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....
Frame Pacing for CrossFire
When the Radeon HD 7990 launched in April of this year, we had some not-so-great things to say about it. The HD 7990 depends on CrossFire technology to function and we had found quite a few problems with AMD's CrossFire technology over the last months of testing with our Frame Rating technology, the HD 7990 "had a hard time justifying its $1000 price tag." Right at launch, AMD gave us a taste of a new driver that they were hoping would fix the frame pacing and frame time variance issues seen in CrossFire, and it looked positive. The problem was that the driver wouldn't be available until summer.
As I said then: "But until that driver is perfected, is bug free and is presented to buyers as a made-for-primetime solution, I just cannot recommend an investment this large on the Radeon HD 7990."
Today could be a very big day for AMD - the release of the promised driver update that enables frame pacing on AMD 7000-series CrossFire configurations including the Radeon HD 7990 graphics cards with a pair of Tahiti GPUs.
It's not perfect yet and there are some things to keep an eye on. For example, this fix will not address Eyefinity configurations which includes multi-panel solutions and the new 4K 60 Hz displays that require a tiled display configuration. Also, we found some issues with more than two GPU CrossFire that we'll address in a later page too.
New Driver Details
Starting with 13.8 and moving forward, AMD plans to have the frame pacing fix integrated into all future drivers. The software team has implemented a software based frame pacing algorithm that simply monitors the time it takes for each GPU to render a frame, how long a frame is displayed on the screen and inserts delays into the present calls when necessary to prevent very tightly timed frame renders. This balances or "paces" the frame output to the screen without lowering the overall frame rate. The driver monitors this constantly in real-time and minor changes are made on a regular basis to keep the GPUs in check.
As you would expect, this algorithm is completely game engine independent and the games should be completely oblivious to all that is going on (other than the feedback from present calls, etc).
This fix is generic meaning it is not tied to any specific game and doesn't require profiles like CrossFire can from time to time. The current implementation will work with DX10 and DX11 based titles only with DX9 support being added later with another release. AMD claims this was simply a development time issue and since most modern GPU-bound titles are DX10/11 based they focused on that area first. In phase 2 of the frame pacing implementation AMD will add in DX9 and OpenGL support. AMD wouldn't give me a timeline for implementation though so we'll have to see how much pressure AMD continues with internally to get the job done.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Displays | July 25, 2013 - 07:32 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: eyefinity, crossfire, 4k
Sharp recently sampled a few of their 32" 4K monitors to Microsoft's Extreme Windows. The blog, known for editorializing what enthusiasts can do with Microsoft products, combined three 3840 x 2160 monitors into a 3x1 Eyefinity configuration at 60 Hz; the screen, itself, measures about 7 feet diagonally. This configuration, unlike the already-supported three-display 30 Hz and single-display 60Hz 4K modes, required AMD to develop a customized driver before Sharp's repo-team reclaimed their $15,000 worth of monitors.
They had a day until their door was to be knocked.
The system, three Radeon HD 7970s in Crossfire, successfully drove... they were playing Dirt 3, by the way... the three monitors at 60 Hz with between 62 and 70, of software recorded, FPS. 11,520 x 2160, at 60 Hz, requires 1.5 billion colors to be calculated within a second of animation; that is 1.5 gigapixels. Ignore, for a moment, stutter caused by including Crossfire with an Eyefinity setup. Every calculation, whether properly drawn to the monitor or not is, and must be, performed; 1.5 gigapixels is impressive and an accomplishment for Radeon hardware.
Lastly, I need to call out drama as I see it: power supplies. It is not hard to find a PSU which can support a three-GPU system and no reason for it to be hanging outside the case. It might give off the bleeding-edge appearance, but this is not arc welding. If they really were concerned, they could have picked up a higher capacity device from the shelf of a local component reseller.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Mobile, Shows and Expos | July 24, 2013 - 05:15 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Siggraph, kepler, mobile, tegra, nvidia, unreal engine 4
SIGGRAPH 2013 is wrapping up in the next couple of days but, now that NVIDIA removed the veil surrounding Mobile Kepler, people are chatting about what is to follow Tegra 4. Tim Sweeney, founder of Epic Games, contributed to NVIDIA Blogs the number of ways that certain attendees can experience Unreal Engine 4 at the show. As it turns out, NVIDIA engineers have displayed the engine both on Mobile Kepler as well as behind closed doors on desktop PCs.
Not from SIGGRAPH, this is a leak from, I believe, GTC late last March.
Also, this is Battlefield 3, not Unreal Engine 4.
