Subject: Mobile, Shows and Expos | June 12, 2013 - 08:47 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: E3, razer, blade, haswell, gtx 765m, geforce
With the launch of Intel's Haswell processor, accessory maker-turned notebook vendor Razer announced a pretty slick machine, the Blade. Based on a quad-core, 37 watt Core i7 Haswell CPU and a GeForce GTX 765M GPU, the Razer Blade packs a lot of punch.
It also includes 8GB of DDR3-1600 memory, an mSATA SSD and integrates a 14-in 1600x900 display. The design of the unit looks very similar to that of the MacBook Pro but the black metal finish is really an attractive style change.
The embedded battery is fairly large at 70 Whr and Razer claims this will equate to a 6 hour battery life when operating non-gaming workloads. With a weight just barely creeping past 4 lbs, the Razer Blade is both portable and powerful it seems.
The price tag starts at $1799 so you won't be able to pick one of these up on the cheap, but for users like me that are willing to pay a bit more for performance and style in a slim chassis, the Blade seems like a very compelling option. There are a lot of questions left to answer on this notebook including the thermal concerns of packing that much high frequency silicon into a thin and light form factor. Does the unit get hot in bad places? Can the screen quality match the performance of Haswell + Kepler?
We are working with Razer to get a model in very soon to put it to the test and I am looking forward to answering if we have found the best gaming portable on the market.
A necessary gesture
NVIDIA views the gaming landscape as a constantly shifting medium that starts with the PC. But the company also sees mobile gaming, cloud gaming and even console gaming as part of the overall ecosystem. But that is all tied together by an investment in content – the game developers and game publishers that make the games that we play on PCs, tablets, phones and consoles.
The slide above shows NVIDIA targeting for each segment – expect for consoles obviously. NVIDIA GRID will address the cloud gaming infrastructure, GeForce and the GeForce Experience will continue with the PC systems and NVIDIA SHIELD and the Tegra SoC will get the focus for the mobile and tablet spaces. I find it interesting that NVIDIA has specifically called out Steam under the PC – maybe a hint of the future for the upcoming Steam Box?
The primary point of focus for today’s press meeting was to talk about the commitment that NVIDIA has to the gaming world and to developers. AMD has been talking up their 4-point attack on gaming that starts really with the dominance in the console markets. But NVIDIA has been the leader in the PC world for many years and doesn’t see that changing.
With several global testing facilities, the most impressive of which exists in Russia, NVIDIA tests more games, more hardware and more settings combinations than you can possibly imagine. They tune drivers and find optimal playing settings for more than 100 games that are now wrapped up into the GeForce Experience software. They write tools for developers to find software bottlenecks and test for game streaming latency (with the upcoming SHIELD). They invest more in those areas than any other hardware vendor.
This is a list of technologies that NVIDIA claims they invented or developed – an impressive list that includes things like programmable shaders, GPU compute, Boost technology and more.
Many of these turned out to be very important in the development and advancement of gaming – not for PCs but for ALL gaming.
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 30, 2013 - 02:55 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nvidia, kepler, gtx 770, gtx 680, GK104, geforce, MSI GTX660 HAWK
$400 is a tempting number, much less expensive than the $650 price tag on the GTX 780 and right in line with the existing GTX670 as well as AMD's HD7970. You will probably not see many at that price, $450 is more likely as there will be very few reference cards released, all manufacturers will be putting there own spins on the design of these cards, which brings the price in line with the GTX680. Performance wise these cards outpace the two current single GPU flagship cards, not by enough to make it worth upgrading from a 7970 or 680 but certainly enough to attract owners of previous generation cards. [H]ard|OCP reviewed MSI's Lightning model, with dual fans, an overclock of 104MHz on the base clock and 117MHz boost, plus a completely unlocked BIOS for even more tweaking choices.
If you want to see how well it fares on our new Frame Rating metric you will have to read Ryan's full review here.
