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AMD announces Radeon RX 6000 series gaming graphics cards – GSMArena.com news – GSMArena.com

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AMD today announced the Radeon RX RX 6000 series of gaming graphics cards. Built on the new 7nm RDNA 2 architecture, these cards provide up to 2x improvement in performance over the previous generation AMD flagship while also including support for the new Microsoft DirectX 12 Ultimate API and will be available starting November.

The most important card in this series will likely be the $649 Radeon RX 6800 XT. It features 72 compute units and 16GB of 16Gbps GDDR6 memory on a 256-bit wide memory bus. The 6800 XT can clock up to 2015MHz under load (or Game Clock as AMD likes to call it) and can occasionally hit peaks of 2250MHz for short durations under ideal conditions (Boost Clock). AMD claims a total board power of 300W for this card.

AMD announces Radeon RX 6000 series gaming graphics cards

The 6800 XT also has 128MB of what AMD calls the Infinity Cache. This is high-density, high-speed cache based on the Zen L3 cache. It is designed to minimize DRAM bottlenecks, latency, and power consumption and is especially effective at 4K and 1440p resolutions. Combined with the VRAM, AMD claims the Infinity Cache offers 2.17x the effective bandwidth of a 384-bit wide GDDR6 memory.

AMD announces Radeon RX 6000 series gaming graphics cards

AMD also had some charts to show comparing the performance of the 6800 XT to the $699 RTX 3080. We usually take these with a grain of salt but in the absence of any reliable third-party reviews, these can be taken as a rough guidance.

Next is the $579 Radeon RX 6800. Despite being cheaper, the 6800 doesn’t lose out on much compared to the 6800 XT. The major difference is to the number of compute units, which has dropped from 72 to 60 due to one of the shader engines being disabled. The “Game Clock” has also been dropped down to 1815MHz with the Boost Clock down to 2105MHz.

Despite that, the Radeon RX 6800 will still have the full 16GB 16Gbps GDDR6 memory and 128MB Infinity Cache. And because it’s a bit slower, the board power has also dropped down to 250W instead.

AMD announces Radeon RX 6000 series gaming graphics cards

The 6800 will mostly compete with the $499 RTX 3070, even though it’s more expensive. AMD claims in its charts that the 6800 is faster than the RTX 2080 Ti, which has similar levels of performance as the RTX 3070. However, we would take this chart with an even bigger pinch of salt as it makes use of a feature called Smart Access Memory, which we will discuss shortly.

AMD announces Radeon RX 6000 series gaming graphics cards

Lastly, there is the flagship Radeon RX 6900 XT. This $999 graphics card comes with the full complement of 80 compute units along with the same game and boost clock speeds as the 6800 XT. The rest of the specifications are similar as well.

AMD announces Radeon RX 6000 series gaming graphics cards

AMD decided to take a swipe at the lofty $1499 RTX 3090 with the 6900 XT in its comparison charts. This time, however, we would suggest a small teaspoon of salt as these results are taken with Smart Access Memory and something called “Rage Mode” enabled.

So what is this comically named Rage Mode? AMD calls it a one click overclocking solution. According to Gamers Nexus, Rage Mode unlocks the power targets on these cards so they can clock higher. It doesn’t actually overclock the card itself, just removes some of the power restrictions that could prevent it from clocking higher in some instances. For manual overclockers, this is nothing new but those who are either new or uncomfortable with overclocking can just click this one button and hope it does something.

AMD announces Radeon RX 6000 series gaming graphics cards

As for the aforementioned Smart Access Memory, this one’s a bit more interesting. For this to work, you need a Radeon RX 6000 series GPU, a Ryzen RX 5000 series desktop CPU and a 500-series chipset motherboard. Once you have this trifecta and enable an option in BIOS, it allows the CPU access to the full 16GB VRAM on the graphics card, which supposedly reduces memory fragmentation on the VRAM and improves performance.

Within AMD’s test samples, they say anywhere from single digit to low double digit gains in performance with Rage Mode and Smart Access Memory enabled on the 6800 XT.

AMD announces Radeon RX 6000 series gaming graphics cards

RDNA 2 also includes support for Microsoft’s DirectX 12 Ultimate API. This enables support for features like hardware-accelerated ray tracing, variable rate shading, mesh shaders, and sampler feedback, features that were previously only available on select NVIDIA GPU.

Ray tracing will likely be the one most were looking forward to. AMD announced a handful of titles that will be available soon that support ray tracing on AMD cards, although technically nothing really stops the existing titles such as Control, Metro Exodus, Battlefield V, etc. from working on RDNA 2 hardware since they are all based on Microsoft’s DXR implementation. It will be up to AMD to enable support for them in its drivers. Eventually, all DXR based titles should work on all RTX, Radeon RX 6000, and Xbox Series X|S hardware.

