There’s been a whole bunch of discussion lately regarding AMD’s pricing of the Radeon RX Vega graphics cards family, with numerous sources claiming that a price hike could be on the cards. There has also been concern that AMD has waylaid on its promise to provide enough stock of Radeon RX Vega 64 at launch, despite admitting a delay was necessary in order to stockpile and meet the demands of both gamers and cryptocurrency miners.
Many fans eager to buy a Radeon RX Vega 64 found a large number of the high-end graphics cards were locked up in bundles containing motherboards, CPUs and discounts on gaming monitors, adding hundreds of dollars onto the cost of a simple GPU purchase.
In a little indicator of GPU manufacturers’ new-found love of cryptocurrency miners, AMD has just released a new Radeon RX Vega graphics card driver dedicated to cryptocurrency mining.
The Radeon Software Crimson Relive Beta for Blockchain Compute does pretty exactly what it says on the tin, optimising Radeon GPU performance specifically towards Blockchain Compute Workloads, the lifeblood of cryptocurrency mining, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
First, they came for our DRAM, and now they come for our VRAM. Both Samsung and SK Hynix have bumped up their VRAM prices by more than 30% this month alone due to spiraling demand from phone manufacturers.
The price hike comes as both SK Hynix and Samsung reallocate portions of their VGA RAM production capacities towards producing memory dedicated to the server and mobile markets. It’s basic economics - there’s less video memory being made, demand is higher than ever, and prices are therefore rising.
As far as unnecessary things go, a 480Hz monitor is probably right up there alongside a smart salt dispenser. Most of us could only dream of achieving frame rates that high in the latest games, let alone having a monitor that could display. Yet there’s a prototype panel out there that can achieve this lofty 480Hz refresh rate.
Blur Busters got sent the prototype, which is indeed a true 480Hz panel running at 1080 which is also capable of 120Hz at 4K resolution. It seems as if there are indeed 480Hz monitors in development and possibly ready for manufacture soon.
As predicted prior to Vega’s launch, Nvidia isn’t in a hurry to get its next generation Volta GPU in gamers’ hands. While initial rumours pointed to a launch in the back half of 2017, Nvidia has now made it pretty clear that GeForce Volta won’t be ready until early 2018. Following the launch of AMD Radeon Vega, Nvidia has ramped up 12nm production to increase supplies of its Volta based GPUs. In short, Nvidia is stockpiling, gearing up for a major graphics card launch in around six months time.
"Volta for gaming, we haven't announced anything. And all I can say is that our pipeline is filled with some exciting new toys for the gamers, and we have some really exciting new technology to offer them in the pipeline. But for the holiday season for the foreseeable future, I think Pascal is just unbeatable," said Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang during a recent earnings call. "It's just the best thing out there. And everybody who's looking forward to playing Call of Duty or Destiny 2, if they don't already have one, should run out and get themselves a Pascal."
We’re on the cusp of Intel revealing its 8th generation of Core processors, codenamed Coffee Lake. While we’re all thinking short-term though, Intel has much longer-term plans in place. It’s just announced Ice Lake, a new processor family that will be the successor to the 8th generation CPUs out shortly.
“The Ice Lake processor family is a successor to the eighth generation Intel Core processor family,” reads Intel’s site. “These processors utilize Intel’s industry-leading 10nm+ process technology.”
The rumours from Overclockers were false - AMD’s Radeon RX Vega 64 isn’t the cryptocurrency mining powerhouse that we’d been led to believe. Rumours were swirling a fortnight ago that AMD’s latest enthusiast tier graphics card was capable of hitting between 70-100 MH/s while mining Ethereum, far in excess of the 31 MH/s the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is capable of.
It turns out this isn’t the case at all, with Tweaktown getting hold of an early Radeon RX Vega 64 Liquid Cooled Edition and putting it to the test. During their Ethereum mining tests, they achieved 32.5 MH/s. That’s still a decent hash rate but nowhere near the extremes we were fearing.
After months of waiting, AMD's Radeon RX Vega 64 and Radeon RX Vega 56 graphics card have launched today. Good luck getting one though because just about every store I've checked has long since sold out. They're AMD's high-end answer to Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1080 and GeForce GTX 1070 respectively. Benchmarks are now out in the wild, and unsurprisingly they both offer some excellent single-GPU 4K gaming performance.
Out in the public eye, AMD is preoccupied with getting Radeon RX Vega launched this week, but behind the scenes, the final pieces of the puzzle are being put into place for its next gen Navi GPU. This will be the first Radeon GPU to have been conceived under the guise of Radeon head honcho Raja Koduri and will mark the switch to the 7nm fabrication process. That’s not all though, with reports emerging that Navi will feature dedicated artificial intelligence circuitry.
Navi is inbound sometime during 2018, barring the inevitable delays, and promises to have much-improved performance and power efficiency. That’s the sort of stuff that we can expect with every GPU generation though, and it’s the AI chip that may well help set it apart from its predecessors.
After more delays than Kenny's been killed, South Park: The Fractured But Whole actually looks as if it's going to hit its October 17th. It's got system requirements and everything now, it can't possibly go wrong. Can it? Matt Stone and Trey Parker have once more been on creative duties to deliver what is effectively two entire seasons of South Park into a hilariously offensive superhero-themed RPG. Will you need a superhero PC though? Check out the official South Park: The Fractured But Whole system requirements and find out.
The minimum requirements for South Park: The Fractured But Whole are suitable for playing at 720p / 60 frames per second, so there is still a bit of leeway on performance if you have a weaker graphics card. While the GeForce GTX 650 should be good for Low settings, something along the lines of a GeForce GTX 950 should be perfect for hitting Ultra on 720p while still hitting 60 fps. Something to bear in mind is that you will need a 2GB VRAM graphics card so the GeForce GTX 650 1GB may not be enough to run South Park: Fractured But Whole.