Graphics Card (GPU) Stock Check - May 23rd, 2012

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 23, 2012 - 05:43 PM |
Tagged: stock check, 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 the release of the GTX 670, I thought this would be a great summary of the current situation.

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NVIDIA's highest end offering, the GTX 690

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 $469

Radeon HD 7950 3GB - In Stock
Starting at $389

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

In short, nearly two weeks later, nothing has changed.  For NVIDIA neither the GeForce GTX 690 can be found nor can the GTX 680 - a card that launched more than two full months ago.  To say we are disappointed in the capability for NVIDIA to keep up their end of the bargain would be an understatement and explains why we STILL have not used the GTX 680 card in our Hardware Leaderboard!!  The GTX 670 remains in stock though with four models available at Newegg including an overclocked MSI model for hte $399 MSRP.  Considering this might be our new favorite GPU, that is good news at least. 

AMD is still doing great on availability with the Radeon HD 7970 and HD 7950 widely available for the price of $469 / $389 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:

Graphics Card (GPU) Stock Check - May 10th, 2012

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 10, 2012 - 01:38 PM |
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.

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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:

Penguins made it to the Southern Islands - Ubuntu and the HD 7950

Subject: Graphics Cards | April 4, 2012 - 06:12 PM |
Tagged: hd 7950, ubuntu 12.04, opengl, linux, amd

Phoronix revisited the performance the HD 7950 on the new Catalyst driver for Linux as it is no longer labelled as unsupported hardware.  That means that not only are the default clocks correct, you can use aticonfig/amdconfig to overclock the cards if you so desire.  The scaling of the card now matches the clock speed nicely and shows an improvement from the HD 6950 in the benchmarks.  You might not be able to find a Linux game which will take advantage of the full feature set and power of the HD 7950 but the card is capable of far more than providing you with pixels to slaughter.

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"Here are some updated benchmarks of the AMD Radeon HD 7950 "Southern Islands" graphics card under Linux with the proprietary Catalyst driver."

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

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Source: Phoronix

Graphics Core Next versus The Penguin

Subject: Graphics Cards | March 13, 2012 - 05:41 PM |
Tagged: linux, GCN, southern islands, hd 7950

After a delay of several weeks AMD has finally released a hot fix for Linux to allow for the usage of their new generation of video cards but they've not provided updates that can be rolled into the Linux kernel DRM driver, the X.Org DDX driver, or the new Gallium3D driver.  However, since the new features seem to have been enabled with this hot fix, Phoronix picked up an XFX Radeon HD 7950 Black 3GB to test for performance on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.  The good news is that they saw 40~50%+ faster performance than an HD6950 but unfortunately not at stock speeds, the driver did not fully recognize the card and would not let them set the GPU and memory speeds to their full defaults.

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"The Radeon HD 7900 series were announced at the end of 2011 and since then the Linux support status for this hardware has remained a big question. For the Radeon HD 7000 series "Southern Islands" GPU launch, they did not send over any hardware samples so Linux consumers have left to be confused over the state of the non-Windows support for AMD's hardware based on the "Graphics Core Next" architecture. Fortunately, here is finally an extensive look at the Radeon HD 7000 series on Linux with testing of a Radeon HD 7950."

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

Graphics Cards

 

Source:

MSI Shows of Next Generation Twin Frozr IV Cards at Cebit

Subject: Graphics Cards | March 6, 2012 - 08:55 PM |
Tagged: Twin Frozr, R7970, R7870, msi, Lightning, hd 7950, hd 7850, HD 77750, hd 7770, hawk

The Romanian site Lab 501 was able to snap some shots and get some information about the latest generation of custom built graphics products from MSI.  We had actually talked to Alex Chang of MSI about what Twin Frozr IV would bring to the table, but today we actually get to see the (nearly) finished parts.

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It looks as if MSI is changing around their color scheme, but the heatsink remains as big as the previous generation's.  (image courtesy of Lab 501)

The products shown were of course only the AMD based parts, as the NVIDIA Kepler products are still under wraps (but apparently should see the light of day later this month).  MSI is giving the full Twin Frozr IV treatment to every HD 7750 and above part.  The HD 7970 is getting the Lightning edition with all the bells and whistles, while the HD 7870 is going under the Hawk brand.

