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Microsoft’s Xbox Series X vs PC

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Introduction

With Microsoft announcing its next-gen follow-up the popular Xbox One series consoles, the Xbox Series X, gamers around the world have begun to speculate about what kind of performance the console will be able to achieve and what the hardware is that will achieve it. Recently, Microsoft announced a preliminary list of specifications for the new console with more details planned to be revealed originally at this year’s E3 gaming convention. Now with E3’s cancellation they may decide to broadcast them independently elsewhere, regardless we will let you know when they release more information.

In this article, we will discuss the level of performance you should expect to get out of the Xbox Series X based on the released specifications and determine how it will stack up against the most powerful PC Gaming components currently available.

RDNA-2: Architecture Overview

Microsoft revealed that the new Xbox Series X will include a new Navi GPU based on AMD’s RDNA-2 architecture. Some of you may recognize the RDNA architecture as it was introduced with the first wave of new Navi GPUs that included popular graphics cards like the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT 50th Anniversary (100-438336) and the SAPPHIRE RX 5700 XT NITRO+ (11293-03-40G). Those cards introduced many firsts to the GPU world such as PCI Express 4.0 compatibility, and they also were the first line of AMD GPUs to utilize Radeon’s new RDNA architecture. The architecture was engineered to greatly enhance features like Radeon Image Sharpening, FidelityFX, and VR technologies. While seen as a huge step forward, RDNA lacked the real-time ray tracing capabilities of NVIDIA’s RTX series graphic cards. RDNA-2, the follow-up to the first RDNA architecture, is what the new Xbox Series X will run on. Described by AMD as a “refresh” of the RDNA-1 architecture, RDNA-2 boasts major improvements over its predecessor. According to AMD, RDNA-2 will provide a “50% performance-per-watt improvement over RDNA 1 ” meaning faster clock speeds and instructions per clock. Additionally, the new architecture will include real-time hardware accelerated ray tracing RDNA-1 lacked, and will also provide variable rate shading. It has been speculated that RDNA-2 will serve as the architecture for AMD’s next line of GPUs of which there is a GPU rumored to surpass the performance of the RTX 2080 Ti by 30%.

Hardware Specifications

The initial specifications released by Microsoft indicate that the new Xbox Series X will pack a serious performance punch. Listed below are the current set of specifications that have been confirmed by Microsoft:

  • Processor – AMD CPU based on Zen-2 (8x @ 3.6 GHz)
  • Graphics – Custom AMD Navi-based GPU (12 Teraflops)
  • Memory – 16GB GDDR6 RAM
  • Storage – NVMe SSD
  • Video Output – 8k, 4K
  • Ports – 3x USB-A, HDMI 2.1

While there is little in the way of specifics at the moment, we do know that the Xbox Series X will include a custom 8-core AMD CPU based on the Zen-2 and RDNA-2 architecture offer 12 teraflops of GPU performance. For those who are unaware, teraflops are a unit of computing speed used for GPUs. To put this into perspective, the NVIDIA RTX 2080 SUPER GPU has approximately 11 teraflops while the NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti has 13.5 teraflops. The new Xbox falls right in between those two cards and runs just behind the 2080 Ti. The new console also boasts 16GB of GDDR6 of RAM and Microsoft claims that the card will be capable of outputting 8k, 4k, and “support for up to 120 fps”. While vague, it’s certain that the new Xbox will be capable of outputting impressive video quality.

Closing Thoughts

There are still many questions about Microsoft’s new console:

Q: When is the console going to be released?

Microsoft still has not given an exact release date of when the new console will be released but some speculated that an announcement was coming at this year’s E3 prior to its cancellation. Now we will have to wait and see instead!

Q: How hefty will the price tag be?

There is no information currently about what the new system will cost you if you want to get your hands on it. However, even if the console were to retail for $1,000 (approximately double that of the Xbox One) it would still be substantially cheaper than a PC build of the highest specifications – albeit less powerful.

Despite these questions, one thing for certain is that the system is shaping up to be a game changer in the home entertainment console industry.

Microsoft’s Xbox Series X vs PC

| Gaming | No Comments
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The Ultimate Water Cooled RTX 2080 SUPER Comparison

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CEG’s Graphics Card RGB Gallery

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The Most Popular Streamers Around the Globe

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The Ultimate Water Cooled RTX 2080 SUPER Comparison

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Comparison of the Best RTX 2080 SUPER Graphics Cards

Here is a comparison of the best RTX 2080 SUPER cards available on the market. We know you have been dying to know which models of the RTX 2080 SUPER perform and look the best and we are here to bring you that data. We are comparing top end models from three major aftermarket manufacturers you know well EVGA, GIGABYTE, and MSI. Now let’s get right into it!

