NVIDIA has announced a new indie VR game bundle for new GeForce GTX 1050 and GTX 1060 customers, or those buying a GTX 1050/1060-powered system or laptop at participating retailers.
Those who grab a new GTX 1050/1060-powered system, notebook or graphics card will get to choose from the following games:
Maize, from Finish Line Games, is a just-released first-person adventure game about what happens when two scientists misinterpret a memo from the U.S. Government and create sentient corn. Explore an abandoned farm and a not-so-abandoned underground research facility as you solve puzzles and uncover the mysteries around Maize, and possibly learn a bit about yourself along the way. With a colorful cast of characters and an absolutely absurd world, Maize offers up a unique experience that keeps the surprises coming.
If there's one thing to be excited for right now, leading into 2017 - it would have to be AMD's next generation GPU architecture: Vega.
AMD flew out select technology press to Sonoma, California for its annual Tech Summit - where we finally got our chance to see Vega 10 running in-person, but it was at the New Horizon event that the public got to see Vega 10 running 4K 60FPS in Star Wars: Battlefront's new Rogue One DLC.
AMD was also powering the gaming PC with its upcoming Ryzen CPU, which was announced a couple of days ago. It's an impressive showing so far, with DOOM being teased at 4K 60FPS+ on Ultra and Nightmare graphics settings during the event, something we wrote about here.
Now that AMD has let the Radeon Instinct cat out of the bag, with the Radeon Instinct MI25 accelerator powered by a Vega GPU, we can begin putting some of the pieces together. We don't know much about Vega 10 itself, but we can look at the servers that will be powered by the MI25 accelerator, and do some math.
We also now know that the Vega 10 with its 8GB of HBM2 is capable of running DOOM at 4K 60FPS+, which is impressive for a pre-production, very early board.
AMD teased the upcoming Inventec K888 server with Radeon Instinct MI25 accelerators (4 of them) capable of 100 TFLOPs of GPU power, meaning a single Vega-based Radeon Instinct MI25 has 25 TFLOPs of performance (MI25 = Machine Intelligence 25 TFLOPs, or at least that's how it seems to me). One big caveat here is that AMD is claiming FP16 performance, so we should expect 12.5 TFLOPs of single precision (FP32) performance.
If we compare TFLOPs between some of the latest and greatest graphics cards, we have:
- AMD Vega 10 - 12.5 TFLOPs
- NVIDIA Titan X (Pascal) - 11 TFLOPs
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 - 9 TFLOPs
- AMD Radeon RX 480 - 5 TFLOPs
AMD Tech Summit 2016 - One of the things I've been wanting to tell the world is that I got to see AMD's next-generation graphics card in action at their Tech Summit in Sonoma, California a few days ago - and now, I can.
I was witness to seeing Vega 10 rocking 8GB of next generation HBM2 technology running DOOM at 4K (3840x2160) on Ultra settings, with an average of 70FPS. Impressive stuff, considering that NVIDIA's fastest GeForce GTX 1080 and Titan X are required to hit those performance numbers in DOOM.
I had my hand behind the card, which had its fans cranked up to 100% - and it was pushing out some serious heat - but this is a prototype board that is months from being finished. Still, a major technology turn on for me. We don't know much else about the Vega 10-based graphics card that was inside of the PC, either. There have been leaks all over the place about this, and a few of you have been wondering why I haven't written about it.
AMD has hit the mainstream pretty hard this year with the Polaris-based Radeon RX 400 series, but now the Radeon RX 460 represents even better value for money with a BIOS unlock that unleashes 12.5% performance boost.
Over at the overclocking.guide, author der8auer has unlocked a Radeon RX 460 graphics card from its original 896 stream processors, to 1024 stream processors. The TMUs also get a boost, jumping from 56 to 64 TMUs - providing around 10-12% more performance, a great upgrade considering its free.
ASUS Radeon RX 460 Strix and the SAPPHIRE RX 460 Nitro have both been tested with the BIOS upgrade, and they worked - offering increased performance.
Unlocking Your Radeon RX 460
Caution: This is all at your own risk.
There are some BIOS firmware downloads you'll need, depending on the card you have:
- First backup the original BIOS file in case you want to flash the card back at a certain point (run "backup BIOS.bat"). You can also save the BIOS with the latest version of TechPowerUp's GPU-Z.
- Afterwards run "flash unlocked BIOS.bat" to flash the BIOS. It will take about 15 seconds and should look like in the picture below.
- Afterwards restart your system and enjoy about 10% free performance.
AMD really hit its stride throughout 2016, nailing software and driver releases - shifting from a company that was known for not-so-great drivers, to releasing solid drivers all year.
