Big performance gains are possible using DirectX 12
Intel is turning heads at SIGGRAPH 2014 by showcasing its upcoming DirectX 12 API. This year's SIGGRAPH in Vancouver is the 41st intentional conference on computer graphics, and one of the highlights is a demonstration comparing DX11 versus DX12, the latter of which underscores the relationship between performance and power. In the demo, simply switching APIs results in up to a 70 percent boost in graphics performance.
Showcasing the sexiest, most photogenic game screenshots this side of the Internet
We've got our Rig of the Month feature for amazing case mods, but what is a graphics afficionado supposed to do with his or her stellar screenshots? We've got you covered with Graphics Porn. Every month, we'll be collecting and publishing the most beautiful, photogenic, and amazing screenshots submitted by Maximum PC readers.
PlayStation 4 and Xbox One sales contributed to a 118 percent jump in semi-custom SoC revenue
Propped up by next-generation console launches by Microsoft (Xbox One) and Sony (PlayStation 4), AMD today announced first quarter revenue $1.4 billion, which is a decrease of 12 percent sequentially but up a whopping 28 percent compared to the same quarter a year ago. Unfortunately for AMD, the jump in revenue still amounted to a $20 million loss, or $0.03 per share, though the Sunnyvale chip designer feels good about where it's at.
This dual-GPU monster wields 5,760 CUDA cores and 12GB of memory
If you were hoping Nvidia would unleash a beast at the GPU Technology Conference (GTC), you certainly won't be disappointed. You might, however, suffer a stroke induced from sticker shock -- totally understandable, given that Nvidia just unveiled the GeForce Titan Z for $2,999! Information is coming in fast and furious, but so far it appears the Titan Z is essentially a dual-GPU version of the Titan Black.
Nvidia today splashed the mobile market with more than half a dozen new GPUs comprising the company's GeForce GTX 800M Series. This is a top to bottom release, meaning the new GPUs range from entry-level (GeForce 830M) all the way up to what Nvidia claims is the fastest mobile graphics chip in the world, the GeForce GTX 880M. The new releases join Nvidia's already available 820M GPU.
The analytical folks at Jon Peddie Research (JPR) say there's evidence to show the graphics market may have bottomed out and is now slowly recovering, though cautioned it's still a bit premature to make any concrete determination. That said, graphics shipments increased 1.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013, which is the second quarter in a row that shipments have been up sequentially.
MSI today announced the arrival of its new GX Series of gaming laptops with AMD inside. These include the 15.6-inch GX60 Destroyer and 17.3-inch GX70 Destroyer, both with Full HD 1080p (1920x1080) non-reflective displays. Both models also feature the same APU and GPU -- an AMD A10-5750 processor clocked at 2.3GHz (3.5GHz Turbo) and AMD Radeon R9 M290X graphics.
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.
Overall graphics shipments rose 1.6 percent in the third quarter of 2013, marking the second consecutive quarter of positive growth, according to the latest data by Jon Peddie Research. At the same time, shipments in Q3 were down 8.8 percent compared to the same quarter a year ago, JPR said. Q3 is typically when retailers stock up inventory for the holiday shopping season, and though the gain this quarter was smaller than in pre-2008 years, it still ended on a positive note.
AMD has been promising big things from its Mantle graphics API, not the least of which is that its flagship GPU will "ridicule" Nvidia's GeForce Titan in Battlefield 4 in terms of performance. As opposed to high level APIs like OpenGL and Direct3D that operate on many different devices, Mantle is a low level API focused on AMD's Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture. There's potential to do some great things with Mantle, and that has developers excited.