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.
Subject: Graphics Cards | January 22, 2013 - 03:47 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nvidia, asus, GTX 670 DirectCU II 4GB, sli
When they first tried ASUS' new GTX 670 Direct CU II with 4GB of memory on its own, [H]ard|OCP had difficulty recommending it over a 7970 but they planned to try two cards in SLI to see if that would improve the comparative performance. The competitors are a pair of 2GB 670s, a pair of 3GB HD7970's, a pair of 2GB 680s and of course two 4GB 670s, all powering a system at 5760x1200. Unfortunately the quote from the conclusions spells out the results "It's like putting beefy off-road tires on a Yugo", so while it will give you the ability to use some higher graphics settings, overall you are still better of with HD7970s or GTX680s.
"We review two ASUS GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU II 4GB video cards in SLI under NV Surround resolutions. We'll answer the question as to the value and validity of 4GB of RAM on a GeForce GTX 670 GPU video card in SLI. Far Cry 3, Hitman Absolution, and all our other games will be taken to the extreme to get to the bottom of 4GB GTX 670 cards."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- Nvidia Quadro K5000 Professional @ X-bit Labs
- Five-Way NVIDIA GeForce Comparison On Nouveau @ Phoronix
- Desktop Graphics Card Comparison @ TechARP
- Sapphire TRIXX Video Card Tweak Utility Overview @ Tweaktown
- IS Radeon HD 7970 3GB IceQ X2 Overclocked @ Tweaktown
- VTX3D HD 7870 Black Edition 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- HIS HD 7970 IceQ X² & HD 7950 IceQ X² Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Sapphire HD7870 W/ Boost @ Kitguru
- PowerColor Radeon HD 7950 3GB PCS Overclocked @ Tweaktown
Subject: Graphics Cards | January 22, 2013 - 02:44 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: nvidia, geforce, gk110, titan, rumor
A combination of rumors and news pieces found online and in some recent conversations with partners indicates that February will see the release of a new super-high-end graphics card from NVIDIA based on the GK110 GPU. Apparently using the name "Titan" based on a report from Sweclockers.com, this new single GPU card will feature 2688 CUDA cores, compared to the 1536 in the GeForce GTX 680.
If true, the name Titan likely refers to the Cray super computer of the same name built using GK110 Kepler Tesla cards. Sweclockers.com's sources are quoted with the clocks of this new super-GPU as well: 732 MHz core clock and 5.2 GHz GDDR5 memory clock. While those numbers are low compared to the 1000+ MHz speeds of the GK104 parts out today, this GPU would have 75% more compute units and presumably additional memory capacity as well. The memory bus width of 384-bits is a 50% increase as well which would indicate another big jump in performance over current cards. The CUDA core count of 2688 is actually indicative of a GK110 GPU with a single SMX disabled as well.
The NVIDIA Titan card will apparently be the replacement for the GeForce GTX 690, a dual-GK104 card launched in May of last year. The performance estimate for the Titan is approximately 85% of that GTX 690 and if the rumors are right it would see an $899 price tag.
Based on other conversations I have had recently you should only expect those same partners that were able to sell the GTX 690 to stock this new GK110-based part. There won't be any modifications and you will see very little differentiation between vendors branding on it. If dates are to be believed, we are hearing that a Feb 25th (or at least that week) launch is the current target.
Subject: Graphics Cards | January 22, 2013 - 01:02 PM | PCPer Staff
World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Collector's Edition (PC/Mac) for $59.99 with free shipping (normally $80 - use coupon code: EMCXWVV99).
HP ENVY 4-1130us Core i5 14" Ultrabook (Quickship) for $549.99 with free shipping (normally $849.99 - use coupon code: SNOW100).
Dell S2740L 27" 1080p LED-backlit LCD Monitor for $278.99 with Free Shipping (normally $370 - use coupon code: DMFVW8?GQ27MDX).
55" LG 55LM4600 1080p 3D 120Hz LED HDTV for $849.99 with free shipping (normally $1,400).
46" Seiki SE461TS 1080p LCD HDTV for $398.00 (normally $500).
Pioneer SW-8 100-Watt Powered Subwoofer for $69.99 with free shipping (normally $160 - use coupon code: EMCXWVV75).
Zadro Personal Sunlight 365 Therapy for $59.99 plus free shipping(normally $77.99).
Shure Craft Kit (6 options) via Groupon for $8.00(normally $19.99).
