Battlefield: Bad Company 2 DirectX 11 Details
PCG Hardware interviewed Anders Gyllenberg of DICE talking about the Frostbite engine and support for DirectX 11 features used in Battlefield: Bad Company 2. Here's an excerpt:
PCGH: Are there any differences between the Console and the PC Version as far as technical or visual aspects are concerned (we know, BC2 is running with 720p and no AA on consoles)?
Anders Gyllenberg: We have added several PC specific features. Changing resolution & changing the graphical fidelity are the two obvious ones. We also have proper support for multiple aspect ratios like 4:3 and 16:10. The player has the option of activating the advanced control panel where you can set several settings such as detail levels, the AA, MSAA and HBAO. We support Dx9, Dx10 & Dx11.
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 - New pictures of the DX 11 game. (9)
PCGH: We also know that Bad Company 2 is featured by Frostbite Engine 1.x. Can you tell us the technical highlights of Frostbite Engine (for example SSAO, Depth of Field, Deferred Lighting or Global Illumination)? If yes can you please give examples how this rendering techniques are utilized in Battlefield Bad Company 2 (DoF while aiming for example)?
Anders Gyllenberg: The base renderer is a forward renderer. Some feature highlights would be an advanced SSAO technique called HBAO (Horizon-based Ambient Occlusion), DOF during cutscenes, particle systems optimized for huge amounts of particles, soft particle blending, and soft shadowmap filtering (DX11 only).
PCGH: Can you confirm that the PC version utilizes DirectX 11 (at GDC 2009, Johan Andersson showed some cool rendering features)? If yes, what were the deciding technical advantages of the DX11 API? In what way does it allow you to optimize or simplify the rendering process (we
No LAN support for Command & Conquer 4
The reason being, as lead designer Sam Bass put it, is because of the global player progression system. This system is "across single-player, multiplayer and skirmish and all the information is stored in a server. So if you go to another machine -- friend
G.Skill Falcon II 128GB SSD review
G.Skill Falcon II 128GB SSD test
Today we test a product from G.Skill. Their newly released SSD is called the Falcon II which is a follow up of the original Falcon Solid State Disk series. But make no mistake, it still comes with Indilinx controller, 64MB cache memory and packs a read speed of 220 MB/sec and a write speed of 150MB sec -- which makes the word 'slower' a bit of a paradox. The SSD comes with firmware revision 1819 which has full support for the TRIM-command in Windows 7.
And by using that 34nm Micron NAND memory G.Skill should be able to lower the price on their Falcon product series a little as well.
Check out this Guru3D review right here.
Volume NVIDIA GF100 products in May 2010
An interesting development, though I feel it's safe to say we can expect a launch of high-end GF100 based graphics cards somewhere next month Jen-Hsun Huang in his quarterly financial reports mentioned that the Fermi architecture aka GF100 aka NV60 aka G300 aka GT300 aka GeForce Series 400 will start playing a role in Q2 of this year. That means for NVIDIA that volume availability of a series of new products would be released at the end of April or early May, and not March as earlier expected.
It seems that the 40nm Fermi architecture keeps fighting NVIDIA somehow, likely due to yield related issues at the TSMC 40nm node. The good news is that Jen-Hsun Huang implies multiple product, and that covers the mid and high-end range but also professional products like Quadro and Tegra. So in the Q2 timeframe we certainly can expect a lot of new products being pushed out real fast.
Audiotrak Prodigy 7.1e X-Fi SoundCard
Audiotrak Prodigy 7.1e X-Fi SoundCard test
Based on Creative's PCIe X-Fi chipset, the Prodigy 7.1e keeps sound quality high and prices low for a superior value. It may be a no-frills sound card, it has features that a gamer would want like OpenAL and a stable driver, but also for audiophiles in upgradable opamps and a dedicated headphone out. Solid value.
ATI Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 card will arrive soon
We mentioned this card several tiems already, but for the uber gamer and more likely profession users in need of massive multi-monitor setups ATI is going to release the the Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 edition, apparantly next month.
AMD will launch its new graphics adapters around the same time NVIDIA plans to release its GTX 480 and GTX 470 cards. These two models will be NVIDIA's first adapters to support DirectX 11 and will be built on the next-generation CUDA architecture known as Fermi. It is not exactly surprising to see AMD trying to take away its rival's spotlight by releasing its first Eyefinity 6 card. ATI Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 edition is concerned, this product will make its official debut on March 11, just after the end of the show in Hannover, Germany.
