I am not a graphics programmer. I have only passing knowledge of the graphics pipeline and could not code a shader to save my life. But as a gamer I am fascinated by the research behind anti-aliasing techniques, and so it was with great interest I read on Neogaf about the new AA technique being used in Farcry 4, Hybrid Reconstruction Anti-Aliasing, presented at SIGGRAPH 2014. Of particular note is that this technique performs a little better on AMD’s latest graphics architecture, GCN, which is present in both current generation consoles. It suggests that, given the console focused development of most AAA game studios (and game engine studios), the next few years could see more research into graphical techniques optimised or more performant on the GCN architecture, and thus influence the direction of high-end graphics performance on the PC.
I’ve just installed a second monitor for my PC, the QNIX QX2710 LED Evolution II SE. This 2560×1440 monitor is one of those famous Korean monitors that offer a high-resolution IPS (or more accurately Samsung PLS, which is essentially the same thing) monitor for a relatively cheap price. The downside is that the panels are A- panels, so they’re defective enough to be rejected from a big brand monitor, but those defects are not major. For example, it may have up to 6 dead pixels. Luckily mine has no dead pixels, though it does have backlight bleed.
The other feature of these monitors that attracts PC gamers is that the refresh rate can potentially be overclocked up to 120Hz, with most getting at least 96Hz. This roughly means you can play games at framerates higher than 60 fps with no tearing (up to the refresh rate of the monitor). My monitor can get up to 110Hz without issue, it seems (though my frame-skipping analysis was quite rushed). With Wolfenstein and Bioshock Infinite I can play with V-sync off and get no screen tearing (which was a noticeable problem on my old monitor with V-sync off). The issue is that to achieve those refresh rates with AMD graphics cards you need to use a third-party patch for the AMD graphics drivers, and that patch disables hardware accelerated video and HDCP (necessary if you want to watch Blurays on your PC).
But otherwise it’s a fine monitor for the price I paid for it, $345 including shipping from South Korea (the price has since gone up). I purchased from AccessoriesWhole on eBay, but I hear that Dream-Seller and Greensum are also good sellers to buy from.