News Posts matching #Updates

Return to Keyword Browsing

Microsoft's Windows 7 Reaches End-Of-Life

Today, on January the 14th, Microsoft is officially ending support for Windows 7 operating system. After more than 10 years since its launch, Windows 7 has remained a primary operating system on many PCs, especially OEM PCs manufactured before 2015, when Windows 10 came out. The user transition from Windows 7 to Windows 10 has not been an easy task for Microsoft, however, by declaring that the product has reached End-Of-Life, Microsoft is trying to make millions of users pull the trigger and embrace the new operating system.

When January 14th arrives, Microsoft will stop giving Windows 7 users technical support, software updates with new features, and most importantly security updates. The official recommendation from Microsoft is to upgrade to the latest version of Windows, meaning Windows 10. As some of the older PCs may have compatibility issues with newer OS, it is also recommended to check your PC specifications. If you are a customer of the Extended Security Updates (ESU) program, you will continue to see further support in the future, however, for regular users, the support period is over.

MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Updated for Back-to-School Season

Apple today updated MacBook Air, adding True Tone to its Retina display for a more natural viewing experience, and lowering the price to $1,099, with an even lower price of $999 for college students. In addition, the entry-level $1,299 13-inch MacBook Pro has been updated with the latest 8th-generation quad-core processors, making it two times more powerful than before. It also now features Touch Bar and Touch ID, a True Tone Retina display and the Apple T2 Security Chip, and is available for $1,199 for college students.

MacBook Air and MacBook Pro are also part of Apple's Back to School promotion, which includes a pair of Beats Studio 3 Wireless headphones with the purchase of a qualifying Mac notebook or iMac. With their sleek, portable designs, Retina displays, great everyday performance, all-day battery life and running macOS, Mac notebooks have never been more popular in higher education, with Student Monitor data showing nearly 60 percent of US college notebook buyers own a Mac.

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.

Intel Releases CPU Microcode Updates For MDS Vulnerabilities Unearthed on May 14

Intel released CPU microcode updates to address four new security vulnerabilities disclosed by the company on May 14, 2019. These microcode updates can be encapsulated as motherboard UEFI firmware updates, and for some processors even distributed through Windows Update. In its Microcode Revision Guidance document put out on Tuesday, Intel revealed that all Core and Xeon processors going as far as the 2nd generation Core "Sandy Bridge" architecture are eligible for microcode updates.

2nd generation Core is roughly the time when motherboard vendors were forced to adopt UEFI (unrelated to these vulnerabilities). A number of low-power microarchitectures, such as "Gemini Lake," "Cherry View," "Apollo Lake," and "Amber Lake," which are basically all low-power processors released after 2012-13, also receive these updates. Until you wait for your motherboard vendor or PC/notebook OEM to pass on these microcode updates, Intel advises you to disable HyperThreading if your processor is older than 8th gen "Coffee Lake," and seek out the latest software updates.
Additional slides follow.

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.

Microsoft Reconsiders: No More Forced Updates in Windows 10

One of the big no-nos for some users looking to upgrade do Windows 10 was the fact that Microsoft enforced constant, 6-month update cycles independent of whether users wanted them or not. This move was done to streamline the update process and keep all users at parity when it comes to important security and feature updates that Microsoft considered relevant. However, it seems Microsoft is now abandoning this practice, which means that users that like to know exactly what is being changed in their systems - and at a time of their convenience - now have one less reason to not upgrade.

Not only will Windows no longer push updates inadvertently, now home users will also have the ability to not only pause updates, but also remove them. There's a caveat, though - you won't be able to postpone feature updates forever. As it stands, Microsoft has an 18 month "end of life" period for major Windows 10 versions, which means that after your 18 months of postponing updates are up (and all of the kinks have been ironed out), you PC will still update to the latest version. There are some other details, which I will transcribe from the Microsoft blog post for your perusal.

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.

