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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:

[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.

NVIDIA SHield logo
Hardware

NVIDIA has posted a new teaser on their official site which hints at the announcement of an upcoming product which sources have confirmed to be the Tegra K1 powered Shield Tablet. But while we wait to see a glimpse of the new tablet, Videocardz has managed to reveal the official presentation of the upcoming tablet which will be launching on 29th July in the US market.NVIDIA Shield Tablet

Image Credits: Videocardz!

NVIDIA’s Tegra K1 Powered Shield Tablet Launches on 29th July

While the announcement takes place on 22nd July, the Tegra K1 powered Shield tablet won’t hit the market until 29th July in the US/Canada market followed by Europe launch in August 14th and availability will be expanded to more regions in Fall 2014. The Shield tablet will be available in two variants, a 16 GB WiFi model which will retail at $299 US and a 32 GB LTE model which will retail at $399 US. The Shield tablet will also come with additional accessories such as a wireless shield controller and a shield cover which will retail for $59 and $39 respectively.

Coming to the specifications, the Shield tablet is impressive considering it features the Tegra K1 SOC which was unveiled by NVIDIA at CES 2014. From a technical perspective, the NVIDIA Shield Tablet boasts the Tegra K1 SOC with 192 Kepler GPU cores and a 2.2 GHz Quad Core Cortex A15 CPU. This along with 2 GB memory offers better performance than the competitors in the same price range. For connectivity, NVIDIA Shield Tablet offers Wi-FI + LTE on the 32 GB variant which is priced at $399 US while the $299 variant will only feature Wi-Fi connectivity.

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.

After a long wait, we have finally received the first authentic confirmation of the Nvidia Flagship GPUs set to release in 2014. To be clear, we are definitely not looking at 20nm GPUs, instead its the same 28nm node with the advanced Second Generation Maxwell Architecture. The source of the leak is the insanely reliable Sweclockers.com.Maxwell-GTX-880-

Nvidia Maxwell GTX 880 and GTX 870 on the 28nm Node Landing in November

We had previously received estimation from Sweclockers of an expected release date of Oct/Nov but now they have confirmed it. This is big news people. This means that we are not going to be skipping the year 2014 entirely after all and will be receiving a new performance class form Nvidia based on the 28nm Maxwell. We have already seen the engineering sample of the Maxwell GTX 880 and this more or less confirms that we are going to be seeing leaked benchmarks very very soon. The core that will be housed is the GM204 circuit which will be used in the highest end GPU released (Geforce GTX 880). Now since reports indicate that Nvidia has completely scrapped the GM100 chips, we are looking at second generation Maxwell Architecture.

NVIDIA Logo
Gadgets

Valve recently announced that the launch of it’s upcoming Steam Machine had been delayed. We should now expect the Steam Machine to be with us sometime around 2015. All Steam Machines will run on the Steam OS which is an open source Linux based operating system. Hardware configurations of the prototypes sent to users include Intel’s Core i7 and i5 processors coupled with 3 GB of GDDR5 RAM. They also include Nvidia’s GeForce GTX Titan, GeForce GTX 780, GeForce GTX 760 and GeForce GTX 660. Well, now BBC news is reporting that Nvidia itself has a direct competitor lined up for Valve’s Steam Machine project. The new gaming device will be able to connect directly with PCs to supplement it’s own processing power. The device is expected to be a Shield follow up with a different form factor.

ProjectShieldBorderlands2

Nvidia’s New Device To Focus On The Living Room – Be A Shield Follow Up With Different Form Factor

According to BBC, Nvidia’s new device is to be a Shield follow up. It will reportedly focus on the living room, which will make it a direct competitor to Valve’s Steam Machine project. The new Nvidia device will be able to stream games directly from PCs. These will of course be PCs which will be able to support the Nvidia GeForce Experience. The device features an HDMI output, and according to the BBC, it includes the ability to “also stream PC games”, thus implying that it also has a screen.

The device will also come featuring Nvidia’s Tegra K1 SoC. The Tegra K1 includes an ARM powered CPU and a 192 Core GPU. This is another similarity with the rumored Shield tablet. In addition, the launch of this device might be Nvidia’s way of encouraging other manufacturers to try the Tegra K1. Currently, the Tergra K1 is used in a limited number of device, despite being an impressive piece of hardware.

