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PC Has an HDR Support Problem

Despite the impending release of the Acer Predator X27 and Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ, Eurogamer advises that PC games with HDR support may not necessarily grow in number, as these costly displays will entice few buyers. Obviously, adoption rates and developer interest will not improve until modest but cheaper options are available: the author argues that these might make more sense even on a technical level.

In terms of potential spec reductions, a cheaper 60Hz equivalent to these screens would work just fine for the majority of gamers. After all, the irony is that no GPU exists that can run the latest games at 4K at anything like 120fps, let alone 144fps. Indeed, even getting a reasonably solid 60ps on today's top-end PC hardware usually requires careful settings tweaks, and G-Sync proves highly useful for simply for ironing out the kinks in the 50-60fps range.

Posted by Megalith May 19, 2018 4:15 PM (CDT)

Sony Working on AMD Ryzen LLVM Compiler Improvements, Possibly for PlayStation 5

Phoronix is speculating that the next PlayStation will likely be powered by a Ryzen CPU/APU based on information gleaned from Simon Pilgrim’s LinkedIn profile and recent GitHub submissions. Pilgrim, who serves as one of Sony’s top programmers, appears to be spending much of his time tuning Ryzen for a future product.

It's interesting that Sony is working on upstream LLVM improvements specific to AMD Zen processors when they aren't currently shipping any Ryzen/EPYC-based systems. But let's not forget that the PlayStation 4 is powered by a semi-custom AMD Jaguar CPU with GCN Radeon graphics. On top of that, Sony indeed uses LLVM/Clang as the compiler for the PlayStation 4.

Posted by Megalith May 19, 2018 12:45 PM (CDT)

NVIDIA’s First 4K G-Sync HDR Monitor Is Available to Preorder for $2,000

Acer’s Predator X27 has finally gone up for preorder at Newegg. The display will be one of the first to grant gamers the privilege of 4K at 144Hz, with 1,000 nits of peak brightness and NVIDIA’s G-Sync technology. Unfortunately, the "holy grail of monitors" does not come cheap: it will ship on June 1 for $2,000.

The initial displays bearing AMD’s FreeSync 2 technology max out at 600 nits of brightness, for comparison, and the Samsung CHG70 we’ve tested only hits 144Hz and 1440p resolution. It’s one of the best monitors I’ve used, and "only" costs $700, but it can’t come close to matching the specs of these G-Sync HDR displays.

Posted by Megalith May 19, 2018 10:15 AM (CDT)

GPP Creates Another AMD Exclusive Hardware Line

Despite the fact that the disgusting GeForce Partner Program was killed off by NVIDIA earlier this month, it seems the effects are still being felt. PC World is reporting that MSI is launching a new AMD exclusive brand dubbed the "MECH 2." The article states that the card appears to slot in between the affordable Armor line, and MSI's high-end "gaming" line of GPUs, and the RX and RX 580 MECH 2 cards should be launching in July.
Makes you wonder how long GPP was in the works before we found out about it. For several companies to come up with all new branding for cards has to take more time than the 2 months it has been since @Kyle_Bennet broke the story. Depressing that we are still seeing its effects.

The upstart Radeon brands appear here to stay. The real question: Will top-shelf brands like ROG and Gaming X continue to fly the AMD flag in the future? If not, the spirit of the GeForce Partner Program will live on even if it’s technically dead. Stay tuned.

Posted by rgmekanic May 16, 2018 6:53 PM (CDT)

AMD Ryzen PRO Mobile and Desktop APU Announce with a Bang

SANTA CLARA, Calif., May 14, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- AMD (NASDAQ:AMD) today announced unprecedented adoption of its AMD Ryzen PRO processors - including new notebooks and desktops powered by Ryzen PRO processors with built-in Radeon™ Vega graphics now available from the world’s three largest enterprise PC OEMs. AMD Ryzen PRO APUs for premium commercial desktop and notebooks provide commercial PC buyers with new levels of choice and innovation and enable Dell, HP, and Lenovo to create a range of business systems, from sleek enterprise notebooks to powerful commercial desktops. Combined, these systems make up the broadest portfolio of AMD processor-based enterprise PCs in the company’s history. "Our mission with AMD Ryzen processors is to deliver more performance, features, and choice to users. We’ve fulfilled this promise over the last year across the premium consumer desktop and notebook markets. Now, we bring those same principles to a full range of commercial notebooks and desktops," said Jim Anderson, senior vice president and general manager, Computing and Graphics Business Group, AMD. "The new enterprise platforms introduced by Dell, HP and Lenovo mark an important milestone for AMD, demonstrating that we are addressing the needs of the premium commercial market from top-to-bottom. Ryzen PRO mobile processors can enable all-day battery life up to 16 hours of use, world-class productivity performance, and sensational graphics built on Radeon technology."

