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Subject: Graphics Cards | May 11, 2012 - 04:57 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: sli, nvidia, kepler, gtx 670, GK104, geforce
In our launch review of the GeForce GTX 670 2GB graphics card this week, we had initially mentioned that these $399 graphics cards would support SLI, 3-Way SLI and even 4-Way SLI configurations thanks to the pair of SLI connections on the PCB. We received an update from NVIDIA later on that day that in fact it would NOT support 4-Way SLI.
The message from NVIDIA was pretty clear cut:
"As I’m sure you can imagine, we have to QA every feature that we claim support for and this takes a tremendous amount of time/resources. For the GTX 680 and GTX 690, we do support Quad SLI and take the time to QA it, as it makes sense for the extreme OC’ers and ultra-enthusiasts who are shooting to break world records."
But with the similarities between the GTX 680 and the GTX 670, is there really any QA addition required to enable quad for 670? Seems like a cop-out to me man...
I saw it mostly as a reason to differentiate the GTX 670 and the GTX 680 with a feature since the performance between the cards was very similar; maybe too similar for NVIDIA's tastes with the $100 price difference.
Well this afternoon we received some good news from our contact at NVIDIA:
"Change in plans.....we will be offering 4-Way SLI support for GTX 670 in a future driver."
So while the 301.34 driver will not support 4-Way configurations with the GTX 670, 4-Way SLI will in fact be enabled after all in a future version. We'll be sure to keep you in the loop when that happens and the super-extreme enthusiasts can rejoice.
This does go to show that the fundamental differences between AMD's license-free and seemingly more "open" CrossFire technology and NVIDIA's for-fee SLI technology. With enough feedback and prodding in the right direction, NVIDIA can and does do the right thing, just look at the success we had convincing them to support SLI on AMD CPU platforms last year.
Feet to the fire everyone!
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 10, 2012 - 02:13 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: nvidia, kepler, gtx 670, gtx 570, GK104, geforce
In the comments to our full review of the GeForce GTX 670 2GB graphics card a user asked for a comparison of the new GTX 670 against the Fermi-based GTX 570. I had some numbers for that already made up but ran out of time and space for it in our review that went up this morning. I thought that there might be others interested in this so I decided to put a news post with the results.
These performance graphs pit a reference clocked GTX 570 1.25GB card against the new reference GTX 670 2GB card.
Without a doubt the new GTX 670 is a faster GPU than the GTX 570:
- 3DMark11: +45%
- Battlefield 3: +34%
- DiRT 3: +28%
- Skyrim: +32%
- Metro 2033: +31%
- Dues Ex: +29%
- Batman: AC: +39%
- Power Consumption: -14%
With an average performance delta of 30% or more, the GTX 670 makes a solid upgrade for GTX 570 users but maybe more interesting, it does this while using 14% less power as well.
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 10, 2012 - 01:38 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: 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 today's new release of the GTX 670, I thought this would be a great summary of the current situation.
NVIDIA's latest offering, the GeForce GTX 670
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 $479
Radeon HD 7950 3GB - In Stock
Starting at $399
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 - No Stock
Starting at $499
GeForce GTX 670 2GB - In Stock
Starting at $399
It is launch day for the GTX 670 and those seem to be pretty widely available for the time being. As great a card as it is though, I am hesitant to think it will remain in stock through the end of the day based on past experiences with the GTX 600 cards. Still, the GTX 680 is MIA and the few times I have seen it in stock it only lasts a couple of hours.
AMD is still doing fine on availability with the Radeon HD 7970 and HD 7950 widely available for the price of $479 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:
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 10, 2012 - 01:30 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nvidia, kepler, gtx 670, GK104, geforce
The GTX 670 is a scaled down GTX 680 in every aspect including price. 1344 CUDA Cores is 192 less than the GTX 680, baseclock is reduced 91MHz to 915MHz, 16 less texture units for a total of 112; the memory remains the same at 6GHz. Most important to consumers is the reduction in price, down $100 to an MSRP of $400, targeting it directly against the HD7950 at its new price. [H]ard|OCP's testing does not favour AMD as the GTX 670 shows an obvious performance advantage over the HD7950 as well as the still available GTX 580 and does it at a price point which matches AMD's new prices.
