For those who havn’t played Outriders yet – there is a demo on Steam that will give you a taste of the game to check out ahead of your purchase, it’s a small sample but shows off the mechanics well with multiple characters to try. At it’s core Outriders is a 3rd-person looter-shooter with story-driven RPG elements and co-op gameplay, the various classes (Outriders), each has a set of special abilities to complement the gunplay. It’s pretty violent but in an over-the-top way.
The top chaps at AMD are calling this one FUEL YOUR GAME, and it sure fits!
For a limited time and only while code stocks last, you can register selected AMD Gaming PC builds configurations to redeem a Dirt 5 game code to go with your new PC.
Via AMD: Let loose in DIRT 5™ Launch PC Edition with a system powered by select AMD Ryzen™ processors and AMD Radeon™ graphics cards. Hit the dirt track and battle your friends to take the lead in the next generation of extreme racing.
This offer promotes ALL AMD Gaming PC builds, so to be eligible for this promotion you must have certain AMD Ryzen CPU + AMD Radeon graphics within the PC, and it must be purchased from an authorised retailer so you can claim the AMD Rewards Key (PB Tech in New Zealand). This promo is for purchases made between April 20th – June 19th 2021.
CPU wise, there’s a massive range of Ryzen 7 & 9 options that are eligible, including both the newest 5000 series and some great 3rd gen options. See the quick list below with links to CPU which are available now in NZ.
Looking closely at the T&C it’s interesting to see both the RX 570 & RX 580 are also included, but not much much newer RX 5700 XT, so it’s very possible that’s an error, we’ve asked AMD for more info and will update when they get back to us 🙂
Now onto the GAME!
DIRT 5 is graphically stunning, provided you’ve got the hardware to push out the frames. Lighting and rain effects are particularly impressive and the Codemasters team worked with AMD directly to make the game experience top-notch!
So there we have it, super fun times ahead with awesome Dirt 5 races to be had on lots of awesome new AMD Gaming PC!
The new RX 6700 XT graphics cards are set to release in New Zealand on Friday the 19th of March at 2am. That’s right folks, AMD have officially announced the new RX 6700 (XT) graphics cards, showing FPS tests and revealing specifications in another “Where Gaming Begins” special event.
The fun stuff really begins 236 seconds in, following an AMD intro filled with big numbers, and many pats on backs, which comes to a head with BIG NAVI reveal.
The new RX 6700 (XT) Graphics Cards are set to replace the RX 5700 series, and compete with the RTX 3060 / 3070 graphics cards performance wise, so we’re expecting good things. AMD revealed a performance comparison during the presentation showing FPS gains in Assassin Creed Valhalla + Dirt 5, losses in Watch Dogs Legion and Gears 5, along with a few others and more marginal ups and downs – the most important one is likely Call of Duty: Cold War, which is sure to have plenty of benchmarks appear online closer to launch 😉
AMD then continued on to show the potential FPS upgrades for those who own an RTX 2080 Super, and it was a good reminder about the significant performance boost we’re getting out of all the latest graphics card releases.
At a glance the new RX 6700 XT looks great, with new HDMI 2.1 for those gaming on fancy new TVs, and that beautiful AMD cooler design, now with dual fans.
The 12GB memory is like what we’ve just seen from Nvidia and their RTX 3060, and AMD continues to explain the move by showing the memory used by Call of Duty: Cold War, Dirt 5, Horizon Zero Dawn and Red Dead Redemption 2 while 1440P gaming at max settings – crazy high!
The presentation continued on showing lots more about AMD Ray-Tracing and some absolutely beautiful examples of these fancy lighting features in action. showing short segments on how Radeon Anti-Lag aims to make gaming more responsive, and AMD FreeSync makes gameplay smoother,.
AMD wrapped up but showing a massive range of aftermarket cooler designs from ASRock, Powercolor, Gigabyte, MSi, Sapphire and more too – all looking utterly awesome!
