Saturday May 23rd, 2015
| Microsoft just rolled out the latest Windows 10 preview build, and apparently a Reddit user is already tinkering around with the preview build of DirectX 12 that comes with it. If you have been on the internet any time after the Redmond-based firm announced the latest API last year at GDC, you would know that there’s a grand debate on whether or not the DirectX 12 will improve the performance of PC and Xbox One hardware by leaps and bounds. So to look into things first-hand, the user decided to test the preview build of the API on his more than 3 year old hardware; Nvidia Geforce GTX 670 and Intel Core i7 2600K, and the results were quite amazing.
According to him, the tests he ran show a boost of close to 400% in draw call throughput. As visible in the image below, the draw call count according to the results on DirectX 11 was 1,515,965 whereas on multi-thread, it was 2,532, 181. Although, when the user switched to DirectX 12, the number of draw calls raised to 8,562,158, which is around 330% increase in the total performance.
The user stated that he was quite surprised to see DirectX 12 already performing really well despite it being a preview build. He also explained how the improvement in performance is being calculated by the benchmark software; “There’s no actual point score. All it’s doing is increasing the number of draw calls by increasing scene complexity. It just keeps going until the framerate drops to 30, then notes the calls/sec and bails. Since it’s only issuing calls for primitives (apparently anyways) it’s actually giving you a solid idea of how raw output is limited by the number of draw calls that can be dispatched.”
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 5:06 PM
Friday May 8th, 2015
Windows 10 is going to be the last major revision of the operating system.
Jerry Nixon, a Microsoft development executive, said in a conference speech this week that Windows 10 would be the "last version" of the dominant desktop software.
His comments were echoed by Microsoft which said it would update Windows in future in an "ongoing manner". Instead of new stand-alone versions, Windows 10 would be improved in regular instalments, the firm said. Mr Nixon made his comments during Microsoft's Ignite conference held in Chicago this week.
In a statement, Microsoft said Mr Nixon's comments reflected a change in the way that it made its software. "Windows will be delivered as a service bringing new innovations and updates in an ongoing manner," it said, adding that it expected there to be a "long future" for Windows.
Which likely means that there will be "service packs" or "tiers" of the software and you have to pay at regular intervals to stay updated. Looks like MS really is going to go for a "fee" based OS from now on
Posted By lexandro @ 3:23 PM
Wednesday May 6th, 2015
| By Jenna Pitcher
The consumer version of the Oculus Rift is expected to begin shipping in Q1 2016, with pre-orders opening “later this year,” Oculus VR announced today.
The consumer model is based on the Crescent Bay prototype and builds upon its "presence, immersion, and comfort." It also features an improved tracking system that accommodates seated and standing experiences, according to Oculus VR, along with updated ergonomics and a tweaked industrial design.
The company will share more details of its hardware, software, input and unannounced speciality games in the coming weeks, beginning with its technical specifications next week.
Speaking at a panel during SXSW in March, Oculus founder Palmer Luckey explained that the tentative launch of the Oculus Rift in late 2015 was made them before they "made a lot of changes to [Oculus'] roadmap." The vague release window was also mirrored by Facebook CFO Dave Wehner during Facebook's Q1 2015 earnings call.
Luckey also confirmed at the time that the Crescent Bay prototype headset uses two screens instead of one, which the company attributes to the Rift's visual quality.
Those interested in developing a “next-generation” VR game or app can find details at the Oculus Developer Center. http://oystatic.ignimgs.com/src/core...d_dpad_red.png
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 4:04 PM
Friday May 1st, 2015
| Today at Microsoft's BUILD 2015 conference, Square Enix and Nvidia showed off a seriously impressive tech demo for DirectX 12 using a whopping four GTX Titan video cards.
The video, entitled Witch Chapter 0 [cry], was made by the same Square Enix team that built the similarly pretty Agni's Philosophy tech demo shown off back at E3 2012. The new video features more than 63 million polygons in each scene, approximately six to ten times as many as was possible using DirectX 11.