Ryan's full review can be read here, where he tests out Galaxy's GTX 670.
"NVIDIA's next generation Kepler GPU continues with the launch of the GeForce GTX 670. This GPU is positioned to provide great performance at a price level $100 less than the GeForce GTX 680. Could this be the best performing $399 video card, besting even the Radeon HD 7950? We tell you all you need to know if $400 is your price range."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- GeForce GTX 670 @ The Tech Report
- ZOTAC GeForce GTX 670 AMP! Edition 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 DirectX 11 Video Card Review @Hi Tech Legion
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 Review Feat. EVGA: Bringing GK104 Down To $400 @ AnandTech
- Gigabyte GTX670 OC Video Card Review @ Ninjalane
- EVGA GeForce GTX 670 SuperClocked Video Card Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Palit JetStream GEFORCE GTX 670 2GB @ Tweaktown
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 Video Card Tests @ Benchmark Reviews
- Palit GeForce GTX 670 JetStream 2 GB @ techPowerU
- EVGA GTX 670 Superclocked @ Overclockers.com
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card @ Bjorn3D
- GIGABYTE GTX 670 OC @ Bjorn3D
- Gainward GeForce GTX 670 Phantom @ Techspot
- Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 Windforce 3X OC 2GB DirectX 11 Video Card Review @Hi Tech Legion
- NVIDIA GTX 670 Review @ OCC
- NVIDIA & EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
- GEFORCE GTX 670 @ Hardware Heaven
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 Launch Review @ Neoseeker
- ASUS GeForce GTX 670 Direct CU II 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- Gainward GeForce GTX 670 Phantom @ Legion Hardware
- Nvidia GTX 670 @ lanOC Reviews
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 Review @ Hardware Canucks
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 @ Guru of 3D
- GeForce GTX 670 2 and 3-way SLI @ Guru of 3D
- Palit GeForce GTX 670 JetStream @ Guru of 3D
- ASUS GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU II TOP @ Guru of 3D
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 670 review plus SLI and 3-way SLI @ Hardware.Info
- NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 670 2GB Video Card Overclocked @ Tweaktown
- MSI GTX 680 Twin Frozr Graphics Card Review @ HardwareHeaven
- ZOTAC GeForce GTX 680 AMP! Edition 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- Palit GeForce GTX 680 4GB Jetstream @ Guru of 3D
- NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 670 2GB @ Tweaktown
- MSI Radeon HD 7870 HAWK 2GB @ Tweaktown
- MSI R7950 Twin Frozr III @ Kitguru
- Ivy Bridge PCI-Express Scaling with HD 7970 and GTX 680 @ techPowerUp
- HIS Radeon HD 7770 iCooler 1 GB @ techPowerUp
- XFX HD 7870 and 7850 Double Dissipation Review @ OCC
- MSI R7970 Lightning / R7870 Hawk review @ Hardware.Info
- HIS Radeon HD 7870 IceQ X Turbo X 2GB Graphics Card @ eTeknix
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | May 7, 2012 - 03:26 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: pc gaming, diablo iii
Tom’s Hardware took a look at the recent beta of Diablo III and published benchmarks of its performance across multiple profiles. They have found that, for minimum quality settings, a GeForce GT 440 or Radeon 6670 will be very smooth at lower resolutions and even handle 1080p. Maximum quality settings do not lower framerate by all that much even with antialiasing enabled.
Blizzard works on their own personal time zone centered on their offices. It seems quite nebulous to most but apparently 12 years somehow signifies the end of a release cycle. The last couple of years have seen a flurry of releases for the company with two of their three major franchises seeing update twelve year after their last installment.
