Microsoft on Monday confirmed that a wily bug in Skype could, in some instances, cause instant messages (IMs) to be delivered to a different IM client than the one intended. It only occurs when Skype crashes during an IM session, which Microsoft said could result in the last IM entered or sent ending up finding its way to a random contact. Today Microsoft started rolling out a hotfix.
As the saying goes, 'If at first you don't succeed, get your stuff together and roll out another hotfix already, it's 2012!' Maybe the saying doesn't go exactly like that, but it should if you're talking about the combination of Microsoft Windows and AMD's Bulldozer line. After pushing out a Bulldozer-boosting hotfix in mid-December, the Redmond software giant pulled it offline a few days later at the request of AMD, which called the patch "incomplete." Now it's back and it has the full blessing of the Santa Clara chip maker.
It appears Microsoft jumped the gun in releasing a hotfix to improve performance for AMD Bulldozer systems running Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 operating systems. The patch, which was released on Friday, caught AMD off guard because it's just one of two updates needed to improve performance. It was pulled within 24 hours and labeled as "incomplete" by Microsoft.
Hey, Bulldozer fans: if you’re regular readers of the site you may remember that we told you a few months back that AMD expects to see better performance for its FX chips in Windows 8, as the company claimed that Windows 7 didn’t handle simultaneous multithreading efficiently. Turns out they were right! Kind of. Windows 7 didn’t handle simultaneous multithreading efficiently, but you still might not see a performance jump in Windows 8 – because today, Microsoft released a hotfix to correct the problem and help Bulldozers run better on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.
Try not to look smug as you reach around and pat yourself on the back if you're the type of user who, come hell or high water, absolutely refuses to touch new driver and software updates with a 10-foot pole until they've been tested downloaded by others and verified to work. Also get ready to welcome a few more to your ranks after AMD's Catalyst 11.6 driver caused some systems kick it old school with a blue screen of death.
AMD's launch of two Llano A-series desktop APUs yesterday comes a little over two weeks after the CPU/GPU maker made available its Catalyst 11.6 driver package. For whatever reason, AMD chose not to bake in support for its then soon-to-be-released A8-3850 and A6-3650 APUs, but don't despair, there's a hotfix available if you plan on running one of these chips.
AMD sent out a press release detailing its upcoming Catalyst Hotfix 11.a drivers, which the company promises will bring increased performance and "a slew of new features." As it pertains to the new Radeon HD 6900 and 6800 series of cards, some of the highlights include:
3DMark Vantage: 7 percent improvement
3DMark05: 3 percent improvement
Call of Duty: Black Ops: 20 percent improvement at 4xMSAA, up to 35 percent at 8xMSAA
Batman Arkham Aslyum: 4 percent improvement
Metro 2033: 28 percent improvement at 4xMSAA
AMD says the hotfix also provides some new tessellation controls with the goal of giving users full control over the tessellation levels used in applications.
According to HardOCP, the new drivers will be publicly available on January 26th.
First things first -- for those of you who don't read the fine print, keep in mind that every hotfix AMD releases "is provided as is and is not supported by AMD. It has not completed full AMD testing is only a driver update." If you're cool with that, you can grab AMD's third hotfix release in less than a week. The Catalyst 10.10c hotfix adds the following:
OpenGL 4.1 beta support
Support for the new Morphological Anti-Aliasing feature
Dead Rising 2 -- Crossfire profile (resolves negative scaling)
Crossfire improvement for Metro 2033, F1 2011 (DX 9 version), and Fallout New Vegas
Performance optimizations for systems with an AMD Radeon HD 6870 and 6850 for Aliens versus Predator and Star Craft 2
OpenGL performance enhancements in Prey, Quake Wars: Enemy Territories, and Heaven V2
The Catalyst 10.10c hotfix, which is for Windows 7 and Vista only, is available here.
Following the recent release of the Catalyst 10.10 driver suite, AMD has made available the Catalyst 10.10a hotfix aimed specifically at HD 6870 and HD 6850 videocard owners. The hotfix adds the following:
Support for the new Morphological Anti-Aliasing feature
Performance optimizations for systems with an AMD Radeon HD 6870 and HD 6850 series of graphics products installed
On that second bullet point, AMD promises performance enhancements in Aliens versus Predator and Star Craft 2, as well as OpenGL performance boosts in Prey, Quake Wars: Enemy Territories, and Heaven V2.
AMD over the weekend released a new Catalyst 10.1 hotfix intended to alleviate the "gray screen and vertical line corruptions that may randomly appear during normal usage when using an ATI Radeon HD 5800 series graphics card."
In the last couple of weeks, some users have flocked to AMD's user forums to complain about gray screens, crashes, hangups, and other quirks associated with their swank new 5800 series videocards, although a few users also mentioned AMD's HD 4xxx series.
When we first reported the problem, ATI got in touch with us and said it was aware of the issue, noting that "initial tests indicate that a driver hotfix resolves" the problem and that it would be made available shortly.
You can download the hotfix, which is available for Windows 7, Vista, XP, and XP Media Center, right here.