Earlier this week, Nvidia unveiled its Ampere GeForce cards, led by the RTX 3080 and accompanied by the Titan replacement RTX 3090 and the RTX 3070. All three of these graphics cards are bringing major generational improvements over the 2018 Turing lineup, without another price increase like we saw last time around.
And, while it’s definitely exciting seeing the promise of such improved performance, it’s important to note that Nvidia isn’t the only company that’s going to be releasing new graphics cards this fall – AMD Big Navi is coming soon, too.
Beyond claims made on behalf of the PS5 and Xbox Series X – that those consoles will be capable of 4K 60 fps gameplay with ray tracing – we don’t really know what RDNA will be capable of, or where exactly it will be competing within this new Nvidia lineup – but you should still wait to see the hand AMD has to play before you jump in.
AMD RDNA 2 could also slap
The GPUs in the PS5 and Xbox Series X are super impressive.
For a console.
It is kind of ludicrous to believe that the GPUs being included in the consoles are not going to be cut down versions of whatever ends up in actual AMD graphics cards, in order to fit the cooling and power requirements that a console has. Think about it – there’s no way that Microsoft and Sony are going to be stuffing a 750W+ power supply in a console, so we’re going to get a way less powerful GPU.
The actual graphics cards that come out of RDNA 2 will likely be way more powerful than what ends up going into the gaming consoles. AMD has already said that it’s going to be competing with Nvidia at the high end – maybe not as high end as the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 – so it’s very possible that whatever top-end graphics card AMD launches will actually put some pressure on Nvidia.
If AMD can launch a graphics cards that tackles the the RTX 3080 at 4K, or even outperforms it at the same price, anyone who buys an RTX 3080 might feel a little burned.
It’s also important to note that AMD didn’t knock Intel out in the CPU race right away, either. The first generation of Ryzen was impressive, but didn’t really threaten Intel too much – similar to the launch of the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT in July 2019.
However, if AMD takes the same approach with RDNA that it did with Zen, this generation we could see AMD really start to hit Nvidia hard – though it does remain to be seen. Nvidia isn’t Intel, after all, and it looks like Ampere is the biggest jump in GPU performance in years, something that can’t really be said about, say, Coffee Lake.
Only three Nvidia cards to start
At its GeForce Special Event, Nvidia only had three cards to show, and while it’s likely that those will be the only Nvidia cards we get this year, the gaps in performance and price between the three are pretty huge. Nvidia is claiming that the GeForce RTX 3070 is slightly faster than the RTX 2080 Ti, whereas the RTX 3080 is apparently nearly twice as fast as the RTX 2080 – that’s a huge gap in performance, and is clearly open for Nvidia to slide in another graphics card.
Now, for the sake of argument let’s say that AMD launches a card that comes close to beating the RTX 3080 at the same price point. We already saw a Lenovo leak a little while back that showed an RTX 3070 Ti with 16GB of VRAM that was conspicuously absent from Nvidia’s showcase.
It’s important to keep in mind that graphics card lineups never all come out at the same time. While the RTX 2080 Ti, RTX 2080 and RTX 2070 all got announced and launched at the same time at Gamescom 2018, we didn’t see the RTX 2060 until CES 2019, which was then followed up by the GTX 1660 Ti, GTX 1660 and GTX 1650. And then, we got yet another refresh in middle of 2019 with the Super cards.
With its RTX 30 series, Nvidia likely has a whole cavalcade of graphics cards, that it can likely launch whenever.
If AMD undercuts one of the RTX 30 series cards without absolutely dominating it, Nvidia can easily launch a new GPU that can just steal AMD’s thunder. So, especially if you have your eyes on the RTX 3070 – and you definitely should – it’s super prudent to wait for AMD to show its hand. If Nvidia is going to react to any of AMD’s launches, this is the card that will be most significantly impacted.
Patience will pay off
Even if you’re a die-hard Nvidia loyalist, waiting a few months before adopting a new generation of graphics card is just a good idea. Over the course of the first few months of this generation of graphics cards, both AMD and Nvidia will have a bunch of kinks to work out through driver and firmware updates.
