Looking Back At Gaming Hardware In 2017
2017 will be remembered as one of the greatest years for games, but we shouldn’t overlook the achievement in tech and gaming hardware. New consoles changed the way we play; Nintendo let us take our favorite games on the go and Microsoft launched the most powerful console yet. A resurgence of competition in the PC hardware market gave us better performance both in terms of processors and graphics cards. There’s a lot to cover, so let’s look back at the biggest gaming hardware launches of the year!
Nintendo took a gamble by going with a novel form factor for its latest console, but the Switch really hit it out of the park. Not only does it function as a traditional console on a TV when it’s docked, but taking top-notch games on the go is really something special. While its Tegra-based processor can’t hold a candle in performance to other modern consoles like the Xbox One X, Nvidia’s mobile chip has more than enough juice to power beautiful games such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey. There’s something truly amazing about being able to play these games on the big screen in the living room and then picking up where you left off 15 minutes later on the bus.
Microsoft Xbox One X
Microsoft’s Xbox One X console arrived this year and largely lived up to the hype. While it may be cost-prohibitive for many at $500, it can give a significantly more expensive PC a run for its money in terms of visual fidelity and performance. The souped-up Xbox One features an upgraded 8-core CPU clocked at 2.3GHz coupled 12GB of GDDR5 RAM, and its integrated GPU delivers six teraflops. All those specs translate to higher resolutions and more visual detail; Gears of War 4 and Halo 5 look better than ever running at 4K. Xbox One X enhanced games have specific visual upgrades, but every game and even Xbox 360 get some level of improvement by default.
AMD RX Vega 64
While AMD’s RX 500 series cards were great value GPUs, they were aimed more at budget-conscious consumers. AMD inserted itself back into the conversation when it comes to high-end video cards with the RX Vega 64, and finally had an answer to Nvidia’s GTX 1080. According to our tests, Vega 64 runs slightly better at 4K than the GTX 1080. The fact that it debuted for $50 less is icing on the cake.