If, to you, the word "unpredictable" sounds like a positive attribute for a graphics card, ASRock has something you may want. ASRock used words like “unpredictable” and “mysterious” for its new Phantom Gaming official trailer, two adjectives used to describe an upcoming series of AMD Radeon-equipped graphics cards. This is ASRock’s first time entering the graphics card space, where the company’s PCB designers will be faced with new challenges for AMD RX Vega GPUs (and future architectures).
The branding is for “Phantom” graphics cards, and the first-teased card appears to be using a somewhat standard dual-axial fan design with a traditional aluminum finstack and ~6mm heatpipes. Single 8-pin header is shown in the rendered teaser card, but as a render, we’re not sure what the actual product will look like.
Raven Ridge APUs are interesting as products. In a world where MSRP acted as an infallible decree handed down by galactic overlords, the GT 1030 would cost $70, the RX 560 would cost $100, and the G4560 would always have been $60. In this world, however, the GT 1030 has now usurped both the GTX 1050 and RX 560 in price, landing at $110 to $120, and the G4560 has… actually fallen in price, down to $60 from an overpriced $80 previously.
Then the R3 2200G and R5 2400G entered the market, priced at $100 and $170, respectively. These APU launches are different from previous APU launches: Previously, AMD has pushed variants of the Bulldozer architecture with older generation GPU components; today, Ryzen and Vega significantly outperform AMD’s previous parts, and are both found in the APUs.
We’re benchmarking the Raven Ridge parts entirely for gaming right now. In our eyes, the Raven Ridge APUs – the R3 2200G and R5 2400G – are gaming parts, and so we’ll leave the production workloads to the higher-end Ryzen desktop parts. We are also focusing our performance testing on the R3 2200G, R5 2400G, and competing, similarly priced dGPU + discrete CPU options. This includes the G4560 + GT 1030 and R3 1200 + GT 1030. For determining performance scalability, we have a few charts from our GPU bench (run with an unconstrained GPU on an i7-7700K). These are obviously not meant to compare the APU performance to high-end desktop components, but rather to offer perspective of scale – it’s a look at how much performance an APU provides at its price.
Note also that we’ve not bothered to test the Intel IGP performance, as we already know its performance is, comparatively speaking, garbage. There’s no need to do in-depth testing on that; no one should reasonably be using an Intel IGP for gaming at any meaningful quality level. Because our performance floor cuts the IGPs, we are left with the APUs and immediately competing discrete components.
Here’s a histrionic quote for you: “AMD must cease the sale of Ryzen and EPYC chips in the interest of public safety.”
That’s a real quote from Viceroy Research’s deranged, apoplectic report on CTS Labs’ security allegations against AMD’s Ryzen architecture. The big story today seemed to mirror Meltdown, except for AMD: CTS Labs, a research company supposedly started in 2017, has launched a report declaring glaring security flaws for AMD’s processors. By and large, the biggest flaw revolves around the user installing bad microcode.
There are roots in legitimacy here, but as we dug deep into the origins of the companies involved in this new hit piece on AMD, we found peculiar financial connections that make us question the motive behind the reportage.
The goal here is to research whether the hysterical whitepapers -- hysterical as in “crazy,” not “funny” -- have any weight to them, and where these previously unknown companies come from.
Final Fantasy XV recently released on PC, and given the attention we drew to the benchmark’s LOD and HairWorks issues, it’s only fair that we take a look at the finished product. Prior to the PC release, the best playable version of the game was the cracked Origin preload the Xbox One X version, so our baseline for this graphics comparison is the Xbox at 4K using the “high” preset.
To match our PC settings to the Xbox version, we first selected the default choice for every option, which got us 90% of the way there. That includes “Average” settings for Model LOD, Anisotropic Filtering, Lighting, Shadows, Ambient Occlusion, and Filtering. Assets (high-quality asset pack), Geomapping (ground tessellation), and all NVIDIA features were turned off, anti-aliasing was set to TAA, and motion blur was turned on. Although this wasn’t a performance test, we limited framerate to the Xbox’s cap of 30FPS for good measure, and set resolution scaling to 100% (since dynamic resolution isn’t available on PC). This is a pretty close approximation of what the Xbox is capable of, and it’s an encouraging sight--the Xbox’s “High” is the PC’s “Average” in almost every category.
