NVIDIA Releases GeForce 387.92 Drivers

Subject: Graphics Cards | October 9, 2017 - 09:28 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, graphics drivers

NVIDIA gave their graphics drivers a decent version bump today, from 385.69 to 387.92. When the first number jumps, it seems to mean that we are on a new feature branch, rather than just adding bug fixes and game-specific improvements to an existing branch. (Sometimes they just ran out of the second set of numbers, though. You can tell the difference because the release notes will typically state the old number. For example, 385.69’s release notes, which is the previous driver release, state “Release 384 Graphics Drivers for Windows, Version 385.69”.)

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There’s a bunch of new features this time, including OpenGL 4.6 support (assuming the driver passes conformance), HDR in NVIDIA GameStream, Fast Sync in SLI mode, 32-bit optimizations for Vulkan, and support for DXIL. This last one is kind-of interesting for two reasons: first, it allows shaders to be written in LLVM bytecode, like Vulkan’s SPIR-V and, second, it introduces Shader Model 6.0. This isn’t as big as the jumps that we saw in the DirectX 9 era, but it allows operations that cross between shader threads, like wave ballots and reduction.

In this release, NVIDIA has also added game-specific optimizations for Arktika.1, The Evil Within 2, Forza Motorsport 7, and tomorrow’s Middle-Earth: Shadow of War. The following games were also given a new SLI profile: Earthfall, Lawbreakers, Middle-Earth: Shadow of War, Nex Machina, ReCore, RiME, Snake Pass, Tekken 7, The Evil Within 2, and We Happy Few.

Pick it up from GeForce Experience or NVIDIA’s website.

Source: NVIDIA

Corsair's Hydro GFX GTX 1080 Ti; a splash of water really opens it up

Subject: Graphics Cards | September 28, 2017 - 02:46 PM |
Tagged: corsair, gtx 1080 ti, hydro gfx, liquid cooled, factory overclocked

Corsair's Hydro GFX GTX 1080 Ti liquid cooled GPU offers two preset modes, a respectable Gaming mode with frequencies of 1544MHz base, 1657MHz boost and a more impressive OC Mode which runs at 1569MHz and 1683MHz.  [H]ard|OCP blasted past those frequencies when overclocking, hitting a 2050MHz GPU, 11.6GHz memory after increasing the power settings.  This was enough to allow playable frame rates at 4k on the games they tested, even with graphics settings pushed up.  If 4k gaming is in your plans, this review is worth checking out.

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"We’ve got an exciting new video card for you today, the Corsair Hydro GFX GTX 1080 Ti Liquid Cooled Graphics Card with a Corsair Hydro Series AIO liquid cooling package on board. We find out how well this video card performs, how cool it runs, and how well it will overclock at 4K and 1440p."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 385.69 Drivers

Subject: Graphics Cards | September 24, 2017 - 12:33 PM |
Tagged: pc gaming, nvidia, graphics drivers

New graphics drivers for GeForce cards were published a few days ago. Unfortunately, I became a bit reliant upon GeForce Experience to notify me, and it didn’t this time, so I am a bit late on the draw. The 385.69 update adds “Game Ready” optimizations for a bunch of new games: Project Cars 2, Call of Duty: WWII open beta, Total War: WARHAMMER II, Forza Motorsport 7, EVE: Valkyrie - Warzone, FIFA 18, Raiders of the Broken Planet, and Star Wars Battlefront 2 open beta.

We’re starting the holiday games rush, folks!

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There isn’t really any major new features of this driver per se. It’s a lot of game-specific optimizations and a whole page of bug fixes, ranging from flickering in DOOM to preventing NVENC from freaking out at frame rates greater than 240 FPS.

One open issue is that GeForce TITAN (which I’m assuming refers to the original, Kepler-based one) cannot be installed on a Threadripper-based motherboard in Windows 10. The OS refuses to boot after the initial install. I’m guessing this has been around for a while, but in case you’re planning on upgrading to Threadripper (or buying a second-hand TITAN) it might be good to know.

If you haven’t received notification to update your drivers yet, poke GeForce Experience to make sure that it’s running and checking. Or, of course, you can download them from NVIDIA’s website.

Source: NVIDIA

Imagination Technologies Agrees to Canyon Bridge Offer

Subject: Graphics Cards, Mobile | September 23, 2017 - 09:59 PM |
Tagged: Imagination Technologies

Canyon Bridge, a private investment LLC and a believable codename for an Intel processor architecture, has just reached an agreement with Imagination Technologies to acquire most of their company. This deal is valued at £550 million GBP and does not include MIPS Technologies, Inc., which Imagination Technologies purchased on February 8th of 2013.

According to Anandtech, however, MIPS Technologies, Inc. will be purchased by Tallwood Venture Capital for $65 million USD.

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The reason why Imagination Technologies is expected to be split in two like this is because purchasing CPU companies places you under national security review with the United States, and Canyon Bridge is backed by the Chinese government. As such, they can grab everything but the CPU division, which lets another party swoop in for a good price on the leftover.