AMD announces Radeon RX 6000 series gaming graphics cards

AMD is also supporting the Microsoft DirectStorage API, which aims to improve load times and improve texture quality. Along with that, the company will continue to support its own technologies, such as AMD FidelityFX, Radeon Anti-Lag, and Radeon Boost.

What’s missing from AMD’s arsenal for now is an alternative to NVIDIA’s DLSS or deep learning super sampling. This enabled AI-assisted upsampling of game assets using scans of high resolution assets, which results in close to native resolution image quality but with a lower rendering budget.

AMD has promised a technology called Super Resolution, which seems similar to DLSS but provided no further details that would let us know how well it would work. The feature is also still in development and won’t be available for some time after the launch of these cards. That should put a severe dent in AMD’s ray tracing performance compared to NVIDIA’s DLSS, which is likely why AMD hasn’t announced support for existing DXR titles as most of them have some form of DLSS.

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Now for availability. The RX 6800 and 6800 XT will be available starting November 18 for the aforementioned prices of $579 and $649 on AMD.com. The RX 6900 XT will be available starting December 8 for $999. Cards will also be available from the usual board partners, such as ASRock, ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, PowerColor, SAPPHIRE, and XFX in November.

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PS5 restock: Here's where and how to buy a PlayStation 5 this week – TechRepublic

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It’s not too late to try to score a PlayStation 5 this week. Here’s where to look for the elusive PS5 in stores and online.

Image: Sony Interactive Entertainment

If you’re still looking for a PS5 for a holiday gift or for yourself, there’s still a chance. I’m in the trenches with you, trying to nab one for my kid, and here’s where I’ve been searching and what I’m finding. I’ll update this article regularly as I find out more information.

Of course finding a PlayStation 5 has been a nightmare since it launched on Nov. 12. Retailers such as Walmart, Meijer, Target and Best Buy sold out fast. Bundles became the way to go, with GameStop, AntOnline and Newegg offering bundles starting at $600-plus and even those sold out within an hour or less. 

For those new to the PS5 shopping game, there are two versions. There is a $400 digital-only model and a $500 console version. The only differences between the two are that the console edition includes an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc drive to allow for PS5 Blu-ray disc games and PS4 Blu-ray disc games, and video from 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays and standard Blu-rays and DVDs. The digital edition has been selling out faster than the console version, because of its lower price, but that’s if you count time in seconds. They’re both in great demand, and the goal for most people is to buy one at any reasonable price solo or in a bundle. There are scalpers afoot, but we won’t talk about them since that’s not an option I’m willing to consider. 

SEE: Guide to becoming a digital transformation champion (TechRepublic Premium)

Check sites regularly, use the refresh button

An important way to find a PS5 is to constantly check the main sites that sell the PS5, such as Target, Best Buy, Walmart, Kohl’s, Costco, Sony direct, GameStop and AntOnline, and refresh the page frequently. 

For instance, Best Buy often shows out of stock, but several times it’s given me an “Open Box” option for stock. It disappeared just as quickly, as others grabbed the available stock, but it was there. So someone nabbed one. The last time I saw this was Nov. 25, so it’s been a few days, but others have reported on social media that they’ve seen the same thing more recently.

With that in mind, here are the places to look for a PS5 this week. Retailers such as GameStop have been offering bundles of a PS5 console or digital edition paired with controllers and games for around $800, and they sell out fast. AntOnline offered a PS5 bundle in the mid-$800 price range yesterday and it was available for several minutes before selling out. Adorama released limited stock online Monday morning, but it sold out in four minutes. 

Target is offering the PS5 for online ordering and in-store pickup, so it’s worth regularly checking the site to see if your local stores have added any new stock. Remember to look at Walmart periodically, too. And also Amazon. The retailer has been showing restocking, and sometimes it’s through third parties that are selling for scalped rates, but you might get lucky and find it for the regular retail price.

You can use these direct links to go to the retailers’ pages for the PlayStation 5 digital edition and console version:

Best Buy: PS5 Console and the PS5 Digital Edition

Amazon: PS5 Console and the PS5 Digital Edition

GameStop: PS5 Console and the PS5 Digital Edition

Target: PS5 Console and the PS5 Digital Edition

Walmart: PS5 Console and the PS5 Digital Edition

Sony PS5 queue for direct purchasing

Buying a PS5 direct from Sony is a definite possibility as they restock periodically as well. A queue is formed when stock is available and it gives an approximate wait time and it will let you enter the purchase area once your time arrives. This actually happened once for me, and it told me my wait time would be more than an hour, but at the time the queue opened up, I had stepped away from my laptop and I missed my chance after being in a digital line for about 90 minutes. But this option does work, even if you’ve been waiting for a very long time as I had that day, so there’s hope.

