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NVIDIA has just released the new GeForce Game Ready 352.86 WHQL drivers which are ready for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, with the drivers available through NVIDIA's website, or through GeForce Experience.
The new drivers feature an updated SLI profile for The Witcher 3, as well as support for NVIDIA technologies such as Dynamic Super Resolution (DSR), GameStream, GeForce Experience one-click Optimal Playable Settings, G-Sync, HairWorks, HBAO+, PhysX, and of course, SLI. The GeForce Game Ready 352.86 WHQL drivers also feature new or updated SLI profiles for the following games:
- Magicka 2 - Added DirectX 11 SLI profile
- Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth - Updated DirectX 11 SLI profile
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Updated DirectX 11 SLI profile
- World of Warships - Added DirectX 9 SLI profile
According to VideoCardz.com, we should expect rebranded AMD Radeon R9 200 series cards based on the Hawaii architecture to arrive next month with a disguise, as the Radeon R9 300 series.
While the HBM-based Radeon R9 390X will arrive in two flavors: 4GB and 8GB (and maybe one model with GDDR5 and another with HBM), there will be other Radeon R9 300 series cards based on the Hawaii architecture. These should arrive as the Radeon R9 385, and R9 380 - but those specifics could change. But these new cards will feature slightly higher Core Clocks, and a nice jump on Memory speeds.
The Radeon R9 290X has a Core Clock of 1GHz, but the new R9 300 series rebrand will have 2816 stream processors, while its Core set at 1050MHz, a 50MHz jump. The Memory Clock on the other hand, jumps from the 1250MHz found on the R9 290X, to 1500MHz on the new cards, according to VideoCardz.com. This will give that particular card based on the Hawaii XT GPU around 384GB/sec of memory bandwidth, up from the 320GB on the R9 290X.
The second rebrand will use the Hawaii PRO architecture, which is what makes the Radeon R9 290 stand up and perform. The new Radeon R9 3xx card will feature 2560 stream processors along with its stock Core Clocks of 947MHz, it will be pumped up to 1010MHz on the new card. The Memory Clock also jumps from 1250MHz to 1500MHz providing the same 384GB/sec of memroy bandwidth across its 512-bit memory bus.
TSMC has come out swinging lately, teasing that the shift into 16nm FinFET is going to be quite big for GPUs. The Taiwanese manufacturer said that the move from 28nm to 16nm, and in particular, the 16nm FinFET+ process, will deliver around 40% more performance.
This 40% improvement in performance will not consume any additional power, which should have both NVIDIA and AMD smiling from ear to ear. This means if they were to spin up an NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan X on 16nm FinFET+ and have the same performance, it would consume 50% less power. Alternatively, for the same power, they would be able to cram in a huge 40% performance gain. Impressive stuff, shrinking down to 16nm.
TSMC will begin volume production of its 16nm FinFET in Q3 2015, which means we could expect the first GPUs based on the smaller node towards the end of the year, or early 2016. We are predicting that flagship GPUs released from this new 16nm process will be, at an absolute minimum 30-40% faster, all while using the same power draw of around 200-250W. Along with HBM, we could see some serious improvements of 80-100% over the flagship cards we see today. HBM2 (something we saw at NVIDIA's GTC 2015) is due next year, with 1.2TB/sec of memory bandwidth, up from the 640GB/sec that we should see on the AMD Radeon R9 390X, and a big gain from the $999 Titan X and its 336GB/sec.
Can you believe that we're just over a month from the unveiling of AMD's next-generation GPU architecture? We have already had our industry sources tell us that AMD will be launching its Radeon R9 390X at E3 2015, but according to WCCFTech, AMD will be launching its next-gen video card on June 24.
There seems to be quite a lot of conflicting information, but right now we know that AMD will not be launching the Radeon R9 390X at Computex, as we thought back in early March. Instead, our sources have said Fiji XT will be launched at E3 2015 during the first PC conference, but AMD does need to have its own event for a launch this important.
AMD's Radeon R9 390X is shaping up to be something special as it'll be the first video card to feature High Bandwidth Memory, or HBM. This next generation memory is packaged alongside the GPU die on a single piece of interposer, rather than on the circuit board surrounding the video card as we've had up until this point. This is going to usher in a different video card than we're used to, where AMD can make their flagship R9 390X much shorter than usual thanks to saved PCB space.
Back in February, we wrote a story about NVIDIA reiterating that TSMC was its 'very important' foundry partner as it heads into the world of 16nm manufacturing.
Well, NVIDIA is back to reiterate once more that it still loves TSMC, and that it's working with the Taiwanese manufacturer on not just 16nm technology, but 10nm. Jen-Hsun Huang, NVIDIA's CEO and co-founder said: "We are constantly evaluating foundry suppliers, ... [but] we largely purchase from TSMC, the vast majority of our wafers we buy from TSMC. We are in 20nm, we are expecting to ramp 16nm. We are deeply engaged with TSMC for many, many nodes to come, including 10nm".
