GK104 takes a step down
While the graphics power found in the new GeForce GTX 690, the GeForce GTX 680 and even the Radeon HD 7970 are incredibly impressive, if we are really honest with ourselves the real meat of the GPU market buys options much lower than $999. Today's not-so-well-kept-secret release of the GeForce GTX 670 attempts to bring the price to entry of the NVIDIA Kepler architecture down to a more attainable level while also resetting the performance per dollar metrics of the GPU world once again.
The GeForce GTX 670 is in fact a very close cousin to the GeForce GTX 680 with only a single SMX unit disabled and a more compelling $399 price tag.
The GTX 670 GPU - Nearly as fast as the GTX 680
The secret is out - GK104 finds its way onto a third graphics card in just two months - but in this iteration the hardware has been reduced slightly.
The GTX 670 block diagram we hacked together above is really just a GTX 680 diagram with a single SMX unit disabled. While the GTX 680 sported a total of 1536 CUDA cores broken up into eight 192 core SMX units, the new GTX 670 will include 1344 cores. This will also drop the texture units to 112 (from 128 on the GTX 680) though the ROP count stays at 32 thanks to the continued use of a 256-bit memory interface.
Subject: General Tech | May 9, 2012 - 02:28 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: TSMC, 28nm, nvidia
In the seemingly never ending saga of TSMC, NVIDIA and the mysteriously lacking supply of 28nm GPUs on the market is another update from DigiTimes. TSMC is going to give priority to NVIDIA on their production lines, though if TSMC is still at 95% capacity that may not mean a great increase in capacity. This doesn't refute the rumours that NVIDIA is shopping around for a new supplier for their chips nor that they may be revamping the mask they use for the chips but it does imply that TSMC does not want to lose NVIDIA's business and might have some capacity to spare for them.
"Since Nvidia has been unsatisfied with TSMC's 28nm process, while the company has also not refuted rumors that the company may cooperate with Samsung Electronics or Globalfoundries, TSMC, to sooth Nvidia, has put the GPU maker on its supply priority, allowing Nvidia to be able to release its 28nm GPUs on schedule in May and June."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Micron chucks down $2.5bn lifeline to Elpida @ The Register
- Calligra Suite, the Promising Not-An-Office Suite @ Linux.com
- Microsoft makes good with a 23-fix Patch Tuesday @ The Register
- Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin @ The Inquirer
- Virtu Universal MVP Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Nikon Coolpix P510 Review @ TechReviewSource
- Cisco Linksys E4200 V2 review @ Hardware.Info
- HardwareHeaven 10 year Anniversary Giveaway
Introduction, Design, User Interface
Intel has decided to lead its introduction of Ivy Bridge for mobile with its most powerful quad-core parts. Many of these processors will end up in mainstream laptop, but they’re also great for gaming laptops. In our first look at Ivy Bridge we saw that it holds up well when paired with its own Intel HD 4000 graphics – if you keep the resolution around 1366x768. A bit more than that and the IGP just can’t hang.
Gamers will still want a beefy discrete GPU, and that’s what the G75 offers. Inside this beast you’ll find an Nvidia GeForce GTX 670M. Those who were reading our Kepler coverage will remember that this is not based off Nvidia’s newest architecture but is instead a re-work of an older Fermi chip. That mean seem a bit disappointing, and it is – but the performance of Nvidia’s older mobile chips wasn’t lackluster.
So, this new laptop is packing a spanking-new Core i7-3720QM as well as Nvidia’s new GTX 670M. That’s an impressive combination, and ASUS has wisely backed it up with a well-rounded set of performance components.
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 5, 2012 - 06:28 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: nvidia, msi, kepler, gtx 670, asian colorful
Earlier this week we reported on a rumored MSI GTX 670 graphics card with a “DispalyPort” that was coming out soon. A new photo of the MSI card is below along with the box (though the typo is covered up by the card). Swelclockers has now gotten their hands on even more photos of the alleged GPU–this time from manufacturer Asia Colorful. The two rumored cards are said to be based on the NVIDIA reference design, and supporting the rumors, both cards do look very similar in design.
