Subject: General Tech | October 18, 2012 - 01:05 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: opengl, nvidia, linux, driver
Phoronix tested out the new beta Linux driver from NVIDIA on a GTX 680 and saw some nice performance improvements compared to the previous generation of driver. They tested not just popular Linux games but also several Unigine benchmarks and for the most part when using just the basic driver they saw noticeable improvements and would recommend updating your system. On the other hand when they enabled the threaded OpenGL optimization performance plummeted in every test, leading Phoronix to describe the current threaded OpenGL support as "a mess at this point.". If you were hoping to take advantage of the new threading options, you'd best hold off for another driver revision.
"With the NVIDIA 310.14 Beta driver introduced at the beginning of this week there are some OpenGL performance improvements in general plus an experimental threaded OpenGL implementation that can be easily enabled. In this article are benchmarks from the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 with this new Linux driver release."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Calxeda plots server dominance with ARM SoCs @ The Register
- Mozilla Firefox 16 Review @ TechReviewSource
- Google offers a rare glimpse of its datacentres @ The Inquirer
- IE10 coming to Windows 7 sometime, maybe @ The Register
- Netgear Prosafe WNDAP360 Wireless-N Access Point Review @ eTeknix
- TerraLUX TLF-3C2AAEX LightStar220 2xAA Aluminium CREE XRE Q4 LED Flashlight Review @ ModSynergy
Subject: Mobile | October 10, 2012 - 10:26 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: yoga 11, windows rt, tegra 3, tablet, nvidia, notebook, microsoft, Lenovo
At an event in New York earlier this week Lenovo announced a new Windows RT tablet called the Yoga 11. It will be joining the company’s lineup alongside the larger x86-powered Yoga 13.
The Lenovo Yoga 11 follows in the footsteps of the Yoga 13 but steps down the hardware specifications. The 11.6” tablet is 15.6mm thick and 2.8 pounds. On a simple level, the Yoga 11 is a notebook that doubles as a tablet thanks to the five point multitouch screen that can swivel 360 degrees to lay flat like a tablet.
The notebook will come pre-loaded with Microsoft’s upcoming Windows RT operating system as well as Office 2013 RT. It is powered by a NVIDIA Tegra 3 ARM System on a Chip (SoC) and 64GB of internal storage. What we don’t know yet is the amount of RAM, radio support (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, LTE, et al) if any, and the specific display resolution and panel type. Lenovo has announced that the Yoga 11 will be able to get up to 13 hours of usage on a single charge.
The Yoga 11 is a traditional notebook at first glance, and it even includes a full Qwerty keyboard and trackpad. Where the Yoga differentiates itself is in the screen hinge. The hinge allows you to swing the display all the way around to lie flat against the bottom of the computer, which amounts to tablet mode, and every position in between. One use for this feature would be to show off presentation to a small group or prop it up on an airplane to watch a movie. It is essentially a convertible tablet without the center-mounted swivel hinge.
It certainly looks like an interesting device, and the Tegra 3 should provide enough GPU horsepower to allow you to watch HD videos with ease. Unfortunately, pricing and availability are still unknown, which makes this a hard product to place or predict the success of.
Read more about Windows RT tablets at PC Perspective.
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 10, 2012 - 09:33 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nvidia, driver, win8
It is not just that the latest GeForce drivers will work on Windows 8, these are the third WHQL certified drivers so you can be pretty much guaranteed to have the same compatibility and control over your GPU after making the switch as you do with Win7 and previous versions. The GeForce 306.97 drivers are good for Win7 and Win8 and offers the list of fixes and improvements which you can see below. Owners of Doom 3: BFG Edition who want to play in NVIDIA 3D should definitely upgrade as NVIDIA specifically mentions the quality improvements you will enjoy upon upgrading.
Adds support for the new GeForce GTX 650 Ti GPU.
Updates SLI profile for Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Future Soldier.
