Posted on Thursday, May 24 2018 @ 17:08:03 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Jon Peddie Research issued its first-quarter report about the graphics market. The firm found that the GPU market increased 3.4 percent year-over-year, and declined 10 percent sequentially. Zooming in on the data, we can see that discrete desktop card shipments were up 6.4 percent quarter-over-quarter, and up a massive 66.4 percent year-over-year.
A lot of cards went to cryptocurrency miners and Jon Peddie Research believes this market is now saturated. The analyst outfit believes demand will now shift back to gamers, as supply to the retail channel is going up again. Jon Peddie estimates pent-up demand will help to mitigate the usual seasonal decline that's seen in the second quarter of the year for desktop discrete video cards.
Jon Peddie Research, the industry’s market research firm for the graphics industry, has updated it’s quarterly Market Watch report. Overall, the report finds the crypto-currency market is continuing to influence the PC graphics market, though its influence is waning. Market watch found that year-to-year total GPU shipments increased 3.4%, desktop graphics increased 14%, notebooks decreased -3%. GPU shipments decreased -10% from last quarter: AMD decreased -6%, Nvidia decreased -10%, and Intel decreased -11%.
AMD increased its market share again this quarter benefitting from new products for workstations, and crypto-currency mining, Nvidia held steady, and Intel decreased.
Over three million add-in boards (AIBs) were sold to cryptocurrency miners worth $776 million in 2017. And an additional 1.7 million were sold in the quarter.
We believe the market for crypto-mining AIBs has saturated and the miners who wanted AIBs have got them now. The gamers, who have pulled back on purchases due to t surge-pricing by the channel, are now seeing supply increase and prices coming back down. We think they represent a pent-up demand which will carry forth into Q2 and will help mitigate the usual seasonal decline in the second quarter for desktop discrete GPU sales.
However, the PC suppliers, the supply chain in Taiwan and China, and the semiconductor suppliers are all guiding down for Q2 reflecting a continuation of historic seasonality, and a general decline in the PC market. Nonetheless, the supply chain companies in Taiwan are predicting that this Q2 will be the bottom for the PC market decline.
The first quarter is typically flat to down from the previous quarter in the seasonal cycles of the past. For Q1'18, it decreased -10.4% from last quarter and was below the ten-year average of ?6%.
AMD’s overall unit shipments decreased -5.83% quarter-to-quarter, Intel’s total shipments decreased -11.49% from last quarter, and that of Nvidia’s decreased -10.21%.
The attach rate of GPUs (includes integrated and discrete GPUs) to PCs for the quarter was 140% which was up 5.75% from last quarter.
Discrete GPUs were in 39.11% of PCs, which is up 2.23%.
The overall PC market decreased -14.12% quarter-to-quarter and increased 0.46% year-to-year.
Desktop graphics add-in boards (AIBs) that use discrete GPUs increased 6.39% from last quarter.
Q1'18 saw a no change in tablet shipments from last quarter.
GPUs are traditionally a leading indicator of the market, since a GPU goes into every system before it is shipped, and most of the PC vendors are guiding cautiously for Q2’18.
Posted on Thursday, May 24 2018 @ 15:53:02 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
NVIDIA uploaded the GeForce 397.93 WHQL driver, you can download it manually via this page. This release features performance optimizations for The Crew 2 Closed Beta and State of Decay 2. It adds support for CUDA 9.2, has some new SLI and 3D Vision profiles, and comes with a couple of bug fixes.
Fixed Issues in this Release:
[Notebook][GeForce GTX 870M]: GPU acceleration is being used for Windows
[SLI][Steam]: Steam must be closed to enable or disable SLI mode. 
[Surround][Digital Vibrance]: Digital Vibrance setting is not persistent, and reverts to
the default setting when rebooting with Surround mode enabled. 
[Wolfenstein II]: The game may freeze in the Roosevelt area. 
[NVIDIA Control Panel]: When Windows HDR is enabled, some color formats are
missing from the NVIDIA Control Panel->Display->Change Resolution page.
[Pascal GPU + Kepler GPU]: After installing the driver and rebooting the system, the
drive may fail to load. 
[Far Cry 5]: Green flickering occurs in the game when using HDR with non-native
Changes in this Release:
Removed Experience Improvement Program from the NVIDIA Control Panel
Posted on Thursday, May 24 2018 @ 13:27:22 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
AMD uploaded the Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 18.5.1 drivers, you can grab them over here if you prefer a manual download. This is the official unified driver for the firm's discrete video cards and APUs, it adds support for the Raven Ridge desktop APUs. The 18.5.1 release adds final support for Microsoft PlayReady 3.0, but only for Radeon RX 400 and 500 series video cards. Vega owners are still out of luck. Additionally, this version also has performance optimizations for Ancestors Legacy and a couple of bug fixes.
Windows®10 April 2018 Update
AMD Ryzen™ Desktop Processors with Radeon™ Vega Graphics
- Up to 6% faster performance using Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 18.5.1 on the Radeon™ RX Vega 56 (8GB) graphics card than with Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 18.4.1 at 1920x1080 (1080p).
