Subject: Graphics Cards | February 11, 2013 - 12:33 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: world of tanks, planetside 2, nvidia, Hawken, gtx, geforce, bundle
AMD has definitely been winning the "game" of game bundles and bonus content with graphics cards purchases, as is evident from the recent Never Settle Reloaded campaign that includes titles like Crysis 3, Bioshock Infinite and Tomb Raider. I made comments that NVIDIA was falling behind and may even start to look like they have moved away from a focus on PC gamers since they hadn't made any reply over the last year...
After losing a bidding war with AMD over Crysis 3, today NVIDIA is unveiling a bundle campaign that attack at a different angle; rather than including in bundled games NVIDIA is working free-to-play titles. How do you give gamers bonuses by including free to play games? Credits! Cold hard cash!
Starting today if you pick up any GeForce GTX graphics card you'll be eligible to get free in-game credit to use in one of the three free-to-play titles partnering with NVIDIA. A GTX 650 or GTX 650 Ti will net you $25 in each for a total bonus of $75 while buying a GTX 660 or higher, all the way up to the GTX 690 results in $50 per game for a total of $150.
Also, after asking NVIDIA about it, this is a PER CARD bundle so if you get an SLI pair of anything, you'll get double the credit. A pair of GeForce GTX 660s for an SLI rig results in $100 per game, $300 total!
This is a very interesting approach that NVIDIA has decided to take and I am eager to get feedback from our readers on the differences between AMD's and NVIDIA's bundles. I have played quite a bit of Planetside 2 and definitely enjoyed it; it is a graphics showcase as well with huge and expansive levels and hundreds of people per server. World of Tanks and Hawken I am less familiar with but they also are extremely popular.
Leave us your comments below! Do you think NVIDIA's new GeForce GTX gaming bundle for free-to-play game credits can be successful!
If you are looking for a new GeForce GTX card today and this bundle convinced you to buy, feel free to use the links below.
- GeForce GTX 690 - $999
- GeForce GTX 680 - $459
- GeForce GTX 670 - $359
- GeForce GTX 660 Ti - $279
- GeForce GTX 660 - $219
- GeForce GTX 650 Ti - $149
- GeForce GTX 650 - $114
Subject: Graphics Cards | February 8, 2013 - 10:03 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: amd, radeon
In a report first spotted by Rage3D from source website 4gamer.net, news is filtering out that AMD may in fact have no new discrete graphics card releases for the remainder of 2013! While talking with the APAC media about the fantastic Never Settle Reloaded game bundle, they showed THIS slide.
That seems to indicate that at the very least through the 3rd quarter of 2013, AMD has no plans to update or add to its discrete graphics card roadmap. We had heard whispers of this fact while at CES in January but this pretty much puts a cap on it. And with the wording of "throughout 2013" it could indicate we won't see new product until 2014.
Also shown, this product comparison between AMD and NVIDIA, put together by AMD, is a bit lopsided and less than 100% accurate in my eyes. With the release of the new 3DMark Fire Strike benchmark AMD has a distinct advantage and it seems the slide here is based completely on that....blech.
Regardless, what does it mean if AMD actually has no new discrete, enthusiast class cards for 2013? We know the rumors are swirling about the NVIDIA GeForce Titan based on the GK110 and sporting 2688 CUDA cores and it will likely take the place as the fastest single GPU card on the market. AMD has been depending on its partners to build multi-GPU options based on Southern Islands like the ASUS ARES II and Powercolor Devil 13 but they have been pretty low volume. Our original review of the HD 7970 launched in December 2011....this could be quite a drought.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Motherboards | February 4, 2013 - 06:36 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: msi, 3dmark
Do you have a beastly system with MSI parts, intense overclocking knowledge, and a desire for even more high-end parts? In honor of the new 3DMark's release, the motherboard and graphics card manufacturer is letting users of their parts enter in a contest for the highest 3DMark scores.
