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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview released

Windows Phone 8.1, announced at Microsoft's Build Conference in San Francisco, California, on April 2, 2014, is the current generation of Microsoft's Windows Phone mobile operating system, succeeding Windows Phone 8. It was released in preview form to developers on April 14, 2014. All phones currently running Windows Phone 8.0 will be upgradeable to Windows Phone 8.1


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Monday, April 14, 2014

Nvidia announces $3,000 Titan Z graphics card

Nvidia has revealed its latest ultra high-end graphics card, dubbed the Titan Z. It packs two of the company's top-end GK110 GPUs onto a single board - the same chip that powers Titan Black, the fastest single GPU graphics card on the market today.
We're looking at a mammoth 12GB of GDDR5 memory (6GB per GPU) married up with a total of 5760 CUDA cores - 2880 per chip. It's unclear right now exactly how fast the chips run: Nvidia's last dual-GPU product - the GeForce GTX 690 married up two GTX 680s onto a single board, but saw clock-speeds reduced in order to fit within a reasonable power/heat profile. Nvidia says that the Titan Z is rated at eight teraflops, while a single Titan Black ranks at 5.1TF, strongly suggestive of a downclock. However, while Nvidia isn't talking clock-speeds, it is known that the Titan Z uses the fastest 7GHz GDDR5 the firm has available.
Nvidia talks up Titan Z as "engineered for next-generation 5K and multi-monitor gaming" but the astonishingly high price-point suggests that even the most affluent gamers may be better served by buying two existing GK110 products (GTX 780, 780 Ti, Titan, Titan Black) and running them in SLI. Instead, we suspect that Titan Z better serves the compute market, where cramming as many high-end GPUs into a PC as possible has a real tangible benefit - a sentiment expressed by Nvidia big cheese Jen-Hsun in this Nvidia blog post.
Titan Z appears to be the last hurrah for the company's Kepler line and with Maxwell now in production, Nvidia used its GTC keynote to reveal its plans for 2016. A new architecture - dubbed Pascal - is en route, offering two revolutionary technologies that will see GPU power continue to follow the relentless pace laid down by Moore's Law. NvLink seeks to eliminate the bottleneck between CPU and GPU via a new interconnect with 5x to 12x the bandwidth of the current PCI Express standard, also offering a 5x increase in available bandwidth for multi-GPU set-ups. The second innovation is stacked memory chips, which should offer a huge increase in memory throughput (few specifics were revealed today).
Before Pascal arrives, we'll see more from the Maxwell line in the form of more powerful iterations of Nvidia's successful GeForce GTX 750 Ti, with the architecture also forming the basis for the follow-up to the recently revealed Tegra K1 mobile chip.

GTA V Coming to PC

A few weeks ago, during the Grand Theft Auto 5 release, I wrote an article detailing how Rockstar was excluding a huge market by not releasing a PC version on the same date as consoles. There was also a petition to get GTA 5 on the platform, which at the time of this writing has now gotten over half a million signatures and is still growing. Gamers want, and are willing, to purchase a PC edition if Rockstar would just get with the times and realize the PC crowd is still strong.

Well, according to Eurogamer, our prayers have been answered:

Rockstar will be releasing a PC version of GTA 5 sometime in the first quarter of 2014.

This is in contrast to previous comments made by Rockstar representatives when asked about a PC release back in July:

"We don't have anything to share about the possibility of a next-gen or a PC platform release at this time and we are completely focused on delivering the best possible experience for the consoles people have right now."

While we still have to wait several months, it seems as though the petitions and emails have at least sped up the process of development for the PC version. All I can say is that I, as a PC gamer, am very happy. GTA 5 has become one for the history books as it continues to shatter records and looks to be one of the defining games of this decade; and all of us PC gamers will be able to play it on our system of choice due, in a small part, to our dedication. Bravo everyone. Bravo.

Are you excited about the PC version of GTA V or is it too late for Rockstar?