This post comes inclusive of many grains of salt, but the first leaks on AMD's Radeon HD 7970 are here. The GPU is said to be released on January 10, 2012, where our VGA editor has promised me after he's done he's going to send me all of our samples, right Shane? ;)
Onto the rumor, 3DCenter have a compiled list of specifications for "Tahiti", from various sources and bits and pieces of info from here and there:
4.50 billion transistors, die-area of 380 mm², built on TSMC 28 nm process
Advanced GCN 1D architecture
2048 1D processing cores
128 TMUs, 48 ROPs
384-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface, memory clock slightly below 1 GHz, target bandwidth of 240~264 GB/s
AMD's next-generation high-end graphics card has been spotted, with images making their way onto the Internet. The new boards are marked as "Tahiti" and are believed to be the top-of-the-line single-GPU cards from AMD. This should be what the Radeon HD 7900-Series will eventually be.
The card, as you can see in the picture above, is quite long, roughly the same length as AMD's current Radeon HD 6970. It sports twelve GDDR5 memory chips, which means they use a 384-bit memory bus. It also includes two 8-pin PCI Express power connectors, which should give it up to 375W of power to suck down. The card, however, is powered by the SIG-approved 6-pin plus 8-pin config, which uses up to 300W of power.
It shouldn't be long until we have more concrete info, but generally, when there are leaks like this, the real things aren't far behind.
This is a bit unexpected, but a good move for Zalman. They have just announced their entry into the GPU market with the shipping of Zalman-branded GPUs to start shipping on December 13.
Zalman's first entry will be AMD Radeon HD 6000 Series GPUs, in three different models: Zalman HD6870-H , H-Zalman HD6850 and HD6770 Zalman-H. As you can tell from the model numbers, they are HD 6870, HD 6850 and HD 6770 GPUs. Nothing high-end yet, but I'm sure Zalman are just putting their toes into the water, for now.
Juicy one today, folks! It is rumored that AMD's flagship single-GPU graphics card will hit a US$549 price, with the slower model having a price tag of $449.
Remember, that this is just a rumor and nothing is guaranteed, but it gives us a peak into what we could expect when the cards launch. Right now, the names being thrown around are the AMD Radeon HD 7970 and Radeon HD 7950, just like the previous variants of cards in the 6000 Series. The pricing is reportedly coming from AMD and not card partners.
We're expecting an early January shipping estimate, and should hopefully hear some more news on the subject soon. Is it too early to wish for two of these puppies? I'll take CrossFireX 7970's, thanks.
To tell you the truth, I've been holding back my excitement on AMD's new GPUs for a while now. I was a huge fan of the HD 5000-Series, it just completely outperformed Fermi in virtually every way. Sure, it wasn't the fastest in every test, but it had great temps, great overclockability, great noise levels, and to me, was a better card to launch onto the market than the GTX 400-Series.
But, now we have AMD's first true new graphics architecture since the HD 2000-Series. Dubbed Graphics Core Next, or GCN, the new Radeon HD 7000-Series will be the first to feature the new technology, which is set to have a much bigger focus on GPGPU functionality than any ATI or AMD GPU previously, which should at least keep up with NVIDIA's CUDA, or beat it.
PCIe 3.0 is barely here and rumblings of PCIe 4.0 is coming through the cracks of the Internet tubes. PCI-SIG, who are responsible for developing the PCI Express spec, have listed some preliminary details about PCIe 4.0.
PCI-SIG says that they've decided on a transfer rate of 16GT/sec for the next-generation PCIe technology, with a study showing that 16GT/sec can be achieved over copper wires, at roughly the same power levels of PCIe 3.0, using chips fabbed with "mainstream silicon process technology".
PCIe 4.0 will be backward compatible with older PCIe devices, and vica versa. PCI-SIG haven't mentioned which encoding scheme the new standard will use, so assuming it uses the same 128b/130b system as PCIe 3.0, a 16GT/sec peak transfer rate would translate into per-late, per-direction bandwitch of just under 2GB/sec, a two-fold increase over the PCIe 3.0 standard, and nearly four times as fast as PCIe 2.0. We'd be looking at 31.5GB/sec per direction for a PCIe 4.0 x16 slot.
NVIDIA have always been kings of the mid-range GPUs and the release of the GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448 cores is no different. Released at a time when the world needs a new
superhero, I mean, GPU, is perfect.
Battlefield 3. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Saints Row The Third. Batman: Arkham City. Just to name a few. Mid-range graphics cards are always the most popular, as they offer the most price/performance. I won't go into the 448-cored GTX 560, as our gloriously awesome VGA Editor, Shane Baxtor, has gone into it in better detail which you can check out here.
We have a juicy rumor today from Japanese website 4Gamer and VR-Zone in the form of a roadmap for NVIDIA's upcoming 28nm Kepler GPU line-up for desktops. Kepler's rollout will be bottom-to-top, starting with the mainstream GK107 chip in Q2 2012.
