Posts Tagged ‘NVIDIA’

Why Nvidia is overcharging us all off, just a bit

As I was saying, Intel’s CPU strategy has gone into meltdown. As a consequence, the cynicism of its approach in the face of weak competition – right up until AMD pulled its new Ryzen out of the proverbial – has been laid bare. But it’s not just Chipzilla that’s worthy of your scorn. For some time now, Nvidia has essentially been ripping us all off just a little bit. Here’s why. Read the rest of this entry »

The strange story of the PC’s not-death

Remember when the PC was dying-going-on-dead? Actually, it’s still dying with analysts prognosticating a further five per cent slippage in PC shipments this year. And yet the PC gaming hardware industry hit record sales in 2016, busting the $30 billion barrier in the process. Meanwhile, the market for innovative PC technology that’s at least ostensibly gaming-relevant has gone positively mental. Not that gaming PCs doing better than regular PCs is breaking news. But I wonder how much we’re all actually benefiting from those 18-core CPUs, VR headsets, 240Hz superwide monitors and 1TB SSDs. How much better, in other words, have your gaming PCs really got? Read the rest of this entry »

AMD’s 16-core CPU and other exciting stuff

Yes, yes, a 16-core CPU is likely-going-on-definitely irrelevant for PC gaming. But it’s an exciting notion in simple technological terms and it represents something that certainly is important for gaming, namely that the PC as a platform has woken up again. Along with that mega-CPU from AMD, we also have the imminent prospect of new graphics card families from both AMD and Nvidia, new CPUs from Intel in response to AMD Ryzen assault, an intriguing new APU, again from AMD, that could just make for some nice cheapo laptops with genuine gaming chops and, well, plenty more. And the annual Computex tech shindig hasn’t even kicked off yet…

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Nvidia release the most powerful GPU ever for the fourth time in under a year – but why?

It hungers for --new blood--

I appreciate that headline inclines a little towards melodrama, but this is really the situation: with AMD having spent the past year as something of a sleepy giant, Nvidia have been engaged in serial one-upmanship with themselves. Just under a year ago, their GTX 1080 GPU became handily the world’s most powerful consumer graphics card, followed by the even beefier 2016 Titan X shortly afterwards, which was then marginally pipped by the comparatively affordable GTX 1080 Ti last month. Now they’ve leapfrogged themselves once again with a new $1,200/£1,180 brute known as the GTX Titan Xp.

Specs’n’that below, but I think the bigger question here is ‘why are they doing this?’ Are they scared of AMD’s long-delayed riposte, or are they trying to trounce yesterday’s reveal of Microsoft’s new 4K Xbox?
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Nvidia’s new $700 1080 Ti in theory beats $1200 Titan X

With Nvidia‘s long dominance of the top end of the graphics card market potentially under threat from AMD’s upcoming RX Vega line, they’ve just offered a speculative riposte. The Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti is a buffed-up take on the year-old 1080, and though conventional wisdom (i.e. Nvidia naming traditions) would place it between that card and their $1200 Titan X, the claim is that their $700 new’un actually beats the X.

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FreeSync vs G-Sync revisited: FreeSync 2 is coming

This didn’t go too well for AMD’s FreeSync technology last time around. But lo, a shiny new version of FreeSync is inbound. Give it up for FreeSync 2: This Time It Actually Works. OK, that’s a little unfair. But hold onto your mechanical keyboards, folks, because FreeSync 2 is as much about streamlining the PC for HDR support (and indeed making AMD your weapon of choice for HDR gaming) as it is syncing your graphics card and your monitor nicely. Confused? You aren’t the only one… Read the rest of this entry »

Respect the Gibson: Watch Dogs 2 shows off PC pretties

The PC launch of Watch Dogs 2 [official site] next week might be a fortnight after its console debut but hey, at least our version of the open-world Hackers homage has extra pretties. Ubisoft have gabbed about these before and now show them off in a trailer. Sunlight light up the fog rolling across the bay really is quite something (“ray-marched volumetric fog”, if you want to get technical). Of course, there’s a world of difference between a good-looking trailer and a game which actually runs well. Read the rest of this entry »

Nvidia 1050: Cheap 1080p/60FPS Graphics?

