TweakTown NewsRefine News by Category:
The VGA market almost seems like it's in hibernation at the moment for the most part, as we all anticipate the launch of new families from both sides of the fence sporting 28nm GPUs, of which we know won't be until a bit of a ways into 2012.
However, it appears NVIDIA has been working on a little bit of a side project in the meantime; some more love towards its popular GeForce GTX 560 Ti. Apparently the company is preparing a new suped up release of the model that switches the GF114 GPU on the original version for the GF110 that's used on the GTX 570 and 580 models.
This in turn would give the card 448 CUDA Cores, as denoted by the supposed model name NVIDIA is going for, "GeForce GTX 560 Ti (448 Core). This compares to the 480 cores on the GTX 570 and 512 on the GTX 580. The card will have 56 TMU's a 320-bit memory interface, 3-way SLI support, DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort outputs, and will most likely carry 1280MB of GDDR5.
Just in time for the big launch that is Battlefield 3, NVIDIA has rolled out some new WHQL'd GeForce drivers today in the 285.62s which include the following key highlights :-
Recommended for Battlefield 3, Batman: Arkham City & Rage
Battlefield 3 performance up to 11% faster compared to 285.38 beta performance; updated SLI profile included; 3D Vision profile included
Performance improvements in a whole load of games for people who've never downloaded a R285 beta (these are the first R285 WHQL drivers)
Numerous SLI & 3D Vision profiles included
AMD know when you are sleeping, they know when you're awake, they also know if you've been bad or good, so for 28nm GPUs, be good for goodness sake. If you want a 28nm Radeon GPU before the end of the year, in time for Christmas and just after the launch of the pillars of the FPS genre, Battlefield 3 and COD: Modern Warfare 3, then this is a great time to be a PC fan. We've reported before that AMD would launch their next-gen, 28nm-based Radeon GPUs sometime this year, but whether it would be low or mid-range GPUs is the question.
Another fact is that they could be notebook parts, with high-end parts hitting early next year. German website heise.de who claims multiple industry sources have pointed toward a December launch with one source specifically pointing to December 6. The new launch could be a desktop or notebook part, but I very much doubt it will be a high-end GPU. Another industry source is convinced that this is more of a symbolic launch, to beat out green-team rivals, NVIDIA.
Palit Microsystems have today unveiled a new graphics card based on the NVIDIA GF114 40nm GPU, the limited edition GeForce GTX 560 Ti Twin Light Turbo model which sports higher-than-stock clocks and what excites me the most, a custom cooler. The Twin Light Turbo uses a dual-slot cooler which has four copper heatpipes, two fans, and most surprisingly, sound output of under 10 dBA.
Other features include 384 CUDA Cores, a 256-bit memory interface, 1GB of GDDR5 VRAM, 2-way SLI support and outputs include D-Sub, dual DVI and HDMI. Clock speeds and pricing on the Palit GeForce GTX 560 Ti Twin Light Turbo have yet to be announced. The cooler is similar to Gainward Phantom cards, which is definitely not a bad thing as the fans ventilate the card by drawing air from the heatsink itself. Nice work, Palit.
id Software's Rage has just come out today and if you're an AMD Radeon owner, you might want to head over to AMD's website and download the fresh-out-of-the-oven Catalyst drive update made especially for Rage. The new release is dubbed "Rage Performance Driver" and supports the Radeon HD 5000 and 6000-series of graphics cards and reportedly delivers "significant performance gains" if you're running a single-GPU config.
You would think there'd be more to the new drivers, but that's it. The new drivers are however, newer than the Catalyst 11.9 and Catalyst 11.10 preview drivers which were released last week.
GeForce owner? You're not out of luck, the new 285.38 beta drivers that were released on Monday were built for Battlefield 3 beta, but in the release notes NVIDIA says the driver also offers "improved compatibility and performance" with Rage.
