The FirePro Products get Cayman
(Thanks to Steve Grever for providing insight on the product placement and attending the Professional Graphics Editor's Day in Austin, TX for us!)
On May 11, AMD invited a handful of technology journalists and hardware reviewers to Northern Islands FirePro Tech Day to unveil a pair of new professional graphics cards – the V5900 and V7900. We were under an NDA to discuss the new GPUs at that time, but now that the gag order has been lifted, we can finally give our readers an in-depth look at these mid-range and high-end graphics card offerings sporting custom features like Eyefinity, Geometry Boost and Power Tune technologies.
Sandeep Gupte, AMD’s product management director, introduced the new graphics cards during the one-day event and stated they will “deliver productivity and performance to professionals regardless of where they are working.” This is an interesting statement, but AMD is committed to providing graphics solutions beyond professional workstations to include mobile workstations, tablets and thin clients to increase productivity and performance across various form factors and operating systems.
Last year’s FirePro lineup helped AMD increase their unit share by six points in the professional graphics market. This share increase puts them at about 16 percent overall, which was also supported by sales with Tier 1 OEMs like HP and Dell. This percentage of market share has improved over the single-digit shares AMD experienced in this market back in 2007.
Hit that "Read More" link below for the full story!
Subject: Motherboards | May 24, 2011 - 02:20 PM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: sb950, msi, amd, am3+, 990fx
AMD’s 900 series chipsets are coming. Not exactly news here. What is news it that we will be seeing them very soon. Details are scarce, but from what all we can gather the 900 series will not be all that different from the 800 series. The SB950 looks to be a tweaked SB850, but with no real new features over the older part. The Northbridge portions should remain relatively unchanged, but again we could see a few tweaks and fixes applied throughout. So in other words, no PCI-E 3.0 here or a significant die shrink.
We have on hand a few “spy shots” for the upcoming MSI 990FXA-GD65. For those who pay attention, this sounds very familiar to the 890FXA-GD65. When we take a look at the snapshots, we will see that the resemblance is more than just the name.
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 24, 2011 - 12:44 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: quad sli, quad crossfire, sli, crossfire, nvidia, amd
With SLI and CrossFire we all hoped to see direct scaling so that a quad GPU setup would be somewhere in the neighbourhood of 4x better than a single GPU. That has proven to be incorrect, not only is the scaling nowhere near that it has been discovered that in some cases going beyond 2 GPUs can actually reduce performance.
As the hardware and drivers evolve, it is worth revisiting the scaling performance of both AMD and NVIDIA which is why [H]ard|OCP grabbed two GeForce GTX 590s and two AMD Radeon HD 6990s, both dual GPU cards. In three of the five games tested they ran into at least one issue, a strike right off the bat. Read on to see how they rate the value of the two manufacturers based on the performance they saw once they'd resolved the problems.
"How does NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 590 SLI Quad-GPU compare to AMD's Radeon HD 6990 CrossFireX Quad-GPU? We will find out if these "if-money-didn't-matter dream video card setups" will deliver the gameplay experience we all expect."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- Asus ENGTX460 GTX 460 Voltage Tweak Review @ Tweaknews
- MSI GeForce GTX 580 Lightning @ OCAU
- Gigabyte GTX 560 (GV-N56GOC-1GI) @ Pro-Clockers
- ASUS GeForce GTX 560 1GB DirectCU II TOP @ TweakTown
- MSI N560GTX Ti Hawk Video Card @ Benchmark Reviews
- Zotac Geforce GTX 550 TI @ Rbmods
- MSI GeForce GTX 560 Twin Frozr II Review @ Techgage
- NVIDIA Chips Comparison Table @ Hardware Secrets
- Desktop Graphics Card Comparison Guide @ Tech ARP
- AMD FirePro V7900 @ Phoronix
- AMD FirePro V5900 @ Phoronix
- ASUS Radeon HD 6870 Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
- MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III Power Edition OC @ Benchmark Reviews
- Sapphire Radeon HD 6670 1GB Graphics Card Review @ eTeknix
- Sapphire Radeon HD 6770 1GB Vapor-X @ TweakTown
- VTX3D Radeon HD 6790 1GB @ OCAU
- HIS Radeon HD 6790 IceQ X Turbo 1 GB @ techPowerUp
- PowerColor PCS+ AX6950 Vortex II @ Benchmark Reviews
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | May 24, 2011 - 11:29 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: xfx, sapphire, powercolor, msi, his, free, dirt 3, amd
If you haven't heard of DiRT 3 by now, you've been missing one of the more technically innovative games developed recently. Racing fans will go overboard for the choice of cars, spanning 50 years of racing history, which you can compete with in races across all terrain types and the more artistic will like the freestyle gymkhana events.
