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Subject: General Tech | September 14, 2016 - 02:16 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: frame rating, deus ex: mankind divided, dx12, gaming
Just as we do here at PC Perspective, The Tech Report relies on rating frame times to provide accurate benchmarks as opposed to the raw number of frames per second a card provides. This means that their look at the new DX12 patch for Deus Ex focuses on different data which does not produce the same results as FRAPs would. This shows in their results, switching to DX12 results in much longer frame times in Deus Ex, with many spikes and a significant amount of frames that take more than 50ms to refresh. Drop by to see their full look here.
"An early version of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided's DirectX 12 rendering path is available now, and many sites and AMD itself are already producing average FPS numbers using that software. We go inside the second to see what the real story is."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Deus Ex: Mankind Divided - PC graphics performance @ Guru of 3D
- Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Review @ OCC
- Dishonored 2: Happy Hour With Corvo Attano @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Humble Store End of Summer Sale
- Wot I Think: Master Of Orion @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- CryEngine 5.3 release to add Vulkan support this November @ HEXUS
- Quick Look: The Turing Test @ GiantBomb
- Endless Space 2 Hands On: Buying Planets As The Mafia-Like Lumeris @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Battlefleet Gothic: Armada Opening Tau Beta Tomorrow @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: General Tech | September 14, 2016 - 01:06 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: pascal, tesla, p40, p4, nvidia, neural net, m40, M4, HPC
The Register have package a nice explanation of the basics of how neural nets work in their quick look at NVIDIA's new Pascal based HPC cards, the P4 and P40. The tired joke about Zilog or Dick Van Patten stems from the research which has shown that 8-bit precision is most effective when feeding data into a neural net. Using 16 or 32-bit values slows the processing down significantly while adding little precision to the results produced. NVIDIA is also perfecting a hybrid mode, where you can opt for a less precise answer produced by your local, presumably limited, hardware or you can upload the data to the cloud for the full treatment. This is great for those with security concerns or when a quicker answer is more valuable than a more accurate one.
As for the hardware, NVIDIA claims the optimizations on the P40 will make it "40 times more efficient" than an Intel Xeon E5 CPU and it will also provide slightly more throughput than the currently available Titan X. You can expect to see these arrive in the market sometime over then next two months.
"Nvidia has designed a couple of new Tesla processors for AI applications – the P4 and the P40 – and is talking up their 8-bit math performance. The 16nm FinFET GPUs use Nv's Pascal architecture and follow on from the P100 launched in June. The P4 fits on a half-height, half-length PCIe card for scale-out servers, while the beefier P40 has its eyes set on scale-up boxes."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Windows 10 Anniversary Update might not arrive on your PC until November @ The Inquirer
- iOS 10 reviewed: There’s no reason not to update @ Ars Technica
- iOS 10 rollout goes titsup as update 'bricks' iPhones and iPads @ The Inqurier
- DevOps and the Art of Secure Application Deployment @ Linux.com
- HTC to unveil new Desire smartphones on September 20 @ DigiTimes
- Using a thing made by Microsoft, Apple or Adobe? It probably needs a patch today @ The Register
- New York Fines Viacom, Mattel and Hasbro For Tracking Kids Online @ Slashdot
- Microsoft's Service Fabric for Linux hits public preview @ The Register
Subject: General Tech | September 14, 2016 - 01:34 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: pc gaming, fallout 4, bethesda
I don't usually post individual deals, but this is a fairly big drop in price for a very popular game. The physical copy of Fallout 4, for PC of course, is currently a little over $18. Since, digitally, it is still a $60 game, this is about 70% less than the price on Steam.
I'm guessing that this deal is to clear out stock for an upcoming Game of the Year edition. This is something to keep in mind. The last DLC has just been released two weeks ago, and, if history serves, that means it won't be too long before they release the game with the DLC bundled in. Probably, if you waited this long, you should wait until that gets released (and goes on sale) to pick it up. I doubt that it would arrive before 2017, though, so it's up to you.
Subject: Processors | September 13, 2016 - 06:51 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: GLOBALFOUNDRIES, FD-SOI, 12FDX, process technology
In addition to the company’s efforts to get its own next generation FinFET process technology up and running, GlobalFoundries announced that will continue to pursue FD-SOI process technology with the addition of a 12nm FD-SOI (FDX in GlobalFoundries parlance) node to its roadmap with a slated release of 2019 at the earliest.
