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Red Dead Redemption 2 Update Arrives July 13, Brings NVIDIA DLSS Technology

Rockstar Games, the developer behind plenty of AAA titles, including Red Dead Redemption 2 (RDR2), is preparing an interesting update for all the RDR2 players. Called the "Blood Money" update, it brings new player activities to the Red Dead Online community. As Rockstar describes it, you will "Step into the criminal underworld of Red Dead Online: Blood Money on July 13, and prove you are willing to get your hands dirty in service to notorious and well-connected members of Saint-Denis society." While the update brings interesting content, it also integrates new technologies for visual/graphics improvements. NVIDIA's Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) is also landing on July 13, allowing you to play the game with better performance and image quality if you have a GeForce RTX graphics card.
Check out the Red Dead Online: Blood Money trailer below.

Acer Offers Increased Laptop GPU Performance Using Firmware Update

Total Graphics Power, or TGP, is a way of constraining the power of a GPU to a certain level, so it can adjust to the use case. In laptops and other mobile systems, TGP can be dynamically adjusted using technologies such as NVIDIA Dynamic Boost and AMD Smart Shift, which bring unused CPU power envelope to the GPU and allowing it to boost to much higher frequencies. By boosting to higher frequencies, the total power output of GPU increased, and the cooling system of a laptop can only handle a limited amount of heat. That is why these technologies from AMD and NVIDIA allow the CPU to reduce its heat output and offer the GPU more room for boosting and power output.

Acer has today announced that the company will offer a simple firmware update for their Nitro 5, Helios 300, Triton 300, and Triton 300 SE gaming laptops, which is going to boost the TGP of NVIDIA graphics card present in these systems anywhere from 5-30 Watts. There is a nicely compiled list available on the ComputerBase website that highlights the exact power increase for a specific model. If you happen to own one of these models, you can download the latest firmware update from Acer's website here.

Latest HWiNFO Update Adds Suport for XMP 3.0 on DDR5, Among Other Features

The release notes for the latest version of famous system utility HWiNFO have spilled the beans on an update to Intel's XMP. Currently at version 2.0, XMP (eXtreme Memory Profile) is a technology that allows the system-level BIOS to run DDR memory at speeds higher than those allowed by JEDEC, the governing specifications body for all things memory. It extends the performance profiles usually made available via SPD (Serial Presence Detect). An update to Intel's XMP (XMP 3.0) for DDR5 memory is referred to in the release notes for version 7.05 of the software. Not much more to look at here - it remains to be seen what changes are actually a part of XMP 3.0, and if any increased utility will be added to these profiles. Remember, however, that nor Intel nor AMD (via its A-XMP implementation) enable warranty coverage should XMP be enabled in your system.

Other relevant updates for the application include advanced early support for Zen 4 systems (looking at you, AMD), as well as per-core temperature monitoring for Zen-based CPUs. There are other additions to the supported hardware, which you can find in the screenshot below.

USB-IF Updates USB-C Standard to Support up to 240 Watt Power Delivery

USB Implementers Forum, the organization behind the development of the USB standard and its iterations, has today announced the latest revision to the USB-C standard. In the latest 2.1 version of the USB-C specification, we are in for a surprise when it comes to power delivery. With the previous 2.0 standard, USB-C was rated to deliver a minimum of 3 Amps at 20 Volts or carry a high-power 5 A current that is capable of delivering 100 Watts at 20 Volts. However, in the latest specification, the USB-IF has decided to bump up the power delivery target to a whopping 240 Watts.

This means that with the 2.1 specifications, the USB-C standard will be able to output as much as 48 Volts with a 5-Amp current. While this is a somewhat big change, that doesn't mean that you have to throw away your old USB-C cables. In the mode called Extended Power Range (EPR), the USB-C 2.1 will still work with all of the existing plugs. The plug is physically the same, however, for EPR to work it has changed the connector configuration a bit where pins for power delivery and USB 2.0 support can no longer short to ground, to prevent arcing when the cable is unplugged. The EPR cables will carry an electronic mark with them, so all of the devices will ask them how much power they can carry before transferring it over those cables. The 240 Watt bump will enable us to see more mobile devices, like laptops, with the ability to charge over a USB-C cable.

