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Subject: Graphics Cards | July 10, 2012 - 07:18 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: HD7950, his, ICEQ Turbo
The newest member of the HIS Radeon ICEQ Turbo family is the HD7950, with the distinctive and effective custom cooler that makes these cards stand out. As with many custom cards this one comes with a dual BIOS, one is locked at factory settings while the other allows you to overclock the card, so that even with an overclock that goes poorly you can always revert back to default clocks with the flick of a switch and a reboot. At full load the Guru of 3D never once saw this card hit more than a few degrees north of 60C, making it one of the coolest modern GPUs going and the fans never became audible. Once they got to overclocking, they loved what they saw even more. At $390 it does carry a bit of a premium so you'd best decide if low temps and noise are worth the extra investment.
"We review the HIS Radeon HD 7950 IceQX Turbo. The product comes factory overclocked very nicely for you as it is running a gentle 900 MHz clock frequency. HIS uses a custom PCB and dual-slot cooler making the card very easy to install. Despite that factory overclock and that cooler the noise levels remain at very low levels whereas the GPU temperatures remain downright excellent as we'll show you in this review."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- AMD's Catalyst Evolution For The Radeon HD 7000 Series @ Phoronix
- AMD Catalyst 12.6 Windows 7 Driver Analysis @ Tweaktown
- Sapphire Radeon HD 7770 OC Vapor-X 1GB Graphics Card Review @ eTeknix
- Sapphire HD 7950 FleX Dual-X Edition 3GB Review @ OCC
- Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 OC Dual-X fleX 3GB Graphics Card Review @ eTeknix
- HIS Radeon HD 7850 IceQ X TurboX 2GB in CrossFire @ Tweaktown
- Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Flex Edition @ Tweaktown
- VTX3D HD7870 EyeFinity 6 @ Kitguru
- MSI R7850 Power Edition OC Video Card Review @ Ninjalane
- AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition @ Kitguru
- ZOTAC GeForce GT 640 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- KFA2 GTX 680 EX OC 2GB Graphics Card Review @ eTeknix
- GeForce GTX 670 Graphics Cards from Gigabyte, Palit and Zotac @ X-bit Labs
- KFA2 GeForce GTX 680 LTD OC 2048MB @ Kitguru
- Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 OC @ Legion Hardware
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 670 in 2-Way and 3-Way SLI Configurations @ X-bit Labs
- It's Time to Play: Zotac GeForce GTX 680 AMP! Edition @ X-bit Labs
- MSI GTX 670 Power Edition OC (Twin Frozr IV) @ Kitguru
- ASUS GTX 670 DirectCu II TOP Review @ Hardware Canucks
- MSI GTX 680 Lightning 2GB Graphics Card Review @ eTeknix
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 7, 2012 - 05:07 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: rumor, hd 7950 GHz edition, graphics card, gpu boost, gpu, amd
An interesting rumor floating around the internet concerns a new AMD 7950 graphics card. Specifically, a forum post over at EXPReview hinted at a new GHz Edition 7950 card. They reference a source and a photo of a graphics card with GHz Edition markings and two six-pin PCI-E power connectors. They further quoted a source that said AMD would be releasing a fourth card to its 7000-series lineup. In other words, there was not a whole lot to go on.
The alleged AMD Radeon HD 7950 GHz Edition graphics card.
I saw the rumor a couple of days ago, but decided to let it sink in for a bit before writing about it. After some thought and internal conversations, I think a 7950 GHz edition is plausible, and certainly a possibility. With the addition of the HD 7970 GHz Edition (which we recently reviewed), AMD now has a 7900 series part with its new GPU Boost (aka Powertune Boost) technology. Unfortunately, that tech can not simply be rolled out to the other existing 7900 series cards meaning that the original 7950 and 7970 are stuck without boost, leaving a gap in its lineup. Because of that, it seems logical that AMD would want to fill in that gap with a refreshed 7950 part that has higher clocks and GPU boost.
The 7970 GHz Edition helped AMD stay competitive with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 and enabled AMD to (re)claim it had the fastest single GPU card. That card was enabled by AMD finding extra headroom and higher bins in its 28nm GPUs. The current Radeon HD 7950 runs at an 800 MHz GPU clock speed and a 5GHz GDDR5 effective clock speed. It is unclear if the company’s chips have enough headroom that they are able to overclock 7950 oriented silicon or if they are simply reworking the bins such that the 7950 GHz Edition is either using silicon that just barely can’t make the cut as a 7970 GHz Edition or AMD is artificially locking down 7970 GHz chips to make these proposed 7950 GHz GPUs. Apart from the increased clock speeds and GPU Boost, the rumored card is said to maintain the same hardware specifications as the existing 7950. Mainly, that means 1,792 stream processors, 112 texture units, and the same number of transistors – 4.31 billion – on a 28nm process. In comparison, the 7970 has 2,048 stream processors and 128 texture units.
