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: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards | April 23, 2012 - 09:58 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: nvidia, crowbar, kepler
Remember when NVIDIA updated their Facebook page with "It's Coming..." and a picture that you had little chance of learning its origin? Well the marketing team is at again, this time sending over a crowbar. No, seriously.
"For Use in Case of Zombies Or...<NVIDIA LOGO>". So either something BIG is coming later that I am going to need to open with said crowbar or maybe NVIDIA is partnering with Valve to announce Half-Life 3. That second guess is just wishful thinking, sorry.
If nothing else I guess we'll thank NVIDIA for the additional weapon for the eventual zombie apocalypse until such time as they sit fit to clue me in on the joke.
Subject: Graphics Cards | April 18, 2012 - 09:22 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: nvidia, facebook, kepler
NVIDIA is using its Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/NVIDIAGeForce to tease another upcoming graphics cards with the following image and the subtitle of "It's Coming."
While there are zero details and the photo is about as ambiguous as it gets, we have several speculations about it. It could be another Kepler-based graphics card like the GTX 670 or GTX 660 but more likely, we are seeing something higher end that NVIDIA wants us to get excited about. Is NVIDIA already prepping the dual-GPU variant we are guessing as the GTX 690?
Like I said, it's basically impossible to tell based on the photo, but apparently we'll know "soon".
Subject: Graphics Cards | March 22, 2012 - 02:15 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
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!
"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:
- Nvidia's GeForce GTX 680 @ The Tech Report
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Graphics Performance @ Benchmark Reviews
- NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 680 @ Tweaktown
- Nvidia Strikes Back: GeForce GTX 680 2 GB on “Kepler” Graphics Architecture @ X-bit Labs
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 DirectX 11 Video Card Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 Video Card Preview @ Ninjalane
- Palit GEFORCE GTX 680 2GB Kepler Graphics Card Review @ eTeknix
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Preview @ Techgage
- nVidia GTX680 @ OC3D
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 680: Kepler (GK104) @ Bjorn3D
- NVIDIA GTX 680 2GB Reviews @ Hardware Canucks
- GeForce GTX 680 @ Guru of 3D
- Nvidia GTX 680 - Kepler @ LanOC Reviews
- NVIDIA GTX 680 Review @ OCC
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 (Kepler) Graphics Card Launch Review @ HardwareHeaven
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Kepler 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- ASUS GTX 680 2GB Overclocking Review: Win Some Lose Some @ VR-Zone
- NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 680 @ Tweaktown
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Review: Retaking The Performance Crown @ AnandTech
- NVIDIA's GeForce 600M Series: Mobile Kepler and Fermi Die Shrinks @ AnandTech
- Sapphire Radeon HD 7750 1GB Ultimate @ Tweaktown
- Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB @ Tweaktown
- Sapphire HD7850 Overclock Edition @ Kitguru
- Gigabyte Radeon HD 7870 OC @ Legion Hardware
- XFX R7850 Black Edition OC @ LanOC Reviews
- Sapphire Radeon HD 7750 Ultimate Review @ Neoseeker
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."
GTX 680 Block Diagram
Subject: General Tech | March 20, 2012 - 01:12 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: TSMC, nvidia, amd, southern islands, kepler, 28nm, maxwell, llano
TSMC's 28nm process has been in the news for a long time, sometimes this was a good thing but more often it was not. Back in May of 2009 the first announcements of TSMC's brand new 28nm process hit the news with major production slated to start in early 2010. That didn't happen on time, much to several companies dismay as Josh unhappily discussed towards the end of 2010. This set a trend for TSMC's 28nm process for a while, for instance AMD did not quite meet their promise of readily available 28nm GPUs in 2011, though a late December launch for the HD7970 did meet the spirit of the agreement. The delays and issues on TSMC's 28nm lines had a variety of causes, perhaps one of the worst being TSMC's overly optimistic attitude about their production capabilities especially when AMD had a surprise for them. Add to that the long line of woes during the development and production of NVIDIA's 28nm Kepler GPU as well as the recent shutdown of the production line, and you can see why TSMC's 28nm process has spent a lot of time being maligned in the news. It almost makes you forget about the 40nm process woes, but that is ancient news.
