Subject: Graphics Cards | February 22, 2013 - 05:29 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: tressfx, amd
I got an odd email just now that I thought I would share with you. From AMD's Gaming Evolved account I got this:
You're at the top of your game. Why isn't your hair? TressFX is specially formulated with dynamic compounds like PPLL to re-energize your tired locks with vitality and luster.
An odd campaign for sure, but it appears that on Tuesday AMD is going to discuss a technology that will bring realistic hair to gaming. Finally some use for all that GPGPU horsepower on the Southern Islands graphics cards?
In case you missed it...
In one of the last pages of our recent NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN graphics card review we included an update to our Frame Rating graphics performance metric that details the testing method in more detail and showed results for the first time. Because it was buried so far into the article, I thought it was worth posting this information here as a separate article to solict feedback from readers and help guide the discussion forward without getting lost in the TITAN shuffle. If you already read that page of our TITAN review, nothing new is included below.
I am still planning a full article based on these results sooner rather than later; for now, please leave me your thoughts, comments, ideas and criticisms in the comments below!
Why are you not testing CrossFire??
If you haven't been following our sequence of stories that investigates a completely new testing methodology we are calling "frame rating", then you are really missing out. (Part 1 is here, part 2 is here.) The basic premise of Frame Rating is that the performance metrics that the industry is gathering using FRAPS are inaccurate in many cases and do not properly reflect the real-world gaming experience the user has.
Because of that, we are working on another method that uses high-end dual-link DVI capture equipment to directly record the raw output from the graphics card with an overlay technology that allows us to measure frame rates as they are presented on the screen, not as they are presented to the FRAPS software sub-system. With these tools we can measure average frame rates, frame times and stutter, all in a way that reflects exactly what the viewer sees from the game.
We aren't ready to show our full sets of results yet (soon!) but the problems lie in that AMD's CrossFire technology shows severe performance degradations when viewed under the Frame Rating microscope that do not show up nearly as dramatically under FRAPS. As such, I decided that it was simply irresponsible of me to present data to readers that I would then immediately refute on the final pages of this review (Editor: referencing the GTX TITAN article linked above.) - it would be a waste of time for the reader and people that skip only to the performance graphs wouldn't know our theory on why the results displayed were invalid.
Many other sites will use FRAPS, will use CrossFire, and there is nothing wrong with that at all. They are simply presenting data that they believe to be true based on the tools at their disposal. More data is always better.
Here are these results and our discussion. I decided to use the most popular game out today, Battlefield 3 and please keep in mind this is NOT the worst case scenario for AMD CrossFire in any way. I tested the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition in single and CrossFire configurations as well as the GeForce GTX 680 and SLI. To gather results I used two processes:
- Run FRAPS while running through a repeatable section and record frame rates and frame times for 60 seconds
- Run our Frame Rating capture system with a special overlay that allows us to measure frame rates and frame times with post processing.
Here is an example of what the overlay looks like in Battlefield 3.
Frame Rating capture on GeForce GTX 680s in SLI - Click to Enlarge
The column on the left is actually the visuals of an overlay that is applied to each and every frame of the game early in the rendering process. A solid color is added to the PRESENT call (more details to come later) for each individual frame. As you know, when you are playing a game, multiple frames will make it on any single 60 Hz cycle of your monitor and because of that you get a succession of colors on the left hand side.
By measuring the pixel height of those colored columns, and knowing the order in which they should appear beforehand, we can gather the same data that FRAPS does but our results are seen AFTER any driver optimizations and DX changes the game might make.
Frame Rating capture on Radeon HD 7970 CrossFire - Click to Enlarge
Here you see a very similar screenshot running on CrossFire. Notice the thin silver band between the maroon and purple? That is a complete frame according to FRAPS and most reviews. Not to us - we think that frame rendered is almost useless.
Subject: Graphics Cards | February 21, 2013 - 01:12 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: video, titan, nvidia, live review, live, kepler, geforce titan, geforce
Missed the live event? Here is the full replay feature me and Tom Petersen!
Hopefully by now you have read our review of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN 6GB graphics card that was just released. This is definitely a product release that highlights a generations of GPUs and I would really encourage you to read the article and offer your feedback.
However, we have another event to promote right now: NVIDIA's Tom Petersen will be joining me on PCPer Live! at 11am PT / 2pm ET to talk about the GeForce GTX TITAN and its performance, features, pricing and more!