This one isn't nearly as flashy as Agni's Philosophy, but the level of detail—particularly in the skin close-ups around the three minute mark—is pretty spectacular. It should be, since it's running on $4000 worth of Titan Xs.
We won't be seeing a playable game that looks quite this great anytime soon, but the technology doesn't seem completely pie-in-the-sky. Here's a quote from Square Enix's Hajime Tabata, the director of Final Fantasy XV, about the tech demo:
"Our team has always pursued cutting-edge pre-rendered and real-time CG. As a part of the technical development, we created this demo using world-class, real-time CG technology with generous support from leading-edge software and hardware providers – Microsoft’s Windows10/DirectX 12 and Nvidia’s GeForce GTX. The efforts from this project will power future game development as well as Final Fantasy XV, currently a work in progress."
Sure sounds like Final Fantasy XV belongs on the PC.
Check out the video above, courtesy of YouTube user Michael Wieczorek.
Source: PC Gamer
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 6:27 PM
Tuesday April 14th, 2015
| By Rachel Paxton-GillilanIf you've ever wanted to legally watch a newly released movie without the trouble of traveling to the theater, then PRIMA Cinema may be for you. Unfortunately, it's only an option for the super wealthy.
PRIMA Cinema allows you to skip the movie theater entirely with a system that lets you screen new releases, many on the same day they're available in the theater, in your home. But the price isn't cheap. Each 24 hour "rental" costs $500 (USD), and obtaining the equipment costs a base of $35,000 (USD) with a new user required to pay for ten movies upfront ($5,000).
The PRIMA box's price and business complexities ensure that the system won't pose a real threat to the theater business any time soon. The Verge, whose writers recently had the opportunity to watch Furious 7 using a PRIMA box, provides a detailed explanation of the security behind the system, which goes to great lengths to prevent pirating.
The box automatically downloads the encrypted movie over a secure connection days before its theatrical release, where it sits until the studio signs off. After it becomes available, authorized users are required to use a biometric thumbprint authorization system to actually rent the movie. Each film comes with a unique (invisible) watermark embedded to prevent piracy, and the rackmount PRIMA box will stop working altogether if it's moved thanks to the equipped accelerometers.
However, most of the complexity is going on behind-the-scenes. The average PRIMA user experience is simple and the movies reportedly look great--though they're not 4K yet. If you've got an extra $40,000 laying around, you can find out more information on PRIMA's website.
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 9:55 AM
Monday April 6th, 2015
| Earlier this month at GDC, AMD introduced their VR technology toolkit, LiquidVR. LiquidVR offers game developers a collection of useful tools and technologies for adding high performance VR to games, including features to make better utilization of multiple GPUs, features to reduce display chain latency, and finally features to reduce rendering latency. Key among the latter features set is support for asynchronous shaders, which is the ability to execute certain shader operations concurrently with other rendering operations, rather than in a traditional serial fashion.
It’s this last item that ended up kicking up a surprisingly deep conversation between myself, AMD’s “Chief Gaming Scientist” Richard Huddy, and other members of AMD’s GDC staff. AMD was keen to show off the performance potential of async shaders, but in the process we reached the realization that to this point AMD hasn’t talked very much about their async execution abilities within the GCN architecture, particularly within a graphics context as opposed to a compute context. While the idea of async shaders is pretty simple – executing shaders concurrently (and yet not in sync with) other operations – it’s a bit less obvious just what the real-world benefits are why this matters. After all, aren’t GPUs already executing a massive number of threads?
With that in mind AMD agreed it was something that needed further consideration, and after a couple of weeks they got back to us (and the rest of the tech press) with further details of their async shader implementation. What AMD came back to us with isn’t necessarily more detail on the hardware itself, but it was a better understanding of how AMD’s execution resources are used in a graphics context, why recent API developments matter, and ultimately why asynchronous shading/computing is only now being tapped in PC games.
