Steve Burke

Steve Burke

Steve started GamersNexus back when it was just a cool name, and now it's grown into an expansive website with an overwhelming amount of features. He recalls his first difficult decision with GN's direction: "I didn't know whether or not I wanted 'Gamers' to have a possessive apostrophe -- I mean, grammatically it should, but I didn't like it in the name. It was ugly. I also had people who were typing apostrophes into the address bar - sigh. It made sense to just leave it as 'Gamers.'"

First world problems, Steve. First world problems.

In studies distributed by DFC Intelligence, we've learned that approximately half of all PC gamers use a headset for audio while gaming. Even in that user group, there's an undefined overlap of speaker users. Headsets offer microphone input and positional audio that can be advantageous to quick and accurate reactions to in-game events – footsteps being the easy example – but not all games have competitive demands. Speakers offer a versatility and quality that cannot be offered by the average gaming headset, ensuring that high-quality sound systems retain relevance even in gaming environments.

We've had a chance to look over Genius' GX Gaming 2.1 2000 ($96) speaker system, including a control hub and 29W subwoofer. The unit was deployed on our gaming HTPC, a high-end living room home-theater setup that demands speaker versatility and ease-of-use. The test setup had Genius' 2.1 speakers connected to a TV/PC, turntable (record player), game console, and line-in MP3 player all simultaneously.

Save CPUs, all components manufacturing in the PC hardware industry is centered upon the same core philosophy: Design a PCB, design the aesthetics and/or heatsink, and then purchase the semiconductor or Flash supply and build a product. In the case of video cards, board partners are responsible for designing aftermarket coolers (and PCBs, if straying from reference), but purchase the GPU itself from AMD or nVidia. The “hard work” is done by the GPU engineers and fabrication plants, but that's not to trivialize the thermal engineering that board partners invest into coolers.

When our readers ask us which version of a particular video card is “best,” we have to take into account several use-case factors and objective design factors. Fully passive cooling solutions may be best for gaming HTPCs like this one, but can't be deployed for higher-TDP graphics hardware. That's where various aftermarket designs come into play, each prioritizing noise, dissipation, and flair to varying degrees.

New conventions are tough. With the legacy of PAX Prime, East, and Australia backing it, Penny Arcade’s newest San Antonio addition kicked-off with an existing (and large) fan-base. To this end, foot traffic and exhibitors were of a higher caliber than what we’ve experienced at other gaming convention startups, but there’s still plenty of room for growth.

We don’t usually review conventions like PAX South; they’re established and we commit to days of interviews and gaming- or hardware-related content. The show itself is primarily an interface that enables this communication, and although an event like GDC or CES is impressive in its own right, we really don’t have much business talking about how the event performed.

Day one, year one of PAX South concluded with an off-site event hosted by the Cloud Imperium Games team, headed-up by CEO and Star Citizen lead Chris Roberts.

With the launch of the GTX 960 now firmly under way and our benchmarks posted, we've had enough hands-on time with the GPU to get a feel for its place in the world. The GTX 960 is firmly designed for 1080p gaming, an environment where it outputs impressive performance for the TDP.

This gaming PC build for under $1000 makes use of the new GTX 960, targeting 60FPS at high settings for most games. Our full GTX 960 review and benchmarks can be found over here, though some are embedded below.

For a spot of visual quality, we opted for a sleek white/black build using a new white-plated GTX 960, white HyperX Fury RAM, a white/black NZXT S340, and an MSI board.

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