AMD Catalyst 12.10 and the AMD Catalyst 12.11 Beta; which will you settle for?

Subject: Graphics Cards | October 22, 2012 - 05:36 PM |
Tagged: graphics drivers, Catalyst 12.11 Beta, Catalyst 12.10, amd

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Feature Highlights of AMD Catalyst 12.10: Ready for Windows 8

For AMD Radeon HD 5000, HD 6000 and HD 7000 Series users, Microsoft has certified today’s AMD Catalyst 12.10 release as “compatible with Windows 8.” With this driver, these products offer full support for WDDM 1.2, which is an updated model for graphics drivers that Microsoft has developed to ensure smooth performance and wide compatibility in their new operating system.

  • Target-Independent Rasterization (TIR): TIR is a new rendering path that enables superior anti-aliasing in Direct3D driver applications
  • Native Stereo 3D Support: Windows 8 natively supports stereoscopic 3D gaming and videos via compatible applications
  • Unified Video API: Video playback has been integrated into the DirectX 11 API, enabling simultaneous video and gaming content. Transcoding performance may also be improved for supporting applications.
  • Optimized screen rotation for rotation aware devices Improved sleep/resume performance
  • Optimized GPU power consumption
  • Major technologies / features also supported under Windows 8:
    • AMD Eyefinity technology
    • OpenCL
    • OpenGL
    • Unified Video Decoder (UVD)
    • AMD Dual Graphics
    • AMD CrossFire technology
    • AMD Overdrive
    • AMD Catalyst Control Center
    • Vision Engine Control Center

Feature Highlights of AMD Catalyst 12.10: AMD Catalyst Mobility support for AMD Enduro Technology

AMD Catalyst Mobility now includes support for AMD Enduro Technology. AMD Enduro Technology is currently supported on all notebook Intel IvyBridge platforms and AMD Comal platforms that support the AMD Radeon HD 7900M, 7800M, 7700M.

AMD Enduro Technology for Notebooks delivers:

  • Unbeatable battery life
  • GPU accelerated performance for gaming, video, and compute apps
  • A Seamless and automatic experience

New Enduro Technology features found in Catalyst 12.10:
Re-designed Catalyst Control Center user interface View all profiled applications View recently run applications Profile applications based on power source Expert mode control and customization Performance centric AC Battery centric DC

AMD’s latest Catalyst Application Profile:AMD Catalyst 12.10 CAP1 (to be used with AMD Catalyst 12.11 Beta as well)
Find the latest available AMD Catalyst CAP here http://support.amd.com/us/gpudownload/windows/Pages/radeonaiw_vista64.aspx

  • Crysis 2: Resolves performance issues seen in CrossFire mode
  • Darksiders 2: Resolves screen flickering seen in CrossFire mode
  • Max Payne 3: Resolves Menu flickering when Anti-Aliasing is enabled through the Catalyst Control Center
  • FIFA 13: Improves CrossFire performance, and improve single GPU performance ·
  • Project C.A.R.S.: Resolves screen flickering seen in CrossFire mode
  • Natural Selection 2 - Resolves Menu flickering when Anti-Aliasing is enabled through the Catalyst Control Center

Resolved issue highlights of AMD Catalyst 12.10 (from AMD Catalyst 12.8)

Tri and Quad CrossFire + Eyefinity configurations

  • Users will no longer see lower than expected performance in certain DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 applications
  • FireFox - corruption is no longer observed on CrossFire configurations
  • Enabling Overdrive settings no longer increases clocks in all power states
  • AMD Video Converter support is available in AMD Catalyst 12.9 Beta Windows 7 and Windows Vista packages
  • Resolves the system delay observed when opening the Windows Audio system tray on Multi-GPU configurations to configure HDMI Audio settings

Feature Highlights of AMD Catalyst 12.10 Linux Driver: New OS Support

This release of AMD Catalyst Linux introduces support for the following new operating systems
Ubuntu 12.10 early look support RHEL 6.3 production support

Click for the Beta driver details


Source: AMD

Woah! AMD overclocked the Matrix

Subject: Graphics Cards | October 22, 2012 - 03:47 PM |
Tagged: asus, Matrix HD 7970 Platinum, amd, factory overclocked

