nvidia-geforce-gtx-logo
Hardware

It would appear that the rumors about Gamescom had the general gist correct because the GTX 880 is set for a paper launch in mid-september in an Nvidia hosted event. The information comes from the reliable Videocardz.com and fits in with the overall scheme of things that we have been hearing about. The actual launch and the time when you can get your hands on the GTX 880 is Late September or Early October, approximately the same time frame which we revealed to you one week back.Maxwell-GTX-880-

Nvidia Geforce GTX 880 Paper Launching in Mid September – Actual Launch by Early October

Lets start with the facts first. You would recall that we originally gave you an Oct/Nov timeframe for the GTX 880, something we later narrowed down to Early October. This timeframe has now been confirmed by VCZ’s mole as well. We also told you that the GTX 870 will be landing in Early October as well with the GTX 860 following in Late October. Though VCZ’s mole failed to mention this, it is none the less true. The rest of the things mentioned have already been revealed by us before, so I wont go into much detail there. It would appear that initially the GTX 880 is going to ship with just 4GB of GDDR5 memory with the 8GB configurations shipping later (and costing more ofcourse).

While VCZ speculates at a price of $450-$400, unless Nvidia has suddenly developed a very charitable heart, we would speculate at a price of around $499. Nvidia has followed this tactic since the G92 for flagship cards. Unless ofcourse, there is something drastically different this time. Which, could be the fact that the GTX 880, the apparent flagship, is only a placeholder for the real flagship to come. VC also states that the GTX 880 is set to replace the GTX 770 (this does not mean that the GTX 880 is equivalent in power to the 770  contrary to popular belief) so that leaves the GTX 780 and GTX 780 Ti to be replaced by the GM200. In that case a cheap GTX 880 would make sense. However, since we don’t have any authenticated leaks in the performance department we will leave that till the time comes.

AMD Tonga Radeon R9 285
Hardware

AMD is preparing their next generation Tonga GPU for launch and Sweclockers has just revealed a bunch of information regarding the naming scheme of the card itself. The new Tonga GPU based card will be known as Radeon R9 285 and will replace the aged Tahiti core which has almost spanned a good three years lifetime.AMD Tonga Radeon R9 285

AMD Tonga Based Radeon R9 285 Graphics Card Scheduled For Q3 ’14

We have known Tonga for a while as it was one of the names which appeared in Catalyst files dating back to AMD’s GPU ’14 press event. The GPU which was actually supposed to be a part of AMD’s current Volcanic Islands R9 200 series line was pushed back in AMD’s GPU roadmap since AMD preferred rebranding almost half of their products for the new lineup. AMD went ahead to rebrand the Pitcairn, Cape Verde and Tahiti chips into the R9 200 series cards we know today that come at amazing value but feature the exact same specifications from two years ago. Well, the time for their retirement is coming close as AMD is one the verge of launching their successors.

While Tahiti is generally replaced by its successor Hawaii, it is still a part of the current R9 200 series line as a performance part rather than the high-end product. AMD’s Tonga GPU which will feature the Radeon R9 285 branding will replace the Tahiti core but Tahiti will cease to exist until the launch of AMD’s next generation graphics lineup “R9 300″ series since two cards, the Radeon R9 280X and Radeon R9 280 are based on Tahiti XT and Tahiti Pro GPUs and AMD has no plans to launch a product in this price market.

nvidia-geforce-gtx-logo
Hardware

Resolution is a pretty interesting subject. Since it is a case of diminishing returns, the field is inevitably divided into two camps: the purists and those who can never have enough resolution. Most of the enthusiasts and gamers lie somewhere between these two points but probably the most agreed upon resolution is 1080p (or atleast currently anyways). It is therefore, quite troubling that the Oculus Rift, the visual gaming device of next generation only has a resolution of 1280×800 or atleast unless Nvidia’s R&D department can do something about it.nvidia cascaded display

