NVIDIA have had a great time with Kepler, top-to-bottom they have a great line up of GPUs on offer, and this line up is about to grow with another member, the GeForce GTX 650.
The GeForce GTX 650 sports the same GK107 silicon as the GeForce GT 640, but the GTX 650 sports faster GDDR5 memory. The reference board looks pretty much identical to that of the GT 640's, apart from the GTX 650 featuring a black PCB and 6-pin PCIe power connector.
Even with the new power requirement, it has the same typical power draw as the GT 640: 65W. Filling out the specs, we find that the GTX 650 sports 384 CUDA cores, 16 ROPs, and a 128-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface with 1GB of total memory.
NVIDIA has had to push back its launch schedule due to troubles with the manufacturing processes. Originally, Kepler was supposed to launch in 2011, however, it is still being launched to this day and we've almost hit 2013. No new architecture will be produced until Maxwell in 2014.
Maxwell is an interesting animal. It will be a 20nm chip, which isn't a big deal. However, it is being designed so that it can be manufactured at GlobalFoundries, IBM, Samsung and TSMC. This should allow NVIDIA to ensure a large enough supply, or make a change if one of the fabs is having process issues.
The GTX 700 series should be a similar launch schedule to what has so far occurred with the GTX 600 series. This means we won't see anything until March 2013 or later. But the good news is that the new chip should between 25-30% higher performance and power efficiency. The Kepler refresh will have to compete with AMD's Sea Islands, so the real battle will take place in 2014 with Maxwell taking on Sea Islands.
It's about time that someone went and made a 7990. We've been hearing that AMD has them coming for a long time now, but they have failed to deliver. That is, until today. PowerCooler has announced the world's first dual-Tahiti GPU and is calling it the 7990. Does this mean that we may finally start seeing them from other manufacturers?
For right now, PowerCooler is billing this card as the first and only 7990 in the world. The specifications are pretty beefy and really provide what everyone was expecting. The Devil 13 HD7990 has default settings at 925MHz engine clocks and 1375MHz memory clocks and sports 6GB of GDDR5.
The Devil 13 HD7990 is built with high efficiency thermal solution and solid components onboard. With trio fans and 10pcs U-shape heat pipes, maximizing the heat dissipated ability to cool down the Devil 13 board. Also, it includes 12+2+2 phases, digital PWM, super cap, UHB and PowerIRstage-all these platinum power kit enhances stability and reliability voltage for GPU with minimum conduction losses and lower temperatures at load, delivering the steadiest and most secure power to boost for performance.
NVIDIA have reportedly released their GeForce GTX 660 GPU to the OEM market, and just like its bigger brother, the GeForce GTX 660 Ti, it sports the same GK104 core. But, it features just 6 SMX units enabled for a grand total of 1152 CUDA cores, as well as 96 texture units.
This is down from the Ti's 1344 CUDA cores, and 112 texture units. Frequencies have also received a bit of a snip, clocking in at 823MHz core, with an 888MHz boost clock, and 5,800MHz memory. The GTX 660 should arrive on OEM doorsteps with 1.5GB and 3GB GDDR5 configurations, a 192-bit memory bus, which should offer a maximum bandwidth of 134GB/s. This isn't bad considering the 660 Ti sports 144GB/s memory bandwidth.
The GTX 660 OEM should provide around 75% of the performance that its bigger brother does, but with lower performance brings a lower TDP, of just 130W. This allows NVIDIA to give the GTX 660 a single 6-pin PCIe connector. It will still include the usual four-display output configuration, featuring two dual-link DVI-I connectors, HDMI 1.4a, and a DisplayPort 1.2 socket.
If you're looking to buy a new AMD graphics card, the time could not be better. AMD has again dropped prices on its high-end cards so that they are more competitive with NVIDIA's latest offering. With the NVIDIA GTX 660 Ti finally outed by the company, AMD wants to position its cards in places where they can compete.