UPDATE: The Radeon 6000 series is available now in the AMD Store
UPDATE: The Ryzen 5000 series is available now in the AMD Store
Wooohooo! AMD have just revealed a bunch of new AMD Ryzen Desktop CPU options and announced a global release date set for November 5th 🙂
Via AMD: When you have the world’s most advanced processor architecture for gamers and content creators, the possibilities are endless. Whether you are playing the latest games, designing the next skyscraper, or crunching data, you need a powerful processor that can handle it all—and more. Hands down, the AMD Ryzen™ 5000 Series desktop processors set the bar for gamers and artists alike.
And they’re certainly looking great! During the event, AMDs’ technical marketing guru, Robert Hallock, took the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X through a series of games and performance benchmarks, at first showing the increase in performance VS his own Ryzen 9 3900XT, then moving into the same series of comparisons VS the Intel i9-10900K.
What was really cool about all this was that it was done on current gen motherboard platforms. This kind of boost in performance without a new motherboard is uncommon, and AMD is giving gamers, many of whom have already invested in an X570 or B550 series for their current 3rd gen CPU, the opportunity to do a same-socket CPU upgrade to their PC. We’ll know about exactly which CPU will work with which motherboard closer to release though.
For those gearing up, AMD Rewards have a Far Cry 6 game bonus offer set to begin on November 5th too, but this looks to only be for the Ryzen 7 5800X, Ryzen 9 5900X and 5950X CPU options – we’ll update with more info as it comes in.
It all looks awesome, and at the end Lisa Su continued to wow the crowd by holding up a MASSIVE new AMD RX 6800 XT graphics card, which is said to be detailed in another AMD release event taking place on October 28th (29th here in NZ, see you at 5am again!)
This promotion is valid only on qualifying AMD purchases from July 14th 2020 – December 5th 2020, and only from authorised retailers (See eligible AMD Graphics cards atPB Tech in NZ).
We’ll update the article with the direct link to the code redemption page as soon as it goes live, but until then, lets take a closer look at the awesome games that are up for grabs!
Godfall: Get ready to hack your way through hordes in this looter-slasher, melee action-RPG 🙂 You are the last of the Valorian knights, god-like warriors able to equip Valorplates, legendary armor sets that transform wielders into unstoppable masters of melee combat. Tear through foes as you climb through each of the elemental realms and challenge the mad god, Macros who awaits you at the top.
World of Warcraft Shadowlands: Discover what lies beyond the world you know in the next chapter of the World of Warcraft saga – Shadowlands! The veil between life and death is no more. With a single act of destruction, Sylvanas Windrunner has ripped open the way to the afterlife. Azeroth’s staunchest defenders have been dragged into all-consuming darkness. An ancient force of death threatens to break its bonds and unravel reality.
Hidden realms of wonder and horror await any who would pass to the other side. The Shadowlands is home to an entire realm of the departed; it is a world between worlds whose delicate balance preserves life and death itself. As one of Azeroth’s greatest champions, you have been granted the power to cross over in body and soul. Now you must investigate a conspiracy to unmake the cosmos, and help Warcraft legends journey back… or fulfill their ultimate destiny.
Align yourself with one of four Covenants—mysterious sects, each with their own ambition for the Shadowlands—to restore balance to the hereafter
If you havn’t played WoW yet, you’re in for a treat, the base game is free to try if you’re wanting to jump in ahead of the Shadowlands update too 🙂
UPDATE: B550 stocks have landed in NZ and are available now at PB Tech!
UPDATE: New B550 motherboard options are now available in the Ryzen Custom PC building tool.
With the new AMD B550 range of motherboards are set to release on the 16th of June (Early morning on the 17th here in New Zealand) it’s a great time to start planning out some new builds with these awesome new options!
The B550 is particularly cool for those building the best value Gaming PC possible, especially if you’re using a 3rd Gen Ryzen CPU (like the just-released AMD Ryzen 3 3100 or 3300X) as some of the new B550 motherboards options will support PCIe 4.0 storage just like the way more some expensive X570 motherboards do right now (but with less slots/options) so the X570 motherboards series still has a place for those building with the highest-end Ryzen CPU and multiple storage devices.