NVIDIA to End "Kepler" Support with R470 Drivers, 9 Years After Release: Support Roadmap

NVIDIA is planning to stop releasing driver updates to the "Kepler" generation of GPUs with the R470 driver series, according to a company driver support roadmap. Updated Software Support Matrix tables for datacenter GPUs, reveal, that the R470 drivers, released in 2021, will be the final driver updates to the "Kepler" architecture, completing 9 (!) years of driver updates since the architecture's 2012 debut. Support for the older "Fermi" ended with R390. A roadmap diagram also explains the various branches under which NVIDIA drivers are developed and released.

Although the roadmap predominantly refers to data-center GPUs, it's very likely that support for the GeForce GTX 600 "Kepler" series will end with GeForce R470 drivers, too, if not sooner. As of this writing, the current GeForce R465 series drivers do support GTX 600 series "Kepler," even if not all day-one game optimizations are applied all the way back to this series.

Elon Musk Teases Updated Tesla Model S Design... That Can Play Cyberpunk and Witcher 3?

Today, Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla, Inc., has announced an update to the Tesla Model S automobile. The new car has seen a design revision for the first time since 2012, and it looks like something straight from the future. The interior has seen a complete revamp, and now it looks very futuristic and minimalistic. The specs of the car are also impressive. It can accelerate from 0-60 mph in just under two seconds. The starting price of the car is 80K USD, and it will be available in March. However, the speed and the price is not the main character found inside the car.

Tesla has announced that the updated Model S design has a new infotainment system that has a Tesla Arcade gaming platform with 10 TeraFLOPs of power. According to Mr. Musk, you will be able to play Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk on the Tesla Arcade, a new gaming platform for Tesla vehicles. Right now, it is undefined what is the exact configuration inside the new Tesla Model S car. However, it is speculated that AMD Radeon Navi 23 GPU is powering the platform. When it comes to the CPU choice, speculations are pointing out that Tesla is most likely using an Intel Atom chip paired with the aforementioned AMD Radeon GPU. All we know is that the GPU is clocked at 2.44 GHz, and possibly has 32 CUs. To play Cyberpunk and Witcher 3, you are would need to own one of these new Model S autos and the whole software stack is running locally. We are expecting to hear more about the final specifications once the car arrives in March.

Cyberpunk 2077 Gets Hotfix with Version 1.05, Update Available for All Platforms

The release of Cyberpunk 2077 has brought a rather large controversy around it, with many gamers being disappointed with their purchases. The game has generated massive hype before it was released, and when it dropped, gamers from all around the world found themselves disappointed in the quality of the game itself. Most notably, the game developer, CD Project RED, has made a massive game and discovered many bugs along the way. That buggy release was shipped to customers. However, the game developer is not going to watch it remain like that and has issued a hotfix release 1.05 that is supposed to iron out a few major bugs and bring many improvements.

On PC, the game was underperforming on AMD Ryzen CPUs, and now the patch is applied: "[AMD SMT] Optimized default core/thread utilization for 4-core and 6-core AMD Ryzen (tm) processors. 8-core, 12-core and 16-core processors remain unchanged and behaving as intended. This change was implemented in cooperation with AMD and based on tests on both sides indicating that performance improvement occurs only on CPUs with 6 cores and less." For a full list of gameplay, UI, visual, and quest updates, please check out this hotfix list here. Update is now available on all platforms and you should download it.

MSI Will Offer BIOS Update for all AMD 400-Series Motherboards to Optimize Performance for AMD Ryzen 5000 CPU Support

As a world-leading motherboards brand, MSI commits to deliver gamers and creators genuine pleasure, and will keep moving. BIOS update is always an exhilarating news for most users, so MSI keeps announcing relative news for our users. From this week, MSI will release AMD AGESA COMBO PI V2 1.1.0.0 Patch D BIOS for all AMD 400-series motherboards and it is expected to be completely uploaded before the end of 2020.

