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Computing

Want a 72% GPU boost for free? AMD just delivered one

AMD has just revealed that its new AMD Software: Pro Edition 22.Q3 driver can increase GPU performance by up to 72%. With this update, AMD addresses a major pain point for its customers: subpar performance in OpenGL applications.

While the driver is aimed at AMD’s GPU range for professionals, consumer graphics cards can benefit, too, and the gains even stretch to gaming. Here’s what we know about the new Radeon driver and how to get it.

AMD/Tom’s Hardware

To make this kind of a performance gain real, AMD had to change the architecture of its Pro Edition driver. Historically, AMD has gotten some bad feedback over the state of its OpenGL drivers, and over the years, this was one of those things that Nvidia definitely did a better job at, and this applies both to professional software and gaming scenarios. After several attempts, though, it seems that AMD may have finally hit the jackpot with its OpenGL driver.

According to a blog post from AMD, the new driver improves GPU performance by as much as 115%. The metrics are all based on AMD’s professional GPUs, and the company compares its Radeon W6800 to the Nvidia RTX A5000, claiming that its own graphics card managed to beat Nvidia in several applications.

AMD itself calls this driver update a “giant leap for OpenGL-based applications.” In the blog post, AMD stated: “The release of AMD Software: PRO Edition 22.Q3 […] brings our most significant performance advancements to date in all OpenGL applications and many of your other favorite creating, designing, modeling, and CAD software applications. The latest improvements are edging us toward and beyond the competition, such as Autodesk Maya, where we see improvements up to 41% greater on the AMD Radeon PRO W6800 GPU versus an Nvidia RTX A5000 GPU.”

As mentioned, it’s not just the professionals who will benefit from this new change, because AMD is adding these updates to its consumer-grade Adrenalin drivers, too. This means that if you use OpenGL-based apps or play such games, you should be able to see the performance uplift for yourself. In addition, if you have one of the best graphics cards from AMD and you use it to run these professional visualization apps, you can also try out the new drivers for yourself.

AMD first introduced this new architecture in July 2022 and it claims to have gotten great feedback, so it seems like it’s worth giving it a try. This isn’t the first time AMD made a huge leap with just one driver update — just recently, we had a 92% performance boost from drivers alone, too.

You can download the new AMD Software: Pro Edition 22.Q3 driver or the latest Adrenalin drivers on AMD’s official website.

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Game

‘Oxenfree’ is now free to download for Netflix subscribers

More than six years after its PC debut and five years after arriving on iOS and Android, Netflix is making Oxenfree freely available to those with a subscription to its streaming service. Starting today, you can download the new “Netflix Edition” of the game from the iOS and Android app stores. New to this version of Oxenfree is expanded localization support. All told, you can now play the game with subtitles in more than 30 languages.  

Oxenfree joins Netflix’s growing catalog of games but is particularly notable for being an in-house release. The company acquired Oxenfree developer Night School Studio last year. Despite what seems like little interest from subscribers, Netflix is moving forward with its gaming ambitions. The company will release Desta: The Memories Between, the latest project from Monument Valley developer Ustwo, on September 27th. It also teased that the critically acclaimed Kentucky Route Zero would “soon” be available for free as well. 

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. All prices are correct at the time of publishing.

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Computing

Get 3 months of NordVPN for free when you sign up today

There are more reasons than ever to protect yourself and your personal information online, and one of the best ways to do so is with a virtual private network, or VPN. There are many benefits of using a VPN, and right now, one of them is affordability, as you can get three months of NordVPN for free when you sign up for a two-year plan. Three tiers are available, with the Standard Plan coming in at about $3 per month, the Plus Plan coming in at $4 per month, and the Complete Plan coming in at just over $5 per month. Each of these is discounted more than 60% off their regular price, and the three free months are included as well.

Why you should get NordVPN

Like all of the best VPN services, NordVPN protects your personal information with encrypted browsing, so you’ll never have to worry about being tracked and watched by third parties. A VPN will help you avoid things such as ad tracking, and with a VPN encrypting your every move on the internet, your internet service provider won’t be able to sell your browsing history to advertisers or whomever the highest bidder may be. NordVPN even makes it difficult for government agencies to track and collect your browsing activity, messages, social posts, and other private data.

