You can get desktop PC displays that are curved, super-wide and gaming-friendly, but all three at once? That’s tricky. Thankfully, Acer thinks it has an answer. The company has just launched the 34-inch XR341CK in the US, giving you a curvy, 21:9 aspect ratio LCD with AMD’s anti-tearing FreeSync tech built-in. So long as you have a fast-enough gaming rig (including newer AMD graphics, if you want FreeSync), you’ll get an extra-immersive canvas for your first-person shooters and racing sims.
You won’t get 4K (this is “just” a 3,440 x 1,440 LCD), but you’ll still find DisplayPort input, Mini DisplayPort, HDMI 2.0 and a USB 3.0 hub. There’s also a 14W speaker system if the screen takes up the free space you’d normally use for audio gear. This monster monitor will cost $1,099 when it ships in July — no small potatoes, but potentially worth it if you’d otherwise get multiple displays to achieve the same all-encompassing effect.
Source: Acer (PRWeb)
Only a few weeks after NVIDIA debuted its latest high-end card, the GTX 980 Ti, AMD is now showing off its latest wares. And if you’re looking for a powerful video card, your decision just got a lot more complicated. Leading the pack is AMD’s new R9 Fury X, a liquid-cooled powerhouse with the company’s new “Fiji” GPU design and highest-bandwidth memory technology. At $649, it’s going head-to-head with NVIDIA’s 980 Ti. But if you don’t need all that power, there’s also the Radeon R9 390X ($429), R9 390 ($329), and R9 380 ($199), all of which offer Direct X 12 support (making them ideal for Windows 10) and enough power to let you game in 4K (though we’d imagine that’d be a stretch with the cheaper entry). And if you’re just looking something affordable, there’s also the R7 370 ($149) and R7 360 ($109), which are more focused on delivering solid 1080p gaming.
Just like NVIDIA, AMD now has new cards for just about every gaming price point. If you’ve got the dough and care about getting as much graphics power as possible, the R9 Fury X is made for you. If you want the most bang for your buck, the $329 R9 390 might be your best investment (it’s also the same price as NVIDIA’s GTX 970). AMD isn’t divulging technical details around the new cards yet, but we’re expecting to hear more later this week.
LG will be the first to sell a 4K monitor with AMD FreeSync technology, beating models from rival Samsung by a nose. The technology in its 27-inch 27MU67 is similar to NVIDIA’s G-Sync, matching monitor and GPU refresh rates to eliminate tearing, stutter and other gaming issues — as long as you have a compatible AMD graphics card or chip. Like Samsung, LG makes its own panels and it shows in the specs. The IPS screen can run at 40 to 60fps with 9.7 milliseconds of input lag, while being decent for color pros with a 99 percent Adobe gamut and 10-bit interpolated color. It’ll come calibrated out of the box later this month at select retailers for $599 — quite a drop in price from last year.
With AMD’s new sixth-generation A-series processors, laptops in the $400 to $700 range could soon become far more capable. Formerly code-named “Carizzo,” the new chips offer twice the gaming performance of Intel’s Core i7, thanks to discrete Radeon graphics. They’re the first mainstream processors with hardware decoding for H.265/HEVC video, the successor to the current H.264 standard which includes far better compression and support for 4K resolutions. And they’ll also pack in up to 12 compute cores (four CPU and eight GPU), which basically means they’ll be able to handle whatever you throw at them. Why focus on mainstream laptops? AMD notes that it’s the largest segment of the PC market by revenue and volume sold, so it makes sense for a company that’s traditionally focused on value to show it some love.
AMD’s basically gunning hard for the gaming and media crowd with its sixth-generation chips. Naturally, they include its dual graphics technology, which can summon the power of Radeon R7 graphics along their built-in graphics for a 42 percent jump in frame rates. They also combine game performance with hardware video encoding, which should make for much smoother game streams on Twitch. Battery-wise, AMD says the new chips will last twice as long as their predecessors, even when watching video or gaming.
While it all sounds good on paper, AMD will face some stiff competition from Intel’s new Broadwell-H chips, which were announced yesterday. Those chips also double graphics performance and boost overall media performance. Intel’s chips seem pretty expensive though, ranging from $244 to $623, and while we don’t know the pricing of AMD’s new wares yet, they’re usually cheaper than Intel. So there’s a good chance AMD can keep up the value fight. We’ll find out for sure once the new chips hit the market. AMD says computers featuring the sixth-gen A-series will start shipping in June, while Intel expects its chips to hit computers within two months.
Intel isn’t the only chip giant championing battery life over performance this year. AMD has revealed Carrizo, a processor range that’s focused heavily on extending the running time of performance-oriented laptops. While there will be double-digit boosts to speed, there’s no doubt that efficiency is the bigger deal here. The new core architecture (Excavator) is just 5 percent faster than its Kaveri ancestor, but it chews up 40 percent less energy at the same clock rate — even the graphics cores use 20 percent less juice.
