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Subject: Graphics Cards | September 17, 2013 - 10:28 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: amd, radeon, hawaii
As we get closer and closer to the reveal of AMD's next generation graphics chip code named Hawaii, details will find their way out.
Tonight I came across an interview with AMD's Matt Skynner on Forbes.com that offered up one confirmation that we all suspected: AMD's Hawaii GPU will keep the same 28nm process technology utilized with the Radeon HD 7000 parts.
Another thing I can tell you is about the process node: this GPU is in 28nm. Some have speculated that it was 20nm and it’s not for a specific reason: At 28nm for an enthusiast GPU, we can achieve higher clock speeds and higher absolute performance.
Straight from the horses mouth. Based on those comments we can also assume that clock speeds will be higher than 1.0 - 1.1 GHz we are seeing today with the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition so performance increases will not be the sole result of shader count changes and increases.
Skynner also assures gamers they are not targeting the $999 price range, at least not initially.
They’re coming in Q4. I can’t reveal a pricepoint but we’re looking at more traditional enthusiast GPU pricepoints. We’re not targeting a $999 single GPU solution like our competition because we believe not a lot of people have that $999. We normally address what we call the ultra-enthusiast segment with a dual-GPU offering like the 7990. So this next-generation line is targeting more of the enthusiast market versus the ultra-enthusiast one.
AMD is targeting a much smaller die size that NVIDIA has with GK110, the latest iteration of NVIDIA's massive GPU offerings.
It’s also extremely efficient. [Nvidia's Kepler] GK110 is nearly 30% bigger from a die size point of view. We believe we have the best performance for the die size for the enthusiast GPU.
The rest of the interview is a little cookie-cutter though he does briefly reference some of the issues that have caught the Radeon HD 7990 by surprise.
Sorry, still no details on if/when Battlefield 4 will hit the Never Settle bundles!
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Systems | September 10, 2013 - 12:51 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: amd, never settle forever, never settle, Saints Row IV
A month after the launch of the choose your own adventures, "Never Settle Forever", we get another entry for the gold tier: Saint's Row IV.
Yet another territory they claim.
Two Radeon cards, the HD 7950 and the HD 7970 (with or without GHz edition), qualify for this tier in AMD's promotion. Desktop PCs built with a Radeon HD 8900 installed also count toward this promotion. When you go for the gold, so to speak, you can choose three of the following (now) eleven games to enjoy your new hardware with:
- Saint's Row IV
- Tomb Raider
- Hitman: Absolution
- Sleeping Dogs
- Far Cry 3
- Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
- Deus Ex: Human Revolution
- DiRT 3
- DiRT: Showdown
- Sniper Elite V2
AMD prepared a statement about their partnership with Saint's Row IV publisher, Deep Silver:
“AMD and Deep Silver have a long and successful history of collaboration across their many excellent games, and Saints Row IV is another example of their outstanding development talent. We are very proud to have their partnership in the AMD Gaming Evolved program and Never Settle Forever bundle,” said Ritche Corpus, director of developer relations and alliances team, Graphics Business Unit, AMD. “As a result, PC gamers with AMD Radeon™ graphics cards can fire up their copy of Saints Row IV knowing that they are receiving the best possible experience. And as the exclusive hardware partner for Saints Row IV, the AMD Gaming Evolved program continues to demonstrate its relentless commitment to ensuring the world’s most exciting games are exclusively optimized for AMD Radeon™ hardware.”
AMD is not finished with Never Settle and claims more will arrive in the coming months. I would expect the switch to choose-your-bundle gives the company slightly more freedom to add extra titles without ballooning costs or removing popular entries. I hope we will see titles available in other tiers, except for the HD 7990 which should keep its 8 game promotion, along with more gold entries.
Either way, we will keep you updated as we hear more.
Subject: Graphics Cards | September 5, 2013 - 04:04 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, GTX 780 DC II OC, DirectCU II, gtx 780
With 3GB of memory ASUS' GeForce GTX 780 DirectCU II OC card strays from the pack in terms of features and design. With new and improved DirectCU II cooling on the card, high quality chokes and 10 phase power you should be able to push far ahead of the factory overclock of 889MHz with a boost of 941MHz. You can use [H]ard|OCP's result of 1093-1145MHz core and 6.158GHz memory as a goal to try to reach, as long as you are willing to put the power sliders all the way to the right. Check out how it performs in their full review.
