AMD Unveils Cloud Gaming Graphics Cards

AMD Unveils Cloud Gaming Graphics Cards

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The Sky Series Graphics line aims to power the visuals of cloud servers near you.

Even though cloud gaming hasn't quite received the attention its proponents hoped, it nonetheless remains a fascinating technology. Perhaps its most interesting feature is the ability to eliminate user hardware requirements, or at least drastically lower them, since all graphical processing occurs in the cloud before arriving at your system. That puts the onus on cloud gaming companies to provide high-quality visuals, an increasingly difficult task with each server streaming for large audiences. For that reason, AMD has revealed a new line of Sky Series Graphics cards designed for running multiple games at any given moment.

Sky Series cards are AMD's way of accounting for streaming performance and latency on top of overall graphics quality. Each card reportedly supports six 720p resolution streams at up to 30 frames per second, which is on par for console performance this generation. "Real-time gaming through the cloud represents a significant opportunity," said senior director of AMD Professional Graphics David Cummings, "and AMD is poised to lead in this vertical thanks to our extensive graphics hardware and software capabilities. AMD is working closely with CiiNow, G-Cluster, Otoy and Ubitus to deliver exceptional AMD Radeon gaming experiences to the cloud."

Unless you're an MMO gold farmer running multiple accounts, these cards probably won't be seen in your average computer built. That said, the technology would be a huge boon to cloud companies, especially if the industry intends to cut down hardware requirements while maintaining high visuals. Broadband coverage probably won't be widespread enough to determine their impact for some time, but at the very least Sky Series should give AMD a leg up in the cloud gaming market.

Source: AMD, via Joystiq

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The important question is how is it in crossfire though?...

Seriously though thats pretty cool could make PC gaming a lot more viable to a lot more people. Good job AMD.

that could be cool for lan parties though.

have a friend who doesnt have a such a great graphics card in his PC play games on high detail..

Interesting, but not very relevant to anyone who's not running a server farm.

It'll still help a lot with improving the back-end of cloud gaming, possibly reducing some of the latency involed with the tech

For gamers the main issue is still bandwidth though.

SkarKrow:
Seriously though thats pretty cool could make PC gaming a lot more viable to a lot more people. Good job AMD.

Ironically it could have quite the opposite effect. As a cloud client can run on anything from a PC down to a smartphone, the fact that the games are being hosted on a remote PC doesn't actually matter :)

I don't think I understood it correctly, IF I did this will be GREAT for lazy fucks like me who hate putting a PC together and stuff lol
Here, correct me if I'm wrong, say CD Projekt releases a Witcher 4, they might have their own graphical card on the cloud, so my computer will need less "firepower" since they are providing it online through a cloud system... Or maybe we will have companies that act as "graphic providers" to which I'll subscribe in order to use their graphical capabilities. Is that it?

I think they're trying to con us here, because that just looks like one massive heatsink with a DVI port

Just checked steam stats to get a little piece of information.

Current DOTA2 players: 242,953
Is cloud gaming really going to be able to handle that sort of load along with EVERYTHING else?

Wouldn't gaming like this drive bandwidth usage through the roof?

Cloud gaming may be a neat idea, but I don't see it as even remotely practical for a long time. I don't think we have the infrastructure to support a decent end user experience for mass market.

Fanghawk:
Each card reportedly supports six 720p resolution streams at up to 30 frames per second, which is on par for console performance this generation.

In other words, it's horribly out of date and completely pointless. That's not even a PC fanboy line - the current console generation is in the process of being replaced, and even phones can now do better resolution than that.

[akbar]IT'S A TRAP![/akbar]

I'm struggling to see how I could use this besides maybe a lan...

I miss the days when "the cloud" was just something that you started at in the sky. the phrase, "the Cloud" has very little meaning these days though god knows how many marketing dollars have been pumped into it. Each company has their own variance on what they think "The Cloud" is and what its scope for capacity of work should be...

