Podcast #274 - NVIDIA G-SYNC, R9 290X Benchmarks, and Process Technology for Next Gen Graphics

Subject: General Tech | October 24, 2013 - 11:21 AM |
Tagged: podcast, video, R9 290X, g-sync, gsync, never settle, the way it's meant to be played, carmack, sweeny, andersson

PC Perspective Podcast #274 - 10/24/2013

Join us this week as we discuss NVIDIA G-SYNC, R9 290X Benchmarks, and Process Technology for Next Gen Graphics!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Allyn Malventano

 
Program length: 1:16:43
  1. Week in Review:
    1. 0:07:10 NVIDIA "The Way It's Meant to be Played" 2013 Press Event
  2. News items of interest:
  3. Hardware/Software Picks of the Week:
    1. Allyn: Did you know (Windows 8.1 safe mode)
  4. podcast@pcper.com
  5. Closing/outro

 

WINEing about the profitability of selling games for Linux

Subject: General Tech | February 7, 2013 - 09:43 AM |
Tagged: carmack, linux, gaming, wine

John Carmack has been stirring the pot recently, from the questionable launch of the PC version of Rage, to poking at consoles remaining capped at 30fps to his disappointment in iD abandoning mobile game development.  More recently he has gone on record stating that there is little to no money to be made developing games for Linux.  His company has tried, Quake Arena and Quake Live both proved to be difficult to create and to have limited adoption as a test for the amount of possible sales.  This does not mean he has given up on Linux users completely, instead as he told The Inquirer he sees a different solution to the difficulties involved in designing games for Linux; improve WINE.  With a faster and more stable Windows (not an) Emulator for Linux iD and other companies wouldn't have to worry about parallel development, it would come closer to compile once and run anywhere.  Even better for game developers, there is already a dedicated group of programmers improving WINE so they would not lose man-hours better spent designing games.  You can also catch his comments about Steam appearing on Linux.

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"LEGENDARY GAMES DEVELOPER John Carmack has questioned the business model of porting Windows games to Linux, saying that using Windows emulation might be a better approach."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer

John Carmack Believes Next-Gen Consoles Will Continue Targeting 30FPS Games

Subject: General Tech | December 21, 2012 - 09:06 AM |
Tagged: xbox, ps4, gaming, games, consoles, carmack

While Nintendo has continued to pump out new gaming consoles, both Microsoft and Sony have been sitting on the current Xbox and PlayStation hardware for years. For example, the Xbox 360 is seven years old, and yet the Redmond company does not appear to be in any hurry to advance to better hardware with a new console. Sony is in a similar mindset with its PlayStation road map.

There have been rumors for the past couple years on the next Xbox and PlayStation, but there is one thing that is certain. Once gamers do (eventually) get a new console though, it will have substantially better hardware than the current generation. And considering that the latest games on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 have started to push the hardware to its limit, developers are clamoring for better hardware as their engines outgrow the consoles. Visuals are still increasing on iterative console games but the frame rates are starting to slip as a result. PC gamers have Eyefinity, multi-GPU, AA, AF, higher resolutions, and unrestricted frame rates. Meanwhile, developers that want games on both console and PC platforms have to contend with the fact that the Xbox 360 and PS3 are limited to a frame rate target of around 30 FPS. (And the latest games are jast barely able to achieve that target.)

Unfortunately, while many console gamers likely expect the next generation of consoles to set the frames per second bar higher, a statement by John Carmack suggests otherwise. On Twitter the id Software founder stated that “unfortunately, I can pretty much guarantee that a lot of next gen games will still target 30 fps.”

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It is an interesting statement from the mind of a game developer. When next generation consoles do come out, they will likely push more than 30FPS on average as games built on (tweaked) existing engines will run faster on the updated hardware. However, it seems that developers are more concerned with pushing visual quality instead of framerates. As developers start pushing the new hardware, the framerates will fall towards the 30 FPS target, much like the current generation of consoles are experiencing. I suppose gamers that want unrestricted fram rates will have to stick to PC gaming for the forseeable future. 

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Carmack is much more optimistic about higher framerates on PC games.

Do you think gamers care about higher framerates on their consoles?

Source: Shack News
Author:
Manufacturer: Quakecon

Introduction, expert discussion panels, hardware workshop

Introduction

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The final day of Quakecon 2012 featured more expert discussion panels from leaders in the gaming industry about the latest games people at Quakecon were excited about like Dishonored, Halo 4, and Borderlands 2 to name a few. We also hosted our annual hardware workshop and gave away more than $30,000 worth of hardware and prizes to over 2,000 workshop attendees!

