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First spotted at Computex early last month, HIS has now released its new Radeon HD 6970 IceQ "Mix" graphics card which is unlike any other around at this time - reason being it is able to be paired with either AMD or NVIDIA DX11 cards on any current motherboard for superior performance. This comes thanks to LucidLogix technology built into the card (most probably a physical Hydra chip residing on its PCB).
As you can see from the image, the card boasts a nice aftermarket dual-slot cooling solution with copper heat-pipes and a 'black hole impeller' fan) which is said to help drop temperatures by 23c over the reference AMD cooler while also being somewhat quieter. The card supports Eyefinity 5 via its many outputs including dual-DVI, HDMI 1.2 and dual DisplayPort 1.2. The factory clocks on the card see the GPU running at 880MHz out of the box with its 2GB of GDDR5 memory at 5500MHz QDR.
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Charlie from SemiAccurate has written an article on Kepler which is NVIDIA's upcoming 28nm-based flagship GPU. If one were to believe the article, it would look like AMD is going to beat NVIDIA to the holy grail of 28nm-based GPUs. Charlie reckons that AMD taped out Southern Islands in February whilst NVIDIA didn't tape out Kepler until June.
He then estimates that a delay of around seven to eight months between tape out and launch, which should throw AMD's cards into our hands in around two months whilst NVIDIA's cards won't get their green on until February of next year "at the earliest." Another thing to throw into the ring of speculation is Kepler's processing resources. Charlie wrote a separate piece that Southern Islands is more or less a play-it-safe shrink of the Cayman-based design that powers the Radeon HD 6900 series whilst Kepler is a new architecture that has substantially more processing resources than Fermi.
If this is true, we might see a repeat of the entire Radeon HD 5000 series punching the Fermi-based GeForce 400-series in the nuts, Cartman style.
Thanks to the Catalyst 11.7 drivers, some driver entries were spotted for the soon-to-be released Southern Islands generation of AMD GPUs. The codenames behind the Southern Island series are "Lombok", "Thames", "Tahiti" and "New Zealand". At the moment nothing is concrete, but it looks as though "New Zealand" will be the creme of the crop being a dual-GPU based card based off of two "Tahiti" GPUs.
"Thames" is looking to be a low-cost mobile chip, but it could also be a performance chip - there's no guarantee at the moment until more information surfaces. But, the codenames themselves should be enough to get some of that fanboy fighting to surface again.
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The newly-released NVIDIA 275.50 Beta Driver is now out and includes just a few small changes for two of the latest games, new 3D Vision profiles and the addition of SLI support for compatible AMD-based motherboards:
3D Vision performance in Duke Nukem Forever has been improved when using a 3-Way or Quad SLI setup.
3D Vision in Alice: Madness Returns is now rated as 'Good.'
3D Vision profiles for the following titles have been implemented:
COMPUTEX Taipei 2011 - We'll keep this one short and sweet, you really just need to watch the video below.
ASUS had a very wicked setup at their Computex booth displaying the power of its amazing Mars II video card which runs two NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 chips on one card.
Anyone for Crysis II at 3240 x 1920? Wow!
COMPUTEX Taipei 2011: It's been ages since we've seen a sample from PowerColor but they've managed to seriously get the drool running out of our mouth with some offerings at Computex. First up we've got the HD 6970 X2 which brings with it two HD 6970s core onto a single PCB clocked at the default HD 6970 clocks.
That means the core comes in at 880MHz and the 4GB of GDDR5 that's present on the PCB comes in at 5500MHz QDR. Connectivity comes in the form of a Dual-Link DVI, Single-Link DVI, HDMI and two Mini DisplayPorts.
COMPUTEX Taipei 2011: LucidLogix has had a hard time hitting the big time with their technology but this is definitely a sign of change - Virtu is a Universal GPU Virtualization method that can work on anything from Sandy Bridge-based and AMD Brazos-based processors. The technology will dynamically balance the advanced power-efficient, built-in media features of integrated GPUs with the high-end DirectX 11 3D, anti-aliasing and performance features of discrete GPUs.
Another benefit is power consumption, the software is able to switch between integrated and discrete graphics options without the need of the user switching cables from port to port when changing tasks.
Virtu Universal features a new Vsync method in which it can include the best image quality without tearing, providing the user with maximum frames per second without jagged or jumpy and fluctuating frame rates. Normally once an FPS limit is hit, with Vsync on, there'll be tearing or a visible issue on the image on your screen; not with Lucid's Virtual Vsync. Lucid are claiming it has up to 250-percent better responsiveness and 250-percent higher frame rate that standard Vsync provides (60fps).
COMPUTEX Taipei 2011: HIS are showing the new HD 6970 Mix at Computex which offers us support for three monitorswithout the need to go DisplayPort. One of the biggest issues regarding Eyefinity for people has been the need to get that DisplayPort monitor, HIS step away from this by offering us the ability to run Eyefinity via two DVI ports and HDMI.
This isn't the first time we've seen a company offer us this ability with an AMD card but I have to say that this is one of the better solutions as HIS have chosen to do it on a higher end model that has the capability of running Eyefinity in games.