Categories
Security

Here’s why you need to update your Google Chrome right now

Google has just released a new version of Chrome, and it’s crucial that you get your browser updated as soon as possible.

The patch was deployed to fix a major zero-day security flaw that could potentially pose a risk to your device. The latest update is now available for Windows, Mac, and Linux — here’s how to make sure your browser is safe.

Caio/Pexels

The vulnerability, now referred to as CVE-2022-3075, was discovered by an anonymous security researcher and reported straight to Google. It was caused by sub-par data validation in Mojo, which is a collection of runtime libraries. Google doesn’t say much beyond that, and that makes sense — the vulnerability is still out in the wild, so it’s better to not make the exact details public just yet.

What we do know is that the vulnerability was assigned a high priority level, which means that it could potentially be dangerous if abused. Suffice it to say that it’s better if you update your browser right now.

Although Google is keeping the information close right now, this is an active vulnerability, and once spotted, it could be taken advantage of on devices that haven’t downloaded the latest patch. The patch, said to fix the problem, is included in version 105.0.5195.102 of Google Chrome. Google predicts that it might take a few days or even weeks until the entire user base receives automatic access to the new fix.

How to stay safe

Hands on a laptop.
EThamPhoto / Getty Images

Your browser should download the update automatically the next time you open it. If you want to double-check and make sure you’re up to date, open up your Chrome Menu and then follow this path: Help -> About Google Chrome. Alternatively, you can simply type “Update Chrome” into the address bar and then click the result that pops up below your search, before you even confirm it.

You will be asked to re-launch the browser once the update has been downloaded. If it’s not available to you yet, make sure to check back shortly, as Google will be rolling it out to more and more users.

Google Chrome continues to be a popular target for various cyberattacks and exploits. It’s not even just the browser itself that is often targeted, but its extensions, too. To that end, make sure to only download and use extensions from reputable companies, and don’t be too quick to stack too many of them at once. We have a list of some of the best Chrome extensions if you want to pick out the ones that are trustworthy.

Editors’ Choice




Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
AI

OpenAI is reducing the price of the GPT-3 API — here’s why it matters

Were you unable to attend Transform 2022? Check out all of the summit sessions in our on-demand library now! Watch here.


OpenAI is slashing the price of its GPT-3 API service by up to two-thirds, according to an announcement on the company’s website. The new pricing plan, which is effective September 1, may have a large impact on companies that are building products on top of OpenAI’s flagship large language model (LLM).

The announcement comes as recent months have seen growing interest in LLMs and their applications in different fields. And service providers will have to adapt their business models to the shifts in the LLM market, which is rapidly growing and maturing.

The new pricing of the OpenAI API highlights some of these shifts that are taking place.

A bigger market with more players

The transformer architecture, introduced in 2017, paved the way for current large language models. Transformers are suitable for processing sequential data like text, and they are much more efficient than their predecessors (RNN and LSTM) at scale. Researchers have consistently shown that transformers become more powerful and accurate as they are made larger and trained on larger datasets.

Event

MetaBeat 2022

MetaBeat will bring together thought leaders to give guidance on how metaverse technology will transform the way all industries communicate and do business on October 4 in San Francisco, CA.

Register Here

In 2020, researchers at OpenAI introduced GPT-3, which proved to be a watershed moment for LLMs. GPT-3 showed that LLMs are “few-shot learners,” which basically means that they can perform new tasks without undergoing extra training cycles and by being shown a few examples on the fly. But instead of making GPT-3 available as an open-source model, OpenAI decided to release a commercial API as part of its effort to find ways to fund its research.

GPT-3 increased interest in LLM applications. A host of companies and startups started creating new applications with GPT-3 or integrating the LLM in their existing products. 

The success of GPT-3 encouraged other companies to launch their own LLM research projects. Google, Meta, Nvidia and other large tech companies accelerated work on LLMs. Today, there are several LLMs that match or outpace GPT-3 in size or benchmark performance, including Meta’s OPT-175B, DeepMind’s Chinchilla, Google’s PaLM and Nvidia’s Megatron MT-NLG.

GPT-3 also triggered the launch of several open-source projects that aimed to bring LLMs available to a wider audience. BigScience’s BLOOM and EleutherAI’s GPT-J are two examples of open-source LLMs that are available free of charge. 

And OpenAI is no longer the only company that is providing LLM API services. Hugging Face, Cohere and Humanloop are some of the other players in the field. Hugging Face provides a large variety of different transformers, all of which are available as downloadable open-source models or through API calls. Hugging Face recently released a new LLM service powered by Microsoft Azure, which OpenAI also uses for its GPT-3 API.

The growing interest in LLMs and the diversity of solutions are two elements that are putting pressure on API service providers to reduce their profit margins to protect and expand their total addressable market.

Hardware advances

One of the reasons that OpenAI and other companies decided to provide API access to LLMs is the technical challenges of training and running the models, which many organizations can’t handle. While smaller machine learning models can run on a single GPU, LLMs require dozens or even hundreds of GPUs. 

Aside from huge hardware costs, managing LLMs requires experience in complicated distributed and parallel computing. Engineers must split the model into multiple parts and distribute it across several GPUs, which will then run the computations in parallel and in sequences. This is a process that is prone to failure and requires ad-hoc solutions for different types of models.

But with LLMs becoming commercially attractive, there is growing incentive to create specialized hardware for large neural networks.

OpenAI’s pricing page states the company has made progress in making the models run more efficiently. Previously, OpenAI and Microsoft had collaborated to create a supercomputer for large neural networks. The new announcement from OpenAI suggests that the research lab and Microsoft have managed to make further progress in developing better AI hardware and reducing the costs of running LLMs at scale.

Again, OpenAI faces competition here. An example is Cerebras, which has created a huge AI processor that can train and run LLMs with billions of parameters at a fraction of the costs and without the technical difficulties of GPU clusters. 

Other big tech companies are also improving their AI hardware. Google introduced the fourth generation of its TPU chips last year and its TPU v4 pods this year. Amazon has also released special AI chips, and Facebook is developing its own AI hardware. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the other tech giants use their hardware powers to try to secure a share of the LLM market.

Fine-tuned LLMs remain off limits — for now 

The interesting detail in OpenAI’s new pricing model is that it will not apply to fine-tuned GPT-3 models. Fine-tuning is the process of retraining a pretrained model on a set of application-specific data. Fine-tuned models improve the performance and stability of neural networks on the target application. Fine-tuning also reduces inference costs by allowing developers to use shorter prompts or smaller fine-tuned models to match the performance of a larger base model on their specific application.

