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AMD have been releasing a constant onslaught of drivers lately, but NVIDIA have stayed even with them, constantly releasing new drivers in this holiday season as there have been many AAA+ titles released. The latest release from the green team is the 290.53 beta drive, which includes performance optimizations for Skyrim, as well as other, miscellaneous enhancements.
NVIDIA mentioned the Skyrim in their list of improvements, which is a good sign:
Increases performance by up to 25 percent vs. 290.36 drivers on indoor scenes (measured with GeForce GTX 560 at 19×10 Ultra).
Updates the NVIDIA Control Panel ambient occlusion support to a higher performance profile.
Adds new 3D Vision laser sight /crosshair options to better match Skyrim crosshairs.
Other bits included with the 290.53 beta drivers are SLI and 3D Vision profiles for a bunch of new titles, including Trine 2. NVIDIA says that GeForce 400- and 500-series GPUs should no longer see "random instances of triangular artifacts" when playing Battlefield 3.
Our Download of the Day today is GPU-Z 0.5.7.
TechPowerUp today released GPU-Z version 0.5.7, the latest version of our popular graphics system information and diagnostic utility. This release of GPU-Z comes just in time for the launch of AMD's Radeon HD 7000 series. It packs tested support for Radeon HD 7970 and HD 7350. It packs an updated PCI Express 3.0 detection routine, with better detection reliability. It fixes a bug related to "APIC counter broken" on AMD Fusion APU platforms. Detection is improved for some rare GPUs, such as HD 6450A, HD 6470M, and the more popular HD 5570.
Several reliability updates were introduced. This includes fixed (improved) fillrate calculation on Fermi architecture, fixed ROP count on GT 420, GT 520, HD 5450, HD 6450; fixed random values showing as default clocks on some NVIDIA cards; fixed random value showing as shader clock on NVIDIA cards without shader clock; and addition of process size, die size, transistor count for Radeon E6760.
Our Download of the Day today is Emsisoft Anti-Malware 18.104.22.168.
Emsisoft Anti-Malware monitors all active programs in real time for dangerous behavior (Behavior Blocking) and can detect new unknown Trojans, Worms, Viruses and other damaging programs (Zero-Day dangers) without daily updates. The signature-based security (Emsisoft and Ikarus double engine) ensures a very high recognition rate of known Malware such as Trojans, Worms and Viruses.
Emsisoft Anti-Malware provides reliable protection from:
Viruses, worms, bots.
Trojans, backdoors, keyloggers, rootkits.
Spyware, Adware, TrackingCookies.
Our Download of the Day today is LibreOffice 3.5.0 Beta 1.
LibreOffice is the free power-packed Open Source personal productivity suite for Windows, Macintosh and Linux, that gives you six feature-rich applications for all your document production and data processing needs.
Writer is the word processor inside LibreOffice. Use it for everything, from dashing off a quick letter to producing an entire book with tables of contents, embedded illustrations, bibliographies and diagrams.
Calc tames your numbers and helps with difficult decisions when you're weighing the alternatives.
Impress is the fastest and easiest way to create effective multimedia presentations.
Draw lets you build diagrams and sketches from scratch. A picture is worth a thousand words, so why not try something simple with box and line diagrams?
Base is the database front-end of the LibreOffice suite.
Math is a simple equation editor that lets you lay-out and display your mathematical, chemical, electrical or scientific equations quickly in standard written notation.
RightWare, who are behind BrowserMark and the very popular Basemark ES 2.0, have announced the latest in their smartphone testing software: Basemark Halti, an OpenGL ES 3.0 benchmark.
Basemark Halti contains two primary benchmarking scenes, in the same fashion that Basemark ES 2.0 had two scenes. This time they're named Rush and Car Race. The two tests will have triangle counts of roughly 100,000 triangles per frame, and be rendered front to back where possible.
