Spore, Mass Effect PC to Require Online Validation
Mass Effect uses SecuROM and requires an online activation for the first time that you play it. Each copy of Mass Effect comes with a CD Key which is used for this activation and for registration here at the BioWare Community. Mass Effect does not require the DVD to be in the drive in order to play, it is only for installation. After the first activation, SecuROM requires that it re-check with the server within ten days (in case the CD Key has become public/warez'd and gets banned). Just so that the 10 day thing doesn't become abrupt, SecuROM tries its first re-check with 5 days remaining in the 10 day window. If it can't contact the server before the 10 days are up, nothing bad happens and the game still runs. After 10 days a re-check is required before the game can run.Well, along with a lot of other people, I guess I won't be buying Mass Effect and Spore then.
Far Cry 2 Intro Trailer [Video]
A new Far Cry 2 Intro Trailer just surfaced on the web. It offers three minutes of interview and gameplay footage from the Ubisoft Montreal developed action game sequel. Far Cry 2 will be released later this year for PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
GeForce ForceWare 175.16 drivers download
Another new GeForce ForceWare driver download release today as NVIDIA issued GeForce ForceWare 175.16 drivers. Among the support is the new GeForce 9600 GSO.
Supports GeForce 6, 7, 8, and 9 series GPUs including these newly released GPUs:
- GeForce 9800 GX2
- GeForce 9800 GTX
- GeForce 9600 GT
- GeForce 9600 GSO
- GeForce 8300
- GeForce 8200/ nForce 730a
- GeForce 8100/nForce 720a
Supports single GPU and NVIDIA SLI
Take-Two sues Chicago transit over GTA IV-posters
New York City politicians were decidedly unhappy when they first found out Grand Theft Auto IV's Liberty City setting was a thinly veiled take on the Big Apple, but with a week to go before the game's release, the biggest gripe about the game is rising out of Chicago. The local Fox affiliate is reporting that the Chicago Transit Authority plans to pull an advertising campaign for the latest criminal action game from Rockstar Games and Take-Two Interactive.
The Fox report--available as a video clip on the station's Web site--begins by noting this past weekend was "an especially violent" one for Chicago, which left dozens of people shot and six dead.
"And what did we spot on CTA buses and platforms," anchor Andy Roesgen asked. "Advertisements for the unapologetically violent video game Grand Theft Auto."
Roesgen then recaps a 2004 stir over CTA ads for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on the PlayStation 2. In that incident, Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich (whose game restriction legislation was declared unconstitutional, much to the expense of the state's taxpayers) criticized the CTA for accepting the $90,000 ad campaign, but the ads were set to come down anyway by the time the issue drew attention.
The Fox report cited a CTA representative as saying that transit authority president Ron Huberman had decided to pull the advertising campaign. Neither Take-Two Interactive nor the CTA had returned GameSpot's requests for comment as of press time.
ECS GF8200A black edition mainboard review [Guru3D]
It never ceases to amaze me how much fun the more budget oriented products can be. NVIDIA recently released their GF8200 based mainboards. So why not grab a Phenom processor, some memory and the ECS GF8200A mainboard and see where we end up? And I'll tell you in advance ... for this kind of money, this little mainboard again is amazing for the price.
See, this mainboard comes with Hybrid graphics, (integrated GeForce 8200), VGA output, HDMI output, HD audio integrated, Gigabit Ethernet, PCI-Express 2.0, Serial ATA (RAID 0,1,10) DDR2 memory up-to 1066 MHz and all that for a price hovering at roughly 70 bucks! That's just electrifying. Say you want to build a HTPC capable of decoding 1080P Blu-Ray. Well, purchase this mainboard, slap some memory on it and get a budget processor. Because the integrated graphics core will handle the HDMI and even media VC-1/h.264 decoding for you (Blu-ray / HD-DVD). This is just a very cheap alternative. It will also handle six 3Gb/s SATA drives, 12 USB ports and Gigabit Ethernet.
Let's check it out:
Noctua NH-C12P 6 heat pipe cooler released
"Given the trend towards powerful, HD ready multimedia systems and HTPCs in compact desktop cases, the demand for quiet high-end CPU coolers with lower height is growing and growing", explains Mag. Roland Mossig, Noctua CEO. "Our new NH-C12P is a premium class quiet cooler that offers the same excellent level of performance as our much acclaimed NH-U12P at a height of only 114mm."
This is made possible by the use of 6 heat pipes as well as a relatively wide fin spacing that guarantees optimal heat dissipation even at low fan speeds. Thanks to its two large Airflow-Gaps that provide additional cooling for near-socket motherboard components, the NH-C12P is perfectly suited for use in poorly ventilated desktop cases.