All that effort is not going to waste as DigiTimes reports that TSMC is planning on expanding their 28nm capacity this year and expects that process to account for 10% of their 2012 revenue. The next question on most peoples minds is the progress on TSMC's 22nm process which in 2010 they announced would be ready by Q3 2012, something which NVIDIA's Maxwell team is probably anticipating with great anxiety.
"With current capacity for 28nm processes filled up, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is likely to expand the leading-edge process capacity later in 2012, according to industry sources.
TSMC reportedly is running at full capacity at its 12-inch fabs due to strong orders for 28nm as well as 40nm and 65nm designs. In order to avoid orders to rivals such as United Microelectronics (UMC) and Samsung Electronics, TSMC will have to speed up the pace of its leading-edge capacity expansion in particular its 28nm capacity, the sources said."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- AMD releases single-processor AM3+ Opteron 3200-series chips @ The Inquirer
- D-Wave Announces Commercially Available Quantum Computer @ Slashdot
- Intel launches over 100 Xeon E5-2600 motherboard and chassis SKUs @ The Inquirer
- ARM's ultra-low-power fridge-puter chips: Just what the CIA ordered @ The Register
- Windows 8 to debut on both x86 and ARM devices in October, report says @ Ars Technica
- Interview with XFX Sales VP Cy Brown @ Kitguru
- Windows 8 tablet freezes in Microsoft keynote demo @ The Register
- Samsung shows 14nm and 20nm wafers @ SemiAccurate
- ASUS Masters of Overclocking Competition 2012 UK with HardwareHeaven
Subject: General Tech | March 15, 2012 - 01:28 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: podcast, nvidia, kepler, Ivy Bridge, Intel, amd
PC Perspective Podcast #193 - 03/15/2012
Join us this week as we talk about our Kepler Mobile preview, GTX 680 Rumors, Zenbook talk and more!
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
- 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
- 1-888-38-PCPER or email@example.com
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
- NCAA 2012: PC Perspective Bracket Competition!!
- HP dm4t Beats Edition Notebook Review: Branding Gone Wild
- Nvidia GeForce GT 640M Review: Kepler Arrives For Mobile
- Unreal Engine Samaritan Demo Running On Single NVIDIA Kepler GPU
- Alleged NVIDIA GK104 Kepler GTX 670 Ti Photo Leaked
- GTX 680, Turbo Cores, and Cuda Cores!
- A possible GTX 680 specs leak?
- Asus Updating Zenbook Line With UX31A and UX21A Ultrabooks
- Lian Li Releases Official Photos of PC-QO5 Case
- The new MAINGEAR Solo all-in-one PC series
- ARM Cortex-MO+ Lowest Power Processor Yet At 9µA/MHz
- Give me a Marauder MAD-5M with original armour and I am good to go
- Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
- 1-888-38-PCPER or firstname.lastname@example.org
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
Introduction, GT 640M Basics
About two months ago I wrote an less than enthusiastic editorial about ultrabooks that pointed out several weaknesses in the format. One particular weakness in all of the products we’ve seen to date is graphics performance. Ultrabooks so far have lacked the headroom for a discrete graphics component and have instead been saddled with a low-performance version of the already so-so Intel HD 3000 IGP.
This is a problem. Ultrabooks are expensive, yet they so far are less capable of displaying rich 3D graphics than your typical smartphone or tablet. Casual gamers will notice this and take their gaming time and dollars in that direction. Early leaked information about Ivy Bridge indicates that there has been a substantial increase in graphics capability, but the information available so far is centered on the desktop. The version that will be found in ultrabooks is unlikely to be as quick.
Today we’re looking at a potential solution - the Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M3 equipped with Nvidia’s new GT 640M GPU. This is the first laptop to launch with a Kepler based GPU. It is also an ultrabook, albeit it one with a 15.6” display. Otherwise, it isn’t much different from other products on the market, as you can see below.
