Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards | November 9, 2012 - 03:40 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: video, tahiti, radeon, never settle, live, amd
UPDATE: Did you miss the live stream yesterday? Well don't fret - you can still watch the single player and multi-player action of Medal of Honor Warfighter in the video below. Sorry, all the prizes have been handed out though but check back in at pcper.com for two more upcoming game streams!!
This afternoon on our PC Perspective Live! page we will be streaming some single player and multi-player game action of latest title to use the Frostbite 2 engine, Medal of Honor Warfighter. You can stop in and watch us take on a bit of the campaign in the game and then view my likely repetitive demise in some multi-player matches as well.
Medal of Honor Warfighter Game Stream
12pm PT / 3pm ET - TODAY
The stream today will be sponsored by AMD and their Never Settle game bundles which we previously told you about here. Depending on the AMD Radeon HD 7000 series GPU that you buy this holiday season you could get as much as $170 in gaming content including:
- FREE Sleeping Dogs
- FREE Hitman: Absolution
- FREE Far Cry 3
- 20% off Medal of Honor Warfighter
AMD's Robert Hallock (@Thracks on twitter) will be joining us via Skype to talk about the game's technology, performance considerations as well as making fun of while I get sniped from the windows.
Of course, just to sweeten the deal a bit we have some prizes lined up for those of you that participate in our Medal of Honor Game Stream today as well.
- 3 x Complete Never Settle Bundles (Sleeping Dogs, Hitman, Far Cry 3, 20% Off MoH)
- 5 x Sleeping Dogs keys
- 5 x Hitman: Absolution keys
- 5 x Far Cry 3 keys
Pretty nice, huh? That's a LOT of games and all you have to do to win is be present on the PC Perspective Live! Page during the event as we will announce both the content/sweepstakes method AND the winner!
Stop in today for some PC gaming fun!!
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 22, 2012 - 05:36 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: graphics drivers, Catalyst 12.11 Beta, Catalyst 12.10, amd
Feature Highlights of AMD Catalyst 12.10: Ready for Windows 8
For AMD Radeon HD 5000, HD 6000 and HD 7000 Series users, Microsoft has certified today’s AMD Catalyst 12.10 release as “compatible with Windows 8.” With this driver, these products offer full support for WDDM 1.2, which is an updated model for graphics drivers that Microsoft has developed to ensure smooth performance and wide compatibility in their new operating system.
- Target-Independent Rasterization (TIR): TIR is a new rendering path that enables superior anti-aliasing in Direct3D driver applications
- Native Stereo 3D Support: Windows 8 natively supports stereoscopic 3D gaming and videos via compatible applications
- Unified Video API: Video playback has been integrated into the DirectX 11 API, enabling simultaneous video and gaming content. Transcoding performance may also be improved for supporting applications.
- Optimized screen rotation for rotation aware devices Improved sleep/resume performance
- Optimized GPU power consumption
Major technologies / features also supported under Windows 8:
- AMD Eyefinity technology
- Unified Video Decoder (UVD)
- AMD Dual Graphics
- AMD CrossFire technology
- AMD Overdrive
- AMD Catalyst Control Center
- Vision Engine Control Center
Feature Highlights of AMD Catalyst 12.10: AMD Catalyst Mobility support for AMD Enduro Technology
AMD Catalyst Mobility now includes support for AMD Enduro Technology. AMD Enduro Technology is currently supported on all notebook Intel IvyBridge platforms and AMD Comal platforms that support the AMD Radeon HD 7900M, 7800M, 7700M.
