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Microsoft Windows 10 Fall Creators Update Available Today

Microsoft released Windows 10, code named "Threshold 1," a little over two years ago. As of May of this year, there were approximately 500 million Windows 10 devices worldwide. Originally, Microsoft predicted that Windows 10 would be installed on 1 billion devices by mid-2018. When released, Windows 10 gained huge adoption from those running Windows 7 from the "free-upgrade program" which lasted one year.

Since then however, installations have slowly declined and in July of last year, Microsoft admitted that they would miss their projected goal of 1 billion devices. Since its release, Windows 10 has had three major update releases with "Threshold 2," in 2015, "Anniversary Update," in 2016, "Creators Update" in April of this year and today marks the release of Microsoft's fourth major feature update to its operating system, dubbed "Fall Creators Update," version 1709.

Logitech Improves G203 Prodigy Mouse Sensor Precision with Firmware Update

Logitech has released an updated firmware that brings much more than the usual updates we see: it actually improves rated specs of their already released G203 Prodigy mouse. Case in point: Logitech's Chris Pate said that "We learned a lot of lessons in designing the new HERO sensor found in our latest Logitech G603 Lightspeed Wireless Gaming Mouse that could also be applied to the Logitech G203 Prodigy Gaming Mouse." Whether this was achieved through simple overclocking of some of the mice's internals, or simply some unused hardware capabilities that weren't reachable for some reason, it's unclear; what's clear is that the improvements are massive.

Sensor precision for Logitech's 6203 Prodigy has been increased by 33%, from a maximum 6000 DPI (adjustable from 200 DPI) to a maximum 8000 DPI. Maximum mouse speed and acceleration of have also been increased, from 200 IPS to 300 IPS and from 25G to 35G, respectively. Other Logitech G203 features include 1000 Hz USB report rate, programmable buttons with in-mouse storage of settings, and RGB lighting on the "G" logo. The G203's pricing was already reasonable with its base specs and the $39.99 in the U.S. €44.99 in the E.U., but with this update, the value is further increased. The firmware update in question can be downloaded via the latest Logitech Gaming software.

Sources: AnandTech, Logitech Gaming Software

G.Skill Intros KM780 RGB & KM570 RGB GDS 2.0 Update

G.SKILL International Enterprise Co., Ltd., the world's leading manufacturer of extreme performance memory and gaming peripherals, announces a reworked software for the RIPJAWS series KM780 RGB, KM780R RGB, and KM570 RGB mechanical gaming keyboard. This new v2.0 update has been rewritten to streamline the overall user experience, including automating profile saving and a reorganized user interface to reduce the number of clicks for each action, as well as adding new lighting options. Most notably, the G.SKILL Driver System no longer requires the .NET Framework to work starting from version 2.0.

Through massive amounts of valuable user feedback, the software UI has been improved for a more efficient user experience by reducing the number of required clicks to customize settings, making it easier to learn and more user-friendly. Macros and lighting profiles can now be refreshed and updated to the keyboard directly from the macro and lighting profiles menu, instead of going back and forth between the menu tabs to save any changes. Importing all your configuration and settings is now fully implemented, so exporting and reloading your profiles and settings are much easier. This also lets you easily share your keyboard settings across different PCs or with friends.

Been There, Done That: HP New Firmware Update Locks Non-Original Ink Cartridges

HP has gone and done it once again: they've re-issued a firmware update that locks printing for users who make use of non-original HP ink cartridges. This move by the company isn't new; in September 2016, they did just that, through a seemingly dormant "time bomb" implemented in new printers' firmware that stopped their operation should a non-original ink cartridge be detected. Businesses who were looking to save some money on expendables that are usually more expensive than liquid gold and who had started using non-original ink cartridges for their printers saw their activities on hold - and that likely costed them more than original cartridges ever would.

Later on, in October 2016, and facing considerable backlash due to its actions, HP reversed the built-in firmware lock with a software update that forced users to look up the appropriate software manually on HP's website and then install it on their printers. Original cartridge authentication is done through an original HP security chip, which is checked against security systems embedded on the printer so as to confirm the cartridge's authenticity. The company itself admitted that "A cloned product with an original HP security chip will work," and that "HP's dynamic security recognizes refilled and remanufactured supplies that contain the original HP security chip." HP apologized, at the time, for what it called "miscommunication" on their part. Their apology, however, has been thrown at the weeds by now; we here at TPU did say that users should "(...) remain wary of any eventual future update that might break non-original cartridge compatibility - again."

