Subject: Graphics Cards | June 2, 2011 - 11:33 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: powercolor, HD 6970, computex, amd
Computex 2011 is in full swing, and PowerColor has joined the fray of product reveals with a new PowerColor 6970 X2 AMD graphics card that combines two stock-clocked 6970 GPUs onto a single PCB.
TweakTown was able to get a hands-on of the card at the company's Computex booth. They report that the GPUs are clocked at 880MHz, and each GPU is allotted 2GB of GDDR5 memory each (for a total of 4GB across both GPUs), and is clocked at 1375MHz (5500MHz QDR). The interesting aspect of the dual GPU card is that the two GPUs are connected by a Lucid Logix chip, which will be interesting to see how this setup would compare to an overclocked 6990 graphics card, which amounts to two CrosseFired 6950 GPUs.
The new card uses three 8-pin PCI-E connectors for up to 525 watts (including 75 watts provided by the motherboard) of power, which should provide ample power for stock and overclocked clocks. The card will futher feature two DVI connectors (one Dual-Link, one Single-Link), two mini-DisplayPort connectors, and one HDMI port.
For those looking for maximum gaming performance, two of these 6970 x2 cards in a CrossFire configuration will become the new high-end AMD standard. You can see more photos of the card along with a preview of it's smaller 6870 x2 sibling over at TweakTown.
Image copyright 2011 TweakTown.com. Used under fair-usage guidelines for purposes of commentary and news reporting.
Subject: Graphics Cards, Shows and Expos | June 1, 2011 - 08:58 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: computex, asus, gputweak, overclocking, oc
While perusing the ASUS booth for notebooks and graphics cards and motherboards, we also spotted some new overclocking software that looked kind of interesting.
ASUS GPUTweak will ship with ASUS graphics cards starting later this year but they did indicate that it will be available as free download for users of ANY brand of graphics card; which is a nice way to gain some street cred. The software combines a monitoring application, overclocking application and custom version of GPU-Z in a single interface to allow users to really push their GPUs beyond stock settings.
Besides the semi-standard options of frequency (both GPU and memory), voltages and fan speeds, ASUS GPUTweak software will allow users of ASUS Matrix / ROG graphics cards to modify the timings on their GPU memory as well, something that is unique to its offerings.
The software will also allow you "burn" settings into your Matrix cards BIOS so that they will boot at the overclocked settings regardless of the any installed software or operating system. There is a Safety button on all Matrix cards to revert back to the original settings in case of an emergency...
It is nice to see ASUS jumping into the ring here with some competent software and I am curious to see how it will be welcomed after we have seen MSI's Afterburner application become such a hit with gamers.
Subject: Graphics Cards, Motherboards, Shows and Expos | June 1, 2011 - 07:57 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: computex, msi, pcie, x79, 990fx, z68
MSI had quite a showing at this year's Computex starting with a host of new motherboards based on the Z68 chipset. The most interesting of which was the new Z68A-GD80 (G3) that in addition to including all the features of the Sandy Bridge processor, SLI, CrossFire, Lucid Virtu and things like OC Genie II and Military Class Components II, is the first motherboard we have seen that integrates support for the PCI Express 3.0 specification.
MSI was able to do this by simply adhering to the already existing PCIe 3.0 specifications and claims the performance doubles from 8 GB/s up to 16 GB/s (for a x16 connection). Even though there are no PCIe 3.0 accessories or graphics cards on the market today, MSI has seen performance improvements when testing PCI Express based solid state drives like the OCZ Revo. We are eager to get this board in the hands of our storage guru and see what advantages it offers users today.
Next up is the new MSI 990FXA-GD80 motherboard based on AMD's latest 990FX chipset. We actually have one of these in the office and should have a review up shortly. With support for today's Phenom processors and tomorrow's Bulldozer-core based designs, I think the 990FX chipset will find its way into a lot of users machines.
