Energy-efficient AMD Polaris set for mid-2016 launch (Video)
Codenamed "Arctic Islands", the now official Polaris moniker will be AMD's 2016 lineup of GPUs set to take on Nvidia's Pascal. The chipmaker took time at CES to unveil its high performance-per-Watt Polaris desktop system against a second identical desktop with the Nvidia GTX 950 instead.
As shown in our video below, the two systems were running Star Wars Battlefront at 1080p60 and maximum settings, though AMD would not specify the exact Polaris model used for the demonstration. Nonetheless, the GPU will be manufactured in 14 nm FinFET compared to the 28 nm GTX 950 Maxwell GPU. Real-time system power draw was shown to be just 84 W compared to 145 W on the Nvidia system under gaming load.
AMD was quick to mention that the pre-production Polaris GPU used for the demonstration was not yet equipped with HBM2, so its power savings could be even greater by the time it launches. The new series will be based on the manufacturer's 4th generation GCN architecture with native support for DisplayPort 1.3, HDMI 2.0a, and 4K H.265 encoding and decoding. Exactly how well the new GPUs will hold up against the 16 nm FinFET Pascal series from Nvidia remains to be seen.