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Posts Tagged ‘directx 12’

Is the New AMD Right Around the Corner?

Rumors are flying everywhere about Polaris, Pascal, Zen and even Kaby Lake. While I love following the rumors, not much is being leaked that gives a concrete idea of performance, price, etc. What is catching my eye is what AMD is doing right now. Last week gave us the release of the 16.3 drivers. The release schedule on these drivers is certainly improving, but what really caught my eye was some of the fixes. The bug list is getting smaller and that’s the kind of improvement enthusiasts like to see in drivers. We have to wait for Polaris and Zen to know if AMD’s financial future will look brighter in the years to come, but the things I’m seeing now indicates that they are already turning things around for the better. I already touched on the 16.3 Crimson driver, but I will elaborate further on that. The bug fix I’ve been closely watching is one that involved AMD GPUs losing their clock speed settings during use. This is kind of a big deal and I was fairly certain this was affecting those who were overclocking their video cards. March’s driver fixed that issue and it’s off the list of known issues. In fact, the known issues seem pretty minor now, with most issues related to new game releases. There is the issue of the Gaming Evolved app causing games to crash that I’m hoping get’s resolved soon, but that’s mostly because it keeps crashing my WoW. At least it’s easy to close for temporary fix but for those who use...



Hitman Taking a Contract on Asynchronous Shaders

AMD has been talking up the Asynchronous Compute Engines pretty much since DirectX 12 has been announced. In short, these are hardware components in AMD GPUs that can hopefully be leveraged to add significant performance in games. We’ve been waiting for the final say for some time and while certain Beta releases have shown some promise, it’s only official releases that will not only prove the benefit of Asynchronous Shaders, but will also help determine how legit DirectX 12 is for being the next big thing for gaming. AMD just shared some info that Hitman has been working specifically with them to take advantage of their Asynchronous Shaders and it looks like we have about a month before the official release date. Whether or not Hitman is your kind of game, this will certainly be a big moment in the PC gaming industry. So keep your eyes peeled because March 11th is the official release day for Hitman and I’m sure tech sites will be looking into the performance with DirectX 12 and various AMD and NVIDIA GPUs. Below is the full statement from AMD. AMD is once again partnering with IO Interactive to bring an incredible Hitman gaming experience to the PC. As the newest member to the AMD Gaming Evolved program, Hitman will feature top-flight effects and performance optimizations for PC gamers. Hitman will leverage unique DX12 hardware found in only AMD Radeon GPUs—called asynchronous compute engines—to handle heavier workloads and better image quality with...



DirectX 12 is a Great Thing for AMD

And everyone for that matter! But let’s not harsh on my sacrifice of proper grammar for stylistic writing when we can focus on good things from DirectX 12. I’m a firm believer that by the end of next year, DirectX 12 and Vulcan are going to be taking the gaming world by storm. I got a chance to play around with Fable Legends and the graphics were down right amazing! Techspot recently did a comparison of DirectX 11 and 12 to show the FPS gain from a couple of different configurations in Ashes of the Singularity. While the improvements were nice overall, there were some particular gains with FX CPUs that I’ve been waiting to see for quite some time now. Let’s start with the bad news. DirectX 12 is not Bulldozer’s salvation. If anything DirectX 12 is the final nail in that coffin, in the sense that new architecture is long overdue. Shifting away from single-thread performance was never a good move. I still believe AMD was on the right track in that we needed to move to more utilization of multi-threading, especially in gaming, but that shouldn’t have been at the sacrifice of single-thread. Zen is looking to solve these issues, but these initial results are showing an 8350 struggling to keep up with an i3. Even though the i3 is later gen, we’re still talking about a low budget range CPU beating out an enthusiast one for gaming. Now that we got that out of the way though, let’s get on to the good news for AMD. We still have only o...



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 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...



AMD’s Technology Decks: DirectX 12

DirectX 12 has seemed like a game changer for quite some time now. Recently, with the launch of AMD’s new GPUs, Tech Decks were included with the PR material for the Fury and 300 series. AMD included a detailed look into all the benefits of their Graphics Cards in combination with DirectX 12 and quite frankly, it looks really exciting. One of the huge AMD only benefits are the Async Shaders, which are poised to draw even more performance from the GPU than what other manufacturers will be able to take advantage of. Of course, we’ll have to wait for the full on reviews to see how much benefit there is, as well as the release of Windows 10, but for now, enjoy the full slide presentation if you have a moment or two to spare.



Getting up to Speed with Fiji and Maxwell

If you have no idea about what’s happening with AMD and NVIDIA, then you either live under a rock, or you just don’t care about computer components that much. Assuming that you’re here because you don’t fit into either category, then let me get you up to speed with what’s been happening in the GPU world, especially since the anticipated release of stacked memory is right around the corner. The stage is set with NVIDIA dominating the GPU market. Maxwell was impressive when it released, but has managed to become one of the most notable GPUs to date. AMD on the other hand, is telling us they aren’t out yet. With a slew of refreshes, as well as two high end GPUs that are the first ever to feature stacked memory, the Green team might be facing some stiff competition in the upcoming weeks. DirectX 12 could also have some new implications on the gaming front so let’s throw all of this together and take a stab and what the future holds for us. We now have a fully unlocked GM200-400 die in the form of the Titan-X and a slightly cut down GM200-310 die in the GTX 980 Ti. The Titan-X is the graphics card most of us loftily dream about having some day, but never seriously imagine owning. The GTX 980 Ti is the card that we might actually sell a kidney for. Many people were shocked to see a $649 starting price tag for what would be considered NVIDIAs go-to enthusiast card. When you factor in that the gaming performance is right up there with t...



