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From the PS2 Couch Co-Op Era to the PC + Discord Era

By Gaming
PS2 Couch Co-Op Era

My first console was Sony’s PlayStation 2. My favorite game was without a doubt SSX, Snowboard Supercross, first released October 26, 2000. You could bomb down insane mountain courses, launch off giant ramps, and do awe-inspiring tricks. The tricks would pile up points in order to earn speed boosts and race at even faster speeds. It was awesome! And if you wanted to race your friend, all you had to do was plug in a second controller and race. Competing in races or trying to score the most points via tricks was so much fun! My second favorite game was James Bond 007: Nightfire, it had awesome one system multiplayer! We had one of those sick multitap multiplayer adapters, which allowed you to plug in up to four controllers. Grab three friends, hop on the couch, fire up a match of 8 player Nightfire, turn on the bots and play! You could run 2v2 with two bots per team, or band together and wreck the bots 4v4. Hours of fun, endless headshots and everyone together in one place having fun. And this was not even peak console co-op.

Eventually it evolved to Xbox and Halo, then Xbox One and more Halo. More kills, same co-op, same friends! But alas, all good things must come to an end. Soon less and less games had couch co-op until it got to the point we are at now. Everyone has their own PC at their own place, the games are still high paced and entertaining but the experience is a little different.

PC + Discord Era

Not worse, not better, just different. I’ll send out the “WZ?” text to my friends, get a couple “Let’s go’s!” shoot off a “Booting!” text and hop online. Fire up the PC, turn on discord and launch Call of Duty: Warzone. Resurgence is the name of the game now, it is by far my favorite Battle Royale style game.

This is mainly due to familiarity with the controls, guns, gameplay experience from years of CoD and the fact that it is both free and supports cross console play. Things we could only dream of as kids. Your friend only has a PlayStation, Xbox or PC? Doesn’t matter anymore, everyone can hop right into the same lobby without a hitch. Which is awesome, no more console wars, everyone united in united servers. In-game voice chat not working? Once again there is now a solution in place, every console has discord. Hop on and join a crystal clear call with none of the issues of in-game chat.

Is it the same as having all your buddies over to play some PS2 in 1st grade? No, but it’s pretty darn close. Plus its extremely convenient, especially as people grow and their lives change. Some of them have moved across the country, they are married, they have kids and are full grown adults with adult responsibilities. They can’t just ride their bikes over anymore, y’know? But the ease and convenience with modern PCs/Consoles and Discord help keeps everyone connected. I’m able to hop on CoD with the same friends from school, catch up and get some W’s!

Do I wish I could fire up Halo when a friend comes over and hop online? Yeah, I do. BRING BACK COUCH CO-OP HALO!!! But that isn’t an option anymore, so I guess we’ll be playing Fifa and 2k instead! And in the meantime, there’s still plenty of ways to play online and stay connected with your friends!

AMD RX 7800 XT vs AMD RX 6800 XT & NVIDIA RTX 4070 Comparison

By Gaming
RX 6800 XT vs RX 7800 XT

The highly anticipated 7800 XT has finally been released and we’re eager to share its specs with you! In order to give you a better understanding of its performance, we’ll be comparing it to it’s predecessor, the RX 6800 XT, and its NVIDIA equivalent, the RTX 4070. How will it compare? Follow along in our article and find out if it stacks up against its predecessor and competition!

RX 6800 XT
Specifications and Performance

The RX 6800 XT was launched on October 28th, 2020 with a price tag of $650. It was a strong competitor to NVIDIA’s high-end GPUs, particularity in the mid-range and high-end gaming market and received generally positive reviews. The 6800 XT is known for excellent performance, capable of delivering high frame rates at 1440p and 4K resolutions, as well as significant ray tracing performance improvement over AMD’s previous generation. This makes it an excellent option for those who want to experience smooth, high-quality graphics and lightning-fast performance while gaming on their computers. There’s a reason why the RX 6800 XT is known to provide the bang for your buck!

Clock Speeds

Base Clock: 1825 MHz

Game Clock: 2015 MHz

Boost Clock: 2250 MHz

Memory Clock: 2000 MHz

Memory

Memory Size: 16 GB

Memory Type: GDDR6

Memory Bus: 256 bit

Bandwidth: 512.0 GB/s

Board Design

Slot Width: Dual-slot

Dimensions: 10.5in L x 4.7in W x 2in H

TDP: 300 W

Suggested PSU: 700 W

Outputs: 1x HDMI 2.1, 2x DisplayPort 1.4a, & 1x USB Type-C

Power Connectors: 2x 8-pin

Specifications and Perfomance

The RX 7800 XT is one of AMD’s two newest graphics cards on the market. Released on August 6th, 2023 with a starting price of $500, this GPU is a great option for those looking for a high-performance graphics card without breaking the bank. According to AMD, this 1440p GPU is capable of delivering over 60 FPS in the latest games, with the highest settings enabled. However, it may struggle with ray tracing-heavy games, and reaching triple FPS digits may be challenging. To summarize, the RX 7800 XT is a powerful mid-range budget graphics card that can handle most modern games on the highest settings. It offers a solid gaming experience without spending a fortune.

Clock Speeds

Base Clock: 1295 MHz

Game Clock: 2124 MHz

Boost Clock: 2430 MHz

Memory Clock: 2425 MHz

Memory

Memory Size: 16 GB

Memory Type: GDDR6

Memory Bus: 256 bit

Bandwidth: 620.8 GB/s

Board Design

Slot Width: Dual-slot

Dimensions: 10.5in L x 4.4in W x 2in H

TDP: 263 W

Suggested PSU: 600 W

Outputs: 1x HDMI 2.1a & 3x DisplayPort 2.1

Power Connectors: 2x 8-pin

RX 7800 XT
RTX 4070
Specifications and Perfomance

The RTX 4070 was released on April 23rd, 2023 with a launch price of $600. Although the pricing of the 40 series as a whole disappointed many, the RTX 4070 stands out as a mid-performance card at a reasonable price, particularly for 1440p gaming. It performs similarly to the 10 GB RTX 3080, with frame rates of about 100fps at 1440p gaming and 60fps at 4k gaming. This card has solid ray tracing abilities at 1440p, but it may struggle to maintain a high frame rate for ray tracing-heavy games at 4k, such as Cyberpunk 2077. In addition, the RTX 4070 boasts NVIDIA’s latest features, including RTX Video Super Resolution, DLSS 3 Frame Generation, and NVIDIA Reflex.

Clock Speeds

Base Clock: 1920 MHz

Boost Clock: 2475 MHz

Memory Clock: 1313 MHz

Memory

Memory Size: 12 GB

Memory Type: GDDR6X

Memory Bus: 192 bit

Bandwidth: 504.2 GB/s

Board Design

Slot Width: Dual-slot

Dimensions: 9.4in L x 4.3in W x 1.6in H

TDP: 200 W

Suggested PSU: 550 W

Outputs: 1x HDMI 2.1 & 3x DisplayPort 1.4a

Power Connectors: 1x 16-pin

Conclusion:

When looking over the specs, you can see that the RX 7800 XT is not that much of an improvement over the RX 6800 XT. While the 7800 XT has a higher boost clock speed and increased memory bandwidth, it has 768 less cores than the RX 6800. The 6800 XT also has a higher base clock speed, although the difference between these two cards is marginal. In terms of performance, both cards are pretty similar. Likewise, the RTX 4070 also performs similarly to the RX 7800 XT. Where the RTX 4070 excels at ray tracing, the RX 7800 XT shines in its rasterization performance.  Therefore, if you’re currently using a GPU from the previous RTX 30 series or RX 6000 series and considering an upgrade, it might be best to skip the RX 7000 generation.

To be notified when we restock the RX 7800 XT (or any of the RX 7000 / RTX 40 series cards) click the button below!

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The RTX 40 Series Master Guide

By Gaming

The RTX 40 series has now been out for 8 months – oh how time flies! Starting with the first released card, the RTX 4090, we’ve now got a variety of cards to choose from this series. In this article, we’ll be looking at the cards in this series and what specs they have in store.

