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Charles S.

The Rise of eSports

By | Gaming | No Comments
How did eSports become the behemoth it is today?

eSports, the newest form of sports entertainment is breaking out big in 2019. Generating tons of interest, with millions of viewers, this latest medium for competition is now a billion dollar industry with a projected global economy of $2.3 billion by 2022. As the popularity of eSports has spiked the prize pools have grown to match. Epic Games alone is giving out $100 million dollars in prize money this year to draw the best competitors for its inaugural Fortnite World Cup.

Fortnite’s World Cup hosted open online qualifiers from April 8th to June 16th this year, with a weekly prize pool of $1 million dollars. Each Saturday they allowed competitors a three hour time frame to play 10 qualifying games. Players were scored based on their placement and number of eliminations, with the top 3,000 players qualifying for Sunday’s action. On Sundays the scores reset and the top players ran it back for a cash prize and an invite to the Fortnite World Cup Finals. After the qualifiers drew to an end the Fortnite World Cup took place between June 26th-28th. The tournament pitted the top 50 duo teams and the top 100 solo players against each other in a savage competition to determine the world’s best player.

Description: The crowd at KeyArena watching The International 2014.
Date: 18 July 2014, 15:39:27
Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jakobwells/14515407230/in/set-72157645379601078/
Author: Jakob Wells

The Fornite World Cup Finals were hosted in New York City’s Arthur Ashe Stadium, which seats 22,547 and is coincidentally the same stadium where the 2016 US Open was held. Day one featured two events, the NYC Celebrity Pro-AM and the Creative Finals. Airwaks + RLGRIME beat out the competition taking first place in the celebrity Pro-AM splitting $1 million. Fish Fam consisting of cizzorz, TylerH, Suezhoo and zand took home the $1.345 million prize for the Creative Finals, a trial of five different events based on community creations. On day two Nyhrox and Aqua’s teamwork helped them prevail to be the Duos Winners claiming $3 million. Finally on day three the grand prize went to Kyle ‘Bugha’ Giersdorf, age sixteen, who took home a cool $3 million USD for winning the Solo tournament. In the end each of the competitors left with at least $50,000.

Now let’s take a step back and compare that to the world’s first video game tournament, which occurred on October 19th in 1972 at Stanford University. The tournament featured players competing to win at Spacewar, a simple 2D game which had them fighting gravity and each other until only one winner remained. Many pilots competed and many ships were wrecked, until eventually one champion emerged, Bruce Baumgart. Bruce outmaneuvered all others in the five-man-free-for-all winning the world’s first video game tournament, his grand prize: a year’s subscription of Rolling Stone. Not exactly life-changing. Clearly the world of eSports has taken a huge stride forward between these two tournaments and in this article we will seek to illuminate the path we have taken to get to where we are today.

Spacewar Screenshot
Fortnite Screenshot

History of eSports

The 1950's: The Birth of the Computer

To understand how truly far eSports has come, we must go back to the birth of computerized gaming in the 1950’s. Not surprisingly, the first game for PC was a copy of an already existing game. Dubbed “XOX” it was created by Alexander Shafto Douglas, a computer scientist working on his PhD at Cambridge, who programmed a PC to play “Tic-Tac-Toe”. While extremely simple this game allowed humans and machines to compete for the first time ever and served as a small step forward in the history of video games. 

Then in 1958, a big shift occurred when we received the world’s first ever multiplayer game, “Tennis for Two”. This game allowed players to simulate, you guessed it, a game of tennis. Using an early version of today’s joystick, players could hit a virtual ball across a virtual net until one player emerged victorious. Definitely not the best game of all time, but it was a start. Most importantly it allowed players to compete against one another, the basis for any eSport popular today. 

The 1960's & 70's: Arcades and Tournaments

After the commercial success of “Tennis for Two” the video game industry continued to grow quickly. In 1962 Spacewar was released, and even with its simple concept the game was a huge hit. In fact, it even made the New York Times list of top ten games of all time in 2007. As discussed earlier, this game placed its players in separate spaceships in 2D space with a limited supply of fuel and ammo. The opponents would then battle to the death all while fighting the gravitational field of the nearby planet. Ten years after its release Spacewar was the first game to host a competitive tournament, and as mentioned above Bruce Baumgart won, ushering in a new era of competitive gaming.