FD-SOI stands for Fully Depleted Silicon On Insulator and is a planar process technology that uses a thin insulator on top of the base silicon which is then covered by a very thin layer of silicon that is used as the transistor channel. The promise of FD-SOI is that it offers the performance of a FinFET node with lower power consumption and cost than other bulk processes. While the substrate is more expensive with FD-SOI, it uses 50% of the lithography layers and companies can take advantage of reportedly easy-to-implement body biasing to design a single chip that can fulfill multiple products and roles. For example, in the case of 22FDX – which should start rolling out towards the end of this year – GlobalFoundries claims that it offers the performance of 14 FinFET at the 28nm bulk pricing. 22FDX is actually a 14nm front end (FEOL) and 28nm back end of line (BEOL) combined. Notably, it purportedly uses 70% lower power than 28nm HKMG.
A GloFo 22nm FD-SOI "22FDX" transistor.
The FD-SOI design offers lower static leakage and allows chip makers to use body biasing (where substrate is polarized) to balance performance and leakage. Forward Body Biasing allows the transistor to switch faster and/or operate at much lower voltages. On the other hand, Reverse Body Biasing further reduces leakage and frequency to improves energy efficiency. Dynamic Body Biasing (video link) allows for things like turbo modes whereby increasing voltage to the back gate can increase transistor switching speed or reducing voltage can reduce switching speeds and leakage. For a process technology that is aimed at battery powered wearables, mobile devices, and various Internet of Things products, energy efficiency and being able to balance performance and power depending on what is needed is important.
22FDX offers body biasing.
While the process node numbers are not as interesting as the news that FD-SOI will continue itself (thanks to marketing mucking up things heh), GlobalFoundries did share that 12FDX (12nm FD-SOI) will be a true full node shrink that will offer the performance of 10nm FinFET (presumably its own future FinFET tech though they do not specify) with better power characteristics and lower cost than 16nm FinFET. I am not sure if GlobalFoundries is using theoretical numbers or compared it to TSMC’s process here since they do not have their own 16nm FinFET process. Further, 12FDX will feature 15% higher performance and up to 50% lower power consumption that today’s FinFET technologies. The future process is aimed at the “cost sensitive mobile market” that includes IoT, automotive (entertainment and AI), mobile, and networking. FD-SOI is reportedly well suited for processors that combine both digital and analog (RF) elements as well.
Following the roll out of 22FDX GlobalFoundries will be preparing its Fab 1 facility in Dresden, Germany for the 12nm FD-SOI (12FDX) process. The new process is slated to begin tapping out products in early 2019 which should mean products using chips will hit the market in 2020.
The news is interesting because it indicates that there is still interest and research/development being made on FD-SOI and GlobalFoundries is the first company to talk about next generation process plans. Samsung and STMicroelectronics also support FD-SOI but have not announced their future plans yet.
If I had to guess, Samsung will be the next company to talk about future FD-SOI as the company continues to offer both FinFET and FD-SOI to its customers though they certainly do not talk as much about the latter. What are your thoughts on FD-SOI and its place in the market?
Also read: FD-SOI Expands, But Is It Disruptive? @ EETimes
Subject: Mobile | September 13, 2016 - 01:02 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, ASUS ROG, GX800VH, watercooling
Kitguru got their hands on the ASUS ROG GX800, the gaming laptop with the docking station that provides watercooling. The design is unique and it certainly looks big enough to deal with the heat produced by a pair of desktop class GTX 1080s and an overclocked i7-6820HK. The laptop's cooling system links to the radiator and pump inside the docking station via a small port on the bottom of the laptop, which also has dual 330W power bricks to add extra power to the system. From the testing it seems ASUS really did do a great job, the four different profiles based on the amount of power and cooling available to the laptop do have an effect on performance which shows in the benchmarks. The price is going to be equally impressive, when ASUS finally releases the GX800.
"The model code suggests that GX800 is an upgrade of GX700, however that is wide of the mark. GX800 has a similar appearance to GX700 but the hardware is all new, starting with a pair of Nvidia GTX 1080 GPUs in SLI. Yes, two 1080s in a laptop, driving a 4K display for maximum gaming pleasure."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
More Mobile Articles
- MSI GE72VR Apache Pro (GTX 1060) @ techPowerUp
- The HTC 10 Smartphone @ Tech ARP
- Samsung Galaxy A9 Pro @ Tech ARP
- lloclip Active Lens iPhone 6 / 6s & 6 / 6s plus @ MissingRemote
- CHJGD 10000mAh Ultra Compact PowerBank Review @ NikKTech
Subject: General Tech | September 13, 2016 - 12:38 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: VR, holoverse, euclideon
It is hard to believe but it was indeed five years ago when Euclideon first started talking about their Unlimited Detail technology and how it can be used to create a holodeck. You can now visit their first hologram entertainment centre, assuming you can get to Australia where the centre is located. The video that [H]ard|OCP posted along with their interview looks very impressive, though it is difficult to get a feeling of what it would be like inside the room.
