Nitrous-powered Engine – Star Swarm Benchmark – Released on Steam

For those of you who want to try out how well AMD’s Mantle works, it seems that you are going to like this. The Star Swarm Demo has been released and is available on Steam to be downloaded and stress out your Radeon graphics cards (but not too fast, what about the drivers?).

The Star Swarm Demo is a tech benchmark to showcase the demands of a next generation of real-time strategy. It has the capability to have about 10,000 units on-screen at any given point, all with their respective AIs, Path Finding, Threat Assessment and Physics. Needless to say that this demo is very CPU Intensive. It is here that the Raw Power of AMD’s Mantle is apparent.

Due to its intense CPU and GPU co-operation for a greater increase in efficiency, a fully CPU Bound scenario can get you an uplift of 319%! (Thats unheard off without a hardware update). The performance numbers shared by AMD consists of a 319% increase at 1080p and 281% increase at 1600p, both scenarios set to ‘Extreme’ settings with the AMD A10-7700K and an AMD Radeon R9 290X.

Unfortunately, we cannot just download the benchmark and start testing right now due to the fact that AMD hasn’t yet officially released the Mantle Drivers. However, the bit of good news comes from the Nitrous Engine powering the Star Swam demo. What makes it the best benchmark so far is the battle itself, which is not scripted. It uses mathematical computation and AI recognition – reaction when everything in motion, therefore no benchmark will output the same results. Every battle is unique in its own way, hence different results will be generated every time it runs.

You can download the benchmark from here. Now what we all need to do is wait for AMD to ‘finally’ release the Mantle Drivers.

Thank you WCCF for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of WCCF

Qualcomm QFE1100 Envelope Tracking Chip To Improve Nexus 5 Battery Life

According to latest news, Qualcomm has revealed that the new Google Nexus 5 not only features the company’s fastest mobile processor, the Snapdragon 800 SoC, but also features a certain Qualcomm QFE1100 envelope tracking chipset, which is a front-end for OEMs to design global 4G LTE compatible devices, like the Nexus 5. This isn’t the first time that the QFE1100 is being used in a Smartphone. Samsung was first to the finish line with the Galaxy Note 3, launched nearly two months ago.

“The Nexus 5 also utilizes the Qualcomm QFE1100 feature, an important component of the upcoming Qualcomm RF360 Front End, a comprehensive, system-level solution that allows OEMs to develop a single, global 4G LTE design.”

Qualcomm states that the new chipset offers 30% lesser heat and 20% decreased power consumption. Thanks to the improvements made by the chip designer, the Nexus 5 will last longer while being used over 3G/4G networks than any other device with a similar battery capacity and internal specifications.

“The QFE1100 feature is the world’s first envelope tracking (ET) technology for 3G/4G LTE devices and offers significant performance improvements, including reduced heat by up to 30%t and decreased power consumption by up to 20%, enabling thinner form factors with longer battery life.”

Thank you NextPowerUp for providing us with this information.
Image courtesy of Anandtech

AMD Releases The Catalyst 13.11 Beta 6 Driver Update

AMD has recently released its latest version of the Catalyst graphics driver. 13.11 Beta 6 includes all the features of its predecessors and adds support for the new Radeon R9 290 and 290X adapters. Automatic AMD Eyefinity Configuration and “plug and play” configuration of supported Ultra HD/4K tiled displays are also new additions that come with this release.

On the performance improvements side, the new update boosts Batman: Arkham Origins with MSAA 8x enabled by up to 35%, Total War: Rome 2 by 10%, Battlefield 3 and DiRT Showdown get 10%, while GRID 2, Formula 1 2013, DiRT 3s and Sleeping Dogs get 5 to 8.5%.

Be advised that, although this driver comes from AMD, it is still a beta version. This means that errors and odd graphics behavior may occur. If that happens, the American manufacturer awaits your report on its Issue Reporting Form.

Here are the Feature Highlights of The AMD Catalyst 13.11 Beta 6 Driver:

  • Includes all Feature Highlights of AMD Catalyst 13.11 Beta
  • Includes support for the new products:
    • AMD Radeon R9 290X
    • AMD Radeon R9 290
  • Performance improvements
    • Batman: Arkham Origins – improves performance up to 35% with MSAA 8x enabled
    • Total War: Rome 2 – improves performance up to 10%
    • Battlefield 3 – improves performance up to 10%
    • GRID 2 – improves performance up to 8.5%
    • DiRT Showdown – improves performance up to 10%
    • Formula 1 2013 – improves performance up to 8%
    • DiRT 3 – improves performance up to 7%
    • Sleeping Dogs – improves performance up to 5%
  • Automatic AMD Eyefinity Configuration
  • Automatic “plug and play” configuration of supported Ultra HD/4K tiled displays

For those of you who have an AMD graphics card want to try it out for yourself, you can download the beta driver from the AMD Official Website.

Thank you Softpedia for providing us with this information