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Subject: General Tech | October 26, 2016 - 05:45 PM | Scott Michaud
Blender 2.78 released not too long ago, but a few major bugs were discovered since then, despite a strong internal QA push before it launched. As such, Blender has released 2.78a. In a way, it has some benefits. NVIDIA wasn't able to release the final CUDA 8 SDK in time, so Blender 2.78 shipped with the RC SDK, and it was only enabled for Pascal-based cards. This extra month allowed them to roll it in and enable it for all cards, although it probably won't affect the end-user in any major way.
The release notes claim that 69 bugs were fixed, several of which were crashes and hangs. I have never really experienced any of these, but those who do should, obviously, appreciate the patch. As always, Blender is free, so enjoy creating.
Seriously. If you have free time and the slightest bit of interest: Go do it.
Subject: General Tech | October 26, 2016 - 05:19 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: microsoft, windows 10, paint 3d, Minecraft
At a press event today, Microsoft was promoting their platform with a focus on creativity. The show opened with a video that highlighted upcoming changes in accessibility. For instance, they are adding a preview mode to Microsoft Edge developer tools that help developers make their application accessible to people with impaired vision, who are reliant upon screen-readers. Immediately following that few-minute video, Terry Myerson gave a speech and announced that the next feature release of Windows 10, which was codenamed Redstone 2, will be officially called the Windows 10 Creators Update.
Naturally, Microsoft wanted to associate the creative potential of PCs with... MS Paint. This application is used by over 100 million poor, unfortunate souls per month, because it is simple... and, of course, pre-installed on basically every Windows machine ever. This transitioned to an announcement of Paint 3D, which is actually quite interesting. 3D applications tend to be a daunting mountain of tools for countless use cases, which helps professionals but somewhat hinders the hobbyist.
Paint 3D tries to strip it down to the use cases of home users, especially children, who want to goof around with creating stuff. Take a photo, remove the background, and place it in a sand castle that you scanned with your Windows Phone (just kidding, we all know you'll be using it on Android or iOS) into a 3D model. Position the 3D camera just right, and you have a summer holiday postcard. They also have a service, Remix 3D, that allows sharing of 3D content, even from Minecraft. You can then order 3D prints of these objects, seemingly from the service although I haven't been able to see an explicit announcement of that.
Moving on, Microsoft has also released a few videos of this event. In a couple of them, they included a short clip of another, otherwise unannounced application, Groove Music Maker. It appears to be a competitor to Apple's GarageBand, mixing recorded and generated tracks to create music. On the PC side, there really isn't much apart from Fruity Loops and a handful of open source applications to solve this need, and music is definitely a creative avenue. I assume that we'll see something announced about this in the near future.
The Windows 10 Creators Update will be available in “early 2017”. Rumors point to March, based mostly on its expected 1703 version number; still, the early August release of Windows 10 Anniversary Update was listed 1607, so it could vary a bit.
I mean, I hope they will release it when it's stable enough this time.
Subject: General Tech | October 26, 2016 - 05:11 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Aimpad R5, mechanical keyboard, analog
The Tech Report took a look at a prototype device which seems completely nonsensical at first glance, but by the end of the review may just capture your interest. The Aimpad R5 analogue keyboard uses Cherry MX mechanical switches just the same as you would find in most mechanical keyboards but it also has something unique under the keycaps, an IR LED and sensor. This means that the travel distance of your keypress can be measured and used as input, similar to a joystick or gamepad. This seemingly useless feature is quickly shown to be useful in their first game test, DayZ. A light press on the W key moves you forward at a walking pace, pressing slightly harder changes that to a run and bottoming the key out switches you to sprint; no other keypresses required. This can also be useful if flying, in a game such as ARMA which emulates control surfaces properly or in games like Battlefield which offer a more arcade like flying experience. Check out the full reivew to see what you think of the idea.
