AMD releases Catalyst hotfix for Far Cry 2
AMD has released a Catalyst driver hotfix in preparation for the incoming first-person shooter. The hotfix applies to graphics cards from the Radeon X1600 series to the Radeon HD 4800 series (check out the hotfix download page for a full list), and according to AMD, its sole purpose is to improve performance.
The hotfix improves Far Cry 2 performance for all card setups in DirectX 10 mode, AMD says, but only users with CrossFire multi-GPU configs will see frame rates rise in DirectX 9 mode.You can grab the hotfix for both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows XP and Windows Vista.
AMD launches faster X3 8850 and a X2 5050e processor
Today, AMD is announcing the following processors to address both performance and energy efficiency needs of multi-core users.
New rumor - NVIDIA to continue with only 6 partners ?
Well, we seem to have a bit of a developing story today. The website Fudzilla decided to drop a bomb with the following news-post today:
Very well informed sources said that Nvidia will cut all but six partners. The ones to stay are EVGA, PC partner (Zotac), Asus, MSI, Palit and XFX.
We don't know anything more than the list and it looks that Nvidia will announce this very shortly.
Everyone else who is not on this list will be cut off and this will make much better breathing space for the remaining six partners. At press time we don't have any more details than that.
First off, Fudzilla will post anything news-worthy, confirmed or not ... doesn't matter. But the rumor of NVIDIA dropping AIBs as of next year consistently surfaces over and over again.
Now I've been hunting down some board partners today trying to see if there is any validity in the rumor that started. If you read the fud-post carefully, the biggest partner effected would be BFG, that would just not make any sense as it is one if not the most respected NVIDIA partner in the USA and here in Europe.
I have had a call with BFG's UK office earlier today and they are as much confused about this rumor as anyone else. They are trying to find some answers right now and I hope to hear back from them later today.
I also had a brief chat with Point of View graphics, which is a Dutch AIB and again .. confusion as they don't know anything either. The rumour now slowly seems to outline itself within the confines of Northern USA, which again effects BFG. But PC partners (ZOTAC) is still on the list ? Come on. That just doesn't make any sense at all.
Fact is, NVIDIA needs to make some sort of statement today as these rumors have been surfacing for a while now. One way or the other, these rumours are horrible for their business as it directly effects the involved partners.
We'll update this news-bulletin once we hear more and official statements arrive.
Update: We had some dialog with BFG USA moments ago and they are denying this rumor. According to John Malley Sr. Director, Marketing for BFG Technologies Fudzilla's report is not correct.
"For some reason they left us off but I can tell you we are still on and strong in Europe. With the economy the way it is I have no doubt that some board partners will go away and/or be consolidated. There are a lot of rumors out there, so I do appreciate the chance to respond."
After this response I fired off one more email asking whether or not this could effect BFG Northern USA and not say the EU. As that would be an applicable situation as well. BFG's response was simple:
"BFG is staying a key NVIDIA partner in North America and Europe."
So how accurate is Fudzilla's report ? No-body knows as the info apparently is not that accurate. We are waiting on a formal reaction from NVIDIA.
Update: It seems NVIDIA is not releasing a statement whatsoever at this time. We'll keep you posted if we hear more.
Update: We have an official response back from NVIDIA, read it here.
Force3D Radeon HD 4870 512MB DHT review [Guru3D]
Force3D are up and coming, and working hard on product differentiation. Along that line they introduce a Radeon HD 4870 512MB model with DHT cooler. To be more specific, the cooling method is called 'Freezer DHT' and should allow for clock speeds up to 800 MHz according to Force3D. Now that's a very bold claim to make for any manufacturer, so rest assured we'll try that and see if the claim is valid.
DHT stands for Direct Touch Heatpipe and should cool a nice 33% better than the reference coolers from ATI. The DHT (Direct Touch Heatpipe) adapts new technology in which the heatpipe has contact with the GPU directly. The heatpipe absorbs heat from the GPU, cooling performance should really be excellent. Well, we'll see .. I surely love to find out.
Read the review right here.
EA: 99.8 percent of gamers don't care about DRM
EA had a PR nightmare on its hands with Spore but EA claims DRM isn't that big of a deal. EA CEO John Riccitiello said at a conference that the whole issue was blown out of all proportion and that 99.8 percent of all users don't care about DRM:
Best Selling PC Games for September 2008
Here a list of the top 20 best selling PC games in the US for the month of September 2008.
