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By Jessica Brown On 14 May, 2017 At 05:20 PM | Categorized As ROG News, ROG Tech | With 0 Comments

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For quite some time now, PC gaming enthusiasts have been talking about AMD’s “Vega” line of GPUs. Last year, there was speculation at several tech sites that Vega would make its first appearance as the theoretical RX 490 graphics card. However, as time went on it became quite apparent that AMD had no plans to release a 490 graphics card, capping off the RX 400 series with the RX 480 card. The 400 series was powered by the company’s 14nm Polaris line of graphics cards, offering great performance per dollar for the mainstream market (where the majority of the money is to be made, honestly).

This April, Radeon refreshed its Polaris line of cards and released the RX 500 series, offering around a 10% boost in performance versus the previous iteration. Again, Vega was excluded from this numbering. However, AMD has stated that the upcoming Vega GPU will simply be called the “RX Vega,” releasing as its own product line. This is a bit of a different move from the enthusiast Fury cards from 2015, which were branded as being in the top-tier of the R9 300 series of cards.

So far, there has been a lot of speculation about the upcoming graphics architecture accompanied by quite a few benchmark leaks. Presumably, Vega will be released with at least a couple variants, all of which will make use of the new High Bandwidth Memory 2 format, a successor to the original HBM that was found in the Fury cards. The cards should come in a 4GB and 8GB variant with a 16GB dual, liquid-cooled GPU having been teased.

Early leaked benchmarks have suggested that at least one of the models tested performs at just around the level of NVIDIA’s GTX 1070. The problem with leaked scores like this is that we have no idea which Vega model was being tested. Also, from experience we know that engineering samples and pre-released versions of a card very well may not represent the performance seen in the final consumer versions.

However, the RX 580 is generally seen as a competitor for the GTX 1060, so it makes sense for a “low end” version of Vega to compete with their rival’s 1070 card. Higher versions of Vega will most likely go head-to-head with the GTX 1080 and possibly the GTX 1080 Ti (although many believe that the highest variation of Vega will actually come in somewhere between the 1080 and the 1080 Ti). Yet, it all comes down to price. Even if the best Vega card can only trade blows with the GTX 1080, if it comes in at a more affordable price it may very well steal a bit of the market place from the graphics giant.

There is one problem, though: TweakTown has suggested that there may only be 16,000 total Vega cards across all variants available when it first releases due to limited quantities of HBM2. If this is true, it keeps NVIDIA even safer in the enthusiast field of GPUs for a good bit longer.

Regardless, we should know more after the AMD press event at Computex on May 31. Stay tuned!

By Jonathan Balofsky On 16 Nov, 2016 At 05:03 PM | Categorized As News, NINTENDO, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang recently discussed the Nintendo Switch some more.

“The quality of games has grown significantly,” said Huang. “And one of the factors of production value of games that has been possible is because the PC and the two game consoles, Xbox and PlayStation, and — in the near-future — the Nintendo Switch, all of these architectures are common in the sense that they all use modern GPUs, they all use programmable shading, and they all have basically similar features.”

Huang admits that the chips inside your PC, your PS4, and your Switch will still have differences. The processors will vary in design and capabilities, but they still all use a common architectural language. That’s despite Tegra using mobile ARM architecture and the other consoles using the PC-based X86 design.

“As a result of that, game developers can target a much larger installed base with one common code base and, as a result, they can increase the production quality, production value of the games,” he said.

The subtext of Huang’s comment is that developers should find it relatively easy to build a game for PC and then port it to PS4, Xbox One, and Switch. One of the biggest concerns that fans have when it comes to Nintendo’s new dedicated gaming hardware is third-party support. That’s something Nintendo consoles have always struggled with, and making it an easy platform to develop for is a key step in ensuring that companies not named Nintendo want to make software for it.

This sounds like the Switch is a developer’s dream console and should have little trouble with making games for it. Perhaps getting Nvidia on board was the best move Nintendo could make. It seems Nintendo and Nvidia have combined to create a true super console.

