ASUS Launches the GeForce GTX 660 DirectCU II Lineup

Subject: Graphics Cards | September 13, 2012 - 05:09 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, msi, kepler, gtx 660, gk106, geforce, evga, factory overclocked

As those of you who have already read the post below this one know, ASUS decided to create a DirectCU II model for their GTX 660, with the famous heatpipe bearing heatsink.  They have overclocked the GPU already and the card comes with tools to allow you to push it even further if you take the time to get to know your card and what it can manage.  Check the full press release below.

Fremont, CA (September 13, 2012) - ASUS is excited to release the ASUS GeForce GTX 660 DirectCU II series featuring the Standard, OC and TOP editions. Utilizing the latest 28nm NVIDIA Kepler graphics architecture, the OC and TOP cards deliver a factory-overclock while all three cards feature ASUS exclusive DirectCU thermal design and GPU Tweak tuning software to deliver a quieter, cooler, faster, and more immersive gameplay experience. The ASUS GeForce GTX 660 DirectCU II series set a new benchmark for exceptional performance and power efficiency in a highly affordable graphics card. The ASUS GeForce GTX 660 DirectCU II is perfect for gamers looking to upgrade from last-generation graphics technology while retaining ASUS’ class-leading cooling and acoustic performance.

image01.jpg

Superior Design and Software for the Best Gaming Experience ASUS equips the GeForce GTX 660 DirectCU II series with 2GB of GDDR5 memory clocked up to 6108MHz. The TOP edition features a blistering GPU core boost clock of 1137MHz, 104MHz faster than reference designs while the OC edition arrives with a factory-set GPU core boost speed of 1085MHz. Exclusive ASUS DIGI+ VRM digital power delivery and user-friendly GPU Tweak tuning software allows all cards to easily overclock beyond factory-set speeds offering enhanced performance in your favorite game or compute intensive application.

The ASUS GeForce GTX 660 DirectCU II series feature exclusive DirectCU technology. The custom designed cooler uses direct contact copper heatpipes for faster heat transduction and up to 20% lower normal operating temperatures than reference designs. The optimized fans are able operate at lower speeds providing a much quieter gaming or computing environment. For enhanced stability, energy efficiency, and overclocking margins the cards feature DIGI+ VRM digital power deliver plus a class-leading six-phase Super Alloy Power design for the capacitors, chokes, and MOSFETs meant to extend product lifespan and durability while operating noise-free even under heavy workloads.

ASUS once again includes the award winning GPU Tweak tuning suite in the box. Overclocking-inclined enthusiasts or gamers can boost clock speeds, set power targets, and configure fan operating parameters and policies; all this and more is accessible in the user-friendly interface. GPU Tweak offers built-in safe guards to ensure all modifications are safe, maintaining optimal stability and card reliability.

Source: ASUS

New Kepler on the Block, meet the vanilla GTX 660

Subject: Graphics Cards | September 13, 2012 - 04:49 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, msi, kepler, gtx 660, gk106, geforce, evga

The non-Ti version of the GTX 660 has arrived on test benches and retailers, with even the heavily overclocked cards being available at $230, like EVGA's Superclocked model or MSI's OC'd card once you count the MIR.  That price places it right in between the HD 7850 and 7870, and ~$70 less than the GTX 660 Ti, while the performance is mostly comparable to a stock HD7870 though the OC versions can top the GTX660.

[H]ard|OCP received ASUS' version of the card, a DirectCU II based version with the distinctive heatpipes.  ASUS overclocked the card to a 1072MHz base clock and 1137MHz GPU Boost and [H] plans to see just how much further the frequencies can be pushed at a later date.  Their final word on this card for those looking to upgrade, for those of you with "a GTX 560 Ti, and even the GTX 570, the GTX 660 is an upgrade".

H_660gtx.gif

"NVIDIA is launching the new GeForce GTX 660 GPU, codenamed GK106. We have a retail ASUS GeForce GTX 660 DirectCU II custom video card fully evaluated against a plethora of competition at this price point. This brand new GPU aims for a price point just under the GTX 660 Ti but still promises to deliver exceptional 1080p gaming with AA."

Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:

Graphics Cards

Source: [H]ard|OCP

NVIDIA Launches GTX 650 for Budget Gamers

Subject: Graphics Cards | September 13, 2012 - 09:38 AM |
Tagged: nvidia, kepler, gtx 650, graphics cards, geforce

Ah, Kepler: the (originally intended as) midrange graphics card architecture that took the world by storm and allowed NVIDIA to take it from the dual-GPU GeForce GTX 690 all the way down to budget discrete HTPC cards. So far this year we have seen the company push Kepler to its limits by adding GPU boost and placing it in the GTX 690 and GTX 680. Those cards were great, but commanded a price premium that most gamers could not afford. Enter the GTX 670 and GTX 660 Ti earlier this year and Kepler started to become an attractive option for gamers wanting a high-end single GPU system without breaking the bank. Those cards, at $399 and $299 respectively were a step in the right direction to making the Kepler architecture available to everyone but were still a bit pricey if you were on a tighter budget for your gaming rig (or needed to factor in the Significant Other Approval Process™).

