NVIDIA Synergy will offer discrete and integrated GPU support on Sandy Bridge

Subject: Graphics Cards, Motherboards | April 26, 2011 - 02:19 PM |
Tagged: virtu, synergy, optimus, nvidia, lucid, gpu

Remember when we previewed a piece of software from Lucid called Virtu that promised the capability to combine processor graphics features of the Intel Sandy Bridge lineup with the performance and DX11 support of discrete graphics cards from NVIDIA and AMD?  The ideas was pretty simple but it addressed one of our major complaints about the initial Sandy Bridge processor launch: the IGP features like fast video transcode acceleration and ultra-low-power video acceleration were unavailable to users that chose to also use a discrete graphics solution.

Lucid's Virtu software running in our previous testing

Lucid's solution was to "virtualize" the GPUs and use a software layer that would decide which applications to run on the discrete GPU and which to run on the integrated processor graphics on the Intel CPU.  There were some limitations including the need to have the displays connected to the IGP outputs rather than the discrete card and that the software worked on a rather clunky white-list implementation.  Also, discrete graphics control panels were a bit of a headache and only worked with NVIDIA cards and not in all cases even then.  

Virtu was to be distributed through motherboard vendors starting with the release of the Z68 chipset (as it was the first mainstream chipset to support overclocking AND display outputs) but now it appears that NVIDIA itself is diving into the same realm with a new piece of software called "Synergy".  

Check out more after the break!

Source: VR-Zone
Manufacturer: AMD
Tagged: turks, radeon, htpc, amd, 6670, 6570

Introduction and the new Turks GPU


It seems that the graphics card wars have really heated up recently.  With the release of the Radeon HD 6990 4GB and the GeForce GTX 590 3GB card it might seem that EVERYONE was spending $600 on their next GPU purchase.  Obviously that isn't the case and the world of the sub-$100 card, while way less sexy, is just as important.


This week AMD has announced a slew of new options to address this market including the Radeon HD 6670, HD 6570 and even the HD 6450.  Topping out at $99, the Radeon HD 6670 offers good performance, strong HTPC features and low power consumption.  NVIDIA's competition is still reasonable though as we compare how the now price-dropped GeForce GTS 450 sits into the stack.

Adding to the sub-$100 GPU market with the Radeon 6670 and 6570

Subject: Graphics Cards | April 19, 2011 - 01:08 PM |
Tagged: turks, northern islands, gpu, amd

The new Turk based Radeon HD 6670 and HD 6570 are intended to replace the Redwood-based HD 5670 and HD 5570 at a price of $99 and $79 respectively.  The cards are very similar to the cards they replace so you should not expect miracles from them.  They do have reduced power draw and are both low profile cards making them a good choice for HTPCs and AnandTech is quick to point out that these are the fastest cards not requiring an external power supply on the market right now.



"Two weeks ago we saw the paper launch of the Radeon HD 6450, the low-end member of AMD’s Northern Islands family of GPUs. It was a solid product for HTPC use and a very notable improvement over the 5450 it replaced, but it was an uncharacteristically delayed launch for AMD. At the same time we noted that the Northern Islands family had one more GPU we had not seen: Turks."

Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:

Graphics Cards

Source: AnandTech

ASUS' EAH6950 & ENGTX570 DirectCU II, twins with different parents

Subject: Graphics Cards | April 18, 2011 - 01:24 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, gpu, asus, amd

ASUS has released two new cards with their DirectCU II custom cooling solution and accompanying overclock.  The are very different as one is a NVIDIA GTX570 and the other an AMD HD6950.  [H]ard|OCP was less than impressed with the out of the box overclock of 10MHz on the GPU and simply reference speeds for the GDDR5, so they overclocked the cards to speeds much higher.


"ASUS has released two enthusiast friendly overclocking video cards: the EAH6950 DirectCU II and the ENGTX570 DirectCU II. The question is which one is better, and does overclocking these change the victor. We test each out of the box and overclocked in Lost Planet 2, F1 2010, Civilization V, and Battlefield Bad Company 2."

Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:

Graphics Cards

Source: [H]ard|OCP

A Match Made in GPU Heaven: MSI N570GTX Twin Frozr III Power Edition with Propeller Blade Technology

Subject: Graphics Cards | April 14, 2011 - 02:53 PM |

City of Industry, CA – April 14, 2011 – Leading international graphics card and motherboard maker MSI has now released the N570GTX Twin Frozr III Power Edition graphics card. The new graphics card not only features the latest Twin Frozr III dual fan cooling module but also exclusive Propeller Blade technology for 20% more airflow. Under full load, these reduce the GPU temperature by 18˚C and fan noise by 7.7dB compared to the reference board. The popular Power Edition architecture from R6950 Twin Frozr III Power Edition has also been retained. The use of 6+1 phase power supply and Triple Overvoltage support enhances overclockability and stability, increasing the overclocking potential by 22%! For consumers looking for great cooling, overclocking potential and stability, the N570GTX Twin Frozr III Power Edition offers the perfect balance between performance and cooling.

Source: MSI

Three cards for three monitors, try Tri-Fire

Subject: Graphics Cards | April 12, 2011 - 07:09 PM |

Be jealous, [H]ard|OCP tested a Radeon HD 6990+6970 CrossFireX setup with three 24" Dell 2408WFP.  Of course, the GPU subsystem its self will run you about $1000 without even looking at the displays.  However if you really have a burning need to play DX11 games at 5760x1200 with everything turned up to max, then this is your best and most economical choice.

"What happens when you take an AMD Radeon HD 6990 and add a Radeon HD 6970 to it for 3-way GPU CrossFireX performance? We compare this configuration directly to GeForce GTX 580 SLI a multi- monitor setup at high resolutions. TriFire in all its Eyefinity glory! Along with one new DX11 game."

Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:

 Graphics Cards

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Surprise! It's a new $55 HD6450

Subject: Graphics Cards | April 7, 2011 - 12:28 PM |

With support for DX11 and EyeFinity as well as DisplayPort, DVI and VGA outputs the HD6450 is a different kind of $55 discount card, as far as the options go. The more important question for many is the performance delta between this card and the new integrated graphics on the Intel SandyBridge as well as the similarly priced GTX430. The Tech Report's testing shows that the card draws the least power under full load of the bunch but is cursed by the 'tiny, whiny fan' that is common to the low end graphics market. Check out the full review to see.

"Sandy Bridge's peppy integrated graphics component has brought forth a new generation of entry-level graphics cards that seek to outdo it. Is the $55 Radeon HD 6450 a worthwhile upgrade from Intel's HD Graphics, and is it a good deal?"

Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:

  Graphics Cards

The HD6790; AMD's new $150 sweetheart?

Subject: Graphics Cards | April 5, 2011 - 12:08 PM |

The $150 price point is pretty crowded, NVIDIAs GTX 550 Ti is about $139, the 768MB GTX 460is right on the mark and AMD already has an HD 5770 1GB about $20 under, so trying to fit in a mediocre card to that range is going to be nearly impossible.  It's a good thing that barring Lost Planet 2, the HD 6790 outperforms the GTX 550 Ti and matches the performance of the trimmed down GTX 460.  Assuming that AMD does release the card at the MSRP of $150 the multi display capabilities of the HD 6790 should be more attractive to users than NVIDIA's product.  The real kicker is the HD6850, which you can get hold of for $144 after MIB if you shop carefully.

"For the majority of gamers though, that doesn't really matter; what does is how much gaming power you can get for your hard-earned (or lazily acquired) local currency. In that regard, the Radeon HD 6790 1GB is a graphics card that puts even more pressure on NVIDIA and its GTX 500-series than it had before and leaves AMD as our favorite option for $150."

Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:

Graphics Cards

Manufacturer: AMD

Barts sees a lower price

The Radeon HD 6790 1GB is a new $150 graphics cards based on the same Barts architecture found in the Radeon HD 6800-series of cards. Obviously there are fewer shader processors and lower clock speeds, though the 256-bit memory bus remains for better memory throughput. The goal is obvious: unseat the GTX 550 Ti (and the GTX 460) from NVIDIA as the best option for this price segment. Does it succeed?


The hits just keep coming.  In a time of the year that is traditionally a bit slower (after CES but before Computex) the world of the graphics card continues to evolve and iterate at a blindly pace.  Since January we have seen the release of the GeForce GTX 560 Ti and the Radeon HD 6950 1GB cards, the Radeon HD 6990 4GB dual-GPU behemoth, the GeForce GTX 550 Ti budget card and even NVIDIA's new GeForce GTX 590 dual-GPU card.  It has been a busy time for our GPU testing labs and the result is a GPU market that is both stronger and more confusing than ever. 

Today AMD is releasing another competitor to the ~$150 graphics card market with the Radeon HD 6790 1GB based on the Barts architecture we first tested with the HD 6800-series in October 2010.  When NVIDIA released the GTX 550 Ti in this same price field, AMD was dependent on the higher priced HD 6850 and the previous generation HD 5770 to hold its ground, both of which did so quite well.  The GTX 550 Ti was over priced at launch and is only now starting to see the correction needed to make it a viable selection.

AMD had different plans though and the Radeon HD 6790 will enter into the $150 space as the performance and pricing leader if neither of NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 550 Ti or GTX 460 768MB can make a stand.

Radeon HD 6790 Specs and Reference Design

The new Radeon HD 6790 will sit in the current product stack from AMD just below the HD 6850 and above the currently available HD 5770 offerings.  For those that might have already done their research, yes there is indeed a Radeon HD 6770 being sold by AMD but it is only offered to OEMs for now while end users are left without it. 

According to this roadmap from AMD the HD 6790 will be the only 6700-series selection from AMD for the retail channel until at least Q3 of 2011. 

New NVIDIA 270.51 Drivers Include Dramatic Performance Improvements, New Features & Automatic Dr

Subject: Graphics Cards | March 30, 2011 - 11:25 AM |

NVIDIA's released a brand new set of drivers, the first in the 270.xx range. 270.51 includes a huge number of performance gains, many of which are outlined in this story: http://www.geforce.com/#/News/articles/r270-driver/

270.51 are beta drivers at this time, but we seriously doubt any harm will come to anyone's computer if used.


270.51 also boasts several software improvements, beginning with the integration of the 3D Vision USB Controller driver, resulting in easier installation for 3D Vision users and the need to only download one set of drivers. Further simplifying matters is NVIDIA Update, letting you know as soon as new WHQL drivers are available to download, and if you so choose, when new beta drivers are available, too. Users have complete control of the application, and can enable and disable features as they please.

NVIDIA’s 3D Vision technology can now also be used in a window, instead of just fullscreen, allowing users greater flexibility when gaming or viewing media. Configurable through the NVIDIA Control Panel, 3D Vision window support works on all PCs, 3D Vision notebooks, and on HDMI 1.4a 3D televisions through the 3DTV Play software, and also operates with Windows Aero enabled in Windows 7.

And finally, Forceware 270.51 comes bundled with a huge range of new 3D Vision profiles, enabling 3D Vision support in games such as Homefront, Richard Burns Rally and Test Drive Unlimited 2, and in titles yet to be released, such as Duke Nukem Forever, Portal 2, and Section 8: Prejudice.

Source: NVIDIA