"Aimpad offered us a first look at the analog input technology it hopes will become commonplace in future mechanical keyboards. We've spent a lot of hands-on time with its analog secret sauce, and we're ready to say whether this technology is something every keyboard should have."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- G.Skill Ripjaws KM780 RGB Keyboard @ techPowerUp
- Roccat Skeltr Smart RGB Gaming Keyboard @ Kitguru
- Tt eSPORTS Ventus R Gaming Mouse @ Benchmark Reviews
- Tt eSports Black FP Gaming Mouse @ Kitguru
Subject: Systems | October 26, 2016 - 04:31 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: workstation, nvidia, microsoft, Intel, GTX 980M, GTX 965M, desktop, DCI-P3, core i7, core i5, all-in-one, AIO, 4000x3500
Microsoft has announced their first all-in-one PC with the Surface Studio, and it looks like Apple has some serious competition on their hands in the high-end AIO workstation space. Outfitted with the highest resolution display this side of Cupertino, 6th-generation Intel Skylake processors, and discrete NVIDIA graphics, there is plenty of power for most users (though gamers will clearly be looking elsewhere). Make no mistake, this new AIO from Microsoft is not going to replace a standard desktop for most people due to the $2999+ price tag, but for creative professionals and other workstation users it is a compelling option.
"Expanding the Surface family, Surface Studio is a new class of device that transforms from a workstation into a powerful digital canvas, unlocking a more natural and immersive way to create on the thinnest LCD monitor ever built.1 With a stunning ultra-HD 4.5K screen, Surface Studio delivers 63 percent more pixels than a state-of-the-art 4K TV. Surface Studio works beautifully with pen, touch and Surface Dial — a new input device designed for the creative process that lets you use two hands on the screen to compose and create in all new ways."
The star of the show is the 28-inch PixelSense display, which boasts a massive 4500x3000 resolution for a pixel density of 192 ppi, and the taller 3:2 aspect ratio will be welcomed by some users as well. Microsoft is using 10-bit panels for this premium AIO offering, and color reproduction should be outstanding with the Surface Studio thanks to "individually color calibrated" displays. Another advantage for creative customers is the display's multi-touch capability and 1024 pressure-level Surface Pen, which makes this a very nice option for digital artists - especially at 28 inches/192 ppi.
Touchscreen desktops need display placement flexibility to be useful, and here Microsoft has a "zero gravity" hinge to allow for easy movement. The design looks stable thanks to a pair of arms connecting the display to the base, and this lower half is what actually houses the PC components. What's inside? Here's a look at the official specs:
- Screen: 28” PixelSense™ Display
- Resolution: 4500 x 3000 (192 PPI)
- Color settings: Adobe sRGB and DCI-P3, individually color calibrated
- Touch: 10 point multi-touch
- Aspect Ratio: 3:2
- Supports Pen enabled and Zero Gravity Hinge
- Processor: 6th Generation Intel® Core™ i5 or i7
- Memory: 8GB, 16GB, or 32GB RAM
- i5 Intel 8GB: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 965M 2GB GDDR5 memory
- i7 Intel 16GB: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 965M 2GB GDDR5 memory
- i7 Intel 32GB: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 980M 4GB GDDR5 memory
- Rapid Hybrid Drive options: 1TB or 2TB
- Connections & expansions:
- 4 x USB 3.0 (one high power port)
- Full-size SD ™ card reader (SDXC) compatible
- Mini DisplayPort
- Headset jack
- Compatible with Surface Dial on-screen interaction*
- 1 Gigabit Ethernet port
- Cameras, video and audio:
- Windows Hello1 face sign-in camera
- 5.0 MP camera with 1080p HD video (front)
- Autofocus camera with 1080p HD video (rear)
- Dual microphones
- Stereo 2.1 speakers with Dolby® Audio™ Premium
- 3.5 mm headphone jack
- Wi-Fi: 802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless networking, IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n compatible
- Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology
- Xbox Wireless built-in
- TPM chip for enterprise security
- Enterprise-grade protection with Windows Hello2 face sign-in
- Warranty: 1-year limited hardware warranty
- Display: 637.35 mm x 438.90 mm x 12.5 mm (25.1” x 17.3” x 0.5”)
- Base: 250.00 mm x 220.00 mm x 32.2 mm (9.8” x 8.7” x 1.3”)
- Product weight: 9.56 kg max (21 lbs max)
The Surface Studio is currently available for pre-order at Microsoft.com with prices ranging from $2999 to $4199, depending on configuration.
