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AMD have released the Catalyst 11.4 drivers for Windows with various enhancements and issues resolved. First up AMD have included enhancements to the AMD VISION Engine Control Center / AMD Catalyst Control Center with new task-based Display Management controls (which is meant to simplify the configuration of displays and display settings), a new Eyefinity setup group and AMD Catalyst update notification.
There are various performance gains, which aren't too bad at all:
The first 270-family GeForce drivers have arrived in the form of the WHQL-certified 270.61 drivers. The new drivers mainly include what we got with the 270.51 beta, including the insane 241-percent to 516-percent performance jumps for GTX 560 Ti and GTX 580 owners when running Dragon Age II with specific high quality settings.
In certain configurations, both cards get a 4-percent to 19-percent improvement in the following games: Mafia 2, Metro 2033, Left 4 Dead 2, H.A.W.X. 2, Civilization V, Far Cry 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops, and Just Cause 2.
The new drivers also include "NVIDIA Update", NVIDIA Update is a feature that will notify you when new drivers are available and direct you to a download location. Kinda like Steam's solution for AMD Radeon-powered users, but, not as good, yet.
GeForce, the product that sounds like a teen Superhero team, is back with the brand spankin' new GeForce GT 520, the perfect GPU to accelerate media, gaming and, well- pretty much everything now that we've opened up GPU-accelerated web browsing. It supports DirectX 11 (meh), GPU accelerated General Purpose Computing (CUDA), and the aptly named physics engine processor, PhysX. If you're a gamer looking to upgrade your GPU and you plan on playing World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, Farming-Simulator 2011, or the bad-ass StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, you're going to want to check the GT 520 out as those games will take full and absolute advantage of this GPU's processing power. With 48 CUDA cores, 810 MHz Graphics Clock, 1620 MHz Processor Clock, and a Texture Fill Rate of 6.5 billion/sec, this GPU should some serious cajones to your gaming machine. Let's also not forget that it's 3D photo, 3D video, and 3D Blu-Ray ready.
Check out more at their product website, or more after the jump.
AMD has said that it will reveal some details of their next-generation GPUs at the AMD Fusion Development Summit (AFDS) that is set to start in mid-June. AMD are also looking to reveal trends about future directions of accelerated processing units (APUs) and software development.
Eric Demers, AMD corporate vice president and chief technology officer is set to give a keynote at AFDS where he will recap the evolution of GPUs in the recent years, including the latest VLIW5 and VLIW4 core architectures and instruction sets. More specifically, he will present an overview of the next-generation AMD cores that are currently under development, which are going to throw forward new capabilities and continue the never-ending GPU evolution.
AMD is expected to release their 28nm-based GPUs codenamed Southern Islands, later this year. The Southern Island-based GPUs will support DirectX 11 functionality and should include architectural improvements and new features.
AMD have launched their super-value AMD Radeon HD 6790 today and it looks to eye off NVIDIA's green-powered GeForce GTX 550 Ti. The card seems to be getting its fair share of positive reactions from reviewers with our resident VGA goddess (meow) Shane Baxtor leading our review list with his take on the HD 6790.
For a full list of reviews, look no further than below this text:
NVIDIA GeForce 270.51 BETA Software Suite released, includes big changes, performance increases and love
NVIDIA have today released the version 270.51 BETA GeForce software suite. The suite is compatible with GeForce GPU 6-series and up and installs the recommended drivers for CUDA, PhysX, 3D Vision software, NVIDIA HDMI audio drivers and related software.
A new feature with 270.51 is the automated driver update feature. This feature keeps your PC up-to-date with the latest NVIDIA drivers by notifying you when a new driver is available and directing you to the driver on NVIDIA's website.
AMD's monthly tradition of driver releases was getting close, with today being one of the last days of the month left but AMD have not disappointed. Catalyst 11.3 is now out and Catalyst 11.4 preview has slipped through also.
There isn't much new with Catalyst 11.3 apart from "seamless GPU Compute support", but things fire up with the Catalyst 11.4 Early Preview driver. The pre-release driver includes support for "the AMD Radeon HD 6790 series of products" which have not been released yet. It also includes changes to the Catalyst Control Center, performance optimizations (which AMD discussed a few weeks back) and miscellaneous bug fixes.
Come April 5, AMD are set to release the next entry in the HD 6000 series, the Radeon HD 6790. AMD has been keeping this info quite close to their chest, but the HD 6790 is set to compete against the green team's GeForce GTX 550 Ti.
The HD 6790 is based on AMD's 40nm "Barts" GPU (which the HD 68x0 share also). The Barts silicon is configured to have 800 stream processors (SPs), but it will be split across two blocks of 400 SPs each, each block having its own dispatch processor.
Ah, GPU wars - don't you just love them? NVIDIA have recently released their explosive GeForce GTX 590 dual-GPU video card and stated that it was the "World's Fastest Graphics Card" yet, never proved this with an industry-standard benchmark like 3DMark 11.
AMD have called them out on this and directly asked NVIDIA to "prove it, don't just say it". Dem be fighting words meester. Fisty Cuffs, go! AMD also listed a bunch of review sites pointing to their HD 6990 beating out the GTX 590. Salt, wound, hurt.
Since the launch of the GTX 590 we've seen a number of reviewers mention that their cards had died during overclocking, and it's beginning to put doubt in peoples minds when it comes to the quality of the card. About 12 hours ago I'd taken off my reviewer cap and thrown on my investigator one.
It seems that most of the GTX 590s are dieing due to the amount of Voltage being put through the card. I spoke to MSI last night about Afterburner and asked them that if 1.2v isn't safe, how come Afterburner allows the GTX 590 to go that high? - The answer to that question was; "no, Afterburner only allow to 1.05v - 1.2v is not possible".
It came as a bit of a surprise, though, when I said that MSI Afterburner indeed did offer 1.2v on the ASUS GTX 590. Originally MSI thought only Smart Doctor allowed the voltage to go that high, but we've been told that the ASUS BIOS has been tweaked, giving the ability to push the voltage higher.
Just before the reviews went live I received an email from NVIDIA and they said that voltage adjustment shouldn't be done on reference cooling and also be no higher than +25mV. That means the maximum they recommend is 963v from the default .938v. Of course, we would expect the manufacturer to really play it safe. One company told us they've tested internally at 1.000v and achieved a core clock of 840MHz and a memory clock of 4000MHz QDR.