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AMD's Radeon R9 290X Review

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the how-does-it-stack-up? dept.

AMD 212

Billly Gates writes "AMD may have trouble in their CPU department with Intel having superior fabrication plants. However, in the graphics market with GPU chips AMD is doing well. AMD earned a very rare Elite reward from Tomshardware as the fastest GPU available with its fastest r9 for as little as $550 each. NVidia has its top end GPU cards going for $1,000 as it had little competition to worry about. Maximum PC also included some benchmarks and crowned ATI as the fastest and best value card available. AMD/ATI also has introduced MANTLE Api for lower level access than DirectX which is cross platform. This may turn into a very important API as AMD/ATI have their GPUs in the next generation Sony and Xbox consoles as well with a large marketshare for game developers to target"

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ATI drivers (5, Informative)

CockMonster (886033) | about a year ago | (#45254203)

I installed fresh ATI graphics drivers today. 90MB for a driver. .Net 4.5 needed to be installed. GTFO.

Re:ATI drivers (5, Informative)

stox (131684) | about a year ago | (#45254223)

148MB for the latest Nvidia driver.

Re:ATI drivers (2)

CockMonster (886033) | about a year ago | (#45254265)

148MB for the latest Nvidia driver.

*sigh*

Re:ATI drivers (5, Insightful)

bored (40072) | about a year ago | (#45254867)

Its more than that by the time the package decompresses.

Just some data points from a single machine.

C:\NVIDIA folder
V197 (~2010) 85M
V320 (~2013) 182M

The vast majority of it appears to be the control panel, and the physx package.

The display driver is just a few megs by comparison. If you skim off the hd audio/nv stereo/cuda/opencl/GL libraries you probably could get the whole shebang in under 10MB, and you could still play directX games.

I've been killing the nview and services for years. Never had a problem with the machine, but it always bothers me that they have a bunch of crap running that doesn't actually appear to do anything.

After all the once or twice a year I actually manipulate my monitor settings I am fully capable of finding my way into the windows display control panel and adjusting things there of opening the control panel from the actual control panel.

Its quite possible I'm not getting the absolute best performance playing games, but frankly I would much rather adjust settings from within the games than have nvidia overriding the game settings.

Re:ATI drivers (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45255067)

For Nvidia drivers, don't forget to remove the 2 "AppInit_DLLs => nvinitx.dll" entries inside the registry. Preloading this DLL inserts nasty hooks for optimus's support. I that kind of tricks.
Also remove the "updatus" user and its account/files.

In the services, after the parameters of the card are configured as desired inside the control panel, you should turn off permanently the nvidia 3D profiles updating service and the driver's support service.
Once this is done the computer is more stable, less bloated and less prone to be impacted by vulnerabilities inside the NVidia driver.

And optimus doesn't just randomly cause BSOD when pluging in/off hdmi cables anymore.

Finally rootkit detection softwares like Gmer don't report weird stuff anymore.

Go home Nvidia, your drivers suck and you should be ashamed.

Re:ATI drivers (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#45255143)

I'm not interested in defending Nvidia (if they want to pull stunts like Optimus, it's their job to make them work, nobody said life was fair.); but 'Optimus' is woven throughout the system like an inoperable late-stage cancer for a reason: detecting arbitrary 3d acceleration load and (theoretically) transparently grabbing the work from the Intel GPU, handing it off to the Nvidia GPU, and using the now-lobotomized Intel part purely as a place to dump the finished frames for display (this arrangement, where the Intel integrated graphics part can remain permanently connected to all video outputs, and any video switching silicon can be eliminated from the board cost, replaces the first generation of 'switchable' graphics, where display outputs were physically switched between the two GPUs, apparently OEMs didn't like that one very much) isn't exactly a trivial problem.

That doesn't excuse a defective solution to a nontrivial problem; but until GPU load gets the couple of decades of civilizing and refinement that CPU load monitoring has received, it's going to be hacky at best.

Re:ATI drivers (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45254271)

Don't want .Net for your drivers? Try Linux.

Don't like wasting 90MB? Well, maybe if they didn't have drastically less resources than their competition, they could spare someone to optimize for size. For now, perhaps you can spare the 0.01$ of hard drive space. Sure, I agree 90MB is horribly bloated, but its not anywhere bad enough to care about when compared to actual driver bugs, or the price difference in GPUs.

Re:ATI drivers (1)

CockMonster (886033) | about a year ago | (#45254315)

Don't want .Net for your drivers? Try Linux.

