Several months ago, AMD Product Manager Deveon Nekechuck boldly claimed that the Radeon R9 290X would be able to "ridicule" Nvidia's GeForce Titan graphics card when running Battlefield 4 with Mantle, AMD's new graphics API. It's worth noting that the R9 290 sports a smaller 438 square mm die compared to the Titan's 550 square mm GK110. Unfortunately for us and everyone else wanting to put that claim to the test, the Mantle patch for Battlefield 4 might be delayed once again.
Judging by some of the hysteria on Twitter and other social sites, the relatively brief outage of several Google services on Friday, including Gmail, nearly signaled the end of the world as we know it. Luckily for mankind, Google was able to restore its services within an hour, and much sooner for many users, thus narrowly dodging an apocalypse, though not before being hit with a stone that was thrown from Yahoo's glass house.
In case you missed it, Hewlett-Packard (HP) last week began advertising the return of Windows 7 desktops. The OEM said its decision to sell Windows 7 systems in a Windows 8 world was influenced by "popular demand," but what we found interesting is how aggressively the world's second largest PC maker promoted its Windows 7 machines. Was there more than meets the eye? HP today posted a blog further explaining its reasoning for bringing back Windows 7.
Pre-order pages suggest a GTA V release to PC is imminent
Rockstar Games has stubbornly kept any possible plans to release Grand Theft Auto V to the PC platform close to its vest, but if history tells us anything, a Windows port is coming. Need more proof? Just direct your browser to some overseas online retailer pages where GTA V for PC is being flaunted for pre-order. These aren't just sketchy vendors, either -- Amazon.de is currently accepting pre-orders for the unannounced port.
We have some good news if you've been wanting to experiment with Valve's SteamOS but have been reluctant to install it on a dedicated machine. Valve engineer John Vert has made available to download a new SteamOS beta build that supports dual-booting. The updated SteamOS ISO can be used to install Valve's Linux-based OS on non-UEFI systems, though keep in mind there could be issues with the build.
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but LogMeIn today decided it no longer wants to offer a free tier for its popular remote access software. Instead, LogMeIn is transitioning to a paid-only program starting this month, with current freeloading users receiving a 7-day grace period to pony up for a subscription plan that begins the next time you sign in to your LogMeIn service.
Any research firm that tallies game sales but neglects to include digital copies isn't really painting a full picture of the landscape. That's less of a problem these days than it was a few years ago, and to put the impact of digital sales into perspective, market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts digital PC and Mac game revenue will exceed $24 billion by 2017.
Hewlett-Packard (HP), the world's second largest PC maker by volume, is giving potential customers the ability to configure systems with Windows 7 instead of Windows 8 or Windows 8.1. The OEM is advertising that Windows 7 is "back by popular demand," and as a bonus, customers can save up to $150 instantly. Based on the available systems, that's a savings of anywhere from 13 percent to 20 percent off the normal price.
It's been a long time coming, but effective April 8, 2014, Microsoft will finally drop support for Windows XP. What that means is no more security patches , nor will you be able to receive tech support from Microsoft for any issues that arise on Windows XP systems. Initially, Microsoft also planned to pull the plug on its free Security Essentials software for XP by ceasing to offer it as a download and cutting off definition updates, but that's no longer the case.
Update Chrome to find out which tab is making all that racket
If you consider yourself a power surfer, then it's probably not uncommon for you to have a dozen or so tabs open at any given time. Provided you have enough system RAM to handle that kind of load, there's nothing inherently wrong with loading up a bunch of tabs, but it sure can be annoying one of them starts playing music or an ad out of the blue. One way to track down the culprit is by reloading each tab one-by-one until the noise cuts out -- BAM, there's your culprit. Or you can run the latest version of Chrome (version 32) and see at a glance which tab is blaring through your speakers.