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update to Bring Privacy Enhancements

Do you remember those times where your privacy wasn't such a concern? Where you could freely navigate through the world, and not have to worry if your apps, browsers, extensions, or operating systems weren't collecting way more data than you wanted them to? It seems eons behind us, now, but it's the world we've been living in - and the world we've been building up to with our choices as consumers. Now, consumers have to fight for almost every last scrap of privacy dignity we can expect to achieve.

Microsoft, through a blog post, has stated that they are continuing to assess and address privacy concerns users might have regarding how and when the operating system which is being hailed as the last major Microsoft OS release collects user information. Specifically, Microsoft states that "Continuing with our commitment to privacy and data control, today we're announcing privacy enhancements coming to the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update for consumers and commercial customers that further increase your access to information and provides you more control over what information is collected."

Tiny App Checks NVIDIA Driver Updates

A tiny open-source app named simply "TinyNvidiaUpdateChecker" by "ElPumpo" could make GeForce Experience look bulky and redundant, if all you use it for is keep up with driver updates. With practically each new AAA game release, NVIDIA and AMD tend to put out graphics driver updates. Among several useful features such as optimizing your game settings or making them portable, the GeForce Experience app keeps your GeForce drivers up to date. On the downside, it has drawn criticism over its user privacy, the need to register as a user and log-on at each system startup; and for its unnecessarily big memory footprint as the app keeps running in the background.

The open-source app, along with its source-code and a pre-compiled binary, are available on GitHub. It's a little rough on the edges, but could be worth it for its tiny memory footprint. On the flip-side, this app doesn't run on in the background, and you have to manually run it to look up updates, something you might as well look up online in your browser. The API that makes this app work could be pulled by NVIDIA any time, as it looks to promote GeForce Experience. Alternatively, you can subscribe to E-Mail notifications by TechPowerUp by clicking on the "Get Notified" button in our download pages, for your favorite driver updates. We're completely web-based and you won't need to trust apps to look up your driver updates.
DOWNLOAD: TinyNvidiaUpdateChecker by ElPumpo

Ashes of the Singularity Update Adds Vulkan Support with Latest Beta

Ashes of the Singularity is one of those games that has always been in the forefront of the latest graphics technologies. One of the first games to support Microsoft's DX12 and async compute, and in receiving a Ryzen-optimized performance patch, the game is routinely used as a benchmark tool not only for graphics solutions, but also CPU benchmarks.

Now, Oxide Games has announced Ashes of The Singularity will feature support for the Vulkan renderer, which will be welcome news for users who don't want to upgrade to Windows 10, but don't want to live without low-level performance optimization in their games. The new Vulkan render path is still a beta feature, which you must enable through your Steam account. Just right click Ashes of the Singularity on your Steam library, hit "Properties", and activate the 2.4 opt-in in the beta features tab.

Source: Guru 3D

Intel Clover Trail-based Systems Won't Receive Creators Update - Ever

We recently covered how users with systems powered by Intel's Clover Trail CPUs were having issues with a "Windows 10 is no longer supported on this PC" error when trying to update their machines to Microsoft's latest Windows 10 Creators Update. The systems in question - built around Intel's Clover Trail Atom processors - are generally low-cost, low-power machines (mainly 2-in-1) released between 2012 and 2015 under Windows 8 and 8.1. These systems were deemed ready to receive Windows 10; however, now it looks as if they won't ever be able to support it.

In our last piece, we wondered if this problem was only temporary; now it seems it's permanent. Microsoft has however announced that Clover Trail-based systems will still receive security updates (just not feature updates) until 2023. The issue seems to lay with Clover Trail's integrated GPU drivers; Clover Trail Atoms use GPU technology licensed from Imagination Technologies. Ars Technica's Peter Bright says that "Imagination appears unwilling, and Intel appears unable, to update the GPU drivers to meet the demands of the Creators Update. So systems built with such hardware will never be upgradable beyond the Anniversary Update."