Don't like wasting 90MB? Well, maybe if they didn't have drastically less resources than their competition, they could spare someone to optimize for size. For now, perhaps you can spare the 0.01$ of hard drive space. Sure, I agree 90MB is horribly bloated, but its not anywhere bad enough to care about when compared to actual driver bugs, or the price difference in GPUs.

I use Linux in work, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. I had to reinstall it when I changed graphics card because it kept crashing (kernel too). I'm afraid to plug a second monitor in in case it causes the same thing to happen. I seriously considered installing Win7 on the machine and running Linux under VMWare. That's what I do on my laptop.

Re: ATI drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45254401)

Or maybe just increase your linux knowledge and fix the problems. Its easy enough to rip the drivers out completely and alter xorg config if needed.

Re: ATI drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45254419)

Or increase your knowledge about which operating systems don't break.

Re: ATI drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45254493)

My experience is that Windows breaks every week, and Linux never breaks. Did you reply to the wrong comment, or are you just dumb?

Re: ATI drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45254885)

You apparently don't have much knowledge. Linux breaks as soon as you install it a lot of the time.
I'm not talking little podunk distros either. I'm talking Ubuntu, Mint, Debian... I've had stuff as basic as sleep mode, wireless networking, and the freaking program toobars be broken from day one on various full releases (not beta or RC).

Linux is like that quirky girl you met once. Not normally your style, but she was intriguing. You ended up going out with her a couple times and it was a refreshing change. You decided "what the hell, sure she's quirky, but that's endearing, and she's got so many other great qualities", and you two started getting serious. You ditched any other women and she was the only one for you.

Then one day you find out that she refuses to drive your car because she doesn't like the transmission. She decides you need to buy another car, configured the way she wants. Then she won't talk to your friends because she doesn't like them, she decides you need to talk to her friends instead. Then she tells you that all of your old hobbies are unimportant and you need to learn to do something she likes to do. That quirky way she dresses isn't so endearing when she refuses to change when your boss comes over for dinner, or when you go to your grandmother's funeral.

Finally, sadly, you break it off. She was pretty cool, and the two of you had a lot of good times, but in the end she was going to re-write your life to suit her, and wasn't willing to meet you halfway on anything.

Re: ATI drivers (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#45255155)

If your car, or friends, include components of the same quality as x86 ACPI implementations, I would strongly recommend getting rid of them. Yesterday.

Re: ATI drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45254919)

Linux breaks more than Windows. Even commercialized and popular Linux based operating systems like Android seem to just break by themselves. When Windows breaks, it's because I fucked something up. Linux falls apart if you look at it wrong.

Re: ATI drivers (5, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#45254943)

When Windows breaks, it's because I installed an update that went horribly wrong.

When Linux breaks, it's because I installed an update that went horribly wrong.

Re: ATI drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45254503)

Slighty unjustifiable comment as over 90% of the world wide web works on linux and im sure thats has something to do with linux not farting and falling over all the time, unlike microsoft

Re: ATI drivers (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45254797)

Indeed, it is a matter of public record that most web servers run X and are hooked up to dual displays...

Re: ATI drivers (1)

CockMonster (886033) | about a year ago | (#45254509)

LOL I'm not paid to figure out how to configure xconf, but I did give it a shot though. It would crash everything randomly. A reinstall was quicker and therefore cheaper.

Re: ATI drivers (1)

tibman (623933) | about a year ago | (#45255059)

A reinstall would just waste your time and put you right back where you were. Linux is not like windows where a reinstall fixes things.

Re: ATI drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45255131)

xconf file is really annoying to rewrite when shit breaks. I got a Korean 27" IPs which needs some custom strings, it used to work fine for older kernels, but for newer 3 series kernels on ubuntu it just doesn't work. No matter what you do. So I end up not using the accelerated features and just using the basic 2D driver as the only solution. Been using Linux for last 15 years, but I just don't fucking time to solve insignificant issues. Also, what I find amusing is that stretching two dual-port videocards into one 4-way screen doesn't seem to work, which is weird as I used to have 3 separate single videocards that worked as one screen. Stupid shit like this is really pissing me off (that's why I bought larger screen actually)

Re:ATI drivers (1, Troll)

cheater512 (783349) | about a year ago | (#45254429)

That sounds slightly odd. A reinstall would just install the exact same software again. If your kernel panics then installing the same kernel again won't fix it.

Personally I have 5 monitors connected to 2 ATI cards with the fglrx drivers.
Works pretty damn well. Of course the way I have it set up is utterly impossible in Windows.

