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AMD Radeon Vega Power Connectors Pictured

At its first reveal of the Radeon Vega graphics card on the sidelines of the 2017 International CES show, AMD was careful to conceal the power-connectors of its graphics card prototype (using tissue paper), even though teaser images of the card were splattered all over the web. From this week's reveal of a Radeon Vega graphics card running on an AMD Ryzen 7-1800X powered machine, the veil is off the power connector layout. Apparently, AMD's reference design Radeon Vega 10 graphics card is air-cooled, and it draws power from a combination of 8-pin and 6-pin PCIe power connectors.

NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1080 (reference) makes do with a single 8-pin connector, although most custom-design GTX 1080 cards feature 6-pin + 8-pin layouts. The GP102-powered TITAN X Pascal reference, too, draws power from 6+8 pin connectors. It's interesting to note here, that the power connectors feature a string of LEDs near their contact points on the PCB. The Radeon R9 Fury X, too has something like this, although the LEDs are used to alert users of faulty power input, or power draw. In the image below, we see that LEDs over only one connector are lit up. Could this indicate that AMD is making sure users are aware that the card isn't drawing power from both connectors all the time?

8Pack Announces the Rocket Compact LAN PC

Aesthetically unparalleled. Uncompromised in performance. Most popularly known for pushing PCs past their limits and holding multiple records at the world's largest overclocking events, Ian "8Pack" Parry is no stranger when it comes to breaking the laws of what many PC enthusiasts would commonly consider to be the impossible.

Meet the 8Pack Rocket. Distinctly crafted, highly refined and equipped with nothing less than the best, 8Pack's latest beast isn't one that's happy being confined to the home. Designed for portability and travel, all-the-while packing the power; the 8Pack Rocket is an overclocked powerhouse for on-the-go performance that's perfect for LAN parties.

AMD GPUs See Lesser Performance Drop on "Deus Ex: Mankind Divided" DirectX 12

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is the latest AAA title to support DirectX 12, with its developer Eidos deploying a DirectX 12 renderer weeks after its release, through a patch. Guru3D put the DirectX 12 version of the game through five GPU architectures, AMD "Polaris," GCN 1.1, GCN 1.2, NVIDIA "Pascal," and NVIDIA "Maxwell," through Radeon RX 480, Radeon R9 Fury X, Radeon R9 390X, GeForce GTX 1080, GeForce GTX 1060, and GeForce GTX 980. The AMD GPUs were driven by RSCE 16.9.1 drivers, and NVIDIA by GeForce 372.70.

Looking at the graphs, switching from DirectX 11 to DirectX 12 mode, AMD GPUs not only don't lose frame-rates, but in some cases, even gain frame-rates. NVIDIA GPUs, on the other hand, significantly lose frame-rates. AMD GPUs tend to hold on to their frame-rates at 4K Ultra HD, marginally gain frame-rates at 2560 x 1440, and further gain frame-rates at 1080p. NVIDIA GPUs either barely hold on to their frame-rates, or significantly lose them. AMD has on multiple occasions claimed that its Graphics CoreNext architecture, combined with its purist approach to asynchronous compute make Radeon GPUs a better choice for DirectX 12 and Vulkan. Find more fascinating findings by Guru3D here.
More graphs follow.

HP Unleashes the Omen X and Omen 17

HP Inc. today launched a new family of gaming products designed specifically for those who demand the ultimate, immersive gaming experience. HP's new high-end gaming products -- the OMEN X Desktop, OMEN 17 Laptop, OMEN X Curved Display and OMEN with SteelSeries accessories -- are engineered to deliver aggressive performance and the flexibility to customize every detail to intensify the thrill of each competition.

"The OMEN X Desktop was built for serious gamers who need fierce performance out-of-the-box in a fully customizable chassis -- something not typically available from traditional PC manufacturers," said Kevin Frost, HP vice president and general manager, Consumer Personal Systems. "HP's engineers combined a unique design that maximizes thermal management with support for industry standard components so that the true enthusiast can always be up to date with the latest hardware to maintain peak performance with a customized rig."

DOOM with Vulkan Renderer Significantly Faster on AMD GPUs

Over the weekend, Bethesda shipped the much awaited update to "DOOM" which can now take advantage of the Vulkan API. A performance investigation by ComputerBase.de comparing the game's Vulkan renderer to its default OpenGL renderer reveals that Vulkan benefits AMD GPUs far more than it does to NVIDIA ones. At 2560 x 1440, an AMD Radeon R9 Fury X with Vulkan is 25 percent faster than a GeForce GTX 1070 with Vulkan. The R9 Fury X is 15 percent slower than the GTX 1070 with OpenGL renderer on both GPUs. Vulkan increases the R9 Fury X frame-rates over OpenGL by a staggering 52 percent! Similar performance trends were noted with 1080p. Find the review in the link below.