"NVIDIA debuts the "new" GeForce GTX 770 today. The GeForce GTX 770 is poised to provide refreshed performance, for a surprising price. We evaluate a retail MSI GeForce GTX 770 Lightning flagship video card from MSI with specifications that will make any enthusiast smile. The $399 price point just got a kick in the pants."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 Review @ Neoseeker
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 Review: The $400 Fight @ AnandTech
- The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 Tech Report @ TechARP
- EVGA GTX 770 ACX @ LanOC Reviews
- Nvidia GTX 770 @ LanOC Reviews
- MSI GeForce GTX 770 Gaming and ASUS GeForce GTX 770 DirectCU II Review @ Legit Reviews
- ASUS GTX 770 DirectCU II OC 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- Palit GTX 770 JetStream 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 Video Card @ Benchmark Reviews
- Gigabyte GTX 770 WindForce OC 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 770 review incl. 3-way SLI and frametimes @ Hardware.info
- Gigabyte GeForce GTX 770 OC 2GB Video Card Review @HiTech Legion
- Move Aside, GTX 680: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 Review @ Techgage
- GeForce GTX 770 Review: Adding Value to High-End GFX @ Techspot
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 2GB Video Card Review @Hi Tech Legion
- MSI Twin Frozr GTX770 OC @ Kitguru
- GTX770 video with Asus @ Kitguru
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 Review @ Hardware Canucks
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- MSI GTX 770 Gaming Review @ OCC
- Gainward GeForce GTX 770 Phantom @ Legion Hardware
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Review @ Neoseeker
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
- EVGA GeForce GTX 780 3GB SuperClocked Video Cards in SLI Overclocked @ Tweaktown
- EVGA GeForce GTX 780 3GB SuperClocked Video Cards in SLI @ Tweaktown
- PowerColor HD 7850 SCS3 passive 1 GB @ techPowerUp
- HIS 7850 IceQ Turbo 2GB GDDR5 Video Card Review @ Madshrimps
- PowerColor Radeon HD 7870 Myst Edition Crossfire Review @ OCC
- PowerColor HD Radeon 7850 SCS3 Passive Graphics Card @ eTeknix
GK104 gets cheaper and faster
A week ago today we posted our review of the GeForce GTX 780, NVIDIA's attempt to split the difference between the GTX 680 and the GTX Titan graphics cards in terms of performance and pricing. Today NVIDIA launches the GeForce GTX 770 that, even though it has a fancy new name, is a card and a GPU that you are very familiar with.
The NVIDIA GK104 GPU Diagram
Based on GK104, the same GPU that powers the GTX 680 (released in March 2012), GTX 670 and the GTX 690 (though in a pair), the new GeForce GTX 770 has very few changes from the previous models that are really worth noting. NVIDIA has updated the GPU Boost technology to 2.0 (more granular, better controls in software) but the real changes come in the clocks speeds.
The GTX 770 is still built around 4 GPCs and 8 SMXs for a grand total of 1536 CUDA cores, 128 texture units and 32 ROPs. The clock speeds have increased from 1006 MHz base clock and 1058 MHz Boost up to 1046 MHz base and 1085 MHz Boost. That is a pretty minor speed bump in reality, an increase of just 4% or so over the previous clock speeds.
NVIDIA did bump up the GDDR5 memory speed considerably though, going from 6.0 Gbps to 7.0 Gbps, or 1750 MHz. The memory bus width remains 256-bits wide but the total memory bandwidth has jumped up to 224.3 GB/s.
Maybe the best change for PC gamers is the new starting MSRP for the GeForce GTX 770 at $399 - a full $50-60 less than the GTX 680 was selling for as of yesterday. If you happened to pick up a GTX 680 recently, you are going to want to look into your return options as this will surely annoying the crap out of you.
If you want more information on the architecture design of the GK104 GPU, check out our initial article on the chips release from last year. Otherwise, with those few specification changes out of the way, let's move on to some interesting information.
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 2GB Reference Card
Tired of this design yet? If so, you'll want to look into some of the non-reference options I'll show you on the next page from other vendors, but I for one am still taken with the design of these cards. You will find a handful of vendors offering up re-branded GTX 770 options at the outset of release but most will have their own SKUs to showcase.
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 24, 2013 - 06:10 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nvidia, gtx 780, gk110, geforce
With 768 more CUDA Cores than the 680 but 384 less than the TITAN the 780 offers improvements over the previous generation and will be available for about $350 less than the TITAN. As you can see in [H]ard|OCP's testing it does outperform the 680 and 7970 but not by a huge margin which hurts the price to performance ratio and makes it more attractive for 680 owners to pick up a second card for SLI. AMD owners with previous generation cards and deep pockets might be tempted to pick up a pair of these cards as they show very good frame rating results in Ryan's review.