"ASUS revamped the DirectCU II cooling system and visual style, providing a full non-reference video card with the ASUS GeForce GTX 780 DiretCU II OC. New is the hybrid CoolTech fan providing improved airflow, and a 10mm heat pipe. We will see how this video card performs against several GPUs."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- SI GeForce GTX 770 Twin Frozr Gaming OC Edition 2GB @ eTeknix
- MSI GTX 780 Lightning 3 GB @ techPowerUp
- EVGA GTX 780 Classified Review @ Hardware Canucks
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 with Intel Core i7 4960X Benchmarks @Hi Tech Legion
- ASUS GTX 670 DirectCU MINI Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Gigabyte GTX780 WindForce OC @ Kitguru
- MSI GTX 780 N780 Lightning Video Card Review @ HiTech Legion
- ASUS GTX 780 DirectCU II OC Review @ Hardware Canucks
- MSI GeForce GTX 760 HAWK @ Bjorn3D
- MSI GTX 760 HAWK 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- Gigabyte GTX 760 WindForce OC 2GB @ eTeknix
- Club3D HD 7790 royalKing Poker Series 1GB @ eTeknix
- Gigabyte HD 7790 WindForce OC 2GB @ eTeknix
- Sapphire HD 7730 1GB GDDR5 Video Card Review @ TechwareLabs
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | August 31, 2013 - 04:30 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: geforce, F2P, bundle
If you read Jeremy's post, yesterday, and actually were a fan of in game currency then how about a new bundle? If you pick up a GeForce GTX 650 or participating GTX 700M-based notebooks, you will receive a total $75 split between three Free-to-Play (F2P) titles. One of the titles, Warframe, is also optimized for NVIDIA hardware with the inclusion of PhysX support primarily for particle effects, it would seem.
The bundle includes:
- Warframe - 465 Platinum (Normally $25)
- Dungeons and Dragons: NeverWinter - 1,000,000 Astral Diamonds (Normally $25)
- Marvel Heroes - 2600 Gold (Normally $25)
NVIDIA stresses that you must make your purchase (be it a system containing a GTX 650, a discrete add-in GTX 650, or a laptop containing a GTX 700M) from one of the participating merchants. Codes will not be provided if the retailer, or 'e-tailer', is not a partner for this program.
Subject: Graphics Cards | August 26, 2013 - 01:24 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: amd, Windows 8.1, microsoft, directx 11.2, graphics cards, gaming, GCN
Earlier this month, several websites reported that AMD’s latest Graphics Core Next (GCN) based graphics cards (7000 series and 8000 series OEM lines) would not be compatible with the Windows 8.1-only DirectX 11.2 API. This was inferred from a statement made by AMD engineer Laylah Mah in an interview with c1 Magazin.
An AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition.
Fortunately, the GCN-based cards will fully support DirectX 11.2 once an updated driver has been released. As it turns out, Microsoft’s final DirectX 11.2 specification ended up being slightly different than what AMD expected. As a result, the graphics cards do not currently fully support the API. The issue is not one of hardware, however, and an updated driver can allow the GCN-based 7000 series hardware to fully support the latest DirectX 11.2 API and major new features such as tiled resources.
The updated driver will reportedly be released sometime in October to coincide with Microsoft’s release of Windows 8.1. Specifically, Maximum PC quoted AMD in stating the following:
"The Radeon HD 7000 series hardware architecture is fully DirectX 11.2-capable when used with a driver that enables this feature. AMD is planning to enable DirectX 11.2 with a driver update in the Windows 8.1 launch timeframe in October, when DirectX 11.2 ships. Today, AMD is the only GPU manufacturer to offer fully-compatible DirectX 11.1 support, and the only manufacturer to support Tiled Resources Tier-2 within a shipping product stack.”
So fret not, Radeon 7000-series owners, you will be able to fully utilize DX 11.2 and all its features once games start implementing them, and assuming you upgrade to Windows 8.1.
Subject: Graphics Cards | August 23, 2013 - 04:40 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: never settle, gamescom, amd
In much the same way as it was at E3 this year, AMD has plastered themselves all over the show floor at Gamescom 2013 in Cologne, Germany. The annual game celebration in Europe focuses not just on PC gaming but consoles as well but with AMD APUs at the heart of both the upcoming Xbox One and PlayStation 4, they are about as universal as you can get.
The AMD booth at Gamescom obviously leans heavily on the world of PC gaming with both next-generation consoles not coming until November but the big draw is obviously the Battlefield 4 section that allows gamers to walk up and play. Due out October 29th here in North America, BF4 is likely to be one the biggest titles of the year available on current consoles, PC and the PS4 and Xbox One. And though nothing is confirmed it will likely be bundle game for Radeon graphics cards at some point as well...
Red capes and Battlefield 4
Much like the Penny Arcade Expo coming up next month in Seattle, Gamescom is an event where the public is invited to get hands on with impressive games and impressive technology without having to filter it through the eye of the media. AMD showcases unique capabilities of the PC gaming market in the booth as well like the 5-screen Eyefinity configuration seen here DiRT Showdown.