That said, it is currently unclear what either company, Canyon Bridge Capital Partners or Tallwood Venture Capital, wants to do with Imagination Technologies or MIPS Technologies, Inc., respectively. When Canyon Bridge attempted to purchase Lattice Semiconductor last year, they mentioned that they were interested in their FPGAs, their “video connectivity” products (HDMI, MHL, etc.), and their wireless products (60 GHz, etc.). I would assume that they’re just picking up good technology deals, but it’s also possible that they’re looking into accelerated compute companies in particular.

There’s still a few barriers before the sale closes, but it’s looking like we’re not going to end up with Imagination just merging into an existing player or something.

Source: Reuters

Google Introduces Tesla P100 to Cloud Platform

Subject: Graphics Cards | September 23, 2017 - 12:16 AM |
Tagged: google, nvidia, p100, GP100

NVIDIA seems to have scored a fairly large customer lately, as Google has just added Tesla P100 GPUs to their cloud infrastructure. Effective immediately, you can attach up to four of these GPUs to your rented servers on an hourly or monthly basis. According to their pricing calculator, each GPU adds $2.30 per hour to your server’s fee in Oregon and South Carolina, which isn’t a lot if you only use them for short periods of time.

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If you need to use them long-term, though, Google has also announced “sustained use discounts” with this blog post, too.

While NVIDIA has technically launched a successor to the P100, the Volta-based V100, the Pascal-based part is still quite interesting. The main focus of the GPU design, GP100, was bringing FP64 performance up to its theoretical maximum of 1/2 FP32. It also has very high memory bandwidth, due to its HBM 2.0 stacks, which is often a huge bottleneck for GPU-based applications.

For NVIDIA, selling high-end GPUs is obviously good. The enterprise market is lucrative, and it validates their push into the really large die sizes. For Google, it gives a huge reason for interested parties to consider them over just defaulting to Amazon. AWS has GPU instances, but they’re currently limited to Kepler and Maxwell (and they offer FPGA-based acceleration, too). They can always catch up, but they haven’t yet, and that's good for Google.

Source: Google

AMD enables RX Vega mGPU support

Subject: Graphics Cards | September 22, 2017 - 04:36 PM |
Tagged: Radeon Software 17.9.2, crossfire, Vega

The newest Radeon Software ReLive 17.9.2 is especially worth grabbing if you have or plan to have more than one Vega based card in your system as it marks the return of Crossfire support.  You can pair up Vega64 or Vega56 cards but do make sure they are a matched set.  We haven't had time to test the performance results yet but you can be sure we will be working on that in the near future.  Below are the results which AMD suggests you can expect in several different games, as well as a look at the other notes associated with this new driver.

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Radeon™ Software Crimson ReLive Edition is AMD's advanced graphics software for enabling high-performance gaming and engaging VR experiences. Create, capture, and share your remarkable moments. Effortlessly boost performance and efficiency. Experience Radeon Software with industry-leading user satisfaction, rigorously-tested stability, comprehensive certification, and more.

Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition 17.9.2 Highlights
Support For

  • Radeon RX Vega Series Up to 2x Multi GPU support
  • Project CARS 2™ Multi GPU profile support added

Fixed Issues
Hearts of Iron IV™ may experience a system hang when the campaign scenario is launched.

Radeon Software may display an erroneous "1603 Error" after installing Radeon Software. This error will not affect your Radeon Software installation.

Source: AMD

Extra memory! The EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 ELITE

Subject: Graphics Cards | September 22, 2017 - 02:23 PM |
Tagged: GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 ELITE, gtx 1080 ti, evga

EVGA has released a new improved GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 Elite card, with 11GB of GDDR5x, running at 12GHz with a bandwidth of 528.3 GB/s.  The reference card has GDDR5x running at 11GHz with 484 GB/s of memory bandwidth so it will be interesting to see how this changes the performance of the card. 

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The iCX cooler on the card offers nine thermal sensors and multiple MCUs along with asynchronous fan control to manage both heat and sound simultaneously.  You can choose between black or white models depending on the colour scheme in your PC and there are customizable RGB colour for the visual alarms present on the card.  PR just below the back end.

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September 21st, 2017 – The EVGA GeForce GTX 1080Ti FTW3 ELITE cards are now available with 12GHz of GDDR5 memory, giving it 528 GB/s of memory bandwidth! These cards are available with either the ELITE Black or White shroud, and of course comes with EVGA’s exclusive iCX technology, giving you 9 thermal sensors, onboard thermal LED indicators and incredible cooling with quiet operation.

Features

  • Includes EVGA iCX Technology
  • 12GHz GDDR5 Memory
  • 528 GB/s of Memory Bandwidth
  • Available in ELITE Black and White Colors

Includes EVGA iCX Technology

  • Featuring a total of 11 global patents (pending and granted), iCX is efficiency perfected.
  • 9 Additional Sensors and MCU's embedded on the PCB.
  • Purposefully-directed Airflow Chambers.
  • Newly Designed Die-Cast Baseplate and Backplate.
  • Full Control Using EVGA Precision XOC.
  • EVGA's iCX is the Very Definition of Interactive Cooling.

