Ever wonder what is in a Reviewers Guide?

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | April 2, 2012 - 09:13 AM |
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?

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"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:

Tech Talk

 

Source: [H]ard|OCP

The only thing better than an in stock GTX 680 would be two of them

Subject: Graphics Cards | March 29, 2012 - 03:18 PM |
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)

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"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:

Graphics Cards

 

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Digital Storm Shows Off Custom Water Cooled Aventum PC

Subject: Systems | March 26, 2012 - 01:06 PM |
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.

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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
Motherboard ASUS P8Z68-V
PRO/GEN3
ASUS Sabertooth
X79
ASUS Rampage
IV Extreme X79
EVGA Classified
SR-X
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
Price $3,859 $4,985 $6,687 $7,850

 

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.

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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.

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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.

Aventum_01.jpg

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.”

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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.

PC Perspective Live Review Recap: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680

Subject: Graphics Cards | March 24, 2012 - 02:51 PM |
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!

For more information on other upcoming events you can follow PC Perspective on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ or just check http://pcper.com/live for the latest schedule!

GTX 680 insanity! SLI, Triple SLI, and Quad SLI

Subject: Graphics Cards | March 23, 2012 - 10:45 AM |
Tagged: sli, quad sli, gtx 680

With an Intel Core i7 3960X, 16GB of DDR3, an ASUS Rampage IV Formula motherboard and an Enermax Platimax 1500W PSU, Hardware.Info took four GTX 680s and started benchmarking.  Of course, that means more than one monitor so these benchmarks are at 5760x1080 and due to the new architecture some games were not quite sure what to do with the extra graphics cards.  Some games like Metro 2033 were not able to provide significant scaling at high resolutions but then again Crysis 2 had no idea what to do with three HD 7970s which makes it hard to determine a clear winner between three HD 7970s and four GTX 680s.  The benchmark results offer results we've never seen, with over 80fps from the NVIDIA cards on Crysis 2 and 130fps on Skyrim.  The end result is that apart from games which seem to need updating, the scaling of the GTX 680 is impressive and it pulls less power than the HD 7970s.

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"We just published a comprehensive GeForce GTX 680 4-way SLI review on Hardware.Info. Since we are the first to extensively test a Quad-SLI configuration of nVidia's brand new GeForce GTX 680, we wanted to make these exciting results available to a wider audience and created an English version of the article."

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Graphics Cards

 

Podcast #194 - GTX 680 Leaks, Ivy Bridge Rumors, a Water Cooled Laptop and more!!

Subject: General Tech | March 22, 2012 - 04:07 PM |
Tagged: podcast, nvidia, Ivy Bridge, Intel, gtx 680

PC Perspective Podcast #194 - 03/22/2012

Join us this week as we talk about our GTX 680 Leaks, Ivy Bridge Rumors, a Water Cooled Laptop and more!!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Allyn Malvantano

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI Computer, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!

Program length: 59:55

Program Schedule: 

  1. Introduction
  2. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  3. http://pcper.com/podcast
  4. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  5. UPDATE: NCAA 2012: PC Perspective Bracket Competition!!
  6. SXSW Trade Show 2012
  7. Cerwin-Vega! XD3 Powered Desktop Speaker Review
  8. More solid information on Ivy Bridge's launch dates
    1. Intel Ivy Bridge Processors To Launch March 23 2012
  9. Google Rumored To Release $199 Nexus Tablet
  10. Seagate Achieves 1 Terabit Per Square Inch Storage Density
  11. Asetek Demonstrates Liquid Cooling For Laptop And All-In-One PCs
  12. PC-exclusive Sim City engine demoed. The peasants approve.
  13. Psst ... Hey buddy. Ya wanna see the GTX 680 under my jacket?
    1. ... and here's Newegg with a GTX 680 leak
  14. Anyone want a GTX580 for $360? (Counting MIR)
  15. Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
    1. Ryan: A GTX 680 before it launches!!
    2. Jeremy: If you have RAMBUS still, you have a problem!  and Wing Commander Saga, out for free tomorrow!  
    3. Josh: Oldy but goody
    4. Allyn: Samsung 830 - 128GB for $150 on Newegg
  16. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  17. http://pcper.com/podcast   
  18. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  19. Closing

Want to stop the GTX 680 leaks? Release the card and they will go away!

Subject: Graphics Cards | March 22, 2012 - 11:15 AM |
Tagged: nvidia, kepler, gtx 680, 28nm

After a fun filled week of speculation, accidental launches and more leaks than a cruise ship, we can finally talk about the GTX 680 and how it performs.  Start out at [H]ard|OCP who put four monitors on a GTX 680 and started benchmarking.  The card is made with TSMC's 28nm process, sports 3.54 billion transistors and both its GPU and 1536 CUDA cores run at the same 1.006GHz and the 2GB of memory is running at 6GHz on a 256-bit bus.  That is enough power to surpass the performance of AMD's HD 7970 and surprisingly it often draws less power than the Radeon making the card more efficient than AMD's offering and ruining NVIDIA's reputation for power hungry, hot running cards.

