Author:
Manufacturer: Asus

3 NV for DCII

The world of video cards is a much changed place over the past few years.  Where once we saw only “sticker versions” of cards mass produced by a handful of manufacturers, we are now seeing some really nice differentiation from the major manufacturers.  While the first iterations of these new cards are typically mass produced by NVIDIA or AMD and then distributed to their partners for initial sales, these manufacturers are now more consistently getting their own unique versions out to retail in record time.  MSI was one of the first to put out their own unique designs, but now we are seeing Asus becoming much more aggressive with products of their own.

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The DirectCU II line is Asus’ response to the growing number of original designs from other manufacturers.  The easiest way to categorize these designs is that they straddle nicely the very high end and extreme products like the MSI Lightning series and those of the reference design boards with standard cooling.  These are unique designs that integrate features and cooling solutions that are well above that of reference cards.

DirectCU II applies primarily to the cooling solutions on these boards.  The copper heatipipes in the DirectCU II cooler are in direct contact with the GPU.  These heatpipes then are distributed through two separate aluminum fin arrays, each with their own fan.  So each card has either a dual slot or triple slot cooling solution with two 80 mm fans that dynamically adjust to the temperature of the chip.  The second part of this is branded “Super Alloy Power” in which Asus has upgraded most of the electrical components on the board to match higher specifications.  Hi-C caps, proadlizers, polymer caps, and higher quality chokes round out the upgraded components which should translate into more stable overclocked performance and a longer lifespan.

Read the entire article here.

Gear Up with MSI: Win Intel Motherboards, GeForce Graphics Cards

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards, Motherboards | November 30, 2011 - 08:13 AM |
Tagged: z68, x79, sandy bridge-e, msi, GTX 580, GTX 560, giveaway, contest

This is a pretty big week here at PC Perspective as we released our highly anticipated review of the Intel Sandy Bridge-E and X79 platform.  If you haven't read that over, you need to do so, right away!!  But we also have some impressive gear to giveaway thanks to our friends at MSI and their "Gear Up with MSI" campaign!

What are the prizes?  I know that's what you want to know first...

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Wow, these are some stellar prizes!  First prize basically gets the components required for one of the fastest gaming rigs on the planet while the 2nd prize will be able to play Batman: Arkham City with all the top settings! 

So what do you have to do to win these prizes?  The steps are simple:

  1. Make a comment on this post thanking MSI for this kick ass contest!!  That's pretty simple right?  You don't have to register, though we would appreciate it!
  2. Like MSI on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MSI.ComputerUS
    1. (Just a hint, they have a lot of Facebook-specific contests throughout the year!)
  3. Like PC Perspective on Facebook: http://facebook.com/pcper
  4. Follow PC Perspective on Twitter: http://twitter.com/pcper
  5. Circle PC Perspective on Google+: http://gplus.to/pcper
    1. (Another hint, comments on our G+ post about this contest get another entry!)

We will pick random winners in our pool of entries on Wednesday, the 7th of December!  Sorry, US and Canada residents only for this one!  If you don't have a Facebook/Twitter/Google+ account commenting here will still enter you.

Oh, and if you haven't seen the other contest MSI is running around the release of Batman: Arkham City, you should check out this page on their site.  Posting a photo of yourself dressed up like Batman has never been so lucrative! 

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The Grand Prize for MSI's Batman Photo Contest!!

Winners Announced!!  Sorry about the late update, but we did pick our winners!  The first prize went to use "Equinox2355" and the second prize went to "Deman".  Thanks to everyone for participating and we'll have more contests very soon!!!

Mid-range cards take on snow and fire in Skyrim

Subject: Graphics Cards | November 25, 2011 - 09:55 AM |
Tagged: sky, elder scrolls V, gtx 460, hd6850, GTX 560, hd6870, GTX 560 Ti, hd6950

The Tech Report, who hasn't been having a problem with Skyrim on their i5-750 system, tried out six mid-range cards to determine the best settings to provide decent performance.  Following their new practice they do not measure frame rate but rather frame time, to find a level of performance where the frames are drawn in a consistent manner instead of varying from 100ms for one frame to 5ms for the next.  Take a look and see how well these mid-range cards can manage the latest Elder Scrolls game.

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"We've followed up our look at Battlefield 3 performance with a similar comparison of mid-range graphics cards in The Elder Scrolls V: Skryim."

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

Graphics Cards

 

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.

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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!!!

NVIDIA Upgrading GTX 560 to 448 CUDA Cores?

Subject: Graphics Cards | October 27, 2011 - 04:41 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, GTX 560, geforce

A rumor that I read over at Guru3D seems to think that the GeForce GTX 560 Ti, a card that has been very successful in the ~$230 graphics market, might be getting an upgrade just in time for the pending holiday buying season.  According to the report, the new version would move from the current 384 CUDA core count to 448 cores, essentially adding another full SM (symmetric multiprocessor) to the GPU.