Well, Kepler has now been on the market for about six months, and I’m excited to (finally) announce that NVIDIA is launching its first Kepler-based budget gaming card! The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 brings Kepler down to the ever-attractive $109 price point and is even capable of playing new games at 1080p above 30FPS. Not bad for such a cheap card!

GTX 650.jpg

With the GTX 650, you are making some sacrifices as far as hardware, but things are not all bad. The card features a mere 384 CUDA cores and 1GB of GDDR5 memory on a 128-bit bus. This is a huge decrease in hardware compared to the GTX 660 Ti’s 1344 CUDA cores and 2GB memory on a 192-bit bus – but that card is also $200 more. And while the GTX 650 runs the memory at 5Gbps, NVIDIA was not shy about pumping up the GPU core clockspeed. No boost functionality was mentioned but the base clockspeed is a respectable 1058 MHz. Even better, the card only requires a single 6-pin PCI-E power connector and has a TDP of 64W (less than half of its higher-end GeForce brethren).

Specs Comparison

The following chart compares the specifications between the new Geforce GTX 650 through the GTX 670 graphics card. 

GTX 650 and GTX 660 Specifications.jpg

Click on the above chart for a larger image.

Gaming Potential?

The really important question is how well it handles games, and NVIDIA showed off several slides with claimed performance numbers. Taking these numbers with a grain of salt as they are coming from the same company that built the hardware, the GTX 650 looks like a capable GPU for the price. The company compared it to both its GTS 450 (Fermi) and AMD’s 7750 graphics card. Naturally, it was shown in a good light in both comparisons, but nothing egregious.

NVIDIA is claiming an 8X performance increase versus the old 9500 GT, and an approximate 20% speed increase versus the GTS 450. And improvements to the hardware itself has allowed NVIDIA to improve performance while requiring less power; the company claims the GTX 650 uses up to half the power of its Fermi predecessor.

20percent better than fermi.jpg

The comparison between the GTX 650 and AMD Radeon HD 7750 is harder to gauge, though the 7750 is priced competitively around the GTX 650’s $109 MSRP so it will be interesting to see how that shakes out. NVIDIA is claiming anywhere from 1.08 to 1.34 times the performance of the 7750 in a number of games, shown in the chart below.

GTX 650 vs HD 7750.jpg

If you have been eyeing a 7750, the GTX 650 looks like it might be the better option, assuming reviewers are able to replicate NVIDIA’s results.

FPS GTX 650.png

Keep in mind, these are NVIDIA's numbers and not from our reviews.

Unfortunately, NVIDIA did not benchmark the GTS 450 against the GTX 650 in the games. Rather, they compared it to the 9500 GT to show the upgrade potential for anyone still holding onto the older hardware (pushing the fact that you can run DirectX 11 at 1080p if you upgrade). Still, the results for the 650 are interesting by themselves. In MechWarrior Online, World of Warcraft, and Max Payne 3 the budget GPU managed at least 40 FPS at 1920x1080 resolution in DirectX 11 mode. Nothing groundbreaking, for sure, but fairly respectable for the price. Assuming it can pull at least a min of 30 FPS in other recent games, this will be a good option for DIY builders that want to get started with PC gaming on a budget.

All in all, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 looks to be a decent card and finally rounds out the Kepler architecture. At this price point, NVIDIA can finally give every gamer a Kepler option instead of continuing to rely on older cards to answer AMD at the lower price points. I’m interested to see how AMD answers this, and specifically if gamers will see more price cuts on the AMD side.

GTX 650 Specs.jpg

If you have not already, I strongly recommend you give our previous Kepler GPU reviews a read through for a look at what NVIDIA’s latest architecture is all about.

PC Perspective Kepler-based GTX Graphics Card Reviews:

Lucid to Let You Plug in to Boost Your Laptop GPU?

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Mobile | September 12, 2012 - 07:20 PM |
Tagged: lucid, external graphics

Lucid looks to utilize Thunderbolt and its PCIe-format interface with external video cards. Their ideal future would allow for customers to purchase Ultrabook or other laptop device to bring around town. Upon reaching home the user could sit the laptop on their desk; plug in a high-end video card for performance; and surround their Ultrabook in other monitors.

While there are situations for acceleration hardware to be inside the device that is not necessary.

There have been numerous attempts in the past to provide a dockable graphics accelerator. ASUS, AMD, Vidock, as well as many others have attempted this feat but all had drawbacks and/or difficulty getting to market. Just prior to Intel Developer Forum, Laptop Magazine was given a demonstration from Lucid with their own attempt.

How about some Thunderbolt?

Mobile GPUs are really the only thing keeping a good laptop from being a gaming machine.

There’s good need for desktop CPUs with lots of RAM – but these days, not to game.

I have been excited each time a product manufacturer claims to have a non-proprietary method to accelerate laptop graphics. Laptops are appealing for so many purposes and it is frustrating to have devices come so close but fall so short of being a reasonable gaming machine.

