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As part of the recent excitement generated by the AMD Capsaicin event held during GDC 2016, the world discovered that AMD is at the heart of 83% of the exciting Virtual Reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) systems market worldwide.1  From traditional bastions of gaming, such as consoles and discrete graphics cards inside gaming PCs, to incredible innovations such as the wireless Sulon Q head-mounted display powered by an AMD FX-8800P APU, AMD is demonstrating the prowess needed to drive the immersive experiences of VR.

 

The last piece of the VR puzzle is to understand where today’s AMD desktop platforms fit into the broad VR ecosystem. In fact, HTC recommends the AMD FX™ 8350 as a processor that’s capable of driving the HTC Vive VR headset - a fantastic and very accessible entry point to a VR-capable PC. Simply select your VR recommended discrete GPU to enable your VR experience.

 

Valve, the game developer behind incredibly popular games such as DOTA 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Half-Life, recently released the SteamVR performance test so that gamers can find out how capable their hardware is for Virtual Reality workloads.

 

VR Ready

In our testing, we found that many of our popular desktop processors can meet the High or Very High fidelity performance levels needed to earn the SteamVR performance test VR Ready moniker:

 

AMD Processor

GPU

SteamVR Test Fidelity

AMD FX™ 9370
AMD FX™  8370
AMD FX™  8350
AMD FX™  6350

Radeon™ R9 Fury

GeForce GTX 980

Very High

Radeon™ R9 390

GeForce GTX 970

High

 

With zero dropped frames and no CPU bottlenecked frames, the AMD FX 8-core/6-core processors listed above deliver the performance needed to earn the “VR Ready” rating.

 

VR Capable

Decades of PC gaming have taught us that there’s a wide spectrum of capable hardware to choose from, and that you don’t need to spend top dollar in order to have a worthwhile experience. VR is no different. The highest-end hardware will provide the highest visual fidelity, but you can get a great experience from a midrange PC as long as you pair it with a capable graphics card designed to maximize your VR experience - then adjust visual detail levels appropriately. The SteamVR performance test also indicates where a more mainstream PC can be considered “VR Capable” for these hand-tuned VR gaming experiences, some of which we have indicated below:

 

AMD Processor

GPU

SteamVR Test Fidelity

A10-7890K

A10-7860K

AMD Athlon™ X4 880K

Radeon™ R9 380

GeForce GTX 960

Medium

 

Again, all these combinations caused no CPU bottlenecked frames, ensuring the discrete GPU is working hard to deliver the best VR experience it can. A VR Capable rated platform is also able to be upgraded to “VR Ready” status by upgrading the discrete GPU – our testing shows an A10-7890K platform can be upgraded to Very High fidelity by using a GeForce GTX 980 graphics card, for example.

 

The Bottom Line

PC users shouldn’t assume they need to replace their PC to try out VR, and folks who want to build a brand-new system to experience virtual reality may be pleasantly surprised to learn that the AMD FX™, Athlon™ X4, and A10-series processors are viable platforms to enjoy this new, incredible, and immersive medium. Our testing is not designed to be exhaustive, so if you have a combination not listed above, go ahead and try out the SteamVR performance tool and share your results with us on your favorite social media platform, and tag it #AMDVR.

 

Learn More

For more information on this or other AMD products check out these resources:

  • Learn more about the AMD processors here
  • Learn more about Radeon™ Graphics here
  • Learn more about AMD LiquidVR™ here
  • Become a fan of AMD on Facebook
  • Follow AMD on Twitter

 

Till next time - GET MORE with AMD Processors!

 

Jay Marsden is a Communications Manager at AMD. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.

 

Additional Information:

  1. According to Jon Peddie Research as of March 11, 2016, AMD is estimated as powering 83% of the total addressable market for dedicated VR HMDs.
  2. AMD Test System configurations for all SteamVR results: AMD FX™ 9370 4.4GHz, AMD FX™  8370 4.0GHz, AMD FX™  8350  4.0GHz, AMD FX™  6350 3.9GHz, A10-7890K 4.1GHz, A10-7860K 3.6GHz, AMD Athlon™ X4 880K 4.0GHz, Motherboard: ASUS A88X-PRO, 8GB RAM, Win10 pro 64-bit , AMD Driver 15.301.1801.1001, Nvidia Driver 10.18.13.6200

© Valve Corporation, all rights reserved. Valve, the Valve logo, Steam, the Steam logo, Source, the Source logo, Valve Source, Dota, Counter-Strike, and the Counter-Strike logo, Half-Life, Half-Life logo are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Valve Corporation.

dnalasco

Asynchronous Shaders Evolved

Posted by dnalasco Employee Mar 28, 2016

One of the most exciting new developments in GPU technology over the past year has been the adoption of asynchronous shaders, which can make more efficient use of available hardware to extract more performance. This capability was introduced with AMD’s Graphics Core Next (GCN) GPUs, and made accessible to developers with the latest generation of graphics programming interfaces including DirectX® 12 and Vulkan™.

