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TweakTown News Posts - Page 57

Homefront: The Revolution performance will be patched, says developer

By: Sean Ridgeley | More News: Gaming | Posted: May 20, 2016 9:25 pm

Homefront: The Revolution launched this week to reports of performance issues on all platforms (although PC is said to suffer the least). Developer Dambuster Studios has acknowledged as such on its forums and noted patches to address the situation are forthcoming.

 

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"Performance - particularly frame rate - is not currently where we want it to be, and we are working on additional patches to help address these issues and more," they write. "Patch notes per platform will be available on the community forums and on Steam when they go live."

 

Easing the sting some is the release of some free DLC today (new outfits and boosters), with some Resistance Mode mission DLC coming down the pipe next month, and even more over the next year or so.

Vulkan support on its way to DOTA 2

By: Sean Ridgeley | More News: Gaming | Posted: May 20, 2016 7:43 pm

Support for the much-celebrated Vulkan API is on its way to DOTA 2, according to AMD software developer Fletcher Dunn. You shouldn't have to wait long either: he says it will arrive "probably sometime next week." Hopefully, Dunn doesn't mean next week in Valve Time.

 

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Don't know about Vulkan? It's a low-level programming API that effectively replaces OpenGL and Mantle, and allows programmers to squeeze quite a lot of extra performance out of their games, resulting in smoother gameplay for you. So there's that to look forward to. Unlike Mantle and DirectX 12, Vulkan is cross-platform, so it can be used industry-wide.

 

We should have an article up when the update goes live, so keep an eye out.

Crytek: DirectX 12 has made developers more experimental, creative

By: Sean Ridgeley | More News: Gaming | Posted: May 20, 2016 5:27 pm

Until the recent rise of low-level programming APIs Mantle, DirectX 12, and Vulkan, visual and performance advancements and innovations in the gaming space were slow and scarce. Now, says Crytek technical director Rok Erjavec, it's a whole new ballgame again.

 

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"I have no doubt we will see a lot more novel approaches and deviations from established rendering pipelines [as a result of DirectX 12], something that has already been happening to an extent," he explains in an interview with DSOGaming.

 

"There's a wealth of academic research that was ill-suited to practical application through a combination of hardware and software abstraction limitations. With the latter getting out of the way, and hardware flexibility continually improving - more than things just getting iteratively "prettier" - we're looking at a rise in experimentation again. In a way, the industry has circled back to a place similar to where we were in the early-mid 90s, when software rasterization didn't really impose any restraints on creativity beyond the 17ms barrier."

Continue reading 'Crytek: DirectX 12 has made developers more experimental, creative' (full post)

Fix any gadget you wish with iFixit's driver kit

By: TweakTown Deals | More News: Deals | Posted: May 20, 2016 3:30 pm

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Breaking your favorite gadgets is always tragic, and taking them in for expensive repairs is even worse. The iFixit 64 Bit Driver Kit allows you to take small repairs into your own hands and save money in the process. With 64 purpose-driven screwdriver bits and an ergonomic aluminum handle, this kit has what it takes to make small repairs on your consoles, phones, and other devices. Featuring a 150mm flexible extension, the tool lets you navigate in the tightest spaces, and its SIM card ejection tool lets you safely extract SIM cards.

 

The full kit includes:

  • 64 Bit Driver
  • 150mm Flexible Extension
  • 4mm Screwdriver Bits
  • Manufacturer's Lifetime Warranty

 

A small investment can go a long way with the iFixit 64 Bit Driver Kit as you'll be saving money each time you fix your favorite gadgets, and with a lifetime warranty, you can rest easy knowing the kit will last. Usually $50, the iFixit 64 Bit Driver Kit is available to TweakTown readers for $34.95.

Google Play store on its way to Chromebooks

By: Sean Ridgeley | More News: Laptops | Posted: May 20, 2016 3:17 pm

Chromebooks are about to become an even better deal: Google is bringing the Play store to its popular netbook brand, allowing you to use Android apps, play games like Hearthstone, and do lots more with the hardware.

 

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The store will be built on top of Chrome OS, so you'll need to pick up an ASUS Chromebook Flip, Acer Chromebook R 11, or the newest Chromebook Pixel to take advantage at first (pending the imminent M53 update on the developer channel), but eventually users of other models will be able to get in on it too.

 

Google says it's also currently working with partners on devices specifically designed to exploit Play, so we'll keep an eye out as more comes in over the next few months.

Xbox One is capable of running Windows 95 through a virtual DOS app

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: May 20, 2016 1:27 pm

The Xbox One isn't useful for much, as it's only capable of playing games at resolutions we used to play at back in the 90s, but hey - you can install Windows 95 to your Xbox One now.

 

 

YouTuber 'vcfan' had 'Dosbox', a virtual DOS machine app running on his Xbox, where you can run Windows 95 and other software. Not everyone can do this, as you'll need an Xbox One developer unit, but Microsoft is allowing the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) later this year, where more fun might begin.

 

Wake me up when I can install Windows 10 on an Xbox One, and I be excited - would you want to install a desktop OS with a working mouse and keyboard as a media machine, or something similar?