First DirectX 12, Now Vulkan

About a week ago, I posted my thoughts on AMD putting an end to Mantle and what that could mean for DirectX 12. While I was pretty excited, some people were quick to remind me that while DirectX 12 is low-level, it’s still proprietary. Well the good news is that I only had half of the story. Not only was AMD pointing developers to DirectX 12, but they also started pointing them to the new API from Khronos Group, Vulkan. For those unfamiliar with the Khronos Group (as I was a few days ago), they are the people responsible for OpenGL. In short, this API was originally designed for graphics workstations and while it could be used for gaming purposes, the code was built up over the span of 20 years making it difficult to program to. OpenGL ES was cleaner, but was only designed towards mobile devices. This is where Vulkan comes in. Vulkan has taken the best and brightest features of Mantle and brought the “close to the metal” concept to a completely open and cross-platform API. To put it simply, what DirectX 12 is accomplishing for Windows, Vulkan should be able to accomplish for pretty much every major graphics player in the industry including the Big 3 (INTEL, AMD, NVIDIA). Those of you who wanted something non-proprietary; it looks like you got it and it isn’t fragmenting the industry, which was a concern back in the early days of Mantle. The other really interesting thing about Vulkan is what it could mean for the future of SLI and Crossfire. Rumors ...



DirectX 12 Looking Better with an End to Mantle

News just arrived that AMD is ending the Mantle API and directing developers to start working towards DirectX 12 instead. I’m sure the thought that comes to everyone’s mind is, “What on earth is going on!?!” When I first saw the end to Mantle, even I was slightly disappointed but as that segued into the appeal to start using DirectX 12, I felt the rush of excitement again. It may not seem like it, but I have a feeling this is really good news for what’s in store for the future of gaming. Let’s review what’s been happening in the API world a bit. A couple years back, Mantle starts claiming how it can boost performance on AAA titles and as results start flowing in, the potential for the gaming industry looked promising even if more work was needed. Fast forward to GDC 2014 and Microsoft announces DirectX 12 coming to the next version of Windows. What everyone was scratching their heads at was the inclusion of AMD, along with NVIDIA, INTEL and QUALCOMM, as one of the major supporters for the new Microsoft API. Why would AMD support something that was seemingly in direct competition with Mantle? Now, it looks like AMD saw potential to get in on the ground floor, which not only allowed them to make sure performance was going to reach their standards, but also allowed them to determine if they needed to spend resources keeping Mantle in the mix if their GPUs could benefit just as well from DirectX 12. So is this good news? At first, it ...



Best of 2014

Intro and Honorable Mentions With 2014 having come and gone, I’m sure all of us are greatly looking forward to amazing hardware coming in 2015. But one thing we get to see a lot of is the “Best of” everything that happened in 2014. So even though 2015 is looking very promising, we thought it would be great to look back through the year and do our very own “Best of 2014.” We decided on 5 news pieces, and 10 reviews that were considered to be the cream of the crop. Are you ready for the picks? Before we go into our official list, something always gets left out that just couldn’t be squeezed in with the leaders of the pack. Due to the overwhelming guilt we felt on a couple of really good articles that we just didn’t want to leave out, we decided to have some Honorable Mentions. Our first one comes from the news category, The Hardware Hound Presents: Windows 10, a Gamer’s Perspective. Honorable News http://www.pureoverclock.com/2014/10/the-hardware-hound-presents-windows-10-a-gamers-perspective/ Windows 10 made a big wave that increased the more that details about the upcoming OS were released. Windows 8 had become a pretty big disappointment and 10 was poised to fix many of those problems. Then Microsoft released the tech preview. The Hardware Hound took it upon himself to give Windows 10 a full blown try, and the results were surprisingly satisfying. Windows 10 made a good first impression and as such, Pure Overclock was ab...



Welcome to the First Official Episode of The Hardware Hound

That’s right! He’s back and this time he’s bringing you some pretty sweet hardware news. This episode covers releases from Razer, Microsoft and MSI. From something as tiny as a mechanical switch, to Motherboards with the latest chipset technology, these releases are bound to improve any hardware lover’s gaming experience. So sit back, enjoy the show and try not to go stir crazy until the next episode of The Hardware Hound!



Microsoft Responds to Mantle with DirectX 12

DirectX hasn’t seen an update for a very long time. PC gaming on the other hand, has seen some very interesting changes over the past years, but more significantly in recent times would be the Steam Machine and AMD’s Mantle technology. These two offer a direct competition to Microsoft so it’s no surprise that they’ve had to find a way to respond and quickly. Without going into too much of the speculation that’s already out, it seems that DirectX 12 may well be a direct response to Mantle technology. The Steam Machine obviously offers competition, but it also requires that games be designed to run for a Linux based OS and is less likely to fill the niche for work at home procedures. Mantle could be much scarier for Microsoft, because if game developers design to it, there could be very little need to upgrade to a new version of Windows while still enjoying peak performance from the latest AMD graphics cards. To modestly explain why this works, Mantle allows more graphics processing to go straight to the GPU rather than having to use the CPU as the middle man. Still run Windows 7? No big deal because you have the latest AMD drivers with Mantle software. DirectX 12 hasn’t revealed details yet, but if it tries to garner the same kind of performance that Mantle does, it will be easier for Microsoft to pin it to newer versions of Windows, forcing consumers to upgrade in order to keep peak performance out of their hardware. While this all ma...





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