Vista Activation Exploit detection begins today
Last year around this time, I blogged about some changes for Windows Vista that were released with SP1. These changes included an update for Windows Vista users which helps detect the presence of activation exploits, then alerts the customer (if affected) and provides some guidance and a Web link to learn more about what can be done to fix it. I'm excited to announce that beginning this week, and over the next several weeks depending on where you are, we will be releasing an update to that particular technology to help Windows Vista Ultimate Edition based systems detect the presence of additional activation exploits, namely the activation exploit commonly referred to as the 'SoftMod hack'. We're releasing this update to Windows Vista Ultimate Edition only at this time and only to systems with English as their primary language. As I've said before, we continuously evaluate the risk each reported hack poses to our customers, our partners and the protection of Microsoft's intellectual property; then we plan our activities accordingly.
Below is a screenshot showing what a user would see on a system that has detected the SoftMod activation exploit.
GeForce GTS 250 Gets Closer to Launch
Hey .. do you guys remember the GeForce 8800 GTS 512 MB ? I bet loads of you actually still have one. Check out the photo below then, this is the new design for the upcoming GeForce GTS 250.
More info is detailed around the web on the GTS 250 release next week of course. But it's pretty safe to say that the card will use the 55 nm G92b graphics core and is as rumored specs wise similar to the GeForce 9800 GTX+
There are some interesting features though ... The GeForce GTS 250 will come in 512 MB and 1 GB configurations, partners will be free to use their own designs as well. Rumor has it that some partners even seem to be working on 2 GB models, which can be discussed of course. Since the card is based on 9800 GTX+ the card is equipped with 128 stream processors. The 9 inch long PCB and cooler visually bear a striking resemblance with the GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB for sure. Also a change, a single 6-pin PCI-E power input is enough to feed the card. The GTS 250 graphics cards are NVIDIA's 'new' card series to address the 125-175 USD market.
NVIDIA will lift the embargo on this card on March 3, the cards will reach retail and etail by March 10.
Radeon HD 4750 40nm RV740 tested |review
Exclusive: Radeon HD 4750 (RV740 - 40nm) preview
Guru3D.com today has a special and exclusive preview read for you guys. It's the worlds first article on a 40nm based graphics card, it embeds the RV740 ASIC and is due to be released in April. For the sake of it we'll name this product the Radeon HD 4750, it comes with a 40nm core, 640 shader processors and pack GDDR5 memory.
So here's the deal, performance wise the product is awfully close to the Radeon HD 4850, yet the trick is .. it'll be so much cheaper. Have a look at this article, you'll find only one review on this globe.
Click on the link to read this Guru3D article.
Daily Deals 25-02-09
For today's daily deals on hardware I like to put a focus on the thing that is so essential in your PC .. memory.
The norm these days is for low-end modern machines, 1 GB memory, mid-range 2GB memory and high end we are moving into a 4 GB memory size. Compared to a couple of years ago, this was unheard off. The good thing is however that memory prices plummeted downward so hard that you can purchase 4 G memory for less money than 1 GB two years ago. Let's have a look at some good deals.
- Kingston 1GB PC2-6400 DDR2 DIMM Memory for $14.00
- Corsair (2x 1GB) XMS2 DHX 2GB PC2-6400 DDR2 DIMM Dual Channel Memory Kit $25.99
- Crucial 4GB (2x2GB) PC2-6400 DDR2 DIMM what a deal .. 4GB 800 MHz at $51.99 !
- Crucial 2GB PC3-8500 DDR3 DIMM Memory at $32.99
- Crucial 4GB PC-3 8500 DDR3 SDRAM Memory Module - 4GB (2 x 2GB) at $69.99
Memory has never been this cheap you guys, roughly 15 bucks per gigabyte.
Microsoft SideWinder X8 BlueTrack mouse released this week
One of the more discussed mice on the web, the Microsoft
SanDisk announced faster memory card readers - The ImageMate
Flash memory specialist SanDisk announced two new ImageMate memory card readers, the ImageMate All-in-one and the ImageMate Multi-card. Both readers feature faster transfer rates, packed into a smaller and attractive body compared to the older SanDisk readers.
The ImageMate All-in-one reader provides quick card-to-card copying functionality and supports SD, SDHC, miniSDHC, MMC, MS, MSPD, xD and CF. As for Multi-Card reader, it supports only xD, MS, SD, SDHC and MMC.
ImageMate All-in-one retailed for $29.99 and ImageMate Multi-Card will cost you $19.99. Both are available now from SanDisk.com
Alphacool HF 14 Yellowstone and HF 14 Livingstone waterblocks
Yesterday the GErman based Alphacool launched two new waterblocks for the Intel LGA775/1366/1160 processors; the Alphacool HF 14 Livingstone and Alphacool HF 14 Yellowstone.
There some pictures on Alphacool's website, but most of the specifications are still only available in the German language. International orders are taken though and you can select the English language at the website.
Kingston demos ValueRAM 24G DDR3 Tech Demo
Activision has released a new and trailer for their upcoming temporal themed shooter Singularity (PC/PS3/Xbox 360).
Meanwhile the game's official website has now launched offering a Fall 2009 release window. This site is different from the viral web site MIR-12.com which continues to reveal some of the game's back story.
Palit puts 2GB memory on GTX 285
Palit Microsystems announces the first own design GeForce GTX285 1GB and 2GB. Armed with NVIDIA PhysX and NVIDIA CUDA
Logitech G19 LCD Gaming Keyboard up for pre-order: $200
Two hundred freaking USD dollars ? Thanks, but no thanks.
