News Posts matching #Update

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AMD Ryzen CPUs to Get Plenty of Microcode Improvements

According to Planet 3DNow, owners of AMD's Ryzen CPUs will receive a new microcode update said to feature many performance fixes and improvements that bring additional features. Dubbed AGESA 1.0.0.4, the new microcode improvement should bring over 100 new features that don't just include bug fixes, but also additional features.

Leaked by MSI's "Insider Show" YouTube series host Eric Van Beurden, he revealed that new microcode will arrive next month after getting tested by motherboard manufacturers for stability and compatibility with existing models of motherboards. Unfortunately, Van Beurden didn't reveal anything specific about what features will be present with the new AGESA microcode update, however we can expect to see plenty of new additions, and possibly higher CPU performance that further firmware optimizations bring.

VESA Updates DisplayHDR Standard with Tighter Specifications and New DisplayHDR 1400 Performance Level

The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA ) today announced that it has published the first major update to its widely adopted High-Performance Monitor and Display Compliance Test Specification (DisplayHDR), which is the display industry's first fully open standard specifying high dynamic range (HDR) quality. The updated spec, DisplayHDR version 1.1, includes tighter performance requirements, including for luminance and color gamut, as well as new test requirements, such as for active dimming, to address recent advances in HDR technology. Companies can begin certifying their display products under the new DisplayHDR 1.1 spec today. In addition, VESA will continue to allow products to be certified under the previous DisplayHDR 1.0 spec through the end of May 2020 in order to allow for products already in development that have been designed to meet the original spec, which was published in November 2017.

Dell Readies Updated Laptop Portfolio for IFA 2019

IFA is the largest consumer tech show in Europe and we expect to see significant news from 4K and OLED TVs to wearables to smartphones. We'll be showcasing our latest PCs, of course, as the move to thin and light continues across the industry. It's not only about smaller form factors though - consumers want adaptive, always connected, high-performing, and flawlessly designed PCs. Dell continues to set the bar for the PC industry.

Ahead of IFA, we're expanding our consumer portfolio with brand new form factors and the addition of new 10th Gen Intel Core processors to our current XPS and Inspiron portfolio, delivering performance gains needed for compute intensive, demanding multi-thread workloads, while still handling 4K content efficiently. And in doing so, giving our customers heavyweight performance in thin, light and portable designs — the best of both worlds.

AMD's Latest AGESA Update Removes PCIe 4.0 Support from Pre-X570 Motherboards

AMD's latest AGESA update, which is being seeded to motherboard manufacturers, culls efforts to implement support for PCIe 4.0 in boards not carrying the latest X570 chipset. Some motherboard manufacturers had enabled support for the new standard on existing B450 and X470 motherboards - some with limited support, as was the case on some of ASUS' motherboards, others with full support. However, these efforts from motherboard manufacturers went against AMD's strategy with their X570 platform - all in all, these "rogue additions" reduced one additional feature of new X570 motherboards over their older counterparts.

The new AGESA code carries the part number AM4 1.0.0.3 ABB, and will likely be reflected in manufacturers' release notes for new BIOS versions that incorporate the code - and remove added PCIe 4.0 functionality. Other changes in this AGESA code release include fixes for Destiny 2 gamers' woes, which were having a hard time getting the game to run properly on Ryzen 3000 processors. If you're an avid Destiny 2 player and want PCIe 4.0 support, you'll likely be reminded of Rick and Morty's pickle episode. If not, you can always defer these AM4 1.0.0.3 ABB updates, if your system is behaving properly.

Microsoft's Biannual Major Windows 10 Update Cycle to Slow Down

Microsoft has reportedly restructured the way it adds major features to Windows 10 over time. The company currently has a biannual (twice a year) cadence in updating Windows 10 version. A major update in this context refers to a multi-gigabyte update package that changes the operating system's version, its key system files, and makes significant changes to the user interface. The most recent of these was the Windows 10 May 2019 Update (1903).

With its new update cadence, Microsoft plans to distribute a major update in one half of an year, and a "minor" update in the other half. This "minor" update, or "point update," is much lighter in download size, but is still fairly bigger than a monthly "Patch Tuesday" update, and adds features and UI changes. The "major" annual update brings with it under-the-hood changes to the OS, such as updates to its kernel, scheduler, APIs, driver models, etc. The next version of Windows, which is expected to be Windows 10 version 1909, will be a lightweight update if you're already on 1903, but a "heavy" update if you're still on 1809. Its successor, Windows 10 version 2003 (March 2020), will be a "heavy" update regardless of which version you're on.

