PlayStation 4 (PS4) Orbis Hardware Specifications - AMD APU or Discrete?

Subject: Graphics Cards, Processors | January 23, 2013 - 02:42 PM |
Tagged: southern islands, sony, ps4, playstation 4, orbis, Kaveri, bulldozer, APU, amd

Earlier today a report from Kotaku.com posted some details about the upcoming PlayStation console, code named Orbis and sometimes just called the PS4.  Kotaku author Luke Plunkett got the information from a 90 page PDF that details the development kit so the information is likely pretty accurate if incomplete.  It discusses a new controller and a completely new accounts system but I was mostly interested in the hardware details given.

We'll begin with the specs. And before we go any further, know that these are current specs for a PS4 development kit, not the final retail console itself. So while the general gist of the things you see here may be similar to what makes it into the actual commercial hardware, there's every chance some—if not all of it—changes, if only slightly.

This is key to keep in mind because here are the specs listed on the report:

  • 8GB of system memory
  • 2.2GB of graphics memory
  • 4 module (8 core) AMD Bulldozer CPU
  • AMD "R10xx" based GPU
  • 4x USB 3.0 ports and 2x Ethernet connections
  • Blu-ray drive
  • 160GB HDD
  • HDMI and optical audio output

We are essentially talking about an AMD FX-series processor with a Southern Islands based discrete card and I am nearly 100% sure that this will not match the configuration of the shipping system.  Think about it - would a console developer really want to have a processor that can draw more than 100 watts inside its box in addition to a discrete GPU?  I doubt it. 

kaveri2.jpg

Instead, let's go with the idea that this developer kit is simply meant to emulate some final specifications.  More than likely we are looking at an APU solution that combines Bulldozer or Steamroller cores along with GCN-based GPU SIMD arrays.  The most likely candidate is Kaveri, a 28nm based product that meets both of those requirements.  Josh recently discussed the future with Kaveri in a post during CES, worth checking out.  AMD has told us several times that Kaveri should be able to hit the 1.0 TFLOPs level of performance and if we compare to the current discrete GPUs would enable graphics performance similar to that of an under-clocked Radeon HD 7770.

There is some room for doubt though - Kaveri isn't supposed to be out until "late Q4" though its possible that the PS4 will be the first customer.  It is also possible that AMD is making a specific discrete GPU for implementation on the PS4 based on the GCN architecture that would be faster than the graphics performance expected on the Kaveri APU. 

kaveri.JPG

When speaking with our own Josh Walrath on this rumor, he tended to think that Sony and AMD would not use an APU but would rather combine a separate CPU and GPU on a single substrate, allowing for better yields than a combined APU part.  In order to make up for the slower memory controller interface (on substrate is not as fast as on-die) AMD might again utilize backside cache, just like the one used on the Xbox 360 today.  With process technology improvements its not unthinkable to see that jump to 30 or 40MB of cache.

xbox360gpu.jpg

With the debate of a 2013 or 2014 release still up in the air, there is plenty of time for this to change still but we will likely know for sure after our next trip to Taipei.

Source: Kotaku

As promised, 8GB of GTX 670 SLI performance

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 22, 2013 - 03:47 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, asus, GTX 670 DirectCU II 4GB, sli

When they first tried ASUS' new GTX 670 Direct CU II with 4GB of memory on its own, [H]ard|OCP had difficulty recommending it over a 7970 but they planned to try two cards in SLI to see if that would improve the comparative performance.  The competitors are a pair of 2GB 670s, a pair of 3GB HD7970's, a pair of 2GB 680s and of course two 4GB 670s, all powering a system at 5760x1200.  Unfortunately the quote from the conclusions spells out the results "It's like putting beefy off-road tires on a Yugo", so while it will give you the ability to use some higher graphics settings, overall you are still better of with HD7970s or GTX680s.

H_SLI_ASUS670s.jpg

"We review two ASUS GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU II 4GB video cards in SLI under NV Surround resolutions. We'll answer the question as to the value and validity of 4GB of RAM on a GeForce GTX 670 GPU video card in SLI. Far Cry 3, Hitman Absolution, and all our other games will be taken to the extreme to get to the bottom of 4GB GTX 670 cards."