Nvidia RTX 4090

Real quick, before we get into the RTX 4090, I’d like to share an article we did a few months back on RTX 4090 Ti rumors so if you’re curious, take a look!

The NVIDIA RTX 4090 Ti Rumors and Expected Release Date

The RTX 4090 was launched on September 20th 2022 with a starting price of $1,599. It’s currently the highest performing card on the market, show a large increase of performance compared to the 3090ti. If you’re looking for the best of the best, this card is for you.

Clock Speeds
Base Clock: 2235 MHz
Boost Clock: 2520 MHz
Memory Clock: 1313 MHz, 21 Gbps effective

Memory
Memory Size: 24 GB
Memory Type: GDDR6X
Memory Bus: 384 bit
Bandwidth: 1008 GB/s

Board Design
Slot Width: Triple-slot
Dimensions: 12″ L x 5.4″ W x 2.4″ H
TDP: 450 W
Suggested PSU: 850 W
Outputs: 1x HDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.4a
Power Connectors: 1x 16-pin

Render Config
Shading Units: 16384
TMUs: 512
ROPs: 176
SM Count: 128
L1 Cache: 128 KB (per SM)
L2 Cache: 72 MB

Nvidia RTX 4080

The RTX 4080 was also released on September 20, 2022 with a launch price of $1,199. The RTX 4080 performs outstandingly, often coming in a few FPS short of the RX 4090. The gap in performance does widen when Ray Tracing is taken into account. It provides the best value for higher end cards.

Clock Speeds
Base Clock: 2205 MHz
Boost Clock: 2505 MHz
Memory Clock: 1400 MHz, 22.4 Gbps effective

Memory
Memory Size: 164 GB
Memory Type: GDDR6X
Memory Bus: 256 bit
Bandwidth: 716.8 GB/s

Board Design
Slot Width: Triple-slot
Dimensions: 12.2″ L x 5.5″ W x 2.4″ H
TDP: 320 W
Suggested PSU: 700 W
Outputs: 1x HDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.4a
Power Connectors: 1x 16-pin

Render Config
Shading Units: 9728
TMUs: 304
ROPs: 112
SM Count: 76
L1 Cache: 128 KB (per SM)
L2 Cache: 64 MB

Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti

Released on January 3rd  2023 with a launch price of $799, the RTX 4070 Ti is probably the best bang for your buck. Its FPS often hit triple digits and never dip below 60FPS.

Clock Speeds
Base Clock: 2310 MHz
Boost Clock: 2610 MHz
Memory Clock: 1313 MHz, 21 Gbps effective

Memory
Memory Size: 12 GB
Memory Type: GDDR6X
Memory Bus: 192 bit
Bandwidth: 504.2 GB/s

Board Design
Slot Width: Dual-slot
Dimensions: 11.2″ L x 4.4″ W x 1.7″ H
TDP: 285 W
Suggested PSU: 600 W
Outputs: 1x HDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.4a
Power Connectors: 1x 16-pin

Render Config
Shading Units: 7680
TMUs: 240
ROPs: 80
SM Count: 60
L1 Cache: 128 KB (per SM)
L2 Cache: 78 MB

Nvidia RTX 4070

The RTX 4070 launched on April 12 2023 with a price tag of $599. Advertised as reaching 100+ FPS at 1440p, this card does exactly that. The RTX 4070 does perform on average about 20% less than the RTX 4070 Ti, but it is a solid graphics card for those who don’t need the highest performing card on the market.

Clock Speeds
Base Clock: 1920 MHz
Boost Clock: 2475 MHz
Memory Clock: 1313 MHz, 21 Gbps effective

Memory
Memory Size: 12 GB
Memory Type: GDDR6X
Memory Bus: 192 bit
Bandwidth: 504.2 GB/s

Board Design
Slot Width: Dual-slot
Dimensions: 9.4″ L x 4.3″ W x 1.6″ H
TDP: 200 W
Suggested PSU: 550 W
Outputs: 1x HDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.4a
Power Connectors: 1x 16-pin

Render Config
Shading Units: 5888
TMUs: 184
ROPs: 64
SM Count: 46
L1 Cache: 128 KB (per SM)
L2 Cache: 36 MB

Nvidia RTX 4060

The RTX 4060 is not yet released so not all information is known and this information is subject to change in the future. It’s rumored to be set for release in early June with a price tag of $299.

Clock Speeds
Base Clock: 1830 MHz
Boost Clock: 2535 MHz
Memory Clock: 2250 MHz, 18 Gbps effective

Memory
Memory Size: 8 GB
Memory Type: GDDR6X
Memory Bus: 128 bit
Bandwidth: 288 GB/s

Board Design
Slot Width: Dual-slot
Dimensions: Unknown
TDP: 200 W
Suggested PSU: 550 W
Outputs: 1x HDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.4a
Power Connectors: 1x 12-pin

Render Config
Shading Units: 3840
TMUs: 120
ROPs: 48
SM Count: 30
L1 Cache: 128 KB (per SM)
L2 Cache: 24 MB

The RTX 40 series boasts a large increase in performance from the 30 series and is perfect for consumers who want top of the line performance. However, these cards, especially the RTX 4090, are not only physically large but consume a lot of power and are pricey. Many people have decided to skip the 40 series generation due to these issues, but there are also a lot of gamers who appreciate what the 40 series has to offer.

#TornadoNation: CEG Interviews CTX Austin Esports Director and Athletes

By Gaming

As a proud sponsor of Concordia University Texas’s esports team, we’re excited to have the chance to interview their director, Marc Valdoria, as well as some of the student athletes about their experiences.

 

Team updates can be viewed on their Twitter and streams can be watched on their Twitch channel.

Interview with Concordia Esports Coordinator/Director Marc Valdoria

Thank you for taking the time to speak with us on your collegiate esports program. How long has your university had a varsity esports program and how long have you been the director of the program?

I have been Concordia’s esports coordinator/director since the program started.Concordia launched the esports program in Fall 2019, and we were the first varsity esports program in Central Texas.

 

Is it fair to say you are also the program’s coach? Or do you have paid coaches at your school too?

That is fair to say that I’m the program’s “head coach.” In the future, as we expand, the goal is to have paid coaches per team. As of now, I can coach/manage some of the teams. However, I rely a lot on our players, who have a lot of knowledge of the game and have exemplified leadership characteristics. It has been working for the past couple of years as it helps me manage my workload by giving our students opportunities to earn experience in a leadership position within their teams.

 

How did you get involved with the esports program? Were you already at the university in a different role when you became the director and helped develop the program?

I got involved with the esports program while working in the marketing department at Concordia. Our Athletic Director looked for help starting the program within our university, and I stepped up to the plate because I love esports and I am extremely passionate about it.

 

Which games do you compete in, about how many athletes do you have per team and how many athletes do you have overall?

We compete in Apex, League of Legends, Valorant, Overwatch 2, Rocket League, Super Smash Ultimate, and Chess. Overall, we have over 40+ student athletes in the program.

 

How’s the season going by the way?

Our Spring season has come to a wrap, and I couldn’t have been more proud of how hard our athletes played this year. We got back from our SCAC Conference Showdown in San Antonio last week where our program took 2nd overall.

 

As director, I’m sure recruiting is a big part of what you do as you have so many different games you compete in. I’m sure our audience would want to know what is involved in recruiting. How do you find your athletes and about how many do you recruit per year?

We find our athletes in various ways, such as social media, online/LAN high school esports tournaments, Discord, Next College Student Athlete (NCSA), and in-person events.

 

Is there a good high school esports ecosystem that you can draw from? Or do the athletes actively reach out to you with their game play portfolio or do you reach out to them?

Some student-athletes reach out to me directly, which is typically a rare case. However, there are some ecosystems that I can think of, such as the Discord servers like High School Esports League (HSEL), eFuse, SPIN Collegiate, etc., which are great because they have a lot of high school students who are looking for collegiate teams. At the same time, there are organizations such as Texas Scholastic Esports Federation (TexSEF) that put on recruiting events, which there is one that is about to happen at the end of the month (April 28-29th) at the Esports Stadium Arlington.

