An epic open-world awaits us! Brought to life by the award-winning Nemesis System, we must go behind enemy lines to forge our army, conquer fortresses and dominate Mordor from within as we prepare to confront the full power of the Dark Lord Sauron and his Ringwraiths in this epic new story of Middle-earth. Forge a new Ring of Power, conquer fortresses in massive battles and dominate Mordor with your personal orc army in Middle-earth: Shadow of War!
The fate of Mordor rests upon the choices you’ll make. So weigh them with your life, because Nothing Will be Forgotten.
This awesome bonus is valid on purchases made between the 26th of September 2017 and 12th of December 2017 so get in quick! This is a register to redeem promotion so once you’ve geared up with your new hardware simple visit the website below and follow the steps along.
Recently we managed to get our hands on a very new gaming laptop from Gigabyte, an ultra slim and light AERO 14 with a GTX 1050 Ti inside! This was perfect as we really wanted to check out the GTX 1050Ti Laptop performance a game called Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, but before we jump into gameplay FPS tests let’s take a quick look at the laptops full specs and design.
The Aero 14 is ultra thin and light, weighing in at around 2KG while being less than 2cm thick – it’s packing a popular intel i7-7700HQ quad core CPU with a 4GB GTX 1050Ti and 16GB of DDR4 ram. The display is a beautiful anti-glare 2560×1440 IPS, edged entirely in black with just a dash of orange and carbon fibre on the back of the laptop.
Inputs and Outputs…
3x USB 3.0
1x Mini DisplayPort 1x HDMI 2.0 (4K savvy)
1x ThunderBolt 3!
1x 3.5mm Audio Combo (headphone and mic)
In addition to these, it also has a built in webcam and microphone which is good, a Kensington lock point and a nice white LED backlit keyboard for late night gaming. That ThunderBolt 3 port is great to see too, you can use these to attach an external graphics card boosting the power of your gaming laptop into that of top tier of desktop gaming systems!
Performance is general use is excellent, with the NVMe M.2 SSD inside booting into Windows 10 took around 4 seconds, with battery life under extreme load (playing Path of Exile while live streaming via OBS with FaceRig running) which gave us just over an hour (1 hour 1 min 17 seconds) – as a side note here, gaming performance is excellent on battery with the Aero 14, we recorded everything including the 20% battery tipping point when a laptop will automatically switch from the Nvidia graphics to intel integrated – let us know if you want to see this and we’ll cut out the boring bits then upload for you to check out on YouTube 🙂
Must be time to jump into some PUBG! (literally)
The game begins with an airdrop onto the island where 100 players proceed to battle it out until the last man standing is declared the winner. We specifically captured the 60-second gameplay video below to include the parachute landing, item grabbing and a player kill, while in a level with the heavy rain weather effect active.
This is because we’ve heard from players having issues on low/mid range systems, specifically when the player first lands, the specific issue being that the buildings and items have not entirely loaded in! This would almost certainly lead to disaster as these opening moments are a rush for weapons to defend yourself with.
As you can see in the video below, the Aero 14 GTX 1050 Ti Gaming Laptop has no such issues and we are able to gear up even in this densely contested area 🙂
We then continued straight on from the gameplay above, dodging crazy people with crowbars and getting into firefights – we even managed to get flash-banged yet survived!
For all tests we ran with the fans set to auto, you can use the included Gigabyte Smart Manager software package to tweak this but auto works perfectly, ramping up and down the fan speeds when needed.
Overall we’ve loved spending time with this laptop, the design is so nice and physical build is of the highest quality, the intel/nvidia hardware combination is superb and that Pantone certified display, along with the Dolby speakers is both suprising and beautiful. Best of all though, now that we’ve had a really good go with the new GTX 1050 Ti Gaming Laptop we can happily give it our GGPC Recommends Award – The Gigabyte Aero 14 GTX 1050 Ti is GOOD!
