Subject: Systems | March 26, 2012 - 04:06 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: water cooling, nvidia, Ivy Bridge, gtx 680, Digital Storm
Digital Storm, a custom PC Manufacturer founded in 2002 today revealed their latest system lineup. The new Aventum computers employ the company’s Cryo-TEC sub-zero cooling solution and the latest in PC hardware in a custom full tower chassis. The custom Aventum systems come in several tiers, including three systems with Intel Sandy Bridge-E processors, NVIDIA GTX 680 graphics cards, solid state drives, and at least 16 GB of RAM. Digital Storm further does not skimp on the power supplies. The Aventum computers are powered by either Corsair or Silverstone PSUs.
The hardware inside the chassis is impressive from a performance standpoint, and Digital Storm is including high end hardware as part of several tiers. The lowest tier is an Intel Sandy Bridge Core i7 2700K and a single EVGA NVIDIA GTX 680 graphics card on an Asus P8Z68-V Pro motherboard. On the other hand, the top tier system moves up to a dual socket EVGA SR-X motherboard, two Intel Xeon E5-2630 processors and three EVGA NVIDIA GTX 680 GPUs in a triple SLI configuration. The other hardware differences are less pronounced - like the upgrade to faster or more RAM and a bit more SSD capacity and PSU wattage. At launch, there will be four system configuration levels which you can see in the chart below.
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4|
|Processor||Intel Core i7 2700K||Intel Core i7 3930K||Intel Core i7 3960X||2x Dual Intel Xeon E5-2630 Six-Core|
|Memory||16 GB DDR3 1600 MHz||16 GB DDR3 1600 MHz||16 GB DDR3 2133 MHz Corsair GT||32 GB DDR3 ECC REG 1333 MHz|
|Graphics Card(s)||1x EVGA GTX 680||2x Dual SLI GTX 680||3x Triple SLI GTX 680||3x Triple SLI GTX 680|
|Storage||120 GB SSD & 1 TB HDD||120 GB SSD & 1 TB HDD||120 GB SSD & 1 TB HDD||180 GB SSD & 1 TB HDD|
IV Extreme X79
|Power Supply||Corsair 1050W Pro Silver||Corsair 1200W Pro Gold||Silverstone 1500W SST-ST1500||Silverstone 1500W SST-ST1500|
|Optical Drive||Slot Loading DVD Writer||Slot Loading DVD Writer||Slot Loading DVD Writer||Slot Loading DVD Writer|
|OS||Windows 7 HP x64||Windows 7 HP x64||Windows 7 HP x64||Windows 7 Pro x64|
The hardware is nice, but it is not the only interesting aspect of the new Aventum PCs. Rather, it is the custom chassis that holds the Digital Storm hardware. The metal full tower ATX case is divided up into sections and supports three 420mm (3x140mm) radiators, and 13 case fans to keep the Cryo-TEC thermo-electric cooler from overheating. The cooler is placed directly on the CPU and then is itself cooled by a water cooling loop. There are two 420mm radiators in the bottom of the chassis along with the computer’s power supply.
The Digital Storm Cryo-TEC cooler installed in a system.
Digital Storm has designed it such that three 140mm fans draw cool air in from outside of the case, through the radiator, and then channels the heated air out of the back of the case via vent under the power supply. The 13 case fans provide cooling for five cooling “zones” and are monitored and controlled by temperature probes using Aventum software in Windows. System and temperature information is also displayed on a built in LCD on the right side of the case.
Another interesting aspect of the Aventum chassis is that the hardware is installed “backwards” in the case such that it can be viewed through a window on the right side of the case (instead of the left in the majority of cases). It also features a removable drive cage with four 3.5” drive bays. There is also support for two internal 2.5” drives and a slot loading DVD writer optical drive accessed on the top of the case. Power and reset buttons are located just under the DVD drive while four USB ports and two audio jacks (1 mic, 1 headphone) are located on the right side of the case near the DVD drive.
The case also features plenty of mesh patterned ventilation holes and cut out Digital Storm logos. Also, there is a Digital Storm logo on the front of the case that is back-lit by a customizable LED color. Digital Storm’s Director of Product Development Rajeev Kuruppu noted that their research department has worked for months with thermal imaging cameras to ensure that the high end components are cooled as efficiently as possible. ”Every integral component and every zone is constantly being monitored so our customers can ensure their dream machine is always delivering optimal performance.”
The Aventum systems are available now and range in price from $3,859 to $7,856 depending on the particular configuration. More information will be posted on the Digital Storm website later today.