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

Graphics Cards

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Rumor: NVIDIA GK110 based GeForce GPU 'Titan' to be released late February

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 22, 2013 - 02:44 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, geforce, gk110, titan, rumor

A combination of rumors and news pieces found online and in some recent conversations with partners indicates that February will see the release of a new super-high-end graphics card from NVIDIA based on the GK110 GPU.  Apparently using the name "Titan" based on a report from Sweclockers.com, this new single GPU card will feature 2688 CUDA cores, compared to the 1536 in the GeForce GTX 680. 

gk110.jpg

If true, the name Titan likely refers to the Cray super computer of the same name built using GK110 Kepler Tesla cards.  Sweclockers.com's sources are quoted with the clocks of this new super-GPU as well: 732 MHz core clock and 5.2 GHz GDDR5 memory clock.  While those numbers are low compared to the 1000+ MHz speeds of the GK104 parts out today, this GPU would have 75% more compute units and presumably additional memory capacity as well.  The memory bus width of 384-bits is a 50% increase as well which would indicate another big jump in performance over current cards.  The CUDA core count of 2688 is actually indicative of a GK110 GPU with a single SMX disabled as well.

teslagpu2.jpg

The NVIDIA Titan card will apparently be the replacement for the GeForce GTX 690, a dual-GK104 card launched in May of last year.  The performance estimate for the Titan is approximately 85% of that GTX 690 and if the rumors are right it would see an $899 price tag.

Based on other conversations I have had recently you should only expect those same partners that were able to sell the GTX 690 to stock this new GK110-based part.  There won't be any modifications and you will see very little differentiation between vendors branding on it.  If dates are to be believed, we are hearing that a Feb 25th (or at least that week) launch is the current target.

Deals for January 22nd - World of Warcraft Mists of Pandaria Collector's for $59

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 22, 2013 - 01:02 PM |
Tagged: deals

Top deal

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Collector's Edition (PC/Mac) for $59.99 with free shipping (normally $80 - use coupon code: EMCXWVV99).

deal0122.jpg

Laptops

HP ENVY 4-1130us Core i5 14" Ultrabook (Quickship) for $549.99 with free shipping (normally $849.99 - use coupon code: SNOW100).

Desktops

Alienware X51 Core i7 mini Gaming PC w/ GeForce GTX 660 for $1,079.10 with Free Shipping (normally $1,200).

Computer Components

D-Link Systems Cloud Camera 5000 Pan/Tilt HD Network Camera with Mydlink (DCS-5222L) for $259.94 with Free Shipping (normally $300).

Dell S2740L 27" 1080p LED-backlit LCD Monitor for $278.99 with Free Shipping (normally $370 - use coupon code: DMFVW8?GQ27MDX).

Crucial M4 2.5" 512GB SATA 6Gb/s SSD (CT512M4SSD2) for $399.00 with Free Shipping (normally $600).

Entertainment

55" LG 55LM4600 1080p 3D 120Hz LED HDTV for $849.99 with free shipping (normally $1,400).

50" Insignia NS-50L240A13 1080p LCD HDTV for $449.99 with free shipping (normally $500).

46" Seiki SE461TS 1080p LCD HDTV for $398.00 (normally $500).

22" Westinghouse LD-2240 1080p LED HDTV for $129.96 with free shipping (normally $180).

D-Link DSM-312 MovieNite Plus Built-in Wi-Fi Streaming Media Player for $35.42 with Free Shipping (normally $80).

Pioneer SW-8 100-Watt Powered Subwoofer for $69.99 with free shipping (normally $160 - use coupon code: EMCXWVV75).

Gadgets

Zadro Personal Sunlight 365 Therapy for $59.99 plus free shipping(normally $77.99).

DFX Dynamax Pro Core Trainer Strengthening System for $194.90 plus free shipping(normally $257.50).

Shure Craft Kit (6 options) via Groupon for $8.00(normally $19.99).

Source: LogicBuy

ASUS Shows Off ROG ARES II GPU With Sealed Loop Water Cooler

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 19, 2013 - 01:26 AM |
Tagged: water cooler, sealed loop, ROG ARES II, gpu cooler, asus, amd, 7970 ghz edition

ASUS has taken the wraps off of a new dual GPU graphics card that comes equipped with a sealed loop liquid cooler to keep the two overclocked 7970 GHz Edition GPUs frosty. The new ROG ARES II is a limited edition card that pairs the ARES II GPU with an Asetek-based cooler and rounds out the top-end of the company’s Republic of Gamers lineup.