For example, if a bank was previously using Davinci (the largest GPT-3 model) for its customer service chatbot, it can fine-tune the smaller Curie or Babbage models on company-specific data. This way, it can achieve the same level of performance at a fraction of the cost.

At current rates, fine-tuned models cost double their base model counterparts. After the price change, the price difference will rise to 4-6x. Some have speculated that fine-tuned models are where OpenAI is really making money with the enterprise, which is why the prices won’t change. 

Another reason might be that OpenAI still doesn’t have the infrastructure to reduce the costs of fine-tuned models (as opposed to base GPT-3, where all customers use the same model, fine-tuned models require one GPT-3 instance per customer). If so, we can expect the prices of fine-tuning to drop in the future.

It will be interesting to see what other directions the LLM market will take in the future.

VentureBeat’s mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Learn more about membership.



Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
Computing

Here’s everything you need to build a gaming PC in 2022

While building a PC is fairly straightforward, there are numerous ways to make mistakes without proper planning and preparation for a new build. We rounded up everything you need to build a gaming PC so you can get past compatibility issues and choose hardware that works for your build.

Hardware that makes sense

The first step in building a PC is selecting hardware that makes sense for both your budget and your interests. Even if you have an unlimited budget, it’s not always the best idea to simply grab the most expensive parts. Here’s an overview of what you need:

  • A case
  • A graphics card, or GPU
  • A processor, or CPU
  • RAM
  • Storage
  • A power supply
  • A CPU cooler

The GPU

Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

The GPU is arguably the most important component in a gaming PC, and from the get-go, you have to make one very important choice: AMD or Nvidia? At the time of writing, AMD GPUs tend to provide better bang for the buck, while Nvidia GPUs promise better ray tracing performance and superior support for upscaling technology, which for AMD is FSR and for Nvidia is DLSS. AMD is catching up when it comes to upscaling, however.

Right now, AMD’s latest graphics cards are the RX 6000, and Nvidia’s are the RTX 30-series. Previous generations can offer a better value, but they aren’t as performant as current-generation options in many cases.

Overall, we’d say Nvidia is a slightly better option for users planning on building a higher-end PC, since Nvidia GPUs are the most performant at 4K, with or without DLSS. Meanwhile, AMD is the best option for budget-conscious buyers, which fits nicely into AMD’s performance advantage at lower resolutions.

Speaking of resolution, that’s one of the first things you need to think about when planning out your PC. Not every GPU is ideal for every resolution, and we recommend you check out our roundup of the best graphics cards. We also have a roundup of the best 1080p graphics cards for budget buyers, as well as the best 4K graphics cards for staunch enthusiasts.

You should also think about the kind of frame rate you want to see, and the GPU can be pretty flexible in this role as long as you’re willing to lower graphics settings in exchange for more frames. By opting for a more powerful GPU, you can more easily achieve high frame rates without sacrificing visual quality, but faster GPUs are more expensive.

The CPU

A hand holds the Intel Core i9-12900KS.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Today, both AMD and Intel provide a wide variety of CPUs with different price points and levels of performance, from the low end at $100 to the high end at around $700. Neither brand is particularly better than the other in the current generation, and we don’t expect that to change much in the next generation.

The CPU doesn’t actually do very much when it comes to gaming, but it can quickly become a bottleneck if you’re aiming for a very high frame rate in the triple digits. Thankfully, most CPUs made since 2017 are capable of 120 frames per second or so in most titles, so if you’re not aiming for 120-plus, you’re good to go. If you are aiming for more than that, however, you’ll want to choose a mid-range to high-end CPU.

If you’re curious about which CPUs are particularly good for gaming, you can check out our list of best CPUs for gaming. You can also read CPU reviews if you want a more in-depth look at performance; just keep in mind that in a CPU review, a gap between two different models doesn’t necessarily mean you need the faster one. If you’re targeting 60 fps, for example, all you really need to care about is whether or not a CPU can achieve that. Good gaming CPUs also tend to have certain qualities:

  • A large amount of L3 cache
  • A newer architecture
  • At least six cores (though some quad-core CPUs can still game well)
  • Relatively high clock speed, especially boost clock speed

The CPU cooler

CPU cooler inside the Asus ProArt PD5 desktop.

Some CPUs include a stock cooler, but they aren’t the best. You should pick up a third-party CPU cooler (we have a lot of suggestions in our roundup of the best CPU coolers). Even a cheaper CPU cooler will do wonders for your temperatures, assuming it can fit inside of your case.

Instead of an air cooler, you can extend your budget for an all-in-one liquid cooler. These have gotten cheaper and can provide better temperatures as well as clean up the internal layout of your PC.

The motherboard

MSI MEG X670E Godlike motherboard.
MSI

Unlike the GPU and sometimes the CPU, motherboards don’t often impact gaming performance; you aren’t usually going to get a better frame rate out of a particular board. The motherboard can still be important, however, because it’s the basis of your entire PC.

The two main aspects of your motherboard are its chipset and socket. The socket determines which CPU will work with your motherboard, and the chipset determines which features the motherboard has access to. For example, Intel’s Z690 motherboards support CPU overclocking, but the cheaper B660 motherboards do not. Across AMD and Intel, the letter tells you the series of the motherboard and its features, while the numbers specify the generation.

While the type and speed of the ports on the motherboard don’t directly impact gaming performance, you’ll probably want to get a board with a few specific features, such as M.2 slots, PCIe 4.0 support, four RAM slots, plenty of USB ports, and so on. These features make a big difference when it comes to ranking the best motherboards.

The last consideration is the size of the motherboard. ATX motherboards are standard, but you’ll also find mini ITX and micro ATX boards. We’ll talk more about the motherboard size and how that interacts with your case below.

The RAM

Crucial Ballistix Sport LT DDR4 RAM inside a computer.

RAM isn’t exactly crucial for a good gaming experience, but it’s not something you should ignore. Compatibility is a bigger issue for RAM than gaming performance, but we’ll talk about that later.

RAM is frequently hyped up as a key driver of a PC’s gaming performance, but in reality, a high-end kit of RAM isn’t much faster than a slower one. However, the price difference between the lowest-end and many high-end RAM kits is usually very small, so we recommend picking up a faster kit if you find a decent deal.

Capacity is also not a very big deal for gaming in particular, but you will want 8GB at minimum, and we recommend 16GB if you can afford it — and you should be able to since many mid-range DDR4 RAM kits cost just $50 at the moment.

