Gadgets

NVIDIA Fall Preview offers 4K solutions, powerful gaming upgrades

There’s no better time to shop for computer components than the holidays. It does’t matter if you are shopping for yourself, for a friend or for a loved one – statistically October through January is the best timeframe to upgrade at a great price. As we begin our fall previews for the 2015 shopping season, NVIDIA is one of the first company’s we look to when thinking about upgrades.

With several new GPU chips available for desktops and a few new laptop options to consider, we broke down the new devices being offered this year from the popular manufacturer. NVIDIA has expanded its lineup of proprietary offerings this year as well, offering NVIDIA Shield updates as well as a new NVIDIA Shield TV unit.

Since the NVIDIA desktop cards are usually the most popular, we will start with the new GeForce GTX 950. This sub $200 processor is basically an updated and improved GTX 750 Ti, offering updated hardware that will support a broader range of today’s games.

It’s a terrific option for the MOBA crowd and that is primarily who it is being marketed to at this time. The device will offer 1080p resolution running on 768 CUDA Cores, plenty of power to keep your MOBA titles like “League of Legends” and “Dota 2″ running lag-free.

The card is strong enough to run DirectX 12 and will handle your MOBA titles with ease without busting your budget. Sitting at 4.376″ h x 7.938” L, the card is small enough that it will fit most older PCs without issue. On top of that, the fact that the card only requires 350Ws should also be a welcomed stat for most older PC users to read. You should have no issue finding a third-party SuperClocked version that will fit your PC when shopping within the GTX 950 family as well, just be sure to check your PCs other hardware specs for compatibility. The card supports a number of NVIDIA’s popular tech including SLI, PhysX, Adaptive Sync, the GPU Boost 2.0 and VXGI and MFAA.

This year one option is perfect for Desktop or laptop and all you have to remember GTX 980. The new GeForce GTX 980 is a serious upgrades for laptops or desktops depending on how old your rig is. The device is basically a desktop GPU that was designed to be laptop compatible. You’ll notice that there is no “M” within the name, so don’t get this write-up confused with the “M” version that was released prior to the new design. This is the GeForce GTX 980 series.

Yes it’s a little confusing, but the 980M older model was designed for laptops, and the new GeForce GTX 980 version is the first non “M” version designed for laptops. It’s an exciting transition for Laptop users, but NVIDIA wanted to make sure fans understood that this device was something entirely new to the laptop wold. The GPU uses the same 2,048-core GM204 GPU that you will find in the GeForce GTX 980 graphics cards.

The notebook version offers GDDR5 memory, fast CPUs, multiple USB 3.0 ports and direct HDMI out. NVIDIA stated that the GeForce GTX 980 is, “the world’s first notebooks to meet (and exceed) the recommended spec for Oculus Rift.” The company also stated that the device offers, “true 1:1 performance with its desktop counterpart.” You’ll find plenty of SuperClocking options here as well but the cost goes up with all of that power. Most of these GPUs will set you back between $490 and $600 dollars. Along with VR the card supports SLI, PhysX, the GPU Boost 2.0, 4K gaming, VXGI and MFAA technologies.

Breaking away from the world of GPUs for a moment, NVIDIA will also be offering a few choice products from the growing NVIDIA Shield line. The NVIDIA Shield TV unit is defiantly at the top of that list, offering 4K graphics and Google Play running on Android.

The NVIDIA Shield isn’t just a terrific gaming device, you will be able to watch anything on Google Play or Netflix for example, all in stunning 4K resolution. The NVIDIA Shield TV offers the best entertainment options from the Apple TV, Kindle Fire and your favorite Android phone all streaming straight to your television.

With 4K televisions and monitors dropping in price everyday, we are still surprised that only NVIDIA seems to be working towards the 4K streaming revolution. Netflix 4K, YouTube, KODI and PLEX are already starting to stream content in 4K resolution, with more content providers joining every few months. If you think you will be joining the wonderful world of 4K content watching soon, the NVIDIA Shield could become your go-to entertainment source. The device also offers Dolby 7.1 surround sound output, so you’ll be listening to your content in luxury as well.

Recently NVIDIA launched GeForce NOW, which allows users to connect to the company’s “gaming supercomputers” and enjoy unlimited streaming of a library of 50 popular PC games with a monthly subscriptions.