At their “New Horizon” event in Austin, Texas, AMD (finally) introduced the first production Zen processor. To make the matters interesting, the company did not show the high end version of the Zen architecture, but rather the entry level 8-core version. The demonstrations included several CPU-intensive workloads; Blender and Handbrake, 3D rendering tasks with the ZBrush and KeyShot. No enthusiast demonstration would be complete without gaming, thus AMD also included Doom, Star Wars: Battlefront (Rogue One DLC), Dota 2, and Battlefield 1 demonstrations. The event also featured a demonstration of base 8-core Zen (product line also to include sexa-core and quad-core processors) going against an 8-core Broadwell-E Core i7-6900K in
Khronos Announces an Open VR Standard Initiative
The Khronos Group, an open consortium of leading hardware and software companies, have just announced a call for participation in a new initiative to define a cross-vendor, royalty-free, open standard for access to modern virtual reality (VR) devices. “Virtual Reality’s success is dependent on a large thriving market of hardware where casual and professional consumers alike can take their pick without worry of fragmentation and incompatibility,” said Christopher Mitchell, OSVR business lead, Razer. “This has been OSVR’s vision from day one and we are thrilled to be a part of the Khronos Group in order to push standardization of interfaces across the industry.” The standards body
Futuremark Announced VRMark, The New VR Benchmark
Futuremark, a company best known for its 3DMark benchmark just announced the availability of their a new benchmark suite called VRMark. As the name implies, this benchmark is used for testing your system’s ability to run VR games and experiences, since the performance required to do so is much higher than normal gaming performance. As always, Futuremark did their best to use a custom game engine to drive the experiences to the levels which can make your systems slow to a crawl. With VR, the maneuvering space was limited, as reducing the framerate inside the VR experience could potentially get you in a bad shape.
What Do You need to Play Battlefield 1
In the eternal battle of Battlefield vs. Call of Duty, Electronic Arts once more pulled the trigger first and released Battlefield 1 on October 21th (to be followed by Call of Duty on November 4th). Following the first in-game experiences, we decided to do a review on game itself and on hardware needed to run this baby. There was much controversy surrounding Battlefield 1 and its return to World War I, also known as The Great War. Concerns about whether or not such delicate subject matter could ever be given the treatment it deserves, especially in a video game, are justified. This is unquestionably the
How To: Build Your Liquid Cooling Computer
Even though we’ve been seeing liquid cooling PCs since the late 1990s, this form of cooling only became a big thing over the last couple of years. If you are thinking about crossing that line you might want to read this post. First thing first, when it comes to liquid cooling, you need to make a decision; go with a custom loop or AIO (All-in-One)? In my opinion today’s AIO’s are “good enough” and as EKWB proved, you can even add a GPU to your loop later. Personally, I think that if you want a silent gaming PC with great overclock potential – go for the custom loop. If you still
China Now Leads the Server Race: Meet the Phytium MARS Processor
Two decades ago, the US high end microprocessor industry was a lively, diverse market where about five various instruction set architectures battled it out across the workstation and server fields. You had choices like DEC’s Alpha – the speed leader; MIPS – the Silicon Graphics heart; SPARC from Sun Microsystems, IBM POWER, HP PA, the nascent X86, and a few custom architectures for MPP massive parallel processing, for instance. The rest of the world pretty much had nothing – British Transputer and German Hyperstone platforms died out due to lack of funding, while ARM was still keeping to the low end embedded arena after the end of the
AMD Radeon Pro SSG Could Support 4TB Memory
In a move that was perhaps the most important announcement of Siggraph, Radeon Technologies Group presented the Radeon Pro SSG card, perhaps the most innovative concept to have come out of the GPU world of in quite some time. SSG stands for “Solid State Graphics”, and in its prototype version consists out of a Polaris 10 graphics processor, commonly known as Radeon RX 480 with 8GB of memory, a PLX PCIe bridge and two M.2 NVMe slots with two 512GB SSD drives, which might come to market on their own, probably branded as Radeon R9 memory. The way how Radeon Pro SSG works is quite ingenious. When AMD
Intel to Buy Imagination Technologies or AMD’s RTG?