Re: ATI drivers (0)

CockMonster (886033) | about a year ago | (#45255439)

A reinstall seemed to fix what was broken by changing the graphics card. Whatever hardware detection is done on startup is far better than what I could do afterwards.

Re:ATI drivers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45254801)

Ignore the pissed off fanboys who live in their fantasy world :)

I also run Linux in vmware. It's the only hardware it actually seems to properly work onto. I've completely given up on having it work on physical hardware.

Re:ATI drivers (1)

Arker (91948) | about a year ago | (#45254893)

"I use Linux in work, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. I had to reinstall it when I changed graphics card because it kept crashing (kernel too)."

Somehow these sort of problems always seem to involve Ubuntu. Might be a clue...

Re:ATI drivers (1)

Hsien-Ko (1090623) | about a year ago | (#45254295)

241mb for the latest beta driver.

Re:ATI drivers (1)

CockMonster (886033) | about a year ago | (#45254325)

Does that include the tool you have to download and run in order to download the installer?

Re:ATI drivers (1)

Pinhedd (1661735) | about a year ago | (#45255251)

No, but it's a universal installer. One driver package for all supported operating systems, 32 and 64 bit variants, and all supported graphics cards. It's pretty impressive really.

Re:ATI drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45254769)

You fucking nerds can't figure out that they're including legacy drivers in the package as well? LOTTA cards out there.

Re:ATI drivers (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#45254305)

Remember that the package contains drivers for multiple chips and, 3D graphics drivers inevitably contain really much code. 90MB does not sound that unreasonable at all. Think about all the stuff to translate DirectX/OpenGL calls to the specific hardware processing units. NetFx requirement is indeed a bit silly and comes from Catalyst Control Center, which is an app that is slow junk on Windows. The Linux version uses Qt and works ok.

Re:ATI drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45254515)

NetFx requirement is indeed a bit silly and comes from Catalyst Control Center, which is an app that is slow junk on Windows. The Linux version uses Qt and works ok.

I really wish they'd quit with the .NET crap. They're obviously already competent in Qt, and Qt is cross-platform (and its runtime requirements are a whole lot smaller than .NET, too). Why on Earth do they insist on building two platforms?

Re:ATI drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45254747)

What is the point for platform independent when your driver is written for Windows alone?

Re: ATI drivers (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45254901)

The driver code is shared between Windows and Linux

Don't use AMD's control panel (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45254393)

The drivers do NOT need .Net, or 90Mb. The extremely crappy control panel, which has NOTHING to do with the drivers, uses the dreadful .Net API, and thusly needs loads of HDD space. People in-the-know install third-party front-ends like 'Tray Tools' or the like.

Sadly, ATI loves to take significant pay-offs from companies like MS, acting if THEY are the customer, not the person who purchased the graphics card. This, we can truly describe as ATI/AMD endlessly shooting themselves in the foot. Using .Net for the official control panel was a disgusting and despicable act, and was a great example of the contempt the older version of ATI had for its users.

AMD/ATI is a much better company today- it was either improve or die, and after the longest possible time, AMD finally made the right choice. However, we get glimpses of the bad old ATI with issues like the fiasco over the recent release of 'new' GPU cards that are almost all just re-brands of older cards, with the free games removed (AND higher prices). This kick-in-the-teeth for customers was done simply so AMD can make a song and dance about free games with all their cards AFTER they finish releasing the new 290 family (the 290X is just the first of three 290 cards- the 'free' games won't be announced until after AMD launches all of them).

In truth, ATI/AMD customers need to be smarter than customers of Nvidia products. Nvidia prides itself on cards that 'just work'. With AMD, you frequently need to know what you are doing, at which point AMD rivals Nvidia- but 'out of the box' the AMD experience is usually worse. Nvidia supports its older graphics cards MUCH better than AMD, but older graphics cards from AMD tend to get faster with time as newer games exploit the more forward looking architecture of ATI designs.

People have more problems with ATI cards in games, but this happens because uncommon settings in ATI's control panel (like the number of frames being rendered ahead) can cause terrible game problems if not adjusted per game on the desktop. Again, informed ATI owners KNOW which settings to tweak, but for the average user, the ATI experience can be frustrating. This is entirely ATI's fault, because a PC game, with a tiny amount of code, can programmatically set the correct options, but many game developers do not know how to do this. Nvidia does a much better job helping developers set-up their game code correctly for all usable generations of Nvidia graphics cards.

