AMD updated its Catalyst Control Center and GPU drivers fresh on the release of Watch_Dogs (which we benchmarked), but quickly pulled the 14.6 download due to instability and other unpublicized reasons. The company has now posted its 14.7 beta drivers publicly for download on Windows 7 and 8.1. Windows 8 is not supported.
This past weekend's deals feature a Radeon R9 280X at $268, a modular 850W PSU for $90, 1TB HDD for $55, and 8GB of high-end RAM for $95. If these discounts don't fill the void in your soul, then keep posted to our Twitter and Facebook feeds, and check out our most recent YouTube post for a review of the HyperX Fury series RAM, as its big brothers are featured as our pick of the week.
To celebrate Father’s Day, we strongly recommend you build a computer -- though that tends to be my recommendation for everything, including the celebration of a full moon on Friday the 13th (next one isn’t until 2049). This weekend's sales round-up features a 450W PSU for $40, 8GB of 2400MHz RAM for $75, a vapor chamber CPU cooler at $75, and a GTX 780 Ti for $600. Continue to watch our twitter and facebook feeds for more deals throughout the week, and subscribe to our YouTube channel for helpful tips.
Since 2006, when Asetek released their more affordable closed-loop coolers (or CLCs), enthusiasts have experimented with using them in creative implementations. One of the more interesting mods was using zip ties to
Nvidia is well-known for their high-quality, relatively quiet, and well-performing Titan reference cooler that, frankly, looks fantastic. This is in contrast to AMD’s most recent stock coolers, which employ a plastic shroud and sound like vacuums fighting. And while for some other components we try to avoid stock cooling, people using small, restrictive airflow cases, or using multiple GPUs (without watercooling) often can get better results by using stock cooling due to how it pushes air out the back instead of dumping it in the case simply to be recirculated.
In late January, nVidia filed a patent for their “TubroFan” design, a new fan concept to be used on GPUs that certainly looks promising.
Despite rumors by some media outlets that the Titan Z had been 'canceled,' our recent discussion with nVidia proved that the card's release was still on-target for 2Q14. We first spotted the Titan Z at nVidia's GPU Technology Conference (GTC), hosted annually in
With the much anticipated release of Watch Dogs, nVidia is ensuring that users are getting the best-looking game they possibly can by releasing their newest 337.88 driver. The driver, by the way, is up for download here. It is no secret that nVidia has been working with developers, such as Ubisoft, to provide more realistic effects in games through their GameWorks program. Technology like TXAA, PhysX, and HBAO+ are some. But the partnership between Ubisoft and nVidia also leads to nVidia having ample time to optimize their drivers. In fact, nVidia claims that these drivers will boost framerates up to 75% in certain configurations and games, and although I am skeptical of this and will wait until our own benchmarks to draw conclusions, it is promising to see nVidia putting effort into their drivers like this.
Update: We’ve benchmarked Watch_Dogs on multiple GPUs and two CPUs. See the results here.
The Watch Dogs launch has been a worrisome one for PC hardware enthusiasts. We've heard tale of shockingly low framerates and poor optimization since Watch Dogs was leaked ahead of shipment, but without official driver support from AMD and limited support from nVidia, it was too early to call performance. Until this morning.
At launch, AMD pushed out its 14.6 beta drivers alongside nVidia's 337.88 beta drivers. Each promised performance gains in excess of 25% for specific GPU / Watch Dogs configurations. As we did with Titanfall, I've run Watch Dogs through our full suite of GPUs and two CPUs (for parity) to determine which video cards are best for different use cases of the game. It's never as clear-cut as "buy this card because it performs best," so we've broken-down how different cards perform on various settings.
In this Watch Dogs PC video card & CPU benchmark, we look at the FPS of the GTX 780 Ti, 770, 750 Ti, R9 290X, R9 270X, R7 250X, and HD 7850; to determine whether Watch Dogs is bottlenecked on a CPU level, I also tested an i5-3570K CPU vs. a more modern i7-4770K CPU. The benchmark charts below give a good idea of what video cards are required to produce playable framerates at Ultra/Max, High, and Medium settings.
Update: Our very critical review of Watch Dogs is now online here.
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