Dungeon Action-RPG 'Underworld Ascendant' Available Now For PlayStation 4, Coming Soon To Xbox One

Underworld Ascendant, the fan-funded title from independent game studio OtherSide Entertainment is now available digitally for PlayStation 4 from the PlayStation Store. The action-RPG, published by 505 Games, will soon be available to Xbox One players via the Xbox Games Store. Both versions are priced at 24.99.

Underworld Ascendant is a fantasy RPG that challenges you to think creatively in an interactive sandbox environment. Players can mix and match dozens of combat, stealth and magic skills to develop their unique style of play and devise clever plans to overcome challenges as they navigate the foreboding Stygian Abyss.

Crytek Updates CryEngine Roadmap: Version 5.7 to Support DirectX 12, Vulkan and Ray Tracing

Crytek have updated their development roadmap for CryEngine, adding in some of the features we discussed yesterday on our piece regarding their Neon Noir ray tracing tech demo performance. The new roadmap now places Spring 2020 as the time where both DirectX 12 and Vulkan, lower level APIs than the currently-supported DX11, will be fully integrated into the engine. Ray Tracing will be added at the same time, no doubt taking advantage of the higher performance that can be extracted from hardware through the lower level APIs.

It will be interesting to see the level of performance on CryEngine's hardware agnostic ray tracing, and whether their Spring 2020 implementation will take advantage of specialized RTX hardware - or focus on a software solution ran at varying degrees of rendering resolution according to the scene. Though with AMD's Navi being expected to incorporate some sort of hardware-based ray tracing acceleration, it's very likely software calculations will only be a fallback of the coding.

AMD Trademarks Updated Radeon Vega Logos - Now With More 3D for Radeon Pro WX 9100

AMD has filed a trademark for an updated design on their Vega logo. The original Vega logo was made out of two full triangles, arranged in such a way as to form the letter "V". The updated trademark has since made an appearance on AMD's professional line of graphics cards, in the form of packaging for the Radeon Pro WX 9100 - likely an effort from AMD to further separate its professional and consumer graphics.

The new logo is the old being revisited, with the same prismatic arrangement, but with added detailing for a 3D effect, which makes sense in the 3D rendering world that AMD's professional graphics cards are used in. Perhaps this AMD investment in updating the branding means a refresh could be coming for its professional graphics card market that still uses the Vega architecture, though this is mere speculation at this point.

ASUS Reveals Listing of Motherboards, Chipsets Receiving Update for Next-gen Ryzen; A-Series Absent

ASUS today has posted a full listing of the motherboards that are receiving BIOS updates to allow for full compatibility with AMD's upcoming Ryzen 3000 series CPUs. These range across the B350, X370, B450, and X470 chipsets, with everything from ROG to TUF to Prime-branded motherboards receiving the support update. Conspicuously absent, though, are ASUS' A-series motherboards, based on the A320 chipset - despite it supporting the same electrical load as its B350 counterpart.

An ASUS remark claiming that "new models to be listed" gives some hope, but there have been unofficial rumors of A-series-based motherboards not supporting AMD's latest CPUs - and that ASUS claim could well be directed to some unlisted motherboards between the already mentioned chipsets.

Further Optimizations to NVIDIA RTX, DLSS For Battlefield V

DICE and NVIDIA have been hard at work on their partnership to bring RTX and DLSS to Battlefield V. It seems the tech is a constant work in progress, as this isn't the first time the companies have introduced optimizations to the games' handling of DLSS and RTX since its release. According to the patch notes from the latest update, the Trial by Fire Update #2, there have been further optimizations to RTX on Ultra - with increased ray trace counts to improve quality of reflections, which will definitely hit performance further.

Additionally, DLSS now supports rendering in borderless mode, and DLSS sharpness has also been improved. This likely means that NVIDIA's servers are still hard at work processing their "ground truth" image for the available scenarios in-game, further optimizing image quality. This is one of those rare technologies that will be improving with time, bringing the "fine wine" argument to (likely) its clearest scenario yet.

