Subject: Graphics Cards, Processors | August 8, 2011 - 08:28 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: amd, APU, sdk, opencl
AMD released its new APUs (Accelerated Processing Unit) to the masses, and now they are revving the processors up with a new software development kit that increases performance and efficiency of OpenCL based applications. The new version 2.5 APP SDK is tailored to the APU architecture where the CPU and GPU are on the same die. Building on the OpenCL standard, APP SDK 2.5 promises to reduce the bandwidth limitation of the CPU to GPU connection, allowing for effective data transfer rates as high as 15GB per second in AMDs A Series APUs. Further performance enhancements include reduced kernel launch times and PCIe overhead.
AMD states that the new APP SDK will improve multi-gpu support for AMD APU graphics paired with a discrete card, and will “enable advanced capabilities” to improve the user experience including gesture based interfaces, image stabilization, and 3D applications.
The new development kit is currently being used by developers worldwide in the AMD OpenCl coding competition, where up to $50,000 in prizes will be given away to winning software submissions. You can get started with the SDK here.
When building a computer, enthusiasts are likely to combine components from several different manufacturers, especially on the Intel side. Short of the power supply, hard drive, and accessories; however, AMD is slowing diversifying to provide components to put together an all-AMD system. Before today, AMD already had the motherboard, processor, and graphics card (including processor graphics if that's your thing), and today Maximum PC reports that AMD may be moving into the RAM market with its own line of Radeon branded memory. It seems that AMD's future Leo-like platform may resemble a small AMD branded borg cube.
The new memory in question is comprised of 2GB, DDR3 sticks and comes in three series branded the "Entertainment," "ULTRA PRO Gaming," and "Enterprise." The enthusiastic naming conventions aside, the Entertainment series looks to be the budget modules for those looking for stable DIMMs that get the job done for cheap. They have a rated speed of 1333Mbps and a CAS latency of 9-9-9. The next highest series is the "ULTRA PRO Gaming" series, which promises to be overclocking friendly. These DIMMs receive a slight boost in speed to 1600Mbps while taking a slight dip in CAS latency to 11-11-11. The final, and likely most expensive, modules are the Enterprise series. These modules are still somewhat of a mystery as the specifications have yet to be announced by AMD; however, they are likely geared more towards enterprise workstations than servers as they are unbuffered DIMMs.
Further, all three series are rated to run at 1.5V and have a height of 30mm. Unfortunately, there is no word yet on price or availability. There are; however, several photos of Radeon branded memory modules over at PC Watch for you to check out. Do you think AMD's move to enter the DRAM market is a good thing or a bad thing for future profitability?
Subject: Editorial, Graphics Cards, Processors | August 4, 2011 - 11:15 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: nvidia, john carmack, interview, carmack, amd
A couple of years back we talked on the phone with John Carmack during the period of excitement about ray tracing and game engines. That interview is still one of our most read articles on PC Perspective as he always has interesting topics and information to share. While we are hosting the PC Perspective Hardware Workshop on Saturday at Quakecon 2011, we also scheduled some time to sit with John again to pick his brain on hardware and technology.
If you had a chance to ask John Carmack questions about hardware and technology, either the current sets of each or what he sees coming in the future, what would you ask? Let us know in our comments section below!! (No registration required to comment.)
Subject: Graphics Cards | August 3, 2011 - 04:28 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: HD 6670, HD 6570, HD 6450, amd, Caicos, turks
On the lower end of AMD's GPU lineup you will find the HD 6670, HD 6570 and HD 6450 of which the first two are based on the Turks architecture and the last on the Caicos architecture. They mark a jump in transitor, shader and ALU counts from the previous low end cards, the HD5670 and HD 5450. That increase has also brough with it higher power requirements and more heat to disappate which, at least on the reference cards X-bit Labs tried, results in a louder card. They do still help a Llano based system score significantly better in gaming, but don't add a lot to the APUs abilities as a high definition player.
If you are looking for something a little stronger, Josh just poured out a few thousand words on the MSI N580GTX Lightning Xtreme Edition for you.