Learn more and buy now at https://www.evga.com/articles/01149/evga-geforce-gtx-1080-ti-12ghz/

Source: EVGA

NVIDIA news; Ansel and ShadowPlay walk into Mordor

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | September 20, 2017 - 06:21 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, ShadowPlayk, ansel, battlegrounds, shadow of mordor

Gamescom 2017 just wrapped up and NVIDIA made a few interesting announcements during the conference.  For those enjoying PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, they announced the game now fully supports ShadowPlay Highlights along with the newly released Lawbreakers.  That means you can capture all your gameplay in 4K 60 FPS, with either always-on or manual saving, and built-in uploading tools.

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In addition to video capture of gameplay, their Ansel screen capture tool for the artistically inclined has also been updated.  Ansel now works in 25 titles, from The Witcher 3 through Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice to new genres like Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 so you can truly show that the 'injured' player lying on the turf truly did take a dive.  NVIDIA reports that you will be able to capture super-resolution, 360-degree, HDR, and stereo photographs in games developed in either the Unity Engine or the Unreal Engine as Ansel will now be provided as an add-in for those game engines.

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Last but not least is a giveaway.  NVIDIA will be giving away 50,000 Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor game codes to GeForce Experience community members!  You do have to sign up to win but once you are a member of GFE you are automagically entered to win.  They will message you in app on Sept 26th to let you know if you are a winner so you can still sign up if you are interested.  It will also support Ansel, if you run across a photogenic orc beheading you want to share.

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As a reminder, the offer for any who purchases of select GeForce GTX 1080 Ti or 1080 GPUs, as well as systems and laptops containing the same will get Destiny 2 on the PC launch date.

 

Source: NVIDIA

IBC 2017: AMD Radeon Pro Graphics Cards Will Support External Graphics Card (eGPU) Docks

Subject: Graphics Cards | September 16, 2017 - 01:43 AM |
Tagged: WX 7100, Radeon Pro WX 5100, radeon pro, prorender, amd

At IBC 2017 (International Broadcasting Convention) in Amsterdam AMD made several announcements surrounding its Radeon Pro graphics cards for workstations. The graphics cards, which are aimed at professionals and replace the FirePro lineup, are now shipping to AMD customers with the Radeon Pro WX 5100 and WX 7100 available now and the higher end Radeon Pro WX 9100 and Radeon Pro SSG available from distributors and systems partners starting at the end of this quarter. The former two (the WX 5100 and WX 7100) carry a SEP (suggested e-tail price) of $499 and 799 respectively and are now officially support usage in external graphics setups (eGPU) for use with mobile workstations that can connect to an external graphics dock with the Pro series GPUs for things like 4K video editing and rendering on-the-go.

Radeon Pro WX 7100 Graphics Card.png

Currently AMD is partnered with Sonnet Technologies for the eGPU support and the Radeon Pro graphics cards fully support docks such as the Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box. Of course, being able to plug into the raw computing horsepower does not mean much if it cannot be effectively utilized, and to that end AMD revealed several software design wins including the integration of its cross-platform OpenCL-based ray tracing renderer Radeon ProRender into MAXON Cinema 4D Release 19. ProRender is supported in the Adobe After Effects integration of Cinema 4D R19, and it is the first major application to implement it. Further, the Foundry Nuke 11 and Avid Media Composer 8.9 are also able to see performance improvements in effects rendering by using OpenCL-based programming techniques to harness GPU horsepower.

Finally, AMD casually reiterated another big design with for its professional series graphics cards with Radeon Pro Vega being used in the iMac Pro coming later this year. Considering the professional market is where the big money is to be made when it comes to graphics cards it is nice to see AMD making inroads with its revamped professional lineup and continuing to push for the cross platform OpenCL-based GPGPU technologies to be supported by the major software developers. Not much major news coming out of IBC from AMD (no new hardware revealed), but good news nonetheless.

Source: AMD

Gaming graphics for under $100

Subject: Graphics Cards | September 14, 2017 - 02:53 PM |
Tagged: RX 550, gt 1030, nvidia, amd, esports

If the majority of gaming time your PC spends is on CS:GO, Starcraft 2 or DOTA then it would be cruel to force a GTX 1080 or Vega 64 to do your heavy lifting.  In many twitch games there is even a distinct advantage to reducing graphics quality to its lowest settings when trying to improve your K/D ratio.  TechSpot decided to examine this segment of the market, testing a ~$70 GT 1030 and a ~$90 RX 550 on a variety of eSports titles.  The NVIDIA card outperformed AMD's offering across the board on low settings, however the RX 550 actually performed better on high quality settings though often both cards were below 60fps.  Check out their benchmarks as well as their advice for those shopping for budget GPUs right here.

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"It's time for another GPU battle, though this one is a bit different with GPUs under $100: from AMD we have the Radeon RX 550 and on Nvidia's side is the GeForce GT 1030. Our focus will be primarily on eSports titles including CS:GO, Overwatch and Dota 2 running on a Ryzen 3 test bench."

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Source: TechSpot