RTX RDX; Tracing the troubles with the Ti

Subject: General Tech | November 9, 2018 - 12:53 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, RTX 2080 Ti

More evidence of issues with the Founders Edition of the RTX 2080 Ti appeared on a screen over at [H]ard|OCP while Kyle was relaxing with a little Hunt: Showdown.  Earlier hints of issues occurred, with some initial BSODs and a lacklustre overclocking experiment when trying to push the card beyond it's factory overclock.  A new driver just dropped yesterday and Kyle is going to keep testing as there are always numerous variables in these sorts of things but it is worth keeping up with.

On the plus side the crash unlocks a new colourful version of Centipede!

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"This case is not in any way running "hot" with a single RTX 2080 Ti. Even this evening I was running its two 280mm fans at high to make sure I was giving it the airflow it needed. This case has been home to dual Titan X cards, as well as Radeon 290X Crossfire, and never had an issue."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: [H]ard|OCP

AMD Releases Q3 2018 Financial Results

Subject: Editorial | October 24, 2018 - 09:13 PM |
Tagged: amd, quarterly results, Q3 2018, ryzen, EPYC, Polaris, Vega, 7nm, 12nm, Intel, nvidia

This evening AMD announced their Q3 2018 results. Things were at the lower end of the guidance scale from last quarter, but the company still had some solid results. Q3 revenue was $1.65B as compared to Q3 2017’s $1.58B. It is down from the previous quarter’s high of $1.76B. At first glance this seems troubling, but the results are not as negative as one would assume. GAAP net income was a healthy $102M. Q3 2017 was at $61M while Q2 2018 was up at $116M. Profits did not fall nearly as much as one would expect with a decrease of $110M revenue quarter over quarter.

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Probably the largest factor of the decrease was the negligible sales of GPUs to the crypto market. AMD had expected such a dropoff and warned about it in their Q2 guidance. That particular drop off was sudden and dramatic. AMD looks to continue to lose marketshare in add-in graphics due to their less competitive offerings across the spectrum. GeForce RTX sales of course did not impact AMD this previous quarter, but with no new AMD offerings on the horizon users look to have been waiting to see exactly what NVIDIA would release.

Ryzen sales have been steady and strong, making up some of the shortfall from the graphics market. Desktop chips are moving briskly for the company and continues to be a strong seller historically for the company. AMD is also starting to move more mobile processors, but it seems that the majority of parts are still desktop based. AMD looks to continue moving older inventory with aggressive pricing on those and manufacturing of the new 2000 series parts has been relatively smooth sailing for the company.

Enterprise, Embedded, and Semi-Custom had a strong quarter, but with less growth as some analysts had been hoping for. Semi-Custom was weaker this quarter, but IP revenue is up. Console chips are weaker at the moment due to the platforms being relatively mature and not exhibiting the sales of the previous two holiday seasons. To further offset the decrease in Semi-Custom, AMD is reporting that the enterprise products (GPU and EPYC) have seen good growth. Overall this division was down 5% from Q3 2017, but up 7% from the previous quarter.

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Perhaps the most interesting figure of this is Gross Margins. AMD was able to improve margins from 36% to 40%. This 4% increase quarter on quarter is a significant jump for the company. This means that AMD continues to keep costs under control for the company and is able to deliver product more efficiently than in the year before. It is still a far cry from Intel and NVIDIA, which typically have magins between 55% to 65%. AMD has a long ways to go before reaching that kind of level. Part of the margin offset was again due to IP licensing. If IP licensing was removed then we would see 38% margins rather than 40%.

So what are the overall lessons of the past quarter? EPYC sales are not as brisk as analysts had hoped for, but they are also not non-existent. It has shown solid growth for the company and has offset shortfalls in other areas of the company. Their IP and Semi-Custom areas are still very solid, even though AMD does suffer from console lifecycles and downturns. GPUs continue to sell, but not nearly at the rate they were due to the crypto market. Their Polaris based options are well suited to compete in the sub-$300 US market. The Vega based products were finally down to MSRP, but they had a harder time going against the mature and well liked GeForce GTX 1070 and 1080 products. This will be further compounded with the introduction of the RTX products in those price ranges.