EVGA RTX 2080 SUPER FTW3 ULTRA HYBRID - P/N: 08G-P4-3288-KR

To the right you will see the EVGA RTX 2080 SUPER FTW3 ULTRA HYBRID. It is EVGA’s top of the line hybrid water cooled RTX 2080 SUPER GPU capable of gaming at the highest level. It looks sleek, with its silver and black design and it performs even better. The GeForce RTX graphics card utilizes the new Turing GPU bringing untold computational power to consumers. This card boasts six times faster performance that the previous generation, with two excellent new features: real-time ray tracing in games and powerful AI enhanced graphics. Not to mention the ice cold cooling provided by the EVGA Hybrid Cooling system. It provides an all in one, completely self-contained cooling loop that requires no filling, no custom tubing or maintenance. With its custom cooling and one of the best GPU’s available right now you can hardly do better that the EVGA RTX 2080 SUPER FTW3 Ultra Hybrid.

GIGABYTE RTX 2080 SUPER AORUS WATERFORCE - P/N: GV-N208SAORUS W-8GC

The GIGABYTE RTX 2080 SUPER AORUS WATERFORCE might just be better though. This card also uses the newest RTX 2080 SUPER GPU so it also has access to real-time ray tracing and AI enhanced graphics. However they use there own cooling loop system, AORUS provides an all-around cooling solution for all its important components, ensuring a stable overclock and longer card life span. Additionally this card boasts the highest clock speed of the three, coming in at 1860 MHz compared to the 1845MHz the other two have. One more cool unique fixture of this model is it has two more HDMI outputs taking it to seven total video outputs. Also this card takes inspiration for its design from the wings of the powerful falcon. It has a multi-layered design featuring striking contours, resembling a falcon’s wings. The coolest feature though has got to be the AORUS RGB FUSION 2.0 software that allows for some crazy cool lighting affects. The software allows for over 16.7 million customizable colors and effects to make your rig look amazing!

MSI RTX 2080 SUPER SEA HAWK X - P/N: RTX 2080 SUPER SEA HAWK X

We just received these cards for the first time and we are extremely excited to see how you guys like them. Once again powered by the RTX 2080 SUPER GPU this card also boasts AI enhanced graphics, and real-time ray tracing. This card also uses its own self contained cooling loop, with its own silent 120MM TORX Fan and an aluminum heat radiator that is easy to install, reduces airflow demand and looks excellent. The MSI RTX 2080 SUPER SEA HAWK X uses NVIDIA G-SYNC for the fastest, smoothest and best game play you can possibly get by eliminating any lag. Additionally they have their own excellent MSI custom software called Dragon Center. It is a consolidation of all their software into one unified suite, which will eventually allow you to control your MSI Desktop, Graphics card, and Motherboard all from one place if your build is all MSI.

Conclusion

These cards are the best you can get when talking about any RTX 2080 SUPER chip set with its own cooling loop. They all perform excellently and provide top of the line graphics which can only be beat by an RTX 2080 Ti. Picking the best card at this level is hard as you are really parsing hairs but our favorite card has got to be the GIGABYTE AORUS. Their AORUS software and RGB lighting takes this card to the next level, as it performs slightly better than the others and looks amazing while doing so. Please let us know which one you’d choose in the comment section below!

CEG’s Graphics Card RGB Gallery

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When selecting a graphics card, gamers consider many things – price, performance, size, fit – and while it’s been meme’d to death, the finishing touch which RGB lighting provides is important to them. The RGB illumination that pulses from your graphics card serves as the bow that ties your PC build’s aesthetic together. In this article we’ll take a look at some of our favorite RGB displays from cards that we offer in our Graphics Card Leasing Program.

SAPPHIRE RX 5700 XT NITRO+ - PN: 11293-03-40G

In our previous article discussing the different AMD RX 5700 XT models we raved about the performance of the SAPPHIRE RX 5700 XT NITRO+ with it’s staggering 2035 MHz boost clock speed. The NITRO+ also boasts an impressive ARGB (alpha, red, green, blue) display, which you can customize with SAPPHIRE’s NITRO Glow software designed to change lighting displays for a more personalized gaming experience. The NITRO+ also comes equipped with ARGB fans (backlit RGB underneath the fans) that create a swirl effect when all three fans are engaged. The SAPPHIRE RX 5700 XT NITRO+ has excellent performance for its low price-point ($449.99) and the display pushes the card over the top.

