We just got word from Intel that it has new Rapid Storage Technology (RST) drivers available for download, and there's a good reason why you might want to check them out. As we've been told, version 10.1 adds support for hard drives larger than 2TB in AHCI mode.
That's good news, though it isn't a cure-all for the so-called 2TB barrier. Even with the updated drivers, you'll still need a 64-bit OS and a motherboard sporting one of those fancy UEFI BIOSes that support booting to a GPT partition. Failing these requirements, you're still limited to using these drives as secondary storage.
Intel also said it's planning to add RAID mode support for these large capacity hard drives in a future release.
Families eagerly gathering in celebration. Kids tossing and turning in their beds as sheer excitement overwhelms their very beings. Groups of people going door-to-door, merrily singing out of sheer joy. So, why all the build up? What could possibly inspire such fervent glee? That's right: the Steam Holiday Sale.
Ok, there might be some other stuff involved too, but how can you not feel the need to erect some form of decorative tree at the prospect of Battlefield Bad Company 2 for $6.79 or Super Meat Boy for $3.75? Oh, and let's not forget Fallout 3 and all its expansions for the irksomely non-round (but still great!) price of $20.09. Also irresistibly tempting: every Oddworld game for a total of $12.49.
And those are only today's deals. As with all things involving Valve and penny-pinching, the Holiday Sale's a multi-day affair, so you might want to make a detour to your PC on your way to see what's under the tree. And even if you miss a day, there's a mountain of obscenely buyable bundles that'll be around for the duration. How does every Valve game ever for $49.99 sound to you? What about eight of the best indie titles out there for only $19.99?
So yeah, Valve may not be the reason for the season, but you won't see us complaining. Also, an incredibly rare celestial event's technically occurring on the same day as the beginning of Valve's sales extravaganza. Kind of like how the Holiday Sale's eclipsing everything else. Ok, we'll stop.
Microsoft said goodbye to its little friend, Office Genuine Advantage (OGA), and quietly shut down the program last Thursday.
What that means for Office users is they're now able to download add-ins and templates without having to jump through any validation hoops to confirm that their copy is legit and not some black-market version or BitTorrent download.
"The Office Genuine Advantage ("OGA") program has been retired. For more information about the benefits of genuine Office, please visit the following website: Benefits of genuine Office," Microsoft wrote in Support Knowledge Base article 917999.
Futuremark originally delayed the release of its much anticipated 3DMark 11 benchmark in order to "fix a couple of difficult bugs rather than patching the benchmark immediately after launch." Mission accomplished, as today's update to version 1.01 doesn't quite qualify as "immediately," though it does come just two weeks after the benchmark went live.
"Unfortunately such wide scale use has brought to light a few issues that weren't caught by our own testing," Futuremark told us in an email. "So today we are releasing an update to 3DMark 11 to fix those problems and add a couple of requested features. Note, until Nvidia release new drivers SLI will continue to be unavailable in 3DMark 11."
There are eight fixes and feature additions for all editions for 3DMark 11, three for the Advanced and Professional editions only, and three for the just the Professional edition.
Kudos to reader Jeremy Gilbert for writing in to let us know that Microsoft recently released version 2.0 of its free Security Essentials antivirus program. It was actually made available last week, but slipped beneath our radar since Microsoft dropped it on the down-low.
We included MSE in last year's security software roundup, awarding the program an 8 verdict for its lean footprint and capable scan engine. According to How To Geek, version 2.0 includes a revamped heuristic scan engine, network traffic inspection to protect against network-based exploits, and tighter integration with Internet Explorer.
How well do the upgrades work? We haven't played around with MSE 2.0 yet, but you can bet we'll address the new features when we do.
AIDA64, the successor to the once-popular Everest benchmarking suite and system utility, has been upgraded to version 1.50 to support Intel's upcoming Sandy Bridge architecture, FinalWire announced.
The latest update adds a handful of other new features and improvements, such as AVX-optimized 64-bit fractal and security benchmarks, a 64-bit multi-threaded VP8 video encoding benchmark, an updated GPU database that now includes AMD's Radeon HD 6900 series and Nvidia's GeForce GTX 570 videocard, enhanced support for Nvidia RAID controllers, and a few other odds and ends.
Free 30-day trials are available for both AIDA64 Extreme Edition ($40) and Business Edition ($80).
The story of Max Payne is a grim one indeed. No, no, not the actual character (although we're sure any man whose face is stuck in that kind of perma-grimace can't be all sunshine and butterflies) -- instead, we're talking about the ever-growing yarn trailing behind Max Payne 3's development cycle. Originally scheduled to launch late in 2009, the game's since endured delay after delay, and all the while gamers have scarcely seen hide nor hair of its development progress.
Most damning of all, however, is the fact that Take-Two's most recent release schedule – which even listed games scheduled for calendar year 2012 – didn't contain Max Payne 3 in any form. Developer Rockstar Games, however, quickly claimed that rumors of Max Payne's death have been greatly exaggerated.
"We're still working hard on Max, and we'll have more news in the coming months," a company rep told Kotaku.
Last time we saw Max Payne 3, it was set to discard the franchise's old noir trappings in favor of a thick coat of grit. Picking up 12 years after Max Payne 2 left off, the game touted a “more world-weary and cynical” version of Max working private security for a wealthy family in Brazil. More often than not, however, publicity blackouts like the one Max Payne 3's been under since shortly after it was announced are signs of a major overhaul, so who knows what kind of story it's aiming to tell at this point?
Here's hoping Rockstar sees fit to tell us sooner rather than later. We're all for gratuitous slow-mo, but this is getting a little ridiculous.
By most accounts, Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 is a solid platform, one with a lot of promise and potential, but the hardware and OS are only part of the overall equation. The other part? Apps.
Towards that end, Windows Phone 7 users now have access to over 4,200 apps, Fudzilla reports. By tomorrow, that number will be 104 higher, which is how many new apps are added to the platform each day.
That's not a bad start for a new platform, even if it pales in comparison to Android (nearly 200,000 apps with around 900 new each day) and Apple (over 300,000 apps and about 1,000 new every day).
A technical glitch forced over 550 million Facebook users to find something else to do for 30 minutes on Thursday as the world's most popular social networking site was temporarily taken offline, CBS News reports.
"For a brief period of time, some internal prototypes were made public to a number of people externally," Facebook said. "As a result, we took the site down for a few minutes. It's back up, and we apologize for the inconvenience."
The downtime occurred as Facebook rolled out a handful of new features, including retooled brand Pages, a new Photos section called "Memories," and the ability to manage different Facebook Pages without logging out.
We consider ourselves to be fairly complex individuals driven by an unfathomably intricate system of wants and needs – including the desire to succeed, chocolate, and chocolate – but it seems Eidos Montreal's solved our psychological puzzle. Simply mash together one storied franchise, one incredibly promising trailer and one unexpected delay, and – presto! – crushing depression.
Citing “harsh market feedback” on recent titles, publisher Square Enix has decided to push Deus Ex: Human Revolution into its next fiscal year, which means the cyberpunk shooter won't hit cyber-shelves until April 2011 at the absolute earliest.
Odds are, this stems from Final Fantasy XIV's cringe-inducing bellyflop of a landing and the publisher's fear of a repeat performance. There, especially, “harsh” is an understatement, and its developers are in a state of disaster control so intense you'd think the game recently suffered a Godzilla attack (which, incidentally, would make it so much better).
So basically, we can't blame Square Enix for delaying Deus Ex. Plus, there's no such thing as too much polish. But even in the face of such evidence, we can't squelch our inner five-year-old's screams of “I want it now!”