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AMD Says Vega Frontier Edition "Gaming" and "Pro" Modes are Not Placeholders

AMD's Vega Frontier Edition was a release that seemingly left most users either scratching their heads in bewilderment or - more specifically - disappointed. Some of this disappointment seemed to stem from a desire to see the long-awaited RX Vega consumer graphics card performance in the wild - or at least snagging a preview of it. Alas, the Frontier Edition's gaming performance was a disappointment when one considers the expected performance of AMD's underlying hardware - 4096 Stream processors and 16 GB of HBM2 memory - as well as the fact that this is AMD's first high-performance architecture since the Fury line of graphics cards. But to be fair to AMD, they did warn us - the Frontier Edition isn't the right graphics card for gamers.

One of the points of contention for this new release was that AMD delivered a graphics card that straddled the prosumer equation - offering both Pro drivers for professional workloads, and a Gaming Mode which should allow developers to seamlessly jump from development mode to testing mode through a driver toggle. However, when used at launch of the Frontier Edition - and even now - this toggle is little more than a dud. Mostly, what it does is remove the Wattman control panel.

Windows 10 Process-Termination Bug Slows Down Mighty 24-Core System to a Crawl

So, you work for Google. Awesome, right? Yeah. You know what else is awesome? Your 24-Core, 48-thread Intel build system with 64 GBs of ram and a nice SSD. Life is good man. So, you've done your code work for the day on Chrome, because that's what you do, remember? (Yeah, that's right, it's awesome). Before you go off to collect your google-check, you click "compile" and expect a speedy result from your wicked fast system.

Only you don't get it... Instead, your system comes grinding to a lurching halt, and mouse movement becomes difficult. Fighting against what appears to be an impending system crash, you hit your trusty "CTRL-ALT-DELETE" and bring up task manager... to find only 50% CPU/RAM utilization. Why then, was everything stopping?

If you would throw up your arms and walk out of the office, this is why you don't work for Google. For Google programmer Bruce Dawson, there was only one logical way to handle this: "So I did what I always do - I grabbed an ETW trace and analyzed it. The result was the discovery of a serious process-destruction performance bug in Windows 10."

CD Projekt Red: We Will Not Give In to the Demands of Thieves

CD Projekt Red are the world-renowned studio responsible for RPG masterpiece The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and the two other less known, but still great Witcher RPGs before it. The company is one of the most gamer-oriented, generous game developers out there today, bar none. I say this, because this is a company who did some missteps before, but quickly backed out of them and that have created one of the most memorable and successful open-worlds to date. This is the studio that offered not only a soundtrack CD with their standard edition of the game, alongside a full-color map of the game world, but also went to the lengths of including a small letter to thank us for choosing their game over others. These developers offered 16 pieces of DLC with their game, DLC pieces that other studios had been (and have been) charging customers for.

The company outlined above have come forth in a tweet, publicly calling out an attempt from thieves to ransom stolen development files on the studios' upcoming sci-fi Cyberpunk 2077. CD Projekt Red said that they will not give in to demands from the individuals that have contacted them, and acknowledge that the public release of those files is likely to happen as a result. The studio also goes on saying that these files (if they even come to public now that their value has been thoroughly cut down) are "largely unrepresentative of the current vision for the game." I don't know about you, but I'd much prefer to get some info on CD Projekt Red's next project from themselves.

P.S.: This editor Is sorry for the above post looking eerily similar to a rant. I just have a low tolerance for this kind of behavior from any part, but most of all, when the targeted party is actually one of the studios that is more deserving of gamers' respect.Source: CD Projekt Red Twitter

Fedora, Ubuntu, and SuSE Linux Available from Windows Store

That's right, Microsoft could soon distribute Linux. Popular PC Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, Fedora, and SuSE, could soon be available through the Windows Store. Microsoft made this startling announcement at its Build 2017 keynote. The idea here is to make Linux distributions available to power-users who want to run the operating systems in virtual machines, or install the OS in a manner that lets you run Linux applications directly on Windows 10.