That being said, there is one aspect of RAM that is often overlooked: channels. You’ll find that RAM is often sold in kits of two or four sticks, and that’s not a coincidence. Having two sticks of RAM rather than one will always result in better performance in basically every application, even if capacity and speed are identical. The reason why is that CPUs have multiple memory channels, and more sticks mean more memory channels can be utilized, increasing the amount of data the RAM can transfer. Mainstream CPUs from both AMD and Intel are limited to dual-channel support, so you only need two sticks of RAM, as four sticks will still be limited to dual channel. Under no circumstances should you ever just have a single stick of RAM — get two.

The last thing you’re wondering about is probably DDR4 versus DDR5. While DDR5 RAM is certainly faster than DDR4, it’s not so much faster that it’s worth paying twice the price or more. If you’re building a high-end PC and want as many frames as possible, it can be a worthwhile investment, but if you’re gaming on a lower-end to mid-range PC or plan on gaming at a higher visual quality rather than a higher frame rate, DDR4 will suit you just fine.

If you’re wondering about what RAM you should get, then check out our list of recommended kits of RAM for gaming.

The storage

A person holding the WD Black SN770 gaming SSD.

Storage is also an important consideration, and we strongly recommend you choose an SSD instead of a hard drive for your primary drive. You have three options: a spinning hard drive, a 2.5-inch SSD over SATA, or an NVMe SSD. NVMe SSDs are the fastest and most expensive, so an ideal configuration would be an NVMe SSD for Windows and your applications and a larger SATA SSD for your games.

The power supply

Installing a power supply in a PC case.

There’s no gaming-specific reason to consider one PSU over the other, but since discrete GPUs tend to draw quite a bit of power, you’ll definitely want a PSU that can support both your current and your future GPU.

You can plug your build into a power supply calculator to find out how much power you need. The main components to pay attention to are the CPU and GPU, though. Adding those power demands up and adding 200W is a good rule of thumb to figure out how much power you need.

Outside of wattage, look for a power supply with an 80 Plus rating. This rating is tied to efficiency with various different tiers. Although it doesn’t necessarily mean one power supply is better than another, the 80 Plus rating is a good sign that the unit uses high-quality components.

The final consideration to make when buying a PSU is the brand because getting a high-quality power supply is really important. There’s a reason why many of the best PSUs are from brands like Corsair, EVGA, FSP, and Seasonic. These companies aren’t perfect, but they have very good track records.

The case

A gaming PC sitting on a desk.

Finally, you need a case to put everything inside of. The best computer cases come with plenty of clear airflow, USB ports in the front, and good mounting options for your CPU cooler. The case you want will also inform what type of motherboard size you can use, as small-form-factor cases like the Lian Li A4H20 only support certain motherboard sizes.

Otherwise, pick a case you like the look of. Style points count for your PC, after all.

Parts that are compatible

Hardware incompatibility can be a big problem if you’re not careful. Attempting to assemble your PC just to find out that you bought the wrong kind of RAM or that your motherboard doesn’t have a slot you wanted to use is a big showstopper. Here are the most common things you need to be wary of.

Thankfully, there’s a great tool that will tell you almost immediately if you have compatibility issues: PCPartPicker.com. By using PCPartPicker’s PC Builder tool, you can start selecting the parts you intend to use, and not only will you see error messages if you pick incompatible hardware, but the PC Builder tool also won’t allow you to select incompatible parts most of the time.

CPU and motherboard compatibility issues

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D socketed in a motherboard.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

While most motherboards can support many different CPUs and vice versa, “most” doesn’t mean “all.”

The main determining factor is the socket. For example, AMD’s Ryzen processors (outside of Ryzen 7000) use the AM4 socket, so you can use most of those processors on motherboards with the AM4 socket. That’s a good place to start, but make sure to look up CPU compatibility for the motherboard you’re interested in.

There’s one important caveat with AMD boards, though. Many AMD motherboards split CPU compatibility between different BIOS versions, with older versions supporting older CPUs and newer versions supporting newer CPUs. You’ll have to check the manufacturer’s website for compatibility and what BIOS versions support which CPUs.

RAM compatibility issues

Now that new DDR5 RAM is on the scene, there are two different types of RAM you can buy, and they are not backwards compatible at all (DDR5 can’t fit in DDR4 slots and vice versa). You don’t want to end up realizing that you bought the wrong kind of RAM the day you try assembling your PC.

DDR4, the older version of RAM, is the only kind of RAM you can use with AMD 300, 400, and 500 series motherboards and Intel 400 and 500 series motherboards. You can use DDR4 on certain Intel 600 series motherboards, but before you buy, you need to double-check whether the motherboard uses DDR4 or DDR5.

Intel Alder Lake box with DDR5 memory.

Meanwhile, newer DDR5 is the only type of RAM you can use with upcoming AMD 600 series boards. DDR5 can also be used on Intel 600 series motherboards, but like with DDR4, you need to double-check if the board you’re looking at has DDR4 or DDR5 support.

And even if your board has the right version of RAM, your hardware combination might not be ideal. Many kits of RAM are designed to be used for specific series of CPUs for maximum performance, which is why you might see some kits say they’re made for Intel or AMD. You can pair a CPU with a kit of RAM that doesn’t match, but you might experience stability issues when attempting to enable XMP for the best possible performance, or your PC might not even turn on at all, and solving that can be a big headache. Check the manufacturer’s website for validated kits of RAM.

Power supply compatibility issues

While you may have chosen a PSU that follows the advice we gave earlier, you do need to be careful because power supplies also have plugs, and those plugs determine what you can put in your PC. For example, if you have a GPU that requires three eight-pin plugs and your PSU doesn’t have enough, that means your graphics card is a paperweight until you get a PSU with the right amount of plugs.

Other than the GPU, though, there’s not too much else you need to be concerned about. If you’re planning on using SATA SSDs and hard disk drives (HDDs), you should probably make sure your PSU has enough SATA power cables, but you’ll likely end up having enough, as most power supplies come with at least three SATA power cables, and you can probably get more if you opt for a modular power supply.

Case compatibility and other clearance issues

The final thing you need to consider is whether or not your case can even fit all the parts you plan on using. Since you’re presumably looking at PC parts through a website and not in person, it can be easy to overlook the fact that your case might not have as much room as you thought it did, and while you technically don’t need a case to make a gaming PC, we really recommend an actual case instead of a cardboard box.

