The MP501 is a mousepad of premium quality, providing the clean surface needed for a flawless victory. Made from special Cordura fabric, which delivers responsiveness, durability, and water resistance with a perfect balance of speed and control. Built to last, the anti-fray stitching of the MP510 will keep your mouse pad in top condition and looking great on your desk.
A wonderful mousepad for any mouse, but grabbing this awesome bonus will also put you into the draw for our MASSIVE August Gaming Prize Pack which will be going out to one lucky gamer!
IMPORTANT: To be in to win the MEGA Prize you must register for the Cooler Master MP510 Bonus!
The MK750 is a pro-grade mechanical gaming keyboard for the straightforward gamer, fully loaded with practical features to ensure success on the battlefield. Classic design gives the MK750 timeless good looks, with an eye-catching floating switch and anodized cobalt-aluminium top plate for a pro-grade feel to the keyboard. The sleek keyboard sports an RGB lightbar and backlighting which can be customised on the fly, without the need to download any software or exit your game. Macros work in a similar way, allowing you to record your very combos while in game.
Available with a range of Cherry MX Switch options for responsiveness, durability, and tactile satisfaction – our winner will get to choose the perfect MK750 Cherry MX Switch model for them, blue, red or brown, with all models including a removable magnetic wrist rest for superior comfort during the long gaming sessions ahead!
Our next Cooler Master Prize goes perfectly with the gaming keyboard above – the Cooler Master MasterMouse Pro L RGB Gaming Mouse! This incredible gaming mouse lets our lucky winner tweak its shape with included modular top and side covers, changing the grip configuration so you can make a mouse that works best for you and the games you are wanting to play. On the inside you’ll find a PixArt PMW3360 optical sensor delivering up to 12000 DPI with no interpolation and no acceleration and a 32-bit ARM processor which allows you to record and playback complex macros, as well as save all of your settings for use on any computer without software, 512KB onboard memory allows you to take your macros with you wherever you go
With 8 programmable buttons that can be easily expanded up to 14 thanks to the Storm Tactix function (Works like the FN key on a keyboard), we can now assign access more functions without adding more buttons. There is also a DPI switch which is found on the bottom right side of the mouse but even this can be reassigned to any other button, great news for the snipers among us who are looking to switch DPI levels on-the-fly.
Nearly every inch of the MasterMouse Pro L’s body is covered in a matte UV coating – this is highly durable and won’t peel, wear, or tarnish. To further expand on this dynamic shape those top techs at Cooler Master have made 3D Print models for the MasterMouse Pro L available here, so if you would like to actually make a unique custom grip perfectly formed for you, you actually can!
The MasterPulse MH750 is an exceptional headset, one that surprisingly hasn’t received much coverage despite packing an onboard sound card, it’s also had some of the best marketing lines we’ve seen on a headset, gems such as…
“offering a proper seal to prevent hearing the crushing reality of the outside world.”
“Adjust the obnoxiouslightshow with a simple press of a button”
Funny realities aside the MH750 provides full audio immersion, with a lightweight, aluminium frame and five individual cushions provide all around comfort. Inside we get 44mm drivers to provide clear audio, both for communications from your team and the footsteps of enemies lurking in the shadows, with BassFX boosting available with the removable open/closed back design should you want to feel more of the explosions. It’s RGB of course, with that fancy 7.1 simulated audio making it great for movies and the like as well!
A pretty amazing setup for sure – but Cooler Master didn’t stop there – our lucky August winner also takes away one last awesome piece of gaming gear for their desk – the Cooler Master RGB Mouse Pad!
With nine vibrant preset light animations and effects, it’s the last piece of gear needed to perfectly match the other RGB hardware in your setup but it isn’t just about looks – the RGB Gaming Mousepad is also tuned for peak performance with a textured, low-friction surface that results in a mousepad that performs as good as it looks 🙂
Amazing gear, amazing August fun ahead – check out the latest range of Good Gaming PC builds today!
Trusted by top esports professionals, G903 with LIGHTSPEED wireless technology delivers incredible responsiveness for competition-level twitch targeting. Featuring the world’s most advanced PMW3366 optical sensor, G903 offers superior tracking accuracy and consistency even at speeds over 400 IPS. The flexible ambidextrous design, customisable lighting, and a lightweight 110g design means G903 is ready to meet your exacting preferences. G903 now comes with a 10g optional weight module so you can adjust the weight to fit your preferences.
