Subject: Graphics Cards | September 12, 2017 - 03:12 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Vega, ryzen 7, ryzen 5, ryzen, RX 580, RX 570, RX 560, ruby, repetition, quake champions, amd
Remember Ruby, that animated heroine ATI used in tech demos many years back? She has returned recently and is now playable in Quake Champions for those who claim their free key. In addition to appearing in the game, she is also the centre of attention in this announcement from AMD.
If you purchase a new Ryzen 5 or 7 APU, or a RX 560, 570 or 580 you can now claim the Champions pack for Quake Champions for free. The Champions pack will retail for $40 and add access to all current and future characters to your game, including a custom Ruby skin for Nyx. If you purchased one of these products after August 22nd you are eligible to claim your key over at AMDRewards. The contest will run until October 29th or until the keys run out.
Can you hear me now?
One of the more significant downsides to modern gaming notebooks is noise. These devices normally have small fans that have to spin quickly to cool the high-performance components found inside. While the answer for loud gaming desktops might be a nice set of headphones, for notebooks that may be used in more public spaces, that's not necessarily a good solution for friends or loved ones.
Attempting to address the problem of loud gaming notebooks, NVIDIA released a technology called WhisperMode. WhisperMode launched alongside NVIDIA's Max-Q design notebooks earlier this year, but it will work with any notebook enabled with an NVIDIA GTX 1060 or higher. This software solution aims to limit noise and power consumption of notebooks by restricting the frame rate of your game to a reasonable compromise of performance, noise, and power levels. NVIDIA has profiled over 400 games to find this sweet spot and added profiles for those games to WhisperMode technology.
WhisperMode is enabled through the NVIDIA GeForce Experience application.
From GFE, you can also choose to "Optimize games for WhisperMode." This will automatically adjust settings (in-game) to complement the frame rate target control of WhisperMode.
If you want to adjust the Frame Rate Target, that must be done in the traditional NVIDIA Control Panel and is done on a per app basis. The target can be set at intervals of 5 FPS from 30 to the maximum refresh of your display. Having to go between two pieces of software to tweak these settings seems overly complex and hopefully some upcoming revamp of the NVIDIA software stack might address this user interface falacy.
To put WhisperMode through its paces, we tried it on two notebooks - one with a GTX 1070 Max-Q (the MSI GS63VR) and one with a GTX 1080 Max-Q (the ASUS ROG Zephyrus). Our testing consisted of two games, Metro: Last Light and Hitman. Both of these games were run for 15 minutes to get the system up to temperature and achieve sound measurements that are more realistic to extended gameplay sessions. Sound levels were measured with our Extech 407739 Sound Level Meter placed at a distance of 6 inches from the given notebooks, above the keyboard and offset to the right.
Subject: Graphics Cards | September 1, 2017 - 05:52 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: GTX 1080 Mini ITX 8G, gigabyte, GeForce GTX 1080
Gigabyte have shrunk the GTX 1080 into a tiny little package 17cm long, retaining the dual slot design to ensure you still have the connectivity options you expect.
Even with its small stature and 90mm fan, the card is no slowpoke. Setting it to Gaming Mode gives the standard 1733/1607MHZ Boost/BAse and there is an OC mode which will raise those clocks to 1771/1632MHz.
There is no stock at the moment, which is also true the GTX 1070 and 1060 models which have already been released. Those two are not sold at a large premium over their bigger twins so once prices have descended from the stratosphere and supply begins to accumulate again the tiny 1080 shouldn't carry a large premium.
Subject: Graphics Cards | August 30, 2017 - 09:27 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: amd, Vega, vega 56, vega 64
Because so many different video cards are made from a handful of chip designs, there is a group of people who like to see whether a lower-end SKU can be unlocked to behave like a higher-end one. In this case, kdtree on the ChipHell forums has apparently flashed the new AMD RX Vega 56 with the vBIOS from an AMD RX Vega 64. Personally, I would find that a little sketchy, given the difference in stream processor count, but they’re the one with the graphics card.
