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Whet your whistle - some of the games that will support DirectX 11
With improved backward compatibility and groundbreaking tessellation and direct compute tech, Microsoft says DirectX 11 delivers games that are 30x faster. So this year is clearly going to be a fantastic year for PC gaming. Codies’ DiRT 2 and EA’s BattleForge are two games that have already paved the way, plus we have belters such as Crysis 2 and Battlefield 3 penned in for late 2010. The following are our top DX11 games to look forward to early this year.

STALKER: Call of Pripyat

The RPG/FPS sequel to STALKER is due out in Q1 of this year.

The Lord of the Rings Online

The popular MMO gets a DirectX 11 sprucing in Q1 of this year.

Aliens vs Predator

Promises faster and better looking Aliens, Predators and Marines. It’s currently due on 2/16.

Alan Wake

The definitive DirectX 11 version follows soon after its console cousin in spring.


Which Windows is right?
There are a few Windows to pick from. Ignoring the excruciatingly embarrassing “I made this” ads for Windows 7, the bottom line is that you’re going to have to upgrade if you’re running XP or Vista. There’s no point fighting it, unless you’re in the market for a new PC in 2010, but there are three versions of Microsoft’s latest OS. So, here’s the Windows 7 need-to-know.

Windows 7 Home Premium

PRICE $119.99/£99.99 (upgrade), $199.99/£149.99 (full)
This version is ideal for most users, if all they want to do is play games at home. It includes Windows functions seen in Vista (only they work properly), as well as Windows Media Center. Home Premium comes with 32-bit and 64-bit versions in the box, so there’s no worries about buying the wrong one.

Windows 7 Professional

PRICE $199.99/£189.99 (upgrade), $299.99/£219.99 (full)
What you need if you also use your PC to connect to your work network. Packs data encryption utility and server management tools. It also has the Windows XP Mode – handy if you want to keep your old XP software working.

Windows 7 Ultimate

PRICE $219.99/£199.99 (upgrade), $319.99/£229.99 (full)
This – the most expensive version of Windows 7 – has powerful networking utilities, including AppLocker (stops unauthorised programs being run) and BitLocker (disc encryption). This one is really only of interest to IT staff of huge companies with demanding networking needs.

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