 

Is there anything in particular that you look for in their game play?

When we recruit students, we look at a variety of things, such as their rank and history of the game. However, we also gauge their approach to the game and their attitude. We want players who are motivated to improve, willing to listen, and ready to adapt to the team. If they have those qualities, they have a high potential to be a high-impact player in our program. A player could be a highly skilled/ranked player, but if they have a bad attitude and are toxic, they would not fit in well with our program.

 

Another aspect that I’m sure our audience will be interested to know: Do your athletes receive partial or full scholarships or any other benefits from the university?

We currently have partial scholarships for our program. Our esports student-athletes could qualify for the esports scholarship ($2,000/year). This scholarship can also stack with our other scholarship offerings at Concordia. The additional benefit they have is exclusive access to our esports facility, which only esports players and members can use.

 

What are some of the bigger challenges confronting your esports program today? What about esports in general?

One of the biggest challenges confronting our esports program (and a lot of esports programs across the nation) is that budget is limited. We would love to be able to send teams across the state/country to compete with other collegiate teams, but we simply do not have the budget to do so. At the same time, having a constraint on budget means that upgrades and arena expansion would also be affected, which in turn can affect recruitment down the line.

 

That’s about it for our questions and thank you for your time. Final thoughts: Do you have anything else to add that you would like for our gaming audience to know about your program and or collegiate esports?

Esports is a lot more accessible than people think! Collegiate esports has gained significant popularity, with more colleges and universities offering programs and scholarships for athletes. This is a great opportunity for students who are passionate about gaming to pursue their interests while also earning a degree.

Interview with Rocket League Captain Bradley Wadas

Hi there and thank you for taking the time out of your busy school and esports schedule to talk to us about your collegiate esports experience. What year are you and in which games do you compete?

I am a junior and I play Rocket League.

 

How has the esports athletic experience been so far?

The experience has been great, I like winning and we win a lot so it’s enjoyable.

 

Be honest: How many hours a week do you say you practice and compete?

3-5 hours, mostly solo training because I am weird like that.

 

What are your training methods and how do you get ready for tournaments? Do you study streams of your competition?

I play a few casual or comp games or sit in solo training, whatever I feel like. No I don’t like to review footage because I review the game in my head.

 

When’s the competition season, is it in the spring or fall or both?

For SCAC (“Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference”), spring, but NACE (“National Association of Collegiate Esports“) Starleague is both fall and spring.

 

How are you doing so far this year?

We finished 2nd in SCAC and went to playoffs in NACE.

 

Let’s go back to before you started your collegiate athletic career. When did you first start gaming?

I started gaming when I was as young as I can remember, but I didn’t start playing Rocket League until 2015, when it came out of course.

 

At what point did you realize “hey I can do this in college”?

After playing a few matches with the team during tryouts.

 

What was the recruiting process like at your university? Did the director reach out to you or did you actively approach them?

I saw a flyer in my school email and I decided to give it a shot.

 

Has doing esports changed the way you play games in your free time?

Esports has made me play rocket league more, but that’s about the only change.

 

That’s about it and let’s wrap it up with one final question: Think back to when you were gaming before college and compare that to what you know now after being a college esports athlete. What words of advice or tips would you give high schoolers to help them land a spot on a collegiate esports team?

I would say to just keep playing your game in the highest rank possible so you can get better every game you play, and research + practice just as much time as you play

Interview with Valorant Captain Kevin Early

Hi there and thank you for taking the time out of your busy school and esports schedule to talk to us about your collegiate esports experience. What year are you and in which games do you compete?

I am a Junior at Concordia (TX) and compete in Valorant. The Valorant team is new as it was created and started to compete this semester.

 

How has the esports athletic experience been so far?

The start of the season was unpredictable with a rotating starting lineup. However, it felt great when the team was solidified and we melded together.

 

Be honest: How many hours a week do you say you practice and compete?

Valorant practices twice a week for a total of eight hours. With games, the time committed is about 10 hours a week. On top of this, I play outside of practice and stack competitive queues with my teammates. I usually play Valorant in my free time when I finish everything else I have on my schedule.

 

What are your training methods and how do you get ready for tournaments? Do you study streams of your competition?

I play the tournaments the same as I would during practice. I take it seriously and compete to the best of my abilities. I do not scout the competition; however, a vital aspect of improving video games is VOD reviews. Instead of going over the competition and finding mistakes, I focus on self-improvement.

 

When’s the competition season, is it in the spring or fall or both?

Concordia’s main Valorant competition is an in-person tournament held every spring. There are other tournaments we take part in but competing in SCAC is our main goal as a team.

 

How are you doing so far this year?

I am doing great so far! I started playing Valorant 9 months ago and I am currently ascendant three, just 2 games away from immortal.

 

Let’s go back to before you started your collegiate athletic career. When did you first start gaming?

I first started playing competitive fps after I graduated from middle school. The first game I started playing was Overwatch. I have hit top 500 on support, dps, and tank.

 

At what point did you realize “hey I can do this in college”?

I realized I could play esports in college when I came to Concordia. I found out that the esports college scene was bigger than I imagine. There are multiple schools around the U.S. that offer huge scholarships for esports.

 

What was the recruiting process like at your university? Did the director reach out to you or did you actively approach them?

I did not go through the traditional recruiting process at my university. I was already admitted and found out that Concordia had an esports team when I was on a campus tour. After the tour, I reached out to the program director and was offered a scholarship to play esports.

 

Has doing esports changed the way you play games in your free time?

Esports has changed the way I play games in my free time. Before joining the esports program I used to play video games when I had free time. Now, I have to plan my schedule with dedicated time slots to practice Valorant

That’s about it and let’s wrap it up with one final question: Think back to when you were gaming before college and compare that to what you know now after being a college esports athlete. What words of advice or tips would you give high schoolers to help them land a spot on a collegiate esports team?

My advice to high school students would be not to just mindlessly play video games because that leads to burnout. Play for a few hours with a strong mental with a focus on improvement. Joining a team is also something I would recommend experiencing. Team gameplay is very different from ladder. In team gameplay, it is important to work together. In ladder, it is more about punishing mistakes. VOD reviews are important and vital for improvement.

Interview with League of Legends Captain Nick Reak

Hi there and thank you for taking the time out of your busy school and esports schedule to talk to us about your collegiate esports experience. What year are you and in which games do you compete

My name is Nick Reak, I compete in League of Legends and Valorant and I am a Junior.

 

How has the esports athletic experience been so far?

I have been playing collegiate for about 3 years now, but this was my first semester at a school where we were able to field a full roster for either of the games I play. I would say the experience was fun, but my hope is that there will be more support from schools in the future as it still feels like we are outcasts rather than athletes.

 

Be honest: How many hours a week do you say you practice and compete?

For team practice and competition it is usually about 15-20 hours with both teams combined, and for individual practice I spend another 15-20 hours a week.

 

What are your training methods and how do you get ready for tournaments? Do you study streams of your competition?

Currently, I don’t spend a lot of time VOD reviewing, most of my preparation comes from watching professional play and videos. Otherwise, I study the drafts of our opponents and attempt to learn their general draft identity to know how to counter or nullify it.

 

When’s the competition season, is it in the spring or fall or both?

Mainly spring, though we do practice in fall and work on group dynamics and practice.

 

How are you doing so far this year?

Alright, wish we could have finished higher in the standings, but I am motivated to keep competing. Financially I am struggling because I want to focus on practice and improving and between the long grind hours and school work, actual work becomes hard to fit in.

 

Let’s go back to before you started your collegiate athletic career. When did you first start gaming?

I started gaming when I was about 5-6, it was casually on PlayStation 1, and over the years I started competing in high school back around 2009 in Halo.

 

At what point did you realize “hey I can do this in college”?

I realized I could compete in college and go back to school when the coach from NMU reached out to recruit me in 2020.

 

What was the recruiting process like at your university? Did the director reach out to you or did you actively approach them?

I reached out to Marc our director, I was already at another school in Kentucky at the time, and I really wanted a school that would compete. After talking to Marc I decided on CTX.

