Unigine Releases Superposition Graphics Benchmark With 8K, VR Tests

Unigine released a new graphics benchmark test based on the Unigine 2 graphics engine. The Superposition benchmark evaluates your GPU’s physically based rendering performance on displays up to 8K, as well as VR headsets.

Unigine is well known for its graphics benchmark tools. Its Heaven (2009) benchmark leaned heavily on hardware tessellation technology and real-time global illumination, and the Valley benchmark from 2013 put dynamic sky, volumetric clouds, sun shafts, and ambient occlusion to the test. Now, Unigine’s Superposition benchmark puts your GPU through its paces with physically based rendering of surface materials.

The Unigine Superposition benchmark includes performance tests for standard displays and VR HMDs.The performance benchmark page lets you select from several presets, including 720p low; 1080p medium, high, and extreme; 4K optimized; and 8K optimized. You can also define custom parameters, including resolution, texture quality, and shader quality. You can also toggle depth of field and motion blur and choose between the DirectX and OpenGL graphics APIs.

Performance Test

The Superposition test runs through 17 scenes and measures performance for each one. At the end of the test, it spits out a results page with minimum, average, and maximum FPS numbers; minimum and maximum GPU temperatures; and maximum GPU usages. You also get an overall score, which you can compare online against other people’s scores. The leaderboard page isn’t online yet, though.

Unigine also included a test that evaluates your PC’s VR performance. The “VR Ready?” test features configurations for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift headsets, as well as multiple graphics quality presets. When you select HTC Vive from the VR Headset drop-down menu, the software sets the resolution output to 1512 x 1680. When you select Oculus Rift from the list, the resolution preset is 1332 x 1586. The benchmark also has an option to configure a custom resolution to test for theoretical performance on future headsets.

Preset Shader Quality Texture Quality
VR Minimum VR Minumum Low
VR Optimum VR Optimum Low
VR Maximum VR Maximum Medium
VR Future VR Future High

The advanced version of the Superposition benchmark also includes a stress test option, which lets you run the benchmark in a loop for a specified amount of time. The stress test doesn’t include the preset configurations from the performance tests, but you can define the resolution, including ultrawide displays, texture quality, graphics API, as well as whether the test runs in fullscreen, windowed, or in a borderless window.

The Unigine Superposition benchmark also includes a game mode, which puts you into the lab environment from the performance test and lets you interact with many of the highly-detailed objects in the room. The advanced version of the benchmark also includes a VR version of the game that lets you visit the virtual environment first hand.

Available Now

The Unigine Superposition Benchmark is available now and comes in three different editions: The Basic edition is free for personal use and it allows you to define custom settings, monitor your GPU, and play with the interactive demo. The Advanced edition give you access to the leaderboards, the VR experience, and the looped stress test. Unigine said the advanced version is for overclockers and VR users.

Unigine also offers a Professional Edition for commercial use. The pro edition includes everything the advanced version does and adds advanced features such as command line automation, exportable reports, per-frame deep analysis, and technical support.

You can download the free version of the Superposition benchmark from the Unigine website. If you want an advanced or pro version, you can upgrade from within the app or purchase it from the website.

Superposition Benchmark

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NZXT Announces The Kraken G12 AIO GPU Cooling Bracket

NZXT announced the Kraken G12 GPU cooling bracket, which allows end users to install all-in-one cooling solutions on their graphics cards. The company stated that the Kraken G12 is the successor to the G10 and features an updated design that allows for easier installation and broader compatibility.  

On the subject of cooling performance, NZXT’s founder and CEO Johnny Hou had this to say:

Being able to play the latest games at the highest settings, without sacrificing performance is something all gamers want. While aftermarket graphic cards have improved lately, most stock cooling systems still can’t reach the performance level of liquid cooling. That’s why we decided to design the updated Kraken G12 to be easier to install and support the latest liquid AIOs.

Although this is an NZXT-branded component, the Kraken G12 cooling bracket is not limited to NZXT-branded coolers. In fact, the Kraken G12 is compatible with more than thirty AIO coolers currently on the market. This broad compatibility is due to the fact that NZXT’s line of Kraken coolers are designed by Asetek, the very same company that designs coolers for the likes of Corsair, Antec, Thermaltake, and others.