The latter of those two franchises is Diablo and Diablo III is set to launch in just over a week. If you wonder how your machine will handle the game, and you missed the open beta a little over a week ago, Tom’s Hardware did not miss it and has put it up against several of their test systems.
Not quite a demonic presence on your hardware…
Oddly enough, raising your specifications from minimum to high with antialiasing will only drop your framerate by approximately 20-21% at 1920x1080 resolutions. It is possible that when the full game is released that the highest quality settings could have features enabled which increases that difference slightly.
The other possibility is that the game quality settings are quite CPU-bound. Unfortunately Tom’s Hardware did not test various CPUs between low and highest to see how they scale.
If that is not the case, however, the addition of quality settings seems more about allowing the user to personalize their experience rather than supporting lesser hardware. This could be one of the rare occasions where a mild overclock has a functional use.
For those wishing to see how the game will work on mobile parts, you will likely need to wait just a little longer. The benchmark focuses on desktop components. If your PC has a minimum of a GT440 or a Radeon 6670 then you should not be concerned in the slightest about Diablo III even if you output to a 1080p TV or monitor.
Also, if you are running AMD cards -- be sure to check out our recent article about what to do with the 12.4 drivers. Diablo III likes some cards on it, but not others. How about your's?
Diablo III is scheduled to be released May 15th.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | May 6, 2012 - 12:58 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: radeon, diablo iii, catalyst 12.4, catalyst, amd
A recent forum entry from a Diablo III official agent informed gamers that if you were planning on playing Diablo III on the May 15th launch date, you had better not be using the Catalyst 12.4 drivers that were just released on April 25th.
While AMD still has about 9 days to respond to this issue, for a support rep from Blizzard to flat-out say that "12.4 isn't going to be supported for use in Diablo III" is indicative of a larger problem - can AMD's somewhat smaller driver team hope to keep up with NVIDIA's as we get set for another way of pretty major PC game releases?
Quite a few users are taking up for AMD in the thread including Mortac that says:
I find this to be a very confusing answer. What are we to expect for the future? You say that Diablo III won't support 12.4, but what exactly do you mean by that? Are we to expect support for future drivers down the road, say a few weeks after release, or are you telling us that we'll never be able to update our drivers again for as long as we intend to play Diablo III? If the latter, then you guys really need to think that through again. People update their drivers for several reasons, and you cannot possibly expect everyone to swap drivers every time they play other games that might require the latest version.
How this issue will be resolved before May 15th will be of importance to quite a few PC gamers so let's hope both AMD and Blizzard can get their acts together.
Besides Blizzard's long awaited Diablo entry, PC gamers can look forward to Guild Wars 2, DiRT Showdown, Max Payne 3, a new Ghost Recon title, BF3: Close Quarters, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Far Cry 3, Borderlands 2, Bioshock Infinite and many more in the coming months.
UPDATE 2:22pm: An AMD representative has informed us that that bug referred to by the Blizzard forum support person in fact ONLY affects Radeon HD 2000, 3000 and 4000 users. The 12.4 Catalyst software will work fine with 5000, 6000 and the new 7000 series of graphics cards apparently.
@ryanshrout This post from Blizzard is an unfortunate misunderstanding we are working to correct. 12.4 works fine for 5k/6k/7k users.
— Robert Hallock (@Thracks) May 6, 2012
Also, as Robert Hallock commented in our thread below:
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 5, 2012 - 06:28 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: nvidia, msi, kepler, gtx 670, asian colorful
Earlier this week we reported on a rumored MSI GTX 670 graphics card with a “DispalyPort” that was coming out soon. A new photo of the MSI card is below along with the box (though the typo is covered up by the card). Swelclockers has now gotten their hands on even more photos of the alleged GPU–this time from manufacturer Asia Colorful. The two rumored cards are said to be based on the NVIDIA reference design, and supporting the rumors, both cards do look very similar in design.