GIGABYTE RTX 2080 Ti AORUS XTREME WATERFORCE - PN: GV-N208TAORUSX W-11GC

The first RTX 2080 Ti card from GIGABYTE that we have carried is the GIGABYTE RTX 2080 Ti AORUS XTREME WATERFORCE. The AORUS card boasts a radiator with two 120MM RGB fans that provide advanced cooling to the powerful GPU. Check out GIGABYTE’s RGB Fusion 2.0 software utilizing an integrated intuitive user interface that provides personalized lighting effect customization in tandem with the RGB lighting on the fans. In addition, RGB Fusion 2.0 features a “gaming mode” which syncs the lighting effects with a certain selection of games to create an even more immersive gaming experience. The end result is this great looking, better performing graphics card!

GIGABYTE RTX 2060 SUPER AORUS - PN: GV-N206SAORUS-8GC

GIGABYTE smashed it out of the park with the RTX series GPUs when it comes to RGB, and our next entry is also from GIGABYTE: the GIGABYTE RTX 2060 SUPER AORUS. The card also uses RGB Fusion 2.0 and features a three fan design that utilizes GIGABYTE’s alternate spinning technology. The fans feature a truly unique tri-color RGB design that allows for multi-color lighting on each fan simultaneously. This design in conjunction with the alternate spin technology combine to create a cool warp-like effect.

MSI RTX 2080 Ti LIGHTNING Z - PN: RTX 2080 Ti LIGHTNING Z

The last card on the list – and my personal favorite – is the MSI RTX 2080 Ti LIGHTNING Z. Using the MSI Dragon Center software, the LIGHTNING Z boasts a plethora of innovative lighting features. MSI created dazzling RGB lighting effects that have endless combinations, and also included popular preset effects like “color fusion”, “lightning strike”, and “magic”. Another awesome feature is the OLED panel that sits on the top of the card. The screen allows for customizable animations that work in tandem with the RGB lighting display. Animations include displays that show GPU temperature, memory usage, fan speed and more. The LIGHTNING Z features a backlit RGB design that rests behind the fans similar to the GIGABYTE AORUS card that we discussed earlier.

Microsoft’s Xbox Series X vs PC

| Gaming | No Comments
With Microsoft announcing its next-gen follow-up the popular Xbox One series consoles, the Xbox Series X, gamers around the world have begun to speculate about what kind of performance the…

The Ultimate Water Cooled RTX 2080 SUPER Comparison

| Gaming, Graphics Card Reviews | No Comments
Here is a comparison of the best RTX 2080 SUPER cards available on the market. We know you have been dying to know which models of the RTX 2080 SUPER…

CEG’s Graphics Card RGB Gallery

| Gaming | No Comments
When selecting a graphics card, gamers consider many things - price, performance, size, fit - and while it's been meme'd to death, the finishing touch which RGB lighting provides is…

The Most Popular Streamers Around the Globe

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Starting in the mid-2010's, streaming has quickly become one of the largest and fastest growing new forms of entertainment. What exactly is video game streaming? It is when people broadcast…

The Most Popular Streamers Around the Globe

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Starting in the mid-2010’s, streaming has quickly become one of the largest and fastest growing new forms of entertainment. What exactly is video game streaming? It is when people broadcast themselves playing video games with commentary, in either pre-recorded or live streams online. On streaming platforms like Mixer, Twitch, YouTube Gaming etc. you can see how the top players play and have some insight into their thoughts. As streaming has become more popular the platforms for viewers have grown, Twitch itself has more traffic than Netflix and HBO’s online streaming service pulling in 185 million viewers, compared to HBO’s 130 million and Netflix’s 93 million in 2016. With all these viewers top streamers like Ninja, Tfue and Shroud are able to generate large amounts of influence and money. Now let’s take a look at what they do to generate their viewership and why these particular streamers are so popular.

Ninja

Richard Tyler Blevins aka Ninja is one of the streamers you may have heard of before, and for good reason. His YouTube account has over 22.2 million subscribers as of December 2019, and he has been streaming since 2011 compiling around two billion total views as of December 2019.

Ninja began his career as a professional Halo 3 player in 2009, he played for several organisations before eventually joining Luminosity Gaming in 2017. That year Ninja started to rise to fame with his win at the PUBG Gamescom Invitational Squads. After that win he began streaming Fornite regularly, and his timing could not have been better as Fortnite took off that year. So much so that by September 2017 he had over half a million followers and six months after that he had more than two million. By March 2018 he set the Twitch record for the largest concurrent audience on an individual stream (outside of tournament events) at 635,000 viewers, a record which did not last as he broke it again a month later with 667,000 viewers during his event Ninja Vegas 2018.  2018 continued to be a great year for Ninja as he was the first Esports player featured on the cover of ESPN Magazine, announced a partnership with Red Bull, and released his own record. Additionally he was in the NFL’s “The 100-Year Game”  ad which aired during Super Bowl LIII this year.

Along with all those accolades Blevins is making quite a career out of streaming. He was paid a reported $1 million to promote EA’s Apex Legends on his Twitch and Twitter accounts and he earns over $500,000 a month streaming Fortnite.

