Up For Debate - What's Your Favourite Gaming Tech Advancement?

Written by Jon Sutton on Sun, Aug 14, 2016 4:00 PM

Over the last two years or so we’ve seen a heck of a lot of new technologies arrive with tangible gaming benefits. Some of them have become so integrated into the way we think of hardware that it’s easy to gloss over them, but the likes of 4K, HBM, DDR4, G-Sync, Pascal, Polaris, and more, have all irreversibly changed the PC gaming landscape for the better.

In terms of graphics cards the big two are obviously Pascal and Polaris GPUs from Nvidia and AMD respectively, although this only paints half a picture. GDDR5X memory has been an affordable stop-gap for GTX 1080 owners looking at faster memory, while AMD briefly reigned supreme with the first generation of HBM on its Radeon Fury graphics cards.

Of course no matter what hardware you have, eventually it all comes down to the quality of the games. In recent months we’ve seen games make use of both DirectX 12 and Vulkan graphics APIs to varying degrees of success. Benchmarks of the RX 480 of DOOM running in Vulkan showed staggering gains of 40% over OpenGL. Certainly not something to be sniffed at.

Aside from this, monitors were the other big winners. We’ve seen 4K resolution gain serious ground, HDR is just taking off, and PC gamers are finding adaptive vsync such as FreeSync of G-Sync perhaps the most tempting upgrade of all.

That’s not to forget all the other odds and ends we’ve seen as well, including DDR4 memory, m.2 solid state drives, and of course virtual reality.

Out of all of this amazing new tech though, which is your favourite? Which could you just not live without? Get your votes in and then let us know why below!

Up For Debate - What's Your Favourite Gaming Tech Advancement?

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01:23 Aug-19-2016

best upgrade I have done was going to a motherboard with SATA 3 6gb/s

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19:50 Aug-15-2016

The Nvidia 970 graphics cards.
The GTX 970 IMO was a game changer, in that it made playing at the highest settings affordable.
The GTX 970M did the same for those that game on laptops, giving them affordable desktop like performance and closing the gap between desktop and laptop performance.
These things were possible before, but the GTX 970 & 970M made them affordable for the masses.

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22:17 Aug-15-2016

amen to that

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17:15 Aug-15-2016

Vulkan is the most exciting thing because it opens a door for developers to escape Microsoft's strangle hold with Direct X. As Vulkan takes hold we should start seeing more new games getting Steam OS & Linux support. Not to mention that those of us still hanging on to Windows 7,8,8.1 get to take advantage of Vulkan as well. If Vulkan really does take hold then Microsoft can just keep Dx12 behind their walled garden of Windows 10. Well... more like a walled version of hell to me, but that is just my opinion.

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02:29 Aug-16-2016

Hell yea, what he said!

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12:59 Aug-16-2016

Well DX12 is actually the best thing that can happen. Don't know why everyone chose Vulkan.

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16:47 Aug-15-2016

Well i dont know much about what most of the above features do on a deep level, but im just gonna go with the majority here and vote for Vulkan.
The % gain on DOOM was crazy and thats a fact, not an exaggeration.

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11:29 Aug-15-2016

I would vote for 21:9 aspect ratio, and 3440x1440 resolution at 34".
Once you see it in front of you, you will never wanna look back at 16:9!

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12:14 Aug-15-2016

Until you take a look at your phone and don't want a phone like the iphone 20 XD

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11:29 Aug-16-2016

Your answer is irrelevant to my comment.

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10:06 Aug-15-2016

hmm nothing to vote for haha

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17:17 Aug-15-2016

Vote Vulkan because it gives an avenue for developers to escape Microsoft's stranglehold of Direct X. ;)

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23:38 Aug-15-2016

OpenGL has provided that same avenue forever, IIRC it predates DirectX. Vulkan is simply the next iteration of OpenGL. If you ask me developers are a bit dense for ignoring OpenGL all this time. With OpenGL you can easily target Windows, Linux, Mac, and console users, with DX you can only target Win and console users.

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09:45 Aug-15-2016

Pascal GPUs of course...


Though I have yet to get my hands on one of them

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08:30 Aug-15-2016

BRING ON the Quantum Nano PCs to the people damn it... i know you got it. Just imagine it, your own pocket sized QNPC at say 500 euros ;) and i know people would love to play...

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08:31 Aug-15-2016

... The Witcher III or even Star Citizen on 8K @144fps when its finished lol! FREEDOM and TRUTH is all that matters! /sarcasm.exe not found!

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08:15 Aug-15-2016

For now its Vulkan and it shows great potential for the future but in a 1 maybe 2 years HBM might be best thing for gaming when it comes to hardware innovation and when the prices become "normal" of course. Also like to add SSDs and with time they gonna get better and cheaper just like ram memory.

