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Testing Mantle and TrueAudio in Thief
March 20th, 2014 in PC Gaming
Thanks to a collaboration between AMD, Square Enix, Eidos Interactive, and Eidos-Montreal, the PC version of Thief now benefits from Mantle and TrueAudio technology. We run both through some tests to see how much they bring to the table.
Capcom revisit their 2007 PC release with Resident Evil 4 Ultimate HD Edition. Read our PC tech review to find out if the tweaks and updates make it worth playing this time.
Konami and MercurySteam return again to PC with Castlevania Lords of Shadow 2, the followup to last year's prequel. Read our PC technical review to find out how the game compares in terms of PC features, performance, and more.
Metal Slug 3 PC Technical Review
March 5th, 2014 in PC Gaming
SNK Playmore revives its beloved 2D sidescrolling shooter Metal Slug 3 via Steam. See how it fares in terms of PC options, controls, and more in our PC technical review.
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AMD Never Settle Forever program returning
Apr 22, 2014 at 02:12 PM by seanR3D
AMD is refreshing and thereby expanding its Never Settle Forever program, which rewards PC enthusiasts who buy AMD cards with free games.

The newest iteration of the program will widen its horizons to the entire 200 series, excepting only the R5 230.

Purchasing the 240/250 series will net you one game, the 260/270 two games, and the 280/290/285 series three games.

Added games include Murdered Soul Suspect, Company of Heroes 2, Payday 2, Darksiders, in addition to a variety of indie titles (two of which count as one game).

Vouchers this time around will be good until August 31, although individual games may expire sooner.

Source: AnandTech
Dragon Age Inquisition trailer features impressive special effects, landscapes
Apr 22, 2014 at 12:42 PM by seanR3D
A new trailer is here for the upcoming RPG Dragon Age Inquisition, and gives us another look at the impressive visuals of BioWare's Frostbite 3 engine powered game. Particle effects and landscapes are particularly good looking.

Inquisition launches October 7.

Catalyst 14.4 RC driver released with Crossfire improvments, 295X support, more
Apr 21, 2014 at 04:19 PM by seanR3D
AMD has released its Catalyst 14.4 Release Candidate driver today.

With it comes Crossfire fixes and performance improvements pertaining to Titanfall and other games, full OpenGL 4.4 support, and a couple of Mantle fixes for Battlefield 4 (still nothing on the occasional stuttering still being seen, unfortunately).

Hit the source for the driver and details. The certified driver will release within a week or two.

Source: AMD / Twitter
Dark Souls 2 comparison video shows off higher resolution PC textures
Apr 10, 2014 at 05:17 PM by seanR3D
A new video from IGN does a great job of showing off the texture differences between Dark Souls 2 on PS3 vs PC. Spoiler: the PC version wins out, easily.

Watch Dogs video shows off PC visuals, HBAO+, TXAA
Apr 10, 2014 at 05:05 PM by seanR3D
If you've wanted a good, hard look at the PC version of Ubisoft's upcoming cyberpunk game Watch Dogs, now's your chance. The video below offers just that, courtesy of some exemplary, high-fidelity scenes accentuated by NVIDIA's HBAO+ and TXAA technologies.

Titanfall PC patch 2 adds bug fixes, Crossfire, SLI optimizations
Apr 10, 2014 at 04:59 PM by seanR3D
A new PC patch is out for shooter Titanfall, which adds some juicy new features and changes (Private Matches, tons of balance tweaks), and also some appreciable technical changes.

The latter includes proper display of AA modes in the menu, a fix for graphics corruption when using Crossfire/SLI, as well as a fix for GPU underutilization when using Crossfire/SL, crash fixes, and fixed mic volume override, among other items.

Boot Origin now to grab the patch; hit the source if you want all the details.

Source: Titanfall
Dark Souls 2 PC options are extensive
Apr 8, 2014 at 04:47 PM by seanR3D
Dark Souls was a terrible port to PC, but Dark Souls 2 is already looking better on that front: PC Gamer has revealed the game's PC options include 13 graphics options and fully customizable controls. More, they say the game "feels pretty good" without a controller.

Looks like From Software and publisher Namco Bandai had a chat with some PC enthusiasts in the industry and acted on the feedback in full, which is great to see.

Source: PC Gamer
Windows 8.1 Update 1 released, improves mouse and keyboard environment
Apr 8, 2014 at 04:40 PM by seanR3D
Microsoft has released its promised Windows 8.1 Update 1 today, bringing with it an array of user interface improvements, most aimed at mouse and keyboard.

Among the changes: Metro app pinning, taskbar accessibility inside Metro apps, easy app closure, a new "power options" menu for Metro, Windows Store tweaks, and appropriate boot environments per device (desktop users will boot to the classic desktop, for example).

