Subject: Graphics Cards | August 23, 2012 - 11:17 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: radeon hd 7990, hd 7990, graphics card, dual gpu, amd
Today, more rumors emerged on the ever elusive dual-GPU AMD graphics card. Reportedly, graphics card vendor PowerColor will be one of the Add In Board (AIB) partners producing the Radeon HD 7990. Previous rumors suggested that the HD 7990 would be comprised of two Radeon HD 7970 GPUs and it would be available in late August 2012. While there is no confirmation on the release date, the PowerColor 7990 "Devil 13" graphics card is using two 7970 GPUs in CrossFire on a single PCB.
Back in July, some details emerged on the 7990 that the PowerColor card rumors do not seem to disprove. Some highlights from the rumor mill so far include:
- The 7990 will use two 7970 Tahiti XT GPUs connected by a PLX chip.
- 6GB of GDDR5 memory (3GB per GPU)
- 4,096 stream processors, 64 ROP units
- (at least) a dual slot design with three fan cooler
- Four mini DisplayPorts and two Dual Link DVI video outputs
- Four 6-pin PCI-E power connectors
The earlier post did also mention that the default clock speed would be 850 MHz, but that does not seem to be the case with the PowerColor model. There may still be Radeon HD 7990 cards that come clocked at that speed, however.
As for the PowerColor model specifically, the new rumors suggest that it will be part of a limited run with a total of 500 cards. Coming in a red and black design, the three slot graphics card will use two 7970 GPUs clocked at 925 MHz in CrossFire. While there is no shot of the other side of the board to see how many PCI-E connectors it has, it will reportedly draw as much as 400 Watts. Using a BIOS switch, you will be able to choose between default and factory overclocked clockspeeds for both the GPU and GDDR5 memory.
Videocardz managed to unearth a photo of the elusive dual GPU AMD card.
When in its default mode, the card will run the GPU at 925 MHz and the memory at 5500 MHz (effective), which is the same as the Radeon HD 7970 single GPU graphics card. After flipping the BIOS switch, the card will use overclocked speeds of 1000 MHz for the GPU and 5500 MHz for the memory (so the GPU is the only part getting overclocked, according to the rumors).
According to Videocardz, the PowerColor 7990 has been refined somewhat compared to a showing at Computex earlier this year. From the photos comparison, it looks as though the company has changed out the red PCI back plate for a standard silver color rather than the custom red version. Also, the three fans are slightly different models. It appears as though the card will provide two DVI outputs as well as a full-size HDMI and two mini DisplayPort outputs. The site claims that AMD will not be releasing any reference version and has given its partners free reign to engineer and design custom versions (perhaps we’ll see a massive 12GB version heh).
While there is no word on when this card will be released, according to sources speaking with Hardware Canucks, the Powercolor 7990 “Devil 13” will cost between $899 and $999 in the US. While not the card that many were likely hoping for (because of the price), it may well be the best that users hoping for a dual Graphics Core Next card will be able to get–assuming you can get your hands on one of 500 available cards. NVIDIA has had its own dual GPU GTX 690 on the market for some time now, and it is looking more and more likely that AMD is not going to have an answer any time soon in any big way (outside of limited edition runs from partners that design their own custom versions), and that’s unfortunate.
I speculated that users would be better off with two single Radeon 7970s in CrossFire, and I still believe that is likely the best option right now. Especially if you opt for the 7950 with PowerTune boost (which we recently reviewed) or 7970 GHz Edition cards with boost as it is looking like the 7990 will not have that functionality.
What do you think though, are you still holding out for the ever-elusive 7990?
You can find more coverage of the AMD Radeon HD 7990 by following the 7990 tag!
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 7, 2012 - 05:07 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: rumor, hd 7950 GHz edition, graphics card, gpu boost, gpu, amd
An interesting rumor floating around the internet concerns a new AMD 7950 graphics card. Specifically, a forum post over at EXPReview hinted at a new GHz Edition 7950 card. They reference a source and a photo of a graphics card with GHz Edition markings and two six-pin PCI-E power connectors. They further quoted a source that said AMD would be releasing a fourth card to its 7000-series lineup. In other words, there was not a whole lot to go on.
The alleged AMD Radeon HD 7950 GHz Edition graphics card.
