A potential candidate for a home brewed Steam Machine
It appears Powercolor is getting ready to launch a passively cooled version of AMD's Radeon R9 270 graphics card. Powercolor has yet to formally introduce what it's calling the R9 270 SCS3 edition, but if you look around the web, you'll discover some overseas retailers listing the SKU, including one that managed to get its hands on a press photo of the upcoming card.
The much-anticipated Mantle API is ready at long last for its official launch, with an onslaught of drivers and patches enabling low-level API going live yesterday. Those looking to get their hands dirty with Mantle will need to install the Catalyst 14.1 beta drivers which can be downloaded over the next few days from AMD's official website.
Mantle update, frame pacing fixes, and more arriving soon
AMD let us know that it's on-schedule with its highly anticipated Mantle API update for Battlefield 4, and will be delivering it January 30th. Following the update it will release Catalyst 14.1 Beta drivers, which are required to run the Mantle API in Battlefield. The new drivers will include the mantle update as well as a host of additional updates that include phase two of its frame pacing fix, HSA implementation for Kaveri APUs, and more.
AMD's foray into ARM-based server SoCs begins with the Opteron A Series
A milestone has been reached in Sunnyvale less than a month into 2014. Chip designer AMD formally introduced its first 64-bit ARM-based server system-on-chip (SoC) previously codenamed "Seattle" and now called Opteron A1100. The chip is fabricated using a 28-nanometer process technology and is the first of its kind from an established server vendor. Along with the new SoC, AMD also unveiled a new development platform intended to make software design on the Opteron A1100 Series quick and easy.
It's the wild west out there and if you're looking to wield a six shooter without spending a pile a gold, the weapon makers in Sunnyvale have some solutions. One of them sits in the spotlight as today's top deal -- it's an AMD FX-6300 Vishera 3.5GHz Six-Core Desktop CPU for $110 with free shipping (normally $120 -- use coupon code: [EMCPWHB22]). This 32nm part features AMD's Piledriver architecture and is equipped with 8MB of L2 cache. It's also unlocked, in case you're into overclocking.
For other deals that include an Intel Core i7 4820K (Ivy Bridge) and more, click the "Read More" button!
Several months ago, AMD Product Manager Deveon Nekechuck boldly claimed that the Radeon R9 290X would be able to "ridicule" Nvidia's GeForce Titan graphics card when running Battlefield 4 with Mantle, AMD's new graphics API. It's worth noting that the R9 290 sports a smaller 438 square mm die compared to the Titan's 550 square mm GK110. Unfortunately for us and everyone else wanting to put that claim to the test, the Mantle patch for Battlefield 4 might be delayed once again.
AMD just fleshed out its Opteron 6300 Series of server processors with a pair of new chips, one of which is a 12-core part and the other a 16-core offering. These additions to what AMD calls "Warshaw" are intended for enterprise applications and feature AMD's "Piledriver" core architecture. They're also fully socket and software compatible with the existing Opteron 6300 Series.
Wins in the console sector have paid off handsomely
On hindsight, AMD absolutely made the right decision to purchase ATI, an acquisition that was met with some skepticism among analysts at the time. What those analysts couldn't have predicted is that several years later the PC market would find itself in a slump, leaving AMD to lean heavily on its graphics division. In doing so, AMD posted a profit of $89 million, or 12 cents a share, in the fourth quarter of 2013, rebounding from a $473 million loss, or 63 cents a share, a year prior.
We pour one out for Katherine, then discuss all the sweet gear we spotted at CES.
The No BS Podcast has returned, both from the holiday break, and from CES, and we've recorded Episode #216. Sadly, things are starting off on a somber note, as Editor-in-Chief Katherine Stevenson has announced she is leaving the magazine to pursue other interests here at Future US. She will be sorely missed, and we wish her the best of luck at her new gig. Since we must carry on, we did, so we jumped into a discussion of all the hardware we saw at CES, including the Steam Machines, 4K panels, Razer's Project Christine, and Oculus Rift. Gordon had his ear to the ground for CPU news at CES too, and discusses what Intel told him at the show. We also all have a chat about AMD"s new Kaveri APU. We finished the proceedings with our Editors' Picks, and the Gordon tackled the controversial topic of comic books being made into movies and wearable computing.