A TI­TAN ON THE PC

HWM (Singapore) - - Trends -

The next gen­er­a­tion of con­sole gam­ing has dawned upon us with the an­nounce­ments of Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayS­ta­tion 4. With the shift to x86-based pro­ces­sors and ar­chi­tec­ture, the two new con­soles are es­sen­tially PCs. PCs run­ning AMD’s graph­ics hard­ware, and not NVIDIA’s.

AMD might be the man­u­fac­turer of choice for up­com­ing gam­ing con­soles, EXW 19,D,$ VWLOO UHPDLQV D VLgQL­fiFDQW pres­ence on the PC plat­form. NVIDIA’s last gen­er­a­tion of graph­ics cards, co­de­named Ke­pler, were launched in 2012. Ke­pler was unique be­cause it was one of WKH fiUVW gUDSKLFV SURFHVVLQg FKLSV EDVHG on the 28nm fab­ri­ca­tion process.

This shrink from the 40nm process down to 28nm was made pos­si­ble due to ad­vance­ments in tech­nol­ogy which PDGH LW SRVVLEOH WR fiW PRUH WUDQVLVWRUV on the same area of sil­i­con wafer. Be­sides the higher tran­sis­tor count, Ke­pler ar­chi­tec­ture also en­abled a 50 per cent re­duc­tion in power con­sump­tion, as well as of­fer­ing 60 per cent higher per­for­mance lev­els. Ke­pler ar­chi­tec­ture wDV fiUVW LPSOHPHQWHG LQ WKH 19,D,$ GeForce GTX680 GPU.

The Ke­pler graph­ics pro­cess­ing unit reached its epit­ome with the re­lease of the GeForce GTX Ti­tan. The card takes its name from the Oak Ridge Na­tional Lab­o­ra­tory TI­TAN su­per­com­puter lo­cated in Ten­nessee, USA, which fea­tures 18,668 Tesla K20X GPU ac­cel­er­a­tors. Each ac­cel­er­a­tor fea­tures a Ke­pler GK110 GPU, which is the same chip used in the GTX Ti­tan card.

Ar­guably the most pow­er­ful card in ex­is­tence, the GTX Ti­tan was launched with the pro­hib­i­tive price tag of US$999. A con­sumer-friendly (and cut-down) ver­sion of the GTX Ti­tan, in the form of the GeForce GTX 780 graph­ics card, was also launched and priced at US$649.

$ G7; 7LWDQ FDQ GHOLvHU 4.7 WHUDflRSV of pro­cess­ing power. And while it’s hardly a fair com­par­i­son, the AMD graph­ics for WKH 3ODy6WDWLRQ 4 RIIHUV 1.84 WHUDflRSV RI per­for­mance, while the Xbox One’s GPU FORFNV LQ DW 1.23 WHUDflRSV.

In­ter­est­ingly, back when the Xbox 360 was re­leased in 2005, its graph­ics ca­pa­bil­i­ties out­classed the year’s top GPU, the NVIDIA GeForce 7800. By 2006, PC graph­ics had caught up and moved be­yond the con­sole’s ca­pa­bil­i­ties. If raw per­for­mance in­di­ca­tors are any­thing to go by, the next gen­er­a­tion of con­soles is ac­tu­ally start­ing a step be­hind their PC coun­ter­parts.

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