Squeaky Wheel: NVIDIA Driver Fixes GTX 560 Ti 2Win and X79 Issue

Subject: Graphics Cards | December 20, 2011 - 10:39 AM |
Tagged: evga, GTX 560 Ti, 2win, x79, nvidia

Sometimes we are surprised when big companies listen to the community when they have a legitimate complaint about a product.  Late last night NVIDIA passed over a driver that finally fixes the issue we discussed last Friday with the EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 2Win dual-GPU graphics card and the new X79 chipset.  The issue arose from the inability to actually enable SLI on the card thus leaving one of your GTX 560 Ti's on the board sitting there limp.  And for gamers that pay $500+ for a graphics card, that is just unacceptable.

In a driver package that NVIDIA told me will be released tomorrow, 290.53, you can now enable SLI when this card is installed on an X79 motherboard.

560ti2win1.png

We needed to verify the performance to make sure SLI was actually functioning as we expect so we ran a handful of tests, starting with 3DMark11 on the Extreme preset:

560ti2win2.png

Compared to two separate GTX 560 Ti cards running in SLI, the 3DMark11 score was 2949 - performance was right on target.

For a bit more of a sanity check, just a couple of game tests too:

  • Metro 2033 (1920x1080)
    • EVGA GTX 560 Ti 2Win - 64.2 FPS
    • NV GTX 560 Ti SLI - 65.1 FPS
  • Batman: Arkham City (1920x1080)
    • EVGA GTX 560 Ti 2Win - 87.4 FPS
    • NV GTX 560 Ti SLI - 87.5 FPS

If you have an EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 2Win card and already own or were planning to upgrade to Intel's new Sandy Bridge-E platform then you should be looking for this driver to drop on Wednesday the 21st.  Just in time for the holiday's NVIDIA is answering our requests for a commitment to gamers. 

Sometimes it just takes the squeaky wheel...

NVIDIA SLI Breaks EVGA GTX 560 Ti 2Win and X79 Combinations

Subject: Graphics Cards | December 16, 2011 - 04:39 PM |
Tagged: x79, sli, evga, GTX 560 Ti, 2win

Sometimes, the best intentions fumble out of the gates.  When we reviewed the EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 2Win graphics card in November, I gave it a glowing review as a product that offered better performance than the GTX 580 while selling at a very similar price (currently just $20 more).  My test configuration at the time included an X58 motherboard based on the Nehalem architecture that has been tried and tested over the years.

For the forthcoming review of the Radeon HD 7970 graphics card, we decided to move our GPU test bed to the new X79-based Sandy Bridge-E platform since it was the new hotness and because it continued to be the best option for multi-GPU configurations going forward.  Or so we thought.

While preparing for our review, I was configuring our NVIDIA cards due for re-testing on this platform and brought the GTX 560 Ti 2Win out from the back room.  However, no matter which driver I used, I was unable to enable SLI on it and running a quick performance test confirmed we were running in a single GPU configuration.  We used driver versions from the 285.xx stack as well as the 290.xx stack - all with the same results.

x79sli2.jpg

Both GPUs were enabled and would show up in the Windows Device Manager AND inside the NVIDIA control panel.  However, the standard SLI configuration switch was nowhere to be found.  We only had the ability to select enabling PhysX on different the GPUs...

After a quick talk with both NVIDIA and EVGA we confirmed this to be a bug with the EVGA GTX 560 Ti 2Win and the X79 platform as a whole.  Why?  Apparanetly a driver fix is in the works - it is all simply a software issue.  A new version is "coming soon" though no specific dates were given.  If you have one of these cards and upgraded to an X79 motherboard, we apologize for you only being able to utilize half of your investment.

Which brings me back to my consistent stance - NVIDIA's SLI Technology would be better served as an openly available multi-GPU solution without the restrictions of licensing and software hacks.  Why?  The money that NVIDIA makes on the licensing is pretty minimal and the only goal is to uphold the "value" of the SLI brand.  Instead, everytime a hiccup like this occurs, more gamers decide that the benefits aren't worth the potential hassle owning multiple graphics cards may cause.  