I saw the rumor a couple of days ago, but decided to let it sink in for a bit before writing about it. After some thought and internal conversations, I think a 7950 GHz edition is plausible, and certainly a possibility. With the addition of the HD 7970 GHz Edition (which we recently reviewed), AMD now has a 7900 series part with its new GPU Boost (aka Powertune Boost) technology. Unfortunately, that tech can not simply be rolled out to the other existing 7900 series cards meaning that the original 7950 and 7970 are stuck without boost, leaving a gap in its lineup. Because of that, it seems logical that AMD would want to fill in that gap with a refreshed 7950 part that has higher clocks and GPU boost.
The 7970 GHz Edition helped AMD stay competitive with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 and enabled AMD to (re)claim it had the fastest single GPU card. That card was enabled by AMD finding extra headroom and higher bins in its 28nm GPUs. The current Radeon HD 7950 runs at an 800 MHz GPU clock speed and a 5GHz GDDR5 effective clock speed. It is unclear if the company’s chips have enough headroom that they are able to overclock 7950 oriented silicon or if they are simply reworking the bins such that the 7950 GHz Edition is either using silicon that just barely can’t make the cut as a 7970 GHz Edition or AMD is artificially locking down 7970 GHz chips to make these proposed 7950 GHz GPUs. Apart from the increased clock speeds and GPU Boost, the rumored card is said to maintain the same hardware specifications as the existing 7950. Mainly, that means 1,792 stream processors, 112 texture units, and the same number of transistors – 4.31 billion – on a 28nm process. In comparison, the 7970 has 2,048 stream processors and 128 texture units.
As mentioned above, such a chip sounds like a logical step for AMD. By refreshing the 7950 with higher clock speeds and adding GPU Boost functionality it will be fight with the GeForce 670 for the performance crown, and may even come close to 680/7970 performance when overclocked further. I do have a couple of questions about this rumored card, however. Specifically, I am wondering if AMD will simply refresh the 7900 series cards and let the original releases fade out as the stock dwindles or if they will keep them around. I’m leaning towards the later but it will still be interesting to see, and it also makes me wonder how much a 7950 GHz Edition will cost me.
I’m curious what you think about the rumor though, do you think it has any merit? And assuming this is legit, where do you think it will stand performance-wise versus NVIDIA’s products?
If you are curious about how AMD’s new GPU Boost technology works, be sure to check out our Live Review of the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition with AMD’s Evan Groenke where we are given a live demonstration showing how it works and some background on the technology.
Subject: Graphics Cards | June 7, 2012 - 02:40 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: video, sapphire, radeon 7770, passive cooling, graphics card, gpu, computex
Not to be left out of the Computex news, graphics card manufacturer Sapphire Technology unveiled a passively cooled AMD Radeon 7770 graphics card running at reference clock speeds. Following the release of the company’s factory overclocked Vapor-X 7770, the new Sapphire HD 7770 Ultimate 1GB card is the first to sport a passive cooler – other vendors are going in the opposite direction by using custom (active) coolers to push up reference clockspeeds for factory overclocked cards.
What makes the sapphire card neat is that the company did not have to underclock the GPU or memory in order to make a passive cooler feasible. With this card, you will get a silent GPU with the same specs and speeds as the reference 7770 we recently reviewed. The card looks to take up about two PCI expansion slots and utilizes a horizontal stack of vertically aligned (if that makes sense?) aluminum fins connected to the GPU via four heatpipes. Because of the cooler, the card is about 25% longer than a reference card, so keep that in mind if you are considering this for a HTPC build using a tiny case.
Beyond the cooler, which is arguably the most important aspect of the card, the Saphhire 7770 Ultimate 1GB is nearly identical to AMD’s reference design. The only major change is that Sapphire had to move the GDDR5 memory chips to the opposite (top, when installed in the case) side of the PCB in order to accommodate the cooler. With that said, the video outputs on the graphics card are a small improvement over the reference design with an additional DVI port (thanks to not needing a full fan grill in the second PCI slot) bringing the total to two DVI ports, one full size HDMI, and one full size DisplayPort. Otherwise, the GPU is stock, running at 1GHz while the 1GB of GDDR5 memory is likely running at 1125 MHz (stock speeds). The Cape Verde-based graphics card contains 640 stream processors, 1.5 billion transistors, 1.28 Teraflops of compute performance, and a Texture fill rate of 40 giga-transfers per second (GT/s). The full specifications of the 7770 GPU core can be found in our review.
