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AMD unleashes its new Catalyst 14.7 RC drivers

AMD has just released its new Catalyst 14.7 RC (beta) drivers, something that includes the usual bug fixes and performance improvements, and drops support for Windows 8 (WDDM 1.2) as the company expects you to have upgraded to Windows 8.1 (WDDM 1.3) for free if you want continued support.

 

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Older version of Windows, such as Windows Vista and Windows 7 remain unaffected by this change. The latest Catalyst 14.7 RC drivers have all of the improvements that were baked into the Catalyst 14.6 RC release, but receive added CrossFire performance for Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, and improved CrossFire scaling at 4K for Assassin's Creed IV.

 

If you want to try them out (at your own risk since they're still a Release Candidate, and beta release) grab them right here.

NVIDIA unleashes new GeForce 340.43 beta drivers

NVIDIA has released its new R340 series of drivers, where it starts with the GeForce 340.43 beta drivers. The new R340 series doesn't introduce much in the way of new, with it being an iteration release with minor features, something we'll quickly jump into now.

 

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We have x86 Miracast support, which is probably the standout feature of the new R340 series of driver. Until now, NVIDIA only supported Miracast through its Tegra 3 and later SoCs, but now it works on GeForce products running Windows 8.1. NVIDIA's new GeForce 340.43 beta drivers are also Game Ready for GRID: Autosport and the Battlefield: Hardline beta.

 

For older GeForce owners, beware: the R340 series will be the last driver series to support NVIDIA's Direct3D 10 generation GPUs - with the 8/9/100/200 and 300 series all not receiving support after the R343 series later this year. These GPUs will be shifted over to legacy status. Go and grab the new NVIDIA GeForce 340.43 beta drivers here.

Microsoft Windows Start Menu delayed until next year, sources say

Windows 8.1 Update 2 may not be the one to restore the fabled "Start Menu" to the operating system, according to a report from ZDNet.

 

It's not official but ZDNet's All About Microsoft blogger Mary Jo Foley claims multiple reliable sources, who have had "good track records" on Windows information, support the claim.

 

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It was expected a version of the Start Menu would appear in a Windows update this year, but Foley's sources tell her it will be delayed until the Threshold release - the mysterious major update that may or may not be Windows 9.

 

Microsoft's Terry Myerson did say that the Start Menu will find its way into the "next iteration" of the Windows OS, however, it's not clear if that means a big overhaul or simply an update.

 

Either way, the buzz about a return to the start menu is perhaps indicative of nostalgia for the old, corner-loitering do-all button.

Apple unveils OS X Yosemite during WWDC

Apple unveiled OS X 10.10 Yosemite during its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) this morning, confirming speculation of the OS X upgrade. Yosemite streamlines OS X to more closely mimic Apple's iOS, with changes to the Notification Center, Maps, Calendar, Spotlight search, Messages, and Safari.

 

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New iCloud synchronization and AirDrop file sharing will give users the chance to send larger files to one another via email. A new "dark mode" gives users the chance to focus more on work and productivity, with the menu bar changing dark gray, with text and icons turning a lighter shade of gray.

 

A developer preview of OS X Yosemite was made available today, with full release expected in the fall.

Continue reading 'Apple unveils OS X Yosemite during WWDC' (full post)

AMD's new drivers include improved Eyefinity, allows mixed resolutions

AMD has just unleashed its impressive new Catalyst 14.6 Beta drivers, which offer some huge performance improvements for the newly-released Watch Dogs, and more - but there was a surprising, and not much talked about new feature inside: Eyefinity 3.0.

 

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Eyefinity 3.0 is not something that AMD refers to, but it refers to it as the "third major update to multi-display solution" - close enough. With the third iteration of Eyefinity, users can now use three different monitors, with varying resolutions. The new Eyefinity will let you align the bezels where you want, with an Eyefinity group capable of being created with a single click - no matter what resolutions your displays are pumping out.

New AMD drivers offer huge performance jumps for Watch Dogs, and more

Yesterday we wrote some news up about performance on NVIDIA GeForce GPUs being superior to that of AMD... well, we should've waited 24 hours. AMD has just dumped out a very impressive, and unexpected set of Catalyst drivers that offer huge performance gains on Ubisoft's open-world hacking game.