The past week of hardware news has been peculiarly busy for this time of year, with a deluge of news posting toward the latter half of last week. For major stories, [H]ardOCP’s coverage of nVidia’s GPP agreements has undoubtedly garnered among the most attention in the news cycle, with additional stories of interest covering hacks to get Coffee Lake CPUs functional in Z170 and Z270 motherboards.
We’ve got a couple of minor news items – new liquid coolers, a mini-review of a chair – and a couple of game industry items, like Valve’s return to game development.
Find the written and filmed recaps below:
We're back with Ask GN! It's been a long week of testing: Patrick has been working on FFXV, an Elgato 4K60 review, and other pieces; I've been working on managing the upcoming travel schedule, primarily for Computex and other tradeshows, and also have a whole slew of in-depth content coming up. One of our biggest endeavors for the week will be our upcoming livestream, where we intended to battle the LinusTechTips team for a top 10 spot in 3DMark benchmark rankings. It's a bit of a friendly rivalry, and we think you all will enjoy tuning in. We'll talk about that more soon.
We also have a news video going up tomorrow, as usual. The video will include several major news items for the past week, including some discussion of the nVidia GPP story that's been going around. Stay tuned for all of that.
In the meantime, Ask GN is below, and the timestamps are below that. Our Patreon bonus episode is here.
01:37 - David Watson: “Hey Steve , do you think we will end up seeing Nvidia competing with the aftermarket cards more directly by releasing their own non founders edition cards with new custom cooling solutions and heatsinks with double or triple fan designs ? i think its a fascinating prospect and one i feel Nvidia has had a lot of thought bent on and is surely bound to use much sooner rather than later because if they can get more marketshare then they surely will and i honestly feel its coming from Nvidia and could be massive for them , because i know one thing , if they released a badass new aftermarket card design that not only performed really well but looked really cool and actually ran cool then i for one would certainly be very tempted by it as many surely would Steve , do you feel this is on the horizon ? thanks man”
06:47 - Stank Buddha: “Quick question, regarding the 200fps limit in (newer?) games. Is this applied per monitor if you were using multi monitor or is it the actual game that is locked to to pushing 200fps total??? Like if the game is locked itself then a theoretical 3 60hz monitors would be maxing it out(60*3=180). Or can you do a 3 monitor 240hz and max em out each at 200fps. just wondering.”
08:57 - Michael Morgan: “Can you demonstrate the end user benefit of HBM memory over GDDR5 or GDDR5X on GPU's please?”
13:12 - vishal bobde: “#askgn-questions Why do CPU don't have different manufacturers like GPU. If there were more manufacturers we might get more enthusiasts features from factory like LM tim and better IHS.”
17:23 - Satoshi_Nakamoto: “@GN Staff Hey guys could you reach out to Thermaltake and ask them if they have any idea for the arrival of the Level 20 Case?”
18:14 – defenestrationize: “Steve, a massive limit limit for APUs is their need to use system memory. Do you think, APUs will remain on the low end or end up high end (is there not actually a limit to DDR for APUs) , More memory channels on APUs (possibly separate for CPU/GPU so 2 sticks DDR 2 sticks GDDR) or on chip memory (hbm) will appear in the near future? Given how board partners operate and push for chip consolidation , do you think we might see a MB, RAM, GPU, CPU as a single pcb ? Feel free to cut this question as needed to perhaps a simpler version.”
22:36 - Dayne_ofStarfall: “@Steve Burke Hello Steve, I’m a bit confused by case fans lately, specifically RPM and in relation to voltage. If I understand correctly different fans have different MAX and MIN RPM at a given voltage. But what happens when you connect two fans with different MIN/MAX RPM to a single header on the motherboard using a Y-splitter? Do the fans spin at different RPMs? And how does this work when they’re connected to a SATA-powered PWM Hub (like the one that comes with most Phanteks cases)? Also what is the amount of fans that can be safely connected to one header? I’ve read on forums that the cable or port can catch fire if they draw too much power, is this true? Thank you.”
