Subject: General Tech | December 27, 2014 - 04:23 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: shield tablet, shield, nvidia, grid, geforce grid, f1 2010, dirt showdown
Okay, so I forgot about #GRIDTuesday for a little while. NVIDIA didn't. They have been releasing two games for the GRID service each and every week. You will need a SHIELD device to access it, which I don't have, and you will also need to be in a supported region. If you qualify in both criteria, then you can have access to NVIDIA's cloud-streamed game service for free (until June 30th). Since our post last month, which aligned with the release of Psychonauts and Red Faction: Armageddon, eight new games have been added.
The most recent inclusions, occurring two days before Christmas, were F1 2010 and Dirt Showdown. The previous Tuesday was Lego-themed, with LEGO The Hobbit and LEGO The Lord of the Rings joining the service. This followed the indie titles, Stacking and PixelJunk Monsters Ultimate on December 9th. Finally, December 2nd was Batman: Arkham Origins and LEGO Batman: The Video Game.
Now you're all caught up.
These are quite good games. Batman: Arkham Origins was released just about a year ago and enjoyed by most, especially fans of the franchise. Some have complained about bugs and glitches, but it is free in this promotional period, so why not?
This week brought the number of available games up to an even 30, and they are quite diverse. If you have a SHIELD device, and are in the United States, Canada, or Western Europe, then be sure to check it out.
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 31, 2012 - 06:07 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: dirt showdown, catalyst, amd, 7770, 7750
I just got off the phone with AMD this afternoon as they gave me a quick update on the status of Radeon PC gaming with some interesting news about the low-end HD 7700 cards and the world of Catalyst driver updates going into the future.
First up, there a few changes coming to gamers looking at cards in the Radeon HD 7770 series including higher base clocks, higher overclocking potential and the inclusion of a free copy of DiRT Showdown. When the Cape Verde GPUs first launched in February the default clock speeds were 1.0 GHz on the HD 7770 and 800 MHz on the HD 7750. Going ahead, the default clocks will be available to AICs at 1.1 GHz and 900 MHz, a 100 MHz clock speed jump for each.
Along with these base clock increases you'll find that the Catalyst driver will allow you to push the clock speed up a bit higher as well.
Maybe more interesting than all that is many of the new SKUs will be including a free copy of the new DiRT Showdown, a value of $50 according to Steam today. For a graphics card with a starting price of $109 or $129, a free copy of basically anything is a pretty sweet addition and should entice some people to make the move and upgrade from integrated graphics.
After that good news came some more INTERESTING news about changes to AMD's driver organization going forward. I have never been shy about sharing my disgust for some of the confusion that AMD's driver numbering systems, in-between and dual releases caused not only reviewers but the consumers we represent. In an attempt to prevent this again AMD is moving away from the fixed cadence of a monthly Catalyst driver release and instead will move to a "dynamic" schedule.
Starting with driver release 12.6, Catalyst drivers will be released in an on-demand format and will be posted when there is a need for it either with significant performance increases or the release of a new game, etc. You can see above that they are hoping to make sure that each Catalyst release will "deliver substantial benefit" to consumers as opposed to the monthly releases that might only offer minor changes.
Here is where I think they are making a mistake: they are still going to be versioned as YEAR.MONTH so you'll see 12.8, 12.11, 13.3, etc types of versions. But what if you release more than one a month? Are we going to 12.85? 12.8.1? If you are skipping the monthly cadence then WHY BOTHER with the "year.month" nomenclature? Just increase the version in arbitrary amounts like we see with NVIDIA's drivers. It just makes more sense.
Regardless, I am curious to see how much work AMD continues to put into their driver releases. When I asked AMD is this meant they were scaling back on resources for the Catalyst team, I was assured that was NOT the case and in anything they were increasing staff in this area. We'll see over time if AMD's new driver schedule (or lack thereof) benefits gamers.