News Posts matching "DirectX 11"

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AMD Halts Optimizations for Mantle API

AMD has halted optimizations for its Mantle 3D graphics API, for current and future graphics cards. The cards will retain Mantle API support at the driver-level, to run existing Mantle applications, but will not receive any performance optimizations from AMD. Launched around 2013, Mantle had a short stint with AAA PC games, such as Battlefield 4, Thief, Sniper Elite III, and Star Citizen, offering noticeably higher performance than DirectX 11. The API improves the way the CPU-end of 3D graphics rendering is handled, particularly with today's multi-core/multi-threaded processors, bringing about significant increases to the number of draw-calls that can be parsed by a GPU.

AMD will now focus on DirectX 12 and Vulkan (OpenGL successor by Khronos Group). Why the company effectively killed its own 2-year old and promising 3D API is anyone's guess. We postulate that Mantle could have been used by AMD to steer Microsoft to introduce vital bare-metal optimizations it reserved for the console, to the PC ecosystem with DirectX 12. It appears to have served that purpose, and as if to hold up to its end of a bargain, AMD 'withdrew' Mantle. DirectX 12 will feature a super-efficient command-buffer that scales across any number of CPU cores, and will have huge increases in draw-calls over DirectX 11. The new API makes its official debut with Windows 10, later this month. AMD's Graphics CoreNext 1.1 and 1.2 GPUs support DirectX 12 (feature level 12_0), as do rival NVIDIA's "Maxwell" GPUs. The company will continue to nurture Mantle as an "innovation base" for its upcoming tech, such as LiquidVR.


Source: PC Gamer

Futuremark Releases 3DMark Update with API Overhead Feature-set

Futuremark is excited to introduce our new 3DMark API Overhead feature test - the world's first independent test for measuring differences in DirectX 12, DirectX 11 and Mantle API performance. It's also the very first public application to use DirectX 12 full stop. This is cutting edge stuff! Developed with input from AMD, Intel, Microsoft, NVIDIA, and the other members of our Benchmark Development Program, the 3DMark API Overhead feature test lets you compare the performance of DirectX 12, DirectX 11, and Mantle.

The purpose of the test is to compare the relative performance of different APIs on a single system, rather than the absolute performance of different systems. The API Overhead feature test is not a general-purpose GPU benchmark, and it should not be used to compare graphics cards from different vendors. (We are working on a DirectX 12 benchmark with game-like workloads, which we expect to release soon after the public launch of Windows 10.)

DOWNLOAD: Futuremark 3DMark v1.5.884

AMD Bets on DirectX 12 for Not Just GPUs, but Also its CPUs

In an industry presentation on why the company is excited about Microsoft's upcoming DirectX 12 API, AMD revealed its most important feature that could impact on not only its graphics business, but also potentially revive its CPU business among gamers. DirectX 12 will make its debut with Windows 10, Microsoft's next big operating system, which will be given away as a free upgrade for _all_ current Windows 8 and Windows 7 users. The OS will come with a usable Start menu, and could lure gamers who stood their ground on Windows 7.

In its presentation, AMD touched upon two key features of the DirectX 12, starting with its most important, Multi-threaded command buffer recording; and Asynchronous compute scheduling/execution. A command buffer is a list of tasks for the CPU to execute, when drawing a 3D scene. There are some elements of 3D graphics that are still better suited for serial processing, and no single SIMD unit from any GPU architecture has managed to gain performance throughput parity with a modern CPU core. DirectX 11 and its predecessors are still largely single-threaded on the CPU, in the way it schedules command buffer.

New 3DMark Sky Diver Benchmark Available

Hot on the heels of all the hardware announcements at Computex, our new 3DMark Sky Diver benchmark test is ready to download and use today. Every single 3DMark user - more than a million and counting - will get Sky Diver as a free update. For new users, Sky Diver is unlocked and ready to use in all editions of 3DMark. And for a limited time, you can buy 3DMark Advanced Edition, which includes more tests, custom settings and other features, from Steam for only $9.99 (60% off).