The demo that Lucid showed off ran 3DMark 06 on an Intel HD 4000 with an external AMD Radeon HD 6700. On integrated graphics the gaming performance hovered just south of 30 FPS. With the Radeon HD 6700 – as expected – performance greatly increased to almost 90 FPS.

It should be much more compelling for a PC store to say “For somewhere near the price of a console, you could dock your laptop which you already own into this box when you want to game and instantly have all PC gaming and Home Theatre PC benefits.”

And it should have happened a long time ago.

Titanium Power from MSI; the shiniest of the GTX 660s?

Subject: Graphics Cards | September 6, 2012 - 07:01 PM |
Tagged: msi, gtx 660 Ti, GK104, factory overclocked, Twin Frozr, 660 Ti Power Edition OC

MSI's GTX 660 Ti Power Edition OC will set you back $300, the same price as most other GTX 660 Ti cards, however that is where the similarity stops.  This card sports the famous Twin Frozr IV cooling system, Military Class III components, Triple Overvoltage with Afterburner support and is overclocked above the reference design.  If you like the sounds of the card so far does knowing that [H]ard|OCP managed to push the card frequencies farther past the factory overclock than the factory overclock was above the reference design? 

H_MSI660TIPE.jpg

"MSI is offering a custom cooled and factory overclocked rendition on the recently released NVIDIA GTX 660 Ti. We examine how well MSI's Twin Frozr IV cooling technology allows us to overclock this new generation video card. We will compare it to a Radeon HD 7950, an overclocked Radeon HD 7870, and a GeForce GTX 670."

Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:

Graphics Cards

Source: [H]ard|OCP

PowerColor Launches PCS+ Radeon 7950 Graphics Card With Boost

Subject: Graphics Cards | September 3, 2012 - 07:16 AM |
Tagged: powercolor pcs+, powercolor, gpu boost, amd, 7950 with boost, 7950

Earlier this month AMD announced that it was upgrading the Radeon HD 7950 graphics card to run at higher clockspeeds and with boost capability. The PowerTune with Boost technology uses digital temperature estimation and dynamic voltage control to increase the GPU core clockspeed above the base clockspeed in most applications.

Using a new BIOS, manufacturers would be able to refresh their existing lineups to enable PowerTune with Boost and higher clockspeeds. Original graphics cards along with the refreshed boost-capable GPUs will be sold in parallel (the original 7950s are not being phased out completely yet). And in a somewhat similar situation to unlockable 6950 reference cards, users could attempt to flash the new boost-capable BIOS to their original HD 7950s – though it is not guaranteed to work (and that's where the OEM certification becomes useful).

AMD Add In Board (AIB) partner PowerColor (who recently launched the Devil 13 7990) has released its second Radeon HD 7950 graphics card with boost in the form of its custom – and factory overclocked – PCS+ graphics card. The original PCS+ and new "Boost State" graphics card will be sold simultaneously, and (fortunately) you will be able to tell them apart by the red Boost State sticker on the box and the new "Boost State" labeling tacked onto the product name at online retailers. The new PowerColor PCS+ HD7950 3GB GDDR5 Boost State graphics card steps up the factory overclock to 900 MHz base while keeping the same PCS+ cooler and PCB design.  The triple-slot design incorporates a cooler with dual 92mm fans and three 8mm heatpipes connected to an aluminum fin array. The PCB hosts the 7950 GPU, 3GB of GDDR5 RAM clocked at 1250 MHz, 6+2+1 power phase, digital PWM circuitry, and ferrite core chokes. A dual BIOS switch and two 6-pin PCI-E power connectors are also present. Video outputs include two mini-DisplayPorts, one HDMI, and one DVI.

Those specifications remain unchanged, and the new graphics card is essentially a PCS+ HD7950 that has been certified to run with the updated BIOS at the new GPU clockspeeds (and with boost). It may be possible to flash an original PCS+ 7950 with the updated BIOS and get the same performance as the new card but there are, obviously, no guarantees. However, because of the dual BIOS switch the risk of permanent damage is minimal (though the warranty would likely be void).

There is no word on pricing or when exactly you will be able to buy the new "Boost State" cards, but they should start showing up at retailers soon. Expect pricing to be a bit above the original PCS+ GPU's (approx.) $330 retail price.

Source: Videocardz

ASUS Mars III Dual GTX 680 Graphics Card Pictured, Set to Launch Soon

Subject: Graphics Cards | August 28, 2012 - 07:31 PM |
Tagged: triple fan, nvidia, mars 3, gtx 680, dual gpu, custom cooler, asus

If rumors hold true, NVIDIA’s GTX 690 will soon be joined by a custom dual GTX 680 card from ASUS. First shown off at Computex, the Mars III combines two GTX 680 graphics chips, 8GB RAM, and a massive triple fan cooler. Expect it to cost quite a bit but offer up some impressive performance numbers. 

Update: According to ASUS speaking with TechPowerUp, this card is not going to be released to the public after all. I suppose the  Powercolor 7990 Devil 13 will have to suffice!

