Content update / prize winners ATI contest
Hey guys, just a quick update.
First off, be sure to check back tomorrow (Tuesday) when we'll launch a review on a new AMD processor and we'll also have a full review on ATI's newest graphics card. So be sure to check in tomorrow okay.
Secondly, I have been asked (a lot!) when we'll announce the ATI contest winners. We'll do this on Wednesday. Right now I'm dealing with the logistics, the names and addresses of the winners have been submitted to AMD today.
There were roughly two thousand correct answers submitted making this contest quite a success.
From the 2000 correct answers six prize winners have been picked random. And from what I have seen, roughly half of the winners are forum regulars. It will be fun to see their reaction.
So then, tomorrow some great new content, and Wednesday the prize winners announcement. And that's all next to our regular news articles and updated of course ...
Etymotic and ACS pair up for hf2 headphones
Headphone buffs hear me out (what a great pun)! Etymotic is teaming up with Advanced Communications Solutions (ACS) to create some new high-tech earbuds that offer a custom-fit for each individual wearer called the hf2 headphones.
The earbuds are custom-molded from silicon. ACS uses a fast-setting compound to take an impression of the inside of your ear. Then, this mold is used to create earbuds sculpted specifically for your ears
Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood Trailer
Download: Intel Chipset Software Installation 126.96.36.1994 WHQL
I updated the download mirrow with a new updtae of the Intel Chipset Software Installation utility. This revision has build 188.8.131.524 and is WHQL certified.
The software updates INF files inform the operating system how to properly configure the chipset for specific functionality, such as AGP, USB, Core PCI, and ISAPNP services.
Download: click here.
Cooler Master Hyper N520 CPU cooler review
Though the new Hyper N520 CPU Cooler is in all respects in the basis a heatpipe cooler like many others, it is unique. You'll spot a lot of aluminum convection fins mounted to no less than 5 6mm copper heatpipes. To top that off Cooler Master engineered the product with not one but two 92mm cooling fans in mind.
This way they could keep the CPU cooler design a little smaller, yet create a lot of airflow. The end result is pretty interesting looking and performing end product, though not the most silent model it cools quite well and is tagged with a very decent price.
You can read the article right here.
Download: nHancer 2.5.1 released
There's a new final out of nHancer, which apparently addresses some important Forceware 185.xx issues.
But it's such a powerful and handy tool, even for the average guy. So another aspect of nHancer is to improve the handling of those profiles by adding many features that the normal control panel doesn't offer at all and improving the ones that it does offer.
New features in version 2.5.1
- Compatible with GeForce 182 and 185 drivers
- Fully compatible with Windows 7
- Added Ambient Occlusion settings (needs 185 drivers)
- Added new SLI Anti-Aliasing modes
- Reworked card detection to use the official API provided by nVidia (NVAPI)
- Completely new "Show GPU info" output
- "Compatibility" settings tab splitted into separate Direct3D and OpenGL sections
- Other user interface tweaks
- Switched to .NET 3.5
- Removed support for older drivers (pre 182) and older cards (pre GeForce 8000)
Download: click here.
Photorealistic Crysis With Real Lifesis Mod
About one and a half years ago, Crytek shocked the PC gaming world with its first-person shooter Crysis - not only with its beautiful and impressive graphics, but also with hardware requirements which were both out of this world. Today, it is still a very popular game, partially because of its expansion Crysis Warhead, and more than likely since hardware is finally catching up to the insane amounts of polygons this game is able to draw on your screen, too. Besides that or maybe because of that, there exists a very active modding community for it, creating configuration files to squeeze additional fps out of it, building custom maps, or other mods to change the look and feel of the game.
Today, I am presenting you one of these mods, called: Real Lifesis, developed by Hawkeye|Puppy over at Crytek's official modding portal, Crymod. What's so special about this, you ask? Well, this is not your standard configuration file that tweaks a few settings (although there comes one included with this mod, too), but it is a so-called "ToD modification". ToD stands for "Time of Day" and by using a custom one, Real Lifesis basically alters the whole atmospheric lighting to make Crysis look much more realistic. Therefore, Hawkeye|Puppy had set himself this main goal: "I have set the task of creating a Full-Day Time of Day file, that brings Crysis as close to photorealism that you can get..." Have a look and decide for yourself, whether he was able to succeed or not:
In order to get Crysis to look as nice as that on your PC as well, just follow these step-by-step instructions:
1) Install Crysis (the location/directory does not matter).