All AMD 400-Series Motherboards Comprehensively Support Ryzen 5000 CPU with AMD AGESA COMBO PI V2 1.1.0.0 Patch D
The purpose to keep releasing BIOS update is not only for increasing motherboards performance but also for better compatibilities. After AMD launches Ryzen 5000 CPU, most are inquisitive about whether Ryzen 5000 CPU is compatible with AMD previous platforms. MSI realizes that users are eager to enhance their motherboards with the latest CPU; therefore, we are determined to offer AGESA 1.1.0.0 Patch D for all AMD 400-series motherboards. With AGESA 1.1.0.0 Patch D, your 400-series motherboards can support Ryzen 5000 CPU and achieve its true performance. Since there are some technical issues on AGESA 1.1.8.0, it will not be released. Thus, AGESA 1.1.0.0. Patch D is the finest choice to update your motherboards.

NVIDIA Updates Cyberpunk 2077, Minecraft RTX, and 4 More Games with DLSS

NVIDIA's Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) technology uses advanced methods to offload sampling in games to the Tensor Cores, dedicated AI processors that are present on all of the GeForce RTX cards, including the prior Turing generation and now Ampere. NVIDIA promises that the inclusion of DLSS is promising to deliver up to a 40% performance boost, or even more. Today, the company has announced that DLSS is getting support in Cyberpunk 2077, Minecraft RTX, Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord, CRSED: F.O.A.D., Scavengers, and Moonlight Blade. The inclusion of these titles is now making NVIDIA's DLSS technology present in a total of 32 titles, which is no small feat for new technology.
Below, you can see the company provided charts about the performance of DLSS inclusion in the new titles, except the Cyberpunk 2077.
Update: The Cyberpunk 2077 performance numbers were leaked (thanks to kayjay010101 on TechPowerUp Forums), and you can check them out as well.

Intel to Keep Its Number One Semiconductor Supplier Ranking in 2020: IC Insights

IC Insights' November Update to the 2020 McClean Report, released later this month, includes a discussion of the forecasted top-25 semiconductor suppliers in 2020. This research bulletin covers the expected top-15 2020 semiconductor suppliers (Figure 1).

The November Update also includes a detailed five-year forecast through 2024 of the IC market by product type (including dollar volume, unit shipments, and average selling price) and a forecast of the major semiconductor industry capital spenders for 2020. A five-year outlook for total semiconductor industry capital spending is also provided.

No Man's Sky to Receive Next Gen Update for PC, PS5 and Xbox Series X

Do you remember No Man's Sky? Yes, that procedurally-generated game that mostly flopped at release, promising an endless universe for you to explore. Well, the game may have launched way back in 2016, but it's become one of the most well-supported releases in the history of videogames - at least, for a release that doesn't count on a subscription-like service to generate revenue. Hello games has now announced that they will be launching a next gen version of No man's Sky for both the PS5 and Xbox Series X - and gamers who already own a PS4 or Xbox One version of the game are eligible for a free upgrade.

The new, next gen version bumps the visuals to 4K resolution running at 60 FPS; severely diminishes loading times; features cross-play support; and there's also support for 32-player multiplayer, the first time this has been implemented in the console version of the game. There will also be a measure of graphical improvement beyond the increase in resolution, such as improved shadows and volumetrics. Improvements to spatial audio have also been baked in, due to the next gen console's support for more advanced soundscapes. PC users, of course, are already entitled to the update (it's one of the positives of having machines that can always slot in alongside the current generation of consoles). Whatever your opinion on the games' release state, the amount of content and support that has been delivered after the games' release should place Hello Games at the top of your developer short list.

EVGA Unleashes XOC BIOS for GeForce RTX 3090 FTW3 Graphics Card

EVGA has today published the "XOC" BIOS version for its GeForce RTX 3090 FTW3 graphics cards. The XOC BIOS version is designed for "extreme overclocking" purposes, as it boosts the power limit of the card by very a few additional Watts. This allows the overclockers to use the card to its full potential so the GPU core is not limited by power. To run XOC BIOS on your GeForce RTX 3090 FTW3 GPU card, you need to have an adequate cooling solution and sufficient power supply. For power, EVGA recommends that you use at least 850w+ Gold PSU, at minimum. This is a sign that shows that XOC bios will boost the system power consumption by quite a bit. The XOC BIOS is enabling the GPU to have a power limit of 500 Watts. It is important to note that EVGA does not guarantee any performance increase or overclock while using this BIOS update.