 

Has doing esports changed the way you play games in your free time?

Not really, I am hyper competitive and all it has done is reinforce the drive to compete and win.

 

That’s about it and let’s wrap it up with one final question: Think back to when you were gaming before college and compare that to what you know now after being a college esports athlete. What words of advice or tips would you give high schoolers to help them land a spot on a collegiate esports team?

Start playing team sports, you need to be able to play with others. I was already someone who had a traditional sports background, but the number of players that stunt the competitive nature of a program due to not knowing how to be teammates is massive. So learn to play with teams, and learn to be a active member who strives to improve with those around them.

Mean & Green Esports: CEG Sits Down and Talks with UNT’s Esports Director and Athletes

By Gaming

Cutting Edge Gamer is proud to announce that we are sponsoring UNT esports. Go Mean Green! To kick off our sponsorship, we’ve interviewed Dylan, the UNT esports coach, along with some of the players about their experience in college esports.

You can keep up to date with the team via their Twitter and view their streams on the UNTEsports Twitch channel.

Interview with UNT Athletic Director, Dylan Wray

Thank you for taking the time to speak with us on your collegiate esports program. How long has your university had a varsity esports program and how long have you been the director of the program?

UNT esports has had a varsity program for 5 years. Just about as long as I’ve been working there!

 

Is it fair to say you are also the program’s coach? Or do you have paid coaches at your school too?

I typically explain my role as an athletic director and that is often the easiest way sum it up given the scope of what we have going on our campus with our competitive side as well as our broadcast and marking side of our operations. UNT has three paid coaches that oversee our competitive teams.

 

How did you get involved with the esports program? Were you already at the university in a different role when you became the director and helped develop the program?

A bit of luck, a vision, and an odd collection of skill sets allowed me to walk into this world when UNT posted a job opening to design and then implement a competitive esport program. I had just moved from Colorado after grad school following my now spouse after she got a job down in DFW and was looking for opportunities when this dream job showed up on my radar. Been here ever since.

Which games do you compete in?

UNT esports competes in Rocket League, Overwatch, League of Legends, and soon Women’s Valorant!

 

How’s the season going by the way?

It’s been going swell! Our Rocket League team has qualified for CRL for 5 years in a row, and while we didn’t make playoffs we have been participating in quite a few leagues this spring to keep us busy. Our League team qualified for playoffs for two years in a row. Most of our teams are now in the trial phase as we scout out new students coming to UNT to prep for Fall 2023. Our marketing team has launched a new twitch podcast called the CHØ Show that goes over the weekly matches, replays, and gets a community leader at UNT to talk about what they do in the campus gaming community!

 

As director, I’m sure recruiting is a big part of what you do as you have so many different games you compete in. I’m sure our audience would want to know what is involved in recruiting. How do you find your athletes and about how many do you recruit per year?

Oh gosh that is the question isn’t it? Our recruits come from a wide verity of sources. Some students are just go getters and email or directly message me on Discord. Others we find from social media like twitter LFT’s (“Looking for Teams”) or Instagram. What’s been really interesting is several recruitment platforms that operate similar to traditional athletics that bring top recruit players to us! I generally have 5-10 openings per year depending on if students are graduating or not.

 

Is there a good high school esports ecosystem that you can draw from? Or do the athletes actively reach out to you with their game play portfolio or do you reach out to them?

Texas esports has grown significantly over the years, it’s been awesome to see various orgs and schools pop up and do cool things in the space. I’d say it’s a mix of us finding students we want to reach out too and students and coaches/recruiters reaching out to us.

 

Is there anything in particular that you look for in their game play?

Our coaches look for several primary factors including mechanics, team communication, and your ability to handle pressure. I look at your GPA, your socials, and how you handle yourself professionally in an interview. It’s one thing to be good at the game, but it’s another thing to be a representative for our institution and what it stands for.

 

Another aspect that I’m sure our audience will be interested to know: Do your athletes receive partial or full scholarships or any other benefits from the university?

Our students receive partial scholarships but keep whatever they win from events and tournaments as a scholarship payout.

 

What are some of the bigger challenges confronting your esports program today? What about esports in general?

It’s a double-edged sword, but the space is developing rapidly and the benchmark for what cut it for a supported program keeps getting pushed by very talented and dedicated people in this industry. It means it keeps folks like me on their toes to make sure I’m still competitive and provide the right amount of support for my students. At the end of the day though, so long as we’re providing opportunities for students to compete and push themselves to learn we’re on the right track.

I also think there’s still a bit of growing pains that separate us from traditional sports. There’s still a fair number of teams that are managed by club programs and that forces developer’s hand in making league structures that don’t often benefit established programs. Advanced scheduling is a rallying cry phrase I’ve heard often in my time with other directors, that’s very needed in this space.

 

That’s about it for our questions and thank you for your time. Final thoughts: Do you have anything else to add that you would like to add?

We really appreciate the support Cutting Edge Gamer has provided UNT Esports and the students in the program! #GMG!

Interview with League of Legends Captain, Sammy (PuertoJew)

Hi there and thank you for taking the time out of your busy school and Esports schedule to talk to us about your collegiate esports experience. What year are you and in which games do you compete?

I am a senior and I compete in league of legends

 

How has the esports athletic experience been so far?

The esports experience is over for me and I can say I had a good time playing competitive esports and found new friends, however would say I am not happy with the results.

 

Be honest: How many hours a week do you say you practice and compete?

When I was still competing I would have team practice 9 hours a week then a match at the end of the week, Solo practice is hard to gauge but I would usually play around 4-6 games of solo q (“solo queue”) every weekday and watch most pro matches so if I had to be honest I would say I would spend roughly 10-12 hours a day looking and refining my league of legends skills and knowledge while I was playing.

 

What are your training methods and how do you get ready for tournaments? Do you study streams of your competition?

My training methods are play a lot of soloq of every champ I think my team will want me to play, when it comes to game days I always listen to a few specific songs to get me into a good mood for the games, and before the games I go in a custom game and don’t leave till I farm 50 cs in a row without missing one. Then the other aspect of my training is watching pro-matches and pro-players to see what they do and what new things they are coming up with through pro builds and stuff like that.

 

When’s the competition season, is it in the spring or fall or both?

The competition season is truly year round for league of legends there is always amateur stuff to play in, however for CLOL in fall there is a pre-season tournament called the fall warm-up and in the spring is where the season takes place from around February-March till you are knocked out.

 

How are you doing so far this year?

The team this year had great growth, we had a top laner who improved tremendously and a mid laner swap to support and learn the role, we had many ups and downs but I am happy with how we grew through the year.

 

Let’s go back to before you started your collegiate athletic career. When did you first start gaming?

I first started gaming from as far back as I can remember, i was told by my parents back when I lived in Puerto Rico I would play on my uncle Nintendo 64 I think, I’m not sure which one it was I must’ve been like 1 or 2.

 

At what point did you realize “hey I can do this in college”?

I realized I could do this in college when I found out they had a team, I had no idea college esports was really an option at UNT.

 

What was the recruiting process like at your university? Did the director reach out to you or did you actively approach them?

The recruiting process for me was I googled UNT esports league of legends and found a reddit post, and I cant remember her name but I asked a mod on the subreddit if I could get a tryout and she said to fill out the form she sent me and I would hear back in march. I then tried out and made the team.

 

Has doing esports changed the way you play games in your free time?

Playing esports only changed how I play league of legends, it made me better at the game and I learned a lot to improve myself in the game. However I still play other games and it never impacted how I played those.

 

That’s about it and let’s wrap it up with one final question: Think back to when you were gaming before college and compare that to what you know now after being a college esports athlete. What words of advice or tips would you give high schoolers to help them land a spot on a collegiate esports team?

I think that every aspiring collegiate esport athlete should have an open mind to learn more about the game and not assume they are the best nor do they know everything. This can apply to life as well but it helps a lot when trying to make it onto a team and to understand why teammates do what they do in game, instead of getting angry with them.