Ryan sat down (virtually) with the CEO of Euclideon, Bruce Dell, to talk about the recent updates to their Euclideon Unlimited Detail engine, the addition of animation capability and the opening of virtual reality hologram entertainment rooms based on the tech.
The technology used to create the rooms is fascinating and very different from the polygon based rendering techniques we are accustomed to. They have named it Unlimited Detail and describe it as using 'trillions of little computer generated atoms' to create flat images on the wall or 3D holograms inside the room. Their UD engine can also stream 3D graphics from hard drives at a speed which does not need a cache, essentially giving them unlimited video memory which they use to project the equivalent of 20,000,000 converted polygons per square metre. Check out the article as it is well worth looking at.
"It's been five years since we last heard from Bruce Dell of Euclideon about its Unlimited Detail Technology and how he saw it changing the gaming world. Since then Bruce has not been sitting on his hands, and are now delivering the Holoverse VR / AR experience to the folks Down Under. And a new video showing this off!"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Delete Google Maps? Go ahead, says Google, we'll still track you @ The Register
- This changes every-string: the companies keen to fix Apple's iPhone 7 AirPods @ The Inquirer
- Ericsson strikes partnerships with Intel and Google for pay TV @ The Register
- SOHOpeless Seagate NAS boxen become malware distributors @ The Register
- Microsoft To Kill The Lumia Brand In Favor of a New Surface Phone, Says Report @ Slashdot
- Watching semiconductor superlattices grow @ Nanotechweb
Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 12, 2016 - 03:35 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: wall mount, thermaltake, Core P3
We spotted the Thermaltake Core P3 wall mounted enclosure at CES but never had a chance to set up a system inside of it. Recently [H]ard|OCP did have an opportunity to test out this enclosure which can either stand on its own or be easily attached to a wall. They walk you through the assembly of the case, the variety of accessories which ship with the case and the various configuration options the Core P3 offers. Not only does this case make your system look very unique, it passed their cooling tests with flying colours. It retails for ~$120, not bad at all for a decent case, let alone such a unique looking one. Check out their full review right here.
"The Thermaltake Core P3 chassis can be mounted standing, in a desktop orientation, or directly to the wall. The open design allows you to see all the components in your system easily and the wall-mount option allows you to place your system in view like a work of art. All of these options come in at an easy-on-the-wallet price as well."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Lian Li PC-M25A Micro-ATX @ Benchmark Reviews
- IN WIN 303 Mid Tower Case Review @ NikKTech
- Alphacool Eisbaer 240 CPU AIO Cooler @ [H]ard|OCP
- Corsair H115i Review @ OCC
- Thermalright Le Grand Macho RT @ techPowerUp
Subject: Systems, Mobile | September 12, 2016 - 01:57 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: VR One, msi, VR, backpack, htc vive
MSI released some more images of their VR One backpack PC designed to give you more freedom of movement when playing around in VR and to make it easier to cart around to show off to friends and relations. We know very little about the internals as of yet, it will have an unspecified overclocked CPU and a GTX 10 series graphics card and will weigh 2.2kg empty, 3.6kg with a batteries installed; it ships with two which are hot-swappable. At 1.5 lbs each, it will be very interesting to see which storage cell technology they used to reach the estimated 1.5 hours of full speed gameplay. It also ships with an adapter so you can utilize mains power.
The VR One is HTC VIVE optimized though in theory an Oculus should work as the connectivity includes an HDMI port, MiniDP and one ultra-speed Thunderbolt 3 port, aka USB 3.1 Type-C as well as four USB 3.0 ports. Cooling is provided by two 9cm ultra blade fans and 9 heat pipes which should only produce noise 41dBA which is good as the system will be on your back while you are using it.
Not all the flashing lights on the backpack are for show, LEDs will tell you the status of your battery to let you know when to swap it out. This can be achieved without shutting the system down, presumably there is a physical switch on the armoured shell of the backpack to allow this feat as it would not accomplish much simply doing it in VR. You can pop by MSI for more information on the MSI Dragon Center system software and the SHIFT Technology, aka the fan controller.
