NVIDIA Editor's Day 2014 - NVIDIA has now officially launched its new Maxwell-based GeForce GTX 980 and GTX 970 GPUs, but at its Editor's Day event last week in the beautiful Monterey Bay, California, the company reiterated its stance on PC gaming.
The company has said that out of the 330 million or so PC gamers in the world, around 200 million of those game on GeForce GPUs, which is a huge number of gamers on NVIDIA hardware. One of the driving forces behind this, is that PC gaming is now considered a sport, thanks to eSports titles like League of Legends, StarCraft and many more.
The amount of eSports tournaments has grown considerably from 2000, where only 10 tournaments took place, to 279 in 2008. Between 2008 and 2012, that number has grown exponentially, to 1151 eSports tournaments last year. Professional eSports gamers are making some serious cash, and there are more people than ever tuning into live streams, with 40,000+ in live attendance at some of these events.
NVIDIA has officially launched its Maxwell-based GeForce GTX 900 series, with ZOTAC out of the gate with a bunch of new GTX 980 and GTX 970 GPUs. First off, we have three versions of each: Standard, AMP! Omega, and AMP! Extreme.
Starting with the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 980 Standard, we have the stock Core and Boost Clocks of 1126MHz and 1216MHz, respectively. The 4GB of GDDR5 RAM is clocked at 7010MHz, with the reference cooler, and the usual three DisplayPort outputs, one HDMI 2.0 and dual-link DVI port. Moving onto the AMP! Omega edition, which cranks the Core Clock to 1202MHz, and Boost to 1304MHz.
We have the Memory clock up to 7046MHz, the same 4GB of GDDR5, identical display outputs, but the "Dual-fan IceStorm" cooler. Finally, the AMP! Extreme which doesn't have Core, Boost or Memory Clock speeds revealed yet, but we do know it comes with a sexy-sounding "Triple-fan IceStorm" cooler, so expect the clocks on this GPU to be much higher. All three cards have the same number of CUDA cores, sitting at 2048.
Manli has announced its new Maxwell-based NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 and GTX 970 GPUs, both rocking a reference cooler, with a third offering a cooling design by Manli for its GTX 970.
Starting with the Manli GeForce GTX 980 which is powered by NVIDIA's GM204 Maxwell-based GPU, which has a TDP of 178W, up from the stock 165W on NVIDIA's reference GTX 980. We have a 2048 CUDA cores, 4GB of GDDR5 RAM on a 256-bit memory bus, a Core Clock of 1126MHz, Base Boost Clock of up to 1216MHz, and 7010MHz Memory Clock. For display connectivity, the Manli GTX 980 has three DisplayPort outputs, a single HDMI 2.0 out, and two DVI outputs.
Moving onto the GTX 970, we have two models: the reference GTX 970 and then the aftermarket design. The reference card features 1164 CUDA cores, 4GB of GDDR5 RAM on a 256-bit memory bus, a Core Clock of 1050MHz, Boost Clock of 1178MHz, and 7010MHz on the memory, the same as the GTX 980. When it comes to the display connectivity, we have the same ports as the GTX 980: three DisplayPort outputs, one HDMI 2.0 and two DVI ports.
Manli has also provided a slightly modified GTX 970 with an aftermarket cooler, something that comes with slightly increased Base and Boost Clocks. We have 1076MHz, up from 1050MHz for Base, and 1216MHz up from 1178MHz for the Boost Clock. The Memory Clock remains the same: 7010MHz. These cards should be available right now in select markets.
NVIDIA Editor's Day 2014 - Another interesting technology unveiled by NVIDIA in Monterey Bay was MFAA, a new anti-aliasing technique that isn't as harsh on your hardware.
MFAA stands for Multi-Frame Sampled AA, where NVIDIA finds more information inside of every pixel on your screen, anti-aliasing the scene much better. It has the performance hit of 2x MSAA, but the look of 4x MSAA, which will provide gamers with a better looking image, without the performance hit they're used to with traditional AA methods, like MSAA.
NVIDIA Editor's Day 2014 - One of the more interesting things shown off by NVIDIA at its Editors Day was DSR, or Dynamic Super Resolution. DSR is capable of rendering a 4K image, and then downsampling it to 1080p, which has multiple use cases.
First, you can render at 4K, and then display this higher resolution image on your not-so-high resolution display, such as a 1080p panel. This provides a sharper image, without you needing to upgrade your display.
Above, we have the normal image on the left, with DSR on the right.
NVIDIA Editor's Day 2014 - One area of NVIDIA's new direction with Maxwell is virtual reality, with a totally new focus on VR with something NVIDIA calls VR Direct. VR Direct provides multiple technologies from the Maxwell architecture, and previous technologies from NVIDIA, to make the VR experience much better.
