Subject: Graphics Cards | November 14, 2016 - 04:22 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: video, the last hope, serious sam vr, rx 480, radeon, Polaris, multi-gpu, liquidvr, amd, affinity
While VR excitement might have cooled slightly in the enthusiast community, there continues to be innovation and software releases on both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive that are bringing me back to what I think we believe to be part of the future of PC gaming. Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope was announced at E3 this year and is now available as an early access game on Steam. It is a dual wielding shooter that combines the enemies of the previous games along with the crazy weapons that made the series iconic.
And hey, there is something awesome about using a missile launcher that takes up half the screen.
One interesting technology addition to the game is use of AMD LiquidVR affinity multi-GPU. A Croteam developer recently posted a blog on the GPUOpen.com site talking about the implementation.
We wanted to add LiquidVR Affinity Multi-GPU rendering support to our engine because two GPUs can render the two eye views in almost half the time compared to a single GPU and this would greatly reduce our GPU bottlenecks. Affinity MGPU can either be done in one pass or with a separate pass for each eye, in which case we reap the GPU side benefits while the CPU workload stays the same.
We needed about a week to modify all shaders and to make sure that correct data is set for each eye. Single pass rendering with Affinity Multi-GPU gave us a huge speed improvement on both CPU and GPU from our original VR implementation. In the end, it took us less time to do single pass rendering correctly than it took us to fix all the problems caused by multi pass multi-GPU rendering.
After the interest in the Deus Ex multi-GPU scaling video I thought I would see if the Serious Sam implementation was actually beneficial to gamers.
- Test System
- Core i7-5960X
- X99 MB + 16GB DDR4
- AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB
- Driver: 16.10.2
The test was simple: I found that a single RX 480 could run the game at Medium settings perfectly well, but could it be playable on High with multi-GPU? By adding in a second Radeon RX 480 I was able to bring the performance up by 55% or so, making the VR experience nearly flawless.
It's not perfect scaling, but the benefits of multi-GPU for VR, when properly implemented, are obvious. As more games and experiences are released that require higher compute capability or have in-game settings that allow for better image quality, the ability to scale across GPUs will be a welcome addition to the ecosystem.
Check out the video here if you haven't seen any Serious Sam VR gameplay yet!
Subject: Graphics Cards | November 10, 2016 - 02:52 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: graphics drivers, dishonored 2, crimson, amd
Just a handful of days into this busy month for video game companies, and AMD has released their third Radeon Software Crimson Edition drivers for November. 16.11.3, like 16.11.2 and 16.11.1, are not certified by WHQL. From a quality standpoint, Microsoft certification hasn't exactly made a difference over the last year or so. In fact, both graphics vendors rapidly releasing hotfixes between regular WHQL milestones seems to have a better user experience.
Unfortunately, this does mean that users of clean installed Windows 10 1607 with Secure Boot enabled will be missing out. Correction: The drivers are actually signed by Microsoft with the attestation process.
As for the driver itself, 16.11.3 rolls in AMD's optimizations for Dishonored 2. The game goes live in two days, so this should give users an opportunity to find a good time to install and reboot before launch. It also fixes an issue where Valve's Steam client and EA's Origin client would fail when an external GPU, using AMD's X-Connect Technology standard, is detached.
Subject: Systems | November 9, 2016 - 08:31 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: VR, vive, rift, Oculus, htc, build guide, amd
Neoseeker embarked on an interesting project recently; building a VR capable system which costs less than the VR headset it will power. We performed a similar feat this summer, a rig which at the time cost roughly $900. Neoseeker took a different path, using AMD parts to keep the cost low while still providing the horsepower required to drive a Rift or Vive. They tested their rig on The Lab, Star Wars: Trials on Tatooine and Waltz of the Wizard, finding the performance smooth and most importantly not creating the need for any dimenhydrinate. There are going to be some games this system struggles with but at total cost under $700 this is a great way to experience VR even if you are on a budget.
"Team Red designed this system around their very capable Radeon RX 480 8GB video card and the popular FX-6350 Vishera 6-Core CPU. The RX 480 is obviously the main component that will not only be leading the dance, but also help drive the total build cost down thanks to its MSRP of $239. At the currently listed online prices, the components for system will cost around $660 USD in total after applicable rebates."
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
- Intel Kaby Lake Linux Testing With MSI's Cubi 2 Mini PC @ Phoronix
- MSI Aegis Ti (GTX 1080 SLI) Gaming PC @ Kitguru
- Gigabyte BRIX i7A-7500 @ Kitguru
- Freshtech Solutions Project 7 GTX 1080 Gaming PC @ eTeknix
Subject: General Tech | November 9, 2016 - 07:03 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: brookhaven experiment, VR, amd, nvidia, htc vive
[H]ard|OCP has a new Vive title to test on AMD and NVIDIA silicon, a wave shooter with some horror elements called The Brookhaven Experiment. As with most of these games they found some interesting results in the testing, in this case the GPU load stayed very consistent, regardless of how much was on the screen at any time. The graphical settings in this title are quite bare but it does support supersampling, which [H]ard|OCP recommends you turn on when playing the game, if your system can support it. Check out the rankings in their full review.