Sky Diver is a new DirectX 11 benchmark test for gaming laptops and mid-range PCs. It's ideal for testing mainstream graphics cards, mobile GPUs, integrated graphics and other systems that cannot achieve double-digit frame rates in the more demanding Fire Strike test.
DOWNLOAD: 3DMark v1.3.708 with Sky Diver

Sniper Elite III Added to AMD Never Settle Forever

AMD's big score for this Summer, Sniper Elite III has been added to the list of "Silver" and "Gold" rewards, which new AMD Radeon buyers can choose from, as part of their Never Settle Forever offer. Sniper Elite III builds on the success of the popular recon shooter game Sniper Elite V2, by providing bigger maps, more detailed environments, with even more ways to approach your objectives. In addition to DirectX 11, the game can take advantage of AMD's Mantle API, and should be playable on even entry-level AMD Radeon-based solutions, such as A-series "Kaveri" APUs. The game's Mantle renderer makes it take advantage of as many as 8 CPU cores. The game ships with 64-bit binaries, and should take advantage of large amounts of system and video memory. Up for pre-order on Steam for $39.99, Sniper Elite III releases on the 27th of June, 2014.

Futuremark Announces 3DMark Sky Diver

Futuremark today announced 3DMark Sky Diver, a new DirectX 11 benchmark test for gaming laptops and mid-range PCs. 3DMark Sky Diver is the ideal test for benchmarking systems with mainstream DirectX 11 graphics cards, mobile GPUs, or integrated graphics. A preview trailer for the new benchmark shows a wingsuited woman skydiving into a mysterious, uncharted location. The scene is brought to life with tessellation, particles and advanced post-processing effects. Sky Diver will be shown in full at Computex from June 3-7, or find out more here.

Jukka Makinen, Futuremark CEO said, "Some people think that 3DMark is only for high-end hardware and extreme overclocking. Yet millions of PC gamers rely on 3DMark to choose systems that best balance performance, efficiency and affordability. 3DMark Sky Diver complements our other tests by providing the ideal benchmark for gaming laptops and mainstream PCs."

Axiomtek Announces AMD G-Series Embedded SoC GX-210JA Pico-ITX SBC

Axiomtek, one of the world's leading designers and manufacturers of innovative, high performance and reliable PC-based industrial computer products, announces the new arrival of the PICO121, its extremely compact fanless Pico-ITX SBC with ultra-low power AMD G-Series Embedded SoC GX-210JA dual core 1.0GHz onboard. The PICO121 is built to withstand wide temperature conditions, ranging from -20°C to +70°C (-4°F to +158°F). This embedded board supports DirectX 11, Open GL4.2, and Open CL1.2 to provide great graphics performance and features dual-view compatibility through VGA and LVDS with AMD Radeon HD8180 graphics controller. In addition to graphics rich, the PICO121 supports DASH (desktop and mobile architecture for system hardware) for convenient remote management, which means this board can be used as a client device, controlled and managed by a console remotely via a Gigabit LAN port on the rear I/O. Moreover, the single board computer is equipped with one high-speed board-to-board connector that integrates PCIe x1, USB 3.0 and DisplayPort to fulfill various application needs.

Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth Supports AMD Mantle

Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth, a turn-based strategy game based in the interstellar age, in which you travel to and colonize habitable planets by realpolitik, was announced last weekend, with support for AMD's Mantle API, besides DirectX 11. Mantle should make the game increasingly playable on AMD "Kaveri" APUs with eye-candy cranked up, and at reasonable mainstream resolutions such as 1080p. Mantle reduces the CPU's role in graphics processing, and should benefit APUs. Developer Firaxis announced the game for three PC platforms, Windows, OS X, and Linux (over Steam). Don't add it to your summer bucket-list just yet. It's slated for this fall.
A trailer video follows.

