Portal: Prelude

  • Category: Previews
  • Published on Monday, 15 September 2008 13:42
  • Written by Nasirul Huq
  • Hits: 4417

Never heard about this, huh ? Yes of course, and this is exactly the point. You never heard about it because it was developed in the dark, and kept secret until almost fully finished and polished. Portal: Prelude, as its name states it, is an unofficial prequel to the game Portal. 

Remember kids, it's not just a map-pack, it's a whole new story. 

Missed the cake last time! Try for Pizza this time.

Portal Prelude 

The Story

Its story revolves around the pre-GlaDOS epoch, even before she was plugged in. At this time, test subjects were monitored by real Aperture Science employees, whose work was tedious, lengthy and repetitive. This is why they decided to build a great artificial intelligence that could both replace them in these difficult tasks, and also take responsibility for many other tasks within the complex and compete with Black Mesa's superiority. All employees of the Aperture Science complex are now eagerly awaiting GlaDOS. Maybe even a little too eagerly, as the upcoming events will tell... 

Preview 

Screenshots

screenshot01.jpg screenshot02.jpg screenshot04.jpg screenshot06.jpg screenshot07.jpg screenshot16.jpg


More Screenshots

Steam's Response 

Even we were worried about the fact that Steam, the owner of Portal, can start a legal battle to stop the project and nasty things may happen.

But Nicolas "NykO18" Grevet, creator of the Mod, informed us about the Steam's response -

Yesterday, we got our first contact with the french community manager of Valve. Yes, Valve. The marvellous company that brought Portal and so much more to us for years. Don't take me wrong, I'm not trying to seduce anyone, but believe me, it was huge. I was so happy and so scared at the same time. For your information, they don't seem to bother about us doing a prequel for Portal. They're even sending us their congratulations and they seem to enjoy what we're doing. So, please guys, stop saying everywhere that Valve is going to murder us, or something.

Requirements 

Though this is a free game but it is based on the original Portal which is not free.

In order to play Portal: Prelude you need to have Steam installed on your system, of course. You also need to be the owner of Portal and probably either Half-Life 2, Counter-Strike Source, Day of Defeat Source or the Source SDK Base (which can be downloaded for free in the tools tab of Steam). In fact, I'm not really sure you need anything else than Portal, so I advise you to try and see, because there's no way I'm going to uninstall every Source game of my computer until it doesn't work anymore. Steam will notify you if something goes wrong...

 

Recommended PC configuration :

  • Processor: Intel Pentium 4 3000 MHz
  • Display Card: DirectX 9 compatible graphics card
  • Memory: 1024MB
  • Free Disk Space: ~1GB
  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows 2000/XP/Vista

This game is totally free and set to be released somewhere around the mid of October 2008, most likely on October 10th, the 1st anniversary of the famous Orange Box release.

It offers more game-play hours than the original Portal, with 8 chapters, 48 challenges, 6 advanced maps, a brand new storyline and more than 400 lines of speech with English and french subtitles. 

Lets go back to the Aperture Science Laboratories  Aperture Science Laboratories

Portal: Prelude

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ASUS Overclock Gear

  • Category: Previews
  • Published on Tuesday, 29 May 2007 10:54
  • Written by Nasirul Huq
  • Hits: 1596

Asus will be showing off a new 8600 GT card at Computex that comes with the OCgear hardware overclocking control. If you remember the XG Station, then you’ll be familiar with the OCgear, as it looks almost identical, except that it slots into a 5.25-inch drive bay in your case, rather than being an external solution.

We haven’t got the details on how it connects to the graphics card as yet, but the OCgear allows you to control the GPU speed on the fly. It also displays the GPU temperature, allows you to adjust the fan speed and displays how many FPS you’re getting. It also allows you to adjust the volume of your system, but it’s unclear if this only works with Asus motherboards or any sound card or on-board solution.

 asus ocgear

It’s always great to see a manufacturer that’s willing to try something new and Asus always have some wacky new ideas, but the OCgear should make it easier for those that aren’t at home with overclocking their graphics card. It’s always easier to turn a knob than it is to fiddle around with software settings, besides, we’re fairly sure that Asus has put in some safe guards so anyone that buys this card won’t break it by turning the knob too far. We’ll bring you more on the OCgear from Computex next week.

Specification 

 
 Interface
 Internal 4-Pin USB connector
 Power Consumption
 5W
 LED Display Size
 89mm * 31.6mm
 Bezel Size  148.5 * 42.6mm
 Dimension Max  148.5 * 42.6 * 139.6mm (without cable)
 LED Display Functions
  1. System Master Volume
  2. GPU Speed
  3. GPU Speed
  4. Current FPS
  5. GPU Fan Speed
 Adjustable Function
  1. System Master Volume
  2. GPU Speed
  3. GPU Fan Speed

The Device

asus ocgear

Reference

AMD launches Radeon HD 2000 series of GPUs

  • Category: Previews
  • Published on Tuesday, 15 May 2007 00:38
  • Written by Nasirul Huq
  • Hits: 1578

Today, AMD launched its much-delayed and much-awated HD 2000 series of GPU products, all of which are based on the same unified shader architecture that powers the Xbox 360. The R600, as the top end of the HD 2000 series was codenamed, is the first major new product launched after the AMD/ATI merger.


