Phoronix on OpenCL Driver Optimization, NVIDIA vs. AMD

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards | December 28, 2012 - 02:43 AM |
Tagged: opencl, nvidia, amd

The GPU is slowly becoming the parallel processing complement to your branching logic-adept CPU. Developers have been slow to adopt this new technology but that does not hinder the hardware manufacturers from putting on a kettle of tea for when guests arrive.

While the transition to GPGPU is slower than I am sure many would like, developers are rarely quick on the uptake of new technologies. The Xbox 360 was one of the first platforms where unified shaders became mandatory and early developers avoided them by offloading vertex code to the CPU. On that note: how much software still gets released without multicore support?

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Phoronix, practically the arbiter of all Linux news, decided to put several GPU drivers and their manufacturers to the test. AMD was up first and their results showed a pretty sizeable jump in performance at around October of this year through most of their tests. The article on NVIDIA arrived two days later and saw performance trended basically nowhere since February with the 295.20 release.

A key piece of information is that both benchmarks were performed with last generation GPUs: the GTX 460 on the NVIDIA side, with the 6950 holding AMD’s flag. You might note that 295.20 was the last tested driver to be released prior to the launch of Kepler.

These results seem to suggest that upon the launch of Kepler, NVIDIA did practically zero optimizations to their older "Fermi" architecture at least as far as these Linux OpenCL benchmarks are concerned. On the AMD side, it seems as though they are more willing to go back and advance the performance of their prior generation as they release new driver versions.

There are very few instances where AMD beats out NVIDIA in terms of driver support -- it is often a selling point for the jolly green giant -- but this appears to be a definite win for AMD.

Source: Phoronix

Win a Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 2GB GHz Edition FleX Graphics Card!

Subject: Editorial, Graphics Cards | December 19, 2012 - 06:56 PM |
Tagged: video, sweepstakes, sapphire, never settle, giveaway, contest, amd

Remember those really cool game streams we hosted with AMD on Medal of Honor Warfighter, Hitman: Absolution and Far Cry 3?  Well can you believe that one of the winners from our Far Cry 3 event hasn't replied to our request for a shipping address which means only one thing:

We have an extra Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition FleX graphics card to hand out!

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Lucky you!  Since it is the holiday season, we wanted to make this EASY for you.  Here is how you enter:

We'll randomly pick a winner from anywhere in the world to get this kick ass prize on December 26th, so you'll have something to look forward to on the day after Christmas.

Good luck to all of you and our most heartfelt thanks to AMD, Sapphire and of course the fans of PC Perspective for a great 2012!!

AMD Announces Mobility 8000M Graphics Family with Modified Architecture

Subject: Graphics Cards, Mobile | December 17, 2012 - 03:08 PM |
Tagged: radeon, mobility, amd, 8800m, 8700m, 8600m, 8500m, 8000m

AMD appears to be jumping the gun a bit here but has decided to announce the Radeon 8000M-series of mobile GPUs prior to CES.  Before you get all riled up about the next generation of graphics technology, you should know that the new parts we are showing here are still built on the same 28nm Graphics Core Now (GCN) architecture that you'll find in the Radeon HD 7000 series of desktop graphics cards and even some already-existing Radeon mobility parts like the HD 7970M.  We were told there are "some changes" but details were minimal.

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Radeon HD 8500M and 8600M GPUs will both feature 384 stream processors with the variance related to the maximum clock speed.  The 8600M will hit 775 MHz core clock while the 8500M will cap out at 650 MHz.  Memory speeds are identical.  Keep in mind that the desktop Radeon HD 7750 card has 512 stream processors and it runs at up to 900 MHz so you that can put the performance of these mainstream GPUs in perspective.

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The 8700M uses the same 384 stream processor GPU though it gets a bit higher clock speed at 850 MHz.  The 8800M is the only GPU announced today to increase the core count to 640 stream processors and a clock speed of 700 MHz for a total compute capability of 992 GFLOPs.  Though the specifications are nearly equivalent to the build of the desktop Radeon HD 7770 part it is worth mentioning that the theoretical peak performance of that GPU is 1.28 TFLOPs; nearly 30% higher than the 8800M.

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AMD was coy but hinted that this mainstream product announcement will be added to later in Q1 with higher end enthusiast-level SKUs.  No 8900s yet guys, check back later.

When asked about the changes in this mobility GPU release compared to the 7000M series already available today, we only know that this is built on the same 28nm process but that the "architecture is slightly different and more efficient" than the 7000 chips.  These are NEW chips and are NOT rebrands of currently available products.  We don't have die sizes, transistor counts or TDPs until further notice.

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AMD did provide a couple of quick graphs comparing the performance of the Radeon HD 8870M against the GeForce 650M G5 and The 8770M against its own previously releaesd 7670M part.  Take all of this with a grain of salt until we can do our own testing, as per usual.

For now, I would say our readers should be very timid about the idea of a new series of GPUs from AMD without more information on the actual changes in performance will be compared to Souther Islands.  Based on what we are hearing the changes are very minor.

