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Posts Tagged ‘AMD’

AMD Catalyst driver

It’s been a long time coming and AMD is pretty much ready to step away from the first generation graphics architecture that set them on their current course. Graphics Core Next debuted with the launch of the Radeon HD7970 on 9 January 2012.  It morphed into the HD7970 GHz edition before being cut down slightly and re-sold as the Radeon R9 280X. This is the first time that a GPU from AMD has lasted this long and it’s high time that a fresh set of hardware is launched. The next step on the way to GCN 2.0 is the R9 285 belonging to the Tonga GPU family and according to recent rumors and leaks, it’s going to be quite unlike the Tahiti-based R9 280/280X we’re normally used to.

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AMD 2013 header

Discussing the future of AMD has almost become a global sport, with everyone chiming in with their ideas of how things will play out or how they should be run. I’m guilty of that at times as much as anyone else – ideally I’d like to see AMD succeed and return to the days when the Phenom II and K10 and K10.5 architectures were still competitive with the Core 2 and Core families from Intel, but it isn’t a realistic possibility. The landscape has changed so drastically that those golden years of the late 90’s and 2006 specifically (when Intel couldn’t make enough Core 2 Duo processors to satisfy demand) are long gone. Intel had their struggling time with the Pentium 4 and they walked out of that one relatively intact.

It’s AMD’s turn now to close the book on Bulldozer and all its derivatives and look to the future, to a fresh start.

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AMD-Radeon-R7-SSD

AMD seems to be working really hard to maintain a positive public image and one of the things it’s been doing recently is touting the advantages of an all-AMD system (yes, there are a few). But for the brand-obsessed, particularly if you like matching up hardware from the same vendor that’s supposed to gel well together, AMD has another piece of the PC puzzle under the Radeon brand – solid state drives made by OCZ.

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AMD new cpus

AMD’s in a bit of a lull this time of year and there isn’t much interesting happening. To fill in the gaps between whenever they launch new GPUs in the months of September/October and their recent launch of the rest of the Kaveri APUs, they are pushing out another two chips, this time for socket FM2+ and socket AM3+. The Athlon X4 860K is a replacement for the outgoing Athlon X4 760K and the FX-8300 bridges in the price gap between the FX-6350 and the FX-8320.

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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.


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