 

For more detail on how asynchronous shaders work, you can check out the white paper here. As a quick recap, the idea behind asynchronous shaders is to allow the GPU to handle both graphics and compute tasks concurrently without having to switch back and forth between them. This allows small compute jobs to use resources that might otherwise sit idle when the main rendering workload is waiting for something else to happen, like completing a data transfer or receiving a new command from the CPU.

 

Modern rendering engines must execute a large number of individual tasks to generate each visible frame. Each task includes a shader program that runs on the GPU. Normally these tasks are processed sequentially in a fixed order, which is referred to as synchronous execution. Asynchronous shader technology allows more flexibility in terms of the timing and order of execution for independent tasks. When used effectively, the result is better utilization of the GPU, faster frame times, and improved responsiveness.

 

While the feature is already being employed in games like Ashes of the Singularity and Hitman, there is much more to come.  Developers are just starting to experiment with the basic functionality, and the new wave of virtual reality applications starting to appear this year are poised to make great use of it. Meanwhile at AMD we have been working on enhancing the technology with the goal of making it even more powerful.

 

 

Quick Response Queue

 

Today’s graphics renderers provide many opportunities to take advantage of asynchronous processing, but for some applications the lack of determinism in terms of when certain tasks are executed could diminish the benefits. In these cases the renderer needs to know that a given task will be able to start and complete within a certain time frame.

 

In order to meet this requirement, time-critical tasks must be given higher priority access to processing resources than other tasks. One way to accomplish this is using pre-emption, which works by temporarily suspending other tasks until a designated task can be completed. However the effectiveness of this approach depends on when and how quickly an in-process task can be interrupted; task switching overhead or other delays can impact responsiveness, and potentially manifest as stuttering or lag in graphics applications.

 

To address this problem, we have introduced the idea of a quick response queue. Tasks submitted into this special queue get preferential access to GPU resources while running asynchronously, so they can overlap with other workloads. Because the Asynchronous Compute Engines in the GCN architecture are programmable and can manage resource scheduling in hardware, this feature can be enabled on existing GPUs (2nd generation GCN or later) with a driver update.

 

Illustration comparing different methods of scheduling graphics and compute workloads on a GPU

 

 

Enabling Asynchronous Time Warp for Virtual Reality

 

Virtual reality rendering provides a great use case for the quick response queue. For example, the production release of the Oculus Rift VR headset implements a technique known as Asynchronous Time Warp (ATW) to reduce latency and prevent image judder caused by dropped frames.

 

In VR, dropped frames can occur when a frame takes too long to render and misses a refresh of the head-mounted display, causing the same image to be displayed repeatedly. The effect is jarring and destroys the sense of presence that is essential to VR. While there are a variety of ways to address this problem (including application tuning, reducing image quality, or upgrading to a more powerful graphics card), Oculus’ ATW solution is designed to be automatic and transparent to users as well as to developers.

 

ATW works by performing an image warp on the last frame that has finished rendering, to correct for any head movement that takes place after the rendering work is initiated. This warping operation is executed on the GPU using a compute shader, and can be scheduled asynchronously with other rendering tasks on hardware that supports that capability. Scheduling this operation every frame ensures that there is always an updated image available to display, even if it is only a warped version of a previously displayed frame.

 

While great in concept, execution of the ATW task must be timed carefully in order to be useful. Ideally it should happen as late as possible in a frame interval, allowing just enough time for it to complete before the next display refresh. If it happens too early, then additional head movement can occur before the display refresh, causing a noticeable lag. If it happens too late, then it may miss the refresh and allow visible juddering to occur.

