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The eternal debate
Without a doubt, one of the most frequent questions we get here at PC Perspective, on the PC Perspective Podcast or even This Week in Computer Hardware, is "do I need to upgrade my graphics card yet?" The problem is this question has very different answers based on your use cases, what games you like to play or are planning on playing in the future, what other hardware is in your system, etc and thus can be a very complicated situation.
The Galaxy GeForce GTX 560 Ti GC
The GeForce GTX 560 Ti GPU was released to the world earlier this week and we have a handful of retail options in the lab to poke with the testing stick and see what turns up. With a card from Galaxy, MSI and Palit, we see how much performance gain you'll see with their stock overclocks as well as how high we can push the GPU with the improved coolers.
GeForce GTX 560 Ti GPU
NVIDIA has been preparing the new GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB card for quite a while now. I'm not sure I can say the same about the Radeon HD 6950 1GB card, but the results are the same. Two new graphics cards in the ~$250 range go head-to-head with each other for dominance in this lucrative price point and how they compare to other cards in that same segment.
A quick brief on WHDI
The Galaxy GeForce GTX 460 WHDI is the world's first graphics cards built around the Wireless Home Digital Interface standard and promises to bring uncompressed wireless video technology to the world of your PC and the power of the GTX 460 graphics chip. Does it work as promised and can WHDI really change the way you think about your HTPC?
Mobility Goes Mainstream
NVIDIA is in the console world, courtesy of Sony's failure to predict how 3D graphics have evolved combined with the limitations of the Cell processor and archticture. NVIDIA was able to slip in with a console optimized GeForce 7900 GPU, and the PS3 was given the ability to compete with Microsoft and the XBox 360. Here we are six years later and NVIDIA is approaching the overall performance and capabilities of that console GPU in a mobile, low power form.
Single slot cooler
Galaxy might still be a lesser known graphics card vendor in the US but they are still pushing the envelope as far as or further than anyone else today. The GeForce GTX 460 1GB Razor card is the first and only air cooled single slot option on the market with this gaming power. Is it worth the added cost though? That depends on your configuration and our review!
2010 was a tremendous year in terms of graphics. We saw both leading companies flesh out all of their DX11 offerings, and there were some distinct surprises and disappointments from both companies. 2011 looks to be a different beast, but as we head into the new year let us take a look where the two giants stand in terms of desktop graphics.
The New Cayman Architecture
The new Cayman architecture from AMD is the first big change to the GPU in some time introducing a new VLIW4 design as well as improved tessellation and AA performance. But can the HD 6970 and HD 6950 stand up to the power of the GF110-based GTX 580 and GTX 570 cards and how does PowerTune technology get into the mix?
A much needed update
AMD's Catalyst Control Center was in a desperate need of an update and today AMD is in the final stages of releasing one. We have a quick preview of the new Catalyst Control Center 2 with some mostly aesthetic changes and a few functional ones that should make frequency CCC users happy.
Another GF110 Part
The new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 1.25GB graphics card brings very similar specifications to the GTX 480 with slightly improved clocks and a lower price that should please gamers looking for a holiday upgrade. But how does it compare to the best from AMD's single GPU offerings or even the high-end GeForce GTX 580?
GF110 is a new GPU
NVIDIA is back with another new GPU, the GF110 aka the GeForce GTX 580. NVIDIA released the GTX 460 to target the $200 price point and now they are back to elevate their high-end game yet again with the full 512 CUDA core option we were always promised. How much better is it than the GTX 480 and what about that oddly placed dual-GPU Radeon HD 5970?
A new architecture we are all very familiar with
The new AMD Radeon HD 6800 series cards are here! Do the new HD 6870 and HD 6850 live up to the hype surrounding them over the past months and can their new $200 price tag stick it to NVIDIA's GTX 460 cards like AMD is hoping? Stop in and read the full review for the details!
MSI upgrades the GTX 460
The MSI GeForce GTX 460 HAWK graphics card is one of the best GF104 cards we have tested with a potent combination of hardware, software, cooler and overclocked settings. Of course with a design like this the stock settings were just the beginning as we pushed the clock speeds over 900 MHz!
The GeForce GT 430 GPU
The new GeForce GT 430 GPU is a replacement for the GT 220 that was never quite card that we fell in love with. NVIDIA's Fermi-based GF108 chip is definitely a better performance than anything from the GT200 generation but can it keep up with the AMD Radeon HD 5570 and HD 5550 GPUs and make a case for itself?
ASUS makes it better
ASUS is known for creating some truly unique graphics cards that differ wildly from the reference designs we are used to seeing. The ROG Matrix HD 5870 card with 2GB of memory is just that with overclocking options you need to see. For the more tame of us, there is the V2 HD 5870 that is cheaper and much simpler in feature set.
The final piece of the FirePro puzzle
The FirePro V9800 4GB graphics card is the new king of hill from AMD for the professional user and with support for 6 displays, it has a lot to offer. The Fermi-based Quadro cards offer strong competition in the performance field but in terms of features the FirePro line is still difficult to beat.
GF106 and the cores that love it
The new GeForce GTS 450 1GB graphics card is based on a completely new GF106 GPU that takes the Fermi architecture and pulls it back a bit more to make a lower cost, more efficient unit. Starting at $120 or so, the GTS 450 is the cheapest NVIDIA DX11 part available but how can it compare to the Radeon HD 5770?
Sapphire gets triple DVI working
Sapphire is the first card manufacturer to figure out a way to integrate a DisplayPort to HDMI/DVI adapter on the PCB of the card itself. What does that matter? Well it does enable the use of Eyefinity configurations without the need for an expensive active adapter thus lowering cost of entry for budget gamers that want an extra gaming setup. Come see if this card is worth the price!
Sonic means fast
Palit has prepared a highly overclocked GeForce GTX 460 graphics card for us today, their Sonic Platinum edition as they call it. The GPU on this puppy runs at 800 MHz while the shader cores come in at 1600 MHz, right out of the box. How do these overclocks equate in the real-world gaming and can this card rival the more expensive GTX 470 cards?
Old News at 4 Months of Age?
With all the GTX 460 news swirling around the industry, I thought I would take a step back and take a different angle at the older, but very powerful, GTX 480 from MSI. Tessellation performance and GPGPU application support are two areas where I focused on, and the results I have found are somewhat telling about the state of tessellation in the graphics industry.