High-end parts such as the GK110/GK112 will not see the light of day until later in the year. All Kepler GPUs will be manufactured on TSMC's 28nm process, use GDDR5 memory and include support for DirectX 11.1 that will be included in Windows 8.
We should see the GK107 mainstream part in Q2 2012, which features 128-bit memory, and should land in notebooks first, with a desktop release shortly after. GK107 also only supports PCI-Express 2.0. GK106 is set to be the mainstream performance part, replacing the current NVIDIA gem, the GeForce GTX 560. This should sport a 256-bit memory bus, with a release sometime in late Q2 2012.
We've seen a few different AMD Catalyst drivers lately, with today bringing the Catalyst 11.11a driver. What does it do? Well, as usual, it supports Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP and brings some fixes, support and improvements for Batman: Arkham City, RAGE, Skyrim and Battlefield 3.
You can grab the drivers here, and for a rundown of what the Catalyst 11.11a driver does, take a look below:
We've talked about this before, but some fresh news has floated up onto the surface of the waves of the Internet. New reports from Chinese websites have sparked up the XDR2 topic again with new rumors that AMD will attempt to deploy XDR2 memory on their next-gen ultra-high end products.
XDR2 is quite powerful according to Rambus, where it can transfer twice the amount of data per clock when compared to GDDR5. AMD and Rambus have had better relations with each other when compared to most other companies. In 2006, AMD settled outstanding disputes with Rambus by willing to pay licensing costs for certain technologies claimed by Rambus, turning a lead in the relations between the two companies.
NVIDIA have just launched a new hybrid processing technology that should interest professionals that want to use NVIDIA's graphics and compute products in the same machine. NVIDIA first showed the technology off at SIGGRAPH 2011 in August, and now enter, Maximus.
Maximus technology works pretty close to how their consumer graphics switching software, Optimus, works. Instead of allocating resources between two graphics processors (generally an integrated and discrete solution), Maximus offers the hybridization of NVIDIA's Quadro GPU and Tesla GPGPU products.
In typical standout fashion, chinese based VGA add-in board partner Colorful has come forward today introducing their latest super duper, highly modified graphics card - the iGame GTX 560Ti Kudan.
Straight off the bat when you look at the accompanying photos of this card, you can see it's a huge step away from the norm and clearly stands right out. There might be a real lot of GTX 560Ti's on the market, but nothing quite like this one.
Colorful has not only designed a stronger custom PCB for this card, but it also comes with a add-in card that provides additional power phases. The triple-slot cooler boasting ten heatpipes and three fans (one 90mm and two 80mm) is truly a work of art, as shown in the photos, with a chunky backplate and also coming with five detachable heatsinks (which are a part of the Air-Kit), along with paints and brushes in the Color-Kit to further customize the look of your GTX 560Ti Kudan's cooler how you see fit.
AMD's 28nm-based next-generation GPUs are rumored to arrive in January 2012, according to a report from Fudzilla. Grains of salt are being thrown left, right and centre, and while the 7000-series was meant to be released this year, Fuzilla report that word from "multiple industry sources" that Tahiti won't make it until 2012.
Tahiti will be the direct successor to Cayman, which is what powers the current Radeon HD 6900-series cards, and is expected to come in both XP and PRO variants. Specific models haven't been announced, but if AMD stick to their current naming system and don't throw it all around again, we should expect the new cards to be Radeon HD 7950 and Radeon HD 7970.
Both cards will be single-GPU parts, replacing both the HD 6950 and HD 6970, while a dual-GPU powerhouse card featuring two Tahiti cores will arrive later in 2012 and be dubbed the Radeon HD 7990 aka New Zealand. This could see either a March release, and if its too busy sipping cocktails waiting for NVIDIA to play catch up, we could see it laze through until early Q2 2012.
The Radeon 7900-series marks the arrival of AMD's new Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture, which is supposed to bring us a GPU that performs well at both graphical and computing tasks.
NVIDIA are set to unleash their latest graphics card, the GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448 cores on the 29th of November. It has been talked about for a little while now, but the official specifications are now available for us to drool over, so let's get into it.
The original GeForce GTX 560 Ti launched back in January of this year and featured the GF114 silicon, 384 CUDA cores, a 256-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface, 1GB of memory, high clock speed and some great overclocking potential. This caused AMD to go red with anger, as NVIDIA liked to say that their GTX 560 Ti "pwned" the Radeon HD 6870. AMD came back swinging with the HD 6950 and was able to lay some smack down on the 560 Ti.
EVGA have just announced a GF114-powered, dual GPU card in the form of the EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 2Win. It is roughly 30-percent faster than a GTX 580 when running the Unigene Heaven benchmark. Output wise, we have three DVI connectors for NVIDIA 3D Vision Surround, as well as a mini HDMI port.
The cooler includes three fans (!), which should keep the dual-GPU card very cool. Core is clocked at 850MHz, 768 CUDA cores included, memory sits at 1000MHz, memory bandwidth at 256.6GB/sec, shaders at 1700MHz. Unfortunately, the included SLI connector is not functional and will not allow SLI with another card.
