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App Claims to Blunt Intel's Compiler Edge on AMD Machines

A ominously named app claims to boost certain apps performance on AMD processors. Called "Intel Compiler Patcher," this app scans your machine for apps developed using Intel C++ compilers, and patches them to work better on non-Intel CPU platforms (namely AMD). The idea (suspicion rather), is that apps developed with Intel C++ compilers give modern AMD CPUs a performance disadvantage. The following is how the developer describes the app works:
The compiler or library can make multiple versions of a piece of code, each optimized for a certain processor and instruction set, for example SSE2, SSE3, etc. The system includes a function that detects which type of CPU it is running on and chooses the optimal code path for that CPU. This is called a CPU dispatcher. However, the Intel CPU dispatcher does not only check which instruction set is supported by the CPU, it also checks the vendor ID string. If the vendor string says "GenuineIntel" then it uses the optimal code path. If the CPU is not from Intel then, in most cases, it will run the slowest possible version of the code, even if the CPU is fully compatible with a better version.
We don't have an AMD machine at hand to put our benches ourselves, and so we invite AMD CPU users from our community to post their results by using this "patcher" at their own risk.

DOWNLOAD: Intel Compiler Patcher

Club 3D Intros DisplayPort 1.2 to HDMI 2.0 Active Adapters with 4K-60 Hz Support

With AMD announcing software support for HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.2 to HDMI 2.0 active adapters with its Radeon Software Crimson Edition, various AMD AIB partners could jump in with such adapters. Club 3D, which has been making dongles, converters, and adapters, besides AMD Radeon graphics cards, announced its entry. The company announced two active adapters - standard DisplayPort 1.2 to HDMI 2.0, and mini-DisplayPort 1.2 to HDMI 2.0. Both support 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 pixels), with 60 Hz refresh rate display mode. The company didn't announce pricing.

AMD Radeon HD 6000 and HD 5000 Series Relegated to "Legacy Support"

In a move that could affect scores of users of the still DirectX 11-compatible Radeon HD 6000 and HD 5000 series graphics cards; the company has reportedly decided to change their driver support model to legacy. This would entail "no additional driver releases" for these GPUs as they've "reached peak performance optimization as on November 24, 2015."

The last WHQL-signed driver that users of HD 6000 and HD 5000 series can use is Catalyst 15.7.1 WHQL; and those looking for a whiff of the new Radeon Software Crimson Edition, will be able to use a Radeon Software Crimson Edition Beta designed with legacy GPU support. The links to both drivers can be found in this page. With this AMD indicated that it will focus its driver development solely toward GPUs based on its Graphics CoreNext architecture (Radeon HD 7000 series and above).

Source: AMD

AMD Announces Radeon Crimson Software

AMD today released its completely reimagined graphics software suite, Radeon Software Crimson Edition, giving users an exceptional new user experience, 12 new or enhanced features, up to 20 percent more graphics performance, adjustability that can nearly double generational energy efficiency2, and rock-solid stability across the full spectrum of AMD graphics products. The release is the first from the Radeon Technologies Group, which recently announced a renewed focus on software placing it on par with hardware initiatives.

"As the primary way that people interact with our products, our software deserves to be viewed as a top priority, and going forward that's exactly what we're doing, delivering easy-to-use software that is packed with real user benefits, starting with Radeon Software Crimson Edition," said Raja Koduri, senior vice president and chief architect, Radeon Technologies Group. "Radeon Technologies Group is laser-focused on the vertical integration of all things graphics, propelling the industry forward by driving performance per watt, creating innovative technologies and ensuring that the software supporting our GPUs is world class."
DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Crimson Edition for Windows 10 64-bit | Windows 10 32-bit | Windows 8.1 64-bit | Windows 8.1 32-bit | Windows 7 64-bit | Windows 7 32-bit

AMD Announces the Radeon R9 380X Graphics Card

AMD announced the Radeon R9 380X graphics card. Positioned between the Radeon R9 380 and the R9 390, this card starts at US $229, and takes advantage of a huge gap in NVIDIA's lineup, between the GeForce GTX 960 ($190) and the GTX 970 ($319). Based on the 28 nm "Antigua" ("Tonga") silicon, this SKU features the full complement of the chip's 32 Graphics CoreNext (GCN) compute units, amounting to 2,048 stream processors. It also features 128 TMUs, 32 ROPs, and a 256-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface, holding 4 GB of memory. The core is clocked at 970 MHz, and the memory at 5.70 GHz (GDDR5-effective), amounting to a memory bandwidth of 182 GB/s.

