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Surprisingly, someone got hold of a picture of GIGABYTEs box for the mighty GTX 480 that's still over 20 days from release. Our VGA man Shane Baxtor discovered the picture lurking on Facebook a short time ago.
What the box art tells us is nothing new really. We can see it'll have 1536MB of GDDR5 memory, supports DirectX 11 and has mini HDMI connectivity added along with support for 7.1 audio.
The days are counting away; not too long of a wait now folks.
Along with ASUS and its Ares, Sapphire and its TOXIC and a few other vendors looking to supe up the top-end HD 5970, XFX has on display at CeBIT a tidy looking specimen of its own which it calls the HD 5970 Black Edition 4GB.
This is a limited edition run which gives several advancements over the reference model including a superior GPU cooler, higher clock speeds (850MHz core / 1200MHz memory), double the memory at 4GB and ATI Eyefinity6 support with 6 mini-DisplayPort connections and the requirement of two 8-pin PCI-E connectors for power.
It is said XFX are looking to release 1500 of these to market in total, with each priced up somewhere around $1000 US.
The lucky folks over at Tweakers.net have become the first to get their hands on NVIDIA's next prize, the top notch GTX 480. While not being given the ability to test the card out, they did get a chance to strip it down and take several shots of it in naked form to give a better idea of what the card is all about.
Confirming previous reports, we can se the chunky sized 40nm GF100 core with IHS nestled in the centre region surrounded by 12 GDDR5 memory chips totalling 1536MB.
Other specs include a 384-bit memory interface, a most probable 512 CUDA cores, two PCI-E power connectors (one 6-pin and one 8-pin), up to 3-way SLI support and dual DVI + mini-HDMI outputs on the rear.
We can also see from these shots that the GPU is powered by a 6-phase circuit using DPAK MOSFETs and 2 phases for the vMem circuit.
The reference cooler looks very capable and is as chunky as one would expect it to be for a card of this calibre, using one fan and four heatpipes.
Whilst not quite the Eyefinity 6 support on select models of AMDs HD 5870 which gives the ability to connect up to six monitors to a single card, PowerColor has done its best in giving support for as many monitors as possible on one of its HD 5770 cards which is on display at CeBIT right now.
PowerColor would have also given Eyefinity 6 support to this HD 5770 card, but there are only five available TMDS links on HD 5770, thus what we have here is Eyefinity 5 for this particular model using DisplayPort connectivity.
No word on when it'll hit the market or at what price yet.
Our VGA guru Shane Baxtor has posted some hot news over at his Blog page pertaining to the new HD 5830 which is already a hot little number in AMD's HD 5000 series lineup with solid performance at a good price.
He learns that we might be seeing a bit of de ja vu, reminiscing of the X800 days where it was possible to unlock more stream processors by simply flashing the card with a different BIOS.
Whilst not confirmed nor said to be happening with every HD 5830 to hit the market, Shane hears that companies are looking to place the HD 5850 core on select HD 5830 cards which would then make it as simple as using a BIOS hack to unlock the extra stream processors the HD 5850 has on tap. Followed by a core and memory overclock from there and you're looking at sensational performance that makes the already attractive value factor of the stock HD 5830 glow even more.
But as mentioned above, this information hasn't yet been confirmed and until one is seen in the flesh with the GPU cooler removed to confirm what core has been used, we won't know for sure.
I just mentioned some new video cards from MSI that have debuted at CeBIT in Germany today. Asus is also pulling the wraps off new video cards at CeBIT and the Ares HD 5970 has already been benchmarked.
The card has dual HD 5870 GPUs on one board each with their own 2GB of VRAM. Other really good news is that the dual GPU card will not be a limited edition. You can start saving your loot and as long as there is demand, Asus will build the card.
The card reportedly scores over 14,000 points with Extreme settings in 3DMark Vantage. The card has a giant cooling solution and needs two 8-pin and a single 6-pin connector for enough power. Me wants!
Each year at CES in Las Vegas, we see a glut of new consumer electronics and a bit of PC hardware. The CeBIT show that opens this week in Germany is typically a hot bed of new hardware each year. MSI has unveiled some new video cards at the show.
The new cards include the Lightning with a core frequency of 900MHz, 15 phase voltage converters, and dual 8-pin PCIe power connectors are needed. A lesser video card called the Hawk will be cheaper than the Lightning, but specs aren't offered.
You will be able to get the new MSI Twin Frozr II cooling solution on versions of the Lightning video card. With the special cooler the card is said to be good for up to 1GHz core speeds. The Frozr II is being debuted at the show for the first time.
A David Smith of SolarisUtilityDVD has been made aware of a method to enable SLI on ASUS' Crossfire only P7P55D motherboard which might be of interest to those of you with the board who wish they could double up on their existing GeForce card.
As the P7P55D Deluxe board comes with SLI support (albeit at a fair bit higher price tag), it was as simple as getting into a hex editor, comparing the deluxe board's BIOS to the vanilla variant and copying the required string across to the current BIOS.
For the end user, the hack is as simple as updating your BIOS with one which has been modified to include the SLIC string that enables the support on the board.
The BIOS that was used to be modified for SLI support was 1207, There's a pile of download links for it at the source.
When ATI first talked about the new HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 video card there were lots of gamers out there salivating at the thought of gaming with six monitors. If you are like me you probably also worried about the monitor bezels mucking things up.
The Eyefinity system has been tested and overall it sounds very sweet indeed. However, the bezels did cause an issue where some of the scene was behind the bezel. Bezels aside, the tech is described as "immersive."
The Eyefinity tech renders the entire image and then spans it across all the screens meaning some of the image is naturally going to be missed thanks to LCD bezels. This can be a big deal if that missing section of the scene is an enemy.
The folks at Plaza.fi have obtained both a CAD drawing along with performance expectations of ASUS' suped up Republic of Gamers Ares graphics card which is basically a custom-designed HD 5970 which as many bells and whistles ASUS could jam into it.
This upcoming limited edition model uses two Radeon HD 5870 GPUs with 1600 stream processors each, whilst the core and memory clock remains the same as the HD 5870 at 850MHz / 1200MHz (up from the stock 725/1000MHz on a stock HD 5970). On the subject of memory, ASUS also doubled the memory with 4GB of it residing here.
As the CAD drawing above indicates, the card sticks with a single PCB whilst the cooling system is what mostly catches the eye; not too dissimilar to what NVIDIA uses for its current top-end dual GPU based GTX 295 with a centrally positioned fan which pushes air onto copper GPU blocks on both sides. This overall fan design looks pretty mean and chunky and is said to be quieter than AMD's reference HD 5970 cooler as well while no doubt being more effective.
A graph shared out over at Plaza.fi also gives a 3DMark Vantage result with the Ares, comparing it to a stock HD 5970. According to this result it is almost 30% quicker.
There are two main downsides to a card like this. The first is power draw; the card requires two 8-pin PCI-E power connectors as well as a 6-pin and will inevitably chew through the power a good rate more than a stock HD 5970 which is already a very hungry card. Next of course is the price; being a limited edition run and a member of ASUS' ROG series, you'll be digging deep to pay out for one of these once they reach the market, that is if you can find one.