Ryzen continues to be a very good seller across the board. I had hoped that AMD would break down numbers between Ryzen CPUs and APUs, but I have not seen numbers that hint at what ratio they sell at. In retail the Ryzen 2000 series CPUs look to be some of the most popular products based on price/performance. However, retail is only a small portion of processor sales and Intel still holds the vast majority of marketshare here. AMD is competing, but they have not taken significant chunks from their competition over the past year. They have done enough to achieve several positive quarters in a row, but this is not the slam dunk that the original Athlon 64 was back in 2003/2004.

AMD expects further weakness in their results next quarter. Guidance is for revenue around $1.45B, plus or minus $50M. This is still higher than Q4 2017 results, but it is a significant drop from Q3 results. AMD expects strong Ryzen, EPYC, and datacenter GPU growth during this time. It is expected that consumer GPU and Semi-Custom will continue to drop. There does look to be a 7nm GPU introduction this next quarter, but it is probably the long rumored Vega refresh that will be aimed directly at datacenter rather than consumer.

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2018 has so far been a year of solid growth and execution for AMD on the CPU side. Their GPU side has suffered a bit of a slide, but this is to be expected by how much belt-tightening AMD has done in the past several years to get their CPU architecture back on track. The lion’s share of development resources was shunted off to the CPU side while the GPU side had to fight for scraps. I believe this is no longer the case, but when development takes years for new GPUs the injection of new resources will not become apparent for a while.

2019 continues to look better for AMD as they are expecting an early release of 7nm EPYC parts which should compete very well with Intel’s 14nm based Xeon products. AMD is expecting a significant uptick in sales due to the thermals, pricing, and performance of these new Zen 2 based parts. The company also continues to point to the end of 1H for introduction of 7nm Ryzen parts based on Zen 2. These will be showing up quite a few months before Intel’s 10nm offerings will be available. Rumors have it that the new Zen 2 based parts exhibit a significant IPC increase that should make them far more competitive to the best that Intel has on the desktop and mobile markets. Combine these IPC improvements with the 7nm boost in power and clocks for the parts, and AMD could have a very good product on their hands. AMD also is expecting a 1H release of 7nm Navi GPUs which should prove to be more competitive with current NVIDIA products that rely on 16nm and 12nm process nodes from TSMC.

While Q3 was a drop in revenue for the company, their current cost structure has still allowed them to make a tidy profit. The company continues to move forward with new products and new developments.

 
Source: AMD

Shopping for a GTX 1060? Hold up a moment will you?

Subject: General Tech | October 23, 2018 - 12:24 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, gtx 1060, gddr5x

Traditionally it is AMD that releases the silent ones, but today it is apparent that NVIDIA took a page from their playbook after The Inquirer spotted a report that they had released a new version of the GTX 1060.  This being 2018, nothing is simple and you will have difficulty spotting the cards which use GDDR5X.  There are now four versions of this card, a 3GB and a 6GB with the previous 8Gbps spec, a new 6GB model with slightly improved GDDR5 that can hit 9Gbps and finally a 6GB chip with GDDR5X which has yet to have frequency or bandwidth specifications published. 

This will make looking for a GPU in the $250-$300 range more interesting that it should be, especially with the eventual arrival of the RTX 2060.

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"With no official reveal, Nvidia's product page for the GTX 1060 - a rather capable graphics card that can run games full-whack at 1080p and 60 frames per second or push the higher 1440p resolution with a few tweaks - notes the GPU now sports nippier video memory."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

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Source: The Inquirer

NVIDIA Announces RTX in Adobe Dimension CC

Subject: Graphics Cards | October 18, 2018 - 08:57 PM |
Tagged: Adobe, nvidia

The Adobe MAX conference took place earlier this week. It consisted of several keynotes, live streams, workshops, breakout sessions, announcements, and it aligned with an update to several Creative Cloud applications.

One such announcement is that NVIDIA RTX is coming to Adobe Dimension CC.

