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Last seen 19 days ago.

— The GeForce GTX 1070 Ti is NVIDIA’s latest HD and VR ready, gaming GPU and is successor to the current number one GPU by market share, the GTX 1070. Like the 1070, the 1070 Ti is based on the16nm Pascal architecture and GP104 GPU. Both feature 8 GB of GDDR5 memory with a 256 bit memory interface producing a total memory bandwidth of 256 MB/s, and both have a rated boost clock speed of 1.683 GHz, although both are geared to be over clocked. In fact, the 1070 Ti is basically the 1070 but with 25% more working CUDA cores (2432 versus 1920) and slightly higher base clock of 1607MHz (versus 1506MHz in the 1070). This translates to the 1070 Ti being as nearly as powerful as the GTX 1080 which has 2560 CUDA cores, 8 GB of GDRR5X memory and boost clock of 1733 GHz. With founder’s editions available at $449, compared to $470 for AMD’s recent Vega based RX 56 and $510 for the GTX 1080, the 1070 Ti represents good value for money. The rumoured fast approaching release of Volta (NVIDIA’s next generation architecture following on from Pascal) in early 2018 may upset demand for the 1070 Ti.

19 days ago.

— The Radeon RX Vega 56 is the weakest member of AMD's Vega GPU family. The Vega architecture is built on 14 nm silicon and contains next-generation compute units (nCUs). Each NCU houses 64 steam processors, of which the Vega 56 has 3584 vs. 4096 in the Vega 64. The new architecture employs 8GB of second generation high-bandwidth memory (HBM2) which is able cope with more data, more quickly than previously. Although the Vega 56 has 12.5% less processing units, users have found that by flashing an RX 64 Bios into an RX 56 card allows a 10% increase in OC headroom which effectively brings a BIOS flashed RX 56 onto par with a stock RX 64 and just 12.5% slower than a fully overclocked RX 64. This would be great news if the RX 56 were available at its MSRP of $399 as it would then be both cheaper and faster than a GTX 1070, but current market prices for the RX Vega 56 are closer to $550. The GPU market is still unbalanced (AMD GPUs in particular) as a result of the ongoing Ethereum mining frenzy which has depleted global GPU inventory to the lowest levels in recent memory.

1 month ago.

— The Radeon RX Vega 64 is AMD’s latest Radeon flagship graphics card. It is the first Vega based gaming GPU and follows on from the recent launch of the Vega Frontier Edition. The Vega architecture is built on 14 nm silicon and contains next-generation compute units (nCUs) that have been engineered to be more efficient and powerful than ever before, enabling gamers to achieve higher frame rates at 4K. Each NCU houses 64 steam processors, of which the Vega 64 has 4096 (compared to 3584 in the Vega 56) which can process up to 13.7 TFLOPS (0.6 TFLOPS more than the Frontier Edition) in the liquid cooled version of the GPU. The new architecture also employs 8GB of second generation high-bandwidth memory (HBM2) which is able cope with more data, more quickly than previously. AMD describe this as the most significant leap in their GPU architecture for the last five years. Our graphics benchmarks place the performance of the Vega 64 amongst the best. Its effective speed is very close to that of the twice as expensive Frontier Edition (a workstation GPU with a gaming mode) and just behind NVIDIA’s similarly priced, but now 1 year old GTX 1080. Despite the hopes of AMD enthusiasts, the great performance from the Vega 64 has not been able to exceed the even greater performance from NVIDIA’s GTX 1080 Ti, released earlier this year. The 33% faster 1080 Ti offers better value for money than an RX 64 would even if it were available at its list price of $599. The best prices for RX 64's today are closer to $750 making the RX 64 somewhat redundant until prices drop down to the low $500 mark.

2 months ago.

— 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.

4 months 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.

6 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.

7 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.

7 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.

7 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.

8 months ago.
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