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NVIDIA's GeForce GTX Titan X is right around the corner, so it's time for AMD to come stomping on its parade with a new FreeSync-capable driver. We're sad it's not the Radeon R9 390X, but this will do until then.
AMD is seeing FreeSync monitors in multiple regions so far, with the company talking about its FreeSync drivers coming on March 19 recently. AMD said: "AMD is very excited that monitors compatible with AMD FreeSync technology are now available in select regions in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa). We know gamers are excited to bring home an incredibly smooth and tearing-free PC gaming experience powered by AMD Radeon GPUs and AMD A-Series APUs. We're pleased to announce that a compatible AMD Catalyst graphics driver to enable AMD FreeSync technology for single-GPU configurations will be publicly available on AMD.com starting March 19, 2015. Support for AMD CrossFire configurations will be available the following month in April 2015".
This is great to see, as it means that NVIDIA has competition against its G-Sync module and G-Sync powered monitors that are on the market. AMD has plenty of monitors coming out this year with FreeSync baked in, with sizes between a 34-inch ultrawide monitor from LG (which we have on the way), right up to 4K, and back down to 1440p and 1080p, giving gamers and consumers plenty to choose from.
GDC 2015 - Unity Technologies has just announced Unity 5 at the Game Developers Conference, which will include a free, no-royalty Personal Edition to be used by small companies.
Unity 5 is capable of some pretty delicious graphics, as you can see from the screenshots above. Unity CEO John Riccitiello has said that Unity 5 is a "graphics powerhouse", and while it's not as good looking as some competing engines like Unreal Engine 4, we're still impressed. Oculus VR is right behind Unity 5, with Oculus VR founder and VR God himself Palmer Luckey also taking the stage during the Unity 5 announcement.
Luckey said: "The majority of the virtual reality experiences we've seen have been built with Unity technology. We're trying to make virtual reality available to everyone, not just consumers, but developers". Unity 5 will have Oculus Rift support very shortly, with Luckey adding "We've been collaborating for over two years with Unity and the results are awesome. It is really smooth and seamless now ... we have the ability to preview and publish to GearVR and Rift instantly".
Lenovo was busted preloading the Superfish adware software on consumer notebooks, and its customers were clearly not happy. Following its Superfish headache, Lenovo wants to become "the leader in providing cleaner, safer PCs" to its customers.
The company continues trying to repair its public relations nightmare, recently promising a reduction in preloaded applications. In the future, pre-loaded software will include Microsoft Windows, security software, Lenovo applications and programs that must be installed so built-in hardware can function - but Lenovo will list what is installed.
Cybersecurity experts and US government officials said customers should remove Superfish because it leaves users vulnerable to SSL spoofing techniques that can compromise security. Lenovo will also offer a free six-month subscription for the McAfee LiveSafe service, with additional information expected in the next week.
Lenovo has released a new Superfish adware removal tool for customers, which will allow them to verify the software application and certificate are removed. The company recommends running the automatic removal tool executable so Superfish is completely removed - but also provided manual instructions to the public.
The tool is available here.
Just a few days ago, Lenovo confirmed it disabled the adware program after public complaints. "We apologize for causing these concerns among our users - we are learning from this experience and will use it to improve what we do and how we do it in the future," the company said in a public statement.
Now that Evolve is here, NVIDIA is on the ball with some Game Ready drivers for GeForce owners with the new GeForce 347.52 WHQL drivers. The new set of drivers include performance optimizations, new SLI profiles and more.
If you haven't heard of Evolve, it's from the makers of Left 4 Dead, Turtle Rock Studios. It's a 4 vs. 1 action game that can be played online or offline, with four class-based hunters taking on a massive monster that wants to demolish you. As for the GeForce 347.52 WHQL drivers, there are performance improvements for Assassin's Creed: Unity, Battlefield 4, Dragon Age: Inquisition, The Crew, War Thunder, and more.
DirectX 12 is shaping up quite nicely so far, offering up to 50% more performance on CPU bound games, and hopefully some delicious new graphics in unannounced games. But, now Xbox boss Phil Spencer has come out and said: "we knew what DX12 was doing before we built Xbox One". On the PC, DirectX 12 will be exclusive to Windows 10.
This is somewhat interesting, as it shows that Microsoft wasn't just throwing DX12 out there to keep up with the market. It built the Xbox One after it had an idea of where it wanted to go with DirectX 12, something I'm sure even had Windows 10 connected to it, too. As for the Xbox One and DX12, Microsoft's updated API won't offer much additional performance for its Xbox One console.
Spencer was asked if DX12 would have a big impact on the Xbox One, where he said: "On the DX12 question, I was asked early on by people if DX12 is gonna dramatically change the graphics capabilities of Xbox One and I said it wouldn't. I'm not trying to rain on anybody's parade, but the CPU, GPU and memory that are on Xbox One don't change when you go to DX12. DX12 makes it easier to do some of the things that Xbox One's good at, which will be nice and you'll see improvement in games that use DX12, but people ask me if it's gonna be dramatic and I think I answered no at the time and I'll say the same thing".
During its Windows 10 event yesterday, Microsoft announced a bunch of universal applications that would provide a similar experience across a wide range of devices. One of those applications, was Office.
The company announced that the next installment of Office is coming out later this year in the form of Office 2016. Not only that, but Office for Windows 10 is coming, and will be pre-installed on phones and tablets that are powered by Windows 10. This means that touch-powered Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook will be free for most mobile Windows 10 owners.
Well, that didn't take long: Valve has made its Steam Broadcasting feature official, dragging it out of its quick stint as a beta part of Steam.
You can now update Steam, if it hasn't already been updated for you, and change your settings if you want Broadcasting to be enabled. This will allow your gameplay to be broadcasted to friends when you start gaming, which is an alternative to the super popular Twitch service, that was recently purchased by Amazon for $970 million.
Steam Broadcasting will only broadcast video by default, but you can also stream other applications from your computer if you allow it in the settings. Broadcasting will also take in your computers audio, too.
Facebook has released some of their software to the Torch Open Source group. Torch focuses on providing deep learning software. Deep learning software mimics brain function and is a key component to artificial intelligence programs. These programs are used to analyze large amounts of information in search of patterns, which it can then use to make predictions.
Torch speeds pattern recognition by up to 23.5 times. Facebook, and other web titans such as Google, Microsoft, and Twitter, use Torch to predict image contents and to place ads. Torch also has other uses, such as recognizing physical objects and for question answering programs. For instance, "The Lord of the Rings" novels were loaded into Torch, and Torch allows the computer to understand and answer questions about the book.
Adobe has finally made Lightroom available on Android Smartphone platforms, months after adding iOS support for the program. This photo-editing program requires your device to be running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean or newer and needs a minimum of a 1.7GHz quad-core CPU and at least 8GB of free storage space.
This is one of the first times that we've seen smartphone applications specifically contain system requirements, but it's acceptable given the computing power needed for tasks that this software can perform. This app is also free to download, as long as you've created a Creative Cloud account and features slightly less features than the desktop edition - giving you full reign of the basic panel and cropping tools.
Unfortunately this release is limited only to your smartphones, with tablets being excluded from operation. You would think that tablets are far superior, given their viewing surface greatly outweighing that of a smartphone.