As mentioned above, such a chip sounds like a logical step for AMD. By refreshing the 7950 with higher clock speeds and adding GPU Boost functionality it will be fight with the GeForce 670 for the performance crown, and may even come close to 680/7970 performance when overclocked further. I do have a couple of questions about this rumored card, however. Specifically, I am wondering if AMD will simply refresh the 7900 series cards and let the original releases fade out as the stock dwindles or if they will keep them around. I’m leaning towards the later but it will still be interesting to see, and it also makes me wonder how much a 7950 GHz Edition will cost me.
I’m curious what you think about the rumor though, do you think it has any merit? And assuming this is legit, where do you think it will stand performance-wise versus NVIDIA’s products?
If you are curious about how AMD’s new GPU Boost technology works, be sure to check out our Live Review of the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition with AMD’s Evan Groenke where we are given a live demonstration showing how it works and some background on the technology.
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 3, 2012 - 08:36 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: radeon, hd 7770, graphics cards, gpu, clock speed, amd
Gigabyte has had an overclocked version of the Radeon HD 7770 graphics card for a couple months now, but the company is already readying a second revision of the card. Curiously, the new revision will maintain the same hardware but will run at slightly lower clock speeds. While the current revision (1.0) runs at 1100 MHz and 5000 MHz for the GPU core and memory respectively, the updated graphics card will run at 1050 MHz and 4500 MHz.
Beyond the lower clock speeds, the new revision of the GV-R7770 OC card maintains the same PCB, chips, and cooler design. That hardware includes a 28nm GPU, 1GB of GDDR5 memory on a 128-bit interface, and a PCI-E 3.0 expansion slot. Display outputs include a DVI port, full-size HDMI port, and two mini DisplayPorts. It also maintains the same custom Gigabyte heatsink and fan.
According to Videocardz, users will be able to identify which revision they are getting before handing over any money by looking at the box. Alternatively, users can identify which revision it is by looking at the sticker on the underside of the card just above the PCI-E connector. As a new revision, especially with the release of higher-binning chips from AMD, it is a bit confusing that the card is being released with lower clock speeds than its predecessor. It may be that the higher factory overclock was not stable on enough cards and Gigabyte was having to deal with too many returns – that’s only a guess though.
All the same, if you are shopping for a 7770 graphics card and have been considering the Gigabyte model, be sure to double check which revision you are getting.
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 3, 2012 - 05:17 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: txaa, nvidia, graphics drivers, gpu, drivers, bug fixes
NVIDIA has made the latest version of its beta graphics card drivers available for download. With the new version 304.79 beta drivers comes TXAA support, numerous bug fixes, and the first unified Windows 8 and Windows 7 release.
We covered TXAA, or temporal anti-aliasing, in our NVIDIA GTX 680 2GB review. The new 304.79 drivers enable support for it in The Secret World MMORPG – following a game update. TXAA will come in two levels with TXAA 2 having quality greater than 8x MSAA, especially with in-game objects like chain link fences. The issue with TXAA adoption is that it must be implemented in the game engine, and cannot simply be added on after the fact via the NVIDIA control panel. Also, it is a feature that is exclusive to the company’s 600-series Kepler graphics cards.
There are a few other games that have claimed support for TXAA, but gamers will have to wait for a future update to take advantage of it.
The beta drivers are the first graphics drivers to be a unified release with support for both desktops and laptops running Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8. Further, the company has updated its SLI profiles to support End of Nations, Nexuiz, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Future Soldier, Tornado Force, and Tribes: Ascend. The release also addresses a number of bugs. Some of the larger bug fixes include a fix for an issue that caused the PC to reboot instead of shut down, an issue that caused a black screen after driver installation, and a fix for flickering mouse cursors when hardware cursor is enabled in certain games.
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 2, 2012 - 06:53 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: passive cooling, nvidia, kepler, gtx 680, gpu
Chinese graphics card manufacturer Colorful recently showed off a massive NVIDIA GTX 680 GPU. Massive may even be an understatement, as this card uses not one, but two heatsinks – and more heatpipes that Josh can shake a GPU at – to passively cool the fastest single GPU graphics card that NVIDIA has.
