Mass Effect 2 Fun Facts
Mass Effect 2 executive producer Casey Hudson has revealed some interesting statistics from the game:
BioWare found that only 15% of conversations were skipped in Mass Effect 2, with the rate higher in non-critical moments like in the hub worlds and much lower later in the game at the climax. "If we found that 80% or 90% of the lines were being skipped, we would have to reevaluate the work that we were putting into the digital acting."
Other times, the data surprises. That happened with both how there were differences between the PC and Xbox 360 populations, as well as in regards to importing saves from Mass Effect 1. "We were surprised by how many people imported a game from Mass Effect 1
Media Player Classic MPC HomeCinema 1.4.2499.0 download released
Modern graphics card offer the possibility to decode partially or completely a video stream using DirectX Video Acceleration (DXVA), in order to reduce CPU usage dramatically. MPC-HC includes an embedded video decoder that uses this technology, to decode x.264, H.264 and VC-1 with hardly any CPU time required.
This project is based on the original "Media Player Classic" and was created after Gabest, the original author, stopped working on it. Several new features have been integrated in this player, such as :
- An option to remove Tearing
- Translation in several languages (currently Czech, English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Korean, Polish, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Turkish and Ukrainian)
- Additional video decoders and in particular H.264 and VC-1 with DXVA support (see specific section for details)
- Better support for Windows Vista, including a release for 64 bits platform
- Support for EVR renderer
- Bugs and vulnerability fixes
MPC-HC decoder only supports the "bitstream mode" at this stage, which means that only the most recent graphic cards are supported :
- nVidia series 8(9)xxx for H.264 only
- ATI Radeon HD series for H.264 and VC-1 decoding
DXVA is quite picky, so if you want to use it you have to respect those rules :
- Windows XP users, select Overlay Mixer, VMR7, VMR9 or VMR9 renderless
- Vista users, select EVR or EVR custom renderer
Here is the version changes log with the player new features, changes and bug fixes through the release versions:
New features :
o Seamless playback support for multi files BRD
o Support for Windows 7 taskbar and thumbnails features
o Added Catalan, Dutch and Japanese translations
o VSFilter x64 is available
o Added internal VP8 Decoder
o MPC-HC can be compiled with MSVC2010 and Intel C++ Compiler
o Support for MCE remote control (values added in AppCommand column in "Options/Player/Keys")
o Support of Broadcom Video decoder for VC1, H.264 and MPEG-2 (hardware acceleration)
o Support for DVB subtitles
o Open files to Recent Documents
o AUTO HDMI MODE 1080p/24 support for fullscreen mode
o Ticket #46, add number to AudioDevice list
o Sync Renderer dialogs
o Real Video decoder in MPCVideoDecoder
o Support interlaced mode in fullscreen resolution list
o Auto change fullscreen resolution for different video content
o Fullscreen Options page
o Video decoder, options for DXVA Compatibility check
o Support for MPEG-2 bitstreaming in the DXVA decoder
o Full screen resolution - support for native 23.976 and 29.97 mode (Vista and above only)
o Auto resolution change for DVD
o Always Exit after playback option
o Support for SRM7500 remote control
o New panel for switching DVB channels, audio and tuner scan accessible through View-->Navigation menu when in Capture mode
o Automatically play next files in a folder
o Implemented 'Quick add favorite' shortcut (default: Shift + Q) will use current settings from 'Add Favorite' dialog
o Select D3D device for render, including DXVA if two or more video adapters are in the system (EVR Custom & VMR9-Renderless only)
o Statistics - added render device
o Ability to select OSD font & size
o Option "Don't use 'search in folder' on commands 'Skip back/forward' when only one item in playlist"
o H.264 L5.1 DXVA support for ATI cards with drivers > v126.96.36.19905 (Catalyst 10.4)
o MPCVideoDecoder, disable DXVA (H.264) for SD video (width < 1280)
o Improved DXVA compatibility check
o Implemented drag and drop folders with sub-folders
o Support for MPEG-1/Layer1 audio stream in the Matroska splitter
o Command to switch video frame mode (key 'P')
o Video frame options like in TV: Zoom 1 and Zoom 2
o Auto saving position every 30 seconds
o Added internal filters context menu (disable/enable)
o Command to reopen file (Ctrl+E)
o Support for PGS in Matroska
o Open root BD movie from command line & shell context menu
o OSD messages added when switching audio stream or subtitles
o OSD on Jump Forward/Backward (keyframe)
o OSD when open DVD/BD
o OSD for jump to chapter in file
o Detect system UI language and set interface language at first run
o Full ICC color management (Little CMS v2.1a library added)
o Full floating point processing (FP16 temporary textures)
o High-quality dithering (color management, full floating point processing, 10-bit -> 8-bit)
o Option to force 10-bit EVR mixer input (probably hackish, but in many cases it seems to work)
o Added MediaInfoLib (v0.7.35) (no need for MediaInfo.dll anymore)
o Added support for MPEG-2_VLD DXVA for Intel G31/33 (and maybe other Intel) chipset
KFA2 adds two new DX11 class GTX 460 products
The KFA2 GeForce GTX 460 SLI pack is the perfect dual card bundle to give you all of the tools you need to immerse yourself into the new dimension of 3D Gaming. Packed with 2X GTX 460
Thermalright HR-02 review
Thermalright HR-02 CPU cooler review
We'll test it passively cooled yet we'll also pair it with Thermalright's TY-140 fan, a 1300 RPM fan that is silent, yet high performing. As stated, the results stunned me, this is really really good stuff.
