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NVIDIA's GPU Technology Conference in San Jose earlier today unveiled some interesting developments with the company, with NVIDIA CEO Jen Hsun-Huang revealing the next step in their GPU roadmap - Volta.
Volta will arrive after Maxwell, and will provide GPUs with an insane amount of memory bandwidth. Volta-based GPUs will provide up to 1TB per second of bandwidth, made capable by stacking the DRAM on top of the GPU itself, with a silica substrate between them. Then, cutting a hole through the silicon and connecting each layer provides the ability for this insane level of bandwidth. Something Huang has said has the ability to shift "all of the data from a full Blu-Ray disc through the chip in 1/50th of a second."
I don't know what this will do in the consumer space, as even the unreleased next-gen consoles will be holding back a beast like Volta. The future is looking great for NVIDIA, and I'm excited to see what we'll see from these next-gen GPUs.
There have been rumblings about this for a few weeks now, but Sapphire have just announced the release of their new HD 7950 Mac Edition graphics card. From the model alone, you can tell this is destined for an Apple machine, more specifically, their Mac Pro series of desktop PCs.
Sapphire's HD 7950 Mac Edition comes with 3GB of GDDR5 memory, and works on the PC too thanks to its dual firmware support through a simple dual BIOS switch. The HD 7950 Mac Edition GPU is compatible with Apple Mac Pro late-2010 and up models, as long as there is an available PCI-Express x16 slot. Two six-pin PCIe power connections are required, which come in the box.
AMD brings along their powerful Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture, which gives the Mac a number of technologies to play with. These include de-blocking, de-noising, automatic de-interlacing, Mosquito noise reduction and edge enhancement as well as advanced image quality enhancement technology, such as adaptive anti-aliasing and 16x angle independent anisotropic texture filtering.
As for graphics horsepower in games, there's a huge improvement in that department - up to 200% faster than competing graphics cards (an NVIDIA GeForce 8800GT is what Sapphire are comparing to - a commonly used GPU in Mac Pro's).
It looks like NVIDIA may be working on a second GK110-based consumer GPU to fill the gap between the marginally expensive GTX 680 and the ridiculously expensive GTX Titan released last month. With a $500 gap between the GTX 680 and GTX Titan, NVIDIA has a lot of wiggle room to squeeze another GPU in the lineup.
The video card is said to feature 13 of the 15 streaming multiprocessors that are built into the GK110 silicon. This means we would have 2,496 CUDA cores to do our gaming bidding. Combine that with 208 texture memory units, 40ROPs, a 320-bit memory interface, and 5GB of GDDR5 RAM and you end up with a fairly powerful card.
The rumored release date is somewhere between July and August of this year.
There's a gap in AMD's GPUs that needs to be filled, which is the very lucrative $110-$170 price point. NVIDIA currently nails this with their GeForce GTX 650 Ti, but AMD are looking to correct their mistake with the HD 7790, or "Bonaire".
The Radeon HD 7790 looks to skip the "Pitcairn" and "Cape Verde" silicons, moving directly to an entirely new ASIC codenamed "Bonaire". The first SKU to be built on this silicon will be the Radeon HD 7790, which should feature 896 stream processors, and will perform at around 10% slowly than the HD 7850. This should definitely take some of the lime light away from the GTX 650 Ti, and if AMD work on the price, they could move a lot of that lime light away.
We should see the HD 7790 launched sometime next month.
ASUS have unveiled something quite awesome on their Facebook page, a new GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU Mini. From the name alone, it might not seem like a lot, but this GPU is a full GeForce GTX 670 and only measures in at 17cm, or 6.7 inches long.
This means that the GPU is just as long as a miniITX motherboard, and they're very short. Super amounts of power in a very small space. I'd like to see what a couple of them in SLI could do! If you'll notice, it only has a single 8-pin PCIe connector, which is nice.
Render. Rinse. Repeat! That's AMD's new recommended method of hair care. The company could have just very well ushered in a new era of 3D graphics with its new hair processing technique dubbed TressFX. The process showcases more "realistic" and "natural" hair for in game characters.
