How much does the driver matter when playing Forza 7?

Subject: General Tech | October 18, 2017 - 01:59 PM |
Tagged: forza motorsport 7, amd, nvidia, vega 64, vega 56, gtx 1070, GTX 1080, gtx 1080 ti, gaming

[H]ard|OCP recently used Forza 7 in their GPU benchmarks and discovered that AMD's Vega 64 outperformed the GTX 1080 by a noticeable margin.  NVIDIA responded by releasing two new drivers in quick succession, claiming performance improvements of up to 25% in this title, which prompted [H] to revisit there results with the newest drivers from both companies.  They tested at both 1440p and at 4K and saw changes, though perhaps not as great as NVIDIA first announced.  Take a look at the review here and consider the question they pose in their conclusions.

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"Forza Motorsport 7 gaming performance has changed, video cards stack up differently when compared. We take Forza Motorsport 7 and apply new NVIDIA GeForce 387.92 and AMD Crimson ReLive 17.10.1 drivers to find out how these compare, what performance differences there are, and if AMD Radeon RX Vega is still king in this game."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

The unofficial launch of the GTX 1070 Ti

Subject: General Tech | October 10, 2017 - 12:52 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, leak, gtx 1070 ti

Over at TechARP is a compilation of all the information which has leaked out about NVIDIA's upcoming GTX 1070 Ti.  Perhaps the two most important pieces of data were the scheduled launch date of October 26th and the MSRP of $429; though considering the current state of the GPU market supplies will dry up and the price shoot up very quickly.  The card is closer to a GTX 1080, sporting the same base frequency but a boost clock of 1683 MHz which is 50MHz less than a stock GTX 1080.  The card will have fewer CUDA cores, a total of 2432 along with 64 ROPs.  The 8GB of memory will provide 256 GB/s of memory bandwidth, somewhat short of the 320 GB/s a GTX 1080 offers.  Pop by TechARP for more leaked details.

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"As mentioned above, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti is expected to have a launch price of US$ 429. Of course, the actual street prices will be somewhat higher, and there will be different overclocked versions offered at higher prices."

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Source: TechARP

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 387.92 Drivers

Subject: Graphics Cards | October 9, 2017 - 09:28 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, graphics drivers

NVIDIA gave their graphics drivers a decent version bump today, from 385.69 to 387.92. When the first number jumps, it seems to mean that we are on a new feature branch, rather than just adding bug fixes and game-specific improvements to an existing branch. (Sometimes they just ran out of the second set of numbers, though. You can tell the difference because the release notes will typically state the old number. For example, 385.69’s release notes, which is the previous driver release, state “Release 384 Graphics Drivers for Windows, Version 385.69”.)

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There’s a bunch of new features this time, including OpenGL 4.6 support (assuming the driver passes conformance), HDR in NVIDIA GameStream, Fast Sync in SLI mode, 32-bit optimizations for Vulkan, and support for DXIL. This last one is kind-of interesting for two reasons: first, it allows shaders to be written in LLVM bytecode, like Vulkan’s SPIR-V and, second, it introduces Shader Model 6.0. This isn’t as big as the jumps that we saw in the DirectX 9 era, but it allows operations that cross between shader threads, like wave ballots and reduction.

In this release, NVIDIA has also added game-specific optimizations for Arktika.1, The Evil Within 2, Forza Motorsport 7, and tomorrow’s Middle-Earth: Shadow of War. The following games were also given a new SLI profile: Earthfall, Lawbreakers, Middle-Earth: Shadow of War, Nex Machina, ReCore, RiME, Snake Pass, Tekken 7, The Evil Within 2, and We Happy Few.

Pick it up from GeForce Experience or NVIDIA’s website.

Source: NVIDIA

Yet another obituary announcement for Moore's Law

Subject: General Tech | September 27, 2017 - 12:58 PM |
Tagged: moores law, nvidia, jen-hsun huang

You've heard this one before, though not from Jen-Hsun Huang of NVIDIA who has a vested interest in seeing Moore's Law finally be relegated to computing history.  NVIDIA is pushing GPUs as a better alternative to CPUs for a variety of heavy computational lifting.  Volta has been adopted by many large companies and he also just announced TensorRT3 a programmable inference accelerator with applications in self-driving cars, robotics and numerous other tasks previously best done with a CPU.  DigiTimes quotes Jen-Hsun as saying "while number of CPU transistors has grown at an annual pace of 50%, the CPU performance has advanced by only 10%", more or less accurate in broad strokes but certainly not a death rattle yet.

