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Windows 11 Gamepass

Upgrading to Microsoft Windows 11

Microsoft Windows 11 is available now from Stormforce Gaming…

Microsoft Windows 11 is finally here and with the launch of the new Operating System, Stormforce Gaming have guidance for old and new customers on what to expect, what an upgrade to Windows 11 means for them and if their existing hardware will be compatible.

With the announcement of Windows 11, Microsoft provided information about the benefits of the OS to gamers as well as some specifics around the hardware required to run the OS.

We have condensed down the information we have so far to provide guidance on what systems will be compatible and offer an overview on how the benefits of Windows 11 will translate into your gaming, productivity and general computing experience.

Windows 11 brings a host of new changes to the user interface of Windows. Featuring a glass like window aesthetic reminiscent of the Windows Aero Glass theme from Vista, the new OS boasts a clean new look with transparency in open and overlapping windows. The start button and tray icons in the taskbar have also been centralised to allow for quicker access on wide screen monitors. This can be moved back over to the left hand side if you prefer and the Taskbar Settings screen allows you to control the way that the new OS presents your favourite applications.

Windows 11 enhances the way you multitask with the new Snap Layouts feature. You can configure your application windows in a setup that suits your preference then save it to make performing certain tasks much easier. Snap Groups gives you the option to switch between different workspaces as well meaning you can have multiple windows application layouts to cater for however you are using your system.

Desktops is a feature that gives you the power to change themes and appearances for different demands. Have an onscreen setup for every occasion.

Alongside the user interface, integrated apps and input features have all been overhauled to be powered by AI. This allows Windows 11 to provide you with news and information as you need it.

How about Gaming…

Gaming with Windows 11 will provide a cutting edge experience with a focus on integration within Microsoft’s persistently developing gaming ecosystem.

Auto-HDR is an XBOX feature that will automatically add high dynamic range (HDR) enhancements to games built on DirectX 11 or higher, even in games that previously only used standard dynamic range. This is a great solution for high end monitor users who want to experience a more immersive gaming experience even on titles which previously didn’t support HDR brightness and colours.

Direct Storage is an exclusive Windows 11 feature. This technology has been long anticipated and should take advantage of higher performance PCIe Gen3 and Gen4 NVME storage drives. Direct Storage allows your system to prioritise game data like textures and levels by feeding this information straight into your graphics card direct from your SSD.

Next generation consoles will include the feature too meaning that over the coming years, games will be developed with Direct Storage in mind so the latest games will certainly benefit from having the feature available.

XBOX Game Pass has seen further integration meaning it is part of Windows 11 natively. In addition to the incredible value that XBOX Game Pass for PC offers with a humongous library of quality games to play, the addition of XBOX Cloud gaming means that you can take your favourite games out on tablets and mobile devices too.

 

How to get Windows 11

Here’s how you can get Windows 11 right now.

  • Purchase a new PC pre-installed with Windows 11 from Stormforce Gaming
  • Purchase a Windows 10 PC that’s eligible for the free upgrade from the Stormforce Gaming website or one of our retail partners.
  • Use the PC Health Check app to check if your current Windows 10 PC is eligible for the free upgrade.

If you are an existing Windows 10 user, it is likely your Stormforce Gaming system will be ready to move to Windows 11. Use the Microsoft PC Health Check App linked above to check your PC for compatibility.

You may need Secure Boot and a TPM. some of our older or lower specification systems may not have these features and will not officially support Windows 11.

Your Windows 10 system should automatically present you with a prompt to upgrade to Windows 11 in the coming months. We understand that Microsoft plans to push out the new version of windows to existing customers via windows updates in a similar way to how windows 7, 8 and 10 upgraded over eachother.

If you purchase a Windows 10 system from us whilst we transition our range over to Windows 11, rest assured that your system will be eligible if it mentions this on the product page. You will see qualifying systems marked with this logo to make things clear.

 

How to check for TPM and Secure Boot

The most confusing part of the Windows 11 upgrade process for existing users is TPM and Secure Boot requirements. We take care of all this technical stuff when we build our systems for Windows 11.

If you run the PC health check tool and it doesn’t allow you to upgrade, you may need to adjust some settings. If TPM and Secure Boot are disabled then the compatibility checker will tell you that Windows 11 will not run on your system.

You can also check by typing System Information into your Windows search bar. The main page of system information will have ‘Secure Boot State’ as one of the items. If this is set to Off, you will need to alter your BIOS settings.

Next, expand the Hardware Resources tree to the left side of the System Information window and click Memory.
Find the Trusted Platform Module 2.0 State in the list of strings. Make sure its status is OK

If you have had a hardware reset or set your BIOS to default settings, there is a chance that the BIOS may need some configuration changes in order to run Windows 11.

If you have ran these checks and remain uncertain if your system will run Windows 11, please contact our service team for assistance.