"If naked mutants from another dimension with horribly bad skin conditions interests you, this is YOUR VR game! The Brookhaven Experiment is a tremendously intense 360 degree wave shooter that will keep you on your toes, give you a workout, and probably scare the piss out of you along the way. How do AMD and NVIDIA stack up in VR?"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- How To Get Old Skyrim Saves Working In The Skyrim Special Edition @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare PC graphics benchmark performance @ Guru of 3D
- Wot I Think – Call Of Duty: Infinite Warfare’s Campaign @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Call of Duty Infinite Warfare: Performance Analysis @ techPowerUp
- Space Hulk: Deathwing Stomping Into December @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Lethal VR: A potent VR shooter from the creators of Burnout @ Ars Technica
- Mass Effect: Andromeda Trailer Shows New Worlds @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon revealed as the next Ubi30 gaming freebie @ HEXUS
- Dishonored 2 Trailer Champions A Cutthroat Empress @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: Graphics Cards | November 7, 2016 - 02:32 PM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: WX 7100, WX 5100, WX 4100, workstation, radeon pro, radeon, quadro, Polaris, amd
The professional card market is a lucrative one. For many years NVIDIA has had a near strangle-hold on it with their Quadro series of cards. Offering features and extended support far beyond that of their regular desktop cards, Quadros became the go-to cards for many professional applications. AMD has not been overlooking this area though and have had a history of professional cards that have also included features and support not seen in the standard desktop arena. AMD has slowly been chipping away at Quadro’s marketshare and they hope that today’s announcement will help further that particular goal.
It has now been around five months since the initial release of the Polaris based graphics cards from AMD. Featuring the 4th generation GCN architecture and fabricated on Samsung’s latest 14nm process, the RX 4x0 series of chips have proven to be a popular option in the sub-$250 range of cards. These products may not have been the slam-dunk that many were hoping from AMD, they have kept the company competitive in terms of power and performance. AMD has also seen a positive impact from the sales of these products on the overall bottom line.
Today AMD is announcing three new professional cards based on the latest Polaris based GPUs. These range in power and performance from a sub 50 watt part up to a very reasonable 130 watts. These currently do not feature the SSD that was shown off earlier this year.
The lowest end offering is the Radeon Pro WX 4100. This is a low profile, single slot card that consumes less than 50 watts. It features 1024 stream units, which is greater than that of the desktop RX 460’s 896. The WX 4100 features 2.4 TFLOPS of performance while the RX 460 is at 2.2 TFLOPS. AMD did not specify exactly what chips were used in the professional cards, but the assumption here is that this one is a fully enabled Polaris 11.
The power consumption of this card is probably the most impressive part. Also of great interest is the DP 1.4 support and the four outputs. Finally the card supports 5K monitors at 60 Hz. This is a small, quiet, and cool running part that features the entire AMD Radeon Enterprise software support of the professional market.
The next card up is the Pro WX 5100. This features a sub 75 watt GPU that runs 1792 stream units. We guess that this chip is a cut down Polaris 10. On the desktop side it is similar to the RX 470, but that particular card features more stream units and a faster clockspeed. The RX 470 is rated at 4.9 TFLOPS while the WX 5100 is at 3.9 TFLOPS. Fewer stream units and a lower clockspeed allow it to hit that sub-75 watt figure.
It supports the same number of outputs as the 4100, but they are full sized DP. The card is full sized but still only single slot due to the very conservative TDP.
The final card is the WX 7100. This is based on the fully enabled Polaris 10 GPU and is physically similar to the RX 480. They both feature 2304 stream units, but the WX 7100 is slightly clocked down from the RX 480 as it features 5.7 TFLOPS of performance vs. 5.8 TFLOPS. The card is rated below 130 watts TDP which is about 20 watts lower than a standard RX 480. AMD did not explain to us how they were able to lower the TDP of this card, but it could be simple binning of parts or an upcoming revision of Polaris 10 to improve thermals.
This card is again full sized but single slot. It features the same 4 DP connectors as the WX 5100 and the full monitor support that the 1.4 standard entails.
These products will see initial availability for this month. Plans may of course change and they will be introduced slightly later. Currently the 7100 and 4100 are expected after the 10th while the 5100 should show up on the 18th.
AMD is also releasing the Radeon Pro Software. This is essentially their professional driver development that improves upon features, stability, and performance over time. AMD aims to release new drivers for this market every 4th Thursday each quarter.
This is certainly an important area for AMD to address with their new cards and this updated software scheme. NVIDIA has made a pretty penny over the years from their Quadro stack due to the extremely robust margins for these cards. The latest generation of AMD Radeon Pro WX cards look to stack up favorably against the latest products from NVIDIA.