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By Jonathan Balofsky On 11 Nov, 2016 At 02:21 PM | Categorized As News, News, NINTENDO, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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At Nvidia’s recent earnings report, Ceo Jen-Hsun Huang made the following statement about Nintendo and the Switch

 

I guess you could also say that Nintendo contributed a fair amount to that growth. And over the next – as you know, the Nintendo architecture and the company tends to stick with an architecture for a very long time. And so we’ve worked with them now for almost two years. Several hundred engineering years have gone into the development of this incredible game console. I really believe when everybody sees it and enjoy it, they’re going be amazed by it. It’s really like nothing they’ve ever played with before. And of course, the brand, their franchise and their game content is incredible. And so I think this is a relationship that will likely last two decades and I’m super excited about it.

This is a rather interesting thing to say. Could it be that Nintendo has invested heavily into Nvidia? We know that Nvidia wanted to make a big comeback into gaming, so could this partnership be even deeper than we thought? It will be interesting for sure to find out.

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By Wade Hinkle On 20 Sep, 2016 At 08:48 PM | Categorized As News, PC Games, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarBeginning today, Nvidia is offering gamers a chance to receive a free copy of Gears of War 4 this holiday season, though the catch is having to purchased a GeForce GPU or system.

Gears of War 4 is one of the most highly anticipated and important PC games being released in 2016, but for it to be played at QHD or 4K  resolutions a Pascal GPU will be needed.  Beginning today a free copy of Gears of War 4 with the purchase of a GeForce GTX GPU or select GeForce GTX-based systems and notebooks.

From today until October 30, 2016, gamers who purchase a GeForce GTX 1080 or GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card, system, or notebook will receive a full-game download of Gears of War 4 free. The codes will give players a full game download of Gears of War 4 on both PC and Xbox One, so they are perfect for the console gamer looking to get into PC gaming.

Gears of War 4 follows the story of JD Fenix, the son of legendary war hero Marcus Fenix. After an attack on their village, JD and his friends, Kait and Del, must go out into the wilds of Sera to rescue the ones they love from a monstrous new enemy, known as the Swarm.

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Nvidia is ambitious. And I like it.

As I made my way around the giant booth, two things really stood out to me. One: Nvidia really gets gamers. They know what we want, they know what’s missing in our lives, and they know how to ‘turn us on,’ so to speak. Second: holy crap, I’m never going to be a functional human being again.

The keyword of the day was mobile, and not just in the sense of a phone or a handheld, but in the sense that, if Nvidia has their way, all your games will truly be mobile. From the handheld SHIELD, to the streaming service they’re building with cable companies, to the connectivity between your computer, big screen TV and your games, they seem to have thought of everything.

The Grid

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Imagine cloud gaming that works with your network provider to turn any PC, Mac, tablet, smartphone, or TV into a gaming console. That’s the future Nvidia imagines.

GRID renders 3D games in cloud servers, encodes each frame instantly, and streams to any device with a wired or wireless broadband connection. This means no digital downloads, no installation, no patches – just streaming.

And this isn’t just a pipe dream. They’re already working on deals with major cable companies to get this show on the road.

The SHIELD

A true portable gaming system that is also a full-sized controller, SHIELD utilizes the Tegra 4, touted as the world’s fastest mobile processor. The ultra-fast wireless is to prevent lag when streaming games, and the unit will utilize Android’s Jelly Bean operating system, meaning you can access all of the Android applications and games.

Now here’s where this “me never leaving the game” steps in. I will be able to play my computer games on the SHIELD. I can essentially use it as a controller, or I can get up and go lie on my bed and play using the SHIELD’s screen. Or I can go use the bathroom and take it with me. Or take it on the bus. Or to work. Or to my work bathroom.

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Do you see how dangerous this device is? From the demos, it seems a little bit of a quicker step than the Vita to PS4 step will be, because you’re actually playing the game on your SHIELD, but we’ll be able to compare them more after the PS4 comes out.

Oh, what’s that you say? They will probably only have crappy games? Um…look at this list. Yeah. Yeah that’s a real legit list of games right there, all the kind of games I wouldn’t mind snuggling up in my bed with until 3 A.M., with none of the neck or back strain that sitting up requires. Don’t look at me like that, you’re probably in no better shape.

I hope to tell you much more about the SHIELD when I get one of my very own. So stay tuned!

The World of Tomorrow

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Nvidia almost scares me. The GRID, SHIELD, and other technology, if successful, may change the way we game. There’s no need for the console wars if you don’t need a console, and you don’t need to buy handheld versions of your consoles, like the Vita aims to be. In the world of tomorrow, every smart device could become a game console.

