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 Gameguru Mania News - Jun,06 2006 - tech 
TechNews RoundUp - ATI shows off GPU physics - tech
(hx) 12:12 PM EDT - Jun,06 2006 - Post a comment / read (3)
 Gameguru Mania News - Jun,05 2006 - tech
Monday TechReading - GeForce 7950 GX2 1GB! - tech
(hx) 07:16 PM EDT - Jun,05 2006 - Post a comment
Half-Life 2: Episode One graphics performance - tech
(hx) 06:09 AM EDT - Jun,05 2006 - Post a comment / read (1)
Elite Bastards have done a roundup of various graphics card models on Half-Life 2: Episode One. Here's an excerpt:
Bringing up the rear, we naturally see our only low-end board on test today, the Radeon X1300 PRO, which falls just shy of thirty frames per second. Turn down some of the graphical detail, and you could be looking at a playable game at this resolution on this board. In the mid-range, the previous generation's GeForce 6600 GT does a respectable job of providing a playable frame rate, although its performance is dwarfed by its successor, which weighs in at some thirty frames per second faster on average. Naturally, all of our high-end parts on test make mincemeat of this resolution, with the Radeon X1900 XTX leading the pack while pulling more than 100 frames per second.

Next, we turn on 4x anti-aliasing and 8x anisotropic filtering at this resolution, which sees performance drop on all of our boards, suggesting that at no point were we CPU limited at 1024x768. This increase in graphics workload sees the GeForce 6600 GT drop below thirty frames per second and thus out of playable territory, whereas all of the other boards make a good job of rendering the game whilst remaining playable at these settings.
 Gameguru Mania News - Jun,03 2006 - tech
TechNews RoundUp - Pirate Bay Back Online - tech
(hx) 09:28 AM EDT - Jun,03 2006 - Post a comment / read (5)
 Gameguru Mania News - Jun,02 2006 - tech
:Late Friday Reading - 6600GT vs. 7600GT - tech
(hx) 08:41 PM EDT - Jun,02 2006 - Post a comment / read (2)
Mozilla Firefox 1.5.0.4; Thunderbird 1.5.0.4 - tech
(hx) 04:28 PM EDT - Jun,02 2006 - Post a comment
Mozilla has released updates for its Firefox web browser (local US mirror ~ 4.88MB) and Thunderbird mail client (local US mirror ~ 6.03MB), bringing both up to version 1.5.0.4. The Firefox update includes a number of security fixes:
MFSA 2006-43 Privilege escalation using addSelectionListener
MFSA 2006-42 Web site XSS using BOM on UTF-8 pages
MFSA 2006-41 File stealing by changing input type (variant)
MFSA 2006-39 "View Image" local resource linking (Windows)
MFSA 2006-38 Buffer overflow in crypto.signText()
MFSA 2006-37 Remote compromise via content-defined setter on object prototypes
MFSA 2006-36 PLUGINSPAGE privileged JavaScript execution 2
MFSA 2006-35 Privilege escalation through XUL persist
MFSA 2006-34 XSS viewing javascript: frames or images from context menu
MFSA 2006-33 HTTP response smuggling
MFSA 2006-32 Fixes for crashes with potential memory corruption
MFSA 2006-31 EvalInSandbox escape (Proxy Autoconfig, Greasemonkey)
Thunderbird release also patches a critical hole that "could be exploited to run code of the attacker's choosing." Both Firefox and Thunderbird 1.5.0.4 are available to download from Mozilla's website; users of previous versions can also upgrade by going into the Help menu of either application and selecting "check for updates."
 Gameguru Mania News - Jun,01 2006 - tech
TechNews RoundUp - AMD announces 4x4 - tech
(hx) 08:04 PM EDT - Jun,01 2006 - Post a comment
Starforce Driver for Windows Vista - tech
(hx) 10:47 AM EDT - Jun,01 2006 - Post a comment / read (4)
StarForce team informed us they have released a special driver update for Microsoft Beta Testers who want to play StarForce protected games under Microsoft Windows Vista Beta. Word is: "The update has been tested by StarForce and Microsoft testers to work with Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory and other games.  StarForce drivers will be signed as soon as Microsoft launches the drivers' digital signature program for Windows Vista."
 Gameguru Mania News - May,31 2006 - tech
TechNews RoundUp - AMD to Buy ATI? - tech
(hx) 08:44 PM EDT - May,31 2006 - Post a comment
Trial software trying PC users' patience - tech
(hx) 03:21 PM EDT - May,31 2006 - Post a comment / read (2)
This CNET News.com story reports that people why buy a new PC are getting more and more frustrated with an increasing amount of pre-installed software that a lot of the time decreases the performance of their new computer right out of the box. PCs are becoming increasingly cluttered with preinstalled software--in some cases the traditional trial offers for Internet service providers like AOL and EarthLink, but also newer applications like spyware-blocking tools which, somewhat ironically, inundate users with pop-up windows advertising their services.
Corporate PC customers insist on determining exactly what software ships on their orders, and PC vendors increasingly allow small- and medium-size businesses to do the same. But consumers are left to fend for themselves, and some savvy PC users have become fed up with the situation. Many PC enthusiasts simply wipe the hard drive clean and reinstall a clean version of Windows as soon as they receive their PCs.

Of course, that's becoming harder to do as some PC vendors no longer include a full copy of Windows XP with their systems, said Samir Bhavnani, an analyst with Current Analysis. In many cases, customers are prompted after starting up their PC for the first time to burn their own recovery discs, which will include all the unwanted applications. Some vendors, such as Dell, charge $10 for a CD copy of Windows XP for new buyers.

