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Jon Sutton
on 21 September 2017 at 14:47

AMD has officially announced that second-generation Ryzen and Vega will be launching in 2018, both manufactured on the 12nm fabrication process. The news was revealed by Mark Papermaster, AMD’s chief technology officer, during the GlobalFoundries Technology Conference. GlobalFoundries will be handling the silicon manufacturing of course, with 12nm volume production due to begin in the first quarter of 2018.

The 12nm FinFET fabrication process offers up a 15% improvement in circuit density and a 10% raw performance improvement over 16nm FinFET. This neglects to account for the architectural optimisations AMD has promised for both next-gen Ryzen and Vega, in theory pushing the performance gains up significantly from the 10% figure.

Jon Sutton
on 20 September 2017 at 15:21

Need For Speed's back and, in a name that seems increasingly self-referential to the 2015 reboot dud, this time it's payback. Need For Speed Payback is coming to PC on November 10th, taking more than a few cues from the Fast and Furious movies. EA and Ghost Games have also cosied up to Nvidia for this one, meaning performance optimisation for GeForce hardware. Here are the official Need For Speed Payback PC system requirements.

The last Need For Speed arrived with all the impact of a wet sponge so I don't too many of you have given it a go. Nevertheless, if you did, Need For Speed Payback's system requirements are roughly in the same ballpark, give or take a few percentage points. Whatever performance you could get out of Need For Speed 2016, you can probably achieve the same with Need For Speed Payback.

Jon Sutton
on 20 September 2017 at 13:10

Car buffs are getting spoiled this holiday season. Not only is Project Cars 2 almost upon us, but Forza Motorsport 7 is due in a fortnight and Gran Turismo Sport will be hitting PS4 shortly. Choices, choices, choices. Hopefully, we can make that decision a little easier with a look at Forza Motorsport 7's PC performance. Will it run into the same issues previous Forza games on PC have, or have Turn 10 nailed PC performance this time? Let's find out with our Forza 7 Radeon R7 370 benchmarks.

 

Neil Soutter
on 20 September 2017 at 11:42

If you’re waiting on custom Radeon RX Vega graphics cards, you may need some patience. Reports are emerging from AIB partners that custom Radeon RX Vega 64 and Radeon RX Vega 56 graphics cards may not be available until November, some 3 or 4 months after the original Vega launch.

Hardware.fr is reporting that a number of AIB partners hoping to manufacture custom Radeon RX Vega graphics cards are still waiting on Vega GPUs to even arrive.

Jon Sutton
on 18 September 2017 at 13:11

The first Nvidia Tesla Volta V100 GPUs have been making their way into the AI and deep learning markets via the DGX-1 supercomputer, and the first benchmarks are out. The DGX-1 isn’t your typical PC and the Tesla V100 isn’t your typical GPU. Nvidia’s DGX-1 houses eight discrete V100 GPUs, each with 5120 CUDA Cores and 640 of the new Tensor Cores, providing a system with a total of 40,960 CUDA Cores, 5120 Tensor Cores, and 128GB HBM2 memory. This is paired with dual Intel Xeon E5-2698 v4 CPUs, each with 20 cores and 40 threads. The DGX-1 is an absolute monster, and preliminary benchmarks suggest this is the fastest ‘PC in a box’ in the world - by some distance.

If all that reads like a bunch of gobbledegook to you, let’s try and break it down. Rather than consider the system as a whole, we’ll take a look at each individual Tesla V100 GPU, a better signifier of the eventual commercial graphics cards that will make it to market. Each of these V100 GPUs comes with 5120 CUDA Cores, 640 Tensor Cores and 16GB HBM2.

Stuart Thomas
on 18 September 2017 at 11:32

Intel’s next-gen Ice Lake CPUs will reportedly be bringing 8-core processors to the mainstream in the second half of 2018. Intel’s current crop of Kaby Lake CPUs currently cap out at quad-core and eight threads for its mainstream range, led by the Intel Core i7-7700K. The tech giant does have Core-X processors and server options that push beyond the boundaries of 4-core, but its primary range sticks to quad-core for now.

That’s all set to change immensely with the arrival of Coffee Lake, Intel’s process refinement of Kaby Lake that will deliver hexa-core for i5 and i7 along with quad-core for Intel Core i3s. Intel’s efforts to match AMD Ryzen’s high core count don’t end there though, and next year’s Ice Lake will push the bar yet higher.

Jon Sutton
on 17 September 2017 at 12:03

It feels as if we’ve been waiting for Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord for an age now, although TaleWorlds Entertainment looks to be comfortable taking its time in order to deliver on the hype. The latest update from the studio comes from lead programmer Murat Türe, who detailed the technical improvements and performance optimisation being lavished on Mount and Blade Bannerlord.

CPU usage is the biggest focus; by his own admission, Bannerlord will be heavily CPU dependent, capable of displaying as many as 800 characters on-screen at any point in time. Mount & Blade 2 Bannerlord battle sizes will scale with CPU core count. The future-proofed system means new CPUs will allow for ever larger battles.

Stuart Thomas
on 16 September 2017 at 12:09

Corsair has just announced the production of its fastest ever DDR4 memory kit. The Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB DDR4 RAM kit clocks in at 4600MHz, comprising two 8GB sticks of memory. It features Corsair’s token black heat spreader and has CL19-26-26-46 timings at 1.5V.

The Vengeance DDR4 module was created in partnership with ASRock and its X299 OC Formula motherboard, aimed firmly at those who want the best of the best, including Intel’s latest Core-X processors. At the moment it’s only available in a 16GB capacity so if you want to run Corsair Vengeance LPX at 32GB or more, Corsair recommends its marginally slower alternate memory kits.

Jon Sutton
on 15 September 2017 at 16:22

After what's felt like an eternity, Larian Studios' Divinity: Original Sin 2 has become the game to finally unseat PUBG from its perch atop the Steam bestsellers list. Little wonder either, because the original was fantastic and sequel heads in bigger, better directions with its four-player co-op. As a top down RPG, we've been hoping Divinity: Original Sin 2 is also a friendly game for low-end systems and laptops as well. To put it to the test, we decided to see how a mid to low-range Radeon R7 370 2GB could run D:OS2.

Stuart Thomas
on 15 September 2017 at 12:54

Cryptocurrency mining is in a mighty turbulent phase right now. The value of Ethereum has plummeted and Bitcoin seems to be doing a similar trick, dropping 14% in value in a single day yesterday, wiping $27 billion off its market value. Still, hardware companies are eager to cash in on the miners, and it’s not just the GPU manufacturers such as Nvidia and AMD that stand to make a pretty penny - Colorful has been busy creating a monstrous cryptocurrency mining motherboard with enough room for eight graphics cards.

The (unsurprisingly) non-standard form factor C.B250A-BTC Plus V20 motherboard uses the LGA 1151 socket and features room for a frankly ridiculous eight PCIe x16 slots. It’s shaped more like a Kit-Kat than a motherboard, measuring 485mm in length and 195mm wide. It’s unusual, to say the least, but good luck finding an off-the-shelf PC case that can actually hold it.