Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Mobile | September 12, 2012 - 07:20 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: lucid, external graphics
Lucid looks to utilize Thunderbolt and its PCIe-format interface with external video cards. Their ideal future would allow for customers to purchase Ultrabook or other laptop device to bring around town. Upon reaching home the user could sit the laptop on their desk; plug in a high-end video card for performance; and surround their Ultrabook in other monitors.
While there are situations for acceleration hardware to be inside the device that is not necessary.
There have been numerous attempts in the past to provide a dockable graphics accelerator. ASUS, AMD, Vidock, as well as many others have attempted this feat but all had drawbacks and/or difficulty getting to market. Just prior to Intel Developer Forum, Laptop Magazine was given a demonstration from Lucid with their own attempt.
How about some Thunderbolt?
Mobile GPUs are really the only thing keeping a good laptop from being a gaming machine.
There’s good need for desktop CPUs with lots of RAM – but these days, not to game.
I have been excited each time a product manufacturer claims to have a non-proprietary method to accelerate laptop graphics. Laptops are appealing for so many purposes and it is frustrating to have devices come so close but fall so short of being a reasonable gaming machine.
The demo that Lucid showed off ran 3DMark 06 on an Intel HD 4000 with an external AMD Radeon HD 6700. On integrated graphics the gaming performance hovered just south of 30 FPS. With the Radeon HD 6700 – as expected – performance greatly increased to almost 90 FPS.
It should be much more compelling for a PC store to say “For somewhere near the price of a console, you could dock your laptop which you already own into this box when you want to game and instantly have all PC gaming and Home Theatre PC benefits.”
And it should have happened a long time ago.
Subject: Graphics Cards | September 6, 2012 - 07:01 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: msi, gtx 660 Ti, GK104, factory overclocked, Twin Frozr, 660 Ti Power Edition OC
MSI's GTX 660 Ti Power Edition OC will set you back $300, the same price as most other GTX 660 Ti cards, however that is where the similarity stops. This card sports the famous Twin Frozr IV cooling system, Military Class III components, Triple Overvoltage with Afterburner support and is overclocked above the reference design. If you like the sounds of the card so far does knowing that [H]ard|OCP managed to push the card frequencies farther past the factory overclock than the factory overclock was above the reference design?
"MSI is offering a custom cooled and factory overclocked rendition on the recently released NVIDIA GTX 660 Ti. We examine how well MSI's Twin Frozr IV cooling technology allows us to overclock this new generation video card. We will compare it to a Radeon HD 7950, an overclocked Radeon HD 7870, and a GeForce GTX 670."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- MSI GTX 670 Power Edition OC Review @ Hardware Canucks
- GTX 660 Ti 5-Way Roundup (ASUS, EVGA, Gigabyte, Galaxy, MSI) @ Hardware Canucks
- GALAXY GTX 660 Ti GC OC vs. OC GTX 670 & HD 7950 @ [H]ard|OCP
- NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 660 2GB @ Tweaktown
- NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 660 2GB @ Tweaktown
- GIGABYTE GTX 680 Super Overclocked Edition @ [H]ard|OCP
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti at High AA Settings @ [H]ard|OCP
- EVGA GeForce GTX 680 Superclocked Signature 2 @ X-bit Labs
- Matrox DualHead2Go Digital ME and Matrox DualHead2Go Digital SE @ Hardware.info
- Arctic Accelero Hybrid VGA Cooler Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Intel OpenGL Performance: OS X vs. Windows vs. Linux @ Phoronix
- Arctic Accelero Hybrid Graphics Card Cooler @ Bjorn3D
- ntel’s HD 4000; Four Months Later @ SemiAccurate
- Desktop Graphics Card Comparison Guide @ TechARP
- AMD’s Enduro Switchable Graphics Levels Up @ AnandTech
- Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Vapor-X OC with Boost @ Tweaktown
- Sapphire HD 7970 Vapor-X GHZ Edition Review @ OCC
- Inno3D GeForce GTX 660 Ti iChill 3GB @ Guru of 3D
- Club 3D HD 7750 Low Profile 1 GB @ techPowerUp
- Sapphire HD7770 Videocard @ Rbmods
- Club 3D Radeon HD 7970 royalAce @ Hardware.Info
- PowerColor Devil 13 HD 7990 Graphics Card Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Powercolor HD 7990 Devil 13 6 GB @ techPowerUp
- apphire Radeon HD 7750 Low Profile Review @ OCC
- HIS Radeon HD 7970 X Turbo edition @ Guru of 3D
- Sapphire HD 7770 GHz FleX Edition Graphics Card Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Sapphire Radeon HD 7750 Low Profile Video Card @ Pro-Clockers
- Sapphire HD 7950 Vapor-X 3 GB @ techPowerUp
Subject: Graphics Cards | September 3, 2012 - 07:16 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: powercolor pcs+, powercolor, gpu boost, amd, 7950 with boost, 7950
Earlier this month AMD announced that it was upgrading the Radeon HD 7950 graphics card to run at higher clockspeeds and with boost capability. The PowerTune with Boost technology uses digital temperature estimation and dynamic voltage control to increase the GPU core clockspeed above the base clockspeed in most applications.