Why Asynchronous Shading Wasn’t Accessible Before
AMD has offered multiple Asynchronous Compute Engines (ACEs) since the very first GCN part in 2011, the Tahiti-powered Radeon HD 7970. However prior to now the technical focus on the ACEs was for pure compute workloads, which true to their name allow GCN GPUs to execute compute tasks from multiple queues. It wasn’t until very recently that the ACEs became important for graphical (or rather mixed graphics + compute) workloads.
Why? Well the short answer is that in another stake in the heart of DirectX 11, DirectX 11 wasn’t well suited for asynchronous shading. The same heavily abstracted, driver & OS controlled rendering path that gave DX11 its relatively high CPU overhead and poor multi-core command buffer submission also enforced very stringent processing requirements. DX11 was a serial API through and through, both for command buffer execution and as it turned out shader execution.
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 11:35 AM
| The 14nm tri-gate for process from Intel has currently been seen in both Core M (Broadwell-Y) and Broadwell-U, with some discussions at Mobile World Congress regarding Atom x5 and Atom x7 both featuring 14nm cores at their heart. For the mini-PC and laptop space, Core M fits nicely with a 4.5W TDP and the Core architecture, however Intel’s Atom line also occupies a similar segment but at a lower price point. The upgrade from Bay Trail is Cherry Trail, from 22nm Silvermont cores to 14nm Airmont cores.
Technically it would seem that Cherry Trail is a catch-all name with the SoCs intended for mini-PCs will also ride under the name ‘Braswell’, using up to four Atom cores and Generation 8 graphics within a 4-6W TDP.
CPU World recently published details of four Braswell SKUs. For Braswell, similar to Bay Trail, Intel designs its Atom SoCs in terms of dual core modules, where each core is separate apart from a shared L2 cache. The SoC then puts one or two of these modules on die (for two or four cores) without an overriding L3 cache. The Braswell SoCs will support DDR3-1600 memory, with SIMD instructions up to SSE4 with support for VT-x and Burst Performance Technology offering higher clocks for extremely short periods when required.
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 11:33 AM
| And we say, not even in ten years it will reach the consumer market. LG is carefully pushing 8K Quad Ultra HD display technology, or is warming us up for it. 8K Quad Ultra HD will get a 7680 x 4320 pixels native resolution which is sixteen times your Full HF telly.
Since Japanese engineers first demonstrated high-resolution at the International Television Engineers Conference in 1981, the demand for high-quality content has continued to grow. The high-resolution display trend has already begun with Full-HD TVs being commonplace in homes and QHD (Quad High Definition) quality panels being adopted in smartphones with screens that are the size of the palm a person’s hand. The high-resolution contents that provide realistic images and a true sense of immersion have now moved beyond 4K and the focus has now turned to super-high-resolution 8K.
It is not difficult to hear the call for bigger and clearer images from everywhere around the world. When the BBC took on the broadcasting of the 2012 Olympics, they said, ‘Since 8K resolution is the highest resolution that the human eye is capable of seeing, it will put an end to the resolution discussion,’ predicting that ‘ultimately, 8K images will overtake the market.’
It has become clear that Japan is planning to launch an 8K SHV test broadcast and then promptly restructure the UHD service. Apple has also announced that they will release the ‘iMac 8K’ with a super-high resolution display later this year. Korea is also preparing to offer an 8K service demonstration at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. LG Display displayed a new beacon of the 8K era by revealing their 98-inch 8K Color Prime Ultra HDTV at CES 2015.
The Resolution and Pixels of 8K
How will 8K improve image quality over what we are already experiencing? Let’s take a closer look through resolution which is used as the concept to explain image quality.
The screen depicted in the image above is a 7,680 x 4,320 resolution screen. It is 2 times the resolution of a 4K screen but in actuality, the number of pixels is 4 times that of 4K which is 16 times more than Full HD. But what is the correlation between resolution and pixels? In short, by increasing the number of pixels on a screen, the viewer can enjoy a clearer picture.For example, a 5-inch HD resolution smartphone screen with 900,000 pixels boasts higher image quality than a 5-inch SD resolution smartphone screen with 340,000 pixels. Likewise, FHD (1,920×1,080) provides clearer image than HD, and resolution continues to increase with QHD (3,840×2,160) and UHD (4,096×2,160). PPI (Pixel per Inch) is a term used to describe how many pixels are in an inch of screen and also represents the density of pixels. In order to increase the size of a display while maintaining the same resolution, the PPI must also be increased.
