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TweakTown News Posts - Page 58

AMD confirms it will use both HBM and GDDR5 for next-gen Polaris GPUs

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Jan 16, 2016 3:34 am

Something I mused on about in September 2015 was that AMD and NVIDIA would use both HBM (and HBM2) as well as GDDR5, or GDDR5X on their next-gen cards throughout 2016. Well, AMD has confirmed this news.

 

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Robert Hallock, the Technical Marketing Lead at AMD, explains: "We have the flexibility to use HBM or GDDR5 as costs require. Certain market segments are cost sensitive, GDDR5 can be used there. Higher-end market segments where more cost can be afforded, HBM is viable as well".

 

This will work out perfectly for AMD, as I think we'll see cards under $350 or so using GDDR5/GDDR5X while the HBM2-powered cards will arrive as enthusiast video cards, priced at $400 and above.

f.lux responds to Apple's Night Shift feature announcement

By: Sean Ridgeley | More News: Apps | Posted: Jan 16, 2016 2:05 am

Back in November, screen dimming, sleep-friendly software f.lux was given the boot off iOS by Apple. The app developer claimed this was due to a misunderstanding over direct install privileges; some speculated because it isn't a true open source download, it contains major security vulnerabilities.

 

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Then this week, we learned Apple had built its own take on f.lux. Named "Night Shift", it will debut in iOS 9.3 this quarter. In response, f.lux has expressed it's happy Apple is joining the cause, but it still has interest in getting back on the operating system.

Continue reading 'f.lux responds to Apple's Night Shift feature announcement' (full post)

$9 'CHIP' computer features 1GHz CPU, 512MB RAM, 4GB storage, HDMI

By: Sean Ridgeley | More News: Computer Systems | Posted: Jan 16, 2016 1:00 am

First there was the $5 Raspberry Pi Zero computer, then the $15 PINE A64, and now we have the $9 CHIP.

 

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CHIP (Computer Hardware in Products), is open source and houses a 1 GHz R8 ARM processor, 512MB RAM, and 4GB storage. Features-wise, it includes Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, and supports composite, VGA, and HDMI outputs, so you can connect it to your desktop or laptop display or even TV. As for OS, it runs on Linux (Debian) and is capable of running apps and games (tons come pre-installed, including the Chromium browser). Peripherals work just fine, too.

Continue reading '$9 'CHIP' computer features 1GHz CPU, 512MB RAM, 4GB storage, HDMI' (full post)

New website lets New Yorkers vote on smartphone encryption bill

By: Sean Ridgeley | More News: Privacy & Rights | Posted: Jan 15, 2016 11:56 pm

Following Apple's beseeching of the Obama administration to support the public's right to smartphone encryption this week, the New York Senate is now allowing citizens to vote on the matter on its new website.

 

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Assembly Bill A8093, as it's known, requires all phones manufactured January 1, 2016 or later are capable of being unlocked and decrypted. The bill says should a smartphone owner be caught with a new phone that doesn't meet this requirement, they'll be fined $2,500.

 

The bill is currently in the committee stage; it must pass the New York state senate and assembly before it becomes law. In the meantime, citizens can weigh in here.

AMD's graphics boss says VR needs 16K at 240Hz for 'true immersion'

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Jan 15, 2016 11:27 pm

There were some fears when AMD split its GPU division into Radeon Technologies Group, but ATI 2.0 is really hitting the ground running with Polaris, and its continued commitment into VR. I think we'll see 'Big Polaris' powering VR, something we exclusively reported on last week.

 

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During CES 2016 last week, RTG boss and cricket fan (yeah!) Raja Koduri spoke with VentureBeat about wanting to put the GPU division of AMD back into center focus. He said that 2016 is going to be a huge year for the company, as it hits its stride with the excited FinFET process, which will provide more performance per watt, HBM2 (which will provide 1TB/sec memory bandwidth) and the new Polaris architecture.

 

But when it came to the future of GPUs, Koduri said that VR will drive a large portion of this and that he won't be happy until we get 3D graphics that support 16K screens, and at 240Hz - yeah, 16K @ 240FPS. Just as Neo said in The Matrix: "whoa". Koduri says that this is when we'll reach the point of "true immersion that you won't be able to tell apart from the real-world". Koduri makes me excited about the future of not just RTG, but GPUs and VR, especially with quotes like that.

Continue reading 'AMD's graphics boss says VR needs 16K at 240Hz for 'true immersion'' (full post)

Fallout 4 1.3 beta update improves performance, stability, adds HBAO+

By: Sean Ridgeley | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jan 15, 2016 11:02 pm

The latest beta patch for Fallout 4 has hit Steam, and it's a juicy one.

 

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Apart from memory optimizations, improved stability, and a long list of fixes to gameplay, quests, and the workshop, you get the addition of HBAO+. HBAO+ is an NVIDIA technology said to improve the look of shadows even more than what you see with standard HBAO while being more performance friendly. It's not NVIDIA exclusive. However, the added weapon debris effects are. Lastly, there's now a status menu for settlers in your settlements.