GeForce GTX TITAN Live Review Stream
11am PT / 2pm ET - February 21st
If you have questions for Tom or me, you can leave them in the comments below (no registration required)!
Subject: Graphics Cards | February 21, 2013 - 12:57 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: titan, nvidia, kepler, gtx titan, gk110, geforce
Before getting into the performance of the $1000 NVIDIA TITAN it is worth looking at the improvements NVIDIA has added to this GK110 beast. At 10.5" long it is a half inch longer than a 680 and a full 1.5" shorter than a 690, which allows it to fit in a wider variety of cases and the vastly improved thermals allow the usage of much smaller cases than other high end GPUs can manage without exotic cooling solutions. There is also a reduction in noise generated, to the point where SLI'd TITANs run quieter than some single card solutions, not to mention much faster. To take a look at just how much faster you can see [H]ard|OCP's results which you can compare to Ryan's results.
"NVIDIA is launching a TITAN today, literally, the new GeForce GTX TITAN video card is here, and we have a lot to talk about. We test single-GPU and 2-way SLI today, with more to follow later. We will find out if this TITAN of a video card really is worth it, and just who this video card is designed for. Be prepared to face the fastest single-GPU video card."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- Nvidia's GeForce GTX Titan @ The Tech Report
- NVIDIA GTX TITAN @ Overclockers.com
- NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX Titan Review, Part 2: Titan's Performance Unveiled @ AnandTech
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan Gaming Review @ OCC
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN 6GB Performance Review @ Hardware Canucks
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN 6 GB @ techPowerUp
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN SLI & Tri-SLI @ techPowerUp
- MSI GTX 670 Twin Frozr Power Edition OC 2GB @ Tweaktown
- Desktop Graphics Card Comparison Guide @ TechARP
- HIS Radeon HD 7850 iPower IceQ Turbo 4GB Crossfire @ Legion Hardware
TITAN is back for more!
Our NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN Coverage Schedule:
- Tuesday, February 19 @ 9am ET: GeForce GTX TITAN Features Preview
- Thursday, February 21 @ 9am ET: GeForce GTX TITAN Benchmarks and Review
- Thursday, February 21 @ 2pm ET: PC Perspective Live! GTX TITAN Stream
If you are reading this today, chances are you were here on Tuesday when we first launched our NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN features and preview story (accessible from the link above) and were hoping to find benchmarks then. You didn't, but you will now. I am here to show you that the TITAN is indeed the single fastest GPU on the market and MAY be the best graphics cards (single or dual GPU) on the market depending on what usage models you have. Some will argue, some will disagree, but we have an interesting argument to make about this $999 gaming beast.
A brief history of time...er, TITAN
In our previous article we talked all about TITAN's GK110-based GPU, the form factor, card design, GPU Boost 2.0 features and much more and I would highly press you all to read it before going forward. If you just want the cliff notes, I am going to copy and paste some of the most important details below.
From a pure specifications standpoint the GeForce GTX TITAN based on GK110 is a powerhouse. While the full GPU sports a total of 15 SMX units, TITAN will have 14 of them enabled for a total of 2688 shaders and 224 texture units. Clock speeds on TITAN are a bit lower than on GK104 with a base clock rate of 836 MHz and a Boost Clock of 876 MHz. As we will show you later in this article though the GPU Boost technology has been updated and changed quite a bit from what we first saw with the GTX 680.
The bump in the memory bus width is also key, being able to feed that many CUDA cores definitely required a boost from 256-bit to 384-bit, a 50% increase. Even better, the memory bus is still running at 6.0 GHz resulting in total memory bandwdith of 288.4 GB/s.
Speaking of memory - this card will ship with 6GB on-board. Yes, 6 GeeBees!! That is twice as much as AMD's Radeon HD 7970 and three times as much as NVIDIA's own GeForce GTX 680 card. This is without a doubt a nod to the super-computing capabilities of the GPU and the GPGPU functionality that NVIDIA is enabling with the double precision aspects of GK110.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | February 20, 2013 - 12:49 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: lucid, virtu MVP, virtu, hyperformance
As promised at CES, Lucidlogix has released their Virtu MVP 2.0 for purchase to anyone who wants to buy it. Their GPU Virtualization software for SandyBridge and IvyBridge based systems with a discrete card allows you to jump back a forth between the embedded GPU on your processor and the graphics card without needing to move monitor cables or reboot. That allows you to save your laptops battery life when the discrete GPU is not needed but to instantly enable it the second you fire up a compatible game, the list of which has grown since the release of their original Virtu MVP. They have also improved their Virtual VSync and Hyperformance features which we reviewed last summer on an Origin laptop.
