CES 2017: NVIDIA Announces GeForce Now for PCs

Subject: General Tech | January 5, 2017 - 06:39 AM |
Tagged: nvidia, geforce now

NVIDIA has just announced GeForce Now, a cloud-streaming service for video games, will be coming soon to PCs. It will not be the same as GeForce Now for Shield devices, though. That service, like OnLive and other competitors, worked by providing users with a catalog of streaming titles for a monthly fee. Instead, in the new, PC version, users will connect to a standard Windows desktop and access games through their digital distribution accounts.

Basically, you are renting a fast PC. Bring your own games.

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From the art standpoint, which I continually bring up whenever cloud services are involved with delivering content, this side-steps many of the concerns that OnLive and others kicked up. Those sorts of services are basically run on the cable TV model, where content can be accessed under the conditions they outline, and, when it’s gone, it’s gone! NVIDIA is not attempting to make a full gaming platform, where exclusive titles are locked until they decide to remove them from existence (for legal or financial reasons). The software is left in the user’s control, and they are given 1TB of storage to do so with.

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Rise of the Tomb Raider on GeForce Now

As for the hardware, NVIDIA is advertising GTX 1080s as the GPU-of-choice for GeForce Now, but they also voiced intentions to separate performance tiers by price. As you rent progressively beefier systems, your credit of time will count down faster. This mixing-and-matching might be the reason why NVIDIA decided to go with a credit system, so users can stretch their time with slower PCs for games that don’t need top-end performance. It does lead to an interesting issue... the price.

NVIDIA quotes $25 for 20 hours of usage.

In terms of price, about $1.25/hr isn’t outrageous when you compare it to something like Amazon Web Services, although you can’t directly compare those systems to these. AWS GPU instances are based on Xeons with Kepler-era Tesla boards. Tesla GPUs are significantly more expensive than a GTX 1080, but Pascal is much newer than Kepler. Regardless, it’s entirely possible that this price is roughly in line with how much it would cost NVIDIA to provide the service.

At the same time, waving the cost in the user’s face will likely scare them away from using it. I would expect that, depending on what the average user does, it might encourage more people to try if it were a flat, monthly fee. It’s risky, because you’d have to price it carefully enough that light users of any given pay period will subsidize the heavy ones, but the sticker shock we get today seems like it might turn some people away.

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It’s an interesting attempt, though, that attempts to provide the same cloud services as competitors, only without attempting to control what you do with it. You know, besides keeping Windows and drivers up-to-date, which is more of a courtesy anyway. If it was cheaper and available outside of Mac and Windows, it might even be a way for people to ween themselves away from Windows, logging into a service rather than dual-booting or locally virtualizing for applications that don't run on their new OS. But, again, we don't even know if they can make it cheaper.

Coverage of CES 2017 is brought to you by NVIDIA!

PC Perspective's CES 2017 coverage is sponsored by NVIDIA.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: NVIDIA

CES 2017: NVIDIA Announces New SHIELD TV Media Streamer

Subject: General Tech | January 5, 2017 - 04:25 AM |
Tagged: UHD, streaming box, SHIELD TV, nvidia, media server, hdr, gaming, controller, CES 2017, CES

NVIDIA has announced the newly redesigned SHIELD TV with the promise of higher performance and enhanced functionality from the Android-powered media streamer. In addition to the updated industrial design the new SHIELD TV ships with a game controller in addition to a remote, adding value to what NVIDIA is calling "the world's most advanced streamer".

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NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang on stage to introduce the new SHIELD TV

NVIDIA is citing "major improvements" to the new version of the SHIELD TV in the following areas:

Highest Performance, 4K HDR Media Streamer – SHIELD delivers the richest visual experience with support for 4K HDR and 3x the performance of any other streamer on the market. With Amazon Video in 4K HDR, SHIELD offers the largest, most open catalog of media in stunning 4K – also supporting Netflix, YouTube, Google Play Movie and VUDU. YouTube’s flagship TV app will also be available for SHIELD in the coming months, delivering immersive, 360-degree viewing experiences.

