AMD and NVIDIA GPUs Tested
Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 launched over the weekend and we've been testing it out over the past couple of days with a collection of currently-available graphics cards. Of interest to AMD fans, this game joins the ranks of those well optimized for Radeon graphics, and with a new driver (Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.3.2) released over the weekend it was a good time to run some benchmarks and see how some AMD and NVIDIA hardware stack up.
The Division 2 offers DirectX 11 and 12 support, and uses Ubisoft's Snowdrop engine to provide some impressive visuals, particularly at the highest detail settings. We found the "ultra" preset to be quite attainable with very playable frame rates from most midrange-and-above hardware even at 2560x1440, though bear in mind that this game uses quite a bit of video memory. We hit a performance ceiling at 4GB with the "ultra" preset even at 1080p, so we opted for 6GB+ graphics cards for our final testing. And while most of our testing was done at 1440p we did test a selection of cards at 1080p and 4K, just to provide a look at how the GPUs on test scaled when facing different workloads.
Tom Clancy's The Division 2
Washington D.C. is on the brink of collapse. Lawlessness and instability threaten our society, and rumors of a coup in the capitol are only amplifying the chaos. All active Division agents are desperately needed to save the city before it's too late.
Developed by Ubisoft Massive and the same teams that brought you Tom Clancy’s The Division, Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 is an online open world, action shooter RPG experience set in a collapsing and fractured Washington, D.C. This rich new setting combines a wide variety of beautiful, iconic, and realistic environments where the player will experience the series’ trademark for authenticity in world building, rich RPG systems, and fast-paced action like never before.
Play solo or co-op with a team of up to four players to complete a wide range of activities, from the main campaign and adversarial PvP matches to the Dark Zone – where anything can happen.
Subject: General Tech | March 18, 2019 - 09:03 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: vulkan, RX Vega 56, rtx, ray tracing, radeon, nvidia, Neon Noir, dx12, demo, crytek, CRYENGINE, amd
Crytek has released video of a new demo called Neon Noir, showcasing real-time ray tracing with a new version of CRYENGINE Total Illumination, slated for release in 2019. The big story here is that this is platform agnostic, meaning both AMD and NVIDIA (including non-RTX) graphics cards can produce the real-time lighting effects. The video was rendered in real time using an AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 (!) at 4K30, with Crytek's choice in GPU seeming to assuage fears of any meaningful performance penalty with this feature enabled (video embedded below):
“Neon Noir follows the journey of a police drone investigating a crime scene. As the drone descends into the streets of a futuristic city, illuminated by neon lights, we see its reflection accurately displayed in the windows it passes by, or scattered across the shards of a broken mirror while it emits a red and blue lighting routine that will bounce off the different surfaces utilizing CRYENGINE's advanced Total Illumination feature. Demonstrating further how ray tracing can deliver a lifelike environment, neon lights are reflected in the puddles below them, street lights flicker on wet surfaces, and windows reflect the scene opposite them accurately.”
Crytek is calling the new ray tracing features “experimental” at this time, but the implications of ray tracing tech beyond proprietary hardware and even graphics API (it works with both DirectX 12 and Vulcan) are obviously a very big deal.
“Neon Noir was developed on a bespoke version of CRYENGINE 5.5., and the experimental ray tracing feature based on CRYENGINE’s Total Illumination used to create the demo is both API and hardware agnostic, enabling ray tracing to run on most mainstream, contemporary AMD and NVIDIA GPUs. However, the future integration of this new CRYENGINE technology will be optimized to benefit from performance enhancements delivered by the latest generation of graphics cards and supported APIs like Vulkan and DX12.”
You can read the full announcement from Crytek here.
Subject: Graphics Cards | March 14, 2019 - 08:38 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Windows 7, The Division 2, radeon, graphics, gpu, gaming, dx12, driver, DirectX 12, amd, Adrenalin, 19.3.2
AMD has released Radeon 19.3.2 drivers, adding support for Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 and offering a performance boost with Civilization VI: Gathering Storm. This update also adds a number of new Vulkan extensions. But wait, there's more: "DirectX 12 on Windows 7 for supported game titles." The DX12-ening is upon us.
Here are AMD's release notes for 19.3.2:
Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.3.2 Highlights
- Tom Clancy’s The Division® 2
- Sid Meier’s Civilization® VI: Gathering Storm
- Up to 4% average performance gains on AMD Radeon VII with Radeon™ Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.3.2 vs 19.2.3. RS-288
- DirectX® 12 on Windows®7 for supported game titles
- AMD is thrilled to help expand DirectX® 12 adoption across a broader range of Windows operating systems with Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 18.12.2 and onward, which enables consumers to experience exceptional levels of detail and performance in their games.