The alleged MSI GTX 670 GPU
The cards that appear to be Kepler based GTX 670s have a black PCB that extends about 3/4ths of the length of the heatsink and fan cooler. Except for a bit of overlap, the heatsink covers the PCB and the fan is located in the part of the card that hangs past the edge of the PCB. It also looks like they have moved the PCI-E power connectors to the outside edge of the card–a different rumored GTX 670 had the PCI-E power on the back edge of the card.
The underside of the Asia Colorful GTX 670 graphics card.
As far as specifications, the cards support PCI-E 3.0, two DVI outputs, an HDMI and what looks like a DisplayPort output. Beyond that, the card is said to be based on a scaled down version of NVIDIA’s Kepler architecture based GTX 680 GPU. For the GTX 670, NVIDIA has allegedly disabled 192 CUDA cores for a total of 1344. They have also reduced the base GPU core clockspeed from 1,006MHz on the GTX 680 to 900MHz. Although the card still uses the same 256-bit memory interface, the GTX 670 has a reduced memory (GDDR5) clockspeed of 5GHz versus 6GHz on the GTX 680. Because of the scaled back nature of the card, it has a lower TDP of approximately 150W.
Because they have been spotted in retailer’s hands, the GTX 670 is likely very close to release. Rumors are now suggesting that the card will be sold for somewhere between $349 and $379 USD.
Also on the Kepler front, is this cool looking single slot Kepler-class GPU that may or may not be a custom designed GTX 670. What Kepler rumors have you heard, and are you looking forward to the cheaper GTX 600 series cards?
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 3, 2012 - 08:04 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: video, nvidia, kepler, GTX 690, GK104, geforce
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!
On the launch day of the new GeForce GTX 690 graphics card, NVIDIA's Tom Petersen once again returned to the PC Perspective offices to talk about this impressive new $999 gaming solution. Based on a pair of GK104 GPUs, we already posted our full review of the GeForce GTX 690 today but this information and discussion with Tom is worth seeing again.
I want to thank Tom for stopping by and speaking with us and I want to thank the thousands of viewers that tuned in to the live stream to make the event a success!
Subject: General Tech | May 3, 2012 - 04:53 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: ssd, podcast, nvidia, intel., amd, 910, 690, 680
PC Perspective Podcast #200!!! - 05/03/2012
Join us this week as we talk about the GTX 690, Intel 910 Series PCI-E SSD, our Podcast Life in Review, and much more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Allyn Malvantano
- 1-888-38-PCPER or email@example.com
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
- PC Perspective Live Review - GTX 690
- Podcast Life in Review
- #1 - 5/3/2007 - NV 8800 Ultra
- #10 - 8/14/2007 - AMD takes wraps off 3.2GHz Athlon 64 X2 6400+ Black Edition
- #46 - 2/4/2009 - NVIDIA ION
- #50 - 3/26/2009 - Bigfoot new Gaming Card, Original from 2006!!
- #75 - 9/24/2009 - HD 5870 Launch
- #100 - 4/7/2010 - VRaptor 600GB
- #150 - 4/13/2011 - HD 6000 mid-range rumors
- Intel SSD 910 Series 800GB PCIe SSD First Look
- Dying Atoms: The Failure Of Low-Power x86 Processors
- SilverStone Nightjar ST50NF 500W Fanless Power Supply Review
- ASUS P8Z77-V Premium motherboard announced.
- Custom Gaming PC Being Auctioned Off For Charity Doing Multiple Sclerosis Research
- NVIDIA Announces dual-GPU Kepler GeForce GTX 690
- NVIDIA Announces GeForce Experience Cloud Service for Quality Presets
- NVIDIA Crates the GeForce GTX 690
- Cheaper GTX 670 GPU Spotted At Malaysian Retailer
- Moore's Law End in Sight
- Trinity Slides Leaked
- HWLB Update
- Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
- Ryan: LogmeIn Ignition - good and bad
- Jeremy: $60 3 LCD stand
- Josh: Apparently quite CPU intensive. SRS gamers only!
- Allyn: Mini SAS SFF-8087 to 4x 2.5in SATA/SAS 5.25in Hot Swap Backplane.