Using a new BIOS, manufacturers would be able to refresh their existing lineups to enable PowerTune with Boost and higher clockspeeds. Original graphics cards along with the refreshed boost-capable GPUs will be sold in parallel (the original 7950s are not being phased out completely yet). And in a somewhat similar situation to unlockable 6950 reference cards, users could attempt to flash the new boost-capable BIOS to their original HD 7950s – though it is not guaranteed to work (and that's where the OEM certification becomes useful).
AMD Add In Board (AIB) partner PowerColor (who recently launched the Devil 13 7990) has released its second Radeon HD 7950 graphics card with boost in the form of its custom – and factory overclocked – PCS+ graphics card. The original PCS+ and new "Boost State" graphics card will be sold simultaneously, and (fortunately) you will be able to tell them apart by the red Boost State sticker on the box and the new "Boost State" labeling tacked onto the product name at online retailers. The new PowerColor PCS+ HD7950 3GB GDDR5 Boost State graphics card steps up the factory overclock to 900 MHz base while keeping the same PCS+ cooler and PCB design. The triple-slot design incorporates a cooler with dual 92mm fans and three 8mm heatpipes connected to an aluminum fin array. The PCB hosts the 7950 GPU, 3GB of GDDR5 RAM clocked at 1250 MHz, 6+2+1 power phase, digital PWM circuitry, and ferrite core chokes. A dual BIOS switch and two 6-pin PCI-E power connectors are also present. Video outputs include two mini-DisplayPorts, one HDMI, and one DVI.
Those specifications remain unchanged, and the new graphics card is essentially a PCS+ HD7950 that has been certified to run with the updated BIOS at the new GPU clockspeeds (and with boost). It may be possible to flash an original PCS+ 7950 with the updated BIOS and get the same performance as the new card but there are, obviously, no guarantees. However, because of the dual BIOS switch the risk of permanent damage is minimal (though the warranty would likely be void).
There is no word on pricing or when exactly you will be able to buy the new "Boost State" cards, but they should start showing up at retailers soon. Expect pricing to be a bit above the original PCS+ GPU's (approx.) $330 retail price.
Multiple Contenders - EVGA SC
One of the most anticipated graphics card releases of the year occurred this month in the form of the GeForce GTX 660 Ti from NVIDIA, and as you would expect we were there on the day one with an in-depth review of the card at reference speeds.
The GeForce GTX 660 Ti is based on GK104, and what you might find interesting is that it is nearly identical to the specifications of the GTX 670. Both utilize 7 SMX units for a total of 1344 stream processors – or CUDA cores – and both run at a reference clock speed of 915 MHz base and 980 MHz Boost. Both include 112 texture units though the GeForce GTX 660 Ti does see a drop in ROP count from 32 to 24. Also, L2 cache drops from 512KB to 384KB along with a memory bus width drop from 256-bit to 192-bit.
We already spent quite a lot of time talking about the GTX 660 Ti compared to the other NVIDIA and AMD GPUs in the market in our review (linked above) as well as on our most recent episode of the PC Perspective Podcast. Today's story is all about the retail cards we received from various vendors including EVGA, Galaxy, MSI and Zotac. We are going to show you each card's design, the higher clocked settings that were implemented, performance differences between them and finally the overclocking comparisons of all four.
Subject: Graphics Cards | August 28, 2012 - 07:31 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: triple fan, nvidia, mars 3, gtx 680, dual gpu, custom cooler, asus
If rumors hold true, NVIDIA’s GTX 690 will soon be joined by a custom dual GTX 680 card from ASUS. First shown off at Computex, the Mars III combines two GTX 680 graphics chips, 8GB RAM, and a massive triple fan cooler. Expect it to cost quite a bit but offer up some impressive performance numbers.