The bracket design utilizes the stock heatsink mounting holes around the GPU, making the Kraken G12 bracket compatible with a wide range of graphics cards from both Nvidia and AMD. The press release lists support for everything from the 5xx series GPUs all the way up to the latest 10 series GeForce GTX cards. There is support for current AMD video cards such as the RX 480 and RX 470, but as noted in the compatibility chart, due to die height some older AMD graphics cards may require the use of a copper shim (which is not included).

We inquired about the possibility of NZXT-branded memory or VRM heatsink kits, and although a company representative stated that there are currently no plans to offer memory or VRM heatsink kits, he noted that the Kraken G12 does offer support for most current aftermarket solutions.

Even though the G12 is offered in only two colors (matte black or matte white), industrious modders can easily customize the look of the Kraken G12’s powder-coated finish with a quick repaint or added graphics.

The NZXT Kraken G12 allows those of you who have recently upgraded your CPU cooler from a 120mm /140mm AIO cooler to a larger 240mm /280mm unit to simply repurpose your old AIO cooler into a cooling solution for your graphics card without spending a lot of money.

The Kraken G12 AIO GPU cooling bracket has a two-year warranty and retails for $29.99 USD. Availability is listed as April 24, 2017, but you can preorder one now if you like.

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Latest 'Elite Dangerous: Horizons' Update Adds Multi-Crew, Character Customization

A new update is available today for Elite Dangerous: Horizons. “The Commanders” update finally lets you to customize the looks of your pilot, but more importantly, you can now operate a single ship with multiple players.

The multi-crew feature is designed for the game’s larger ships, which can accommodate 2-3 players, depending on its size. You can join private groups so that you can play with friends, or hop on with strangers and explore the galaxy. Once you join up, you can play as one of three roles.

The helm role will put you in charge of the ship’s overall controls and navigation, but if you want to just shoot the guns, you can play as the gunner. The fighter con position controls the ship-launched fighters. The gunner and fighter con pilots also have an additional power distributor point that they can allocate at will in order to help out with the ship’s weapons, systems, or engine.

Another new feature is the Holo-Me (character creation) system. With multiple settings and presets, you can customize your character’s appearance so that it stands out from the many other pilots exploring the galaxy. In addition to shaping your character’s face, you can also show off more flair with shoulder patches that display your rank or faction.

Even if you don’t own the Horizons expansion, the update still includes some new content. For instance, there’s a new camera suite that includes some new manipulation tools such as zoom, elevation, depth-of-field, and roll so that you can take the perfect shot of your ship and its surroundings. You can also further personalize your ship by giving it a name and attaching a name plate to the exterior.

Other new features include the asteroid bases as well as megaships, either of which you can use as a docking station. As always, the update also includes a plethora of fixes and improvements, which you can read on the game’s forums.

This latest update marks the final piece of new content that Frontier Developments promised to bring with Horizons. Past updates included the ability to ferry passengers throughout space, use ship-launched fighters, loot and craft items, and land on planets. More updates will come in the future, but fans now have even more to do as they continue to their journey across our massive galaxy.

Name Elite Dangerous: Horizons
Type Sci-fi, Space simulator
Developer Frontier Developments
Publisher Frontier Developments
Release Date
  • December 16, 2015 (PC)
  • June 3, 2016 (Xbox One)
Platforms PC, Xbox One
Where To Buy

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Gigabyte's Latest Ryzen-Ready Motherboards Use X370, B350, And A320 Chipsets

Gigabyte announced new X370, B350, and A320 chipset-based AM4 motherboards ready for AMD’s Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 processors.

Ryzen 5 CPUs debuted today, and they brought the A320 chipset with them, which is probably why Gigabyte highlighted the new chipset in its press release even though the GA-A320M-HD2 is currently the only motherboard to support it. AMD said in its own blog post that A320 boards are “specifically addressing the needs of mainstream PC gaming customers looking for a feature-rich, robust, and affordable platform for gaming PCs.”

