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AMD Readies Radeon RX 640, an RX 550X Re-brand

One of our readers discovered an interesting entry in the INF file of AMD's Adrenalin 19.4.3 graphics drivers. It includes two instances of "Radeon RX 640," and has the same device ID as the Radeon RX 550X from the current generation. The branding flies in the face of reports suggesting that with its next-generation "Navi" GPUs, AMD could refresh its client-segment nomenclature to follow the "Radeon RX 3000" series, but it's possible that the RX 600 series was carved out to re-brand the existing "Polaris" based low-end chips one step-down (i.e. RX 550X re-branding as RX 640, RX 560 possibly as RX 650, etc.).

The move to create the RX 600 series could also be driven by AMD's need to contain all "Navi" based SKUs in the RX 3000 series, and re-branded "Polaris" based ones in the RX 600, so that, at least initially, consumers aren't led to believe they're buying a re-branded "Polaris" SKU opting for an RX 3000-series graphics card. It's also possible that AMD may not create low-end chips based on "Navi" initially, and focus on the performance-segment with the highest sale volumes among serious gamers, the $200-400 price-range. Based on the 14 nm "Lexa" silicon, the RX 550X is equipped with 640 stream processors, 32 TMUs, 16 ROPs, and 2 GB of GDDR5 memory across a 128-bit wide memory bus. Given the performance gains expected from Intel's Gen11 "Ice Lake" iGPU and AMD's own refreshed "Picasso" APU, the RX 640 could at best be a cheap iGPU replacement for systems that lack it.
Image Credit: Just Some Noise (TechPowerUp Forums)

AMD Brings Back the "XT" Moniker with China-specific Radeon RX 560 XT

Back in the glory days of ATI Radeon, the XT brand extension denoted the better-endowed variant among two or more graphics card models based on the same silicon, such as the Radeon HD 2900 XT. After AMD's takeover, the XT, Pro, XL, and other lesser used extensions such as XTX and All-in-Wonder were retired in favor of numerical variant numbers, beginning with the HD 3870. The company continued to use "XT" and "Pro" internally to differentiate ASIC variants, although those monikers were seldom if not never used in marketing materials. That's about to change. AMD launched its first overtly XT brand-extended product in close to 15 years, with the China-specific Radeon RX 560 XT, but alas, it's a lousy re-brand.

The RX 560 XT is positioned between the RX 560 4 GB and RX 570 4 GB, and is based on the "Polaris 20" or "Polaris 30" silicon (we don't know which). AMD enabled 28 out of 36 NGCUs on this silicon, resulting in 1,792 stream processors, 112 TMUs, and 32 ROPs. The memory is 4 GB across a 256-bit wide memory interface, although the memory clock-speed is dialed down to 6.6 Gbps (211.2 GB/s). What makes the RX 560 XT a re-brand is that AMD launched an SKU with the same exact specifications, called Radeon Pro 570, and there are several odd-ball RX 570-branded cards in the wild with this core-config. There's no reference-design board of the RX 560 XT, and the SKU is entirely in the hands of board partners to come up with custom-designs of their own.

Update: AMD has informed us that the RX 560 XT is based on the 14 nm "Polaris 10" silicon, and not "Polaris 20" or "Polaris 30." Polaris 10 is the first implementation of the "Polaris" architecture.

GIGABYTE Rolls Out its Radeon RX 590 Gaming Graphics Card

That took a little while, but GIGABYTE has finally updated their lineup with an AMD RX 590 graphics card. Based on the 12 nm-revised Polaris 30 silicon with higher clocks than those that could be achieved by its 14 nm predecessors (already the RX 480 and RX 580 graphics cards), the GIGABYTE RX 590 Gaming rbings the already well-known 2304 Stream processors, and gets them to tick at 1560 MHz (against AMD's 1545 MHz reference). It's a usual GIGABYTE graphics card by all standards, with a dual-fan WindForce 2X cooling solution with fan-stop functionality.

It seems GIGABYTE finally went through some of that unsold RX inventory, and is now looking to keep the channel supplied until the next best thing from the red team makes its appearance (hopefully sooner rather than later.)

