NVIDIA Invites You to Infiltrate Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Blacklist

Subject: General Tech | July 9, 2013 - 09:23 AM |
Tagged: tom clancy, splinter cell blacklist, NVIDA

NVIDIA is now bundling a code to get you a free copy of Splinter Cell Blacklist Deluxe with GTX660s and up, including the three new cards recently released.  Major retailers such as NewEgg, NCIX and Amazon all qualify as participating partners in North America and you can follow the link to NVIDIA's page to see the global partners as this is not a North America exclusive deal.  The deal is on until Dec 31st of this year ... or until the terrorists win by finishing the Black List.

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SANTA CLARA, Calif.—July 9, 2013—NVIDIA today announced it is working with Ubisoft to deliver the most dramatic and intense gaming experience possible for Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist. And starting today, gamers who purchase a GeForce GTX 660, 660 Ti, 670, 680, 760, 770, or 780 from a participating partner will receive a free copy of Splinter Cell Blacklist Deluxe Edition for PC, which will be released on August 20, 2013 in North America.

NVIDIA engineers are working closely with the Ubisoft Toronto development team to incorporate an array of cutting-edge gaming technologies for Splinter Cell Blacklist including Direct X tessellation, NVIDIA HBAO+, TXAA antialiasing and surround technologies to ensure gamers can experience smooth frame rates and awesome visuals in all of their covert missions.

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In Splinter Cell Blacklist, Sam Fisher returns as leader of 4th Echelon, an elite counter-terrorism unit armed with a new mandate to hunt down the masterminds behind The Blacklist, a series of deadly escalating attacks on U.S. interests. To stop the Blacklist countdown, gamers will choose the best way to face any challenge by tapping into Sam’s arsenal of lethal skills and training. The biggest game in the award-winning series, Splinter Cell Blacklist features an immersive single player story, distinct co-op missions, and the return of the legendary Spies Vs. Mercs multiplayer mode; all supported by a universal economy and customization system that allows players to completely customize their game experience.

For a full list of participating partners, please visit: http://www.geforce.com/landing-page/free-splinter-cell-blacklist. This offer is good only until December 31, 2013, or until The Blacklist countdown is eradicated, whichever comes first.

Source: NVIDIA

Intel's embedded GPU might finally be 'good enough' according to JPR

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | February 19, 2013 - 10:38 AM |
Tagged: Q4 2012, NVIDA, jon peddie, Intel, amd

Jon Peddie Research have released their findings on the state of the discrete and integrated graphics market, not counting servers, smartphone nor ARM based systems.  While the overall PC market showed a negligible gain of 2.8% over the final quarter of 2012, discrete graphics sales saw a decline of 8.2%, which JPR attributes to a noticeable increase of purchases of systems with only an Intel or AMD embedded GPU.  When you break the quarter down by manufacturer the news is not good.  For AMD the last quarter did see an increase of less than 1% on desktop CPUs but declines of 19% in laptop CPU sales and 13.6% in discrete GPU sales.  Intel saw desktop CPU sales up 3% but lost over 6% on laptop sales with their overall decline compared to last quarter sitting at about 3%.  NVIDIA was hit the hardest at the end of 2012 with only their discrete GPU sales applying to this survey, a loss of 15% on the desktop and a loss of 18% on mobile GPUs lead to an overall decline of 16%.

Compared to the final quarter of 2011, AMD lost 29.4%, Intel 5% and NVIDIA 4.6%, reflecting the difficulty of making sales in the past year; the total discrete GPU market dropped almost 10% or about 3 million units.  Even with the companies making profits, in some cases significant profits, the entire GPU market is depressed with ARM based devices and smartphones starting to erode the market that is already shrinking thanks to Intel and AMD shipping CPUs with embedded GPUs that are good enough for many users needs.

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"The news was disappointing for every one of the major players. AMD dropped 13.6%, Intel slipped the least, just 2.9%, and Nvidia declined the most with 16.7% quarter-to-quarter change, this coming on the heels of a spectacular third quarter. The overall PC market actually grew 2.8% quarter-to-quarter while the graphics market declined 8.2% reflecting a decline in double-attach. That may be attributed to Intel's improved embedded graphics, finally making "good enough" a true statement."

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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

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."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Intel, NVIDIA and AMD; all are having new GPU spring fling

Subject: General Tech | January 16, 2012 - 09:25 AM |
Tagged: amd, NVIDA, HD7950, kepler, Ivy Bridge, Intel

The arrival of the HD 7970 caused a bit of disappointment to some, not because of the performance of the card, instead it was the price that depressed many would be owners of the fastest GPU on the planet.  That price is fair, currently the competition sells their top card, the GTX 580 for about $500 and as the HD7970 is faster charging a ~10% premium makes perfect sense ... now if only they could do something about the stock problems.

All is not lost GPU fans, DigiTimes has confirmed AMD's HD7950 should be here by the end of the month and will offer the same next generation architecture at a lower price.  If it emulates the style of the HD6950 it will be a very popular card and will mean AMD beat NVIDIA to market with both enthusiast level cards.  It will likely be sometime in April before we start to see Kepler based cards from NVIDIA, of which they are being fairly closed mouth about.  We do know that they will be leading with mobile and mid-range chips, not the enthusiast level cards as AMD did, the reasons for that are widely debated.

Intel is also going to offer competition in the spring as they release Ivy Bridge with its integrated graphics.  That may take a chunk of AMD's Llano market share but their high end discrete GPUs should be safe.  NVIDIA on the other hand is vulnerable, if their mobile chips do not offer a significant advantage over Ivy Bridge's capabilities or cannot work in tandem with the chip then NVIDA's products will not be that attractive.  Even worse, if their mid-range cards do not live up to expectations, they may find AMD's previous generation of cards and Intel's iGPU dominating the market segment NVIDIA hoped to keep share in.

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2011 market shares from Jon Peddie Research

"AMD, after announcing 28nm high-end Radeon HD 7970 graphics card, is set to add a new 28nm member Radeon HD 7950 by the end of January, while Nvidia, considering the yield rates of the 28nm process and its inventory levels, plans to officially release its 28nm Kepler in April, at the latest, according to sources from graphics card makers.

The sources noted that Nvidia wishes to make sure that the power consumption and the manufacturing process of the graphics chip all reach perfection before entering the 28nm generation. Since Nvidia is set to release its 28nm graphics card around the same time as Intel's upcoming 22nm Ivy Bridge processor, the sources believe Kepler series GPUs may have a chance to catch up with the demand for Intel's new CPUs."

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Source: DigiTimes