Turns out, it did something, but it did not magically create an RX Vega 64. The extra 512 shaders are probably disabled at the hardware level, such as with a laser. Your first reaction is probably “well, of course it is...” but, if you remember Polaris, users have software-modified 4GB cards into 8GB cards... so there is some precedence for “maybe AMD put more on the card than they said on the box”.
Oh right, so what did it do? It apparently gave the card a significant overclock. It’s hard to tell under the watermark, but the modified Vega 56 was just a percent or so away from the Vega 64 on 3DMark. I’m guessing a conventional overclock might do the same, but who knows.
Subject: Graphics Cards | August 28, 2017 - 04:41 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: vega 56, amd, radeon, R9 Fury
Having wrapped up their initial review of AMD's new RX Vega 56, [H]ard|OCP was curious how it stacks up in a direct competition with last generations R9 Fury. The comparison is interesting, ROPs and Texture Units are the same in both cards, while the Fury uses HBM1 at a 4096bit interface while the Vega 56 uses HBM2 at 2048; clocks are 500MHz versus 800MHz respectively. The prices are quite different, the Fury clocked in at $550 while the Vega 56 should be available at $400; not that there is any stock at any price.
Check out the full article for specifics; the short answer is that you can expect the new Vega card to boast an average 25% performance advantage over the Fury.
"Do you have an AMD Radeon R9 Fury based video card and want to know if AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 at a lesser price is a performance upgrade? Do you want to know if architecturally AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 is faster than AMD Radeon R9 Fury? This follow-up performance review should answer those questions."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- RX Vega 64 Liquid “Unleashed” – 10 VR Games Benchmarked vs. the GTX 1080 & GTX 1080 Ti @ BabelTechReviews
- The Radeon RX Vega 64 Liquid, Vega 64 & Vega 56 Test: 32 Games Benchmarked @ TechSpot
- Vega 64 “Unleashed” – 27 Games tested using the Liquid Cooled Edition vs. the GTX 1080 & GTX 1080 Ti @ BabelTechReviews
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | August 28, 2017 - 12:31 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Samsung, SK Hynix
Just when you thought it was safe to start GPU shopping, with demand from miners dropping off somewhat, the NAND shortage is set to crank up prices again. First time miners have realize they are not about to become overnight billionaires and the dedicated miners have already picked up their GPUs; unless they just picked up this board, so there was some hope GPU prices might descend closer to their original MRSP. Unfortunately the suppliers of VRAM have shifted their production capacity more heavily in favour of server memory and RAM for smartphones which has lead to a dearth of VRAM. DigiTimes reports you can expect the price of NVIDIA cards to jump from 3-10% at the end of the month.
AMD's new offerings will not be effected by this; few and far between are the servers or phones which use HBM2. It would be interesting to discover that part of their original pricing took this into account; not that it matters overly as their original pricing statement has been tossed.
"With Samsung and SK Hynix cutting their memory supply for the graphics card segment, August quotes for RAMs used in graphics cards have risen to US$8.50, up by 30.8% from US$6.50 in July. Both memory suppliers have allocated more of their production capacities to making memories for servers and handsets, reducing output for the graphics cards segment and fueling the price rally."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Is it possible to control Amazon Alexa, Google Now using inaudible commands? Absolutely @ The Register
- A Functioning 3D Printer For 10€ @ Hack a Day
- Google Updates: Hardware, Firmware, The Firm @ The Inquirer
- World's first crowdsourced tablet, Eve V, is taking aim at the Surface Pro @ The Inquirer
- Gather round, kids, and let's try to understand the science of 3D NAND @ The Register
- A Game You Control With Your Mind @ Slashdot
- AVM FRITZ!Box 7560 AC1300 VDSL/ADSL Modem Router Review @ NikKTech
A surprise twist from Intel
Any expectations I had of a slower and less turbulent late summer and fall for the technology and hardware segments is getting shattered today with the beginning stages of Intel’s 8th Generation Core Processors. If you happen to think that this 8th generation is coming hot on the heels of the 7th generation that only just released to the consumer desktop market in January of this year, you’d be on the same page as me. If you are curious how Intel plans to balance Kaby Lake, Coffee Lake, and Cannon Lake, all releasing in similar time frames and still use terms like “generation,” then again, we are on the same page.
