The Nintendo Switch has now surpassed 10 million units sold worldwide life-to-date, taking nine months to reach the milestone. Nintendo’s fortunes continue to look on the up and up, the failure of the Wii U now a distant speck in the rearview mirror.
Nvidia’s ridiculously expensive, astonishingly powerful Titan V graphics card certainly turned a few heads when it was released before the weekend. $2999 is a lot of money though, and is this a graphics card purely aimed at the workstation market? Well, the first performance benchmarks are out, courtesy of a Reddit user by the name of 'MrOmgWtfHaxor'.
Unsurprisingly, the Titan V has got the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti well and truly beaten in both gaming and synthetic benchmarks. When it costs more than four times as much as the $699 GTX 1080 Ti, that’s probably the least you’d expect.
Sales of PlayStation 4 consoles are continuing to skyrocket with Sony revealing that an additional 10 million units have been solid in the back half of 2017. That now brings the grand total of PS4’s sold up to whopping 70.6 million.
That almost incomprehensibly large figure averages out to around 17.65 million PS4’s sold each year, 1.47 million per month and 48,356 every day. It’s a hugely impressive figure which comfortably puts Sony in charge of the sales race for this generation of consoles. The Nintendo Switch is doing well at playing catch up, while I suspect the Xbox One (and One X) have well and truly been left behind by now.
Nvidia’s just dropped a bit of a bomb, revealing the new Nvidia Titan V, the new most powerful graphics card in the world. It’s the first consumer-grade GPU to be built on the Volta architecture, offering unparalleled compute performance. As of 2017, The Nvidia Titan V is the fastest consumer graphics card in the world.
The Titan V has 5120 CUDA Cores and, for the first time ever, 640 Tensor Cores dedicated to AI and Deep Learning. The core clock speed is 1200MHz and the boost clock speed is 1455MHz. The GPU itself is f-ing huge, sitting on an 815 mm2 die.
Update - Dec 6th - AMD has published a statement regarding the recent surreptitious launch of its new cut-down Radeon RX 560 graphics cards. On many storefronts these graphics cards are being sold under the exact same name as the standard Radeon RX 560 despite feature 896 Stream Processors versus 1024 Stream Processors on the previous model.
“It’s correct that 14 Compute Unit (896 stream processors) and 16 Compute Unit (1024 stream processor) versions of the Radeon RX 560 are available," writes AMD in a statement. "We introduced the 14CU version this summer to provide AIBs and the market with more RX 500 series options. It’s come to our attention that on certain AIB and etail websites there’s no clear delineation between the two variants. We’re taking immediate steps to remedy this: we’re working with all AIB and channel partners to make sure the product descriptions and names clarify the CU count, so that gamers and consumers know exactly what they’re buying. We apologize for the confusion this may have caused.”
Intel’s CPU roadmap has been leaked online, revealing Intel's processor plans from now through until the tail end of 2018. The big disappointment for those expecting a major evolution next year is that there will be no Ice Lake or 10nm CPUs in 2018.
In short, if you’re umming and ahhing over a Coffee Lake Intel 8th Gen CPU purchase, you should probably just ahead with it. There isn’t going to be a like-for-like upgrade until at least 2019.
This is all a bit tangential to PC gaming, but Nvidia researchers have been busy showing off the capabilities of its AI Deep Learning systems, demonstrating how its AI can now take footage filmed in winter and transform it into summer, or take a video of a sunny day and make it appear as if it’s raining.
Nvidia’s goal with Deep Learning is pretty clear - advance AI in order to develop additional tools and technologies which can tackle issues such as healthcare and autonomous vehicles. A large part of Deep Learning is focused on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), the process by which an AI can take an image and understand what it is. As an example, it can identify not only what a bike is, but also understand where its pedals are, how old it looks, or whether it’s got flat tires.
Nvidia’s discrete graphics card sales continue to be on the up and up according to data published by Jon Peddie Research, increasing Team Green’s overall share of the market to 72.8% in Q3 2017. Meanwhile, AMD saw its fortunes slip slightly after the launch of its Vega GPUs. Vega’s proven decent but not impressive when stacked up against the competition, no doubt contributing to AMD’s overall market share slipping slightly, falling 3% to 27.2%.
Despite a slight stumble from AMD, it’s maintaining a steady grip on the market since its huge dip when the Radeon RX 300 and Fury series of graphics cards arrived back in 2015. The 3% drop likely didn’t affect AMD’s bottom line, however, with add-in graphics board sales taking a massive leap. Quarter-to-quarter, sales of AMD Radeon and Nvidia GeForce graphics cards combined increased 29.1%, as well as a rise of 21.5% year-on-year. The AIB sales take into account all discrete GPUs used in desktop PCs, workstations, rendering, servers, cryptocurrency mining and other markets.
We all know AMD is currently beavering away on its next generation of Navi graphics cards for launch in 2018, but the rumour mill has been fired into action in regards to AMD utilising the upcoming GDDR6 video memory standard in addition to HBM2 or, potentially, even the rumour HBM3.
A sleuth over on Reddit spotted a glaring truth on AMD employee Daehyun Jun’s LinkedIn profile. Daehyun Jun is a ‘principal member of technical staff at AMD’, and the experience he lists includes work on a new GDDR6 DRAM controller for AMD Radeon.
Much has been made of the cryptocurrency mining craze, which has recently seen the value of Bitcoin balloon past $10,000 for a single coin. Its effect on demand for graphics card hardware has been keenly felt, with prices skyrocketing throughout 2017 as miners seek the best bang for their buck. According to AMD CEO Lisa Su though, demand for GPUs from cryptocurrency miners is actually a "very small percentage" of AMD’s overall business, clocking in at single digits.
Instead, Su claims it’s a generally increased demand for all things high-performance computing. PC gaming has been on the up and up for years, while AMD also has high-profile custom chips in both the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One X.