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October 2010



Game Patches

31 October 2010


  • Emergency 2012 - 1.1 Patch
  • Farming Simulator 2011 - 1.4 Patch
  • The Sims 3 - 1.17.60 Patch
  • The Sims 3: Ambitions - 4.5.6 Patch
  • The Sims 3: Fast Lane Stuff - 5.2.4 Patch
  • The Sims 3: High-End Loft Stuff - 3.8.6 Patch
  • The Sims 3: World Adventures - 2.12.8 Patch


  • Site Update

    30 October 2010


    I notice there's been some drama over my recent recommendation not to use the popular 'D3D9 Fix' for Fallout: New Vegas, and this bears some clarification. Firstly, apparently a newer version of the fix is available which only disables facial emotions instead of also altering the shader package used by some cards. While this is certainly an improvement, I still recommend using the ToggleEmotions (temo) console command, as this is a much cleaner temporary solution which addresses the same issue but also guarantees that no other changes are made. As for the long-term problems of using the DLL fix, the primary one is that of potential conflicts with future game patches. I'm certain that Fallout: New Vegas will be patched to fix this performance issue caused by the facial generation system, along with other bugs. However since it is a Steam-only game, patches are deployed automatically and without prior warning. For more advanced users this may not be a major concern, but I believe it to be undesirable for the average user to blindly follow the constant prompting to install this fix.


    More broadly, this issue highlights the different schools of thought on 'tweaking'. As software and games in particular have become increasingly complex, my approach to tweaking over the past few years has turned towards being more conservative. My primary aim now is to fine-tune software while also minimizing the number of variables on a system which can be the source of problems. I've had a great deal of success with this approach over the years on a range of hardware. I've also provided evidence by way of dozens of gaming videos. Ultimately, if you're a 'performance at any cost' type of person, or you're only interested in quick fixes, then it's likely this site is not for you.


    Update: For those worried the temo command prevents achievements, it has not stopped me from getting a range of achievements while playing FNV. For those who are already using the DLL and are worried that it's going to "harm" their PC, that's not the case. Apparently this post shows the origins of this DLL fix, and again, primarily relates to preventing a bug with the facial generation system. I still recommend that the average user avoid the DLL and use temo as a clean temporary workaround, along with general system optimization and proper FNV tweaking, until a fix is incorporated into an official patch. Obsidian/Bethesda have been quite quick to patch Fallout: New Vegas so far.



    Game Patches

    30 October 2010


  • Battlefield: Bad Company 2 - R9 Patch
  • Counter-Strike: Source - Update via Steam
  • FIFA 2011 - 1.01 Patch
  • Global Agenda - Update via Steam
  • Left 4 Dead 2 - Update via Steam


  • Internet Explorer 9 Preview 6

    29 October 2010


    Microsoft has released a new Internet Explorer 9 Preview 6, which is designed primarily for developer feedback purposes. This preview introduces two major new HTML5 features along with bug fixes and performance enhancements.



    Shockwave 11.5.9.615

    29 October 2010


    Adobe has released a new Version 11.5.9.615 of the Shockwave player plugin for browsers.



    Game Patches

    29 October 2010


  • America's Army 3 - Update via Steam
  • Armada 2526 - 1.4.0.0 Patch
  • Booster Trooper - Update via Steam
  • Combat Mission: Afghanistan - 1.02 Patch
  • Delve Deeper - Update via Steam
  • Doc Clock: The Toasted Sandwich of Time - Update via Steam
  • Team Fortress 2 - Update via Steam


  • CCleaner 3.00.1303

    29 October 2010


    A new Version 3.00.1303 of the free CCleaner system cleaning utility has been released. This update introduces a native 64-bit version, new user interface graphics, new scanning architecture, support for several additional applications, and a range of other improvements and bug fixes.



    Nvidia Forceware 261.00

    28 October 2010


    Nvidia has released the Forceware 261.00 driver for Windows XP, Vista and 7. These drivers are a special release intended primarily for developers, providing support for the CUDA Toolkit 3.2 RC2, so they are best used for experimental purposes.



    Firefox 3.6.12

    28 October 2010


    Mozilla has released Version 3.6.12 of the Firefox browser. This version fixes a critical security issue.