In a partnership with the benchmarking leaderboard site, HWBot, MSI wants to see top scores for the Fire Strike test on the newly released 3DMark. The contest will run until March 3rd for entries looking to post top ranks. Beyond that, anyone with an MSI Z77 motherboard who enters before February 10th will be entered in a “Lucky Draw” for the MSI Z77A-GD55 Motherboard.
Winners of the leader contest will receive the MSI R7970 Lightning Boost Edition card for first place and an MSI Z77A-GD80 for second place. Note that we are not affiliated with this contest, we just think that our readers might like to know.
The Ice Storm Test
Love it or hate it, 3DMark has a unique place in the world of PC gaming and enthusiasts. Since 3DMark99 was released...in 1998...with a target on DirectX 6, Futuremark has been developing benchmarks on a regular basis in time with major API changes and also major harware changes. The most recent release of 3DMark11 has been out since late in 2010 and has been a regular part of our many graphics card reviews on PC Perspective.
Today Futuremark is not only releasing a new version of the benchmark but is also taking fundamentally different approach to performance testing and platforms. The new 3DMark, just called "3DMark", will not only target high-end gaming PCs but integrated graphics platforms and even tablets and smartphones.
We interviewed the President of Futuremark, Oliver Baltuch, over the weekend and asked some questions about this new direction for 3DMark, how mobile devices were going to affect benchmarks going forward and asked about the new results patterns, stuttering and more. Check out the video below!
Make no bones about it, this is a synthetic benchmark and if you have had issues with that in the past because it is not a "real world" gaming test, you will continue to have those complaints. Personally I see the information that 3DMark provides to be very informative though it definitely shouldn't be depended on as the ONLY graphics performance metric.
Subject: Graphics Cards | February 2, 2013 - 02:30 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: tomb raider, never settle reloaded, never settle, Crysis 3, bundle, bioshock infinite, bioshock, amd
You might remember over the holiday season of 2012 that AMD had a simply amazing bundle of games to entice PC gamers to choose purchasing Radeon graphics cards instead of GeForce. That bundle included Medal of Honor, Sleeping Dogs, Hitman: Absolution and Far Cry 3. We were stoked to see that kind of comittment to the gamer and even did a set of three game streams with AMD on each games' release.
Well after a behind-the-scenes battle that was finally decided just about two weeks ago, AMD is ready to announce the "Never Settle Reloaded" bundle that might actually be MORE impressive based on the games included.
First up is the reboot of Tomb Raider, a fresh look at the Lara Croft character that I got to get hands on at an event in Toronto last year. Due out on March 5th, the visuals in this game are damn good.
Bioshock infinite is the third game in the acclaimed series and has a few DirectCompute additions to the game engine code. Release is set on March 26th.
DMC Devil May Cry is included for the APAC region (instead of Tomb Raider).
And the biggest name in the bundle is no doubt Crysis 3 - a game that many PC gamers have been looking forward to and one that promises to push gaming performance on high-end GPUs to their limits. I was playing this on a GTX 680 recently (the MP beta) and couldn't get more than 40 FPS at 1080p and Ultra settings.
So how doese the bundle break down?
If you buy a single Radeon HD 7970 or HD 7950 you'll be able to get keys for both Crysis 3 and Bioshock Infinite, completely free! HD 7800 series buyers will get both Bioshock Infinite and Tomb Raider.
Just to make things MORE interesting, if you invest in a set of HD 7900 cards for CrossFire, or even a dual-GPU HD 7900 card like the Devil 13, you'll get Crysis 3, Bioshock Infinite, Tomb Raider, Far Cry 3, Hitman: Absolution and Sleeping Dogs. That is 6 full PC games worth at least $300 that you'll get keys for just for picking AMD's Radeon cards over NVIDIA's GeForce.
A not-so-subtle jab at the competition...
So there you have it, the Never Settle Reloaded bundle. This iteration doesn't include anything for HD 7700 series cards but I think most enthusiasts are going to stay in the HD 7850 and above range of options anyway.
NVIDIA has definitely fallen behind when it comes to these kinds of deals for PC gamers and I want to know what YOU think - do these bundles affect your purchasing decision? We heard from AMD that at least one major reseller of PC hardware saw an "order of magnitude" increase in sales during the holiday season with the original Never Settle bundle and they even won a Newegg award for best marketing campaign.
