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If you remember back during CES we told you about EVGA's ambitious project to build a highly overclockable dual 1366 socket motherboard that could run Quad SLI or Quad Crossfire. Well it has finally been announced and given a name. This board will be known as the Classified SR-2.
Just like we told you before this will run two Xeon 55xx or 56xx CPU with up to 48GB of registered DDR3 1333 memory (24GB per CPU) it supports both dual and triple channel setups. It also has a enough PCIe x16 slots to support up to four GPUs in full x16 mode across all of them. However, to get all this in the board has to be huge! It is even larger than full XL-ATX. It is so big EVGA had to come up with a new size name HPTX.
Power will also be an issue, to run Tri SLI and OC both sockets will put you in the area of 1500 Watts of power draw. With Quad SLI you are looking at 2000+ Watts. Most are thinking that to get this off the ground a pair of 1200-1400 Watt PSUs will be needed. Unfortunately there is still no word on when these will actually hit the market.
Over at NVIDIA's company nTersect Blog, Ashu Rege has blogged about the impressive DirectX 11 technology demonstrations that the graphics firm showcased at GDC in San Francisco last week. These demonstrations are designed to show developers what next-gen GPU technology such as the GeForce GTX 480 and 470 can do and also create hype in the community.
We already saw a video of the amazing DX11 hair demo the other day, but now we get a closer look into some of the other demos that were on display to game developers during the event.
There is also the DX11 island demo, which was created to showcase a large scene with simulated waves. Next up is the DX11 grass demo, which displays around 3.5 million blades of grass moving around in the wind. Sadly we haven't discovered videos of these two new demos in action, but even from the pictures and what we saw with the hair demo, you can bet they will be super impressive.
As the launch date nudges closer, the big talk of the town is of course NVIDIA's next-gen GTX 470 and GTX 480 graphics cards that bring DX11 support and expectedly a significant performance leap over anything we've seen up 'till now; these slated for a March 26 launch date.
However, there's a wee bit of sour news for those of you who already have every intent in getting a hold of one the minute it's available. while NVIDIA originally planned for cards to hit retail shelves only a few days after launch (March 29th apparently), our VGA reviewer has been given indication that the availability date has been forcefully pushed back by NV to April 6.
The most probable reason for this is due to NVIDIA not wanting to make samples available to reviewers until close to launch and then issuing out an optimized working driver for the cards very close to this time to prevent early leaks of performance figures on older non-optimized drivers that could affect initial impressions. To ensure partners don't accidently let leak a sample ahead of time, NVIDIA is tightly holding onto all cards until launch date, so the April 6 availability date gives enough time for cards to reach retailers.
Unlike the past when both the manufacturer and AIBs shook their heads at any form of manipulation with voltage on graphics cards to favour a better overclock, these days it's a different story with some companies going so far as to provide software with their cards that promote the ability to do so for your overclocking pleasures.
With that said, our VGA man Shane Baxtor has learned that NVIDIA won't be cutting overclocking hungry folks out with their latest lineup of DX11 based cards to hit town, GTX 480 and 470. The company is apparently going to be happy in offering people more options when tinkering with their overclock result including the ability to adjust the core voltage via the card's PWM chip, within a respectable limit of course.
What we won't know until cards start to show up on the market is how the various AIBs will provide this ability; whether it's via a unique piece of software that lets the user tap into the voltage levels, or a standard feature directly from NVIDIA themselves.
Providing this pertains to be true, we could be seeing some very serious aftermarket models coming out once the initial rush settles down that house more powerful coolers which in turn give the ability to push those voltage levels even higher whilst keeping the extra heat at bay.
Whilst we all continue to count down the days until NVIDIA lets Fermi (GF100) off its chains, little has been shared to give a clearer perspective on just how these latest and greatest monsters from NVIDIA dubbed the GTX 480 and GTX 470 will perform.
But, one thing that we're sometimes seeing pop up is the box designs some of the AIBs are going to use to ship their variants in. Not exactly exciting, but sure whets the appetite a bit.
