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This post comes inclusive of many grains of salt, but the first leaks on AMD's Radeon HD 7970 are here. The GPU is said to be released on January 10, 2012, where our VGA editor has promised me after he's done he's going to send me all of our samples, right Shane? ;)
Onto the rumor, 3DCenter have a compiled list of specifications for "Tahiti", from various sources and bits and pieces of info from here and there:
4.50 billion transistors, die-area of 380 mm², built on TSMC 28 nm process
Advanced GCN 1D architecture
2048 1D processing cores
128 TMUs, 48 ROPs
384-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface, memory clock slightly below 1 GHz, target bandwidth of 240~264 GB/s
AMD's next-generation high-end graphics card has been spotted, with images making their way onto the Internet. The new boards are marked as "Tahiti" and are believed to be the top-of-the-line single-GPU cards from AMD. This should be what the Radeon HD 7900-Series will eventually be.
The card, as you can see in the picture above, is quite long, roughly the same length as AMD's current Radeon HD 6970. It sports twelve GDDR5 memory chips, which means they use a 384-bit memory bus. It also includes two 8-pin PCI Express power connectors, which should give it up to 375W of power to suck down. The card, however, is powered by the SIG-approved 6-pin plus 8-pin config, which uses up to 300W of power.
It shouldn't be long until we have more concrete info, but generally, when there are leaks like this, the real things aren't far behind.
This is a bit unexpected, but a good move for Zalman. They have just announced their entry into the GPU market with the shipping of Zalman-branded GPUs to start shipping on December 13.
Zalman's first entry will be AMD Radeon HD 6000 Series GPUs, in three different models: Zalman HD6870-H , H-Zalman HD6850 and HD6770 Zalman-H. As you can tell from the model numbers, they are HD 6870, HD 6850 and HD 6770 GPUs. Nothing high-end yet, but I'm sure Zalman are just putting their toes into the water, for now.
Juicy one today, folks! It is rumored that AMD's flagship single-GPU graphics card will hit a US$549 price, with the slower model having a price tag of $449.
Remember, that this is just a rumor and nothing is guaranteed, but it gives us a peak into what we could expect when the cards launch. Right now, the names being thrown around are the AMD Radeon HD 7970 and Radeon HD 7950, just like the previous variants of cards in the 6000 Series. The pricing is reportedly coming from AMD and not card partners.
We're expecting an early January shipping estimate, and should hopefully hear some more news on the subject soon. Is it too early to wish for two of these puppies? I'll take CrossFireX 7970's, thanks.
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.