Tim, obviously taking the developer standpoint, is very excited about OpenGL 4.3 support within the mobile GPU. In all, he did not say too much of note. They are targeting Unreal Engine 4 at a broad range of platforms: mobile, desktop, console, and, while absent from this editorial, web standards. Each of these platforms are settling on the same set of features, albeit with huge gaps in performance, allowing developers to focus on a scale of performance instead of a flowchart of capabilities.
Unfortunately for us, there have yet to be leaks from the trade show. We will keep you up-to-date if we find any, however.
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 23, 2013 - 09:00 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: workstation, simulation, quadro k6000, quadro, nvidia, k6000, gk110
Today, NVIDIA announced its flagship Quadro graphics card called the K6000. Back in March of this year, NVIDIA launched a new like of Quadro graphics cards for workstations. Those cards replaced the Fermi-based predecessors with new models based on NVIDIA’s GK-104 “Kepler” GPUs. Notably missing from that new lineup was NVIDIA Quadro K6000, which is the successor to the Quadro 6000.
Contrary to previous rumors, the Quadro K6000 will be based on the full GK110 chip. In fact, it will be the fastest single-GPU graphics card that NVIDIA has to offer.
The Quadro K6000 features a full GK110 GPU, 12GB of GDDR5 memory on a 384-bit bus, and a 225W TDP. The full GK110-based GPU has 2,880 CUDA cores, 256 TMUs, and 48 ROPs. Unfortunately, NVIDIA has not yet revealed clockspeeds for the GPU or memory.
Thanks to the GPU not having any SMX units disabled, the NVIDIA Quadro K6000 is rated for approximately 1.4 TFLOPS of peak double precision floating point performance of and 5.2 TFLOPS of single precision floating point performance.
The chart below illustrates the differences between the new flagship Quadro K6000 with full GK110 GPU and the highest tier Tesla and consumer graphics cards which have at least one SMX unit disabled.
NVIDIA GK110-Based Graphics Cards
|Quadro K6000||Tesla K20X||GTX TITAN|
|Memory Bandwidth||288 GB/s||250 GB/s||288 GB/s|
|Single Precision FP||5.2 TFLOPS||3.95 TFLOPS||4.5 TFLOPS|
|Double Precision FP||~1.4 TFLOPS||1.31 TFLOPS||1.31 TFLOPS|
The NVIDIA GTX TITAN gaming graphics card has 2,688 CUDA cores, 224 TMUs, and 48 ROPs and is rated for peak double and single precision of 1.31 TFLOPS and 4.5 TFLOPS respectively. On the other hand, the lower-clocked Tesla K20X compute accelerator card has 2,688 CUDA cores, 224 TMUs, and 48 ROPs along with lower clockspeeds on the memory and GPU. Because of the lower clockspeeds, the K20X is rated for double and single precision floating point performance of 1.31 TFLOPS and 3.95 TFLOPS and memory bandwidth of 250GB/s versus the 288GB/s bandwidth on the TITAN and K6000.
NVIDIA® Quadro® K6000 GPU
In all, the new K6000 is an impressive card for professional users, and the GK110 chip should perform well in the workstation environment where GK104 was the only option before. NVIDIA claims that the GK110 is up to 3-times the performance of the Quadro 6000 (non K) predecessor. It is also the first Quadro GPU with 12GB of GDDR5 memory, which should lend itself well to high resolutions and artists working with highly detailed models and simulations.
Specifically, NVIDIA is aiming this graphics card at the visual computing market, which includes 3D designers, visual effects artists, 3d animation, and simulations. The company provided several examples in the press release, including using the GK110-based card to render nearly complete photorealistic vehicle models in RTT Deltagen that can run real time during design reviews.
The Quadro K6000 allows for larger and fully populated virtual sets with realistic lighting and scene detail when 3D animators and VFX artists are working with models and movie scenes in real time. Simulation work also takes advantage of the beefy double precision horsepower to support up to 3-times faster simulation run times in Terraspark's InsightEarth simulation. Users can run simulations with wider areas in less time than the previous generation Quardo cards, and is being used by oil companies to determine the best places to drill.
Pixar's Vice President of Software and R&D Guido Quaroni had the following to say regarding the K6000.
"The Kepler features are key to our next generation of real-time lighting and geometryhandling. The added memory and other features allow our artists to see much more of thefinal scene in a real-time, interactive form, which allows many more artistic iterations."