It’s not like your graphics card is going to explode or anything before the drivers mature, but you might get degraded performance and game crashes out of nowhere – on top of some possible visual glitches.
But beyond that, we’re about to enter into one of the most competitive graphics card battles in years, and until AMD shows its hand, we can’t really proclaim Nvidia as the victor yet.
And even if Nvidia does win, grabbing a graphics card a few months down the line when availability stabilizes after the early adoption rush and drivers have a chance to mature is just a good idea – mashing F5 on Newegg or Nvidia’s store page is never fun, and with the reception Nvidia’s announcement had, you can bet that these graphics cards are going to sell out fast.
TechRadar’s PC Gaming Week 2020 is celebrating the most powerful gaming platform on Earth with articles, interviews and essential buying guides that showcase how diverse, imaginative, and remarkable PC games – and gamers – can be. Visit our PC Gaming Week 2020 page to see all our coverage in one place.
The one-off Ferrari Omologato is the closest we'll get to a new GTO – Driving
A unique Ferrari one-off has been lapping the marque’s Fiorano test track, and now we’re finally getting a good look at it — and it’s stunning.
The one-off creation is called the Omologata, and it’s basically a modern rendition of one of Ferrari’s absolute all-stars, the 250 GTO. “GTO” stands for Grand Touring Omologato, and given the styling, it’s safe to say this is a direct homage to that famous race car.
Featuring voluptuous curves and half-moon-shaped intakes, the lineage of this one-off is unquestionable. We would have thought it impossible to make a modern car that looks better than the 812 the Omologato is based on, but this seems to have taken the cake.
The designers changed every facet of the 812 except for the windshield and the headlights, even though every change might not be immediately visible. Around back, the rear window has been swapped out for a set of louvers, and the tail of the vehicle now sweeps up with a small spoiler.
Under that extremely long hood is still the 812’s beautiful 6.2-litre V12, which produces a sound so beautiful it’ll turn horsepower and other output figures into afterthoughts.
The car marks the tenth one-off creation that Ferrari has built, with the first being the 2009 P540 Superfast Aperta.
The commissioner isn’t known, but whomever they are, we must say “well done,” for this is one exquisite vehicle. A regular Ferrari 812 isn’t exactly a cheap car, and we’re guessing this was, well, even less cheap than usual.
Apple's Battle Royale With Epic Games Starts for Real Next Week – BNN
(Bloomberg) — The legal fight between Apple Inc. and Epic Games Inc. kicks into full gear on Monday with decisions that will influence the future of app stores in the U.S. and how the world’s largest technology platforms make money from developers.
U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers will decide whether to force Apple to let battle royale video game Fortnite back into the App Store with Epic’s in-house payment option. She will also rule if Apple can block third-party apps using Epic’s Unreal Engine development software.
Most legal experts expect the judge to extend her temporary injunction for Unreal Engine, but not reinstate Fortnite in the Apple App Store.
“Epic faces an uphill battle,” said Mark Lemley, a professor at Stanford Law School. “Apple’s pricing policies are problematic, and antitrust law should probably do something about it. But courts are very reluctant to dictate who a company, even a monopolist, has to do business with.”
The decisions will have far-reaching consequences especially as authorities across the globe examine whether tech giants including Apple and Alphabet Inc.’s Google have broken antitrust rules. On Monday, the judge will consider if Epic is likely to succeed on the merits of its antitrust claims and whether the company will suffer irreparable harm if she doesn’t issue an injunction.
At stake is Apple and Google’s ability to charge fees of up to 30% to developers using their app stores. Consumers spent $50 billion worldwide on the App Store and Google Play in the first half of 2020, according to Sensor Tower estimates. That generates billions of dollars in highly profitable revenue for the companies. Some developers deride this an unfair and unwarranted tax. Epic and its Founder Tim Sweeney have led the backlash this year.
Google may change its policies if the Fortnite case ends up favoring Apple, said Lewis Ward, an analyst at researcher IDC. No matter the outcome, Epic has gained a lot of goodwill among gamers and other developers.
“In the larger court of public opinion, in the U.S., my sense is that Epic is generally viewed as the good guy here, and Apple is viewed as the bad guy,” Ward said.
