Playerunknown's Batllegrounds New Maps Are Still Months From Release; Here's Why

The map in Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds isn’t like the ones in other shooters. It’s a massive, sprawling arena that has several towns, dozens of buildings, terrain features, and even a tunnel system. Developer Bluehole is currently working on two new maps to add to the game, but given this size and complexity, they’re still several months from release.

In an interview with Eurogamer, Brendan “Playerunknown” Greene spoke about the difficulties of making new maps for the game, explaining that the studio still doesn’t have a planned release date for them. The developer has a long way to go before the next one is playable.

I’m at our new @PUBATTLEGROUNDS office in Madison today. The team is working on our desert map. Here’s a WIP preview of this new location… pic.twitter.com/ReLbsvwv9A

— PLAYERUNKNOWN (@PLAYERUNKNOWN) July 3, 2017

“We’re going to explain these maps are still in early development and we’re still working on two at the moment,” he said. “We’re trying to pick one to focus on. But it’s still going to take us many months to get it out.”

To give perspective on how long it takes Bluehole to create these levels, Greene revealed that it was no easy feat to get the first one up and running. “Maps are not an easy thing to do; the last map took us about six to nine months to get to a really playable state,” he explained. “Maps take time. But we’re going to be working hard and we’re expanding the team so there’s no ETA, they’ll come when they’re ready.”

We’ve seen very little of the new maps; Bluehole has only released two images so far, both showing a desert location. As Greene explained, those screenshots showed a very early prototype of the level. “What people saw in that is what is called ‘a beautiful corner,’ an area of the map made to show the art director the overall feel the team want to give the map,” he stated.

There’s a whole lot more from Greene’s interview over at Eurogamer; be sure to check it out.

In other Battlegrounds news, the game will have its first big esports tournament next month at Gamescom. It’ll have a $350,000 prize pool, and Bluehole is selling special cosmetic items to the public to help fund the tournament. In addition, a big update for the game comes next week that adds dedicated first-person servers.

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Source URL:http://www.gamespot.com/articles/playerunknowns-batllegrounds-new-maps-are-still-mo/1100-6452028/

Overwatch Will Start Punishing "Bad Behavior" More Harshly

Like many other online games, a match of Overwatch can be severely impacted by players who go idle, harass others, or otherwise exhibit what Blizzard broadly labels as “bad behavior.” Because of that, the developer has announced plans to more severely punish those who would ruin the experience for others.

“We believe that our in-game reporting and player penalty system is one of our most important features, and it’s something we want to invest in significantly over the next year,” Blizzard explained on its forums. “To this end, effective immediately, we will be issuing increased penalties to players in response to verified reports of bad behavior.”

Among the things that qualify are “abusive chat, harassment, in-game spam, match inactivity (being intentionally AFK), and griefing.” Blizzard encouraged players to report anyone they see doing these things, and it vowed to silence, suspend, or ban confirmed offenders.

Beyond this, Blizzard has plans to improve the penalty system in other ways. For instance, in the future, there will be scaling bans in Competitive Play, and you’ll be notified when action is taken against a player you’ve reported.

Additionally, the reporting system will be implemented on PS4 and Xbox One. “As console players ourselves, we know it’s been frustrating to not have this functionality on your platform,” Blizzard said. “We are actively working on the feature and have many elements of undergoing internal testing right now. Our goal is to implement similar reporting options as are currently available on PC, and any improvements made to PC between now and when it’s available.”

Doomfist, Overwatch’s next character, is due out as part of an update releasing tomorrow, July 27. We’ve learned a lot about him recently, including why he isn’t voiced by Terry Crews and how early concepts worked. You can also check out his first comic and first cosplay.

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Source URL:http://www.gamespot.com/articles/overwatch-will-start-punishing-bad-behavior-more-h/1100-6452022/

New Need For Speed Payback Trailer Highlights In-Depth Customization, Check It Out Here

Publisher EA has released a new trailer for its upcoming driving game Need For Speed Payback. The video offers our best look yet at the title’s customization systems and derelict cars, which you can rebuild from scrap over the course of the game. Take a look at the trailer for yourself below.

The trailer also highlights what bonuses will be available for those who pre-order. As previously announced, you’ll be able to grab the Platinum Car Pack, which grants instant access to the following five cars:

  • Nissan 350Z 2008
  • Chevrolet Camaro SS 1967
  • Dodge Charger R/T 1969
  • Ford F-150 Raptor 2016
  • Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport 2016

Need For Speed Payback was revealed back in June. EA had previously shown a glimpse of the game’s vehicle customization options at E3, where the company also told us how the racer has been inspired by the Fast and Furious film franchise. Elsewhere at the show, the publisher confirmed Xbox One X and PS4 Pro support for Payback, but a Switch version doesn’t sound too likely.

“Would that be a platform that Need for Speed: Payback could run on? I don’t see why [not], but it’s not something we’re looking to at this very moment,” executive producer Marcus Nilsson explained.

Need For Speed Payback launches on November 10 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC, with a 10 hour trial for EA/Origin Access members starting November 2.

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Source URL:http://www.gamespot.com/articles/new-need-for-speed-payback-trailer-highlights-in-d/1100-6452018/

New Mafia 3 DLC Out Now, Take A Look At The Launch Trailer

If you enjoyed Mafia III, now might be the time to dive back in. The game’s third DLC pack, Sign of the Times, is out now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The expansion will set you back US $10 / £8 / AU $13.45 on each platform, or you can grab it for no extra charge if you already own the US $30 / £25 / AU $45 season pass.

Altogether the new add-on comes in a small 1.1 GB download on console, though you’ll need 3 GB free if you’re playing on PC. Take a look at Sign of the Times’ launch trailer above.

