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If you're one of the lucky folks with a Fermi based card (or more if you went all out on the SLI front) in your hand, you might be interested to know that NVIDIA has made available a new WHQL approved driver for the GTX 400 series.
The new ForceWare 197.55 driver only works with these two DirectX 11 based cards and gives one major update in the form of up to 4-way SLI support.
Sure, one high-end GTX 480 from NVIDIA crammed in your gaming rig is nice, but three of them is even better. The gang at Hardware.info have tested 3-way SLI with NVIDIA GTX 480 video cards.
In the end the publication found that three of the cards in one machine makes for the fastest gaming platform around today. The downside is that the cards need nearly 1000W of power, so you had better have a really big PSU.
The rig scored 22487 3Dmarks in the test system, which was a bit slower than HD 5970 CrossFireX in that benchmark. However, the NVIDIA rig made up that ground in gaming tests it seems.
MSI has made the first step in giving GTX 400 series owners more flexibility in obtaining higher than stock clock rates with its latest Afterburner software (1.6.1 Beta 4). The installation of this software together with a GTX 480 gives the ability to start tinkering with the voltages.
Shane has confirmed that the software is not restricted to MSI-only branded cards either; you can see in his latest article here that he used a GIGABYTE branded GTX 480 to test with and it worked a treat.
GTX 470 owners don't get the ability just yet, but don't worry guys, we've been informed there's another Afterburner update coming out within the next week or two that will make it possible to do the same on your card(s).
Obviously you'll want to keep things in check and make sure you don't go burning up your precious piece of hardware, but Shane has been told that with the stock cooler it's good enough to handle a voltage increase from .937 to 1.1v, but don't take that for gospel and keep your eyes fixated on temps before fiddling around.
The folks at Nordic Hardware share a report from reknowned overclockers Kinc and Elmor this week in which they had hold of 4k worth of ASUS' suped up ARES video cards that have been hyped up for a while now and for good reason. But we're still yet to be assured of any form of mass production worldwide (possibly never to be).
With such a nice array of cards to tinker with, the occassion called for some liquid nitrogen loving and already there's been two world records broken under 3DMark Vantage in the Entry and Performance presets.
More specifically, with two of their four cards on hand in CrossFireX they managed to push them up to 1150MHz on the GPUs and 1300MHz on the 4GB of GDDR5 memory which then gave them the ability to obtain the WR scores of E93549 and P51651. The rest of the system specs were as follows :-
Intel Core i7 980X @ 5,8-5,9GHz (LN2)
ASUS Rampage III Extreme
Corsair Dominator GTX2 Triple channel
2 x Corsair TX950 950W
This link gives the pretty picture in clear detail; a look at the Futuremark Hall of Fame.
Considering the ease of getting WRs so soon after having the cards in hand, it's likely this won't be the ceiling and we might be seeing some even higher scores by the end of the coming weekend.
With the launch of Adobe CS5 today comes another announcement of some import. The gang over at MAINGEAR has announced a system called the Quantum SHIFT. This is a dual CPU (Intel Xeon) system with an NVIDIA Quadro GPU inside. The system will be built specifically for the needs of photography and videography professionals.
The Dual Xeons will give more than enough CPU horsepower while you can chose either a Quadro FX or a GTX 480 to handle the new CUDA accelerated Mercury Engine found in Premier Pro. The shift also uses a vertical design to keep these GPUs cool. The new MAINGEAR SHIFT certainly looks like an excellent entry into the high-end professional market.
With the new top dogs released in their latest generation of cards, NVIDIA shifts its attention to the mid and lower market segments and we await DX11 models in these lower market segments. But the latest word from EXPreview gives sign that there will be at least one more member to enter the GTX 400 series line-up, too.
NVIDIA will apparently be branding this card the GeForce GTX 460; it will position this card to hit the market with similar pricing to ATI's HD 5850 in the sub-$300 segment.
