On the heels of Valve's Steam Machines initiative and AMD's Mantle approach to a unified gaming platform, Nvidia has introduced its own GTX Battlebox program. This certification program will consist of a "new breed" of gaming machines this holiday season focused on delivering super-high resolutions at high settings and with every Nvidia GPU feature enabled.
According to the company, each GeForce GTX Battlebox machine will feature GeForce Titan or GTX 780 GPUs in 2 and 3-Way SLI configurations, supported by overclocked Intel Haswell i5 and i7 CPUs, advanced cooling systems, high-speed DDR3 RAM to assist with overclocking, and the latest high-speed SSDs. These rigs will be ready for 4K gaming, the supposed "next big thing" for enthusiast PC gamers.
"Paired with a powerful GeForce GTX SLI system, brand new 3840 x 2160 '4K' monitors raise the image quality bar so considerably that you won’t be able to resist the upgrade to 4K after seeing the night and day difference for yourself," reads the latest GeForce blog. "4K Gaming is the new cutting edge, and to play this Holiday’s best games at 4K at fluid frame rates, with ultra-high settings enabled, you will need the power of the SLI GeForce GTX GPUs built into every Battlebox."
Battlebox systems will also come equipped with Nvidia's new SLI Bridge with an illuminated GeForce GTX Claw logo, matching the illuminated text found on the Titan, GTX 780 and GTX 770 cards. Nvidia also points out that its SLI tech delivers a "flawless" experience thanks to its exclusive frame metering technologies, seemingly taking a jab at AMD's issue with the Radeon HD 7990 in CrossFire.
"Powered by GeForce GTX 780 or Titan graphics cards, Battlebox systems give you an unbeatable combination of GPU horsepower, 2-Way Nvidia SLI, and the highest-grade components," reads the Battlebox site. "It’s everything you need to take on this Holiday’s biggest combat games, including Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag, Batman: Arkham Origins, Call of Duty: Ghosts, and Watch_Dogs."
Listed participants in the Battlebox certification include Digital Storm, Maingear, Falcon Northwest and Origin PC. The latter company, Origin, actually provides two customizable Battleboxes: the Millennium and the Genesis with a starting price of $2,873 USD. Maingear is also offering two solutions: the Shift with a starting price of $2299 and the F131 with a starting price of $2438.
For example, the base configuration of the Maingear R131 includes an Intel Core i7-4770K clocked up to 3.9 GHz, two Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 cards, 16 GB of Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1600 RAM, a 60 GB Corsair Nova 2 SSD for caching, and a 2 TB Seagate Barracuda 7200 RPM hard drive… and that's just the starting configuration. Nvidia also has a few boxes listed here for your drooling enjoyment.
Alongside Battlebox systems, the boutique builders will be offering 4K monitors at the point of sale. Currently the only 4K monitor on sale is the Asus 31.5 inch PQ321Q model that we took a look at earlier this month.
The GeForce blog claims that these Battlebox systems are designed to give the buyer a flawless experience at 4K, in Surround, or when Downsampling from 4K to another resolution on an older 1920x or 2560x panels. Of course, for having a premium experience, you'll be required to pay a premium price, and with the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 about to hit the market, these consoles with their cheaper pricetag may end up being "good enough" for those who prefer gameplay over expensive eye candy.