Intel has a different opinion of course, reporting Moore's Law to be perfectly healthy just last Tuesday.

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"Nvidia founder and CEO Jensen Huang has said that with the emergence of GPU computing following the decline of the CPU era, Moore's Law has come to an end, stressing that his company's GPU-centered ecosystem has won support from China's top-five AI (artificial intelligence) players."

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Source: DigiTimes

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 385.69 Drivers

Subject: Graphics Cards | September 24, 2017 - 12:33 PM |
Tagged: pc gaming, nvidia, graphics drivers

New graphics drivers for GeForce cards were published a few days ago. Unfortunately, I became a bit reliant upon GeForce Experience to notify me, and it didn’t this time, so I am a bit late on the draw. The 385.69 update adds “Game Ready” optimizations for a bunch of new games: Project Cars 2, Call of Duty: WWII open beta, Total War: WARHAMMER II, Forza Motorsport 7, EVE: Valkyrie - Warzone, FIFA 18, Raiders of the Broken Planet, and Star Wars Battlefront 2 open beta.

We’re starting the holiday games rush, folks!

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There isn’t really any major new features of this driver per se. It’s a lot of game-specific optimizations and a whole page of bug fixes, ranging from flickering in DOOM to preventing NVENC from freaking out at frame rates greater than 240 FPS.

One open issue is that GeForce TITAN (which I’m assuming refers to the original, Kepler-based one) cannot be installed on a Threadripper-based motherboard in Windows 10. The OS refuses to boot after the initial install. I’m guessing this has been around for a while, but in case you’re planning on upgrading to Threadripper (or buying a second-hand TITAN) it might be good to know.

If you haven’t received notification to update your drivers yet, poke GeForce Experience to make sure that it’s running and checking. Or, of course, you can download them from NVIDIA’s website.

Source: NVIDIA

New NVIDIA SHIELD TV SKU: 16GB with Remote for $179

Subject: General Tech | September 23, 2017 - 10:29 PM |
Tagged: SHIELD TV, pc gaming, nvidia

NVIDIA is adding a third SKU to their SHIELD TV line-up, shaving $20 off the price tag by including just a media remote, rather than the current low-end SKU’s media remote and a gamepad. This makes the line-up: SHIELD (16GB, Remote Only) for $179.00, SHIELD (16GB, Remote + Gamepad) for $199.99, and SHIELD PRO (500GB, Remote + Gamepad) for $299.99.

All SKUs come with MSI levels of uppercase brand names.

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This version is for those who are intending to use the device as a 4K media player. If you are not interested in gaming, then that’s $20 in your pocket instead of a controller that you will never use on your shelf. If, however, you want to game in the future, then the first-party SHIELD CONTROLLER is $59.99 USD, so buying the bundle with the gamepad now will save you about $30 (Update, Sept 24th @ 5:45pm: $40... I mathed wrong.) That leaves a little bit to think about, but the choice can now be made.

The new bundle is now available for pre-order, and it ships on October 18th.

Source: NVIDIA

Google Introduces Tesla P100 to Cloud Platform

Subject: Graphics Cards | September 23, 2017 - 12:16 AM |
Tagged: google, nvidia, p100, GP100

NVIDIA seems to have scored a fairly large customer lately, as Google has just added Tesla P100 GPUs to their cloud infrastructure. Effective immediately, you can attach up to four of these GPUs to your rented servers on an hourly or monthly basis. According to their pricing calculator, each GPU adds $2.30 per hour to your server’s fee in Oregon and South Carolina, which isn’t a lot if you only use them for short periods of time.

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If you need to use them long-term, though, Google has also announced “sustained use discounts” with this blog post, too.

While NVIDIA has technically launched a successor to the P100, the Volta-based V100, the Pascal-based part is still quite interesting. The main focus of the GPU design, GP100, was bringing FP64 performance up to its theoretical maximum of 1/2 FP32. It also has very high memory bandwidth, due to its HBM 2.0 stacks, which is often a huge bottleneck for GPU-based applications.