Innovative LCD OverLapping Method Devised by Nvidia’s R&D Department to Increase Oculus Rift’s Resolution

So Basically, the concept is called Cascaded Display and it tries to offer a very cheap solution to the problem that not only Oculus Rift but all head mounted VR Displays faces: increasing resolution without adding an insane price tag. And I am pretty sure, nearly every one would agree that 1280×800 is too low a resolution with 1080p being the bare minimum. Well, Nvidia’s R&D department claims it can raise the ‘perceivable resolution’ to 2560×1600 and very cheaply at that. All they would need to do is stack 2 LCDs together. The method is really quite ingenious and surprisingly very simple. So simple in fact that anyone with reasonable DIY experience could make the hardware at home, although where they would get the software to run that is any body’s guess.

nvidia-geforce-gtx-logo
Hardware

We have received a pretty interesting update on Nvidia’s Maxwell Mobility front. This mobility leak, as usual, comes from the user Cloudfire over at NotebookReview Forums. Apparently, the GTX 980M Flagship is landing in October this year. Since the release date of desktop Maxwell also coincides with this, and the information comes from a reliable source, I will not be tagging this post as a rumor and will treat it as confirmed.

Maxwell-GTX-880-

Geforce 900 Series Mobility Maxwell – GTX 980M Flagship Shipping in October

Uptill  now we only knew that some new Geforce Mobility Cards were coming and that they were going to have Maxwell Counterparts as well. We now have a more or less a reliable lock on the release date of the main card as well. The New Nvidia cards are going to be landing in around October this year and are going to be a part of the new 900 series. The Geforce GTX 980m is going to be the flagship card of the whole bunch and though we do not have confirmation on lithography, it will most likely be Maxwell and the mobile variant of the GM204 die.

That said, I am not sure how this will fit in with the 880MX leaks we have been getting for a while now. Since if the dies are Maxwell then in all probability we are looking at 28nm node and if it is 28nm then the GTX 880MX was supposed to be the new mobility king. If the GTX 980M is instead making an appearance then does that mean we won’t be seeing the MX series after all? Most Probably. Unless ofcourse, Nvidia goes completely bonkers and decides to go for another milking run instead, which would seem highly unlikely. Since the Mobility GPU, GTX 980M has a very distinctive name, not to mention a nomenclature flagship, as opposed to a transitional name such as being a variant of the preceding series with just ‘MX’ added, these GPUs are here to stay for a while. Now for some good old speculation on the upcoming Geforce 900 Series Mobility Cards Lineup:

CryoVenom Radeon R9 295X2
Hardware

VisionTek has expanded their CryoVenom series of liquid cooled and limited edition graphics cards lineup with the latest CryoVenom Radeon R9 295X2 offering superior cooling performance and easier installation then the stock variant of AMD’s flagship Vesuvius graphics card. The CryoVenom Radeon R9 295X2 ships in a standalone liquid block version at $1750.00 US, 240mm radiator variant for $2000.00 and 360mm rad variant for $2025.00 US. The company also ships their liquid cooling kits and bundles seperately which can be bought  for $299.99 and $329.99 US respectively.CryoVenom

VisionTek’s GPU Lineup Expands With CryoVenom Radeon R9 295X2 Liquid Cooled Graphics Card

High-Performance Liquid Cooled CryoVenom Graphics Card Line

Press Release - VisionTek Products LLC, (VisionTek) http://www.visiontekproducts.com, a leading manufacturer of award-winning, high-performance upgrades and accessories for PCs and Macs®, today announced the addition of new graphics cards models, complete cooling kits, and card/cooling kit bundles to its high-performance liquid cooled PC compatible CryoVenom line.