    Game Patches

    28 October 2010


  • Global Agenda - Update via Steam
  • Left 4 Dead - Update via Steam
  • Lionheart: King's Crusade - 1.01 Patch
  • Patrician IV - 1.2 Patch
  • Rulers of Nations - 4.17 Patch
  • Team Fortress 2 - Update via Steam
  • World of Warcraft - 4.0.1a Patch


  • Fallout: New Vegas

    27 October 2010


    I've been receiving a lot of emails about this, so I thought it important to finally speak out about it. An unofficial 'fix' to performance issues in Fallout: New Vegas has been doing the rounds for the past week as some sort of global solution to all problems. I do not recommend this D3D9 Fix at all, as it causes Fallout: New Vegas to falsely redetect your graphics card as a lower model, and in turn use a lower shader package. It can reduce image quality and cause a range of long-term problems. A much better solution is to use the ToggleEmotions (temo) console command in each Fallout: New Vegas session to temporarily disable facial emotions on NPCs, thereby removing the major source of the slowdowns which may occur in areas where there are several characters. This method will not reduce your image quality or cause other potential problems. This is also a good time to remind everyone that PC gaming does not involve any quick fixes. If you're having performance issues in Fallout: New Vegas or any other game, the correct solution inevitably involves properly optimizing and maintaining your entire PC, along with research and intelligent tweaking of the game, not just grasping at the first quick fix that happens to come along. Additionally, official patches and driver updates resolve many of the legitimate problems, so some patience is also involved.



    AMD Catalyst 10.10c Hotfix

    27 October 2010


    AMD has released the Catalyst 10.10c Hotfix graphics driver for Windows Vista and 7. This driver provides OpenGL 4.1 beta support, Crossfire improvements for Dead Rising 2, Metro 2033, F1 2011 and Fallout: New Vegas, support for the new Morphological Anti-Aliasing (MLAA) feature, as well as performance improvements in MLAA on the HD 6870 and HD 6850 cards.



    Windows 7 SP1 RC

    27 October 2010


    Microsoft has released a Release Candidate (RC) of Service Pack 1 (SP1) for Windows 7. This Service Pack does not contain any major new features for Windows 7, it is primarily a compilation of existing updates. Furthermore it is not recommended that average users install a non-final version of a Service Pack. The final version of SP1 is expected in the first half of 2011.



    Windows Updates

    27 October 2010


    Microsoft has released several non-critical updates for Windows which you can get through Windows Update. Alternatively you can view and download them individually from here - click the 'Released' column header once to sort by date.



    CPU-Z 1.56

    27 October 2010


    A new Version 1.56 of the CPU-Z information utility has been released. This update provides support for new chipsets.



    Game Patches

    27 October 2010


  • Garry's Mod - Update via Steam
  • Power of Defense - Update via Steam
  • Puzzle Dimension - Update via Steam


  • Game Patches

    26 October 2010


  • DogFighter - Update via Steam
  • Worms Reloaded - Update via Steam


  • Nvidia Forceware 260.99

    25 October 2010


    Nvidia has released the Official Forceware 260.99 WHQL certified driver for Windows XP, Vista and 7. This driver is for the GeForce 6, 7, 8, 9, 100, 200, 300, 400 and ION series cards. It contains performance improvements in Civilization V, Fallout 3, Final Fantasy XIV and Formula 1 Racing, adds SLI profiles for NFS: Hot Pursuit, Star Wars: Force Unleashed II and Fallout: New Vegas, improves compatibility in Fallout: New Vegas when AA is enabled, improves ALT+TAB compatibility in several games, adds new 3D Vision profiles, and changes the 3D Vision installation process. The driver package also contains the 9.10.0514 PhysX drivers.



    Fallout: New Vegas

    23 October 2010


    Fallout: New Vegas has recently been released, and is extremely similar to Fallout 3, albeit with several enhancements in the gameplay department. For those of you considering purchasing the game I've prepared a YouTube Video demonstrating the gameplay and graphics from an early part of the game. It should give you a feel for the general atmosphere and basic mechanics of Fallout: New Vegas. Note that although it has been patched twice so far, it still has several known bugs, such as graphical oddities and crashes on exit.


