Buy Eligible MSI Gaming Monitor, Get ‘Shadow of the Tomb Raider’ Free

The latest and greatest Tomb Raider title launched last week and has been getting glowing reviews from game critics and gamers.

Maybe you’re in the market for a new gaming PC, or maybe you already have a capable gaming PC of ours. Either way, why not treat yourself to a new gaming monitor, and snag a free copy of Shadow of the Tomb Raider in the process?

That’s right, all you have to do is buy one of the following MSI monitors:

Or spice things up with some RGB:

There are a few other MSI monitors available on our website (link).

Make sure you purchase any one of the above listed eligible monitors during the promotional period to claim the game. Promotion 7th September – 30th November (or while stocks last). For more details and redemption process, see MSI’s Tomb Raider promotional page.

Valkyrie Gaming PC in Corsair Crystal 280X RGB White

Here’s another absolutely beautiful RGB build we had the pleasure of working with early this week.

  • Intel i7 8700K with a 240mm liquid cooler
  • Nvidia GTX 1080 8GB OC
  • 500GB SSD + 2TB HDD
  • 16GB of RGB DDR4 RAM
  • 2x additional RGB fans, RGB LED strip, RGB case

So with that out of the way, onto the pictures.

The above all shows off how RGB can have many different feels to it.

Customise your own gaming PC now: Do it.

Valkyrie Gaming PC in NZXT H700 Black & Red

Why does customisable computers matter? Because customers want to create their very own theme, with the hardware, performance, and budget they want… Check out this build!

Red DDR4 RAM, Diablo Red PSU extension cables
In NZXT’s H700 Black & Red mid tower case
Perfectly matching black-and-red theme throughout the build
No fancy RGBs, but still a stunning build

Does this make you want to put together your own custom gaming PC? We know it does, therefore: Get customising.

Game database: new additions for your Gaming PC

When you’re in the market for a gaming PC, you need to know two main things: what games you want to play at what level of graphics, and your budget. Our game database helps with the first one – your bank account will decide on the other.

We’re getting to that really interesting part of the year, and no, I’m not talking about Christmas. Although, it could be referred to as gamers’ Christmas perhaps… September all the way through to early December is typically when we see a load of highly anticipated AAA games released – and this year isn’t expected to be much different. Until that kicks into high-gear though, we’ve got some fresh additions for you right now.

Don’t forget, we also recently added Dying Light: Bad Blood (article) and SCUM (article).

Additions

Monster Hunter: World

Monster Hunter: World

Monster Hunter: World is brand new to PC after releasing early this year on consoles, Monster Hunter: World is proving to be a hit all over again.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is one highly anticipated AAA title due out just 8 days from now. I know I will personally be putting many hours into this once it’s released. This year’s Tomb Raider is a little more demanding than the previous title. Furthermore, it is one of the first games that’s going to take advantage of Nvidia’s yet-to-be-released RTX graphics cards.

League of Legends (LoL)

League of Legends

We know we were a bit late to add this one – we’re really sorry. LoL is hugely popular, with the requirements nice and low so you could make an “Ultra” capable gaming PC for just over $1,500.

Hunt Showdown

Hunt Showdown

Hunt Showdown is in early access. Coming from the well-known developer Crytek (Far Cry, Crysis, CryEngine) , we can expect a visually stunning experience and solid gameplay.

Get ready for gaming

So, maybe your current PC or console isn’t capable of the stunning visuals the above games will have. This can only mean one thing, it’s time to get your hands on a new gaming PC. Get started.

Game database: popular titles updated!

You may or may not know that games can become more or less demanding over time, thanks to the likes of feature additions, updated textures, driver updates, etc. Since we’re all about offering gaming systems tailored to your needs, we’ve reviewed a number games and their requirements. Some games have had major updates or expansions, while others have changed slightly.

Have you checked out our game database to see how your next gaming PC can expect to run the latest and greatest games? Don’t forget, once you customise a PC you can also see how it will perform in every game we have in our database right from the summary page (just scroll down a little)!

Most games get released, have a big surge of people playing it, and then it will die off eventually. A lot of online focused games have stronger staying power, however. As hardware generations come out, we need to ensure our suggestions match the hardware we sell. So, it’s more important that we keep these up to date.

Updates

Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual reality has been around for a while – there are those that are right into it, and those who still haven’t experienced much of it. The requirements have stayed much the same, decent i5 teamed with a middle-to-high end graphics card will do the trick.

