It might seem like just a few weeks ago that we posted about AMD's Catalyst 14.1 beta drivers --and that's because it was. The 14.1 beta drivers saw the delivery of Mantle to the general public, which would later be applied in a large (>1GB) Battlefield 4 patch. Of course, I've yet to discover a software application that can release patches without introducing new issues. Catalyst 14.2 attempts to address some of the leftovers from 14.1 and prior.
14.2's major changes bring TrueAudio and Mantle support for the impending launch of the new Thief game; TrueAudio, if you're unaware, is AMD's way of driving surround-style audio through the video card (offloading some processing). The experience as a whole is pretty unique and promising, though we've only tested the "studio version" at CES, where the environment and equipment were fairly optimized.
Amidst all the excitement of EA/Respawn's Titanfall (benchmarks here, crash fixes here, PC build here), it seems that Battlefield 4 is trying to be unforgotten. On the 13th, DICE launched yet another patch for BF4 that will hopefully stabilize the game enough for the DLC that's coming out on the 18th (coincidentally around when the Titanfall beta ends). Since launching in October, EA has been continuously hounded for the disappointment that was Battlefield 4.
Despite recent patches to Battlefield 4, issues within the game are still prevalent on every platform. Issues being experienced have been addressed by DICE on their forums. Courtesy of their post updated on the 20th, known issues are listed below.
We stated that AMD "indisputably owns the $100-$200 video card market" in our coverage of their newly-released Radeon R9 270 GPU. With the card's focus on delivering high gaming performance at a sub-$200 price-point, it outperforms AMD's present 7850/7870 lineup and nVidia's GTX 660. The R9 270 lands just below the 760 in both price and performance, making the new AMD card an excellent choice for any mid-range, budget-conscious PC builds.
This isn't quite a "cheap" gaming PC build -- like the $425 LoL option we posted -- but instead aims to fill the mid-range market for gamers with a bit more change. This gaming computer is built specifically with Battlefield 4 in mind, though it'll run any game on the market with high-to-max settings on 1080p with 4xAA (or higher). If you're looking for a sub-$1000 DIY budget gaming PC for Battlefield 4 -- or other high-end games, like Assassin's Creed IV -- you've come to the right place.
As a bonus, this entire build has an awesome blue/black theme; the CPU cooler fan, motherboard heatsinks, and RAM all use a metallic blue.
AMD's new driver update for its R-series and Radeon GPUs should improve stability in Battlefield 4, one of the company's partnered games. Users of AMD cards on Windows 8 experienced crashes / CTDs and black screens in Battlefield 4, all of which should be resolved with the new driver update.
In addition to stability patches, the driver update builds on top of Catalyst 13.11 beta 7, which boosted Battlefield 4 CrossFire performance roughly 20% over the previous driver.
Full patch notes and the download can be found here.
- Steve "Lelldorianx" Burke.
With Battlefield 4's beta officially opened to those who pre-ordered the game, it's time to start looking into rig configurations to best take advantage of the game's high-end visuals.
Battlefield has historically pushed PC hardware significantly harder than most other games simultaneously hitting the market. When it comes to games like Crysis and Battlefield, we see the biggest differentiator lying in the game engine: Frostbite and CryEngine both support heavy multithreading (CryEngine natively supports 8 active threads), offload to GPU hardware for real-time physics processing (PhysX), and drive intensive tessellation / volumetric particle effects through the GPU.
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