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Today our moles were hard at work. They have uncovered a couple of rumors for you to gobble up with your chocolate bunnies and peeps. The first concerns our old friends at NVIDIA. The rumor here is that they have decided to take Fermi GPU's that do not pass QA at any acceptable speeds and resell them to Matel for their new model of Easy Bake Oven.
Jen Sun Haung, NVIDIA's CEO was quoted as saying they felt that by using a Fermi over the traditional light bulb new owners would be getting a 50% decrese in cooking times. The new program will be dubbed TWIMTBB (The Way it's Meant to be Baked). Easy Bake Ovens with Fermi inside will hit the stores sometime in June. There was no word on pricing, but some sources are saying they expect the new Fermi based "nuclear" Easy Bakes to be over $200. An ASUS engineer was also quoted as saying "we can overclock it, too" while a source at GIGABYTE referred to needing more copper in the design.
Next up was an interesting rumor that was heard in the executive wash room over at Google.
It seems that some at Google are not overly happy with this year's April Fool's joke. Google renamed themselves Topeka poking fun at Topeka which renamed itself Google, Kansas. Eric Schmidt was heard to exclaim while in a stall "have you ever been to Topeka?! People will think we are nothing more than a bunch of Malls and liquor stores now!" Schmidt then said, "Why can't we just make another comment about Net Neutrality or say how much we respect people's privacy?"
Of course the real joke came a day early when Google sneaked in the three letter sting "rfa" into all searches originating from China. RFA is often use to stand for Radio Free Asia. This funny little joke caused all internet searches that were put through Google to be blocked by the Great Firewall of China. One executive at Google was heard to call the joke a "Hoot" while buying a Soy Latte in a local Starbucks, while another said "we wanted to put in "boobies" but it just didn't work out.
Well that wraps up our April 1st Edition of the Water Cooler Rumors. We hope you had fun with it. Also please remember, it's a joke...
Any chance it gets, NVIDIA will take a stab at Intel and push the importance of the graphics processing unit over the traditional CPU for a whole range of computing tasks with modern computing. Especially when it comes to Intel's low-cost Atom processor platform, NVIDIA will jump through hoops on fire to bring the big Intel down whenever, wherever and however they can.
In a side by side presentation, Pederson shows off a few examples of how in the future consumers will want to have a system with adequate graphics to improve the changing Internet experience. Demonstrations are displayed such as map rendering and some test games from Microsoft and puts a very good light on ION equipped netbooks.
Keep in mind, this is what NVIDIA does best - marketing and that is exactly what you are seeing here. Who is to say that Intel isn't working hard right now with Microsoft and other software companies to add GPU acceleration even with its current netbook graphics chips? Nevertheless, it was a cool demonstration of IE9 and what to look forward to when it is released later this year.
NVIDIA's new Fermi (GTX 470 and GTX 480) graphics cards have caused a fair bit of a stir in the video card market leading up to and post release last week; some in awe of their performance whilst others in disgust for a number of reasons.
But who would have thought one of NV's own partners, XFX would be so negative about the launch of these new cards that they'd go so far as to tell NVIDIA 'where to go', abandoning this new line-up of high-end cards altogether and refusing to give support; because that's apparently what's just happened!
It's becoming more clear that XFX has a more positive outlook on AMD/ATIs direction in the desktop graphics card market, at least at the high-end segment. In recent press content regarding XFXs Radeon HD 5970 Black Edition, it put the hurtz on NV with comments like "XFX have always developed the most powerful, versatile Gaming weapons in the world - and have just stepped up to the gaming plate and launched something spectacular that may well literally blow the current NVIDIA offerings clean away" and "GTX480 and GTX470 are upon us, but perhaps the time has come to Ferm up who really has the big Guns".
WIth that said, the company has indicated it won't be shutting the doors on NVIDIA completely and will continue to carry variants of NVIDIA's more budget-focused models into the future.
Following ATI's promise of a video card that would be capable of running six monitors using its new Eyefinity6 technology, after months of waiting that card finally arrives today based on their highest single GPU model, the HD 5870.
Dubbed the Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition, the main difference about this variant compared to the standard HD 5870 is the re-arrangement of the I/O area, giving six mini DisplayPort connectors and also double the memory on board at 2GB to assist in driving this significantly extended setup.
AMD/ATI are particularly proud of this technology, knowing their direct competitor NVIDIA have just released new high-end cards to market which still lack the ability to run more than two displays, giving ATI a significant edge in multi-monitor gaming and productivity tasks.
Of course, our VGA man Shane Baxtor managed to get hooked up with one of them for testing and you can see how it goes in a bunch of multi-monitor gaming tests compared to non-Eyefinity6 variants with lesser memory.
There's also a few other Eyefinity6 articles now floating about on the web, which you can get to via the links below :-
With the lift on NVIDIA's GTX 470 and 480 graphics card taking place a couple days ago, AIBs were quick to show off their own variants of the cards, although as expected, 99% of them were all identical beneath the unique sticker/color choices on some of the cards to separate them apart.