- 1-888-38-PCPER or firstname.lastname@example.org
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 3, 2012 - 01:07 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nvidia, kepler, GTX 690, GK104, geforce
The GTX690 is certainly the fastest single PCB card on the planet and this generation of NVIDIA's dual GPU card shows great improvements from previous dual GPU cards, but at $1000 MSRP it is essentially the same price as a pair of GTX680s. [H]ard|OCP's testing shows that the GTX690 performs at 95-98% of a pair of SLI'd GTX680s so there really is no noticeable performance difference. This begs the question as to why one might prefer the GTX690 to a pair of GTX680s; to which there are several answers. The most obvious is the size difference, with a GTX690 taking up one PCIe 16x slot and taking 2 slots on the back of the PC, where an SLI setup requires two PCIe 16x slots and takes up 4 slots on the back. Not only will the GTX690 leave you more room in your case it will provide better airflow as you will not have two cards sandwiched against each other as will be the case with many motherboards you would also have a much easier time setting up quad SLI. As well there is the power consumption to consider, in Ryan's testing the GTX690 needed 30W less than the SLI rig and over 100W less than a pair of HD7970s. That also resulted in the GTX690 operating at a slightly cooler temperature as well as being quieter, which is almost as important as the performance. The GTX690 is a beast and if you can afford it ... and find it for sale ... it makes more sense that buying a pair of GTX680s.
"Is the GeForce GTX 690 the best dual-GPU video card ever built? We'll compare performance to GeForce GTX 680 SLI and Radeon HD 7970 CFX to see where the new beast from NVIDIA stands. We overclock the dual GPUs and push these as far as we can. Surely this is the best performance ever experienced from a single video card."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690: The Dual-GPU Beast Arrived! @ Bjorn3D
- NVIDIA GTX 690 Review @ OCC
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 4GB Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 Launch Review @ Neoseeker
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 Review: Ultra Expensive, Ultra Rare, Ultra Fast @ AnandTech
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 Benchmark Performance @ Benchmark Reviews
- VIDIA GeForce GTX 690 Video Card Features @ Benchmark Reviews
- "All Inclusive": Nvidia GeForce GTX 690 2x2 GB @ X-bit Labs
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 4 GB @ techPowerU
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 Dual-GPU Graphics Card Launch Review @ HardwareHeaven
- NVIDIA Geforce GTX 690 DirectX 11 Video Card Review @Hi Tech Legion
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 @ Guru of 3D
- PowerColor PCS+ HD7970 vs Gainward GTX 680 Phantom Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Gainward GeForce GTX 680 Phantom @ Techspot
- 1 GHz with Passive Cooling: Arctic Accelero S1 PLUS and Turbo Module @ X-bit Labs
- Sapphire HD 7870 Review @ OCC
- MSI Radeon HD 7870 HAWK @ Guru of 3D
- HIS Radeon HD 7870 @ FunkyKit
- MSI Radeon HD 7870 HAWK 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- How Does Intel’s HD 4000 Compare on the IQ Scale? @ Kitguru
- DirectX 11.1 Specifications Released @ NGOHQ
GTX 690 Specifications
On Thursday May the 3rd at 10am PDT / 1pm EDT, stop by the PC Perspective Live page for an NVIDIA and PC Perspective hosted event surrounding the GeForce GTX 690 graphics card. Ryan Shrout and Tom Petersen will be on hand to talk about the technology, the performance characteristics as well as answer questions from the community from the chat room, twitter, etc. Be sure to catch it all at http://pcper.com/live
Okay, so it's not a surprise to you at all, or if it is, you haven't been paying attention. Today is the first on-sale date and review release for the new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 4GB dual-GPU Kepler graphics card that we first announced in late April. This is the dream card any PC gamer out there combining a pair of GTX 680 GK104 GPUs on a single PCB and running them in a single slot SLI configuration and is easily the fastest single card we have ever tested. It also the most expensive reference card we have ever seen with a hefty $999 price tag.
So how does it perform? How about efficiency and power consumption - does the GTX 690 suffer the same problems the GTX 590 did? Can AMD hope to compete with a dual-GPU HD 7990 card in the future? All that and more in our review!
