DirectX End-User Runtimes (June 2010) out for Grabs
Supported Operating Systems:
Supported Operating Systems: Windows 7; Windows Essential Business Server; Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs; Windows Home Server; Windows Server 2003; Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1; Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2; Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 x64 Edition; Windows Server 2003 x64 editions; Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition (32-bit x86); Windows Server 2003, Datacenter x64 Edition; Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86); Windows Server 2003, Enterprise x64 Edition; Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit x86); Windows Server 2003, Standard x64 Edition; Windows Server 2003, Web Edition; Windows Server 2008; Windows Server 2008 Datacenter; Windows Server 2008 Datacenter without Hyper-V; Windows Server 2008 Enterprise; Windows Server 2008 Enterprise without Hyper-V; Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2; Windows Server 2008 Standard; Windows Server 2008 Standard without Hyper-V; Windows Small Business Server 2003 ; Windows Small Business Server 2008 Premium; Windows Small Business Server 2008 Standard ; Windows Vista; Windows Vista 64-bit Editions Service Pack 1; Windows Vista Business; Windows Vista Business 64-bit edition; Windows Vista Enterprise; Windows Vista Enterprise 64-bit edition; Windows Vista Home Basic; Windows Vista Home Basic 64-bit edition; Windows Vista Home Premium; Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit edition; Windows Vista Service Pack 1; Windows Vista Service Pack 2; Windows Vista Starter; Windows Vista Ultimate; Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit edition; Windows Web Server 2008; Windows XP; Windows XP 64-bit; Windows XP Embedded; Windows XP Embedded Service Pack 1; Windows XP Embedded Service Pack 2 ; Windows XP Home Edition ; Windows XP Media Center Edition; Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 Update Rollup 2; Windows XP Professional Edition ; Windows XP Professional x64 Edition ; Windows XP Service Pack 1; Windows XP Service Pack 2; Windows XP Service Pack 3; Windows XP Starter Edition; Windows XP Tablet PC Edition
The DirectX redist installation includes all the latest and previous released DirectX runtime. This includes the bi-monthly D3DX, XInput, and Managed DirectX components.
PassMark MonitorTest 3.0 build 1003
PassMark MonitorTest is a tool that allows users to investigate the quality and performance of their computer monitor or LCD flat panel screens. With more people spending more time in front of computer monitors it is important to purchase a quality monitor that will provide crisp, bright images, while reducing the strain on your eyes. The MonitorTest software generates test patterns on the screen at a variety of different resolutions and color depths to test for optimum visual performance. Each of 25 different test screens have been created to test a particular aspect of the monitors performance.
As a monitor is often the most expensive part of a computer system, this type of testing is essential for the adjustment & selection of a quality monitor. Users would include computer repair centers, system integrators, quality assurance personnel, graphic designers and anyone that cares about the quality of their monitor. MonitorTest runs in Windows and will work at any resolution, aspect ratio and color depth supported by your monitor and graphics card.
iPhone 4 announced, launching June 24 for $199
The iPhone 4 uses a microSIM card, has a new forward facing camera, as well as a unique integrated antenna system that puts the antennas along the exterior edge of the phone's body. The left side of the phone's stainless steel outer casing is home to Bluetooth, WiFi, and GPS antennas while the right side houses the UMTS and GSM antennas. The phone also has a glass front face and a glass rear face, and both panels are scratch resistant and offer better optical quality. The side of the phone is also home to volume keys and a mute button. The top of the phone offers a second microphone for noise cancellation, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a sleep/wake power button.
The display on the iPhone 4 uses a new "Retina display" technology that improves the sharpness of text and images on the screen for easier viewing by displaying 326 pixels per inch. According to Apple, when 10 to 12 inches away from the screen, the human eye can't make out individual pixels on this display. The Retina display offers a 960 x 460 resolution with an 800:1 contrast ratio, and uses In Plane Switching (IPS) technology that Steve Jobs says is preferable to the OLED displays currently in demand. Despite being a 3.5-inch screen, it has 78 percent of the pixels that the iPad's 10 inch display does.
The iPhone 4 is powered by an A4 processor designed by Apple and has a large battery that Jobs claims is good enough for up to 7 hours of talk time, 6 hours of 3G browsing, 10 hours browsing over WiFi, 40 hours of music, 10 hours of video playback, or over 300 hours of standby time.
In terms of connectivity, the iPhone 4 has quad-band HSPA(INFO) 3G network support that is good for a theoretical 7.2Mbps download speeds or 4.8Mbps of upload speed. It also has 802.11n Wi-Fi connectivity, a compass, and an accelerometer. Apple has decided to add a 3-axis gyroscope sensor, as well, which will offer six axis orientation sensing for gaming when paired with the accelerometer.