As is usually the case with public events, you're going to meet some interesting characters while you walk around but that is part of the fun! If you have never attended Gamescom, PAX, Blizzcon, Quakecon or anything like it, I would highly encourage you make plans to do so as it will really revitalize your excitement for gaming! While shows like CES and Computex drain me of energy, these public-facing experiences are much more spirited.
Other booths at the show are also running AMD-powered gaming systems for all of their demonstrations including Gaming Evolved partners like Deep Silver, Square-Enix, EA/DICE and Red5. If you haven't seen games like Thief or Saints Row IV in action then you are missing out and locals in Cologne still have the opportunity to do so. AMD claims that all the demo systems running these PC games are Radeon-powered: Battlefield 4, The Sims 4, Firefall, Saints Row IV, Need for Speed Rivals, FIFA 2014, Murdered Soul Suspect, and Final Fantasy XIV.
Even with all the other discussion and debate about AMD graphics technologies, the second half of 2013 is going to be incredibly exciting on all fronts!
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Processors, Mobile | August 23, 2013 - 01:31 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Futuremark, AnTuTu, benchmarking
VR-Zone tossed the bees nest in a paint shaker and received a fairly sedate outcome.
A little background information is required. AnTuTu, a mobile benchmark developed by AnTuTu Labs, has been accused of inaccurate scores and bias towards specific hardware. Leaked BayTrail-T benchmarks, surpassing our expectations of Intel's capabilities, were harshly refuted based on AnTuTu's credibility. More recently, certain Samsung GPUs have been allegedly recorded self-overclocking during that benchmark but not elsewhere.
Scene from Cloud Gate, latest Windows 3DMark.
Oliver Baltuch, president of Futuremark, accepted an interview with VR-Zone to discuss business and ethics in their marketplace. Futuremark is a direct competitor to AnTuTu and a household name in the benchmarking community. Being modest Fins, self-proclaimed, they did not wish to discuss whether AnTuTu was less honest than they are. Futuremark does disagree with AnTuTu's process, however, and has some suggestions for better results.
The design process for 3D Mark Android begun with 25 pages of specification proposal. Each vendor is given a chance to reply to that proposal and these responses are compared. Changes to the specification must be reviewed by a committee sitting between the financial department and the engineering department.
Baltuch made the point that all of their finances for the last five years, according to Finnish law, can be reviewed for about $7 USD. Despite being a private company, the law mandates no deals can be made in secret.
On the engineering side of things, drivers are approved only if they follow specific guidelines. Unapproved results will be removed from their website and leaderboards followed by a polite conversation with the manufacturer. Drivers are not allowed to identify their benchmarks intent on modifying settings due to that information.
Almost every benchmark they release gets negative responses from some upset vendor or vendors.
The relatively short interview is wrapped up with commentary on iOS benchmarks. Futuremark is nearing completion of their first benchmarking app. Apple disallows apps to exceed 60 frames per second, through vsync, which unnecessarily hinders benchmark scores. Working around this, Futuremark developed a method to render frames which are not displayed on screen to keep the processors from idling once at frame rate cap.
Ryan must love that idea...
This concept has, according to the interview, reached internal QA review and is expected to be released in a few weeks.
Futuremark develops benchmarks for x86 Windows, Windows RT, Android, and iOS. Scores are intended to scale linearly to their metrics and are designed to allow cross-platform performance comparisons.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Processors | August 22, 2013 - 01:39 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: sony, ps4, playstation 4, Kabini, hUMA, amd
UPDATE: I have added new info at the bottom of this post with more commentary from AMD (kind of).
You might have seen some reports in the last couple of days claiming that the upcoming Sony PlayStation 4 (PS4) will have a big advantage over the Xbox One thanks to its unique ability to support AMD's hUMA memory architecture. hUMA, heterogeneous unified memory architecture, is an exciting new memory technology that AMD has built into upcoming APUs.
Josh published a story on hUMA that sums it as so:
The idea behind hUMA is quite simple; the CPU and GPU share memory resources, they are able to use pointers to access data that has been processed by either one or the other, and the GPU can take page faults and not rely only on page locked memory. Memory in this case is bi-directionally coherent, so coherency issues with data in caches which are later written to main memory will not cause excessive waits for either the CPU or GPU to utilize data that has been changed in cache, but not yet written to main memory.
There's just one problem with these various reports (VR-Zone, ExtremeTech): they're incorrect. After sending some emails to our representatives at AMD I was told that "Kabini doesn't support hUMA" which is the APU that both the PS4 and Xbox One processors are based on. AMD further clarified with us:
Our spokesperson made inaccurate statements about our semi-custom APU architectures and does not speak for Microsoft, Sony or the AMD semi-custom business unit responsible for co-developing the next generation console APUs.