The first thing to look out for is motherboard compatibility, as all motherboards are made for standard sizes, and the cases are made to fit the motherboards. Mainstream gaming motherboards generally come in three sizes, from largest to smallest: ATX, mATX, and ITX. Cases that have room for one standard also have room for anything smaller than it; for example, you can put an mATX or even an ITX motherboard in a case made for ATX motherboards. But you can’t put an ATX motherboard in a mATX or an ITX case.

Installing a motherboard in a desktop PC case.

Other devices need to be considered too, particularly the GPU and CPU cooler. Most manufacturers will specify what kinds of CPU coolers, graphics cards, and other components can fit into a case. However, you’ll want to rely on the manufacturer’s website rather than an Amazon or Newegg listing, as measurements on Amazon and Newegg are often wrong. That being said, you really only need to worry about clearance for these components if you’re using big components like a triple-fan GPU, a 360mm AIO, or a large, high-end air cooler, or if you’re building an ITX PC.

You can also run into clearance issues with other components, too. Certain kits of RAM are extremely tall and might interfere with a big air cooler for the CPU. If you plan on buying extra fans for the case or the CPU cooler, make sure they’re the right size. If you’re getting a PCIe 4.0 SSD with a big heatsink, make sure it can go on the front of the motherboard because there probably won’t be room in the back. SSDs with heatsinks can also run into problems with the GPU, especially if it’s more than two slots tall. Just make sure you measure everything out — you should find parts that will all fit together.

CPU cooler compatibility

When choosing a CPU cooler, make sure it’s compatible with the socket you’re using. Companies usually include a variety of mounting hardware and list the supported sockets on their websites. It’s usually not a problem for recent generations, but you need to pick up extra hardware depending on the CPU cooler you want to use.

The right tools for the job

Screwing a motherboard in.

You don’t really need any fancy tools or equipment to put a PC together, but if it’s your first time building a PC, you might not have the best tools for the job. Using tools that aren’t really suitable for building PCs, like screwdrivers that are meant for screws larger than you’d find in a desktop, can waste your time by being ineffective and could even cause damage to your build. Here’s a quick list of what you should get:

  • Screwdriver kit for PCs or other electronics
  • Zip ties or twist ties
  • Anti-static wristband
  • Thermal paste

For the typical PC, at minimum, you’ll need a variety of differently sized Phillips-head screwdrivers. While you likely own a Phillips screwdriver already, it’s most likely the medium-sized Phillips 1, which is simply too big to use on a PC. Instead, we recommend using a Phillips 0 screwdriver, which is found in most PC-oriented toolkits. The smaller 00 and 000 heads are also very useful, especially for smaller screws like the ones used for M.2 SSDs. Most kits will include all three.

This can be enough to assemble a PC, but we also recommend getting other things to improve the PC building experience: zip ties or twist ties for cable management, a PSU tester, and an anti-static wristband. Twist ties often come with most PC parts, but higher-quality zip ties are usually only included with mid-range to high-end PSUs. Mid-range to high-end PSUs will also often include a PSU tester, which basically tests whether or not your PSU is dead. A simple PSU tester only costs about $5 to $10, so it’s definitely worth it.

While you can build a PC without an anti-static wristband (and most do), wearing one is an easy way to avert the disaster of statically shocking your PC, which is unlikely but still possible. If you don’t want to wear one, then make sure you touch something that will discharge static electricity like the chassis if it’s metal or some other metallic object.

Thermal paste is not a tool per se, but we recommend buying a tube of it just in case you need it for the PC build or just down the road. Most CPU coolers come with a pre-applied layer of thermal paste, but it’s not always a guarantee. Even if your cooler does have thermal paste, there’s always the possibility you might screw up the installation and end up needing a fresh application. You might also want higher-quality thermal paste just for slightly better thermal performance. You can buy thermal paste for less than $10.

And that’s pretty much all you need to worry about until you actually start to build your PC. Of course, we have a guide for that, which you should read once you’re ready to start putting your PC together.

Editors’ Choice




Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
Computing

Here’s why Intel’s A380 GPU could really be a hidden gem

The Intel Arc A380, the only Arc Alchemist graphics card that’s currently available, was just tested in various games after being overclocked.

The performance gains caused by the overclocking show that the GPU has the potential to be much better than what some previous benchmarks may have implied.

Intel’s Arc A380 has already been seen in a number of benchmarks and tests, including Intel’s own, which redeemed it slightly after a round of bad news. This time around, the GPU was put to the test by Pro Hi-Tech, a YouTuber who specializes in overclocking. That’s exactly what he did with the Arc A380 — he boosted the card to unlock some of the hidden power it seems to possess. These results could be a sign of the Arc A380 being a lot better than initially thought.

In order to overclock the GPU, the YouTuber had to take a different approach than usual. This is because well-known clock/voltage tools such as MSI Afterburner don’t support Intel Arc just yet. As such, he didn’t alter the GPUs core clocks; instead, he used Intel’s proprietary graphics utility tool in order to tweak the card’s voltage. Pro Hi-Tech adjusted the GPU Performance Boost setting to 55%, and the voltage offset to +0.255mv. Before moving on to testing the boosted GPU in a gaming scenario, the YouTuber also enabled resizable BAR.

These modifications brought up the clock on the Intel Arc A380 by up to an additional 150MHz, meaning a relatively small boost of six percent. However, the power usage went up considerably, from around 35 watts to — at times — more than 55 watts. That’s an increase of up to 57%, but also, it’s an interesting figure. Intel said that the official TDP of the GPU sits at 75 watts.

This brings us to the results of the testing. In order to give an accurate estimate of the card’s performance, the YouTuber compared the results to those of a regular Arc A380 with no overclock and to Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1650, a card that has often been named as a direct competitor for this entry-level GPU.

Pro Hi-Tech

Pro Hi-Tech benchmarked the Intel Arc A380 in Cyberpunk 2077, God of War, Doom Eternal, Rainbow Six Siege, Watch Dogs Legion, and World of Tanks. Each and every game showed a performance increase, which is not all that surprising, but the gains are big enough to bring the Arc GPU to a level where it’s on par with the GTX 1650.

In Cyberpunk 2077, the boosted Arc A380 actually managed to beat Nvidia, reaching 51 frames per second (fps) compared to Nvidia’s 42. Some games, such as Doom Eternal, show a massive increase in fps, going from 64 to 102. On average, the stock version of Intel Arc A380 scored 55.1 fps across six titles; the overclocked version hit 75.6, and the GTX 1650 won by a negligible margin with 75.9. This was first spotted by Tom’s Hardware.

