AMD's graphics cards based on their first-generation Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture, the Radeon HD 7000 series and the OEM-rebadged HD 8000 series, aren't currently compatible with DirectX 11.2. Speaking at GDC, AMD engineer Laylah Mah revealed that the current range of AMD GPUs will be incompatible with Microsoft's new API when it launches alongside Windows 8.1.
However, this incompatibility is only at the driver level according to Mah; the actual hardware of the HD 7000 series can support DirectX 11.2. When Microsoft finalized the specification, it ended up slightly different to what AMD was anticipating, causing the incompatibility. Mah says that this issue could be solved with a driver update in the future.
Direct3D 11.2, the 3D graphics API component of DirectX 11.2, includes a number of useful new features that game developers can implement. Tiled resources is one such feature, which allows the storage of high-resolution textures in both graphics memory and system RAM, keeping the GPU from being overburdened. This could ultimately lead to an unprecedented amount of detail that won’t appear fuzzy or blurred when viewed close up.
DirectX 11.2 will be exclusive to Windows 8.1, which launches October 18, as well as the Xbox One. AMD says that the CPU-GPU combination chips that they've provided for both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are compatible with DirectX 11.2, although at this stage it looks like only Microsoft's console will use the API.
Nvidia's latest range of GPUs, the GeForce 700 series, only partially support the features of DirectX 11.1 and above. Considering the relatively slow adoption of Windows 8, and how it took developers several years to implement DirectX 11 features in the latest games, we don't expect to see many DirectX 11.2 titles any time soon.
The Radeon HD 7990 is dual-GPU graphics card from AMD packing 8.6 billion transistors, 4096 stream processors, 8.2 TFLOPS computer power, 6GB GDDR5 and 576GB/s memory bandwidth. The GPU core of the HD 7990 is clocked at 1000MHz, while the memory is clocked at 1500MHz (6.0GHz DDR).
The AMD ATI Radeon HD 7970 measures 27 cm long (10.6 in), the GPU core is clocked at 925MHz, and the GDDR5 memory operates at the same frequency of 1375MHz (5.5GHz DDR). Still, pairing that frequency with a 384-bit memory bus gives the HD 7970 264GB/s of theoretical bandwidth. The HD 7970 carries 2048 SPUs, 128 TAUs and 32 ROPs, up 33% from 1536 SPUs and 96 TAUs, it's also the first PCI Express 3.0-compatible card.
The HD 7950 has 2048 SPUs, 128 TAUs and 32 ROPs. The only other ports are on the I/O panel where you'll find a dual DL-DVI connector, a single HDMI 1.4a port, and two mini-DisplayPort 1.2 sockets. Supports a max resolution of 2560x1600 on up to 3 monitors.
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