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Posts Tagged ‘amd’
Intel Skylake

Not Upgrading to Skylake could be Worth the Wait

Some people out there don’t understand what waiting to upgrade means. The rest of us know that once we sink a few hundred dollars into a nice upgrade, we aren’t putting anything new in our computers for a while, possibly even years. Skylake has been a great release with the return to good overclocking and some amazing chipset features on the Z170 boards, but if you’re still on the fence about whether to upgrade or not, there could be one good reason to hold out for just another year. In case you haven’t noticed, memory is in a state of flux. You may be thinking that DDR4 isn’t that big of a deal, and you’d sort of be right. Where memory is making huge improvements is in graphics cards, storage and caches in CPUs. The ability to 3D stack memory chips on top of one another is revolutionizing the way typical computing handles various memory work loads by exponentially increasing bandwidth. In the case of Skylake, the architecture is doing a great job, but the CPU cache is made up of the same ole’ same ole’. Broadwell didn’t get as much attention as Skylake because on an enthusiast level, it was pretty difficult to overclock. However, Broadwell introduced us to 128 MB of eDram in the L4 cache. If the number doesn’t blow you away on it’s own (128 MB of L4 cache!!!), the fact that the i7 5775C outperforms the 6770K in gaming performance should be enough to get your attention and I’m not talking about the int...


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...


Nixeus NX-VUE24 24″ FreeSync 144Hz Gaming Monitor Review

Introduction AMD FreeSync is a topic that has been buzzing around lately and has sparked some major debates over the web. While we’re not here to debate FreeSync over G-Sync and vise-versa, we are here to talk about what FreeSync can bring to the table. In recent years, we have been hearing about nVidia’s G-Sync technology and its benefits, and we have seen many rave reviews and tests with a G-Sync Monitor, but it seemed that AMD was left behind in this arena while nVidia seemed to have capitalized on the G-Sync Technology. However, with the recent technology advances from AMD’s graphics line up and the team up with VESA, we are now seeing AMD FreeSync displays and graphics cards showing up in the market, and we love to see competition. Not only does this leave room for a competitive market, but now this also gives AMD fans a hand in the technology. Although they don’t exactly perform the same way, they both have the same concept in mind. We will go over the AMD FreeSync technology in just a little bit. In the meantime… we bring you the new Nixeus 24″ FreeSync 144Hz Gaming Display review. The Nixeus brand is not as mainstream as some of the other popular brands like ASUS, BenQ or even Acer, but they are hitting the market strong with their new AMD FreeSync enabled display. We were one of the few lucky sites that were able to get our hands on an initial engineer sample of the Nixeus 24″ FreeSync 144Hz Gaming Display. This is our...


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...

AMD Radeon graphics logo

AMD Releases the A8-7670K APU

AMD has a new APU for us that looks like it will fit extremely well in a low budget gaming machine. Based on the slides, if you’re one of the many that is hopping on board to the ever growing MOBA genre, or just like to kill time on Roblox, then you may have found the perfect chip that won’t break the bank. Honestly, while I know many of us are just waiting for Zen, my only true complaint is how little we see these APUs in laptops. The reason I say this is I know plenty of kids who use their parents laptops for League of Legends, Minecraft and Roblox. If AMD could market chips like this as the perfect solution for the family laptop, especially since many families use the laptop as a slightly more mobile desktop anyways, I think they would be hitting the mark perfectly. As it is, this is still a very budget friendly solution for some decent gaming so check out the press release and slides below. New AMD A-Series Desktop Processors: Smart Choice for Everyday Computing, Powerful eSports Engine and Ready for Windows® 10 — New AMD A8-7670K APU delivers an excellent experience and value for today’s modern workloads and Microsoft® Windows® 10 support — SUNNYVALE, Calif. — July 20, 2015 — AMD (NASDAQ: AMD), the company whose technology helps power the Microsoft® Xbox One™ and the Sony® PlayStation 4™, today introduced the newest addition to its A-Series line of desktop processors. The A8-7670K APU provides a superb experience for Microsoft Windows 10...

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 ...


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.

AMD performance powers Samsung thin clients

AMD Embedded G-Series SoC Powers New Line of Samsung All-In-One Thin Client Solutions.   AMD recently announced that Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. selected the AMD Embedded G-Series SoC (system on chip) for a new line of all-in-one cloud monitors featuring integrated thin client technology. The Samsung 21.5-inch TC222W and 23.6-inch TC242W are powered by AMD Embedded G-Series SoCs that couple high-performance compute and graphics capability in a highly integrated, low power design. The AMD SoC improves data transfer rates and saves space on the motherboard, which makes it a perfect fit for the compact form factors required by thin clients. Planned availability starting in Q3 2015, the Windows®-supported Samsung cloud monitors will provide customers with expanded choice, capability and configuration flexibility. Complete with Samsung’s professional-grade display panel, the cloud monitors will create a superior user experience through easy connectivity and high-quality reliability. As a superior option for effective desktop virtualization, Samsung’s thin-client monitors will also enable improved productivity and optimized end-to-end performance.   ◢ Get more details


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: FreeSync

We’re finally coming to the last of the Tech Decks from AMD. FreeSync is very straight forward. It matches the frame rate of your graphics card to the refresh rate of your monitor so that gaming experiences are incredibly smooth. Based on reviews across the web, FreeSync seems to work incredibly well and AMD included a list of monitors that will include the technology. Enjoy the slides and start planning next year’s tax return early since a FreeSync monitor could very well be on the list.

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