There are still limits to what you can do with Linux you get from the Windows Store. For starters, the OS can't be installed on the host machine, in say, a separate partition/volume, which you can choose to boot from, using a bootloader such as GRUB. The download also doesn't directly expose the .iso installer disk image of your Linux distro. It could still be useful for developers seeking a turnkey Linux environment instantly for development or testing, or for schools to teach Linux.

Source: The Verge

ROCCAT Dips Its Paws on Game Development, Presents Sick City

ROCCAT is moving deeper into the gaming sphere with its very first in-house developed title, Sick City, a Real Time Tactical Combat game which ROCCAT says "Breaks with both conventional genre and developmental norms." The newly founded "ROCCAT Games Studio" looks to not only create a unique interpretation of action-based tactical combat, but more importantly, deeply integrate player feedback into core development decisions.

ROCCAT presents this close proximity relationship between developer and community as the future of gaming, saying that "No other early access title integrates its players and prospective buyers so thoroughly in production." This means players will have the opportunity to actively participate in decisions that will shape the retail version of Sick City. Features such as new maps, factions, game types, campaigns, even the future of Sick City in eSports - these decisions will be placed in the hands of the player, in what ROCCAT envisions as a truly collaborative project.

VESA Forms Working Group Towards XR Standards

The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) has recently announced plans to form a special working group within its ecosystem, whose mission will be to develop standards for XR (eXtended Reality) products and development. XR envelops both VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality), and VESA has apparently had enough of differing vendor implementations. According to VESA, "the lack of standardization is causing compatibility issues between products from different vendors, as well as increasing the complexity and cost of development, ownership and replacement. Lack of compatibility can also create confusion for end users and impede broader acceptance of AR/VR products."

Considering the XR market's value is expected to hit roughly $162 billion dollars by 2020, we can certainly see how "compatibility issues" and "lower acceptance of AR/VR products" could affect what is looking to be an extremely lucrative market. Let's just gloss over the fact (slightly paradoxical, actually) that we're now looking at two different XR standards groups, VESA's newly-announced initiative, and Khrono's OpenXR.

Intel Cancels Intel Developer Forum, Including IDF17

In what amounts to a surely shocking bit of news for the PC hardware industry, Intel has announced it has cancelled IDF17, and terminated the Intel Developer Forum program altogether. Intel had previously announced there would not be an IDF in China this year, but now the cancellation appears to have gone global and permanent. From the horse's mouth, if one were to consider Intel a horse (would it be a fast one? My mind wanders):

"Intel has evolved its event portfolio and decided to retire the IDF program moving forward. Thank you for nearly 20 great years with the Intel Developer Forum! Intel has a number of resources available on intel.com, including a Resource and Design Center with documentation, software, and tools for designers, engineers, and developers. As always, our customers, partners, and developers should reach out to their Intel representative with questions."

Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation Update Brings Improved Performance to Ryzen

Some outlets are reporting that Stardock's Ashes of the Singularity is about to receive the much-referred-to patch that allows for improved performance on AMD's Ryzen line of processors. If you remember, rivers of ink flowed regarding AMD's Ryzen performance in gaming, with its monstrous, high-performance 8-core, 16-threaded design sometimes delivering performance below expectations. At the time, AMD clarified how Ryzen is a distinctive CPU architecture, similar yet fundamentally different from Intel's x86 implementation, promising upcoming patches from game developers that would allow Ryzen's architecture to truly deliver.

After Creative Assembly and Oxide Games vouched to improve Ryzen support, Oxide seems to be the first developer with a patch available (from version 25624 to 26118) that improves performance by up to 30%. Reportedly, it took the developers around 400 work-hours to improve the game code in respect to its execution on AMD hardware.

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.

Windows 10 Build 15048 Brings Mixed Reality Support and Demo

The latest Insider build of Windows 10 (Build 15048 for the curious) appeared at first to be a simple bugfix release. But hidden inside was a neat little gem for Mixed Reality developers: Support for the technology complete with a demo.

