NVIDIA Project SHIELD Development Detailed - Idea to Launch in One Year

Subject: Mobile | January 30, 2013 - 03:13 PM |
Tagged: tegra 4, tegra, shield, nvidia

A very interesting blog post by NVIDIA's Brian Caulfield tells the story of "How Project SHIELD Got Built" and you might be surprised about the timeline they were on.  In the story Caulfield details the team's move from idea to the CES release in under 12 months:

In less than a year, SHIELD has grown from an idea dreamed up by Jen-Hsun, Tony, and a handful of others into a conspiracy involving hundreds of gaming fanatics across every department at NVIDIA. “We’ve been talking on and off about building something for more than five years, maybe 10,” says Tony.

shield1.jpg

Caulfield goes on to detail several steps in the process including design, production, the first module shown to Huang, NVIDIA CEO, and more.  After realizing that they had the hardware with Tegra 4 and the software (both GeForce Experience and the controller drivers used by games from the TegraZone store), Tony Tomasi surmised that the company should "just build a device with a great controller built in."

The first prototype, assembled in early 2012, was little more than a game controller fastened to a smartphone with wood. From that crude beginning, NVIDIA’s team of industrial designers sculpted a device that could fit in a user’s hands. No outsourcing required: NVIDIA has a team of veterans who have already shaped the look of a number of products built around NVIDIA’s processors, such as the drool-worthy GeForce GTX 690.

Unfortunately no images of that wood-clad version of the SHIELD were shared, but the idea is amusing none the less.  NVIDIA does admit that the killer feature of the device is the ability to stream PC games from a GeForce powered machine to the SHIELD remotely.

Streaming games from PCs equipped with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 or better GPUs puts cutting-edge games on SHIELD on day one. As NVIDIA’s smart, funny marketing VP Ujesh Desai put it, when cynical gamers ask the eternal question – ‘but can it play Crysis’ – NVIDIA will have a simple answer ‘yes it does.’

And apparently some developers have been "lobbying" NVIDIA to make a console for years - a fact that I find both interesting and hilarious. 

shield2.jpg

Overall the post is incredibly insightful, if a bit overly "marketing-ish" about the product it discusses.  With such a tight timeline on the design and build I am curious to see if NVIDIA will be able to meet the deadline of release they set during CES: Q2 2013.  Also, many lines in the blog post are obviously meant to temper the fact that NVIDIA chips will find their way into exactly zero (0) consoles this generation and it is becoming more and more obvious that SHIELD is a reaction to that fact. 

We are eager to learn more and get our hands on it again!

Source: NVIDIA

NVIDIA to start producing tablets and smartphones for white-labeling

Subject: Mobile | January 28, 2013 - 12:35 PM |
Tagged: white label, tegra 4, tegra, tablet, shield, nvidia, cell phone

If you thought that NVIDIA's entry into the world of the mobile entertainment and gaming device market was odd with the announcement of the Shield Android-powered unit, we have some more rumors sneaking up from Droidlife.com about a possible move to develop and manufacture cell phones and tablets as well. 

nvidia_ces.jpg

While many SoC vendors often create proof of concept designs based around their own chips, none of the major players are in the business of building devices meant to find their way into consumers hands.  NVIDIA appears to be taking a page from its own book in the world of retail graphics cards and is planning on producing nearly complete cell phones and tablets to be rebranded and sold directly to consumers.  PC users are used to this practice already and you can see if happen with ever nearly every GPU launch - graphics cards that have the same specs and design with only a different sticker on the cooler. 

The process of white labeling is very frequent in today's laptop designs as well and it is how companies like AVADirect, MAINGEAR and iBuyPower are able to produce and sell custom notebooks. 

From what is in the report, NVIDIA has their eyes set on both tablets and smartphones, with plans to start designing and creating their devices around May or June of this very year. If all goes according to plan, we will begin to see a ton of cheap (but not any less in quality terms) 7-10″ tablets hitting the market, all running NVIDIA chipsets.

If this process does take hold in the mid-2013 time frame you can start to expect a lot of low cost options based on Tegra SoCs to hit in the holiday time frame.  There are concerns to be dealt with though if in fact NVIDIA attempt the white label move.  First, there is potential for "cheap" products, and by that I mean cheaply built, ruining the Tegra name and brand that NVIDIA has been building over the last few years.  Also, NVIDIA could offend and upset other vendors like Samsung and ASUS with whom they depend on to make the "high-end" products that many enthusiasts lust over. 

tegra2.jpg

As a small player though (in terms of pure sell through) NVIDIA is looking for anyway it can to improve its market share and starting up a white label market for smartphones and tablets is definitely something that could open up new opportunities. 