For those new to gaming laptops and high Hz displays, it’s important to note that just because a laptop has a 120Hz/144Hz screen it doesn’t mean you’ll ever be able to hit that target FPS in your favourites. Every game is different, and we highly recommend testing first on the lowest setttings to see how much wriggle room you’ll have to play with as you turn the settings up 🙂 That aside, let’s play some games!
With the Destiny 2 BETA underway we decided to jump in and see what this awesome laptop could do, testing first to see what our base FPS would be like at 1080p with low settings before tweaking upwards to see if we could stay above on the highest settings possible, we found the best settings for this in Destiny 2 on the P57Xv7 was to run with MSAA turned on (crazy heavy!) and high settings across the board with textures tweaked up to the highest settings.
If we turned the MSAA setting down to SMAA our framerate skyrocketed upwards allowing us to capture between 90-120 FPS even with the resolution increased to 2560×1440, we are using the in-built FPS counter, found within the gameplay settings tab in Destiny 2, but we’ve also captured another test with our temperature and CPU/GPU usage stats up top left if you’re interested in checking these out.
Jumping into some Overwatch we turned everything up that we could, customising the EPIC preset to increase the antialiasing quality right up to ULTRA – SMAA HIGH (odd that epic doesn’t include this as standard right?) and also pushed our resolution all the way to 2560×1440. It’s nice that this higher resolution is available (some P57x models even have 4K!) and even better still to see that still supported a blazing 120Hz! Even with these extremely high settings though we still spent most of our time enjoying a crisp 90FPS, which, after experiencing the super visuals on the laptop itself, just isn’t done justice in the video below!
From here we decided to move into some Battlefield 1 and encountered a similar issue, even at the highest settings with our resolution set to 2560×1440 we were getting frame rates well into the 80’s – lucky for us the map rotation eventually swung around to the Amiens City which is notoriously heavy late game and we were able to snap a quick shadowplay with plenty of explosions, tanks, players and smoke everywhere helping to drop our FPS around 60 🙂
From here we moved into testing out our favourite space sim at the moment – the still-in-development Star Citizen \o/ We played with the settings for a while and found the best setup (right now, it changes with each update) is to play at 1080P with the graphics preset on HIGH. This gives you all the coolest effects like ambient occlusion and also adds some extra definition to the “space clouds” which I feel gives you something to visually gauge your speed and direction – turning things down to the lower preset does free up around 20 more FPS though so we captured a quick Shadowplay for those settings as well.
We decided to round off our gaming tests with a bit of Black Desert Online and set off on an adventure! Finding ourselves in an Orc village at dawn with rain pelting down we tweaked our settings for a smooth and beautiful combat experience at 1440p 🙂
Gaming performance aside there are a lot of things to like about this laptop, yet again the build quality is good with very little flex on the screen, the hinges on the screen are robust (and still orange) and if you tip the laptop upside-down you’ll see the impressive dual exhaust cooling system which, when at 100% speed (a setting we highly doubt you’ll use, auto is fine) has a noise output that is reminiscent of the noise from a kettle boiling. It’s packing most of the features we look for in a modern system like AC Wireless, Bluetooth, USB Type C, and HDMI 2.0 for 4K 60FPS, sadly no DisplayPort this time but ours did have a Blu Ray drive hidden on the front! The laptop has a nice white LED keyboard backlight that can be switched between half strength, full, off and of course auto mode which adjusts to suit the lighting around you
Battery on the P57Xv7 lasted us 1 hour & 11 mins at full brightness while looping videos which was excellent, we ran all the tests above with the fan profile set to auto which revs the cooling up and down as needed. As with our previous tests with the P57Xv6 we again set out to restrict airflow so we could see when things started to throttle and noted 90 degrees as the tipping point to watch with the CPU usage – during these high temps we still had no system crashes or instability.
Overall it’s been a pleasure to game with, and the Gigabyte P57Xv7 with it’s GTX 1070 + i7-7700HQ combo is most definitely good – on that note we happily give this fine gaming laptop our GGPC recommends award – the P57Xv7 is GOOD!
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!