For most of us, this means little. Attempting to run the demo without a pricey Mixed Reality developers kit will only unlock a simulation of the demo, not an actual Mixed Reality experience. You will also need to enable "Developers Mode" on Windows 10's settings panel to enable the "Mixed Reality Portal" that leads to the demo in the first place.

AMD's Ryzen Debut: Onwards to the HEDT Market or The Stumbling Hype Train

I should break down the bad news first: we here at TechPowerUp won't be able to provide you with a timely, straight-from-the-oven Ryzen review. Like some other publications, our Ryzen review sample failed to arrive on time. And trust us - we did will it to do so as much as we could, risking a Stranger-Things-esque nosebleed. Alas, to no avail.

The good news is that while we won't be able to offer you our own review of AMD and Jim Kellers' latest high-performance x86 brainchild, we will still strive to bring you meaningful coverage on it. This article aims to make an overall aggregation on review consensus, benchmarks and capabilities of the newest AMD CPU. Trying to add something, we'll also try and evaluate whether AMD learned - or didn't learn - something from its Bulldozer launch fiasco, in a pure marketing perspective. This will justify the editorialized nature of this article, but only after we dive straight to the numbers. Without further ado, follow on to the numbers.

AMD to Hold Capsaicin Event at GDC 2017

AMD has announced that they will be holding a Capsaicin Event at GDC 2017 on February 28th. Named "Capsaicin & Cream", this event could serve as a playground for its highly-awaited Ryzen launch, whilst allowing AMD to pair a showcase of its new CPUs (and thus borrowing some of the hype) with some tentative tasting of its upcoming graphics products.

The will be split up in two sections: first up is a Livestream (much like AMD's previous New Horizon celebration), taking place between 10.30am and 11.30pm PST, a " feature-packed show highlighting the hottest new graphics and VR technologies"; secondly, AMD will be hosting a private developers session, running between 2.30pm and 5pm PST, "with a special talk featuring Unity and Epic", followed by a private, GDC-attendees-only afterparty.

Source: Overclock3D

NVIDIA Ansel Post-FX Based on Stolen MasterEffect ReShade.fx Code?

Game modder Marty McFly Modding accused NVIDIA of stealing their post-processing shaders for Ansel without authorization or credit. Ansel, NVIDIA's pioneering "in-game photography" tech, which lets you take artistic stills (2D and VR) of your games, gives you additional post-processing tools, to let you enhance your shot. Some of these post-processing shaders, Marty McFly Modding alleges, was copied verbatim by the people behind NVIDIA Ansel, without even a third-party credit.

Marty McFly Modding stated on their Facebook page that "Its (Ansel's) custom.fx contains almost 1:1 the colormod pass with my original descriptions. Same for the other files, where many variable names, code, comments and defines match MasterEffect code, also my 1D gausian blur solution, 1:1, just DX11 ported. There may be even more Framework code in it, I just recognized my own code, there might be SweetFX/other code in it as well. While it's an honour to be apprechiated by such a big company, they could at least drop some credits like we do."

No DirectX 12 Support for "Deus Ex: Mankind Divided" at Launch

Eidos announced that its upcoming AAA title "Deus Ex: Mankind Divided," which was touted as one of the posterboys for DirectX 12 by GPU manufacturers, won't ship with DirectX 12 support at launch. The game will release on August 23, 2016, with a DirectX 11 renderer, while the DirectX 12 renderer will be added via a patch, which will release in the week of 5th September.

Eidos said that it delayed DirectX 12 support because it needs some "extra work" by the developers, followed by optimizations. "We have some extra work and optimizations to do for DX12, and we need more time to ensure we deliver a compelling experience," the release reads. "Deus Ex: Mankind Divided" releases for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 on the 23rd of August, and is the 5th entry to the smash hit cyberpunk RPG.

AMD Updates its Statement on Radeon RX 480 Power Draw Controversy

AMD today provided an update on how it is addressing the Radeon RX 480 power-draw controversy. The company stated that it has assembled a worldwide team of developers to put together a driver update that lowers power-draw from the PCIe slot, with minimal performance impact. This driver will be labeled the Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.7.1, and will be released in the next 2 days (before weekend). This fix will be called the "Compatibility" toggle in the Global Settings of the Radeon Settings app, which will be disabled by default. So AMD is giving users a fix, at the same time, isn't making a section of users feel like the card has been gimped with a driver update. The drivers will also improve game-specific performance by up to 3 percent.