ATI has a nasty habit, as well, of disowning very recent cards that, on paper, had the features to support current games. ATI likes its shills to say ('jeez, your 4 year old card is out-of-date junk') whereas Nvidia happily ensures every generation of its cards that support DX9 work as well as their hardware allows. In reality, ATI cards from the 2000, 3000 and 4000 series are effectively the same as everything up to the 6000 series (excluding the orphan architecture of the 6900 VLIW4 oddities). However, ATI pays technical sites to state the cards from the 5000 series and earlier are obsolete (technically this is completely untrue). In contrast, Nvidia is proud to support cards from the 8000 series and onwards, which is a similar timeframe to the 2000 series from ATI.

While it is true that 'cheap' current gen cards destroy premium cards from that far back, it is the principle that matters.

Re:Don't use AMD's control panel (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45255153)

ah shut the F up.
If you run a business, you want to keep getting less support calls. This is why you bundle everything into one package. How fking slow is your computer that about 200MB uncompressed makes any difference to you?

Admit it, it took you longer time to bitch, (you must think you're clever,) then it is to download 90MB!

Re:Don't use AMD's control panel (1)

Desler (1608317) | about a year ago | (#45255169)

Loads? Even on a pitiful 128GB hard drive the full driver install is around a third of a percent of the total space.

Re:ATI drivers (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#45254475)

I installed fresh ATI graphics drivers today. 90MB for a driver. .Net 4.5 needed to be installed. GTFO.

As much as I find 'Catalyst Control Center' to be totally fucking useless, and would be pleased by a 'just the damn driver, the OS already has interfaces for changing monitor resolution and whatnot' edition, isn't using relevant vendor APIs for your application, rather than rolling your own or using real antiques, sort of what you are encouraged to do?

Its existence is obnoxious; but it would hardly be the better for depending on an older .NET version, or QT, or some braindead AMD custom nonsense, would it?

Re:ATI drivers (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45255403)

Universal driver dude.

That 90 meg package supports pretty much every ati/amd card ever. All the amd/ati motherboard chipset drivers. Everything.

Makes it nice for building a new pc. One download and you're done. No hunting around for the latest version of chip something.x.1's driver for y.motherboard.

Beats the fuck out of the way things used to be done by far.

AMD - Can't help but be a fan.. (5, Interesting)

brxndxn (461473) | about a year ago | (#45254209)

After seeing AMD bet the farm on Athlon and beat a company with 10x the r&d budget, I cannot help but be a fan. The biggest reason for AMD being behind in CPUs today is lack of r&d budget based on unfair duopoly competition from Intel during the years where AMD was superior. Hopefully, AMD can make up for this missing r&d money by being superior with graphics for a while.

I do not believe there is a tech company pushing more innovation with less resources..
 

Re:AMD - Can't help but be a fan.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45254435)

i agree to some extent. what i want is at least 2 powerhouses to push eachother to the limits. i dont care who is winning but as long as they are close. this is a good win for amd on the gpu side. i hope their cpu department can get the ipc up near or beating intel. problem will be the foundry side. uncontrolled by amd. build a foundry! it wont even be a 22nm one if they did though. let alone pushing 14nm like intel. even intel with the best foundries are sucking balls at 14nm at current. pushing back broadwell many months

Re: AMD - Can't help but be a fan.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45254957)

They did build a foundry but were forced to sell it to avoid bankruptcy. See GlobalFoundries.

Re:AMD - Can't help but be a fan.. (2)

cheater512 (783349) | about a year ago | (#45254449)

I like them simply because they are significantly cheaper for the same performance.
I prefer saving more money and getting 'pretty damn good' rather than 'ultimate system which is out of date a week after it arrives'.

Re:AMD - Can't help but be a fan.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45254603)

For CPUs? 6 years ago maybe. Today no way.

Re:AMD - Can't help but be a fan.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45255263)

The latest FX are not that bad midrange if you need lots cores and od not want virtualization taken out of the bois.

VMWare and Virtualbox with 8 cores is very competitive to the icore7 ... well until just 2 months ago with Haswel. :-)

Intel with a non crippled bios for a 5 core with an extreme edition costs more than a damn computer with the FX. it is not horrible. It just is well inefficient and midrange.

Re:AMD - Can't help but be a fan.. (1)

green is the enemy (3021751) | about a year ago | (#45254645)

Has AMD only cut the budget for CPU R&D and not GPUs? That might be a strategic decision, betting that x86 is a dead-end technology and GPUs are the future. It's plausible that more and more computing (not just graphics) will shift to the GPU in the future, and a (standardized?) compute-capable GPU will become a required part of the PC platform.

