Download: ATI Catalyst drivers 8.12 released
AMD has released the new Catalyst 8.12 display driver for Windows XP 32-bit, Windows XP 64-bit, Windows Media Center Edition, Windows Vista 32-bit and Windows Vista 64-bit. The new Catalyst 8.12 drivers, aside from performance improvements, enable ATI Stream technology. The new 8.12 ATI graphics drivers will supposedly fix problems in Grand Theft Auto IV PC, and are recommended for Prince of Persia '08. ATI Catalyst 8.12 Windows driver release include:
ATI Stream support:
With the release of ATI Catalyst 8.12 users can unlock the potential of accelerated applications enabling ATI Stream technology for millions of ATI Radeon
Super talent SSD reaches 230/170 MB per second
More news from the Solid State Drisk front today, Super Talent announced a new line of UltraDrive solid state drives (SSDs) that are twice as fast as the world
Black Friday sales drop
Despite the usual attention given to the Black Friday shopping rush, sales of home electronics actually dropped for the first time, the NPD Group says. Where sales during Thanksgiving week have typically grown significantly year over year and topped out at $2.2 billion in 2007, these sales actually dropped about 8.4 percent in 2008 to just over $2 billion for this year. The softened sales numbers are believed to stem both from less aggressive overall discounts as well as the failures of high-profile retailers, such as Circuit City and home theater-oriented outlet Tweeter.
The poor economic situation triggered by the US housing crisis is partly blamed for the decline, though researchers at NPD explain the drop as part of a fundamental shift for retailers away from depending on a single day or week of sales and more on evenly distributed sales throughout the year.
Online sales are widely believed to still be contributing to a drop in retail sales, as many in-store discounts are now either matched online or else countered by competing offers. Despite economic concerns, Apple had equal online and retail discounts that were both unexceptional versus past years and which have been matched by previous discounts from Amazon and similar online shops.
NPD also notes that some very specific categories saw an increase on Thanksgiving week, such as a 19 percent boost to the number of notebooks sold as well as an 18 percent boost to LCD TVs 30 inches and larger. Other categories like digital photo frames, GPS and plasma TVs also technically saw larger sales but failed to generate as much money as steep discounts took much of the price advantage away.
Intel, AMD and NVIDIA likely to do worse then expected this quarter
Although Intel and AMD both cut their fourth quarter 2008 revenues forecasts recently, with market demand remaining weak, market watchers believe the two CPU makers' performance may be even worse than predicted as digitimes reported.
Additionally, even though Nvidia has not yet announced any changes to its previous forecast, the company is also expected to see a worse-than-expected on-quarter revenues drop in the fourth quarter.
Intel recently reduced its fourth quarter revenues forecast to US$8.7-9.3 billion from of US$10.1-10.9 billion originally. But the market watchers estimate the amount should be even lower at only US$8.2-8.7 billion.
AMD has meanwhile adjusted its on-quarter revenues forecast to US$1.19 billion but according to the market watchers the amount will drop to US$1.05 billion.
Nvidia's on-quarter revenues decline is also expected to expand to reach 15-20% from the company's original forecast of 5% for its fiscal fourth quarter (November 2008 to January 2009), noted the market watchers.
Since all three makers are expected to see further drops in the first quarter of 2009, the makers may start another wave of workforce adjustment before the second quarter of 2009, added the market watchers.
Intel releases free Far Cry 2 bonus missions
FilePlanet is hosting two new bonus missions for Far Cry 2 PC, this is a free mission pack that was sponsored by Intel.
Mission 1: the Morrocan
This mission sends you into the most heavily guarded region of the Leboa-Sako territory. Hiding out at the old Legion fort is a Moroccan who might be able to help you locate the Jackal. Your objective is to locate him and find out what he knows.
Mission 2: the American
Your predecessor has tracked down the American informant to the Dogon village in the rocky northern ranges. Your objective: follow his trail and find out what the informant told him.
LCD prices going down hard
DigiTimes reports prices of LCD display panels are expected to drop yet another 6-9 percent this month. Panel makers expect prices will remain low for two more quarters.
Prices for LCD monitor panels have already dropped below cash cost levels and are estimated to drop even more in December by 6-9%, as LCD monitors already have a high market penetration rate and demand for desktops has been squeezed by notebooks, the sources explained.
Panel prices for mainstream size notebooks are expected to see an 8% drop in December. The 37-inch segment is expected to see the largest price drop of 10% of all TV applications for the month, compared to 6-9% declines for other TV panel segments, the sources noted.
Sparkle releases 2 GB GeForce 9600 GT
Blimey .. I don't know what the heck Sparkle is thinking but apparantly they felt the need to release a 2 GB GeForce 9600 GT. The 1 GB versions, I can find myself in as there is some advantage to be found in higher AA leveles and DX10 games .. but 2 GB is pretty much a waste of money. Here's their PR skinny:
OCZ Technology Introduces Vertex Series Solid State Drive
OCZ launches a new MLC based SSD drive. The product boasts 200MB/sec read and 60MB/sec write speeds, and features a 64MB onboard cache which should help with small files (the bottleneck of SSDs) really well.
NVIDIA signs PhysX deal with EA and 2K Games
Both Electronic Arts and 2K Games have licensed PhysX technology from NVIDIA. So expect some nice titles to be PhysX supported in the next year or so. When you blow up stuff, you can see loads of scattered particles instead of a big texture doing weird stuff, fluid dynamics and other pretty cool stuff.