As the 1960’s rolled on into the 1970’s interest in video games continued to grow. Amusement halls across the country became arcades, and home consoles were born. People flocked to arcades to play the newest hit games like Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and Space Invaders and arcades became a popular American pastime. Even more so when, in 1979, people could immortalize themselves in the new permanent highscore lists on both Asteroids and Starfire. Additionally when the “Magnavox Odyssey” came out in 1972 you could now directly hook up a console to your TV at home and game for hours.

The 1980's & 1990's: Gaming Goes National

In the 1980’s video game tournaments took off with an influx of investment from gaming companies. Atari kicked this off by hosting the world’s first national video game tournament in 1980. The “Space Invaders Championships” featured 10,000 gamers competing to win a version of “Asteroids”. William Salvador Heineman was crowned the winner on October 10th 1980, becoming the first ever winner of a national video game competition. eSports continued to grow as early leaders in the industry like Walter Day emerged. He founded both “Twin Galaxies National Scoreboard (TGNS)” and “U.S. National Video Team”, the first professional gaming team in the world. TGNS helped to grow gaming by keeping a national scoreboard which only the best could hope to land on and the team gave hope to people that gaming could one day become a profession like any other.

Next in the 1990’s Nintendo jumped on the eSports bandwagon, organizing the “Nintendo World Championships” in the USA which pitted competitors against each other in Nintendo’s best games. The Finals occurred December 7th–9th, 1990  with three World Champion titles given out to Jeff Hansen winner in the 11 and under category, Thor Aackerlund winner of the 12–17 category, and Robert Whiteman who won the 18 and older category. Not only was the tournament more competitive the prizes were better as each winner was awarded with a new 1990 Geo Metro Convertible, a $10,000 U.S. savings bond, a 40″ Rear-projection television, and a gold painted Mario trophy.

These console based companies helped push us in the right direction but it became clear soon their time was almost up. Why? Because later into the 1990’s more people gained access to the internet and increasing innovations continued to drive down the price of PC hardware resulting in a PC boom. Players flocked to PC where they could compete online with friends in games like Doom, Quake, and Counter-Strike all from the comfort of their own home. As these games and their player bases quickly grew PC gaming started being approached more professionally and the the first leagues were formed. For example, the Electronic Sports League which was founded in 1998 and the Korean e-Sports Association in 2000.

2000-Present: The Age of Cyber Sports

In the following years video game tournaments continued their assent to where they are today. In 2000, the first World Cyber Games were held in Seoul, South Korea. Next came the 2003 Electronic Sports World Cup in Poitiers, France. Then the Cyberathlete Professional League(CPL) World Tour in 2005, the first million dollar tournament, which was a huge success. The CPL finale was even live broadcast by MTV, marking eSports emergence into the mainstream. As these tournaments grew and spawned more tournaments around the world, eSports entertainment value grew rapidly. Now, as more and more people compete to be the best at their favorite game, the industry continues to expand. Whether your game of choice is Halo, Counter-Strike, or Fortnite, you can compete for entry into these tournaments with the professionals and win extremely large cash prizes for playing video games. Isn’t it crazy how things can change?

Counter-Strike
Doom Screenshot
Future of Esports

Even crazier, eSports is poised to have an even bigger year in 2020. The sport has fully emerged into public view, with huge cash tournaments and streaming deals on platforms like Twitch and Youtube. eSports is even headed to the Olympics, as it will be added to the 2024 program. Additionally, they were to be included in the 2018 Asian Games! In the coming years you can expect to see even more players and games. It is an exciting time for eSports and we can’t wait to see what comes next!

AMD vs NVIDIA: Which one is right for your new build?

By | Gaming, Tech Tips | No Comments
Introduction:

For years the two giants of the PC gaming world of graphics cards, AMD and NVIDIA, have enjoyed competition with their continuous innovation and cutting edge design. Comparisons of these companies and the GPU’s they produce are guaranteed to bring any observer to conclude this though, NVIDIA is on another level. Their top tier GPUs, the RTX Titan, the 2080 Ti and the 2080 simply put are better. NVIDIA’s GPUs produce higher frame rates, draw less power, produce less heat and come with better optimized software. However, this does not mean that AMD should be dismissed, they produce some excellent GPUs at a more affordable price killing it in the mid and low tier of cards. Priced at $449.99, AMD’s new 5700’s (pictured in the image below) are a great deal and are quite capable of rendering some quality frames.

AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT 50th Anniversary
Price vs Performance:

Diving deeper into this comparison, we begin to consider just how much bang for your buck the respective GPUs provide. NVIDIA’s best performing GPU, the RTX Titan blows all the competition out of the water, these GPUs boast 4608 NVIDIA CUDA cores running at 1770 MegaHertZ boost clock on NVIDIA Turing architecture featuring 72 RT cores for ray tracing, 576 Tensor Cores for AI acceleration and 24 GB of GDDR6 memory running at 14 Gigabits per second for up to 672 GB/s of memory bandwidth. All at the insane price tag of $2,499.99. For comparison the best AMD consumer GPU you can buy is the RX 5700 which costs a whopping $449.99 if you opt for the AMD Radeon™ RX 5700 XT 50th Anniversary and can be purchased for as low as $349.99 if you go with the standard 5700 edition. This card still boasts a boost frequency
up to 1980 MHz running on 2560 stream processors  and 8GB of GDDR6 256-bit memory and works great for 2K gaming.

Software:

While AMD software is catching up with NVIDIA, launching competing versions of most software NVIDIA offers, AMD’s software is a little behind the ball. NVIDIA software just works better, for example let’s compare their different software products for adaptive sync and video streaming.

G Sync vs. Free Sync

Both products are a version of adaptive sync designed to reduce screen tearing and improve video quality. G Sync is NVIDIA’s stellar program for this and it is a better product. Better optimized designed with better quality control, it does have one draw back. Same as always with NVIDIA, its just plain more expensive, because it only works with their own specialized monitors designed for this software and specially equipped to handle it. These monitors are not surprisingly more expensive than most but they seem to boast some of the best graphics we can render currently. AMD’s software has the distinct advantage of working with any monitors, it is just not as well optimized and does not seem to work as well, once again it comes down to a question of how much of your hard earned paycheck you are willing to drop on your new rig.

ShadowPlay VS ReLive

Not too much to say about these two products, once again NVIDIA is on top, as their streaming software again takes the cake. Both are capable of streaming your gaming sessions using your GPU without a capture card, but ShadowPlay has better video quality and a higher bit rate, ranging from 1-18mbps vs AMD’s ReLive which can only run at a bit rate between 1-10 mbps. Both are capped at 60 FPS and 1080p though so you may want a capture card for serious 4K streaming.

Power vs Optimization:

By now I’m sure that you’ve heard about AMD’s GPUs and their problem with high temperatures, and while this is true, the simple explanation for this is a difference in the architecture of the cards. NVIDIA’s Turing architecture is better designed and uses less power more efficiently in order to push out more frames. Meanwhile AMD GPUs are juiced up and need the extra power to make up for the lack of efficiency in their cards due to poor architecture. It’s as simple as that, it doesn’t make one necessarily better but when it comes to computing lower temperatures are generally preferred as heat and computers do not mix well. Funny enough it is a fact that, when your PC over heats it freezes, and that is something we all hope to avoid.

MSI RTX 2080 Ti LIGHTNING Z
Conclusion:

In the end, it comes down to your personal preference and price range when determining which GPU to choose. Whether you choose the RTX 2080 Ti which will provide the best performance that money can buy, or an AMD 5700 which will give you exceptional performance without breaking the bank, you’re sure to enjoy endless hours of high-performance pc gaming.

The RTX 2080 Ti vs the GTX 1080 Ti

By | Gaming, Graphics Card Reviews | No Comments

Take a look at these furmark comparison scores and let us know what you think of these cards in the comments below. Thank you!

