Following on from news yesterday Valve is working on its SteamVR headgear, it looks as if Nvidia is prepping its own virtual reality headset for display at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2015.
The head-mounted display from Nvidia is reportedly dubbed Titan VR, and if true is likely the same technology Nvidia has been teasing is in the works for past five years. Supposedly developed by the same team responsible for the Nvidia Shield Tablet, alarm bells were set ringing when Nvidia revealed it would be hosting a GDC session dubbed ‘VR Direct: How NVIDIA Technology Is Improving the VR Experience’.
Well this one blindsided us, but leaked information suggests DirectX 12 will allow both GeForce and Radeon graphics cards to be used together in multi-GPU setups. DX12 will support multiple GPUs across different architectures. Previously Stardock’s CEO Brad Wardell claimed DirectX 12 could treat multiple GPUs as a single entity, meaning two cards, each with 4GB memory, now offer an 8GB frame buffer rather than the previous 4GB.
It now looks as if this technology applies across architectures, allowing the DirectX 12 to combine all of the available graphics resources in a gaming rig into a single pool, which can then be divided up to be used as the game developers see fit. The new process is known as Split Frame Rendering (SFR), whereby the screen is divided between the graphics cards used, with each taking a slice proportional to its power.
Nvidia’s chief executive officer Jen-Hsun Huang has issued a statement on the scandal affecting the GeForce GTX 970. The head of the GPU giant admitted the company failed to communicate properly the graphics card’s unique memory architecture, which has the upper 512MB of its 4GB VRAM segmented and running at a lower speed.
“Some of you are disappointed that we didn’t clearly describe the segmented memory of GeForce GTX 970 when we launched it. I can see why, so let me address it,” Jen-Hsun wrote.
Contrary to its previous claims it was working on no such thing, Valve has officially announced it is working on virtual reality (VR) hardware for show at GDC 15 next week. An official Steam VR Twitter account has just been launched, confirming Valve’s big plans for GDC. This includes a finalised version of the Steam Controller, new living room devices, and a previously-unannounced SteamVR hardware system.
What form the SteamVR hardware will take is unknown, but Valve has announced it's looking for partners to create VR content for the platform. During the Game Developer's Conference it will be hosting a number of VR demos, where it’s set to have SteamVR Dev Kits on display.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Moore’s Law, and who’d have thought when Gordon E. Moore dreamed his axiom up that it would still be bang on today. His observation was that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit would double every 18 months, or two years for consumer products, and up until now that’s been exactly the case, despite fears to the contrary.
During the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco this week Intel will be hosting a discussion on the future of chip efficiency and Moore’s Law. Ahead of the event Intel’s senior fellow Mark Bohr had a conference call where he predicted Moore’s Law will continue to apply until Intel hits at least the 7nm fabrication process. Intel’s plans for the coming three years comprise 14nm chips this year and 10nm by 2016, with 7nm likely to arrive in 2018.
When comparing AMD and Nvidia, it’s difficult to ignore the vast gulf in their respective approaches to graphics card drivers. For seemingly every big release Nvidia is first out of the gate, delivering its Game Ready Driver which it claims offers the optimal performance, the last of which coincided with Evolve. A quick glance at AMD’s drivers meanwhile reveals it hasn’t had a single driver released since December 9th last year.
It appears as if AMD is finally sitting up and taking notice of the important of graphics card drivers though, beginning with the huge Omega overhaul and now the news AMD is seeking a CPU engineer to optimise its graphics drivers and analyse CPU bound benchmarks to expose bottlenecks.
Multiplayer specialists Splash Damage are back with a bang with Dirty Bomb. The Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory developers know a thing or two about class-based warfare, and Dirty Bomb brings it all back home with an apocalyptic shooter set in a war-ravaged London.
Following in the footsteps of the likes of Team Fortress 2, Dirty Bomb will be a free-to-play shooter when it arrives in June, with a heavy focus on co-operating with your buddies and maximising the abilities of your chosen class. Where you want to be a mini-gun toting bruiser or a grenade-lobbing hyperactive nightmare, the choices are there in Dirty Bomb. Before you give this one a go though you might want to check whether your gaming PC's nuclear waste or nuclear fusion, by taking a look at the official Dirty Bomb system requirements.
The ongoing feud between cheaters and honest players has been waged for decades now. For every Punkbuster or Valve Anti-cheat out there, there’s dozens of tricks and workarounds for those who want to beat the system. One thing anti-cheat software has always had in common is it’s just that, software.
Step forward Game:ref, a new prototype anti-cheat device that is hardware-based rather than software. What you’re getting here is a device that plugs into your PC, comparing the data of what’s happening onscreen with what’s happening on your input devices, be it mouse, keyboard, or gamepad. It then makes sure there’s no funny business by checking the data syncs up.
Rigs built with DDR4 memory have been trickling out for a few months now, offering early adopters the chance the maker the leap up to the higher speed from DDR3. As with any new tech though, getting in the door early is an expensive proposition, and it looks like it might be a little while yet until prices come down to DDR3 levels and DDR4 gains mass market appeal.
Looking to the future though, it’s not just DDR4 which is looking to gain a place in gaming PCs. There’s a number of other technologies raring to go, and it looks like a sector that’s going to become increasingly more heated and complex as users and manufacturers look for the fastest and most affordable memory possible.
AMD is reportedly readying a competitor to Intel’s Skylake microarchitecture for launch in 2016. We’ve known for some time now that Bulldozer successor Zen is coming, but AMD looks to be emulating many of the features set to crop up in Intel’s Skylake.
A leaked release schedule suggests AMD is targeting the server market first, followed by workstations, before finally rolling it out to the consumer market in late 2016. It represents a huge opportunity for AMD to establish itself once more in the processor market, which has been dominated by Intel for the past few years.