Sapphire Unveils TriXX with "Fiji" Voltage Control and HBM Overclocking

Sapphire announced its latest version of the TriXX overclocking utility, which it bundles with its graphics cards. Version 5.2.1 is one of the first pieces of software to support voltage control on AMD "Fiji" GPU graphics cards (R9 Fury, R9 Fury X, and R9 Nano), and HBM overclocking. The utility comes with a new "dashboard" themed user interface that gives you an analog readout of your card's main sensors - clocks, voltage, and temperatures; and a simpler layout. In addition, it also supports voltage control on other Radeon R9 300 series GPUs.
DOWNLOAD: Sapphire TriXX 5.2.1

AMD to Give Away Star Wars Battlefront with Radeon R9 Fury Series Graphics

AMD has a knack of pulling off some of the season's biggest game bundles, with its Never Settle Bundle legacy. The company is preparing to give away one of the season's biggest games, Star Wars Battlefront, with its Radeon R9 Fury graphics cards. Given away by participating retailers, purchases of the three cards will come with a voucher that can be redeemed on AMD website for an Origin key to the game. R9 Fury X and Nano are not included in this promotion.

AMD Releases Catalyst 15.11.1 Beta Drivers

AMD released its latest Catalyst 15.11.1 Beta drivers in the run up to its major Radeon Software Crimson Edition launch. One of the last drivers to bear the name "Catalyst," these drivers come with performance optimization for all of the season's biggest releases - Star Wars Battlefront, Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Fallout 4, and Assassins Creed: Syndicate. These optimizations could include CrossFire profiles on games that support it. Grab them from the links below.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Catalyst 15.11.1 Beta 32-bit | AMD Catalyst 15.11.1 Beta 64-bit

AMD Launches The "Boltzmann Initiative," Brings NVIDIA CUDA to FirePro

Building on its strategic investments in heterogeneous system architecture (HSA), AMD (NASDAQ: AMD) announced a suite of tools designed to ease development of high-performance, energy efficient heterogeneous computing systems. The "Boltzmann Initiative" leverages HSA's ability to harness both central processing units (CPU) and AMD FirePro graphics processing units (GPU) for maximum compute efficiency through software. The first results of the initiative are featured this week at SC15 and include the Heterogeneous Compute Compiler (HCC); a headless Linux driver and HSA runtime infrastructure for cluster-class, High Performance Computing (HPC); and the Heterogeneous-compute Interface for Portability (HIP) tool for porting CUDA-based applications to a common C++ programming model. The tools are designed to drive application performance across markets ranging from machine learning to molecular dynamics, and from oil and gas to visual effects and computer-generated imaging.

"AMD's Heterogeneous-compute Interface for Portability enables performance portability for the HPC community. The ability to take code that was written for one architecture and transfer it to another architecture without a negative impact on performance is extremely powerful," said Jim Belak, co-lead of the U.S. Department of Energy's Exascale Co-design Center in Extreme Materials and senior computational materials scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. "The work AMD is doing to produce a high-performance compiler that sits below high-level programming models enables researchers to concentrate on solving problems and publishing groundbreaking research rather than worrying about hardware-specific optimizations."

Next Gen AMD GPUs to Get a Massive Energy Efficiency Design Focus

AMD's upcoming generations of GPUs will get a massive design focus on energy-efficiency and increases in performance-per-Watt, according to a WCCFTech report. The first of these chips, codenamed "Arctic Islands," will leverage cutting edge 10 nm-class FinFET silicon fab technology, coupled with bare-metal and software optimization to step up performance-per-Watt in a big way. The last time AMD achieved an energy efficiency leap was with the Radeon HD 5000 series (helped in part by abysmal energy efficiency of the rivaling GeForce GTX 400 series).

Source: WCCFTech

TechPowerUp News: A Whole lot of AMD and a Blunt Batarang

In this episode of TechPowerUp News, we talk a little bit about the big week it's been for AMD - with its massive Radeon Software Crimson Edition announcement, someone taking issue with the way AMD counts its cores, and GlobalFoundries announcing it's ready with its 14 nm node for Zen. Then there's the epic fail of the week - Batman Arkham Knight for PC, with its second misfire.

AMD Radeon R9 380X to Formally Launch This Month

Although the first Radeon R9 380X graphics cards began appearing in the press way back as mid-September, it's only in mid-November, the 15th to be precise, that AMD plans to formally launch this new performance-segment SKU. Priced at US $249, the R9 380X will be positioned between the $300+ R9 390/GTX 970; and the $200-ish R9 380, capitalizing on a gaping hole in NVIDIA's product stack, between the GTX 960 and the GTX 970.

The R9 380X will be based on the same exact silicon as the R9 380, and the same exact compact package, with pins for 256-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface; and not the 384-bit interface that the "Tonga" aka "Antigua" silicon physically supports. All 32 Graphics CoreNext compute units (CUs) will be enabled, yielding 2,048 stream processors. The chip will also feature 128 TMUs and 32 ROPs. The core could be clocked as high as 1100 MHz, and memory at 6.00 GHz (GDDR5-effective). 4 GB will be the standard memory amount. There won't be a reference design, and AMD AIB partners will be ready with custom-design products from day-one.