While there is no word on pricing, availability, or clock speeds, the iGAME NVIDIA GTX 680 is a silent GPU that is going to need a seriously large case. One heatsink attaches as you would expect, right over the GPU, GDDR5 memory, and VRMs. It uses 140 aluminum fins and seven heatpipes traveling the length of the PCB to distribute heat.
From there, six copper heatpipes transfer heat to a second heatsink with another 140 fins and seven heatpipes(!). This second heatsink appears to float over the top of the card, supported by the six heatpipes. The heatsink and PCB are black, with a blue piece covering the two heatsinks that features the iGame and NVIDIA GTX 680 logos. The back of the card features a single DVI port, a DisplayPort, and a full-size HDMI port.
For the PC gamer that values silent performance with the least compromises possible, this card is looking like the perfect solution – assuming it comes to market, of course. If you are interested in seeing more photos of this passively cooled GTX 680 graphics card, check out the EXPReview story.
Subject: Graphics Cards | June 29, 2012 - 03:56 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, catalyst, catalyst 12.6, catalyst 12.7, whql, beta
AMD announced two new drivers today, the final WHQL build of the 12.6 beta that many are currently using as well as a new beta version of 12.7. These represent the first new drivers on AMD's new release schedule, instead of a new driver every month they plan on now releasing a new driver once it has been proven to improve performance and been fully tested. The 12.6 offers the same benefits as the 12.7, the difference is that the 12.7 introduces a new feature called the Video Codec Engine which is designed to provide powerful GPU support for video encoding tasks in applications such as vReveal and ArcSoft MediaConverter. Check out AMD's blog post here for more details and scroll down to read the highlights of the 12.6 WHQL driver.
Resolved issues in AMD Catalyst 12.6 WHQL and Catalyst 12.7 Beta
- Using AMD Radeon HD 7900 and AMD Radeon HD 7800 Series in TriFire or QuadFire configurations with AMD Eyefinity will no longer result in a BSOD when launching a DirectX application.
- Multi-display configurations will no longer BSOD at the desktop on AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series GPUs.
- Additional fixes for AMD Radeon HD 7900, AMD Radeon HD 7800, and AMD Radeon HD 7700 Series GPUs hanging the system upon entering sleep.
- Some occurrences of this issue may be related to an outdated motherboard BIOS, however. Please ensure that your motherboard BIOS is up to date.
- Resolves AMD CrossFire technology scaling issues seen in AMD Catalyst 12.4 with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
- AMD Catalyst Control Center: Overdrive page is no longer intermittently missing
- AMD Catalyst Control Center: GPU Activity gauge is no longer intermittently missing
- Using AMD Radeon HD 7900 Series GPUs in an AMD CrossFire technology config no longer results in system hangs after cinematics in Call of Duty: Black Ops
- Heroes and Generals: Blocky corruptions in scenes with smoke effects under the DirectX 11 mode are no longer experienced.
- DiRT Showdown: Improves scaling for AMD CrossFire technology configurations using the AMD Radeon HD 6000 Series
- HDMI audio is no longer disabled if the connected HDTV is powered off/on.
Subject: Graphics Cards | June 28, 2012 - 05:45 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, DirectCU II, gtx 670, factory overclocked
ASUS' family of DirectCU II TOP have made a good name for themselves with enthusiasts, coming from the factory with impressive overclocks and a quiet and efficient custom cooler. There is a new member of this family, the GTX670 which comes with a default clock of 1059MHz and a boost clock of 1137MHz though the memory remains unchanged at 6GHz. These cards have more than just a custom cooler, the capacitors and switches are significantly better than the ones found on other cards which gives the card a longer lifespan as well as giving it serious overclocking headroom which you can see in action in [H]ard|OCP's review. At $430 it does cost a bit more than the stock version, but not prohibitively so.