According to publisher 2K, Sign of the Times sees you take on a “deranged and violent group of cultists” called The Ensanglante. The cult uses a hallucinogenic drug to “bend its members to their will” and turn them into killers, all in service of restoring righteousness to New Bordeaux through violent rituals.

In a blog post, Mafia III senior writer Ed Fowler detailed how Sign of the Times has a more deliberate pacing than the previous two expansions, Faster, Baby! and Stones Unturned.

“There’s a mystery to solve with Lincoln searching for stray objects left behind, strange writing–you’ll even examine bodies for clues,” the writer said. “By eyeballing the environment and using a blacklight flashlight to uncover hints, you’ll zero in on where The Ensanglante operate and what the hell their endgame is for New Bordeaux. At key points in this DLC, we have these investigation zones where you’ll methodically look for clues that reveal more of the truth… and it can quickly turn a corner where you’ll be dealing with cult members in tense firefights.”

Previous Mafia III DLC has included a free racing mode, a new golden gun, and a bunch of new outfits. The game also received a PS4 Pro upgrade, but nobody noticed at the time.

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Source URL:http://www.gamespot.com/articles/new-mafia-3-dlc-out-now-take-a-look-at-the-launch-/1100-6452017/

Ubisoft's Skull And Bones Sounds Like It's Not Coming To Nintendo Switch

Ubisoft’s pirates-themed naval warfare game Skull & Bones sounds like it won’t be coming to Nintendo Switch. Creative director Justin Farren told GameSpot that Skull & Bones has a rich and beautiful world, something that might not be possible to replicate on Switch.

“Our world is pretty rich in terms of the world that we’re bringing to life,” Farren told GameSpot from developer Ubisoft Singapore’s office this week. “We haven’t really talked too much about the Switch, but if that becomes a reality then we would maximise the strengths of the Switch.”

Although Skull & Bones may not come to Switch, Ubisoft is bringing titles such as Rayman Legends, Steep, and Just Dance 2017.

We also quizzed Farren about Microsoft’s highly anticipated Xbox One X console, which comes out in November. He said he couldn’t say much about Ubisoft’s plan for the console, but he stressed that the company is platform-agnostic, so you can expect to see Ubisoft make the most of the super-powerful console.

Ubisoft's Skull And Bones Sounds Like It's Not Coming To Nintendo Switch
Ubisoft's Skull And Bones Sounds Like It's Not Coming To Nintendo SwitchUbisoft's Skull And Bones Sounds Like It's Not Coming To Nintendo SwitchUbisoft's Skull And Bones Sounds Like It's Not Coming To Nintendo SwitchUbisoft's Skull And Bones Sounds Like It's Not Coming To Nintendo SwitchUbisoft's Skull And Bones Sounds Like It's Not Coming To Nintendo SwitchUbisoft's Skull And Bones Sounds Like It's Not Coming To Nintendo SwitchUbisoft's Skull And Bones Sounds Like It's Not Coming To Nintendo SwitchUbisoft's Skull And Bones Sounds Like It's Not Coming To Nintendo SwitchUbisoft's Skull And Bones Sounds Like It's Not Coming To Nintendo Switch

“There’s not too much I can say about any specific console, but I will say that we’re targeting [PC and consoles]—every bit of the technical team is focused on making sure we maximise the strength of the consoles we’re targeting,” Farren explained. “So when you read about more memory or rendering, those are things we’re leveraging.

“The platforms themselves—our approach is fairly agnostic. [We want to] make sure that if you own a particular platform , you feel like you’re getting the best Skull & Bones experience possible.”

Skull & Bones, which was announced at E3 in June, is an intriguing-looking naval warfare battle game where players try to sink their enemies in the Indian Ocean. Developer Ubisoft Singapore made the naval battle sequences in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. The studio has contributed to many Assassin’s Creed games over the years as a co-developer; and it also made the canceled Ghost Recon: Phantoms. Skull & Bones is the studio’s first title as a lead developer since then.

Keep checking back with GameSpot for lots more on Skull & Bones, including details on the narrative elements and more.

Ubisoft paid for GameSpot’s travel and accomodation to Singapore and Shanghai.

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Source URL:http://www.gamespot.com/articles/ubisofts-skull-and-bones-sounds-like-its-not-comin/1100-6452013/

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Review

With Nvidia ruling the performance end of the GPU spectrum with its GeForce GTX 1080 and GeForce GTX 1070 graphics cards, AMD saw fit to capitalize on the mid-range market with its recently released Radeon RX 480. Not one to be outdone, however, Nvidia has released its own mid-range graphics card, the GeForce GTX 1060. The GPU will start at $250, though this review covers the $300 Founders Edition, which uses Nvidia’s own reference design.

Nvidia asserts that the GTX 1060 will run 15 percent faster than AMD’s RX 480 on average and will be as fast as Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 980, which was the company’s $550 flagship GPU nearly two years ago. Those are some lofty claims, and I’ll be putting them to the test.

Design

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Review

In case you’re wondering, Nvidia’s more expensive Founders Edition GTX 1060 does not use a higher-quality binned GPU that performs better. Like the GTX 1080 and 1070 Founders Edition cards before it, this version uses a die-cast aluminum body finish and a radial fan, which exhausts heat outside the back of the case. It also has two copper heat pipes and an aluminum heatsink, which help keep the card cool (more on the 1060’s temperatures later). Nvidia asserts that its cooling system also allows you to heavily overclock the card’s core clock, with it being able to reach 2GHz in some cases.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Review
One aspect that separates this reference design card from the previous Founders Edition GPUs is the lack of a backplate. Instead, the back of the PCB is exposed.