Not only does NordVPN impress when you compare NordVPN and TunnelBear, or even when you compared NordVPN and CyberGhost, but NordVPN is also the best for streaming Netflix content among VPN services. There’s no hardware involved with a VPN, so you’ll be able to protect your streaming and online activity wherever you go. A VPN is a great service to have if you shop and bank online, use public Wi-Fi, or want to simply browse the internet privately.

One of the best VPN deals you’ll find is this offer from NordVPN, which gives you three free months when you sign up for two years. There are three different tiers to choose from, each marked down more than 60% in addition to your three free months, and starting at a little more than $3 per month.

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Computing

IPVanish Free Trial: Try It for a Month, No Strings Attached

Whether you’re an internet power user making daily financial transactions or a casual emailer who only signs on to check the news, digital protection is pretty much a necessity these days. A virtual private network, or a VPN, can make participating in the digital world much safer, and some of the best VPN services offer a free trial. Among them is an IPVanish free trial, which is a great way to test out the VPN’s services all on its own, or even to compare it with some of the best VPNs for streaming. IPVanish is among the best VPNs for iPhone or iPad, making an IPVanish free trial all the more enticing.

Is there an IPVanish free trial?

There is an IPVanish free trial available, and it rivals some of the best free trials you’ll come across. An IPVanish free trial is available through its yearly plan offering. You’ll need to create an account with IPVanish, as well as provide credit card information. You are, in essence, signing up for one year of service, but you’re granted 30 days to freely try out the experience of using IPVanish as your VPN provider. As long as you cancel within those 30 days, you’ll have no financial commitment to IPVanish.

An IPVanish free trial is a great way to see if a VPN is the best way to protect yourself online, and a great way to compare it to other VPN services. With 30 days of free IPVanish use, you could easily compare ExpressVPN and IPVanish, and all of the benefits of using a VPN. Some features that really stand out about an IPVanish free trial are its safe access to censored apps and websites, advanced encryption standards, user-friendly apps for all platforms, and a lack of VPN caps, meaning you can use IPVanish on as many devices as you want.

Can you get IPVanish for free?

You can’t get IPVanish for free, but this 30-day free trial asks for nothing from you but creating an account and keeping a credit card on file. As long as you cancel within 30 days, you won’t be charged for anything, and can go on your way to testing out another VPN free trial. And while IPVanish isn’t free beyond the free trial, it’s very well priced, costing just $11 per month on a monthly plan, and just $90 per year on an annual plan.

Are there any IPVanish deals?

IPVanish does offer deals quite often, with the savings generally coming with a commitment to an annual plan. The monthly plan costs just $11 per month, but with an annual commitment you’ll get a savings of $30 for one year of service, as an annual plan is $90 per year, or just $7.50 per month. Right now IPVanish is even offering a further discount on an annual plan, with your first year costing just $40. That works out to be just $3.33 per month, with IPVanish service then going to its regular price of $90 per year. Quarterly plans are also available, with savings of up to 59% over a monthly plan being offered.

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Game

‘The Sims 4’ will be free to play starting next month

Almost exactly eight years after first arriving on PC, The Sims 4 is going free to play. , publisher EA won’t charge you anything to download the base game on Mac, PC, PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X. If you already paid for the original release or decide to buy it before October 17th, the company will gift you the upcoming Desert Luxe Kit. The DLC comes with a handful of southwestern desert-themed furniture items.

Note that EA has released 12 expansions for The Sims 4, and if you decide to play the game for free, you’ll be missing out on a lot of the features that make the game feel so compelling in 2022. For instance, without the Cats & Dogs DLC installed, your sims can’t get a feline or canine companion.

As for what today’s news means for the game’s future, EA says developer Maxis is “more dedicated than ever to developing new and meaningful experiences for players, and will continue to develop and release packs, kits, and Sims delivery express drops into the foreseeable future.” On that note, the two will host a and livestream on October 18th to share what’s next for the franchise.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. All prices are correct at the time of publishing.