ARES2-6GD5_2D-2.jpg

The card itself features two AMD Radeon 7970 GHz Edition GPUs clocked at 1050 MHz base and 1100 MHz boost, 6GB of GDDR5 memory clocked at 1650 MHz, and ASUS’ DIGI+ 20-phase VRM with “Super Alloy Power” hardware. The ROG ARES II has a 500W TDP and uses three 8-pin PCI-E power connectors. The card measures 11.8” x 5.5” x1.8,” not including the radiator.

The ROG ARES II includes one DVI-I, one DVI-D, and four DisplayPort video outputs. ASUS is also packing a DVI to HDMI adapter in the box.

ThermalDesign.jpg

The sealed loop water cooler is where the card sets itself apart, however. Based on an Asetek design, the ARES II water cooler features a 120mm radiator, and two CPU-style water blocks over each 7970 GHz Edition GPU. The loop runs from the radiator and through both water blocks before returning to the radiator which is paired with two 120mm fans. Curiously, the water cooler did not result in a single-slot design. Rather, the ARES II card has a somewhat-bulky two slot profile. According to ASUS, the water cooled card will run up to 31 degrees Celsius cooler than the reference NVIDIA GTX 690 graphics card while being as much as 13% faster (though ASUS does not specifically name the games/benchmarks).

ROG_ARES_2.jpg

ASUS has not released any pricing or availability information, but you can expect it to rival the price of PowerColor’s Devil 13 thanks to the sealed loop water cooler and ARES II hardware. Currently, ASUS is planning on producing a mere 1,000 liquid cooled ARES II cards, so be prepared to be fast on the mouse click upon release.

ARES2-6GD5_image2.jpg

I would have liked to see a water cooler that was a bit more customized to the card. In particular, I think ASUS should have used a single water block that covered both GPUS and the VRM area, which would have allowed ASUS to get rid of the fan on the card itself entirely. Nevertheless, the ARES II will be extremely fast, and hopefully run nice and cool even when overclocked. I’m interested in seeing a head-to-head between the ARES II and PowerColor Devil 13.

Read more about AMD’s Graphics Core Next architecture at PC Perspective.

Source: Asus

AMD Releases Catalyst 13.1 GPU Drivers With Various Tweaks for Radeon HD 7000 Series

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 18, 2013 - 11:33 AM |
Tagged: Radeon HD 7000, gpu, drivers, catalyst 13.1, amd

AMD recently released a new set of Catalyst graphics card drivers with Catalyst 13.1. The new drivers are WHQL (Microsoft certified) and incorporate all of the fixes contained in the 12.11 beta 11 drivers. The Radeon HD 7000 series will see the majority of the performance and stability tweaks with 13.1. Additionally, the Catalyst 13.1 suite includes a new 3D settings interface in Catalyst Control Center that allows per-application profile management. The Linux version of the Catalyst 13.1 drivers now officially support Ubuntu 12.10 as well.

amd catalyst.jpg

Some of the notable performance tweaks for the HD 7000 series include:

  • CrossFire scaling performance in Call of Duty: Black Ops II improvements.
  • Up to a 25% increase in Far Cry 3 when using 8X MSAA.
  • An 8% performance increase in Sleeping Dogs and StarCraft II.
  • A 5% improvement in Max Payne 3.

 

New 3D Settings UI in Catalyst.jpg

Beyond the performance increases, AMD has fixes several bugs with the latest drivers. Some of the noteworthy fixes include:

  • Fixed a system hang on X58 and X79 chipset-based systems using HD 7000-series GPUs.
  • Fixed an intermittent hang with HD 7000-series GPUs in CrossFireX and Eyefinity configurations.
  • Resolved a system hang in Dishonored on 5000 and 6000 series graphics cards.
  • Resolved a video issue with WMP Classic Home Cinema.
  • Added Super Sample Anti-Aliasing support in the OpenGL driver.