The GTX 1060 is based on the same 16nm FinFet Pascal micro-architecture as its 1080 and 1070 siblings, and Nvidia is positioning this as a card that will allow you to crank up a ton of graphical bells and whistles at 1080p. And because it’s a Pascal card, it will also support Nvidia’s new graphical technologies, such as simultaneous multi-projection (SMP), VRWorks Audio, and Ansel. You can read more about these features in my GTX 1080 review.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Review
In terms of dimensions, the card measures 4.3×9.8 inches. It’s also a two-slot card with three DisplayPort 1.4 ports, an HDMI 2.0b connection, and a dual-link DVI option.

One disappointing aspect of the GTX 1060? It won’t support SLI, meaning you can’t run two cards in tandem for increased performance. When I asked Nvidia why the feature was omitted, the company told me that SLI was being reserved for top-tier cards like the GTX 1070 and 1080, and that SLI isn’t very popular among the mid-range market. Still, it’s disappointing to hear that you won’t be able to pop in another GTX 1060 to get a little more firepower down the road.

One disappointing aspect of the GTX 1060? It won’t support SLI.

Specs

The GeForce GTX 1060 is built on the same Pascal microarchitecture and 16nm FinFET production process as the GTX 1080 and 1070 before it, but it’s not based on the same GP104 GPUs as its older siblings. Instead, it uses Nvidia’s new GP106 GPU, which is tuned for power efficiency.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 AMD Radeon RX 480
CUDA Cores/Stream Processors 1280 2560 1920 2048 2304
Texture Units 80 160 120 128 144
ROPs 48 64 64 64 32
Core Clock 1506MHz 1607MHz 1506MHz 1126MHz 1120MHz
Boost Clock 1708MHz 1733MHz 1683MHz 1216MHz 1266 MHz
Memory Clock 8Gbps GDDR5 10Gbps GDDR5X 8Gbps GDDR5 7Gbps GDDR5 7/8Gbps GDDR5
Memory Bus Width 192-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit
VRAM 6GB 8GB 8GB 4GB 4/8 GB
Transistor Count 4.4B 7.2B 7.2B 5.2B 5.7B
Teraflops 3.8 8.9 6.5 4.6 5.8
TDP 120W 180W 150W 165W 150W
Manufacturing Process 16nm FinFET 16nm FinFET 16nm FinFET TSMC 28nm 14nm FinFet
Architecture Pascal Pascal Pascal Maxwell GCN 2.0
GPU GP106 GP104 GP104 GM204 Polaris 10
Launch Date 7/19/2016 5/27/2016 6/10/2016 9/18/2014 06/29/16
Launch Price $249/$299 $599/$699 $379/$449 $549 $200/$240

Note: Specs like stream processors, CUDA cores, and core clocks, etc. should only be used as a frame of reference against other cards within the same family for an apples-to-apples comparison.

Looking at the spec chart above, you’ll notice that the GTX 1060 has fewer CUDA cores, texture units, ROPs, Transistors, and Teraflops than its more expensive GeForce GTX 1070 sibling. While it features the same core clock as the GTX 1070, it actually features a higher 1708MHz boost clock, which is 25MHz faster. Both cards also use the same video memory type, GDDR5 VRAM clocked at 8Gbps, though the GTX 1060 only offers 6GB of it as opposed to the 1070’s 8GB allotment.

At 120 watts, the GTX 1060 also features a low thermal design power (TDP) and needs only one six-pin power connector. Nvidia recommends a 400-watt power supply unit (PSU) to supplement the card.

Benchmarks

For my test bench, I’m using the same system that I used to review Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1080 and 1070 GPUs. It’s a rig with an Intel Core i7-5930K Haswell-E CPU clocked at 3.9GHz, coupled with 16GB of DDR4 RAM clocked at 2133MHz running in quad-channel mode.

Since Nvidia claims the GTX 1060 is as fast as the GeForce GTX 980 and 15 percent faster than AMD’s Radeon RX 480, I’ll be reviewing it against those two cards. I’ll also be comparing it against the GTX 1060’s more expensive siblings, the GTX 1080 and 1070, to see how it stacks up to the rest of Nvidia’s Pascal family.

For consistency and to encapsulate a wide range of data, I’m using the same synthetic, VR, and game benchmarks I used in the rest of my GPU reviews. I benchmarked them across three resolutions (1080p, 1440p, and 4K) and ran them at max settings to really put the cards through their paces. At the tail end of each resolution section below, I’m also including a chart for my experiential tests. This data set isn’t meant to compare the GTX 1060 against other cards, but to give you a real-world snapshot of how the card holds up playing a variety of newer titles that might not have in-game benchmarks. I used FRAPS to record average frames-per-second data here.

1080p Benchmarks

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Review

Starting things off, the GTX 1060 ends up in a statistical tie with the GTX 980 in this synthetic 1080p benchmark, which validates Nvidia’s claim that this less expensive Pascal card is just as fast as the company’s old flagship Maxwell-based GPU. The 1060 is also 26 percent faster than AMD’s RX 480 here, which is actually better than Nvidia’s assertion that the card generally runs 15 percent faster.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Review

Nvidia’s GTX 1060 has an even bigger lead at 27 percent over the RX 480 in Unigine’s graphically-demanding synthetic test here. It’s also slightly faster than the GTX 980, with a 2 percent lead.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Review

The GTX 1060 and 980 come within one frame of each other, with both titles averaging around 120 average frames per second in Irrational Games’ shooter. The 1060 is also 12 percent faster than the RX 480 in this Unreal Engine 3–powered game.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Review

The GTX 1060 and 980 both end up getting exactly 49.6 average fps here, and they’re faster than AMD’s RX 480 by 11 percent.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Review

The GTX 1060 maintains a considerable 8 percent lead over the GTX 980 here, which represents the largest delta between both cards. Interestingly enough, it also maintains an 8 percent lead over the RX 480, but that conversely represents the smallest lead the Pascal card has over the RX 480. This is an indication that the GTX 980 is a bit underwhelming here, but it could also be due to the fact that Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor pushes high-resolution textures. That might mean the Maxwell’s slower, smaller 4GB 4Gbps frame buffer couldn’t keep up with AMD’s and Nvidia’s latest offerings here.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Review

The GTX 1060 is a bit of a disappointment running the Tomb Raider benchmark at 1080p. While it’s 12 percent faster than AMD’s RX 480, it’s 3 percent slower than the GTX 980.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Review

In my experiential tests, I found that the GTX 1060 was able to get above 30 average fps in every single game I threw at it. The lowest it got was in Rise of the Tomb Raider in DirectX 12 mode. From what I’ve seen so far, the game runs worse in DX12 across AMD and Nvidia cards.

