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Software
DirectX 12

DirectX 12 a Big Deal for AMD CPUs?

Back in 2011, AMD made a bold statement with the release of the FX-8150. Their premise was that single core performance was holding the industry back and that it was time to start trading in single core performance for the more advanced multi-threading performamce. That totally blew up in their face. The end result was a CPU that only out performed the previous gen chip (the Phenom II X6 1100T) in multi-threading benchmarks while suffering a hit in the single-threaded arena. Meanwhile, gaming as well as a vast amount of common applications continued to predominantly use single threads and INTEL garnered the massive lead they have today. But what if AMD was right all along and only jumped the gun a few years too soon? PC & Tech Authority had an interview with Crytek, a major game developer, and the resulting discussion shed some very interesting details on what DirectX 12 could mean for the future of multi-threaded performance. The most interesting statement from Crytek was the fact that Microsoft has been “really keen on listening to developers.” The reason why is that developers are the ones who want to utilize more resources from the CPU by having more multi-threaded support. According to Crytek, the main concern not only to them, but also other developers, is improving throughput from the CPU. They explain that for many years now, the best way to move forward is to go massively parallel. There’s more to the picture than just this one piece, but it ...



AIDA64 v4.60 is released

FinalWire Rolls Out AIDA64 v4.60   Enhanced Support for LCD and VFD Screens BUDAPEST, Hungary – July 30, 2014 – Today FinalWire has announced the immediate availability of AIDA64 v4.60. As is known, the popular PC diagnostic utility can provide detailed information about both the hardware and software environment of individual PCs or a network of computers. All four editions of the portfolio have been updated to the new version, including the award-winning PC diagnostic and benchmarking tool, AIDA64 Extreme, as well as the company’s flagship IT asset management solution for business customers, AIDA64 Business. The new release comes with support for a wider range of external LCD and VFD displays, including alphanumeric, monochrome and color panels, on which AIDA64 can directly display temperatures, voltages and fan speeds as well as other system information. The July update also introduces support for the latest and upcoming processor and graphics technologies and storage devices. “While working on the latest release, we focused on providing our users more opportunity to monitor sensor values on external displays. We also paid special attention to implementing functions requested by our business customers: among other things we have added such smaller but important options to the feature set as support for embedded XSL style sheets in XML reports and SSL encrypted SMTP. For example, this latter option can ensure that the software sends inventory reports...



Governments Choose PCMark Benchmarks to Specify PC Performance

European Commission and Three National Governments Choose PCMark Benchmarks to Specify PC Performance in High Volume Tenders European Commision, France, Northern Ireland, and Brazil turn to Futuremark benchmarks for impartial performance comparisons HELSINKI, FINLAND – July 7, 2014 – Futuremark announced today that its PCMark benchmarking software has been chosen by the European Commission Directorate-General for Informatics (DIGIT) to specify the minimum required performance for over 100,000 PCs to be supplied to more than 50 European Union organisations. PCMark has also been incorporated into the tendering, procurement and purchasing departments of the governments of France, Northern Ireland, and Brazil. PCMark is a complete benchmarking solution for business, enterprise, government, and other professional users. PCMark provides procurement departments, supply chain managers, and IT departments with accurate and impartial benchmarks for specifying and comparing the performance of Windows PCs, notebooks, and tablets. PCMark is developed in close cooperation with the world’s leading technology companies including AMD, Compal, Condusiv Technologies, Dell, HGST, HP, Intel, Lenovo, Microsoft, Quanta Computer, SanDisk Corporation, Seagate Technology, and Western Digital Corporation. Developer Futuremark is an independently owned company developing benchmarking software to a strict code of neutrality. European Union The Directorate-General for Informatics (DIGIT) defines ...