The alleged MSI GTX 670 GPU
The cards that appear to be Kepler based GTX 670s have a black PCB that extends about 3/4ths of the length of the heatsink and fan cooler. Except for a bit of overlap, the heatsink covers the PCB and the fan is located in the part of the card that hangs past the edge of the PCB. It also looks like they have moved the PCI-E power connectors to the outside edge of the card–a different rumored GTX 670 had the PCI-E power on the back edge of the card.
The underside of the Asia Colorful GTX 670 graphics card.
As far as specifications, the cards support PCI-E 3.0, two DVI outputs, an HDMI and what looks like a DisplayPort output. Beyond that, the card is said to be based on a scaled down version of NVIDIA’s Kepler architecture based GTX 680 GPU. For the GTX 670, NVIDIA has allegedly disabled 192 CUDA cores for a total of 1344. They have also reduced the base GPU core clockspeed from 1,006MHz on the GTX 680 to 900MHz. Although the card still uses the same 256-bit memory interface, the GTX 670 has a reduced memory (GDDR5) clockspeed of 5GHz versus 6GHz on the GTX 680. Because of the scaled back nature of the card, it has a lower TDP of approximately 150W.
Because they have been spotted in retailer’s hands, the GTX 670 is likely very close to release. Rumors are now suggesting that the card will be sold for somewhere between $349 and $379 USD.
Also on the Kepler front, is this cool looking single slot Kepler-class GPU that may or may not be a custom designed GTX 670. What Kepler rumors have you heard, and are you looking forward to the cheaper GTX 600 series cards?
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 3, 2012 - 08:04 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: video, nvidia, kepler, GTX 690, GK104, geforce
A PC Perspective Live Review Recap is a recorded version of a previously live streamed event from http://pcper.com/live. If you couldn't make the original air time, or simply want to re-watch, the on-demand version is provided below!
On the launch day of the new GeForce GTX 690 graphics card, NVIDIA's Tom Petersen once again returned to the PC Perspective offices to talk about this impressive new $999 gaming solution. Based on a pair of GK104 GPUs, we already posted our full review of the GeForce GTX 690 today but this information and discussion with Tom is worth seeing again.
I want to thank Tom for stopping by and speaking with us and I want to thank the thousands of viewers that tuned in to the live stream to make the event a success!
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 3, 2012 - 01:07 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nvidia, kepler, GTX 690, GK104, geforce
The GTX690 is certainly the fastest single PCB card on the planet and this generation of NVIDIA's dual GPU card shows great improvements from previous dual GPU cards, but at $1000 MSRP it is essentially the same price as a pair of GTX680s. [H]ard|OCP's testing shows that the GTX690 performs at 95-98% of a pair of SLI'd GTX680s so there really is no noticeable performance difference. This begs the question as to why one might prefer the GTX690 to a pair of GTX680s; to which there are several answers. The most obvious is the size difference, with a GTX690 taking up one PCIe 16x slot and taking 2 slots on the back of the PC, where an SLI setup requires two PCIe 16x slots and takes up 4 slots on the back. Not only will the GTX690 leave you more room in your case it will provide better airflow as you will not have two cards sandwiched against each other as will be the case with many motherboards you would also have a much easier time setting up quad SLI. As well there is the power consumption to consider, in Ryan's testing the GTX690 needed 30W less than the SLI rig and over 100W less than a pair of HD7970s. That also resulted in the GTX690 operating at a slightly cooler temperature as well as being quieter, which is almost as important as the performance. The GTX690 is a beast and if you can afford it ... and find it for sale ... it makes more sense that buying a pair of GTX680s.