Continue reading 'Xbox One is capable of running Windows 95 through a virtual DOS app' (full post)

Google Chromebooks outshipped Apple Macs in the US in the last quarter

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Computer Systems | Posted: May 20, 2016 11:20 am

Most people would think that Apple has a decent handle on Mac sales in the US, but this quarter the company was beaten by Chromebook sales.

 

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Market research firm IDC has said that Apple sold 1.76 million Macs in the US in the last quarter, and while it was up from the 1.56 million units in the same quarter as 2015, it didn't beat out Chromebook shipments. IDC only breaks down PC shipments by manufacturer, so it's hard to know how many more Chromebooks were sold, we just know it was 'more'.

 

Chromebooks have been especially popular for education purposes and those on lighter budgets, as Apple Macs can range from thin-and-light notebooks, all the way through to workstation-class desktops. Chromebooks are mostly low-cost laptops from various companies, with Apple's closest competitor being the iPad. This quarter, Apple sold 10.3 million iPads in the US, not bad at all.

IN WIN unveils their new 303 chassis, with a simple yet beautiful look

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: May 20, 2016 9:19 am

Just over a week before Computex, IN WIN has announced their latest 303 chassis. IN WIN's new 303 chassis is a "simple, yet elegant computer chassis crafted from steel and tempered glass", says IN WIN, continuing that the 303's "distinctively clean front panel is complimented with a bright LED design to balance the overall appearance".

 

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At the front of the 303 and to the right we have the power buttons, IN WIN branding, and I/O panel. The IN WIN logo is highlighted with a beautiful neon, with the LEDs acting as a power-on indicator. There are 2 x USB 3.0 ports, 2 x 3.5mm audio jacks, and 2 x USB 2.0 ports on the front of the 303. IN WIN is known for their innovative cases, with the 303 being another in their tool-less design range, where the 3mm tempered glass can be pulled away from the 303 by pressing the handle at the top of the case.

 

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When purchasing the IN WIN 303 chassis, you can choose between the closed panel with affixed thumbscrews, or the beautiful tempered glass front panel if you want to peek into your system from time to time, or show off that ridiculously good looking PC you've just built. There's also a user-friendly dust filter which has an embedded design for quick removal, with it being found at the bottom of the 303, and is easy to remove to clean.

 

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Cooling wise, the 303 handles 3 x 120mm fans at the very top, as well as 120/240/360mm liquid cooling radiators for those who are serious about putting their PC under water. At the rear, the 303 can handle 1 x 120mm, and 3 x 120mm at the bottom of the chassis to ensure maximum airflow throughout the IN WIN 303.

AMD will unveil its new Polaris GPUs and Zen APUs on June 1

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: May 20, 2016 7:32 am

AMD has just announced its press conference during Computex 2016, with AMD set to unveil their new Polaris GPUs and Zen APUs on June 1. There'll be plenty of top shelf AMD staff there, with AMD's CEO Lisa Su and Radeon Technologies Group boss Raja Koduri, with both of them being joined by AMD's CPU and APU boss, Jim Anderson.

 

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The company said in its press release: "The event is slated to feature presentations from AMD executives including AMD President and CEO Lisa Su; Senior Vice President and General Manager, Computing and Graphics Business Group, Jim Anderson; and Senior Vice President and Chief Architect, Radeon Technologies Group, Raja Koduri. A real-time video webcast of the event will be accessible on AMD's Computex page (www.amd.com/computex) and on AMD's Investor Relations home page (ir.amd.com). A replay of the webcast can be accessed a few hours after the conclusion of the live event on both pages and will be available there for one year after the event".

 

While we are super pumped for the Polaris-based video card side of things, I think I'm equally as psyched about seeing just how good Zen turns out to be. AMD has quite a lot riding on the new Zen-based side of its CPU/APU business, as they're being shrinked down to thet 14/16nm node like the new Polaris-based GPUs. We're expecting a decent amount of improvement over the current Vishera- and Kaveri-based APUs, with Zen said to really ramp things up for AMD and have them competing against Intel on a much firmer ground.

Total War: WARHAMMER will receive a post-release DX12 patch

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: May 20, 2016 5:09 am

Creative Assembly, the developers behind Total War: WARHAMMER, have released more details on the PC side of the game. The team says that WARHAMMER has been optimized to better utilize all of the CPU cores in your PC, where the game won't lose performance on single-threaded limitations or problems.

 

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In a new post that Creative Assembly wrote, they said: "Total War has traditionally been quite CPU-bound, with the game-draw and graphics render processes both running on the same CPU thread. Over time, as the engine has evolved and become more demanding, this has become an increasingly important bottleneck for us. During the course of TWWH's development, we've spent time separating these so they now run independently on their own threads. We've also optimized our task-system to have better multi-threading performance across the board".

 

The team has spend time on the particle simulation pipeline, from the pixel shader to the compute shader, making better use of the GPUs time. The team added: "In fact we've done this with several parts of the rendering pipeline, further utilizing the GPU and letting the CPU focus on everything else it has to do". Thanks to these changes that CA made to Total War: WARHAMMER, the game will make great use of multi-core CPUs. CA elaborated: "Long story short: all of this means we're using the CPU and the GPU more efficiently. TW: Warhammer takes better advantage of multi-core CPUs, balancing the load across the cores so that no single core is maxed out and limiting framerates while others sit idle".

Continue reading 'Total War: WARHAMMER will receive a post-release DX12 patch' (full post)

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