If we're to believe information posted on HKEPC, AMD is working on CrossFire for three cards and the RD790 chipset will be the first to support three cards. Although not a lot of information is known at this time, the addition of HyperTransport 3.0 and PCI Express 2.0 makes this chipset a clear candidate for new features.
Add to this 41 PCI Express lanes and its clear that AMD is working on something, although Physics is of course one of the most touted applications for a third card. However, HKEPC claims that the performance improvement of adding a third card raises CrossFire performance from 1.8x to 2.6x by going from two to three cards over a single card.
If AMD indeed can pull this off, then AMD should have a solid lead over Nvidia's SLI technology, as long as they can convince their customers to spend the extra money on a third card.
It's also worth mentioning the power characteristics of the RD790 chipset, as HKEPC is reporting that it will draw a mere 3W at idle and 10W at full load. Compare this to Intel's upcoming X38 chipse which draws 14.4W at idle and up to 35W at full load.
We'll have to wait until September before AMD has these chips in mass production. Hopefully we'll see some early boards before then and it will be interesting to see what AMD's partners can do with this chipset. Sadly, it will continue to use the SB600 southbridge, as the SB700 won't be ready until later this year.
Availability of Sapphire's Radeon HD 2900 XT with 1GB of GDDR4 memory is available for purchase in Japan. Although unbranded 1GB cards have already been spotted around the web for sale, this is the first branded card to make an apperance.
If you want one of these babies you'll have to fork out a fairly steep US$640, although as always, these things tend to be slightly more expensive in Japan. There's no real way to spot the difference between the 512MB and 1GB, which is a bit of a shame if you're trying to show off in front of your friends.
The 1GB cards are being reported as being clocked at 825MHz for the GPU, that's an 11% overclock compared to the default speed of 740MHz. Oddly enough the memory speed of these cards seems to vary between 2,050MHz and 2,200MHz, it seems like there might be some descrepancies in the information given by Sapphire here.
The question is how well these cards compare against the GeForce 8800GTX and the GPU overclock might just be enough to make these cards a close challenger.
With the new AMD cards having launched yesterday, we tried to find out if you could find one in Australia and how much it would set you back. Well, the good news is that you can indeed get a Radeon HD 2600 XT if you'd want to pick one up today. The only problem is that it'll set you back AU$187 inc GST and that's for a GDDR3 card.
The card is from PowerColor and its entire range of cards are available right now. Starting from the bottom, a 256MB GDDR2 2400 Pro will cost you $110, the 2400 XT with 256MB of GDDR3 is retailing for $132. Considering that you can easily pick up an 8500GT, which is a faster card, for under $100, it seems like the 2400 series is priced out of its class.
A Radeon HD 2600 Pro with 256MB of DDR2 memory will set you back $159.50 while the 512MB version is another $11 at $170.50. Both of these cards are more expensive than an 8600GT, which should be the faster card. Althoug the 2400 XT is faster than an 8600GT, with current pricing, there isn't enough of a performance difference to consider one of these cards.
The GDDR4 version of the Radeon HD 2600 XT doesn't seem to be available as yet, but this card is likely to cost over AU$200 when it arrives. Considering that this card has a MSRP of only $149 in the US, it seems like we once again get ripped off.
You can find the PowerColor Radeon HD cards for sale here
AMD's first mention of their entry-level and mid-range Radeon HD 2400 and 2600 series graphics cards was back in mid May when the Radeon HD 2900 XT was officially launched. But since then it hasnt been quite clear as to when we'd actually see these cards hit the market.
Finally they have, though AMD indicate these wont hit stores until early July.
Making up the 2600 family is the 2600 XT (both GDDR3 and GDDR4 versions), and 2600 Pro. The 2400 family comprises both an XT and Pro model as well.
With the NDA now completely lifted a number of sites have posted up reviews of these cards to see if they offer good bang for your buck. You can check out all the coverage on them below :-
- Techpowerup (26 XT)
- Techpowerup (24 Pro)
- Techpowerup (24 XT)
- Hot Hardware
- Tech Lounge
- PC Perspective
AMD's new Radeon HD 2600 Series has already been announced a while back but no cards were available. Today the benchmarking NDA lifted and we present you the review of the AMD Radeon HD 2600 XT. The card is based on the new RV630 GPU which has prominent features such as an integrated UVD decoder which helps with decoding high-definiton video by offloading almost all calculations to the GPU. Unlike the HD 2900 XT these calculations are not done in shaders but in a dedicated part of the GPU silicon which helps power consumption.
