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New R7 and R9 2xx GPUs will launch as a complete family from day one

At a tech preview event in Hawaii, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) revealed its vision for next generation GPUs, APUs, and graphics technologies.  It also teased at a path away from DirectX for PC gamers, a new proprietary, AMD-specific API dubbed "Mantle" that works on the PC, console, and potentially Linux (e.g. the Steam Box) in the future.  

I. Is Radeon Gaming?

Today AMD has some ammo when it boldly proclaims "Radeon is Gaming".  The PC market remains a very competitive two horse race between AMD and NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA); but in the the console market AMD controls all three of the current/upcoming next generation consoles.

Of course the one place AMD is weak is the mobile market where NVIDIA's GeForce-equipped Tegra, Imagination Technologies Plc.'s (LON:IMG) PowerVR, Qualcomm, Inc. (QCOM) Adreno, and ARM Holdings Plc.'s (LON:ARM) Mali compete for market dominance.  But AMD is content to ignore its weakness in that market, in this bit of chest puffing.

AMD began its talk by emphasizing its console wins and bragging that it is adding 16x as much accessible memory and TFLOPs of computing performance in the Sony Corp.'s (TYO:6758) PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Xbox One.  AMD produces the CPU and GPU for both consoles; it also produces the GPU for Nintendo Comp., Ltd.'s (TYO:7974) WiiU.

PS4 Dual Shock 4
Sony's PS4 and Microsoft's Xbox One are expected to amount to millions of APU and GPU sales per month for AMD. [Image Source: Sony]

(NVIDIA, for the record claims it "allowed" AMD to dominate this generation of the console market.)

Some have speculated that AMD isn't making much of its console contracts, but at the very least it's giving AMD market share and the ability to control the direction of the graphics hardware market to a broader extent than when it was simply a player in the PC component market.

AMD console investment

AMD plans to use that broad base to drive new technologies -- such as programmable audio -- onto the market via its diverse coalition of hardware partners and game makers.

AMD driving the gaming industry

Matt Skinner, General Manager of AMD's graphics business unit outlined a central premise of the talk, remarking, "We need both sight and sound for an immersive gaming experience.... when you're playing a game you don't turn off your monitor... and when you're playing a game you don't turn off your speakers."

Radeon is Gaming

But as much as AMD's event outlined a broad platform-level vision, it's juiciest parts were targeted at the business AMD knows best -- the $18B USD PC gaming market; a market that is expected to grow to $21B USD by 2016.

II. Volcanic Islands Erupts Onto the Scene

At the heart of AMD's ambitions for desktop dominance are the much-anticipated successors the Radeon HD 7000 (Southern Islands) series cards.  These cards are based on a brand new GPU -- Volcanic Islands -- and are branded as the R7 2xx and R9 2xx family cards.

These are the first announced GPUs to support Microsoft's upcoming DirectX 11.2 standard, which will be introduced with the free upgrades to Windows 8.1/8.1 RT.  This is more than a bit ironic -- as you'll see if you read on -- as AMD is also working to provide customers with a new path (albeit a proprietary one) away from Microsoft's DirectX altogether (Mantle).
 
Volcanic Islands

The Volcanic Islands GPUs utilize the next iteration of Graphics Core Next (GCN) which was introduced with the Radeon HD 7000 series.  The latest GCN chips will compete against Intel Corp.'s (INTC) Xeon Phi (available) and NVIDIA Corp.'s (NVDA) (upcoming, unannounced) Maxwell chips in GPU computing supercomputers and will compete with Maxwell and Intel's Iris Pro in the gaming market.

Radeon R7/R9 GCN

The new GCN-based R7 and R9 architectures are built on a mature second-generation Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Comp., Ltd. (TPE:2330) process -- or possibly a similar 28 nm process by the Common Platform Alliance whose manufacturers include International Business Machines, Corp. (IBM), GlobalFoundries, Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930).

TSMC chips
Volcanic Islands is produced at a 28 nm node. [Image Source: Reuters]

Clearly AMD has worked hard to get its supply chain in order and is opting for a bit different strategy for this family of chips versus the Radeon HD 6000 and 7000 series.  Where as past series it did a soft launch, followed by the hard launch of one or two cards, for this family it's introduced an entire full-fledged family of R7 and R9 cards with Volcanic Islands GPUs at the soft launch, which will launch from day one when the hard launch hits.  

The R7/R9 two tier system is similar to NVIDIA's GT versus GTX divide, although that divide is muddled slightly by the 'X' that appears following all but the lowest R7 card's numbering.
 
AMD Volcanic Islands

III. Meet the R7, R9 Cards

Mr. Skinner brags that the new Radeons family features "a top to bottom product line for every gamer", and that, "We believe we have winners at ever price."

