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NVIDIA "Pascal" Based Mining GPU Lineup Detailed

GPU-accelerated crypto-currency mining poses a threat to the consumer graphics industry, yet the revenues it brings to GPU manufacturers are hard to turn away. The more graphics cards are bought up by crypto-currency miners, the fewer there are left for gamers and the actual target-audience of graphics cards. This is particularly bad for AMD, as fewer gamers have Radeon graphics cards as opposed to miners; which means game developers no longer see AMD GPU market-share as an amorphous trigger to allocate developer resources in optimizing their games to AMD architectures.

To combat this, both AMD and NVIDIA are innovating graphics cards designed specifically for crypto-currency mining. These cards are built to a cost, lack display outputs, and have electrical and cooling mechanisms designed for 24/7 operation, even if not living up to the durability standards of real enterprise-segment graphics cards, such as Radeon Pro series or Quadro. NVIDIA's "Pascal" GPU architecture is inherently weaker than AMD's "Polaris" and older Graphics CoreNext architectures at Ethereum mining, owing in part to Pascal's lack of industry-standard asynchronous compute. This didn't deter NVIDIA from innovating a lineup of crypto-mining SKUs based on its existing "Pascal" GPUs. These include the NVIDIA P104 series based on the "GP104" silicon (on which the GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 are based); and P106 series based on the "GP106" silicon (GTX 1060 series is based on this chip). NVIDIA didn't tap into its larger "GP102" or smaller "GP107" chips, yet.

AMD RX Vega AIB Cards to Ship in Late July / Early August

A report from HWBattle is making the rounds claiming that new information has surfaced on AMD's upcoming high-performance, consumer versions of the Vega architecture. According to these reports, Vega graphics cards will (at least initially) come in two different performance tiers. A top of the line GPU, Vega 10 (being identified as Vega XT), and a cut-down version of it, based on Vega 11 (which is being called Vega Pro). Graphics chips for graphics card integration are supposedly being shipped to partners as of this week.

HWBattle goes on to say that there will be a myriad of approaches to AMD's AIB partner designs around the Vega graphics chips, with multiple cooling solutions being worked on (which isn't surprising, really; graphics cards nowadays can see upwards of 4 different cooling designs for the same GPU, according to the use case the company is designing it for. HWBattle is also saying that Vega will be faster than the GTX 1080, though there's no information on whether this only applies to the top-tier GPU or no. Other details are scant, scarce, or nonexistent; it would seem that the launch delay from AMD has sapped some of the interest surrounding Vega.

COLORFUL Reveals the GT1030 2G Graphics Card

Colorful Technology Company Limited, professional manufacturer of graphics cards and motherboards, announces its latest addition to the Colorful family of graphics cards with the COLORFUL GT1030 2G graphics card suited for office/home use.

The Colorful GT1030 2G ships with 384 Streaming Multiprocessors (SMs), and runs at a base clock frequency of 1227 MHz while the GPU Boost clock speed is rated for 1468 MHz and is based on the Pascal GP108 silicone. This card has been outfitted with GDDR5 memory at 2GB capacity and is wired to a 64-bit bus. The GPU has 24 TMUs, 8 ROPs and has a rated draw of 30 watts power consumption making the card a highly efficient choice. With an all-solid-state capacitor power delivery design, COLORFUL provides customers better and more stability while maintaining excellent performance. It has a 90mm fan and a solid cooler featuring compact thermal fins keeping the card cool even under extreme loads. No pricing information was disclosed at the time.

Sapphire to Launch External Graphics Enclosure - Powered by Thunderbolt 3

At its Computex 2017 showcase, Sapphire showcased (ahem) an upcoming e-GFX enclosure. The unit delivers its display signal through a Thunderbolt 3 port, which is being hailed as "The USB-C that does it all", with up to 40 Gb/s connections, dual 4K @ 60Hz support, charging capabilities, and support for the USB and DisplayPort interfaces.

