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Posts Tagged ‘nvidia’
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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...



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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...



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[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...



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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...



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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 ...



The Hardware Hound

The Hardware Hound Episode 2

After a crazy 2014, the Hound is back taking care of business and boy did he have some catching up to do. On this episode, he covers a nuclear reactor disguised as a CPU cooler, some important features on Windows 10, and most importantly, new GPUs from both NVIDIA and AMD. So sit back, enjoy the show and get excited because great hardware news is always good news!



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GPU Wars Heating Up with New Leaks

2014 has almost passed and the year 2015 is quickly coming upon us. I used to be more excited about Christmas while dreading the new year in light of the stark reminder that gift anticipation was over and school was about to begin. Now, I’m an adult, Christmas means only one day off, and the upcoming GPU news makes 2015 a much more exciting prospect than that sock-shaped present under the tree. In recent days some performance numbers have leaked for not only the new AMD flagships, but NVIDIA has some mentions of their upcoming monster graphics cards as well which give us some gaming and power performance comparisons. Spoilers and speculation ahead! The first, and probably most, enticing info that was leaked were charts that showed the performance of the new GPUs with not only their older counterparts, but also showed tests that compared both manufacturers together. The first tests involved a compilation of 20 games followed by a single comparison of Battlefield 4. The next tests picked out several singular titles at 4k resolution. Without going into too much detail, the end result looks to have the AMD flagship card (Bermuda XT / R9 390X) taking the lead with the NVIDIA flagship (GM200 Full-fat) not far behind. This is amazing news because the green side has managed to hold on to the single GPU performance lead for some time. Red has countered with some impressive pricing structures, but with this kind of tight competition, we are bound to see some GPU wars that wil...



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AMD R9 390X Possible Specs Spotted!

Maxwell did an amazing job of bringing the graphics card industry to a whole new level. Honestly, the architecture involved is quite amazing and we haven’t even seen the “Big Daddy” Maxwell card yet. (The 980 is by no means the top dog coming from Nvidia.) This put AMD under a lot of pressure to deliver something that could compare. The good news is that not only does AMD have a response, but if the leaked specs combined with HBM is true, the R9 390X could be as big of a game changer as Maxwell was a month ago. First, let’s take a quick peek at some of the more prevalent specs. The 390X is slated to sport 4096 GCN Cores. When compared to the 2816 Cores of the 290X, that leap seems pretty massive. It looks like we’re still showing 4GB of memory with a 1Ghz boost clock speed, but the next interesting fact about the Fiji architecture is the Manufacturing Process. These will be the first chips to feature the TSMC 20nm node which should help with efficiency and performance. The tiny taste of Tonga last month showed that AMD was heading down the path of better efficiency with better performance. However, outside of major architectural advantages that while extremely possible have not been seen yet, the improvements here may not seem out of this world. That is until we take a closer look at the memory being used. Some of you may have heard of HBM before but others may be scratching your heads. HBM stands for High Bandwidth Memory and sounds very much...



Nvidia quarterly revenue tops Wall Street expectations

(Reuters) – Nvidia (NVDA.O) on Thursday posted higher fiscal third-quarter revenue that was above Wall Street’s expectations, fueled by the company’s latest graphics chips for personal computers as well as processors for data centers and cars. Revenue in the fiscal third-quarter ended Oct. 26 was $1.225 billion, up 16 percent from the year-ago quarter, compared with analysts’ average estimate of $1.202 billion. For the current fourth quarter, Nvidia said it expects revenue of $1.20 billion, plus or minus 2 percent. Analysts on average expected fourth-quarter revenue of $1.198 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Third-quarter net income was $173 million, or 31 cents a share, compared to $119 million, or 20 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Non-GAAP earnings per share were 39 cents. After struggling to compete against larger chipmakers like Qualcomm (QCOM.O) in smartphones and tablets, Nvidia has increased its focus on using its Tegra chips to power entertainment and advanced navigation systems in cars made by companies including Volkswagen’s Audi, BMW and Tesla (TSLA.O). In the third quarter, revenue from Tegra chips for automobiles and mobile devices jumped 51 percent to $168 million. Nvidia’s much larger PC graphics chip business expanded 13 percent to $991 million. Shares of Nvidia rose 1.34 percent in extended trade, after closing up 0.45 percent at $20.22 on Nasdaq. Source (Reporting by Noel Randewich; Editing by Ch...