It was able to get over the vaunted 60-average-fps mark in two games. In Overwatch, it reached above 100 average fps, and it just managed to squeak by that threshold in The Division.

1080p Conclusion: The GTX 1060 is a great card for 1080p gaming and will be able to max out the most graphically demanding games with playable framerates.

1440p Benchmarks

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Review

The GTX 1060 continues to kick butt in this demanding synthetic test at 1440p. It’s a whopping 23 percent faster than the RX 480 and 5 percent faster than the GTX 980.

The GTX 1060 is a great card for 1080p gaming and will be able to max out the most graphically demanding games with playable framerates.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Review

The GTX 1060 is 13 percent faster than the RX 480 running the BioShock Infinite benchmark at 1440p, but it’s 2 percent slower than the GTX 980.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Review

The GTX 1060 and 980 end up in a statistical tie running Metro Last Light at 1440p. Both are 13 percent faster than the RX 480, but all three of those cards are unable to muster playable framerates here, with all of them dipping below 30 average fps.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Review

The GTX 1060 maintains its 8 percent lead in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor here at 1440p against the RX 480. Again, that represents the smallest delta between both cards. It’s also able to notch a notable 4 percent lead over the GTX 980, with all cards able to make it over the 60-average-fps hump.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Review

The GTX 1060 failed to impress in the Tomb Raider benchmark at 1440p. While it’s 10 percent faster than the RX 480, it ran 3 percent slower than the GTX 980.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Review

Two games here failed to pass the 30-average-fps test with max settings. While the majority of games here are able to get above 30 average fps, the only title to power past the esteemed 60 is Overwatch.

1440p conclusion: The GTX 1060 will be able to max out the majority of games at 1440p with playable framerates, with the exception of the most graphically demanding games/unoptimized PC ports.

4K Benchmarks

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Review

The GTX 1060 is 17 percent faster than the RX 480 here, which is fast enough for it to get over the 40-average-fps mark. However, it’s three percent slower than the 980.

The GTX 1060 will be able to max out the majority of games at 1440p with playable framerates, with the exception of the most graphically demanding games/unoptimized PC ports.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Review

At 4K in Metro Last Light, the GTX 1060 was a whopping 29 percent faster than the RX 480, which represents the largest lead it has over AMD’s card. At the same time, however, the GTX 1070 also enjoys its largest lead over the 1060 here, with a 28 percent delta. Regardless, none of the cards here are able to get playable frame rates with everything maxed out at 2160p, with even the super-fast GTX 1080 netting an unplayable 19.3 average fps.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Review

The GTX 1060 maintains a conservative nine percent lead over the RX 480 in the Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor benchmark at 4K, but it earns a noticeable four percent lead over the GTX 980.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Review

The GTX 980 manages to outperform the GTX 1060 here by five percent, which represents the biggest lead the Maxwell-based card has over Nvidia’s new mid-range offering. While the 1060 is nine percent faster than the RX 480, this represents one of the smallest performance gaps between the two cards.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Review

Aside from Overwatch, which actually managed to get above the vaunted 60-average-fps hump here, the GTX 1060 failed our 4K experiential tests, with everything else running below 30 average fps.

4K conclusion: While Nvidia isn’t marketing the GTX 1060 as a 4K capable card, I wanted to see how it would perform here at 2160p. While it can run some moderately taxing games at 4K with playable framerates, I wouldn’t recommend this card for 4K gaming.

I wouldn’t recommend this card for 4K gaming.

VR Benchmark

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Review

While Nvidia advertises the GTX 1060 as being on par with the GTX 980 in overall gaming performance, the company does assert that the Pascal card is better for VR. With Valve’s SteamVR Performance Test, the 1060 sees a huge 23 percent lead over the 980. This is impressive, considering the 980 is quite a bit faster than the GTX 970, which is the recommended baseline GPU for VR. It’s also 13 percent faster than the RX 480, which is an affordable, fantastic VR card in its own right.

While the 1060 is nine percent slower than the GTX 1070, this benchmark represents the smallest delta between the two cards. If you want a good, affordable VR card from Nvidia, the GTX 1060 is an excellent choice.

If you want a good, affordable VR card from Nvidia, the GTX 1060 is an excellent choice.

GTX 1060 Temperatures, Noise, and Overclocking

Now that you have a good idea of how the GTX 1060 performs, you might want to know how loud, hot, and overclockable it is. The card carries a maximum GPU temp rated at 94 degrees Celsius, but I personally never saw it get anywhere near that high. At idle, the fan speed ran at 40 percent with a very quiet 1,300rpm. This put the temperature at a cool 33 degrees Celsius.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Review
The GTX 1060 overclocks well and is able to run cool and quiet.

When running the Unigine Valley benchmark to put a load on the card, the fans started spinning up to 1,880rpm, which was still very quiet. Temperatures also hit the mid-60 degrees Celcius here, which is still relatively cool. The boost clock went above 1870MHz, which is actually faster than Nvidia’s advertised boost speed.