The folks over at Digital Storm have revealed an in-depth benchmark analysis of the Tegra K1 SoC and the results are quite impressive, atleast as far as the graphics side is concerned. The compute side on the other hand is fairly mediocre and is just ahead of the competition. However since the up side of the Tegra K1 is the gaming capability and 64Bit support, the benchmarks can be taken very positively overall.NVIDIA Tegra K1

Tegra K1′s Gaming Benchmarks Blow Away Competition – CPU Performance, Not So Much

Alright so the Tegra K1 tested is housed inside the Xiaomi Mi Pad so we are looking at a real world scenario with constrained TDP and clocks. This means that the results we see here are very much indicative of the final product to be used in tablets and we can expect a slight increase in performance for devices like the Shield 2 and the Tegra K1 VCM. The gaming result is very impressive and if you couple this with the Unreal Engine 4 Compatibility demoed earlier you have a very nice combo. The 64Bit K1 is the only chip that currently supports the Unreal Engine 4 Full Desktop Render in conjunction with AEP (Android Extension Pack). This makes the Tegra K1 a very special chip indeed. Although it is only a matter of time before the compatibility is added to rival counterparts as well, until that happens, the soc has an advantage. Anyways, enough of the preliminaries, here are the benchmark themselves:

nvidia-geforce-gtx-logo
Hardware

It looks like Zauba.com has become a pretty good source to spot graphics processing units as the shipping site has revealed several NVIDIA GPUs over the last few months. This has happened once again as 3DCenter was able to find a shipping manifest of NVIDIA’s upcoming flagship GeForce Maxwell GM200 GPU which will hit the consumer market next year.GeForce Maxwell GM200 GPU

NVIDIA’s Flagship GeForce Maxwell GM200 GPU Spotted

So what makes this spotting so special? There are no images, no specifications, no assurance or whatsoever that this might be true but recent leaks such as the GM204 PCB reveal and the codenames matched earlier listings on the site which makes these listings somewhat believable if not entirely true. The GM200 chip mentioned in the shipping list originated from Taiwan where it was manufactured and will be discharged in Banglore, India. The sample was dispatched on 8th July 2014 which means that the GM200 GPU is already in-works but will take some time to reach mass production before it begins shipment to market. The GM200 GPU is codenamed as GM200-INT0-A1 which means this is the first revision of the core and we may see newer revisions (B1) in the future but for now the A1 revisions is what will be featured on graphics cards for servers and consumers.

While the GM204 chip which was revealed a while back is bigger than its GK104 predecessor, it’s still a bit small compared to GK110. Its hard to tell if the GM200 GPU will be larger or equivalent in size as compared to GK110, its last generation Kepler equivalent but from what we have seen, it will be a huge die returning to the legacy of the big die sizes which NVIDIA has been known for but will be extremely power efficient and house several more cores. The chip is planned for launch in 2015 which would give ample time for 20nm production through TSMC but previous reports show that NVIDIA might ditch 20nm in favor of 16nm FinFET so that could be a possibility but will result in a longer delay period. From what little details we can gather, TSMC will commence volume production of 16nm FinFET+ nodes in Q1 2015 which would mean a Q2/Q3 2015 time for GM200 GPUs to appear on the new process or they could move the launch a bit earlier by sticking with 20nm which is already under production since Q1 2014 but prioritized for Apple till Q2 2014 which is over now.

nvidia-geforce-gtx-logo
Hardware

An interesting article has been written by Videocardz which points out that NVIDIA might be preparing four GM204 GPU SKUs for their next generation GeForce Maxwell graphics cards. NVIDIA’s GeForce Maxwell line graphics cards which will feature the GM204 GPU such as the one which was recently leaked is reported to launch in the next few months but the GM204 GPU featured on the graphics card might not be the only one of the entire GeForce Maxwell stack.NVIDIA GM204 GPU

NVIDIA GeForce Maxwell Lineup To Feature Four GM204 GPU SKUs

If we take a look back at things NVIDIA did with Kepler, the report might actually be valid considering NVIDIA’s GeForce 600 series has three GK104 (GeForce Kepler) based GPUs for the GeForce GTX 680, GeForce GTX 670, GeForce GTX 660 Ti and two GK114 (GeForce Kepler Revision) GPUs for the GeForce 700 series cards including the GeForce GTX 770 and GeForce GTX 760. Based on the 28nm Kepler architecture, the GK104 has spanned quite some time as NVIDIA’s top-end to mainstream chip in the market before being replaced by the faster GK110 graphics processor which was unleashed with the GeForce GTX Titan graphics card back in February 2013.

