Graphics News

Since GTC, NVidia has been rolling out a new Pascal based card every month, starting with the GTX1080, followed by the reduced 1070 and 1060, and then topped by the new Titan-X (Pascal). They followed that by releasing mobile versions of the 1080, 1070, & 1060 under the same names, which is only forgivable because they have roughly comparable specs to the desktop versions. (Unlike the Mobile 980, but not to be confused with the weaker 980M, which had no link to the desktop 980.) While NVidia has cleaned up some of the mess they made in mobile GPU naming conventions for the last generation, they turned around and released a new Titan card that is totally different from the Maxwell one, with the exact same name: Titan-X. On the Quadro front, at least the new P6000 makes sense for the Pascal generation.

The advances in the new architecture are very impressive, and have made it hard for reviewers to clearly quantify them with apples to apples comparisons. The new 1070 series card is better than the previous generation 980, and the 1060 is better than an older 970. So they rarely get compared to the previous card in the class they are replacing, which under reports the increase. I am looking forward to getting my hands on some Pascal hardware to test soon.

With Thunderbolt3 out, we are finally starting to see decent external GPU solutions coming to market. This has been an option ever since Thunderbolt PCIe expansion chassis became available, but the drivers weren’t always as solid as they could be. There were a few proprietary solutions devised by MSI, Alienware, and other manufacturers, but that was a very limited option. Thunderbolt3 is the first standardized interface that makes external GPU processing a practical reality. Razor has announced the Razor Core which is designed to complement the new Razor Blade and Stealth, but should work with any Thunderbolt3 supported system. There was a recent Kickstarter project that made the news this week offering the Wolfe, claiming to be the first external GPU solution available for MacBooks, as if the BizonBox didn’t already exist.  I am looking forward to taking advantage of these options when my next laptop has Thunderbolt3, but honestly my little Aorus X3+ holds its own with an 870M for both 3K 3D gaming, and light 6K video editing. More on that soon.

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