Amazing Games – SHIELD stands alone among media streamers, with the widest range of gaming capabilities and richest assortment of game content. GeForce NOW has been upgraded with Pascal performance and will soon add Ubisoft’s catalog of hits, including Watch Dogs 2, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, For Honor and countless others. Upcoming native game releases include The Witness, Tomb Raider and Shadowgun Legends.

AI in the Home – SHIELD is the first streamer to announce support of Google Assistant, optimized for TV and 100% hands-free. Coming soon, SmartThings Hub technology integration will instantly turn SHIELD into a smart home hub that can connect to hundreds of smart home devices. NVIDIA SPOT, an AI mic accessory makes SHIELD the central backbone of the AI home, extending intelligent control throughout the house.

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NVIDIA has stated that the features announced for the new SHIELD TV will come to existing SHIELD devices via an over-the-air update this month; though the new hands-free commands will require the updated SHIELD controller (now bundled with the new SHIELD TV), which will be sold separately.

Pre-orders for the new SHIELD TV are now available with units shipping later in January. There will be two configurations, with the SHIELD TV media streamer, which includes a game controller and remote, priced at $199; and the SHIELD Pro home media server, which comes with a controller, remote with headset jack, and 500GB of on-board storage, priced at $299.

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Full press release after the break.

Coverage of CES 2017 is brought to you by NVIDIA!

PC Perspective's CES 2017 coverage is sponsored by NVIDIA.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at https://pcper.com/ces!

Source: NVIDIA

CES 2017: (Leak) ASUS Announces PG27UQ HDR G-Sync

Subject: Displays | January 4, 2017 - 09:03 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, hdr, g-sync, asus

VideoCardz have apparently got their hands on an early ASUS press release for a new G-Sync monitor with DCI-P3 HDR support: the PG27UQ. This 27-inch panel can be driven up to 3840x2160 at 144 Hz, which is obviously a very high resolution that G-Sync will be a great help in making playable. This is one of the first G-Sync monitors to support HDR with the standard, just a couple of days after AMD announced FreeSync 2 (which also added HDR).

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Image Credit: ASUS via VideoCardz

In terms of the display itself, it is based on IPS technology atop a quantum-dot-enhanced back-light. It has a high peak brightness (1,000 cd/m2) and likely a good contrast ratio as well, although the latter number is unlisted. They also don’t mention how far into the expanded color palette the monitor can represent, but they clearly didn’t intend to announce it yet, so we’ll probably find out when they’re ready. The leaked press release does mention that it has 384 local-dimming zones, though.

We’ll need to wait for an official announcement to find out more.

Coverage of CES 2017 is brought to you by NVIDIA!

PC Perspective's CES 2017 coverage is sponsored by NVIDIA.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: VideoCardz

CES 2017: ASUS Updates Notebook and AiO Lineup to Intel Kaby Lake

Subject: Systems, Mobile | January 4, 2017 - 03:15 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, notebook, laptop, kaby lake, intel core, detachable, convertible, CES 2017, CES, asus, all in one, AIO, 7th generation

ASUS has refreshed their notebook and all-in-one (AiO) desktop lineup with the new 7th-generation Intel Core (Kaby Lake) processors, with models ranging from the ultra-thin UX330 to the 27-inch ZN270IE AiO.

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The ZenBook UX330

The refreshed notebook lineup includes the 13.3-inch ZenBook models UX310 and UX330, and 15.6-inch ZenBook UX510. The convertible ZenBook Flip UX360UA and detachable Transformer Pro T304 have also been updated to Kaby Lake.

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ZenBook Flip UX360

On the all-in-one side the refreshed models include Zen AiO Pro Z240IE and Zen AiO ZN241IC desktops, with a new model announced in the Zen AiO ZN270IE, a 27-inch (FHD) model which pairs a 7th-gen Core i7 processor with discrete NVIDIA graphics.

