AMD reveals Ryzen 5000 series mobile processors at CES 2021 – CNET

amd-ryzen-5000-die
AMD
This story is part of CES, where our editors will bring you the latest news and the hottest gadgets of the entirely virtual CES 2021.

AMD announced its Ryzen 5000 series mobile processors on Tuesday, with Chief Executive Lisa Su taking to the virtual stage for her CES 2021 keynote. The new line includes a 35 watt version intended for a new generation of thin-and-light gaming laptops, directly competing with the 11th-gen Tiger Lake H35 CPUs announced by Intel the previous day. It also includes low-power U series processors which are used in mainstream lightweight laptop designs. 

The reveal follows the graphics card maker's reveal of the desktop equivalent in November, which debuted the Zen 3 processing cores, the latest version of the 7nm architecture on which the bulk of the Ryzen 5000 series is based. For the H series, which for both Intel and AMD denotes the higher-powered processors, AMD adds a new HX tier; those CPUs can be overclocked, accessing power beyond their base 45w rating for better performance. 

AMD Ryzen 5000 series mobile processors


Cores/threads TDP Base clock Single-core boost clock
Ryzen 9 5980HX 8/16 45+w 3.3 4.8
Ryzen 9 5980HS 8/16 35w 3.0 4.8
Ryzen 9 5900HX 8/16 45+w 3.3 4.6
Ryzen 9 5900HS 8/16 35w 3.0 4.6
Ryzen 7 5800H 8/16 45w 3.2 4.4
Ryzen 7 5800HS 8/16 35w 2.8 4.4
Ryzen 5 5600H 6/12 45w 3.3 4.2
Ryzen 5 5600HS 6/12 35w 3.0 4.2
Ryzen 7 5800U 8/16 15w 1.9 4.4
Ryzen 7 5700U 8/16 15w 1.8 4.3
Ryzen 5 5600U 6/12 15w 2.3 4.2
Ryzen 5 5500U 6/12 15w 2.1 4.0
Ryzen 3 5300U 4/8 15w 2.6 3.8

A host of laptop manufacturers launched new and refreshed models incorporating the 5000-series CPUs. Most notable is Asus, which incorporates the highest-end Ryzen 9 parts in multiple systems, including the novel ROG Flow X13 with the 5980HS and the ROG Zephyrus Duo SE and ROG Strix Scar, both of which top out with the 5900HX. The Acer Nitro 5 will come in a model with the 5900HX.

Now playing: Watch this: New Asus ROG laptops revealed at CES 2021

13:06

Not all the 5000 series CPUs take advantage of Zen 3, though. Of the U series processors announced at CES, only the Ryzen 7 5800U and Ryzen 5 5600U do; the others are based on Zen 2, the same as the last generation of Ryzen 4000 mobile CPUs launched a year ago. There are several differences between Zen 2 and Zen 3, but perhaps most important in this context is Zen 3 delivers better performance per watt. In other words, better battery life.

As for actual performance in a head-to-head with Intel's equivalents, that will have to wait until we start getting models in to test. (Both AMD and Intel cite test results compared to each other, but those aren't very meaningful.)

Su also offered a demonstration of AMD's upcoming third-generation Epyc server chip, code-named Milan, running weather forecasting software. In the test, a server with dual processors, each with 32 cores, outpaced a dual-processor Intel server using Xeon Gold 6258R chips with a 68% performance advantage.

That's the kind of performance that appeals to customers like Lucasfilm, which built a special effects studio in Sydney entirely with AMD-based systems. "We just need as much firepower as possible," said François Chardavoine, Lucasfilm's vice president of technology, during the keynote.

Su also highlighted AMD's efforts to help COVID-19 research, having donated computing power to universities across the world, an effort that's used AMD's Epyc processors.

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Read More

Acer’s gaming monitors at CES 2021 target consoles and speedsters – CNET

xb3-xb323qk-nv-high-02

The new Predator XB273U NX monitor.

Acer
This story is part of CES, where our editors will bring you the latest news and the hottest gadgets of the entirely virtual CES 2021.

Acer intros a trio of new gaming monitors as CES 2021, highlighted by a new Nitro with HDMI 2.1. But HDMI 2.1 still hasn't made significant inroads in desktop monitors; there are other technologies like AMD FreeSync that can handle variable and adaptive refresh rates on the PC, so it hasn't been a top priority. Now that monitors are becoming almost as prevalent as TVs at home, however, it's more likely than ever you'll have a console set up near it: It's what I've got, which may finally be the impetus to broaden its use, at least in higher-end models.

Acer's put it in only one of its 2021 displays so far, the 28-inch, $900 Nitro XV282K KV. Targeted at "mainstream" gamers, this addition to the XV2 series brings the line up to 4K resolution display at 144Hz with an HDMI 2.1 port to connect to your Xbox Series X or PS5 console, supporting maximum resolution and 120Hz variable refresh rate. Like some recent members of its family, it supports FreeSync Premium on the PC, DisplayHDR 400 certification and Acer's Agile Splendor technology to boost pixel-response times.

But Acer decided not to put HDMI 2.1 in its pricier, more enthusiast-focused Predator gaming monitors. The 1440p, $1,100 Predator XB273U NX goes up to a 275Hz refresh rate -- that's overclocked from a native 240Hz -- and incorporates Nvidia's Reflect Latency Analyzer, announced at last year's CES in its 360Hz esports displays. The technology is designed to help you figure out where the input latency in your setup lies, such as the gap between mouse movements to screen render, to eke out every last bit of competitive performance. It also supports Nvidia G-Sync and has the widest color gamut of the bunch at 95% P3.