AMD Enduro Technology for Notebooks delivers:
- Unbeatable battery life
- GPU accelerated performance for gaming, video, and compute apps
- A Seamless and automatic experience
New Enduro Technology features found in Catalyst 12.10:
Re-designed Catalyst Control Center user interface View all profiled applications View recently run applications Profile applications based on power source Expert mode control and customization Performance centric AC Battery centric DC
AMD’s latest Catalyst Application Profile:AMD Catalyst 12.10 CAP1 (to be used with AMD Catalyst 12.11 Beta as well)
Find the latest available AMD Catalyst CAP here http://support.amd.com/us/gpudownload/windows/Pages/radeonaiw_vista64.aspx
- Crysis 2: Resolves performance issues seen in CrossFire mode
- Darksiders 2: Resolves screen flickering seen in CrossFire mode
- Max Payne 3: Resolves Menu flickering when Anti-Aliasing is enabled through the Catalyst Control Center
- FIFA 13: Improves CrossFire performance, and improve single GPU performance ·
- Project C.A.R.S.: Resolves screen flickering seen in CrossFire mode
- Natural Selection 2 - Resolves Menu flickering when Anti-Aliasing is enabled through the Catalyst Control Center
Resolved issue highlights of AMD Catalyst 12.10 (from AMD Catalyst 12.8)
Tri and Quad CrossFire + Eyefinity configurations
- Users will no longer see lower than expected performance in certain DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 applications
- FireFox - corruption is no longer observed on CrossFire configurations
- Enabling Overdrive settings no longer increases clocks in all power states
- AMD Video Converter support is available in AMD Catalyst 12.9 Beta Windows 7 and Windows Vista packages
- Resolves the system delay observed when opening the Windows Audio system tray on Multi-GPU configurations to configure HDMI Audio settings
Feature Highlights of AMD Catalyst 12.10 Linux Driver: New OS Support
This release of AMD Catalyst Linux introduces support for the following new operating systems
Ubuntu 12.10 early look support RHEL 6.3 production support
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 22, 2012 - 03:47 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, Matrix HD 7970 Platinum, amd, factory overclocked
The ASUS Matrix HD 7970 Platinum is an impressive card, physically as well as the performance it offers. It is a triple slot card measuring 11.25" long and 5.5" deep, so you might want to measure the space you have before thinking of purchasing one, it also weighs in at over 3lbs (1.4kg) which you should also keep in mind. While it is factory overclocked to 1050MHz on the GPU and memory of 6.6GHz, if you plan on leaving those numbers untouched you are missing out on the real reason to pick up this particular HD 7970. When [H]ard|OCP put the 20-phase Super Alloy Power technology and chokes to the test they hit 1310MHz on the GPU and pushed the memory to 7GHz, far beyond what any other HD 7970 they've reviewed could manage. That overclock was definitely noticeable when they benchmarked the card, which helped it win a Gold Award as the best HD 7970 they've seen ... even if it is hard to find for purchase.
"ASUS is launching its highest-end ASUS MATRIX HD 7970 Platinum video card today, poised to give you the best experience possible out of a Radeon HD 7970. This highly customized video card is geared directly towards the hardware enthusiast. Come see the highest overclock we've ever achieved on a 7970 GHz Edition based video card."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- ASUS Radeon HD 7970 ROG MATRIX Platinum @ Guru of 3D
- Asus Matrix HD 7970 Platinum Review @ OCC
- ASUS MATRIX HD 7970 Platinum @ Bjorn3D
- ASUS HD 7970 Matrix Platinum 3 GB @ techPowerUp
- Asus Matrix HD7970 Platinum @ Kitguru
- Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 3GB Vapor-X Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
- Gigabyte HD 7970 Super Overclock Review @ Hardware Canucks
- HIS Radeon HD 7750 iCooler 1GB Low Profile Review @ NikKTech
- Sapphire HD 7950 Vapor-X @ Bjorn3D
- HIS 7970 IceQ X2 3GB GHz Edition Review @ HardwareLOOK
- AMD Radeon HD 7660D On Linux @ Phoronix
- AMD Catalyst: Ubuntu 12.10 vs. Windows 7 @ Phoronix
- AMD 12.11 "Never Settle" Driver Performance @ Hardware Canucks
- AMD Catalyst 12.11 Never Settle Driver Performance article and Bundle @ Guru of 3D
