What just happened? If you received a VAC ban in Counter-Strike 2 after using recent AMD graphics drivers, Valve will rectify the problem shortly, and you should download AMD's latest update. In related news, Raptor Lake Refresh overclockers used the game to break another performance world record.
The latest AMD GPU drivers (version 23.10.2) removed support for the company's new Anti Lag+ plus feature, which caused numerous automatic bans in several online games. Additionally, Valve updated Counter-Strike 2 – the most notable title affected – to address the issue and has started reversing VAC bans.
Team Red implemented Anti Lag+ as an answer to Nvidia's Reflex. Both technologies seek to lower input lag and provide a competitive edge in multiplayer titles. However, rather than individually incorporating the feature into the games, Anti Lag+ works at the driver level, manipulating each game's files to improve input response. Unfortunately, this technique triggered anti-cheat systems in games like Counter-Strike 2, Warzone, and Apex Legends, leading to automatic bans.
In response to the problem, Counter-Strike 2's October 19 update adds an initial check for problematic AMD drivers. Players who have experienced trouble with Windows 11's Auto HDR will also find a fix in this update. An EA community manager confirmed its developers are in the process of reversing Apex Legends bans.
Valved released Counter-Strike 2 late last month, replacing the aging but extremely popular Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The sequel significantly upgrades the graphics, removes tick-rate restrictions, and introduces new gameplay elements like physically-interactive smoke.
In a related story, Intel recently used Counter-Strike to demonstrate the overclocking capabilities of its recently released 14th-generation Raptor Lake Refresh processors. Team Australia Extreme Overclocking (Team.AU) pushed a Core i9-14900K to 8 GHz at SXSW Sydney this week. Team.AU achieved the blistering speed while Intel exec Roger Chandler poured liquid nitrogen on it for cooling. A skilled Counter-Strike 2 player then demonstrated the game running at a record 1,310fps. The group strengthened the achievement's validation by deliberately showcasing graphically intensive gameplay.
The SXSW demonstration is the second notable overclocking achievement for the processor in the week following the 14th-gen lineup's launch. Using liquid helium for cooling, ElmorLabs stretched the 14900K to a blazing 9.04 GHz – the fastest validated CPU clock speed ever. A push to post a new record of 9.1 GHz will likely come soon.
Outside of extreme overclocking, TechSpot's review shows that the Raptor Lake Refresh offers an extremely minor performance uplift over the 13th-gen Raptor Lake series. Nonetheless, the new lineup provides strong and consistent performance across various applications.