The 32-inch, $1,200 Predator XB323QK NV jumps up to 4K at 144Hz, also incorporates Agile Splendor (I never tire of saying that) and is DisplayHDR 400 certified with a 90% P3 color gamut. It's G-Sync compatible; that's similar to FreeSync and doesn't require the expensive Nvidia hardware built-in.

Both of the Predators add Acer VisionCare 4, which adds automatic ambient light adjustment and TUV Rheinland Eyesafe certification for low blue-light output.

Now playing: Watch this: CES 2021: What to expect as the show goes all-digital

5:26

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Read More

Razer’s Tomahawk modular gaming PC, almost a year after launch, enters preorder – CNET

razer-tomahawk-gaming-computer-product-photos-4

The Razer Tomahawk Gaming PC as shown during CES 2020.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Razer revealed its Tomahawk Gaming Desktop at CES 2020, the company's first foray into selling desktop PCs in addition to its line of laptops. Now, almost a year later, its PC with a modular, 10 liter eGPU-like design will finally ship -- or at least be begin preorders today -- with prices starting at $2,400. 

As ideas go, it's pretty ingenious. It's basically a pull-out circuit board with two PCI slots: one for a graphics card and one for an Intel NUC 9 Extreme Compute Element module which slides into a bay and has an Intel Core i9-9980HK processor, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD and a 2TB hard drive. It can accommodate a GPU up to the size and power requirements of an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 (it uses a 750 watt power supply), which should cover most needs. You can opt for a GPU-free model; preconfigured ones will include the RTX 3080.

Now playing: Watch this: Razer Tomahawk is the modular gaming desktop you've been...

2:02

It's built much like Razer's Core eGPUs, out of matte black milled aluminum, with the same handle in the back to pull out the tray. On the back are four USB-A ports, two USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, and a 3.5mm analog/optical audio jack.

I do have a couple of reservations about it, though, including the module's mobile-class processor and that upgrading anything on the Compute Element card -- memory and SSD -- may not be straightforward or cheap. I'll know better once I have one in my hands.

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Read More

Razer’s Tomahawk modular gaming PC, almost a year after launch, enters preorder – CNET

razer-tomahawk-gaming-computer-product-photos-4

The Razer Tomahawk Gaming PC as shown during CES 2020.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Razer revealed its Tomahawk Gaming Desktop at CES 2020, the company's first foray into selling desktop PCs in addition to its line of laptops. Now, almost a year later, its PC with a modular, 10 liter eGPU-like design will finally ship -- or at least be begin preorders today -- with prices starting at $2,400. 

As ideas go, it's pretty ingenious. It's basically a pull-out circuit board with two PCI slots: one for a graphics card and one for an Intel NUC 9 Extreme Compute Element module which slides into a bay and has an Intel Core i9-9980HK processor, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD and a 2TB hard drive. It can accommodate a GPU up to the size and power requirements of an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 (it uses a 750 watt power supply), which should cover most needs. You can opt for a GPU-free model; preconfigured ones will include the RTX 3080.

Now playing: Watch this: Razer Tomahawk is the modular gaming desktop you've been...

2:02

It's built much like Razer's Core eGPUs, out of matte black milled aluminum, with the same handle in the back to pull out the tray. On the back are four USB-A ports, two USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, and a 3.5mm analog/optical audio jack.

I do have a couple of reservations about it, though, including the module's mobile-class processor and that upgrading anything on the Compute Element card -- memory and SSD -- may not be straightforward or cheap. I'll know better once I have one in my hands.

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Read More

Best Black Friday 2020 deals on gaming accessories – CNET

Deal

Savings

Price

Show more (5 items)
This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2020, CNET's gift picks with expert advice, reviews and recommendations for the latest tech gifts for you and your family.

If you've been waiting for the prices on your most-wanted gaming accessories to fall into your budget's comfort zone, now's the time to hit the shopping sites. We've cherry-picked a generous handful of good Black Friday (or just current) deals on controllers, mechanical keyboards, mice, headsets, monitors and more that we think are actually worth buying. 

You won't find reduced prices on this year's hottest products like the Xbox Series X, Series S, PS5, Nintendo Switch, Switch Lite or their newest accessories, or on the latest RTX 30-series Nvidia GPUs and AMD Radeon RX 6000-series GPUs -- if you can even find any of them in stock. Nor are there any reasonable deals, as far as I can tell, on any graphics cards. Even the old models seem overpriced for what they offer.

Read more: Black Friday 2020 Switch game deals: Walmart is dropping Mario, Zelda and more to $30 starting Wednesday

It was hard to winnow it down -- there are a ton of good prices, notably from Logitech, Razer and HyperX -- so be on the lookout for those. All of these are available now, but we'll be keeping an eye out for more as the discount season progresses.

Josh Goldman/CNET

Featured on our list of best Nintendo Switch controllers, the PowerA Enhanced Wireless is the closest you'll find to Nintendo's own Pro. It's normally sold for around $40-$50, so even if you're technically not saving $30, it's still another $10 off. How low the price is depends on which model you buy, from Pokemon to Overwatch.

