quite a bit longer than the current 11th Gen, getting technically specific a moment the LGA1200 indicates the number of CPU contact points in the motherboard socket being 1200, the new LGA1700 adds 500 more for the new total – quite significant and something to consider if you’re wanting to use a current-gen CPU cooler, in regards to the direct CPU contact point, along with the 4mm difference in mounting bracket points.

Starting off with a quick look at what is probably going to be the most popular in the 12th Gen Intel CPU range, we can now see the new Intel Core i7-12700K is going to cost around $800 here in NZ and that puts it in price/performance competition with the already impressive i9-10900K and i9-11900KF options, and that’s a really great sign, going up against the i9 is no easy feat so we’re expecting very good things from the new i7!

The new Z690 series motherboards are in plentiful supply too, with a wide range of new options already landed in NZ ahead of release, but what’s proving a little harder to find is the new CPU coolers that will come with the LGA1700 bracket needed to fit onto the CPU – and that’s super important as all the first wave 12th Gen CPU options releasing do not include a CPU cooler.

Luckily for us, those fine folks at Cooler Master and Corsair have a bunch of brackets now on the way to NZ with which we can update some existing options, plus our friends at MSI have a new MAG CORELIQUID AiO that’s ready to go with LGA1700 compatibility right out of the box!

All ASUS Z690 motherboards also include LGA 1200 mounting holes in addition to LGA 1700. Therefore, if current owners of ASUS AIO coolers possess an LGA 1200 mounting kit that came with their cooler, they can use this on any ASUS Z690 motherboard too. Asus are super smart 🙂

With the cooling options thankfully looking better than first thought, let’s move onwards to check out one of the new motherboards with support for DDR5 RAM kits, the ASUS ROG Z690 MAXIMUS APEX.

Take a moment, look at that RAM slot configuration, that’s something new!

The specifications from Asus show the unique configuration is in fact 2x DIMM slots for a maximum of 64GB DDR5 running up to 6600MHz. The slot beside it is labelled DIMM.2, and this is something cool too, it allows us to connect M.2 NVMe PCIe 4.0 SSD via a special caddy.

Asus also have a PCIe 5.0 M.2 caddy for that central x16 slot, and while I suspect we’re more likely to use that for a graphics card at the moment, it’s a pretty cool looking component.

When it comes to DDR5 ram, there are a small number of kits that have already landed in NZ from G.Skill and Corsair which run at up to 5200MHz, these are premium options with head spreaders and RGB lighting. The design is smoother than the current DDR4 version with its sharper lines, here’s hoping for more interesting designs as more kits get revealed from Kingston and Crucial too.

It’s a lot of new awesomeness to take in, and we can’t wait to get hands-on with all the new options to see what the performance is like in all our favourite games – fun times ahead!

GAME ON!

AMD REWARDS Xbox Game Pass for PC BONUS!

UPDATE: There is an odd quirk to the Game Pass 1-month code provided from the AMD token, if you try to redeem while a Game Pass subscription is already running it will not work, but if your cancel your current subscription it will. The issue has been reported to AMD – thanks!

AMD surprise us again with a second AMD Rewards bonus, this time for individual components rather than pre-built systems, such great news for those looking to grab themselves a new Ryzen CPU or Radeon 6000 series Graphics Card to upgrade their existing system!

This new offer gives us an Xbox Game Pass for PC 1-month subscription and is available with a wide selection of AMD components.

Perfectly timed with the impending day-one release of Halo Infinite via the Game Pass service, this Microsoft subscription gives users access to amazing new releases, and a curated library of over 100 high-quality PC games to download and enjoy.

To claim your code for this new AMD Rewards: Equipped to Win offer, you have to purchase an eligible PC component between the 26th of October 2021 and 30th June 2022, and because you’ll need to claim your AMD Rewards Key, this offer is only available from AMD authorised retailers (see PB Tech in NZ).

Please note: This new offer is only for stand-alone PC parts, for pre-built Ryzen + Radeon desktop or laptop systems (or RX6900XT GPU stand-alone GPU now too), see this AMD Rewards: Raise the Game offer which is on now too and offers Far Cry 6 + Resident Evil Village.

The range of eligible components is massive, including a large range of Ryzen and Radeon options – quick links to our favourites below!