The new family of Volcanic Islands GPUs consists of five cards:

Volcanic Island GPUs
  • R7 250
    • "The most powerful GPU for under $90"
    • 1 GB GDDR5
       
  • R7 260X
    • "The most powerful GPU for under $160"
    • $139 price point (rumored)
    • 2 GB GDDR5
       
  • R9 270X
    • "The most powerful GPU for under $200"
    • 2 GB GDDR5
       
  • R9 280X
    • "The most powerful GPU for under $300"
    • 3 GB GDDR5
       
  • R9 290X
    • AMD claims this is the "world's most powerful" GPU
      • 6 billion transistors (+2 bill. from Radeon HD 7970 GE)
      • 4 GB GDDR5 (+1 GB from 7970 GE)
      • 5 TFLOPS of compute power (+1 TFLOP from 7970 GE)
      • Capable of rendering 4 billion triangles/sec
      • 300 GB/sec. bandwidth (vs. 288 GB/sec. in 7970 GE) 
        • AMD says this bandwidth will support 4K gaming with "100+ layers" of effects
           
    • No announced price
    • Bundled with Electronic Arts Inc.'s (EA) Battlefield 4 for those who preorder, which will go live Oct. 3:

      Battlefield 4

It's clear from the R9 290X launch bundled that the formal launch date for the cards is sometime after early October -- potentially in the early November alongside Windows 8.1/Windows 8.1 RT, and the new wave of consoles (PS4, Xbox One).

IV. GPU Programmable Audio -- Revolutionary or Hype?

The most intriguing feature in the new R7/R9 series cards is a new programmable audio engine dubbed "TrueAudio".  AMD bragged the TrueAudio was the first "fully programmable audio engine" built around the shader model.

AMD True Audio

Raji Koduri -- the chief technical officer of AMD's graphics group, who returned to AMD recently after a stint at Apple, Inc (AAPL) -- recalls, "Programmable shaders revolutionized graphics... programmable shaders let the artists at graphics companies to express themselves, to differentiate themselves."

He then went on to argue that the ability to use GPU hardware to speed up audio processing via its massively parallel core model will revolutionize the quality of gaming sound.

To support that claim Mr. Koduri discussed two examples -- one in which hundreds of voices of non-player characters (NPCs) are processed in real-time (think Skyrim) using graphics acceleration, and another in which 24 channel audio is squeezed into 7.1 channel audio via a computational approximation.

Versus competitive digital signal processing (DSP) engines, AMD brags that its TrueAudio solution is the most effective for game audio as it works hand in hand with graphical position data, so that it's far simpler for developers to write code to simulate 3D sound.

AMD True Audio

AMD is rolling out TrueAudio to its higher end R9 family, and to its GPUs in the Xbox One/PS4.  This means that most of the console market and a significant chunk of the PC enthusiast markets will have game-optimized 3D audio DSP on tap for the first time.

V. New Games, Better Multi-Monitor, New Technologies Are Incoming

AMD also invited a broad host of gaming partners to show off their upcoming wares and highlighted a number of technologies in R7 and R9, and technologies which it's pushing towards.

Among the major goals AMD highlighted was its efforts to wipe out the barriers to porting games between Linux, consoles, and Windows.  AMD is working to push PCs towards a console-like model for rendering, doing away with Microsoft's proprietary DirectX intermediate (which would also minimize the cost of porting your title to, say, a Linux Steam Box -- uh oh).

AMD PC v. console

AMD PC v. Console (2)

The technical details of this are a bit hazy, but it sounds like AMD is building a slimmer, multi-OS API that will allow for common graphics code between, consoles, Linux PCs, and Windows PCs.  Clearly this is very onerous to Microsoft.  The new slim API is dubbed "Mantle".

AMD Mantle

EA has developed a rendering engine called "FrostBite 3" designed to run on Mantle on the PS4, Xbox One, and Windows.  The test case for the new engine will be BattleField 4.

EA FrostBite

AMD also highlighted its Forward+ feature for the Volcanic Islands family -- sort of like an improved forward rendering scheme -- which allows transparent materials and numerous hardware-acclerate light sources.

AMD Forward+

AMD also highlighted its multi-monitor and ultra high-definition (UHD) gaming (aka 4K gaming) efforts.  Mr. Skinner says this technology "makes gamers more competitive", adding, "AMD pioneered multiscreen gaming with our Eyefinity technology."

Multi-display Eyefinity

AMD Ultra HD

Crytek and AMD co-developed a demo using AMD's "Ruby" red-headed female mascot which shows off the power of Volcanic Islands.

AMD Ruby

Aside from EA's Battlefield 4, other titles shown off included Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd. (TYO:9684) subsidiary Eidos's latest iteration of the "Thief" franchise -- which reboots the series -- and Xaviant LLC's CryEngine-based "Lichdom" RPG-esque spellcaster first person adventure game.