Podcast #235 - AMD Hardware in the PS4, a GK110 NVIDIA product, Corsair 200R case and more!

Subject: General Tech | January 24, 2013 - 12:31 PM |
Tagged: video, titan, ps4, podcast, nvidia, kavari, Kabini, H80i, gk110, GCN, corsair, APU, amd, 200r

PC Perspective Podcast #235 - 01/24/2013

Join us this week as we discuss potential AMD Hardware in the PS4, a GK110 NVIDIA product, Corsair 200R case 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!

Program length: 1:16:39

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. Week in Reviews:
    1. 0:01:25 Corsair Hydro Series H80i Taken Apart
    2. 0:03:45 Video: Corsair Carbide 200R Overview
    3. 0:10:30 Silverstone Zeus 1350 watt power supply
  2. 0:13:35 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
  3. News items of interest:
    1. 0:15:15 Corsair Launches 140mm and 280mm coolers
    2. 0:17:50 Catalyst 13.1 drivers released
    3. 0:19:30 SimCity Beta Weekend
    4. 0:25:00 NVIDIA GK110 Titan Rumored for February
    5. 0:30:50 Intel to exit motherboard business after Haswell
    6. 0:38:00 But ASUS says its okay...
    7. 0:41:30 PS4 Hardware discussion
  4. Closing:
    1. Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
      1. Ryan: Pegasus R4 with Thunderbolt
      2. Jeremy: Not since the Sumosac has there been something more sure to get you the ladies!
      3. Josh: Just built a machine with one of these
      4. Allyn: Zip Snip ($20 at Lowes)
  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

Be sure to subscribe to the PC Perspective YouTube channel!!

 

As promised, 8GB of GTX 670 SLI performance

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 22, 2013 - 12:47 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, asus, GTX 670 DirectCU II 4GB, sli

When they first tried ASUS' new GTX 670 Direct CU II with 4GB of memory on its own, [H]ard|OCP had difficulty recommending it over a 7970 but they planned to try two cards in SLI to see if that would improve the comparative performance.  The competitors are a pair of 2GB 670s, a pair of 3GB HD7970's, a pair of 2GB 680s and of course two 4GB 670s, all powering a system at 5760x1200.  Unfortunately the quote from the conclusions spells out the results "It's like putting beefy off-road tires on a Yugo", so while it will give you the ability to use some higher graphics settings, overall you are still better of with HD7970s or GTX680s.

H_SLI_ASUS670s.jpg

"We review two ASUS GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU II 4GB video cards in SLI under NV Surround resolutions. We'll answer the question as to the value and validity of 4GB of RAM on a GeForce GTX 670 GPU video card in SLI. Far Cry 3, Hitman Absolution, and all our other games will be taken to the extreme to get to the bottom of 4GB GTX 670 cards."

Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:

Graphics Cards

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Rumor: NVIDIA GK110 based GeForce GPU 'Titan' to be released late February

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 22, 2013 - 11:44 AM |
Tagged: nvidia, geforce, gk110, titan, rumor

A combination of rumors and news pieces found online and in some recent conversations with partners indicates that February will see the release of a new super-high-end graphics card from NVIDIA based on the GK110 GPU.  Apparently using the name "Titan" based on a report from Sweclockers.com, this new single GPU card will feature 2688 CUDA cores, compared to the 1536 in the GeForce GTX 680. 

gk110.jpg

If true, the name Titan likely refers to the Cray super computer of the same name built using GK110 Kepler Tesla cards.  Sweclockers.com's sources are quoted with the clocks of this new super-GPU as well: 732 MHz core clock and 5.2 GHz GDDR5 memory clock.  While those numbers are low compared to the 1000+ MHz speeds of the GK104 parts out today, this GPU would have 75% more compute units and presumably additional memory capacity as well.  The memory bus width of 384-bits is a 50% increase as well which would indicate another big jump in performance over current cards.  The CUDA core count of 2688 is actually indicative of a GK110 GPU with a single SMX disabled as well.

teslagpu2.jpg

The NVIDIA Titan card will apparently be the replacement for the GeForce GTX 690, a dual-GK104 card launched in May of last year.  The performance estimate for the Titan is approximately 85% of that GTX 690 and if the rumors are right it would see an $899 price tag.

