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AMD brings the fight back to NVIDIA

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What matters most, of course, is what’s under the hood: AMD’s RDNA architecture, previously known to enthusiasts as “Navi.” The Radeon 5700 and 5700 XT are built on a 7 nanometer process, which makes them more efficient than the 14nm Vega. This isn’t a first for AMD — the beefy Radeon VII, which remains its high-end option, is also a 7nm card, but one built on its older “Graphics Core Next” (GCN) platform.

The real benefits for the Radeon 5700 and 5700 XT come from AMD’s revamped computing unit design, as well as a higher bandwidth and lower latency memory. Most important is the more efficient graphics pipeline, which the company says will allow for better performance per clock, in addition to higher speeds. AMD claims that an RDNA card will be about 50 percent faster than a GCN card with the same clock speed and power consumption.

Radeon RX 5700 Radeon RX 5700 XT
Compute Units 36 40
TFLOPs 7.95 9.75
Memory 8GB GDDR6 8GB GDDR6
Base Clock 1.47 GHz 1.6 GHz
Game Clock 1.625 GHz 1.76 GHz
Boost Clock 1.73 GHz 1.9 GHz

Both new GPUs also support PCIe 4.0, which will offer twice the bandwidth of the PCIe 3.0 standard found on modern PCs. That should help to reduce load times in games with faster NVMe drives, If you’re excited about PCIe 4.0 though, just be aware that you’ll need to snag a new motherboard to take advantage of it. And at the moment, it’s only supported in AMD’s X570 chipset with third-generation Ryzen CPUs. Not surprisingly, Intel is trying to downplay the importance of PCIe 4.0 today, since the current standard can still handle 4K/144Hz displays without any issue. At the very least, AMD is showing that it’s new platform is future proof. Sony, for example is already touting incredibly fast load times for the next PlayStation, which will also run AMD’s RDNA hardware.

Radeon RX 5700

The Radeon 5700 XT features 40 compute units, 2,560 stream processors and a boost clock speed of 1.9GHz. The 5700 is based on the exact same hardware, but it has four fewer compute units, 2,304 stream processors and tops out at 1.73GHz. Both cards include 8GB of GDDR6 RAM, instead of the HBM2 memory from AMD’s last few GPUs. Technically, HBM2 offers faster bandwidth, but AMD says the move to GDDR6 allows for more flexibility when designing GPUs. As for ports, both offer three DisplayPort connections and an HDMI port. The Radeon 5700 relies on a single 8-pin power connection, while the XT uses an 8+6 pin configuration.

So what are AMD’s new cards going up against? Originally, the company positioned the 5700 XT as something that could clobber NVIDIA’s RTX 2070, while the 5700 against the RTX 2060. In most cases, the new Radeons were noticeably faster. But now they’re competing with the speedier RTX Super cards, which makes things a bit more complicated.

In use

3DMark Timespy/Timespy Extreme Hitman 2 Destiny 2 Witcher 3
Radeon 5700 XT 8,506/3,871 92 FPS 85-105 FPS 85-90 FPS
Radeon 5700 5,510/2,545 79 FPS 75-90 FPS 75-80 FPS
RTX 2060 Super 8,574/4,015 83 FPS 93-110 FPS 86-90 FPS
RTX 2070 Super 9,706/4,474 95 FPS 120-140 FPS 90-105 FPS

On a broad level, both new Radeon GPUs deliver excellent 1,440p performance. The XT, naturally, fares better when pumping up graphics settings — I saw between 85 and 105 frames per second in Destiny 2, compared to 75 to 90 FPS on the 5700. Most importantly, they’re both able to run that game beyond 60FPS without a sweat. But if you’re a discerning gamer with a 144Hz monitor, which can handle higher frame rates, then you’ll probably want to invest in the pricier XT.

I saw a similar bump in performance with Hitman 2’s benchmark. The Radeon 5700 XT reached an average of 92 FPS with all of the graphics settings dialed up, while the 5700 clocked in at 79 FPS. In 1080p, both cards performed about the same, but that’s not a huge surprise. At that resolution, your performance relies more on your CPU than the GPU.

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Mobile Hailed As Most Popular Gaming Platform Globally By New Report

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A new report from App Annie suggests that the most popular gaming platform around the world is mobile.

More than PC, more than PlayStation, more than Xbox, and more than Nintendo. Based on a pretty big increase in spending from players of mobile games in 2019.

According to the report, gamers on mobile spent 25-percent more money on in-game transactions than every other platform combined. Of course, does that really mean that mobile gaming is the most popular platform?

Simply because players are spending more money on mobile than elsewhere? A better indicator of popularity might be which platform has the most monthly active players. At the very least though, gamers on mobile are certainly willing to spend more money.

Mobile is the most popular gaming platform based on consumer spending

Based on the amount of money spent, mobile is the most popular platform. And while that may not necessarily translate to where players are interacting with their games the most on a consistent basis, it does show that there are a lot of players on mobile.

This uptick in consumer spending was no doubt driven by massively popular games like Call of Duty Mobile and Mario Kart Tour. Two of 2019’s most downloaded games.

State Of Mobile Gaming 2020 4

According to App Annie this is also an indicator that publishers and developers are increasingly migrating their properties to mobile to take advantage of the size of the market.

That’s not to say the migrations will lead to other platforms being phased out. Just that mobile is a huge market to be tapped into and larger AAA publishers and studios want a piece of that pie. So they create mobile games based on their popular franchises.

This year alone it’s predicted that consumer spending in mobile games could surpass the $100 billion mark on a worldwide basis. Which is no small figure.

Core Games made up more than half of time spent in Top Games lists

Core Games, such as PUBG MOBILE and Call of Duty Mobile, weren’t the most downloaded games of 2019.

Rather it was casual arcade games that saw the most downloads. Making up about 47-percent of all game downloads across platforms globally. Core Games however did represent more than half of the time spent in the Top Games lists.

This is because Core Games tend to require a significantly higher time investment. They tend to be service games, with ongoing updates, new events, challenges, and multiplayer activities. And a lot of the time events that offer up rewards require more time spent playing to achieve some of those goals.

This helped drive the engagement of Core Games and the amount of time players interacted with them. Which kept them at the top of the lists. As an example, PUBG MOBILE was the top Action Core game of the year, where players spent more time than any other game.

Another Action Core Game, Call of Duty Mobile, garnered lots of engagement from players as well. Even in the short three months it was out before the year ended.

From its launch on October 1 to the end of December, it was able to achieve being in the top five most downloaded games list in five different major markets. In the US and Japan it was number three, while in France, Canada, and Brazil it was number two.

Like it or not, mobile gaming continues to gain popularity and isn’t going anywhere.

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