In the past month, AMD has let fly with two-thirds of its 7-nm product line. Desktop and server spaces have now been refreshed with 7nm processors. Intel's answer? meh
Let's start with the market share data. At the dawn of the second quarter, AMD has a series of pressures on the performance of its market. Positive factors include Intel's current processor shortage (expected to peak in the second quarter of 2019) and Ryzen's strong overall market response for desktops, laptops and servers. . Negative factors include ongoing trade disputes with China and the possibility of a 12/14nm slowdown in sales ahead of the 7nm launch.
AMD's market share data for desktops, servers and laptops was provided by Dean McCarron of Mercury Research via THG. We covered Mercury Research figures before – Staying with a single company allows us to make a comparison between apples on the evolution of AMD's market share over time. There is good news on many fronts for the smallest processor manufacturer:
AMD's desktop market share was stable in the second quarter, at 17.1% of the channel. This is not necessarily surprising. AMD has reduced the prices of its oldest parts of the 2000 series to boost its adoption, but there has been a resurgence of undeniable interest for Ryzen, a third generation company. after these chips launched. We do not know how strong the ramp-up will be, but the European retailer Mindfactory has released sales data for the month of July showing that AMD shipments exploded after July 7. It is generally estimated that the retail market of DIY processors accounts for between 10 and 20% of the space. If AMD continues to benefit from strong demand in retail, this will be reflected in the third quarter figures of 2019 for the overall market share of desktops. As always, when looking at data from only one company or source, keep in mind that this information reflects the information provided by that particular retailer, not the market in general.
The share of laptops is the biggest gainer, both year-over-year and quarter-on-quarter. AMD has gained two percentage points since the beginning of the year and increased its market share by 1.6 times compared to the second quarter of 2018. The challenge for the company will be to maintain this share while the shortage of processors Intel fades. Some analysts have predicted that AMD would lose its gains in this area, with Intel delivering more hearts. we will see what Q3 shows us in this regard.
The server market continues to grow, with AMD now claiming 3.4% of space, up from 1.4% the year before. AMD had not achieved its previous goal of taking 5% of the server market by the fourth quarter of 2018 (the company told us earlier this year that it expected to have at least 5% of the 2S server space / dual-socket). We are not concerned with the relatively slow server ramp: the Epyc processors that AMD has launched is the most impressive leap ever made by the company in this market.
Overall, AMD's market share figures show that a company is doing well and gaining ground. AMD predicted that its computing and graphics revenues would increase 1.2 times compared to 2018 when the impact of slower sales of semi-custom designs is taken into account (sales of Xbox One and the PS4 drop as the new console cycle grows).
As for Intel, the biggest processor provider sticks to its weapons. Intel's processor price list for the month of August shows current expected prices in 1K units for the full range of products. There is no change whatsoever. These official price guides do not necessarily reflect the price at which chips are sold in the retail network, and they certainly do not reflect the price that OEMs pay wholesale, but they represent the officially communicated prices.
The complete document is available for your reading, but it looks like the above throughout the line. Intel can adjust prices discreetly behind the scenes or make larger formal reductions later, but the company is sticking to its weapons at the moment. From Intel's point of view, that makes sense. AMD may have just launched an impressive range of products, but Intel probably wants to see how the market will respond before deciding what to do.
Since 2017, Intel has responded to AMD by avoiding direct price cuts and introducing different products at adjusted prices. This may not work on the server, since Cascade Lake has already been launched and it will not be possible to respond to AMD with a new family deployment in the short term. Intel could reduce its prices later this year or wait to modify its product lines until Cooper Lake or Ice Lake are ready to ship. For now, AMD continues to gain market share, with improvements expected in the second half of 2019 being related to the 7-nm Ryzen refresh.
The next generation of consoles will be in less than 18 months and Microsoft is starting to share a little more information about its priorities for the next generation of Xbox consoles. Readability, load times, and upward compatibility of controllers and software are Redmond's top priorities with the launch of Xbox Next.
