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Unreal Engine 5 - What's new, and is it ready to use.

Written on July 16, 2021 by Kelly Shipman

Unreal Engine 5 is the first major release from Epic since Unreal Engine 4 release 7 years ago. We take a look at what is new, and if it is ready for your project.

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PCI-Express 4.0 vs 3.0 Video Card Performance

Written on November 30, 2020 by William George

PCI-Express has been the standard for connecting video cards and other expansion devices inside of computers for many years now, and several generations of the technology have now passed. With each of those generations, the amount of data that can be transferred over the PCIe connection has increased. How much impact does that have on modern video cards? Is there any benefit to running a PCIe 3.0 card in a 4.0 slot, or loss if using a 4.0 card in a 3.0 slot?

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Can you game on an NVIDIA Quadro GPU?

Written on November 13, 2014 by Matt Bach

Workstation-class hardware like NVIDIA Quadro video cards tend to receive a really bad rap in the gaming community because the cost-to-performance ratio is not anywhere near as good as the GeForce cards that are designed and optimized specifically for gaming. Some have even gone to the point of claiming that you cannot play games on NVIDIA Quadro video cards at all! In this article we will examine the gaming performance of Quadro cards to see how they perform in a number of games.

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Multiheaded NVIDIA Gaming using Ubuntu 14.04 + KVM

Written on August 1, 2014 by Matt Bach

We recently published the article Multi-headed VMWare Gaming Setup where we used VMWare ESXI to run four virtual gaming machines from a single PC. The setup worked great and the article was very popular, but one limitation we found was that NVIDIA GeForce cards cannot be used as passthough devices in VMWare ESXI. We received feedback from some readers that GeForce cards should work in Linux with KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) so we set out to make a GeForce-based multiheaded gaming PC using Ubuntu 14.04 and KVM.

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Multi-headed VMWare Gaming Setup

Written on July 9, 2014 by Matt Bach

As powerful as modern PCs are, sometimes it feels like a waste having just a single person using a PC at a time. By using various server virtualization technologies including virtual machines and PCI passthrough, we created a multi-headed gaming PC that allows up to four users to game on one physical PC at the same time.

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Star Citizen Benchmark: Arena Commander v0.8

Written on June 6, 2014 by William George

The long-awaited dogfighting module for Star Citizen, dubbed Arena Commander, has been released to backers of the game in its pre-beta form. It only has a few ships, a pair of maps, and a handful of game modes at this point... but is it the first part of the Star Citizen game to really be playable. It is also the first chance we have to fly ships, seeing how the physics handle and how they look in their natural environment. A lot of people have been waiting many months for this, and many will be looking at performance of this module as a gauge to see whether their computers can handle Star Citizen.

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AMD A10-7850K Performance Review

Written on January 6, 2014 by Matt Bach

While new computer hardware is almost always faster than the models they are replacing, it is often hard to get through all the marketing talk to find out exactly how much better they are. For that reason, we are going to be comparing the performance of the A10-7850K to multiple CPUs and video cards. In addition, since the ability to use high frequency RAM is often cited as an important feature of the A-Series APUs, we will also be looking how much performance gain you actually will see by using high frequency RAM.

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Impact of PCI-E Speed on Gaming Performance

Written on November 13, 2013 by Matt Bach

Many hardware sites have shown in the past that video cards do not show any performance decrease by running in x8 mode and cannot utilize the larger bandwidth provided by the latest Gen3 specification. However, video cards are getting faster and faster so we felt it this is still true. Also, with the gaining popularity of 4k displays, we also felt it was important to see if the PCI-E revision/speed would affect a video card's performance at the much more demanding 4k resolution.

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Gaming PC vs. Space Heater Efficiency

Written on October 21, 2013 by Matt Bach

Winter is coming, and with the power bills stacking up it may be hard to justify gaming on your ulta-powerful gaming rig. But what if we were to tell you that, watt for watt, your gaming PC produces exactly the same amount of heat as a space heater?

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Far Cry 3 Certified on Puget Systems Deluge

Written on December 13, 2012 by Matt Bach

Far Cry 3 uses Dunia Engine 2 as its graphics engine, which is the updated version of the Dunia Engine found in Far Cry 2. In this article, we will be benchmarking Far Cry 3 on our Deluge A2 and Deluge L2 systems to both certify that the game runs without any problems and to find what video card you should use to be able to play the game at multiple different video settings.

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Optimizing AMD Trinity for Budget Gaming

Written on December 11, 2012 by Matt Bach

AMD's Trinity APU - essentially a CPU and GPU combined into one unit- is a great way to create a budget gaming system when using a discrete video card is not an option. However, due to the limited performance available with any onboard graphics, it is important to thoroughly optimize it to get the best possible performance. In this article, we will be looking at the components that have an influence on the performance of the integrated graphics in AMD's Trinity APUs.