For those using X570 already there is also a new BIOS to enjoy. Users can update the latest BIOS to motherboards through multiple ways such as GIGABYTE Q-Flash. With Q-Flash Plus on the X570 and B550 series motherboards, you can easily update BIOS without even installing a processor, memory, graphics cards, making it all super easy and ready to take full advantage of the new Ryzen XT processors, which are set for release in NZ soon (July TBC).
Graphics card wise although the new slots support PCIe 4.0 also, we expect we won’t see an increase in performance here, as version 3 already had enough bandwidth, but for those that love AMD Crossfire for dual graphics card builds – it’s coming back with the B550 motherboard series!
The B550 motherboard series also brings in more compatibility with new cases thanks to options including the much-requested USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C internal header, this will allow us to use the latest case options like the NZXT H510i which needs that specific header for its front IO. Not all B550 motherboards will have this of course, and there is the NZXT H511 for those building with the much more common USB 3.0 headers.
All that technical stuff is certainly looking good, and there has never been a better time to jump aboard the AMD hype train. Check out the video below from Asus about their new ROG Strix B550-F, which sort of sounds like it was voiced by Seth Rogan 🙂
We’ve got even MORE gaming goodies up for grabs right now for those who get themselves one of our latest GGPC builds which feature an all AMD config inside, with awesome 3rd gen Ryzen CPU combined with the awesome RX 5600XT or RX 5700XT graphics for great gaming performance.
The RX 5600 XT is certainly a fan favourite amongst those who are looking for the best possible performance per dollar spent, and those cooler designs from PowerColor and SapphireTech are both utterly awesome too – providing low noise and low temps even when gaming for hours.
Those looking for even more power need only step up to the tried and tested RX 5700 XT graphics cards which increase both the clock speed and memory total for even greater performance – especially if you like to blast your opponents in a higher resolution.
We’ve paired these fine GPU options with latest Ryzen 5 & 7 CPUs to ensure great performance in whatever you do – using the Ryzen 5 3600 and 3600X with the RX 5600 XT, and stepping up to the Ryzen 7 3700X or Ryzen 9 3900X with our RX 5700 XT Gaming PC builds – a little overkill for sure of that last one, but hey, sometimes you just want an absolute gaming beast 😛
Razer BlackWidow Gaming Keyboard: One of the best-selling and most popular keyboard series in the world, the BlackWidow has established itself as a top choice of Esports athletes. With mechanical keys, this gaming keyboard is ready to give you the advantage of precision designed from the ground up specifically for gaming.
Razer Kraken X USB Gaming Headset: Engineered to be extremely light at just 275g, this PC gaming headset’s slim form factor is complemented by a suite of features to achieve a near-weightless feel on your head, so you’ll be ready to game on and on and on and on while armed with superior audio – you’ll never want your gaming marathons to end! Equipped with 7.1 surround sound, this USB gaming headset provides more precise positional audio, so you’ll always get an accurate direction of where the action is happening to be better prepared for any engagement!
Razer DeathAdder Essential Gaming Mouse: For more than a decade, the Razer DeathAdder line has been a mainstay in the global esports arena. It has garnered a reputation for reliability that gamers swear by due to its proven durability and ergonomics. The Razer DeathAdder Essential retains the classic ergonomic form that’s been a hallmark of previous Razer DeathAdder generations. Its sleek and distinct body is designed for comfort, allowing you to maintain high levels of performance throughout long gaming marathons, so you’ll never falter in the heat of battle.
Pretty awesome right! This sweet bonus offer is only available while stocks last (AMD have 100x bundles) so be sure check out the latest in AMD Gaming PC at PB Tech today!
Today we’re looking at the software and methods used for overclocking different systems with various brands/combinations of hardware inside.
If you’ve never done this before it’s easier than ever before, with new Ai scanning tools that will help dodge the blue screen of death that occurs when we push our systems just that little bit too far 🙂
As always, overclock at your own risk! Doing this will void your warranty and it can also damage your components.