ASUS has a long history of taking high-end graphics chips to the extreme, even going so far as to put more than one graphics processor on the same PCB. The third iteration of its custom dual GPU "MARS" series graphics cards, the MARS III was first shown off at Computex. At the time, the company indicated that the dual NVIDIA GPU card was not quite ready for final release as the GPU cooling solution and PCB in particular required further tweaking.

marsiii02b.jpg

Going by the recently leaked photos, ASUS has been hard at work refining the custom design, and it certainly looks ready for prime time. The MARS III takes two Kepler architecture-based GTX 680 GPUs, beefed up power phases, and a total of 32 RAM chips (8 per GPU) for 8GB of total RAM, and places it on a single black PCB. Further, the two GTX 680 GPUs are configured in SLI using a PLX PEX8747 bridge chip. While it does not have more CUDA cores than the NVIDIA reference GTX 690 (which we recently reviewed), it should have a bit more overclocking headroom in addition to the extra 4GB of GDDR5 memory. I would expect that it will cost more than the GTX 690 as a result of its custom design and extra memory, but so far there is no word on what that price might be.

marsiii03b.jpg

Needless to say, all that hardware is going to require a lot of power. Internally, each GPU will be fed electricity using an 8+2 power phase. Further, the board continues to feature the three 8-pin PCI-E power connectors which allows the dual-GPU graphics card to draw up to 525 Watts of power. While the color of the cooler has been changed from the model seen at Computex to a red and black color scheme, the red overclocking button is still there on the side of the card. It will spin the fans up to 100% to allow you to push the NVIDIA GPUs as far as possible.

Video outputs include three DVI and a single mini-DisplayPort connector for NVIDIA Surround gaming and a fourth accessory monitor.

The dual GTX 680 graphics card at Computex.

Sources speaking with Videocardz have confirmed that the card is nearly ready for retail availability, and is only waiting NVIDIA’s go ahead.

Now that the rumored 7990 is on the way (or at least a custom version of the 7990), I would bet that we will be seeing this custom ASUS card sooner rather than later – and that NVIDIA’s “okay” to unleash this beastly graphics card should not be difficult to get.

Have you been following the ASUS Mars III? You can find more Mars III coverage and photos by following the Mars III tag. Further, you can see more leaked photos over at Videocardz.

[Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to clean the drool off of my desk.]

Source: EXPreview

Just how fast can the GTX 660 Ti go?

Subject: Graphics Cards | August 23, 2012 - 03:10 PM |
Tagged: GeForce GTX 660 Ti GC, galaxy, overclock, nvidia, 660ti

The majority of the GTX 660 Ti models run faster than the stock clocks, with some having a Boost Clock approaching 1.1GHz and some sporting memory overclocks as well.  This lead [H]ard|OCP to ask two questions; just how fast can the card go and are you better off with faster memory or a faster processor.  When they left the GPU as is, they could hit an effective speed of 7.71GHz and when they returned the memory to the base speed they pushed the core to 1.3GHz.  Along the way they discovered that the reported clocks might be a bit lower than the actual clocks, which is a nice bonus to owners.  Read on to see what happened when they overclocked both components.

H_overclock.gif

"We've evaluated the GALAXY GeForce GTX 660 Ti 3GB video card, now it is time to overclock it to its maximum potential with XtremeTuner Plus and find out how it compares to the GTX 670 and Radeon HD 7950. We will also find out if it is best to concentrate on the GPU clock speed or its 192-bit memory speed to get the best performance gains."

Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:

Graphics Cards

Source: [H]ard|OCP

PowerColor HD 7990 Devil 13 Dual GPU Graphics Card Pictured

Subject: Graphics Cards | August 23, 2012 - 11:17 AM |
Tagged: radeon hd 7990, hd 7990, graphics card, dual gpu, amd

Today, more rumors emerged on the ever elusive dual-GPU AMD graphics card. Reportedly, graphics card vendor PowerColor will be one of the Add In Board (AIB) partners producing the Radeon HD 7990. Previous rumors suggested that the HD 7990 would be comprised of two Radeon HD 7970 GPUs and it would be available in late August 2012. While there is no confirmation on the release date, the PowerColor 7990 "Devil 13" graphics card is using two 7970 GPUs in CrossFire on a single PCB.

Back in July, some details emerged on the 7990 that the PowerColor card rumors do not seem to disprove. Some highlights from the rumor mill so far include:

  • The 7990 will use two 7970 Tahiti XT GPUs connected by a PLX chip.
  • 6GB of GDDR5 memory (3GB per GPU)
  • 4,096 stream processors, 64 ROP units
  • (at least) a dual slot design with three fan cooler
  • Four mini DisplayPorts and two Dual Link DVI video outputs
  • Four 6-pin PCI-E power connectors

 

The earlier post did also mention that the default clock speed would be 850 MHz, but that does not seem to be the case with the PowerColor model. There may still be Radeon HD 7990 cards that come clocked at that speed, however.

As for the PowerColor model specifically, the new rumors suggest that it will be part of a limited run with a total of 500 cards. Coming in a red and black design, the three slot graphics card will use two 7970 GPUs clocked at 925 MHz in CrossFire. While there is no shot of the other side of the board to see how many PCI-E connectors it has, it will reportedly draw as much as 400 Watts. Using a BIOS switch, you will be able to choose between default and factory overclocked clockspeeds for both the GPU and GDDR5 memory.

