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GPU Market: Miner Interest Waning, Gamer Interest Increasing - Jon Peddie Research

Jon Peddie Research, the industry's market research firm for the graphics industry, has updated it's quarterly Market Watch report. Overall, the report finds the crypto-currency market is continuing to influence the PC graphics market, though its influence is waning. Market watch found that year-to-year total GPU shipments increased 3.4%, desktop graphics increased 14%, notebooks decreased -3%. GPU shipments decreased -10% from last quarter: AMD decreased -6%, Nvidia decreased -10%, and Intel decreased -11%.

AMD increased its market share again this quarter benefiting from new products for workstations, and crypto-currency mining, Nvidia held steady, and Intel decreased. Over three million add-in boards (AIBs) were sold to cryptocurrency miners worth $776 million in 2017, and an additional 1.7 million were sold in the quarter.

MSI Presents Radeon RX MECH 2 Series Graphics Cards

MSI is proud to present a brand new series based on AMD's "Polaris" chipsets, the Radeon graphics-based MECH series. Equipped with the new thermal design, the Radeon RX MECH series doesn't just allow for higher core and memory speeds but also provide increased performance in games. The outstanding shapes of the eye-catching MECH series cooler are intensified by a fiery red glow piercing through the cover, while the MSI dragon RGB LED on the top can be set to any of 16.7 million colors to match your mood or build. A completely custom PCB design featuring enhanced power design with Military Class 4 components enables higher stable performance to push your graphics card to the max. A classy matte black metal backplate shows the MECH 2 cards more structural strength and provides a nice finishing touch.

"AMD Radeon has always been committed to the best interest of gamers: a dedication to open innovation such as our contributions to the DirectX and Vulkan APIs, a commitment to true transparency through industry standards like Radeon FreeSync technology, and a desire to expand the PC gaming ecosystem by enabling developers everywhere. It is these values that result in a thriving PC gaming community, and explain why so many gamers continue to rally behind the AMD Radeon brand," said Scott Herkelman, vice president and general manager, AMD Radeon Technologies Group.

NVIDIA Teases "Ultimate Gaming Experience" At GTC Taiwan

NVIDIA has posted a short (literally short) teaser, treating users to the promise of the "Ultimate Gaming Experience". This might mean something, such as the new, expected NVIDIA 11** series of graphics cards... Or it may mean something much less exciting, and have something to do with the 4K, HDR gaming experience that is supposed to be reaching gamers in a couple of weeks, at an expected cost of more kidneys than the average human has.

Officially, though, GTC 2018 Taiwan will revolve around artificial intelligence tech (what doesn't these days, really?) Translated, the teaser image reads something along the lines of "Utilizing GPU computing to explore the world's infinite possibilities - witness the power of artificial intelligence and the ultimate gaming experience in GTC Taiwan and Computex 2018." Remember, however, that marketing almost always has a way of blowing things out of proportion - don't hold your breath for a new graphics card series announcement.

ASUS Announces the AMD-Exclusive 'AREZ' Brand for Radeon Graphics Cards

ASUS today announced AREZ, a new brand identity for ASUS Radeon RX graphics cards. Derived from Ares, the Greek god of war, AREZ-branded graphics cards are built using industry-leading automated manufacturing to provide AMD gamers and enthusiasts with superior cooling technology and a robust software ecosystem. The new AREZ brand underlines the strong working partnership between ASUS and AMD that spans decades. Gamers and enthusiasts will enjoy a combination of exclusive ASUS innovations and technologies and AMD's Radeon graphics processors and software.

"Gamers around the world rally behind AMD Radeon because of what the Radeon name stands for: a dedication to open innovation such as our contributions to the DirectX and Vulkan APIs, a commitment to true transparency through industry standards like Radeon FreeSync technology, and a desire to expand the PC gaming ecosystem by enabling developers to take advantage of all graphics hardware, including AMD Radeon graphics. We invite gamers everywhere who believe in these values and the value of the exceptional gaming experience Radeon graphics delivers to join the Red team," said Scott Herkelman, Vice President and General Manager, AMD Radeon Technologies Group.