Based on other conversations I have had recently you should only expect those same partners that were able to sell the GTX 690 to stock this new GK110-based part.  There won't be any modifications and you will see very little differentiation between vendors branding on it.  If dates are to be believed, we are hearing that a Feb 25th (or at least that week) launch is the current target.

Podcast #234 - CES 2013 wrapup, discuss new Corsair liquid coolers, Frame Rating and more!

Subject: General Tech | January 17, 2013 - 12:44 PM |
Tagged: podcast, nvidia, Intel, H80i, h60, H100i, frame rating, corsair, ces 2013, CES, amd

PC Perspective Podcast #234 - 01/17/2013

Join us this week as we wrap up CES 2013 talk, discuss new Corsair liquid coolers, Frame Rating 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!

Program length: 0:59:05

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. Week in Reviews:
    1. 0:02:10 CES Wrap up and Summary
    2. 0:08:45 Corsair Hydro Series Coolers - H60, H80i, H100i
    3. 0:11:00 Frame Rating Part 2 - Finding and Defining Stutter
  2. 0:15:20 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
  3. News items of interest:
    1. 0:18:10 AMD accuses NVIDIA employees of stealing 100k documents
    2. 0:24:10 ST Ericsson shows off FD-SOI Product (and Josh explains)
    3. 0:32:00 CES: Prototype Intel TV system seen at Imagination suite
    4. 0:33:20 Caustic shows ray tracing cards at CES
    5. 0:35:45 Intel Haswell graphics compared to GeForce GT 650M
    6. 0:37:50 ASUS tablet with VIA SoC for $149
    7. 0:41:30 The Windows RT Jailbreak
    8. 0:43:00 Bioshock Infinite to be a PC gaming beast
  4. Closing:
    1. Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
      1. Ryan: Logitech T650 Touchpad
      2. Jeremy: Eyefinity, good price on active Mini DisplayPort though dual link will still cost you
      3. Josh: Finally at their promised MSRP
      4. Allyn: Waze (road tested 2200 miles)
  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

Be sure to subscribe to the PC Perspective YouTube channel!!

 

Author:
Manufacturer: PC Perspective

Another update

In our previous article and video, I introduced you to our upcoming testing methodology for evaluating graphics cards based not only frame rates but on frame smoothness and the efficiency of those frame rates.  I showed off some of the new hardware we are using for this process and detailed how direct capture of graphics card output allows us to find interesting frame and animation anomalies using some Photoshop still frames.

d31.jpg

Today we are taking that a step further and looking at a couple of captured videos that demonstrate a "stutter" and walking you through, frame by frame, how we can detect, visualize and even start to measure them.

dis1.jpg

This video takes a couple of examples of stutter in games, DiRT 3 and Dishonored to be exact, and shows what they look like in real time, at 25% speed and then finally in a much more detailed frame-by-frame analysis.

 

Video Loading...

 

Obviously this is just a couple instances of what a stutter is and there are often times less apparent in-game stutters that are even harder to see in video playback.  Not to worry - this capture method is capable of seeing those issues as well and we plan on diving into the "micro" level as well shortly.

We aren't going to start talking about whose card and what driver is being used yet and I know that there are still a lot of questions to be answered on this topic.  You will be hearing more quite soon from us and I thank you all for your comments, critiques and support.

Let me know below what you thought of this video and any questions that you might have. 

NVIDIA Employees Stole 100,000 Confidential Documents Claims AMD

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | January 16, 2013 - 10:10 AM |
Tagged: stolen, nvidia, legal, Lawsuit, console, amd

Things might get interesting for a little while between AMD and NVIDIA again as a complaint has been filed by AMD accusing recently converted NVIDIA employee's of downloading and stealing 100,000 documents on the way out AMD's door. 

The company alleges that Robert Feldstein, Manoo Desai, and Nicolas Kociuk collectively downloaded over 100,000 files onto external hard drives in the six months before leaving the company. All three and another manager, Richard Hagen, were accused of recruiting AMD employees after leaving for Nvidia.

amdlogo.gif

The most senior of these employees is Robert Feldstein who was acting as the VP of Strategic Development at AMD before leaving for NVIDIA and was responsible for getting AMD inside the Nintendo Wii U as well as the upcoming Xbox and Playstation consoles due out this year.  To say that "stealing" Feldstein was a big win for NVIDIA would seem like a bad pun now with the accusations on the table, but there, we said it. 

