Subject: Graphics Cards | May 10, 2012 - 01:38 PM | Ryan Shrout
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.
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:
Subject: General Tech | May 8, 2012 - 05:32 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: zotac, AMP!, 4gb gtx 680, 4GB, factory overclocked, gtx 680
The AMP! is back from Zotac and don't let the base clock fool you into thinking that is the only advantage, it is the extra boost capability that really makes this card special. On the other hand if it is your buffer that is causing you to suffer the 4GB GTX 680 might be a little slower but it can power 4 monitors and has enough GDDR5 to make sure it does so smoothly.
HONG KONG – May 2, 2012 – ZOTAC International, a global innovator and channel manufacturer of graphics cards, mainboards and mini-PCs, today unveils the amplified ZOTAC GeForce GTX 680 AMP! Edition and high-resolution dominating ZOTAC GeForce GTX 680 4GB graphics cards for the most demanding gamers and enthusiasts.
Catered to gamers that require that extra performance kick in the most demanding gaming situations, the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 680 AMP! Edition harnesses the untapped power of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 graphics processor to maximize frame rates in the latest visually stunning Microsoft DirectX 11-enabled games. Extreme high-definition and triple-display gamers can opt for the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 680 4GB which doubles the amount of video memory for that extra bit of smoothness at resolutions above 2560x1600, including 4K and 3840x1080.
The new ZOTAC GeForce GTX 680 AMP! Edition and GeForce GTX 680 4GB usher in a new era of visual computing that pushes details and pixel density for unbelievably clear and crisp graphics,” said Carsten Berger, marketing director, ZOTAC International. “The cards deliver world-class performance and are the fastest single GPU graphics cards available this generation too.“
Quad-display output capabilities enables the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 680 AMP! Edition and GeForce GTX 680 4GB to simultaneously power four independent displays in desktop mode at resolutions beyond 2560x1600, including new and upcoming 4K resolution displays. NVIDIA 3D Vision Surround technology joins three 2D or 3D displays together to render a massive wide display for superior immersion and enhanced field of view when gaming with the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 680 AMP! Edition and GeForce GTX 680 4GB.
The ZOTAC Assassin’s Creed 3-Game Pack is bundled with the two cards to let gamers take advantage of the newfound graphics power right out of the box. Assassin’s Creed I, II and Revelations takes gamers through an epic historical journey with beautiful graphics, captivating storylines and immersive gameplay.
It’s time to play with the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 680 AMP! Edition and GeForce GTX 680 4GB!
New ZOTAC GeForce GTX 680 AMP! Edition & GeForce GTX 680 4GB graphics cards
- 1536 SMX unified shaders
- ZOTAC GeForce GTX 680 AMP!
- Edition Engine clock: 1110 MHz (base), 1176 MHz (boost)
- 2GB GDDR5 memory Memory clock: 6608 MHz
- Custom Dual-Fan Cooler
- ZOTAC GeForce GTX 680 4GB
- Engine clock: 1006 MHz (base), 1058 MHz (boost)
- 4GB GDDR5 memory Memory clock: 6008 MHz
- 256-bit memory interface DVI-I, DVI-D, HDMI & DisplayPort outputs
- PCI Express 3.0 interface
- NVIDIA GPU Boost technology
- NVIDIA 3D Vision Surround capable
- NVIDIA FXAA technology
- NVIDIA TXAA technology
- NVIDIA SLI ready
- 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 Assassin’s Creed 3-Game Pack included Assassin’s Creed, Assassin’s Creed II, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations
- TrackMania 2 Canyon 3-Day Game Pass included
Subject: Graphics Cards | April 28, 2012 - 11:55 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: nvidia, kepler, jen-hsun huang, hd 7990, GTX 690, gtx 680, geforce, 7990
During a keynote presentation at GeForce LAN 2012 being held in Shanghai, NVIDIA's CEO Jen-Hsun Huang unveiled what many of us have been theorizing would be coming soon; the dual-GPU variant of the Kepler architecture, the GeForce GTX 690 graphics card.
Though reviews aren't going to be released yet, Huang unveiled pretty much all of the information we need to figure it out. With the full specifications listed as well as details about the stunning new design of the card and cooler, the GTX 690 is without a doubt going to be the fastest graphics card on the market when it goes on sale next month.
The GeForce GTX 690 4GB card is based on a pair of GK104 chips, each sporting 1536 CUDA cores, basically identical to the ones used in the GeForce GTX 680 2GB cards released in March. The base clock speed of these parts is slightly lower at 915 MHz but the "typical" Boost clock is set as high as 1019 MHz, pushing it pretty close to the performance of the single GPU solutions. With a total of 3072 processing cores, the GTX 690 will have insane amounts of compute horsepower.