These benchmark results show that there might be more to Intel Arc than meets the eye. However, it’s now up to Intel to bring out that potential and tweak the performance of the GPU without requiring users to overclock it. Let’s hope that all the early benchmark data will prove to be useful and will allow Intel to optimize the Arc A380.

Editors’ Choice




Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
Computing

Here’s why AMD really needs to beat Intel to next-gen CPUs

According to a report by Joseph Moore of Morgan Stanley, AMD is expected to see a large drop in revenue this year in its PC segment. Team Red’s revenue is expected to decline by 26% in 2022.

This highlights just how important it is for AMD to get its next-generation Ryzen 7000 processors out there soon, and even more so, how crucial it is for Zen 4 to arrive before Intel Raptor Lake.

It seems that the presence of Intel Alder Lake and its domination of the processor market has finally caught up to AMD in full. According to an analysis published by Morgan Stanley (and shared by Seeking Alpha), AMD’s PC market revenue is set to take a huge hit this year, and finding the culprit is not difficult. While Intel managed to release Alder Lake in 2021 to great success, with several CPUs quickly climbing the ranks of the best processors of the year, AMD did not follow that with a new generation of CPUs of its own.

Intel Alder Lake brought with it a host of improvements, including a hybrid architecture made up of performance and efficiency cores. It also adds DDR5 RAM and PCIe Gen 5.0 support, both of which AMD still doesn’t offer to this day. More importantly, it’s the latest generation of processors, so any people looking to buy or build a high-end gaming PC will likely turn their heads toward Intel, and this has been the case for all too many months.

The heated competition created by Intel was left unattended by AMD for quite a while. This year, AMD got to strike back by releasing a true gaming beast, the 3D V-Cache-based Ryzen 7 5800X3D. It also released some new Ryzen 5000 processors earlier in 2022, including the beefy Ryzen 9 5950X. However, as we found in our comparison, the Ryzen 9 5950X still buckles underneath the power of the Intel Core i9-12900K, Intel’s flagship for this generation. All of that adds up to a CPU market that’s largely dominated by Intel for the time being.

In a way, this should come as no surprise — the PC market as a whole is on a downward trend. Another report, which also surfaced today, says that Nvidia, AMD, and Apple all tried to lower their upcoming TSMC shipments of chips due to a drop in demand. This news comes alongside a different market forecast that predicts an up to 13% drop in consumer PC shipments globally. Motherboard manufacturers are also expecting this to be a pretty bad year, with Asus expecting to see a 24% drop in sales, and Gigabyte — 27%, according to DigiTimes.

While this report sounds bleak for AMD, all of this can still even out, and in all likelihood, AMD will bounce back soon enough. Morgan Stanley expects AMD to see a decline of just 2% in 2022 followed by a period of stability after that. However, the drop in revenue in 2022 should certainly prompt AMD to release the next-gen Zen 4 processors sooner rather than later.

A recent report suggests that AMD may be purposefully delaying the launch of Ryzen 7000 just to give Ryzen 5000 a little bit more time to shine. With a surplus of current-gen processors, the company is allegedly trying to get some of those units sold before most users move on to the next generation of CPUs. Unfortunately, with Intel Raptor Lake looming ever closer, AMD might be better off just moving on to Zen 4 and snatching up the customers who are still undecided. We’ve got a real CPU battle coming right up, and the timing is definitely going to play a part.

Editors’ Choice




Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
AI

Google is using AI to help users explore the topics they’re searching for — here’s how

“Can you get medicine for someone at the pharmacy?”

It’s a simple enough question for humans to understand, says Pandu Nayak, vice president of search at Google, but such a query represents the cutting-edge of machine comprehension. You and I can see that the questioner is asking if they can fill out a subscription for another person, Nayak tells The Verge. But until recently, if you typed this question into Google, it would direct you to websites explaining how to fill out your prescription. “It missed the subtlety that the prescription was for someone else,” he says.

The key to delivering the right answer, says Nayak, is AI, which Google is using today to improve its search results. The prescription query was solved in 2019, when Google integrated a machine learning model called BERT into search. As part of a new generation of AI language systems known as large language models (the most famous of which is OpenAI’s GPT-3), BERT was able to parse the nuances of our prescription query correctly and return the right results. Now, in 2021, Google is updating its search tools yet again, using another acronymized AI system that’s BERT’s successor: MUM.

Originally revealed at Google I/O in May, MUM is at least 1,000 times bigger than BERT, says Nayak; on the same order of magnitude as GPT-3, which has 175 billion parameters. (Parameters being a measure of a model’s size and complexity.) MUM is also multimodal, meaning it processes visual data as well as text. And it’s been trained on 75 languages, which allows the system to “generalize from languages where there’s a lot of data, like English, to languages where there’s less data, like Hindi,” says Nayak. That helps in ensuring that any upgrades it provides are spread across Google’s many markets.

A new feature rolling out in the coming months named “Things to know” will use AI to help users explore topics related to their searches.
Image: Google

Nayak speaks of MUM with pride, as the latest AI wunderkind trained in Google’s labs. But the company is also cautious. Large language models are controversial for a number of reasons. They’re prone to lying, for example — as happy writing fiction as fact. And they’ve been shown time and time again to encode racial and gender biases. This is a problem that Google’s own researchers have highlighted and been shot down for doing so. Notably, Google fired two of its top ethics researchers, Timnit Gebru and Margaret Mitchell, after they co-authored a paper highlighting problems with exactly this technology.

For these reasons, perhaps, the changes to search that Google is launching are relatively restrained. The company is introducing three new features “in the coming months,” some powered by MUM, each of which is ancillary to its search engine’s primary function — ranking web results. But Nayak says they’re just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Google’s ambitions to improve its products with AI. “To me, this is just the start,” he says.

First, though, the features. Number one is called “Things to know” and acts as an advanced snippet function, pulling out answers to predicted questions based on user’s searches. Type in “acrylic painting,” for example, and “Things to know” will automatically generate new queries, like “How do you use household items in acrylic painting.” Nayak says there are certain “sensitive queries” that won’t trigger this response (like “bomb making”) but that most topics are automatically covered. It will be rolling out in the “coming months.”

The second new feature suggests further searches that might help users broaden or refine their queries. So, with the “acrylic painting” search above, Google might now suggest a narrower focus, like “acrylic painting techniques,” or a broader remit, like “different styles of painting.” As Nayak puts it, Google wants to use AI’s ability to recognize “the space of possibilities within [a] topic” and help people explore variants of their own searches. This feature will be available immediately, though it is not powered by MUM.