Even further out into the future, we saw a glimpse of an MSI engineering sample for the pending Socket 2011 processors from Intel, the MSI X79A-GD65. Supporting the upcoming Sandy Bridge-E processor family and a new quad-channel memory controller, you can clearly see the 2011 socket is HUGE and requires the memory slots to be divided up on either side of it. A lot will change more than likely between now and this boards release but it is cool to see a preview of what is in store for us!
Finally, MSI did have another card in the Lightning series to show off, the N580GTX Lightning Xtreme Edition. This card has all the same engineering features of the previous Lightning models but adds in a couple of unique features called Smart Temp Sensor and Dust Removal.
The Smart Temp Sensor is actually a coating on the fan that changes from blue to white in appearance as the ambient temperature increases. If the inside of your chassis hits the 45C mark then the fans will be completely white and should give you an indication of system stability. My only concern is that even users with windows on their cases will have trouble seeing the fans on the graphics card cooler posted at a right angle.
The Dust Removal feature is more interesting in that it runs the fans on the Xtreme Edition in the reverse direction for the first 30 seconds of the power cycle and then return to the proper direction for cooling the heatsinks. The idea is that the 30 second reverse interval will help clear out dust from the heatsink and from the fan blades itself saving users in the long run.
Another interesting feature coming very soon to Android phone users is the ability to monitor and overclock your MSI graphics cards via an Afterburner app for your phone. This will be available this month or early in July for Android and *maybe* by the end of the year for iPhone.
AMD and Virtual Vsync for Lucid Virtu
Lucid has grown from a small startup that we thought might have a chance to survive in the world of AMD and NVIDIA to a major player in the computing space. Its latest and most successful software architecture was released into the wild with the Z68 chipset as Lucid Virtu - software that enabled users to take advantage of both the performance of a discrete graphics card and the intriguing features of the integrated graphics of Intel's Sandy Bridge CPU.
While at Computex 2011 in Taiwan we met with the President of Lucid, Offir Remez, who was excited to discuss a few key new additions to the Virtu suite with the new version titled "Virtu Universal". The new addition is support for AMD platforms including current 890-based integrated graphics options as well the upcoming AMD Llano (and more) APU CPU/GPU combinations. It is hard to see a reason for Virtu on current AMD platforms like the 890 series as there are no compelling features on the integrated graphics on that front but with the pending release of Llano you can be sure that AMD is going to integrate some of its own interesting GP-GPU features that will compete with the QuickSync technology of Sandy Bridge among other things. To see Lucid offer support for AMD this early is a good sign for day-of availability on the platform later this year.
The second pillar of Lucid's announcement with Virtu Universal was the addition of support for the mobile space, directly competing with NVIDIA and AMD's own hardware-specific switchable graphics solutions. By far the most successful this far has been NVIDIA's Optimus which has filtered its way down basically into all major OEMs and in most of the major notebook releases that include both integrated and discrete graphics solutions. The benefit that Lucid offers is that it will work with BOTH Intel and AMD platforms simplifying the product stack quite a bit.
Read on for more information and some videos of Virtual Vsync in action!
Subject: Graphics Cards, Shows and Expos | May 31, 2011 - 11:59 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: computex, computex 2011, ocz, Intel, Ivy Bridge
You may have noticed with the new look to PC Perspective have come several new features, such as tags to group common topics together to make it easier to find them. The important tag right now is computex, which will group all of the news we have reported from Computex.
Ryan is not the only attendee of the conference, so in order to ensure you have enough information to keep you satiated over the day you can take a look at AnandTech's coverage as well. They spent time with OCZ, discussing the RevoDrive Hybrid, a standard 0.5/1TB platter based HDD and a Vertex 3 SSD on PCIe card, a form factor that Intel's SRT has made obsolete but is still interesting to see. The new PCIe based Z-Drive on the other hand can do very impressive things, the R4 88 has eight SF-2281 controllers in RAID 0! RevoDrives with TRIM support are also very nice to see. Intel talked about both the upcoming Ivy Bridge platform as well as their plans for USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt.
Stay tuned for more.