The unit makes use of what appears to be a SFF PSU (it isn't clear whether or not a PSU comes bundled with the chassis), and space for a dual-slot high performance graphics card. The side of the enclosure presents an airflow-enabling grill, so that your graphics card can pull in fresh air from the exterior. There's also what seems to be an Ethernet port and 2x USB 3.0 ports, which means this enclosure can be used as a hub, or as an extra charger for your other pieces of tech. Aesthetics-wise, this unit uses the tried and true black and white contrast, with a black design language on the front and back, and a smooth white contour on the top and sides of the enclosure. I enjoy the understated design here, with no extremely hard and "gaming" screaming angles, and the neutral color scheme and LED design doesn't look half bad. It remains to be seen whether that blue LED lighting is too strong so as to be distracting, but if it's not, it stands as a good complement to the overall design. Expect this unit to be released sooner rather than later, though no details on pricing or specifications were at hand.

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 382.23 WHQL Graphics Driver - For GT 1030

NVIDIA today released an updated version of their GeForce graphics drivers, version 382.23 WHQL, which brings with it support for the company's GT 1030 entry-level graphics cards. Strangely, the drivers' supported products only register as the GT 1030 itself, which is a little unusual, to say the least.

Follow the link here to grab the drivers directly from NVIDIA. Note that since these drivers ONLY support NVIDIA's new GT 1030, you shouldn't upgrade to these if you have any other NVIDIA card. To download the drivers, you'll have to choose the GT 1030 from the drop-down menu on NVIDIA's site, as well as the proper OS version for your use case.

VisionTek Announces Its RX 500 Series Graphics Cards

VisionTek, a company whose last graphics card announcement we've posted here was on June 2015 with its Fury X and R9 300 line of graphics cards, has announced its vision for the RX 500 series graphics cards. This one seems a throwback to the RX 400 series, though, with Visiontek's "Overclocked Edition" GPUs carrying clockspeeds more in line with the prevous AMD series: 1,366 MHz for the RX 580, and 1264 MHz for the RX 570, respectively.

The VisionTek Radeon RX 580 8 GB comes with a slightly unoriginal take on the AIB partner design, sporting custom dual-fan cooler with a black-nickel aluminum shroud with 2x 8 mm and 2x 6 mm heatpipes for increased cooling capacity. The Radeon 570 4GB makes use of what is basically AMD's RX 480 reference design cooler, with a blower-style fan that ensures the GPU's heated air output exits the back of your case instead of lingering inside your system. VisionTek's Radeon RX 500 Series cards are now available through the company's website, with retailer availability to follow.

Digital Purchases Make Up Majority of US Video Game Sales, and Other ESA Stats

In the latest edition of "RTB's Obvious News," I present you with an alarming statistic:

Digital purchases make up most video game sales in the United states at around 74% of purchases, according to a study by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA).

I know, I can hear it now: "Obvious news is obvious, R-T-B. Why'd you post this? Your news sucks!" etc etc. Believe it or not, I have a reason for bringing this seemingly lame study to your attention, and that's because despite the headline being lame, the study actually contains some interesting tidbits about the gaming market in general.

XFX Launches its RX 550 Full and Low-Profile Graphics Cards

XFX has launched three variants of the RX 550 graphics cards, the tiny GPU that could, which AMD launched so as to bridge the enormous gap between IGP and its previous entry-line RX 460 (now RX 560) series of graphics cards. There are two low-profile versions of the RX 550, packing either 2GB or 4 GB of memory (whose amounts can be justified or not,) both with boost clocks set at 1203 MHz and 7000 MHz GDDR5 memory over a 128-bit bus. There is also a full-profile, dual slot RX 550, dubbed the Core Edition, and another Core Edition, though this one is a full-profile, single-slot solution.

All of these pack the same 1203 MHz boost clocks, so XFX is basically telling you to pick and choose the size of the graphics cards that best fits your use case, with improvements on cooling and sound profile that come with the larger, beefier cooling solutions. Display outputs stand the same among all the different cards, with 1x DVI-I Dual-Link, 1x DisplayPort, and 1x HDMI 2.0.