- Radeon ReLive for VR may sometimes fail to install during Radeon Software installation.
- Fan curve may fail to switch to manual mode after the manual toggle is switched when fan curve is still set to default behavior.
- Changes made in Radeon WattMan settings via Radeon Overlay may sometimes not save or take effect once Radeon Overlay is closed.
- Rainbow Six Siege™ may experience intermittent corruption or flickering on some game textures during gameplay.
- DOTA™2 VR may experience stutter on some HMD devices when using the Vulkan® API.
- Mouse cursors may disappear or move out of the boundary of the top of a display on AMD Ryzen Mobile Processors with Radeon Vega Graphics.
- Performance metrics overlay and Radeon WattMan gauges may experience inaccurate fluctuating readings on AMD Radeon VII..
Subject: Graphics Cards | March 13, 2019 - 02:41 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: report, rumor, wccftech, amd, navi, gpu, graphics, video card, 7nm, radeon
Could Navi be coming a bit sooner than we expected? I'll quote directly from the sourced report by Usman Pirzada over at WCCFtech:
"I have been told that AMD’s Navi GPU is at least one whole month behind AMD’s 7nm Ryzen launch, so if the company launches the 3000 series desktop processors at Computex like they are planning to, you should not expect the Navi GPU to land before early August. The most likely candidates for launch during this window are Gamescom and Siggraph. I would personally lean towards Gamescom simply because it is a gaming product and is the more likely candidate but anything can happen with AMD!
Some rumors previously had suggested an October launch, but as of now, AMD is telling its partners to expect the launch exactly a month after the Ryzen 7nm launch."
Paying particular attention to the second paragraph from the quote above, if this report is coming from board partners we will probably start seeing leaked box art and all the fixings from VideoCardz as August nears - if indeed July is the release month for the Ryzen 3000 series CPUs (and come on, how could they pass on a 7/7 launch for the 7nm CPUs?).
Subject: Graphics Cards | February 12, 2019 - 11:17 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Vega 20, update, uefi, radeon vii, radeon, graphics, gpu, firmware, csm, bios, amd
After reports first surfaced regarding the lack of UEFI support from the new Radeon VII graphics card (with an ASRock BIOS update the first to address the issue), AMD has announced the release of a new BIOS update for AIB partners to add this UEFI GOP support to the card.
The statement from AMD, via TechPowerUp:
"AMD has released a BIOS for the Radeon VII with UEFI GOP included for our AIB partners. We will also make a one click installable BIOS available to end users via AMD.com. We do not expect gaming performance differences between the non UEFI BIOS and the UEFI GOP included BIOS, although the non UEFI BIOS may experience slower boot times from cold boot."
AMD specifically mentions that performance will not be impacted with the new BIOS, though boot times should improve slightly with the card no longer causing CSM to be enabled, which also broke the secure boot process. The one-click updater for owners of any Radeon VII will be available directly from AMD, and I will update our review sample when that becomes available.
In other Radeon VII news, the launch of the latest Radeon Pro driver (Radeon Pro Software for Enterprise 19.Q1 WHQL) includes some limited support for consumer Radeon cards - including Radeon VII, though not available at launch as reported by AnandTech this morning:
Image via AnandTech
"Under the program, certain Radeon consumer cards, including R5 300, R7, and RX series products will be able to install the Radeon Pro drivers. These products, in turn will be able to access certain professional features of the Radeon Pro drivers, but lack the all-critical certifications and optimizations that typically set the Pro drivers apart."
The lack of workstation optimizations make this less attractive for owners of Radeon VII, though it makes sense as otherwise there would be even less differentiation between the latest Radeon flagship and its workstation counterpart (Radeon Instinct MI50).
Subject: Graphics Cards | February 7, 2019 - 03:30 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: VRAM, video card, Vega 20, Vega, radeon vii, radeon, pcie, opencl, HBM2, graphics card, gaming, compute, amd, 7nm, 16GB
While enjoying the pictures and tests Sebastian ran on the new AMD Radeon VII, was there a game that we missed that is near and dear to your heart? Then perhaps one of these reviews below will solve that, the list even includes Linux performance for those on that side of the silicon. For instance, over at The Tech Report you can check out Monster Hunter: World, Forza Horizon 4 and the impressive results that the new 7nm card offers in Battlefield V.
