Gaming

The ROG GX800 sets new bar for gaming laptops

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Remember the days when gaming laptops were these huge and heavy machines?

Well, they still are, but for good reason. ASUS just recently unveiled its top-of-the-line gaming laptop, the Republic of Gamers (ROG) GX800.

At 18.4 inches in screen size and 30mm in thickness, this is in no way a slim and portable laptop, and like the Predator 21 X gaming laptop from Acer, it comes with it’s own suitcase.

With size comes power, lots of it. The laptop is powered by an Intel Core i7-7820HK processor and two GeForce GTX 1080 graphics cards running in SLI mode, which really just means that this thing is rocking two of the most powerful commercial graphics processing units (GPUs) to date at the same time.

And while most people would think that’s overkill, ASUS certainly doesn’t think so. It claims this setup is necessary to run the most demanding games on Ultra settings at 4K Ultra HD resolution.

While this isn’t the first dual GTX 1080 setup in the gaming laptop market, it’s the first to come with its very own liquid cooling system as a separate docking attachment.

The liquid cooling allows you to overclock the processor and GPUs to a higher frequency to get more performance out of them, without encountering the problem of overheating. Luckily, the only time you ever need to dock the laptop is when you need even more power. Five games at the same time, anyone?

All that hardware doesn’t come cheap, at a whopping price tag of $6,000 (PhP 369,995 in the Philippines), this laptop is clearly targeted at hardcore enthusiasts, but the price is modest when compared to Acer’s $9000 Predator 21 X.

While the Predator offers a mechanical keyboard more akin to the more traditional desktop-class mechanical keyboards, Tobii eye tracking, and a 21-inch curved display, it’s arguably less portable.

But, to be frank, neither of the two actually are. The Predator, however, doesn’t have the liquid cooling necessary to overclock as much as the GX800, and ASUS is quick to note that the GX800 outperforms other gaming laptops in its class in benchmark tests.

If you’re curious or serious about owning this beast of a machine, here are the specs — otherwise, skip ahead.

Operating system: Windows 10
Processor: Intel Core i7-7820HK processor, 2.7 GHz (8M Cache, up to 3.6 GHz)
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 SLI with 16GB GDDR5X VRAM
Memory: 64GB DDR4 RAM
Storage: 3x 512GB PCIE Gen3 x4 SSD
Display: 18.4″ UHD (3840 x 2160 pixels) resolution

For the more casual gamer, ASUS also announced a slew of new products across the ROG line this year, the GX being its top tier, followed by the G, and the most recent addition, the Strix. All are capable gaming machines, sharing the same design philosophy which ASUS claims was driven by feedback from its users.

[irp posts=”10208″ name=”ASUS Zen AiO Pro review”]

Computers

LG UltraGear 25” Gaming Monitor review: Enough to get you started

Comes with key features for your first gaming PC build

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I’ve seen a ton of people purchase full gaming PC setups since the pandemic took center stage in our lives. I’m pretty sure a lot of these people spent the past few months saving every peso they could for it. Of course, I also did it with all the money I saved up and planned every purchase very carefully.

In getting your gaming PC build, one of the more important peripherals to consider is your monitor. Most people will tell you that any monitor is okay, but experts will say that you shouldn’t just get any monitor. Apart from color accurate and bright displays, your monitor should have a high enough refresh rate to keep up.

It’s exactly what the LG UltraGear 24” Gaming Monitor brings to the table, at least on paper. But is this worth checking out, especially for first time PC setup builders? Here’s a rundown of the specs:

It has a 23.6-inch TN FHD panel, with a 144Hz refresh rate

It comes with two HDMI ports and one DisplayPort

The design, on its own, is nothing spectacular

The LG UltraGear 24” Gaming Monitor comes in a package you normally expect from most lightweight gaming monitors. A hardened-plastic enclosure covers the display, and the monitor even comes with a metal stand in gray and red accents. Upon unboxing, I found it relatively easy to set up and position alongside my PC setup.

Immediately, the first and only thing I noticed was the thick bezel surrounding the display. To be honest, it’s a relatively minor issue for me ever since other brands started reducing theirs. Although I would have appreciated a little more screen space, especially while playing games.

A display that meets expectations for the most part

Most gaming monitors come with high refresh rates to keep up during pressure situations. Fortunately, the LG UltraGear Gaming Monitor comes with a 144Hz panel which is more than enough. Also, it even sports a 1ms response rate so you’re able to stay at the top of your game. 