According to a post on the Inquirer by Charlie, the Intel X38 chipset is going to get official SLI support. This is hardly going to amaze pepople, as it was expected that Intel would get an SLI licence sooner or later with AMD buying ATI. However, the X38 chipset should retain its CrossFire compatiblity as well, making it a versitile platform for any serious gamer.
Intel might be onto a winner here, by having the first chipset to support both SLI and CrossFire. Foxconn actually let slip that their X38 board was going to work with SLI at Computex earlier this month, altohugh this was via a propriatary Foxconn driver.
Anyhow, let's hand over to Charlie for one of his typically sublime comments.
To say we don't hold NV in high regard is far from understating the case. The firm is seen by most journalists as slightly lower on the 'happy things' scale then finding infected leeches on your genitals after a swim in the sewer. We didn't think it could be possible, but their standing dropped even further when we found out that Intel's upcoming X38 chipset will do SLI.
You can read the full story here
Not long after the recent merger between OCZ and PC Power & Cooling, OCZ have announced the release of their first PSU to be sold under the PC Power & Cooling line.
As the name implies, The Silencer 750 CrossFire™ Edition is a 750W PSU which is catered specifically to enthusiasts with CrossFire based setups, having been rigerously tested in their labs under AMD's reknowned certification program prior to shipment.
For a nice finishing touch on this high quality PSU, OCZ gave it a "fiery red" exterior as a compliment to CrossFire graphics.
"The CrossFire edition of our Silencer 750 Quad commemorates a long-standing working relationship with AMD/ATI," stated Doug Dodson, CTO of Power Management for OCZ and PC Power & Cooling. "Not only has the performance of the Silencer 750 CrossFire been certified by AMD for dual HD 2900XT graphics cards, but AMD uses the powerful PSU themselves, and has approved the special red finish that looks awesome in a CrossFire system."
It seems like Nvidia is working on a new technology called Hybrid SLI and it will enable you to use a combination of integrated and discrete graphics. It will not only allow for increased performance during 3D, as it is also a power saving technology.
When the discrete GPU isn't needed, say for example when you're doing mundane Windows tasks, the discrete solution will be powered down and the integrated GPU will take over, thus reducing the power drawn by the system.
If this sounds familiar to you, then you'll be glad to know that AMD actually announced its PowerXPress technology a little while back for its next mobile platform. Nvidia isn't specifically talking about notebooks here though, as it works just as well on a desktop system.
It might not be that important to most of us, since even discrete graphics cards draws a lot less power in Windows than they do during 3D work, but with power saving in general is becoming more and more of an issue, those few Watts saved might have an overall impact on your power costs.
It's not clear when this technology will be available, but it should launch alongside the upcoming MCP78 and MCP79 parts with integrated DX10 graphics. We'll bring you more on the subject as we find out more specific information.
Nvidia has launched its latest mobile GPU, the 8700M GT, which is its top of the range GPU in the GeForce 8M series, for now. It has 32 stream processors, just as the 8600M GT, but the core clock is up from 475MHz of the 8600M GT to 625MHz. The shader clock has been increased from 950MHz to 1,250MHz and the memory has also been given a boost from 700MHz to 800MHz. Nvidia is also using something it calls dual-rank 128-bit memory, although we're not quite sure what this does at the time of writing this, but it sounds like some kind of dual channel memory interface. It can be paired with up to 512MB of GDDR3 memory.
The memory bandwidth is up from 22.4GB/s to 25.6GB/s and the texture fill rate has been improved from 7.6 billion instructions per second to 10 billion instructions per second. The 8700M GT is between 27 and 70 per cent faster than the older 7950 GS mobile part. It is manufactured at an 80nm processor and has a TDP of 35W. It features PureVideo HD and Nvidia's PowerMizer technology.
TweakTown has been sent an exclusive picture of the new Gemini 3 Radeon HD card from GeCube and it's looking hot.
Although we haven't received a lot of information about this card so far, we should have a lot more information coming your way shortly.