Grand Theft Auto V

It’s no real surprise that this game is still in the top 10 games played on Steam. GTA games have always had so much depth to them, even in just single player. GTA V’s online multiplayer which is continually getting updates keeps players coming back, and new players coming in.

Thanks to developers paying the PC version special attention, the game looks better and better over time, while demanding just about all PC hardware has to offer.

Rust

When we first added Rust to our game database, it was still in early access. It’s come a long way since then, and was officially released in February this year. The amount of players has remained fairly stable growing from 2013 to now, which indicates happy gamers!

Path of Exile

A bit of a quiet achiever, PoE has maintained a steady amount of play time since 2013. In the last 12 months it appears to have risen in popularity, now higher than ever before.

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth

WoW first released late 2004, meaning it’s approaching it’s 14th year. Love it or hate it, WoW is one of the most successful games of all time. The latest expansion “Battle for Azeroth” launched just last month. We figured, what better time to review the requirements!

PlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds (PUBG)

Starting off once again in early access, PUBG has now officially released. While it’s still quite resource demanding, we should expect a better quality of gaming to be possible.

Star Citizen

In early access when we added it back in 2014, with an estimated late 2015 release date… is still in early access. It may be one of the most ambitious games ever attempted on a large scale, with a lot to like about it. But, its future doesn’t look as bright as it once was. Right now, there’s a lot of bad press relating to some ticket sales being charged for even though people were subscribed – and there’s even an active lawsuit against them from their game engine developer.

Battlefield V vs. Black Ops 4 Battle Royale

With the release of Battlefield V and Call of Duty Black Ops 4 inching ever closer, it’s time to take a closer look at this year’s hook. Video games, much like pop music, is a hit driven industry. Wildly popular trends start with a single smash hit then a mad rush to try and improve upon the winning formula.  There was an era in which it felt every second game had some sort of Zombies in it. Shortly before that an era of WW2 shooters and most recently, it’s battle royale. 

With two blockbuster shooters due to land soon, Black Ops 4 and Battlefield V are all aboard the PUGB train. Love it or hate it, with battle royale being a big part of both upcoming games, lets see how they compare.

What is Battle Royale Exactly?

The term was initially made popular by a film of the same name from the year 2000. 9th graders were left on a deserted island with nothing more than a map, food and various weapons. Of course the last one left standing could leave the island, but break the rules and your explosive collar goes BOOM.

Sound familiar? Hunger Games? Running Man? The Condemned? Well it wasn’t a new concept. Films and books had covered it before in some form or fashion but it was this time the name stuck.

Strip out the food and explosive collars, replace 9th graders with a blend of bland random characters and what do you get? Well, the biggest game of the last year, Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds (aka PUBG).

So in a nut-shell, Battle Royale in a game is just some form of last man standing survival. Typically with some form of ever shrinking map to keep up the intensity.

Blackout Vs Firestorm

Blackout is what the Call of Duty team are calling their PUBG copy while Battlefield is calling theirs Firestorm. While the two share a lot with their formula, there’s also a lot to split them. Lets take a look at some of the key differences;

The Setting

Blackout is set in a near future Black Ops universe with (yep, you guessed it!) AI controlled zombies. On the other hand Firestorm is of course set during WW2. The name comes from the ring of fire slowly creeping in from the edges of the map.

Player Count

Firestorm is currently set to feature 16 teams of 4 players each to reach a total of up to 64 players. Blackout is launching at 80 and developers haven’t ruled out adjusting that number up or down.

The Release Date

Blackout is set to hit October 12th with a beta going live on the 14th of September. Meanwhile Firestorm’s beta kicked off today and runs through to the 11th with the full game set for November 20th.

The Hardware Requirements

At this stage we only know the BETA hardware requirements and they are of course subject to change before release. 

Battlefield V Recommended Requirements

  • OS: 64-bit Windows 10
  • Processor : Intel Core i7 4790 / i5 8500 or Better
  • Memory: 16GB RAM
  • Graphics card : Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 3GB or better
  • Available Disk Space : 50GB

Call of Duty Black Ops 4 Recommended Requirements

  • OS: Windows 10 64 Bit
  • CPU: Intel Core i7 4770k / i5 8500 or Better
  • RAM: 12GB RAM
  • HDD: 25GB HD space
  • Video:  GTX 1060 6GB or better

Keep in mind these ‘Recommended‘ settings are typically to allow for medium graphics presets at 1080p, don’t expect set the game to ultra and rock it at 4K if you only meet the requirements above.

While we don’t have any proper benchmark results of the final game yet, we would suspect at max graphics presets you will need a pretty beefy GPU to keep up. Not to mention Battlefield’s ray tracing implementation exclusive to the new range of RTX GPUs due at the of the month.