For NVIDIA, selling high-end GPUs is obviously good. The enterprise market is lucrative, and it validates their push into the really large die sizes. For Google, it gives a huge reason for interested parties to consider them over just defaulting to Amazon. AWS has GPU instances, but they’re currently limited to Kepler and Maxwell (and they offer FPGA-based acceleration, too). They can always catch up, but they haven’t yet, and that's good for Google.

Source: Google

Podcast #468 - AMD Raven Ridge rumors, Intel and Global Foundries new fabrication technology!

Subject: General Tech | September 21, 2017 - 12:43 PM |
Tagged: z270, windows 10, WD, video, toshiba, ShadowPlay, ryzen, podcast, nvidia, nuc, msi, max-q, Intel, gs63vr, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, gigabyte, EPYC, ansel, 2500U, 12TB

PC Perspective Podcast #468 - 09/21/17

Join us for discussion on AMD Raven Ridge rumors,  Intel and Global Foundries new fabrication technology!

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, Josh Walrath, Sebastion Peak, Allyn Malventano

Peanut Gallery: Ken Addison, Alex Lustenberg

Program length: 1:39:59

Podcast topics of discussion:
  1. Week in Review:
  2. News items of interest:
  3. Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
  4. Closing/outro

Subscribe to the PC Perspective YouTube Channel for more videos, reviews and podcasts!!

Source:

NVIDIA news; Ansel and ShadowPlay walk into Mordor

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | September 20, 2017 - 06:21 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, ShadowPlayk, ansel, battlegrounds, shadow of mordor

Gamescom 2017 just wrapped up and NVIDIA made a few interesting announcements during the conference.  For those enjoying PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, they announced the game now fully supports ShadowPlay Highlights along with the newly released Lawbreakers.  That means you can capture all your gameplay in 4K 60 FPS, with either always-on or manual saving, and built-in uploading tools.

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In addition to video capture of gameplay, their Ansel screen capture tool for the artistically inclined has also been updated.  Ansel now works in 25 titles, from The Witcher 3 through Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice to new genres like Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 so you can truly show that the 'injured' player lying on the turf truly did take a dive.  NVIDIA reports that you will be able to capture super-resolution, 360-degree, HDR, and stereo photographs in games developed in either the Unity Engine or the Unreal Engine as Ansel will now be provided as an add-in for those game engines.

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Last but not least is a giveaway.  NVIDIA will be giving away 50,000 Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor game codes to GeForce Experience community members!  You do have to sign up to win but once you are a member of GFE you are automagically entered to win.  They will message you in app on Sept 26th to let you know if you are a winner so you can still sign up if you are interested.  It will also support Ansel, if you run across a photogenic orc beheading you want to share.

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As a reminder, the offer for any who purchases of select GeForce GTX 1080 Ti or 1080 GPUs, as well as systems and laptops containing the same will get Destiny 2 on the PC launch date.

 

Source: NVIDIA

Gaming graphics for under $100

Subject: Graphics Cards | September 14, 2017 - 02:53 PM |
Tagged: RX 550, gt 1030, nvidia, amd, esports

If the majority of gaming time your PC spends is on CS:GO, Starcraft 2 or DOTA then it would be cruel to force a GTX 1080 or Vega 64 to do your heavy lifting.  In many twitch games there is even a distinct advantage to reducing graphics quality to its lowest settings when trying to improve your K/D ratio.  TechSpot decided to examine this segment of the market, testing a ~$70 GT 1030 and a ~$90 RX 550 on a variety of eSports titles.  The NVIDIA card outperformed AMD's offering across the board on low settings, however the RX 550 actually performed better on high quality settings though often both cards were below 60fps.  Check out their benchmarks as well as their advice for those shopping for budget GPUs right here.

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"It's time for another GPU battle, though this one is a bit different with GPUs under $100: from AMD we have the Radeon RX 550 and on Nvidia's side is the GeForce GT 1030. Our focus will be primarily on eSports titles including CS:GO, Overwatch and Dota 2 running on a Ryzen 3 test bench."

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Source: TechSpot