24:25 - Ash_Borer: “#askgn-questions how do delidded (with LM) temperatures compare to soldered CPU temperatures? Do you ever plan to delid a ryzen and test the results? Im under the assumption that delidding provides better temps, so i dont mind that intel doesnt solder anymore - as an enthusiast i want to delid anyway and if its not soldered it is easier to delid.”
25:29 - Armand B.: “Modmat out of stock ? DAMN MINERS !”
25:53 - Nory The Explorer.exe: “@GN Staff What is an important fact, viewers should know about GamersNexus?(edited) And the opposite, what is a big misconception viewers have expressed about GamersNexus?”
Host: Steve Burke
Video: Andrew Coleman
We recently revisited the “King of Case Airflow”, the SilverStone Raven 02, which we originally reviewed back in 2013. It’s certainly the king compared to anything we’ve tested recently, but competition for the crown was a lot stronger back when the case was released, and the ultimate example of high airflow early 2010’s cases is the Cooler Master HAF X (still available, by the way). 2010 seems like ancient history, back when certain people were working for Newegg TV and others for NCIX, but the HAF series remains so respected that Cooler Master leveraged the name to promote the H500P last year; the HAF X specifically was so popular that brand new ones are available for purchase on Newegg right now, nearly eight years after its release.
GamersNexus did exist when the HAF X launched, but we never officially reviewed it. Steve bought the case featured in this revisit for his own system years ago, and we ran a contest for a HAF X shirt in 2012. It seems like everyone had a high opinion of it, including us, which made the H500P a big letdown. This revisit aims to find out whether the HAF X was really worthy of all that hype.
Khronos Group today released the Vulkan 1.1 and SPIR-V 1.3 updates. Adoption of both Vulkan and DX12 has been limited, so the overall purpose of this update is described as “Building Vulkan’s Future.”
The Corsair 270R won our Editor’s Choice award when we reviewed it back in 2016. The 570X was the main event in that article, but we also praised the 270R as a decent case with a launch price in the $60-$70 range--and we’ve continued to mention it favorably, since it’s gone on sale for as low as $50. Now the 275R is here, Corsair’s new and slightly fancier version with the option of a tempered glass side panel.
The Corsair 275R case ships in two varieties: $80 with tempered glass or $70 for acrylic -- at which point the latter is essentially a 270R. The 275R is a refresh, then, and prioritizes tempered glass, a longer PSU shroud that doesn’t abruptly terminate, and rubber grommets. As it differs from the 270R, that would more or less recap the 275R. As its name openly indicates, this is a half-step to something new.
Consoles don’t offer many upgrade paths, but HDDs, like the ones that ship in the Xbox One X, are one of the few items that can be exchanged for a standard part with higher performance. Since 2013, there have been quite a few benchmarks done with SSDs vs. HDDs in various SKUs of the Xbox One, but not so many with the Xbox One X--so we’re doing our own. We’ve seen some abysmal load times in Final Fantasy and some nasty texture loading in PUBG, so there’s definitely room for improvement somewhere.
The 1TB drive that was shipped in our Xbox One X is a Seagate 2.5” hard drive, model ST1000LM035. This is absolutely, positively a 5400RPM drive, as we said in our teardown, and not a 7200RPM drive (as some suggest online). Even taking the 140MB/s peak transfer rate listed in the drive’s data sheet completely at face value, it’s nowhere near bottlenecking on the internal SATA III interface. The SSD is up against SATA III (or USB 3.0 Gen1) limitations, but will still give us a theoretical sequential performance uplift of 4-5x -- and that’s assuming peak bursted speeds on the hard drive.
This benchmark tests game load times on an external SSD for the Xbox One X, versus internal HDD load times for Final Fantasy XV (FFXV), Monster Hunter World, PUBG (incl. texture pop-in), Assassin's Creed: Origins, and more.
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