Subject: General Tech | June 6, 2012 - 01:08 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: computex, computex 2012, nvidia, corsair, asrock
The Tech Report have been every bit as busy as Ryan, trying to get in as much of Computex as possible and post the sights to the web. They dropped by Broadcom's booth to see new ARM based SoCs which will be used in the next generation of 802.11ac routers, taking wireless beyond gigabit speeds, with USB 3.0 added on for easy media distribution. They snapped a few pictures of the ASRock motherboards we saw earlier this week, including the dual Thunderbolt Z77 Extreme which features a DisplayPort in port to allow you to use a Thunderbolt display without needing Lucid's Virtu to translate. They also saw Corsair's surprise new SSD controller from Link_A_Media Devices (LAMD), which will provide SATA 6Gbps and can use either ONFI or Toggle DDR NAND. NVIDIA was showing off the new GT 640 which will use a 28nm Kepler chip sport 384 shader ALUs and cost under $100 and should bring a bit more power to low end machines, though don't expect a huge jump from the previous GTS450
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Computex 2012 Day 1 - Hit the floor sleepy @ Ninjalane
- Computex: Zalman prepares T1 chassis for affordable victory @ Kitguru
- SilverStone unveils the Raven RV04 and Fortress FT04 @ Kitguru
- Techies beg world to join the 1% on IPv6 launch day @ The Register
- Trend in mobile computing: Q&A with Intel's Gregory Bryant @ DigiTimes
- Samsung takes a seat with Intel and IBM at the Linux Foundation @ The Inquirer
- Windows Phone 8 launches on 20 June @ The Inquirer
- Ubuntu 12.10 Sets To Make ARM Even Stronger @ Phoronix
Earlier this year I had the chance to take a look at the first ultrabook with discrete graphics, the Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M3. My review was not particularly favorable, but the idea of placing discrete graphics in an ultrabook is both compelling and necessary. Intel’s low-voltage processors have difficulty with gaming when paired with the HD 4000 IGP and this flaw is difficult to excuse in products typically priced at $800 or above.
Four new ultrabooks with NVIDIA discrete GPUs have been unveiled to tackle the problem of gaming with a slim laptop. The list includes two laptops from Acer, two laptops from Gigabyte and one from ASUS.
The Gigabyte U2442N, which has a 14” 1600x900 display and a GeForce GT 650M GPU, is obviously the most powerful and the product that offers the most promising gaming experience on paper. Only the ASUS UX32 looks questionable. There’s no way that a GeForce GT 620M is going to handle gaming on a 1080p display.
Unfortunately, a closer look at the announcement suggests these product lines aren’t that exciting. The Gigabyte laptops have received a lot of positive attention, but Gigabyte has no meaningful presence in the North American laptop market and it’s nearly guaranteed the laptop won’t be popular on this side of the pond. The Acer M5-581TG appears to be an Ivy Bridge updated version of the Acer Aspire M3 that we reviwed – and did not like – while the M5-481TG is just a smaller version.
That leaves the ASUS UX32 and its GT 620M which, although likely quicker than Intel HD 4000, isn’t sufficient for serious gaming.
Hopefully NVIDIA will be able to bring discrete graphics to more products from larger manufacturers, but the fact so few companies have gone this route suggests there is some underlying reason. My personal guess? Heat. The Acer Aspire M3 became quite toasty during load. It’ll be interesting to see if the U244N has some design trick that makes the GT 650M manageable – or if Gigabyte, like Acer, doesn’t mind putting out a laptop with high exterior temperatures.
Subject: Graphics Cards | June 5, 2012 - 12:59 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: nvidia, mars 3, gtx 680, computex, asus
ASUS has created a graphics card that places two NVIDIA GTX 680 GPUs and 8GB of RAM on a single PCB cooled by three fans and a heatpipe-aided fin array. With three PCI-E power connectors and a dual slot design, you can bet that it will be expensive, large, and in charge (of your electric bill). (Even so, I still want one even if I have to get a new case :P).