Microsoft Decreasing Windows 10 Updates Downtime in Fall Creators Update

If you're a standard Windows user, you probably find Windows updates something of a pain - especially when they force you to reboot your PC after they're installed. But imagine you own a business that constantly has its machines up and running, but also requires the latest security upgrades; each minute of downtime for installing such updates is lost revenue. Because of that issue, which companies brought to Microsoft's attention over the years, the company is streamlining its update process, decreasing the amount of update steps that need to be taken offline (which means less time waiting for the machines to become available to use following an update.)

Windows 10 Support for Older Hardware Encountering Difficulties, Cut Off

As part of its new "Windows as a Service" model, Microsoft elected to provide users with a guaranteed, steady stream of updates with virtually no clear, hard-defined EOL. However, Microsoft took refuge, as well it should, from an increasingly difficult support for different hardware sets: a little footnote, saying that you are eligible for Windows 10 for the "supported lifetime of the device." Yes, it's true you now don't have to purchase a new Windows version. But that also means that your devices potentially won't be supported for Microsoft's previous 5 + 5 policy (meaning, 5 years of feature and security updates, and 5 extra years for security updates only.)

The systems in question - built around Intel's Clover Trail Atom processors - are generally low-cost, low-power machines (mainly 2-in-1) released between 2012 and 2015 under Windows 8 and 8.1. These systems were deemed ready to receive Windows 10; however, they are currently blocked from installing Windows 10 Version 1703 - the "Creators Update." Attempts to install result in a message saying that "Windows 10 is no longer supported on this PC." The problem is that each Windows 10 update receives security fixes for just 18 months. Version 1607, the latest that these Clover Trail machines can install, will drop out of support in early 2018 - after which they'll cease to receive any patches at all.

TPU Ryzen BIOS Digest Issue #10

In this issue of the Ryzen BIOS update digest, we have the latest updates. Our BIOS update digest lets you keep track of crucial BIOS updates that improve stability of your AMD Ryzen machine. As per usual, only updated BIOSes from the last digest are listed. Changes are listed after each BIOS, sans beta BIOSes which do not always include change logs. You can find it all below.

In this release, we have several new betas, mostly all consisting of fresh AGESA 1.0.0.6a code.

TPU Ryzen BIOS Digest Issue #9

In this issue of the Ryzen BIOS update digest, we have the latest updates. Our BIOS update digest lets you keep track of crucial BIOS updates that improve stability of your AMD Ryzen machine. As per usual, only updated BIOSes from the last digest are listed. Changes are listed after each BIOS, sans beta BIOSes which do not always include change logs. You can find it all below.

In this release, we have several betas graduating to final release, mostly all consisting of AGESA 1.0.0.6 code.

ADATA Updates External Hard Drive Range with HD710 Pro and New HD650

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high performance DRAM modules, NAND Flash products, and mobile accessories today launched the HD710 Pro durable external hard drive alongside an addition to the best-selling HD650 range. The HD710 Pro improves on its HD710 predecessor by exceeding IP68 dust and waterproofing plus military-grade shock resistance. It enhances the safeguarding of stored data against accidents, damage, and the rigors of active lifestyles, and is available in four colors. The HD710 Pro offers up to 4TB capacity. The refreshed HD650 arrives in a stylish light blue over black color scheme, also providing 4TB capacity - a new milestone for unpowered USB external hard drives. Together, these two new USB 3.1 models bolster the ADATA external hard drive portfolio, giving consumers more choice.

TPU Ryzen BIOS Digest Issue #8

In this issue of the Ryzen BIOS update digest, we have the latest updates. Our BIOS update digest lets you keep track of crucial BIOS updates that improve stability of your AMD Ryzen machine. As per usual, only updated BIOSes from the last digest are listed. Changes are listed after each BIOS, sans beta BIOSes which do not always include change logs. You can find it all below.

AMD Announces AGESA Update 1.0.0.6 - Supports up to 4000 MHz Memory Clocks

You've probably heard of AMD's AGESA updates by now - the firmware updates that are ironing out the remaining kinks in AMD's Ryzen platform, which really could have used a little more time in the oven before release. However, kinks have been disappearing, the platform has been maturing and evolving, and AMD has been working hard in improving the experience for consumers and enthusiasts alike. As a brief primer, AGESA is responsible for initializing AMD x86-64 processors during boot time, acting as something of a "nucleus" for the BIOS of your motherboard. Motherboard vendors take the core capabilities of AGESA updates and build on them with their own "secret sauce" to create the BIOS that ultimately populate your motherboard of choice. The process of cooking up BIOS updates built on the new AGESA will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but AMD's Robert Hallock says you should be seeing BIOSes based on this version halfway through the month of June - if your vendor isn't already providing a Beta version of some kind.