The folks over at Toms Hardware have acquired box art images from Palit for its GTX 480 and 470 models, both using a V designed engine theme.
We can see the 470 gets a silver color theme whilst the top dog 480 gets some gold treatment. All other aspects of the features about the card shared on the box aren't anything we didn't already know. Interestingly there is no mention of DX11 support printing anywhere on the front of these boxes, but we all know that's one of the major highlights of this new family from NV and likely Palit have it printed on the back.
Stay tuned folks; March 26 is going to be a Fermi Frenzy day.
We've heard bits and pieces about Galaxy's plans to release a one of a kind dual GPU GeForce GTS 250 graphics card to market in the near future and more recently obtained concrete information that it was definitely being produced, but until now have seen very little in terms of performance expectations or how it looks in its final form.
Expreview have obtained some nicely presented images of the final retail version of the card together with a screenshot indicating its performance capabilities using 3DMark Vantage. They were able to confirm it uses 1GB of memory (512MB per GPU) and comes with clock speeds of 600/1500/1000 MHz for the core, shader and memory clocks. Galaxy also bundles the card with its Galaxy Magic Panel HD software that gives the ability to further push the clockspeeds.
The card requires two x 6-pin PCI-E connectors for power and has a unique cooling solution with the heatsink also covering the memory and VRM areas. It uses dual 70mm fans running at 2000RPM, each nestling directly above one of the two GPUs onboard.
In the screenshot below you can see the card clocked up to 675/1000/1696MHz along with a 3DMark Vantage (Performance) result at these clockrates of P13694; somewhere in between the performance of a GTX 285 and GTX 260.
The most interesting thing to note will be the price, something that hasn't yet been mentioned. This will of course determine its success in amongst an already extensive level of options on the market.
Our VGA man Shane Baxtor has managed to sus out when AMD/ATI plans to officially announce its new Eyefinity6 technology which gives the ability to drive up to six monitors from a single card.
We can expect the launch to take place during the week of the 29th of this month and it shouldn't be far beyond that date when we begin to see cards surface from AIBs which harness this extended form of multi-monitor support with half a dozen mini-DisplayPorts on their I/O plates. Word at the moment is that initial cards with Eyefinity6 support will be HD 5870s carrying double the RAM (2GB) to better assist the extended multi-monitor abilities.
However, there will be some super duper Eyefinity6 equipped variants of the top dog dual-GPU HD 5970 coming out as well, one of which got some showtime at CeBIT last week from XFX.
MSI has been peddling its thin and svelte X-Slim line of notebooks for a while now and they are all nice looking machines. MSI has added a new ultraportable to the X-Slim line today called the X360.
The new machine has a 13-inch screen with a resolution of 1366 x 768 and Intel HD graphics. The operating system is Windows 7 Home Premium and the machine can have up to 4GB of RAM. Storage is to a 2.5-inch HDD up to 500GB and a memory card reader is integrated.
Other features include HDMI out, D-sub, dual USB 2.0 ports, RJ45 and more. A 1.3MP webcam is also built-in. The thin notebook runs an Intel Core i5-520UM processor. Pricing and availability are unknown.
After yesterday getting a viewing of a naked GTX 480 reference card thanks to the folks at Tweakers.com, more images have leaked onto the web, this time of the GTX 470 PCB along with its cooler.
We can see from these shots the referenced designed PCB is a little more stubby than the 480 using a more compacted arrangement. Due to the nature of its 320-bit memory interface it uses just 10 memory chips which you can see surrounding the 470 GPU. The VRM is down to 4-phases with a 1 phase vMem, whilst power is fed by two 6-pin PCI-E connectors.
The cooling assemnbly is also a more compact design when compared to the 480s but still makes use of copper heatpipes making direct contact with the GPU, whilst the cooler's base also makes contact with the memory chips and MOSFETs.
Come March 26 and we'll finally see performance numbers spreading like wildfire.
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.