Podcast #502 - Computex coverage and more!

Subject: General Tech | June 7, 2018 - 11:50 AM |
Tagged: xTend, xps, video, Vega, Threadripper, Snapdragon 850, seasonic, scmd, ROG, qualcomm, podcast, Optane, nvidia, microsoft, logitech, Killer Wireless, Isaac, InWin, Intel, i7-8086k, git, fortnite, EPYC, dell, crystal, corsair, CaseKing, asus, aorus, amd, 7nm

PC Perspective Podcast #502 - 06/07/18

Join us this week for discussion on Computex and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Ken Addison

Peanut Gallery: Alex Lustenberg

Program length: 1:45:27

Podcast topics of discussion:
  1. Week in Review:
  2. News items of interest:
    1. 1:00:40 ASUS all the things
  3. Picks of the Week:
  4. Closing/outro
 
Source:

Computex 2018: NVIDIA Launches Isaac Development Platform for AI-Powered Robotics

Subject: General Tech | June 4, 2018 - 04:14 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, ai, robotics, machine learning, machine vision, jetson, xavier

NVIDIA launched a new platform for programming and training AI-powered robots called NVIDIA Isaac. The platform is based around the company’s Xavier SoC and supported with Isaac Robotics Software which includes an Isaac SDK with accelerated libraries, NVIDIA developed Isaac IMX algorithms, and a virtualized training and testing environment called Isaac SIM.

Jetson Xavier Module_NVIDIA Isaac.jpg

According to NVIDIA, Isaac will enable a new wave of machines and robotics powered by artificial intelligence aimed at manufacturing, logistics, agriculture, construction, and other industrial and infrastructural industries. Using the Jetson Xavier hardware platform for processing along with a suite of sensors and cameras, Isaac-powered robots will be capable of accurately analyze their environment and their spatial positioning within it to be able to adapt to obstacles and work safely in hazardous areas and/or alongside human workers.

NVIDIA notes that its new Jetson Xavier platform is 10-times more energy efficient while offering 20-times more compute performance than the Jetson TX2. It seems that NVIDIA has been able to juice up the chip since it was last teased at GTC Europe with it now being rated at up to 30 TOPS and featuring 9 billion transistors. The 30W module (it can also operate in 10W and 15W modes) combines a 512-core Volta GPU with Tensor cores, two NVDLA deep learning accelerators, an 8-core 64-bit ARM CPU (8MB L2 + 4MB L3), and accelerators for image, vision, and video inputs. The Jetson Xavier can handle up to 16 camera inputs along with supporting sensor inputs through GPIO and other specialized interfaces. It supports three 4K60 display outputs, PCI-E 4.0, 10 Gbps USB 3.1, USB 2.0, Gigabit Ethernet, UFS, UART, SD, I2S, I2C, SPI, and CAN for I/O.

The virtual world simulation with Jetson Xavier in-the-loop testing sounds interesting if it works as described which would help accelerate development of software to run these promised smarter production lines, more efficient building of homes and other infrastructure like bridges, and easier and more cost effective home package delivery using adaptable and smarter robotics.

The Isaac development platform will be priced at $1,299 and will be available starting in August to early access partners.

What are your thoughts on NVIDIA Isaac?

Previously:

Source: NVIDIA

AMD continues to make inroads on NVIDIA's marketshare

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 29, 2018 - 03:30 PM |
Tagged: amd, nvidia, marketshare, jon peddie

Jon Peddie Research have just released their latest look at the discrete GPU market, which has been doing significantly better than the PC market overall, for reasons we are all quite familiar with.  While sales of full systems have declined 24.5%, GPU sales increased 6.4% over the past quarter and an impressive increase of 66.4% when compared to this time last year.

share.png

With just two suppliers in the market now, any gain by one results in a loss for the other, and it has been AMD's turn to succeed.  The gain of 1.2% over this quarter is not as impressive as AMD's total gains over the past 12 months, which saw 7.4% of the sales once going to NVIDIA shift to AMD.  Vega may not be the most powerful architecture on the planet, but it is selling along with previous generations of GPU. 