You can download the EVGA XOC BIOS for GeForce RTX 3090 FTW3 graphics card here. To install it, unzip the file, run Update.exe, and after updating restart your PC. That is the complete update process for the BIOS update. EVGA uploads both the normal BIOS (so you can revert) and XOC BIOS there so be careful when choosing the right files. You can use TechPowerUp GPU-Z tool to verify the BIOS install.

AMD Updates its Chipset Drivers, Includes Updated Power Plan for Ryzen CPUs

In the anticipation of the AMD Ryzen 5000 series of CPUs launch based on Zen 3 architecture, AMD has just released the updated drivers for its chipsets. Covering a wide selection ranging from B350, A320, X370, X399, B450, X470, X570, B550, and TRX40 Chipset, the updated chipset drivers include some bug fixes and new features. Now there is an updated power plan for AMD Ryzen CPUs that coordinate with chipsets, which means that AMD engineers have developed a new plan for Windows 10 OS which provides the best performance and power usage. You can check out the fixes listed below and you can go to the download link to install the new drivers.
Download: AMD Ryzen Chipset Driver 2.10.13.408.

NVIDIA Updates Video Encode and Decode Matrix with Reference to Ampere GPUs

NVIDIA has today updated its video encode and decode matrix with references to the latest Ampere GPU family. The video encode/decode matrix represents a table of supported video encoding and decoding standards on different NVIDIA GPUs. The matrix has a reference dating back to the Maxwell generation of NVIDIA graphics cards, showing what video codecs are supported by each generation. That is a useful tool for reference purposes, as customers can check if their existing or upcoming GPUs support a specific codec standard if they need any for video reproduction purposes. The update to the matrix comes in a form of Ampere GPUs, which are now present there.

For example, the table shows that, while supporting all of the previous generations of encoding standards, the Ampere based GPUs feature support for HEVC B Frame standard. For decoding purposes, the Ampere lineup now includes support for AV1 8-bit and 10-bit formats, while also supporting all of the previous generation formats. For a more detailed look at the table please go to NVIDIA's website here.
NVIDIA Encoding and Decoding Standards

China Forecast to Represent 22% of the Foundry Market in 2020, says IC Insights

IC Insights recently released its September Update to the 2020 McClean Report that presented the second of a two-part analysis on the global IC foundry industry and included a look at the pure-play foundry market by region.

China was responsible for essentially all of the total pure-play foundry market increase in 2018. In 2019, the U.S./China trade war slowed China's economic growth but its foundry marketshare still increased by two percentage points to 21%. Moreover, despite the Covid-19 shutdown of China's economy earlier this year, China's share of the pure-play foundry market is forecast to be 22% in 2020, 17 percentage points greater than it registered in 2010 (Figure 1).

Ubisoft Updates Watch Dogs: Legion PC System Requirements

Ubisoft has today updated the PC system requirements for its Watch Dogs: Legion game. Set to release on October 29th this year, we are just a few weeks away from its release. With the arrival of NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 3000 series Ampere graphics cards, Ubisoft has decided to update the official PC system requirements with RTX-on capabilities. The inclusion of raytracing in the game requires a faster CPU, as well as an RTX-capable GPU. At 1080p resolution, you need at least an RTX 2060 GPU to play with high settings, and raytracing turned to the medium, including DLSS. Going up to 1440p, Ubisoft recommends gamers to use at least an RTX 3070 GPU for very high preset, raytracing on high, and DLSS set to quality. If you want to max everything out and play with the highest settings at 4K resolution, you will need an RTX 3080 GPU.
Watch Dogs: Legion Watch Dogs: Legion PC System Requirements

MSI Releases AGESA Combo PI V2 1.1.0.0 BIOS Updates for AMD 500-series Motherboards

MSI, the world leading gaming motherboard brand, releases optimized BIOS updates for AMD 500-series motherboards. Combo PI V2 1.1.0.0 BIOS has been released and it will be able to download in the coming days.

