Tag: Polaris

Polaris finally shines today

polarisAMD finally starts flogging its new RX 480 GPU today.

For those who came in late, the RX 480 uses the company’s latest Polaris architecture which is built lt on 14nm FinFET process technology.

The starting price is $199 for the 4GB model and $239 for the 8GB and has some interesting performance characteristics. Compared to the GeForce GTX 970 which sells for $280, the RX 480 performs is about five to ten percent better. But when it comes to DX12 games like Gears of War, Hitman and Rise of the Tomb Raider it is about 40 per cent faster.

Compared to previous AMD products, the RX 480 is as fast as a Radeon R9 390 but uses just 150 watts compared to 275 watts for the previous generation.

Rivals Nvidia are expected to have a competing product based on Pascal available sometime in July, so AMD’s advantage may be short-lived; but in the meantime, the Radeon RX 480 is clearly the best GPU for $200.

Of course the world is also waiting to see AMD’s entry into the CPU league tables with the much touted never seen Zen chip, which should be in the shops in December.

AMD shows off Polaris-based Radeon RX 470 and RX 460

4528082378_4d5b9fb99e_zAMD has been showing off its latest Polaris based GPUs at E3 2016.

For those who came in late, Polaris is AMD’s bright new hope in the GPU world – a bit like Zen is for the CPU, only it appears to exist whereas Zen doesn’t.

THe Radeon RX 470 and RX 460  join the recently announced RX 480 as part of the company’s new Polaris family. Polaris is AMD’s newest GPU micro-architecture, which is based on the 14nm FinFet production process.

AMD is not telling us the prices of its new GPU, but it is possible to have stab at it. The  RX 480 is made for 1440p gaming, and the RX 470 will focus on delivering a “refined, power-efficient HD gaming” experience. The RX 460 will offer a “cool and efficient solution for the ultimate e-sports gaming experience.”

The 4GB version of the RX 480 will start out at $200, it’s safe to assume that these two other cards will launch at lower price points.

AMD says the chips are extremely thin, offering a very low Z-height, and will fit into thin and light gaming notebooks.

The entire new RX line will also support a wide variety of features that include DX12, Vulkan, HDR, HDMI 2.0b, DisplayPort 1.3/1.4, and H.265 encoding/decoding.

There is no release day  but since the RX 480 is scheduled to launch on June 29 the other two should be soon after. AMD is claiming that card outperforms $500 graphics cards in VR.

MIT speeds up browser loads with travelling salesperson

Dogcart3Researchers at MIT have worked out a way to download webpages 34 percent faster.

As websites become more complex, they take longer to load so MIT has been working on a new method which allows browsers gather files more efficiently.

Ravi Netravali, one of the researchers, in a press release said that the bottleneck is caused by the fact that pages require multiple trips that create delays.

The new approach called Polaris minimises the number of round trips so that we can substantially speed up a page’s load-time.

Dubbed Polaris it was developed by the University’s at Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. It logs all the dependencies and inter-dependencies on a web page. It compiles all of these into a graph for the page that a browser can use to download page elements more efficiently. The researchers liken it to the work of travelling salesperson.

When you visit one city, you sometimes discover more cities you have to visit before going home. If someone gave you the entire list of cities ahead of time, you could plan the fastest possible route. Without the list, though, you have to discover new cities as you go, which results in unnecessary zig-zagging between far-away cities, they said.

For a web browser, loading all of a page’s objects is like visiting all of the cities. Polaris effectively gives you a list of all the cities before your trip actually begins.

The team’s tested the system on 200 different websites, including ESPN, Weather.com, and Wikipedia. On average, it was able to load web pages 34 percent faster than a standard browser. The work will be presented later this week at the USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation.

Polaris is written in JavaScript which means it can be introduced to any website—it’d just have to be running on the server in question, so it’d automatically kick in for any page load—and used with unmodified browsers.
In the long term it could be integrated into the browsers where it could “enable additional optimizations that can further accelerate page loads.