First up, Rush is an action scene based on a city rooftop and its aim is to bring PC-quality game rendering. Character animation with skinning and bones, dynamic shadows and reflections, per-pixel lighting with 3 point lights, depth of field, light bloom, and SSAO are all featured in Rush.
Our Download of the Day today is Firefox 9.0 Beta 6.
The Web is all about innovation, and Firefox sets the pace with dozens of new features to deliver a faster, more secure and customizable Web browsing experience for all.
User Experience. The enhancements to Firefox provide the best possible browsing experience on the Web. The new Firefox smart location bar, affectionately known as the "Awesome Bar," learns as people use it, adapting to user preferences and offering better fitting matches over time.
Performance. Firefox is built on top of the powerful new Gecko platform, resulting in a safer, easier to use and more personal product.
Security. Firefox raises the bar for security. The new malware and phishing protection helps protect from viruses, worms, trojans and spyware to keep people safe on the Web.
Customization. Everyone uses the Web differently, and Firefox lets users customize their browser with more than 5,000 add-ons.
"Siri, what is your competition?" "Nothing, I'm the best thing out," says Siri. Well, not for long. Google's response to Apple's voice assistant looked to be codenamed Majel, which stems from Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, who is better known as the voice of the Federation Computer from Star Trek.
Google already have Voice Actions, and Majel would be an evolution of this with the addition of natural language processing. Voice Actions require voice prompts such as "sent text to..." or "navigate to..." Majel will allow you to perform actions in your natural language, similar to how Siri functions.
At the initial launch, Majel will only be able to do Google search enquiries, which could see the light of day in 2011. Google X engineers are reportedly working around the clock on finishing the first release, as the NYTime has reported previously that at least one product would make it out of the Google X labs before the end of the year.
Futuremark have been busy people lately, with the announcement yesterday of their notebook battery test suite, Powermark and today, an updated version of their ever-so-popular 3DMark 11. It has now been updated to v1.0.3 and includes the following additions from the release notes:
- Bullet physics library updated to version 2.79 to improve compatibility with future CPUs and GPUs.
- For most systems containing multiple GPUs, for example integrated graphics and an additional discrete graphics card, the user can now select the GPU to be tested using a new option on the Help tab.
- Improved error handling and user messages for the most common compatibility issues.
- SystemInfo component updated to version 4.5 for improved compatibility with current and future hardware.
- New "More" tab with information about other Futuremark products and services.
AMD have released two new drivers, the AMD Catalyst 11.12 and the AMD Catalyst 12.1 Preview drivers. Highlights of the Catalyst 11.12 driver are: AMD OpenGL 4.2 production support, where it includes official support for the OpenGL 4.2 specification. Enhancements for Eyefinity are included, with support for AMD HD3D technology when using 3x1 Landscape Eyefinity display group, on supported DisplayPort 3D monitors.
Also included is AMD Vision Engine Control Center enhancements for Dual Graphics, where AMD have implemented to better facilitate the enabling and control of the Dual Graphics within the Vision Engine Control Center. Next up, we have the gem that is the AMD Catalyst 12.1 Preview, which includes multiple improvements and new features such as:
AMD HD3D technology support enhancement
· Enables support for AMD HD3D technology in conjunction with AMD CrossFireX configurations
· Delivers a new Stereo 3D mode over HDMI 1.4a connections - 1080p at 30Hz is now enabled on supported displays.
Windows 8 will of course, include an integrated music player and today we have leaked screenshots from Winunleaked. A preview of the UI has been leaked, and while the player doesn't look as advanced as a dedicated app like the Windows Media Player, but could be built into the UI with Metro, which might change things up a little bit.
The app allows access to music from a folder, device or other possible locations. It will also offer access to music through Microsoft's Windows Store, which is something new compared to Windows 7. In the app itself, when a song is being played, the mini-app shows the music's title, date and record label. Listeners can also create and save a listening queue, repeat a song, or listen to songs in a random shuffle. They can also pin their favorite songs to their start screen.