AMD's RX 560X Leaked in 3DMark - RX 500X Series Just a New OEM-Exclusive Rebadge

News of an upcoming AMD RX 500X series sprung like wildfire yesterday, as users and publications alike tried to quench a thirst for some more GPU solutions from the red camp. However, if recent leaked numbers and information from 3D Mark prove correct, it seems the RX 500X series will likely bring some disappointments to those who were hoping for a refined, Vega-imbued AMD Polaris redesign, or simply push for better clocks and power/performance ratios under a new manufacturing process.

AMD "Vega 20" Optical-Shrunk GPU Surfaces in Linux Patches

AMD "Vega 20" is rumored to be an optical shrink of the current "Vega 10" GPU die to a newer process, either 12 nm, or 10 nm, or perhaps even 7 nm. Six new device IDs that point to "Vega 20" based products, surfaced on AMD's GPU drivers source code, with its latest commit made as recently as on 28th March. AMD "Vega 10" is a multi-chip module of a 14 nm GPU die, and two "10 nm-class" HBM2 memory stacks, sitting on a silicon interposer that facilitates high-density wiring between the three. In an effort to increase clock speeds, efficiency, or both, AMD could optically shrink the GPU die to a smaller silicon fabrication process, and carve out a new product line based on the resulting chip.

CORSAIR Launches "STOP GPU ABUSE" Campaign With #GPURESCUE

Corsair, in a welcome, interesting and heartfelt marketing ploy, has taken its place on the side of gamers worldwide against the unintended, hear-wrenching abuse felt by graphics cards used for mining everywhere. The soft, unyielding music does a great job of just showing how much of a "crying out" these graphics cards that are being put to sweaty, inhuman, ever-worsening working conditions are releasing.

If you were as touched as other users (and Corsair marketers) in doing this video, there are a lot of ways for you to donate and contribute to the liberation of these shackled miners. For your donation, Corsair will buy back a mining-set graphics card, and send you a photo of your "adopted" GPU happily crunching frames inside a gaming computer - its real home. Just contribute via PayPal, your choice of credit card, venmo, or... Bitcoin?

[The video has been removed since]

NVIDIA Announces the DGX-2 System - 16x Tesla V100 GPUs, 30 TB NVMe Memory for $400K

NVIDIA's DGX-2 is likely the reason why NVIDIA seems to be slightly less enamored with the consumer graphics card market as of late. Let's be honest: just look at that price-tag, and imagine the rivers of money NVIDIA is making on each of these systems sold. The data center and deep learning markets have been pouring money into NVIDIA's coffers, and so, the company is focusing its efforts in this space. Case in point: the DGX-2, which sports performance of 1920 TFLOPs (Tensor processing); 480 TFLOPs of FP16; half again that value at 240 TFLOPs for FP32 workloads; and 120 TFLOPs on FP64.

NVIDIA's DGX-2 builds upon the original DGX-1 in all ways thinkable. NVIDIA looks at these as readily-deployed processing powerhouses, which include everything any prospective user that requires gargantuan amounts of processing power can deploy in a single system. And the DGX-2 just runs laps around the DGX-1 (which originally sold for $150K) in all aspects: it features 16x 32GB Tesla V100 GPUs (the DGX-1 featured 8x 16 GB Tesla GPUs); 1.5 TB of system ram (the DGX-1 features a paltry 0.5 TB); 30 TB NVMe system storage (the DGX-1 sported 8 TB of such storage space), and even includes a pair of Xeon Platinum CPUs (admittedly, the lowest performance increase in the whole system).

Xilinx Unveils Their Revolutionary Adaptive Compute Acceleration Platform

Xilinx, Inc., the leader in adaptive and intelligent computing, today announced a new breakthrough product category called adaptive compute acceleration platform (ACAP) that goes far beyond the capabilities of an FPGA. An ACAP is a highly integrated multi-core heterogeneous compute platform that can be changed at the hardware level to adapt to the needs of a wide range of applications and workloads. An ACAP's adaptability, which can be done dynamically during operation, delivers levels of performance and performance per-watt that is unmatched by CPUs or GPUs.

An ACAP is ideally suited to accelerate a broad set of applications in the emerging era of big data and artificial intelligence. These include: video transcoding, database, data compression, search, AI inference, genomics, machine vision, computational storage and network acceleration. Software and hardware developers will be able to design ACAP-based products for end point, edge and cloud applications. The first ACAP product family, codenamed "Everest," will be developed in TSMC 7nm process technology and will tape out later this year.