- AMD Never Settle Game Bundle & Catalyst 12.11 Driver Performance @ Legit Reviews
- AMD Catalyst 12.11 Performance Analysis @ techPowerUp
- NVIDIA Chips Comparison Table @ Hardware Secrets
- MSI GeForce GTX 650 Ti Power Edition 1GB @ Bjorn3D
- EVGA Geforce GTX 650Ti SuperSuperClocked Video Card Review @Hi Tech Legion
- Gigabyte GeForce GTX 650Ti Video Card Review @Hi Tech Legion
- MSI GTX 650 Power Edition OC Review @ OCC
- GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 650 Ti OC 2GB @ Bjorn3D
- ZOTAC GeForce GTX 650 Ti AMP! Edition 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- GeForce GTX 660 Ti Graphics Cards from Asus, EVGA, Gigabyte, Inno3D, KFA2, MSI, Palit and Zotac @ X-bit Labs
- MSI GeForce GTX 660 HAWK 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- MSI GeForce GTX 650Ti Power Edition OC Video Card Review @Hi Tech Legion
- ASUS GTX 650 Ti DirectCU II TOP @ Guru of 3D
- Inno3D GTX 680 iChill Black Edition and GTX 660 Ti iChill Graphics Card Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Gigabyte GTX 650 OC @ Funky Kit
- MSI GeForce GTX 650 Power Edition OC Video Card Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- Inno3D iChill HerculeZ GeForce GTX 660 @ Guru of 3D
- MSI GeForce GTX 660 HAWK Edition @ Guru of 3D
- MSI GEFORCE GTX 650 1GB Power Edition @ Tweaktown
A curious new driver from AMD
In case you missed the news, AMD is going to be making a big push with their Radeon brand from now until the end of the year starting with an incredibly strong game bundle that includes as many as three full games and 20% off the new Medal of Honor. The second part of this campaign is a new driver specifically the 12.11 beta that will be posted to the public later this week.
AMD is claiming to have made some substantial improvements on quite a few games including the very popular Battlefield 3 and the upcoming Medal of Honor (both of which use the same base engine). But keep in mind that 15% is a LOT and this is the best case scenario in specific maps and you may not see benefits on others.
There are going to be some debates about the validity of these performance boosts from AMD until we can get some more specific details on WHAT has changed. Essentially the company line is that they have finally "caught up" to the GCN GPU architecture introduced with the Radeon HD 7970 in January of 2012. We traditionally see this happen with new GPU architectures from both vendors but for it to have taken this long is troublesome and will surely cause some raised eyebrows from gamers and the competition.
We decided to run through the Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition with this new 12.11 beta driver to compare it to the 12.9 beta driver we had just completed testing on a few weeks ago. AMD claims performance advantages for all the GCN cards including the 7700/7800/7900 cards though we only had time to test a single card for our initial article. The results are on the following pages...
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 22, 2012 - 12:00 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: never settle, HD 7970, hd 7950, hd 7870, hd 7850, hd 7770, bundle, amd
AMD has a couple of surprises for gamers today, both using the "Never Settle" branding. Later this morning you will see an article that looks at a new driver revision - 12.11 beta - that will be published this week (it maybe online already). Promising performance increases is 20% and more, it should be an interesting discussion.
Another big push for AMD going into the holiday season will be the Never Settle game bundle; a collection of games included with a graphics card purchase unlike you have ever seen before. And we aren't talking about scrub games here, with the HD 7900 series of cards you'll see Far Cry 3, Hitman: Absolution, Sleeping Dogs and Medal of Honor Warfighter.
Starting today, if you buy an AMD Radeon HD 7900 series of graphics cards, including the HD 7990, HD 7970 and HD 7950, you will get three full games absolutely free! Far Cry 3, Hitman: Absolution and Sleeping Dogs to be exact. Also, you will get a 20% discount on a copy of the new Medal of Honor: Warfighter. And because I already asked, AMD assures us that this is the ONLY discount on Medal of Honor that will be available this year.
