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News

Need For Speed Heat – Coming to PC November 8th

EA’s fan favourite racing gaming is back and with it, so are the cops! The November 2019 release will come to PC in the form of an Origin store download. Of course as with most major EA titles there will be a standard and deluxe version and pre-order bonuses.

The last Need for Speed release was in 2017 with Payback but fans were mostly disappointed. The open world had a 24 hour day-night cycle and three playable characters but reviewers were not overly positive. Citing the ‘free-roam’ aspect as unengaging and the ‘missions’ as repetitive the average review on metacritic landing around 6/10.

You have to go back to 2013 before the franchise had a positively reviewed release with ‘Rivals’, the first to allow playable control of the police and only one year after the fan favourite ‘Most Wanted’. Will Heat deliver for the fans who have been holding out for 6 years?

What is NFS : Heat

Not a lot is know this early, but here is what we do know.

Set in ‘Palm’ city, the locale seems to be a fictional version of Miami, much like GTA’s Vice City, complete with wide open freeways lined palm trees and plenty of neon purple.

Car modification is of course a staple of the franchise and still is for NFS Heat. Hopefully the aesthetics (paint jobs, decals, giant oversized spoilers etc) aren’t monetised or loot boxed, but with EA’s track record it’s always possible.

The trailer suggests the game play will be split between track and street races, the later taking place at night and involving cop chases, with the former in broad daylight without them.

Checkout the Trailer.

The Cars

From the trailer alone we know the Polestar 1, BMW i8 Coupe and Mercedes C63 AMG are all in the mix. We also spotted a Chevy Corvette Grand Sport, Nissan GT-R and Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X. There will be plenty more to add to the roster but we’ll have to wait for future announcements for that.

System Requirements

EA and Origin haven’t yet published official PC hardware systems requirements for the game at this stage but as soon as they do we’ll be updating this post.

Do we think it will it have real time ray tracing (RTX) support? The emphasis on the street light reflections on the wet street in the trailer seem to suggest it might! Let’s hope it does as most of us of us sunk hundreds in to our new RTX GPUs finished Metro Exodus a while ago.

When will we know more?

Gamescom is right around the corner. We expect a few more details to be flushed out at the show with the rest to come in bite sized chunks evenly spread out between now and the release.

Categories
News

3rd Gen AMD Ryzen Custom Gaming PCs

X570 AND THE AMD 3200G | 3400G | 3600 | 3600X | 3700X | 3800X | 3900X

After more than a decade of Intel and it’s Core series CPU ruling the market in gaming performance, AMD’s third-gen Ryzen 3000 series looks to put AMD right back in the mix. If the expected leap forward in performance and power efficiency from the new 7nm process is true, it will break Intel’s long lived lead in not only per core performance, but power efficiency, heat and core count.

The top of the range

Sitting among the top of the pack are the R7 and all new R9 series CPUs

  • 3700X 8-Core 16-Thread @ 4.4GHz (R7)
  • 3800X 8-Core 16-Thread @ 4.5GHz (R7)
  • 3900X 12-Core 24-Thread @ 4.7GHz (R9)

Aimed to take on the i7 and i9’s from Intel, they come packed with more cores and more threads. The expectation is that they will come close if not match Intel in their per-core performance and blow them out of the water in multi-threaded workloads that make use of the additional cores/threads.

The rest of the stack

Rounding out the full offering of third generation Ryzen CPUs are the R5’s and R3’s.

  • 3200G 4-Core 4-Thread 4GHz (R3)
  • 3400G 4-Core 8-Thread 4.2GHz (R3)
  • 3600 6-Core 12-Thread 4.2GHz (R5)
  • 3600X 6-Core 12-Thread 4.4GHz (R5)

Of course these are aimed squarely (as the name would suggest) at the i3 and i5 line up from Intel offering a matching core count but double the thread-count. What’s the G stand for? Graphics presumably? These are AMD’s “APUs”. Simply put they sport integrated graphics powered by Vega. Expected to plenty enough for basic gaming at 1080p. Yet unknown as to how well they will stand up against newer more demanding games. If budget gaming PCs are something you’re interested in, keep an eye out for benchmarks and reviews come July 7th.

But wait, there’s more!

Announced earlier in the week, launching later in the year is the true flagship model of the generation. A 16-core 32-thread R9 CPU dubbed the R9 3950X. Doubling the core count of the Intel i9 9900K. If you’re a gamer we wouldn’t recommend waiting for it. The in-game performance of the 16-core chip is unlikely to be much different than it’s 12 core little brother at the same clock speeds. Games just simply don’t utilize that many cores. However if your also in to multimedia production, video editing, data crunching or any workloads that will actually put those threads to work, maybe holding off a few more months is the way to go.

Ryezn 9 3950X CPU

The Kicker [X570 Motherboards]

Dispute the CPUs being very competitively priced, to run it on it’s intended chipset you might have to pay more than you hoped. The X570 range (replacing the X470) is expected to be in the realm of $100-150 more than their counterparts. Why? Well, being on the bleeding edge can be pricey and the all new 7nm chipset, being the first of it’s kind to use PCI-E gen 4 the reason.

Later in the year the more budget friendly B550 chipset motherboards are expected. Until then however motherboard manufacturers are advising strongly against pairing the new R7 or R9 series CPUs with previous generation boards. There is good news for those with tighter budgets however. The R5 and R3 CPUs are expected to run perfectly fine on last-gen boards due to their more modest power draw and core count. That being said, we still don’t know how much the B550 boards will cost and what features they will include.

Ryzen X570 Motherboards

So should your next PC be a Ryzen 3rd Gen one?

With only a couple of short weeks away from launch, you won’t need to wait long to find out. From the ‘official’ performance data shown by AMD (to be taken with a grain of salt) there is a lot to like. If you’re purely gaming, the Intel line up may still be way to go at certain price points. Prices on both sides may be slightly adjusted in the weeks after launch as each fight for your dollar.

Once the dust settles, Intel may still hold the crown for purely top end in-game performance. But will it be enough? If the lead is narrow enough, the dominating multi-threaded performance for non-gaming work loads may be enough to sway a large percentage of buyers over to AMD for the first time in a very, very long time.

Where can you buy your very own Ryzen 3000 powered custom PC?