Updates 3D Vision profiles for the following PC games:
- Check vs. Mate - Rated Excellent
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive - Rated Good
- Doom 3: BFG Edition - Rated Excellent
- English Country Tune - Rated Good
- F1 2012 - Rated Good
- Iron Brigade - Rated Fair
- Jagged Alliance: Crossfire - Rated Good
- Orcs Must Die 2! - Rated Good
- Planetside 2 - Rated Not Recommended
- Prototype 2 - Rated Poor
- Sleeping Dogs - Rated Good
- Spec Ops: The Line - Rated Good
- Tiny Troopers - Rated Fair
- Torchlight 2 - Rated Good
- Transformers: Fall of Cybertron - Rated Fair
Subject: General Tech | October 9, 2012 - 04:50 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gk106, gtx 650 Ti, kepler, nvidia
The sub-$200 GPU market just got a little more crowded with the arrival of NVIDIA's GTX 650 Ti, available for $160 on NewEgg. That price matches an XFX HD 7850 if you include the $20 MIR, otherwise there are several other models available for around $180. That establishes the competition as far as the cost to purchase but it is the performance competition that really matters. The Tech Report tried out the overclocked GeForce GTX 650 Ti 2GB AMP! Edition from Zotac and the results did not favour NVIDIA, though in some cases the results were quite close. In the end they felt that users deciding between these cards should ask themselves two questions; do you need the smaller physical size of the GTX 650 Ti for an SFF build and which game would you rather get for free, Assassin's Creed 3 or Sleeping Dogs?
You can read Ryan's full review here, if you haven't already.
"Nvidia's new GeForce GTX 650 Ti fills the last great gap in the 600-series lineup, offering Kepler goodness between $149 and 179 or so. We've taken one of the more upscale variants of the new card and delved inside the second to see how it stacks up against the competition."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti @ Bjorn3D
- ASUS GTX 650 Ti DirectCU II TOP Review @ OCC
- The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Review, Feat. Gigabyte, Zotac, & EVGA @ AnandTech
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti review: Gigabyte vs MSI vs Zotac @ Hardware.info
- Gigabyte GeForce GTX 650 Ti @ Hardware Secrets
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Video Card Review w/ MSI and EVGA @ Legit Reviews
- NVIDIA Geforce GTX 650Ti Review @ OCC
- ASUS GeForce GTX 650Ti DirectCU II TOP Review @Hi Tech Legion
- NVIDIA GTX 650 Ti (2GB OC Editions) @ HardwareHeaven
- MSI GTX N650Ti Power Edition Video Card @ Benchmark Reviews
- NVidia GTX 650Ti Three Way Roundup @ Ninjalane
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Video Card @ Benchmark Reviews
- GeForce GTX 650 Ti @ Guru3D
- Nvidia GTX 650 Ti @ LanOC Reviews
- Asus GTX 650 Ti DirectCU II TOP @ LanOC Reviews
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650Ti Video Card Review @Hi Tech Legion
- ASUS GeForce GTX 650 Ti Direct Cu II 1 GB @ techPowerUp
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB Review @ Hardware Canucks
- MSI GeForce GTX 650 Ti Power Edition 1 GB @ techPowerUp
- Gigabyte GeForce GTX 650 Ti @ Legion Hardware
- GeForce GTX 650 Ti Review: Kepler Hits $150 @ TechSpot
- HIS Radeon HD 7970 X Turbo @ [H]ard|OCP
Another GK106 Completes the Stack
It has been an interesting year for graphics cards and 2012 still has another solid quarter of releases ahead of it. With the launch of AMD's 7000-series back in January, followed by the start of NVIDIA's Kepler lineup in March, we have had new graphics cards on a very regular basis ever since. And while AMD's Radeon HD 7000 cards seemed to be bunched together a bit better, NVIDIA has staggered the release of the various Kepler cards, either because of capacity at the manufacturing facilities or due to product marketing plans - take your pick.
Today we see the completion of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 600 stack (if you believe the PR at NVIDIA) with the release of the GeForce GTX 650 Ti, a $150 graphics card that fills in the gap between the somewhat anemic GTX 650 and GT 640 cards and the most recently unveiled card, the GTX 660 2GB that currently sells for $229.
The GTX 650 Ti has more in common with the GTX 660 than it does the GTX 650, both being based on the GK106 GPU, but is missing some of the unique features that NVIDIA has touted of the 600-series cards like GPU Boost. Let's dive into the product and see if this new card will be the best option for those of you with $150 graphics budgets.
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 7, 2012 - 10:37 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: nvidia, kepler, gtx 650ti, gpu, gk106-220
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti is rumored to launch soon, and so far specifications have leaked on the reference design as well as two custom cards from ASUS and Galaxy. Zotac is the latest manufacturer to have its GTX 650 Ti lineup leaked, and the company is bringing as many as three graphics cards to the GK106-220 Kepler family. In all, Zotac is rumored to be launching one 1GB GTX 650 Ti and two 2GB GPUs – all with vared levels of factory overclocks. Video outputs on all three cards include two DVI and two HDMI connectors.
