Podcast #216 - GTX 660Ti Roundup, AMD Steamroller Details, Multi GPU Graphics Card Rumors and more!

Subject: General Tech | August 30, 2012 - 04:22 PM |
Tagged: zotac, Steamroller, ssd, revodrive, podcast, ocz, msi, MARS III, Intel, galaxy, evga, asus, arm, ARES II, amd, 7990, 690, 660ti

PC Perspective Podcast #216 - 08/30/2012

Join us this week as we talk about our GTX 660Ti Roundup, AMD Steamroller Details, Multi GPU Graphics Card Rumors and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom and Allyn Malvantano

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!

Program length: 1:01:56

Program Schedule:

  1. Introduction
  2. PCPer moving to pcper.com/live
  3. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  4. http://pcper.com/podcast
  5. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. Week in Reviews:
    1. 0:02:15 GeForce GTX 660 Ti Roundup
    2. 0:16:00 AMD Steamroller details from HotChips
    3. 0:27:30 ASUS Zenbook Prime UX31A Review
  2. 0:29:45 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
  3. News items of interest:
    1. 0:30:25 EVGA 1500 watt power supply
    2. 0:34:30 Powercolor HD 7990 Devil 13 graphics card
    3. 0:37:26 AMD releases FX-4130 and lowers prices
    4. 0:39:24 Synology refreshes DiskStation
    5. 0:40:50 ASUS MARS III GTX 680 - dreamers only
    6. 0:43:17 EVGA Mini ITX Z77 motherboard
    7. 0:45:15 NVIDIA shows Unreal Engine 3 on Tegra 3
  4. Closing:
    1. 0:51:11 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
      1. Ryan: OCZ RevoDrive 3 x2
      2. Jeremy: Something to vie for your upgrade budget
      3. Josh: Can never have enough space
      4. Allyn: Kingston HyperX Genesis 32GB DDR3 1600
  1. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  2. http://pcper.com/podcast
  3. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  4. Closing/outro

 

Check out the how your CPU will change your gaming experience

Subject: General Tech | August 29, 2012 - 06:25 PM |
Tagged: xfx, Intel, hd 7950, gaming, amd

The Tech Report wanted to explore the effect that modern CPUs have on your gaming experience and so they took an XFX Radeon HD 7950 Double Dissipation 3GB with Catalyst 12.3 drivers and paired it with a variety of builds.  In order to cover the wide variety of processors available today, they built systems on five different motherboards with 8 different AMD chips and 11 different Intel processors.  Then, not only did they test the performance of these various systems while gaming, they also replicated some tests with a video transcoding task in the background to test their multitasking abilities.  You can skip to the end of the review and check out the price versus performance graphs but with all the work they put into it you should read the whole article.

TR_fx-socket.jpg

"We bring our signature latency-focused game testing methods to bear on the latest crop of desktop CPUs. In the process, we learn a some things and shatter a few popular myths."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Gaming

Author:
Subject: Processors
Manufacturer: AMD

HotChips 2012

 

Ah, the end of August.  School is about to start.  American college football is about to get underway.  Hot Chips is now in full swing.  I guess the end of August caters to all sorts of people.  For the people who are most interested in Hot Chips, the amount of information on next generation CPU architectures is something to really look forward to.  AMD is taking this opportunity to give us a few tantalizing bits of information about their next generation Steamroller core which will be introduced with the codenamed “Kaveri” APU due out in 2013.

sr_sl_intro.jpg

AMD is seemingly on the brink of releasing the latest architectural update with Vishera.  This is a Piledriver+ based CPU that will find its way into AM3+ sockets.  On the server side it is expected that the Abu Dhabi processors will also be released in a late September timeframe.  Trinity was the first example of a Piledriver based product, and it showed markedly improved thermals as compared to previous Bulldozer based products, and featured a nice little bump in IPC in both single and multi-threaded applications.  Vishera and Abu Dhabi look to be Piledriver+, which essentially means that there are a few more tweaks in the design that *should* allow it to go faster per clock than Trinity.  There have been a few performance leaks so far, but nothing that has been concrete (or has shown final production-ready silicon).

Until that time when Vishera and its ilk are released, AMD is teasing us with some Steamroller information.  This presentation is featured at Hotchips today (August 28).  It is a very general overview of improvements, but very few details about how AMD is achieving increased performance with this next gen architecture are given.  So with that, I will dive into what information we have.

Click to read the entire article here.