"ASUS has delivered the fastest GeForce GTX 670 on the market in the ASUS GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU II TOP video card. The monster overclock and the improved cooling system are sure to provide the performance we yearn for. We will be testing it in the recently released Max Payne 3 against a GeForce GTX 680 and Radeon HD 7950."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- Nvidia's GeForce GT 640 @ The Tech Report
- Inno3D iChiLL GTX 670 HerculeZ 3000 Edition 2GB Graphics Card Review @ eTeknix
- ASUS GTX 680 DirectCU II TOP Review @ Hardware Canucks
- MSI GTX 670 Power Edition Twin Frozr IV 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- PNY XLR8 GeForce GTX 670 Video Card @ Benchmark Reviews
- ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme III review (w/ Asus GTX680 DirectCU II TOP) @ Kitguru
- Club3D Radeon HD 7850 royalKing 2GB Graphics Card Review @ eTeknix
- Sapphire HD7870 FleX Edition @ Kitguru
- Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 2GB DDR5 Flex Edition Video Card Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card Overclocked @ Tweaktown
- MSI GEFORCE GTX 680 Lightning 2GB @ Tweaktown
- Sapphire HD 7870 FleX Dual-X 2GB Review @ OCC
- AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition @ Legion Hardware
- Sapphire HD 7870 FLeX @ LanOC Reviews
- Sapphire HD 7950 FleX Edition @ TechwareLabs
- XFX Double Dissipation R7750 Review @ OCC
- AMD Radeon HD 7750 / 7770 graphics card round-up @ Hardware.info
- AMD Radeon HD 7850 / 7870 round-up @ Hardware.info
- AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition Video Card Review @ Hardware Secrets
Subject: Graphics Cards | June 27, 2012 - 03:52 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: win8, whql, nvidia, geforce, driver
If you are running Windows 8 and an NVIDIA graphics card on a desktop machine then you should head on over to NVIDIA to grab the WHQL certified GeForce 302.82 for 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the pre-release OS. If you are on a laptop then NVIDIA suggests you should continue to use the 302.80 drivers for the moment.
You will see a new NVIDIA Control Panel page that allows you to set up stereoscopic 3D for 3D Vision. The drawbacks are few, the driver will request a reboot in order to finish the installation, which you should do whether you are asked or not, and there is an issue for users of the GT520 who enable FXAA via the NVIDIA control panel but other than those two addendum, NVIDIA posted no other known issues. As it is a WHQL version, you can expect it to be stable and to be around for a bit as the release date of Win8 slowly approaches.
Subject: Graphics Cards | June 22, 2012 - 11:43 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: amd, radeon, HD 7970, hd 7970 ghz edition, 7970, 7970 ghz edition, video, live review
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 day of the release of AMD's latest flagship graphics card, the Radeon HD 7970 3GB GHz Edition, Evan Groenke (Desktop Graphics Product Manager) stopped by the PC Perspective offices to sit with us and talk about the new GPU. In the live event we went over the company's stance and mindset with the release, the new boost capability that the card integrates, performance from our review and even some questions and answers with some giveaways.
I really want to thank AMD and Evan for stopping by and chatting with us and our readers. Be sure you keep checking back at http://pcper.com/live for more live events you can be a part of!
Subject: Graphics Cards | June 22, 2012 - 04:27 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: tahiti, gpu, ASUS ROG, asus, amd, 7970
ASUS recently posted a few teaser photos of its upcoming Republic of Gamers branded 7970 graphics card. The Matrix HD 7970 is a three slot design with the company’s DirectCU II heatsink, dual fans, DIGI+ VRM, and (of course) AMD’s 7970 Tahiti GPU core. While likely not based on the higher-binned cores used in the new 7970 GHz Edition graphics cards, with the large cooler and extra power phases that ASUS is packing into this Matrix GPU it should overclock to similar levels of performance.
The card features fans, and a large dual slot cooler with the traditional red and black ROG theme. The ASUS and Matrix logos are etched into the side of the card as well. The PCB is black and further covered by a bracing plate to reinforce the PCB to support the weight of the cooler. On the front of the card, it houses an air vent, two DVI connectors, and four DisplayPort video outputs. On the back of the card are four buttons. Two of the buttons with plus and minus symbols let you adjust the core voltage in preset jumps. The Safe Mode button next to the minus button clears the overclocks from the BIOS and resets the card to default settings. Finally, the red button will spin the fan up to 100% to overclock the card as far as possible. They also have a bank of LEDs below the buttons that offer at-a-glance load monitoring (really only useful for those testing outside a case...). In the rear corner of the card is two eight pin PCI-E power connectors. Then, on the underside (top when installed in the case) of the graphics card’s PCB, ASUS has a VGA Hotwire port which allows the card to interface with the ASUS OC Key and Extreme edition motherboards (such as the Maximus V and Rampage IV Extreme). There are also voltage checking points.
