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According to the latest rumors, NVIDIA will be discontinuing the 2GB variant of its mid-range GeForce GTX 960. The 4GB model launched just after the original 2GB model, but with the 4GB model only being around $40 more, it makes sense.
The reason? The GTX 960 doesn't perform as well as AMD's card at the same price point, the Radeon R9 380. The Radeon R9 380 ships with 2GB or 4GB of framebuffer depending on the model, so NVIDIA is making a good move by discontinuing the 2GB model. It will also mean that we could see a price reduction, too. As for the specs, the R9 380 has a 384-bit memory bus, which provides much more memory bandwidth than the 128-bit on the GTX 960.
NVIDIA has released its GeForce 358.50 drivers today, in order to improve performance in the Star War Battlefront open beta. Along with that comes an SLI profile, also specifically aimed improving performance in Battlefront. You can grab both at the source.
The beta begins tomorrow. You should be able to get started via the Origin client when the time comes.
Battlefront is developed by DICE, the guys behind the acclaimed Battlefield series. Word on the Internet is the game was surprisingly fun in the closed beta. However, it doesn't support dedicated servers.
AMD has partnered with Oculus and Dell to set up "Oculus Ready" Alienware computers with Radeon GPUs.
The PCs in question will start at $999 USD and will leverage AMD's LiquidVR technology, which is touted as low-latency, comfortable, and highly compatible with VR headsets.
No launch date is announced as of yet -- Alienware's website only lists the upcoming systems as "coming soon".
AMD teased that its dual-GPU beast was coming earlier this year, but now we're beginning to hear talk of a "Radeon R9 Gemini' shipping from AMD's HQ in Canada.
The Radeon R9 Gemini will most likely arrive to us as the Radeon R9 Fury X2, as it can't succeed the Radeon R9 295X2 because of its name - where if it was the R9 395X2, people would think it features two R9 390X GPUs, versus the Fiji GPU found on the Fury X. The dual-GPU card should feature two fully-enabled Fiji XT cores, the same found on the Fury X, with 4GB of HBM each.
AMD would have the most powerful single video card solution on the market with this card, where it would easy beat the pants off of a GTX 980 Ti or Titan X from NVIDIA. As for pricing, we should expct somewhere over $1000, and most likely headed into the $1199 or so price point. As for availability, we should hopefully hear about this card in the very near future.
We know it's coming, and we can't wait - NVIDIA begins showing off more and more of its new Pascal architecture, teasing the HBM-powered Pascal GPU at GTC Japan 2015 recently.
The last time we saw Pascal was when NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang showed off a prototype board at GTC 2015 in March, but now we're seeing a slightly different Pascal GPU board than we saw earlier this year. The board features an actual Pascal GPU now that it has taped out, with the consumer GeForce card to feature a huge 16GB of HBM2 while the professional side of things will bump things up to 32GB of HBM2.
The design of the board is very similar to the Fiji-powered cards from AMD, as NVIDIA's Pascal chip is on a similar interposer to AMD. It looks slightly bigger, but we should expect the Pascal-powered cards to blow the doors off of the Fiji-powered cards from AMD. We will see DirectX 12 support, around 17 billion transistors, a 4096-bit memory interface, and so much more. Expect more news on this as we get closer to the New Year.
NVIDIA shares climbed 2.7% to $24.36 before hitting a 52-week high of $24.58 Wednesday, following the news the company would be lending its hand (and hardware) to Microsoft's cloud computing project Azure.
Specifically, NVIDIA GRID will find its way into Microsoft's N-Series virtual machine, affording "Quadro-grade" graphics through the cloud. NVIDIA will also be contributing its Tesla K80 GPU accelerators, with the intention of providing "supercomputing-class performance" for "demanding data center and high performance computing applications."
Stock market website TheStreet is recommending investors buy into NVIDIA, saying, "This is driven by some important positives, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and expanding profit margins. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."
The news comes hot off the heels of the unfortunate word from AMD.
AMD has released a new version of its Clean Uninstall Utility (CUU), which helps ensure a smooth install of new audio and video drivers with no system issues afterward.
Anyone who's installed a ton of drivers and played a ton of games over the years likely knows how messy things can get over time, so CUU provides a very valuable service. While unofficial services like Display Driver Uninstaller exist, one might feel more safe with an official utility.
There's no changelog for the new version, but AMD has informed us this release "does not remove USB/Sata drivers, which was a known problem of the old Utility."
You can grab it at the source.
MSI has a bunch of GeForce GTX 980 Ti video cards on the market, but their latest one has quite the unique color scheme: orange and black, something that would go perfectly in our be quiet! Silent Base 800 build, don't you think?
The new MSI GeForce GTX 980 Ti Golden Gaming Edition is pretty much identical to the other GTX 980 Ti cards from MSI, with a new-look cooler. We have three different OC profiles, with the standard OC, Gaming, and Silent Modes. The OC Mode cranks the GM200 GPU to 1190MHz/1291MHz (stock/boost) while the Gaming Mode sets it to 1140/1128MHz and the Silent Mode sits at 1000/1076MHz for stock/boost, respectively.
The same 6GB of GDDR5 is onboard at 7GHz (or 7.1GHz in OC Mode), with no pricing or availability from MSI just yet.
AMD has released its Catalyst 15.9.1 beta driver, a slight update over the recently released 15.9 beta driver.
The latter improved performance in the Fable: Legends benchmark and The Star Wars: Battlefront beta, but also gave rise to a severe memory leak bug that triggered when resizing windows. That bug is fixed in 15.9.1, so download and install to your heart's content.
Driver notes are below.
Exclusive: AMD has enjoyed being the first to market with a HBM-powered video card, with the Radeon R9 Nano, R9 Fury and R9 Fury X all powered by High Bandwidth Memory. But it looks like the company might run into troubles sourcing HBM2 in 2016 according to our industry sources.
Our source reached out to us today, saying that they "wouldn't count on [AMD] using HBM2 next year", but wouldn't elaborate further. This is an interesting rumor, because if it were true, it would mean that the use of HBM2 would shift primarily to NVIDIA. NVIDIA's next-gen Pascal architecture is already being tested internally by the company according to the latest rumors, and will rock HBM2. But AMD's next-gen GPU is rumored to rock between 8GB and 16GB of HBM2, is something we don't know too much about yet.
If AMD is in trouble with HBM2 next year, they might be stuck with short end of HBM2 yields. If so, we could see AMD utilizing HBM2 for their highest end GPU, which will most likely be a Fury X successor. Under that, we could see the company possibly using HBM1, but personally, I think HBM1 is something that should be used on mid-range cards for AMD's next-generation product stack.