VIA working on dual-GPU S3 graphics card
VIA announced it will show off the dual-GPU S3 Graphics Chrome 5400E x2 graphics card at next week\'s Digital Signage Expo 2010 in Las Vegas. This new graphics card is aimed at professional, multi-display digital signage applications as you guys know. This dual-GPU add-in-board can provide up to four independent HD video streams that can be spread over up to eight displays in total.
S3 Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator of power efficient x86 processor platforms, today announced its participation at Digital Signage Expo 2010, Feb. 24 - 25, Las Vegas. Join VIA at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Hall C1-2, Booth 1240 and experience the latest technologies for next-generation signage systems, including a demonstration of the forthcoming S3 Graphics Chrome 5400E x2; a dual GPU add-in-board aimed at advanced, multi-display digital signage applications.
The S3 Graphics 5400E x2 is a highly integrated and flexible video card that features dual graphics and multimedia processors. Boasting extreme hardware acceleration of the latest HD video codecs, the S3 Graphics 5400E x2 uses S3 Graphics' PanoChrome technology to provide up to four independent HD video streams at resolutions of 1080p on up to eight displays, employing a variety of display modes and configurations.
"VIA is delighted to work with S3 Graphics to bring unique digital signage embedded products to market, highlighting our prowess in delivering the very best in power-efficient, Hi-Def digital display technologies," said Daniel Wu, Vice President, VIA Embedded Platform Division, VIA Technologies, Inc.
S3 Graphics Chrome 5400E x2 - Key Features:
* Support for up to 8 simultaneous displays
* Up to 4 independent video streams
* HD screen resolutions of up to 1080p
* H.264, VC-1 and WMV-HD hardware acceleration
* Support for Span, Extended and Clone view configurations
* Built-in Genlock support for synchronized source timing
Samples of the S3 Graphics Chrome 5400E x2 will initially be available to ODM customers in the US from Q2 2010.
OCZ Vertex Limited Edion SSD
OCZ introduced the Vertex LE, a new solid state disk that promises read speeds of up to 270MB/s and write speeds of up to 250MB/s. The new SSD will only be available for a limited time in 100GB and 200GB capacities.
OCZ Technology Group, Inc. (OTCBB:OCZT), a worldwide leader in innovative, ultra-high performance and high reliability memory and flash-based storage as an alternative to hard disk drives (HDDs), has unveiled the highly anticipated Vertex Limited Edition (LE). Based on a cutting-edge new architecture, OCZ
Kingston DataTraveler 310 with 256GB storage
Sheesh, that's storage alright. Kingston announced the DataTraveler 310, a new USB stick with a storage capacity of 256GB. While the capacity of the disk is truly massive, the performance doesn't sound that impressive. According to the specifications, the DataTraveler 310 will have a read speed of 25MB/s and a write speed of only 12MB/s. The product is expected to be available for $1,108.
Kingston Digital, Inc., the Flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., the independent world leader in memory products, today announced the release of DataTraveler
Corsair Padlock 2 flash drive features 256-bit AES encryption
Corsair introduced the Flash Padlock 2, a new 8GB flash drive offers 256-bit AES encryption and a numeric keypad to keep your data safe. Files on the flash stick can be protected by a 4-10 digit PIN code, multiple failed entries lock the device for 2 minutes to prevent repeated attempts to access data. There's also a recovery mode that resets the Flash Padlock to its factory default state if you have lost your PIN, but doing so will securely erase all data from the drive.
The Padlock 2's built-in security doesn't require any additional software, it works on all Windows, Mac and Linux based computers.
The Corsair Flash Padlock 2 is perfect for transporting and protecting your sensitive business or personal information. With built-in 256-bit hardware data encryption, and access limited by a PIN, you can rest assured your information is safe from unintentional viewing. Built with the same ruggedized rubber housing found on the Corsair Flash Voyager family for durability, your data is protected from the elements as well.
Because the PIN keypad is integrated directly onto the flash drive, there is no software to install. Simply enter your own Personal Identification Number and your data is unlocked for use on virtually any PC operating system: Windows, OS X, or Linux
Splinter Cell:Conviction Trailer: Sam Seeks Revenge
New Ubisoft DRM requires internet ALL the time
Wow -- does the gaming industry seriously not realize that they are killing off their own sales by implementing weird requirements ? We've had the DRM discussions, the copy protection discussions, the root kit discussions and now UBISOFT ups it another notch by making a requirement that is just ridiculous.
