As we get closer to the purported release window of NVIDIA's next-gen GeForce GTX 11 series, the more juicy the rumors get - leading into today and the purported GeForce GTX 1170. As always, this is a huge rumor and I doubt it's even close to real, but let's take a look at it anyway.
The new purported GeForce GTX 1170 has been benchmarked with an Intel Core i5-8600K processor in 3DMark, beating out NVIDIA's best consumer GeForce graphics card, the GTX 1080 Ti. Inside, the GTX 1170 reportedly runs a 256-bit memory bus with 16GB of GDDR6 RAM and a GPU clock speed of 2.5GHz, which is huge.
NVIDIA used a brick wall with GPU clock speeds with Pascal with even the most enthusiast-focused GTX 1080/1080 Ti hitting a maximum GPU clock of 2.2GHz, unless it was heavily modded to take more power. When that happened, the walls to 2.5GHz were risen, and the path to 2.7-2.8GHz were opened.
I've been writing all year that NVIDIA would be launching its next-gen GTX series sometime in August/September, with multiple AIB partners telling me at Computex 2018 in June that they were preparing GTX 11 cards for August launch, September availability.
DigiTimes is now reporting that its sources have said that TSMC will be seeing revenue growth in Q4 2018 from "shipments of NVIDIA's new-generation GPUs". TSMC has experienced declines in revenue of late, partly because of decreased GPU orders from not just NVIDIA but Bitmain for mining ASICs.
Apple announced a bunch of updated MacBook Pros with some additional GPU horsepower if needed, with the announcement of a team up with Blackmagic on a new external GPU.
The new external GPU in question is based on the Radeon Pro 580 with 8GB of VRAM, which Apple says is good for up to 2.8x faster graphics performance on the refreshed 15-inch MBP, while it should be a whopping 8x faster than the GPU inside of the new 13-inch MBP.
The new Apple/Blackmagic external GPU mash up packs 2 x Thunderbolt 3 ports, 4 x USB 3.0 ports, and 1 x HDMI 2.0 port which means it doubles as a docking station, too. It's also the first external GPU solution to support Thunderbolt 3 displays, such as the 5K-capable LG display that Apple itself recommends for the MacBook Pro.
Apple sells the new Blackmagic eGPU for $699, and is an Apple exclusive.
AMD will be unleashing its refreshed Vega 20 GPU in the coming weeks, made on the industry-leading 7nm node and it'll feature some great improvements over the current Vega 10 GPU made on 14nm.
Vega 20 isn't being aimed at gamers and rather the HPC/automotive/AI markets with its huge 32GB of HBM2 and PCIe 4.0 standard. AMD is looking to aim Vega 20 at NVIDIA's current flagship Tesla V100 solution, which was recently bumped up to 32GB of HBM2 at GTC 2018 earlier this year.
The new details on Vega 20 see it coming in at just 360mm2 compared to Vega 10 at 510mm2, a huge 70% reduction in total die size thanks to the fresh 7nm node. This is where a fork in the road happens: AMD can choose power savings with the die size savings, or they can ramp clock speeds up.
AMD has lost a few people to Intel in the last year, and now they're fighting back by securing an ex-Intel executive who served as the Vice President, Core and Visual Computing Group, Chief Engineer, VTT and Director of Hardware and Co-Director of Architecture, VPG at Intel. Martin Ashton had a huge title at AMD.
Ashton was with Intel for just 21 months, and before joining Chipzilla hs worked in the UK with Imagination Technologies. Imagination Technologies, in case you didn't know, made the PowerVR GPUs that went over to Apple, with Ashton moving to Intel before that happened. And now as Intel is slipping in more ways than one, Ashton has jumped ship to AMD.
AMD reached out to me to let me know that Martin will be joining the Radeon Technologies Group and will "drive architecture and execution of Radeon graphics IP that will extend across our discrete graphics, integrated graphics, and semi-custom products".
AMD told me: "We are very happy to bring Martin and his talent to AMD for our graphics roadmap and business. David Wang is building a great team, both from within AMD with key promotions, and with key external additions like Martin".
NVIDIA is expected to unveil their next-gen GeForce GTX 11 series graphics card later this month, with a release in August/September as per our previous exclusive reports, but what about gaming notebooks?