Lucid Virtu MVP 2.0 Coming Soon and Will Be Sold Directly to Consumers

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Processors | December 14, 2012 - 05:07 PM |
Tagged: virtu MVP, virtu, lucid, ces 2013, CES

In preparation for the upcoming CES 2013 show in January we have started having some pre-meeting discussions with various companies, one of which was Lucid.  While speaking with them we learned some interesting news about the upcoming v2.0 release of their Virtu MVP software including new features and a new availability option.

Lucid's Virtu MVP software is the technology that allows DIY PC builders and notebook vendors to easily accommodate utilization of both integrated and discrete graphics in a single system without the need to adjust settings or to move monitor cables around.  With Virtu MVP you can take advantage of the QuickSync technology of your Ivy Bridge processor but still utilize the performance of a discrete graphics card for gaming.  This can all be managed and handled on a single display with a single cable. 

Other additions like Virtual Vsync and HyperFormance were added in MVP and aim to improve the gaming experience in the same way that Virtu enhances the overall user experience.  And while Matt Smith liked the results from the software in his recent testing with an Origin laptop, there were a couple things that bugged us: the interface and the inability to get the software on your own.

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Next month Lucid will be launching the new version 2.0 of its software that should increase the responsiveness of the interface while also drastically improving the visuals and style.  Also included will be native Windows 8 support.

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Perhaps the most interesting news is that Lucid will soon start offering the software directly to consumers as a download instead of requiring that you get it from your motherboard or system vendor.  This is great news for users that have purchased motherboards without Virtu software and those of you that might want to buy a really low cost board that would lack those features as well.  You will apparently be able to buy it in Q1 from www.lucidlogix.com and the price should be "under $30" which likely indicates a $29.99 starting offer. 

What we don't know is how this will affect Lucid's motherboard partners - will they stop carrying the software as a bundle going forward or will they still offer it on select SKUs?  Lucid wouldn't divulge any of that yet but I assume we'll find out more at CES next month.

PCPer Live! Far Cry 3 Game Stream - Win Games and Graphics Cards!

Subject: Graphics Cards | December 5, 2012 - 04:47 PM |
Tagged: video, tahiti, radeon, never settle, live, far cry 3, amd

UPDATE: If you missed the live stream you can watch the replay embedded right here!  Tune in to see some Far Cry 3 action as well learn about some of the technology that Ubisoft has included in the title!

On December 4th on the PC Perspective Live! page we will be streaming some single player game action of the new Far Cry 3.  Far Cry has long been a franchise that includes great gameplay and never before seen graphics technology and the third installment looks to follow that trend!  Early previews of the game have been very exciting!

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Far Cry 3 Game Stream

5pm PT / 8pm ET - December 4th

PC Perspective Live! Page

Warning: this one will DEFINITELY have mature language and content!!

The stream will be sponsored by AMD and its Never Settle game bundles which we previously told you about.  Depending on the AMD Radeon HD 7000 series GPU that you buy this holiday season you could get as much as $170 in gaming content including:

  • FREE Sleeping Dogs
  • FREE Hitman: Absolution
  • FREE Far Cry 3
  • 20% off Medal of Honor Warfighter

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AMD's Robert Hallock (@Thracks on twitter) will be joining us via Skype to talk about the game's technology, performance considerations as well as helping me with some co-op gaming!

Of course, just to sweeten the deal a bit we have some prizes lined up for those of you that participate in our Far Cry 3 Game Stream:

  • 2 x Sapphire FleX HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB (!!)
  • 3 x Complete Never Settle Bundles (Sleeping Dogs, Hitman, Far Cry 3, 20% Off MoH)
  • 5 x Sleeping Dogs keys
  • 5 x Hitman: Absolution keys
  • 5 x Far Cry 3 keys

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Pretty nice, huh?  That's a LOT of games (as well as some Radeon graphics cards) and all you have to do to win is be present on the PC Perspective Live! Page during the event as we will announce both the content/sweepstakes method AND the winners!

Stop in on December 4th for some PC gaming fun!!

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AMD Never Settle Sweepstakes Part 3: ASUS HD 7970 DirectCU II for FREE!

Subject: Graphics Cards | December 5, 2012 - 01:53 PM |
Tagged: never settle, HD 7970, asus, amd

UPDATE: We have selected a winner for this contest!  If you didn't get an email from me on it, then better luck next time.  We'll have more contests coming up very soon at PC Perspective!!

AMD is really excited about its Never Settle campaign and the bundle packages it has built for the holiday season.  PC gamers looking for an uprade will defintely want to read up on the special promotion but we have another surprise for you as well - A FREE GRAPHICS CARD!

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AMD and ASUS are partnering up with PC Perspective to hand out an ASUS HD 7970 DirectCT II graphics card, perfect for gaming on your PC!

Not only do you get the card in this sweet contest but you'll get the same software bundle as if you had purchased them at retail.