PhysX processing is solely used to delivering physical gaming environments. Some of the features it's capable of doing are:
- Explosions that cause dust and collateral debris
- Characters with complex, jointed geometries for more life-like motion and interaction
- Spectacular new weapons with incredible effects
- Cloth that drapes and tears the way you would expect it to
- Dense smoke & fog that billow around objects in motion
Ever considered how nice it would be to see a perfectly simulated waterfall? Or think of a girl walking around with her dress not static but dynamically moving along with her body. That's what Physics in games can do for you."PhysX is a great physics solution for the most popular platforms, and we're happy to make it available for EA's development teams worldwide,
OCZ announces a trio of ExpressCard flash-based storages
OCZ releases a new trio of ExpressCard Storage solution in the capacities of 8GB, 16Gb and 32GB configuration. The Slate series flash drives are compatible with Expresscard 34 standard, fit snugly inside your laptop and also works with the ubiquitous USB thanks to a secondary connection via an integrated mini-USB port.
32GB flash based storage is ok but slightly small in comparing to nowadays
Amazon to sell Microsoft Windows Vista (RED)
The software is available for pre-order now, priced at nearly $220, or $20 less than Microsoft's retail price for the regular Vista Ultimate operating system, but $70 more than Amazon's sale price of the software. Students can buy the software via Microsoft's Ultimate Steal site for $65.
AMD RS880 chipset details revealed
The colleagues over at Techpowerup found some details of the AMD RS880, a new low-end IGP chipset that will arrive in Q3 2009. The RS880 will be made on a 55nm process by TSMC and will be bundled with SB710 or SB800 southbridge chipsets. AMD processors finally get to address DDR3 memory on the new AM3 socket. Compatible processors under the Phenom II and Athlon X3, X4 banners that come in AM3 socket packages, will run initially on updated AMD 7-series chipset variants, and later be succeeded by the the company's RD890 and RS880 chipset cores. HKEPC compiled some information on the RS880 core logic. The "RS" prefix for AMD GPG chipsets mark the presence of integrated graphics. Based on the performance efficiency of the RSx80 dice, they're branded into the mainstream RSx80 product (eg: RS780 for AMD 780G), RSx80C for a value product (eg: RS780C for AMD 740G) and a high-end RSx80D (eg: in AMD 790GX).
The RS880 will use feature-set refresh, though will embed a rather dated RV620-class graphics processor. The IGP will have DirectX 10.1 API compliance. Specifications-wise it is identical to the RS780, both sport 40 stream processors, 8 texture address and 4 texture filtering units, though the core speed on the RS880 is expected to be significantly higher. The feature-set refresh, as stated earlier, includes support for Universal Video Decoder 2 (UVD-2), in addition to 100% hardware acceleration for VC-1, H.264 and MPEG-2 bitstream decoding. Also provided is video dynamic-contrast. The IGP supports HDMI with audio routing, and DisplayPort.
Mirror's Edge PhysX effects on the PC comparison
Windows 7 Build 6956 leaked by an attendee at WinHEC China
Windows7Center reports that the impossible has been done again and pirates all over the world are busy trying to obtain the more updated build of Windows 7- build 6956. Just a day after WinHEC China began, an attendee from the conference managed to slip a Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) image of Windows 7 Build 6956 onto a portable device and upload it via torrent to the world. You
CoolerMaster Aquagate MAX review CPU liquid cooling [Guru3D]
Today a test on the CoolerMaster Aquagate MAX. This system is designed to be used inside your computer case for a completely self-contained system. If you are looking for a liquid cooling system to use for your performance computer the Cooler Master Aquagate Max may be just what you need.
Dual 120mm radiator, excellent looking reservoir and 400 liter/h pump, nice thick tubing and a very glossy water-block. A very interesting fact is .. it's not that expensive.
So we'll take an overall already hot Core 2 Quad QX9770, overclock it to 4000 MHz .. and see where we end up temperatures wise :)
You can check out the review right here.
Acer and DisplayLink announce 22-inch LCD monitor
Acer and DisplayLink announced their latest 22-inch monitor today. This USB computer LCD depends on the CPU to run instead of a graphics chipset, but does support various 3D functions, surprisingly, like Windows Vista Aero Glass interface.
This new monitor measures in at 22-inches and sports a 1680 x 1050 resolution. It also has the DL-160 network display chip from DisplayLink. This makes it so you can connect up to six of these monitors to a single computer.
This one is true plug and play. All you have to do is connect the screen. There are no drivers to install and for Macs, they offer a special driver. Other features include a 5ms response time, 32-bit true-color graphics and more. You can get the Acer B223 USB Computer Monitor now in Europe for what equals about $430.
Inflatable Movies Screen : Blows 220-inch Screen up on your Backyard
Here's a nice idea, an Outdoor cinematic experience with an inflatable big screen. Heck, it is even attractive if the package is under 20lb and comes with a blower fan to inflate a 16
Logitech customizable ID Grip for gamers
Logitech on Friday announced the availability of its new ID Grip for the company's G9 Laser Mouse meant for gamers. The ID Grip can be customized by buyers via a custom printing process. Logitech offers a choice of artwork it created in-house, or designs from various video games. Buyers can also create and send in their own images or photos that Logitech will then transfer onto the palm grip for the G9 mouse. The printing process ensures the image is resistant to rubbing off, as the image is printed into the surface of the grip and not simply on top of it.
The ID Grip is Logitech's latest attempt to give gamers all the customizability they want, the company says. The ID Grip attaches quickly and easily, with its operation overseen by a single button. It features more palm and wrist support than the naked G9 mouse and has a soft-touch side grip. The G9 laser mouse already allows tuning, including changing its weight, grips and changing the color of its LEDs.
The ID Grip is now available in the US, priced at nearly $20.