First, we have low-latency, which will reduce the amount of time it takes for the scene to be rendered on your PC, and displayed to the VR display sitting just an inch or so from your eyes. Second, we have VR SLI: something that will help your GeForce GTX SLI setup render the two scenes (one to each eye) much better, resulting in improved performance and better yet, scaling between your GPUs.
Latency is something NVIDIA is very concerned about, with the company wanting to remove as much of it as possible, in order to get a better VR gaming experience. As you can see, right now we have around 50ms of delay between the image being rendered and outputted to something like the Oculus Rift, but NVIDIA have some new technologies to remove much of this delay.
MFAA also makes an appearance, which will provide yet another layer of improved visuals. Auto Asynchronous Wrap begins doing work on the scene before the next frame, as you can see in the image above. The dotted line is where the next frame begins, but the GPU can now shift some of that ms delay (to before the frame), instead of after - resulting in delay to your eyes.
VR DSR is going to be the big thing here, with Dynamic Super Resolution able to render the scene at 3840x2160, or 4K, and then down to 1080p (or 1440p on the CV1 if the rumors are correct). This will provide a better-looking image, without needing the display on the Rift needing to be 4K, just yet.
Borderlands fans will be clicking this link quicker than humanly possible, with the latest look at Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel now available. Check it out below.
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel will feature four new characters, with Athena, Wilhelm, Nisha and Claptrap, with new action skills making the cut. We have a new cryo and laser weapons, with the new Grinder, which can be used to craft new guns out of guns that you don't want. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel will be released in the US on October 14 for the PC, Xbox 360 and PS3.
For the past week or so, we have been sitting on the information of NVIDIA's new GeForce 900 series GPUs, with the two latest cards now official: the GeForce GTX 980 (our review is right here), and GeForce GTX 970. NVIDIA is pricing the GTX 900 series very competitively, with the GeForce GTX 980 priced at $549, and the GTX 970 at only $329. These are some incredible price points considering the feature set, improved performance, additional features and reduced TDP. NVIDIA will be discontinuing the GTX 780 and GTX 770, shifting the price of the GTX 760 to just $219.
For starters, we have the new Maxwell architecture, which is where NVIDIA is pulling this rabbit from a hat from. NVIDIA has some serious magic from Maxwell, with the star of the show, the GTX 980, really pushing the boundaries of what is possible from a GPU, without requiring a nuclear reactor to power it. For starters, the "GM204" has 5.2 billion transistors, 2048 CUDA cores, 128 Texture Units, 64 ROPS, and a 256-bit wide memory bus with 4GB of GDDR5.
NVIDIA has achieved this huge jump over the GK104 thanks to twice the performance of the GK104 with the GM204, and two times the performance-per-watt over GK104, too. There's an improved schedular, new datapath organization, and over 40% delivered performance per CUDA core on GM204. The memory architecture behind Maxwell has also received an injection of improvement, with enhanced compression algorithms, and enhancing caching effectiveness, and when compared against the GTX 680, we have some big improvements.
Silent Hills looks like one of the scariest games made, and right now, it's not even something real - it's just a concept between Metal Gear Solid creator, Hideo Kojima, and Guillermo del Toro. Watch the latest concept trailer for Silent Hills, below.
Oh, you're just crawling back out from under your desk, aye? Yeah, thought so. Silent Hills looks absolutely incredible, terrifying, and downright nasty. If this comes out with Project Morpheus support for the PS4, it could just be the killer app Sony needs to better distance itself from Microsoft, and to launch its VR headset.
We all know Halo is for the most part, an Xbox exclusive, but Microsoft is pledging better PC support, where is does the first-person shooter stand on the PC? Executive Producter on the game, Dan Ayoub, explains: "We've definitely heard the questions about PC. Right now we're a couple months out from the Xbox version's release, and that's our main focus right now. That's quite honestly where all our headspace is right now".
Considering that Halo: Master Chief Collection is close to release, one would've thought there is no better time than now than to release it onto the PC. But, with four games with one of them receiving a complete graphical overhaul, it might have been too much for the company: releasing an Xbox One version, and a PC version.
Ayoub added: "From a technical standpoint, you look at the architecture of the Xbox One and there are some similarities to the architecture of a modern PC. That certainly makes that sort of cross-platform development easier. But beyond that the ease goes away. Master Chief Collection is massive. We have to coordinate four games, 100-plus maps, a lot of new cinematics, and Halo 2 Anniversary". Microsoft seems to be all-in with Halo on Xbox, with Ayoub saying: "We wanted to do a great job on console. The anchor of Halo: Master Chief Collection is the ten-year anniversary of Halo 2 on console. So our approach was to focus primarily on console as a result of that".