What you can tell from the picture is that it's a dual slot solution, it has a massive copper cooler and it has four DVI connector. Yes, that's four DVI on one card.
Remember that this card is using two GPU's, hence two DVI connectors per card. There doesn't seem to be a TV out connector, but it's too hard to see from the angle the card is at. The two top DVI connectors seems to be soldered to a small PCB which is then connected to the graphics card.
The GPU's are Radeon HD 2600 XT's, although the memory used is most likely going to be GDDR3, but again, this is something we'll come back with more information about once we find out later this week. We're also missing potential clock speeds of this card, but hopefully GeCube has got it up to at least reference card speeds if not higher.
Finally, this is what the card looks like and you can click on the picture for a larger version.
PowerColor is going to show its range of AGP based Radeon HD cards at Computex as well and we've got the specs and pictures of a couple of the first cards. As AGP doesn't offer enough power, both cards have a standard 4-pin MOLEX connector for extra power.
PowerColor will have a Radeon HD 2600 Pro and a Radeon HD 2400 Pro, the HD 2600 will be available with 256 or 512MB of memory while the HD 2400 will have 128 or 256MB. The the HD 2600 will have dual DVI and a DVI to HDMI converter, while the HD 2400 will have a DVI, D-Sub and a DVI to HDMI converter.
The HD 2600 Pro will be clocked at 600MHz for the core and 400MHz DDR for the memory. The HD 2400 Pro will be clocked slower at 525MHz for the core and 400MHz DDR for the memory. Both cards are likely to use DDR2 memory. We'll bring you more info and some better picture of these cards next week from the show.
This is what the cards will look like
We just got word about GeCube's Radeon HD 2600XT card and it should be officially launched next week during Computex. The card will use GDDR4 memory and has a dual heatpipe cooler with a turbine style fan for low noise cooling according to GeCube. No clock speeds were announced at this time, but we'll bring you these as soon as we find out.
A new version of the GeCube Gemini should also be on display at Computex, this time it will use Radeon HD 2x00 series GPU's over the Radeon X1650XT of the previous version.
For those with deeper pockets, GeCube will have a TEC (Thermal Electric Cooling) version of the Radeon HD 2900XT, which should come factory overclocked.
GeCube also have good news for those that are still using AGP, as it is planning to release a range of Radeon HD 2x00 based AGP graphics cards. No specifics were given, but it seems like it will be a full top to bottom range of cards.
Also on display at Computex is the DVRBox, which is a hard drive based video recorder which records various video sources into MPEG4 video with a simple press of a button.
We'll bring you more info on all of these products from the show next week.
It seems AMD/ATI have a strong playing card up their sleeve for Computex; Though i'm sure they were hoping to keep this under wraps until such time, The crew over at OCWorkbench have decided to counteract that somewhat and give us the early scoop on an exciting feature which will appear on some RD790 motherboards, this chipset being the successor to the RD580 (or 580X) variant.
We're talking four-way Crossfire action using either X1k or X2k series cards, thanks to four full-length PCI-Express X16 slots which can run 4x8 lanes (and are also re-configurable to 2x16). The performance gain from running four cards over two is apparently quite minimal (at least this early on in the picture), but the good news is that it can obviously be done and will just need time to mature with on-going driver support.
With the acquisition of ATi earlier this year, AMD is back to making chipsets for its processors. As we all know, the next generation of processors would require HT3 for more bandwidth. CrossFire support should also scale up.
The AMD RD790 chipset is an improvement over the RD580 or 580X chipset. The major difference is that it supports AM2+ and HT3.0.
In the test, a AMD X2 5000+ and a pair of DDR2-667 is used. The board you see comes with 4 full length PCIe x16 slots. It is fitted with 4 graphics cards. The interesting thing is that CrossFire works even with 4 cards, but performance is not ready for 4 cards to improve the performance. The PCIe slots can be configured to run in 2 by 16 or 4 by 8 in CrossFire mode. The south bridge is still the SB600.
It seems like the mobile phone companies never sleep and the latest model from Sony Ericsson is an ultra thin slider in metallic orange. It's a mere 12.5mm thick (or should that be thin?) when closed and somehow Sony Ericsson has managed to squeeze in both 3G and HSDPA into this skinny handset. It's also got a 2Mega pixel CMOS camera without auto focus and flash, as well as a front mounted camera for video calls. It also has a 2.4-inch display with a native resolution of 240x320 that can display 262,000 colours. Bluetooth is also part of the package.