AMD's RX 500 Series of Graphics Cards Rumored as Rebrands of RX 400 Series

The folks at Heise online have put forward a report on how AMD's RX 500 series of graphics cards will be little less than direct rebrands of the Polaris 10 and Polaris 11 GPUs that AMD introduced with its RX 400 series of graphics cards. Apparently, a straight rebrand is in order, with the RX 580 entering the fray in the place of the RX 480, the RX 570 substituting the RX 470, and so on. Heise reports that the Polaris 10-based RX 500 should see the light of day as soon as April 4th, with Polaris 11-based solutions coming in a little later, on April 11th.

Videocardz, however, reports that these will be slightly more than a straight rebrand - if you can call a slight bump in clockspeeds as trumping a rebrand. The RX 580 is supposed to ship with base clocks ar 1340 MHz (74 MHz more than the reference RX 480), with the RX 570 carrying a much less significant 38 MHz increase over its RX 470 counterpart. Videocardz also reports on the possibility of AMD introducing a new Polaris 12 GPU with the RX 500 series, which will apparently be an even lower-end part than even Polaris 11.

AMD Releases the Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.2.1 WHQL Drivers

AMD today released the 17.2.1 WHQL version of its Radeon Software Crimson ReLive. This release features Multi GPU profiles and support for For Honor (with an up to 4% performance improvement on Radeon RX 480) and Sniper Elite 4 (with a 5% performance improvement being registered here). Look after the break for a list of known, fixed issues. Compared to the previous 17.2.1 Beta release of the ReLive driver suite, this one is virtually the same, the only difference being the WHQL signing.

As always, you can grab the drivers right here at TPU, through our revamped downloads section. Just follow the link below.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition 17.2.1 WHQL

MSI Launches Low-Profile AMD RX 460 Graphics Cards in 2 GB and 4 GB Flavours

To strangely low pomp and fanfare, MSI has further increased its line-up of offerings for the RX 460 family of graphics cards, with the launch of the Radeon RX 460 4GT LP (4GB), as well as a 2GT (2GB) version. Based on AMD's Olaris 11 "Baffin" graphics chip, these graphics cards feature a 75 W TDP, thus eschewing any auxiliary PCIe power connectors. That TDP being tamed by a dual-fan cooling solution and the usage of MIL-STD-810G certified components mean that this is a card where MSI feels comfortable about its lifespan.

Connectivity-wise, the boards offer 1x DL-DVI-D, as well as 1x HDMI 2.0 with HDCP 2.2 support, which makes any of these a relevant choice for an HTPC. MSI has not revealed a MSRP for any of these cards, but considering the segment at which they fit in like a jigsaw puzzle, one can surely expect their pricing to not be that far off from those recommended by AMD ($109 for the 2 GB version, and $139 for the 4 GB one).

EVGA Announces the CLC 120/280 Liquid Coolers

The EVGA Closed Loop CPU Cooler (CLC) 120 and 280 have arrived. These new liquid coolers from EVGA give you incredible performance, low noise, robust software controls and RGB lighting.

Built to perform
The new cooling block offers improved flowrate and heat transfer surface area for incredible cooling efficiency.

Sync with your EVGA GeForce GTX Graphics Card
Link up your EVGA CLC cooler with select EVGA graphics cards, and match the colors directly from software. One button to control both RGB LED's! Color profiles even save to firmware.

Eurocom Launches the 15.6" Tornado F5 - 4K, GTX 1080, i7 7700K, 64 GB DDR4 RAM

Eurocom launches the fully upgradeable, high performance 15.6" Tornado F5 with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 graphics, Intel Core i7 7700K processor, 64 GB DDR4 memory via four slots, dual M.2 SSD slots and a 4K 15.6" display.

EUROCOM Tornado F5 users who own an Intel Core i7-6700K SKU can upgrade to the i7-7700K since the two processors share the same LGA 1151 socket. The EUROCOM Tornado F5 is one of the few laptops with a Z170 chipset, LGA 1151 CPU socket and MXM 3.0 graphics slot for a wide range of customization options. Two M.2 SSD PCIe x2/x4 or SATA SSD and one 9.5mm SATA3 6Gb/s storage drive is also supported to offer a great combination of capacity and speed. Four memory slots are available to support up to 64 GB of DDR4 SODIMM. Customers have a 15.6" FHD matte display and a 4K matte display to choose from as well.