"Is the GeForce GTX 690 the best dual-GPU video card ever built? We'll compare performance to GeForce GTX 680 SLI and Radeon HD 7970 CFX to see where the new beast from NVIDIA stands. We overclock the dual GPUs and push these as far as we can. Surely this is the best performance ever experienced from a single video card."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690: The Dual-GPU Beast Arrived! @ Bjorn3D
- NVIDIA GTX 690 Review @ OCC
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 4GB Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 Launch Review @ Neoseeker
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 Review: Ultra Expensive, Ultra Rare, Ultra Fast @ AnandTech
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 Benchmark Performance @ Benchmark Reviews
- VIDIA GeForce GTX 690 Video Card Features @ Benchmark Reviews
- "All Inclusive": Nvidia GeForce GTX 690 2x2 GB @ X-bit Labs
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 4 GB @ techPowerU
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 Dual-GPU Graphics Card Launch Review @ HardwareHeaven
- NVIDIA Geforce GTX 690 DirectX 11 Video Card Review @Hi Tech Legion
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 @ Guru of 3D
- PowerColor PCS+ HD7970 vs Gainward GTX 680 Phantom Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Gainward GeForce GTX 680 Phantom @ Techspot
- 1 GHz with Passive Cooling: Arctic Accelero S1 PLUS and Turbo Module @ X-bit Labs
- Sapphire HD 7870 Review @ OCC
- MSI Radeon HD 7870 HAWK @ Guru of 3D
- HIS Radeon HD 7870 @ FunkyKit
- MSI Radeon HD 7870 HAWK 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- How Does Intel’s HD 4000 Compare on the IQ Scale? @ Kitguru
- DirectX 11.1 Specifications Released @ NGOHQ
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards | May 2, 2012 - 02:37 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: video, nvidia, live review, live, kepler, GTX 690, geforce
Yes, we realize it's actually a "flat bar" but that's nearly as cool to say. Either way, wouldn't you like to win one of these?
Tomorrow at 1pm EDT / 10am PDT we are going to be streaming a LIVE talk between myself and Tom Petersen centered around the GeForce GTX 690 dual-Kepler graphics card at http://pcper.com/live. We will talk about performance, power consumption, features, show demos and of course take user questions through our live chat room, twitter accounts and more.
But we also want to get your questions TODAY to help prepare for the event. If you have a burning question about the GTX 690 or the Kepler architecture and its features, leave us a comment below! (No registartion required.) Both NVIDIA's Tom Petersen and I will give you our feedback. The best question will take home an NVIDIA crowbar so you too can be prepared for the coming apocalypse!
Hurry though, we want them in tonight so we can sort and pick our favorites for the live event tomorrow. For all the details on tomorrow's show, make sure you check our post right here!!
It seems like MSI has some cheaper Kepler based NVIDIA graphics cards coming soon if this photo from Malaysian retailer Cycom turns out to be legitimate. Spotted by Lowyat user Chapree, the photo appears to be an MSI GTX 670 graphics card. Further, the card appeared on the company’s website at a price of 1399 Malaysian ringgits which translates to just under $462 USD.
Interestingly, the box contains a typo for Displayport in the form of “DispalyPort.” While that may indicate a fake card, it doesn’t totally rule it out either. The NVIDIA GTX 680 is the only available Kepler card (if you can find one to buy that is!), and many users are clamoring for some cheaper options. Here’s hoping they are coming sooner rather than later!
Subject: Editorial, Graphics Cards | April 30, 2012 - 09:55 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: nvidia, video, geforce, GTX 690, live, live review
We all know the reviews are coming soon - the GeForce GTX 690 is set to be launched this Thursday. The dual-GK104 Kepler solution with the $999 price tag will likely be the highest performing graphics card on the market (and by a lot) and we are going to be discussing the launch, the technology and a lot more in our PC Perspective Live Review.
Starting Thursday, May 3rd at 1pm EDT / 10am PDT, NVIDIA's Tom Petersen will join me at our live page (http://pcper.com/live) to talk about the new graphics card, the performance and feature characteristics that go into building a high-end solution like this and take questions from the viewers.
You might have seen our original GTX 680 Live Review where Tom and I hosted a similar event - this is definitely something you won't want to miss out on!