The design is very similar to many of the new Sony Ericsson models and the data and charger connector has been moved to the side of the handset, which seems to be a continual feature of new slim-line handsets from the company. It's also interesting to note that it has a couple of buttons above the screen, which are apparently intended for games. Oddly enough, the model name hasn't been revealed in the information that has leaked out onto the net, although the code name is Shinobu. Apparently the pictures are from a phone shop in Poland, so it can be long until this model will be released and it's expected to cost in the region of $550.
You can find a few more pictures here but be aware that the site is in Hungarian.
Teeheehee, I had a feeling we'd see this happening before too long. After having been brought to everyone's attention across the internet recently that XFX's 8600GT retail boxes discreetly had EVGA's logo printed into some dog's drool, EVGA didnt exactly see the funny side to it and decided to slam their fist down on the table and take 'em to court.
The end result is that XFX have been ordered to stop shifting graphics cards in this packaging, otherwise they'll be up for very hefty fines and / or short prison terms for executives.
XBit has the full scoop.
EVGA, a supplier of graphics cards and mainboards, on Tuesday said that Germany trade regulators ordered its rival XFX, a division of Pine Technology, to stop selling graphics cards that potentially insult EVGA as a company. If XFX does not comply to demands, it may be fined for ?250 thousand.
Back in April XFX started to sell Nvidia GeForce 8600-series graphics cards inside packages that display an enraged dog with saliva containing EVGA logotype dripping outside the jaws. Even though the logotype could not be seen without special tools, several web-sites has discovered it and posted appropriate images on the Internet.
The second watercooled card to show up is from Sapphire and it's called the HD 2900 XT Toxic. This one differs from the one we've already seen from MSI in many ways. First of all and most importantly, this is a single slot card and does as such take up a lot less space than the card from MSI. The radiator, fan, reservoir and pump all slots into two 5.25in bays in the front of your system, so make sure you've got a suitable case before going for this solution.
The big advantage of the Sapphire solution this time is that it's modular. This means that you can add a second card to the same radiator, fan, reservoir and pump, which allows for a very neat installation if you're only planning on watercooling your graphics cards. Although no clock speeds have been given for the card, the press release stated that the core should be overclockable by at least 15% with this cooling solution. Can't wait to see these puppies in action.
You can read the press release here
If you still have got enough RD 2900 XT news for today, then bad luck - here is some more for you addicts.
Here are some shots of retail cards from Sapphire, MSI and GeCube. The latter two cards are just using the reference cooler but Sapphire does things a little differently.
Toshiba have quickly whacked up details of their latest notebook offering, bringing both the new Intel Santa Rosa platform and NVIDIA GeForce 8M together in one very tidy package.
The Qosmio G45 from Toshiba is one of the first notebooks to show up with embedded DirectX 10 support thanks to the residing 8600M graphics circuit from NVIDIA, along with an 800MHz FSB to make it a very smooth pleasurable gaming machine.
The only downside is that it will apparently come with a pricetag of around 3 thousand bucks; but for the latest and greatest this is only somewhat to be expected. Nordic Hardware report that this notebook should arrive sometime during Q3 this year with official pricing and customization options.
Following Intel's announcement of the Santa Rosa platform, Toshiba has now announced the Toshiba Qosmio G45. Through the use of NVIDIA's new GeForce 8600M graphics circuit it is one out of very few laptops with DirectX 10 support and together with Intel's new Centrino platform, among others through a 800MHz processor bus, there should more than plenty of performance for playing the very latest games.
At the MSI PC2008 event yesterday in Taipei MSI showed off its watercooled version of the Radeon HD 2900XT and we snapped a shot for you to ogle over for now. We're working on the coverage of the whole event and it will be up later today. But for now, enjoy this picture of this card which has a very nice looking watercooler on it.
Click the image for a high-res version of the card
NVIDIA are taking high-performance mobile gaming to a new level today with the introduction of their GeForce 8M series GPUs for notebooks, this launch to coincide with Intel's new Centrino Duo (Santa Rosa) notebook platform today as well.