In terms of overclocks, pushing the fan and power targets to their respective max settings in EVGA Precision, I was able to boost the GPU core and memory offsets by 190MHz and 600MHz, respectively. This resulted in a 14 percent performance boost, which is quite impressive. Surprisingly, the card wasn’t blisteringly loud running at its max 3,200rpm, either.

I was able to boost the GPU core and memory offsets by 190MHz and 600MHz, respectively. This resulted in a 14 percent performance boost, which is quite impressive.

Conclusion

While Nvidia is marketing the GeForce GTX 1060 as a capable graphics card to run 1080p games maxed out, it can also handle many 1440p games well. According to my numbers, the $300 graphics card runs 1.6 percent faster than the GTX 980–which is a card that you’ll still find online for roughly $100 more. While it isn’t always faster than the GTX 980, my tests do validate Nvidia’s assertions that the two cards are generally comparable.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Review

Nvidia also claims that the GTX 1060 is 15 percent faster than AMD’s Radeon RX 480 on average. When I worked out the math, that was actually the exact number I came up with. While the GTX 1060 is definitively faster, the $240 8GB RX 480 is 25 percent cheaper than the Founders Edition GTX 1060, so AMD’s card is still the better value. Compared to its next closest sibling, the GTX 1070, the 1060 is 23.1 percent slower on average, but it’s also 33 percent cheaper. This makes it a great deal in its own right.

Nvidia also claims that the GTX 1060 is 15 percent faster than AMD’s Radeon RX 480 on average. When I worked out the math, that was actually the exact number I came up with.

Overall, the GTX 1060 is a great card for 1080p gaming, offers excellent VR performance for the price, overclocks well, runs cool, and is super-quiet. The one major knock is the lack of SLI support, but beyond that, I’d highly recommend the GeForce GTX 1060 to most PC gamers.

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Source URL:http://www.gamespot.com/articles/nvidia-geforce-gtx-1060-review/1100-6441925/

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Review

Update: Click here to figure out which graphics card is right for you.

Nvidia’s new leading GPU–the GeForce GTX 1080–is a powerful graphics card that’s a great value. Even though it’s a fantastic deal, the $599 price tag still makes it prohibitively expensive.

The GeForce GTX 1070 lives up to the hype.

That’s why many budget-conscious enthusiasts have been waiting for reviews of the GeForce GTX 1070. Starting at a more attainable $379, Nvidia claims that the card is faster than the $1,000 GeForce GTX Titan X. While that may sound too good to be true, the GeForce GTX 1070 lives up to the hype.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Review

Design

While you’ll see the GTX 1070 start out at $379, Nvidia once again sent me its more expensive Founders Edition version of the card, which costs $449. The added cost won’t get you a higher-quality binned GPU that will overclock better, which is what many were thinking. Rather, Nvidia says the price premium for the Founders Edition is merely for the high-quality materials and design craftsmanship.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Review

The GTX 1070 uses the same 4.3×10.5-inch chassis as its more expensive GTX 1080 brother. This means you get the same angular die-cast aluminum enclosure, radial blower fan which exhausts heat outside chassis (which is good for compact Mini-ITX systems), three copper heatpipes for cooling, and a low-profile removable backplate.

One small issue I noticed while testing my particular unit is that its fan produces a slight, almost rattle-like noise under load. It’s not a major issue, but I didn’t hear it with the GTX 1080. Your mileage may vary. In terms of temperatures, the 1070 carries a 94 degree Celsius thermal threshold.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Review
Like the GTX 1080, the 1070 features three DisplayPort connectors, one HDMI port, and one dual-link DVI port.

Features

Because the GTX 1070 is based off of Nvidia’s Pascal micro-architecture, it supports the same GPU features that were introduced with the GTX 1080. This includes graphical bells and whistles such as Ansel, VRWorks Audio, Simultaneous Multi-Projection, HDR, Fast Sync, and GPU Boost 3.0. You can read more about these features in my GeForce GTX 1080 review.

Specs

Based off of GP104, the GTX 1070 carries a lot of similarities to the GTX 1080. Both cards enjoy the same bandwidth reduction, preemption, and memory compression techniques that Pascal brings to the table, which makes it Nvidia’s most efficient architecture to date. The GTX 1070 is also built on TSMC’s new 16nm FinFET production process, which allows the card’s core and boost clocks to run really high. They’re not quite as high as the GTX 1080, but with a base core clock of 1506MHz and a boost clock of 1683MHz, it isn’t too far behind. Both the 1080 and 1070 tower over the frequencies set by Nvidia’s existing Maxwell-based lineup. For instance, the $1K Titan X carries a base clock of 1000Mhz (51 percent lower than the 1070) and a boost clock of 1075MHz (57 percent lower than the 1070). The GTX 1070 also features the same 256-bit memory bus width, 64 Render Output Units (ROPs), and 7.2 billion transistor count as the GTX 1080.

Spec Chart

GTX 1070 GTX 1080 GTX Titan X GTX 980 Ti GTX 980
CUDA Cores 1920 2560 3072 2816 2048
Texture Units 120 160 192 176 128
ROPs 64 64 96 96 64
Core Clock 1506MHz 1607MHz 1000MHz 1000MHz 1126MHz
Boost Clock 1683MHz 1733MHz 1075MHz 1075MHz 1216MHz
Memory Clock 8GHz GDDR5 10GHz GDDR5X 7GHz GDDR5 7GHz GDDR5 7GHz GDDR5
Memory Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit 384-bit 384-bit 256-bit
VRAM 8GB 8GB 12GB 6GB 4GB
TDP 150W 180W 250W 250W 165W
GPU GP104 GP104 GM200 GM200 GM204
Architecture Pascal Pascal Maxwell Maxwell Maxwell
Transistor Count 7.2 billion 7.2 billion 8 billion 8 billion 5.2 billion
Manufacturing Process 16nm FinFET 16nm FinFET TSMC 28nm TSMC 28nm TSMC 28nm
Launch Date 6/10/2016 5/27/2016 3/17/2015 6/1/2015 9/18/2014
Launch Price $379/$449 $599/$699 $999 $649 $549