"Where Are My Graphics Cards?" - 3 Million Sold to Cryptocurrency Miners in 2017

The title of this piece is both question and answer, though users that keep up with PC-related news knew the answer already. Jon Peddie Research, in a new report, pegs the number of total graphics cards sold to miners at a pretty respectable 3 million units (worth some $776 million). That's some 3 million gamers that could be enjoying video games on their PCs right now, or which would be able to enjoy them at a much lower price that they had to recently pay to have the privilege.

AMD has been the primary benefactor here - its GPU market share went up by 8.1%, while NVIDIA's dropped by 6% and Intel's by 1.9% (the fact that Intel's graphics processing units come embedded in the company's processors helps keep that number stable). As it is, attachment rates of GPUs to systems was over 100% at 136%, the result of miners buying more cards per system in an effort to maximize profits. Jon Peddie thinks that gaming will still be the key player to drive GPU sales, though "augmented by the demand from cryptocurrency miners." The firm also expects demand for GPUs to slacken, coeteris paribus, due to "increasing utilities costs and supply and demand forces that drive up AIB prices." However, for those looking for prices to drop before upgrading their system, the news aren't rosy: the article states that pricing will not drop in the foreseeable future, so owners of GPUs that can actually mine already are being encouraged to mine while not gaming, so as to try and offset the markups in the current GPU offerings.

Micron and Industry Partners to Deliver Comprehensive GDDR6 Solutions

Micron Technology, Inc., a leading memory and storage provider, today announced with Rambus Inc., Northwest Logic and Avery Design, their efforts to deliver a comprehensive solution for GDDR6, the world's fastest discrete memory. This first-of-its-kind solution would enable GDDR6 use in advanced applications such as high-performance networking, autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence and 5G infrastructure. Prior generations of GDDR memories, enabled by GPU vendors, were focused exclusively on the graphics market. While this allowed graphics and game console designs to take advantage of the significant performance advantage offered by GDDR, other applications could not because the necessary building blocks were not available.

ASUS Unveils the XG Station Pro External GPU Enclosure

ASUS today announced XG Station Pro, an external graphics card enclosure with a stylish aluminum chassis and advanced cooling that provides PC and Mac laptop users with high-end graphics performance, suitable for demanding professional applications, such as video rendering, 3D design and scientific modeling. With support for the latest NVIDIA and AMD graphics cards and featuring fast and convenient Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, XG Station Pro enables a workstation-class experience when connected to a laptop and an external monitor without sacrificing mobility.

Premium, all-aluminum design
Designed in collaboration with In Win - the well-known maker of premium computer chassis - XG Station Pro has a highly functional and stylish design with an elegant, grey aluminum chassis that perfectly complements premium laptops. XG Station Pro fits a full-length, 2.5-slot graphics card, yet has a compact size that takes up minimal space on a desk or workspace. An external, 330W power supply drives even the most demanding graphics cards, reduces heat within the chassis, and enables XG Station Pro to have a smaller overall size.

AMD Navi Found Secretly Hiding in Linux Drivers

We know AMD has been doing a great job keeping the lid on their Navi architecture with information being scarce at the moment. Aside from knowing that Navi is being fabricated on the 7 nm process, it is possible that the microarchitecture will quite possibly support next-generation memory like GDDR6 or HBM3. In a Navi discussion on the Beyond3D forums, a user found an entry in a Linux driver dated back to July that apparently mentions AMD's upcoming architecture - not by its real name, of course. The code is to add support for importing new asic definitions from a text file as opposed to adding support in code. Tom St Denis, a software engineer at AMD, listed the output that would be generated by using this functionality. However, the entry that caught our attention reads: new_chip.gfx10.mmSUPER_SECRET.enable [0: 0]. If our memory serves us right, the codename for Vega was GFX9. So by logic, Navi should carry the GFX10 codename. Obviously, the SUPER_SECRET part further backs up our theory or maybe AMD's just trolling us. The red team has been hiring personnel for their GFX10 projects, so we can assume they're working diligently to release Navi some time next year.