LG Display, Preparing for the 8K Era
LG Display has already succeeded in making super-high resolution a reality with the revealing of their 98-inch 8K UHD display at CES 2015. LG Display managed to improve the brightness of its 55-inch 8K UHD panel with 7,680×4320 resolution and 500nit by implementing M+ panel technology, which adds a white pixel to the existing RGB sub-pixel structure. IPS technology was also applied to make an impressive panel that has the advantage of high resolution and a wide viewing angle even on large scale screens.
With these developments, LG Display has expanded the Ultra-HD (UHD) lineup and is showing off diverse range of screen sizes with super-high resolution displays such as 8K. There are also high expectations in the commercial signage market as there is a need for clear large-scale high resolution screens. Look for great strides to be made by LG Display in the super-high resolution display era.
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 11:29 AM
| Ok weird, so what's the catch you might wonder ? Microsoft will offer free upgrades to Windows 10 to all Windows users, regardless of whether they are running genuine copies of the software. Windows 10 will be released this summer.
The move is an unprecedented attempt by Microsoft to get legitimate versions of its software onto machines of the hundreds of millions of Windows users in China. Recent studies show that three-quarters of all PC software is not properly licensed there. Terry Myerson, who runs Microsoft's operating systems unit, announced the plan at the WinHEC technology conference in Shenzhen, China.
"We are upgrading all qualified PCs, genuine and non-genuine, to Windows 10," he said in a telephone interview with Reuters. The plan is to "re-engage" with the hundreds of millions of users of Windows in China, he said, without elaboration.
Myerson said Windows 10 would be released globally sometime "this summer". That is the first time Microsoft has put a time frame on the release, although it has been expected in autumn, based on Microsoft's release history.
Microsoft said in January it would offer free upgrades to Windows 10 for users of Windows 7 or later in an attempt to hold onto users and make up for lost revenue by selling services such as Office over the Internet. Microsoft is working with Lenovo Group Ltd, the world's biggest PC maker, to help roll out Windows 10 in China to current Windows users, Myerson said.
It also is offering Windows 10 through security company Qihoo 360 Technology Co and Tencent Holdings Ltd, China's biggest social networking company, which will build a Windows 10 app that will work on smartphones and PCs for its popular QQ gaming and messaging service. QQ has more than 800 million users. Lenovo said in a statement that it will make phones running Windows software, available through China Mobile, sometime later this year. Microsoft also said it is working with Chinese handset maker Xiaomi Technology Co Ltd [XTC.UL] - which generally uses a form of Google Inc's Android on its devices - to offer some customers a test version of Windows 10 on their smartphones."
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 11:26 AM
| So hey - I was am working on a graphics performance review for Battlefield Hardline, and guess what ? Do you guys remember the DRM introduced in Ubisofts Anno 2070 ? Well, EA just did pretty much the same thing. They sniff your PC and monitor for hardware changes.
The story goes like this; once upon a time I started working on a performance review. And after testing merely a handful of graphics cards I noticed EA will now lock your game (Battlefield Hardline) with the following message:
Interesting huh? Especially considering it is just one PC that we are using ? Here's what EAs DRM is doing these days, EA does not just verify the number of PCs you work on slash use, no Sir .. they monitor hardware changes inside your PC now, which I am sure is a privacy breach on many levels. So once we insert new hardware CPU / mobo / graphics cards or even a system firmware flash the hardware id # hash changes and if that happens a couple of times EA will render your game activation invalid. From what we now have learned, you get to have 5 hardware changes per license. Use them up and access to the game will be blocked for 24 hours per activation. What a bunch of rubbish ....