Posted by Kyle May 14, 2018 8:13 AM (CDT)

AMD Not "Banning" ASRock from Selling in Europe

I am not going to say that the most recent reports of AMD "banning" ASRock sales of its GPUs in Europe was a PR and marketing tool used to counter AMD's recent anti-GPP marketing "Freedom of Choice" campaign, but that is exactly what I think it was. Anyway, Jason Evangelho has the scoop on this at Forbes. Sadly, ASRock still refuses to talk to HardOCP after it was receptive to our reviews of some of it very crappy motherboards years ago. Glad they will talk to Jason and get the full story out there. Thanks @cageymaru.

Clearly this contradicts comments from the ASRock representative who spoke to Tom's Hardware Germany.

Posted by Kyle May 07, 2018 11:45 AM (CDT)

Why AMD’s Superior Compatibility Could End

Many applaud AMD’s decision to support their AM4 platform until at least 2020, but some believe this plan could come to an end due to the prevalence of outdated motherboard BIOS. Users are frustrated because the BIOS on older motherboards must be updated before newer chips can be detected, but vendors, arguably, do not make this process easy enough.

If AMD keeps receiving backlash for continuing support then I feel this is something they might abandon after 2020 and instead adopt a compatibility cycle similar to Intel's: hitting reset every couple of generations and forcing you to invest in a new platform that might not offer anything new beyond CPU support.

Posted by Megalith May 06, 2018 11:20 AM (CDT)

AMD Bans ASRock from Entering European GPU Market

ASRock has clarified that its graphics cards cannot be sold in the EU: the company had to reach out to the German division of Tom’s Hardware after the site published a review of the RX 580 Phantom Gaming X in order to figure out how their sample was obtained. According to an ASRock sales manager, AMD does not allow them to sell these cards in that region.

Regional sales bans are actually quite common. Yet still, customers should have a choice when it comes to choosing the right model, at the lowest price possible. Those who want ASRock graphics cards will still be able to buy them, just with additional taxes and shipping costs artificially created by regional sales bans.

Posted by Megalith May 05, 2018 9:55 AM (CDT)

German IT Distributor Publishes Intel and AMD Roadmaps

An IT distributor in Germany has published upcoming roadmaps for Intel and AMD processors and chipsets. It looks like the AMD Z490 is coming in June with the B450 following in July and lastly the AMD Threadripper 2 and X399 refresh are coming in August. Not as much going on for Intel, but it does show that the Z390 is a Q3 release and CFL 8-core in Q4.

No word in the presentation was given to Cascade Lake or an X299 refresh, which could be interpreted as that we might see it in 2019, or bluechip does not have that information. They clearly list X99 Refresh on the Intel Chipset Roadmap slide, so to see the X299 Refresh label missing could lead to certain predictions, but we have no source on when an update to X299 is due.

Posted by Montu May 03, 2018 11:55 AM (CDT)

AMD Adds Netflix 4K Support

Take your translator and check out Hardware Info if you are running AMD hardware, the latest 18.4.1 drivers and are a fan of Netflix. You can now get all that 4K goodness on your PC, if you have 4K display of course. There are a couple of hoops to jump through however. If I mentioned Microsoft Edge, would that make you wince? Thanks @cageymaru.

As requirements for Netflix in ultra-high-resolution on the PC, the support for PlayReady 3.0 includes Microsoft Edge as a browser, a connection to the monitor via the hdcp 2.2 protocol, an existing h265 decoder and a Netflix Premium subscription. . With the drm implementation PlayReady 3.0, theft of video material must be prevented.

Posted by Kyle May 01, 2018 12:38 PM (CDT)

New Radeon Driver for Windows 10 April Update

If you are running an AMD video card and thinking of updating your Windows 10 OS with the now available April update, the timing could not be better. AMD just kicked out WHQL drivers for your downloading pleasure. You neckbeard Linux lovers got attention from AMD last week, so don't complain and get Cheeto dust all over the discussion thread. Thanks @cageymaru.

Posted by Kyle April 30, 2018 12:05 PM (CDT)

AMD Precision Boost 2 and Wraith Prism Deep Dive

For those of you fine folks that do not look at the new articles and reviews on the top of the HardOCP news feed, we published something that may be of interest to you in the wee hours of the morning, AMD Precision Boost 2 and Wraith Prism Deep Dive. If you are looking to get into a new CPU, I would highly suggest reading this before spending big bucks on a new air cooler for one.

When AMD presented it new Precision Boost 2 technology, I have to think AMD undersold the feature in terms of what it was actually able to accomplish. The original Precision Boost on the 1st gen Ryzen processors was anemic at best. After seeing what Precision Boost 2 can accomplish, do we even need to try to overclock our new 2700X? Blasphemy!

Posted by Kyle April 30, 2018 9:38 AM (CDT)