Stormforce Gaming use ASUS Motherboards exclusively in our systems. Please follow the official support guides from ASUS to enable TPM on your AMD or Intel motherboard if needed. The Guide can be found here

 

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EA Play on XBOX Game Pass

EA Play & Bethesda comes to XBOX Game Pass for PC

EA Play has been added to the XBOX Game Pass for PC app…

Last week EA Play has finally arrived and joined the wealth of top tier games available for Game Pass subscribers. EA Play is included in the monthly cost of Game Pass and brings popular franchises from the EA Games catalogue to the Game Pass service. Need for Speed, Battlefield, Star Wars, EA Sports and more are now available to download and play on Game Pass with no additional subscriptions required.

With the addition of EA Play, older ‘must play’ franchises like Dead Space, Mass Effect and Mirror’s Edge are all on offer and it is a great time to try out these titles if you missed them the first time around.

EA Play access via XBOX Game Pass for PC also provides a discount on purchases of EA digital content and trial access to full versions of selected new game releases.

Check out the full EA Play line up HERE. With new games being added all the time, it has never been a better time to take advantage of the instant game library and superb value that XBOX Game Pass for PC offers to gamers.

 

Getting Started with EA Play

The process for installing a game from the EA Play catalogue is slightly different. You will need an EA account to link to your existing XBOX account to be able to take advantage of the extra titles on the service.

You will need to download the EA Desktop App which will allow you to download and install games from the EA Play catalogue. This is presented as an automatic download if you attempt to install an EA Play game from the XBOX app. It is worth keeping in mind that if you use the EA Origin app to launch your EA games already then you will need to close this down in order to run the EA Desktop App. The good news is that any EA games you have installed on Origin will be automatically detected and work with the EA Desktop App and Game Pass.

This guide posted on the XBOX YouTube channel talks you through the process of linking your EA and XBOX accounts to access all of the new content available

 

Bethesda Games

XBOX Game Pass has been expanding over the past month with the addition of a huge range of titles from Bethesda adding huge titles to the lineup for subscribers to the service. DOOM, Dishonored, Skyrim, Fallout and more are all now available to play on Game Pass for PC and current subscribers can access these titles within the Game Pass app.

If you are a Stormforce Gaming customer with an XBOX Game Pass trial on your system, now is a great time to activate the free 1 month trial to take advantage of the extra games on offer. Read more HERE on how to get started with your trial for XBOX Game Pass for PC.

If you are considering a new gaming system from Stormforce Gaming, our range of systems that ship with a free one month trial of XBOX Game Pass for PC is the perfect way to get started with a huge library of games for your new gaming system.

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Content Creator Focus – VR Flight Sim Guy

Stormforce Gaming systems power content creation and demanding VR simulations…

Creating rich and involving content is no easy task, especially when the simulation software you focus on in your content is extremely demanding. Running any demanding game or simulation can be really taxing on your computer and usually requires extremely high performance hardware to achieve smooth frame rates whilst capturing and encoding gameplay footage.

We covered the spectacular Microsoft Flight Simulator in a previous article HERE and in the meantime, World Updates have been added to the title which enhance the fidelity and immersion of landmarks and locations by adding even more detail to environments with airports and points of interest being expertly modelled with stunning levels of accuracy.

At the end of December 2020, Asobo Studio added the highly anticipated Virtual Reality update to Flight Simulator providing the ultimate experience for sim enthusiasts who wanted to experience next level immersion and the feeling of being there.

This Virtual Reality update has allowed members of the Flight Simulator community to produce incredible content showcasing the feeling of real flight without compromise.

Stormforce Gaming recently received a Trustpilot review for one of our flagship systems from a customer who needed a system to power demanding titles on his HP Reverb G2 and Oculus Virtual Reality Headsets and 4K monitor. After checking out his Youtube channel, we just had to share some of this amazing content with the Stormforce Community!

The VR Flight Sim Guy Youtube channel provides a deep dive into the performance aspects in a variety of Virtual Reality flight simulations as well as interesting explorations, reviews and live streams. For Sim enthusiasts, the channel offers a raft of content on making the most out of your simulator experience and tuning your settings for smooth framerates.

Check out the latest videos from VR Flight Sim Guy on Youtube HERE and consider subscribing to his channel

 

We spoke to VR Flight Sim Guy to find out more about his passion and what made him choose Stormforce Gaming to power his VR experience and content creation workloads.

“I’ve always had a passion for VR as it gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in an environment that would otherwise be inaccessible in real life. This combined with my interest in flying (both in the real world and using flight simulators), has completely transformed the experience into something tangible and authentic.

The only issue has been finding the right hardware to power such dreams and since owning my previous PC (an i5 8600k, 1080ti), I needed something to power me into the future.

Using high fidelity flight simulators combined with the highest resolution VR headsets can be extremely demanding, but thankfully I found the right PC up to the task.