AMD PowerColor Radeon HD 7990.jpg

Videocardz managed to unearth a photo of the elusive dual GPU AMD card.

When in its default mode, the card will run the GPU at 925 MHz and the memory at 5500 MHz (effective), which is the same as the Radeon HD 7970 single GPU graphics card. After flipping the BIOS switch, the card will use overclocked speeds of 1000 MHz for the GPU and 5500 MHz for the memory (so the GPU is the only part getting overclocked, according to the rumors).

According to Videocardz, the PowerColor 7990 has been refined somewhat compared to a showing at Computex earlier this year.  From the photos comparison, it looks as though the company has changed out the red PCI back plate for a standard silver color rather than the custom red version. Also, the three fans are slightly different models. It appears as though the card will provide two DVI outputs as well as a full-size HDMI and two mini DisplayPort outputs. The site claims that AMD will not be releasing any reference version and has given its partners free reign to engineer and design custom versions (perhaps we’ll see a massive 12GB version heh).

While there is no word on when this card will be released, according to sources speaking with Hardware Canucks, the Powercolor 7990 “Devil 13” will cost between $899 and $999 in the US. While not the card that many were likely hoping for (because of the price), it may well be the best that users hoping for a dual Graphics Core Next card will be able to get–assuming you can get your hands on one of 500 available cards. NVIDIA has had its own dual GPU GTX 690 on the market for some time now, and it is looking more and more likely that AMD is not going to have an answer any time soon in any big way (outside of limited edition runs from partners that design their own custom versions), and that’s unfortunate.

I speculated that users would be better off with two single Radeon 7970s in CrossFire, and I still believe that is likely the best option right now. Especially if you opt for the 7950 with PowerTune boost (which we recently reviewed) or 7970 GHz Edition cards with boost as it is looking like the 7990 will not have that functionality.

What do you think though, are you still holding out for the ever-elusive 7990?

You can find more coverage of the AMD Radeon HD 7990 by following the 7990 tag!

Source: Videocardz

AMD is slashing graphics prices, the war is on!

Subject: Graphics Cards | August 22, 2012 - 06:31 PM |
Tagged: radeon, price cuts, amd

While this move could hurt AMD's bottom line, there is only good news for gamers looking to upgrade their system with a new (or another) GPU from AMD.  With the release of NVIDIA's GTX 660 Ti at a price close to that of the HD 7870 and performance closer to an HD 7950, AMD has once again cut the pricing of their cards.  The price cuts should kick in by the end of the week, so hold off purchasing those cards for another week to benefit from the new pricing and to give NVIDIA a chance to respond as well.

AMD Radeon update.png

You've gotta love it when graphics hardware pricing starts trending away from the $500 mark!

****Update****

There are two HD7950 available on NewEgg for $320, though if you include MIR this XFX model is the least expensive while most others are sitting at $330 after MIR.  The 7870 GHz editions are starting to move towards the $230 mark which is better than promised and seem to have pushed the HD7850 out of the picture at $210 as that extra $20 gets you a lot more performance.

Be sure to check out our reviews on these recent graphics cards to find out which fit your specific needs!

Source: AMD

Live Review Recap: GeForce GTX 660 Ti

Subject: Editorial, Graphics Cards | August 16, 2012 - 08:45 PM |
Tagged: video, nvidia, live review, live, kepler, gtx 660 Ti, GK104

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!

Today has been a busy day for the PC Perspective crew.  Not only have we published like 100 graphics card reviews in the last three days but we also held a live event at the offices to host NVIDIA's Tom Petersen to discuss and debate the release of the new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti.

If you need to catch up, you should check out our GeForce GTX 660 Ti review posted earlier today to learn all about this $299 GPU that offers very compelling performance that competes with the HD 7950 and leaves the HD 7870 a fairly distant second.  Based on the same GK104 chip as the GTX 680 and the GTX 670, the GeForce GTX 660 Ti should find a lot of new homes this week.

For this event we not only gave a short presentation with some demos and review discussion, we also featured questions from the hardware subreddit and gave away an EVGA GeForce GTX 660 Ti to a lucky viewer! 

Stay tuned to PC Perspective for more events and contests and the best reviews anywhere on PC hardware!!

ASUS Releases the GeForce GTX 660 Ti DirectCU II Lineup

Subject: Graphics Cards | August 16, 2012 - 06:58 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, gtx 660 Ti, DirectCU II, asus

Fremont, CA (August 16, 2012) - The ASUS DirectCU II range of graphics cards continues to expand with the ASUS GeForce GTX 660 Ti DirectCU II series featuring the Standard, OC and TOP editions. Utilizing the latest 28nm graphics technology from NVIDIA, the OC and TOP cards deliver a factory-overclock while all three cards feature exclusive DirectCU thermal design and GPU Tweak tuning software to deliver a quieter, faster, and more immersive gameplay experience that redefines the term affordable performance.

directcu.jpg

Available on NewEgg already for $300 and Borderlands II for free

Superior Design and Software for the Best Gaming Experience ASUS equips the GeForceGTX 660 Ti DirectCU II series with 2GB of GDDR5 memory clocked at 6008MHz. The TOP edition features a blistering GPU core boost clock of 1137MHz, 157MHz faster than reference designs while the OC edition arrives with a factory-set GPU core boost speed of 1058MHz. Exclusive ASUS DIGI+ VRM digital power delivery and user-friendly GPU Tweak tuning software allows all cards to easily overclock beyond factory-set speeds offering enhanced performance in your favorite game or compute intensive application.