Kahani:

Fanghawk:
Each card reportedly supports six 720p resolution streams at up to 30 frames per second, which is on par for console performance this generation.

In other words, it's horribly out of date and completely pointless. That's not even a PC fanboy line - the current console generation is in the process of being replaced, and even phones can now do better resolution than that.

It's for Streaming. I played Saints Row 3 on Onlive and compared it to my PC version of it. 1280x720 doesn't look that bad when streaming, since you receive it as a video feed, which is smoothed. As for the 30 FPS - won't work well in faster paced games (Team Fortress 2), but can work well on many others (XCOM: Enemy Unknown).

OT: Looks good, but I don't care what's done on the server side as long as the game runs smoothly. I don't think cloud gaming will replace local gaming, but it can be a nice alternative in some respects. For example: I'd love to be able to play some console-only games through a cloud service.

Megacherv:
I think they're trying to con us here, because that just looks like one massive heatsink with a DVI port

Hey, hey, hey, that's ridiculous!

....I think I see a HDMI EDIT: displayport there too :p

Ralen-Sharr:
Just checked steam stats to get a little piece of information.

Current DOTA2 players: 242,953
Is cloud gaming really going to be able to handle that sort of load along with EVERYTHING else?

Wouldn't gaming like this drive bandwidth usage through the roof?

Cloud gaming may be a neat idea, but I don't see it as even remotely practical for a long time. I don't think we have the infrastructure to support a decent end user experience for mass market.

On the plus side, it might also drive bandwidth INNOVATION through the roof. Though I doubt this kind of thing will be popular or practical here in Australia, where the average ADSL line feels like a tight string with a tin can on each end.

not everything needs to be on the cloud

Alfador_VII:
Interesting, but not very relevant to anyone who's not running a server farm.

It'll still help a lot with improving the back-end of cloud gaming, possibly reducing some of the latency involed with the tech

For gamers the main issue is still bandwidth though.

SkarKrow:
Seriously though thats pretty cool could make PC gaming a lot more viable to a lot more people. Good job AMD.

Ironically it could have quite the opposite effect. As a cloud client can run on anything from a PC down to a smartphone, the fact that the games are being hosted on a remote PC doesn't actually matter :)

It could be used for many purposes but this would be a great way to push visual performance forward without expecting the end user to be running a high end machine, it's a nice idea, and I don't think I'd be playing the same games on a phone as a PC xD

Maybe a tablet with a USB key and mouse?

Kahani:

Fanghawk:
Each card reportedly supports six 720p resolution streams at up to 30 frames per second, which is on par for console performance this generation.

In other words, it's horribly out of date and completely pointless. That's not even a PC fanboy line - the current console generation is in the process of being replaced, and even phones can now do better resolution than that.

Point^

Also why does this feel Pre- April foolsish? Hmmmmm that card is longer than most tower cases............. Could AMD be pulling our legs?

Megacherv:
I think they're trying to con us here, because that just looks like one massive heatsink with a DVI port

I wanna see somebody that puts phase-change cooling on this just for giggles

slash2x:

Kahani:

Fanghawk:
Each card reportedly supports six 720p resolution streams at up to 30 frames per second, which is on par for console performance this generation.

In other words, it's horribly out of date and completely pointless. That's not even a PC fanboy line - the current console generation is in the process of being replaced, and even phones can now do better resolution than that.

Point^

Also why does this feel Pre- April foolsish? Hmmmmm that card is longer than most tower cases............. Could AMD be pulling our legs?

Well, its for servers, not meant to go into your average box.

Also its important to note that this may not be streaming PC games at all, just sending the games to them console gaming folk.

Megacherv:
I think they're trying to con us here, because that just looks like one massive heatsink with a DVI port

Well ATI and Nvidia have been known to superglue things together in an attempt to make it look like some fancy new shit, this might actually be a simple prop to get in the news and stay on the map as Nvidia is doing their cloud nonsense.
Because high end graphics cards for game streaming servers is niche within a niche within a niche, actually putting this into production without a massive contract order would practically be suicide.