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That means a 20% off coupon for Medal of Honor Warfighter, a FREE copy of Far Cry 3, a FREE copy of Hitman: Absolution and a FREE copy of Sleeping Dogs! 

What do you have to do to enter to win this hardware?  It couldn't be easier:

  1. Visit your favorite PC Perspective pages like our YouTube channel, Facebook page and Twitter account.  You should subscribe, like and follow us, you know...if you want to.  We'd appreciate it!
  2. Check out the AMD Never Settle page to read up on the bundle and special offers they are running right now!
  3. Leave a comment here on this post!

That's it - we love our fans so we want to make sure everyone gets a chance to win some free stuff!  Sorry though, North American readers only on this one!

We will close the contest on Wednesday December 12rd at 1pm EST or so - so get your entries in!  Thanks again for being a fan of PC Perspective, thanks to AMD for the great prizes and stay tuned for MORE contests and giveaways in the coming days!

AMD Radeon HD 8990 Rumored for 2013 Launch

Subject: Graphics Cards | December 4, 2012 - 04:41 PM |
Tagged: venus, Sea Islands, radeon hd 8990, hd 8990, dual gpu, 28nm

Earlier this year rumored specifications for AMD’s upcoming HD 8000-series graphics cards leaked to the Internet. Details on the 8800 and 8900 series cards have since been revealed along with rumored/estimated clock speeds and pricing. One card that has, until now, remained an unknown is the dual-GPU Radeon HD 8990, however.

The existence of a dual GPU Sea Islands card has been especially suspect as a result of the ever-elusive Radeon 7990 and its almost-certain cancellation in an official AMD-branded form. On the other hand, a road map leaked by BitDreams.se and discovered by Maximum PC seems to suggest that an HD 8990 is at least being considered.

The Radeon HD 8990 follows the dual GPU traditions of its predecessors by combining two 8970 GPUs onto a single PCB. That means, if the previously leaked 8970 specifications hold true, the 8990 graphics card will have 5,120 stream processors, 320 texture units, 96 ROPs, and a 384-bit memory bus for each GPU. The card will have between 6 and 12GB of GDDR5 memory (3GB-6GB per GPU). The dual GPU card will have a maximum TDP of 375W and will come with slightly lower GPU core and memory clockspeeds compared to two individual 8970 cards. The GPU will be clocked at 950MHz and the memory will be clocked at 1250MHz. The single GPU Radeon 8970 will come clocked at 1050MHz core and 1500MHz memory, however.

  Radeon HD 7870 Radeon HD 8870 Radeon 7950 Radeon 8950 Radeon HD 7970 Radeon HD 8970 Radeon HD 7990 Radeon HD 8990
Die Size 212mm^2 270mm^2 365mm^2 ~400mm^2 365mm^2 ~ 400mm^2  365mm^2 x2 ~400mm^2 x2
Shader Count 1280 1792 1792 2304 2048 2560 4096 5120
TMUs 80 112 112 144 128 160 128 x 2 160 x 2
ROPs 32 32 32 32 32 48 32 x 2 48 x 2
Memory Interface 256-bit 256-bit 384-bit 384-bit 384-bit 384-bit 384-bit x2 384-bit x 2
Bandwidth 153.6 GB/s 192 GB/s 240 GB/s 322 GB/s 288 GB/s 322 GB/s 288 GB/s x 2 600 GB/s (total)

The dual gpu 8990 card, as well as the rest of the 8000 series will support DirectX 11, Shader Model 5.0, and OpenGL 4.2. Bit Dreams lists the maximum single and double precision performance at 10.2 and 3 TFLOPS respectively, making this a rather powerful card that is not quite the same performance as two 8970s but will take up less space. Interestingly, the card would be noticeably faster than AMD’s FirePro S10000 card (essentially two 7950 gpus) at 1.48 TF double precision and 5.91 TF single precision. That would suggest that Venus is much more efficient than Tahiti, if the numbers turn out to be true.

The card will allegedly be released sometime in the second quarter of 2013 (Q2’13). Pricing is likely to be around $1,000 but so far pricing information has not leaked. Even taking these numbers with a spoon of salt, a dual GPU 8000 series card is sure to be welcome by enthusiasts. Here’s hoping it ends up being released (unlike the 7990) and is as fast as it’s rumored to be!

Source: Bit Dreams

How much horsepower do you need to BLOPS2 properly?

Subject: Graphics Cards | December 3, 2012 - 02:02 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, call of duty, black ops 2, amd

[H]ard|OCP set out to determine how well AMD and NVIDIA's cards can deal with the new Call of Duty game.  To do so they took a system built on a GIGABYTE Z77X-UP4-TH, a Core i7 2600k @ 4.8GHz, and 8GB of Corsair RAM and then tested a HD7970, 7950 and 7870 as well as a GTX680, 670 and 660Ti.  There is good news for both graphics companies and gamers, the HD7870 was the slowest card and still managed great performance on maximum settings @ 2560x1600 with 8X MSAA and FXAA.  For the absolute best performance it is NVIDIA's GTX680 that is your go to card though since this is a console port, albeit one that [H] describes as well implemented, don't expect to be blown away by the quality of the graphics.