Buyers on tighter budgets aren't going to be left out and if you pick up an HD 7800 series or an HD 7770 GHz Edition (not a 7750), you'll get a free copy of Far Cry 3 as well as the 20% off offer on Medal of Honor.
And just to mix things up, if you buy a PAIR of Radeon HD 7800s or a pair of HD 7770 GHz Editions AMD will add in a free copy of Hitman.
I realize that not every gamer is interested in every game that is released, but the value of the Never Settle bundle is really unmatched in anything I have seen before. Valued at $170, the package that you can get by purchasing a Radeon HD 7950 3GB for $299 in theory brings the total out of pocket price of the GPU to $129!!
As I have mentioned previously, bundles are not a cure-all for performance issues, but they can definitely swing a buyer's decision when the other factors are close. I think AMD will have a HUGE advantage going into the holiday buying season even though NVIDIA has the Assassin's Creed 3 bundle (with the GTX 650 Ti) and the Borderlands 2 bundle (with the GTX 660 Ti and above).
See what happens when you have healthy competition in the market? Gamer's always come out ahead!
Subject: Editorial, Graphics Cards | October 20, 2012 - 12:33 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: hitman, amd, extravalanza, hitman: absolution, video
We are at the first AMD ExtravaLANza today getting some hands on time with some cool new hardware as well as new games like Far Cry 3, Tomb Raider and Hitman: Absolution. We attended a session with the Hitman developer IO Interactive where some interesting information about the DX11 features. I recorded a video of the presentation for those interested in seeing it in its entirety.
The brand new Glacier2 engine has some impressive new features including:
- DX11 hardware tessellation on character models
- A global illumination engine using light propagation volumes
- AA options including FXAA and MSAA 2x-8x
- Eyefinity and HD3D
There is more, but you can hear it all in the video above. IO Interactive wanted to assure PC gamers that they are developing the game to be a first class PC title with higher quality imaging, controls and texture detail; this doesn't look to be a standard console port.
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 10, 2012 - 09:33 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nvidia, driver, win8
It is not just that the latest GeForce drivers will work on Windows 8, these are the third WHQL certified drivers so you can be pretty much guaranteed to have the same compatibility and control over your GPU after making the switch as you do with Win7 and previous versions. The GeForce 306.97 drivers are good for Win7 and Win8 and offers the list of fixes and improvements which you can see below. Owners of Doom 3: BFG Edition who want to play in NVIDIA 3D should definitely upgrade as NVIDIA specifically mentions the quality improvements you will enjoy upon upgrading.
Adds support for the new GeForce GTX 650 Ti GPU.
Updates SLI profile for Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Future Soldier.
Updates 3D Vision profiles for the following PC games:
- Check vs. Mate - Rated Excellent
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive - Rated Good
- Doom 3: BFG Edition - Rated Excellent
- English Country Tune - Rated Good
- F1 2012 - Rated Good
- Iron Brigade - Rated Fair
- Jagged Alliance: Crossfire - Rated Good
- Orcs Must Die 2! - Rated Good
- Planetside 2 - Rated Not Recommended
- Prototype 2 - Rated Poor
- Sleeping Dogs - Rated Good
- Spec Ops: The Line - Rated Good
- Tiny Troopers - Rated Fair
- Torchlight 2 - Rated Good
- Transformers: Fall of Cybertron - Rated Fair
Another GK106 Completes the Stack
It has been an interesting year for graphics cards and 2012 still has another solid quarter of releases ahead of it. With the launch of AMD's 7000-series back in January, followed by the start of NVIDIA's Kepler lineup in March, we have had new graphics cards on a very regular basis ever since. And while AMD's Radeon HD 7000 cards seemed to be bunched together a bit better, NVIDIA has staggered the release of the various Kepler cards, either because of capacity at the manufacturing facilities or due to product marketing plans - take your pick.
Today we see the completion of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 600 stack (if you believe the PR at NVIDIA) with the release of the GeForce GTX 650 Ti, a $150 graphics card that fills in the gap between the somewhat anemic GTX 650 and GT 640 cards and the most recently unveiled card, the GTX 660 2GB that currently sells for $229.