The K6000 is the final piece to the traditional NVIDIA Quadro lineup and is likely to be well recieved by workstation users that need the increased double precision performance that GK110 offers over the existing GK104 chips. Specific pricing and availability are still unknown, but the K6000 will be available from workstation providers, system integrators, and authorized distribution partners beginning this fall.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Processors, Mobile | July 23, 2013 - 04:01 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Samsung, mali, exynos
Exynos, the line of System on a Chip (SoC) products from Samsung, were notably absent of ARM Mali GPUs. This, apparently, struck concern over how viable Mali will continue to be and whether ARM will continue to lose designs to competitors such as Imagination Technologies.
Then Samsung announced, Monday evening for us North Americans, the upcoming Exynos 5 Octa Processor will embed six ARM Mali-T628 GPU cores. The T628 GPU cores are capable of OpenCL 1.1 and OpenGL ES 3.0 standards which should allow applications to offload heavy batches of tasks, such as computational photography processing, with high efficiency and performance.
The Exynos 5 Octa contains four ARM Cortex-A15 cores at 1.8GHz, supported by four additional Cortex-A7 cores clocked at 1.3GHz. These processors are currently being sampled and should be produced in August.
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 19, 2013 - 02:13 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Tahiti XT, sapphire, radeon hd 7990, hd 7990 atomic, hd 7990, dual gpu, 7990
Sapphire appears to be preparing to unleash a factory overclocked dual GPU card called the Radeon HD 7990 Atomic. EXPReview managed to uncover several photos and specification details of the upcoming graphics card. It is quite an impressive card, that features a custom PCB, beefy power delivery electronics, 6GB of total GDDR5, and (best of all) two AMD Radeon HD 7970 GPUs cooled by a full cover closed loop water cooler!
The Sapphire HD 7990 Atomic is based around a custom 12-layer PCB. The card also features an 18-phase VRM, 50A chokes, LFPAK MOSFETS, and Tantalum capacitors. Sapphire has divided the total 18-phase VRM up such that each GPU and 3GB of memory gets 6+2+1 power phases. Of course, the HD 7990 Atomic uses two AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition GPUs for a total of 4,096 stream processors.
Sapphire has not released clockspeed information, but it should be overclocked significantly beyond the company’s existing dual gpu 7990 card’s base and boost clockspeeds of 950 MHz and 1000 MHz.
Other features include a PLX PEX8747 PCI-E 3.0 bridge chip that connects the two 7970 GPUs together, a dual BIOS switch that will allow users to run the 7990 at stock or at overclocked speeds, and a single crossfire connector to enable quad-Crossfire multi-GPU setups. The graphics card is powered by three 8-pin PCI-E power connectors. Finally, it provides six mini-DisplayPort video outputs.
In order to effectively cool the factory overclocked card, Sapphire is bundling a pre-installed self-contained liquid cooler. The closed loop cooler consists of a full cover water block on the HD 7990 Atomic, a 240mm radiator with two 120mm fans, and a combination pump and reservoir that fits within a 5.25” optical drive bay.
Naturally, how much this card will cost and where it will be available is still unknown. With that said, ChipLoco indicates that the card is coming sometime within the “next few weeks.” The extent of the factory overclock is also unknown. It is definitely a high end card worthy of enthusiasts and overclockers. Unfortunately, it utilizes a custom PCB, so it may be difficult to find alternative blocks should users wish to integrate it into their existing custom water loops.
Subject: Graphics Cards, Displays | July 18, 2013 - 08:16 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: pq321q, PQ321, nvidia, drivers, asus, 4k
It would appear that NVIDIA was paying attention to our recent live stream where we unboxed and setup our new ASUS PQ321Q 4K 3840x2160 monitor. During our setup on the AMD and NVIDIA based test beds I noticed (and the viewers saw) some less than desirable results during initial configuration. The driver support was pretty clunky, we had issues with reliability of booting and switching between SST and MST (single and multi stream transport) modes caused the card some issue as well.
Today NVIDIA released a new R326 driver, 326.19 beta, that improves performance in a couple of games but more importantly, adds support for "tiled 4K displays." If you don't know what that means, you aren't alone. A tiled display is one that is powered by multiple heads and essentially acts as multiple screens in a single housing. The ASUS PQ321Q monitor that we have in house, and the Sharp PN-K321, are tiled displays that use DisplayPort 1.2 MST technology to run at 3840x2160 @ 60 Hz.
It is great to see NVIDIA reacting quickly to new technologies and to our issues from just under a week gone by. If you have either of these displays, be sure to give the new driver a shot and let me know your results!
