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Adding to the myriad of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950 releases is Palit with its StormX series of video cards, brandishing two sleek and sexy designs.
This small series is lead by the overclocked StormX Dual card, complete with 2GB of GDDR5 memory and a clock boosted to 1241MHz, 53MHz higher than 'stock'. This blue rendition sits alongside the all-black StormX base model card, sitting on a stock clock.
The StormX Dual further features "dual Turbofan Blade coolers" as the name and a recently issued press release points out. Palit has further added solid capacitors, ferrite core chokes and improved the PWM design - enabling 0dB cooling when operating under 60C.
We've been hearing about AMD's next generation GPUs for a while now, but it looks like they're beginning to take more form. It's being reported that AMD's upcoming 'Greenland' GPU will be an entirely new microarchitecture, with development on Greenland starting some two years ago.
But more interestingly, rumor has it that it's not just going to be yet another Graphics Core Next architecture (GCN), but it'll feature a new ISA (instruction set architecture) that will be so different to GCN, that it will be very exciting. On the surface, it'll be like previous generation Radeon products, with so much more happening underneath.
Greenland will reportedly usher in twice the power efficiency of GCN, where we can expect these GPUs to be made on the 16nm FinFET or 14nm process, with a serious jump on the number of stream processors when compared to the Fiji architecture. Fiji is the GPU behind the Radeon R9 Fury and R9 Fury X cards, powered by High Bandwidth Memory, or HBM. More importantly, it's being reported that Greenland will pack HBM2, with enthusiast level and professional cards packing up to 32GB of HBM2. The consumer orientated Greenland-powered Radeon cards will come in two flavors: 8GB and 16GB, both of the next-gen HBM2 technology.
The new Greenland products will pack an insane 15-18 billion transistors, which is in the ballpark of the next-gen GeForce card from NVIDIA which is said to cram 17 billion transistors into the new enthusiast Pascal-based GeForce.
Today NVIDIA unleashed the GeForce GTX 950 card aimed at gamers who want to play PC games at 60fps 1080p without breaking their wallets.
The Maxwell-based GTX 950 has an entry-level price point of $159 and packs in 768 CUDA cores clocked in at 1021 MHz that can be boosted to 1188 MHz, and sports 2GB of GDDR5 VRAM operating on a 128-bit bus clocked at 6.6GHz. Power will be supplied via 6-pin connector, and the card will draw 90 Watts of power.
Standard NVIDIA performance tech is compatible with the GTX 950 including SLI, V-Sync adaptive sync, and PhysX. This budget model will fully support the new DirectX 12 API and will be able to play DX12 games when they become available.
The last time we had GPU market share numbers, NVIDIA was dominating AMD with 76% of the discrete GPU market, leaving AMD with scraps. This was back in Q4 2014 (with our article released in February 2015), where NVIDIA's best video card was the GeForce GTX 980.
This was before the release of the Titan X in March, and before the GTX 980 Ti in June. At the time, AMD had its Hawaii architecture inside of the R9 290X, and the dual-GPU in the form of the R9 295X2. At the time, all signs pointed to the R9 390X turning things around, but the R9 390X ended up being yet another rebrand, while the R9 Fury X was discovered with our world exclusive during Computex 2015 in June, powered by High Bandwidth Memory.
Fast forward to now, where we're in Q3 2015, and AMD has multiple new products on the market: the R9 Fury X, R9 Fury, R9 390X and a bunch of rebranded 300 series video cards. According to Mercury Research's latest data, NVIDIA has jumped from 76% of the discrete GPU market in Q4 2014 to 82% in Q2 2015. This leaves AMD with just 18% of the dGPU market share, even after the release of multiple new products from Team Red.
Last week, Tom's Hardware teamed up with Newegg, NVIDIA, AMD, Digital Storm and a few other companies for a massive side-by-side blind test of NVIDIA's G-Sync technology versus AMD's FreeSync technology.
The setup involved using both IPS- and TN-based panels in the form of the Acer XB270HU (G-Sync) vs. the ASUS MG279Q (FreeSync) which are both based on IPS panels with a native resolution of 2560x1440. The other two displays are the ASUS PG278Q (S-Sync) vs. the BenQ XL2730Z (FreeSync) which are TN-based panels. Hardware wise, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 and AMD Radeon R9 390X were used inside of some well-specced Digital Storm gaming PCs.
