Category Archives: Graphics cards

Amazon offering $150 off Intel and PNY Nvidia Quadro bundles

Amazon offering $150 off Intel and PNY Nvidia Quadro bundlesAmazon are currently running a series of offers with up to $150 off a selected range of Intel 15/17 processors bundled with PNY Nvidia Quadro graphics cards. They have 3 offers in all, a $30, $50 and $150 off deal when you buy the processor and card together.

The $150 offer covers the Intel i5-2300 2.8Ghz, 15-2500 3.3 Ghz, I5 2500K 3.3 Ghz and I7-2600 3.4 Ghz processors when bundled with the PNY Nvidia quadro VCQ  5000 card.

Full details on all the bundles can be found here if you’re making a new PC and looking to make a saving. The offer ends on June 5th and is eligible for Amazon’s Super Saver Shipping, that is, free shipping to addresses in the U.S.

WHQL-Certified GeForce R275 Drivers Out Now

Significant performance gains in R275Nvidia just rolled out their latest WHQL certified GeForce drivers for GeForce 6, 7, 8, 9, 100, 200, 300, 400, and 500-series desktop GPUs as well as ION desktop GPUs.

The R275 driver suite is all about performance gains. On 400 and 500 series GPUs in particular there are quite a number of bumps in FPS for Crysis 2, Civilization V, Portal 2, Bulletstorm and Batman Arkham Asylum.

There are also a number of bugs ironed out from the previous beta, thanks to the savvy Nvidia community; see below:

Bug fixes in R275

If you’re running GeForce drivers V270.51 or higher then you should have received the update notification via your taskbar, if you have the ‘auto-update’ feature enabled. For everyone else you can download the drivers here.

For a full list of fixes and changes head on over to Nvidia’s blog.

Related:
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Nintendo DS Lite price falls to $99 next week

Nvidia confirms new GTX 560 for May 17th

Nvidia confirms new GTX 560 for May 17thNvidia today confirmed May 17th as the official release date of their upcoming GTX 560 graphics card.

Sandwiched somewhere in between last Summer’s GTX 460 and the current Nvidia mid-range Kingpin, the GTX 560 Ti; the GTX 560 will be hoping to win the hearts and minds of budget gamers looking to have a reasonable DX11 experience at a 1920 x 1080 resolution.

Nvidia uploaded a few videos of the card running (as of now) unreleased PC games; Duke Nukem Forever, Alice: Madness Returns and Dungeon Siege III. According to their benchmarks the upcoming GTX 560 should have enough graphical grunt to keep most of today’s modern titles at bay. Basically the idea of the article is to show gamers they don’t need to re-mortgage their house in order to get a decent high-definition experience on their gaming rigs.

In their article Nvidia draws parrallels between the GTX 560 and 2008′s 9800GT, in terms of price-to-performance ratio. According to Steam statistics the 3-year old 9800 GT is the most popular card right now. Nvidia hope to repeat the success of the 9800 GT, with the same bang-for-buck marketing attributed to the GTX 560.

The advent of GPU technologies like NVIDIA 3D Vision, Surround, and advances in PhysX coupled with the emerging popularity of high-resolution monitors have provided exciting, new GPU-intensive features. This, however, does not mean that high-end PC gaming needs to cost gamers an arm and a leg. The GeForce GTX 560 delivers high-quality 1080p visuals with rock-solid gaming performance at a sweet-spot price point.

Amazon has the card listed from a few different GPU makers; MSI ($249.99), PNY (239.99) and a few others.

Related:
How often do you build a PC?
PCMark 7 available now
Civilization for Facebook featured on CNN
Hitman Absolution on track for 2012
StarCraft II patch goes live (1.3.3)
Portal 2 map makers rejoice
Crysis 2 ‘Retaliation’ trailer hits the web
Duke Nukem Forever hits Steam for pre-purchase
Total War: Shogun 2 gets DX11 support, plus new maps

How often do you build a PC?

Upgrading RAM.For most avid PC types, it’s less about re-building than it is upgrading along the way. But what about everyone else?

Crucial, makers of SSDs and RAM conducted their own survey of PC users in the US, UK and France earlier this year. They have been spitting out the results over the course of the day; and these are their findings so far:

  • 53% of people think their PCs should last much longer than 3 years.
  • Nearly half of Brits surveyed said “slow-speed” was their number 1 pet peeve with their PC.
  • 49% of Brits believe a RAM upgrade would inject some performance into thier current rig.
  • Meanwhile 39% of Brits fear even opening up their PC, let alone upgrading parts.

Personally, I feel a decent investment in a $1,000 PC should see you through at least a few years of gaming, without having to be thinking about upgrades. But then of course there are a plethora of different desires and expectations out there, particularly when it comes to PC gaming.