I can now run all my sims and games on ultra and experience the immersion I’ve always wanted. It’s absolutely amazing.”

It is incredible to see what the Stormforce Gaming community use their systems for and we love hearing from content creators about how our systems help them to improve their work.

A huge thank you to VR Flight Sim Guy for giving us permission to share his awesome content and for choosing Stormforce Gaming for his simulator requirements!

If you are a content creator with a Stormforce Gaming system, please get in touch! We love hearing from our community members on how you use your system and you could be in an upcoming feature too!

To view our range of Stormforce Gaming Flight Simulator Ready Systems – Click HERE

 

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Microsoft Flight Simulator

Microsoft Flight Simulator is a true innovation in PC Gaming providing newcomers and enthusiasts a rich and vibrant world to explore…

Throughout the history of the PC, Microsoft’s Flight Simulator series has been a mainstay in software innovation and graphical achievement. Since the 1980’s every iteration of the popular program has been met with huge fanfare, pushing the boundaries software capabilities and utilising hardware of every generation to maximise visual impact.

Releasing in August 2020, the latest version of Microsoft Flight Simulator attempts to provide the most immersive, realistic ‘in game world’ ever created. Leveraging the power of Microsoft’s Bing satellite map data, Flight Simulator provides a 1:1 scale replica of the entire planet for you to explore however you like.

Microsoft Flight Simulator: Standard Edition is available to play on Xbox Game Pass for PC. With over a million people taking to the skies on the first few weeks of launch, players have been exploring the world in all sorts of aircraft.

For Sim fans looking for even more, Deluxe and Premium editions of the simulator are available with additional features through the XBOX app on PC.

Incredibly detailed satellite map data is used to produce stunning real world scenery, cities and airports for you to explore

 

Loaded with an ever expanding variety of aircraft for you to master, Flight Simulator includes a wide scope of planes to suit all ability levels and interests. From the mighty Boeing 747-8 ‘Jumbo Jet’ to the Cessna Citation CJ4 ‘private jet’, you can take to the skies easily in planes of all shapes and sizes.
The larger jets and passenger airliners have higher maximum altitudes which allow you to take in breath-taking scenery from above the clouds, climbing up through realistic cloud cover and cruising with a relaxing view of the horizon.
A comprehensive array of propeller driven planes are also available, some of them providing huge levels of maneuverability and control in the air. Pick a stunt plane and perform loops and tight turns through your local city or take a thrill ride through the Swiss Alps.

The real beauty of this game is the escapism on offer and the ability to fly anywhere you can think of. As a tool for exploring the world, there really isn’t anything more comprehensive than Microsoft Flight Simulator

Wide Variety of Controls

Flight Simulator will Scale with your skill level, set the game controls to ‘easy’ and use a Microsoft XBOX controller with your PC to get going quickly using intuitive controls that let you pilot your aircraft and take a relaxing flight somewhere. Playing on a controller also lets you precisely control the agile planes too, resulting in some really impressive twists and turns.

Keyboard & Mouse gamers can get into flight simulator quickly. Whilst the harder difficulty settings are not ideal for a KB&M control setup, the game is still very playable like this and will allow you to get started without any additional gaming peripherals.

Joystick and flight yoke controls are all supported by Flight Simulator and offer the most realistic and immersive experience in the simulator. With limitless options of customisation, a joystick will give you precision control in any situation.
Simulator veterans and real life pilots will appreciate the incredible level of granular detail in the sim that allow you to recreate the complexities of flying a real aircraft.

Take off from the Hudson River in New York City in an Icon A5 Amphibian aircraft. The scenery in large cities is impressively detailed for maximum immersion.

 

Real World Weather – Real World Air Traffic

Flight Simulator allows you complete control of the time and weather of your flight. You can decide to fly at any time of day and make adjustments to the time, date and weather circumstances whist in the air. This allows you to take in incredible sunrises or put yourself in the middle of a storm to test your flight skills. By default, the weather circumstances use realtime weather data so wherever you are flying in the world, the time of day and weather scenario will be presented as it is in that location. Many Flight Simulator users have been using this revolutionary feature to explore weather events like hurricanes and storms all over the planet.

In addition to complete control of the weather and time, Flight Simulator uses data from real life aircraft to populate airports and the skies with real life aircraft. If you see another plane cruising by on your flight, that plane will be on its flight path in real life too. There isn’t another simulator available with this level of detail and immersion.

Constant development on the title means that the world and presentation of Flight Simulator is always progressing. The developers have announced that Virtual Reality support is coming soon. Putting you in the cockpit of your favourite aircraft so that you can fly around landmarks and points of interest with ease.

