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HP Unleashes OMEN 16/17 Gaming Laptops and Customizable OMEN 25i Gaming Monitor

HP introduced its latest gaming hardware and software designed for today's gamers with the powerful OMEN 16 and OMEN 17, bright and customizable OMEN 25i Gaming Monitor, and community gaming with OMEN OASIS Beta feature in OMEN Gaming Hub. The company also debuted Victus by HP, its next-generation mainstream-level gaming PC portfolio, with a 16-inch laptop.

Gaming continues to be an outlet for entertainment and connecting with friends. Two out of three people are spending more time watching videos and gaming than they did prior to the pandemic, with one in four gaming three to four hours more and almost one in five gaming six to ten hours more a week6. HP's next-generation gaming portfolio is designed for both veteran gamers and enthusiast explorers to be entertained, connected, and empowered to progress in their favorite games.

UK Competition Regulator Probes AMD's Buyout of Xilinx

British competition regulator Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on Monday, launched an enquiry into the ramifications of AMD's buy-out of FPGA maker Xilinx. The agency is soliciting opinions from the public on whether the $35 billion all-stock purchase will make goods and services less competitive for the UK. Unlike NVIDIA's Arm buyout the Xilinx acquisition is seeing no opposition from tech-giants. The Register notes that AMD could combine Xilinx's FPGAs with its x86 CPU and RDNA SIMD to create highly customizable HPC accelerators. AMD president Dr Lisa Su said "By combining our world-class engineering team and deep domain expertise, we will create an industry leader with the vision, talent and scale to define the future of high performance computing."

AMD Earnings Call: GPU Production is Ramping and Mobile GPUs are Set to Arrive Later This Quarter

The current supply of graphics cards has been very tight all over the world. Starting with the launch of the latest Radeon RX 6000 series of GPUs based on RDNA 2 architecture, AMD has found itself in big trouble when it comes to supply of the silicon, compared to the demand that exists for these new GPUs. We have discussed that many times in the past and saw that it represents a problem spanning everyone involved in getting the silicon chips to the hands of consumers. On Tuesday, April 27th, AMD held its Q1 2021 earnings call and webcast, where the company executives talked about the company's future, underlying problems, and ways of addressing them.

Among many topics covered in the call, AMD's President and CEO, Dr. Lisa Su, has talked about the GPU supply. According to Dr. Su, the company is ramping the production of its Radeon graphics cards, adding that the mobile Radeon GPU lineup is lurking. Here is a full quote from the earnings call.
Dr. Lisa Su—AMD Q1 2021 Earning CallAnd we're well-positioned for further growth as we have tripled our commercial notebook design wins with the largest OEMs this year. In graphics, revenue increased by a strong double-digit percentage year over year and sequentially, led by channel sales growth as revenue from our high-end Radeon 6000 GPUs more than doubled from the prior quarter. We introduced our Radeon 6700 XT desktop GPU with leadership 1440p gaming performance in March and are on track for the first notebooks featuring our leading-edge mobile RDNA 2 architecture to launch later this quarter. We expect Radeon 6000 Series GPU sales to grow significantly over the coming quarters as we ramp production.

AMD Radeon Pro W6900X With Navi 21 Appears in Apple Mac Pro

Recently, Apple has updated its macOS operating system to support the next generation of GPUs for Mac devices, coming from AMD. The upcoming RDNA 2 GPU lineup in Macs will bring all the enhancements AMD made to the architecture, and pack it inside Apple's signature designs. Today, we have received information that Apple could refresh its Mac Pro lineup with AMD's Radeon Pro GPU based on RDNA 2 architecture. On Geekbench 5, there was a test run that was conducted on Apple Mac Pro "7.1" revision, that features not only Intel Cascade Lake-X processor but AMD's unreleased Radeon Pro W6900X graphics card designed for professional users.

While we don't know much about the exact specifications, we know that it features a Navi 21 GPU SKU. Judging by the naming scheme, the Radeon Pro W6900X is representing an Apple-exclusive GPU variant designed only for Mac Pro devices. A Chiphell leak has given us a sneak peek at the alleged card look, which you can see below. When it comes to performance, the Geekbench result measures Metal API performance and the Radeon Pro W6900X has managed to score 171448 points, which is even higher than the Radeon RX 6900 XT GPU, which tops out at 164294 points. Of course, this is representing a professional SKU, so there could be some tuning present as well.