The Zotac GTX 650 Ti 1GB stays close to the reference design, but bumps up the GPU core clockspeed to 941 MHz. It also includes 1 GB of GDDR5 memory on a 128-bit interface clocked at 1350 MHz (5400 MHz effective), which matches the reference design. The price of this card is said to be $160, and features a custom cooler from Zotac that is similar (but smaller than) to the cooler used on the company's GTX 660 Ti GPU wich we recently reviewed.
The Zotac GTX 650 Ti 2GB is, as the name suggests, a GTX 650 Ti graphics card with 2GB of GDDR5 memory. It features Zotac's custom cooler, and a single PCI-E 6-pin power connector. The GPU clockspeed is 941 MHz and the memory clockspeed is 1350 MHz. The extra 1GB of graphics memory is nice, but it is still on a 128-bit interface so don't expect too much of a performance boost. MSRP of this card is rumored to be $180.
Finally, the GTX 650 Ti 2GB AMP! Edition is Zotac's highest-end GTX 650 Ti graphics card. It comes with the GK106-220 Kepler GPU and 2GB of GDDR5 memory on a 128-bit bus. Powered by a single 6-pin PEG connector, the factory overclocked graphics card is clocked at 1033 MHz for the GPU and 1550 MHz (6200 MHz effective) for the memory.The Zotac GTX 650 Ti AMP! Edition comes with the company's custom cooler and is the first card to feature factory overclocked memory. The rumored price of this card is $190. Unfortunately, that puts it fairly close to the price of a reference GTX 660, which may make this card a hard sell. The factory overclocks are impressive, but saving up the extra $30 needed to get a GTX 660 is likely a better idea because it will still offer up better performance thanks to the additional CUDA cores and wider memory bus.
The following chart compares the three Zotac cards to the leaked reference specifications.
|Reference Specifications||Zotac GTX 650 Ti 1GB||Zotac GTX 650 Ti 2GB||Zotac GTX 650 Ti 2GB AMP! Edition|
|CPU Clockspeed||925 MHz||941 MHz||941 MHz||1033 MHz|
|Memory Clockspeed||1350 MHz||1350 MHz||1350 MHz||1550 MHz|
|GDDR5 Amount||1 GB||1 GB||2 GB||2 GB|
Comparison of several GTX 650 Ti graphics cards versus the rumored reference specifications.
Further, this chart compares the leaked specifications of the top end cards from each manufacturer (at least, the ones we know of so far) to the highest-end Zotac GPU: the 2GB AMP! Edition.
|Reference Specifications||ASUS GTX 650 Ti TOP||Galaxy GTX 650 Ti GC 1GB||Gigabyte GTX 650 Ti OC||Zotac GTX 650 Ti 2GB AMP! Edition||POV GTX 650 Ti 1GB Ultra Charged|
|CPU Clockspeed||925 MHz||1033 MHz||966 MHz||1032 MHz||1033 MHz||1058 MHz|
|Memory Clockspeed||1350 MHz||1350 MHz||1350 MHz||1350 MHz||1550 MHz||1350 MHz|
|GDDR5 Amount||1 GB||1 GB||1 GB||2 GB||2 GB||1 GB|
|Video Outputs||2 x DVI, 1 x HDMI||2 x DVI, 1 x HDMI, 1 x VGA||2 x DVI, 1 x HDMI||2 x DVI, 1 x HDMI, 1 x VGA||2 x DVI, 2 x HDMI||1 x DVI, 1 x HDMI, 1 x VGA|
Inno3D is also rumored to have a GTX 650 Ti graphics card coming out, but we don't know clockspeeds or price on it. Only that it has two DVI and one HDMI connector, a single PEG power connector, and a custom cooler.
Overall, the Zotac card measures up well, with pricing being the only major disadvantage. The 2GB of memory, factory overclocks, and two HDMI ports are welcome additions, however. Interestingly, the Zotac card is not the highest clocked graphics card overall, but it is the only one that features overclocked memory. It is unclear to me why manufactuers of NVIDIA cards are so hesitant to push the memory clockspeeds (or if they are even allowed to), but Zotac seems to prove that it is possible to do so.
Also worth pointing out is the rumored pricing, as some of these custom graphics cards are pushing $200 (especially the ASUS card when coverted to USD... I'm sure that has to be in error...), and reference GTX 660 with the full GK106 Kepler core are only $230. It will be interesting to see if these rumored prices turn out to be true, and how well Zotac's factory overclocked 650 Ti models sell.