System Suggestions & Resolutions

All of the ground breaking features that Flight Simulator offers means that in order to run the game at Ultra Settings, you will need a hefty Gaming System. Stormforce Gaming has a wide range of systems that will offer a Flight Simulator experience for most budgets. The simulator has been labelled as one of the most demanding PC Gaming titles in recent memory so your experience will vary depending on your resolution and the Stormforce Gaming system you use.

The game has a very scalable graphics engine and will work well on lower end hardware but you will be forced to drop your video quality settings to maintain smooth frame rates.

One thing to keep in mind is that Microsoft Flight Simulator is a fairly slow paced game. Usually we suggest that gamers aim for a system that will run a title at 60 frames per second or higher but after many hours of testing, we have found that 35 frames per second or higher in this title offers a very playable and smooth experience. If you can achieve higher than 35FPS on your system then your experience of the simulator will be even better.

  • At 1080p, an RTX 2060 Super would be a baseline for Ultra settings. Lower tier video cards will still run the game but you will need to scale back graphics settings for a smooth experience.
  • Higher resolutions like 1440p can be achieved with higher tier cards like NVIDIA RTX 2070 Super or the new NVIDIA RTX 3070 or AMD Radeon RX 6800 for a smooth experience on Ultra settings.
  • 4k and ultrawide monitor users will require a card like the NVIDIA RTX 2080 Super. The new NVIDIA RTX 3080 or AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT would be the best option for the highest settings at large resolutions.

We recommend a system with at least an AMD Ryzen 5 or Intel i5 processor, 16GB of system memory and an SSD for optimal performance in this title too.

If you need a second opinion or more advice on the best system for you, please reach out to us for more information on how to optimise your Microsoft Flight Simulator experience – Contact Us Here

 

To view the range of Stormforce Gaming systems for Microsoft Flight Simulator – Click Here

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XBOX Game Pass for PC

Microsoft XBOX Game Pass for PC on Stormforce Gaming Systems

XBOX Game Pass for PC has transformed the way that modern PC Gaming is delivered…

Microsoft XBOX Game Pass for PC allows you to play over 100 high-quality PC games on Windows 10, plus enjoy all the benefits of EA Play coming towards the end of 2020.
EA Play gives members instant access to a collection of the best EA titles available as well as early trials on selected titles and special member-only content.

Digital content delivery services have revolutionised the way that PC Gamers choose their latest games. Whilst this was convenient and easy to use it becomes very expensive buying one or two games every month.
Game purchase via digital delivery services would mean a high initial outlay and the potential for problematic refund procedures if you didn’t like the title.

Game Pass for PC does away with all of this. Your monthly subscription service from Microsoft provides you instant access to the latest and greatest blockbuster titles and indie favourites. Simply download the game you want to play and get going straight away. If the game isn’t for you, uninstall it and try something else. There are no restrictions on the platform or extra charges outside of your monthly subscription fee.Game Pass Home Page

New and exciting titles are added all of the time so there will always be something interesting that caters for your tastes. You will also have full access to new PC games from Xbox Game Studios the day they launch.

The Game Pass for PC app is built into Microsoft Windows 10 so there is nothing for you to install other than games.

For gamers who have a Stormforce Gaming PC and a Microsoft XBOX console, upgrading to Game Pass Ultimate gives you all the benefits of Game Pass for PC as well as on XBOX consoles!

Forza HorizonForza Horizon 4 running at maximum settings on a Stormforce Crystal AMD Ryzen 3700X System at QHD Ultra Wide 1440p Resolution

 

How to get started with your Stormforce Gaming PC & Microsoft XBOX Game Pass for PC

As Microsoft partners, Stormforce Gaming provides a one month free trial of Game Pass with qualifying systems providing you with instant access to a huge library of top tier games to get up and running with as soon as your system arrives.

When you first switch on your new Stormforce Gaming PC and hit the desktop, your system will alert you that there are items that come with your device.

  • Click ‘Get it now’ or search in the taskbar for ‘Windows Store’.
  • On the Home tab of the Windows Store you will be presented with Game Pass for PC.
  • Click ‘Get’ and sign in using your Microsoft account details or create a new account.
  • The wizard will then allow you to subscribe and choose a payment method for future months after your trial period.
  • Once completed, you can go to the XBOX Game Pass for PC app and start browsing for titles to play!

On the main XBOX Game Pass for PC app you can browse titles by Recently Added, Most Popular or have the app randomly suggest your next adventure.

When you select a game to install, the game page will provide an overview of the game with important information like System Requirements and game ratings. All Game Pass for PC titles will have an ‘Included with Game Pass’ tag above them so you know it is part of your subscription. Just hit the green Install button to start the game download.

Installing Game Pass for PC Titles

After the game has finished downloading you can launch from the icons on the far left of the app and get into the game!

XBOX Game Pass for PC comes preloaded with a one month free trial on qualifying system specifications.

To view the range of Stormforce Gaming systems with XBOX Game Pass for PC – Click Here