This could be happening as Samsung is kicking ass with its 14nm FinFET production, but with the current legal battles between NVIDIA and Samsung, could NVIDIA be deflating the rumor balloon that it will ditch, or at least shift some production over from TSMC to Samsung in the near future? NVIDIA has added that it's not "too obsessed about the process technology", which is an interesting statement from a company that pushes the boundaries of GPU technology with each successive release.
Huang continued: "There are just so many ways for us to deliver energy efficiency and performance. I would not get too obsessed about the process technology all by itself. But we are always looking at new foundry suppliers, and competition keeps everybody sharp. But for all intents and purposes, TSMC is our primary partner".
We might be enjoying a time of total NVIDIA dominance in the VGA market with the GeForce GTX 960, GTX 970, GTX 980 and Titan X giving gamers everything they wanted, and more, but the future of GPUs is nearly upon us.
AMD is ready to launch its new Radeon R9 390X which will arrive with HBM1 technology, but NVIDIA is beginning to talk about their Pascal architecture, which should arrive sometime in 2016 as the PK100 and PK104 GPUs. Jen-Hsun Huang, NVIDIA's CEO and co-founder, said during their latest financial report that the Pascal-based GeForce products will be arriving with HBM2, which should increase the available memory bandwidth from the ~300GB/sec or so right up to a huge 1.2TB/sec.
We have reported that AMD's next, next-gen Radeon R9 490X would use HBM2 with over 1TB/sec memory bandwidth, too. NVIDIA should be tapping some of that sweet 14nm FinFET technology by then, so the future GeForce cards will be radically smaller, cooler and insanely fast. NVIDIA is only starting to tease them now, with Huang saying: "I cannot wait to tell you about the products that we have in the pipeline. There are more engineers at NVIDIA building the future of GPUs than just about anywhere else in the world. We are singularly focused on visual computing, as you guys know".
We should expect NVIDIA to talk more about Pascal later this year, with the hype train to well and truly take off in 2016.
KFA2 has announced its new white NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 EXOC video card to the public, boasting this new color scheme covering the shroud, fans and back plate, but not on the PCB.
Featuring a factory overlocked core at 1279 MHz, 1367 MHz GPU Boost and 7 GHz of memory, this provides a little extra boost when compared to reference speeds of 1127 and 1187 MHz respectively.
As for cooling, an aluminum fin-stack heat sink combined with 8mm thick nickel-plated copper heat pipes ensures your card stays cool. The display options include one DisplayPort 1.2 port, two DVI and a single HDMI 2.0 option.
According to our sources, AMD will be announcing its new Radeon R9 390X at E3 2015 in mid-June, while some of our other sources have told us that HBM yields are extremely low, so the Radeon R9 390X that features HBM will be in extremely limited availability. We have been told that AMD has some "surprises" in store for the Radeon R9 390X, which is exciting. But what about these leaked photos of the HBM-powered Radeon R9 390X? Well, let's talk about that.
The above image is reportedly photoshopped, with WCCFTech reporting that the image is "completely fake and are essentially a Photoshop recreation of the image by an artist on Chiphell forums". But for me, I don't think it's as "fake" as people think.
With AMD using High Bandwidth Memory (HBM) it will save so much room on the PCB that the usual GDDR5 takes up, and thanks to it running cooler than GDDR5, it will remove much of the last third of the PCB and associated cooling, VRMs, and more. This could give AMD the opportunity to make a shorter VGA card, but will the shorter card just be the HBM version? With our sources teasing multiple Radeon R9 390X models being released, with one being the premium HBM model, and another running GDDR5. If this happens, it's going to be good, and very bad for AMD.
On one hand, AMD can send the media the Radeon R9 390X 8GB watercooled model, which is the one that I think is the closest to the model above, and then the other cards that will be released into the market will be the 4GB models, possibly with HBM, or GDDR5. We know that HBM is in seriously low numbers right now, so much so that one of our sources said they'd be "surprised if it even happens this year". Some harsh words, but if HBM is in short supply, what would AMD do?
The region of 'Greater China' is becoming known for being flooded with over the top mid-range video cards, this is said to be in order to entice buyers to invest in something greater than just the base model.
ZOTAC has just come to the party, offering its new GTX 960 Gamer Force TOP-X video card which incorporates a triple-fan cooling setup and a metal back plate with another two 60mm fans attached.
This card is said to run a core clock of 1500MHz and this is helped along by the three 90mm cooling fans held over an aluminum split fin-stack heat sink. Unfortunately this card is said to be only available in countries such as China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
If having a 6-pack and being called the HOF wasn't good enough for you already, KFA2 (GALAXY) has released its 8Pack edition of the GeForce GTX 980, designed by overclocker '8Pack'.
Featuring specifications out of the box like a 1304 MHz core, 1440 MHz GPU Boost and 7.00 GHz memory compared to a reference rating of of 1127 MHz and 1216 MHz respectively it's obvious that this card packs quite a punch.
Besides the mysterious man on the box, this product comes with triple-fan cooling, dual-BIOS with manual switching and is powered through a pair of 8-pin PCIe connectors.