ASRock Rolls Out Intel 300-series Motherboard BIOS Updates to Support New CPU Stepping

ASRock has released BIOS updates for all Z390/H370/Q370/B365/B360/H310 series motherboards to support the soon to be released new stepping 9th Generation Intel Core processors. The latest BIOS updates are available for download now from our website or simply update through ASRock APP Shop. New processors are scheduled to launch in Q2, 2019, the latest BIOS for each motherboard are listed as below. BIOS updates for more models will be added soon.

ASUS Responds to Reports of ASUS Live Update System Being Compromised by Hackers

Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) attacks are national-level attacks usually initiated by a couple of specific countries, targeting certain international organizations or entities instead of consumers. ASUS Live Update is a proprietary tool supplied with ASUS notebook computers to ensure that the system always benefits from the latest drivers and firmware from ASUS. A small number of devices have been implanted with malicious code through a sophisticated attack on our Live Update servers in an attempt to target a very small and specific user group. ASUS customer service has been reaching out to affected users and providing assistance to ensure that the security risks are removed.

ASUS has also implemented a fix in the latest version (ver. 3.6.8) of the Live Update software, introduced multiple security verification mechanisms to prevent any malicious manipulation in the form of software updates or other means, and implemented an enhanced end-to-end encryption mechanism. At the same time, we have also updated and strengthened our server-to-end-user software architecture to prevent similar attacks from happening in the future.

MSI Rolls Out AMD 400-series BIOS Updates with "Zen 2" Microcode

MSI mid-March began quietly rolling out BIOS updates for its socket AM4 motherboards based on AMD 400-series chipset, with a very ominous BIOS change-log entry: "Support new upcoming AMD CPU." At first, we dismissed this for being the company's follow-up to its 6th March announcement of support for some of the newer Athlon processor models, namely the 220GE and 240GE. After updating our MSI B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC with one of these BIOSes, however, we discovered a very interesting microcode string - AGESA COMBO-AM4 0.0.7.2.

Such a major change in AGESA shouldn't be warranted to add support for two new chips based on existing "Raven Ridge" architecture that both AGESA "Summit Ridge" and AGESA PiR (Pinnacle Ridge) series microcodes should be able to comfortably run. We spoke with sources familiar with AMD microcode, who revealed that this AGESA COMBO-AM4 0.0.7.2 is designed for the upcoming "Zen 2" microarchitecture, and its first socket AM4 implementation, codenamed "Matisse." AMD internal versions of AGESA with Matisse support begin with the version sequence 0.0.7.x., and as we head closer to formal launch of these chips, AMD could release a 1.0.0.0 version of "AGESA COMBO-AM4." For our B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC, the BIOS version packing this new AGESA is v1.60, and we wager this board should now be able to run Ryzen "Matisse" engineering samples. Now, if we can only get our hands on one.

Microsoft Issues Fix for "Performance Degrading" Windows 10 Update

Let's give credit where it is due- Microsoft was quick in admitting that their Windows 10 update (KB4482887) from March 1 had a detrimental effect on performance, especially as it related to specific gaming scenarios. Under a week later, we now have a public fix available as well. The latest update from today, March 12, is version KB4489899 (OS Build 17763.379) and claims to address "an issue that may degrade graphics and mouse performance with desktop gaming when playing certain games, such as Destiny 2, after installing KB4482887", among other things.

Other listed improvements and fixes include improved HoloLens tracking and device calibration, solving a bug that caused some users to get "Error 1309" when dealing with some .MSI and/or .MSP files, and a host of general security updates to various Microsoft software solutions. There remain some issues with this update, however, which are listed in the source page linked below. The update should be available for download and install automatically via Windows Update, as of the time of this post.

Microsoft Confirms Latest Windows 10 Update May Decrease Performance in Certain Gaming Scenarios

Microsoft has confirmed that their latest Windows 10 update (KB4482887), which released on march 1st, can actually degrade graphics and mouse performance in some games. As Microsoft themselves put it, "After installing KB4482887, users may notice graphics and mouse performance degradation with desktop gaming when playing certain games (eg: Destiny 2)."

There's no word yet on a definitive listing of games that suffer this performance degradation, but Microsoft is hard at work fixing this for the next Windows release. Until then, users facing graphics and mouse performance degradation can simply uninstall the KB4482887 update.

