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Windows 10 Creators Update Still Activates with "old" Windows 7/8 License Keys

Although Microsoft officially stopped offering free upgrades to Windows 10 back in the summer of 2016, it seems loophole after loophole keeps being discovered for those with a bit of computer knowledge to upgrade anyways. This latest loophole, which comes in the form of activating via an older Windows 7 or 8 key, is not exactly new. This method of upgrading was first released to ease free upgrades to Windows 10 during the official upgrade period, but was never switched off in the summer of 2016 as one would've expected. Nor was it switched off with the Anniversary Update, and now again, Microsoft seems content to leave it enabled even with its latest Creators Update.

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."

Unigine Superposition 1.0 Benchmark Released

(Re)member that dazzling-looking Superposition benchmark from Unigine - the one that was supposed to have arrived late 2016? The one that apparently wasn't good enough for Steam? Well it has been released, and you can now gobble up all of those realistic graphics for yourself and your GPU of choice. Some standout features include the ability to scale rendering resolution all the way up to 8K, so... Go on ahead, click that link below, make your graphics cards scream, and elbow one another for the top result. I will be with you in a little while. Go on after the break for some more features and a little teaser on what the benchmark is all about.

Download Link: Unigine Superposition Benchmark 1.0Can I just say I love me some Nicola Tesla on the walls?

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.

Windows 10 Creators Update Available for Download

Even though the awaited Creators Update for Windows 10 is only set to arrive on April 11th, users who want to get ahead of the launch - and maybe themselves - can now update their version of Windows. Through the Windows 10 Update Assistant, Microsoft has made it possible for users to update to the latest version of windows ahead of time. After downloading and running the tool from Microsoft's website, it should display that Build 15063 is available - the official build number for the Creators Update.

The most awaited feature for the upcoming Windows update should be the Game Mode, though Beam live-streaming (which some say is better than Twitch) from the Game Bar, a PiP (picture-in-picture) mode for streaming videos while working on those pesky Excel budget .xlxs, and improved privacy settings (which aren't at the same level as the special edition built for the chinese market, though.) Microsoft's Edge is also seeing performance and security improvements, and Windows will now integrate a night mode that reduces blue light emissions - and thus the strain in your old eye globes. You can now also lock your Windows 10 PC at a distance through Windows Hello on your smartphone of choice, and can partake on some crazy Paint marathons with its improved 3D tool, which should elevate it to new, never before seen heights - maybe in the next update you can use the new Paint with Mixed-Reality products?

Source: Microsoft Blogs

Windows 10 Creators Update Officially Launching April 11th

Microsoft has officially pegged its much-vaunted Creators Update for an April 11th Release (it's actually been available in its "RTM gold" state for some time via leaks on the web and even briefly via their own update tool, but there will surely be security patches between now and the release).

As far as features go, this update focuses a lot on features that Microsoft says enable users to "Unleash Creativity." This includes an update to the paint application that enables 3D functionality, improved support for Mixed Reality, a new "Game Mode" to dedicate resources to games, and a lot of features relating to broadcasting. Outside of the "creativity" theme, Microsoft claims it brings "new features to Microsoft Edge, additional security capabilities and privacy tools, and so much more."

ADATA Announces the i-Memory AI920 Jet Black Flash Drive

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high performance DRAM modules, NAND Flash products, and mobile accessories today launched the i-Memory AI920 Jet Black Flash drive for iOS devices. Featuring Lightning and USB 3.1 in one slim 6.9mm device, the AI920 delivers 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB capacity and up to 150MB/s read. The Jet Black color scheme has been added in order to better complement Apple devices with an exact color match with iPhone 7, giving consumer more choice. The AI920 is also Apple MFi certified, making it an official iOS accessory.

AMD Sends Required Patches for Vega Support in Linux

AMD has recently sent out around a hundred patches, which amount to over 40 thousand lines of code, so as to allow developers to integrate support for its upcoming Vega GPU architecture under Linux. The new code is essential towards baking support for Vega under Linux, considering the many changes this architecture entails over AMD's current-generation Polaris 10 (soon to be rebranded, if sources are correct, to the new RX 500 series.) Also of note is the existence of seven different device IDs for Vega-based products, though this really can't be extrapolated to the amount of SKUs under the Vega banner. For now, that really is just a number.