Eligible AMD Ryzen (G-Series and ThreadRipper CPU are not eligible)

AMD Ryzen 3600
AMD Ryzen 3700X
AMD Ryzen 5600X
AMD Ryzen 5800X
AMD Ryzen 5900X
AMD Ryzen 5950X

Eligible AMD Radeon (all 6000 series)

AMD Radeon RX 6600 <- Just released!
AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT
AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT
AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT

The Game Pass or PC service is still somewhat new, but the Xbox team have stayed true to their original announcements from when they first kicked off back in 2019, and they’ve done a a fine job adding more and more titles to the library, and now the options are quite diverse, but the really good thing is they kept on including new games on the day the games are released!

via Microsoft (the original from back in 2019): Xbox Game Pass for PC will give players unlimited access to a curated library of over 100 high-quality PC games on Windows 10, from well-known PC game developers and publishers such as Bethesda, Deep Silver, Devolver Digital, Paradox Interactive, SEGA, and more. And just as we committed on the console, it is our intent to include new games from Xbox Game Studios in Xbox Game Pass for PC the same day as their global release, including titles from newly acquired studios like Obsidian and inXile. We’re working with over 75 developers and publishers to bring PC content to the service and we’ll ensure the library remains curated and full of great PC titles across a variety of genres, with new games added every month. Xbox Game Pass for PC members will also receive discounts in the Microsoft Store on Windows of up to 20% on games currently in the library and up to 10% off related game DLC and add-ons.

Fast forward to 2021 and there are so many awesome games included with Game Pass for PC service, among these the new releases Halo Infinite, Age of Empires IV and Forza Horizon 5 have a lot of attention, but there’s so much more, especially with the recently connected EA PLAY offers.

Even if you’re not looking to upgrade right now, you may want to get the Game Pass service via https://www.xbox.com/en-NZ/xbox-game-pass/pc-games anyway, and if the timing is right, you’ll nab a sweet introductory deal too.

GAME ON!

ASUS GeForce Noctua Edition Graphics Card available now in NZ!

UPDATE: Limited stock has just landed for Asus RTX 3070 Noctua Edition

If you’ve been thinking about combining the quiet cooling of Noctua fans with an Asus performance graphics card you’re in luck, those fine folks at Asus and Noctua have teamed up and created exactly what you wanted!

This new ASUS Noctua Edition Graphics Card incorporates a pair of beautiful (and massive) Noctua NF-A12x25 fans. With low noise levels being a priority, along with high cooling performance while making room for this pair of 120 mm fans, the card’s total volume was expanded to occupy 4.3 slots of space and requires 2×8-pin power inputs!

Developed in partnership between the veteran thermal R&D team at ASUS and engineers at Noctua, the engineers have worked together to tune the fin density and heat pipe arrangement of the heatsink, optimising it for the airflow characteristics of the NF-A12x25. The NF-A12x25 fan was chosen for this project because of the numerous innovations packed into its 120mm frame. An impeller made from Noctua’s proprietary Sterrox liquid-crystal polymer has an exceptionally low thermal expansion coefficient, allowing the fan blades to sit just 0.5 mm away from the outer frame. This extremely tight tolerance allows the NF-A12x25 to work more efficiently against back pressure by reducing the leakage of airflow between the blade tips and the outer frame. A metal-reinforced motor hub and axis further support this highly precise gap between impeller and frame. Furthermore, a custom PWM IC with Smooth Commutation Drive technology reduces fan noise levels at lower speeds. An acoustic profile specifically tuned for a smooth and pleasant character, even against back pressure, is ideal for a GPU heatsink application. Flow Acceleration Channels at the tip of each impeller blade both improve efficiency and lower vortex noise. Inner Surface Microstructures on the fan frame reduce the noise from passing fan blades. Anti-vibration pads made from soft silicone prevent the transmission of sympathetic vibrations to the graphics card and on through the case. These advanced features have led to hundreds of media awards and a reputation as the best 120 mm fan on the market.

This cooperative development process resulted in some of the best thermal performance per decibel of noise emitted of any graphics card on the market.

Via ASUS: “Using our extensive thermal R&D experience, we’ve created a new GPU heatsink that’s tailor-made for the performance characteristics of the state-of-the-art NF-A12x25 fans,” said Kent Chien, Corporate Vice President and General Manager of the ASUS Multimedia Business Unit. “Our teamwork gives noise-conscious gamers and Noctua enthusiasts a unique graphics card that maximizes heat dissipation per decibel of noise emitted, all in a package that coordinates perfectly with other Noctua products in a DIY PC.”“Users who are concerned first and foremost about the noise levels and noise characteristics of their system will undoubtedly notice the difference. “

Compared to the very popular TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 3070 OC Edition, the Noctua Edition produces a 10 dB-lower sound pressure level when controlling for the same power limit, ambient temperature, and thermal junction temperature.