MSI Releases AM1 Socketed Kabini Mini-ITX AM1I motherboard

MSI, world leader in motherboards, debuts its first AMD AM1 Socketed Kabini Mini-ITX motherboard, the MSI AM1I. With Kabini being sold separately, the MSI AM1I is fully upgradable and gives the user flexibility when looking for a ultra-low power dual or quad core solution. With MSI AM1I's rich feature set and support for the powerful power efficient Kabini APU, packed with high performance DirectX 11.2-support, it is the ideal motherboard to use in a compact desktop, HTPC or other multimedia solutions.

Kabini is the first x86 quad-core System on a Chip solution for mainstream use with improved performance per watt and best-in-class graphics. Now being sold separately, instead of soldered to a motherboard, the AM1 platform offers a complete, customizable package together with the MSI AM1I motherboard.

NVIDIA to Launch GeForce 337.50 Beta Later Today

It's now NVIDIA's turn to come up with a 'wonder driver' that introduces large across-the-board performance improvements that could affect performance standings of GeForce GTX GPUs. Bearing the canonical version number GeForce 337.50 Beta, the driver will step up DirectX rendering performance thanks to some fundamental changes in the way the the driver and API handle graphics processing loads for the metal (GPU) to chew on. The difference that makes, according to a leaked NVIDIA press-deck, is that NVIDIA GPUs will offer higher frame-rates than Mantle, while staying in Direct3D mode. Put in numbers, NVIDIA is claiming performance improvements of up to 64% in Total War: Rome II, up to 21% in Star Swarm, and up to 10% in Metro: Last Light.
Sources: ComputerBase.de, VideoCardz

XFX Announces its Radeon R5 200 Series

XFX launched no less than five graphics cards based on AMD's new entry-level Radeon R5 230, four based on a low-profile, single-slot PCB, and one on a full-height PCB. All five cards are fan-less (silent), and feature chunky aluminium heatsinks to cool the GPU. All cards stick to the same clock speeds of 625 MHz. Among the low profile cards are the R5-230A-ZLH2 (1 GB DDR3 memory, HDMI, DVI, D-Sub); R5-230A-CLHV (2 GB DDR3 memory, HDMI, DVI, D-Sub); R5-230A-CLHR (same card with AMD freebies); and R5-230A-CLH2. The full height card, the R5-230A-CNH2 uses the added PCB area to just hold a bigger heatsink, and spread components out better. Based on the "Caicos" silicon, the R5 230 features 160 stream processors, and supports DirectX 11.

Sapphire Launches R5 Series of Entry Level Graphics Cards

SAPPHIRE Technology has just introduced three new mainstream models to its highly successful R-Series of graphics cards based on AMD Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture. The new SAPPHIRE R5 230 series includes three low profile PCI-Express graphics cards that require no additional power connector, making them ideal for entry level systems or for upgrading existing PC systems and providing additional monitor support. Two basic models have 160 Stream processors and core clocks of 625MHz, and offer a choice of 1GB or 2GB of DDR3 memory to deliver excellent performance and great value. Outputs are Dual-link DVI, VGA and HDMI, supporting a choice of monitor types and the cards ship with optional backplates for use in standard or low-profile chassis.

The third model is the R5 230 FleX, which also has 160 Stream processors and 625MHz core clocks, but has 1GB of DDR3 memory with the enhanced clock speed of 800MHz (1600MHz effective). The FleX model adds the SAPPHIRE exclusive ability to support three DVI monitors in Eyefinity mode without the need for any active adapters and deliver a true SLS (Single Large Surface) work area. The first two monitors are connected to the two DVI outputs. A third DVI monitor can be connected to the HDMI output with the passive cable adapter supplied.