What about you. Do you upgrade every time Intel blows their horn with the announcement of a new CPU, or whenever Nvidia or AMD announce a relatively beefier graphics card? Or are you more realistic and conservative with your PC buying budget?

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PCMark 7 available now

PCMark 7 available now

PCMark 7 out nowPCMark 7 is available now, having been initially slated for a May 3rd release.

The popular PC benchmarking suite from Futuremark is designed for Windows 7. Basically if you want to put your entire PC through a broad gamut of performance tests this program will give you an indication of how well your hardware is performing. You can even check and compare your score online with people who have similar or identical PC hardware.

Futuremark are offering 3 variants of PCMark 7; including a free edition which allows unlimited runs of the main test. You can download the free-edition or order the advanced or professional versions directly from the PCMark website.

PCMARK 7 BASIC EDITION – Free

  • Free PC test offering unlimited runs of the main PCMark test suite
  • Browse, search and compare results online
  • Store one result online

 

PCMARK 7 ADVANCED EDITION – $39.95 – ORDER NOW

  • Includes all 7 PC tests with more than 25 individual workloads
  • Browse, search and compare results online
  • Unlimited online results storage
  • Hide results from public view
  • Offline result management
  • Advert-free online service

 

PCMARK 7 PROFESSIONAL EDITION – $995.00 – ORDER NOW

  • Licensed for commercial PC system testing
  • Includes all 7 PC tests with more than 25 individual workloads
  • Command line automation
  • Browse, search and compare results online
  • Unlimited online results storage
  • Hide results from public view
  • Offline result management
  • Advert-free online service
  • Priority support

Related:
Civilization for Facebook featured on CNN
Hitman Absolution on track for 2012
StarCraft II patch goes live (1.3.3)
Portal 2 map makers rejoice
Crysis 2 ‘Retaliation’ trailer hits the web
Duke Nukem Forever hits Steam for pre-purchase
Total War: Shogun 2 gets DX11 support, plus new maps
Dice: Battlefield 3 will be a stunning looking game on the console
Game urges players to kill Bin Laden
Deus Ex: Human Revolution releasing digitally through Steam

Nvidia giving away Duke Nukem Forever PC

Duke Nukem Forever 3D PCNvidia is teaming up with Maingear to give away a Duke Nukem Forever, 3D-capable PC.

In anticipation for the launch of the long, long, long awaited Duke Nukem Forever, Nvidia and Maingear are giving away a 3D-capable, i7, multi-GPU, water-cooled dream machine to one lucky winner. The fortuitous participant will also get a free copy of Duke Nukem Forever, naturally.

Unfortunately entry is only open to residents of the US and Canada; if that’s you visit this page. Entries will be taken until May 31st.

Duke Nukem Forever is coming to PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 on June 10th internationally, and the US 4 days later on June 14th. You can  pre-order the game on PCXbox 360 and PS3 from Amazon.

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Valve patches buggy TF2 ‘Hatless Update’
Nvidia rolls out WHQL-certified 270 drivers
Nvidia shakes up GeForce drivers with auto-update and more
BioWare founders start auction for Japan quake victims
Valve bags nearly half a million for Japan
Fallout: New Vegas GotY Edition sighted on Amazon

Radeon HD 7000 hitting mass production next month

AMDJust when you thought you couldn’t get more confused trying to remember all the names of the vast quantities of graphics cards being pumped out by AMD and Nvidia this past year, AMD are bringing out 3 more that fall squarely in the entry-level to mid-range section of their 6000 series.

The 6670, 6570 and 6450 will be launched in 7 days time on the 19th of April.

But wait, if you’re holding out for the latest and greatest you might want to hang on to your cash for a little longer. According to a source close to DigiTimes AMD’s 7000 series a.k.a. ‘Southern Islands’ is scheduled for mass production in May. The 7000 series is based on the 28 nm manufacturing process.

With its Radeon HD 6000 series product lines fully filled, AMD is already in preparation for the next generation Radeon HD 7000 series (Southern Islands) GPUs and is set to mass produce the GPU in May this year.

No details have been leaked that clarify any specifications of the 7000 series cards.

Related:
AMD’s Radeon range on Amazon
AMD’s 6790, the new mid-range sweet-spot
Nvidia prepping new GTX 560
Kingston announce critical firmware update for V100 SSDs
EVGA announce GTX 590 ‘Hydro Copper Edition’
AMD taunts Nvidia, challenging their ‘fastest card’ declaration
Nvidia’s GTX 590 is smokin’, literally
Nvidia shows off “engineering marvel”, the GTX 590
EVGA selling Crysis 2 Edition GTX 560 Ti
Nvidia shakes up GeForce drivers with auto-update and more

AMD’s 6790, the new mid-range sweet-spot

AMD's 6790, the new mid-range sweet-spotAMD today launched their new mid-range graphics card, the HD 6790.