 

This is where the quick response queue comes into play. Putting the ATW shader on this queue gives it priority access to the GPU’s compute units, making it far more likely to complete before the next refresh even when it is submitted late in each frame interval. And since it doesn’t need to pre-empt other graphics tasks already in flight, it allows the GPU to start working on the next frame quickly.

 

Timeline showing how Asynchronous Time Warp tasks are scheduled concurrently with graphics tasks

 

This is just one example of how providing more precise control over when individual tasks execute on GPUs can open the door to entirely new ways of exploiting the massive computational power they offer. We are already experimenting with other latency-sensitive applications that can take advantage of this, such as high fidelity positional audio rendering of virtual environments on the GPU. We’re also looking at providing more scheduling controls for asynchronous compute tasks in the future. And we can’t wait to see what developers do with this next!

 

P.S.  If you haven’t already, install the latest Radeon Software drivers to make sure you have access to all of the latest features and optimizations for your Radeon™ GPU.

 

David Nalasco is the Senior Technology Manager for Graphics at AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.

Have your ever considered video games as the ultimate community building exercise?

 

CS:GO

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is the 2012 iteration of the original Half-Life mod released in 1999. CS:GO is a game of nuance and the pre-requisites to play at a competitive level demand mastery of the mechanics, map knowledge, and consistent refining of individual skill. A quintessential competitive FPS in the PC gaming space, the game enjoys a player base of over 20 million worldwide. In today’s rapid expansion of eSports from a competitor and spectator standpoint, including national television and major brand influencers, the competitive scene is ever expanding. CS:GO developer Valve has upped the prize pools of their “major” events (the upper echelon of tournament play in the pro scene), from $250K to $1 million dollars, setting a new bar for Counter-Strike no previous iteration of the game had to offer.

 

sdf.jpg

 

Team AMD

AMD has long been involved with amateur eSports, LAN events, and recently, professional eSports with the sponsorship of the Fnatic League of Legends team.

 

Enter Team AMD, a newly founded grassroots competitive CS:GO team composed of AMD employees and AMD Red Team Plus members. The team’s main objective is to carry AMD’s enthusiasm for all things gaming into the community with our competitive gaming spirit and eSports involvement.

 

Team AMD currently competes in the E-Sports Entertainment Association (ESEA) Open division, Eastern conference. All teams must prove their competitive worth to advance to the season playoffs. Promotion into the next league tier, the Intermediate division, will require Team AMD’s sustained dedication and outstanding performance.

 

P_20160312_122315.jpg

 

The team is equipped with the same AMD hardware you may have, providing a competitive platform that is used during practices, matches, and offline events. The team dedicates 12 hours over 4 nights every week to CS:GO practices and matches. Official league matches are streamed every Monday and Thursday on our Twitch.TV channel from 9-10PM ET.

 

Team AMD system hardware:

  • AMD FX™ 8370 CPU
  • MSI 990FXA Gaming motherboard
  • AMD Radeon™ R7 240GB SSD
  • AMD Radeon™ R9 Gamer Series 8GB DDR3 2133MHz RAM
  • Corsair H80iGT CPU AIO liquid cooler
  • Sapphire Radeon™ R9 380X 4GB GPU
  • EVGA SuperNova 750W G2 80 Plus Gold PSU
  • Nixeus Vue 24” 1080p 144Hz FreeSync display
  • CoolerMaster Mastercase 5

 

wideshot-team.jpg

 

Gamers for Giving 2016 LAN event

Team AMD recently attended the offline Gamers for Giving competitive gaming tournament and LAN party that helped generate resources for the initiatives of Gamers Outreach. Funds raised from the event help support Gamers Outreach charity programs, such as building portable gaming carts for children in hospitals. The event took place within the main arena of Eastern Michigan University’s Convocation Center during the weekend of March 12th & 13th. Competitors entered into a non-stop gaming marathon which began in the morning hours of Saturday, March 12th, and lasted until Sunday evening, March 13th.

 

 

dfgh.jpg

Team AMD left the competitive arena in their first-ever LAN event with a very respectable 4th place finish following multiple back to back best-of-3 rounds. Team AMD took wins over competitors in much higher ESEA league divisions, with 24 teams participating from across North America. Competitors and spectators alike were impressed with the team’s performance and tournament placement.