Briefing the press in Malaysia was Mr Vijay Sharma, Director of Product Marketing Graphics Product Group.

R600 launch press briefing

HD 2000 series

The 2000 series consists of three different GPU cores packaged into graphics card products that are aimed at three different segments: the 2900 products are for the enthusiast segment, the 2600 are for mainstream desktops, and the 2400 are for the budget end of the market. The bottom two product lines are further stratified along the lines of GPU clockspeed and the amount of GDDR3 on the card.

Each of the three lines includes both desktop parts marketed under the ATI Radeon brand and mobile parts sold under the ATI Mobility Radeon brand.

Most of the 2000 series GPUs are manufactured on TSMC's 65nm process, a fact that's allegedly responsible for their delay in coming to market, with the high-end desktop and mobile parts being made on TSMC's 80nm half-node process and 90nm process, respectively. The newer process technology is necessary to make these extremely large GPUs even workable, and given its ~215 watt power draw I expect that AMD/ATI will shrink the top-end, 700 million-transistor HD 2900 to 65nm or lower at the first available opportunity.

As has been widely reported here and elsewhere, the HD 2000 series shares some DNA with the Xbox 360's "Xenos" GPU, also designed by ATI. The Xenos was the first implementation of ATI's unified shader architecture (USA), which, in a nutshell, lets all of the device's execution hardware process any of the three types of graphics shader programs: vertex, geometry, and pixel.

Overview 

 AMD ATI Radeon HD 2400 XT

2400 XT

 AMD ATI Radeon HD 2400 Pro

2400 Pro

 AMD ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT

2600 XT

 AMD ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro

2600 Pro


 Specification 

  HD 2400 HD 2600 HD 2900
Stream Processing Units 40 120 320
Clock Speed 525-700 MHz 600-800 MHz 740 MHz
Math Processing Rate (mul-add) 42-56 GigaFLOPS 114-192 GigaFLOPS 475 GigaFLOPS
Pixel Processing Rate 4.2-5.6 Gigapixels/sec 14.4-19.2 Gigapixels/sec 47.5 Gigapixels/sec
Triangle Processing Rate 262-350 Mtri/sec 600-800 Mtri/sec 742 Mtri/sec
Texture Units 4 8 16
Render Back-Ends 4 4 16
Peak Board Power ~25W ~45W ~215W

Now, lets wait the see how the price battle between two giants nVidia and AMD-ATi takes place in Indian market. As a AMD-ATi fan, I hope that AMD will use its well known price-performance strategy. I am on no hurry, better wait for few months or one year untill true Dx10 games come out. Till then enjoy the battle and the price drop.

Just wondering what intel will do about this growing Dx10 market ?? 

Source

GeForce 8600 Ultra, GT, 8300 - picture and specifications

  • Category: Previews
  • Published on Wednesday, 10 January 2007 00:12
  • Written by Nasirul Huq
  • Hits: 1537

GeForce 8600 and GeForce 8300 are the two series of graphics cards which will fill the void beneath NVIDIA's already launched 8800 series. These cards will replace the 7300 series of today and is based on the G86, an 80nm core.

Based on the G84 core 8600 Ultra and GT will have 64 and 48 shader processors respectively with cores running at 500MHz and 350MHz. With a 256-bit memory bus and memory speeds at 1400MHz and 1200MHz the cards will replace the 7600 series of today. The launch date for these cards is about the same as for when ATI will launch R600, that is, around CeBIT at the start of March. Except from the 8600 series Bear Eyes has also published specifications for 8300 GT and 8300 GS (via VR-Zone).

These cards will replace the 7300 series of today and is based on the G86, an 80nm core. The number of shader processors has been halved to 32 and 24 respectively, while both cores will work at 500MHz. The GT model will have slightly faster memories though, 1200MHz vs. 1000MHz. With a 128-bit bus and up to 256MB the performance will most likely be reflected by the price.

Below is a table with the cards of today completed with the coming -

Name

Shaders

  Core(MHz)

Memory(MHz)

Memory(MB)

Memory(Bus)

 Price

8800GTX

128

575

1800

768

384bit

$599

8800GTS

96

500

1600

640

320bit

$399

8800GTS

96

500

1600

320

320bit

$299

8600 Ul.

64

500

1400

<512

256bit

$179

8600 GT

48

350

1200

<256

256bit

$129

8300 GT

32

500

1200

<256

128bit

<$99

8300 GS

24

500

1000

<256

128bit

<$79

Source