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The End of a Collaboration: Intel Announces Discontinuation of Kaby Lake-G with AMD Radeon Vega Graphics

The marriage of Intel and AMD IPs in the form of the Kaby Lake-G processors was met with both surprised grunts from the company and a sense of bewilderment at what could come next. Well, we now know what came next: Intel hiring several high-level AMD employees on the graphics space and putting together its own motley crew of discrete GPU developers, who should be putting out Intel's next-gen high-performance graphics accelerators sometime next year.

The Kaby Lake-G processors, however, showed promise, pairing both Intel's (at the time) IPC dominance and AMD's graphics IP performance and expertise on a single package by placing the two components in the same substrate and connecting them via a PCIe link. A new and succinct Intel notice on the Kaby Lake-G page sets a last order time (January 31, 2020, as the last date for orders, and July 31, 2020, as the date of last shipments), and explains that product market shifts have moved demand from Kaby Lake-G products "to other Intel products". Uptake was always slow on this particular collaboration - most of it, we'd guess, because of the chips' strange footprint arrangement for embedding in systems, which required custom solutions that had to be designed from scratch. And with Intel investing into their own high-performance graphics, it seems clear that there is just no need to flaunt their previous collaborations with other companies in this field. Farewell, Intel-AMD Kaby Lake-G. We barely knew you.

Sapphire Teases RX 5700 XT NITRO Graphics Card

Sapphire China has let out a partial teaser of their upcoming RX 5700 XT NITRO graphics card, which is nearing release and has apparently been finalized. The design shows a slightly longer graphics card than we're used to from Sapphire in recent generation (based on 8-pin port placement and component ratio in the provided image).

The card will seemingly sport a silver-based finish (and what looks like black details in the fan area), and features an RGB "SAPPHIRE" detail on the side, as well as what looks like an RGB strip alongside the PCB. From the image, it seems Sapphire will be using a triple fan cooling solution on this one. Being set in the NITRO series, it's currently unknown if this will be a NITRO or NITRO+ product.

Intel adds Integer Scaling support to their Graphics lineup

Intel's Lisa Pearce today announced on Twitter, that the company has listened to user feedback from Reddit and will add nearest neighbor integer scaling to their future graphics chips. Integer scaling is the holy grail for gamers using console emulators, because it will give them the ability to simply double/triple or quadruple existing pixels, without any loss in sharpness that is inherent to traditional upscaling algorithms like bilinear or bicubic. This approach also avoids ringing artifacts that come with other, more advanced, scaling methods.

In her Twitter video, Lisa explained that this feature will only be available on upcoming Gen 11 graphics and beyond - previous GPUs lack the hardware required for implementing integer scaling. In terms of timeline, she mentioned that this will be part of the driver "around end of August", which also puts some constraints of the launch date of Gen 11, which seems to be rather sooner than later, based on that statement.

ASRock Launches Radeon RX 5700 Performance Gaming GPU Series

The leading global motherboard, graphics card and mini PC manufacturer, ASRock, launches the flagship level product - Radeon RX 5700 series graphics cards featuring AMD's latest Radeon RX 5700 gaming GPU and 8GB 256-bit GDDR6 memory with great gaming experiences are created by bending the rules. Take control and forge your own path with Radeon RX 5700 series and experience powerful accelerated gaming customized for you.

The Radeon RX 5700 series GPUs are powered by new RDNA architecture -- the heart of AMD's advanced 7nm technology process. RDNA features up to 40 completely redesigned "Compute Units" delivering incredible performance and up to 4x IPC improvements, new instructions better suited for visual effects such as volumetric lighting, blur effects, and depth of field, and multi-level cache hierarchy for greatly reduced latency and highly responsive gaming. The RDNA architecture enables DisplayPort 1.4 with Display Stream Compression for extreme refresh rates and resolutions on cutting edge displays for insanely immersive gameplay.