As usual, here at Evatech we’re again proudly the first to offer the Ryzen 3000 in our custom PCs. Purchasable in store or online at www.evatech.com.au you can lock in your pre-order today and be among the first in the world to get their hands on a brand new PC powered by 3rd gen 7nm Ryzen and PCI-E 4.

Our world leading online custom PC builder is easy, powerful, always up to date and now fully mobile friendly! Check it out today, customize your next dream PC online and get it delivered to your doorstep anywhere in Australia.

Our team of seasoned PC hardware professionals build, setup and burn in test every PC as if it was their very own.

Shop today at www.evatech.com.au

Categories
Guide

Customising a Gaming PC for Apex Legends

Apex Legends is smashing records right now as the most popular PC game. With it’s player count topping 25 million within the first week, it beat out DayZ, PUBG and even Fortnite to claim the thrown as the most successful PC game launch of all time.

So what does it take to jump and start playing? We’ll we’re going to run down the hardware specs you need to get the most of Apex Legends and similar online shooters so you’ll be ready for today, and what ever comes around the corner tomorrow.

Getting started.

To follow along and customise a gaming PC as we guide you through the process you can head on over to store page (linked here). Don’t be alarmed by the number of options. It’s all very easy, we have built in error detection and instructions so there is no need to worry.

Defining your target performance level.

Whether or not you want to target a very high frame rate, play at 4K or crank all the settings up to max will greatly impact your hardware selection. With this in mind the below hardware recommendations will define 3 separate levels. We’ll cover an explanation regarding the listed GPU, CPU and RAM a little further below.

  • Budget
    • The entry level hardware selection to get a good competitive experience at 1080P / medium presets.
      • GPU : GTX 1050 TI OC
      • CPU : Intel i3 8100
      • RAM : 8GB
  • Recommended
    • A step up, allowing for higher frame rates at 1080P on high presets to give you at that little extra edge and visual fidelity.
      • GPU : GTX1160
      • CPU : Intel i5 9400F
      • RAM : 16GB
  • Ultra / 4K
    • Crank up all the settings to max and leave noting on the table with silky smooth frame rates at 4K.
      • GPU : RTX 2080 OC
      • CPU : Intel i5 9600K
      • RAM : 16GB OC

The basics of hardware selection.

If you’ve read one of our custom PC game guides before you probably already know this. However for the sake of first time readers we’ll cover the basics again.

When it comes to game performance, the 3 components that matter are the CPU, GPU and RAM. No other components have a direct impact to in game performance. Your storage device might increase load times and your cooler and fans might help prevent thermal throttling but that’s about it.

Now of these three components, the GPU (also know as a video or graphics cards) is by far the most important. There are a few exceptions in which the CPU will be more important but in 99% of games this just isn’t the case. As long as the CPU and RAM don’t become a bottleneck, the GPU is the single most important component of the system.

Once you understand this basic concept, the rest becomes easy. Just select the GPU required to fit your performance target and pair it with the appropriate CPU and RAM combo. Once we know what these three components will be, we can choose an appropriate motherboard and power supply to match. Finally, all that’s left to do is select the rest of the configuration with your own personal preferences and requirements.

Choosing the right motherboard & power supply.

The Motherboard

A motherboard, as the name suggests, is the main board in to which all other components are attached. They house the integrated audio and network solutions as well as USB ports and various other ports to connect peripherals and storage devices. Higher end boards (eg Z390) are more geared towards enthusiasts looking for premium end integrated audio and networking adaptors and the ability to overclock the CPU or run multiple GPUs. The mid-range boards (eg B360) are great all rounders and best value for money option in most cases. The lower end boards (eg H310) are more of a basic, no-frills solutions designed for budget systems where every dollar counts.

In general we advise against CPU overclocking. The logic behind this is simple. The amount of performance you stand to gain is outweighed by the required additional investment required. This additional investment being a higher end motherboard and cooling solution to make it happen. Not to mention the added possible instability, heat, power consumption and shortened component life span if it’s not done carefully.

The PSU (Power Supply)

As for the power supply, we offer both Bronze and Gold rated options. These ratings indicate their AC to DC power conversion efficiency with Bronze being 85% under 80% load and Gold being 92%. Increased efficiency means less heat output and lower power bills! The other thing to consider when selecting a power supply is the wattage. How much do you need exactly? Well if you are using our custom PC builder (linked here) it’s smart enough to tell you. Simply select all the other hardware first then navigate to the power supply selection area. At the top of the list will be a short instructional message. This will tell you how much wattage your system will draw and recommend a suitable buffer.

In Summary / TLDR;

Still have questions?

Need recommendations for a chassis or storage device? Not too sure which cooler or you should go with or simply want an expert to go over your build and make some suggestions? No worries! You can reach out to us via the Contact Us page on our website and we will get back to you ASAP.

Customise and Order Online Today

Head on over to our store page at www.evatech.com.au to customise your next dream gaming PC for Apex Legends or any other game! It’s quick, easy, powerful, Australian built and delivered fast nation wide. Not to mention outstanding value.

Not convinced? Checkout how we stack up against the competition,

Categories
News

$2000 Gaming PC Challenge

JB HIFI / Officeworks / Good Guys / Bing Lee VS Evatech

It pays to shop around, especially on big ticket items like gaming PCs! This isn’t news, but what happens when you compare an Evatech custom built to order gaming PC with an off the shelf pre-assembled in china option? The results might surprise you.

We get it. Custom built in Australia sounds expensive right? Logic says that should be true, but when you do your homework it’s a very different story. To illustrate this, we’ve done a little experiment. With $2,000 to spend we visited JB HiFi, Bing Lee & Officeworks to see how much bang for our buck we could get, then compared it to an Evatech custom gaming PC for the same price.

Initial Observations

The first thing we noticed when doing our comparison is that there wasn’t a lot of options to choose from when it came to a gaming desktop PCs. The second thing we noticed is that there were no options with ‘current-gen’ hardware! Several months after the launch of the 9th-gen Intel CPUs and RTX series GPUs, they were nowhere to be found.

Last but not least, we noticed a disturbing trend of only 12 month manufacturer warranties. Under Australian consumer rights laws this probably isn’t even legal but we think we know why they do it. We suspect it’s help the retailers push their ‘extended’ warranties. Essentially scaring you in to spending more money on something the law entitles you to anyway.