We have few details about what all Twin Frozr IV includes, but it keeps the propeller blades and the anti-dust technology that we first saw in the N580GTX Lightning.  From the shots we have, it does not appear that they will be using the temperature sensitive fan units that actually change color when going above 45C.

lightning_2.JPG

They were able to take a good shot of the board without the heatsink, and it is just as jam packed as the previous Lightning products.  (image courtesy of Lab 501)

The Lightning will feature a total of 4 Display Ports and 2 DVI ports, so it can support up to 6 monitors at once.  This appears similar to what Asus did with the EAH6950 and EAH6970 cards that were recently reviewed here.  The Hawk will only feature 2 Display Ports, HDMI, and DVI-I.  The rest of the lineup looks like reference based cards with custom Twin Frozr IV coolers.

hawk_3.jpg

It is good to see MSI continues with the more affordable Hawk brand.  (image courtesy of Lab 501)

Of particular interest is the board design of the Lightning card.  It is simply jam packed with power regulation components and the new "Twin Form-in-One" bracing system which supports both sides of the PCB with metal plates to minimize warping, improve cooling, and funnel airflow.  Looking at the back of the card reveals the plate having a nice sized hole in it which would be perfect for another fan to cool all of the components on the back.  More digging has informed us that it is actually a removable "GPU Reactor Core".  More details should be available soon.

Source: MSI Computer

Sapphire overclocks the HD7950

Subject: Graphics Cards | February 20, 2012 - 02:48 PM |
Tagged: sapphire, hd 7950, hd 7950 OC, factory overclocked, cape verde, amd

There are a lot of custom Cape Verde boards to chose from, with varying clock speeds and custom coolers which is great for those who like something unique out of the box.  X-bit Labs received an overclocked HD7950 board from Sapphire which sports both a 100MHz overclock on the GPU and a custom low noise cooler.  The back of the card is fairly normal, with a dual-link DVI-I port, one HDMI 1.4a connector and two DisplayPort 1.2 ports available.  Overclocking potential on the card was impressive, with a final 1.15 volts allowing stable performance at 1100MHz GPU and 7360 MHz effective on the memory and a temperature of 74C at full load thanks to the cooler.  Even better is the fact that the cooler operates relatively quietly even at that high overclock.

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"Today we are going to review a graphics accelerator with phenomenally efficient cooling system with very low noise, high performance and superb overclocking potential, which even some Radeon HD 7970 graphics cards could wish for."

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

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Source: X-bit Labs

MSI Announces 7950 Twin Frozr III Graphics Cards

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 31, 2012 - 05:48 PM |
Tagged: msi, HD7950, hd 7950, graphics cards, gpu, amd

MSI today officially announced their new Radeon HD 7950 graphics cards with Twin Frozr III coolers. Specifically, the new cards are part of the "R7950 Twin Frozr 3GD5/OC" series. The new Twin Frozr III cooler features a nickel plated block, two 8mm Superpipes (heatpipes), and dual 80mm propeller blade fans that, according to MSI, delivers up to 10 degrees Celsius lower GPU temperatures versus reference coolers. Further, the dark gray Twin Frozr III cooler reduces noise by 13.7dB by using two slower spinning fans versus the single reference design fan spinning twice or more as fast. This extra bit of overclocking headroom has allowed MSI to claim a large "core and memory voltage potential providing up to 37.5% overclockability" Just like the company's motherboards, they are advertising the new graphics cards as being built with Hi-c CAP Super Ferrite Choke and solid capacitors that pass MIL-STD-810G testing. Based on the AMD 28nm Radeon HD 7950 reference design, the card supports the PCI Express 3.0 interface.  Also, the card features 1 DVI, 1 HDMI, and two Mini-DisplayPort video outputs.