Our next sweet bonus goes perfectly with the gaming mouse above, our lucky winner will never worry about low battery with the Logitech POWERPLAY Wireless Charging System in their setup! POWERPLAY is a wireless charging system for gaming mice. The base generates an energy field that is transformed into charging current by a special powercore within the G903. The beauty of this system is that your mouse will charge while you’re at play and at rest, so whenever or however long you want to game, it’s charged.
But that’s not all, our winner will also take away the Logitech C922 HD Pro Stream Webcam which is perfect for streaming with its no-drop audio, auto-focus, and a 78-degree field of view. 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.
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.
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.
It also includes a fully adjustable tabletop tripod lets you record from the most flattering angle for your stream 😛
We’ve been playing a fair few games lately (as always :P) 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, videos are short gameplay tests captured by GGPC NZ)
Fortnite – It’s still claiming to be a beta but Fortnite is very polished. 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 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 scrabbling 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 op to it’s likely you”ll stumble into some crazy fun times along the way!
War Thunder – This one gives us action packed battles both on the ground and in the skies (also boats are in BETA!), it’s crazy how good this game is with beautiful graphics and a massive line-up of tanks and planes for us to use in the PVP battles + recently the games creators added a new PVE game mode named Assault which is a blast to play. A perfect game to enjoy with friends this one has options from Simulation to Arcade, it’s similar in many ways to World of Tanks and World of Warships but ultimately War Thunder wins the day with it’s seamless combination of modes and unmatched intensity of aerial dogfights. A truly great game that deserves a download 🙂
Path of Exile – You are an Exile, struggling to survive as you fight to earn power that will allow you to exact your revenge against those who wronged you. 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 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 will never be “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.
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 don’t expect to just run in and win, this is a thinking persons shooter for sure.
Warframe – A team based hack’n’slash shooter with some pretty action packed moments, heaps of gear and hours of fun 🙂 The massive “Plains of Eidolon” update introduced a massive open world in which hack some enemies to pieces but they haven’t stopped there, new updates introduce new ways to play constantly. 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.
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 univese 🙂
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 play style, as you progress though 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 are a lot!
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 war gaming experience 🙂
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 are 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 just keeps getting better!
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’s got detailed character customization tools, offers some brilliant PVP matches and has an excellent action based combat system. The story line is very enjoyable, especially the introduction to the game world.
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!
Fractured Space– Another MOBA at its core but very different from Paragon above, this one has us controlling a large battleship in space based 5v5 combat pushing our way towards a large enemy base that your team can only reach by pushing a spacelane all the way up. Each multiplayer match provides some pretty intense team battles and also some smaller skirmishes with ships able to quickly warp to other locations on the map. The starships themselves look beautiful, there are three factions/manufacturers in the game right now each with their own unique art style for each class of ship available – each class backs some pretty awesome weapons and abilities that you can further tweak to suit your play style as you progress in the game. Fractured space is in early access now and we’ll be excitedly watching this one as it evolves, right now though it’s in pretty excellent shape and certainly a blast to play!
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.
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!
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.
We’ll continue adding to this list as we test more and more Gaming PC, we’ve got our eyes on Battlerite but if you know a great new free game you think we should test out please drop a comment in via our GGPC YouTube channel – we are on the hunt now for a nice driving game!
Crafted for maximum control of your mouse movements, the G240 provides edge-to-edge performance on a clean surface with just the right amount of friction for low-DPI manoeuvres. Your gaming will benefit from the consistent surface texture, also giving your mouse sensors better imagery for translating mouse movement into cursor movement!
A great mousepad for any mouse, but this will also put you into the draw for our MASSIVE Logitech Gaming Prize Pack which will be going out to one lucky gamer!
G512 is a high-performance gaming keyboard, delivering 1 ms report rate and featuring advanced Romer-G Linear mechanical switches. Full-spectrum RGB combine with LIGHTSYNC technology that takes the LED experience with your games to a whole new level! The aluminium alloy gives the G512 a bladelike chassis with a beautiful brushed metal finish, on the back you’ll also find a handy USB port for convenience – plug in a device to charge or plug in a mouse, without missing a beat.
And speaking of a gaming mouse – we’ve got a great one to go with this!
The Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum Gaming Mouse with full RGB LED Lighting and tunable weight options included. Get maximum tracking accuracy from the responsive PMW3366 optical sensor which works with exclusive Logitech G Delta Zero optical sensor technology to minimize mouse acceleration and increase reliable targeting. Adjustable RGB lighting lets you select from up to 16.8 million colours and as our lucky winner is going to have a complete setup, Logitech Gaming Software will allow them to choose lighting to match their style, and then set this theme over the whole kit – synchronizing lighting patterns and effects to bring the gaming setup to life with breathing or light cycling light patterns!