Today Intel launches the 15-watt version of its 8th Generation Core Processors, based on a refresh of the Kaby Lake CPU design. This not a new architecture nor is this is not a new process node, though Intel does talk about slight changes in design and manufacturing that make it possible. The U-series processors that make up the majority of the thin and light and 2-in-1 designs for consumers and businesses are getting a significant upgrade in performance with this release. The Core i7 and Core i5 processors being announced will all be quad-core, HyperThreaded designs, moving us away from the world of dual-core processors in the 7th generation. Doubling core and thread count, while remaining inside the 15-watt thermal envelope for designs, is an incredible move and will strengthen Intel’s claim to this very important and very profitable segment.
Let’s look at the specifications table first. After all, we’re all geeks here.
|Core i7-8650U||Core i7-8550U||Core i5-8350U||Core i5-8250U||Core i7-7600U||Core i7-7500U|
|Architecture||Kaby Lake Refresh||Kaby Lake Refresh||Kaby Lake Refresh||Kaby Lake Refresh||Kaby Lake||Kaby Lake|
|Base Clock||1.9 GHz||1.8 GHz||1.7 GHz||1.6 GHz||2.8 GHz||2.7 GHz|
|Max Turbo Clock||4.2 GHz||4.0 GHz||3.8 GHz||3.6 GHz||3.9 GHz||3.5 GHz|
|Cache (L4 Cache)||8MB||8MB||6MB||6MB||4MB||4MB|
|System Bus||DMI3 - 8.0 GT/s||DMI3 - 8.0 GT/s||DMI2 - 6.4 GT/s||DMI2 - 5.0 GT/s||DMI2 - 5.0 GT/s||DMI2 - 5.0 GT/s|
|Graphics||UHD Graphics 620||UHD Graphics 620||UHD Graphics 620||UHD Graphics 620||HD Graphics 620||HD Graphics 620|
|Max Graphics Clock||1.15 GHz||1.15 GHz||1.1 GHz||1.1 GHz||1.15 GHz||1.05 GHz|
The only differences between the Core i7 and Core i5 designs will be in cache size (Core i5 has 6MB, Core i7 has 8MB) and the clock speeds of the processors. All of them feature four true Kaby Lake cores with HyperThreading enabled to support 8 simultaneous threads in a notebook. Dual channel memory capable of speeds of 2400 MHz in DDR4 and 2133 MHz in LPDDR3 remain. The integrated graphics portion offers the same performance as the 7th generation designs, though the branding has moved from Intel HD Graphics to Intel UHD Graphics. Because Ultra.
But take a gander at the clock speeds. The base clock on the four new CPUs range from 1.6 GHz to 1.9 GHz, with 100 MHz steps as you go up the SKU ladder. Those are low frequencies for modern processors, no doubt, but Intel has always been very conservative when it comes to setting specs for base frequency. This is the speed that Intel guarantees the processors will run at when the CPU is fully loaded using a 15-watt TDP cooling design. Keeping in mind that we moved from dual-core to quad-core processors, it makes sense that these base frequencies would drop. Intel doesn’t expect users in thin and light machines to utilize all 8 threads for very long, or very often, and instead focuses on shorter use cases for multi-threaded workloads (photo manipulation) that might run at 3.x GHz. If this period of time is short enough, the cooling solution will be able to “catch up” and keep the core within a reasonable range.
Subject: Graphics Cards | August 14, 2017 - 03:49 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: vega 64 liquid, vega 64, vega 56, rx vega, radoen, amd
The reviews of AMD's two and a half new cards are in and they have a lot to say about AMD's current focus for GPU development. They have not gone green with this new architecture; but be honest with yourself about how much think about the environment when absorbed in a gaming session on a 4k monitor. The Vega 64 and 56 do require far more energy than Pascal cards and do produce more noise, however keep in mind that third party air cooling or a better radiator may help mitigate the issue.
