Quirks, Savings, and Conclusions
Welcome back to the third and final chapter in our recent cord cutting saga, in which the crew here at the PC Perspective office take a fresh look at dumping traditional cable and satellite sources for online and over-the-air content. We previously planned our cord cutting adventure with a look at the devices, software, and services that will replace our cable and satellite subscriptions, and then put that plan to action by deploying an NVIDIA SHIELD TV, Plex, and an HDTV tuner with antenna.
Now, several weeks into this experiment, we wanted to take a step back to evaluate how the process went in practice, including a look at some of the challenges we failed to initially anticipate, projections of the increased Internet bandwidth usage that accompanies cord cutting (especially important for the many of you with home broadband usage caps), and finally a calculation of the initial and ongoing costs associated with cord cutting in order to determine if this whole process actually saves us any money.
Ultimate Cord Cutting Guide - Part 2: Installation & Configuration
We're back with Part 2 of our cord cutting series, documenting our experience with dumping traditional cable and satellite providers in exchange for cheaper and more flexible online and over-the-air content. In Part 1 we looked at the devices that could serve as our cord-cutting hub, the types of subscription content that would be available, and the options for free OTA and online media.
In the end, we selected the NVIDIA SHIELD as our central media device due to its power, capabilities, and flexibility. Now in Part 2 we'll walk through setting up the SHIELD, adding our channels and services, configuring Plex, and more!
Subject: General Tech | October 25, 2017 - 02:16 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nvidia, gaming, destiny 2, amd, 4k, 1440p
In their testing of the new PC port of Destiny 2, The Guru of 3D made some interesting discoveries. The first is that at 1080p, the game's performance can be somewhat limited by your CPU, but not at 1440p or higher resolutions. The second finding is the impressive showing of AMD's Vega 64 and 56 at 1440p and 4K, which both outperform the GTX 1080. It may be that NVIDIA will release an optimized driver and repeat the improvements seen in Forza 7 but for now AMD is in the lead.
"We test that PC enhanced Destiny 2 for Windows relative towards graphics card performance with the latest AMD/NVIDIA graphics card drivers. Multiple graphics cards are being tested and benchmarked. We have a look at performance with the newest graphics cards and technologies."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Winter’s Steam sales approacheth on these dates @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Returning to Second Life @ Ars Technica
- Humble Day of the Devs 2017 Bundle
- Stronghold HD: Free with every meninist fever-dream @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- The best short games on PC @ PC Gamer
- Hitman GOTY Edition announced by IO Interactve @ HEXUS
- Here are Wolfenstein 2’s system requirements @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Stardock CEO talks Star Control: Origins’ player crafting and upcoming beta @ Ars Technica
- Wot I Think: Destiny 2 @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation - DX12 & Vulkan Short Analysis @ OCC
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 20, 2017 - 04:30 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, RX VEGA 64, 4k
[H]ard|OCP updated their benchmarking suite with several new games and have published a review of AMD's Vega 64 focusing on 4K performance. The race between the GTX 1080 and Vega 64 is quite close, with many benchmarks showing less than a 10% difference in performance. Neither card came close to touching the GTX 1080 Ti, that card is still the only one that can truly handle 4K gaming with graphics options on high or ultra. For 1440p performance, the GTX 1080 is better overall but the Vega is still a very strong contender.
Pop over for a look at the detailed results.
"Does the AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 play games well at 4K resolution? What game settings work best at 4K, and how does it compare to GeForce GTX 1080 and GeForce GTX 1080 Ti? Ten games are tested, new and old, DX11, DX12, and Vulkan at playable game settings and pushed to the max in this all out 4K brawl."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- MSI GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio 11 GB @ TechPowerUp
- MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio @ Guru3D
- ASUS ROG GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Poseidon @ Guru3D
- Then and Now: 6 Generations of GeForce Graphics Compared @ TechSpot
- EKWB and Bykski Water Blocks tested on Asus GTX 1080 Ti Strix @ TechPowerUp
Subject: Displays | September 28, 2017 - 11:25 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: VP3881, VP3268-4K, VP2785-4K, viewsonic, usb type-c, ultrawide, UHD, ips, DCI-P3, Adobe RGB, 4k
ViewSonic has announced three new monitors in their VP series featuring factory-calibrated professional grade color, with the VP3881, VP2785-4K, and VP3268-4K.
The VP3881 features a 37.5-inch curved 21:9 aspect display with 3840x1600 resolution and HDR10 support.
"Featuring a unique ergonomic design, ultra-wide 21:9 aspect ratio, and integrated speakers, the VP3881 delivers a panoramic viewing experience ideal for video editing, content development, high-end entertainment, and other color-critical applications."
The 27-inch VP2785-4K offers the most impressive color specs of the group, with 99% Adobe RGB and 96% DCI-P3 from its Ultra HD (3840x2160) panel.
