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AMD beat NVIDIA to the punch with the stellar 5000-series, with the Fermi taking the literal, hot seat in the competition and requiring a refresh to keep up technologically. Rumors have been flying that their 28nm-based Kepler GPU would see a launch this year (even if it were a paper launch) but it seems that is now out of the question. Ken Brown, a spokesman for NVIDIA has come out and said:
Although we will have early silicon this year, Kepler-based products are actually scheduled to go into production in 2012. We wanted to clarify this so people wouldn't expect product to be available this year.
Keep in mind that AMD are still hammering away at their Southern Islands, HD 7000-series of GPU and should make a launch before years end. Just in time for Battlefield 3. However, if you want to stay on Team Green, you'll have to wait that little bit longer.
A particularly interesting looking HD 6850 graphics card has been found in Japanese stores by a company unheard of to most, AFOX. It's not just the brand name and box design that stands out, though. More interestingly, this card is quite a big step away from the reference design in that it is of low-profile stature and without the need for external power.
The low profile heatsink/fan design is also a standout feature with its dual-fan aluminum setup. AFOX appears to have left the stock clock rates on the card alone, however, which are 775MHz on the core and 4000MHz on the GDDR5 memory.
A company by the name of Village Instruments has become the centre of attention for many folks as of last week when CEO, Hubert Chen wrote an open letter to Facebook in efforts to guage Mac customer interest in an external PCI-E graphics card enclosure that would connect via the Thunderbolt IO interconnect.
His promise was that if there were 50 or more people to have commented in return showing interest in a product like this, the company would begin developing the device. It's not surprising to find out that a little over a week later, there wasn't only 50 positive comments made toward the idea, but now well into the hundreds.
Chen has since confirmed development would begin soon. We can only assume at this point that it will be at least partially similar in construction to Village Instruments' existing ViDock product (pictured), although it is limited to the ExpressCard interface which is only capable of around 2.5Gb/s. Thunderbolt should prove to be much more suitable for a device like this with its 10Gb/s of bandwidth on tap.
Following the launch of its DisplayPort to dual HDMI adapters yesterday, ZOTAC makes headlines again today with a couple more products.
In collaboration with water cooling specialists CoolIT, ZOTAC has introduced the liquid-cooled GeForce GTX 580 Infinity Edition which has CoolIT's OMNI self-contained water cooling system mounted.
ZOTAC ships the card with increased clock rates of 815/1630MHz on the core and shader, and 4100MHz on the 1536MB of GDDR5 memory. The card itself is otherwise much a standard fare with its 512 CUDA cores, 384-bit memory interface and dual-DVI and single mini HDMI outputs.
There have been rumors flying about NVIDIA's upcoming next-gen Kepler-codenamed GPU for a while now, that it would be delayed until 2012 because of issues with the adaption of the 28nm-based process. But, Chris Malachowsky spoke at their GTC Workshop Japan event, saying that Kepler is still on track for launch this year. Chris was careful with wording, saying only that the parts would begin "shipping" by the end of the year which could mean a paper launch and not an actual card-in-your-hands-giving-you-sexy-times launch.
Kepler is meant to deliver a threefold increase in double precision performance per watt over the previous Fermi, as well as being easier for developers to utilize GPGPU applications. Whatever, NVIDIA, just give me the damn cards now please.
As many of us know, the next big move we're waiting for from NVIDIA since Fermi came about is the release of its next-generation 600 series cards, dubbed Kepler. As the days roll on following a somewhat uneventful past 8 months or so in the VGA market, it's looking pretty certain that Kepler should come about around the start of 2012.
Kepler will be one of the first products to use TSMC's new 28nm process (with them getting a warmup session on some mobile 28nm GPU parts initially). Of course, it's safe to assume there will be a number of additional features on tap from NVIDIA with these next-gen cards, one of which looks to be in the way of better multi-monitor support.
As reported via the source, NVIDIA is apparently taking serious notice of the clear success that is Eyefinity with so many folks jumping aboard and making use of 3-screen gaming bliss since its inception.
ASUS has just dished up a standout graphics card under its DirectCU family with an all-passive cooled HD 6770 powered model.
The first thing that catches your eye with the HD 6770 DirectCU Silent is indeed that chunky passive cooler, which ASUS claims to be 16% more efficient than the reference cooler, while of course being completely silent.
To help with the coolers efficiency, it uses four direct touch copper heatpipes pulling heat away from the GPU. Meanwhile, the card itself boasts a Super Alloy Power design which basically means higher-grade componentry in terms of the capacitors, chokes and MOSFETs, while the rest of the specs shape up with 800 Stream processors, a 128-bit memory interface, 1GB of GDDR5 memory and D-Sub, DVI and HDMI outputs. The out of the box frequencies on the model are not yet known.
In a repeat of what we saw two years ago when AMD launched the HD5000 series and slipped down to the slender 40nm process, it seems as though AMD will beat NVIDIA to the punch again and have 28nm GPUs by the end of the year. AMD let slip that they'll have 28nm GPUs in the following quote:
We also passed several critical milestones in the second quarter as we prepare our next-generation 28-nanometer graphics family. We have working silicon in-house and remain on track to deliver the first members of what we expect will be another industry-leading GPU family to market later this year. We expect to be at the forefront of the GPU industry's transition to 28-nanometer.
The folks behind the PowerColor lineup of graphics cards, Tul Corp, have just released a couple interesting new cards under their VTX3D (Vertex 3D) branding. The two cards are based on the HD 6670 and HD 6570 mid-range models from AMD, but sport a rather unique inclusion that helps them stand out amongst the pack and its not just the aftermarket onboard.
These cards have built-in DVB-T tuners to allow users to watch digital TV on their PC, doing away with the need to use up another slot on the motherboard for a standalone DVB-T card.
Our first tid bit of news on AMD's next generation of GPUs, the HD 7000 series has come out today with word that these will be the first PCI-Express 3.0 compliant graphics cards to hit the scene.
Using the PCI-E 3.0 x16 bus interface, they will of course be backwards compatible with the PCI-E 1.0 and 2.0/1 bus standard. It it not known at this time as to when AMD plans to launch this next generation of discrete graphics cards, so it's hard to speculate as to whether or not there will be any native PCI-E 3.0 support from AMD or Intel at the time, but as we just learned recently, there are some 3rd party vendors already gearing up with PCI-E 3.0 using their own methods.