The real question is the price, while there will be some challenges with the two Vega 64 cards the Vega 56 is certainly a competitor to the GTX 1070. If the mining craze dies down to the point where the prices of these two cards approach MSRP AMD offers a compelling choice for those who also want a new monitor. Freesync displays sell at a significantly lower price than comparable G-Sync displays, even before you start to look at the new bundle program AMD has introduced.
Since we know you have already been through Ryan's review, perhaps you would be interested in what our framerating friends over at The Tech Report thought. If not, there are plenty of other reviews below.
"AMD's long-awaited Radeon RX Vega 64 and RX Vega 56 graphics cards are finally ready to make their way into gamers' hands. We go hands-on to see how they perform."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 @ [H]ard|OCP
- AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 8GB @ Guru of 3D
- AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 8GB @ Guru of 3D
- A Look At AMD’s Radeon RX Vega 64 Workstation & Compute Performance @ Techgage
- AMD Radeon RX Vega64 8GB (Air) @ Kitguru
- AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 @ Techspot
- AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 8 GB @ techPowerUp
- AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 8 GB @ techPowerUp
- Radeon RX Vega On Linux: High-Performance GPUs & Open-Source No Longer An Oxymoron @ Phoronix
- GTX 1080 Ti Overclocking Guide @ OCCE
- A Look At NVIDIA’s Workstation Performance Boosting 385.12 TITAN Xp Driver @ Techgage
- PNY GTX 1080 Ti XLR8 OC Gaming 11GB @ Kitguru
- Bykski FOUR Founders GTX 1080 GPU Waterblock @ techPowerUp
A confusing market
I feel like I have been writing about AMD non-stop in 2017. Starting with the release of Ryzen 7 and following through last week’s review of the HEDT Threadripper processor, AMD has gone from a nearly-dormant state in 2015-2016 to a wildly active and successful organization with more than a dozen new product launches under its belt. Today we will reveal the company's first consumer products based on the new Vega GPU architecture, thrusting the Radeon brand back into the fight at the $400+ price segments.
At this point, with architecture teases, product unboxings, professional card reviews, and pricing and availability reveals, we almost know everything we need to know about the new Radeon RX Vega 64 and RX Vega 56 products. Almost. Today we can show you the performance.
I want to be honest with our readers: AMD gave me so little time with these cards that I am going to gloss over some of the more interesting technological and architectural changes that Vega brings to market. I will come back to them at a later time, but I feel it is most important for us to talk about the performance and power characteristics of these cards as consumers finally get the chance to spend their hard-earned money on them.
If you already know about the specifications and pricing peculiarities of Vega 64 and Vega 56 and instead want direct access to performance results, I encourage you to skip ahead. If you want a refresher those details, check out the summary below.
Interesting statistics from the creation of this review in a VERY short window:
- 175 graphs
- 8 cards, 8 games, 2 resolutions, 3 runs = 384 test runs
- >9.6 TB of raw captured video (average ~25 GB/min)
Radeon RX Vega 64 and Vega 56 Specifications
Much of the below is sourced from our Vega 64/56 announcement story last month.
Though the leaks have been frequent and getting closer to reality, as it turns out AMD was in fact holding back quite a bit of information about the positioning of RX Vega for today. Radeon will launch the Vega 64 and Vega 56 today, with three different versions of the Vega 64 on the docket. Vega 64 uses the full Vega 10 chip with 64 CUs and 4096 stream processors. Vega 56 will come with 56 CUs enabled (get it?) and 3584 stream processors.