AMD's server team is focusing on value now, performance in the future

Subject: General Tech | August 28, 2012 - 01:45 PM |
Tagged: virtualization, Seoul, seamicro, opteron, Delhi, amd, Abu Dhabi

AMD recently compared the cost per virtual machine of two eight-core 2.9GHz Xeon E5-2690 processors with 256GB in each node against servers with two 16-core 2.7GHz Opteron 6284SE and only 128GB per node.  Hyperthreading was enabled on the Intel machines so each box presented 64 threads to the VMmark test you can see below.   AMD is hoping to highlight the difference in pricing, while they may perform about 25% slower than an Intel based server, they cost 30% less to purchase, which in racks costing $10,000 or more will add up to some significant savings.  As well The Register talks about the future of AMD's servers, we know that the Abu Dhabi Opteron 6300s for two-socket and four-socket machines, the Seoul Opteron 4300s for two-socket and single-socket machines, and the Delhi Opteron 3300s for single-socket boxes will arrive staggered throughout this year and next, offering some new hope for AMD's processing power.  They also touch on Seamicro and the interconnect technology AMD purchased which could see next generation Opterons working with FirePro cards to really start to offer something new from AMD which could be a big jump in performance compared to their current server offerings.

amd_opteron_vs_xeon_vmark.jpg

"It is not as much fun to be in the server part of Advanced Micro Devices these days, with Intel surging in the server racket and expanding out to switching and storage with its Xeon processors and Intel more or less counting the substantial innovations that AMD's engineers crafted for the Opterons a decade ago. The good news if you like a good fight is that there is a whole new management and engineering team at AMD now, and they not only understand that AMD has to do some serious innovating, but they are itching for the fight."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register

AMD Adds New AMD FX-4130 CPU, Announces New Pricing for Desktop Processors

Subject: Processors | August 27, 2012 - 01:56 PM |
Tagged: amd, am3+, fx-4130

AMD has good news for those looking to build or upgrade an AMD powered system as they are lowering their prices on processors across the board as well as adding the new four core Socket AM3+ FX-4130, with a 3.8GHz base clock and 3.9GHz in Turbo.  It is not yet for sale but is expected to retail for $112, easily affordable for most users looking for a lower cost system.

AMD Price Moves Aug 2012.png

"The value proposition for the first generation AMD A-Series APUs is also compelling: A quad-core CPU and a DirectX® 11 highly-capable gaming GPU on a single-chip with more than 500 GFLOPs of compute power, for under $100 (A8 3850). Working together, the CPU and GPU can accelerate a range of applications to outperform a stand-alone CPU in some use cases. The lower-power first generation AMD A-Series APUs are even more affordable and are receiving positive reviews for small-form factor HTPCs as well.  Price reductions across the first generation AMD A-Series APUs stack are in effect now, so please check your local retailer!"

 

Source: AMD

Podcast #215 - NVIDIA's GTX 660 Ti, MSI ZPower Z77 Motherboard, AMD GPU Price cuts and more!

Subject: General Tech | August 23, 2012 - 02:35 PM |
Tagged: Voodoo3, podcast, nvidia, Intel, HAF, coolermaster, amd, 7970, 7950, 660ti, 660

PC Perspective Podcast #215 - 08/23/2012

Join us this week as we talk about NVIDIA's GTX 660 Ti, MSI ZPower Z77 Motherboard, AMD GPU Price cuts and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout Josh Walrath, Allyn Malvantano and Steve Grever

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!

Program length: 0:53:31

Program Schedule:

  1. Introduction
  2. PCPer moving to pcper.com/live
  3. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  4. http://pcper.com/podcast
  5. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. Week in Reviews:
    1. 00:01:45 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti Review
      1. Live Review Recap with Tom Petersen
    2. 0:15:00 Cooler Master HAF XM Case
    3. 0:16:00 Building a PC with Legacy Hardware
  2. 0:19:35 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
  3. News items of interest:
    1. 0:20:40 Hey, about OnLive...
    2. 0:22:10 Synaptics Touchpads and keyboards
    3. 0:25:30 Live Review Recap: MSI Z77 MPower
    4. 0:30:07 AMD Price cuts on GPUs yet again
    5. 0:34:00 Windows 8 upgrade pricing for OEM machines, $14.99
    6. 0:36:27 Catalyst 12.8
  4. Closing:
    1. 0:41:40 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
      1. Ryan: New Video Card!!
      2. Jeremy: What about $45, would you upgrade then?
      3. Josh: A Mumford and Sons box set
      4. Allyn: Give Windows 8 a shot
  1. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  2. http://pcper.com/podcast
  3. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  4. Closing/outro

 

PowerColor HD 7990 Devil 13 Dual GPU Graphics Card Pictured

Subject: Graphics Cards | August 23, 2012 - 11:17 AM |
Tagged: radeon hd 7990, hd 7990, graphics card, dual gpu, amd

Today, more rumors emerged on the ever elusive dual-GPU AMD graphics card. Reportedly, graphics card vendor PowerColor will be one of the Add In Board (AIB) partners producing the Radeon HD 7990. Previous rumors suggested that the HD 7990 would be comprised of two Radeon HD 7970 GPUs and it would be available in late August 2012. While there is no confirmation on the release date, the PowerColor 7990 "Devil 13" graphics card is using two 7970 GPUs in CrossFire on a single PCB.

