Max Payne 3 at Max resolution

Subject: General Tech | June 6, 2012 - 12:20 PM |
Tagged: max payne 3, crossfire, sli, gtx680, HD 7970, gaming

For the tests they ran, [H]ard|OCP used the latest Catalyst beta, 12.6 and ForceWare 301.42 WHQL as both drivers proved able to provide proper multi-GPU performance on Max Payne 3.  In AMD's case it provided improvements to single card gaming as well.  The games graphics options provide a nice tool which displays how much VRAM your configuration will require so that you can get an idea if your card will be able to handle the settings before you even play the game.  SLI did scale better than Crossfire but even still, both multi GPU rigs could handle the max settings at 2560x1600 and when used singly could still sit around the 60fps mark.  Check out the full review here.

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"HardOCP is on top of Max Payne 3 to find out what graphics options it supports and how a GTX 680 and a Radeon HD 7970 perform. We also wanted to know if SLI and CrossFireX worked, and how performance scales. In this preview of performance and image quality we take a look at all of this in the first chapter of this game."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

May it truly be the end of our graphics card drought

Subject: General Tech | May 3, 2012 - 09:21 AM |
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.

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"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."

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Source: DigiTimes

There is plenty of blame to go around when you are talking about the GTX 680

Subject: General Tech | May 2, 2012 - 10:05 AM |
Tagged: nvidia, TSMC, gtx680

The GTX680 would be far outselling the HD7870 if it was available anywhere but NVIDIA's biggest problem is that there is no supply to sell to the customers that want this card.  If SemiAccurate's sources are correct NVIDIA has yet to ship 10,000 cards in total, which really makes NVIDIA's stance that the supply problems are just a perception issue hard to swallow.  Mostly the fingers have been pointed at TSMC and the difficulties they have had with their 28nm production line, but that is getting old as well; if their 28nm process was inherently flawed they would not be at 95% capacity and AMDs GPUs would be just as rare as the new NVIDIA cards.  Could the issue lie with NVIDIA's chip design being flawed and producing incredibly low yields?  Is it that somehow the design takes an incredibly long time on the line in order to produce a wafer and so yields are not low so much as slow?  It is really hard to peg down exactly what is going on behind the scenes since neither of the companies involved are willing to discuss the causes behind the shortages.  That is the normal way of things however, no matter what company you talk about, you are far more likely to see denials and finger pointing than an explanation ... similar to children when you think about it really.

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"Nvidia has been busily blaming TSMC for their many supposed failings on 28nm, but SemiAccurate has learned what is really going on. The short story is that the finger pointing around the Kepler launch problems should be at Nvidia, not TSMC."

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Source: SemiAccurate

How does Sapphire's overclocked HD7970 fare against the GTX680

Subject: Graphics Cards | April 13, 2012 - 10:17 AM |
Tagged: gtx680, hd7970, factory overclocked, sapphire

In one way, the Sapphire HD 7970 OC Edition wins this competition because of the simple fact that you can actually buy it.  However, we are also interested in the performance difference as you can occasionally find a GTX 680 for sale, so we need to know how the overclocked HD7970 performs.  Sapphire has placed two separate overclocked BIOSes on this card, one with a 950MHz core and 1425MHz memory as well as a more aggressively set one with a cores of 1000MHz and 1450MHz on the memory.  As it turned out [H]ard|OCP was never able to get the more aggressive BIOS to work, on the other hand when they manually overclocked it they hit 1150MHz core and 1860MHz for the memory at which speeds the card triumphed over the GTX 680 in every test.  Sapphire's card is ~$75 more than a GTX680 but remember, you can actually buy one.

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"The Sapphire HD 7970 OC Edition video card has arrived and brings promise of low temperatures with Sapphires Dual-X Cooling System. It also features a Dual BIOS with both a passive and more aggressive profile. Will Sapphires highest end HD 7970 be able to keep up and compete with NVIDIA's flagship GeForce GTX 680?"

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Podcast #195 - GTX 680 Review, the MSI HD 7970 Lightning, and a 4GB GTX 680!

Subject: General Tech | March 29, 2012 - 12:29 PM |
Tagged: ssd, podcast, nvidia, Intel, gtx680, amd, 7970, 680

PC Perspective Podcast #195 - 03/29/2012

Join us this week as we talk about our GTX 680 Review, the MSI HD 7970 Lightning, and a 4GB GTX 680!

