Windows 8 Release Preview Available
Microsoft has uploaded the Windows 8 Release Preview, you can download it here.
Microsoft Corp. today announced the availability of the Windows 8 Release Preview, the next milestone of the highly anticipated Windows 8 operating system. Available for download today in 14 languages at http://preview.windows.com, the Windows 8 Release Preview delivers a fast and fluid experience, along with a new user interface that responds equally well to touch as it does to keyboard and mouse. Since the February release of Windows 8 Consumer Preview, which was downloaded more than 1 million times in the first 24 hours, Windows 8 has become the most tested Microsoft operating system of all time, and with today's release, it enters its final phase of development before it releases to manufacturing.
"We're thrilled to be at this milestone with the Windows 8 Release Preview," said Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division at Microsoft.
New Apps Provide an Even Richer Experience
Windows 8 Release Preview delivers new apps from Microsoft and partners. Highlights include Bing Travel, News and Sports apps, as well as Gaming and Music Xbox apps that integrate with your Zune pass. The Windows 8 Release Preview also features notable improvements to the Mail, Photos and People apps that initially debuted with the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. In addition, Microsoft has worked closely with its partners to deliver apps from around the world through the Windows Store.
Beyond the new apps from Microsoft and partners, customers testing the Windows 8 Release Preview will also experience tens of thousands of refinements across the product, such as increased personalization options for the Start screen, improved multimonitor support, refinements to the way people find and download apps through the Windows Store, and new Family Safety features. The new Internet Explorer 10 redefines browsing, particularly for touch-enabled devices. The Web is as fast and fluid as any app, and with new capabilities in the Windows 8 Release Preview such as "flip ahead," it is just as intuitive. A touch-friendly and power-optimized Adobe Flash Player is now integrated into Internet Explorer 10, and it is also the first browser to feature Do Not Track "on" by default, giving customers more choice and control over their privacy.
The Path to Windows 8
Beginning June 2, 2012, Microsoft will roll out the Windows Upgrade Offer in 131 markets, including the U.S. and Canada. Consumers who buy eligible Windows 7-based PCs through Jan. 31, 2013, can purchase an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for an estimated retail price of $14.99 (U.S.) during the time of the promotion. More information about the Windows Upgrade Offer will be available June 1. In addition to the Windows Upgrade Offer designed for consumers buying new Windows 7-based PCs, Microsoft will also announce other offers in the coming months that will help consumers with existing Windows 7-based PCs upgrade to Windows 8 when it is generally available.
In the next month, Microsoft will further detail the value Windows 8 brings to businesses at TechEd North America. More information about Windows 8 and how to download the Windows 8 Release Preview is available at http://preview.windows.com.
AMD Catalyst driver for Windows 8 Release Preview
Feature highlights of the AMD Catalyst
Battlefield 3 June Patch Notes
Vehicle related changes
> Tweaked the F35 handling to more closely resemble that of the SU35 (see above).
> Jet & helicopter ECM Jammer should now deflect missiles more reliably when it is active.
> Fixed an issue where vehicles wouldn't spawn if their intended space was occupied by a deployable gadget. The vehicle will now spawn as intended and the gadget will be destroyed in the process.
> Fixed AA missiles not doing damage to vehicles moving at very high speeds.
> Reduced the direct damage from unguided Javelins to require better side hits for a 1 hit disable. This was previously too forgiving and easy to accomplish.
> Removed the direct damage from aircraft launched guided missiles. Players will need to have laser designated targets for full effectiveness.
> Adjusted the helicopter rockets to their original prepatch damage value against armored vehicles. This is a reduction; a revert of a knock on effect that was introduced accidentally.
> Fixed the US Tank Guided Shell doing the reverse damage values when guided and unguided.
> Adjusted the M224 mortar damage against vehicles. Some tweaks and adjustments in a previous update accidentally increased its effectiveness greater than intended.
> Increased the range on the AA guns so they can reach vehicles hovering at the maximum height in select maps.
> Replaced the VDV buggy on Gulf of Oman (Back to Karkand) with the DPV buggy for both teams at the City flag.
> Fixed a bug where some vehicle unlocks were still enabled after the player left the vehicle.
Soldier and gadget related changes
> Reduced the inaccuracy added when in suppression. There is still an enhanced suppression compared to the initial state in the game, but the effect is now less than it was in the last patch (see above).
> Reduced input lag for gamepads/joysticks on all platforms. Aiming as a soldier when using a gamepad or joystick should now be more responsive.
> Tweaked the deploy times on gadgets to be faster to deploy in high stress combat situations.