If this is the future for EA titles then you guys can forget about VGA performance reviews as EA is rendering that pretty much impossible now. I've now been waiting for like 3 or 4 hours and we are still locked out of the game. The only way to solve this would be purchasing another key and setup a secondary account. This means that if we'd like to make a VGA performance review on Battlefield Hardline with a card or 20 we'd need to purchase the game three to four times.
EA - Guys we understand your piracy and cheating/hacking concerns, really we do. But STOP ****ing off your user-base with this STUPID non-sense as it just is not needed. This is not five PCs we are using, it's happening after we swap out a videocard. Thus one user, one PC ... but changing graphics cards. Do that 5x in 24 hours and you are locked out of the game for 24 hours.
Hey -- if hardware changes force Windows to de-activate, we push a button and the system gets re-validated. EA however refuses you to login to the game for 24 hours, I could understand an hour; but 24 hours ?? I don't get that anymore, how does that make any sense ? Sighs - you need to wonder - at what point will the industry realize they are killing the PC game market themselves ?
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 11:23 AM
Wednesday March 4th, 2015
| By Jenna Pitcher Nvidia announced a new addition to its Shield lineup of devices, an Android-based living room device capable of 4K playback and capture, during its Game Developers Conference 2015 press event.
“First, it’s based on the most popular OS in the world. Second, the richness of the Google Play store, with it huge range of applications,” Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said. “Third, it syncs with all my other devices. Finally, it has an incredible voice search capability.”
The "world’s first Android 4K TV" will be able to receive and capture 4K at up to 60 fps video “very soon.” The living room entertainment device also packs Android TV functionality so users can access a library of movies, TV and more.
The Nvidia Shield can run both local, and streamed games via its Nvidia Grid subscription based game streaming service, up to 1080p at 60fps. The gaming-centric device will launch with more than 50 games on the Grid store.
"What we need is a great store," Huang said. "Well, Google Play will have thousands of games. We created a store to curate the best of the best games, the ones designed for Shield."
Notable games mentioned during the event include ports of Doom 3, Crysis 3, Portal, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Half-Life 2: Episode 1, The Talos Principle, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, The Witcher 3, Dead Rising 2, Metro Last Light Redux, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Batman: AO and Ultra Street Fighter 4.
The set-top box and console hybrid packs a Tegra X1 processor, which sports a 256-bit Maxwell GPU with 3GB of memory. Its body features a MicroSD slot, a Micro USB 2.0 port, two USB Type-A 3.0 ports, gigabit Ethernet port, and HDMI port.
The Nvidia Shield supports Android Bluetooth 4.1 and dual-band 801.11ac Wi-Fi connections, 7.1 and 5.1 surround sound over HDMI and an IR receiver.
The device will ship bundled with the Shield Controller for USD$199.
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 6:53 AM
Tuesday March 3rd, 2015
| SanDisk introduced the iNAND 7132 storage solution, the most advanced embedded storage solution from SanDisk to date. Designed for use in flagship mobile devices, the iNAND 7132 storage solution features SanDisk's new iNAND Accelerator Architecture with SmartSLC technology.
Available in capacities up to 64GB, iNAND 7132 storage solution enables original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to introduce a new generation of high-capacity smartphones, tablets and connected devices that offer exceptional user experiences.
"iNAND 7132 is the perfect high capacity storage solution for the next generation of smartphones, tablets and smart devices," said Drew Henry, senior vice president and general manager for Mobile and Connected Solutions at SanDisk. "Featuring our new iNAND Accelerator Architecture with SmartSLC, our best-in-class iNAND 7132 storage solution delivers amazing performance for faster burst photography and 4K Ultra HD video capture, supports the newest 802.11 standards with ease, and enables blazingly fast data side-loading."
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 8:48 AM
| SanDisk Corporation, a global leader in flash storage solutions, today introduced the 200GB SanDisk Ultra microSDXC UHS-I card, Premium Edition, the world's highest capacity microSD card for use in mobile devices.