Newegg Black Friday Deals 2017

Black Friday is indisputably the best time of the year for any computer enthusiasts because we can get new toys for cheaper prices. Whether it be computer hardware or consumer electronics, Newegg has become the preferred place for many enthusiasts. We here at TechPowerUp have put together a list of the amazing deals currently available at the online retailer. The promotions are grouped into different categories for your viewing convenience. If you've been eyeing a particular piece of hardware or gadget, come take a look at our list. Who knows? Maybe you can save yourself a few hard-earned dollars. Don't forget to come back periodically to check for new deals!

PowerColor Radeon RX Vega 64 Red Devil Available Soon, Overclocked, £590

It seems our wait for custom editions of AMD's RX Vega graphics cards is coming to an end. "Better late than never" is what they always say; however, AMD and its AIB partners have to know that this kind of wait can sap customer enthusiasm for a product. It's not enough that customers waited around two years for Vega to come to fruition; we've also had to wait some additional months (not weeks), for an actual custom-design graphics card. Vega's exotic design with HBM2 memory means that these graphics cards' availability would fall prey not only to Vega GPU yields, but also to HBM2 memory availability.

Additionally, Vega has been vulnerable to packaging of HBM2 and the GPU as well, with various factories providing different levels of quality in the finished product. This introduced some unexpected variance in the finished products - making the creation of cooling designs that could cope with all the design discrepancies more difficult.

NVIDIA Announces SaturnV AI Supercomputer Powered by "Volta"

NVIDIA at the Supercomputing 2017 conference announced a major upgrade of its new SaturnV AI supercomputer, which when complete, the company claims, will be not just one of the world's top-10 AI supercomputers in terms of raw compute power; but will also the world's most energy-efficient. The SaturnV will be a cluster supercomputer with 660 NVIDIA DGX-1 nodes. Each such node packs eight NVIDIA GV100 GPUs, which takes the machine's total GPU count to a staggering 5,280 (that's GPUs, not CUDA cores). They add up to an FP16 performance that's scraping the ExaFLOP (1,000-petaFLOP or 10^18 FLOP/s) barrier; while its FP64 (double-precision) compute performance nears 40 petaFLOP/s (40,000 TFLOP/s).

SaturnV should beat Summit, a supercomputer being co-developed by NVIDIA and IBM, which in turn should unseat Sunway TaihuLight, that's currently the world's fastest supercomputer. This feat gains prominence as NVIDIA SaturnV and NVIDIA+IBM Summit are both machines built by the American private-sector, which are trying to beat a supercomputing leader backed by the mighty Chinese exchequer. The other claim to fame of SaturnV is its energy-efficiency. Before its upgrade, SaturnV achieved an energy-efficiency of a staggering 15.1 GFLOP/s per Watt, which was already the fourth "greenest." NVIDIA expects the upgraded SaturnV to take the number-one spot.

Sapphire Radeon RX Vega 64 Nitro Custom Model Pictured, Tested

It's likely that we'll (relatively) soon start to see custom models of AMD's latest high-end graphics cards based on the Vega micro-architecture. The launch and availability of AMD's latest poster child has been target of continued debate and rumors of problems, ranging from low GPU yields, to low packaging yields, and manufacturing discrepancies making AMD's AIB partners' job in creating and delivering fully custom models ever more difficult. However, the end for market absence of true custom models may be nigh, since the guys over at HWBattle have managed to snag themselves a sample of Sapphire's RX Vega 64 Nitro, and the card really is a sight to behold.

Graphics Cards Vendors Increase Orders in Wake of Expected Mining Sales Increase

DigiTimes is reporting that graphics cards vendors and AIB (add-in board partners) to both AMD and NVIDIA are increasing their orders for GPUs. Citing sources from the upstream supply chain, the report says that the reason for this is an expected increase in sales due to higher demand for cryptocurrency mining workloads. Most cryptocurrencies are mined on GPUs today, and there are miners that leverage both AMD and NVIDIA's architectures for increased mining performance. Whereas before mining was somewhat of a strictly AMD business, NVIDIA's architectures have also been developed for in most recent cryptocurrency mining efforts, which means that no one manufacturer is the sole source of mining GPUs.