This is likely to be the only Kepler based laptop on the market for a month or two. The reason for this is Ivy Bridge - most of the manufacturers are waiting for Intel’s processor update before they go to the trouble of designing new products.
Subject: Editorial | March 9, 2012 - 11:45 AM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: TSMC, tahiti, process node, nvidia, kepler, amd, 28 nm
Charlie over at Semiaccurate is reporting that TSMC has closed down their entire 28 nm line. Shut down. Not running wafers. This obviously cannot be good.
Apparently TSMC stopped the entire line about three weeks ago and have not restarted it. This type of thing does not happen very often, and when it does, things are really out of whack. Going back we have heard mixed reviews of TSMC’s 28 nm process. NVIDIA was quoted as saying that yields still were not very good, but at least were better than what they experienced with their first 40 nm part (GTX 400 series). Now, part of NVIDIA’s problem was that the design was as much of an issue as the 40 nm process was. AMD at the time was churning out HD 5000 series parts at a pretty good rate, and they said their yields were within expectations.
AMD so far is one of the first customers out of the gate with a large volume of 28 nm parts. The HD 7900 series has been out since the second week of January, the HD 7700 series since mid-February, and the recently released HD 7800 series will reach market in about 2 weeks. Charlie has done some more digging and has found out that AMD has enough product in terms of finished boards and packaged chips that they will be able to handle the shutdown from TSMC. Things will get tight at the end, but apparently the wafers in the middle of being processed have not been thrown out or destroyed. So once production starts again, AMD and the other customers will not have to wait 16 to 20 weeks before getting finished product.
NVIDIA will likely not fare nearly as well. The bulk of the stoppage occurred during the real “meat and potatoes” manufacturing cycle for the company. NVIDIA expects to launch the first round of Kepler based products this month, but if production has been stopped for the past three weeks then we can bet that there are a lot of NVIDIA wafers just sitting in the middle of production. Charlie also claims that the NVIDIA launch will not be a hard one, and NVIDIA expects retail products to be available several weeks after the introduction.
The potential reasons for this could be legion. Was there some kind of toxic spill that resulted in a massive cleanup that required the entire line to be shut down? Was there some kind of contamination that was present while installing the line, but was not discovered until well after production started? Or was something glossed over during installation that ballooned into a bigger problem that just needed to be rectified (a stitch in time saves nine)?
Subject: Graphics Cards | March 8, 2012 - 06:59 PM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: nvidia, kepler, gtx 680, GDC
It seems that there have been a few leaks on NVIDIA's first Kepler based product. Techpowerup and Extreme Tech are both reporting on leaks that apparently came from Cebit and some of NVIDIA's partners. We now have a much better idea what the GTX 680 is all about.
Epic's Mark Rein is showing off his own GTX 680 which successfully ran their Samaritan Demo. It is wrapped for his protection. (Image courtesy of Extreme Tech)
The chip that powers the GTX 680 is the GK104, and it is oddly enough the more "midrange/enthusiast" offering. It has a total of 1536 CUDA cores, runs at 703 MHz core and 1406 MHz hot clock, has a 256 bit memory bus pumping out 196 GB/sec, and has a new and interesting feature that is quite a bit like the Turbo core functionality we see from both AMD and Intel in their CPUs. Apparently when a scene gets very complex, the chip is able to overclock itself up to 900 MHz core/1800 MHz hot clock. It will stay there for either as long as the scene needs it, or the chip approaches its upper TDP limit.
These reports paint the GTX 680 as being about 10% faster than the HD 7970 in certain applications, but in others it is slower. I figure that when reviews are finally released the two cards will have traded blows with each other over who has the fastest graphics card. Let's call it a draw.
The GTX 680 should be unveiled in the next week or so, but initial reviews will not surface until later in the month. Retail availability will be relegated until then, but with the issues that TSMC has had with their 28 nm process (it has been stopped since the middle of February) we have no idea how much product NVIDIA and its partners has. Things could be scarce after the introduction for some time.