Gaming 2015

We are just at the eve of the next turn of the crank with Skylake nearly here and the arrival of:

  • DDR4 memory. So higher speeds are coming.
  • NVMe SSDs. These are also arriving and are showing 2x the performance of SATA (1.2GBps) up to 4x PCI Express (2.4GBps).

  • 4K Monitors. Even at 60 frames per second, these monitors (like the Phillips 40″ at $800), need lots and lots of CPU and GPU. Even a GTX Titan X has trouble.

  • HDMI 2 and Displayport 2 and USB C. These are going to allow much higher performance at unto 40Gbps.

  • Windows 10. Which will allow multithreading in DirectX 12 to get higher frame rates on 4K

So if you can it’s time to wait it out a bit as the dream of 4K at more 100fps will take another turn of the Skylake crank and also the nVidia crank so 2016 promises to be amazing. But if you are building a system for this year, what’s the best thing to do:

  • 2.5K Monitors at 144 frames with G-sync. The new Acer XB270HU is a 27″ monitor and finally IPS panels at more than 60 fps really are here at $800. And if you must have a nice monitor, it is hard to beat the Phillip 40″ UltraHD 4K monitor with Displayport 2.0. It is $797 on Amazon, but you get a 3% rebate from Newegg Business

  • GTX 980Ti is here to give you nice performance for a system like this on a single card will give you decent 2.5K performance and is certainly much simpler than a SLI GTX 970 with comparable performance (2x $330 vs $600)

  • Surround sound. The world is moving perhaps to Dolby Atmos (7.2.4 which means 7 speakers with 2 subwoofers and 4 height speakers to give you the sense of something above you) but right now a it is pretty surprising that the state of the art hasn’t changed that much, but a simple set of bookshelf speakers ($1500 direct for the Aperion Intimus 5B Harmony SD) plus a cheap AVR Onkyo 646 ($500) is still the state-of-the-art