Picture of Richard Leadbetter

Richard Leadbetter

Technology Editor, Digital Foundry

Rich has been a games journalist since the days of 16-bit and specialises in technical analysis. He's commonly known around Eurogamer as the Blacksmith of the Future.

AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 review

The entry-level Vega takes the fight to GTX 1070.

Years in development, the new Radeon RX Vega line is finally arriving - AMD's return to the higher-end of GPU performance after concentrating its efforts more on the mainstream and budget sectors of the market. There's no shortage of cutting-edge tech here: the Vega processor utilises 12.5 billion transistors on a very large 486mm2 area of silicon, the chip paired with two 4GB stacks of cutting-edge HBM2 memory. It's a bigger chip than Nvidia's GTX 1080 Ti and it has more memory bandwidth - however, the top-end RX Vega 64 offers performance more in line with GTX 1080, while the cut-down RX Vega 56 reviewed here is clearly aimed to compete with the GTX 1070. It does this job rather well.

AMD Radeon RX 580/ RX 570 review

Just how much faster are the new second-gen Polaris cards?

AMD call it Polaris refined, but to all intents and purposes, RX 570 and RX 580 are indeed upclocked versions of their predecessors. There's the same complement of 32 and 36 compute units respectively, power efficiency is diminished in the quest for higher frequencies and by extension, the emphasis this time is on increased performance. And to be frank, that's fine with us - just don't go into a 570/580 purchase thinking you're getting the new AMD Vega technology, because you're not.

Intel Pentium G4560 review: the ultimate budget CPU?

A gaming grade i3 in all but name, and yours for around 60.

So here's a thought. Buy a Core i5 or Core i7 processor for gaming and the bottom line is this: on the majority of titles out there, its resources are highly underutilised. The GPU is the primary bottleneck during gaming, sometimes leaving your CPU with a significant amount of untapped overhead. So the question is this: can you spend less on your CPU and still get a great experience? And more to the point, what processor can keep your graphics card fed with data while offering exceptional value? We put our money where our mouth is and spent 63 on a Pentium G4560 - and it's something special. It truly is the new budget CPU king. Indeed, since we bought it, we've even seen it on pre-order for as low as 57.

Ryzen 7 1700 and 1700X review: better than the 1800X?

AMD's cheaper eight-core CPUs cut little and offer big value.

The beauty of building a PC is that a diversity of parts allows users to construct a computer specifically designed to best serve their particular needs. AMD's Ryzen 7 1800X may not have taken Intel's crown for gaming, but the price vs performance ratio for just about everything else propels the fledgling line of processors well into contention. The Ryzen 7 1800X we recently reviewed isn't the only new AMD eight-core chip you can buy: cheaper 1700X and 1700 processors are available, and that is where the value really becomes difficult to ignore.

Intel Coffee Lake-S: Core i7 8700K review

The fastest gaming CPU money can buy.

The rumours are true. Intel's new Coffee Lake-S represents the biggest generational leap we've seen since the classic Sandy Bridge second-gen Core line, launched way back in 2011. The Core i5 2500K and i7 2600K were the stuff of legend - processors so good, many still use them today, convinced that Intel's iterative approach to CPU upgrades didn't justify replacing a solid platform. Coffee Lake-S has much in common with those classic processors: there's a big gen-on-gen upgrade, an immediately noticeable improvement to performance in all areas and excellent overclocking. The key to Coffee Lake's power is simple: a refined process technology allows for overall faster clocks, while the move from four to six cores in both i5 and i7 offers a massive increase to processing power.

AMD Ryzen 5 1600/1600X vs Core i5 7600K review

AMD hits the sweetspot - Ryzen is the better buy.

Since the release of the Core i5 2500K in January 2011, Intel's mainstream quad-core processor line has been the default choice for those looking to put together a capable gaming PC. The i5 is always fast out of the box and overclocking can keep your platform competitive for anything up to five or even six years. But the return of AMD has already proven disruptive in other areas of the x86 market and the Ryzen 5 1600 and 1600X are simply irresistible products: Core i5 is no longer the 'go to' CPU line for gamers - there is now genuine, potent competition. And to cut straight to the chase, given the choice between a 7600K or the cheaper Ryzen 5 1600, it's the AMD product we'd choose.

Intel Coffee Lake-S: Core i5 8400/ Core i5 8600K review

Mainstream CPU performance taken to the next level.

Intel's Coffee Lake-S flagship, the Core i7 8700K is - in our view - the fastest gaming CPU that money can buy right now, but what if you don't have 350/$350 to spend on a new processor? The new i5 line looks almost as exciting, bringing six physical cores to the mid-range market for the first time. The 8600K continues Intel's tradition of cutting hyper-threading and reducing clocks while leaving overclocking as an option, shaving off 100/$100 in the process. However, just as intriguing is the i5 8400 - a 180/$190 hexacore offering that offers remarkable value.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 3GB vs 6GB review

Is three gigs of VRAM enough for top-tier 1080p60 gameplay?

The 3GB version of Nvidia's GTX 1060 is a curious product. Is it actually a GTX 1060 at all? The cutbacks made to this product aren't just memory-based in nature. In addition to chopping down the full-fat product's memory allocation, we also see a drop in available processing cores. The full complement of 1280 shaders drops to 1152 - and most of the time, this tends to be accompanied by a change in name. GTX 1050 Ti any one? Scratch that, it's taken, GTX 1060 LE perhaps?