The new iPhone 4 also includes a 5 megapixel camera with a backside illuminated sensor that allows more photon to reach the sensor. It also has a tap-to-focus autofocus system, 5x digital zoom, and an LED flash. The camera is capable of recording video in HD at a 720p resolution, and the iPhone has built-in video editing software. Apple also announced iMovie for iPhone, which will be available for $4.99.
The phone will run iOS 4, which is a renamed version of iPhone OS 4. The OS will support folders, as well as multitasking. It includes 1,500 developers APIs and 100 new features for users. iOS 4 also includes a unified email inbox as well as message threading. To create a folder, a user simply has to drag one app on top of another.
Jobs also said that iOS4 has deeper enterprise support, which includes SSL VPN, Exchange Server 2010 support, and better security features for data and device managem
Crysis 2 'Master Pinger' Trailer
ECS working on high-end P55H-AK board
I always get a little excited when I see a manufacturer move into "the next level". ECS is one of these companies that everybody remembers from their OEM motherboards, initial purple colored withfairly 'average' build quality as everythign was budget.
ECS however has been growing steadily in the retail market, and especially the Black series motherboards started to make a difference a year or two ago. But still, we always stumble into something that leaves room for improvement adn ECS always listnen. With next years chipset I tell you, ECS will become an even more important player into the market as the upcoming lineup looks fantastic.
On the short term though (end of June) they will be launching the P55H-AK motherboard. This motherboards supports full speed SLI and Crossfire by way of the included NVIDIA NF200 chipset that provides additional PCI Express lanes, up-to 3-way SLI will be supported in a 16:8:8 PCIe lanes configuration. Adding to the gaming side, ECS also uses the Realtek ALC899 chip for audio and that's then tied into a Creative Labs suite somehow, as the board supports a new feature called Sound Blaster X-Fi MB2 -- opening up EAX and the Creative software suite.
On this motherboard ECS added not one, but two NEC USB 3.0 controllers providing four USB 3.0 ports
Afterburner 1.6.0 Final out for grabs!
After two month of Beta development, MSI & Guru3D happily announce Afterburner 1.6.0 Final version. Thanks for all the feedback from you guys during the Beta period.
In this version, Afterburner is world first utility to support over-voltage of GeForce GTX 480/470/465, it also implements screen capture function for DX10 and DX11 games and monitor history function. Also, built-in benchmark Kombustor has a lot of improvement. MSI encourage all graphics card users to try it, even you don't have a MSI graphics card. (but they highly recommend you to buy one!)
We plan to announce our next major Afterburner revision in coming month, we can assure you the best will be EVEN BETTER in next version! Stay tuned!
[Afterburner v1.6.0 Changelog]
- Added NVIDIA GeForce GTX 400 series graphics cards support (including voltage control!)
- Added voltage control for MSI N240GT Low Profile series graphics cards
- Changed marketing name for MSI R5670-PD512 in hardware database
- Added basic screen capture support by means of built-in screen capture engine of MSI On-Screen Display server. Now it is possible to assign the hotkey for capturing screenshots in BMP,PNG or JPG formats on desktop, in DirectX or in OpenGL applications
- Added hardware monitoring history logging support. Now MSI Afterburner is able to save history in native RivaTuner Hardware Monitoring Log file format. The log files captured with MSI Afterburner can be viewed in any text editor like Notepad or in graphics form in RivaTuner's HML file viewer (RivaTuner must be installed for viewing log files in graphics form)
- Added new safety option allowing forcing constant voltage on some cards with voltage regulators supporting programmable dynamic voltage management (e.g. VT1165 or uP6266). New safety option may improve stability on some systems a well as provide power state independent voltage control on the systems with non-standard voltage control implementation
- Screen capture and On-Screen Display hotkey events are now being processed via direct connection to the On-Screen Display server instead of command line. Due to this change Screen capture and On-Screen Display visibility control hotkeys are being processed faster now
- MSI On-Screen Display server has been upgraded to version 3.7.1. New server gives you a lot of improvements including:
- DirectX11 On-Screen Display and screen capture support
- DirectX screen capture engine is no longer using DirectX runtimes to capture and compress screenshots. Screen capture and compression to PNG/JPG formats in DirectX applications is now handled by own more effective LIBPNG/JPEGLIB based library
- PNG and JPG screen capture support for desktop and OpenGL applications
- Adjustable JPG screen capture quality for experienced users
- Screen capture support for DirectX10 and DirectX11 applications using multisampled antialiasing or non-standard frame buffer formats (e.g. sRGB)