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Computing

Intel Arc Alchemist may let you overclock virtually for free

Intel Arc Alchemist graphics cards continue to surprise us in many ways prior to their actual release. This time, a new teaser from an interview with Intel fellow Tom Petersen reveals some more information about the GPUs, including their overclocking capabilities.

According to Petersen, Intel Arc might be unexpectedly good at overclocking and striking the right balance between performance and power consumption — so much so that a massive overclock was achieved at almost no extra energy cost.

Despite the various shortcomings of Intel Arc, be it the delays or the fact that the GPUs are chiefly optimized for DirectX 12 and Vulkan only, the promotion and communication have definitely been on point lately, and Intel has been transparent about the performance of these graphics cards. To that end, Tom Petersen joined a Q&A session with HotHardware and answered many questions about Intel Arc.

The card’s overclocking powers were briefly discussed and the Arc A770 certainly managed to impress. The GPU went through some overclocking and undervolting in order to measure its performance in Hitman 3. The GPU’s regular clock speed maxes out at 2.1GHz, but this time, it was overclocked to 2.7GHz. That’s a noteworthy overclock that would certainly impact the performance.

Perhaps the more interesting fact is that during the 2.7GHz overclock, the card’s power consumption reached 228 watts, which is just 3 watts more than its regular maximum TBP. This proves that through a good combination of overclocking and undervolting, Intel Arc can deliver good results.

Intel/HotHardware

Intel has also shared new slides about the Arc Alchemist graphics cards, namely the Limited Edition versions, which are Intel’s own design. The Arc A770 and Arc A750 both house the same ACM-G10 GPU, but the A770 has the full 32 Xe-Cores and 16GB of memory, although it can also come in an 8GB flavor. Despite that, both graphics cards have the same 225-watt TBP.

The middle-of-the-pack Arc A580 comes with 24 Xe-Cores and 8GB of memory; Petersen has now also confirmed that it will have a TBP of 175 watts. We don’t know much about the Arc A310 and the Arc A350, both rumored to be part of the lineup. The Arc A380 has already seen a limited release, so perhaps a global launch will soon follow alongside the better models.

Petersen addressed many questions, but he was still not ready to talk about a possible release date of Intel Arc. It’s possible that Intel might mention them during its Intel Innovation event on September 27, although that would give the GPUs very little chance to shine — the company is also set to reveal Raptor Lake CPUs on that date, and AMD will be launching its Ryzen 7000 processors.

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Computing

Quickbooks Free Trial: Get a Month of Accounting for Free

Of all the names to be found among the best accounting software suites, QuickBooks arguably stands the tallest. Its long-standing popularity is owed to the fact that QuickBooks is feature-rich, easy to use, and offers a variety of different packages to suit users of all types, but it’s not free (not usually, anyways). If you’re thinking of giving QuickBooks a spin and want to know if you can try it without ponying up any cash first, however, then read on. Here’s everything you need to know about the QuickBooks free trial along with some info on how you can save on your subscription if you decide to commit.

Is there a QuickBooks free trial?

There is indeed a QuickBooks free trial available, and it’s a pretty good one. QuickBooks offers a 30-day free trial period for new subscribers, and what’s more is that it applies to the highest subscription package, QuickBooks Advanced, which normally costs $200 per month. It’s probably obvious that QuickBooks Advanced, being the highest and priciest subscription tier, is aimed at larger business operations that are likely to need and take advantage of the many features that this plan offers. However, it’s a great way to spend some hands-on time with everything that QuickBooks can do for you, and 30 days is a lengthy trial period that gives you plenty of time to try it all yourself.

This will also help you figure out what features you actually need and which you don’t, making it easier to decide which plan you want to sign up for if and when you decide to commit to a paid subscription. You also don’t need to enter any credit card info until your 30-day QuickBooks free trial period is over and you’re ready to pay.

Can you get QuickBooks for free?