Is your gaming PC ready?

In the meantime, if you’re thinking your old gaming rig might need an upgrade to get the most of out either of these gorgeous games, you know what to do. Head on over to our custom gaming PC store page and configure your next dream gaming PC today. Build, tested & delivered to your door so your ready to join the fight on release day. 

Of course as always, you know for a fact that the PC version of the game will be the definitive. With the best graphics and mouse / keyboard controls the old consoles will be a far cry from the PC versions glory. There are plenty more details yet to be released so stayed tuned for updates if you’re at all interested in either of these two games.

SCUM – The latest survival game to explode in popularity

We’ve been through a lot of survival games together. DayZ, Rust, 7 Days to Die, Alien: Isolation, Ark: Survival Evolved, Dying Light: Bad Blood, and of course the ever-popular Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), and Fortnite.

But, things are about to get a whole lot more interesting…

Enter SCUM: A game that promises to evolve the survival game genre with unprecedented focus on character customisation, control, and progression.

As the player, you’ll have to choose an avatar to represent you: pick your gender and race. This is just a visual choice, and won’t have any influence on your performance.

Clothing

At the start, all characters are dressed in the same orange prison jumpsuit. Players can change clothes as they find them. The clothes are not just visual, the complexity of the game begins right here. Certain clothes can offer some camouflaging which helps reduce your visibility. Secondly, clothes provide protection against weather conditions and extreme temperatures. Some options are better for protection from rain and therefore reduce the chance of illness. Wear warmer clothes in cold weather, etc.

Attributes

The four main attributes are: Strength (S), Constitution (C), Intelligence (I), and Dexterity (D). Each of these attributes range from 1 to 5. “3” represents an average value, while numbers above or below indicate above or below average respectively. You will have a fixed number of points to distribute between attributes. During the game, these attributes can be increased or decreased for a limited time or even permanently (if the player gets wounded, falls ill, is drugged). It’s much more demanding to change the attributes in the longer run. This usually happens if the player manages to survive long enough for the body to evolve to the next level.

Age

Age will also impact your attributes. For example, a young player will get a (D) boost, as they are generally quite agile. mid-twenties players start getting some (S) and losing their (D), early-thirties sees (D) dropping even more, but gaining on (C). Older characters will have more (I).

Strength Attribute (S)

  • How much weight you can carry without being slowed down; if load capacity is exceeded, you will perform at a slower pace
  • How fast you can move a heavy object. If object is too heavy for your character, you will not be able to move without help from another player
  • How much damage you can inflict on opponents during melee combat
  • More calories burned by your player daily

Constitution Attribute (C)

This refers to everything related to physical endurance and stamina.

  • How many health points you have initially
  • How well your body handles stress, pain, weather, shock, poisons, and physical damage
  • Endurance: how long it takes until you get tired, and how long it takes to restore energy
  • High (C) means calories are spent more efficiently, decreasing calorie consumption speed

Intelligence Attribute (I)

Refers to perception and capability of performing a task successfully.

  • Improves chance of you hitting the aimed target
  • Higher (I) adds additional skill slots
  • Able to learn skills faster

Dexterity Attribute (D)

Refers to everything connected with the speed of movement and reaction in general.

  • How fast you can move, walk, run, and sprint
  • How fast you can perform everyday actions such as crafting, eating, reloading, etc.
  • Improves your chance of performing complicated actions such as surgery, fixing electronics, etc.

What do these attributes mean?

Just buy it!

Link to SCUM on Steam

There are so many more levels to this game than what I’ve outlined above – in fact, that’s probably just the first few minutes of gameplay in the character creation menus. The gameplay adds in a lot more complexity, but in a meaningful and fun way that will start to make sense. Once you learn the ins and outs, it can start working at your advantage.

The game is meant to be a next-generation survival game – so it’s best to check if your PC will meet requirements for SCUM.

I can’t wait to see what becomes of this game, and what other games will do to rival this. It’s not exactly the first time we’ve seen some of this – remembering GTA San Andreas with the eating, exercising, etc.

If you are in the market for a new gaming PC suited to playing SCUM, look no further than our customisable Valkyrie gaming PC.

48 Minutes of Cyberpunk 2077 PC Gameplay [NSFW]

It’s quickly becoming one of the most anticipated PC games on the horizon. Cyberpunk 2077 is CD Projekt RED’s ‘Blade Runner’ style sci-fi RPG taking the internet by storm. The Polish developers behind the Witcher have shifted gears to sci-fi and it looks amazing. Think Dues Ex in a gorgeous new engine and on the scale of the Witcher 3.