As we reach the limits on OC, our computers will likely freeze, BSOD and display odd graphical colour pops – all indications that we should pull back.
The basics are: Some Asus, Gigabyte Aorus and ASRock motherboards will allow you to overclock certain processors, graphics cards and memory to achieve better performance.
This could be for a ranking competition or simply for better frames in your favourite games.
While the overclocking process is similar with all, the software used for each varies depending on which brand you’re working with, be it AMD or Intel, EVGA or ROG & so on.
Before we jump into all the overclocking itself though, we’ll need something to test the system with. This is a good place to start as you’ll be running these benchmarks over and over again while you do the actual overclocking – and if you don’t run them first you’ll have to base performance marks to compare with!
Testing the Overclock – Benchmarks
Benchmarks provide a repeatable test, letting us check the system stability or performance, with a score at the end to compare with others from around the world. The game themed ones can be used by players seeking more information on what a certain upgrade/configuration would result in more FPS, while others provide a score to get you onto the global leaderboards.
There are lots of options, links to our GG favourites below!
Prime 95 – A handy tool for overclockers and system stability checkers, Prime95 has a feature called “Torture Test” that allows maximum stress testing on the CPU and RAM. There are several options allowing the stress test to focus on the memory, processor, or a balance of both.
War Thunder is a free to play combat simulator that started with planes, and now includes tanks and boats. The built-in benchmark tool is amongst the best available today because the game has such depth available in its graphics setting options menu and the massive number of players to compare performance with. Highly recommended.
With any of the software above downloaded & installed, we’re ready to get the tools needed to do the actual overclocks. We’ll break this into different groups to keep things super easy.
Overclock Graphics Cards
By far the easiest to do, and able to be done with most graphics cards from the entry-level GTX 1650 to the highest end RTX 2080 Ti, overclocking your GPU is a fun way to get into the swing of things. The tools used focus on 2 main customisation points, core clock and memory clock – increases to either result in more performance.
Software: Brand dependant, you can find these on the brand websites for your specific graphics card too (the best place to get the latest version)
EVGA Precision X1 has a pretty solid guide, and OC scanner tools to help find the limits of your graphics card.
All the software packages work in the same way, but the interface for each is a little different. Be sure to run your benchmark first, at normal settings, and note the score before you start to play with these tools.
If you’re using RTX you can actually have the software OC for you, finding the limits and adjusting the settings automatically. If you want to do this select OC Scanner.
If you’re keen to manually overclock though, ensure fans are set to AUTO or 100%, and turn the power limit slider to max!
Then we slowly tweak up the Boost Clock with +100, with each increase, we click the tick to apply the settings – and then run the benchmark again and note the score.
Once the system starts to freak out, freeze or display error we ease back on the Boost Clock, and start increasing the Memory Clock.
The process is the same, raising the Memory Clock +100 until system failure strikes.
You can also click and type in target clock speed rather than using the sliders too, this becomes more helpful when you start to reach limits!
You’ll see the results in your benchmarks, and with our graphics card now overclocked we can move onto the CPU.
Overlocking a CPU was previously a bit more involved, however much has changed with the 9th Gen Intel K series CPU now having preset profiles on many motherboards and the release of the Intel Performance Maximizer. This automated processor overclocking tool examines your processor’s individual performance and programs personalised settings for a custom overclock – made simple.
If you want to go for a classic, manual OC this is still very doable and we can turn up our RAM here too, tap the F2 or DEL key as you boot to enter the BIOS.
Looking specifically at the guide for AORUS Z390 series, and the i9-9900K CPU – steps as below!
Enter “Advanced Frequency Settings”
Here you see the “Extreme Memory Profile (X.M.P.)” option. Change it to “Profile 1”. You might see a profile 2 with even higher settings – doesn’t work all the time but in some cases even a 3200MHz kit can run at 3600MHz.