 

If you want the full details, hit the source, where you can also find beta download instructions if you've never done this before.

Survey says... Windows 10 is highly regarded and very well liked

By: Jeff Williams | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Jan 15, 2016 9:57 pm

The research firm IDC conducted a survey about Windows 10 and has just now published the results of that survey. And the data they have seems to suggest that Windows 10 is quite the success. People actually enjoy it. And they're liking it far more than they did upgrading to previous releases.

 

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Satisfaction is abnormally high for Windows 10. That is, 60% of those that said they have Windows 10 picked a "favorable" or "very favorable" rating when asked how they saw the OS. But not everyone enjoys the new OS, with 1 in 10 having chosen an "unfavorable" rating or lower. But the positive responses still outweighed the negative, indicating that it was at least generally a better and more smooth launch than 8 or 8.1.

 

The survey was given to 1,000 adults who owned PC's in the US and was carried out in September of last year. But with the survey being conducted so soon after the July 2015 launch of Windows 10, it might be that the responses were slightly colored with the relative "newness" of the new OS. If you weren't part of the preview program, it was different enough from 8.1 to feel better overall, despite issues that seemed to crop up later. Regardless, the Steam hardware survey shows that Windows 10 64 bit has a 31.25% share of all machines running Steam, which is up 2.44% over last November. That isn't insignificant.

Continue reading 'Survey says... Windows 10 is highly regarded and very well liked' (full post)

The Division gets an Xbox One bundle to make taking New York easier

By: Jeff Williams | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Jan 15, 2016 9:02 pm

The Division is getting its very own Xbox One bundle from Microsoft that gives you a 1TB Xbone combined with the game and a 14-day Xbox Live Gold trial so you can actually get online and enjoy the cooperative RPG to its fullest.

 

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By pre-ordering the bundle (or the standalone game itself) you'll have guaranteed access to the beta that's going to kick off on January 28th, letting us all band-together (supposedly) to take back New York City in a format that, on the surface, looks very similar to Destiny. The gameplay should be different and hopefully is designed in the spirit of other Tom Clancy games, and of his literary works.

 

Playing The Division at E3 last year was a treat, though the frozen streets were surprisingly sparse. There's scuttlebut in the community about downgraded graphics from what was initially shown, but the examples that are coming out still do look good even if they aren't up to the pretty visuals of the first official gameplay trailer. This definitely isn't another Watch Dogs debacle, at the very least. If that's any consolation. So pick your poison and pre-order, or do the prudent thing and wait for it to release and be reviewed. Ubisoft has promised us that the PC version won't be just another port, but a game that they'll actually optimize so it runs well and looks spectacular, as it should on high-end PC's

Star Citizen Alpha 2.1 out now, adds more flyable ships, squashes bugs

By: Jeff Williams | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jan 15, 2016 8:01 pm

Fresh from the Public Test Universe (PTU), Alpha 2.1 for Star Citizen is now available for download.

 

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The focus of the new ~27GB patch is mainly on finding those gigantic bugs and stomping them so that the Star Citizen experience can be maintained. That is, you don't fall out of your ship randomly or crash to the desktop, as can sometimes happen in an alpha build. Thus 2.1 is far more stable than its predecessor.

 

And aside from the monumental task of fixing a tremendous amount of issues and bugs, there are now two additional flyable ships available, the Aegis Vanguard Warden, which is a flying weapons platform similar to the A10 Warthog, and the MISC Freelancer, a large multi-purpose ship that can be refitted for a variety of missions. The militia variant is particularly attractive, but you'll eventually be able to modify it in-game to suit your own specific needs. While not flyable, the Aegis Sabre will be available in your hanger module if you own it, which is only a cool $170 at the moment. New weapons and the Million Mile High Club are also available in this update.

Continue reading 'Star Citizen Alpha 2.1 out now, adds more flyable ships, squashes bugs' (full post)

David Cage reminisces about David Bowie in Omikron: The Nomad Soul

By: Jeff Williams | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jan 15, 2016 6:52 pm

David Bowie and his genius has unfortunately been lost to us as he becomes one with the Force, but his legacy will live on in a lot of different mediums. Even in the world of gaming,

 

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For some it seems like only yesterday that his music, and his likeness, was used as a major plot point in Omikron: The Nomad Soul. That RPG changed the face of the genre forever, or at least I'd like to think it did, and in part because of David Bowie and his contributions. His music alone made it one of the most unique and enjoyable games of that era. And while Omikron itself was slightly buggy (read: very) when it first launched, I couldn't get enough of it. A recent playthrough I did reinforced how unique it was.

 

And David Cage, the founder of Quantic Dream, the studio that made Omikron, has been kind enough to share some of this memories of working with the iconic David Bowie. His battle with cancer might tragically be over, but we'll always remember him as being singularly unique and inspiring.

Continue reading 'David Cage reminisces about David Bowie in Omikron: The Nomad Soul' (full post)

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