Subject: Graphics Cards | January 19, 2013 - 01:26 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: water cooler, sealed loop, ROG ARES II, gpu cooler, asus, amd, 7970 ghz edition
ASUS has taken the wraps off of a new dual GPU graphics card that comes equipped with a sealed loop liquid cooler to keep the two overclocked 7970 GHz Edition GPUs frosty. The new ROG ARES II is a limited edition card that pairs the ARES II GPU with an Asetek-based cooler and rounds out the top-end of the company’s Republic of Gamers lineup.
The card itself features two AMD Radeon 7970 GHz Edition GPUs clocked at 1050 MHz base and 1100 MHz boost, 6GB of GDDR5 memory clocked at 1650 MHz, and ASUS’ DIGI+ 20-phase VRM with “Super Alloy Power” hardware. The ROG ARES II has a 500W TDP and uses three 8-pin PCI-E power connectors. The card measures 11.8” x 5.5” x1.8,” not including the radiator.
The ROG ARES II includes one DVI-I, one DVI-D, and four DisplayPort video outputs. ASUS is also packing a DVI to HDMI adapter in the box.
The sealed loop water cooler is where the card sets itself apart, however. Based on an Asetek design, the ARES II water cooler features a 120mm radiator, and two CPU-style water blocks over each 7970 GHz Edition GPU. The loop runs from the radiator and through both water blocks before returning to the radiator which is paired with two 120mm fans. Curiously, the water cooler did not result in a single-slot design. Rather, the ARES II card has a somewhat-bulky two slot profile. According to ASUS, the water cooled card will run up to 31 degrees Celsius cooler than the reference NVIDIA GTX 690 graphics card while being as much as 13% faster (though ASUS does not specifically name the games/benchmarks).
ASUS has not released any pricing or availability information, but you can expect it to rival the price of PowerColor’s Devil 13 thanks to the sealed loop water cooler and ARES II hardware. Currently, ASUS is planning on producing a mere 1,000 liquid cooled ARES II cards, so be prepared to be fast on the mouse click upon release.
I would have liked to see a water cooler that was a bit more customized to the card. In particular, I think ASUS should have used a single water block that covered both GPUS and the VRM area, which would have allowed ASUS to get rid of the fan on the card itself entirely. Nevertheless, the ARES II will be extremely fast, and hopefully run nice and cool even when overclocked. I’m interested in seeing a head-to-head between the ARES II and PowerColor Devil 13.
Read more about AMD’s Graphics Core Next architecture at PC Perspective.
Subject: Graphics Cards | January 18, 2013 - 11:33 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Radeon HD 7000, gpu, drivers, catalyst 13.1, amd
AMD recently released a new set of Catalyst graphics card drivers with Catalyst 13.1. The new drivers are WHQL (Microsoft certified) and incorporate all of the fixes contained in the 12.11 beta 11 drivers. The Radeon HD 7000 series will see the majority of the performance and stability tweaks with 13.1. Additionally, the Catalyst 13.1 suite includes a new 3D settings interface in Catalyst Control Center that allows per-application profile management. The Linux version of the Catalyst 13.1 drivers now officially support Ubuntu 12.10 as well.
Some of the notable performance tweaks for the HD 7000 series include:
- CrossFire scaling performance in Call of Duty: Black Ops II improvements.
- Up to a 25% increase in Far Cry 3 when using 8X MSAA.
- An 8% performance increase in Sleeping Dogs and StarCraft II.
- A 5% improvement in Max Payne 3.
Beyond the performance increases, AMD has fixes several bugs with the latest drivers. Some of the noteworthy fixes include:
- Fixed a system hang on X58 and X79 chipset-based systems using HD 7000-series GPUs.
- Fixed an intermittent hang with HD 7000-series GPUs in CrossFireX and Eyefinity configurations.
- Resolved a system hang in Dishonored on 5000 and 6000 series graphics cards.
- Resolved a video issue with WMP Classic Home Cinema.
- Added Super Sample Anti-Aliasing support in the OpenGL driver.
AMD has also released a new standalone un-installation utility that will reportedly clean your system of AMD graphics card drivers to make way for newer versions. That utility can be downloaded here.
If you have a Radeon HD 7000-series card, it would be worth it to update your drivers ASAP. You can download the Catalyst 13.1 drivers on the AMD website.
You can find a full list of the performance tweaks and bug fixes in the Catalyst 13.1 release notes.