ASUS has announced its new ROG XG Station 2, their next-gen external graphics enclosure that replaces the original XG Station that was launched in 2007.
The new ROG XG Station 2 handles the best of the best GPUs on the market, with 1 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slot, 2 x 8-pin PCIe power connectors - handling up to 500W. Not only that, but it can provide another 100W of power to give your notebook some battery love, with the internal PSU meeting 80 Plus Gold efficiency.
ASUS utilizes the high bandwidth of Thunderbolt 3 for its new ROG XG Station 2, where it can use GbE network connectivity, and a 4-port USB 3.0 hub thanks to the additional bandwidth provided. If the bandwidth of Thunderbolt 3 isn't enough (40Gbps) you can slap on an additional USB 3.0 connection (with another 5Gbps of bandwidth) - with ASUS claiming it will improve performance, but I'm guessing not by that much (less than 10%).
ASUS has used a vertical seam, which lets you install your graphics card easily, while the walls of the ROG XG Station 2 being perforated for ventilation, so that the 3 x 70mm fans can get all of that heat out. RGB LED lighting of course makes the cut, and can be tweaked using the ASUS Aura software.
We've been hearing rumbles of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti for a while now, but it seems we might be closer to the release than we thought - now that NVIDIA is reportedly preparing "Club GeForce".
What is Club GeForce? PCWorld reports that NVIDIA's own GeForce Experience software teases it as: "I think of GFE Rewards as more than giveaways-it's a Club with exclusive benefits for GFE users. Through the Club we can help improve our customer's gaming experience and build a GeForce/GFE community". The benefits? One free indie game once a year, as well as a free skin or in-game item for a AAA game once every quarter. There's also weekly giveaways of full games, beta codes, hardware, and more.
In the post, there is a tease for "980 Ti users get first spot in line for 1080 Ti pre-orders"... which is, well, rather interesting to see. The post itself is from a LinkedIn post by NVIDIA looking for a Senior Marketing Manager - GeForce, Gamer Loyalty & Advocacy.
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