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  1. It's no secret that AMD has had a tough time over the last few years. While the company managed to post a profit at the start of 2014—largely thanks to its chips being used in the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One—more often than not its reliance on a declining PC market has seen its profits plunge and turn into losses since the Athlon 64 glory days. Millions (if not billions) of dollars of losses were common throughout the 2000s. $61 million was lost in 2001, followed by $1.3 billion in 2002, $274 million in 2003, and an astonishing $3.3 billion in 2007. As Ars noted in its look at the rise and subsequent fall of the company, poor management decisions, including the building of costly fabrication facilities (which were subsequently spun off as GlobalFoundries in 2009), a difficult merger with ATI, and flawed chip designs that fail to match rival Intel on performance all contributed to the company's poor financial results over the years. A stream of CEOs, each with drastically different takes on how to run the company, certainly hasn't helped either. In recent years, AMD has been largely known as the budget chip company, the "value for money" choice when you can't stretch to an Intel i5 or i7. Even with GPUs, an area where the company has produced some excellent Nvidia-beating products over the years, AMD has recently had to compete on price rather than performance because of a rapidly ageing line-up. View the full article
  2. The Blender Foundation has released Blender 2.71, an update to its cross-platform, open-source 3D graphics tool. Version 2.71, also available in 64-bit and portable form on Windows, includes new features and continues to build on the recently revamped user interface. Areas that enjoy significant changes include the Cycles renderer, Animation, Modelling, Sculpting-Painting, Game Engine and Freestyle NPR Rendering tool. Cycles gains support for rendering volume textures, fire and smoke, deformation motion blur, baking textures from cycles materials, additional texture interpolation modes and a new dedicated UV layer node. The Animation tools adds new interpolation types containing “easing equation†presets, while auto-snapping becomes independent from the display type and locking time to other windows is once again possible. It also adds lasso selection support and the ability to set preview range based on selected strips. View the full article
  3. So with my recent purchase of Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim I figured i might as well upgrade my Graphics card. its a ATI 6570 Radeon HD card and i was thinking i would go to a least 6870. Current Specs in attachment from my dxdiag. i also have a 350W power supply that i would most likely need to upgrade to, i am thinking, a 500 W at least. DxDiag.txt
  4. Not as exciting as rridgely's new computer, but I've finally got a better video card - and will soon be installing a much faster processor. I decided the way to upgrade this old computer was with parts pulled from other old computers (when I discovered how super-cheap they are). So I'm now running an ATI Radeon 7500 32MB 4X AGP card - yeah, I know, still pretty weak. A BIG improvement over the old SiS 6326 8MB 2X AGP card it replaced, though (don't know why that even worked, 2X AGP cards are not supposed to go in 4X slots). Browsing is noticeably snappier with this card, I guess the old one couldn't even handle Web graphics gracefully. This one's said to be a Dell OEM part - why it's only 32 MB when normal Radeon 7500s were 64 MB, only Dell knows (did I hear someone say "Dell sucks"?). Only $14.95 from Weirdstuff Warehouse - they've got lots of them, unsurprisingly. Downloaded drivers from ATI, swapped the parts without a hitch, everything was going real smooth - until I ran the driver installer, which mysteriously gave a message that it needed to install from an admin profile (which I had), and aborted. It worked ok with Windows generic driver, anyway; but then I found I had no sound - I'd failed to plug in the speakers. Still no sound after I plugged them in, but I ran the driver installer again, and now it worked. Sound worked after that, too. Don't understand this, but I'm happy that everything's working. At the same time, got an AMD Duron 1200 MHz CPU to replace the Duron 700 Mhz I'm running now. This should work without even a BIOS upgrade, according to my research, but I'm going to do a little more checking on that. Only cost $10.95, anyway; shipping & handling for both was another $11.57. Then I blew a whole $8.00 (w/shipping) on a better cooler from Newegg - the old one's fan is getting noisy anyway, probably due for replacement besides being inadequate. Altogether, 45 and a half bucks for a major upgrade. Still need more RAM, though...gotta start saving up .
  5. I was wanting to upgrade the graphics on my 3+ year-old computer, that was running a GeForce 8400 card with 256 Mb of memory. My problem was I didn't want to replace my 350 watt power supply AND the graphics card. I got a good deal on a Galaxy 210 with 512 Mb memory, $18+ after rebate, but it really didn't make a big improvement in the graphics. Then I found the Zotac GeForce 440 GT with 1 Gig of GDDR5 memory. Tigerdirect has them for $90 and a $20 rebate. The real winner is, this card will run with a power supply of just 300 watts. It takes up 2 slots so I moved my sound card down a slot, to give more air space between the two. Card installed without a hitch and runs 10 degrees C cooler than the 210. Fallout: New Vegas detected the card and reset all the graphics settings to HIGH. I'm well pleased with it. Zotac at Tigerdirect
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