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: 1:00:26

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. Gigabyte GA-X79-UD5 LGA 2011 EATX Motherboard Review
  6. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 2GB Graphics Card Review - Kepler in Motion
  7. Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M3 Review: Kepler's First Laptop
    1. PC Perspective Live Review Recap: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
  8. MSI R7970 Lightning Review: AMD's HD 7970 Gets the Treatment
  9. This Podcast is brought to you by MSI Computer, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!
  10. Galaxy Readying 4GB and Hall Of Fame Edition GTX 680 GPUs
  11. About that pricing AMD; you sure you want to stick with it?
  12. Super Talent Releases New RAIDDrive upStream PCI-E SSD
  13. Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
    1. Ryan: is lame and didnt have one
    2. Jeremy: I got a better deal but this is close
    3. Josh: Two SSDs for the price of one 
    4. Allyn: Khan Academy
  14. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  15. http://pcper.com/podcast   
  16. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  17. Closing

Source:

Galaxy Readying 4GB and Hall Of Fame Edition GTX 680 GPUs

Subject: Graphics Cards | March 26, 2012 - 08:36 AM |
Tagged: nvidia, gtx680, gpu, galaxy, 4gb gtx 680

A new article over at Chinese site EXP Review suggests that graphics card manufacturer Galaxy is gearing up with three new NVIDIA GTX 680 graphics cards. Among the new GTX 680 GPUs pictured, Galaxy is planning a reference card, a heavily overclocked Hall Of Fame card, and models with 4 GB of GDDR5 memory.

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Galaxy is upping the memory ante with a new NVIDIA GTX 680 that has 4 GB of memory - twice that of the reference cards. The card will use Hynix memory chips (8 on the front, 8 on the rear of the card), an improved 5+2 phase power supply with DirectFET replacements for the usual MOSFET design. In addition, the card features 6+8 pin PCI-E power connectors and an aftermarket Galaxy Gemini cooler. The Gemini HSF uses heatpipes and an aluminum fin array cooled by two 90mm fans to cool the card. The extra cooling enabled Galaxy to offer the new card with a 10% factory overclock, for a base clockspeed of 1.1 GHz.

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The other interesting card is the upcoming Galaxy GTX 680 Hall of Fame edition. This card is based on a white PCB with two 8 pin PCI-E power connectors (like those of the Asus DirectCU II and MSI Lightning). Further, it is cooled with three 90mm fans and five heatpipes leading to an aluminum fin array. The card will come equipped with dual BIOS support and overclocking software. It is not directly stated, but the Hall of Fame edition should be more overclockable thanks to the expanded cooling solution. Also, it may come with 4 GB of memory like the card above.

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In our PCPer Live Review, it was stated that while NVIDIA could do reference cards with 4 GB of memory, they chose not to in order to hit certain price points and profit margins. Instead, they left it up to the Add In Board partners to offer cards with extra RAM and factory overclocks. Galaxy is prepping their 4 GB cards, but theya re not likely to be the only vendor offering cards with increased memory.  More photos are available over at EXPReview.

Source: EXPReview

So when is that GTX680 coming out anyways?

Subject: General Tech | March 12, 2012 - 12:20 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, kelper, GK104, gtx680

Whether you are an NVIDIA fan or not you are likely anxiously awaiting the release of NVIDIA's new GPU.  Since AMD is currently holding the lead on graphics cards they have no competition to lower the price of their high end cards which can beat anything NVIDIA currently has on the market.  Depending on the price and performance of the new Kepler chip, its release should have an effect on the pricing of at least one line of AMD card, be it Pitcairn or Cape Verde.  This is why SemiAccurate's pegging of the expected release dates, both paper and physical, are worth taking a look at, especially if your GPU recently died and you are looking at getting a new one.  We should have a good idea of the price, performance and availability by the end of March.

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"Today, March 8, is the day where the press that Nvidia flew in get their ‘tech day’, basically the deep dive on Kepler. Then, like we said a few days ago, Nvidia will paper launch the cards next Monday, March 12. From that point, things get a little hazy because people are arguing over two different days. Some are saying Friday March 23, others Monday March 26, with a few more saying 23 than 26. It could be none of the above though, but if you bet on two weeks out, you won’t be far off."

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Source: SemiAccurate