GPU Memory Latency Tested on AMD's RDNA 2 and NVIDIA's Ampere Architecture

Graphics cards have been developed over the years so that they feature multi-level cache hierarchies. These levels of cache have been engineered to fill in the gap between memory and compute, a growing problem that cripples the performance of GPUs in many applications. Different GPU vendors, like AMD and NVIDIA, have different sizes of register files, L1, and L2 caches, depending on the architecture. For example, the amount of L2 cache on NVIDIA's A100 GPU is 40 MB, which is seven times larger compared to the previous generation V100. That just shows how much new applications require bigger cache sizes, which is ever-increasing to satisfy the needs.

Today, we have an interesting report coming from Chips and Cheese. The website has decided to measure GPU memory latency of the latest generation of cards - AMD's RDNA 2 and NVIDIA's Ampere. By using simple pointer chasing tests in OpenCL, we get interesting results. RDNA 2 cache is fast and massive. Compared to Ampere, cache latency is much lower, while the VRAM latency is about the same. NVIDIA uses a two-level cache system consisting out of L1 and L2, which seems to be a rather slow solution. Data coming from Ampere's SM, which holds L1 cache, to the outside L2 is taking over 100 ns of latency.

AMD Radeon Pro Workstation Card with Navi 21 GPU Pictured

When AMD introduced RDNA 2 architecture and higher-end Navi 21 GPU SKUs, it was only a matter of time before the company launches these GPUs inside professional-grade graphics cards. Today, thanks to the Chiphell forums, we have pictures and some specifications of AMD's upcoming Radeon Pro workstation graphics card. Pictured below is a new RDNA 2 based design that features AMD's Navi 21 GLXL GPU SKU. The new GLXL GPU SKU is supposed to be rather similar to the Navi 21 XL GPU found inside AMD's Radeon RX 6800 XT graphics card, judging by the number and arrangement of capacitors on the back of the card.

When it comes to memory, the upcoming Radeon Pro workstation card is featuring 16 GB of VRAM, likely a variant of GDDR6 found on gaming-oriented graphics cards from RDNA 2 generation. When it comes to cooler design, the Radeon Pro graphics card has a blower-type cooler helping tame the Navi 21 GLXL GPU. Given that blower-type coolers are suitable for situations with less airflow, the TDP of this card could be around or under 250 Watts. You can take a look at the card below, however, do note that it is an engineering sample and the final product can look a bit different.

AMD Outs 32 MB Infinity Cache on Navi 23, No Cache on Upcoming Van Gogh APUs

AMD has revealed the Infinity Cache size for the upcoming Navi 23 GPU, as well as its absence in the next-generation Van Gogh APU, which features Zen 2 cores and an RDNA GPU. The reveal comes via a new patch done by AMD to the AMKFD, a Linux kernel HSA driver for AMD APUs. The patch file doesn't list Infinity Cache per se, but does clarify the last-level cache for AMD's GPUs - L3, which is essentially the same.

The patch reveals L3 size for Sienna Cichlid (Navi 21), Navy Flounder (Navi 22), and Dimgrey Cavefish (Navi 23). Navi 21 features 128*1024 (128 MB) of Infinity Cache, the just-released Navi 22 has 96 MB, as we know, and according to the file, Navi 23 is bound to feature 32 MB of it. Considering that Van Gogh lacks an infinity Cache, it would seem that it's making use of previous-gen Navi graphics, and won't leverage RDNA2, of which the Infinity Cache is a big part of. It remains to be seen if Van Gogh will materialize in an APU product lineup or if it's a specific part for a customer. It also remains to be seen which RX product will Navi 23 power - if an AMD RX 66000 series, or 6500 series.

AMD's Next-Generation Van Gogh APU Shows Up with Quad-Channel DDR5 Memory Support

AMD is slowly preparing to launch its next-generation client-oriented accelerated processing unit (APU), which is AMD's way of denoting a CPU+GPU combination. The future design is codenamed after Van Gogh, showing AMD's continuous use of historic names for their products. The APU is believed to be a design similar to the one found in the SoC of the latest PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S consoles. That means that there are Zen 2 cores present along with the latest RDNA 2 graphics, side by side in the same processor. Today, one of AMD's engineers posted a boot log of the quad-core Van Gogh APU engineering sample, showing some very interesting information.

