Tag Archives: laptop

ATI / AMD have recently released Catalyst 12.10 Driver Suite

ATI / AMD have recently released Catalyst 12.10 Driver Suite

You can download it here: http://sites.amd.com/us/game/downloads/Pages/downloads.aspx

FEATURE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE AMD CATALYST 12.10 DRIVER:

AMD Catalyst 12.10 – Ready for Windows 8

For AMD Radeon™ HD 5000, HD 6000 and HD 7000 Series users, Microsoft® has certified today’s AMD Catalyst™ 12.10 release as “compatible with Windows 8.” With this driver, these products offer support for WDDM 1.2, which is an updated model for graphics drivers that Microsoft has designed to provide smooth performance and wide compatibility in their new operating system.

• Target-Independent Rasterization (TIR): TIR is a new rendering path for superior anti-aliasing in Direct3D driver applications

• Native Stereo 3D Support: Windows 8 natively supports stereoscopic 3D gaming and videos via compatible applications

• Unified Video API: Video playback has been integrated into the DirectX® 11 API, for simultaneous video and gaming content. Transcoding performance may also be improved for supported applications

• Optimized screen rotation for rotation aware devices

• Enhanced sleep/resume performance

• Optimized GPU power consumption

• Major technologies / features also supported under Windows 8:

◦ AMD Eyefinity technology

◦ OpenCL™

◦ OpenGL

◦ Unified Video Decoder (UVD)

◦ AMD Dual Graphics

◦ AMD CrossFire technology

◦ AMD Overdrive

◦ AMD Catalyst Control Center/ AMD Vision Engine Control Center

AMD Catalyst Mobility support for AMD Enduro™ Technology

AMD Catalyst Mobility now includes support for AMD Enduro™ technology. AMD Enduro technology is currently supported on all notebook Intel IvyBridge platforms and AMD “Comal” platforms that support the AMD Radeon HD 7900M, 7800M, 7700M. AMD plans for additional products to be supported in future AMD Catalyst releases.

AMD Enduro™ Technology for Notebooks delivers:

• Unbeatable battery life

• GPU accelerated performance for gaming, video, and compute apps

• A Seamless and automatic experience

New Enduro™ Technology features found in Catalyst 12.10:

• Re-designed AMD Catalyst Control Center user interface

◦ View all profiled applications

◦ View recently run applications

◦ Profile applications based on power source

• Expert mode control and customization

◦ Performance centric AC

◦ Battery centric DC

RESOLVED ISSUES

This section provides information on resolved known issues in this release of the AMD Catalyst 12.10 software suite.

Resolved Issues for the Windows 8 Operating System

• Enemy Territory Quake Wars – performance affected when run at high resolutions

• Wolfenstien – performance affected when run at high resolutions

• System hangs when disabling Eyefinity

• World of Warcraft – Mists of Pandaria experiences graphical corruption when anti-aliasing is forced to 2X or higher

Resolved Issues for the Windows 7 Operating System

• F1 2011 – Vehicle textures flicker when game is run at low settings

• Dirt Showdown – Flickering seen when benchmark is run in DirectX 11 mode

• Battlefield – Bad Company 2 : Flickering textures seen in AMD CrossFire mode

• Alan Wake – Freezes when run in DirectX 9 mode with AMD CrossFire and Eyefinity enabled

• Portal 2 – Freezes when run in DirectX 9 mode with AMD CrossFire and Eyefinity enabled

KNOWN ISSUES

The following section provides a summary of open issues that may be experienced with the AMD Catalyst 12.10 software suite.

Known issues under the Windows 8 operating system

• AMD Eyefinity portrait resolutions may not apply correctly when AMD CrossFire is enabled

Known issues under the Windows 7operating system

• Serious Sam 3 – crashes when AMD CrossFire and Eyefinity are enabled

• May Payne 3 – flickering and ghosting when in DirectX 9 mode with Anti Aliasing enabled

Intel Rapid Storage Technology Driver Revision History (AHCI and RAID)

Intel Rapid Storage Technology Driver Revision History (AHCI and RAID)

15.8.1.1007

15.7.0.1014

15.5.0.1051

14.8.14.1063

14.8.14.1061

 

12.5.0.1066 – 05/03/2013 – http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?DwnldID=22271

11.7.0.1013 – 12/06/2012 – http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?DwnldID=22270

11.6.0.1030 – 09/13/2012 – http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?DwnldID=21852

11.5.0.1207 – 07/24/2012 – http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?DwnldID=21592

11.2.0.1006 – 06/11/2012 – http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?DwnldID=21407

11.0.0.1032 – 02/10/2012 – http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?DwnldID=20868

10.8.0.1003 – 11/11/2011 – http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?DwnldID=20624

10.6.0.1022 – 11/29/2011 – http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?DwnldID=20707

10.1.0.1008 – 11/29/2010 – http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?DwnldID=20104

Please feel free to comment on your results with the latest Intel Rapid Storage Driver

2012 Model Laptops and Notebooks that Feature a Serial Port (RS-232)

I was recently asked to source laptops with an integrated serial port which is becoming harder and harder in this day and age.

