NVIDIA nTeresting Newsletter – 12 July 2013

NVIDIA nTeresting Newsletter – 12 July 2013


In this issue:

· Industry analysts call shenanigans on Intel’s recent benchmarking claims in the mobile sector.
· GeForce GTX line-up is solid, top to bottom, from the price/performance of the GeForce GTX 760 to the blistering performance of the GeForce GTX 780.
· Get a free copy of the upcoming Splinter Cell: Blacklist when you gear up with GeForce.
· Bundles are nice, but engineering is better. NVIDIA is working to make games better. Real work. And has for years.
· NVIDIA GPUs are changing car interiors and the way cars are designed.

Intel vs. ARM benchmark methodology seen as flawed

Two veteran industry analysts, Jeff Bier of BDTi and Jim McGregor of Tirias Research, recently published articles casting doubt methodology behind an ABI Research report claiming that Intel outperformed ARM-based processors.

Bier found the compiler code in the benchmark “omitted some essential steps,” adding that “the benchmark results are not meaningful for purposes of comparing the processors.”

Press and analysts say this looks mighty suspicious, and fits a pattern they’ve seen before.

“This sort of [benchmark] cherry-picking and suspicious optimization makes ABI Research look foolish and raises questions about whether or not Intel has returned to its old tricks.” – Joel Hruska, Hot Hardware

Jim McGregor of Tirias Research wrote,

“This makes the use of this compiler for just the Intel platform highly suspicious.”

Analysts and observers say the recent controversy underscores the need for better mobile benchmarks and more rigorous evaluations across multiple performance metrics, including actual applications.

“The bottom line is that the mobile industry needs more industry-standard benchmarks that better represent what users want to do with their devices.” – Pat Moorhead, Moor Insights, quoted in PC Magazine

GeForce GTX Keeps Rocking

NVIDIA’s Kepler architecture keeps yielding awesome GPUs.

“The graphics giant hit a home run when it released the Kepler based 600-series cards in 2012, and with the retail inception of the GK110 GPU in the GTX 780 and GTX Titan cards this spring, their portfolio of high-end hardware continues to look better than ever.”

We most recently dropped the GeForce GTX 760, which has NVIDIA add-in card partners in an overclocking frenzy.

“Add in the amazing overclocking ability on tap though and you have a truly special card; it’s simply one of the best partner cards we’ve ever reviewed. If you’re shopping for a graphics card around the £200 mark then this is a phenomenally strong contender and a go-to choice for GTX 760 buyers.

And at the top of the stack sits the mighty GeForce GTX 780.

“A terrifyingly fast card… For those with older cards though, the GTX 780 is an excellent upgrade, as long as you have a high resolution monitor to make it shine. There is also the fact that NVIDIA is following up the GTX 780 with the GTX 770. Our gut feeling is, though, that the GTX 770 may well be the best way for most to spend their dollars.”

With an awesome architecture like Kepler behind it, GeForce has something for everyone.

“The high-end GTX 780 brings the best of the GTX Titan to the 700-series, but it’s price tag–like the Titan–puts it in a class of its own. Still, it’s a good option for anyone who can afford a $650 graphics card. For everyone else, the rest of the current GTX 700 lineup are great options compared to comparable cards in the 600-series, and though NVIDIA hasn’t upped the bar for performance as much as it did with the introduction of the 600-series, the GTX 700 cards are a better value overall.”

Buy GeForce GTX, Get Splinter Cell: Blacklist

GeForce GTX fans are gearing up for the latest installment of the Tom Clancy Splinter Cell series, Splinter Cell: Blacklist. They are also getting the game free when they do, as well as a bonus copy of 2010’s Splinter Cell: Conviction.

“NVIDIA sends word this evening that they’re launching a new GeForce video card game bundle for the summer timeframe. This time around NVIDIA is partnering with Ubisoft to get their latest Splinter Cell game, Splinter Cell Blacklist, included with most NVIDIA cards.”

Splinter Cell: Blacklist looks awesome.

“Continuing the story of counter terrorism expert Sam Fisher, Splinter Cell Blacklist will see the hero leading the Fourth Echelon to find those behind a series of attacks on the US based on a plan of action known as The Blacklist. Claimed to be the biggest entry in the series yet, the game includes a single-player story, distinct co-op missions and the traditional Spies versus Mercs team-based multiplayer mode. Ubisoft also claims the game will include a universal economy which allows the player to spend in-game cash to customise their team and player character.