Experience 10 Years of ZOTAC Design and Engineering Excellence at CES 2017

ZOTAC International, a global manufacturer of innovation, is pleased to bring 10 years of design excellence to CES 2017 and showcase innovative VR and
commercial solutions. A strong lineup including ZOTAC's first Thunderbolt 3 Mini PC, External VGA box, and what's being touted as "the world's smallest GeForce GTX 1080" will be on show at One-Story Sky Villa, Palms Casino Resort.

"We believe the future of computing should be flexible," says Tony Wong, CEO, ZOTAC International. "Our next generation of computing products enables users to get the best of mobile and stationary experience."

AMD Releases Specifications On The Radeon Pro 400 Series Graphics

If you were wondering what the exact specs were on AMD's Polaris-imbued Radeon Pro 400 series of graphics cards, recently announced to be the driving GPUs on the 15-inch MacBook Pro, you need not imagine what they could be anymore. Under their "Meet the Creators" program, the company has now published the specifications.

From top to bottom, the Radeon Pro 460 packs a total of 16 Compute Units (CUs), totalling 1024 stream processors, with peak theoretical performance of up to 1.86 teraflops. The middle of pack Radeon Pro 455 cuts those to 12 CUs and 768 stream processors, with peak theoretical performance of up to 1.3 teraflops. Finally, the lowest performer of the bunch is the Radeon Pro 450, which features only 10 CUs (640 stream processors) and has a theoretical bandwidth of up to 1 teraflops. Also of note is the fact that all three of the parts leverage the same 80 Gb/s memory bandwidth.

MSI Announces the Aegis Gaming Desktop

MSI Computer Corp, a leading manufacturer of computer hardware products and solutions, is excited to launch a new, strong and sophisticated gaming desktop generation: the MSI Aegis Barebone PC. Designed from scratch and built to be the ultimate weapon and shield for gamers. Aegis comes with a breathtaking case design that is compact, easy to upgrade and houses a full sized MSI GeForce graphics card, up to GTX 980 Ti.

We wanted to revolutionize the Gaming desktop aethetics. To do this, we went back to the drawing board for Aegis, and designed it from scratch. The result is a strong, incredible and unmatched looking gaming barebone PC that can accomodate all the components of a full-size desktop PC packed into a compact case. The Aegis can easily be carried around with you via its built-in handle. Be the center of attention at your next LAN party.

AMD Announces FirePro W9100 Workstation Card with 32 GB of Memory

At the 2016 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show, AMD announced the new AMD FirePro W9100 32 GB -- the world's first workstation graphics card with industry leading 32 GB memory support for large asset workflows with creative applications planned for availability in Q2 2016. AMD also introduced the AMD FireRender plug-in for Autodesk 3ds Max, which enables VR storytellers to bring ideas to life through enhanced 4K workflows, photorealistic rendering functionality, and powerful creation support.

"The imagination of the creator is limitless so much so that the professional creator consumes all available resources to produce new and never before seen designs and experiences. Some professional creative workflows demand very high bandwidth memory subsystems while others demand high memory size. AMD pioneered the era of High Bandwidth and Ultra Efficient Memory through the introduction of HBM technology in 2015 and will bring it to content creators with the introduction of Radeon Pro Duo graphics. With the new AMD FirePro W9100 32 GB, AMD is unleashing the world's largest memory size professional workstation graphics card," said Raja Koduri, senior vice-president and chief architect, Radeon Technologies Group (RTG), AMD. "Along with exceptional hardware, AMD is also delivering software tools to leverage our high bandwidth and large memory GPU configurations effectively."

AMD and Associated Press Collaborate to Enable Next-Generation VR Journalism

AMD has joined with The Associated Press to form a new virtual reality experience channel to fuel next-generation journalism. As part of the collaboration between the companies, AP will leverage AMD Radeon graphics technology to render lifelike VR environments built around news and documentary content, and AMD will provide the hardware platforms, software technology and VR expertise to support AP's journalism in VR and 360 video.

