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Graphics AMD Upgrades Hardware Games

AMD Delivers DX11 Graphics Solution For Under $100 133

Posted by timothy
from the does-not-improve-c64-aztec dept.
Vigile points out yesterday's launch of "the new AMD Radeon HD 5670, the first graphics card to bring DirectX 11 support to the sub-$100 market and offer next-generation features to almost any budget. The Redwood part (as it was codenamed) is nearly 3.5x smaller in die size than the first DX11 GPUs from AMD while still offering support for DirectCompute 5.0, Eyefinity multi-monitor gaming and of course DX11 features (like tessellation) in upcoming Windows gaming titles. Unfortunately, performance on the card is not revolutionary even for the $99 graphics market, though power consumption has been noticeably lowered while keeping the card well cooled in a single-slot design."
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AMD Delivers DX11 Graphics Solution For Under $100

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  • by TheKidWho (705796) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @06:44PM (#30793950)

    A lot of games will struggle on this card significantly. It's about as powerful as a 3870 from 2+ years ago.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Lord Crc (151920) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @06:50PM (#30793992)

    I don't get it. Yay, DX11. The biggest new features I could see about it were hardware tessellation and compute shaders.

    Compute shaders, or more generally GPGPU (via OpenCL as well as DX11) will open up a huge new market for GPUs. One midrange GPU can replace a small cluster of computers at a fraction of the cost. For example, using 2-3 GPUs in one box, people doing architectural visualization can get their results in minutes instead of days.

  • Whats the point? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Shanrak (1037504) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @06:54PM (#30794020)
    Toms Hardware's review here: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5670,2533.html [tomshardware.com] TLDR: While it does support DX11, its not powerful enough to really do much with it, barely keeping 30 FPS at 1680x1050.
  • Re:Whats the point? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 16, 2010 @07:03PM (#30794104)
    I think your post is misleading. According to that article, the card gets 46FPS average on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, on 1920x1200, highest settings -- and that's one of the more intensive games. I have no idea what numbers you're quoting.
  • by Eukariote (881204) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @07:42PM (#30794426)

    With NVidia unable to release something competitive and therefore creating a "new" 3xx series into being through renaming 2xx series cards [semiaccurate.com], the gts360m as well [semiaccurate.com], those with a clue will be buying ATI for the time being.

    Sadly, the average consumer will only look at higher number and is likely to be conned.

  • by Kjella (173770) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @08:18PM (#30794726) Homepage

    From what I understand hardware acceleration is now somewhat usable with the Catalyst drivers (source [phoronix.com]). But for the open source drivers there is nothing, there's no specs for UVD and even though it should be possible to implement a shader-based acceleration and the docs for that is out, no one has done it yet.

  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Cid Highwind (9258) on Saturday January 16, 2010 @08:23PM (#30794758) Homepage
    Having a DX9 GPU got you the Windows aero effects, so there was at least a visible benefit to using the lowest end DX9 GPU over a (probably faster) DX8 part at the same price.
  • Re:Why? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 16, 2010 @10:49PM (#30795542)


    1) Compute shaders. Those actually work on any card DX10 or higher using DX11 APIs (just lower versions of the shaders). The reason these are useful, even on lower end cards, is that some things run drastically faster on a GPU so even a low end one is better than the CPU. I don't have any good examples specific to compute shaders but an older non-computer shader example would be HD video. You can do HD H.264 on a lower end CPU so long as you have a GPU that can handle acceleration. Doesn't have to be a high end one either.

    One of those problems is none other than solving large systems of linear equations, which encompasses a very wide range of specific problems such as 3D visualization (i.e., what the GPU was designed to do) but also solving partial differential equations through techniques such as the finite-element method [wikipedia.org], which encompasses problems such as structural analysis, thermal, fluid dynamics, electromagnetics and even weather prediction and economic models. So, you pretty much can do everything better with a GPGPU.


    2) 64-bit precision. Former versions of DX required only 32-bit FP max, since that is the most you generally need for graphics (32-bit per channel that is). However there are other math functions that need higher precision. DX11 mandates 64-bit FP support. In the case of the 5000 series, it works well too, 64-bit FP is half the speed of 32-bit FP so slower, but still plenty quick as to be useful.

    ...which is extremely helpful for the applications stated above.


    3) Multithreaded rendering/GPU multitasking. DX11 offers much, much better support for having multiple programs talk to the GPU at the same time. The idea is to have it fully preemptively multi-task, just like the CPU. Have the thing be a general purpose resource that can be addressed by multiple programs with no impact.

    ...which is what makes this whole technology relevant to begin with.

  • by moosesocks (264553) on Sunday January 17, 2010 @02:35AM (#30796410) Homepage

    AFAIK, the open-source drivers are progressing at a breakneck pace, and hardware acceleration is very usable on some cards. One of the more recent kernel releases included a new driver, which is allegedly quite good.

    Apologies for being unable to offer more specifics. The current state of affairs is rather confusing, although I'm fairly confident that we're very quickly progressing in the right direction.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 17, 2010 @04:29AM (#30796754)

    Captain Obvious told me that while 3870 cost $200+ on 2+ years ago, this so called "about as powerful as a 3870" card cost around $100, uses less power than 3870, AND is listed on the x6xx line.

    Truth be told, you're like comparing apples and oranges here. 2+ years ago, 3870 series might be the fastest card out there and should be compared now to a 5870.

How many NASA managers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? "That's a known problem... don't worry about it."

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