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Subject: Graphics Cards | August 14, 2013 - 12:00 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: radeon, never settle forever, never settle, amd
It should come as no surprise to our readers that we at PC Perspective have been big fans of what AMD has been doing with game bundles over the last year. With the start of the Never Settle campaign in October of 2012, AMD began down a path to help sell Radeon cards with amazing game bundles and pack ins that NVIDIA and its GeForce brand still have yet to match. It was an amazing move for a company that really wanted to drive sales and gain market share in the discrete graphics space.
Fast forward to today, past the Never Settle Reloaded and Never Settle Level Up campaigns and AMD has another offer for gamers looking to upgrade their GPU: Never Settle Forever. The crux of this new campaign is choice. AMD is allowing gamers to select the free game or games they get out of a curated list rather than having AMD select them for you.
Depending on the card you buy and the tier it falls in, you'll be able to select 1, 2 or 3 games from a list. There are a few catches though that we need to discuss. First, the game list for each tier is NOT the same.
For example, Tomb Raider is only avaiable in the top tier. The currect tier sets work out as follows:
- Gold Tier (3 games): HD 7950 and HD 7970
- Silver Tier (2 games): HD 7800 series
- Bronze Tier (1 game): HD 7770 and HD 7790
The Radeon HD 7990 is not included on these tiers but it will continue with the "8 free games" bundle for the life of the card we were told.
When you buy a card from a participating retailer you'll get a code that you can then take to AMD's Radeon Rewards website and redemption portal. You enter your reward code, register yourself and then you get to browse the games in the available packages. Here are some of the interesting notes:
- Once you register your code, you have until December 31st, 2013 to perform your transaction.
- You can only perform a SINGLE transaction meaning you must use all of your game choices at one time. You CANNOT select one game now and another game later.
- Other games can be added or removed at any time in the Never Settle Forever bundle so once something leaves you cannot get that game anymore.
- There are no promises on what other games may or may not be added to the program between now and the end of the year.
Not being able to split up your selections is a hard pill to swallow as you means you cannot pick up Tomb Raider today and then plan on getting another title next month; if Tomb Raider is gone when a new game is added you will not have access to it. There is likely no techical reason for this restriction other than publisher and business agreements in place with AMD.
It is a letdown that AMD has not included any new games with this bundle refresh. All 9 of the available titles in the Gold tier have been bundled with AMD cards before. Even worse, arguably the two best titles from the previous campaign are missing: Bioshock Infinite and Crysis 3. We do expect other games to be added but AMD would only allude that "new retail games will be added on several occasions" before the end of the year. Does that mean Battlefield 4, Thief or watch_dogs? While I can't say for certain I think it is pretty likely.
So where does that leave us with the new Never Settle Forever bundle today? It's kind of a mixed bag as it stands with the games avaiable in the tiers today getting long in the tooth. Of the 9 games available in Gold only DMC, Tomb Raider and Blood Dragon were released this year. Dues Ex and Dirt 3 were released in 2011 and the rest were sometime in that magical year of 2012. And of those 9 games only two of them are currently for sale for the $49 value (DMC and Tomb Raider) that AMD places on a single game title. Others can be found for $39 (Far Cry 3), $24 (Hitman) or $14 (Blood Dragon).
AMD is still the leader in the bundle and add-on battle for discrete graphics cards but this particular launch is a bit less astounding than the previous ones have been. The upside though is that AMD can now very easily add other games to the mix without having to re-launch the entire program which was obviously the point of this revamp. So while Never Settle Forever doesn't have me as excited as the original campaign, I have a feeling 2013 holds some very good things for it!
Subject: Graphics Cards | August 8, 2013 - 04:44 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: galaxy, gtx 780, gk110, hall of fame
I remember the first time I saw a white PCB - it was on a Soyo motherboard built on a chipset that very few people reading this post today will remember. Our friends at Galaxy just sent over word that its new GeForce GTX 780 3GB HOF (Hall of Fame) Edition card was now shipping and available at Amazon.com and TigerDirect.com sporting a fantastic looking white PCB!
As you probably know the GeForce GTX 780 is based on the same GK110 GPU as the GTX TITAN with fewer CUDA cores enabled and with a 3GB frame buffer it is definitely a step above other single-GPU offerings available (except the TITAN obviously). Even better, the HOF Edition from Galaxy is overclocked to a base clock of 1006 MHz compared to the reference speed of 863 MHz!! Galaxy claims this is the highest clocked air-cooled GTX 780 in the world!
Subject: Graphics Cards | August 7, 2013 - 01:05 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: amd, radeon, hd 7990, never settle, never settle reloaded
An interesting bit of information just came to PC Perspective this morning and it revolves around the price of the AMD Radeon HD 7990. If the title didn't tip you off, we have found that Newegg.com is listing various HD 7990 dual-Tahiti graphics cards for $699!!
When the card launched in April, it had a retail price of $999 and since then had come down to the ~$880 range. Today though, AMD has definitely made an aggressive move against NVIDIA by lowering the price of its flagship product a full $300.