VR journalism is a new age of truly captivating and experiential news that can put all of us at the heart of the events that shape our world. On the scene and in the moment, virtual reality can free us to learn and explore another time and place as if we were there. From the shouts and cries to the cheers and parades, VR journalism presents a rare opportunity to experience the world seemingly from within.

"VR can help people achieve a visceral experience of news and documentaries so they can feel what it's like to actually be there," said Raja Koduri, senior vice president and chief architect, Radeon Technologies Group. "The technology can enable us to figuratively walk in another's shoes, leading to greater understanding and empathy. The Associated Press is one of the most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, and AMD is a leading innovator for computing and visualization technologies. AMD Radeon graphics are designed to power the most realistic experience possible for audiences everywhere, and together with AP we'll work to fuel the expansion of the global VR ecosystem."

NVIDIA GPUs to Accelerate Microsoft Azure

NVIDIA today announced that Microsoft will offer NVIDIA GPU-enabled professional graphics applications and accelerated computing capabilities to customers worldwide through its cloud platform, Microsoft Azure. Deploying the latest version of NVIDIA GRID in its new N-Series virtual machine offering, Azure is the first cloud computing platform to provide NVIDIA GRID 2.0 virtualized graphics for enterprise customers.

For the first time, businesses will have the ability to deploy NVIDIA Quadro-grade professional graphics applications and accelerated computing on-premises, in the cloud through Azure, or via a hybrid of the two using both Windows and Linux virtual machines. Azure will also offer customers supercomputing-class performance, with the addition of the NVIDIA Tesla Accelerated Computing Platform's flagship Tesla K80 GPU accelerators, for the most computationally demanding data center and high performance computing (HPC) applications.

AMD Showcases Graphics, Energy Efficient Computing and Die-Stacking Innovation

Top technologists from AMD are detailing the engineering accomplishments behind the performance and energy efficiency of the new high-performance Accelerated Processing Unit (APU), codenamed "Carrizo," and the new AMD Radeon R9 Fury family of GPUs, codenamed "Fiji," at the prestigious annual Hot Chips symposium starting today. The presentations will focus on new details of the high-definition video and graphics processing engines on the 6th Generation AMD A-Series APU ("Carrizo"), and the eight year journey leading to die-stacking technology and all-new memory architecture included on the latest top-of-the-line AMD Radeon Fury Series GPUs ("Fiji") for 4K gaming and VR. Using a true System-on-Chip (SoC) design, 6th Generation AMD A-Series processors are designed to reduce the power consumed by the x86 cores alone by 40 percent, while providing substantial gains in CPU, graphics, and multimedia performance versus the prior generation APU. The new AMD Radeon R9 Fury X GPU achieves up to 1.5x the performance-per-watt of the previous high-end GPU from AMD.

"With our new generation of APU and GPU technology, our engineering teams left no stone unturned for performance and energy efficiency," said Mark Papermaster, chief technology officer at AMD. "Using innovative design for our APUs, we've vastly increased the number of transistors on-chip to increase functionality and performance, implemented advanced power management, and completed the hardware implementation of Heterogeneous System Architecture. For our latest GPUs, AMD is the first to introduce breakthrough technology in the form of die-stacking and High-Bandwidth Memory. The results are great products with very large generational performance-per-watt gains."

NVIDIA Ships Over 75% of Discrete GPUs in Q2-2015

Mercury Research published its market analysis for PC Graphics, for the second quarter of 2015 (April-June), this is an important quarter as this is when people tend to buy or upgrade their PCs for the summer break. According to the numbers posted by Mercury Research, NVIDIA hit a new record in discrete GPU market share. In the assessment period, 76.4 percent of desktop discrete GPUs were NVIDIA, up from 63.8 percent in Q2-2014. AMD, the only other desktop discrete GPU maker, saw its share drop to 23.6 percent.

