Subject: Graphics Cards | September 21, 2016 - 09:54 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: nvidia, graphics drivers
With Forza Horizon 3 coming out for Ultimate Edition SKU users in a little over a day, NVIDIA has released their new Game Ready drivers. GeForce 372.90 drivers roll in all of NVIDIA's fixes for the game that have been discovered during its development.
Thankfully, unlike the slippage that I've witnessed from them recently in this regard, the release notes for 372.90 are quite verbose (PDF). For instance, and this probably affects a few of our readers, NVIDIA has finally fixed the issue with HTC Vive over DisplayPort. Their description sounds like it wasn't failing to connect, as users believed, but rather it was just failing to light up the display. Of course, from a user's standpoint, a black screen is a black screen, but it's interesting to see what honest admissions of what exactly any given error was.
So, TL;DR: HTC Vive users should be able to use it over DisplayPort with Pascal again.
Also, they announced that the driver contains security updates. They don't elaborate on what specifically was fixed, especially since it will take a while for users to update, but it sounds like NVIDIA was in bug-fixing mode with this driver, which I appreciate.
You can get GeForce 372.90 from GeForce Experience and their website.
Subject: Graphics Cards | September 20, 2016 - 07:58 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: microsoft, xbox, xbox one, pc gaming, nvidia, GTX 1080, gtx 1070
NVIDIA has just announced that specially marked, 10-series GPUs will be eligible for a Gears of War 4 download code. This bundle applies to GeForce GTX 1080 and GeForce GTX 1070 desktop GPUs, as well as laptops which integrate either of those two GPUs. As always, if you plan on purchasing a GPU due to this bundle, make sure that the product page for your retailer mentions the bundle.
Also, through the Xbox Play Anywhere initiative, NVIDIA claims that this code can be used to play the game on Xbox One as well. Xbox Play Anywhere allows users to purchase a game on either of Microsoft's software stores, Xbox Store or Windows Store, and it will automatically count as a purchase for the cross-platform equivalent. It also has implications for cloud saves, but that's a story for another day.
The bundle begins today, September 20th. Gears of War 4 launches on October 11th.
Subject: General Tech | September 15, 2016 - 05:58 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: VR, video, tesla, Silverstone, podcast, nvidia, msi, MoCA, Maximus VIII Formula, MasterLiquid, holodeck, GFE, geforce experience, euclideon, cooler master, asus, actiontec
PC Perspective Podcast #417 - 09/15/16
Join us this week as we discuss the Maximus VIII Forumla, MoCA adapters, GFE logins and more!
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Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Allyn Malventano, Josh Walrath and Jeremy Hellstrom
Week in Review:
This episode is brought to you by Casper! (Use code “pcper”)
News items of interest:
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
Subject: General Tech | September 14, 2016 - 05:06 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: pascal, tesla, p40, p4, nvidia, neural net, m40, M4, HPC
The Register have package a nice explanation of the basics of how neural nets work in their quick look at NVIDIA's new Pascal based HPC cards, the P4 and P40. The tired joke about Zilog or Dick Van Patten stems from the research which has shown that 8-bit precision is most effective when feeding data into a neural net. Using 16 or 32-bit values slows the processing down significantly while adding little precision to the results produced. NVIDIA is also perfecting a hybrid mode, where you can opt for a less precise answer produced by your local, presumably limited, hardware or you can upload the data to the cloud for the full treatment. This is great for those with security concerns or when a quicker answer is more valuable than a more accurate one.
As for the hardware, NVIDIA claims the optimizations on the P40 will make it "40 times more efficient" than an Intel Xeon E5 CPU and it will also provide slightly more throughput than the currently available Titan X. You can expect to see these arrive in the market sometime over then next two months.
"Nvidia has designed a couple of new Tesla processors for AI applications – the P4 and the P40 – and is talking up their 8-bit math performance. The 16nm FinFET GPUs use Nv's Pascal architecture and follow on from the P100 launched in June. The P4 fits on a half-height, half-length PCIe card for scale-out servers, while the beefier P40 has its eyes set on scale-up boxes."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Windows 10 Anniversary Update might not arrive on your PC until November @ The Inquirer
- iOS 10 reviewed: There’s no reason not to update @ Ars Technica
- iOS 10 rollout goes titsup as update 'bricks' iPhones and iPads @ The Inqurier
- DevOps and the Art of Secure Application Deployment @ Linux.com
- HTC to unveil new Desire smartphones on September 20 @ DigiTimes
- Using a thing made by Microsoft, Apple or Adobe? It probably needs a patch today @ The Register
- New York Fines Viacom, Mattel and Hasbro For Tracking Kids Online @ Slashdot
- Microsoft's Service Fabric for Linux hits public preview @ The Register
Subject: General Tech | September 9, 2016 - 04:44 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: rumour, nvidia, gtx 1050
DigiTimes have heard that NVIDIA hope to release the GTX 1050 at the end of the month or early in October but there are hints it may be somewhat of a paper launch. NVIDIA will have some silicon for sale but only a few who are quick enough on the draw will be able to purchase them; similar to the launch of the GTX 1080 and 1070 or even AMD's new cards for that matter. Both vendors had great difficulty providing retailers with cards to sell at launch, the supply has increased and prices are much closer to the MSRP than they were a month ago but there are still plenty of out of stock models when you start looking for deals.
Hopefully this situation will resolve soon, but for now patience is recommended for upgraders on a tight budget.