Interview with Rocket League Player, Darryn Salinas

Hi there and thank you for taking the time out of your busy school and esports schedule  to talk to us about your collegiate esports experience. What year are you and in which games do you compete?

Junior and Rocket League

 

How has the esports athletic experience been so far?

Love it. Being able to compete with good friends is so much fun

 

Be honest: How many hours a week do you say you practice and compete?

We have 4 hours of scheduled practice but we also play randomly throughout the week. Competing varies but the weeks that we have tournaments can have days that last multiple hours.

 

What are your training methods and how do you get ready for tournaments? Do you study streams of your competition?

Training involves playing the game on your own and with your team to stay consistent in the game. Tournament preparation is mostly studying our own gameplay rather than our opponent’s gameplay.

 

When’s the competition season, is it in the spring or fall or both?

We compete in both fall and spring.

 

How are you doing so far this year?

Pretty well, we’ve dropped out early in some tournaments but overall we have improved a lot.

 

Let’s go back to before you started your collegiate athletic career. When did you first start gaming?

My dad put me on Halo 1 when I was 2 and I’ve been playing games ever since.

 

At what point did you realize “hey I can do this in college”?

My freshman year of college I found the untrl discord server and the more I played the game the more I realized that I can do this as in school.

 

What was the recruiting process like at your university? Did the director reach out to you or did you actively approach them?

I tried out through the discord server and then met everyone.

 

Has doing esports changed the way you play games in your free time?

Yes, it can sometimes be less fun when you’re playing for improvement instead of for fun but its still really enjoyable.

 

That’s about it and let’s wrap it up with one final question: Think back to when you were gaming before college and compare that to what you know now after being a college esports athlete. What words of advice or tips would you give high schoolers to help them land a spot on a collegiate esports team?

Enjoy the grind or else it becomes a chore and don’t have an ego.

 Is Xbox Game Pass Worth it for PC Only Players?

By Gaming

With the abundance of new games constantly releasing, it can be overwhelming. How will I afford all the games I want to play? What if I regret buying a game? Or maybe you’re looking for a way to test out games before fully committing to paying full price. If you can relate to any of these scenarios, then Xbox’s game pass may be the subscription service for you.

While you may hear ‘Xbox’ and think this doesn’t apply to you, a PC only gamer, you’re in luck! Xbox offers two subscription services for PC players, giving them access to over 400 games to play with more games being added all the time. The two subscriptions we will be going over into this article are the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription and the PC Game Pass subscription. We’ll be answering the hard hitting questions such as “what are these services?” and “how does this service benefit me, a PC gamer?”

PC Game Pass

$9.99/month

  • Unlimited access to over 100 high-quality games on PC
  • New games added all the time
  • Xbox Game Studios titles the day they release
  • Member discounts and deals
  • Includes EA Play

Game Pass Ultimate

$14.99/month

  • Unlimited access to over 100 high-quality games across PC, console, and mobile devices
  • New games added all the time
  • Xbox Game Studios titles the day they release
  • Member discounts and deals
  • Free Perks including in-game content and partner offers
  • Play games on your mobile phone and tablet from the cloud
  • Includes Xbox Live Gold and EA Play
The Game Pass Service

Game Pass is a service started in June 2017 that allowed subscribers access to hundreds of games on the Xbox. Since then, two more tiers for the subscription have been created, the PC Game Pass and the Game Ultimate Pass, which gives PC users unlimited access to this catalog for as long as they have a subscription. Gamers playing on a Macbook, tablet, or smartphone can also access and stream the entire game library through the cloud, so this service can be enjoyed by just about everyone everywhere.

Starting at $10/month for PC Game Pass or $15/month for Game Pass Ultimate, these subscriptions gives you unlimited access to a growing catalogue of over 450 games. These games include popular titles like Minecraft, the Yakuza series, and much more along with tons of indie games and instant access to newly released AAA titles. The game library is constantly being updated, with games rotating in and out of service. Don’t worry though – if a game you’re playing through the service is leaving your save data won’t be deleted and you are able pick up where you left off after buying the game. Members of the service also receive up to a 20% discount on titles that are leaving the rotation as well as up to 10% off related game add-ons, so you can buy your favorite games at a discount.

Members also receive other perks with the service! Microsoft offers the first month of membership for $1 – perfect for those who want to try out the membership without committing – and the benefits just keep coming from there. Members receive discounts and deals on games, perks including in-game content, partner offers, EA Play, and Xbox Live Gold.

EA Play

EA Play provides members with unlimited access to a collection of their most popular titles such as the Sims, Battlefield, Mass Effect, and more. Members receive a 10% discount on all purchases of Electronic Arts digital content, which extends to season passes, points packs, and DLC. Members also get the ability to test out select newly released games for up to 10 hours.

Xbox Live Gold

If you opt for the more expensive option of Game Pass Ultimate, you’ll get Xbox Live Gold included with your subscription. This add-on is important if you want to play online multiplayer games or if you want to play on a Mac or portable device through the cloud.  This add-on also lets you save up to 50% when purchasing games and gives members 2 free games a month.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • The first month of service is only $1
  • Large library of games to choose ones and new titles being added all the time
  • Affordable and depending on what titles you play, cheaper than outright buying games
  • Has a lot of game options for older PC build
  • Game data is saved even if a title is taken out of rotation
  • Good for people who play shorter games, game a ton, or like trying new games

Cons

  • Fewer titles than PS Plus
  • Games do not come with DLC
  • Cloud gaming streaming is limited to 1080p at 60 FPS
  • Titles rotate out of service
  • Not the best for people who don’t spend much time gaming or spend a lot of time on one game
Is it Worth it?

While the value of this service differs from person to person, I think we can safely say that Xbox’s PC Game Pass is more than worth it. At only $10/month, you can download and play an unlimited number of games from their library, get access to special offers, discounts, and services, and get instant access to Xbox Studio titles the day they release. If you want a bang for your buck or just want to try some new games for a month, the PC pass or Game Pass Ultimate is the way to go!

The Ultimate NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 vs NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Comparison

By Gaming

Below is a comparison of the NVIDIA RTX 3090 vs the NVIDIA RTX 4090. Here you can see the huge leaps in computing power between generations. One thing is for sure, these cards just keep getting better! Check out the specs below!

NVIDIA RTX 3090
PU Name GA102
GPU Variant GA102-300-A1
Architecture Ampere
Foundry Samsung
Process Size 8 nm
Transistors 28,300 million
Die Size 628 mm²
Base Clock 1395 MHz
Boost Clock 1695 MHz
Memory Clock 1219 MHz, 19.5 Gbps effective
Slot Width Triple-slot
Length 336 mm
Width 140 mm
Height 61 mm
TDP 350 W
Suggested PSU 750 W
Outputs 1x HDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.4a
Power Connectors 1x 12-pin
Board Number PG132 SKU 10
Release Date Sep 1st, 2020
Availability Sep 24th, 2020
Generation GeForce 30
Predecessor GeForce 20
Successor GeForce 40
Production Active
Launch Price 1,499 USD
Bus Interface PCIe 4.0 x16
Pixel Rate 189.8 GPixel/s
Texture Rate
556.0 GTexel/s
FP16 (half) performance
35.58 TFLOPS (1:1)
FP32 (float) performance
35.58 TFLOPS
FP64 (double) performance
556.0 GFLOPS (1:64)
Memory Size 24 GB
Memory Type GDDR6X
Memory Bus 384 bit
Bandwidth
936.2 GB/s
DirectX
12 Ultimate (12_2)
OpenGL 4.6
OpenCL 3
Vulkan 1.3
CUDA 8.6
Shader Model 6.7
Shading Units 10496
TMUs 328
ROPs 112
SM Count 82
Tensor Cores 328
RT Cores 82
L1 Cache
128 KB (per SM)
L2 Cache 6 MB
NVIDIA RTX 4090
Texture Rate
1,290 GTexel/s
FP16 (half) performance
82.58 TFLOPS (1:1)
FP32 (float) performance
82.58 TFLOPS
FP64 (double) performance
1,290 GFLOPS (1:64)
Memory Size 24 GB
Memory Type GDDR6X
Memory Bus 384 bit
Bandwidth
1,008 GB/s
DirectX
12 Ultimate (12_2)
OpenGL 4.6
OpenCL 3
Vulkan 1.3
CUDA 8.9
Shader Model 6.7
Shading Units 16384
TMUs 512
ROPs 176
SM Count 128
Tensor Cores 512
RT Cores 128
L1 Cache
128 KB (per SM)
L2 Cache 72 MB
GPU Name AD102
GPU Variant AD102-300-A1
Architecture Ada Lovelace
Foundry TSMC
Process Size 4 nm
Transistors 76,300 million
Die Size 608 mm²
Base Clock 2235 MHz
Boost Clock 2520 MHz
Memory Clock 1313 MHz, 21 Gbps effective
Slot Width Triple-slot
Length 304 mm
Width 137 mm
Height 61 mm
TDP 450 W
Suggested PSU 850 W
Outputs 1x HDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.4a
Power Connectors 1x 16-pin
Board Number PG139 SKU 330
Release Date Sep 20th, 2022
Availability Oct 12th, 2022
Generation GeForce 40
Predecessor GeForce 30
Production Active
Launch Price 1,599 USD
Bus Interface PCIe 4.0 x16
Pixel Rate 443.5 GPixel/s