While the application has not exactly taken off yet, it is interesting to see Adobe and/or NVIDIA put the engineering into bringing their ray-tracing units to it. First, for its audience, the speed boost (and thus increased preview size) should make the experience much better. Second, if NVIDIA helped with the engineering effort, which I suspect they did, then it suggests that they are hoping to bring RTX basically everywhere. I’m curious to see who else gets RTX support. Fingers crossed for an announcement at BlenderCon next week. I shouldn’t hold my breath, but I am.

So, for gamers, RTX content is still pretty-much MIA, as is constantly reported. The same is mostly true for professionals… but that might change soon. We’ll need to see.

Podcast #518 - Join us this week for discussion on the NVIDIA RTX 2070, ARM Neoverse, and more!

Subject: General Tech | October 18, 2018 - 11:06 AM |
Tagged: rtx 2070 black edition, rtx 2070 armor, RTX 2070, podcast, nvidia, Neoverse, msi, evga, arm

PC Perspective Podcast #518 - 10/18/18

Join us this week for discussion on the NVIDIA RTX 2070, ARM Neoverse, 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, Ken Addison, Jim Tanous

Peanut Gallery: Alex Lustenberg

Program length: 59:46

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. Week in Review:
  2. News items of interest:
  3. Picks of the Week:
    1. 0:51:10 Allyn: Flashlights. Have them.
    2. 0:52:45 Ken: Cheap VESA Arm
  4. Closing/outro

Gigabyte Reveals Aorus RTX 2080 Xtreme 8G Custom Graphics Card

Subject: Graphics Cards | October 8, 2018 - 06:12 AM |
Tagged: turing, RTX 2080, nvidia, gigabyte, aorus

It was only a matter of time before launches of custom Turing cards started rolling out, and Gigabyte’s Aorus brand is readying a custom RTX 2080 Xtreme 8G graphics card that pairs the Turing GPU with improved power delivery, the company’s WindForce Stack 3X cooler, and seven display outputs.

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The Aorus GeForce RTX 2080 Xtreme 8G features a 12+2 power phase (versus the reference design’s 8+2) that is fed by two 8-pin PCI-E power connectors. The WindForce Stack 3X cooler includes a hefty fin stack with multiple heat pipes that make direct contact with the GPU as well as a metal plate that make contact with the memory chips and MOSFETs. The three 100mm fans are wrapped in a rather angular and aggressive fan shroud that includes an Aorus logo on the side of the card as well as on the metal backplate. There are LEDs on the power connectors that indicate state and error codes along with the usual fare of RGB LEDs around the fans and Aorus logo with 12 preset lighting patterns. Measuring 59.9x290x134.31mm, the card is a bit over two slots and appears to offer quite a bit of cooling potential.

Display outputs include three DisplayPort, three HDMI, and one VirtualLink USB Type-C connection. Enthusiasts can use up to four traditional DisplayPort or HDMI ouptuts (any combination) along with the VirtualLink output simultaneously.

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Gigabyte has not yet released clockspeed information for the TU-104 GPU and its 2944 CUDA cores or its 8GB of GDDR6 memory which sits on a 256-bit bus (448 GB/s). Unfortunately, the company is also not yet talking pricing on this beast, though you can expect it to come in at a premium versus the company’s current cards that are based around the NVIDIA reference design. I am interested to see how this and other custom PCB cards overclock and how that stacked fan cooler performs with regards to noise and the claims of increased airflow.

Related Reading:

Source: Aorus

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 416.16 Graphics Drivers

Subject: Graphics Cards | October 5, 2018 - 08:06 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, pc gaming, graphics drivers

Another major version bump has occurred in NVIDIA’s Game Ready Drivers over the span of around two weeks. Typically, although there has been a couple of exceptions, NVIDIA has branches that contain major new features once every two-or-so major version numbers. They then push maintenance releases along the number line, which are probably cherry-picked into various branches. In this case, the 410-series branch, which was embodied in 411.63 and 411.60, brought in support for the RTX 20-series of cards.

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This has been superseded by the 415-series branch with 416.16. (Oddly enough, the root branch has an odd version number. This is the first time I remember seeing that, although I have not been paying too much attention.)

