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AMD's Upcoming RX Vega Card Pictures Surface

It would seem that AMD has been making internal, top-secret demonstrations of its upcoming RX Vega GPUs. The company was in Beijing, China yesterday, sowing some thoughts and knowledge on its upcoming Ryzen 5 line of processors. Yet AMD apparently also found the time to tease its upcoming high-performance GPU (which apparently, and unlike it's competitors GPUs, also carries a soul.)

From what can be gleaned from the pictures, this physical manifestation of Vega does away with AMD's Fury X small size (achieved through water cooling). Instead, the coolers seems to be a monolithic piece which totally encloses the card, in an attractive, white and red color scheme with AMD's Vega branding etched on for good measure. We can also glean from the pics that AMD's RX Vega doesn't drop the tachometer feature that allows you to look at the operating LED's to glean the amount of workload on the GPU, with switches that are likely to allow for "OFF/ON" positions for the LED's and for "RED/BLUE" coloring.

AMD Ryzen Infinity Fabric Ticks at Memory Speed

Memory clock speeds will go a long way in improving the performance of an AMD Ryzen processor, according to new information by the company, which reveals that Infinity Fabric, the high-bandwidth interconnect used to connect the two quad-core complexes (CCXs) on 6-core and 8-core Ryzen processors with other uncore components, such as the PCIe root-complex, and the integrated southbridge; is synced with the memory clock. AMD made this revelation in a response to a question posed by Reddit user CataclysmZA.

Infinity Fabric, a successor to HyperTransport, is AMD's latest interconnect technology that connects the various components on the Ryzen "Summit Ridge" processor, and on the upcoming "Vega" GPU family. According to AMD, it is a 256-bit wide bi-directional crossbar. Think of it as town-square for the chip, where tagged data and instructions change hands between the various components. Within the CCX, the L3 cache performs some inter-core connectivity. The speed of the Infinity Fabric crossbar on a "Summit Ridge" Ryzen processor is determined by the memory clock. When paired with DDR4-2133 memory, for example, the crossbar ticks at 1066 MHz (SDR, actual clock). Using faster memory, according to AMD, hence has a direct impact on the bandwidth of this interconnect.

AMD's RX 500 Series Reportedly Delayed

We've previously covered how AMD's RX 500 series is to be a rebrand of the company's successful RX 400 series. Previous reports pegged the RX 500 series' launch on April 11th; now, it would seem that there has been a slight, one-week delay on the launch date, with it having been pushed back to April 18th. Apparently, this delay is looking to allow more time to "fine-tune the drivers".

The RX 500 series are purportedly straight rebrands from equivalent RX 400 series GPUs (RX 580 will be a rebrand of the RX 480, and so on down the ladder). The need for driver fine-tuning seems a little baffling considering these straight rebrands, but may have more to do with the reported Polaris 12 chips that are expected for launch than any other metric. Remember, RX 500 chips are expected to carry somewhat higher clock-speeds than their RX 400 originals, with some improved power/performance ratio being derived from improvements in foundry processes. But if the rebranding scheme holds up, don't expect these to bring in any meaningful changes towards these cards' performance. AMD is hoping Polaris tides them over through the mainstream market until it can introduce its Vega-based, high-performance GPUs, which are heralded to mark AMD's return to the high-performance consumer graphics segment in a while. Fingers crossed.

Source: Thanks @TheMailMan78!

Vega Shows Up Beating a GTX 1080 in CompuBench, But Hold the Hypetrain

The Vega based line of AMD GPUs are definitely a big unknown at this point, so any sightings or benchmarks of it are highly sought after by the rumormill. Well, here is another one to add to your pile of rumor-material folks: AMD has posted a card benchmark to Compubench that bests even the GTX 1080.

Why hold the hype?

There are two obvious issues. One, this is a compute only benchmark, and has little relevance to the average gamer. Two, in the same benchmark, a 980TI also beats the 1080. Stranger yet, the 1080 is also beaten by its little brother, the 1070. Take this one with a grain of salt, for the obvious reasons. It won't stop the the hypetrain from using this info to its own end, but maybe you can avoid being smashed by it by using some critical thinking.

AMD Talks Zen 3, "Raven Ridge," and More at Reddit AMA

AMD, at its post-Ryzen 7 launch Reddit AMA, disclosed some juicy details about its other upcoming socket AM4 chips, beginning with the rest of the Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 3 "Summit Ridge" processor roll-out, and a little bit about its 8th generation socket AM4 APU, codenamed "Raven Ridge." To begin with, AMD CEO Lisa Su stated that "Raven Ridge" will also be sold under the Ryzen brand. This would mark a departure from the less-than-stellar A-series branding for its performance APUs. "Raven Ridge" likely combines a "Zen" quad-core CPU complex (CCX) with an integrated GPU based on one of AMD's newer GPU architectures (either "Polaris" or "Vega").