AMD Outs Video BIOS Update for R9 Fury Series with Improved UEFI Support

AMD released an official video-card BIOS update for the Radeon R9 Fury X and Radeon R9 Nano graphics cards, which improve UEFI BIOS support. End users on our forums are also reporting improved overclocking stability. UEFI support at the video-BIOS level is required for the card to run without CSM at the system-BIOS end, in turn enabling useful OS features such as Secure Boot. Several of AMD's add-in board (AIB) partners already ship their cards with UEFI-ready BIOS. AMD is distributing the BIOS as ROM images, and it takes thorough knowledge of how to flash your graphics card's BIOS, to make use of these ROM images.

DOWNLOAD: AMD Video BIOS Update for Radeon R9 Nano | Radeon R9 Fury X | From AMD Website

AMD Releases Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.4.1

AMD released its latest version of the Radeon Software Crimson Edition drivers. Version 16.4.1 comes with optimization for "Quantum Break," with up to 35 percent higher performance seen a machine running the Radeon R9 Fury X, compared to the previous 16.3.2 drivers. It also provides software support for the two hottest VR headsets - Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. The drivers also address a bug seen on "Hitman" (2016), which cases the game to flicker when shadow quality is bumped up to "high," in DirectX 11 mode. Most importantly, the drivers fix a frame-rate capping issues noticed on some DirectX 12 applications.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.4.1 for Windows 10/8.1/7 64-bit | Windows 10/8.1/7 32-bit

AMD Releases Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.3

AMD released the latest version of Radeon Software Crimson Edition, its software suite which provides drivers and system software for Radeon GPUs and IGPs. Version 16.3 improves performance for "Rise of the Tomb Raider" on Radeon R9 Fury X series GPUs by up to 16 percent (compared to version 16.2), and for "Gears of War Ultimate Edition," by as high as 60 percent on the R9 Fury X series (compared to version 16.2.1), and by up to 44 percent on Radeon R9 380 series (compared to version 16.2.1).

Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.3 also adds official support for the Vulkan API; 2-display Eyefinity, an accessible CrossFire status indicator, a new power-efficiency toggle for Radeon R9 300 series and R9 Fury series GPUs. With version 16.3, AMD is introducing the XConnect Technology, a new standard for external graphics enclosures over not just high-bandwidth interfaces such as Thunderbolt 3, but also the more accessible USB 3.1 interface. AMD is providing the software ecosystem that lets you plug-and-play external GPUs for instant boosts in performance and functionality. AMD is also adding/updating CrossFire profiles for "Hitman (2016)", and "The Park."

DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.3 for Windows 10/8.1/7 64-bit | Windows 10/8.1/7 32-bit

AMD Slashes Radeon R9 Nano Price

AMD gave its premium small-factor gaming graphics card, the Radeon R9 Nano, its first major price cut. The card now starts at US $499, down from its launch price of $649. At $499, the R9 Nano is priced on par with its similar-performing albeit bigger and noisier sibling based on the "Fiji" silicon, the Radeon R9 Fury. The company's flagship single-GPU card, the R9 Fury X, remains at $599, its price was gradually reduced from its launch price of $649.

The three SKUs appear to be positioned to compete with NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 980, and offer cost-effective alternatives to the $629 GTX 980 Ti. Elsewhere in the lineup, the Radeon R9 390X starts at $379, and has its guns trained on the GTX 980 and GTX 970. Its smaller sibling, the Radeon R9 390 starts at $299.

AMD Responds to Asetek's R9 Fury X Sales Cease-and-Desist

AMD issued a response to a recent report which states that liquid cooling components maker Asetek issued a cease-and-desist to the company, to stop sales of the Radeon R9 Fury X graphics card, which implements a closed-loop liquid-cooling solution made by Cooler Master. In its response, AMD argues that the jury in the Asetek vs. CMI (Cooler Master) case did not mention the cooling solution of the Radeon R9 Fury X specifically, as infringing Asetek-held patents. The statement reads:
"We are aware that Asetek has sued Cooler Master. While we defer to Cooler Master regarding the details of the litigation, we understand that the jury in that case did not find that the Cooler Master heat sink currently used with the Radeon Fury X infringed any of Asetek's patents."
While AMD is right in pointing out that the original judgement does not name the R9 Fury X, or its cooling solution as an infringing product; there's no word on whether AMD will stop sales of the card. From the looks of it, AMD has no plans to stop sales of its flagship graphics product, and appears to have convincing legal arguments up its sleeves to continue selling the card, in the near future.