While he made a killing on Twitch, he decided to switch to Microsoft’s streaming platform Mixer as of August 1st, 2019. He did this as he felt Twitch was limiting his ability to grow his brand outside of video games. For instance he released a book in August called Get Good: My Ultimate Guide To Gaming published by Penguin Random House. He also was briefly a member of The Masked Singer  on Fox as his wife is a fan of the show.

After all of his streaming success he has also done some quality fundraising for charity. In February 2018, he raised over $110,000 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Then during the first annual Fortnite Battle Royale Esports event he gave away $50,000 in prize money, with $2,500 going to the Alzheimer’s Association. The charitable works roll on as in April 2018 he took part in the #Clips4Kids event, helping to raide over $340,000 for the charity. Additionally his team won the Fortnite Pro-Am event, winning the $1 million prize for the charity of their choice.

Turner Tenney aka Tfue is another Twitch streamer and YouTuber who originally began streaming shooting games like Destiny and Call of Duty. Like many other streamers he switched to battle royale style titles such as H1Z1, PUBG and eventually landed on Fortnite as the game blew up in popularity. Lately his stream became incredibly popular, rivaling “Ninja”, as he boasts over 7.3 million followers on Twitch. He is a member of FaZe Clan since April 2018 and competed in Epic Games’ Summer Skirmish that same year.

While Ninja steered clear of any big controversies, Tfue’s career is littered with them. He was banned from Twitch in May 2018 for a month, after calling another player a “coon”. He did downplay the incident, claiming that the player was “playing like a snake, like a raccoon” and saying he “didn’t mean to say [the slur] in a racist way,”. He then went on to receive an in game ban from Fortnite because he selling accounts with rare skins, encouraging people to DM him on twitter to buy them. This is a direct violation of Fortnite’s End User License Agreement and resulted in the ban. Without seemingly learning anything Tfue was then banned again on August 23rd for unrevealed reasons. His brother claiming his chatroom turned toxic against another streamer, and his father saying he was banned for uttering a banned word on twitch. Others speculate he targeted a smaller streamer. According to fellow streamer Dextro he was banned for saying “I have AIDS” on stream.

Additionally during this time his YouTube account was criminally hacked around August 23rd 2018. His brother claiming “It’s been six days since his channel was deleted and it still has not been recovered, which completely and utterly blows my mind,”. Eventually his account was returned and on September 6th, 2018 his Twitch and YouTube accounts were reactivated. Tfue has not revealed why he was banned only stating “14 days, I got banned on Twitch for just some stupid, stupid stuff that I did’ ‘It wasn’t even bad, I honestly don’t even wanna get into it because it’s just so dumb.” Guess we’ll just have to wait and see if anymore is revealed about his suspension, for now we wish him the best of luck staying and hope he is able to remain streaming for years to come. Hopefully he can turn his image around and even contribute to charity using a similar model to “Ninja”.

Tfue
Shroud

Michael Grzesiek aka “Shroud” is a Canadian professional streamer. He began his career as a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) player before transitioning to streaming full time.

Prior to streaming he took first in all these events:

ESL ESEA Pro League Season 1 – North America 2015

iBUYPOWER Cup – 2015

ESL Pro League Season 4 – Finals 2016

Americas Minor Championship – Kraków 2017

All of those wins helped him build a viewer base and transition to streaming full time as people want to see the best of the best play. He is now famous for playing PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Apex Legends, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 which he streamed on Twitch. He has streamed over 6,000 hours on Twitch with a reach of over 345 million total views. Recently in October 2019 he followed Ninja’s lead and left Twitch for Mixer, most likely for a large pile of cash as his YouTube channel has over 5.3 million subscribers.

As professional streamers become bigger stars it is interesting to see how video games are influencing culture worldwide. Stars like Ninja, Tfue, and Shroud are ambassadors for Esports now and will likely have a large impact on the future of gaming. They can use their influence to create charities and help the world if they manage to stay out of trouble. But most importantly they are here to entertain us and we hope they continue to do so for as long as they choose too.

What AMD RX 5700 XT GPU is Right For You?

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We recently started carrying AMD’s new RX 5700 XT graphics cards and they’ve proven to be extremely popular among the Cutting Edge Gamer community. There are several different versions of the RX 5700 XT, and in this post we will explore the similarities and differences between them in an effort to help those of you readers who are trying to decide which of the RX 5700 XT cards is the right fit for you to lease or purchase.