"I think the area we really want to focus on next generation is the frame rate and game playability," Spencer said. said Gamespot:
Make sure the games load incredibly quickly and that the game runs at the fastest possible frame rate. We are also the Windows company, so we see the work that is done (for the PC) and that of the developers. People love games at 60 frames per second. It is therefore essential that the game design works at 4K 60 (fps).
What is interesting, is that this generation, we really focused on 4K visuals and on the way we bring the movies in 4K Blu-ray and video streaming. With Xbox One X, allowing games to work with 4K visuals will bring really important visual enhancements next generation But playability is probably the main focus of this generation. How fast are the games loaded? Do I feel that I can get into the game as fast as possible and while he is playing? How do you feel? Does this game look like any other game than the one I saw? This is our goal. "
That's more or less what ET predicted earlier this year. 60fps is a much more realistic target for Xbox Next than for the 240fps rumor circulating. Despite various vague claims that the Xbox Next will support 8K, Spencer does not make any sensual mention as a game resolution target. There is no chance that the 2020 console will have a sufficiently powerful GPU to support this resolution. We are happy to see the company focus on other aspects of the game.
According to Microsoft, backward compatibility is a key pillar of the progression of the Xbox. The Xbox One, Xbox 360 and OG Xbox games will all continue to be supported on Xbox Next, Spencer told Gamespot. The company promised that this backward compatibility commitment would also apply to controllers, stating: "So, really, the products you've bought from us, whether it's the games or the controllers you're using, we want to make sure they are compatible. future compatible with the most faithful version of our console, which at that time will obviously be the one we just launched. "
Historically, there has been a handful of games that specifically targeted 60 frames per second for console play, but it was an unusual frame frequency target. The Xbox One X and PS4 Pro have expanded the list of titles offering this pace by encouraging developers to release updates for new and existing games that would add new resolution options or allow to play at higher rates than the basic title supported. In fact, moving the video game industry (backwards) to a 60-fps target would be a feat.
There is reason to think that the two console manufacturers could get by. The Xbox Next and PlayStation 5 will both achieve higher levels of performance than the existing Xbox One and PS4 Pro. The use of Ryzen and a RDNA-derived graphics processor for both platforms ensures superior console performance, but the perceived level of visual quality improvement offered by console generation over the next decreased each cycle. Rather than simply looking for new levels of detail, Spencer wants developers to focus on consistency and load times, two other areas in which major generational gains can be generated, including adoption of SSDs. .
A major question is how the 1080p / 4K splitting will be handled. Spencer refers to a 4K / 60fps target, but 1080p still represents a high percentage of TVs sold and the installation base for the old standard is huge. The easiest way for Microsoft to handle a 1080p output limit is to render internally at 4K, and then output at 1080p. This makes it possible to effectively apply oversampled AA to the overall image and dramatically improve the image quality compared to the standard 1080p resolution. With the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, Microsoft and Sony have provided developers with many ways to leverage the added power of new consoles to enhance the basic experience. We expect a similar approach. One of the benefits of having a powerful GPU with a low-resolution display is that you can enable secondary features like AA without worrying about the performance impact. We hope Microsoft will bring some of this flexibility to its Xbox Next design.
The PC player in me can not help but notice that the already almost empty line between consoles and PCs will be even finer at the next cycle. The consoles previously offered backward compatibility, but often come with qualifiers related to the version of your hardware and limited to a previous platform. Microsoft will not only support Xbox One games on Xbox Next, it will continue to support Xbox 360 and OG Xbox systems, as well as Xbox One devices. This is exactly the type of backwards compatibility that we expected when upgrading from one PC version to another, and it's nice to see the consoles catching up after a few decades.
The flip side, of course, is that the debate console against PC becomes more difficult each generation. At this point you can also simply ask for "controller or keyboard?" (Keyboard, natch). Functionally, at the hardware level, we are the PC games.