"NVIDIA's new GeForce GTX 780 video card has finally been unveiled. We review the GTX 780 with real world gaming with the most intense 3D games, including Metro: Last Light. If the GTX TITAN had you excited but was a bit out of your price range, the GTX 780 should hold your excitement while being a lot less expensive."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- Nvidia's GeForce GTX 780 @ The Tech Report
- EVGA GTX 780 Superclocked w/ ACX Cooler 3 GB @ techPowerUp
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Overclocked - Closing the gap on the GTX TITAN @ Tweaktown
- Zotac GeForce GTX 780 @ Bjorn3D
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 @ Bjorn3D
- The Almost Titan: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Review @ Techgage
- The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 @ TechARP
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 3GB @ eTeknix
- GeForce GTX 780 Review: The Titan Descendant @ TechSpot
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 SLI @ techPowerUp
- Gigabyte GTX 780 WindForce OC 3 GB @ techPowerUp
- Nvidia GTX 780 @ LanOC Reviews
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 3 GB @ techPowerUp
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Video Card Review @Hi Tech Legion
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 review: Titan Light @ Hardware.info
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Review @ OCC
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 3GB @ Tweaktown
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 @ Hardware Canucks
- NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 780 @ Overclockers.com
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Graphics Card @ Benchmark Reviews
- ZOTAC GeForce GTX TITAN AMP! Edition 6144 MB @ techPowerUp
- How to Install NVIDIA Drivers @ OCC
- NVIDIA GeForce Chips Comparison Table @ Hardware Secrets
- How to Install AMD Drivers Guide @ OCC
- Gallium3D Continues Improving OpenGL For Older Radeon GPUs @ Phoronix
- Sapphire HD7990 QuadFireX @ Kitguru
- MSI Radeon HD 7790 1GB OC Overclocked @ Tweaktown
- HIS 7790 iCooler Turbo 1GB GDDR5 Video Card Review @ Madshrimps
GK110 Gets a Lower Price Point
If you want to ask us some questions about the GTX 780 or our review, join us for a LIVE STREAM at 2pm EDT / 11am PDT on our LIVE page.
When NVIDIA released the GeForce GTX Titan in February there was a kind of collective gasp across the enthusiast base. Half of that intake of air was from people amazed at the performance they were seeing on a single GPU graphics cards powered by the GK110 chip. The other half was from people aghast of the $1000 price point that NVIDIA launched it at. The GTX Titan was the fastest single GPU card in the world, without any debate, but with it came a cost we hadn't seen in some time. Even with the debate between it, the GTX 690 and the HD 7990, the Titan was likely my favorite GPU, cost no concerns.
Today we see the extension of the GK110, by cutting it back some, and releasing a new card. The GeForce GTX 780 3GB is based on the same chip as the GTX Titan but with additional SMX units disabled, a lower CUDA core count and less memory. But as you'll soon see, the performance delta between it and the GTX 680 and Radeon HD 7970 GHz is pretty impressive. The $650 price tag though - maybe not.
We held a live stream the day this review launched at http://pcper.com/live. You can see the replay that goes over our benchmark results and thoughts on the GTX 780 below.
The GeForce GTX 780 - A Cut Down GK110
As I mentioned above, the GTX 780 is a pared-down GK110 GPU and for more information on that particular architecture change, you should really take a look at my original GTX Titan launch article from February. There is a lot more that is different on this part compared to GK104 than simple shader counts, but for gamers most of the focus will rest there.
The chip itself is a 7.1 billion mega-ton beast though a card with the GTX 780 label is actually utilizing much fewer than that. Below you will find a couple of block diagrams that represent the reduced functionality of the GTX 780 versus the GTX Titan:
Our 4K Testing Methods
You may have recently seen a story and video on PC Perspective about a new TV that made its way into the office. Of particular interest is the fact that the SEIKI SE50UY04 50-in TV is a 4K television; it has a native resolution of 3840x2160. For those that are unfamiliar with the new upcoming TV and display standards, 3840x2160 is exactly four times the resolution of current 1080p TVs and displays. Oh, and this TV only cost us $1300.
In that short preview we validated that both NVIDIA and AMD current generation graphics cards support output to this TV at 3840x2160 using an HDMI cable. You might be surprised to find that HDMI 1.4 can support 4K resolutions, but it can do so only at 30 Hz (60 Hz 4K TVs won't be available until 2014 most likely), half the refresh rate of most TVs and monitors at 60 Hz. That doesn't mean we are limited to 30 FPS of performance though, far from it. As you'll see in our testing on the coming pages we were able to push out much higher frame rates using some very high end graphics solutions.
I should point out that I am not a TV reviewer and I don't claim to be one, so I'll leave the technical merits of the monitor itself to others. Instead I will only report on my experiences with it while using Windows and playing games - it's pretty freaking awesome. The only downside I have found in my time with the TV as a gaming monitor thus far is with the 30 Hz refresh rate and Vsync disabled situations. Because you are seeing fewer screen refreshes over the same amount of time than you would with a 60 Hz panel, all else being equal, you are getting twice as many "frames" of the game being pushed to the monitor each refresh cycle. This means that the horizontal tearing associated with Vsync will likely be more apparent than it would otherwise.
