Manufacturer: Adobe

OpenCL Support in a Meaningful Way

Adobe had OpenCL support since last year. You would never benefit from its inclusion unless you ran one of two AMD mobility chips under Mac OSX Lion, but it was there. Creative Cloud, predictably, furthers this trend with additional GPGPU support for applications like Photoshop and Premiere Pro.

This leads to some interesting points:

  • How OpenCL is changing the landscape between Intel and AMD
  • What GPU support is curiously absent from Adobe CC for one reason or another
  • Which GPUs are supported despite not... existing, officially.

adobe-cs-products.jpg

This should be very big news for our readers who do production work whether professional or for a hobby. If not, how about a little information about certain GPUs that are designed to compete with the GeForce 700-series?

Read on for our thoughts, after the break.

Rumor: AMD Gets Exclusive Optimization for all Frostbite 3 Games

Subject: Graphics Cards | June 18, 2013 - 12:39 PM |
Tagged: radeon, nvidia, geforce, frostbite 3, ea, dice, amd

UPDATE #3

The original source article at IGN.com has been updated with some new information.  Now they are saying the agreement between AMD and EA is "non-exclusive and gamers using other components will be supported." 

The quote from an EA rep says as follows:

DICE has a partnership with AMD specifically for Battlefield 4 on PC to showcase and optimize the game for AMD hardware," an EA spokesperson said. "This does not exclude DICE from working with other partners to ensure players have a great experience across a wide set of PCs for all their titles.

END UPDATE #3

This could be a huge deal for NVIDIA and AMD in the coming months - according to a story at IGN.com, AMD has entered into an agreement with EA that will allow them exclusive rights to optimization for all games based around the Frostbite 3 engine.  That includes Battlefield 4, Mirror's Edge 2, Need for Speed Rivals and many more games due out this year and in 2014.  Here is the quote that is getting my attention:

Starting with the release of Battlefield 4, all current and future titles using the Frostbite 3 engine — Need for Speed Rivals, Mirror's Edge 2, etc. — will ship optimized exclusively for AMD GPUs and CPUs. While Nvidia-based systems will be supported, the company won't be able to develop and distribute updated drivers until after each game is released.

bf4.jpg

Battlefield 4 will be exclusive optimized for AMD hardware.

This is huge news for AMD as the Frostbite 3 engine will be used for all EA published games going forward with the exception of sports titles.  The three mentioned above are huge but this also includes Star Wars Battlefront, Dragon Age and even the next Mass Effect so I can't really emphasize enough how big of a win this could be for AMD's marketing and developer relations teams. 

I am particularly interested in this line as well:

While Nvidia-based systems will be supported, the company won't be able to develop and distribute updated drivers until after each game is released.

The world of PC optimizations and partnerships has been around for a long time so this isn't a huge surprise for anyone that follows PC gaming.  What is bothersome to me is that both EA and AMD are saying are rumored to have agreed that NVIDIA won't get access to the game as it is being developed - something that is CRUCIAL for day-of driver releases and performance tweaks for GeForce card owners.  In most cases, both AMD and NVIDIA developer relations teams get early access to game builds for PC titles in order to validate compatibility and to improve performance of these games for the public release.  Without these builds, NVIDIA would be at a big disadvantage.  This is exactly what happend with the recent Tomb Raider release.

UPDATE

AMD called me to reiterate their stance that competition does not automatically mean cutting out the other guy.  In the Tomb Raider story linked above, Neil Robison, AMD's Senior Director of Consumer and Graphics Alliances, states quite plainly: "The thing that angers me the most is when I see a request to debilitate a game. I understand winning, I get that, and I understand aggressive companies, I get that. Why would you ever want to introduce a feature on purpose that would make a game not good for half the gaming audience?"

So what do we take away from that statement, made in a story published in March, and today's rumor?  We have to take AMD at its word until we see solid evidence otherwise, or enough cases of this occurring to feel like I am being duped but AMD wants us all to know that they are playing the game the "right way."  That stance just happens to be counter to this rumor. 

END UPDATE

tombraider.jpg

NVIDIA had performance and compatibility issues with Tomb Raider upon release.

The irony in all of this is that AMD has been accusing NVIDIA of doing this exact thing for years - though without any public statements from developers, publishers or NVIDIA.  When Batman: Arkham Asylum was launched AMD basically said that NVIDIA had locked them out of supporting antialiasing.  In 2008, Assassin's Creed dropped DX 10.1 support supposedly because NVIDIA asked them too, who didn't have support for it at the time in GeForce cards.  Or even that NVIDIA was disabling cores for PhysX CPU support to help prop up GeForce sales.  At the time, AMD PR spun this as the worst possible thing for a company to do in the name of gamers, that is was bad for the industry, etc.  But times change as opportunity changes.

