Graphics Card (GPU) Stock Check - May 23rd, 2012

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 23, 2012 - 02:43 PM |
Tagged: stock check, radeon, nvidia, HD 7970, hd 7950, hd 7870, hd 7850, hd 7770, hd 7750, GTX 690, gtx 680, gtx 670, geforce, amd

Due to popular request, I am going to try to keep our readers up to date on the current availability of graphics cards and pricing on the market.  With the recent price drops from AMD, the frequent out-of-stock status of the GTX 680 cards and the release of the GTX 670, I thought this would be a great summary of the current situation.

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NVIDIA's highest end offering, the GTX 690

We will try to post new updates weekly or maybe more frequently as we see fit.  Newegg is our partner of choice for this today, so let's see what we have.

AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series

Radeon HD 7970 3GB - In Stock
Starting at $469

Radeon HD 7950 3GB - In Stock
Starting at $389

Radeon HD 7870 2GB - In Stock
Starting at $329

Radeon HD 7850 2GB - In Stock
Starting at $249

Radeon HD 7770 1GB - In Stock
Starting at $129

Radeon HD 7750 1GB - In Stock
Starting at $109

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 600 Series

GeForce GTX 690 4GB - No Stock
Starting at $999

GeForce GTX 680 2GB - No Stock
Starting at $499

GeForce GTX 670 2GB - In Stock
Starting at $399

In short, nearly two weeks later, nothing has changed.  For NVIDIA neither the GeForce GTX 690 can be found nor can the GTX 680 - a card that launched more than two full months ago.  To say we are disappointed in the capability for NVIDIA to keep up their end of the bargain would be an understatement and explains why we STILL have not used the GTX 680 card in our Hardware Leaderboard!!  The GTX 670 remains in stock though with four models available at Newegg including an overclocked MSI model for hte $399 MSRP.  Considering this might be our new favorite GPU, that is good news at least. 

AMD is still doing great on availability with the Radeon HD 7970 and HD 7950 widely available for the price of $469 / $389 with a set of three free games including DiRT Showdown and Dues Ex: Human Revolution.   

If you are looking for our latest graphics reviews to judge the performance of the above cards, here you go:

ZOTAC announces ZOTAC GeForce GT 630, GT 620 and GT 610 series

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 15, 2012 - 02:26 PM |
Tagged: zotac synergy, zotac, nvidia, gt 630, gt 620, GT 610, GK104, geforce, fermi

Zotac has released ten different graphics cards today, three GT 630s, three GT 620s and four GT 610s if you count the PCI version.  Enjoy all the benefits of the new Kepler architecture without the price of the GTX 680 or 690. These cards are a mix of GF108, GF119 and GK107, essentially rebrands of previous GT series cards as opposed to new ones like NVIDIA would prefer you believed.

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They range from this 4GB GT 630 Synergy Edition which will give you the ability to handle multiple monitors in a work environment.

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To this 1GB PCIe 1x GT 610 model for low power, low profile applications where a 16x slot just won't fit.

 

HONG KONG – May 15, 2012 – ZOTAC International, a global innovator and channel manufacturer of graphics cards, mainboards and mini-PCs, today expands the successful ZOTAC GeForce 600 series with new value offerings. The ZOTAC GeForce GT 630, GT 620 and GT 610 series deliver a savory taste of Microsoft DirectX 11 technologies for an outstanding visual computing experience.

“ZOTAC is pleased to bring the GeForce 600 series to value shoppers seeking a superior visual experience discrete graphics brings to computing,” said Carsten Berger, marketing director, ZOTAC International. “By installing one of our ZOTAC GeForce GT 630, GT 620 or GT 610 series graphics cards, users can experience faster video and image processing and perfect high-definition video playback with a simple upgrade.”

The ZOTAC GeForce GT 630, GT 620 and GT 610 series are available in a variety configurations with 512MB, 1GB, 2GB and 4GB memory options in PCI Express 2.0 x16, PCI Express x1 or PCI interfaces, and active or passive cooling configurations to cater exclusively to all user computing needs.

It’s time to play with ZOTAC and the GeForce GT 630, GT 620 and GT 610 series.

