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TweakTown News Posts - Page 12

Chrome 57: less CPU load, throttles background tabs

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Internet Browsers | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

We all know just how much CPU and especially RAM that Chrome can eat up, but Google promises that Chrome 57's background tabs will be limited to an average CPU load of just 1%, on a single CPU core.




Google explains the throttling method that they've used on background tabs on their Developers website, with Google pushing every background tab into its own time budget (in seconds), with specific CPU time for the tab to complete its process - and is limited to just 10 seconds, freeing up CPU cycles. The company does note that the regeneration code can be shifted around, as they take in more data about how background tabs are throttled.


If you're like me - right now, you've got a background tab playing music through Google Play Music, so there will be some exceptions to background tab throttling in order to see those tabs not crashing or not functioning properly.

Continue reading 'Chrome 57: less CPU load, throttles background tabs' (full post)

Vulkan's multi-GPU muscle: now requires Windows 10

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

Khronos Group has the technology and gaming worlds excited over its Vulkan API, which is a low-level API that provides more performance from your graphics card in games that utilize the API - like DOOM.




But after their GDC 2017 slides were looked over, native multi-GPU support for NVIDIA GeForce SLI and AMD Radeon CrossFire setups now require WDDM to be set to "linked display adapter mode", something that is exclusive to Windows 10. This means that Vulkan and its multi-GPU goodness is locked to Windows 10, eyeing off Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users with multi-GPUs, with a striking glare.


Game developers have to add multi-GPU, DX12, and/or Vulkan support in manually - so this isn't too much of a surprise, but whatever Khronos, Microsoft, NVIDIA, or AMD can do to make game developers' lives easier for multi-GPU goodness, they should be doing. This kind of feels like a step backwards.

Continue reading 'Vulkan's multi-GPU muscle: now requires Windows 10' (full post)

Mass Effect: Andromeda available now, at least for some

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

If you're an EA Access or Origin Access member, you can download the trial of Mass Effect: Andromeda... like, right freakin' now.



EA provides a pretty decent 10-hour trial of Mass Effect: Andromeda available for EA/Origin Access members on the PC and Xbox platforms, with the download setting you back a pretty hefty 42GB... and remember, you'll have to download it again when it drops next week.


After playing through the first 10 hours, you'll be "gated", meaning that you won't be able to push through any more progress after that - but the multiplayer side of Andromeda is completely unlocked, so you can do what you want there without restrictions.

Continue reading 'Mass Effect: Andromeda available now, at least for some' (full post)

Surface Book 2 is coming, could be announced next month

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Laptops | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

Microsoft had quite the surprise hit on its hands with its beyond impressive Surface Book, with its successor surely in the development stages - and it could arrive quicker than anticipated, with DigiTimes reporting that Microsoft could make a big change in Surface Book 2.




According to the latest reports, Surface Book 2 might drop the 2-in-1 style with a clamshell-style product - this would mean we might not see Microsoft letting you use Surface Book 2 like a tablet. This is a good and bad thing, as people who use Surface Book as a tablet (at least sometimes) won't like the news - but it's a heavy device, and doesn't bode well in tablet use. As a laptop? Rock solid. Tablet mode? Not so much.


Inside, we should see Microsoft beef up the specs of Surface Book 2 with the new Kaby Lake CPU architecture from Intel, with Core i5 and Core i7 offerings - and I'm sure we'll see the use of NVIDIA's awesome GeForce GTX 10 series graphics card, too. The original Surface Book rocked a strange 3000x2000 resolution display, but I'm expecting MS to bump it up to a full 4K display on Surface Book 2.

Nintendo Switch: stock NVIDIA Tegra X1 CPU, Maxwell GPU

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

After reporting from a well placed source that NVIDIA would be supplying a Pascal-based Tegra design for Nintendo Switch (Derek's super detailed, super awesome review on the Nintendo Switch is here), we've been proven wrong - thanks to a new teardown by Tech Insights.




The teardown shows that Nintendo used a stock Tegra X1 processor - not a custom Tegra processor, and a Maxwell-based GM208 GPU. Last October, NVIDIA teased that the Nintendo Switch would be powered "by the performance of the custom Tegra processor". But the teardown shows that it's nothing custom, and a stock Tegra X1 processor instead.


Tech Insights' report states: "After subsequent processing of the GPU from the Nintendo Switch, we have determined that the processor is the NVIDIA Tegra T210. The T210 CPU features 4 Cortex A57 and 4 Cortex A53 processor cores and the GPU is a GM20B Maxell core".

Qualcomm redefines its Snapdragon branding

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

Qualcomm is redefining what the Snapdragon brand is, with an announcement of a "new naming structure" for Snapdragon. The move will see the entire hardware and software platform on a Snapdragon-powered device being referred to as Snapdragon, and not just the processor.




The company explains: "For decades, the semiconductor industry has used the term "processor" to mean the component that powers the most advanced devices. It's a word that Qualcomm Technologies has embraced over the years with our Snapdragon brand, or as we say-our Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. But the word is an inadequate representation of what the technology actually is, and the solutions that tens of thousands of Qualcomm Technologies innovators have worked on".


