Microsoft has confirmed that graphics software DirectX 11.1 is a Windows 8 exclusive, and “at this point there is no plan” to make it available for Windows 7. This is a departure from Microsoft’s past stance — DirectX 11 was built for Windows 7 and retrofitted for Vista, but DirectX 11.1 will only work on Windows 8. The newest and most graphically demanding games are traditionally built using the latest version of DirectX, and as a result, PC gamers may get stuck between a rock and a hard place. While Microsoft has decided not to support the latest graphics software for older operating systems, game developers like Valve have expressed resistance to Windows 8. Microsoft employee Daniel Moth says he is “still crossing [his] fingers”…
As cutting-edge as Google can be, its Chrome browser has trailed in supporting Do Not Track by default; all its major challengers already have the option to cut off tracking cookies. At least that’s where Google’s fast-track development process comes in handy. Following a short beta, the stable release of Chrome 23 includes the DNT protocol to both safeguard privacy and prevent a few eerily well-targeted ads. The update is more fine-grained still with a quick drop-down menu to selectively turn off access to cameras, location and other sensitive details on a site-by-site basis. Even those who live their life in public get something: Windows users at last have graphics hardware acceleration for video, giving a lift to battery life on laptops and smoothing playback for those on borderline-acceptable PCs. More details are available at the source link, so get to clicking if you’re not a fan of small text files shadowing your web visits.
We know you’ve got questions, and if you’re brave enough to ask the world for answers, then here’s the outlet to do so. This week’s Ask Engadget inquiry is from Whee!, which we guess probably isn’t their real name, who is looking for a way to ditch their mouse. If you’re looking to ask one of your own, drop us a line at ask [at] engadget [dawt] com.
“I’m a web developer, and my typical day involves a lot of moving and clicking when testing stuff in the browser. I’ve been thinking about ditching my mouse, because when using it for long hours it gets very uncomfortable. As such, I’m eyeing up a Wacom tablet and using the pen input to mouse around — but do you think it’s a good idea? Thanks in advance!”
Our questioner wants to solve their wrist-pain woes, and it certainly seems like a reasonable enough idea to us. Plenty of tablets come with a mouse mode, so it’s just down to the limits of your budget.
- If you’re just dipping your toes into the water, you can pick up a Genius device for around $ 60.
- Wacom’s Bamboo tablets occupy the mid-range, setting you back $ 80 for a 5.8-inch model, all the way up to $ 200 for the 8.5-incher.
- If you’re serious about making the change, then Wacom’s Intuos5 hardware is a top-range option, with the 6.2-inch version starting at $ 200, running all the way to $ 800 for the 18-inch unit, or even spending big on one of the company’s Cintiq units.
- We’ve also been wondering if a touchscreen Ultrabook might be a better idea, letting your fingers do the walking to spare your aching forearms.
That said, perhaps the wider Engadget community has an even better tip, so if you’ve already made that leap, why not share your knowledge in the comments below?
Filed under: Peripherals
We can’t say that there’s a huge cross-section of buyers who want a gaming laptop but refuse to touch Intel components. Whatever the size, MSI likely has that group sewn up with the official unveiling of the GX60 following a stealth appearance at Computex. The 15.6-inch portable is built as showcase for AMD’s latest mobile technology: it revolves around a 2.3GHz, quad-core A10-4600M processor using the Piledriver architecture as well as a Radeon HD 7970M to feed its 1080p screen at full speed. Thankfully, the PC is more than just a marketing vehicle and carries some of the gamer-tuned parts that we’ve seen in other MSI rigs, such as dual SSDs in a RAID stripe, a low-lag Killer networking chipset and a heavy-duty SteelSeries keyboard. Buying a GX60 may prove to be the real obstacle — in keeping with most MSI introductions, there’s no mention of a price or ship date, and none of the usual suspects have it in stock as of this writing.
- Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M3 review
- Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M5 hands-on
- Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M5 Ultrabooks with Kepler graphics coming to the US for $ 680-plus
The PC industry might have 100-some-odd Ultrabooks up its sleeve, but fortunately for restless tech reviewers like yours truly, they’re not all cast from the same mold. As the year wears on, we’ll see prices dip as low as $ 700, and a few will be offered with discrete graphics — a nice respite from games handicapped at 30 fps. And, in some rare cases, you’ll find machines that manage to achieve both. Enter the Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M5 series, a pair of 14- and 15-inch laptops that start at $ 680, and, for an added premium, can be had with NVIDIA Kepler graphics. What’s more, the 14-inch model we tested has a DVD burner, making it as much a full-fledged laptop as an Intel-approved Ultrabook. Accordingly, then, we’ll be comparing it not just to other low-priced ultraportables, but to some budget mainstream notebooks on offer this back-to-school season. So how does it stack up? Let’s see.
Filed under: Laptops
Tutorial how to make NVidia Graphics Work: forum.xda-developers.com Video Rating: 5 / 5Related Posts:
While we can’t say that we universally liked Dell’s first attempt at an Ultrabook, the XPS 13 we reviewed about three months ago, we can quite confidently say that it earned our respect. Here was a smartly styled, sophisticated machine free of stickers and bloatware from a company that, let’s be honest, has delivered its share of each over the years. That machine was far from perfect, but it showed a purity of vision in design that you couldn’t help but acknowledge.
So where do you go from there? Why, you go bigger of course. Meet the new Dell XPS 14, successor in name only to a model that went out of production over a year ago. It is, as you might have guessed, an inch larger than the XPS 13 and so has more room for ports and pixels — but there’s more to it than that. In some ways this feels like a more polished machine than the 13 that came before, and it’s certainly faster but it, too, is far from perfect. Join us for a joyous exploration of why.
Gallery: Dell XPS 14 review
Imagination Technologies has launched two new variants of its Series6 “Rogue” GPU, giving manufacturers more choice for the loadouts of next-gen mobile devices, TVs and dash systems. The PowerVR G6230 and G6430 differ from the earlier Series6 cores in one single respect: they’re bigger, which means they’re designed for those who want to go “all out” for better performance. At this point it’s not clear just how much extra juice they’ll deliver, but in general the Rogue architecture is all about being “scalable” — Imagination can simply add more “compute clusters” to boost frame rates at the expense of power consumption and it says “further cores will be announced” that will extend the eye-candy possibilities even further.
If you had any reason to suspect that Nvidia wouldn’t have fully-functional graphics drivers in time for Windows 8, you can probably dismiss them now: the company’s new R302 drivers have been WHQL-certified by Microsoft specifically for the new operating system. That’s the word from Nvidia’s official blog, which explains that the R302 drivers are specifically for Windows 8, as earlier versions of the operating system will stick with R300 drivers. The new branch includes support for all the new WDDM 1.2 features (including things like stereoscopic 3D optimizations and flicker-free screen rotation), and Nvidia says it will support Nvidia 3D Vision for 3D games right away. Sounds like just the thing to complement your Windows 8 Release…
AMD is launching its Radeon HD 7000M range of mobile GPUs today, and with them the promise of increased performance along with improved power management. The HD 7900M, 7800M, and 7700M series will be appearing in laptops soon, starting with the 7970M as a GPU option for the Alienware M17x today. Based on the Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture, the new generation will be AMD’s first mobile GPUs manufactured at 28nm, which increases the performance-per-watt ratio significantly over previous efforts.