Subject: General Tech | March 26, 2012 - 01:45 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gpu, pricing, nvidia, amd, radeon
AMD has spent a lot of money developing GCN and it shows with products that provide better performance than the previous generation and do so with less power consumption, a hard trick to pull off. There are also numerous other architectural changes in the three current families of Southern Island cards which benefit users, but most will be focused on faster graphics without the need to upgrade their PSU. Until last week, since AMD had the fastest GPU going period, as well as much better price/performance numbers than NVIDIA's choice, there was no reason for AMD to consider changing their pricing structure as they need to recuperate the amount of dollars spent on R&D as well as manufacturing.
Last week the GTX 680 changed that, as not only did NVIDIA steal the performance crown back from AMD but they also successfully reduced the power consumption which was the Achilles Heel of Fermi. Even worse news for AMD was the pricing that NVIDIA attached to their flagship Kepler product, at $500 they are priced below AMD's HD 7970 by between $50 to $100. AMD's only hope is that the process problems at TSMC will keep the availability of the GTX 680 down, which it seems to have as NewEgg has run out of that card. Hoping that your competitor cannot keep their stock up is not exactly a good model to run your business.
Unfortunately any price change AMD makes will have repercussions on many models. The 7950 averages about $460 which is far too close to the GTX 680's price since the performance is not that close, however dropping the HD 7950 towards $400 makes the HD 7870 at $360 a little uncomfortable. That is going to have an effect on AMD's profitability, since they likely set out their accounting based on the current pricing of the Radeon series and will have to recalculate a lot of numbers to lower price and still remain profitable. However painful a process that might be they need to think of it sooner, rather than later; NVIDIA has more Kelper cards in store and they are not going to cost more than the GTX 680.
So far we have not heard any substantiated rumours about price changes from AMD but you can speculate that they must be coming. For now you should first decide how much your budget can manage and then start looking for specials at retailers that bring the cards down to the price you have decided you can afford. If they aren't low enough today then wait a few days as the GPU market is going to be decidedly unstable for the next while.
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Intel to offer new SSDs, say Taiwan makers @ DigiTimes
- Intel extends lead over Samsung in semiconductor market share @ The Inquirer
- AMD completes its buyout of Seamicro @ The Inquirer
- Many Ivy Bridge ultrabooks expected to be showcased at Computex Taipei
- The TR Podcast 108: Take three tablets and call Dr. Kepler in the morning
Subject: Graphics Cards | March 26, 2012 - 11:36 AM | Tim Verry
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.
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.
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.
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.
Subject: General Tech, Mobile | March 25, 2012 - 08:42 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: TSMC, nvidia, Intel
NVIDIA would like Intel to be their fab partner for ARM processors. Turns out NVIDIA-produced ARM products are not tempting to Intel.
Last month we reported that Intel would open up their fabrication plants to contracts from other companies. We stated that the world would likely end if Intel were to ever produce products from NVIDIA. It turns out that the world is safe.
Turn out the lights, pretend we’re not home.
Intel is far and away the most advanced semiconductor fabricators in the world and many companies would love to have their components created in their factories. Intel is very aware of how sophisticated their technique is relative to their competitors and exercises that advantage.
NVIDIA currently fabricates their chips at TSMC. That partnership has proven to be slightly problematic to NVIDIA’s business goals. Their Kepler launch turned out to not be nearly as soft of a launch as was proposed by SemiAccurate -- but that is to be expected from a website by that name (especially with NVIDIA news).
Perhaps you were a little too greedy in requesting that Intel manufacture your ARM processors, NVIDIA? Maybe you should test the waters with a discrete GPU order or, you know, some other market that Intel does not compete in try as they might.
Even still, there was a rumor going around when Intel partnered with AMD for hardware-accelerated physics support. It does not seem like Intel really want to be friends. Plenty of fish in the sea, though.
Subject: Graphics Cards | March 24, 2012 - 05:51 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: video, tom petersen, nvidia, live review, gtx 680, geforce
On the day of the GeForce GTX 680 launch, we hosted a "Live Review" to discuss the new product features and performance while also taking questions from a live chat room and via Twitter. NVIDIA's own Tom Petersen stopped by the offices to talk with us and to show off the hardware features with some live demos of GPU Boost, overclocking and quite a bit more.
If you haven't seen the video yet, you should definitely do so; Tom does a great job explaining the new technology involved with the Kepler GPU. One caveat: the recording process was a bit off and the recording actually starts just a few minutes AFTER we actually began the live stream. Sorry!