The cold truth is that this is why AMD decided to take the chance that NVIDIA was allegedly unwilling to and take the console design wins that are often noted as being "bad business."  If settling for razor thin margins on the consoles is a risk, the reward that AMD is hoping to get is exactly this: benefits in other markets thanks to better relationships with game developers.

ps4controller.jpg

Will the advantage be with AMD thanks to PS4 and Xbox One hardware?

At E3 I spoke in-depth with both NVIDIA and AMD executives about this debate and as you might expect both have very different opinions about what is going to transpire in the next 12-24 months.  AMD views this advantage (being in the consoles) as the big bet that is going to pay off for the more profitable PC space.  NVIDIA thinks that AMD still doesn't have what it takes to truly support developers in the long run and they don't have the engineers to innovate on the technology side.  In my view, having Radeon-based processors in the Xbox One and Playstation 4 (as well as the Wii U I guess) gives AMD a head start but won't win them the race for the hearts and minds of PC gamers. There is still a lot of work to be done for that.

Before this story broke I was planning on outlining another editorial on this subject and it looks like it just got promoted to a top priority.  There appear to be a lot of proverbial shoes left to drop in this battle, but it definitely needs more research and discussion. 

batmanaa.jpg

Remember the issues with Batman: Arkham Asylum?  I do.

I asked both NVIDIA and AMD for feedback on this story but only AMD has replied thus far.  Robert Hallock, PR manager for gaming and graphics, Graphics Business Unit at AMD sent me this:

It makes sense that game developers would focus on AMD hardware with AMD hardware being the backbone of the next console generation. At this time, though, our relationship with EA is exclusively focused on Battlefield 4 and its hardware optimizations for AMD CPUs, GPUs and APUs.

Not much there, but he is also not denying of the original report coming from IGN.  It might just be too early for a more official statement.  I will update this story with information from NVIDIA if I hear anything else.

What do YOU think about this announcement though?  Is this good news for AMD and bad news for NVIDIA?  Is it good or bad for the gamer and in particular, the PC gamer?  Your input will help guide or upcoming continued talks with NVIDIA and AMD on the subject. 

UPDATE #2

Just so we all have some clarification on this and on the potential for validity of the rumor, this is where I sourced the story from this afternoon:

taylorquote.png

END UPDATE #2

Source: IGN
Author:
Manufacturer: NVIDIA

Kepler-based Mobile GPUs

Late last month, just before the tech world blew up from the mess that is Computex, NVIDIA announced a new line of mobility discrete graphics parts under the GTX 700M series label.  At the time we simply posted some news and specifications about the new products but left performance evaluation for a later time.  Today we have that for the highest end offering, the GeForce GTX 780M. 

As with most mobility GPU releases it seems, the GTX 700M series is not really a new GPU and only offers cursory feature improvements.  Based completely on the Kepler line of parts, the GTX 700M will range from 1536 CUDA cores on the GTX 780M to 768 cores on the GTX 760M. 

slide2.jpg

The flagship GTX 780M is essentially a desktop GTX 680 card in a mobile form factor with lower clock speeds.  With 1536 CUDA cores running at 823 MHz and boosting to higher speeds depending on the notebook configuration, a 256-bit memory controller running at 5 GHz, the GTX 780M will likely be the fastest mobile GPU you can buy.  (And we’ll be testing that in the coming pages.) 

The GTX 760M, 765M and 770M offering ranges of performance that scale down to 768 cores at 657 MHz.  NVIDIA claims we’ll see the GTX 760M in systems as small as 14-in and below with weights at 2kg or so from vendors like MSI and Acer.  For Ultrabooks and thinner machines you’ll have to step down to smaller, less power hungry GPUs like the GT 750 and 740 but even then we expect NVIDIA to have much faster gaming performance than the Haswell-based processor graphics.

Continue reading our performance review of the new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M mobility GPU!!

Podcast #255 - AMD's 5 GHz Processor, 1080p Oculus Rift, and more news from Computex!

Subject: General Tech | June 13, 2013 - 11:33 AM |
Tagged: wwdc, video, titan, podcast, oculus rift, nvidia, FX, apple, amd, a10-6800k, 5ghz

PC Perspective Podcast #255 - 06/13/2013

Join us this week as we discuss AMD's 5 GHz Processor, 1080p Oculus Rift, and more news from Computex!