Kepler Architecture Overview
For those of you that may have missed the boat on the GTX 680 launch, the first card to use NVIDIA's new Kepler GPU architecture, you should definitely head over and read my review and analysis of that before heading into the deep-dive on the GTX 690 here today.
Kepler is a 3.54 billion transistor GPU with 1536 CUDA cores / stream processors contained within and even in a single GPU configuration is able produce some impressive PC gaming performance results. The new SMX-based design has some modest differences from Fermi the most dramatic of which is the removal of the "hot clock" - the factor that ran the shaders and twice the clock speed of the rest of the GPU. Now, the entire chip runs at one speed, higher than 1 GHz on the GTX 680.
Each SMX on Kepler now includes 192 CUDA cores as opposed to the 32 cores found in each SM on Fermi - a change that has increased efficiency and performance per watt quite dramatically.
As I said above, there are lot more details on the changes in our GeForce GTX 680 review.
The GeForce GTX 690 Specifications
Many of the details surrounding the GTX 690 have already been revealed by NVIDIA's CEO Jen-Hsun Huang during a GeForce LAN event in China last week. The card is going to be fast, expensive and is built out of components and materials we haven't seen any graphics card utilize before.
Depsite the high performance level of the card, the GTX 690 isn't much heavier and isn't much longer than the reference GTX 680 card. We'll go over the details surrounding the materials, cooler and output configuration on the next page, but let's take some time just to look and debate the performance specifications.
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards | May 2, 2012 - 02:37 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: video, nvidia, live review, live, kepler, GTX 690, geforce
Yes, we realize it's actually a "flat bar" but that's nearly as cool to say. Either way, wouldn't you like to win one of these?
Tomorrow at 1pm EDT / 10am PDT we are going to be streaming a LIVE talk between myself and Tom Petersen centered around the GeForce GTX 690 dual-Kepler graphics card at http://pcper.com/live. We will talk about performance, power consumption, features, show demos and of course take user questions through our live chat room, twitter accounts and more.
But we also want to get your questions TODAY to help prepare for the event. If you have a burning question about the GTX 690 or the Kepler architecture and its features, leave us a comment below! (No registartion required.) Both NVIDIA's Tom Petersen and I will give you our feedback. The best question will take home an NVIDIA crowbar so you too can be prepared for the coming apocalypse!
Hurry though, we want them in tonight so we can sort and pick our favorites for the live event tomorrow. For all the details on tomorrow's show, make sure you check our post right here!!
Subject: General Tech | May 2, 2012 - 01:05 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nvidia, TSMC, gtx680
The GTX680 would be far outselling the HD7870 if it was available anywhere but NVIDIA's biggest problem is that there is no supply to sell to the customers that want this card. If SemiAccurate's sources are correct NVIDIA has yet to ship 10,000 cards in total, which really makes NVIDIA's stance that the supply problems are just a perception issue hard to swallow. Mostly the fingers have been pointed at TSMC and the difficulties they have had with their 28nm production line, but that is getting old as well; if their 28nm process was inherently flawed they would not be at 95% capacity and AMDs GPUs would be just as rare as the new NVIDIA cards. Could the issue lie with NVIDIA's chip design being flawed and producing incredibly low yields? Is it that somehow the design takes an incredibly long time on the line in order to produce a wafer and so yields are not low so much as slow? It is really hard to peg down exactly what is going on behind the scenes since neither of the companies involved are willing to discuss the causes behind the shortages. That is the normal way of things however, no matter what company you talk about, you are far more likely to see denials and finger pointing than an explanation ... similar to children when you think about it really.
"Nvidia has been busily blaming TSMC for their many supposed failings on 28nm, but SemiAccurate has learned what is really going on. The short story is that the finger pointing around the Kepler launch problems should be at Nvidia, not TSMC."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Giant pink hexacopter is slightly safer than the rest @ Hack A Day
- TSMC eyeing advanced process chip orders from Apple @ DigiTimes
- Intel bakes palm-sized Core i5 NUC to rival Raspberry Pi @ The Register
- The Great Ars Cloud office suite shootout
- NETGEAR Powerline Nano500 and Powerline 200 Mini Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Ubuntu 12.04 vs. Windows 7: Intel Sandy/Ivy Bridge Loses On Linux @ Phoronix