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Confronting NVIDIA's DLSS: AMD Confirms FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) to Launch in 2021

AMD, via its CVP & GM at AMD Radeon Scott Herkelman, confirmed in video with PCWorld that the company's counterpart to NVIDIA's DLSS technology - which he defines as the most important piece of software currently in development from a graphics perspective - is coming along nicely. Launch of the technology is currently planned for later this year. Scott Herkelman further confirmed that there is still a lot of work to do on the technology before it's ready for prime time, but in the meantime, it has an official acronym: FSR (FidelityFX Super Resolution). If you're unfamiliar with DLSS, it's essentially an NVIDIA-locked, proprietary upscaling algorithm that has been implemented in a number of games now, which leverages Machine Learning hardware capabilities (tensor cores) to upscale a game with minimal impact to visual quality. It's important because it allows for much higher performance in even the latest, most demanding titles - especially when they implement raytracing.

As has been the case with AMD, its standing on upscaling technologies defends a multiplatform, compatible approach that only demands implementation of open standards to run in users' systems. The idea is to achieve the broadest possible spectrum of game developers and gamers, with tight, seamless integration with the usual game development workflow. This is done mostly via taking advantage of Microsoft's DirectML implementation that's baked straight into DX 12.

TechPowerUp GPU-Z v2.35.0 Released

TechPowerUp today released the latest version of TechPowerUp GPU-Z, the popular graphics sub-system information and diagnostic utility. Version 2.35.0 adds support for new GPUs, and fixes a number of bugs. To begin with, GPU-Z adds support for AMD Radeon RX 6000 series GPUs based on the "Navi 21" silicon. Support is also added for Intel DG1 GPU. BIOS extraction and upload for NVIDIA's RTX 30-series "Ampere" GPUs has finally been introduced. Memory size reporting on the RTX 3090 has been fixed. The latest Windows 10 Insider Build (20231.1000) made some changes to DirectML, which caused GPU-Z to report it as unavailable, this has been fixed.

TechPowerUp GPU-Z 2.35.0 also makes various improvements to fake GPU detection for cards based on NVIDIA GT216 and GT218 ASICs. Hardware detection for AMD Radeon Pro 5600M based on "Navi 12" has been fixed. Among the other GPUs for which support was added with this release are NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core PCIe, Intel UHD Gen9.5 graphics on the i5-10200H, and Radeon HD 8210E and Barco MXRT-6700. Grab GPU-Z from the link below.

DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp GPU-Z 2.35.0
The change-log follows.

AMD Releases Radeon Software Adrenalin 20.7.1 Drivers

AMD late Thursday released the latest version of Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 graphics drivers. Version 20.7.1 beta adds optimization for "Disintegration." The software also introduces an improved AMD Bug Report Tool. A number of bugs were fixed with this release including stuttering observed on machines running RX 5000 series GPUs with Radeon Replay enabled; "Vega" based graphics cards experiencing performance loss with Performance Metrics enabled; an error switching between apps while previewing your stream; custom fan- and clock- tuning settings not applying in Radeon Performance tuning tab or retaining after reboot; and display resolution failing to stretch with display scaling enabled in CS:GO. Bugs related to Valorant, DOTA2, and DOOM Eternal were also fixed. Grab the drivers from the link below.

DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 20.7.1 Beta

DirectX Coming to Linux...Sort of

Microsoft is preparing to add the DirectX API support to WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux). The latest Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 will virtualize DirectX to Linux applications running on top of it. WSL is a translation layer for Linux apps to run on top of Windows. Unlike Wine, which attempts to translate Direct3D commands to OpenGL, what Microsoft is proposing is a real DirectX interface for apps in WSL, which can essentially talk to hardware (the host's kernel-mode GPU driver) directly.

To this effect, Microsoft introduced the Linux-edition of DXGkrnl, a new kernel-mode driver for Linux that talks to the DXGkrnl driver of the Windows host. With this, Microsoft is promising to expose the full Direct3D 12, DxCore, and DirectML. It will also serve as a conduit for third party APIs, such as OpenGL, OpenCL, Vulkan, and CUDA. Microsoft expects to release this feature-packed WSL out with WDDM 2.9 (so a future version of Windows 10).