All images courtesy of AMD, unless otherwise noted.

Sources: AMD, AnandTech



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3dfx
By Da W on 9/25/2013 6:27:59 PM , Rating: 2
Feels lime when Nvidia introduced transform & lightning To its GPU, effectively killing 3dfx who has notmtjis fracture.




RE: 3dfx
By yik3000 on 9/25/2013 7:28:24 PM , Rating: 2
this reminds me i've got a Voodoo II hanging on my wall which become my geeky home decorations.


RE: 3dfx
By StormyKnight on 9/25/2013 11:09:33 PM , Rating: 3
nVidia's T&L engine did NOT kill off 3dfx. T&L was feature that was never fully utilized until later cards. 3dfx is responsible for their decline. Greg Ballard didn't understand Research and Development. When 3dfx purchased STB to release their own cards and not supplying OEMs with chips killed them deader than dead.


RE: 3dfx
By bug77 on 9/26/2013 4:21:28 AM , Rating: 1
At the time, nvidia was marketing 32bit capable graphic cards. Oblivious to the fact that while technically the 32bit capability was there, but the processing power required to handle 32bit was not, users started dismissing 3dfx for only offering 16bit graphics. Of course, it's not nvidia's fault 3dfx didn't counter their claims and instead chose to rely on users to make the difference themselves.
Nvidia did that again when they marketed the FX5200 as a DX9 card, stealing lots of sales from the superior Radeon 9000(Pro).


RE: 3dfx
By StevoLincolnite on 9/26/2013 5:32:39 AM , Rating: 3
The Geforce FX 5200 was a Direct X 9.0 card.

It was just to slow anyway to fully utilize SM 2.0 shaders or other Direct X 9.0 effects.
In-fact the letdown with the FX was it's SM2.0 performance.

The FX 5200 was also slower than the Geforce 4 MX 440 that it was supposed to replace which was a Direct X 7.0 specced card.

The upside to it all was the Geforce FX 5700LE, priced at the same level as the FX 5200, but you could overclock it to 5700 speeds, was great for the price.

Obviously the best card that entire generation was the Radeon 9500 which could be fully unlocked and overclocked essentially into a 9700, it was able to give anything nVidia had a run for it's money. :)


RE: 3dfx
By Da W on 9/26/2013 6:14:33 AM , Rating: 3
It may be that. Point is if this feature catches on, and i know i want it, Nvidia is in trouble. Not to mention a lower-priced R9-290X as pwerful as a Titan.


RE: 3dfx
By boobo on 9/26/2013 7:57:56 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe T&L wasn't fully utilized -in games- until later, but there were demos showing the possibilities that made people flock to the GF256 in droves. I remember one of a weird island (Dr. Muroe's?) that was orders of magnitude beyond any game seen at that time.

It's sort of like the Wii. People bought it for what demos like WiiSports promised, even if we're still waiting for real games that deliver on that promise.


*sniff*
By Motoman on 9/25/2013 5:20:15 PM , Rating: 2
http://a134.idata.over-blog.com/290x355/2/74/05/72...

I'll give you $10 for that Sharpie you've had stuck in your shorts all day...




RE: *sniff*
By raphd on 9/25/2013 5:31:08 PM , Rating: 2
I'd rather stick this sharpie into her shorts...


RE: *sniff*
By Motoman on 9/25/2013 5:33:22 PM , Rating: 2
It's kind of like when you get a shot at the doctor's office...

"This will only take a minute...you'll just feel a little prick..."


RE: *sniff*
By GulWestfale on 9/25/2013 5:54:49 PM , Rating: 2
ah, the sweet smell of... desperation.


RE: *sniff*
By Motoman on 9/25/2013 6:01:53 PM , Rating: 2
I love the smell of desperation in the morning.


RE: *sniff*
By GulWestfale on 9/25/2013 6:12:54 PM , Rating: 2
yes, but does she?


RE: *sniff*
By Motoman on 9/25/2013 8:33:24 PM , Rating: 3
Dunno. She left XD


Intel gaming gpu competition
By Phoque on 9/27/2013 11:27:49 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
The latest GCN chips ... will compete ... Intel's Iris Pro in the gaming market.


I don't believe there's any competition from Intel in the gaming GPU market.




RE: Intel gaming gpu competition
By purerice on 10/9/2013 1:11:02 AM , Rating: 2
Don't tell that to Intel's marketing division :P


Weakness in mobile?
By piroroadkill on 9/26/2013 8:05:41 AM , Rating: 2
They sold that business to Qualcomm! Adreno is the descendent of ATI's mobile strategy!

