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Futuremark have updated their benchmarking software, 3DMark, to version 1.1.0 which includes a bunch of fixes. The biggest fix is to multi-GPU setups, which had issues with three- and four-way GPU's.
Previously, 3DMark wasn't returning the right scores to those multi-GPU setups, but Futuremark has said that while they thought it was a minor issue, it "turned out to be far more complicated and we are truly sorry that it has taken so long to fix". The updated benchmark also includes Ice Storm Extreme, which is a more intense version of Ice Storm which is designed for mobile devices.
This test now allows you to compare Ice Storm and Ice Storm Extreme scores between Android and Windows devices.
BitTorrent Sync is proving both popular and speedy. BitTorrent, the company behind the new syncing software that relies on the BitTorrent protocol, has announced that Sync has surpassed one petabyte of data synchronized between machines. This is an impressive feat considering that the software was only released publicly on April 23.
BitTorrent says that each day Sync sees over 70 terabytes of data. To put some of these numbers on context, BitTorrent says that the Internet Archive houses around 10 petabytes of data. This means Sync should surpass the Internet Archive in less than a year, provided the sync rate stays the same. However, it's likely the rate will increase as more people adopt the software..
In most ways, Sync is just like Dropbox except for the lack of central storage. However, one could easily set up Sync with a central repository on a remote server and basically have a Dropbox clone. Sync is turning into a great tool and I can't wait to see where it goes when it becomes a stable release.
Google has updated their Google Drive app to allow sharing directly from the Google Drive folder. To share a file currently in your Google Drive folder, all you have to do is right click on the file, go down to Google Drive, and select "Share...". It really couldn't get much simpler than that.
The update is available in both the Windows and Mac versions of the software and will be coming to a desktop system near you in the coming days as it rolls out. Of course, if you aren't already using Google Drive's desktop app, you can download the nifty syncing software directly from Google (source link #2)
Adobe to move entire Creative Suite to subscription based service, will ditch retail sales and further CS Suite updates
Adobe has announced that it will be moving its Creative Suite of products from a retail business model, and into a cloud based subscription model that will let users subscribe to the service for a monthly fee and will completely do away with retail packaging, downloads and apparently Creative Suite altogether.
Adobe has decided to rebrand the new subscription service as the Adobe Creative Cloud and will still feature all of the same programs professionals have grown to love. This will also end the yearly release cycle for program updates, and subscribers will simply get the updates as they come out.
If you want my personal opinion on this, I feel that Adobe is making a major mistake here and the push to the cloud is being fueled by one thing and one thing only, piracy. With a cloud based service, Adobe can keep a more firm hold on its programs and prevent pirates from downloading and installing the program illegally.
We have recently reviewed Shadow Defender, a light-virtualization program with a difference. SD (as it is known among fans) sandboxes whole disks/partitions and protects them against unwanted changes. All changes (including most malware infections and their effects) actually happen within the SD buffer, a virtual environment which resides in an area isolated from the real system. Upon reboot, the virtualization buffer is emptied by default and all volume changes are immediately discarded. The real volume remains untouched and Windows boots back to its normal clean state.
SD is essentially a final safety net for Windows systems. It also features a handy RAM cache, which means that you can now have a superfast virtual Windows environment running directly from RAM. When using such a RAM cache setup, your disks take no write hits, something that is very beneficial for devices like SSDs and flash sticks.
SD is a great piece of code, but threats keep evolving constantly. It is essential for SD to also keep evolving in order for it to continue to be relevant. Since October last year, I had the pleasure of exchanging ideas with Tony, the Shadow Defender developer.
Up until now, NVIDIA's PhysX technology hasn't been used in games all that well. Even today, it's still just a technology demo, and a technology acquisition by NVIDIA, but they continue to keep their heads down and work on the physics technology.
There's a new simulation using PhysX, which you can check out in the above video. The demo is the result of research by Miles Macklin and Matthias Muller. They have a paper published about it, which you can read here, with some details below:
AMD have released some new drivers, getting ready for May, with the Catalyst 13.5 Beta drivers. The new drivers support the latest dual-GPU Radeon HD 7990, so if you're fortunate to have one of those, you'll need to acquire these drivers.
The following improvements are offered up on the Radeon HD 7000 Series GPUs:
- Far Cry 3: Improves performance up to 4% with Anti-Aliasing enabled
- Shogun II: Improves performance up to 20% with 8x Anti-Aliasing enabled
- Tomb Raider: Improves performance up to 6%
- Bioshock: Improves performance up to 6%
- Borderlands 2: Improves performance up to 17%
You can grab the Catalyst 13.5 Beta drivers here.
Twitter's client built for Mac OS X has been updated with Retina support, along with several other features and improvements. This marks the first major update in almost two years. Aside from Retina display support, Twitter has added simplified photo-sharing options and support for 14 new languages.
Now Twitter is even more vibrant and detailed on the highest resolution Mac notebooks. With this update, Tweets will be clearer and sharper, creating a more vivid experience.
Twitter has also renewed its commitment to the Twitter for Mac application. Ben Sandofsky, product lead for Twitter, tweeted that he's "taking a break from iOS to work on Twitter for Mac full time." This should hopefully result in more features and improvements in the coming weeks and months.
However, a Twitter spokesperson was slightly less forthcoming: "We don't have anything specific to share in regards to future plans for the app."
Coinciding with the launch of the Radeon HD 7990, AMD has released updated Catalyst drivers, bringing the count up to 13.4. These are the first WHQL-certified drivers released by the CPU and GPU manufacturer in three months. Our resident GPU Editor and author of the driver analyses pieces will hopefully have a piece up on them soon.
The drivers bring official support for the newly released HD 7790 and HD 7990. To download the newest drivers, you can head over to AMD's driver support site.
We've seen AMD release their dual-GPU beast, the Radeon HD 7990 today, but NVIDIA don't want the spotlight to be formed directly on their competitor so they've chosen today to release a new set of drivers for their GeForce GPUs.
The GeForce 320.00 drivers arrive in beta form, and offer the usual performance improvements and bug fixes over the previous GeForce 314.22 WHQL drivers. There is some interesting support baked in, too, for the GeForce 800 series. If you have the latest GPU from NVIDIA, there's a 20% improvement for Dirt: Showdown and Tomb Raider.
A 6% to 7% improvement is offered for StarCraft II, Sniper Elite V2, Far Cry 3, F1 2012, and Metro 2033. The new GeForce 320.00 beta drivers also note "This is the GeForce Game Ready driver for Dead Island: Riptide, Neverwinter, and Star Trek". You can get the new GeForce 320.00 beta drivers here.