Ohhh that’s a pretty amazing setup we’ve got here, but it’s not over yet!
Featuring Pro-G audio drivers using hybrid mesh materials, the G533 delivers audio performance normally found in high-end audiophile headphones. DTS Headphone:X technology accurately replicates 7.1 speaker placement and audio positioning, allowing this headset to recreate the in-game environmental effects and positional audio game designers intended you to hear. You can even tune the volume levels for each of the 7 audio channels to amplify game sounds coming from rear channels to hear what’s behind you! With advanced lossless digital audio transmission, the G533 delivers wireless convenience and incredible high fidelity sound with up to 15 meters range, designed to maintain a strong connection even in noisy EMI environments such as when there are multiple competing wireless signals nearby.
Crafted for maximum control of your mouse movements, the G240 provides just the right amount of friction for low-DPI manoeuvres. Your gaming will benefit from the edge-to-edge performance on a clean, consistent surface texture, also giving your mouse sensors better imagery for translating mouse movement into cursor movement!
A great mousepad for any mouse, but this will also put you into the draw for our MASSIVE Logitech Gaming Prize Pack which will be going out to one lucky gamer!
IMPORTANT: To be in to win the MEGA Prize you must register for the Logitech G240 Bonus – to do this please use the form below!
Our grand prize this April consists of three distinctly impressive pieces of Logitech G Gaming Gear, the first being the latest Logitech G560 Speakers System!
Enjoy amazing audio with 240 watts of peak power feeding an explosive, down-firing subwoofer and two satellite speakers with wide-angle drivers for a full range of clear, pure sound. The DTS:X Ultra engine renders 3D surround sound from PC games and also music, delivering heightened realism, accuracy, and a competitive edge.
These aren’t just great sounding speakers though! Featuring Logitech LIGHTSYNC these speakers can actually react to the action happening in-game! Playing GTA V and getting into trouble with the cops? Your speakers will be flashing blue and red while to race to escape the fuzz! With four lighting zones, two front facing and two projecting backwards you can customise from nearly 16.8 million colours to perfect your gaming setup.
And speaking of a perfect gaming setup – you’ll be needed a great RGB Gaming Mouse for this!
Become more accurate than you’ve ever been before, this G703 features the epic PMW3366 sensor used by eSports pros worldwide (widely regarded as the world’s most advanced gaming mouse sensor) it’s exceptionally precise and consistent, with zero smoothing, filtering, or pixel rounding across the entire (200-12000) DPI range – giving gamers the confidence that comes with natural, more accurate targeting.
With an incredible 1ms reporting rate + end-to-end optimised wireless connectivity, this G703 Gaming Mouse will deliver incredible responsiveness and competition-level abilities – even without the cables!
That’s some pretty epic gear so far, but you’re really going to love this keyboard!
It’s the first Logitech G keyboard to carry the name Pro 🙂 Designed and built to the exacting standards of some of the world’s top esports athletes, our lucky winner is in for a treat with the Logitech G Pro Gaming Keyboard on their desk! Engineered for extreme performance and designed to win, the short-throw Romer-G switches actuate at just 1.5mm, making them around 25% faster than the competition’s standard mechanical switches.
Providing a perfect blend of speed, precision and quiet performance, this Logitech G Pro Gaming Keyboard is the stealth assassin of mechanical gaming keyboards.
With all devices being Logitech G RGB you’ll have complete control within a single software package. Tweak the lighting and effects across all devices with ease, have them change automatically depending on what game you’re playing or customise each to suit you – whatever the case, our lucky winner is going to have a setup worthy of a top-tier pro!
Keep your eyes on the GGPC PC Gaming Blog as we’ll announce the lucky MEGA PRIZE PACK winner at the end of April!
With our GGPC you have a range of audio outputs available to you with which you can connect Gaming Headsets, Speakers and dedicated Microphones which have become very popular for game streamers due to the high audio quality and ability to configure directional audio filtering out the sounds from that glorious clicky mechanical keyboard 😛
You will now the Realtek Audio Manager via a chevron on the bottom right of the desktop, below is a quick guide on how to access this and assign different devices to the different ports.
OK so let’s begin!
Looking at the desktop below you can see a large red arrow pointing to the chevron, left click this and a secondary menu will appear with the icon for the Realtek Audio Manager.