AMD Releases Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 19.6.2 Drivers

AMD today released the latest version of their Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition Drivers. The 19.6.2 Beta release offers no performance improvements however it does add support for various Vulkan extensions while simultaneously solving a few problems. These fixed issues include, Crackdown 3 experiencing application hangs on Radeon R7 370 series products, Wireless VR experiencing performance drops across various titles on some Radeon RX 400 and 500 series graphics products, and Performance Metrics Overlay failing to enable or being disabled when toggling Radeon Overlay in game just to name a few. You can grab this latest driver release from the link below.

DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 19.6.2 beta
The change-log follows.

AMD and Samsung Announce Strategic Partnership in Ultra Low Power, High Performance Graphics Technologies with RDNA

AMD and Samsung today announced a key strategic partnership in high performance graphics technologies for the mobile space. The agreement means that Samsung will license AMD's Radeon graphics IP in its latest RDNA iteration, no less, for integration on smartphone graphics processing. Let me stress how impressive this can be: that AMD developed a graphics architecture that can scale from a high-performance GPU down to a nimble, fast, power-sipping module for mobile graphics processing.

This is a huge strategic win for AMD, in that more and more products will be infused with their technology. As Lisa Su puts it, the Radeon user base and development ecosystem will be greatly increased with this Samsung integration - as will AMD's revenue, for sure. Perhaps we'll see a "Powered by AMD Radeon" sticker or engraving in our future Samsung smartphones, as we do with Leica partnerships, for example.)

Rumor: AMD Navi a Stopgap, Hybrid Design of RDNA and GraphicsCoreNext

The Wheel of Rumors turns, and assumptions come and pass, sometimes leaving unfulfilled hopes and dreams. In this case, the rumor mill, in what seems like a push from sweclockers, places Navi not as a "built from the ground-up" architecture, but rather as a highly customized iteration of GCN - iterated in the parts that it actually implements AMD's RDNA architecture, to be exact. And this makes sense from a number of reasons - it's certainly not anything to cry wolf about.

For one, AMD's GCN has been a mainstay in the graphics computing world since it was first introduced back in 2012, succeeding the company's TeraScale architecture. Game engines and assorted software have been well optimized already to take advantage of AMD's design - even with its two ISAs and assorted improvements over the years. One of the most important arguments is derived from this optimization effort: AMD's custom designs for the console market employ architectures that are GCN-based, and thus, any new architecture that would be used by both Microsoft and Sony for their next-generation consoles would have to be strictly backwards compatible.

ASRock Unveils World's First Thunderbolt 3 Graphics Card

ASRock will be showing the world's first Thin Mini-ITX form factor - RX570TM-ITX/TBT graphics card, which adapts with AMD Radeon RX570 graphics card and supports Intel Thunderbolt 3 technology. The RX570TM-ITX/TBT graphics card is not only the first graphics card with a Thunderbolt 3 Type-C interface which supports 40Gb/s transfer rate and power delivery, but it also features 4 USB 3.1 Gen1 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, and SATA 6Gb/s interface.
The RX570TM-ITX/TBT graphics card is based on the Thin Mini-ITX concept. With this graphics card, All-in-One PC manufacturers can develop their own Thunderbolt monitors with 3D performance and power charging with less effort. Moreover, it would be able to fit in a mini ITX chassis. By connecting a notebook through Thunderbolt 3 Type-C interface, it helps to increase the notebook's 3D computing power and charge the notebook at the same time.

Intel Introduces its New Graphics Command Center App, Paving the Way For Intel Xe

Intel has revealed the layout and overall look (as well as functionality, though that one is always changing) of their new Graphics Command Center app, which showcases the company's vision for a graphics control hub. The design is thematically coherent (read: it's blue), and is, for now, of a simple layout. Enthusiast options are expectedly going to be added closer to or upon release of the company's discrete-level graphics architecture with Intel Xe, but the Command Center as it is showcases Intel's overall spirit to their graphics push. For now, features keep the minimalist approach of Intel's integrated graphics - this is more of a new coat of paint than a new enthusiast-grade Command Center.