Each GPU will have access to 2GB of independent frame buffer still running at 6 Gbps, for a grand total of 4GB on the card.
Sitting between the two GPUs will be a PCI Express 3.0 capable bridge chip from PLX supporting full x16 lanes to each GPU and a full x16 back to the host system.
In terms of power requirements, the GTX 690 will use a pair of 8-pin connectors and will have a TDP of 300 watts - actually not that high consider the TDP of the GTX 680 is 195 watts on its own. It is obvious that NVIDIA is going to be pulling the very best chips for this card, those that can run at clock speeds over 1 GHz with minimal leakage.
Subject: Graphics Cards | April 27, 2012 - 08:49 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: gtx 680 GC 2GB, gtx 680, gpu, galaxy
Popular NVIDIA Add In Board partner Galaxy Microsystems announced their new custom GeForce GTX 680 graphics card. Specifically, the Galaxy GTX 680 GC 2GB is their custom PCB and custom cooled version of the NVIDIA GTX 680 (which we reviewed here) which also comes overclocked from the factory.
The GTX 680 GC 2GB comes with a base clock of 1110 MHz and a boost clock of 1176 MHz which is a healthy overclock compared to the reference clock speeds of 1006 MHz and 1058 MHz respectively. Beyond the factory overclock, Galaxy has implemented a custom PCB design that appears to have eschewed the stacked PCI-E power connectors in favor of the traditional side by side approach which allowed them to use two large fans for the cooler.
The cooler in question uses an aluminum fin array with quad nickel-plated heat pipes to keep the GPU core, memory, and VRMs nice and frosty. Looking somewhat like the XFX 7970 Black Edition, the Galaxy GTX 680 GC 2GB features a custom dual fan cooling solution with brushed aluminum cooling shroud, LED accents, and two large fans (which look to be about 90mm).
Galaxy stated that “overclocking enthusiasts will find the improved cooling of the Galaxy GTX 680 GC to be indispensable for pushing their clocks to the absolute maximum for the best possible performance.”
Galaxy has stated that the new GTX 680 GC card is available now, and is retailing for around $540 USD. [Update: it is already sold out on Newegg but Amazon has 4 left] which puts it a bit more than $40 over Galaxy's referrence version -- not too bad.
When the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 launched in March we were incredibly impressed with the performance and technology that the GPU was able to offer while also being power efficient. Fast forward nearly a month and we are still having problems finding the card in stock - a HUGE negative towards the perception of the card and the company at this point.
Still, we are promised by NVIDIA and its partners that they will soon have more on shelves, so we continue to look at the performance configurations and prepare articles and reviews for you. Today we are taking a look at the Galaxy GeForce GTX 680 2GB card - their most basic model that is based on the reference design.
If you haven't done all the proper reading about the GeForce GTX 680 and the Kepler GPU, you should definitely check out my article from March that goes into a lot more detail on that subject before diving into our review of the Galaxy card.
The Card, In Pictures
The Galaxy GTX 680 is essentially identical to the reference design with the addition of some branding along the front and top of the card. The card is still a dual-slot design, still requires a pair of 6-pin power connections and uses a very quiet fan in relation to the competition from AMD.
Subject: Graphics Cards | April 5, 2012 - 11:19 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: windforce, overclock, nvidia, gtx 680, gpu, gigabyte, custom gtx 680
Popular motherboard manufacturer Gigabyte is the latest company to debut a custom version of the NVIDIA GTX 680 reference graphics card. Gigabyte’s unique take on the GTX 680 starts off with a custom dark blue PCB and ripping out the puny two six pin PCI-E power connectors. They are then replaced with one eight pin and one six pin PCI-E power connector. Then, they top it off with a custom three fan cooler. The heatsink uses three copper heatpipes with direct contact with the GPU, and two arrays of aluminum fins.
The cooler and blue PCB via VR-Zone
The extra power provided by the eight pin PCI-E connector allows for potentially higher overclocks (depending on the particular chips), and the custom cooler keeps the overclocked card nice and cool. In fact, Gigabyte is shipping the card with a factory overclock. Although they did not overclock the 2 GB of GDDR5 memory from stock, they have set the base clock frequency and boost frequency at 1071 MHz and 1124 MHz boost respectively. Compared to the reference specs of 1006 MHz base and 1058 MHz boost, that amounts to a respectable 65 MHz base overclock and 66 MHz boost overclock out of the box. Further, depending on the chip, they may be capable of overclocking much higher.
