Pureoverclock: PC Hardware reviews and news for overclockers!


Video Cards

What if I told you an R9 290X was competing with a GTX 980 Ti?

So, I’m browsing the internet trying to find out whether I should save some cash and go with the i5-6600K, or go all out with an i7-6700K. I already know that there won’t be much of a discernible difference with current games, but DirectX 12 games are on the horizon, I just got a beta invite to one such game, and there could be some performance to gain from the hyper-threading. I didn’t find the info I wanted, but I did find something astonishing. The GTX 980 Ti seems almost untouchable, but you can imagine my shock when I saw an R9 290X tying, and even beating the Maxwell behemoth in several benchmarks. Yesterday, I did a pretty heavy write-up on some Ashes of the Singularity benchmarks that surfaced about a week ago. It turns out, those weren’t the only ones done. Ars Technica decided to do a very comprehensive set of tests that involved comparing an old school R9 290X with a very state of the art GTX 980 Ti and pretty much showed the card matching the NVIDIA flagship on every turn. The 980 Ti still destroys AMD’s part in DirectX 11, but once we get to 12 we see a super competitive landscape. Here’s a couple patterns I noticed. The GTX card benefits slightly more from 6 cores and hyper-threading than the R9 card does at higher resolutions. The NVIDIA card also has a slight advantage with average framerates during the heavy scenes. An interesting thing that was happening was that once hyper-threading was disabled and the CPU was reduce...

AMD Radeon graphics logo

Ashes of the Singularity Scaling: The AMD Crossroads

Last week, the new game, “Ashes of Singularity” had a pretty comprehensive scaling review performed with both DirectX 11 and DirectX 12. The results were interesting to say the least. Multiple CPUs were used to test both the R9 390X as well as the GTX 980. While AMD enjoyed some impressive gains, NVIDIA had some fairly lackluster results that even prompted the company to release statements for damage control. It would be very easy to say that AMD is making a comeback and NVIDIA is gonna be in trouble, but that would be too easy. How can we come to the proper conclusions about these results? Let me start off by saying that this is great news for AMD. It’s long been claimed that Radeon GPUs would be much better if the drivers could just utilize them properly. It seems this is almost true, but rather than drivers, it’s APIs that needed to take advantage of that hardware. However, I’m seeing some massive problems here that if AMD doesn’t quickly solve them, we can say goodbye to competition for a long time to come. I want to show you three conclusions that I saw from these results, and why I think there could be more bad news here than good if AMD doesn’t make some dramatic changes in the near future. (Click for Larger View) Let’s begin with the first big implication these AotS results are showing us. AMD needs to refocus their software development. This seems like something that is already in progress, but when we see what Direc...

The GTX 950 Review that Matters

I’ve been a long time League of Legends player. I’m one of those silver scrubs who likes to play competitively, tries to get to gold, but ultimately just uses LoL as an excuse to hang with his friends. League has had it’s moments for me, but ultimately, the game is too time constraining and frustrating for me to actually get anywhere. Then Heroes of the Storm happened. I found such a perfect blend of competitiveness combined with a schedule friendly match system, that I haven’t touched League for a good month or two now. So when I heard the GTX 950 was the go-to card for MOBA games, imagine my surprise when nobody was measuring frame rates in MOBA games. (Especially since they’re free!) Thankfully, I finally found a review that focused on MOBAs and I have to say, the GTX 950 is looking like a nice little card. Hardware Heaven posted a review on several GTX 950 cards and personally, outside of skipping the overclock section, I think they nailed it. First off, they highlighted the pipeline advantage. Basically, NVIDIA optimized the render path so that the delay is cut nearly in half. This should lead to a smoother overall gaming experience but should also help reduce latency and that’s important in competitive games. Whether or not that drop in latency is actually noticeable, the frame rates on the various MOBAs are looking good. The only game that the GTX 950 lagged behind an R7 370 in is DOTA 2: Reborn. The other MOBAs on the list gave...


HIS R9 380 IceQ X2 Review

Today we're looking at the HIS R9 380 IceQ X2, a card that boasts a custom heatsink and a factory overclock, offering strong gaming values for consumers on a modest budget. With a reasonable price tag of $225, it sounds pretty good so far. Let's get this card on the bench and take a closer look.


Fury X Overclocking Failing to Meet Expectations

When Fury X first released, overclocking was abysmal, but that wasn’t any surprise once it was pointed out that voltage control wasn’t being supported yet. Now however, TechPowerUp seems to have found a breakthrough in the voltage control and plans on releasing software soon for other users. The bad news is, it doesn’t look like AMD understands the phrase “overclocker’s dream” when it comes to Fiji overclocking. To begin with, TechPowerUp was able to get a good 60 MHz extra out of the HBM. That isn’t a bad number considering how fresh the technology is and since AMD wasn’t bragging about memory overclocking, it’s a nice bonus. The problem is how little the GPU itself was able to be pushed. The most they could get out of it was an extra 165 MHz while remaining stable. When you do the math, that’s only slightly over a 15% overclock. The good news was that temperatures still remained great, but the power draw on the system raised exponentially. All considering, the extra energy needed only amounted to roughly a 5 FPS gain in gaming. Some minor tweaks in voltage would be fine if you wanted to reach stability but overall, there doesn’t seem to be a worthwhile benefit to pushing the Fury X to the max. Check out the link below to see the scaling in more detail. There’s really no way to spin this in a positive light. AMD really dropped the ball by claiming that Fury X would be a “overclocker’s d...