This week started with a milestone announcement of Japanese SoftBank moving in to acquire ARM Holdings for a record $32 billion. Many analysts lamented that the takeover was a result of Brexit, even though everyone in their right minds should know that negotiations of this magnitude take years and typically are made in complete silence for 6-18 months (due dilligence and all that jazz). However, this might not be the only acquisition in the modest pool of British semiconductor players. As we reported on multiple occasions, Intel is reorganizing, i.e. restructuring the company. As a part of that reorganization, the company performed no less than three rounds
Win Killer Technology Enabled ASRock Motherboards
Killer Networking technology is on the rise. Now under the careful guidance of the original founders, the company is focused on increasing their footprint on the market through the motherboard One of mistakes original Killer Networks did was focusing solely on high-end market segment, requiring a $300 investment in what was becoming a commodity technology. We extensively detailed the rebirth of Killer networking products in an interview with Michael Cubbage, co-founder and CEO of Rivet Networks. The new focus of the network technology isn’t competing against existing network NICs and PHYs, but rather to bring a complete solution that can improve the performance over what can
AMD Celebrates Vega 10 Rollout
AMD’s decision to rename and split the Northern Islands family into two is starting to unravel itself. Polaris 10 (Ellesmere) and 11 (Baffin) are coming to market as low-power mainstream cards – Radeon RX460 (Polaris 11), RX470, RX480 4GB and RX480 8GB (all Polaris 1o). On the other side, Greenland i.e. Vega 10 will be the most advanced silicon AMD has ever produced. Featuring 14nm FinFET design by GlobalFoundries or Samsung, with SK.Hynix HBM2 memory modules on multi-chip-module, i.e. MCM (TSMC calls this CoWoS), Vega 10 is looking to offer equal or higher performance than the high-end GP100. You should expect the chip to land in between
GeForce GTX 1070 and 1080 Shortage Until August?
With the conclusion of E3 2016 trade show, which took place last week in Los Angeles, California – many international guests went on for the hunt for several hot ticketed items – HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and of course, Pascal-based GeForce GTX 1070 and GTX 1080. The ‘retail’ mission was the only option after availability from online e-tailers simply did not transpire. HTC Vive is available in 3 out of five Microsoft stores we’ve checked, while Oculus Rift availability was tied to Intel’s Retail Experience. Best Buy in West Hollywood didn’t had Intel Retail Experience and there was no Rift, but the story changed in
Microsoft Tick-Tock: Xbox One S and Project Scorpio
At it’s pre-E3 2016 conference, Microsoft announced the long awaited shift of its console model. In a nutshell, Xbox is becoming an regularly-refreshed product just like the Surface line of tablets and convertible PCs. Future Xbox refreshes will occur in an annual cycle, moving to a strategy that Intel used to call “Tick-Tock”. Just like Intel, Microsoft plans to release a high-end version of the console first, followed by a slimmed down version. Microsoft did not disclose the exact refresh cycle strategy, but we would not be surprised if the company decides to use E3 as the place where their annual or bi-annual refreshes will be announced. The exact
Sony CEO Confirms High-End PlayStation Console for VR
Ever since we revealed the specifications of new PlayStation Neo console, rumors were about when SONY will pull the trigger and introduce the console. Our sources told us that the time of introduction is Tokyo Game Show – scheduled for September 15-17, 2016. As such, we’re afraid that the next week’s E3 will pass with perhaps just a teaser for the new console – or will be the biggest (silent) elephant in the room. In an interview with Financial Times, Andrew House, President and Global Chief Executive Offices at Sony Interactive Entertainment said that the high-end PlayStation 4 “Is intended to sit alongside and complement the standard PS4,
On the Eighth Day of VR, God Created Radeon RX Series
At the Computex Taipei trade show in Taiwan, AMD officially introduced the first products based on Polaris GPU architecture. Radeon RX Series also marks AMD’s arrival to 14nm and FinFET process technologies, delivered by GlobalFoundries. This manufacturing process, alongside the design decisions the team made several quarters ago marks the return of graphics wars, hitting the price points old 28nm planar process could not dream off. When the company originally announced the formation of Radeon Technologies Group, it made a critical decision to change its product strategy. The new strategy is called “Water Drop,” where products are being released to select markets after serious discussions and evaluations of the market where