    Update: Tweaking Fallout: New Vegas is similar to tweaking Fallout 3, so see the Advanced Tweaking section of the Fallout 3 Tweak Guide. Note that tweaks which would normally go into the Fallout.ini file must be made in Fallout_default.ini found under the \Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\fallout new vegas directory.



    AMD Catalyst 10.10a Hotfix

    23 October 2010


    AMD has released the Catalyst 10.10a Hotfix graphics driver for the new HD 6870 and HD 6850 cards under Windows Vista and 7. This driver provides support for the new Morphological Anti-Aliasing feature, performance improvements in Aliens vs. Predator and StarCraft 2, as well as improvements in OpenGL games.



    AMD Catalyst 10.10

    23 October 2010


    AMD has released the official Catalyst 10.10 graphics driver for the HD 2000 series and above. This WHQL certified driver introduces a separate Accelerated Parallel Processing (APP) technology edition of the Catalysts which includes an OpenCL driver, has video acceleration for WMV videos, enhanced Dynamic Contrast controls, introduces AMD HD3D technology for 3D blu-ray playback and 3D gaming, as well as containing performance improvements and bug fixes.



    Game Patches

    23 October 2010


  • Civilization V - Update via Steam
  • Left 4 Dead 2 - Update via Steam
  • WW2: Time of Wrath - 1.81 Patch


  • Site Update

    22 October 2010


    I've been informed that McAfee Site Advisor has started flagging TweakGuides.com with a warning as shown here. As the warning itself states, this is because of links to Tweaktown.com, which apparently is serving potentially annoying/harmful ads or downloads. There is no safety issue or reason for concern while browsing TweakGuides.com, however just to be sure I've removed all links to my old guides on Tweaktown.com.



    Game Patches

    22 October 2010


  • Arsenal of Democracy: A Hearts of Iron Game - Update via Steam
  • Atlantica Online - 30308 Patch
  • Diamond Dan - Update via Steam
  • Fallout: New Vegas - Update via Steam
  • Lionheart: Kings' Crusade - Update via Steam
  • ProtoGalaxy - Update via Steam
  • Rome: Total War - Europa Barbarorum - 1.2 Patch
  • Star Ruler - Update via Steam


  • Site Update

    21 October 2010


    Some of you will recall that I've previously mentioned producing new game guides sponsored by a major hardware company. This is still happening - I've already written two guides and am working on a third. However the company's new website, which is geared towards PC gamers, and which will be the home of these new guides, is still being finalized. The new guides aren't as lengthy as my previous game guides - which can be viewed as a positive or a negative, depending on your point of view - but they do cover the most important information for each game. When the new site is launched I'll provide all the details.



    Game Patches

    21 October 2010


  • Fallout: New Vegas - Update via Steam
  • Garry's Mod - Update via Steam
  • Left 4 Dead 2 - Update via Steam
  • Patrician IV - Update via Steam
  • Railworks 2 - Update via Steam
  • Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter - Update via Steam
  • Team Fortress 2 - Update via Steam


  • Chrome 7.0.517.41

    20 October 2010


    Google has released Version 7.0.517.41 of the Chrome browser. Changes in this version include an updated HTML5 parser, directory upload via input tag, and a large number of bug fixes.



    GPU-Z 0.4.7

    20 October 2010


    GPU-Z, a free graphics card information utility, has reached Version 0.4.7. Changes include support for new chipsets as well as a range of bug fixes.



    Firefox 3.6.11

    20 October 2010


    Mozilla has released Version 3.6.11 of the Firefox browser. This version fixes several stability and security issues.



    Game Patches

    20 October 2010


  • Left 4 Dead 2 - Update via Steam
  • Mafia 2 - Update via Steam
  • Power of Defense - Update via Steam
  • Team Fortress 2 - Update via Steam
  • The Polynomial - Update via Steam


  • Game Patches

    19 October 2010


  • Team Fortress 2 - Update via Steam
  • The Polynomial - Update via Steam


  • Nvidia Forceware 260.89

    18 October 2010


    Nvidia has released the Official Forceware 260.89 WHQL certified driver for Windows XP, Vista and 7. Aside from WHQL certification, this driver appears to be the same as the earlier Beta Forceware 260.89 drivers released last week. The driver package also contains the 9.10.0514 PhysX drivers.