AMD Releases the Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.3.2 Beta Drivers

AMD today released the 17.3.2 Beta version of its Radeon Software Crimson ReLive. This release features official support for the upcoming Mass Effect: Andromeda space opera, and a 12% performance boost in the game for RX 480 graphics cards compared to results obtained under the previous driver release.

This driver release also sees some fixed issues with texture corruption on some surfaces of The Division under DX12. In addition, this driver release features a fix for what could only have been a rare issue with texture flickering while task-switching on For Honor, considering it only affected 4x Multi-GPU system configurations. This release also features long lists of Known Issues, which you can take a look at after the break.

As always, you can grab the drivers right here at TPU, through our revamped downloads section. Just follow the link below.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition 17.3.2 Beta

ADATA Releases the SD600 External 3D NAND SSD

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high performance DRAM modules, NAND Flash products, and mobile accessories today launched the SD600 external SSD, which uses high quality 3D TLC NAND to offer 256GB and 512GB variants. The drive reaches speeds of 440MB/s read and 430MB/s write, easily outpacing external HDDs. It weighs a mere 90g for convenient portability, and works driver-free with Windows PC, Xbox One, PS4, and Android. The SD600 is available in all-black and red-black color schemes, and employs impact-resistant materials in its sporty design to support active lifestyles.

Microsoft Distances Itself from Intel - Announces ARM Cloud Server Platform

Microsoft is looking to reduce costs in its Azure cloud computing platforms for tasks like search, storage, machine learning and big data. And after having developed a version of Windows for servers that use ARM processors, in a joint work with Qualcomm and Cavium, Microsoft seems to also be looking forward to leave its dependency on Intel products as nothing but a memory. Microsoft's ARM server design, dubbed Project Olympus, looks to hardware innovations so as to reduce costs, boosting competitiveness and flexibility in regards to other big players in the cloud space, like Amazon and Alphabet. That the design is open source is also a boon to other businesses and Microsoft partners.


Though the design isn't "deployed into production yet (...) that is the next logical step," said Jason Zander, vice president of Microsoft's Azure cloud division. "This is a significant commitment on behalf of Microsoft. We wouldn't even bring something (...) if we didn't think this was a committed project and something that's part of our roadmap."

Team Group Announces the All New Compact & Solid L5 LITE Solid State Drive

Team Group, the world's leading memory brand, today announces the launch of the all new L5 LITE solid state hard drive. Using SATA III 6Gbps transfer interface, L5 LITE solid state hard drive is both lightweight and has a powerful read/write performance. The sequential read/write speed is up to 500 and 400 MB/s. It can help you improve your work efficiency quickly by save time and storage space, so your purpose for upgrading can be perfectly satisfied. L5 LITE offers consumers the best solution in entry level solid state drives. It not only greatly improves the performance of the computer, but also the best bargain for upgrading your desktop computer or laptop.

NVIDIA Unveils New Line of Quadro Pascal GPUs

NVIDIA today introduced a range of Quadro products, all based on its Pascal architecture, that transform desktop workstations into supercomputers with breakthrough capabilities for professional workflows across many industries. Workflows in design, engineering and other areas are evolving rapidly to meet the exponential growth in data size and complexity that comes with photorealism, virtual reality and deep learning technologies. To tap into these opportunities, the new NVIDIA Quadro Pascal-based lineup provides an enterprise-grade visual computing platform that streamlines design and simulation workflows with up to twice the performance of the previous generation, and ultra-fast memory.

"Professional workflows are now infused with artificial intelligence, virtual reality and photorealism, creating new challenges for our most demanding users," said Bob Pette, vice president of Professional Visualization at NVIDIA. "Our new Quadro lineup provides the graphics and compute performance required to address these challenges. And, by unifying compute and design, the Quadro GP100 transforms the average desktop workstation with the power of a supercomputer."

Microsoft Announces Q2 2017 (Fiscal Year) Results - Beating Expectations

This afternoon, Microsoft had its earnings announcement for the second quarter of their 2017 fiscal year, beating Wall Street expectations with revenue of $26.1 billion (beating estimates of $25.3 billion), net income of $6.5 billion, and earnings per share of $0.83 (predicted at $0.79).

Microsoft has shuffled their product groups around a bit for reporting, and they now have three groups: Productivity and Business Processes, Intelligent Cloud, and More Personal Computing. LinkedIn results, when aggregated to Microsoft's subsequent earnings reports (which have been included separately due to the acquisition having been completed on December 8th 2016), will fall in the first group.