The ASUS Matrix HD 7970 Platinum is an impressive card, physically as well as the performance it offers.  It is a triple slot card measuring 11.25" long and 5.5" deep, so you might want to measure the space you have before thinking of purchasing one, it also weighs in at over 3lbs (1.4kg) which you should also keep in mind.  While it is factory overclocked to 1050MHz on the GPU and memory of 6.6GHz, if you plan on leaving those numbers untouched you are missing out on the real reason to pick up this particular HD 7970.  When [H]ard|OCP put the 20-phase Super Alloy Power technology and chokes to the test they hit 1310MHz on the GPU and pushed the memory to 7GHz, far beyond what any other HD 7970 they've reviewed could manage.  That overclock was definitely noticeable when they benchmarked the card, which helped it win a Gold Award as the best HD 7970 they've seen ... even if it is hard to find for purchase.

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"ASUS is launching its highest-end ASUS MATRIX HD 7970 Platinum video card today, poised to give you the best experience possible out of a Radeon HD 7970. This highly customized video card is geared directly towards the hardware enthusiast. Come see the highest overclock we've ever achieved on a 7970 GHz Edition based video card."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP
Author:
Manufacturer: AMD

A curious new driver from AMD

In case you missed the news, AMD is going to be making a big push with their Radeon brand from now until the end of the year starting with an incredibly strong game bundle that includes as many as three full games and 20% off the new Medal of Honor.  The second part of this campaign is a new driver specifically the 12.11 beta that will be posted to the public later this week.

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AMD is claiming to have made some substantial improvements on quite a few games including the very popular Battlefield 3 and the upcoming Medal of Honor (both of which use the same base engine).  But keep in mind that 15% is a LOT and this is the best case scenario in specific maps and you may not see benefits on others. 

There are going to be some debates about the validity of these performance boosts from AMD until we can get some more specific details on WHAT has changed.  Essentially the company line is that they have finally "caught up" to the GCN GPU architecture introduced with the Radeon HD 7970 in January of 2012.  We traditionally see this happen with new GPU architectures from both vendors but for it to have taken this long is troublesome and will surely cause some raised eyebrows from gamers and the competition. 

We decided to run through the Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition with this new 12.11 beta driver to compare it to the 12.9 beta driver we had just completed testing on a few weeks ago.  AMD claims performance advantages for all the GCN cards including the 7700/7800/7900 cards though we only had time to test a single card for our initial article.  The results are on the following pages...

Continue reading our look at the new AMD 12.11 Beta Catalyst Driver!!

AMD Offers Impressive Never Settle Bundle with Radeon GPUs

Subject: Graphics Cards | October 22, 2012 - 12:00 AM |
Tagged: never settle, HD 7970, hd 7950, hd 7870, hd 7850, hd 7770, bundle, amd

AMD has a couple of surprises for gamers today, both using the "Never Settle" branding.  Later this morning you will see an article that looks at a new driver revision - 12.11 beta - that will be published this week (it maybe online already).  Promising performance increases is 20% and more, it should be an interesting discussion.

Another big push for AMD going into the holiday season will be the Never Settle game bundle; a collection of games included with a graphics card purchase unlike you have ever seen before.  And we aren't talking about scrub games here, with the HD 7900 series of cards you'll see Far Cry 3, Hitman: Absolution, Sleeping Dogs and Medal of Honor Warfighter.

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Starting today, if you buy an AMD Radeon HD 7900 series of graphics cards, including the HD 7990, HD 7970 and HD 7950, you will get three full games absolutely free!  Far Cry 3, Hitman: Absolution and Sleeping Dogs to be exact.  Also, you will get a 20% discount on a copy of the new Medal of Honor: Warfighter.  And because I already asked, AMD assures us that this is the ONLY discount on Medal of Honor that will be available this year.

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Buyers on tighter budgets aren't going to be left out and if you pick up an HD 7800 series or an HD 7770 GHz Edition (not a 7750), you'll get a free copy of Far Cry 3 as well as the 20% off offer on Medal of Honor. 

And just to mix things up, if you buy a PAIR of Radeon HD 7800s or a pair of HD 7770 GHz Editions AMD will add in a free copy of Hitman.

