NVIDIA Driver 378.66 Released

SL users have suffered from a problem with the NVIDIA driver, a blue colored world. I haven’t seen the problem, except in pictures. Whether you see the problem or not depends on your graphics settings. Having ALM enabled seems to eliminate the problem. So, while I can’t say this new driver version fixes the problem, it is worth a try.

Version 378.66 released 2/13. Download.

Which platform are VR people using?

Massively Overpowered has an article about information a company named Superdata provided on the gaming market and VR: Virtual Reality Helps Push Mobile Gaming To New Heights.

Winter Circus

Winter Circus

I find it interesting that mobile VR games netted as much money as the movie industry netted from box offices. Mobile VR accounted for half the global market in digital games. I think that is rather impressive and shifts my thinking on where gaming and VR are going.

I suppose it is not that surprising. I plan to buy my next phone based on its VR abilities. I have to have a phone. My existing telecom contracts have expired. I can change carriers, renew or not a contract… I’m sort of a telecom free agent. But, buying a dedicated VR headset, like an Oculus, would be a total splurge and unlikely. An upgrade for the desktop I built in 2016 is more likely. i5 to i7 or 1060 to 1080 or even a 2080 (NVIDIA will likely have the 20 series out in early 2017).

With information coming out about how VR is going mobile way more than I ever expected, I am almost certain to consider Samsung’s coming (end of March, may be April) S8 for my VR. Especially since it is Samsung that is out selling other VR mobile makers. (4.5 million out of 6.4 million sold in 2016 – 69.2% market share.)

Gaming in 2016 – Predicting 2017?

According to SuperData Research  people spent US$91,000,000,000 on games. Billion… This is an all-time record. But, they are hyping things a bit. In 2015 Statistica shows $91.5 billion spent and $99.6 billion in 2016. I suppose it depends on where one gets their numbers and categorizes them. Game revenue is notoriously flaky as companies like to hype their increasing sales and keep decreases secret.

Still that is about a 10% increase year-to-year. Eight billion isn’t chump change, unless your spending $10 trillion on credit, like some governments…

Data From Statistica

They break the revenue down into subcategories. Handheld games are dying. Smartphone games are the hot item. They show the largest growth from 2015 to 2016 and that is expected to continue, which seems reasonable as smartphones are selling well.

In 2005 smartphones sales were just $3.8 billion. Eleven years later in 2016 sales of smart phones was $55 billion, a 1,447% increase. So, as more people get smartphones there are more possible users of smartphone games. According to Statistica a little less than half of the 2016 game revenue was from smartphone gaming. Continue reading

Hardware: Intel 7th Generation CPU

The 4th quarter of 2016 Intel released their 7th generation CPU. As of now, I can’t find the chips for sale. Apparently, all the chips are going to OEM’s.

Intel 7th Gen CPU's

Intel 7th Gen CPU’s

The 7th gen chips are based on 14nm tech. The CPU’s deliver 12% more performance than the 6th generation CPU’s. Power consumption remains about the same in 6th and 7th gen CPU’s for general computing and gaming.  Continue reading

Second Life: HD Graphics Win 10 Problems

haw to install graphics card

how to install graphics card

The Intel HD Graphics 2000 and 4000 series chips have a driver problem. This has been a thorn in my side the last 3 months as clients want it fixed and Intel has yet to resolve the problem, AFAIK (Nov 2016). It is known to be in their driver… or what Microsoft has Windows 10 do with it.

I keep hoping for a fix and update. If not soon, I probably will put cheap video cards in the desktop machines and tell the laptop users they are pretty much screwed until Intel or Microsoft fixes it.

The problems on the MAC/Apple side are bad enough the Lab has been holding up release of a 32-bit version of the MAC viewer.

The latest information I have seen is here (Nov 2016):

I’ve been trough every fix I can find for machines using HD 4000 series video chips. Some machines continue to have problems. Restarts help.

Hardware: Dynamic Super Resolution

Talking with Ormand Lionheart about the images in a video I made, he mentioned Dynamic Super Resolution. A bit of research shows this is a way to make your 2k-1920×1080 monitor look more like a 4k monitor. The keywords are “more like”.

The video explains and shows what is being talked about. It touches on the fact that a 1080 or 2k monitor is physically limited to showing that fixed number of pixels. Nothing anyone can do will change that. You have 1920×1080 pixels, horizontal and vertical, for a total of 2,073,600 pixels. Those manufactured into the screen. To get more pixels you need a screen manufactured with more. Continue reading

Hardware: New Intel SSD’s

Intel is promoting two new Solid State Drives (SSD); Intel® SSD DC P3520 Series (PCIe) and the Intel® SSD DC S3520 Series (SATA). These are enterprise level drives. Put into layman’s English, these puppies are way expensive. US$300 to $3,000. Amazon

Intel DC P3520 SSD

Intel DC P3520 SSD

They do yield 35% more performance per watt. If you are running a server farm that is a big deal. The link above leads to the specs. Read speed: 1700 MB/s, write: 1350 MB/s. My SSD can only move 300 to 400 MB/s. See: Hardware: Disk Performance Compared. These new SSD’s are performing at RAM Drive speeds.

Word is that large data centers are driving the demand for these new fast, large SSD’s. As prices come down the consumer market will use more of these drives.

Will they make your Second Life experience better? Probably. But, RAM drives are currently cheaper and provide similar performance but, less storage space.