The boot log contains information about the memory type used in the APU. In the logs, we see a part that says "[drm] RAM width 256bits DDR5", which means that the APU has an interface for the DDR5 memory and it is 256-bit wide, which represents a quad-channel memory configuration. Such a wide memory bus is typically used for applications that need lots of bandwidth. Given that Van Gogh uses RDNA 2 graphics, the company needs a sufficient memory bandwidth to keep the GPU from starving for data. While we don't have much more information about it, we can expect to hear greater details soon.

AMD is Preparing RDNA-Based Cryptomining GPU SKUs

Back in February, NVIDIA has announced its GPU SKUs dedicated to the cryptocurrency mining task, without any graphics outputs present on the chips. Today, we are getting information that AMD is rumored to introduce its own lineup of graphics cards dedicated to cryptocurrency mining. In the latest patch for AMD Direct Rendering Manager (DRM), a subsystem of the Linux kernel responsible for interfacing with GPUs, we see the appearance of the Navi 12. This GPU SKU was not used for anything except Apple's Mac devices in a form of Radeon Pro 5600M GPU. However, it seems like the Navi 12 could join forces with Navi 10 GPU SKU and become a part of special "blockchain" GPUs.

Way back in November, popular hardware leaker, KOMACHI, has noted that AMD is preparing three additional Radeon SKUs called Radeon RX 5700XTB, RX 5700B, and RX 5500XTB. The "B" added to the end of each name is denoting the blockchain revision, made specifically for crypto-mining. When it comes to specifications of the upcoming mining-specific AMD GPUs, we know that both use first-generation RDNA architecture and have 2560 Stream Processors (40 Compute Units). Memory configuration for these cards remains unknown, as AMD surely won't be putting HBM2 stacks for mining like it did with Navi 12 GPU. All that remains is to wait and see what AMD announces in the coming months.

AMD Confirms Radeon RX 6000 Series Laptop GPUs are "Coming Soon"

AMD has just announced its Navi 22 RDNA 2 devices, spanning the middle-end gaming sector. The Radeon RX 6700 XT, which is the latest addition to the 6000 series of Radeon graphics cards, is carrying the Navi 22 chip inside it. However, AMD GPUs need to satisfy another sector in addition to the desktop market and that is the laptop/mobile market. With the past 5000 series of laptop GPUs, AMD has made a bit of a disappointing launch. Given the availability of the first-generation RDNA GPUs in mobile devices, many gamers were unable to find 5000 series Radeon GPUs in laptops, as it was rarely a choice. MSI and Dell have carried a few models with the Radeon RX 5500M and RX 5600M, and the highest-end Radeon RX 5700M availability was limited to Dell Alienware Area-51m R2 laptop.

During the announcement of Radeon RX 6700 XT, Scott Herkleman (CVP & GM AMD Radeon) has announced that AMD is preparing the launch of the next-generation RDNA 2 based RX 6000 series of graphics cards for mobile/laptop devices. While there should be a range of models based on Navi 22, Navi 23, and Navi 24, the availability is unknown for now. The only information we have so far is that it is "coming soon". The exact configurations of these chips remain a mystery until the launch happens, so we have to wait to find out more.

Sony Playstation 5 SoC Die Has Been Pictured

When AMD and Sony collaborated on making the next generation console chip, AMD has internally codenamed it Flute, while Sony codenamed it Oberon or Ariel. This PlayStation 5 SoC die has today been pictured thanks to the Fritzchens Fritz and we get to see a closer look at the die internals. Featuring eight of AMD's Zen2 cores that can reach frequencies of up to 3.5 GHz, the CPU is paired with 36 CU GPU based on the RDNA 2 technology. The GPU is capable of running at speed of up to 2.23 GHz. The SoC has been made to accommodate all of that hardware, and bring IO to connect it all.

When tearing down the console, the heatsink and the SoC are connected by liquid metal, which is used to achieve the best possible heat transfer between two surfaces. Surrounding the die there is a small amount of material used to prevent liquid metal (a conductive material) from possibly spilling and shorting some components. Using a special short wave infrared light (SWIR) microscope, we can take a look at what is happening under the hood without destroying the chip. And really, there are a few distinct areas that are highlighted by the Twitter user @Locuza. As you can see, the die has special sectors with the CPU complex and a GPU matrix with plenty of workgroups and additional components for raytracing.

AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT Confirmed to Feature 12 GB GDDR6 Memory

AMD is slowly preparing to launch its next-generation of mid-range graphics cards based on the RDNA 2 architecture. Following the launch of Navi 21 GPU SKUs, next in line comes the slower Navi 22 variant with fewer compute units (CU). Envisioned to compete against NVIDIA's GA104 and GA106 GPU SKUs, the Navi 22 based GPU is targeting 1440p gamers mainly. Today, thanks to Andreas Schilling from the German website HardwareLuxx, we got a few pieces of information regarding AMD's upcoming Radeon RX 6700 XT graphics card. The source is claiming that we are getting this card sometime in the first half of this year, with the possibility to get it in Q1.

The AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT graphics card is designed for 1440p gaming as mentioned, and its VRAM configuration is interesting. It features 12 GB of GDDR6 memory, which is more than enough for the types of workloads this card is meant for. The memory communicates using 192-bit bus. The Navi 22 GPU is configured for 40 CUs in total, with 2560 cores maximum. The Radeon RX 6700 XT features the Navi 22 XT variant with the fully enabled die, while its smaller brother Radeon RX 6700 is featuring Navi 22 XL die that has possibly fewer CUs and smaller TDP. The pricing of the upcoming cards is unknown.

Samsung Exynos SoC with AMD RDNA GPU Destroys Competition, Apple 14 Bionic SoC Kneels

Some time ago, Samsung and AMD announced that they will be building a mobile processor that utilizes AMD RDNA architecture for graphics processing. Samsung is readying its Exynos 2100 SoC and today we get to see its performance results in the first leaked benchmark. The new SoC design has been put through a series of GPU-only benchmarks that stress just the AMD RDNA GPU. Firstly there is Manhattan 3 benchmark where the Exynos SoC scored 181.8 FPS. Secondly, the GPU has scored 138.25 FPS in Aztek Normal and 58 FPS in Aztek High. If we compare those results to the Apple A14 Bionic chip, which scored 146.4 FPS in Manhattan 3, 79.8 FPS in Aztek Normal, and 30.5 FPS in Aztek High, the Exynos design is faster anywhere from 25% to 100%. Of course, given that this is only a leak, all information should be taken with a grain of salt.

AMD is Allegedly Preparing Navi 31 GPU with Dual 80 CU Chiplet Design

AMD is about to enter the world of chiplets with its upcoming GPUs, just like it has been doing so with the Zen generation of processors. Having launched a Radeon RX 6000 series lineup based on Navi 21 and Navi 22, the company is seemingly not stopping there. To remain competitive, it needs to be in the constant process of innovation and development, which is reportedly true once again. According to the current rumors, AMD is working on an RDNA 3 GPU design based on chiplets. The chiplet design is supposed to feature two 80 Compute Unit (CU) dies, just like the ones found inside the Radeon RX 6900 XT graphics card.

Having two 80 CU dies would bring the total core number to exactly 10240 cores (two times 5120 cores on Navi 21 die). Combined with the RDNA 3 architecture, which brings better perf-per-watt compared to the last generation uArch, Navi 31 GPU is going to be a compute monster. It isn't exactly clear whatever we are supposed to get this graphics card, however, it may be coming at the end of this year or the beginning of the following year 2022.

AMD Releases Radeon Software Adrenalin 21.1.1

AMD late Thursday released the Radeon Software Adrenalin 21.1.1 beta graphics drivers. The drivers add optimization for "Hitman 3," with up to 10% performance uplift measured at 4K with an RX 6800 XT, compared to the previous 20.12.1 drivers. The new 21.1.1 drivers also add support for "Quake II RTX." A large number of issues were fixed. For starters, an issue with Radeon Software that caused recording/streaming overlay indicator to reset itself to its default position has been fixed, sometimes even after task switch, which have been fixed. The performance metrics overlay flickering on displays with HDR enabled has been fixed.

