It’s always nice to get an insight into what we can expect over the next year when it comes to hardware, and AMD were happy to open the lid recently and share some information about what you will get from their Radeon GPUs over the next 12 months.
R9 Fury pictured above
In a briefing to press at a technology summit for Radeon Technologies Group, a division formed this year for all AMD's GPU assets, the company revealed that the latest DisplayPort and HDMI standards would be supported by AMD's cards in 2016.
But what's the benefit of that, you ask?
The first is higher bandwidth. DisplayPort 1.2 currently only supports 3840x2160 at 60Hz, meaning that those of you who want to get all fancy with your high refresh rates will be stuck to 1080/1440p resolutions. And that's the maximum resolution too.
The maximum resolution for DisplayPort 1.3: 60Hz, 7680x4320. And if you want those fancy gaming refresh rates at 2K and beyond, DisplayPort 1.3 supports that too. See the following frame from the presentation, as posted by Anandtech:
[image url="https://edge.alluremedia.com.au/m/k/2015/12/RTG-Tech-Summit-Visual-Tech-Session-Embargo-December-8-2015-9am-EST-page-0341.jpg" align="center" size="xlarge" nocrop="true"]
Image courtesy of AMD, as posted by Anandtech
That's not the only thing to look forward to, though. AMD will also be rolling out FreeSync over HDMI from the first quarter of next year, although it's worth noting that it won't be available everywhere.
For one, FreeSync over HDMI is still proprietary technology at this stage since HDMI hasn't gone with a common standard for variable refresh rates yet. So for FreeSync to be supported over HDMI, the monitors themselves will need to work with AMD's special extensions, which in turns means the vendors have to work more closely alongside AMD to get everything going.
It might be the case that FreeSync over DisplayPort becomes more commonplace, and given that DisplayPort can support far more bandwidth at this stage. But HDMI is still vastly more supported than DisplayPort; Radeon told press at the summit that only 30% monitors sold can support DisplayPort, with the remaining 70% only carrying ports for either HDMI or HDMI and DVI.
AMD's techs are also working to include support for high dynamic range (HDR) on their cards next year, and the company believes HDR capable monitors should become available over the next 12 months as well. They probably won't fall into the realm of affordability until 2017-18, but you won't find a PC hardcore fan out there who isn't enthused about the general improvement and evolution of GPUs and displays.