Complete Kits Solve Four Major Liquid Cooling Concerns

To complement the CryoVenom R9 290 liquid cooled graphics card, the “quietest, coolest, and fastest” single AMD GPU ever tested by PC Magazine, and Finalist in the Best New Product – Computer Hardware category of The 2014 American Business Awards, CryoVenom Liquid Cooling Kits were developed in conjunction with EKWB to solve four major concerns of those considering liquid cooling:

AMD Elite Hexa Core Logo
Hardware

[Rumor][Debunked: Fake] [See comment below for more information] The first CPUZ shot of the much awaited next generation APU has finally leaked out. The source is someone I have never used before but the site in question is of very high ranking. However, I am still going to tag this as rumor because of a single inconsistency mentioned below. The website is Guru3D .

AMD A-Series Old RobotAMD A-Series Mascot Robots

AMD’s Flagship 20nm Carrizo APU A10-8890K – 95W TDP, Hexa Core and 4.4 Ghz Clock

Now a CPUZ from a reliable source is pretty much what any news house worth their salt hopes for. And this appears to be just that. The first thing I noticed is that AMD is continuing the standard APU nomenclature and the new Carrizo APU will be called the A10-8890K. The A10 prefix indicates its part in the A-10 Elite series and K suffix indicates that this particular APU will have an unlocked multiplier. Now if you take a look at the logo you will notice that it says “Elite Hexa Core”, which means that Carrizo APU has 6 cores and considering the TDP (95W) and core clock of 4.4 Ghz thats pretty damn impressive. Take a look at the CPUZ yourself:

nvidia-geforce-gtx-logo
Hardware

It looks like Nvidia has finally spoken officially about Mantle. And turns out that they think that Mantle is basically useless (for Geforce GPUs) and there is no sense in supporting it. This is probably one of the most painstakingly obvious PR reports I am going to make. There was just no way Nvidia would end up supporting Mantle, regardless of the fact whether Mantle could or could not have been of use to them. The sheer rivalry and competitive nature of their relationship just would not have permitted this to happen.

NVIDIA DirectX 11 API Advancements GeForce 337.50 BETANvidia’s “Wonder Drivers”

Nvidia’s Official Stance on Mantle: Hasn’t Happened, Wont Happen and Not Needed

The actual PR statement was made on a Podcast at MaximumPC and the transcript has been taken from DSOGaming.com. Before we begin lets take a look at that they said, here is the first para:

“We don’t know much about Mantle, we are not part of Mantle. And clearly if they see value there they should go for it. And if they can convince game developers to go for it, go for it. It’s not an Nvidia thing. The key thing is to develop great technologies that deliver benefits to gamers. Now in the case of Mantle it’s not so clear to me that there is a lot of obvious benefits there.” – Tom Petersen & Rev Lebaradian.

Basically Nvidia stated that if you take a look at their recent driver updates you will notice almost no performance difference between the new drivers and Mantle API in configurations that matter which is possibly a reference to the fact that extreme amounts of CPU Overhead is rare (e.g: coupling an i3 with a GTX 780 Ti SLI). They are of course referring to the wonder drivers that matched Mantle’s performance increases on the DX11 (something I released criticism on too) which was quite an achievement. The problem is that, nearly every other game is optimized differently so it becomes very hard to distinguish between an API’s Low Level Optimization and just plain old driver optimization. The end result is that the battle becomes blurred and the stage remains unchanged.

nvidia-geforce-gtx-logo
Hardware Industry

NVIDIA’s next generation Maxwell core architecture based GeForce GTX 880, GeForce GTX 870 and GeForce GTX 860 will launch in October this year, as reported by GDM.OR.JP. The site which is part of one of the most major hardware retailers in Japan have been pretty accurate with their earlier leaks so we will assume that the October launch time-frame is quite accurate considering the launch was planned for Q4 2014 was narrowed down to October / November a few weeks ago and now we have a much more accurate schedule of NVIDIA’s Maxwell GPU launches.NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880

NVIDIA Maxwell Based GeForce GTX 880 and GeForce GTX 870 To Launch in Early October