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: Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath and Morry Teitelman

Program length: 57:27

  1. Week in Review:
  2. News items of interest:
    1. 0:40:40
  3. 0:49:00 Hardware/Software Picks of the Week:
    1. Ryan: LA Traffic
    2. Jeremy: The mighty can of air
    3. Allyn: Cold Medication
    4. Morry: more pump for your pump - Swiftech MCP35X
    5. Scott: Now with 100% more compelling. Alienware X51
  4. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com

 

Author:
Manufacturer: NVIDIA

A necessary gesture

NVIDIA views the gaming landscape as a constantly shifting medium that starts with the PC.  But the company also sees mobile gaming, cloud gaming and even console gaming as part of the overall ecosystem.  But that is all tied together by an investment in content – the game developers and game publishers that make the games that we play on PCs, tablets, phones and consoles.

nv14.jpg

The slide above shows NVIDIA targeting for each segment – expect for consoles obviously.  NVIDIA GRID will address the cloud gaming infrastructure, GeForce and the GeForce Experience will continue with the PC systems and NVIDIA SHIELD and the Tegra SoC will get the focus for the mobile and tablet spaces.  I find it interesting that NVIDIA has specifically called out Steam under the PC – maybe a hint of the future for the upcoming Steam Box?

The primary point of focus for today’s press meeting was to talk about the commitment that NVIDIA has to the gaming world and to developers.  AMD has been talking up their 4-point attack on gaming that starts really with the dominance in the console markets.  But NVIDIA has been the leader in the PC world for many years and doesn’t see that changing.

nv02.jpg

With several global testing facilities, the most impressive of which exists in Russia, NVIDIA tests more games, more hardware and more settings combinations than you can possibly imagine.  They tune drivers and find optimal playing settings for more than 100 games that are now wrapped up into the GeForce Experience software.  They write tools for developers to find software bottlenecks and test for game streaming latency (with the upcoming SHIELD). They invest more in those areas than any other hardware vendor.

nv03.jpg

This is a list of technologies that NVIDIA claims they invented or developed – an impressive list that includes things like programmable shaders, GPU compute, Boost technology and more. 

nv04.jpg

Many of these turned out to be very important in the development and advancement of gaming – not for PCs but for ALL gaming. 

Continue reading our editorial on NVIDIA's stance on it's future in PC gaming!!

Podcast #254 - NVIDIA GTX 770, Haswell and Z87 Reviews, AMD Richland APUs and ton of Computex news!

Subject: General Tech | June 6, 2013 - 10:42 AM |
Tagged: podcast, video, haswell, gtx 770, amd, Richland, nvidia, computex, asus, Transformer, 4k

PC Perspective Podcast #254 - 06/06/2013

Join us this week as we discuss the NVIDIA GTX 770, Haswell and Z87 Reviews, AMD Richland APUs and ton of Computex news!

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, Allyn Malventano and Morry Teitelman

Program length: 1:41:16

  1. Week in Review:
  2. News items of interest:
    1. Jeremy: Something I have to test for work
  3. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  4. Closing/outro

 

Computex 2013: ASUS G750 Gaming Notebook Uses Haswell, GTX 700M Hardware

Subject: Systems, Mobile | June 3, 2013 - 10:30 PM |
Tagged: asus, g750, gaming notebook, haswell, gtx 700M, nvidia, Intel, computex, computex 2013

With the launch of new processors and mobile graphics cards, many vendors are announcing gaming systems at the Computex 2013 trade show. One such product which was announced a couple of hours ago is the ASUS G750 17" gaming notebook. This portable powerhouse utilizes Intel's 4th Generation Core "Haswell" chips as well as NVIDIA's GTX 700M mobile GPU series in a sleek aluminum chassis to offer up decent gaming and compute performance on the go.

ASUS_ROG_G750_Gaming_Notebook_Front.jpg

Much like MSI's GS70, the ASUS G750 is monster of a laptop at 17". The aluminum chassis has a brushed metal texture and the large display lifts up and exends forward towards the keyboard slightly to angle the display without stressing the hinge (presumably). The backlit keyboard is full QWERTY with a number pad to the right and isolated arrow keys. A large touchpad occupies the area under the keyboard and has multi-touch support and hardware mouse buttons. The chassis itself has a highly angular design that does its best not to look boxy despite the large form factor. The most eye catching feature is actually on the back, however, where the two large stylized Battlestar Galactica-esque vents reside.