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"Call of Duty: Black Ops II is the first Call of Duty game on PC to support DX11 and new graphical features. Hopefully improvements to the IW Engine will be enough to boost the CoD franchise near the top graphics-wise. We also examine NVIDIA's TXAA technology which combines shader based antialiasing and traditional multisampling AA."

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

Graphics Cards

Source: [H]ard|OCP

AMD Never Settle Sweepstakes Part 2: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7870 OC Edition CrossFire

Subject: Graphics Cards | November 27, 2012 - 08:11 PM |
Tagged: never settle, hd 7870, gigabyte, amd

UPDATE: We have selected our winner for this contest and we'll have another one ready for you tomorrow, so be sure to CHECK BACK!!!

AMD is really excited about its Never Settle campaign and the bundle packages it has built for the holiday season.  PC gamers looking for an uprade will defintely want to read up on the special promotion but we have another surprise for you as well - FREE GRAPHICS CARDS!

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AMD and Gigabyte are partnering up with PC Perspective to hand out a pair of Gigabyte Radeon HD 7870 OC Edition 2GB cards to a single winner, perfect for a CrossFire setup in your PC!

Not only do you get the cards in this sweet contest but you'll get the same software bundle as if you had purchased them at retail.

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That means a 20% off coupon for Medal of Honor Warfighter, a FREE copy of Far Cry 3 and a FREE copy of Hitman: Absolution!  (Which we happen to be doing a live stream of with even MORE stuff to give away!)

What do you have to do to enter to win this hardware?  It couldn't be easier:

  1. Visit your favorite PC Perspective pages like our YouTube channel, Facebook page and Twitter account.  You should subscribe, like and follow us, you know...if you want to.  We'd appreciate it!
  2. Check out the AMD Never Settle page to read up on the bundle and special offers they are running right now!
  3. Leave a comment here on this post!

That's it - we love our fans so we want to make sure everyone gets a chance to win some free stuff!  Sorry though, North American readers only on this one!

We will close the contest on Monday December 3rd at 1pm EST or so - so get your entries in!  Thanks again for being a fan of PC Perspective, thanks to AMD for the great prizes and stay tuned for MORE contests and giveaways in the coming days!

Here's one of those non-existant HD 7990's for you

Subject: Graphics Cards | November 23, 2012 - 01:43 PM |
Tagged: amd, radeon, southern islands, hd 7990

PowerColor ignored the claims that there would be no dual GPU HD 7990 and created the DEVIL13, with two southern island GPUs on a single PCB.  Both GPUs run at the standard HD 7970 speed of 925MHz, with a button to overclock them to 1000MHz and ups the amount of voltage provided to the cores as well, the 6GB of RAM run at the stock 5.5GHz effective.  Seeing three 8pin PCIe power connectors is impressive, as is the 3 slot card its self.  [H]ard|OCP overclocked the card to a stable 1125MHz GPUs and 6.3GHz memory which put its performance noticeably above that of the SLI'd GTX 680 that they compared this card to.  The question remains, if you can get the exact same performance from two overclocked Powercolor HD 7970s for $860 then why spend $1000 on the hard to find DEVIL13

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"PowerColor has beaten AMD to the punch with its own creation of a dual-GPU Radeon HD 7970 CrossFireX solution in a single video card package. We evaluate this awe inspiring video card and of course overclock it to its highest potential. We put it up against the best GTX 680 SLI solution also overclocked, all with the latest drivers."

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

Graphics Cards

Source: [H]ard|OCP

AMD Never Settle Sweepstakes Part 1: HIS Radeon HD 7770 IceQ X 1GB CrossFire

Subject: Graphics Cards | November 20, 2012 - 03:09 PM |
Tagged: never settle, his, hd 7770, amd

UPDATE: We have picked our winner!  Check back tomorrow for yet another Never Settle contest!!

AMD is really excited about its Never Settle campaign and the bundle packages it has built for the holiday season.  PC gamers looking for an uprade will defintely want to read up on the special promotion but we have another surprise for you as well - FREE GRAPHICS CARDS!

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AMD and HIS are partnering up with PC Perspective to hand out a pair of HIS Radeon HD 7770 IceQ X 1GB cards to a single winner, perfect for a CrossFire setup in your PC!

Not only do you get the cards in this sweet contest but you'll get the same software bundle as if you had purchased them at retail.

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That means a 20% off coupon for Medal of Honor Warfighter, a FREE copy of Far Cry 3 and a FREE copy of Hitman: Absolution!  (Which we happen to be doing a live stream of with even MORE stuff to give away!)

What do you have to do to enter to win this hardware?  It couldn't be easier:

  1. Visit your favorite PC Perspective pages like our YouTube channel, Facebook page and Twitter account.  You should subscribe, like and follow us, you know...if you want to.  We'd appreciate it!
  2. Check out the AMD Never Settle page to read up on the bundle and special offers they are running right now!
  3. Leave a comment here on this post!