So while the PS4 will still be a faster system thanks to its higher SIMD processor (GPU core) count, there is no support for a true heterogeneous unified memory architecture in either upcoming console platform.
NOTE: I have had several people point out that it's possible Sony and Microsoft worked on their own custom memory architectures that will perform similar functionally to hUMA. That is entirely possible but means that official hUMA support isn't on the SoCs.
UPDATE: AMD contacted me again to make another comment. Essentially, they said that the correction statement to the original statement claiming hUMA was part PS4 was "inaccurrate" but that this correction does NOT mean the opposite claim is true. Even when pressed for a more specific and debate-ending comment, AMD wouldn't give us any more information.
So does the PS4 have support for some type of heterogeneous unified memory? Maybe. And the Xbox One? Maybe. At this point, I'd stop listening to anything AMD has to say on the subject as they are likely to recant it shortly thereafter. Many readers have emailed me with their thoughts and I personally feel that its more likely the original statement from AMD (that the PS4 will have the edge with a hUMA design) will turn out to be the truth in the long run...
Subject: Graphics Cards | August 20, 2013 - 12:24 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nvidia, graphics drivers, geforce 326.80
The new GeForce 326.80 beta driver is now available to download. An essential update for gamers sneaking into Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist, today’s driver ensures maximum performance and system compatibility in the brand new stealth title, which is jam-packed with PC-exclusive features and technology, including NVIDIA HBAO+ Ambient Occlusion, NVIDIA TXAA Temporal Anti-Aliasing, out-of-the-box NVIDIA SLI support, and much much more. For a full rundown, head on back to GeForce.com tomorrow when we’ll detail all of Blacklist’s impressive tech.
New in GeForce R326 Drivers Performance Boost
- Increases performance by up to 19% for GeForce 400/500/600/700 series GPUs in several PC games vs. GeForce 320.49 WHQL-certified drivers. Results will vary depending on your GPU and system configuration.
Here is an example of measured gains:
GeForce GTX 770:
- Up to 15% in Dirt: Showdown
- Up to 6% in Tomb Raider
GeForce GTX 770 SLI: ·
- Up to 19% in Dirt: Showdown
- Up to 11% in F1 2012
- GeForce GTX 770:
- Added SLI profile for Spinter Cell: Blacklist
- Added SLI profile for Batman: Arkham Origins
- SHIELD · Enables GeForce to SHIELD streaming. Learn more here.
- 4K Displays · Adds support for additional tiled 4K displays Extended support for tiled 4K features
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | August 19, 2013 - 03:04 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: jpr, Matrox, s3, amd, nvidia
Well, according to John Peddie Research (JPR), not too good if you are Matrox or S3. The total market for add-in boards decreased 5.4% from last quarter. 14.0 million were shipped across the entire industry. Neither company accounted for a thousandth of that value leaving them with a maximum 7000 units shipped, best case scenario. This industry is, basically, a two horse race.
|This Quarter||Prev. Quarter||Last Year|
Two horses unless you count the Intel Xeon Phi. While technically not a graphics processor despite hardware design, 48,000 of these coprocessors were sold, already, for the Tianhe-2 supercomputer. This is at least seven-fold more than an entire quarter for Matrox. Unfortunately JPR does not report on Intel add-in cards despite its overlap with the GPU add-in market. These numbers could get even more interesting as years progress.
As for the two big players, AMD and NVIDIA, both hold very dominant positions. Almost spiting the 750,000 unit industry decline, AMD experienced a total increase of 0.8% quarter-over-quarter. Their market share gained 2.3% as a result of this growth. NVIDIA experienced a total decrease of 8.9%.
In all, AMD has been doing better than the industry average. They are fighting the slight decline in the graphics industry while simultaneously helping GPUs hold off against larger declines in PC systems.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Processors | August 16, 2013 - 04:00 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: nvidia, Intel, APU, amd
Despite a slight decline in PC sales compared to last quarter, graphics processors are on the rise. Jon Peddie Research attributes the heightened interest in graphics, with a decline in systems, to a trend towards multiple GPUs in a system. Crossfire and SLI, according to the report, are not driving this drift but they are relevant. More importantly, consumers are adding discrete graphics to systems with integrated solutions.
AMD has experienced an increase in shipments of 47% for laptop APUs. Desktop heterogeneous processors declined but, in all, shipments increased 11%. Intel, likewise, saw an increase albeit just 6%. NVIDIA declined 8%. AMD now enjoys a 5.8% lead in total market share over NVIDIA.