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07:21 Aug-15-2016

HBM :D

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07:22 Aug-15-2016

inserts unlimited bandwidth star wars gif

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05:31 Aug-15-2016

They're all my favorite tech gaming advances. Because either way what you choose, its an improvement.

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00:18 Aug-15-2016

I think M.2 is often overlooked, it can be used for so many good purposes. Many desktops don't have wifi nor bluetooth with M.2 you can easily slide that in. For storage purposes this saves a lot of room. No more ugly drive cages and cables

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01:41 Aug-15-2016

mSata slot? some older desktop got 'em for wifi/bluetooth purposes.

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18:03 Aug-15-2016

I love the M.2. Not only the points you make about space but the SATA connections were horrible. Sucks when you break one. Also...so much speed. OS on M.2 Is awesome.

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00:07 Aug-15-2016

144HZ (:

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23:23 Aug-14-2016

Why would anyone vote for pascal? I mean the cards might be great, but it's just another generation of GPU's that will be "outdated" as soon as the next one comes out, doesn't seem like a big technological advancement to me pers.
It's Vulkan for me, would go for higher refresh rate monitors if it was an option though.

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00:02 Aug-15-2016

Well you can say the same thing about polaris too. Its a new architecture that will get outdated when a new one will be released. Thats how new gpus work. They get more powerfull and effiecient. For some it is a big technological advancement since some people prefer to use less electricity and want more powerfull gpus. But yea I choosed Vulkan too. Cause it is a huge step forward and its alot

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00:03 Aug-15-2016

Better than the locked w10 version of dx12. It should work on alot more diffrent systems like win7 or linux etc.

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04:58 Aug-15-2016

Of course the same counts for Polaris, I ran out of characters though :P

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05:55 Aug-15-2016

Yeah. and Pascal seems similar on Clock vs Clock (with similar number of transistors). If there were no node jump, I do not expect anyone to have voted at either.

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22:12 Aug-14-2016

G-Sync for me. Once I've tried it it was the biggest improvement in gaming experience since hell knows when.


Vulkan...well, a lot of fanboys out there, but to me it's not really a "tech advancement", so to speak. Just a SOFTWARE OPTIMIZATION which you wouldn't even know how it performs if not for the whole two games that use it in conjunction with other APIs.

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05:58 Aug-15-2016

Well I would prefer to get 30-40% boost from 40 to make it 60 fps constant for free then to make game a bit smoother at 40 after paying a lot of money.


I do not mean G/Free Sync are not good. They are awesome. But Vulkan seems a lot more helpful.
Whether we know or not, I want higher Fps for lowest cost.

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21:55 Aug-14-2016

Considering 4K, HDR, GSync and FreeSync mean absolutely nothing to me, I guess all that's left is to pick Vulkan.
HBM and GDDR5X are definitely nice, but I haven't had the chance to test them yet, so I'll withhold any judgement.
DirectX 12 is that black sheep we're not talking about.
As for individual chipsets and the like... I just feel the best advancements have been made with both CPUs and GPUs.
Quadcore is the new standard, which is definitely good for the future. Same with gpu prices.

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20:43 Aug-14-2016

Vulcan ofc. No need to deal with unnecessary and time consuming OS update.

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20:38 Aug-14-2016

I am not sure what i like the most, i just know my computer is faster than the Pentium D desktop with windows 98 i once had a long time ago.

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19:22 Aug-14-2016

The X86 ISA, X87 FPUs, the Unified Graphics Shader Architecture, Pentium 1, Pentium 3, K7, K8. I'm NOT as impressed by the current new tech to be honest, my votes go for Polaris and Pascal though.

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19:35 Aug-14-2016

Agreed, things really haven't advanced much over the last decade to be honest, sure things keep getting faster, but there hasn't really been any revolutionary new tech in quite a while.

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20:32 Aug-14-2016

I would say that the great advance was the introduction of 3D transistors in this last years, and maybe HBM memory like a good innovation

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20:47 Aug-14-2016

HBM is ok, nothing innovative, the 3D transistors and the vertical stacking of transistors are indeed good advancements.

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06:11 Aug-15-2016

So you vote for Finfet rather than Pascal/ Polaris.

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20:47 Aug-14-2016

What we need is a revolutionary new discovery that would cause technology to advance ahead a few dozen years at once.

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20:57 Aug-14-2016

Or something that would atleast just get it moving forward again and not standing still.

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22:51 Aug-14-2016

we need more efficient transistors, NOT just smaller transistors, in other words transistors made from different materials.

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01:51 Aug-15-2016

and new ideas on different ways to employ those more efficient transistors, we don't just need things to get faster, we need a reason for them to be faster.

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18:37 Aug-14-2016

I'd have to say my favorite tech advancement is when the Graphics card actually became the GPU. I believe this occurred around the time of the first Geforce and Radeon cards, before then graphics cards did have some limited 3D acceleration hardware, but the CPU was left doing most of the number crunching.

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