Aside from the QuickBooks free trial, there is currently no way to get QuickBooks for free. That said, the 30-day trial period is ample time to decide if this software is right for you, and you don’t even have to hand over any payment information until after the trial is over and you’ve decided it’s worth the coin. There are four QuickBooks packages available, with each one unlocking more advanced features as you move up the scale. These plans include the Simple Start, Essentials, Plus (the most popular tier), and Advanced packages. Pricing normally starts at $30 per month for the Simple Start, but you can save some money if you sign up now. Keep reading.

Are there any QuickBooks deals?

Quickbooks-GoPayment

Currently, QuickBooks is offering a 50% discount for the first three months of service to new subscribers. This discount applies to all tiers, meaning that for the first three months, you can get the QuickBooks Simple Start plan for $15 per month, the Essentials plan for $27.50 per month, the Plus package for $42.50 per month, and the full Advanced suite for $100 per month. That discount, combined with one free month (via the 30-day QuickBooks free trial), can amount to a substantial savings for your first few months of service. After that, however, your subscription fee reverts to the normal pricing structure.

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Computing

ExpressVPN Free Trial: Get a 30-day Money-back Guarantee

If you’re looking for an ExpressVPN free trial or simply want to know what deals are out there, we’ve got you covered. There are plenty of benefits to using a VPN, so it’s important you sign up to one of the best VPN services around to keep safe online. Of course, no one wants to have to pay more than they have to. That’s why a VPN free trial is a great starting point. Here’s all you need to know about the ExpressVPN free trial and other deals.

Is there an ExpressVPN free trial?

ExpressVPN doesn’t actually offer its own free trial. Instead, it has a 30-day money-back guarantee. That means if you’re not entirely happy with the service, you can cancel it before the month is up and get your money back.

Of course, you’ll need to hand over your credit card details and pay in advance, but you will get your money back if you’re not happy with ExpressVPN. Consider it a slightly different way of checking out the service than a true free trial. It’s also the same way as the NordVPN free trial works.

Can you get ExpressVPN for free?

The best free VPNs can be a tricky bunch to sort though so it makes sense to focus on more established, paid services. As one of the best no-log VPNs, ExpressVPN doesn’t really need to be available for free, so it’s not.

Sadly, there’s no way of getting ExpressVPN for free other than using the 30-day-money-back guarantee. Instead, you’ll need to ask for a refund before the 30 days are up to get your money back.

Are there are any ExpressVPN deals?

ExpressVPN displayed on a MacBook.

Now that you’re confident in knowing what a VPN is and that you need ExpressVPN in your life, there are ways to save a few bucks by signing up to it.

While there are no external deals as with other services, ExpressVPN can ease the price of things through its discounted deals. Your options when paying are to pay monthly, every six months, or every 12 months.

The longer you sign up for, the bigger the saving. Signing up for just one month is $13 and pretty expensive. Alternatively, commit to 6 months and the price drops to the equivalent of $10 per month. Better still, signing up for a year saves you 35% over the 12 months working out at only $8 per month.

The downside? You’ll need to pay for the six-month or one-year option in full. That means spending either $60 each six months or $100 every year. However, you pretty much need a VPN for a lot longer than just a month so it makes sense to tie yourself in long-term.

Sometimes, ExpressVPN also has a sale going on depending on the time of year but it all depends on if you’re able to wait for a big sales event or not.

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Computing

Squarespace Free Trial: Build and Host Your Website for Free

Long gone are the days where knowing how to make a website felt complicated and overwhelming. Services like Squarespace have simplified the process massively so that anyone can figure it out. A tempting proposition, you’re almost certainly keen to know if there’s a Squarespace free trial. That’s why we’re here to help. Read on while we guide you through all you need to know about a Squarespace free trial and any deals along the way, too.

Is there a Squarespace free trial?

Yup, there’s a Squarespace free trial. You don’t even need a credit card to start out with one of the best website builders — Squarespace — so there’s absolutely no risk. All you need to do is pick out a template that works for your needs and go from there.

Once you’ve created your account, you’re given 14 days to try out Squarespace with the full wealth of features you would get if you paid as a full member. It’s hard to think of a free trial that does things better than the Squarespace free trial does, and we really appreciate that you don’t need to enter your credit card details to check it out.