Not only that, but the Radeon HD 7990 6GB dual-GPU card will still include 8 free PC games, while supplies last. As part of the Never Settle series of bundles, the HD 7990 includes Crysis 3, Bioshock Infinite, Tomb Raider, Far Cry 3, Blood Dragon, Hitman Absolution, Sleeping Dogs and Deus Ex. If you don't own all or some of those titles, that makes the HD 7990 price drop even MORE appealing.
The Radeon HD 7990 hasn't been a card to avoid controversy. Our initial review of the card showed that CrossFire scaling was resulting in very poor perceived performance and our Frame Rating system was able to detail how and why very precisely. But on August 1st, AMD released a new Catalyst 13.8 driver that introduced a frame pacing fix for the problem for single monitor (non 4K) users.
I would highly encourage any user thinking about buying the Radeon HD 7990 to read over my Catalyst 13.8 updated article to see if the hardware makes sense for you. With a $699 price tag, compared to the $999 of the GeForce GTX 690 or GTX TITAN from NVIDIA, the product is spectacularly interesting as long as you don't use multi-display Eyefinity or one of the new 4K dual-head displays like the ASUS PQ321Q.
For gamers that are using a single panel though, hopefully at 2560x1440 or 2560x1600, this price drop might turn things around. Check out those new $699 prices at Newegg!
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | August 2, 2013 - 12:44 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: video, stutter, radeon, nvidia, hd 7990, frame rating, frame pacing, amd
Scott Wasson from The Tech Report and Ryan have been discussing the microstuttering present in Crossfire and while Ryan got his hands on the hardware to capture the raw output first, The Tech Report have been investigating this issue as in depth as Ryan and Ken have been. Their look at the new Catalyst and the effects of Frame Pacing show the same results as you saw yesterday in Ryan's article; for essentially no cost in performance you can get a much smoother experience when using a CrossFire system on a single display. In their article they have done a great job of splicing together videos of runthroughs of several games with the Frame Pacing disabled on one side and enabled on the other, allowing you to see with your own eyes the difference in game play, without having to have your own Crossfire system.
"Can a driver fix what ails the Radeon HD 7990? Will the new Catalysts magically transform this baby into the fastest graphics card on the planet? We go inside the second to find out."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- AMD Catalyst 13.8 Beta Frame Pacing CrossFire Driver @ [H]ard|OCP
- AMD Frame Pacing Explored: Catalyst 13.8 Brings Consistency to Crossfire @ AnandTech
- NVIDIA Shield Review: At the Crossroads of PC and Mobile Gaming @ AnandTech
- Gmail, Outlook.com and e-voting 'pwned' on stage in crypto-dodge hack @ The Register
- Boffins: We have FOOLED APPLE with malware app @ The Register
- iOS 7 Fix for Malicious iPhone Chargers Requires User Savvy @ DailyTech
- Happy 20th birthday, Windows NT 3.1 @ The Register
- NASA JPL boss Brian Muirhead talks about Mars exploration @ The Inquirer
- Man Builds Fully-Functional Boeing 737 Flight Simulator In His Son's Bedroom @ Slashdot
- Printing an Aston Martin DB4 @ Hack a Day
Subject: Graphics Cards | August 2, 2013 - 02:50 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: graphics drivers, nvidia, shield, pc game streaming, gaming, geforce
NVIDIA recently released a new set of beta GeForce graphics card drivers targetted at the 400, 500, 600, and 700 series GPUs. The new version 326.41 beta drivers feature the same performance tweaks as the previous 326.19 drivers while baking in beta support for PC game streaming to NVIDIA’s Shield gaming portable from a compatible GeForce graphics card (GTX 650 or better). The new beta release is also the suggested version to use for those running the Windows 8.1 Preview.
NVIDIA has included the same performance tweaks as version 326.19. The tweaks offer up to 19% performance increases, depending on the particular GPU setup. For example, users running a GTX 770 will see as much as 15% better performance in Dirt: Showdown and 6% in Tomb Raider. Performance improvements are even higher for GTX 770 SLI setups, with boosts in Dirt: Showdown and F1 2012 of 19% and 11% respectively. NVIDIA has also added SLI profiles for Splinter Cell: Blacklist and Batman: Arkham Origins.
The NVIDIA Shield launched recently and reviews are making the rounds around the Internet. One of the exciting features of the Shield gaming handheld is the ability to stream PC games from a PC with NVIDIA graphics card to the Shield over Wi-Fi.
The 326.41 drivers improve performance across several games on the GTX 770.
The other major changes are improvements to tiled 4K displays, which are displays with 4K resolutions that are essentially made of two separate displays, and the monitor even shows up to the OS as two separate displays despite being in a single physical monitor. Using DisplayPort MST and tiled displays allows monitor manufacturers to deliver 4K displays with higher refresh rates.
Interested GeForce users can grab the latest beta drivers from the NVIDIA website or via the links below:
Subject: Graphics Cards | August 1, 2013 - 04:58 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, gtx 650 ti boost, DirectCU II, factory overclocked
The sub-$200 GPU market is getting crowded which is great for enthusiasts without pockets deep enough to drop $400+ on a GPU as they can upgrade a card now and consider getting a second card some time down the road. At $175 ($165 after MIR) the ASUS GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost DirectCU II OC 2GB is fully customized with a boost clock of 1085MHz though a stock 6GHz effective on the RAM. Thanks to the impressive design and cooling of the card [H]ard|OCP pushed those up to 1150MHz and 6.2GHz on the RAM which pushed its performance even further passed the XFX Radeon HD 7790 Black Edition that it tested against.