Splinter Cell: Blacklist is set to launch on the 23rd of August, and a Deluxe Edition of the game will be made available to anyone buying an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660, GTX 660 Ti, GTX 670, GTX 680, GTX 760, GTX 770 or GTX 780 from the usual participating retail partners from now until the 31st of December.

Making Games Better

E3 news was rife with tales of how NVIDIA is making the next crop of games better. Makers of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, The Witcher 3, Watch Dogs, Batman: Arkham Origins, and Splinter Cell: Blacklist all sang our praises.

“The real fact that I walked away from the NVIDIA event knowing, however, was just how excited developers were to work with NVIDIA. In turn, NVIDIA wants nothing more than to work with developers to make their games better. It’s a hugely beneficial relationship between game developers and NVIDIA, but the real winners are gamers. Luckily, most developers and probably most folk at NVIDIA are gamers too. Winners all around.”

And news of our Splinter Cell: Blacklist bundle also featured the tech we added to make the game better.

“The partnership comes following work by NVIDIA engineers with Ubisoft Toronto to ensure that the PC port of the cross-platform title is something a bit special. According to NVIDIA, the joint team has worked on including numerous PC-specific technologies in the engine including support for detail-enhancing tessellation, TXAA antialiasing, multi-monitor support and NVIDIA’s Horizon-Based Ambient Occlusion (HBAO+).”

NVIDIA’s commitment to gaming goes beyond bundling free games. It is in engineering resources, LAN events, partnerships, code and kick ass drivers. This makes NVIDIA GPUs preferred by those in the know, like John Carmack, the leader of id Software and the creator of hit titles like Doom 3D.

The same problem isn’t had by id Software’s John Carmack though. The father of the FPS is always seen using NVIDIA graphics chipsets. But why? “NVIDIA drivers are consistently superior” he claims.

“You are right. I cheer progress everywhere, but Visual Studio, NVIDIA GPUs, and Intel CPUs are my weapons of choice.”

But we have a long history of supporting gaming, which is noted in Polygon’s feature article on Crytek, makers of the Far Cry and Crysis series.

After thousands of miles of travel, a bad night’s sleep and a full day of being ignored, he snapped. Standing in front the next-generation graphics on display at the NVIDIA booth, he glared at the person he was talking to and cut loose on him.

“For #$&*’s sake!” he shouted. “We come from Germany! You have to watch our demo!”

The tactic worked, and a stunned NVIDIA rep offered them an appointment at 6 p.m.

Cevat says NVIDIA gave them a station at their booth right as the E3 floor closed to the general public.

Being committed to gaming means more than buying games, it means real work.

NVIDIA, Start Your Engines

Gaming is our core, but more and more people are taking notice of our automobile technology. It started when we used our powerful GPUs to make designing cars better.

“NVIDIA, the company has been working with the automotive industry in other ways for more than a decade. Its processors, for instance, help designers and engineers conjure up cars in the digital world. Rather than building multiple real-world vehicle prototypes – a time-consuming and resource-intensive process – many automakers today use a 3-D Computer-Aided Virtual Environment (CAVE) to review thousands of details from the size and position of a cup-holder to rear-window visibility. With NVIDIA’s immersive graphics capability, such 3-D technology has changed the ways cars are designed and refined.

I got to experience this first-hand recently when I visited Ford Motor’s 3-D CAVE. While sitting in an ordinary office chair, I slipped on a pair of 3-D glasses and suddenly found myself immersed in the computer-simulated interior of a new car. I could see and “touch” the armrest, the dashboard controls and the steering wheel. By rolling backwards in my office chair, I was now in the car’s back seat. Someone handed me a flashlight and I could highlight various features.”

NVIDIA processors can be found in the high-end infotainment displays and customizable instrument panels in today’s Audi, Volkswagen, BMW, and Tesla vehicles.

“NVIDIA, whose powerful computer graphics chips let teenagers assassinate villains and zap aliens in a spectacular 3D world, is rapidly bringing the same immersive technology to your vehicle.”

NVIDIA has shipped about 4.5 million processors to the auto industry.

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