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AMD Kaveri analysis header 800x450

Although AMD’s Kaveri family has been available to the public for some time now, that’s only been in the form of the A10-7850K and the A10-7700K, two unlocked quad-core chips that pack a lot of processing power, but locally don’t have the kind of price-competitiveness that is required to make any inroads against Intel. Internationally it’s a different story, as AMD’s APUs with or without discrete graphics do very well in the budget markets, with the FX CPU lineup doing particularly well as budget workhorses and tweakable rigs. Today AMD finally announced the launch of the A10-7800, A8-7600 and the A6-7400K. Hit the jump to see what the fuss is about.

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gta v oops

There’s a rumor doing the rounds on the internet that Rockstar’s epic Grand Theft Auto V will land on PC with support for AMD’s Mantle API, among other unreleased or unannounced titles currently in development. Although this seems a bit odd to have a developer which hasn’t been PC-centric of late to adopt something as technically challenging as Mantle, some of the games listed in this rumor do make sense to see Mantle support. Get buckets of salt for this one, though, you’re going to need it after the jump.

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AMD-Mantle-header-grey

One of AMD’s tenets to their evolution in the hardware is that adoption of HSA, or heterogeneous software acceleration needs to be pushed more into the public sphere. HSA is a collection of software and hardware technologies that work together to accelerate software that can take advantage of both CPU and GPU resources. HSA has many applications in a lot of different industries, from gaming to CAD work and even things like weather prediction. The goal here is to get the CPU and GPU working together in the most efficient way with all available system resources, pushing much of the multi-threaded code onto the graphics hardware while single-threaded portions of code get chewed up by the CPU.

To help this movement, the HSA Foundation works with manufacturers and software vendors to help their developments along and recently AMD published a brand new HSA driver for the Linux kernel.

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Whilst Nvidia’s Maxwell family only applies to the GTX750 Ti and the GTX750, it’s not going to be the only one. Later in the year we can expect a complete rollout of GPUs based on the 28-nanometer process, with further tweaks to Maxwell’s architecture to make it even more efficient on larger dies. AMD is set to hit back sooner with Tonga, a revamped version of the Tahiti family that makes up the Radeon HD7870XT, HD7950, HD7970, R9 280 and R9 280X.

Tonga will be a more efficient version of the GCN silicon, with VR-Zone China expecting it to pack in as much power as the R9 280X in the same power envelope as the Radeon R9 270X. VR-Zone reports that the card may have up to 2048 GCN-based stream processors, 128 texture units, 32 ROPs, a 256-bit memory bus and between 2-4GB of GDDR5 memory. With those specs, it’s closer to the Geforce GTX760, which is a cut-down, more efficient version of the GTX680.

Source: VR-Zone China

AMD Kaveri analysis header 800x450

AMD’s Kaveri launch is still going on in stages, with only two products currently available for the desktop market – the A10-7700K and the A10-7850K, both of which are quad-core APUs with integrated GCN-based Radeon graphics and unlocked multipliers. They are very good value for money (at least overseas) and when coupled to a socket FM2+ motherboard offer quite a compelling setup for use in small chassis or as the basis of a HTPC. While the company’s budget-line A8-7600 still has to surface, they’ve announced the A10-7800 for those who’d like a A10-class chip for less money.

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According to a tweet sent out by AMD’s Vice President, Roy Taylor, AMD is ostensibly planning a new FX processor for socket AM3+. Taylor’s tweet shows a picture of box art for a combo of the processor with a AMD-certified water-cooler, most likely from Asetek, which will be bundled together. AMD’s high-end FX chips previously did not ship with any bundled coolers because most air coolers wouldn’t be sufficient and AMD thought it too presumptuous to give enthusiasts something that they would never use. The blurry photo doesn’t have any text to identify the specs of this processor, so we’ll have to wait to see what AMD is holding up their sleeve.

Rockchip header

Its not very often that the rules of the game in the hardware industry change, but they have changed considerably in one fell swoop. Intel recently entered into a partnerchip with Chinese-based Rockchip, a semiconductor manufacturer that currently makes their own ARM-based processors and a bunch of really nice 3G and LTE modems. The partnership will allow the two companies to collaborate on the design of an Intel Silvermont-based Atom processor with embedded 3G and LTE technologies for use in budget tablets. The chip will be price-competitive and with the Rockchip name involved, Intel finds its way into establishing itself in the Chinese market. But why is this development so very important for the x86 market?

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AMD recently announced the Catalyst 14.6 beta but they also provided a very important tidbit about the beta drivers – Windows 8.0 32 and 64-bit were not supported, while other versions of Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 were. In a statement given to Guru3D, the company said that they were choosing to “focus our development efforts on the latest version of Windows 8, which is available to all users as a free update.” This means that Windows 8.0, for all intents, is dead in the water to AMD.

Then again, Windows 8.1 and Windows 8.1 Update are available for free, so they may have a valid point. If you’re still on Windows 7, though, as you were.

Source: Guru3D

Its called “Tonga” and it’s named after a chain of islands near Australia that had both pirates and volcanoes in their history. Tonga, according to information leaked by Videocardz, will be a re-arrangement of the GCN architecture for more efficiency and lower power draw, just like Nvidia’s Maxwell-based GTX750 and GTX750 Ti. The card will apparently also have the full compliment of AMD technologies including True Audio, XDMA Crossfire engines, Mantle support, at least 2GB of GDDR5 memory on a 256-bit bus and it might be called the Radeon R9 275X.

Source: Videocardz

AMD Catalyst driver

AMD is preparing a Catalyst release for the month of June but the company decide to reveal one of the more enticing updates to their software that I’ve been waiting for, for years – mixed monitor Eyefinity surround. Technically this was possible with monitors of multiple sizes and resolutions but it would bring all monitors down to the lowest common height measured in pixels. Ergo, a configuration with two 1920 x 1200 monitors and one 1080p monitor would mean that black bars appear on the other monitors, but still with 1:1 pixel mapping.

Doing the same thing with a 1080p monitor and two 4:3 CRT monitors would result, at least in one case that I managed to get working, a maximum height of 1024 pixels. Now AMD says “no more!” Eyefinity in the Catalyst 14.6 drivers. Hit the jump to find out more.

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