Subject: General Tech | October 26, 2016 - 01:52 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: VLAN party, gaming, fragging frogs
That's right, kicking off at 10:00 AM ET, this Saturday and ending when the the last gamer drops is the 14th Fragging Frogs VLAN party. So far we have 55 participants signed up for the even in this thread; make sure to drop your name in if you have not yet. AMD has generously donated some of the prizes to be given away during the VLAN, as have Ryan and the lads here at PC Perspective. You might want to think about clearing up some space for Battlefield 1 as it is likely to be a major hit.
Grab your snacks and beverages and be prepared for a great time.
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Battlefield 1 DirectX 11 and 12 PC graphics performance @ Guru of 3D
- Battlefield 1 Video Card DX12 Performance @ [H]ard|OCP
- Premature Evaluation: Endless Space 2 @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Scream Fortress VIII (EIGHT? Oh God, We Are Old @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- World of Final Fantasy review: Fluffy fan service done right @ Ars Technica
- The Malaysian Influence In Final Fantasy XV @ TechARP
- Wot I Think: Sid Meier’s Civilization VI @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Civilization VI: Performance Analysis @ techPowerUp
- Civilization 6 Tweaks And Tips: Map Rotation, City Management, Remove Startup Logos And More @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Total Warhammer’s New DLC, Both Free And Paid @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- AMD & NVIDIA GPU VR Performance: Serious Sam VR:TLH @ [H]ard|OCP
- Brutal Doom 64 Gets a Trailer and a Release Date @ [H]ard|OCP
Subject: General Tech | October 26, 2016 - 01:08 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: arm, Mbed OS, iot, security
Is a single point of failure more or less secure than multiple points? That is the question IoT designers should make when considering ARM's new mbed OS, designed to rein in the fiasco which is the current state of security in the IoT market. On the one hand this OS will run on just about any device you could want, even if you prefer your device remain on MIPS, Linux or another OS and regardless of your back end provider. It will allow encrypted updates to be pushed out to devices software or firmware from a single source and the companies which use it will be charge on a pay per use scheme as opposed to a fixed cost.
On the sinister hand, this means that when someone manages to exploit an unforeseen vulnerability in mbed, the communications between ARM and the devices or the factory set private keys, they will be able to own every single mbed device out there. That is unfortunately merely a matter of time and so we wait to hear from ARM as to how they plan to partition the devices which use mbed and other measures they will develop to prevent a worse DDoS than the Dyn DNS attack last week. You can take a deeper look at mbed's structure as well as ARM's new Cortex-M33 and Cortex-M23 microcontrollers over at The Register.
"So ARM has come up with mbed Cloud, a software-as-a-service platform that securely communicates with firmware in devices to install fixes and feature updates. Product makers pay to remotely manage all their sold kit. Crucially, they pay for what they use – whether it's pushing updates, or connecting millions of units, and so on."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Open Source Operating Systems for IoT @ Linux.com
- Botnet Recall of Things @ Hack a Day
- Asterisk users need to patch DoS bug @ The Register
- Nvidia to sell Titan X via channel partners instead of graphics card players @ DigiTimes
- Redstone 2 to arrive as, ugh, Windows 10 Creator's Update @ The Inquirer
- Ultra-thin, pixel-dense Surface Studio touchscreen PC will cost $2,999 @ Ars Technica
- Want to use 3D XPoint DIMMs with Intel Purley Xeons? Wait a couple of years for second-gen @ The Register
- ARCHEER QC 2.0 Car Charger USB Adapter @ Benchmark Reviews
- The Solar Centre Albany Solar Premium Spotlight Review @ NikKTech
- Netgear launches Nighthawk X10 – claims world speed record @ Kitguru
Subject: Motherboards, Systems | October 25, 2016 - 06:33 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, A68N-5200, biostar
Something awful happened and you can no longer wait for Zen to arrive; you need a low cost motherboard and chip ASAP. Your memory, storage and PSU are all good, you just need something to plug them into and you really don't want to spend a lot upgrading with new silicon just around the corner. Alternatively, perhaps you have some components lying around and need a system capable of basic tasks and again, you don't want to spend a lot to get it up and running.