1.Spore / EA Maxis / $50
2.Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning / EA Mythic / $49
3.The Sims 2 Apartment Life Expansion Pack / EA Maxis / $30
4.Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning Collector's Edition / EA Mythic / $80
5.Spore Galactic Edition / EA Maxis / $79
6.World Of Warcraft: Battle Chest / Blizzard / $37
7.Crysis Warhead / Crytek (Publisher: EA) / $29
8.The Sims 2 Double Deluxe / EA Maxis / $30
9.World Of Warcraft / Blizzard / $20
10.Spore Creature Creator / EA Maxis / $10
11.World Of Warcraft: Burning Crusade / Blizzard / $28
12.Civilization IV: Colonization / Firaxis / $29
13.Warcraft III Battle Chest / Blizzard / $39
14.Civilization IV / Firaxis / $27
15.The Sims 2 IKEA Home Stuff Expansion / EA Maxis / $20
16.Diablo Battle Chest / Blizzard / $39
17.StarCraft Battle Chest / Blizzard / $20
18.Hot Wheels: Beat That / Activision / $15
19.Crysis / Crytek (Publisher: EA) / $38
20.S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky / GSC Game World / $39
Trailer: Alpha Protocol
Trailer: Red Faction: Guerrilla 'Multiplayer Beta'
Set 50 Years after the original Red Faction, this third person shooter puts the player as an insurgent battling for liberation from the Earth Defense Force. Footage taken from the Red Faction: Guerrilla multiplayer beta, showcasing the unique levels, weapons and action.
Intel X-25E Extreme SATA Solid-State Drive
Intel has begun shipping its highest- performing solid-state drive (SSD), the Intel X-25E Extreme SATA Solid-State Drive, aimed at server, workstation and storage systems. The Intel X25-E increases server, workstation and storage system performance by 100 times over hard disk drives as measured in Input/Output Per Second (IOPS), today's key storage performance metric. Key technical performance specifications of the 32 GB Intel X-25E SATA SSD include 35,000 IOPS (4KB Random Read), 3,300 IOPS (4KB Random Write) and 75 microsecond read latency. This performance, combined with low active power of 2.4 watts, delivers up to 14,000 IOPS per watt for optimal performance/power output.
The product also achieves up to 250 megabytes per second (MB/s) sequential read speeds and up to 170 MB/s sequential write speeds, all in a compact 2.5-inch form factor. The Intel 32GB capacity drive is in production and priced at $695 for quantities up to 1,000. The 64GB version is expected to sample in the fourth quarter with production estimated for the first quarter of 2009.
Microsoft sends Vista SP2 invites
It looks like the rumor is solid, an SP2 release of Microsoft Vista is in the works. It is reported that Microsoft has started sending Vista SP2 and Windows Server 2008 SP2 invites to select testers today.
Microsoft will include Windows Search 4 in Vista SP2 along with Bluetooth wireless support (including latest BT 2.1 fixes), support for the new VIA 64-bit CPU and additional application compatibility updates. For Windows Server 2008 SP2, Microsoft will include Backwards compatibility with Terminal Services licensing keys, improved manageability features with DFS/FRS console, and Storage Resource Manager, print server and spooler performance improvements for printers in Windows Vista and Server 2008 and improved error reporting in DFSR to help identify incorrectly configured deployments which lead to failed replication [via Neowin]
HIS Radeon HD 4650 iSilence 4 surfaces
I guess I missed this one, but better late then never. HIS unveiled a new Radeon HD 4650 graphics card, the model is branded HD 4650 iSilence 4 and features a passive cooling solution from Zalman:
The radeon HD 4650 iSilence 4 comes equipped with a ZALMAN VNF100 passive cooler which features what is called a VFP, short for Variable Fin Profile, fin design. It has three high-performance heatpipes. The board comes with a PCI-Express 2.0 x16 interface, CrossFireX support, dual-DVI connectivity, a cool blue PCB and a 128-bit memory interface.
The card retails in Europe for as much as 77EUR. With a cooler like that it might be an excellent HTPC option.
NVIDIA preparing MCP82 motherboard chipset
MCP82 is a Performance segment chipset, supporting the upcoming AMD AM3 CPU. (also AM2+ and AM2 is supported). It is a IGP chipset with graphic core built inside, supporting Hybrid SLI and CUDA applications. Currently we only have limited information about the chipset, the only spec we gathered is in the chart.
The chipset is foot-print compatible with MCP72, so we can expect mobo coming out with similar design. Sample chipsets have been already sent to NV partners, and final revision of the chip will enter mass production stage in January 2009.
Australia to get mandatory internet filter
I didn't know what was going on in the land down under regarding the topic at all but seriously .. what is their government thinking ? Really ? They should be frickin ashamed of themselves. Computerworld is reporting that Australians will be unable to opt-out of the government's pending Internet content filtering scheme, and will instead be placed on a watered-down blacklist, experts say.