This new AGESA update code, version 1.0.0.6, should be just up the alley of enthusiasts, however, in that it adds a grand total of 26 new parameters for memory configuration, improving the compatibility and reliability of DRAM, especially for memory that does not follow the industry-standard JEDEC specifications (e.g. faster than 2667, manual overclocking, or XMP2 profiles). Below you'll find the 26 parameters that were introduced.

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 382.33 Game Ready Drivers

NVIDIA today released its latest GeForce "Game Ready" drivers. The new GeForce 382.33 WHQL drivers come game-ready for the week's big game releases - "Tekken 7," and "Star Trek Bridge Crew." It also addresses bugs such as Windows Store not opening on Windows 10 Creators Update with 3D Vision enabled on TITAN X; stuttering noticed in "Prey" with GTX 1080 Ti, extended monitors not drifting into Sleep in Windows 10 Creators Update with GTX 1070, and GTX 970 SLI machines not being able to toggle SLI unless Norton 360 is disabled or Windows is booted into "Safe Mode." Grab the driver from the link below.
DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 382.33 Game Ready Drivers

The change-log follows.

Microsoft Announces New Fall Creators Update With Fluent Design System

After announcing its plan for a new, six-month update cycle for Windows 10, which Microsoft is treating as the last, monolithic release of Windows, the Redmond company has now announced its plans for the forthcoming Fall Creators Update (aherm) update.

Microsoft also announced the adoption of a new, Fluent design language, which strikes me as aesthetically pleasing, and a far cry from the Metro interface we've been saddled with since Windows 8. It carries on the bold color schemes, but marries it with a more subdued, less in-you-face style of user interface, and is supposed to encourage developers to design their apps in a way that makes sense on a variety of platforms - which, considering the advent of the Universal Windows Platform, makes all kinds of sense, doesn't it?

TPU's Ryzen BIOS Digest Issue #2: MSI and ASUS Updates

In this issue of the Ryzen BIOS update digest, we have last week's latest updates. Our BIOS update digest lets you keep track of crucial BIOS updates that improve stability of your AMD Ryzen machine. Our usual format has undergone some tweaks, but it's for the better. For one, we list beta BIOSes as well now. We also only list BIOSes now that have been updated since the last digest, to avoid redundancy.

Microsoft Confirms Windows, Office 6-Month Update Cycle

Microsoft has been steadily increasing stability, features and, the company hopes, attractiveness of its latest Windows 10 operating system. Recently, its Creator's Update has brought, among other features, a performance-boosting Game Mode, a 3D version of the popular and (respectably ancient) Paint app, as well as increased privacy control, something users clamored for. Now, the Redmond company has confirmed that it's looking towards a six month update cycle for Windows 10 (thus aligning it with Office 365 ProPlus), looking to streamline and increase predictability of its support.

Microsoft released the Windows 10 Anniversary Update in August 2016, and the Creators Update made its public debut on April 11 2017, which is already close to the six-month update cycle the company is now confirming (seven months, in this case.) Now the company has confirmed that it plans to release its next step on the Windows 10 operating system on September 2017. From then on, updates should arrive in a steady cadence, on every subsequent March and September. Each Windows 10 feature release will be serviced and supported for 18 months, as is currently the case, and the company has also added that its System Center Configuration Manager will support this new aligned update model for Office 365 ProPlus and Windows 10, "making both easier to deploy and keep up to date."

Source: Blogs.Windows.com, Tom's Hardware

AMD Releases Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.4.3 Drivers

AMD today released the latest version of Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition. The new Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.4.3 WHQL drivers add official support for the newly launched Radeon RX 500 series GPUs, such as the RX 580, RX 570, RX 560, and RX 550; besides support for Windows 10 Creators Update (v17.4.2 already added WDDM 2.2 support). Grab the drivers from the links below.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.4.3 WHQL