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- AMD is the fourth WARM, Windows 8 tablet partner @ SemiAccurate
- What's Killing Your Wi-Fi? @ Slashdot
- Is Fedora 15 Faster Than Ubuntu 11.04? @ Phoronix
- Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-WX9 Review @ TechReviewSource
- The TR Podcast 88: Exposing the midrange
- Apple drops secrecy, confirms iOS 5, iCloud on tap at WWDC 2011 @ Ars Technica
- Interview with Mark Doherty of Adobe @ t-break
- Bulldozer mobos from Asus and MSI: Sabertooth 990FX & 990FXA-GD80 @ The Tech Report
- The New Indilinx Everest SSD @ AnandTech
- A Quick Look at a 22nm Ivy Bridge Wafer @ AnandTech
Subject: Graphics Cards, Shows and Expos | May 31, 2011 - 02:41 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: computex, asus, GTX 580, mars, matrix, ROG
While also announcing a set of new motherboard at Computex 2011, ASUS was also showcasing two new graphics cards in the Republic of Gamers line based on NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 580 GPU. The MATRIX GTX580 and MARS II cards will offer a unique take on performance and engineering that haven’t been seen in the enthusiast graphics markets before.
The MATRIX GTX580 will offer support for TweakIt, ProbeIt and SafeMode overclocking capabilities at the hardware level while the GPU Tweak software will allow the user to adjust setting and monitor the card in the OS. The card is built with a 19-phase construction (!!) which should offer very impressive power efficiency as well as stability during overclocking. The cooler on the MATRIX card also promises to be 20% improved on the NVIDIA reference design.
The MARS II goes a step further by including a PAIR of GTX 580 GPUs on a single PCB offering what will likely be the fastest graphics card on the planet. The same hardware features like TweakIt and ProbeIt as well as the GPU Tweak software and the 19-phase power construction.
It looks like if you want the fastest graphics solutions available ASUS will have you covered with either the MATRIX GTX580 or the MARS II, depending on your wallet capacity.
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 30, 2011 - 01:46 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: msi, GTX580, GTX Lightning Xtreme Edition, 3gb
The MSI GTX 580 Lightning Xtreme is certainly well named. Doubling the GDDR5 to 3GB is only the first step, they've also added the Twin Frozr III to cool the card. For the serious overclockers there are three easy to access voltage measurement point and a BIOS toggle switch that will let you avoid a cold bug when cooling with LN2. Head to TechPowerUp to see how the card compares with others of its family as well as a glance at the overclocking ability
"MSI has upgraded their GTX 580 Lightning and calls it "Xtreme Edition" now. The biggest change is certainly the inclusion of 3 GB of GDDR5 memory. Other new features are a dust removal system and a fan that indicates overheating by color change."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- SI GTX 580 Lightning Xtreme Edition (XE) 3GB Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Zotac GTX 580 Amp! Edition @ XSReviews
- Gainward GTX 560 Ti 2048MB @ Metku.net
- Gainward GeForce GTX 590 3GB Premium Edition Review @ Real World Labs
- ASUS GTX 560 DirectCU II TOP @ OCAU
- Inno3D iChill Freezer X Series GeForce GTX 560 Graphics Card Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Gigabyte GTX 580 Super Overclock Review @ Hardware Canucks
- A Historical Look At Intel Ironlake Graphics Performance @ Phoronix
- Desktop Graphics Card Comparison Guide Rev. 22.7 @ TechARP
- Radeon Gardenshed DRM + Gallium3D Benchmarks @ Phoronix
- GPU Video Card Comparison Guide @MissingRemote
- ASUS Radeon HD 6870 DirectCU II 1GB @ Tweaktown
- MSI R6850 Cyclone IGDS Power Edition Review @ Neoseeker
- PowerColor HD 6670 1 GB @ techPowerUp
- Sapphire Ultimate Radeon HD 6670 Review with Passive / Silent Cooler @ HardwareHeaven
- PowerColor HD6950 PCS+ Review @ OCC
- HIS Radeon HD 6870 IceQ X Turbo X Graphics Card Review @ eTeknix
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 29, 2011 - 11:35 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: mobile gaming, gtx 560m, graphics, computex
At Computex 2011, NVIDIA plans to showcase the latest addition to its mobile graphics lineup, the GTX 560M GPU. Powered by a mobile version of the 500 series desktop GPU, the graphics card will bring support for NVIDIA's Optimus, 3D Vision, and PhysX technologies. On launch, there will be two notebooks from Asus and Toshiba, the G74sx and a Qosmio gaming laptop respectively, with many more to follow.