TechPowerUp GPU-Z 2.30.0 Released

TechPowerUp today released the latest version of GPU-Z, the popular graphics subsystem information and diagnostic utility. Version 2.30.0 introduces several new feature- and stability updates, and adds support for new GPUs. To begin with, support is added for AMD Radeon RX 590 GME, Radeon Pro W5500, Pro V7350x2, FirePro 2260, and Instinct MI25 MxGPU; Intel UHD (Core i5-10210Y), and a rare GeForce GTS 450 Rev 2. TechPowerUp GPU-Z 2.30.0 introduces support for reporting hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling in Windows 10 20H1 in the Advanced tab. The tab now also has the ability to show WDDM 2.7, Shader Model 6.6, DirectX Mesh Shaders, and DXR tier 1.1. A workaround for the DirectML detection on Windows 10 19041 built has been added. Graphics driver registry path is now displayed in the General section of the Advanced tab.

In the Sensors tab, the NVIDIA VDDC sensor has been renamed to "GPU voltage," and AMD's "GPU only power draw" sensor to "GPU chip-only power draw" to clarify that the sensor only measures the power draw of the GPU package and not the whole graphics card. AMD "Renoir" based processors and their iGPUs now show up as 7 nm. Windows Basic Display driver now no longer reports its status as WHQL or Beta. A crash during DirectX 12 detection has been fixed.
TechPowerUp GPU-Z 2.23.0 main window
DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp GPU-Z 2.30.0

The change-log follows.

TechPowerUp GPU-Z v2.25.0 Released

TechPowerUp today released the latest version of TechPowerUp GPU-Z, the definitive graphics subsystem information, diagnostic, and monitoring utility. Version 2.25.0 adds several new features, support for more GPUs, and fixes various bugs. To begin with, you'll notice that the main screen displays a second row of APIs supported by your graphics card. These include Vulkan, DirectX Raytracing, DirectML, and OpenGL. The last one in particular help you figure out if your graphics drivers have been supplied by Microsoft of your computer's OEM (and lack OpenGL or Vulkan ICDs). Among the new GPUs supported are Quadro P2200, Quadro RTX 4000 Mobile, Quadro T1000 Mobile; AMD Radeon Pro WX 3200, Barco MXRT 7600, 780E Graphics, HD 8330E; and Intel Gen11 "Ice Lake."

With GPU-Z 2.25.0, we've improved AMD Radeon "Navi" support even further, by making the clock-speed measurement more accurate, and displaying base, gaming, and boost clocks in the "Advanced" tab. A workaround is added for the AMD bug that causes fan-speeds to lock when idle fan-stop is engaged on custom-design "Navi" graphics cards; and a faulty "65535 RPM" fan-speed reading for "Navi." A BSOD caused in QEMU/KVM machines by MSR register access has also been fixed. Grab it from the link below.

DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp GPU-Z 2.25.0
The change-log follows.

AMD Doesn't Believe in NVIDIA's DLSS, Stands for Open SMAA and TAA Solutions

A report via PCGamesN places AMD's stance on NVIDIA's DLSS as a rather decided one: the company stands for further development of SMAA (Enhanced Subpixel Morphological Antialiasing) and TAA (Temporal Antialising) solutions on current, open frameworks, which, according to AMD's director of marketing, Sasa Marinkovic, "(...) are going to be widely implemented in today's games, and that run exceptionally well on Radeon VII", instead of investing in yet another proprietary solution. While AMD pointed out that DLSS' market penetration was a low one, that's not the main issue of contention. In fact, AMD decides to go head-on against NVIDIA's own technical presentations, comparing DLSS' image quality and performance benefits against a native-resolution, TAA-enhanced image - they say that SMAA and TAA can work equally as well without "the image artefacts caused by the upscaling and harsh sharpening of DLSS."

Of course, AMD may only be speaking from the point of view of a competitor that has no competing solution. However, company representatives said that they could, in theory, develop something along the lines of DLSS via a GPGPU framework - a task for which AMD's architectures are usually extremely well-suited. But AMD seems to take the eyes of its DLSS-defusing moves, however, as AMD's Nish Neelalojanan, a Gaming division exec, talks about potential DLSS-like implementations across "Some of the other broader available frameworks, like WindowsML and DirectML", and that these are "something we [AMD] are actively looking at optimizing… At some of the previous shows we've shown some of the upscaling, some of the filters available with WindowsML, running really well with some of our Radeon cards." So whether it's an actual image-quality philosophy, or just a competing technology's TTM (time to market) one, only AMD knows.
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