The street prices have dropped accordingly:
- 1GB 7850 down $40 to $190
- 2GB 7850 down $40 to $210
- 2GB 7870 down $50 to $250
- 3GB 7950 down $30 to $320
The 7970 does not see a price drop in this latest round, the both the 78XX and 7950 have had their prices lowered. The 3GB 7950 price drop brings its price down to a level similar to the GTX 660. In tests, a 2GB 7950 and 660 Ti were about 50/50. The 3GB version will likely pull out a couple of extra wins, and with the new pricing, should win business.
The price drops range from 10-20 percent, which are respectable discounts. These cheaper prices are the result of healthy competition, and while this might be a bit off topic, it needs to be said: this is why AMD needs to hang in the market against both NVIDIA and Intel. Better products (Kepler) and cheaper prices are sure to come because of it.
Contrary to rumors flying around the internet, Sapphire has not cancelled the 6GB 7970 Toxic graphics card they produce. It seems that because one major reseller put "discontinued" instead of "out-of-stock", or something similar, enthusiasts freaked out that they wouldn't be able to get the super fast card.
At Gamescon, however, Sapphire has a large booth and sitting right in the middle as the pride and joy of the booth was the 6GB 7970 Toxic card. KitGuru asked Bill Donnelly for a little more information regarding the rumor flying around the web. The short answer? It's not discontinued, just facing production constraints.
Production on a card like this will always be limited, because of the tight selection process that every component needs to go though. To ensure that the clocks are stable at the levels our engineers have set for the top end Toxic cards, you will always be limited in terms of how many cards than make at once.
We think the rumour started when all of the cards made so far, sold out in every store that was carrying them across the globe. In almost every case, the resellers put a message saying 'Temporarily out of stock' or 'Pre-order only', but one of the largest resellers showed 'Discontinued' instead. And that caused a bit of a panic among enthusiasts who really wanted one.
Production is supposedly running smoothly and cards should start to become available again soon.
The red camp fires back. AMD has just announced an updated version of the 7950 in the same vein as the 7970 GHz edition update. What this means is that the card is getting faster base clocks as well as a new feature that boosts the core clock when the TDP isn't fully loaded. With AMD and NVIDIA nearly matched on performance and AMD losing in power efficiency, they've decided to go for the best performance-per-dollar.
So, aside from throwing power consumption out the window, what else have they changed? Not much really. The new base clock is up to 850MHz from the original 800MHz. Boost clock speeds allow the clock speed to jump to 925MHz. The reason power usage will jump is they have increased the core voltage to support these speeds.
With the 7970, it wasn't too bad as they had top bin parts. With the 7950, they are dealing with either broken chips or chips that wouldn't hit clock speed requirements. Because of this, AMD is using 1.25v which is higher than the 7970GHzE's 1.218v. It will be interesting to see how this increase affects benchmark results.
The card will launch with an identical name: HD 7950. The upgrade is a BIOS and driver change so all the board partners have to do is update their BIOS and re-qualify them. Once done, the physically same cards will begin shipping using the same name which could easily cause confusion. Way to go AMD!
Ask the Experts: Which CPU should I go for to take the full potential of a GEFORCE GTX 670 or Radeon HD 7970?
We've had Rahul from India ask us a question in our Ask the Experts section.
Q: Hello Mr. I am looking to buy a new gaming Pc i am keen on buying a Gtx 670 Or radeon Hd 7970. so my doubt is which Processor is Capable of extracting the gpus full potential. my cpu options are Intel Core i5 3550, 3570K And 3770K of the three which i go in for. Please Help......
A: You can view the answer to Rahul's question here.
If you want to Ask the Experts a question, you can ask us right here!
Ask the Experts: I have a MSI Radeon HD 6970 Lightning with a 3x1080p monitor setup, should I add another HD 6970 or grab a GTX 680 2GB or 4GB card?
We've had another great question in our Ask the Experts section, from Sam in Indonesia.
Q: I have a msi HD6970 lightning card with 3x1080p monitor setup..i want to update my pc should i get another hd6970 or buy GTX 680 2gb or4gb for my 3 monitor setup?
A: View the answer to Sam's question here.
If you want to Ask the Experts a question, you can ask us right here!
NVIDIA is having lots of trouble with the launch of the Kepler series. It seems as though information about every single card leaked out before the actual card was released. We previously told you about the GTX 660 Ti specifications and launch date, and have now provided a review for your viewing pleasure.