Via NOCTUA: “By using our NF-A12x25 fans and collaborating to fine-tune the heatsink for use with them, this card achieves a significant boost in performance-to-noise efficiency,” added Noctua CEO Roland Mossig. “The ASUS line-up of GeForce RTX 3070 cards is already outstanding, but we’re confident that the Noctua Edition will be the cherry on the cake for noise-conscious customers.”

Sporting the iconic custom brown shroud for the duo of NF-A12x25 fans to showcase that oh so distinctive colour scheme. There are both ASUS and Noctua logos on the front and sides of the shroud, along with subtle graphics on the full-length alloy backplate.

In addition to the bespoke heatsink and super quiet fans, this new graphics card also enjoys signature features that ASUS graphics cards are known for, with a whopping 144-hour validation process ensuring that this card is ready to perform for the long run.

Stock is expected to be very limited, check out the latest in the Noctua Store or the Asus Store today!

AMD Radeon RX 6600 Graphics Cards available now in NZ!

UPDATE: RX 6600 builds are now included in AMD Rewards – Raise the Game!

Gosh, they did a pretty good job keeping this new graphics card release under wraps, but as of 2 am October 14th 2021, the latest AMD Radeon RX 6600 graphics cards are available to buy in New Zealand!

Much like the recently released XT version, there is no reference cooler design, so we get to enjoy a diverse range of aftermarket versions from AMD exclusive partners Powercolor, Sapphire and ASRock, as well as Asus, Gigabyte and a little later on, MSI.

AMD Radeon RX 6600 Essentials:

1x 8-Pin Power input (500w PSU recommended)
3x DisplayPort (v1.4) + 1x HDMI (Supports 4K@120Hz)
7680 x 4320 Max Resolution
2+ Slot Form Factor

Starting off with a closer look at the Sapphire Pulse RX 6600 Graphics Card we see that this latest option features their awesome Dual-X cooling system, with a state-of-the-art radiator setup and 2x fans that help to keep things cool while remaining rather quiet thanks to the larger size + improvements Sapphire has made to the fan blades, which they claim make the solution up to 10% quieter than the previous generation – nicely done Sapphire!

White the Sapphire Nitro+ Cooler leans towards the 2-slot form factor, a closer look at the MSI 2x Mech RX 6600 shows not all are so slim. While its still an easy fit for most chassis, for those looking to build very tight ITX SFF gaming PC it could be an important detail to consider.

That being said, previous MECH 2X GPU have performed very well and this new arrival is likely to follow the trend, that TORX FAN 3.0 tech is very cool!

More favourites in the new range are from AMD exclusive partner Powercolor who have two models releasing in NZ on day one, the Powercolor Fighter RX 6600 and Powercolor Hellhound RX 6600. Fighter is their standard ultra-slim design, with no LED light effects or bling to be seen, the design finds itself nicely filling the gap for those ultra-small gaming PC builds in which every mm counts.

The Powercolor Hellhound version sacrifices the slim Fighter design, but adds very vibrant LED lighting too a massive set of twin fans, it looks awesome especially with a chassis that supports either inverted motherboard placement or side mounting GPU with a PCIe 4.0 extender.

Rounding off our quick look is a monster RX 6600 for Gigabyte, with a massive 3x Fan cooler fitted on their Eagle RX 6600. The GPU PCB length is still short, and this allows the back fan to blow right through the fins.

Although significantly larger than all other launch options, the Gigabyte Eagle RX 6600 still only requires that 1x 8-Pin power input, and is surprisingly quite slim, just a couple of mm over 2-slot.

It’s really good to see some many great options released, and with the new AMD Radeon RX 6600 being the most affordable graphics card option for gamers it sure is well received here at GGPC – we’re busily working on our first RX 6600 Gaming PC builds with the Gigabyte Eagle inside – and it’s looking really really good 🙂

GAME ON!

Windows 11 OEM, TPM 2.0 and Intel 12th Gen builds!

UPDATE: Windows 11 Home OEM and Windows 11 Pro OEM are available for order now. If you’re unable to use the BIOS update method below, TPM modules are now also available in NZ.

