IslandGamers-Technology And Gaming Info

June 27, 2007

Intel – Update for Intel Processors

Filed under: Intel, PC, Windows VISTA — Ramajay @ 3:23 pm

Microsoft has released a ‘microcode reliability’ update for intel processors for all it’s operating systems.

We have no idea what this update addresses at this time, but you should probably download and install it asap.

Get it here

June 4, 2007

PC Games – User Stats, less than 2% DX10 Capable.

Filed under: PC, PC Games, Windows VISTA — Ramajay @ 7:54 am

I’ve taken an interest in the whole DirectX 10 phenomeneon which is supposed to usher in a new era of PC Gaming in the very near future. The games that we’ve seen previews of show graphical improvements over DirectX 9, but nothing thus far that is so incredible when put next to DX9 content as to make DX10 seem like a necessity. The differences between DX8 and DX9 were phenomenal, but DX9 and DX10’s differences seem to be incremental thus far at best. Additionally my understanding of early Windows Vista reviews suggested that the Unified Shader approach should allow for faster framerates as the GPUs will be used far more efficiently. Early benchmarks between DX9 and DX10 versions of demos on the market now have not shown this to be true. DX9 and DX10 framerates are comparable.

Valve has released their own recent statistics which show that actually just over 1% of gamers that play Steam titles  (about 325,386 gamers in all) are Direct X 10 compatible. In fact the majority of Steam gamers are running on Geforce 6600 and 7600 graphics cards, which represents the midrange to lowend of the graphics card market.

Among gamers only about 5% of Steam users have made the Vista upgrade. The fact that not only are there not many DX10 card owners, but not many people seem to own the OS that enables DX10 either raises a question mark as to how this technology is really going to revolutionise the PC Gaming sector as advertised.

Admittedly, it is still quite early in Vista’s lifecycle, and Nvidia’s DX10 capable cards have been on the market for just about 6 months so far. Valve’s statistics are interesting though, for developers who choose to release ‘Vista Only’ titles or who consider chopping the lowend to midrange from their playable specs in future titles.

Check the full Valve statistics here 

May 19, 2007

Nvidia- New XP Forceware Drivers Released May 17th 2007

Filed under: Nvidia, PC — Ramajay @ 8:23 am

ForceWare Release 158
Version: 158.22
Release Date: May 17, 2007
WHQL Certified

Windows XP:

32 Bit Version

64 Bit Version

May 6, 2007

ATI – R600 X2900XTX a Disappointment

Filed under: ATI, Nvidia, PC, PC Games — Ramajay @ 6:24 pm

DailyTech has performed an initial benchmark test with Retail drivers of the X2900XT and XTX graphics card from ATI. If readers recall, this card utilises ATI’s new R600 chip and has been delayed several times supposedly to allow ATI to release a full lineup of DirectX10 cards to the market at the same time.

Nvidia released the high end 8800GTX and GTS series late last year, and has now introduced midrange entries to market.

Some analysts touted that the R600 would definitely trump the 8800GTX’s performance figures and far outclass Nvidia’s DX10 offerings.

The actual benchmark performance does not eclipse Nvidia’s top end 8800GTX card, however, and instead ATI’s flagship top -of -the -line offering competes directly with the 8800GTS, the next step down from the 8800GTX.

In Company of Heroes, the 8800GTX pushed 80fps while ATI 2900XTX managed to deliver 53.2fps at the widescreen gaming resolution of 1920×1200. Eldersrolls IV:Oblivion showed the 8800GTX similarly outperforming the ATI XTX card by 23.3 fps with the GTX pushing 98.4fps and the XTX 75.1fps.

Things don’t look good for ATI at this point with regard competing with Nvidia in the DX10 market. The balance has swung once more over to Nvidia with regard to best performing card after their FX series debacle. The company has also never given up the marketing lead and prospective buyers are still far more likely to see an Nvidia advertisement online or in a game rather than the ATI brand.

This coupled with the fact that ATI will not be able to boast even similar performance to the Nvidia card and it makes it very difficult for them to compete, unless they attempt to differentiate themselves based on quality, or better HD television output.

We’ll let you know more about this battle between the Graphics Card giants as it unfolds!