Internals are somewhat similar to ASUS Radeon HD 7970 DirectCU II, but with some aspects ratcheted up. The power phases, for example, have increased from 12 phases to 20 on the Matrix card. It continues to use the 7970 “Tahiti” GPU with 2048 shaders, 32 ROPs, and AMD’s Graphics Core Next architecture. ASUS is packing 3GB of GDDR5 memory with a 384-bit memory interface. ASUS has stated that both the GPU core and memory will be overclocked from the factory. Unfortunately, they have not released any specific numbers. We will have to wait until the card is closer to the launch date for that information.
The ASUS ROG Matrix graphics card will be launching in Q3 of 2012. It will be aimed at extreme overclockers – especially those that are already using Republic of Gamers branded motherboards from ASUS. What do you think of this new card, especially now that AMD has launched its 7970 GHz Edition reference GPU? You can find more photos of the card over at the ASUS website.
Subject: Graphics Cards | June 22, 2012 - 03:22 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: tahiti 2, tahiti, radeon, amd, 7970 ghz edition, 7970
Of course, we were not the only ones to review the card that represents AMD's attempt to win back the single GPU performance crown from NVIDIA. [H]ard|OCP also examined the updated HD7970, which should be available fairly soon for a price of $500. The GHz Edition is slightly faster than the original, with a 1000MHz base clock and 1050MHz Boost Clock, and an effective memory speed of 6GHz, though the power consumption should not change much. It did start pulling a bit more power once [H] had overclocked it to 1180MHz and 6.4GHz for the memory, but even with AMD's GPU Boost it looks like NVIDIA still reigns ... though with less of a lead than before.
"We have been documenting AMD's struggle to compete with the NVIDIA Kepler generation since it was introduced. Today AMD attempts to strike back with the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition. This video card features higher operating speeds and introduces AMD's version of GPU Boost. Will the performance justify a price of $499?"
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- AMD's Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition @ The Tech Report
- AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3 GB @ techPowerUp
- HD 7970 GHz Edition Review - Tahiti's Boost from Overclocking and Drivers @ VR-Zone
- AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition Review: Battling For The Performance Crown @ AnandTech
- AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition @ TechSpot
- AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition review @ Hardware.Info
- AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB @ Tweaktown
- AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition Graphics Card Review @ HardwareHeaven
- AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB GHz Edition Review @ Hardware Canucks
- XBMC's Thoughts On XvBA: AMD Catalyst Has Problems @ Phoronix
- MSI Radeon HD 7870 Hawk 2GB Video Card @ Benchmark Reviews
- MSI Z77A-GD80 & R7770 Power Edition Transthermal OC @ Kitguru
- TEXT GOES HERE
Subject: Graphics Cards | June 20, 2012 - 07:42 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: sapphire, dual x 7970m, factory overclocked
The Sapphire HD 7970 OC Edition sports two profiles, on set to defaults and one with a mild overclock of 1GHz on the GPU and effective memory of 5.8GHz but it really is the cooler which makes this card special. The dual fans and extensive heatsinks allow for quieter and cooler operation than the reference design which can be more important to some than a huge overclock and since it is cooler you have a better chance of getting a higher manual overclock if you are so inclined. Overclockers Club were very impressed with the card and even more impressed by Sapphire's decision to include an Active DisplayPort adapter.
"The Dual X cooler is really the bonus to this particular card; it is the real feature that sets it apart from not only other 7970s but also other high-end cards. Under full load it shows off its true colors as one of the best cooled cards on the market while remaining quiet (in a relative manner). With the fans at full it can dissipate quite a bit of heat away from the card to keep it cool and ready for more. It might dump a little more heat to the case at idle and run slightly "hotter" at idle, but it is much better than a constant vacuum cleaner noise coming from your case."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- Sapphire HD 7950 FleX Review @ Neoseeker
- MSI Radeon HD 7950 Twin Frozr III 3GB Graphics Card Review @ eTeknix
- XFX Radeon HD 7850 Black Edition 2GB @ Tweaktown
- Zalman Radeon HD 7950-Z VF3000 2GB @ Tweaktown
- ARCTIC 7970 Accelero Xtreme - VGA Cooler @ Funky Kit
- Spire SkyMax Graphics Card Cooler @ X-bit Labs
- Nouveau Driver Still Tries To Compete With NVIDIA @ Phoronix
- MSI GEFORCE GTX 670 Power Edition 2GB Overclocked @ Tweaktown
- Gigabyte GTX 670 WindForce OC Review @ Hardware Canucks
- MSI GeForce GTX 680 Lightning 2 GB @ techPowerUp
Subject: Graphics Cards | June 20, 2012 - 07:27 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.