A little over two years ago, Minecraft developer Mojang announced that Minecraft would receive an incredible graphical update. The new Super Duper Graphics Pack (we had not named it yet) was supposed to introduce new graphics features, including 4K textures, rippling water, sharper lines, a different lighting engine, dynamic shadows , highlighting of contours and directional lighting. The video showing the improvements echoed the E3 2017, and questions about the release date of the update were asked from time to time on the Minecraft subreddit.
Today, Mojang said that the update of the Super Duper Graphics Pack was canceled permanently. According to the company, "Super Duper was an ambitious initiative that brought a new look to Minecraft but, unfortunately, the pack proved to be too technically demanding to be implemented as planned."
The only explanation The company explained why it would not bring this update: "We are not satisfied with the performance of the pack on all devices. For this reason, we stop development on the pack and look for other ways to introduce Minecraft to a new look. "
This is a pretty thin explanation. First, we would have expected this kind of work – specifically, the work of determining which devices would be the targets of the Minecraft SDGP – would have been defined before this project start. Minecraft runs on a very large number of devices, but you usually do not develop such an extension without worrying about targets, because (presumably) you will test the updates on various systems as you work them. The discovery after two years that you can not justify the update because some products can not run it, if this is true, indicates rather strange development priorities. Why not finish updating or upgrading for systems that can?
The SDGP required a complete rewrite of the Minecraft graphics engine. Such efforts are not trivial and it is not foolish that the total overhaul takes two years. But at the same time, what is the meaning of scrap rewriting after two full years of development?
Not much sense about it. The Super Duper Graphics Pack was not supposed to hinder Minecraft's ability to run on older hardware; it was supposed to offer a better quality of image to the machines able to execute it. The upcoming launch of a new generation of consoles and the inevitable upgrade of the treadmill for mobile devices should have provided a more robust hardware platform for the game compared to 2017. Mojang and Microsoft have jointly stated that Minecraft had sold 176 million copies in May 2019. The original The PC version sold 30 million copies. Microsoft continues to invest in Minecraft and increase its performance with spinoffs such as Minecraft Earth, an AR-based application. If a game could justify the investment of a new graphics engine a decade after its launch, it would be a title like Minecraft.
The most logical implication is that Mojang did not find a way to create an engine that offers both the features it wanted in the high-end while offering an acceptable level of performance on low-end hardware. . Fears were also expressed about the impact of the division of the base of players between several versions of the game and the maintenance of the updates of the two engines. Killing the engine update after more than two years is a pretty extreme step. Hopefully, some of these optimizations and improvements can still be incorporated into the base version. Otherwise, Mojang's graphics team has just spent two years on a major rewrite of the engine, but its efforts have been doomed to failure.
There is a strange rumor that AMD has destroyed or intends to destroy its reference GPU RX 5700 and RX 5700 XT designs. Eleven AIB custom cards are on the market. It started with the French site Cowcatland, which was titled:
The translation of this title indicates that the AMD reference GPUs for the 5700 and 5700 XT systems reached EOL status just five weeks after launch. This is not true. According to AMD, the goal and purpose here are not to compete with AIB partners. "We expect the Radeon RX 5700 Series graphics card offering to remain strong in the market, and that many models are starting to arrive from our AIB partners," said AMD. "In line with usual practice, once the AMD reference card inventory has been sold, AMD will continue to support new partner designs with the Radeon RX 5700 Series Reference Design Kit."
AMD provides reference designs for AIBs that want to accelerate the marketing of cards without designing their own coolers or reference graphics cards. The first boards are usually based on these reference products. The delay between AIB shipments and the availability of the reference card can be relatively short or differ by a few weeks. Some fans are unhappy that it has been five weeks since AIB was designed, although this has already been the case with Nvidia launches. AMD does not destroy its reference cards and they will still be manufactured in the future.