Reflections failing to appear in "GTA V" with reflections MSAA enabled, has been fixed. PUBG session timer continuing in Radeon Software even after exiting the application has been fixed. "DOOM Eternal" crashing with Steam Overlay enabled, has been fixed. Radeon Software recorded content appearing cropped or at an incorrect resolution on Radeon RX Vega series has been fixed. Samsung Odyssey G9 C49G95T noticing display corruption at 5K 240 Hz has been fixed. Anisotropic filtering forced through Radeon Software not taking effect in Direct3D 9 applications on RDNA graphics cards, has been fixed. Sceptre C series or Samsung Odyssey G9 displays experiencing intermittent black screens with Radeon RX 6000 series GPUs has been fixed, as were issues related to Oculus Link on "Polaris" and "Vega" GPUs. Grab the driver from the link below.

DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 21.1.1

AMD Talks Zen 4 and RDNA 3, Promises to Offer Extremely Competitive Products

AMD is always in development mode and just when they launch a new product, the company is always gearing up for the next-generation of devices. Just a few months ago, back in November, AMD has launched its Zen 3 core, and today we get to hear about the next steps that the company is taking to stay competitive and grow its product portfolio. In the AnandTech interview with Dr. Lisa Su, and The Street interview with Rick Bergman, the EVP of AMD's Computing and Graphics Business Group, we have gathered information about AMD's plans for Zen 4 core development and RDNA 3 performance target.

Starting with Zen 4, AMD plans to migrate to the AM5 platform, bringing the new DDR5 and USB 4.0 protocols. The current aim of Zen 4 is to be extremely competitive among competing products and to bring many IPC improvements. Just like Zen 3 used many small advances in cache structures, branch prediction, and pipelines, Zen 4 is aiming to achieve a similar thing with its debut. The state of x86 architecture offers little room for improvement, however, when the advancement is done in many places it adds up quite well, as we could see with 19% IPC improvement of Zen 3 over the previous generation Zen 2 core. As the new core will use TSMC's advanced 5 nm process, there is a possibility to have even more cores found inside CCX/CCD complexes. We are expecting to see Zen 4 sometime close to the end of 2021.

Samsung x AMD: South Korean Giant Announces RDNA Integration in Next-Gen Exynos

Samsung today at its Exynos 2100 launch event announced that its labor with AMD to integrate the company's RDNA graphics architecture onto Exynos chips has born fruit. It's unclear today on which set of technology this integration is bound to - whether RDNA, RDNA 2, or a combination of both - and actual products will only hit shelves by the end of 2021 and beginning of 2022.

Samsung has announced that the design-in for AMD's RDNA platform into the company's flagship Exynos products for the 2021-2022 timeframe have been successful, and that the first iteration of the design will see the light of day on the upcoming Exynos 2100. The collaboration has reportedly resulted in very good performance values obtained from their IP merger in May 2020. It seems we have a few months to look towards to before we see a Galaxy phone with an RDNA-powered engraving, though.

AMD Patents Chiplet Architecture for Radeon GPUs

On December 31st, AMD's Radeon group has filed a patent for a chiplet architecture of the GPU, showing its vision about the future of Radeon GPUs. Currently, all of the GPUs available on the market utilize the monolithic approach, meaning that the graphics processing units are located on a single die. However, the current approach has its limitations. As the dies get bigger for high-performance GPU configurations, they are more expensive to manufacture and can not scale that well. Especially with modern semiconductor nodes, the costs of dies are rising. For example, it would be more economically viable to have two dies that are 100 mm² in size each than to have one at 200 mm². AMD realized that as well and has thus worked on a chiplet approach to the design.

AMD reports that the use of multiple GPU configuration is inefficient due to limited software support, so that is the reason why GPUs were kept monolithic for years. However, it seems like the company has found a way to go past the limitations and implement a sufficient solution. AMD believes that by using its new high bandwidth passive crosslinks, it can achieve ideal chiplet-to-chiplet communication, where each GPU in the chiplet array would be coupled to the first GPU in the array. All the communication would go through an active interposer which would contain many layers of wires that are high bandwidth passive crosslinks. The company envisions that the first GPU in the array would communicably be coupled to the CPU, meaning that it will have to use the CPU possibly as a communication bridge for the GPU arrays. Such a thing would have big latency hit so it is questionable what it means really.