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Gaming PC Configuration Guide - Fall 2012

Written on November 7, 2012 by William George

This article is intended as a guide to recommended hardware specifications for gaming computers, across a few different price points, based on technology available in late 2012 / early 2013. If you have questions above and beyond what is discussed, here please call or email us - we would be happy to go over your exact needs and provide advice tailored just for you!

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Breaking the Hype of High Frequency RAM

Written on April 2, 2012 by Matt Bach

High Frequency RAM is often touted as being essential for high-performance computing, but in our experience has little to offer in actual performance gains. In this article, we will be using a large set of benchmarks across both Intel and AMD platforms to show that RAM running at higher frequency at the cost of increased timings gives little to no real-world performance improvements.

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Battlefield 3 Certified on Puget System Deluge

Written on October 4, 2011 by Matt Bach

With the relatively high system requirements of EA's latest title in the Battlefield series, many consumers will be looking to replace their current system in order to run Battlefield 3 at its maximum settings. In this article we will examine gaming performance of Battlefield 3 on three systems from Puget System's Deluge line of gaming computers.

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Technology Primer - ATI Radeon HD 6000-series

Written on October 22, 2010 by William George

ATI has just launched their next-generation graphics card line, starting the process that will see the venerable Radeon HD 5000 cards replaced by 6000 models over the coming months. The first such cards, released today, are the 6850 and 6870 - known also by their codename 'Barts'. In this article, we'll take a look at what makes them different, and how their performance compares with the competitive offerings from NVIDIA.

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Dedicated PhysX Comparisons

Written on October 5, 2009 by Ruben Romero

A few years back, Ageia Technologies launched a product designed to help handle the increasingly complex physics calculations which were becoming popular in modern games. They named this product "PhysX", and it was the worlds first dedicated physics card. Enthusiasts were excited, and many thought that this technology was set to be the next piece of essential hardware for enthusiast systems. We decided to independently test the Nvidia PhysX platform, and share our results.

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Gaming Computer Advice

Written on March 11, 2009 by William George

As a custom computer builder, we get a lot of people asking for help designing high-end computers. Many times they are for media editing, stock trading, or research - but one of the most common uses of such powerful systems is video games. Given how much interest there is in gaming computers, I wanted to provide a guide for how to select what components to use in a modern gaming computer. There are lots of review sites that talk about specific hardware recommendations, but those are outdated quickly - so this article will attempt to focus more on the ideas behind the various parts of a custom gaming computer and what you need to take into consideration when building or purchasing one.

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The KillerNIC - Is It Worth It?

Written on April 23, 2007 by Jon Bach

In the ongoing efforts to squeeze every possible performance improvement out of their computing rig, most folks focus almost exclusively on the two heavy hitters in their system when it comes to generating frames per second (FPS): CPU and video card. Is it possible that both consumers and hardware manufacturers have been overlooking an untapped area for improvement?

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DirectX 10, What is all the Fuss?

Written on February 28, 2007 by Ed Borden

DirectX is something the average gamer doesn't give much thought. Often they don't even see the word until one of their games complains it is out of date. Even then, the necessary version is usually included, so all they have to do is do a quick, painless install and they're on their way. DirectX 10 is a bigger deal. It is a more exciting update, and is more of a concern if you're buying a new system. That means it is time to do some reading! The purpose of this article is to give you an overview of what to expect from DirectX 10, and what you need to run it.

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SLI Technology for PCI-Express

Written on November 14, 2004 by Jon Bach

nVidia says that it gives the consumer "heart-pounding PC performance." It will deliver "unparalleled gaming experience." So what is it? And where can I find it? And what do I need to run it? These are the questions you may be asking yourself, as I was, when I first read about nVidia's new SLI technology for PCI-Express. Well, I am here to answer those questions for you. To tell you what exactly this newfangled technology does to deliver this "unparalleled gaming experience."

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Building a Value Gaming PC

Written on October 17, 2003 by Jon Bach

Building a Value Gaming PC on a tight budget requires some difficult decisions. When budget is not a factor, building a great gaming PC is relatively easy - simply choose the fastest parts available. That's what we did in our last article, titled Building the Ultimate Gaming PC. If you want the best gaming PC that money can buy, then we encourage you to check out that article. Unfortunately, most of us do not have the luxury of a high budget, so in this article, we will take a look at current technology, and explore what the best choices would be for building a great gaming PC for under $1500.

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Building the Ultimate Gaming PC

Written on July 7, 2003 by Jon Bach

If money was not a factor, how would you design the ultimate gaming computer? We'll take a look at what makes up a great gaming PC, and give you everything you need to put together the gaming system that will be the envy of your friends!