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There's a rumor floating around the Internet that seems to suggest that NVIDIA is very close to releasing their top-end mobile GPU, the GeForce GTX 980MX as well as the little brother, the GTX 970MX. Keep in mind that these are strictly mobile parts, and not related to the full-fat GTX 980 that's being stuffed into laptops.
There's doesn't appear to be any actual source to confirm the imminent release, though they seem to be very adamant that NVIDIA is intent on releasing these high-end mobile parts soon. And these chips will be plenty fast and actually provide power efficiency that'll be necessary in thinner laptops.
The GTX 980MX is rumored to have 1664 CUDA cores, 104 texture units, 64 raster devices and a clock speed of up to 1048MHz on a 256-bit memory bus. This is slightly more CUDA cores than the slightly smaller part, the 980M. Oddly the TDP is only 25W less than the full-blow 980 laptop variant at 125W. That's still a lot of power, and you definitely wouldn't be gaming with a notebook powered by this monster without being tethered to the wall.
AMD's new Polaris chip might have just been caught on the Zauba import/export table, if we can truly believe what other sources have decoded while reading these manifests.
The price of per unit of this particualr "printed circuit board assembly for personal computer(video/ video card)" is such that it lines up with other AMD shipments in the past. It also indicate that the bigger Polaris die which we were able to see at CES, might be well into production. That's good news for us enthusiasts.
But then again, decoding the serial numbers and the entire manifest is very difficult, and even though some might claim that they know that these particular shipments are indeed for AMD and are a chip with a particular architecture, we don't actually know. But it is exciting that at least production appears to be marching on as you read this. Just don't forget the tablespoon of salt. And yeah, it's okay to be excited too. I know I am.
Whether you need to upgrade your outdated Radeon card or want to ensure your PC is ready for the incoming VR boom, we've found a duo of GPU deals that will fit the bill nicely. Today we have two different flavors of AMD's Radeon R9 390's discounted over at Newegg, both of which offer some impressive performances with 4K resolution support.
These sales are complimented by mail-in-rebates, which is par for the course for NewEgg sales. First up we have a PowerColor Radeon R9 390 for just $268 after a $20 mail-in-rebate (regular price $268), and the eggmen are tossing in a free $10 gift card to boot--but I don't think you can use the card for this purchase, only future purchases. The PowerColor R9 390 sports 1x HDMI, 1x Display Port and 2x DVI slots, and requires a 6-Pin / 8-Pin connectors with a 750W PSU.
Next up is an XFX Radeon R9 390 dropped down to $274 after a $30 MIR (original price $304). This card is similar to the PowerColor model, featuring a single HDMI and DisplayPort slot accompanied with two DVI ports. The power requirements are the same, with a minimum 750W PSU and the 6 and 8-pin PCIe power connectors.
During NVIDIA's GPU Technology Conference last year, NVIDIA unveiled its new NVLink interconnect that would find its BFF in their upcoming Pascal architecture.
At the time, we wrote that NVLink had 5x the bandwidth of PCIe 3.0, with NVLink opening up the possibilities for 8-way GPU setups - compared to the limit of 4-way SLI that we have now. Well, AMD is now talking about its upcoming next-gen coherent fabric, which will offer speeds of an insane 100GB/sec throughout multi-GPU setups. AMD has said that its new APUs will also be supported, with compute machines set to benefit greatly, too.
The big question for AMD is still in the air - but RTG boss Raja Koduri has said that he can't reveal if memory coherency and sharing between the GPUs and APUs will happen with the new interconnect. It would make sense to see it happen, but I'm sure AMD is rolling towards a big reveal in the near future with its Polaris architecture.
During the chat, Koduri said: "We have two versions of these FinFET GPUs. Both are extremely power efficient. This is Polaris 10 and that's Polaris 11. In terms of what we've done at the high level, it's our most revolutionary jump in performance so far. We've redesigned many blocks in our cores. We've redesigned the main processor, a new geometry processor, a completely new fourth-generation Graphics Core Next with a very high increase in performance. We have new multimedia cores, a new display engine".
He added: "In summary, it's fourth generation Graphics Core Next. HDMI 2.0. It supports all the new 4K displays and TVs coming out with just plug and play. It supports display core 4.3, the latest specification. It's very exciting 4K support. We can do HAVC encode and decode at 4K on this chip. It'll be great for game streaming at high resolution, which gamers absolutely love. It takes no cycles away from games. You can record gameplay and still have an awesome frame rate. It'll be available in mid-2016".