Back in July, some details emerged on the 7990 that the PowerColor card rumors do not seem to disprove. Some highlights from the rumor mill so far include:

  • The 7990 will use two 7970 Tahiti XT GPUs connected by a PLX chip.
  • 6GB of GDDR5 memory (3GB per GPU)
  • 4,096 stream processors, 64 ROP units
  • (at least) a dual slot design with three fan cooler
  • Four mini DisplayPorts and two Dual Link DVI video outputs
  • Four 6-pin PCI-E power connectors

 

The earlier post did also mention that the default clock speed would be 850 MHz, but that does not seem to be the case with the PowerColor model. There may still be Radeon HD 7990 cards that come clocked at that speed, however.

As for the PowerColor model specifically, the new rumors suggest that it will be part of a limited run with a total of 500 cards. Coming in a red and black design, the three slot graphics card will use two 7970 GPUs clocked at 925 MHz in CrossFire. While there is no shot of the other side of the board to see how many PCI-E connectors it has, it will reportedly draw as much as 400 Watts. Using a BIOS switch, you will be able to choose between default and factory overclocked clockspeeds for both the GPU and GDDR5 memory.

AMD PowerColor Radeon HD 7990.jpg

Videocardz managed to unearth a photo of the elusive dual GPU AMD card.

When in its default mode, the card will run the GPU at 925 MHz and the memory at 5500 MHz (effective), which is the same as the Radeon HD 7970 single GPU graphics card. After flipping the BIOS switch, the card will use overclocked speeds of 1000 MHz for the GPU and 5500 MHz for the memory (so the GPU is the only part getting overclocked, according to the rumors).

According to Videocardz, the PowerColor 7990 has been refined somewhat compared to a showing at Computex earlier this year.  From the photos comparison, it looks as though the company has changed out the red PCI back plate for a standard silver color rather than the custom red version. Also, the three fans are slightly different models. It appears as though the card will provide two DVI outputs as well as a full-size HDMI and two mini DisplayPort outputs. The site claims that AMD will not be releasing any reference version and has given its partners free reign to engineer and design custom versions (perhaps we’ll see a massive 12GB version heh).

While there is no word on when this card will be released, according to sources speaking with Hardware Canucks, the Powercolor 7990 “Devil 13” will cost between $899 and $999 in the US. While not the card that many were likely hoping for (because of the price), it may well be the best that users hoping for a dual Graphics Core Next card will be able to get–assuming you can get your hands on one of 500 available cards. NVIDIA has had its own dual GPU GTX 690 on the market for some time now, and it is looking more and more likely that AMD is not going to have an answer any time soon in any big way (outside of limited edition runs from partners that design their own custom versions), and that’s unfortunate.

I speculated that users would be better off with two single Radeon 7970s in CrossFire, and I still believe that is likely the best option right now. Especially if you opt for the 7950 with PowerTune boost (which we recently reviewed) or 7970 GHz Edition cards with boost as it is looking like the 7990 will not have that functionality.

What do you think though, are you still holding out for the ever-elusive 7990?

You can find more coverage of the AMD Radeon HD 7990 by following the 7990 tag!

Source: Videocardz

AMD is slashing graphics prices, the war is on!

Subject: Graphics Cards | August 22, 2012 - 06:31 PM |
Tagged: radeon, price cuts, amd

While this move could hurt AMD's bottom line, there is only good news for gamers looking to upgrade their system with a new (or another) GPU from AMD.  With the release of NVIDIA's GTX 660 Ti at a price close to that of the HD 7870 and performance closer to an HD 7950, AMD has once again cut the pricing of their cards.  The price cuts should kick in by the end of the week, so hold off purchasing those cards for another week to benefit from the new pricing and to give NVIDIA a chance to respond as well.

AMD Radeon update.png

You've gotta love it when graphics hardware pricing starts trending away from the $500 mark!

****Update****

There are two HD7950 available on NewEgg for $320, though if you include MIR this XFX model is the least expensive while most others are sitting at $330 after MIR.  The 7870 GHz editions are starting to move towards the $230 mark which is better than promised and seem to have pushed the HD7850 out of the picture at $210 as that extra $20 gets you a lot more performance.

