Microsoft announced Friday that Windows 10 will be the only version of Windows supported on future CPUs and chipsets. The company will continue to support Windows 7 and 8.1 on older hardware for the next several years, as promised by its support policy.
For those who use FreeSync and might be having display flickering, then this might also e good news for you. Never mind the other fixes in this release.
The new drivers fix a number of stutter and crash-related bugs in Fallout 4, Just Cause 3, Dirt Rally, and Call of Duty: Black Ops 3. The Frame Rate Target Control feature now works a little more consistently, and FreeSync flickering with some displays has been fixed, too. Last but not least, AMD sorted out a few problems with the drivers' installation process.
I suppose I would be more concerned that this doesn't just affect Prime 95... though I wonder if this would explain the BSOD I experienced running at stock.
Intel was quick to track down and identify the issue, and says it's working with motherboard vendors to issue BIOS updates as a workaround:
Intel has identified an issue that potentially affects the 6th Gen Intel® Core™ family of products. This issue only occurs under certain complex workload conditions, like those that may be encountered when running applications like Prime95. In those cases, the processor may hang or cause unpredictable system behavior. Intel has identified and released a fix and is working with external business partners to get the fix deployed through BIOS.
The Tech Report has an interesting article up today about AMD's new initiative to countering what's described as "Nvidia Gameworks" type black box coding but never mentions it by name. Hit the link to see if you agree with their approach better or not.
A couple weeks ago at AMD's Radeon Technologies Group Tech Summit, Nick Thibieroz, senior manager of ISV engineering for the division, told us about what the company perceives as major problems for developers on the PC these days. He argued that limited access to the GPU and proprietary code wrapped up in black boxes (a thinly-veiled reference to Nvidia's GameWorks middleware) are causing headaches for developers who want to extract the most performance possible from the underlying hardware. He also feels that proprietary resources stifle information-sharing and collaboration among developers, a situation that ultimately harms graphics innovation in games.
It looks like AMD is giving us a peek at newer visual technologies that will be integrated into some of its upcoming products. A lot of good info, especially for you 4K aficionados! Thanks go out to forum member 0091/2 for the heads up!
This is something that initially caught me off-guard when I first realized it, but AMD historically hasn’t liked to talk about their GPU plans much in advance. On the CPU size we’ve heard about Carrizo and Zen years in advance. Meanwhile AMD’s competitor in the world of GPUs, NVIDIA, releases some basic architectural information over a year in advance as well. However with AMD’s GPU technology, we typically don’t hear about it until the first products implementing new technology are launched.
With AMD’s GPU assets having been reorganized under the Radeon Technologies Group (RTG) and led by Raja Koduri, RTG has recognized this as well. As a result, the new RTG is looking to chart a bit of a different course, to be a bit more transparent and a bit more forthcoming than they have in the past. The end result isn’t quite like what AMD has done with their CPU division or their competition has done with GPU architectures – RTG will talk about both more or less depending on the subject – but among several major shifts in appearance, development, and branding we’ve seen since the formation of the RTG, this is another way in which RTG is trying to set itself apart from AMD’s earlier GPU groups.
As part of AMD’s RTG technology summit, I had the chance to sit down and hear about RTG’s plans for their visual technologies (displays) group for 2016. Though RTG isn’t announcing any new architecture or chips at this time, the company has put together a roadmap for what they want to do with both hardware and software for the rest of 2015 and in to 2016. Much of what follows isn’t likely to surprise regular observers of the GPU world, but it none the less sets some clear expectations for what is in RTG’s future over much of the next year.
This hotfix should solve the GTX 860M instability issues.
The updated driver, version 359.12, will only install on notebooks with a GTX 860M. The release notes only mention a resolution for instability with that card. Downloads for both 32-bit and 64-bit editions of Windows 7 and later are available from Nvidia's website.
I read over the weekend of a Reddit thread where AMD users are posting that their cards were over heating and in some cases dying due to a driver bug issue with fan settings using the new Crimson drivers. I don't know much about the issue but my laptop is running fine with them. Can anyone chime in on the forums if there are certain circumstances that cause this to occur like overclocking or non-default fan profiles, etc? If so hit the forum link below and give us your wisdom!
Happy Thanksgiving Day from Rage3D to all that celebrate the holiday. Those that don't we wish you a great day as well! No matter where you live its never a bad time to cheat on your diet a little and stuff yourself for a day. News will probably be a little slow this weekend but I'll post what I can.
Club 3D active adapters convert DisplayPort 1.2 to HDMI 2.0
Good news for you R9 Fury X owners and others as Club 3D has finally released an active adapter going from DP 1.2 to HDMI 2.0 for some 4K @ 60Hz resolution goodness! The Tech Report has the scoop and the details.
The Radeon R9 Fury X shipped without HDMI 2.0 support, so AMD's top-end card couldn't drive many 4K TVs and monitors at 60Hz with an HDMI cable. Fortunately, that shortcoming can be corrected with an active adapter that converts a DisplayPort 1.2 port to HDMI 2.0. Club 3D has announced a pair of these handy adapters, one for mini DisplayPorts and one for standard-sized versions.
Those of you that still playing Batman AK are in for a treat as according to a steam post a new patch is out, fixing various issues as listed below. At least they are still making an attempt to fix what they can besides the well known performance issues.