Setting the Rules

To make this as fair as possible we set of very basic ground rules.

  • We couldn’t exceed our $2000 budget
  • We had to choose the best value for money gaming PC without exception
  • All pricing and specifications were recorded on the same day (15/03/2019)
  • All options must be stand alone PCs, not bundled with peripherals or a monitor.
    • Initially this was done to try and ensure the fairest possible comparison and minimise subjectivity but it turned out none of the competitors offered such a bundle in this price range anyway.

The Comparison Chart

Officeworks (HP Omen i7)

JB HiFi (Acer Nitro N50 i5)

Bing Lee (Acer Nitro N50 i7)

Evatech (Custom PCID 138234)

CPU

Officeworks (HP Omen i7)

8th Gen 6-Core 8700 4.6GHz

JB HiFi (Acer Nitro N50 i5)

8th Gen 6-Core 8400 4.0GHz

Bing Lee (Acer Nitro N50 i7)

8th Gen 6-Core 8700 4.6GHz

Evatech (Custom PCID 138234)

9th Gen 6-Core 9600K 4.6GHz

RAM

Officeworks (HP Omen i7)

16GB DDR4

JB HiFi (Acer Nitro N50 i5)

8GB DDR4

Bing Lee (Acer Nitro N50 i7)

16GB DDR4

Evatech (Custom PCID 138234)

16GB DDR4

Video Card

Officeworks (HP Omen i7)

NVIDIA GTX 1060 3GB

JB HiFi (Acer Nitro N50 i5)

NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB

Bing Lee (Acer Nitro N50 i7)

NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB

Evatech (Custom PCID 138234)

NVIDIA RTX 2060 6G

(Up to 40% Faster than a GTX1060!)

SSD

Officeworks (HP Omen i7)

128GB

JB HiFi (Acer Nitro N50 i5)

128GB

Bing Lee (Acer Nitro N50 i7)

256GB

Evatech (Custom PCID 138234)

500GB

Hard Drive

Officeworks (HP Omen i7)

2TB

JB HiFi (Acer Nitro N50 i5)

1TB

Bing Lee (Acer Nitro N50 i7)

1TB

Evatech (Custom PCID 138234)

2TB

Operating System

Officeworks (HP Omen i7)

Windows 10 OEM

JB HiFi (Acer Nitro N50 i5)

Windows 10 OEM

Bing Lee (Acer Nitro N50 i7)

Windows 10 OEM

Evatech (Custom PCID 138234)

Windows 10 Full Retail Licence

(Transferred)

WiFi

Officeworks (HP Omen i7)

JB HiFi (Acer Nitro N50 i5)

Bing Lee (Acer Nitro N50 i7)

Evatech (Custom PCID 138234)

Warranty

Officeworks (HP Omen i7)

1 Year

JB HiFi (Acer Nitro N50 i5)

1 Year

Bing Lee (Acer Nitro N50 i7)

1 Year

Evatech (Custom PCID 138234)

3 Years (Extendable to 5!)

Upgradable / Customisable?

Officeworks (HP Omen i7)

JB HiFi (Acer Nitro N50 i5)

Bing Lee (Acer Nitro N50 i7)

Evatech (Custom PCID 138234)

Price

Officeworks (HP Omen i7)

$1888

JB HiFi (Acer Nitro N50 i5)

$1999

Bing Lee (Acer Nitro N50 i7)

$1999

Evatech (Custom PCID 138234)

$1999

The Results

For the tech savvy among you who understand what you’re looking at on the chart above, the results are pretty clear. For the sake of those who might not have a full understanding of what exactly they are looking at in the chart, we’ll break it down for you.

A crash course in PC gaming hardware metrics.

When it comes to gaming performance, they key contributor is the graphics card, as long as the CPU and RAM are not a bottleneck. The best way to compare graphics card performance is with a real world benchmark result. There are thousands of these available online, some from more reputable sources than others. We would recommend using well known and trusted independent hardware review websites like GamersNexus.net, TweakTown.com and Techspot.com

Here’s an example.

In modern gaming systems, 8GB of RAM is considered entry level, 16GB plenty and 32GB overkill. As for the CPU in a gaming PC, low end systems will get by with an i3, while mid range systems should ideally be paired with an i5 and only the highest end systems would need to bother with an i7 or i9.

There is a commonly held misconception when it comes to CPUs that higher “GHz” means more performance or that more cores means more performance. Both of which are both true in a way, but mostly false. “GHz” is a measurement of the CPU’s clock speed or ‘tick’ rate. 4GHz means the CPU cycles through a set of ‘instructions’ 4000000000 times a second. This doesn’t account for the number of instructions per cycle it can handle, also known as “IPC”. A CPU with a higher IPC and lower clock speed can outperform a lower IPC, higher clock rate competitor.

Furthermore, cores are something that will only contribute to performance if the application or game you are running actually utilises them. Most modern game engines really only make full use of the first 4 to 6 cores (sometimes less). This means in most games, a 4 core CPU and 6 or 8 core CPU with the same IPC and clock rate will perform practically the same when compared side by side.

Of course this is a very generalised guide and dependence will vary from game to game. That being said, for the vast majority of modern games, this is the widely accepted best practice.

Gaming Performance

First Place : Evatech (40+% Higher than 2nd Place)
This was an easy win, with second place not even coming close. The Evatech configuration blows the competition out of the water with it’s significantly higher performing GPU (video card). You can see one such example in Battlefield V with the benchmark chart shown above. It also has the highest performing gaming CPU of the bunch with the highest IPC.

Last Place : Officeworks (with JB HiFi not far behind)
With the slowest GPU (video card) in the pack, the Officeworks PC would perform the worse in most titles. The only exceptions being for the most RAM hungry or CPU dependant games like the Total War series or Civilisation in which the JB HiFi model would lose it’s much lower RAM capacity and lower end CPU.

Storage Capacity

A secondary consideration when it comes a gaming PC but an important one none the less. Each system being compared today comes with a primary SSD and secondary regular hard drive. For those of you unfamiliar with the difference SSDs are Solid State Drives. They are significantly higher performing when it comes to boot and load times, but don’t effect in game performance much. Hard drives are spinning mechanical platter storage devices that have are cheaper GB but much slower. Bare in mind that it’s not uncommon for sames to reach 60-70GBs once installed and patched these days, plus Windows itself will eat up 10GB+.