Kahani:

Fanghawk:
Each card reportedly supports six 720p resolution streams at up to 30 frames per second, which is on par for console performance this generation.

In other words, it's horribly out of date and completely pointless. That's not even a PC fanboy line - the current console generation is in the process of being replaced, and even phones can now do better resolution than that.

It's capable of being 6 consoles at the same time, that isn't too shabby. You'd probably get 2 1080p streams out of it with a modern game, still better than most cards unless you're really into PC gaming and have thrown money at a top end card.

Desert Punk:

slash2x:

Kahani:

In other words, it's horribly out of date and completely pointless. That's not even a PC fanboy line - the current console generation is in the process of being replaced, and even phones can now do better resolution than that.

Point^

Also why does this feel Pre- April foolsish? Hmmmmm that card is longer than most tower cases............. Could AMD be pulling our legs?

Well, its for servers, not meant to go into your average box.

Also its important to note that this may not be streaming PC games at all, just sending the games to them console gaming folk.

*reads source post from AMD*

Ahh that makes much more sense. Now does that seem useful.... Eh... So either an April fools or just WAY behind.

Whats embarrasing is that i have to admit that being able to play Planetside 2 in 720p at 30fps would be an improvement.

Pilkingtube:
It's capable of being 6 consoles at the same time, that isn't too shabby. You'd probably get 2 1080p streams out of it with a modern game, still better than most cards unless you're really into PC gaming and have thrown money at a top end card.

Oh, I have no doubt it would be pretty awesome as part of a home PC. But that's not what it's for. Who's going to want to subscribe to a streaming service that offers lower quality than current consoles and new phones, let alone the new consoles that will be out by the time anyone is actually using this thing? As a piece of technology it's reasonably impressive, but as an actual commercial product I just don't see the point.

That's a monster heatsink!

Personally I can see this being used more for expensive high-end gaming systems than cloud gaming. There's no need for crossfire as the top end card has TWO GPU's with 3GB GDDR5 VRAM each! That's 6GB GDDR5 VRAM with 480 GB/s of memory bandwidth... And all on 300 watts! That kind of power will probably be able to run ANYTHING for the next decade at max settings (Assuming you can use it as such instead of being forced to use it as a cloud card)

Kahani:

Pilkingtube:
It's capable of being 6 consoles at the same time, that isn't too shabby. You'd probably get 2 1080p streams out of it with a modern game, still better than most cards unless you're really into PC gaming and have thrown money at a top end card.

Oh, I have no doubt it would be pretty awesome as part of a home PC. But that's not what it's for. Who's going to want to subscribe to a streaming service that offers lower quality than current consoles and new phones, let alone the new consoles that will be out by the time anyone is actually using this thing? As a piece of technology it's reasonably impressive, but as an actual commercial product I just don't see the point.

Wait I thought consoles were 720p at 30fps? Surely they are matching console then? Also these cards could just scale up, so rather than 6 console streams it could be 3 medium-high PC streams or 2 high PC streams etc etc, it can output at different qualities/different numbers of streams :)

Pilkingtube:
Wait I thought consoles were 720p at 30fps? Surely they are matching console then?

Exactly. They are matching current consoles. The ones which, as I pointed out in my first post, are in the process of being replaced. And even those are capable of managing the still rather low resolution of 1080p even if they don't push for it in every game.

Also these cards could just scale up, so rather than 6 console streams it could be 3 medium-high PC streams or 2 high PC streams etc etc, it can output at different qualities/different numbers of streams

Do you have any evidence to back that up? Certainly it's not mentioned in the article. As a card designed specifically to power streaming services, it doesn't seem too unreasonable to assume that it's only capable of multiple low quality streams rather than also being able to do less higher quality ones. Especially since even my 2 1/2 year old PC can easily run two games simultaneously if I have the resolution as low as 1920x1080 - in terms of raw power it certainly doesn't seem particularly impressive, it's only the ability to produce multiple streams that makes it interesting.

 

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