Subject: Editorial, General Tech | February 2, 2012 - 03:11 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: ssd, sandforce, radeon, podcast, patriot, nvidia, Intel, gtx, arm, amd, 7950
PC Perspective Podcast #187 - 02/02/2012
Join us this week as we talk about our thoughts on Ultrabooks, the Radeon HD 7950, ASUS DirectCU GTX cards, and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
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Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom, and Allyn Malvantano
This Podcast is brought to you by
- 0:00:40 Introduction
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- 0:01:20 Ultrabooks: Intel Knows What's Good For You
- 0:08:30 Patriot Pyro and Wildfire SSD Review - IMFT Async vs. Toshiba Toggle-mode Flash
- 0:14:20 AMD Radeon HD 7950 3GB Graphics Card Review
- 0:25:50 This Podcast is brought to you by
, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!
- 0:26:38 Asus DirectCU II Roundup: ENGTX560, ENGTX570, and ENGTX580 Review
- 0:40:35 Raspberry Pi Linux Computer Will Have Fast GPU For The Price
- 0:44:20 If you thought Intel did well wait until you see ARM
- 0:47:00 AMD 7700 and 7800 Release Dates Leak To Web
- 0:51:20 Live Blog: AMD Financial Analyst Day
- 0:52:20 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
- Josh: And it is on sale! $770 off!
- Allyn: Corsair Force 3 - very good pricing.
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Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | February 2, 2012 - 02:23 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, Texas GamExperience
While we at PC Perspective wait for Quakecon before heading to Texas, [H]ard|OCP hosts the AMD GamExperience in Dallas during January. This is the third year in a row they've given gamers the chance to experience the newest in games and gaming peripherals and it must have been a good one since they only managed to recover enough to post the pictures today. As you can see below they are just as hard on the audience as Ryan and the crew, but with $55,000+ worth of prizes to give out it is possible to get gamers to do pushups. Check out what you missed here.
We did have a man on the scene, if you haven't seen Steve's coverage you really should.
"We recently put on the third "GamExperience" here in Dallas, TX! We invited 600 of our closet friends and 20 companies that crank out some of the best computer hardware in the world and put them all in one room together for some gaming and geek talk. And yeah, free stuff too, about $50,000 worth!"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Physics hardware makes Kepler/GK104 fast @ SemiAccurate
- Kinect for Windows released @ Hack a Day
- How-To: Make Your Own Aerogel @ MAKE:Blog
- Asus denies problems with Transformer Prime again @ The Inquirer
- HTC sends out a fix for WiFi security problem @ The Inquirer
- Ex-Apple engineer emits Zevo ZFS for Mac OS @ The Register
- OC3D: 2012 Competition MADNESS
AMD Gives a Glimpse of the Near Future
AMD has released an updated roadmap for these next two years, and the information contained within is quite revealing of where AMD is going and how they are shifting their lineup to be less dependent on a single manufacturer. The Financial Analyst Day has brought a few surprises of where AMD is headed, and how they will get there. Rory Read and Mark Papermaster have brought a new level of energy to the company that seemingly has been either absent or muted. Sometimes a new set of eyes on a problem, or in this case the attitudes and culture of a company, can bring about significant changes for the positive. From what we have seen so far from Rory and company is a new energy and direction for AMD. While AMD is still sticking to their roots, they are looking to further expand upon their expertise in some areas, all the while being flexible enough to license products from other companies that are far enough away from AMD's core competence that it pays to license rather than force engineers to re-invent the wheel.
The roadmaps cover graphics, desktop, mobile, and server products through 2013.
This first slide is a snapshot of the current and upcoming APU lineup. Southern Islands is the codename for the recently released HD 7000 series of desktop parts. This will cover products from the 7700 level on up to the top end 7990. Of great interest are the Brazos 2.0 and Hondo chips. AMD had cancelled the "Krishna" series of chips which would have been based on Bobcat cores up to 4 on 28 nm. Details are still pending, but it seems Brazos 2.0 will still be 40 nm parts but much more refined so they can be clocked higher and still pull less power. Hondo looks to be the basic Brazos core, but for Ultra Low Power (lower clocks, possibly disabled units, etc.) which would presumably scale to 5 watts and possibly lower.
Subject: Graphics Cards, Processors, Mobile | February 2, 2012 - 02:02 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: amd, trinity, hsa, ultrabook, ultrathin
Today at the AMD Financial Analyst day in Sunnyvale, Lisa Su, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Global Business Units, showed off a reference design from Compal of an 18mm think ultrathin notebook that they are obviously hoping to compete with Intel's Ultrabook push.
The notebook is based on AMD's upcoming Trinity APU that improves on the CPU and GPU performance of the currently available Llano APU. There weren't many details though Su did state they were hoping for prices in the $600-800 range would could but a lot of pressure on Intel.
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.