"Today on the test bench for your reading pleasure, we have the ASUS GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost DirectCU II OC 2GB that comes in at the $175 mark. We will compare it to the XFX Radeon HD 7790 Black Edition 2GB to determine which factory overclocked card can run circles around the other."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- ASUS GTX 760 DirectCU II @ Bjorn3D
- MSI GeForce GTX 770 Lightning Review @ Hardware Canucks
- EVGA GeForce GTX 760 SuperClocked w/ ACX Cooling Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
- Gigabyte GTX 770 WindForce OC 2GB Video Card Review @ Madshrimps
- EK Water Blocks TITAN Full Cover Block Kit Review @ Madshrimps
- Sapphire HD7730 2GB GDDR3 & 1GB GDDR5 @ Kitguru
- PowerColor HD 7870 Devil 2048 MB @ techPowerUp
- Powercolor Devil HD 7870 Review @ OCC
- PowerColor HD7870 DEVIL 2GB Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
- PowerColor HD 7870 2GB DEVIL Video Card Review @ HiTech Legion
Subject: Graphics Cards | August 1, 2013 - 02:54 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: frame pacing, Catalyst 13.8 Beta, catalyst, beta, amd
Yes, you too can now benefit from the Frame Pacing which Ryan has been testing and posted the results to. For anyone with a multi-GPU system using Radeon cards this is an update worth installing as you will see a significant benefit to your gaming experience, along with the other benefits that the new Catalyst offers.
Highlights of the Windows AMD Catalyst™ 13.8 Beta release:
Support for CrossFire Frame Pacing
- Frame Pacing ensures that frames rendered across multiple GPUs in a CrossFire configuration will be displayed at an even and regular pace
- Enabled through the AMD Catalyst Control Center; Globally or on a per application basis
- Supported for DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 applications and resolutions up and including 2560x1600 (single display)
- OpenGL 4.3 support – full support for the OpenGL 4.3 feature set
Performance improvements found in AMD Catalyst 13.8 Beta:
- Metro Last Light – Improves performance up to 7% on the AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series
OpenGL support for User Profiles and Catalyst Application Profiles:
- Users can now create per application 3D setting profiles for OpenGL applications
- OpenGL applications are now supported through Catalyst Application Profile updates (for single GPU and AMD CrossFire configurations)
- AMD Enduro Technology enhancement – The AMD Catalyst Control Center now shows which applications are active on the Performance GPU and the Power saving GPU
Windows Catalyst Package: http://support.amd.com/us/kbarticles/Pages/AMDCatalyst13-8WINBetaDriver....
Highlights of the Linux AMD Catalyst 13.8 Beta release:
This release of AMD Catalyst™ Linux introduces support for the following new features:
- OpenGL 4.3 – full support for the OpenGL 4.3 feature set
- SLED11 SP3 support
- PowerXpress A+I support with Intel Haswell on SLED11 SP3
- Dynamic primary surface resizing
- Kernel 3.10 support
Resolved Issue highlights:
- Enduro Technology on AMD + AMD Ubuntu platforms
- Source Engine games hang when running on the High Performance ASIC
- Maya 2011-2013 – Various visual corruptions issues have been resolved
- Maya 2011-2013 – Mesh/Polygons selection performance has been improved
- Unigine Heaven – Intermittent Crashes have been resolved
- Unigine Heaven – Performance has been improved up to 11% on single GPU configurations
- Left 4 Dead 2 – Visual corruption issues have been resolved
- Visual artifacts are no longer seen with XvBA playback and CABAC=No
“Testing use Only” watermark has been removed.
Linux Catalyst Package: http://support.amd.com/us/kbarticles/Pages/AMDCatalyst13-8LINBetaDriver....
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Displays | July 25, 2013 - 07:32 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: eyefinity, crossfire, 4k
Sharp recently sampled a few of their 32" 4K monitors to Microsoft's Extreme Windows. The blog, known for editorializing what enthusiasts can do with Microsoft products, combined three 3840 x 2160 monitors into a 3x1 Eyefinity configuration at 60 Hz; the screen, itself, measures about 7 feet diagonally. This configuration, unlike the already-supported three-display 30 Hz and single-display 60Hz 4K modes, required AMD to develop a customized driver before Sharp's repo-team reclaimed their $15,000 worth of monitors.
They had a day until their door was to be knocked.
The system, three Radeon HD 7970s in Crossfire, successfully drove... they were playing Dirt 3, by the way... the three monitors at 60 Hz with between 62 and 70, of software recorded, FPS. 11,520 x 2160, at 60 Hz, requires 1.5 billion colors to be calculated within a second of animation; that is 1.5 gigapixels. Ignore, for a moment, stutter caused by including Crossfire with an Eyefinity setup. Every calculation, whether properly drawn to the monitor or not is, and must be, performed; 1.5 gigapixels is impressive and an accomplishment for Radeon hardware.