> Greatly improved the responsiveness when deploying a bipod when going prone and shortly after moving. The bipod deploy should no longer abort if the player deploys the bipod immediately after stopping.
> Fixed bug where you couldn't deploy the mortar anywhere on Grand Bazaar.
> When changing the accessories of a weapon in the Customize screen, the weapon previously selected in the Deploy screen will now automatically be selected when entering the Accessories screen.
> Increased the effectiveness of the Aim Assist at close range. Testing in Close Quarters proved our current assist to be inadequate in tight quarters. This is a global change, and will improve the effectiveness of Aim Assist for all modes and maps. Aim Assist over distance is still significantly less effective. This is console only, as Aim Assist is not present on PC. If you prefer, you can also turn it off on console.
> Players will now spawn on the Radio Beacon looking in the same direction the Beacon is facing. The Beacon always faces in the direction the player is facing when it is planted. Previously the Beacon's direction had no impact on the player's spawn direction.
> The Spawn Preview camera on the Spawn Beacon has been updated to better reflect the direction the player will be looking when he spawns.
> 40mm smoke now stays longer again.
> Tweaked some tracers on sniper rounds to have better visibility at range (the tracers are smaller).
> Tweaked the flashlight so it is less blinding at the edge of the screen.
> Fixed bug where you couldn't pick up your deployed gadgets after being revived.
Weapons related changes
> Fixed a bug where Heavy Barrels and Underslung Shotguns could be over powered. (This is the so called M26 dart issue, see above)
> All semi-automatic sniper rifles now properly have shorter range when using a suppressor.
> The L96 now properly shoots where the iron sights are aimed. The position was previously offset.
> The SKS now has the proper damage values when using a suppressor. The damage was previously too low at close range.
> Slightly reduced the suppression effect of SKS rounds.
> Decreased the long range damage of the SKS to highlight its close to medium range role.
> Slightly decreased the foregrip aimed accuracy penalty on the M4A1 to bring it in line with other guns.
> Slightly increased the foregrip aimed accuracy penalty on the SCAR-H to bring it in line with other guns.
> Reduced some of the vertical recoil and zoomed accuracy penalties added to the FAMAS in the previous update.
> F2000 foregrip accuracy penalty reduced and recoil reduction bonus increased.
> AEK971 foregrip recoil reduction bonus increased.
> SG553 foregrip recoil reduction bonus increased.
> FAMAS foregrip recoil reduction bonus increased.
> Fixed the M416's M26 with Flechettes not having a name in the kill log.
> Fixed so all clip based LMGs have Extended Mags as an available unlock.
> All semi-automatic shotguns now fire at 220rpm. There was previously simply a small difference between them, whereas now they have different pellet counts instead of rates of fire.
> Improved the recoil and accuracy of the M26 to match the 870.
> Reduced the impact suppression has on shotguns. Shotguns are still affected by Suppression but it should no longer significantly impact their accuracy from the hip as it previously did.
> The 870's pump speed has been increased slightly from 0.55 seconds to 0.48 seconds. The empty reload time for the 870 has also been reduced slightly.
> Improved the accuracy of aimed shotguns when on the move.
> The Saiga's recoil has been reduced.
> The M1014 now fires 10 projectiles. The other semi auto shotguns have 9 pellets, and since the M1014 has a lower mag size and a slower reload it now fires 10 pellets to give it some edge.
> The USAS-12 now fires 7 projectiles.
> The MK3A1 now fires 8 projectiles.
> Fixed so the weapon's fire mode is saved between spawns.
Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition Coming to Steam
AMD to halt monthly driver releases
Though this is unconfirmed (at the moment) it seems that our forums wizard asder00 spotted a post on rage3d that validates what I have been expecting for a while now, AMD will halt their monthly driver updates. Taken from R3D forum:
There should be a public announcement today, but I have been allowed to share this info right now.
- AMD will end monthly Catalyst driver releases starting with Catalyst 12.5 (which won't exist). They have decided to focus harder on quality and improvements vs regular updates which may not bring many new things. This way there will be no need for two separate driver development paths every month: one to get the official WHQL driver and another that keeps doing the regular driver development.
- We should expect more "hot fixes" and "preview drivers" when new games are released or urgent fixes are required.
- There is a beta driver we are testing right now that fixes the Eyefinity tearing on the third monitor when mixing outputs. I have verified that it works with Southern Islands based cards, so I don't know if it will work with previous cards. Anyway, if no major issues are found, this driver should be publicly available next week.
