Graphics shipments rise 10% despite falling PC sales; NVIDIA share drops

Subject: Graphics Cards, Processors | May 3, 2011 - 07:37 PM |
Tagged: jpr, nvidia, gpus, amd, Intel

In a mixed report coming from Jon Peddie Research, information about the current state of the GPU world is coming into focus. Despite seeing only 83 million PCs shipping in Q1 2011 (a 5.4% drop compared to Q4 2010), the shipment of GPUs rose by 10.3%. While this no doubt means that just as many in the industry have been predicting, the GPU is becoming more important to the processing and computing worlds, there are several factors that should be considered before taking this news as win for the market as whole.

First, these results include the GPUs found in Intel and AMD’s CPU/GPU combo processors like the Sandy Bridge platforms, AMD’s Fusion APU and the more recent Intel Atom cores as well. If a notebook or desktop system then ships with a discrete solution from AMD or NVIDIA in addition to one of those processors, then the report indicates that two GPUs have shipped. We can assume then that because ALL Sandy Bridge processors include a GPU on them that much of this rise is due to the above consideration. 

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JPR does warn that there is a concern that this 10.3% rise in GPU shipments (not sales, necessarily) could result in a significant stock overage going in to the second quarter of the year and might stifle shipment numbers for Q2 and Q3 2011. If both AMD and NVIDIA have been stock piling graphics cards on store shelves (you know, due to these continuous low-to-mid-range GPU wars) then this seems like a likely scenario as we go into the mid-year cycle.
 
Looking at individual market share numbers both Intel and AMD gained at the expense of NVIDIA, the lone notable company in this fight without a CPU/GPU platform to fall back on. 
 
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AMD and Intel both saw slight improvements in their market share from Q4 2010 to Q1 2011 (0.6% and 1.9% respectively) while NVIDIA’s dropped by 2.5%. However it is the year-to-year growth that should really scare the executives at NVIDIA; the company has dropped from 28% to 20% of the total GPU shipments while AMD grew 3.3% and Intel improved by 4.8%. 
 
As mentioned above, these numbers look worse than they probably are for NVIDIA. The drop from 28% to 20% is based on unit sales of the total GPUs that JPR counts. Because of drastic increase in CPU/GPU combination parts on the market that number that NVIDIA is now a portion of has increased pretty quickly. What would be more accurate to report NVIDIA’s current state is to see how their discrete sales have compared to AMD’s discrete shipments. Is NVIDIA’s market share in danger because of these changes? Yes. But is it as dire as these JPR results seem to indicate? I don’t believe so. 
 
These types of reports are interesting for us to look at and discuss but sometimes the obtuse nature of the statistics and the lack of detail to break down the results really can change the picture pretty dramatically. More data points are always better but the knowledge to parse them is even more…better.
Source: JPR

Ultimate 45nm silicon, the last of the Phenon X4s

Subject: Processors | May 3, 2011 - 10:04 AM |
Tagged: phenom ii, x4, amd, 980, 45nm

Remember the Phenom II, that CPU which was once incredible but is now the processor that those waiting for Llano are getting a little bored with?  It has a new flagship model for the X4 series, called the X4 980 which runs at 3.7GHz and sports the same 45nm technology we have come to know so well.  Read on to see if Josh could find anything about the last of the 45nms that will knock the dust off his case or if we are looking at more of the same, if slightly faster, silicon.

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"In the end, this is a simple 100 MHz increase in clockspeed for AMD for their high end quad core processor. It is not all that much faster than the previous X4 975, but at least it does not consume all that much more power than the previous model. It is a good all-around performer, and would make a solid foundation for a productivity and gaming machine for most users. Invariably though, most eyes are drawn to the horizon and the promise of Llano and Bulldozer. Hopefully for AMD these next generation processors will allow them to more adequately compete with Intel when it comes to raw performance."

Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:

Processors

AMD's new DX11 compatible embedded E6760 GPU can handle 6 displays

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | May 3, 2011 - 08:54 AM |
Tagged: e6760, embedded, gpu, amd, eyefinity

Usually reading off a list of the abilities of an embedded GPU are fairly quick ... determine if it can handle YouTube in high definition and maybe play WoW and move on.  APUs offer a bit more interest for enthusiasts with interesting load sharing applications with a discreet GPU and the rise of SandyBridge and Bobcat seem to spell the end of the GPU embedded on a motherboard.  However there are still a few tricks left before the end of the line, the new Radeon E6760 isn't going to win many speed races but it can support up to 6 monitors, a nice trick when you consider that many of these chips will be running displays in casinos, airports and medical imaging.  The E4690 is finally retiring, meet the new E6760 at AnandTech.

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"Kicking off our coverage of embedded GPUs is AMD’s Radeon E6760, which is launching today. The E6760 is the latest and greatest AMD embedded video card, utilizing the Turks GPU (6600/6700M) from AMD’s value lineup. The E6760 isn’t a product most of us will be buying directly, but if AMD has it their way it’s a product a lot of us will be seeing in action in the years to come in embedded devices."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: AnandTech

AMD Catalyst 11.4 for Linux Released

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Chipsets | May 3, 2011 - 08:54 AM |
Tagged: ubuntu, rhel, Red Hat, opensuse, linux, driver, catalyst, ati, amd

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In a previous article we stated:

"Highlights of the Linux AMD Catalyst™ 11.4 release include: This release of AMD Catalyst™ Linux introduces support for the following new operating systems Ubuntu 11.04 support (early look) SLED/SLES 10 SP4 support (early look) RHEL 5.6 support (production)"

AMD introduced a new feature into Linux with Catalyst™ 11.4, PowerXpress.

  • PowerXpress: Will enable certain mainstream mobile chipsets to seemlessly switch from integrated graphics to the dedicated graphics. *note: This only applies to Intel Processors with on chip graphics and AMD dedicated graphics and must be switched on by invoking switchlibGL and switchlibglx and restarting the Xorg server.

If you are running RHEL 5.6 or SLED/SLES 10 SP4 and need the driver you can get it here.

If you are running Ubuntu 11.04, install the driver under the "Additional Drivers" program.

If you are running a BSD variant you must still use the Open-Source driver "Radeon" and "RadeonHD" as AMD has yet to release a BSD driver.

Be sure to check back to PCPer for my complete review of the 11.4 driver and PowerXpress.

Source: AMD
Author:
Subject: Processors
Manufacturer: AMD

Phenom II End of Line

It was January, 2009 when AMD released their first 45 nm product to the desktop market.  While the server market actually received the first 45 nm parts some months earlier, they were pretty rare until AMD finished ramping production and was able to release the next generation of Phenom parts into the wild.  The Phenom II proved an able competitor to Intel’s seemingly unstoppable Core 2 architecture.  While the Phenom II typically had to be clocked slightly higher than the competing products, they held up well in terms of price and performance.

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AMD was finally able to overcome the stigma of the original Phenom launch, which was late, slow, and featured that wonderful revision B2 bug.  The Phenom II showed none of those problems, per clock performance was enhanced, and the chips were able to run at speeds of 3.0 GHz.  These chips were able to hit speeds of 4+ GHz on water cooling, and 5+ GHz using LNO2.  AMD seemed finally back in the game.  The Phenom II looked to propel AMD back into competitiveness with Intel, and the leaks pertaining to the 6 core versions of the architecture only made consumers all the more excited for what was to come.

AMD Llano Integrated Graphics Looks Like HD 6550

Subject: Graphics Cards, Processors | May 2, 2011 - 04:59 PM |
Tagged: llano, fusion, amd

On Valentine’s Day, AMD reached out to us after our relationship with Intel’s Sandy B. broke down. A mug, some chocolate, and a promise of a wonderful date with their good friend Llano was AMD’s hope to help us move on to a more stable relationship. Months have gone by and we have made up with Sandy with many a great SATAday spent together. While Llano has yet to appear, AMD did urge us to keep waiting by revealing some of her measurements and an option for another playful partner.

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Image from Donanim Haber

Llano’s GPU, as reported by Donanim Haber (translated to English), will feature 400 stream processors which will be clocked at 594 MHz. TechPowerUp also reports that it will be DirectX 11 compatible as expected and can pair up with one of AMD’s “Turks” based discrete GPUs: the HD 6570 and HD 6670. This combined GPU will be registered to the system as a Radeon HD6690 using Hybrid CrossFireX.