The next quarter may level out, not just due to decreases in the purchasing of new mining equipment but also due to historical trends as stock is accumulated to prepare for sales in the fourth quarter.  There is also the fact that it has been a while since either AMD or NVIDIA have released new kit and the majority of those planning an upgrade on this cycle have already done so.  

Once we see new kit arrive and the prices of products from the previous generation receive discounts, there should be another spike in sales.  The mystery is what the next generation will bring from these two competitors.

 

Matt Pharr Returns to NVIDIA by Joining NVIDIA Research

Subject: General Tech | May 28, 2018 - 08:43 PM |
Tagged: pixar, nvidia, matt pharr, Intel, google

NVIDIA Research has another industry veteran working for them: Matt Pharr.

According to his blog post on the topic, he will be working on some balance of ray tracing, neural-networks, and how they can work together for computer graphics.

nvidia-2018-mattpharrgreenerpastures.jpg

Moving on to Green... er... pastures.

Matt Pharr has been in the industry for quite some time. In the 90s, he worked at Pixar on A Bug’s Life and Toy Story 2. He then co-founded a company that made rendering software, which was bought by NVIDIA and eventually lead to Gelato. From there, he founded another company, Neoptica, which was acquired by Intel. While there, he worked alongside the Larabee team. He then joined Google in 2013, which has been his employer for the last five years.

He has been partially credited with physically based rendering, which is a way of defining computer-generated materials that is lighting independent. This allows artists to create content once and use it across multiple scenes, be it indoor or outdoor, light or dark.

We’re at an interesting point in time. We’re beginning to see hardware that can reasonably shoot rays into an environment to augment the data that rasterization provides us. At the same time, we’re also seeing the rise of neural networks that can hallucinate convincing, but physically inaccurate effects relatively cheaply. Graphics isn’t just evolving forward, it’s mixing laterally, too. There’s room for engines and technologies to behave wildly different from everyone else.

NVIDIA Launches GTX 1050 3GB for Budget Gamers

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 23, 2018 - 06:21 PM |
Tagged: pascal, nvidia, GP107, GDDR5, budget

NVIDIA recently quietly launched a new budget graphics card that neatly slots itself between the GTX 1050 and the GTX 1050 Ti. The new GTX 1050 3GB, as the name suggests, features 3GB of GDDR5 memory. The new card is closer to the GTX 1050 Ti than the name would suggest, however as it uses the same 768 CUDA cores instead of the 640 of the GTX 1050 2GB. The GDDR5 memory is where the card differs from the GTX 1050 Ti though as NVIDIA has cut the number of memory controllers by one along with the corresponding ROPs and cache meaning that the new GTX 1050 3GB has a smaller memory bus and less memory bandwidth than both the GTX 1050 2GB and GTX 1050 Ti 4GB.

NVIDIA GTX 1050.png

Specifically, the GTX 1050 with 3GB GDDR5 has a 96-bit memory bus that when paired with 7 Gbps GDDR5 results in maximum memory bandwidth of 84 GB/s versus the other previously released cards' 128-bit memory buses and 112 GB/s of bandwidth.

Clockspeeds on the new GTX 1050 3GB start are a good bit higher than the other cards though with the base clocks starting at 1392 MHz which is the boost clock of the 1050 Ti and running up to 1518 MHz boost clockspeeds. Thanks to the clockspeeds bumps, the theoretical GPU performance of 2.33 TFLOPS is actually higher than the GTX 1050 Ti (2.14 TFLOPS) and existing GTX 1050 2GB (1.86 TFLOPS) though the reduced memory bus (and loss of a small amount of ROPs and cache) will hold the card back from surpassing the Ti variant in most workloads – NVIDIA needs to maintain product segmentation somehow!

