AMD has been ahead of the game when it comes to Asynchronous Compute support in their GPU architectures, and now id Software is throwing their weight behind Async Compute when it comes to their idTech6 graphics engine.
id Software's Billy Khan talked with Eurogamer recently, where he said that other developers will begin to see the benefits of Asynchronous Compute, and will take better advantage of it. Khan said: "Doom is already a clear example where async compute, when used properly, can make drastic enhancements to the performance and look of a game. Going forward, compute and async compute will be even more extensively used for idTech6. It is almost certain that more developers will take advantage of compute and async compute as they discover how to effectively use it in their games".
The developer also said that other game developers should jump right into Vulkan as well, with id Software's Axel Gnetting adding: "Vulkan actually has pretty decent tools support with RenderDoc already and the debugging layers are really useful by now. The big benefit of Vulkan is that shader compiler, debug layers and RenderDoc are all open source. Additionally, it has full support for Windows 7, so there is no downside in OS support either compared to DX12".
Tiago Sousa of id Software chimed in, saying: "From a different perspective, I think it will be interesting to see the result of a game entirely taking advantage by design of any of the new APIs - since no game has yet. I'm expecting to see a relatively big jump in the amount of geometry detail on-screen with things like dynamic shadows. One other aspect that is overlooked is that the lower CPU overhead will allow art teams to work more efficiently - I'm predicting a welcome productivity boost on that side".
TSMC has been hitting its stride this year, with the delivery of the 16nm FinFET process for NVIDIA's current GeForce GTX 1080, GTX 1070 and the soon-to-be-released GTX 1060. But what about the future?
Samsung has been pushing its Extreme Ultra-Violet Lithography (EUV) for the 7nm node, but TSMC isn't far behind, with the Taiwanese giant set to start 7nm node trials by the end of 2017. TSMC's co-CEO, Mark Liu, said that the company plans to push into EUV for 5nm by the end of 2020. Liu added that the company will simplify the process, improve density and cut down on the overall costs of the new node.
TSMC has also said that it has made more than one improvement to its existing EUV infrastructure, while it claims to have implemented 125W EUV source into its ASML NXE:3350 equipment. TSMC also says it now has in-house EUV technologies for inspection, masking and repair for lithography. When it comes to 7nm, TSMC has hit integration for scanners, masks and photoresist, while they'll be adding two more EUV scanners in 2017.
XFX will soon launch its new Radeon RX 480 graphics card, which has been spotted online courtesy of Quasarzone. The new card features an awesome looking XFX logo at the top and a dual-fan cooler.
We will see a single 8-pin PCIe power connector on the XFX Radeon RX 480, while it will rock a factory overclocked GPU. There are four large copper heat pipes keeping the Polaris 10 GPU nice and cool, while we have a rectangular thermal pad solution that looks like it's keeping the VRMs cool. The reference AMD Radeon RX 480 was a great card, but the XFX variant should be an interesting take on the RX 480.
We're not far away from the launch of NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1060, and we're already hearing about the mobile variant, which is reportedly not going to have much of a performance difference between the desktop and notebook parts.
Polish website Purepc is reporting that the only difference between the GeForce GTX 1060 on the notebook and desktop is the clock speeds, where they said: "The only difference between the GeForce GTX 1060, for laptops and desktop version, will be reduced core speed. 1405 MHz instead of 1506 MHz in the basic mode, and 1671 MHz instead of 1709 MHz GPU Boost 3.0".
If this turns out to be true, the GTX 1060 will usher in a new performance standard for gaming notebooks, where 1080p 60FPS shouldn't a problem. Now we need to know the pricing on GTX 1060-powered gaming notebooks, which should be revealed in the very near future.
AMD has released its Polaris 10-based Radeon RX 480 into the wild, with the next-gen Vega architecture in the oven, and ready for early 2017. But now we're hearing rumors of the Vega 10 and Vega 11 GPUs, in the middle of 2016.
In the new OpenCL driver, a few new chips were discovered under 'GFX9': Greenland, Raven1X, Vega10 and Vega 11. Greenland is something that has been swinging around the rumor mill for a while now, a new GPU that will reportedly rock 4096 stream processors, and a new SOC v15 architecture.