My former colleagues at PC Gamer found out that while testing review copies of the PC port of Assassin's Creed 2 they got kicked out of playing the game whenever they lost their internet connection. Which simply means your game quits and you lose any progress -- with single player missions.
We've just received Assassin's Creed 2 and Settlers VII for review, and verified with Ubisoft that the DRM is the same as the boxed product. If you get disconnected while playing, you're booted out of the game. All your progress since the last checkpoint or savegame is lost, and your only options are to quit to Windows or wait until you're reconnected.
The game first starts the Ubisoft Game Launcher, which checks for updates. If you try to launch the game when you're not online, you hit an error message right away. So I tried a different test: start the game while online, play a little, then unplug my net cable. This is the same as what happens if your net connection drops momentarily, your router is rebooted, or the game loses its connection to Ubisoft's 'Master servers'. The game stopped, and I was dumped back to a menu screen - all my progress since it last autosaved was lost.
Why do software houses consistently find methods to seriously agitate end-users ? I'm sure this again is a privacy breach on so many levels ... UbiSoft .. seriously, I do not want you guys hogging my Internet bandwith. or what if I want to play the game I bought on a laptop with no WiFi available ?
'typo' in NVidia news item
would be "... Q4 2009 ..." (posted today in the News section)
Adesso WKB-4200UB keyboard
The keyboard uses 2.4GHz wireless tech with 12 channels that it can change automatically to prevent interference. Wireless range is 30 feet and the keyboard has a small USB receiver. The best feature of the keyboard for the HTPC user is that it has a two-button track pad on the right side rather than a number pad.
That means you can type and control the mouse from one device. Power comes from a pair of AAA batteries and the keyboard has a switch to turn it off when not in use. The WKB-4200UB is available now for a steep $119.99.
Toshiba introduces 600GB MBF SAS HDD
Toshiba has announced a new drive that it claims to be the industry
New LG Skinny Frame plasma HDTVs 25mm thick
The big news with the 25mm thick sets is that they are plasma TVs. I am a fan of plasma tech and have been bummed that the tech is slowly disappearing. The line is called Skinny Frame and supports 1080p resolution. The TV boasts a 600Hz refresh rate for clear images.
Connectivity for the line includes three HDMI ports and a USB port. The screen sizes in the line are 60-inches and 50-inches. The bad news is that the sets aren
NEC working on 16Gbps USB 3.0
USB 3.0 standard allows a maximum bandwidth of 4.8Gbps, allowing roughly 600 MB/sec of data transfer.
However if it's up to NEC, this can be more than tripled to 16Gbps (~ 2000 MB/sec). The company send out a statement that it had successfully demonstrated a serial bus that it believes can hit that speed thanks to a new technology that significantly reduces interference.
At high throughput rates, signals become distorted, especially over long cable lengths. Bus interface chips use 'adaptive equalisation' to correct the distortion, and they do this by splitting the signal into two and feeding one back onto the input signal. The snag: the higher the frequency, the quicker the chip has to perform the feedback operation to successfully reduce the distortion.
NEC said it gets around this problem by adding a delay tied to the data rate to the feedback waveform.
"This procedure greatly reduces the nearest-neighbor inter-bit interference in the signal waveform and thus successfully alleviates the issue of feedback-time constraint inherent in conventional equalisers," said NEC's boffins.
Corsair Obsidian 700D case unveiled
Corsair will introduce the Obsidian 700D, a new full-tower ATX case that seems to have most of the interior features of the 800D, which was released last year. Check out our review here.
The case features six HDD/SSD drive bays, five 5.25" drive bays and one floppy bay. To keep your hardware cool the Obsidian 700D uses a three-zone cooling method, there are holes designed for cable management and vents have been pre-drilled to fit a triple 120mm fan radiator.
The case measures 24" (H) x 24" (L) x 9" (W) / 609 mm x 609 mm x 229 mm, weighs 34.8 lbs / 15.8 kg, and makes use of steel for the internal frame, and aluminum for its panels. There's room for three 140 mm and up to four 120 mm fans. There are eight expansion slots, so it makes room for a double-slot video card seated on the bottom-most slot of the motherboard.
There's room for ITX, m-ATX, ATX, and EATX motherboard types, the motherboard tray has a cutout at the CPU socket area for easy handling of certain types of coolers. The front-panel has four USB 2.0 ports, a FireWire port, and the FP audio connectors.
Pricing is unknown, but we can safely assume that it will be cheaper than the Obsidian 800D, which sells for roughly $275,-