Announced back in 2013, the game is finally edging closer to a firm release date. It’s unlikely to be this year but with a bit of luck we’ll get our hands on it in the first half of 2019. In a recent interview the team behind the game proudly announced the it was playable from start to finish and they are just working on the final assets, testing and optimization.

Just a couple of days ago, the official YouTube channel for the game uploaded a whooping 48 minutes of game play. Showing of a lot of the core mechanics and giving you an idea of the overall look and feel of the final product this video does not disappoint, even this early before release.

Just a quick warning before clicking play! This is definitely an adult themed game from start to finish, and we don’t mean just the violence. View discretion is advised.

Cyberpunk 2077 Game Play Reveal.

In just a matter of 48 hours this VERY long game play video has racked up almost 7 million views. That’s amazing, doubly so when you check the re-actions online. Even the notoriously vile ‘YouTube comments’ are extremely positive.

Battlefield V is right around the corner and everyone is talking about this single player RPG without a release date. We’re also happy to report the game’s lead development platform is the PC #pcmasterrate. So of course as usual the PC edition will be the definitive version of the game!

Do you think your gaming rig is up to the challenge of running Cyberpunk 2077? We will have to wait until closer to launch before we see the official hardware requirements. However judging from the video above and previous versions of the game engine (Witcher 3) we can take a guess. It’s fair to say if you want to crank up the graphics settings, this will be a game to truly put your gaming PC to the test.

So if you’re gaming PC is a little behind the times but you don’t want to miss out of Cyberpunk 2077 in all it’s glory, maybe it’s time to start thinking about a upgrade. Don’t worry, you have plenty of time. Just keep an eye out for the release announcement and head on over to our custom gaming PC builder.

Nvidia’s ‘RTX’ and ‘Ray Tracing’ Explained

So you’re in the market for a new PC and perhaps friends have told you to wait until the great new RTX graphics cards come out first. Or maybe you’ve heard about ray tracing… and you’re wondering what all this means. Thankfully, we’re here to break it down.

Firstly, let’s start simple. Nvidia’s new generation of graphics cards is called RTX instead of the historical GTX, and it’s named this way as it focuses on Ray Tracing Technologies.

What is ray tracing?

There might not be many people who knew what ray tracing was prior to a month or two ago, but there were very few people in the world that haven’t already seen it in action.

Ray tracing is a modern technique that movies use to generate and enhance special effects. Think about the latest action movie you saw and the realistic reflections, shadows, and refractions. Compare them to a much older action movie you’ve seen. Good ray tracing results in convincing special effects which appear lifelike.

Ray tracing develops images that can be indistinguishable from real world photos. Live-action movies utilise computer-generated effects and images captured seamlessly, animated films digitally generate scenes in light and shadow creating an entire world of their own.

The easiest way to think of ray tracing is to look around you. Every object you’re seeing is illuminated by sources of light from your environment. Now, turn that around and follow the path of those light sources backwards from your eye to the object the light interacts with. This is ray tracing.

Why do we need it?

An example of reflections in games previously

Until now computer hardware hasn’t been fast enough to use these techniques in real time, such as for games. Movie makers can take as long as they like to render a single frame since it doesn’t need to be on-demand. For reference, Disney’s Frozen features a scene where Elsa walks onto the balcony of her ice palace. The scene is 218 frames long, which includes the film’s longest frame to render. A single frame took over 132 hours to complete (five-and-a-half days). This practise is extremely common with animated movies.

Gaming requires anywhere from 20 frames per second (FPS) to 240FPS – while between 40-60FPS is considered enough for most. As a result we don’t have the luxury of the 5 day render time. Instead, games have relied on rasterisation. Rasterisation is a technique that gets 3D objects onto a 2D screen quickly. This method has been refined over the years, and within game engines, and has gotten very good. It is not as good as what ray tracing can achieve.

Real-time ray traced reflections (note the reflection on the balls of the windows that are out of scene)

Ray tracing calculates the colour of pixels by tracing the path that light would take if it were to travel from the eye of the viewer through the virtual 3D scene. As it traverses the scene, the light may reflect from one object to another (causing reflections), be blocked by objects (causing shadows), or pass through transparent or semi-transparent objects (causing refractions). Each of these interactions are combined to produce the final colour of a pixel that is then displayed on the screen.

Where does RTX graphics cards come into this?