  NVIDIA GTX 1050 2GB NVIDIA GTX 1050 3GB NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti 4GB AMD RX 560 4GB
GPU GP107 GP107 GP107 Polaris 11
GPU Cores 640 768 768 896 or 1024
Texture Units 40 48 48 64
ROPs 32 ? 32 16
GPU Base 1354 1392 1290 1175
GPU Boost 1455 1518 1392 1275
TFLOPS 1.86 2.33 2.14 up to 2.6
Memory 2GB GDDR5 3GB GDDR5 4GB GDDR5 2GB or 4GB GDDR5
Memory Clockspeed 7 Gbps 7 Gbps 7 Gbps 7 Gbps
Memory Bus 128-bit 96-bit 128-bit 128-bit
Memory Bandwidth 112 GB/s 84 GB/s 112 GB/s 112 GB/s
TDP 75W 75W 75W 60W to 80W
Pricing ~$150 ~$160 (Estimate) ~$200 ~$160

The chart above compares the specifications of the GTX 1050 3GB with the GTX 1050 and the GTX 1050 Ti on the NVIDIA side and the AMD RX 560 which appears to be its direct competitor based on pricing. The new 3GB GTX 1050 should compete well with AMD's Polaris 11 based GPU as well as NVIDIA's own cards in the budget gaming space where hopefully the downside of a reduced memory bus will at least dissuade cryptocurrency miners from adopting this card as an entry level miner for Ethereum and other alt coins giving gamers a chance to buy something a bit better than the GTX 1050 and RX 550 level at close to MSRP while the miners fight over the Ti and higher variants with more memory and compute units.

NVIDIA did not release formal pricing or release date information, but the cards are expected to launch in June and prices should be around $160 to $180 depending on retailer and extra things like fancier coolers and factory overclocks.

What are your thoughts on the GTX 1050 3GB? Is it the bastion of hope budget gamers have been waiting for? hehe Looking around online it seems pricing for these budget cards has somewhat returned to sane levels and hopefully alternative options like these aimed at gamers will help further stabilize the market for us DIYers that want to game more than mine. I do wish that NVIDIA could have changed the name a bit to better differentiate the card, maybe the GTX 1050G or something but oh well. I suppose so long as the 640 CUDA core GTX 1050 doesn't ever get 3GB GDDR5 at least gamers will be able to tell them apart by the amount of memory listed on the box or website.

Also read:

Source: NVIDIA

Podcast #499 - Onyx Boox, BitFenix, and more!

Subject: General Tech | May 10, 2018 - 04:35 PM |
Tagged: podcast, velocity micro, qualcomm, Portal, Onyx Boox, nvidia, Netflix, microsoft, linux, K63, Intel, hyperx, google, evga, corsair, coolermaster, ChromeOS, bitfenix, arm, amd, 4k, video

PC Perspective Podcast #499 - 05/10/18

Join us this week for discussion on Onyx Boox, a slick BitFenix case, and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

Hosts: Allyn Malventano, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Ken Addison,

Peanut Gallery: Alex Lustenberg

Program length: 1:01:13

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. Week in Review:
  2. News items of interest:
  3. Picks of the Week:
    1. 0:47:40 Jeremy:Building a Ryzen on a budget eh?
    2. 0:50:10 Josh:I have issues.   We know
    3. 0:52:20 Allyn: System monitoring Gadgets. On Windows 10. Good ones.
  4. Closing/outro
 
Source:

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 397.55 Hotfix Drivers

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 3, 2018 - 08:41 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, graphics drivers

The previous set of drivers, version 397.31 that was released last week, had a few bugs in them… so NVIDIA has released a hotfix (397.55) to address the issues (without waiting for the next “Game Ready” date). Of course, these drivers also went through a reduced QA process, so they should be avoided unless one of the problems affect you.

nvidia-2015-bandaid.png

And the fixed bugs are:

  • Device Manager may report Code 43 on certain GTX 1060 models
  • Netflix playback may occasionally stutter
  • Added support for Microsoft Surface Book notebooks
  • Driver may get removed after PC has been idle for extended periods of time

The last issue manifests in a couple of different forms. The forum page specifically mentions Windows 10, although users with Windows 7 and Windows 8 could also be affected by the bug, just with different symptoms. I experienced it, and for me (on Windows 10) it was just a matter of force-quitting all processes prefixed with “nv” in task manager. My symptoms were that GeForce Experience would attempt to re-download the drivers and StarCraft II would fail to launch. If you’re experiencing similar issues, then you’ll probably want to give this driver a shot.