This time we bring news of the GTX 650, a new card that will be aimed at the sub-$200 market and launched in time for back-to-school shopping. It's important for NVIDIA to get a Kepler card into this price range as AMD completely controls that segment of the market right now. This market segment is also where most of the money is made.
The GTX 650 is rumored to launch on September 17 and will be packing a chip based on the 28 nm GK107 ASIC, which is based upon Kepler. The chip will utilize 384 CUDA cores, a 128-bit memory bus, and 1GB of memory. A quick guess at performance based upon CUDA core count would put the card competing with the AMD 7770.
According to a report from DonanimHaber, the launch of the GeForce GTX 660 Ti, GTX 660 and GTX 650 from NVIDIA will see the discontinuation of the GTX 560 and 550 shortly before the launch itself.
This is not usual, but when you start seeing the stock dry up on the GTX 560 and 550, you'll know its nearly 660, 650 time. So if you're looking at grabbing a new GeForce GTX 560 or 550, we would suggest waiting it out for a little bit.
The new 660, 650 GPUs are expected sometime in August-September, so if you're content with your system now and can just hold out for a little bit longer, it might pay off. You could also grab a GTX 560 or 550 cheap if someone is moving on up, too.
SweOverclockers is reporting that NVIDIA are set to launch their mid-range GPU, the GeForce GTX 660 Ti on August 16. We've had a few previous posts on this, but the date is getting closer and closer.
August 16 is just over a fortnight away, remember. NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 660 Ti is based on NVIDIA's GK104 core, which is the same core that is baked into each GTX 670.
It will sport 1344 stream processors, a memory interface of 192-bit, 2GB of GDDR5 memory, and core/boost/memory frequencies of 915MHz/980MHz and 6008MHz, respectively. TDP comes in at 150W, 20W less than the higher-end GTX 670 GPU.
AMD Radeon HD 7990 6GB is on its way, will arrive with four 6-pin PCIe connectors, 6 display outputs
AMD's elusive dual-GPU "New Zealand" Radeon HD 7990 has been hiding in the shadows for quite a while now, with the last time the card getting spotted was at the AMD Fusion Developer Summit in Bellevue, WA.
According to a piece from VR-Zone, AMD have communicated to its partners that the HD 7990 would be ready in Q3 of this year, with a sampling date of June, which then led to a slip into July. The latest information comes from "confidential sources" who told VR-Zone that the boards will be coming in late-August at the earliest.
Considering NVIDIA have been enjoying the dual-GPU game with their GEFORCE GTX 690, AMD are considerably late to the party. The new HD 7990 is said to come with a very unique power system, consisting of four 6-pin PCIe connectors which will replace the usual dual 8-pin connector. These four 6-pin connectors give the card a multiphase power regulation, which is divided into three groups. The major groups are made up from Tahiti XT, 3GB GDDR5 memory per core (clocking in at 1.5GHz) and finally, the PLX PCIe 3.0 controller.
Our latest poll had 6,600 people who answered, Let's settle this! AMD GPU vs. NVIDIA GPU.
NVIDIA got out to a strong lead in the beginning, but we let this poll run longer than usual and AMD clawed its way back slowly.
In the end NVIDIA came out in front with 50% of the votes with AMD taking 43%. Seven percent of our readers didn't understand the question. Oh, they must be console gamers, shame on you - kidding!
A report is claiming to know the launch date and specifications for the upcoming NVIDIA GTX 660 Ti. Nothing has been confirmed by NIVIDIA, so for now it will be treated as a rumor. According to the latest data scored by SweClockers, the GTX 660 is nearly identical to the GTX 670 and the launch is only about 3 weeks away.
The GTX 660 Ti is said to be a 28 nm GK104 GPU with 1,344 CUDA cores enabled, exactly the same as the GTX 670. In fact, the 660 Ti is said to have the exact same clock speeds for both the core and memory as the 670. The memory remains identical at 2GB, as well. It turns out that the only difference is that the memory bus is reduced to 192-bit, down from 256-bit on the 670.
