Brad Wardell explains why you should be excited about DirectX 12
Stardock's Brad Wardell has a new blog post up, detailing in "oversimplified" terms why everyone should be excited about DirectX 12. If you haven't researched the API much or at all, it's a good read from an experienced programmer.
In short, DX12 allows programmers to make potentially all CPU cores talk to the GPU instead of just one (as it has been), resulting in massive performance gains, a la Mantle.
Geforce 347.25 driver improve performance, optimized for Dying Light
NVIDIA has released its 347.25 certified driver today.
Changes include heavily expanded multi-frame sampled aliasing (MFAA) support (almost all DX 10 and 11 games are included), various performance improvements, Dying Light optimizations, SLI profiles, and support for the newly released GTX 960.
MFAA, if you're new, is said to be yet another effective yet performance-considerate form of AA (hey, it's hard to have too many), and a variation on the brute-force MSAA.
Hit the source for details if you like, and here for the driver.
Fable Legends video shows off DirectX 12
A trailer is here for the upcoming multiplayer RPG Fable Legends, and offers the first look at DirectX 12 gameplay. Legends doesn't look like an overly demanding game by any means, so no doubt we'll get a better idea of what the API can do later on, but it's decent for now.
If you haven't been keeping up with DirectX 12, one of its main goals is to reduce driver overhead, enabling much improved performance, in line with AMD's Mantle.
Sign up for the Legends beta and check out the FAQ here, if you're interested.
Windows 10 will be a free upgrade
Microsoft has just announced at its Windows 10 event today that the new OS will be free to upgrade to for the first year after its release. This applies to all Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 users.
To put it frankly, Windows hasn't changed much since 7, so if Microsoft insists on "interim" operating systems, then free works great.
Also announced: Fable Legends (running on DirectX 12), some kind of Steam support, Xbox One streaming to other devices, and more.
Resident Evil PC Technical Review
Capcom returns to where it all started with a remastering of the original Resident Evil. We give it a shot to see how it fares in terms of PC features and performance in our review.
Resident Evil PC Technical Review @ Rage3D.com
Grim Fandango Remastered incoming
Double Fine Studios is taking it upon themselves to remaster the adventure cult classic Grim Fandango, dubbing it simply Grim Fandango Remastered. The game will release in just two weeks (January 27), and will feature vastly improved graphics ("repainted, hi-res character textures" and "new, dynamic lighting"), new optional control schemes, a re-recorded score, and more goodies.
Hit the source for more.
Grand Theft Auto V PC delayed, system requirements include 7870
Grand Theft Auto V has been delayed on PC to March 24 for "testing and polish". This is no doubt disappointing if you were highly anticipating playing the game in all its glory, but if waiting means a strong PC port, then it'll be well worth it.
The system requirements are finally out, too, which might be taken as a sign Rockstar really is in the final stretches and not clamoring to release a half-decent port in March.
Hit the source for new 4K screenshots.
Source: Rockstar Newswire
Monster Hunter Online benchmark available now
NVIDIA and Crytek have released a benchmark for Capcom's Monster Hunter Online, which runs on the latest version of CryEngine. The game is equally demanding and gorgeous; if you want to run it through its paces yourself, hit the source. Be warned a GTX 760 or equivalent is recommended for decent results; even my R9 290 struggled with it.
Witcher 3 system requirements include R9 290
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt may have been delayed recently, but the system requirements are now out so I'd guess the game is indeed coming along nicely. According to them, you'll need quite a formidable rig to play it smoothly at maximum settings. The game is due out May 19.
Metal Gear Solid V Ground Zeroes PC Technical Review
Kojima Productions teaser title Metal Gear Solid V Ground Zeroes is out now on PC; we took it for a spin to see how it shapes up in terms of PC features and performance.
Metal Gear Solid V Ground Zeroes PC Technical Review @ Rage3D.com
Catalyst Omega: AMD takes its drivers to the next level
The new Omega driver is getting a lot of response in our forums (link). We were able to test-drive it for a few days before its release and even threw some benchmarks to the mix. Click away to see our first impressions.
Catalyst Omega: AMD takes its drivers to the next level @ Rage3D.com
Catalyst Omega driver adds Virtual Super Resolution, Mantle capturing, more
AMD had elected to push its major driver feature additions to a new yearly Catalyst release dubbed "Omega", the first of which is out today.
This release (14.12) includes the addition of Virtual Super Resolution (VSR), which is AMD's answer to NVIDIA's Dynamic Super Resolution (DSR). Both techniques allow for improved image quality at a very high performance cost (which is fine if you have plenty of power to spare). For now, VSR is supported on the R9 285 and R9 290 series cards, but more will be added in the future.
Besides that you get performance improvements for select titles (Beyond Earth, Advanced Warfare, Assassin's Creed Unity, Dragon Age Inquisition, and Far Cry 4), and on a general level (albeit on a minor scale), frame pacing improvements for most major titles, issue and bug fixes, Mantle capture and streaming support (unfortunately it's through the dreadful Gaming Evolved client, but at least it's an option), FreeSync support, 5K support, better video playback, and more.
Hit the source to download the driver and/or to see the full notes.
Dragon Age Inquisition PC patch #2 released, improves controls, Mantle
Update: For those experiencing graphics issues after the patch, see this post for a temporary workaround.
The highly anticipated second patch for Dragon Age Inquisition is now here at last. This release includes a reasonably long list of key UI and control fixes, as well as bug fixes, many of them PC centric.
Among what's included: scrolling out with the mouse wheel will now enable tactical camera mode, hiding the HUD will now hide everything, war table and conversation screens should now always be responsive, and various control tweaks. Besides that, you get improved Mantle performance (previously it caused additional stuttering) and better stability.
Regarding the keyboard and mouse controls, Bioware says this is simply the first pass at improving them, and "our next priority is to improve the PC mouse/keyboard controls further. We’re investigating how to expand on PC usability and functionality to address specific requests from the community."
Hit the source for the full notes; download the patch through Origin.
Source: Bioware Blog
Dragon Age Inquisition PC patch #1 releasing December 9
The second and much awaited patch for Dragon Age Inquisition (DAI) has been delayed for consoles, but PC gamers won't have to suffer, as it will release tomorrow, December 9.
No details have surfaced as of yet on what the patch will include, but players have been asking for a banter bug fix, music bug fix, user interface improvements, performance improvements, gameplay bugs, and more, so hopefully at least some of that is included.
If you haven't yet, be sure to check out our DAI tech review for the skinny on the PC specific features.
Far Cry 4 PC patch 1.5 released, fixes graphics and control issues, more
Ubisoft has released the 1.5 patch for Far Cry 4 on PC. Among other things, this release fixes numerous graphics, controls, and interface issues. Unfortunately, the stuttering issue still persists, according to many user reports.
See the full notes at the source if you like; download the patch through uPlay.
Source: Ubisoft forum
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