The mobile discrete GPU figures were slightly better for AMD, with the company making up 34.6 percent, slightly up from 33.2 percent in Q2-2014. NVIDIA slipped proportionately down to 65.4 percent, from 66.8 percent in Q2-2014. When being a "discrete" GPU is no longer a criteria, and Intel is added to the mix, i.e. every CPU with graphics Intel sold, and every APU AMD sold (including the ones it sold to Microsoft and Sony), NVIDIA makes up 15.7 percent, AMD 14 percent, and Intel a whopping 70.1 percent. The big-picture isn't looking good. PC graphics shipments declined by 8 percent over the quarter, and down 21 percent from the same time last year. This is the worst on-year decline since the 2008 Financial Crisis.

Colorful to Become World's Second Biggest Graphics Card Vendor in 2015: Report

PRC-based Colorful, which started out as (and continues to be) a vendor of wacky, over-the-top GeForce GTX graphics cards, has surpassed industry stalwarts MSI, ASUS and Gigabyte, in terms of graphics cards shipped worldwide this year, according to industry numbers published by DigiTimes. The report notes that Colorful could become the second largest graphics card maker in terms of shipments by the end of the year, next only to Palit (the current leader in terms of shipments).

Colorful has been clocking an average of 500,000 graphics cards shipped per month, and is projected to have shipped over 5 million cards in 2015. The company has currently outsold ASUS, MSI, Gigabyte, and ZOTAC, all of which are multinationals. Colorful has developed a strong brand-image in the Greater China region, particularly in the mainland. With a brand portfolio that includes Galaxy, Gainward, Point of View, and its own namesake, Palit is the biggest graphics card manufacturer by volume. Colorful's motherboard business is accelerating at a similar rate, and the report notes that the company could become "a very big threat" to ASUS and Gigabyte.

Matrox Unveils Quad and Six-Head PCI Express Graphics Cards

Matrox Graphics Inc. today announced the first two cards in the eagerly anticipated Matrox C-Series - the Matrox C420 quad-output and the Matrox C680 six-output PCI Express graphics cards - engineered for stability, reliability and advanced multi-display capabilities. Both cards feature 2 GB of on-board memory and mini DisplayPort connectivity. They deliver outstanding performance for control room, digital signage, enterprise, industrial, security, A/V, and embedded system applications.

The low-profile Matrox C420 quad card features passive cooling for increased reliability and silent operation. Its low power consumption makes it a perfect fit for small-form-factor and embedded systems. The single-slot Matrox C680 supports up to six displays or projectors. Compatibility with the latest Ultra-HD and 4K panels makes C680 a versatile solution for multi-screen workstation setups. More displays can be supported by inserting two C680 cards into a system. The board-to-board framelock feature ensures synchronization of all displays to reduce tearing on digital signage and video walls.

Graphics Add-In Board Market Down in Q2, NVIDIA Holds Market Share Lead

Jon Peddie Research (JPR), the industry's research and consulting firm for graphics and multimedia, announced estimated graphics add-in-board (AIB) shipments and suppliers' market share for 2014 2Q.

The quarter in general
JPR found that AIB shipments during Q2 2014 behaved according to past years with regard to seasonality, but the decrease was more than the 10-year average. The news was disappointing, quarter-to-quarter, the market dropped 17.5 % (compared to the desktop PC market, which increased 1.3%).
  • Total AIB shipments decreased this quarter to 11.5 million units from last quarter.
  • AMD's quarter-to-quarter total desktop AIB unit shipments decreased 10.7%.
  • Nvidia's quarter-to-quarter unit shipments decreased 21%.
  • Nvidia continues to hold a dominant market share position at 62%.
  • Figures for the other suppliers were flat to declining.

JPR Reports AMD Jumps 11% in GPU Shipments in Q2, Intel up 4%, NVIDIA Slips

Jon Peddie Research (JPR), the industry's research and consulting firm for graphics and multimedia, announced estimated graphics chip shipments and suppliers' market share for 2014 2Q.

Graphics chips are without doubt one of the most powerful, exciting, and essential components in tech today: not only does every computer require one (or more), but the technology is entering into major new markets like supercomputers, remote workstations, and simulators almost on a daily basis. New technologies and compute programs are taking advantage of the ability of GPU power to scale. On top of that, PC gaming momentum continues to build. It would be no exaggeration to say that GPUs are becoming the 800-pound gorilla in the room.
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