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We know that AMD is currently preparing the launch of the Radeon R9 300 series, but between now and then what to add-in board (AIB) partners do? Do they continue ordering Radeon R9 290X, R9 290 and other 200 series GPUs from AMD? Well, that's where we are today.
DigiTimes is reporting from a source close tro them that some of AMD's AIB partners are reducing orders for current-gen Radeon GPUs as there is growing anticipation for the next-gen from AMD, as well as citing reduced demand for Radeon R9 200 series cards. DigiTimes has said: "Since AMD is already planning to unveil its next-generation GPUs in the second half, the sources believe the GPU vendor will have a chance to regain some of its lost market share in the second half of 2015".
The bigger tease is that AMD would reportedly launch its Radeon R9 380X as early as late this month, or early March according to VideoCardz. We might not see that happen, but with less Radeon R9 200 series cards on shelves around the world, AMD could surprise NVIDIA and the world by capitalizing on the GeForce GTX 970 VRAM issues.
Sure, your flashy new GeForce GTX 980 has 4GB of VRAM, and so does the one next to it in SLI. But while you have a total of 8GB of VRAM between two cards, only one set of VRAM is being used, it's not being combined. That is, for now. Things could change according to a recent tweet from AMD's Robert Hallock.
Hallock teased that with the upcoming APIs in Mantle and DirectX 12, two GPUs in SLI or Crossfire could possibly act as 'one big' GPU. Hallock said: "Mantle is the first graphics API to transcend this behavior and allow that much-needed explicit control. For example, you could do split-frame rendering with each GPU ad its respective framebuffer handling 1/2 of the screen. In this way, the GPUs have extremely minimal information, allowing both GPUs to effectively behave as a single large/faster GPU with a correspondingly large pool of memory".
"Ultimately the point is that gamers believe that two 4GB cards can't possibly give you the 8GB of useful memory", he continued. He added: "That may have been true for the last 25 years of PC gaming, but thats not true with Mantle and its not true with the low overhead APIs that follow in Mantle's footsteps". This isn't confirmation that memory stacking is going to happen, but it's a much better direction to be heading in, that's for sure. Especially with 4K and beyond gaming, VRAM is more important than ever and wasting 4-8GB of VRAM on SLI/Crossfire setups is just silly.
We've been hearing the rumbles of an insane video card from EVGA for quite a while now, but here it is: the EVGA GeForce GTX 980 KINGPIN ACX 2.0. From the name alone, you can see that this is the top tier Maxwell-powered GTX 980 from NVIDIA, but the entire package is going to blow you away.
First and foremost, we have a custom designed PCB which has been tailor made to push things right to their breaking points. Under LN2, the new EVGA GeForce GTX 980 KINGPIN ACX 2.0 was capable of an insane 2.2GHz GPU clock, and 8.9GHz on the memory. Comparing this to the stock speeds of 1291MHz for the GPU and 7GHz for the GDDR5 RAM, this is an impressive result for EVGA and KINGPIN. The custom designed PCB is showing its strength here, but it'll be more interesting to see what it does with its ACX 2.0+ cooler.
Speaking of the custom designed PCB, we have a 14+3 Fully Digital VRM which will increase the stability, efficiency and the overall power capacity of the board, all while it runs at low temperatures of an average of 28C. The custom designed PCB has been made from 12 layers of copper, with two 8-pin PCIe power connectors backed up by a third, 6-pin PCIe power connector. All of this power will ensure that the EVGA GeForce GTX 980 KINGPIN ACX 2.0 has enough power when it is receiving a total thrashing in the overclocking department.
Just how is 4K gaming affecting AMD internally right now? According to Robert Hallock who is part of the Technical Communications division for AMD Radeon graphics, he said that gamers are adopting 4K gaming nicely, but the R&D department for AMD is already planning for the future.
For Hallock, the Radeon R9 290X was a major step in that direction, allowing for gamers to play at 4K with a single GPU. Lower-end parts of the market aren't quite there yet, so GamingBolt asked him some questions where he replied with the future of 4K gaming is an evolution of GPU horsepower, which is something AMD is working on. He said: "If you think back to the launch of the AMD Radeon R9 290X, our video card marked arguably the first time anyone could reasonably expect to play games at 4K on a single GPU. Sure, there were some games that needed two for peak image quality, but one was and is pretty solid for the majority of titles. We were also the first company to offer full support for 4K SST displays in our driver".
"4K adoption is very popular amongst the elite enthusiasts, but understandably slower being adopted in lower-end segments. I couldn't characterize the rates with hard numbers as that's not my area of expertise, but this is the sense I'm getting from interacting with the AMD community every day", he continued. Hallock added: "Ultimately, the evolution of GPU horsepower is the biggest factor in driving 4K forward. Graphics being such an important part of our business, of course, you can count on great progress on that front as the years wind on".
By now I'm sure you've read about the VRAM issues surrounding the GeForce GTX 970, and AMD taking a stab at NVIDIA because of it, but now the former is offering gamers special discounts if they return their GTX 970s and pick up a Radeon card.