Lastly, I need to call out drama as I see it: power supplies. It is not hard to find a PSU which can support a three-GPU system and no reason for it to be hanging outside the case. It might give off the bleeding-edge appearance, but this is not arc welding. If they really were concerned, they could have picked up a higher capacity device from the shelf of a local component reseller.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Mobile, Shows and Expos | July 24, 2013 - 05:15 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Siggraph, kepler, mobile, tegra, nvidia, unreal engine 4
SIGGRAPH 2013 is wrapping up in the next couple of days but, now that NVIDIA removed the veil surrounding Mobile Kepler, people are chatting about what is to follow Tegra 4. Tim Sweeney, founder of Epic Games, contributed to NVIDIA Blogs the number of ways that certain attendees can experience Unreal Engine 4 at the show. As it turns out, NVIDIA engineers have displayed the engine both on Mobile Kepler as well as behind closed doors on desktop PCs.
Not from SIGGRAPH, this is a leak from, I believe, GTC late last March.
Also, this is Battlefield 3, not Unreal Engine 4.
Tim, obviously taking the developer standpoint, is very excited about OpenGL 4.3 support within the mobile GPU. In all, he did not say too much of note. They are targeting Unreal Engine 4 at a broad range of platforms: mobile, desktop, console, and, while absent from this editorial, web standards. Each of these platforms are settling on the same set of features, albeit with huge gaps in performance, allowing developers to focus on a scale of performance instead of a flowchart of capabilities.
Unfortunately for us, there have yet to be leaks from the trade show. We will keep you up-to-date if we find any, however.
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 23, 2013 - 09:00 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: workstation, simulation, quadro k6000, quadro, nvidia, k6000, gk110
Today, NVIDIA announced its flagship Quadro graphics card called the K6000. Back in March of this year, NVIDIA launched a new like of Quadro graphics cards for workstations. Those cards replaced the Fermi-based predecessors with new models based on NVIDIA’s GK-104 “Kepler” GPUs. Notably missing from that new lineup was NVIDIA Quadro K6000, which is the successor to the Quadro 6000.
Contrary to previous rumors, the Quadro K6000 will be based on the full GK110 chip. In fact, it will be the fastest single-GPU graphics card that NVIDIA has to offer.
The Quadro K6000 features a full GK110 GPU, 12GB of GDDR5 memory on a 384-bit bus, and a 225W TDP. The full GK110-based GPU has 2,880 CUDA cores, 256 TMUs, and 48 ROPs. Unfortunately, NVIDIA has not yet revealed clockspeeds for the GPU or memory.
Thanks to the GPU not having any SMX units disabled, the NVIDIA Quadro K6000 is rated for approximately 1.4 TFLOPS of peak double precision floating point performance of and 5.2 TFLOPS of single precision floating point performance.
The chart below illustrates the differences between the new flagship Quadro K6000 with full GK110 GPU and the highest tier Tesla and consumer graphics cards which have at least one SMX unit disabled.
NVIDIA GK110-Based Graphics Cards
|Quadro K6000||Tesla K20X||GTX TITAN|
|Memory Bandwidth||288 GB/s||250 GB/s||288 GB/s|
|Single Precision FP||5.2 TFLOPS||3.95 TFLOPS||4.5 TFLOPS|
|Double Precision FP||~1.4 TFLOPS||1.31 TFLOPS||1.31 TFLOPS|
The NVIDIA GTX TITAN gaming graphics card has 2,688 CUDA cores, 224 TMUs, and 48 ROPs and is rated for peak double and single precision of 1.31 TFLOPS and 4.5 TFLOPS respectively. On the other hand, the lower-clocked Tesla K20X compute accelerator card has 2,688 CUDA cores, 224 TMUs, and 48 ROPs along with lower clockspeeds on the memory and GPU. Because of the lower clockspeeds, the K20X is rated for double and single precision floating point performance of 1.31 TFLOPS and 3.95 TFLOPS and memory bandwidth of 250GB/s versus the 288GB/s bandwidth on the TITAN and K6000.
NVIDIA® Quadro® K6000 GPU
In all, the new K6000 is an impressive card for professional users, and the GK110 chip should perform well in the workstation environment where GK104 was the only option before. NVIDIA claims that the GK110 is up to 3-times the performance of the Quadro 6000 (non K) predecessor. It is also the first Quadro GPU with 12GB of GDDR5 memory, which should lend itself well to high resolutions and artists working with highly detailed models and simulations.
Specifically, NVIDIA is aiming this graphics card at the visual computing market, which includes 3D designers, visual effects artists, 3d animation, and simulations. The company provided several examples in the press release, including using the GK110-based card to render nearly complete photorealistic vehicle models in RTT Deltagen that can run real time during design reviews.
The Quadro K6000 allows for larger and fully populated virtual sets with realistic lighting and scene detail when 3D animators and VFX artists are working with models and movie scenes in real time. Simulation work also takes advantage of the beefy double precision horsepower to support up to 3-times faster simulation run times in Terraspark's InsightEarth simulation. Users can run simulations with wider areas in less time than the previous generation Quardo cards, and is being used by oil companies to determine the best places to drill.
Pixar's Vice President of Software and R&D Guido Quaroni had the following to say regarding the K6000.
"The Kepler features are key to our next generation of real-time lighting and geometryhandling. The added memory and other features allow our artists to see much more of thefinal scene in a real-time, interactive form, which allows many more artistic iterations."