AMD Launches Radeon R5 230 in the Retail Channel, Gigabyte Outs its Offering

AMD launched a new entry-level GPU for those who need a bare-essentials graphics card for their desktop, which so happens to lack integrated graphics (think Intel HEDT platform). Called the Radeon R5 230, the chip is based on the "Caicos" silicon, and features 160 stream processors, 8 TMUs, and 4 ROPs. It supports DirectX 11 and OpenGL 4.3. Its core is clocked at 625 MHz. It features a 64-bit wide DDR3 memory interface, holding 1 GB of memory, clocked at 1066 MHz. Pictured below is the first AIB-branded R5 230 card for the retail channel, Gigabyte's R523D3-1GL, with a single-slot, half-height built, and a tiny fan-heatsink keeping its GPU cool. AMD could price the card around the $50 mark.

MSI Announces AG220 and AG240 All-in-One PCs

MSI, prominent developer in gaming technology, is once again leading the way by releasing the new AG220 and AG240 as the successors to its AG2712A that won the CES Innovation Award this year. The AG220 and AG240 are 21.5" and 23.6" Full HD All-in-One PCs that support MSI's industry-leading Anti-Flicker and Less Blue Light technologies. Both AG220 and AG240 come with touch and non-touch displays and are based on Intel's latest Haswell platform with support for quad-core processors. The PCs also feature NVIDIA's latest GeForce GTX 860M gamer-grade discrete graphics card and Killer game networking accelerator favored by professional gamers. Additionally, they come with speakers by Yamaha and the all new Headset Master technology to easily switch between headset and speaker audio output.

AMD Gaming Evolved Expands With Trio of Exclusive Gaming Partnerships

AMD today announced three new game developer partnerships for AMD Gaming Evolved, an ISV relationship program that assists developers in creating an enhanced PC gaming experience. Rebellion Developments, Square Enix and Xaviant are the latest developers to join AMD in optimizing PC games to make them look better and run better for every gamer on AMD hardware.

"AMD is proud to play an instrumental role in enabling quality PC gaming experiences," said Ritche Corpus, director of ISV gaming and alliances, AMD. "With collaboration between AMD and leading studios like Rebellion, Square Enix and Xaviant, we can work together to optimize the image quality and performance of highly-anticipated titles for an intense gaming experience."

No Mantle Support for Thief Just Yet

Today marks the North American release of Thief, the second AAA game title touted to support Mantle, AMD's ambitious Direct3D alternative. We have also seen some heavy marketing for how TrueAudio will make the game more awesome. Unfortunately it isn't launching with out of the box support for either technology. Eidos has Mantle and TrueAudio support "scheduled for March".

Thief is part of AMD's Gaming Evolved ecosystem, which puts it in AMD's inner circle of developer support. The only other studio and game that boasts of the same, which is in the market, are DICE and Battlefield 4. Based on a heavily modified Unreal Engine 3, Thief will run DirectX 11 out of the box.


Source: Thief PC requirements page

MSI Launches CX61 2PC Multimedia Notebook

MSI has received high marks for its high-end gaming laptops, the good performance but compact gaming design in new gaming notebooks. They featured Intel's 4th Generation Quad Core processor and new Generation NVIDIA GeForce GT820M discrete graphics. CX61 2PC was designed to meet the demands of business usage and casual gamers around the world.

Eric Kuo, vice president for global sales & marketing, MSI Notebook, points out the CX61 2PC featured with GT820M graphics and audio boost for better headset experience, while weighting in at only 2.5 kilograms under. CX61 is the trimmest and most popular classic laptops and are the best choice of casual games players around the world. Not only do they feature the processor using 22nm production technology, CX61 also packed NVIDIA 's latest GT820M 2GB discrete graphics card. Comes with the innovative Audio boost solution - a world first developed by MSI, AMP (Audio amplifier), and gold jacks, bringing the new Generation cinema-grade quality sound to an all-new level.