First Place: Evatech (2-4x more SSD storage capacity than the competition)
With 500GB of SSD storage you have plenty of storage space to install a bunch of all your favourite games without the need to uninstall others or resort to using the slower hard drive. Still not enough? Well there’s an extra 2TB of space for you to install your less frequently played games and applications on the secondary drive.

Last Place: JB Hi Fi
Sporting only 128GB on the primary drive (much of which will be already eaten up by the operating system and bloatware rubbish that will come pre-installed), you’ll have room for 1 or two big AAA games before you run out of space. This is something that the Officeworks system also suffers from but with double the secondary hard drive storage capacity it edges out the JB Hi Fi system to avoid a last place tie.

Warranty & Upgradability.

First Place : Evatech
Pretty clearly the winner in this category with the only system that allows upgrades and comes as standard with much more generous warranty policy than the competition. Free troubleshooting assistance from professionals who actually know what they are talking about. Much much longer warranty period and very reasonable out of warranty repair pricing. Everything you would expect and more, for a $2,000 investment.

Last Place : JB Hi-Fi, Officeworks, Bing Lee (3 way tie)
Is it because they use such lower end hardware that they can’t offer more than 12 months warranty? Is it all a scam to to try and rip you off further and help the big box retailers push their extremely pricey and often useless extended warranties? We suspect it’s mostly the latter, but there is also no doubt the hardware you get in an Evatech PC is far superior. Oh, want to upgrade in the future and keep your expensive investment up to date long term? Don’t even think about it, just buy a whole new one. Not only will attempting upgrades void your warranty but in a lot of cases you just simply can’t because they use non-standard hardware that’s simply not compatible with off the shelf gear.

In Summary (TLDR;)

Evatech

  • Far superior gaming performance
  • Higher quality latest-gen hardware
  • Upgradable
  • Much better warranty
  • Way better support
  • 100% customizable

Bing Lee, Office Works & JB-Hi Fi

  • None of the above
  • Overpriced
  • Lacklustre performance
  • Old last-gen hardware
  • Not custom or upgradable
  • Short warranty

Are we biased? Of course we are. But are we wrong? Well everything we mentioned above is true, verifiable and we stand by it 100%. The rest is up to you to decide. Bare in mind we specialise specifically in custom computers and have done so since our inception in 2013. The competition peddle their so called ‘gaming PCs’ next to staplers, toaster ovens and refrigerators. So is it really that big of a surprise that we would offer better quality, service and value? We don’t think so.

Not convinced? Give our store website a try at www.evatech.com.au and customise a PC today. It’s quick, easy, powerful, great value and packed with the latest hardware. All you have to do is lock in your order and our team builds, tests, setup and deliver your system to your door in a matter of days while you sit back and save time & money. What more could you want?

Categories
News

The Division 2 on PC [Gaming Review]

With the launch of the much anticipated Division 2 from Ubisoft today, initial feedback from trusted review sites online is trending pretty positive. Being essentially an online RPG, all we’re getting at this stage is first impressions. We’ll have to wait a until people have more time with the game and start reaching some of the deeper buried content until we start to get a full sense of everything it has to offer.

But is it better than the first game?

With out a doubt, yes. But does that mean it’s a good game overall? Well that’s were we need to go in to more detail. In almost every way, The Division 2 is an improvement over its predecessor. The world feels more full and interesting, the gun play and visuals are improved, enemy variance is better. Everything just feels like it’s had an extra layer of polish that the first game didn’t get. This all of course was to be expected, but in the world of gaming, it’s not something that can be taken for granted. Happily this time around the developers have delivered on those expectations.

How does it fare as a stand-alone game?

Being a stat and loot driven RPG shooter, the game really needs to success in delivering a meaningful progression system to the player. This means weapon and armour upgrades that actually have a real impact to gameplay. It also means unlocking player attributes that are more than just cosmetic or tiny imperceptible tweaks to an underlying stat system.

The Division 2 does this well, at least in the early hours of the game. To give you an idea, with the level cap at 30, we’re writing this article only having reached level 17 so far. There is still plenty of post ‘end-game’ content after the main story but in terms of meaningful progression you wouldn’t expect it to extend far past the level cap. New items are spaced well throughout the game, level progression actually means something, perks give you noticeable boosts.

Most importantly however (this being a third person shooter after all) is the weapons. This is a game where damage hit points come flying out of enemies when you hit them. Where armour actually makes a difference and hitting an enemy in the head will deal a lot more damage than blasting them in a toe. Damage, fire rate and accuracy of your weapon are probably the most important stats in the game. This makes upgrading your arsenal not only necessary but satisfying and a key driver to keep you playing.

The Good

Well as previously mentioned, the all important progression system is a big plus, the visuals are great and the game world is interesting. On top of all that, the gun-play (which is pretty crappy in the first game) is much improved with the audio and animations being punchier and enemy animations actually responsive and timely when getting hit.

Another positive addition to the game, and one we mentioned in the opening paragraph, is a much more varied range of enemies. The combination of size, speed, armour and weapons means you always have to be on your toes. Giant chainsaw wielding melee enemies lurk in narrow corridors while snipers may patrol big open areas. Different factions don’t only look different, but will have different critical hit areas, movement behaviours and weapons. This goes a long way in keeping the game-play feel fresh and less predicable.

The Bad

The game isn’t perfect by any means, but it’s far from bad. That being said, if you’re after a great immersive Tom Clancy worthy story, you might be a little disappointed. The characters are good but not great and the overarching plot is fairly predictable. There isn’t much in the way of side compelling stories to explore in the world beyond the main mission either. On the flip side, there is some pretty well done small segments of the game that stand out. These mostly centred around some fairly compelling and interesting villains.

Another issue we’ve encountered is the shotgun. It’s a simple game mechanic that hearkens as far back as the original Doom. Devastating at close range, useless and long range. That’s all it needs to be. Somehow in this particular game, it’s only one of those two things. At range the Shotgun is as you would expect, pretty useless. However, close up it’s somewhat effective but it barely deals any more damage that a regular rifle. This makes it essentially useless. A fairly small grievance and one that could easily be fixed in a patch, so at this point we’ll just wait and see.

