Subject: Editorial, Graphics Cards, Processors | February 2, 2012 - 12:31 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: reports, gpu, fad, cpu, APU, analyst, amd
Consider this fair warning: tomorrow here at PC Perspective you will learn the future of AMD. Sound over dramatic? We don't think so. After a pretty interesting year in 2011 for the company and AMD has said on several occasions that this year's Financial Analyst Day was going to reveal a lot about what the future holds for them on the GPU, CPU and APU front.
Hopefully we will learn what AMD plans to do after the cancelation of the second-generation of ultra lower power APUs, how important discrete graphics will be going forward and what life there is for the processor architecture after Bulldozer.
We will be in Sunnyvale at the AMD campus covering the event and we will be holding a live blog at the same time...right here. The event starts at 9am PST on February 2nd, aso be sure you set your calendars and bookmark this page for all the news!!
Subject: Systems | February 1, 2012 - 04:10 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, interlagos, bulldozer, supermicro, opteron 6200
Over at The Inquirer you can take a look at the performance of the Opteron 6274 as a server chip, as opposed to the desktop benchmarks that have made up the bulk of Bulldozer reviews on the web. SuperMicro has assembled a server containing a dual-socket Opteron 6274 for a total of 32 cores and 64GB of ECC DDR3-1333 RAM across eight channels running on 64-bit Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1. While the machine was quite powerful it still has difficulty keeping up with Intel, for instance its performance on CineBench was about the same as provided by an X5680 Westmere Xeon which is not Intel's best silicon. On the plus side, the scaling for multithreaded applications was quite good.
"IS BULLDOZER better in a workstation than a desktop? Let's see if it can be.
AMD's Bulldozer chip, while eagerly awaited, didn't really have a stellar debut as a mainstream - or high end, for that matter - desktop processor, still having a way to go before seriously challenging the incumbent Intel. The core, cache and memory performance all need a bit more power, although recent news such as Microsoft Windows' kernel patches do seem to help a little bit towards extracting more oomph from the unusual 'two integer units sharing one floating-point' approach."
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
- Alienware X51 Launch Details @ Hardware Heaven
- ZOTAC ZBOX AD04 Plus AMD Fusion Mini PC Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Sony Z Series @ Kitguru
- Ultimate SFF Lanparty Machine: Intel Xeon E5 (SNB-EP 8C/16T) on an ASUS Rampage IV GENE @ VR-Zone
Subject: Graphics Cards | February 1, 2012 - 02:32 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: radeon, pitcairn, hd 7870, hd 7850, hd 7770, hd 7750, cape verde, amd
It is now February, and despite the weather outside (which feels like late spring/early summer) not following the middle of winter approach, the year has only just begun. AMD has really been on the ball with new releases; however, and has managed to launch two of the three planned enthusiast level graphics cards with the AMD Radeon HD 7970 and the Radeon HD 7950 on January 9th and 31st respectively. What this means is that the company has the rest of the year to dole out the cheaper and lower performance cards. Even so, if this leaked slide is to be believed, it looks like AMD will not be wasting any time and is planning to roll out a slew of 7700 and 7800 series card launches before the second quarter of this year is over!
As one step down from the 7900 series, Pitcairn represents AMD's new "mid-range" parts. As of now, the Pitcairn series includes Pitcairn XT and Pitcairn Pro which will be labeled the Radeon 7870 and 7850 respectively. This recent leak does not stray too far from previous rumors, and both Pitcairn 7800 series AMD cards should see a March 2012 launch. The article further specifies a March 6th, 2012 release as the first day of the German CeBit 2012 trade show. In name, Pitcairn is the successor to the current Barts XT and Barts Pro based Radeon HD 6870 and HD 6850 cards, but is rumored to offer a similar level of performance to the 6950 and 6970 graphics cards. Allegedly, the cards will utilize 2GB GDDR5 memory on a 256-bit memory interface. Further, the Pitcairn XT that will be the HD 7870 will have 1536 ALUs (arithmetic logic unit) at 950 MHz, 96 texture units, 32 ROPs (Raster Operations Pipeline), 24 SIMDs (single instruction, multiple data), and a 120 watt TDP (thermal design power). The HD 7850 on the other hand will be slightly scaled back with only 1408 ALUs at 850 MHz, 88 texture units, and 22 SIMDs. Also, the memory clock will be scaled back. The reductions in hardware will give the card a supposed lower 90 watt TDP.