AMD "Navi" GPU Code Surfaces in Latest Apple MacOS Mojave Beta

System software code used for detecting and installing AMD's upcoming Radeon "Navi" family of graphics processors surfaced in the latest Apple MacOS "Mojave" beta. Version 14.2 beta of the operating system packs preparation for AMD's next-generation GPUs through a device identifier "0x73101002." A similar piece of code surfaced on early versions of MacOS "Sierra" some 6 months prior to Radeon "Vega" family launch, which perfectly aligns with this release of Mojave preceding the speculated mid-2019 launch of "Navi."

The code makes four references, Navi 16, Navi 12, Navi 10, and Navi 9. We're not quite sure if these are brand names or ASIC codes pointing to the number of next-generation compute units enabled on the silicon. If they are the latter, and assuming AMD hasn't changed the number of stream processors per NGCU, we're looking at the possibility of these chips being mid-range performance successors to the "Polaris" family, and it's likely they'll find place in Apple's upcoming generation of iMac, and possibly even MacBooks.
Many Thanks to theoneandonlymrk for the tip.

Intel Readies Crimson Canyon NUC with 10nm Core i3 and AMD Radeon

Intel is giving final touches to a "Crimson Canyon" fully-assembled NUC desktop model which combines the company's first 10 nm Core processor, and AMD Radeon discrete graphics. The NUC8i3CYSM desktop from Intel packs a Core i3-8121U "Cannon Lake" SoC, 8 GB of dual-channel LPDDR4 memory, and discrete AMD Radeon RX 540 mobile GPU with 2 GB of dedicated GDDR5 memory. A 1 TB 2.5-inch hard drive comes included, although you also get an M.2-2280 slot with both PCIe 3.0 x4 (NVMe) and SATA 6 Gbps wiring. The i3-8121U packs a 2-core/4-thread CPU clocked up to 3.20 GHz and 4 MB of L3 cache; while the RX 540 packs 512 stream processors based on the "Polaris" architecture.

The NUC8i3CYSM offers plenty of modern connectivity, including 802.11ac + Bluetooth 5.0 powered by an Intel Wireless-AC 9560 WLAN card, wired 1 GbE from an Intel i219-V controller, consumer IR receiver, an included beam-forming microphone, an SDXC card reader, and stereo HD audio. USB connectivity includes four USB 3.1 type-A ports including a high-current port. Display outputs are care of two HDMI 2.0b, each with 7.1-channel digital audio passthrough. The company didn't reveal pricing, although you can already read a performance review of this NUC from the source link below.

AMD CTO Mark Papermaster Confirms 7 nm Lineup Refresh for 2019

AMD's CTO Mark Papermaster, in an interview with TheStreet, confirmed AMD's plans with 7 nm for their graphics offerings are just beginning with Radeon VII. When inquired on AMD's plans for their graphics division, Papermaster said that "What we do over the course of the year is what we do every year. We'll round out the whole roadmap." he then added that "We're really excited to start on the high-end... you'll see the announcements over the course of the year as we round out our Radeon roadmap."

So these comments form papermaster seemingly confirm two things: first, that AMD plans to "round out" its lineup using the 7 nm process technology, which means increasing offerings at different price points. The use of the word "refresh" almost takes the breath away, since refreshes are usually based on the same previous architectures. However, AMD does have plans for a new mid-range chip to finally succeed Polaris in Navi, which should become the next AMD launch in the 7 nm process for graphics technologies.

AMD Radeon RX 570 and China-specific RX 580 2048SP Based on Exact Same Chip

It's no news that AMD's Radeon RX 570 graphics card is carved out of the same "Polaris 20" silicon as the RX 580, by disabling 4 out of 36 GCN compute units. AMD kicked a controversy recently, when it launched a China-specific Radeon RX 580-branded SKU with the core-configuration of the cheaper RX 570, confusing Chinese consumers. It turns out that this RX 580 2,048 SP SKU is based on the same exact ASIC variant of the "Polaris 20" silicon as the RX 570, with the only difference being device ID.

We watch a lot of GamersNexus content. Our GPU Database curator noticed something interesting in their recent teardown of a Dataland Radeon RX 580 (2,048 SP) graphics card directly imported from China. The unique ASIC sub-variant code etched on the GPU's aluminium reinforcement brace matches that of the RX 570. AMD internally refers to the RX 570 as "Polaris 20 XL," and its ASIC code etched is supposed to be "215-0910052." For the RX 580, the real one, aka "Polaris 20 XTX," the code etched is "215-0910038." Thanks to GamersNexus' high-resolution filming, our curator was able to spot the ASIC code for "Polaris 20 XL" on the Dataland card's GPU. This confirms that AMD merely took an RX 570 and gave it a different device ID to create the RX 580 2,048 SP, leaving consumers to wade through the confusion.