Today, the company has announced its new Crimson ReLive Edition drivers, a new initiative for 2017 - ready for the future of GPUs and games.
The new Crimson ReLive Edition drivers has a central theme of Features, Performance, and Stability - as well as the usual bug fixes, improvements, and more.
We have been sifting through many rumors and leaks on AMD's next graphics cards, something that needs to be cleared up. The latest rumor of the Vega 10 has me wondering if we're being thrown off track, and whether that's a good, or a bad thing.
Our friends over at VideoCardz have posted up what they are reporting as a new Device ID (687F:C1) alongside a benchmark of Ashes of the Singularity (which I hate using to judge performance, but that's just me). VideoCardz reports: "Judging from how AOTS benchmark recognizes dual-GPU graphics cards, the new card is most likely equipped with one processor. This device ID was not shown anywhere yet, so it's definitely something unreleased".
They added: "Whether that's a mobile prototype being tested in desktop platform, or full-fledged Vega 10 device, we don't know. If the rumors are true, this could be much awaited Radeon RX 490".
Leaked benchmark numbers on the purported Radeon Pro 490 have arrived, with keen eyed readers noting that I said Radeon Pro 490, and not Radeon RX 490. Here's what to expect with the next-gen Vega GPU architecture.
AMD's new Radeon Pro 490 is expected to be their 4K/VR focused graphics card, with rumors stating it'll arrive with 2 x Polaris 10 GPUs, or a new Vega 10 GPU. I doubt we'll see a Vega GPU powering the new Radeon Pro 490 graphics card, but a dual-GPU based on P10 GPUs would make sense, with 16GB of GDDR5 in total.
We should expect the Radeon RX/Pro 490 to arrive with 4608 stream processors (double the 2304 SPs on the Radeon RX 480) and reduced GPU clocks to around 1200MHz, down from 1266MHz on the RX 480. Since the TDP of the RX 480 was 150W, we should see AMD hitting 300W on the dual-GPU card.
Rumored Tech Specs of Radeon RX/Pro 490
- Dual GPU (Polaris 10 most likely)
- 4608 stream processors
- 14nm FinFET
- 11.4 billion transistors (estimated)
- 1200MHz GPU clocks
- 11 TFLOPs+
- 300W TDP
- 8-16GB GDDR5
AMD CEO Lisa Su was asked at the recent 20th Credit Suisse Annual Technology, Media & Telecom conference about the keys to growing and expanding their market share in the discrete GPU market.
Credit Suisse's semiconductor analyst John Pitzer asked: "How should we think about your share aspirations with Polaris now ramping, Vega next year? What do you think you can get your share back to within that market?" to which Su replied: "We have made very good progress I would say in the first couple of quarters this year in terms of graphics".
Su continued: "I think it's nice, when you look at graphics it's both in the consumer side on the channel as well as in the OEM business and on the professional graphics market. There's a large opportunity. I think we've gained a good amount of share over the last few quarters, we're going to continue and consistently drive [share growth]. We believe that there's no reason we can't be at 50/50 share overtime, but it will certainly take some time to get there. The key thing is enhancing our relationships with customers, because we believe that it's also important to have a very sticky business going forward."
AMD has been on the up and up this entire year, with the Radeon Technologies Group team reaching for the stars with its first new GPU architecture release under RTG: Polaris.
Polaris powered the Radeon RX 400 and Radeon Pro 400 series graphics cards, including the Radeon RX 480, RX 470, and RX 460. AMD aimed at the lower/mid-range markets where gamers are spending less than $300 on a graphics card, with around 80% of gamers falling into this category, concentrating on this market and owning it was an important first step for RTG.
But what about the high-end? The older Fiji-based Radeon R9 Fury X is an underwhelming card now with its limiting 4GB of VRAM, but impressive engineering work with the 4GB of HBM1 and the 28nm GPU on an interposer (the interposer sits under the GPU and HBM1, and is made like a chip as well). The work AMD did on the tiny Radeon R9 Nano at the time was just as great, my favorite card of the Fiji family.
Rumored Tech Specs
- 4096 cores (Vega GPU architecture)
- 14nm FinFET process
- Around 12 TFLOPs of performance (RX 480 has 5.2 TFLOPs, while the GTX 1080 has 10.8 TFLOPs)
- HBM2 (8-16GB) - offering 1024GB/sec over the 320GB/sec on the GTX 1080
- Vega 10 high-end card - 225W TDP
- 1465MHz GPU clock
Rumored Dual GPU Tech Specs
- 4096 cores (Vega GPU architecture)
- Around 24 TFLOPs of performance
- 16-32GB of HBM2 RAM
- 300W TDP (hopefully higher, letting the GPUs and HBM2 stretch their legs)
- 1100MHz GPU clock