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A collection of current GTX 560 Ti cards...

Guru3D notes though that the "new" GTX 560 Ti would be based on the GF110 GPU (same as the GTX 580 and GTX 570) simply because the GTX 560 Ti uses all the available processing cores of the GF114 design.  The GPU on this new card would be a GTX 580 with two SMs disabled, rather than the single SM disabled on the GTX 570.

Here are the reports other details:

It features 14 active SMs, which include 448 SP / CUDA Cores and 56 TMUs; 320-bit memory and 40 ROPs - a very similar configuration to the old GTX 470. Along with increased performance, power consumption is expected to rise over the 384 SP GTX 560 Ti. A benefit to using GF110 means the revised 560 Ti will feature 2 x SLI connectors, enabling 3-way SLI.

While I believe this part could definitely exist, I wouldn't think NVIDIA would simply remove the current GTX 560 Ti and replace it; instead I would imagine the company would go for the "GTX 565" route, or something similar to it.  Maybe a GTX 560 Ultra.  Either way, a new card that would fit in to the price slot somewhere between the GTX 560 Ti ($230) and the GTX 570 ($340) would be a welcome addition, especially with games like Battlefield 3 and Skyrim set to take advantage of that horsepower. 

Source: Guru3D

KFA2 Launches Two NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Graphics Cards

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 21, 2011 - 12:04 AM |
Tagged: nvidia, kfa2, GTX 560, graphics

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Not to be left out of the slew of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 releases, KFA2 announced two new NVIDIA graphics cards to their current graphics card lineup.  Both are based on the Geforce GTX 560 GPU; however, one card is overclocked and fitted with an aftermarket heatsink and fan combo (the other is a standard single, centered, and shrouded fan design).  Labeled the KFA2 GeForce GTX 560 1GB 256bit and the KFA2 GeForce GTX 560 EX OC 1GB 256bit, the DirectX 11 cards offer the following specifications:

  GeForce GTX 560 1GB 256bit GeForce GTX 560 EX OC 1GB 256bit
CUDA Cores 336 336
GPU Clock 810 MHz 905 MHz
Shader Clock 1620 MHz 1810 MHz
Memory Clock 2004 MHz 2004 MHz
Memory 1 GB GDDR5 on 256-bit bus 1 GB GDDR5 on 256-bit bus
Memory Bandwidth 128.3 GB/s 128.3 GB/s
Texture Fill Rate 45.3 Billion/s 50.6 Billion/s

 

The two new cards seem to be positioned (specifications wise) between purely reference cards and the highest clocked GTX 560 cards of their competitors.  The street price will ultimately determine if they are worth picking up versus other brands with higher clocks or reference clocks but aftermarket cooling.  KFA2 states that the cards will be available online and in retail stores throughout Europe, and are backed by a two year warranty.

Source: KFA2

Gigabyte Unveils NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Overclock Edition Graphics Card

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 19, 2011 - 01:33 AM |
Tagged: nvidia, GTX 560, graphics

Coinciding with the NDA lift on the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560, Gigabyte announced its enthusiast class Overclock Edition graphics card based on new the GTX 560 GPU.

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The new Overclock Edition replaces the reference design's cooler with Gigabyte's own WindForce 2X variant, which they claim reduces the noise of the card under full load to 31db. Further, the heatsink used direct heat pipe technology, which means that the heat pipes that carry heat away from the GPU and into the fins physically contact the GPU itself. Both fans produce 30.5 CFM of airflow to quickly dissipate the heat of the overclocked GTX 560 GPU, Gigabyte was able to clock the card at a 830 MHz GPU clock and a 4008 Mhz memory clock from the factory. Gigabyte claims to improve overclocking capability by 10% to 30% thanks to it's "Ultra Durable" copper PCB technology and power switching enhancements.

The full specification of the GeForce GTX 560 Overclock Edition are as follows:

 

 

Model Number GV-N56GOC-1GI
Core Clock 830 MHz
Shader Clock 1660 MHz
Memory Amount 1 GB
Memory Type GDDR5
Memory Bus 256 bit
Card Bus PCI-E 2.0
Process Technology 40 nm
Card Dimensions 43mm (h) x 238mm (l) x 130mm (w)
Power Requirements Minimum 500 Watt PSU required
DirectX Support 11
Outputs

1x HDMI and Display Port via adapter(s)

1x mini HDMI

2x DVI

1x VGA (via adapter)

 

Gigabyte is a popular motherboard manufacturer for enthusiasts and it seems that they are striving to gain that same level of consumer brand loyalty with their graphics cards.  Do you have a Gigabyte graphics card in your rig?

Source: Gigabyte