Highlights include: Optimized compatibility for AMD Ryzen 3000-Series and Ryzen 4000 G-Series Desktop Processors and future AM4 socket processors, solve some specific OC failure issues, updated SMU module, and optimized DDR4 memory overclocking. MSI will keep announcing BIOS news. Please find the latest information of the complete product list and more details about the Combo PI V2 1.1.0.0 and newer BIOS update on this blog.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Releasing As A Free Update To Existing Owners

CD Projekt RED has recently announced that a new "visually and Technically Enhanced" version of The Witcher 3 will be coming to PC, Xbox Series X, and PlayStation 5. This enhanced version will be sold as a standalone version titled The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt - Complete Edition and "will feature a range of visual and technical improvements — including ray tracing and faster loading times — across the base game, both expansions, and all extra content". The upgrades will also come " as a free update for everyone who already owns the game on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4". The release date for this enhanced version is currently unknown.

Epic Games Announces Support for Cars in the Latest Fortnite Update

Today, on the official Twitter account of Fortnite game, Epic Games made an announcement that the game will receive an update on the 5th of August (tomorrow), that will bring some new features. Titled Joy Ride update, Epic Games promises that it will bring car support with it. In a tweet, the company says that "It's not just a name. It's a warning.", where it is referring to the Joy Ride update and the fact that it is going to change the gameplay dynamics of the game. So far, the only way to travel in-game on the ground was by foot, meaning that a car update will improve the speed of moving a lot. Let us know your thought on this update in the comments down below.
Fortinte Joy Ride Update

Steam Updates Pricing Restrictions to Combat VPN-based Exploitation of Regional Pricing

Steam has updated their purchase and pricing restriction in wake of continued abuse from users exploiting regional price-differences via VPN. You may have read about this recently following the availability of PS4-exclusive Horizon: Zero Dawn on the PC platform, with the release being priced differently by the publisher according to the purchase region of its respective users. However, one way users found to circumvent these restrictions and purchase games at a lower price was to use a VPN service and appear as if they were connecting from one of the lower-priced regions. This prompted a price-hike for Horizon: Zero Dawn in those exploited regions - sometimes by as much as 389%. Such was the case for Argentina, where the game, which was originally being sold for ARS$539,99 ($7,47) got its price hiked to ARS$2100 ($29,06). The game was being sold in US-based stores for $39.

Now, Steam is forcing currencies used on the purchase to match those of the country where the purchase is (apparently) being made. This means you can't pay in dollars a game that is priced in Argentinian pesos or any other currency. This move by Steam aims to keep pricing fair according to users' and countries' purchasing power, and aims to protect users with lower purchasing power from price-hikes derived from the exploitation of regional pricing. An Argentinian user, where the country's minimum wage is set at $233,55, now is protected from users with higher purchasing power being responsible for game price hikes that mean it costs them 10% of their minimum wage to get a single game from the Steam store. You can replace Argentina with any other country that saw its regional pricing being abused via VPN-hidden users who wanted to take advantage of the price difference. I can hear some Game of Thrones bells ringing in the distance.

PUBG Sells 70 Million Copies Ahead of Big Season 8 Update

The popular battle royale PlayersUnknown's BattleGround, called PUBG shortly, has managed to sell over 70 million copies across all platforms it is supported on, like PC and consoles. The huge achievement comes after two and a half years after the game was released, marking a huge achievement for battle royale type of games. The PUBG Corporation, makers of the game, decided to celebrate the new milestone with a release of a remastered Sanhok map. The new Sanhok map is redesigned from the ground up and the developer describes it as "leaner, meaner, and more deadly than ever before!". The new map will go live with the season 8 update, which is going live on July 22nd on Steam, and July 30th on consoles and Google Stadia.