Many PCs have access to multiple graphics processors simultaneously. With an increase of available GPUs, software developers might take the plunge into fully supporting heterogeneous architectures. You could imagine a game which offloads physics or AI pathfinding to secondary graphics. Sure, the increased heat would slightly limit the turbo-performance of the CPU, but the increased parallel performance should overtake that decreased serial performance for a sensible developer.
JPR claims an average of nearly 1.4 GPUs available per system.
The increased laptop heterogeneous processors is a major win for AMD. Still, I wonder how much Never Settle played in to users dropping discrete graphics into machines which would otherwise have integrated (chipset or processor) graphics. The discrete graphics market has declined and yet somehow AMD got a boost from double-attach or replaced graphics.
The report only discusses consumer x86 tablets, desktops, laptops, and some hybrid between the previous three categories. Other processor architectures or x86 servers are not covered.
Subject: Graphics Cards | August 15, 2013 - 07:04 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: galaxy, gtx 780, hall of fame edition, factory overclocked
The GALAXY GTX 780 Hall of Fame Edition is more than just a pretty white PCB, the GPU runs at a Boost Clock of 1.1GHz which is a full 200MHz above stock out of the box, after tweaking [H]ard|OCP managed to get it to 1376MHz but backed off to an even 1.3GHz to enable the RAM to run at 6.3GHz. When testing at that maximum speed this card could gp head to head with the mighty TITAN and provide the same quality of game play, a rather impressive performance for a less expensive card. That showing as well as the overall design of the card and unique look helped net the GTX 780 HOF a Gold Award!
"If you are interested at all in the fastest GeForce GTX 780 video card we’ve seen out-of-the-box yet, then take a look at GALAXY’s GeForce GTX 780 Hall of Fame Edition. You’ll also find the highest overclock ever achieved on a GTX 780 waiting for you with this video card. You don’t want to miss this."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 SLI @ [H]ard|OCP
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 Overclocking Guide @ Legion Hardware
- Asus GTX760 Direct CU II OC @ Kitguru
- Zotac GeForce GTX 780 AMP! Edition @ Hardware.info
- Palit GeForce GTX 760 Jetstream @ Legion Hardware
- MSI N760 Hawk Review @ OCC
- MSI N760 HAWK Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
- Galaxy GTX 770 GC 4GB Review @ Hardware Canucks
- EVGA GTX 780 Classified Video Card Review @ Ninjalane
- MSI GTX 760 Hawk @ LanOC Reviews
- MSI N760 Hawk review: GeForce GTX 760 for overclocking @ Hardware.info
- MSI Gaming N780 TF 3GD5/OC GeForce GTX 780 Review @ OCC
- GPGPU performance of modern graphics cards @ Hardware.info
- 2560×1600: GeForce GTX 770-780 vs Radeon HD 7950-7970 @ Benchmark Reviews
- Club 3D MST Hub review: three monitors and one DisplayPort @ Hardware.info
- XFX Radeon HD 7950 FX-795A-TDFC @ Benchmark Reviews
- Sapphire HD 7790 Dual-X @ LanOC Reviews
- HIS 7950 IceQ X² Boost Clock 3GB GDDR5 Video Card Review @ Madshrimps
- Sapphire Radeon HD 7790 Dual-X @ Funky Kit
- PowerColor HD 7850 SCS3 Passive Graphics Card With 120mm & 140mm Fan @ eTeknix
- AMD HD7870 vs. NVIDIA GTX 660 Ti Review @ Neoseeker
Subject: Graphics Cards | August 14, 2013 - 06:03 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: sweepstakes, sli, nvidia, giveaway, evga, contest
UPDATE: Winners have been selected and contacted - if you weren't one of the five winners check back for more contests and giveaways!! Thanks for listening!!
While at Quakecon this year EVGA showed off its new collection of Pro SLI Bridges that add a bit of sexy to any NVIDIA multi-GPU system. These are much more than just the standard SLI bridge that you know of today: they are sleek, have a brushed metal finish and if you have GTX 700-series or TITAN graphics card, they light up as well!
Because EVGA is a big supporter of PC Perpsective, they are sending over a handful of the 3-Way Pro SLI Bridges (that can also be used in 2-Way configurations) to give away to our readers.
How can you win one of the five free units that EVGA sent us?
- Fill out the form below with the requested information.
Listen to this week's (Episode #264) PC Perspective Podcast (live or after the fact) and I'll give you the code word to include in the form below.
- You can download or watch the podcast right here: http://pcper.com/podcast
That's it!! You can win anywhere in the world and our winners will be randomly picked from the submissions we receive no later than the 20th of August at 6pm ET.
A big thanks goes to EVGA for providing these units!!