Once open you’ll see all available ports options along the right-hand side, with headers stating the location as either Back Panel (this means on the motherboard) or Front Panel for those on the cases front IO. Connecting a device to one of these ports will highlight the exact port used and also activate a secondary menu allowing you to select what you would like the port to do 🙂
Once you’ve selected the ports desired effect, you’ll see the device now shows in the options along the top of the Realtek Audio Manager window, in our quick example we can now see the microphone and speakers have appeared as options here.
From this point, you can continue to configure various aspects relevant to each device for the perfect setup 🙂
We’ll continue adding to this guide with specifics as they come through, keep your eyes on the GGPC Computers Blog for the latest!
UPDATE: GGPC Workshop spots are currently fully booked, spots may open on the days though!
Coming up this weekend, the Vodafone Event Centre plays host to a tech fair with friends from Gigabyte, Asus, Cooler Master, G.Skill and Logitech G showcasing their latest tech devices and solutions for end users like us!
They’ll be hosting demonstrations and lending expert tech advice while displaying their latest products for you to get hands on with. Brand experts will be at each booth to take you through their tech and share with you their knowledge on PC Gaming. The event centre will also host various entertainment setups such as full gaming setup areas, a drone enclosure offering drone flying sessions, workshop classes, hands-on PC builds and more!
The crew from GGPC will be there hosting a workshop packed full of handy tips & tricks for water cooling, case modding, and getting the best performance for your dollar plus there will be awesome prizes up for grabs throughout each day – and a bunch of lucky attendees will get the chance to buildtheir own dream PC at half price!
This event is free to attend so if you’re a system builder, gamer, tech guru or just interested to see the latest and greatest electronics and digital technology in New Zealand, JOIN US AT THE NZ TECHXPO 2017 THIS WEEKEND!
Here at GGPC we’ve been happily using our Youtube channel for just over a year now (approaching 2 million views fast!), uploading hundreds of in-game performance tests as we try out all the wonderful graphics cards for ourselves and we absolutely love it, it’s through this channel that we recently started getting requests for info around what the performance is like when streaming – specifically lot’s of people wanted to know more about Twitch but until recently the quality options for that have been more suited towards console gaming than PC so we only tested things out case by case.
Now that Twitch has rolled out their enhanced video and streaming playback, upgraded to include 1080p/60fps support – we’ve jumped in officially to join in on the fun!
Eight of us have created new accounts with a fun quest to kick things off, we’ve got a lot to learn but love gaming so it promises to be good \o/
We will be hosting all the individual gamers on our main GGPC NZ Twitch channel as well, because we each have our own favourite games to play and rather unique gameplay styles it’s going to be a fantastic mess featuring everything from Monster Hunter Online to Star Citizen and Hearthstone. If you’re wanting to give streaming a go for yourself we highly recommend using Nvidia Experience to connect to Twitch, it works in a very similar way to the Shadowplay function we’re all familiar with and is wonderfully easy to use.
With the arrival of the new AMD Ryzen CPU things are getting pretty interesting in the highest end space for system builders, graphic designers and gamers. There are three CPU available now, Ryzen 1700, 1700X and 1800X.
Time to jump into the games! With the Ryzen 1800X and GTX 1080 combo being so so powerful we’ve started testing out things with two goals in mind, firstly we want to play in 4K (3840×2160 to be precise) and secondly, we want to be able to hit 144hz framerates at 1080p.
With the Witcher 3 hitting 60FPS at 4K was still a challenge with just a single GTX 1080 to power things, to achieve this we’ve turned down the draw distance a little while leaving the other options on ultra – exact settings used are shown at the end of all videos 🙂
When turned everything up to max except hairworks performance in the Witcher 3 was still very impressive.
We thought it would be good to check out some of the slightly older, but still very popular games like Counter Strike and Minecraft – while still chasing our 4K resolution target of course 😛
CS:GO looks pretty good! Performance wise the system is total overkill for a game like this but if it’s what you want to play – go for it!
With Minecraft we installed the latest version then modded in some extremely high end shaders to give the GTX 1080 something to do. The Ryzen inside did very well with a few noticeable dips around water but aside from the that it was a great little run around and Minecraft was looking good 🙂
With H1Z1 we tested by driving quickly through a large town and the Ryzen 1800X + GTX 1080 combo handled very high settings and 4K well, more testing of large battles is needed but as anyone who’s played this one will know – surviving to the end is tough!
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!