AMD Radeon RX 590 Built on 12nm FinFET Process, Benchmarked in Final Fantasy XV

Thanks to some photographs by Andreas Schilling, of HardwareLuxx, it is now confirmed that AMD's Radeon RX 590 will make use of the 12 nm FinFET process. The change from 14 nm to 12 nm FinFET for the RX 590 brings with it the possibility of both higher clock speeds and better power efficiency. That said, considering it is based on the same Polaris architecture used in the Radeon RX 580 and 570, it remains to be seen how it will impact AMDs pricing in regards to the product stack. Will there be a price drop to compensate, or will the RX 590 be more expensive? Since AMD has already made things confusing enough with its cut down 2048SP version of RX 580 in China, anything goes at this point.

AMD Launches a 2048SP Version of the RX 580 in China: An RX 570 in Disguise?

In a silent event that occurred earlier today, AMD's Chinese product page for the Radeon RX 580 graphics card now shows a new addition- the RX 580 2048SP. Contrary to every other RX 580 on the website, including OEM and system integrator solutions, this new SKU has 256 fewer stream processors (2304 vs 2048, respectively). As it turns out, this appears to be a China-only graphics solution that launched on October 15, 2018 and TechPowerUp can confirm this is a Polaris 20-based Radeon product as well.

Looking purely at the specifications, this appears to be an RX 570 with a higher boost frequency (up to 1284 MHz vs 1244 MHz), so this is a confusing strategy by AMD to call it an RX 580 instead. The tinfoil hat nearby suggests that this may well be taking advantage of consumers who go simply by the name scheme and do not look up what a stream processor is, and indeed this is similar to what AMD did last year with the downgraded Radeon RX 560 that started out to be a Chinese-region product and then found its way elsewhere as well. Retailers have started listing this as a product available for consumer purchase already, and a search for RX 580 brings up both these and the other versions together. Not cool, AMD, not cool.

AMD "Navi" GPU Architecture Successor Codenamed "Arcturus"?

Arcturus is the fourth brightest star in the night sky, and could be the a new GPU architecture by AMD succeeding "Navi," according to a Phoronix report. The codename of Navi-successor has long eluded AMD's roadmap slides. The name "Arcturis" surfaced on Phoronix community forums, from a post by an AMD Linux liaison who is a member there. The codename is also supported by the fact that AMD is naming its GPU architectures after the brightest stars in the sky (albeit in a descending order of their brightness). Polaris is the brightest, followed by Vega, Navi, and Arcturus.

AMD last referenced the Navi-successor on a roadmap slide during its 2017 Financial Analyst Day presentation by Mark Papermaster. That slide mentioned "Vega" to be built on two silicon fabrication processes, 14 nm and "14 nm+." We know now that AMD intends to build a better-endowed "Vega" chip on 7 nm, which could be the world's first 7 nm GPU. "Navi" is slated to be built on 7 nm as the process becomes more prevalent in the industry. The same slide mentions Navi-successor as being built on "7 nm+," which going by convention, could refer to an even more advanced process than 7 nm. Unfortunately, even in 2017, when the industry was a touch more optimistic about 7 nm, AMD expected the Navi-successor to only come out by 2020. We're not holding our breath.

Clues Gather Regarding Possible New AMD Polaris (Re)Revision Launch

Clues have been popping here and there regarding a possible new Polaris revision being launched by AMD in the (relatively) near future. Speculation first reared its head regarding a revised "Polaris 30" silicon, allegedly being built for TSMC's 12 nm process - not unlike AMD's 2000-series Ryzen CPUs. The company has been enamored with trying out and adapting new foundry processes for its products as soon as possible, now that they've found themselves fabless and not having to directly support the R&D costs necessary for process node development themselves.

Some publications are pointing towards a 15% performance improvement being achieved on the back of this process change for Polaris - which, if achieved only via a new process implementation, would require clock speed increases that are higher than that. AMD has already launched their revised Polaris 20 RX 500 series, which built upon their RX 400 series (and Polaris 10) by upping the clocks as well. A smaller node would likely be associated with higher yields and decreased costs per finished chip, which would allow AMD to further reduce pricing/stabilize pricing while introducing a new product generation to tide users over until Navi is finally ready.