Be sure to set your calendars and join us Thursday afternoon for the event! You can use the chat room at http://pcper.com/live to interact and ask questions or follow me on Twitter and reply to me during the show.
Subject: Graphics Cards | April 30, 2012 - 06:48 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Fans of extreme graphics rejoice as the GTX690 is a reality and it is going to be released May 3rd, though availability may be an issue as it is with the single GPU GTX680. To get the bad news over with first, the card will cost you somewhere between $900-$1000 to purchase. You should check out [H]ard|OCP's coverage as they describe a lot of the details of the construction of the card and its sound levels ... no performance hints allowed yet!
Once you've read about it, check out Ryan's picture gallery where not only do you get to see the mysterious flatbar in action, you get to see the card pictured from every angle.
"Tonight we give you a quick sneak peek of what is coming very soon from our friends at NVIDIA. There has been a lot of speculation about a dual GPU card and exactly what technology it will be comprised of. We have had some hands on time with the new GeForce GTX 690 and we have to say it is perfect, inside and out."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- Nvidia uncorks world's fastest video card, the GeForce GTX 690 @ The Tech Report
- Nvidia's Flagship Dual-GPU Powered GTX 690 Preview @ Bjorn3D
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 Preview @ Hardware Canucks
- Palit GeForce GTX 680 JetStream 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- Running The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 On An Open-Source Driver @ Phoronix
- AMD Catalyst 12.4 Windows 7 Driver Analysis @ Tweaktown
- AMD Catalyst 12.5 Beta Leaked @ NGOHQ
- The Open-Source Linux Graphics Card Showdown @ Phoronix
- VisionTek Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card Overclocked @ Tweaktown
- Sapphire HD 7870 OC Edition @ [H]ard|OCP
- HIS HD7950 IceQ Turbo 3GB Video Card @ Benchmark Reviews
- Sapphire's Radeon HD 7870 Overclock Edition @ AnandTech
Subject: Graphics Cards | April 30, 2012 - 03:17 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: nvidia, kepler, GTX 690, geforce
There has been a lot of excitement building about the GeForce GTX 690 dual-GPU graphics card, with the apex during CEO Jen-Hsun Huang's keynote that released all kinds of details this weekend. We go our review sample of the new graphics beast this morning and needless to say NVIDIA felt the need to give this $999 video card a special ride.
With the imprint of "Caution: Weapons Grade Gaming Power" on the outside of the crate, NVIDIA obviously wanted to give us a chance to use the pry bar sent last week. And use it we did.
There isn't much more we can say about the card itself but I can tell you that the fit and finish of the design is just impressive to see in person.
I have included quite a few more photos of the unboxing and the card itself if you continue to the full post right here!!
Subject: Graphics Cards | April 29, 2012 - 01:25 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: nvidia, geforce experience, geforce
After spilling the beans about the new GeForce GTX 690 card at the GeForce LAN in Shanghai, NVIDIA's CEO Jen-Hsun Huang also let loose on the GeForce Experience, a cloud-based service that promises to simplify the configuration of game settings based on your hardware.
The is incredibly simple but equally impressive in its scope: based on your particular hardware configuration including the processor, memory capacity, storage speed and of course the graphics card, the NVIDIA tool will set the optimal in-game settings and resolution. The breadth of being able to cover ALL the available hardware in the enthusiast market and even the mobile field is enormous but NVIDIA is confident that they have the personnel and testing systems in place to cover it all.
The process is pretty straight forward - when a user opens a game for the first time they will be presented with a screen that shows the default or current game settings side by side with the settings recommended by NVIDIA's GeForce Experience. You can simply hit apply and the configuration files will be updated to the new settings and you are ready to start gaming. Of course, users can simply use that GFE settings as a "base" and then modify them as they see fit.
This will be particularly useful for the mobile market that is usually never addressed by the in-game auto configurations from companies like Valve, resulting in incredibly low frame rates or a horrible 800x600-style experience. Now users will with machines running the somewhat unknown GT 540M will have the option to get some more modern, and hopefully realistic, settings easily applied.