Subject: General Tech | October 4, 2012 - 10:08 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: nvidia, kepler, gtx 650ti, gpu, geforce
Earlier this year, specifications for an as-yet-unreleased GTX 650 Ti graphics card from NVIDIA leaked. At the time, the rumors indicated that the GTX 650 Ti would have hardware closer to the GTX 650 than the GTX 660 but still be based on the GK106 Kepler chip. It would have a 128-bit memory interface, 48 testure units, and 576 CUDA cores in 1.5 GPCs (3 SMX units). And to top it off, it had a rumored price of around $170! Not exactly a bargain.
Welll, as the launch gets closer more details are being leaked, and this time around the rumored information is indicating that the GTX 650 Ti will be closer in performance to the GTX 660 and cost around $140-$150. That certainly sounds better!
The new rumors are indicating that the reference GTX 650 Ti will have 768 CUDA cores, and 64 texture units, which means it has the full two GPCs (so it is only missing the one-half of a GPC that you get with GTX 660). and four SMX units. As a point of reference, the GTX 660 – which NVIDIA swears is the full GK106 chip – has five SMX units in 2 and a half GPCs.
The following image shows the layout of the GTX 660. The GTX 650 Ti will have the GPC on the far right disabled. Previous rumors suggested that the entire middle GPC would be turned off, so the new rumors are definitely looking more promising in terms of potential performance.
Specifically marked GK106-220 on the die, the GTX 650 Ti is based the same GK106 Kepler chip as the GTX 660, but with some features disabled. The GPU is reportedly clocked at 925MHz, and it does not support NVIDIA's GPU Boost technology.
Memory performance will take a large hit compared to the full GK106 chip. The GTX 650 Ti will feature 1GB of GDDR5 memory clocked at 1350MHz on a 128-bit memory interface. That amounts to approximately 86.4 GB/s bandwidth, which is slightly over half of the GTX 660's 144.2 GB/s bandwidth. Also, it's just barely over the 80 GB/s bandwidth of the GTX 650 (which makes sense, considering they are both using 128-bit interfaces).
The latest rumors indicate the GTX 650 Ti will be priced at around $140 with custom cards such as recently leaked Galaxy GTX 650 Ti GC on Newegg costing more ($149). These new leaked specifications have more weight than the previous rumors since they have come from multiple leaks from multiple places, so I am hoping that these new rumors are the real deal. If so, the GTX 650 Ti becomes a much better value that it was rumored to be before!
You can find more photos of a leaked GTX 650 Ti over at Chiphell.
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 4, 2012 - 04:42 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: nvidia, kepler, gtx 680, gtx 670, gtx 660 Ti, gigabyte, factory overclocked
Gigabyte is launching three new factory overclocked graphics cards featuring a Kepler GPU, custom PCB, and custom cooler. The factory overclocks are notable, but will cost you. Specifically, the company is producing versions of the GTX 660 Ti, GTX 670, and GTX 680.
The Gigabyte GV-N680OC-4GD takes the GTX 680 GPU, places it on a custom PCB, and pairs it with 4GB of GDDR5 memory. It features two 6-pin PCI-E power connectors, and Gigabyte’s Windforce X3 450W custom cooler using a triangular fin design that allegedly increases cooling potential. While the GDDR5 memory clockspeeds have not been increased over the reference clocks, the GPU core and boost clockspeeds have been pushed to 1071 MHz and 1137 MHz respectively. The following chart shows the differences in clockspeed and memory over the reference design.
|Reference GTX 680||Gigabyte N680OC-4GD|
|GPU Core||1006 MHz||1071 MHz|
|GPU Boost||1058 MHz||1137 MHz|
|GDDR5 Amount||2 GB||4 GB|
|GDDR5 Speed||6 Gbps||6 Gbps|
The GTX 680 is not the only card to get a custom makeover by Gigabyte, however. The GV-N670OC-4GD is a custom GTX 670. With this card, Gigabyte has set the base clockspeed at 980 MHz – the boost clockspeed of reference cards – and the boost clockspeed at 1058 MHz. Gigabyte has also doubled down on the GDDR5 memory by packing 4GB onto the custom PCB. The memory clockspeed remains the same 6 Gbps as reference cards, however.