The GTX 650 Ti has more in common with the GTX 660 than it does the GTX 650, both being based on the GK106 GPU, but is missing some of the unique features that NVIDIA has touted of the 600-series cards like GPU Boost. Let's dive into the product and see if this new card will be the best option for those of you with $150 graphics budgets.
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 7, 2012 - 10:37 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: nvidia, kepler, gtx 650ti, gpu, gk106-220
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti is rumored to launch soon, and so far specifications have leaked on the reference design as well as two custom cards from ASUS and Galaxy. Zotac is the latest manufacturer to have its GTX 650 Ti lineup leaked, and the company is bringing as many as three graphics cards to the GK106-220 Kepler family. In all, Zotac is rumored to be launching one 1GB GTX 650 Ti and two 2GB GPUs – all with vared levels of factory overclocks. Video outputs on all three cards include two DVI and two HDMI connectors.
The Zotac GTX 650 Ti 1GB stays close to the reference design, but bumps up the GPU core clockspeed to 941 MHz. It also includes 1 GB of GDDR5 memory on a 128-bit interface clocked at 1350 MHz (5400 MHz effective), which matches the reference design. The price of this card is said to be $160, and features a custom cooler from Zotac that is similar (but smaller than) to the cooler used on the company's GTX 660 Ti GPU wich we recently reviewed.
The Zotac GTX 650 Ti 2GB is, as the name suggests, a GTX 650 Ti graphics card with 2GB of GDDR5 memory. It features Zotac's custom cooler, and a single PCI-E 6-pin power connector. The GPU clockspeed is 941 MHz and the memory clockspeed is 1350 MHz. The extra 1GB of graphics memory is nice, but it is still on a 128-bit interface so don't expect too much of a performance boost. MSRP of this card is rumored to be $180.
Finally, the GTX 650 Ti 2GB AMP! Edition is Zotac's highest-end GTX 650 Ti graphics card. It comes with the GK106-220 Kepler GPU and 2GB of GDDR5 memory on a 128-bit bus. Powered by a single 6-pin PEG connector, the factory overclocked graphics card is clocked at 1033 MHz for the GPU and 1550 MHz (6200 MHz effective) for the memory.The Zotac GTX 650 Ti AMP! Edition comes with the company's custom cooler and is the first card to feature factory overclocked memory. The rumored price of this card is $190. Unfortunately, that puts it fairly close to the price of a reference GTX 660, which may make this card a hard sell. The factory overclocks are impressive, but saving up the extra $30 needed to get a GTX 660 is likely a better idea because it will still offer up better performance thanks to the additional CUDA cores and wider memory bus.
The following chart compares the three Zotac cards to the leaked reference specifications.
|Reference Specifications||Zotac GTX 650 Ti 1GB||Zotac GTX 650 Ti 2GB||Zotac GTX 650 Ti 2GB AMP! Edition|
|CPU Clockspeed||925 MHz||941 MHz||941 MHz||1033 MHz|
|Memory Clockspeed||1350 MHz||1350 MHz||1350 MHz||1550 MHz|
|GDDR5 Amount||1 GB||1 GB||2 GB||2 GB|
Comparison of several GTX 650 Ti graphics cards versus the rumored reference specifications.
Further, this chart compares the leaked specifications of the top end cards from each manufacturer (at least, the ones we know of so far) to the highest-end Zotac GPU: the 2GB AMP! Edition.