Moving down the performance ladder, AMD will launch the Cape Verde XT and Cape Verde Pro based Radeon Hd 7770 and HD 7750 cards later this month on February 15th, 2012. BSN claims that the Cape Verde cards will use either 1 GB of GDDR 3 or GDDR5 memory and will be in the $100 and $160 price range (with the 7770 on the high end of the scale and 7750 on low end). According to this article over at Tom's Hardware, the 7700 series cards will be much smaller than their bigger brothers at a bit over 8 inches in length. They will feature a 128-bit memory interface, 6 pin PCI-E connector, approximate 100 watt power consumption, and a Graphics Core Next GPU architecture.
The 7770 graphics card. (Image leaked from ChipHell)
The remaining card that is likely to be of interest to our readers is the dual GPU monster that is the 7990. This card will be based off of two 7970 GPUs. Unfortunately; however, further details and pricing are not known. There is speculation that the 7990 card will have 6 GB of GDDR5 graphics memory, 256 texture units, 64 ROPs, 62 compute units (CUs), and a massive number of stream processors at 4,096 based on the card being comprised of two 7970 cards. Also, the launch date is still listed as "To Be Determined."
Lots of information is still speculation, but if it holds true, AMD is looking to get as much of a lead on Nvidia as possible by getting as many of their 7000 series out of the gate as possible. Which 7000 series cards are you most interested in?
Subject: Graphics Cards | January 31, 2012 - 05:48 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: msi, HD7950, hd 7950, graphics cards, gpu, amd
MSI today officially announced their new Radeon HD 7950 graphics cards with Twin Frozr III coolers. Specifically, the new cards are part of the "R7950 Twin Frozr 3GD5/OC" series. The new Twin Frozr III cooler features a nickel plated block, two 8mm Superpipes (heatpipes), and dual 80mm propeller blade fans that, according to MSI, delivers up to 10 degrees Celsius lower GPU temperatures versus reference coolers. Further, the dark gray Twin Frozr III cooler reduces noise by 13.7dB by using two slower spinning fans versus the single reference design fan spinning twice or more as fast. This extra bit of overclocking headroom has allowed MSI to claim a large "core and memory voltage potential providing up to 37.5% overclockability" Just like the company's motherboards, they are advertising the new graphics cards as being built with Hi-c CAP Super Ferrite Choke and solid capacitors that pass MIL-STD-810G testing. Based on the AMD 28nm Radeon HD 7950 reference design, the card supports the PCI Express 3.0 interface. Also, the card features 1 DVI, 1 HDMI, and two Mini-DisplayPort video outputs.
Further specifications include 3 GB of GDDR5 memory on a 384 bit bus, a core clock speed of 880 MHz, and memory clock of 5,200 MHz (effective, 1,300 MHz base). The card itself measures 261mm x 111mm x 38mm, (just under 10.3") which means that it should fit comfortably inside most Mid Tower (or larger) cases. While the 80 MHz increase in GPU clock speed over the reference design is not saying much, the cards themselves should have plenty of overclocking headroom beyond what MSI does at the factory. In our review of the AMD Radeon HD 7950 graphics card with reference cooler we achieved a nice 1050 MHz clock speed, and the "Supa-pipe" (as Josh likes to say) powered Twin Frozr III 7950 cards should be able to go even further beyond that, specific GPU permitting of course.
In addition to the new Twin Frozr III cooler powered cards, MSI is releasing a version of the Radeon 7950 with a reference design cooler and another Radeon 7970 card with a reference cooler to provide gamers with plenty of alternative options. Unfortunately, there is no word (yet) on pricing or availability. The Twin Frozr III version of the 7950 sure looks a lot cooler, so it will be interesting to see if it actually keeps the GPU cooler (heh).