Re:AMD - Can't help but be a fan.. (2)

Kjella (173770) | about a year ago | (#45254917)

Has AMD only cut the budget for CPU R&D and not GPUs?

They don't report R&D per division, only overall so you'd pretty detailed internal knowledge to say.

Re:AMD - Can't help but be a fan.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45254759)

I root for the underdog especially when the bigger dog, Intel, plays dirty. It's a bonus when the products are clearly superior and cheaper.

Re:AMD - Can't help but be a fan.. (3, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | about a year ago | (#45254869)

Partly, but they never could match Intel on process technology which meant Intel always had a cost advantage, even when their CPU designs were inferior. As for more recent events, AMD looks saved for a while as the division that includes consoles more than doubled last quarter and gave them an overall profit so at least for the next year or so with big console sales they should be good. Still, with all their diversifying I'm worried that they simply don't want to step back into the ring with Intel, but instead focus on graphics cards, graphics-heavy APUs, heterogenous computing, semicustom designs, ARM micrservers and so on.

The reason I say that is because their CPU sales are way down, still going down and losing money - they have to either really step it up or step out and their roadmaps don't exactly indicate going on the offensive, just moderate revisions that might keep them from losing more ground. They have CPUs good enough to be "console-quality" for this generation of consoles, that'll sell for a good while since many PC games will be console ports and so play well on that level of hardware even if they give up competing with future Intel CPUs. It's not like they're competing very well on high-performance or performance per watt today, jjust performance per dollar and it's showing on AMDs financials.

Re:AMD - Can't help but be a fan.. (1)

Chris Katko (2923353) | about a year ago | (#45254951)

They're behind because the latest generation of desktop CPU's failed to perform any better than the previous.

Re:AMD - Can't help but be a fan.. (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | about a year ago | (#45255069)

I've been looking at getting a card to that will run Star Citizen decently during the dogfighting module. Not looking to spend more than $100 as I'll buy a new desktop computer next year as originally scheduled. Biggest problem was the weak power supply in the existing PC. Well the the R7 240 only draws 30 watts of power for about $90. I know it's not the highest performance card. Existing 7750's and 7770's beats it's performance, but with the R7 240 I didn't have to worry about spending $50 and replacing the power supply.

Re:AMD - Can't help but be a fan.. (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about a year ago | (#45255181)

I'm actually just as impressed with their business wins of late. They've gone from posting massive losses with no signs of anything on the horizon to getting all the processors for the next-gen consoles except the Wii U's CPU, plus a heavy feature in the new Mac Pro, plus a growing tablet side. And while Bulldozer still seems to be an overall failure, GCN is very competitive and Jaguar seems to be pretty powerful.

If they can fix the IPC problems with Bulldozer, or otherwise get a decently competitive desktop CPU, they would basically be neck-and-neck with Intel again.

Re:AMD - Can't help but be a fan.. (1)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#45255279)

I'm guessing the only reason they got CPU wins for the consoles is because they got the GPU wins for those consoles. And while volumes may be high, the margins will be minimal compared to a desktop CPU sale.

If only (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45254237)

There were actually good games to play on the PC. But $550 for a pixel pumper just to play another CoD game. Not worth it.

Re:If only (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#45254537)

There were actually good games to play on the PC. But $550 for a pixel pumper just to play another CoD game. Not worth it.

Few to none of them need a $550 GPU, even on 1920x1080 and higher; but the PC is where all the good games are, aside from a few XBOX/Playstation title still in exclusivity periods, and anything Nintendo, if that's your thing.

I can't think of a platform-jealousy incident as a PC gamer since, what, Escape Velocity and Marathon?

Re:If only (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45254667)

Get Crysis 3 or Battlefield 4 on a 4k screen and your opinion will rapidly change. They can barely even make 40 fps !

Re:If only (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#45255087)

Get Crysis 3 or Battlefield 4 on a 4k screen and your opinion will rapidly change. They can barely even make 40 fps !

Hence my weasel-wording of 'few to none'. Though, if somebody thinks that a $550 GPU is excessive, they probably aren't buying 4k screens, yet. People who use the term 'just to play another CoD game' with that tone of disdain probably aren't Crysis or Battlefield 4 poster children, either.

Re:If only (1)

tibman (623933) | about a year ago | (#45255125)

lol. There is a console even capable of 4k?

Re:If only (0)

ButchDeLoria (2772751) | about a year ago | (#45255363)

This. Hell, the only reason Microsoft called the Xbox One what they did is because Xbox 720 would lead to a lot of "Xbox 720p" jokes.