The WX 7100 will come in at a $799 price point, while the WX 5100 and WX 4100 will hit $499 and $399 respectively.
Subject: Graphics Cards | November 4, 2016 - 09:57 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: amd, graphics drivers, crimson
AMD has released another hotfix driver, just a day after releasing 16.11.1. This version has a single listed change: “Improved Shader Cache storage limit”. I'm not sure why the company decided to release this update so abruptly, since I'm not aware of any critical issue that relies upon it, but there's certainly nothing wrong with rapidly releasing optional software. I'm guessing at least one new game has a performance issue with the previous maximum, though.
If this has been an issue for you, and you are able to install drivers that are unsigned, it's available.
Subject: Graphics Cards | November 3, 2016 - 08:27 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, Crimson Edition 16.11.1
By the time you read this you should be able to grab the new Radeon Crimson Edition 16.11.1 driver from AMD. While mostly focused on the new CoD games there are also some fixes for existing games. Check here for the version which is right for you.
Radeon Software Crimson Edition is AMD’s revolutionary new graphics software that delivers redesigned functionality, supercharged graphics performance, remarkable new features, and innovation that redefines the overall user experience. Every Radeon Software release strives to deliver new features, better performance and stability improvements.
Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.11.1 Highlights
- Support For: Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered
New AMD CrossFire profile added for DirectX®11:
- Titanfall 2
- AMD XConnect Technology will now allow Microsoft Office applications to migrate to iGPU on unplug.
- Flickering may be observed on some surfaces in a few maps or locations in Battlefield 1 in AMD CrossFire mode.
- Radeon R9 390 graphics series may experience a crash or application hang when running Unigine Heaven using OpenGL.
- The Radeon WattMan feature may intermittently display a Radeon Software popup error regarding Radeon WattMan for non-supported products.
- The Division may experience an application freeze or hang when running in AMD CrossFire mode after extended periods of play.
- OBS screen capture may stutter after extended periods of use while capturing video and watching or streaming content in a web browser.
Subject: General Tech | November 3, 2016 - 02:35 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: vrm, video, skyrim, qualcomm, prodigy, powercolor, podcast, nxp, multi-gpu, msi, micron, logitech, GTX 1080, gtx 1070, g231, evga, dx12, devil box, deus ex: mankind divided, amd, Alienware 13
PC Perspective Podcast #423 - 11/03/16
Join us this week as we discuss the Logitech Prodigy G231, multi-GPU scaling with DX12, Qualcomm buying NXP, issues with GTX 1070 and 1080 cards and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
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- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Allyn Malventano, Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom
Program length: 1:10:25
Fragging Frogs VLAN 14 (summary)
Week in Review:
Today’s episode is brought to you by Harry’s! Use code PCPER at checkout!
News items of interest:
0:28:45 Qualcomm is going for a drive
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
Jeremy: Need big long term storage
Subject: General Tech | November 1, 2016 - 10:36 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gtribe, giveaway, gaming, amd
It would seem that yet another "first social media network for PC gamers" has arisen, but if you are so inclined to sign up there are giveaways including Battlefield 1 and a CyberPower gaming PC. You have your chance to win either:
- FOUR Grand Prize winners will each receive an ultimate gaming PC, meticulously handcrafted by CYBERPOWERPC and also receive a free download code for Battlefield 1, offered by Kinguin. The combined value of the prizes is $9,200.
- TEN First Prize winners will each receive a download code for Battlefield 1, courtesy of AMD Gaming.
It is a chance at a system with a Swiftech liquid-cooled XFX Radeon RX 480 Black Edition 8GB OC @ 1328 MHz GPU, and a plethora of Logitech G Prodigy gear plus BF1 ... or just BF1, for signing up on either Facebook or Twitter. If you are interested then click away, if not then proceed directly to the comments to vent your spleen.
Subject: Graphics Cards | November 1, 2016 - 03:57 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: video, rx 480, readon, nvidia, multi-gpu, gtx 1060, geforce, dx12, deus ex: mankind divided, amd
Last week a new update was pushed out to Deus Ex: Mankind Divided that made DX12 a part of the main line build and also integrated early support for multi-GPU support under DX12. I wanted to quickly see what kind of scaling it provided as we still have very few proof points on the benefit of running more than one graphics card with games utilizing the DX12 API.
As it turns out, the current build and driver combination only shows scaling on the AMD side of things. NVIDIA still doesn't have DX12 multi-GPU support enabled at this point for this title.
- Test System
- Core i7-5960X
- X99 MB + 16GB DDR4
- AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB
- Driver: 16.10.2
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
- Driver: 375.63
Not only do we see great scaling in terms of average frame rates, but using PresentMon for frame time measurment we also see that the frame pacing is consistent and provides the user with a smooth gaming experience.