Nvidia Reveals Battlebox Certification for 4K Gaming

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.

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  • Baseline specs come out to $2887:


    Case: Corsair 500R
    Standard Case Fans
    ASUS Z87A
    ORIGIN FROSTBYTE 120 Sealed Liquid Cooling Systems
    Intel Core i5 4670K Quad-Core 3.4GHz (3.8GHz TurboBoost), 6MB Cache
    650 Watt Corsair RM650
    Dual 3GB EVGA GTX 780
    16GB Corsair Vengeance 1600Mhz (2x8GB)
    Genuine MS Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit Edition
    500GB SATA 6.0Gb/s, 7200RPM, 16MB Cache
    ASUS 24X CD/DVD Burner


    Build price buying at Newegg without any rebates (couldn't replicate HD, CPU cooler, or PSU so I upgraded them):

    PCPartPicker part list

    CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($239.99 @ Newegg)
    CPU Cooler: Corsair H100i 77.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($94.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: Asus Z87-A ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($139.99 @ Newegg)
    Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($144.50 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ Newegg)
    Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($705.91 @ Newegg)
    Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($705.91 @ Newegg)
    Case: Corsair 500R Black ATX Mid Tower Case ($119.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: Corsair Professional 750W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($109.99 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $2428.24
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  • Wait for Radeon's cards to come out and let them drive the price of these cards down to $350, then maybe we can see if the consumer will be interested in 4k. Until then, buy a 760 for $250 and run most games at QHD (which looks phenomenal) with 100 fps.
    0
  • So we'll have a video game running on 4K pixels, but the quality won't even come close to a Blu-Ray on 1080P. We'll have allotted 4 times the processing power for additional pixels and have limited quality. At least from a gaming perspective this resolution stuff should take a backseat until we actually have quality graphics first.
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