 

CdXZTFXVAAAmLfl.jpg

 

Many community members were pleased to see an official AMD competitive presence at the event. The team also led several discussions with the community (players, spectators and competitors), discussing eSports, the team’s hardware, and excitement for AMD technologies including Virtual Reality and the 14nm FinFET manufacturing node as well as DirectX® 12 and Vulkan™ APIs. Team AMD’s star player and “AWPer” Chris “stickysalamander” Hilash left the event with an outstanding +72 K/D ratio, and currently holds the #1 ranking in ESEA for weapon proficiency.

 

The team has their sights on upcoming LAN events through 2016 to move up in tournament ranking placement.  Stay tuned for more Team AMD updates over the next few months!

 

overhead photo.PNG

 

16-0-win.jpg

 

Jake Francis is the Gaming Community Manager for AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.

Counter Strike: Global Offensive images and logo © 2015 Valve Corporation. All rights reserved. Valve, the Valve logo, Steam, the Steam logo, Counter-Strike, the Counter-Strike logo, Source and the Source logo are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Valve Corporation.

We were excited to welcome Sulon Technologies on-stage with us at our GDC Capsaicin event today where they showcased an exclusive sneak peek of their upcoming Sulon Q headset: the world’s first and only all-in-one, tether-free, “wear and play” headset for virtual reality, augmented reality and spatial computing – realizing the promise of virtual and augmented reality made easy.

 

Sulon Q uses AMD’s 6th-generation A-Series processor for power-efficient and graphics-rich computing. Simple to use – with no wires or complicated tracking systems – the Sulon Q combines the power of the AMD FX-8800P Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) (that comes with AMD Radeon™ R7 graphics) with Sulon's Spatial Processing Unit, to deliver gaming console-quality graphics and full content immersion. This headset is yet another example of AMD powering a growing catalogue of VR headsets with the broad spectrum of AMD products.

 

InfoGraphic_AMD_SULON_Radeon_R7_V3.jpg

Fuelled by AMD Radeon™ graphics and harnessing AMD LiquidVR™ technology to enable smooth and responsive VR experiences, Sulon Q represents the latest in an ever-expanding AR/VR market. It features unique spatial mapping technology, which scans your environment and gestures in real-time, and virtualizes them so you can interact with objects in ways never before possible – change the ambience and lighting of your room by adding a virtual fireplace, or augment your productivity with a full-surround computing workspace wherein you can manipulate holographic Windows® 10 panels. It's incredibly sophisticated technology that's absolutely simple and intuitive to use. You put it on, turn it on, and you're immersed in a virtual world that almost indistinguishably feels and interacts as you would expect from the real world.

 

Atmospheric enhancements and remarkable efficiency gains are only the start, though, as the Sulon Q is primed to completely transform how you watch movies and play video games. Sulon compatible movies and games will change looking at flat, 2D scenes into 3D, interactive and customizable viewing opportunities that place you at the center of the action. Imagine locking on your Sulon Q headset and being thrown in the heat of a melee with hordes of high-tech soldiers bent on your demise, or emerging from a portal realm of a monster serpent only to have the beast follow you back into your living room. That is an imaginable future of entertainment made possible by Sulon.

 

Sulon Q is an industry-first as well as a catalyst for a new class of virtual- and augmented-reality simulations and entertainment possibilities. And it's a great showcase for what companies can do with AMD technologies to enable exceptional interactive and immersive VR experiences.

 

Sasa Marinkovic is Head of Software and VR Marketing for AMD.

PC gamers that want to game on the go have always faced some tough choices when buying a notebook. Do we buy a gaming notebook that’s great to game on, but tough to carry? Or an ultrathin that’s easy to carry, but tough to game on? Some of us just buy two notebooks. Some of us buy a gaming notebook, wishing it were lighter every time they carry it. Some just buy the ultrathin, acknowledging that comfortable portability is probably more important than gaming over the long run. Every choice has drawbacks.

 

 

dilemma.png

 

Many gamers—myself included!—have dreamed of buying the best of both worlds with a lightweight notebook or 2-in-1 that also supports a powerful external graphics card. The notebook or 2-in-1 could be conveniently lightweight for work, relaxing on the couch, or travel. But, when needed, the PC could also tap into serious framerates and image quality with a powerful external GPU that’s not far from carrying an average gaming notebook. The point is: you choose.

