Tech-Net-Game News

AMD promises a graphics revolution with new Vulkan-powered Radeon driver

AMD has announced the release of the Vulkan 1.0 spec, an API built from the company's Mantle GPU tech. It means that Vulkan will soon be packaged into a beta version of the firm's Radeon driver for its graphics cards. This new driver, the company claims, will enable game devs to "remove historical software bottlenecks" and deliver "new, rich visual gaming experiences", no less. So how does all this work? Essentially, Vulkan is designed to be a low-overhead graphics API (application programming interface). The lesser overheads it delivers in comparison to OpenGL mean a lighter background load for the GPU and CPU – meaning that this spare power can be used elsewhere for stuff the gamer will actually notice like better graphics and performance levels. It offers more direct control over the GPU, makes better use of the full capabilities of multi-core processors (i.e. utilising all the cores), and Vulkan gives access to GPU hardware features which aren't normally accessible via OpenGL. More than WindowsVulkan isn't just about Windows games either, as the API is a cross-platform affair spanning not just Windows 7 and onwards, but also Linux and Android. Raja Koduri, Senior VP and Chief Architect, Radeon Technologies Group, AMD, commented: "The promotion of open and scalable technologies continues to be the focus at AMD, as a pioneer in the low-overhead API space. As a member of the Khronos Group, AMD is proud to collaborate with hardware and software industry leaders to develop the Vulkan API to ignite the next evolution in PC game development." Of course, we can all think back and remember when Mantle was touted as being poised on revolutionising PC gaming, and that didn't quite turn out to be the case – but as much of it lives on in Vulkan, technically speaking, it could still perform this trick. Also check out: AMD's new Zen processors will include a 32-core monster CPU
  • 2 min read
  • Mar 10, 2016
Tech-Net-Game News

AMD’s new Zen processors will include a 32-core monster CPU

AMD is pinning a great deal on its Zen processors due out this year, but fortunately the more we hear about them, the more promising their overall chances seem. And some further info has been leaked out, courtesy of a CERN engineer who gave a talk at the IT Technical Forum on market trends concerning data centres, as spotted by Tech Report. The engineer, who had evidently been provided with some details by AMD, said that Zen CPUs will have up to 32 physical cores (in a single package, spread over two 16-core modules) and will benefit from Symmetrical Multi-Threading, which would seem to be AMD's own version of Intel's Hyper-Threading. Digging deeperZen will apparently support 8-channel DDR4, and the presenter also reiterated some older information, including the fact that these new CPUs can handle 40% more instructions per clock than the current Excavator cores. Sadly there was no fresh news on the timeframe when we can expect the release of Zen, and all we know is that it will be later this year. The first processors to emerge will be the powerhouse FX desktop CPUs which will likely debut in four, six and eight-core variants. It will certainly be good for Intel to have some competition, because if some genuine rivalry can be sparked up again, that can only be a good thing for the processor market. AMD's mighty Zen CPUs coming to level the playing field with Intel in 2016
  • 1 min read
  • Mar 10, 2016
Tech-Net-Game News

AMD also releases new Radeon Software drivers for Far Cry Primal

Just shortly after Nvidia released their latest graphics card drivers, AMD has launched Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.2.1 that includes optimizations for Ubisoft's latest triple-A title, Far Cry Primal.The driver's release notes indicate that the only real update from version 16.2 is the inclusion of a Crossfire profile for Far Cry Primal. However there are a collection of bug fixes to be found, mostly concerning Fallout 4 and Rise of the Tomb Raider, as well as general issues with Radeon Software.If you happened to miss the release of version 16.2, updating to 16.2.1 will also bring optimizations for Ashes of the Singularity, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and the SteamVR Performance test. Crossfire improvements for The Division and XCOM 2 were also introduced.As always, you can let Radeon Settings automatically update your graphics card drivers for you, or you can grab a manual installer from our driver download section here. If you plan on playing Far Cry Primal any time soon, it's probably a good idea to install this update to ensure you get the best performance.
  • 1 min read
  • Mar 09, 2016
Tech-Net-Game News

AMD bolsters chip lineup with higher-clocked A10-7890K APU, Athlon X4 880K CPU

AMD recently announced a pair of new desktop processors, both of which are said to be the fastest chips released to date in their respective classes.The AMD A10-7890K is the company's fastest APU yet. It features a base frequency of 4.1GHz across its four CPU cores (up to 4.3GHz Max Turbo) with a GPU frequency of 866MHz and a maximum TDP of 95 watts.The A10-7890K will become the second processor to ship with AMD's new Wraith heatsink and fan combination which is rated at 39dB. When it was announced last month, AMD said the cooler delivers 34 percent more airflow and offers 24 percent more cooling fin surface area compared to its predecessor.The Athlon X4 880K, meanwhile, is a quad-core CPU clocked at 4.0GHz (up to 4.2GHz Turbo) and is the fastest Athlon X4 chip AMD has ever produced. It, too, features a maximum TDP of 95 watts but ships with the 125W AMD Thermal Solution – essentially the same cooler as the Wraith but without the illuminated fan shroud.Of course, if you plan to use an aftermarket cooler, neither of these new AMD-branded cooling solutions will matter to you.Pricing is set at $164.99 for the A10-7890K while the Athlon X4 880K will retail for $94.99. AMD says they should be available for purchase at select retailers and online by the end of the month.
  • 1 min read
  • Mar 09, 2016
Tech-Net-Game News

