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TweakTown News Posts - Page 86

Stardock's working on letting you mix NVIDIA and AMD GPUs

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Mar 14, 2016 6:25 pm

GDC 2016 - Stardock has some exciting stuff on its hands with Ashes of the Singularity, a DirectX 12-powered game that has an awesome benchmark for mixing AMD and NVIDIA video cards - but it's limited to just one game, for now.

 

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Stardock has teased that it's working on a software solution, something that's part of DirectX 12, that will let gamers use multi-GPU support on DX12 games. Outside of AotS, multi-GPU support through DX12 isn't really a thing, but it could very well be in the near future.

 

Brad Wardell, Stardock CEO, explained to VentureBeat: "One of the biggest problems with games is that a new video card comes out from AMD and NVIDIA, and they're like [expensive], and you have to make a call. I like my video card. I can play most games on it, and I don't want to spend $800 on some new video card. But imagine, instead, hey, they're having a sale [using my GTX 760 as an example]. Hey, they're having a sale on an AMD 290 for $75. Wouldn't it be cool to put this into your computer and double your performance. You keep this in there [the 760]. You put this in there [the 290], and your games are twice as fast without doing anything else".

Continue reading 'Stardock's working on letting you mix NVIDIA and AMD GPUs' (full post)

Microsoft just made cross-console mutliplayer a reality

By: Jeff Williams | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 14, 2016 6:04 pm

Microsoft has wanted to have a way for people from all of their platforms to play together, but it just hasn't really been technically possible. Until now. And they're expanding the idea to other platforms "including other console and PC networks." Meaning the PlayStation 4.

 

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They're new cross-network play was just announced today and it means that games, if the developer choose to support the function, can enable every platform that a game happens to play on, to be able to interact with each other. A native solution hasn't ever been available that allowed this. Wargaming.net had to create their own internal API to even let Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC gamres to play together with World of Tanks.

 

The first game to take advantage of this is naturally Rocket League, which will let you play against your friends that are on whatever platform they happen to have. Right now it only supports play across the Xbox One and the PC, but there's an open invitation to allow the PlayStation 4 to participate, because it apparently isn't hard to implement. Interestingly, this could make the decision to buy a console rest solely on other factors other than what your friends happen to have, or want.

NVIDIA launches its GameWorks SDK 3.1, with three new technologies

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Mar 14, 2016 5:13 pm

GDC 2016 - NVIDIA has just announced its new GameWorks SDK 3.1, with three new technologies included in the release. This includes new techniques for shadows and lighting, as well as two new physical simulation algorithms, released in beta form.

 

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Senior VP of Content and Technology with NVIDIA, Tony Tamasi, explains: "It's our passion for gaming that drives us to tackle the technical problems presented by real-time rendering and simulation. Our GameWorks technologies push the boundaries of what's possible in real-time, enabling developers to ship their games with state of the art special effects and simulations".

 

As for the three new technologies with GameWorks SDK 3.1, this is what we can expect:

 

  • NVIDIA Volumetric Lighting - an advanced lighting technique that simulates how light behaves as it scatters through the air and atmosphere. NVIDIA Volumetric Lighting was first introduced in the hit video game Fallout 4.
  • NVIDIA Hybrid Frustum Traced Shadows (HFTS) - an algorithm for drawing high-fidelity shadows that transition smoothly from hard shadows near the occluding object, to proper soft shadows in regions farther away. HFTS debuted in the hit video game Tom Clancy's The Division.
  • NVIDIA Voxel Accelerated Ambient Occlusion (VXAO) - NVIDIA's highest quality algorithm for real-time ambient occlusion, VXAO is a shading technique that adds depth and realism to any scene. It surpasses older techniques by calculating shadows in world-space using all scene geometry, as opposed to screen space techniques that can only shadow from geometry visible to the camera. VXAO debuted in the hit video game Rise of the Tomb Raider.

Continue reading 'NVIDIA launches its GameWorks SDK 3.1, with three new technologies' (full post)

AMD announces it has an estimated 83% share of global VR system market

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Virtual & Augmented Reality | Posted: Mar 14, 2016 4:46 pm

GDC 2016 - AMD has announced that it has made strides in the VR market already, with Yahoo finance reporting that AMD is powering an estimated 83% of the global VR market. AMD only just announced minutes ago that it powered the new Sulon Q headset.

