MSI has the prescription for quiet and powerful gaming with their new MECH RX 570 and 580

Subject: Graphics Cards | August 7, 2018 - 03:24 PM |
Tagged: amd, RX 570, RX 580, msi, MECH 2 OC, factory overclocked

MSI have released two new Polaris cards, the MECH 2 versions of the RX 570 and 580.  The cards come factory overclocked and the Guru of 3D were able to push the clocks higher using Afterburner, with noticeable improvements in performance.  For those more interested in quiet performance, the tests show these two to be some of the least noisy on the market, with the 570 hitting roughly ~34 dBA under full load and the 580 producing ~38dBA.  Check out the full review and remember that picking one of these up qualifies you for three free games!

img_5798.jpg

"Join us as we review the MSI Radeon RX 570 and 580 MECH 2 OC with 8GB graphics memory. This all-new two slot cooled mainstream graphics card series will allow you to play your games in both the Full HD 1080P as well as gaming in WQHD (2560x1440) domain. The new MECH 2 series come with revamped looks and cooling."

Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:

Graphics Cards

Source: Guru of 3D

AMD builds semi-custom SoC with Zen and Vega for Chinese gaming market

Subject: Graphics Cards, Processors | August 3, 2018 - 04:41 PM |
Tagged: Zen, Vega, SoC, ryzen, China, APU, amd

This story originally appeared on ShroutResearch.com.

Continuing down the path with its semi-custom design division, AMD today announced a partnership with Chinese company Zhongshan Subor to design and build a new chip to be utilized for both a Chinese gaming PC and Chinese gaming console.

The chip itself will include a quad-core integration of the Zen processor supporting 8 threads at a clock speed of 3.0 GHz, no Turbo or XFR is included. The graphics portion is built around a Vega GPU with 24 Compute Units running at 1.3 GHz. Each CU has 64 stream processors giving the “Fenghuang” chip a total of 1536 SPs. That is the same size GPU used in the Kaby Lake-G Vega M GH part, but with a higher clock speed.

The memory system is also interesting as Zhongshan Subor has integrated 8GB of GDDR5 on a single package. (Update: AMD has clarified that this is a GDDR5 memory controller on package, and the memory itself is on the mainboard. Much more sensible.) This is different than how Intel integrated basically the same product from AMD as it utilized HBM2 memory. As far as I can see, this is the first time that an AMD-built SoC has utilized GDDR memory for both the GPU and CPU outside of the designs used for Microsoft and Sony.

ChinaJoy_2.jpg

This custom built product will still support AMD and Radeon-specific features like FreeSync, the Radeon Software suite, and next-gen architecture features like Rapid Packed Math. It is being built at GlobalFoundries.

Though there are differences in the apparent specs from the leaks that showed up online earlier in the year, they are pretty close. This story thought the custom SoC would include a 28 CU GPU and HBM2. Perhaps there is another chip design for a different customer pending or more likely there were competing integrations and the announced version won out due to cost efficiency.

Zhongshan Subor is a Chinese holding company that owns everything from retail stores to an education technology business. You might have heard its name in association with a gluttony of Super Famicom clones years back. I don’t expect this new console to have near the reach of an Xbox or PlayStation but with the size of the Chinese market, anything is possible if the content portfolio is there.

It is interesting that despite the aggressiveness of both Microsoft and Sony in the console space in regards to hardware upgrades this generation, this Chinese design will be the first to ship with a Zen-based APU, though it will lag behind the graphics performance of the Xbox One X (and probably PS4 Pro). Don’t be surprised if both major console players integrate a similar style of APU design with their next-generation products, pairing Zen with Vega.

Revenue for AMD from this arrangement is hard to predict but it does get an upfront fee from any semi-custom chip customer for the design and validation of the product. There is no commitment for a minimum chip purchase so AMD will see extended income only if the console and PC built around the APU succeeds.

