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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.
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 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.
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.
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.
"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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yesterday during Microsoft's Build Conference, the Redmond-based company took to the stage to announce that it is releasing its Roslyn .Net compiler platform to an open source development model. The project is now public on Codeplex, and can be forked, modified, or improved upon by anyone.
I know that most of you are asking "What is Roslyn," and that is a very good question for those who are not savvy on the development world. Roslyn is a set of APIs Microsoft created to help developers better interface .NET with their apps, websites, and other coding adventures. It is comprised of c#, VB.Net, and other compilers that are written in the languages themselves. This makes them available to traditional command-line interfaces.
Companies like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google have the task of operating and maintaining some of the biggest websites on the internet, and due to not only the amount of content they host, but the massive number of user accounts they must keep up and online at all times requires a massive database. These three companies have teamed up to create the perfect database designed to scale to massive proportions.
Facebook along host one of the largest MySQL database deployments ever built and as the service continues to grow, a vanilla distribution of Oracle's MySQL was just not cutting it, so Facebook teamed up with Google, LinkedIn and Twitter to develop a MySQL alternative, WebScaleSQL, that was both scalable and robust enough to keep the social networking empires running for the foreseeable future. WsSQL is built with collaboration in mind and speed in mind, and allows database engineers from different companies to work together to create the best database possible.
Microsoft has the most popular operating system in the world, granted a lot of people hate it. If you look back at the history of the computer world, Microsoft has been around almost as long as the PC has been around. Before Windows, Microsoft had MS-DOS.
If you were around in the early days of computing, you might have even spent time using that OS. Microsoft has announced that it has put the source code for MS DOS 1.1 and 2.0 online for the first time. The source code is being offered in cooperation with the Computer History Museum in an effort "to help future generations of technologists better understand the roots of personal computing."
Along with the source code for MS-DOS, Microsoft is also putting the code for Word for Windows 1.1a online. That was one of the first word processing programs that Microsoft offered. Microsoft announced that the code was going on line via a blog post written by Roy Levin.
During Game Developer's Conference, Microsoft was showing off DirectX 12. One of the notable features is the low-level access which will help to efficiently utilize the processing power of the end-user's CPU.
What's now being revealed is that certain features of the upcoming graphics API will require the new generation of video cards. Previously it was mentioned in NVIDIA's press release that slightly older and current generation video cards will work with DX 12.
GDC 2014 - Microsoft has announced DirectX 12 with some of its closest partners, NVIDIA, AMD, Intel and Qualcomm, showing off the new DirectX gaming API at the 2014 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco today.
DirectX 12 will deliver some major improvements for developers to all of Microsoft's platforms: Xbox One, Windows Mobile, and of course, PC. The new gaming API will enhance graphics efficiency for modern games as it allows developers to spread tasks across multi-core CPUs, all the while reducing CPU bottlenecks that usually reduce performance, even sucking performance away from what a powerful GPU would usually deliver.
We will see "closer to the metal" access to developers, something that AMD's Mantle technology does, and to showcase this, the Redmond-based software giant teamed up with Forza Motorsport 5 developer Turn 10 Studios to show off a version of the game running on DirectX 12. The demo used a PC powered by an NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN Black, running at 1080p and a silky smooth locked 60FPS.