2) Download the installer for Real Lifesis, here.
3) Start the installer by double-clicking it.
4) Click on "Accept" and then "browse", in order to select the folder in which you installed Crysis. ("D:\Crysis" for example)
5) After the installer is finished and exits, browse to your game folder.
6) Open your Crysis folder and browse to the subfolder "\Game\Levels".
7) You should see the following list of files in there: RealLifesis_Blink1.exe, RealLifesis_Blink2.exe, RealLifesis_FG1.exe, RealLifesis_FG2.exe, RealLifesis_ToD1.exe, RealLifesis_ToD2.exe
8) Choose one of these files to install the ToD modification Real Lifesis. Under Vista install it by selecting "Run as Administrator" (right-click). (I, personally, recommend RealLifesis_ToD2.exe.)
9) Done. Start Crysis and enjoy it.
Download: click here.
Having played with these different versions of Real Lifesis for a while already myself, I can recommend you one particular console command that might make your life a lot easier, in case you don't like the heavy blur effect this modification uses: "r_depthoffield". The default value, when you install Real Lifesis, is set to 2. Try "r_depthoffield 1" or "r_depthoffield 0" in the in-game console, accessible by using the "~" key, to reduce the blur effect or to turn it off completely. Of course, you can just add this command to the autoexec.cfg, which this game creates in the Crysis folder, and don't worry about it anymore, the next time you start the game.
(This modification was created by Hawkeye|Puppy, the config and Cvar files by Helder Pinto [HP], and last but certainly not least, the installer by zeropoo. It was only designed for Crysis and does not work properly with Crysis Warhead.)
Athlon X2 7750 - Enable and unlock four cores
A while ago we already reported that on some AMD Phenom II 720BE processors the 4th core could be enabled. It seems that the very popular Dual Core AMD Athlon X2 7750BE has four cores as well as it is Phenom based, though with two of them disabled.
Yet all can be enabled :)
This new' phenomenon' works exactly the same as back then with the Phenom II 720BE processors. In some older BIOSes you can enable Advanced Clock Calibration on your AMD 790 motherboard and after a reboot ... you might end up lucky with four active CPU cores.
Yeah it's really that simple, your processors will come back as AMD Phenom FX-7750 Quad-Core. Mind you that the two active cores 'might' be damaged and that it only works with some AMD 790 motherboards from ASROCK and BIOSTAR.
It's a bit of a luck of the draw really, can't hurt to try though. If it doesn't work, clear CMOS and yu are back to normal.
The biggest challenge however will be finding a 7750 BE to purchase. Currently I can't find it anywhere in the price lists.
Intel download update
I updated the download section with Intel's most common tools as there have been some updates lately and our binaries got outdated, here you go:
Leaked Windows 7 RC Reveals Windows XP Mode
Yesterday afternoon, what seems to be the final and genuine release candidate of Windows 7 was leaked to various P2P networks. This RC version carries the build string 7100.0.090421-1700 and weighs in at 2.36 GB for the 32-bit version and at 3.05 GB for the 64-bit version. The official release of the RC is still going to be the 5th of May, however.
Besides that, the Window 7 RC features a bunch of interesting new "details". One of the most exciting is a Windows XP Mode (XPM) which is a Virtual PC-based virtual environment that runs on a fully licensed copy of Windows XP with Service Pack 3. Buyers of a Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate edition are going to be able to download it as a free update from Microsoft. A noteworthy aspect of XPM is that it "does not require you to run the virtual environment as a separate Windows desktop. Instead, as you install applications inside the virtual XP environment, they are published to the host (Windows 7) OS as well. (With shortcuts placed in the Start Menu.) That way, users can run Windows XP-based applications (like IE 6) alongside Windows 7 applications under a single desktop."
This provides Microsoft with the unique opportunity to market Windows 7 as nearly 100% compatible with both Windows Vista and Windows XP.
Daily Deals April 25 2009
Okay guys, time for the weekend update in of daily deals. I like to address some of the newer graphics cards in this bulletin, but can not leave out two processors that are might interesting to purchase. After Phenom II 955BE was introduced, check out what happened here:
- AMD Phenom II X4 940 Quad core processor
Guys this is massive bang for buck ! You can pick up this Phenom II 3.0 GHz Quad-core processor for $189.99 which is oozing performance for that kind of money. Pick up a 125 USD AMD 790FXC based motherboard and you just upgraded to high-end performance and a whole bunch of overclockability. Fantastic price and this is the Black (unlocked) edition.