Intel made a video available on its Twitter account, and announced an early access program for users that want to partake i the feature and usability development of the new Command Center. The new app is available through Microsoft's App Store on Windows.

Three Kingdoms: Total War- System Specifications Revealed

The Creative Assembly has released the system specifications for Three Kingdoms: Total War. It seems those with less powerful systems will still be able to enjoy this title with relative ease considering the minimum specifications reference an Intel i7-8550U, UHD Graphics 620, and 6 GB of system memory. With a system of this caliber, users can expect to run the game with low settings at 1280x720 while getting 25-35 FPS. Minimum specifications change somewhat when looking at dedicated graphics cards. The CPU requirement drops from an Intel i7 to a 3.0 GHz Core 2 Duo, but only if the GPU is equal to or better than an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti or AMD Radeon HD 7850.

In regards to pushing the game at high or ultra settings. Users will need a slightly beefier system. For High at 1080p you're looking at needing an Intel i5-6600 or Ryzen 5 2600X with 8 GB of memory and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 or AMD Radeon R9 Fury X. All these considered these requirements are quite reasonable. Moving on to Ultra settings is where the requirements take a large jump with the Creative Assembly suggesting the use of an Intel i7-8700K, 8 GB of memory and either an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 or RTX 2060. Even with the large jump between high and ultra the fact remains these requirements are rather tame compared to some other AAA titles as of late.

AMD Releases Radeon Adrenalin Edition 19.3.1 Beta Drivers - Ready for DmC 5

AMD today released the latest version of their Radeon Adrenalin 2019 Drivers. Version 19.3.1 is game-ready for the release of Devil May Cry 5, promising an "up to 4%" performance improvement in that title, with a Vega 64 graphics card. High-profile fixes include fixes for Radeon WattMan on Radeon VII, mouse lag or system slowdown with one of multiple displays shut off, black screen issues with Acer's KG251Q display, and corrupted video on an HDR display. Follow the link below, and check after the break for the more complete listing of this driver release.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Adrenalin Edition 19.3.1 Beta

AMD Speeds up Ryzen APU Support with Radeon 19.2.3 Drivers

AMD today released their latest Radeon Software Adrenaline 2019 Edition drivers. This latest beta, version 19.2.3, brings with it support for AMD Ryzen mobile processors with Vega graphics which see up to a 10% performance boost on average versus the 17.40 launch drivers. Titles included in the performance testing were; Destiny 2, Shadow of War, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Civilization 6, and the Witcher 3. Furthermore, various eSports title have seen performance gains of up to 17%, again when compared to the older 17.40 launch drivers. The games AMD used for testing were; Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Fortnite, Player Unknown's Battleground, and World of Warcraft. The only other performance gains specifically mentioned in this driver release is a 3% boost in Dirt Rally 2 on the Radeon RX Vega 64.

AMD has fixed a few issues with this release as well including player character outlines being stuck on screen after being revived in Battlefield V being the most significant fix. Otherwise, all other fixes or changes are related to AMD software or features such as ReLive wireless VR, FreeSync, and fan tuning. That said, a few prominent issues remain some of which have been around for some time like mouse lag on multi-monitor systems when one display is turned off. Other problems include Radeon WattMan not applying settings changes on the AMD Radeon VII. Meanwhile, the performance metrics overlay may fluctuate giving inaccurate readings on the previously mentioned Radeon VII. For full details, you can check the changelog after the break.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 19.2.3

NVIDIA Adds New Options to Its MX200 Mobile Graphics Solutions - MX250 and MX230

NVIDIA has added new SKUs to its low power mobility graphics lineup. the MX230 and MX250 come in to replace The GeForce MX130 and MX150, but... there's really not that much of a performance improvement to justify the increase in the series' tier. Both solutions are based on Pascal, so there are no Turing performance uplifts at the execution level.