Thankfully a few vendors still fit the trusty RS-232 port to some models and I have outlined these models below.

2012 Models

HP ProBook 6570b Series

P/N: B6P78EA – http://www8.hp.com/uk/en/products/laptops/product-detail.html?oid=5270277

P/N: B6P79EA – http://www8.hp.com/uk/en/products/laptops/product-detail.html?oid=5270278

P/N: B6P81EA – http://www8.hp.com/uk/en/products/laptops/product-detail.html?oid=5270280

P/N: B6P78ET – http://www8.hp.com/uk/en/products/laptops/product-detail.html?oid=5281632

HP EliteBook 8570p Series

P/N: B6P98EA – http://www8.hp.com/uk/en/products/laptops/product-detail.html?oid=5270297

P/N: B6P99EA – http://www8.hp.com/uk/en/products/laptops/product-detail.html?oid=5270298

P/N: B6Q00EA – http://www8.hp.com/uk/en/products/laptops/product-detail.html?oid=5270299

P/N: B5V88AW – http://www8.hp.com/uk/en/products/laptops/product-detail.html?oid=5268988

Toshiba Tecra A11 Series

P/N: PTSE0E-0M9052EN (TECRA A11-1FR) – http://uk.computers.toshiba-europe.com/innovation/product/Tecra-A11-1FR/1118527/toshibaShop/false/

P/N: PTSE0E-0M6052EN (TECRA A11-1F4) – http://uk.computers.toshiba-europe.com/innovation/product/Tecra-A11-1F4/1117375/toshibaShop/false/

P/N: PTSE0E-0MJ052EN (TECRA A11-1HP) – http://uk.computers.toshiba-europe.com/innovation/product/Tecra-A11-1HP/1119159/toshibaShop/false/

P/N: PTSE0E-0MC052EN (TECRA A11-1FP) – http://uk.computers.toshiba-europe.com/innovation/product/Tecra-A11-1FP/1118524/toshibaShop/false/

I will try and update this Post as new models become available, please feel free to add your comments if you are aware of an other currently available laptop brands/models that feature a seial port.

Sage Accounts and Sage Payroll – Crashing or Poor Performance

Sage Accounts and Sage Payroll are two very popular accounting products and in general work nicely on a well configured computer/network.

The most common issues that affect Sage Accounts and Payroll are listed below

  • Verify that your computer at least meets the minimum requirements to run your version of Sage Payroll or Sage Accounts (You cannot expect optimum performance from a machine that only just meets these basic requirements or that is below the outlined specs.  You might be able to upgrade the Memory in your existing machine to improve its performance or it may be time to consider a new machine)
  • Consumer Oriented Anti-Virus Products (These are usually bloated and will consume a large percentage of the system resources, the inbuilt software firewall may disrupt or interfere with the accessing of Sage Data files on other machines.  If you have a network strongly consider a corporate anti-virus product that does not bog down your machine and can be centrally configured rather than relying on each user to add exceptions for specific Sage files)
  • Accessing your Sage Data via a Wireless or VPN Connection (Both these type of connection only offer limited throughput and are prone to unexpected disconnections due to external factors, losing connection to your Sage Data whilst you are using it can result in a crash or worse still corruption. Consider having network data cabling installed or if this is not possible in your building/home then Ethernet Over the Mains may offer a suitable alternative)
  • Outdated Network Adapter Drivers (Your network adapter may have drivers installed that date back to 2005 or 2006 when you first purchased your computer, even most new computers do not have the very latest network adapter drivers installed.  Please take a look at my previous article for information on how you can find out if your network adapter driver is upto date and performing optimally)
  • Old Data Cabling and Network Hubs (Consider upgrading your internal cabling to Cat 5e or Cat 6, these both support speeds up to 1000Mbps or 1Gbps, this offers a significant boost over older 10Mbps networks.  You may also find that if your cabling is already suitable that your Network Hub or Switch is only capable of these slower speeds.  The best performance can be achieved by using a Managed Gigabit Switch, this will offer 1000Mbps to any computer/server/laptop that has a suitable network adapter installed or at least 100Mbps to those machines with older network adapters)
  • Unpatched Machine (Your desktop or server may be missing important Service Packs or updates that improve the overall responsiveness of the system or correct issues related to poor network or disk throughput.)
  • Operating System Hotfixes (Sometimes if an issue is not widely acknowledged Microsoft will release a requestable Hotfix rather than post the update to all users, this Hotfix may make it into a subsequent Service Pack but until this is released you may need to request appropriate hotfixes from Microsoft via http://support.microsoft.com )
  • Data Corruption or Repair may be required (If your data has been damaged in the past then a repair may be required to make it consistent, it is also possible that your Sage Data could be compacted to reduce the overall size and thus improve performance when accessing the data)

Hopefully you find this information useful, it does not cover all possible issues but should generally aid most Sage users.  Please always make several backups of your Sage Data before making any changes to your system or Sage.  Ideally you should make sure that at least one of these backups is to external media (USB pen, DVD/CD, External Hard Disk).