As such, and counting on continued economic support for current cryptocurrency pricing (or even increase), Asustek, Gigabyte Technology, Micro-Star International (MSI), TUL, Colorful and Galaxy Microsystems have increased their orders from respective manufacturing partners. Since graphics cards pricing has stabilized and even decreased somewhat in recent weeks from their selling points just some months ago, this might mean that we'll finally see some graphics card models from both AMD and NVIDIA finally being retailed for their MSRP again. However, demand for mining-efficient GPUs is expected to increase alongside cryptocurrency value, so don't take this increased supply for granted - demand could spike at any moment, and with little warning.

Inno3D Releases Two P106-090 768 CUDA Core Mining Cards

Hong Kong video card manufacturer Inno3D has launched two models of a new crypto currency mining card under the P106-090 name. The smaller of the two, featuring a reduced board size and a single heat sink fan, is known as the P106-090 3GB Compact, while the larger of the two features dual fans and is known as the P106-090 3GB Twin X2. These cards are based on the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 design, much like their bigger brothers the GP106-100 mining cards, but with some disabled CUDA cores to reduce power consumption. Both models will feature 768 CUDA cores, compared to the GP106-100's 1280. This means the CUDA core count is on par with the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, but will retain the 192-bit memory bus of the 1060 design. This should enhance mining performance, as most crypto currency mining operations benefit greatly from increased memory bandwidth.

As the names suggest, both models will also feature only three gigabytes of GDDR5 memory, an interesting decision considering that many miners shy away from GPUs with less than four gigabytes of memory due to concerns that some currencies' DAG (Directed Acyclic Graph) size will reach over three gigabytes some time in the near future. The cards feature a TDP of just 75 Watts, much lower than the GP106-100 cards. Theoretically this would allow them to be powered exclusively by the PCI Express slot, though that would be hitting the peak power draw for PCI Express. Most miners will be using riser cables or boards anyway, making the external 6-pin power connector a necessity. This is still a relatively low power draw for such a card, especially compared to the P106-100 mining cards which command a TDP of 120 Watts, and should aid in mining efficiency. A 1354 MHz base clock with a boost clock of 1531 MHz, with a memory clock of 8000 MHz round out the specs for both cards.

GALAX Announces GPU Overclocking Products - Power Board and LN2 Memory Pot

GALAX is apparently on the verge of launching two GPU overclocking-specific products, materialized in the HOF Power Board and an LN2 memory pot kit. Built to increase overclockability in your graphics card of choice, the GALAX power board will allow you to feed the GPU with way more power than it is designed to receive - provided you have decent cooling for the increased temperatures and operating voltages. And with the caveat of whether or not your GPU manufacturer of choice allows such changes in voltage.

Developers on the Move: NVIDIA Partners Working on External GPU Solutions

At SIGGRAPH 2017, NVIDIA announced it is working with a number of partners towards the development of external graphics enclosures that can power - and increase mobility - of their professional-geared GPU solutions. Namely, NVIDIA has announced external GPU solutions featuring the powerful Titan Xp and Quadro graphics cards. These external GPU solutions are meant to upgrade the capability of notebooks to support new workflows such as video editing, interactive rendering, VR content creation, AI development and more. Such has been enabled by the latest, high-bandwidth Thunderbolt 3 protocol. For the Quadro eGPU program specifically, Nvidia is working with established manufacturers like Sonnet, Magma, Akiti, and Bizon. The company says there are more to come.

Pricing information has not been revealed for now, but Titan Xp can already be ordered, while the Quadro solutions will see availability in a few weeks.

NVIDIA Announces OptiX 5.0 SDK - AI-Enhanced Ray Tracing

At SIGGRAPH 2017, NVIDIA introduced the latest version of their AI-based, GPU-enabled ray-tracing OptiX API. The company has been at the forefront of GPU-powered AI endeavors in a number of areas, including facial animation, anti-aliasing, denoising, and light transport. OptiX 5.0 brings a renewed focus on AI-based denoising.