Microsoft Confirms Upcoming "Game Mode" on Windows 10 "Creators" Update

In a bid to improve overall gaming experience on their Windows 10 operating system, Microsoft will introduce a new feature on their next big OS update. "Game Mode" is Microsoft's take on a modern, console-like take on the CPU and GPU of any given user system, so long as they are running the as of yet upcoming "Creators" update for Windows 10.

Essentially, "Game Mode" is an optional setting which dedicates more of the available CPU and GPU resources to a given gaming application - whether on Windows' new UWP or the good-old Win32 games (though Microsoft was clear in that they expect the feature to have more of an impact on UWP games simply because "Game Mode" then has more information on the game's requirements and performance profiles). This means that less of your system's resources will be available to and used by background tasks, and should make itself visible not so much on peak frame-rates, but on a arguably more important metric: a more consistent, less "stuttery" frame-rate.

Dell Unveils 32", 8K UltraSharp Monitor

At CES 2017, Dell has unveiled yet another addition to their monitor product line, and this one is drool worthy: an 8K, 32" UltraSharp monitor, with an insanely high resolution of 7,680 x 4,320 at 60Hz. Labeled as the world's first 32-inch 8K resolution display with Dell PremierColor, the UP3218K offers 1.07 billion colors and packs in more than 33 million pixels - four times as many as a 4K display and 16 times more than Full HD. That means it offers a PPI rating of 280 - which translates into "very high" settings for a desktop screen.

AMD Ryzen 8 Core/16 Thread CPU ES Now Run at 3.6 GHz base, 3.9 GHz Boost

The folks at hardwareluxx managed to get some quality alone time with AMD's Ryzen demonstration boot at CES 2017, and it has to be said they used their time well. They managed to bring up Windows' System page, as well as its Device Manager, which seemingly confirmed that the Ryzen sample at use, though an engineering sample it was, was set at 3.6 GHz base clock with the capability to boost up to 3.9 GHz on a whim - up 200 MHz from the base clock speed of the sample used at AMD's New Horizon Event, where even at those speeds, the chip was shown beating an 8 core, 16 thread i7 6900K. You can see those clocks at the below screenshot, where "1D3601A2M88F3_39/36_N" (the code for the engineering sample Ryzen chip) makes it clear this is an F3 stepping processor, with the 39 referring to the boost clock, and the 36 referring to its base clock.

This goes right into AMD's claims of 3.4 GHz being the lowest frequency a Ryzen consumer processor would carry. It seems AMD is quickly galloping towards the finish line here, and as Lisa Su said at the New Horizon presentation, Ryzen chips can only improve until their promised launch, with an already rumored F4 stepping of the processor carrying a rounded-up, 4 GHz boost clock.

Unigine Announces the Superposition Benchmark - Coming Soon

Unigine has announced the impending release of a new benchmark suite, supposedly to be released at the end of 2016 (well, that ship has sailed, but the benchmark Is still coming). It features an interactive VR experience with support for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. The description, such as it is, reads as so:

"A lone professor performs dangerous experiments in an abandoned classroom, day in and day out. Obsessed with inventions and discoveries beyond the wildest dreams, he strives to prove his ideas.

Once you come to this place in the early morning, you would not meet him there. The eerie thing is a loud bang from the laboratory heard a few moments ago. What was that? You have the only chance to cast some light upon this incident by going deeply into the matter of quantum theory: thorough visual inspection of professor's records and instruments will help to lift the veil on the mystery."

You can check a 4K teaser of the benchmark, after the break.

Club 3D Unveils the Type-C Charging Mini Dock with DisplayPort

Today Club 3D is proud to announce another product to its line-up of Type-C Charging Mini Docks, the CSV-1537. This is a USB Type-C to DPTM 1.2 + USB 3.0 + Type-C Charging Mini Dock. The SenseVision USB Type-C to DPTM 1.2 + USB 3.0 + Type-C Charging Mini Dock is a compact Mini Docking with DisplayPortTM 1.2 and USB outputs for your USB Type-C enabled laptop or ultrabook. Add a 4K UHD monitor or TV with up to 3840x2160p UHD resolution through the DisplayPortTM 1.2 output while the USB 3.0 Type-A port allows you to use USB sticks, peripherals and HDDs. It also offers a Type-C PD input which can charge your device with up to 60 Watts at the same time.