Microsoft

Gaming controllers don't last forever and eventually you'll need a replacement. This deal slices $20 off the regular price so you can stock up. It's not the new controller that comes with the Xbox Series X and S, but it's still one of the best.

Razer

Razer may have updated its BlackWidow keyboard line this year, but the model it replaced is still a contender, especially at this price. Note that the price only applies to the model with the Razer Green switches (tactile and clicky).

Logitech

Ask any gamer who makes the best wireless accessories and Logitech's Lightspeed line is usually at the top of the list for keyboards and mice. A bunch of its gaming gear is on sale right now, but the G502 is one of the most highly recommended in its class, so it's a good time to snap one up.

Josh Goldman/CNET

The Kain 120 Aimo is one of our picks for best budget gaming mice, and that's at $70. For its seemingly perpetual discount down to $30, it's a no-brainer buy if you're on a budget.

LG

This monitor from 2017 is no spring chicken, but for its sub-$400 discounted price you get quite a bit: quad-HD resolution (2,560x1,440) and 144Hz refresh with AMD FreeSync support. 

Logitech

Lauded by the car aficionados at our sister site Roadshow as one of the best racing wheels they've tried, the Xbox One-compatible G920 and PS4-compatible G29 have earned some attractive Black Friday savings.

SteelSeries

SteelSeries makes some of our favorite PC gaming accessories, and the company has bundled three of its newest budget offerings into a single package -- the Arctis 1 headset, Apex 3 mechanical keyboard and Rival 3 mouse -- and lopped $30 off the price for Black Friday.

HyperX

One of our favorite budget wired Xbox headsets is even cheaper right now. It's basic and has the build quality of a $40 headset, but it's comfortable, with good audio quality and microphone performance. 

Lori Grunin/CNET

On top of the excellent $290 price for a 32-inch, 1440p curved gaming monitor, this one also features a 144Hz refresh rate and AMD FreeSync Premium.

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Read More

Best gaming accessories to give as holiday gifts – CNET

This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2020, CNET's gift picks with expert advice, reviews and recommendations for the latest tech gifts for you and your family.

Gaming is unprecedentedly popular this year, but you don't have to give an expensive, hard-to-find console or PC to spread the love -- every PC gamer needs a great gaming mousegaming keyboard, comfy chair or headset. Here's my first stab at a list of the best gaming accessories to gift the video gamers in your life, intended to appeal to a variety of gamers and wallets. I'll be expanding it on a regular basis, so check back. 

Read more: Best gaming gifts for the holiday season 2020

As you're shopping, keep in mind that gamers can be a picky lot. Do you know what mouse grip she prefers? Whether he likes his keyboard switches clicky or smooth and silent? In theory, this list would need to be about 50 products long to cover all the bases just for keyboards, mice, headsets and controllers. So your best bet is to (somehow) suss out in advance what they need or want. Or at least make sure they'll be able to exchange it for something they really like.

You can also check out more of our recommendations on Nintendo Switch accessories and Xbox or PS4 headsets.

Lori Grunin/CNET

It's amazing how good this Lightning-connected controller from startup Backbone is compared to the alternatives. It turns any iPhone 6s or later into a Nintendo Switch-style gaming experience, with added smarts for social and chatty gamers.  Read more.

Glorious PC Gaming Race

With budget prices but better-than-budget build quality and features, this line of mice and keyboards come highly recommended. The mice come in two sizes (which is rare), because hands aren't one-size-fits-all -- the "minus" models are the smaller sizes -- and the keyboards have swappable switches. Before you buy a keyboard, check with your giftee to find out what type of switches they prefer.

Josh Goldman/CNET

The HyperX Alloy Origin and its tenkeyless (TKL) sibling, the Alloy Origin Core, are great streamlined gaming keyboards and will only run you around $100. There are no discrete media controls, but the function keys are marked out with media controls as well as a Game Mode so you can disable the Windows key and certain key combos while gaming. (The markings are illuminated also, which isn't always the case.) The company's Ngenuity app is simple enough for building custom macros and reassigning key functions. And the keyboard's bright per-key RGB lighting is fully programmable with the app.

The Alloy Origin's braided cable is removable and, since it's a USB-C connector, you can easily plug it in without looking. Plus, rear flip-down legs give you three keyboard angles to work with.



Sarah Tew/CNET

If you can afford to get the official Switch Pro Controller, do it. It's the best you can give at the moment in terms of comfort, performance and features. And even if your giftee already has an inexpensive controller, this one can serve for at-home gaming while the less expensive option can be drafted for visits with friends and family.

Josh Goldman/CNET

Sitting on our list of best Nintendo Switch controllers, the PowerA Enhanced Wireless is the closest you'll find to Nintendo's own Pro. How low the price is depends on which model you buy, from Pokemon to Overwatch, though.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Steelseries' $30 Rival 3 is surprisingly decent for the money. The ergonomic right-handed six-button mouse is very light at 77g (2.7 oz.) and uses the company's TrueMove Core sensor with an 8,500 CPI and one-to-one tracking for precise movement. This wired mouse uses the same switches as the $120 Rival 650 mouse, and, while the buttons require a little more force than others we've tested, it has a fair amount of configuration possibilities, including three zones of RGB LED lights that Steelseries says are the brightest it's used in any mouse. 

Logitech

According to our friends at Roadshow (who know best), these are the best steering wheels for the driving-game aficionado in your life; at least, with prices in the mid-$200 range, the best that don't cost a gazillion bucks. Both are PC compatible; the G920 is designed to be used with an Xbox and the G29 with a PlayStation. Best racing wheels.