Subject: Graphics Cards | August 14, 2013 - 12:00 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: radeon, never settle forever, never settle, amd
It should come as no surprise to our readers that we at PC Perspective have been big fans of what AMD has been doing with game bundles over the last year. With the start of the Never Settle campaign in October of 2012, AMD began down a path to help sell Radeon cards with amazing game bundles and pack ins that NVIDIA and its GeForce brand still have yet to match. It was an amazing move for a company that really wanted to drive sales and gain market share in the discrete graphics space.
Fast forward to today, past the Never Settle Reloaded and Never Settle Level Up campaigns and AMD has another offer for gamers looking to upgrade their GPU: Never Settle Forever. The crux of this new campaign is choice. AMD is allowing gamers to select the free game or games they get out of a curated list rather than having AMD select them for you.
Depending on the card you buy and the tier it falls in, you'll be able to select 1, 2 or 3 games from a list. There are a few catches though that we need to discuss. First, the game list for each tier is NOT the same.
For example, Tomb Raider is only avaiable in the top tier. The currect tier sets work out as follows:
- Gold Tier (3 games): HD 7950 and HD 7970
- Silver Tier (2 games): HD 7800 series
- Bronze Tier (1 game): HD 7770 and HD 7790
The Radeon HD 7990 is not included on these tiers but it will continue with the "8 free games" bundle for the life of the card we were told.
When you buy a card from a participating retailer you'll get a code that you can then take to AMD's Radeon Rewards website and redemption portal. You enter your reward code, register yourself and then you get to browse the games in the available packages. Here are some of the interesting notes:
- Once you register your code, you have until December 31st, 2013 to perform your transaction.
- You can only perform a SINGLE transaction meaning you must use all of your game choices at one time. You CANNOT select one game now and another game later.
- Other games can be added or removed at any time in the Never Settle Forever bundle so once something leaves you cannot get that game anymore.
- There are no promises on what other games may or may not be added to the program between now and the end of the year.
Not being able to split up your selections is a hard pill to swallow as you means you cannot pick up Tomb Raider today and then plan on getting another title next month; if Tomb Raider is gone when a new game is added you will not have access to it. There is likely no techical reason for this restriction other than publisher and business agreements in place with AMD.
It is a letdown that AMD has not included any new games with this bundle refresh. All 9 of the available titles in the Gold tier have been bundled with AMD cards before. Even worse, arguably the two best titles from the previous campaign are missing: Bioshock Infinite and Crysis 3. We do expect other games to be added but AMD would only allude that "new retail games will be added on several occasions" before the end of the year. Does that mean Battlefield 4, Thief or watch_dogs? While I can't say for certain I think it is pretty likely.
So where does that leave us with the new Never Settle Forever bundle today? It's kind of a mixed bag as it stands with the games avaiable in the tiers today getting long in the tooth. Of the 9 games available in Gold only DMC, Tomb Raider and Blood Dragon were released this year. Dues Ex and Dirt 3 were released in 2011 and the rest were sometime in that magical year of 2012. And of those 9 games only two of them are currently for sale for the $49 value (DMC and Tomb Raider) that AMD places on a single game title. Others can be found for $39 (Far Cry 3), $24 (Hitman) or $14 (Blood Dragon).
AMD is still the leader in the bundle and add-on battle for discrete graphics cards but this particular launch is a bit less astounding than the previous ones have been. The upside though is that AMD can now very easily add other games to the mix without having to re-launch the entire program which was obviously the point of this revamp. So while Never Settle Forever doesn't have me as excited as the original campaign, I have a feeling 2013 holds some very good things for it!
Subject: Graphics Cards | August 8, 2013 - 04:44 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: galaxy, gtx 780, gk110, hall of fame
I remember the first time I saw a white PCB - it was on a Soyo motherboard built on a chipset that very few people reading this post today will remember. Our friends at Galaxy just sent over word that its new GeForce GTX 780 3GB HOF (Hall of Fame) Edition card was now shipping and available at Amazon.com and TigerDirect.com sporting a fantastic looking white PCB!
As you probably know the GeForce GTX 780 is based on the same GK110 GPU as the GTX TITAN with fewer CUDA cores enabled and with a 3GB frame buffer it is definitely a step above other single-GPU offerings available (except the TITAN obviously). Even better, the HOF Edition from Galaxy is overclocked to a base clock of 1006 MHz compared to the reference speed of 863 MHz!! Galaxy claims this is the highest clocked air-cooled GTX 780 in the world!
Subject: Graphics Cards | August 7, 2013 - 01:05 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: amd, radeon, hd 7990, never settle, never settle reloaded
An interesting bit of information just came to PC Perspective this morning and it revolves around the price of the AMD Radeon HD 7990. If the title didn't tip you off, we have found that Newegg.com is listing various HD 7990 dual-Tahiti graphics cards for $699!!