 

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AMD's new Catalyst 14.6 Beta drivers offer improvements of up to 25% for Watch Dogs on Radeon R9 290X at 1920x1080 with 4x MSAA enabled, and up to 28% improvement on the same GPU at 2560x1600 with 4x MSAA enabled. When Radeon R9 290X CrossFire scaling is in play with Watch Dogs at 4K (or 3840x2160 with 4x MSAA enabled) we see 92% scaling.

 

There are plenty of other improvements in the drivers, with Murdered Soul Suspect seeing 16% more performance at 2560x1600 with 4x MSAA enabled, and much more. You can download the new AMD Catalyst 14.6 Beta drivers for Windows here.

Chinese officials ban Microsoft Windows 8 from government PCs

Chinese officials have banned the Microsoft Windows 8 operating system from government computers, reportedly concerned over foreign-based spying techniques, according to Xinhua. However, the Chinese government - or the Xinhua news agency - never clarified how the ban would help improve security. The decision to ban Windows 8 from government-owned PCs was made last week, according to media reports, as Microsoft continues to struggle inside of China.

 

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The majority of government PCs in China operate using Microsoft Windows XP, which reached its end of support earlier this month, as Chinese software security companies have stepped up to provide additional protection.

 

Both China and the United States are engaged in a rather fragile technology relationship, with growing concern of spying from both sides. The US Department of Justice charged several members of the Chinese Army of hacking activities, with accusations of organized hacking against U.S. companies. Previously, Huawei officials were angered to hear that the National Security Agency (NSA) reportedly targeted the Chinese electronics giant.

NZXT announces CAM, its take on computer management for the masses

Keeping track of our PCs performance and vital signs is one of the more fun aspects of being a custom PC enthusiast, and this morning, NZXT, announced a new piece of software that makes this easier than ever before. The new NZXT CAM software is designed to monitor and track your PCs vital signs and activity in real-time. Furthermore, CAM allows users to sync and store the data generated from CAM in the cloud, which lets you view them on your mobile device.

 

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"Giving a modern refresh to antiquated monitoring methods, CAM offers the ability to sync your data to the cloud, allowing you to access your data and control CAM from anywhere using your mobile device. More than just a piece of software, CAM is a companion you can trust," NZXT said in a release. "With its all-encompassing approach to PC health, CAM actively monitors and tracks all of the important PC statistics ranging from network speeds, storage space, component temperatures, load usage over time and much more."

Continue reading 'NZXT announces CAM, its take on computer management for the masses' (full post)

AMD releases Catalyst 14.4 WHQL drivers, supports Radeon R9 295X2

It was barely a week ago that AMD released its Catalyst 14.4 RC (Release Candidate) drivers, but now the company has just unleashed its WHQL-certified drivers, the Catalyst 14.4 WHQL set of drivers.

 

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The new drivers support the Radeon R9 295X2 dual-GPU, feature CrossFire frame-pacing improvements for multiple games, full support for OpenGL 4.4, and various bugfixes for its Mantle API. You can grab the new Catalyst 14.4 WHQL drivers right here.

AMD launches Catalyst 14.4 RC drivers, compatible the R9 295X2

The AMD Radeon R9 295X2 is now available, but what good is the fastest GPU on the planet without some compatible drivers? Well, it's good timing that AMD has just made its new Catalyst 14.4 drivers available, compatible with the dual-Hawaii-based GPU.

 

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The new Catalyst 14.4 drivers are from a new driver branch - 14.100 - which include some new features. We have OpenGL 4.4 support for AMD GPUs, support for sparse textures, and buffer storage objects that can be used with processors that sport unified memory between the CPU and GPU - such as AMD's Kaveri range of chips.

 

We have the usual CrossFire improvements, with performance boosts for Crysis 3, Titanfall, Metro: Last Light and more. The Mantle side of things has been improved, fixing up some edge cases in Battlefield 4, as well as performance hits when you alt-tab. These new drivers are in the Release Candidate variety, so use them at your own risk. They're also 301MB, marking the first time an AMD driver has been over 300MB. You can download them here.

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