Subject: General Tech | March 22, 2012 - 07:07 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: podcast, nvidia, Ivy Bridge, Intel, gtx 680
PC Perspective Podcast #194 - 03/22/2012
Join us this week as we talk about our GTX 680 Leaks, Ivy Bridge Rumors, a Water Cooled Laptop 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
- UPDATE: NCAA 2012: PC Perspective Bracket Competition!!
- SXSW Trade Show 2012
- Cerwin-Vega! XD3 Powered Desktop Speaker Review
- More solid information on Ivy Bridge's launch dates
- Google Rumored To Release $199 Nexus Tablet
- Seagate Achieves 1 Terabit Per Square Inch Storage Density
- Asetek Demonstrates Liquid Cooling For Laptop And All-In-One PCs
- PC-exclusive Sim City engine demoed. The peasants approve.
- Psst ... Hey buddy. Ya wanna see the GTX 680 under my jacket?
- Anyone want a GTX580 for $360? (Counting MIR)
- Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
- 1-888-38-PCPER or email@example.com
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
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
Update: The GK104 GeForce GTX 680 has now been released and we have our review published.
There have been some rumors going around the web about an alleged NVIDIA GK110 chip that is to be the successor to the upcoming GK104, or GTX 600 series, graphics cards. Videocardz is the latest site to pick up on the rumors, and they were able to translate the German blog from which the GK110 chip rumors originated. The NVIDIA GTX 600 series is not yet out, but rumored specs put the top end GTX 680 at 1536 CUDA cores, 2 GB GDDR5 memory, 3.54 billion transistors and a die size of 294mm^2. Clockspeed wise, the GTX 680 will run at a 1.006 GHz core clock, 2.012 GHz shader clock, and effective memory clock of 6.008 GHz.
The rumored GK110 chip, on the other hand, will have 6 billion transistors, 2,304 CUDA cores, and a die size of 550mm^2. That die size figure is where many of the doubts about the rumors come from. Many people have expressed their doubts that NVIDIA would ever create a GPU using such a large die as it would be very cost prohibitive to manufacture. Further, at 550mm^2, that would mean a 87% jump versus the GTX 680, which to many seems too large to consider realistic. Even AMD's 7970 Tahiti XT part only has a die size of 365mm^2. While the other reported figures seem to match up to what's realistically possible, the jump in die size is taken by many to indicate the rumors are false.
|AMD HD 7970 Tahiti XT||NVIDIA GTX 680 GK104||NVIDIA GK110|
|Transistors||4.3 billion||3.54 billion||6 billion|
|Single Precision Computing Power||3.79 TFlops||3.09 TFlops||4.5 TFlops|
|Gaming Performance (relative)||85%||100%||150%|
|Power Consumption||211 Watts||185 Watts||250-300 Watts|
|Release Date||12-22-2011 (paper)||3-22-2012||August 2012|
Rumored GK110 Specs
The GK104 is likely going to be released today (be sure to stay tuned to PC Per Live for more information on the NVIDIA event today), and rumors suggest that the GK110 will be released sometime between August 2012 and January 2012. Performance is said to be 1.41 Teraflops more than the GTX 680 based on the GK104 chip.
It could be possible but it would be questionable for NVIDIA to release another big chip within five months of GK104's release. Videocardz suggests that it may in face be a "GTX 685" type of card, but it is bigger and uses more power than the GTX 680 so I honestly don't see NVIDIA doing such a thing. If anything, a refresh should use less power or provide the same performance at a lower price thanks to manufacturing advances. Should the 550mm^2 die hold true, it's not looking likely even for a GTX 700 series card but who knows what NVIDIA has up their sleeves. For now, I am going to focus on the GTX 680 release (heh).
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | March 21, 2012 - 09:51 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: pelly wants revenge, nvidia, leak, gtx 680, fermi, 28nm
Not to be outdone by NCIX, NewEgg also managed to jump the gun on the GTX 680 earlier today. The screengrab that was sent tp Bright Side of News shows their pricing of the soon to be released GTX 680 with models ranging from $500 to $535. The specs are there for all to see, a GPU running at 1.006GHz, Shader clock of 2.012GHz, effective memory of 6.008GHz and 1536 Stream Processors. Contrast that with the last GTX 580 that Josh reviewed which had a 782 MHz core, 1.564GHz shader, memory at 4.008GHz and 512 SPs and you can see it is a big step up!
If you visit NewEgg now you will be greeted with a different result, a page describing the GTX 680's various features and a Buy Now button which unfortunately doesn't work at this moment. That is a situtation which obviously cannot last as NewEgg would not have put it up. Of course the realization that you can pick up a pair of GTX 570's for the same price might just mean some recalculations will be in order once we see the performance of the actual card.