The Logitech G19 LCD Gaming Keyboard has gone up for pre-order on Amazon, promising macros, switchable key backlighting and a 320 x 240 mini-display. A panel of twelve programmable macro keys - each storing three macros - runs down the left-hand side, and there
Aleratec 1:1 HDD Cruiser duplicates drives at 70MB/s
The bays feature internal non-scratch SATA connectors that are designed to exceed 50,000 swap cycles. A metallic lining surrounds each drive to promote thermal conductivity.
The Aleratec 1:1 HDD Cruiser is now available for $315. The standard version is equipped for 3.5-inch drives, while an optional pair of 2.5-inch adapters is priced at $37. Customers that purchase the device before the end of March can receive the adapters for free with a mail-in rebate.
Intel: 45nm transistors use 1/7000th the power of 4004 transistors
This is a funny fact, and sure .. quite an accomplishment when you think about it. Intel unveiled on its website that each of the 45nm transistors in the upcoming 8-core Xeon processors uses 1/7,000th the power and takes up 1/40,000th the area of the original 4004 transistors that Intel was manufacturing in 1971:
''Each of the 45nm transistors in the upcoming 8-core Intel
Will Windows 7 truly be good for PC games?
Gamesindustry.biz has interviewed Microsofts VP Chris Lewis who says their upcoming OS refresh Windows 7 will actually be a boon for PC games:
Q: PC gaming is still pretty popular for certain genres, so how do you feel that the Games For Windows campaign has progressed - is there more development planned there?
Chris Lewis: We're happy there, and we're very mindful that there's a strong and vibrant PC gaming community out there. Not all console games lend themselves to the PC - when it is appropriate we bring games to both platforms, when it's not we don't, and that will continue to be the case.
Ultimately we're a Windows and PC company at heart, and that's not going to change, and the development on both platforms will remain central and important. The business ebbs and flows, and there will be times when we do more on one platform than the other, but they do co-exist very nicely, and as a company we're in a pretty unique position that we have a strong legacy on PC.
We now have a similarly robust position on console, but we're excited about all screen sizes, whether they be phones, consoles via the television, or PC. We're uniquely placed to offer a very rich experience on all of those screen types to consumers, and we'll continue to invest across all platforms.
We remain focused on it, you'll see more from us there in the future, and long may that continue.
Q: Are you aware of any changes in the next Windows platform that are specifically aimed at the gaming community?
Chris Lewis: Windows 7 will be great for games, undoubtedly. It's all good news - it's even more robust, it's quicker relatively, and the early testing cycles are proving very promising overall. I think it'll be nothing but good news for PC gamers, but we'll have more to say on that later on this year.
Phenom II X3 - Enable and unlock the 4th core
It is not exactly a secret that Phenom Triple core processors in fact are a quad-core processor with one core disabled. Now before we begin out little tail and you storm off to the stores, realize this .. one core being disabled is always for a reason. It might be a problematic core, slightly instable or just downright damaged. But if you are in luck, the 4th core works properly. And now let me continue my little tail ..
A Korean user has discovered that it is rather easy to unlock the disabled core on Phenom II X3 processors, provided the motherboard supports the Advanced Clock Calibration (ACC) feature (790GX motherboards) and this trick seems to work with Triple core Phenom II X3 720 and Phenom II X3 710, codename Heka.
Only with the 904xxxx-stepping; this tweak seems to work, not with 0849xxxx. On an ASUS motherboard this little trick did not work, but it's confirmed to work on 790 motherboards from Biostar and Asrock.
In this example a Phenom II X3 710 was paired with a Biostar TA790GX 128M motherboard. The CPU was overclocked to 3.12 GHz, with a vCore setting of 1.37 V.
Here's what you could try out:
Set the appropriate BIOS setting for the Advanced Clock Calibration feature to "Auto", save settings and restart. The system will be able to deal with the disabled core, and off load some work to it. The processor with the "additional" core was tested to be Prime95 stable and was able to boost 3DMark06 CPU score by as much as 1,000 points. More screenshots here.
For those interested, the Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz sells here for $149.99
Quake Live Public Beta
Within a few hours, the public beta version of Quake Live (formerly known as Quake Zero) is going to be made available today. Completely financed by in-game advertising, Quake Live is a free first-person shooter game, based on the popular Quake III Arena from id Software - playable through your browser. It is targeting mainly multiplayers, while the underlying game engine is id Tech 3. Expect the download to be about roughly 200 MB in size.
Microsoft Reveals Work On New Browser Called Gazelle
A few days ago, Microsoft Research revealed a PDF outlining a new browser called Gazelle, which is supposed to make surfing the Internet a lot safer. The research paper introduces a new approach towards browser security by implementing a different kind of kernel. Using this new kernel, the browser is constructed to work just like an OS - differentiating it greatly from other currently available products. Besides researchers from Microsoft, the universities of Illinois, and Washington are both participating in the current project as well. The core idea behind Gazelle is that every opened web site resembles a new instance, running completely independent of all other instances. A prototype was already built for Windows Vista and seems to be working with most web sites, although, there are currently no plans for releasing this browser.
Palit GeForce GTX 260 SP216 Sonic review
We test the Palit GeForce GTX 260 Sonic SP216 edition, a card that probably can't get much better. Why ? Get this, custom board design, 896MB GDDR3 memory, 216 Shader processor version, custom dual-fan cooler, custom higher clock frequencies and due to that cooler, immense overclocking capabilities. Yeah, that is a lot to mention in one small little paragraph.
Yea, we just caught your attention didn't we? You can click on the link to read this 21 page Guru3D review, right here.