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amd never settle forever new additions

AMD’s Never Settle campaign has been really successful in the past, driving sales of their graphics cards well thanks top a great selection of bundled games. Never Settle has been without new games for a while now and AMD has been casting around to look for games that it thinks gamers will appreciate and in a few cases it’ll include games which run really well on AMD hardware. For 2014, the new Never Settle Forever lineup includes a roster of many modern titles released in the last year as well as some popular indie games and a few classics. For the first time ever, the Never Settle campaign also stretches down to the very cheapest graphics cards in AMD’s stable. Hit the jump to find out more.

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AMD’s Kaveri launch is almost complete but it is missing a key product – the A8-7600. It’s a quad-core part with 384 GCN shader cores (six Compute Units) with base clocks of 3.1GHz, boosting to 3.3GHz under multi-threaded applications. Unlike other APUs in the Kaveri family, the A8-7600 is cheaper at $119 (approx. R1250 as of 14 May 2014) and has two modes of operation – a 65W TDP for desktop use and a 45W mode for use in small-form factor chassis and inside laptops.

AMD’s official word now is that the A8-7600 will arrive in early 2H 2014, using the first six months of 2014 instead to seed the chip to OEM partners. This could be a financial play for the company as it allows for higher sales of the A10-7850K and the A10-7700K, leaving the market open for stocks of the older Richland APUs to clear out before they unleash their bargain chip. If you were waiting on this APU, you’ll either have to wait longer or settle on something less elegant.

Source: Techspot

AMD’s efforts for improving their Radeon branding and mindshare have been to two markets thus far – memory modules and RAMdisk software. Radeon memory modules are qualified by AMD for use with their processors and APUs at various DDR3 frequencies and their branded RAMdisk software is sold separately, enabling users to deploy RAM disks for use on their computer, giving you a super-fast temporary drive hosted on your system memory. The company is now rumored to be working on branded SSDs, partnering with Toshiba. According to Fudzilla, the SSDs would use Toshiba’s new assets acquired from OCZ which includes the Barefoot 3 controller along with 19-nanometer NAND memory made by Toshiba in-house.

Such a combination would be potent for value-orientated PC enthusiasts. Although Barefoot 3 isn’t as fast as more modern designs from Intel, Samsung, LAMD or Marvell, it does hold its own in terms of performance and OCZ drives have recently been playing the value card instead of aiming for high-end markets. If true, AMD and Toshiba would have to work together to bring up the reliability of OCZ’s technology and tailor it to be more performant than standard OCZ drives before they can think of mass deployment. Although OCZ’s SSD lines were good, many consumers had issues with reliability and reliability issues ended up undermining the work done with the Vertex 3 and 4 families.

Source: Fudzilla

System-builders-600-x-272

The System Builder’s Guide has been around for roughly two years. I started writing this bi-monthly column in March of 2012 and before that I contributed to the System Builder’s thread on the NAG Forums together with JP “Chevron” Dormehl since its inception in 2009. I’ve been writing and compiling these guides ever since and it’s mostly been unchanged in the presentation – a wall of text, some options in green highlights that were linked and a little total at the bottom. Starting from this month to coincide with the April issue of NAG Magazine’s 2014 revamp, I’m switching the look a little bit to something that’s easier to understand and nicer to look at. I can’t promise there won’t be walls of text but I can promise it will be prettier. Follow me after the jump!

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Nvidia logo HD

AMD’s Mantle has had a lot of media coverage over the past few months for it’s ability to almost completely eradicate all traces of CPU bottlenecks when you’re pairing a high-end GPU with something like a Core i3 or i5 or FX processor. Mantle removes a lot of API bloat and prioritises multi-threaded code, resulting in games that aren’t limited in single-core performance but this requires a lot of work and, occasionally, a complete re-engineering of a game engine in order to support the renderer.

Nvidia, not content with letting AMD get the performance crown on unequal grounds, has been working in the shadows to improve performance on Geforce graphics cards with results that could rival Mantle’s offerings. But there’s a little more to it than that.

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AMD Radeon R9 295X2

AMD has something up its sleeve and it’s not a successor to socket AM3+ – rather, it’s a dual-GPU monster with two Radeon R9 290X cores sandwiched on a single circuit board. Its called the Radeon R9 295X2 and it’s probably the biggest, beefiest, longest and most extreme graphics card AMD has ever made. In fact, it’s so excessively powerful that very few power supplies will ever be able to power it properly. With the 8 April launch just a few days away, the press kit has been leaked by Videocardz and it has some incredible specs and pics inside. The expected price? A whopping US $1500. Hit the jump for more!

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DirectX 12 header

Microsoft took to the stage of the 2014 Game Developer’s Conference just four days ago to discuss DirectX 12, a new version of the DirectX API that has driven Windows’ domination over the computer market for over ten years. DirectX 12 will launch in 2015 and for the moment, developers will have access to a very early, very small part of the API as Microsoft learns how to use and tweak it for maximum impact and efficiency. DirectX 12 represents the biggest shift for Microsoft in a long time and has been in the works for over a year. Hit the jump to see it explained in a non-confusing way. Maybe.

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thief_concept_reveal

Eidos Montreal reminded everyone before the launch of the much-anticipated Thief reboot that the game’s two draws for AMD users, Mantle and TrueAudio, would only be coming in a later patch to the game and with help from new drivers from AMD. Well, those drivers are available and the game was recently patched. Hit the jump to see what running a GCN graphics card nets you in terms of performance in-game.

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AMD socket AM1 intro

AMD today announced the launch of a new socket, AM1, purpose-built for their Kabini desktop processor lineup. This is AMD’s second low-cost APU offering following the release of Bobcat back in 2011, but many Bobcat chips weren’t a complete system-on-chip (SOC) and came soldered onto motherboards, limiting the flexibility that a low-cost platform should have when upgrading certain components. Fifteen motherboards from ASRock, ASUS, Biostar, Gigabyte, ECS and MSI are being readied and most target the micro-ATX form factor. Hit the jump for more info!

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AMD-Mantle-header-grey

AMD’s Mantle might be the only API currently fighting the good fight for gamers to get more performance out of their hardware but it appears that AMD has done what it originally set out to do and at a much quicker pace as well – it’s woken up the slumbering DirectX and OpenGL giants to start looking at how to optimise performance for modern hardware, particularly now that Mantle shows that it’s possible to run a Radeon R9 290X on a lowly Intel Core i3 processor and not bottleneck it hugely.

At the upcoming Game Developer’s Conference taking place in San Francisco in March 2014, AMD, Microsoft, Intel and Nvidia will all be sitting down for a chat about driver overhead and unlocking higher performance.

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