Fiji Fury

The R9 Fury Just Released, Here’s a List of Reviews

AMD just released the little brother to the R9 Fury X, the R9 Fury, which means the reviews are starting to flow in. A while back I had mentioned that it was possible Fury, rather than Fury X, was going to be the card to own. Based on what I’m seeing, it looks like it’s the more competitive card. The performance of this cut-down version of Fiji is much better in comparison to the GTX 980, however there are some particulars in the reviews that not only need to be properly tested, but cleared up as well. The big issue with Fury right now is the huge lack of voltage control. Overclocking is extremely handicapped right now until software starts supporting power adjustment. The problem is, this is leading some reviews to say that there is no voltage control. Granted, news could still come out that voltage regulation isn’t possible, but that is highly unlikely since announcements have been made from programmers explaining the difficulties and reasons for the delays. The other issue that shows up in overclocking is the repeated statement that HBM can’t be overclocked. While AMD did give us that impression, WCCFTech uncovered some news that someone legitimately overclocked the HBM. The contradiction here makes sense when you think of how new the technology is. In theory, HBM should be a prime candidate for overclocking, but due to the freshness of the design, AMD can’t afford to be responsible for memory modules blowing out if it is revealed that ...

AMD Radeon graphics logo

AMD Releases Catalyst 15.7 Driver, Initial Run and First Impressions

UPDATE: After testing out the FRTC feature in Windows 7, I couldn’t find a way to get the framerate to cap on any of the games I tested. This could be something that would show with the load on the GPU or temperatures, but either way, I was hoping to see my framerates cap at the number I set for it. Hopefully this feature will get polished up and start working in that capacity in the future. AMD just released a new driver and it has quite a few added features that many people will be able to take advantage of. Some of the features are just getting a wider range of AMD GPU support, like Virtual Super Resoution and FreeSync being supported by Crossfire now. Others are new, like being the first AMD driver to support Windows 10 and introducing Frame Rate Target Control from the Catalyst for all of the supported cards. Granted, this driver isn’t nearly on the release schedule that AMD was trying to do from a year ago, but having it before Windows 10 is a good step forward. I went ahead and got the driver installed on my Windows 10 system to give it run. I was actually having some bugs that wouldn’t allow certain games to run, but the new driver fixed those immediately. Performance does seem to be slightly better, but the feature I was heavily interested in was the FRTC (Frame Rate Target Control) since my monitor is only a 60 Hzt refresh rate. I set the FRTC to 80 and ran my titles, but my frame rates were still hovering well above that. I tried disabling t...


AMD’s R9 Fury and Voltage Control Coming Soon

Many people began complaining about the overclocking headroom on the Fury X when it released. This issue seemed odd to say the least. First, Lisa Su herself said that the new cards would be great for overclocking. Second, the load temperatures for Fury X were amazing on top of having a very robust power delivery design! This normally leads to tons of overclocking headroom. It turns out, there’s a pretty good reason why voltage control for Fiji has been a slow go but it looks like we might get said voltage control about the time the Fury line up launches. Some people were getting pretty concerned that the Fury X voltage was locked which led to claims of a very disappointing launch. To be fair, if AMD had locked the voltage control, that would be an utter failure. However, a statement released by Unwinder, known for the RivaTuner overclocking software that forms the basis of most 3rd party overclocking software, explains why there’s been such a long delay. To sum it up, AMD’s voltage control hardware isn’t as easy to code as NVIDIA’s is. To make matters worse, Unwinder didn’t get a review sample at the time others did so the process was delayed even further. For more details, check out the links below but the good news is, voltage regulation might be coming with the release of the R9 Fury. The R9 Fury might be the more threatening card than the Fury X. It starts with a $549 launch price, which if it performs close to the 980 Ti, will make ...


[UPDATE] Possible NVIDIA GTX 950 Ti on the Horizon

UPDATE: It looks like NVIDIA is just releasing the GTX 950 in a 2 GB and 4 GB variant. Each will still have a 128-bit interface and will likely be priced to compete in the $100-150 price range. http://videocardz.com/57015/confirmed-nvidia-to-launch-geforce-gtx-950 It looks like NVIDIA isn’t willing to let the sub $150 market go without a little more competition. Even though they’ve had two Maxwell cards in this bracket for a while now with the GTX 750 Ti and 750, the new GTX 950 Ti and 950 will offer a slightly updated GPU that I’m sure will bump the performance up as well. While neither NVIDIA or AMD are willing to design much more on the 28nm manufacturing process with 16nm around the corner, this will give team Green a little more competition in the budget segment of the market. It looks like the GPU core will be based off a cut down GM206 die which is currently in use by the GTX 960. The power ratings will be just under 100W for the 950 Ti with the 950 coming in at a meager 64W. These are some impressive ratings but we’ve come to expect that out of Maxwell. Honestly, there isn’t much to see here but hopefully, we may yet see a 960 Ti that bumps the interface up from the 960 while staying in the mid $200 price range. That seems to be the sweet spot for performance to cost, but even the 950 Ti and 950 aren’t official yet. Time will tell soon enough. http://wccftech.com/nvidia-readying-geforce-gtx-950-ti-geforce-gtx-950-graphics-car...