Just under two weeks ago we reviewed the aforementioned "Turks" based HD 6670 and 6570 with games like Left 4 Dead 2. Alone, those cards were able to play many games with antialiasing for people with monitor resolutions of 1680x1050. Llano will not perform as well as those cards but should be able to play those same games, and others, with just a few settings reduced. That said, Llano is also not a discrete card and thus it is not necessarily fair to compare it with one. Lastly, Llano can also be paired with those cards for further performance benefits making them all the more enticing for gamers not wishing to purchase higher end discrete graphics cards.

Source: Donanimhaber

ZOTAC Introduces FUSION-ITX WiFi A-series

Subject: Motherboards | April 29, 2011 - 04:31 PM |
Tagged: zotac, itx, fusion, amd

“ZOTAC International, a leading innovator and the world’s largest channel manufacturer of graphics cards, motherboards and mini-PCs, today introduces the new FUSION-ITX WiFi A-series – a world-class mainboard that combines the power of AMD Radeon™ HD graphics processing with class-leading energy-efficiency for the ultimate flexible mini-ITX form factor.
 
The ZOTAC® FUSION-ITX WiFi A-series features the AMD E-350 APU platform that incorporates a dual-core 1.6 GHz processor with Microsoft® DirectX® 11 compatible AMD Radeon™ HD 6310 graphics for the ultimate synergy of CPU and GPU performance. The combination enables flawless high-definition Blu-ray and streaming Internet video playback capabilities for a visually rich computing experience in a mini-ITX platform.”
 
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Specifications:
Product Name
FUSION-ITX WiFi A-series
Chipset
AMD E-350 APU Platform
South Bridge
AMD M1
GPU
AMD Radeon™ HD 6310
CPU Compatibility
Integrated dual-core 1.6 GHz
System Bus
N/A
Memory support
2 x DDR3-1066 SO-DIMM slots
Memory capacity
Up to 8GB
Expansion
PCI Express x4 (open-end)
Mini-PCI Express (occupied by WiFi card)
SATA
4 SATA 6.0 Gb/s
1 eSATA
Display outputs
DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI-I & VGA (with included adapter)
WiFi
802.11n
Ethernet
10/100/1000Mbps
USB
4 USB 3.0 ports (2 on back panel, 2 via pin headers)
6 USB 2.0 ports (4 on back panel, 2 via pin headers)
Audio
8-channel high-definition audio
HDMI audio output (lossless bit stream ready)
Digital S/PDIF (optical) output
DirectX® support
DirectX® 11 with Shader Model 5
Other hardware features
OpenGL® 3.2, AMD Avivo™ HD technology, AMD Stream technology, dual simultaneous display support
Windows® 7 capability
Certified for Windows® 7 premium®

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 The ZOTAC FUSION-ITX WFi A-series is a great motherboard for a home theater or low power small form factor PC. Being a mini-ITX size motherboard does not mean it lacks features. This mini-ITX motherboard includes the AMD Fusion E350 APU W/ AMD Radeon HD 6310 graphics, 2 DDR3 SO-DIMM slots, an open ended PCI Express x4 slot with the capacity of handing a full x16 card, 4 SATAIII ports, 1 eSATA port, 802.11n wireless, gigabit Ethernet, a total of 10 USB ports and 8 channel audio with HDMI audio output.
 
 It is uncommon for any motherboard to include four USB 3.0 ports. The ZOTAC FUSION-ITX WFi A-series has two on the back and two in the front. One thing to keep in mind is most cases don’t officially support USB 3.0 front ports as of yet. Will the current USB 2.0 front panel ports work at USB 3.0 speed?
 
The biggest advantage the AMD Fusion APU’s has over Intel’s Atom’s CPU is the graphics portion. Intel’s Atom graphics have problems with HD 1080p video, unless it is paired with NVidia’s ION graphics. This motherboard supports up to 8GB of ram and should be enough for any HTPC or SFF computer build. No fan over the APU makes for a quiet pc, and thats important if your using this motherboard for a home theater pc.
Source: Zotac

Podcast #152 - ASRock Fatal1ty P67 Motherboard, EVGA GTX460 2Win, NVIDIA Synergy and more!