External connectivity options include a Kensington lock, two USB 3.0 ports, and a DVD multi drive on the left side of the G750. The right side of the gaming notebook hosts the power jack, and VGA, HDMI, and DisplayPort video outputs as well as two USB 3.0 and two 3.5mm audio jacks. The headphone jack doubles as a S/PDIF output and also features a built-in headphone amplifier. ASUS Sonic Master audio and AudioWizard software offers 5 genre audio equalization modes.

ASUS_ROG_G750_Gaming_Notebook_Rear.jpg

As mentioned above, the system will use Core i7 Intel Haswell CPUs and the new NVIDIA GTX 700M graphics cards, which you can read about here. The exact CPU and GPU you get will depend on your configuration choices at checkout, though expect at least the GTX765M to be available.

ASUS has not yet announced pricing or availability for the G750. You can find the full release linked below.

Source: ASUS

Computex 2013: ASUS Working On GTX 770 Poseidon With Hybrid Waterblock and Air Cooler HSF

Subject: Graphics Cards | June 3, 2013 - 09:04 PM |
Tagged: poseidon, nvidia, kepler, gtx 770, gk-104, computex 2013, computex, ASUS ROG, asus

NVIDIA took the wraps off of its latest-generation Geforce GTX 770 GPU last week, and manufacturers have begun announcing not only reference designs but custom and factory overclocked versions of this GK-104 "Kepler" GPU refresh. One card in particular that caught my attention was the ASUS GTX 770 Poseidon graphics card, which combines NVIDIA's GK-104 GPU with a hybrid heatsink and fan combo that allows the simultaneous use of water and air cooling!

ASUS_ROG_Poseidon_GraphicsCard_with_Hybrid_DirectCU_H2O_and_CoolTech_Fan.jpg

According to the branding, and a hands-on report by Tech Power Up at Computex in Taipei, Taiwan, the GTX 770 Poseidon graphics card is part of the company's Republic of Gamers (ROG) line and likely sports beefy VRM hardware and factory GPU overclocks. Of course, the GTX 770 GPU uses NVIDIA's Kepler architecture and is essentially the GTX 680 with some seriously overclocked memory and refined GPU Boost technology. That means 1,536 CUDA cores, 128 texture units, and 32 ROPs (raster operation units) within 4 GPCs (Graphics Processing Clusters). This is the full GK-104 chip, desite the x70 name. For more information on the GTX 770 GPU, check out our recent review of the NVIDIA GTX 770 card.

Update: ASUS has just launched the new ROG graphics cards at a Computex press conference. According to the ASUS press release:

"ROG Poseidon graphics card with hybrid DirectCU H2O cooling
The new ROG Poseidon graphics card features an NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 700 Series GPU and a hybrid DirectCU H2O thermal design that supports both air and liquid cooling. Developed by ASUS, its CoolTech fan combines blower and axial fans in one design, forcing air in multiple directions over the heatsink to maximize heat dissipation. Liquid cooling reduces operating temperatures by up to 31 degrees Celsius for cooler running with even greater overclocking potential. ROG Poseidon also features a red pulsing ROG logo for a distinctive dash of style."

(end update)

Back on the Poseidon specifcally, the card is a short GTX 770 with a distinctive cooler that uses a full cover water block that covers the entire card and includes the GPU, memory, and VRM areas. ASUS further added a more-traditional air cooler to the area above the GPU itself to help dissapate heat. The air cooler is a circular aluminum fin array with a fan that sits in the middle. The air entire hybrid cooler is then covered by a ROG-themed shroud with a configurable LED-backlit Republic of Gamers logo on the side that can be controlled via software.

ASUS_ROG_Poseidon_GraphicsCard_with_Gquarter_Fitting_and_LED_light.jpg

The water cooling portion acts as any other full cover water block, allowing cool water to move heat away from the metal contact (the bottom of the block) touching the various components. The inlet and outlets poke out from the side of the card, which is a bit odd but the shroud prevents them coming out at 90-degrees like typical blocks. If your case width is tight, you may need to get creative to fit a 90-degree barb extender (I apologize if that's not the technical term) on to the existing tubing connectors (heh). The cooler can be operated with the air cooler's fan running with or without being connected to a water loop. When water cooling is used, the fan can be turned off to reduce noise or left on to allow for higher overclocks and/or lower temperatures.

Unfortunately, that is all of the information that is currently available  as ASUS has not yet officially launched on the custom GTX 770 graphics card. Pricing, availability, and clockspeed details are still unknown.