Nvidia launches Pick Your Path game bundle

In the latest battle of its traditional bundling war with rival AMD, Nvidia has tied up three highly-anticipated new games from Ubisoft: Asassin’s Creed Unity, Far Cry 4 and The Crew. Packing free games in with graphics cards is a frequent and relatively cheap technique used to boost sales over those of a rival. AMD and Nvidia trade blows on the bundling front all the time, but Nvidia’s latest deal – dubbed the Pick Your Path Bundle – is only for those picking up range-topping GPUs. Purchasers of ‘eligible’ GeForce GTX 980, GTX 970, GTX 780 and GTX 780 Ti graphics processors, or of laptops equipped with the GTX 900M series GPUs, will now be given a choice of three Ubisoft titles to download. The first choice is the latest in the Assassin’s Creed series, Assassin’s Creed Unity. Featuring heavy optimisation for Nvidia graphics cards as part of the company’s Nvidia GameWorks programme, the game features a new engine dubbed AnvilNext which allows for larger crowds and higher-fidelity images – at the cost of a 30-frames-per-second cap across all platforms, something for which publisher Ubisoft has come into criticism. Those who prefer their violence a little more first-person, Far Cry 4 is another choice. As with Assassin’s Creed Unity, Nvidia claims to have worked with Ubisoft under its GameWorks programme to include various optimisations including the use of its DirectX11-based HairWorks rendering platform. Fin...



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Gigabyte GTX 970 G1 Gaming Review

Today marks the launch of Nvidia's newest generation of graphics cards, and th Gigabyte GTX 970 G1 Gaming is the specific model we're looking at today. It's latest in the company's popular model series, coming with an updated version of its namesake cooler. We've been impressed in the past with Windforce graphics cards, and we suspect this new one will be no different. It's not an entirely fresh look, constructed in metal rather than plastic, but does come with an aggressive factory overclock and a few new surprises in store.



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NVIDIA GTX 980 and 970 Rumored for September Launch

A lot of news has been revolving around AMD and INTEL releasing new products while NVIDIA has been sitting silently in the background. Thankfully, rumors are starting to come out that should be pulling them out of their shell. While the details are still pretty sketchy, it’s beginning to look like NVIDIA is skipping the 800 series desktop nomenclature entirely and introducing the GTX 980 with the GTX 970 in September. The most interesting thing about this is the decision to skip the 800 series name scheme. I get particularly intrigued by the marketing techniques because it shows how intense the GPU war is. The most common sense reason for this is to avoid confusion with consumers in that NVIDIA is also releasing their 900 series mobile GPUs and both chips are using the same underlying architecture. On the other hand, it also sounds like NVIDIA was able to jump ahead making these offerings seem that much more advanced to what AMD is releasing right now and what NVIDIA currently has on the market. Of course without specifications or performance, this could be nothing more than keen marketing. Either way consumers could subconsciously think that the architecture has taken a dramatic leap when, in reality, the GPU should be based around the same designs that brought us the GTX 750 Ti not that long ago. Whether or not these GPUs merit the 900 series badge or not, the exciting news is we’re finally going to see what high end Maxwell is all about. The notorious proble...



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Nvidia Charity Auction Announcement

NVIDIA and Falcon Northwest have partnered together to build a one-of-a-kind gaming PC. Nvidia is now auctioning this amazing system to raise funds for the Philip Scholz Memorial Foundation, honoring an NVIDIA brother who was tragically killed earlier this year when he heroically removed an individual from train tracks and was hit. The Foundation bearing Phil’s name provides scholarships to needs-based youth and promotes outdoor physical activities involving his favorite pastime, baseball. This amazing PC uses all the latest technology to deliver absolutely raging performance in a cool, quiet platform. It starts with the award-winning GeForce GTX Titan Black – the world’s fastest single GPU. And it includes Intel’s latest Core i7 CPU, the 4770K, running on an ASUS z87 Maximus motherboard loaded with 16GB of GSKILL DDR3 memory. The storage system is based on two 1TB M50 SSDs from Crucial. And it’s all wrapped up in the most impressive chassis available today – the Tiki — custom designed in NVIDIA green, with a laser cutout window so everyone can see the beast that lives within. This entire system is fully warranted by Falcon Northwest. To learn more about Phil and the way he changed those around him, see this story from San Jose Mercury News. The direct auction link is here: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=151292393844 A video has also been posted here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ug3QFKKyV0



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Why We Need a $3000 GPU

I can’t help but say that I’m really excited about the new Godzilla movie coming out next month. As a kid, I grew up on the old Godzilla films, had a decent number of action figures, and shared in the disappointment that was the 1998 remake. What I’m seeing now looks like a great homage to the old 1954 monster. This long lead-in would no doubt beg the question of what any of this has to with NVIDIA’s Titan Z. While $3000 sounds like a lot to average PC users, this card is a huge release for the movie industry. Pixar may be a name you have already heard of, but just in case you haven’t, they really are the “undisputed king” of animation. The reason why they’ve turned out so many good movies is their attention to detail. Ever since the movie Brave, Pixar has been using their own animation system called Presto. This system allows their animators to animate in real time. The included demo video above is worth a watch, and showcases some interesting details. While working on Sully from Monsters University, the animators from Pixar had to render 900,000 hairs in real time. Each hair has 4 points! That’s a total of 3.6 million points the system is running and all of these hairs run entirely on the GPU, not to mention all of the other objects going on in the scene. What was the secret weapon behind all this power? Why none other than NVIDIA’s Quadro K6000. The K6000 is an impressive card. It has 12 GB of on-board memory a...






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