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I realize that not every gamer is interested in every game that is released, but the value of the Never Settle bundle is really unmatched in anything I have seen before.  Valued at $170, the package that you can get by purchasing a Radeon HD 7950 3GB for $299 in theory brings the total out of pocket price of the GPU to $129!! 

As I have mentioned previously, bundles are not a cure-all for performance issues, but they can definitely swing a buyer's decision when the other factors are close.  I think AMD will have a HUGE advantage going into the holiday buying season even though NVIDIA has the Assassin's Creed 3 bundle (with the GTX 650 Ti) and the Borderlands 2 bundle (with the GTX 660 Ti and above). 

See what happens when you have healthy competition in the market?  Gamer's always come out ahead!

Source: AMD

Hitman: Absolution PC Features Video - AMD ExtravaLANza

Subject: Editorial, Graphics Cards | October 20, 2012 - 12:33 PM |
Tagged: hitman, amd, extravalanza, hitman: absolution, video

We are at the first AMD ExtravaLANza today getting some hands on time with some cool new hardware as well as new games like Far Cry 3, Tomb Raider and Hitman: Absolution.  We attended a session with the Hitman developer IO Interactive where some interesting information about the DX11 features.  I recorded a video of the presentation for those interested in seeing it in its entirety.

The brand new Glacier2 engine has some impressive new features including:

  1. DX11 hardware tessellation on character models
  2. A global illumination engine using light propagation volumes
  3. AA options including FXAA and MSAA 2x-8x
  4. Eyefinity and HD3D

There is more, but you can hear it all in the video above.  IO Interactive wanted to assure PC gamers that they are developing the game to be a first class PC title with higher quality imaging, controls and texture detail; this doesn't look to be a standard console port.

AMD's revenue down 10%, workforce down 15%

Subject: General Tech | October 19, 2012 - 02:04 PM |
Tagged: quarterly earnings, downer, billions, amd

The hard numbers have arrived and AMDs quarter was every bit as bad as investors had feared, with a non-GAAP net loss of US$150 million and a $0.20 loss per share.  The actual income for this quarter was $1.27 billion, the low end of the predictions that were made by analysts and with the sluggish movement in the PC market the choice has been made to lower operating costs as opposed to trying to increase revenue.  To do so they will be reducing their global workforce by 15% over the coming quarter and restructuring the company with the goal of reducing operating costs by 25% so that a $1.3 billion dollar quarter would be a break even point, not a loss.  The Register details other changes Rory Read is planning on implementing, more of a focus on chips for servers and embedded cores and SoCs for communication and industrial applications.  As well AMD's win on the console side, with the Sony PS4 using AMD for both CPU and GPU as well as the WiiU which will use an AMD GPU and the as yet unnamed new XBox, all of which will garner licensing incomes for AMD for years to come.  The talk about ultra-low-power chips for tablets and ultrabook like products is hopeful, though it is unlikely to be a major revenue source it would be a good move to attempt to grab more market share in that segment.  DigiTimes also weighs in here.

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"One week ago, AMD warned investors that its financial results for its third quarter of 2012 were going to be worse than it had previously estimated, with revenues down about 10 per cent from the previous quarter rather than the 1 per cent, plus or minus 3 per cent, that they had forecasted earlier.

They were spot on – not that being correct about such a disappointing result will win them many friends on the Street.

After the markets closed this Thursday, AMD announced that its Q3 2012 revenues were $1.27bn, which hit that prediction of a 10 per cent quarter-to-quarter slippage."

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Source: The Register

Win an AMD Llano A8-3870K APU from PC Perspective!!

Subject: Editorial, General Tech | October 18, 2012 - 08:09 PM |
Tagged: contest, video, giveaway, amd, llano, APU

In a self-serving attempt to increase awareness about the PC Perspective YouTube channel, we are running another contest where you can win one of four AMD Llano A8-3870K APUs simply by leaving a comment and being a subscriber.

That's right, there are two steps:

  1. Subscribe to the PC Perspective YouTube channel
  2. Leave a comment on the YouTube contest video

We'll pick our winners on October 24th!  Good luck!

Podcast #223 - AVADirect Mini ITX Gaming Machine, Patriot Gauntlet 320GB Wireless Drive, Windows 8 Pricing and more!