|Reference Specifications||ASUS GTX 650 Ti TOP||Galaxy GTX 650 Ti GC 1GB||Gigabyte GTX 650 Ti OC||Zotac GTX 650 Ti 2GB AMP! Edition||POV GTX 650 Ti 1GB Ultra Charged|
|CPU Clockspeed||925 MHz||1033 MHz||966 MHz||1032 MHz||1033 MHz||1058 MHz|
|Memory Clockspeed||1350 MHz||1350 MHz||1350 MHz||1350 MHz||1550 MHz||1350 MHz|
|GDDR5 Amount||1 GB||1 GB||1 GB||2 GB||2 GB||1 GB|
|Video Outputs||2 x DVI, 1 x HDMI||2 x DVI, 1 x HDMI, 1 x VGA||2 x DVI, 1 x HDMI||2 x DVI, 1 x HDMI, 1 x VGA||2 x DVI, 2 x HDMI||1 x DVI, 1 x HDMI, 1 x VGA|
Inno3D is also rumored to have a GTX 650 Ti graphics card coming out, but we don't know clockspeeds or price on it. Only that it has two DVI and one HDMI connector, a single PEG power connector, and a custom cooler.
Overall, the Zotac card measures up well, with pricing being the only major disadvantage. The 2GB of memory, factory overclocks, and two HDMI ports are welcome additions, however. Interestingly, the Zotac card is not the highest clocked graphics card overall, but it is the only one that features overclocked memory. It is unclear to me why manufactuers of NVIDIA cards are so hesitant to push the memory clockspeeds (or if they are even allowed to), but Zotac seems to prove that it is possible to do so.
Also worth pointing out is the rumored pricing, as some of these custom graphics cards are pushing $200 (especially the ASUS card when coverted to USD... I'm sure that has to be in error...), and reference GTX 660 with the full GK106 Kepler core are only $230. It will be interesting to see if these rumored prices turn out to be true, and how well Zotac's factory overclocked 650 Ti models sell.
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 7, 2012 - 04:17 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gigabyte, GTX 660 Windforce OC, factory overclocked, gtx 660
Gigabyte's Windforce cooler has become popular thanks to its efficient performance and low noise, which makes it perfect for a card like the GTX 660 which you would expect to find in a small enclosure. Gigabyte gave a little more power to this non-Ti GTX 660 however, with a base clock of 1033MHz, boosting to 1098MHz and GDDR5 at 6GHz which Guru of 3D managed to increase when they tried overclocking the card and ended up with many benchmarks equalling or surpassing a GTX 660 Ti. At $230 the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 660 Windforce OC is not a bad choice for a system that needs to be quiet and won't be used to play the newest games at high settings,
"We review one more Gigabyte GeForce GTX 660 it is the Windforce OC model The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 660 Windforce OC comes with a dual-slot Windforce cooler that is incredibly silent yet manages to keep the card at very cool temps, and it's even factory overclocked for you. Have a peek as this card should be somewhere at the top of you list. Combined with Ulra Durable component selection you may expect something long-lasting and well performing."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- ASUS GTX 560 Ti 2GB DirectCUII @ Bjorn3D
- Zotac GeForce GT 640 Zone Edition Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
- ARCTIC Accelero Twin Turbo 690 Cooler @ Kitguru
- i3DSpeed, September 2012 @ iXBTlabs
- Workstation Graphics Card Comparison Guide @ TechARP
- Prolimatech MK-26 Video Card Cooler @ TweakTown
- Prolimatech MK-26 VGA Cooler Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Devilishly Effective: Deepcool Dracula Graphics Card Cooler @ X-bit Labs
- Arctic Accelero Hybrid 7970 Liquid Cooling System @ Guru of 3D
- Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Vapor-X Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
- HIS 7750 iCooler 1GB GDDR5 PCI-E Video Card Review @ Madshrimps
- XFX Radeon HD 7850 1GB Core Edition Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
- Sapphire Radeon HD 7770 fleX GHz Edition 1GB Graphics Card Review @ eTeknix
- Sapphire Flex HD 7770 GHz Edition @ Bjorn3D
- Sapphire Radeon HD 7770 Flex Edition 1GB @ Tweaktown
- Sapphire Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition FleX Review @ Neoseeker
- PowerColor HD 7870 PCS+ 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- Sapphire HD 7970 6GB Vapor-X GHZ Edition Review @ OCC
- Arctic Accelero Hybrid 7970 Cooler Review @ OCC
- SAPPHIRE Vapor-X Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition @ [H]ard|OCP