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We haven't heard much about the upcoming GeForce GTX 780 GPU from NVIDIA, but Semi Accurate talked about it in a post a little over two weeks ago, which I seem to have missed until now.
SA talks about the GTX 780 being delayed because NVIDIA are held back with the power and size of the new GPU, and they're also waiting on having more GPUs in the good bin, building up numbers before offering them to consumers. You can read more on it here.
Next year is going to be interesting, with the ever-increasing power of mobile solutions, and next-generation consoles. Are the days of super huge, super hot, super powerful GPUs over? Will we need GPUs that are 30x as fast as todays solutions, in five years time? Development of games is all done on consoles now as the target system, meaning that all of that 200GB/sec (or more!) bandwidth on your GPU is mostly wasted, or at the least, not used anywhere near as much as it should.
The thrifty among our readers will be happy to hear that the AMD Radeon HD 7850 has seen another price cut, bringing the retail price for the 2GB version down to $189. Along with that cut, the rest of the product line continues to trend downwards as the series ages, the process matures, and competition heats up between AMD and NVIDIA.
Anandtech has produced the nice chart you see above. The chart shows how the prices of AMD's offerings have declined continually since launch by comparing launch price, spring MSRP, late summer MSRP, and fall retail price. AMD has changed from quoting MSRP to quoting retail price as that usually is $10 lower than MSRP.
While the prices on the HD 7000 series started out really high, as of late they've become extremely reasonable due to the continual price cuts that AMD has been implementing. With the HD 8000 series due out early next year, prices will likely continue to fall on the HD 7000 series, though probably not until the holidays or just past.
NVIDIA have pushed forward something called the Green Light program, which is a certification process that is designed to ensure that GPUs meet specific requirements, reports the Bright Side of News.
The Green Light program requires vendors to send in their board designs to NVIDIA, where they wait for their approval from the GPU maker. NVIDIA will check that the design meets their noise, power, voltage and heat numbers - and if it meets them, the card is approved. If not, it is declined and they'll have to resubmit.
What happens if a partner doesn't submit their card for approval? Well, they can have their GPU warranty and BIOS support removed, or worse - they could have their allocation of GPUs from NVIDIA cut down, or stopped completely.
Well, it appears as though AMD are looking to launch their next-gen high-end GPUs as soon as early-2013 with some out of this world naming. The top end cards will arrive as the Radeon HD 8970 and HD 8950 with codenames of Venus XT and Venus Pro, respectively.
These cards will sport no less than 5.1 billion transistors, include 3GB of RAM and sport a 384-bit memory bus. There's no bandwidth numbers just yet, but they should be pushing out some serious digits - those 5.1 billion transistors are going to be cranking along very nicely. KitGuru are reporting that we should see the Radeon HD 8970 unveiled at CeBIT in March, with a full launch at Computex a few months later in June.
The new GPUs are ahead of schedule, giving AMD some power to release a product if NVIDIA comes out with a surprise between now and then. You can also see on the chart above that there's a dual-GPU teased, the Radeon HD 8990 - now that will be a monster if I've ever seen one. We're talking 10.2 billion transistors worth of GPU goodness right there, enough to get the pants rising on any enthusiast.
Here I was thinking we wouldn't see much toward this time of the year on the GPU landscape, but AMD are already close enough to the launch of their Radeon HD 8800 series with sources now leaking out some information on silicon that is codenamed "Oland".
Oland is built on the same 28nm process, throwing in 3.4 billion transistors onto a die-area of around 270 mm². If the news is solid, we're looking at the Radeon HD 8870 "Oland XT" outperforming its predecessor, the HD 7870 in both performance per watt, and cost-performance ratios.
If the chart is right, the HD 8870 could begin offering performance close to that of today's high-end offerings, which would really shake up the market. The HD 8870 clocks in at 1050MHz, with 1100MHz PowerTune Boost frequency, with its little brother the HD 8850 clocked at 925MHz with 975MHz boost frequency. Both SKUs have memory clocking in at 6GHz, providing an insane 192GB/s of memory bandwidth - even at a proposed $199 price for the HD 8850.
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.