RTX capable graphics processing units (GPUs) include dedicated ray tracing acceleration hardware and use an advanced acceleration structure enabling real-time ray tracing in games and other graphics applications. Ray tracing acceleration is achieved by developers via Nvidia OptiX, Microsoft DXR enhanced with Nvidia ray tracing libraries, and the Vulkan ray tracing API.

Nvidia’s RTX brings more than just ray tracing

RTX cards will bring a few APIs (Application Programming Interface) and SDKs (Software Development Kit):

  • Ray tracing (OptiX, Microsoft DXR, Vulkan) – covered extensively on this page
  • AI-Accelerated Features (NGX)
  • Rasterisation (Advanced Shaders)
  • Simulation (CUDA 10, PhysX, FleX)
  • Asset Interchange Formats (USD, MDL)

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

The areas in white were intelligently filled in

NGX SDK is a new deep learning powered technology stack bringing AI-based features that accelerate and enhance graphics, photo imaging and video processing directly into applications. NGX features utilise Tensor Cores to maximise the efficiency of their operation.

Temporal Anti-Aliasing vs Deep Learning Super Sample
Up-Res provides improved image clarity over Bicubic filterting

Rasterisation

The Turing architecture’s new Streaming Multiprocessor (SM) includes advanced shading technologies, as well as new features designed to accelerate the graphics pipeline.

Simulation

Source: Reddit u/hightechkid9

Making something both look and behaves as it would in reality. With more than a decade of development, the RTX platform features APIs such as Nvidia’s PhysX, FleX, and CUDA 10, to accurately model how objects interact in the real world in games, virtual environments, and special effects.

Asset Interchange

With the growing complexity of pipelines and application workflows, standard file formats significantly help creators and developers achieve better asset interchange between applications.

Who needs the RTX?

Architects and designers can showcase how light interacts with designs
  • Gamers who are after the most lifelike gaming experience the industry has on offer for consumers
  • Designers/Architects working with the likes of Autodesk to produce design mock-ups
  • Anyone after the new world’s most powerful GPUs

Now, it is important to note that ray tracing takes a significant hit on GPUs. Therefore, when turned on it will result in less frames per second, similar to the early years of Anti-Aliasing (AA). For competitive gaming it’s noteworthy that ray tracing is going to cause too much frame loss to make sense. Single-player picturesque games like Far Cry, Tomb Raider, Hitman, Doom, Fallout, and Resident Evil. These are certainly some examples of games you’d want to experience with ray tracing turned on.

Benefits of RTX cards now

A list of games that will feature real-time ray tracing

  • Assetto Corsa Competizione
  • Atomic Heart
  • Battlefield V 
  • Control
  • Enlisted
  • Justice
  • JX3
  • MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries
  • Metro Exodus
  • ProjectDH
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Not an actual example – but, because who doesn’t love a meme?

A list of games to have ‘Deep Learning Super Sample’

  • Ark: Survival Evolved
  • Atomic Heart
  • Dauntless
  • Final Fantasy XV
  • Fractured Lands
  • Hitman 2
  • Islands of Nyne
  • Justice
  • JX3
  • Mechwarrior 5: Mercenaries
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
  • Remnant: From the Ashes
  • Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider
  • The Forge Arena
  • We Happy Few

It won’t surprise us at all when even more games adopt some of the new technologies RTX cards bring to the table. Maybe at some stage in the distant future, perhaps even console gamers can get a taste.

The future of gaming is here

I’d be surprised if this wasn’t slowly but surely adopted across the entire gaming industry. As stated above, just like AA is now standard. Ray tracing would dramatically help the realism of virtual reality, but this is probably a little further off in the distance.

Sadly the ray tracing feature won’t be available right at the launch of the graphics cards as it will require a DirectX update from Microsoft. The update is expected within a few weeks of the launch date.

Conclusion

There you have it, that’s everything you needed to know about RTX cards, and the buzz around ‘ray tracing’ specifically. We’re eagerly anticipating the release of the new cards as they will be the most powerful gaming graphics cards in the world.

At the end of the day, who doesn’t want a more immersive, lifelike experience when gaming? Something that would really nail virtual reality gaming. Imagine a Grand Theft Auto world that looks like our own. All this, and more, coming to a screen near you.

We put high-quality graphics first and foremost, so if you want to get your hands on a gaming or workstation PC with the RTX graphics cards, be sure to check back with us regularly! We are already offering the RTX cards for pre-order, and will continue offering them once they are readily available.

Head on over to our website and customise yourself a gaming or workstation PC. If you have any questions, feel free to ask us.