When the card launched in April, it had a retail price of $999 and since then had come down to the ~$880 range. Today though, AMD has definitely made an aggressive move against NVIDIA by lowering the price of its flagship product a full $300.
Not only that, but the Radeon HD 7990 6GB dual-GPU card will still include 8 free PC games, while supplies last. As part of the Never Settle series of bundles, the HD 7990 includes Crysis 3, Bioshock Infinite, Tomb Raider, Far Cry 3, Blood Dragon, Hitman Absolution, Sleeping Dogs and Deus Ex. If you don't own all or some of those titles, that makes the HD 7990 price drop even MORE appealing.
The Radeon HD 7990 hasn't been a card to avoid controversy. Our initial review of the card showed that CrossFire scaling was resulting in very poor perceived performance and our Frame Rating system was able to detail how and why very precisely. But on August 1st, AMD released a new Catalyst 13.8 driver that introduced a frame pacing fix for the problem for single monitor (non 4K) users.
I would highly encourage any user thinking about buying the Radeon HD 7990 to read over my Catalyst 13.8 updated article to see if the hardware makes sense for you. With a $699 price tag, compared to the $999 of the GeForce GTX 690 or GTX TITAN from NVIDIA, the product is spectacularly interesting as long as you don't use multi-display Eyefinity or one of the new 4K dual-head displays like the ASUS PQ321Q.
For gamers that are using a single panel though, hopefully at 2560x1440 or 2560x1600, this price drop might turn things around. Check out those new $699 prices at Newegg!
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | August 2, 2013 - 12:44 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: video, stutter, radeon, nvidia, hd 7990, frame rating, frame pacing, amd
Scott Wasson from The Tech Report and Ryan have been discussing the microstuttering present in Crossfire and while Ryan got his hands on the hardware to capture the raw output first, The Tech Report have been investigating this issue as in depth as Ryan and Ken have been. Their look at the new Catalyst and the effects of Frame Pacing show the same results as you saw yesterday in Ryan's article; for essentially no cost in performance you can get a much smoother experience when using a CrossFire system on a single display. In their article they have done a great job of splicing together videos of runthroughs of several games with the Frame Pacing disabled on one side and enabled on the other, allowing you to see with your own eyes the difference in game play, without having to have your own Crossfire system.
"Can a driver fix what ails the Radeon HD 7990? Will the new Catalysts magically transform this baby into the fastest graphics card on the planet? We go inside the second to find out."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- AMD Catalyst 13.8 Beta Frame Pacing CrossFire Driver @ [H]ard|OCP
- AMD Frame Pacing Explored: Catalyst 13.8 Brings Consistency to Crossfire @ AnandTech
- NVIDIA Shield Review: At the Crossroads of PC and Mobile Gaming @ AnandTech
- Gmail, Outlook.com and e-voting 'pwned' on stage in crypto-dodge hack @ The Register
- Boffins: We have FOOLED APPLE with malware app @ The Register
- iOS 7 Fix for Malicious iPhone Chargers Requires User Savvy @ DailyTech
- Happy 20th birthday, Windows NT 3.1 @ The Register
- NASA JPL boss Brian Muirhead talks about Mars exploration @ The Inquirer
- Man Builds Fully-Functional Boeing 737 Flight Simulator In His Son's Bedroom @ Slashdot
- Printing an Aston Martin DB4 @ Hack a Day
Subject: Graphics Cards | August 2, 2013 - 02:50 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: graphics drivers, nvidia, shield, pc game streaming, gaming, geforce
NVIDIA recently released a new set of beta GeForce graphics card drivers targetted at the 400, 500, 600, and 700 series GPUs. The new version 326.41 beta drivers feature the same performance tweaks as the previous 326.19 drivers while baking in beta support for PC game streaming to NVIDIA’s Shield gaming portable from a compatible GeForce graphics card (GTX 650 or better). The new beta release is also the suggested version to use for those running the Windows 8.1 Preview.
NVIDIA has included the same performance tweaks as version 326.19. The tweaks offer up to 19% performance increases, depending on the particular GPU setup. For example, users running a GTX 770 will see as much as 15% better performance in Dirt: Showdown and 6% in Tomb Raider. Performance improvements are even higher for GTX 770 SLI setups, with boosts in Dirt: Showdown and F1 2012 of 19% and 11% respectively. NVIDIA has also added SLI profiles for Splinter Cell: Blacklist and Batman: Arkham Origins.
The NVIDIA Shield launched recently and reviews are making the rounds around the Internet. One of the exciting features of the Shield gaming handheld is the ability to stream PC games from a PC with NVIDIA graphics card to the Shield over Wi-Fi.
The 326.41 drivers improve performance across several games on the GTX 770.
