The Radeon RX Vega 64 at 4K

Subject: Graphics Cards | October 20, 2017 - 04:30 PM |
Tagged: amd, RX VEGA 64, 4k

[H]ard|OCP updated their benchmarking suite with several new games and have published a review of AMD's Vega 64 focusing on 4K performance.  The race between the GTX 1080 and Vega 64 is quite close, with many benchmarks showing less than a 10% difference in performance.  Neither card came close to touching the GTX 1080 Ti, that card is still the only one that can truly handle 4K gaming with graphics options on high or ultra.  For 1440p performance, the GTX 1080 is better overall but the Vega is still a very strong contender. 
Pop over for a look at the detailed results.

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"Does the AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 play games well at 4K resolution? What game settings work best at 4K, and how does it compare to GeForce GTX 1080 and GeForce GTX 1080 Ti? Ten games are tested, new and old, DX11, DX12, and Vulkan at playable game settings and pushed to the max in this all out 4K brawl."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

AMD Raven Ridge Performance Leaks - APU with GeForce MX150 Performance

Subject: Graphics Cards, Processors | October 16, 2017 - 05:07 PM |
Tagged: amd, raven ridge, APU, ryzen 7 2700u, Ryzen 5 2500U, ryzen 7 pro 2700u

Hot on the heels of the HP leak that showed the first AMD Raven Ridge based notebook that may be hitting store shelves later this year, another leak of potential Raven Ridge APU performance is cycling through. The AMD Ryzen 7 2700U with integrated Vega-based graphics architecture, and also rumored to have a ~35-watt TDP, is showing 3DMark11 graphics scores near that of the discrete NVIDIA GeForce MX150.

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With a graphics score of 4072, the integrated graphics on the upcoming AMD APU is slightly behind the score of 4570 from the MX150, a difference of 11.5%. Interestingly, the Physics score on the Raven Ridge APU of 6419 is solid as well, and puts an interesting light on the 8th gen KBL-R processors. As you can see in the graph below, from two systems we already have in-house with quad-core parts, CPU performance is going to vary dramatically from one machine to the next depending on the thermal headroom of the physical implementation.

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The HP Spectre x360 with the Core i7-8550U and the MX150 GPU is able to generate a Physics score of 8278, well above the leaked result of the Raven Ridge APU. However, when we ran the 3DMark11 on the ASUS Zenbook 3 UX490UA with the same Core i7-8550U, the Physics score was 6627, a 19% drop! Clearly there are configurability shifts that will adjust the performance of the 8th gen Intel parts. We are diving more into this effect in a couple of upcoming reviews.

Though the true power consumption of these Ryzen 7 2700U systems is still up in the air, AMD has claimed for some time that it would have the ability to compete with Intel for the first time in several generations. If these solutions turn out to be in the 35-watt range, which would be at or lower than the typical 15-watt Intel CPU and 25-watt NVIDIA discrete GPU combined, AMD may have a winning combination for mobile performance users to entertain.

Good things come in three, the new MSI GTX 1080 Ti GAMING X TRIO

Subject: Graphics Cards | October 12, 2017 - 03:23 PM |
Tagged: msi, gtx 1080 ti, gtx 1080 ti gaming x trio, TRI-FROZR

MSI have just announced the GTX 1080 Ti GAMING X TRIO, which will hit the market in November, though with the current price of Bitcoin you may have trouble locating one.

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The cards will feature their Tri-Frozr cooler with two 10cm and one 9cm TORX 2.0 fans along with a pair of 8mm SuperPipes which will provide 300W of heat dissipation for those planning on pushing the overclock even further.  It will also have Mystic Light, offering you three zones of controllable RGBs, with the option to synchronize the light show emanating from your various components. 

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Source: MSI

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