ATI Imageon...




stupid audio engine...
By Gnarr on 9/26/2013 8:05:20 AM , Rating: 1
why is it only programmable in Hawaii?




I'll Pass
By Reclaimer77 on 9/25/13, Rating: -1
RE: I'll Pass
By inighthawki on 9/25/2013 7:02:13 PM , Rating: 5
I've heard bad things about their Crossfire support, but as an owner of AMD cards for nearly 10 years, I can't say I've ever run into any huge issues with their drivers.


RE: I'll Pass
By TakinYourPoints on 9/25/2013 7:09:04 PM , Rating: 1
I haven't used AMD in my desktops in ages, but the only serious BSOD issues I ever had with Windows XP came from Radeon 9800 Pro drivers. I know that was about ten years ago but man that put a bad taste in my mouth.

I do have it in a laptop right now, and my biggest issue is actually their control panel. NVIDIA's is much better laid out, easier to use, and logical.


RE: I'll Pass
By inighthawki on 9/25/2013 7:43:30 PM , Rating: 2
That's interesting, because I had the exact opposite experience. My 9800 pro back in the day was for me one of the most stable and awesome cards I had ever owned, and my NVidia card just before caused massive numbers of BSODs.

Also I cannot comment on the control panel stuff. I install the driver through device manager specifically so it doesn't install all that unnecessary junk. I haven't seen or used NVidia or AMDs control panels apps in years.


RE: I'll Pass
By retrospooty on 9/25/2013 10:36:31 PM , Rating: 2
That was my experience too. The Radeon 9800 was a classic card. It was like the gaming standard of its day. I never had a problem with it, or the 9800 pro that replaced it.


RE: I'll Pass
By bug77 on 9/26/2013 4:16:48 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed, Radeon 9000 series were way above Geforce FX 5000. And the last time ATI soundly beat nvidia.
The major problem I had with ATI was delayed X server support. I mean, when a new Ubuntu distro came out, ATI was sure to NOT have support for the included X.org server. And Ubuntu is being conservative about the packages it includes. Nvidia on the other hand, has practically supported each X release from day 1, while offering almost the same performance levels as it does on Windows. Plus working power management. Why would I ever look back?


RE: I'll Pass
By The Von Matrices on 9/25/2013 10:52:08 PM , Rating: 2
That's why you've had a good experience. The base drivers are pretty good; it's the features built on top of those drivers and that require the control panel that have issues (e.g. crossfire and eyefinity). The fewer features you use, the less likely you'll be to have a problem.


RE: I'll Pass
By ShaolinSoccer on 9/26/2013 12:11:27 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
That's why you've had a good experience. The base drivers are pretty good; it's the features built on top of those drivers and that require the control panel that have issues (e.g. crossfire and eyefinity). The fewer features you use, the less likely you'll be to have a problem.


That goes for pretty much any card you plug in. No need to install the software. Just point Windows to the correct driver folder.


RE: I'll Pass
By Reclaimer77 on 9/26/2013 1:36:43 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Also I cannot comment on the control panel stuff. I install the driver through device manager specifically so it doesn't install all that unnecessary junk. I haven't seen or used NVidia or AMDs control panels apps in years.


Umm you know those are just very basic drivers, right? And there's some significant features you might be missing out on by not installing them.

No offense, but I don't know anyone who exclusively uses the drivers from Microsoft for their graphics card.

I guess if you don't game at all or want good multi-monitor support it wouldn't matter that much though.


RE: I'll Pass
By inighthawki on 9/26/2013 11:18:41 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not using basic Microsoft drivers, I'm using manufacturer drivers. Go download the driver package from NVIDIA or AMD, extract it, but instead of using their installer and installing all the extra junk, go to device manager and upgrade driver, pointing to the extracted directory. Those are the only really important part of the driver package. The control panel and update software they install is mostly useless.


RE: I'll Pass
By troysavary on 9/26/2013 1:44:33 PM , Rating: 2
You get the manufacturer's drivers when you let Windows handle the driver installation. You only use Microsoft's drivers to be able to display anything at all until you install the proper drivers. Why do you think the option to 'search automatically for updated driver software' is in the device manager? Because it searches the manufacturer's website and downloads the proper driver.

Seriously, refrain from commenting until you actually know what you are talking about.


RE: I'll Pass
By Reclaimer77 on 9/26/2013 2:23:44 PM , Rating: 3
Are you so hatefull of me that you need to twist everything?

Of course they are manufactures drivers! You're just getting them from Microsoft instead.

My point was you're gimping yourself doing it that way. If I have to sit here and list all the settings you don't have access to, and all the features you miss out on, then YOU are the clueless one.

Game profiles alone are worth it. Being able to have game-specific video settings is super useful IMO.

Seriously what is your problem?