Follow PS5 social media accounts

Another option is to use social media to your advantage. There are many social media accounts providing regular updates on which retailers are offering potential merchandise drops of the PS5. Employees who work at the stores are leaking information, and shoppers are showing receipts as they find in-store units. 

To take advantage of this source of information, find the social media accounts that you find trustworthy and follow them. A quick glance on Twitter has @spieltimes reporting Walmart walk-ins as a reputable source for PS5 units, as well as a possible PS5 queue opening up today on the PlayStation direct store online, and potential stock coming in at Target. And Canadian shoppers will have better luck at Walmart, according to @PS5StockUpdates, who reports that on Dec. 3 at 11 am EST, there will be new stock available online.

Whichever option you choose to try to score a PS5, know that you’re not alone. I’m there with you and will keep updating this article with any information I find that might help in everyone’s search.

Also see

  • Raspberry Pi: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
  • Technology in education: The latest products and trends (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
  • How to securely erase hard drives (HDDs) and solid state drives (SSDs) (ZDNet)
  • Raspberry Pi: More must-read coverage (TechRepublic on Flipboard)

  • Xbox Series X restock for Cyber Monday: Where to buy the next-gen gaming system

     (TechRepublic)

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    Review: PS5 is big and pricey, but boasts impressive speed and visual upgrades – Prince George Citizen

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    Seven years after the release of the highly successful PlayStation 4, Sony has fired its latest salvo in the war to capture the hearts and minds of big-spending video game enthusiasts.

    The PlayStation 5 launched Nov. 12, two days after archrival Microsoft debuted its new Xbox Series X and Series S units. The latest round of the console wars started with a bang, as both systems quickly sold out.

    article continues below

    Sony, however, is coming off a decisive victory in the last round of the battle. According to sales figures from Sony Interactive Entertainment, all versions of the PS4 combined have sold more than 113.5 millionunits as of Sept. 30, making it the second-highest selling home console behind the PlayStation 2.

    In an effort to keep its edge in the video game arms race, Sony has released an expensive but powerful platform with a bold esthetic that breaks from past conservative design choices. While upgrading to Sony’s latest console will come at a cost — a unit that includes an Ultra-HD Blu-Ray drive has a recommended retail price of $629.99 while a digital-only version costs $499.99 — the improved experience will be difficult for dedicated gamers to pass up.

    The increased processing power of the PS5 is seen through the quality of the graphics. Titles that have built from the ground up for the console, like the punishing action role-playing game “Demon’s Souls,” look stunning. The difference in visual quality will be more striking from gamers upgrading from a base PS4, which did not support 4K resolution, rather than the more recent PS4 Pro.

    A notable part of the visual upgrade comes from the PS5’s use of ray tracing, an advanced rendering technique to realistically depict light and shadow. Until recently, ray tracing was considered too resource-intensive to use effectively in video-game development.

    Games available at launch that support ray tracing include “Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales” and “Demon’s Souls.” Spider-Man’s bio-electrical powers provide a nice example of what the technology can do — and seem to come without a performance cost.

    As impressive as the eye candy is, the speed of the PS5 is arguably a more noteworthy improvement over its predecessor. Load times are markedly faster for PS5 games; even games with massive maps and environments to handle like “Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla” have little downtime.

    As a result of this extra processing power, the PS5 is a bit more unwieldy than its sleek precursor. The version of the PS5 with the Blu-Ray drive is 39 centimetres wide, 26 cm deep and 10.4 centimetres high, making it Sony’s largest console. The digital-only version is about a cenitmetre shorter. The units can be set horizontally or vertically to give some options, but it will take up a good chunk of your entertainment centre.

    Sony is pivoting from the traditional all-black colour scheme to a two-toned black-and-white look. The PS5 also has a contoured design that sets it apart from the clean lines of the PS4. Whether the new look works or not is, of course, an exercise in subjectivity, but the PS5 is certainly bolder in appearance than its clinical counterpart.

    The design choice is mirrored in the accessories available at launch, which include the DualSense wireless controller, a wireless headset, an HD camera, a controller charging station and a media remote control, for those who wish to use the PS5 as a launch point for their favourite streaming services.