"AMD's Radeon VII is the first gaming graphics card powered by a 7 nm GPU: Vega 20. This hopped-up Vega chip comes linked up with 16 GB of HBM2 RAM good for 1 TB/s of memory bandwidth. We put this potent combination to the test to see if it can beat out Nvidia's GeForce RTX 2080."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- AMD Radeon VII @ Guru of 3D
- AMD Radeon VII 16GB Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
- AMD Radeon VII: A 7nm-long step in the right direction, but is that enough? @ Ars Technica
- AMD Radeon VII 1440p, 4K & Ultrawide Gaming Performance @ Techgage
- AMD Radeon VII Review: RTX Killer or Flop? @ Techspot
- AMD Radeon VII 16 GB @ TechPowerUp
- AMD Radeon VII @ Kitguru
- AMD Radeon VII Linux Benchmarks - Powerful Open-Source Graphics For Compute & Gaming @ Phoronix
Overview and Specifications
After a month-long wait following its announcement during the AMD keynote at CES, the Radeon VII is finally here. By now you probably know that this is the world’s first 7nm gaming GPU, and it is launching today at a price equal to NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 2080 at $699.
The AMD Radeon VII in action on the test bench
More than a gaming card, the Radeon VII is being positioned as a card for content creators as well by AMD, with its 16GB of fast HBM2 memory and enhanced compute capabilities complimenting what should be significantly improved gaming performance compared to the RX Vega 64.
Vega at 7nm
At the heart of the Radeon VII is the Vega 20 GPU, introduced with the Radeon Instinct MI60 and MI50 compute cards for the professional market back in November. The move to 7nm brings a reduction in die size from 495 mm2 with Vega 10 to 331 mm2 with Vega 20, but this new GPU is more than a die shrink with the most notable improvement by way of memory throughput, as this is significantly higher with Vega 20.
Double the HBM2, more than double the bandwidth
While effective memory speeds have been improved only slightly from 1.89 Gbps to 2.0 Gbps, far more impactful is the addition of two 4GB HBM2 stacks which not only increase the total memory to 16GB, but bring with them two additional memory controllers which double the interface width from 2048-bit to 4096-bit. This provides a whopping 1TB (1024 GB/s) of memory bandwidth, up from 483.8 GB/s with the RX Vega 64.
Subject: Graphics Cards | January 11, 2019 - 04:35 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: video cards, Vega VII, Vega, Refresh, radeon, Mark Papermaster, graphics, gpus, cto, amd, 7nm
AMD CTO Mark Papermaster spoke with The Street in a video interview published yesterday, where he made it clear that we can indeed expect a new Radeon lineup this year. “It’s like what we do every year,” he said, “we’ll round out the whole roadmap”.
Part of this refresh has already been announced, of course, as Papermaster noted, “we’re really excited to start on the high end” (speaking about the Radeon VII) and he concluded with the promise that “you’ll see the announcements over the course of the year as we refresh across our Radeon roadmap”. It was not mentioned if the refreshed lineup will include 7 nm parts derived from the Vega VII shown at CES, but it seems reasonable to assume that we haven’t seen the last of Vega 2 in 2019.
Subject: Systems | January 9, 2019 - 02:51 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: ryzen, RX 560X, radeon, notebook, mobile, laptop, gaming, asus, amd
ASUS had a pair of AMD-powered gaming laptops to announce at CES 2019, with the TUF Gaming FX505 and FX705DY, both of which feature the latest Ryzen 3000-series mobile CPUs as well as discrete Radeon RX 560X graphics.
“Experience smoother, more immersive gameplay with the new ASUS TUF Gaming FX505 AMD Edition. Featuring a cutting-edge IPS-level NanoEdge display with AMD® FreeSync™ technology and a refresh rate up to 120Hz, and armed with the latest AMD Ryzen™ processor and discrete Radeon™ graphics, it delivers high-performance gaming at an affordable price. It’s also tested and certified to military-grade MIL-STD-810G standards, so you’re guaranteed toughness and durability that’s second to none.”
The CPU powering these systems is the AMD Ryzen 5 3550H, a 4-core/8-thread CPU with clock speeds ranging from 2.1 GHz up to 3.7 GHz and a 35W TDP.