Enthusiasts and PC builders have already started questioning whether this is the type of product that might make its way to the consumer. The truth is that the market for a high-performance, fully-integrated SoC like this is quite small, with DIY and SI (system integrator) markets preferring discrete components most of the time. If we remove the GDDR5 integration, which is one of the key specs that makes the “Fenghuang” chip so interesting and expensive, I’d bet the 24 CU GPU would be choked by standard DDR4/5 DRAM. For now, don’t hold out hope that AMD takes the engineering work of this Chinese gaming product and applies it to the general consumer market.

NVIDIA Announces GeForce Gaming Celebration at Gamescom 2018

Subject: Graphics Cards | July 30, 2018 - 03:32 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, geforce, gaming celebration, gamescom, cologne

Earlier today, NVIDIA announced the GeForce Gaming Celebration, taking place August 20th-21st, in Cologne, Germany.

gamescom.png

NVIDIA promises that this open to the public event taking place before the Gamescom convention "will be loaded with new, exclusive, hands-on demos of the hottest upcoming games, stage presentations from the world’s biggest game developers, and some spectacular surprises."

For any readers that might be in the area and interested in attending, first come first served registration can be found here. For readers outside of the area, the event will also be live streamed.

PC Perspective will be attending the event, so stay tuned for more news and details! We can't possibly imagine what NVIDIA could be getting ready to announce.

Source: NVIDIA

Rumor: GeForce GTX 1170 Benchmark Score Leaked

Subject: Graphics Cards | July 22, 2018 - 03:10 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, gtx 1170, geforce

Take these numbers with a grain of salt, but WCCFTech has published what they claim is leaked GeForce GTX 1170 benchmarks, found “on Polish hardware forums”. If true, the results show that the graphics card, which would be below the GTX 1180 in performance, is still above the enthusiast-tier GTX 1080 Ti (at least on 3DMark FireStrike). It also suggests that both the GPU core and 16GB of memory are running at ~2.5 GHz.

3dmark-2018-alleged_1170_benchmarks.jpg

Image Credit: “Polish Hardware Forums” via WCCFTech

So not only would the GTX 1180 be above the GTX 1080 Ti… but the GTX 1170 apparently is too? Also… 16GB on the second-tier card? Yikes.

Beyond the raw performance, new architectures also give NVIDIA the chance to add new features directly to the silicon. That said, FireStrike is an old-enough benchmark that it won’t take advantage of tweaks for new features, like NVIDIA RTX, so those should be above-and-beyond the increase seen in the score.

3dmark-2018-dont_trust_everything_you_see.png

Don’t trust every screenshot you see…

Again, if this is true. The source is a picture of a computer monitor, which begs the question, “Why didn’t they just screenshot it?” Beyond that, it’s easy to make a website say whatever you want with the F12 developer tools of any mainstream web browser these days… as I’ve demonstrated in the image above.

Source: WCCFTech

NVIDIA, Oculus, Valve, AMD, and Microsoft Collaborate on VirtualLink VR Headset Standard

Subject: Graphics Cards | July 17, 2018 - 12:38 PM |
Tagged: VR, VirtualLink, valve, usb 3.1, Type-C, Oculus, nvidia, microsoft, DisplayPort, amd

Today, NVIDIA, Oculus, Valve, AMD, and Microsoft, members of the VirtualLink consortium, have announced the VirtualLink standard, which aims to unify physically connecting Virtual Reality headsets to devices.

USB-Type-C.png

Based upon the physical USB Type-C connector, VirtualLink will combine the bandwidth of DisplayPort 1.4 (32.1Gbit/s) with a USB 3.1 Data connection, and the ability to deliver up to 27W of power.

htc-vive-linkbox.jpg

VirualLink aims to simplify the setup of current VR Headsets

Given the current "Medusa-like" nature of VR headsets with multiple cables needing to feed video, audio, data, and power to the headset, simplifying to a single cable should provide a measurable benefit to the VR experience. In addition, having a single, unified connector could provide an easier method for third parties to provide wireless solutions, like the current TPCast device.

VirtualLink is an open standard, and the initial specifications can currently be found on the consortium website. 