The techies will be impressed by the depth of support for DX11 features and we're not just talking about tessellation added on as an afterthought. The game was designed from the ground up to take advantage of the best graphics cards and to move the way light and shadows interact beyond DX10 HDR and the features other new games have been using.
Whichever you are, picking up a new Radeon card from Sapphire, Powercolor, MSI, HIS or XFX nets you a free copy of the game! How can you go wrong with that?
Being a Gaming Evolved title, we worked with Codemasters very closely on this one - DiRT 3 makes advances in graphics technologies, taking full advantage of the DirectX™ 11 API, first supported by AMD Radeon graphics. Here’s a glimpse of what DiRT 3 is truly capable of doing – giving players the ultimate visual experience:
- Shader Model 5.0 Contact Hardening Shadows
- DirectCompute Accelerated High Definition Ambient Occlusion
- Optimized Hardware Tessellation
We believe DiRT 3 is such a great game, that we’ve been working with our AIB partners to make this game widely accessible to everyone who buys an AMD Radeon graphics card from our select AIBs, FOR FREE – please visit www.amd.com/dirt3 for more details.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | May 24, 2011 - 11:18 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: firepro, amd
There exists a breed of video card users who want power, but not in games. They will pay thousands for the best hardware and not measure success in frames per second, but seconds per frame. There exists: professionals. AMD, NVIDIA, Matrox, and others cater to this market’s desire for top performance, features, and reliability in content production, scientific simulation, and engineering applications. AMD just recently updated their professional line with the V5900 and V7900 cards and are lauding some advantages to going red.
Professionals have standards: Be efficient. That is all.
There are four main points that AMD boasts for their latest entries into the professional market.
- Geometry Boost: doubles the amount of geometry that can be processed per clock by the card which should make using large models a smoother experience.
- EQAA: a new method of antialiasing which allows graphics cards to raise the level of antialiasing, but only for part of the process, and provide quality close to the higher level with a performance hit only slightly larger than the lower level. NVIDIA had CSAA, which is almost identical, for a while though.
- PowerTune: a method of raising and lowering the clock rate of various components of the card to compensate for the differing load across the card at different times.
- Single-card triple-monitor: the ability to connect more than two monitors to a single single-slot card allows professionals to have three (or four for the V7900) displays saving money, heat, and space. This is possibly the most compelling feature of the entire line, especially for the professional market.
Recently, AMD launched two new AMD Embedded G-Series APUs (Accelerated Processing Units). The two new chips have a TDP rating of 5.5 and 6.4 watts, which represent a 39% improvement in power savings over the previous iterations. The 361mm² chip package is capable of being used in embedded systems without the need for a fan to cool it. The embedded chips include one or two low power x86 Bobcat processors and a discrete class DirectX 11 GPU on a single die.
AMD currently has three systems utilizing the new APUs, including a Pico-ITX form factor computer, a Qseven form factor computer, and a digital sign system. Buddy Broeker, the Director of Embedded Solutions for AMD stated that "today we take the ground-breaking AMD Fusion APU well below 7W TDP and shatter the accepted traditional threshold for across-the-board fanless enablement."
The two new chips are named the T40R and the T40E. The chips both run at 1.00GHz; however, the 6.4 watt TDP T40E is a dual core chip and the 5.5 watt TDP T40R is a single core variant. Both chips include an AMD Radeon 6250 GPU, a 64KB L1 cache, and a 512KB L2 cache per each CPU core. Further, the chips feature an integrated DDR3 memory controller that can support up to 667MHz solder-down SODIMMs or two DIMM slots. More details on the series as a whole can be found here.
Mobile and embedded processors continue to get smaller and faster. Have you seen any AMD powered embedded technology in your town?
Subject: General Tech | May 23, 2011 - 02:01 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: llano, leak, bulldozer, amd
We now know what to expect from AMD's Llano, as far as pricing and initial model numbers. None of the Llano chips top $200 which is good as the Intel models that they will be competing against are also in that price range. Bulldozer is a little more expensive, with the lower end quad-core running $220 up to $320 for the high end octo-core, again bang on with Intel's competing Sandy Bridge parts. It is a question of the performance gap between Intel and AMD, which unfortunately remains unanswered for now.
"AMD has started shipping its Llano APUs to notebook clients and will begin to market the APUs to channels in July 2011, according to sources from notebook makers.
AMD targets to ship one million notebook-use Llano APUs in June, 1.5 million in July, and a total of 8-9 million for the whole of 2011, revealed the sources, citing AMD's internal estimates.
