Improvements to be enabled via DX12 and Vulkan APIs
Graphics cards are currently “not living up to their full potential,” says AMD, and the company is adamant that the forthcoming DX12 and Vulkan APIs will change that. Specifically, the red team says that these APIs will be able to take advantage of AMD’s asynchronous compute engines (ACE), which are inherent to AMD’s GCN architecture. These asynchronous compute engines will allow future games that support them to accomplish more simultaneous tasks at a time. AMD infers that this is tantamount to hyperthreading for GPUs.
Google's on a major push to advance its Chrome OS into more homes by whatever means necessary. Fancy a low-cost Chromebook? Google today announced the Haier Chromebook 11 and Hisense Chromebook, both available for pre-order at $149. Prefer an all-metal convertible? Google wants you keep your eyes peeled for the Asus Chromebook Flip, which is due out this spring for $249. And then there's the most intriguing product of them all -- the Chromebit HDMI dongle.
This generation of kids and teens are pretty lucky when it comes to time wasters on the PC. Instead of Minesweeper or, my favorite Windows game from back in the day, Ski Free, today you can play some 900 classic arcade games right in your browser. And if you're bored with those, head over to Google Maps and navigate Pac-Man through your neighborhood, or anywhere else that suits your fancy.
Microsoft just expanded its Surface line with the Surface 3, a less expensive version of the Surface Pro 3 that's also smaller and less powerful. Other than size (10.8-inch display, 8.7mm thin) and weight (1.37 pounds or 622 grams), the physical design is the same as the Surface Pro 3, as both use premium materials and sport the adjustable kickstand that Microsoft is so fond of.
Back in February, Boxx Technologies rolled out its impressively spec'd Apexx 5 Workstation crammed full with five GPUs, demonstrating a combination of raw power and boutique building chops. Well, Boxx is back, this time with a pair of mobile workstations armed with Intel Core i7 desktop processors and optional Nvidia Quadro graphics for professional level computing chores.
It is hard to believe that Google+ is still around. However, for a service that we dubbed as one of Google’s failures last year, it is still kicking. Whether it will continue to exist is still anyone’s guess, though today another reason to use it has been removed because Google announced that photos and videos stored on Google+ will now be available on Google Drive.
From half a dozen to several dozen support Lumia phones
When Microsoft made available its first Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones, it only officially supported six Lumia handsets (630, 635, 636, 638, 730, and 830). The reason? Microsoft had to select from a set of phones that had sufficient system partition sizes configured by the manufacturer in order to do in-place upgrades. Well, with the next Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones, the mobile operating system will support a total of 36 Lumia devices, Microsoft stated in a blog post.
For college basketball fans, it's been a crazy weekend, and March as a whole. That's why it's called March Madness, and this time around, there were a number of notable upsets and surprises, like Michigan State advancing to the Final Four (I had them getting knocked out by Virgina in the second round). As wild of a ride it's been, it all pales in comparison to the rumor floating around that Samsung might be interested in acquired AMD.
It doesn't appear that Samsung needs much help selling Android fans on its recently released Galaxy S6 or Galaxy S6 Edge smartphones, but just in case you're on the fence, the South Korean handset maker is hoping a little nudge from T-Mobile will help. That nudge comes in the form of a one-year Netflix subscription at no additional cost when you purchase a Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge from a T-Mobile authorized dealer.
Vive Developer Edition “will be free, at least initially”
At GDC 2015, Valve was able to impress many people with its SteamVR technology including our own Maximum PC Online Managing Editor Jimmy Thang (see what he thought about the SteamVR demo). But what is surprising is that the company announced that a consumer version will be available in 2015. It is short notice for a device that has just been revealed, but that doesn’t seem to bother Valve. So far, a small selection of developers already have kits, but Valve and HTC will be letting developers apply for a free Vive developer kit soon, according to Ars Technica.