The community of enthusiasts is not particularly satisfied with the delay of the ventilation cards or the fact that these cards are or the fact that the 5700 and 5700 XT are louder than the equivalent Nvidia GPUs. The hope is that dual or triaxial cooling fans offer better acoustics than AMD's default reference designs. This is usually a very good bet.
After testing the 5700, 5700 XT, Vega 64, Radeon VII components and an associated mix of Ti 2060, 2070, 2080 and 2080 parts (both manufactured by Nvidia and not), I would honestly say, the battle for a fan compared to an open-air cooler can be a bit inflated. Thermally, there is an obvious difference between the two solutions (the fans discharge hot air, while the free-air coolers simply move it inside the chassis). What a difference means because your system depends a lot on its preconditions. Open air coolers can offer better performance in spacious cases with good airflow, while fans provide more consistent results. The relative volume of the two solutions depends on their cooler design. A fan may be stronger than a cooler in the open air or vice versa. The 5700 XT (a fan) is much quieter than the Vega 64 (another fan). Vega 64 and Radeon VII (open pit design) have very similar noise profiles.
An interesting aspect of Navi exams, however, is the degree of divergence of noise measurements from different examination sites. Anandtech, for example, indicates that the 5700 XT is a 54 dB (A) solution, compared to 61 dB for the Radeon Vega 64.
This 54 / 61dB (A) solution seems to correspond more to my own subjective experience using the Radeon Vega 64, Radeon VII, 5700 XT and Nvidia associated graphics processors. The reason I say this is that, for me, the 5700 XT is much better than the Radeon 64 or Radeon VII, reminiscent of the bad old days of powerful GPUs like the R9 290X.
Other critics, however, make very different statements:
Guru3D claims that the Vega 64 and Radeon 5700 XT are identical in terms of database (A) and that Radeon VII is much stronger. Since the distance to the target obviously has an impact on the noise measurements, the fact that Anandtech and Guru3D measure different levels of sound does not worry me. What is even more interesting is that one of the articles shows that Vega 64 and 5700 XT are comparable, while the other does not.
TechPowerUp has a third distribution, with 5700 XT scores and 5700 identical and the Radeon VII lower than Vega 64. Three well-thought-out websites for technical journals, three separate results. From my own subjective experience, the one that "seems" the most correct is that of Anandtech – but a number of factors will affect noise measurements, especially the relative levels of background noise. , the file opening tests compared to those closed, distance from the target and the equipment used to perform the test. It is also possible that the individual GPU variation also works here.
In my opinion, the 5700 and 5700 XT are resolutely on the "Quietly Quiet" side of "Is this GPU quiet enough to be used or not?" It is not as quiet as the RTX 2060 or 2070 that we tested for the same exam. C & # 39; greatly quieter than the Radeon VII or the Vega 64. It is known that I wear earplugs when testing these two cards in case of opening to avoid hearing damage, although the fact that I already have lesions hearing in my left ear also made me paranoid to hurt him further. I used a Vega 64 in my own system and I did not like how loud it was for games without headphones. The Radeon 5700 XT does not cause the same problem.
Radeon AIB cards have often been quieter than reference models, so it is likely that this will continue to be the case. We will check if these cards offer reasonable value for money, but they will be when they arrive on the market in larger quantities. Reference card templates will continue to exist alongside these new cards.
Loot boxes have been controversial since their introduction. In 2017, EA and DICE decided to make sure that the entire economy of Star Wars Battlegrounds II is fully dependent on random drops of booty boxes and their incredibly long durations. This shameful money clip may have exploded in the face of the company, like the Death Star above Endor, but it has opened an investigation into the operation of the world's surprise boxes. On Wednesday, August 7th, the FTC hosted a Booty Box Games Workshop to discuss issues related to this method of loot distribution in the game. Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo announced a new initiative at this workshop. – an initiative that will require all games published on their platforms to reveal their chances of receiving rewards.
