Subject: Graphics Cards | June 21, 2016 - 08:49 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: rx 480, Radeon RX 480, polaris 10, Polaris, amd
The AMD Radeon RX 480 is set to launch on June 29th, but a VisionTek model was published a little early (now unpublished -- thanks to our long-time reader, Arbiter, for the heads up). Basically all specifications were already shared, and Ryan wrote about them on June 1st, but the final clock rates were unknown. The VisionTek one, on the other hand, has it listed as 1120 MHz (5.16 TFLOPs) with a boost of 1266 MHz (5.83 TFLOPs).
Granted, it's possible that the VisionTek model could be overclocked, even though the box and product page doesn't mark it as a factory-overclocked SKU. Also, 5.16 TFLOPs and 5.83 TFLOPs align pretty close to AMD's “>5 TFLOPs” rating, so it's unlikely that the canonical specifications slide underneath this one. Also, TFLOP ratings are basically a theoretical maximum performance, so real-world benchmarks need to be considered for a true measure of performance. That said, this would put the stock RX 480 in the range of a GTX 980 (somewhere above its listed boost clock, and slightly below its expected TFLOP rating when overclocked).
There is no price listed for the 8GB model, but the 4GB version will be $199 USD.
Subject: General Tech | June 21, 2016 - 06:33 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, asmedia, Zen, usb 3.1
DigiTimes has heard rumours of a possible defect with the ASMedia USB 3.1 controller which will appear on motherboards for AMD's upcoming Zen, which ASMedia have denied and AMD ignored. The supposed issue stems from increased degradation of transmission speeds over distance which requires the inclusion of additional retimer and redriver chips. If the issue does exist the worst repercussion will be an increase in manufacturing costs of $2 to $5 per board; even when that charge is passed on to the consumer it will have a very small impact on MSRP and is not likely to raise prices to the realm of Intel motherboards. As with all rumours take this with a grain of salt, even if it is true it is unlikely to have any major effect on pricing.
"Commenting on the news, AMD said it is pleased that Zen is on track and will not comment on customer specific board-level solutions., while ASMedia clarified that this is purely a market rumor and its product's signal, stability and compatibility have all passed certification."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- HP warns users to check laptop battery as it may be on fire @ The Register
- All aboard the PCIe bus for Nvidia's Tesla P100 supercomputer grunt @ The Register
- Oculus Rift vs HTC Vive, which should you buy? @ Kitguru
- Inotera dismisses report about Micron seeking to lower acquisition price @ DigiTimes
- Microsoft: Nearly One In Three Azure Virtual Machines Now Are Running Linux @ Slashdot
- Brutal Water Cannon Defeats Summer Heat; Kills it on Documentation @ Hack a Day
- Intel-supported Open HPC stack to land in Q4 @ The Register
- AORUS Computex 2016 Tech Overview @ TechARP
Subject: Graphics Cards | June 20, 2016 - 04:11 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: windows 10, ubuntu, R9 Fury, nvidia, linux, GTX1070, amd
Phoronix wanted to test out how the new GTX 1070 and the R9 Fury compare on Ubuntu with new drivers and patches, as well as contrasting how they perform on Windows 10. There are two separate articles as the focus is not old silicon versus new but the performance comparison between the two operating systems. AMD was tested with the Crimson Edition 16.6.1 driver, AMDGPU-PRO Beta 2 (16.20.3) driver as well as Mesa 12.1-dev. There were interesting differences between the tested games as some would only support one of the two Linux drivers. The performance also varies based on the game engine, with some coming out in ties, others seeing Windows 10 pull ahead and even some cases where your performance on Linux was significantly better.
NVIDIA's GTX 1080 and 1070 were tested using the 368.39 driver release for Windows and the 367.27 driver for Ubuntu. Again we see mixed results, depending on the game Linux performance might actually beat out Windows, especially if OpenGL is an option.
Check out both reviews to see what performance you can expect from your GPU when gaming under Linux.