You can read all about it right here at this Guru3D article.
Download: eVGA Precision 2.0.0
EVGA Precision allows you to fine tune your GeForce graphics card for the maximum performance possible, with Core/Shader/Memory clock tuning, real time monitoring support including in-game, Logitech Keyboard LCD Display support, and compatibility with almost all EVGA (and other) graphics cards.EVGA Precision v2.0.0 (09-08-2010)
- Added software automatic fan control mode allowing end users to define custom temperature to fan speed mapping curve
- Added floating tooltips based help system for advanced EVGA Precision settings window
- Now it is possible to pause hardware monitoring module via "Pause" command in the context menu of hardware monitoring window
- Performance profiler status information is no longer power user oriented, now it is possible to toggle the performance profiler status visibility directly via "Show status" command in the context menu of hardware monitoring window
- Now it is possible to clear hardware monitoring history via "Clear history" command in the context menu of hardware monitoring window
- Now it is possible to get directly into hardware monitoring graph properties by clicking a tray icon associated with it or via "Properties" command in the context menu of hardware monitoring window
- Added multilanguage system and sample Russian localization pack
- Added SDK folder containing reference guide documentation for third party EVGA Precision skin and localization creators
- Now core clock controls are displayed on GeForce 400 series if built-in skins are in use. Please take a note that it is still impossible to adjust core and shader clocks independenty on these cards due to GPU architecture limitations
- Now it is posssible to use both core and shader clock as the primary clock when adjusting the clocks in linked mode
- Removed some outdated options from advanced EVGA Precision settings window
- Framerate monitoring graph limits have been changed to [0,100] FPS
- Fan tachometer monitoring graph limits have been changed to [0,5000] RPM
- Fixed videomemory usage monitoring for non-primary NVIDIA graphics cards
- Added ability to assign a hotkey for toggling the On-Screen Display Server blocking. This hotkey is aimed to provide a simple way for diagnosing the server related compatibility issues
- Now EVGA Precision uses previously undocumented power user oriented DirectInput based hotkey handler. New hotkey handling mechanism drastically reduces hotkey response time in applications heavily loading CPU. Please take a note that new sophisticated hotkeys handling can cause some system security applications (e.g. KIS proactive defense module) to warn you about possible keylogging threat
- Now screen capture events are also indicated by notification messages in the hardware monitoring window
- Added new black skin edition.
Download: click here
Corsair Dominator GT (GTX6) breaks 3078 MHz CL7
Two nice records for the books have been broken, Corsair announced that its Dominator GT GTX6 ultra-high performance DDR3 memory was used to set two new world records for dual-channel memory frequency at CAS 7 and CAS 8.
The record-setting frequencies of 3078.2 MHz, CL8-11-8-31, 1T, and 3059.4 MHz, CL7-11-8-31, 1T, were achieved by renowned extreme overclocker
VIA EPIA-M850 Mini-ITX Board
VIA Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator of power efficient x86 processor platforms, today announced the VIA EPIA-M850 Mini-ITX board, the first board to feature the latest VIA VX900 media system processor, creating the ideal solution for today
Origin PC reveals gaming PC with built-in Xbox 360
ORIGIN PC is proud to unveil The Big O, their latest creation designed for dominance and destined to make high performance computing enthusiasts and gamers to drool uncontrollably. The Big O fuses the capabilities of the fastest computing hardware on the market, ORIGIN's expert overclocking, and a built in Xbox 360 to create the ultimate gaming weapon.
The Big O is featured in CPU Magazine's annual Dream Machine review roundup, an epic competition between system builders. "If you want the ultimate PC, the Big O is it" said CPU Magazine. "By integrating an Xbox 360, the Big O offers everything and the kitchen sink."
Samsung Galaxy Tab announced
This Android powered tablet features a 1Ghz Cortex A8 processor, 512MB of RAM, 16GB or 32GB of storage, with an expansion MicroSD card slot for up to an additional 32GB of storage. The Galaxy Tab comes with a 1.3MP front-facing camera and a 3MP rear camera with LED flash, perfect for taking images in the dark.