NVIDIA hasn't disclosed any CUDA core counts or other specifics on these chips; we only know that they are paired with GDDR 5 memory and feature Boost functionality for increased performance in particular scenarios. The strange thing is that NVIDIA's own performance scores compare their MX 130, MX150, and now MX230 and MX250 to Intel's UHD620 IGP part... and while the old MX150 was reported by NVIDIA as offering an up to 4x performance uplift compared to that Intel part, the new MX250 now claims an improvement of 3.5x the performance. Whether this is because of new testing methodology, or some other reason, only NVIDIA knows.

Intel Invites Gamers for a Graphics Odyssey Spanning Multiple Continents

Intel is working to build up hype and awareness around its discrete graphics efforts, of which we're still to see more off besides Intel's continuous acquisition of AMD-based talent for that particular endeavor. It's relatively hard to build up enthusiasm for something other than the fact there is a third competitor entering the high-performance graphics card space; the rest is mostly rumors, speculations, and declared intentions.

AMD Re-structures Leadership Team; James Prior Leaves AMD

Let me be the first to say that the two may not be directly related, but it is an awfully strong coincidence that both pieces of news come out on the same day. Indeed, earlier in the day AMD put out a press release (full release past the break) announcing "multiple organizational changes focused on strengthening the company's senior leadership team and accelerating growth." Several familiar names have been promoted within the company to be in charge of more products and visions across their CPU and GPU business units. Mark Papermaster, for example, is now an executive VP as well as CTO of AMD, and the company has also hired in new talent, including industry veteran Sandeep Chennakeshu, as executive VP of "Computing and Graphics responsible for the company's high-performance PC, gaming and semi-custom businesses".

Perhaps all this re-structuring and new hiring comes in handy, at a time when we have seen several people leave AMD for Intel or otherwise. Indeed, shortly after that press release went out, word got to us that James Prior, Senior Product Manager for AMD, and an ardent employee for nearly 6 years, is no longer working for the company. We have no word yet on what is next for James, but it was more than a small surprise to know that the person you just spoke with at CES, and had a long conversation of AMD's desktop processors, is gone just like that. We have known James for many years now, and can attest to his work ethics as well as being a great guy all-round. We wish him the best in his future ventures, and look forward to also seeing how AMD's re-structuring turns out.

Ex-Hardware.fr GPU Editor Damien Triolet Jumps Ship from AMD RTG to Intel

Oh hey remember this news post from July last year? Damien Triolet's work history off-late has been one of many such recent stories. These tend to begin with AMD, and RTG in particular, getting a cash infusion and growing in 2016 and 2017 to where they hired some of the best engineers and marketing personnel from the industry- media or otherwise. This follows a more stagnant GPU division in 2017-2018, Intel deciding to dip their toes back into the discrete GPU market, and in turn.. persuading many to cross over to the blue side.

According to Damien's LinkedIn and FaceBook profiles, he has started working for Intel from November 26, 2018 in a technical marketing position in their Gaming and Graphics division, a role analogous to his from his days at AMD. Presumably, he joins Raja Koduri and the many others who have followed this exact path of late, and everyone remains curious as to what the finished retail product will be. In the meantime, we here at TechPowerUp wish him the best again for his new venture. We had the pleasure of interacting with Damien on multiple occasions in the past, some as colleagues in the media giving hardware manufacturers a hard time, and others when he was hosting us as an AMD employee. His tenure at Hardware.fr has been inspiring to us, with excellent reviews that no doubt were what caught the eyes of AMD in the first place, and Intel will definitely gain from his presence.

AMD Radeon Pro Vega Graphics Coming to MacBook Pro Next Month

Today Apple has introduced its new iPad Pro and has resurrected both the MacBook Air, now with Retina display, and the Mac mini. In addition to all these new announcements, there's another one the company didn't talk about at the event: an update for the MacBook Pro that will now feature AMD Radeon Pro Vega graphics chips. According to Apple, this will allow a 60% improvement in performance over the Radeon Pro 560X, the most powerful GPUs available to date for the MacBook Pro.