The BioStar A68N-5200 eTeknix just tested might just be what you need, up to 16GB DDR3, a single PCIe 16x slot, a pair of SATA 6.0Gb/s slots, two USB 3.0 slots and four USB 2.0 along with other connectors and an quad-core A6-5200 with HD8400 graphics onboard. You won't win any benchmarking contests but it is a decent start for $60.
"Despite a lot of the media focus being on Kaby Lake and AMD’s fabled Zen architecture, it’s important to remember that some users require a new motherboard as a matter of urgency and cannot wait for upcoming solutions. Not only that, in low-end scenarios such as a home office system or HTPC, modern processors provide more than enough performance."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- ASRock X99 Taichi @ Kitguru
- MSI X99A Tomahawk @ Kitguru
- GIGABYTE Z170X-UD5 TH Motherboard Review @ Hardware Canucks
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 25, 2016 - 01:21 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: pascal, nvidia, msi, GTX 1050 Ti, gtx 1050, GP107
The Guru of 3D tested out MSI's GeForce GTX 1050 and 1050 Ti, with MSRP's of $109 and $139 respectively. The non-Ti version has the lowest count of Texture Mapping Units of this generation but a higher GPU frequency that the Ti model, it also has the smallest amount of memory at 2GB though at least it is clocked the same in both models. DirectX 12 testing offers variable results, in many games the two are bookends to the RX 460 with the GTX 1050 a bit slower and the 1050 Ti a bit faster but this does not hold true in all games. DirectX 11 results were more favourable for this architecture, the two cards climbed in the rankings with the 1050 Ti offering acceptable performance. Check out their full review here.
"Last week Nvidia announced the GeForce GTX 1050 series, with two primary models. In this article we'll review the MSI GeForce GTX 1050 and 1050 Ti Gaming X, two graphics cards aimed at the budget minded consumer. We say budget minded as these cards are very affordable and positioned in an attractive 109 and 139 dollar (US) segment."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- Sub-$150 Pascal: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 & GTX 1050 Ti Review @ Techgage
- The NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti & GTX 1050 Review @ Hardware Canucks
- MSI GTX 1050 Gaming X 2G Review @ OCC
- MSI GTX 1050 Ti Gaming X 4 GB @ techPowerUp
- MSI GTX 1050 Gaming X 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1060 @ The Tech Report
- Gigabyte GTX 1070 Xtreme Gaming 8 GB @ techPowerUp
- MSI RX 470 Gaming X 8G Review @ OCC
- The XFX Radeon RX 470 RS Black Edition @ Tech ARP
Subject: General Tech | October 25, 2016 - 12:41 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: microsoft, hololens, nokia, windows 10 mobile, satya nadella
Windows Mobile 10 powers 1% of the mobile devices on the market, so when Satya Nadella states that Microsoft missed the mobile phone he is not exaggerating. The $7.6 billion write off of Nokia earlier this year signals a change in focus for Microsoft and Nokia phones will run Android instead of waiting for a proper release of the new Windows Mobile or a reincarnated version of an older mobile OS. From what The Inquirer gathered from Satya's recent speech the new focus will be on something vague called the Ultimate Computer as well as their much more concrete HoloLens and the new VR market. Surface Phone and Surface Mini are likely to fall by the wayside as HoloLens becomes the focus, hopefully we will see some models for testing in the near future as Microsoft has hinted at something happening tomorrow.
"Speaking at the opening dinner of Wall Street Journal Live, Mr Nadella said, "We clearly missed the mobile phone, there's no question," adding. "Our goal now is to make sure we grow new categories."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- AMD reports 3Q16 results @ DigiTimes
- BlackBerry DTEK60 arrives with 5.5in QHD screen, Snapdragon 820 and USB-C @ The Inquirer
- Silicon colour centre could be used for information processing @ Nanotechweb
- Intel throws the ball long with sports, VR and IoT cash injections @ The Register
- It's nearly 2017 and JPEGs, PDFs, font files can hijack your Apple Mac, iPhone, iPad @ The Register
- Death To The 3.5mm Audio Jack, Long Live Wireless @ Hack a Day
- 5 More Reasons to Love Kubernetes @ Linux.com
- Engage Tinfoil Hat: Samsung Note 7 Battery Theory @ Hack a Day
- Wi-Fi Alliance Begins Certification Process For Short-Range Wireless Standard WiGig (802.11ad) @ Slashdot
Subject: General Tech | October 25, 2016 - 07:01 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: pc gaming
January's Awesome Games Done Quick is coming up, and the organization has published the schedule. As usual, most of the week is grouped together into blocks that will keep a slice of their overall viewership watching for multiple titles in a row. For a PC Gaming-friendly instance, one of the Tuesday blocks ties Doom (2016), System Shock 2, Daikatana, Half-Life: Blue Shift, and others into an FPS segment. It runs 24 hours a day for a week, and it is quite family friendly (within the limits of any given game).