The statement by AMD follows.

NVIDIA Releases first WHQL-signed GeForce Driver with Vulkan Support

NVIDIA beat AMD to being the first with a WHQL-signed graphics driver Vulkan API support. The new GeForce 364.47 WHQL drivers include support for the new low-overhead API that gives game developers greater access to hardware features, and saps lower CPU overhead. The drivers are also game-ready for "Tom Clancy's The Division," the 2016 reboots of "Hitman," and "Need for Speed," and "Ashes of the Singularity." Grab the drivers from the links below.
DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 364.47 WHQL for Windows 10 64-bit | Windows 10 32-bit | Windows 8/7/Vista 64-bit | Windows 8/7/Vista 32-bit

AMD Counters GameWorks with GPUOpen, Leverages Open-Source

AMD is in no mood to let NVIDIA run away with the PC graphics market, with its GameWorks SDK that speeds up PC graphics development (in turn increasing NVIDIA's influence over the game development, in a predominantly AMD GCN driven client base (20% PC graphics market-share, and 100% game console market share). AMD's counter to GameWorks is GPUOpen, with the "open" referring to "open-source."

GPUOpen is a vast set of pre-developed visual-effects, tools, libraries, and SDKs, designed to give developers "unprecedented control" over the GPU, helping them get their software closer to the metal than any other software can. The idea here is that an NVIDIA GameWorks designed title won't get you as "close" to the metal on machines such as the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, or PCs with Radeon GPUs, as GPUOpen. Getting "close to the metal" is defined as directly leveraging features exposed by the GPU, with as few software layers between the app and the hardware as possible.

App Claims to Blunt Intel's Compiler Edge on AMD Machines

A ominously named app claims to boost certain apps performance on AMD processors. Called "Intel Compiler Patcher," this app scans your machine for apps developed using Intel C++ compilers, and patches them to work better on non-Intel CPU platforms (namely AMD). The idea (suspicion rather), is that apps developed with Intel C++ compilers give modern AMD CPUs a performance disadvantage. The following is how the developer describes the app works:
The compiler or library can make multiple versions of a piece of code, each optimized for a certain processor and instruction set, for example SSE2, SSE3, etc. The system includes a function that detects which type of CPU it is running on and chooses the optimal code path for that CPU. This is called a CPU dispatcher. However, the Intel CPU dispatcher does not only check which instruction set is supported by the CPU, it also checks the vendor ID string. If the vendor string says "GenuineIntel" then it uses the optimal code path. If the CPU is not from Intel then, in most cases, it will run the slowest possible version of the code, even if the CPU is fully compatible with a better version.
We don't have an AMD machine at hand to put our benches ourselves, and so we invite AMD CPU users from our community to post their results by using this "patcher" at their own risk.

DOWNLOAD: Intel Compiler Patcher

QNAP Announces New Energy-efficient TS-x31+ Turbo NAS

QNAP Systems, Inc. today announced the TS-x31+ series Turbo NAS for small and home offices. Embedded with a dual-core 1.4 GHz ARM Cortex-A15 CPU, the TS-x31+ series provides a powerful yet energy-efficient solution for file storage, sharing and data backup with hardware-accelerated encryption, coupled with the easy-to-use cloud-based Notes Station 2.0, various multimedia applications and more.

"For home & small businesses, a powerful, secure yet affordable cloud storage solution is becoming a key investment for improving everyday business workflow," said Jason Hsu, product manager of QNAP. "With the TS-x31+ series, users can build a cost-efficient private cloud with ensured security and comprehensive business applications, " added Hsu.

AMD Reports 2014 Fourth Quarter and Annual Results

AMD (NASDAQ: AMD) today announced revenue for the fourth quarter of 2014 of $1.24 billion, operating loss of $330 million and net loss of $364 million, or $0.47 per share. Non-GAAP(1) operating income was $36 million, non-GAAP(1) net income of $2 million and breakeven non-GAAP(1) earnings per share.