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General details

  • ZOTAC Expands successful GeForce 600 series
  • ZOTAC GeForce GT 630 series
    • 96 processor cores
    • 1GB, 2GB and 4GB memory configurations
    • 128-bit memory interface
  • ZOTAC GeForce GT 620 series
    • 96 processor cores
    • 1GB & 2GB memory configurations
    • 64-bit memory interface
  • ZOTAC GeForce GT 610 series
    • 48 processor cores
    • 512MB, 1GB & 2GB memory configurations
    • 64-bit memory interface
  • NVIDIA 3D Vision capable
  • NVIDIA Adaptive Vertical Sync
  • DirectX 11 technology & Shader Model 5.0
  • OpenGL 4.2 compatible
  • Hardware-accelerated Full HD video playback
  • Blu-ray 3D ready
  • Loss-less audio bitstream capable

zotac specs.png

Source: Zotac
Author:
Manufacturer: NVIDIA

NVIDIA puts its head in the clouds

Today at the 2012 NVIDIA GPU Technology Conference (GTC), NVIDIA took the wraps off a new cloud gaming technology that promises to reduce latency and improve the quality of streaming gaming using the power of NVIDIA GPUs.  Dubbed GeForce GRID, NVIDIA is offering the technology to online services like Gaikai and OTOY.  

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The goal of GRID is to bring the promise of "console quality" gaming to every device a user has.  The term "console quality" is kind of important here as NVIDIA is trying desperately to not upset all the PC gamers that purchase high-margin GeForce products.  The goal of GRID is pretty simple though and should be seen as an evolution of the online streaming gaming that we have covered in the past–like OnLive.  Being able to play high quality games on your TV, your computer, your tablet or even your phone without the need for high-performance and power hungry graphics processors through streaming services is what many believe the future of gaming is all about. 

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GRID starts with the Kepler GPU - what NVIDIA is now dubbing the first "cloud GPU" - that has the capability to virtualize graphics processing while being power efficient.  The inclusion of a hardware fixed-function video encoder is important as well as it will aid in the process of compressing images that are delivered over the Internet by the streaming gaming service. 

 

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This diagram shows us how the Kepler GPU handles and accelerates the processing required for online gaming services.  On the server side, the necessary process for an image to find its way to the user is more than just a simple render to a frame buffer.  In current cloud gaming scenarios the frame buffer would have to be copied to the main system memory, compressed on the CPU and then sent via the network connection.  With NVIDIA's GRID technology that capture and compression happens on the GPU memory and thus can be on its way to the gamer faster.

The results are H.264 streams that are compressed quickly and efficiently to be sent out over the network and return to the end user on whatever device they are using. 

Continue reading our editorial on the new NVIDIA GeForce GRID cloud gaming technology!!

The GTX 670 and the Case of the Missing (and Returning) 4-Way SLI Support

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 11, 2012 - 01:57 PM |
Tagged: sli, nvidia, kepler, gtx 670, GK104, geforce

In our launch review of the GeForce GTX 670 2GB graphics card this week, we had initially mentioned that these $399 graphics cards would support SLI, 3-Way SLI and even 4-Way SLI configurations thanks to the pair of SLI connections on the PCB.  We received an update from NVIDIA later on that day that in fact it would NOT support 4-Way SLI.

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The message from NVIDIA was pretty clear cut:

"As I’m sure you can imagine, we have to QA every feature that we claim support for and this takes a tremendous amount of time/resources. For the GTX 680 and GTX 690, we do support Quad SLI and take the time to QA it, as it makes sense for the extreme OC’ers and ultra-enthusiasts who are shooting to break world records."

My reply:

But with the similarities between the GTX 680 and the GTX 670, is there really any QA addition required to enable quad for 670? Seems like a cop-out to me man...

I saw it mostly as a reason to differentiate the GTX 670 and the GTX 680 with a feature since the performance between the cards was very similar; maybe too similar for NVIDIA's tastes with the $100 price difference.  

Well this afternoon we received some good news from our contact at NVIDIA:

"Change in plans.....we will be offering 4-Way SLI support for GTX 670 in a future driver."

So while the 301.34 driver will not support 4-Way configurations with the GTX 670, 4-Way SLI will in fact be enabled after all in a future version.  We'll be sure to keep you in the loop when that happens and the super-extreme enthusiasts can rejoice.  