"Nvidia's Pascal-based GeForce GTX 1080, 1070 and 1060 graphics cards are seeing strong demand from the market and therefore are currently in tight supply. To further expand into the market, Nvidia is planning to release its mid-range GTX 1050 graphics card at the end of September at the earliest."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Humble Summer Sale Kicks Off With Free Tropico 4 @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Apple markets the iPhone 7 as a penis in Hong Kong @ The Inquirer
- Ten-year-old Windows Media Player hack is the new black, again @ The Register
Subject: Graphics Cards | September 9, 2016 - 07:59 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: nvidia, graphics drivers, linux
Unfortunately, I don't tend to notice when Linux drivers get released; it's something I want to report more frequently on. Luckily, this time, I heard about NVIDIA's 370.28 graphics drivers while they were still fresh. This one opens up overclocking (and underclocking) for GeForce 10-series GPUs, although NVIDIA (of course) mentions that this is “at the user's own risk”. It also fixes a bunch of Vulkan bugs.
Many of these fixes were in the previous, but beta-class drivers, 370.23. It, like 370.28, also includes experimental support for PRIME Synchronization. PRIME handles choosing which GPU drives a given display, which may be different from the GPU that is rendering that image. I'm not too familiar with the system, and I've heard some jokes from the Linux community over the last couple of years about its almost vaporware-like status, but I don't have any personal experience with it.
Subject: Graphics Cards | September 8, 2016 - 12:02 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: dirty pool, nvidia, geforce experience, geforce
Update (September 7th @ 9:34pm): It's been pointed out in our comments that the new GeForce Experience cannot be used without logging in. It supports NVIDIA, Google, and Facebook accounts.
It's been in Beta for a while, but NVIDIA has just officially launched their new GeForce Experience application. The release version is 18.104.22.168, so be sure to check for updates if you were in the beta and your settings panel shows an earlier version. Also, there's an “allow experimental features” checkbox right under the version number, too, also in the settings panel. It defaults to on for me, so you might want to take a look if you use GeForce Experience for anything professional (ex: Twitch streaming).
Anywho, the new version runs a lot better for me than the previous one. I used to have quite long load times, often literally in the minutes, with version 2. With version 3, it often pops up in less than a second, or maybe a couple of seconds at the worst.
Obviously, if you don't use GeForce Experience, then you don't really need to update. WHQL drivers can still be downloaded from their website (although installing drivers through GeForce Experience 3.0 has been fairly bug-free for me) and most of its other features can be obtained with other applications, like OBS Studio. That said, it's free and pretty good, so it's worth giving it a try.
Subject: General Tech | September 6, 2016 - 09:58 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: nvidia, epic games, valve, htc, vr funhouse, vive
So Epic Games, NVIDIA, and HTC (with Valve) are hosting a game jam aboard the MS Bleichen ship in Hamburg, Germany. The purpose is to develop mods for VR Funhouse. Nothing says a fun VR experience like room-scale experiences on a boat. Hopefully it will be firmly docked to prevent judges from getting sea-sick... or not. Maybe that will make the carnival games even better?
The jam takes place between September 24th and September 26th. Epic, NVIDIA, and Valve will be donating prizes to the event. Tickets cost 16.67 Euros, although I'm guessing that doesn't include food or a place to sleep -- they don't say one way or the other. The general public can also buy tickets for the last day, to experience the creations.
Subject: Graphics Cards | September 6, 2016 - 09:45 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: nvidia, pascal, gtx 1050, geforce
I don't know why people insist on encoding screenshots from form-based windows in JPEG. You have very little color variation outside of text, which is typically thin and high-contrast from its surroundings. JPEG's Fourier Transform will cause rippling artifacts in the background, which should be solid color, and will almost definitely have a larger file size. Please, everyone, at least check to see how big a PNG will be before encoding it as JPEG. (In case you notice that I encoded it in JPEG too, that's because re-compressing JPEG artifacts makes PNG's file-size blow up, forcing me to actually need to use JPEG.)
It also makes it a bit more difficult to tell whether a screenshot has been manipulated, because the hitches make everything look suspect. Regardless, BenchLife claims to have a leaked GPU-Z result for the GeForce GTX 1050. They claim that it will be using the GP107 die at 75W, although the screenshot claims neither of these. If true, this means that it will not be a further cut-down version of GP106, as seen in the two GTX 1060 parts, which would explain a little bit why they wanted both of them to remain in the 1060 level of branding. (Although why they didn't call the 6GB version the 1060 Ti is beyond me.)
What the screenshot does suggest, though, is that it will have 4GB of GDDR5 memory, on a 128-bit bus. It will have 768 shaders, the same as the GTX 950, although clocked about 15% higher (boost vs boost) and 15W lower, bringing it back into the range of PCIe bus power (75W). That doesn't mean that it will not have a six-pin external power connector, but that could be the case, like the 750 Ti.
This would give it about 2.1 TeraFLOPs of performance, which is on part with the GeForce GTX 660 from a few generations ago, as well as the RX 460, which is also 75W TDP.
Subject: Graphics Cards | August 31, 2016 - 11:50 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: nvidia, gameworks, fallout 4, pc gaming
Vault 1080, which is a terrible pun by the way, is a free mod of Fallout 4 that is developed by NVIDIA Lightspeed Studios. It is designed to show off GameWorks technologies, such as volumetric lighting and HBAO+, more heavily than Bethesda did with the base game. They claim that the content lasts more than an hour, which is pretty decent for a free expansion.
It will launch on the first day of PAX West: September 2nd.
If you're wondering why NVIDIA has a game development studio, they are mostly responsible for bringing content from the PC to their Shield devices, such as Half-Life 2 and Portal. They also created NVIDIA's VR Funhouse demo, which was also release for free to show off GameWorks (such as NVIDIA Flow and VRWorks Audio) for the HTC Vive. Basically, they develop games (and now game content) to make NVIDIA's hardware more appealing.