NVIDIA's Battlebox Program Refreshed, Now Also Includes AMD Ryzen
NVIDIA's Battlebox initiative is quite a neat little program for anyone a little bit in the dark when it comes to properly speccing out system components for their gaming needs. NVIDIA work with system integrators and retailers to create pre-built systems tailored to a particular performance level in gaming, ensuring that the customer should know exactly what to expect from their new system. The original Battleboxes were introduced in 2013 and catered only to those interested in 4K gaming, but the latest iteration is a slightly more complex beast.
Currently the program defines two distinct specification bands: the Battlebox Essential, for playing at 1080p 60fps in today's most popular tiles; and the Battlebox Ultimate, a system capable of 4K 60fps and VR gaming. Clearly there's quite some distance between the performance expectations of the two, and NVIDIA have provided this handy outline of each band's minimum specifications:
We should point out the inclusion of AMD Ryzen CPUs on that list. AMD might be their rivals in the GPU market, but with Ryzen's launch turning more than a few heads it's clear that even NVIDIA are taking note of the potential of their's desktop platform. That's a fairly strong endorsement all things considered, although not necessarily one the Red Team might want to call much attention to.
As one might expect, NVIDIA's GTX 1080 Ti takes the GPU spot in the Battlebox Ultimate. The GP102-based GPU is their current flagship GeForce design and pretty much the unquestioned king of consumer graphics cards. While the GTX 1080 may technically be capable of 4K gaming, the GTX 1080 Ti would certainly provide a measurably better experience.
Other than that most of the specifications are what you would expect. The only item which jumps out is the requirement for an NVIDIA G-SYNC monitor if the system is sold with a monitor at all, something which would add a considerable premium to a Battlebox Essential. Still, that is only an optional part of the spec.
Enthusiasts or consumers with sufficient knowledge of gaming hardware may consider the NVIDIA Battlebox to be utterly superfluous, but you must remember that not everyone who might want to jump into PC gaming has a firm grasp of its technicalities. Providing broad and realistic baselines for gaming at two recognisable and popular resolutions is going to be invaluable to someone, and that's great even if the program is partisan when it comes to GPU hardware specifically.
More information on the NVIDIA Battlebox program can be found here. Currently six UK retailers are part of the program: SCAN, Utopia Computers, Box.co.uk, Chillblast, PC Specialist and Dino PC.