Posts by Greg Corke

First look: AMD Radeon ProRender for Cinema 4D and Blender

Published 09 December 2016

Posted by Greg Corke

Article tagged with: rendering, amd, gpu, opencl, render, radeon pro, blender, cinema4d

Back in October Maxon announced that it had licensed AMD’s physically-based GPU rendering engine, Radeon ProRender. Today we caught a first glimpse of the software and even though it’s in ‘pre-alpha’ it already looks to be quite mature.

Maxon, with the help of AMD, has embedded Radeon ProRender directly inside Cinema4D and it is available alongside the standard and physical render.

Users select their renderer from a pull-down menu in the render settings dialog. The interface looks extremely intuitive, and the quality of output was impressive.

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Khronos Group in push for VR standards

Published 08 December 2016

Posted by Greg Corke

Article tagged with: amd, nvidia, intel, vr, oculus rift

Kronos Group is looking to define a common set of ‘open standard’ APIs for VR

Industry Consortium, the Khronos Group, is leading a new initiative to define a common set of ‘open standard’ APIs for Virtual Reality.

Key components of the new standard will include APIs for tracking of headsets, controllers and other objects, and for easily integrating devices into a VR runtime.

According to the Kronos Group, this will enable applications to be portable to any VR system that conforms to the Khronos standard, significantly enhancing the end-user experience, and driving more choice of content to spur further growth in the VR market.

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First look: HP Z2 Mini - the workstation that you can hold in one hand

Published 15 November 2016

Posted by Greg Corke

Article tagged with: solidworks, cad, hp, quadro, workstation, sff

The HP Z2 Mini in the flesh

Small Form Factor (SFF) workstations already dominate the workstation market, but HP has gone one step further with a new mini workstation called the HP Z2 Mini.

Similar in stature to the Apple Mac Mini, the HP Z2 Mini is small enough to be held in one hand. A mere 58mm x 216mm x 216mm in size, it can happily sit on a desk but can also be mounted on the back of displays or under desks.

The tiny machine features a combination of desktop and mobile technologies. It has a desktop CPU – Intel Xeon E3-1200v5 or Intel Core i3/i5/i7 – but a custom entry-level ‘mobile’ GPU, the Nvidia Quadro M620 (2GB). The machine can support up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM, which should be plenty for most CAD workflows.

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AMD makes aggressive play for professional VR with $799 Radeon Pro WX7100 GPU

Published 07 November 2016

Posted by Greg Corke

Article tagged with: amd, visualisation, nvidia, gpu, workstations, workstation, graphics, vr, radeon pro

Pro VR is a key target market for the new AMD Radeon Pro WX7100

AMD is looking to shake up the professional Virtual Reality (VR) graphics market, revealing today that its new ‘VR capable’ Radeon Pro WX7100 GPU will go on sale for $799 this week.

AMD had previously announced that the 8GB GPU would cost under $1,000, but this aggressive price will likely put additional pressure on Nvidia, whose cheapest professional ‘VR Ready’ GPUs – the Quadro M5000 and Quadro P5000 - cost more than twice as much.

VR needs much more 3D horsepower than traditional 3D CAD as it needs to deliver very high frame rates (90 FPS) so users do not experience feelings of nausea or motion sickness when wearing VR headsets like the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive.

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Apple beefs up 3D graphics for CAD on new MacBook Pro with AMD Radeon Pro

Published 28 October 2016

Posted by Greg Corke

Article tagged with: amd, apple, fusion, macbook, onshape, radeon pro

Apple has a shiny new MacBook Pro, available in 13-inch and 15-inch models.

It’s the lightest and thinnest ever and has a better, brighter, Retina display, as one would expect. It also has Touch ID built-in and a fancy new Multi-Touch display strip above the keyboard, called the Touch Bar, which offers a customisable alternative to the traditional function keys.

For 3D CAD users, however, arguably the most important update is the adoption of AMD Radeon Pro graphics in the 15-inch model.

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Microsoft enters workstation market with new machines for sketch and 3D CAD

Published 28 October 2016

Posted by Greg Corke

Article tagged with: solidworks, workstation, microsoft, 3d cad, sketching, siemens nx

Microsoft has launched two new ‘Surface’ machines that are capable of running 3D CAD software, including Siemens NX and SolidWorks.

This includes the Surface Studio, a desktop ‘workstation’ with a built in 28-inch screen and a new Surface Book laptop / tablet that boasts double the 3D graphics performance of the original Surface Book.

As with all Microsoft Surface hardware both machines are designed for sketching on screen, using applications like Autodesk SketchBook and Alias. However, the pen, which features 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity and an eraser, is now joined with another peripheral, the Surface Dial.

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AMD Radeon ProRender to be made available in Cinema 4D

Published 28 October 2016

Posted by Greg Corke

Article tagged with: rendering, gpu, cinema 4d, radeon pro, radeon, prorender

Cinema4D users will be able to implement AMD’s Radeon ProRender technology

MAXON is the latest software developer to license AMD’s Radeon ProRender physically-based rendering technology.

The GPU optimised renderer has been integrated into 3D modelling and rendering tool, Cinema 4D for both Mac and PC.

Radeon ProRender runs on GPUs, CPUs from AMD, Intel and Nvidia. It is also available for SolidWorks, Rhino, Maya and 3ds Max.

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