Note previous settings are preserved for those upgrading, so be sure to poke around and tweak to your liking if you are coming from an earlier version of the OS.

Grab the update through Windows Update; head to the source if you want details on all of the changes.

Source: Technet
Geforce 337.50 beta driver said to improve performance up to 71%
Apr 7, 2014 at 11:54 AM by seanR3D
Where AMD has looked to its new API Mantle for major performance gains, NVIDIA has looked to make further improvements under DirectX 11, and that's what today's driver brings.

NVIDIA claims the new 337.50 beta driver brings up to 71% performance improvements in most DirectX 11 games, in some cases at least outdoing Mantle (see the graph here).

The company took the opportunity with this news to criticize AMD, saying, "Unlike changes tailored around custom graphics APIs, our new optimizations can benefit all DirectX 11 titles the second they go on sale, regardless of developer or publisher, and apply to all DirectX 11-capable NVIDIA GPUs."

Hit the source for details and/or the driver, or grab it through Geforce Experience.

Source: Geforce
Geforce Experience 2.0 update adds ShadowPlay desktop capture, Twitch options, more
Apr 7, 2014 at 11:45 AM by seanR3D
NVIDIA has released a 2.0 update for Geforce Experience, bringing with it desktop capture capabilities for ShadowPlay, ShadowPlay notebook support, Twitch streaming options, and more.

Desktop capturing means you can now record and upload footage for windowed games, games played while in borderless modes, Minecraft, and just anything else not previously supported.

Twitch options include resolution, frame rate, and bit rate. Features include a stop/start hotkey and improved mic quality, among other things.

Hit the source if you want more details; boot Geforce Experience now to get the update.

Source: Geforce
Start Menu coming to Windows 8.1, pictured
Apr 2, 2014 at 04:54 PM by seanR3D
The Start Menu is coming to Windows 8.1 via a future update, Microsoft announced today at a press event.

The menu, pictured here, meshes the traditional menu with Metro in what looks like a pretty elegant design that may finally satisfy users of all types.

Source: Neowin
Battlefield 4 PC patch improves netcode, Mantle
Mar 31, 2014 at 12:53 PM by seanR3D

A major PC patch is out for Battlefield 4 today, coinciding with the release of the Naval Strike DLC.

The technical changes are juicy: better stability, various bug fixes, accurate kill cams, and significant Mantle improvements. The latter includes crash fixes, a memory leak fix, memory optimization which is said reduce the previously seen "performance stalls" (no difference noticed on my system, though), multi-GPU fixes and improvements, and quite happily, a fix for the offset mouse cursor issue.

Grab the patch now through Origin; hit the source for full release notes if you like, and check out Symthic for hidden balance changes.

Source: Battlelog
Testing Mantle and TrueAudio in Thief
Mar 20, 2014 at 06:44 PM by seanR3D
Thanks to a collaboration between AMD, Square Enix, Eidos Interactive, and Eidos-Montreal, the PC version of Thief now benefits from Mantle and TrueAudio technology. We run both through some tests to see how much they bring to the table.

Testing Mantle and TrueAudio in Thief @ Rage3D.com
DirectX 12 sees API overhaul, coming late 2015
Mar 20, 2014 at 02:07 PM by seanR3D

DirectX 12 has been unveiled at GDC 2014.

The good news: the API is receiving an overhaul in numerous areas, bringing programmers closer to the metal (a la Mantle) and introducing much more efficient processes as well as better multithreaded scaling and CPU utilization (alpha tests in 3DMark yield better thread distribution and 50% utilization improvement), and lower GPU overhead, current hardware supports it, and it's supported on all Microsoft devices, including phones, PCs, and Xbox One (a Forza 5 tech demo ported over from Xbox One was shown at the event).

The bad news (depending how you look at it): it's launching alongside the holiday titles of 2015, which will make use of it. However, a preview release is planned.

Source: DirectX Developer Blog
New AMD Gaming Evolved partners include Rebellion, Square Enix, Xaviant
Mar 19, 2014 at 04:03 PM by seanR3D
AMD's has added some new partners to its AMD Gaming Evolved program: Crytek, Rebellion Developments, Square Enix, and Xaviant.

Crytek is integrating Mantle into its proprietary Cryengine, Rebellion is currently working on the third-person shooter Sniper Elite 3, which will feature Mantle support; Square Enix is developing thriller game Murdered: Soul Suspect, which will feature a "rich assortment of optimized DirectX 11 effects", and Xaviant is working on first-person RPG Lichdom, which will include TressFX and TrueAudio support.

You can see all of them in action below.


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