Polygon reports Michael Warnecke, Chief Technology Policy Officer of the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), made the announcement today at the workshop.
I am pleased to announce this morning that Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony have indicated to ESA their commitment to adopt new platform policies regarding the use of paid loot boxes in games developed for their platforms. This would especially apply to new games and game updates that add loot box functionality, and would require the disclosure of relative rarity or probabilities of obtaining random virtual elements in games. available on their platforms.
Publishers also rallied to announce their support for this initiative, including Activision Blizzard, Bandai Namco, Bethesda, Bungie, EA, Take-Two Interactive, Ubisoft, Warner Bros. and Wizards of the Coast. However, all of these announcements and statements apply to consoles and not to computers. Valve has updated DOTA 2 to display the loot box disclosure data last year, but it has not made the disclosure mandatory. this information for games on its platform. No smaller game stores like Epic or GoG, at least not yet.
The goal is to roll out this program in 2020, but no schedule has been released. The goal seems to be to prevent any attempt at government regulation, like the formation of the ESRB to avoid regulation of video game content. But simply publishing the odds of winning a reward may not be enough to rule out accusations that booty cases are money games, and this may not be as clear as that. " a rating system.
Here is a simple example of what I mean. Although reasonable people may differ on what implies acceptable Nudity, a game contains or does not contain naked humans. If you have a 5% chance of getting "Epic" quality loot in a surprise box, is it a chance to get all epic article, or luck that you get an epic article that you do not already have? If you win a box of loot in a specific game mode, will the loot be associated with this game mode? Do people spend a currency in the game to win cosmetic items or pay real money for random throws that will affect their performance in the game? Are these percentages released in the game when players are on the screen of the box or they are hidden in an old blog post containing four links buried at the bottom of the main page Game? Does the game allow you to win the currency with which you buy loot chests in the game at a reasonable rate, or does it distribute it as a pre-haunted distributing Bob Crachit salary? Are loot boxes aggressively sold to children as part of a children's game, or do they have a title intended for adults who likely understand something about the reality of credit card purchases? Are the objects you to win from resealable surprise boxes on a market for real money, or are they related to your character?
Readers and experts generally agree that the way in which these issues are addressed has an impact on whether or not booty chests cross the line between random play and an entertainment mechanism. A game with cosmetic locker objects that offers a modest number of crates a chance to buy more is acceptable for many people. A game like the original incarnation of Battlefront II (the current game has a totally different and more standard loot distribution system) chaining the performances in the game all the way to crates of random loot. The answer of the Internet? Convulsive rage. And while the spasms caused by Internet rage present a real problem, gamers are not wrong to feel like EA intends to take advantage of it. It was absolutely.
Answers like this may baffle proposals to regulate loot chests, at least in the United States, but simply publishing statistics about your chances of getting a particular drop will not answer the question anymore. whether the chests are a game or not. Honestly, I think it's because the answer is "it depends". In some cases, booty crates are basically an optional way to get a particular look. In others, they played a vital role in the success of the title. It's hard to say that the combination of payment mechanisms to win random games of chance allows you to pay real money to get, it's not very close to the game, mostly if the rare contents of the booty chest can be sold for a substantial amount of real money in a market. At this point, a new digital hat is roughly equivalent to a Pick 5 card. Applying a classification to a video game is also a somewhat subjective attempt, but it is at least a subjective attempt with objective standards for concepts such as nudity and coarse language, that exist or do not exist in a game.
The question of whether crates of loot is a gamble and, if so, under what circumstances, will need to be clarified in more detail – and we hope to see Valve, Epic, GoG and other distributors adopt the same position with regard to mandatory incidental disclosures. . The fact that EA tried to defend its object box mechanism as "pretty ethical surprise mechanics"Earlier this year, we are not optimistic that the video game industry understands just how much gamers hate this type of system.