"Yesterday I published some Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu 16.04 Linux gaming benchmarks using the GeForce GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 graphics cards. Those numbers were interesting with the NVIDIA proprietary driver but for benchmarking this weekend are Windows 10 results with Radeon Software compared to Ubuntu 16.04 running the new AMDGPU-PRO hybrid driver as well as the latest Git code for a pure open-source driver stack."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- GeForce GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 FE Overclocking @ [H]ard|OCP
- DX11 vs DX12 Intel 4770K vs 5960X Framerate Scaling @ [H]ard|OCP
- MSI GTX 1080 & GTX 1070 Gaming X 8G Overclocking Review @ OCC
- EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW Gaming ACX 3.0 Review @HiTech Legion
- Gigabyte GTX 1080 G1 Gaming RGB @ Kitguru
- ASUS GTX 1080 Strix Gaming 8 GB @ techPowerUp
- HIS Radeon R7 360 GREEN iCooler OC 2GB Graphics Card Review @ NikKTech
Subject: Processors | June 15, 2016 - 11:18 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Zen, opteron, amd
We're beginning to see how the Zen architecture will affect AMD's entire product stack. This news refers to their Opteron line of CPUs, which are intended for servers and certain workstations. They tend to allow lots of memory, have lots of cores, and connect to a lot of I/O options and add-in boards at the same time.
In this case, Zen-based Opterons will be available in two, four, sixteen, and thirty-two core options, with two threads per core (yielding four, eight, thirty-two, and sixty-four threads, respectively). TDPs will range between 35W and 180W. Intel's Xeon E7 v4 goes up to 165W got 24 cores (on Broadwell-EX) so AMD has a little more headroom to play with for those extra eight cores. That is obviously a lot, and it should be, again, good for cloud applications that can be parallelized.
As for the I/O side of things, the rumored chip will have 128 PCIe 3.0 lanes. It's unclear whether that is per socket, or total. Its wording sounds like it is per-CPU, although much earlier rumors have said that it has 64 PCIe lanes per socket with dual-socket boards available. It will also support sixteen 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections, which, again, is great for servers, especially with virtualization.
These are expected to launch in 2017. Fudzilla claims that “very late 2016” is possible, but also that it will launch after high-end desktop, which are expected to be delayed until 2017.
Subject: General Tech | June 15, 2016 - 12:37 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: rx 470, amd, leak, RX 480M
Sharp eyes over at The Guru of 3D spotted some information in a recent press release from AMD that might have been unintentionally released; performance numbers and mention of a AMD Radeon RX 480M. These benchmarks are internal and so should be taken with a grain of salt but they do offer a glimpse at how the RX 470 will perform. The benchmarks were run on a system comprised of ab i7 5960X, 16GB memory and Radeon 16.20, showing better performance than a R9 270X on three games as well as Firestrike below. Follow the link for the results they gleaned from the footnotes.
"In the slide-deck that was released yesterday some benchmark numbers have been, well almost hidden. But they are there. I added them into two charts to check out.
Let me clearly state that the benchmarks have been performed by AMD so we cannot verify quality settings. The scores have been derived from the footnotes of the PDF"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- The Terrible Devices Of The Internet Of Wrongs @ Hack a Day
- Virtualizing Around The FCC’s Firmware Modification Rules @ Hack a Day
- Graphene breakthrough could make chips a million times faster @ The Inquirer
- Apple's Safari browser will disable Flash by default in macOS @ The Inquirer
- Apple quietly launches next-gen encrypted file system @ The Register
Subject: Graphics Cards, Processors | June 13, 2016 - 03:51 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: amd, Polaris, Zen, Summit Ridge, rx 480, rx 470, rx 460
AMD has just unveiled their entire RX line of graphics cards at E3 2016's PC Gaming Show. It was a fairly short segment, but it had a few interesting points in it. At the end, they also gave another teaser of Summit Ridge, which uses the Zen architecture.
First, Polaris. As we know, the RX 480 was going to bring >5 TFLOPs at a $199 price point. They elaborated that this will apply to the 4GB version, which likely means that another version with more VRAM will be available, and that implies 8GB. Beyond the RX 480, AMD has also announced the RX 470 and RX 460. Little is known about the 470, but they mentioned that the 460 will have a <75W TDP. This is interesting because the PCIe bus provides 75W of power. This implies that it will not require any external power, and thus could be a cheap and powerful (in terms of esports titles) addition to an existing desktop. This is an interesting way to use the power savings of the die shrink to 14nm!
They also showed off a backpack VR rig. They didn't really elaborate, but it's here.
As for Zen? AMD showed the new architecture running DOOM, and added the circle-with-Zen branding to a 3D model of a CPU. Zen will be coming first to the enthusiast category with (up to?) eight cores, two threads per core (16 threads total).
The AMD Radeon RX 480 will launch on June 29th for $199 USD (4GB). None of the other products have a specific release date.