- Up to 13% faster performance using Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 18.5.1 on the Radeon™ RX 580 (8GB) graphics card than with Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 18.4.1 at 1920x1080 (1080p).
Microsoft® PlayReady®3.0: Supported on Radeon RX 400 Series and Radeon RX 500 Series desktop graphics products.
HBCC options may not properly reset to default when Radeon Settings "Restore Factory Defaults" option is selected.
Destiny™2 may experience increasing load time durations when the game is run for extended periods of time.
Tearing may be observed in some borderless fullscreen games on Radeon FreeSync enabled displays when Radeon Software performance metrics is enabled.
Netflix™ playback through a web browser may experience corruption or hangs when using multi GPU enabled system configurations with Radeon RX 400 series or Radeon RX 500 series graphics products.
Radeon ReLive streaming or uploading of videos to Facebook™ may intermittently fail.
Some games may experience minor stuttering during gameplay when the Radeon ReLive Instant Replay feature is enabled and FRTC is also enabled.
Radeon Overlay may not show all available features when some games are run in borderless fullscreen mode.
The Witcher™ 3: Wild Hunt may experience stuttering during gameplay.
A system hang may occur on a small number of system configurations after Radeon Software installation if Radeon Settings is launched without a system reboot. A workaround is to reboot your system after install.
Posted on Thursday, May 24 2018 @ 13:18:34 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
The ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ screen is finally shipping. This monitor features a 4K (3840 x 2160) resolution, 144Hz refresh rate, HDR support, and NVIDIA's G-SYNC.
It has an IPS Quantum-Dot panel, 4ms response time, 178-degrees viewing angles, 10-bpc (1.07 billion colors) support, 300-1000 nits brightness, 20,000:1 contrast ratio, and DCI-P3 Color Gamut support.
The monitor features (and requires) DisplayPort 1.4 to sustain 4K @ 144 Hz with 10-bpc color. It also features HDMI 2.0. Also featured are GamePlus (OSD goodies), GameVisual (genre-specific display presets), a and 2-port USB 3.0 hub.
ASUS also integrated some RGB LEDs on the back side, these can be controlled via ASUS Aura Sync. The company says this screen will be available in June for about $1,999. Definitely not cheap!
Posted on Thursday, May 24 2018 @ 12:54:03 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Arctic recently introduced the Alpine 12 Passive for Intel processors and now the firm follows up with the Alpine AM4 Passive for the AMD platform. As the name suggests, this is a passive cooler for those wishing to build a zero noise system.
It's basically a big piece of black anodized aluminium, it measures 99mm x 99mm x 70mm (L x W x H), weighs 557g and is compatible with Socket AM4 CPUs. It comes with pre-applied MX-2 thermal compound.
Arctic recommends using it with chips with a TDP of maximum 35W, so this means you can only use it with the two Ryzen desktop APUs.
Arctic's internal testing shows the heatsink keeps the AMD APU A12 9800E at 56°C at full load, versus 40°C with the stock cooler from AMD. Basically, a nice niche product.
Posted on Thursday, May 24 2018 @ 12:31:04 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
We still don't know whether NVIDIA's next-gen gaming cards are based on Volta, Ampere, or Turing, but it appears that at least some SKUs will use GDDR6 memory. TechPowerUp reports about a supply deal between SK Hynix and NVIDIA, but it's not known for which card(s) the latter will use GDDR6.
The SK Hynix memory catalog reveals the firm has 8Gb (1GB) GDDR6 memory chips with a frequency of 14GHz at 1.35V, and up to 12GHz at 1.25V. The site speculates the successor to the GP104 will likely end up with 8GB GDDR6, unless there's a denser memory option:
Considering NVIDIA already got GDDR5X to run at 11 Gbps, it could choose the faster option. Memory remains a cause for concern. If 8 Gb is the densest chip from SK Hynix, then the fabled "GV104" (GP104-successor), which could likely feature a 256-bit wide memory interface, will only feature up to 8 GB of memory, precluding the unlikely (and costly) option of piggy-backing chips to achieve 16 GB.
Posted on Thursday, May 24 2018 @ 10:42:09 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
EA has a history of buying up game studios and then completely abandoning the assets that made these studios great. Long-time gamers will remember Command & Conquer, a popular RTS series that captured the hearts and minds of a lot of people a decade or two ago.
There's some exciting news today as modder soscared101 is working on a fan-made sequel to the C&C: Red Alert series. His new Red Alert: Unplugged game is based on the OpenRA game engine, you can download the free alpha version over here. The full version of the game is expected in August 2019.
Introducing a new story, continuing the lore of C&C: Red Alert (1996) with new campaigns and taking advantage of the modernization of the classic C&C titles with the OpenRA engine! With its optimized game experience Red Alert - Unplugged aims to serve both casual and competitive play within the mainstream RTS playing community.
A feature-full release including campaigns aimed towards August, 2019.
Posted on Thursday, May 24 2018 @ 10:29:00 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Patriot announces the availability of its new Viper DDR4 RGB memory modules. These modules feature aluminium heatspreaders and have integrated RGB LEDs that can be controlled via the Viper software or motherboard RGB tools.