We hope you enjoyed our comparison of the NVIDIA RTX 4090 vs the NVIDIA RTX 3090. More to come soon, let us know what you thought! Thank you!

The Evolution of the NVIDIA GeForce XX70 Series Graphics Cards

By Gaming
Before we begin

Today we’ll be looking into the NVIDIA GeForce xx70 line of graphics cards to see how much they’ve upgraded and improved through the years, as well as the transition from GTX to RTX and the introduction of ray tracing.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070

Graphics Processor
GPU Name: GP104
GPU Variant: GP104-200-A1
Architecture: Pascal
Foundry: TSMC
Process Size: 16 nm
Transistors: 7,200 million
Die Size: 314 mm²

Graphics Card
Release Date: Jun 10th, 2016
Generation: GeForce 10
Predecessor: GeForce 900
Successor: GeForce 20
Production: End-of-life
Launch Price: $379 USD
Bus Interface: PCIe 3.0 x16

Clock Speeds
Base Clock: 1506 MHz
Boost Clock: 1683 MHz
Memory Clock: 2002 MHz, 8 Gbps effective

Memory
Memory Size: 8 GB
Memory Type: GDDR5
Memory Bus: 256 bit
Bandwidth: 256.3 GB/s

Board Design
Slot Width: Dual-slot
Length: 267 mm, 10.5 inches
Width: 112 mm, 4.4 inches
Height: 40 mm, 1.6 inches
TDP: 150 W
Suggested PSU: 450 W
Outputs: 1x DVI, 1x HDMI 2.0, 3x DisplayPort 1.4a
Power Connectors: 1x 8-pin
Board Number: PG411 SKU 20

Graphics Features
DirectX: 12 (12_1)
OpenGL: 4.6
OpenCL: 3.0
Vulkan: 1.3
CUDA: 6.1
Shader Model: 6.4

Render Config
Shading Units: 1920
TMUs: 120
ROPs: 64
SM Count: 15
L1 Cache: 48 KB (per SM)
L2 Cache: 2 MB

Theoretical Performance
Pixel Rate: 107.7 GPixel/s
Texture Rate: 202.0 GTexel/s
FP16 (half) performance: 101.0 GFLOPS (1:64)
FP32 (float) performance: 6.463 TFLOPS
FP64 (double) performance: 202.0 GFLOPS (1:32)

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070

The 20 series is where we see the introduction to RTX. NVIDIA’s transition from GTX to RTX was a huge stepping stone for more realistic graphics as real-time tracing was able to simulate individual rays of light. RTX graphics cards also established Tensor cores which are used to accelerate deep learning which allows users to upscale their resolution without a significant loss of performance.

Graphics Processor
GPU Name: TU106
GPU Variant: TU106-400A-A1
Architecture: Turing
Foundry: TSMC
Process Size: 12 nm
Transistors: 10,800 million
Die Size: 445 mm²

Graphics Card
Release Date: Oct 17th, 2018
Generation: GeForce 20
Predecessor: GeForce 10
Successor: GeForce 30
Production: Active
Launch Price: $499 USD
Bus Interface: PCIe 3.0 x16

Clock Speeds
Base Clock: 1410 MHz
Boost Clock: 1620 MHz
Memory Clock: 1750 MHz, 14 Gbps effective

Memory
Memory Size: 8 GB
Memory Type: GDDR6
Memory Bus: 256 bit
Bandwidth: 448.0 GB/s

Board Design
Slot Width: Dual-slot
Length: 229 mm, 9 inches
Width: 113 mm, 4.4 inches
Height: 35 mm, 1.4 inches
TDP: 175 W
Suggested PSU: 450 W
Outputs: 1x DVI, 1x HDMI 2.0, 2x DisplayPort 1.4a, 1x USB Type-C
Power Connectors: 1x 8-pin
Board Number: PG160 SKU 52

Graphics Features
DirectX: 12 Ultimate (12_2)
OpenGL: 4.6
OpenCL: 3.0
Vulkan: 1.3
CUDA: 7.5
Shader Model: 6.6

Render Config
Shading Units: 2304
TMUs: 144
ROPs: 64
SM Count: 36
Tensor Cores: 288
RT Cores: 36
L1 Cache: 64 KB (per SM)
L2 Cache: 4 MB

Theoretical Performance
Pixel Rate: 103.7 GPixel/s
Texture Rate: 233.3 GTexel/s
FP16 (half) performance: 14.93 TFLOPS (2:1)
FP32 (float) performance: 7.465 TFLOPS
FP64 (double) performance: 233.3 GFLOPS (1:32)

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070

Graphics Processor
GPU Name: GA104
GPU Variant: GA104-300-A1
Architecture: Ampere
Foundry: Samsung
Process Size: 8 nm
Transistors: 17,400 million
Die Size: 392 mm²

Graphics Card
Release Date: Sep 1st, 2020
Availability: Oct 29th, 2020
Generation: GeForce 30
Predecessor: GeForce 20
Successor: GeForce 40
Production: Active
Launch Price: $499 USD
Bus Interface: PCIe 4.0 x16

Clock Speeds
Base Clock: 1500 MHz
Boost Clock: 1725 MHz
Memory Clock: 1750 MHz, 14 Gbps effective

Memory
Memory Size: 8 GB
Memory Type: GDDR6
Memory Bus: 256 bit
Bandwidth: 448.0 GB/s

Board Design
Slot Width: Dual-slot
Length: 242 mm, 9.5 inches
Width: 112 mm, 4.4 inches
TDP: 220 W
Suggested PSU: 550 W
Outputs: 1x HDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.4a
Power Connectors: 1x 12-pin
Board Number: PG142 SKU 10

Graphics Features
DirectX: 12 Ultimate (12_2)
OpenGL: 4.6
OpenCL: 3.0
Vulkan: 1.3
CUDA: 8.6
Shader Model: 6.6

Render Config
Shading Units: 5888
TMUs: 184
ROPs: 96
SM Count: 46
Tensor Cores: 184
RT Cores: 46
L1 Cache: 128 KB (per SM)
L2 Cache: 4 MB

Theoretical Performance
Pixel Rate: 165.6 GPixel/s
Texture Rate: 317.4 GTexel/s
FP16 (half) performance: 20.31 TFLOPS (1:1)
FP32 (float) performance: 20.31 TFLOPS
FP64 (double) performance: 317.4 GFLOPS (1:64)

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070

Graphics Processor
GPU Name: AD104
GPU Variant: AD104
Architecture: Ada Lovelace
Foundry: TSMC
Process Size: 4 nm
Transistors: 35,800 million
Die Size: 295 mm²

Graphics Card
Release Date: 2022
Availability: 2022
Generation: GeForce 40
Predecessor: GeForce 30
Production: Unreleased
Bus Interface: PCIe 4.0 x16