This does go to show that the fundamental differences between AMD's license-free and seemingly more "open" CrossFire technology and NVIDIA's for-fee SLI technology.  With enough feedback and prodding in the right direction, NVIDIA can and does do the right thing, just look at the success we had convincing them to support SLI on AMD CPU platforms last year.  

Feet to the fire everyone!

GeForce GTX 670 vs GTX 570 Performance Update

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 10, 2012 - 11:13 AM |
Tagged: nvidia, kepler, gtx 670, gtx 570, GK104, geforce

In the comments to our full review of the GeForce GTX 670 2GB graphics card a user asked for a comparison of the new GTX 670 against the Fermi-based GTX 570.  I had some numbers for that already made up but ran out of time and space for it in our review that went up this morning.  I thought that there might be others interested in this so I decided to put a news post with the results.

These performance graphs pit a reference clocked GTX 570 1.25GB card against the new reference GTX 670 2GB card.  

3dm11-x.jpg

bf3-1920-bar.jpg

dirt3-1920-bar.jpg

skyrim-1920-bar.jpg

metro-1920-bar.jpg

dehr-1920-bar.jpg

bac-1920-bar.jpg

power.jpg

 Without a doubt the new GTX 670 is a faster GPU than the GTX 570:

  • 3DMark11: +45%
  • Battlefield 3: +34%
  • DiRT 3: +28%
  • Skyrim: +32%
  • Metro 2033: +31%
  • Dues Ex: +29%
  • Batman: AC: +39%
  • Power Consumption: -14%

With an average performance delta of 30% or more, the GTX 670 makes a solid upgrade for GTX 570 users but maybe more interesting, it does this while using 14% less power as well.  

Graphics Card (GPU) Stock Check - May 10th, 2012

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 10, 2012 - 10:38 AM |
Tagged: radeon, nvidia, HD 7970, hd 7950, hd 7870, hd 7850, hd 7770, hd 7750, GTX 690, gtx 680, gtx 670, geforce, amd

Due to popular request, I am going to try to keep our readers up to date on the current availability of graphics cards and pricing on the market.  With the recent price drops from AMD, the frequent out-of-stock status of the GTX 680 cards and today's new release of the GTX 670, I thought this would be a great summary of the current situation.

02.JPG

NVIDIA's latest offering, the GeForce GTX 670

We will try to post new updates weekly or maybe more frequently as we see fit.  Newegg is our partner of choice for this today, so let's see what we have.

AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series

Radeon HD 7970 3GB - In Stock
Starting at $479

Radeon HD 7950 3GB - In Stock
Starting at $399

Radeon HD 7870 2GB - In Stock
Starting at $329

Radeon HD 7850 2GB - In Stock
Starting at $249

Radeon HD 7770 1GB - In Stock
Starting at $129

Radeon HD 7750 1GB - In Stock
Starting at $109

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 600 Series

GeForce GTX 690 4GB - No Stock
Starting at $999

GeForce GTX 680 2GB - No Stock
Starting at $499

GeForce GTX 670 2GB - In Stock
Starting at $399

It is launch day for the GTX 670 and those seem to be pretty widely available for the time being.  As great a card as it is though, I am hesitant to think it will remain in stock through the end of the day based on past experiences with the GTX 600 cards.  Still, the GTX 680 is MIA and the few times I have seen it in stock it only lasts a couple of hours.  

AMD is still doing fine on availability with the Radeon HD 7970 and HD 7950 widely available for the price of $479 with a set of three free games including DiRT Showdown and Dues Ex: Human Revolution.   

If you are looking for our latest graphics reviews to judge the performance of the above cards, here you go:

The GTX 670 has finally arrived

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 10, 2012 - 10:30 AM |
Tagged: nvidia, kepler, gtx 670, GK104, geforce

The GTX 670 is a scaled down GTX 680 in every aspect including price.  1344 CUDA Cores is 192 less than the GTX 680, baseclock is reduced 91MHz to 915MHz, 16 less texture units for a total of 112; the memory remains the same at 6GHz.  Most important to consumers is the reduction in price, down $100 to an MSRP of $400, targeting it directly against the HD7950 at its new price.  [H]ard|OCP's testing does not favour AMD as the GTX 670 shows an obvious performance advantage over the HD7950 as well as the still available GTX 580 and does it at a price point which matches AMD's new prices. 

Ryan's full review can be read here, where he tests out Galaxy's GTX 670.