AMD Releases Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.4.2

AMD today released the Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.4.2 drivers, its second release this month. The drivers are important if you've updated Windows 10 to the latest "Creators Update" (version 1703), since it supports the new WDDM 2.2 driver model. In addition, the drivers fix bugs related to SteamVR asynchronous reprojection, poor multi-GPU scaling for "Battlefield 1" in DirectX 11 mode, flickering noticed on ReLive running on Windows 7, and a bug with Radeon Settings that removes application profiles upon logout. Grab the drivers from the link below.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.4.2

AMD Releases Balanced Power Plan for Windows; Optimized for Ryzen Processors

In another Community Update from Robert Hallock, some more developments on the platform have been announced, after the last one's commitment to upcoming updates. AMD has done good on their promise for an optimized power profile for Windows systems that better leverages Ryzen's design and features.AMD's SenseMI technology allows the processor to fine-tune voltages and frequency on-the-fly, with a much higher granularity and lower latency than any software-based solution - such as Windows 10's power plans. These transitions between frequencies and voltages are governed by "P-States", which are frequency/voltage combinations requested by the operating system.

It so happens that Windows 10's Balanced power plan delays changes towards faster P-states - which bring increased frequency and voltage and hence, power consumption - so as to save more power. However, this means that there is an increased delay (latency) between the moment more processing power is required of the Ryzen processor and the moment the processor is allowed to change P-states to deliver it. Add to this the fact that Ryzen takes a significant performance hit with core-parking enabled, and Windows 10's balanced power plan attempts to park all logical processors beyond the first 10% whenever possible means that most of Ryzen's cores will have to be unparked before they can process any kind of workload - and this in itself incurs in an increased latency and, therefore, performance penalty.

Windows 10 Creators Update to Feature New Levels of Privacy Control

Developing on the latest Creator's Update release version of Windows 10 being available from Microsoft's Update Tool, there is a feature that needs further addressing: the new privacy settings. Microsoft is well aware (as well it should be, given the public outcry at its telemetry features) that Windows users were not happy with the fact that the company seemed to be trading their privacy for increased information - and ad revenues - in their new "Windows as a service" approach. Even though some of this telemetry and usage reports are essential towards achieving a good user experience in later updates, the general opinion was that Microsoft collected too much, with too little information being shared with users about what, when, and why. Now, Microsoft is looking to clean up its act without the obfuscation of hiding privacy setting in endless sub-menus.

There are now three levels of diagnostic information collecting being done at the OS level: Basic, Enhanced, and Full. Notice the absence of an "off" mode, which is something Microsoft likely will never budge on this new "Windows as a service" approach. However, the Basic mode now collects almost half of all the information that was previously collected. Users installing new versions of Windows will see a screen upon the configuration stage where they will be able to toggle privacy settings with a more refined filter than before, and your privacy settings will now (finally) carry over between major Windows updates, which means they won't reset without your knowledge. The same will happen with users that simply upgrade their Windows version with the new Creators Update.

Source: Windows Blogs, Tom's Hardware

Apple to Update its Mac Pro Line of Desktop Computers

For some users, it's been a long time coming. For others, it just meant that Apple had given up entirely on the desktop ecosystem, choosing to focus on its "mainstream luxury" approach towards selling phones with a BOM of $219 for $1000. Most others, though, will probably look at this update as more of a passing shot than an actually thought-out product development.

For now, Apple is going to update the innards of its Mac Pro line with some pretty interesting (if expectable) hardware: the $2,999 model sees a two-core bump from the quad-core Intel Xeon E5 3.7 GHz processor towards a six-core Intel Xeon E5 3.5 GHz. The same path will be followed by the $3,999 model, bumping towards an eight-core Intel Xeon E5 3 GHz processor from the six-core Intel Xeon E5 3.7 GHz processor that just kept on giving since 2013. Both models have also been updated with dual AMD FirePro D500 and D700 GPUs. The $2,999 model also sees an increase in its available memory, from 12GB of DDR3-1866 memory to 16GB.

AMD Community Update: BIOS Updates, Patches, Performance Improvements

Yesterday, we covered how Ryzen's performance has seen a needed lift-up through an upcoming update to Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation. Performance improvements of up to 30% do wonders in bringing up the 8-core, 16-thread Ryzen 7 1800X's performance up to speed with its svelter gaming enemy, the 4-core, 8-thread i/ 7700K. And through a community update, AMD has now shed some light on the ongoing crusade for adapting an entire ecosystem to its Ryzen line of processors architecture features. Case in point: BIOS updates and game patches,
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