In many cases, users have found they’ve been offered an extra 7 days once the original trial has ended so it’s worth holding out if you want to get the most from your free trial.

Can you get Squarespace for free?

The downside to Squarespace having a fairly generous free trial is that you can’t get it for free. There’s no free plan available but you’re going to love how easy it is to make a website with Squarespace.

As one of the best website builders for small businesses, Squarespace is worth the money once you’ve tried out the free trial and realized it’s for you.

There are at least some deals to help you save money but don’t count on ever getting to use Squarespace for free further than the length of the free trial.

Are there any Squarespace deals?

There are plenty of reasons why you may wish to use Squarespace and if you’re aiming to make one of the best photography portfolio websites, for instance, money may be pretty tight.

Squarespace offers four different pricing plans. There’s the Personal plan which costs $23 per month, Business which is $33 per month, Basic Commerce which is $36 per month, or Advanced Commerce for $65 per month.

Savings are best accrued by committing to an annual plan and why wouldn’t you? If you’re setting up a website, you’ll almost certainly want it online for a long time to come rather than just for a month.

By committing to an annual plan, Personal drops to the equivalent of $16 per month, Business drops to $23 per month, Basic Commerce is $27 per month and Advanced Commerce is $49 per month. The average saving varies between 25% and 30% depending on the plan you need.

There are also some 10% off vouchers around online if you want to make a quick saving when signing up for Squarespace but don’t rely on these. Stick with the typical plans offered by Squarespace and it brings the cost down, especially in conjunction with the initial Squarespace free trial.

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Computing

MasterClass Free Trial: Get a 30-day Money-back Guarantee

Online learning has evolved quite a bit over the last few years, and whether you’re a teacher, a student, or a professional looking to extend your knowledge or skillset, the best online learning platforms are worthy of consideration. MasterClass is one of them, as it offers more than 150 video lessons taught by the world’s best. The subject matter includes things like business and leadership, photography, cooking, writing, music, acting, and sports, among many others. With such in-depth offerings by so many famous faces, many people go in search of a MasterClass free trial. Read onward for more details on how to go about accessing the MasterClass library in a free trial capacity

Is there a MasterClass free trial?

There isn’t a MasterClass free trial, so to speak. But MasterClass is so certain of the quality of its lessons that it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. Taking advantage of this will allow you to enjoy full access to the full MasterClass catalog of more than 150 classes. Each class includes around 20 video lessons that are about 10 minutes long on average, along with an in-depth workbook. You’ll also be able to access the MasterClass smartphone and TV apps, offline lessons, and the MasterClass community. A MasterClass subscription starts at $10 per month, but if you aren’t happy within the first 30 days, all you have to do is go through the cancellation process to get a full refund. While this is more of a create-your-own MasterClass free trial, if you’re looking for a way to explore the best MasterClass online courses and see if anything in the catalog is worth a full subscription for you, this is the best way to go about it.

Can you get MasterClass for free?

The closest way to get MasterClass for free is by utilizing the 30-day money-back guarantee. This will get you access to the MasterClass library, with the ability to cancel your subscription for a full refund within the first 30 days of starting a MasterClass subscription. This is a good way to test the water, and MasterClass’s library of courses is a really good option for virtual learning at just $10 per month for the entry-level subscription. But if free is what you’re in the market for, you can also explore the best free online classes to take based on your interests, where you’ll find plenty of opportunities to tap into the world of online learning at no cost.

Are there any MasterClass deals?

MasterClass deals do pop up from time to time, with MasterClass frequently offering buy one, get one free subscriptions around annual sales events such as Cyber Monday and Black Friday. This would make a great option if you’d like to get a subscription for yourself and gift one to someone else. Generally speaking, though, the MasterClass platform is reasonably priced, with subscription tiers priced at $10, $15, and $23 per month, with the main difference between each tier being the number of devices you’re able to stream MasterClass content on simultaneously. MasterClass also has a program called MasterClass at Work, which offers group rates on volume-based orders.

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