The first two Maxwell cards to launch in the consumer market would be the high-performance GeForce GTX 880 and GeForce GTX 870. These cards will feature the GM204 core architecture which is the successor of the GK104/GK114 core from the Kepler generation. From little things we know thanks to the leaked PCB shot of NVIDIA’s alleged GeForce GTX 880 graphics card, we come to know that the core being used for the sample variant was GM204-INT41684-A1 however there has been a little variation in the codename and it is now called GM204-CS0-A1 (note that the CS stands for Consumer Sample) which means that final testing is under way and the chip will soon end up in the consumer market as the GeForce GTX 880. The chip is also the first of four variants which will make their way to the rest of the lineup including the GeForce GTX 870.

The GeForce GTX 870 on the other hand will be a cut down variant of the GK204 core featured on GeForce GTX 880 with some disabled SMM (Streaming Multiprocessor Maxwell) units. Its not know what specifications does the GM204 hold in general but it does feature a die size larger than its predecessor which is due to the existing 28nm process technology and the card will make use of high-frequency SKHynix H5GQ4H24MFR 0.5G clocked at 7 GHz. We will most probably be looking at a 256-bit since the memory arrangement as seen on the ES board is similar to the GeForce GTX 680 ES board and the final consumer variant. The card was shown with 8 GB GDDR5 memory which is a lot of VRAM for a reference card but we believe that the cards will ship in 4 GB variants. Aside from that, the total power consumption would be similar to Kepler around 195W but it will deliver performance on scale with some of the overclocked GeForce GTX 780 Ti’s we have seen. If the recent GeForce GTX 880 benchmark is taken for reference, we might be looking at a 20-30% performance uplift from Maxwell over GK110 which is insane and makes us wonder the performance uplift with the GM200 core which won’t ship to consumers till next year.

nvidia-geforce-gtx-logo
Hardware

There have been countless leaks and rumors about Nvidia’s Second Generation Maxwell Architecture. Some of them have been pretty far fetched while others are almost confirmed. I have wanted to do an aggregate post summarizing all the authentic leaks so far for quite some time now but haven’t gotten the chance up-till now. I would also like to point out that the Majority of the Maxwell Mobility details have been spotted by the now well-known user Cloudfire (over at NotebookReview Forums) while the desktop variant leaks have multiple sources, including but limited to: Videocardz.com, SweClockers.com and Our Own.Maxwell-GTX-880-

Geforce Second Generation Maxwell Architecture – GM204, GM206 and GM200 Overview

Lets start with the desktop counterparts first. As you can probably guess, all Nvidia cores starting with the prefix GM2xx are Maxwell Second Generation cores. Now the first generation of the Maxwell Architecture was the GM107 which is present in the GTX 750 and GTX 750 Ti. Now the first generation of Maxwell introduced some very impressive performance gains on the same node. However, due to some drastic change of plans behind the curtains, Nvidia seems to have abandoned the GM1xx completely; at least as far as Desktop is concerned. Currently all reports have pointed to the GM2xx Dies being developed on the 28nm node and this begs the question what is the difference between GM1xx and GM2xx. There are two possibilities, one is what I want to hear: that the GM2xx might contain ARM cores and the other which I logically know is more probable: performance gains and a better architectural revision. The cores are as follows:

AMD Core Logo
Hardware

Update: The teaser is actually done on an easy to spot ”cool truck” template found on the web (thanks to _John_ for that) but the image itself was posted by AMD PR. See my comment below for more information.

[Caution: Not Confirmed] I noticed something pretty interesting posted over at Planet3DNow. Basically the guys over there have managed to find an AMD PR image that was posted under the #AMDEvolved twitter handle (I couldn’t find the picture myself, but I probably didn’t look hard enough). The picture depicts 12 AMD Robots. Since the robots are an analogy for cores, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that AMD is planning something with 12 Cores.

AMD 12 Core ProcessorA truck carrying 12 AMD ‘Cores’. The A Series Logo depicting APUs is also visible.