Subject: Processors | June 7, 2016 - 02:45 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Zen, kaby lake, Intel, delayed, amd
Bad news upgraders, neither AMD nor Intel will be launching their new CPUs until the beginning of next year. Both AMD's Zen and Intel's Kaby Lake have now been delayed instead of launching in Q4 and Q3 of this year respectively. DigiTimes did not delve into the reasons behind the delay in AMD's 14nm GLOBALFOUNDRIES (and Samsung) sourced Zen but unfortunately the reasons beind Intel's delay are all too clear. With large stockpiles of Skylake and Haswell processors and systems based around them sitting in the channel, AMD's delay creates an opportunity for Intel and retailers to move that stock. Once Kaby Lake arrives the systems will no longer be attractive to consumers and the prices will plummet.
Here is to hoping AMD's delay does not imply anything serious, though the lack of a new product release at a time which traditionally sees sales increase is certainly going to hurt their bottom line for 2016.
"With the delays, the PC supply chain will not be able to begin mass production for the next-generation products until November or December and PC demand is also unlikely to pick up until the first quarter of 2017."
Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:
- Intel Core I7 6950X Extreme Edition Broadwell-E Overclocking Review @ OCC
- Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition @ Nitroware
Subject: Graphics Cards | June 7, 2016 - 08:02 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: graphics drivers, amd
Over the last few months, AMD has been fighting their reputation for being slow and unreliable with driver updates. Ryan wrote a piece about it after AMD discussed the issue with him. He noted that, while the increase is noticeable and great, it takes time and consistency to trust that a company will provide their products with a certain level of support.
Since then, AMD has released two drivers in April, three in May, and now, already, one in June. Each of these provide enhancements for individual games, right in line with their release dates, as well as fix several issues along the way. Crimson Edition 16.6.1 aligns with Mirror's Edge: Catalyst, which makes this post surprisingly difficult to type. It also includes enhancements for Paragon and a Crossfire profile for Dark Souls III. If users were experiencing flickering and corruption with videos in a web browser, AMD claims that was also fixed in this version.
Subject: Graphics Cards | June 3, 2016 - 11:15 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: linux, graphics drivers, AMDGPU, amd
On Windows, we really only have one graphics driver per GPU. On Linux, however, there is a choice between open drivers and closed, binary-only blobs. Open drivers allow users to perpetuate support, for either really old hardware or pre-release software, without needing the GPU vendor to step in. It can also be better for security, because open-source software can be audited, which is better (albeit how much better is up for debate) than just having a few eyes on it... if any at all.
As we reported a few months ago, AMD has been shifting their structure. Rather than two completely different code-bases, AMDGPU is an open-source driver, officially supported by AMD, that communicates with the Linux kernel. This chunk is compliant with the GPL, so it can be bundled with the operating system. Above this, a user space driver adds the various APIs, game-specific optimizations, and so forth. AMD calls this plug-in component AMD GPU-PRO.
This component has now been released for Ubuntu 16.04, which includes OpenGL 4.5, OpenCL 1.2, and Vulkan 1.0.
Open-source developers can create their own components, using the same AMDGPU hooks that AMD uses, and release those on their own. This is not a perfect solution, though. If, at any point, AMD disagrees with a necessary, proposed change, then the only way forward could be to fork the project, which AMD wouldn't support with their closed-source blob, leading to the previous situation. That said, AMD is putting a lot of effort into this, so it would stand to reason that they aren't intending to throw all of that away over a pull request.
Either way, you can get AMD GPU-PRO Beta from AMD's page for Ubuntu 16.04. SteamOS added AMD GPU-PRO with their 2.80 update last week.
Subject: Processors | May 31, 2016 - 11:57 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Zen, computex 2016, computex, amd
At the end of the AMD Computex 2016 keynote, Lisa Su, President and CEO of the company, announced a few details about their upcoming Zen architecture. This will mark the end of the Bulldozer line of architectures that attempted to save die area by designing cores in pairs, eliminating what AMD projected to be redundancies as the world moved toward multi-core and GPU compute. Zen “starts from scratch” and targets where they now see desktop, server, laptop, and embedded devices heading.
They didn't really show a whole lot at the keynote. They presented an animation that was created and rendered on the new architecture. I mean, okay, but that's kind-of like reviewing a keyboard by saying that you used it to type the review. It's cool that you have sample silicon available to use internally, but we understand that it physically works.
That said, Lisa Su did say some hard numbers, which should be interesting for our readers. AMD claims that Zen has 40% higher IPC from their previous generation (which we assume is Excavator). It will be available for desktop with eight cores, two threads per core, on their new AM4 platform. It also taped out earlier this year, with wide sampling in Q3.
I'm curious how it will end up. The high-end CPU market is a bit... ripe for the picking these days. If AMD gets close to Intel in performance, and offers competitive prices and features alongside it, then it would make sense for enthusiast builds. We'll need to wait for benchmarks, but there seems to be low-hanging fruit.