For some added commentary, SpikeVegeta has posted his opinion on the whole schedule, form beginning to end. He is one of the regular announcers at various speedrun events, especially the Games Done Quick line, and he knows about all the different niches within the hobby.
Subject: General Tech | October 24, 2016 - 02:18 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: cherry mx blue, kingston, HyperX ALLOY FPS, mechanical keyboard, input
The PR below the picture has the full details but we will cover the highlights in brief. The Kingston HyperX ALLOY FPS uses Cherry MX Blue switches with red LEDs underneath the keys that can be set to a variety of brightness and responses. It has a small footprint, 442x129x36mm and ships with a travel bag to make it easier to transport, which makes sense considering the eSports focus of the keyboard. You should be able to find it for sale at around $100 online if you are in the market.
Fountain Valley, CA – Oct. 24, 2016 – HyperX, a division of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., the independent world leader in memory products, today announced the HyperX ALLOY FPS Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is now shipping in the U.S. and Canada. The full-size mechanical gaming keyboard has a space-saving layout allowing gamers to maximize desktop real estate for FPS mouse movement. The HyperX ALLOY FPS keyboard features Cherry MX Blue Mechanical switches to provide the tactile feedback and performance to support extreme gameplay and enable players to be the best gamers possible.
Built with a solid steel alloy frame, the HyperX ALLOY FPS keyboard features Cherry MX Blue Mechanical switches, HyperX red LED backlighting and six preset LED modes – including a custom mode. The keyboard also offers Game Mode to easily disable the Windows key to prevent game play interruptions, along with 100 percent anti-ghosting and full N-Key rollover functionality. For added flexibility and performance, HyperX ALLOY FPS features an easy access USB charging port located on the back of the keyboard, additional HyperX red-colored WASD/1234 keys, a detachable braided cord, and mesh travel pouch for protection and storage on the move.
“After extensive research and hundreds of hours of gameplay testing, HyperX developed a mechanical keyboard from the ground up to withstand the most intense gameplay, featuring a small footprint that is vital for FPS gamers. With its solid steel alloy frame and Cherry MX Blue switches, this keyboard is designed for over 50 million keystrokes per key,” said Marcus Hermann, senior business manager, HyperX. “Gamers who play FPS classics like CS:GO or Overwatch will appreciate its compact yet sturdy design. The HyperX ALLOY FPS keyboard design gives gamers more space to setup their desktop surface to execute intricate mouse actions.”
One of the eSports teams HyperX works with is Echo Fox, owned by Rick Fox, who previously played professional basketball for the Los Angeles Lakers. CS:GO player Sean “sG@res” Gares, Echo Fox, tested the new keyboard and said: “The HyperX Alloy is the perfect keyboard for me due to the excellent feedback of the Cherry MX Blue switches, it's compact size, and the extremely durable steel alloy frame. I also love the unique detachable cord for easy portability and the USB charging dock for my phone!”
Subject: Cases and Cooling | October 24, 2016 - 01:53 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: fan controller, reeven, Polariz
Indeed the entire build of this three channel fan controller is much more impressive than you might expect from a ~$50 product. The body is constructed of metal as are the knobs and they have chosen a classic single colour design as opposed to an RGB light show. It ships with an extra thermal probe, four in total, as well as three lengthy 3-pin to 3-pin/4-pin connectors. Each channel can handle up to 3A and reports current fan RPM, temperature and voltage load on the LCD inside each of the three knobs on your front panel. Check out the full review at Modders Inc.