That's it - we love our fans so we want to make sure EVERYONE gets a chance to win some free stuff! 

We will close the contest on Monday the 26th at 1pm EST or so - so get your entries in!  Thanks again for being a fan of PC Perspective, thanks to AMD for the great prizes and stay tuned for MORE contests and giveaways in the coming days!

PCPer Live! Hitman: Absolution Game Stream - Win Games and Graphics Cards!

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | November 20, 2012 - 01:06 PM |
Tagged: video, tahiti, radeon, never settle, live, hitman: absolution, amd

UPDATE: If you missed the event last night we have the full replay here for you!  Enjoy!

On November 20th on the PC Perspective Live! page we will be streaming some single player game action of the new Hitman: Absolution.  If you have never played a Hitman game before I think PC gamers will love the combination of action and stealth as well as some of the humor you'll find in the assassination attempts. 

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Image from Videogamer.com

Hitman: Absolution Game Stream

5pm PT / 8pm ET - November 20th

PC Perspective Live! Page

The stream will be sponsored by AMD and its Never Settle game bundles which we previously told you about.  Depending on the AMD Radeon HD 7000 series GPU that you buy this holiday season you could get as much as $170 in gaming content including:

  • FREE Sleeping Dogs
  • FREE Hitman: Absolution
  • FREE Far Cry 3
  • 20% off Medal of Honor Warfighter

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AMD's Robert Hallock (@Thracks on twitter) will be joining us via Skype to talk about the game's technology, performance considerations as well as making fun of attempts at effectively offing some fools.

Of course, just to sweeten the deal a bit we have some prizes lined up for those of you that participate in our Hitman: Absolution Game Stream:

  • 2 x Sapphire FleX HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB (!!)
  • 3 x Complete Never Settle Bundles (Sleeping Dogs, Hitman, Far Cry 3, 20% Off MoH)
  • 5 x Sleeping Dogs keys
  • 5 x Hitman: Absolution keys
  • 5 x Far Cry 3 keys

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Pretty nice, huh?  That's a LOT of games (as well as some Radeon graphics cards) and all you have to do to win is be present on the PC Perspective Live! Page during the event as we will announce both the content/sweepstakes method AND the winners!

Stop in on the 20th for some PC gaming fun!!

AMD Facing Even More Layoffs

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards, Processors | November 17, 2012 - 04:09 PM |
Tagged: layoffs, amd

Personally, I am starting to get numb to AMD restructuring news -- and that is never good.

Less than a month ago we reported on the semiconductor design company’s decision to cut 15% of their workforce. The company still has life in it and has a respectable presence in all upcoming videogame consoles along with its inclusion within many consumer laptops and desktops but it is clearly not as much life as they need.

Original rumors stated that cuts could be on the order of 10-30% which 15% would be on the lighter side of. With rumors of more cuts coming in January I wonder if this was a last minute decision to break up the layoffs into two less dramatic installments.

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One of the beauties of the tech industry is the low cost of starting or turning a company around; it would be irresponsible to completely count out a player while it still has access to millions of capital. AMD is also sitting upon lots of assets which could be liquidated and their employees have ridiculous talent to be employable elsewhere. I have been noticing that most chatter about the topic is not based in concern with AMD and their employee’s future but with concern about an x86 competitor to Intel.

This is pretty much the same concern which I have been having about Windows 8: the house of cards may be standing but it is still a house of cards. We rely upon the proprietary standards which Intel and others impose upon the art, the word being used both in literal and “artisan / practical art” contexts which includes utensil applications.

Concern mounts but practically no-one grafts it to similar instabilities in other platforms.

No I am not saying abolish technology patents or anything like that: I am simply saying that this is yet another drop in the torrent of concerns with content upstream to proprietary platforms.

These issues rightfully cause alarm but are not isolated events.

Source: All Things D

GeForce GTX Call of Duty Rivalries competition ...and more

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | November 15, 2012 - 04:05 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, call of duty, black ops 2

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NVIDIA will be celebrating the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops II by launching the first-ever “GeForce GTX Call of Duty Rivalries” competition which pits top colleges against each other in Call of Duty: Black Ops II four-person, last team standing multiplayer matches. Participants in the first round of competition include the storied rivalries of Cal vs. Stanford, USC vs. UCLA and UNC vs. NC State. Two additional wildcard colleges from any accredited college in the United States will also be chosen by the Facebook community to field teams. See details on GeForce.com or visit NVIDIA’s Facebook page on how you can walk away with a Maingear gaming rig.

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In addition to the contest NVIDIA also released the GeForce 310.54 beta driver with specific benefits for players of Black Ops 2, specifically the inclusion of TXAA.

  • Delivers up to 26 percent faster performance in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and up to 18% faster performance in Assassin’s Creed III.
  • Provides smooth, shimmer-free graphics with NVIDIA TXAA antialiasing in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and Assassin’s Creed III.
  • Improves performance by up to 16% in other top games likes Battlefield 3, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and StarCraft II.