Twin Frozr 7950.jpg

Further specifications include 3 GB of GDDR5 memory on a 384 bit bus, a core clock speed of 880 MHz, and memory clock of 5,200 MHz (effective, 1,300 MHz base). The card itself measures 261mm x 111mm x 38mm, (just under 10.3") which means that it should fit comfortably inside most Mid Tower (or larger) cases. While the 80 MHz increase in GPU clock speed over the reference design is not saying much, the cards themselves should have plenty of overclocking headroom beyond what MSI does at the factory. In our review of the AMD Radeon HD 7950 graphics card with reference cooler we achieved a nice 1050 MHz clock speed, and the "Supa-pipe" (as Josh likes to say) powered Twin Frozr III 7950 cards should be able to go even further beyond that, specific GPU permitting of course.

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In addition to the new Twin Frozr III cooler powered cards, MSI is releasing a version of the Radeon 7950 with a reference design cooler and another Radeon 7970 card with a reference cooler to provide gamers with plenty of alternative options. Unfortunately, there is no word (yet) on pricing or availability.  The Twin Frozr III version of the 7950 sure looks a lot cooler, so it will be interesting to see if it actually keeps the GPU cooler (heh).

Source: MSI

Faster than a speeding GTX 580; the HD7950 arrives

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 31, 2012 - 05:22 PM |
Tagged: tahiti, southern islands, radeon, pcie 3.0, HD 7970, hd 7950, dx 11.1, amd, 28nm

A smattering of reviews of the newly released HD7950 have arrived to the web as the card that many enthusiasts have been waiting for finally arrives.  The card does not differ significantly from the HD7970 with 1,792 Stream Processors down from 2,048, 112 Texture Units versus 128, a core clock 125MHz lower at 800MHz and 5GHz effective on memory versus 5.5GHz for the HD7970.  Apart from those changes it is still the same silicon and the same 4.31 billion transistors which raises hopes that a similar BIOS mod to the one which allowed you to turn some HD6950s into HD6970s will exist for this card as well.  [H]ard|OCP's testing shows the card to be better than a GTX580 but not enough to be an upgrade for current owners of that card but anyone with the ~$450 and an older card would do well to consider this car.

You can also see Ryan's take on this card alone as well as how it scales in CrossFire in our review here.

H_7950.jpg

"The new Radeon HD 7950 marks the launch of AMD's more affordable Radeon HD 7900 series GPU. The Radeon HD 7950 is priced to compete with the GeForce GTX 580. We'll look at performance in comparison to several video cards in single-GPU, dual-GPU CrossFireX, Eyefinity, and Overclocking to see where it truly lands."

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

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

Tahiti Gets Clipped

It has been just over a month since we first got our hands on the AMD Southern Islands architecture in the form of the Radeon HD 7970 3GB graphics card.  It was then a couple of long weeks as we waited for the consumer to get the chance to buy that same hardware though we had to admit that the $550+ price tags were scaring many away. Originally we were going to have both the Radeon HD 7970 and the Radeon HD 7950 in our hands before January 9th, but that didn't pan out and instead the little brother was held in waiting a bit longer.

Today we are reviewing that sibling, the Radeon HD 7950 3GB GPU that offers basically the same technology and feature set with a slightly diminished core and a matching, slightly diminished price.  In truth I don't think that the estimated MSRP of $449 is going to really capture that many more hearts than the $549 price of the HD 7970 did, but AMD is hoping that they can ride their performance advantage to as many profits as they can while they wait for NVIDIA to properly react.  

Check out our video review right here and then continue on to our complete benchmarking analysis!!

Southern Islands Gets Scaled Back a Bit

As I said above, the Radeon HD 7950 3GB is pretty similar to the HD 7970.  It is based on the same 28nm, DirectX 11.1, PCI Express 3.0, 4.31 billion transistor GPU and includes the same massive 3GB frame buffer as its older brother.  The Tahiti GPU is the first of its kind of all of those facets but it has a few of the computational portions disabled.

If you haven't read up on the Southern Islands architecture, or Tahiti GPU based around it, you are missing quite a bit of important information on the current lineup of parts from AMD.  I would very much encourage you to head over to our Radeon HD 7970 3GB Tahiti review and look over the first three pages as it provides a detailed breakdown of the new features and the pretty dramatic shift in design that Southern Islands introduced to the AMD GPU team.  

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Continue reading our full review of the Radeon HD 7950 3GB graphics card!!