Subject: General Tech | September 12, 2016 - 12:40 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: mit, terahertz camera, georgia tech
MIT have come up with a camera which radiates EM at terahertz frequencies which can read a bit of a closed book thanks to the difference in reflectivity between ink and paper. This is less a spy device than a way to read ancient scrolls and parchments which could disintegrate at a touch. The camera can only penetrate to a depth of about nine pages before the clarity of the image degrades and the text can no longer easily be read. The software the camera communicates with is able to recognize the letters and words in the images, it is not the scientists who read the manuscripts directly. The Inquirer points out that this means it is also capable of defeating captchas, an impressive feat in and of itself though one with possible negative repercussions.
"IMAGINE IF you could read a book like Superman. Well, thanks to research by MIT and Georgia Tech, X-ray vision could be the next big thing in reading after the team created a camera that can read closed books."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Mos Eisley Recreated By Obsidian Artists Just For Fun @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Samsung to 'remotely deactivate' Note 7 handsets after six-year-old injured @ The Register
- Intel pulls out hard cash to gobble virtual CPU upstart Soft Machines @ The Register
- Firefox 49 Postponed One Week Due To Unexpected Bugs @ Slashdot
- Seagate is being sued by its own staff over big leaky phish @ The Register
- Sony’s PS4 Pro: The Pros, The Cons & The Baffling @ Techgage
Subject: Editorial | September 12, 2016 - 12:13 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: sweepstakes, giveaway, contest, cancer, amy
Every once in a while I call upon our amazing community to help out someone in need. We have done raffles for the Down Syndrome Association, others to support members that have suffered heart attacks, and now I ask for your help in supporting my own family. My sister-in-law, a 30 year old mother of two amazing children, was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer last month. As you might expect in an environment where both parents need to work to support the kids, losing your income from a semi-full-time position can have a dramatic impact.
As a result, I am raffling off an EVGA provided GeForce GTX 1080 ACX 3.0 graphics card worth over $700. In return, I ask that readers and fans of PC Perspective donate to my sister-in-law Amy's GoFundMe campaign with a minimum of $5.00. Getting even a small portion of our audience to pitch in will make a dramatic difference in the family's stability and mind set as she continues with the first several sessions of chemotherapy.
I encourage you to enter the contest below and contribute to the GoFundMe campaign. From all of us at PC Perspective and the Shrout/Roark family: Thank you.
Subject: General Tech | September 9, 2016 - 07:09 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: pc gaming, Kalypso, humble bundle
Update: Annnnnnnnnnnd it's over. Sorry everyone who just noticed the post. Original below.
If you have heard about the On The House promotion from EA's Origin service, then this will sound familiar. For the next eighteen hours, the Humble Store is giving away Tropico 4 from Kalypso Media Digital. It does not include any of the expansions or DLC, but it normally retails for $17 CDN and you're getting it for free if you redeem it before it expires. Also, according to the Steam page, the game requires that users register a (free) account with Kalypso to login.
Again, you're getting it for free, though, and I know of a few people that love it. Tropico is a city-building game of sorts, except that, instead of playing as an omnificent being that benevolently rules over a region, you play as an actual dictator. I haven't played it myself, but I just added it to my Steam account, so I'll hopefully get around to it soon.
Subject: General Tech | September 9, 2016 - 03:52 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: doom, pc gaming, bethesda
Adrian Courrèges is a software developer who, from time to time, does a break down on rendering techniques for major gaming titles. His latest one is on DOOM, and it explains, in remarkably simple (given the subject matter) terms, how the game draws a frame at a point early in the game. Most of the information was gathered from using debug tools, but a bit was pulled from Tiago Sousa and Jean Geffroy's slide deck at last month's SIGGRAPH conference.
I obviously cannot really summarize what the article says in this post. You kind-of need to read it for yourself. The post goes into how Vulkan is used for updating Mega-Textures, but it doesn't go into anything like asynchronous compute, though. Most of the figures are animated too, usually by a slideshow of images, but a few WebGL demonstrations are included, too.
Subject: Motherboards | September 9, 2016 - 01:55 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Z170X-Designare, gigabyte, RGB
At $250 the Gigabyte Z170X-Designare motherboard is a bit on the expensive side for this chipset but it does come with a long list of features which make it interesting. This ATX board has both three reinforced PCIe 16x and 1x slots as well as onboard U.2, Thunderbolt 3 with dual USB 3.1 Type-C, and dual Intel LAN which is more that you find on a Z170 board. Modders Inc offers more information on additional features present on this board, including the RGB rash present on it, as well as performance benchmarks in this recent review.