 

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This number includes the PlayStation VR, with the PS4 powered by AMD technology. When it comes to the PC side of things, AMD is partnering with both Oculus and HTC for the Rift and Vive respectively, with the company ensuring the Radeon ecosystem is ready to rock and roll when these headsets launch in the next month.

 

Later today, AMD will be displaying its Polaris 10 GPU running on Valve's Aperture Science Robot Repair demo, which is powered by the HTC Vive. AMD's Polaris 10 GPU is powered by the exciting new 14nm FinFET process, featuring support for both DX12 and VR - and includes HDR monitor support, and impressive performance-per-watt numbers.

AMD powers a new 'spatially aware' VR/AR headset, partnered with Sulon

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Virtual & Augmented Reality | Posted: Mar 14, 2016 4:35 pm

GDC 2016 - AMD's commitment to VR is pretty damn strong, with the company announcing a partnership with Sulon Technologies for a new "spatially aware" head-mounted display. The new Sulon Q is powered by AMD technology, and will blend the world's of VR and AR.

 

 

AMD explains the Sulon Q as the "first and only all-in-one, tether-free, 'wear and play' spatially aware headset for VR and AR". The description for the Sulon Q reads: "When you experience augmented reality the Sulon way, your physical world is not replaced, its enhanced. Everywhere you look your full field of view is the physical world you know, seamlessly augmented with new realities. It s the best of both world's, literally".

 

The Sulon Q is powered by an AMD FX-8800P processor with Radeon R7 graphics that will make use of AMD's GCN architecture. Sulon Technolgoies CEO, Dhan Balachand explains: "The full performance of 4 compute cores and 8 GPU cores are unlocked through a revolutionary Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA), enabling the cores to share memory to work together for dramatic performance and efficiency. The result is a solution that is optimized for modern workloads and media formats, capable of driving the latest graphics APIs including DirectX 12 and Vulkan, and able to render stunning video game console-quality visuals on a beautiful 2560x1440 OLED display".

Continue reading 'AMD powers a new 'spatially aware' VR/AR headset, partnered with Sulon' (full post)

AMD rumored to tease next-gen Polaris 10 GPU later today

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Video Cards | Posted: Mar 14, 2016 4:09 pm

GDC 2016 - Just as I'm getting ready to leave my Airbnb accommodation and pick up my GDC pass, and then later in the afternoon head to AMD's Capsaicin event - the company will reportedly be teasing its Polaris 10 GPU at the event, running on a SteamVR benchmark.

 

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The company will be unveiling its new Radeon Pro Duo video card during the event, with it based on two Fiji GPUs offering 12TFlops of performance - making it the perfect card for VR and 4K gaming. AMD will be using the next-gen Polaris 10 GPU running on Valve's Aperture Science Robot Repair which will be powered by the HTC Vive Pre headset.

 

Polaris 10 looks like the same GPU showed off at CES 2016 and the RTG event in Sonoma in December, which will compete against the likes of GeForce GTX 950. The Polaris 10 will be an entry-level/mainstream part based on the 14nm FinFET process with GCN 4.0 enhancements. As for availability, it should launch in mid-2016 right around the time of Computex - so expect plenty of new entry-level/mainstream laptops to be powered by Polaris 10.

 

AMD is livestreaming its Capsaicin event which kicks off today at 4PM PST, which you can check out here.

Qualcomm is releasing their own VR SDK for the Snapdragon 820

By: Jeff Williams | More News: Virtual & Augmented Reality | Posted: Mar 14, 2016 3:53 pm

You might already be potentially experiencing some of the best mobile VR on a Qualcomm chipset. It's inevitable with the kind of market share that they enjoy, but they want to make sure that the 3D enabled apps that you're using have the chance to be the absolute best when paired with the Snapdragon 820 with their new VR SDK.