"We made progress diversifying our business, ramping design wins and improving our balance sheet this past year despite challenges in our PC business," said Dr. Lisa Su, AMD president and CEO. "Annual Enterprise, Embedded and Semi-Custom segment revenue increased over 50% as customer demand for products powered by our high-performance compute and rich visualization solutions was strong. We continue to address channel headwinds in the Computing and Graphics segment and are taking steps to return it to a healthy trajectory beginning in the second quarter of 2015."

EVGA Allegedly Cuts Out Original Developer of Precision Overclocking App

EVGA allegedly violated the license agreement it held with the original developer of its Precision overclocking and monitoring app, when it developed the latest version of its Precision X 15 app, featuring what it claimed to be a "100 percent in-house" back-end code. EVGA Precision was originally based on RivaTuner codebase, which developer Alex "Unwinder" Nicolaychuk licences out to several major VGA add-in board manufacturers; the more popular being MSI Afterburner. The RivaTuner base, derived from Unwinder's pioneering VGA tweaking app, forms a vast majority of the code of the likes of Precision and Afterburner, with clients going only as far as to innovate shiny skins and UI ideas, or add-on features (ideas), which are then put into code by Unwinder.

Unwinder alleges that the latest version of Precision X, the one EVGA claims to be an in-house development, continues to be largely based on RivaTuner, including the more superficial bits of it, such as user interface dialog control IDs (the way the app takes inputs from the user), and text from the multilingual help system. The installer in which Precision X is packaged, ironically, continues to feature the licence agreement copied over from the older version.

Apple Announces OS X Yosemite

Apple today announced OS X Yosemite, a powerful new version of OS X redesigned and refined with a fresh, modern look, powerful new apps and amazing new continuity features that make working across your Mac and iOS devices more fluid than ever.

The new Today view in Notification Center gives you a quick look at everything you need to know, all in one place; iCloud Drive is located within the Finder and can store files of any type; and Safari has a new streamlined design that puts the most important controls at your fingertips. Mail makes editing and sending attachments easier than ever; Handoff lets you start an activity on one device and pass it to the other; and Instant Hotspot makes using your iPhone's hotspot as easy as connecting to a Wi-Fi network. Yosemite even gives you the ability to make iPhone calls on your Mac.

NVIDIA Unveils First Mobile Supercomputer for Embedded Systems

NVIDIA today opened the door to the development of a new generation of applications that employ computer vision, image processing and real-time data processing -- with the launch of a developer platform based on the world's first mobile supercomputer for embedded systems.

The NVIDIA Jetson TK1 Developer Kit provides developers with the tools to create systems and applications that can enable robots to seamlessly navigate, physicians to perform mobile ultrasound scans, drones to avoid moving objects and cars to detect pedestrians.

NVIDIA Dramatically Simplifies Parallel Programming With CUDA 6

NVIDIA today announced NVIDIA CUDA 6, the latest version of the world's most pervasive parallel computing platform and programming model.

The CUDA 6 platform makes parallel programming easier than ever, enabling software developers to dramatically decrease the time and effort required to accelerate their scientific, engineering, enterprise and other applications with GPUs.

AMD Debuts New SDK, Tools and Libraries, for Heterogeneous Computing Developers

AMD kicked off its 2013 Developer Summit (APU13) today, announcing a new unified Software Development Kit (SDK,) an improved CodeXL tool suite with added features and support for the latest AMD hardware, and added heterogeneous acceleration in popular Open Source libraries. Together, these tools provide a substantial step forward in productivity and ease-of-use for developers wishing to harness the full power of modern heterogeneous platforms spanning form servers to PCs to handheld devices.

"Developers are essential to our mission of realizing the full potential of modern computing technologies," said Manju Hegde, corporate vice president, Heterogeneous Solutions, AMD. "Enriching the developer experience by harnessing these technologies is a critical part of AMD's mission to accelerate developer adoption."
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