"Smartphones, nettops, notebooks and tablets have taken over our everyday life. But what if you don’t feel like leaving the cozy living-room and would gladly watch a blockbuster Blue-ray movie or play your favorite game for a few hours? The answer is simple: HTPC with a good graphics accelerator inside will do the trick. Let’s check out the new solutions AMD has recently rolled out for this particular market."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- Multiply by Two: PowerColor Radeon HD 6870X2 @ X-bit Labs
- Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 2GB TOXIC @ Tweaktown
- Diamond Multimedia Radeon HD 6770 XOC 1GB DX11 Video Card Review @Hi Tech Legion
- AMD Catalyst 11.7 Driver Analysis @ eTeknix
- Arctic Cooling Accelero Xtreme Plus II VGA Cooler @ Tweaktown
- Thermalright T-RAD² VGA Cooler Review @ eTeknix
- Zalman VF3000F Dual Turbine VGA Cooler @ Tweaktown
- Desktop Graphics Card Comparison Guide @ TechARP
- Mesa 7.11 Brings Much-Needed Linux Graphics Driver Improvements @ Phoronix
- ASUS ENGTX560 Ti DirectCU II TOP @ [H]ard|OCP
Subject: General Tech | July 28, 2011 - 05:16 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: ssd, podcast, ocz, Intel, amd
PC Perspective Podcast #164 - 7/28/2011
This week we talk about Intel and AMD Earnings, Intel MLAA, 28 nanometer GPUs, Viewer Questions and more!
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
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath and Allyn Malventano
This Podcast is brought to you by
- 0:00:43 Introduction
- 1-888-38-PCPER or email@example.com
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
- 0:02:13 Intel and AMD Provide Positive Earnings
- 0:13:35 Bulldozer will be on time, missing CEO or not
- 0:14:45 Intel MLAA: Matrox had the right idea, wrong everything else
- 0:23:00 This Podcast is brought to you by
, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!
- 0:24:04 Intel reproduces '8MB bug', fix coming soon.
- 0:32:20 Video Perspective: AMD Steady Video Technology on AMD A-Series APUs
- 0:35:28 Phone in your overclocking, MSI Afterburner App for Android
- 0:37:00 OCZ wraps both its ARMs around a new SSD controller and gives it a little TLC
- 0:40:55 AMD CFO States They Will Have 28 Nano-meter GPUs Out This Year
- 0:45:45 Apple is da bomb! Vulnerability found in battery circuitry
- 0:54:05 Email from Tom about Eyefinity
- 0:59:06 Email from Greg about Eyefinity again
- 1:05:05 Email from Luke about SSDs
- 1:10:08 Email from Jesse about SRT notebooks
- 1:14:05 Quakecon Reminder - http://www.quakecon.org/
- Tshirts, prizes, stuff!
- Win a truck: http://www.pcper.com/news/Shows-and-Expos/QuakeCon-2011-Arrive-clunker%E2%80%A6-leave-beast
- 1:16:32 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
- Ryan: Evernote
- Jeremy: isostick ... 1/2 way through the kickstart process even
- Josh: dirt cheap USB 3.0 16GB
- Allyn: Sony DSC-HX100V
- 1-888-38-PCPER or firstname.lastname@example.org
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
- 1:25:46 Closing
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 27, 2011 - 03:24 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: catalyst, amd
You can get the official 11.7 Catalyst driver from AMD right here, just make sure to pick the right OS version.
Resolved issue highlights:
- All issues experienced with mouse cursor lag have been resolved
- Log event (Event ID 62464) issues when playing video content have been resolved
- Resolves system hangs seen in the AMD Catalyst™ 11.6 driver on specific HDMI and DP displays
- Bluray playback using PowerDVD 10 under High Performance mode no longer randomly displays a blank screen.
- Some Divx format files no longer display video corruption using WinDVD.
- AMD SteadyVideo is now applied to Home Video clips using WinDVD 10.