Lori Grunin/CNET

There's a BlackShark V2 headset for every budget, starting with the V2 X at $60 through the V2 Pro wireless at $180. These are some of the most comfortable headsets I've ever worn, lightweight and not too head-squeezy, with excellent sound. They all work with consoles as well through 3.5mm jacks. If you have the budget, I'd opt for at least the $100 BlackShark V2; it's got a lot of nice touches, such as a removable mic, braided cable and USB dongle. Read more.

James Martin/CNET

Microsoft's controller lets any gamer who can't maneuver typical gaming input devices easily customize it for their particular needs. It comes with some basic inputs, like big buttons, but you might want to pair it with Logitech's $100 kit with a ton of extra inputs.

Lori Grunin/CNET

If you feel generous, one of the nicest gifts you can give is comfort -- in this case, comfort for long gaming or work-from-home sessions. The Secretlab chairs are some of the most comfortable around and come in several sizes and a ton of color and game-specific variations. For the giftee who's resisted getting gaming chairs because they tend to be flamboyant, Secretlab has a low-key black-and-gray Softweave fabric that I really like. It's not just great for pretending it's a staid office chair during the workday, but the fabric is exceptionally comfortable against sensitive skin (because you know it's shorts below the waist).

As a gift it works well, too. Secretlab packages it extremely well, and it's easy enough for the least handy in your crowd to assemble. You might want to get some posterior measurements -- if there's any discreet way to do that -- to ensure the right size, because you don't want to have to disassemble and pack it back up for a swap.

Prices start at $419 for the smallest chair. Best gaming chairs.

Lori Grunin/CNET

Wireless bridges create a direct wireless connection between a Wi-Fi router and another device, which helps provide a stronger signal to get through walls or to deliver a separate wireless connection that's not affected by the rest of the use in a household. The NexusLink connects directly to the router on one end and to the peripheral, such as a gaming console, PC or streaming box, via Ethernet on the other. While individual mileage may vary -- in my apartment it doesn't deliver better speeds or lower latency, for example -- but the "wired" connection does seem to be more stable and that lets me get more consistent download speeds for those 50-plus gigabyte games.

It's exceptionally easy to set up, too, and can sort of match a new PS5. Best gaming routers.

More holiday gift coverage

More gaming coverage

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Read More

Best gaming accessories to give as holiday gifts – CNET

This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2020, CNET's gift picks with expert advice, reviews and recommendations for the latest tech gifts for you and your family.

Gaming is unprecedentedly popular this year, but you don't have to give an expensive, hard-to-find console or PC to spread the love -- every PC gamer needs a great gaming mousegaming keyboard, comfy chair or headset. Here's my first stab at a list of the best gaming accessories to gift the video gamers in your life, intended to appeal to a variety of gamers and wallets. I'll be expanding it on a regular basis, so check back. 

Read more: Best gaming gifts for the holiday season 2020

As you're shopping, keep in mind that gamers can be a picky lot. Do you know what mouse grip she prefers? Whether he likes his keyboard switches clicky or smooth and silent? In theory, this list would need to be about 50 products long to cover all the bases just for keyboards, mice, headsets and controllers. So your best bet is to (somehow) suss out in advance what they need or want. Or at least make sure they'll be able to exchange it for something they really like.

You can also check out more of our recommendations on Nintendo Switch accessories and Xbox or PS4 headsets.

Lori Grunin/CNET

It's amazing how good this Lightning-connected controller from startup Backbone is compared to the alternatives. It turns any iPhone 6s or later into a Nintendo Switch-style gaming experience, with added smarts for social and chatty gamers. The one big drawback from a gift standpoint: You can only buy it through the iPhone app. Read more.

Glorious PC Gaming Race

With budget prices but better-than-budget build quality and features, this line of mice and keyboards come highly recommended. The mice come in two sizes (which is rare), because hands aren't one-size-fits-all -- the "minus" models are the smaller sizes -- and the keyboards have swappable switches. Before you buy a keyboard, check with your giftee to find out what type of switches they prefer.

Josh Goldman/CNET

The HyperX Alloy Origin and its tenkeyless (TKL) sibling, the Alloy Origin Core, are great streamlined gaming keyboards and will only run you around $100. There are no discrete media controls, but the function keys are marked out with media controls as well as a Game Mode so you can disable the Windows key and certain key combos while gaming. (The markings are illuminated also, which isn't always the case.) The company's Ngenuity app is simple enough for building custom macros and reassigning key functions. And the keyboard's bright per-key RGB lighting is fully programmable with the app.

The Alloy Origin's braided cable is removable and, since it's a USB-C connector, you can easily plug it in without looking. Plus, rear flip-down legs give you three keyboard angles to work with.

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller

The best controller for the crowd-pleasing console

Sarah Tew/CNET

If you can afford to get the official Switch Pro Controller, do it. It's the best you can give at the moment in terms of comfort, performance and features. And even if your giftee already has an inexpensive controller, this one can serve for at-home gaming while the less expensive option can be drafted for visits with friends and family.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Steelseries $30 Rival 3 is surprisingly decent for the money. The ergonomic right-handed six-button mouse is very light at 77g (2.7 oz.) and uses the company's TrueMove Core sensor with an 8,500 CPI and one-to-one tracking for precise movement. This wired mouse uses the same switches as its $120 Rival 650 mouse and, while the buttons require a little more force than others we've tested, it has a fair amount of configuration possibilities, including three zones of RGB LED lights that Steelseries says are the brightest it's used in any mouse. 