Experience 10 Years of ZOTAC Design and Engineering Excellence at CES 2017

ZOTAC International, a global manufacturer of innovation, is pleased to bring 10 years of design excellence to CES 2017 and showcase innovative VR and
commercial solutions. A strong lineup including ZOTAC's first Thunderbolt 3 Mini PC, External VGA box, and what's being touted as "the world's smallest GeForce GTX 1080" will be on show at One-Story Sky Villa, Palms Casino Resort.

"We believe the future of computing should be flexible," says Tony Wong, CEO, ZOTAC International. "Our next generation of computing products enables users to get the best of mobile and stationary experience."

2017's Weak VR/AR Demand May Burst VR Investment Bubble

Many research firms' numbers have shown that VR product sales in 2016 have been weaker than originally expected due to both high product costs and lack of content. No-one has yet seen VR's killer app, after all, and I know I'd love to see another Halo-like product to drive awareness on the VR platforms like it did on the original Xbox.

All of the above lead towards Google's Daydream View, HTC's Vive, Oculus Rift and Samsung Electronics' Gear VR having all achieved sales that are not even close to previously-set market expectations, with even the current mainstream poster-boy for VR, Sony's PSVR, showing adoption numbers that are as lowly as low can be. Even in their home-field, Japan, a country known for being filled with tech-savvy and tech-crazed customers, only 0.7% of the existing PS4 and PS4 Pro user-base has made the jump for a VR headset.

Resident Evil 7 for PC will support HDR and 4K, No Cross Saves for Steam

Japanese developer and publisher Capcom has publicized that the PC version of their anticipated Resident Evil 7 game will support up to 4K resolutions and HDR. Naturally HDR will remain dependent on being connected to a compatible TV or panel, whereas high resolution support could provide additional levels of image quality through the use of super sampling on screens that do not support such resolutions natively. It is said that HDR will complement the immersive experience, better enabling the game to deliver overwhelming fear and ultimate horror.

As previously revealed by Capcom, Resident Evil 7 will also support cross saves between the PC and Xbox One versions of the game, however this will only be possible if you purchase it for PC on the Windows Store. Resident Evil 7 is also available on Steam and this version will not support cross saving. Resident Evil 7 will be available for PC on the 25 January, 2017.

Microsoft Joins the Linux Foundation

On Wednesday, during its annual Connect(); developer event, Microsoft Corp. unveiled a series of products and partnerships that strengthen the company's Azure cloud platform for building intelligent, cross-platform apps and services. Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Executive Vice President Scott Guthrie detailed significant steps Microsoft is taking to empower the ecosystem by giving developers greater choice in the tools they use - including joining the Linux Foundation as a Platinum Member to better collaborate with the open source community, welcoming Google to the independent .NET Foundation, and working with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. to enable .NET developers to build apps for more than 50 million Samsung devices worldwide.

Guthrie also demonstrated a preview of Visual Studio for Mac, which enables developers to write cloud, mobile and macOS apps on Apple's Mac operating system using the popular development environment; a preview of the next version of the company's flagship SQL Server database with support for Linux, Linux-based Docker containers and Windows-based environments; and a preview of Azure App Service on Linux with support for containers.

Microsoft Announces the Surface Studio - A 28-Inch AIO With Skylake and GTX 980M

At the 2016 annual Microsoft Surface Event, Microsoft's corporate vice president for Surface Computing Panos Panay announced a new addition to the company's Surface lineup: a 28-inch All-in-One, with a 3:2 aspect ratio monitor Microsoft calls a "Pixel Sense Display", packing a 4500x3000 resolution (with around 62% more pixels than 4K resolution, combining to provide about 192 pixels per inch), as well as 10-point touch and Microsoft Pen support.

All of that screen real-estate comes in at just 12.5mm thick - the AIO's innards are actually on the monitor's base, with an hinge that promises to allow the display to be moved seamlessly and in a wide variety of angles, as well as allowing it to take on extra weight in studio mode. All of this is powered by an Intel Skylake processor (configurable as an i5 or i7 model), your choice of an NVIDIA GTX 965 M 2GB or an NVIDIA GTX 980 M 4 GB model, 8 through 32 GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 1 TB or 2TB storage - with all configurable options also including in their base specs what Microsoft calls a "Rapid Hybrid Drive", which at the moment, remains unclear as to its nature of either a SATA or PCIe SSD, or even an SSHD.
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