For gamers, the Windows 11 team teased a few new features such as auto-HDR in Skyrim, which did make the clouds look more realistic, DirectStorage, which aims to help make our loading times even shorter and even more integration with the Xbox ecosystem and DirectX 12.

VIA MICROSOFT: If you’re a gamer, Windows 11 is made for you. Gaming has always been fundamental to what Windows is all about. Today, hundreds of millions of people around the world game on Windows and find joy and connection with loved ones and friends through play. Windows 11 unlocks the full potential of your system’s hardware, putting some of the latest gaming technology to work for you. Like: DirectX 12 Ultimate, which can enable breathtaking, immersive graphics at high frame rates; DirectStorage for faster load times and more detailed game worlds; and Auto HDR for a wider, more vivid range of colors for a truly captivating visual experience. Nothing has changed in our commitment to hardware compatibility – Windows 11 supports your favorite PC gaming accessories and peripherals. With Xbox Game Pass for PC or Ultimate, gamers get access to over 100 high-quality PC games with new games added all the time, and it’s still just as easy to find people to play with, no matter if they’re playing on a PC or console.

While the upcoming Z690 motherboard series for 12th Gen Intel is likely going to be ready-to-run with Windows 11 installation, it’s still going to be a while before the current motherboard stock transitions through, so while the factory hardware setups adjust to match the new software specifications, let’s take a quick look at what’s required to make our current builds Windows 11 ready.

The basics are: For your Windows 10 build to install Windows 11, the PC must first pass the test performed by Microsoft’s PC Health Check software. 

You can download the tool here = https://blogs.windows.com/windows-insider/2021/08/27/update-on-windows-11-minimum-system-requirements-and-the-pc-health-check-app/

Run the tool and you’ll see the requirements are easily met, though two options for Secure Boot support and TPM 2.0 enabled may require some BIOS settings be adjusted.

The good news is, it’s super easy to do!

You can adjust the needed settings manually within the BIOS menu (tap delete during boot sequence to access that menu), but as the exact location and name of the settings needed within the BIOS menu changes a little between models/versions it can be a bit of a hassle searching for the TPM/PTT options.

To make things a bit easier, motherboard manufacturers have started to release new BIOS updates that change the settings for us, not all are ready yet, but a massive amount are.

On the Intel side, compatible motherboards include Z390, Z370, H370, B360, B365, H310, Z490, H470, B460, H410, Z590, B560, H510, H570 and X299 (when paired with certain CPU) chipsets. For the AMD side it’s equally awesome with X399, X370, B350, A320, A300, X300, X470, B450, X570, B550, A520 and TRX40 models supported.

The BIOS update method is very straightforward, quick steps below;

Step #1: Find out what motherboard model you have.
Step #2: Install the BIOS update for that motherboard 

There are a couple of ways to find out your motherboard model, you could look on the motherboard itself for the printed model ID, or get the PC to tell you.

To get your PC to tell you your motherboard model, follow these steps from the desktop;

Step #1: Press start, type “CMD”, command prompt will appear, press enter to run it.
Step #2: In the command prompt box, type (or cut’n’paste) this “wmic baseboard get product,Manufacturer”
Step #3: Press enter, your motherboard model will now be shown in text

Once we know the motherboard model, we can download the latest BIOS from the matching manufacturers’ website, quick links below to the related articles about Windows 11 from each.

Asus Motherboards = https://www.asus.com/support/FAQ/1046215

Gigabyte Motherboards = https://www.gigabyte.com/Press/News/1925

MSI Motherboards = https://www.msi.com/blog/How-to-Enable-TPM-on-MSI-Motherboards-Featuring-TPM-2-0

Asrock Motherboards = https://www.asrock.com/news/index.us.asp?iD=4696

If you don’t want to update the BIOS for whatever reason, or the Windows 11 ready version isn’t available for your specific model at the moment, you can enable what’s needed within the BIOS. 

The steps to do this for the major brands are covered quickly with the YouTube video here.

Pretty good right! Quick screenshots below to further highlight how different the BIOS settings within AMD and Intel motherboards are.

Starting with an ASRock AMD motherboard for example, the option is named fTPM.

You’ll find the option in the Advanced tab, then CPU Configuration menu. To make it ready, select “AMD fTPM switch” and choose “AMD CPU fTPM”.

For ASRock INTEL motherboards, the option name is different.

You’ll find the option in the Security tab, it’s named “Intel® Platform Trust Technology”, enable this.