Get ready for game streams again as well - we'll be hosting a few of them in February and March with more hardware and game keys to give away!
UPDATE: These deals are live right now! You can find a list of the HD 7970 cards at Newegg.com, starting at just $379 and even the HD 7950 cards starting at $295 that come with Crysis 3 and Bioshock Infinite keys! If you are looking more in the HD 7800 series range, you can find HD 7870s starting at just $209 with Bioshock and Tomb Raider keys!
Subject: Graphics Cards | February 2, 2013 - 03:29 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: gpus, gaming, Futuremark, benchmarking, 3dmark
Futuremark, developers of the popular 3DMark and PCMark computer hardware benchmarks has announced an official release date for the next version of 3DMark. The company has teased gamers and reviewers with screenshots as well as hinted that the name would no longer have the release year tacked onto the end of the name, but now the benchmark is finally official.
The new 3DMark will come in several different flavors aimed at Windows PCs, iOS, Android, and Windows RT devices. It will continue the trend of offline benchmarking and scoring paired with a web interface where users can see detailed benchmark run analysis.
The new 3DMark benchmark will include feature tests, a DX10 benchmark called Cloud Gate, and a DX11 benchmark called Fire Strike. Once the benchmark has completed, users will be able to dig into the web interface to access charts and graphs that cover the benchmarking runs from beginning to end. The graphs will track CPU clockspeed and utilization as well as temperatures for both the processor and graphics card(s).
On the mobile side of things, 3DMark will use a graphics test called Ice Storm that is more suited to ARM SoCs with integrated graphics processors. No DX11 goodness here, obviously.
The PC version of 3DMark will be available for download on February 4, 2013 at 18:00 UTC. Unfortunately, there is no official release dates for the mobile versions. Futuremark has indicated that they will be released over the next few weeks as they are finalized.
You can find more information on the next 3DMark benchmark on the Futuremark website.
Subject: Graphics Cards | January 31, 2013 - 08:04 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: PC, gaming, amd, graphics drivers, gpu, Crysis 3, catalyst
The Crysis 3 beta was launched January 29th, and AMD came prepared with its new Catalyst 13.2 beta driver. In addition to the improvements rolled into the Catalyst 13.1 WHQL graphics driver, Catalyst 13.2 beta features performance improvements in a number of games.
Foremost, AMD focused on optimizing the drivers for the Crysis 3 beta. With the new 13.2 beta drivers, gamers will see a 15% performance improvement in Crysis 3 when using high MSAA settings. AMD has also committed itself to future tweaks to improve Crysis 3 performance when using both single and CrossFire graphics configurations. The driver also allows for a 10% improvement in CrossFire performance in Crytek’s Crysis 2 and a 50% performance boost in DMC: Devil May Cry when running a single AMD GPU. Reportedly, the new beta driver also reduces latency issues in Skyrim, Borderlands 2, and Guild Wars 2. Finally, the 13.2 beta driver resolves a texture filtering issue when running DirectX 9.0c games.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | January 29, 2013 - 02:53 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: video, live, Crysis 3
Did you miss our live stream tonight? Check out the replay right here and watch as I get totally demolished in online multiplayer Crysis 3 action!
Looking for something to do tonight? Why not join us for some early play time of the upcoming Crysis 3? We are going to be live streaming some beta multiplayer action on our PC Perspective Live! page starting at 6pm ET.
Crysis 3 Game Stream
3pm PT / 6pm ET - January 29th
If would like to join in on the fun, be sure to install the beta before hand and take a look at the tutorial on the beta modes available (video below).