The K6000 is the final piece to the traditional NVIDIA Quadro lineup and is likely to be well recieved by workstation users that need the increased double precision performance that GK110 offers over the existing GK104 chips. Specific pricing and availability are still unknown, but the K6000 will be available from workstation providers, system integrators, and authorized distribution partners beginning this fall.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Processors, Mobile | July 23, 2013 - 04:01 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Samsung, mali, exynos
Exynos, the line of System on a Chip (SoC) products from Samsung, were notably absent of ARM Mali GPUs. This, apparently, struck concern over how viable Mali will continue to be and whether ARM will continue to lose designs to competitors such as Imagination Technologies.
Then Samsung announced, Monday evening for us North Americans, the upcoming Exynos 5 Octa Processor will embed six ARM Mali-T628 GPU cores. The T628 GPU cores are capable of OpenCL 1.1 and OpenGL ES 3.0 standards which should allow applications to offload heavy batches of tasks, such as computational photography processing, with high efficiency and performance.
The Exynos 5 Octa contains four ARM Cortex-A15 cores at 1.8GHz, supported by four additional Cortex-A7 cores clocked at 1.3GHz. These processors are currently being sampled and should be produced in August.
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 19, 2013 - 02:13 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Tahiti XT, sapphire, radeon hd 7990, hd 7990 atomic, hd 7990, dual gpu, 7990
Sapphire appears to be preparing to unleash a factory overclocked dual GPU card called the Radeon HD 7990 Atomic. EXPReview managed to uncover several photos and specification details of the upcoming graphics card. It is quite an impressive card, that features a custom PCB, beefy power delivery electronics, 6GB of total GDDR5, and (best of all) two AMD Radeon HD 7970 GPUs cooled by a full cover closed loop water cooler!
The Sapphire HD 7990 Atomic is based around a custom 12-layer PCB. The card also features an 18-phase VRM, 50A chokes, LFPAK MOSFETS, and Tantalum capacitors. Sapphire has divided the total 18-phase VRM up such that each GPU and 3GB of memory gets 6+2+1 power phases. Of course, the HD 7990 Atomic uses two AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition GPUs for a total of 4,096 stream processors.
Sapphire has not released clockspeed information, but it should be overclocked significantly beyond the company’s existing dual gpu 7990 card’s base and boost clockspeeds of 950 MHz and 1000 MHz.
Other features include a PLX PEX8747 PCI-E 3.0 bridge chip that connects the two 7970 GPUs together, a dual BIOS switch that will allow users to run the 7990 at stock or at overclocked speeds, and a single crossfire connector to enable quad-Crossfire multi-GPU setups. The graphics card is powered by three 8-pin PCI-E power connectors. Finally, it provides six mini-DisplayPort video outputs.
In order to effectively cool the factory overclocked card, Sapphire is bundling a pre-installed self-contained liquid cooler. The closed loop cooler consists of a full cover water block on the HD 7990 Atomic, a 240mm radiator with two 120mm fans, and a combination pump and reservoir that fits within a 5.25” optical drive bay.
Naturally, how much this card will cost and where it will be available is still unknown. With that said, ChipLoco indicates that the card is coming sometime within the “next few weeks.” The extent of the factory overclock is also unknown. It is definitely a high end card worthy of enthusiasts and overclockers. Unfortunately, it utilizes a custom PCB, so it may be difficult to find alternative blocks should users wish to integrate it into their existing custom water loops.
Subject: Graphics Cards, Displays | July 18, 2013 - 08:16 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: pq321q, PQ321, nvidia, drivers, asus, 4k
It would appear that NVIDIA was paying attention to our recent live stream where we unboxed and setup our new ASUS PQ321Q 4K 3840x2160 monitor. During our setup on the AMD and NVIDIA based test beds I noticed (and the viewers saw) some less than desirable results during initial configuration. The driver support was pretty clunky, we had issues with reliability of booting and switching between SST and MST (single and multi stream transport) modes caused the card some issue as well.
Today NVIDIA released a new R326 driver, 326.19 beta, that improves performance in a couple of games but more importantly, adds support for "tiled 4K displays." If you don't know what that means, you aren't alone. A tiled display is one that is powered by multiple heads and essentially acts as multiple screens in a single housing. The ASUS PQ321Q monitor that we have in house, and the Sharp PN-K321, are tiled displays that use DisplayPort 1.2 MST technology to run at 3840x2160 @ 60 Hz.
It is great to see NVIDIA reacting quickly to new technologies and to our issues from just under a week gone by. If you have either of these displays, be sure to give the new driver a shot and let me know your results!
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 18, 2013 - 02:49 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: xfx, HD 7790 Black Edition
The XFX Radeon HD 7790 Black Edition has several advantages over a regular HD 7790, a factory overclock of 75MHz to 1075MHz on the GPU and an effective 6.4GHz on the memory, of which there is twice the amount as a regular 1GB model. To go along with the overclock is XFX's Double Dissipation custom cooling and components which they refer to as Duratec Professional Grade, which helped [H]ard|OCP reach speeds of 1230MHz GPU and 7GHz GDDR5 when overclocking with no noticeable change in temperatures. This is rather impressive performance for a card who's smaller brother costs only $140 after MIR, the pricing of the 2GB model should be only $20 more than that. Unfortunately for AMD, at the end of the day [H] cannot recommend this card over the euqally expensive but higher performing GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost 2GB.