This isn’t to say the 1070 is a carbon copy of the 1080, however. With it costing $220 less, you should expect some concessions. The 1070 features 640 fewer CUDA cores and 40 less texture units compared to the GTX 1080. While it also features a healthy 8GB serving of video RAM, it does not use the faster 10GHz GDDR5X frame buffer. To assume that it’s getting the short end of the VRAM stick here wouldn’t entirely be fair, however. While the 1070 does use the more traditional GDDR5 VRAM, which has been in production since 2008, it carries a very speedy 8GHz frequency, which is 1GHz faster than the frame buffer of all of Nvidia’s 900-series cards. This makes it the fastest traditional GDDR5 video memory on the market.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Review

The GTX 1070 uses an eight-pin power connector like the GTX 1080, but it’s 30 watts less power-hungry with a 150-watt TDP. This is very power-efficient when you compare it to the 250-watt Titan X, which it performs most similarly to.

Benchmarks

To provide you with a wide breadth of comparative data, I’m using the same suite of benchmarks from my GTX 1080 review, which covers the gamut of real and synthetic tests across 1080p, 1440p, 4K, and VR using the GTX 1080, 980, and 980 SLI. And since Nvidia has made claims that the 1070 is as fast as the Titan X, I’ve tracked one down and added it as a focal point of comparison.

I’m using the same system to test all the graphics cards, which is a PC equipped with Intel’s six-core 5930K, coupled with 16GB of DDR4 RAM. Because all the cards tested here are high-end, to properly push each, their benchmarks are set to their respective max settings.

Also, since my GTX 1080 review, a lot of readers asked me to add benchmarks for some newer titles, such as Overwatch, Rise of the Tomb Raider, The Witcher 3, and more. An issue here is that some of these games don’t feature in-game benchmarks and using FRAPS to manually capture frame rate data while gaming can cause inconsistent results due to the variance of player actions. This means you could get different numbers with different runs, even using the same GPU. Regardless, I wanted to add some of these newer games to the mix; not to provide comparative data between cards, but to at least give you a gauge of how the 1070 might be able to tackle them across 1080p, 1440p, and 4K resolutions. This data will be under the “experiential segment” of my benchmarks.

1080p Benchmarks

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Review

3DMark 11 is a synthetic graphics benchmark which pushes DirectX 11 performance. I ran it under the extreme preset, which renders multiple scenes at 1080p. Right out of the gate, you can see that the that GTX 1070 is six percent faster than the Titan X here.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Review

Unigine Valley is another synthetic graphics benchmark. Both the GTX 1070 and Titan X are able to generate frames in the 80s here, but with a four percent lead, the 1070 is able to once again outperform the more expensive Maxwell-based card. It’s also worth pointing out the huge 36 percent advantage the GTX 1070 enjoys over the GTX 980, which was a $500 graphics card just a few months ago.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Review

The Titan X outperforms the 1070 by just a hair in BioShock Infinite. I’m talking a 141 FPS average vs. 142 FPS average here. It’s close enough to be within the margin of error, but still, a win’s a win and *spoiler alert* the Titan X is going to need all the help it’s going to get. Another point of interest to look at here is the 12 percent gap between the GTX 1070 and the GTX 1080, which represents the smallest delta the two cards will experience between each other in my tests.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Review

Metro Last Light is the most demanding graphical benchmark I’ve got here. With tons of lighting and physics effects, it can bring the mightiest of GPUs to their knees. Both the GTX 1070 and Titan X score above 60FPS average here, however. The 1070 does notch a six percent win by scoring in the upper 60s, whereas the Titan X scores in the lower half.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Review

Shadow of Mordor represents an interesting battle between the GTX 1070 and the Titan X. Because the PC version of the game uses an HD texture pack, it loves VRAM. So, I was curious to see if the Titan X’s larger 12GB frame buffer would be able to give it the edge here or if the 1070’s smaller, but faster 8GB frame buffer would be enough. It looks like at 1080p, speed beats size, notching the GTX 1070 the win by nine percent.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Review

With a really high 137.3 average FPS, the 1070 is able to enjoy a five percent lead over the Titan X here.

1080p Conclusion

With the exception of the BioShock Infinite benchmark, which was razor thin, the GTX 1070 was able to consistently beat the Titan X at 1080p. Regardless, both the Titan X and GTX 1070 are overkill at 1080p, unless you’re looking to take advantage of a super high refresh rate monitor.

1440p Benchmarks

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Review

While the Titan X was able to edge out the 1070 by a single percent at 1080p, the tables have turned with the 1070 getting the one percent advantage at 1440p. Both are still around 100 average FPS, however, so you’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Review

This is the first time the 1070 dips below 60FPS in my real-world benchmarks, but that’s the graphically demanding Last Light test for you. While both the 1070 and Titan X managed to garner above 60FPS average at 1080p, both drop all the way down to the high 30s at 1440p, which still meets the threshold of being playable. The 1070 does carry a five percent advantage over the Titan X, however, and while that’s not huge, when you start to dip into the 30s, every little bit helps.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Review

With a two percent advantage, the GTX 1070 once again pulls ahead in Shadow of Mordor. With both cards running the game in the 80 average FPS range, it suggests both cards will be able to handle the game at 4K, at least to some degree.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Review

Tomb Raider: With a three percent lead, the 1070 just about cracks 90 average FPS, but the Titan X falls short of this threshold.

