Subject: General Tech | August 17, 2017 - 09:41 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: id software, vulkan, doom, Doom 3
Over the last few days, Dustin Land of id Software has been publishing commits to his vkDOOM3 GitHub repository. This project, as the name suggests, adds a Vulkan-based renderer to the game, although it’s not really designed to replace the default OpenGL implementation. Instead, the project is a learning resource, showing how a full application handles the API.
This is quite interesting for me. While code samples can show you how a chunk of code is used in rough isolation, it’s sometimes good to see how it’s used in a broader context. For instance, when I was learning Unreal Engine 4, I occasionally searched into the Unreal Tournament repository for whatever I was learning about. Sometimes, things just don’t “click” until you see the context, especially when your question starts with “why”.
If you’re interested, check out the GitHub repo. You will need to own Doom 3 BFG Edition to actually play it, though.
Subject: General Tech | May 24, 2017 - 02:24 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: doom, gaming, hack, mod
It's the May Two-Four so you have probably turned down your furnace* and your thermostat has very little to do, so why not play a game of DOOM on it? Over at Hack a Day you can get a port of Chocolate DOOM which you can set up and run on a Honeywell Prestige thermostat. The colour may be better than the original but for now you will have to play it without sound, still it is impressive how far hardware has come, even in simple appliances.
*offer may not be valid in Wyoming
"In his video, [cz7asm] shows us the game running quite nicely on the 480 x 272 LCD with an NES controller plugged into the USB port originally intended for software updates. The thermostat runs on a STM32F429 which is an ARM9 processor that has the juice to pull it off."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Wot I Think: Endless Space 2 @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Ubisoft Spring Sale and more @ Humble Bundle
- Give me a hella yeah: more Life Is Strange coming @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Game On Bundle @ Humble Bundle
- Exo One channels Kubrick, Dear Esther and Carl Sagan @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Performance and Impressions
This content was sponsored by AMD.
Last week in part 1 of our look at the Radeon RX 460 as a budget gaming GPU, I detailed our progress through component selection. Centered around an XFX 2GB version of the Radeon RX 460, we built a machine using an Intel Core i3-6100, ASUS H110M motherboard, 8GB of DDR4 memory, both an SSD and a HDD, as well as an EVGA power supply and Corsair chassis. Part 1 discussed the reasons for our hardware selections as well as an unboxing and preview of the giveaway to come.
In today's short write up and video, I will discuss my impressions of the system overall as well as touch on the performance in a handful of games. Despite the low the price, and despite the budget moniker attributed to this build, a budding PC gamer or converted console gamer will find plenty of capability in this system.
Let's quickly recap the components making up our RX 460 budget build.
Our Radeon RX 460 Build
|Budget Radeon RX 460 Build|
|Processor||Intel Core i3-6100 - $109|
|Cooler||CRYORIG M9i - $19|
|Motherboard||ASUS H110M-A/M.2 - $54|
|Memory||2 x 4GB Crucial Ballistix DDR4-2400 - $51|
|Graphics Card||XFX Radeon RX 460 2GB - $98|
|Storage||240GB Sandisk SSD Plus - $68
1TB Western Digital Blue - $49
|Case||Corsair Carbide Series 88R - $49|
|Power Supply||EVGA 500 Watt - $42|
|Monitor||Nixues VUE24A 1080p 144Hz FreeSync - $251|
|Total Price||$549 on Amazon; $799 with monitor on Amazon|
For just $549 I was able to create shopping list of hardware that provides very impressive performance for the investment.
The completed system is damn nice looking, if I do say so myself. The Corsair Carbide 88R case sports a matte black finish with a large window to peer in at the hardware contained within. Coupled with the Nixeus FreeSync display and some Logitech G mouse and keyboard hardware we love, this is a configuration that any PC gamer would be proud to display.