You can download it from their CustHelp page.

Source: NVIDIA

Podcast #497 - Ryzen X470 NVMe performance, Samsung 970 performance, and more!

Subject: General Tech | April 26, 2018 - 11:35 AM |
Tagged: Samsung, ryzen, rtx, podcast, philips, nvidia, logitech, K95, Intel, Hydro PTM, fsp, craft, corsair, Cannon Lake-U, battletech, amd, 970 PRO, 970 EVO, 8086K

PC Perspective Podcast #497 - 04/26/18

Join us this week for discussion on Ryzen X470 NVMe performance, Samsung 970 performance, and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

Hosts:Allyn Malventano, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Ken Addison,

Peanut Gallery: Alex Lustenberg

Program length: 1:39:00

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. Week in Review:
  2. Thanks to Away for supporting PC Perspective. Go to https://www.awaytravel.com/pcper and use the promo code pcper to get $20 off a suitcase!
  3. News items of interest:
  4. Picks of the Week:
    1. 1:30:30 Josh: I love this case.
    2. 1:32:15 Ken: CloudHQ
  5. Closing/outro
 
Source:

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 397.31. RTX for Developers.

Subject: Graphics Cards | April 25, 2018 - 08:27 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, graphics drivers, rtx, Volta

It’s quite the jump in version number from 391.35 to 397.31, but NVIDIA has just released a new graphics driver. Interestingly, it is “Game Ready” tied to the Battletech, which I have been looking forward to, but I was always under the impression that no-one else was. Apparently not.

nvidia-geforce.png

As for its new features? The highlight is a developer preview of NVIDIA RTX Technology. This requires a Volta GPU, which currently means Titan V unless your team was seeded something that doesn’t necessarily exist, as well as 396.xx+ drivers, the new Windows 10 update, and Microsoft DXR developer package. Speaking of which, I’m wondering how much of the version number bump could be attributed to RTX being on the 396.xx branch. Even then, it still feels like a branch or two never left NVIDIA’s dev team. Hmm.

Moving on, the driver also conforms with the Vulkan 1.1 test suite (version 1.1.0.3). If you remember back from early March, the Khronos Group released the new standard, which integrated a bunch of features into core, and brought Subgroup Operations into the mix. This could allow future shaders to perform quicker by being compiled with new intrinsic functions.

Also – the standalone installer will apparently clean up after itself better than it used to. Often I can find a few gigabytes of old NVIDIA folders when I’m looking for space to save, so it’s good for NVIDIA to finally address at least some of that.

Pick up the new drivers on NVIDIA’s website or through GeForce Experience.

Source: NVIDIA

Dell and HP ain't down with the GPP

Subject: General Tech | April 12, 2018 - 04:29 PM |
Tagged: transparency, nvidia, npp, dirty pool

Curious about the state of NVIDIA's new GeForce Partner Program?  There is definitely news as both Dell and HP do not seem to have joined up, though neither will confirm nor deny this.  The evidence comes from the availability of AMD GPUs in both of their current gaming lineups.  The new HP Omens do not offer AMD but this is theorized to be a supply issue, or it could simply be down to the better performance offered by NVIDIA's current mobile parts.  Lenovo as well still offers AMD in their Legion gaming systems so for now it seems they are not interested either.

This is very good news for the consumer, if these three big suppliers are not signing on, obviously the supposed benefits to joining the GPP simply are not that attractive to them, in much the same way as the 'transparency' offered by this program does not appeal to enthusiasts.

simon+thumbs-down.jpg

"Since we found out about NVIDIA's GeForce Partner Program, aka GPP, a couple of months ago, we have seen changes implemented by NVIDIA's partners, but what has not happened is far more important to point out at this time."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: [H]ard|OCP