Sapphire is now not the only cool kid at school where they have GPUs that can power three screens without DisplayPort. HIS have now walked in with a new HD 6970 graphics card that sports their IceQ cooler design, which features what HIS dub "Eyefinity RTS (ready to see)". This card allows the user to setup a 3-display Eyefinity setup without needing to connect any of the displays to the mini-DisplayPort connectors. The third connection can be plugged into the HDMI 1.4 port instead.
This new feature really helps, as you no longer need to hunt Planet Earth for mini-DP active dongles, and with more monitors including native HDMI, this is a great step forward. The card sticks to AMD reference clocks, 880MHz core, 5.5GHz memory and features 2GB of GDDR5 memory. Pricing and availability is unknown at the moment.
NVIDIA stumbled quite a bit with the Fermi, GF100 architecture and it looks as though they don't want to repeat the same mistakes by going top-to-bottom with GPU releases. NVIDIA are currently playing with engineering samples of their first chip built on the next-gen Kepler architecture, the GK107. This is not the flagship GK100 everyone expected, with NVIDIA changing gears and going for a bottom-to-top release by working on the GK107 first which will be a notebook-based chip.
GK107 is set to be powering four mobile GeForce SKUs - N13P-LP, N13P-GS, N13P-GT and the N13E-GE. These codenames may sound familiar to you, that's because they appeared in the leaked 28nm mobile GPU line-up. The GK107 sports a 128-bit memory interface and has support for both DDR3 and GDDR5 memory. The first three GK107-based SKUs with the "P" suffix will most likely succeed the GeForce GT 500M series, and will probably be branded as the GeForce GT 600M series.
Just 3 days after hearing from NVIDIA about their plans to provide a GeForce driver that would be optimized specifically for the big blockbuster FPS we're all hanging out for, BattleField 3, today the green team decided to make available a BETA version of the driver to support users running the current open-beta release ahead of launch.
NVIDIA promises that the GeForce 285.38 BETA driver should see to increased performance in the game of as much as 38% as well as adding SLI profiles and a bunch of bug/stability fixes and image quality enhancements. In other words, this is the crème de la crème when it comes to optimized gameplay in the most talked about FPS of the year.
If you're wondering if your particular GPU setup will cut it for the game whether you use optimized drivers or not, you can run NVIDIA's BF3 GPUAnalyzer here that will give you the lowdown and whether or not an upgrade is in order.
The 285.38 beta drivers are available for download via this link folks.
With the Battlefield 3 beta less than a week away, NVIDIA have revealed they are working on releasing a brand new, custom driver just in time for the BF3 beta. The new Battlefield 3-specific GeForce drivers are expected to make the beta run smooth, without any driver incompatibilities, something that plagued the Bad Company 2 beta. The new drivers are said to take full advantage of NVIDIA hardware, with the ability to max out features such as tessellation.
The drivers are also expected to bring better performance across the board on NVIDIA GeForce GPUs. There's no news from the red team if they'll be releasing BF3 optimized drivers, but there's still a week to go.
Colorful have unleashed a Radeon card under their ColorFire brand dubbed, ColorFire Xstorm HD 6850 X2 4GB. If you didn't already guess what it was from that ever so elusive name, it's a dual-GPU graphics card sporting two Radeon HD 6850 GPUs with a total of 4GB of memory. But that's not all, the designers of this card are trying out what they call "Silver-Plated Technology". All of the PCB's contacts, apart from the PCIe and CFBE interfaces are plated with silver. Silver being one of the best conductors, you can see why this card looks exciting.
ColorFire argue that the use of silver contacts reduces resistance and also helps with cooling. Next up we have DIP-switched based voltage control, which is an effective, yet old-school way of tuning voltages. Voltage measurement points are consolidated to a convenient location (next to the power connectors) and are angled for easy access. A pair of jumpers near the display output connectors allows the user of this card to switch between two sets of EEPROMs, each with different clock and voltage profiles.