Looking to gain market share back from Nvidia’s GTX 550/560 Ti the company is enticing gamers who want a 1080p capable card without a financial meltdown. The HD 6790 is aiming at the $150 sweet-spot, offering up a well-priced GPU from the same 40 nm “Barts” architecture as the previous 6800 cards; 6970, 6870 and the 6850.

The HD 6790 will feature 800 stream processors, 40 TMUs, 16 ROPs, and a 256-bit wide 1 GB GDDR5 memory interface. The core clock/memory speed is 840/1050 MHz.

You can find the card’s full specifications here.

Related:
Nvidia prepping new GTX 560
Kingston announce critical firmware update for V100 SSDs
EVGA announce GTX 590 ‘Hydro Copper Edition’
AMD taunts Nvidia, challenging their ‘fastest card’ declaration
Nvidia’s GTX 590 is smokin’, literally
Nvidia shows off “engineering marvel”, the GTX 590
EVGA selling Crysis 2 Edition GTX 560 Ti
Nvidia shakes up GeForce drivers with auto-update and more

Nvidia prepping new GTX 560

Nvidia GirlIf the team over on EXPreview have it right, we can expect another mid-range graphics card from Nvidia this month or next.

Back in January Nvidia launched the mid-range GTX 560 Ti. This card replaced the GTX 460 using a refined GF114 GPU. The upcoming (allegedly) GTX 560 (non-Ti) card will sport the same GPU, only it will have fewer cores and a slower clock-speed bringing the price down from its ‘Ti’ big brother.

According to the source, the card will feature 336 CUDA cores, 56 texture units, 32 ROPs and a 256-bit 1GB memory interface (GDDR5). The card’s retail price will reportedly be around the €180 mark.

AMD is also planning a cut-back mid-range card soon, in the form of the HD 6790. So it looks like the never-ending war between camp green and camp red is only just heating up.

One thing’s for certain there has never been a better time to build a PC. Graphics cards are in abundance, from the low-end right up to dual-GPU paradise.

Related:
Kingston announce critical firmware update for V100 SSDs
EVGA announce GTX 590 ‘Hydro Copper Edition’
AMD taunts Nvidia, challenging their ‘fastest card’ declaration
Nvidia’s GTX 590 is smokin’, literally
Nvidia shows off “engineering marvel”, the GTX 590
EVGA selling Crysis 2 Edition GTX 560 Ti
Nvidia shakes up GeForce drivers with auto-update and more

Nvidia shakes up GeForce drivers with auto-update and more

NvidiaNvidia today released beta drivers for their 6-series and above GeForce graphics cards, updating CUDA, PhysX, 3DVision and HDMI audio drivers. But probably the biggest change in V270.51 is a new feature that prompts you when your drivers are out-of-date linking you to download the latest version for your particular card. It works in pretty much the same way as Microsoft’s Windows Update, in that you’ll receive a pop-up dialogue box in your taskbar.

‘Nvidia Update’ is an optional install when you download and run the latest beta, but I’m sure most Nvidia users will welcome this addition, saving the avid gamer from constantly checking the website for updates.

The drivers also include a wrath of performance updates for the GTX 560 Ti and GTX 580. In Dragon Age II alone Nvidia boast “6.2 times faster in a GeForce GTX 580 SLI configuration, 5.6 times faster in a GTX 560 Ti SLI configuration, 4.5 times faster on a single GTX 580, and 3.6 times faster on a single 560 Ti.”

Release 270 highlights:

  • Boosts gaming performance by as much as 6x.
  • Enables NVIDIA Update, an easy way to stay up-to-date with the latest GeForce drivers.
  • Fully integrates all 3D Vision drivers – including the 3D Vision USB Controller driver – for easy 3D Vision installation.
  • Expands 3D Vision window mode to include support for 3DTV Play, Windows Aero, and 3D Vision Notebooks.
  • Dramatically boosts 3D Vision and 3D Vision Surround performance in DirectX 9 games with SLI enabled.
  • Better 3D Vision performance when using Half-Life 2 games in 3D.
  • Adds support for applications using the new CUDA 4.0 features.

This is one of Nvidia’s biggest releases in long time and there are too many improvements to list here. You can find a rundown on all the changes with graphs and performance info over on Nvidia’s GeForce website.

Related:
AMD wages war against Nvidia’s midriff
Kingston announce critical firmware update for V100 SSDs
EVGA announce GTX 590 ‘Hydro Copper Edition’
AMD taunts Nvidia, challenging their ‘fastest card’ declaration
Nvidia’s GTX 590 is smokin’, literally
Nvidia shows off “engineering marvel”, the GTX 590
EVGA selling Crysis 2 Edition GTX 560 Ti

AMD wages war against Nvidia’s midriff

AMDIt looks like AMD is seeing the GTX 550 Ti as a threat and wish to compete directly with Nvidia’s mid-range graphics card. According to Nordic Hardware the company is readying a new mid-range GPU based on AMD’s 40 nm Barts GPU, slated for an April 5th release.