The other major changes are improvements to tiled 4K displays, which are displays with 4K resolutions that are essentially made of two separate displays, and the monitor even shows up to the OS as two separate displays despite being in a single physical monitor. Using DisplayPort MST and tiled displays allows monitor manufacturers to deliver 4K displays with higher refresh rates.
Interested GeForce users can grab the latest beta drivers from the NVIDIA website or via the links below:
Subject: Graphics Cards | August 1, 2013 - 04:58 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, gtx 650 ti boost, DirectCU II, factory overclocked
The sub-$200 GPU market is getting crowded which is great for enthusiasts without pockets deep enough to drop $400+ on a GPU as they can upgrade a card now and consider getting a second card some time down the road. At $175 ($165 after MIR) the ASUS GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost DirectCU II OC 2GB is fully customized with a boost clock of 1085MHz though a stock 6GHz effective on the RAM. Thanks to the impressive design and cooling of the card [H]ard|OCP pushed those up to 1150MHz and 6.2GHz on the RAM which pushed its performance even further passed the XFX Radeon HD 7790 Black Edition that it tested against.
"Today on the test bench for your reading pleasure, we have the ASUS GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost DirectCU II OC 2GB that comes in at the $175 mark. We will compare it to the XFX Radeon HD 7790 Black Edition 2GB to determine which factory overclocked card can run circles around the other."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- ASUS GTX 760 DirectCU II @ Bjorn3D
- MSI GeForce GTX 770 Lightning Review @ Hardware Canucks
- EVGA GeForce GTX 760 SuperClocked w/ ACX Cooling Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
- Gigabyte GTX 770 WindForce OC 2GB Video Card Review @ Madshrimps
- EK Water Blocks TITAN Full Cover Block Kit Review @ Madshrimps
- Sapphire HD7730 2GB GDDR3 & 1GB GDDR5 @ Kitguru
- PowerColor HD 7870 Devil 2048 MB @ techPowerUp
- Powercolor Devil HD 7870 Review @ OCC
- PowerColor HD7870 DEVIL 2GB Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
- PowerColor HD 7870 2GB DEVIL Video Card Review @ HiTech Legion
Subject: Graphics Cards | August 1, 2013 - 02:54 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: frame pacing, Catalyst 13.8 Beta, catalyst, beta, amd
Yes, you too can now benefit from the Frame Pacing which Ryan has been testing and posted the results to. For anyone with a multi-GPU system using Radeon cards this is an update worth installing as you will see a significant benefit to your gaming experience, along with the other benefits that the new Catalyst offers.
Highlights of the Windows AMD Catalyst™ 13.8 Beta release:
Support for CrossFire Frame Pacing
- Frame Pacing ensures that frames rendered across multiple GPUs in a CrossFire configuration will be displayed at an even and regular pace
- Enabled through the AMD Catalyst Control Center; Globally or on a per application basis
- Supported for DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 applications and resolutions up and including 2560x1600 (single display)
- OpenGL 4.3 support – full support for the OpenGL 4.3 feature set
Performance improvements found in AMD Catalyst 13.8 Beta:
- Metro Last Light – Improves performance up to 7% on the AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series
OpenGL support for User Profiles and Catalyst Application Profiles:
- Users can now create per application 3D setting profiles for OpenGL applications
- OpenGL applications are now supported through Catalyst Application Profile updates (for single GPU and AMD CrossFire configurations)
- AMD Enduro Technology enhancement – The AMD Catalyst Control Center now shows which applications are active on the Performance GPU and the Power saving GPU
Windows Catalyst Package: http://support.amd.com/us/kbarticles/Pages/AMDCatalyst13-8WINBetaDriver....
Highlights of the Linux AMD Catalyst 13.8 Beta release:
This release of AMD Catalyst™ Linux introduces support for the following new features:
- OpenGL 4.3 – full support for the OpenGL 4.3 feature set
- SLED11 SP3 support
- PowerXpress A+I support with Intel Haswell on SLED11 SP3
- Dynamic primary surface resizing
- Kernel 3.10 support
Resolved Issue highlights:
- Enduro Technology on AMD + AMD Ubuntu platforms
- Source Engine games hang when running on the High Performance ASIC
- Maya 2011-2013 – Various visual corruptions issues have been resolved
- Maya 2011-2013 – Mesh/Polygons selection performance has been improved
- Unigine Heaven – Intermittent Crashes have been resolved
- Unigine Heaven – Performance has been improved up to 11% on single GPU configurations
- Left 4 Dead 2 – Visual corruption issues have been resolved
- Visual artifacts are no longer seen with XvBA playback and CABAC=No
“Testing use Only” watermark has been removed.
Linux Catalyst Package: http://support.amd.com/us/kbarticles/Pages/AMDCatalyst13-8LINBetaDriver....