AMD has also released a new standalone un-installation utility that will reportedly clean your system of AMD graphics card drivers to make way for newer versions. That utility can be downloaded here.

If you have a Radeon HD 7000-series card, it would be worth it to update your drivers ASAP. You can download the Catalyst 13.1 drivers on the AMD website.

You can find a full list of the performance tweaks and bug fixes in the Catalyst 13.1 release notes.

Source: AMD

NVIDIA Employees Stole 100,000 Confidential Documents Claims AMD

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | January 16, 2013 - 01:10 PM |
Tagged: stolen, nvidia, legal, Lawsuit, console, amd

Things might get interesting for a little while between AMD and NVIDIA again as a complaint has been filed by AMD accusing recently converted NVIDIA employee's of downloading and stealing 100,000 documents on the way out AMD's door. 

The company alleges that Robert Feldstein, Manoo Desai, and Nicolas Kociuk collectively downloaded over 100,000 files onto external hard drives in the six months before leaving the company. All three and another manager, Richard Hagen, were accused of recruiting AMD employees after leaving for Nvidia.

amdlogo.gif

The most senior of these employees is Robert Feldstein who was acting as the VP of Strategic Development at AMD before leaving for NVIDIA and was responsible for getting AMD inside the Nintendo Wii U as well as the upcoming Xbox and Playstation consoles due out this year.  To say that "stealing" Feldstein was a big win for NVIDIA would seem like a bad pun now with the accusations on the table, but there, we said it. 

After looking at the former employees computers AMD found that "Desai and Kociuk conspired with each other to misappropriate AMD's confidential, proprietary, and/or trade secret information; and/or to intentionally access AMD's protected computers, without authorization and/or in a way that exceeded their authorized access."  And since Feldstein and Hagan were responsible for the recruitment of those former AMD employees, they were breaking the "no-solicitation of employees" agreement made before departure.

nvidialogo.jpg

Obviously AMD hasn't come out with exactly what is in those 100,000 documents they accuse of being stolen, but the company is hoping that the US District Court in Massachusetts will help them recover the incriminating documents with a restraining order for all four current employees of NVIDIA forcing them to retain all current AMD-related documents. 

The unfortunate part of this for AMD is that if the document leak is true, the damage has likely already been done and they will have to sue for damages down the road.  NVIDA could be in for a world of hurt if the court finds that they were actively requesting those documents from the the four named in the complaint.

If you want to read all the legal source for this complaint, you can find it right here

Source: Arstechnica

CES 2013: Intel Haswell HD Graphics Compared to GeForce GT 650M

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 12, 2013 - 12:02 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, Intel, hd graphics, haswell, geforce, dirt 3, ces 2013, CES, 650m

While wandering around the Intel booth we were offered a demo of the graphics performance of the upcoming Haswell processor, due out in the middle of 2013.  One of the big changes on this architecture will be another jump up in graphics performance, even more than we saw going from Sandy Bridge to Ivy Bridge. 

haswell1.jpg

On the left is the Intel Haswell system and on the right is a mobile system powered by the NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M.  For reference, that discrete GPU has 384 cores and a 128-bit memory bus so we aren't talking about flagship performance here.  Haswell GT3 graphics is rumored to have double the performance of the GT2 found in Ivy Bridge based on talks at IDF this past September. 

While I am not able to report the benchmark results, I can tell you what I "saw" in my viewing.  First, the Haswell graphics loaded the game up more slowly than the NVIDIA card.  That isn't a big deal really and could change with driver updates closer to launch, but it is was a lingering problem we have seen with Intel HD graphics over the years. 

haswell2.jpg

During the actual benchmark run, both looked great while running at 1080p and High quality presets.  I did notice during part of the loading of the level, the Haswell system seemed to "stutter" a bit and was a little less fluid in the animation.  I did NOT notice that during the actually benchmark gameplay though. 

I also inquired with Intel's graphics team about how dedicated they were to providing updated graphics drivers for HD graphics users.  They were defensive about their current output saying they have released quarterly drivers since the Sandy Bridge release but that perhaps they should be more vocal about it (I agree).  While I tried to get some kind of formal commitment from them going forward to monthly releases with game support added within X number of days, they weren't willing to do that quite yet. 