Source: HWBattle

AMD Posts its Last Catalyst Driver Before Radeon Software Crimson Edition?

AMD posted what could be its final release of Catalyst, before the company switches drivers over to the new Radeon Software Crimson Edition, with a slick new configuration utility. Dubbed Catalyst 15.11 Beta, these drivers come with optimization for Call of Duty: Black Ops III, besides game-specific bug fixes for Star Wars: Battlefront, and Ashes of the Singularity.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Catalyst 15.11 Beta for Windows 10/8.1/7 64-bit | Windows 10/8.1/7 32-bit

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Achieves 14nm FinFET Technology Success for Next-Gen AMD Product

GLOBALFOUNDRIES today announced it has demonstrated silicon success on the first AMD (NASDAQ: AMD) products using GLOBALFOUNDRIES' most advanced 14nm FinFET process technology. As a result of this milestone, GLOBALFOUNDRIES' silicon-proven technology is planned to be integrated into multiple AMD products that address the growing need for high-performance, power-efficient compute and graphics technologies across a broad set of applications, from personal computers to data centers to immersive computing devices.

AMD has taped out multiple products using GLOBALFOUNDRIES' 14nm Low Power Plus (14LPP) process technology and is currently conducting validation work on 14LPP production samples. Today's announcement represents another significant milestone towards reaching full production readiness of GLOBALFOUNDRIES' 14LPP process technology, which will reach high-volume production in 2016. The 14LPP platform taps the benefits of three-dimensional, fully-depleted FinFET transistors to enable customers like AMD to deliver more processing power in a smaller footprint for applications that demand the ultimate in performance.

AMD Dragged to Court over Core Count on "Bulldozer"

This had to happen eventually. AMD has been dragged to court over misrepresentation of its CPU core count in its "Bulldozer" architecture. Tony Dickey, representing himself in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, accused AMD of falsely advertising the core count in its latest CPUs, and contended that because of they way they're physically structured, AMD's 8-core "Bulldozer" chips really only have four cores.

The lawsuit alleges that Bulldozer processors were designed by stripping away components from two cores and combining what was left to make a single "module." In doing so, however, the cores no longer work independently. Due to this, AMD Bulldozer cannot perform eight instructions simultaneously and independently as claimed, or the way a true 8-core CPU would. Dickey is suing for damages, including statutory and punitive damages, litigation expenses, pre- and post-judgment interest, as well as other injunctive and declaratory relief as is deemed reasonable.
Source: LegalNewsOnline

AMD "Fiji" GPU Die-shot Revealed by Chipworks

VLSI technical publication Chipworks posted the first clear die-shot of AMD's "Fiji" silicon, revealing intricate details of the most technically advanced GPU. What makes Fiji the most advanced graphics chip is its silicon interposer and stacked HBM chips making up a multi-chip module. It's the die in the center of all that, which went under Chipworks' microscope.

The die-shot reveals a component layout that's more or less an upscale of "Tonga." Some of the components, such as the front-end appear to be entirely identical to "Tahiti" or "Tonga." The shot reveals the 64 GCN compute units arranged in four rows, on either side of the central portion with the dispatch and primitive setup pipelines. The pad-area of the on-die memory controllers appear to be less than the large memory I/O pads that made up the 384-bit interface of "Tahiti." The first picture below is the die-shot of "Fiji," followed by a color-coded die-shot of "Tahiti."
Sources:, ChipWorks

NVIDIA Coming Around to Vulkan Support

NVIDIA is preparing to add support for Vulkan, the upcoming 3D graphics API by Khronos, and successor to OpenGL, to its feature-set. The company's upcoming GeForce 358.66 series driver will introduce support for Vulkan. What makes matters particularly interesting is the API itself. Vulkan is heavily based on AMD's Mantle API, which the company gracefully retired in favor of DirectX 12, and committed its code to Khronos. The 358 series drivers also reportedly feature function declarations in their CUDA code for upcoming NVIDIA GPU architectures, such as Pascal and Volta.

Source: LaptopVideo2Go

TechPowerUp Releases GPU-Z 0.8.6

TechPowerUp released version 0.8.6 of GPU-Z, the popular graphics subsystem information and diagnostics utility, which gives you detailed info on your installed graphics chips, and lets you monitor the various sensors of your GPUs. To begin with, the new version comes with DirectX 12 support, with the ability to tell which feature-level of Direct3D your hardware supports. Command-line usage has been added with the "/help" argument. Support was added for several GPUs, notably GTX 950, Microsoft Surface Book GPU, R9 Nano, and AMD "Carrizo" iGPU.