As always, our new driver includes new profiles for today’s top titles, increasing multi-GPU performance.

  • Hawken – Added SLI profile
  • Hitman: Absolution – Added SLI profile
  • Natural Selection 2 – Added SLI profile
  • Primal Carnage – Added SLI profile

You can grab the driver and read about all the improvements right here.

Source: NVIDIA

The driving force behind revisting Radeon and GeForce cards

Subject: Graphics Cards | November 15, 2012 - 01:43 PM |
Tagged: amd, nvidia, catalyst, forceware

We have seen quite a few driver updates since the release of cards like the HD 7970 GHz Edition and the GTX 680 which inspired [H]ard|OCP to revisit the performance of these cards in several games.  Some results were not surprising, the two top cards have historically run neck and neck in performance and price and that remains true now.  There was a definite loser however, the performance of the GTX 660 Ti matches that of the HD7870 but the price is similar to the much faster HD7950.  Check out the full results here.

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"With the recent release of new beta drivers from both AMD and NVIDIA, and the upping of clocks by AMD, significant performance gains have been claimed by both parties for current generation video cards. We will investigate with a 6-way roundup comparison to see if we can crown a champion."

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

Graphics Cards

Source: [H]ard|OCP

AMD Catalyst 12.11 Beta 7 - CoD Black Ops Edition

Subject: Graphics Cards | November 13, 2012 - 06:02 PM |
Tagged:

When AMD promised to move off of a monthly release schedule for their Catalyst Control Center and drivers, we didn't think that would mean we would see multiple releases from them every month.  If you count the beta versions then that is exactly what is happening, today the release of the 12.11 Beta 7 driver is available on their beta driver page.   We have listed the improvements offered by previous versions of the 12.11 Beta driver and they are quite impressive, this particular version adds one more to the list of improvements.  Players of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 should be grabbing this driver as the improvement is specific to the CrossFire compatibility of that game.  AMD does not specify a percentage increase but they do state you will see much better performance on CrossFire systems, especially if you are playing at 2560 x 1600 and above ... which you really should be if you are running a CrossFire system.  It has all the previous benefits as well, so if you've been holding off on upgrading your graphics driver, this might be a good excuse to do so.

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Source: AMD

AMD Launches Dual Tahiti FirePro S10000 Graphics Card

Subject: Graphics Cards | November 13, 2012 - 04:15 PM |
Tagged: tahiti, HPC, gpgpu, firepro s10000, firepro

On Monday, AMD launched its latest graphics card aimed at the server and workstation market. Called the AMD FirePro S10000 (for clarity, that’s FirePro S10,000), it is a dual GPU Tahiti graphics card that offers up some impressive performance numbers.

No, unfortunately, this is not the (at this point) mythical dual-7970 AMD HD 7990 graphics card. Rather, the FirePro S10,000 is essentially two Radeon 7950 GPUs on a single PCB along with 6 GB of GDDR5 memory. Specifications on the card include 3,584 stream processors, a GPU clock speed of 825 MHz, and 6 GB GDDR5 with a total of 480 GB/s of memory bandwidth. That is 1,792 stream processors and 3 GB of memory per GPU. Interestingly, this is a dual slot card with an active cooler. At 375W, a passive cooler is just not possible in a form factor necessary to fit into a server rack. Therefore, AMD has equipped the FirePro S10,000 GPGPU card with a triple fan cooler reminiscant of the setup PowerColor uses on its custom (2x7970) Devil 13, but not as large. The FirePro card has three red fans (shrouded by a black cover) over a heatpipe and aluminum fin heatsink. The card does include display outputs for workstation uses including one DVI and four mini DisplayPort ports.

gpgpu.png

AMD is claiming 1.48 TFLOPS in double precision work and 5.91 TFLOPS in single precision workloads. Those are impressive numbers, and the card even manages to beat NVIDIA’s new Tesla K20X with big Kepler GK110 and the company’s dual GPU GK104 Tesla K10 by notable margins. Additionally, the new FirePro S10000 manages to beat its FirePro 9000 predecessor handily. The S9000 in comparison is rated at 0.806 TFLOPS for double precision calculations and 3.23 TFLOPS on single precision work. The S9000 is a single GPU card equivalent to the Radeon 7950 on the consumer side of things with 1,792 shader cores. AMD has essentially taken two S9000 cards and put them on a single PCB, and managed to get almost twice the potential performance without needing twice the power.

Efficiency and calculations per watt were numbers that AMD did not dive too much into, but the company did share that the new FirePro S10000 achieves 3.94 GLOPS/W. AMD compares this to NVIDIA’s dual GPU (Fermi-based) Tesla M2090 at 2.96 GFLOPS/W. Unfortunately, NVIDIA has not shared a single GPU GFLOPS/W rating on its new K20X cards.