AMD's Radeon HD 7970 3GB
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 $449
Radeon HD 7950 3GB - In Stock
Starting at $369
Radeon HD 7870 2GB - In Stock
Starting at $319
Radeon HD 7850 2GB - In Stock
Starting at $239
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 - In Stock
Starting at $1049
GeForce GTX 680 2GB - In Stock
Starting at $499
GeForce GTX 670 2GB - In Stock
Starting at $399
I think it is official, the GeForce GTX 680 has been in stock for more than two weeks in a row and we believe that this is a trend we see continuing through the summer. Hell, we even found a single GTX 690 in stock from ASUS!
AMD is still doing great on availability with the Radeon HD 7970 and HD 7950 widely available for the price of $449 / $369 with a set of three free games including DiRT Showdown and Dues Ex: Human Revolution and yet another $10 price drop. The fact that the Radeon HD 7970 is now down to $449 and is $50 less than the GTX 680 makes it a compelling solution for gamers yet again.
If you are looking for our latest graphics reviews to judge the performance of the above cards, here you go:
Subject: Graphics Cards | June 18, 2012 - 04:37 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nvidia, graphics drivers
If you want to see your performance in Batman: Arkham City jump by 17.6% and your Dragon Age 2 and S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat increase about 10% then you want to upgrade to the newest beta driver from NVIDIA. There is more to it than that however, they have completely redesigned the interface of the Control Panel, now offering far more control over MSAA in a variety of games. There are new SLI profiles as well as updated 3D Vision profiles for those of you with the requisite components, which will enhance your experience in a number of games.
As usual there are also bug fixes, ranging from a fix for factory overclocked cards which occasionally downclock and refuse to come back, boot issues caused by Display Port adapters and a variety of game specific fixes. Head over to GeForce.com for your update.
Subject: Graphics Cards, Processors, Shows and Expos | June 14, 2012 - 11:46 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: live blog, arm, APU, amd, AFDS
Day 3 - Thursday, June 14th
We are here at AFDS 2012 for the day 3 keynotes - join us as find out what else AMD has in store.
If you are looking for Tuesday or Wednesday keynotes and information on the announcement of the HSA Foundation, you can find it below, after the break!
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Shows and Expos | June 13, 2012 - 12:07 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: InfoComm 2012, firepro, amd
AMD launches their new FirePro W600 graphics card for professional uses where you desire to drive up to 6 4K monitors from a single-slot PCIe card. The FirePro W600 will be available immediately at an estimated MSRP of $599.
We may be deep in the middle of AMD Fusion Developer Summit 2012 coverage -- but AMD is not just in Seattle this week. The processor and graphics card company is also attending InfoComm 2012 where they released a new FirePro graphics card for a very specific customer. The AMD FirePro W600 is classified as a professional graphics card for display walls.
That description is very accurate.
This single slot card can feed up to 6 4K displays through its 6 mini-DisplayPort 1.2 outputs. Also announced is the multi-stream transport hub (MST hub) which can forego 4K output for 4 separate 1080p displays. They do not claim that 24 1080p monitors can be output from the card so it is possible that there is a limit to prevent all 6 mini-DisplayPorts from being utilized.
If you prefer to not use any hubs and simply have one display per output then you have the option to send independent audio streams to each of the 6 displays. Each of your 4K monitors could be fed different audio all from the same PC and all from the same card.
Enterprises interested in the card would also receive PowerTune and ZeroCore features which were introduced in the Radeon line to reduce power usage. ZeroCore specifically would allow the card to consume up to 95% less power while the rest of the PC is idle.
The FirePro W600 has an MSRP of $599 and is available for purchase immediately.
Subject: Graphics Cards | June 12, 2012 - 04:05 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: galaxy, gtx 670 gc, factory overclocked
Galaxy went all out on the GTX 670 GC, using a full length custom PCB which allowed them to overclock the card by almost 100MHz right out of the box. The base clock is 1006MHz as opposed to 915MHz and is higher than the stock boost speed of 980MHz, the GC's boost pushes all the way to 1085MHz. Memory size remains unchanged at 2GB and 6GHz effective, but are shrouded in the custom cooler Gigabyte designed which allowed [H]ard|OCP to push the memory to 6.46GHz once overclocked. In the tests the card could compete with the slightly more expensive GTX680 which makes this card one of the fastest cards you can get.