The Asus G74sx and Toshiba Gaming Notebook
From a performance aspect, the GTX 560M purports to deliver twice the performance of the current latest 540M mobile chip. According to GeForce.com, in Crysis: Warhead the GTX 560M pulls a respectable 30-40 FPS at 1080p resolution with “Gamer” detail settings. This is in contrast to the older GTX 540M, which can only maintain 30-40 frames per second at 1080p at the lowest detail settings. In 3DMark Vantage, the GTX 560M scored 10,000 points whereas the older 540M only pulled off approximately 4,200 points. Andrew Coonrad, of NVIDIA’s Technical Marketing department further stated that the graphics card would play both the Witcher 2 and Duke Nukem: Forever at approximately 50 frames per second.
GeForce states that if you are a mobile gamer looking for an easy to carry gaming notebook that can offer Optimus’ battery saving technology and 3D Visions gaming features, laptops with the GTX 560 are the way to go as the older GTX 480M is not nearly as power efficient (and thus less portable). Laptops with the new graphics card are in stock now at several online retailers.
X Fastest, a Chinese language technology website today posted images of the Asus ROG Matrix version of the NVIDIA GTX 580 graphics card. The three-slot (no, that is not a typo) graphics card is claimed to have a 16 phase VRM design, GPU clock of 816 MHz, shader clock of 1632 MHz, and a memory clock of 4008 MHz. Further, the card contains 1.5GB of GDDR5 memory on a 384 bit bus. All this power is delivered via two 4x2 PCI-E connectors (8 pin). The following table compares the claimed Asus card's speeds to NVIDIA's reference design.
|Asus ROG Matrix GTX 580||NVIDIA Reference Design|
|GPU Clock||816 MHz||772 MHz|
|Shader Clock||1632 MHz||1544 MHz|
|Memory Clock||4008 MHz (effective)||4008 MHz (effective)|
|Memory Amount and Bus||1.5 GB GDDR5, 384 bit bus||1.5 GB GDDR5, 384 bit bus|
|PCI-E Connections||Two 4x2 PCI-E (8 pin) connector||One 6 pin, One 8 pin connector|
The card features several overclocker friendly features, including nodes to directly measure voltage, hardware buttons to increase/decrease voltage to the card, and a “safe mode” button that promises to restore the card to factory settings located next to the uppermost DVI output.
The FirePro Products get Cayman
(Thanks to Steve Grever for providing insight on the product placement and attending the Professional Graphics Editor's Day in Austin, TX for us!)
On May 11, AMD invited a handful of technology journalists and hardware reviewers to Northern Islands FirePro Tech Day to unveil a pair of new professional graphics cards – the V5900 and V7900. We were under an NDA to discuss the new GPUs at that time, but now that the gag order has been lifted, we can finally give our readers an in-depth look at these mid-range and high-end graphics card offerings sporting custom features like Eyefinity, Geometry Boost and Power Tune technologies.
Sandeep Gupte, AMD’s product management director, introduced the new graphics cards during the one-day event and stated they will “deliver productivity and performance to professionals regardless of where they are working.” This is an interesting statement, but AMD is committed to providing graphics solutions beyond professional workstations to include mobile workstations, tablets and thin clients to increase productivity and performance across various form factors and operating systems.
Last year’s FirePro lineup helped AMD increase their unit share by six points in the professional graphics market. This share increase puts them at about 16 percent overall, which was also supported by sales with Tier 1 OEMs like HP and Dell. This percentage of market share has improved over the single-digit shares AMD experienced in this market back in 2007.
Hit that "Read More" link below for the full story!