PR Material Hints at an A Series APU with 12 CPU Cores – Probably Steamroller

Before I let the wrong idea through let me explain why I have tagged it as ‘Not Confirmed’. See, AMD has a very funny way of naming cores. Kaveri has, according to AMD, 12 compute cores. 4 of these cores are CPU and 8 of these are CUs. Ofcourse this is pretty misleading since CPU and GPU cores are nothing alike, but the fact remains. It is possible that these 12 Robots depict 12 Compute Cores as opposed to just 12 Steamroller Cores and I wanted to make that clear. This is also the reason I have tagged the post as not confirmed. An interesting thing to note is that AMD introduced a new ‘robot’ in their “Core is Back” teaser video, which has a red color scheme. However these are the old robots with the standard white color scheme. This seems to suggest that all these robots are on the old steamroller architecture and not a new one. And since Kaveri already exists, boasting a 12 Compute Core A Series APU doesn’t make any sense and therein lies the logical conclusion: the truck must be boasting 12 Steamroller Cores.

Assassins Creed Unity Logo
Games

Assassins Creed Unity is the next step in the famous game series that has quite the cult following. The game is powered by the Anvil Engine and Ubisoft recently did a tech demo for the upcoming iteration of AC which is Unity. The engine looks quite beautiful and boasts a plethora of interesting effects. CryEngine seems to be in trouble (if reports are to be believed) and the field is open for the next king of the hill when it comes to gaming engines.

Assassins_Creed_UnityImage courtesy of SweClockers.com

Ubisoft Anvil Engine Shown Off Using Assassins Creed Unity Tech Demo

Although Unreal Engine is currently the  favorite for taking over the vacuum that could be left behind CryEngine (if hypothetically speaking, its troubles continue) multiple tech demos have been emerging on the scene. Assassins Creed Unity’s Tech Demo shows of the Anvil Engine to great effect. The developers managed to recreate old Paris in an almost 1 to 1 scale. The demo showed off some very advanced lightning features, volumetric lightning and shadows. But perhaps the most promising thing (at least according to the demo) was the Advanced AI.

nvidia-geforce-gtx-logo
Hardware

Some pretty interesting information has surfaced in a drivers update at Laptopvideo2go (via Videocardz). Apparently the .inf file to the driver update that contains support for two Maxwell powered Quadro Professional GPUs has been posted, along with a new nomenclature. This means that the video industry will soon be able to utilize the power increase and efficiency offered by the Maxwell architecture and get to enjoy an unfortunate nomenclature.NVIDIA Quadro K6000 GPU

Nvidia Driver Update Reveals Quadros with Maxwell Cores – Mobility Included

Now the biggest difference between Quadro and your mainstream Nvidia cards is the double precision floating point operation per cycle ratio. For Quadro variants this number is 1. Which means the card can process 1 double precision floating point operation per cycle per core (which is a 1/2 ratio). In sharp contrast a Fermi’s double precision floating point performance (aka FP64) is 1/8th of FP32 ( Single Precision). A Kepler 780′s FP64 performance is 1/16 of FP32 and finally a Maxwell 750′s FP64 is 1/32 of FP32. I am sure you can see a trend here. Basically if you want that sweet 1 to 2 ratio, you are going to have to pay the premium and quite a big one at that. As you can imagine, a Maxwell core inside a professional GPU will make quite a performance jump. VC managed to locate the IDs of the GPUs and alot them to the correct nomenclature:

nvidia-geforce-gtx-logo
Hardware

[Rumor] Something very interesting cropped up on the forums of NoteBook Review (via User800). Basically somebody posted an alleged screen-shot of an Nvidia GPU with the name blurred out. The authenticity of this picture is not verifiable, but to the casual inspection it doesn’t appear doctored. The benchmark run appears to be of the Maxwell Flagship GTX 880. Maxwell-GTX-880-