XFX RX 5700 XT THICC II

The most recent addition to our graphics card inventory, the XFX RX 5700 XT THICC II, has earned its place in our GPU lineup. The THICC II boasts a sleek black finish and a dual fan configuration built upon XFX’s acclaimed Ghost Thermal 2.0 design. This design utilizes a 90% larger heat-sink which reduces noise by 35% (fans utilize idle-stop functionality, meaning fans won’t start spinning until the GPU is placed under a heavy load) while also keeping temperature yields low. AMD’s RX 5700 XT GPUs support the PCIe 4.0 interface, and the THICC II follows suit (note that PCIe 4.0 is currently only compatible with a Ryzen 3000 CPU and x570 motherboard). The THICC II utilizes the RDNA architecture that powers AMD’s 7nm GPUs delivering 1.25 performance per clock. The GPU also has 8GB of GDDR6 memory which allows for fast speeds and exceptional 1440p performance.

Performance-wise, the THICC II exceeds its NVIDIA counterpart (the RTX 2060 SUPER) in every way. In fact, the THICC II reaches frame rates that are close to even the RTX 2070 SUPER. The THICC II has a base clock of 1605 MHz and a boost clock of 1905 MHz. Currently, the XFX RX 5700 XT THICC II is available on our website for $50.99/month under our lease-to-own program, and also retails in most places for around $440.

The SAPPHIRE RX 5700 XT PULSE & the SAPPHIRE RX 5700 XT NITRO+

The SAPPHIRE RX 5700 XT PULSE and the SAPPHIRE RX 5700 XT NITRO+ serve as our first batch of RX 5700 XT GPUs made by SAPPHIRE. Both video cards provide great PC gaming performance at a low cost with each having distinct features that set them apart.

SAPPHIRE RX 5700 XT PULSE

The SAPPHIRE RX 5700 XT PULSE comes in a black/red/white color scheme which has a very different look from past SAPPHIRE cards. Like the XFX RX 5700 XT THICC II, the PULSE utilizes a 2-fan design. SAPPHIRE’s Dual-X cooling technology keeps the GPU, memory, and VRM components cool under heavy loads while keeping noise levels low. The PULSE features the new PCIe 4.0 interface and has 8GB of GDDR6 memory. Both the base clock (1670 MHz) and boost clock (1925 MHz) are faster for the PULSE when compared to the THICC II. The PULSE is available for lease on our website for $50.99/month and retails for $420-$430.

SAPPHIRE RX 5700 XT NITRO+

The SAPPHIRE RX 5700 XT NITRO+, the first 3-fan RX 5700 XT graphics card that we’ve carried thus far, is quite different from its other 5700 XT peers. The NITRO+ boasts all of the same game-changing features that the aforementioned RX 5700 XT cards have: PCIe 4.0, 7nm manufacturing process, and AMD’s RDNA architecture, but that’s where the similarities end. The NITRO+ has a much higher base clock (1770 MHz) than the THICC II and the PULSE, and its boost clock can reach up to 2010 MHz! To put that into perspective, most of NVIDIA’s 2080 SUPER cards have boost clock speeds that top out around 1900 MHz. The NITRO+’s lightning clock speed is possible thanks to SAPPHIRE’s Trixx Boost software. By slightly lowering resolution, Trixx Boost bumps up SAPPHIRE’s already impressive overclock speeds to unprecedented levels never before seen from AMD cards. That takes us to the best part about the NITRO+, the price. Gamers can get their hands on a NITRO+ for ~$460 or lease one from us for $53.99/month! In my opinion, the SAPPHIRE RX 5700 XT NITRO+ is the best 5700 XT video card, and one of the best GPUs in general, that money can buy.

MSI RX 5700 XT MECH OC & the MSI RX 5700 XT EVOKE OC
MSI RX 5700 XT MECH OC

The first batch of MSI RX 5700 XT cards that we’ve made available are the MSI RX 5700 XT EVOKE OC & the MSI RX 5700 XT MECH OC. Both of the cards have a dual fan design with two distinct aesthetics. The MECH features the TORX Fan 3.0 design which has reduced GPU temperatures by 11%. The MECH has a base clock of 1670 MHz and a boost clock of 1925 MHz. This places the card on par with with the SAPPHIRE RX 5700 XT PULSE performance-wise. Like the other 5700 XT cards, the MECH is built upon AMD’s new RDNA architecture. The MECH retails for ~$420, and you can lease one from us for $50.99/month.

The MSI RX 5700 XT EVOKE OC is similar in performance to the MECH, but different in design. The card boasts a beautiful champagne gold trim with a carved grill to improve dissipation. ZeroFrozr technology keeps the fan noise down under low loads, and TORX fan 3.0 keeps the GPU temperatures down. The EVOKE has slightly higher clock speeds compared to the MECH with a base clock of 1690 MHZ and a boost clock of 1945 MHz. The EVOKE is slightly more expensive than the MECH, retailing for ~$430, and you can lease on from us for $51.99/month. Choosing between these cards is more about personal aesthetic preference, and both cards will provide smooth 1440p gaming performance.