CrossFireX doesn't have nearly the marketing push behind it that SLI does yet it continues to have legs without the rather outdated partner licensing restrictions.  Every multiple PCIe slot motherboard (essentially) will support CrossFireX - users that might want SLI configurations need to look for that damn logo on the box...

Author:
Manufacturer: NVIDIA

A Temporary Card with a Permanent Place in Our Heart

Today NVIDIA and its partners are announcing availability of a new graphics card that bridges the gap between the $230 GTX 560 Ti and the $330 GTX 570 currently on the market.  The new card promises to offer performance right between those two units with a price to match but with a catch: it is a limited edition part with expected availability only through the next couple of months.

When we first heard rumors about this product back in October I posited that the company would be crazy to simply call this the GeForce GTX 560 Ti Special Edition.  Well...I guess this makes me the jackass.  This new ~$290 GPU will be officially called the "GeForce GTX 560 Ti with 448 Cores". 

Seriously.

The GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448 Core Edition

The GeForce GTX 560 Ti with 448 cores is actually not a GTX 560 Ti at all and in fact is not even built on a GF114 GPU - instead we are looking at a GF110 GPU (the same used on the GeForce GTX 580 and GTX 570 graphics cards) with another SM disabled.  

block_580.jpg

GeForce GTX 580 Diagram

The above diagram shows a full GF110 GPU sporting 512 CUDA cores and the full 16 SMs (simultaneous multiprocessors) along with all the bells and whistles that go along with that $450 card.  This includes a 384-bit memory bus and a 1.5 GB frame buffer that all adds up to still being the top performing single graphics card on the market today.  

Continue reading our review of the GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448 Core Graphics Card!!

Podcast #178 - EVGA GTX 560 Ti 2Win, a Puget Systems silent HTPC, Tegra 3 and more!

Subject: Editorial | November 10, 2011 - 04:39 PM |
Tagged: tegra 3, tegra, ram, Puget, podcast, nvidia, maingear, Intel, gtx560 ti, evga, corsair, amd

PC Perspective Podcast #178 - 11/10/2011

Join us this week as we talk about the EVGA GTX 560 Ti 2Win, a Puget Systems silent HTPC, Tegra 3 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: Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom, and Allyn Malvantano

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI Computer, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!

Program length: 1:09:50

Program Schedule:

  1. 0:00:29 Introduction
  2. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  3. http://pcper.com/podcast
  4. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  5. 0:02:55 EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 2Win
  6. 0:13:25 SilverStone Strider Gold
  7. 0:17:00 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI Computer, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!
  8. 0:18:00 Puget System Serenity Core i5 HTPC Review
  9. 0:28:05 Samsung Infuse 4G Delivery
  10. 0:31:20 Tegra 3 and Asus Transformer Prime
  11. 0:42:30 Maingear Epic 180 Cooler
  12. 0:49:20 64 GB Corsair DDR3 
  13. 0:51:30 Asus 3 Board 900 Series Review
  14. 1:00:00 Ryan pretends to make a difference.
  15. 1:02:40 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
    1. Jeremy: Quick defroster
    2. Josh: Nice musics!  http://www.amazon.com/Greatest-Video-Music-Amazon-Bonus/dp/B005WV6ZI8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1320891616&sr=8-1
    3. Allyn: mp3tag
  16. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  17. http://pcper.com/podcast   
  18. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  19. Closing

Source:
Author:
Manufacturer: EVGA

EVGA Changes the Game Again

Introduction

Dual-GPU graphics cards are becoming an interesting story.  While both NVIDIA and AMD have introduced their own reference dual-GPU designs for quite some time, it is the custom build models from board vendors like ASUS and EVGA that really peak our interest because of their unique nature.  Earlier this year EVGA released the GTX 460 2Win card that brought the worlds first (and only) graphics card with a pair of the GTX 460 GPUs on-board.  

ASUS has released dual-GPU options as well including the ARES dual Radeon HD 5870 last year and the MARS II dual GTX 580 just this past August but they were both prohibitively rare and expensive.  The EVGA "2Win" series, which we can call it now that there are two of them, is still expensive but much more in line with the performance per dollar of the rest of the graphics card market.  When the company approached us last week about the new GTX 560 Ti 2Win, we jumped at the chance to review it.

The EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 2Win 2GB

The new GTX 560 Ti 2Win from EVGA follows directly in the footsteps of the GTX 460 model - we are essentially looking at a pair of GTX 560 Ti GPUs on a single PCB running in SLI multi-GPU mode.  Clock speeds, memory capacity, performance - it should all be pretty much the same as if you were running a pair of GTX 560 Ti cards independently.

01.jpg

Just as with the GTX 460 2Win, EVGA is the very first company to offer such a product.  NVIDIA didn't design a reference platform and pass it along to everyone like they did with the GTX 590 - this is all EVGA.

Continue reading our review of the EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 2Win!!!

EVGA Shows Off Drool Worthy Dual Xeon Sandy Bridge-E SR3 Motherboard

Subject: Motherboards | October 21, 2011 - 01:46 PM |
Tagged: xeon, x79, SB-E, sandy bridge-e, motherboard, Intel, evga

Jacob Freeman of EVGA Google + fame recently posted a teaser photo of a certain shiny piece of X79 chipset baked silicon in the form of a new SR3 Super Record series motherboard. This monster of a board is packed to the brim with features, and mid tower cases need not apply.

photo_black.jpg

Starting at the top of the board and working our way down, we are presented with not one but two socket 2011 Sandy Bridge-E Xeon processor sockets! One processor will have access to eight DDR3 DIMM slots while the other will have access to four DDR3 DIMM slots.  While the RAM configuration may seem odd, EVGA wanted to make the transition from the boards SR2 predecesor as easy as possible, by allowing users to transfer all 12, triple channel DIMMs to the new SR3 motherboard.  When all 12 RAM slots are populated, the board will run in triple channel mode, and when four or eight slots are populated, the motherboard will utilize the new quad channel interface.  The RAM will be fed power via a eight phase PWM (pulse width modulation) circuitry. The board also features two eight pin EPS and two six pin PCI-E connectors, and seven PCI-E 3.0 slots that are all capable of running at least PCI-E 3.0 x8 and four of them are capable of providing PCI-E 3.0 x16 bandwidth, more than enough for even the beefiest SLI setup.

On the storage and IO front, the SR3 motherboard has 14 SATA ports, HD Audio via six 3.5mm jacks, USB 3.0 ports (the total amount is unclear), and eSATA support.  The bottom right corner of the board lies a handy diagnostic screen to report error codes.  Further, the motherboard will come with the new UEFI BIOS.  Mr. Freeman states that the x79 motherboard is fully furnished with solid state capacitors from Sanyo (specifically POSCAP).

In short, this motherboard is a total beast. Please excuse me as I try to remove my jaw from the floor cartoon style.

Source: EVGA

EVGA Demos X79 Classified Motherboard at GeForce LAN 6

Subject: Motherboards, Chipsets | October 16, 2011 - 10:23 PM |
Tagged: evga, x79, classified

NVIDIA held its 6th GeForce LAN this weekend on the USS Hornet aircraft carrier based in Oakland, CA and at that event EVGA took the time to show off its upcoming X79 Classified motherboard.  As reported by the guys over at Legit Reviews, there will apparently by three different models available at the time of the Socket 2011, Sandy Bridge-E launch sometime in November. 

evgax791.jpg

Image from Legit Reviews.com

With plans to release an SLI, FTW and Classified model, EVGA was showcasing the flagship Classified model on stage with overclocker Kingpin.  You can see that the board above has some very unique layout points and features including five x16 PCIe slots (with a single x1) and support for Quad SLI all spaced out for large graphics cards.  EVGA is using their enthusiast expertise to design a board specifically for power users it appears. 

evga792.jpg

Image from Legit Reviews.com

From the back panel it looks like the board will have 8 total USB 3.0 ports, dual Gigabit Ethernet, eSATA and Bluetooth. 

Intel was also on the stage and showed off its new Socket 2011 and LGA1366/1155/1156 compatible self-contained water cooler with a custom design from Asetek.  It should be available around the same time as the pending Sandy Bridge-E platform release, boxed and sold separately.  Interestingly it was pointed out that the fan was designed and built by Intel directly which will "offer a superior single fan cooling solution also optimized for outstanding acoustics."  I am eager to see what Intel was able to do differently than other cooling vendors.

There are more photos and details on the EVGA X79 Classified motherboard over at Legit Reviews so head over there for more!