Maxwell GTX 880 Gets Alleged 3dMark Fire Strike Benchmarks – Impressive Results

If you look very closely at the picture you can barely make out the “GT 8″. If you look even more closely, you can spot one half of the second 8 following the first. So the alleged benchmark run is clearly of a GTX 880. Now some users in the forum were commenting on whether this could be the mobile variant of the GTX 880. Well, I think, there is a reason the original user so conveniently put in the CPUZ shot, something that wasn’t really required. So that we can readily deduce it as a desktop variant. The i7 4770k is the Haswell LGA 1150 CPU and is most certainly not found in any notebook. There is a 0.1% chance that the mobile variant was being tested but I think we can safely ignore that possibility.

PlayStation 4 console
Hardware

[Editorial] Before I begin a few words of caution. It goes without saying that the results of this benchmarking showdown will not be pleasant to some. Also, all the benchmarks were conducted virtually, which means that some slight variation may exist between real life results. The Equation System and the VGA Calculator used are the intellectual property of one Daeguen Lee (DG Lee) and all rights are reserved by him. The calculator can be accessed freely on his website iyd.kr (aka udteam.tistory.com).main title13

PS4′s GPU (Pitcairn) Benchmarked Against the Xbox One (Bonaire) with and without eSRAM

Wow, I don’t think there has ever been an instance of a universal benchmark, and for good reason too. Since an actual universal benchmark would instantly put the power hierarchy in harsh relief it has not been done. However what we are going to attempt today is the closest you will ever get to a universal real life benchmark and the results should be very accurate. Alright lets start. Since both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One utilize AMD GPUs, that means that we are only going to use the AMD Equation System. A basic introduction of both the GPUs is in order. The PS4 GPU is codenamed Pitcairn and is basically a cut down variant of the Radeon 7870. It has a fairly high SP count and is clocked reasonably high too. The GPU has access to 8GB of Shared GDDR5 memory clocked a 1375 Mhz (5500 Mhz effective) and boasts throughput of upto  176 GB/s. Pitcairn has a 256 Bit bus which is quite reasonable for a GPU of this tier. The good thing about PS4′s GPU is that we have everything we need to calculate performance with almost zero real life variation.

AMD logo
Hardware

During the Q2 financial conference call, AMD’s SVP and COO, Lisa Su, assured that their company will out 20nm products next year followed by 16nm FinFET later on. While there have been rumors that AMD might introduce 20nm products in late 2014, I believe that this statement is an end to all those reports since AMD’s entire lineup is to stick with the current 28nm process node this year.AMD 20nm

AMD Assures 20nm Products in 2015 – 16nm FinFET Later On

In Q1 2014, AMD forwarded the same statement that their graphics and semi-custom business products will both stick with 28nm. We have seen several 28nm products across AMD graphics and processors designs which include the Radeon R9 and Radeon R7 series for graphics while Steamroller, Jaguar powering AMD’s processors and accelerated processing units were also based on 28nm.

“We (AMD) will be shipping products in 20 nanometre next year and as we move forward obviously a FinFET is also important,” Lisa Su (Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at AMD) via Fudzilla

This news is interesting for the moment since AMD is on the verge to introduce new graphics processing units for the consumer industry. These include the Tonga, Iceland and Maui which are reportedly launching in Q3 and Q4 2014. So we can more or less confirm that all three of these chips will feature the existing 28nm process design while their replacements which are now believed to arrive 2015 will be based on 20nm. The same goes for AMD’s upcoming semi-custom APUs which are part of AMD’s Skybridge initiative which allows pin-to-pin compatibility for x86 and ARM based processors. The Cambridge APU will feature this technology leveraging the efficiency while the K12 ARM core which is a 64-bit ARM custom designed core will use 16nm FinFET technology. It should be noted that AMD also has a true x86 architecture in development to feed high-performance needs which should not be expected prior to 2016-2017 so we may see it based on a smaller node.



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