Intel Updates Its ISA Manual with Advanced Matrix Extension Reference

Intel today released and updated version of its "Architecture Instruction Set Extensions and Future Features Programming" Reference document with the latest advanced matrix extension (AMX) programming reference. This gives us some insights into AMX and how it works. While we will not go in too much depth here, the AMX is pretty simple. Intel describes it as the following: "Intel Advanced Matrix Extensions (Intel AMX) is a new 64-bit programming paradigm consisting of two components: a set of 2-dimensional registers (tiles) representing sub-arrays from a larger 2-dimensional memory image, and an accelerator able to operate on tiles, the first implementation is called TMUL (tile matrix multiply unit)." In other words, this represents another matrix processing extension that can be used for a wide variety of workload, mainly machine learning processing. The first microarchitecture that will implement the new extension is Sapphire Rapids Xeon processor. You can find more about AMX here.
Intel AMX

id Software Clarifies Denuvo Technology Wasn't Responsible For Doom Eternal Issues Following Update 1

id Software's Marty Stratton clarified the issues introduced in Doom Eternal following its Update 1. Via a Reddit post, the developer informed its audience that Denuvo's introduction into the game with Update 1 (a move that sparked a review-bomb on Steam and a quick backpedaling from the company regarding its inclusion) said that the anti-cheat software actually wasn't responsible for the reported issues.

The developer said that the actual performance issues introduced with Update 1 lie in changes in the graphics memory handling code, as well as some bugs introduced alongside customizable skins. The developer also went on to say that the decision to include Denuvo post-release wasn't one forced by publisher Bethesda, but an entirely in-house one, and that the subsequent decision to remove the protection has nothing to do with Denuvo's software quality. Of course, the addition of an always-on DRM solution to Doom Eternal as a post-release patch still stands, as users that previously acquired the game did so without knowledge of its eventual addition. Look after the break for a complete transcript on the comment.

Intel Updates x86/x64 Software Developer Manual With Tremont Architecture Details

Intel has today released the 43rd edition of its x86/x64 ISA developer manual designed to help developers see what's new in x86 world and make software optimizations for Intel's platform. In the latest edition of the manual, Intel has revealed the details of its low-power x86 "Tremont" architecture designed for 10 nm efficient, low-power computing. Announced last year in October, Intel promised to deliver a big IPC increase compared to the previous generation low-power CPU microarchitecture like the Goldmont Plus family. To achieve extra performance, Intel has implemented a lot of new solutions.

For starters, Tremont boasts better branch prediction unit, with increased capacity for instruction queue and better path-based conditional and indirect prediction. The front-end fetch and decode pipeline have been updated as well. Now the design is a 6-wide Out of Order Execution (OoOE) pipeline which can process 6 instructions per cycle. The Data cache is now upgraded to 32 KB. The load and store execution pipelines are now doubled and they are capable of two loads and two stores, or one load and one store, depending on the application. Tremont also updates on one important point and that is a dedicated store data port for integer and vector integer/floating-point data. Another big improvement is happening in the cryptography department. Tremont now features Galois-field instructions labeled as the GFNI family of instructions. There are two AES units for faster AES encryption and decryption. The already implemented SHA-NI cryptography standard was enhanced and it now is much faster as well. For mode in-depth report please check out Intel's x86/x64 manual.
Intel Tremont

id Software Backpedals on Doom Eternal Denuvo DRM Retrofit

Someone at Bethesda or id Software thought it was a good idea to retrofit "Doom Eternal" with the vastly unpopular Denuvo DRM as an anti-cheat component, two months following its March launch, as part of "Update 1" (a major game patch). This invited the wrath of gamers as they review-bombed the game on Steam. The game's executive producer Marty Stratton took to Reddit, to announce that Denuvo will be removed in the game's next update (without announcing a timeline), while defending it. Stratton maintains that the performance issues noticed in Update 1 are not related to the Denuvo implementation. If you've read our comprehensive review of Denuvo, where we go into the technical aspects of the DRM solution, you'll know that it can be implemented in a number of ways, some of which inflict performance penalties.
Image Courtesy Modern Vintage Gamer
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