Bethesda Commits to Fallout 76 With 2019 Roadmap

While Fallout 76 may have (read: has) come out of the gates to generally poor rception, Bethesda Softworks has been hard at work trying to bring the game up to speed to the potential of the Fallout series - at least, as much potential as there is to scrounge for in this shared/world rendition of it. This has worked, according to Bethesda, through a dedication to "(...) improve performance, detect new exploits, and make the experience smoother for everyone. There's still work to do, but we're happy to report that game and server stability has increased over 300% since launch." To celebrate a perceived new state of the nation, Bethesda has just revealed their plans for the game thorugh a roadmap that spans the entirety of 2019.

It seems the game will be following a Seasonal content delivery, as there is a Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter separation for content - free content, that is. The first content update, dubbed "Wild Appalachia", will be coming out throughout Spring 2019, featuring a series of new quests, features, events, crafting systems and more starting on March 12 and appearing over several weeks. Summer will see the arrival of of the "Nuclear Winter" content update, which seems like a tongue-in-cheek proposition. "Wastelanders", dropping this Fall, will be the single most comprehensive amount of content, according to Bethesda, with "a new main questline, new factions, new events, new features and even more surprises." Check out after the break for the full announced features for the Spring Update, "Wild Appalachia".

Battlefield V Update: Tides of War, Chapter 1: Overture Was Delayed, Live Now

For Electronic Arts when it rains, it pours, as Battlefield V continues to experience a multitude of issues. The various controversies and problems that plagued the game leading up to its release were terrible enough. Now with numerous bugs such as audio issues to squash along with balancing of guns and gadgets, DICE remains unable to catch a break. They have now discovered yet another problem, this time resulting in the delay of their first Tides of War content update "Chapter 1: Overture." This particular update was to deliver the new Panzerstorm map, vehicle visual customization options, The Last Tiger War Story, and the practice range among other things. All this new content will still be released but when that is is currently unknown.

DICE expects the delay to be a short one, but no official date for the launch has been set.

Update (5th Dec, 10:00 UTC): The update is now live and distributing via Origin.

Update (5th Dec, 14:30 UTC): We have just posted a detailed performance review of this patch across all three RTX graphics cards, at three resolutions each. To summarize, the performance gains are big enough that the RTX 2080 Ti can comfortably handle 4K again, and RTX 2080 be capable of 4K with some riders.

Microsoft Halts Windows 10 October Update Rollout Yet Again, Affects Only Some Intel Users

Microsoft has blocked rollout of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update on systems using Intel Integrated Graphics with specific driver versions. Apparently audio playback, when using a monitor connected to the IGP, will no longer work after the upgrade to October Update.

According to Microsoft, the underlying reason for the issue is that "Intel inadvertently released versions of its display driver [...] to OEMs that accidentally turned on unsupported features in Windows."

If you want to work around this, then check your Intel driver version using GPU-Z. If you see "24.20.100.6344" or "24.20.100.6345", just upgrade your graphics drivers and you should be good to go.

Microsoft Resumes Rollout of Windows 10 October 2018 Feature Update (1809)

Originally Microsoft shelved the Windows 10 October 2018 feature update after a data-destroying bug among other problems was detected just days after its initial rollout. Now with more than a month has passed they are finally re-releasing the update after having "thoroughly investigated and resolved" the issues, according to Microsoft's John Cable, director of Program Management for Windows Servicing and Delivery.

The decision to re-release the update was reached after the careful study of diagnostic data from millions of Windows Insiders showed no further evidence of data loss. Currently, the update is only available via media and manual updates, automatic updates will be coming later. This is because Microsoft is taking a slower more methodical approach to their updates. Taking more time for careful study of device health data in order to improve the overall user experience. This new approach will take problems like application incompatibility among other things into account in order to make sure future updates do not automatically install unless known issues have been resolved. This should help reduce the frequency of problems end users encounter.

Microsoft Pulls Windows 10 October 2018 Update

Over the weekend Microsoft has stopped delivery of their latest Windows 10 October 2018 Update (Build 1809). Many user reported serious issues with the new version, with the biggest problem being the deletion of files in "My Documents". Some users have reportedly lost hundreds of Gigabytes of data, containing decades of their life's work. Another scary experience was that in an enterprise environment, where "My Documents" was mounted from a server, with shared subfolders, the update erased all the documents on the network server. Let's hope the affected people have backups. Reportedly copies on OneDrive aren't affected.