Vega on the other hand is a "high-end architecture for high-end gamers" according to AMD, and has an early 2017 release window. Vega will be the first GPU to utilize the faster HBM2 memory standard, which is something NVIDIA is using on its professional side of things on the Tesla P100 graphics card. Vega will be the first GPU to utilize the faster HBM2 memory standard, which is something NVIDIA is using on its professional side of things on the Tesla P100 graphics card.
Colorful has just announced it has four custom GeForce GTX 1060 graphics cards on the way, ready to cover gamers in all segments of the mid-range market.
Colorful is aiming its new iGame series of GTX 1060-based cards at gamers who don't want to throw their wallets at the prices of the current GeForce GTX 1070 and GTX 1080, while offering great performance for 1080p 60FPS gameplay. Colorful's new iGame GTX 1060 series is led by the iGameGTX1060 X-TOP-6G, which has base/boost clocks of 1620/1847MHz, respectively. It will also feature 5+2-phase IPP power.
The second card in Colorful's iGame GTX 1060 arsenal is the iGameGTX1060 S-TOP-6G, which will have 1594/1809MHz base/boost clocks, respectively. The iGameGTX1060 S-TOP-6G will feature 4+1-phase IPP power. Under that, we have the iGameGTX1060 U-TOP-6G which will have the same 1594/1809MHz base/boost clocks, respectively - while it will amp up the power to a 5+2-phase design.
ASUS has released some details on its upcoming GeForce GTX 1060 STRIX graphics card, with two models on the way.
The first model will be the overclocked GTX 1060 STRIX, while the other GTX 1060 STRIX will arrive with stock clocks. Both cards use a custom PCB with 6+1-phase design, and a single 8-pin PCIe power connector.
The overclocked GTX 1060 STRIX has two modes, GAMING and OC. In the OC mode, the GPU clocks reach 1645/1873 for base/boost, respectively. The new ASUS GeForce GTX 1060 STRIX will launch in a couple of weeks.
There was one thing that I addressed in my review of AMD's Radeon RX 480, is that the company had enough wiggle room with Polaris to release a dual-GPU card, and stay under the 300W TDP. Well, it appears we might see this card before the end of the year.
According to the latest reports, SAPPHIRE's website has teased the Radeon RX 490, which should arrive as a dual Polaris 10-based graphics card. We know from AMD's revised naming system for the Radeon series that that the RX 490 will feature a 256-bit memory bus and will be aimed at 4K and VR gaming.
Polaris 10 is the most powerful GPU in AMD's arsenal before it moves to Vega, so it won't be a faster Polaris GPU with more stream processors - but two P10 GPUs makes perfect sense. SAPPHIRE's website states it has 8GB of GDDR5, but that's the way dual-GPUs work - each GPU has the same framebuffer, with 16GB of GDDR5 in total - but 8GB per GPU.
Exclusive: NVIDIA's upcoming GeForce GTX 1060 is coming very soon, ready to fight AMD's mid-range Radeon RX 480, but with the rumors there'll be two versions - in 3GB and 6GB framebuffers - we're here to clear that up.
We have had an industry insider tell us that NVIDIA has decided against releasing the 3GB variant of the GeForce GTX 1060, and instead it is all steam ahead with the standard 6GB variant. This makes sense, as releasing a mid-range card with 3GB of VRAM that's meant to be a competitor against AMD's Radeon RX 480 which comes in 4GB and 8GB flavors doesn't make much sense.
Our source added that NVIDIA will instead release the GeForce GTX 1050 in December with 3GB of RAM, which makes much more sense. We should see these plans materialize very quickly, as soon as NVIDIA confirms the existence of its GeForce GTX 1050, which shouldn't be too far away now.
ZOTAC is a company that never ceases to impress me, as I've just reviewed their GeForce GTX 1080 AMP! Extreme, which is the fastest GTX 1080 yet. But something more impressive has just appeared; ZOTAC's unannounced GeForce GTX 1060 Mini.
ZOTAC will be utilizing the smaller PCB of the GeForce GTX 1060 to their advantage, with the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1060 Mini set to arrive in 3GB and 6GB variants, with both cards arriving with reference GPU clocks of 1506/1708MHz for base/boost, respectively.
The company will be using their own custom PCB for the GeForce GTX 1060 Mini, with a slick-looking, but not over-the-top cooler on board. We should expect the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1060 Mini to be officially revealed in the coming weeks, and I hope ZOTAC has a sample on its way to me.