To Summarise

In conclusion, we were presently surprised. The game is fun, it’s a big step up over the original and the down sides were only minor. This of course won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. For instance, if you’re a WoW player and not a fan of run and gun action shooters, it’s probably not for you. Likewise, if you’re a Call of Duty fan that likes twitch shooters with sub 1 second time to kill, this won’t be for you either. To summarise, if you like this genre blending style of game then you’ll probably enjoy the Division 2. Just don’t shell out $70 expecting it to be something that it isn’t.

Get a bit more of the picture with the official launch trailer

The Hardware Requirements

Being a very PC-centric game and being built for native 4K support this game can really put a strain on your gaming rig. Especially if you really want to max it out. Ubisoft’s own official hardware recommendations to play at 4K require an RTX2080 TI. Paired ideally with a high end i7-i9 current gen CPU and 16GB of RAM. You can take this with a grain of salt. The publishers recommendations are not always based on actual raw performance. That being said, in this case, they don’t appear to be far from the truth either.

If like most gamers, you’ll be playing at 1080P or 1440P you can get away with a GTX1070 or RTX2060 GPU. Paired with a high end i5 or Ryzen 7 CPU and 16GB of RAM to keep up. Bare in mind this is for high graphics pre-sets at 60FPS. Remember to keep a little headroom if you’re trying to reach higher frame rates on a high-refresh rate gaming monitor.

For you budget gamers out there, the minimum officially supported hardware specs are a GTX670 + i5-2500K with 8GB of RAM. This roughly equities to an i3-8100 and a GTX1050 TI. Expect to need to dial both the in game graphics settings and resolution down low to achieve a smooth frame rate.

Here is the full official list direct from Ubisoft for reference

The Division 2: Minimum system requirements – 1080p | 30 FPS

  • OS: Windows 7 | 8 | 10
  • CPU: AMD FX-6350 | Intel Core I5-2500K
  • RAM: 8 GM
  • GPU: Nvidia Geforce GTX 670
  • VRAM: 2 GB

The Division 2: Recommended system requirements – 1080p | 60 FPS 

  • OS: Windows 7 | 8 | 10
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 1500X | Intel Core I7-4790
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • GPU: Nvidia Geforce GTX 970
  • VRAM: 4 GB

The Division 2: High system requirements – 1440p | 60 FPS 

  • OS: Windows 7 | 8 | 10
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 1700 | Intel Core I7-6700K
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • GPU: Nvidia Geforce GTX 1070
  • VRAM: 8 GB

The Division 2: Elite system requirements – 4K | 60 FPS 

  • OS: Windows 7 | 8 | 10
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 2700X | Intel Core I9-7900X
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • GPU: Nvidia Geforce RTX 2080 TI
  • VRAM: 11 GB

Where to buy the Division 2 on PC in Australia

So how do you get your hands on a copy of the Division 2 for PC? Well in Australia it starts at $64.00 on Amazon or JB-Hi Fi. If you have a JB locally you can walk in and grab a copy on the spot. Not in a rush? If you have Amazon prime you get free delivery. Don’t want to leave the house? It’s just a few bucks more on the Epic Games store. Just don’t get ripped off at EB!

  • Amazon – $64
  • JB Hi-Fi – $64
  • Epic Games Store – $69.95
  • Ubisoft Store – $89.95
  • EB Games – $89.95

Customising a gaming PC for the Division 2

Don’t have a gaming PC up to the challenge? Well now you know what sort of hardware you’ll need to hit your desired gameplay experience, the next part is easy. Visit www.evatech.com.au and customise your next dream ‘Division 2’ ready gaming PC today. Australian built, high quality, latest gen gaming PCs built to order and delivered nation wide. Above all, it’s easy, powerful, amazing value and has great built in error checking and performance indicators.

Simply order online and our team will build, test, and deliver to your doorstep anywhere in Australia!

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News

Evatech VS. Harvey Norman Gaming PC

It’s been a while since we’ve done a dive in to how our Evatech custom gaming PCs stack up against the competition. So we headed on over to Harvey Norman’s website, typed ‘Gaming PC’ in to the search box and clicked the first thing to appear. Then we headed over to our own custom PC builder page on our website and configured a system to match spec-for-spec as closely as possible for comparison. How do we stack up? Well, we think it’s pretty clear…

HARVEY NORMAN’S
HP OMEN 880-185A
EVATECH VALKYRIE
GAMING PC (ID:138163)
HARDWARE
(see screenshots below for full advertised specification)
i7 6-Core 8700K CPU
Nvidia GTX1080 8GB GDDR5
32GB DDR4 RAM
512GB SSD + 3TB HDD
AC WiFi
Windows 10
i7 8-Core 9700K CPU
Nvidia RTX2080 8GB GDDR6
32GB DDR4 RAM
500GB SSD + 3TB HDD
AC WiFi
Windows 10
PERFORMANCE^Approx 20-25% LowerApprox 20-25% Higher
SUPPORTForeign call centre reading from a pre-written script addressing a handful of possible issues. Trained local experts who know what they are talking about and actually built your PC.
BLOATWARE
(pre-installed unwanted applications)
A lot (15+)None. Just a clean install of Windows 10 and the latest hardware drivers.
WARRANTY12 months, or up to 3 years with third party extension.3 years, with up to 5 year first party extension.
AUSTRALIAN BUILTNopeYes!
UPGRADABLENopeYes!
CUSTOMISABLENope100%
PRICE$6597$3735

All the data above is true and accurate as of the 14th of March 2019. Pricing and specifications are subject to change. For the latest pricing and specifications please refer to the website for each retailer compared. ^ Performance metrics averaged based on game benchmark data based on CPU and GPU reviews. Data available online from independent third parties, eg – techspot.com / techpowerup.com / gamersnexus.net

In Summary

Well, if you were to purchase the Harvey Norman HP Omen gaming PC over our custom Valkyrie you would be paying $2,862 more. What do you get for that huge premium? Older, lower performing hardware with worse customer support and no ability to customise or upgrade without immediately voiding your warranty.

How is that even possible!?

Surely there is something that would justify the price difference, or we have to be hiding something right? Well, the Omen comes with a fancy logo printed on the front of it and can be purchased over the counter (if your local store has stock). The sales-person will be thrilled to key in the order for their KPIs (sales targets) and commission. Likely saying whatever they think it will take to get you to pull out your wallet.