Pictures of the various product designs have already made it out to the field including the Limited Edition with the brushed anodized aluminum shroud, the liquid cooled card with a similar industrial design, and the more standard black shroud version that looks very similar to the previous reference cards from AMD.
|RX Vega 64 Liquid||RX Vega 64 Air||RX Vega 56||Vega Frontier Edition||GTX 1080 Ti||GTX 1080||TITAN X||GTX 980||R9 Fury X|
|GPU||Vega 10||Vega 10||Vega 10||Vega 10||GP102||GP104||GM200||GM204||Fiji XT|
|Base Clock||1406 MHz||1247 MHz||1156 MHz||1382 MHz||1480 MHz||1607 MHz||1000 MHz||1126 MHz||1050 MHz|
|Boost Clock||1677 MHz||1546 MHz||1471 MHz||1600 MHz||1582 MHz||1733 MHz||1089 MHz||1216 MHz||-|
|Memory Clock||1890 MHz||1890 MHz||1600 MHz||1890 MHz||11000 MHz||10000 MHz||7000 MHz||7000 MHz||1000 MHz|
|Memory Interface||2048-bit HBM2||2048-bit HBM2||2048-bit HBM2||2048-bit HBM2||352-bit G5X||256-bit G5X||384-bit||256-bit||4096-bit (HBM)|
|Memory Bandwidth||484 GB/s||484 GB/s||410 GB/s||484 GB/s||484 GB/s||320 GB/s||336 GB/s||224 GB/s||512 GB/s|
|TDP||345 watts||295 watts||210 watts||300 watts||250 watts||180 watts||250 watts||165 watts||275 watts|
|Peak Compute||13.7 TFLOPS||12.6 TFLOPS||10.5 TFLOPS||13.1 TFLOPS||10.6 TFLOPS||8.2 TFLOPS||6.14 TFLOPS||4.61 TFLOPS||8.60 TFLOPS|
If you are a frequent reader of PC Perspective, you have already seen our reviews of the Vega Frontier Edition air cooled and liquid cards, so some of this is going to look very familiar. Looking at the Vega 64 first, we need to define the biggest change to the performance ratings of RX and FE versions of the Vega architecture. When we listed the “boost clock” of the Vega FE cards, and really any Radeon cards previous to RX Vega, we were referring the maximum clock speed of the card in its out of box state. This was counter to the method that NVIDIA used for its “boost clock” rating that pointed towards a “typical” clock speed that the card would run at in a gaming workload. Essentially, the NVIDIA method was giving consumers a more realistic look at how fast the card would be running while AMD was marketing the theoretical peak with perfect thermals, perfect workloads. This, to be clear, never happened.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | August 9, 2017 - 01:10 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: video, relive, radeon software, radeon, live stream, live, giveaway, crimson, amd
UPDATE: Did you miss today's live stream? Catch it right here:
Last year, AMD and its software team dispatched some representatives to our offices to talk about the major software release that was Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition. As most of you probably saw last week, AMD launched the Crimson ReLive 17.7.2 driver and we are pleased to let you know that we will again be hosting a live stream with our friends at AMD! Come learn about the development of this new driver, how the new features work and insight on what might be coming in the future from AMD's software team.
And what's a live stream without prizes? AMD has stepped up to the plate to offer up some awesome hardware for those of you that tune in to watch the live stream!
- 2 x MSI Radeon RX 580 Gaming X Graphics Cards
AMD Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Live Stream and Giveaway
10am PT / 1pm ET - August 9th
Need a reminder? Join our live mailing list!
The event will take place Wednesday, August 9th at 10am PT / 1pm ET at https://www.pcper.com/live. There you’ll be able to catch the live video stream as well as use our chat room to interact with the audience. To win the prizes you will have to be watching the live stream, with exact details of the methodology for handing out the goods coming at the time of the event.
I will be joined by Adrian Castelo, Software Product Manager and Gurman Singh, Software Marketing Manager. In short, these are two people you want to hear from and have answer your questions! (Apparently Terry Makedon will be hiding in the background as well...)
If you have questions, please leave them in the comments below and we'll look through them just before the start of the live stream. Of course you'll be able to tweet us questions @pcper and we'll be keeping an eye on the IRC chat as well for more inquiries. What do you want to know and hear from AMD?
So join us! Set your calendar for Wednesday at 10am PT / 1pm ET and be here at PC Perspective to catch it. If you are a forgetful type of person, sign up for the PC Perspective Live mailing list that we use exclusively to notify users of upcoming live streaming events including these types of specials and our regular live podcast. I promise, no spam will be had!