The HD 6790 will consist of a memory interface of 256-bit wide GDDR5 VRAM, a core speed of 840 MHz, and 1050 MHz RAM speed. The card will have a low-power draw of 150W derived from 2 6-pin power connectors.

As the HD 6790 is based on the same architecture as the 6950/6970 the specs are very similar. Nordic Hardware has the low-down:

6790 specs revealed

Related:
Kingston announce critical firmware update for V100 SSDs
EVGA announce GTX 590 ‘Hydro Copper Edition’
AMD taunts Nvidia, challenging their ‘fastest card’ declaration
Nvidia’s GTX 590 is smokin’, literally
Nvidia shows off “engineering marvel”, the GTX 590
EVGA selling Crysis 2 Edition GTX 560 Ti

EVGA announce GTX 590 ‘Hydro Copper Edition’

Water-cooling a graphics card, especially one with a $700 price-tag is not something for the faint-hearted. But if you want to squeeze every Mhz out of your shiny new GTX 590 Nvidia and EVGA bring you the GTX 590 ‘Hydro-Copper’ Edition, a liquid-cooled variant of their standard GTX 590.

Water-cooling a graphics card can have many benefits, including lower temps on the core, better overclocking capability and a big reduction in noise.

The Classified Hydro-Copper GTX 590 is available from EVGA’s website priced at $879.99. Full specs here.

Related:
AMD taunts Nvidia, challenging their ‘fastest card’ declaration
Nvidia’s GTX 590 is smokin’, literally
GTX 580 price-drop an Amazon
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Nvidia shows off “engineering marvel”, the GTX 590
EVGA selling Crysis 2 Edition GTX 560 Ti

AMD taunts Nvidia, challenging their ‘fastest card’ declaration

It looks like the GPU wars haven't even begunBoth AMD and Nvidia recently released dual-GPU graphics cards. AMD launched the HD 6990 nearly 3 weeks ago and Nvidia brought us the GTX 590 4 days back. The problem now is that both companies seem to want the moniker of ‘world’s fastest graphics card’.

In an aggressive claim to the throne AMD’s Public Relations Manager Dave Erskine is calling Nvidia on their claim and asking them to “prove” the GTX 590 is the fastest. According to Erskine AMD can back up what they say with solid benchmarks and asks Nvidia to Do the same (if they can), and not just simply state that their card is the world’s fastest.

So it looks like an all-out graphics card war. The challenge issued by AMD is simple:

So now I issue a challenge to our competitor: prove it, don’t just say it. Show us the substantiation. Because as it stands today, leading reviewers agree with us here, here, here, and here that the AMD Radeon HD 6990 sits on the top as the world’s fastest graphics card.

Related:
Nvidia’s GTX 590 is smokin’, literally
GTX 580 price-drop an Amazon
Homefront hits a homerun with 1 million sales
Crysis 2 in crisis
Nvidia shows off “engineering marvel”, the GTX 590
EVGA selling Crysis 2 Edition GTX 560 Ti
Nvidia launches GeForce UK website

Nvidia’s GTX 590 is smokin’, literally

According to Swedish overclockers over on Sweclockers.com the new dual-GPU flagship card from Nvidia overheats when using the drivers that were initially given to the press. In some cases (as seen in the above video) the card can even blow up. This happens when a person tries to overclock or overvolt the GTX 590 with driver version number 267.52.

The problem with these older drivers seems to be that they fail to activate a safety feature which protects the card’s power components.

Nvidia today released an updated driver for the GTX 590 which everyone should upgrade to.

Meanwhile the company is trying their best to reassure customers that the cards are completely safe, but stress caution when overclocking or overvolting the card:

In the web release driver of GeForce GTX 590, we have added some important enhancements to our overcurrent protection for overclocking. We recommend anyone doing overclocking or running stress apps to always use the latest web driver to get the fullest protection for your hardware. Please note that overcurrent protection does not eliminate the risks of overclocking, and hardware damage is possible, particularly when overvoltaging.

We recommend anyone using the GTX 590 board with the reference aircooler stick with the default voltage while overclocking, and avoid working around overcurrent protection mechanisms for stress applications. This will help maintain GTX 590′s great combination of acoustics, performance, and reliability. NVIDIA has worked with several watercooling companies to develop waterblocks for GTX 590, and these solutions will help provide additional margin for overclocking, but even in this case we recommend enthusiasts stay within 12.5-25mV of the default voltage in order to minimize risk.