The assembled card showing the video outputs via Guru3D
So long as you can find one in stock, the NVIDIA GTX 680 GPU is shaping up to be an interesting card, especially the custom versions! More photos of the previewed Gigabyte GTX 680 WindForce edition is available here and here.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | April 2, 2012 - 12:13 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: NVIDA, gtx 680, reviewer guide
A long held tradition in the hardware reviewing world is to accuse reviewers of biasing their reviews by only running the benchmarks that the manufacturer wants you to run and providing slanted results. It really doesn't matter if every single site comes out with similar results, for some if a review doesn't fit their personal bias it is obviously flawed. As [H]ard|OCP mentions, there was a time when Reviewer's Guides did resemble something along those lines but they have changed over time as suppliers realize the more biased they attempt to make their guidelines, the less likely a review site is to follow them.
These guides are now more of a mix between a white paper and a lengthy PR release, with relatively in depth discussions on the capabilities of the product along with highlights of what the company feels are the key features on the new product. [H] has posted the document which arrived with their GTX 680, discussing features and yes ... suggesting the appropriate games with which to show off their cards features, though what game could you test PhysX with other than Batman?
"Many times we have been asked what exactly CPU and GPU companies "require" of us when working on a review of yet-to-be-released hardware. Published here is the Reviewers Guide from the recent NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 launch in its entirety. Besides it being a great geeked-out read, you will likely learn a few things."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Adobe Lightroom 4 reviewed @ Ars Technica
- GNOME 3.4: Are We There Yet? @ Linux.com
- Coolest jobs in tech: hackers for hire @ Ars Technica
- 25 Years of IBM's OS/2 @ Slashdot
- Flying Car Makes Successful Maiden Flight @ Slashdot
- Apple's LLVM 3.1 Clanging On Intel Sandy Bridge @ Phoronix
- Intel to launch own-brand Z77 motherboards on April 8 @ DigiTimes
- Haswell’s GPU prowess is due to Crystalwell @ SemiAccurate
- Dell to buy Wyse to extend its cloud client range @ The Inquirer
- Icy Box IB-PL500D Powerline Network Adapter Kit @ Rbmods
- The NVIDIA Ninja Graphics Tech Report @ TechARP
- Weekly Giveaway #25: Infused and In-Win Dragon Rider Black Chassis @ eTeknix
Subject: Graphics Cards | March 29, 2012 - 06:18 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: sli, nvidia, gtx 680
The name of the game in [H]ard|OCP's latest review is scaling at 5760 x 1200, specifically the scaling of two GTX 680s in SLI as well as a pair of HD 7970s in Crossfire. Some games like Mass Effect 3 will not benefit much as the difference between 150fps and 170fps will be hard to do but others such as Battlefield 3 and Arkham City stress these cards somewhat at this resolution, but even 50fps is rather impressive when pushing about 7 million pixels. Read on and be prepared to feel a little jealous,
maybe jealous enough to snatch up a Galaxy model which is back in stock. (didn't last 2 minutes)
"We've got two GeForce GTX 680 video cards to test SLI performance against Radeon HD 7970 CrossFireX. Will these less expensive GTX 680 video cards offer a better gameplay experience or choke at high resolutions due to a smaller VRAM footprint? We will prove to you which solution offers better efficiency and performance."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- Palit GeForce GTX 680 JetStream Edition Graphics Card Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Palit JetStream GeForce GTX 680 @ Tweaktown
- GeForce GTX 680 3-way SLI @ Tweaktown
- Surround on a Stick! Single Card Nvidia Surround Tested @ Bjorn3D
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 - The Nitty Gritty @ eTeknix
- ASUS GeForce GTX 680 MaxOC vs R7970 MaxOC vs GTX 580 OC @ HardwareHeaven
- NVIDIA GPU Boost Technology Report @ TechARP
- Desktop Graphics Card Comparison Guide @ TechARP
- HIS Radeon HD 7770 iCooler GHz Edition 1GB @ Tweaktown
- Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 OC 2GB Graphics Card Review @ eTeknix
- HIS Radeon HD 7870 IceQ Turbo Overclocked @ Tweaktown
- XFX R7850 Black Edition Double Dissipation Graphics Card and AMD Anti-Aliasing Analysis Review @ HardwareHeaven
- XFX HD7850 Black Edition @ Kitguru
- Sapphire HD 7850 OC Radeon Review @ TechwareLabs
- MSI Radeon HD 7970 Lightning 3GB Video Card Overclocked @ Tweaktown
- XFX's Radeon HD 7850 and 7870 Black Edition @ The Tech Report
Subject: Systems | March 26, 2012 - 04:06 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: water cooling, nvidia, Ivy Bridge, gtx 680, Digital Storm
Digital Storm, a custom PC Manufacturer founded in 2002 today revealed their latest system lineup. The new Aventum computers employ the company’s Cryo-TEC sub-zero cooling solution and the latest in PC hardware in a custom full tower chassis. The custom Aventum systems come in several tiers, including three systems with Intel Sandy Bridge-E processors, NVIDIA GTX 680 graphics cards, solid state drives, and at least 16 GB of RAM. Digital Storm further does not skimp on the power supplies. The Aventum computers are powered by either Corsair or Silverstone PSUs.