Most games I tried with this monitor performed with relative ease and no visible sign of image tearing. FPS games like CS:GO and Valorant, in my opinion, work best with this setup given that you can run these games on low-end setups.

Also, it’s quite bright and color accurate which is great for content creators. Although, in some cases, I felt that it didn’t handle dark color areas well. I tried to compensate by simply adjusting the brightness, but it didn’t do anything significantly different. At least it’s an anti-glare TN panel, so you don’t have to worry about the sun.

Comes with features that works depending on the other hardware

This monitor supports AMD’s FreeSync technology which further improves gameplay experience. Honestly, I felt this should be a standard for most gaming monitors — including those that support NVIDIA GSync. Also, there are other optimizations like Dynamic Action Sync (DAS) and motion blur reduction.

However, this monitor actually benefits you only if you’re currently rocking an AMD Radeon graphics card. Ideally, it would still work pretty well when you plug it to an NVIDIA card but expect some image tearing. It wasn’t a big issue for me since I could still apply the reduced motion blur and DAS.

Port selection for this monitor is more than enough for a normal PC setup. Two HDMI ports are available at your disposal, which is great if you want to use it for your consoles. The added DisplayPort provides more connectivity, especially since most graphics cards support it. Keep in mind though: if you plan to plug your console, don’t expect the 144Hz refresh rate.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

For PhP 12,599 (US$ 257), the LG UltraGear 24” Gaming Monitor ticks all the necessary boxes. What you have is a high refresh rate monitor with good color accuracy, and fully optimized for gaming. Combined with a great selection of ports, this monitor is a great option for your first PC build.

However, if you have strict preferences for your monitor, this might not be what you’re looking for. If you’re not a fan of thick bezels or you’re more conservative with your money, I wouldn’t practically recommend this. Also, you wouldn’t be able to fully maximize its potential if you don’t own an AMD graphics card.

All things considered, it’s enough to get you started on your gaming PC setup. Even with cheaper alternatives out there, I still recommend you give this a shot.

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Gaming

2K Sports shows off NBA 2K21 running on current-gen consoles

The first of many reveals leading up to the game’s launch

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NBA 2K21 is set for release next month, so why not start a hype train towards that? Earlier this week, 2K Sports released a full trailer showing off its latest NBA 2K title running on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. And honestly, it’s a good way to start the hype.

What they showed us was a “lights-out” gameplay trailer, which is somewhat an ode to the current NBA bubble situation. As the trailer goes, lights are out and arenas were quiet but a ton of focus still shines on basketball. The majority of the trailer showed off highlights from some of the brightest NBA stars — most of whom currently reside in the bubble.

There’s even a portion that shows off gameplay with the Black Mamba himself, donning the number 8 from his first few years with the Lakers. From high-flying dunks to the now-famous Logo Lillard buzzer-beater, this trailer has me hyped for what’s to come.

NBA 2K21 will be available on September 4, 2020 for both the Standard and Mamba Forever Edition. It will be playable on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and the Nintendo Switch upon launch. For those who will purchase the current-gen Mamba Edition, you will also receive a copy of the next-gen Standard Edition.

You can view the full trailer below:

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Gaming

Nintendo made five-fold profit thanks to Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Why are we not surprised!

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Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash

While most companies are ravaged by the Coronavirus pandemic, digital or internet-based companies are posting record-breaking profits. Popular game maker Nintendo is one of them. The Japanese company’s quarterly profit jumped a whopping 428 percent year-over-year.

It reported an operating profit of 144.7 billion yen (US$ 1.4 billion) in the April-June quarter, beating all street estimates and predictions. Much of the credit for this massive jump goes to its new game, Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The game directly contributed to increased Nintendo Switch sales.

The financial announcement noted that out of all the new Switch units that were bought and played on for the first time, more than half played ACNH on the first day. For a game, that’s a lot of demand, and this indirectly encouraged more Switch sales.

The game single-handedly contributed a 167 percent rise in new members who joined the Switch community. In total, the company managed to sell more than 3 million Switch and 2.6 million Switch Lite.

Nintendo also confirmed that it’s having delivery and supply chain issues due to the ongoing pandemic. However, it meant that supply is running slightly behind schedule and the company should be able to meet the full demand soon. Supply was hit in March but the company was able to bridge the gap in the coming weeks.

Due to the global lockdowns and travel restrictions, gaming companies have noticed a huge surge in games as well as console sales. Nintendo too benefited from this with a 230 percent rise in revenue from digital sales, accounting for about 56 percent of total software sales.

Japanese conglomerate Sony, which manages the PlayStation lineup, also reported positive results earlier this week.

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