    The DualSense controller is a significant change from Sony’s long-running DualShock design. The controller has more heft to it and features cleaner lines in its construction. It features haptic feedback, which is intended to make instances in a game that cause the controller to vibrate feel more realistic. A nice feature is that the controller’s touchpad is now covered and resistant to the possibility of getting smudged with greasy fingerprints.

    Most PS4 games are playable on the PS5, and are easily ported over with a USB drive. Saved games will have to be expressly moved over, either by removable drive or through the cloud service provided by the PS Plus service, which comes at an added cost.

    PlayStation 4 controllers can be used, but only to play PS4 games. Those wanting to enjoy local multiplayer on a PS5 game will have to shell out for another DualSense controller, which costs about $90.

    Staying on the leading edge of console gaming will always tax an entertainment budget, and upgrading to a PS5 is no different.

    A PlayStation 5 console was provided for review purposes.

    This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 30, 2020.

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    Review: PS5 is big and pricey, but boasts impressive speed and visual upgrades – The Battlefords News-Optimist

    Published

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    Seven years after the release of the highly successful PlayStation 4, Sony has fired its latest salvo in the war to capture the hearts and minds of big-spending video game enthusiasts.

    The PlayStation 5 launched Nov. 12, two days after archrival Microsoft debuted its new Xbox Series X and Series S units. The latest round of the console wars started with a bang, as both systems quickly sold out.

    article continues below

    Sony, however, is coming off a decisive victory in the last round of the battle. According to sales figures from Sony Interactive Entertainment, all versions of the PS4 combined have sold more than 113.5 millionunits as of Sept. 30, making it the second-highest selling home console behind the PlayStation 2.

    In an effort to keep its edge in the video game arms race, Sony has released an expensive but powerful platform with a bold esthetic that breaks from past conservative design choices. While upgrading to Sony’s latest console will come at a cost — a unit that includes an Ultra-HD Blu-Ray drive has a recommended retail price of $629.99 while a digital-only version costs $499.99 — the improved experience will be difficult for dedicated gamers to pass up.

    The increased processing power of the PS5 is seen through the quality of the graphics. Titles that have built from the ground up for the console, like the punishing action role-playing game “Demon’s Souls,” look stunning. The difference in visual quality will be more striking from gamers upgrading from a base PS4, which did not support 4K resolution, rather than the more recent PS4 Pro.

    A notable part of the visual upgrade comes from the PS5’s use of ray tracing, an advanced rendering technique to realistically depict light and shadow. Until recently, ray tracing was considered too resource-intensive to use effectively in video-game development.

    Games available at launch that support ray tracing include “Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales” and “Demon’s Souls.” Spider-Man’s bio-electrical powers provide a nice example of what the technology can do — and seem to come without a performance cost.

    As impressive as the eye candy is, the speed of the PS5 is arguably a more noteworthy improvement over its predecessor. Load times are markedly faster for PS5 games; even games with massive maps and environments to handle like “Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla” have little downtime.

    As a result of this extra processing power, the PS5 is a bit more unwieldy than its sleek precursor. The version of the PS5 with the Blu-Ray drive is 39 centimetres wide, 26 cm deep and 10.4 centimetres high, making it Sony’s largest console. The digital-only version is about a cenitmetre shorter. The units can be set horizontally or vertically to give some options, but it will take up a good chunk of your entertainment centre.

    Sony is pivoting from the traditional all-black colour scheme to a two-toned black-and-white look. The PS5 also has a contoured design that sets it apart from the clean lines of the PS4. Whether the new look works or not is, of course, an exercise in subjectivity, but the PS5 is certainly bolder in appearance than its clinical counterpart.

    The design choice is mirrored in the accessories available at launch, which include the DualSense wireless controller, a wireless headset, an HD camera, a controller charging station and a media remote control, for those who wish to use the PS5 as a launch point for their favourite streaming services.

    The DualSense controller is a significant change from Sony’s long-running DualShock design. The controller has more heft to it and features cleaner lines in its construction. It features haptic feedback, which is intended to make instances in a game that cause the controller to vibrate feel more realistic. A nice feature is that the controller’s touchpad is now covered and resistant to the possibility of getting smudged with greasy fingerprints.

    Most PS4 games are playable on the PS5, and are easily ported over with a USB drive. Saved games will have to be expressly moved over, either by removable drive or through the cloud service provided by the PS Plus service, which comes at an added cost.

    PlayStation 4 controllers can be used, but only to play PS4 games. Those wanting to enjoy local multiplayer on a PS5 game will have to shell out for another DualSense controller, which costs about $90.

    Staying on the leading edge of console gaming will always tax an entertainment budget, and upgrading to a PS5 is no different.

    A PlayStation 5 console was provided for review purposes.

    This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 30, 2020.

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