Subject: General Tech | October 18, 2012 - 02:38 PM |
Tagged: video, windows 8, podcast, patriot, nvidia, mini ITX, Intel, gpu, gauntlet, gauntle node, cpu, AVADirect, amd

PC Perspective Podcast #223 - 10/18/2012

Join us this week as we talk about the AVADirect Mini ITX Gaming Machine, Patriot Gauntlet 320GB Wireless Drive, Windows 8 Pricing and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, and Scott Michaud

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!

Program length: 56:12

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. Week in Reviews:
    1. 0:01:45 Why stereoscopic 3D is Awesome
    2. 0:09:15 Patriot Gauntlet 320 Wireless HDD
    3. 0:14:56 AVADirect Mini Gaming PC
  2. 0:24:30 This podcast is brought to you by MSI
  3. News items of interest:
    1. 0:25:30 AMD finances are bad, mkay?
      1. Slashing 30% of work force?
    2. 0:31:10 Windows 8 Retail pricing
      1. $69 with $30 Amazon Credit
    3. 0:35:55 ASUS announces PadFone 2
  4. 0:39:30 Alxtech.net/pcper Ad spot!! http://alxtech.net/pcper/
      1. Now at $0.50/slot for pcper viewers and listeners!!
    1. 0:42:00 Intel may have 10-core Ivy Bridge-E ready
    2. 0:43:45 Corsair raising money for charity with gaming marathon!
    3. 0:45:50 Win a FREE AMD APU on our YouTube channel!
  5. Closing:
    1. 0:48:00 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
      1. Ryan: Gauntlet Node - just the enclosure
      2. Jeremy: Ridiculous and added infections too
      3. Josh: NOPE
      4. Allyn: NOPE
      5. Scott: 12 GB of RAM :D
  1. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  2. http://pcper.com/podcast
  3. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  4. Closing/outro

 

 

 

AMD to cut CPU pricing; too good to be true?

Subject: General Tech | October 16, 2012 - 03:30 PM |
Tagged: rumour, price cuts, amd

The news out of DigiTimes today speaks of deep cuts to AMD's previous generation processors, specifically the A4 family.  According to their sources the the A4-3300 will be cut in price by 35% and the 3400 model by 25%, both cuts being much larger than is usual in the industry.  As well there could be a cut in price of the new FM2 based A4-5300 by almost 50%, again a much steeper cut than is usual.  However given the difficulties that AMD is currently experiencing, as well as the price cuts we've seen on the GPU side the report was enough to make us curious.  As we at PC Perspective have our own anonymous sources who will sometimes comment on things not yet set in stone and in this case we did get a reply.  That reply stated that AMD will be making no price moves on the A series.  Aren't conflicting stories great?

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"After announcing its latest FM2-based A series APUs (Trinity) on October 1, AMD is set to reduce prices of its previous-generation APUs with the FM1-based A4-3300 to be reduced from US$46 to US$30, according to sources from motherboard players. AMD Taiwan declined to comment about its price strategy."

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Source: DigiTimes

AMD likely slashing 10 to 30% of its workforce

Subject: General Tech | October 15, 2012 - 02:54 PM |
Tagged: amd, jobs, sad

If Friday's announcement of AMD's lowered financial expectations was not enough to depress you, The Inquirer has heard from three separate sources that AMD is looking to cut between 1000 to 3000 employees, representing 10% to 30% of its workforce.  Rory Read's excising of the marketing department has not magically reversed the $500M in reported losses so far this year and so he will be attempting to treat the symptoms with a larger dose of the same cure.  Being a publicly owned company who have seen their stock prices plummet by 14% last week so something had to be done, even if on the surface it looks to be bad for the company in the long term.  The chances are good that the graphics department will be left mostly intact but the CPU team could be facing a lot of cuts which could slow or derail the development of the next generation of processors.

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"Last week AMD revised its revenue forecasts down considerably due to weak demand and now multiple sources have said that the firm is preparing to lay off a significant percentage of its workforce. According to three sources that spoke to Allthingsd, AMD is preparing to cut anywhere between 10 percent and 30 percent of its 11,000 employees."

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Source: The Inquirer