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Zen AiO ZN270

Pricing and availability of the updated machines is as follows:

Available immediately are the ZenBook UX310UA ($699), ZenBook UX330UA ($749), and ZenBook UX510UW ($999). The ZenBook UX360UAK ($899) and Transformer Pro T304 ($999) will be available in May. Updated AiO desktops will be available in March, with the ZN241IC and ZN270IE priced at $999, and the Zen AIO Pro Z240IE at $1799.

Coverage of CES 2017 is brought to you by NVIDIA!

PC Perspective's CES 2017 coverage is sponsored by NVIDIA.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at https://pcper.com/ces!

Source: ASUS

The GTX 1050 and 1050 Ti are going on a road trip

Subject: Graphics Cards, Mobile | January 4, 2017 - 12:34 AM |
Tagged: nvidia, GTX 1050 Ti, gtx 1050

Keep an eye out for reviews of new gaming laptops containing mobile versions of the GTX 1050 and 1050 Ti.  These laptops should also be on sale soon, with a quote from NVIDIA suggesting prices will start at around $700 for a base model.

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The price reflects the power of the GPU, you are not going to match a $2000 machine with a GTX 1080 in it, but then again there are many gamers who do not need such a powerful card.  If your gaming machine is a current generation laptop with integrated graphics this will be a huge improvement and even a laptop with a discrete mid-range GPU from a previous generation is going to lag behind these new models.  Of course, waiting to see what laptops based off of AMD's new Ryzen platform may be worth waiting for but for those hoping to upgrade soon, laptops with these cards installed are going to be worth looking at.

1080p gaming at 60fps will not be a problem, and for strategy games and online multiplayer entertainment such as LOL you should even be able to pump up the graphics settings.  The cards will support the various GameWorks enhancements as well as other features such as Ansel.

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The above example comes from The Verge, who spotted a 14" Dell laptop with the GTX 1050 already on sale at $800.  If you want the best choice you should look to the 15.6" model, which offers the choice of a GTX 1050 or 1050 Ti, an i5-7300HQ or i7-7700HQ and a 512GB PCIe SSD.

Coverage of CES 2017 is brought to you by NVIDIA!

PC Perspective's CES 2017 coverage is sponsored by NVIDIA.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: NVIDIA

CES 2017: Lenovo Announces Legion Y720 and Y520 Gaming Laptops

Subject: Systems, Mobile | January 3, 2017 - 08:01 AM |
Tagged: Y720, Y520, nvidia, notebook, Lenovo, Legion, laptop, gtx 1060, GTX 1050 Ti, gaming, CES 2017, CES

Lenovo has announced a pair of new gaming notebooks with the Legion Y720 and Y520, powered by NVIDIA GeForce graphics and the latest 7th-generation Intel processors.

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First we have the Legion Y720, a 15.6-inch gaming laptop that is also the “the world’s first Dolby Atmos PC” for immersive surround audio using the latest Dolby home theater standard. Graphical duties are handled by a GeForce GTX 1060 GPU, with CPU options up to a 7th-generation Intel Core i7 (i7-7700HQ).

“Enter a breathtaking world of sight and sound with the Lenovo Legion Y720 Laptop, the world’s first PC featuring Dolby’s revolutionary Atmos audio technology. VR Ready, this gaming laptop combines powerful processing, graphics, hardware and integrated Xbox One Wireless Support for an uninterrupted and immersive gaming experience.”

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Lenovo Legion Y720 Specifications:

  • Display
    • 15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS or
    • 15.6" UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS Anti-Glare
  • Processor
    • 7th Generation Intel CoreTM i7-7700HQ Processor
    • 7th Generation Intel CoreTM i5-7300HQ Processor
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5
  • Memory: Up to 16 GB DDR4; 2 x SODIMM Slots
  • Storage
    • 128 GB / 256 GB / 512 GB PCIe SSD or
    • 500 GB / 1 TB / 2 TB SATA HDD
  • Audio: 2 x 2W JBL Speakers and 3W Subwoofer, Dolby Atmos
  • Connectivity:
    • WLAN & Bluetooth: Up to 2x2 WiFi 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.1 Combo
    • LAN: 10/100/1000M Gigabit Ethernet
  • Ports: 3x USB 3.0, 1x HDMI, DisplayPort, Thunderbolt (USB Type-C), Audio Jack, Mic Jack, LAN
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home
  • Battery Life: Up to 5-Hour 4 Cell; 60 WHr Li-Polymer Battery
  • Dimensions (W x D x H): 380 x 277 x 29 mm / 14.96 x 10.9 x 1.14 inches
  • Weight: Starting at 7.05 lbs (3.2 kg)