Futuremark Announces 3DMark for Windows RT, as a Free App

Futuremark announced 3DMark for Windows RT, the ARM-friendly variant of Windows popularized by the Surface RT, and Surface 2. The 3D graphics benchmark suite includes three tests based on the "Ice Storm" test scene, namely "Ice Storm," "Ice Storm Extreme," and "Ice Storm Unlimited." The "Ice Storm" test stresses DirectX 11 feature level 9 test. "Ice Storm Extreme" runs the same scene at 1080p resolution, and with added detail, such as higher resolution textures and post-processing. "Ice Storm Unlimited" is designed to stress all key components, including the CPU and GPU, display resolution scaling, and other OS-related factors.
DOWNLOAD: 3DMark for Windows RT

NVIDIA Rolls Out the GeForce 331.40 Beta Driver

NVIDIA has just made available a new graphics driver, the beta-tagged GeForce 331.40 which includes support for the GeForce 8, 9, 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, and 700-series desktop GPUs and the ION desktop GPUs. This new build is claimed to deliver a performance boost (compared to the GeForce 327.23 drivers) for the GeForce 400/500/600/700 Series GPUs and implements Horizon Based Ambient Occlusion plus (HBAO+) for DirectX 9 and DirectX 11 applications.

GeForce 331.40 Beta Download Links
Windows Vista/7/8/8.1 32bit / Windows Vista/7/8/8.1 64bit / Windows XP 32bit / Windows XP 64bit

Battlefield 4 MSR Largely Identical to Battlefield 3, RSR Interesting

Battlefield 4 minimum system requirements (MSR) lists released to the web show them to be largely identical to those of Battlefield 3, with a few changes in the GPU requirements. The RSR (recommended system requirements) list is interesting. There's no support for Windows XP, much like Battlefield 3, but contrary to rumors, Battlefield 4 doesn't mandate 64-bit platforms. It includes 32-bit executables, even if it can take advantage of over 4 GB of system- and over 3 GB of video-memory. Battlefield 4 needs at least a Windows Vista 32-bit installation, with Service Pack 2 and KB971512 update. An AMD Athlon X2 processor clocked at 2.80 GHz or Core 2 Duo 2.40 GHz processor, 4 GB of RAM (which 32-bit platforms don't fully make available anyway), and 2009-class DirectX 10 graphics cards, are part of the MSR.

Moving on to the recommended system requirements list, EA-DICE recommends 64-bit Windows 8, making us wonder why not Windows 7 64-bit, and if it has something to do with the fact that Windows 8 supports DirectX 11.1, which Windows 7 doesn't. Any six-core AMD CPU, and any Intel quad-core CPU will do. 8 GB of RAM is recommended. The developer recommends at least Radeon HD 7870 or GeForce GTX 660 graphics cards with at least 3 GB of video memory, which strangely disqualifies the Radeon HD 7870 from the RSR list, as there's no known HD 7870 variant with ≥3 GB of video memory. Hard drive space is consistent between the two lists, at 30 GB. It was 25 GB for Battlefield 3. In all, we expect Battlefield 4 to be another eye-feast, which rewards faster hardware, and perhaps even upgrading to Windows 8.


Source: The Examiner

ZOTAC Amplifies GeForce GTX 780 for Class-Dominating Performance

ZOTAC International, a global innovator and manufacturer of graphics cards, mainboards and mini-PCs, today amplifies the GeForce GTX 780 beyond 1 GHz for class-dominating performance. The insanely-fast ZOTAC GeForce GTX 780 AMP! Edition gives demanding gamers an extra performance edge for superior smoothness without sacrificing maximum visual quality.

"Our engineers spent extra time fine-tuning the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 780 AMP! Edition to perfection," says Carsten Berger, senior director, ZOTAC International. "We took that extra time to push the base clock past 1 GHz, boost the memory clock by 3-percent and top it off with our brand new Triple Silencer enhanced cooling system."