Once you’ve done the updates, run the tool again to check all is OK then either download the Windows 11 preview (if you’ve signed up for insider access), or wait for yours to get served via the windows update, which will deploy the Windows 11 upgrade to staggered groups around the world.

The first wave of Intel 12th Generation i7-12700K CPU and the Z690 motherboard range with it’s new LGA1700 socket are expected to release soon too, so it’s going to be great to see how this latest Alder Lake makes use of the new Windows 11 software, along with all the new technology that comes with the latest DDR5 RAM and PCIe 5.0 support.

Exciting times ahead 🙂 GAME ON!

NVIDIA RTX SAVE THE UNIVERSE GAME BUNDLE WITH MARVEL’S GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY!

UPDATE: This promotion has now ended.

NVIDIA are back with another awesome game bundle offer, and this SAVE THE UNIVERSE offer has the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy game from Square Enix up for grabs!

As usual, this latest register to redeem bonus offer is only available to those purchasing select GeForce RTX 3060 – 3090 desktop or laptop systems with invoices dated from October 5th – November 23rd, 2021 and only from select brands. (see the range at PB Tech in New Zealand)

Once you’ve got your awesome new hardware, you’ll need to register to redeem your promotion code, this is done via the brand redemption pages. Quick links below.

Right now it’s only MSI, ASUS & GIGABYTE who have their redemption page live for NZ , we’ll update with more info as it comes in.

– Register to redeem MSI Gaming Laptops & Desktop PC
– Register to redeem ASUS Gaming Laptops & Desktop PC
– Register to redeem GIGABYTE Gaming Laptops & Desktop PC

UPDATE: Custom PC Builds featuring GIGABYTE / AORUS or ASUS / ROG brand RTX 3060(Ti), RTX 3070(Ti), RTX 3080(Ti) and RTX 3090 Graphics cards can now also be registered to redeem. Quick links below for Custom PC Builders. Take care near the end of the promotion though as redemption is based on the invoice date, rather than the order placed date, and custom systems take around 3 days to build, test and invoice out.

NVIDIA Save the Universe – Custom RTX Gaming PC Builds

To activate your promotional code for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy you must have a GeForce Experience & the STEAM launcher installed too.

1. Register to redeem your bundle code from the brand redemption page.
2. Open and log in to GeForce Experience.
3. Go to the Account drop-down menu and select “REDEEM”.
4. Enter your bundle code from your qualifying bundle purchase.
5. Follow the remaining onscreen instructions to sign in through your Steam account.
6. Select “REDEEM” to redeem Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy to your Steam account.
7. LAUNCH Steam to begin the installation.

Now onto the good stuff – let’s take a look at the game!

Play as Star-Lord and lead your band of legendary misfits to save the universe in this fresh but faithful take on the Guardians of the Galaxy. overwhelm your opponents with your signature blasters and jet boot-powered dropkicks, while using the tag-team beat downs to dominate 🙂

The game features ray-traced reflections and NVIDIA DLSS, so it’s going to look and run great too.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is set to release on October 26th, so grab your favourite ‘80s mixtape and get ready to GAME ON!

HALO INFINITE MULTIPLAYER TESTING THIS WEEKEND!

UPDATE: Halo Infinite is now available https://store.steampowered.com/app/1240440/Halo_Infinite/

Another round of pre-release testing is on this weekend for those with Halo Insider access, testing will include big game maps with a range of vehicles and objectives, as well as the smaller 4v4 match modes in a variety of maps.

The best new is though, there are timeslots from 1pm – 5pm on Saturday + Sunday here in New Zealand.

Already a Halo Insider? Check your notifications and download the Halo Insider client via Steam https://store.steampowered.com/app/1240440/Halo_Infinite

Want to get involved? Sign up to be a Halo Insider via https://www.halowaypoint.com/en-us/community/halo-insider

As a Halo Insider, you’ll have the opportunity to regularly provide feedback and insights that help shape and inform current franchise initiatives and the future of Halo. You will also be given exclusive opportunities to participate in hands-on, pre-release tests (“public flights”) of in-progress Halo game releases and provide feedback to the development teams.

To increase your chances for selection, make sure your Halo Insider settings are complete and accurate – you must be opted-in for communications, verify your email address and for us players on PC, upload a DXDIAG file for our system too.

Once you’re in be sure to check for notifications, sometimes these also include invites codes so you can play with friends.

The Halo infinite multiplayer is in a very polished state already and we can’t wait to add this one to our good free to play PC games list!

GAME ON!