The third new feature is more straightforward and based on video transcription. When users are searching for video content, Google will use MUM to suggest new searches based on what it hears within the video. Nayak gives the example of watching a video about Macaroni penguins and Google suggesting a new search of “Macaroni penguin life story.” Again, it’s about suggesting new areas of search for users. This feature will launch on September 29th in English in the US.

In addition to these AI-based changes, Google is also expanding its “About This” feature in search, which will give new information about the source of results. It’s also bringing its MUM-powered AI smarts to its visual search tech, Google Lens.

Google will give users new option to “refine” or “broaden” their search — using MUM to explore related topics.
Image: Google

The change to search is definitely the main focus, but what’s interesting is also what Google isn’t launching. When it demoed MUM and another model LaMDA at I/O earlier this year, it showed off ambitious features where users could literally talk to the subjects of their searches, like the dwarf planet Pluto, and ask them questions. In another, users asked expansive questions, like “I just hiked Mt. Adams, I want to hike Mt. Fuji in the fall. What should I do differently?” before being directed to relevant snippets and web pages.

It seems these sorts of searches, which are rooted deeply in the functionality of large language models, are too free-form for Google to launch publicly. Most likely, the reason for this is that the language models could easily say the wrong thing. That’s when those bias problems come into play. For example, when GPT-3 is asked to complete a sentence like “Audacious is to boldness as Muslim is to …,” nearly a quarter of the time, it finishes the sentence with the word “terrorism.” These aren’t problems that are easy to navigate.

When questioned about these difficulties, Nayak reframes the problems. He says it’s obvious that language models suffer from biases but that this isn’t necessarily the challenge for Google. “Even if the model has biases, we’re not putting it out for people to consume directly,” he says. “We’re launching products. And what matters is, are the products serving our users? Are they surfacing undesirable things or not?”

But the company can’t completely stamp out these problems in its finished products either. Google’s Photo app infamously tagged Black people as “gorillas” in one well-known incident, and the sort of racial and gender-based discrimination present in language AI is often much more subtle and difficult to detect.

There’s also the problem of what the shift to AI-generated answers might mean for the wider future of Google search. In a speculative paper published earlier this year, Google’s researchers considered the question of replacing search altogether with large language models and highlighted a number of difficulties with the approach. (Nayak is definitive that this is not a serious prospect for the company: “That is absolutely not the plan.”)

And there’s also the consistent grumbling that Google continues to take up more space in search results with its own product, shunting searches to Google Shopping, Google Maps, and so on. The new MUM-powered “Things to know” feature certainly seems to be part of this trend: filleting out the most informative search results from web pages, and potentially stopping users from clicking through, and therefore sustaining the creator of that data.

Nayak’s response to this is that Google delivers more traffic to the web each year and that if it doesn’t “build compelling experiences” for users, then the company “will not be around to send traffic to the web” in the future. It’s not a wholly convincing answer. Google may deliver more traffic each year, but how much of that is just a function of increasing web use? And even if Google does disappear from search, wouldn’t other search engines pick up the slack in sending people traffic?

Whatever the case, it’s clear that the company is putting AI language understanding at the heart of its search tools — at the heart of Google, indeed. There are many open questions about the challenges of integrating this tech, but for now, Google is happy to continue the search for answers of its own.

Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
Computing

Charging via USB-C for laptops: Here’s what you need to know

The arrival of USB-C and USB-C laptop chargers has been a game-changer for many electronics. You can use the connection to charge devices and transfer media, and it’s conveniently reversible. Top laptops no longer need a big power brick — you can just use USB-C.

But there are some precautions you should take when charging over USB-C. Here’s everything you need to know.

USB charging and laptops

You have probably already used USB connections to charge smaller devices either from your computer or from an outlet. That works well because past USB connections had enough wattage to successfully power up those smaller batteries. Prior versions of USB could only handle a limited amount of power, which is why laptop chargers have typically retained their larger, bulkier cables.

USB-C changed that. This type of connection now provides enough power to juice up most laptops (particularly the Type-C 3.0 version). That’s why laptop charging is a new topic of conversation for USB connections, especially now that more laptops are entering the market with USB-C charging compatibility.

So, how do you know if your current laptop has a USB-C port that also works with charging? You could always look it up, but the easiest way is to simply examine your charger. You can identify a Type-C charger by its unique features. USB-C’s connector is small and rounded, significantly different from the old USB version. It also works no matter which way you connect it to the right port, so there’s no need to flip it the right way around. If your charger uses this connection and plugs into your USB-C port, you have a winner!

USB-C chargers are turning up on many different devices, so it’s not strictly relegated to laptops. Newer phones use USB-C charging, car chargers may come with USB-C ports, and portable chargers (discussed more below) can have USB-C options. But laptops tend to have USB-C more frequently than other devices, at least for now.

Will any port work with any charger?

USB-C is a universal charging standard. That means that, technically, it doesn’t matter what USB-C charger you use — it should be able to power up a laptop with a USB-C charging port and power bank. In the real world, this is taking a while to come true. Today the majority of laptop USB-C chargers are interchangeable, but it’s not guaranteed.

Some laptops come with USB-C ports that don’t charge. This is most common on laptops that come with their own proprietary charger — although a number of laptops can be charged either way, only the propriety charger tends to power up a laptop more quickly. The Samsung Notebook 9 is an example of that, as is the 2019 HP Envy 13. If you’re not sure exactly how to charge your laptop, check the manufacturer’s website, or look up a review of the system here at Digital Trends.

Laptops that rely entirely on USB-C, meanwhile, might not charge with just any charger. PCWorld, in its testing, found that HP’s Spectre x2 wouldn’t charge with any USB-C charger besides its own. HP said that that was intentional because a bad charger could damage the device or cause it to malfunction. Other devices, like the Apple MacBook Pro, don’t have such tight restrictions — a new USB-C authentication system could help with this issue in the near future.

While we haven’t personally heard of any damage from using a USB-C charger other than the one that came with your laptop, there’s always a slim risk when plugging a laptop into an unknown power source. Faulty cables can also be a problem. Microsoft acknowledges this by saying that you can charge a Surface with a USB-C port, but it’s highly recommended that you use the Surface charger that came with the laptop because a USB-C charger would end up being very slow due to how power is metered within the device. In short, it’s a good idea to buy cables and chargers from reputable sources and think twice about using that cable you found laying on the ground in a conference room.

You can buy additional USB-C cables for your own security.

Your settings are important

You will also want to watch your USB-C power mode, which you can find in your laptop settings, usually in the power/battery section. Here, you may find that you can switch Type-C’s output, choosing whether to receive power or send power. If your USB-C laptop charger isn’t working when by all rights it should be, check your settings to make sure it is set to receive power.