Next we have the slimmer (and lighter) Y520 laptop, which pairs up to an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU with up to a 7th-generation Intel Core i7 CPU.

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“Lean and mean, the Lenovo Legion Y520 Laptop comes with the latest in processors, graphics and hardware, providing gaming function while a lightweight and smudge-free design deliver a portable form. This laptop is perfect for those who like to game on-the-go, online or with their friends in the same room.”


Lenovo Legion Y520 Specifications:

  • Display: 15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) 16:9; IPS; Anti-Glare
  • Processor: Up to 7th Generation Intel Core i7
  • Graphics: Up to NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
  • Memory: Up to 16 GB DDR4; 2x SODIMM Slots
  • Storage:
    • 128 GB / 256 GB / 512 GB PCIe SSD or
    • 500 GB / 1 TB / 2 TB SATA HDD
  • Audio: 2x 2W Harman Certified Speakers with Dolby Audio Premium
  • Connectivity
    • WLAN & Bluetooth: 1x1 WiFi 802.11ac or 2x2 WiFi 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.1 Combo
    • LAN: 10/100/1000M Gigabit Ethernet
  • Ports: 1x USB 3.1 (Type-C), 2x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0, 1x HDMI, Audio Jack, Mic Jack, LAN
  • 4-in-1 Card Reader (SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC)
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home
  • Battery Life: Up to 4-Hour 3 Cell; 45 WHr Li-Polymer Battery
  • Dimensions (W x D x H): 380 x 265 x 25.8 mm / 14.96 x 10.43 x 1.01 inches
  • Weight: Starting at 5.3 lbs (2.4 kg)

Lenovo Legion Y520 4.jpg

Coverage of CES 2017 is brought to you by NVIDIA!

PC Perspective's CES 2017 coverage is sponsored by NVIDIA.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at https://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Lenovo

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 376.48 Hotfix Drivers

Subject: Graphics Cards | December 22, 2016 - 12:01 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, graphics drivers

The latest hotfix drivers from NVIDIA, 376.48, address five issues, some of which were long-standing complaints. The headlining bug is apparently a workaround for an issue in Folding@Home, until the application patches the root issue on its end. Prior to this, users needed to stick on 373.06 in order to successfully complete a Folding@Home run, avoiding all drivers since mid-October.

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Other fixes include rendering artifacts in Just Cause 3, flickering and crashes in Battlefield 1, and rendering issues in Wargame: Red Dragon. These drivers, like all hotfix drivers, will not be pushed by GeForce Experience. You will need to download them from NVIDIA’s support page.

Source: NVIDIA
Subject: Systems, Mobile

Vulkan 1.0, OpenGL 4.5, and OpenGL ES 3.2 on a console

A few days ago, sharp eyes across the internet noticed that Nintendo’s Switch console has been added to lists of compliant hardware at The Khronos Group. Vulkan 1.0 was the eye-catcher, although the other tabs also claims conformance with OpenGL 4.5 and OpenGL ES 3.2. The device is not listed as compatible with OpenCL, although that does not really surprise me for a single-GPU gaming system. The other three APIs have compute shaders designed around the needs of game developers. So the Nintendo Switch conforms to the latest standards of the three most important graphics APIs that a gaming device should use -- awesome.

But what about performance?

In other news, Eurogamer / Digital Foundary and VentureBeat uncovered information about the hardware. It will apparently use a Tegra X1, which is based around second-generation Maxwell, that is under-clocked from what we see on the Shield TV. When docked, the GPU will be able to reach 768 MHz on its 256 CUDA cores. When undocked, this will drop to 307.2 MHz (although the system can utilize this mode while docked, too). This puts the performance at ~315 GFLOPs when in mobile, pushing up to ~785 GFLOPs when docked.