ASUS has a long history of taking high-end graphics chips to the extreme, even going so far as to put more than one graphics processor on the same PCB. The third iteration of its custom dual GPU "MARS" series graphics cards, the MARS III was first shown off at Computex. At the time, the company indicated that the dual NVIDIA GPU card was not quite ready for final release as the GPU cooling solution and PCB in particular required further tweaking.
Going by the recently leaked photos, ASUS has been hard at work refining the custom design, and it certainly looks ready for prime time. The MARS III takes two Kepler architecture-based GTX 680 GPUs, beefed up power phases, and a total of 32 RAM chips (8 per GPU) for 8GB of total RAM, and places it on a single black PCB. Further, the two GTX 680 GPUs are configured in SLI using a PLX PEX8747 bridge chip. While it does not have more CUDA cores than the NVIDIA reference GTX 690 (which we recently reviewed), it should have a bit more overclocking headroom in addition to the extra 4GB of GDDR5 memory. I would expect that it will cost more than the GTX 690 as a result of its custom design and extra memory, but so far there is no word on what that price might be.
Needless to say, all that hardware is going to require a lot of power. Internally, each GPU will be fed electricity using an 8+2 power phase. Further, the board continues to feature the three 8-pin PCI-E power connectors which allows the dual-GPU graphics card to draw up to 525 Watts of power. While the color of the cooler has been changed from the model seen at Computex to a red and black color scheme, the red overclocking button is still there on the side of the card. It will spin the fans up to 100% to allow you to push the NVIDIA GPUs as far as possible.
Video outputs include three DVI and a single mini-DisplayPort connector for NVIDIA Surround gaming and a fourth accessory monitor.
The dual GTX 680 graphics card at Computex.
Sources speaking with Videocardz have confirmed that the card is nearly ready for retail availability, and is only waiting NVIDIA’s go ahead.
Now that the rumored 7990 is on the way (or at least a custom version of the 7990), I would bet that we will be seeing this custom ASUS card sooner rather than later – and that NVIDIA’s “okay” to unleash this beastly graphics card should not be difficult to get.
[Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to clean the drool off of my desk.]
Subject: Graphics Cards | August 23, 2012 - 03:10 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: GeForce GTX 660 Ti GC, galaxy, overclock, nvidia, 660ti
The majority of the GTX 660 Ti models run faster than the stock clocks, with some having a Boost Clock approaching 1.1GHz and some sporting memory overclocks as well. This lead [H]ard|OCP to ask two questions; just how fast can the card go and are you better off with faster memory or a faster processor. When they left the GPU as is, they could hit an effective speed of 7.71GHz and when they returned the memory to the base speed they pushed the core to 1.3GHz. Along the way they discovered that the reported clocks might be a bit lower than the actual clocks, which is a nice bonus to owners. Read on to see what happened when they overclocked both components.
"We've evaluated the GALAXY GeForce GTX 660 Ti 3GB video card, now it is time to overclock it to its maximum potential with XtremeTuner Plus and find out how it compares to the GTX 670 and Radeon HD 7950. We will also find out if it is best to concentrate on the GPU clock speed or its 192-bit memory speed to get the best performance gains."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- NVidia GTX 660Ti SLI Performance and Overclocking @ Ninjalane
- ZOTAC GeForce GTX 660 Ti AMP Edition @ Bjorn3D
- Palit GEFORCE GTX 660 Ti 2GB JetStream Overclocked @ Tweaktown
- NVIDIA SLI: GeForce GTX 660 Ti vs GTX 670 @ Benchmark Reviews
- SUS GeForce GTX 660 Ti DirectCU II TOP @ Bjorn3D
- EVGA GeForce GTX 660 Ti SC @ Guru of 3D
- MSI GTX 660 Ti Power Edition @ Bjorn3D
- EVGA GTX 670 FTW Graphics Card and Z77 FTW Motherboard @ HardwareHeaven
- EVGA GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB SC Edition Launch Review @ Neoseeker
- MSI GEFORCE GTX 660 Ti 2GB Power Edition @ Tweaktown
- Radeon HD 7950 with Boost vs GeForce GTX 660 Ti @ Guru3D
- GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 660 Ti Windforce OC @ Bjorn3D
- Fast and Quiet: Inno3D iChill GeForce GTX 670 HerculeZ 3000 @ X-bit Labs
- Kepler for the Masses: Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 Ti from Zotac @ X-bit Labs
- NVIDIA Chips Comparison Table @ Hardware Secrets
- Workstation Graphics Card Comparison Guide @ TechARP
- i3DSpeed, July 2012 @ iXBT Labs
- HIS 7970 X Turbo 3GB IceQ X2 @ Kitguru
- PowerColor HD 7950 3GB Boost State Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Sapphire Radeon HD 7750 1GB Low Profile Review @Hi Tech Legion
- AMD HD7770 & HD7750 Roundup: Sapphire, XFX and HIS @ Kitguru
- Sapphire HD 7970 Toxic 6 GB @ techPowerUp
- PowerColor to Launch Dual GPU HD 7990 Very Soon? @ Hardware Canucks
Subject: Graphics Cards | August 23, 2012 - 11:17 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: radeon hd 7990, hd 7990, graphics card, dual gpu, amd
Today, more rumors emerged on the ever elusive dual-GPU AMD graphics card. Reportedly, graphics card vendor PowerColor will be one of the Add In Board (AIB) partners producing the Radeon HD 7990. Previous rumors suggested that the HD 7990 would be comprised of two Radeon HD 7970 GPUs and it would be available in late August 2012. While there is no confirmation on the release date, the PowerColor 7990 "Devil 13" graphics card is using two 7970 GPUs in CrossFire on a single PCB.