"Balancing stylish elegance and practicality, Reeven's new Polariz 3-channel fan controller is not made of plastic like a typical 5.25" bay fan controller. It is enclosed in steel with three large 42mm metal knobs for controlling three independent channels, each supporting up to 3A. The design, Reeven claims, was inspired by a car dashboard. While it is less colorful than … Read more."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Antec KUHLER H2O H600 Pro AIO Liquid CPU Cooler Review @ NikKTech
- be quiet! Shadow Rock LP Review @ OCC
- Lian Li PC-Q37 Mini-ITX Chassis @ eTeknix
- AeroCool P7-C1 Tempered Glass Mid Tower Review @ NikKTech
- NZXT S340 Elite @ Kitguru
Subject: General Tech | October 24, 2016 - 01:21 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
There are a few people to blame for the vulnerabilities which allowed the DDoS attack on Friday to make access to major sites difficult. They range from lazy ISPs not implementing security standard designed to block the spoofing portion of the attack to lazy IoT developers using standardized passwords, often the defaults from the software itself. One could blame users for not updating the passwords on their devices but it is not something your average toaster shopper thinks about nor is the need well communicated in the manuals which come with IoT devices.
The commentators on Slashdot have many theories as to who the attackers were but the real issue lies with the fact that sheer laziness on the part of IoT devices and ISPs allow these attacks to succeed in the first place. They also have a link to the list of devices which were involved in the attack for those who are curious.
"If you're worried, Motherboard is pointing people to an online scanning tool from BullGuard (a U.K. anti-virus firm) which checks whether devices on your home network are listed in the Shodan search engine for unsecured IoT devices. But earlier this month, Brian Krebs pointed out the situation is exacerbated by the failure of many ISPs to implement the BCP38 security standard to filter spoofed traffic, "allowing systems on their networks to be leveraged in large-scale DDoS attacks..."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Serious Sam VR mGPU AMD RX 480 Follow Up @ [H]ard|OCP
- AMD is a rounding error on Intel's spreadsheet and that sucks for us all @ The Register
- Skype no longer works on 85 per cent of Windows Phones @ The Inquirer
- Every LTE call, text, can be intercepted, blacked out, hacker finds @ The Register
- Logitech Pop Home Switch: Perfect Solution for Smart Homes @ Hardware Secrets
- Microsoft is raising enterprise prices by almost a quarter as Brexit bites @ The Inquirer
- AT&T buys Time Warner for US$85.4bn or 1.25 Dell-EMCs @ The Register
- A Preview of Apple Watch 2 Specs and Details @ Hardware Secrets
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 24, 2016 - 09:21 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: 375.63, nvidia, geforce 375.57
After the many issues being reported by NVIDIA users, GeForce 375.63 has been released which should ameliorate the issues encountered with animated GIFs and various games. It is also WHQL certified, just as the last one was, but hopefully this version will show improvements. Let us know in the comments if you continue to see driver issues.
NVIDIA was beaten to the punch by AMD this particular cycle, today marks the release of the GeForce 375.57 driver with new profiles for BF1, Civ VI and Titanfall 2 as well as VR support updates for the same two pre-release games. If you haven't signed up for the GeForce Experience you can still grab the drivers here.
Game Ready Drivers provide the best possible gaming experience for all major new releases, including Virtual Reality games. Prior to a new title launching, our driver team is working up until the last minute to ensure every performance tweak and bug fix is included for the best gameplay on day-1.
Provides the optimal experience for Battlefield 1, Civilization VI, and Titanfall 2
Game Ready VR
Provides the optimal VR experience for Eagle Flight and Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 22, 2016 - 06:49 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: nvidia, graphics drivers
Before it was released, employees of NVIDIA were claiming that it was difficult to get their drivers through Microsoft's WHQL certification. It is a busy time of year, with the holiday gaming and hardware rush in full swing, so there was likely a backlog until Microsoft could return the signed graphics driver. It also seems like GeForce 375.57 drivers could have used a little more time in NVIDIA's QA department.