The MSRP of reference AMD HD 7770 cards is $159 but expect the Sapphire card to come in a bit above that number thanks to the custom cooler. You can find more photos of the passively cooled Sapphire GPU over at AnandTech who managed to snag some good shots of the card at the company’s Computex booth.
In case you missed it, our video review of the HD 7770 card is embedded below in which we show off the (7770 and 7750) card also show off several custom 7770 designs from MSI, XFX, and others. It should bring you up to speed on what the 7770 is and where it stands in terms of performance with other cards from AMD and NVIDIA.
Subject: General Tech | May 3, 2012 - 12:21 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: NVIDA, amd, graphics card, TSMC, 28nm, kepler, southern islands, gtx690, gtx680, gtx670, gtx610
Enthusiasts were offered a bit of hope this morning with news from DigiTimes that more capacity at TSMC will be available for AMD and NVIDIA which would mean more dies being made and hopefully a larger supply of GPUs. Since TSMC seems to have finished playing with their Cortex A9 process, there is a good possibility that the GTX680 and perhaps even the GTX690 will become common enough that the great unwashed actually have a chance to purchase one. We can also hope that it will give NVIDIA a chance to build up stocks of the GTX670 and 610 which are due out at the end of the month and June, respectively. Unfortunately, if a certain site is correct that may not be the case as NVIDIA will be redoing their mask and not be able to take advantage of the extra capacity TSMC could make available for them. Perhaps if this scenario is true AMD will be able to leverage TSMC to flood the market with Southern Island GPUs and hope to win the availability war as the performance crown is firmly on NVIDIA's head in this generation of GPUs.
"AMD and Nvidia, impacted by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company's (TSMC's) fully-booked capacity, had rather weak shipment performance in the first quarter; however, as more capacity will be gradually released by TSMC, shortages of 28nm graphics cards are expected to improve in late May, according to sources from graphics card makers."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Gimp 2.8 Finally Released @ Slashdot
- The 2012 Top 7 Best Linux Distributions for You @ Linux.com
- Microsoft will ditch Window Live brand ahead of Windows 8 launch @ The Inquirer
- RIM unveils BlackBerry 10 platform @ DigiTimes
- AMD outs Roadrunner mainboard for Open Compute @ The Inquirer
- Biggest Tech Failures of The Last 10+ Year @ Techspot
Subject: Graphics Cards | March 8, 2012 - 03:41 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: nvidia, kepler, graphics card, gpu, GK104, gaming, 28nm
GDC 2012 is upon us, and in addition to the Samaritan demo and some gaming goodness, we spotted a leaked image over at Legit Reviews that is allegedly a photo of a production NVIDIA GTX 670 Ti graphics card.
The cooler looks to cover the whole PCB and be of the blower design, funneling hot air of the of the front of the card and out of the case. The connectors include two DVI, one HDMI, and one Display Port. Rumors suggest that the latest NVIDIA cards will be capable of multi-display (>2) from a single card much like AMD cards have been doing for some time.
Not a whole lot is known about the upcoming GK104 "Kepler" GPUs with a good deal of certainty, but we have reported on a few leaks including that the cards will have 2 GB of GDDR5 RAM on a 256 bit memory bus, and that the cards may just be coming out in May. Due to Epic using a working Kepler GPU in their Samaritan demo, that launch date does not sound too far fetched either. On the performance front, there are conflicting rumors; some rumors state that the cards will blow AMD out of the water and other people swear the cards will not be as powerful as the rumors suggest. I suppose we'll find out soon though!
Are you still waiting for NVIDIA's Kepler GPUs or have you jumped on the latest Radeon series?
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 15, 2011 - 12:34 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: amd, gpu, graphics card, southern islands, HD 7000
Tom’s Hardware reports that a source within AMD has indicated that the company may release their upcoming Southern Islands GPU earlier than expected. Previous rumors suggested that AMD would have their performance desktop graphics cards out in the first quarter of 2012 with the lower clocked and mobile processors coming out a bit sooner than that.
If this new information turns out to be true, we may be seeing the high performance desktop graphics cards released in limited quantities of 7000 to 10,000 units in December with a full rollout of the company’s 28nm graphics card lineup in the months following. Specifically, the first cards may be available as soon as December 6th, 2011. It remains to be seen whether or not the lower power cards will still be released before the high performance desktop cards.
Personally, I'm interested to see how AMD's approach with their Southern Islands GPU will match up against Nvidia's current and future (more) general purpose computing design. Are you excited for Southern Islands?