The app can now wake up AMD GPUs in laptops that are power-gated to conserve power (and which would hence not get properly detected). BIOS reading is improved, and incorrect fan-speed reading, and a rare BSOD in AMD R9 Fury series GPUs, are fixed. Several stability improvements for Intel iGPUs were made, with the addition of support for Intel "Braswell," "Cherry Lake," and "Skylake" iGPUs. AMD GPU clock speed detection with no AMD driver installed, has been improved. A rare case of misreading BIOS in multi-GPU setups, has been fixed. Voltage monitoring on some Sapphire graphics cards has been fixed.
DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp GPU-Z 0.8.6 | GPU-Z 0.8.6 ASUS ROG Themed

The change-log follows.

ID-Cooling Intros FrostFlow 240G All-in-One Liquid VGA Cooler

ID-Cooling announced the FrostFlow 240G all-in-one liquid cooling solution for graphics cards. A variant of the company's FrostFlow 240L CPU-only and FrostFlow 240 Hunter Duet cooling solutions, the new FrostFlow 240G features just the VGA cooling component of the Hunter Duet. Designed to be "universal," the main block has mount-hole spacing for a variety of performance thru high-end GPUs from AMD and NVIDIA. A partial cooler shroud with a 92 mm fan are suspended along this block, which provide air-cooling to the VRM and memory. The main block is plumbed to a 27 mm thick, 240 mm x 120 mm radiator, with two 84 CFM 120 mm spinners in charge of ventilating the radiator. The cooler can handle thermal loads of up to 300W, and hence supports several popular AMD and NVIDIA GPUs, including, the R9 390 series and GTX 980 Ti. ID-Cooling didn't announce pricing.

AMD "Zen" CPU Prototypes Tested, "Meet all Expectations"

AMD reportedly finished testing some of its first "Zen" micro-architecture CPU prototypes, and concluded that they "meet all expectations," with "no significant bottlenecks found" in its design. This should mean that AMD's "Zen" chips should be as competitive with Intel chips as it set them out to be. The company is planning to launch its first client CPUs based on the "Zen" micro-architecture in 2016, based on its swanky new AM4 socket, with DDR4 memory and integrated PCIe (a la APUs). Zen sees AMD revert to the large, monolithic core design, from its "Bulldozer" multi-core module design with a near doubling of number-crunching machinery per-core, compared to its preceding architecture.


AMD Radeon Software Crimson Edition Detailed

In the beginning, there were NVIDIA Detonator and ATI Catalyst. Detonator made way for GeForce Software, but Catalyst pulled through for another decade. These are the brand names GPU makers use to label their drivers, because GPUs are devices that warrant frequent driver updates to keep up with new software and performance improvements. AMD, after consolidating most of its visual computing divisions into the Radeon Technologies Group under technocrat Raja Koduri, made its first major announcement, re-branding AMD Catalyst as Radeon Software. Its first release gets a special name - Radeon Software Crimson Edition 15.11.

AMD's new nomenclature for its drivers involves firmly placing the Radeon brand name, replacing "Catalyst," followed by "software," indicating that these are not just drivers, but a suite of applications designed to give you control over your visual computing experience; with "Crimson Edition" being the major version for the year 2015-16, and 15.11 denoting November 2015, retaining the date-based version numbering scheme. These could come with extensions such as "WHQL" or "Beta." The first Crimson Edition drivers will be WHQL-signed.

AMD Readies Catalyst Omega 2015 Drivers for November

AMD is planning a major driver update for its Radeon GPUs this November, under its Catalyst Omega moniker. These WHQL-signed drivers, which made their debut in 2014, are expected to come with massive performance optimizations across the board, and in a large selection of new and existing games. It will also present AMD with the opportunity to introduce new software features to their drivers, bringing about value-addition to existing machines running Radeon GPUs.

The 2014 release of Catalyst Omega, besides offering significant performance updates, also introduced major new features such as 4K Virtual Super Resolution (VSR), TressFX 3.0, 5K display support, and various image quality improvements. The new drivers are expected to have an equally exhaustive list of new features, performance- and stability updates, that level the features and performance playing field between AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce GPUs. Below is the feature-set of the 2014 release.

Source: WCCFTech, Many Thanks to qubit for the tip.

ASUS Unveils a Limited Edition Radeon R9 Nano with White Cooler Shroud

ASUS unveiled a limited edition Radeon R9 Nano graphics card with a matte white cooler shroud, replacing its matte-black reference twin. Besides this, there's absolutely nothing that sets this card from AMD's reference design. The underlying PCB is reference, and so are the clocks, with up to 1000 MHz core, and 500 MHz (512 GB/s) memory. It remains to be seen if ASUS seeks a small premium for this card, and if that's enough to lure case-modders building machines around this color scheme.

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