Complex charging arrangements

U USB-C cable (Ravpower C to C cable) attached to a MacBook and an external battery power bank.

Because USB-C is universal and can do multiple things at once, this allows for some unique charging circumstances. Two worth noting are:

Pass-through: Today’s charging hubs also offer something called pass-through charging. This refers to a hub that can connect multiple USB peripherals to a laptop while also charging that laptop’s battery. Basically, it’s a combination between a hub and a USB-C charging cable, so you don’t need two different USB-C ports for each task. HooToo’s popular 6-in-1 USB-C Hub is a good example of this technology. There are other innovative options, too, like sending video to an external monitor while also making sure your laptop is charged during a presentation.

Portable chargers: Maybe you have a portable charger with an old USB connection but a phone that only has a USB-C connection (which is not compatible with older USB ports). You can link the charger to a laptop that has both types of ports, and use it to power up your phone in a roundabout way. Do not try to use your laptop Type C charger to charge your phone directly. The voltage requirements are too different for most devices currently available, and multi-device chargers are still a nascent part of the market.

USB-C and Thunderbolt 3

The output and input ports of a Thunderbolt 3 USB-C cable.

There’s a variant of USB-C that’s a lot more powerful — Thunderbolt 3. Choose a laptop with at least one Thunderbolt 3-enabled USB-C port, and you can connect multiple 4K monitors at 60Hz and greatly increase your laptop’s gaming performance via an external GPU enclosure.

Thunderbolt 3 allows for a number of charging arrangements: It can “chain” up to six different devices together and easily charge while transmitting data at higher speeds than USB-C alone, up to 100W.

Since Thunderbolt 3 uses the same connection as USB-C, manufacturers are quick to label laptop ports if they also have Thunderbolt 3 technology — you can usually tell just by reading their descriptions. However, Thunderbolt 3 connections only work if you use the right cables, so make sure you have Thunderbolt 3 cables if you want to take advantage of those ports’ full features and bandwidth.

For Apple users

An Apple Lightning cable connected to an iPhone.
Nomad Lightning cable

Apple users should know that they aren’t immune to the USB-C transition we’re seeing. Currently, Apple uses Lightning cables for iOS charging, a proprietary design that silos off of all  Apple mobile charging accessories. The company has already switched to USB-C charging for MacBooks, and today’s iPad Pros also use USB-C charging. iPhones and iPads are currently unique in their Lightning cable reliance.

Apple is going to have to reimagine its current Lightning cable situation to fulfill the EU’s suspected precedent, demanding a set model of USB-C charging cables. Failure to comply with these demands will result in the loss of valuable European laptop buyers. Combine that with speculation of Apple ditching charging cables entirely, instead of focusing on a portless setup (most likely using a magnetic attachment on the back of the iPhone), and we may see the end of the Lightning cable in the next couple of years.

Furthermore, a recent rumor suggests that Apple will forgo its Lightning port for all its devices, starting with its iPhone range from 2025 onward. Another report also highlights how the company is reportedly preparing to remove the port entirely from the AirPods’ charging case, mice, etc.

The future of USB-C charging

Current USB options are about to receive a major overhaul. According to industry insiders, not only will USB have the fastest speeds ever, but they will also be universally compatible across all brands of devices. The dawn of 2021 could see an entirely new generation of laptops that espouse the new USB4 port. Of course, USB4 adds yet another layer of complexity when it comes to USB protocols. There’s even more to know about the new tech:

  • USB4 will be available on USB-C ports.
  • USB4 increases speeds and charging power to match Thunderbolt 3, up to 100W.
  • USB4 will require cables formatted for USB4 to enable its new features.
  • USB4 will be backward compatible with USB 2.0.

We’re guessing that all other ports may start giving way to the USB-C. USB-C ports will soon outweigh all other ports in importance, taking over as the primary port. In the future, USB4 and Thunderbolt will likely be the standard.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do all USB-C ports allow charging?

Although USB-C is increasingly becoming more commonplace as the go-to standard for charging, it doesn’t necessarily mean that all USB-C ports allow charging.

There are certain laptops — generally the systems that sport their own charger — that feature USB-C ports which don’t offer charging capabilities.

Can I charge my laptop via USB-C?

Generally speaking, if your laptop comes with a USB-C charging feature, then you should have no problem with charging your system via USB-C. That said, some mobile systems (notebooks and laptops) require you to use a specific cable that is exclusively made to be compatible with that system.

Is USB-C charging better?

USB-C charging is better than any other alternative charging platform. Due to the advanced technical capabilities of the standard, using USB-C charging for your system means it will generally charge it faster than, say, a regular power cable.

For example, a USB Type-C cable that offers up to 240 watts of power was recently revealed, which is unheard of for USB-C. It just goes to show the possibilities that USB-C brings with it.

Can USB-C let you charge your laptop without a charger?

Yes, and no. Providing your notebook or laptop comes with a USB-C port that was specifically designed to supply charging support, then you can charge it without a regular charger. However, as we mentioned above, not all laptops offer USB-C ports that you can utilize in order to charge your device.

Editors’ Choice




Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
Computing

Victim of Zoombombing? Here’s How to Collect Your Payout

If you’re a Zoom user, you could be entitled to a minimum $15 payment for your troubles over the company’s security flaws that enabled the practice of “Zoombombing.”

The payment amount comes after Zoom announced earlier this year that it had reached an agreement of $85 million to settle the privacy issues at the heart of the class-action lawsuit.

Amazon

Zoombombing emerged as a result of lax security protocols inside Zoom’s videoconferencing and collaboration app, which gained popularity as a work tool during the global pandemic. Outsiders were able to hijack and disrupt private video calls as a result of Zoom’s security practices at the time. Disruptions could potentially involve vulgar, racist, pornographic, or otherwise objectionable conten.

The company has since made changes to how Zoom operates to prevent Zoombombing disruptions.

Even if you have never experienced Zoombombing, you can still be entitled to compensation as part of the class-action settlement terms. At the minimum, the agreement will pay you $15 for a claim if you ever registered, used, opened, or downloaded the Zoom Meeting App in the period between March 30, 2016 and July 30, 2021.

If you are a paid user of the Zoom Meetings App, you may eligible for a larger $25 settlement. Paid users can submit a claim for the larger amount of either $25 or up to 15% of the subscription cost before any optional features were tacked on, according to Zoom’s settlement agreement.