MSI RX 5700 XT EVOKE OC
Conclusion

AMD really hit it out of the park with the RX 5700 XT cards, and gamers are praising them more than any other GPU in recent memory. Whether you decide to go with the THICC II, PULSE, NITRO+, MECH or EVOKE, the RX 5700 XT will certainly elevate your PC gaming experience. If you’re interested in getting your hands on one of these cards, check out or graphics cards leasing program!

NVIDIA’s New GPU Line: Ampere

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NVIDIA released the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti all the way back in September 27, 2018 and since then little has been revealed about what is coming next. Until recently, more and more facts have been revealed lately and we here at Cutting Edge Gamer are happy to share what we have found out. These new chips, dubbed the Ampere line, should be faster (duh), loaded with more VRAM and cheaper. They will follow the current naming convention and be released as the RTX 30XX series, offering a GeForce RTX 3070, a RTX 3080 and a RTX 3080 Ti model as soon as Summer 2020. Now let’s get into how they are going to meet those lofty rumor mill expectations.

These new Ampere NVIDIA chips will offer a statistically huge performance improvement over the RTX 20XX cards as they feature a new more efficient version of ray tracing. The RTX 30xx servies are also rumored to have some big improvements in their rasterization capabilities, which should combine with the ray tracing advancements and enable you to render next generational graphics live in games.

Additionally they are reported to feature more VRAM in each card with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 and the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 listed at 12GB while the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti will boast a beefy 16GB of VRAM. This should help these Ampere cards to push between a 100-200MHz improvement in clock speeds vs the predecessor, especially as they are more efficient due to the expected new 7nm architecture they desperately needed to move to.

This architecture should be manufactured by Samsung using the 7nm EUV process node, which allows the cards to run at under 1.0v but will limit overclocking. Additionally working with Samsung to produce these nodes should drive costs down, a big need after the adversity faced with the release of the last line of RTX 20 series cards.

Here’s to hoping they drop sooner rather than later. We promise to update you guys with FurMarks as soon as we can get our hands on some sweet new Ampere cards. We really cannot wait to see what this new generation is capable of!

How to Properly Clean a Graphics Card

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Tools for Cleaning

These are the items you will need to properly clean and test a card:

  • Compressed Air Can
  • Pipe Cleaners
  • 99% Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Q-tips
  • Cleaning Rag
  • Phillips Head Screw Driver

All of them are visible in the gallery to the right in case you are at all confused.

Compressed Air and Pipe Cleaners

To the right you will see the technique you should use to clean the graphics cards with compressed air. We have images for both the blower and aftermarket style coolers as well. Use the canister first and spray the air in wherever you can see an opening, just be careful not to hold the can upside down or you will shoot out coolant which is not good for the card. Additionally the can itself will get extremely cold in your hand. Make sure you use the compressed air first to get all the dust off before going in for a deep cleaning with the pipe cleaners. You’ll want to bend them to make sure you can get all the dust from behind the fan blades and any other hard to reach spots. This should clean most cards.

For a Deeper Clean

To the right you will see a method for getting any sort of grit or grime off your card. Use gloves if it gross, you should be able to get similar ones at HEB or CVS. You will want to use Isopropyl alcohol since any water will damage the card. Be careful with is and only use a dab on a dab, as pictured to the right. Then just wipe down the dirt or substance and it should come off quickly. You can use the Q-tips if there is any stain that is harder to reach with the cloth. That should cover all the steps to properly clean a card.

Benchmarking a Graphics Card

In order to insure your graphics card is working to the best of its ability you will want to know how to test your graphics card. First thing you will want to do is install a benchmarking program, we will use Furmark for this example.

Here is a link to download Furmark: https://geeks3d.com/furmark/

Once you install it, you can open the program from your start screen and run one of the tests by clicking the preset test button. In this example we used the preset 1980x1080P. You can see the results of our test for a RTX 2080 Ti in the image to the left. There you will see the temperature, FPS and other specifications for your system which you want to know. Check to make sure you’re card is performing up to specs by comparing the results you get to Furmarks you find online for the same card. We here at CEG hope these tips help you!

Comparing the RTX 2080 Ti and the GTX 1080 Ti

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Introduction

With the launch of the RTX-series graphics cards, NVIDIA has cemented itself as the premier GPU manufacturer in PC gaming. The RTX 2080 Ti is the most powerful GPU in gaming, boasting unprecedented performance utilizing NVIDIA’s new Turing architecture and ray tracing technology. Gamers around the world are spending big money to upgrade their systems to include NVIDIA’s latest and greatest GPU, but how does it compare to the king of old – the NVIDIA GTX 1080 Ti? In this article, we will discuss the differences between the two cards, and explore whether it is an absolute necessity to upgrade.

