Unreal Engine 4.8 Released

Unreal Engine 4.8 Released!
Dana Cowley on





This release includes 189 great changes that were submitted from Unreal Engine’s amazing community of developers. Check out the full list of contributors on the Unreal Engine 4.8 Release Notes page!

Grass Rendering and Procedural Foliage Systems

Grass Rendering and Procedural Foliage Systems

We’ve optimized our Grass Systems for use with large open worlds. Use it to produce huge amounts of grass and ground cover with temporal LOD cross-fading. We’re also releasing an experimental preview of the procedural foliage system we used to paint foliage across our GDC 2015 Kite Demo.

Plugins Available in Marketplace

Plugins Available in Marketplace

We’ve partnered with Allegorithmic to provide our first plugin available in Marketplace. Download the plugin today, and look for more plugins from select partners in the future!

Post Processing Enhancements and Tools

Post Processing Enhancements and Tools

Major increase in accuracy of our Motion Blur, including morph target animations that can now generate motion blur. We’ve also updated our depth of field to be more physically-based, as well as added a new Tone Mapper to achieve more filmic look.

Network Replays

Network Replays

“Scrubbable” network replays with rewind support and live time scrubbing.

Asset Size Mapper

Asset Size Mapper

Visualize the memory footprint of game assets in an interactive tree map UI.

See the Full Release Notes

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The New M4 Instance Type (Bonus: Price Reduction on M3 & C4)

We launched Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) with a single instance type (m1.small) way back in 2006! Since then, we have added many new types in response to customer demand, enabled by improvements in memory and processor technology (see my recent post, EC2 Instance History, for a look back in time).

Today we are adding new M4 instances in five sizes. These are General Purpose instances, with a balance of compute, memory, and network resources.

Let’s take a closer look!

New M4 Instances
The new M4 instances feature a custom Intel Xeon E5-2676 v3 Haswell processor optimized specifically for EC2. They run at a base clock rate of 2.4 GHz and can go as high as 3.0 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost. Here are the specs:

Instance Name vCPU Count
Instance Storage Network Performance EBS-Optimized
m4.large 2 8 GiB EBS Only Moderate 450 Mbps
m4.xlarge 4 16 GiB EBS Only High 750 Mbps
m4.2xlarge 8 32 GiB EBS Only High 1,000 Mbps
m4.4xlarge 16 64 GiB EBS Only High 2,000 Mbps
m4.10xlarge 40 160 GiB EBS Only 10 Gbps 4,000 Mbps

If you are running Linux on an m4.10xlarge instance, you can also control the C states and the P states (see my post on the New C4 Instances to learn more about this). The supersized core count on this instance will be great for applications that use multiple processes to achieve a high degree of concurrency.

These instances also offer Enhanced Networking  which delivers up to 4 times the packet rate of instances without Enhanced Networking, while ensuring consistent latency, even when under high network I/O. Within placement groups, Enhanced Networking also reduces average latencies between instances by 50% or more. The M4 instances are EBS-Optimized by default, with additional, dedicated network capacity for I/O operations. The instances support 64-bit HVM AMIs launched within a VPC.

The M4 instances are available today in the US East (Northern Virginia), US West (Northern California), US West (Oregon), Europe (Ireland), Europe (Frankfurt), Asia Pacific (Singapore), Asia Pacific (Sydney), and Asia Pacific (Tokyo) regions. You can launch them in On-Demand or Spot form, and you can also purchase Reserved Instances.

Price Reductions on M3 and C4 Instances
As part of today’s launch we are lowering the On-Demand and One Year Reserved Instances prices for the M3 and C4 instances by 5% in the US East (Northern Virginia), US West (Oregon), Europe (Ireland), Europe (Frankfurt), Asia Pacific (Tokyo), and Asia Pacific (Sydney) regions.

On-Demand Instance price reductions are effective June 1, 2015. Reserved Instance price reductions will apply to purchases after June 11, 2015. For more information, see the EC2 Pricing page.


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