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As usual, we can't confirm this as it's a rumor, but it looks like the upcoming next-gen GPU release from AMD could arrive as the Radeon R9 380X, and not the R9 390X like most would have expected. Sweclockers are behind the rumor this time, giving it a little more credit.
The Radeon R9 380X would feature 4096 cores, 4GB of the new, next-gen HBM (high bandwidth memory) and a Q2 2015 release window. The new card is known as the Fiji XT and will directly replace most of AMD's current high-end R9 200 series lineup. We should expect this card to be around 40-50% faster than the R9 290X, mostly thanks to architectural changes and the new, super-fast HBM RAM.
NVIDIA will be fighting back with another rumored product, the Titan II or Titan X. They could also battle it out with a refreshed GM200-based GeForce card in the form of the GeForce GTX 980 Ti, or if I had my way, the GeForce GTX 980 Ultra.
We know it's coming, but NVIDIA hasn't confirmed anything just yet - but here it is, the GM200. If you didn't know, this is the fully unleashed Maxwell GPU, which should materialize into the GeForce GTX Titan II.
The GM200 engineering board (180-1G600-1102-A04) will use a PG600 board according to VideoCardz, and features 24 of Hynix's H5GQ4H24MFR modules, clocked at 7GHz. We have a total of 12GB of VRAM, which indicates this will be a new Titan part, and not a normal GeForce GPU. We don't know if it will be the Titan Z II, Titan Ultra, Titan II, or something else entirely, but whatever it is... it's going to be awesome.
We can see the prototype board is missing the DVI port, but it features three DisplayPort outputs, and HDMI 2.0 just like the GTX 980 and GTX 970 cards. We should expect the full Maxwell card to feature 3072 CUDA cores, too. This card will be a monster, something I expect NVIDIA will unveil at GTC 2015 in March.
We heard that NVIDIA were preparing for the launch of its mid-range GeForce GTX 960 last month, and just recently the rumor of a buy-it-now price of $199 was teased. Now here we are, with actual box shots of various cards from NVIDIA's add-in-board (AIB) partners, such as GIGABYTE and Inno3D.
The first one, pictured above, is of the GIGABYTE G1 Gaming 'Super Overclock' GTX 960, which uses its impressive WindForce cooling setup and 2GB of RAM.
Next up, we have two cards from Inno3D; the iChill GeForce GTX 960 Ultra, and the GeForce GTX 960 OC. The Ultra variant rocks an insane cooling setup, featuring the HerculeZ X3 cooler. We have a clock speed of 1178MHz, while the memory is at 7010MHz effective. This provides memory bandwidth of 112GB/sec, on its 2GB of frame buffer.
The GTX 960 OC version features the smaller HerculeZ X2 cooler, but it'll also feature the same speeds as its Ultra brother. Two-way SLI support is provided on both cards, too.
If there anyone who likes GPU rumors, it's me. The latest reports are suggesting that AMD might make a huge leap with its new Radeon R9 300 series, which should make use of the new High Bandwidth Memory (HBM), but more interestingly, it is based on a 2.5D design, and will use up to 300W of power.
The news is coming from the LinkedIn profile of Linglan Zhang, who is currently employed by AMD as the System Architecture Manager. His profile lists that he is working on a new GPU SOC chip that uses the 2.5D design, and rocks a TDP of 300W. We should expect the new GPUs from AMD to be made on the 28nm architecture, since the 16nm and 20nm die shrinks are now at least six months or more away - from both AMD, and NVIDIA.
Comparing GDDR5 against HBM is something that people need to start really looking at, as the I/O per chip on GDDR5 is just 32-bit, while the 4-Hi HBM 'Stacked DRAM' pumps things up to a huge 1024-bit. Max bandwidth per min on GDDR5 is just 7Gbps, while HBM sits at 1GBps. The max bandwidth of GDDR5 sits at 28Gbps, while the HBM technology can scale between 64Gbps and 256Gbps.
When can we expect the new Radeon R9 390X and R9 380X? Well, the reports state that AMD is already taping out the new R9 380X, which means we could see GPUs in consumers' hands in the coming weeks, so we might see AMD unleash these new cards before NVIDIA kicks off its GPU Technology Conference in March, where we might see something unveiled - last year, we saw the GeForce GTX Titan Z for example. Whatever happens, it's exciting times in the world of GPUs, that's for sure.
EVGA have recently changed the way that their HydroCopper branding works. In the past HydroCopper refereed to models which included a factory-overclocked reference PCB and a factory-fitted, full-cover water blocks, allowing users to add this to their liquid-cooling loop as they saw fit. However EVGA's new direction for HydroCopper is to include its own closed-loop cooling system, seeing a similar design to AMD's reference Radeon R9 295X2.
This included cooler features a metal base-plate, drawing heat from the memory and VRM, connected to the central pump-block and an aluminum fin stack. Cooling these two parts is a common lateral-flow blower and all of this is ventilated by a single 120mm fan.
CES 2015 - We were invited up to MSI's suite to take a closer look at some of their new products. When we entered, we were welcomed by the X99A Gaming 9 ACK, one of MSI's new boards sporting the latest USB 3.1 technology. It won the CES 2015 Innovation award and rightfully so with USB 3.1, which we saw reach 650MB/s read and write speeds. The board isn't using the new type-c USB 3.1 connector, but instead relies on the traditional USB connector.
However, MSI did have a board with the new c-type connector in the works, the Z97X Gaming 6. We were able to catch a glimpse of this new technology. It felt very sturdy and yes, we were able to flip it upside down and insert it into the port.
CES 2015 - SAPPHIRE didn't have anything new to show off at CES 2015, so instead it was just showing off a handful of their most popular products.
We went in and talked to a few of the executives at the company, teeing up some new projects going into the New Year that you will have to check back with TweakTown in the near future to check out. All we can say is: it'll kick ass. Until then, here are some images of video cards that you can check out, starting with the Radeon R9 290X 4GB and R9 280X 4GB.
Here's the SAPPHIRE Vapor-X Radeon R9 4GB.
CES 2015 - Over the last year or two ZOTAC has been making strides when it comes to the GPU market, with some truly great cards that not only look great, are featured packed, but they perform like champions. We knew the company was going to be showing off its new GeForce GTX cards at CES 2015, so here we are!
Let's start off with the GTX 980 AMP! Omega Edition, with its dual fan system, and much more. We have a base clock of 1202MHz, and boost clock of 1304MHz. The usual 4GB of RAM is found on a 256-bit memory bus, while the memory clock is at 7046MHz. We have three DisplayPort outputs, one HDMI 2.0 and one DVI-I.
CES 2015 - ZOTAC is becoming a big force to be reckoned with in the VGA market, where they were teasing two small GeForce GTX 970s at CES 2015.
Starting with the GTX 970 which features a dual fan cooling system, and base and boost clocks of 1076MHz and 1216MHz respectively. We have the usual 4GB of GDDR5 RAM, too.
The other card ZOTAC were showing off, which won't be available for another couple of months yet, is the GTX 970 Single Fan.
MSI might be working on two new GeForce GTX 970s, but the new EVGA card might having everyone crying into their wallets. K|NGP|N, the crazy overclocker himself, is working with EVGA on a new GeForce GTX 980 Classified.
We don't know much about the new card, whether it will feature the GM204 core, or the bigger and badder GM204 core. I'm hoping we see EVGA push the boundaries and use the full GM200 core, but with K|NGP|N behind the scenes tinkering around with this, we can expect big, big things from EVGA's latest card.