Source: VirtualLink

Captain Undervolt and the RX Vega 64s

Subject: Graphics Cards | July 11, 2018 - 05:25 PM |
Tagged: RX VEGA 64, amd, undervolting, killing floor 2, wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, Middle-earth: Shadow of War

You may have stumbled across threads on the wild web created by AMD enthusiasts who have been undervolting their Vega cards and are bragging about it.  This will seem counter intuitive to overclockers who regularly increase the voltage their GPU will accept in order to increase the frequencies on those cards.  There is a method to this madness, and it is not simply that they are looking to save on power bills.  Overclockers Club investigates the methods used and the performance effect it has on the Vega 64 in several modern titles in their latest GPU review.

homer_and_bart_by_jamieb91-d532gb2_1.jpg

"Across all three games we saw a noticeable drop in power use when undervolting and not limiting the frame rate, or using a high limit. This reduction in power use is important as it improves the efficiency of the RX Vega 64 and it allows increased clock speeds with the reduction of thermal throttling."

Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:

Graphics Cards

 

HTC Launches VIVE Pro Full Kit, Shipping Today for $1400

Subject: Graphics Cards | July 2, 2018 - 01:08 PM |
Tagged: vive pro, steamvr, oculus rift, Oculus, htc

Although the HTC Vive Pro has been available in headset only form as an upgrade for previous VIVE owners for several months, there has been a lack of a full solution for customers looking to enter the ecosystem from scratch.

Today, HTC announced immediate availability for their full VIVE Pro kit featuring Steam VR 2.0 Base Stations and the latest revision of the HTC Vive Controllers.

announcement.jpg

For those who need a refresher, the HTC Vive Pro improves upon the original Vive VR Headset with 78% improved resolution (2880x1600), as well as a built-in deluxe audio strap.

basestation2.jpg

New with the HTC Vive Pro Full Kit, the Steam VR 2.0 Base Station trackers allow users to add up to 4 base stations (previously limited to 2), for a wider area up to 10x10 meters (32x32 feet), as well as improved positional tracking.

It's worth noting that this kit does not include the upcoming next generation of Steam VR controllers codenamed "Knuckles," which likely won't be available until 2019.

The HTC Vive Pro Full Kit is now available from several retailers including Amazon and B&H Photo for a price of $1400.

Given the steep asking price and "Pro" moniker, it remains clear here that HTC is only attempting to target very high-end gaming enthusiasts and professionals with this headset, rather than the more general audience the original Vive targets. As of now, it's expected that the original VIVE will continue to be available as a lower cost alternative.

Source: Amazon

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 398.36 Graphics Drivers

Subject: Graphics Cards | June 26, 2018 - 10:01 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, graphics drivers, geforce

NVIDIA aligns their graphics driver releases with game launches, and today’s 398.36 is for Ubisoft’s The Crew 2. The game comes out on Friday, but the graphics vendors like to give a little room if possible (and a Friday makes that much easier than a Tuesday). NVIDIA is also running a bundle deal – you get The Crew 2 Standard Edition free when you purchase a qualifying GTX 1080, GTX 1080 Ti, GeForce gaming desktop, or GeForce gaming laptop. Personally, I would wait for new graphics cards to launch, but if you need one now then – hey – free game!

nvidia-geforce.png

Now onto the driver itself.

GeForce 398.36 is actually from the 396.xx branch, which means that it’s functionally similar to the previous drivers. NVIDIA seems to release big changes with the start of an even-numbered branch, such as new API support, and then spend the rest of the release, and its odd-numbered successor, fixing bugs and adding game-specific optimizations. While this means that there shouldn’t be anything surprising, it also means that it should be stable and polished.

This brings us to the bug fixes.

If you were waiting for the blue-screen issue with Gears of War 4 to be fixed on Pascal GPUs, then grab your chainsaws it should be good to go. Likewise, if you had issues with G-SYNC causing stutter outside of G-SYNC games, such as the desktop, then that has apparently been fixed, too.

When you get around to it, the new driver is available on GeForce Experience and NVIDIA’s site.