Microsoft Xbox One X review

The Digital Foundry verdict.

One year on from the release of the PlayStation 4 Pro, the fortunes of Sony's 'supercharged' console have varied. While titles like Gran Turismo Sport and Horizon Zero Dawn have demonstrated just how well console titles can scale to 4K HDR displays, too many games are delivering lacklustre results that only offer a smaller, more incremental upgrade over the base PS4 experience. Now it's Microsoft's turn, with the new Xbox One X offering more of a brute force approach to tackling the 4K challenge.

Digital FoundryHas Respawn fixed Titanfall 2 on Xbox One X?

New patch delivers a solid improvement.

As the Xbox One X game patches have come rolling in, it's been mostly good news for Microsoft and its new console. It's perhaps not been the 'true 4K' showcase many were hoping for and techniques like dynamic resolution are deployed to scale up current-gen 900p and 1080p games to better suit 4K displays. But the presentations have been convincing and the upgrade palpable - which made Titanfall 2's initial sub-par presentation so disappointing. Based on the findings of our report, Respawn Entertainment spent several days retooling the code and a new title update arrived at the tail-end of last week.

Digital FoundryThe Intel and AMD partnership: what does it mean for gamers?

Digital Foundry on one of the biggest announcements in PC gaming history.

After years of predictable roadmaps and often iterative bumps in existing technology, the last 12 months has seen some radical jumps in the capabilities of PC hardware - but few could have predicted yesterday's announcement that Intel and AMD would join forces to take on Nvidia in the laptop space. A new range of Kaby Lake G processors are set to ship in the coming months, combining an Intel Core i7 processor with a semi-custom Radeon GPU and a stack of HBM2 memory. So why has this collaboration come about and what does it mean for the gamer?

Digital FoundrySomething's not right with Titanfall 2 on Xbox One X

Dynamic res scales beyond 4K - but intense scenes look better on PS4 Pro.

Titanfall 2 made big headlines for Xbox One X during the preview period, when Respawn Entertainment's Drew McCoy noted that the game's dynamic scaler hit a maximum of 6K resolution during pre-production testing. The Xbox One X patch dropped last week, but it's clear that something isn't quite right with the upgrade. While enhancements are present, repeatable tests in the campaign can see resolution drop lower than the PlayStation 4 Pro version, producing a noticeably blurrier presentation in many scenes.

Well, that came out of nowhere! On Monday afternoon, the official Metal Gear Solid Twitter feed revealed that a PlayStation 4 Pro patch for MGS5 was imminent, the upgrade landing in the early hours of Tuesday morning. As huge fans of the title, we were excited to see what kind of upgrades Sony's higher-spec PlayStation 4 could deliver. The end result is somewhat lacking in ambition, but it's better than nothing and at the very least, it's a good opportunity to revisit what remains an excellent title.

Digital FoundryTech Interview: Destiny 2 and Bungie's return to PC gaming

How Bungie's engine evolved for the sequel, and why the game runs so well on PC.

We first went hands-on with the PC version of Destiny 2 at E3 earlier this year, and it was immediately apparent that this wasn't just a mere port or conversion, but instead a thoughtful, considered approach to the platform with all of the unique features and opportunities it represents. Back then, we mentioned to Bungie that we'd really like to go deeper on the game, the technology added to the firm's multiplatform engine, as well as learning more about the approach to bringing the game to PC. Four months later, Bungie's senior technical artist Nate Hawbaker has flown over from Seattle, joining us in the Digital Foundry office.

Digital FoundryDigital Foundry unboxes the final retail Xbox One X

Plus: details on upcoming review coverage.

It's happening. Digital Foundry has received its Xbox One X review unit and behind the scenes, our exploration of the hardware and its capabilities is beginning to take shape. But for now at least, it's all about the unboxing, a time-honoured ritual we've filmed for you and embedded on this page. Spoilers: expect a console, controller and possibly some cables within. To add some spice, we've included some physical form factor comparisons with PlayStation 4 Pro and prior Xbox One hardware.

Destiny 2 is out now, and as established by a successful beta test, this is an exceptionally streamlined version of the game. Ticking off virtually every box an enthusiast PC gamer could want from a multi-platform release, the beauty of Destiny 2 on PC is the sheer range of options open to the player. If you want a console-style experience, you can have it - but the point is that PC hardware has the potential to offer so much more. Beyond the expected graphical improvements, field of view adjustments, arbitrary resolution functionality and ultra-wide monitor support, Destiny 2 scales beautifully across high-end kit, making it a great match for high frequency displays. For its return to the PC space, Bungie is clearly on a mission.

Digital FoundryAtaribox: Ouya 2.0, evolved Steam Machine or something more?

What would it take for PC hardware to challenge consoles in the living room?

Atari broke cover this week, revealing more about its planned console, dubbed Ataribox. Useful detail is thin on the ground, but we know that it's using a custom AMD processor, that it's based on the open source Linux platform and will cost a minimum of $250. So just what can we expect from the machine - and by extension, can PC technology ever dominate living room gaming?