You can catch not only the print version of Ryan's GTX 680 review but if your timing is good you can catch a recording of the live stream he did earlier today!

The Inquirer is also worth checking out as they offer a dissenting opinon which places the performance of the GTX 680 as lower than an HD 7870, let alone the 7970!

H_680.jpg

"The silicon we have all been waiting for is here. NVIDIA is launching its next generation GeForce GTX 680 video card, poised with the new flagship GPU from NVIDIA. Can it compete with AMD's Radeon HD 7970? We were somewhat amazed at how this NVIDIA GPU does when it comes to gaming, pricing, efficiency, and features."

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

Graphics Cards

 

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

The Kepler Architecture

Join us today at 12pm EST / 9am CST as PC Perspective hosts a Live Review on the new GeForce GTX 680 graphics card.  We will discuss the new GPU technology, important features like GPU Boost, talk about performance compared to AMD's lineup and we will also have NVIDIA's own Tom Petersen on hand to run some demos and answer questions from viewers.  You can find it all at http://pcper.com/live!!

NVIDIA fans have been eagerly waiting for the new Kepler architecture ever since CEO Jen-Hsun Huang first mentioned it in September 2010. In the interim, we have seen the birth of a complete lineup of AMD graphics cards based on its Southern Islands architecture including the Radeon HD 7970, HD 7950, HD 7800s and HD 7700s.  To the gamer looking for an upgrade it would appear that NVIDIA had fallen behind; but the company is hoping that today's release of the GeForce GTX 680 will put them back in the driver's seat.

This new $499 graphics card will directly compete against the Radeon HD 7970, and it brings quite a few "firsts" to NVIDIA's lineup.  This NVIDIA card is the first desktop 28nm GPU, the first to offer a clock speed over 1 GHz, the first to support triple-panel gaming on a single card, and the first to offer "boost" clocks that vary from game to game.  Interested yet?  Let's get to the good stuff.

The Kepler Architecture

In many ways, the new 28nm Kepler architecture is just an update to the Fermi design that was first introduced in the GF100 chip.  NVIDIA's Jonah Alben summed things up pretty nicely for us in a discussion stating that "there are lots of tiny things changing (in Kepler) rather than a few large things which makes it difficult to tell a story." 

arch01.png

GTX 680 Block Diagram

Continue reading our review of the new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 2GB Graphics Card!!

... and here's Newegg with a GTX 680 leak

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | March 21, 2012 - 06:51 PM |
Tagged: pelly wants revenge, nvidia, leak, gtx 680, fermi, 28nm

Not to be outdone by NCIX, NewEgg also managed to jump the gun on the GTX 680 earlier today. The screengrab that was sent tp Bright Side of News shows their pricing of the soon to be released GTX 680 with models ranging from $500 to $535.  The specs are there for all to see, a GPU running at 1.006GHz, Shader clock of 2.012GHz, effective memory of 6.008GHz and 1536 Stream Processors.  Contrast that with the last GTX 580 that Josh reviewed which had a 782 MHz core, 1.564GHz shader, memory at 4.008GHz and 512 SPs and you can see it is a big step up!

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If you visit NewEgg now you will be greeted with a different result, a page describing the GTX 680's various features and a Buy Now button which unfortunately doesn't work at this moment.  That is a situtation which obviously cannot last as NewEgg would not have put it up.  Of course the realization that you can pick up a pair of GTX 570's for the same price might just mean some recalculations will be in order once we see the performance of the actual card.

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Psst ... Hey buddy. Ya wanna see the GTX 680 under my jacket?

Subject: General Tech | March 20, 2012 - 08:26 PM |
Tagged: pelly, nvidia, leak, gtx 680, fermi, 28nm

The gang over at Tweaktown managed to get pictures of a retail Gigabyte GTX 680, which is not only better than candid snaps from Las Vegas making it to the web, it also solidifies a few facts.  For instance, as you can see below there are two 6-pin PCIe power connectors which pegs the maximum supplimental power that this card can draw at 150W.  That is a big difference from the two 8-pin PCIe connectors that could deliver up to 275 to a GTX 580; NVIDIA has obviously made a huge step forward in power savings with the move to 28nm regardless of any design or manufacturing problems they may have had to overcome to deliver this card to retailers.  

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Tweaktown didn't stop there either GPU fans; it seems that the online\brick and mortar computer chain NCIX made a little mistake and let the GTX 680 appear on their wishlist app.  Both an EVGA and an MSI model of the GTX 680 could be added to your wishlist ... for the price of $578.20 USD plus delivery.  That same retailer currently sells HD 7970's for between $564.99 USD to $619.99.  If only there had been some leaked benchmarks which might indicate which way AMD might have to adjust their pricing.

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Lucas is so going to sue you!

Source: Tweaktown