 

A system compatible with AMD XConnect™ technology could offer exactly that.1

 

AMD XConnect™ technology is a new feature debuting in today’s Radeon Software 16.2.2 (or later) graphics driver that makes it easier than ever to connect and use an external Radeon™ graphics card in Windows® 10. External GPU enclosures configured with select Radeon™ R9 GPUs can easily connect to a compatible notebook or 2-in-11 over Thunderbolt™ 3. Best of all, a PC configured with AMD XConnect™ technology and external Radeon™ graphics can be connected or disconnected at any time, similar to a USB flash drive—a first for external GPUs.

 

xconnect.png


And it happens that there’s already one company out there that’s incorporating all of these pieces into an amazing package, which brings me to…

 

AMD XConnect™ In Action: Razer Blade Stealth & Razer Core

 

core.jpg

 

The Razer Blade Stealth with Thunderbolt™ 3 is an exciting new notebook that’s also the first to be compatible with AMD XConnect™ technology. The Razer Core, meanwhile, is an optional external graphics enclosure that connects to the Blade Stealth with Thunderbolt™ 3. Gamers are in for some pretty exciting features/convenience if the Core is configured with a Radeon™ R9 300 Series GPU:

  • Plug in, game on: There’s no need to reboot the PC to connect or disconnect the Razer Core thanks to AMD XConnect™ technology.
  • Flexible displays: Our driver gives you the flexibility to choose between gaming on the Blade Stealth’s display, or standalone monitors of your choice.
  • Upgradeable: We plan to continue testing and adding Radeon™ GPUs to the AMD XConnect™ support list, giving you the power to upgrade beyond the Radeon™ R9 300/Fury Series when the time is right for you.

perf.png

 

 

A Three-Party Collaboration

 

parties.png


The intersection of AMD XConnect™, the Razer Blade Stealth/Core, and Thunderbolt™ 3 is not a coincidence. AMD, Razer, and the Intel Thunderbolt™ group have been working for many months to architect a comprehensive hardware/software solution that brings plug’n’play external graphics to life over Thunderbolt™ 3. The first external graphics solution that “works like it should!”

 

It came from a simple place: we collectively shared a dream that external GPUs were an important step forward for the PC industry, but were adamant that three things were “must haves” for external graphics to finally be a serious option for gamers:

 

  1. The external GPUs had to have a graphics driver with all the right bits for simple plug’n’play use. With AMD XConnect™ technology, Radeon™ R9 300 and Fury Series GPUs now support this in Windows® 10.
  2. The external GPUs had to connect to a system with standardized connectors/cables and enough bandwidth to feed the appetite of a high-end GPU. Thunderbolt™ 3 does that very well.
  3. And the external chassis had to be upgradeable, so users could prolong the life of their system and buy into a performance level that’s right for their needs. The Razer Core supports that with gusto—up to 375W, dual slot, 12.2” PCB. You could fit easily fit a Radeon™ R9 Nano or 390X GPU in there!2

 

And so our joint project began with regular engineering and marketing meetings to design, build and test: drivers, enclosures, cabling, BIOSes, and so much more. After months of work and hundreds of man hours, here we are!

 

The Future of AMD XConnect™ technology

 

Future external GPU solutions from other companies may come in many shapes and sizes. Some may be very compact with integrated mobile Radeon™ GPUs. Other vendors might allow you to buy empty user-upgradeable enclosures that accept desktop Radeon™ GPUs of varying lengths. We foresee that there will be choice, and the choice will be yours.

 

To keep it easy, we will be maintaining a list of systems, system requirements, GPUs and enclosures that are compatible with AMD XConnect™ on www.amd.com/xconnect.

 

Robert Hallock is the Head of Global Technical Marketing at AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.

 


FOOTNOTES:
1. Not all notebooks or 2-in-1s feature AMD XConnect™ technology, and not all external graphics (eGFX) enclosures are pre-configured with an AMD Radeon™ graphics card and/or feature user upgradability. Base system’s software package and BIOS must be configured to support AMD XConnect™ technology. System must have Thunderbolt™ 3 connection. Check with your manufacturer for full specifications and capabilities and visit www.amd.com/xconnect for a list of compatible devices. GD-86   

2. GPU upgrade must be supported by the system and enclosure OEM. New GPU must be supported by AMD XConnect™ technology. Visit your product’s support documentation for additional information. GD-87

 

