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    • By AndrewRall in Tech & Hardware 4
      As many of us know, NVIDIA is shaping up to be the most consistent chip maker when it comes to per-generation performance boosts. Over the past three generations, we've seen leaps and bounds of advancement, with NVIDIA even focusing on increasingly more energy efficient GPU setups.  Introducing the Pascal architecture earlier this year, the company has clearly stuck to that trend. Today, we'll be looking at the GeForce GTX 1080 in general, and two of the best offerings out there beyond the founders edition release and the base reference cards: The MSI Gaming Z and the EVGA FTW OC. I personally tested both these cards with my current rig in most the games we participate in as a community.
      To cover the basics, the GeForce GTX 1080 is based on NVIDIA's "Pascal" architecture. This architecture sees the streaming multiprocessors (SMs), the indivisible subunits of an NVIDIA GPU, get even more dedicated components, which increases performance. NVIDIA claims to have designed the GPU architecture to be as energy efficient as possible.
      The GTX 1080 has more CUDA cores than its predecessor, the 980 – 2560 vs. 2048. Memory sees a major update with NVIDIA's adoption of the GDDR5X memory standard. The memory is clocked at a staggering 10 GHz effective, which gives the GPU 320 GB/s of memory bandwidth over a 256-bit wide memory interface. Pretty crazy performance boost we are talking here, even keeping in mind the substantial increases we have come to expect. 
      For the past year or so I have been running a triple 980 GTX SLI setup that I was very happy with. However, because of the lack of SLI support in some titles I have really wanted a single card that could manage 6k with display settings turned all the way up in my favorite titles. Unfortunately, up until now this was just not technically possible.
      So, I went out and purchased the two top cards seeing which would better suit my needs - The MSI Gaming Z and the EVGA FTW OC. Both cards performed VERY well in a variety of benchmarks with the MSI card getting the slight advantage due to it's boost clock speed and a little tweaking. I was able to get the MSI past the 2000 MHz threshold fairly easily and it remained stable and cool. 
      I'm not going to post all my test data as there are tons of reviews out there they tell the story better than I ever could. But I will say this, I had a ton of issues with the EVGA and my 6k rig, as each and every time I rebooted I had to completely reset my surround configuration - total pain.
      I had no such issues with the MSI Gaming Z and let me tell you, this card runs like an absolute dream. For example, Witcher 3 max settings @ 6k this card was pulling 76 fps. Yes, you heard that right... ONE card is capable of this kind of 6k performance. So if you plan to run a 4k rig sometime in the future, this is definitely a choice you will be happy with. We really are talking a quantum leap in GPU performance, folks. So much so that I actually did a double take on the data spitting out of my bench marks.

      Without hesitation, I recommend the MSI Gaming series 1080s. For performance, looks, power draw and how super quiet the "twin frozr" fan system turned out to be. 
      Don't get me wrong, the EVGA is a solid card with excellent core clocks and OC potential, but at the end of the day the Gaming Z wins out for most practical uses.
      As a side-note, I also ended up breaking even on this upgrade as I sold my 3x 980s on eBay for $250 each, so not a dime spent on this upgrade. In 10% of use cases I take a slight hit on FPS vs the triple SLI, but in the vast majority of testing this move makes waves.
      AndrewRall signing off, see you in the skies!
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    Old Blood & Guts General Donations

    To All Members & Admins

    Hello, Old Bloods!

    As you know, websites, Teamspeak hosting and infrastructure costs the organization money. In times past, I have simply paid out of pocket personally for these expenses. Recently, folks have shown the interest in helping out with these costs so lead developers and admins do not need to work hard to keep this stuff up and still pay the bills all at the same time.

    Old Blood & Guts feels that any and all donations are greatly appreciated regardless of the amount. 100% of all donations go to server payments be it gaming, website or Teamspeak. In fact, every fiscal calendar quarter our Admin staff will stare the "State of Our Guts" report with the community, which essentially amounts to our current accounting standing. We believe in complete transparency, and want to make sure everyone understands how donations are being allocated.

    Again, thank you for helping us build this community and considering contributing any hard earned money you wish to donate to our cause.

    See you on the field,


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    Pew For A Breakthrough

    To All Members

    Jeffrey Blake M., aka Sojourner Rover, a contributor and director within our old colors, the Disavowed Gaming Community, a brother in arms, passed away May 30th 2014 due to a long battle with complications from Hepatitis C. Jeff, an avid sci-fi fan and EVE Online player, a profound Star Citizen supporter - had been suffering from the disease for many years, and did not have easy access to treatments that could have well made a difference in his condition. Jeff contracted Hepatitis C from needle stick exposure while responding to an emergency call as a paramedic in Kansas City, Missouri, in 2003. Hepatitis C is an infectious disease primarily disrupting the liver, caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). In some cases, those with chronic infection and cirrhosis will go on to liver failure, liver cancer, or life threatening esophageal and gastric issues. 

    Interestingly enough, new pharmaceutical solution Sovaldi and other freshly released treatments are critical for people with hepatitis C, some of whom have had the disease for many years. However, the broad issue is when these drugs are pushed to market, they are simply out of reach of most patients. Simply put, most cannot afford a drug that is $1,000 US a pill, especially those plagued by symptoms of HCV that may not be able to hold gainful employment in result. Most health insurance providers will not go near the sky-high drug price tags, even if such proactive treatments have a reasonably good chance of saving the lives of patients.

    In addition to donations through game play events in Old Blood & Guts, “Pew For A Breakthrough” t-shirts, mugs, and other collectible items will be available for purchase internally within our organization, then to the public. It is our intention to customize these items per game for fans if your brands approve of our efforts and give us permission to do so. 100% of all proceeds from these sales will be tracked and allocated to the cause after minor production and fulfillment expenses for tangible items are covered. 

    Thank you for taking the time to review this humble concept. We believe this not only could help those in desperate need –but bring awareness to a condition that impacts tens of millions of families internationally.

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