Related:
GTX 580 price-drop an Amazon
Homefront hits a homerun with 1 million sales
Crysis 2 in crisis
Nvidia shows off “engineering marvel”, the GTX 590
EVGA selling Crysis 2 Edition GTX 560 Ti
Nvidia launches GeForce UK website

Nvidia shows off “engineering marvel”, the GTX 590

As promised by the GPU maker 2 days ago, Nvidia’s Tom Petersen is back to show us all what was hiding inside that black and green box. Tada! It was the GTX 590. O.K. I’m sure most people with their ear to the ground already knew what to expect.

In this next YouTube video Peteren goes through in detail the technical specs of their new dual-GPU graphics card, and compares the design to previous dual graphics cards. You get to see the card in action with Crysis 2 and Homefront, and also how quiet the GTX 590 runs even while under full load.

If you’re contemplating buying one of these cards you can find the full list of specifications and features here.

Related:
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Steam’s updated voice-chat is like SILK
Nvidia launches GeForce UK website
Nvidia set to announce “next gen” graphics card on March 24th

EVGA selling Crysis 2 Edition GTX 560 Ti

In a bid to cash in on the Crysis 2 fever, EVGA has released a special edition of Nvidia’s GTX 560 Ti graphics card.

The Maximum Graphics Edition Crysis 2 comes with an out of the box overclock of 900 Mhz on the core (default 822 Mhz). The VRAM also weighs in at 4212 MHz (default 4008).

What do you get in the box? Well you get a copy of the ‘Limited Edition’ of Crysis 2 (naturally), a free copy of 3DMark 11, a Crysis 2 t-shirt and a snazzy Crysis 2 poster.

You can purchase the card directly from EVGA’s website for $299. Apparently they’re in short supply (sounds like a sales pitch, right?). If you’re not sold on the jazzed up Crysis 2 edition Amazon stock the standard version from other manufacturers for as low as $229.

The EVGA card comes with a Limited Lifetime warranty and free-shipping for for contiguous U.S.

Related:
Steam’s updated voice-chat is like SILK
Nvidia launches GeForce UK website
Nvidia set to announce “next gen” graphics card on March 24th

Nvidia set to announce “next gen” graphics card on March 24th

Nvidia uploaded a very short video on their YouTube channel with the announcement of an upcoming “next generation” graphics card. According to Nvidia’s Tom Petersen this is “a top secret project we’ve been working on for the last 2 years.”

Since we already know the GTX 590 is coming on the 24th, it’s safe to say this is what’s inside that mysterious looking black and green box.

Related:
MSI press release reveals new R6990-4PD4GD5 graphics card
AMD announce 6990, GPU Kingpin of 2011

Nvidia’s GTX 590 coming March 22nd

Nvidia

Expreview seem to have it on good authority that Nvidia is all set to release the GTX 590 on March 22nd. Yesterday saw AMD roll out their dual-GPU HD 6990, taking the performance edge from Nvidia albeit for a while. But it seems Nvidia is almost ready to announce to the world their counter-attack on AMD.

We’ve been expecting Nvidia’s answer to ‘Antilles’ for many months, and now that AMD’s horse has bolted Nvidia doesn’t want to be second-rate in the high-end department.

The GTX 590 is a dual graphics card based on the GF110 core, sporting 1024 CUDA cores and 3 Gb of GDDR5 VRAM. The card will also need dual-8pin external power connectors, just like the HD 6990.

Related:
AMD announce 6990, GPU Kingpin of 2011
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Unigine updates Heaven benchmark, adds Professional Edition
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MSI press release reveals new R6990-4PD4GD5 graphics card

MSI press release reveals new R6990-4PD4GD5 graphics card

R6990-4PD4GD5 graphics card

Yesterday saw the official launch of AMD’s new dual-GPU graphics card, the HD 6990. Other companies have been stepping up to the plate to introduce their take on the gargantuan GPU.

MSI yesterday announced its Radeon HD R6990-4PD4GD5. Their first variant of AMD’s 6990 doesn’t feature MSI’s famous Twin Frozr cooler, though this may be added to a future card.

From the press release:

Number One Performance with Revolutionary 4GB Memory
An advanced 40nm graphics architecture design on the dual-GPU R6990-4PD4GD5 allows superior visual computing power with improved process efficiency, maximizing performance when compared to a single core graphics card. The revolutionary 4GB GDDR5 memory on R6990-4PD4GD5 raises not only the smoothness of high resolution gaming, but also efficiency of multi-display image processing. R6990-4PD4GD5 has powerful specification that exceed the demand hardcore gamers and power users, achieving No. 1 performance on the planet.

MSI’s R6990-4PD4GD5 supports AMD exclusive Eyefinity multi-display technology, with 4 mini DisplayPort 1.2 outputs that offer a maximum 5 display outputs from a single graphics card. Each output supports display resolution up to 2560×1600, greatly raising the visual real estate available to professional users and game players. Also, DisplayPort 1.2 enables the transmission of Stereoscopic 3D and 7.1 channel sound in the lossless TrueHD and DTS-HD sound formats for the ultimate in audio-visual experience. MSI’s R6990-4PD4GD5 graphics card carries the latest DirectX 11 and OpenGL 4.1 graphical standards, allowing users to take advantage for the ultimate gaming experience.

