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Posts with tag graphics-cards

Divining just what that "non-personal system information" might be

As Eliah noted the other day, Blizzard is running another hardware survey -- your WoW client will be sending them information about what kinds of hardware are in your computer. They've done this before, and as you may have realized, this type of information helps them determine system requirements for future games. A few people have already speculated that they're testing the waters for another WoW expansion, but I doubt any expansion is that far along in the process yet: my guess is that this latest round of hardware testing is actually being done for final calibration on Starcraft II, due out this fall. Blizzard doesn't share this hardware information with us, but Valve, another company that has a really wide install base with its Steam service, does release regular information about the kinds of computers its games are running on.

There is, of course, another question here: do we really want Blizzard jumping in and taking this information from us? There aren't any obvious reasons to protect this information (most computers will give it up to any Internet-connected application without issue), but you never know: do you really want Blizzard checking out what's on your hard drive or what accessories you've hooked up to your computer? We'd presume that they don't dive into software information (like checking your computer's HD for signs of competing MMO installs), but certainly they could. The list of what they check includes: "CPU, RAM, operating system, video, audio, HD/CD/DVD, and network connection," but we don't know if that's everything or not (the Terms of Use, under "XVIII Acknowledgements" says something similar). And as Blizzard's alert says, while we do get a momentary notification that this information is being sent, users who have merged their Battle.net accounts will no longer even see that flash of a message, even though their info is still being sent. The ToS says Blizzard doesn't have to notify us of the survey, but they have in the past anyway.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Hardware, Account Security

New Nvidia beta drivers, and a fix for WoW in SLI mode

I have to admit, sometimes I dread it when new video card drivers come out. It always seems like something about them goes wrong, and one of my favorite games refuses to work well with them, and I end up having to roll back to some old drivers just to play what I want to play again. That said, sometimes they also work well, and your graphics run smoother, and life is good. As Alex said to me earlier, Azeroth is a whole lot prettier when it's at 90 fps instead of 10 fps.

But seriously, to the point. Here's a heads up to all our Nvidia card users who like living on the edge as far as upgrading goes. Nvidia has just released new beta drivers for their graphics cards. We repeat: these are beta drivers, so only install if you know what you're doing.

Here's the links:

WoW gets a mention in the release notes as well. If you've been having performance problems in WoW lately and you have a Geforce 6800/6600 GT, it looks like there might be a fix for you.

[Via worldofwar.net]

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Filed under: News items, Hardware

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