NVIDIA Does a TrueAudio: RT Cores Also Compute Sound Ray-tracing

Positional audio, like Socialism, follows a cycle of glamorization and investment every few years. Back in 2011-12 when AMD maintained a relatively stronger position in the discrete GPU market, and held GPGPU superiority, it gave a lot of money to GenAudio and Tensilica to co-develop the TrueAudio technology, a GPU-accelerated positional audio DSP, which had a whopping four game title implementations, including and limited to "Thief," "Star Citizen," "Lichdom: Battlemage," and "Murdered: Soul Suspect." The TrueAudio Next DSP which debuted with "Polaris," introduced GPU-accelerated "audio ray-casting" technology, which assumes that audio waves interact differently with different surfaces, much like light; and hence positional audio could be made more realistic. There were a grand total of zero takers for TrueAudio Next. Riding on the presumed success of its RTX technology, NVIDIA wants to develop audio ray-tracing further.

A very curious sentence caught our eye in NVIDIA's micro-site for Turing. The description of RT cores reads that they are specialized components that "accelerate the computation of how light and sound travel in 3D environments at up to 10 Giga Rays per second." This is an ominous sign that NVIDIA is developing a full-blown positional audio programming model that's part of RTX, with an implementation through GameWorks. Such a technology, like TrueAudio Next, could improve positional audio realism by treating sound waves like light and tracing their paths from their origin (think speech from an NPC in a game), to the listener as the sound bounces off the various surfaces in the 3D scene. Real-time ray-tracing(-ish) has captured the entirety of imagination at NVIDIA marketing to the extent that it is allegedly willing to replace "GTX" with "RTX" in its GeForce GPU nomenclature. We don't mean to doomsay emerging technology, but 20 years of development in positional audio has shown that it's better left to game developers to create their own technology that sounds somewhat real; and that initiatives from makers of discrete sound cards (a device on the brink of extinction) and GPUs makers bore no fruit.

ASRock Offering Its Phantom Series Graphcis Cards in EMEA Region Starting July 1st

ASRock, which is the latest company to extend its product portfolio to graphics cards, has announced that they will be offering their AMD Phantom series of graphics cards in the EMEA region (Europe, Middle-East and Africa) starting July 1st. The roll-out should see the Polaris-based graphics cards being introduced first, since product codes for the Vega variants haven't been made known yet. With demand from miners relatively cooled with lower (and lowering still) cryptocurrency values, perhaps ASRock has decided that stock of their Phantom series is enough now to fulfill orders from these additional regions.

Sony Closely Associated with AMD "Navi" Development

AMD monetizes its GPU IP not just with discrete graphics cards and integrated graphics in its PC processors, but also by selling semi-custom SoCs for most modern game consoles, such as the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, with some of the newer 4K UHD-capable models such as the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X even leveraging newer graphics architectures by the company, such as "Polaris." 2020 could see the roll out of next-generation gaming consoles, which are more purpose-built for 4K UHD gaming, with visual fidelity matching gaming PCs, and so console manufacturers are looking for a lean and powerful new GPU IP. Sony seems to have made up its mind of sticking with AMD.

AMD will supply a semi-custom SoC to Sony for its next major console, "PlayStation 5." This chip will feature a graphics processor based on the "Navi" architecture, which succeeds "Vega." 2020 could also be the year when the 7 nm silicon fabrication process achieves some maturity and makes up most of the bulk ASIC production nodes. According to Tweaktown, Sony is closely working with AMD for the development of the "Navi" architecture itself, so versions of it are efficient enough to be deployed in console SoCs that are built to a cost. The design goal will be to enable 4K @ 60 Hz gaming, as 4K televisions will have proliferated a lot by 2020.

AMD "Vega" Outsells "Previous Generation" by Over 10 Times

At its Computex presser, leading up to its 7 nm Radeon Vega series unveil, AMD touched upon the massive proliferation of the Vega graphics architecture, which is found not only in discrete GPUs, but also APUs, and semi-custom SoCs of the latest generation 4K-capable game consoles. One such slide that created quite some flutter reads that "Vega" shipments are over 10 times greater than those of the "previous generation."

Normally you'd assume the previous-generation of "Vega" to be "Polaris," since we're talking about the architecture, and not an implementation of it (eg: "Vega 10" or "Raven Ridge," etc.). AMD later, at its post event round-table, clarified that it was referring to "Fiji," or the chip that went into building the Radeon R9 Fury X, R9 Nano, etc., and comparing its sales with that of products based on the "Vega 10" silicon. Growth in shipments of "Vega" based graphics cards is triggered by the crypto-mining industry, and for all intents and purposes, AMD considers the "Vega 10" silicon to be a commercial success.