And I will never have a life again. I’m sure they were trying not to laugh as I stood there, flabbergasted by the new technology they were explaining. How will I eat? How will I sleep? How will I force myself to have human interaction?

No GravatarInternational CES is the world’s leading, largest technology trade show, held in Las Vegas at the LV Convention Center from January 8th to the 11th, 2013. People from all over the world come to enjoy this epic week of technologies, geek out over the future electronics.

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To give you an idea of the size of this thing, Michael Phelps would have to swim 483 laps to travel the 15 miles of the carpeted CES show floor. My feet certainly wished it was a pool instead of cement floor. There are about 3,280 exhibits, tons of parties and celebrity appearances. My friends and I saw Will.I.Am, Sheila E, Xzibit, Lupe Fiasco, Rohan Marley (son of Bob Marley and father of Lauryn Hill’s babies), Tyson Beckford, Nick Cannon, Mike Tyson and  Snooki, but didn’t see LL Cool J, 50 Cent or Felicia Day.

This was my first trip to CES, so I didn’t really know what to expect. It was definitely a different experience than any gaming convention, and I really had to look hard to find gaming specific innovations. The Gaming Showcase, a tiny section of the show floor, was my favorite part of the event of course, since I’m not really big into mobile tech or televisions. But for those of you who are, here are some highlights!

 Cool Tech News:

  • Lenevo and 3M have introduced tablets that are actually the size of tabletops. Meant for multiple users and most certainly for companies, both of the products are going to be pretty pricey.
  • Canopy developed Sensus, an iPhone case that is touch sensitive to allow you to use the back and the sides of your phone to scroll and click instead of just using your screen.
  • A vibrating fork from Hapilabs that is meant to stop you from eating too much made an appearance. 0_0
  • VuzixM100 smart glasses: a bluetooth controllable headset that sits under your eye looks pretty cool.
  • The Samsung’s Ultra HDTV S9 was shown off with both an 85-inch and a 110-inch screen. Not only that, it looks like it is floating in its frame, since you can adjust the screen.
  • The Pebble – an e-paper watch for iPhone and Android let’s you use bluetooth to seamlessly control your phone with your watch.
  • Facecake’s Swivel allows you to virtually try on clothes, different hairstyles and colors, and varied makeup styles without ever taking off what you’re wearing or making a horrible dyeing mistake .
  • The Puzzlebox Orbit is a brain-controlled helicopter that flew around and was amazing.
  • Monster had an Alicia Keys concert and featured brand ambassadors such as Tyson Beckford, Xzibit, Sheila E., Nick Cannon and more showing off their new and stylish headphones. I drooled (at the headphones… not the celebs :P).
  • Sony showcased a ton of cool products that worked by touching your mobile device to them. It was pretty cool looking!

Cool Gaming News:

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There was plenty of awesome gaming news as well!

  • Monster and EA sports teamed up to create a gaming headset, The MVP Carbon, which also works with lifestyle products such as phones and MP3 players.
  • Mad Catz showcased the S.T.R.I.K.E. 7 keyboard. This keyboard won the Best of Innovations 2013 Design and Engineering Award in Gaming Hardware & Accessories at this year’s CEAs. The keyboard is modular, meaning it can be taken abart as needed and rearranged.
  • Razer is coming out with a gaming tablet called the Razer Edge
  • The R.A.T.M. Wireless Mobile Gaming Mouse from Mad Catz looks pretty awesome

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As for the innovations and products that caught my eye, the  real standouts for me were the Extreme Reality software, Nvidia’s Project Shield and Afterglow’s Prismatic Wireless Headset (and girl friendly products). I have a few posts coming up that go into more detail about those babies!

However, with the gaming tech in general, almost everything else was showcased at another event or convention. The one other surprise for me was not particularly innovative for this show, but it was darn fun. The Mag 2 looks like a cheap game accessory. If I came across it online, I would glance over it and keep moving. But when I actually picked it up to play, I found it completely addicting. The gun controls your view in the way movie stars use guns in action movies, pointing the way, looking around with it. It takes a bit to get used to, but once you do you feel like a total badass.

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Speaking of BadAss, there’s Xzibit at the Monster booth!

In all, I’m very glad I attended and my only with is that I brought one of our tech or mobile writers along. I’m certainly looking forward to International CES 2014.

I’ll have some reviews and previews coming along for some of these products and more, so please make sure to subscribe to stay up to date on the latest posts!