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To tell you the truth, I've been holding back my excitement on AMD's new GPUs for a while now. I was a huge fan of the HD 5000-Series, it just completely outperformed Fermi in virtually every way. Sure, it wasn't the fastest in every test, but it had great temps, great overclockability, great noise levels, and to me, was a better card to launch onto the market than the GTX 400-Series.
But, now we have AMD's first true new graphics architecture since the HD 2000-Series. Dubbed Graphics Core Next, or GCN, the new Radeon HD 7000-Series will be the first to feature the new technology, which is set to have a much bigger focus on GPGPU functionality than any ATI or AMD GPU previously, which should at least keep up with NVIDIA's CUDA, or beat it.
PCIe 3.0 is barely here and rumblings of PCIe 4.0 is coming through the cracks of the Internet tubes. PCI-SIG, who are responsible for developing the PCI Express spec, have listed some preliminary details about PCIe 4.0.
PCI-SIG says that they've decided on a transfer rate of 16GT/sec for the next-generation PCIe technology, with a study showing that 16GT/sec can be achieved over copper wires, at roughly the same power levels of PCIe 3.0, using chips fabbed with "mainstream silicon process technology".
PCIe 4.0 will be backward compatible with older PCIe devices, and vica versa. PCI-SIG haven't mentioned which encoding scheme the new standard will use, so assuming it uses the same 128b/130b system as PCIe 3.0, a 16GT/sec peak transfer rate would translate into per-late, per-direction bandwitch of just under 2GB/sec, a two-fold increase over the PCIe 3.0 standard, and nearly four times as fast as PCIe 2.0. We'd be looking at 31.5GB/sec per direction for a PCIe 4.0 x16 slot.
NVIDIA have always been kings of the mid-range GPUs and the release of the GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448 cores is no different. Released at a time when the world needs a new
superhero, I mean, GPU, is perfect.
Battlefield 3. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Saints Row The Third. Batman: Arkham City. Just to name a few. Mid-range graphics cards are always the most popular, as they offer the most price/performance. I won't go into the 448-cored GTX 560, as our gloriously awesome VGA Editor, Shane Baxtor, has gone into it in better detail which you can check out here.
We have a juicy rumor today from Japanese website 4Gamer and VR-Zone in the form of a roadmap for NVIDIA's upcoming 28nm Kepler GPU line-up for desktops. Kepler's rollout will be bottom-to-top, starting with the mainstream GK107 chip in Q2 2012.
High-end parts such as the GK110/GK112 will not see the light of day until later in the year. All Kepler GPUs will be manufactured on TSMC's 28nm process, use GDDR5 memory and include support for DirectX 11.1 that will be included in Windows 8.
We should see the GK107 mainstream part in Q2 2012, which features 128-bit memory, and should land in notebooks first, with a desktop release shortly after. GK107 also only supports PCI-Express 2.0. GK106 is set to be the mainstream performance part, replacing the current NVIDIA gem, the GeForce GTX 560. This should sport a 256-bit memory bus, with a release sometime in late Q2 2012.
We've seen a few different AMD Catalyst drivers lately, with today bringing the Catalyst 11.11a driver. What does it do? Well, as usual, it supports Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP and brings some fixes, support and improvements for Batman: Arkham City, RAGE, Skyrim and Battlefield 3.
You can grab the drivers here, and for a rundown of what the Catalyst 11.11a driver does, take a look below:
We've talked about this before, but some fresh news has floated up onto the surface of the waves of the Internet. New reports from Chinese websites have sparked up the XDR2 topic again with new rumors that AMD will attempt to deploy XDR2 memory on their next-gen ultra-high end products.
XDR2 is quite powerful according to Rambus, where it can transfer twice the amount of data per clock when compared to GDDR5. AMD and Rambus have had better relations with each other when compared to most other companies. In 2006, AMD settled outstanding disputes with Rambus by willing to pay licensing costs for certain technologies claimed by Rambus, turning a lead in the relations between the two companies.
NVIDIA have just launched a new hybrid processing technology that should interest professionals that want to use NVIDIA's graphics and compute products in the same machine. NVIDIA first showed the technology off at SIGGRAPH 2011 in August, and now enter, Maximus.
Maximus technology works pretty close to how their consumer graphics switching software, Optimus, works. Instead of allocating resources between two graphics processors (generally an integrated and discrete solution), Maximus offers the hybridization of NVIDIA's Quadro GPU and Tesla GPGPU products.
In typical standout fashion, chinese based VGA add-in board partner Colorful has come forward today introducing their latest super duper, highly modified graphics card - the iGame GTX 560Ti Kudan.
Straight off the bat when you look at the accompanying photos of this card, you can see it's a huge step away from the norm and clearly stands right out. There might be a real lot of GTX 560Ti's on the market, but nothing quite like this one.
Colorful has not only designed a stronger custom PCB for this card, but it also comes with a add-in card that provides additional power phases. The triple-slot cooler boasting ten heatpipes and three fans (one 90mm and two 80mm) is truly a work of art, as shown in the photos, with a chunky backplate and also coming with five detachable heatsinks (which are a part of the Air-Kit), along with paints and brushes in the Color-Kit to further customize the look of your GTX 560Ti Kudan's cooler how you see fit.
AMD's 28nm-based next-generation GPUs are rumored to arrive in January 2012, according to a report from Fudzilla. Grains of salt are being thrown left, right and centre, and while the 7000-series was meant to be released this year, Fuzilla report that word from "multiple industry sources" that Tahiti won't make it until 2012.
Tahiti will be the direct successor to Cayman, which is what powers the current Radeon HD 6900-series cards, and is expected to come in both XP and PRO variants. Specific models haven't been announced, but if AMD stick to their current naming system and don't throw it all around again, we should expect the new cards to be Radeon HD 7950 and Radeon HD 7970.
Both cards will be single-GPU parts, replacing both the HD 6950 and HD 6970, while a dual-GPU powerhouse card featuring two Tahiti cores will arrive later in 2012 and be dubbed the Radeon HD 7990 aka New Zealand. This could see either a March release, and if its too busy sipping cocktails waiting for NVIDIA to play catch up, we could see it laze through until early Q2 2012.
The Radeon 7900-series marks the arrival of AMD's new Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture, which is supposed to bring us a GPU that performs well at both graphical and computing tasks.
NVIDIA are set to unleash their latest graphics card, the GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448 cores on the 29th of November. It has been talked about for a little while now, but the official specifications are now available for us to drool over, so let's get into it.
The original GeForce GTX 560 Ti launched back in January of this year and featured the GF114 silicon, 384 CUDA cores, a 256-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface, 1GB of memory, high clock speed and some great overclocking potential. This caused AMD to go red with anger, as NVIDIA liked to say that their GTX 560 Ti "pwned" the Radeon HD 6870. AMD came back swinging with the HD 6950 and was able to lay some smack down on the 560 Ti.