New 3DMark Sky Diver benchmark available today, from 13:00 UTC

New 3DMark Sky Diver benchmark available today, from 13:00 UTC Hot on the heels of all the hardware announcements at Computex, our new 3DMark Sky Diver benchmark test is ready to download and use today, from 13:00 UTC. http://www.futuremark.com/3dmark    Please read the important note from NVIDIA below about driver compatibility.  Every single 3DMark user – more than a million and counting – will get Sky Diver as a free update. For new users, Sky Diver is unlocked and ready to use in all editions of 3DMark. And for a limited time, you can buy 3DMark Advanced Edition, which includes more tests, custom settings and other features, from Steam for only $9.99 (60% off). http://store.steampowered.com/app/223850/ Sky Diver is a new DirectX 11 benchmark test for gaming laptops and mid-range PCs. It’s ideal for testing mainstream graphics cards, mobile GPUs, integrated graphics and other systems that cannot achieve double-digit frame rates in the more demanding Fire Strike test.  Together, Sky Diver and Fire Strike let you test the full range of DirectX 11 graphics hardware. Fire Strike is equivalent to testing a system with a modern DirectX 11 game on ultra-high settings. Sky Diver is more like running a game on normal settings. As a general guide: If a system scores less than 2800 in Fire Strike you should run Sky Diver. If a system scores more than 12000 in Sky Diver, you should run Fire Strike. Please note that Sky Diver and Fire Strike scores are not dire...



Futuremark Announces 3DMark Sky Diver Benchmark

Futuremark Announces 3DMark Sky Diver Benchmark Trailer shows new test for DirectX 11 gaming laptops and mid-range PCs   HELSINKI, FINLAND – May 28, 2014 – Futuremark today announced 3DMark Sky Diver, a new DirectX 11 benchmark test for gaming laptops and mid-range PCs. 3DMark Sky Diver is the ideal test for benchmarking systems with mainstream DirectX 11 graphics cards, mobile GPUs, or integrated graphics. A preview trailer for the new benchmark shows a wingsuited woman skydiving into a mysterious, uncharted location. The scene is brought to life with tessellation, particles and advanced post-processing effects. Sky Diver will be shown in full at Computex from June 3-7, or find out more on the Futuremark website: http://www.futuremark.com/3dmark Screenshots: http://www.futuremark.com/benchmarks/3dmark#skydiver  Jukka Mäkinen, Futuremark CEO said,  “Some people think that 3DMark is only for high-end hardware and extreme overclocking. Yet millions of PC gamers rely on 3DMark to choose systems that best balance performance, efficiency and affordability. 3DMark Sky Diver complements our other tests by providing the ideal benchmark for gaming laptops and mainstream PCs.” 3DMark – The Gamer’s Benchmark for all your hardware 3DMark is the only benchmark that offers a range of tests for different classes of hardware: Fire Strike, for high performance gaming PCs (DirectX 11, feature level 11) Sky Diver, for gaming laptops and mid-range PCs (DirectX ...



FinalWire Introduces AIDA64 v4.50

FinalWire Introduces AIDA64 v4.50 GPGPU AES-256 Benchmark and Extended Mantle Diagnostics Budapest, Hungary – May 28, 2014 Today FinalWire has announced the immediate availability of AIDA64 v4.50. All four editions of the popular system information software have been updated to the new version, including the award-winning PC diagnostics and benchmarking tool, AIDA64 Extreme, as well as the company’s flagship IT asset management solution for business customers, AIDA64 Business. The new AIDA64 release introduces a multi-threaded OpenCL GPGPU AES-256 benchmark to measure cryptographic processing performance of modern graphics processors and APUs. It also provides extended Mantle API diagnostics for the latest AMD Radeon graphics accelerators, and supports the latest video adapters and storage devices. “Besides our regular updates supporting the latest technologies and innovations, the core AIDA64 features are key to our customers. We could also feel the turbulence caused by the end of support for Microsoft Windows XP as AIDA64 is widely used by system administrators to take a precise hardware and software inventory of PCs connected to their network. With AIDA64, you can get accurate data from even thousands of computers in a few seconds, and then you can easily identify machines running outdated or unsupported software, which greatly helps the IT staff estimate upgrade volume and costs”, said Tamas Miklos, CEO and lead developer at FinalWire. New features & im...