"GALAXY's new GeForce GTX 670 GC features a dual fan setup on a custom built PCB. GALAXY also tuned 670 GC with a strong 1006MHz overclock. We see how this compares to other video cards in its price range including a Radeon HD 7950 and GeForce GTX 580. Then we put the GALAXY GeForce GTX 670 head to head with a GeForce GTX 680."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- ASUS GTX 670 DirectCU II TOP @ Overclockers.com
- Gigabyte GTX 670 OC 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- ASUS GTX680 DirectCU II Top review @ Hardware.Info
- Radeon HD 7950 vs. GeForce GTX 680 On Linux @ Phoronix
- Battle of the Elite: Asus GeForce GTX 680 DirectCU II TOP vs. MSI R7970 Lightning @ X-bit Labs
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 670 2 GB @ X-bit Labs
- Extreme Cooler for an Extreme Graphics Card: ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme 7970 @ X-bit Labs
- An Optimized Open-Source Driver Tries To Compete With AMD Catalyst @ Phoronix
- Open-Source R500 Driver Can Compete With Legacy Catalyst @ Phoronix
- Pure Perfection: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition OC 2 GB @ X-bit Labs
- MSI R7770 Power Edition Review @ Neoseeker
- Sapphire HD 7770 Vapor-X 1 GB @ techPowerUp
- PowerColor Devil 13 HD7970 X2 @ Kitguru
- ASUS GTX 560 Ti 448 Cores DirectCU II Video Card @ Pro-Clockers
- Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB DDR5 Flex Edition Video Card Review @ Hi Tech Legion
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- Sapphire HD7950 Dual-X FleX Edition @ Kitguru
- Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 FleX Video Card @ Pro-Clockers
- MSI HD R7770 Power Edition Review @ OCC
- XFX R7750 Black Edition DD Review @ Neoseeker
Subject: Graphics Cards, Processors | June 12, 2012 - 01:31 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: texas instruments, mediatek, imagination, hsa foundation, hsa, arm, amd, AFDS
Today is a big day for AMD as they, along with four other major players in the world of processors and SoCs, announced the formation of the HSA Foundation. The HSA Foundation is a non-profit consortium created to define and promote an open approach to heterogeneous computing. The primary goal is to make it easier for software developers to write and program for the parallel power of GPUs. This encompasses both integrated and discrete of which the HSA (heterogeneous systems architecture) Foundation wants to enable users to take full advantage of all the processing resources available to them.
On stage at the AMD Fusion Developer Summit in Bellevue, WA, AMD announced the formation of the consortium in partnership with ARM, Imagination Technologies, MediaTek, and Texas Instruments; some of the biggest names in computing.
The companies will work together to drive a single architecture specification and simplify the programming model to help software developers take greater advantage of the capabilities found in modern central processing units (CPUs) and graphics processing units (GPUs), and unlock the performance and power efficiency of the parallel computing engines found in heterogeneous processors.
There are a lot of implications in this simple statement and there are many questions that are left open ended to which we hope to get answered this week while at AFDS. The idea of a "single architecture specification" set a lot of things in motion and makes us question the direction of both AMD and the traditionally ARM-based companies of the HSA Foundation will be moving in. AMD has had the APU, and the eventual complete fusion of the CPU and GPU, on its roadmap for quite a few years and has publicly stated that in 2014 they will have their first fully HSA-capable part. We are still assuming that this is an x86 + Radeon based part, but that may or may not be the long term goal; ideas of ARM-based AMD processors with Radeon graphics technology AND of Radeon based ARM-processors built by other companies still swirl amongst the show. There are even rumors of Frankenstein-like combinations of x86 and ARM based products for niche applications.
Looks like there is room for a few more founding partners...
Obviously ARM and others have their own graphics IP (ARM has Mali, Imagination Technology has Power VR) and those GPUs can be used for parallel processing in much the same way that we think of GPU processing on discrete GPUs and APUs today. ARM processor designers are well aware of the power and efficiency benefits of utilizing all of the available transistors and processing power correctly and the emphasis on an HSA-style system design makes a lot of sense moving forward.
My main question for the HSA Foundation is its goals: obviously they want to promote the simplistic approach for programmers, but what does that actually translate to on the hardware side? It is possible that both x86 and ARM-based ISAs can continue to exist with libraries and compilers built to correctly handle applications for each architecture, but that would seem to me to be against the goals of such a partnership of technology leaders.
In a meeting with AMD personnel, the most powerful and inspiring idea from the HSA Foundation is summed up with this:
"This is bigger than AMD. This is bigger than the PC ecosystem."