That’s why A320 drops five USB ports, four PCI-E lanes, and overclocking capabilities from the X370 flagship. AMD said this is supposed to help drive costs of A320 boards down to about $50, but Gigabyte appears to have missed that mark, because the GA-A320M-HD2 costs $70 from Newegg. The board also boasts two DDR4 DIMM sockets with support for up to 32GB of system memory, and it relies on a dual-channel memory architecture.

The next step up from A320 is B350, which adds two more PCI-E 2.0 Gen 2 lanes and a USB 3.1 Gen 2 port, as well as the ability to overclock unlocked CPUs. Gigabyte previously announced the GA-AB350-Gaming, GA-AB350-Gaming 3, and GA-AB350M-Gaming 3 motherboards for the B350 chipset. Now it seems to have added a few more boards to that list with the new GA-AB350M-DS2, GA-AB350M-D3H, and GA-AB350M-HD3.

There are also the new X370 chipset boards. X370 is the flagship Ryzen-compatible chipset, with two more PCI-E lanes and SATA-III ports than B350. (It, too, supports overclocking.) Gigabyte announced two new boards for this chipset today: the GA-AX370-Gaming K5 and GA-AX370-Gaming K7. These additions bring the company’s lineup of X370 chipset motherboards up to five, and its total number of Ryzen-ready boards to 12.

You can learn more about the individual boards on AMD’s website via the links above. If you’re just interested in shopping around for a new AM4 motherboard, you might want to check out our breakdown of the differences between each chipset and our price lists for X370 and B350 boards. We’ve also reviewed the Ryzen 7 1700, 1700X, and 1800X CPUs, as well as the Ryzen 5 1600X that kicked off the Ryzen 5 and A320 chipset party.

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Rallycross Comes To 'Project Cars 2'

Slightly Mad Studios revealed Project Cars 2 in February, but it didn’t provide much in terms of what fans could expect in terms of new content. That changed today as the studio released a new trailer that featured a new racing mode — Rallycross.

Unlike traditional motorsport races, rallycross utilizes both tarmac and off-road terrain as part of a looped track. This will highlight LiveTrack 3.0, which is one of the game’s systems that is supposed to accurately mimic a vehicle’s change from one type of terrain to another. You’ll have to make sure that your vehicle of choice is able to perform on both track types in order to get ahead of the competition. Due to the race’s chaotic nature, you’ll see many cars drifting corners or sometimes bumping into other vehicles in an attempt to get first place.

The trailer also features some of the new cars specifically customized for rallycross. This includes modern vehicles such as the Volkswagen Polo RX, the Honda Civic Coupe, and older models like the Ford Escort RS 1600.


An official release date for the game isn’t announced yet, but it’s expected to drop sometime late this year. The game will also support virtual reality HMDs, although specifics weren’t provided. In addition, the game will also support up to 12K resolution (11,520 x 2,160), or three 4K screens next to each other.

Name Project Cars 2
Type Racing, Simulation
Developer Slightly Mad Studios
Publisher Bandai Namco
Platforms PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
Where To Buy N/A
Release Date Late 2017

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EVGA's Budget B3 Series PSUs Promise High Reliability And Performance

EVGA’s new B3 units were announced today, featuring lots of upgrades compared to the previous B2 line, and also covering a wider wattage range. The OEM is again Super Flower, which is definitely an advantage because SF is highly respected in the PSU market these days.

The platform has been upgraded, and in addition to the fully modular cable design, EVGA also added a semi-passive mode, a Hydraulic Dynamic Bearing fan, and (according to EVGA), tighter load regulations (<2%). The 450W-650W units have 150mm depth, whereas the 750W and 850W models are 10mm longer. Efficiency remains at the same level--80 PLUS Bronze certified.

The B3 line positioned between the GQ (FSP OEM) and BQ (HEC and Andyson OEMs) lines, and they’re backed by a five-year warranty.