If AMD and NVIDIA discrete notebook (and low cost desktop) graphics divisions are to push an edge, game support and frequent updates are going to be the best place to start.  Still, seeing Intel continue to push forward on the path of improved processor graphics is great if they can follow through for gamers!

Coverage of CES 2014 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2014 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

CES 2013: Caustic, now part of Imagination, Shows Series2 Ray Tracing Accelerators

Subject: Graphics Cards, Shows and Expos | January 12, 2013 - 11:38 AM |
Tagged: series2, ray tracing, imagination, ces 2013, CES, caustic

We have talked with Caustic on several occassions over the past couple of years about their desire to build a ray tracing accelerator.  Back in April of 2009 we first met with Caustic, learning who they were and what the goals of the company were; we saw early models of the CausticOne and CausticTwo and a demonstration of the capabilities of the hardware and software model. 

While at CES this year we found the group at a new place - the Imagination Technologies booth - having been acquired since we last talked.  Now named the Caustic Series2 OpenRL accelerator boards, we are looking at fully integrated ASICs rather than demonstration FPGAs. 

caustic1.jpg

This is the Caustic 2500 and it will retail for $1495 and includes a pair of the RT2 chips and 16GB of memory.  One of the benefits of the Caustic technology is that while you need a lot of memory, you do not need expensive, fast memory like GDDR5 used in today's graphics cards.  By utilizing DDR2 memory Imagination is able to put a whopping 16GB on the 2500 model.

caustic2.jpg

A key benefit of the Caustic ray tracing accelerators comes with the simply software integration.  You can see above that a AutoDesk Maya 2013 is utilizing the Caustic Visualizer as a simple viewport into the project just as you would use with any other RT or preview rendering technique.  The viewport software is also available for 3ds max. 

There is a lower cost version of the hardware, the Caustic 2100, that uses a single chip and has half the memory for a $795 price tag.  They are shipping this month and we are interested to see how quickly, and how eager developers are, to utilize this technology.

Coverage of CES 2013 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

ASUS doubles down the RAM on their latest GTX 670

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 11, 2013 - 01:20 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, asus, GTX 670 DirectCU II 4GB

In addition to the custom cooler on the ASUS GTX 670 DirectCU II, there is also 4GB of RAM which is double the usual serving for a GTX 670 and should help its performance at high resolutions.  The core and RAM remain at stock speeds, [H]ard|OCP tweaked the GPU up 185MHz and the RAM by 175MHz so there is some room for overclockers to play with this card.  This time around [H] only tested single display performance and were disappointed with the performance when they compared it to the similarly priced HD 7970 but keep your eyes open as they will be testing SLI multi-monitor performance in the near future.

H_670_dcII.jpg

"Today we have an ASUS GeForce GTX 670 DC II 4GB video card up for review. Although there is no factory overclock, the video card supports 4GB of memory compared to the default 2GB. We will focus on single display performance in our revamped game lineup that includes Far Cry 3, Hitman: Absolution, and Sleeping Dogs."

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

Graphics Cards

Source: [H]ard|OCP

CES 2013 Video: Gigabyte Shows 4K Display Support and Thin Mini-ITX Boards

Subject: Graphics Cards, Motherboards, Displays, Systems | January 9, 2013 - 09:38 PM |
Tagged: video, thunderbolt, thin itx, mini ITX, ces 2013, CES, 4k

One of our final stops at CES this year was to visit with our friends at Gigabyte to see what they had to show off.  Right off the bat we found an impressive 4K display configuration with four 1080p monitors.  Running off of Gigabyte's GA-Z77X-UP5TH dual-Thunderbolt motherboard, each of the ports was split using a Lenovo adapter, each connecting to a pair of the monitors on the quad-display stand.  The result is a stunning 3840x2160 display configuration running completely off of the Intel HD 4000 graphics and the Core i7 processor.

Colin also showed us Gigabyte's push into the world of DIY and OEM All-in-One designs with a couple of motherboards based on the thin mini-ITX standard.  These boards are the same X/Y dimensions with a lower Z-height and very specific layout rules so that enclosures, cooling and components can be standardized. 