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Graphics Card OpenCL Score Leaks

AMD has launched its RDNA 2 based graphics cards, codenamed Navi 21. These GPUs are set to compete with NVIDIA's Ampere offerings, with the lineup covering the Radeon RX 6800, RX 6800 XT, and RX 6900 XT graphics cards. Until now, we have had reviews of the former two, but not the Radeon RX 6900 XT. That is because the card is coming at a later date, specifically on December 8th, in just a few days. As a reminder, the Radeon RX 6900 XT GPU is a Navi 21 XTX model with 80 Compute Units that give a total of 5120 Stream Processors. The graphics card uses a 256-bit bus that connects the GPU with 128 MB of its Infinity Cache to 16 GB of GDDR6 memory. When it comes to frequencies, it has a base clock of 1825 MHz, with a boost speed of 2250 MHz.

Today, in a GeekBench 5 submission, we get to see the first benchmarks of AMD's top-end Radeon RX 6900 XT graphics card. Running an OpenCL test suite, the card was paired with AMD's Ryzen 9 5950X 16C/32T CPU. The card managed to pass the OpenCL test benchmarks with a score of 169779 points. That makes the card 12% faster than RX 6800 XT GPU, but still slower than the competing NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 GPU, which scores 177724 points. However, we need to wait for a few more benchmarks to appear to jump to any conclusions, including the TechPowerUp review, which is expected to arrive once NDA lifts. Below, you can compare the score to other GPUs in the GeekBench 5 OpenCL database.

AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su to Present at CES 2021 Virtual Keynote

AMD has just had quite an amazing year. From the launch of the Ryzen 5000 series CPUs based on Zen 3 architecture to RDNA 2 based graphics cards, the company has been delivering new solutions in a timely manner. With the upcoming tech conference being CES, we are wondering which companies are going to hold their keynotes virtually. Thanks to the official CES website, we have confirmation that AMD's CEO Dr. Lisa Su will hold a virtual keynote with the goal of "presenting the AMD vision for the future of research, education, work, entertainment, and gaming, including a portfolio of high-performance computing and graphics solutions." That could mean that we could possibly see some new directions for the company and how AMD plans to develop next-generation computing solutions, so stay tuned for more interesting information coming your way on January 11th, when CES kicks-off.

AWS Implements High-Performance EPYC and Radeon Pro Processors for Graphics Optimized Workloads

AMD announced Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS) has expanded its AMD-based offerings with a new cloud instance for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2): Amazon EC2 G4ad instances for graphics-optimized workloads. With this new instance, AMD now powers eight Amazon EC2 instance families across 20 global AWS Regions. AMD also announced that Amazon GameLift, a fully managed dedicated game server hosting solution, is now providing its video game hosting customers access to AMD EPYC processor-based Amazon EC2 C5a, M5a and R5a instances.

"Today we build on the strong collaboration between AMD and AWS, which started in 2017. This expansion of our cooperation is a proof point of the continued performance and capabilities that AMD provides its customers," said Forrest Norrod, senior vice president and general manager, Data Center and Embedded Solutions Group, AMD. "Amazon EC2 G4ad instances are the first powered by both AMD EPYC CPUs and Radeon Pro GPUs, and adding to the existing EPYC processor-based instances, they exemplify the ways in which AMD CPUs and GPUs provide fantastic performance and price/performance for AWS customers."

"The high-performance capabilities of the AMD EPYC CPUs and Radeon Pro GPUs are enabling AWS to create a new graphics-focused instance that help us keep our leadership price/performance offerings that our customers expect," said David Brown, Vice President, Amazon EC2, Amazon Web Services, Inc. "We're delighted to continue this great collaboration with AMD, enabling the Amazon EC2 G4ad instances to provide the industry's best price performance for graphics-intensive applications."

AMD Radeon RX 6800 and RX 6800 XT GPU OpenCL Performance Leaks

AMD has just recently announced its next-generation Radeon RX 6000 series GPU based on the new RDNA 2 architecture. The architecture is set to compete with NVIDIA Ampere architecture and highest offerings of the competing company. Today, thanks to the well-known leaker TUM_APISAK, we have some Geekbench OpenCL scores. It appears that some user has gotten access to the system with the Radeon RX 6800 and RX 6800 XT GPUs, running Cinebench 4.4 OpenCL tests. In the tests, the system ran on the Intel platform with Core i9-10900K CPU with 16 GB DDR4 RAM running at 3600 MHz. The motherboard used was ASUS top-end ROG Maximus XII Extreme Z490 board.