So what have we taken away from this? We now know about AMD calling their new GPUs by 'Polaris 10' and 'Polaris 11'. We knew about HDMI 2.0 arriving with the fourth-gen GCN core, which brings AMD's enthusiast cards up to where NVIDIA has been for around 18 months now. 2016 is going to be the most exciting year for GPUs, especially with HBM2 arriving with up to 32GB and 1TB/sec of memory bandwidth.
NVIDIA has dominated the Steam hardware survey for December 2015, with its GeForce GTX 970 topping the charts with 4.89% of gamers on Steam using the GM204-based video card.
Coming in second was Intel HD Graphics 4000 with 4.82%, and then three more NVIDIA cards in third, fourth and fifth position. The GeForce GTX 760, GTX 750 Ti and GTX 960 were third, fourth, and fifth place, respectively. AMD's Radeon HD 7900 series came in 9th position, with 2.05% of gamers using an HD 7900 series GPU.
It's an interesting position for NVIDIA to be in, considering the hoopla the company went through with the 3.5GB memory debacle last year. The GTX 970 comes with a memory partition that sees 3.5GB of its 4GB used at once, with performance-related issues once you surpass 3.5GB of used framebuffer.
Something I mused on about in September 2015 was that AMD and NVIDIA would use both HBM (and HBM2) as well as GDDR5, or GDDR5X on their next-gen cards throughout 2016. Well, AMD has confirmed this news.
Robert Hallock, the Technical Marketing Lead at AMD, explains: "We have the flexibility to use HBM or GDDR5 as costs require. Certain market segments are cost sensitive, GDDR5 can be used there. Higher-end market segments where more cost can be afforded, HBM is viable as well".
This will work out perfectly for AMD, as I think we'll see cards under $350 or so using GDDR5/GDDR5X while the HBM2-powered cards will arrive as enthusiast video cards, priced at $400 and above.
There were some fears when AMD split its GPU division into Radeon Technologies Group, but ATI 2.0 is really hitting the ground running with Polaris, and its continued commitment into VR. I think we'll see 'Big Polaris' powering VR, something we exclusively reported on last week.
During CES 2016 last week, RTG boss and cricket fan (yeah!) Raja Koduri spoke with VentureBeat about wanting to put the GPU division of AMD back into center focus. He said that 2016 is going to be a huge year for the company, as it hits its stride with the excited FinFET process, which will provide more performance per watt, HBM2 (which will provide 1TB/sec memory bandwidth) and the new Polaris architecture.
But when it came to the future of GPUs, Koduri said that VR will drive a large portion of this and that he won't be happy until we get 3D graphics that support 16K screens, and at 240Hz - yeah, 16K @ 240FPS. Just as Neo said in The Matrix: "whoa". Koduri says that this is when we'll reach the point of "true immersion that you won't be able to tell apart from the real-world". Koduri makes me excited about the future of not just RTG, but GPUs and VR, especially with quotes like that.
HBM2 is nearly here, with JEDEC releasing the official specification behind the fastest VRAM we've ever had on a video card, and this is incredibly exciting.
The official specification on HBM2 sees cards ramping up to 32GB, with up to 1TB/sec of memory bandwidth. This is a huge leap in the available VRAM over HBM1, which was limited to only 4GB on the Fiji-powered cards from AMD, including the super-small R9 Nano, Radeon R9 Fury and the R9 Fury X.
The power consumption of HBM2 will be lower than HBM1, with 8% saved over HBM1, on top of the 48% saved over GDDR5. The most important part of HBM is the amount of DRAM stacked, with HBM2 driving it up to 4/8 Hi Stacks (4/8GB) over the 4 Hi Stack of HBM1 (1GB total).
HBM2 will be found on AMD's next-gen Polaris architecture, as well as NVIDIA's upcoming Pascal architecture, which we should see NVIDIA showing off at their GPU Technology Conference in early April.
NVIDIA has released a hotfix driver for GeForce 400 series cards and above. As ever, it supports 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7, 8, and 10.
Numbered 361.60, the driver fixes "install & clocking related issues" as well as crashing in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. If only for the clocking issues, you should probably grab this one.
Hit the source link below to download the driver.