The move to selling the product directly to consumers is beneficial as previously you could only get the software and updates from the manufacturer of your motherboard or your laptop. As anyone who has dealt with the infrequency graphics driver updates from manufacturers is well aware, the updates are few and far between. It is much better to be able to acquire the software from the vendor who creates it in the first place. Head over to Lucidlogix to read more and perhaps buy one of the three versions available.
"The optimal system specifications Virtu MVP 2.0 include an Intel® Core™ i5 (Sandy Bridge) on an Intel Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge motherboard with an NVIDIA® Geforce 460GTX or similar or better AIB and 2GB or more memory running Windows® 7 or Windows 8 in either 32-bit or 64-bit modes.
With special launch prices, Virtu MVP 2.0 is now available in three models: Basic with GPU virtualization for $34.99 (USD), Standard with Virtual Vsync for $44.99 and Pro with Hyperformance and Virtual Vsync for $54.99."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Tilera etches '*ss-kicking' 72-core system-on-chip for network gear @ The Register
- Samsung develops a programmable mobile GPU @ The Inquirer
- Canon PIxma MG6320 Review @ TechReviewSource
Subject: Graphics Cards | February 19, 2013 - 08:00 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: video, tahiti, radeon, never settle reloaded, live, Crysis 3, crysis, amd
UPDATE: If you missed the live stream you can still catch the YouTube replay right here!!
On February 19th on the PC Perspective Live! page we will be streaming some single player game action of the new Crysis 3. If there has ever been a game that defined the world of PC gaming graphics and technology, it is the Crysis series.
"Sure, but can it play Crysis?"
There is probably no more famous line of dialogue that pigeon hole's new hardware releases.
With the release of the latest version of Crysis 3 on February 19th, we will be teaming up with AMD once again to provide a fun and exciting PCPer Game Stream that includes game demonstrations and of course, prizes and game keys for those that watch the event LIVE!
Crysis 3 Game Stream
5pm PT / 8pm ET - February 19th
Warning: this one will DEFINITELY have mature language and content!!
The stream will be sponsored by AMD and its Never Settle Reloaded game bundles which we previously told you about. Depending on the AMD Radeon HD 7000 series GPU that you buy, you could get some amazing free games including:
Radeon HD 7900 Series
- FREE Crysis 3
- FREE Bioshock Infinite
Radeon HD 7800 Series
- FREE Bioshock Infinite
- FREE Tomb Raider
Radeon HD 7900 CrossFire Set
- FREE Crysis 3
- FREE Bioshock Infinite
- FREE Tomb Raider
- FREE Far Cry 3
- FREE Hitman: Absolution
- FREE Sleeping Dogs
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 Crysis 3 Game Stream:
- 2 x Radeon HD 7970 3GB graphics cards
- 4 x Combo codes for both Crysis 3 AND Bioshock Infinite
Pretty nice, huh? 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 February 19th for some PC gaming fun!!
Subject: Graphics Cards | February 19, 2013 - 06:09 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, catalyst, 2012
Today might be Titan Preview Day as you can see from the links below as well as Ryan's article here, but [H]ard|OCP would like to offer you solid performance numbers instead. They took a look back at the Catalyst 12.x series of drivers that AMD GPU owners have been using over the past year. With the HD 7970 and HD 7950 they tested 7 of AMD's past drivers for performance on four popular games. The findings are fairly clear, after a poor start to the year AMD's drivers showed improved performance as the year went on, with leaps after games were released and the driver could be optimized for speed. The HD7970 did improve over the year but it was the 7950 that proved to receive the biggest gains.