On the other hand our systems, due to their customisable nature, are built to order. This means you’ll need to be a little patient and wait a few extra days before picking it up or having it shipped out to you. We don’t know about you, but a $2,862 saving plus a huge performance boost seems like a pretty good trade off for a few extra days right?

The Evidence?

Depending on how far in the future you’re reading this, you may or not may not be able to pull up each PC on the websites. Pricing is of course subject to change over time but we don’t expect it to change significantly. At the time of writing this article we captured screenshots as evidence in case anything does change moving forward. You can find these below, completely unedited, taken at precisely 10:41am 14/03/2019.

The Best Part…

It’s simple. With Evatech, you can choose EXACTLY what you want. No need to limit yourself to a few pre-configured systems. You can get exactly what you want, with none of the crap you don’t need. Do it in your own time without any pushy sales-person who barely know what they are talking about. Tailor a system to any budget and if you need professional assistance you can contact us any time for an obligation free expert one on one assistance. No up-sells, no targets, no KPIs, no sales tricks. Just honest, genuine, & professional advise, guaranteed.

So how best to get started?

Well it’s simple. Just visit our store page at www.evatech.com.au

It’s fast, secure, powerful and has built in performance indicators, guides and compatibility checking to make it easy! Get stuck, have a question or need some advice? Just hit the contact button and shoot us a message. We’ll get back to you ASAP (typically within the hour during business hours). Or give us a call on 03 9020 7017. If you’re a local, drop in to the store at 1/382 Huntingdale Road, Oakleigh South 3167.

Categories
Guide

Custom PCs, easier than you think

We get it. The idea of getting a custom built PC online is one that a lot of people didn’t even know was possible. Even if you were aware of it, you might think you don’t know enough about PCs to customise one yourself.

Well, we’re doing our best to raise awareness but this is a slow and costly process. On the other hand though, we’ve already made it super easy. Let me explain.

Built in guides & error checking

At first glance, customising a PC on our website can be a little daunting. There’s a lot of options and you might not know where to begin. Let us guide you! All the options will start to make sense.

On our home page you’ll be presented with 2 main options for custom PCs. There’s Gaming, or Home & Business. Click into the one that’s right for you.

Next you’ll get a list of three to four base configurations, each with a short one paragraph explanation detailing the differences. You can give these a quick read, decide which sounds the closest match to your needs, then go ahead and click into it.

Here is were the real confusion can begin. Some nice long lists of all the possible hardware options for each component. Motherboards, CPUs, RAM, graphics cards, storage drives… The list seems endless and for those not too savvy with PC hardware, you might not know what you’re looking at! Well, take a big deep breath and stay calm, it’s not really that difficult.

As everyone’s exact use cases, budgets, and requirements will differ, it’s hard to make a definitive ‘one size fits all’ guide. But there are some basics tips we can provide that will give you plenty to get started.

Tips to getting started

  • Understanding a few basic PC hardware terms.
    • Checkout the guide towards the bottom of the the custom PC page for a quick simple introduction
  • Don’t overspend on extras you don’t need
    • 128GB or even 64GB RAM is overkill for most; consider 8GB as the minimum, 16GB more than sufficient, and 32GB plenty
    • Want a basic machine for typical office tasks and web browsing? Don’t worry about that i9 CPU, consider the i3 or at most an i5 for some future-proofing
    • Have a very specific use case and want a tailor made configuration by experts? Reach out to us and let us know the details for an obligation free quote!
  • Balance your budget and keep your peripherals and display (monitor) in mind
    • Spending thousands on a brand new PC is great! But not having any space left in your budget for an equally high-end monitor, mouse, and keyboard can limit the system’s potential and impact your experience as the user. Take a look at our range of monitors and peripherals to get an understanding of much of your budget you should set aside when customising your PC.

Now with all that in mind, you are ready to get started. Keep an eye out for our built in tips at the top of certain component selection categories. These are designed to assist you in making the appropriate choice. Please read them carefully if you’re unsure what options will suit you best.

Don’t stress! We’ve got your back

We also have built in compatibility checking that will highlight potential issues with selected options. These will be highlighted in red. So if you don’t see any big red markers on the page, rest assured your selections are compatible.

Last but not least, our team of hardware professionals will carefully cross check all orders. This makes sure each configuration is well optimised and doesn’t contain any potential hardware conflicts. In the rare occasion they do, we’ll reach out to you to let you know and help you make any necessary adjustments.

Know that it is near impossible for us to build, test, and dispatch a PC that isn’t compatible. So there’s a zero percent chance you’ll get a PC that doesn’t work.

I’ve got a configuration I’m happy with, now what?

Once you’ve got all your component selections finalised, hit ‘Save & Continue’ on the right (desktop only) or bottom of the page. Your unique configuration will get permanently stored in our database and assigned a 6 digit custom PC ID number along side a summary of the configuration. You can use this number to recall this exact configuration at any time. Simply enter this 6 digit PC ID number in the input box titled ‘Enter PC ID Number Here’ and click the ‘Load’ button. You can also quote this ID to any of our staff members if you wish to discuss it further.

If you wish to make alternations to a custom PC configuration you can simply load up the PC ID number and click the ‘Customise’ button. Note that after making changes and clicking ‘Save & Continue’ you’ll be issued a new PC ID number. Don’t worry, your previous configuration is preserved under the old PC ID.

Ready to place an order?

Once you’re ready to lock in an order it’s as easy as hitting the ‘Add to Cart’ button and proceeding through checkout. Don’t forget to add any monitors, keyboards, mice, headsets, or other accessories you might need for your new custom PC.

The entire process is quick, easy, safe, and secure. We accept multiple payment methods including PayPal, Visa & MasterCard, Zip, 120 day layby, and bank deposit for your convince. Custom PC assembly begins as soon as payment clears and all systems undergo a series of meticulous cross checks and burn in testing prior to dispatch to ensure the highest possible levels of quality control.

Why custom is always best when it comes to PCs

Desktop computers, unlike phones, laptops, TVs, gaming consoles, or other high tech high cost household gadgets can be built from a huge range of possible components. Take shopping for smartphone for example: a process that typically involves identifying the handful of options in your budget and comparing them. Making a compromise between aspects like battery life, screen size, storage capacity, and camera quality to get the right one for you.