AMD Catalyst 12.6 Beta Download
With the release of the AMD Catalyst
OCZ to Showcase Game-Changing Solid-State Solutions at Computex
OCZ will showcase the Company's latest enterprise and client storage solutions at Computex 2012 in Taipei, Taiwan June 6 through June 9 at the Taipei International Convention Center (TICC).
Continuing to demonstrate leadership in both the enterprise and consumer markets, OCZ will display a comprehensive lineup of its innovative SSD products. For business, server, and OEM clients, OCZ will showcase PCI Express (PCIe) SAN acceleration and replacement solutions, and unveil the impending Intrepid 3 SATA III SSD Series based on the Everest 2 architecture. Live demos at the booth will include both the current industry-leading Z-Drive R4 CloudServ PCIe SSD that delivers over one million IOPS, and the highly anticipated Z-Drive R5 Series based on the co-developed OCZ-Marvell Kilimanjaro platform that raises the bar in performance, reliability, and endurance. OCZ will also showcase the VXL Storage Accelerator software that enables large scale deployment of a virtualized environment for businesses to eliminate the need for costly tier-1 SANs in a wide range of enterprise IT infrastructures.
For client storage, OCZ will showcase the flagship Vertex 4 SATA III SSD, along with the upcoming 'Lightfoot' portable SSD designed with the Intel
Lian Li Announces Two New Aluminum Cases
Lian-Li Industrial Co., Ltd. today announces two new brushed aluminum chassis - PC-V355 and PC-A55.
The micro-ATX supported PC-V355 and the slim PC-A55 ATX chassis both have the features that are to be expected from Lian Li, including: brushed aluminum frames, pop-off panels, and many tool-less features.
PC-V355 - HTPC/Mini-Tower with Slide-Out Motherboard Tray
Designed to be either a larger HTPC or mini-tower with the dimensions of (WxHxD) 283 x 263 x 386 mm (11.14" x 10.35" x 15.19"), the PC-V355, supporting a micro-ATX motherboard, has many features to make installations, upgrades and upkeep easier. The slide-out motherboard tray lets users setup their system outside of the chassis. The HDD cage supports up to three 3.5" HDDs which are secured using thumb screws with rubber suspensions for reduced vibration. A 2.5" hard drive can also be installed in the HDD bay.
Two 120 mm intake fans at the front of the PC-V355, which blow cool air directly on the HDD bay and VGA card, are easily removable, and have washable twist-off air filters. The cooling capabilities can be easily adjusted thanks to the 3-speed fan controller.
The front I/O panel has two USB 3.0 slots and HD audio support. However, the 5.25" ODD is located on the side panel.
The PC-V355 has four expansions slots for future upgradeability, and can take VGA cards up to 310 mm cards in length. The PC-V355 supports a PSU up to 210 mm that is to be rear mounted, and a CPU cooler up to 100 mm.
The PC-V355 is available in black or silver for the suggested retail price of US$139 (VAT not included).
PC-A55 - ATX Chassis with Front-Mounted PSU and Unique Cooling Design
With a standard ATX PSU up to 160 mm in length able to be mounted vertically in the front on the chassis, the PC-A55 is shorter and smaller than average ATX chassis with the dimensions of (WxHxD) 188 x 375 x 455 mm (7.40" x 14.76" x 17.91") while still having enough space for easy installations.
The PC-A55 has a unique cooling design to push cool air through the case in high volumes at low RPMs. The 140 mm intake is located in the bottom of the chassis blows air directly over the VGA card and across the motherboard. The 140 mm fan on the top panel is directly over the motherboard so that excess heat is removed quickly and effectively.
The front panel can be removed tool-lessly for easy access, and the I/O panel and power button is located on the top panel.
The PC-A55 supports two 3.5" HDDs, two 2.5" HDDs, and one 5.25" optical disk drive. There are seven expansion slots for future upgradeability, and VGA cards up to 310 mm in length and CPU coolers up to 150 mm fit in the PC-A55.
The PC-A55 is available in black or silver for the suggested retail price of US$119 (VAT not included).
