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Posts Tagged ‘AMD’

AMD Radeon R7 series

AMD have been on a refresh-roll lately and have just added on another graphics card to their “new” Radeon family – the R7 265. Its based on the same Pitcairn GPU found in the Radeon HD7850 and is mostly untouched except for, in some cases, revised display support to allow for Eyefinity setups to be accommodated on a single card without the use of Displayport. AMD says the “new” graphics card should retail for US $150, a full $100 lower than the launch price of the HD7850 back in 2012.

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NVIDIA-teaser

Nvidia’s Maxwell architecture is coming very, very soon in the form of the mid-range GTX750 Ti, supposedly as soon as next week! It won’t be on a new silicon process, instead Nvidia will be testing out Maxwell on the same 28nm process as current Geforce 600 and 700 series cards. That’s similar to AMD’s current plans with GCN 1.1 and the Hawaii, Bonaire and Oland families but Maxwell is a little different because it includes an architecture change that’s very important in Nvidia’s mobile plans.

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AMD dockport Eyefinity

Intel and Apple’s Thunderbolt was doomed to not be taken seriously by the rest of the industry because of one reason: Apple was involved. Thunderbolt does work very well inside the Mac world but out of the walled garden, it’s implementation on Windows has been less than stellar. Sure, it can work, but Windows 7 only offered rudimentary support and it took Windows 8 to offer any support that could be considered passable. Despite being based on a royalty-free standard (Displayport), Thunderbolt is more expensive to use by far.

With Displayport 1.3 being signed off by VESA later this year, AMD’s marketing team (at least what’s left of it) put together a video highlighting a change they’ve added into the Displayport 1.3 specification that makes Thunderbolt redundant. Its called Dockport and clearly, AMD wants consumers to know about it.

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System-builders-600-x-272

Eish! Another System Builder’s Guide! Man, I don’t know about you guys but the drool is beginning to pile up on my keyboard, mostly because I cannot upgrade my rig for at least another year. This week we’re into the mid-range segment where we enter into a price/performance war. Ultimately, R13,000 is still the sweet-spot for most buyers but prices have shifted dramatically in the last two months. Just yesterday I was helping out a fellow NAGling on the forums with a build for R13k and the end result where I’d tried to squeeze out as much as I could resulted in a very compromised build.

That being said, at least the price increases are manageable and I don’t have to raise or go over the budget too much to fit things in properly. Let’s see what we ended up with this week.

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AMD Kaveri analysis header 800x450

Before this morning I was still optimistic about AMD’s chances of success with Kaveri. Mantle showed promise in Battlefield 4, they’re working on getting Dual Graphics frame pacing fixed and overall they’re pulling up their socks and finally getting to the level of real-world performance that was promised to enthusiasts not more than two years ago. But while Kaveri and the new socket FM2+ motherboards are a viable choice in the rest of the world, with many Americans enjoying the super-low pricing at Microcenter and Amazon, us South Africans aren’t so lucky.

Despite the much higher prices compared to the rest of the world as well as the lack of motherboard options for the moment, Kaveri seems to have some places where it can fit and, seeing that the chips and boards are available in limited quantities from today, I decided to run through some of those with you before you click on the “Checkout” button. 

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AMD Radeon R7 series

AMD is said to be working on a new GPU to replace the outgoing, but still very popular, Radeon HD 7770. The R7 250X will settle in around the €90 range (approx. R1300) and is reportedly based on the same silicon from the newer Oland GPU family, which currently makes up the Radeon R7 240 and R7 250. No details of the card’s launch have been leaked, but it has shown up on some European retailer websites already.

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System-builders-600-x-272

Its time for our System Builders Guide once again and there’s some magic in the air this February – no, it’s not love, but it is lower-priced SSDs. Grabbing a 120GB SSD for your rig has never been easier than now and things are only going to drop lower now. If you’re on the fence about including one in your budget, perhaps this month’s guide will persuade you. Today we’re diving into the budget segments and introducing a new, low-end setup that should squeeze into even the tightest budgets. A shift in the GPU market has also affected many of my builds for better and worse, but I’ll explain why later. Dive in!

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AMD’s Catalyst 14.1 1.6 Beta driver is now available for download and measures in at roughly 300MB. AMD has crammed a tonne of fixes into this release, adding in the Mantle and TrueAudio APIs as well as including fixes for Crossfire and other issues with Radeon GPUs that still needed to be resolved. Click on the download links below for the drivers, or hit the jump to find out more about the changes to the drivers.

Please note, these are very, very beta drivers and as such should not be used on a mission-critical system or in an environment where you don’t need crashes and blue screens to ruin your day. You’ll also have to uninstall your old Catalyst drivers beforehand when installing the 14.1 drivers. For this release, Catalyst Application Profiles (CAPs) do not need to be downloaded.

Download the drivers: AMD Catalyst 14.1 Beta 1.6 for Windows 7/8/8.1

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AMD Catalyst driver

Over the weekend, AMD let loose on on the Catalyst 14.1 1.6 Beta drivers which contain fixes for a number of performance issues with recent AMD Radeon GPUs and the APIs for Mantle and TrueAudio. Everything AMD has worked towards for the past two years has led up to this point and this specific driver relase. How significant is it for games that don’t pack in Mantle? Is frame pacing finally fixed? Hit the jump to see AMD kept their promise.

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AMD-Mantle-header-grey

 AMD’s in the news frequently these days and today is for a very special occasion – Battlefield 4′s Mantle update will be hitting Origin servers later today, giving you the option to run the Mantle renderer from within the game’s graphics options menu. The Mantle update for the game will arrive a little earlier than the Catalyst 14.1 beta, which AMD is signing off on and will also be releasing later today. If you’re a GCN-based Radeon HD7000 or newer owner and have Battlefield 4, you may see a few performance jumps later today.

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