Well, it looks like the GeForce GTX 1160 could fly in and save the day during the holidays according to LaptopMedia who are reporting the GTX 1160 6GB mobile GPU will be used inside of the updated Lenovo Legion Y530 notebook, a notebook that currently packs the GTX 1050 and GTX 1050 Ti depending on which model you buy.
We have no idea what to expect from the new GeForce GTX 1160 in mobile form, but we should expect NVIDIA to use tap that new GDDR6 technology which will give the mid-range GPU a nice bump in any laptop it powers. We could expect a rather large 336GB/sec from 6GB of GDDR6 on a 192-bit memory bus, which would be a large performance jump that would bring it up to the 320GB/sec that the GTX 1080 pumps out with its GDDR5X.
ASRock made quite the splash with its new Phantom Gaming series of Radeon RX 500 series cards a few months ago, but it looks like the company is set to release the Radeon RX Vega variants in reference form, which is kinda boring.
Both of the new Vega-based cards will come in Phantom Gaming X form, with both the RX Vega 56 and RX Vega 64 variants arriving in reference form, without any technological changes to the cooler... so don't expect cooler operation or quieter gaming at all. We will see the usual specs from the cards, with 8GB of HBM2 being the highlight here.
It's the best way to start the week: new rumors on AMD's latest graphics technology hitting our gaming PCs... but when will it happen? What will they be? WCCFTech is back at it again, with some serious click bait-y rumors on 'Polaris 30' and Vega 20 on 7nm for gamers.
The site is sourcing a post on Chiphell that states Polaris 30 will arrive later this year, yet another rebadged and refreshed Polaris after Polaris 10 and Polaris 20. Polaris 30 would arrive in Q4 2018 before the big push into Navi next year which will be a mid-range part that should include GDDR6 technology.
The more interesting part here is not Polaris 30 (which according to my sources will not be happening) as my source has said "AMD will have nothing new for close to a year", but it is Vega 20 on 7nm for gamers. AMD has already teased Vega 20 on 7nm at Computex 2018 as part of an upcoming refresh of Radeon Instinct, but what about gamers? We want a new high-end GPU as well, right?!
Vega 20 will be made on the much more efficient 7nm node that will usher in higher GPU clock speeds and lowered power consumption and heat, with a huge 4096-bit interface. AMD will reportedly be using 16GB of HBM2 on their new high-end gaming card, but I truly doubt it'll be able to compete with NVIDIA's upcoming GeForce GTX 1180.
We knew that from the last lot of leaks from an internal AMD slide last year that the company was planning PCIe 4.0 support for its upcoming Vega 20 GPU, and now we have some more support for these claims.
AMD engineers are hard at work on Linux drivers for its fresh new Vega 20, which is being made on the smaller 7nm node. The new PCIe 4.0 standard will usher in some huge bandwidth increases, as PCIe 3.0 has been with us for close to a decade now and feels stale with its 8.0GT/s of raw bit rate and 8Gbps of link bandwidth, where PCIe 4.0 doubles those numbers to 16GT/s and 16Gbps of bandwidth.
The previous rumor pegged Vega 20 for the second half of 2018, made on the 7nm node with 4-stack HBM2 giving us 1TB/sec with 16GB or 32GB HBM to choose from, PCIe 4.0 x16 support and between 150-300W of power. Now we can expect PCIe 4.0 motherboards around the corner, perfect timing for AMD to push into the datacenter.
It seems NVIDIA is ramping up towards something big with a new prototype turning up just days after the company celebrated Alan Turing's birthday, we have a picture of a prototype board of a next-gen GPU.
The board in question has 3 x 8-pin PCIe power connectors, and 12 modules of Micron's super-fast GDDR6 technology on-board, as well as what seems like NVLink connectivity at the top. There's no GPU on the board itself, but with the 12 modules of GDDR6 we could see a next-gen GeForce GTX 1180 with 12GB of GDDR6 RAM.
This might not be a new GeForce GPU, and could be a new Tesla (based on Turing). From what I've been told the new GeForce will be a heavily refined Pascal GPU architecture named Ampere, while the GPU to succeed Volta will be Turing. This could very well be a Turing-based card being tested with GDDR6, mostly for the strange connectivity at the top of the board, which could be NVLink.