If the shipment goals are realized, AMD will be able to boost its share in the notebook CPU segment to 15% by the end of the year, the sources commented."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Intel SNB Linux Driver Can Out Run Windows Driver @ Phoronix
- Run Chrome OS From a USB Stick or as a Virtual Machine @ Techspot
- Wacom's Intuos4: A Photographer's Perspective @ Techgage
- Canon PowerShot A800 Review @ TechReviewSource
- Tweaknews Month 4 (May) 10 Year Anniversary Contest
- DCC MEA: SteelSeries 2011 products showcase @ t-break
- DCC MEA: Parrot AR.Drone live demonstration @ t-break
- DCC MEA: Interview with Kaspersky @ t-break
- Memorial Day Game Giveaway Week @ Benchmark Reviews
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Processors | May 22, 2011 - 08:04 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: fusion, amd, AFDS
In a little over three weeks’ time AMD will host their AMD Fusion Developer Summit 2011 (AFDS): a three-day conference with the hopes of promoting heterogeneous computing amongst developers. We have increasingly seen potential applications of using the parts of your computer outside the standard x86 core over the years though much of it was through NVIDIA’s brand. Building up to the summit, AMD’s DeveloperCentral talked with Lee Howes, parallel computing expert and Member of Technical Staff for Programming Models at AMD, about his upcoming session at AFDS.
I can't get over how much AFDS looks like a diagnosis.
In the short five-question interview, Dr. Howes outlined that the goal of his session is to show developers what to expect, good and bad, from developing for a heterogeneous architecture such as that of an APU. The rest of the interview was spent discussing how heterogeneous computing is currently and will eventually look like. Topics spanned from the slow perceived uptake of parallel computing in the home to the technological limitations of traditional CPUs that APUs and other heterogeneous computing systems look to bypass.
While AFDS is (by its namesake) a developer’s conference it is very much relevant to peer at for the end-user. The support for developers of newer computing architectures will help fuel the cycle of adoption between software and hardware which ends up with a better experience for us. What tasks would you like to see accelerated by heterogeneous computing? Let us know in the comments below.
Subject: Motherboards | May 21, 2011 - 12:12 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: asus, amd, 990fx
Soon, Intel based ASUS motherboards will be joined at the high end by one based on the AMD 990FX chipset. TechPowerUp has the scoop on an upcoming Sabertooth motherboard.
While Intel seems to get the honors of the majority of high end motherboards, AMD enthusiasts will soon be able to get their hands on an ASUS 990FX Sabertooth motherboard with an AM3+ socket. ASUS is bringing out both the Republic of Gamers (ROG) as well as their "The Ultimate Force" branding. Let's see what that marketing speak purports to give AMD enthusiasts:
According to TechPowerUp, the Sabertooth board for the AMD 990FX chipset "is designed to run up to four discrete graphics cards." Further, The board hosts an AM3+ socket, 10-phase digital VRMs, four DDR3 RAM slots connected to the CPU via a HyperTransport 3.1 link. TechPowerUp claims that the board will be able to accomodate up to 1866 MHz memory modules. The black PCB and green heatsinks keep with ASUS' TUF branded motherboards, and supports such features as UEFI BIOS and MemOK.
Connectivity options include:
|ASUS 990FX Sabertooth AMD Motherboard|
|PCI-E||4x PCI-E 2.0 (x16/x4/x16/NC or x16/x4/x8/x8)|
|SATA||6x SATA 3 ports and 2x SATA 2 ports|
|1x USB 3 header, 1x USB 2|
|Firewire||1x Internal Firewire header|
|SPDIF-Out||1x Internal header|
1x PS/2 mouse/keyboard port
1x Optical Out
6x USB 2.0
2x USB 3.0
2x eSATA (one powered)
1x Gigabit Ethernet
6x HD Audio ports (2.1 out + mic in or 5.1 output)
It's nice to see that AMD is still getting some high end motherboard love from manufacturers and consumers. You can find more photos over at TechPowerUp.
MSI R6970 Lightning: High Speed, Low Drag
MSI has been on a tear as of late with their video card offerings. The Twin Frozr II and III series have all received positive reviews, people seem to be buying their products, and the company has taken some interesting turns in how they handle overall design and differentiation in a very crowded graphics marketplace. This did not happen overnight, and MSI has been a driving force in how the video card business has developed.
Perhaps a company’s reputation is best summed up by what the competition has to say about them. I remember well back in 1999 when Tyan was first considering going into the video card business. Apparently they were going to release a NVIDIA TnT-2 based card to the marketplace, and attempt to work their way upwards with more offerings. This particular project was nixed by management. A few years later Tyan attempted the graphics business again, but this time with some ATI Radeon 9000 series of cards. Their biggest seller was their 9200 cards, but they also offered their Tachyone 9700 Pro. In talking with Tyan about where they were, the marketing guy simply looked at me and said, “You know, if we had pursued graphics back in 1999 we might be in the same position that MSI is in now.”
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