MSI Afterburner overclock utility supported w/ all-new Predator video capture
MSI is entrenched in the hearts of power users after recently releasing the most complete utility for graphics card monitoring and overclocking. The newest Afterburner 2.1.0 release not only supports adjustment of GPU/memory/PLL voltages, advanced fan-speed control, information monitoring, and 5 customized profile setting are also featured. Afterburner 2.1 also introduces the new Predator in-game video capture function, allowing exciting gaming moments to be recorded . Gamers can bask in their glory and share them with the world using online video hosting sites. The popular graphics card testing utility Kombustor V2.0 provides graphics card stability test, and the new KMark mode measures a graphic card’s true performance using several different display effects.

All-Solid Caps for High Stability and Performance
The MSI R6990-4PD4GD5 graphics cards implements an all-solid capacitor design. Under high load environments over an extended period of time, the aluminum core can still maintain extremely high stability, reducing the uncertainty due to system instability or hardware component failure. This ensures the optimal user experience under mission-critical performance scenarios.

Related:
AMD announce 6990, GPU Kingpin of 2011
Gabe Newell so confident in Steam Guard, publicly announces his Steam password
Valve announces Steam Guard, wants to use Sandy Bridge technology
Unigine updates Heaven benchmark, adds Professional Edition
Corsair adds H60 to their cooling line-up

AMD announce 6990, GPU Kingpin of 2011

AMD 6990

We’ve been expecting it for quite some time now but AMD’s 6990 a.k.a. ‘Antilles’ is finally here. In a press release AMD announced the immediate availability of their new dual-GPU graphics card.

The successor to the still relevant and very powerful 5970 is based on the same 40nm process. The 6990 comes with a whopping 4GB of ultra-fast GDDR5 memory, and two 6900 series GPUs powering the card. Just like the 5970 one of the GPUs will be slightly underclocked but at least in the case of XFX customers are being offered a dual-bios if they wish to try their hands at overclocking the card to full dual-6970 speeds.

What about performance? AMD are claiming a 3DMark 11 ‘performance’ score of P11865. You can find the card’s full specifications over on AMD’s product page.

What do you need to power such a behemoth? Well you’ll want at least a 750W power supply (or greater) with two 150W 8-pin PCI Express power connectors. AMD recommends choosing a ‘Certified’ PSU from their list to ensure enough power is available for long-term stability.

Full system requirements:

  • 750W Watt or greater power supply with two 150W 8-pin PCI Express® power connectors recommended (1000W and four 8-pin connectors recommended for AMD CrossFireX™ technology in dual mode. 1200W recommended for optimal performance).
  • Certified power supplies are recommended. Refer to http://ati.amd.com/certifiedPSU for a list of Certified products
  • Minimum 1GB of system memory
  • Installation software requires CD-ROM drive, a keyboard, a mouse, and a display
  • DVD playback requires DVD drive and a DVD
  • Blu-ray™ playback requires Blu-ray drive and a Blu-ray disc
  • For an AMD CrossFireX™ system, a second AMD Radeon™ HD 6990 Graphics card, an AMD CrossFireX™ Ready motherboard and one AMD CrossFireX™ Bridge Interconnect cable is required
  • Use of 3 or more displays with AMD Eyefinity technology requires a DisplayPort-capable panel or an AMD Eyefinity validated dongle. See http://www.amd.com/EyefinityDongles for a list of validated DisplayPort dongles.

Although AMD say the cards are immediately available from retailers worldwide, neither Amazon nor Newegg have them listed as of yet. AMD’s new flagship dual-GPU monster will set you back a minimum of $699, on selected models.

Related:
Gabe Newell so confident in Steam Guard, publicly announces his Steam password
Valve announces Steam Guard, wants to use Sandy Bridge technology
Unigine updates Heaven benchmark, adds Professional Edition
Corsair adds H60 to their cooling line-up

MSI bringing Twin Frozr III to new AMD 6950

Twin Frozr 6950

If you’re a fan of MSI’s Twin Frozr graphics cards you’ll be pleased to know the company has a new 2Gb version of AMD’s 6950 en route, that will sport their popular aluminum cooling solution. The card will come with 2Gb of GDDR5 VRAM and a slight 50Mhz overclock on the GPU core, giving you an 850Mhz clock speed from the get-go.

The Twin Frozr style cooling solution from MSI is popular among overclockers and hardcore gamers alike because of how cool these cards run at idle and under heavy load. MSI also co-developed MSI Afterburner, a powerful overclocking software tool for both Nvidia and AMD cards, so for many it’s a match made in Gamer’s Heaven.

