Archive for the 'Graphics & display' category

DirectX: 8, 9, 10 or 11?

(Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009)

The arrival of Windows 7 also annonces the arrival of a new updated DirectX to serve the PC gamers’ community. We already knew that Vista did not have the favour of the gamers (who often stayed with Windows XP) and that had (among other things) some significant impact on DirectX 10 that required Vista. Will gamers now run to Windows 7? It’s possible, but if you want to see the real progress brought to video games (here, to the very popular Crysis FPS) by the various version of DirectX, check the video below:

YouTube link

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Planetary pictures and wallpapers

(Saturday, July 11th, 2009)

I consider that the most useful and often the most interesting wallpapers for your computer desktop are images that are relatively feature-less. A picture full of little details continuously grabbing your attention is a major nuisance. It’s much better to have either a very smooth image or a photo containing a lot of continuous tones.

Windows 7 official wallpapers

Windows 7 official wallpapers

Look at the full set of the Windows 7 wallpapers. This is the upcoming version of Windows (after Windows Vista, it seems that Microsoft intends to switch back to a numbering scheme). Most of them may be colourful, but with very smooth surfaces where your icons will be appearing quite neatly and they offer a nice contrast.

Fresh Impact Crater Formed between February 2005 and July 2005 / Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Fresh Impact Crater Formed between February 2005 and July 2005
Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

So, I was quite interested when I stumbled upon the collection of pictures taken by the HiRise (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera installed on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter). Shooting photos of Mars surface, this photo camera brings extraordinary color images that provide nice patterns to be used as background for your Windows desktop (or even Linux or Mac desktop) and can be renewed quite regularly: Their catalog is available on the University of Arizona web site.

Furthermore, they provide an enormous resolution for their images which is a very good way to extract any size you may need for your extra-high-resolution background or to cover your 2- or 3-LCD display. Or even more. If you feel that there own selection of wallpapers is not enough:

  • 800×600
  • 1024×768
  • 1152×864
  • 1280×960
  • 1440×1080
  • 1600×1200
  • 1920×1440
  • 2048×1536
  • 2560×1600

You can still stick to the original size (JPEG-2000 format images range between 0.5GB and 3GB).

And the good news is that there is no copyright restrictions, so you could do pretty much what you want with them: Really free desktop wallpapers.

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Save and restore desktop icon positions

(Wednesday, June 10th, 2009)


you merely change the size of the Windows desktop and all your desktop icons are forcefully moved around against your will. After one or two of these, you’d be ready to cry, while backing up the position of the icons would be enough, before connecting a new screen, or attaching your laptop to a video-projector, etc.

Up to now, you could only cry and reposition the icons. But here comes DesktopOK. What can I say? It does exactly what you want and what you need: a mere backup, a simple restore and your icons come back where you wanted them.

Simple et necessary.

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Wallpapers: Quality photos

(Saturday, November 22nd, 2008)

It is always more pleasant to work with a nice wall paper on your PC (or Mac) desktop. Here are two interesting source sof beautiful wallpapers based on photographic quality images:

Downright spectacular.

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S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky – latest news

(Monday, August 25th, 2008)

It is now official: S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky will be available in our stores on September 5th (very soon, eh!)

This should be the reason to go through a last minute list of all the recent screenshots and videos displaying the best images of this FPS game coming from Russia.

Last but not least, the official game web site essentially confirmed the specs of the game that we provided a few weeks ago already.

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S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky – some news

(Sunday, July 6th, 2008)

These days, I received a number of news in preparation of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky launch. This is an FPS video game for PC that should attract many players already in love with S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl.

Link to GameVideos

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Radeon HD4870 performance

(Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008)

Sapphire announced that its Radeon HD4870 would be available in France in the coming days at 249€.

3Dguru has a nice review of the upcoming Radeon HD4870 graphics card. It’s supposed to be the fastest offering from AMD and it is stacked against the GTX260 from nVidia, cheaper Radeon HD4850 and older nVidia GeForce 9800 GTX.

The conclusion is that the HD4870 is going to be a tough competitor for the much more expensive nVidia GTX260 (expect nVidia to cut down prices quite quickly to compensate).

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Radeon HD4870, better than a HD4850

(Friday, June 27th, 2008)

Radeon HD4870 - SapphireYou loved seeing the arrival of AMD’s Radeon HD4870? Here comes her stronger sister in graphics cards: Radeon HD4870.

The first one was available for a measly 150€, what makes it a nice little entry point for the powerful 3D graphics cards (understand: “for video games“). The Radeon HD4870 has been spotted in France at 250€, with the first available boxes showing the Sapphire brand and logo. Your usual reseller should already have them.

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Is the GTX280 worth its price?

(Thursday, June 26th, 2008)

This is the question asked by ArsTechnica in a confrontation between the latest of the fast-running graphics cards from nVidia and a few older cards. The conclusion is hard on them: The price is not right. It’s better to purchase a Palit 9800 GX2 for 150 dollars less. They even insist that all is in the price. You’d have to admit that 500+€ or $600+ cards could difficultly attract more than the most manic gamers.

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Fast Crysis

(Sunday, June 22nd, 2008)

We have been used to receiving one update of Crysis, the PC FPS video game of the year, for a long time. But it seems that there is now an upcoming change: No update, just a new extension named Warhead or Crysis Warhead.

Crytek was a little imprecise on this, but there is one major advantage to it: It will bring enormous performance increases. It is ssaid to be able to run Crysis at high-quality settings on a $600 or 400€ budget PC. Probably nearly any PC a gamer could buy will be able to get max quality.

Unfortunately, all photos I could find are just plain bad.

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