Logitech

According to our friends at Roadshow (who know best), these are the best steering wheels for the driving-game aficionado in your life; at least, with prices in the mid-$200 range, the best that don't cost a gazillion bucks. Both are PC compatible; the G920 is designed to be used with an Xbox and the G29 with a PlayStation. Best racing wheels.

Lori Grunin/CNET

There's a BlackShark V2 headset for every budget, starting with the V2 X at $60 through the V2 Pro wireless at $180. These are some of the most comfortable headsets I've ever worn, lightweight and not too head-squeezy, with excellent sound. They all work with consoles as well through 3.5mm jacks. If you have the budget, I'd opt for at least the $100 BlackShark V2; it's got a lot of nice touches, such as a removable mic, braided cable and USB dongle. Read more.

Lori Grunin/CNET

If you feel generous, one of the nicest gifts you can give is comfort -- in this case, comfort for long gaming or work-from-home sessions. The Secretlab chairs are some of the most comfortable around and come in several sizes and a ton of color and game-specific variations. For the giftee who's resisted getting gaming chairs because they tend to be flamboyant, Secretlab has a low-key black-and-gray Softweave fabric that I really like. It's not just great for pretending it's a staid office chair during the workday, but the fabric is exceptionally comfortable against sensitive skin (because you know it's shorts below the waist).

As a gift it works well, too. Secretlab packages it extremely well, and it's easy enough for the least handy in your crowd to assemble. You might want to get some posterior measurements -- if there's any discreet way to do that -- to ensure the right size, because you don't want to have to disassemble and pack it back up for a swap.

Prices start at $419 for the smallest chair. Best gaming chairs.

More holiday gift coverage

More gaming coverage

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Read More

Razer Wolverine V2 Xbox controller feels great, plays well – CNET

razer-wolverine-v2-dsc09801
Lori Grunin/CNET

Like many of the new Xbox accessories arriving this month, the Razer Wolverine V2 controller doesn't have any specific ties to the new Xbox Series X and Series S except timing -- it just made sense to update the Wolverine models for 2020. And the result is quite a nice wired controller for Xbox and PC, with a more comfortable grip and better buttons and triggers. The size and layout may not work for all hands, though.

The Razer Wolverine V2 costs $100 (£100, AU$170) and is available now. 

A little larger than a typical Xbox controller, the Wolverine V2's grips are one of its strengths. They're very comfortable, with a deeper curve than the original, sloped so that your index fingers fall naturally on the triggers rather than overshooting them slightly. And the rubberized surface feels grippy without feeling sticky.

The controller's complexity falls somewhere between the bundled Xbox models and the Elite controller. Like the Xbox Elite, Scuf Elite and others, it has trigger stops -- independent physical toggles to set whether you want shallow or deep presses for the left and right triggers. This can be a huge improvement for rapid shooting, or fine control over thrusters in space games such as Outer Wilds, over the seemingly infinitely mashable triggers on most controllers. Unlike those controllers, though, it doesn't have paddles or other programmable switches underneath.

Now playing: Watch this: PS5 vs. Xbox Series X: the ultimate comparison

15:36

The action buttons and D-pad incorporate Razer Mecha-Tactile switches, which deliver excellent feedback. They're clicky but have very little travel similar to low-profile mechanical keyboard switches; they make the action (ABXY) buttons more responsive for multitap controls like double jumps. While the D-pad delivers clicky feedback, I find the buttons a little too stiff. In addition to an onboard analog audio jack, the Wolverine has the usual share button and an audio configuration button that lets you control game/chat balance.

razer-wolverine-v2-dsc09819
Lori Grunin/CNET

A few of my issues may stem from the size of the controller, which feels like it's made for hands just a hair larger than mine. It's most obvious on the placement of the menu and view buttons, which are much closer to the top (almost level with the Xbox button) than on most of the controllers I've used. My thumbs just aren't long enough to reach them comfortably there.

And perhaps more of an issue, the left thumbstick sits directly between my thumb and the view button, so I have to reach over the thumbstick and tend to bump it. I think that's a problem with the layout, not my hand size. I don't like the cord, either; while it's not as bad as Razer's too-rubbery ones on the cheaper headsets, I really wish it used the same type of braided Flexspeed cord that many of the mice and keyboards use. It's just rubbery enough to have that yummy chew toy feel my cats love. 

razer-wolverine-v2-dsc09811
Lori Grunin/CNET

The analog thumbsticks are also a little too springy for my taste, making it more difficult to move smoothly than I like. But with the Razer Controller Setup For Xbox app (from the Microsoft Store), you can adjust the sensitivity, remap buttons, create and store profiles and more.

Despite the downsides, I really do like the Wolverine V2 -- for a wired controller. It's great for newbies and others who don't need ne plus ultra in features, but like a little more customizability than a low-end or bundled controller can offer.