Asetek Tells AMD and GIGABYTE to Stop Sales of R9 Fury X and GTX 980 Water Force

AMD has reportedly been issued a "cease-and-desist" notice by liquid cooling components major Asetek over sale of its flagship Radeon R9 Fury X graphics card. A similar C&D notice was sent to GIGABYTE, to stop sales of its GeForce GTX 980 Water Force graphics card. The two cards ship with a factory-fitted, closed-loop liquid cooling solution by Cooler Master, a company with which Asetek is locked in a patent infringement lawsuit, over its pump-block and movable fittings designs.

The Radeon R9 Fury X and GIGABYTE GTX 980 Water Force feature a derivative of Cooler Master's Seidon 120M closed-loop cooler, a product red-flagged by U.S. courts over patent infringement. Asetek has already succeeded in getting Cooler Master to withdraw similar aftermarket cooling solutions from the U.S. market, such as the Seidon, Nepton, and Glacier. The courts have ordered Cooler Master to pay 14.5 percent royalties from revenues on each infringing product sold in the market, to Asetek.

DirectX 12 Mixed Multi-GPU: It Works, For Now

One of biggest features of DirectX 12 is its asymmetric multi-GPU that lets you mix and match GPUs from across brands, as long as they support a consistent feature-level (Direct3D 12_0, in case of "Ashes of the Singularity"). It's not enough that you have two DirectX 12 GPUs, you need DirectX 12 applications to make use of your contraption. Don't expect your older DirectX 11 games to run faster with a DirectX 12 mixed multi-GPU. Anandtech put Microsoft's claims to the test by building a multi-GPU setup using a Radeon R9 Fury X, and a GeForce GTX 980 Ti. Some interesting conclusions were drawn.

To begin with, yes, alternate-frame rendering, the most common multi-GPU method, works. There were genuine >50% performance uplifts, but nowhere of the kind you could expect from proprietary multi-GPU configurations such as SLI or CrossFire. Second, what card you use as the primary card, impacts performance. Anandtech found a configuration in which the R9 Fury X was primary (i.e. the display plugged to it), and the GTX 980 Ti secondary, to be slightly faster than a configuration in which the GTX 980 Ti was the primary card. Mixing and matching different GPUs from the same vendor (eg: a GTX 980 Ti and a GTX TITAN X) also works. The best part? Anandtech found no stability issues in mix-matching an R9 Fury X and a GTX 980 Ti. It also remains to be seen how long this industry-standard utopia lasts, and whether GPU vendors find it at odds with their commercial interests. Multi-GPU optimization is something both AMD and NVIDIA spend a lot of resources on. It remains to be seen how much of those resources they'll be willing to put on a standardized multi-GPU tech, and away from their own SLI/CrossFire fiefdoms. Read the insightful article from the source link below.

AMD Radeon R9 Nano Core Configuration Detailed

AMD's upcoming mini-ITX friendly graphics card, the Radeon R9 Nano, which boasts of a typical board power of just 175W, is not a heavily stripped-down R9 Fury X, as was expected. The card will feature the full complement of GCN compute units physically present on the "Fiji" silicon, and in terms of specifications, is better loaded than even the R9 Fury. Specifications sheet of the R9 Nano leaked to the web, revealing that the card will feature all 4,096 stream processors physically present on the chip, along with 256 TMUs, and 64 ROPs. It will feature 4 GB of memory across the chip's 4096-bit HBM interface.

In terms of clock speeds, the R9 Nano isn't too far behind the R9 Fury X on paper - its core is clocked up to 1000 MHz, with its memory ticking at 500 MHz (512 GB/s). So how does it get down to 175W typical board power, from the 275W of the R9 Fury X? It's theorized that AMD could be using an aggressive power/temperature based clock-speed throttle. The resulting performance is 5-10% higher than the Radeon R9 290X, while never breaching a power target. Korean tech blog DGLee posted pictures of an R9 Nano taken apart. Its PCB is smaller than even that of the R9 Fury X, and makes do with a slimmer 4+2 phase VRM, than the 6+2 phase VRM found on the R9 Fury X.

AMD Radeon R9 Nano Launch Date Revealed

AMD is expected to launch its super-compact performance-segment graphics card, the Radeon R9 Nano this Thursday, 27th August, 2015. Reviews and market availability could follow a week later. It will be marketed as a halo product, and hence will likely only be available in its reference design. AMD claims that the card will be faster than the Radeon R9 290X, while offering 90% higher performance-per-Watt than it. More importantly, that it will offer 50% higher performance-per-Watt than the Radeon R9 Fury X. "Elmy" from OCN snapped these pics of an R9 Nano installed on a compact gaming desktop, and boy is it tiny!