You might compare this to the Xbox One, which runs at ~1310 GFLOPs, and the PlayStation 4, which runs at ~1840 GFLOPs. This puts the Nintendo Switch somewhat behind it, although the difference is even greater than that. The FLOP calculation of Sony and Microsoft is 2 x Shader Count x Frequency, but the calculation of Nintendo’s Switch is 4 x Shader Count x Frequency. FMA is the factor of two, but the extra factor of two in Nintendo’s case... ...

Yup, the Switch’s performance rating is calculated as FP16, not FP32.

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Snippet from an alleged leak of what Nintendo is telling developers.
If true, it's very interesting that FP16 values are being discussed as canonical.

Reducing shader precision down to 16-bit is common for mobile devices. It takes less transistors to store and translate half-precision values, and accumulated error will be muted by the fact that you’re viewing it on a mobile screen. The Switch isn’t always a mobile device, though, so it will be interesting to see how this reduction of lighting and shading precision will affect games on your home TV, especially in titles that don’t follow Nintendo’s art styles. That said, shaders could use 32-bit values, but then you are cutting your performance for those instructions in half, when you are already somewhat behind your competitors.

As for the loss of performance when undocked, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue if Nintendo pressures developers to hit 1080p when docked. If that’s the case, the lower resolution, 720p mobile screen will roughly scale with the difference in clock.

Lastly, there is a bunch of questions surrounding Nintendo’s choice of operating system: basically, all the questions. It’s being developed by Nintendo, but we have no idea what they forked it from. NVIDIA supports the Tegra SoC on both Android and Linux, it would be legal for Nintendo to fork either one, and Nintendo could have just asked for drivers even if NVIDIA didn’t already support the platform in question. Basically, anything is possible from the outside, and I haven’t seen any solid leaks from the inside.

The Nintendo Switch launches in March.

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 376.33 Drivers

Subject: General Tech | December 14, 2016 - 10:07 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, graphics drivers

While they’re not really promoting this release, such as with a blog post on the GeForce website, NVIDIA has just released their 376.33 WHQL drivers. This one is not associated with any specific game release, so it seems like this is more of a maintenance release, working on bugs rather than application-dependent optimizations. The release notes specifically mention several security improvements, so I would assume they’re going back through previous changes and looking at things like video memory management, which might also lead to overall performance and stability enhancements.

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As for the long-running Folding@Home bug affecting some of our readers, it turns out that the cause was a bug in the application that just happened to work until NVIDIA applied a fix on their end. This reminds me of when I was working on an OpenCL-based software renderer. At one point, I started crashing when executing on the Intel CPU, but not on either GPU (Intel HD 4600 or NVIDIA GTX 670). I later found out that it was an out-of-bounds access in my code, when a render group slightly bled off the side of the render buffer, which the GPU drivers silently compensated for. It looked like Intel’s CPU driver had a bug, but, really, it was just the only one that didn’t work around my bug.

Despite this, NVIDIA is planning on releasing a workaround for Folding@Home in a hotfix driver, until the organization can patch the issue on their own. This driver is not the one, though.

Source: NVIDIA

NVIDIA GeForce GTX, HTC VIVE Bundle Deal at GeForce.com

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | December 12, 2016 - 06:31 PM |
Tagged: gaming, nvidia, geforce, htc vive, VR, game bundle

AMD's RX 480 and Fury X are capable of providing decent performance in VR applications and will save you some money for the VR headset, dongles and games.  However NVIDIA upped the ante today, giving away three games to anyone who purchases a GTX 1080, 1070 or 1060 and an HTC Vive. 

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The giveaway encompasses more than North America, as long as you can purchase the bundle from either Microsoft or NewEgg where you happen to live you should be able to get your three free games.  They are redeemable on Steam and should be available immediately, a peek at Sports Bar VR is below.

 

Source: NVIDIA