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A week's worth of thoughts on NVIDIA
We spent last week at the NVIDIA GPU Technology Conference learning about more than just the new GPU architecture NVIDIA was showcasing. In this editorial we take a look at where NVIDIA stands today, what you can expect from them in the near future and how the company plans to hold on to gamers' hearts while striving to build a new market in the GPU computing world.
GT300? Yes please
NVIDIA is revealing details today about its upcoming GPU architecture, codenamed Fermi. This new design offers a lot of great new advancements for GPU computing as well as gaming, though details on performance are still pretty slim. The GPU will implement 512 CUDA cores on a 3.0 billion transistor die. That got your interest up?
Evergreen makes its second appearance
Last week we saw the introduction of AMD's new Evergreen architecture with the release of the Radeon HD 5870 graphics card and we follow that up today with the lower cost variant, the Radeon HD 5850. This card still has 1GB of memory and requires a pair of 6-pin power connectors, but for the money, it looks like the card to beat.
Clarkdale makes its debut
Intel took some time to preview its upcoming Westmere processors, Clarkdale and Arrandale, during this past week at the Intel Developer Forum. The new CPUs will combine a dual-core Nehalem-based design with on-chip integrated graphics to create a high-performance, low power and low cost CPU for the mainstream PC user. Stop in to see if you will be picking one of these up this winter.
Introduction and Features
We've evaluated numerous CPU coolers from a variety of established vendors that include the likes of Zalman, CoolerMaster, and Thermalright. But, today we are treading off the beaten path a bit to review a CPU cooler from a relatively unknown entity called Prolimatech. This Taiwan-based company was founded in 2008 and their one and only CPU cooler that supports Intel's LGA 1366 socket is dubbed the Megahalem.
A new GPU for a new DirectX
AMD is making a splash again with another new GPU that aims to take NVIDIA head on and force a shift in the graphics card market. The Radeon HD 5870, previously known as the Evergreen architecture, offers up twice as many shader processors as the HD 4800-series of cards at higher clock speeds. And the new AMD Eyefinity technology is something you have to see to understand!
Lucid makes quite a showing
Last year we met a darling new company by the name of LucidLogix, or just Lucid, that promised to deliver "near linear scaling" on multi-GPU performance without the requirements of SLI or CrossFire. We have finally seen the technology in action on a production level motherboard coming from MSI and even see an AMD and NVIDIA graphics card share the workload!
Corsair enters yet another market
Corsair is known for high quality and enthusiast friendly memory products and now the company is attempting to bring that mindset to the world of computer cases. The Obsidian 800D is a big case that has plenty of room for water cooling, implements a classy cable management system and even adds a 4 drive hot-swap SATA bay.
A GTX By Any Other Name...
Before AMD unleashes their latest foray into the graphics market, we have the chance to look at the current fastest, single GPU video card around. MSI has differentiated their product with a unique (and surprisingly effecting) cooler which adds to the value of their offering. While we can't prognosticate about how well it will fare against upcoming products, we can see how well it performs against what is available today.
Propus to the Rescue
The latest quad cores are relatively tiny as compared to their older brothers and the competition from Intel. While these are not barn burners when it comes to performance, AMD is hoping that the combination of available performance and budget pricing will prove to be irresistible to users and OEMs alike.
Lynnfield Reaches Retail
Intel's Lynnfield processors have been getting a lot of attention recently but one SKU left out of the parade has been the Core i7-860. Coming in just a bit higher than the Core i5-750, the i7-860 adds support for HyperThreading technology and thus should see noticeable improvements in certain applications. We take the new CPU for a spin in our benchmark suite and judge it on performance-per-watt and performance-per-dollar.
Introduction and Features
A lot of PC cases and enclosures made from steel, aluminum, and acrylic pass by my test bench. The modding community has also used other materials like carbon fiber to create custom cases that met their specific needs. But, I can't think of one vendor that creates production cases using wood until nMediaPC gave us a call about their HTPC 8000 case. nMediaPC dubs their HTPC 8000 as the world's first wooden HTPC case, and to my knowledge I think they are right. Let's see if this organic creation can start a new trend in the HTPC case market.
2nd Generation Ultra-Portable
The Tigris and "Codename formerly known as Congo" are two new notebook platforms that aim for the mainstream and ultra-portable marketplaces. While we have seen these products before, the combination of tuning and manufacturing changes allows them to fit into the mobile market. The extra boost could give AMD a nice set of weapons to further improve their marketshare in the mobile space.
ASUS has more than a few P55 offerings...
Even though the P55 motherboards are out and available, I happen to have had this video sitting here for a couple of days and before we can get the full board reviews ready, I decided I would share our video previews of both the P7P55D Premium and Maximus III Formula motherboards. Stop in and see how these high-end offerings from ASUS will impress you and prep you for your new Lynnfield system.
Today Intel is officially releasing the Lynnfield processor that many of us have been waiting for since the release of Nehalem last year. This time around we find better frequency scaling, lower prices and performance that will simply blow you away for the money and power it will cost you to run it. Intel's dominance simply can't be debated anymore.
Western Digital brings 7200RPM to two of their product lines in the form of 2TB models. These drives come backed with some exciting new technology that promises to increase performance beyond that of a simple spindle speed increase. In this review we will explore these new features and see their impact on real world performance.
P55s are getting cheaper already
MSI is next on the list of companies that have sent us P55 motherboards in preparation for the upcoming Lynnfield processor launch. The P55-GD65 isn't the highest end offering from the company but it packs a lot of punch for a sub-$160 motherboard due out in just a matter of days!
Introduction and Features
Kingwin now offers six new power supply units in their Mach 1 series, ranging in output capacities from 600W all the way up 1,220W. The ABT-1000MA1S PSU we have up for review comes with a full compliment of modular cables, a 140mm fan, and is certified for high efficiency (80 Plus Bronze) and is nVIDIA SLI Ready. The Kingwin 1,000W modular power supply offers plenty of power with lots of bling at an affordable price, which all adds up to good value.
Introduction and Specifications
Scores of ATX and micro ATX motherboards sporting the 785G chipset have drenched the market, and most are available for under $100. One company who jumped on the 785G bandwagon was ECS, who sent us one of their first A785GM-M Black Series motherboards to review. This particular board has many features that used to be reserved for higher-end ATX boards like support for AMD 140w processors, AMD Hybrid Crossfire technology, and DirectX 10.1 capabilities.
Introduction and Features
The EVO 1,250W PSU delivers a lot of power with good regulation, good efficiency, and plenty of cables/connectors. This monster is about as big as you will be able to operate from a standard 120 VAC, 15A residential circuit in NA.