This GF100 card will include 1GB of GDDR5 memory on a 256-bit interface, but clock rates and stream processor count is yet to leak out.
NVIDIA is said to be giving AIC's their own design rights on the GTX 460 model, meaning there should be a good mixup of GTX 460 based cards on the market quickly following launch as companies fight it out to get the most attention.
EXPreview state that this new SKU is scheduled for launch in early June.
I picked DirecTV over Dish mostly because they had more HD channels for me to surf looking for something to watch. I have some serious DVR envy right now though.
Dish Network has unveiled its latest DVR called the VIP 922 and the thing has integrated Slingbox tech. That means you will be able to shoot the content on the DVR to other screens in the home.
The DVR also has a 1TB HDD, which makes my junky 20GB HDD in my DirecTV DVR look pretty pathetic. The DVR will sell for $695 according to reports with a lease cost of $200.
AMD has just brought its Eyefinity multi-monitor technology together with DX11 support to the enterprise market segment with the introduction of its new ATI FirePro V8800 series graphics card for professional workstations.
This card is essentially a HD 5870 catered to a different crowd of users that call upon its capabilities for such things as digital content creation and CAD. It includes 2GB of GDDR5 memory that will be more appreciated in other areas than what it's able to do for gamers.
Businesses will also appreciate the card's ability to fully support the OpenGL 4.0 standard, not to mention the $300 lower price tag over its predecessor, the FirePro V8750 that was $1,800.
AMD's full press release on the FirePro V8800 can be found here.
The gaming and computer tech circles were aflutter when NVIDIA went official with its GTX 480 and 470 video cards based on the new Fermi architecture. The video cards promise some big performance for gamers.
When the cards started hitting market and specs were unveiled, some were aghast at the amount of power the GTX 480 consumed and how much heat the thing puts out. This lead to some worrying that the GPU might have a shorter life because of all the heat it creates.
NVIDIA has posted on its official blog that gamers and enthusiasts need not worry about the GPU. Big green says that the GTX 480 GPU was designed to operate at high temperatures and the power consumption was a concession to the performance wanted from the GPU.
Today our moles were hard at work. They have uncovered a couple of rumors for you to gobble up with your chocolate bunnies and peeps. The first concerns our old friends at NVIDIA. The rumor here is that they have decided to take Fermi GPU's that do not pass QA at any acceptable speeds and resell them to Matel for their new model of Easy Bake Oven.
Jen Sun Haung, NVIDIA's CEO was quoted as saying they felt that by using a Fermi over the traditional light bulb new owners would be getting a 50% decrese in cooking times. The new program will be dubbed TWIMTBB (The Way it's Meant to be Baked). Easy Bake Ovens with Fermi inside will hit the stores sometime in June. There was no word on pricing, but some sources are saying they expect the new Fermi based "nuclear" Easy Bakes to be over $200. An ASUS engineer was also quoted as saying "we can overclock it, too" while a source at GIGABYTE referred to needing more copper in the design.
Next up was an interesting rumor that was heard in the executive wash room over at Google.
It seems that some at Google are not overly happy with this year's April Fool's joke. Google renamed themselves Topeka poking fun at Topeka which renamed itself Google, Kansas. Eric Schmidt was heard to exclaim while in a stall "have you ever been to Topeka?! People will think we are nothing more than a bunch of Malls and liquor stores now!" Schmidt then said, "Why can't we just make another comment about Net Neutrality or say how much we respect people's privacy?"
Of course the real joke came a day early when Google sneaked in the three letter sting "rfa" into all searches originating from China. RFA is often use to stand for Radio Free Asia. This funny little joke caused all internet searches that were put through Google to be blocked by the Great Firewall of China. One executive at Google was heard to call the joke a "Hoot" while buying a Soy Latte in a local Starbucks, while another said "we wanted to put in "boobies" but it just didn't work out.
Well that wraps up our April 1st Edition of the Water Cooler Rumors. We hope you had fun with it. Also please remember, it's a joke...