The end game is to make sure that all software developers can EASILY take advantage of both traditional and parallel processing cores without ever having to know what is going on under the hood. AMD and the other HSA Foundation members continue to tell us that this optimization can be completely ISA-agnostic – though the technical blockages for that to take place are severe.
AMD will benefit from the success of the HSA Foundation by finally getting more partners involved in promoting the idea of heterogeneous computing, and powerful ones at that. ARM is the biggest player in the low power processor market responsible for the Cortex and Mali architectures found in the vast majority of mobile processors. As those partners trumpet the same cause as AMD, more software will be developed to take advantage of parallel computing and AMD believes their GPU architecture gives them a definite performance advantage once that takes hold.
What I find most interesting is the unknown – how will this affect the roadmaps for all the hardware companies involved? Are we going to see the AMD APU roadmap shift to an ARM-IP system? Will we see companies like Texas Instruments fully integrate the OMAP and Power VR cores into a single memory space (or ARM with Cortex and Mali)? Will we eventually see NVIDIA jump onboard and lend their weight towards true heterogenous computing?
We have much more the learn about the HSA Foundation and its direction for the industry but we can easily say that this is probably the most important processor company collaboration announcement in many years – and it does so without the 800 pound gorilla that is Intel in attendance. By going after the ARM-based markets where Intel is already struggling to compete in, AMD can hope to create a foothold with technological and partnership advantages and return to a seat of prominence. This harkens back to the late 1990s when AMD famously put together the "virtual gorilla" with many partners to take on Intel.
Subject: Graphics Cards, Processors | June 12, 2012 - 12:18 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: Kaveri, APU, amd, AFDS
During the opening keynote at the AMD Fusion Developer Summit 2012, AMD's Dr. Lisa Su revealed a slide with performance of the upcoming 3rd genreation Kaveri APU.
While Trinity is currently rated at 726 GFLOPS, the Kaveri APU due late in 2012 or early 2013, will have at least 1 TFLOPS of total compute performance. That is a 37% boost over the previous generation.
If you want more information, check out our keynote live blog!!
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards, Shows and Expos | June 8, 2012 - 06:09 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: video, unreal engine 4, E3 12, E3
Epic has released as much of their GDC demo as they are able to in an effort to end E3 2012 with a bang. They have included a second video to walk through the engine for developers to enjoy. We will explain to the masses why it is awesome.
Before we go any further -- the video you have been waiting months to see.
Be prepared for a particle-filled generation.
As was the case with Intel’s sand-to-CPU video -- the demo is pleasing but the supplementary info is the prize.
Epic released a 10 minute developer walkthrough to highlight the most important features of Unreal Engine 4. You can see it below and read on to see what that all means.
Yes, Unrealscript did not make it to Unreal Engine 4.
The first major feature of the engine is real-time dynamic global illumination and glossy specular reflection. Traditional video game graphics only considers the first bounce of light from a source -- if that bounce does not reach the player camera then it does not exist. Global illumination allows objects to be lit not just by light sources but also by light bouncing from neighboring objects.
It has been very popular to calculate how light interacts with objects ahead of time for the last generation as well as a portion of the generation prior to that. With those methods you are able to soften the shadows cast by light and make the scene feel much more naturally lit. The problem arises when anything in the scene moves or changes as obviously happens in a video game.
Unreal Engine 4 has the ability to calculate Global Illumination in real time. Dynamic lights such as muzzle flashes or flames are able to not just illuminate the area around them but also induce that area around it to light each other.
Also, static sources such as moonlight shining in the window against the floor can bounce from the floor and slightly lighten the walls with a bluish tint without being calculated ahead of time. Developers can try lighting effects without waiting for sometimes hours to see the results. This also means that what would have been once a pre-computed lit scene with nothing moving can now be destroyed and still remain properly lit. And now the moon can even move if the designer wants.
Specular material on the gold statue
Diffuse material on the gold statue, notice how the floor lighting from the statue desaturates and changes.
In this scene we see how light can reflect against a statue and influence the objects around it. A specular material has a much smoother and more mirror-like surface than a diffuse material which tends to scatter light in all directions. If you were to shine a laser against a mirror the beam would bounce and you would not see it unless you were in the reflected path whereas if you shine the laser against the wall you would see a dot regardless of how you look at it. This is because the wall, like a projector screen, is like trillions of microscopic mirrors all pointed in different directions which each take a tiny fraction of the light and sends it in a different direction.
In Unreal Engine 4, this effect means that a shiny surface will not only glare if you look at it but also light the objects around it differently than a diffuse surface. You can see that effect against the floor.
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