Re:If only (1)

tibman (623933) | about a year ago | (#45255149)

Natural Selection 2 is a fantastic FPS. Pretty much brought NS1 back to life. There are some great RTS and 4X games out there. Not only that but there are so many indie games and mods to explore : ) You don't need a fancy computer to play great computer games.

For as little? (1)

Great Big Bird (1751616) | about a year ago | (#45254241)

"fastest GPU available with its fastest r9 for as little as $550 each" Well, I am glad that they are available for as little as that.

Re:For as little? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45254309)

Yes, for as little. When the competition costs a grand that it a great price.

Re:For as little? (0)

wagnerrp (1305589) | about a year ago | (#45254755)

That's simply not true. nVidia's high end graphics card costs $650, not $1000. Their $1000 Titan is an entirely different breed of card. It's a workstation class card, and on modern nVidia hardware, there is actually a real, physical difference. They have separate 32-bit and 64-bit shaders. The workstation cards get a big chunk of 64-bit shaders, while the gaming cards get largely 32-bit shaders, because games have no need for double precision computation. When you spend $1000 on a Titan, what you're actually getting is a binned K6000, minus the ECC memory, and tech support than comes with the professional card. It's for people who want to do professional work, but are willing to sacrifice a bit of reliability for a huge cost savings.

Re:For as little? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45254843)

R9 290X also has double point precision for about half the price.

The R9 290X is a direct Titan competitior.

Re:For as little? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45255191)

Yes and it has crippled dflops compared to the Titan.

Re:For as little? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45255207)

The R9 290X's DP performance is also cut down to 1/16th of their pro part and the other opengl viewport support features are driver locked for the same reason as nvidia locks its gaming gpus' compute performance. Those are gaming parts. The titan was a market experiment that earned nvidia a ton of money and isn't meant to compete with anything even 8 months after it was released (or more than a year after it could have been released).

There are still coincidental reasons why the titan is so sought after over any amd parts that are cheaper and faster on some synthetic tests and that's because the professional softwarebase has been deeply established with cuda and opencl is still a pain in the patella to use.

Re:For as little? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45254443)

You do understand you have to compare with similar goods to know if the price is relatively cheap or not, right? Or would you say a house being sold for $550 is too expensive because it takes you hours of your work to get that much money?
It isn't a budget card, you can't expect them to give it away for free.

ATI vs Nvidia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45254269)

It doesn't matter much on linux which manufacturer is better. There is almost no need for GPU acceleration. Even if the GPUs accelerates anything, how important is it to you, personally? Most linux users are better off with a good quad core CPU and >=4 GB RAM.

Re:ATI vs Nvidia (1)

Hsien-Ko (1090623) | about a year ago | (#45254317)

But then how are you going to have "compositing"? Years ago the fad of useless window effects were part of Linux's desktop preach.

Re:ATI vs Nvidia (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#45254379)

It doesn't matter much on linux which manufacturer is better. There is almost no need for GPU acceleration. Even if the GPUs accelerates anything, how important is it to you, personally? Most linux users are better off with a good quad core CPU and >=4 GB RAM.

High-performance GPU acceleration on Linux is very important.

Re:ATI vs Nvidia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45254715)

It doesn't matter much on linux which manufacturer is better. There is almost no need for GPU acceleration. Even if the GPUs accelerates anything, how important is it to you, personally? Most linux users are better off with a good quad core CPU and >=4 GB RAM.

High-performance GPU acceleration on Linux is very important.

Obvious troll was trolling.

amd crippled R9 double presicion just like nvidia (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45254303)

We've also come to learn that AMD changed the double-precision rate from 1/4 to 1/8 on the R9 290X, yielding a maximum .7 TFLOPS. The FirePro version of this configuration will support full-speed (1/2 rate) DP compute, giving professional users an incentive to spring for Hawaii's professional implementation.

Lots of folks use ggpu but don't have a "professional" budget to pay the extortion fee to have artificial limits lifted from the hardware they purchase.

Like everything else AMD does... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45254353)

...this will be short lived as the performance crown item. nVidia will trounce them again shortly, as Intel always does.

Re: Like everything else AMD does... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45254451)

Go away, fanboy.

Nobody noticed the most important 'feature'.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45254415)

The Rx series drivers have dropped support for not only Windows XP (Despite it not being unsupported yet!) but *ALSO* Windows Vista.

That right there has killed any chance of me getting an R-series GPU for a non-linux box, and only then if the open source drivers are considered stable and at least OGL 2.1 feature-complete.

Hopefully someone will mod this up so more people realize this!