Qualcomm continues: "In truth, Snapdragon is more than a single component, a piece of silicon, or what many would misinterpret as the CPU; it's an anthology of technology, comprising hardware, software, and services that are not fully captured in a word like "processor." That is why Qualcomm Technologies is refining our terminology by referring to Snapdragon as a "platform" instead of a processor".


Qualcomm's new rebranding of Snapdragon will encompass the actual system-on-a-chips (SoC), Qualcomm's super-fast Quick Charge technology, digital-to-analog audio converters, Wi-Fi products, touchscreen controllers, and fingerprint sensors - as well as the software and drivers that make it all turn on and work.


It's a little confusing, as the new Snapdragon branding only applies to the higher-end models - with the Snapdragon 200-series processors (which aren't as popular as the Snapdragon 810/820/821 and the upcoming Snapdragon 835). The lower-end/mid-range Snapdragon range will be called Qualcomm Mobile, and not Snapdragon. The mid-range Snapdragon 400 and 600 products, as well as the Snapdragon 800 aren't singled out - so we should see things stay the same, and not shift into the muddy world of 'Qualcomm Mobile'.

AMD Radeon RX Vega spotted, looks slick as hell

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

AMD hosted its technology summit in Beijing, China covering its new Ryzen 5 processor launch - with AMD CEO Lisa Su taking the stage to unveil the new price/performance champions in the Ryzen family - but there was a very slight, but very exciting tease of Radeon RX Vega.




As you can see from these images, the Radeon RX Vega reference design sports a super-slick white/red/black style that I'm really loving - but the video was shown to select journalists, so we don't know how real it is. This could be an elaborate fake, and if it is - they did a good job, if it's not - AMD has an awesome looking next-gen graphics card on its hands.




AMD's upcoming Radeon RX Vega has a beautiful Vega logo on the back, with a GPU Tach LED load indicator that will be super useful - the usual RADEON branding on top with red LEDs, and a dip-switch to change the color of the LEDs... awesome.

Windows 7/8.1 updates blocked on Kaby Lake/Ryzen CPUs

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: CPU, APU & Chipsets | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

If you're rocking Intel's new Kaby Lake CPU or AMD's super-fast Ryzen processors and running an older operating system like Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, well - you're out of luck. Microsoft no longer supports operating systems older than Windows 10 (because it's been out for so long now).



Microsoft is now gimping Kaby Lake and Ryzen CPUs on Windows 7/8.1, effectively forcing you to upgrade to Windows 10 - as they've thrown a processor check into the latest Windows Update for W7/8.1 - sneaky. This update prevents Kaby Lake and Ryzen CPU owners from downloading updates, with an error message that reads: "Your PC uses a processor that isn't supported on this version of Windows".


This doesn't mean Microsoft is completely throwing Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 away, it's only for the newer Kaby Lake and Ryzen CPU architectures. Microsoft is still issuing security patches to its older operating systems, but if you're rocking a new Kaby Lake-based Core i7-7700K or Ryzen 7 1800X, you're done. Sorry, with no love, Microsoft.

Continue reading 'Windows 7/8.1 updates blocked on Kaby Lake/Ryzen CPUs' (full post)

Prey's Typhon aliens feel right out of the Twilight Zone

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

The more I see and hear about Arkane's new re-imagining of Prey, the more I want to play it. Now we get a nice personal glimpse at the inky shadow-aliens that will be hunting us like the prey we are.



While Arkane doesn't classify Prey as a horror game, it absolutely has cerebral and psychological elements: the game will get into players' heads (quite literally with neuromods) and has a definite Outer Limits or Twilight Zone vibe to it. This feeling is amplified in no small part by the Typhons, which are the vapor-like shadow aliens, who are almost incorporeal like a smoky fog--in many ways they seem like they might not be there at all, and Morgan Yu, the main character, could simply be going insane.


One of the most interesting cerebral mind-bending aspects of the Typhon is the Cacoplasmus, aka the Mimic. The Typhon come in all shapes and sizes, but none are so insidious as the Mimic: this Typhon can disguise itself as any nearby object like a chair or a box or even a coffee mug and patiently wait for its prey to walk by. Then, of course, it strikes.

Continue reading 'Prey's Typhon aliens feel right out of the Twilight Zone' (full post)

Google's next Pixel might come in three versions

By: Lana Jelic | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

Earlier this year, Google confirmed that the Pixel successor will come this year, although considering that the current Pixel was launched in October last year, we won't see its successor anytime soon.




What we know for sure about the upcoming Pixel is that the device will be more or less the same price as the original phone, meaning that we are looking at another premium device.


According to a new report, this year's Pixel might come in not two but three versions. Droid Life reports that Google is developing the devices under codenames "muskie," "walleye," and "taimen."

Continue reading 'Google's next Pixel might come in three versions' (full post)