Desktop PCs on the other hand…

Sadly this is how a lot of people (who shop at places like JB Hi-Fi, Officeworks, or Harvey Norman) would handle shopping for a desktop PC too! However unlike a phone or TV, a computer can be tailor built to your exact needs. You don’t have to pay extra for parts you don’t need or would never use. You can choose from a huge range of aesthetic combinations to suit your exact style. Furthermore, it can be custom built to order for you right here in Australia.

Not to mention when you go with a completely custom Evatech PC you’ll save hundreds (if not thousands!) of dollars. You’ll get warranty and support from a local team of experts who speak your language and actually know what they are talking about, and you’re guaranteed top shelf latest generation hardware!

That last one is important. Often ‘big box’ retailers will be attempting to offload old previous generation products at full price to unsuspecting customers. More on that in upcoming posts!

Categories
News

Customising a Gaming PC for Metro Exodus in 2019

In 2007 German game developer released a first person shooter released a game that signified a generational leap in visual game engine technology; punishing so called high end gaming hardware on its highest settings. If you bought the game day one, chances are you and nobody you knew had what it took to play on ultra at 1080P. If you were a PC gamer back then, you know exactly what we’re talking about. Crysis.

It took 12 years but finally, a truly ‘next-gen’ visual experience is here and again it’s one developed in Europe, although this time Ukraine. The First Metro game was released 2010, only a few short years after Crysis. Metro Exodus, the third game in the series (if you don’t the re-release ‘Redux’ editions) has been in development since 2014 and was just released on February 15th.

Working closely with Nvidia to be one of the first major game releases to implement DLSS and RTX features from the ground up it’s become a showcase piece to show off just what the tech can do. For fans of the Metro series, the genre, or even just cutting edge PC graphics it surely makes a compelling reason to upgrade an RTX powered rig if you haven’t already.

Aside from the fancy graphics, how is the actual game?

Despite the controversy of it being an Epic Games store exclusive on PC, critics are loving the game with it currently sporting a 84/100 on meta-critic.

Succeeds in its ambitions, making it easy to recommend to both newcomers and series fans alike. 8.75/10

GameInformer

An incredible trip through a stunning post-apocalyptic world

PCGamer 78/100

brings its survival horror to the surface without sacrificing any of the series’ signature tension.

IGN 8.5/10

Taking the series to an open world environment, implementing a day-night system which significantly impacts game-play and going all out with their weapon customisation system, there is a lot to love aside from the fancy graphics. It’s not a run-and-gun twitch shooter by any means, it’s most definitely a survival horror game at its core favouring a more measured and stealthy approach to most sequences. Scrounging for, and conserving precious ammo, crafting new weapons at work benches and unlocking missions through interactions with game characters across a wide open environment it definitely has RPG elements thrown in to the mix.

But what does it actually take to play?

To answer this question, the first thing we need to do is figure out exactly what type of experience you’re looking for. If you just want to play the game and have no interest in gorgeous implementation of real time ray-traced global illumination then a GTX1060 and 6th-gen core i5 will be enough to get you through on medium presets at 1080P. But let’s face it, the most impressive part of this game is the visuals and if you really want to get the full effect you’ll need an Nvidia RTX series graphics card (sorry AMD fanboys).

At the moment there is 4 of these RTX cards to choose from. Pair any of these with a current generation (8th or 9th-gen) i5 CPU or higher, 16GB of DDR4 memory and here is what you can expect.

With the RTX2060

  • At 1080P Ultra with RTX set to HIGH you can expect around 40FPS with occasional dips as low as 25FPS.
  • At 1440P Ultra with RTX set to HIGH you can expect around 29FPS with occasional dips as low as 20FPS.
  • At 4K Ultra with RTX set to HIGH you can expect an unplayable frame-rate in the low teens.

With the RTX2070

  • At 1080P Ultra with RTX set to HIGH you can expect around 50FPS with occasional dips as low as 30FPS.
  • At 1440P Ultra with RTX set to HIGH you can expect around 36FPS with occasional dips as low as 23FPS.
  • At 4KUltra with RTX set to HIGH you can expect around 21FPS with occasional dips as low as 15FPS.

With the RTX2080

  • At 1080P Ultra with RTX set to HIGH you can expect around 60FPS with occasional dips as low as 38FPS.
  • At 1440P Ultra with RTX set to HIGH you can expect around 36FPS with occasional dips as low as 23FPS.
  • At 4KUltra with RTX set to HIGH you can expect around 25FPS with occasional dips as low as 17FPS.

With the RTX2080 TI

  • At 1080P Ultra with RTX set to HIGH you can expect around 78FPS with occasional dips as low as 46FPS.
  • At 1440P Ultra with RTX set to HIGH you can expect around 58FPS with occasional dips as low as 37FPS.
  • At 4K Ultra with RTX set to HIGH you can expect around 35FPS with occasional dips as low as 24FPS.

Yep, you read that right. A $2,000 top of the line RTX 2080 TI GPU will be virtually unplayable at 4K on ULTRA presets. But don’t worry, the game will still look awesome on a 4K monitor with DLSS at 1440P or if you go in tweak some of those ‘ULTRA’ preset graphics options down a bit to get your desired frame rates.

So where do I get my hands on a brand new RTX ready gaming PC?

It’s easy. We build them to order right here in Australia and deliver to your door nation wide. With built in compatibility checking and performance indicators you can use our online custom PC builder for unrivalled customisability options an instant quote with just a few clicks. A few more clicks and you can order online and have the system on its way to your door anywhere in Australia.

Check it out by clicking here to get started.

Categories
News

Apex Legends : Free to Play Battle Royal Shooter from the makers of Titan Fall 2

In a surprise announcement yesterday, Respawn Entertainment both announced and launched Apex Legends. A free to play battle-royal shooter set in the Titan Fall universe and running in the same engine. Taking on the likes of PUBG and Fortnite, the battle-royal shooter genre is fast becoming a crowded space but in just 13 hours Respawn recorded an active player count of over 1,000,000!

Is it any good & what does it take to play it?