This change will yield a 25% lower bandwidth for memory. It's likely to be arranged with four chips using 32-bit wide paths each and four other chips sharing two 32-bit wide paths. According to the report, the card will launch on August 16. Coincidentally, this is the first public day of the GamesCom event held in Cologne, Germany. This will likely serve as the launchpad for the product.
If you've been saving your money patiently waiting for the next big thing to come out of AMD, you may just get a chance to save a bit longer. Reports are coming in that the dual-GPU card based upon the 7970 silicon may not be released until late-August. This is directly opposed to other reports that it could be available this month.
It's not fully clear why the card has been delayed. AMD certainly needs to challenge the GTX 690's performance and hopefully win the performance crown back, so it's not like AMD is liking having this delay. If they were ahead, then a delay like this could be the result of them trying to keep it in reserve as a later challenge to NVIDIA.
One possible reason for the delay could be due to a shortage of PEX8747 PCIe bridge chips by PLX. These chips have been reported to be experiencing a shortage and are needed at the heart of every dual-GPU card, including the GTX 690. Another issue could be AMD is trying to work out how to provide the best price-performance and performance-Watt ratios.
Throw on top of all that NVIDIA's upcoming 660 and 670 Ti launch and AMD is starting to feel the heat. They really need to get this card out the door, as long as it is ready, so as to put some pressure back onto NVIDIA and possibly slow down their momentum created by Kepler.
NVIDIA have released the tech demo for their latest and greatest GeForce GTX 600 series of GPUs dubbed 'A New Dawn'. It features the ever-so-gorgeous Dawn, looking (or is that rendered?) better than ever.
I don't have any GTX 600 series cards myself, but if I did you'd be hearing my personal thoughts on it. But, The Tech Report, er, reports that that on their test rig, which is powered by SLI GTX 680's at 2560x1600 looks "incredible".
You can check it out yourself by downloading it here (a shave under 800MB). I've heard it runs on GTX 500 series cards, so let us know how you go, and what you think of NVIDIA's 'A New Dawn'.
NVIDIA's mid-range of GeForce GPUs have always been the most popular, recently we've seen the GTX 460 and 560 cards soar through gamers' wish lists, as well as the Ti variants. But, with the Kepler-based GPUs, we haven't seen a mid-range card released.
According to Sweclockers, the GeForce GTX 660 Ti will arrive in mid-August carrying an MSRP of $299. This will make it a direct threat to AMD's Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition, which just received a new price last week. The GTX 660 Ti would be based on the same core as the GTX 670, the GK104 core architecture, with 7 SMX units enabled giving us a total of 1344 CUDA cores.
Memory specifications, and clock speeds are expected to be changed also. The GTX 670 sports two different choices in memory, either 2GB or 4GB of GDDR5 memory on a 256-bit memory bus. The GTX 660 Ti will reportedly put on offer, 1.5GB or 3GB of GDDR5, on a 192-bit memory bus.
If video cards these days weren't built crazily enough, Gigabyte's newest kid on the block sure is. Gigabyte's upcoming Super Overclock version of the AMD Radeon HD 7970 is looking like it'll stand out from the crowd, sporting five 40mm fans mounted on top of a triple-slot radiator.
Gigabyte's GV-R797SO-3GD is surely going to be one of the hottest cards (and not in the temperature sense) when it hits, sporting a Tahiti XT-based GPU running a 384-bit memory bus backed up by 2048 stream processors. The overclocked model comes with a core clock of 1080MHz, up from the stock clock of 925MHz, and 3GB of GDDR5 memory clocking in at 5500MHz. Output-wise we find ourselves being offered two mini DisplayPorts, one gold-plated HDMI port, a single dual-link DVI port, meaning the card is capable of running four displays simultaneously.
Gigabyte's SOC card uses the five fans mounted at the top of the GPU to "pul" the heated air off the radiator, which the company says reduces "hotspots" on the bottom of the card due to minimal airflow created with traditional cooler designs. What this means is that the HD 7970 SOC is totally silent below 30C, with Gigabyte's Anti-Turbulence Pull Airflow System hitting 53dB at 57C, almost 9dB quieter than a standard HD 7970 running at 64C.