In just one year after introducing its record-breaking 128GB SanDisk Ultra microSDXC card, SanDisk has increased storage capacity by 56% within the same fingernail-sized form factor. Keeping up with the demands of today's mobile users, the new card provides the freedom to capture, save and share photos, videos and other files without worrying about storage limitations.
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 8:45 AM
| Microsoft Windows 10 will get official support for USB 3.1 functionality such as dual-role peripherals, external displays and the new Type-C connector.
While it's not terribly surprising, it is exciting to see that Windows 10 will bring support for the feature-rich USB 3.1 protocol. The addition was all but confirmed by a seminar description at Microsoft's WinHEC (Windows Hardware Engineering Community) Conference. Entitled "Enabling New USB Connectivity Scenarios in Windows 10", the March 18 session for hardware partners carries the description:
Windows 10 introduces support for USB Dual Role and Type-C, which will enable new wired connectivity scenarios such a phone interacting with USB peripherals, or laptops connecting to an external display using the USB Type-C connector. This session will go into detail on how Windows supports these technologies and what you need to do to enable them. Topics include: Overview of the new use cases introduced with USB Dual Role and Type-C, What scenarios are and aren’t supported for Dual Role devices, Using Alternate Modes (e.g. DisplayPort, Thunderbolt, or MHL) over Type-C, Support for Power Delivery, enabling devices to provide/consume up to 100W over USB, Hardware and software architecture changes for Dual Role and Type-C, and Building a Windows system with Dual Role and/or Type-C support. Intended Audience: OEMs, ODMs, IDHs, IHVs, Peripheral Manufacturers, Driver Developers.
Read our USB 3.1 preview here
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 8:40 AM
Tuesday February 10th, 2015
| Word has it that the popular US pc cooling and modding website FrozenCPU has reportedly closed it's doors according to an inside source on the overclock.net forum.
This inside source in to FrozenCPU says that all staff has been fired and the company has no plans to re-establish itself and given the fact that all the staff has been fired that no more orders will be taken and that no action has been taken to update the website or to inform the community.
"The owner has struggled a long battle with addiction, and events that unfolded earlier last week have rendered the company unoperational and shut down for good. Physical damage of the warehouse has occurred as well as the dismissal of all support and warehouse staff; the company has no plans of re-establishing themselves."
"I want to protect the community that fostered my love for computers and technology from sending payments or spending money on products that will not come. Some users have already caught on to this fact after their UPS Overnights were not delivered today. Since all staff has been fired, nobody is updating the website to inform the loyal community about the closure, nor has anyone taken steps to shut the website down. "
Hope you guys don't have a pending order!
"We just heard back from Mark Friga, the owner of FrozenCPU.com, a long time enthusiast community supplier, and he explained to me that FrozenCPU is in fact not going out of business as rumored earlier today. He said that FrozenCPU is currently running a skeleton crew and to please bare with his company while the it is ramping back up to 100% employee capacity."
New update 2/11/15
Check the pic's here.... heartbreaking... that last pic of the Frozen Tech bench made by Bill at MNPCtech
vid confirming what Mr.Scott said in post #9
more pic's here
their phones have been disconnected..... not looking good.
adding more credibility to the out of control claim.
Bill at MNPCtech has made a statement, that includes this...
"On 2/13/15, I received this text message from Bucky
"Bill, Bucky here, I appreciate your kind words from the limited reading I have done on forums as of late. Just so you are aware I am no longer employed at fcpu and will not be returning under any circumstances while in marks control At some point I will tell you the WHOLE story over a few beers"
Over my six year experience in working with FrozenCPU, Bucky was the spine of the company."
frozencpu.com has been updated!!!!!!!
"Site down until further notice
February 15, 2015
FrozenCPU.com will not be processing orders until future notice."
It seems the update may have been made by the eCommerce provider, not Mark...
OK everyone, the front page post is from the eCommerce provider, not from FCPU staff:
> Last thing, did you guys post the notice on the homepage, or has someone from FrozenCPU suddenly given sign of life?
That was by us. We still haven't heard from Mark.
full email conversation here
Posted By Prozium @ 10:30 PM