1440p Conclusion

While the GTX 1070 is overkill for 1080p gaming, it makes good sense at 1440p. You’ll be able to max out just about every single game here, even the most taxing games like Metro with above 30 average FPS. You’ll also get plenty of mileage if you opt for a high refresh rate UHD monitor.

4K Benchmarks

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Review

The GTX 1070 maintains its one percent lead over the Titan X in BioShock Infinite. Really, though, across all three of my BioShock Infinite runs, it’s pretty much a draw across the board. The 2160p resolution does manage to bring BioShock Infinite down below 60fps, however, which suggest you’ll have to drop some graphical settings down a bit if you want to game above 60FPS.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Review

The GTX 1070 is two percent faster than the Titan X here, but both cards end up averaging around 16FPS on the ultra-demanding benchmark, which is unplayable on both setups. As a matter of fact, the game is unplayable across the board here on all of my configurations. Even the dual 980s, which proved to be the strongest of the pack, only managed to ratchet 22 average FPS.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Review

The GTX 1070 is able to enjoy its biggest lead over the Titan X out of all of my tests with a nine percent advantage here. While Shadow of Mordor loves VRAM and the Titan X has 4GB more VRAM than the 1070, it looks like the 1070’s 8GB allotment isn’t a bottleneck at 4K and its faster frequencies are able to give it the win. Shadow of Mordor also represents the biggest lead the 1070 enjoys over the GTX 980, with a big 39 percent gap. It looks like the GTX 980’s relatively small 4GB framebuffer was a bottleneck here at 4K.

4K Conclusion: The battle for 4K was going to be the most interesting fight between the GTX 1070 and the Titan X. At this high of a resolution, VRAM can matter a lot, and with the Titan X having a massive 12GB framebuffer, I wasn’t sure if it was going to prove advantageous for the Titan X at this resolution. Considering the 1070 won in all the benchmarks, however, this suggests that 8GB of VRAM isn’t a bottleneck for 2160p, which means core and memory speeds matter more than sheer VRAM size.

But is the 1070 a 4K card? Aside from the most graphically-demanding games/poorly optimized ports, it will be able to max out the majority of games with at least 30FPS average.

VR Test

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Review

There aren’t that many virtual reality benchmarks available, unfortunately, but there is Valve’s SteamVR Performance Test. It uses Valve’s Aperture Science VR demo as the backdrop and at the end of the test, tells you how many total frames your computer was able to generate throughout the benchmark. Because low frame rates can cause some people to become motion sick in VR, the higher number of frames indicates a better score.

In the SteamVR demo, the GTX 1070 was able to produce 10729 frames, which is six percent better than the Titan X. While it falls short of the GTX 1080, which is the best card for VR at the moment, it is able to enjoy a huge 36 percent lead over the GTX 980, which is a good card for VR in its own right.

Experiential Tests

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Review

The GTX 1070 is able play every single new game at 1080p with smooth, playable framerates. The card was able to render Overwatch with a 167 average FPS when I played a round of control point with it. Unless you have a super high refresh rate monitor, the GTX 1070 is overkill for 1080p gaming here. The only game in my suite of tests to take the 1070 below 60 average FPS is Rise of the Tomb Raider, where it garnered an average FPS in the 50s. It’s also worth mentioning that RotTR is also one of the most graphically demanding games out today. The game is also one of the few titles which currently offers a DirectX 12 mode. Interestingly, performance took a small two-frame performance hit here when I enabled it.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Review

While the GTX 1070 is overkill for 1080p gaming, it makes good sense at 1440p. You’ll be able to max out just about every single game here.

My experiential tests at 1440p once again show that the GTX 1070 is a great card for ultra-HD (UHD) gaming. It’s able to play every single game here with above 30FPS averages, though the very graphically-demanding Rise of the Tomb Raider does make it close, especially under DX12.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Review

Here is where things get dicier for the GTX 1070. Games like Overwatch and Dirt Rally are perfectly playable at 4K. Playing The Witcher 3 or anything else more graphically-taxing, however, and you’ll have to turn down some settings if you want above 30 average FPS experiences.

Overclocking

Because properly overclocking and benchmarking a GPU can take hours, if not days to do properly, you’ll have to wait for a more in-depth article on how well the GeForce GTX 1070 overclocks in the near future. In the meantime, I did some preliminary tests and managed to get the card running stable with a GPU core offset of 150MHz and a memory offset of 500MHz. This isn’t bad and puts it in the ballpark of the GTX 1080’s overclockability.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Review

Conclusion

If you were tallying the wins between the GTX 1070 and the Titan X in my suite of benchmarks, then you’ll know that the 1070 beat the Titan X in all of the benchmarks with the exception of one test, where it was just one percent behind. Not only is this within the statistical margin of error, but it was a test done at 1080p with both cards averaging over 140 FPS. Like the Titan X and GTX 1080 before it, the GTX 1070 is overkill for 1080p gaming, unless you’re running a really high refresh rate monitor. Also like the GTX 1080, it will be able to max out all 1440p games with playable framerates as well, though it won’t achieve above 60 average FPS for the most taxing games. It’s also a viable card if you want to dip your feet into 4K, but, again, it won’t be able to max out the most graphically demanding games there.

When you compare it to the Titan X, it’s up to nine percent faster and up to 55 percent cheaper. That’s a crazy good deal.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Review

With a 12-23 percent delta between it and the GTX 1080, the GTX 1070 certainly isn’t as fast as its big brother, but it also costs roughly 36 percent less. When you compare it to the Titan X, it’s up to nine percent faster and up to 55 percent cheaper. That’s a crazy good deal. Sure, the GTX 1070 makes some concessions against the GTX 1080, but, for the most part, it performs admirably where it counts.