I’ve been lucky/dorky enough to live a life in the mid-range of graphics cards, so I must confess that what goes on with entry-level boards is a bit mysterious to me. Clearly though, that’s where a whole heap of people need to focus their interests – in many cases purely because of cost, in others because they’re stuck with some nasty off-the-shelf PC that doesn’t have enough space or power supply connectors for a Big Mama card. Nvidia’s next, the GeForce GTX 1050, is for those folk – the idea is it can do most modern games at medium settings in 1080p, at a cost of approx $110/£115. Read the rest of this entry »

Hardware Hotness: AMD’s Zen CPU, Gaming Monitors, More VR And The Silliest Laptop Ever

What with the sober-suited Euro foil to CES that is the IFA consumer electronics show, Intel’s IDF shindig, a new console or two from Sony and new version of the smartphone that dare not speak its name, it’s been a busy week or two in tech. But has there been any joy for the good old PC? You know, that dessicated old thing that just so happens to be by far the best gaming platform, period? There’s certainly been some startling new PC-gaming kit, including surely the most preposterous gaming laptop ever. But also some newness of genuine relevance, including an update on AMD’s new Zen CPU, some very interesting screens, plus a few further potentially PC-related oddities that are hard to gauge for now.

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Photographic Evidence: The Witness Adds Ansel Support

As pretty as it is, I don’t know why you’d share screenshots of The Witness [official site] – the primary response seems to be people screaming that your screenshot of a pebble contains the hugest of spoilers. However, bold video game photographers now have a new tool. J. Blo and Thekla’s puzzler has added support for Ansel, the super-swish camera mode exclusive to Nvidia cards. It lets players place the camera where they please, tweak lens settings like rotation and field of view, then save snaps in fancy formats like 63360×35640 or VR view-o-spheres. Pretty!

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NVIDIA Will Refund You $30 For Your GTX 970

NVIDIA’s 2014 medium-high-range graphics card the GeForce GTX 970 was and is a powerful board – I’m using one right now, and it’s perfectly capable of running games at decent settings at 3440×1440 – but there was one fly in its otherwise well-received ointment. Though billed as having 4GB of onboard memory, the reality was that its RAM was divided into one 3.5GB chunk and one slower 512MB chunk. NVIDIA refutes that this meant the board was in effect just 3.5GB, and claims performance was not meaningfully impacted. However, the firm was also accused of overstating specs regarding the 970’s render output processors and L2 cache.

Numbers, numbers, but what you really need to know is that the alleged misrepresentation led to a clutch of class-action lawsuits – which NVIDIA has now agreed to settle. By refunding every American 970 purchaser 30 bucks.
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Stop That, It’s Silly: Nvidia’s New Titan X Graphics Card

Sooner than anyone expected, Nvidia has rolled out its latest uber graphics card. It’s the new Titan X. It’s undoubtedly the fastest and bestest PC graphics board ever and probably by some margin. And it will cost you $1,200 and probably a similar post-VAT sterling figure back in the old, disintegrating empire. Call me a desiccated old cynic, but this is getting silly…

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Nvidia’s VR Funhouse Is A Wacky Physics Showcase


I don’t say this lightly: Nvidia have created what is surely gaming’s most advanced simulation of blasting goo at a clown’s face. They’ve bunged their GameWorks fluid, hair, volumetric fire, and destruction physics simulation doodads into a fairground-themed minigame collection exclusive to HTC Vive to give us what is surely – and I don’t say this lightly – gaming’s greatest concentration of fancy but prohibitively expensive technology. But those blessed few who have both cybergoggles and a top-end Nvidia card, oh my friends you will be blasting clowns tonight all right.

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Nvidia Ansel Now Snapping In Mirror’s Edge Catalyst

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst [official site] is the first game to receive support for Ansel, Nvidia’s fancy new tool for taking good-looking screenshots. Ansel’s basically a photo mode, letting players pause games to reposition and adjust the camera, only it also supports post-processing effects, creating 360° panoramas, and more. It looks mighty handy for amateur video game photographers. Two problems: it’s only for Nvidia cards; and games must be patched to support it. But hey, for all its flaws, Catalyst is certainly a pretty enough game to start with. The Witcher 3’s coming too, you know.