ASUS is showing off a graphics card at Computex that is sure to be of interest to enthusiasts everywhere. The successor to their elusive Mars II (which we reviewed here), the new ASUS Mars III is a dual GPU graphics card utilizing two NVIDIA GTX 680 GPUs and a total of 8GB of GDDR5 memory on a single PCB. The dual slot card is cooled by three fans on an aluminum and heatpipe aided fin array. Around the back of the card are three eight pin PCI-E power connectors for up to 525watts of power! There is also a red button to the left of the connectors that spins the fans up to 100% for maximum overclocking. Towards the front is a single SLI connector (for up to 4-way SLI) along with three DVI ports and a mini-DisplayPort for video output.
In short, this graphics card is a total beast. Although we do not yet know clockspeeds or other specific details, you can expect the cards to be expensive and very fast. According to VR-Zone, the card being shown off at Computex 2012 is an engineering sample and the company is still working to refine the final design – particularly the cooler and PCB. You can find more photos of this massive card here.
NVIDIA recently revised its notebook GPU lineup, but there was one part notably missing – the GTX 680M. The x80M part has been NVIDIA’s fastest mobile GPU in each generation for some time, so we knew that a GTX 680M was coming. We had only two questions. When? And what architecture will it be based on?
Now we have the answers to both questions. NVIDIA has pulled the wraps off its flagship component. The new GTX 680M is a Kepler component (unlike other high-end 600 series parts, which are Fermi) packing 1344 CUDA cores and up to 4GB of GDDR5.
The green team is laying out some big numbers in its press release by claiming that performance is up about 80% in comparison to the GTX 580M and 30% in comparison to the AMD Radeon 7970M. NVIDIA also says that the new part will play every game available today at 1080p with maximum in-game settings.
Other selling points include NVIDIA’s FXAA and TXAA, Adaptive V-Sync, Optimus, SLI, PhysX and 3D Vision. The company is clearly making a strong effort to distinguish itself from AMD not only with performance but also with features.
Five launch laptops were announced. They include the Alienware M17x and M18x, the MSI GT70 and the Clevo P150EM/P170EM. The Clevo units are the chassis used by companies like Maingear, Origin and other boutiques. Only the M18x has confirmed SLI support and only the M17x has confirmed 3D Vision support. Pricing has not been announced.
We will of course be looking to obtain a review unit so we can see if the GTX 680M is as mightly as claimed.
Podcast #204 - ioSafe soloPRO and Synology DiskStation 212+, NVIDIA news, the OCZ Agility 4 and more!
Subject: General Tech | May 31, 2012 - 03:53 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: video, synology, ssd, podcast, ocz, nvidia, iosafe, diskstation, agility4
PC Perspective Podcast #204 - 05/31/2012
Join us this week as we talk about the ioSafe soloPRO and Synology DiskStation 212+, NVIDIA news, the OCZ Agility 4 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
- 0:00:30 Introduction
- 0:00:50 Random Sound Card Discussion
- 1-888-38-PCPER or firstname.lastname@example.org
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
- 0:06:30 Take the PC Perspective Survey, win prizes!!
- 0:08:40 ioSafe SoloPRO and Synology DiskStation 212+ Review - Disaster-proof Networked Storage
- 0:18:38 Tegra 3 to see 30 devices this year, LTE support
- 0:20:25 NVIDIA claims GTX 680 sales outpacing GTX 580 sales
- 0:27:30 NVIDIA shows ASUS Zenbook Prime UX32VD
- 0:29:50 HP has 27,000 too many employees
- 0:32:00 Dell leaks Latitude 10 Windows 8 tablet
- 0:34:40 Dell promotes their "Copper" ARM-based servers
- 0:39:30 OCZ Launches Agility 4 based on Indilinx Everest 2
- 0:51:20 Intel shows you how to make a processor
- 0:54:00 Time for a GPU Stock Update?
- 0:57:00 Crysis 2 back on Steam? EA and Valve make up?
- 0:59:00 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
- Ryan: Corsair Vengeance 2000 Wireless headset $149
- Jeremy: The best way to blow $10,000
- Josh: Faster Internets... Worth it! http://west.optimum.com/services/high-speed_internet/optimum_online_boost/
- Allyn: is lame
- 1-888-38-PCPER or email@example.com
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
Subject: General Tech | May 31, 2012 - 01:08 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: leak, nvidia, kepler, gt610, gt620, gt640
We will have to wait until the scheduled Computex release for verification but for right now Kitguru seems to have an idea of just what the lower end of NVIDIA's Kepler line will be like. They are not sure of the connectivity options, especially the number of displays a single card can manage but as far as the size of the memory interface, clock speeds and size of the cards Kitguru seems fairly certain they are at least close to the actual specs. Check out the whole list they published here.