Apacer extends to cloud and mobile fields and shows off innovative applications at COMPUTEX TAIPEI 2014

Apacer extends to cloud and mobile fields and shows off innovative applications at COMPUTEX TAIPEI 2014 Three experience scenarios offering the best user experience!  May 28th, 2014, Taipei, Taiwan—Asia and Taiwan’s biggest technology industry event, Computex Taipei 2014, will take place from June 3rd to June 7th.More than 130 thousand people are expected to visit. The world’s leading memory brand Apacer (TAIEX 8271) will continue to extend its brand’s commitment “Access the best” and offer optimized user experiences through its “Access the best experience” philosophy. It will offer corporate customers and consumers three important experiences from a user standpoint: Best Solution & Service, Best Gaming Performance, and Best Smart Life. Apacer will show its unique products and applications at Computex Taipei 2014. The applications cover a wide range of fields, including embedded, overclocking, cloud, mobile, and end devices.Additionally, Apacer will display their fruitful results in the cloud and mobile applications. Strategic deployment in the fields of the cloud and mobile, significantly expanding business scope The popularity of cloud applications and mobile devices hasaccelerated the development of networking and smart lifestyles. Apacer,keeping pace with global industry trends,is continued focus on its existing business, additionally developing potential cloud and mobile markets, and providing users with complete and di...



Microsoft uses 3DMark to show DirectX 12 benefits

Microsoft shared the first public details of DirectX 12 at GDC yesterday. And I’m delighted that they chose 3DMark 11 to demonstrate the advantages of the new API. In their words, “3DMark [11] on Direct3D 11 uses multi-threading extensively, however due to a combination of runtime and driver overhead, there is still significant idle time on each core. After porting the benchmark to use Direct3D 12, we see two major improvements – a 50% improvement in CPU utilization, and better distribution of work among threads.” The chart shows the time 3DMark 11 spends in each thread in DirectX 11 (top) and DirectX 12 (bottom). This MSDN blog post explains how the efficiencies in DirectX 12 are achieved: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/directx/archive/2014/03/20/directx-12.aspx A new 3DMark test for DirectX 12 With DirectX 12 game developers will be able to create richer scenes with more objects by better utilizing modern GPU hardware. DirectX 12 also introduces a set of new rendering features that will dramatically improve the efficiency of algorithms such as order-independent transparency, collision detection, and geometry culling. I’m excited to announce that we are creating a new 3DMark benchmark that will demonstrate and test the full capabilities of DirectX 12.



Directx12

Microsoft Responds to Mantle with DirectX 12

DirectX hasn’t seen an update for a very long time. PC gaming on the other hand, has seen some very interesting changes over the past years, but more significantly in recent times would be the Steam Machine and AMD’s Mantle technology. These two offer a direct competition to Microsoft so it’s no surprise that they’ve had to find a way to respond and quickly. Without going into too much of the speculation that’s already out, it seems that DirectX 12 may well be a direct response to Mantle technology. The Steam Machine obviously offers competition, but it also requires that games be designed to run for a Linux based OS and is less likely to fill the niche for work at home procedures. Mantle could be much scarier for Microsoft, because if game developers design to it, there could be very little need to upgrade to a new version of Windows while still enjoying peak performance from the latest AMD graphics cards. To modestly explain why this works, Mantle allows more graphics processing to go straight to the GPU rather than having to use the CPU as the middle man. Still run Windows 7? No big deal because you have the latest AMD drivers with Mantle software. DirectX 12 hasn’t revealed details yet, but if it tries to garner the same kind of performance that Mantle does, it will be easier for Microsoft to pin it to newer versions of Windows, forcing consumers to upgrade in order to keep peak performance out of their hardware. While this all ma...