However, eVGA is one such mob who has gone all out right off the bat and introduced no less than six models; three based on the GTX 470 and three on the 480 :-
EVGA GeForce GTX 480 (015-P3-1480-TR): 700/1401/924 MHz, reference air-cooled, US $499.99
EVGA GeForce GTX 480 SC (015-P3-1482-AR): 725/1450/950 MHz, reference air-cooled, US $529.99
EVGA GeForce GTX 480 FTW Hydro Copper (015-P3-1489-AR): 750/1500/950 MHz, Hydro Copper water-block pre-fitted, US $649.99
EVGA GeForce GTX 470 (012-P3-1470-TR): 607/1215/837 MHz, reference air-cooled, US $349.99
EVGA GeForce GTX 470 SC (012-P3-1472-AR): 625/1250/850 MHz, reference air-cooled, US $369.99
EVGA GeForce GTX 470 FTW Hydro Copper (012-P3-1479-AR): 650/1300/950 MHz, Hydro Copper water-block pre-fitted, US $499.99
As you can see, both eVGA's GTX 470 and GTX 480 cards can be purchased in stock reference form to save some bucks, but if you're looking for something more, they are also offering level-1 overclocked models under their Superclocked / SC naming schematic that keep the same reference cooler.
But if you want the cream of the crop, there is also "FTW Hydro Copper" GTX 470 & 480 cards that do away with the base air-cooling setup in favour of a copper-rich waterblock made specially for eVGA's new cards by Swiftech. With the superior cooling on tap with these two cards, eVGA also clocks up the cards out of the box with level-3 overclocks, hence the FTW (For The Win) tag in their naming.
With the launch of NVIDIAs first high-end DX11 desktop parts finally behind us, word has it NVIDIA is in the midst of planning its refreshment of mid-range and entry-level parts which the company aims to have ready by as early as June'10.
It's believed that there are three cards in the works dubbed the GeForce GTS 450, GTS 440 and GTS 430, all of which will use NVIDIA's 40nm GF104 core that carries with it up to 256 shader cores, 64 TMUs, 32 ROPs and a 256-bit memory bus. The GTS 450 and 440 are both said to use GF104 to the full extent, whilst the lower grade GTS 430 will be cut down with 192 shader cores, 48 TMUs, 24 ROPs and run on a 192-bit memory bus.
Pricing was also mentioned with an expectancy in the region of 200-230 for the GTS 450, 160-180 for the GTS 440 and 130-150 for the GTS 430.
Following on from the launch of these cards, it's been made apparent that NVIDIAs next point of focus will be cards based on their GF106 and GF108 cores which cater to the lower-mid and entry level market segments.
Of course, given the early nature of this information, be sure to pinch some salt.
After many months of waiting, attributed further by the fact that the launch date has been pushed back multiple times, FERMI makes its debut today, finally.
In recent weeks we've learnt a lot about what to expect from this very significant release, bar what we want to know the most, performance numbers. Today the cat's right out of the bag for all to see.
I'd be surprised if anyone reading this doesn't already know that the two cards launched today are the GTX 470 and GTX 480; NVIDIA's first generation of DirectX 11 graphics cards. Our VGA specialist Shane Baxtor has been glued to his desk all week gathering up all that there is to know about the cards and shares his findings with all of us in this article that's just gone up in a timely fashion with the NDA lift.
Further to that, we have more performance numbers than you can poke half a dozen graphics cards at now online thanks to his GTX 470 sample he's had in hand to test with throughout the past few days. The card is compared to the current crop of ATI DX11 parts and previous-gen NVIDIA parts, including the use of some new benchmarking apps on top of our existing test regimen.
We were hoping to have a GTX 480 in time for launch as well, but that wasn't to be and we're still waiting on our 480 sample to arrive. Hopefully by mid-next week we can get you those numbers.
Along with the NDA lift comes an enslaught of content slammed up left, right and centre around the web which you can get to via the below links :-
- Hardware Canucks (GTX 470)
- Hardware Canucks (GTX 480)
- Techpowerup (GTX 470)
- Techpowerup (GTX 480)
- PC Perspective
- Hardware Heaven
- Hot Hardware
- Benchmark Reviews
Stay tuned as we'll have another article online within the next 24 hours where Shane focuses on the overclocking capability of the card, squeezing as much as he can out of it before giving it another workout on the Gulftown equipped test bench.
Yesterday we showed you pictures of the MSI GTX 480 box and board, well today we have some of the ASUS flavors. But this time we have both the GTX 480 and the GTX 470.
We are expecting more information on these two cards tomorrow as that is when the curtain officially lifts on these two new DX 11 offerings from NVIDIA and Asus.
So have fun with these images for now and check back for our further coverage of the launch tomorrow.
NVIDIA's GTX 470 and 480 graphics cards will be quite the heat source with some 3 billion transistors working away, but NVIDIA's reference cooling solutions designed to suit these cards are expected to keep things stable under extended load periods.
However, Inno3D already sees limited overclockability from the models with the stock coolers and even more importantly, a decent amount of noise as the fan automatically winds up some more to combat all that heat.
The folks at EXPreview have gotten hold of pictures of Inno3D's iChiLL Black Series waterblock designed specifically for Fermi cards.
Information is limited at this stage, but it sure looks compact compared to previous waterblocks we've seen Inno3D use for some of its earlier generation GeForce cards with dimensions of just 164x104x19.6mm.
However, it does sport a decent copper base which brings the weight up to 912g and I'm sure Inno3D have done enough testing in the most challenging conditions to ensure it's got some big pluses over the reference cooler.
The launch of NVIDIA's first wave of DX11 capable desktop graphics cards is nigh and while ATI don't have any new models on the horizon to answer to it (except for Eyefinity6 variants of existing models), there has been talk of ATI combating GTX 470/480 by lowering pricing on its cards.
However, our VGA guru Shane has heard through the grapevine that while AMD/ATI had considered doing this, it has apparently decided against it and is happy where its lineup of cards sit on the market price wise.
It's likely that this close to launch ATI have a good idea of how NVIDIA's new cards perform and don't seem to be persuaded to adjust pricing on their models; not to mention stock levels not being so much of a problem for Radeon cards these days.