  AMD S10000 AMD S9000 NVIDIA K20X NVIDIA K10
Double Precision 1.48 TF 0.806 TF 1.31 TF 0.19 TF
Single Precision 5.91 TF 3.23 TF 3.95 TF 4.58 TF
Architecture Tahiti (x2) Tahiti (x1) GK110 GK104 (x2)
TDP 375W 225W 235W 225W
Memory Bandwidth 480 GB/s 264 GB/s 250 GB/s 320 GB/s
Memory Capacity 6 GB 6 GB 6 GB 8 GB
Stream Processors 3,584 1,792 2,688 3,070
Core clock speed 825 MHz 900 MHz 732 MHz 745 M
MSRP $3,599 $2,499 $3,199 ~$2500

Other features of the AMD FirePro S10000 include support for OpenCL, Microsoft RemoteFX, Direct GPU pass-through, and (shared) virtualized graphics. AMD envisions businesses using these FirePro cards to provide GPU hardware acceleration for virtualized desktops and thin clients. With Xen Server, multiple users are able to tap into the hardware acceleration offered by the FirePro S10000 to speed up desktop and speed up programs that support it.

Operating systems in particular have begun tapping into GPU acceleration to speed up the user interface and run things like the Aero desktop in Windows 7. High end software for workstations also have a high GPU acceleration adoption rate, so there are benefits to be had, and AMD is continuing to offer it with its latest FirePro card.

AMD FirePro Market Position_Aimed at Server Graphics.png

AMD is offering up a card that can be used for a mix of compute or graphics output, making them an interesting choice for workstations. The FirePro S10000’s major fault lies with a 375W TDP, and while the peak performance is respectable it is going to use more power while provided that compute muscle.

The cards are available now with an MSRP of $3,599. It is neat to finally see AMD come out with a dual GPU card with Tahiti chips, and it will be interesting to see what kind of design wins the company is able to get for its beastly FirePro S10000.

AMD's new FirePro S10000 sports two GPUs

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | November 13, 2012 - 01:17 PM |
Tagged: amd, Intel, firepro, firepro s10000, HPC, Xeon Phi, 3120A, 5110P, Knight's Corner

AMD's new Tahiti based FirePro S10000 sports a little more than just a GPU upgrade it sports two GPU updates as this is a dual GPU card.  According to The Register it should run about $3,600 and need 375W to perform, numbers which make it a more efficient card than the S9000 even though it needs significantly more cash and power to run.  It is a 2 slot card, a necessity in the server and workstation world and while it does not support CrossFire it does support EyeFinity with its DVI port and four Mini DisplayPorts.

elreg_amd_firepro_s10000.jpg

The Register also got some news about Xeon Phi, Intel's answer to the HPC cards on offer from AMD and Intel.  Knights Corner is the evolution of Larrabee into an actual product, in this case two 62 core cards though not all of the cores are active. The passively cooled 5110P has 60 cores running at 1.053GHz, while the 3120A has 57 cores clocked slightly higher at 1.1GHz and sports a fan.  Both cards produce just over a teraflop of double precision floating point math, compared to the 1.48 teraflops offered by AMD's S10000 or the 1.3 offered by the Tesla K20x. Check out more on these coprocessors at The Register.

elreg_intel_xeon_phi_die_shot.jpg

"With the FirePro S10000, not only is the GPU geared down to 825MHz, but the memory is similarly downshifted to 5GHz. The memory interface is 384-bit wide on each GPU, with two blocks of GDDR5 memory yielding a total of 6GB. (This could be a little skinny on the memory for some HPC workloads, given that the S9000 card has 6GB of memory for one Tahiti GPU.) Each GPU can access 240GB/sec of memory bandwidth linking to each 3GB chunk of GDDR5 memory.

Because the card is double-stuffed, it can deliver a very impressive 5.91 teraflops SP and 1.48 teraflops DP in peak floating point oomph."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register

PCPer Live! Medal of Honor Warfighter Game Stream - Win FREE Games!!

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards | November 9, 2012 - 03:40 PM |
Tagged: video, tahiti, radeon, never settle, live, amd

UPDATE: Did you miss the live stream yesterday?  Well don't fret - you can still watch the single player and multi-player action of Medal of Honor Warfighter in the video below.  Sorry, all the prizes have been handed out though but check back in at pcper.com for two more upcoming game streams!!

This afternoon on our PC Perspective Live! page we will be streaming some single player and multi-player game action of latest title to use the Frostbite 2 engine, Medal of Honor Warfighter.  You can stop in and watch us take on a bit of the campaign in the game and then view my likely repetitive demise in some multi-player matches as well.

MOHW_ZDT_04.jpg.jpg

Medal of Honor Warfighter Game Stream

12pm PT / 3pm ET - TODAY

PC Perspective Live! Page

The stream today will be sponsored by AMD and their Never Settle game bundles which we previously told you about here.  Depending on the AMD Radeon HD 7000 series GPU that you buy this holiday season you could get as much as $170 in gaming content including:

  • FREE Sleeping Dogs
  • FREE Hitman: Absolution
  • FREE Far Cry 3
  • 20% off Medal of Honor Warfighter

bundle.jpg

AMD's Robert Hallock (@Thracks on twitter) will be joining us via Skype to talk about the game's technology, performance considerations as well as making fun of while I get sniped from the windows.