"Today we are strapping the XFX Radeon HD 7790 Black Edition to our test bench and pitting it against a GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost. Each card is equipped with 2GB of GDDR5 and is attractively priced for the value minded gamer. The gloves will come off and we will find out whether the Black Edition is worthy of a Black Belt or a Black Eye."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- Battle of the Kings: AMD Radeon HD 7990 vs. Nvidia GeForce GTX 690 and GeForce GTX TITAN @ X-bit Labs
- XFX Radeon HD 7790 Black Edition 1 GB @ Hardware.info
- 3DMark scores of 161 mobile GPUs: from 3DMark06 to Fire Strike @ Hardware.info
- NVIDIA GeForce Chips Comparison Table @ Hardware Secrets
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 2 GB @ X-bit Labs
- BOOSTx7: GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST @ X-bit Labs
- Gainward GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST 2GB GS @ NikKTech
- KFA2 GeForce GTX 760 EX OC 2GB @ eTeknix
- Inno3D iChill GTX 760 Video Card Review @ Madshrimps
- MSI GTX 780 TwinFrozr Gaming 3 GB @ techPowerUp
- GTX 760 SLI Results @ LanOC Reviews
- GeForce GTX 760 round-up: ASUS vs. MSI vs. EVGA vs. Inno3D @ Hardware.info
- GIGABYTE GTX 760 OC Version @ [H]ard|OCP
- MSI GTX 770 N770 TF 2GD5/OC Review @ Neoseeker
- Gigabyte GTX 770 WindForce 3X OC Review @ Hardware Canucks
- ASUS GeForce GTX 770 DirectCU II OC @ Bjorn3D
- Gainward GeForce GTX 780 Phantom GLH @ Legion Hardware
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 770 @ X-bit Labs
- Palit GTX 780 Super JetStream @ Techspot
- EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost Superclocked 2GB @ Hardware.info
- GeForce GTX 700 series SLI review: GeForce GTX 760/770/780 in SLI and 3-way SLI @ Hardware.info
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 780: ASUS vs. EVGA vs. Inno3D vs. MSI @ Hardware.info
- Galaxy GeForce GTX 780 GC Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 17, 2013 - 01:58 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: galaxy, GeForce GTX 780 GC, gtx 780
Galaxy Microsystems, a leading manufacturer of high performance graphics cards, announced today the GeForce GTX 780 GC. The GC edition is the latest example of engineering excellence from Galaxy, designed for even greater performance and custom cooled with Galaxy’s all new premium, high efficiency dual fan cooler.
The new twin fan cooling system contains numerous upgrades. EBR Fluid bearings guarantee longer fan life with silent operation, and hybrid Copper and Aluminum cooling fins maximize heat transfer from the card’s overclocked GPU. The card itself features a custom PCB with high grade components and an impressive 1019Mhz boost clock for enhanced gaming performance right out of the box. Enthusiasts will want to take full advantage of the card’s superior cooling and improved overclock potential using the included Xtreme Tuner Plus overclocking and monitoring software.
The GTX 780 GC edition is built with 3GB of GDDR5 and supports NVIDIA GPU Boost 2.0, Adaptive Vsync, PhysX, 3D Vision, and Surround. The already quiet twin fan cooler also benefits from an upgraded fan control algorithm which stabilizes speeds, minimizing distractions from fans ramping up and down during gameplay.
The Galaxy GTX 780 GC 3GB is available now at leading retailers and etailers, including Amazon, Best Buy, NCIX, Newegg, and TigerDirect. Customers can also buy direct from Galaxy’s online store at http://store.galaxytechus.com.
Base Clock (MHz) - 967
Boost Clock (MHz) - 1019
CUDA Processors: - 2304
Memory Clock: - 3004Mhz (Effective 6008Mhz)
Memory Type: - GDDR5
Memory Amount - 3072MB
Memory Interface - 384-bit
Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec) - 288.4
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 17, 2013 - 01:58 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: msi, gtx 770, GK104, gk-104, gaming, factory overclocked, 4GB
MSI recently announced the GTX 770 Gaming 4GB which combines a factory overclocked GK-104 GPU with 4GB of GDDR5 memory and the company’s Twin Frozr IV cooler on a custom PCB. This card joins the existing MSI GTX 770 with 2GB of memory in the company’s GPU lineup.
Specifications the new graphics card include a GK-104 based GTX 770 GPU with a base clock of 1137 MHz and a GPU Boost clockspeed of 1189 MHz. This compares to the 4GB Zotac GTX 770’s base and boost clockspeeds of 1059 MHz and 1098 MHz and to the reference NVIDIA GTX 770’s 1046 MHz base and 1085 MHz boost. In short, the upcoming MSI card is one of the fastest-clocked models with 4GB of memory. Unfortunately, that 4GB of GDDR5 does not come factory overclocked, and is instead left at the stock 7 GHz clockspeed.
Further, the MSI card is cooled by the company’s Twin Frozr IV cooler. This HSF features two 100mm fans that cool an aluminum fin stack. In turn, that fin stack attaches to the GPU block via five heatpipes. There is no backplate, but the card does have a reinforcing plate between the PCB and cooler (which also, likely, helps dissipate a small bit of the heat generated by the VRMs and RAM).