RE: I'll Pass
By inighthawki on 9/26/2013 3:06:53 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed, I think he was twisting what you said just a bit.

However "gimping yourself" depends a lot on the context of things. The settings in NVidia's control panel are really only useful when you try to do things that are not supported by the OS, such as multi-monitor gaming similar to eyefinity. Otherwise the base UMD and KMD package contains all the functionality necessary to maximize the performance of the hardware. The game profiles really don't add that much benefit besides maybe letting you tweak a few values that the game doesn't directly expose.

quote:
Game profiles alone are worth it. Being able to have game-specific video settings is super useful IMO.

To each his own. I don't find much value in it at all.


RE: I'll Pass
By troysavary on 9/27/2013 4:49:14 AM , Rating: 2
Apparently the poster you to thought you meant what I thought you meant. Iy appeared that, once again, you were trying to make someone else look stupid and you just did so to yourself again. You are wrong so often in such a smu manner, it is easy to just think you are doing the same. I am not hateful of you, you are just such an idiot, it is hard not to reply. It doesn't matter what the subject is, if it is about a product where you use a rival product, you simply can't avoid jumping in and saying that product sucks. If anyone disagrees with you it is because they are stupid or don't know what they are talking about. You have some weird need to validate your purchases by denigrating the competition and anyone who uses it.

I know what is offered in the control panels and such. But that is not what you said in your post. You made it sound as if he was using the MS supplied VGA driver if he used the control panel to install the driver. But, as usual, when you are proven wrong, you backtrack and try to say that is not what you said.


RE: I'll Pass
By troysavary on 9/27/2013 5:41:43 AM , Rating: 2
I went back a re-read exactly what you posted to see if I did any twisting.

quote:
No offense, but I don't know anyone who exclusively uses the drivers from Microsoft for their graphics card.


Yes, I really twisted that to make it appear you meant from Microsoft.


RE: I'll Pass
By Reclaimer77 on 9/27/2013 1:43:22 PM , Rating: 2
Man you must be a great guy to be around...

Wife - "I got that turkey from Target."

You - "Uhh it says here its from Hillshire Farms!! Why did you say its FROM Target!? WHATS YOUR AGENDA!!!"

Seriously stop wasting our time with your nonsense, goddamn fool.


RE: I'll Pass
By inighthawki on 9/27/2013 2:52:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Umm you know those are just very basic drivers, right? And there's some significant features you might be missing out on by not installing them.

No offense, but I don't know anyone who exclusively uses the drivers from Microsoft for their graphics card.


Obviously there's no proof of what you meant since I cannot read your mind, but your original reply to my post heavily had the implication that you thought I was using Microsoft's basic VGA drivers, since the drivers received even from Windows Update (The closest backtracking you can get from saying "From Microsoft") are fully optimized for the card you have and are missing relatively few features, so it would make no sense.

The only one being a fool here is you. Instead of clarifying your point you just go around calling other people stupid.


RE: I'll Pass
By Reclaimer77 on 9/27/2013 4:30:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Agreed, I think he was twisting what you said just a bit.


You said this the other day, you agreed that I was taken out of context.

Now you're saying something COMPLETELY different. And making the same accusation. Schizoid much??

Are you and him actually the same poster on two difference accounts or something? Wtf is going on here.


RE: I'll Pass
By inighthawki on 9/27/2013 6:49:44 PM , Rating: 2
I actually misread your post the first time, to be completely honest. That's why it seems like I changed my mind, because I made a mistake. After he pointed it out, I re-read what you said and I tend to side with him based on your wording.

But as I said, your post only heavily implied it. Doesn't mean I'm accusing you of anything. The insult at the bottom was about your inability to actually clarify this, and instead just call everyone who disagrees stupid. You have a pretty bad track record in that area.

Example:
quote:
My point was you're gimping yourself doing it that way. If I have to sit here and list all the settings you don't have access to, and all the features you miss out on, then YOU are the clueless one.

You don't actually clarify at all that you show you understand the difference. Coupling with the comment from the original post:
quote:
I guess if you don't game at all or want good multi-monitor support it wouldn't matter that much though.

Makes it even more misleading because gaming and multi-monitor scenarios are fully supported without the control panels. Maybe you were referring to game profiles and eyefinity/surround, but that's not what you said. Game profiles are far from required for even heavy gaming, and multi monitor is not the same as multi monitor gaming. But again, you failed to clarify.


RE: I'll Pass
By Reclaimer77 on 9/26/2013 8:06:58 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry Takin, you have to be downrated too because you dared claim you had a driver issue with an ATI card. Other people here had no 9800 Pro issues, so CLEARLY you're a fanboi spreading FUD, am I right!?

God this place is retarded sometimes...