 

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Virtual and augmented reality are becoming more and more complex works of art, taking advantage of the creativity of their creators, becoming vivid abstractions of our minds eye. Btu all of that requires processing power, and access to the underlying hardware in easy to use, low-overhead ways. To do that we need SDK's that allow for that. That's precisesly what Qualcomm's new VR SDK sets out to do. Allow VR app and content creators to design into their apps the ability to take advantage of the inherent advantages of their processor.

 

One of the most important aspects is the reduction in latency from what's being rendered and what you see. If there's too much, speaking in the realm of milliseconds here, then it can cause a huge disconnect and contribute to motion sickness. Using the SDK provides a nice and healthy 50% decrease in latency compared to not using it. They've also allowed lower-level access to the DPS and have built-in lens correction functions. Another great feature of the SDK is a native way to generate menus and other overlays in apps so that they can actually be rendered correctly.

Continue reading 'Qualcomm is releasing their own VR SDK for the Snapdragon 820' (full post)

Light up your bathroom with the IllumiBowl

By: TweakTown Deals | More News: Deals | Posted: Mar 14, 2016 3:10 pm

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Going to the bathroom in the middle of the night in the dark is something Morning You usually regrets. But turning on the light makes it that much harder to fall back asleep and get back to your dream about being BFFs with George Clooney. Get the best of both world's-the IllumiBowl toilet night light is $16.99 at TweakTown Deals.

 

Just snap the night light to the rim and it'll automatically turn on when you walk into the bathroom. Choose from eight different colors and patterns to add a little party to your pee break, either rotating between the eight or setting it to your favorite. Either way, you'll have enough light not to miss the bowl...and not so much light that you toss and turn the rest of the night.

 

Get the IllumiBowl toilet night light for $16.99 at TweakTown Deals.

New Gears of War: Ultimate Edition patch incoming, finally fixed

By: Jeff Williams | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 14, 2016 3:07 pm

Gears of War: Ultimate Edition for the PC got off to a pretty bad start when it was released at the beginning of the month. It was a complete mess for AMD cards and a slightly smaller mess for NVIDIA cards. DirectX 12 was there, but it didn't quite provide the performance boost that we thought, and expected, it would. But a new patch coming out soon should prove to fix quite a few of the more worse problems.

 

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This new update will include a lot of performance optimizations, tweak Ambient Occlusion and disable mouse smoothing, some of the most requested additions to the game. Unfortunately, if you have a 60Hz monitor, you're still limited to the up to 60FPS, even with V-sync turned off. At the moment they're working on a fix for that. And they're also looking into adding an FPS counter into the game since very few external solutions support UWP or even being available in DirectX 12. FRAPS, a popular solution, doesn't work in DX12 enabled games, for example.

 

The most important fix in the patch are the performance enhancements, and under-the-hood changes they've made so that AMD cards don't result in a whole screen of graphical artefacts or other strange occurrences. Now it'll actually be playable, even if it's limited to the refresh rate of your monitor. And at least a smooth constant 60FPS is acceptable for playing, if not really for showing off.

Continue reading 'New Gears of War: Ultimate Edition patch incoming, finally fixed' (full post)

Star Fox Zero will have an invincible mode for beginners to explore

By: Jeff Williams | More News: Gaming | Posted: Mar 14, 2016 2:13 pm

Star Fox Zero for the Wii U is going to cater to the beginning gamer in all of us, allowing you to activate an in-game invincibility mode to let you get used to the controls and help you become more proficient without the worry that death can cause.

 

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Shigeru Miyamoto, a designer from Nintendo, was asked by Time whether or not some Nintendo games tended to coddle players in certain situations. He responded that they aren't simply making the game easier, but are making some challenges more fun for those that otherwise could be overwhelmed by them. There's no sense in having a game that can't be fun for a wider audience. Younger gamers in particular, might benefit from having a bit of assistance once in awhile. And they don't want to lower the hurdle, so to speak, but just make it more accessible.

 

Invincibility will come from a difficulty level that allows a special Arwing that you can obtain so you can familiarize yourselves with the levels. He didn't quite go into detail as to how that would work, but higher difficulty levels will likely feature better rewards. But for the more hardcore player, they also seem to be adding in even higher difficulty modes as well.

Continue reading 'Star Fox Zero will have an invincible mode for beginners to explore' (full post)

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