According to the source and as we previously know, the GM204 is part of the second generation Maxwell core architecture which will offer some architectural and efficiency improvements over the first generation Maxwell core which is currently available on the GeForce GTX 750 Ti and GeForce GTX 750 graphics cards. The GM107 which is obviously an entry level part should not be compared to the more enhanced GM204 core but the core architecture changes will be added to the design while keeping the same DNA offering an extremely power efficient design and more performance per watt than the current Kepler generation cards. The GM204 will power the GeForce GTX 880 which has been leaked in engineering state earlier featuring 8 GB GDDR5 memory and some other improvements which we can’t really decrypt at the moment but in addition to that, there would be other GM204 GPUs which will be integrated in cards aside the GeForce GTX 880 just like the cut down GK104 GPUs on GeForce GTX 670, GeForce GTX 760 and GeForce GTX 660 Ti. The four models will include the following:

nvidia-geforce-gtx-logo
Hardware

NVIDIA is quietly working on the GeForce 800 series graphics card which will replace the GeForce 700 series cards and feature the latest Maxwell graphics processing unit. While there have been hints that the GeForce GTX 880 ( the flagship GeForce 800 series card) will launch in Q4 2014, it looks like GamerSky, a Chinese website has leaked the first engineering sample of the GeForce GTX 880 PCB which gives us an early glimpse of what to expect from NVIDIA’s upcoming flagship component.NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880 ES Board_1

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880 “Maxwell” Engineering Sample Analysis

For starters, the GeForce GTX 880 PCB we are currently looking at is in ES phase and as stated by the source, the GeForce Maxwell core is labeled “1421A1″ which is the A1 revision so this is a very early sample, prepared in the month of May (19-25) or the first 21 weeks of 2014. Its possible that we might see variations in the final revision that will use A2 and B1 revisions on the GeForce cards but the most important thing hasn’t been mentioned that whether or not the card features a GM204 core or a GM210 core. But before we go into details regarding what core is featured on the PCB, let’s take a journey in the past and tell you (our readers) why we believe this is a very concrete leak.

If you had been our readers since a long time, you would know that the GeForce GTX 680 PCB which was also leaked almost two years ago had a very similar design scheme. The GeForce GTX 680′s PCB was also in ES phase and featured a green PCB and the same memory configuration as the one on the leaked PCB of the Maxwell card. Compared to the GeForce GTX Titan and 780 Ti PCB, the memory configuration is less dense since the cards make use of a lower memory bus hence the similar arrangement of 8 memory chips on the front and 8 memory chips on the back which amount to a total of 16 memory chips on the entire PCB. The GeForce GTX 680 did feature only 8 memory chips on the front but NVIDIA making a big move on the GeForce GTX 880, equipping it with 8 GB GDDR5 memory was quite unexpected but was rumored earlier. The memory chips in specific are the SKHynix H5GQ4H24MFR 0.5GB which are rated to operate at 7 GHz effective clock speed, similar to many NVIDIA Kepler based cards which would be a nice improvement over the current generation.

Our chinese friends over at Mydrivers have just unveiled pictures of the Maxwell flagship Geforce GTX 880. The pictures clearly show the die which has been manufactured by TSMC, and not only that it shows the TDP as well as other minute details. So enjoy this very significant (and the first real leak) of the possible GTX 880 Maxwell Flagship.

Maxwell-GTX-750-

Nvidia Maxwell Flagship Geforce GTX 880 Spotted – 375W of TDP and 8GB of Memory

Alright first thing is first. You can clearly see 8 Hynix memory chips on the picture so we are looking at 8GB of vram and possibly 16GB of vram for professional counterparts. The code 1421A1 can be seen clearly which means that its i s the A1 revision of the die which was manufactured in the first 21 weeks of 2014, which means May 19-25. Basically you are looking at a completely fresh die that has been rolled from TSMC (notice the word Taiwan? that means it is TSMC). We can also see 1 Eight Pin and 2 Six Pin Connectors which amounts to a grand total of  of 375W (PCI-e: 75W, 2x6Pin: 75Wx2 and 8 Pin: 150W). Actually 2 Eight pin power connectors can achieve the same load but this is done to increase stability and take of most of the load from the PCI-E. So we could see TDP of around 300-375W.

The highly reliable Sweclockers.com has revealed the launch date of Nvidia’s upcoming gaming handheld and also the name. The Nvidia Shield 2 will be launching sometime in August and will feature Nvidia’s own Tegra K1 SoC (4+1 configuration) and Android 4.4.2 KitKat at launch. The device is said to have a library of over 100 games on the android platform already.Newegg Cyber Monday Shield

Nvidia Shield 2 Landing in August – Promises 1080/60Hz Streaming with a Capable Gaming PC

Resolution gate is all the cry nowadays and in that regard, the Nvidia Shield 2 promises streaming over LAN and the Internet at 1080p. Although the Internet side of things will probably be laggy or a delay ridden mess, over LAN it should offer impressive results. Infact the same source reveals that the Shield 2 is capable of streaming 1080/60Hz to any HDMI enabled television. Ofcourse to stream 1080/60Hz you will first need a gaming rig with powerful enough specifications to roll out that kind of frame rate or a game with lower requirements, but it is still impressive news. You can also connect bluetooth controllers while you are at it to convert the shield into a mini gaming console.