AMD Radeon graphics logo

R9 Fury X and 300 Series Manufacturer Comparisons

Maybe you’re in the market for a new AMD GPU, but don’t know for sure which one you want. We can’t make the decision for you, but we can give you some side-by-side comparisons so you can easily see how each product differs. Once you find something that looks decent, we’d still recommend checking out reviews for a more in depth look into the performance of the unit, but just seeing galleries of the products can be a huge start. Also note that if you don’t see a back plate slide for a product, it’s usually because it doesn’t have one. Enjoy the slides and we hope this makes comparisons a bit easier. R9 Fury X Gigabyte   HIS   MSI   PowerColor   Sapphire   XFX  


MSI R9 380 Gaming 4G Review

We're looking at the MSI R9 380 Gaming 4G, a card that boasts a custom heatsink, improved power design, and a factory overclock, all for a modest premium of only an extra $25. Sounds pretty good so far. Factor in that AMD is bringing a few new features to the market with the R9 300 series launch, and we're cautiously optimistic for strong gaming value.


The Big List of R9 Fury X Reviews

After long last, the AMD Radeon R9 Fury X is released and reviewed! The reviews have some varied conclusions, but the overall result seems to be a high end release that is neck-in-neck with not only the GTX 980 Ti, but the Titan X as well. 4K gaming isn’t a problem for the Fury X and temperatures are among the best ever seen for a top tier graphics card. There are plenty of results to pour over with the various reviews, but overall, there a couple of important takeaways to consider with what is shaping up to be an excellent release from AMD. Let’s start with a very simple fact that can easily be overlooked. The R9 Fury X is competing with cards that are considered far more capable. While HBM is the giant ace in the hole, both of NVIDIA’s competing cards have more memory with the Titan X having a massive 12 GB DDR5. Even so, this doesn’t stop the Fury X from scaling incredibly as the resolutions gets higher. Once again, HBM is the reason for this massive improvement in pixel crunching power, but imagine how much potential we’ve yet to see as HBM is further developed down the road. Even if the Fury X is trading blows in certain titles, the design is a massive win for how small the form factor is combined with how little on board memory the card has. Let’s dig into some other performance factors that should be considered with the conclusions of the Fury X release. The big one is optimization. Unlike the Titan X and 980 Ti which have had d...


12K, 60 FPS, Just How Many GPUs?

UPDATE: Another demo came out showing Sniper Elite III being played at 12k resolution with a single Fury X card. It wasn’t a constant 60 FPS, but was hitting the mark plenty of times to be impressive none-the-less. Here’s a quick link to the full story. http://wccftech.com/amd-r9-fury-x-playing-sniper-elite-iii-at-12k-resolution-and-60-fps/ Are you ready for it? Wanna take a guess? So you might have known that back in 2013, AMD was able to do a similar thing with a triple R9 290X setup to showcase 12K surround with Dirt 3. This week, AMD did the same thing with three 4K monitors, except this time the title was Dirt Rally, released April of this year, and the GPU setup was a SINGLE R9 FURY X! In case you weren’t overwhelmed enough already, that’s 1.5 billion pixels a second being handled by a single graphics card! Here’s the deal; while Dirt games in general seem to work well with AMD due to optimization, I couldn’t find anything that shows Mantle or DirectX 12 being used. Basically, this is a straight up copy of Dirt Rally running at 12K resolution @ 60 FPS. That’s an incredible feat for just about any set up to handle, let alone a single R9 Fury X. This just goes to show that the 4096 bit wide bus interface plays a huge part in how well the GPU can handle super resolutions. The thing I can’t wait to find out is how well the new Windows 10 API will influence gaming performance. Imagine Deus Ex: Mankind Divided running on a...


AMD’s Technology Decks: Interposer

The Interposer is what makes HBM possible. Basically, it allows the GPU and memory to communicate with each other. What makes this Interposer special is that it was specifically designed by AMD with high-volume bandwidth in mind to accommodate the stacked DRAM. Honestly, it’s the HBM that deserves most of the attention, but if you’re interested in how the Interposer is made, check out the slides below.


AMD’s Technology Decks: HBM

HBM (High Bandwidth Memory) is the new technology that is revolutionizing graphic cards as we know it. There’s no architectural feature that needs to be traded in order to get better performance. It has far great power efficiency, a much smaller form factor and can be placed much closer to the GPU than typical GDDR units. AMD began developing the technology years ago after they realized the limitations of GDDR5. HBM allows the GPU to continue to be more powerful without eating into the power envelope for the entire card. AMD will be the first to use it but we can expect to see more of HBM in the future. Here are the full list of slides for AMD’s revolutionary technology.

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