Coverage of CES 2013 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

CES 2013 Video: NVIDIA GRID Cloud Gaming Technology

Subject: Graphics Cards, Shows and Expos | January 9, 2013 - 11:46 AM |
Tagged: video, nvidia, grid, cloud gaming, ces 2013, CES

Despite all the excitement about the NVIDIA Shield handheld gaming device at CES, the company was also heavily promoting its GRID Cloud Gaming Technology, marking another company that is promosing "game everywhere on everything".  NVIDIA's claims of lower latency thanks to rendering and encoding on the same GPU have really yet to be verified as the hands-on demos they had at the show were running on local servers (not exactly a real-world test...).

NVIDIA isn't planning on releasing a self-branded service to the public but instead wants to sell servers to ISPs and service providers to increase density (more games per server) and performance.  There are no current cloud gaming companies using GRID technology so it looks like we'll have to wait a bit longer to see it's true capabilities.

Coverage of CES 2013 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

CES 2013: The Verge Interviews Gave Newell for Steam Box. Valve's Director Hints Post-Kepler GPUs Can Be Virtualized!

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards, Networking, Systems, Shows and Expos | January 8, 2013 - 11:11 PM |
Tagged: valve, gaben, Gabe Newell, ces 2013, CES

So the internet has been in a roar about The Steam Box and it probably will eclipse Project Shield as topic of CES 2013. The Verge scored an interview to converse about the hardware future of the company and got more than he asked for.

Gaben.jpg

Now if only he would have discussed potential launch titles.

Wow! That *is* a beautiful knife collection.

The point which stuck with me most throughout the entire interview was directed at Valve’s opinion of gaming on connected screens. Gabe Newell responded,

The Steam Box will also be a server. Any PC can serve multiple monitors, so over time, the next-generation (post-Kepler) you can have one GPU that’s serving up eight simulateneous [sic] game calls. So you could have one PC and eight televisions and eight controllers and everybody getting great performance out of it. We’re used to having one monitor, or two monitors -- now we’re saying lets expand that a little bit.

This is pretty much confirmation, assuming no transcription errors on the part of The Verge, that Maxwell will support the virtualization features of GK110 and bring it mainstream. This also makes NVIDIA Grid make much more sense in the long term. Perhaps NVIDIA will provide some flavor of a Grid server for households directly?

The concept gets me particularly excited. One of the biggest wastes of money the tech industry has is purchasing redundant hardware. Consoles are a perfect example: not only is the system redundant to your other computational device which is usually at worst a $200 GPU away from a completely better experience, you pay for software to be reliant on that redundant platform which will eventually disappear along with said software. In fact, many have multiple redundant consoles because the list of software they desire is not localized to just one system so they need redundant redundancies. Oy!

A gaming server should help make the redundancy argument more obvious. If you need extra interfaces then you should only need to purchase the extra interfaces. Share the number crunching and only keep it up to date.

Also check out the rest of the interview over at The Verge. I decided just to cover a small point with potentially big ramifications.

Coverage of CES 2013 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: The Verge

CES 2013 Video: ASUS RAIDR Express PCIe SSD and ARES II Dual HD 7970 Graphics Card

Subject: Graphics Cards, Storage, Shows and Expos | January 8, 2013 - 01:07 AM |
Tagged: raidr express, ces 2013, CES, ASUS ROG, asus, ARES II

No stop at the ASUS suite at CES is complete without talking to JJ and learning about what is new in the world of PC components.  Not only did we talk with him about the upcoming ARES II limited edition dual Radeon HD 7970 graphics card (that Chris has already written about earlier in the day) but also we learned that ASUS plans to enter the PCIe solid state market with the ROG RAIDR Express. 

Yeah, you read that right!

Coverage of CES 2013 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

CES 2013: Live Hands-on with NVIDIA Shield Powered by Tegra 4

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Mobile | January 8, 2013 - 12:54 AM |
Tagged: video, tegra 4, shield, nvidia, live

Powered by the upcoming Tegra 4 SoC, Shield is an Android-powered device built into the form of a gaming controller with a 5-in display attached.  Not only will it play Android games in a new and interesting way but NVIDIA has promised the ability to stream PC games from your GeForce-powered desktop directly to your wireless device!

shield1.png

We got our hands on the prototypes of the Shield and got to see the build quality, demo the Android games and even test out the PC game streaming technology.