Now, onto the CPU. The formula to calculate the frequency of your CPU is: CPU Base Clock * CPU Clock Ratio. The Intel i9-9900K CPU has a Base Clock of 100 and CPU Clock Ratio of 47 for a frequency of 100 * 47 = 4700MHz. In this Aorus guide the overclock target is 5GHz for a 300MHz increase.
Set your CPU Clock Ratio to “50”. (You can use the keys PgUP and PgDN to tweak settings)
Power management settings may decrease the stability of your system. Disable the following power management settings: Intel Speed Shift Technology, CPU Enhanced Halt (C1E), C3 State Support, C6/C7 State Support, C8 State Support and C10 State Support.
The formula for Uncore frequency is CPU Base Clock * Uncore Ratio = Uncore Frequency. Uncore frequency is the frequency of the non-core parts of the CPU- IE cache, memory controller, etc. To start, set your uncore to 47 and continue on with the guide. After you have determined your CPU’s highest overclock you can re-visit your uncore settings. In general higher uncore values do not produce meaningful performance differences, but they may improve benchmark score. Set CPU Uncore to “47”.
*Note: You may find that you lose stability at 5GHz CPU clocks if you raise the uncore frequency really high. Start with uncore at 4.7GHz and if your system is stable then raise it to a higher frequency. **Note: Please disable the “Ring to Core offset (Down bin)” under the Advanced CPU Core Settings. Under the “Chipset” tab disable VT-d.
Here you can disable settings or features which may not be necessary in your daily operation. VT-d is used for virtualization. If you don’t plan on using any virtual machines you can disable it. The same stands for Internal Graphics.
Now that we have set our memory XMP profile, Uncore, and CPU multiplier we must also adjust the CPU voltage (Vcore). In order for the CPU to operate at higher frequencies more voltage will be required. Go to the starting BIOS page (M.I.T.) and select the “Advanced Voltage Settings” option.
Select the “Advanced Power Settings” Option
CPU Vcore: Raising this helps keeps the system stable at higher CPU frequencies. However, it also increases the amount of heat your CPU produces. We suggest you keep Vcore under 1.35V depending on your CPU cooling solution. Most CPU’s should be able to overclock to 5GHz on all the cores at this voltage, however CPUs are not all created equally. Some may need more voltage, some less. Set Vcore to “1.30” to start. If you system is not stable raise the voltage in increments of .01 with a maximum of 1.40V.
*Note that changing Vcore voltage also changes your Uncore voltage since they share the same power rail.
CPU VCCIO and CPU System Agent Voltage: Both of these settings help with DRAM frequency overclocking. Values up to 1.3-1.35V are high but they are ok if you are using air cooling. Since we used X.M.P. profiles for our memory these voltages will be automatically set.
SAVE YOUR SETTINGS!
Before rushing off to test your new overclock we suggest saving your profile. You will find this option on the last page of the BIOS named “Save & Exit”
Congratulations! You are now running at 5GHz, and now it’s time to make sure that it’s stable… so benchmark benchmark benchmark, tweak settings and go for the highest score you can!
AMD have just released more details for two new Ryzen CPU options and a new motherboard series – and it’s all looking really good!
Taking a closer look at the duo of new CPU options named the Ryzen 3 3100 and Ryzen 3300X, and comparing them with the current Ryzen 3 3200G & 3400G options the main difference is the included AMD integrated graphics on the ‘G’ models, which is nice to have, but we gamers like to add dedicated graphics cards so we don’t actually need that at all.
And that’s what makes these new AMD CPU options so appealing!
Because they don’t have any integrated graphics built-in, they are both likely to be less expensive than the current 3rd Ryzen gen options.
That aside it’s just more good news 🙂 Both Ryzen 3 options are sporting 4 cores and 8 threads of processing goodness, with the 3300X having clock speeds just that little bit higher, so it deserves to wear that ‘X’ badge.