AMD Radeon R9 Nano Nears Launch, 50% Higher Performance per Watt over Fury X

AMD's ultra-compact graphics card based on its "Fiji" silicon, the Radeon R9 Nano (or R9 Fury-Nano), is nearing its late-August/early-September launch. At its most recent "Hot Chips" presentation, AMD put out more interesting numbers related to the card. To begin with, it lives up to the promise of being faster than the R9 290X, at nearly half its power draw. The R9 Nano has 90% higher performance/Watt over the R9 290X. More importantly, it has about 50% higher performance/Watt over the company's current flagship single-GPU product, the Radeon R9 Fury X. With these performance figures, the R9 Nano will be targeted at compact gaming-PC builds that are capable of 1440p gaming.

AMD Details Exascale Heterogenous Processor (EHP) for Supercomputers

AMD published a paper with the IEEE for a new high-density computing device concept, which it calls the Exascale Heterogenous Processor or (EHP). It may be a similar acronym to APU (accelerated processing unit), but is both similar and different to it in many ways, which make it suitable for high-density supercomputing nodes. The EHP is a chip that has quite a bit in common with the recently launched "Fiji" GPU, that drives the company's flagship Radeon R9 Fury X graphics card.

The EHP is a combination of a main die, housing a large number of CPU cores, a large GPGPU unit, and an interposer, which connects the main die to 32 GB of HBM2 memory that's on-package, and is used as both main-memory and memory for the integrated GPGPU unit, without memory partitioning, using hUMA (heterogeneous unified memory access). The CPU component consists of 32 cores likely based on the "Zen" micro-architecture, using eight "Zen" quad-core subunits. There's no word on the CU (compute unit) count of the GPGPU core. The EHP in itself will be highly scalable. AMD hopes to get a working sample of this chip out by 2016-17.

PowerColor and TechPowerUp GPU-Z R9 Fury X Contest: The Winners

PowerColor and TechPowerUp GPU-Z Radeon R9 Fury X Contest drew to a close last weekend, and two winners have been picked. These two get a scorching fast PowerColor Radeon R9 Fury X graphics card, each. Without further ado, the winners:
  • Diego from Italy
  • Eric from Canada
A huge Congrats to you two! TechPowerUp will return with more such exciting contests and giveaways.

Last Chance to Win One of Two PowerColor Radeon R9 Fury X Graphics Cards

Did you know, TechPowerUp and PowerColor are giving away PowerColor Radeon R9 Fury X graphics cards to two lucky winners of our GPU-Z 0.8.4 PowerColor Fury X Contest? It's not too late to try your luck, if you haven't already! Simply download the latest version of TechPowerUp GPU-Z, and fill up a short questionnaire. Two lucky winners stand a chance to win a PowerColor Radeon R9 Fury X graphics card, each! The contest closes on 25th July 2015, so hurry!

UMC Enters Volume Production for TSV Process that Enables AMD Radeon R9 Fury X

United Microelectronics Corporation, a leading global semiconductor foundry, today announced that it has entered volume production for the Through-Silicon-Via (TSV) technology used on the AMD Radeon R9 Fury X, the flagship GPU in the recently announced Radeon R 300 Series of graphics cards. The AMD Radeon R9 Fury X GPU utilizes UMC's TSV process technology and die-stacking to fuse HBM DRAM with AMD's GPU on a silicon interposer, enabling the GPU to deliver unmatched memory bandwidth of 4096-bit and quadruple the performance-per-watt over the current GDDR5 industry standard.

"AMD has a successful history of delivering cutting-edge GPU products to market," said S.C. Chien, vice president of Corporate Marketing and co-chair of the TSV committee at UMC. "This volume production milestone is the culmination of UMC's close TSV collaboration with AMD, and we are happy to bring the performance benefits of this technology to help power their new generation of GPU products. We look forward to continuing this fruitful partnership with AMD for years to come."

Aqua Computer Unveils Radeon R9 Fury X Full Coverage Water Block

Aqua Computer unveiled its full-coverage water block for the Radeon R9 Fury X graphics card. The block should also be compatible with the Sapphire R9 Fury Tri-X, which uses the AMD reference PCB. The block features exposed copper as its primary material, with an acrylic top. Its coolant channel directly flows over not just the GPU, but also the VRM area. The block itself is single-slot capable. It has threads for common G 1/4 fittings, and is capable of multi-GPU fittings. Available now, the block is priced at 99.99€ (including 19% VAT).