The range-topping Ryzen 7 series will lead the company's lineup throughout Q1, with six-core and quad-core Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 3 series launches being scheduled for later this year. Our older reports pinned Ryzen 5 series rollout for Q2, and Ryzen 3 series for the second half of 2017. This is likely also when the company rolls out "Raven Ridge" initially as mobile Ryzen products (BGA packages, which will likely also be used in AIOs), and later as desktop socket AM4 parts.

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.

Whatever Happened to the GTX 980 Ti to GTX 1080 Ti Step-up Programme

Just before Holiday 2016 (December), we were intrigued by a curious line in a LinkedIn job-posting, which at the time confirmed that NVIDIA is working on the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, and more importantly, that existing users of the GeForce GTX 980 Ti would have a priority in a pre-order queue, or a "Step Up Offer." A step-up offer is that in which GTX 980 Ti users would have the ability to trade-in their GTX 980 Ti cards for new GTX 1080 Ti cards, at a price significantly lower than buying a brand-new GTX 1080 Ti card. From the looks of it, there is no sign of such an offer.

The other, more scary detail about the GTX 1080 Ti, which was doing rounds at the time, was its fabled $999 price-tag, with fears of NVIDIA price-gouging with the new card so as to not cannibalize inventory of premium GTX 1080 cards in stock, some of which are still priced over the $700 mark. Alas, the GTX 1080 Ti launched at $699, a price we're sure NVIDIA partners with unsold super-premium GTX 1080 cards won't take kindly, and the GTX 1080 got its price cut to $499. NVIDIA is taking no chances with its market preparation for AMD's next-generation Radeon RX Vega.

On NVIDIA's Tile-Based Rendering

Looking back on NVIDIA's GDC presentation, perhaps one of the most interesting aspects approached was the implementation of tile-based rendering on NVIDIA's post-Maxwell architectures. This has been an adaptation of typically mobile approaches to graphics rendering which keeps their specific needs for power efficiency in mind - and if you'll "member", "Maxwell" was NVIDIA's first graphics architecture publicly touted for its "mobile first" design.

This approach essentially divides the screen into tiles, and then rasterizes the entire frame in a per-tile basis. 16×16 and 32×32 pixels are the usual tile sizes, but both Maxwell and Pascal can dynamically assess the required tile size for each frame, changing it on-the-fly as needed and according to the complexity of the scene. This looks to ensure that the processed data has a much smaller footprint than that of the full image rendering - small enough that it makes it possible for NVIDIA to keep the data in a much smaller amount of memory (essentially, the L2 memory), dynamically filling and flushing the available cache as possible until the full frame has been rendered. This means that the GPU doesn't have to access larger, slower memory pools as much, which primarily reduces the load on the VRAM subsystem (increasing available VRAM for other tasks), whilst simultaneously accelerating rendering speed. At the same time, a tile-based approach also lends itself pretty well to the nature of GPUs - these are easily parallelized operations, with the GPU being able to tackle many independent tiles simultaneously, depending on the available resources.

AMD Names Radeon "Vega" Product Line as Simply Radeon RX Vega

AMD's hottest announcement from its Capsaicin & Cream event is the brand unveil for consumer graphics products based on the "Vega" architecture. The lineup will be called simply Radeon RX Vega (likely with brand extensions to denote tiers and model numbers). The company also unveiled the "V" (for Vega) logo we've seen from CEO Lisa Su's presser from last week. The product unveil video illustrates how "Vega" will span across the consumer-graphics, pro-graphics, and Radeon Instinct data-center GPU lines.

AMD and LiquidSky Intro GeForce Now-rivaling Game Rendering Service

AMD introduced a remote rendering service rivaling NVIDIA GeForce Now, which it developed in partnership with LiquidSky, a company which will operate the service using AMD Radeon "Vega" based remote GPUs, that can stream to a variety of devices including low-power notebooks, tablets, and handhelds. The company will launch the service at prices competitive with GeForce Now. Watch this space for more.

What sets LiquidSky apart from GeForce Now is its pricing. The basic plan is ad-supported, and is hence practically free, with a pay-as-you-go plan starting at $4.99, and monthly plans starting at $9.99.
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