Source: NVIDIA
Author:
Manufacturer: ASUS

A long time coming

To say that the ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ has been a long time coming is a bit of an understatement. In the computer hardware world where we are generally lucky to know about a product for 6-months, the PG27UQ is a product that has been around in some form or another for at least 18 months.

Originally demonstrated at CES 2017, the ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ debuted alongside the Acer Predator X27 as the world's first G-SYNC displays supporting HDR. With promised brightness levels of 1000 nits, G-SYNC HDR was a surprising and aggressive announcement considering that HDR was just starting to pick up steam on TVs, and was unheard of for PC monitors. On top of the HDR support, these monitors were the first announced displays sporting a 144Hz refresh rate at 4K, due to their DisplayPort 1.4 connections.

However, delays lead to the PG27UQ being displayed yet again at CES this year, with a promised release date of Q1 2018. Even more slippages in release lead us to today, where the ASUS PG27UQ is available for pre-order for a staggering $2,000 and set to ship at some point this month.

In some ways, the launch of the PG27UQ very much mirrors the launch of the original G-SYNC display, the ROG Swift PG278Q. Both displays represented the launch of an oft waited technology, in a 27" form factor, and were seen as extremely expensive at their time of release.

DSC05009.JPG

Finally, we have our hands on a production model of the ASUS PG27UQ, the first monitor to support G-SYNC HDR, as well as 144Hz refresh rate at 4K. Can a PC monitor really be worth a $2,000 price tag? 

Continue reading our review of the ASUS ROG PG27UQ G-SYNC HDR Monitor!

Intel confirms first graphics chips will land in 2020

Subject: Graphics Cards | June 12, 2018 - 02:21 PM |
Tagged: Intel, graphics, gpu, raja koduri

This article first appeared on MarketWatch.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich disclosed during an analyst event last week that it will have its first discrete graphics chips available in 2020. This will mark the beginning of the chip giant’s journey towards a portfolio of high-performance graphics products for various markets including gaming, data center, and AI.

Some previous rumors posited that a launch at CES 2019 this coming January might be where Intel makes its graphics reveal, but that timeline was never adopted by Intel. It would have been drastically overaggressive and in no way reasonable with the development process of a new silicon design.

Back in November 2017 Intel brought on board Raja Koduri to lead the graphics and compute initiatives inside the company. Koduri was previously in charge of the graphics division at AMD, helping to develop and grow the Radeon brand, and his departure to Intel was thought to have significant impact on the industry.

Raja-Koduri-Intel.jpg

A typical graphics architecture and chip development cycle is three years for complex design, so even hitting the 2020 window with engineering talent is aggressive.

Intel did not go into detail about what performance level or target market this first discrete GPU solution might address, but Intel EVP of the Data Center Group Navin Shenoy confirmed that the company’s strategy will include solutions for data center segments (think AI, machine learning) along with client (think gaming, professional development).

This is a part of the wider scale AI and machine learning strategy for Intel, that includes these discrete graphics chip products in addition to other options like the Xeon processor family, FPGAs from its acquisition of Altera, and custom AI chips like the Nervana-based NNP.

While the leader in the space, NVIDIA, maintains its position with graphics chips, it is modifying and augmenting these processors with additional features and systems to accelerate AI even more. It will be interesting to see how Intel plans to catch up in design and deployment.

Though few doubt the capability of Intel for chip design, building a new GPU architecture from the ground up is not a small task. Intel needs to provide a performance and efficiency level that is in the same ballpark as NVIDIA and AMD; within 20% or so. Doing that on the first attempt, while also building and fostering the necessary software ecosystem and tools around the new hardware is a tough ask of any company, Silicon Valley juggernaut or no. Until we see the first options available in 2020 to gauge, NVIDIA and AMD have the leadership positions.

Both AMD and NVIDIA will be watching Intel with great interest as GPU development accelerates. AMD’s Forest Norrod, SVP of its data center group, recently stated in an interview that he didn’t expect Koduri at Intel to “have any impact at Intel for at least another three years.” If Intel can deliver on its 2020 target for the first in a series of graphics releases, it might put pressure on these two existing graphics giants sooner than most expected.

Source: MarketWatch