The ASUS RTX 2080 Ti ROG STRIX Overclocked Edition vs the ASUS GTX 1080 Ti STRIX OC
ASUS RTX 2080 Ti ROG STRIX Overclocked Edition ROG-STRIX-RTX2080TI-O11G-GAMING
ASUS GTX 1080 Ti STRIX OC STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING

The EVGA RTX 2080 Ti FTW3 ULTRA HYBRID vs the EVGA GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 HYBRID
EVGA RTX 2080 Ti FTW3 ULTRA HYBRID 11G-P4-2484-KR
EVGA GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 HYBRID 11G-P4-6698-KR

The MSI RTX 2080 Ti LIGHTNING Z vs the MSI GTX 1080 Ti LIGHTNING X
MSI RTX 2080 Ti LIGHTNING Z RTX 2080 Ti LIGHTNING Z
MSI GTX 1080 Ti LIGHTNING X GTX 1080 Ti LIGHTNING X

Troubleshooting Tips

By | Gaming, Tech Tips | No Comments
General Tips

Graphics card won’t post? Artifacting issues? Over heating? Computer Crashes? Loud Fan Sounds? Driver Crashes? Sound familiar? We have seen it all during our last nine years in business. Graphics cards have issues, break or plain stop working, that’s why are here to help. Check out our guide below and hopefully some of these tips can resolve your card issues without need for an RMA!

 

Here are some troubleshooting tips to help isolate the issue to the graphics card:

1) First, try re-seating the graphics card and ensure the power and video cables are installed properly.
2) If a second PCI-E slot is available, try installing the graphics card in another PCI-E slot and re-test.
3) Check your video cables to make sure they are not faulty and that they are the same video standard as the graphics card (DisplayPort 1.4 / 1.4a versus 1.2, HDMI 2.0 versus 1.4, etc.).
4) Check your monitor’s video input standards to make sure they are the same as the graphics card.
5) Install a known good graphics card in your system to insure that there is nothing else wrong (or install the potentially bad graphics card in another known good system to see if the issues replicate).
6) Sweep all old drivers and install new ones.
7) If that does not help, re-image entire system.
8) Other items that will cause artifacting: bad PSU, bad memory, bad video cable and/or video adapter.

No Display - Updating BIOS on Your Nvidia GPU

Here are some steps for flashing the BIOS of your NVIDIA GPU:

Tools that you will need:

-**GPU-Z** found here: http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/1709/TechPowerUp_GPU-Z_v0.3.8.html

-**NiBiTor** found here:  https://www.guru3d.com/files-details/nvidia-bios-editor-download-nibitor.html

-**nvflash** found here:  https://www.techpowerup.com/download/nvidia-nvflash/

**Once you have these tools downloaded, follow this guide for flashing the BIOS:** http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/threads/guide-for-flashing-bios-of-nvidia-gpu.119955/

It’s very important to save a copy of your current BIOS (Step 1) in case anything happens during the flashing process.

No Video - Run Display Driver Uninstaller W10 (AMD)

1) Please run Display Driver Uninstaller: http://www.guru3d.com/files-details/display-driver-uninstaller-download.html

2) Run it in Safe Mode. To put Windows 10 into Safe Mode: http://www.digitalcitizen.life/4-ways-boot-safe-mode-windows-10

3) After clearing drivers, re-install the AMD graphics card into system and download the AMD driver for W10 64-bit: https://www.amd.com/en/support

4) Reboot system.

No Video - Run Display Driver Uninstaller W10 (NVIDIA)

1) Please run Display Driver Uninstaller:
http://www.guru3d.com/files-details/display-driver-uninstaller-download.html

2) Run it in Safe Mode. To put Windows 10 into Safe Mode:
http://www.digitalcitizen.life/4-ways-boot-safe-mode-windows-10

3) After clearing drivers, re-install the NVIDIA graphics card into system and download the NVIDIA driver for Windows 10:
http://www.geforce.com/drivers

4) Reboot system.

 

Hopefully one of those tips was able to solve your issue. If not you can always reach out to us via our Support Tickets and we can help you with our 3-5 day RMA service.

RTX Launch Issues

By | Gaming | No Comments
The Problem with RTX 2080 Ti's Launch Cards:

After the release of the RTX 2080  we started hearing a lot of mixed reviews, and eventually some problems have come to light. It seems the expensive new Turing architecture RTX cards capable of ray-tracing may have been a little rushed.

Many users had issues with the NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition cards glitching and it seems a culprit has been found and the issue resolved. The new cards now ship with new memory cards as they replaced the original GDDR6 memory from Micron with new Samsung memory which seems to have fixed these issues. It seems this poor memory along with bad screw connections on the cooler and cold solder joints were causing the issues. We certainly had our share of defective cards but they seem to have resolved the issue now and our new cards are running great!