It’s not often that we see a gaming laptop with such amazing price/performance but the new Sabre 15 GTX 1050 Gaming Laptop brings it all together pretty perfectly, before we dive into the gameplay FPS tests though let’s take a quick look at the specifications.
With a very quick M.2 SSD for loading times along with mass storage for games via the 1TB HDD the Sabre 15 is a versatile and agile gaming laptop, the i7-7700HQ and GTX 1050 combo is backed by an unexpectedly large 16GB of 2400MHz DDR4 ram also.
The frame of the laptop screams gamer with aggressive detailing on the lid and also along the rear cooling vent, and the chiclet keyboard glows with a cool white LED which can adjust manually or automatically via the light sensor. This chassis supports a range of connection options including the USB type-C and twin Mini DisplayPorts along with the must haves like HDMI and USB 3.1, it even sports a discreet 6 in 1 card reader which is pretty handy to have!
Inputs and Outputs…
– 1 x USB 3.1 Type-A port
– 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C port
– 1 x USB 3.0 port
– 1 x USB 2.0 Port
– 1 x Mic-In/Headphone-out
– 2 x Mini DisplayPort
– 1 x HDMI 1.4
– 1 x RJ45 (for LAN insert)
– 6 in 1 Card Reader
– Auto-adjusting Backlit Keyboard
– Webcam and Mic build in.
Jumping into gaming with the Sabre 15 we see the performance align with it’s desktop brothers, and considering this system has a monitor and keyboard built into it the value kicker is that much better – investing in both a gaming keyboard and gaming mouse is advised though as this one can connect to your TV in the lounge via the HDMI for a wonderful console killing experience 🙂
Looking specifically at Overwatch we were able to maintain our 60FPS target even with the texture filtering quality set to EPIC, furthermore we recorded this very heavy battle with the built-in Nvidia Shadowplay Game Capture tools which can now even stream to Twitch, Facebook and more… and our CPU usage spent most of its time in the 30’s and didn’t even cross the 50% usage mark… insanity!
Swinging around to an older game that won’t use much of the graphics card but should put more stress onto our CPU we fired up CS:GO 🙂 Again using the built in Shadowplay Game Capture to record the clip below we where able to hit a whopping 69% peak usage in an online match with both bots and real people playing.
Rounding off the tests with a quick game of League of Legends we set out to get into a large team fight and succeeded 🙂 Even with all the explosions and effects on screen (game settings on MAX) our lowest dip was to 62.4FPS and that was only for a microsecond, crazy cool!
While the performance for this laptop is excellent it’s not quite invincible 😛 for our final test of the night we headed to Novigrad – the largest city in the Witcher 3 and got into a some fights just at daybreak when the lighting effects hit hard 🙂 Even with all the settings turned down for this one hitting our 60FPS target wasn’t quite possible in the city although we did come close with around 45FPS even during our bomb test on a poor chap with shield 🙂 If you’re looking for great performance in Witcher 3 there is also another version of the Sabre 15 with a GTX 1050Ti we’re about to test and also check out our latest GTX 1060 Laptop tests with the Aero 15, it handled the Novigrad run insanely well!
We’ve had a blast testing this one out for ourselves and look forward to playing more games with the Sabre 15, right now we’re on the hunt for a good one to try and use up some more of the that ram… (16GB really is a lot) and we’ll update our GGPC PC Gaming Blog and Gameplay FPS Test YouTube Channel with the latest \o/
These new ones have a slightly bigger screen size, but by opting for a class-leading 15” 5mm bezel display the new Aero 15 offers you greater display real estate without increasing chassis size allowing them to keep their signature, super slimness 🙂
Little tweaks to the design, like placement on the webcam and mics within the hinge keep things very slim indeed, and nice touches like the carbon fiber detailing on the back along with the way the RGB led shines through the dual cooling fans is just beautiful 🙂 When comparing with the previous Aero 14 the rear cooling vents on the Aero 15 have been extended and air blown out from two positions on the back of the laptop while gaming, and to go even further, a Thunderbolt 3 port has been added for a premium ultra-fast transfer speed at 40Gbps and the ability to connect external graphics enclosures (we tested this by adding a GTX 1080Ti), or run with twin 5K external displays… truly a mobile powerhouse without limits!