Back in July, some details emerged on the 7990 that the PowerColor card rumors do not seem to disprove. Some highlights from the rumor mill so far include:
- The 7990 will use two 7970 Tahiti XT GPUs connected by a PLX chip.
- 6GB of GDDR5 memory (3GB per GPU)
- 4,096 stream processors, 64 ROP units
- (at least) a dual slot design with three fan cooler
- Four mini DisplayPorts and two Dual Link DVI video outputs
- Four 6-pin PCI-E power connectors
The earlier post did also mention that the default clock speed would be 850 MHz, but that does not seem to be the case with the PowerColor model. There may still be Radeon HD 7990 cards that come clocked at that speed, however.
As for the PowerColor model specifically, the new rumors suggest that it will be part of a limited run with a total of 500 cards. Coming in a red and black design, the three slot graphics card will use two 7970 GPUs clocked at 925 MHz in CrossFire. While there is no shot of the other side of the board to see how many PCI-E connectors it has, it will reportedly draw as much as 400 Watts. Using a BIOS switch, you will be able to choose between default and factory overclocked clockspeeds for both the GPU and GDDR5 memory.
Videocardz managed to unearth a photo of the elusive dual GPU AMD card.
When in its default mode, the card will run the GPU at 925 MHz and the memory at 5500 MHz (effective), which is the same as the Radeon HD 7970 single GPU graphics card. After flipping the BIOS switch, the card will use overclocked speeds of 1000 MHz for the GPU and 5500 MHz for the memory (so the GPU is the only part getting overclocked, according to the rumors).
According to Videocardz, the PowerColor 7990 has been refined somewhat compared to a showing at Computex earlier this year. From the photos comparison, it looks as though the company has changed out the red PCI back plate for a standard silver color rather than the custom red version. Also, the three fans are slightly different models. It appears as though the card will provide two DVI outputs as well as a full-size HDMI and two mini DisplayPort outputs. The site claims that AMD will not be releasing any reference version and has given its partners free reign to engineer and design custom versions (perhaps we’ll see a massive 12GB version heh).
While there is no word on when this card will be released, according to sources speaking with Hardware Canucks, the Powercolor 7990 “Devil 13” will cost between $899 and $999 in the US. While not the card that many were likely hoping for (because of the price), it may well be the best that users hoping for a dual Graphics Core Next card will be able to get–assuming you can get your hands on one of 500 available cards. NVIDIA has had its own dual GPU GTX 690 on the market for some time now, and it is looking more and more likely that AMD is not going to have an answer any time soon in any big way (outside of limited edition runs from partners that design their own custom versions), and that’s unfortunate.
I speculated that users would be better off with two single Radeon 7970s in CrossFire, and I still believe that is likely the best option right now. Especially if you opt for the 7950 with PowerTune boost (which we recently reviewed) or 7970 GHz Edition cards with boost as it is looking like the 7990 will not have that functionality.
What do you think though, are you still holding out for the ever-elusive 7990?
You can find more coverage of the AMD Radeon HD 7990 by following the 7990 tag!
