Entertainment, Graphics, Hardware, Software Programs

Nvidia Cuts Prices and Releases BF4 Drivers and Coming SHIELD Update

So, we all know that AMD released the Radeon R9 290X at the price of $550. This obviously disrupts the pricing scheme that Nvidia is working with when you realize that the company was selling their GTX 780 for $649 and their GTX Titan for $999. When you look around the web and see some of the performance that you get with a Radeon R9 290X, you can get an idea that it outperforms a GTX 780 and even competes with a GTX Titan in many of the tests. As such, Nvidia has to adjust their pricing in order to remain competitive and they are going to release a new GPU. 

So, The GTX 780 Ti that we teased back at Nvidia’s event in Montreal is finally getting a price, but still no specs. I don’t know what’s up with AMD and Nvidia not giving us specs before they give us a price, but I don’t particularly like this trend. The GTX 780 Ti is rumored to be a fully blown GK-110 GPU with yet to be determined clock speeds. The GTX 780 Ti will most likely replace the GTX Titan and will push down the GTX 780 price to $499 in order to be competitive with the Radeon R9 290X. This may, however, be shortlived if AMD releases the R9 290 at an even more competitive price in only a matter of days. Nvidia also dropped the price of the GTX 770 to $329, a solid $30 more than the R9 280X, which performs as quickly as it does. Nvidia clearly believes their cards are worth $30 more without performance being equal. These price cuts will go live on Tuesday at 6 am, and the GTX 780 Ti will be available starting November 7th at $699.

GTX 780 Ti will also be a part of Nvidia’s ?The Way It?s Meant to Be Played Holiday Bundle with SHIELD? promotion. If you buy a GTX 780 Ti/780/770 and receive a free copy of Batman: Arkham Origins, Splinter Cell: Blacklist and Assassin?s Creed IV: Black Flag, plus $100 off a SHIELD purchase. If you decide to buy a GTX 760/660, then you get Splinter Cell: Blacklist and Assassin?s Creed IV: Black Flag, plus $50 off a SHIELD purchase.

Speaking of SHIELD, Nvidia also is also in the process of releasing an OTA update of the SHIELD that will enable Android 4.3 and a few significant improvements. Most notably, Nvidia is adding the console mode capability which turns the SHIELD into a console for your TV. This is in addition to the improved GameStream capability which gives the SHIELD improved responsiveness and playback of PC games over Wi-Fi. While this isn’t as major of an update, the Game Mapper feature is absolutely huge. The Game Mapper solves one of the biggest problems that the SHIELD had, which is the lack of games supporting the SHIELD’s thumbsticks and d-pad. By employing the Game Mapper feature, Nvidia also lets people pick virtually any Android game that they want to and map the controls to the SHIELD’s. 

We’ll be evaluating SHIELD shortly with all of these major improvements, especially when used in conjunction with a GeForce based gaming PC which will use GameStream to play Battlefield 4 from bed. By the way, if you want to play Battlefield 4 or the new Call of Duty when it comes out, Nvidia has just come out with a WHQL 331.65 ‘Game Ready’ driver which enables the GPU to have the best support for any new games. Looking at Nvidia’s release notes, this driver is really the only one you should be running if you have an Nvidia GPU and want to play Battlefield 4.