I would likely recommend enabling Vsync for a tear-free experience on this TV once you are happy with performance levels, but obviously for our testing we wanted to keep it off to gauge performance of these graphics cards.
A very early look at the future of Catalyst
Today is a very interesting day for AMD. It marks both the release of the reference design of the Radeon HD 7990 graphics card, a dual-GPU Tahiti behemoth, and the first sample of a change to the CrossFire technology that will improve animation performance across the board. Both stories are incredibly interesting and as it turns out both feed off of each other in a very important way: the HD 7990 depends on CrossFire and CrossFire depends on this driver.
If you already read our review (or any review that is using the FCAT / frame capture system) of the Radeon HD 7990, you likely came away somewhat unimpressed. The combination of a two AMD Tahiti GPUs on a single PCB with 6GB of frame buffer SHOULD have been an incredibly exciting release for us and would likely have become the single fastest graphics card on the planet. That didn't happen though and our results clearly state why that is the case: AMD CrossFire technology has some serious issues with animation smoothness, runt frames and giving users what they are promised.
Our first results using our Frame Rating performance analysis method were shown during the release of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan card in February. Since then we have been in constant talks with the folks at AMD to figure out what was wrong, how they could fix it, and what it would mean to gamers to implement frame metering technology. We followed that story up with several more that showed the current state of performance on the GPU market using Frame Rating that painted CrossFire in a very negative light. Even though we were accused by some outlets of being biased or that AMD wasn't doing anything incorrectly, we stuck by our results and as it turns out, so does AMD.
Today's preview of a very early prototype driver shows that the company is serious about fixing the problems we discovered.
If you are just catching up on the story, you really need some background information. The best place to start is our article published in late March that goes into detail about how game engines work, how our completely new testing methods work and the problems with AMD CrossFire technology very specifically. From that piece:
It will become painfully apparent as we dive through the benchmark results on the following pages, but I feel that addressing the issues that CrossFire and Eyefinity are creating up front will make the results easier to understand. We showed you for the first time in Frame Rating Part 3, AMD CrossFire configurations have a tendency to produce a lot of runt frames, and in many cases nearly perfectly in an alternating pattern. Not only does this mean that frame time variance will be high, but it also tells me that the value of performance gained by of adding a second GPU is completely useless in this case. Obviously the story would become then, “In Battlefield 3, does it even make sense to use a CrossFire configuration?” My answer based on the below graph would be no.
An example of a runt frame in a CrossFire configuration
NVIDIA's solution for getting around this potential problem with SLI was to integrate frame metering, a technology that balances frame presentation to the user and to the game engine in a way that enabled smoother, more consistent frame times and thus smoother animations on the screen. For GeForce cards, frame metering began as a software solution but was actually integrated as a hardware function on the Fermi design, taking some load off of the driver.
New GeForce Game-Ready Drivers Just in Time for 'Dead Island: Riptide,' 'Star Trek', 'Neverwinter'; Boost Performance up to 20%
Subject: Graphics Cards | April 23, 2013 - 03:53 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nvidia, graphics drivers, geforce, 320.00 beta
GeForce 320.00 beta drivers are now available for automatic download and installation using GeForce Experience, the easiest way to keep your drivers up to date.
With a single click in GeForce Experience, gamers can also optimize the image quality of top new games like Dead Island: Riptide and have it instantly tuned to take full advantage of their PC’s hardware.
Here are examples of the performance increases in GeForce 320.00 drivers (measured with GeForce GTX 660):
- Up to 20% in Dirt: Showdown
- Up to 18% in Tomb Raider
- Up to 8% in StarCraft II
- Up to 6% in other top games like Far Cry 3
For more details, refer to the release highlights on the driver download pages and read the GeForce driver article on GeForce.com.
Enjoy the new GeForce Game Ready drivers and let us know what you think.
Windows Vista/Windows 7 Fixed Issues
The Windows 7 Magnifier window flickers. 
Games default to stereoscopic 3D mode after installing the driver. 
[GeForce 330M][Notebook]: The display goes blank when rebooting the notebook after installing th e driver. 
[Crysis 3]: There are black artifacts in the game. 
[Dirt 3]: When ambient occlusion is enabled, there is rendering corruption in the game while in split-screen mode. 
[3DTV Play][Mass Effect]: The NVIDIA Cont rol Panel “override antialiasing” setting does not work when stereoscopic 3D is enabled 
[Microsoft Flight Simulator]: Level D Simulations add-on aircraft gauges are not drawn correctly. 
[GeForce 500 series][Stereoscopic 3D][Two World 2]: The application crashes when switching to windowed mode with stereoscopic 3D enabled. 