Now this is how it works, a government implements this program under the idea "hey we filter out the bad like child-porn etc". Which obviously is a good thing. The next step however is simple, with such a filter the fundaments of something very big has been made. The next step will be to block your downloads, the things you want to see, yet your government doesn't ... this is a CENSOR. Is the Australian government lowering itself to the level of Cuba, North Korea and China ?? I might be a liberal Dutch guy but let me tell you, I'm seriously disappointed to see something like this being shuffed up the Aussie tooshes.
Something you guys need to remember for the next election.
Under the government's $125.8 million Plan for Cyber-Safety, users can switch between two blacklists which block content inappropriate for children, and a separate list which blocks illegal material. Pundits say consumers have been lulled into believing the opt-out proviso would remove content filtering altogether. The government will iron-out policy and implementation of the Internet content filtering software following an upcoming trial of the technology, according to the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.
A spokesman for Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said the filters will be mandatory for all Australians.
OCZ Technology DDR3 Triple Channel Memory Kits
And if you are asking 'Hilbert Dude .. is this one of your brain farts again, triple channel did he really write that right ?' Then yep it's correct .. Core i7 processors folks. We are on the verge of moving from dual to triple channel memory. In fact we already have this kit and memory performance truly is bangin' nice.
OCZ Technology Group, Inc., a worldwide leader in innovative, ultra-high performance and high reliability memory, today unveiled the industry
ATI Radeon 4850X2 Incoming
The October 2008 edition of the PC of the month [Guru3D]
Each month here at Guru3D.com we feature one of you guys, your PC, your DIY project. It is quite honestly amazing how much detail and dedication you put into an PC, and often it really shows. Today Logan's PC. As you can tell he's proud of what he made, as he actually had his PC and himself photographed at a photo studio. The end results is a combination of a really rare and nice DIY PC in combo with perfect photography. Logan should be very proud of what he achieved and here at Guru3D we certainly like to respect that build by granting him .. Guru3D's PC of the Month October 2008.
Microsoft Xbox 360 "red ring" lawsuit
Microsoft is facing a class action lawsuit for the Xbox 360's chronic breakdown problems, a summary notes. Although the company has already extended warranties to account for the "red ring of death" -- a failure where regular overheating loosens chip connections and usually ruins the system -- a Sacramento County complaint accuses Microsoft of not only manufacturing a known defective product but of deliberately hiding the failure rate, encouraging customers to buy without warning them that their system will likely fail.
The document points to reports that claim Microsoft knew about the inherent flaw as long ago as the November 2005 launch, when the failure rate was potentially more than 50 percent. Studies from the turn of the year would still have the failures as high as 16.5 percent despite refinements to the production method and additional cooling. The failures have been predicted by some to stem from cost-cutting measures that include a reduced number of third-party components and relatively lenient testing.
The suit calls for a refund program that lets dissatisfied owners obtain a refund and would also demand that Microsoft give up profits from the Xbox 360 as punishment.
Microsoft hasn't commented on the lawsuit, which comes just as the company is believed to be quietly shipping revisions of the console with cooler graphics processors that will partially alleviate overheating issues. The issue isn't expected to completely disappear until the launch of a late 2009 update, nicknamed Valhalla, that would generate an all-in-one chip cool enough to prevent any overheating and also shrink the power brick [via macnn].
NVIDIA Quadro CX boosts Adobe CS4
Following closely on the heels of Adobe's Creative Suite 4 release, NVIDIA on Thursday unveiled the Quadro CX, offering users an optimized GPU for the new software suite's explicit use of the graphics hardware. The Quadro CX is designed to help produce visual effects within Adobe Photoshop CS4, After Effects CS4, Premiere Pro CS4, and several other of the suite's applications. NVIDIA claims the card offers users a "dramatically fast and fluid experience."
Photoshop CS4 is able to offload real-time image rotation, zooming, and panning, as well as instantaneous view changes, 2D and 3D content compositing, and anti-aliasing at any zoom level. The Quadro CX also assists with brush resizing, brushstroke previewing, 3D movement, HDR tone mapping, and color conversions.
After Effects CS4 will see an enhanced workflow, with many effects being accelerated by the custom GPU. The Quadro CX receives all depth of field, bilateral blur effects, turbulent noise, and cartoon effects.
Users of Premiere Pro will note acceleration in many effects, such as motion, opacity, color, and image distortion, in addition to faster editing of multiple HD streams, graphic overlays, and output options.
NVIDIA has not yet announced whether the card is available for Mac Pro computers, but Apple's improved relationship with the company, as well as the presence of the Quadro FX 5600 card are both good signs.