Online reviews are very positive with quotes like ‘Better than Fornite in every way’ and ‘Feels a lot like Call of Duty Blackout, just more fun’, it’s pretty clear to see why it’s getting so much traction so fast. The developers have also promised long term support and updates with new content patched in periodically to keep it new and interesting to long term players.

The game is currently only Available on EA Origin’s marketplace but is completely free and is set to stay that way. The developers have promised that all paid content will be cosmetic only and won’t give any players any advantages in-game.

As with most free to play games, the hardware requirements to get it running are pretty minimal. A modern i3 CPU, 8GB of RAM and a GTX1050 will get a pretty enjoyable experience at 1080P with some of the in-game settings scaled down. That being said, crank all the settings up to max and this game really can look quiet good. To do so at 1080P, we would recommend a GTX1060 6G and i5 CPU combination with 8 to 16GB of RAM. You can scale up the graphics card to a RTX2060 and RTX2070 respectively for 1440P and 4K resolutions.

Thinking of getting a new gaming rig? It’s a great time! Head on over to our store page here and start customizing your next dream gaming PC today.

Categories
Guide

Building a Custom Gaming PC for 4K Gaming in 2019

With 4K monitors becoming more and more affordable, 4K gaming is spreading through the ranks of high end PC gaming fast, but what does it really take to push that many pixels? We take a look at a few of the most demanding PC games out right now to find out.

Pre-ample : We’ll be focusing on the graphics card. Why? Well it’s almost always the choke point in gaming performance when you reach 4K. This is of course assuming the CPU and RAM are not bottle-necking it. For the results discussed below we would recommend 16GB of RAM and paring an RTX2070 with a i5 8600K or higher, the RTX2080 with a i5 9600K or higher and RTX2080 TI and any modern i7.

The RTX2070

The 4K Entry Level GPU

4K is a LOT of pixels on the screen and rendering them takes a toll on the GPU. Even Nvidia’s latest generation RTX line up can struggle at times depending on the game and in game settings. Thankfully PC games comes with a lot of in-game graphics settings that all can be adjusted independently. This means with a bit of time tinkering with these options you can often find a sweet spot where performance reaches your target and the game still looks great.

With the RTX 2070, 16GB or RAM and a mid-range i5 you can expect 4K to playable at 60FPS or more in games like Far-Cry 5, Assassins Creed Origins, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, GTA V, PUBG, Destiny 2 and Battlefield V, but don’t expect it at ultra. That being said, making the comprises to in game graphics settings in the right way and the visuals will still look great. Take the time to mess around in the settings and give the game a try each time you make an adjustment. It may take a while it’s definitely worth your while.

What can the RTX2070 play at 4K / Ultra settings? Well there’s quite a lot actually.

  • Overwatch
  • Doom
  • F1 2018
  • Fortnite
  • Counter Strike Global Offensive : (CS:GO)
  • Hitman
  • Sniper Elite 4
  • Forza 7
  • Wolfenstien : The New Colossus.

Note to mention the still very popular but older or less demanding games like World of Warcarft, Leage of Legends, Starcraft and DOTA 2.

The RTX2080

4K with less compromise.

Paired with 16GB or RAM and a high end i5 CPU you can expect somewhere in the realm of a 10-25% boost in performance (depending on the game in question) over the RTX2070. This is enough to push those games that might have been playable at medium settings / 4K on the RTX2070 up to the high presets with approximately the same frame rates.

What can the RTX2080 play at 4K / Ultra settings? Well in addition to the RTX2070 list above, you can add;

  • Strange Brigade
  • The Division
  • Call of Duty : WWII
  • Star Wars : Battlefront 2
  • Prey
  • Just Cause 3
  • Battlefield 1
  • GTA V

The RTX2080 TI

The single most powerful gaming GPU on the market today.

Paired with 16GB or RAM and a modern i7 CPU the RTX2080TI delivers frame rates in the range of . This is enough to push those games that might have been playable at medium settings / 4K on the RTX2070 up to the high presets with approximately the same frame rates.

What can the RTX2080 TI play at 4K / Ultra settings? Well in addition to the RTX2080 list above, you can add;

  • For Honor
  • Middle Earth : Shadow of War
  • Assassins Creed Origins
  • The Crew 2
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider (RTX OFF)
  • Battlefield 1
  • Battlefield V (RTX OFF)
  • Ashes of the Singularity
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG)
  • Far Cry 5

4K Gaming with RTX / DLSS

With the additional GPU overhead that RTX or real time ray tracing places on the GPU, it’s little wonder that even the RTX2080 TI struggles to put up respectable frame rates at 4K in the few games that support RTX when it’s enabled. However with it still being a very new technology, the game developers with the help of Nvidia are constantly making improvements.

DLSS or deep learning super-sampling is an ingenious technology designed to use artificial intelligence to scale lower resolution rendering up to higher ones with minimal loss of detail and big gains in performance. Once we start to see a few more performance patches, updated drivers and games start to launch with DLSS and RTX both built in, it may be a very different story.

Battlefield V will be the first to market with this DLSS and RTX combination with RTX being implemented already but DLSS on the way in an upcoming patch. Nvidia boasts enabling DLSS with RTX turned on will result in very similar performance to having RTX off all together which, if true, is fantastic news for 4K gamers.

Customizing a Gaming PC for 4K Gaming

Well now you have everything you need to know, you can jump right in to our custom gaming PC builder (linked here) and get started. Just bare in mind the recommended CPU and RAM pairings with each GPU, don’t forget to set aside some of your budget for the 4K monitor. As for the other components, our custom PC builder page is pretty good at guiding you through the options so you don’t need to worry too much. A lot of the options are mostly based on personal preferences and come down to aesthetic choice, or how much storage capacity you think you’ll need. If you have any questions before you place your order feel free to shoot us an email at any time and we’ll get back to you ASAP.

Choosing the Right 4K Gaming Ready Monitor

As you would probably expect, 4K monitors are not exactly ‘cheap’. Acer, Asus, Samsung and Philips all have 4K monitors at various different physical formats from 27″ to 40″ and they start from around the $900 mark. You can checkout our monitor range by (clicking here) or visiting our online store at www.evatech.com.au

Monitors are something that are frequently updated with new models, so if you’re reading this a few months or more after this article was originally posted, pricing and availability may have changed. That being said, the industry trend is heading towards more options at better pricing so unless something terrible has happened, the options will only be better.