- Optional On-Screen Display 3D rendering mode. New mode uses 3D accelerated DirectX functions to emulate previously used 2D framebuffer access functions and render 2D text. New rendering mode provides On-Screen Display support in DirectX10 and DirectX11 applications using multisampled antialiasing and can also drastically reduce OSD related performance hit on the systems with badly optimized 2D acceleration in display drivers
- Simplified On-Screen Display coordinate space settings. Rarely used desktop and window coordinate space modes have been merged into single framebuffer coordinate space mode
- Now the server automatically selects framebuffer coordinate space instead of viewport coordinate space when viewport is not accessible (e.g. if pure Direct3D8 device is in use)
- Improved application notification scheme during runtime profiles adjustment. Now runtime changes in OSD application profiles (e.g. OSD zoom ratio change on the fly) are reflected in affected application almost immedaitely instead of approximately 1 second delay in the previos versions
- Reduced runtime skin engine memory footprint due to dynamic skin storage unloading
- Improved race condition protection system for multithreaded 3D engines (e.g. Age of dragons : Origins and ArmA II)
- Improved race condition protection system for the systems running multiple OSD applications simultaneously (e.g. OSD server, FRAPS and STEAM In-Game Chat)
- Improved floating injection address hooking technology. Due to more advanced built-in code analyzer hooks can be injected deeper into 3D application code if stealth mode is enabled. These changes improve stealth mode compatibility with third party tools using similar stealth injection technologies (e.g. FRAPS v2.9.8 and newer)
- Now stealth mode cannot be toggled during 3D application runtime to reduce the risk of crashing 3D application
- Removed single screen capture per second limitation
- Updated profiles list
- Now MSI Afterburner distributive includes original 128x128 PNG application logo (stored in .\Graphics folder) for dockbar applications like RocketDock or ObjectDock
- It is no longer necessary to close the application to save monitoring window attachment state
- [Stop the task if it runs longer than 3 days] option is no longer set in the task settings when using alternate startup mode via the task scheduler under Windows Vista / Windows 7
- Full list active of On-Screen Display server clients is now displayed in window instead of the most recent client
- Floating tooltips help system is now reinitialized properly after runtime skin switching
- Added Ukrainian localization
[Kombustor v1.0.10 Changelog]
- Bugfix: when PCB1 temperature was enabled in Afterburner OSD, the PCB temperature was copied in GPU temperture.
- Bugfix: in ATI cards indexing. The sorting is now the same than Afterburner.
- Bugfix: config file was not properly loaded when Kombustor is launched from Afterburner.
HIS launches R5500 series low profile passive
HIS today unleashes new budget GPU. based on the Radeon HD 5550 and Radeon HD 5570, both cards make use of GDDR5 memory.
The cards will be placed onto the market in both 512 MB and 1 GB versions all clocked at at 1000 MHz (4 GHz effective). The 5500 series is based on the 40 nm Redwood core and packs 320 stream processors on the HD 5550. The card has a a 128-bit wide memory interface that normally holds GDDR3 or DDR2 memory for the HD 5500 series SKUs. HIS upped it a notch by using GDDR5. The HD 5570 has GPU operating at 650 MHz, while on the HD 5550, it runs at 550 MHz. The low-profile cards are also silent, with a passive cooler that occupies a single expansion slot doing the job of cooling the memory and GPU.
The HD 5550 512 MB GDDR5 card sells at 89 EUR, while the 1 GB variant at 99 EUR. Pricing of the HD 5570 cards are to be announced.
Corsair F100 Force SSD review
Corsair F100 Force SSD review
Thus far we have tested a handful of SandForce based products, and though the first series with the initial SF-1500 controller did bite us a little in the toosh, the SF-1200 controller based products where showing really interesting gains in performance.
The SandForce based products by all means are not little wonders and miracles in each and every segment, but on some levels they make a distinct difference oppose to JMicron and Indilinx products. So today the turn goes to Corsair. To fall into clich
Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 80 PLUS Gold Certified PSUs
Thermaltake Technology, leading DIY computer components and power supply brand, today announced the latest addition to the popular "Toughpower" line of high-end PC power supply units, the Toughpower Grand Series. Its grandiose looks with a classy black finish make a clear statement through sheer appearance: this is quality pure. The proprietary 14cm dual-ball-bearing flower-shaped fan provides optimized ventilation for the inside components of the Tougherpower Grand unit. Being 80 PLUS Gold certified users don't just get a guaranteed eco-friendly PSU with more than 90% efficiency at 50% load and a 0.95 active power factor correction (PFC), but the electricity bill will noticeably drop as well. By virtue of their high-efficiency, the Toughpower Grand 650W (750W peak) and 750W (850W peak) models are ideally suited for high-end gaming and enthusiast PCs powering multi-core processors in combination with multi-GPU setups.