Just like the successful NH-U12P, the NH-C12P is equipped with Noctua's NF-P12 premium fan that ensures outstanding cooling performance at minimal noise levels and has received more than 50 recommendations from leading international websites and magazines since its introduction in November. The premium bundle is topped off by Noctua's award-winning NT-H1 high-end thermal compound, making the NH-C12P a total quality package for the highest demands.
Price and availability:
The NH-C12P is available immediately at a recommended price of EUR 59.90 / USD 69.90.
EVGA 9800GX2 Hydro Copper 18 Waterblock
For those of you that are interested, it just went on pre-order. EVGA is proud to announce the first ever EVGA designed GeForce 9800 GX2 water block - the EVGA 9800GX2 Hydro Copper 18 waterblock (part number: 200-CU-HC18-B1) with a 100% copper design and SLI compatibility. Being a full cover block, the Hydro Copper 18 is compatible with all reference 9800 GX2 cards and can be used in both 3/8" ID and 1/2" ID water cooling systems. Available now for pre-order, you'll have to hurry up if you want to buy one, because the block is said to be produced in a limited quantities.
The price is very steep though, $249.99.
SteelSeries announce 7G professional gaming keyboard
SteelSeries on Monday introduced its latest gaming product to the US market, the 7G keyboard. The company claims the mechanical 7G is 90 percent more responsive and 10 times more durable that regular keyboards, and eliminates anti-ghosting by supporting a key press command for every key. For low latency communication, the 7G features 18K gold-plated connectors. The 7G utilizes iron-infused plastic and gold-plated no-click switches, among other features, to endow it with a guarantee for 50 million keystrokes by its maker.
For convenience, the keyboard features headphone and microphone connections, in addition to two USB ports. SteelSeries' Media Controls allow users to control volume levels. Computer connections are accomplished via either the PS/2 or USB ports.
The 7G can be purchased from SteelSeries' website as well as four other more common webstores for $150, which quite frankly seems a 100 bucks too much, but that's just silly ol' me.
E3 expo loses major game Publishers
Dailytech today reproted that E3 Games Event is losing support of Major Publishers. I think that might be a correct assumption. Perhaps Gaming Expo's like in Leipzig (Europe) will grow to become the new 'E3'.
The Electronic Entertainment Expo, more commonly called E3, was once the biggest gaming event and conference in the world. Times have changed though, as E3 decided to downsize by cutting the glitter and glamour, turning it into a smaller event aimed at the press.
One would expect that games publishers would welcome the cost savings of bringing things down to a smaller scale, the upcoming E3 is steadily losing support from the biggest forces in gaming.
Activision Blizzard said that it will not participate at the E3 event this year, issuing a statement that read,
ForceWare 175.63 available for download
A new NVIDIA ForceWare driver appeared on the web which is being served on-line by one of NVIDIA's partners. This driver set is commonly distributed and it is receiving okay feedback.
Bare in mind this to be considered a beta driver, use it at your own risk.
There are several discussion open on these drivers in the Guru3D NVIDIA driver forums, check them here.
Point of View GeForce 9600 GSO launched
NVIDIA's partners silently have been announcing the GeForce 9600 GSO. Basically this is the GeForce 8800 GS. The 9600 GSO is still based on the same G92 core with 96 stream processors but NVIDIA will give board makers a bit more freedom in their designs in terms of own PCB design to and determine their own clocks. This 'old' card will still have 384 MB of GDDR3 memory.
We can expect many variants of cards with different types of cooling coming up to be branded as Overclocked Editions. Point of View's version is clocked at a 550 Mhz core clock, 1600 MHz memory clock(effective) and 1350 Mhz shader domain clock frequency with is 96 shader cores.
Graphics memory prices might be on the rise
As some DRAM makers allot more capacity for commodity DRAM production, the squeezed capacity will prompt a possible price hike for GDDR, according to sources at Taiwan IC distributors.
Some DRAM makers have started allotting more capacity for commodity DRAM, especially SO-DIMMs for notebooks, the sources said. Capacity for GDDR has started to strain amid the strategic capacity allocation, they noted. As DRAM makers are expected to reserve capacity priority for commodity DRAM for 1-2 quarters, a price revision for GDDR is thus likely, they said. The sources indicated that a price hike is likely to be seen from the second half of May, as some system makers are expected to completely digest their inventory by then.
3DMark Vantage Hotfix Pending
I really can't help thinking that 3Dmark Vantage was rushed to the market somehow. Anyway, Futuremark announced that a Hotfix is in the works and scheduled for a release soon.
3DMark Vantage launch was a definite success, but there were some bumps on the way. Both ATI and NVIDIA scrambled to mend some outstanding driver issues at the last moment with beta drivers, and some minor bugs managed to burrow into the final build. Known and reproduced issues include such minor bits as having to enter the product key twice, and having to ponder about an error popup on the first run. Jaakko Haapasalo, project manager of 3DMark Vantage, confirmed on the Futuremark/YouGamers forums that a hotfix to repair these (and other) outstanding minor bugs is on the way.