Not that this is the only real trick up AMD’s sleeve. Carrizo is the first processor to meet the completed Heterogeneous System Architecture spec, which lets both the CPU and its integrated graphics share memory. That lets some tasks finish faster than they would otherwise (since you don’t need as many instructions), and it could provide a swift kick to both performance and battery life in the right conditions. You’ll also find dedicated H.265 video decoding, so this should be a good match for all the low-bandwidth 4K videos you’ll stream in the future.
The new chip is pretty promising as a result. With that said, its creator will undoubtedly be racing against time. Carrizo is expected to reach shipping PCs in the second quarter of the year, or close to Intel’s mid-year target for its quad-core Broadwell processors. You may find shiny new AMD and Intel chips in PCs at around the same time — that’s good news if you’re a speed junkie, but it’s not much help to AMD’s bottom line.
Microsoft may have already cut the Xbox One’s price to $349 for the holidays, but there are hints that the game console may get a permanent price drop before too long. An AMD chip design manager recently updated his LinkedIn resume (since made private) with word that he worked on a more efficient, “cost-reduced” version of the Xbox One’s processor. There aren’t any clues as to when this spruced-up silicon will arrive, but recent AMD roadmap leaks suggest that its first CPU architecture based on the technology will ship in 2015. In other words, you could be buying a cheaper Xbox by this time next year.
Processor upgrades are nothing new in the console world. They’re crucial for both price cuts and smaller, cooler-running systems that aren’t so noisy. However, there’s added urgency this time around — the PlayStation 4 has been outselling the Xbox One due in part to its initial price advantage, and lower prices should both help Microsoft stay competitive and leave more money in your wallet.
Source: Mosen (Beyond3D Forums)
It feels like just yesterday that AMD brought in Rory Read to turn around its ailing fortunes, but today there’s another changing of the guard. The chip designer has announced that chief operating officer Lisa Su is its new CEO, effective immediately; Read will stick around as an advisor until the end of the year. The company isn’t going into detail about the reasons behind the shift, but it does say that Read has been planning a succession with the board of directors. It’s an “ideal time” for Su to take the reins, the board’s Bruce Clafin says.
Su hasn’t said much about what she’ll do so far, but she hints that she’s likely to continue a strategy of crafting chips for “diverse” categories (think game consoles and mobile devices) that Read used to great success. Whatever the new CEO does, she likely has the right background for it. Su spent five years heading up technology development at mobile giant Freescale before she joined AMD in 2012, and she spent 13 years in semiconductor- and business-related positions at IBM before that. It’s safe to presume that she knows a thing or two about the importance of super-efficient silicon.
Via: New York Times
Microsoft has been pushing hard for extra-cheap Windows computers that can take on Chromebooks, and it appears that HP is more than willing to hop on that bandwagon. Mobile Geeks has posted a leaked data sheet for the HP Stream 14, an upcoming $199 laptop that’s clearly meant to fight Google-powered PCs. The base 14-inch system should cut corners by using a low-powered AMD A4 Micro processor, 2GB of RAM, a 1,366 x 768 screen and 32GB of flash storage; apart from the capacity, it’d be a step down from the company’s $299 Chromebook 14. You’d have to pay more for brawnier parts like an A10 Micro chip, 64GB of space and a 1080p touchscreen. Not satisfied with the limited drive options? HP would try to make up for the shortfall by giving buyers 100GB of OneDrive cloud storage for two years, matching what you get with many Chrome OS devices. There’s no word on when the Stream 14 would make its debut, although the deluge of information hints that we could see this budget portable fairly soon.
Source: Mobile Geeks (translated)
With all the computing components AMD makes already, it’s still hard to believe the company has yet to explore the solid-state drive space. But that’s about to chance soon — it looks like AMD’s finally ready to get into the business of making SSDs. Not surprisingly, the chip maker is bringing its new SSD line to market under the renowned Radeon R7 brand, perhaps hoping that becomes an incentive for potential customers. These solid-state drives, which AMD says are geared toward PC gamers, will be available in 120GB, 240GB and 480GB flavors, while the advertised read and write speeds appear to be on par with similar offerings from competitors like Samsung. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to compare any further, since AMD won’t be announcing the price of its Radeon R7 SSDs until they launch “later this year.”
[Image credit: Associated Press]
Russia’s policy on Western technology is clear: It can live without it, especially if key issues like economic sanctions, NSA spying and GPS cooperation aren’t resolved to its satisfaction. It looks like this tough stance extends to US-designed computer chips too, as a Russian business newspaper is reporting that state departments and state-run companies will no longer purchase PCs built around Intel or AMD processors. Instead, starting in 2015, the government will order up to one million devices annually based on the “Baikal” processor, which is manufactured by a domestic company called T-Platforms. An interesting twist, however, is that the Baikal processor is actually based on an ARM (Cortex-A57) design, which means the East / West divorce isn’t quite as complete as it might sound. It could also mean that many Russian bureucrats won’t get the chance to be a Mac or a PC: they’ll have to use some sort of ARM-compatible, presumably Linux-based operating system instead.
Source: ITAR-TASS News Agency