The bad news is that if you are a government user or an owner of an enterprise-level account, you’re excluded from making any claims.

If you qualify for either compensation level, you can make an online claim. The claim form must be completed by March 5, 2022. According to The Verge, the preliminary settlement has been approved by the court, but the final approval is subject to a final hearing scheduled for April 7, 2022.

Zoom has denied any wrongdoing as part of its settlement agreement.

As a result of the nuisance created by Zoombombing, the company has since made changes to the platform, including alerting users and hosts when meeting participants join from third-party apps, providing users with privacy training, and fixing its end-to-end encryption technology to make video calls more secure.

Editors’ Choice




Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
Game

New World is getting a ton of new content: Here’s how to try it before launch

New World is getting a massive update later this month, and the update is adding so much that Amazon is launching a Public Test Realm (PTR) to put the new content through its paces first. A number of video games have PTRs to test updates before they go live for everyone, including some MMOs. New World‘s PTR is going live later today and will give players a chance to test out these upcoming features – which include a new weapon, new quests, and new enemies – for themselves.

New World PTR details

To start, it should be noted that all of the new content detailed in this article is not going live in the game yet, only on the PTR. The PTR itself is opening later today, at 12 PM PST/3 PM EST, with two servers, one on US East and one on Central Europe. That, as New World players have likely already guessed, means that access to the PTR will be limited.

Everyone who owns a copy of New World will find that the New World PTR has been added to their Steam libraries. I don’t see it in my Steam library at the moment, so the rollout may be taking Amazon longer than anticipated. In any case, the New World PTR will be a standalone application that needs to be installed before users can join.

Like other games that offer a PTR, New World‘s PTR won’t always be accessible. Instead, Amazon will open it up for predefined test periods, and at the end of those test periods, the servers will be closed, and progress will be wiped. Amazon also asks those who join the PTR to submit feedback on the PTR sub-forum or through the in-game feedback tool.

What the first PTR test includes

The inaugural PTR patch has a significant amount of new content in it. This update introduces a new weapon called the Void Gauntlet, which scales with both Focus and Intelligence. While that Intelligence scaling makes it a good choice for any mage players out there, the Focus scaling means that players using Life Staff now have a more offensive tool at their disposal for the times they aren’t frantically healing their friends and party members.

Amazon explains that the Annihilation tree for the Void Gauntlet will center on close-range damage with the Void Blade, while the Decay tree will be more support-based with the Orb of Decay, which can heal allies and place debuffs on enemies.

The update also introduces a new enemy type – Varangian Raiders consisting of Hewers, Scouts, Knights, and Archers – and has increased enemy variety. The announcement of greater enemy variety will likely be a welcome one among New World‘s player base, as the lack of variety has been a sticking point for some since launch.

The Varangian Raiders will also be the subject of two new quests, the first of which can be obtained by Abigail Rose in Western Everfall. Since Amazon says the level range of these new enemies will be 16-20, the quests associated with them will likely be similarly low-level. Those who have reached the level cap may not want to bother seeking out these quests, but it may not be a bad idea for those having some trouble earning gold in the endgame.

This update also contains new content for endgame players in its new Legendary Weapon Quests for the Void Gauntlet. You’ll need to be level 60 and have the Void Gauntlet’s level maxed before you can start this quest, and when you’ve accomplished that, you’ll want to find Antiquarian Abbington in Reekwater to begin.

With this PTR update, Amazon has also made some improvements to main storyline quests, implemented some changes to PvP missions, and has linked all of the trading posts in the game – something it signaled it would do last week. We don’t have any indication of when this update will be hitting live servers, but you can read more about it and the PTR over on the New World website.

Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
Game

Animal Crossing Version 2.0 update surprise: Here’s what’s inside

Animal Crossing: New Horizons fans have received a rather pleasant surprise, as the game’s version 2.0 update has gone live a little bit early. Initially, we expected the version 2.0 update to go live on Friday, November 5th, alongside the Happy Home Paradise DLC. While it seems we still have to wait until Friday for the DLC to land, the version 2.0 update is available now and ready to be played.

What’s included in Animal Crossing: New Horizons version 2.0

While the Happy Home Paradise expansion is paid DLC, the version 2.0 update is not and is free to everyone who owns Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Perhaps the most significant addition in the update is Brewster, who will open a cafe called The Roost in the museum after players complete a task for Blathers. Players can join island residents and friends in the cafe for some coffee, and they can even use amiibo cards to summon coffee drinking companions as well.

Brewster isn’t the only returning character in this update, as Kapp’n will be making a return as well. He’ll ship players off to new islands that may be home to unique flora or islands in the midst of different seasons. Essentially, it sounds like Kapp’n could be a good way to obtain items that wouldn’t usually be available on home islands.

Gyroids are also making their return with this update, and players will be able to dig them up just like they do fossils. Gyroids can be discovered buried in the ground after rain showers, or players can bury gyroid fragments that grow into full gyroids overnight. As in previous Animal Crossing games, gyroids will make various sounds when placed, and they’ll react to music as well. They can even be customized this time around to match the design of the room they’re placed in.

With this update, Harv’s Island is also getting some renovations as players will be able to contribute bells to turn the island into an open-air market featuring shops from numerous peddlers. Cooking has also been added to New Horizons with this update, and players will be able to grow a variety of vegetables to help further their cooking ambitions.

So, even though the Happy Home Paradise DLC packs a lot of content, this update is no slouch either. You can check out the video we’ve embedded above for details on everything included in this update.

A surprise release or a mistake?

Interestingly enough, there seems to be no official confirmation from Nintendo that this update is indeed live. The page that catalogs all of the Animal Crossing: New Horizons updates on the Nintendo support site hasn’t been updated at the time of this writing and instead shows the most recent version as 1.11.1. Likewise, neither the Nintendo of America nor the official Animal Crossing Twitter accounts have made any mention of this update.

The radio silence from Nintendo has left us wondering if this surprise release was actually a planned one or if it was a mistake. If it was a mistake, it’s unlikely that Nintendo would confirm it, so we’ll likely never know what the truth is; we’d just assume there would be a little more fanfare trailing this launch.

In any case, our Switches confirm that the update is live, and while it was automatically downloaded for us, you may need to manually update Animal Crossing: New Horizons to get it. Doing so is easy – simply highlight Animal Crossing: New Horizons in your Switch library, press the “+” button, and then select “Software Update.” We’ll let you know when the Happy Home Paradise DLC is live, but while we wait, New Horizons players can dive into the new update and see what it has to offer.

Repost: Original Source and Author Link