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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.

Jon Sutton
on 15 September 2017 at 09:45

Good news: a multiplayer beta for Call of Duty: WWII is coming to PC shortly. Console players who pre-ordered the game had the chance to play it recently, but anyone with a PC is free to give Call of Duty: WWII a whirl from September 29th through to October 2nd on Steam. They're looking to stress-test online infrastructure as well as best optimise the PC experience for COD: WW2's launch. To get us ready, developer Sledgehammer has provided us with Call of Duty: WWII's PC beta minimum system requirements.

The first thing to make clear is that these system requirements are subject to change and Sledgehammer will share the final specs closer to launch. Considering they've admitted they aren't ready to share the recommended specs for COD: WWII yet though, I think these specs are going to turn out pretty accurately aside from the installation size, which will inevitably grow for launch.

Jon Sutton
on 14 September 2017 at 14:59

Take the largest pinch of salt your thumb and index finger can muster before reading this, but rumours have emerged that Nvidia is preparing a GeForce GTX 1070 Ti to go toe-to-toe with AMD’s Radeon RX Vega graphics cards. The news comes by way of Chinese sources, reporting that Nvidia has a graphics card ready to sandwich in between the GeForce GTX 1070 and the GeForce GTX 1080.

Built on the same GP104 GPU used for the GTX 1070 and GTX 1080, the GeForce GTX 1070 Ti will allegedly have 2304 CUDA Cores along with 8GB GDDR5 memory on a 256-bit memory interface.

Jon Sutton
on 13 September 2017 at 16:57

Start your engines, we're back for another round with the other rally racing series. You know, not Dirt, the other. We're talking about WRC 7: FIA World Rally Championship, of course, the official game of the rally championship. WRC 7 features the full 2017 season including 13 countries, 52 stages, 55 teams and every single car. It's the serious rally drivers racing game and it's out this week. Before you buckle up though, here are the official World Rally Championship 7 system requirements.

If you're a long-term WRC fan, as I suspect plenty of you reading this are, the system requirements for WRC 7: FIA World Rally Championship remain almost identical to WRC 6. On this evidence, WRC 7 is largely the same game, at least in terms of visuals. The only thing likely to change itself.

Jon Sutton
on 13 September 2017 at 12:52

AMD’s Radeon RX Vega 64 and Radeon RX Vega 56 graphics cards have just launched, albeit in limited quantities, and AMD Radeon Technologies Group head honcho Raja Koduri has used this moment to announce a temporary leave of three months, leaving AMD CEO Lisa Su to run Radeon Technologies Group until December.

For AMD this is a major shake-up, leading to plenty of intense speculation as to why Koduri would choose a hectic moment such as Vega’s launch to go on a sabbatical. Since the news emerged, Koduri has published a statement and it seems as if the human cost of getting Radeon RX Vega out the door has taken its toll, leaving Koduri with the need to take time off for the next three months to spend with his family.