AMD Releases Radeon Software Adrenalin 18.5.1 WHQL Drivers

AMD today released Radeon Software Adrenalin 18.5.1 WHQL drivers. These are the first WHQL-certified drivers from the company for Windows 10 April 2018 Update, complying with WDDM 2.4, and support not just AMD Radeon discrete GPUs, but also Ryzen "Raven Ridge" APUs with integrated Radeon Vega graphics. The drivers support Microsoft PlayReady 3.0 DRM on "Polaris" GPUs.

Besides these features, Radeon Software Adrenalin 18.5.1 WHQL comes with optimization for "Ancestors Legacy," with up to 6 percent higher frame-rates at 1080p, measured with an RX Vega 56, and up to 13 percent higher frame rates on an RX 580 (8 GB) at 1080p. The update fixes HBCC not resetting to default value when "Restore Factory Defaults" option is used in Radeon Settings. It also addresses ReLive streaming to Facebook intermittently failing; Netflix users experiencing display corruption on "Polaris" multi-GPU systems, abnormally high game load times in "Destiny 2," and fixes for screen tearing observed on FreeSync displays with performance metrics enabled.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 18.5.1 WHQL

The change-log follows.

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.

Intel Crimson Canyon NUC to Feature Cannon Lake-U CPU and Radeon 500 Graphics

Photographs of Intel's Crimson Canyon NUC have finally surfaced. WinFuture managed to get their hands on one that's powered by an Intel Core i3-8121U dual-core processor based on the Cannon Lake architecture. The NUCs come with 4 GB or 8 GB of memory, a 2.5-inch hard drive, built-in Wi-Fi 802.11ac, and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity. The Crimson Canyon NUC also features a discrete AMD Radeon graphics card. The "Radeon 500-series" reference in one of the screenshots along with the "2GB of GDDR5" on the packaging takes us to the conclusion that Intel is most likely integrating a Polaris-based graphics card into the Crimson Canyon NUC. It's highly unlikely that we will find the CPU and GPU on the same chip like the one in the Hades Canyon NUC. Instead, the GPU will probably be soldered directly to the motherboard itself. The Intel Core i3-8121U models (NUC8I3CYSM2 and NUC8I3CYSM3) start around 450 euros, which roughly translates to $550. There was no mention when they will be available though.

AMD Officially Releases Specs, Cards in the OEM-Branded RX 500X Series

AMD today has officially released specs and the listing of graphics cards that are being rebranded to the OEM-only RX 500X series. For all the rumors and speculation that abounded around a super-charged, maybe even Vega-sprinkled new Polaris architecture from AMD has seen their dreams of interesting times squelched unceremoniously.

What were before expected reports have now been rendered true: these are nothing more than an OEM-specific rebrand of AMD's RX 500 graphics cards. They're just direct rebadges - not a single MHz was increased across the entire portfolio, except for one lonely graphics card: the RX 550X has apparently seen a bump in clockspeeds, from the RX 550's "up to 1183 MHz" to the RX 550X's "up to 1287 MHz). Aside from that, folks, move along: there's nothing to see here.

Sapphire Intros Pulse Radeon RX 560 LITE Series Graphics Cards

Sapphire today rolled out its Pulse Radeon RX 560 LITE series graphics cards, which implement the 896 stream-processor variant of the "Polaris 21" silicon, as opposed to the better endowed 1,024 SP version the RX 560 SKU originally launched with. The card is available in 2 GB and 4 GB variants, and comes slightly factory-overclocked, with its GPU engine clock bumped to 1300 MHz, while the memory is clocked at 7.00 GHz (GDDR5-effective). The card itself features a slightly more beefed-up product design as opposed to the original Pulse RX 560.

While the original Pulse RX 560-series cards feature a simple copper core aluminium fan-heatsink cooler, in which a single chunk of aluminium with radially (well, spirally) projecting fins, ventilated by a single fan keeps the GPU cool; the new Pulse RX 560 LITE series features a slightly larger, rectangular aluminium heatsink, ventilated by two fans; with a separate heatsink over the VRM. The card draws power from a single 6-pin PCIe power connector. Expect the card to be priced around the $100-mark (MSRP, not marked up to kingdom come by retailers).