What has changed? Even though it is a Game Ready driver, it is not associated with a game launch per se. Instead, it is for Windows 10 version 1809, which includes support for DirectX Raytracing (DXR). It also adds a handful of fixes, such as removing black-square glitches from Quake HD Remix mod and improving the performance of TXAA in Rainbow 6: Siege. So basically, the main advantage of this driver will be for those who are using the RTX 20-series cards when games such as Battlefield V launch, which should have been two weeks from now but has, instead, been pushed back to November 20th. (I don’t know if they said that raytracing would be supported at launch, though.)

As always, feel free to refresh GeForce Experience and update your drivers.

Source: NVIDIA

NVIDIA Control Panel's in the Windows Store

Subject: General Tech | October 5, 2018 - 07:44 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, windows 10

My opinions about curated app stores has not really changed. Do not give up platforms, such as Win32, that allow you to publish without the approval of one or more organized bodies. Even if the company doesn’t use it to suppress content that they don’t like now, they might in the future and governments might even force them to.

That aside…

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I’m not exactly sure when this happened, but NVIDIA has a version of their Control Panel software on the Windows Store. The screenshots show that they are running the 397.64 Game Ready drivers on a pair of 1080 Tis, which would suggest sometime after May 9th. It is the typical control panel that we’ve known and used for probably around fifteen-plus years now. The app does not include GeForce Experience or anything like that. Beyond helping devices that cannot run Win32 software, needing to rely upon Windows Store and Windows Update, it demonstrates two things. First, it is another example of a Win32 app that was packaged into a Windows Store app. Second, it shows that apps can still have access to drivers and other low-level things.

One last funny note: the system requirements do not specify that your GPU needs to be from NVIDIA.

Windows 10 Caveat Emptor Update

Subject: General Tech | October 5, 2018 - 01:33 PM |
Tagged: windows, update, october update, nvidia, microsoft, Intel

If you are one of those wise souls who held of on installing to the new Windows 10 Update, so that others can act as the canaries in the coal mine we now have some advice.  If you are running an NVIDIA GPU, ensure you have plenty of space on your OS drive.  There have been reports of users losing files from their drives if there is not enough space for the entire 10GB update to download to; if there isn't enough space then the update deletes all non-system files.  The Inqurier is quick to point out that the tool you would use to resolve this problem, Disk Cleanup, no longer exists once you perform this update.

There have also been reports that systems with certain versions of Intel Display Audio drivers have seen greatly increased CPU usage after the update and this has been draining batteries quickly.  According to The Register, Microsoft is no longer pushing the update to machines that would be affected.  You can check out the driver version here.

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"Usually though, we'd expect it to affect a small number of users. This time however, the problems seem to come from anyone with an Nvidia GPU and anyone… erm… with files."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer

Dell announces Alienware m15 thin-and-light gaming notebook

Subject: Mobile | October 4, 2018 - 03:00 AM |
Tagged: nvidia, m15, Intel, gtx 1070 max-q, gtx 1060, dell, alienware

Dell today unveiled their latest gaming notebook, the Alienware m15. Weighing in at just under 5 lbs, the Alienware m15 is Dell's smallest 15-in gaming notebook ever.

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Buyers have the choice of either the quad-core Intel Core i5-8500H or the six-core i7-8750H. On the graphics side, the Alienware m15 will be offered with an "overclocked" GTX 1060, as well as with the GTX 1070 Max-Q.

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Display options on the Alienware m15 include two 1080p options, a 60Hz TN and a 144Hz IPS, as well as a 4K 60Hz IPS panel. Despite the availability for a high-refresh display, none of these displays seem to support G-SYNC variable refresh technology. 

Considering the relatively small size for a gaming notebook, the Alienware m15 still features an impressive array of ports including Ethernet, 3 USB 3.0 Type-A ports, a Thunderbolt 3 port, HDMI 2.0 as well as Mini DisplayPort 1.3.

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The Alienware m15 continues support for the Alienware Graphics Amplifier, which utilizes a proprietary PCI-Express cable to connect external graphics to a given notebook. While the m15 also features a Thunderbolt 3 port, it remains unclear if Thunderbolt 3 graphics will also be supported.

The Alienware m15 will become available on October 25th, at a starting price of $1,299.99.

Source: Dell