AMD's Roy Taylor has taken to Twitter, offering GTX 970 owners who return their cards special discounts if they swap them out for Radeon cards, including the R9 290 and R9 290X. Taylor tweeted "Anyone returning their GTX970 and wanting a great deal on a Radeon with a full 4GB please let us know" and even tagged the @NVIDIAGeForce Twitter account at the time.
Are you a GeForce GTX 970 owner? Will you be trading in your GTX 970 for the Radeon R9 290X?
NVIDIA has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons this week with the GeForce GTX 970 VRAM issues, and now someone has played around with NVIDIA's G-Sync technology and got it working on every eDP display thanks to the use of a very special driver.
The driver has come from an ASUS Nordic Support representative, who leaked the internal driver (346.87) that included hidden G-Sync support. The driver itself was issued to fix a totallyt different issue, with the rep not aware that G-Sync support was added. Well, when the person received the driver and installed it, they were met with a popup saying that a G-Sync display had been connected. The leaked driver has been adding support for G-Sync to some notebooks, with the ASUS G751 being one of those.
NVIDIA confirmed with PC Perspective that this technology is still in a very early stage, with the G-Sync support not meant to be added anytime soon. NVIDIA had inadvertently confirmed that a G-Sync module is not required to enable G-Sync, which is where the excitement should begin for most.
Colorful Technology has announced its latest GeForce GTX 960 video cards, with some truly great models being shown off by NVIDIA's biggest AIB partner in China.
We have four different models being unveiled, with the Colorful GTX960 CH which is a reference like card for entry users. Moving on, we have the Colorful GTX960 i-Cafe for System Integrators, the iGame GTX960Ymir-U for general users and for enthusiasts we have the iGame GTX960 Ymir-X. Starting with the GTX960 i-Cafe which features a longer PCB than the reference design, but features the same clocks as the GTX960 CH. The iCafe version provides consumers with better stability and a longer lifespan thanks to its more efficient cooler and higher quality electronic components.
Moving on to the iGame GTX960 Ymir-U which is targeting gamers and general users, which will have two clock models. The first is a power efficiency model which will have clock speeds of 1127/7010MHz while in performance mode it will crank up to 1203/7010MHz. The iGame GTX960 Ymir is the performance model of the Colorful GTX960 series, with triple fans, a steel back panel, breathing light and a longer PCB. We have two clock speeds on this card, with the default efficient mode coming in at 1127/7010MHz while the performance model cranks things up to an insane 1405MHz.
Colorful is concentrating on the Asian market, but it is also looking at channel cooperation in Europe and the United States. We should expect to see much more of Colorful in the future, as we've reached out to them to try and secure some samples to review.
NVIDIA has been getting some flak for the VRAM issues on its GeForce GTX 970, quickly altering the official specifications of the Maxwell-powered card. Well now AMD is jumping on the chance to sell some of its Radeon R9 290X inventory, dropping the price to as low as $299 for the Hawaii-powered card.
AMD has hit back with a serious troll, statign "4GB means 4GB" somethign that blew up on our Facebook page yesterday. AMD emphasizes that its Radeon R9 290 and R9 290X video cards come with 4GB of VRAM, where all 4GB can be filled up to the very last megabyte. On top of this, they have a 512-bit memory bus which is spitting out 320GB/sec of memory bandwidth, something that the Maxwell-powered GeForce GTX 900 series can't do.
We know that AMD will be announcing and then launching its Radeon R9 300 series, but the latest video could be a very big tease of an imminent announcement, we hope. Take a look at AMD's 'The Fixer 3' teaser below.
It really is just a teaser, as it shows off absolutely nothing. A man is walking away from the camera holding a Radeon video card of some sort, with the "The FIX3R" showing up on the screen. We have already seen Fixer 1 and Fixer 2, so the Fixer 3 could be totally unrelated to the Radeon R9 300 series, but there's still hope.
We know that AMD will be launching its Radeon R9 300 series in Q2 2015, so we should expect AMD to begin its marketing machine in the coming weeks and months, for sure.
Last August we reported on the 'Faraway Islands' GPU which was meant to be the Radeon R9 400 series but it looks like this is known as 'Arctic Islands'. You might have guessed from the word 'arctic' that AMD is looking to keep the R9 400 series cooler, with improved power efficiency, better aligning them with NVIDIA's Maxwell-based GeForce GTX 900 series GPUs.
Then in November we reported that the Radeon R9 490X (and any GPU close to it in the R9 400 series) could feature over 1TB/sec memory bandwidth, thanks to HBM. The latest rumors are pointing to Arctic Islands being baked onto the 20nm process, which should see the GPUs running much cooler than the R9 290X which runs quite hot, especially compared to a GTX 980.
When can we expect AMD to begin shipping the Radeon R9 400 series? Well, we are to expect the R9 300 series in Q2 2015 of this year (sometime between April and June) so we shouldn't see the R9 400 series until at least the second half of 2016.