The card is essentially the same card as the existing 2GB version, which is not necessarily a bad thing. The model number on the 4GB card is N770 TF 4GD5/OC. MSI has not released pricing or availability, but expect it to be around $430 and up for grabs later this summer.
More photos of the upcoming 4GB GTX 770 GPU can be found over at TPU.
Read more about GTX 770 graphics cards at PC Perspective!
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 16, 2013 - 05:52 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: powercolor, devil hd 7870, hd 7870, amd, GCN
Nearly a year ago, PowerColor launched the massive “Devil 13” Radeon HD 7990 graphics card. Now, the company is releasing a new Devil-series single GPU card called the Devil HD 7870. This card combines a huge dual slot, triple fan HSF with a factory overclocked Graphics Core Next-based Radeon HD 7870 GPU.
The upcoming Devil HD 7870 features a factory overclocked 7870 “Pitcairn” GPU clocked at 1100 MHz and 2GB of GDDR5 clocked at 1250 MHz. As a refresher, the 7870 has 1,280 stream processors, 80 Texture Units, and 32 ROPs along with a 256-bit memory bus. The reference AMD Radeon HD 7870 graphics card has a GPU clockspeed of 1000 MHz and memory clockspeed of 1200 MHz.
To differentiate its card, PowerColor is pairing the factory overclocked GPU and memory with a triple fan (four heatpipe and aluminum fin stack) cooler similar in design to the Devil 13’s HSF. The card also features PowerColor’s “Platinum Power Kit” which entails a 7+1+1 power phase with digital VRMs and so-called “Super Capacitors.” PowerColor claims that its triple fan cooler runs 25% cooler and 18% quieter than the reference AMD cooler.
The Devil HD 7870 offers up a DL-DVI, DVI, HDMI, and two Mini-DisplayPort video outputs. It is powered by two 6-pin PCI-E power connectors.
There is no word on pricing or availability, but expect the Devil-branded card to come at a premium (possibly around $270 MSRP).
Read more about AMD’s Graphics Core Next architecture at PC Perspective.
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 14, 2013 - 06:07 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: sapphire, hd 7730, GCN, cape verde le, cape verde, 7730
Sapphire has launched its own budget card based on AMD’s Cape Verde LE GPU called the HD 7730. In fact, Sapphire is launching two 7730 SKUs with differing amounts (and types) of on board memory. Specifically, Sapphire is launching a Radeon HD 7730 with 1GB of GDDR5 and a HD 7730 with 2GB of GDDR3 (yes, you read that correctly, the second SKU comes with 2GB of GDDR3 memory).
The HD 7730 is based on the Cape Verde LE GPU, which is similar to the Cape Verde chip used in the 7750 and 7770 graphics cards minus a set of stream processors. The Graphics Core Next-based HD 7730 comes with 384 stream processors clocked at 800 MHz and 128-bit memory bus. From here, the two SKUs differ. One Sapphire card comes with 1GB of GDDR5 clocked at 4500 MHz while the other version comes equipped with 2GB of GDDR3 clocked at 1800 MHz.
For comparison, the HD 7750 comes with 512 stream processors clocked at 800 MHz.
Both Sapphire 7730 graphics cards come with the same dual slot, single fan cooler. Also, both cards support one HDMI, one DVI, and one VGA video output. The cards measure 168 x 104 x 33mm and have a 47W TDP.
Sapphire has not yet announced US pricing or availability, but various sites around the web report that the cards will each cost approximately 70 Euros. That works out to about $91 USD. Unfortunately, that price will likely be hard to justify considering users can pick up a noticeably faster HD 7750 for around that same price. Users building a new system looking for similar GPU specs to the HD 7730 may also wish to look into building a system around AMD’s APUs and skip needing a dedicated card altogether.
You can find more specifications and photos on the Sapphire website. Both cards are listed on the site and can be selected via the filtering options.
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 10, 2013 - 01:48 PM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: Overclocked, nvidia, just delivered, gtx 780, gtx 770, gtx 760, GTX 670 Mini, DirectCU II, DCII, asus
Returning home on Monday, I was greeted by several (slightly wet) boxes from Asus. Happily, the rainstorm that made these boxes a bit damp did not last long, and the wetness was only superficial. The contents were perfectly fine. I was pleased by this, but not particularly pleased with FedEx for leaving them in a spot where they got wet. All complaints aside, I was obviously ecstatic to get the boxes.
Quite the lineup. The new packaging is sharp looking and clearly defines the contents.
Inside these boxes are some of the latest and greatest video cards from Asus. Having just finished up a budget roundup, I had the bandwidth available to tackle a much more complex task. Asus sent four cards for our testing procedures, and I intend to go over them with a fine toothed comb.
The smallest of the bunch is the new GTX 670 DC Mini. Asus did some serious custom work to not only get the card as small as it is, but also to redesign the power delivery system so that the chip only requires a single 8 pin PCI-E power connection. Most GTX 670 boards require 2 x 6 pin connectors which would come out to be around 225 watts delivered, but a single 8 pin would give around 175 watts total. This is skirting the edge of the official draw for the GTX 670, but with the GK104 chip being as mature as it is, there is some extra leeway involved. The cooler is quite compact and apparently pretty quiet. This is aimed at the small form factor crowd who do not want/need a overly large card, but still require a lot of performance. While the GTX 700 series is now hitting the streets, there is still a market for this particular card. Oh, and it is also overclocked for good measure!
