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— The Radeon Vega Frontier Edition GPU is AMD's first graphics card with the new Vega architecture which features next-generation compute units (nCUs). AMD have designed Vega to handle the increasing data and computational demands from game creation to rendering simulations to video processing to AI. The Radeon Vega Frontier Edition comes with 64 nCUs yielding 4096 stream processors with which it can process up to 13.1 TFLOPS. Also, it has a high-bandwidth cache controller and 16GB of ultra fast HBM2 RAM and supports an 8K display. This first Vega GPU is aimed at professional workstation users and although it is not a gaming card, its game performance benchmarks are underwhelming albeit good. It broadly matches the performance of NVIDIA's now year old GTX 1080, but at nearly twice the price ($550 for the 1080 versus a list price of $1000 for the air-cooled Vega Frontier Edition). There is also a water-cooled edition of the Vega Frontier which commands an additional $500 premium on the list price. There will be gaming variants of Vega based cards available shortly and, depending on their entry price, these may prove to be more interesting to the consumer/gamer market.

6 days ago.

— The Radeon RX 560 is third in the line up of AMD’s second generation Polaris GPUs aimed at the entry-level 1080p gaming market with a sub-$100 launch price, due for release in May 2017. It is the successor to the now nine month old RX 460. Like the RX 460, it is based on Polaris 11, but comes with all 16 compute units enabled (2 more than in the 460). Coupled with a 6% improvement in boost clock speed from 1200MHz to 1275MHz, a minimum increase in overall effective speed of 10% against the 460 is anticipated. The RX 560 is fresh competition to NVIDIA’s GTX 1050 in terms of price and performance. User benchmarks reveal that NVIDIA’s GTX 1050 is faster than the RX 460 by 17% and so it is expected that the 560 will close most, if not all, of that gap.

2 months ago.

— Hot on the heels of the release of the Radeon RX 580 and RX 570 launched earlier this week, AMD have released a new Polaris 12 GPU, the Radeon RX 550. It is a sub-$100 entry level GPU, targeted at those who want an inexpensive, low profile, low power and low performance component for mini desktop PCs or a minor upgrade on integrated GPUs. It has just 8 compute units, a boost clock of 1183 MHz and comes with either 2 or 4 Gb of GDDR5 memory capable of delivering up to 112 GB/s bandwidth. As expected from a discrete GPU, the RX 550 wipes the floor with Intel’s current best desktop iGPU (HD 630 (Kaby Lake). The RX 550 is expected to be around 70% as fast as the only $20 dearer RX 560 (the successor to the RX 460 to be released next month), however this should be sufficient for an okay gaming experience for many games on non-demanding settings. It is anticipated, that AMD will tailor the form of the 550 more towards the laptop market as the year progresses.

3 months ago.

— The Radeon RX 570 is the second in the line-up of AMD’s latest 500 series of GPUs targeting the popular mid-range market. The 500 series is built with second generation refined Polaris architecture and is a minor upgrade over the 400 series which was released just 10 months ago. On paper the RX 570 has a 3% higher boost clock speed, improved cooling and can deliver 224GB/s, compared to the RX 470’s 212GB/s. This should be sufficient for a smooth experience (min 60 fps) for many games (AMD reference Doom, Resident Evil Biohazard and Battlefield 1 at 1080p on ultra settings). Its die, with 2048 cores, is a cut down version of the new RX 580 (2384 cores) which is the $30 more expensive and around 14% faster flagship model from the 500 series. The 570 performs almost neck and neck with NVIDIA’s similarly priced, albeit 10 month old, GTX 1060-6GB. The Polaris refresh precedes AMD’s new Vega series of graphics cards due later this year for which details are currently unknown, but Vega is expected to yield a significant jump in performance.

3 months ago.