Grab a new EVGA RTX 2080 Ti FTW3 ULTRA GAMING (with Samsung memory) today!

The Best RTX 2080 Ti Cards

By | Graphics Card Reviews | No Comments
ASUS RTX 2080 Ti ROG STRIX Overclocked Edition vs. EVGA RTX 2080 Ti FTW3 ULTRA HYBRID

Hello, to loyal CEG customers and new visitors finding our site for the first time, alike. We have decided to expand the domain of our site from our lease to own program for graphics cards to an even more well rounded one. Along with adding a curated selection of high-end PC components, hand picked by our experienced staff, we are now attempting to help keep our community informed as best we can. Without any further ado here is our first article, where in we will compare the ASUS RTX 2080 Ti ROG STRIX Overclocked Edition and the EVGA RTX 2080 Ti FTW3 ULTRA HYBRID. We hope you will find it as helpful and informative as we found it fun to write!

ASUS RTX 2080 Ti ROG STRIX Overclocked Edition

Take a look at that gorgeous beast, as ASUS ROG’s flagship card the ASUS RTX 2080 Ti Strix OC(ROG-STRIX-RTX2080TI-O11G-GAMING) is loaded with some of the best features you could hope to find. It has dual-BIOS functionality, sweet RGB lighting, newly designed fans and comes factory over clocked. Running at 1650 Mhz, which can be boosted to 1665 Mhz using ASUS’s GPU Tweak II tool, this card runs 120 Mhz faster that Nvidia’s reference design.

The dual-Bios adds some great functionality. And while not super uniquely designed, it looks almost identical to the 2080 Strix OC, the lighting on these cards is great for custom builds and can put the final touches on your new rig. It comes with a driver CD, instruction guide, and two Velcro ties in the box, which is also about identical to the 2080 Strix OC box.

Finally they also redesigned the fans, increasing airflow by 27% and hopefully fixing previous issues. If you are not familiar with the ASUS cards of late they used to have big issues with fan blades breaking due to fatigue. This new design takes that into account, but still incorporates an ugly visible multi-color fan cable.  Overall we have high hopes for this card and its potential going forward.

EVGA RTX 2080 Ti FTW3 ULTRA HYBRID

NVIDIA has now created the next big ting in gaming. Ray-tracing is here and it is here to stay as it allows for better 3D rendering. And it is right on time, with the slowdown of silicon fabrication technology innovations and desiring a new leap instead of just packing in more transistors (looking at you Volta) they have created RTX cards and new technology to go with it. This technology is now consumer ready and I can say it is worth the hefty price tag if you can get it.

RTX technology incorporates both classic CUDA cores with the newly designed RTX cores which allow for rendering real time ray traced objects into rasterized 3D scenes in the best way possible. With this technology available now this EVGA RTX 2080 Ti FTW3 Ultra Hybrid can bring RTX to you and see gorgeous game play as it was designed to be seen.

This card is excellent and performs that way under pressure hitting over 220 FPS with ease and staying cool while doing it. Try BFV and you can see the ray tracing working hard. It comes in a simple box with an instruction Guide(s) a DVI to HDMI Adapter and four screws & washers.

Pushing the frontiers of gaming visualization RTX is awesome, it looks amazing in 4K and eventually will allow for rendering full scenes with ray tracing. Grab one today and you will not be disappointed.

ASUS RTX 2080 Ti ROG STRIX Overclocked Edition
EVGA RTX 2080 Ti FTW3 ULTRA HYBRID

Comparing two top tier cards of this magnitude is never easy, and declaring one better than the other is near impossible, but don’t you worry that’s what we are here for. After considering the branding, style, special features and Furmarks of these cards we declare the ASUS ROG RTX 2080 Ti Strix OC to be the best in series. As ASUS fans we can say they struck this one out of the park, it boasts a clock speed of 1710MHz and just looks gorgeous. We would highly recommend this card if you are trying to get the best of the best gear, and it is available now(when in stock) through our lease to own program at only $165.99/month, and remember it only takes 13 payment at the listed lease price to buy out your card.

Please let us know if you would like to be put on out notify list for any cards, or added to our newsletter email list!