Individual programs can be removed by going into the Add or Remove Programs function of Windows, or by ending processes in the Task Manager window, but fragments of these programs can remain in the Windows Registry and continue to adversely impact performance. A complete reinstall fixes the problem for good, but it can lead to a search for the drivers needed to make all the necessary software and devices work properly.
 Gameguru Mania News - May,30 2006 - tech
Tech Reading - FX-62/X2 5000+ socket AM2 only - tech
(hx) 07:20 PM EDT - May,30 2006 - Post a comment
Will Vista Beta 2 Run Your Games? - tech
(hx) 04:53 PM EDT - May,30 2006 - Post a comment
The chaps over at Extreme Tech loaded up Windows Vista Beta 2 and 14 of the latest games to see how well they played under the operating system:
It's well-known that F.E.A.R. is a real system hog. Sure, it's one of the most technologically impressive action games yet released, but to really enjoy it with all the bells and whistles you need a hefty PC with lots of RAM and a beefy video card. It just so happens, that's what we have here. And boy, do you want a lot of RAM. With only 1GB of RAM in our system, gameplay was a bit choppy with frequent hard drive access. Upgrading to 2GB fixed this problem.

Performance is a bit of an issue, too. F.E.A.R. is one of our standard benchmark games. When we ran the built-in benchmark at 1280x960 with all the visual detail levels maxed out, but with no AA or AF enabled, we saw a whopping 30% drop in performance against a similarly configured Windows XP machine (though our average frame rate was still around 60fps). Enabling 4x anti-aliasing and 8x anisotropic filtering only made the situation worse: the frame rate dropped from an average fps of 70 down to a pitiful 32! Clearly, some driver work or OS optimization needs to be done here - most of the other games we tested didn't exhibit a drop in performance this dramatic.

There appear to be two big problems, from our admittedly limited testing. The first is StarForce copy protection. Its reliance on a hidden Ring 0 driver causes a compatibility problem with Vista that prevents games using StarForce from loading - at least, that's the best explanation we can come up with for the errors we found. It's very disappointing that there hasn't been a fix for this so far. The driver requirements of Vista have been known for quite a long time, and both Microsoft and games publishers should have been pressuring StarForce for a proper Vista driver since at least last summer.
 Gameguru Mania News - May,29 2006 - tech
TechNews RoundUp - MSIE 7+ - tech
(hx) 11:44 AM EDT - May,29 2006 - Post a comment
 Gameguru Mania News - May,27 2006 - tech
TechNews RoundUp - No DirectX 10 for WinXP - tech
(hx) 07:48 AM EDT - May,27 2006 - Post a comment / read (4)
 Gameguru Mania News - May,26 2006 - tech
TechNews Round-Up - Conroe to ship July 23 - tech
(hx) 11:40 AM EDT - May,26 2006 - Post a comment / read (2)
 Gameguru Mania News - May,25 2006 - tech
TechNews RoundUp - MS shows off JPEG rival - tech
(hx) 09:18 AM EDT - May,25 2006 - Post a comment / read (3)
 Gameguru Mania News - May,24 2006 - tech
ATI CATALYST Drivers v6.5 - tech
(hx) 05:24 PM EDT - May,24 2006 - Post a comment / read (1)
ATI has released a new ATI Catalyst drivers bringing them up to version 6.5. The package contains: RADEON display driver 8.252, Multimedia Center 9.14 Catalyst Control Center 6.5 , HydraVision Basic Edition 3.25.9006, Remote Wonder 3.03, WDM Driver Install Bundle, Southbridge/IXP Driver and AVIVO Video Converter Engine. The new drivers claim to offer performance gains of up to 23% in Unreal Tournament 2004 and Splinter Cell with Radeon X1300 and X1600 CrossFire configurations. In addition, ATI has also back-ported Adaptive Anti-Aliasing functionality to all cards from the Radeon 9500 up.

Issues Resolved in Catalyst Software Suite 6.5:
  • 3DMark05: Running the application with CrossFire enabled and then attempting to hot un-plug and then hot-plug the CRT no longer results in 3DMark05 failing to respond. Further details on this resolved issue can be found in topic number 737-22347
  • Aquamark 3: Exiting the Start Measurement benchmark test once it is complete no longer results in the display device displaying a black desktop image with only the mouse cursor being available. Further details on this resolved issue can be found in topic number 737-22344
  • Doom 3: Beginning a new game and selecting the shotgun in the give all console no longer results in corruption being noticed when Ultra Quality is disabled in the in game video quality settings. Further details on this resolved issue can be found in topic number 737-22350
  • Far Cry: Installing the v1.33 patch and selecting D3D along with setting the display to 1024x768 English no longer results in the operating system failing to respond when running the benchmark. Further details on this resolved issue can be found in topic number 737-22314
TechNews RoundUp - 3500 File Sharers Arrested - tech
(hx) 09:34 AM EDT - May,24 2006 - Post a comment
 Gameguru Mania News - May,23 2006 - tech
TechNews RoundUp - AMD Launches AM2 - tech
(hx) 12:22 PM EDT - May,23 2006 - Post a comment / read (2)
 Gameguru Mania News - May,22 2006 - tech
TechNews RoundUp - ATI's R600 to be the biggest - tech
(hx) 08:20 AM EDT - May,22 2006 - Post a comment
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