New Photo Of EVGA Classified GTX 580 Posted On Google+

Subject: Graphics Cards | August 17, 2011 - 10:33 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, GTX 580, gpu, evga

Jacob Freeman, Product Manager for EVGA recently posted a new photo of the upcoming EVGA Classified GTX 580 graphics card that is said to be taken from the final version of the card. Suffice it to say, this card is a beast in more ways than one. The giant card takes no prisoners in the performance and features department and demands a large chassis with lots of room. A photo of the front of the card is below.

580class.jpg

According to this earlier EVGA forum posting by the same Jacob Freeman, the card is jam packed, including three PCI-E power connectors (two 8 pin and one 6 pin), a 14x3 phase "state of the art" power management circuitry, dual BIOS support for resetting the card in case of flashing or overclocking too aggressively, an extra large cooler and fan, up to 4 way SLI, physical voltage monitoring headers for the GPU, Frame Buffer, and PCI-Express voltages, and status LEDs for each.  The card has more depth that the traditional cards, thanks to the cooler that sticks out farther from the expansion slot bracket; however, it does maintain the standard double slot width and has a length of 11 inches (hence the need for a rather roomy case).

Head on over to the forum post linked above fore more photos of the EVGA GTX 580 Classified graphics card!

Source: EVGA

Measuring the small differences; Swiftech and EVGA's mirrored heatsinks

Subject: Cases and Cooling | July 21, 2011 - 11:58 AM |
Tagged: evga, EVGA Superclock CPU Cooler; swiftech, Swiftech Polaris 120

The differences between the Swiftech Polaris 120 and EVGA Superclock coolers are very slight, but do add up.  Both take advantage of a new type of direct touch heatpipes, which deal with the main reason not many enthusiasts use them.  In the first generation of direct touch the label was a misnomer as there was a small gap of up to 3mm present between the heatpipes.  The base plate touched the CPU directly but the gap left between the heatpipes defeated the entire purpose of the direct touch approach as it left spaces between the pipes that couldn't remove heat as effectively.  With this pair of coolers, that gap is completely gone.  X-bit Labs takes you through the effectiveness of the new generation of heatpipes as well as the slight differences between Swifttech and EVGA in their newest article.

XBT_swiftech.jpg

"Today we are going to talk about two coolers with identical heatsinks using enhanced direct touch technology in their base. Is it a breakthrough or just another step forward?"

Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:

CASES & COOLING

Source: X-Bit Labs

EVGA jumps into the CPU cooling biz, no word on Tuniq branded graphics cards yet

Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 2, 2011 - 02:42 PM |
Tagged: EVGA Superclock CPU Cooler, evga

Case designers selling mice, memory makers selling audio devices and now a graphics card provider has jumped into the CPU heatsink business.   EVGA is well known for it's graphics card lines and their motherboards but this is the first CPU cooler that they have marketed.  The EVGA Superclock CPU cooler is large and sports heatpipes as is common in the cooling industry right now, so Hi Tech Legion had to dig a bit to find out what makes this cooler unique in a very crowded market.  Performance wise it was on par with some of the best though perhaps a little loud, installation is easy and it is compatible with just about any socket you will encounter.  It was the look of the cooler that they decided made EVGA's cooler special, the all black finish is unique and those with a penchant for LEDs will like the red light coming from the fans.  Check it out here.

HTL_EVGA_supercool.jpg

"The EVGA Superclock CPU Cooler certainly has the specs to uphold the high standards EVGA has set. The EVGA Superclock CPU cooler is a 152mm tall tower cooler, featuring five direct contact 8mm heat pipes and 120mm high CFM fan capable of speeds from 700-2500rpm. To add a little eye candy, the fan is clear with red LED, while the Superclock CPU Cooler tower sports a glossy black finish with the white EVGA logo across the top. To aid in cooling, the EVGA Superclock CPU Cooler features a twin wind tunnel design that effectively forces more air over the heat pipes for better heat dissipation. Closed sides of the fin array further maximize cooling potential. The Superclock CPU Cooler is also very versatile with included mounts for Intel 775/1155/1156/1366 and AMD AM2/AM2+/AM3/AM3+/754/939/940/F."

Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:

CASES & COOLING