Coverage of CES 2013 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Speeding up USB 3.0 with new hardware

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 7, 2013 - 03:59 PM |
Tagged: usb 3.0, superspeed usb, 10 Gbps

USB 3.0 will be getting a speed boost in the near future, with theoretical speeds of up to 10Gbps which makes it a decent competitor against Thunderbolt.  We won't see this new speed on existing devices though as this is a change to the hardware on both the connector and the cable, as opposed to a software upgrade.  They will retain their backwards compatibility for those who are still stuck on USB 2.0, but with transfer speeds this quick it makes a very compelling argument for finally upgrading to a system with USB 3.0 ... just wait until the new devices arrive.  More at Slashdot.

superspeed_logo.jpg

"The USB 3.0 Promoter Group has used CES 2013 to announce an enhancement to the USB 3.0 (aka SuperSpeed USB) standard that will see the throughput performance of USB 3.0 double from 5 Gbps to 10 Gbps. The speed boost will come courtesy of enhanced USB connectors and cables that are fully backward compatible with existing USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 devices. The 10 Gbps SuperSpeed USB update (pdf) is up for industry review during the first quarter of 2013, with completion of the standard expected by the middle of the year."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Slashdot

ASUS Releases the Limited Edition ROG ARES II Dual 7970 and it's a Monster

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 7, 2013 - 03:07 PM |
Tagged: ROG ARES II, liquid cooling, dual gpu, ces 2013, CES, asus, 7970

ASUS has just announced it's Limited Edition ROG ARES II Graphics card, and boy is it a doozy!

01_ASUS_ROG_ARESII_01.jpg

Dual AMD Radeon 7970 GPU's clocked at 1100 MHz are paired with 6 GB of DDR5 running at a speedy 1650 MHz memory clock.  This monster needs 3 8 Pin power connectors from the minimum recommended 850 watt power supply that can push at least 42 Amps on the 12V rail.

02_ASUS_ROG_ARESII_02.jpg

The ARES II will come with a 'hybrid cooling setup' that includes a custom cooler using both liquid and air cooling.  A closed-cycle liquid system with dual 120 mm fans and a radiator block cool the GPU while an 80mm 'dust-proof' fan gives additional cooling for the memory, power and other critical components.  ASUS is claiming that the cooling setup will keep everything stable even under full load and can achieve 13% more performance while running 30C cooler temperatures when compared to a reference GTX 690.

Detailed Specifications include:

Model name

 ARES2-6GD5

Graphics engine

 2 x AMD Radeon™ HD 7970 GHz Edition

System bus

 PCI Express 3.0 x 16

Video memory

 6GB GDDR5

Boost clock

 1100MHz (base clock: 1050MHz)

Memory clock

 6600MHz (1650MHz GDDR5)

Memory interface

 768-bit (2 x 384-bit)

Maximum DVI resolution

 2560 x 1600

Maximum VGA resolution

 2048 x 1536

Microsoft Direct3D version

 DirectX® 11

I/O

 1 x single link DVI / 1 x dual link DVI / 1 x HDMI via adapter/ 4 x native DisplayPort

Bundled accessories

 3 x 8-pin power cable / 1 x DVI to HDMI adapter / 1 x extended CrossFireX™ bridge

Minimum recommended

power supply

 850W (42A on the 12V rail)

Power

connectors

 3 x 8-pin

Dimensions

 Card: 11.8” x 5.5” x 1.8”

 Fan block: 4.6” x 5.8” x 1.9”

 Fan: 4.7” x 4.7” x 1”

 Liquid cooling tube length: 13.4”

Ryan was able to snap a few pics of the card at the ASUS booth and we can't wait to get our hands on it, but with pricing and availability yet to be announced, this may be a card out of reach of most of us.

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Coverage of CES 2013 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: ASUS

CES 2013: Tegra 4, the Vision of Windows RT?

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Mobile, Shows and Expos | January 7, 2013 - 12:42 PM |
Tagged: CES, ces 2013, nvidia, windows rt

It is the day after the NVIDIA keynote and the Tegra 4 floodgates are open. Sure, the rumors were fairly accurate, but I guess speculation waits for a solid basis to be believable.