H_670.jpg

"NVIDIA's next generation Kepler GPU continues with the launch of the GeForce GTX 670. This GPU is positioned to provide great performance at a price level $100 less than the GeForce GTX 680. Could this be the best performing $399 video card, besting even the Radeon HD 7950? We tell you all you need to know if $400 is your price range."

Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:

Graphics Cards

 

Source: [H]ard|OCP
Author:
Manufacturer: NVIDIA

GK104 takes a step down

While the graphics power found in the new GeForce GTX 690, the GeForce GTX 680 and even the Radeon HD 7970 are incredibly impressive, if we are really honest with ourselves the real meat of the GPU market buys options much lower than $999.  Today's not-so-well-kept-secret release of the GeForce GTX 670 attempts to bring the price to entry of the NVIDIA Kepler architecture down to a more attainable level while also resetting the performance per dollar metrics of the GPU world once again.

02.JPG

The GeForce GTX 670 is in fact a very close cousin to the GeForce GTX 680 with only a single SMX unit disabled and a more compelling $399 price tag.

The GTX 670 GPU - Nearly as fast as the GTX 680

The secret is out - GK104 finds its way onto a third graphics card in just two months - but in this iteration the hardware has been reduced slightly. 

blockdiagram.jpg

The GTX 670 block diagram we hacked together above is really just a GTX 680 diagram with a single SMX unit disabled.  While the GTX 680 sported a total of 1536 CUDA cores broken up into eight 192 core SMX units, the new GTX 670 will include 1344 cores.  This will also drop the texture units to 112 (from 128 on the GTX 680) though the ROP count stays at 32 thanks to the continued use of a 256-bit memory interface.

Continue reading our review of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 2GB graphics card!!

PC Perspective Live Review Recap: GeForce GTX 690

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 3, 2012 - 05:04 PM |
Tagged: video, nvidia, kepler, GTX 690, GK104, geforce

A PC Perspective Live Review Recap is a recorded version of a previously live streamed event from http://pcper.com/live.  If you couldn't make the original air time, or simply want to re-watch, the on-demand version is provided below!

On the launch day of the new GeForce GTX 690 graphics card, NVIDIA's Tom Petersen once again returned to the PC Perspective offices to talk about this impressive new $999 gaming solution.  Based on a pair of GK104 GPUs, we already posted our full review of the GeForce GTX 690 today but this information and discussion with Tom is worth seeing again.  

I want to thank Tom for stopping by and speaking with us and I want to thank the thousands of viewers that tuned in to the live stream to make the event a success!  

Why would you want to buy a GTX690?

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 3, 2012 - 10:07 AM |
Tagged: nvidia, kepler, GTX 690, GK104, geforce

The GTX690 is certainly the fastest single PCB card on the planet and this generation of NVIDIA's dual GPU card shows great improvements from previous dual GPU cards, but at $1000 MSRP it is essentially the same price as a pair of GTX680s.  [H]ard|OCP's testing shows that the GTX690 performs at 95-98% of a pair of SLI'd GTX680s so there really is no noticeable performance difference.  This begs the question as to why one might prefer the GTX690 to a pair of GTX680s; to which there are several answers.  The most obvious is the size difference, with a GTX690 taking up one PCIe 16x slot and taking 2 slots on the back of the PC, where an SLI setup requires two PCIe 16x slots and takes up 4 slots on the back.  Not only will the GTX690 leave you more room in your case it will provide better airflow as you will not have two cards sandwiched against each other as will be the case with many motherboards you would also have a much easier time setting up quad SLI.  As well there is the power consumption to consider, in Ryan's testing the GTX690 needed 30W less than the SLI rig and over 100W less than a pair of HD7970s.  That also resulted in the GTX690 operating at a slightly cooler temperature as well as being quieter, which is almost as important as the performance.  The GTX690 is a beast and if you can afford it ... and find it for sale ... it makes more sense that buying a pair of GTX680s.

H_gtx690.jpg

"Is the GeForce GTX 690 the best dual-GPU video card ever built? We'll compare performance to GeForce GTX 680 SLI and Radeon HD 7970 CFX to see where the new beast from NVIDIA stands. We overclock the dual GPUs and push these as far as we can. Surely this is the best performance ever experienced from a single video card."

Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:

Graphics Cards

 

Source: [H]ard|OCP