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NVIDIA is reportedly preparing a big gaming notebook push for Computex 2016, which kicks off in June in Taipei. According to SweClockers, NVIDIA will be launching their new Pascal-based mobile GPU at the show, with a big focus on portable Pascal-powered gaming notebooks.
Computex 2016 starts on May 31, and runs through to June 4. We should expect NVIDIA to show something off during the show, with a bigger event to showcase Pascal sometime either slightly before Computex, or in the weeks after. NVIDIA focusing on the gaming notebook market makes sense, as they've made a huge dent in the market recently - as they noted a huge 34.2% increase in mobile GPU shipments in the last quarter.
NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 950 was already a pretty damn efficient video card, but with a more efficient GTX 950 rumored to be in the works, ASUS seems to be the first AIB partner with a super-efficient GTX 950.
ASUS has introduced a new GTX 950, which features the same GM206 core with 786 CUDA cores, 64 TMUs and 32 ROPs. This is an NVIDIA reference design card with 2GB of GDDR5 @ 6.6GHz on a 128-bit memory bus, but the GPU and Boost clocks have been changed. The reference GTX 950 from NVIDIA has a GPU clock of 1024MHz versus the 1051MHz on the ASUS GTX 950, while the Boost clock is the same 1188MHz on both variants.
The difference between NVIDIA's reference board and the new ASUS GTX 950 is that the former requires a 6-pin PCIe power connector and has a TDP of 90W while the new ASUS GTX 950 requires no PCIe power connector, and has a TDP of just 75W (the maximum power provided by the PCIe 3.0 x16 port). ASUS does splash in some overclocking profiles, with "OC Mode" and "Gaming Mode" on the new GTX 950 video card. Gaming Mode has a default GPU clock of 1026MHz and 1190MHz Boost while the OC Mode pushes it up to 1051MHz.
The DOTA2 Shanghai Major is on right now, taking place between March 2-6 at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, China.
16 of world's best DOTA2 teams are fighting it out to become the champion of the inaugural Shanghai Major, with a huge total prize pool of $3 million. NVIDIA is standing behind the DOTA2 competition, with the organizers choosing the GeForce GTX 980 Ti for the PCs running the DOTA2 Shanghai Major.
AMD's new Radeon Technologies Group will be hosting an AMA on Reddit, where the company will talk about its Fury X2, plans for VR, DirectX 12 and so much more.
In the AMD subreddit, it was teased: "The first reddit AMD Q&A/AMA is happening soon. Right here. The Q&A is open to all topics dealing with anything under the Radeon Technologies Group (the Radeon division of AMD). Some big secrets could be unveiled this Thursday, so bring your best questions! Likely topics of discussion will most likely include Vulkan, FreeSync, GPUOpen, Polaris, Fury X2, VR, DirectX 12, and anything else you're curious about. Don't ask about Zen. It's still a super secret".
The AMA will take place right here, today (March 3) at 10AM-5PM central time.
AMD has followed up last week's 16.2 Crimson driver with its 16.2.1 beta driver today. It of course includes the fixes for the various system issues and a handful of bugs in Fallout 4 and Rise of the Tomb Raider as before if you missed them. The new addition is some love for Crossfire users. Specifically, a Crossfire profile for Ubisoft action adventure game Far Cry Primal.
Hit the source to grab the new driver. If you're not interested in the Crossfire profile but missed the previous 16.2 WHQL driver, grab it here.
AMD is being very forward about teasing what Roy Taylor calls 'the world's best VR solution' - this time partnering with the Associated Press, and sending them a bunch of dual-GPU powered VR gaming machines. It was only a few days ago when we got our first real look at the R9 Fury X2 inside of the Falcon Northwest Tiki gaming PC.
Roy Taylor took to his personal Facebook and Twitter accounts, saying: "Thanks Wallace Santos for his partnership in shipping the world's best #VR solution to the #AssociatedPress". We still don't know what's inside, but I'm sure it's AMD's dual-GPU based on the Fiji architecture - currently known (or at least, it should be called) the Radeon R9 Fury X2. It's also gone by codename Gemini, which also sounds super-awesome.
AMD is set to "spice things up" at the Game Developers Conference on March 14, where we might see either the dual-GPU in action or Polaris.
Just in time for the launch of Far Cry Primal and Gears of War: Ultimate Edition on the PC, which launched just earlier today, NVIDIA has a Game Ready Driver ready and available to help optimize the experience.
Driver 362.00 is was released earlier this morning as well and provides some nice stability and performance enhancements that make Gears of War: Ultimate Edition especially. Gears, unfortunately, is only playable on NVIDIA hardware at the moment due to some strange occurrences and performance issues happening on AMD hardware.
One of the more impressive things we saw at CES earlier this year was the external GPU docking solution for the new Razer Blade Stealth, which has the ability of taking an external GPU. The technology used is impressive, with it being powered by Thunderbolt 3.
Well, external graphics are all the rage right now with Alienware's Graphics Amplifier, and MSI's Gaming Dock resulting in great external GPU power solutions, for your not-so-great gaming laptop. Jason Evangelho from Forbes is reporting that AMD's Robert Hallock teased on Facebook that an external video card solution could be on the way, with Hallock reiterating that ultra-thin notebooks are becoming more and more popular, especially when compared to the huge gaming notebooks on the market with seriously powerful mobile GPU solutions.
Hallock said: "I also bet there's a bunch of gamers out there who, as they get into their 30s and 40s, wouldn't mind condensing their entire computing life down into one device that does it all. I ALSO bet that some people wouldn't mind giving up an mITX LAN rig if their notebook had the potential to serve that role with gusto". External GPU solutions aren't a possible future, they are the future for laptops. Hallock added: "External GPUs are the answer. External GPUs with standardized connectors, cables, drivers, plug'n'play, OS support, etc. More info very soon".
Discrete GPU shipments increased in Q4 2015, but were down 9% from 2014 - so how were notebook discrete GPU shipments? Well, NVIDIA saw an increase of notebook discrete GPU shipments - an increase of 34.2% - a considerable number.
Why the increase? Thanks to the industry's fastest mobility GPU - the GeForce GTX 980. NVIDIA's notebook-based GeForce GTX 980 was launched in September 2015 and has been powering the fastest gaming notebooks since. The GTX 980 is capable of 1080p 60FPS without a problem, and even 1440p and 4K gaming. The Maxwell-powered GPU is the same technology found on the desktop GTX 980, but NVIDIA did considerable work to shrink the PCB and VRMs down to fit it into a notebook - and obviously, it has been met with great success.
We haven't seen a new GPU release in over 6 months, but GPU shipments are quite healthy. According to the latest data from Jon Peddie Research, overall GPU shipments increased 2.4% in Q4 2015 compared to the previous quarter. Why the increase? Well, new games were released in the last three months of 2015, but with next-gen GPUs only months away, consumers are holding back their wallets.
AMD noticed a 5.16% increase quarter-to-quarter while competitor NVIDIA had an 8.41% increase, leaving Intel with a smaller 0.73% increase. The attach rate of GPUs for Q4 2015 was 139%, which was up 0.59% from the previous quarter while discrete GPUs were in 31.28% of all PCs - a number that's up 1.34%. The entire PC market increased 2.01% quarter-to-quarter, but decreased 10.27% year-to-year.