The device also comes with a 4,000mAh battery, good for up to 7 hours of battery life. The Galaxy Tab is 3G data-ready, and has a 5Ghz dual-band 802.11n WiFi built-in card. The tablet also has a speaker on the bottom of the device, similar to the iPad, and supports Bluetooth. The Galaxy Tab has a 30-pin dock connector port on the bottom of the device, that allows HDMI, USB and other accessories for docking or adding onto the tablet, all fitted into a 7-inch TFT LCD screen with a resolution of 1024 x 600 (WSVGA). CNET got a little hands on time with the Samsung Galaxy Tab and, surprisingly enough, the 7" Android powered device looks promising:
Hail to the King: Duke Nukem Forever
For some old-school gamers, Duke Nukem is probably the most anticipated game of the decade (since 1998). Despite the irreversible damage to the title, it seems that 2K Games and Gearbox have overcome all contrarieties and finally may release the game. The legendary kick-ass hero, returns on consoles and Windows PC in 2011; also with focus testing. Focus testing means that you are able to talk to the developers about what you really think it
Additional delay for USB 3.0 technology
Extra delay for the USB 3.0 technology is holding up its launch into the massive market due to many compatibility issues. First of all, Taiwanese motherboard manufacturers claim that companies have not yet passed the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) certification, thus original release timetables are off the plan for 2010. Secondly, the major problem seems to be the Windows 7 operating system, that doesn
GeForce GTS 450 Specs leaked on the web
I was a little in doubt wether or not to post these with the ongoing NDAs, but this information spread out over the the web so broadly that there's no point to not post what you can see below. Yesterday Chinese website IT168 leaked slides from a presentation on the GeForce GTS 450.
The slides show the what seem to be final specifications and features of the soon to be released GeForce GTS 450.
The card as rumored indeed comes with 192 shader processors, 1 GB of GDDR5 on a 128-bit wide memory interface, and clock speeds which include 783/1566/900 MHz (core/shader/memory). Some other notables are a TMU count of 32, four Polymorph engines, 16 ROPsand a TDP, maximum power draw of 106W. Have a peek at the slides if interested.
eVGA SR-2 LN2 Overclock video
Yesterday we posted our review on the eVGA SR-2 motherboard where we kick out a new world record in benchmarking. In that review we pop on four GeForce GTX 480 graphics cards and use two six-core 3.3 GHz Xeon processors. We then take the GPU's over 1050 MHz and the processors over 5.5 GHz.
Overall that was certainly an exciting experience alright, should you now heave read the article then you can do so right here. Also we have a video demonstrating the LN2 overclock process (managed by Bodar), have a look if you missed out on this awesome video.
Again the full article can be found here.
ASUS TUF SaberTooth X58 enters the lab ...
One of the motherboards out there with a really intersting design and layout is the TUF Series SaberTooth X58. The board comes with high-quality chokes, solid state capacitors and MOSFETs and a CeraM!X Heatsink Coating on the more critical surfaces and components to enhance heat resistance and dissipation.
Six DDR3 memory slots are present, as well as six SATA 3.0 Gbps connectors, a pair of SATA 6.0 Gbps ports and three PCI Express x16 slots that are more than apt for multi-GPU SLI or CrossFireX setups. Finally, the Sabertooth features an 8+2 phase power design, Gigabit Ethernet, two eSATA ports, 7.1 channel audio and FireWire. The SaberTooth X58 also includes Gigabit Ethernet, two eSATA and two USB 3.0 ports, 7.1 channel audio and FireWire.
ASUS is going to sell these motherboards for 199 USD. We are already working on the full review, meanwhile here are a couple of photo's to chew on. Obviously, click on the thumbnails if interested.
Fractal Design Define XL chassis has focus on low noise
Fractal Design launches its Define XL, this chassis focuses on low noise level. This is a chassis with support for motherboards with form factors as large as E-ATX, and you can fit up to ten HDDs (the HDD cage in the main chamber can be removed/rotated), four 5.25" devices and seven PCI cards. Three additional fans can be added and the motherboard features cutouts for cable management as well as a door that enables you to access the back of the motherboard to swap your CPU cooler.
- Stylish design
- Pre-fitted with noise absorbing material
- Configurable thermal chamber design
- Great cooling possibilities, 3x fans included (2x 140mm, 1x 180mm)
- 10x HDD slots
- Unique ModuVent
AMD Radeon HD 6300 also caught on photo
Next to the photo of the Cayman XT one posts down ChipHell now also posted one of the first photos of Caicos, an entry-level Radeon based graphics card that will reportedly be released as the AMD Radeon HD 6300 series.
This engineering sample is a passively cooled low-profile card with a relatively small heatsink. We know that the card will have a 64-bit memory bus, 1GB DDR3 memory and will be clocked at 800MHz on that memory and gets 650MHz core clockspeed. Again, click on the thumbnail.
AMD Cayman XT Radeon 6870 caught on camera
Website ChipHell published a photo of what they claim to be is the Cayman XT graphcis card in the works, the upcoming Radeon HD 6870 (or will it be Radeon HD 6970) from ATI eeeuurhm, AMD.
The engineering card has a dual-slot cooler and is equipped with two DVI, one HDMI and two mini-DisplayPort outputs. other then that there's very little to say. Click the thumbnail for a bigger photo.
GeForce GTS 450 surfaces in stores
The GeForce GTS 450 is spotted in etail one week earlier than expected; therefore, Radeon HD 5770 has a new opponent to challenge with. As it turns out, the graphics card is already available in Europe, found at a German store, about