New AMD FirePro S-Series can provide graphics grunt for up to 32 PCs

AMD has unveiled its new FirePro S-Series video cards, which it notes are a "world first" in terms of graphics technology, being virtualised GPUs boasting multi-user GPU (MxGPU) tech. In other words, stick these cards in a server and they can provide virtual GPUs for remote PCs which are relatively underpowered lacking discrete graphics cards or the grunt to tackle heavy duty graphics tasks like, for example, CAD or video editing. The new cards AMD has unleashed are the FirePro S7150 and FirePro S7150 x2. A single S7150 has 8GB of GDDR5 video memory on board and can support up to 16 simultaneous users, with the x2 version doubling up the memory to 16GB as the name would suggest, being able to support up to 32 users. AMD boasts that its MxGPU technology provides consistent performance, and offers a secure environment in terms of the application data being passed through the card – one virtual machine can't access another VM's data thanks to hardware-enforced memory isolation logic. The company also notes that all graphics functionality is accessible to remote users, with full virtualisation support for not just DirectX and OpenGL, but also the likes of OpenCL. Head in the cloudAs well as providing graphics power to remote workstations, these cards could find many other uses, such as the delivery of cloud gaming to those with rigs that wouldn't otherwise have the power to play modern games. Jon Peddie, president, Jon Peddie Research, commented: "AMD multi-user graphics promises to change how and when companies utilise workstations by providing workers with on-demand powerhouse graphics when needed, while helping significantly reduce the total cost of ownership typically associated with large installations of workstations. "The move to virtualisation of high-performance graphics capabilities typically associated with standalone workstations only makes sense, and will likely gain significant traction in the coming years." So when are these cards coming out? Both these GPUs should be available in the first half of this year. AMD Radeon R9 Nano review
  • 2 min read
  • Feb 24, 2016
Tech-Net-Game News

AMD VRLA 2016 keynote video published

On Monday we mentioned that both AMD and Nvidia were at the weekend's VRLA expo, showing off their latest hardware, software and accessories and demonstrating the state-of-the-art of VR. The LA-based event is the biggest event of its kind and it was sponsored in AMD, so it got to open the show with a keynote, provided by Roy Taylor, Corporate Vice President of Alliances. A few hours ago the VRLA organisation published Mr Taylor's keynote in full on YouTube.So many of AMD's plans and prospects were covered in this 23 minute presentation that I think it is very much worthy of summarising, at least as a recap of where AMD is at the current time in the current market and where it aims to be.Roy Taylor began by telling the crowd that "VR is everything", not just for games and entertainment - it will be useful, and widely used for manufacturing, design, military, training, retail and more. With the adoption of VR a global service industry will rise up to provide VRaaS (VR as a service), providing professional VR imagery and sound capture (or creation) for industry. Taylor went on to introduce the significant personnel in the AMD VR Team and provided brief snippets about their experience and responsibilities going forward.AMD drivers were brought up jokily by Taylor. He said people had told him "We really like you - but you've got to do something about those drivers". Then we got a recap on the progress of the Crimson drivers and were told that AMD was also working very closely with "every major software package that you use to create". See above.Taylor also talked about a couple of VR software projects. We heard about 'The Lonely Whale' and a VR version of that old Atari classic BattleZone which will implement Liquid VR and DX12 tech. An interesting way that AMD will be expanding VR will be via 'Gaze activated content' which presents interactive VR within seemingly regular VR video experiences.The development of Polaris GPUs was touched upon next. Taylor drove home the benefits of Polaris on 14nm to the crowd saying "we can now produce GPUs, which will run the minimum spec for VR, at a lower cost, in larger volume, consuming less power, and running faster." He reminded us that in the second half of 2016 this tech will be available for us to make VR a more accessible possibility.Other things talked about in the presentation were the Tiki PC powered by dual-Fiji, as mentioned in the previous article (and pictured above). At one point we seemed to jump off at a tangent, as a guest came on stage to introduce a new computing platform called the 'Envelop Virtual Environment'. This is headlined as the "first fully immersive computing platform" providing infinite monitors and infinite desktop space.The conclusion to the presentation was that VR is brimming with possibilities, and AMD is the best choice to power it, but there is yet to be a 'Sonic the Hedgehog' killer app - so Taylor told developers to be daring and different to make some waves and hopefully create that killer app with a mix of perspiration and inspiration.
  • 2 min read
  • Feb 01, 2016
Tech-Net-Game News

AMD ships delayed ARM-based “Seattle” server chips to a cautious market

With its new “Seattle” server chips now shipping in volume after a long delay, AMD hopes that it’s coming into a market where there are fewer concerns about the ARM architecture in data centers.The Opteron A1100 chips will power web servers, networking appliances and storage arrays. The chips are available in four- and eight-core variants, and packaged with networking and storage controllers.AMD was supposed to ship Seattle last year, but ultimately the delay worked to its benefit because the ARM server market wasn’t ready, said Dan Bounds, senior director of data center products and enterprise solutions at AMD. There’s more awareness of the benefits of ARM servers today, and more software is available, but AMD knows it has a lot of work to do going forward, Bounds said.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
  • 3 min read
  • Jan 14, 2016