Re:Nobody noticed the most important 'feature'.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45254543)

You, sir, are a liar. XP support ended four and half years ago unless you're a corporate customer with an extended support contract. You even asked to have your lie modded up. If only there were ratings farther into the negative...

Re:Nobody noticed the most important 'feature'.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45254873)

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/end-support-help

Seems to be april of 2014 to me.

Re:Nobody noticed the most important 'feature'.... (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about a year ago | (#45255209)

There's really no reason not to offer them for xp.. The code is already written, so why not keep support in until xp really drops off the radar?

No Mantle for Xbox/PS (1)

squisher (212661) | about a year ago | (#45254455)

> AMD/ATI also has introduced MANTLE Api for lower level access than DirectX which is cross platform. This may turn into a very important API as AMD/ATI have their GPUs in the next generation Sony and Xbox consoles as well with a large marketshare for game developers to target

I read somewhere that that's unfortunately not true; Mantle will not be available for the new Xbox or Playstation. My speculation is that Microsoft and Sony don't actually want to be THAT compatible as it would make porting too easy...

Re:No Mantle for Xbox/PS (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45254573)

AFAIK the consoles already got a lower level API, which is different from DirectX. This simply allows you to do the same on a PC.

Re:No Mantle for Xbox/PS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45254945)

Mantle isn't "available" for Xbone or PS4 because it's designed (very roughly/crudely) to *be* Xbone/PS4 for PC. The intent is for low-level code in console games to work on PCs with minimal adaptation and similarly high hardware-level performance. In theory, this will dramatically ease porting of Xbone/PS4 games to the Windows environment. But it's not likely either Sony or MS will be thrilled about it, and they have plenty of ways to screw with it (e.g., increasing their push for platform exclusivity).

Re:No Mantle for Xbox/PS (1)

citizenr (871508) | about a year ago | (#45254975)

I read somewhere that that's unfortunately not true; Mantle will not be available for the new Xbox or Playstation. My speculation is that Microsoft and Sony don't actually want to be THAT compatible as it would make porting too easy...

Its the other way around. Mantle on PC is the equivalent of console APIs, with all the lovely low level access you get in consoles.
You will be able to take console game and throw a little shim between GFX calls to make it PC Mantle game.

Maybe I'm just a lame "PC gamer"... (2)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#45254459)

...but "for as little as $550 each" just blows my mind.

I thought I was crazy when I spent $400 on a graphics card once, but I (and I understand it's subjective) was perfectly happy with the performance on any game I played for the next 2 years. $500-$1000 (x2) Crossfire/SLI setups just seem to me to be about people with too much money and not enough creativity as to how to spend it...

Re:Maybe I'm just a lame "PC gamer"... (5, Insightful)

pspahn (1175617) | about a year ago | (#45254531)

I've always had the notion that if you just wait a year, you can get yesterday's models for a great price and instead play the games that now have been out long enough to be properly patched. This has the bonus effect of weeding out a lot of crap games.

Re:Maybe I'm just a lame "PC gamer"... (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | about a year ago | (#45254657)

You have to consider performance against the current flagship, the ATI card is as fast as a TITAN in most cases and significantly less costly. So if the highest performing part (titan) is 200-400 more than the ATI card, then the ATI card (for that performance level) is in fact the lowest cost option.

You always pay premium for the bleeding edge. When the 8800 GTX/GTS came out it was the same since it was the top performer so they could charge premium prices. At the time the 8800 was so good they could charge it. I've still got an 8800 GTS in my core 2 machine that's 6 years old. The absolute 'need' to upgrade stopped a long time ago. My machine can run 99% of most games just fine even with a card thats 6 years old. I paid around 500 at the time. So that's a good value considering you don't upgrade the videocard now for at least 5+ years now, because developers simply can't afford to bling out games that max hardware. Look at all the complaints about 'next gen' development costs for AAA and how it's going to cause more of a shake-out and studio closings.

So while the hardware may be expensive, game dev costs make that hardware last a long time now since we've reached 'good enough'.

Re:Maybe I'm just a lame "PC gamer"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45254865)

Let's see that 8800 play BF3 on ultra graphics settings at 1920x1080. lol

Re:Maybe I'm just a lame "PC gamer"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45254929)

Whether you need a new vidcard highly depends on what games you play. I stopped being interested in dumbed down first person shooters a long time ago kid. BF3 the latest in tame slow FPS games for the new reflexless generation.

Re:Maybe I'm just a lame "PC gamer"... (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#45254995)

I made the mistake of buying BF3. My graphics card (not the top of the line, but not bad) played it fine. The problem was the game was mostly mindless repetitive crap.