Product Features of PC-V355
- Micro-ATX chassis
- Slide-out motherboard tray
- Holds three 3.5" and one 2.5" HDDs
- Supports one 5.25" optical drive
- Two 120 mm fans blowing directly on the HDD bay
- Three levels of cooling with fan controller
- Two color options: black/silver
- MSRP: US$139 (VAT not included)
- Available in the US in the beginning of June
Product Features of PC-A55
- ATX chassis
- Front mounted PSU for a shorter and smaller footprint
- Hold two 3.5" and two 2.5" HDDs
- Supports one 5.25" optical drive
- Innovative thermal design
- Removable front panel
- Two color options: black/silver
- MSRP: US$119 (VAT not included)
- Available in the US in the beginning of June
Intel Core i7 3770K Breaks 7 GHz Mark
An overclocker from Taiwan by the name of HiCookie has overclocked Intel Core i7 3770K E1 (Ivy Bridge) past 7 GHz. He used Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H motherboard, Corsair memory, Corsair AX 1200 power supply and of course liquid nitrogen to achieve this. 3 cores were disabled while HT was enabled, FSB was 111.63 MHz, 63x multiplier was used and the core voltage was a whopping 1.956V. Before this, the record was held by nkdfactory from Japan who achieved the highest frequency of 6931.1 MHz.
Creative BlasterAxx Bluetooth Speakers
Creative is about to release the BlasterAxx Bluetooth speaker series. The speaker series consists of three models -- SBX 20, SBX 10 and SBX 8. These speakers can be powered by a USB 2.0 connection to playback digital audio from any Mac or PC.
The Creative SBX 10 and SBX 20 support Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to play music from your smartphones and tablets. You can also control the Creative BlasterAxx Bluetooth speaker series with the Sound BlasterAxx Control Panel program or download the Creative Central app for iOS and Android devices.
These speakers also feature a touch sensitive control panel on the top, which offers access to five SBX modes. Additional features include speakerphone capabilities, which utilizes a dual-microphone setup to improve voice quality. The Creative BlasterAxx SBX 20, SBX 10 and SBX 8 are priced at $199, $149 and $99, respectively.
10-Channel SATA III SSDs inbound
Biwin announced the world's first 10-channel 2.5-inch SATA III (6 Gbits/sec) SSD, the enterprise class NuvoDrive NX, offered in 80 GB, 160 GB and 300 GB capacities.
Virtually all current SATA III SSDs have 4- or 8-channel controllers. The NuvoDrive NX's is based on an advanced new 10-channel controller that alleviates the issue of flash bandwidth on the SATA III bus for high speed sequential transfers. The 10-channel controller also, for the first time, makes popular 80 GB, 160 GB and 300 GB capacities available in a SATA III SSD.
NuvoDrive NX features a large 256 MB DRAM cache to dramatically accelerate random write performance. NuvoDrive NX will deliver up to 80,000 4K random write IOPS for both compressible and incompressible data types. It supports sequential read and write speeds upwards of 500 MB/sec.
NuvoDrive NX SSDs are equipped with all the latest endurance, reliability and security features including: BCH ECC built in, global wear leveling, AES 128 and 256 encryption, native TRIM support, and support for SMART commands. NuvoDrive NX is sampling now to OEMs, and will be in mass production in Q3. Biwin will showcase a working demo system with the NuvoDrive NX at Computex Taipei, June 5-9 in Nangang Hall booth # J1218.
"The Biwin NuvoDrive NX offers superior write speed compared to existing SATA III SSDs. Its advantage increases in small block random writes. And it beats competing SSDs hands down in 4K random write operations for incompressible data. Technology innovations like the 10-channel controller architecture and beefy DRAM cache make this performance possible." - Joe James, Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, Biwin America.
ASUS to release two Maximus V Formula SKUs
ASUS has been keeping the lid on the Maximums V Formula R.O.G. motherboards however now more info has been revealed, by way of VR-zone:
Asus will be offering two slightly different SKUs of the motherboard in question. Beyond what we reported back in March, not that much appear to have change with the board itself, but it looks like Asus will be bundling a dual band mini PCI Express 802.1a/b/g/n Wi-Fi/Bluetooth 4.0 card with the board, something that wasn't clear at the press event.
Sadly this is the best picture we've managed to dig up of the two SKUs. The big secret that Asus was hiding on the boards with a small cardboard cover with an R.O.G. logo on it is a headphone amplifier. Sadly we don't have a picture of it, but it's using a Texas Instruments 6120A2 amplifier, an amplifier Asus has used in some of its higher-end sound cards like the Xonar Essence STX. We're still not sure about the audio codec for this motherboard, so we'll have to wait and see, as Asus is simply using its SupremeFX IV branding which doesn't really give away a lot of details, as the company has used various audio controllers with the SupremeFX branding.