Specifications

When it was released back in 2017, the NVIDIA GTX 1080 Ti was an absolute game changer. At the time, the 1080 Ti provided gamers with the biggest performance jump between Ti cards ever seen, with some estimating an increase of up to 35% over the previous generation’s GTX 980 Ti. Such an absurd performance increase makes it easy to understand why the 1080 Ti was (and continues to be) such a beloved GPU among gamers.

With this in mind, consider how insane it would sound if you told a gamer back in 2017 that an even more powerful card – capable of performing 30% better than the reigning king of GPUs – was merely a year away. The release of the RTX 2080 Ti was met with even greater enthusiasm than the 1080 Ti, and it currently dominates the PC gaming market. So how do these cards compare? Let’s take a look at the chart below.

As you can tell from the chart, the RTX 2080 Ti boasts improvements in nearly every specification over the 1080 Ti. CUDA cores have increased by nearly 1,000 cores from 3,584 to 4,352. This increase is astounding in its own right, but even more impressive is the addition of new RT and Tensor cores to the 2080 Ti. The new RT cores help to push the boundaries of the GPU’s graphical capabilities, and allows for the card to render images using highly anticipated ray tracing technology. The tensor cores work to more efficiently process anti-aliasing (smoothing) of images using artificial intelligence (AI).

In terms of clock speed, the 1080 Ti actually has a higher base clock compared to the RTX 2080 Ti (1,481 MHz vs 1,350 MHz respectively) but the real difference is in the boost clock. The 1080 Ti has a 1,582 MHz boost clock which is excellent and still measures up alongside many of the newer models of GPUs. Despite the impressive boost clock of the 1080 Ti, NVIDIA’s RTX 2080 Ti speeds past it. Thanks to a 90MHz factory overclock, the 2080 Ti reaches a max boost clock frequency of 1,635 MHz!

The 2080 Ti also comes packed with 11GB of GDDR6 video memory compared to the 1080 Ti’s 11GB of GDDR5X. The GDDR6 has lower power consumption and draws slightly less power than the GDDR5X. The memory speed for the 2080 Ti is also considerably higher at 14 Gbps (gigabytes per second) versus 11 Gbps for the 1080 Ti.

Performance

Performance-wise, the 2080 Ti leaves the 1080 Ti in its dust. This is not a slight against the 1080 Ti (which remains a considerably powerful card) but more a testament to just how powerful the 2080 Ti truly is. The 2080 Ti passes the 4K/60 fps test when games are played on ultra settings, with some games reaching 100+ fps! Furthermore, the 2080 Ti also draws less power than its 1080 Ti counterpart, although it does reach higher operating temperatures.

Setting the RTX 2080 Ti aside, the 1080 Ti is still an extremely high-performing GPU. Many have compared the 1080 Ti’s performance to the non-Ti RTX 2080 model, and they do perform very closely. However, the 1080 Ti runs on NVIDIA’s old Pascal architecture while the RTX 2080 utilizes the new Turing architecture and ray tracing. This allows the 2080 to perform tasks faster, and also provides higher processing capabilities.

Looking at the FurMark scores posted above, one can see the significant performance gap between NVIDIA’s two GPUs. Some have claimed that running two 1080 Ti cards in SLI can produce similar (some say better) performance than the 2080 Ti, but that is mostly untrue. First of all, many games do not support SLI. Secondly, there are scaling issues with running SLI between two cards that often affects performance. In most cases, it is better to run a one card setup, and as the RTX 2080 Ti is the most powerful single consumer card money can buy it is your best option.

Price

NVIDIA’s RTX 2080 Ti may well be the most powerful GPU on the market, but it does come with a hefty price tag. The Founders Edition RTX 2080 Ti (900-1G150-2530-000) that we looked at earlier retails for around $1,199 and some 2080 Ti models retail for upwards of $1,899!

The 2080 Ti comes at a steep price, but how does it compare to 1080 Ti cards currently? To get your hands on a new 1080 Ti, you’ll still be shelling out around $1,000. Availability for new 1080 Ti cards has become increasingly limited ever since the launch of the RTX cards while popularity for the cards hasn’t diminished. This has contributed to the static pricing of the 1080 Ti model cards. You can find used 1080 Ti’s for ~$600, but even then a new RTX 2080 card of comparable specs can be purchased for nearly the same price. And as we discussed above, the RTX cards run on the new Turing architecture which allows for the ray tracing features to be utilized – something that the 1080 Ti cannot do, and something which can help you future proof your new PC.