This card uses the same Windforce X3 cooler as the cust GTX 680, and as a result has a triple slot design that looks identical to the N680OC-4GD. If you look just above the PCI-E connector though, you can see tell them apart by the product name.
|Reference GTX 670||Gigabyte N670OC-4GD|
|GPU Core||915 MHz||980 MHz|
|GPU Boost||980 MHz||1058 MHz|
|GDDR5 Amount||2 GB||4 GB|
|GDDR5 Speed||6 Gbps||6 Gbps|
Finally, we have the GV-N66TOC-3GD which overclocks the GTX 660 Ti GPU to the max. Factory clockspeeds are set at 1032 MHz base and 1111 MHz boost. Memory also sees a small bump from 2GB reference to 3GB. On the other hand, the memory is not overclocked and remains at the reference 6 Gbps clockspeed. This card also has a triple fan Windforce cooler, however this version is not the triple slot design found on the GTX 670 and GTX 680s SKUs – only dual slot.
|Reference GTX 660 Ti||Gigabyte N66TOC-3GD|
|GPU Core||915 MHz||1032 MHz|
|GPU Boost||980 MHz||1111 MHz|
|GDDR5 Amount||2 GB||3 GB|
|GDDR5 Speed||6 Gbps||6 Gbps|
All three of the Gigabyte GPUs feature two DVI, one full-size HDMI, and one full-size DisplayPort connector for video outputs.
All three factory overclocked graphics cards feature respectable GPU overclocks, and it appears that Gigabyte has provided ample cooling for each GPU. The triple slot, triple fan version on the N670OC-4GD and N680OC-4GD in particular seem to offer headroom above even what Gigabyte has clocked these out of the box. Curiously though, Gigabyte is continuing the trend of not touching the memory clockspeed of Kepler cards. It may be that the RAM chips are already at their max on the reference design, or there could be some behind the scenes talk with NVIDIA not waning Add In Board partners to touch the memory Unfortunately, all I have at this point is speculation, but it is a rather curious omission on such high end cards. That point becomes clearer when price is taken into consideration. Videocardz claims to have the pricing information for the three video cards, and the custom cards are going to cost you a large premium over reference cards. The rumored prices can be found in the charts above compared against the reference pricing, but the basic run down is that the GV-N66TOC-3GD will cost $415, the GV-N670OC-4GD will cost $550, and the GV-N680OC-4GD will cost (an astounding) $800.
I’m hoping that the rumored prices are in error and will be adjusted once the cards are available. These are neat cards that look to have plenty of cooling, but I’m still trying to figure out just what these cards have to offer to justify the huge jump over reference pricing. And, no, the superfluous gold plated HDMI connectors do not count. [For example, the 4GB Galaxy GTX 670 we recently reviewed was only $70 over reference while the Gigabyte card is rumored to be $150!]
The Gigabyte N66TOC-3GD factory overclocked GPU.
You can find links to the Gigabyte product pages in the charts above. If you have not already, please check out our GTX 660 Ti, GTX 670, and GTX 680 graphics card reviews for the full scoop on the various Kepler iterations. And if you are considering the Gigabyte N680OC-4GD, you should probably check out the dual GPU GTX 690 review as well (heh).
PhysX Settings Comparison
Borderlands 2 is a hell of a game; we actually ran a 4+ hour live event on launch day to celebrate its release and played it after our podcast that week as well. When big PC releases occur we usually like to take a look at performance of the game on a few graphics cards as well to see how NVIDIA and AMD cards stack up. Interestingly, for this title, PhysX technology was brought up again and NVIDIA was widely pushing it as a great example of implementation of the GPU-accelerated physics engine.
What you may find unique in Borderlands 2 is that the game actually allows you to enabled PhysX features at Low, Medium and High settings, with either NVIDIA or AMD Radeon graphics cards installed in your system. In past titles, like Batman: Arkham City and Mafia II, PhysX was only able to be enabled (or at least at higher settings) if you had an NVIDIA card. Many gamers that used AMD cards saw this as a slight and we tended to agree. But since we could enable it with a Radeon card installed, we were curious to see what the results would be.
Of course, don't expect the PhysX effects to be able to utilize the Radeon GPU for acceleration...
Borderlands 2 PhysX Settings Comparison
The first thing we wanted to learn was just how much difference you would see by moving from Low (the lowest setting, there is no "off") to Medium and then to High. The effects were identical on both AMD and NVIDIA cards and we made a short video here to demonstrate the changes in settings.
Subject: General Tech | September 27, 2012 - 01:46 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: tlc, ssd, Sea Islands, Samsung, PSU, podcast, nvidia, IOPS, Intel, evga, amd, 840 pro, 840, 1500W
PC Perspective Podcast #220 - 09/27/2012
Join us this week as we talk about the Samsung 840 Pro SSD, a 1500W PSU from EVGA, AMD GPU leaks, and more!
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Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom, and Allyn Malvantano
Program length: 1:07:28
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