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Read More

AMD Radeon RX 6800 series graphics cards have serious 4K cred – CNET

amd-rx-6800-xt-dsc09619

The Radeon RX 6800 XT

Lori Grunin/CNET

AMD is finally going after 4K gaming with its impressive top-end PC graphics cards, the Radeon RX 6800 and 6800 XT (and 6900 XT) after spending its time concentrating on value buyers. Its still-current RX 5700 XT was formerly the top of the line and designed for 1440p play, though I expect AMD will bring the rest of the Radeon cards up to date with the latest technologies. All the new cards incorporate the RDNA 2.0 architecture that's in the graphics processing units for the upcoming Xbox Series X and S and PS5 consoles and directly tackle the new Ampere-architecture GeForce RTX 3080 and 3070 recently launched by Nvidia

The RX 6800 and its higher-end sibling, the RX 6800 XT, fall between the Nvidia cards in performance and price -- at least by manufacturer price. The $579 (directly converted £436, AU$790) RX 6800 falls between the $499 (directly converted £376, AU$680) RTX 3070 and the $699 (directly converted £525, AU$960) RTX 3080, while the $649 (directly converted £490, AU$890) RX 6800 XT competes almost directly with the RTX 3080. Actual prices can vary a lot, however, depending on stock and the "something extra" that third-party card makers throw into the mix, so they're frequently higher than AMD and Nvidia's explicit target. The new cards are available as of today.

Now playing: Watch this: Everything AMD just revealed at its RX 6000 graphics...

5:45

So far I'm impressed with the performance of both of the 6800 cards, but exactly how impressed will depend upon where the prices land when the market has settled. They both hit eminently playable 4K frame rates and that's before you start futzing with driver settings like overclocking and upscaling with FidelityFX, AMD's open-source image quality toolkit. When the cards are maxing out the graphics processing unit, the fans can get loud, but they never get too hot or unstable. (I never pushed them to the point where I'd expect them to, though.)  

amd-rx-6800-and-6800-xt-09713

The Radeon RX 6800 (top) and RX 6800 XT (bottom)

Lori Grunin/CNET

Physically, the 6800 is narrower than the 6800 XT, and both are longer than Nvidia's RTX 3070 (but shorter than the RTX 3080). The three fans suck air in from the side and blow it out through the top and bottom; there's no venting out of the back as there is on the RTX cards. They use standard eight-pin power connectors and provide an HDMI, two DisplayPorts and a USB-C port.

amd-rx-6800-09790

The Radeon RX 6800 cards are on the long side, and I don't think I'd try to cram one into a small form factor system.

Lori Grunin/CNET

Hardware performance improvements over previous generations stem partly from the higher-density on-die Infinity Cache design (all have 128MB) and enhanced design of the compute units, which includes a new Ray Accelerator core for each compute unit. These combine to improve the memory subsystem by reducing the latency of moving data around, increase bandwidth by up to 2.2x with a narrower path (256 bits) and deliver better energy efficiency. That also allows the processors to hit higher clock frequencies without a substantial increase in power requirements.    

Specifications


AMD Radeon RX 6800 AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT
Memory 16GB DDR6 16GB DDR6
Memory bandwidth (GB/sec) 512 512
Memory clock (GHz) 2.0 2.0
GPU clock (GHz, base/boost) 1.815/2.105 2.015/2.250
Memory data rate/Interface 16Gbps/256 bit 16Gbps/256 bit
Texture fill rate (gigatexels per second) 505.2 648
Ray Accelerators 60 72
Stream cores 3,840 4,608
Texture mapping units 240 288
Compute Units 60 72
TGP/min PSU (watts) 250/650 300/750
Bus PCIe 4.0 x 16 PCIe 4.0 x 16
Size 2 slots; 10.5 in/267mm long 2.5 slots; 10.5 in/267mm long
Price $579 $649

Relative performance between the AMD and Nvidia cards seems to be mixed across the board as well. (It'll require a lot more testing to confirm the patterns I'm seeing.) There's a significantly smaller gap between the 6800 XT and 6800 and Nvidia's cards at 4K than at 1080p, for example, which is more than likely due to their 16GB of memory (the 3080 has 10GB) and the Infinity Cache. 

You generally don't take much of a hit going from 1080p to 1440p with AMD's cards. For instance, on Shadow of the Tomb Raider the 6800 XT dropped from 140fps to 132fps on average. The details look different, though. I noticed more reliance on the central processing unit and less consistency in the amount of time it takes to render a frame in 1440p. On the Deus Ex: Mankind Divided benchmark, the AMD cards dropped less than 3% from 1080p to 1440p. The RTX 3070 and 3080 lost about 20%.

amd-rx-6800-09664

The Radeon RX 6800.

Lori Grunin/CNET

The AMD cards also hit higher graphic processing unit clock rates for DirectX 12 calls than for DirectX 11. The GPU clock frequencies -- memory and instruction -- also vary a lot more relative to each other. By comparison, the 3070's frequencies are in lockstep. A lot of this may be driver-related since AMD's driver makes more automatic on-the-fly adjustments. The behavior isn't necessarily a bad thing, just different.

There's an optimized all-AMD configuration, which takes advantage of the cards' new Smart Access Memory. SAM basically gives the card direct access to the main system memory across the system bus, rather than having to use the central processing unit as a middleman. But that's only in systems using one of the company's new Ryzen 5000 series of desktop CPUs, and AMD says it only boosts frame rates by up to 13%. I haven't had a chance to try it for want of a motherboard and CPU, though.