The community has also voiced their rather strong opinions about some bits of the Advanced version - the advertising banner and the inability to view and save benchmark scores offline. Neither of these is an issue with the $495 Professional version, but understandably that is not really an option for the vast majority of the benchmarking community. Besides, Pro is really meant exclusively for commercial use and is priced as such.
In response to the polls and comments, Jaakko Haapasalo also hinted that the community feedback is being heard loud and clear, and strongly indicated that there may be announcements from Futuremark on the subject next week.
Grand Theft Auto IV PS3 Fix
Some PlayStation 3 owners are having difficulties starting the game or loading saved games. The fix? Deactivating the PS3's online connection.
I started having problems with the PlayStation 3 version of Grand Theft Auto IV this weekend. The game started just fine, the music and art kicked in, and the game would begin to load my save file.
The game would simply hang on the load screen (sometimes with chugging noises coming from the Blu-ray drive). This happened five times in a row before I caught word of a simple fix: unplugging the PS3's internet connection.
UPDATE: Simply signing out of PSN before playing also works fine.
And guess what? The fix worked perfectly on the first try. After unplugging my ethernet port and restarting the PS3, Grand Theft Auto IV started right up with no difficulties. This obviously means that I can't play the game's online mode, but given that the PS3 servers are overwhelmed at the moment, this isn't a real sacrifice.
Given the apparent simplicity of the problem, I'm hoping Rockstar will come up with a quick and dirty patch next week, but we'll have to wait and see. For the moment, disconnecting the PS3's online capabilities seems to work just fine.
Other readers have also suggested disabling your PS3's wallpaper or, in desperate cases, deleting the game's save files and stored game content from your PS3's hard drive. Which obviously means you'll have to re-start your progress with a fresh install.
If you've got any workarounds for the technical issues plaguing the PS3 (or Xbox 360) versions of GTA IV, share your fixes in the comments below.
Epic not actively working on new Unreal game
Eurogamer: Talking of Unreal, it's, what, more than five years since Unreal 2. Are you ever going to make a follow-up to that? Is there any possibility?
Mark Rein: I'm sure that at some point in our future we will make another Unreal, single-player, story-driven game. I'm sure at some point there will be one. There are no plans to do one today.
Eurogamer: Why haven't you chosen to do a follow-up to Unreal 2 to date?
Mark Rein: I think we've been really happy with the multiplayer-oriented Unreal Tournament. Despite what people feel, people get this crazy idea that if you don't sell five million units it isn't a success, but we heard today that we've shipped over 1.2 million units of UT3, not even including the Xbox 360 yet. We make good money on Unreal Tournament, and it's a good game that we love to make, and it's not a five-year-long production and it's a great test-bed for lots of cool things that we want to do. We like making this type of game, and we have Gears of War as our kind of vanguard, single-player graphic showcase type of game.
GeCube releases 2 GB Radeon HD 3870
Sorry for the sarcasm, but I think as a company when you put 2GB memory on a mid-range card .. you acknowledge you've hit rock bottom. What an utter waste of money. GeCube has just released its single GPU HD3870 graphics accelerator featuring the Unified Shader architecture and 2GB of high-speed GDDR3 memory. The new graphics accelerator aims at delivering a high-definition video experience for both gamers and HD multimedia enthusiasts.
GeCube has come up with its own cooling solution to keep temperatures down. The card features a new X-Turbo III silent fan with a turbine design that efficiently cools the graphics core and the high-speed memory at extremely low noise levels. Additionally, the turbine design lets enthusiasts overclock the HD3870 graphics processor at up to 825MHz and 870MHZ frequencies for the core and memory, respectively.
The card also comes with improved support for new application technologies, 320 Unified Stream Processors, physics processing support and the ATI PowerPlay technology, a combination that delivers increased graphics computing power for the same power consumption as a stock design.
Microsoft Withdraws Proposal to Acquire Yahoo!
GPU-Z 0.2.0 available for download
Our colleague W1zzard has released version 2.0 of the GPU-Z utlity. GPU-Z is a simple lightweight utility designed to give you all information about your video card and GPU.
Changes in version 2.0:
- Added support for S3 graphics cards
- Added screenshot upload feature (press F5 or click the camera icon)
- Added NVIDIA GT200 detection
- Updated RV770 detection
- Vista64 is now listed as "Vista64" in the driver version readout
- On Vista64, CrossFire status will be marked as "Unknown" until fix is found
- Added dump to XML. Use command line parameter -dump gpuz.xml
- More robust NVIDIA clock detection
- Fixed G73 fillrate calculation
- Added die size for RV350
- Fixed R680 clock readings
- Fixed R600 ROM reading code
- Fixed sensors not refreshing properly sometimes
- When unknown architecture detected, NVIDIA logo won't be shown anymore
- Fixed random UNICODE characters on some architectures in upload progress
Download - click here