Subject: General Tech | April 28, 2011 - 09:22 AM |
Tagged: synergy, sony vaio, podcast, nvidia, gtx 460, asus, asrock, amd

PC Perspective Podcast #152 - 4/28/2011

This week we talk about the ASRock Fatal1ty P67 Motherboard, EVGA GTX460 2Win, NVIDIA Synergy, AMD quarterly earnings, Viewer questions 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, Josh Walrath, and Allyn Malventano

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI Computer, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!

Program length: 1:09:40

Program Schedule:

Source:

AMD hints at possible ARM processors

Subject: Processors | April 28, 2011 - 08:41 AM |
Tagged: arm, amd

 

"AMD (NYSE: AMD) today announced a distinguished line-up of keynote speakers as well as technical session topics for the inaugural AMD Fusion Developer Summit (AFDS), which will be held June 13-16, 2011 at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue, Washington.
 
Industry keynote presentations will be delivered by esteemed industry experts from AMD, ARM and Microsoft. In his keynote “Heterogeneous Parallelism at Microsoft” Herb Sutter, Microsoft principal architect of Native Languages, will showcase upcoming innovations to bring access to increasingly heterogeneous compute resources directly into the world’s most popular native languages.
 
Jem Davies, ARM fellow and vice president of Technology, Media Processing Division, will deliver a keynote about ARM’s long history of heterogeneous computing, its future strategy, and ARM’s support of standards, including OpenCL™."

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Could AMD be developing ARM based products for tablets, netbooks, servers and smartphones? There will be a version of Windows 8 that is ARM compatible. AMD may be working on a version of Fusion that uses ARM instead of x86.

It would make sense for AMD to license the ARM architecture if they could compete with Nvidia’s Tegra and Qualcomm’s snapdragon processors.  AMD has a proven track record in creating graphics cards and so does NVidia. Will that give AMD an advantage from the start?  Can AMD produce a better product or a product that is used in different types of applications that Tegra or future Tegra products were not designed for?

 For several years now AMD has always been playing catch-up with Intel’s x86 processors and there in no end in sight. Will Bulldozer give AMD the performance catch-up needed to be faster the Intel? I doubt it or at least not when Sandy Bridge-EX comes out in Q4 of 2011.

We will have more information after the AMD Fusion Developer Summit.

 

Source: AMD

AMD 990FX, 990X and 970 chipsets to get NVIDIA SLI Support

Subject: Graphics Cards, Motherboards, Chipsets | April 28, 2011 - 06:45 AM |
Tagged: sli, nvidia, amd, 990x, 990fx, 970

In a move that is long overdue, NVIDIA's Tom Peteresen announced on a blog post that SLI multi-GPU support was finally going to be offered on AMD platforms with the upcoming launch of the AMD 990FX, 990X and 970 chipsets.  On previous AMD platforms users have not been able to use multiple NVIDIA graphics cards in SLI because NVIDIA simply did not allow licensing of the technology on them.  As of this month, that policy is changing.

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According to the post, NVIDIA has had a change of heart and wants to "make sure gamers can benefit from the new CPU competitive landscape and ensure they have NVIDIA SLI – the highest performance, most stable multi-GPU solution - to game on!"  The lack of SLI on previous chipsets was the result of Intel being the dominate CPU platform of choice for gamers in recent years. 

ASUS, Gigabyte, ASRock, and MSI are going to be the first out of the block with motherboard based on the AMD 990FX, 990X and 970 chipsets with SLI support according to NVIDIA's Petersen. 

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This doesn't change NVIDIA's stance on the whole licensing and charging motherboard vendors to integrate SLI thing, however.  In an ideal world, NVIDIA would have announced that they were opening up SLI to work on ANY motherboard, future or present, that has enough PCI Express slots on them, just like we see today with AMD's own CrossFire technology.  Despite pressure to do that, NVIDIA is standing by its current formula and expanding into the realm of AMD chipsets.  

Regardless, today is a good day for AMD fans and gamers alike that want more choice and more variety in their system build options for the future.  The AMD Llano and Bulldozer-based processors just got a little more gaming friendly.

Source: NVIDIA