This is what I like to hear! With NVIDIA currently on a roll with their Tegra range and Tegra 3-powered devices starting to roll out any day now (in the form of ASUS' Transformer Prime), we now have some GeForce-related new. Rub your hands together with glee! Rumor has it that NVIDIA are flushing the channel of 500-series GPUs, and should introduce some more price cuts soon.
Price cuts on 500-series of GPUs has been happening slowly, but NVIDIA believes that their next-gen 'Kepler' GPU based on a 28nm process is ready and has a strong suspicion that AMD won't be ready with their 7000-series Radeon cards until after Santa does his rounds this Christmas. NVIDIA wants to push hard for a Christmas launch, and you won't hear any complaining from me!
NVIDIA could do a few things here, launch the 600-series before Christmas and use the promise of 'something more from NVIDIA, but it is not here just yet', to try and grab a few of those GPU fans that were leaning toward a Radeon-flavored GPU, and keep them licking that sweet, green NVIDIA pie. Then we have the bundles NVIDIA are pumping out with partners, bundling games such as Mafia II and Batman: Arkham City - this is great, and it keeps customers coming back.
If you're holding off on picking up a copy of Battlefield 3 due to your current VGA card being indefinitely not up to scratch to handle it, ASUS has just the ticket for you convenience wise, and may well save you some cash at the same time.
This page from ASUS direct details a couple bundles they're now offering which comprise a graphics card or sound card, and a Battlefield 3 coupon that can be redeemed on Origin.
The graphics card bundle comprises ASUS' GeForce GTX 560 Ti DirectCU II TOP with a BF3-themed Lanyard and of course the coupon for the game thrown in too.
Nuts about Batman? Going all batty about the new release action game title, Batman Arkham City? - Chances are you'll love EVGA's latest graphics card to hit the market - a Batman: Arkham City themed GeForce GTX 580.
This is a Special Edition "Superclocked" GTX580 from the company which of course is stickered up with the Dark Knight and his bat wings of glory. The card (model number 015-P3-1582-A1) is already being offered up over at Newegg at a price of $529.99 USD and while not confirmed, is likely to include a voucher for the copy of the game given that this pricing is about $30 over the standard GTX 580.
KFA2 has been quiet for a while, since announcing their MDT (Multi Display Technology) range of graphics cards, but now we have something to sink our teeth into. KFA2 have unveiled the KFA2 GTX MDT 570 which is powered by the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570, and sports a black PCB, custom aluminium cooling solution and is said to offer unique voltage control features.
The KFA2 GTX MDT 570 is set to launch next month and is said to be factory-overclocked. But that's not the most special part of this card, it features support for four 1080p displays, or three 1080p displays if you want to use NVIDIA's Surround Vision. Output wide, it will include three DVI-D ports, a single Dual-Link DVI port and a single mini HDMI port.
These cards will be a great purchase for anyone wanting to do Surround Vision from a single GPU, as currently, NVIDIA requires SLI to do Surround Vision. But, keep in mind this card will not do 3D Vision Surround as it only has a single Dual-Link DVI port. Three Dual-Link DVI ports are required for 120Hz/3D gaming, so you would need two cards with at least one of them sporting dual-dual-link DVI.
To celebrate the launch of Battlefield 3 (for some initial impressions, check it out here), SAPPHIRE Technology have introduced the SAPPHIRE HD 6970 BF3 Special Edition, which sports two SAPPHIRE exclusive technologies, SAPPHIRE FleX and Vapor-X cooling as well as performance enhancing options for the enthusiast and finally, a FREE copy of Battlefield 3.
The SAPPHIRE HD 6970 BF3 Special Edition includes a Dual BIOS switch which goes between two performance settings delivering the best performance in its class. While sitting in the 'normal' setting, clock speed sit at 880MHz for core, 1375MHz for memory and a quite fan profile. Choosing the "boost" setting throws the card up to 930MHz as well as increasing core voltage, fan speed and overclock limits to deliver higher performance.
SAPPHIRE's FleX technology is also great as it allows Eyefinity from three DVI monitors, without the need for DisplayPort or any adapters. Vapor-X cooling is also awesome, which enables the performance to be maxed out, but keeping those noise levels down low.
It's a little late to be offering BF3, but if you purchase the card and have multiple machines at home, or a friend who doesn't yet own BF3, this is a great product from SAPPHIRE.
Deal of the Day: ZOTAC GeForce GT 430 1GB DDR3 PCI-E 2.0 x16 Video Card for $19.99 after Rebate with FREE Shipping
Our Deal of the Day today is the Newegg - ZOTAC ZT-40604-10L GeForce GT 430 (Fermi) 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card for $19.99 after Rebate with FREE Shipping!.
Offer: $19.99 after $30 mail in rebate (expiring 10/31/11) gets you this 1GB GeForce GT 430 PCI Express 2.0 x16 card with DisplayPort, HDMI, and DVI outputs.