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Nvidia’s New GeForce GTX 1080 Graphics

Hate to say I told you so. Or rather, I don’t and so I’m going to gloat. Contrary to numerous comment protestations, Nvidia’s 2016 graphics awesomeness has begun in the shape of its new GeForce GTX 1080 and 1070 cards. Based on the new Pascal architecture and teensy 16nm transistors, the new GPUs are exactly as expected. And yet also quite different. Meanwhile, AMD has dropped some hints regards the shape of Radeons to come. It all adds up to an exciting summer for PC graphics and a very good reason to put your GPU purchases on temporary hold, especially if VR is your bag… Read the rest of this entry »

Flash Bang Wallop! Nvidia Ansel’s Screenshot Tools

Nvidia have unveiled their next top-end GPU, the GeForce GTX 1080, which they say can draw lots of really nice pictures really fast. Look, I’m sure Jeremy and his Week in Tech will have more to say about that soon, but what’s interesting to me is the software they announced alongside it. Nvidia Ansel will let people take fancier screenshots, pausing the action to rearrange the camera, apply effects, take ultra-high-res snaps, make 360-degree panoramas compatible with VR goggles, and so on. Support for Ansel is coming to Nvidia GPUs for games including The Witcher 3, The Witness, and No Man’s Sky, and it’ll work on many cards older than the 1080 too.

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2016 Awesomeness: Nvidia’s New Pascal Graphics

If it was a car it would be a gold-wrapped, kleptocrat-owned Bugatti Veyron ostentatiously double parked outside a Knightsbridge hotel. It’s still bloated, it’s still overly complex and you still can’t afford it. But it’s a graphics chip and a harbinger of things you might actually be able to buy. I give you Nvidia’s new Pascal GP100, a 15.3 billion transistor beast and the beginnings of that 2016 awesomeness I promised for the new year. In other words, if you’re thinking of buying a new graphics card, you might want to hold fire. Meanwhile, Intel has also taken the wraps off a massive new chip you can’t afford and the final piece the Laird Gaming Dungeon™: Driver Edition has arrived. Yup, I’m liking 2016.

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Vulkan API: It’s Gaming, Jim, But Not As We Know It

One API to rule them all. Wrong fantasy franchise, perhaps, but that’s the idea behind Vulkan, the snazzy open-source successor to OpenGL, alternative to Microsoft’s DirectX and something that might shake up gaming on everything from PCs to phones. But what’s an API? And why should you care? We’ll come to that. For now, if Vulkan is everything it’s cracked up to be, it’ll make games run faster and look better on your existing PC. It might make that SteamOS thing a goer, too. Anyway, version 1.0 is out, so the chattering weberati will be casually trading Vulkan references to prove their PC gaming prowess. Time to bone up. Plus I’ve just sat through a five-hour keynote stream on Vulkan from GDC 2016. So humour me. This stuff is actually quite interesting.

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Tom Clancy’s The Division’s Trio Of Trailers

With The Division [official site] coming out next week, Ubisoft are releasing a flood of trailers. You can now watch the official launch trailer for a parade of press quotes, dramatic music, and voiceovers. Or you might prefer a trailer focused on technological PC prettybits. Or, if you want to drill down into it, another trailer gets technical with the game’s Nvidia Gameworks effects (you might want to nod knowingly at terms like ‘HBAO+’ and ‘PCSS’). You might find something right up your Fifth Avenue.

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Is Your Feeble PC Ready For VR?

This is not virtual. This is reality. The two big beasts of the coming VR revolution are lumbering into view. It’s actually happening. By the end of April both the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive VR headsets will be on sale. Things you can actually buy. Yes, yes, virtual reality has had several false starts. But this time, you can sense it. This time, it’s different. Well, probably. Oh, OK, nobody knows how big an impact VR is going to have in the next few years. But what I can do is help you to understand how much PC power you’re probably going need to get the most out of the new headsets.

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