AMD Discloses Impressive ZEN Performance
During the recent 2016 Annual Shareholding Meeting, AMD’s leadership disclosed their targets for the upcoming three years. The company is building its strategy on the only possible growth plan – building the fastest technology their engineers came come up with, and then produce the silicon which will come to market branded either as AMD, an AMD-THATIC joint-venture or as Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony… and a new mysterious client for the semi-custom business. “We have new Semi-Custom business in the back half of the year that commences then, and we have the traditional Semi-Custom business with our game console partners that seasonally peaks in the third quarter. So a
Zotac to Launch a VR Mini PC Powerhouse
Computex Taipei is upon us. Starting on Monday, over 150,000 people will descent onto the capital of Taiwan, a small independent country which is the home to manufactures of our digital life. One vendor not coming out of Taiwan is ZOTAC International, a company operating out of Macau. This brother of Sapphire mostly manufacturers NVIDIA and Intel devices, while Sapphire Technologies is in charge of manufacturing AMD-powered components and devices. “This Computex comes at the right time for us to showcase our technical capabilities with award winning designs,” states Tony Wong, CEO, ZOTAC International. “We are extremely thrilled to introduce our lineup of solutions that exhibits our innovation and adventurous
AMD is Working on a Bollywood VR Movie
With the arrival of Baahubali: The Conclusion in April 2017, the world of Bollywood movies might change forever. At the 69th edition of Cannes Film Festival, movie producers sat down to discuss the arrival of Virtual Reality into the movie industry, in a bid to change the industry paradigm. Up until last year, most of movie industry spoke of ‘second screen’ i.e. engaging the movie goers by offering additional content on their favorite device (tablets, smartphones etc.). With virtual reality, the paradigm shifts from the ‘second screen’ concept into transporting movie goers into the actual movie world. While real-time interactive movies are still a good decade away, the so
Did Microsoft Fix its Biggest Mistake?
Microsoft is ending its ‘free Windows 10’ upgrade program. Ever since the company announced the availability of Windows 10 and a free upgrade for the older versions, the company was adamant it will only offer free upgrade program ‘for a limited amount of time’. That free upgrade program ends on July 29th, 2016. While there is a loophole that can keep your systems running on Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 and still get the Windows 10 upgrade, discovered thanks to ZDNet: “When you upgrade from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, the Windows 10 setup program checks your current activation status and reports the result to the activation
AMD Confirms Sony PlayStation Neo Based on 14nm CPU and Polaris?
During AMD’s 2016 Investor Day, the company disclosed its growth strategy. Many of the focal points are in motion already, or even public. For example, AMD sealed the deal with THATIC, Chinese government owned investment fund – which will see their x86 processors enter Chinese enterprise and government sectors in a big way. Second part of the strategy was to finally become a fabless semiconductor, with all the risks and rewards involved with that move. The company spun off its packaging facility, making a total cash intake in excess of $664 million – plus all the unannounced grants that the company is bidding for. Still, perhaps one of the biggest future announcement
Nvidia Credits AMD for Unifying Game Development
During the Nvidia’s “Power of 10” event, Jen-Hsun Huang, Co-founder and CEO of Nvidia Corporation talked about the positive shift in mentality for game developers. Game development in the past segmented resources between consoles and PCs, often resulting in sub-par experiences on the more powerful hardware. PC-focused eSports today have an audience of over 300 million viewers, easily rivaling or even beating more established ‘real’ sports. In 2013, the situation for PC gaming was rather grim. The arrival of new, AMD powered consoles brought the x86 architecture back to Microsoft (Intel x86, IBM PowerPC, AMD x86), and marked the third architectural change for Sony (SGI MIPS, IBM PowerPC,