It's time to think about upgrading that GeForce 9800 GTX card
Just as Microsoft is getting ready to end support for Windows XP next month, Nvidia also has an end in sight for its own legacy products, though it's not coming up quite as quickly. When Nvidia gets around to releasing its GeForce 343 drivers, support will officially end for all DirectX 10 generation graphics cards, freeing the GPU maker to focus soley on Fermi, Kepler, and Maxwell products.
It's pretty common for hardware vendors to artificially gimp their budget or lower cost parts. Take AMD's tri-core chip, for example, which comes with a core disabled that isn't necessarily bad. And who still remembers Nvidia's vanilla 6800 graphics card that came with 4 software-unlockable pipelines to transform it into a 6800GT? As it turns out, Nvidia may have taken the same software-based approach to its Ion LE platform.
Nvida's Ion LE sports the same 1080p HD playback capabilities as its pricier sibling, but in order to cut costs, LE kicks DirectX 10 support to the curb. But as MyHPMini forum member runawayprisoner discovered, his may be entirely software-based, and a quick driver hack is all it takes to get the regular Ion drivers to install.
All runawayprisoner did was is add Ion LE's device driver ID to the Ion drivers, and once he did that, they installed like a charm, DirectX 10 support and all.
Whether or not that means full DX10 support remains to be seen, but according to runawayprisoner, if nothing else DX9 gaming stands to receive a sizeable boost in performance up to 50 percent.
Developer Creative Assembly’s new-er RTS, Stormrise, isn’t a simple, no-strings-attached type of girl like its sister franchise-in-arms, Total War. No sir – while Total War only aims to please (and succeeds, by the look of things), Stormrise won’t relinquish the key to its post-apocalyptic chastity belt without a little wining and dining first. However, whereas Windows XP’s reliable charms might’ve brought the princess back to your castle back in middle school, Stormrise wants – nay, needs – more.
"Stormrise has been designed for DirectX 10 and Vista only right from the start," said Stormrise lead designer Artem Kulakov."Vista only. DX10 only. No fallback option. We have never suggested this or hinted at it, so it shouldn't be a surprise."
But why bet the success of a new franchise on a pie-in-the-sky setup that only 25% of PC gamers can even access? Short answer: consoles.
"DX10 has offered a lot of advantages over DX9," Kulakov added. "First of all, DirectX 10 allowed us to simplify the rendering engine. It matches capabilities of next generation consoles better than DX9, which is important for us considering that Stormrise is a multi-platform title. We had fewer driver-specific compatibility issues with Stormrise compare to our previous games released with DX9."
Person-with-bad-idea-during-a-recession-says-what? Consoles and RTSes (especially those of the obscure, generically titled variety) are notorious for their inability to play nice together. Really, it's like putting all of your eggs in one basket with a gaping hole in the bottom; the expected outcome is as clear as day, so why even do it?
Matrox's TripleHead2Go Digital Edition, which enables you to drive up to three digital monitors from a single DVI port, has just received a significant upgrade.
We last encountered TripleHead2Go Digital Edition in our January 2008 review of the Hypersonic Sonic Boom OCX flight simulator PC. Hypersonic used it to drive three 1280x1024 digital monitors for a 3840x1024 panoramic view of the wild blue virtual yonder.
So, what's new with TripleHead2Go Digital Edition? Now, you can run up to three widescreen displays at 1680x1050 or 1440x900 resolutions. 3x1680x150 gives you an eye-popping 5040x1050 desktop, while 3x1440x900 provides a slightly less stunning 4320x900 desktop (and, it also supports WXGA's 1366x768 resolution).
And, the best news is that you don't need to buy a new version of the external box: if your graphics card has an ATI or NVIDIA DirectX 10 GPU with the latest graphics driver and a dual-link DVI connector running on Windows XP or Vista, all you need to do is:
Upgrade your TripleHead2Go Digital Edition's firmware to version 6.52 or later
Install the GXM software suite 2.03.02 or later
Choose your monitors' resolution from the display.
If you're not sure you're ready for the upgrade, the upgrade page also offers a link to the GXM System Compatibility Tool.
Like the sound of TripleHead2Go Digital Edition? Already using one? Your chance to sound off comes after the jump.
AMD’s Radeon HD 3870 is a fine GPU for the money. It doesn’t outperform Nvidia’s GeForce 8800 GTX, and it lags far behind the extravagant 8800 Ultra, but it does deliver a phenom— er, make that a tremendous price/performance ratio.
This is the second Radeon HD 3870 we’ve reviewed, and we like it just
as much as the first. It doesn’t outrun Nvidia’s G92-based 8800 GTS 512
(reviewed above), but it’s a great value among midrange videocards.
Nvidia’s introduction of the GeForce 8800 GT left us wondering what would happen to the slightly older 8800 GTS—the model coupled with a 320MB frame buffer more so than the one paired with 640MB of memory. Nvidia cleared it all up by introducing the GeForce 8800 GTS, which has a 512MB frame buffer. Confused? We can’t blame you.
Nothing flexes our imagination like alternate history scenarios, and
World in Conflict delivers one that has us on the edge of our seat.
It’s the late 1980s, and the Cold War is far from over. The commies
have already made a push to invade Western Europe, and in a desperate
move, have decided to mount a sneak attack on American shores. It’s
your mission to contain the Soviet invasion and retake Seattle before
the invaders paint the country red.
Hellgate: London wishes it were a lot of things: Diablo III, an MMO, and fun, to name a few. However, the game is as related to Blizzard’s epic series as a soiled napkin is to the New Yorker. Hellgate isn’t an MMO either; Flagship Studios would love to upcharge you $10 a month for additional content (which is limited to a meager number of quests and items, as well as guild support and increased inventory space), but Hellgate’s core mechanics aren’t even on par with those of games that lack a monthly fee, such as Guild Wars.