Subject: Graphics Cards | January 6, 2017 - 11:27 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Vega, doom, amd
One of the demos that AMD had at CES was their new Vega architecture running DOOM with Vulkan on Ultra settings at 4K resolution. With this configuration, the pre-release card was coasting along at the high 60s / low 70s frames per second. Compared to PC Gamer’s benchmarks of the Vulkan patch (ours was focused on 1080p) this puts Vega somewhat ahead of the GTX 1080, which averages the low 60s.
Some of the comments note that, during one of the melee kills, the frame rate stutters a bit, dropping down to about 37 FPS. That’s true, and I included a screenshot of it below, but momentary dips sometimes just happen. It could even be a bug in pre-release drivers for a brand new GPU architecture, after all.
Yes, the frame rate dipped in the video, but stutters happen. No big deal.
As always, this is a single, vendor-controlled data point. There will be other benchmarks, and NVIDIA has both GP102 and Volta to consider. The GTX 1080 is only ~314 mm2, so there’s a lot more room for enthusiast GPUs to expand on 14nm, but this test suggests Vega will at least surpass it. (When a process node is fully mature, you will typically see low-yield chips up to around 600mm2.)
Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!
Subject: Editorial | December 15, 2016 - 02:18 PM | Alex Lustenberg
Tagged: podcast, zalman, ryzen, note 7, nand, LG, instinct, hdr, DRM, doom, amd
PC Perspective Podcast #428 - 12/8/16
Join us this week as we discuss AMD ReLive, Ryzen, Zalman Keyboards, LG HDR monitors and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
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- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader (audio only)
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Allyn Malventano, Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom, Sebastian Peak
Program length: 1:17:34
Podcast topics of discussion:
Week in Review:
News items of interest:
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
Subject: General Tech | December 12, 2016 - 08:26 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: pc gaming, doom, Doom 4, id software, bethesda, zenimax, noclip
Danny O’Dwier and his company, Noclip, publishes behind-the-scenes documentaries of entities in the video game industry. Their first handful of videos, published piece-by-piece over a few weeks in October and November, were about Rocket League. The series is funded by fan donations on Patreon, which is currently at $20,547 USD per month.
This one is about id Software, and, specifically, the recently-released DOOM and the canceled DOOM 4. They were surprisingly open and honest about internal struggles and design issues regarding “Doom 4 1.0”. It even contains quite a bit of footage from the cut content, which is a step above and beyond just merely acknowledging and discussing these problems. Of course, they mentioned that Bethesda and Zenimax were supportive of the studio as it transitioned in multiple, simultaneous ways.
If you’re interested in DOOM, this will be a well-spent half hour.
Subject: General Tech | December 9, 2016 - 07:01 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: pc gaming, DRM, doom, bethesda
Well this is an interesting news post for a couple of reasons. Personally, I dislike DRM. A lot. It’s software that reduces end-user rights, as both consumers and potentially even as members of society after copyright expires (depending on how judges, and the Librarian of Congress, interpret whether fair use or expiration will override the DMCA’s felony clauses). It’s especially annoying when you see DRM on content that was pirated prior to the official launch, because ticking off your customers and screwing with archivists will really help you if you can’t even secure your own supply chain.
As for today’s story, id Software has officially removed the Denuvo DRM package from their game. On the one hand, it’s good that AAA developers sometimes remove copy-protection after some initial launch window, to limit long-term damage. It’s not DRM-free like you would see on GOG, though, so there is still the possibility that games could artificially die in 10, 40, 100, or 400 years, even if Windows and the other, technical platforms it requires are still around.
On the other hand, because the removal of DRM aligns with DOOM being cracked, that's all the dozens of tech news sites are now reporting. Personally, I hope that this coverage increases sales, especially since the Steam Winter Sale is rumored to start in about two weeks, and DOOM has already been discounted to 50%-off before (I believe during QuakeCon). Still, you can't help but gawk at the Streisand effect as it unfolds before you.
