Following on from criticism of its global pricing, AMD has announced an official price drop for its Radeon RX 480 graphics card in India. At the time of the first Polaris GPU’s launch, many AMD fans worldwide were complaining that the $199 US price point wasn’t being matched in many places. Some even reported prices in excess of $400, making rival Nvidia cards a more attractive proposition.
Since the pricing controversy, AMD has now decresed the price of the 4GB Radeon RX 480 from INR 22,990 down to INR 20,990. Similarly, the 8GB Radeon RX 480 has dropped from INR 26,990 down to the 4GB model’s original price point - INR 22,990. That’s a 15% price drop.
AMD hosted its second Capsaicin event at Siggraph 2016, and while the focus might not have been on gaming, there were still plenty of surprising offerings in the graphics card department. The big news is the unveiling of AMD’s new workstation GPUs. Designed to go head to head with Nvidia’s Quadro cards, AMD’s selection of Radeon Pro WX and Radeon Pro SSG cards run the full gamut of performance needs.
The show stealer was undoubtedly the Radeon Pro SSG. This latest workstation graphics card contains a groundbreaking 1TB (Yes, you read that right) or GPU video memory. Raja Koduri, Radeon chief architect, said it represented a “fundamental change in workstation architecture.” With a bump from 32GB up to 1024GB, it’s hard to argue there.
Last week we put MSI's GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G through its paces in a DOOM Vulkan benchmark. Fair's fair though, it's time to see how it stacks up to the competition - namely the ASUS ROG Strix variant of AMD's Radeon RX 480. Much has been made of the RX 480's bargain price (at least in some territories), but does this mean bargain bucket performance?
So a quick recap of what Vulkan is and what it means to PC gamers. The Vulkan standard has been created by Khronos Group as a sucessor to OpenGL. Recently DOOM was updated with Vulkan support, so boot DOOM up and you'll be given a choice of two options - the older OpenGL 4.5 or the newer Vulkan. Vulkan is a low level API which builds on the achievements of AMD’s ill-fated Mantle, offsetting CPU usage to the GPU and more effectively distributing workloads across multiple CPU cores. It’s been likened to a console-like level of optimisation, squeezing out the maximum potential performance out of the hardware available to a user.
Reports are emerging that Nvidia may be preparing a sooner than expected launch for its Volta GPUs, with the first due to arrive in May 2017, just 12 months after the Pascal-powered GeForce GTX 1080 dropped.
Nvidia typically operates on an 18-month cadence with its GPUs, introducing Pascal in May 2016, Maxwell in September 2014, Kepler in May 2013, etc. A May launch would accelerate this process to just a single year, an event given more credence by the rapid pace at which Nvidia has followed up the GTX 1080 with the GTX 1070, GTX 1060, and, next month, the GeForce GTX Titan X (2016).
Plans for the next generation of processors are beginning to shift into focus, with both Intel and AMD outlining launch windows for their respective Kaby Lake and Zen CPUs.
Intel was first, with CEO Brian Krzanich announcing during a Q&A session with investors that Kaby Lake CPUs are finalised and shipping to PC builders for use in complete systems.
AMD has released its Q2 fiscal year 2016 results and in a slightly shocking turn of events has actually managed to crawl into the black after years of losses. AMD’s revenue was $1.027 billion over the last three months, up 9% year on year and 23% from the last quarter. The launch of its eagerly anticipated first Polaris chip is partly responsible, with the Radeon RX 480 met with favourable reviews and keen consumer interest.
Non-GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) income was $3 million for the quarter, while GAAP was an $8 million deficit. Overall net income was $69 million over the period.
Buying an HTC Vive is an expensive process. An eye watering £743.74 including shipping on the official Vive store. That’s just the start though, because replacement parts are also hideously costly. HTC Vive’s accessories store page has just gone live, letting Vive users pick up replacement controllers, face cushions, link boxes and base stations, but prepared to rinse your bank accounts dry.
These are all the bits you’ll need to properly use the HTC Vive, and up until now if any of these parts broke you were kind of stuck. Controllers, of which two are needed, will set you back a whopping £116.99 each, while the base station is £121.99.
Arriving from out of nowhere, Nvidia has announced its new flagship graphics card - the GeForce GTX Titan X. Not Titan Y or Titan P as previously rumoured, but exactly the same nomenclature as the 2015 edition. The GeForce GTX Titan X will be the most powerful graphics card on the planet, packing an astonishing 3584 CUDA cores for 11 TFLOPS of performance.
Equipped with a full fat GP102 Pascal GPU, the Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan X 2016 won’t come cheap, retailing for $1200 in the US, nearly double the price of the current champion, the $699 GTX 1080. If you do lay down all that cash though, Nvidia claim you’ll be getting your hands on an “irresponsible amount of performance”, which on the face of it seems difficult to argue with.
Razer has just put up pre-orders for its own virtual reality headset. Designed by the open standard OSVR consortium, it’s a VR headset designed to be totally open source with no hardware or software limits in place on its use. Where things get really interesting though is that the Razer OSVR HDK 2 has basically identical specs to the Oculus Rift, all while retailing for a significantly cheaper price.
Pre-orders are available from now up until its shipping date on July 29th, with the OSVR HDK2 setting you back $399 / £399, significantly undercutting the $600 Oculus Rift and $800 HTC Vive.
Unless you've had your head buried under the sand for the past couple of years, Microsoft has made an absolutely ridiculous song and dance of the capabilities of DirectX 12. It was going to save gaming, exponentially improve performance, and make things even easier for developers.
First of all we had to deal with the disappointment of Windows 10 exclusivity, then the limited performance gains for the first games which supported it. Now though we're getting the first graphics cards to arrive in a post-DirectX 12 era, designed from the ground up to support Microsoft's latest API. Let's see how the MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G fares...