"We continuing our look at driver performance improvements over time by evaluating AMD’s 2012 driver performances on both the AMD Radeon HD 7970 and HD 7950 video cards. We will see how drivers from the beginning of the year to the end of year have impacted real world gameplay performance . "
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- NVIDIA's GeForce GTX Titan, Part 1: Titan For Gaming, Titan For Compute @ AnandTech
- Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan Video Card Preview @ Ninjalane
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan Video Card Preview @ Legit Reviews
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN; GK110’s Opening Act @ Hardware Canucks
- aming and Supercomputing Collide: NVIDIA Announces GeForce Titan @ Techgage
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan Review @ OCC
- Asus GTX 660Ti DirectCU II TOP @ eTeknix
- EVGA GTX 650 Ti SSC 2 GB @ techPowerUp
Subject: Graphics Cards | February 19, 2013 - 01:50 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nvidia, graphics drivers, geforce, 314.07
Just in time for the arrival of the Titan previews comes the new WHQL 314.07 Geforce driver from NVIDIA. Instead of offering a list of blanket improvements and average frame rate increased, NVIDIA has assembled a list of charts showing performance differences between this driver and the previous one for their four top GPUs in both SLI and single card setups. As well they attempt to answer the question "Will it play Crysis 3?" with the chart below, showing the performance you can expect with Very High settings at 1080p resolution and 4x AA. They also provide a link to their GeForce Experience tool which will optimize your Crysis 3 settings to whatever NVIDIA card(s) you happen to be using. Upgrade now as the new driver seems to offer improvements across the board.
The new GeForce 314.07 WHQL driver is now available to download. An essential update for gamers jumping into Crysis 3 this week, 314.07 WHQL improves single-GPU and multi-GPU performance in Crytek’s sci-fi shooter by up to 65%.
Other highlights include sizeable SLI and single-GPU performance gains of up to 27% in Assassin’s Creed III, 19% in Civilization V, 14% in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, 14% in DiRT 3, 11% in Just Cause 2, 10% in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, 10% in F1 2012, and 10% in Far Cry 3.
Rounding out the release is a ‘Excellent’ 3D Vision profile for Crysis 3, a SLI profile for Ninja Theory’s DmC: Devil May Cry, and an updated SLI profile for the free-to-play, third-person co-op shooter, Warframe.
You can download the GeForce 314.07 WHQL drivers with one click from the GeForce.com homepage; Windows XP, Windows 7 and Windows 8 packages are available for desktop systems, and for notebooks there are Windows 7 and Windows 8 downloads that cover all non-legacy products.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | February 19, 2013 - 01:38 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Q4 2012, NVIDA, jon peddie, Intel, amd
Jon Peddie Research have released their findings on the state of the discrete and integrated graphics market, not counting servers, smartphone nor ARM based systems. While the overall PC market showed a negligible gain of 2.8% over the final quarter of 2012, discrete graphics sales saw a decline of 8.2%, which JPR attributes to a noticeable increase of purchases of systems with only an Intel or AMD embedded GPU. When you break the quarter down by manufacturer the news is not good. For AMD the last quarter did see an increase of less than 1% on desktop CPUs but declines of 19% in laptop CPU sales and 13.6% in discrete GPU sales. Intel saw desktop CPU sales up 3% but lost over 6% on laptop sales with their overall decline compared to last quarter sitting at about 3%. NVIDIA was hit the hardest at the end of 2012 with only their discrete GPU sales applying to this survey, a loss of 15% on the desktop and a loss of 18% on mobile GPUs lead to an overall decline of 16%.
Compared to the final quarter of 2011, AMD lost 29.4%, Intel 5% and NVIDIA 4.6%, reflecting the difficulty of making sales in the past year; the total discrete GPU market dropped almost 10% or about 3 million units. Even with the companies making profits, in some cases significant profits, the entire GPU market is depressed with ARM based devices and smartphones starting to erode the market that is already shrinking thanks to Intel and AMD shipping CPUs with embedded GPUs that are good enough for many users needs.
"The news was disappointing for every one of the major players. AMD dropped 13.6%, Intel slipped the least, just 2.9%, and Nvidia declined the most with 16.7% quarter-to-quarter change, this coming on the heels of a spectacular third quarter. The overall PC market actually grew 2.8% quarter-to-quarter while the graphics market declined 8.2% reflecting a decline in double-attach. That may be attributed to Intel's improved embedded graphics, finally making "good enough" a true statement."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Ubuntu? Fedora? Mint? Debian? We'll find you the right Linux to swallow @ The Register
- HDMI breakout lets you sniff HDCP crypto keys @ Hack a Day
- Nvidia announces Tegra 4i : Tegra 4's smaller sibling @ Hardware.info
- AMD: Star Trek holodecks within reach @ The Register
- Kingston Joint Giveaway @ NikKTech