RE: I'll Pass
By inighthawki on 9/26/2013 8:16:14 PM , Rating: 2
It was more likely from the comment

"I know that was about ten years ago but man that put a bad taste in my mouth."

Having not touched a company's product in 10 years leaves you very little room to comment on the quality of their product. You cannot possibly have incite on it anymore. It's like claiming the last version of Windows you made was Windows XP without any service packs, and then trying to comment on the stability of Windows 8.1.

When I had my issues with NVidia cards, I avoided them for a few years, but once their drivers got more stable and their cards got better, I started taking notice, and now I own one. Having recently upgraded from an AMD card, I can say my experience with both so far has been fine. No issues with either card or drivers.


RE: I'll Pass
By Reclaimer77 on 9/26/2013 8:35:42 PM , Rating: 2
Wtf was wrong with that comment? That's a perfectly normal reaction.

10 years from now I'll probably still remember the time I got burned because of ATI incompetence. Right now I don't see anything they can do to win me back. Enthusiasts are fickle that way, you know, expecting products to actually WORK.

quote:
Having not touched a company's product in 10 years leaves you very little room to comment on the quality of their product.


Except he didn't do that. All he said was that he had a problem 10 years ago, and it pissed him off. Where did he say there was any carryover from that experience forward? He's not prejudiced against ALL ATI products. He's not saying they've all had issues.

He was speaking to one singular experience he had.

I feel if he made the exact same post, but substituted an Nvidia product for his Radeon, it would be +5.


RE: I'll Pass
By inighthawki on 9/26/2013 10:03:16 PM , Rating: 2
No I guess you're right, but that's the impression I got from the post after reading it over after seeing your comment. Personally I think it's a pretty neutral comment, not trying to say I'd personally rate it up or down.


RE: I'll Pass
By TakinYourPoints on 9/27/2013 2:28:32 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
"I know that was about ten years ago but man that put a bad taste in my mouth."


This is admission that my fear is probably unfounded right now. I always try to be fair in my evaluations, which is why I said it in the first place.

I reckon I got downvoted because I've said "controversial" things elsewhere. It doesn't bother me either way, seeing the things that get upvoted and downvoted here have little bearing on quality or accuracy.


RE: I'll Pass
By troysavary on 9/27/2013 4:57:48 AM , Rating: 2
Once again, anyone who disagrees is "retarded". Are you this smug when you are not anonymous on the internet? I doubt it. You come across as one of those keyboard tough guys.

Since Vista onward, nVidia has had much worse driver problems than ATI. In fact, nVidia alone was responsible for a large percentage of the perceived problems with Vista. Their drivers were just that bad. Since then, they've had drivers that bricked cards.

They have also had driver updates that, behind the scenes, disabled certain visual quality settings without telling you when popular benchmarks were detected, just to artificially raise scores.


RE: I'll Pass
By Reclaimer77 on 9/26/2013 1:25:27 AM , Rating: 1
If anyone cares, this breaks down the full scope of AMD's software incompetence. It's really just unbelievable!

I assumed the issue was long since fixed, but nope, it appears Crossfire is still mostly broken completely in a bunch of top titles.

I'm not going to say I've always had "huge issues" with AMD drivers. They've mostly been minor, aside from CCC always being crap compared to Nvidia Control Panel, but the Crossfire issue was the straw that broke the camels back.

And that sucks because I don't particularly see any reason why one should pay the "Nvidia tax" when AMD, on paper, has as good or better discreet graphics. But I guess that's a small price to pay for stable products and software that actually works.


RE: I'll Pass
By Reclaimer77 on 9/26/2013 1:28:56 AM , Rating: 2
Apparently the link was "spam", wtf? Well if anyone cares Google "Frame Rating: GeForce GTX 660 Ti and Radeon HD 7950".


RE: I'll Pass
By Reclaimer77 on 9/26/2013 2:25:52 AM , Rating: 2
k this passes spam filter

http://tinyurl.com/p7y5muu


RE: I'll Pass
By Spuke on 9/26/2013 3:38:43 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, that's an eye opener Rec. Thanks for the link.


RE: I'll Pass
By Reclaimer77 on 9/26/2013 8:18:02 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't it? It's almost hard to believe they got it THAT wrong. It's criminal, they knew about it too. And it's still not fixed!


RE: I'll Pass
By troysavary on 9/27/2013 5:12:16 AM , Rating: 2
You mean the "test" that Ryan did with tools given to him by nVidia? Tools that nVidia will not let people look at the internals of for "patent" reasons? No, that is not suspect at all.


RE: I'll Pass
By EasyC on 9/26/2013 9:44:37 AM , Rating: 2
You're on crack. I've had nVidia drivers for both a GTX 760 and GTX 780 hose my systems on first boot up. Like, requiring full OS reinstalls. Safe mode wouldn't work, startup repair didn't fix it, hell system restore didn't fix it. A fresh install couldn't even handle swapping the 760 to the 780. And this is on W7. Horrible.