These professional-oriented chips are manufactured on a 14 nm process, this is not the 7 nanometer Vega 20 that's expected to be released later this year for the enterprise space. The GPU is codenamed "Vega 12" and comes with HBM2 memory, which helps reduce space requirements in a notebook, compared to traditional GDDR5 memory. Vega Pro 20 in the MacBook Pro has 20 CUs (1,280 shaders), Vega Pro 16 has 16 CUs (1,024 shaders). Both MacBook Pro configurations will be available on November 14th at a price yet to be determined.

MSI Talks about NVIDIA Supply Issues, US Trade War and RTX 2080 Ti Lightning

Back on September 27th, MSI talked candidly with PConline at the MSI Gaming New Appreciation Conference, in Shanghai. Multiple MSI executives were available to answer questions regarding products, launches, and potential issues. The first question asked was about the brewing US-Chinese trade war and if it will affect prices of graphics cards and CPUs. To which, Liao Wei, Deputy General Manager of MSI Global Multimedia Business Unit, and MSI Headquarters Graphics Card Products gave an actual answer. Stating that the since NVIDIA's GPU core is handled by a TSMC in Taiwan and memory is handled by Samsung and Hynix in South Korea and the United States respectively, there is little chance of further graphics card price hikes. However CPU side prices may increase on the Intel side, however, AMD is expected to be unaffected.

Latest 3DMark Update adds Night Raid DX12 Benchmark for Integrated Graphics

With update 2.6.6174, released today, 3DMark now includes a new benchmark dubbed Night Raid. This latest addition to the popular 3DMark suite offers DX12 performance testing for laptops, tablets and other devices with integrated graphics. It also offers full support for ARM based processors in the latest always-connected PCs running Microsoft's Windows 10 on ARM. Users running 3DMark Basic Edition which is free will have access to this latest addition upon installing the update.

The Night Raid benchmark continues the trend of offering two graphics tests and a CPU test. While not as visually stunning as previous entries this is to be expected considering it is targeted at integrated graphics processors and entry level systems. Even so, it makes use of numerous graphical features with graphics test 1 including; dynamic reflections, ambient occlusion, and deferred rendering. Graphics test 2 features; tessellation, complex particle systems and depth of field effects with forward-rendering. Finally, the CPU test will measures performance through a combination of physics simulation, occlusion culling, and procedural generation.

AMD Releases Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 18.9.2 Graphics Drivers

AMD today released version 18.9.2 of their Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition Graphics Drivers. This update brings with it improved or added support for F1 2018 (up to 3% faster performance on Vega 64 at 2560x1440); Fortnite (up to 5% faster performance at 1080p under a Vega 64); Shadow of the Tomb Raider (up to 4% faster performance on Vega 64 at 2560x1440); and Star Control: Origins, with up to 14% faster performance with a Vega 64 running at 4K.

Fixed issues include some particle corruption seen in Star Control: Origins. Catch up with known issues after the break. You can download these drivers right here from your favorite website in the galaxy.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 18.9.2

AMD Announces "Zen" Based Athlon and 2nd Gen Ryzen PRO Desktop Processors

AMD today announced a reimagined family of AMD Athlon desktop processors with Radeon Vega graphics that have been optimized for everyday PC users: the AMD Athlon 200GE, Athlon 220GE, and Athlon 240GE processor. Combining the high-performance x86 "Zen" core and "Vega"] graphics architectures in a versatile System-on-Chip (SOC) design, the Athlon desktop processors offer responsive and reliable computing for a wide range of experiences, from day-to-day needs like web browsing and video streaming through more advanced workloads like high-definition PC gaming. Complementing this news, AMD announced the availability of the commercial-grade Athlon PRO 200GE desktop processor, along with three 2nd Gen Ryzen PRO desktop processor models for the commercial, enterprise, and the public sector: the Ryzen 7 PRO 2700X, Ryzen 7 PRO 2700, and Ryzen 5 PRO 2600 processors. With these new introductions, AMD now offers a top-to-bottom line-up of professional-grade computing solutions for experiences that range from premium content creation to advanced multitasking and office productivity.