Clock Speeds
Base Clock: 2310 MHz
Boost Clock: 2610 MHz
Memory Clock: 1325 MHz, 21.2 Gbps effective

Memory
Memory Size: 12 GB
Memory Type: GDDR6X
Memory Bus: 192 bit
Bandwidth: 508.8 GB/s

Board Design
Slot Width: Dual-slot
Length: 336 mm, 13.2 inches
Width: 140 mm, 5.5 inches
Height: 61 mm, 2.4 inches
TDP: 285 W
Suggested PSU: 600 W
Outputs: 1x HDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.4a
Power Connectors: 1x 12-pin
Board Number: PG141 SKU 331

Graphics Features
DirectX: 12 Ultimate (12_2)
OpenGL: 4.6
OpenCL: 3.0
Vulkan: 1.3
CUDA: 8.9
Shader Model: 6.6
Render Config
Shading Units: 7680
TMUs: 240
ROPs: 80
SM Count: 60
Tensor Cores: 240
RT Cores: 60
L1 Cache: 128 KB (per SM)
L2 Cache: 48 MB

Theoretical Performance
Pixel Rate: 208.8 GPixel/s
Texture Rate: 626.4 GTexel/s
FP16 (half) performance: 40.09 TFLOPS (1:1)
FP32 (float) performance: 40.09 TFLOPS
FP64 (double) performance: 626.4 GFLOPS (1:64)

To conclude...

The xx70 series of graphics cards have improved quite a bit since their first iteration. They are a good value GPU, providing quality gaming at a reasonable price. If you’re looking for a card that gives you a bang for your buck, the xx70 cards are a good starting point.

2022 Gaming Graphics Cards GPUs with the Absolute Best Value for Money

By Gaming

When shopping for a new gaming GPU, you must consider three things.

  1. What can you afford?
  2. How many monitors do you have?
  3. What is the best value I can get for my money?

Here we are in the middle of 2022 and there are some very good values for money right now.  Why?  First, the crypto mining (Etherium mining and even Bitcoin mining) have slowed down and are no longer really using GPUs any more. This has caused a bit of a glut of SOME graphics cards. Second, there are new cards rumored for 2023, and that also causes this to be a perfect time to score a great deal on a GPU.  Finally, over-ordering in 2021 caused too much inventory on some models.

So, here is our top 3 VALUE for money Graphics Cards of 2022, and why!

 

  1. ABSOLUTE BEST VALUE for 2022: XFX RX 6600 XT Speedster Qick 308 Black Gaming
https://cuttingedgegamer.com/product/xfx-rx-6600-xt-speedster-qick-308-black-gaming/?mc_cid=7ca9a30378&mc_eid=5898032c0e

This card is equal or better than comparable Nvidia cards at this price point.  At just $39.99/month, this is an absolute bargain.  The best part about getting this card from Cutting Edge Gamer (as opposed to buying it outright) is that IF and WHEN new cards come out, or if your budgets change, you can Infinite Upgrade™ FOR FREE to a new card at any time.

So what makes this card so special?

  1. 1080P with all settings on at max frame-rates.  Up to 7680×4320 at very playable frame-rates (for those of you with 4K monitors, this one does 4K no problem!)
  2. 3x DISPLAYPORT 1.4 ports and 1 HDMI 2.1 port (supporting 4 monitors or 3+VR Rig)
  3. 2607Mhz GDDR6 and HDCP ß fancy words for fast!

How does it compare?

According to these reviews, it is absolutely the best bang for the buck in this price range:

 

https://www.gpu-monkey.com/en/compare_gpu-xfx_speedster_qick308_radeon_rx_6600_xt_black_gaming-vs-xfx_speedster_swft_210_amd_radeon_rx_6600_xt_core_gaming

https://www.pcworld.com/article/394986/xfx-speedster-merc-308-radeon-rx-6600-xt-review.html

https://www.techpowerup.com/gpu-specs/xfx-speedster-qick-308-rx-6600-xt.b9183

AND it outperforms many similarly priced Nvidia cards including:

NVIDIA 2060 series

NVIDIA 3050 series

  • SECOND BEST VALUE for 2022: EVGA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti XC Gaming LHR

https://cuttingedgegamer.com/product/evga-rtx-3060-ti-xc-gaming-lhr/

This card is more expensive than the XFX RX 6600 XT Speedster Quick 308 mentioned above, but, it also performs SLIGHTLY better.  When we say slightly, we mean ever so slightly and only at resolutions above 1080P.  (like 2K or 4K monitors).

However, it is nearly 2x the price/cost… so although it is good value for money, it’s not quite as good as our number 1 pick.

NOTE: this is the 3060 series card, so it really should outperform the 2060 and 3050 cards which the XFX RX 6600 XT competes with.

  • THIRD BEST VALUE for 2022: EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti XC3 ULTRA GAMING

https://cuttingedgegamer.com/product/evga-rtx-3080-ti-xc3-ultra-gaming/

This card is also more expensive than the XFX RX 6600 XT Speedster Quick 308 mentioned above, but, it also absolutely slays at 4K resolutions.  The reason for that is 12GB of Ram.  Bear in mind, that RAM is only running at 1725Mhz (which is lower than the XFX RX 6600 XT, our number 1 pick)… that means at lower resolutions, you may even see slightly better performance out of your XFX RX 6600 XT.

However, it is nearly 5x the price/cost… so although it is good value for money, it’s not nearly as good as our number 1 pick.  Unless you have a 4K+ monitor, you really don’t need this.

NOTE: this is the 3080 series card, so of course it will outperform the XFX RX 6600 XT Speedster Quick 308 and the EVGA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti XC Gaming LHR.   However, this article was about value for money, not just “having the best”.  If you do want the best GPU money can buy, this RTX 3080 Ti is indeed one of them!

RTX 3090 Comparison: MSI GeForce RTX 3090 GAMING X TRIO 24G vs EVGA GeForce RTX 3090 FTW3 ULTRA GAMING vs ASUS GeForce RTX 3090 ROG STRIX White Edition

By Gaming
Time to Take a Look:

Below you will see five of the absolute best 3090 cards available on the market! They all boast top of the line performance, excellent design and cooling. Check out the ASUS GeForce RTX 3090 ROG STRIX White Edition which is a particular fan favorite around here!

MSI GeForce RTX 3090 GAMING X TRIO 24G

Graphics Processor
GPU Name – GA102
GPU Variant – GA102-300-A1
Architecture – Ampere
Foundry – Samsung
Process Size – 8 nm
Transistors- 28,300 million
Die Size – 628 mm²

Graphics Card
Release Date – Sep 1st, 2020
Availability – Sep 24th, 2020
Generation – GeForce 30
Predecessor – GeForce 20
Successor – GeForce 40
Production – Active
Bus Interface- PCIe 4.0 x16

Clock Speeds
Base Clock – 1395 MHz
Boost Clock – 1785 MHz (+5%)
Memory Clock – 1219 MHz, 19.5 Gbps effective

Memory
Memory Size – 24 GB
Memory Type – GDDR6X
Memory Bus – 384 bit
Bandwidth – 936.2 GB/s

Board Design
Slot Width – Triple-slot
Length – 335 mm, 13.2 inches
Width – 140 mm, 5.5 inches
Height – 56 mm, 2.2 inches
TDP – 350 W
Suggested PSU – 750 W
Outputs – 1x HDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.4a
Power Connectors – 3x 8-pin
Idle Fan Stop – Yes
Board Number – PG132 SKU 10

Graphics Features
DirectX – 12 Ultimate (12_2)
OpenGL – 4.6
OpenCL – 3.0
Vulkan – 1.3
CUDA – 8.6
Shader Model – 6.6

Render Config
Shading Units – 10496
TMUs – 328
ROPs – 112
SM Count – 82
Tensor Cores – 328
RT Cores – 82
L1 Cache – 128 KB (per SM)
L2 Cache – 6 MB

Theoretical Performance
Pixel Rate – 199.9 GPixel/s
Texture Rate – 585.5 GTexel/s
FP16 (half) performance- 37.47 TFLOPS (1:1)
FP32 (float) performance – 37.47 TFLOPS
FP64 (double) performance – 585.5 GFLOPS (1:64)