Anthem to Receive Post-Launch Content Updates At Least Until May

Anthem is out in the wilds, and it seems its reception has been mixed - it's definitely not the blockbuster, review-parading title that any developer - and publisher - would like their games to be. Reports peg Anthem's boxed game sales as half that of Bioware's previous Mass Effect: Andromeda - which was, again, half those of Mass Effect 3. Perhaps it's a tale of gamers taking a step back in trust regarding Bioware's ability to deliver, following Andromeda's reception, perhaps it has been superseded in interest by multiplayer-focused games (as we've seen, the industry trend has gone on towards having competitive multiplayer, instead of cooperative multiplayer designs). Whatever the reason, Anthem seems to have been met will a less-than-expected interest when it comes to sales - the opening weekend sales were lower than both Kingdom Hearts 3 and Resident Evil 2. And the PC version of the game has been ill-received by critics and gamers alike, if Metacritic still holds weight in this review-bombing world.

That said, EA is committing to content drops for the game - until May 2019, that is. This in itself sets a mild alarm ringing - this can't possibly represent publisher's investment in the game - three months is a very unimpressive commitment to the longevity of a game universe in the scale of Anthem. So many plans for the game to usher in the "games as a platform" concept of regular content drops, I'd be dumbstruck to find that EA might consider dropping the money bag like this.

Netgear Announces Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR700 WiFi Router

NETGEAR , Inc. today debuted during IFA 2018 tradeshow its latest member of the Nighthawk Pro Gaming product family, the Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR700 WiFi Router, the industry's fastest home router for gaming. In addition to its award-winning DumaOS for greater network control over who and how you play, the NPG XR700 router sports cutting-edge hardware with its AD7200 Quad Stream Wave2 WiFi. Whether you're an avid or a casual gamer, the NPG XR700 router will deliver the control you need to dominate opponents in online multi-player scenarios.

Similar to the rest of the award-winning Nighthawk Pro Gaming family, the groundbreaking NPG XR700 router is purpose-built and fine-tuned to address the unique networking challenges of gamers. It optimizes network connections by stabilizing ping, reducing lag spikes, and keeping you always-on with the fastest wired and wireless connectivity for advanced online game play. The XR700 leverages exclusive state-of-the-art gaming software powered by DumaOS for critical pro gaming capabilities such as an intuitive and interactive Gaming Dashboard, a Geo Filter to guarantee local game hosts, and Quality of Service (QoS) to control and eliminate lag. This rich set of software features enables customization and gaming performance unmatched in the router space.

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."

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.

Intel Z370 Chipset Motherboards Get 8-core CPU Compatibility BIOS Updates

A variety of motherboards based on Intel Z370 Express chipset began receiving the first BIOS updates that add compatibility with upcoming Intel 8-core processors. The updates are flagged "beta" by the manufacturers. Given that only Z370 (and not other 300-series chipset models) have such updates, it's possible that Intel could restrict the first socket LGA1151 8-core processor SKUs (which could be unlocked "K" variants with higher TDP) to Z370 chipset, as the chipset has stronger VRM requirements than other chipset models that don't support CPU overclocking.

To support the upcoming processors, the BIOS needs to include the latest 06EC microcode revision. Various motherboard manufacturers, such as ASUS, ASRock, and MSI, have released beta BIOS updates with this microcode, as confirmed in AMI Aptio inspection tool screenshots. The 06EC microcode, detailed in this slide-deck from Intel, hardens the machine against newer variants of the "Spectre" vulnerability. Older revisions of this document also mentioned support for Intel Core "9000 series" processors, before Intel scampered to redact it.

Intel Stops Development, Deployment of Spectre Microcode Update for Several CPU Families

Intel on their latest Microcode Revision Guidance Guide has apparently stopped development of mitigations for some of its processor families that still haven't been updated to combat the threat of Spectre. The odyssey for the return to form of security on Intel products has been a steep, and a slow one, as the company has struggled to deploy mitigations for speculative code execution on its processor families that run it. Updates for some families of products, however - such as Penryn, Wolfdale, Bloomfield and Yorkfield, among others - are apparently not going to get an update at all.