"The majority of mainstream motherboards are priced under $200. When it comes to describing one situated north of this border, "practical" is not exactly the first word that comes to mind. For the budgetary pragmatic, this is indulgence territory and for the most part that is a correct assessment. But as the old proverb goes, all work and no play …"
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- Asus Republic Of Gamers RAMPAGE V Edition 10 @ Guru of 3D
- ASUS Z170 Pro Gaming Aura @ Kitguru
- MSI Z170A MPOWER GAMING TITANIUM (Intel LGA1151) @ techPowerUp
- ASRock Fatal1ty X99 Professional Gaming i7 @ Kitguru
- Gigabyte X99-Ultra Gaming @ Kitguru
Subject: General Tech | September 9, 2016 - 12:44 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: rumour, nvidia, gtx 1050
DigiTimes have heard that NVIDIA hope to release the GTX 1050 at the end of the month or early in October but there are hints it may be somewhat of a paper launch. NVIDIA will have some silicon for sale but only a few who are quick enough on the draw will be able to purchase them; similar to the launch of the GTX 1080 and 1070 or even AMD's new cards for that matter. Both vendors had great difficulty providing retailers with cards to sell at launch, the supply has increased and prices are much closer to the MSRP than they were a month ago but there are still plenty of out of stock models when you start looking for deals.
Hopefully this situation will resolve soon, but for now patience is recommended for upgraders on a tight budget.
"Nvidia's Pascal-based GeForce GTX 1080, 1070 and 1060 graphics cards are seeing strong demand from the market and therefore are currently in tight supply. To further expand into the market, Nvidia is planning to release its mid-range GTX 1050 graphics card at the end of September at the earliest."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Humble Summer Sale Kicks Off With Free Tropico 4 @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Apple markets the iPhone 7 as a penis in Hong Kong @ The Inquirer
- Ten-year-old Windows Media Player hack is the new black, again @ The Register
Subject: General Tech | September 9, 2016 - 07:00 AM | Scott Michaud
The Blender Foundation maintains the most popular, free, open-source 3D suite, Blender. One major component of any 3D application is the chunk that turns 3D geometry into one or more 2D images. This is often passed to third-party software, like mental ray or Pixar Renderman, but basically everyone has their own internal ones.
About five years ago, Blender released a new rendering engine, called Cycles, whose just-released 2016 demo reel is embedded above. Not being held back by history, they swung for the fences with it. It supports multiple GPUs (albeit mostly NVIDIA, even to this day, due to CUDA vs OpenCL at the time -- but AMD might be commissioning development soon) and integrates tightly with the editor. It produces great images, although it's very slow for cartoonish imagery (but Blender is working on a viewport renderer for that sort of content anyway).
Also, Blender with Cycles is what we used for our recent animation projects. Version 2.78 is currently in release candidate mode, and should be released very soon.
Back in 2008, a customer purchased a laptop from Sony, but refused to accept its end-user license agreement due to its pre-installed software. The customer contacted Sony, demanding to be reimbursed for the junkware. Sony, instead, offered a refund for the PC. The customer, instead of taking the refund, sued Sony for about 3000 Euros.
According to The Register, the EU's highest court has just ruled against the customer.
Honestly, this makes sense. The software was around when they purchased the computer, and Sony offered a refund. Yes, companies should offer crapware-free versions of their laptops, even for a slight fee. If adware-free version existed at all, then there might be an issue, but that would belong with Microsoft (or whoever owns the actual platform). It shouldn't be a burden for the individual system builders, unless collusion was involved.
It's also funny to think that, since the laptop was purchased in 2008, we are probably talking about a Vista-era device. Interesting to think about the difference in speed between the legal system and the tech industry.
Subject: Graphics Cards | September 9, 2016 - 03:59 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: nvidia, graphics drivers, linux
Unfortunately, I don't tend to notice when Linux drivers get released; it's something I want to report more frequently on. Luckily, this time, I heard about NVIDIA's 370.28 graphics drivers while they were still fresh. This one opens up overclocking (and underclocking) for GeForce 10-series GPUs, although NVIDIA (of course) mentions that this is “at the user's own risk”. It also fixes a bunch of Vulkan bugs.