Ryzen 3100 – 4 Cores / 8 Threads – 3.6GHz Base Clock – Up to 3.9GHz Boost Clock – CPU Socket: AM4 – Recommended Ram Speed: 3200MHz – Ready for PCIe 4.0 – Includes Wraith Stealth Cooler
Ryzen 3300X – 4 Cores / 8 Threads – 3.8GHz Base Clock – Up to 4.3GHz Boost Clock – CPU Socket: AM4 – Recommended Ram Speed: 3200MHz – Ready for PCIe 4.0 – Includes Wraith Stealth Cooler
Looking good! Right now we’re treated to a range of very reasonably priced B450 and A320 series motherboard options for AM4 socket CPU, so when these CPU make their way into New Zealand we’ll already be good to go, but AMD have also begun teasing a new range of motherboards that they’re called the B550 series which will bring in a bunch of options that include some of the features we’re seeing currently on the significantly more expensive X570 series, namely PCIe 4.0 M.2 slots for ultra-fast storage.
These new AMD Ryzen CPU are both available for pre-orders now, and the arrival date for NZ is looking to be early June!
It’s a remarkably good looking cooler, with unique connection options that include both a 4-pin RGB Header and a USB 2.0 Internal Header cable to enable control of the colours.
The LED layout is split into 2 main zones.
– The RGB Header cable controls only the fan.
– The USB 2.0 Header cable controls both, with additional A-RGB options for the outer ring, but the fan colour controls are overridden if the RGB header cable is attached.
This becomes important when you want to match the colours with other RGB components within your Gaming PC – right now static colours are no problem but getting a colour flow effect to sync between the outer ring, central fan and case fans can’t be done easily. (we’ll update when it works again)
That’s not to say you can’t have some awesome RGB colours though! So let’s connect the cables and install the software for testing 🙂
Starting with the CPU Cooler installed into our PC, we’ll now attach the cables required to control the RGB.
Quickly removing the Graphics Card to give us easy access to the two ports on the bottom of of the CPU Cooler we first connect the RGB Cable to an RGB Header, and then the other cable to the USB 2.0 Header on our motherboard.
With the two cables now connected our build instantly syncs the AMD Wraith CPU Cooler to our case fans, and while the outer ring does at first appear to be matching the flow as it proceeds the colours will slowly de-sync.
With everything looking good it’s time to move onto software install, the easiest way to find the latest version is by visiting the AMD CPU Cooler Solution website and clicking the button shown below.
This will take to the Cooler Master software download page, simply click the button here and a compressed software package will begin to download.
Please note: At the time of writing this, our software download was Wraith Prism v1.18
Unpack the zip that’s now in your download folder and run the program to install the software – the most difficult steps are done!
OK, now you can start playing with the 3 tabs to control the two separate RGB zones, RING LED and FAN LED, the third is just that little AMD logo top left.
IMPORTANT: Remember that you can’t change the fan LED with using these software controls if the RGB header cable is attached.
Looking specifically at our B450 Aorus Motherboard, you can see we connected the RGB header just below the CPU Cooler.
Simply pop the RGB Header cable out, and the Wraith Cooler Software controls will now let you tweak and change everything to suit 🙂
We can now use a combination of Aorus FUSION RGB software and the Cooler Master AMD Wraith Prism Cooler Software to align the colours on everything.
All the various brands’ RGB software can be found on the product page download section for your specific motherboard, with AORUS you can also get it from the dedicated website they’ve set up at https://www.gigabyte.com/MicroSite/512/rgb2.html 🙂
Quick tip: If you’re running AORUS RGB Fusion on your PC be sure to get the Android APP as it adds even more controls options, smart features and settings.
With the motherboard software set to static orange for our test, we can now return the Cooler Master Wraith Prism Software and configure this to match.
And we’re all done, with the RGB header cable detached, and our two software packages configured individually to match, we can set our whole system, or individual parts, to our own colour preference for the perfect look.
We choose orange because of the subtle orange highlight on our Aorus Motherboard but it looked pretty awesome in blue too 🙂
You can configure the various parts, then uninstall the software/remove cables and it will retain the last known config – this is pretty good as the cables that come out the cooler are pretty big and can be tricky to hide.