Anywho, Steam is currently in the middle of pushing a 12 GB patch for the title at the moment. While the sites reporting on the removal of Denuvo aren’t clear, and the release notes don’t say, I’m guessing that it was rolled in with Free Update 5.
Subject: General Tech | September 9, 2016 - 03:52 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: doom, pc gaming, bethesda
Adrian Courrèges is a software developer who, from time to time, does a break down on rendering techniques for major gaming titles. His latest one is on DOOM, and it explains, in remarkably simple (given the subject matter) terms, how the game draws a frame at a point early in the game. Most of the information was gathered from using debug tools, but a bit was pulled from Tiago Sousa and Jean Geffroy's slide deck at last month's SIGGRAPH conference.
I obviously cannot really summarize what the article says in this post. You kind-of need to read it for yourself. The post goes into how Vulkan is used for updating Mega-Textures, but it doesn't go into anything like asynchronous compute, though. Most of the figures are animated too, usually by a slideshow of images, but a few WebGL demonstrations are included, too.
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 13, 2016 - 09:20 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: vulkan, R9 Fury X, nvidia, Mantle, gtx 1070, fury x, doom, amd
We haven't yet benchmarked DOOM on Vulkan Update (immediately after posting): Ryan has just informed me that, apparently, we did benchmark Vulkan on our YouTube page (embed below). I knew we were working on it, I just didn't realize we published content yet. Original post continues below.
As far as I know, we're trying to get our testing software for frame time analysis running on the new API, but other sites have posted framerate-based results. The results show that AMD's cards benefit greatly from the new, Mantle-derived interface (versus the OpenGL one). On the other hand, while NVIDIA never really sees a decrease, more than 1% at least, it doesn't really get much of a boost, either.
Image Credit: ComputerBase.de
I tweeted out to ID's lead renderer programmer, Tiago Sousa, to ask whether they take advantage of NVIDIA-specific extensions on the OpenGL path (like command submission queues). I haven't got a response yet, so it's difficult to tell whether this speaks more toward NVIDIA's OpenGL performance, or AMD's Vulkan performance. In the end, it doesn't really matter, though. AMD's Fury X (which can be found for as low as $399 with a mail-in rebate) is beating the GTX 1070 (which is in stock for the low $400s) by a fair margin. The Fury X also beats its own OpenGL performance by up to 66% (at 1080p) with the new API.
The API should also make it easier for games to pace their frames, too, which should allow smoother animation at these higher rates. That said, we don't know for sure because we can't test that from just seeing FPS numbers. The gains are impressive from AMD, though.
Subject: General Tech | July 11, 2016 - 12:16 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: vulkan, doom, bethesda
*** Update *** an asute reader spotted some quick and dirty benchmarks over at Guru of 3D. It looks like the RX480 does indeed benefit from Vulkan, the GTX 1070 not so much.
While this does not mean that the new DOOM will run on Linux, today does see Vulkan support arriving for the new FPS. As we have seen with titles such as BF4 this is not going to benefit users of high end GPUs in any great way, however gamers on a budget should see improvements. Bethesda did not update their minimum specs but do anticipate older cards being able to maintain more respectable framerates; the current minimum specs are a GTX 670 or HD 7870. Expect to see some bugs as this their first shot at the Vulkan API, but do check it out if you have a lower end card or are simply curious how well it works. Handy links for drivers and more info over at Bethesda.
"At id Software, we’ve always pushed technology. With DOOM we let the game drive the technology decisions from early on. This has continued even in post-release, with new updates and more. Today we’re excited to share another big technology push: Vulkan support is now live on PC."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Open Source Solar @ Hack a Day
- Farewell to Microsoft's Sun Tzu: Thanks for all the cheese, Kevin Turner @ The Register
- Linus Torvalds goes off on one over comment syntax @ The Inquirer
- Apeiron claims NVMe fabric speed without NVMe over fabrics - but how? @ The Register