- AMD Phenom II X3 720 Triple Core Processor
I seriously love this processor. It can be overclocked really high as it is the BE edition as well. Read out reviews on this and previous mentioned processors please. The 720 is selling at $134.99
- eVGA GeForce GTX260 896 MB Video Card
Nothing needs to be said about the GTX 260 really. This is the regular edition priced at $179.99
- eVGA GeForce GTX 275 Video Card
Probably the best deal today ! We spotted this great card for only $229.99
- ASUS Radeon HD 4870 512MB
Well, this might be an even better deal ! This is the 512MB GDDR5 version, at a breathtaking price of $134.99
Chaps have a fantastic weekend !
Massive Windows 7 vunerability not fixable
Researchers claim the Windows 7 operating system's boot up sequence is flawed and completely unfixable.
This week the world's leading cybersecurity professionals gathered in Dubai at the Hack In The Box Security Conference to discuss the state of the industry, identify new threats, share pro-tips, and play Dungeons and Dragons. Ok, probably not that last part, but you get the point; high-nerdery was clearly afoot at the Sheraton Dubai Creek.
One of the more prominent topics of discussion was Microsoft's latest operating system, Windows 7. While a number of exploits and potential vulnerabilities of the system were discussed at the conference, one identified loophole in the system has security professionals troubled
Cooler Master preps Limited RC-690 Pure Black Chassis
French website CowcotLand reports Cooler Master has a limited edition CM690 Pure Black case. As the name suggests, this is an all black case with a nice black interior.
After Cooler Master Cosmos Black Limited was releaes, they apparantly likes the media attention so much that they decided to do it with the RC-690 as well. The case will be 100% the same except for the fact that it will be all painted in blackA batch of 300 units of the CM690 Pure Black will become available in September for around 80-90 EUR.
Patriot DDR3-2000 Viper Triple Channel Kit
Patriot memory has just launched a DDR3 2000 MHz memory kit. You can find it under SKU codenumber PVT36G2000LK. The kit consists of three 2GB modules, obviously for triple channel memory support.
A key feature of the memory are the blue heatspreaders and admittedly, they do look good, and hopefully work like that as well.
At 2000 MHz the DIMMs will need a voltage of 1.65 Volts, but does manage to squeeze CL8-8-8-24 latencies out of there. Patriot gives a lifetime warranty for its products including this one. There's no price information is available just yet.
BTW keep your eyes open for our review (soon) on OCZ Blade memory at 2000 MHz CAS7.
PowerColor intros fast Radeon HD 4890
TUL aka PowerColor released their PCS+ HD 4890 graphics card, this model has a 950MHz core and 1GB GDDR5 memory clocked at 4400MHz. This graphics card uses a cooling solution from Zerotherm. You can also get it in a bundle with Battle Forge, a DirectX 10.1 game.
NVIDIA CUDA speeds up Nero Move
NERO has released an update to its Nero Move it software that reduces video encoding time by up to five times by utilizing NVIDIA
AMD overclocks new Phenom II X4 to 7 GHz
Yesterday we reviewed this processesor, but AMD said it had run as fast as 7 GHz in extreme overclocking tests. Out of the box, the new X4 955 Black Edition, which is aimed at gamers and hobbyists, runs at 3.2 GHz, giving it similar performance to Intel's fastest desktop chips at lower cost, AMD says.
However, AMD was able to more than double the CPU's speed during its tests, said Brent Barry, an AMD product manager.
So we got it to 3.8 GHz on air cooling, AMD used liquid Nitrogen though ;)
NVIDIA GT300 GPU to get 512 shader processors
We are always a little reluctant to post gossip like this, yet there seems to be some sort of foundation for this rumor. It appears that more information on GT300, the new GeForce/Quadro/Tesla flagship graphics card chip is on the loose. First of all, the GPU will have 512 Shader processors, and that's a big step up from the current 240 Shader processors.
Next to that, NVIDIA supposedly is moving from SIMD to MIMD architecture. Long story short: SIMD always has the advantage in raw peak operations per second. After all, it mainly consists of as many adders, floating-point units, shaders.
SIMD (Single Instruction, Multiple Data) refers to a parallel computer that runs the exact same program, that