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      After a chaotic three years, GPU sales are starting to look normal-ish again

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Monday, 4 December, 2023 - 21:57 · 1 minute

    AMD's Radeon RX 7600.

    Enlarge / AMD's Radeon RX 7600. (credit: Andrew Cunningham)

    It's been an up-and-down decade for most consumer technology, with a pandemic-fueled boom in PC sales giving way to a sales crater that the market is still gradually recovering from . But few components have had as hard a time as gaming graphics cards, which were near impossible to buy at reasonable prices for about two years and then crashed hard as GPU companies responded with unattainable new high-end products .

    According to the GPU sales analysts at Jon Peddie Research, things may finally be evening out. Its data shows that GPU shipments have returned to quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year growth after two years of shrinking sales. This is the second consecutive quarter this has happened, which "strongly indicates that things are finally on the upswing for the graphics industry."

    JPR reports that overall GPU unit shipments (which include integrated and dedicated GPUs) are up 16.8 percent from Q2 and 36.6 percent from a year ago. Dedicated GPU sales increased 37.4 percent from Q2. When comparing year-over-year numbers, the biggest difference is that Nvidia, AMD, and Intel all have current-generation GPUs available in the $200–$300 range, including the GeForce RTX 4060 , the Radeon RX 7600 , and the Arc A770 and A750 , all of which were either unavailable or newly launched in Q3 of 2022.

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      Rumors and retail listings point to the return of actual mid-range GPUs

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 11 May, 2023 - 16:44 · 1 minute

    Nvidia's RTX 4080 and 4070 could finally be getting some more reasonably priced relatives.

    Enlarge / Nvidia's RTX 4080 and 4070 could finally be getting some more reasonably priced relatives. (credit: Andrew Cunningham)

    There are two kinds of GPUs you can buy right now if you want to build or upgrade a gaming PC: affordable but old ones and new but expensive ones. Both Nvidia and AMD have been leaning on older products, sometimes with price cuts, to fill the very large gaps in the middle and low ends of their current lineups. But a slowly building buzz of rumors and leaks suggests things should change before long.

    A source speaking to VideoCardz dot com says there are three GeForce RTX 4060-series GPUs coming in the next couple of months, starting with an 8GB version of the 4060 Ti that could be announced as soon as next week and released by the end of the month. A 16GB version of the 4060 Ti and an 8GB version of the 4060 could be announced at the same time but launch at some point in July (Nvidia used the same simultaneous-announcement, staggered-release strategy for the 4090 and 4080 series).

    It's not surprising that the 4060 Ti looks like a big step down from the recently released RTX 4070 —4,352 CUDA cores instead of 5,888, a 128-bit memory bus instead of 192-bit, 8GB instead of 12GB. But it also looks less-than-promising as a step up from 2020's RTX 3060 Ti, which used a 256-bit memory bus, 4,864 CUDA cores, and the same amount of RAM. Extra cache memory, higher clock speeds, and the updated Ada Lovelace architecture should all make the 4060 Ti faster than the 3060 Ti in the end, but it may not be a huge generational leap.

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      Nvidia’s GameStream is dead. Sunshine and Moonlight are great replacements.

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Saturday, 1 April, 2023 - 11:30 · 1 minute

    ipad displaying a number of games available for streaming via Moonlight

    Enlarge / I wish I had more games installed for iPad-on-the-couch photo purposes, but I just don't keep that many games on my drive at once! (credit: Kevin Purdy)

    Nvidia's GameStream had one job, the one in its name: stream games from the Nvidia graphics card inside your PC to the Nvidia Shield hooked up to your TV (or, back in the day, a Shield tablet ). It did this job fairly well, making setup simple and optimizing games with some custom stream-smoothing. Now Nvidia is removing GameStream from Shield devices —but an even better DIY game-streaming solution is already available. Let's take a look at it and talk to the developers about why and how they made it.

    Nvidia is done with local streaming

    Nvidia says a Shield update arriving this month will make it so "the GameStream feature will no longer be available in app." If you try to skip the Shield update, GameStream will still stop working at some point (and possibly be removed from the GeForce Experience app in Windows). In the meantime, trying to dodge that update means not using GeForce Now , one of Nvidia's recommended replacements, on your Shield and missing out on all the other update fixes and features that arrive with system updates.

    If you're a Shield owner, like I am, this stinks. Shield devices have merits of their own , receiving the longest and most consistent stream of updates of any Android/Google TV device ever released. They're still perfectly functional as stream boxes (and even more appealing if Google lands an NFL package ). But a big benefit of having both a Shield and a GeForce graphics card will soon be shunted.

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      Nvidia quietly boosts the video encoding capabilities of GeForce GPUs

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Friday, 24 March, 2023 - 16:54 · 1 minute

    Nvidia's GeForce RTX 4080.

    Enlarge / Nvidia's GeForce RTX 4080. (credit: Andrew Cunningham)

    The video encoding hardware built into GeForce GPUs is getting a small boost, according to a quietly updated Nvidia support page (as spotted by Tom's Hardware ). Previously, the NVENC encoder built into GeForce GPUs could encode up to three video streams simultaneously. Now, most GPUs supported by Nvidia's current drivers can encode up to five streams of video simultaneously, unlocking capabilities that had always been present in the hardware but that were software-limited in consumer GPUs.

    It's unclear exactly when Nvidia made this change, but archival snapshots on the Internet Wayback Machine show the old three-stream limit as recently as March 18, so you may need to install the most recent drivers to unlock the additional encoding capabilities. Your video quality settings may also limit the number of video streams you can encode simultaneously.

    Most GeForce GPUs going back to the 2014-era Maxwell architecture now support the extra simultaneous streams, so you don't need a new or powerful video card to benefit from the change (though there are some models, particularly MX-series GPUs for budget laptops, that still don't have any video encoding capabilities, presumably because they're missing the hardware). Models as old as the GeForce 750 Ti are on the list, as are most GeForce 900, 1000, 2000, 3000, and 4000-series cards. The kinds of video you can encode will still come down to what your GPU's hardware encoder actually supports; that Nvidia support document lists supported codecs, color depths, and other specs for each GPU.

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      Nvidia driver bug might make your CPU work harder after you close your game

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 8 March, 2023 - 21:28 · 1 minute

    Nvidia's GeForce RTX 4080.

    Enlarge / Nvidia's GeForce RTX 4080. (credit: Andrew Cunningham)

    Nvidia released a new driver update for its GeForce graphics cards that, among other things, introduced a new Video Super Resolution upscaling technology that could make low-resolution videos look better on high-resolution screens. But the driver (version 531.18) also apparently came with a bug that caused high CPU usage on some PCs after running and then closing a game.

    Nvidia has released a driver hotfix (version 531.26) that acknowledges and should fix the issue, which was apparently being caused by an undisclosed bug in the "Nvidia Container," a process that exists mostly to contain other processes that come with Nvidia's drivers. It also fixes a "random bugcheck" issue that may affect some older laptops with GeForce 1000-series or MX250 and MX350 GPUs.

    Not all PCs running the newer Nvidia drivers were being affected by the bug— some reporters observed the behavior on their systems, while others didn't . Even relatively low CPU usage in the 10 to 15 percent range can have a noticeable performance impact, taking CPU cycles from other tasks and preventing the CPU from going into an idle state. This generates more heat and uses more power and could also affect the battery life of laptops.

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