For demanding mission-critical environments and applications, industrial-grade components are indispensible and are being tested 24/7 at 50
Asus O!Play HD2 Media Player to support USB 3.0
The Asus O!Play HD2 supports the playback of a wide array of multimedia formats and is the world's first media player to support USB 3.0 for ten times faster data transfers compared to current USB 2.0-based players.
It is equipped with a large capacity 3.5" hard disk drive and NAS support, allowing it to store and stream multimedia files without any hassle. The O!Play HD2 also comes preinstalled with Opera browser, delivering live online streaming of over 20,000 radio stations. Users can now perform Google searches, visit Facebook, news websites such as CNN.com and BBC.co.uk, and download photos from Picasa/Flicker
Vapor Chamber Chills Inno3D's GTX 465
The vapor chamber cooler that Inno3D plans on taking advantage of will, predictably, take up two PCI slots, will boast five or six heatpipes and will be equipped with a ball bearing fan with a rotary speed between 1000RPM and 4200RPM (rotations per minute). All in all, it should weigh about 420 grams. The first product to feature it is reportedly going to be a special version of the GeForce GTX 465, dubbed GTX 465 VapourX. There is no telling when this device shows up though, but it will be interesting to see how much lower the operational temperatures actually drop.
Unfortunately, that product's pricing and availability details are just as unknown, though the fact that a working prototype is already on display seems to suggest a possibly shorter time of arrival to market.
R2-D2 observatory dome prank
Intel not going for USB 3.0 until 2012
Gigabyte confirmed Intel's USB 3.0 chipset will be delayed until 2012. There's no reason given. It claims to have shipped one million USB 3.0 boards already. Other USB 3.0 chips are coming on the market, cheaper than NEC's.
There are some very unhappy vendors here in Old Taipei these days and it's the chip giant Intel that they're blaming. A large number of the local manufacturers are launching USB3.0 peripherals in the halls of the Computex show but they have a bit of a problem.
The first problem is that there are only a few motherboards that support USB 3.0 - Asus has plenty, Gigabyte has quite a few, and so does Asrock.
But Intel is unlikely to release a chipset capable of supporting USB 3.0 until the end of this year, and that's creating such frustration amongst some of the manufacturers that they're contemplating taking matters into their own hands and attempt to put together some kind of standard that will cover most eventualities.
See the new IBM System x3650 M3 ExpressIf, for example, you're the maker of a case you need to be in a position to be sure just where the gubbins in the case is going to go and what it's going to do. The uncertainty has one certainty to it at least. It's going to cost quite a few peripheral and case makers a lot of grief which translates, here in Old Taipei, to money
Deus Ex: Human Revolution E3 Trailer
F.E.A.R 3. - E3 Trailer
G.Skill Phoenix Pro SSD
The Phonix Pro manages an impressive 285MB/s and 275MB/s when reading and writing, respectively. Such transfer rates are possible because of a custom firmware and the very popular SandForce SF-1200 SSD controller. Essentially the most widespread among solid state drives, this controller enables 4KB random writing performance of up to 50,000 IOPS. This comes in addition to TRIM support.
The G.Skill Phoenix Pro SSD is made out of MLC (multi-level cell) NAND Flash memory chips and will, at the very least, come in a 120GB version sometime this month.
Computex DFI halts LANparty motherboards
More motherboard news from Computex, DFI let us know that they have stopped developing the enthusiast class LANparty motherboards.
LANParty motherboards are known and reputed for their high class style and tweakabilty. it seems that in 2009 the LANParty division made a rather substantial loss resulting in closing down that segment. DFI's focus will be more profitable motherboards from now on.
It will certainly be a loss for the industry, then again it will create more headroom for other companies.
Sapphire took part of eVGAs mobo design team
Two days ago we reported that there was a rumor that EVGA had "dismissed its entire Taiwan motherboard team," and this would signal "no more motherboards coming from EVGA." Talking to Joe Darwin on this topic he laughed it off and told that EVGA had not dismissed its motherboard team.
More facts have now gathered an we now know for a fact that three employees within eVGA's motherboard R&D team have left eVGA. Now the spicy thing here is that Sapphire hired these guys. Not at all classy. Sapphire will be utilizing the new employees to design motherboards for AMD's upcoming Fusion APU.
We have no idea how big eVGA's internal design team really is, that it is a big blow to their head is obvious though. Peter Tan, otherwise known as Shamino (hardcore overclocker) still is with eVGA and continues to lead the design team. Hopefully eVGA can pick up where they left odd real soon, as they absolutely make brilliant motherboards for the enthusiast crowd.