Subject: Graphics Cards | January 31, 2012 - 05:22 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: tahiti, southern islands, radeon, pcie 3.0, HD 7970, hd 7950, dx 11.1, amd, 28nm
A smattering of reviews of the newly released HD7950 have arrived to the web as the card that many enthusiasts have been waiting for finally arrives. The card does not differ significantly from the HD7970 with 1,792 Stream Processors down from 2,048, 112 Texture Units versus 128, a core clock 125MHz lower at 800MHz and 5GHz effective on memory versus 5.5GHz for the HD7970. Apart from those changes it is still the same silicon and the same 4.31 billion transistors which raises hopes that a similar BIOS mod to the one which allowed you to turn some HD6950s into HD6970s will exist for this card as well. [H]ard|OCP's testing shows the card to be better than a GTX580 but not enough to be an upgrade for current owners of that card but anyone with the ~$450 and an older card would do well to consider this car.
You can also see Ryan's take on this card alone as well as how it scales in CrossFire in our review here.
"The new Radeon HD 7950 marks the launch of AMD's more affordable Radeon HD 7900 series GPU. The Radeon HD 7950 is priced to compete with the GeForce GTX 580. We'll look at performance in comparison to several video cards in single-GPU, dual-GPU CrossFireX, Eyefinity, and Overclocking to see where it truly lands."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- AMD's Radeon HD 7950 @ The Tech Report
- AMD Radeon HD 7950 Review Feat. Sapphire & XFX: Sewing Up The High-End Market @ AnandTech
- XFX Radeon HD 7950 Black Edition Overclocked 3GB Graphics Card Video Review @ eTeknix
- XFX Radeon R7950 Black Edition Video Card @ Benchmark Reviews
- XFX & Sapphire HD 7950 3GB Review @ OCC
- XFX Radeon HD 7950 Black Edition Double Dissipation 3GB @ Tweaktown
- Sapphire 7950 Overclocked Edition Video Card Review @ Techwarelabs
- Sapphire HD 7950 OC @ Modders-Inc
- AMD Radeon HD 7950 & XFX R7950 Black Edition Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
- PowerColor, Sapphire, XFX HD 7950 Review @ Neoseeker
- AMD Radeon HD 7950 Launch Review @ Neoseeker
- Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB DDR5 Overclocked Version DX11.1 Video Card Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- Powercolor HD 7950 PCS+ @ Overclockers.com
- AMD Radeon HD 7950 Video Card Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Sapphire HD7950 Overclock Edition @ OC3D
- AMD Radeon HD 7950 Launch Articles @ HardwareHeaven
- XFX HD 7950 Black Edition Double Dissipation Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Sapphire HD 7950 Dual Fan OC Review @ Hardware Canucks
- AMD Radeon HD 7950 Review; Tahiti Pro Arrives @ Hardware Canucks
- XFX HD7950 Black Edition Overlocked @ Kitguru
- PowerColor HD 7950 PCS+ 3 GB @ techPowerUp
- XFX R7950 Black Edition @ OC3D
- HIS HD7950 @ Kitguru
- AMD Radeon HD 7950 3 GB @ techPowerUp
- HIS HD7950 @ OC3D
- XFX Radeon HD 7950 Black Edition Overclocked 3GB Graphics Card Review @ eTeknix
- HIS Radeon HD 7950 @ Guru of 3D
- PowerColor Radeon HD 7950 PCS+ @ Guru of 3D
- Radeon HD 7950 Crossfire review 2 and 3-way @ Guru of 3D
- AMD Radeon HD 7950 CrossFire @ techPowerUp
- Sapphire HD7950 Overlock Edition Crossfire @ Kitguru
- Overkill 3D - HD7950 Quadfire @ OC3D
- XFX HD 7970 Black Edition Double Dissipation 3 GB Review @ OCC
- The Radeon HD 7970 Reprise: PCIe Bandwidth, Overclocking, & The State Of Anti-Aliasing @ AnandTech
- Catalyst 12.1 Windows 7 Driver Analysis @ Tweaktown
- Desktop Graphics Card Comparison Guide @ TechARP
- Deepcool Gamer Storm Dracula VGA Cooler Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Swiftech Apogee HD Water Block Review @ OCIA
- Galaxy MDT GeForce GT 520 Review: Quad-Display Budget Card @ Techspot
Tahiti Gets Clipped
It has been just over a month since we first got our hands on the AMD Southern Islands architecture in the form of the Radeon HD 7970 3GB graphics card. It was then a couple of long weeks as we waited for the consumer to get the chance to buy that same hardware though we had to admit that the $550+ price tags were scaring many away. Originally we were going to have both the Radeon HD 7970 and the Radeon HD 7950 in our hands before January 9th, but that didn't pan out and instead the little brother was held in waiting a bit longer.