Obviously the goal is make gaming on the PC as simple as gaming on consoles and this type of service will definitely move the industry in the right direction. With the beta supposedly starting in June, this is going to demand a long-term vision and constant and vigilant updates as new games, new driver revisions and user upgrades will constantly change what the "optimal" settings will be. We wish NVIDIA the best of luck to be sure and we will be testing out the service in the not too distant future.
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: Graphics Cards | April 27, 2012 - 08:49 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: gtx 680 GC 2GB, gtx 680, gpu, galaxy
Popular NVIDIA Add In Board partner Galaxy Microsystems announced their new custom GeForce GTX 680 graphics card. Specifically, the Galaxy GTX 680 GC 2GB is their custom PCB and custom cooled version of the NVIDIA GTX 680 (which we reviewed here) which also comes overclocked from the factory.
The GTX 680 GC 2GB comes with a base clock of 1110 MHz and a boost clock of 1176 MHz which is a healthy overclock compared to the reference clock speeds of 1006 MHz and 1058 MHz respectively. Beyond the factory overclock, Galaxy has implemented a custom PCB design that appears to have eschewed the stacked PCI-E power connectors in favor of the traditional side by side approach which allowed them to use two large fans for the cooler.
The cooler in question uses an aluminum fin array with quad nickel-plated heat pipes to keep the GPU core, memory, and VRMs nice and frosty. Looking somewhat like the XFX 7970 Black Edition, the Galaxy GTX 680 GC 2GB features a custom dual fan cooling solution with brushed aluminum cooling shroud, LED accents, and two large fans (which look to be about 90mm).
Galaxy stated that “overclocking enthusiasts will find the improved cooling of the Galaxy GTX 680 GC to be indispensable for pushing their clocks to the absolute maximum for the best possible performance.”
Galaxy has stated that the new GTX 680 GC card is available now, and is retailing for around $540 USD. [Update: it is already sold out on Newegg but Amazon has 4 left] which puts it a bit more than $40 over Galaxy's referrence version -- not too bad.
Subject: Graphics Cards | April 25, 2012 - 05:51 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: catalyst 12.4, catalyst, amd
The newest version of AMD's Catalyst Control Centre is here just in time for the end of the month. Some of the highlights of this driver can be seen below, the rest of the release notes can be found here.
Windows XP support for the AMD Radeon HD 7900 Series, AMD Radeon HD 7800, and AMD Radeon HD 7700 Series
In addition to Windows 7 and Windows Vista support, Catalyst 12.4 now also introduces Windows XP (64-bit/32-bit) support for the AMD Radeon HD 7900, AMD Radeon HD 7800, and AMD Radeon HD 7700 Series
Super Sampling Anti-Aliasing: Level of Detail (LOD) Image Quality enhancements
Supported on the AMD Radeon HD 7900, AMD Radeon HD 7800, and AMD Radeon HD 7700 Series
LOD Image quality enhancements have been improved when enabling Super Sample Anti-Aliasing and Adaptive Anti-Aliasing through the AMD Catalyst™ Control Center for DirectX® 10 and DirectX® 11 applications. Applications must support in game Anti-Aliasing for the feature to work (Forced on Anti-Aliasing through the Catalyst Control Center is not supported for DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 applications)
Morphological Anti-Aliasing (MLAA): Significant performance enhancements Supported on the AMD Radeon HD 7900, AMD Radeon HD 7800, AMD Radeon HD 7700 Series, AMD Radeon HD 6000 Series, and AMD Radeon HD 5000 Series MLAA now operates up to 80% faster than previous versions Texture filtering quality improvements.