Graphics Features
DirectX – 12 Ultimate (12_2)
OpenGL – 4.6
OpenCL – 3.0
Vulkan – 1.3
CUDA – 8.6
Shader Model – 6.6

Render Config
Shading Units – 10496
TMUs – 328
ROPs – 112
SM Count – 82
Tensor Cores – 328
RT Cores – 82
L1 Cache – 128 KB (per SM)
L2 Cache – 6 MB

Theoretical Performance
Pixel Rate – 189.8 GPixel/s
Texture Rate – 556.0 GTexel/s
FP16 (half) performance – 35.58 TFLOPS (1:1)
FP32 (float) performance – 35.58 TFLOPS
FP64 (double) performance – 556.0 GFLOPS (1:64)

MSI GeForce RTX 3090 VENTUS 3X 24G OC

Graphics Processor
GPU Name – GA102
GPU Variant – GA102-300-A1
Architecture – Ampere
Foundry – Samsung
Process Size – 8 nm
Transistors – 28,300 million
Die Size – 628 mm²

Graphics Card
Release Date – Sep 1st, 2020
Availability – Sep 24th, 2020
Generation – GeForce 30
Predecessor – GeForce 20
Successor – GeForce 40
Production – Active
Bus Interface – PCIe 4.0 x16

Clock Speeds
Base Clock – 1395 MHz
Boost Clock – 1695 MHz
Memory Clock – 1219 MHz, 19.5 Gbps effective

Memory
Memory Size – 24 GB
Memory Type – GDDR6X
Memory Bus – 384 bit
Bandwidth – 936.2 GB/s

Board Design
Slot Width – Triple-slot
Length – 305 mm, 12 inches
Width – 120 mm, 4.7 inches
Height – 57 mm, 2.2 inches
TDP – 350 W
Suggested PSU – 750 W
Outputs – 1x HDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.4a
Power Connectors – 2x 8-pin
Board Number – PG132 SKU 10

EVGA GeForce RTX 3090 FTW3 ULTRA GAMING

Graphics Processor
GPU Name – GA102
GPU Variant – GA102-300-A1
Architecture – Ampere
Foundry – Samsung
Process Size – 8 nm
Transistors – 28,300 million
Die Size – 628 mm²

Graphics Card
Release Date – Sep 1st, 2020
Availability – Sep 24th, 2020
Generation – GeForce 30
Predecessor – GeForce 20
Successor – GeForce 40
Production – Active
Bus Interface – PCIe 4.0 x16

Clock Speeds
Base Clock – 1395 MHz
Boost Clock – 1800 MHz (+6%)
Memory Clock – 1219 MHz, 19.5 Gbps effective

Memory
Memory Size – 24 GB
Memory Type – GDDR6X
Memory Bus – 384 bit
Bandwidth – 936.2 GB/s

Board Design
Slot Width – Triple-slot
Length – 300 mm, 11.8 inches
Width – 137 mm, 5.4 inches
TDP – 350 W
Suggested PSU – 750 W
Outputs – 1x HDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.4a
Power Connectors – 3x 8-pin
Board Number – PG132 SKU 10

Graphics Features
DirectX – 12 Ultimate (12_2)
OpenGL – 4.6
OpenCL – 3.0
Vulkan – 1.3
CUDA – 8.6
Shader Model – 6.6

Render Config
Shading Units – 10496
TMUs – 328
ROPs – 112
SM Count – 82
Tensor Cores – 328
RT Cores – 82
L1 Cache – 128 KB (per SM)
L2 Cache – 6 MB

Theoretical Performance
Pixel Rate – 201.6 GPixel/s
Texture Rate – 590.4 GTexel/s
FP16 (half) performance – 37.79 TFLOPS (1:1)
FP32 (float) performance – 37.79 TFLOPS
FP64 (double) performance – 590.4 GFLOPS (1:64)

Graphics Features
DirectX – 12 Ultimate (12_2)
OpenGL – 4.6
OpenCL – 3.0
Vulkan – 1.3
CUDA – 8.6
Shader Model – 6.6

Render Config
Shading Units – 10496
TMUs – 328
ROPs – 112
SM Count – 82
Tensor Cores – 328
RT Cores – 82
L1 Cache – 128 KB (per SM)
L2 Cache – 6 MB

Theoretical Performance
Pixel Rate – 193.2 GPixel/s
Texture Rate – 565.8 GTexel/s
FP16 (half) performance – 36.21 TFLOPS (1:1)
FP32 (float) performance – 36.21 TFLOPS
FP64 (double) performance – 565.8 GFLOPS (1:64)

EVGA GeForce RTX 3090 XC3 ULTRA GAMING

Graphics Processor
GPU Name – GA102
GPU Variant – GA102-300-A1
Architecture – Ampere
Foundry – Samsung
Process Size – 8 nm
Transistors – 28,300 million
Die Size – 628 mm²

Graphics Card
Release Date – Sep 1st, 2020
Availability – Sep 24th, 2020
Generation – GeForce 30
Predecessor – GeForce 20
Successor – GeForce 40
Production – Active
Bus Interface – PCIe 4.0 x16

Clock Speeds
Base Clock – 1395 MHz
Boost Clock – 1725 MHz (+2%)
Memory Clock 1219 MHz, 19.5 Gbps effective

Memory
Memory Size – 24 GB
Memory Type – GDDR6X
Memory Bus – 384 bit
Bandwidth – 936.2 GB/s

Board Design
Slot Width – Dual-slot
Length – 285 mm, 11.2 inches
Width – 111 mm, 4.4 inches
TDP – 350 W
Suggested PSU – 750 W
Outputs – 1x HDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.4a
Power Connectors – 2x 8-pin
Board Number – PG132 SKU 10

ASUS GeForce RTX 3090 ROG STRIX White Edition

Graphics Processor
GPU Name – GA102
GPU Variant – GA102-300-A1
Architecture – Ampere
Foundry – Samsung
Process Size – 8 nm
Transistors – 28,300 million
Die Size – 628 mm²

Graphics Card
Release Date – Sep 1st, 2020
Availability – Sep 24th, 2020
Generation – GeForce 30
Predecessor – GeForce 20
Successor – GeForce 40
Production – Active
Bus Interface – PCIe 4.0 x16

Clock Speeds
Base Clock – 1395 MHz
Boost Clock – 1695 MHz
Memory Clock – 1219 MHz, 19.5 Gbps effective

Memory
Memory Size – 24 GB
Memory Type – GDDR6X
Memory Bus – 384 bit
Bandwidth – 936.2 GB/s

Board Design
Slot Width – Triple-slot
Length – 319 mm, 12.6 inches
Width – 140 mm, 5.5 inches
Height – 58 mm, 2.3 inches
TDP – 350 W
Suggested PSU – 750 W
Outputs – 2x HDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.4a
Power Connectors – 3x 8-pin
Idle Fan Stop – Yes
Board Number – PG132 SKU 10

Graphics Features
DirectX – 12 Ultimate (12_2)
OpenGL – 4.6
OpenCL – 3.0
Vulkan – 1.3
CUDA – 8.6
Shader Model – 6.6

Render Config
Shading Units – 10496
TMUs – 328
ROPs – 112
SM Count – 82
Tensor Cores – 328
RT Cores – 82
L1 Cache – 128 KB (per SM)
L2 Cache – 6 MB

Theoretical Performance
Pixel Rate – 189.8 GPixel/s
Texture Rate – 556.0 GTexel/s
FP16 (half) performance – 35.58 TFLOPS (1:1)
FP32 (float) performance – 35.58 TFLOPS
FP64 (double) performance – 556.0 GFLOPS (1:64)

Those are the specifications for all of these cards. They are top of the line and push out performance never seen before. You could not go wrong with any of these cards. If you like the aesthetics and colors you have to go with one of the MSI or the Asus parts. All the design elements they put in with the coloring and RGB is really top of the line and looks amazing! If you are just looking for next level performance in a sleek design the EVGA cards are bangers too! Grab one from us today and get your game on!

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