Between the new consoles and the barrage of graphics cards, this is an exhausting -- or exhilarating, take your pick -- time to shop for new gaming gear, especially gear that likely won't see a Black Friday discount this holiday shopping season. Toss in the supply problems we've been seeing for consoles and graphics cards, and you've got plenty of time to make a decision. As long as the prices don't get too high, or Nvidia's don't get too low, AMD's enthusiast gaming GPUs are more competitive than they've ever been.

Far Cry 5 (1080p)

MSI Aegis RS (6800)

MSI Aegis RS (680<span class="scribe-editor-marker" style="display: none;"></span>0 XT)

Chronos (RTX 3080)

Note:

NOTE: Longer bars indicate better performance (FPS)

Far Cry 5 (4K)

MSI Aegis RS (6800)

Chronos (RTX 3080)

MSI Aegis RS (6800 XT)

Note:

NOTE: Longer bars indicate better performance (fps)

Shadow of the Tomb Raider gaming test (4K)

MSI Aegis RS (RTX 3070)

MSI Aegis RS (6800)

MSI Aegis RS (6800 XT)

Origin PC Chronos (RTX 3080)

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance (FPS)

3DMark Time Spy

MSI Aegis RS (RTX 3070)

MSI Aegis RS (6800)

MSI Aegis RS (6800 XT)

Origin PC Chronos (RTX 3080)

Note:

NOTE: Longer bars indicate better performance

3DMark Fire Strike Ultra

MSI Aegis RS (RTX 3070)

Origin PC Chronos (RTX 3080)

MSI Aegis RS (6800)

MSI Aegis RS (6800 XT)

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance

SpecViewPerf 13 3DS Max (1080p)

MSI Aegis RS (RTX 3070)

MSI Aegis RS (6800)

Origin PC Chronos (RTX 3080)

MSI Aegis RS (6800 XT)

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance (FPS)

Configurations

MSI Aegis RS (RTX 3070 FE) Microsoft Windows 10 Home (1909); 3.8GHz Intel Core i7-10700K; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 3,000; 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition; 1TB SSD
Origin PC Chronos (RTX 3080) Microsoft Windows 10 Home (2004); Intel Core i9-10900K; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 3,200; 10GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 (EVGA); 1TB SSD + 500GB SSD
MSI Aegis RS (RX 6800 XT) Microsoft Windows 10 Home (1909); 3.8GHz Intel Core i7-10700K; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 3,000; 16GB AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT; 1TB SSD
MSI Aegis RS (RX 6800) Microsoft Windows 10 Home (1909); 3.8GHz Intel Core i7-10700K; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 3,000; 16GB AMD Radeon RX 6800; 1TB SSD

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Read More

AMD Radeon RX 6800 series graphics cards have serious 4K cred – CNET

amd-rx-6800-xt-dsc09619

The Radeon RX 6800 XT

Lori Grunin/CNET

AMD is finally going after 4K gaming with its impressive top-end PC graphics cards, the Radeon RX 6800 and 6800 XT (and 6900 XT) after spending its time concentrating on value buyers. Its still-current RX 5700 XT was formerly the top of the line and designed for 1440p play, though I expect AMD will bring the rest of the Radeon cards up to date with the latest technologies. All the new cards incorporate the RDNA 2.0 architecture that's in the graphics processing units for the upcoming Xbox Series X and S and PS5 consoles and directly tackle the new Ampere-architecture GeForce RTX 3080 and 3070 recently launched by Nvidia

The RX 6800 and its higher-end sibling, the RX 6800 XT, fall between the Nvidia cards in performance and price -- at least by manufacturer price. The $579 (directly converted £436, AU$790) RX 6800 falls between the $499 (directly converted £376, AU$680) RTX 3070 and the $699 (directly converted £525, AU$960) RTX 3080, while the $649 (directly converted £490, AU$890) RX 6800 XT competes almost directly with the RTX 3080. Actual prices can vary a lot, however, depending on stock and the "something extra" that third-party card makers throw into the mix, so they're frequently higher than AMD and Nvidia's explicit target. The new cards are available as of today.

Now playing: Watch this: Everything AMD just revealed at its RX 6000 graphics...

5:45

So far I'm impressed with the performance of both of the 6800 cards, but exactly how impressed will depend upon where the prices land when the market has settled. They both hit eminently playable 4K frame rates and that's before you start futzing with driver settings like overclocking and upscaling with FidelityFX, AMD's open-source image quality toolkit. When the cards are maxing out the graphics processing unit, the fans can get loud, but they never get too hot or unstable. (I never pushed them to the point where I'd expect them to, though.)  

amd-rx-6800-and-6800-xt-09713

The Radeon RX 6800 (top) and RX 6800 XT (bottom)

Lori Grunin/CNET

Physically, the 6800 is narrower than the 6800 XT, and both are longer than Nvidia's RTX 3070 (but shorter than the RTX 3080). The three fans suck air in from the side and blow it out through the top and bottom; there's no venting out of the back as there is on the RTX cards. They use standard eight-pin power connectors and provide an HDMI, two DisplayPorts and a USB-C port.

amd-rx-6800-09790

The Radeon RX 6800 cards are on the long side, and I don't think I'd try to cram one into a small form factor system.

Lori Grunin/CNET

Hardware performance improvements over previous generations stem partly from the higher-density on-die Infinity Cache design (all have 128MB) and enhanced design of the compute units, which includes a new Ray Accelerator core for each compute unit. These combine to improve the memory subsystem by reducing the latency of moving data around, increase bandwidth by up to 2.2x with a narrower path (256 bits) and deliver better energy efficiency. That also allows the processors to hit higher clock frequencies without a substantial increase in power requirements.    