Subject: Graphics Cards | January 28, 2013 - 03:53 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ROG ARES II, asus, amd
The new ASUS ROG ARES II sports two HD7970 cores at 1100MHz, faster than reference, as well as a total of 6GB of VRAM also overclocked at a speed of 6.6GHz. In previous dual GPU and single PCB solutions we often see the cores running slower than reference but in this case thanks to the custom self contained liquid cooler this card breaks that trend. With four full-sized DisplayPort, one single-link DVI and one dual-link DVI port you can support up to six displays off of this one card. [H]ard|OCP were blown away by the performance of the card and equally impressed with the cooler, especially when they added the extra fan and overclocked the card. Unfortunately you won't be seeing a lot of them, there will be only 1,000 of these video cards sold, and only 100 of those in North America.
"ASUS is launching its latest flagship ROG series video card, the ASUS ROG ARES II. This beast takes two Radeon HD 7970 GHz GPUs and provides CrossFire performance in a dual-slot configuration with unique custom closed-loop external cooling. This powerful limited edition video card is a born overclocker!"
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- ASUS ROG ARES II @ Guru of 3D
- ASUS Ares II @ Hardware.info
- ASUS ARES II Dual HD 7970
- ASUS ROG ARES II 6144 MB @ techPowerUp
- Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 XT @ Tweaktown
- Matrox TripleHead2Go Digital SE External Multi-Display Adapter Review @ OCC
- VGA GTX 670 FTW Signature 2 2GB @ techPowerUp
- GeForce GTX 650 Ti Graphics Cards Roundup @ X-bit Labs
Subject: Graphics Cards, Processors | January 23, 2013 - 02:42 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: southern islands, sony, ps4, playstation 4, orbis, Kaveri, bulldozer, APU, amd
Earlier today a report from Kotaku.com posted some details about the upcoming PlayStation console, code named Orbis and sometimes just called the PS4. Kotaku author Luke Plunkett got the information from a 90 page PDF that details the development kit so the information is likely pretty accurate if incomplete. It discusses a new controller and a completely new accounts system but I was mostly interested in the hardware details given.
We'll begin with the specs. And before we go any further, know that these are current specs for a PS4 development kit, not the final retail console itself. So while the general gist of the things you see here may be similar to what makes it into the actual commercial hardware, there's every chance some—if not all of it—changes, if only slightly.
This is key to keep in mind because here are the specs listed on the report:
- 8GB of system memory
- 2.2GB of graphics memory
- 4 module (8 core) AMD Bulldozer CPU
- AMD "R10xx" based GPU
- 4x USB 3.0 ports and 2x Ethernet connections
- Blu-ray drive
- 160GB HDD
- HDMI and optical audio output
We are essentially talking about an AMD FX-series processor with a Southern Islands based discrete card and I am nearly 100% sure that this will not match the configuration of the shipping system. Think about it - would a console developer really want to have a processor that can draw more than 100 watts inside its box in addition to a discrete GPU? I doubt it.
Instead, let's go with the idea that this developer kit is simply meant to emulate some final specifications. More than likely we are looking at an APU solution that combines Bulldozer or Steamroller cores along with GCN-based GPU SIMD arrays. The most likely candidate is Kaveri, a 28nm based product that meets both of those requirements. Josh recently discussed the future with Kaveri in a post during CES, worth checking out. AMD has told us several times that Kaveri should be able to hit the 1.0 TFLOPs level of performance and if we compare to the current discrete GPUs would enable graphics performance similar to that of an under-clocked Radeon HD 7770.
There is some room for doubt though - Kaveri isn't supposed to be out until "late Q4" though its possible that the PS4 will be the first customer. It is also possible that AMD is making a specific discrete GPU for implementation on the PS4 based on the GCN architecture that would be faster than the graphics performance expected on the Kaveri APU.
When speaking with our own Josh Walrath on this rumor, he tended to think that Sony and AMD would not use an APU but would rather combine a separate CPU and GPU on a single substrate, allowing for better yields than a combined APU part. In order to make up for the slower memory controller interface (on substrate is not as fast as on-die) AMD might again utilize backside cache, just like the one used on the Xbox 360 today. With process technology improvements its not unthinkable to see that jump to 30 or 40MB of cache.
With the debate of a 2013 or 2014 release still up in the air, there is plenty of time for this to change still but we will likely know for sure after our next trip to Taipei.