This launch season has been one of the most hectic I can remember. The entire year has been a bit chaotic, actually; we had major GPU announcements, architecture changes (Intel & NVIDIA), several AAA game titles (Dragon Age, Warlords of Draenor, ACU, Far Cry 4, Call of Duty), and more. It's been non-stop games news for the entire year, and that's indicative of a healthy industry.
We recently benchmarked Assassin's Creed Unity and Far Cry 4, both Ubisoft titles, and found that each game is fairly graphics-intensive and demanding of system resources. This ~$1000 DIY gaming PC build allows for near-max settings in Assassin's Creed Unity and Far Cry 4, and with help from ShadowPlay, it'll stream to Twitch with relative ease.
We previously touched on the price changes in the DDR3, speculating that one of the reasons for fluctuation was the manufacturers beginning to gear-up for DDR4. Although prices did peak around the $90-95 mark (2x4GB @ 1600), they have been coming down gradually and currently sit around $75-80 (2x4GB @ 1600). This might cause one to think that the push to DDR4 acceptance isn't happening as quickly as expected.
With the release of the X99 platform and general stability of the server market, demand for DDR4 is beginning to show itself. The “standard” 16GB consumer kits (4x4GB sticks) are currently around $330 and should be steadily dropping as more platforms are released to take advantage of the new RAM.
CPU cooling and PSU manufacturer Be Quiet! has just announced its first high-end enclosure, the “Silent Base 800.” The company indicated to press earlier this year that it had plans to enter the enclosure market prior to the 2014 holidays, and it looks like that target date was hit.
The Silent Base 800 enclosure is advertised as offering “the perfect symbiosis of noise prevention and cooling performance,” which in non-marketing speak translates to “noise damped and ventillated.”
I don't think we've ever tested any AAA games without a follow-up “crash fixes” article. Bugs run rampant – especially for PC users – in most modern triple-A titles, and that remains true for Far Cry 4. After last week's Assassin's Creed benchmark and crash fix posts, we've returned with a Far Cry 4 crash fix guide.
This crash fix guide addresses Far Cry 4 white screens, failure to launch, black screens, CTDs, frame stuttering, & AMD issues.
Ubisoft launched all its AAA titles in one go for the holiday season, it seems. Only days after the buggy launch of Assassin's Creed Unity ($60) – a game we found to use nearly 4GB VRAM in GPU benchmarking – the company pushed Far Cry 4 ($60) into retail channels. Ubisoft continued its partnership with nVidia into Far Cry 4, featuring inclusion of soft shadows, HBAO+, fine-tuned god rays and lighting FX, and other GameWorks-enabled technologies. Perhaps in tow of this partnership, we found AMD cards suffered substantially with Far Cry 4 on PC.
Our Far Cry 4 GPU FPS benchmark analyzes the best video cards for playing Far Cry 4 at max (Ultra) settings. We tested lower settings for optimization on more modest GPU configurations. Our tests benchmarked framerates on the GTX 980 vs. GTX 780 Ti, 770, R9 290X, 270X, 7850, and more. RAM and VRAM consumption were both monitored during playtests, with CPU bottlenecking discovered on some configurations.
Update: For those interested in playing Far Cry 4 near max settings, we just put together this PC build guide for a DIY FC4 PC.