Based on the 40 nm Cayman silicon, Radeon HD 6950 packs 1408 VLIW4 stream processors, is DirectX 11 compliant, and makes use of a high-speed GDDR5 memory controller with 256-bit bus width. Display output connectors include two DVI, two mini-DisplayPort 1.2, and one HDMI 1.4a. AMD-exclusive technologies such as Eyefinity and HydraVision are supported. The card can pair with up to three more Radeon HD 6900 series GPUs for 4-way CrossFireX multi-GPU operation. MSI’s new Radeon HD 6950 2 GB Twin Frozr III Power Edition graphics card is priced at around 300€.

Le Comptoir de Hardware Via Tech Power-up

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Nvidia Quadro used for transformation scenes in Black Swan
Computer created that fits on a pen-tip

Nvidia Quadro used for transformation scenes in Black Swan

Natalie Portman Black SwanNvidia have posted up an interesting article on their official blog about how their Quadro workstation graphics cards were used to create the memorable final scene in the Natalie Portman film Black Swan.

The 11,000 feathers LOOK created for the transformation scene were based on high-resolution scans of actual tundra swans, and Lipowski built detailed feather geometry for quills, as well as complicated rigs to form the feathers individually. “The wings are long—they come two to three feet off her arms, plus they flex and bend as she whips around,” said Lipowski.

“That’s a huge amount of geometry for a graphics card to process, and NVIDIA Quadro handled it perfectly. The other reason we use NVIDIA cards is because of the driver stability. It’s just better. At times, that reliability means more to me than speed, because to ever have a crash is a huge problem,” explained Michael Oliver, Director of Technology at LOOK Effects.

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Zotac release GTX 560 Ti with 950Mhz core speed

Zotax GTX 560 Ti

Nvidia’s new mid-range card got a bump in speed from Zotac recently when they released a variant of the GTX 560 Ti. The new mid-range GPU from Nvidia was released a few weeks back to replace the GTX 460. The card includes more CUDA cores and a higher clock speed than last Summer’s 460. The stock core speed of the 560 Ti is 822MHz, but Zotac has squeezed another 128Mhz of processing power out of her, rounding off with an impressive core speed of 950Mhz.

Full specs below:

  • Core Clock: 950MHz
  • Core Processors: 384 Stream Processors
  • Memory Clock: 4400MHz
  • Memory Type: GDDR5
  • Memory Interface: 256-bit
  • Memory Size: 1GB

The new card also comes with a download coupon for Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, which has a PC release date of February 22nd. You can get the full low-down over on Zotac’s product page.

Related:
MSI adds water-cooled HydroGen GTX 580 GPU
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Zotac GeForce GTX 560 Ti OC, price drop on Amazon

MSI adds water-cooled HydroGen GTX 580 GPU

GTX 580 HydroGen OC

If you have €563 to spare and are comfortable with the idea of water-cooling your graphics card, MSI has just released a GTX 580 to the European market with a copper water-block. The GTX 580 HydroGen OC, as the name would suggest already comes slightly overclocked at 823/1645 MHz (GPU/shader clocks). But if you’re someone who is water-cooling this card then you know the kind of results you’re likely to get with a proper setup.

MSI are claiming the HydroGen can run up to 24 degrees cooler than the reference model. A bold claim indeed that if true could lead to some massive performance gains with a hefty overclock.

Claimed to run up to 24 degrees (Celsius) cooler than reference models, the N580GTX HydroGen/OC has 512 CUDA Cores, GPU/shader clocks of 823/1645 MHz (772/1544 MHz stock), a 384-bit memory interface, and 1536MB of GDDR5 VRAM set to 4276 MHz (4008 MHz).

MSI’s card includes 3-way SLI support, requires extra power via two (one 6-pin and one 8-pin) PCIe connectors, provides dual-DVI and HDMI outputs, and is currently found on pre-order in Europe at €563. Availability is expected for later this month.

MSI’s waterblock-equipped GeForce GTX 580 gets listed

Related:
Twin Frozr II MSI GTX 580, price drop on Amazon

Nvidia set to launch GTX 590, dual-gpu to counter Antilles

GTX 590

According to Nordic Hardware Nvidia has confirmed the name of their next dual-gpu graphics card. We recently found out that AMD are planning on a February release for their ‘Antilles’ dual-gpu, the Radeon 6990.

Next month will see the release of the GTX 590. This extravagant piece of hardware will sport two GF110 GPUs with 1024 Cuda cores and a total of 3GB of VRAM.

Below is a spec comparison of Nvidia’s last few high-end cards, which reads like a veritable wet dream:

GTX high-end cards

There is no official concrete date released just yet but there can be no denying that the coming months will be very interesting from a gamer’s perspective. Nvidia has already launched the GTX 560 Ti, their new mid-range GPU, and AMD their 1GB 6950. And now we’ll have a proper high-end dual-gpu war next month. Let the games begin!