[GeForce 660 Ti][All Points Bulletin (APB) Reloaded]: The game crashes occasionally, followed by a black/grey/red screen. 
[Geforce GTX 680][Red Orchestra 2 Heroes of Stalingrad]: Red-screen crash occurs after exiting the game. 
[GeForce 6 series][Final Fantasy XI]: TDR crash occurs in the game when using the Smite of Rage ability. 
[SLI][Surround][GeForce GTX Titan][Tomb Raider]: There is corruption in the game and the system hangs when played at high resolution and Ultra or Ultimate settings. 
[3D Surround, SLI], GeForce 500 Series: With Surround enabled, all displays may not be activated when selecting Activate All Displays from the NVIDIA Control Panel- > Set SLI Configuration page. 
[SLI][Starcraft II][3D Vision]: The game crashes when run with 3D Vision enabled. 
[SLI][GeForce GTX 680][Tomb Raider (2013)]: The game crashes and TDR occurs while running the game at Ultra settings. 
[SLI][Starcraft II][3D Vision]: The game cras hes when played with 3D Vision and SLI enabled. 
SLI][Call of Duty: Black Ops 2]: The player emblems are not drawn correctly.
What to look for and our Test Setup
Because of the complexity and sheer amount of data we have gathered using our Frame Rating performance methodology, we are breaking it up into several articles that each feature different GPU comparisons. Here is the schedule:
- 3/27: Frame Rating Dissected: Full Details on Capture-based Graphics Performance Testing
- 3/27: Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition vs GeForce GTX 680 (Single and Dual GPU)
- 3/30: AMD Radeon HD 7990 vs GeForce GTX 690 vs GeForce GTX Titan
- 4/2: Radeon HD 7950 vs GeForce GTX 660 Ti (Single and Dual GPU)
- 4/5: Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition vs GeForce GTX 660 (Single and Dual GPU)
- 4/16: Frame Rating: Visual Effects of Vsync on Gaming Animation
Today marks the conclusion of our first complete round up of Frame Rating results, the culmination of testing that was started 18 months ago. Hopefully you have caught our other articles on the subject at hand, and you really will need to read up on the Frame Rating Dissected story above to truly understand the testing methods and results shown in this article. Use the links above to find the previous articles!
To round out our Frame Rating testing in this interation, we are looking at more cards further down the product stack in two different sets. The first comparison will look at the AMD Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 graphics cards in both single and dual-card configurations. Just like we saw with our HD 7970 vs GTX 680 and our HD 7950 vs GTX 660 Ti testing, evaluating how the GPUs compare in our new and improved testing methodology in single GPU configurations is just as important as testing in SLI and CrossFire. The GTX 660 ($199 at Newegg.com) and the HD 7870 ($229 at Newegg.com) are the closest matches in terms of pricing though both card have some interesting game bundle options as well.
AMD's Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition
Our second set of results will only be looking at single GPU performance numbers for lower cost graphics cards like the AMD Radeon HD 7850 and Radeon HD 7790 and from NVIDIA the GeForce GTX 650 Ti and GTX 650 Ti BOOST. We didn't include multi-GPU results on these cards simply due to time constraints internally and because we are eager to move onto further Frame Rating testing and input testing.
NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 660
If you are just joining this article series today, you have missed a lot! If nothing else you should read our initial full release article that details everything about the Frame Rating methodology and why we are making this change to begin with. In short,
Because FRAPS measures frame times at a different point in the game pipeline (closer to the game engine) its results can vary dramatically from what is presented to the end user on their display. Frame Rating solves that problem by recording video through a dual-link DVI capture card that emulates a monitor to the testing system and by simply applying a unique overlay color on each produced frame from the game, we can gather a new kind of information that tells a very unique story.
The capture card that makes all of this work possible.
I don't want to spend too much time on this part of the story here as I already wrote a solid 16,000 words on the topic in our first article and I think you'll really find the results fascinating. So, please check out my first article on the topic if you have any questions before diving into these results today!
|Test System Setup|
|CPU||Intel Core i7-3960X Sandy Bridge-E|
|Motherboard||ASUS P9X79 Deluxe|
|Memory||Corsair Dominator DDR3-1600 16GB|
|Hard Drive||OCZ Agility 4 256GB SSD|
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 2GB
AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST 2GB
AMD Radeon HD 7850 2GB
AMD Radeon HD 7790 1GB
AMD: 13.2 beta 7
NVIDIA: 314.07 beta
|Power Supply||Corsair AX1200i|
|Operating System||Windows 8 Pro x64|
On to the results!