The overall test had NVIDIA winning by a huge margin, with 60% of the participants choosing G-Sync based on this experiment. The remaining 40% was split into 21% choosing FreeSync, while 19% thought both were of equal quality. When it came to one of my favorite games to play to show people G-Sync's benefits, Battlefield 4, G-Sync scooped it up with 8 out the 12 users saying that G-Sync was best on Battlefield 4. FreeSync had just three people choosing FreeSync over G-Sync, while one thought it was of equal quality.
According to the latest rumors, NVIDIA is preparing a new mobile GPU in the form of the GeForce GTX 990M. With the GTX 980M already being quite powerful, it still isn't as fast as a desktop GTX 980, but the new GTX 990M will fix that.
NVIDIA's purported GeForce GTX 990M would reportedly be as fast as current GTX 980M SLI configurations, with the GTX 980M being based off of the GM204 die with 1536 CUDA cores. A laptop powered by GTX 980M SLI beats a desktop GTX 980 by around 10%, so for a GTX 990M to beat both of those setups, we're talking about some serious mobile performance.
One of the big problems that NVIDIA will have is power consumption, with the GTX 980M SLI using around 180W TDP. Either NVIDIA is going to have to work some magic on the purported GTX 990M, or we're looking at around 150-180W TDP on the mobile GPU. After using the ASUS ROG G751 gaming laptop and its included GeForce GTX 980M for a few months now, it doesn't get too hot or loud at all. All NVIDIA would need is some half decent cooling, which all gaming laptops feature these days, and we could be looking at mobile 4K 60FPS gaming on the GTX 990M.
It looks like MSI is preparing what could be the best GeForce GTX 980 Ti on the market with its 980 Ti Lightning card, a beast that the company was teasing at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany over the last few days.
MSI confirmed they were making their GTX 980 Ti Lighting, with no prototype card on display. We should expect the MSI GeForce GTX 980 Ti Lightning card to sport the usual custom PCB, beautiful design and kick-ass cooling. Rumor has it MSI is going to have a stock GPU clock of 1217MHz resulting in a Boost clock of 1342MHz, but I would dare say we should expect more than that considering the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 980 Ti AMP! Extreme Edition is clocked higher than that, without a custom PCB.
We should hopefully have the MSI GeForce GTX 980 Ti Lightning in for review as soon as its released, so we'll keep you updated on what could be the most exciting GM200-based card yet.
An interesting turn of events for AMD's latest video cards has been discovered by 'TX12' from the OCN forums, where he has a universal tool that lets you unlock any Hawaii, Tonga or Fiji-based GPU to its full potential.
Some users have already managed to unlock their air-cooled Radeon R9 Fury cards to a full-blown Fury X, which requires water cooling. In the case of the Fury X, AMD disabled a number of CUs on the GPU, but this universal tool lets you unlock them and enjoy the full 4096 stream processor count from the Fury X, on your air-cooled Fury.
There are dangers of doing this, as you can completely brick your very expensive card, so use caution. The thread on the OCN forums has a full rundown of how to do it, with benchmarks and screenshots of a fully unlocked Fury to Fury X, increasing its stream processor count from 3840 to 4096.
When AMD flew us out to their event in Sydney, Australia, one of the more exciting video cards that we got our hands on was the super-small Radeon R9 Nano.
The Radeon R9 Nano is based on the same Fiji architecture that both the R9 Fury X and R9 Fury are based on, it also contains High Bandwidth Memory (HBM) but it is super, super small. Well, now Flikr user 'Elmy' has the card, and according to Guru3D 'Elmy' is really Anthony Lackey. Lackey has done extensive promotional work for AMD, so we're sure to be looking at a genuine card here folks.
As you can see, the new Radeon R9 Nano is plugged into MSI's new X99A GODLIKE GAMING motherboard, and barely spills over the edge of the x16 PCIe connector. Insanely small, and it's said to pack the power of the Radeon R9 290X with similar power numbers, too. We should have a sample on its way shortly, so expect a few from us in the coming weeks.
Vince 'K|NGP|N' Lucido has broken some single video card 3DMark world records with the help of his special edition KINGPIN NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti card supported by an EVGA X99 motherboard, an EVGA high power supply, an Intel Core i7 5690X and 16GB of quad-channel DDR4 memory.
With a few records being broken in one go, KINGPIN posted world-best scores across 3DMark Fire Strike, 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme and 3DMark Fire Strike Ultra, earning 25,233, 13,091 and 6,988 respectively.
If you're interested in picking up one of these beastly video cards for yourself or are looking for more information, head here.