As we mentioned, Asus will be offering two SKUs of the Maximus V Formula, one with and one without the ThunderFX USB sound card and amplifier. We're still not sure we get the point of the ThunderFX as a motherboard bundle, as this C-Media 6631 powered USB sound card appears to have been designed more for console use as a headset amplifier and noise cancelling solution. We'd rather have had the noise cancelling built into the motherboard audio in this case via some external microphone array, but then again, a pair of noise cancelling headphones ought to do the job just as well.
Asus should be unveiling the Maximus V Formula at Computex next week, alongside a range of other new R.O.G. products at a press event.
be quiet! Dark Power Pro 10 PSUs
be quiet! introduces the Dark Power Pro 10, a new line of power supplies available in 550W, 650W, 750W, 850W, 1000W and 1200W editions. These units offers 80Plus Platinum efficiency and promise an efficiency of up to 94 percent. Pricing ranges from 135EUR to 279EUR.
be quiet!, market leader for power supplies in Germany for six years in a row*, announced today the release of its new high end line of PC power supply units (PSUs) called Dark Power Pro 10. The flagship series now uses state-of-the-art power conversion and cooling technologies along with other design enhancements to be the quietest and most energy efficient models in the company
Cubitek ICE aluminium cases
Cubitek presents their latest cases series by the name ICE, which are full Aluminum enclosures in various sizes from Mini-ITX to the massive HPTX format. These offer modern features like USB 3.0, dust filters, space for long graphic cards and large CPU coolers, thus offering the perfect choice for every scenario.
The fairly young brand Cubitek managed to turn heads right from their debut in 2011, as the designer cases impressed with incredible engineering, usually reserved for the big players in the market. The modular chassis design of the Magic Cube pushed the boundaries of case concept, offering separate enclosures and allowing unheard of customization.
With the new ICE series of cases, Cubitek is aiming to deliver immaculate enclosures constructed with light weight Aluminum, offering plenty of space and functionality at competitive price points. The ICE series is available in three different sizes and named accordingly. the Mini-ICE is intended for Mini-ITX motherboards, the ATX-ICE utilizes full size ATX variants, while the HPTX-ICE has enough space for even the largest multi-socket boards like the EVGA SR-X.
Even though these three cases are of different sizes, Cubitek has ensured, that all of them utilize the same design elements, with black anodized and brushed Aluminum on the exterior with a whooping 2.5 millimeters thickness. Such a choice of the light material make the Cubitek ICE cases extremely sturdy, also thanks to the fact that the panels are made of two solid pieces, which is bent into shape.
This manufacturing process results in cases with very few exterior parts. The Cubitek ICE series bodies are made of just four parts. These are not simply hooked into each other to form the beautiful shape, but held together with rubber mounted screws, further underlining the overall quality of these enclosures.
Thanks to the use of Aluminum, the Cubitek ICE cases are extremely light, while offering exceptional cooling capabilities. With numerous air vent and pre-installed fans, every of enclosure of this series offers more than enough air flow - regardless of size.
Not only the overall design spans the entire series of ICE cases, but also various functional elements. Each of the enclosures offers two USB 3.0, two USB 2.0 and a pair of audio connectors, dedicated use of thumb screws, rubberized feet and blue LED equipped fans right out of the box. On top of that each of the ICE cases - including the Mini-ICE - offer exceptional cable management possibilities.
The Cubitek ICE series, consisting of the Mini-ICE for Mini-ITX, the ATX-ICE for full size ATX and the HPTX-ICE for HPTX boards are available shortly from http://www.overclockers.co.uk/ and cost
Divinity: Original Sin Trailer
Doom 3 BFG Edition Announced
DOOM 3 BFG Edition is the ultimate collection of groundbreaking games that defined the first person shooter. It includes DOOM, DOOM 2, DOOM 3, and DOOM 3: Resurrection of Evil, as well as the 'Lost Mission.' All DOOM 3 content has been re-mastered for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in stunning 3D for an even more terrifying FPS experience.
Hitman Absolution - Attack of the Saints Trailer
OCZ Agility 4 SSD released
OCZ has released the Agility 4 -- aimed at the mainstream segment is comes with the Indilinx Everest 2 controller. It's available in 64GB, 128GB, 256GB and 512GB capacities, with the latter one delivering a read speed of up to 400MB/s, write speed of up to 400MB/s, and 85,000 IOPS random 4k write IOPS.
OCZ Technology Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:OCZ), a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) for computing devices and systems, today unveiled its new Agility 4 SSD series that delivers an ideal balance of 6Gbps SATA III interface speed, exceptional input/output operations per second (IOPS) performance, and enterprise-grade endurance and reliability all in a value-oriented SSD. Utilizing OCZ