Of course, just to sweeten the deal a bit we have some prizes lined up for those of you that participate in our Medal of Honor Game Stream today as well. 

  • 3 x Complete Never Settle Bundles (Sleeping Dogs, Hitman, Far Cry 3, 20% Off MoH)
  • 5 x Sleeping Dogs keys
  • 5 x Hitman: Absolution keys
  • 5 x Far Cry 3 keys

Pretty nice, huh?  That's a LOT of games and all you have to do to win is be present on the PC Perspective Live! Page during the event as we will announce both the content/sweepstakes method AND the winner!

Stop in today for some PC gaming fun!!

AMD Catalyst 12.10 and the AMD Catalyst 12.11 Beta; which will you settle for?

Subject: Graphics Cards | October 22, 2012 - 05:36 PM |
Tagged: graphics drivers, Catalyst 12.11 Beta, Catalyst 12.10, amd

cat11.jpg

Feature Highlights of AMD Catalyst 12.10: Ready for Windows 8

For AMD Radeon HD 5000, HD 6000 and HD 7000 Series users, Microsoft has certified today’s AMD Catalyst 12.10 release as “compatible with Windows 8.” With this driver, these products offer full support for WDDM 1.2, which is an updated model for graphics drivers that Microsoft has developed to ensure smooth performance and wide compatibility in their new operating system.

  • Target-Independent Rasterization (TIR): TIR is a new rendering path that enables superior anti-aliasing in Direct3D driver applications
  • Native Stereo 3D Support: Windows 8 natively supports stereoscopic 3D gaming and videos via compatible applications
  • Unified Video API: Video playback has been integrated into the DirectX 11 API, enabling simultaneous video and gaming content. Transcoding performance may also be improved for supporting applications.
  • Optimized screen rotation for rotation aware devices Improved sleep/resume performance
  • Optimized GPU power consumption
  • Major technologies / features also supported under Windows 8:
    • AMD Eyefinity technology
    • OpenCL
    • OpenGL
    • Unified Video Decoder (UVD)
    • AMD Dual Graphics
    • AMD CrossFire technology
    • AMD Overdrive
    • AMD Catalyst Control Center
    • Vision Engine Control Center

Feature Highlights of AMD Catalyst 12.10: AMD Catalyst Mobility support for AMD Enduro Technology

AMD Catalyst Mobility now includes support for AMD Enduro Technology. AMD Enduro Technology is currently supported on all notebook Intel IvyBridge platforms and AMD Comal platforms that support the AMD Radeon HD 7900M, 7800M, 7700M.

AMD Enduro Technology for Notebooks delivers:

  • Unbeatable battery life
  • GPU accelerated performance for gaming, video, and compute apps
  • A Seamless and automatic experience

New Enduro Technology features found in Catalyst 12.10:
Re-designed Catalyst Control Center user interface View all profiled applications View recently run applications Profile applications based on power source Expert mode control and customization Performance centric AC Battery centric DC

AMD’s latest Catalyst Application Profile:AMD Catalyst 12.10 CAP1 (to be used with AMD Catalyst 12.11 Beta as well)
Find the latest available AMD Catalyst CAP here http://support.amd.com/us/gpudownload/windows/Pages/radeonaiw_vista64.aspx

  • Crysis 2: Resolves performance issues seen in CrossFire mode
  • Darksiders 2: Resolves screen flickering seen in CrossFire mode
  • Max Payne 3: Resolves Menu flickering when Anti-Aliasing is enabled through the Catalyst Control Center
  • FIFA 13: Improves CrossFire performance, and improve single GPU performance ·
  • Project C.A.R.S.: Resolves screen flickering seen in CrossFire mode
  • Natural Selection 2 - Resolves Menu flickering when Anti-Aliasing is enabled through the Catalyst Control Center

Resolved issue highlights of AMD Catalyst 12.10 (from AMD Catalyst 12.8)

Tri and Quad CrossFire + Eyefinity configurations

  • Users will no longer see lower than expected performance in certain DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 applications
  • FireFox - corruption is no longer observed on CrossFire configurations
  • Enabling Overdrive settings no longer increases clocks in all power states
  • AMD Video Converter support is available in AMD Catalyst 12.9 Beta Windows 7 and Windows Vista packages
  • Resolves the system delay observed when opening the Windows Audio system tray on Multi-GPU configurations to configure HDMI Audio settings

Feature Highlights of AMD Catalyst 12.10 Linux Driver: New OS Support

This release of AMD Catalyst Linux introduces support for the following new operating systems
Ubuntu 12.10 early look support RHEL 6.3 production support

Click for the Beta driver details


Source: AMD