ATTRIBUTIONS:
THUNDERBOLT AND THE THUNDERBOLT LOGO ARE TRADEMARKS OF INTEL CORPORATION IN THE U.S. AND/OR OTHER COUNTRIES. RAZER, RAZER DISTRESSED LOGO, TRIPLE-HEADED SNAKE LOGO ARE ALL TRADEMARKS OR REGISTERED TRADEMARKS OF RAZER INC. IN THE UNITED STATES AND/OR OTHER COUNTRIES. USB TYPE-C™ AND USB-C™ ARE TRADEMARKS OF USB IMPLEMENTERS FORUM. FALLOUT, FALLOUT: NEW VEGAS, FALLOUT SHELTER, VAULT BOY AND RELATED LOGOS ARE TRADEMARKS OR REGISTERED TRADEMARKS OF BETHESDA SOFTWORKS LLC IN THE U.S. AND/OR OTHER COUNTRIES.

Last week Ashes of the Singularity™ was updated with comprehensive support for DirectX® 12 Asynchronous Compute. This momentous occasion not only demonstrated how fast Radeon™ GPUs are in DirectX® 12 games, but how much “free” performance can be gained with our exclusive support for asynchronous compute.

 

A Brief Primer on Async Compute

Important in-game effects like shadowing, lighting, artificial intelligence, physics and lens effects often require multiple stages of computation before determining what is rendered onto the screen by a GPU’s graphics hardware.

 

In the past, these steps had to happen sequentially. Step by step, the graphics card would follow the API’s process of rendering something from start to finish, and any delay in an early stage would send a ripple of delays through future stages. These delays in the pipeline are called “bubbles,” and they represent a brief moment in time when some hardware in the GPU is paused to wait for instructions.

 

thread.PNGA visual representation of DirectX® 11 threading: graphics, memory and compute operations are serialized into one long production line that is prone to delays.

 

Pipeline bubbles happen all the time on every graphics card. No game can perfectly utilize all the performance or hardware a GPU has to offer, and no game can consistently avoid creating bubbles when the user abruptly decides to do something different in the game world.

 

What sets Radeon™ GPUs apart from its competitors, however, is the Graphics Core Next architecture’s ability to pull in useful compute work from the game engine to fill these bubbles. For example: if there’s a rendering bubble while rendering complex lighting, Radeon™ GPUs can fill in the blank with computing the behavior of AI instead. Radeon™ graphics cards don’t need to follow the step-by-step process of the past or its competitors, and can do this work together—or concurrently—to keep things moving.

 

threading.PNG
A visual representation of DirectX® 12 asynchronous compute: graphics, memory and compute operations decoupled into independent queues of work that can run in parallel.

 

Filling these bubbles improves GPU utilization, input latency, efficiency and performance for the user by minimizing or eliminating the ripple of delays that could stall other graphics cards. Only Radeon™ graphics currently support this crucial capability in DirectX® 12 and VR.

 

Ashes of the Singularity™: Async Compute in Action

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AMD Internal testing. System config: Core i7-5960X, Gigabyte X99-UD4, 16GB DDR4-2666 Radeon™ Software 15.301.160205a, NVIDIA 361.75 WHQL, Windows® 10 x64.

 

Here we see that the Radeon™ R9 Fury X GPU is far and away the fastest DirectX® 12-ready GPU in this test. Moreover, we see such powerful DirectX® 12 performance from the GCN architecture that a $400 Radeon™ R9 390X GPU ties it up with the $650 GeForce GTX 980 Ti.1 Up and down the product portfolios we tested, Radeon™ GPUs not only win against their equivalent competitors they often punch well above their pricepoints.

 

You don’t have to take our word for it. Tom’s Hardware recently explored the performance implications of DirectX® 12 Asynchronous Compute, and independently verified the commanding performance wins handed down by Radeon™ graphics.

 

“AMD is the clear winner with its current graphics cards. Real parallelization and asynchronous task execution are just better than splitting up the tasks via a software-based solution,” author Igor Wallossek wrote.

 

Other interesting data emerged from the THG analysis, summarized briefly:

  • The Radeon™ R9 Fury X gets 12% faster at 4K with DirectX® 12 Asynchronous Compute. The GeForce 980 Ti gets 5.6% slower when attempting to use this powerful DirectX® 12 feature.
  • DirectX® 12 CPU overhead with the Radeon™ R9 Fury X GPU is an average of 13% lower than the GeForce 980 Ti.
  • The Radeon™ R9 Fury X GPU is a crushing 98% more efficient than the GeForce 980 Ti at offloading work from the CPU to alleviate CPU performance bottlenecks. At 1440p, for example, THG found that the Fury X spent just 1.6% of the time waiting on the processor, whereas the 980 Ti struggled 82.1% of the time.