The Shield 2 will feature 16GB of internal memory and 4GB of RAM and even a low resolution camera. We have already seen the Antutu benchmark of the device and with a score of 43, 851 it basically blows most of the competition out of the water. Ofcourse you can’t really compare a mobile device to the Shield 2 primarily because the Tegra K1 SoC will have much more breathing room (in terms of TDP and heat) than any slab. Critically speaking however, until the Shield 2 gets Android L and the AEP (Android Extension Pack) it doesn’t offer much more than any high end android could offer you. Though there isn’t any app in my knowledge that would allow you seamless streaming at 1080/60Hz everything apart from that offers diminishing returns when compared to a high end android smart phone. With AEP and dedicated games for the Tegra K1, this might just change for the better.

[RUMOR] You know the drill, notice the rumor tag, continue. I received some very interesting information via a tipoff today. Apparently there is a very healthy discussion going on Notebookreview Forums about a strange anomaly in a retail poster. The said anomaly is an upcoming ASUS laptop and the interesting part is that it features a “GTX 870MX” ( as opposed to a GTX 870M which is GK104).Nvidia Coporation

Nvidia Geforce GTX 870 MX (Maxwell) Spotted in a Retail Poster for ASUS G750JS Laptop

The MX nomenclature naturally implies a Maxwell counterpart, since it would make no sense for Nvidia to re brand an 870M into 870MX. A really stupid rationalization could be that this an incorrectly described MXM GPU but in my opinion the chances of that are quite negligible. There are two probable scenarios on what happened, either we are getting the high end Maxwell mobility as a counter to the AMD R9 M295X or this is just a clerical typo. The GTX 870MX and 880MX were originally reserved for the 20nm Maxwell Mobility parts but I imagine that drastically changed after TSMC’s hiccup. Now if these are indeed Maxwell chips then we are almost certainly looking at 28nm Maxwell, since latest reports indicated that the 20nm node is not mature enough for the fabrication of high  performance ASICs (GPUs in this case). I have attached the relevant portion of the poster, which is from ASUS Thailand by the way, below:

Rooting for your favorite graphic card giant is a primary part of any PC Enthusiast, but while it is almost customary for a tech enthusiast to do so, it is less becoming for the giants themselves to engage in low blows and PR Battles. The recent tit-for-tat PR Battle being fought between AMD and Nvidia is about Mantle Titles and the Game Works Library. Both Red and Green are trying their level best to gain the upper hand in being seen as the champion of PC Gaming, but they only thing they are currently achieving is making the trolls reach for popcorn.

NVIDIA GameWorks

Nvidia and AMD’s PR Team Exchanges Low Blows to be seen as the Champion of the PC Gaming World

Although it would seem unintuitive, I guess basic information about the spat is in order. Sometime ago AMD accused Nvidia of using the Game Works library in a negative way. Basically they said that Nvidia was making Game Works completely optimized to run on Nvidia Geforce cards while doing absolutely nothing about Radeon cards. The result is obviously that Game Works titles will perform superiorly on Geforce cards. Nvidia denies this accusation but fairly speaking there is no way to verify Nvidia’s claims because Game Works is a proprietary library and its code is not available to the public. Therefore any optimization has to be done by Team Green themselves. An admittedly tricky situation with no actual way to verify anything, apart from Game Works becoming open, which isn’t happening. However when AMD’s Robert Hallock accused Nvidia of optimizing Watch Dogs primarily for Geforce cards, Nvidia revealed a counter statement which said that the source code in question wasn’t actually necessary for driver optimization and AMD’s accusation s were just PR attacks. Here is the detailed response taken from Forbes.com:

Mobile chipsets have bragged on many an occasion of being more powerful than consoles and old generation  GPUs. Most of the time, however, that only deals with the raw graphics horsepower and not the actual capability of the chip. Nvidia at the Google I/O Event demoed its Tegra k1 chip running a beautiful demo of the Unreal Engine 4.0 , and best of all, this wasn’t some gimped down mobile version, it was the full desktop renderer.

GameScreenAinlineOne word: wow.

Nvidia Tegra K1 Shows Off the ‘Rivals’ Demo – DirectX 11 to Android AEP (ES 3.1) Port Shows Great Results

Nvidia has revealed that the Tegra K1 64 Bit version that will be based on the ARMv8 Architecture is already being worked on by Google and will support the 64 Bit Android L from the get go. Not only that but Epic demonstrated the ‘Rivals’ Demo running on a Tegra K1 chip with a renderer identical to one used in full  fledged desktop games. The amount of eye candy is simply breathtaking although I have a feeling that  we are looking at the thermal envelope of bigger devices than slim smartphones and mobiles. One thing is for certain, the demo was absolutely gorgeous considering the fact that its running on a mobile chip. See for yourself:



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