EK Radeon R9 Fury X Water Blocks Now Available

EK Water Blocks, Ljubljana based premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer, is excited to launch the true single-slot liquid cooling solution for AMD Radeon reference design R9 FURY X graphics card. EK-FC R9 Fury X directly cools the GPU, HBM as well as VRM (voltage regulation module) as water flows directly over these critical areas, thus allowing the graphics card and it's VRM to remain stable under high overclocks.

EK-FC R9 Fury X water block features EK unique central inlet split-flow cooling engine design for best possible cooling performance. Such system also works flawlessly with the reversed water flow without adversely affecting the cooling performance. Moreover, such design offers great hydraulic performance, allowing this product to be used in liquid cooling systems using weaker water pumps. Unlike the original AIO cooling solution that comes with AMD Radeon R9 FURY X and takes up two slots, EK-FC R9 Fury X water block will transform the FURY X into a single-slot graphics card.

AMD Revises Pump-block Design for Radeon R9 Fury X

AMD seems to have reacted swiftly to feedback from reviewers and owners of initial batches if its Radeon R9 Fury X, over a noisy pump-block; and revised its design. The revised pump-block lacks the "high pitched whine" that users were reporting, according to owners. At this point there are no solid visual cues on how to identify a card with the new block, however a user with the revised card (or at least one that lacks the whine), pointed out a 2-color chrome Cooler Master (OEM) badge on the pump-block, compared to the multi-color sticker on pump-blocks from the initial batches. You can open up the front-plate covering the card without breaking any warranties.

Now, 3D Print Your Own Front-plate for the R9 Fury X

It will be a while before you see custom-design variants of the Radeon R9 Fury X, which is a halo product to AMD, much like the GTX TITAN series for NVIDIA. In the mean time, you can customize its front-plate (the rubbery-textured front cover of the cooler shroud). AMD put out 3D models of the front-plate along with a few simple instructions on how to remove and replace it. With basic 3D printing know-how, and equipment, you can 3D-print your own front-plate design. Find the 3D model files and instructions here.

AMD Didn't Get the R9 Fury X Wrong, but NVIDIA Got its GTX 980 Ti Right

This has been a roller-coaster month for high-end PC graphics. The timing of NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 980 Ti launch had us giving finishing touches to its review with our bags to Taipei still not packed. When it launched, the GTX 980 Ti set AMD a performance target and a price target. Then began a 3-week wait for AMD to launch its Radeon R9 Fury X graphics card. The dance is done, the dust has settled, and we know who has won - nobody. AMD didn't get the R9 Fury X wrong, but NVIDIA got its GTX 980 Ti right. At best, this stalemate yielded a 4K-capable single-GPU graphics option from each brand at $650. You already had those in the form of the $650-ish Radeon R9 295X2, or a pair GTX 970 cards. Those with no plans of a 4K display already had great options in the form of the GTX 970, and price-cut R9 290X.

The Radeon R9 290 series launch from Fall-2013 stirred up the high-end graphics market in a big way. The $399 R9 290 made NVIDIA look comically evil for asking $999 for the card it beat, the GTX TITAN; while the R9 290X remained the fastest single-GPU option, at $550, till NVIDIA launched the $699 GTX 780 Ti, to get people back to paying through their noses for the extra performance. Then there were two UFO sightings in the form of the GTX TITAN Black, and the GTX TITAN-Z, which made no tangible contributions to consumer choice. Sure, they gave you full double-precision floating point (DPFP) performance, but DPFP is of no use to gamers. So what could have been the calculation at AMD and NVIDIA as June 2015 approached? Here's a theory.
Image credit: Mahspoonis2big, Reddit

TechPowerUp Announces GPU-Z 0.8.4 and PowerColor Fury X Giveaway

TechPowerUp announced GPU-Z version 0.8.4. The latest version of the popular video subsystem information, monitoring, and diagnostic utility, comes with full support for AMD Radeon R9 Fury X graphics card, and support for two other chips, namely the Radeon R7 370, and Intel "Broadwell" GT3e. The user-interface has been polished up, to include high-DPI aware visual elements, such as vendor logos. The video BIOS UEFI support indicator has been improved.

With GPU-Z 0.8.4, TechPowerUp and PowerColor bring you a new GPU-Z Giveaway! Two lucky winners stand to win a PowerColor Radeon R9 Fury X graphics card, each, by simply filling up a small form, and answering a simple question, in the "PowerColor Giveaway" tab of the main version of GPU-Z. The Radeon R9 Fury X is AMD's new flagship graphics card. Good Luck!
DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp GPU-Z 0.8.4 | GPU-Z 0.8.4 ASUS ROG Themed

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