 

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The BYOC area and exhibit hall also reached capacity for Quakecon attendees to see the semi-finals for the annual Bawls chugging competition and play in Tribes: Ascend mini tournaments at the Alienware exhibit. We also got a demonstration of John Carmack's original prototype virtual reality headset that he initially debuted at E3 this year. Carmack is working with Oculus Rift to design VR headsets for gaming that include stereoscopic 3D and a wide 110-degree field of view. The day concluded with a huge party to watch the annual case mod contest finals, Bawls chugging finals, and Quake Live finals. 

 

Read more about our coverage from Day 3 of Quakecon 2012!

Check out our coverage from Day 1 and Day 2 of Quakecon 2012!

 

Podcast #212 - Live from QuakeCon 2012!

Subject: General Tech | August 4, 2012 - 09:54 AM |
Tagged: VR, ssd, Seagate, quakecon, podcast, ocz, oculus rift, nvidia, Intel, carmack, amd

PC Perspective Podcast #212 - 08/03/2012

In this special live edition of the PC Perspective Podcast, we discuss QuakeCon 2012 and other news of the week!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout Josh Walrath, Allyn Malvantano and Steve Grever

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!

Program length: 49:04

Program Schedule:

In this special live edition of the PC Perspective Podcast, we discuss QuakeCon 2012 and other news of the week!

 

 

Raging through the wilderness; a traveller's guide

Subject: General Tech | October 12, 2011 - 01:35 PM |
Tagged: rage, carmack, 60fps

The Tech Report have braved corrupted textures and .ini files to bring you a tour of the wastelands of Rage.  Once the NVIDIA fix was applied the low resolution textures that appeared and never left disappeared as the PC's caching power was finally put into play.  The review is mixed, for instance while it does have Doom 3 like monster closets it seems that you can actually see the enemies hiding in the cracks before they jump out at you, far better than the teleporting insta-monster of the aforementioned game.  Head over to see what their impressions of the game were after playing for three days.

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"In his latest blog post, TR's Geoff Gasior spends a few days in Rage's virtually textured wastelands, finding a solid shooter packed with personality and, after a little tweaking, truly stunning visuals."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Gaming

 

PC Gamers Rage Over Numerous RAGE Issues

Subject: General Tech | October 5, 2011 - 07:18 AM |
Tagged: rage, PC, id, gaming, carmack

Many of the PC Perspective staff members have been testing out RAGE this week, and were among the countless fans that had been waiting impatiently for id software’s RAGE (to be released) since the first Mega-texture screenshots surfaced of the first person shooter a few years ago. As the game finally unlocked (on steam) on Monday night; however, the game’s enemies were not the only thing catching fire. The Steam Users Forum started lighting up with numerous complaints, bug issues, crashes, and graphical woes and rolled into an uncontrollable wildfire.

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id Software's RAGE, when it's working

The major issues of RAGE include the trusty “CTD,” a crash to desktop, after the initial cut scene in the campaign as you emerge into the game world, screen tearing, mouse super sensitivity, and texture pop-in.  According to Maximum PC, Bethesda has stated that this error is caused when using AMD’s Battlefield 3 Beta performance drivers. I experienced this issue myself when testing out RAGE, and switching to these RAGE performance drivers fixed that particular crashing issue. There are also reports of crashing during other parts of the game; however, they are more varied than the previous crash issue and do not manifest themselves on all systems.  On the mouse super sensitivity front, using a mouse on in game dialog menus can be problematic as well. The mouse sensitivity seems to skyrocket, making it difficult to hit the “accept” and “decline” options compared to the mouse speed when using guns or walking around in the game world.  The same physical motions seem to be greatly magnified on the in-game menus, as shown in the video below.

The remaining major issues do not necessarily affect gameplay; however, they can be distracting and certainly can interrupt the immersion factor of the game. Specifically, there is currently a texture streaming problem such that when the player turns too fast (or at all in severe cases), the textures of the game “pop in.” What this means is that the game looks blurry and missing detail until the engine is able to “catch up” and present the gamer with the (correctly) detailed textures. Bethesda indicates that this texture lag/pop in problem is due moreso to driver issues than problems with the engine. It remains to be seen whether updated drivers will be able to fully fix the texture streaming issue, however. The video below shows the texture pop in issue quite well.