AMD Posts Catalyst 13.8 Beta, Fixes CrossFire Frame Latency

In the run up to the big Catalyst driver update AMD promised, that fixes frame latency issues on Graphics CoreNext-based GPUs, AMD posted Catalyst 13.8 beta, which addresses frame-pacing issues on CrossFire configuration, which minimizes the micro-stuttering issues some CrossFire configurations are notorious for. The driver includes a fix that ensures frames generated by member GPUs of a CrossFire configuration are displayed in an even and regular pace, so there's no micro-stuttering. This fix can be enabled through Catalyst Control Center, on a per-application basis. It supports games that use DirectX 11 and DirectX 10 APIs, running at resolutions of up to 2560 x 1600 pixels.

Next up, Catalyst 13.8 beta includes full support for the OpenGL 4.3 API. You can now create application profiles within Catalyst Control Center for OpenGL applications, and CAP updates will now be issued for such apps. The only performance-improvement you get with this driver, are for Metro: Last Light. Radeon HD 7000 series GPUs get up to 7 percent performance improvement on the game. Lastly, a nifty new feature addition for Enduro shows which apps are active on the discrete-GPU, and which on the integrated/low-power GPU.

DOWNLOAD: AMD Catalyst 13.8 Beta

ASUS Launches World's First Motherboards for AMD FM2+ APUs

ASUS today announced the new A88XM-A and A55BM-A/USB3 motherboards, the first from any manufacturer to support new Socket FM2+ APUs (Accelerated Processing Units) from AMD. The A88XM-A with AMD A88X chipset and A55BM-A/USB3 with A55 chipset are both Micro-ATX motherboards for existing AMD 'Richland' and 'Trinity' FM2 APUs, and are hardware-ready for upcoming AMD 'Kaveri' FM2+ APUs that support DirectX 11.1 and PCI Express 3.0 natively. ASUS is committed to supporting the latest in PC technology. The new FM2+ motherboards offer customers the very latest in motherboard design, with the added flexibility of both backward and forward compatibility with AMD APUs.

Powercolor Releases New Entry Level Cards with the HD7730 Series

TUL Corporation, a leading manufacturer of AMD graphic cards, has released new entry level with HD7730 series, which especially targeting at general home computing consumers, offering the most cost-effective performance for every PC users.

Several models will be introduced in the HD7730 series, offering a choice of memory configurations and outputs. The HD7730 series is equipped with 1 GB of DDR5 and 1G/2G of DDR3; the former runs at 800 MHz for core and 1125 MHz for memory, the later runs at same core frequency but with 800 MHz x2 for memory. In addition, three models feature 384 stream processors, delivering excellent performance for a wide range of application.

DirectX 11.2 Exclusive to Windows 8.1 and Xbox One

Our recent editorial on adoption of Windows 8.1 by PC enthusiasts concluded saying "...and Microsoft isn't stopping with its innovations that will get increasingly out of reach for Windows 7 users." It looks like the first of such innovations is DirectX 11.2. Microsoft revealed that the latest version of its multimedia API will require Windows 8.1 on the PC, and comes built into its next-generation Xbox One console. With this, Microsoft established that you will need Windows 8.1 or later, to access future versions of DirectX.

Microsoft has often used the tactic of limiting DirectX versions to certain versions of Windows, often citing driver-model changes, to force PC enthusiasts to either upgrade, or lag behind in PC technology, and in the past it worked. Windows XP capped out at DirectX 9.0c, forcing gamers to upgrade to Windows Vista, to experience cutting-edge games of the time, such as "Crysis," with new visual effects that DirectX 10 brought to the scene. DirectX 11.0 had the unique distinction of spanning across Windows Vista and Windows 7. DirectX 11.1 was exclusive to Windows 8 and above, as it required WDDM 1.2 (Windows display driver model). The Direct3D component of the API didn't bring anything substantial to the scene. With Windows 8.1, Microsoft is introducing DirectX 11.2, it requires WDDM 1.3, which the operating system introduces. Since Windows 8.1 will be offered as a free upgrade to current Windows 8 users, it's effectively the Windows 7 user-base, that's being asked to take a hike.
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