“It has raised the profile of Epic from an already well-respected game company to one that has a philosophy or a vision of where the games industry should go over time,” Ward added. “That vision is one that is more aligned with how the internet began, which was open and free and cheap.”
Read more: Epic’s Battle With Apple and Google Has Roots in the Pac-Man Era
The impact on Epic’s business so far has been “fairly negligible,” said Doug Clinton, co-founder at Loup ventures — tens of millions of dollars in lost revenue. While players can no longer download Fortnite on their Apple devices, many of them have simply shifted their playing to consoles and PCs. Fortnite climbed SuperData’s rankings of top-grossing titles among console games in August, reaching third place. It ranked sixth in July, before the legal spat between Epic and Apple began.
Financially, Apple doesn’t have much to lose by kicking Fortnite out. The company has taken in about $350 million in revenue from Fortnite since the game launched on the iPhone in 2018, according to Sensor Tower data. Apple pulled in sales of more than $250 billion in its latest fiscal year.
Read more: Spotify, Match Launch Coalition to Protest App Store Rules
If the court forces Apple to keep distributing Unreal Engine, that could be positive for the iPhone maker. The decision would let other games that use the tools continue distributing their software via Apple’s platform, resulting in a 30% cut for each sale or in-app purchase. However, Apple argues that the continued distribution of Unreal Engine by what it considers to be a rogue developer could harm consumer security.
There are broader risks for Apple from the case, though. If Epic continues to paint Apple as the bad guy to younger iPhone and iPad owners who play Fortnite, that could twist the perception of these users toward Apple as a whole. If Epic wins key decisions, that would make it more difficult for Apple to impose its App Store payment system on other developers, curbing a high-margin source of revenue.
The lawsuit might also spur Apple to continue tweaking its store. While the company isn’t budging on its 30% cut, it has loosened some restrictions recently, letting a small handful of apps avoid the fee.
Read more: Apple Loosens App Store Rules a Bit After Developer Backlash
©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Apple Watch Series 3 users complain of random reboots, other bugs after updating to watchOS 7 – 9to5Mac
watchOS 7 was released to the general public last week, bringing new watch face features, sleep tracking support, and more to Apple Watch models dating back to the Apple Watch Series 3. Some Apple Watch Series 3 users, however, are reporting a variety issues since installing watchOS 7, including random reboots, poor performance, and more.
On Apple’s support forums, there’s a thread dedicated to Apple Watch Series 3 owners expressing frustration with device performance since installing watchOS 7. One of the most common complaints seems to be that the Apple Watch Series 3 will randomly reboot multiple times per day with watchOS 7 installed:
I’ve had several reboots a day since updating, it asks me for my passcode and shows blank stats on activity. Never had an issue like this before on Watch OS6 or earlier, surely there has to be a supplement update from Apple to address this?
Multiple Apple Watch Series 3 users refer to watchOS 7 as “the worst” watchOS update that Apple has released so far.
My series 3 completed an auto update overnight to Watch OS7. Today it has shut itself down at least 3 times, locked itself while on my wrist about 4 times, failed to load complications on multiple faces (weather, activity rings, date etc), disconnected from my phone at least twice. This has been the buggiest upgrade I have seen.
On the MacRumors Forums, there’s another thread dedicated to Apple Watch Series 3 owners voicing frustration with watchOS 7, including complaints of random reboots, laggy performance, and more.
Two things make these complaints even more notable. First, there is no way to downgrade a watchOS 7 update, which means these Apple Watch Series 3 owners can’t downgrade back to watchOS 6. watchOS 7.0.1 was released as a bug fix update this week, but users report that it has not solved their problems.
Secondly, Apple still sells the Apple Watch Series 3 as part of its Apple Watch lineup, even though it seems as if the aging hardware might struggle to keep up with the new features of watchOS 7. This could also have implications for the availability of future software updates, such as watchOS 8, for the Apple Watch Series 3.
At this point, it’s unclear how widespread these issues are, but judging by the sheer volume of complaints, the problems are likely to already be on Apple’s radar. Have you experienced any of these issues with your Apple Watch Series 3 since updating to watchOS 7? Let us know down in the comments.
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