AI training is still a brute-force scenario with finesse applied at the end: basically, NVIDIA took tens of thousands of image pairs of rendered images with one sample per pixel and a companion image of the same render with 4,000 rays per pixel, and used that to train the AI to predict what a denoised image looks like. Basically (and picking up the numbers NVIDIA used for its AI training), this means that in theory, users deploying OptiX 5.0 only need to render one sample per pixel of a given image, instead of the 4,000 rays per pixel that would be needed for its final presentation. Based on its learning, the AI will then be able to fill in the blanks towards finalizing the image, saving the need to render all that extra data. NVIDIA quotes a 157x improvement in render time using a DGX station with Optix 5.0 deployed against the same render on a CPU-based platform (2 x E5-2699 v4 @ 2.20GHz). The Optix 5.0 release also includes provisions for GPU-accelerated motion blur, which should do away with the need to render a frame multiple times and then applying a blur filter through a collage of the different frames. NVIDIA said OptiX 5.0 will be available in November. Check the press release after the break.

Ethereum Takes Literal Flight; Mining Conglomerates Rent Airplanes for Transport

Ethereum is a strange little thing. When you open up your Blockfolio to look at how much you're valued right now, it can be as a fine bit of coffee in the morning, perking you up for the entire day, or a wrecking ball to your capitalist, speculative heart. However, even if you don't believe in the technology, there are many people who do believe: at least, in the future value of it. They believe it so much, really, that they're willing to rent entire airplanes to transport mining equipment (read graphics cards). And we're talking Boeing 747 here, not your average private jet (handy infographic on the pictures below, by the way.)

Ethereum's price fluctuations notwithstanding, which saw the currency soar from $10 at the beginning of the year to a historical high of $400 in mid-June, seems to have somehow settled around a $200 support level. At that value, it's still profitable to mine - even with the increased difficulty of the myriad of miners, dedicated or not, who have flooded towards the GPU-based workloads that support the cryptocurrency's POW (Proof of Work) design. And faith - or expectation of future value is so high, that mining conglomerates (the ones with the greatest running costs, but also pretty scalable profits - aren't willing to waste more idle time than they possibly can. Marco Streng, chief executive of Genesis Mining, told Quartz that "Time is critical, very critical. For example, we are renting entire airplanes, Boeing 747s, to ship on time. Anything else, like shipping by sea, loses so much opportunity."

ASUS Announces ROG Zenith Extreme, ROG Strix X399-E, Prime X399-A X399 Mobos

There are two kinds of desktop CPU platforms. The mainstream tier runs from two cores up to eight, and it's great for gaming and general use. Its high-end sibling takes everything up a level with more cores, more memory channels, and more bandwidth for graphics and storage. A considerable upgrade in every regard, this high-end desktop platform appeals to power users, content creators, and prosumers who want to blur the line between desktop and workstation. AMD's Threadripper CPU is the latest addition to the desktop's heavyweight division, and it walks into the ring with an entourage of SocketTR4 motherboards in tow. This guide explains the ASUS and ROG family to help you pick the best X399 motherboard for your high-end desktop or gaming PC.

All of our X399 boards share core DNA that includes one-touch overclocking, refined cooling control, and improved RGB lighting. Yet they each have their own distinct flavor as well. The ROG Zenith Extreme brings Threadripper into the world of premium dream PCs with provisions for custom liquid cooling and 10G networking. With the Strix X399-E Gaming, hardcore gamers can build stylish rigs with power to spare for high-quality streaming. And then there's the Prime X399-A and its well-rounded foundation channeling the professional side of the platform's prodigious power. Which X399 motherboard should you buy for your build? Let's find out.

AMD Radeon Vega Holocube Not Shipping Come August

Remember that awesome Vega Holocube that made its way around the web some time ago? How it looked like a über-cool tachometer of sorts for GPU utilization. Well, as you might have noticed, AMD's RX Vega pricing is extremely competitive in regards to the technology they offer on-board; this, coupled with AMD's play for a higher price-performance ratio than the competition, means that AMD is left with less wiggle room for bundling this kind of extras with their RX Vega graphics cards.

However, AMD has released a statement, which while confirming the sad news of no Holocube bundling or availability to accompany RX Vega's launch come August, leaves the door open for a later-in-time launch. The statement reads "AMD appreciates the excitement and curiosity surrounding the Radeon Holocube. The Radeon Holocube was developed as a prototype and at this time, it is one of very few that exist in the world. The Holocube will not be shipping with Radeon RX Vega in August." You can check some videos of the Holocube in action after the break.
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