ASRock Outs AM4 Motherboard Raven Ridge BIOS Updates, AMD Standardizes New Label

ASRock today announced that it has posted motherboard BIOS updates for its socket AM4 motherboard product lineup, which enables support for AMD Ryzen 3 2200G and Ryzen 5 2400G APUs based on the "Raven Ridge" silicon. The company posted BIOS updates for all 18 of its AM4 motherboard models, based on AMD X370, B350, and A320 chipsets. To get your BIOS update, visit the downloads section of the product page of your motherboard model on ASRock company website.

In related news, it looks like AMD has standardized a new label for use by motherboard manufacturers on their product boxes to denote out of the box support for AMD Ryzen 2000 series processors, on newer batches of their AMD 300-series chipset motherboards. Motherboards without this label likely won't support chips such as the 2200G or 2400G out of the box, and will require a BIOS update using a supported Ryzen "Summit Ridge" processor first. Motherboards based on the upcoming AMD 400-series chipsets, which should launch in Q2-2018, will support "Raven Ridge" and upcoming "Pinnacle Ridge" processors out of the box, including backwards-compatibility for existing "Summit Ridge" processors.

MSI Outs Socket AM4 Motherboard BIOS Updates for "Raven Ridge" APU Support

MSI is among the first motherboard manufacturers to release BIOS updates for its entire socket AM4 motherboard lineup, to enable support for Ryzen 3 2200G and Ryzen 5 2400G APUs, based on the "Raven Ridge" silicon. With the two chips installed, you will finally be able to use the DVI, D-Sub, HDMI or DisplayPort connectors on the rear-panel of your socket AM4 motherboards. Motherboards based on AMD's upcoming 400-series chipset, will come with support for "Raven Ridge" APUs out of the box, among other chips, such as the company's upcoming 12 nm "Pinnacle Ridge" processors.

Among MSI's 300-series chipset socket AM4 motherboards to receive "Raven Ridge" support, are the X370 XPower Gaming Titanium, the X370 Gaming M7 ACK, the X370 Gaming Pro Carbon, the X370 Gaming Pro, X370 Gaming Plus, X370 SLI Plus, X370 Krait Gaming; the B350 Tomahawk Plus, the B350 Tomahawk, the B350 Tomahawk Arctic, B350 PC Mate, B350M Gaming Pro, B350M Mortar, B350M Bazooka, B350M Pro-VDH, and A320M Gaming Pro. You'll find the BIOS ROM files in the downloads section of your motherboard's product page on MSI website.

Microsoft to Introduce Telemetry Data Viewer for Windows

Remember all that talk and noise regarding Microsoft's "automagical" telemetry data collection, and how that spurred the company to create a "telemetry-less" version of its Windows 10 operating system for the Chinese market? It seems Microsoft is keen to keep giving users more information on exactly what information is gathered and when - slowly but assuredly striving for greater transparency, and looking to garner increased trust from consumers and enterprises alike.

The much awaited capability is being baked in to the next major Windows 10 release, and Microsoft is giving Windows Insiders an early preview of the Windows Diagnostic Data Viewer utility. Adding to this new utility are some changes to the Microsoft Privacy Dashboard that will enable users to see and manage more data associated with their Microsoft accounts. Available to everyone in the Microsoft Store, the Diagnostic Data Viewer is separate from the Microsoft Privacy Dashboard, and "allows you to see, search, and take action with your diagnostic data." It's not clear yet what sort of telemetry features users will be able to stop Microsoft from collecting, if any. However, at least now you'll be able to look at exactly which processes and services are collecting data form your system. The diagnostic data that will be viewable in the new utility follows.

Intel Issues Updates to Protect Systems From Security Exploits

Intel has developed and is rapidly issuing updates for all types of Intel-based computer systems -- including personal computers and servers -- that render those systems immune from both exploits (referred to as "Spectre" and "Meltdown") reported by Google Project Zero. Intel and its partners have made significant progress in deploying updates as both software patches and firmware updates.