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Support Ending for XP, Microsoft Provides Free Transfer Tool

For those of you still running Windows XP, Microsoft would like for you to think about switching over to a newer Windows operating system. I know, XP still works just fine for many things, and still exceeds for some uses. However, come April 8th, Microsoft is ending their support for this iconic operating system. Soon, Microsoft plans to notify users of the operating system by pop-up on their desktop, providing users with a link to the end-of-support page. This page gives more in-depth information about what will happen on April 8th. Microsoft says the pop-ups will keep coming up on the 8th of every month after April, unless the message is disabled by the user. What is going to happen when support is dropped? Well, you will still be able to use your operating system just as you had been before, but Microsoft will not be releasing any more patches, system updates, or security updates. In a further attempt to persuade users to migrate to newer operating systems, Microsoft will be offering a free data migration tool to make your switch to Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1 much easier. In order to provide this service to the public, Microsoft has teamed up with Laplink to produce the data migration tool named PCmover Express for Windows XP. Microsoft Senior Marketing Communications Manager, Brandon LeBlanc released this blog statement, “This tool will copy your files, music, videos, email, and user profiles and settings from your old PC to your new device, transferring a...



ASUSTOR Releases Innovative Upgrades with ADM 2.1

ASUSTOR Releases Innovative Upgrades with ADM 2.1 Unveiling a new cloud storage experience, all ASUSTOR NAS devices are upgrading to ADM 2.1. Exclusive and innovative MyArchive function allows users to use hard disks as removable storage archives; File Explorer now features thumbnail previews and seamless drag and drop file transfers between NAS and computer; New releases include a VPN Server App and streaming video download App, Takeasy along with Chrome and FireFox add-on Download Center Helper; Mobile app AiMusic streams music from the NAS to mobile devices; Newly added support for Bluetooth devices. Taipei, Taiwan, February 25th, 2014 – ASUSTOR Inc., a leading innovator and provider of network storage solutions, has announced that all of its NAS devices (2, 3 and 6 Series) will be upgrading to the ASUSTOR Data Master (ADM) 2.1 operating system. ADM 2.1 expands the core functionality of the system and includes upgrades to built-in Apps such as Storage Manager and File Explorer along with newly expanded support for Bluetooth devices. Furthermore, a number of in-house developed Apps have been added to ASUSTOR’s App lineup that are sure to please both business and home users alike. “We are very excited to be launching ADM 2.1 with special attention to feedback and suggestions we have been constantly receiving,” said Steve Huang, Product Manager at ASUSTOR. “ADM 2.1 introduces some truly unique functions developed by ASUSTOR. We hope our users will enjoy the...



NEWS_SignageStation

QNAP Launches Free Digital Signage App for Turbo NAS, Benefiting Small Businesses and Personal Profile Promotion

Introduction In Taipei, Taiwan on February 13, 2014 QNAP® Systems, Inc. announced the new Signage Station app for its Turbo NAS series. This App provides a seamless solution for the designing, publishing, and sharing multimedia contents with access controls. End users are able to download the iArtist Lite software to help design the digital signage content and upload it to the Turbo NAS, as well as share the contents using the web-based Signage Station. Visitors can now view the content on smart phones, tablets and laptops, and share by emails or social networking sites. The Signage Station allows end users to quickly design animated contents and share them online. Content administrators can even set up access permissions to the original and editable digital signage content for designers to edit & easily share via the Turbo NAS. The Signage Station also provides beginners with 52 templates to help complete the animated content design. A rich set of widgets, including audio, RSS, and clock, are also available to further enhance the content.   The Signage Station app is available to download from the QTS 4.0 App Center. For more information, please visit http://www.qnap.com/i/station/en/signage.php.   About QNAP Systems, Inc. QNAP Systems, Inc., as its brand promise “Quality Network Appliance Provider”, aims to deliver comprehensive offerings of cutting edge network attached storage (NAS) and network video recorder (NVR) solutions featured with eas...