The texture issue is not only a PC issue, however. Giantbomb noted in their Quick Look of RAGE that the Xbox 360 version of RAGE also experiences the texture pop in issue, though not to the extent of the PC. Beyond texture pop in, the PC version also succumbed to screen tearing issues. As an example, when entering the Wasted Garage level, the left two-thirds of my screen became filled almost completely with a solid yellow color where the image was torn in multiple places. This image below is of another user’s screen tearing experience which was less severe than mine but still enough to cause problems in playing the game.

rage_screen_tearing.jpg

GameFront is having RAGE screen tearing issues as well.

Finally, RAGE does not play nicely with FRAPS, which saw a massive slowdown in framerate when recording (much more than the normal dip experienced in other games). (UPDATE: the new AMD driver (updated Rage Performance Driver) seems to have fixed this for the most part.)

Some of these graphical issues may be attributable to the automatically adjusting nature of the game’s graphical settings as the game may not be able to cache/reuse textures it has recently loaded if the engine determines that the graphical settings need to be lower or higher, resulting in the engine needing to reload textures, and thus having what feels like lagging textures even in areas you’ve recently looked around. The extent to which it happens though is likely caused by a number of factors, that many hope a patch will mitigate.  On the other hand, Bethesda is indicating that the texture issue is not due to the engine but rather is due to graphics drivers.

Either way, gamers are not happy with RAGE and are waiting impatiently for drivers and/or a patch to fix the various issues, whichever the case may be.  It may be prudent to take a "wait and see" approach to the game before jumping in, if you haven't already purchased it of course.  Are you running RAGE right now, and if so what sorts of issues (and hopefully solutions) have you run into?  Vent your rage about RAGE in the comments below!

Carmack Speaks

Last week we were in Dallas, Texas covering Quakecon 2011 as well as hosting our very own PC Perspective Hardware Workshop.  While we had over 1100 attendees at the event and had a blast judging the case mod contest, one of the highlights of the event is always getting to sit down with John Carmack and pick his brain about topics of interest.  We got about 30 minutes of John's time over the weekend and pestered him with questions about the GPU hardware race, how Intel's intergrated graphics (and AMD Fusion) fit in the future of PCs, the continuing debate about ray tracing, rasterization, voxels and infinite detail engines, key technologies for PC gamers like multi-display engines and a lot more!

One of our most read articles of all time was our previous interview with Carmack that focused a lot more on the ray tracing and rasterization debate.  If you never read that, much of it is still very relevant today and is worth reading over. 

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This year though John has come full circle on several things including ray tracing, GPGPU workloads and even the advantages that console hardware has over PC gaming hardware.

Continue reading to see the full video interview and our highlights from it!!

Author:
Manufacturer: PC Perspective

Introduction, PCPer Hardware Workshop

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The third and final day drew thousands of gamers and curious people to Quakecon's exhibition hall and Bring Your Own Computer (BYOC) area. Some gamers were pretty weary from all-night gaming sessions, while others continued to press on by playing Tribes: Ascend, Rage, Team Fortress 2, and Left 4 Dead 2. Others took time out from gaming to make the rounds to various panel discussions with community managers from Respawn, id Software, Bethesda Softworks, and Insomniac and learn more about first-person gaming from  id Software's Tim Willits and other developers in the gaming industry.

 

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Each day started with Ventrilo's Rage Quick Drive drawing that gave gamers an opportunity to win $1,000 and tickets for a chance to win a brand-new 2011 Molten Orange Ford F-150 Raptor SVT, complete with the Hennessey VelociRaptor 600 SC upgrade package. Today's quick drive drawing started with Marty Stratton from id Software crowd surfing at the main stage in the exhibition hall.

 

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Continue reading the final day's coverage from Quakecon 2011!!

Author:
Manufacturer: PC Perspective

Introduction, 20 years of id Software, Skyrim, Prey 2

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To commemorate 20 years in the gaming industry, several senior members of id Software came together for a “20 Years of id Software” panel to relive some of the history and mystery surrounding the company. John Carmack, Todd Hollenshead, Kevin Cloud and Tim Willits gave Quakecon gamers a fresh and candid look at id Software's humble beginnings and an in-depth view of their philsophies on PC, console, and mobile gaming.

 

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During the question and answer session, the panel was asked about their advice and opinions on becoming an artist and programmer and their vision of the future of PC and console gaming. At the end of the panel discussion, the id Software team thanked the Quake community for their continued support as well as the Quakecon volunteers for their commitment to making the annual event a success every year. 

 

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One pleasant surprise was having G4TV’s Morgan Webb as the panel moderator for the event. Webb was her usual smart and sassy self and helped make the event fun and lively for everyone. Overall, the event was very engaging and we got to see the id Software team in a different light that most gamers don't get to see from today's game developers. 

Continue reading our second day coverage from Quakecon!!