Today we are reviewing that sibling, the Radeon HD 7950 3GB GPU that offers basically the same technology and feature set with a slightly diminished core and a matching, slightly diminished price. In truth I don't think that the estimated MSRP of $449 is going to really capture that many more hearts than the $549 price of the HD 7970 did, but AMD is hoping that they can ride their performance advantage to as many profits as they can while they wait for NVIDIA to properly react.
Check out our video review right here and then continue on to our complete benchmarking analysis!!
Southern Islands Gets Scaled Back a Bit
As I said above, the Radeon HD 7950 3GB is pretty similar to the HD 7970. It is based on the same 28nm, DirectX 11.1, PCI Express 3.0, 4.31 billion transistor GPU and includes the same massive 3GB frame buffer as its older brother. The Tahiti GPU is the first of its kind of all of those facets but it has a few of the computational portions disabled.
If you haven't read up on the Southern Islands architecture, or Tahiti GPU based around it, you are missing quite a bit of important information on the current lineup of parts from AMD. I would very much encourage you to head over to our Radeon HD 7970 3GB Tahiti review and look over the first three pages as it provides a detailed breakdown of the new features and the pretty dramatic shift in design that Southern Islands introduced to the AMD GPU team.
Subject: Processors | January 30, 2012 - 04:51 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Intel, amd, sandybridge, llano, bulldozer, Sandy Bridge E
If you are looking for a quick way to contrast the processors that were released this year then iXBT Labs has a review for you. They've added their CPU/APU reviews for the past year together and compiled some rather lengthy charts which reflect the comparative performance of a few older chips as well as the majority of chips released this year. Both Intel and AMD desktop and server chips are included, mobile users will need to look elsewhere to compare chips designed specifically for laptops. Their benchmarks range from 3D modelling to 3D gaming as well as compression, office suites and raster graphics processing so no matter what purpose you will be putting these chips to you should be able to get an idea what chips to be on the look out for.
Told you it was big, visit iXBT Labs if you want the readable version.
"The year 2011 has ended, so it's high time to sum up the results and see the general picture. If you're looking to upgrade, we hope this will make choosing a processor easier."
Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:
- The AMD FX (Bulldozer) Scheduling Hotfixes Tested @ AnandTech
- Intel Core i7-3930K vs Core i7-3820 vs FX-8150 vs 990X vs 2700K Review @ HardwareHeaven
- AMD Llano A8-3870K APU Review @ TechwareLabs
- AMD A8-3870K Unlocked Llano 3.0 GHz Quad Core APU Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- AMD A6 3500 triple core APU @ Guru of 3D
- AMD A8-3870K CPU Review @ Neoseeker
- CPU Performance Comparison Guide @ TechARP
- Intel Core i7-2600K 3.40GHz Processor w/Turbo Boost Technology Long Term Review @ ModSynergy
Subject: Graphics Cards | January 26, 2012 - 05:12 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: xfx, GCN, asus, southern islands, radeon, pcie 3.0, dx 11.1, amd, 7970, 28nm
[H]ard|OCP recently came out with two HD7970 reviews, one made by ASUS and one by XFX. The ASUS Radeon HD 7970 is currently one of the least expensive choices at $559 and runs at the default speeds of 925MHz and 1375MHz. It does ship with ASUS' GPU Tweak utility to allow for easy overclocking if you wish to push the card like [H] did, in their case to 1125MHz on the GPU core, and 1695MHz GDDR5.
The other choice is the XFX R7970 Black Edition which is a custom card, overclocked to 1GHz on the core and 1425MHz GDDR5 but costs $50 more than the offering from ASUS. At the out of the box speeds, XFX's card both draws less energy and runs much cooler and was silent compared to the ASUS offering. Even after [H] overclocked the card to 1125MHz core and 1575MHz GDDR5, which was the maximum possible using AMD's Overdrive, it was almost silent when running full out.
The decision seems to be how much it is worth to you to have a quiet card and if you are willing to find a way to overclock beyond what the Catalyst Control Center can manage.