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Futuremark Announces Servermark™ Benchmark

Introduction In HELSINKI, FINLAND on February 13, 2013 Futuremark® announced it is creating a new benchmark for measuring and comparing the performance of servers. This product is designed for industry, enterprise and press users. Servermark™ will be a comprehensive benchmarking tool for x86-based servers running Linux and will be especially suitable for testing virtual machines. This product will feature a variety of benchmark tests for web servers, file servers, database servers, media servers and other common server use cases. For details on this product please visit http://www.futuremark.com/benchmarks/servermark As with all Futuremark benchmarks, The Servermark will be developed in partnership with leading hardware companies. The Servermark Benchmark Development Program™ members will have the opportunity to provide input at all stages of development in addition to receiving regular development builds and complimentary site licenses for the new benchmark. Any technology companies interested in joining the Servermark Benchmark Development Program should call Oliver Baltuch on +1-408-614-2025 (PST) or email bdp@futuremark.com.  Find out more about Servermark and the Benchmark Development Program on the Futuremark website, or follow Futuremark on LinkedIn for the latest company news. About Futuremark® Futuremark® creates the world’s most popular benchmark tests. Futuremark’s 3DMark®, PCMark®, Powermark® and Peacekeeper™ tests have helped million...



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New in PCMark 8 version 2.0.191

Introduction There is a major update that adds new tests and workloads to PCMark 8. Scores from the Home, Creative and Work benchmarks in PCMark 8 v2.0.191 are not comparable with scores from v1.2.157 or other previous versions. This update adds a new Compatibility Mode setting to the Professional and Advanced Editions that enables you to run older versions of each test for times when you need to compare scores with historical benchmark results.  These notes are a summary of the changes in this update. Please read the PCMark 8 Technical Guide for detailed descriptions of the new tests and workloads. Home benchmark Home updated to version 3.0. Scores should not be compared with previous versions. New Photo Editing test using the open source ImageMagick library and a wider variety of image processing operations. Video Chat test now features improved face detection and performance. The test has been updated to use OpenCV 2.4.7. Creative benchmark Creative updated to version 3.0. Scores should not be compared with previous versions. Photo Editing test using the open source ImageMagick library and a wider variety of image processing operations. Video Editing part 2 now uses source material in 4K UHD resolution (3840×2160). Video Group Chat test now features improved face detection and performance. The test has been updated to use OpenCV 2.4.7. Work benchmark Work updated to version 2.0. Scores should not be compared with previous versions. Work version 2.0 adds a new Spre...



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Apacer, the Only Industrial SSD Manufacturer Winning the 22nd Taiwan Excellence Award

Introduction On Jan. 15th ,in Taiwan Apacer won the 22nd Taiwan Excellence Award. Apacer is not only devoted to R&D but also provides value added and customized professional services to help solve customers’ problems. The products that received awards include Apacer SSDWidget the world’s first-ever monitoring SSD software with cloud technology, SFD 25A-M – the industry-leading 5mm ultra-slim SSD, and CSD (Combo SATA Drive) – the dual drives SSD with groundbreaking and innovative design. Apacer SSDWidget is a cloud-based mobile software application with SSD real-time monitoring and diagnosis. With this package the system administrator will receive real-time information of SSD conditions deployed in all systems in a network regardless of time and region. SFD 25A-M, industry-leading 5mm ultra-slim SSD Apacer launches the ultra-slim 5mm SFD (SATA Flash Drive) 25A-M SSD – it comes with the latest SATA 3 (6Gb/s) transmission interface and standard 7+15 pin male connector. It is 50% thinner and comes with a 256GB of storage and a read/write speed up to 480/350 MB/sec CSD, a dual drive SSD This is a dual SATA SSD inside the standard 2.5-inch SSD housing using SAS connector, enabling users to choose the capacity size of the disk and NAND Flash type (SLC or MLC). The CSD which has a sequential read speed over 1,000MB/s can be set to (RAID 0) or (RAID 1). Under RAID 1 mode, data will be synchronously saved in both SSDs. About Apacer Apacer Technology Inc. ...






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