Specifications wise it’s packing the latest 7th gen Intel Core i7-7700HQ, a 6GB GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card along with 16GB of DDR4 ram and a super quick PCIe M.2 for storage. They’ve also done wonderful things to the keys on these new version and the new Aero 15 now sports a RGB Fusion chicklet keyboard with the best keys we’ve even seen – vibrant but with little light leakage!
In-game the Aero15 is excellent, far above expectations. The GTX 1060 inside was able to keep our framerates high in a range of games and when we tested the i7-7700HQ with a little CS:GO we were pleasantly surprised to see the CPU usage keeping around 50% even while using the built in Nvidia Shadowplay Game Capture tools. You can manually set fans speeds via the control center but leaving them set to auto is just fine, the laptop will pulse up the speed as needed when you’re gaming – we did a quick test to see at what point the CPU begins to throttle itself and the mark is 89 degrees, at this point the fans kick in and the CPU changes from its 3.8GHz boost to 3.2GHz (base is 2.8GHz) to keep things cooler, during these moments we noticed no bumps or jumps in game 🙂
This one’s as easy as playing some Overwatch and taking some sweet pics along the way!
When you’ve captured your amazing screenshot you then upload it the hi-res gallery here and register your details. Once that’s all set if you also want to post it onto Facebook use the hashtags#GAMEREADY #PLAYOVERWATCH – this competition is set to run until the 28th May.
When it comes to taking screenshots you can use the classic ‘printscrn‘ button on your keyboard but that great shot will get overwritten if you decide to ‘printscrn’ again. A better option here is to use the screenshot tool within Nvidia Experience, it’s tied to ALT+F1 by default and with this you can happily take as many shots as you like. They’ll automatically save to the videos folder, the same one as your Shadowplay clips to save in.
This also presents another really cool way to do screenshots, you can record a Shadowplay clip and then afterwards capture the perfect screenshot from it!
In Overwatch you can turn your HUD off with ALT+Z, this happens to be the default shortcut for Nvidia Experience also so be sure to change one of them before you jump into a game, or you could find yourself stuck in NO-HUD mode 😛 Without all the stats on screen you can capture some beautiful shots like this quick one we captured below, now we just need to get a good POTG with our new D.Va Police skin…
This year promises even more epic treats within the highest end PC Gaming space, the massive Nangang Exhibition Center Hall will yet again showcase the greatest in gaming laptops, gaming desktops, graphics cards, gaming gear and other advanced hi-performance gaming products.
We simply can’t miss out on all this epic new tech so a bunch of us jumping on a plane and heading to the show. As always we’ll be posting lot’s of awesome pictures to our GGPC Instagram of all the tech we find in our travels
If you’re wanting to head to Taipei and check everything out for yourself, Cooler Master are running a pretty cool competition right now that could be your ticket… literally!
One lucky Cooler Master fan this year is going to have the chance to romp around with Cooler Master in Taipei at COMPUTEX 2017. You’ll have a chance to create and be in their videos, photos and social media. You’ll get to hang out in the awesome CM booth which is an absolute treat if you like cool tech 🙂 All of your hotel accommodations will be taken care of and they’ll even get you into their exclusive after-party. Win this one and you’ll be able to check out one of the top 10 cities in the world for nightlife – Taipei is pretty amazing!
To be in to win this awesome prize you’ll have to show off your media skills and create a video (like the example below) showing off your passion for Cooler Master and building PCs – the theme is “You vs. The Guy She Told You Not to Worry About” -> full details for this competition are available here <-
If you’re lucky enough to be packing a Gigabyte Aorus Motherboard in your Gaming PC there’s a really cool update that will let you tweak Corsairs new RGB Vengeance RAM kits within the existing Gigabyte FUSION app we already use to customise our zone lighting. These new kits light up in one entire colour at a time rather than having individual zones, so we’re limited to showing a single colour per stick but we could still have four fitted each with their own colours, the Corsair RGB currently does four standard light effects — static, rainbow, breathing and colour shift.
