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Futuremark has just announced that its PCMark 8 benchmarking suite is now available for purchase and download on Steam beginning today. PCMark 8 by Futuremark combines high-performance benchmark testing with other useful tests like battery life testing and dedicated benchmarks for SSDs and HDDs.
The suite also test out your system using real-world test based on applications from Adobe and Microsoft, and not just 3D gaming performance. These Home, Creative, and Work test are said to reflect the most common PC usage patterns and will help everyday users get the most out of their laptop, desktop, or workstation. At the moment PCMark 8 is on sale on Steam for just $37.49 which is 25-percent off of its normal price of $49.95. Futuremark says that keys bought through steam are interchangeable with the non-Steam version of the software as well.
NVIDIA Editors' Day 2013 - We are live at NVIDIA's Editors' Day here in Montreal, Canada, where we just experienced what NVIDIA called a 'warm up' to some truly exciting things. One of the warm up unveilings was FLEX, its new unified GPU PhysX technology.
FLEX is something that needs to be seen to be believed, with some impressive physic calculations being done in real-time with water and cloths. We have a video of FLEX above, which you really need to check out. The demo was nothing short of amazing, with physics seemingly jumping to an entire new level thanks to the engineers and brains at NVIDIA.
Benchmarking junkies will now be able to get their fix by benchmarking Windows RT devices thanks to Futuremark. The company announced today that it has now included support for Windows RT in its 3DMark for Windows benchmarking software. The 3D Benchmarking suite includes three tests based on the "Ice Storm" test scene, namely "Ice Storm," "Ice Storm Extreme," and "Ice Storm Unlimited."
The Ice Storm test is designed to push DirectX 11 to its limits and make the system scream, while the Ice Storm Extreme will run the scene at 1080p with added detail and higher resolution textures to provide a truly stressful graphics performance test. Ice Storm Unlimited will stress the entire system including CPU, GPU, Display Resolution Scaling, and other OS-related factors like no other benchmark can.
NVIDIA has its own GeForce Experience software suite, which tweaks your PC and in-game settings to provide you with a 'better' gaming experience, and now the Red Team has announced its own software: Gaming Evolved Control Center, which is still in beta.
AMD teamed up with Rapr to maek the suite, which offers tools for chat, taking screenshots, and tweaking in-game settings for better performance. Gaming Evolved is heavily spun with Rapr's community data, which determines the best configuration for your PC and games. Rapt's rewards system is mixed in, offering beta access to certain games and free DLC for using the service, which is a nice bonus.
Through AMD's new software, you can stream directly to Twitch, with the added ability of simultaneously watching someone else's broadcast while you're blasting around in another game. AMD says that its new software is designed to "make PC gaming as simple to use as consoles" but I disagree. PC gaming is not meant to be "simple," as it takes away the major difference between consoles and PCs.
Oculus Rift is incredibly awesome, but it is quite limited when it comes to fully supported games. VorpX has stepped in, unleashing its software which is still in beta, which opens up the world of virtual reality to countless new games.
VorpX works with huge games like BioShock Infinite and Mirror's Edge, but best of all, it works with Battlefield 3. None of these games are built to work with the Rift headset, so there are some workarounds that the team of VorpX has used. This includes clicking in and holding down your middle mouse wheel which will let you "edge peak."
Edge peak allows you to look freely at the edges of your field of view, instead of moving within the game world by moving your head, and the Rift. The list of compatible games with Rift thanks to VorpX is huge, and I'm quite excited to test out a bunch of them this week.
Spotify has just expanded into four new markets - Taiwan, Argentina, Turkey and Greece, which sees the music streaming service blasting out tunes to 32 markets across the world.
A Spotify spokesperson confirmed to The Next Web that the site has gone live in Taiwan, and that it should be hitting the other three countries in the coming hours. As usual, it's free to use as an ad-based service. But, if you want to get some premium Spotify happening, it will set you back TW$150, or around US$5 per month.
NVIDIA has finally unleashed its GeForce 327.23 WHQL drivers, breaking out of the previous 326.80 beta drivers from last month. The new drivers include the usual performance increases, but there's more in store with these new drivers from NVIDIA.
We have performance increases of up to 19% in a few games since the previous R319 drivers, new SLI profiles, official Windows 8.1 support, TXAA support for OpenGL, and full support for tiled 4K 60Hz displays such as ASUS' beautiful PQ321Q. You can grab NVIDIA's GeForce 327.23 WHQL driver right here.
IDF 2013 - Today LSI announced that they will be demonstrating the performance of its 12Gb/s MegaRAID controller at this year's Intel Developer Forum being held in San Francisco, California. The demo will be taking place at LSI's booth (#614) as well as on display at other locations during the event.
The demonstration setup consists of a LSI 12Gb/s MegaRAID controller with an Intel Xenon E5-2600 v2 based server, and eight 12Gb/s HGST SAS SSDs. LSI says that this system delivers a throughput increase of over 50-percent compared to a 6Gb/s SAS system. LSI design this system to maximize storage performance for I/O intensive applications such as web cloud data centers and virtualized server environments.
"As storage needs grow, 12Gb/s SAS provides the performance gains necessary to help end customers optimize bandwidth-intensive applications including those for cloud and big data," said Kelly Bryant, vice president of marketing, RAID Storage Division, LSI. "Working closely with the storage ecosystem including Intel and HGST, LSI is committed to providing customers with 12Gb/s SAS solutions with leading performance and interoperability."
As a heavy Spotify user, it's going to be very hard to make me, and millions of other Spotify, Pandora, or other music streaming service users change, but Kim Dotcom hopes we will with his new music service, Baboom.
Baboom is still months away from a public release, but it's yet another service in the constantly growing line of services from Mega founder, Kim Dotcom. Baboom is currently being prepared for a public launch, which will launch at Baboom.com. Dotcom has said that he's secured several million dollars in funding for Baboom, and has 22 developers working on it.
Dotcom believes that Baboom will revolutionize the music industry, handing over the power to artists once again. Dotcom told TorrentFreak: "I am really excited about Baboom. I can't wait for artists to see what i have created for them. Their entire career can be managed on Baboom. Artists never had more freedom, transparency and control."
It appears that Skype wants to make your video chats a little more realistic. In a recent interview with the BBC, a senior executive at Skype confirmed that the company has been developing 3-D video call technology. Mark Gillett, Microsoft's corporate vice President for Skype, said that the company had been working on the R&D side of things in its laboratories.
He said that the company has been studying the capability of 3-D screens as well as 3-D capture devices, but said that "the capture devices are not there yet" in terms of consumer viability. He said that they've already managed to get 3-D video calls working in the lab, but for the moment, the lack of a 3-D video standard for devices is the major obstacle.
"As we work with that kind of technology, you have to add multiple cameras to your computer, precisely calibrate them, and point them at the right angle," he explains. He went on to say that Skype will likely offer 1080p HD video calls to more devices than just the upcoming Xbox One.