Other users are having issues with drivers not installing properly, or the system crashing during a driver install. Another Microsoft bulletin goes into detail that using an Intel Audio Device with the new update "may result in excessive processor demand and reduced battery lifemay result in excessive processor demand and reduced battery life".

Windows 10 October 2018 Update Starts Rolling Out

Microsoft began rolling out Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809) through its regular update channels. The update introduces several improvements to the operating system's user interface, expand on its Timeline features that let you pick up your work where you left off, and comes with a boatload of under the hood performance improvements relevant to PC enthusiasts and gamers. These include the latest update to DirectX that adds DirectX Ray-tracing API features (DXR), the latest version of WDDM, and native HDR standards management settings via Display Settings. To get it, simply make Windows check for updates.
The change-log follows.

Intel Gags Customers from Publishing Performance Impact of Microcode Updates

Much of the secret sauce that made Intel processors faster than AMD is going sour, as the cybersecurity community is finding gaping security vulnerabilities by exploiting features such as speculative execution. Intel's microcode updates that mitigate these vulnerabilities impact performance. Intel isn't too happy about public performance numbers put out by its customers, which it fears could blunt the competitive edge of its products. The company has hence updated the license terms governing the microcode update distribution to explicitly forbid its users from publishing comparative "before/after" performance numbers of patched processors.

The updated license for the microcode update has this controversial sentence (pay attention to "v"):
"You will not, and will not allow any third party to (i) use, copy, distribute, sell or offer to sell the Software or associated documentation; (ii) modify, adapt, enhance, disassemble, decompile, reverse engineer, change or create derivative works from the Software except and only to the extent as specifically required by mandatory applicable laws or any applicable third party license terms accompanying the Software; (iii) use or make the Software available for the use or benefit of third parties; or (iv) use the Software on Your products other than those that include the Intel hardware product(s), platform(s), or software identified in the Software; or (v) publish or provide any Software benchmark or comparison test results."

AsRock Confirms Z390 Motherboard in Its Support Pages

Via its support pages, AsRock has spilled the beans on at least five of their upcoming motherboards based on Intel's upcoming Z390 chipset in their Live Update & App services. The naming scheme of these motherboards is in-line with previous ASRock lineups, and there shouldn't be any confusion as to their tiering. The motherboards hence confirmed are the Z390 Extreme4, Z390 Pro4, Z390 Taichi, Z390 Taichi Ultimate, and the Z390M Pro4.

ASUS Releasing 9th Gen Core Supporting BIOS Updates

ASUS announced that it is releasing motherboard BIOS updates that add 9th generation Core "Whiskey Lake" processor compatibility for almost its entire Intel 300-series chipset motherboard family. This includes models based on H310, B360, Q370, and H370 chipsets, and not just the top Z370. Intel is expected to debut its 9th generation Core processor family with three SKUs later this year: the Core i9-9900K, the Core i7-9700K, and the Core i5-9600K. The tables below list motherboard models alongside the minimum BIOS version you'll need for "Whiskey Lake" compatibility. You'll find your BIOS in the "support" tab of the product page of your motherboard on ASUS website.

No Man's Sky NEXT Update Elevates the Game to What It Was Always Supposed to Be

Hello Games has released the definitive update to No Man's Sky: the one that shores up many of the game's weaknesses and delivers what we were promised nearly two years ago. The game has had a steady stream of incremental, evolutionary updates to its core systems, in the meantime. But none have been as comprehensive and game changing - immediately or for the way they prepare the future - as the 1.5 update, codenamed NEXT, that dropped today.

Among the additions - and trust me, these are grand in both number and scope - the NEXT update introduces a full multiplayer experience, near-unlimited base building, command of freighter armadas, a graphical overhaul, multiple quality of life improvements, revised systems and HUD, increased variance, even more procedurally-generated bits and pieces, third-person view support... it's a real expansion that's being distributed for free, and which stands to offer more than some game sequels ever managed to do. Look after the break for a rundown of the changes - then boot up the game, grab a cup of coffee, prepare your screenshot utilities, and enjoy the ride.
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