For more information, stay tuned to the press.asus.com/events livestream page as it might be announced at a Computex press conference this week since the company is showing off the hardware at the show!

Source: ASUS

Computex 2013: MSI Launches GS70 17" Gaming Notebook With GTX765M Graphics

Subject: Systems, Mobile, Shows and Expos | June 3, 2013 - 07:59 PM |
Tagged: computex 2013, computex, nvidia, msi, kepler, Intel, haswell, gtx 700M, gs70, gaming notebook

A couple of weeks ago, MSI revealed the GX70 and GX60 gaming notebooks powered by AMD's latest Richland APUs and 8970M (and 7970M) discrete graphics cards. Today, the company added the GS70 notebook to its lineup, and it is the opposite in terms of underlying technology. Specifically, the GS70 is a 17" gaming notebook with an Intel Haswell processor and a NVIDIA GTX765M. The portable gaming machine is 22mm thick and weighs in at less than 5.7 pounds (2.6kg), which is a noticeably weight reduction versus the Richland-powered models.

MSI GS70 Stealth 17-inch Gaming Notebook.jpg

Expert Reviews UK goes hands-on with a prototype of the MSI GS70 at Computex 2013.

The GS70 comes clad in glossy black and is constructed of aluminum. External features include a large 17" (likely TN) display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080, a SteelSeries-engineered multicolor backlit keyboard, and a large trackpad. Connectivity options include:

  • 4 x USB 3.0
  • 1 x RJ45 LAN jack
  • 3 x audio jacks (with surround sound support)
  • 1 x SD card slot
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 2 x mini DisplayPort

Internal specifications include a not-yet-named Intel 4th Generation Core "Haswell" CPU, 8GB of DDR3 RAM, and a NVIDIA GTX 765M. The discrete GPU is based on NVIDIA's Kepler architecture and features 768 CUDA cores clocked at 850 MHz and up to 2GB of graphics memory clocked at 1 GHz on a 128-bit bus. The system also uses a Killer NIC networking card and MSI's own SuperRAID technology that pairs two solid state drives in a RAID configuration for pure performance. The system should be able to play all modern PC games, though some details will need to be turned down. Multi-display output is supported for up to three external displays as well.

Unfortunately, MSI has not yet announced pricing or availability for this notebook. I would expect it to (paradoxically, despite the naming conventions) cost more than the existing GX70 (due to the newer, and faster, technology used) which starts at $1,399.99 MSRP. Keep an eye out for reviews later this year if you are interested in a mobile gaming PC, as this one looks interesting. Until then, Expert Reviews UK has some initial impressions and additional photos in this article.

Computex 2013: Acer's Refreshed Aspire S3 Has Solid Internals, Odd Keyboard Layout

Subject: Mobile | June 3, 2013 - 01:09 AM |
Tagged: acer, computex 2013, aspire s3, haswell, gt700m, nvidia, Intel, gt735m

Acer is showing off a refresh of its Aspire S3 notebook at Computex in Taipei this year that will integrate the latest technology from Intel and NVIDIA. The new Acer Aspire S3 (not to be confused with the existing model) is a 13.3” notebook that measures 0.7” thick and weighs in at 3.63 pounds.

The Aspire S3 will come with a Gorilla Glass lid that is available in either red, white, or yellow according to The Verge. External IO options include Thunderbolt, HDMI, two USB 3.0 ports, a LAN port, and an audio jack.

Acer Aspire S3 with Haswell CPU and NVIDIA GT735M GPU.jpg

The red colored lid model in particular looks nice, though I have my doubts about the rather cramped-looking keyboard. Acer has performed some strange key acrobatics in order to fit all the needed keys into five rows. For example, the tilde key has been moved to the right of the caps lock and the delete key is at the bottom of the keyboard to the right of the right-hand Alt button. I'm not entirely sure what Acer was thinking there (that is solely my opinion/first impression though, I have not had any hands-on time with it).

Internal hardware will include as as-yet-unnamed Intel Haswell processor, a NVIDIA GT735M (384 CUDA cores at 889 MHz with an unknown capacity 1GHz memory on a 64-bit bus), and a 1TB laptop hard drive (spindle speed not listed). It should be a decent performer and the Haswell CPU should get good battery life. If this comes in at or around the original Aspire S3's $650 price tag, and as long as the keyboard passes muster with the review sites, it might be a good buy if you don't need something super thin and/or lightweight.

Unfortunately, Acer has not yet talked about pricing or availability for the 13.3" Aspire S3 notebook.

Source: The Verge