Specifications


AMD Radeon RX 6800 AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT
Memory 16GB DDR6 16GB DDR6
Memory bandwidth (GB/sec) 512 512
Memory clock (GHz) 2.0 2.0
GPU clock (GHz, base/boost) 1.815/2.105 2.015/2.250
Memory data rate/Interface 16Gbps/256 bit 16Gbps/256 bit
Texture fill rate (gigatexels per second) 505.2 648
Ray Accelerators 60 72
Stream cores 3,840 4,608
Texture mapping units 240 288
Compute Units 60 72
TGP/min PSU (watts) 250/650 300/750
Bus PCIe 4.0 x 16 PCIe 4.0 x 16
Size 2 slots; 10.5 in/267mm long 2.5 slots; 10.5 in/267mm long
Price $579 $649

Relative performance between the AMD and Nvidia cards seems to be mixed across the board as well. (It'll require a lot more testing to confirm the patterns I'm seeing.) There's a significantly smaller gap between the 6800 XT and 6800 and Nvidia's cards at 4K than at 1080p, for example, which is more than likely due to their 16GB of memory (the 3080 has 10GB) and the Infinity Cache. 

You generally don't take much of a hit going from 1080p to 1440p with AMD's cards. For instance, on Shadow of the Tomb Raider the 6800 XT dropped from 140fps to 132fps on average. The details look different, though. I noticed more reliance on the central processing unit and less consistency in the amount of time it takes to render a frame in 1440p. On the Deus Ex: Mankind Divided benchmark, the AMD cards dropped less than 3% from 1080p to 1440p. The RTX 3070 and 3080 lost about 20%.

amd-rx-6800-09664

The Radeon RX 6800.

Lori Grunin/CNET

The AMD cards also hit higher graphic processing unit clock rates for DirectX 12 calls than for DirectX 11. The GPU clock frequencies -- memory and instruction -- also vary a lot more relative to each other. By comparison, the 3070's frequencies are in lockstep. A lot of this may be driver-related since AMD's driver makes more automatic on-the-fly adjustments. The behavior isn't necessarily a bad thing, just different.

There's an optimized all-AMD configuration, which takes advantage of the cards' new Smart Access Memory. SAM basically gives the card direct access to the main system memory across the system bus, rather than having to use the central processing unit as a middleman. But that's only in systems using one of the company's new Ryzen 5000 series of desktop CPUs, and AMD says it only boosts frame rates by up to 13%. I haven't had a chance to try it for want of a motherboard and CPU, though.

Between the new consoles and the barrage of graphics cards, this is an exhausting -- or exhilarating, take your pick -- time to shop for new gaming gear, especially gear that likely won't see a Black Friday discount this holiday shopping season. Toss in the supply problems we've been seeing for consoles and graphics cards, and you've got plenty of time to make a decision. As long as the prices don't get too high, or Nvidia's don't get too low, AMD's enthusiast gaming GPUs are more competitive than they've ever been.

Far Cry 5 (1080p)

MSI Aegis RS (6800)

MSI Aegis RS (680<span class="scribe-editor-marker" style="display: none;"></span>0 XT)

Chronos (RTX 3080)

Note:

NOTE: Longer bars indicate better performance (FPS)

Far Cry 5 (4K)

MSI Aegis RS (6800)

Chronos (RTX 3080)

MSI Aegis RS (6800 XT)

Note:

NOTE: Longer bars indicate better performance (fps)

Shadow of the Tomb Raider gaming test (4K)

MSI Aegis RS (RTX 3070)

MSI Aegis RS (6800)

MSI Aegis RS (6800 XT)

Origin PC Chronos (RTX 3080)

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance (FPS)

3DMark Time Spy

MSI Aegis RS (RTX 3070)

MSI Aegis RS (6800)

MSI Aegis RS (6800 XT)

Origin PC Chronos (RTX 3080)

Note:

NOTE: Longer bars indicate better performance

3DMark Fire Strike Ultra

MSI Aegis RS (RTX 3070)

Origin PC Chronos (RTX 3080)

MSI Aegis RS (6800)

MSI Aegis RS (6800 XT)

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance

SpecViewPerf 13 3DS Max (1080p)

MSI Aegis RS (RTX 3070)

MSI Aegis RS (6800)

Origin PC Chronos (RTX 3080)

MSI Aegis RS (6800 XT)

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance (FPS)

Configurations

MSI Aegis RS (RTX 3070 FE) Microsoft Windows 10 Home (1909); 3.8GHz Intel Core i7-10700K; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 3,000; 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition; 1TB SSD
Origin PC Chronos (RTX 3080) Microsoft Windows 10 Home (2004); Intel Core i9-10900K; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 3,200; 10GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 (EVGA); 1TB SSD + 500GB SSD
MSI Aegis RS (RX 6800 XT) Microsoft Windows 10 Home (1909); 3.8GHz Intel Core i7-10700K; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 3,000; 16GB AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT; 1TB SSD
MSI Aegis RS (RX 6800) Microsoft Windows 10 Home (1909); 3.8GHz Intel Core i7-10700K; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 3,000; 16GB AMD Radeon RX 6800; 1TB SSD

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Read More
Page 1 of 612345»...Last »