 

Of asynchronous compute, Wallossek later concludes: “This is a pretty benchmark that serves up interesting results and compels us to wonder what's coming to PC gaming in the near future? One thing we can say is that AMD wins this round. Its R&D team, which implemented functionality that nobody really paid attention to until now, should be commended.”

 

We couldn't have said it better ourselves.

 

Robert Hallock is the Head of Global Technical Marketing at AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.

 


Footnotes:

1. Prices in $USD based on Newegg.com as of February 29, 2016. Happy leap day!

AMD has always believed that PC users should GET MORE from their hardware, and has demonstrated this by delivering innovation and value at every opportunity.  Today we are excited to announce the new AMD A10-7890K APU which is the fastest AMD desktop APU released to date, with 1.02 TFLOPS of theoretical compute performance1. In addition, we’re announcing the new AMD Athlon™ X4 880K, the fastest multi-core AMD Athlon™ processor ever released with a 4.2 GHz maximum turbo clock rate.2

 

Not only do these new processors represent a new high-water mark in the AMD Athlon™ X4 and A-series processor lines, but they come bundled with AMD’s most exciting, near-silent cooling solutions to date.

 

The New A10-7890K APU with AMD Wraith Cooler

The A10-7890K APU has been paired with the top-of-the-line AMD Wraith Cooler to deliver a potent combination of performance, near silent operation, and stylish illuminated shroud for a premium experience. Gamers will be able to take advantage of great performance thanks to high clock rates and built-in Radeon™ R7 graphics, and have a great immersive experience in some of the most popular online and eSports games right out of the box.

 

Best-In-Class Online Gaming with AMD Radeon™ Graphics

The A10-7890K can provide smooth gaming at full 1080p HD with high details enabled in some of the world’s most popular online games

AMD’s fastest APU, Ever…

Not only is the AMD A10-7890K a great performer for your games, but it is feature rich to support today’s and tomorrow’s applications.  AMD APUs combine the power of AMD processors with the performance of discrete Radeon R7 class graphics in one convenient SoC and support DirectX® 12, OpenGL, Vulkan™, and FreeSync™, in addition to Microsoft® Xbox One™ game streaming.

 

New AMD A10-7890K Processor Specifications:

CPU Cores

4

GPU Cores5

8

Max Turbo / CPU Frequency

4.1/3.9 GHz

GPU Frequency

866MHz

TDP Class

95W

Thermal Solution

AMD Wraith Cooler

L2 Cache

4MB

Build it the way you want

With support for DDR3-2133 and higher with AMD Memory Profiles; get smoother gaming when you connect an AMD FreeSync™ technology-enabled monitor, take advantage of unlocked3 AMD CPU and GPU Cores, and be  able to upgrade to the latest PCIe® Gen 3 Graphics Cards to enable performance gaming at ultra-HD resolutions.

 

The New AMD Athlon™ X4 880K with Near-silent 125W AMD Thermal Solution

We’ve gotten some very positive feedback about the capable AMD Wraith Cooler’s impressive thermal performance, so we decided to make the same, capable hardware available to the new AMD Athlon™ X4 880K processor. Introducing the near-silent 125W AMD Thermal Solution, for when results are all that matter: featuring the AMD Wraith Cooler’s near-silent operation and capable thermal performance, without the illuminated shroud.7,8

The AMD Athlon™ X4 880K delivers on all counts. It’s the fastest Athlon™ X4 processor that AMD has ever produced, with four cores and a maximum 4.2 GHz turbo clock; it has the new near-silent 125W Thermal Solution, with power to spare for this processor’s 95W TDP; and its multiplier unlocked, allowing users to exercise a highly configurable power and performance curve via AMD OverDrive™ software.3

 

Smooth 1440p and 4K Online Gaming Performance

You can pair the AMD Athlon™ X4 processor with a low-cost Radeon™ R7 360 discrete graphics card for excellent 1080p online gaming performance, but this hardware has the chops to go even further: the AMD Athlon™ X4 880K can propel a moderate Radeon™ R7 370-class graphics card into smooth 1440p and even 4K frame rates on some of the most popular online games in the world, at high detail settings with anti-aliasing enabled.

