I’ll be the first one to admit that I’m not a techhead by any stretch, but I’m a PC gamer, and that means that while my knowledge may be paltry compared to most of you guys, I love gaming and so I know enough to be running most games at Ultra. The GTX 1080 Ti is now all but confirmed to be in existence, which means that the increase in power that the latest GTX 1080 offers is not the most powerful card we'll be seeing from this new Nvidia series.
Now this is all speculative - there is no official word on the existence of the GTX 1080 Ti, so this article is designed to get us all excited and giddy at the thought of those sweet, juicy frames we’ll be gaining when the card finally rolls around. People all across the tech press are beginning to speculate on the 1080 Ti, and what kind of performance it’ll offer, and they keep hinting that their "friend-in-the-know", has seen it, or smelt it or whatever, so it's a safe bet that it's coming.
We knew AMD’s Zen micro-architecture was going to blow its older processors away, but we had little idea just how much. AMD has inadvertently leaked the first ever shot of a Zen CPU die via an image originally intended solely for shareholders. Intended to be used for the Summit Ridge processors, it looks as if AMD is targeting a launch for the series in Q4 2016.
We've been benchmarking Total War: Warhammer across a range of hardware, and we've seen some really great results. There's quite a large difference in frame rates between the lowest graphic settings and the highest, and so now we've made this graphics comparison video to see the visual difference.
As far as over the top hardware goes, a 24-inch laptop is probably right up there. You’d need thighs the size of Thor to get it sitting on your lap. Nevertheless that’s exactly what Asus has done with its latest ROG (Republic of Gamers) laptop. It looks like it’s been worth it in terms of performance as well, with this 24” beast raking in a higher 3DMark 11 benchmark score than the mighty GeForce GTX Titan X. That makes it the most powerful laptop on the planet.
Asus have claimed it is “the future of ultimate gaming laptops”, offering desktop beating performance in an all-in-one solution a fraction of the size. The laptop in question is still a concept machine, tucked away inside the Asus labs, but what graphics card solution Asus is using, it’s best in field stuff. The only single GPU graphics card which can beat this experimental laptop is the newly announced Pascal-powered GeForce GTX 1080.
When building or buying a new PC the power supply unit, or PSU, can almost seem like an afterthought. I mean, no one gets excited for the latest PSU like they would a swanky new graphics card or the latest and greatest CPU. But it's the power supply which is the driving force behind all of all this. It’s not simply a case of having a power converter which meets the demands of your components. Having the right PSU can not only prove a boon for your gaming capabilities, but also improve the lifespan of everything in your rig.
Nvidia has launched its new Tesla M10 high-end workstation graphics card. By no means targeted at gamers, this graphics card is designed for simultaneous virtual PCs and virtual application workloads. As you’d expect from a card aimed at this market it’s an extremely powerful graphics card, packing in four Maxwell GPU cores on a single PCB.
Onto the nitty gritty then and unfortunately the Tesla M10 doesn't come with latest 16nm Pascal GPUs; Nvidia instead opting for 4x GM107 Maxwell GPUs. Each comes with a 8GB GDDR5 memory and 640 CUDA cores, paving the way for entire card packing 32GB GDDR5 memory and 2560 CUDA cores - incidentally the exact same number of cores as the recently revealed GeForce GTX 1080.
The first entry for the GeForce GTX 1060 has been spotted in a shipping database. Whilst Nvidia has yet to confirm such a graphics card even exists, it’s basically inevitable the mid-range Pascal GPUs will arrive later in the year. Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1060 is set to be the first card to ship with a GP106 GPU, and the great news is the shipping information all but confirms Nvidia has upped the 1060 to a wider 256-bit memory interface, up from the measly 128-bit on the GTX 960.
As bottlenecks go it was quite a major one for the 960, but doubling up the bus width should hopefully ensure the GTX 1060 is a decent choice for gaming at 1080p or possibly even 1440p. Details are obviously a little scarce at this early stage, but it’s thought the GTX 960 will come with either 4GB or 8GB GDDR5 memory as standard.
We’ve been benchmarking Total War: Warhammer across a bunch of cards, and now it’s the PNY GTX 960 OC’s turn to have a go. The recommended card for TW:W is a GTX 760, so the 960 should have no trouble whatsoever churning out those sweet, sweet frames.
The GTX 960 OC is paired with an Intel i7-5820K CPU and 16GB RAM. With this rig I was expecting 60 FPS or just under, even on Ultra at 1080p. The performance was mostly extremely good, on all graphics presets except for Ultra. On Low, I was able to hit well over 100 FPS, and at a 720p resolution I was seeing upwards of 160, at times 170 or more.
The Total War series is an absolute goliath in PC gaming. Couple that with Games Workshop's beloved Warhammer Fantasy license and you've got a recipe for a winner. We'll have the full verdict on Total War: Warhammer soon, but in the meantime we decided to put Creative Assembly's recent claims that this is the best optimised Total War yet to the test.
Our Total War: Warhammer benchmark rig contained the R7 370 2GB, backed up by 8GB RAM and an AMD FX-4100 CPU. As usual we ran at a bunch of resolutions ranging from 720p to 1080p, along with four tiers of settings - Low, Medium, High and Ultra.
All the talk might be about Nvidia’s new graphics cards, but in the meantime AMD has been quietly but assuredly pulling back market share from team green. The latest GPU market share reports are out and AMD has managed to grow its notebook graphics card market share all the way up to 29.4%, while desktop has grown to 22.7%.
It’s a 3.2% increase for the quarter, and puts AMD in a much stronger position than this time last year. That’s against the backdrop of a 10.2 per cent drop in over sale of graphics cards for the quarter, but that’s to be expected given the widespread knowledge that the next generation of GPUs is just around the corner. Expect to see a huge increase for this quarter as the new graphics cards hit from both Nvidia and AMD.