We see a nice progression from big to little. It is amazing how small the GTX 670 DC Mini is compared to the rest, and it will be quite interesting to see how it compares to the GTX 760 in testing.
The second card is the newly released GTX 760 DCII OC. This is again based on the tried and true GK104 chip, but has several units disabled. It has 1152 CUDA cores, but retains the same number of ROPS as the fully enabled chips. It also features the full 256 bit memory bus running at 6 Gbps. It has plenty of bandwidth to provide the card in most circumstances considering the amount of functional units enabled. The cooler is one of the new DirectCU II designs and is a nice upgrade in both functionality and looks from the previous DCII models. It is a smaller card than one would expect, but that comes from the need to simplify the card and not overbuild it like the higher priced 770 and 780 cards. As I have mentioned before, I really like the budget and midrange cards. This should be a really fascinating card to test.
The next card is a bit of an odd bird. The GTX 770 DCII OC is essentially a slightly higher clocked GTX 680 from yesteryear. One of the big changes is that this particular model foregoes the triple slot cooler of the previous generation and implements a dual slot cooler that is quite heavy and with a good fin density. It features six pin and eight pin power connections so it has some legs for overclocking. The back plate is there for stability and protection, and it gives the board a very nice, solid feel. Asus added two LEDs by the power connections which show if the card is receiving power or not. This is nice, as the fans on this card are very silent in most situations. Nobody wants to unplug a video card that is powered up. It retains the previous generation DCII styling, but the cooler performance is certainly nothing to sneeze at. It also is less expensive than the previous GTX 680, but is faster.
All of the cards sport dual DVI, DisplayPort, and HDMI outputs. Both DVI ports are dual-link, but only one is DVI-I which can also output a VGA signal with the proper adapter.
Finally we have the big daddy of the GTX 700 series. The 780 DCII OC is pretty much a monster card that exceeds every other offering out there, except the $1K GTX Titan. It is a slightly cut down chip as compared to the mighty Titan, but it still packs in 2304 CUDA cores. It retains the 384 bit memory bus and runs at a brisk 6 Gbps for a whopping 288.4 GB/sec of bandwidth. The core is overclocked to a base of 889 MHz and boosts up to 941 MHz. The cooler on this is massive. It features a brand new fan design for the front unit which apparently can really move the air and do so quietly. Oddly enough, this fan made its debut appearance on the aforementioned GTX 670 DC Mini. The PCB on the GTX 780 DCII OC is non-reference. It features a new power delivery system that should keep this board humming when overclocked. Asus has done their usual magic in pairing the design with high quality components which should ensure a long lifespan for this pretty expensive board.
I do like the protective plates on the backs of the bigger cards, but the rear portion of the two smaller cards are interesting as well. We will delve more into the "Direct Power" functionality in the full review.
I am already well into testing these units and hope to have the full roundup late next week. These are really neat cards and any consumer looking to buy a new one should certainly check out the review once it is complete.
Asus has gone past the "Superpipe" stage with the GTX 780. That is a 10 mm heatpipe we are seeing. All of the DCII series coolers are robust, and even the DC Mini can dissipate a lot of heat.
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 9, 2013 - 04:45 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: windforce 450w, gtx 760, gigabyte, factory overclocked
Gigabyte is reportedly launching a new GTX 760 graphics card with 4GB of GDDR5 memory. It will be paired with the company’s WindForce 450W cooler and uses the same PCB as its Gigabyte GTX 770 sibling.
The upcoming Gigabyte GTX 760 4GB WindForce OC is model number GV-N760OC-4GD. As the name suggests, the card comes with a decent factory overclock on the GPU. The card uses NVIDIA’s GTX 760 GPU with 1,152 CUDA cores, 96 TMUs, and 32 ROPs within 6 SMX units. Gigabyte has overclocked the GPU to 1085 MHz base and 1150 MHz boost. For comparison, the reference GTX 760 is has a base clockspeed of 980 MHz and a boost clockspeed of 1033 MHz. Memory on the Gigabyte GTX 4GB WindForce OC remains the same as the stock design, at 6GHz, there is just more of it at 4GB total versus the stock 2GB of GDDR5.
The factory overclocked card features an eight-phase VRM and the company’s WindForce 3X 450W cooler. The dual slot, triple fan cooler has three 80mm fans cooling two aluminum fin stacks that connect to the copper baseplate via two 8mm and four 6mm heatpipes. It is rated to cool up to 450W TDPs. Because this factory overclocked graphics card is based on the same PCB Gigabyte used for its GTX 770, it requires a single 6-pin and a single 8-pin PCI-E power connector. This setup should provide ample power to push voltage and get higher overclocks, the specific GPU permitting.
There is no pricing or availability information yet, but expect it to be around $270 since its 2GB sibling has an MSRP of $260. Additional photos of the new graphics card can be found over at Tech Power Up.
For more details on the GTX 760 GPU, check out our full review of NVIDIA's latest GK-104 based graphics processor!