The latest patch for Batman: Arkham Knight was released today and contains the following updates:
Fixed a hitch during some game saves
Fixed a Windows 10 issue causing the game to be unresponsive on launch when the keyboard language was set to Japanese, Japanese Microsoft IME, Korean, Chinese (Traditional) or Chinese (Simplified)
Fixed minor delay when aiming a gadget when playing with a keyboard and mouse
Fixed a bug causing full screen movies to play at half the monitor’s refresh rate on some systems
Fixed players sometimes not being able to counter the Mini-Gun Brute after being spotted when playing as Nightwing or Batman
Fixed a performance drop that occurred when encountering Man-Bat for the first time
Fixed some Multi-Monitor specific bugs
Some improvements to mouse and keyboard bindings
Improved VRAM management to reduce framerate hitches
Stability improvements for rare crash issues
Fixed an issue causing certain types of lights & shadows to render incorrectly
Fixed an issue causing the game process to occasionally remain running in the background for a period of time
Fixed the Knightfall Protocol not being able to activate under certain conditions
Fixed a progression blocker that could occur in Stagg Airships when leaving the predator room after only knocking out one of the guards
Fixed damage states for Batman’s V8.03 skin in Story Mode after selecting an alternate skin for AR Challenges
Fixed missing rain effects on several Batman skins (fix for 1970s and Arkham Origins skins coming soon)
Added support for new DLC releasing on November 24th
Play as other characters in AR predator challenges
UPDATE (2:50pm Pacific): The November DLC is available for all Season Pass / Premium Edition owners. We're currently working with Valve and investigating the DLC availability for everyone else. We'll keep you posted.
UPDATE (5:10pm Pacific): The November DLC is now available for everyone.
For those of you that haven't heard Microsoft has re-released Windows 10 November update along with the media creation tool. Their official explanation was that Full the update did not keep certain privacy settings through the standalone update. Incremental updates to the November release were not affected. That being said they have also released an official cumulative update for Windows 10.
Following last night's news that the Media Creation Tool and ISO's had been restored with the November Update, Microsoft has now rolled out an updated Cumulative Update (KB3120677) via Windows Update, replacing the previous one that rolled out a week ago, and now brings the OS version up to 10586.14.
As per usual, no details are available to view when applying the update, but thanks to last night's post we do know that at least one bug has been squashed, this update also brings the OS in line with the media tools that can once again be downloaded.
The bug which resulted in the pulling of the updated Media Creation Tool and ISO's related to the following four settings, which, if turned off by the user, were set to their default 'on' setting after applying the update:
Let apps use my advertising ID
Turn on SmartScreen Filter for web content
Let apps run in the background
Sync with devices
This update only applies to systems updated to version 15/11 (November Update). You can apply it by going in to All Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update and then 'Check for updates', or simply wait for Windows 10 to automatically apply it.
Sebastion at Ars technica has word that the PS$ has officially passed 30 million units in sales. They certainly seem to have a winner with this one although the Xbox One is no slouch itself. Check out the rest along with some pretty graphs at Ars.
Sony, as of November 22, has now sold 30.2 million units of the PlayStation 4. By comparison, total sales of the Xbox One are somewhere between 15 and 18 million (Microsoft hasn't released an exact figure since last year).
With over 30 million units sold since it first went on sale in November 2013, the Sony press release declares that "PS4 [has the] fastest and strongest growth in PlayStation hardware history." The PS4 isn't the fastest selling console of all time, though: the Nintendo Wii, which sold around 45 million units in its first two years, still retains that accolade.
Anandtech once again has released a "Best of 2015" article and this time its for gaming laptops. I was looking earlier this year for one myself but this might be the best time of year to pick one up if interested. Hit the link to see what they chose.
Welcome to part two of our best laptop guide for 2015. The first part was traditional notebooks, this installment will focus on gaming notebooks, and our final piece will cover convertible devices.
The gaming segment is one of the few areas of strength in the PC market, and entire companies have moved from supporting mainstream computing to focusing solely on gaming hardware. When you say gaming, you expect a decent GPU, and NVIDIA has been busy in 2015 with the launch of the GTX 960M and GTX 950M to compliment the GTX 970M and GTX 980M which has been out for just over a year already. AMD is not as big of a player in the notebook space, but they have also refreshed some of their Cape Verde line for 2015 with the M375, M360, and M330, but these are lower performance parts. The higher performance AMD parts seem to have found a home in the recent Mac lineup, but little else.
We’ve also seen some other exciting developments for 2015. The biggest one I think is that NVIDIA has released G-SYNC for notebooks and it was a hard launch with several devices available right away. G-SYNC makes even more sense on a notebook due to the less powerful hardware, and often high resolution displays, although the trade-off here is that the GPU must be directly connected to the display, which precludes the use of NVIDIA’s Optimus technology to disable the GPU to save power. Many gaming laptops have already moved away from Optimus, so this is not a huge issue, but it does mean that gaming notebooks that try to get decent battery life are going to miss out on G-SYNC.
When shopping for gaming laptops, be aware that many of the entry level models still ship with TN displays, which you may want to avoid if you like the wide viewing angles of PVA and IPS. There is also a higher chance that the storage will be hard disk drive based rather than solid state drives. I would have a hard time using anything that wasn’t a SSD at this point, but with the huge install size of some current games, I can understand the reasoning a bit more on a gaming laptop, especially an entry level model. Higher end gaming laptops tend to come with SSD plus HDD for game storage.
So with that preamble out of the way, let’s dig in, starting with entry level gaming laptops.