This family of mobile GPUs shares many characteristics with the desktop GeForce 8 series including DX10 support and NVIDIA's 2nd gen PureVideo technology for hardware HD video decoding.
There is one area though where the 8M family really shines in comparison to the desktop GeForce 8 series, and that is the shader performance thanks to some additional tweaking by the NVIDIA team since they rolled out their desktop parts.
Five variants of the 8M series exist upon launch, these being the GeForce 8600M GT, 8600M GS, 8400M GT, 8400M GS and the 8400M G. The top three cards will sport 512MB of memory on a 128-bit interface whilst the 8400M GS and 8400M G models will carry 256MB on 64-bit.
Unfortunately an 8800 derived mobile part doesnt make it into the lineup just yet, no thanks to the current 90nm form of the desktop models. Once NVIDIA manage to shrink it down i'm sure a mobile 8800 will show up soon after.
NVIDIA's press release can be found here, and there's also some coverage via the below links :-
SANTA CLARA, CA - May 9, 2007- NVIDIA Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA) today announced a new family of NVIDIA GeForce 8 Series of graphics processors targeted at the newly evolved notebook PC market. These new GPUs (graphics processing units) help power a whole, new generation of notebook PCs that deliver the ultimate visual experience for Windows Vista, DirectX 10 games, HD movies, and popular applications like Adobe Acrobat and Microsoft Live Maps-changing the way users see and interact with their computers through enhanced visual quality, responsiveness and ease-of-use.
The new GeForce 8M Series notebook GPUs-the world's first to support DirectX 10 and fully accelerate decoding of H.264 full HD movies-are available now from the top PC makers such as HP, Toshiba, Acer, Samsung, and ASUS.
No doubt for the majority of you this wont be of much interest, but then again there's always those of us looking to save an extra buck or two where possible.
NVIDIA have revisited the GeForce 7 series today, having announced a new entry-level graphics card in the GeForce 7200 GS. Coming in at only $50 USD it will mostly attract buyers with IGP systems that lack the ability to handle Vista's Aero interface, or even perhaps those of you wanting tv-out from your custom HTPC on the cheap (though you can forgeddabout high-definition content).
Specs wise, this card is understandably nothing to write home about, but for DX9.0 and SM3 capabilities on the cheap, you can't go wrong.
Today NVIDIA Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA) introduced the NVIDIA® GeForce® 7200 GS graphics processing unit ( GPU), a new, faster, entry-level GPU.
GeForce 7200 GS is designed to offer a low-cost upgrade from integrated graphics solutions and is built for Microsoft Windows® Vista™ -the industry's first operating system to require a dedicated GPU to realize its full potential.
Graphics cards equipped with the NVIDIA GeForce 7200 GS GPU are available today from e-tailers and retailers worldwide at aggressive prices under $50 and are being offered in PCs from leading OEMs and system builders.
We have got some information form a reliable source that ATI will be launching the Radeon HD 2900XTX in the end anyhow but nobody is entirely clear on the exact details.
It will most likely not be out until late July or early August, but it should be on display at Computex by at least a couple of ATI's partners from what our Taiwan spies are telling us. This is the consumer version of the XTX and will look pretty much identical to the HD 2900XT except with a different sticker and more and faster GDDR-4 RAM under the cooler, i.e. this is not the 12.4in full length cards that will be available from OEM's although both PCB length versions are floating around. The model name hasn't been set as yet and it might be called XT GDDR4 or XTX, but we'll stick with XTX for now. ATI partners have the option of ordering either the GDDR-3 XT or GDDR-4 version right now.
It will feature 1GB of GDDR memory and this means a higher memory clock, up from 1650MHz DDR for the HD 2900XT to 2020MHz DDR. The core will also be boosted, but only a laughable 10MHz from 740 to 750MHz. It seems like there will be as much point in buying the Radeon HD 2900XTX as it is to buy a GeForce 8800 Ultra. Maybe the era of the super high-end cards is finally over and we will all get decent performance from an affordable graphics card, but then again, miracles doesn't happen that easily.
ATI's 1GB GDDR-4 card will likely be priced around the same as Nvidia's GeForce 8800GTX 768MB at around $550 USD and you will probably be able to buy it in late July or sometime in August.