Many of these fixes were in the previous, but beta-class drivers, 370.23. It, like 370.28, also includes experimental support for PRIME Synchronization. PRIME handles choosing which GPU drives a given display, which may be different from the GPU that is rendering that image. I'm not too familiar with the system, and I've heard some jokes from the Linux community over the last couple of years about its almost vaporware-like status, but I don't have any personal experience with it.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 9, 2016 - 12:26 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: mid tower, E-ATX Case, antec
Antec revealed a new mid tower case aimed at gaming PCs for the European market. The GX1200 mid tower measures 510mm x 200mm x 510mm and supports motherboards up to E-ATX in size. The GX1200 is rather stylized with angled front and top panels along with a large windowed side panel and hexagonal mesh front panel grill. I/O sits on the top edge and includes two audio jacks, a power button, two USB 3.0 ports, and a button to control the LEDs (on/off and mode selection e.g. pulsing, color changing, blinking, and fading).
Antec includes two 120mm RGB LED fans on the front intake and the case also sports an LED under-glow lighting. The case mounted LEDs and up to six fans are controlled using the “Antec Magic Box” which is the company’s fan controller. In addition to the included front intake fans, users can install a 140mm fans in the front and back and two 140mm fans on top. On the water cooling front, it is possible to install a 120mm radiator in back, 280mm radiator up top and a 360mm radiator in the front. Not bad for a mid-tower though you do give up optical drives (there are no 5.25” bays on this case).
Internally, the Antec GX1200 features a bottom mounted PSU (with removable dust filter albeit removable from the rear much to Ryan’s dismay) in its own chamber to help hide cables and isolate heat, two 3.5” bays, three 2.5” SSD mounts, seven PCI slots, and support for graphics cards up to 410mm (~16-inches) in length. There are also various locations to tie up cable bundles behind the motherboard tray as well as holes to pass wires through (though there are no rubber grommets, they are just cut outs).
I am not a huge fan of the aesthetics (I have seen worse though and I may just be getting old hah!), but it does seem like a functional case. It will be available in Europe for 84€ (approximately $95 USD) soon. There is no word on US availability yet.
Subject: General Tech | September 8, 2016 - 11:02 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: google, chrome, http, https
Many software vendors want to impose security and encryption basically everywhere. Google and Mozilla are two of the more vocal organizations about it, and they have been slowly implementing ways to discourage insecure HTTP (in favor of HTTPS). Some of these make sense, like preventing insecure sites from accessing your webcam so the video stream cannot be intercepted, while others seem a bit pushy, like lowering HTTP-based sites down in search results.
This announcement's change is technologically benign, but is designed to make HTTP feel a bit uncomfortable. Rather than just promote HTTPS sites with a secure padlock symbol, Google Chrome 56 and later will begin to add a “not secure” label to HTTP sites. At first, Google claims that it will only mark sites that transmit sensitive data, like passwords and credit card info. They intend to expand this to all HTTP websites going forward.
Again, this has pros and cons. The main benefit of encryption is that it's much harder to view or manipulate what flies across the data stream. One major disadvantage is that the content needs to be authenticated, which is a concern for truly anonymous expressions. Google Chrome treats local, offline content as secure, but that use case could be easily forgotten, and that could have terrible rammifications, especially in areas controlled by oppressive governments that massively censor art.
Subject: General Tech | September 8, 2016 - 04:27 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, dx 12, deus ex: mankind divided, Crimson Edition 16.9.1, amd
As of today you can now try out Deus Ex: Mankind Divided with DX12 enabled if you enable beta content in the game. The fifth patch offers several bug fixes but it also allows you to try out DX12 on your system. You can see where to head on your Steam client if you have never played with beta settings before. Once you have enabled beta content and Steam has synced, you will see a DirectX 12 option in the game's Display Options, assuming your card supports it.
For AMD users this should bring performance improvements as long as you first upgrade to the newly released Crimson Edition 16.9.1 driver which you can grab right here. The release notes from Edios/Square Interactive state that 'There are no visual or gameplay differences between the two DirectX versions.' so you will not see new features in your game. The new patch also states that it does not support multiple GPUs in DX12 so ensure you are only using a single card.
We have not been able to test the new patch or driver as of yet, however Guru of 3D did post some quick results in an update to their review of the game. AMD's RX 480, R9 390X and Fury X all see some improvements in 1080p and 1440p but at 4k the card's performance is already topped out. NVIDIA's cards all showed a slight drop at lower resolutions and like AMD, 4k performance is unchanged. The new DX12 patch is not enough to unseat the TITAN X and GTX 1080 as the top performers though.
If you have any issues when playing the game simply disable DX12 and get back to your game. We should see more patches in the near future as the game developers and the two GPU providers work on improving compatibility.