B3
OEM Super Flower
Models 850 B3, 750 B3, 650 B3, 550 B3, 450 B3
Max. DC Output 850W – 450W
PFC Active PFC
Efficiency 80 Plus Bronze
Modular Yes (fully)
Intel C6/C7 Power State Support Yes
Operating temperature 0°C ~ 40°C
Protections Over Voltage Protection
Under Voltage Protection
Over Current Protection
Short Circuit Protection
Over Power Protection
Over Temperature Protection
Cooling 130mm Hydraulic Dynamic Bearing Fan
Semi-passive operation Yes (Selectable)
Number of PCIe 850 B3: 6
750 B3: 4
650 B3: 3
450 B3, 550 B3: 2
Number of EPS 1x for all B3 models
Dimensions 850 B3, 750 B3: 150 mm (W) x 85 mm (H) x 160 mm (D)
450 B3 – 650 B3: 150 mm (W) x 85 mm (H) x 150 mm (D)
Compliance ATX12V v2.4, EPS 2.92
+12V Max Output 850 B3: 70.8A (849.6W)
750 B3: 62.4A (748.8W)
650 B3: 54.1A (649.2W)
550 B3: 45.8A (549.6W)
450 B3: 37.4A (448.8W)
Price 850 B3: $99.99
750 B3: $89.99
650 B3: $69.99
550 B3: $59.99
450 B3: $49.99
Warranty 5 years

All protection features are included, which is excellent, especially in this budget category. It’s quite nice to see OTP in budget PSUs, especially when the temperature rating is lower than 50°C.

On the other hand, it’s a shame that even the strongest member of this line has only a single EPS connector. High-end mainboards need more juice in the CPU area, so a single EPS just won’t cut it.

Even so, the price tags are quite low, and the competition will probably have a hard time following. In this price category, EVGA brings into the fight HDB fans and Japanese caps along with a rather long warranty. The entry B3 model, with a $50 price tag, looks ideal for small PCs and users on tight budget. A good (true) HDB fan costs over over $10 alone, and the fully modular cable design isn’t cheap to manufacture, either.

All new B3s use a modern platform, featuring an LLC converter on the primary side and DC-DC converters on the secondary side, for the generation of the minor rails. Given those high-end specs, this platform could easily achieve significantly higher efficiency levels, but EVGA wanted it to stay at the same levels as its previous PSU line so as to avoid creating internal competition. 

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'Bayonetta' Comes To PC Seven Years After Launch

Platinum Games’ Bayonetta initially arrived on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2010. In 2014, it made its way to Nintendo’s Wii U system. Now, seven years after release, the game is finally available on PC via Steam.

With a PC port comes a massive graphics overhaul to the game. This new version will be playable at 60 frames per second and supports up to 4K resolution. In addition, you can manipulate numerous graphics settings including ambient occlusion, texture and shadow quality, and anti-aliasing.


You can also play the game with a keyboard and mouse, although the developers recommend a controller. You can also choose to play with the English voice-over actors or you can switch to the original Japanese cast for a more authentic experience. Before you buy the game, make sure to take a look at the PC hardware requirements below to see if it your current system can run it. For some reason, the specs don’t include an AMD alternative for CPUs, but you can always find the correct AMD processor to use in our CPU hierarchy page.

Bayonetta Minimum Recommended
CPU Intel Core i3-3220 (Ivy Bridge, 3.3 GHz) Intel Core i5-4460 (Haswell, 3.2 GHz)
GPU Nvidia GeForece GTX 670AMD Radeon HD 6950 Nvidia GeForce GTX 760AMD Radeon HD 7870
RAM 4 GB 8 GB
Storage 20 GB 20 GB
OS Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10 Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10
DirectX Version 9.0c 9.0c

Currently, only the Digital Deluxe Edition is available for purchase at $20, and it includes a sample of the game’s soundtrack, a digital copy of the art book, wallpapers, and avatars. Platinum Games said that the content is available for free for a limited time, which probably means a standard edition is coming soon with the extra content available as a separate purchase.

Name Bayonetta
Type Action/Adventure
Developer Platinum Games
Publisher Sega
Platforms
  • PC
  • PlayStation 3
  • Xbox 360
  • Wii U
Where To Buy
Release Date
  • January 5, 2010 (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
  • October 24, 2014 (Wii U)
  • April 11, 2017 (PC)

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