02.jpg

The ASUS GeForce GTX 660 Ti DirectCU II series feature exclusive DirectCU technology. The custom designed cooler uses direct contact copper heatpipes for faster heat transduction and up to 20% lower operating temperatures than reference designs. The optimized fans are able operate at lower speeds providing a much quieter gaming or computing environment. For enhanced stability, energy efficiency, and overclocking margins the cards feature a six-phase Super Alloy Power design for the capacitors, chokes, and MOSFETs meant to extend product lifespan and durability while operating noise-free even under heavy workloads.

ASUS once again includes the GPU Tweak tuning suite in the box. Overclocking-inclined enthusiasts or gamers can boost clock speeds, set power targets, and configure fan operating parameters and policies; all this and more is accessible in the user-friendly interface. GPU Tweak offers built-in safe guards to ensure all modifications are safe, maintaining optimal stability and card reliability.

stats.png

Product specifications and features may change without prior notice. Learn more about the ASUS GeForce GTX 660 Ti DirectCU II series and other ASUS products here.

Source: ASUS

AMD Catalyst 12.8 arrives

Subject: Graphics Cards | August 16, 2012 - 06:42 PM |
Tagged: amd, catalyst, catalyst 12.8

Get your new Catalyst 12.8 driver today!

AMD-Eyefinity-Technology-Hero-Banner_736W.jpg

Windows 8 support AMD’s first logo certified and unified driver for Windows 8 production

Featuring support for the DirectX 11.1 and the new WDDM 1.2 driver model:

  • AMD’s first official unified and logo certified driver for Windows 8, Windows 7 and Windows Vista
  • Target-Independent Rasterization (TIR): TIR is a new rendering path that enables superior anti-aliasing in Direct3D driver applications
  • Native Stereo 3D Support: Windows 8 natively supports stereoscopic 3D gaming and videos via compatible applications
  • Unified Video API: Video playback has been integrated into the DirectX® 11 API, enabling simultaneous video and gaming content. Transcoding performance may also be improved for supporting applications.
  • Optimized screen rotation for rotation aware devices
  • Improved sleep/resume performance
  • Optimized GPU power consumption Major technologies / features also supported under Windows 8:
    • AMD Eyefinity technology
    • OpenCL
    • OpenGL
    • Unified Video Decoder (UVD)
    • AMD Dual Graphics
    • AMD CrossFire technology
    • AMD Overdrive
    • AMD Catalyst Control Center
    • Vision Engine Control Center

Performance highlights of AMD Catalyst 12.8 (versus AMD Catalyst 12.6)

  • Up to 25% in Elder Scrolls: Skyrim
  • Up to 3% in Battlefield 3
  • Up to 6% in Batman: Arkham City
  • Up to 3% in Dues Ex: Human Revolution
  • Up to 6% in Crysis 2 Up to 15% in Total War: Shogun
  • Up to 8% in Crysis Warhead
  • Up to 5% in Just Cause 2
  • Up to 10% in Dirt 3

AMD’s latest Catalyst™ Application Profile: AMD Catalyst 12.7 CAP3 (to be used with AMD Catalyst 12.8)

Find the latest available AMD Catalyst CAP here : http://sites.amd.com/us/game/downloads/Pages/crossfirex-app-profiles.aspx

  • The Secret World (DX11): Resolves corruption seen in HUD/options when running in CrossFire mode on the AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series
  • TorchLight 2 – Improves single GPU performance, and disables CrossFire due to incompatible support when running in a Multi-GPU configuration
  • Spec Ops: The Line: Improves CrossFire performance
  • Hawken: Improves CrossFire performance

Resolved issue highlights of the AMD Catalyst™ 12.8 driver

  • Over/underscan settings are correctly restored on system reboot Audio is no longer disabled if the connected HDTV Is switched off/on
  • Shogun 2 : Flickering text is no longer experienced
  • Star Wars – The Old Republic : In game cinematic no longer experience flicker when using the arrow keys
  • Dirt Showdown: 8-Ball track No longer hangs with Crossfire enabled
  • Max Payne 3 : A black screen is no longer observed when launching game in DirectX 11 mode with Crossfire enabled

Feature Highlights of AMD Catalyst™ 12.8 Linux Driver: New OS Support
This release of AMD Catalyst™ Linux introduces support for the following new operating systems
Ubuntu 12.04 production support

Source: AMD

Meet the many varieties of GTX 660 Ti

Subject: Graphics Cards | August 16, 2012 - 03:58 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, kepler, gtx 660 Ti, GK104, galaxy

Launch day for the GTX 660 Ti is here and there are a long list of reviews to go through.  Not only have all of the major vendors released a card, they've also released overclocked and custom cooled cards which could make choosing the model you want difficult. [H]ard|OCP received a reference model from Galaxy, which is a perfect example of how the base 2GB version of the card will perform.  They also received an overclocked 3G model with custom cooling and a 10" board which is bigger than some other models.  Performance wise, the 2GB model is a perfect choice for anyone using a GTX 460 or equivalent and is looking for an upgrade.  The 3GB model is more interesting, often out performing an HD 7950 and doing so at a similar, if not lower, price. 