Intel has already issued updates for the majority of processor products introduced within the past five years. By the end of next week, Intel expects to have issued updates for more than 90 percent of processor products introduced within the past five years. In addition, many operating system vendors, public cloud service providers, device manufacturers and others have indicated that they have already updated their products and services.

Researchers Find Glaring Intel ME Security Flaws, Company Outs Detection Tool

Security researchers have found glaring security flaws with Intel Management Engine, the on-chip micro SoC that, besides governing the functionality of the processor, provides on-chip management and security features. These security flaws render "potentially millions" of PCs and notebooks, based on Intel processors, according to the researchers. Intel on Monday released a Detection Tool application that lets you identify vulnerabilities in the Management Engine of your Intel processor-powered PC, and suggests updates to Intel Management Engine drivers, or points to BIOS updates from your PC manufacturer.

Updates to Intel ME are specific to TXE 3.0 (trusted execution engine version 3.0), which is featured on processors based on "Skylake," "Kaby Lake," and "Coffee Lake" micro-architectures, across client- and enterprise market segments, and Atom processors released in the past three years. Intel chronicled this security flaw further under Security Advisory 86, and released the SA-00086 Detection Tool.

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

AMD RX Vega Mining Performance Reportedly Doubled With Driver Updates

Disclaimer: take this post with a bucket of salt. However, the information here, if true, could heavily impact AMD's RX Vega cards' stock at launch and in the subsequent days, so, we're sharing this so our readers can decide on whether they want to pull the trigger for a Vega card at launch, as soon as possible, or risk what would seem like the equivalent of a mining Black Friday crowd gobbling up AMD's RX Vega models' stock. Remember that AMD has already justified delays for increased stock so as to limit the impact of miners on the available supply.

The information has been put out by two different sources already. The first source we encountered (and which has been covered by some media outlets solo) has been one post from one of OC UK's staff, Gibbo, who in a forum post, said "Seems the hash rate on VEGA is 70-100 per card, which is insanely good. Trying to devise some kind of plan so gamers can get them at MSRP without the miners wiping all the stock out within 5 minutes of product going live."

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.)

A Steamroller Among PC Games Stores: Steam Increases Growth, Updates Incoming

In an internal presentation, Valve, the company which simply won't give us Half Life 3, made a pretty interesting presentation on its growth and plans for the future. During the independent games showcase Indigo 2017, which took place in the Netherlands this past June, Steam revealed it had achieved a record 14 million concurrent users, up from a 2015 peak of (comparatively) just 8.4 million. Some other interesting statistics include an average of 33 million daily active players; 67 million monthly active players; and around 26 million gamers who made new purchases since January 2016.

North America seems to represent the bulk of Steam sales, with around 34% of sales through the market occurring way over that side of the ocean. Next comes Western Europe, with 29% of the sales pie, followed by Asia, which achieves a grand total of 17%. Next come the Russian Territories, Oceania and Latin America, which account for 5%, 4%, and 3% respectively. We'll just assume the remaining 8% come from Eastern Europe, the African Continent, and those researchers in Antarctica. Jokes aside, this shows monumental growth for the company, which should only increase provided the continued growth of the PC gaming market. Steam certainly has features games appreciate already - the growth speaks strongly for this. So now Valve only has to not ruin it, and keep on adding incremental features.

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.

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,

Windows 10 Creators Update Might Force Updates Even on Metered Connections

A wording change in the latest build of the upcoming Creators Update for Windows 10 has users on metered connections worried. In previous Microsoft Insider's builds of the Creators Update, the section of the license agreement pertaining to automatic updates said "updates will be downloaded and installed automatically, except over metered connections (where charges may apply)."

In this latest build, the wording has been changed to a more worrisome version implying updating may still happen for important updates: "We'll automatically download and install updates, except on metered connections (where charges may apply). In that case, we'll automatically download only those updates required to keep Windows running smoothly."
Return to Keyword Browsing