I was really excited for this announcement just so I could return back to AMD and not have to deal with this turd of a driver. I'm sure my experience isn't over abundant, or no one would ever buy nVidia cards, but the fact that I've seen it happen on two separate machines through multiple cards speaks something.

I wish AMD released these cards yesterday because my 780 is still within the return window.


RE: I'll Pass
By Da W on 9/26/2013 11:07:30 AM , Rating: 3
Nvidia fanboyz are agitating. Proves AMD scored BIG TIME!
-Sound
-Single GPU more powerful than Titan, cheaper.
-BF4
-Mantle drivers
-Own both consoles. I mean, they OWN gaming for the next 5 years.
-Eyefinity which they already had.

It's a no brainer for me. And yes, crossfire had issues, so they went with the big GPU strategy like Nvidia this time. Problem solved. r9-290X BF4 edition for me!


RE: I'll Pass
By flyingpants1 on 9/27/2013 7:56:28 AM , Rating: 2
*They will sell weak consoles for the next 10 years

*None of that will matter because Nvidia has more resources and will build an even better product after they stop holding back and throwing away resources...

That is, once AMD forces them to compete so they can no longer get away with selling mid-range cards for flagship prices.


RE: I'll Pass
By inighthawki on 9/27/2013 11:31:52 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
*They will sell weak consoles for the next 10 years

And imagine how cheap the chip will be to make in 10 years and how large their margins will be. In the long term AMD will rake in money on this deal. It will lead to better GPUs to xompete with NVidia, and better CPUs to compete with Intel.

quote:

*None of that will matter because Nvidia has more resources and will build an even better product after they stop holding back and throwing away resources
If that's not fanboy speak I don't know what is, lol


RE: I'll Pass
By troysavary on 9/25/2013 7:44:46 PM , Rating: 5
Funny, I've been using ATI cards for 12 or 13 years now without issues. Maybe the incompetence was from the system builder, not ATI/AMD.


RE: I'll Pass
By AMDftw on 9/25/2013 8:06:48 PM , Rating: 2
Same here. I've only have use 6800gt and 8800gt. Everything else has been ATI/AMD. Single, Crossfire, and TriFire with zero problems. Currently run dual 6970 with latest drivers.


RE: I'll Pass
By Mitch101 on 9/25/2013 9:01:07 PM , Rating: 2
Ive had a number of ATI/NVIDIA cards generally when I buy a new one of my kids gets the old.

I had to buy an ATI video card because of Nvidia Vista driver issues but otherwise ATI/NVIDIA have been solid devices on all my machines. Im not taking a side each has their little quirks. But I stuck with ATI because a single card could handle triple screens for a long time with NVIDIA you needed two video cards for a while.


RE: I'll Pass
By Sazabi19 on 9/26/2013 9:19:50 AM , Rating: 2
Are...are you me? I never had Trifire, but... thats weird.


RE: I'll Pass
By xti on 9/25/2013 9:00:59 PM , Rating: 2
wtf...it isnt 2002...driver issues...or user error?


RE: I'll Pass
By ShaolinSoccer on 9/26/2013 12:15:34 AM , Rating: 3
Heh, you're wrong. Nvidia put out a driver a few months ago that was frying cards:

https://forums.geforce.com/default/topic/544882/ge...


RE: I'll Pass
By Cheesew1z69 on 9/26/13, Rating: 0
RE: I'll Pass
By The Von Matrices on 9/25/2013 10:06:39 PM , Rating: 2
It really depends on what you define as "broken" If you go purely by benchmarks and compare crossfire to a single card using framerates and benchmark scores, then it is a very good technology, and this is what AMD has always touted. But if you want to play a wide variety of games with smoother framerates due to the additional card(s), then there is a problem.

I still can't get over that crossfire + eyefinity doesn't work without stuttering on the 7xxx series even after 22 months of the cards being available. I've had my two 7970's for a year and I still have crossfire disabled because it creates no useful improvement in framerate in most games I play. It's not like I'm in an unsupported configuration or using modded drivers - AMD advertised this as a working feature at launch day and still hasn't delivered. The only reason I keep the second card is because I can still make money mining whatever form is electronic currency is profitable at the moment.

I think the reason why there is such a dichotomy with crossfire experiences is because of the vast number of games and configurations everyone has. The main issue with crossfire is that it works great if you stick to a limited set of conditions - single monitor, older games, non-modded games, not bleeding edge hardware, etc. If you stray from that, then you're bound to have issues with crossfire. And that's the main issue I have with it. It's purpose is to only be used by people on the forefront of technology, but that is the situation in which it has the most problems.