"This 27-inch 4K Ultra HD monitor delivers unmatched color accuracy for photographers, graphic designers, content developers, and other design pros and multimedia creatives. That means you get true images with vivid colors from real life, to camera, to screen. With USB 3.1 Type C, HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort, and Mini DisplayPort 2.1 connectivity options, the VP2785-4K can be used with a variety of external devices as well."
Finally we have the VP3268-4K, a 32-inch Ultra HD monitor with an IPS panel and minimal bezel design.
"The newest member of the VP68 family, this monitor balances ultra-high definition and a large 32-inch display to deliver the ultimate in detail, clarity, and screen real estate – perfect for limitless creativity. With a SuperClear® IPS panel and 4-sided frameless design, this monitor provides a near-seamless viewing experience ideal for multi-display setups. It also includes HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort, Mini-DisplayPort, and USB hubs for flexible connectivity to a variety of computing devices and peripherals."
ViewSonic states that "all three of these VP series monitors are factory calibrated to deliver an amazing Delta E" of <2, making them ready for color-critical work out of the box. The monitors are available now, with list prices (USD) as follows:
- VP3881: $1329.00
- VP3268-4K: $989.00
- VP2785-4K: $989.00
Subject: Mobile | August 31, 2017 - 03:30 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Yoga 920, Yoga 720, yoga, watchband, Star Wars, notebook, Lenovo, laptop, ips, Gorilla Glass, digitizer, Active Pen 2, 4k, 2-in-1
The Yoga 920 is Lenovo’s new “flagship consumer 2-in-1”, and features 8th-generation quad-core processor and a big emphasis on voice control with what Lenovo describes as “far-field microphones for Cortana which will recognizes voice commands in standby mode and from up to 4 meters away”.
There is also optional digitizer/pen capability with the Yoga 920, featuring Lenovo’s Active Pen 2:
“In the case of the Yoga 920, an optional Lenovo Active Pen 2 with 4,096 levels of pen sensitivity dramatically expands the creative and cross-application potential of the PC. Offering pen-on-paper precision designed to give you no discernible lag, the Lenovo Active Pen 2 with Windows Ink lets you sketch and paint original schematics or annotate existing graphics and documents on the fly. Working on a presentation? Use the pen’s shortcut button to open and check email for any last-minute contributions from the team, sketch them into the presentation, add some color and annotations, then send – all without setting down the pen.”
The display is ‘nearly bezel-less’ and offers a 13.9-inch 4K IPS panel. The familiar ‘watchband’ hinge is back for this new model, and the machine is quite thin at 13.95 mm (0.55 inches), weighing in at 3.02 lbs.
Special Star Wars designs are also going to be available with the Yoga 920, as Lenovo explains:
“We are particularly excited to bring to customers limited edition Gorilla Glass cover designs: Yoga 920 Vibes, Star Wars Special Edition Yoga 920 Rebel Alliance and Star Wars Special Edition Yoga 920 Galactic Empire.”
The Yoga 720 is a compact 12-inch design which will be offered at a significantly lower price than the 920, and it is also digitizer/pen capable and offers a fingerprint reader as well.
The Yoga 920 will be offered with a starting price of $1329.99, while the Yoga 720 will start at $649.99.
Subject: General Tech | August 23, 2017 - 12:13 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: xbox one x, xbox one, microsoft, console, 4k
Microsoft’s next generation Xbox One X gaming console is expected to launch on November 7th, 2017 and the Redmond-based company is making it as easy as possible to upgrade from current Xbox One and One S consoles. Specifically, Microsoft’s Xbox Program Management Corporate Vice President Mike Ybarra revealed that gamers would be able to prepare for the switch to the new console by downloading 4K game updates ahead of time and making the transfer process simple by using a wizard and either an external hard drive or network transfer to move console settings and game data over from their old console to the Xbox One X.
So far, Microsoft has announced that approximately 100 games from its existing catalog will have 4K updates available including Halo 5, Halo Wars 2, Forza Motorspot 7, Fallout 4, NBA 2K18, Project Cars 2, Rocket League, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
Gamers will be able to pre-load 4K updates for their existing games onto their Xbox One or Xbox One S console. Once the Xbox One X launches, gamers will be able to transfer and keep most of their Xbox settings to the new console along with apps, games, and game save data. The data can be transferred by hooking up an external hard drive or by connecting both gaming consoles to the same LAN and starting the home network transfer by adding both consoles to your Xbox home and copying what you want between consoles.
I am interested to see if the Xbox One X is really able to live up to the claims of 4K60 gaming as well as the promised supersampling and anti-aliasing for gamers playing on 1080p displays (including older backwards compatible Xbox and Xbox 360 titles).
Are you planning on upgrading to the XBOX? What are your thoughts on the $499 console and its performance promises?