You can also read Ryan's take on the MSI version of the 660 Ti, with a round up scheduled to appear later this week.

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"NVIDIA is launching its third Kepler GPU for 2012, the GeForce GTX 660 Ti. We have a retail GTX 660 Ti video card on tap from GALAXY to evaluate along with reference clocked GTX 660 Ti. We've got a lot of comparisons that show how the GTX 660 Ti will upgrade you from not just one, but two GPU generations past."

Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:

Graphics Cards

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Join PCPer and NVIDIA for a GeForce GTX 660 Ti Live Review!

Subject: Editorial, Graphics Cards | August 16, 2012 - 11:06 AM |
Tagged: nvidia, gtx 660 Ti, kepler, GK104, live, live review

Hopefully by now you have read our review of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB graphics card that was just released.  I think you'll find the article interesting so be sure to give it a look to see how this $299 GPU competes!

However, we have another event to promote right now: NVIDIA's Tom Petersen will be joining me on PCPer Live! at 10am PT / 1pm ET to talk about the GeForce GTX 660 Ti and its performance, features, pricing and more! 

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Join us at http://pcper.com/live at 10am PT / 1pm ET!!

If you have questions for Tom or me, you can either leave them in the comments below or head over to this thread in the hardware subreddit to leave your thoughts.

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Oh...and we ARE going to be giving away at GeForce GTX 660 Ti on the live stream, so you'll want to make sure you are in attendance!!!

NVIDIA GTX 660 Ti Cards For Sale at CompUSA

Subject: Graphics Cards | August 15, 2012 - 01:35 AM |
Tagged: nvidia, kepler, gtx 660ti, gpu boost, gpu

Gamers have been eagerly awaiting the release of the midrange NVIDIA graphics card thanks to some rather enticing rumors and leaks. Due to launch sometime soon, the GTX 660 Ti is packing some quality hardware and may be the next 8800GT as far as popularity levels with gamers craving the best price/performance. However, that is dependent on pricing–which has been up in the air for a while. Rumored prices have included an MSRP of $349 and retail pre-orders for $299 and just under $400 (and guesses everywhere in between).

US-based computer retailer CompUSA has provided us with further information that suggests the price will, in fact, be the ever-desired $299 price point rather than previous rumors that suggested it would be priced closer to the GTX 670. Gamers rejoice!

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Specifically, a reference version of the PNY-manufactured NVIDIA GTX 660 Ti recently appears on CompUSA’s website where customers could purchase it. This card is listed as being model number “VCGGTX660TXPB-C Bundle.” While it is unclear what the “-C” designator means, it is more proof that it is the same (or a very similar) model as the card leaked by MacMall (when it showed up for pre-order ahead of the release date). Speaking of bundles, the CompUSA card gets even better as it is the PNY GTX 660 Ti and a game coupon for Borderlands 2 for the $299 price–not bad at all.

While I have not personally ordered one (so I can’t confirm if CompUSA will actually sell it to me ahead of the official release or if it was just a mistake on its part for making the store page live early), you can try to get your hands on the 660 Ti now for $299 USD.

I’m extremely happy to see the $299 price, and I look forward to see the cards from other manufacturers. Custom and factory overclocked cards should also be interesting as far as pricing and where they fit compared to saving up a bit more money and simply going with a GTX 670. What do you think, will you be picking one of these graphics cards up?

 

Source: CompUSA

Graphics Core Next Professional Edition, FirePro W8000 and W9000

Subject: Graphics Cards | August 10, 2012 - 07:21 PM |
Tagged: firepro, firepro W8000, firepro W9000, amd, Tahiti XT

For GPU accelerated applications such as CAD there are only two main choices, AMD's FirePro or NVIDIA's Quadro series.  Legit Reviews got their hands on two of the three new cards from AMD, the $1600 W9000 and the $900 W8000, with the $600 W5000 missing in this review.  The results were good, the new generation cards perform better than their predecessors though in some tests only by a slim margin.  It is possible that more mature drivers will see the performance increase on those test to the large gap present in most of the other tests.  AMD has also kept the power requirements reasonable which is very important considering the huge improvement in efficiency displayed by NVIDIA's new architecture.