"We have the new XFX R7970 Black Edition video card to evaluate, which is XFX's current flagship Radeon HD 7970 based video card. With a custom PCB, custom hardware components and custom cooling fan, will it take us to new heights in overclocking, or leave us wishing we had just purchased a "reference" card?"
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 6670 @ TechwareLab
- Sapphire HD 7970 3GB Video Cards in CrossFire Overclocked @ Tweaktown
- Asus HD7970 Tri Crossfire @ Kitguru
- ASUS Radeon HD 7970 DirectCU II Top Video Card @ Legit Reviews
- HIS Radeon HD 6570 IceQ @ Funky Kit
- Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Cards in 3-Way CrossFireX @ Tweaktown
- HIS 6670 1GB Fan @ XSReviews
- ASUS Radeon HD 7970 3GB CrossFire Review @ Legit Reviews
- An Open-Source, Reverse-Engineered Mali GPU Driver @ Phoronix
- Arctic Accelero XTREME Plus II VGA cooler Review @ XtremeComputing
- Graphics Card Overclocking: Is it really worth it? @ TechSpot
- KFA2 MDT X4 – GTX580 @ Kitguru
- Galaxy GeForce GT 440 2GB Review @ Neoseeker
- Galaxy GT 520 MDT Review @ OCC
- Nouveau For A $10 NVIDIA Graphics Card @ Phoronix
Subject: Editorial | January 26, 2012 - 05:10 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: video, podcast, kepler, Intel, HD 7970, GTX 580, gigabyte, amd
PC Perspective Podcast #186 - 01/26/2012
Join us this week as we talk about a Gigabyte GTX 580 Super Overclock card, how much money Intel and AMD made (or didn't make), Kepler rumors, HD 7970 stock and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
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Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom, and Allyn Malvantano
This Podcast is brought to you by
- 1-888-38-PCPER or firstname.lastname@example.org
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
- Puget Systems Genesis I Sandy Bridge-E Workstation Review
- Gigabyte GeForce GTX 580 1.5GB Super Overclock - Last Hurrah for Fermi
- Intel Reports Massive Q4 and Yearly Earnings
- AMD Announces Q4 2011 Results
- Are AMD's Southern Islands about to be swamped by a Kepler tidal wave?
- LaCie's Little Big Disk now comes in Thunderbolt
- AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB Cards In Stock - For Now
- AMD Catalyst 12.1 and AMD Catalyst 12.2 Preview drivers
- Email from Scott
- Email from Branden
- Email from abouechot an Intel SRT "hack"
- Voicemail about memory qualification on X79
- Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
- Ryan: MAINGEAR EPIC T1000 Thermal Cooling Solution
- Jeremy: Remember MakerBot and RepRap? Well, 3D printing keeps getting better
- Josh: I love memory.
- Allyn: Logitech c920 WIIIDE SCREEEEN
- 1-888-38-PCPER or email@example.com
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
Subject: General Tech | January 26, 2012 - 01:34 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: xbox 720, xbox, rumors, radeon hd 6670, next box, microsoft, gpu, gaming, console, amd
Microsoft's Xbox 360 is coming up on seven years old, and the company has sold more than 66 million units. Naturally, as graphics techniques and software has advanced, the aging hardware is starting to hold back game developers from implementing higher detail settings and larger maps with more players. Both developers and gamers are clamoring for the next Xbox to be released so that they can advance to the next stage of gaming. PCs are way ahead in the graphics quality race as the hardware has greatly advanced in the interim, and console gamers and game developers are starting to take notice and want for the features. Bring on the Next Box (or Xbox 720 or whatever it will eventually be called). With updated hardware, it should give console gamers some new (to them) shiny graphics to look at and smoother frame rates at the same quality settings we have now.
According to IGN, sources have confirmed that the next generation gaming console will have six times the processing power of the current generation Xbox 360. This increase in processing power is due in part to the updated graphics card that is akin to the AMD Radeon HD 6670 GPU, which while only a budget/HTPC card on the PC side of things, is a nice step up from the Xbox 360's ATI Xenos graphics chip.
The card will support 1080p, DirectX11, multiple display outputs, and 3D. Unfortunately, pricing for the upcoming gaming system was not revealed nor were any other details about the specific underlying hardware. If you are in the mood for more speculation on what might be inside the next Xbox, Tech Radar has compiled a list of the various gossip around the net about the console.
Get notified when we go live!