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 18, 2013 - 02:49 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: xfx, HD 7790 Black Edition
The XFX Radeon HD 7790 Black Edition has several advantages over a regular HD 7790, a factory overclock of 75MHz to 1075MHz on the GPU and an effective 6.4GHz on the memory, of which there is twice the amount as a regular 1GB model. To go along with the overclock is XFX's Double Dissipation custom cooling and components which they refer to as Duratec Professional Grade, which helped [H]ard|OCP reach speeds of 1230MHz GPU and 7GHz GDDR5 when overclocking with no noticeable change in temperatures. This is rather impressive performance for a card who's smaller brother costs only $140 after MIR, the pricing of the 2GB model should be only $20 more than that. Unfortunately for AMD, at the end of the day [H] cannot recommend this card over the euqally expensive but higher performing GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost 2GB.
"Today we are strapping the XFX Radeon HD 7790 Black Edition to our test bench and pitting it against a GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost. Each card is equipped with 2GB of GDDR5 and is attractively priced for the value minded gamer. The gloves will come off and we will find out whether the Black Edition is worthy of a Black Belt or a Black Eye."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- Battle of the Kings: AMD Radeon HD 7990 vs. Nvidia GeForce GTX 690 and GeForce GTX TITAN @ X-bit Labs
- XFX Radeon HD 7790 Black Edition 1 GB @ Hardware.info
- 3DMark scores of 161 mobile GPUs: from 3DMark06 to Fire Strike @ Hardware.info
- NVIDIA GeForce Chips Comparison Table @ Hardware Secrets
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 2 GB @ X-bit Labs
- BOOSTx7: GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST @ X-bit Labs
- Gainward GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST 2GB GS @ NikKTech
- KFA2 GeForce GTX 760 EX OC 2GB @ eTeknix
- Inno3D iChill GTX 760 Video Card Review @ Madshrimps
- MSI GTX 780 TwinFrozr Gaming 3 GB @ techPowerUp
- GTX 760 SLI Results @ LanOC Reviews
- GeForce GTX 760 round-up: ASUS vs. MSI vs. EVGA vs. Inno3D @ Hardware.info
- GIGABYTE GTX 760 OC Version @ [H]ard|OCP
- MSI GTX 770 N770 TF 2GD5/OC Review @ Neoseeker
- Gigabyte GTX 770 WindForce 3X OC Review @ Hardware Canucks
- ASUS GeForce GTX 770 DirectCU II OC @ Bjorn3D
- Gainward GeForce GTX 780 Phantom GLH @ Legion Hardware
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 770 @ X-bit Labs
- Palit GTX 780 Super JetStream @ Techspot
- EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost Superclocked 2GB @ Hardware.info
- GeForce GTX 700 series SLI review: GeForce GTX 760/770/780 in SLI and 3-way SLI @ Hardware.info
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 780: ASUS vs. EVGA vs. Inno3D vs. MSI @ Hardware.info
- Galaxy GeForce GTX 780 GC Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 17, 2013 - 01:58 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: galaxy, GeForce GTX 780 GC, gtx 780
Galaxy Microsystems, a leading manufacturer of high performance graphics cards, announced today the GeForce GTX 780 GC. The GC edition is the latest example of engineering excellence from Galaxy, designed for even greater performance and custom cooled with Galaxy’s all new premium, high efficiency dual fan cooler.
The new twin fan cooling system contains numerous upgrades. EBR Fluid bearings guarantee longer fan life with silent operation, and hybrid Copper and Aluminum cooling fins maximize heat transfer from the card’s overclocked GPU. The card itself features a custom PCB with high grade components and an impressive 1019Mhz boost clock for enhanced gaming performance right out of the box. Enthusiasts will want to take full advantage of the card’s superior cooling and improved overclock potential using the included Xtreme Tuner Plus overclocking and monitoring software.
The GTX 780 GC edition is built with 3GB of GDDR5 and supports NVIDIA GPU Boost 2.0, Adaptive Vsync, PhysX, 3D Vision, and Surround. The already quiet twin fan cooler also benefits from an upgraded fan control algorithm which stabilizes speeds, minimizing distractions from fans ramping up and down during gameplay.
The Galaxy GTX 780 GC 3GB is available now at leading retailers and etailers, including Amazon, Best Buy, NCIX, Newegg, and TigerDirect. Customers can also buy direct from Galaxy’s online store at http://store.galaxytechus.com.
Base Clock (MHz) - 967
Boost Clock (MHz) - 1019
CUDA Processors: - 2304
Memory Clock: - 3004Mhz (Effective 6008Mhz)
Memory Type: - GDDR5
Memory Amount - 3072MB
Memory Interface - 384-bit
Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec) - 288.4
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