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GTC 2016 - Before the GPU Technology Conference has even kicked off, the new NVIDIA Quadro M5500 has been unveiled, powered by the GM204 GPU. The GM204 is the same GPU that powers the GTX 980, and GTX 970.
The new Quadro M5500 features 8GB of GDDR5 and is the fastest VR ready, workstation-class video card that ships with 8GB of VRAM. The Quadro M5500 features 2048 CUDA cores, 128 TMUs and 64 ROPs, with its GPU boosting up to 1140MHz, just lower than the 1218MHz on the notebook GTX 980 video card.
NVIDIA's new Quadro M5500 is poised for the VR development and workstation market, where it should find a new home in high-end, workstation-class notebooks. These workstation notebooks sport insane Intel Xeon processors, with up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM.
The new Steam hardware survey has some interesting numbers to look at, with the March survey seeing Windows 10 64-bit being the most popular OS on Steam with a huge 37% of users running Microsoft's latest OS.
As for video cards, NVIDIA takes a huge chunk of the Steam gaming pie with 56% of gamers running a GeForce video card of some sort, leaving AMD/ATI with 25%. 17% of Steam gamers are still rocking the integrated GPU on their Intel processor, too.
When it comes to CPUs, Intel continues to take the lion's share of Steam gamers with their CPUs - with 76% of Steam gamers rocking an Intel processor of some sort. 47% of gamers use a dual-core CPU, while 45% run a quad-core processor. Just 4.6% of gamers have a CPU with more than four cores, and 2% are still running a single-core CPU.
Just as I land in San Jose to cover NVIDIA's GPU Technology Conference - where we should be introduced (in detail this time) to their next-gen Pascal architecture, and hopefully a new video card or so - I read about the reported end of GM200 production.
The GM200 might not sound like much, but it's the GPU that powers the GeForce GTX 980 Ti and the Titan X. NVIDIA will reportedly no longer be supplying AIB partners with the GM200 chip, so companies like ASUS, ZOTAC and MSI will not be making anymore GeForce GTX 980 Ti video cards.
Why? Well, there are plenty of GTX 980 Tis in the wild, and with NVIDIA ramping up towards the Pascal launch, we should expect this to be a reality, as we will soon see GP104- and GP100-powered offerings in the hopefully, very near future.
AMD is readying the more professional and scientific oriented version of the dual Fiji Radeon Pro Duo; the FirePro S9300 X2. This is the first time we're seeing Fiji in a professional capacity such as this.
The dual Fiji-based card mirrors nearly every aspect of the consumer (arguably still professional) focused card except that the TDP has been reworked to have a maximum of 300W, now running each GPU at a modest 850MHz. The FirePro is also trading in the great cooling solution for a passive method of keeping the card cool. It's designed to fit into any number of HPC compute applications, where a large water-cooling solution may not always fit properly. And for the 300W TDP, it still manages to be a startlingly powerful card with up to 13.9 TFLOPs of compute power at its disposal. It can potentially be a very powerful card in the right situations.
Fiji presents an interesting choice for the scientific market. The FP64 performance of Fiji is significantly lower by nature of being limited to 1/16th of the FP32 performance. That performance is only really significant for those applications that make use of double precision math, which is selective at best. The great thing is that AMD seems to have found its niche, regardless of that limitation. The higher memory bandwidth afforded by HBM might also be appreciated in these applications as well, even though it lacks ECC RAM as well.
NVIDIA will show off its next-generation Pascal architecture at their GPU Technology Conference last week, where we should be introduced to the GeForce GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 video cards - with their purported cooler shrouds teased just a couple hours ago.
We could be surprised, and NVIDIA could unveil their new Pascal-powered Titan X successor - which is something I think we'll see. I think NVIDIA will unveil the GP100 GPU, rocking 16-32GB of HBM2 and a price of $1000-$2000 (I'd say $1499 for the 16GB HBM2 version and $1999 for the 32GB HBM2 card). NVIDIA could then drop the GTX 1080 for something like $599, rolling with GDDR5X - still providing a large increase in performance over the GTX 980 and GTX 980 Ti - with thanks given to the 16nm node and the new Pascal architecture.
NVIDIA's GPU Technology Conference is right around the corner (it's next week!) and just in time for the party are some images of the purported GeForce GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 with revised cooler shrouds.
If these images are real, we're looking at the first real photos of NVIDIA's Pascal-based video cards. These images could easily be faked or created for the purposes of getting us all excited, but if it is real - it looks very similar to the GTX Titan X and GTX 980 Ti coolers, except it looks more fierce. It has a military feel to it and reminds me of ASUS ROG hardware.
AMD has just released their new VR Ready Crimson 16.3.2 drivers, which are recommended for GCN cards - as well as the new dual-Fiji video card, the Radeon Pro Duo.
The new Crimson 16.3.2 drivers also provide support for VR headsets in the form of the just-released Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, with Radeon video card owners enjoying AMD VR features like LiquidVR SDK include Asynchronous Shaders, Affinity Multi-GPU and Quick Response Queue.
AMD is committed to VR, as they've stated they have "83% of all tethered VR experiences" powered by Radeon technology. The new Crimson 16.3.2 drivers support for the Oculus Rift SDK v1.3, the Radeon Pro Duo, and are completely optimized for the Rift.
You can grab the new Crimson 16.3.2 drivers right here.
NVIDIA's new 364.72 drivers are here, and represent a major release. Among the inclusions: support for the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, optimizations for VR titles (Eve Valkyrie, Elite Dangerous, Chronos, Project Cars, and more), and optimizations for non-VR titles (Dark Souls 3, Killer Instinct, Paragon, and Quantum Break).
As you may know, many reports of stability issues have surfaced with NVIDIA's last couple of driver releases, so hopefully, that's overwith with this release; it's encouraging to see many significant stability improvements in the release notes, and to see mostly positive experience reports across the web.
Grab the drivers here or through GeForce Experience now.
AMD has made a huge deal about their Radeon video cards featuring support for Asynchronous Compute, with one of the standout games with Async Compute support being the recently released Hitman from IO Interactive.
During the Game Developers Conference earlier this month, Lead Render Programmer at IO Interactive Jonas Meyer held a discussion called Advanced Graphics Techniques Tutorial Day: Rendering 'Hitman' with DirectX 12. During the session, it was revealed that NVIDIA GeForce video cards had no benefits from Async Compute, with IO Interactive claiming to be working with NVIDIA to fix this.
But, even with their ACE (Asynchronous Compute Engine) on the GCN architecture, Radeon cards only see a 5-10% performance increase. Async Compute is used for SSAA (Screen Space Anti Aliasing), SSAO (Screen Space Ambient Occlusion) and the calculation of light tiles in Hitman. Ashes of the Singularity also makes use of Async Compute, too.
AMD laid out its GPU architecture roadmap through to 2019 at its huge Capsaicin event during the Game Developers Conference, but now we're hearing rumbles on its exciting new Vega GPU - due out in 2017.
Vega will reportedly rock a huge 4096 stream processors based on the Greenland GPU, with improvements in the way of the GCN 4.0 architecture, which are included in the IP v9.0 generation of graphics chips under development from AMD.
We should expect Vega 10 to be AMD's flagship product from the Greenland GPU era - rocking somewhere between 15-18 billion transistors, and the exciting new HBM2 technology which offers up to 1TB/sec of memory bandwidth. Vega looks like it'll be fighting against NVIDIA's compute-powerful GP100 (the Pascal-based successor to the GTX Titan X and GTX 980 Ti) - as Vega is the only HBM2-powered card on AMD's roadmap for 2017.