Re:Maybe I'm just a lame "PC gamer"... (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#45255001)

Oh. "LOL".

Re:Maybe I'm just a lame "PC gamer"... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45255317)

Just because you're a loser with a shity job who can't aford a 500$ card, does not imply that others are without creativity. It simply means that your betters are able to spend the extra money to get better results, better visuals, and actually treat themselves to better hardware as compared to their lessers (you, and your kind).

Cross platform? (1)

Rhywden (1940872) | about a year ago | (#45254473)

Right. Cross platform would be important, especially if the API appeared on the next-gen consoles.

However, I can't really see Microsoft implementing this API on their console. And I don't think Sony will do that either.

And then there's the fact that a game developer now needs to implement two APIs - and if "Mantle" is actually closer to the hardware then there won't be much portability between the two. Which makes this somewhat dead in the water.

Re:Cross platform? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45255443)

Someone didn't do their homework. Mantle is designed to implement the low layer APIs developers already used in their console games.... so less work is required.

you 74il it!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45254741)

ComIng a piss [goat.cx]

rich people problems (3, Informative)

Gothmolly (148874) | about a year ago | (#45254839)

"only" 550 dollars. Most people spend less than that on a whole computer, or don't HAVE 550 dollars.

Re: rich people problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45254973)

Then get a job you hippie. But in all seriousness the 290x is a high end card ment to play things maxed out, if you dont like it then buy a R7 model. Its like people wanting the best house or best car, the best costs money.

Re:rich people problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45255003)

It doesn't say "only", it says as little as - and it is specifically citing the relative cheapness of the GPU in terms of being the fastest single core GPU and not a thousand dollars, which is pretty in line with your typical nvidia flaship release.

Fuck me, people like you are 'tards. You're so desperate to say something hipsteresque to karma whore, you forget to have a point.

Re:rich people problems (1)

Kjella (173770) | about a year ago | (#45255051)

Most people also don't have any use for a $550 graphics card, if you buy one you're almost certainly a serious gamer who'll get many hours of use out of that card. Of course you're not doing that on minimum wage, but having a $1k gaming PC is hardly just for the excessively wealthy. Honestly the cash investment is very low compared to many other hobbies, it's mostly time and effort. Just like WoW addiction is probably the cheapest addiction you can get, well if you don't count losing your job over it. Personally I'm a pack rat, but at 4TB/$170 I'm still not blowing that much on collecting everything under the sun. And my digital hoarding is still limited to one miditower, I don't live with stuff up to the ceiling.

Re:rich people problems (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#45255301)

My ex was addicted to Wow.

It was VERY expensive. In economics there is a term called opportunity cost. For example you could be working a second job instead of reading this reply or going to school for a better career.You can't really do that with raids going.

My ex guild leader is much richer and lost money as he did not want to start a business again and make gobs of money as that means no midnight runs. When things got rough his sister told him to quit playing and go get a real job or get your butt out of here. He did just that and is now making about 6 figures again. Making less costs money and when he hit his low it was easier to play wow after his part time job and ignore reality than it was to get his butt in gear and rebuild his business that required lots of work.

So that is the tradeoff.The value of the card is nothing and costs a lot more than $500 as you can earn that in 2 weeks with a 2nd part time job or earn more over a lifetime with $500 a credit hour for an advanced degree.

Is it HDMI 2.0 or 1.4?! (4, Interesting)

bertok (226922) | about a year ago | (#45254941)

Has anyone else noticed that despite the endless 4K resolution marketing being put out there by AMD, there is not a peep on the specific type of HDMI port the card has?

There is a HUGE difference between HDMI 2.0 and 1.4, but it's always specified as just "HDMI" with no version number. No review mentions the HDMI version, even though one would think that a real journalist would put in some effort to research this and find out.

I suppose it's easier to run the card through a bunch of automated benchmarks, cut & paste 15 pages of results to maximise ad impressions, and call it a "review".

Fastest? Do they draw every frame yet? (0)

_Shorty-dammit (555739) | about a year ago | (#45255337)

Do they actually draw every frame yet? Can't exactly call it the fastest if they're still cheating. I'm looking forward to the pcper dot com review to see if they're actually doing what they're supposed to be doing yet. But only out of curiosity, as their track record means I'll continue buying NVidia. Go to the pcper website and look for the "Frame Rating: Eyefinity vs Surround in Single and Multi-GPU Configurations" article.

Re:Fastest? Do they draw every frame yet? (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#45255371)

Read the first article on tomshardware. Yes they tested framepacing and latency

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