Nate Lanxon

The website of journalist Nate Lanxon

Website of British journalist Nate Lanxon, including bio, contact and email information. Home of Tech's Message podcast

Playing Elder Scrolls Online in 4K

After reviewing the new 5K Apple iMac I made a decision. That decision was to buy a gaming PC. I have a Steam press account, meaning I get all the games on Steam for free; and with the current-gen consoles not blowing me away, I thought it was time to move to a powerful gaming rig to get the most out of my play time.

This is what I'm currently running:

  • Intel Core i7 4790K @ 4GHz
  • Twin Asus Strix Nvidia GTX 970s in SLI
  • 16GB of RAM
  • 256GB Samsung SSD for boot and ESO files
  • 2TB Seagate HDD for storage
  • Asus Maximus VII Ranger Mobo
  • Asus Strix keyboard
  • Asus ROG Gladius mouse
  • 28-inch 4K Asus PB287Q monitor

That last item is the killer. With it, I've been playing The Elder Scrolls Online at 3840 x 2160 UHD resolution @ 60fps (v-sync capped to monitor refresh) and with all graphics set to Ultra, or whatever their maximum is.

Playing this game at this resolution is insane and amazing. The rig handles it easily, and the 60fps is capped by the v-sync. With v-sync off it's hit 100fps and higher before now. Even in dungeons with mobs, it remains at 60fps, with the occasional unnoticeable drop to 55-58.

There's never been any doubt that TESO is one of the most beautiful and graphically-rich MMOs on the market, and indeed ever on the market. But viewing it at 4K makes this even more impressive. The only downsides are that some textures, particularly NPC faces and armour, can be blurry up close because despite the game supporting 4K rendering, the textures themselves seem upscaled past 1080p mark. And don't get me started on what horses look like as a result of this -- they might as well be made out of plasticine and spit for all the beauty they deliver at 4K. Or even 1080p. They need redrawing from scratch.

One of the advantages of the Asus monitor here is its response time and viewing angles. In a previous test of a Shart 4K monitor with Apple's 2014 Mac Pro, the refresh rate was note good enough for high-performance gaming. This is an area Asus's model starkly improves upon, and at a lower cost thanks to the continuing reduction of expenditure required to acquire Ultra HD at home.

Yoyotech built the PC rig itself, which was impressive enough that I ultimately decided to buy a system for myself. Aside from the performance of the core components, I was impressed with the neatness of the internal build. Cables are exceptionally tidy and well wired throughout the chassis. This was useful when I needed to replace the motherboard. My background in building PCs from scratch was certainly helpful too, but rewiring each component was made much simpler by the original positioning of the cables in and around the internal chassis. 

Below is a collection of full-resolution screenshots that I have taken. Most were captured on the 1.5.7 edition of the live game; some are from 1.6 on the pts. I'll leave you to work out which.

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Everything wrong with online movie rentals in one blog

The movie studio boardroom. December 23, 2014.

"Guys, pulling The Interview has caused global outrage. Even Obama is talking about it. We're on every major news outlet across the planet."

"What does that mean?"

"It means publicity. Loads of it. Everyone's googling 'The Interview'. It's one of the top rising searches. It's exploding on Kickass Torrents, although the movie isn't actually on there yet."

"We should release it quickly, capitalise on all the global attention."

"You're right. Also, let's region-lock all the legal streams like Netflix and iTunes to just the US."

"What does that mean?"

"It means only people in the United States can give us money to watch the film they've heard so much about."

"Does that mean everyone else will stop wanting to see it?"

"No, it just means instead of being able to give us money to watch the film that's causing Obama to make statements and every global outlet in the world put us on their front pages, we won't let them."

"Ah yes. And maybe with the money we make from the US-only streams we can sue the bittorrent websites for making the film available illegally in all the countries we're not making it available legally."

"God you're a genius. I'm glad we hired you."

 

I'm leaving WIRED and joining Bloomberg

I've had five incredible years building the team at WIRED.co.uk. We've been commercially successful, critically well-regarded and smashed internal traffic targets time and time again; I've developed a successful and chart-topping podcast with my team, which has just published its 200th episode and landed on the homepage of iTunes; and I've had the pleasure of running and writing for a large technology website with amazing people for five years, which essentially was my goal since I taught myself to code websites when I was 14.

Then I turned 30. And quite literally on my birthday I was given the opportunity to become Senior Editor at Bloomberg Media, where I would lead technology, science and media editorial online, as well as develop and host new television and video programming and help develop Bloomberg's future live events business. I have accepted.

From February 2015 I'm extremely excited to start working with an exciting new team of individuals within the extraordinarily exciting and technology-driven business at Bloomberg, based in London.

I am so proud of what my team at WIRED and I have accomplished together. During my time there I have been able to say I have my dream job, with colleagues so smart, creative, dedicated and fun to be around anyone would be rightfully envious.

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But as I think about the next five years of my career this new opportunity felt like one I couldn't turn down, and while I'm excited to discover its challenges I'm deeply saddened to be leaving an incredible team of colleagues and friends.

But for now, I'm on my Xmas holiday break, which means I have plenty of work to do. But also some ales to sample and some sleeping to try and do before 2015 gets going. I can't wait.

- Nate