The Tegra 4 marries 72 of the expected GPU cores with four… “plus one” as the bonus core is present although 4+1 branding does not seem to be… ARM Cortex-A15 cores. This push to an A15-based design provides a significant performance increase over Tegra 3. Another interesting feature is the ability to transmit 4K video should you have a suitable source or the rendered application can support 4K at a suitable framerate. You can then add in Icera’s LTE modem which is interesting in its own right to see a compelling product.

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Jen-Hsun spent about as much time justifying the need for speed as he did hyping its performance. Photographers, particularly those who wish to dabble with HDR, are able to use the Tegra 4 to vastly increase the speed of image processing at the time of taking the shot. Tonal mapping for an HDR image will take just 200ms of processing which allows HDR to be used along with burst mode and a flash.

Paul Thurrott over at the Supersite for Windows ponders whether this was Microsoft’s vision for Windows RT. He wonders whether Microsoft will try to take a mulligan on the first generation similar to Windows Phone 7-based devices led us to Windows Phone 8. At the same point, the weight which the Surface was designed to bare is pretty immense if it was just designed to buckle to Tegra 4. I would not put it past Microsoft although the Surface does not strike me as a product designed to have a doughy half-baked middle -- despite what actually shipped.

PC World also notes how Qualcomm continues to improve their products and have just recently transitioned to a 28nm process for the Snapdragon S4. Qualcomm is a giant and even then there is also Samsung to contend with in the ARM space -- then you consider x86 brings at least Intel to the game with its massive advantage in legacy software that are usually not abstracted by a platform-independent runtime layer.

Coverage of CES 2013 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: NVIDIA

CES 2013: NVIDIA Grid to Fight Gaikai and OnLive?

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards, Systems, Mobile, Shows and Expos | January 7, 2013 - 01:07 AM |
Tagged: CES, ces 2013, nvidia

The second act of the NVIDIA keynote speech re-announced their Grid cloud-based gaming product first mentioned back in May during GTC. You have probably heard of its competitors, Gaikai and OnLive. The mission of these services is to have all of the gaming computation done in a server somewhere and allow the gamer to log in and just play.

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The NVIDIA Grid is their product top-to-bottom. Even the interface was created by NVIDIA and, as they laud, rendered server-side using the Grid. It was demonstrated to stream to an LG smart TV directly or Android tablets. A rack will contain 20 servers with 240 GPUs with a total of 200 Teraflops of computational power. Each server will initially be able to support 24 players, which is interesting, given the last year of NVIDIA announcements.

Last year, during the GK110 announcement, Kepler was announced to support hundreds of clients to access a single server for professional applications. It seems only natural that Grid would benefit from that advancement: but it apparently does not. With a limit of 24 players per box, equating to a maximum of two players per GPU, it seems odd that a limit would be in place. The benefit of stacking multiple players per GPU is that you can achieve better-than-linear scaling in the long-tail of games.

Then again, all they need to do is solve the scaling problem before they have a problem with scaling their service.

Coverage of CES 2013 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Brace Yourself: The PC Perspective CES 2013 Coverage is Coming!

Subject: Graphics Cards, Networking, Motherboards, Cases and Cooling, Processors, Systems, Storage, Mobile, Shows and Expos | January 5, 2013 - 10:47 AM |
Tagged: CES, ces 2013, pcper

It's that time of year - the staff at PC Perspective is loaded up and either already here in Las Vegas, on their way to Las Vegas or studiously sitting at their desk at home - for the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show!  I know you are on our site looking for all the latest computer hardware news from the show and we will have it.  The best place to keep checking is our CES landing page at http://pcper.com/ces.  The home page will work too. 

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We'll have stories covering companies like, Intel, AMD, NVIDIA, ASUS, MSI, Gigabyte, Zotac, Sapphire, Galaxy, EVGA, Lucid, OCZ, Western Digital, Corsair and many many more that I don't feel like listing here.  It all starts Sunday with CES Unveiled and then the NVIDIA Press Conference where they will announce...something.

Also, don't forget to subscribe to the PC Perspective Podcast as we will be bringing you daily podcasts wrapping up each day.  We are also going to try to LIVE stream them on our PC Perspective Live! page but times and bandwidth will vary.

Coverage of CES 2013 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!