- Chequerboard corruption is no longer displayed intermittently when playing DirectX 10 titles in a Crossfire configuration and Eyefinity enabled.
- Shogun II now renders the cinematics correctly when run in various Eyefinity configurations.
- Video playback now works correctly when Hardware acceleration is enabled with VLC Player version 1.1.9.
- Crossfire now functions correctly when playing Hamilton’s Great Adventure.
- PowerDVD now correctly handles 3D Bluray content. Portal 2 no longer displays flickering on water surface textures with Medium and Low Shader detail settings.
Highlights of the Linux AMD Catalyst™ 11.7 release include:
This release of AMD Catalyst™ Linux introduces support for the following new operating systems:
- RHEL 5.7 support (early look)
- Ubuntu 11.04 production support
Highlights of the AMD Catalyst™ 11.8 preview driver include:
- Enables AMD HD3D technology support on DisplayPort panels, such as Samsung 750 and 950 series 3D displays.
- Improves performance up to 10% in Crysis 2 DirectX 11 version for both non-Anti-Aliasing, and application enabled Anti-Aliasing cases on the AMD Radeon™ HD 6000 and AMD Radeon™ HD 5000 Series
- Improves performance up to 8% in Fear 3 DirectX 11 version with application enabled Anti-Aliasing on the AMD Radeon™ HD 6000 and AMD Radeon™ HD 5000 Series
- Improves performance up to 30% when AMD’s Morphological Anti-Aliasing (MLAA) is enabled through the Catalyst™ Control Center on the AMD Radeon™ HD 6000 and AMD Radeon™ HD 5000 Series
The AMD Catalyst 11.8 Preview driver can be found here: http://support.amd.com/us/kbarticles/Pages/Catalyst118DriverPreview.aspx
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 27, 2011 - 12:57 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: gpu, amd, 28nm
A few weeks ago, a rumor regarding TSMC experiencing issues with NVIDIA’s 28nm manufacturing process for GPUs spread across the Internet. Not long after that rumor, a new rumor emerged that stated AMD would beat NVIDIA to 28nm. More information has now reached us in the form of a quote from AMD’s CFO Thomas Seifert who stated the following during the Q2 2011 Earnings Call:
“We also passed several critical milestones in the second quarter as we prepare our next-generation 28-nanometer graphics family. We have working silicon in-house and remain on track to deliver the first members of what we expect will be another industry-leading GPU family to market later this year. We expect to be at the forefront of the GPU industry's transition to 28-nanometer.”
With some talk of the new Radeon HD 7xxx series coming out as early as September, the statement that AMD has working silicon is a good sign that they are on track to deliver GPUs on the small 28nm manufacturing process. Whether they can beat NVIDIA to it; however, still remains to be seen. With that said, things are looking good for AMD’s GPU division. What are your thoughts on this, will NVIDIA pull a Hail Mary and get Kepler out of the gate before AMD can ramp up production of the new Radeons?
Subject: Editorial, Graphics Cards | July 25, 2011 - 02:23 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: amd, APU, llano, steady video, a8-3850, video
In our continuing coverage of the AMD Llano-based A-Series of APUs we have another short video that discusses and evaluates the performance of AMD's Steady Video technology publicly released to the world with the 11.6 driver revision this month. Steady Video, as we described it in our initial AMD Llano A8-3850 review is:
Using a heterogeneous computing model AMD's driver will have the ability to stabilize "bouncy" video that is usually associated with consumer cameras and unsteady hands.
Basically, AMD is on the war path to show you that your GPU can be used for more than just gaming and video transcoding. If the APU and heterogeneous computing is to thrive, unique and useful applications of the GPU cores found in Llano, Trinity and beyond must be realized. Real-time video filtering and stabilization with Steady Video is such an example and is exclusive to AMD GPUs and APUs.
As you can see there are no benchmarks in that video, no numbers we can really quote or reference to tell you "how much" better the corrected videos are compared to the originals. The examples we gave you there were NOT filtered or selected because they show off the technology better or worse than any others; instead we used it for what AMD said it should be used for - amateur video taken without tripods, etc.