"So far, nVidia’s launch of the Kepler range has gone smoothly. The only real hiccups have come with stock and the re-branding for some of the old 5xx cards into the 610 and 620. With the low and high ends sorted, focus for Bryan Del Rizzo moves to the mid-range and those pesky 7000 cards hanging out below £100. KitGuru spies hang around outside nVidia’s favourite KFC to see what can be overheard."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- One Of The New Valve Linux Employees Is... @ Phoronix
- Intel's Medfield finally tips up in Orange San Diego @ The Inquirer
- Boffins build all-silicon CNOT gate @ The Register
- Data logging directly to Google Docs (Google Drive) @ Hack a Day
- Samsung WB750 12.5 Megapixel BSI CMOS Sensor Wide-Angle Digital Camera Review @ ModSynergy
- NewerTech NuGreen Energy Efficient Flexible Neck LED Desk Lamp @ Nikktech
- Inside the Apple III @ Hardware Secrets
- Weekly Giveaway #27: Alpenföhn Matterhorn Pure Edition CPU Cooler @ eTeknix
- Win a unique Enermax Fulmo 'England' case for Euro 2012 @ Hardware.Info
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 30, 2012 - 09:21 PM | Ryan Shrout
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.
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 - In Stock
Starting at $539
GeForce GTX 670 2GB - In Stock
Starting at $399
This week we have some good news! For two full days (in a row!) NVIDIA has had GTX 680 SKUs in stock at Newegg.com. The only downside is that two available at the time of this writing (EVGA Superclocked+ and Zotac AMP!) are priced a bit higher thanks to their overclock settings. The EVGA part has a base clock of 1058 MHz while the Zotac has an impressive 1098 MHz base clock compared to the reference speed of 1006 MHz. As of this post you can find the EVGA model for $539 and the Zotac option for $549. We are almost at the point to offering up these cards in our leaderboard... Gasp!
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:
- GeForce GTX 670
- GeForce GTX 690
- GeForce GTX 680
- MSI R7970 Lightning
- Radeon HD 7870 and HD 7850
- Radeon HD 7770 and HD 7750
- Radeon HD 7950
- Radeon HD 7970
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 29, 2012 - 04:56 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: nvidia, kepler, gtx 680, GTX 580, GK104, fermi
During the annual investors meeting with NVIDIA top-brass and the powers that hold the money on Wall Street, an interesting slide was presented in a somewhat veiled answer to the questions we (among many others) have had to the availability and yields of their latest Kepler GPUs.
At first glance, the graph would seem to validate claims that the stock and shipping rate of the new GeForce GTX 680 is simply unable to keep up with higher than expected and higher than normal demand. The line on the bottom represents the GTX 580 (both lines are mislabeled as GT rather than GTX) launch, the top the GTX 680 with the lower axis represented as weeks after launch. The vertical axis is labeled as "Units Sold Out Globally" but there are no numbers attached to it, making things incredibly vague.
When I asked for clarification all I was really given was that "it means sales of boards from AICs to distributors, system builders, e-tailers and retailers." This indicates that we are talking about boards either on Newegg.com, at Fry's or being sold through system builders like Maingear and Puget Systems.
NVIDIA's GTX 690 - one of the Kepler based cards MIA
The term "sold out" gave me a bit of pause - but when questioned "is it fair to translate 'units sold out globally' to 'units sold globally'?" I received an affirmative.
If we take NVIDIA's information as it is presented, then we see that after six weeks of product availability, the GTX 680 has sold and shipped at a rate 60% higher than that of the GeForce GTX 580 which launched in November of 2010. If that is true then we can agree with NVIDIA that demand is much higher for the GTX 680 than any other flagship GPU launch in recent memory and the continued stock and availability problems for Kepler are buyer created and strictly an NVIDIA yield issue.
NVIDIA has told me many times that they would obviously love to have more GTX 680s to sell to consumers as having them out of stock is only costing themselves money. How long it will take NVIDIA to balance out capacity with demand has yet to be seen though, so you can continue to check out our sort-of-weekly updates on GPU stock.