The hardware inside the chassis is impressive from a performance standpoint, and Digital Storm is including high end hardware as part of several tiers. The lowest tier is an Intel Sandy Bridge Core i7 2700K and a single EVGA NVIDIA GTX 680 graphics card on an Asus P8Z68-V Pro motherboard. On the other hand, the top tier system moves up to a dual socket EVGA SR-X motherboard, two Intel Xeon E5-2630 processors and three EVGA NVIDIA GTX 680 GPUs in a triple SLI configuration. The other hardware differences are less pronounced - like the upgrade to faster or more RAM and a bit more SSD capacity and PSU wattage. At launch, there will be four system configuration levels which you can see in the chart below.
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4|
|Processor||Intel Core i7 2700K||Intel Core i7 3930K||Intel Core i7 3960X||2x Dual Intel Xeon E5-2630 Six-Core|
|Memory||16 GB DDR3 1600 MHz||16 GB DDR3 1600 MHz||16 GB DDR3 2133 MHz Corsair GT||32 GB DDR3 ECC REG 1333 MHz|
|Graphics Card(s)||1x EVGA GTX 680||2x Dual SLI GTX 680||3x Triple SLI GTX 680||3x Triple SLI GTX 680|
|Storage||120 GB SSD & 1 TB HDD||120 GB SSD & 1 TB HDD||120 GB SSD & 1 TB HDD||180 GB SSD & 1 TB HDD|
IV Extreme X79
|Power Supply||Corsair 1050W Pro Silver||Corsair 1200W Pro Gold||Silverstone 1500W SST-ST1500||Silverstone 1500W SST-ST1500|
|Optical Drive||Slot Loading DVD Writer||Slot Loading DVD Writer||Slot Loading DVD Writer||Slot Loading DVD Writer|
|OS||Windows 7 HP x64||Windows 7 HP x64||Windows 7 HP x64||Windows 7 Pro x64|
The hardware is nice, but it is not the only interesting aspect of the new Aventum PCs. Rather, it is the custom chassis that holds the Digital Storm hardware. The metal full tower ATX case is divided up into sections and supports three 420mm (3x140mm) radiators, and 13 case fans to keep the Cryo-TEC thermo-electric cooler from overheating. The cooler is placed directly on the CPU and then is itself cooled by a water cooling loop. There are two 420mm radiators in the bottom of the chassis along with the computer’s power supply.
The Digital Storm Cryo-TEC cooler installed in a system.
Digital Storm has designed it such that three 140mm fans draw cool air in from outside of the case, through the radiator, and then channels the heated air out of the back of the case via vent under the power supply. The 13 case fans provide cooling for five cooling “zones” and are monitored and controlled by temperature probes using Aventum software in Windows. System and temperature information is also displayed on a built in LCD on the right side of the case.
Another interesting aspect of the Aventum chassis is that the hardware is installed “backwards” in the case such that it can be viewed through a window on the right side of the case (instead of the left in the majority of cases). It also features a removable drive cage with four 3.5” drive bays. There is also support for two internal 2.5” drives and a slot loading DVD writer optical drive accessed on the top of the case. Power and reset buttons are located just under the DVD drive while four USB ports and two audio jacks (1 mic, 1 headphone) are located on the right side of the case near the DVD drive.
The case also features plenty of mesh patterned ventilation holes and cut out Digital Storm logos. Also, there is a Digital Storm logo on the front of the case that is back-lit by a customizable LED color. Digital Storm’s Director of Product Development Rajeev Kuruppu noted that their research department has worked for months with thermal imaging cameras to ensure that the high end components are cooled as efficiently as possible. ”Every integral component and every zone is constantly being monitored so our customers can ensure their dream machine is always delivering optimal performance.”
The Aventum systems are available now and range in price from $3,859 to $7,856 depending on the particular configuration. More information will be posted on the Digital Storm website later today.
Subject: Graphics Cards | March 24, 2012 - 05:51 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: video, tom petersen, nvidia, live review, gtx 680, geforce
On the day of the GeForce GTX 680 launch, we hosted a "Live Review" to discuss the new product features and performance while also taking questions from a live chat room and via Twitter. NVIDIA's own Tom Petersen stopped by the offices to talk with us and to show off the hardware features with some live demos of GPU Boost, overclocking and quite a bit more.
If you haven't seen the video yet, you should definitely do so; Tom does a great job explaining the new technology involved with the Kepler GPU. One caveat: the recording process was a bit off and the recording actually starts just a few minutes AFTER we actually began the live stream. Sorry!