Be sure to check out our reviews on these recent graphics cards to find out which fit your specific needs!

Source: AMD

Hot Chips is coming and IBM has already spilled its beans

Subject: General Tech | August 21, 2012 - 03:27 PM |
Tagged: IBM, power7+, Intel, amd, hot chips

While it doesn't get the news coverage that Intel and AMD's chips do, IBM's Power series has been with us for a while and they seem really excited about the new Power7+ chip that they are about to drop.  They are so excited that they didn't even wait for the Hot Chips conference where many manufacturers will be revealing their new silicon.  For instance, the new chip will carry 32MB of L3 cache, AES and SHA-2 acceleration and models running from a modest 4 cores at 3GHz, a 4GHz 8 core model and a possible 4 core model topping 5GHz if The Register got their maths right.  Check it all out here; with more likely to come at Hot Chips next week.

elreg_ibm_power_roadmap_circa_2011.jpg

"The Hot Chips 24 conference hosted by Stanford University is next week, and IBM, Oracle, Advanced Micro Devices, Fujitsu, and Intel are expected to talk tech relating to just-announced or impending processors. But Big Blue seems unable to contain its enthusiasm for the Power7+ chip that it will talk about alongside its next-generation zNext processors for its System z mainframes."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register

AMD Catalyst 12.8 arrives

Subject: Graphics Cards | August 16, 2012 - 06:42 PM |
Tagged: amd, catalyst, catalyst 12.8

Get your new Catalyst 12.8 driver today!

AMD-Eyefinity-Technology-Hero-Banner_736W.jpg

Windows 8 support AMD’s first logo certified and unified driver for Windows 8 production

Featuring support for the DirectX 11.1 and the new WDDM 1.2 driver model:

  • AMD’s first official unified and logo certified driver for Windows 8, Windows 7 and Windows Vista
  • Target-Independent Rasterization (TIR): TIR is a new rendering path that enables superior anti-aliasing in Direct3D driver applications
  • Native Stereo 3D Support: Windows 8 natively supports stereoscopic 3D gaming and videos via compatible applications
  • Unified Video API: Video playback has been integrated into the DirectX® 11 API, enabling simultaneous video and gaming content. Transcoding performance may also be improved for supporting applications.
  • Optimized screen rotation for rotation aware devices
  • Improved sleep/resume performance
  • Optimized GPU power consumption Major technologies / features also supported under Windows 8:
    • AMD Eyefinity technology
    • OpenCL
    • OpenGL
    • Unified Video Decoder (UVD)
    • AMD Dual Graphics
    • AMD CrossFire technology
    • AMD Overdrive
    • AMD Catalyst Control Center
    • Vision Engine Control Center

Performance highlights of AMD Catalyst 12.8 (versus AMD Catalyst 12.6)

  • Up to 25% in Elder Scrolls: Skyrim
  • Up to 3% in Battlefield 3
  • Up to 6% in Batman: Arkham City
  • Up to 3% in Dues Ex: Human Revolution
  • Up to 6% in Crysis 2 Up to 15% in Total War: Shogun
  • Up to 8% in Crysis Warhead
  • Up to 5% in Just Cause 2
  • Up to 10% in Dirt 3

AMD’s latest Catalyst™ Application Profile: AMD Catalyst 12.7 CAP3 (to be used with AMD Catalyst 12.8)

Find the latest available AMD Catalyst CAP here : http://sites.amd.com/us/game/downloads/Pages/crossfirex-app-profiles.aspx

  • The Secret World (DX11): Resolves corruption seen in HUD/options when running in CrossFire mode on the AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series
  • TorchLight 2 – Improves single GPU performance, and disables CrossFire due to incompatible support when running in a Multi-GPU configuration
  • Spec Ops: The Line: Improves CrossFire performance
  • Hawken: Improves CrossFire performance

Resolved issue highlights of the AMD Catalyst™ 12.8 driver

  • Over/underscan settings are correctly restored on system reboot Audio is no longer disabled if the connected HDTV Is switched off/on
  • Shogun 2 : Flickering text is no longer experienced
  • Star Wars – The Old Republic : In game cinematic no longer experience flicker when using the arrow keys
  • Dirt Showdown: 8-Ball track No longer hangs with Crossfire enabled
  • Max Payne 3 : A black screen is no longer observed when launching game in DirectX 11 mode with Crossfire enabled

Feature Highlights of AMD Catalyst™ 12.8 Linux Driver: New OS Support
This release of AMD Catalyst™ Linux introduces support for the following new operating systems
Ubuntu 12.04 production support

Source: AMD