"We are proud to expand our successful "Zen" core-based consumer and commercial product portfolios today with the addition of AMD Athlon, AMD Athlon PRO, and 2nd Gen AMD Ryzen PRO desktop processors. The new Athlon desktop processors, now incorporating the advanced "Zen" core and "Vega"3 graphics architectures, energize a legendary processor brand in AMD Athlon - a brand that consumers and PC enthusiasts alike trusted throughout nearly two decades of innovation," said Saeid Moshkelani, senior vice president and general manager, Client Compute, AMD. "Additionally, we are continuing to offer business PC users more processing power than we ever have before with the launch of 2nd Gen Ryzen PRO desktop processors into the commercial market."

Intel Teases Their Upcoming Graphics Cards for 2020

Right in time for SIGGRAPH, the world's leading conference for computer graphics, the people around Raja Koduri and Chris Hook have posted a video on Twitter, which shows a teaser for their upcoming graphics cards, that are scheduled to become available in 2020.
The video is produced in a style that's typical for what Chris Hook has been releasing at AMD, too. It starts with a history lesson, praising Intel's achievements in the graphics department, and then continues to promise that in 2020, Intel discrete graphics cards "will be set free, and that's just the beginning".

In the comments for the video, Chris Hook, who left AMD to join Intel as head of marketing for their graphics department said: "Will take time and effort to be the first successful entrant into the dGPU segment in 25 years, but we have some incredible talent at Intel, and above all, a passion for discrete graphics."

You can find the video here.

NVIDIA Announces Turing-based Quadro RTX 8000, Quadro RTX 6000 and Quadro RTX 5000

NVIDIA today reinvented computer graphics with the launch of the NVIDIA Turing GPU architecture. The greatest leap since the invention of the CUDA GPU in 2006, Turing features new RT Cores to accelerate ray tracing and new Tensor Cores for AI inferencing which, together for the first time, make real-time ray tracing possible.

These two engines - along with more powerful compute for simulation and enhanced rasterization - usher in a new generation of hybrid rendering to address the $250 billion visual effects industry. Hybrid rendering enables cinematic-quality interactive experiences, amazing new effects powered by neural networks and fluid interactivity on highly complex models.

It's a Matter of Thousands: Manli Denies Submission of NVIDIA GTX 2070, 2080 Graphics Cards, GA104 and GA104-400 Codenames

Yesterday, a story surfaced on how Manli corporation had seemingly spilled the beans on NVIDIA's next-gen graphics cards lineup. A submission registration appeared online where the company was registering GTX 2070, GTX 2080, and GA104 and GA104-400 codenames for upcoming products - which obviously paved the way for speculation on those being the real, next-gen NVIDIA graphics solutions, in detriment of the on-and-off GTX 1100 series.

Today, Manli has sent out a media-wide email denying that the company had anything to do with the submission, and are actively investigating how, when, and why this happened. Still, the fact remains that the submission to the Eurasian Economic Union did happen. It remains to be seen whether this is a defensive, last-ditch effort to try and control media and PR damage to an impending announcement, or just an exceedingly clever ploy from a non Manli-affiliated party.

QA Consultants Determines AMD's Most Stable Graphics Drivers in the Industry

As independent third-party experts in the software quality assurance and testing industry for over 20 years, QA Consultants has conducted over 5,000+ mission-critical projects and has extensive testing experience and depth in various industries. Based in Toronto, Ontario, QA Consultants is the largest on-shore software quality assurance company, with a 30,000 sq. ft., industry-grade facility called The Test Factory.
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