— The RX 580 is released this week and is AMD’s latest flagship GPU based on second generation Polaris architecture. For all intents and purposes it is a refresh of the RX 480 released just 10 months prior. Modifications to the architecture have yielded improved performance per wattage and increased clock speeds of around 10% for base and around 5% for boost. The RX 580 will come with either 4GB or 8GB of high-bandwidth GDDR5 memory. Exact pricing for this mid-range chip remains to be seen, but the RX 500 series is likely to cannibalize sales of AMD’s 400 series. Performance wise, the RX 580 is in direct competition with NVIDIA’s popular GTX 1060 6GB which in now 9 months old. Perhaps after last year’s ill timed head to head release of the RX 480 and the faster but similarly priced GTX 1060 (a standoff which NVIDIA seem to have won based on market share), AMD are attempting to draw back some market share with the newer, slightly upgraded RX 580. The upcoming release of the 500 series comes ahead of AMD’s Vega architecture, for which specification and pricing details are not yet public but which will is expected to yield a significant jump in performance compared to Polaris.

3 months ago.

— Hyped as the "Ultimate GEforce", the 1080 Ti is NVIDIA's latest flagship 4K VR ready GPU. It supersedes last years GTX 1080, offering a 30% increase in performance for a 40% premium (founders edition 1080 Tis will be priced at $699, pushing down the price of the 1080 to $499). It also supersedes the prohibitively expensive Titan X Pascal, pushing it off poll position in performance rankings. The 1080 Ti is based on the Pascal architecture and features a slightly modified version of the same flagship GP102 silicon found in the Titan X Pascal. It has 11GB of the high bandwidth GDDR5X video memory (versus 12GB in the Titan X Pascal) and an impressive 11GB frame buffer. Like the Titan X Pascal, it features 12bn transistors and 3584 CUDA cores which can run at a boost clock speed of 1.582 GHz – 3% faster than the Titan X Pascal's 1.531 GHz. This increased speed is partially attributable to the 1080 Ti’s new dualFET power system which allows the chip to run at higher power and more efficiently than ever before. The release of the 1080 Ti comes ahead of the competition from AMD's Vega - rumored for release in Q2 2017. Vega is AMD's next generation graphics card (following on from Polaris 10) featuring their new HBM2 die which is alleged to have eight times the capacity of GDDR5 with half of the footprint. NVDIA's own next generation graphics cards (Volta) are in the pipeline for 2018.

4 months ago.

8 months ago.

— The GTX 1050 Ti 4GB is Nvidia’s latest Pascal based GPU. The 1050 Ti has a TDP of 75 Watts and is based on a new 14nm GP107 processing core which has approximately 66% of the key resources (CUDA cores, texture units, memory bandwidth and transistor count etc.) found on the 3GB GTX 1060. Comparing userbenchmarks for the 1050 Ti and 3GB 1060 shows that the 1050 Ti is falling a little short of our expectations but we only have one benchmark for the 1050 Ti so the average score will probably improve as we gather more samples. The list price for the 1050 Ti is $139 which is between AMDs $185 RX 470 and $100 RX 460. Comparing performance between the RX 470 vs GTX 1050 Ti and RX 460 vs GTX 1050 Ti shows that the 1050 Ti sits roughly in the middle for both price and performance.

9 months ago.

— The 3GB GTX 1060 follows last month’s release of the 6GB GTX 1060. The 3GB variant not only has reduced memory but Nvidia have also disabled 10 percent of the processing cores from 1,280 down to 1,152. There is no reference edition of the 3GB 1060 but the partner cards are already available (at launch). Comparing the GTX 6GB 1060 and 3GB 1060 shows that the 6GB 1060 leads, on average, by 7% but it is also currently 15% more expensive. The GTX 1060 is Nvidia’s answer to AMD’s new Polaris based RX 470. Comparing the RX 470 and 3GB 1060 shows that for pre DX12 games the 1060 edges ahead by 11%. The RX 470 is able to match the 3GB 1060 in DX12 games but this will remain a corner case until most games are optimized for DX12 (likely to take several years). The 3GB 1060 has the potential to become a hugely successful card, especially if prices drop below $200.

10 months ago.
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