    Crysis: Revisiting a PC Classic

    16 October 2010


    Shortly it will be exactly three years since the release of what I consider to be the last great PC exclusive - Crysis. Recently reinstalling Crysis, I expected to see that it had dated, but this wasn't the case at all. At maximum settings the game still looks better than pretty much anything else out there, packing every type of advanced visual and physics effect available. And despite it being fashionable to ridicule Crysis as just a pretty tech demo, personally I find the gameplay to be excellent. The enemy AI, the weapons, the interactivity with the game world, and of course the nanosuit, along with a whole range of small touches mean that no two playthroughs are ever the same. The few tedious moments are more than offset by the sheer atmosphere of the game, and several attack/infiltration scenarios in large open areas which you can play over and over again using any tactics and weapons you wish. Then of course there's the fact that Crysis, as befitting a true PC exclusive, is extremely customizable thanks to over 1,600 command variables, an incredibly powerful editor and thousands of user-made mods. Few games these days have these sort of credentials.


    So I thought it was time to give this misunderstood and much-maligned PC classic a small tribute on its impending third birthday. I've uploaded several HD videos on YouTube at maximum visual settings:


  • The First Video plays through the initial portion of one of my favorite engagements against the KPA.
  • The Second Video provides a more general look at the atmosphere of the game's tropical island setting.
  • The Third Video is for people who like big explosions, briefly demonstrating a nuke mod.

  • As more and more people now have the hardware to truly appreciate it in all its glory, I recommend that you reinstall Crysis, or if you don't have it, grab it from a bargain bin or from Steam. Ramp up the graphics and play it on Delta difficulty and you'll see what I'm talking about. Here's hoping Crysis 2, set for release in March 2011, lives up to the Crysis name.



    Game Patches

    16 October 2010


  • Left 4 Dead - Update via Steam
  • Left 4 Dead 2 - Update via Steam


  • Game Patches

    15 October 2010


  • StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty - 1.1.2 Patch
  • World of Warcraft - 4.0.0 Patch


  • Game Patches

    14 October 2010


  • Arsenal of Democracy - 1.05 Patch
  • Booster Trooper - Update via Steam
  • Pro Cycling Manager 2010 - 1.0.4.2 Patch
  • Rulers of Nations - 4.14 Patch
  • Soldner: Secret Wars - 33800 Patch
  • Worms Reloaded - Update via Steam


  • Java Runtime Environment 6.22

    13 October 2010


    Sun has released an Update 22 to the Java Runtime Environment 6.



    Microsoft Security Updates

    13 October 2010


    Microsoft has released its monthly set of Windows security updates which you can get through Windows Update. Alternatively you can view and download them individually from here - click the 'Released' column header once to sort by date.



    Game Patches

    13 October 2010


  • Alien Swarm - Update via Steam
  • Arcania: Gothic 4 - Update via Steam
  • Empires in Arms - 1.08.04 Patch
  • Lead and Gold: Gangs of the Wild West - Update via Steam
  • Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale - Update via Steam
  • Shattered Horizon - Update via Steam
  • Team Fortress 2 - Update via Steam


  • Opera 10.63

    12 October 2010


    The Opera browser has been updated to Version 10.63. This version has a range of bug and security fixes.



    Realtek HD Audio 2.53

    12 October 2010


    Realtek has released Version 2.53 of its HD Audio drivers. Note if you have problems with the link, click the 'High Definition Audio Codecs' link at the top of the page and select 'Software'.



    Nvidia Beta Forceware 260.89

    11 October 2010


    Nvidia has released the Beta Forceware 260.89 driver for Windows XP, Vista and 7. This driver is for the GeForce 6, 7, 8, 9, 100, 200, 300, 400 and ION series cards. It adds support for the new GT 430 card, has performance increases for the GTX 400 series in various games, adds support for OpenGL 4.1 on the GTX 400 series cards, has SLI, Blu-ray 3D, HD Audio, Nvidia Surround and Nvidia 3D Vision improvements, and contains a range of bug fixes. The driver package also contains the 9.10.0514 PhysX drivers.