Right now those with GIGABYTE Fusion enabled motherboards will be able to control their Corsair Vengeance RGB RAM as well, you can still control things via Corsair Link software but having one software package to control everything is the goal, just like we did with the MasterCase Pro 6 PC Part Picker build so we can’t wait to try this out with Fusion here at GGPC 😛
The FUSION desktop app itself is really easy to use, but what makes this one sooo appealing for us is it actually has a smartphone companion app as well and with it you can customise things from your android smartphone – you can download the Gigabyte RGB Fusion Smartphone App on Google Play \o/ It’s important to note that this app will likely need an update to add the new ram functionality and there is sometimes a little tinkering you must do around permissions in order to pair your system with the app, thankfully Jon Colón left a review on the app which explains it with details “UPDATE: In order for this program to work, open windows firewall with advanced security. Under inbound rules click “New Rule” – Click port then next. You need to add TCP 9009, UDP 1980 and UDP 19801″
Fun times ahead for sure – if you just can’t wait to start playing around with this awesome new tech below are links to some of our favourite FUSION ready motherboards and also the G.Skill RGB kits which are available in New Zealand right now!
Starting things off, this isn’t the first in the MasterBox 5 series and there are also options if you wanted to grab this one in black, or with mesh instead of tinting on the front – that’s really what Cooler Master has been all about lately as well, options!
This chassis provides a really good base to start just about any kind of build in, an included power supply shield will help keep things super tidy inside. There are mounting holes all over the place which allow for multiple positions when fitting storage devices, the movable hot swap HDD caddy has a clip hinge with the CM logo on each drive bay as well. This case is ready for various sizes of motherboard, from the tiny ITX though to large ATX like we’ve used below in our little AMD test system.
The chassis does include 2x black CM 120mm fans which are mounted in the front, with these fitted the mirror effect for the front panel is pretty good at reflecting whatever your PC is facing – this panel is actually a deep tint so if you decide to put LED fans into the position you’ll cancel out the mirror somewhat and a things will light up the front, you can check this out in our RGB MasterBox 5 build shown at the bottom of this blog 🙂 The top of the case provide quick access to dual USB 3.0 (which aren’t coloured blue, we like this) and also audio jacks with the power button having a white LED light behind it. The side window panel is massive so when it came time to add in the little extra lighting we mounted this on the front aiming backwards, that way if you’ve got the PC on your desk at eye-level you won’t have a blazing LED shining directly into your eyes 😛
Even though the chassis is inexpensive compared to others of similar looks and quality (it’s under $150 NZD at the time of writing this) it’s so tidy looking you really can put in the highest end components and things won’t be off balance. There is space for X99 motherboards and dual graphics card builds, you can rear mount your radiator or even front mount a 240mm liquid cooling kit in a push/pull configuration and it even fits the absolutely massive air cooling units like the MasterAir Maker 8 – crazy cool!
We like this chassis so much we’ve decided to use it for our own top selling build – the GGPC Hero GTX 1050 Gaming PC \o/ With this build being a part of our latest series of custom rigs you can tweak the components and the new visual tool will show you what your system design looks like as you choose/change components. You won’t need to be a hardware guru to design a system, we only provide options which are compatible with each other. The tool works by providing a range of fully functional base builds from which you can customise your system upwards, adding additional graphics power or digital storage depending on your needs. You’ll be happily swapping out components to get the perfect look with no worries 🙂
We’re looking forward to doing more Custom Gaming PC builds with this chassis, with such flexible mounting options and killer looks it’s hard not to love this case (or the others in the series) but among the current range this white dark mirror version is certainly a favourite of ours 🙂 On that note we happily give this fine Cooler Master chassis our GGPC recommends award – the MasterBox 5 Dark Mirror Case is GOOD!