AMD Athlon™ X4 processor Specifications:

CPU Cores

4

Max Turbo / CPU Frequency

4.2/4.0 GHz

TDP Class

95W

Thermal Solution

Near-silent 125W AMD Thermal Solution

L2 Cache

4MB

The A10-7870K, Now including the New, Near-silent 125W AMD Thermal Solution

We also thought our existing A10-7870K APU could use some love, so we’ve replaced the existing cooler with the new near-silent 125W AMD Thermal Solution without raising the price. That means that A10-7870K buyers can now benefit from AMD Wraith Cooler-class near-silent operation and capable thermal performance, just without the illuminated shroud. 7,8

When can I buy?

The new AMD A10-7890K,  and Athlon™ X4 880K processors and thermal solutions, and the AMD A10-7870K with its new 125W Thermal Solution are planned to be available for sale at the end of March 2016 at select retailers/e-tailers and participating system vendors

 

Learn More

For more information on this or other AMD products check out these resources:

  • Learn more about the AMD A10-7890K,AMD Athlon™ X4 880K, and AMD A10-7870K here
  • Learn to build an A10-7890K system video guide here
  • Become a fan of AMD on Facebook
  • Follow AMD on Twitter

 

Till next time - GET MORE with AMD A-series Processors!

 

Jay Marsden is a Communications Manager at AMD. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.

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Additional Information:

Vulkan and the Vulkan logo are trademarks of the Khronos Group Inc.

 

  1. As of December 15, 2015, based on nominal clock rates, the A10-7890K has a maximum theoretical compute capacity of 1017.984 GFlops and scores 6259 in Passmark CPUMark. The previous fastest AMD APU is the A10-7870K which has a maximum theoretical compute capacity of 1011.584 GFlops and scores 5997.2 in Passmark CPUMark. GV-23
  2. The Athlon X4 880K has the highest clock rate of any Athlon that AMD has made to date. As of December 15, 2015, the Athlon X4 880K has a maximum turbo clock of 4.2 GHz. The previous fastest APU is the Athlon X4 970K, with a maximum turbo clock speed of 4.1 GHz. GV-20
  3. AMD’s product warranty does not cover damages caused by overclocking, even when overclocking is enabled via AMD hardware.
  4. AMD Internal lab testing as of Feb. 16, 2016 on Microsoft Windows 10 using an AMD A10-7890K processor, 2x4GB of DDR3-2133 RAM, on an ASUS A88X-PRO motherboard using the Catalyst 16.1 Graphics Driver. All games were run at 1080p resolution with the following settings: DOTA2 was set to high textures, high shadows, render quality 100%, with AA enabled; Counter Strike:GO was set to highest detail settings with 8x MSAA; and League of Legends was set to highest detail settings with AA enabled. The system achieved 54.5fps avg. in DOTA2, 54.8fps avg. in Counter Strike: Global Offensive, and 98fps avg. in League of Legends. GV-27
  5. AMD APUs based on the Graphics Core Next architecture contain CPU cores and GPU Cores on the same silicon. A GPU Core on an APU contains 64 shaders (“Stream Processor”) working together.
  6. AMD Internal lab testing as of Feb. 16, 2016 on Microsoft Windows 10 using an AMD Athlon X4 880K processor, 2x4GB of DDR3-2133 RAM, Radeon R7 370 graphics card, on an ASUS A88X-PRO motherboard using the Catalyst 16.1 Graphics Driver. All games were run at 1440p and 4K with the following settings: DOTA2 was set to high textures, high shadows, render quality 100%, with AA enabled; Counter Strike:GO was set to highest detail settings with 8x MSAA; and League of Legends was set to highest detail settings with AA enabled. At 1440p resolution the system achieved 77fps avg. in DOTA2, 126.7fps avg. in Counter Strike: Global Offensive, and 26.1fps avg. in League of Legends. At 4K resolution the system achieved 72.4fps avg. in DOTA2, 66.9fps avg. in Counter Strike: Global Offensive, and 170.1fps avg. in League of Legends.  GV-28
  7. Product only available when bundled with select AMD processors.
  8. Subject to use according to product specifications. The AMD S3 cooler (near-silent 125W AMD Thermal Solution) has a maximum noise level of 39dbA. The AMD D3 cooler, which the S3 Cooler has replaced on certain CPUs, has a maximum noise level of 52 dbA. WTH-4