Supported on the AMD Radeon HD 7900, AMD Radeon HD 7800, and AMD Radeon HD 7700 Series Improvements have been made to the texture filtering algorithm (for both DirectX9 and DirectX10/DirectX11 applications) to increase the quality of rendered textures, with no impact to performance
Resolved Issues for the Windows 7 Operating System
This section provides information on resolved known issues in this release of the AMD Catalyst 12.4 software suite for Windows 7. These include:
- Elder Scrolls: Skyrim: no longer hangs on single GPU configurations when used with AMD Catalyst 12.3 CAP1 and later CAP releases Elder Scolls: Skyrim: flickering square corruption is no longer observed.
- Rage: Vsync is no longer disabled after task switching.
- Enemy Territory: Quake Wars: no longer crashes when launched in High Performance Mode.
- Stalker – Call of Pripyat: flickering is no longer observed in trees with specific Catalyst Control Center settings.
- Tom Clancy HAWX 2: no longer crashes on game launch. Windows Media Center: no longer crashes when run in Eyefinity mode and High Performance mode settings.
- AMD Steady Video: an error message is no longer displayed when enabling AMD Steady Video for the Microsoft Internet Explorer 9.0 plugin.
- Duplicating displays no longer generates random corruption. Tearing is no longer observed on the third screen in 3x1 and 1x3 Eyefinity configurations.
- A system crash is no longer experienced when enabling Crossfire in a 4 display configuration.
- The advanced video quality settings are now correctly displayed in the Catalyst Control Center.
Subject: Graphics Cards | April 25, 2012 - 05:20 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, P8P67 WS Revolution, sli, crossfilre, triple sli, tri-fire
[H]ard|OCP has assembled a review of the two best GPUs on the planet, in triplicate. It got off to a rough start as there is a serious issue with the last several Catalyst drivers, preventing you from using EyeFinity on Tri-Fire systems so they needed to revert to the release candidate that appeared back in January. The NVIDIA machine was easier to configure, once they realized that for triple surround they had to stay to one monitor per card. The PCIe lanes were provided by the ASUS P8P67 WS Revolution, which allowed these cards to really show off their stuff. Make sure you check out the power consumption page, you may be very surprised at how little power the GTX680s needed to run.
"What do you get when you install three GeForce GTX 680 cards for 3-Way SLI and then three Radeon HD 7970 cards for Tri-Fire? You get insanely fast gaming performance and a gameplay experience that begs to be compared delivered by both. We find out which multi-display configuration is better for gaming in Eyefinity and NV Surround."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- ASUS GeForce GTX 680 Direct CU II 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- ASUS GeForce GTX 680 DirectCU II TOP @ Guru of 3D
- MSI GeForce GTX 680 TwinFrozr III OC @ Guru of 3D
- Palit JetStream GeForce GTX 680 4GB Video Cards in SLI @ Tweaktown
- Palit JetStream GeForce GTX 680 4GB @ Tweaktown
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 "Kepler" On Linux @ Phoronix
- NVIDIA Adaptive VSync Technology @ [H]ard|OCP
- Workstation Graphics Card Comparison Guide @ TechARP
- AMD Versus Intel Integrated Graphics w/ Ivy Bridge @ Legit Reviews
- HIS HD7770 iCooler 1GB @ Overclockers Online
- AMD Fusion On Gallium3D Leaves A Lot To Be Desired @ Phoronix
- PowerColor Radeon HD 7850 2GB Review @ circuitREMIX
- HIS Radeon HD7870 IceQ @ XSReviews
- Gigabyte HD 7950 WindForce 3X & MSI HD 7950 Twin Frozr III Review @ Hardware Canucks
- MSI Radeon HD 7770 Power Edition 1GB @ Tweaktown
- MSI Radeon HD 7870 2GB TwinFrozr @ Tweaktown
- Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 2GB OC Edition @ Tweaktown
- AMD Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition and Radeon HD 7750 @ X-bit Labs
- MSI Radeon HD 7970 Lightning 3 GB @ techPowerUp
- PowerColor PCS+ Radeon HD 7970 3GB VORTEX II @ Tweaktown
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.