"AMD’s Ryzen processors have taken desktops by storm, and TUF Gaming laptops lead the deployment of the newest version. Otherwise known as Picasso, this 2nd Gen Ryzen Mobile APU is built with industry-leading 12nm technology. The Ryzen 5 3550H chip powering FX505DY and FX705DY boasts four cores and eight threads that deliver capable performance for popular games and everyday work. Multithreaded performance is particularly strong, yet the processor fits into a 35W power envelope that doesn’t compromise battery life.
Vega-based integrated graphics allow the APU to power the laptop all on its own, which helps conserve power and extend battery life to over seven hours of 1080p video playback on FX705DY and nearly six hours on FX505DY. Discrete GPUs are where it’s at for proper gaming so when it’s time to play, AMD Switchable Graphics tech automatically activates the laptop’s discrete Radeon RX 560X. The GPU pumps out smooth frame rates in mainstays like Fortnite and Overwatch, as well as esports classics like League of Legends and Dota 2."
Both models have NanoEdge displays with thin bezels and wide viewing angles and variable refresh rates, and while the larger FX705DY provides a FreeSync range of 40-60Hz, the FX505DY offers 48-120Hz capability.
Specifications from ASUS for the TUF Gaming FX505DY and FX705DY include:
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 3550H
- 15.6" FHD NanoEdge wide-view display up to 120Hz
- 17.3" FHD NanoEdge wide-view display
- Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 560X
- Memory: Up to 32GB DDR4 2400MHz
- Storage: Up to 512GB PCIe SSD
- Up to 1TB FireCuda SSHD
- Wireless: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WLAN, Bluetooth 4.2
- 2x USB 3.1 Gen1
- 1x USB 2.0
- 1x HDMI 2.0
- 1x RJ-45 jack
- 1x 3.5mm headphone and mic combo jack
- 1x Kensington lock
- Keyboard and touchpad : 1.8mm key travel
- Customizable RGB or red backlighting
- Audio: DTS Headphone: X
- Battery: 48Wh Lithium-polymer battery (FX505DY), 64Wh Lithium-polymer battery (FX705DY)
- OS: Windows 10
- Weight: 4.85 lbs (FX505DY), 5.73 lbs (FX705DY)
Official pricing was not revealed in the press release, but we should be able to expect some fairly agressive sub-$1000 pricing with these at the base configuration level.
Subject: Graphics Cards, Memory | December 17, 2018 - 04:33 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Vega, radeon, JESD235, jedec, high bandwidth memory, hbm, DRAM, amd
In a press release today JEDEC has announced an update to the HBM standard, with potential implications for graphics cards utilizing the technology (such as an AMD Radeon Vega 64 successor, perhaps?).
"This update extends the per pin bandwidth to 2.4 Gbps, adds a new footprint option to accommodate the 16 Gb-layer and 12-high configurations for higher density components, and updates the MISR polynomial options for these new configurations."
Original HBM graphic via AMD
The revised spec brings the JEDEC standard up to the level we saw with Samsung's "Aquabolt" HBM2 and its 307.2 GB/s per-stack bandwidth, but with 12-high TSV stacks (up from 8) which raises memory capacity from 8GB to a whopping 24GB per stack.
The full press release from JEDEC follows:
ARLINGTON, Va., USA – DECEMBER 17, 2018 – JEDEC Solid State Technology Association, the global leader in the development of standards for the microelectronics industry, today announced the publication of an update to JESD235 High Bandwidth Memory (HBM) DRAM standard. HBM DRAM is used in Graphics, High Performance Computing, Server, Networking and Client applications where peak bandwidth, bandwidth per watt, and capacity per area are valued metrics to a solution’s success in the market. The standard was developed and updated with support from leading GPU and CPU developers to extend the system bandwidth growth curve beyond levels supported by traditional discrete packaged memory. JESD235B is available for download from the JEDEC website.
JEDEC standard JESD235B for HBM leverages Wide I/O and TSV technologies to support densities up to 24 GB per device at speeds up to 307 GB/s. This bandwidth is delivered across a 1024-bit wide device interface that is divided into 8 independent channels on each DRAM stack. The standard can support 2-high, 4-high, 8-high, and 12-high TSV stacks of DRAM at full bandwidth to allow systems flexibility on capacity requirements from 1 GB – 24 GB per stack.
This update extends the per pin bandwidth to 2.4 Gbps, adds a new footprint option to accommodate the 16 Gb-layer and 12-high configurations for higher density components, and updates the MISR polynomial options for these new configurations. Additional clarifications are provided throughout the document to address test features and compatibility across generations of HBM components.