And since this feature works not only AMD A-Series APUs but also on recent Radeon GPUs, I encourage you all to give it a shot and let us know what you think in our comments here below - do you find the feature useful and effective? Would you leave the option enabled full time or just turn on when you encounter a particularly bouncy video?
If you haven't seen our previous Video Perspectives focusing on AMD A-Series of APUs, you can catch them here:
- Video Perspective: AMD A-series APU Overclocking and Gaming Performance
- Video Perspective: AMD A-series APU Dual Graphics Technology Performance
Subject: Editorial | July 22, 2011 - 01:59 PM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: Sandy Bridge E, Q2 2011, llano, Intel, bulldozer, APU, amd
The first half of this year has been surprisingly strong for the chip industry, and Intel and AMD are helping to lead the way and satiate demand for new processors at all market levels.
Intel was first off the bat to release earnings for their 2nd quarter, and they again broke revenue and profit records for Q2. Gross revenue was a very healthy $13 billion and the company’s net profit was an impressive $3 billion. Margins are down from last year’s high of 67%, but the actual 61% far outshines that of their competition. Q2 2010 results were $10.8 billion in gross revenue and $2.9 billion net profit. While profit was “only” $100 million more than Q1 2010, the extra $2.2 billion in revenue is something to sit up and notice.
Sandy Bridge based parts have continued to propel Intel's domination of the CPU market.
Probably the two greatest strengths for Intel are extracting the most amount of performance per mm squared of die and of overall process technology leadership. Intel has been shipping 32 nm parts for some 18 months now, and their redesigned Sandy Bridge architecture has left their primary competition in the dust when it comes to overall multi-core CPU performance. Intel has improved their integrated graphics capabilities, but this is one area where they simply cannot compete with the more GPU focused AMD. Intel is also facing much increased competition in the mobile market from the Llano based chips and their accompanying chipset, which has been a virtual fortress for Intel until recently. While Intel still rules in CPU performance, the combination of rich graphics, chipset features, and competitive power consumption has made Llano a true threat to the mobile sector.
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 22, 2011 - 01:00 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, hd6950, powercolor, 6950 PCS+ Vortex 2
We have seen non-standard HD6950's with dual fans before, but not quite in the way that PowerColor implemented them. The fans can slide in and out of their shrouds, not only for cleaning but also to fine tune the way that they cool the card. Hardware Heaven managed a rather decent overclock on the card, hitting 908MHz on the GPU and 1496MHz GDDR5. The full list of features reads like a dream, copper block with thick heatpipes, dual BIOS, aluminium fins, solid capacitors, ferrite core chokes and DrMos, probably why this card costs a wee bit more than your average card.
"Today we will be putting the 6950 PCS+ Vortex 2 and its unique cooler through a selection of real world gaming, multimedia and GPU computing tasks to see how it stacks up against some of the best competitor cards on the market."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- MSI R6950 Twin Frozer III Power Edition Review @ OCC
- HIS Radeon HD 6770 IceQ X Turbo 1GB @ Tweaktown
- Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 Dirt 3 Edition 2GB Video Card Review @ ThinkComputers
- Sapphire Radeon HD 5830 Xtreme 1GB Graphics Card Review @ eTeknix
- Asus Radeon HD 6670 1GB Graphics Card Review @ eTeknix
- AMD Radeon HD 6000 Gallium3D Attempts To Compete With Catalyst @ Phoronix
- HIS Radeon HD 6970 IceQ Mix Graphics Card Review @ HardwareHeaven.
- July 2011 Open-Source Graphics Driver Comparison @ Phoronix
- AMD Radeon HD 6670 1GB Video Card Review @ Madshrimps
- HIS Radeon HD 6970 MIX 2GB Graphics Card Review @ eTeknix
- Crysis 2 - DX9 vs DX11 - 6990 vs GTX590 @ OC3D
- KFA2 GT 520 Passive 1GB Graphics Card Review @ eTeknix
- NVIDIA's New FXAA Antialiasing Technology @ [H]ard|OCP