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"AMD has successfully brought the new GCN architecture to the workstation! We noticed some pretty nice performance gains in the FirePro W8000 and W9000 cards from the previous generation of AMD FirePro graphics cards. The AMD FirePro W9000 is impressive on paper as it has 2048 stream processors running at 975MHz, 6GB of ECC GDDR5 memory at 1375MHz and the ability to drive six monitors! In some benchmarks the AMD FirePro W9000 blew away the previous generation FirePro V8800 video card, but in others it was..."

Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:

Graphics Cards

NVIDIA Launches Maximus 2.0, Combining Kepler and Tesla

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | August 10, 2012 - 05:34 AM |
Tagged: tesla, quadro, nvidia, maximus, kepler, gk110

At SIGGRAPH 2012 NVIDIA announced a refresh of its Maximus workstation platform technology. Maximus is a technology aimed at professionals that work with simulations or content creation and editing. The updated platform features a Tesla K20 accelerator card as well as a Kepler-based NVIDIA Quadro K5000 graphics card. The K5000 in particular has 4GB of GDDR5 memory on a 256-bit bus and 1536 CUDA cores. NVIDIA states that the Quadro graphics card has 2.1 Teraflops of single precision compute power and draws 122 watts.

The K20 on the other hand features a GK110 Kepler GPU with Dynamic Parallelism and Hyper Q features that reportedly enable more than 1 Teraflop of peak double precision performance. Unfortunately, we do not know much more than that on the new K20 Tesla card as the exact specifications are still listed as “to be announced.” It is slated for a Q4 2012 release.

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The Quadro K5000 workstation GPU

Beyond the hardware itself, the company’s Maximus platform has received software support from several high-profile software companies and system integrators. Some of the companies that certify and support Maximus are Adobe, Autodesk, Mathworks, and Paradigm among others. Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo, and Supermicro are OEMs that support the hardware and manufacture Maximus-powered workstations.

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The Tesla K20 accelerator card.

The second-generation Maximus technology will be available in desktop workstations as early as December 2012. Further, the NVIDIA Quadro K5000 will be available for purchase as a separate discrete card in October 2012 for $2,249 (MSRP). The Tesla K20 will (for now) only be available integrated in a workstation, but NVIDIA lists the MSRP at $3,199.

More information on the NVIDIA Maximus refresh can be found in the company’s press release.

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Source: NVIDIA

PC Perspective Hardware Workshop 2012 @ Quakecon 2012 in Dallas, TX

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards, Motherboards, Cases and Cooling, Processors, Memory, Systems, Storage, Mobile, Shows and Expos | August 9, 2012 - 10:30 PM |
Tagged: video, workshop, streaming, quakecon, prizes, live, giveaways

It is that time of year again: another installment of the PC Perspective Hardware Workshop!  Once again we will be presenting on the main stage at Quakecon 2012 being held in Dallas, TX August 2-5th.  

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Main Stage - Quakecon 2012

Saturday, August 4th, 2pm CT

Our thanks go out to the organizers of Quakecon for allowing us and our partners to put together a show that we are proud of every year.  We love giving back to the community of enthusiasts and gamers that drive us to do what we do!  Get ready for 2 hours of prizes, games and raffles and the chances are pretty good that you'll take something out with you - really, they are pretty good!

Our thanks for this year's workshop logo goes to John Pastor!!

Our primary partners at the event are those that threw in for our ability to host the workshop at Quakecon and for the hundreds of shirts we have ready to toss out!  Our thanks to NVIDIA, MSI Computer and Corsair!!

 

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Live Streaming

If you can't make it to the workshop - don't worry!  You can still watch the workshop live on our page right here as we stream it over one of several online services.  Just remember this URL: http://pcper.com/workshop and you will find your way!

Case Mod Competition

Along with the Hardware Workshop, PC Perspective is working with Modders Inc on the annual case mod contest!  There are two categories for the competition: "Scratch Built" and "In the Box" that will allow those that build their computer enclosures from the ground up to compete separately from those that heavily modify their existing cases and systems.

For more details, be sure to check out the on going thread at the Modders Inc Forums!

Prize List (will continue to grow!)

Continue reading to see the list of prizes for the workshop!!!

Source: PCPer

Crysis 3 tech demo released. Get ready to frog your friends.

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | August 9, 2012 - 10:14 PM |
Tagged: Crysis 3, CryENGINE 3

Crytek released a video to show off new features of the CryEngine 3. Global illumination, tessellated foliage, and area lights are among the obvious enhancements. Check out the video and let it speak for itself.

Graphics good enough it will make you and your systems cry – we hope.

Once again Crytek has provided us with a video to show off how they intend to push the boundaries of real-time graphics. The engine is designed to run on the PC, Xbox 360, and Playstation 3 albeit there will almost definitely be variance between graphics quality going from one platform to another.

Just don’t lick your screen.

Particle lighting and shadowing has been updated in several ways. Global illumination has been given yet another revision. Water has been given better scattering abilities. Lens flares and area lights. Most of these features bring CryEngine 3 towards the feature set available with the upcoming Unreal Engine 4. Good stuff and should choice for game developers large and small who wish to license the engine for their projects.

Crysis 3 is expected to be available in February 2013 for PC, Xbox 360, and PS3.

Source: Youtube