AMD Raptrs

AMD finally unveiled its next-gen of cards.

http://anandtech.com/show/7368/amd-gpu-product-showcase-live-blog

My favorite moment? They hauled Thresh out. Even Anand can’t believe it.

That new Mantle API sounds pretty cool. A console-style API that greatly minimizes the load on the CPU and boosts performance. BF4 will get an update in December that will fully support it.

Also, they’ve got so much processing power they’re going to do a Creative and use the GPU to process 3D sound. I wonder how that works if you’ve got a Soundblaster Z (like me). As I understood it, that kind of hardware audio was a dead end ever since MS yanked the audio stack out of the kernel in Vista. It’s why Creative went from the X-Fi, which had a ton of computational power, to SoundCore, which had a lot less computational power and is basically just a bunch of high-quality DSPs. MS got tired of crappy sound drivers causing BSODs, so they basically killed hardware EAX with that move.

I just need to know how much and when.

Truly the end of the the discrete sound card. What’s Creative doing these days? Turning tricks on the corner? Or probably making celebrity-endorsed headphones?

The Mantle stuff sounds very interesting. Will be curious to see if it gains ground and if other vendors begin writing drivers for it (cough, nVidia). They won’t like the idea but if AMD hardware is getting a massive performance boost using Mantle rather than DX or OGL it will look bad for other GPU makers. Also interesting that nVidia is highlighting their cooperation with Valve today on SteamOS and driver optimization when it seems like Mantle is just the kind of thing SteamOS could really use…

I hadn’t heard that bit about sound cards and Vista, actually. Might explain why driver support for my old XFi is so basic and bland on 7. Ah well; should have known better than to expect a card that old to still work wonders :)

Bit surprised they didn’t talk at least briefly about Occulus.
But yea, very interesting. Nvidia’s been put on the spot to match them now on audio, certainly.

rei - If you create pro audio, you need a stand-alone card. At least before this announcement.

The R9 290X embargo has expired, and the reviews of AMD’s new high-end card are out.

Here’s Anandtech
http://anandtech.com/show/7457/the-radeon-r9-290x-review

Amazing performance, and they surprised everyone by going $550 instead of $700 as was rumored.

Still a but pricey for my blood, even if you can get BF4 with it.