Conclusion

So what have we learned? While the RTX 2080 Ti has proven to be a drastic improvement over its predecessor, the 1080 Ti continues to display enduring success and is a favorite GPU among PC gamers around the world. The 1080 Ti was an industry-leading game changer when it first arrived on the scene, and has set the standard for what graphics cards are capable of doing. Its high-performance, sleek design, and overall quality has solidified its place at the forefront of PC gaming. Pricing continues to be high for a new 1080 Ti card, and graphics cards of similar performance, namely the RTX 2080, are significantly cheaper.

The 1080 Ti will always have its place in PC gaming history as one of the cards that changed the game, but even still, the RTX 2080 Ti is such a vast improvement. If you are looking to upgrade your GPU but are frightened by the price tag on the 2080 Ti , but do not want to compromise your performance, we would recommend take a look at getting yourself a 1080 Ti.

The Rise of eSports

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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!

Exploring the Hype Behind AMD’s 3000-Series CPUs

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Introduction

Last month, AMD announced the launch of its third generation of Ryzen CPUs. The Ryzen 3000s (a lineup consisting of five different CPU models across various price-points) were announced with a massive amount of hype, and gamers around the world were waiting anxiously with anticipation for their eventual release.

The time came arrived and AMD did not disappoint: The Ryzen 3000 CPUs might be their biggest success yet.

Boasting improvements in nearly every performance category compared to the massively successful Ryzen 2000 CPUs, The Ryzen 3000 is here to usher in the future of PC gaming.

The Lineup

The AMD Ryzen 3000 series consists of five CPU models: the 3600, 3600x, 3700x, 3800x, and the 3900x. All of the CPUs operate on AMD’s Zen-2 architecture, the successor to the Zen and Zen Plus architectures from previous generations of Ryzen CPUs. We’ll discuss the Zen-2 architecture later on, but for now let’s focus on the different CPU models.

The Ryzen 5 3600 is the cheapest model (retailing for around $200). It offers 6 cores and 12 threads, with a base clock of 3.6 GHz, and a boost clock of 4.2 GHz. The upgraded version of the 3600, the Ryzen 5 3600x, has the same number of cores/threads but a slightly higher base and boost clock speeds, clocking in around 3.8 GHz and 4.4 GHz respectively. This model retails for ~$250.

The Ryzen 7 3700x retails for ~$330, and has a slightly lower base clock (3.5 GHz) but its boost clock reaches 4.4 GHz. The main difference is in the cores/threads. The 3700x has 8 cores and 16 threads compared to the 6/12 configuration for the 3600 and 3600x. This gives the 3700x a significant boost in processing power, speeding up the execution of applications.

Next we have the Ryzen 9 3800x. These CPUs retail for ~$400, and will offer performance upgrades over the 3700x, with a base clock of 3.6 GHz and a boost clock of 4.5 GHz. The 3800x also has a significantly higher TDP than the 3700x, pulling 105w compared to the 65w for the 3700x.

Lastly, we have the CPU to rule them all – the Ryzen 9 3900x. The impressive 3900x is the first mainstream consumer CPU to have 12 cores and 24 threads. It boasts a base clock of 3.8 GHz and a boost clock of 4.6 GHz. The 3900x is being hailed as the “best mainstream CPU on the market” and rightfully so. The CPU can be purchased for $500, and is a direct competitor with Intel’s new i9-9900k.

Zen-2 Architecture

As mentioned previously, the next Ryzen 3000 CPUs are manufactured with AMD’s new Zen-2 architecture. Built upon 7nm and 12nm process nodes, the Zen-2 processors increase instructions per clock (IPC) by a significant margin over previous versions of the Zen architecture. The chipset for the new 3000 CPUs is the x570, and they are based on the same AM4 socket utilized in the last two generations of Zen.

A massively significant improvement with the Ryzen 3000 CPU architecture is the inclusion of PCIe 4.0. With the capability to nearly double the bandwidth of PCIExpress 3.0, PCIe 4.0 will allow for ridiculous speed and amazing graphics. SSD performance will reach nearly 30% better performance with PCIe 4.0.

It’s been rumored that AMD already has plans for Zen-3 in the works, but for now Zen-2 stands as an incredibly impressive CPU architecture.

Conclusion

Having researched many of the new CPUs hitting the market in the last few months, the AMD Ryzen 9 3900x is head and shoulders above the rest of the field. Offering ridiculous processing capabilities with its multi-thread cores, PCIe 4.0, and increased IPC, the AMD Ryzen 9 3900x is sure to give you unprecedented PC gaming performance.

The 3000 CPUs are already extremely popular, and initial stock sold out very quickly. People all over the world lined up for a chance to get their hands on the new CPUs, and many went home empty handed. Availability is currently very limited with no real updates from AMD. If you want to get your hands on one, you’ll have to get lucky finding one!