RE: I'll Pass
By Reclaimer77 on 9/26/2013 2:24:13 AM , Rating: 2
No no, I really mean it was broken.

http://tinyurl.com/p7y5muu

Using Frame-rating, a pretty awesome technique in it's own right, we can see that Crossfire was/is fundamentally broken. You got ZERO benefit from the second card.


RE: I'll Pass
By DerMack on 9/26/2013 4:49:31 PM , Rating: 2
13,8betas fixed that in single monitor dx10/11 games, the rest will be fixed in a later driver update that'll get released 'soon'.
So it was broken, now it's like half mended and by the end of the year it might very well be fixed completely.


RE: I'll Pass
By troysavary on 9/27/2013 5:18:04 AM , Rating: 2
Linking Ryan to prove nVidia's superiority would be like linking Charlie from semi-accurate to prove nVidia's inferiority. Bot are so far into their respective camps that neither can be trusted when talking about the competition.


RE: I'll Pass
By FITCamaro on 9/25/2013 10:23:35 PM , Rating: 2
I love my 7950 and have had no real issues. I had a little flickering in one game at the beginning of its life that a driver update fixed. Nothing since.


RE: I'll Pass
By Skywalker123 on 9/26/2013 1:56:43 AM , Rating: 2
Why should we believe one idiots anecdotal evidence?


RE: I'll Pass
By Reclaimer77 on 9/26/13, Rating: -1
RE: I'll Pass
By inighthawki on 9/26/2013 11:22:42 AM , Rating: 3
The only reports of poor drivers I've heard of from AMD in the past 10 years was crossfire and their recent issues with stable and consistent framerates. Otherwise they've been pretty solid.


RE: I'll Pass
By Reclaimer77 on 9/26/2013 2:34:48 PM , Rating: 2
Right I'm so sure you keep abreast of "reports" on drivers for a whole 10 years?

Seriously the myopic responses here to a well known trend are just off the wall. The link I provided quantified this fully and scientifically, leaving no doubt, but its easier to be an idiot and call someone a fanboi in the face of inconvenient truths.

The average person wouldn't know a driver issue from a hole in the ground. Like the idiot above who reinstalled his OS for no reason.


RE: I'll Pass
By inighthawki on 9/26/2013 3:56:43 PM , Rating: 2
Obviously I'm not in tune with every little bug in every driver version ever. I was referring to show-stopping bugs. Things that actually cause noticeable impacts like huge perf losses or system instability. BSODs from graphics drivers are mostly a thing of the past, with a few popping up here and there from all various companies.


RE: I'll Pass
By troysavary on 9/26/2013 1:51:40 PM , Rating: 2
Unless you are using Linux, where ATI has historically had poor support, you are stuck in the past. nVidia has, for the last few years, had consistently worse drivers than ATI. While ATI admittedly has ignored the Linux community, it really wasn't big enough for them to make it a priority. Beside, real Linux users use open source driver ;)


RE: I'll Pass
By inighthawki on 9/26/2013 3:59:01 PM , Rating: 2
These days on Windows, I wouldn't go as far as to claim one is better than another. both are stable and do their jobs pretty well. Nvidia does seem to have better support for SLI than AMD does for crossfire, though. Performance tends to be more consistent.


RE: I'll Pass
By troysavary on 9/27/2013 5:14:50 AM , Rating: 2
That is true. Crossfire has always been an afterthought by ATI. Doesn't bother me that much, as I view both SLI and Crossfire as completely unnecessary. I can understand being pissed if you were a big dual card fan though.


RE: I'll Pass
By Reclaimer77 on 9/27/2013 4:34:51 PM , Rating: 2
Things I've learned from this post:

1. If a feature is broken that I don't use, it's okay to troll someone who does, because it's an "afterthought" anyway. I feel it's unnecessary so clearly everyone else should.

2. I can understand someone being upset at said broken feature, unless it's Reclaimer. Man I hate that guy.

3. I'll post 30 times denying feature is broken, accusing people of being fanbois, accusing testers who discovered it of being Nvidia shills, THEN I'll post all of the above. Completely contradicting everything I previously said.

4. I'm an idiot, which for Daily Tech standards says a lot.


RE: I'll Pass
By Skywalker123 on 9/29/2013 1:52:40 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Things I've learned from this post:
quote:


unless it's Reclaimer. Man I hate that guy.
quote:


I'm an idiot, which for Daily Tech standards says a lot.


C'mon Reclaimer,quit lying, you knew we hated you,and that you're an idiot.


Practice grammar much?
By OoklaTheMok on 9/25/13, Rating: -1
RE: Practice grammar much?
By GulWestfale on 9/25/13, Rating: -1
"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone














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