May 4, 2007

PC – New Nvidia Drivers for XP 158.22

Filed under: PC, PC Games — Ramajay @ 8:43 pm

Nvidia has released some new drivers for XP. They include support for the Nvidia 8800 Ultra as well as the rest of the G80 lineup:

GeForce 8300 GS
GeForce 8400 GS
GeForce 8500 GT
GeForce 8600 GT
GeForce 8600 GTS
GeForce 8800 GTS
GeForce 8800 GTS
GeForce 8800 Ultra

Get them here

May 3, 2007

PC- One Of The Best Download Managers- Free Download Manager

Filed under: PC — Ramajay @ 9:38 am

I just thought I would share some information on what I consider to be one of the best download managers on the internet.

Free Download Manager takes a single file and breaks it into several parts, each of which is downloaded individually and then recombined into the original file. This has the effect of speeding up your download and making it much more efficient over most broadband connections.

FDM plugs into Internet Explorer easily, and can be used with Firefox via the FlashGot plugin.

The latest version of FDM also adds support for BitTorrent files.

Free Download Manager is constantly in development and is updated regularly with new features. The company apparently makes money via its Free Download Store which lists a plethora of programs in several categories that is linked from Free Download Manager.

Get Free Download Manager Here!

May 1, 2007

PC- Dell XPS 710 H2C Computer

Filed under: PC — Ramajay @ 7:42 am

I just got my new Dell XPS 710 H2C machine. Those hardcore enthusiasts out there, stop snickering 😉 . The Dell XPS H2C series boasts an overclocked QX6700 processor running at 3.2Ghz. The dual Phase H2C cooling system is responsible for keeping the processor from catching on fire inside the case, and is an advanced system that combines your normal water cooling with a nifty phase change stage that further keeps things chilled, and quiet. The machine was configured with 4GB of Ram , for future proofing, and a pair of 8800GTX cards running in SLI. Two Raptor 150s are running in a RAID 0 configuration as well to give disk access a little extra boost. Out the box, with no optimisations and whatever drivers the system came with, the Dell hit 15,500 3DMarks in 3D Mark 2006. It handled Oblivion at 1920×1200 resolution at Ultra High detail level with no problem, holding a rock steady 60fps while running through Cruicble city in The Shivering Isles expansion. So why go with Dell instead of a company such as Velocity Micro, Voodoo PC or Vicious PC? Simple: Support. Dell has support centers throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. If anything goes wrong, the system is under a 3 year warranty and a Dell technician will come to the house to fix it. That was a big consideration since I’ve learnt that things do go wrong with even the most high-end systems, and without warranty support you end up spending quite a bit of cash fixing things, replacing mysteriously broken DVD RWs etc. Thus far, the system rocks. All the titles I have tried so far are very smooth, as smooth or smoother than playing the same titles on the Xbox 360 (Rainbow 6 Vegas anyone?) with higher resolution as well. I’ll post more information the more I tinker with the system.

  

April 24, 2007

Intel – Intel cuts processor prices by 40%

Filed under: Intel, PC — Ramajay @ 9:20 pm

Intel has cut prices on its Core 2 Duo processors by as much as 40% in some cases. The company is certainly intent on extending its lead over embattled AMD who have been losing money in the hundreds of millions recently.

The Core2Duo Q6600 was US$851 now US$530. The Core2Duo E6700 was US$530.00 now US$316.00.

Apparently the high end Core2Duo Extreme chips haven’t dropped in price. But..pffft..who would pay 1000US for a processor anyway.

*hides the QX6800 box beneath the computer desk* 🙂

April 10, 2007

Nvidia – MidRange 8800 cards due out in about 10 days.

Filed under: Nvidia, PC — Ramajay @ 7:06 am

Nvidia should release new cards in about 10 days, around April 17th 2007.

GeForce 8600 GTS — 256 MB GDDR3, 675 MHz core clock, 1000 MHz memory clock
GeForce 8600 GT — 256 MB GDDR3, 540 MHz core clock, 700 MHz memory clock
GeForce 8500 GT — 128 to 256 MB DDR2 or GDDR3, 450 MHz core clock, 700 MHz memory clock

The performance of the 8600GT appears to be slightly worse than the X1950 Pro and XT in preliminary benchmarks at high resolutions.

Intel- Intel Releases new QX6800 Processor

Filed under: Intel, PC — Ramajay @ 6:53 am

small_kentstyle.jpgThe QX6800 processor is a quad core chip running at the same clock speed as the dual core 6800 Extreme, 2.93Ghz. This makes the QX6800 the fastest and most powerful desktop processor on the market today. The Processor costs about US$1200.00 and for that you get about a 6-7% increase in performance over the US$999.00 QX6700 processor. Let’s see here, a 20% increase in price, for about 6% increase in performance.

….whee.

check hothardware.com if you want more info.

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