At the GeForce Forums, users are complaining about a variety of issues. Ironically, there seems to be a bunch of them claiming that Battlefield 1 is crashing and otherwise being buggy. I haven't installed the game yet, so I cannot contribute my own experiences to it, one way or the other. I have seen some issues myself, though. For instance, I can confirm that tiles in the Windows 10 Start Menu lock up the entire panel if you attempt to move them. NVIDIA acknowledges a handful of issues with Windows 10 on their forums, and they plan a hotfix driver soon (which I'm guessing cannot be applied on PCs running Anniversary Edition clean installs that have secure boot enabled, because of Microsoft's kernel mode driver changes -- thankfully, I'm guessing that applies to very few people).
One issue that seems localized to me, though, is StarCraft II. Since I installed the driver (and granted I installed several things that night, like the CUDA SDK) it fails to launch about three-quarters of the time. Could be unrelated, but it should give you an idea about how broad the issues seem to be. Other users are complaining about GIFV corruption, for instance.
Best to roll back and wait for the next WHQL driver (unless hotfix users give glowing praise).
Subject: General Tech | October 21, 2016 - 01:01 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: apple, Intel, iPhone 7 Plus
You have likely heard rumours of some iPhone 7 Plus models having network connection issues and that Intel is being blamed. The good news is that only the UK models seem to have an Intel modem, most other markets are using a Qualcomm model which does not have the performance degradation. The issue seems to cause the signal quality of Intel based models to degrade significantly more quickly as network conditions degrade when compared to models which use the Qualcomm modem. So far The Inquirer has no news on an official statement by Apple or Intel; same as the lack of response about the storage performance on lower cost models.
"iPhone 7 Plus users in the UK will be affected by Apple's decision to source modems for the device from Intel. Only models sold in China, Japan and the US come with more tried and trusted modems made by Qualcomm."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Attack on Dyn DNS service knocked Twitter, Spotify and SoundCloud offline @ The Inquirer
- Microsoft kinda did OK this quarter – but whatever, Wall Street loves Satya Nadella @ The Register
- Globalfoundries China fab put on hold @ DigiTimes
- It’s official: Unionized video game voice actors are on strike @ Ars Technica
- Tesla Autopilot 2.0: the Next Generation of Autopilot Hardware Suite @ Hardware Secrets
- Personalizing Windows 10 Anniversary Edition @ Hardware Secrets
Subject: Mobile | October 20, 2016 - 05:45 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: pixel, pixel xl, google, Android, Snapdragon 821, nougat
Ah, the tech industry; blink and suddenly familiar things disappear and yet you are also simultaneously overcome with a sense of deja vu. Former Motorola President Rick Osterloh now heads a team at Google which is the combination of Nexus, Pixel Chromebooks, Chromecast, OnHub, ATAP, and Google Glass and this team have just released two new Google phones. The 5" 1920x1080 Pixel and the 5.5" 2560x1440 Pixel XL have arrived on the market, priced to compete with Apple's new lineup, though still far less expensive than the Chromebooks which bore the same name up until recently. The phones run Android 7.1 Nougat on a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 and are manufactured by HTC. Ars Technica considers them to now be the best Android phones on the market and yet somehow bland; read their full review to see if you agree.
"Welcome to the age of Google Hardware. Apparently tired of letting third-party Android OEMs serve as the stewards of Android handsets, Google has become a hardware company. (Again)."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
More Mobile Articles
- Google Pixel XL @ The Inquirer
- MSI GT83VR 6RF Titan SLI GTX 1080 Laptop @ Kitguru
- Gigabyte P57X v6 GTX 1070 Gaming Laptop @ eTeknix
- MSI GT83VR 6RF-028UK GTX 1080 SLI Laptop @ Kitguru
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 20, 2016 - 02:14 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, driver, Crimson Edition 16.10.2
AMD is expecting their new driver to arrive any moment now, in time for several game launches as well as updating some existing early access titles. You can keep your eye out for the update on their driver page or wait for your installed driver to prompt you to upgrade. Here is a quick list of the new features and bug fixes to expect.a
Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.10.2 Highlights
- Battlefield 1
- Sid Meier’s Civilization VI
- Titanfall 2
- Serious Sam VR Early Access
- Eagle Flight VR
New AMD CrossFire profile added for DirectX® 11:
- Sid Meier’s Civilization® VI
- Fan speed may sometimes remain elevated on select Radeon RX 400 series graphics products even when an application has been exited.