AMD Announces Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition

AMD today announced the brand title of its 2017-yearender driver release, Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition, which is named after the Adrenalin Rose. Scheduled to release some time in mid-December, under version number 17.12 WHQL, the drivers are expected to introduce performance enhancements across the board for GPUs based on the "Polaris" and "Vega" graphics architectures (Radeon RX 400 series, RX 500 series, and RX Vega series), while introducing new features.

AMD today posted a video presentation announcing the new drivers.

AMD Releases Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.11.2

AMD today released the Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.11.2 beta software. The drivers come with launch-day optimization for "Star Wars: Battlefront II." The drivers also fix a handful issues related to Radeon ReLive game video capture/streaming software, in which chroma artifacts would show up on the screen, and an issue which caused recording to fail when switching between borderless fullscreen and fullscreen modes. The drivers also address WattMan issues, in which undervolted values wouldn't correctly apply on some "Polaris" (RX 400 and RX 500 series) GPUs, and underclocked GPU memory values not reflecting in the user-interface. Grab the drivers from the link below.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.11.2

The change-log follows.

AMD Announces New Radeon Embedded GPUs

AMD today announced the AMD Embedded Radeon E9170 Series graphics processing unit (GPU). The new processor is the first "Polaris" architecture-based AMD Embedded discrete GPU available in multi-chip module (MCM) format with integrated memory for smaller, power-efficient custom designs, as well as PCI Express and MXM formats for standard form factor systems. The E9170 Series GPU is ideal for devices that require premium graphics and expanded display capabilities while meeting exacting power and thermal efficiency demands. AMD is extending its core graphics technology, delivering crystal clear resolution and a stunning and seamless 4K experience across multiple displays to a growing number of markets, including digital casino games, thin clients, medical displays, retail and digital signage, and industrial systems.

The AMD Embedded Radeon E9173 GPU, based on the "Polaris" architecture, leverages an optimized 14nm FinFET manufacturing process to provide up to 3X the performance-per-watt over previous generations of AMD Embedded GPUsi. By offering sub-40W TDP in a small package, AMD enables a broader range of products, adding a new level of scalability to the AMD Radeon Power-Efficient Embedded GPU portfolio. With support for up to five simultaneous 4K displaysii, the E9170 Series GPU virtually eliminates the need for additional processors and duplicate hardware to create an immersive multimedia environment. Additionally, the option to select from MCM, MXM and PCI Express modules increases design flexibility while minimizing complexity.

Steam Survey Update: It's All About Quad-cores, NVIDIA and Windows 10

An update to the Steam survey results is always worth noting, especially with the added, tremendous growth Valve's online store service has seen recently. And it seems that in the Steam gaming world at least, quad-core CPUs, NVIDIA graphics cards, and Windows 10 reign supreme.

Windows 10 64-bit is the most used operating system, with 50.33% of the survey. That the second most used Windows OS is the steady, hallmark Windows 7 shouldn't come as a surprise, though it does have just 32.05% of the market now. OS X has a measly 2.95% of the grand total, while Linux comes in at an even lower 0.72%. While AMD processor submits may have increased in other software, it seems that at least in Steam, those numbers aren't reflected, since AMD's processor market share in the survey has decreased from 21.89% in February to just 19.01% as of June, even though the company's Ryzen line of CPUs has been selling like hotcakes. Quad-core CPUs are the most used at time of the survey, at 52.06%, while the next highest percentage is still the dual-core CPU, with 42.23%.

AMD Readies Radeon Pro WX 9100: Vega for Professionals

After releasing the Vega Frontier Edition, AMD's take on a "prosumer" GPU which straddles the line between a professional and gaming graphics card, with somewhat mixed results, AMD is apparently now working on the fully professional version of the Vega silicon. Identified as the Radeon Pro WX 9100 (which is in line with AMD's current professional nomenclature), this professional graphics card will look to fully accelerate professional workloads, with a driver specifically crafted for such.

Recently rearing its head on CompuBench, the GPU features a low 1200 MHz clock speed, which is around 402 MHz lower than the Frontier Edition, and supposedly lower still than the Gaming RX Vega variant of the GPU. The Vega-based WX 9100 joins the Polaris-based WX 7100, WX 5100 and WX 4100 professional graphics cards, thus apparently topping out AMD's professional line-up for the year.
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