Subject: Graphics Cards | August 22, 2012 - 06:31 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: radeon, price cuts, amd
While this move could hurt AMD's bottom line, there is only good news for gamers looking to upgrade their system with a new (or another) GPU from AMD. With the release of NVIDIA's GTX 660 Ti at a price close to that of the HD 7870 and performance closer to an HD 7950, AMD has once again cut the pricing of their cards. The price cuts should kick in by the end of the week, so hold off purchasing those cards for another week to benefit from the new pricing and to give NVIDIA a chance to respond as well.
You've gotta love it when graphics hardware pricing starts trending away from the $500 mark!
There are two HD7950 available on NewEgg for $320, though if you include MIR this XFX model is the least expensive while most others are sitting at $330 after MIR. The 7870 GHz editions are starting to move towards the $230 mark which is better than promised and seem to have pushed the HD7850 out of the picture at $210 as that extra $20 gets you a lot more performance.
Be sure to check out our reviews on these recent graphics cards to find out which fit your specific needs!
- GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB
- Radeon HD 7950 3GB with Boost
- Radeon HD 7970 3GB GHz Edition
- GeForce GTX 670 2GB
- GeForce GTX 690 4GB
- GeForce GTX 680 2GB
Subject: Editorial, Graphics Cards | August 16, 2012 - 08:45 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: video, nvidia, live review, live, kepler, gtx 660 Ti, GK104
A PC Perspective Live Review Recap is a recorded version of a previously live streamed event from http://pcper.com/live. If you couldn't make the original air time, or simply want to re-watch, the on-demand version is provided below!
Today has been a busy day for the PC Perspective crew. Not only have we published like 100 graphics card reviews in the last three days but we also held a live event at the offices to host NVIDIA's Tom Petersen to discuss and debate the release of the new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti.
If you need to catch up, you should check out our GeForce GTX 660 Ti review posted earlier today to learn all about this $299 GPU that offers very compelling performance that competes with the HD 7950 and leaves the HD 7870 a fairly distant second. Based on the same GK104 chip as the GTX 680 and the GTX 670, the GeForce GTX 660 Ti should find a lot of new homes this week.
For this event we not only gave a short presentation with some demos and review discussion, we also featured questions from the hardware subreddit and gave away an EVGA GeForce GTX 660 Ti to a lucky viewer!
Stay tuned to PC Perspective for more events and contests and the best reviews anywhere on PC hardware!!
Subject: Graphics Cards | August 16, 2012 - 06:58 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nvidia, gtx 660 Ti, DirectCU II, asus
Fremont, CA (August 16, 2012) - The ASUS DirectCU II range of graphics cards continues to expand with the ASUS GeForce GTX 660 Ti DirectCU II series featuring the Standard, OC and TOP editions. Utilizing the latest 28nm graphics technology from NVIDIA, the OC and TOP cards deliver a factory-overclock while all three cards feature exclusive DirectCU thermal design and GPU Tweak tuning software to deliver a quieter, faster, and more immersive gameplay experience that redefines the term affordable performance.
Superior Design and Software for the Best Gaming Experience ASUS equips the GeForceGTX 660 Ti DirectCU II series with 2GB of GDDR5 memory clocked at 6008MHz. The TOP edition features a blistering GPU core boost clock of 1137MHz, 157MHz faster than reference designs while the OC edition arrives with a factory-set GPU core boost speed of 1058MHz. Exclusive ASUS DIGI+ VRM digital power delivery and user-friendly GPU Tweak tuning software allows all cards to easily overclock beyond factory-set speeds offering enhanced performance in your favorite game or compute intensive application.
The ASUS GeForce GTX 660 Ti DirectCU II series feature exclusive DirectCU technology. The custom designed cooler uses direct contact copper heatpipes for faster heat transduction and up to 20% lower operating temperatures than reference designs. The optimized fans are able operate at lower speeds providing a much quieter gaming or computing environment. For enhanced stability, energy efficiency, and overclocking margins the cards feature a six-phase Super Alloy Power design for the capacitors, chokes, and MOSFETs meant to extend product lifespan and durability while operating noise-free even under heavy workloads.
ASUS once again includes the GPU Tweak tuning suite in the box. Overclocking-inclined enthusiasts or gamers can boost clock speeds, set power targets, and configure fan operating parameters and policies; all this and more is accessible in the user-friendly interface. GPU Tweak offers built-in safe guards to ensure all modifications are safe, maintaining optimal stability and card reliability.
Product specifications and features may change without prior notice. Learn more about the ASUS GeForce GTX 660 Ti DirectCU II series and other ASUS products here.