AMD says that the new technique allows for individual strands of hair to be rendered out, and everything will flow more naturally with unique physics properties and collision detection. Long gone are the days when you have to suffer trough Laura Croft's pony tail bouncing within a seemingly flat plane.
AMD's blog stated:
Simply: realistic hair is one of the most complex and challenging materials to accurately reproduce in real-time. DirectCompute is additionally utilized to perform the real-time physics simulations for TressFX Hair. This physics system treats each strand of hair as a chain with dozens of links, permitting for forces like gravity, wind and movement of the head to move and curl Lara's hair in a realistic fashion. Further, collision detection is performed to ensure that strands do not pass through one another, or other solid surfaces such as Lara's head, clothing and body. Finally, hair styles are simulated by gradually pulling the strands back towards their original shape after they have moved in response to an external force.
Earler this week, we were introduced to the NVIDIA GeForce Titan GPU, a consumer graphics card based off of the GK110 chip which is currently used in supercomputers. System integrators, such as iBuyPower, Maingear, and Origin have announced that they will be offering the GPU in some of their systems.
But I'm sure many of our readers are interested in buying just the GPU. Newegg has put the Titan up for pre-order for a mere $999. The model available on Newegg is from ASUS and is listed to be available for purchase on February 28, so six days from now. EVGA, and possibly other vendors, will be offering up their own boards, likely before February 28.
We have some good news for you, NVIDIA are set to unleash their latest GPU, the GeForce GTX Titan on February 18. This is just days away, so if you had any cash saved from not buying Valentine's Day presents, you should look at getting one of these puppies.
Now, before you get too excited - this isn't the GTX 800 series, nor is it a refresh, nor is it the Maxwell-based GPUs we should expect later this year. According to TechPowerUp's database, this is what we should expect:
What should we expect performance-wise from the GeForce GTX Titan? Well, we should expect 2688 stream processors, 224 texture units, and 48 raster operating units. The Titan should slam its hammer down with 6GB of GDDR5 memory running at 6GHz on a 384-bit bus. This is the GK110 chip, folks, featuring over 7 billion transistors laid down on a 521mm2 of space and will have clock speeds pumping at 875MHz.
Word on the street is that less than 10,000 of the Titan's were made and that we should expect to only see them from ASUS and EVGA for now. We should expect some pre-built systems to feature the Titan, which we should hopefully see unleashed next week. Until then, we'll have to wait.
We've been hearing rumblings of a new card coming from NVIDIA that will be based upon the GK110 GPU. The GK110 is the GPU that powers some of NVIDIA's Tesla workstation GPUs. The rumors say that NVIDIA is planning to release the GPU to counter whatever AMD may have to offer with the HD8000 series.
A leaked posting for the new graphics card puts the price tag at $1,599. The GPU is listed online at Austin Computers, which is based in Australia. As such, the price might not be the same in the United States, but it should give us a starting point. Furthermore, some of the specifications were listed in the title bar.
The card listed is an ASUS that features a PCI-E 3.0 interface, 6GB of RAM, and a 512-bit RAM interface. Previous rumors had placed the RAM at 6GB on a 384-bit memory bus. Clocks are said to be 915MHz with a boost to 1019. There isn't a picture of the product, so take this with some reservations. This posting could be wrong.
During an interview with Japanese site 4Gamer.net, AMD's Product Manager for Desktop Graphics Products, Devon Nekechuk, revealed some startling information: that AMD won't be launching any new GPUs this year.
AMD will instead concentrate on their already great Radeon HD 7000 series, by adjusting the price and performance increases through driver releases. A slide released to 4Gamers.net shows that AMD's Radeon HD 7900 series (high-end), HD 7800 series (performance), and HD 7700 series (mainstream), will carry on the company's mantle "throughout 2013."
It looks like we're seeing a slowing down of GPU releases, which I'm guessing is because there's hardly any games that push GPUs anymore. It's also incredibly expensive in terms of R&D for GPU makers to continue pushing new GPUs out every 6-12 months, but I think the real reason is that a $200-$300 GPU will play most games at 1080p@60 now.