Also read: Xbox One X Scorpio Edition: What’s Different Explained @ Screen Rant
Subject: Graphics Cards | June 13, 2017 - 01:17 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nvidia, gtx 1080 ti, GTX 1080 Ti GAMING X, msi, Twin Frozr VI, 4k
MSI's latest version of the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is their GAMING X 4K and has the design features you would expect, Twin Frozr VI, Hi-C CAPs, Super Ferrite Chokes and Japanese Solid Caps. When benchmarking the card [H]ard|OCP saw performance significantly higher than the quoted 1657MHz boost speed, the average was 1935MHz before they overclocked and an impressive 2038MHz for the highest stable in game frequency. They tested both the default and overclocked frequencies against a battery of benchmarks, including the newly released Prey. The card performed admirably at 4k, with many games still performing will with all graphics options at maximum, drop by for a look.
"We review a custom GeForce GTX 1080 Ti based video card with custom cooling and a factory overclock built for overclocking. Can the MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti GAMING X truly deliver a consistent enjoyable high-end graphics setting gameplay experience in games at 4K finally? Is a single card viable for current generation gaming at 4K?"
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- Asus ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1080 OC Edition 8GB 11Gbps Video Card Review @ Bjorn3d
- 15-Way NVIDIA/AMD OpenCL GPU Linux Benchmarks Of Ethereum Ethminer @ Phoronix
- XFX RX 460 4GB Heatsink Edition Review @ Bjorn3d
- XFX Rs XXX Edition Rx 570 4GB OC Review @ Bjorn3d
Subject: Displays | April 28, 2017 - 07:25 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: acer, Predator, Predator X27, monitor, display, hdr, 4k, UHD, 144 Hz, g-sync, nvidia
Acer announced a number of products at their next@acer press event in New York yesterday, but this new monitor might take the cake: a 4K HDR display with a 144 Hz refresh rate. The Predator X27 combined just about every conceivable feature for a gaming monitor and combines it into one product, but don't expect this 27-inch monitor be released at a budget price (pricing has not been announced).
"Acer’s Predator X27 portrays astonishingly vibrant visuals without motion blur thanks to a high 4K (3840x2160) resolution at a 144 Hz refresh rate, a fast 4 ms response time and a 1,000 nit peak brightness. Featuring Acer HDR Ultra technology, it offers the best possible contrast quality of the high dynamic range with advanced LED local dimming in 384 individually-controlled zones that shine light only when and where it is required. It not only delivers a broader, more deeply saturated color gamut, but a luminance range several times greater than that of traditional dynamic range monitors. By dimming the backlight behind parts of the screen displaying black, blacks appear deeper and darker on those parts of the panel, a significant bonus for people who play games with darker scenes."
Acer has posted a video about the Predator X27, imbedded below:
Acer also announced a new curved gaming monitor with the Predator Z271UV, which offers a 1800R curve from its 27-inch display, but for HDR you'll need to stick to the X27. Quantum dot technology is incorporated into both display for wide color, and both feature NVIDIA G-SYNC variable refresh-rate tech featuring ULMB (ultra-low motion blur) along with with Tobii eye-tracking.
"Acer’s Predator Z271UV provides WQHD (2560x1440) resolution on a curved 1800R panel that puts every corner of the screen at the same distance from the gamer’s eyes – this creates more immersive gameplay with a wider field of view and increased perceived area of peripheral vision. It features a ZeroFrame edge-to-edge design perfect for use in multi-monitor setups, and provides spectacular color breadth covering 125% of the sRGB color space. It’s extremely fast with up to a 1 ms (3 ms native) response time that nearly eliminates motion blur and supports overclocking up to 165 Hz."
We await pricing and availability information for both monitors.
Subject: Mobile | March 28, 2017 - 01:58 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: thx, Razer Blade Pro V, razer, gaming laptop, 4k, 1080
THX Certification, likely familiar to any movie-goers, is a standard which details certain display and audio requirements and it would seem that the new Razer Blade is the first gaming laptop to meet their standards. The display is 4K 17.3" IGZO G-SYNC panel, which has an LED backlight and capacitive multi-touch and is capable of displaying 100% of Adobe RGB colour space. The audio is a 7.1 Codec which supports Dolby Digital Plus Home Theater Edition as well as a THX Certified 3.5mm combo audio port which can drive high end headphones.
Inside you will find a Core i7-7820HK, overclocked to reach a peak of 4.3GHz, an 8GB GTX 1080, 32GB of DDR4-2667 and two PCIe SSDs in RAID 0 of up to 2TB in size. As well the Razer offers an ultra-low-profile mechanical keyboard and Killer DoubleShot Pro, which is a Killer Wireless-AC 1535 NIC as well as a Killer E2500.
You can read the full PR under the fold or head straight to the website.