Subject: General Tech | May 25, 2012 - 11:28 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nvidia, kepler, GTC 2012, gk110
We at PC Perspective were not the only ones who became a wee bit excited when we had the news from NVIDIA about what the GK110 Kepler chip is going to be capable of. The chip will be powering professional HPC systems with the Telsa K20 board which will deliver over a teraflop of double precision processing power. That precision is not so important to the proper rendering of fluid dynamics in the underground water of Crysis 2 but for scientists trying to model the real world it is double what they say from the previous generation of Fermi based Tesla boards. Check out The Tech Report as they delve into how NVIDIA tweaked their new architecture to deal with new choke points and the compute enhancements they've added.
"At its 2012 GPU Technology Conference, Nvidia revealed plenty of details about the biggest GPU of its Kepler generation. Here's what you need to know."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Grab your iron and add GameCube back to the Wii @ Hack a Day
- Have Internet, will travel @ The Tech Report
- GeIL Taipei Factory Tour - We almost broke an IC Testing Machine @ Tweaktown
- MSI GT70 Ivy Bridge Gaming Notebook Giveaway @ AnandTech
Subject: Mobile | May 24, 2012 - 08:05 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: wayne, tegra 3, tegra, nvidia, LTE, icera, grey
In the middle of 2011, NVIDIA acquired a small company by the name of Icera, a maker of baseband and RF technologies that would eventually allow the company to integrate the two into a single chip. As LTE-capable devices from Verizon, AT&T and even Sprint have been announced and ship, no NVIDIA Tegra-powered phone or tablet has been able to support the feature with the lone exception of the ZTE Mimosa X in February of this year.
Today NVIDIA officially announced support and validation from AT&T on their new and growing LTE network for the Icera 410 LTE multimode chipset. This will finally allow Tegra + LTE devices to be sold and available in the US and other markets when product manufacturers integrate the two processors in future designs.
As to when we will see those designs, we aren't quite sure but nothing was announced during the NVIDIA investors day today. All we know now is that they will be coming "through this year and next."
“Validation with AT&T is an achievement that paves the way for NVIDIA Icera-powered LTE devices on the AT&T network through this year and next,” said Stan Boland, senior vice president of Mobile Communications at NVIDIA.
The NVIDIA Icera 410 LTE modem delivers lightning-fast web browsing, video streaming and multiplayer gaming to tablets and clamshell devices. It is the first Icera modem to implement 4G LTE in NVIDIA’s software defined radio baseband processor. Together with its multimode radio transceiver, the chipset offers 4G LTE at category 2 data rates (up to 50 Mbps) as well as 4G HSPA+, 3G and 2G compatibility.
What we DID learn at the NVIDIA investors meeting is that Mike Rayfield, GM of Tegra business unit, things we'll see as many as 30 Tegra 3 based devices for sale this year.
NVIDIA has 30 devices planned for the year. So far, we've seen just two. Of those 30 devices, some 15 will be planned for sub-$200 pricing. That's certainly the sweet spot for impulse purchases.
NVIDIA's also looking to make inroads into the Chinese market, with 18 of those 30 tablets targeted for the Asian nation. By comparison, NVIDIA only released five devices in China in 2011, Rayfield said.
The big name to know for the rest of the year is Kai. That's the low-cost, high-performance system that NVIDIA is crowing about these days, and it's what will help bring prices down while keeping prices at a more affordable level. Will there be higher-performing tablets? Sure. But will they be $200?
Producing a number of devices, like 30, is impressive but without context the fact means very little. How many of these devices are going to tablets and how many are phones? How many will be running the Microsoft Win RT operating system for ARM due out in fall?
Speaking of Icera though, NVIDIA also showed the roadmap for LTE integration including the upcoming Icera i500 LTE controller for high-end phones and tablets with newly planned integration directly on the Tegra core in a new chip called "Grey". This new processor will run parallel with the planned 2013 release of "Wayne" though it will be targeted at smartphones and lower end tablets; Wayne is planned to find its way into higher end tablets and the onslaught of clamshells we'll see with Windows RT.
There is a lot more to learn and we expect see more news come our way as we approach Computex in Taipei!