When it comes to results, the system with RX 6800 GPU scored anywhere from 347137 points to 336367 points in three test runs. For comparison, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 scores about 361042 points, showcasing that the Radeon card is not faster in any of the runs. When it comes to the higher-end Radeon RX 6800 XT GPU, it scored 407387 and 413121 points in two test runs. Comparing that to GeForce RTX 3080 GPU that scores 470743 points, the card is slower compared to the competition. There has been a Ryzen 9 5950X test setup that boosted the performance of Radeon RX 6800 XT card by quite a lot, making it reach 456837 points, making a huge leap over the Intel-based system thanks to the Smart Access Memory (SAM) technology that all-AMD system provides.

AMD in Talks with Partners About Custom Radeon RX 6900 XT Designs

Just a few days ago AMD has announced its Radeon RX 6000 series of graphics cards based on the new RDNA 2 architecture. While AMD has given out the "Big Navi" chips to its partners to design custom boards and give users designs with better cooling and possibly higher overclocking capabilities, that doesn't seem to extend to the highest-end parts. So far, we have seen custom designs from companies like ASUS, MSI, etc., and all of them have one thing in common - they only do designs for Radeon RX 6800 or RX 6800 XT. So one would wonder where are the highest-end custom Radeon RX 6900 XT designs.

The first wave of the "custom" cards will be on November 18th, when manufacturers will release designs that are MBA (Made-by-AMD), meaning that the PCB is a reference design, just with a custom cooler installed. When it comes to the custom RX 6900 XT cards, AMD is now in talks with its partners whether to keep the biggest "Big Navi" design available for custom designs, or to keep it as AMD exclusive, with the most likely scenario being the AMD exclusivity. AMD partners could carry the models in their stores and offerings, however, the PCB and cooler design would be AMD's. The situation is yet unresolved so we have to wait and see what comes out of it and if we are getting any custom designs of the Radeon RX 6900 XT model.

Microsoft: Only Consoles Supporting Full RDNA 2 Capabilities Are Xbox Series X and Series S, Excludes PlayStation 5

Microsoft has today published another article on its Xbox Wire blog, dedicated to all the news regarding the Xbox consoles and its ecosystem. In the light of yesterday's launch of AMD Radeon RDNA 2 graphics cards, Microsoft has congratulated its partner and provider of processors SoCs for their next-generation consoles. Besides the celebrations and congratulations, Microsoft has proceeded to show off what the Xbox Series X and Series S consoles are capable of, and how they integrate the RDNA 2 architecture. The company notes that there are hardware accelerated DirectX Raytracing, Mesh Shaders, Sampler Feedback, and Variable Rate Shading units built-in, so game developers can take advantage of it.

Another interesting point Microsoft made was that "Xbox Series X|S are the only next-generation consoles with full hardware support for all the RDNA 2 capabilities AMD showcased today." What this translates into is that Microsoft is the only console maker that uses the full RDNA 2 potential. This could leave Sony out in the dark with its PlayStation 5 console, meaning that it does not support all the features of AMD's new GPU architecture. There are not any specific points, however, we have to wait and see what Sony has left out, if anything.

Samsung Aims to Become Number One Android AP Vendor by Joining Forces with AMD and Arm

Samsung Electronics has reportedly laid out a plan to become the number one Android application processor (AP) vendor in the industry with its plan to join forces with AMD and Arm. The report of Business Korea indicates that Samsung wants to use both company's knowledge and IP to produce the best possible silicon. In early November of last year, Samsung has decided to shut down its division responsible for making custom CPU designs, and to start licensing IP from Arm. Also last year, Samsung has announced a strategic partnership with AMD to use its RDNA graphics processors in smartphones.

So Samsung plans to license IPs from both companies and just put them in SoC that will be up to the task to deliver the best performance, as the company predicts. The CPU is reportedly going to be based on Arm's Cortex-X custom design that should deliver high-performance Samsung wants. In the past, the company had some problems with the heat-management of its CPUs as they were designed a bit inefficiently. To cover everything, Samsung also plans to increase the number of employees working on a neural processing unit (NPU) and make a good performing NPUs as well, to combine with the rest of IPs.
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