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Source URL:http://www.gamespot.com/articles/nvidia-geforce-gtx-1070-review/1100-6440307/

Playerunknown's Battlegrounds Will Have Its First Big Esports Tournament Next Month

It was just a matter of time before Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds got its first big esports tournament. The buzz around the game has only grown since its Early Access release in March, and now that dedicated players have had a chance to master it, it’s a good time for a competition. Today, developer Bluehole and the ESL have announced the PUBG Invitational, which will take place next month at the Gamescom conference.

Esports have traditionally been dominated by relatively standard solo or team matches: 1v1, 2v2, etc. Each match of PUBG, on the other hand, features up to 100 players in a free-for-all, all attempting to outlast the others.

This requires a relatively unusual tournament format for the PUBG Invitational. It’ll feature 80 players who play in a three-game set to determine the winner. There’ll be competitions in all the modes: solo, duo, first-person duo, and squad.

The Invitational will, not surprisingly, have a pretty decent prize pool. Bluehole stated that the prize pool totals $350,000, and the developer will also be selling cosmetic items to the general public to fund the prize pool and event organization, and to give to charities. These items will come in the form of an in-game crate that you can buy for $2.50, which will include several themed items. You can see them below.

The tournament takes place from August 23-26 in Cologne, Germany. It’ll be broadcast starting at 7 AM PT / 10 AM ET / 3 PM BST on Bluehole’s social media channels.

Playerunknown's Battlegrounds Will Have Its First Big Esports Tournament Next MonthPlayerunknown's Battlegrounds Will Have Its First Big Esports Tournament Next MonthPlayerunknown's Battlegrounds Will Have Its First Big Esports Tournament Next MonthPlayerunknown's Battlegrounds Will Have Its First Big Esports Tournament Next MonthPlayerunknown's Battlegrounds Will Have Its First Big Esports Tournament Next Month

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Source URL:http://www.gamespot.com/articles/playerunknowns-battlegrounds-will-have-its-first-b/1100-6452002/

Razer Releases Two Gaming Headsets That Have Multiple Audio Drivers

Today, gaming peripheral manufacturer Razer released two new high-end gaming headsets: the Tiamat 7.1 V2 and Tiamat 2.2 V2. What makes these headsets different is that they incorporate multiple audio drivers (or speakers) into each ear cup, which is intended to provide richer sound quality and better positional audio.

The Tiamat 7.1 V2 in particular uses 10 distinct audio drivers (five in each ear cup) to create a real surround sound setup, as opposed to virtual surround sound that’s commonly used in other headsets to simulate 7.1 surround. Both ear cups contain a 40mm subwoofer, two 30mm drivers for front and center audio, and two 20mm drivers for side and rear surround sound. The Tiamat 7.1 V2 requires four 3.5mm audio jacks since it does need all channels for surround, but it can also function as a 2.0 stereo headset. The folding unidirectional microphone connects through a 3.5mm jack as well. These premium features do come at a price of $200.

If you’re a bit more budget-conscious, the Tiamat 2.2 V2 is a cheaper option at $130. Although it offers stereo sound, it still comes equipped with two additional 50mm audio drivers that are said to provide strong bass. The Tiamat 2.2 V2 connects through a combined 3.5mm jack for both sound and the microphone. It’s also capable of virtual 7.1 surround.

Razer Releases Two Gaming Headsets That Have Multiple Audio Drivers
The Razer Tiamat 7.1 V2 and the packaged audio controller.
Razer Releases Two Gaming Headsets That Have Multiple Audio DriversRazer Releases Two Gaming Headsets That Have Multiple Audio DriversRazer Releases Two Gaming Headsets That Have Multiple Audio DriversRazer Releases Two Gaming Headsets That Have Multiple Audio DriversRazer Releases Two Gaming Headsets That Have Multiple Audio Drivers

For more on gaming headsets, check out our review roundup–which features the Razer Kraken 7.1 and wireless Man-O-War–to find one that’s right for you. We’ve also done in-depth headset reviews on the Logitech G433 and Astro A10, so find out how they performed.

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Source URL:http://www.gamespot.com/articles/razer-releases-two-gaming-headsets-that-have-multi/1100-6451997/

Nintendo Switch Eshop Adds One New Game Today

The first of five new Switch games this week has been released. Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star is now available for the console in both physical and digital formats for $60.

Originally released earlier this year for PlayStation 4 and Vita, Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star is a third-person hack-and-slash game featuring large-scale battles and 16 playable characters. The Switch version includes more than 30 costumes that were initially offered as paid DLC, as well as an exclusive “Unshackled Bride” outfit. You can see footage of the game in the trailer below.

Nintendo Switch Eshop Adds One New Game TodayNintendo Switch Eshop Adds One New Game TodayNintendo Switch Eshop Adds One New Game TodayNintendo Switch Eshop Adds One New Game TodayNintendo Switch Eshop Adds One New Game TodayNintendo Switch Eshop Adds One New Game TodayNintendo Switch Eshop Adds One New Game TodayNintendo Switch Eshop Adds One New Game TodayNintendo Switch Eshop Adds One New Game TodayNintendo Switch Eshop Adds One New Game Today

Fate/Extella is a follow-up to Fate/Extra. The story is set after the events of the Holy Grail War and unfolds from the perspective of three factions fighting for control over the digital realm SE.RA.PH. What sets the title apart from its predecessors is a new battle mechanic called Moon Crux, which allows players to transform during combat, granting them considerable powers. The game also retains the original Japanese voice acting and features subtitles in English, traditional Chinese, and Korean.

Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star is also available for PC today via Steam for $50. At least four other titles are scheduled to release in the Switch Eshop this week, including the acclaimed cooking game Overcooked: Special Edition and the retro compilation Namco Museum, which contains the GameCube rarity Pac-Man Vs.

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Source URL:http://www.gamespot.com/articles/nintendo-switch-eshop-adds-one-new-game-today/1100-6451994/