The Viper RGB Series heatshield was designed to
illustrate our signature Viper head and our designers spent multiple hours to make sure it was immaculate. With captivating angles and linear aesthetic, the front of the Viper RGB Series was inspired by our very own Viper logo. The Viper RGB Series was made to stand out from the crowd of boring rectangles.
Patriot offer black and white versions of the Viper DDR4 RGB. The black models are offered in 16GB dual-channel kits with frequencies from 2666MHz to 4133MHz, while the white versions ship in similar 16GB dual-channel kits with frequencies from 2666MHz to 3200MHz.
Posted on Wednesday, May 23 2018 @ 14:05:51 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Samsung gave an update about its process technology roadmap and indicated it aims to start mass producing gate-al-around (GAA) field-effect transistors (FET) in 2021. This is the successor to FinFET technology, the first node to use GAAFETs will be 3nm.
GAA technology has been under development since the early 2000s by Samsung and other firms. GAA transistors are field-effect transistors (FET) that feature a gate on all four sides of the channel to overcome the physical scaling and performance limitations of FinFETs, including supply voltage.
Samsung's proprietary GAA technology, known as multi-bridge-channel FET (MBCFET), has been in development since 2002, according to Ryan Sanghyun Lee, vice president of market for Samsung Foundry. MCBFET uses a nano-sheet device to enhance gate control, significantly improving the performance of the transistor, according to the company.
The South Korean giant also confirmed it plans to start 7nm LPP EUV production in the second half of this year. Other nodes on the roadmap include 5nm FinFET production in 2019 and 4nm FinFET in 2020.
More details can be read at EE Times. The site says analysts were impressed by Samsung's annual foundry technology forum as they didn't expect GAA transistors until some time in 2022.
Posted on Wednesday, May 23 2018 @ 11:50:50 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
NZXT adds the H500 and H500i to its lineup. These are two new mid-towers with a tempered glass side panel, the difference between the two is that the H500i has a couple of extras: a Smart Device that lets you control fans and RGB LEDs, two RGB LED strips, and a bracket for vertical mounting of the video card.
Each model is available in matte white, matte black, matte black and red, and matte black and blue color options. The two cases will ship in the US in early June for $69.99 and $99.99, respectively. The rest of the world will get the case by mid-June.
NZXT, a leading provider of desktop components for PC gamers, today announces its all-new H500 and H500i, the latest addition to its highly acclaimed H Series PC cases. With the new H500 and H500i compact mid-tower models, NZXT continues its award-winning design language across even more form factors, so users do not have to compromise when building their perfect gaming PC.
Available in two models, the H500 and the CAM-powered H500i, each with a stunning tempered glass windowed chassis, provide an elegant and affordable solution to builders of all skill levels. Modern features include a simplified water cooling installation bracket, intuitive cable routing options, and quick-release SSD trays for building beautiful gaming PCs quickly and easily. The H500i also features the CAM-powered Smart Device, providing RGB lighting and digital fan control, and includes an integrated vertical GPU mounting bracket.
“With the H500, we’ve taken everything we learned from both our top-selling S340 line and our recent H Series products to offer an updated, feature-rich chassis that continues our commitment to designing affordable premium hardware,” said Johnny Hou, NZXT’s founder, and CEO. “From the stunning tempered glass to its durable all-steel construction, the H500 and H500i give builders of all levels everything they need to build an extraordinary gaming machine.”
H500 / H500i features:
Modern design and builder-friendly features
Premium, all-steel construction with the sleek H Series aesthetic; available in four color combinations
Tempered glass side panel showcases your build
Wire management is made easy with an intuitive, patent-pending cable management system
Water-cooling installation is simplified using a removable bracket for either all-in-one CPU coolers or custom loop configurations
H500i exclusive features:
The Smart Device, a built-in RGB and digital fan controller powered by CAM, delivers HUE+ and GRID+ functionality and includes two pre-installed fans and RGB LED strips.
An optional Adaptive Noise Reduction fan control mode in CAM measures CPU and GPU temperatures, as well as ambient and system component sound levels to create custom fan curves that optimize the balance between cooling and noise
Integrated, CAM-powered RGB lighting allows for dynamic personalization of each and every build
Vertical GPU mount* showcases the gaming power inside
The H500 series is available in four color combinations to match your perfect build. Its all-steel construction is enriched by a tempered glass side panel, signature PSU shroud, and iconic cable bar to showcase your gaming system. You can even show off your GPU using the vertical GPU mounting bracket included in the H500i.
Enjoyable Builds for All
We designed a cable routing system with pre-installed channels and straps on the back of the motherboard tray, for intuitive and easy cable management. We also upgraded our signature cable bar to be adjustable to simplify the building process.
An easily removable front bracket designed for radiators up to 280mm makes installing water-cooling simple. There’s also an integrated reservoir mount for custom-loop systems. Two Aer F** 120mm fans are included for optimal internal airflow and the front and PSU intakes include removable filters for easy cleaning.
The H500 series’ layout for storage optimizes airflow and interior space for a clean-looking build. The two quick-release 2.5” SSD trays found behind the motherboard tray may also be mounted on the PSU shroud to showcase your hardware.