- Eyefinity group settings may not be retained after driver upgrade when using AMD CrossFire configurations.
- Gears of War 4 may experience an application hang when using select high resolution and quality configurations in some specific game maps.
- DirectX®12 content may be unable to launch on some older CPUs that do not support popcnt instruction.
- Battlefield 1TM AMD CrossFire profile updates for game launch.
Subject: General Tech | October 20, 2016 - 01:43 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
The Tech Report also occasionally posts their staffs favourite peripherals, from monitors to mice, through microphones to joysticks. Indeed they recommend a variety of Freesync and G-SYNC monitors so you can jump immediately to the appropriate page. You can check out their recommended racing wheels, speakers ranging from small desktop models to studio quality or even power line networking. Pop on over to see if you want to add any of their choices to your wishlist.
"For this edition of our peripheral staff picks, we've refreshed our selection of displays, keyboards, mice, and more to account for the latest and greatest options out there for PC builders. Finish off your PC with this selection of great gear."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Intel CPU flaw leaves Haswell-powered devices open to attack @ The Inquirer
- Microsoft keeps schtum as more battery woes hit Surface sufferers @ The Register
- Kodak revives the classic Ektra camera as a deca-core Android smartphone @ The Inquirer
- 32GB iPhone 7 Has 8 Times Slower Storage Performance Than 128GB Model @ Slashdot
- Coming soon to smart home devices? Best Before labels – with patch cut-off dates @ The Register
Subject: Processors, Mobile | October 20, 2016 - 11:40 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: Nintendo, switch, nvidia, tegra
It's been a hell of a 24 hours for NVIDIA and the Tegra processor. A platform that many considered dead in the water after the failure of it to find its way into smartphones or into an appreciable amount of consumer tablets, had two major design wins revealed. First, it was revealed that NVIDIA is powered the new fully autonomous driving system in the Autopilot 2.0 hardware implementation in Tesla's current Model S, X and upcoming Model 3 cars.
Now, we know that Nintendo's long rumored portable and dockable gaming system called Switch is also powered by a custom NVIDIA Tegra SoC.
We don't know much about the hardware that gives the Switch life, but NVIDIA did post a short blog with some basic information worth looking at. Based on it, we know that the Tegra processor powering this Nintendo system is completely custom and likely uses Pascal architecture GPU CUDA cores; though we don't know how many and how powerful it will be. It will likely exceed the performance of the Nintendo Wii U, which was only 0.35 TFLOPS and consisting of 320 AMD-based stream processors. How much faster we just don't know yet.
On the CPU side we assume that this is built using an ARM-based processor, most likely off-the-shelf core designs to keep things simple. Basing it on custom designs like Denver might not be necessary for this type of platform.
Nintendo has traditionally used custom operating systems for its consoles and that seems to be what is happening with the Switch as well. NVIDIA mentions a couple of times how much work the technology vendor put into custom APIs, custom physic engines, new libraries, etc.
The Nintendo Switch’s gaming experience is also supported by fully custom software, including a revamped physics engine, new libraries, advanced game tools and libraries. NVIDIA additionally created new gaming APIs to fully harness this performance. The newest API, NVN, was built specifically to bring lightweight, fast gaming to the masses.
We’ve optimized the full suite of hardware and software for gaming and mobile use cases. This includes custom operating system integration with the GPU to increase both performance and efficiency.
The system itself looks pretty damn interesting, with the ability to switch (get it?) between a docked to your TV configuration to a mobile one with attached or wireless controllers. Check out the video below for a preview.
I've asked both NVIDIA and Nintendo for more information on the hardware side but these guys tend to be tight lipped on the custom silicon going into console hardware. Hopefully one or the other is excited to tell us about the technology so we can some interesting specifications to discuss and debate!
UPDATE: A story on The Verge claims that Nintendo "took the chip from the Shield" and put it in the Switch. This is more than likely completely false; the Shield is a significantly dated product and that kind of statement could undersell the power and capability of the Switch and NVIDIA's custom SoC quite dramatically.