After looking at the former employees computers AMD found that "Desai and Kociuk conspired with each other to misappropriate AMD's confidential, proprietary, and/or trade secret information; and/or to intentionally access AMD's protected computers, without authorization and/or in a way that exceeded their authorized access."  And since Feldstein and Hagan were responsible for the recruitment of those former AMD employees, they were breaking the "no-solicitation of employees" agreement made before departure.

nvidialogo.jpg

Obviously AMD hasn't come out with exactly what is in those 100,000 documents they accuse of being stolen, but the company is hoping that the US District Court in Massachusetts will help them recover the incriminating documents with a restraining order for all four current employees of NVIDIA forcing them to retain all current AMD-related documents. 

The unfortunate part of this for AMD is that if the document leak is true, the damage has likely already been done and they will have to sue for damages down the road.  NVIDA could be in for a world of hurt if the court finds that they were actively requesting those documents from the the four named in the complaint.

If you want to read all the legal source for this complaint, you can find it right here

Source: Arstechnica

CES 2013: Intel Haswell HD Graphics Compared to GeForce GT 650M

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 12, 2013 - 09:02 AM |
Tagged: nvidia, Intel, hd graphics, haswell, geforce, dirt 3, ces 2013, CES, 650m

While wandering around the Intel booth we were offered a demo of the graphics performance of the upcoming Haswell processor, due out in the middle of 2013.  One of the big changes on this architecture will be another jump up in graphics performance, even more than we saw going from Sandy Bridge to Ivy Bridge. 

haswell1.jpg

On the left is the Intel Haswell system and on the right is a mobile system powered by the NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M.  For reference, that discrete GPU has 384 cores and a 128-bit memory bus so we aren't talking about flagship performance here.  Haswell GT3 graphics is rumored to have double the performance of the GT2 found in Ivy Bridge based on talks at IDF this past September. 

While I am not able to report the benchmark results, I can tell you what I "saw" in my viewing.  First, the Haswell graphics loaded the game up more slowly than the NVIDIA card.  That isn't a big deal really and could change with driver updates closer to launch, but it is was a lingering problem we have seen with Intel HD graphics over the years. 

haswell2.jpg

During the actual benchmark run, both looked great while running at 1080p and High quality presets.  I did notice during part of the loading of the level, the Haswell system seemed to "stutter" a bit and was a little less fluid in the animation.  I did NOT notice that during the actually benchmark gameplay though. 

I also inquired with Intel's graphics team about how dedicated they were to providing updated graphics drivers for HD graphics users.  They were defensive about their current output saying they have released quarterly drivers since the Sandy Bridge release but that perhaps they should be more vocal about it (I agree).  While I tried to get some kind of formal commitment from them going forward to monthly releases with game support added within X number of days, they weren't willing to do that quite yet. 

If AMD and NVIDIA discrete notebook (and low cost desktop) graphics divisions are to push an edge, game support and frequent updates are going to be the best place to start.  Still, seeing Intel continue to push forward on the path of improved processor graphics is great if they can follow through for gamers!

Coverage of CES 2014 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2014 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

ASUS doubles down the RAM on their latest GTX 670

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 11, 2013 - 10:20 AM |
Tagged: nvidia, asus, GTX 670 DirectCU II 4GB

In addition to the custom cooler on the ASUS GTX 670 DirectCU II, there is also 4GB of RAM which is double the usual serving for a GTX 670 and should help its performance at high resolutions.  The core and RAM remain at stock speeds, [H]ard|OCP tweaked the GPU up 185MHz and the RAM by 175MHz so there is some room for overclockers to play with this card.  This time around [H] only tested single display performance and were disappointed with the performance when they compared it to the similarly priced HD 7970 but keep your eyes open as they will be testing SLI multi-monitor performance in the near future.

H_670_dcII.jpg

"Today we have an ASUS GeForce GTX 670 DC II 4GB video card up for review. Although there is no factory overclock, the video card supports 4GB of memory compared to the default 2GB. We will focus on single display performance in our revamped game lineup that includes Far Cry 3, Hitman: Absolution, and Sleeping Dogs."

Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:

Graphics Cards

Source: [H]ard|OCP