    Game Patches

    9 October 2010


  • Garry's Mod - Update via Steam
  • Global Agenda - Update via Steam
  • Left 4 Dead - Update via Steam
  • Making History II - Update via Steam
  • Sol Survivor - Update via Steam


  • Microsoft Security Essentials 1.0.2498.0

    8 October 2010


    Microsoft has released a new Version 1.0.2498.0 of its free Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) anti-malware package for Windows XP, Vista and 7. You can update via the link above, or by waiting for the update to become available via Windows Update, or through MSE's built-in updater (Help>Upgrade Microsoft Security Essentials).



    Autoruns 10.04

    8 October 2010


    Microsoft has released Autoruns 10.04, updating this free startup software identification utility. This version fixes a toolbar drawing bug under Windows XP.



    Game Patches

    8 October 2010


  • Decisive Campaigns: The Blitzkrieg from Warsaw to Paris - 1.02 Patch
  • Dogfighter - Update via Steam
  • Garry's Mod - Update via Steam
  • Left 4 Dead 2 - Update via Steam
  • Nation Red - Update via Steam
  • Sol Survivor - Update via Steam
  • Supreme Commander 2 - Update via Steam
  • X3: Terran Conflict - Update via Steam


  • Game Patches

    7 October 2010


  • Armada 2526 - 1.400 Patch
  • Counter-Strike: Source - Update via Steam
  • Left 4 Dead 2 - Update via Steam
  • R.U.S.E. - Update via Steam
  • Victoria II - Update via Steam


  • Adobe Reader 9.4.0

    6 October 2010


    Adobe has released Version 9.4.0 of the Adobe Reader software for viewing PDF documents. This update contains stability, performance and security fixes.



    Intel Chipset Software Installation Utility 9.1.2.1008

    6 October 2010


    Intel has released Version 9.1.2.1008 of the Chipset Software Installation Utility, the main motherboard driver for Intel chipset-based motherboards.



    Game Patches

    6 October 2010


  • Left 4 Dead - Update via Steam
  • Left 4 Dead 2 - Update via Steam


  • Game Patches

    5 October 2010


  • Galcon Fusion - Update via Steam
  • Mount & Blade: Warband - Update via Steam
  • Puzzle Dimension - Update via Steam
  • Puzzle Quest 2 - Update via Steam
  • Ship Simulator Extremes - 1.2.2 Patch
  • Steam Client - Update via Steam
  • Worms Reloaded - Update via Steam


  • Real Temp 3.60

    2 October 2010


    Real Temp, a free system temperature monitoring utility, has reached Version 3.60. The changes include support for the latest chipsets, ATI GPU support and improved Nvidia GPU monitoring, a new Fahrenheit and 3 digit system tray option, improved sensor test consistency, and a range of other improvements and fixes.



    Game Patches

    2 October 2010


  • Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic - 1.3 Patch
  • Euthanasia - 1.1 Patch
  • Global Agenda - Update via Steam
  • Hannibal: Rome and Carthage in the Second Punic War - 1.01 Patch
  • Star Ruler - Update via Steam


  • Windows Live Essentials 2011

    1 October 2010


    Microsoft has released Windows Live Essentials 2011, the latest version of this suite of Windows applications which includes Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, Mail and Messenger. More details are provided here.


    Update: If you already have any Windows Live applications installed, simply run the Windows Live Essentials installer and it will update these applications with the latest version.


    Update 2: Unfortunately although Windows Live Essentials 2011 contains some improvements, it also installs a new service and several aspects of itself which are unnecessary, especially if you don't sign in using a Live account. The 'Windows Live ID Sign-in Assistant' service cannot be disabled if you want certain Live programs to work such as Windows Live Mail - set it to Manual. However a range of Windows Live-related background programs, tasks, etc. can be disabled using Autoruns; see the Startup Programs chapter of the TweakGuides Tweaking Companion for general instructions. Alternatively, stick with your existing versions of Windows Live programs, as the newer versions don't necessarily contain any dramatic improvements aside from adding the Ribbon interface, which some may even find undesirable.



    Game Patches

    1 October 2010


  • Rhythm Zone - Update via Steam
  • Team Fortress 2 - Update via Steam
  • The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom - 1.10 Patch


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