Related:
Pics of AMD’s upcoming dual-GPU monster, the Radeon 6990
AMD preparing release of 1GB Radeon 6950

Pics of AMD’s upcoming dual-GPU monster, the Radeon 6990

Radeon 6990

4gamer.net has snapped up some visuals of AMD’s upcoming dual-GPU graphics card, the Radeon 6990. The card was recently demonstrated at the company’s Asia Pacific technology event in Singapore.

Radeon 6990

The 6990 will feature two of AMD’s 6900 series GPUs and a whopping 4GB of GDDR5 VRAM. So I think it’s safe to say this card is not aimed at the average gamer, but someone with a monitor setup more extravagant than the card itself. 4GB of VRAM means series resolution with copious monitors, some series desktop real estate.

According to AMD’s Vice President and General Manager Matt Skinner, we can expect to see the card released some time in the first quarter of this year. Although there is no word yet on pricing, if the Radeon 5970 taught us nothing else it’s that dual cards like these come with a hefty price tag.

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AMD preparing release of 1GB Radeon 6950

AMD preparing release of 1GB Radeon 6950

AMD has in the last few days confirmed what was speculated in rumour. The GPU maker will be releasing a 1GB variant of its Radeon 6950 graphics card. The 2Gb 6950 released back in December currently retails on Amazon for around the $299 mark, but the 1GB version will sport a cut-down price-tag of $259.99.

Initial tests from AnandTech show both the 1Gb and 2GB 6950 GPUs with identical performance up to and including resolutions of 1920×1080, making it a very tempting buy for anyone in the mid-range demographic.

This new 6950 will have to contend with Nvidia’s recently released GTX 560 Ti, a mid-range replacement for the last Summer’s GTX 460. A card which Nvidia claims is “the fastest GPU you can get for under $250..”.

Related:
Nvidia announce GTX 560 Ti, Amazon already taking orders
Palit takes overkill to new extremes with 3GB GTX 580

Nvidia announce GTX 560 Ti, Amazon already taking orders

Nvidia today officially announced the inclusion of a new mid-range graphics card. We’ve heard the rumors for a few weeks now, but the company put out the word on its GTX 460 successor on the Nvidia blog.

The GTX 560 Ti is squarely aimed at the sub $250 demographic, offering better performance and power consumption than the 460 while still being based on the same architecture. The 560 TI boasts an impressive 21% better power efficiency and 33% better performance than last year’s mid-range sensation.

Nvidia are building the GTX 560 Ti up to be “the fastest GPU you can get for under $250..”

Amazon are already taking orders on the PNY, Galaxy and MSI Twin Frozr editions.

Related:
Palit takes overkill to new extremes with 3GB GTX 580

Palit takes overkill to new extremes with 3GB GTX 580

Palit GTX 580 with 3GB of VRAM

If you’re into playing games at uber-high resolutions across multiple monitors, Palit might just have what you’re looking for. The Nvidia board maker just announced a new variety of GTX 580 cards. These 580s not only come with a new custom dual-fan cooling solution, but a whopping 3GB of GDDR5 VRAM.

The rest of the specs read just like the other GTX 580s with respect to processor cores, graphics clock etc but as of yet Palit have not released any pricing details. Amazon has the regular Palit 1.5GB GTX 580 listed at $523.04, so with the advent of double the VRAM I can only assume it will be more expensive than that.

Full specs:

Specs comparison

From the press release:

Palit Microsystems Ltd, the leading graphics card manufacturer, announces the double memory size Palit GTX 580 3GB. With massive 3072MB of GDDR5 memory, Palit GTX 580 3GB offers rich, realistic and explosive HD gaming performance under maximum resolution setting. Palit GTX 580 3GB is built for enthusiast gamers! With 3072MB memory at 4020MHz, Palit GTX580 3GB provides incredible gaming performance in the hottest title such as StarCraft II even under an extreme resolution. On a 30″ monitor with 2560×1600 resolution, Palit GTX 580 3GB provides 2.5X faster performance than 1GB version with 44.7 frame per second. Play with Palit GTX 580 3GB under maximum resolution, you will have a surreal experience that makes you hard to go back to anything less! Play StarCraft II with Palit GTX 580 3GB under maximum graphics setting, you can experience the excellent gaming performance!

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GIGABYTE GV-R685OC-1GD Video Card

GIGABYTE Radeon HD 6850

GIGABYTE GV-R685OC-1GD Video Card Review

When we talk about different video card brands, there’s always a factor which motivates us to choose one over any other. Most likely, we make our decisions depending on retail price, but there are things to consider: the bundle and accessories, factory overclocked speeds, and of course, included heatsinks and fans so that the GPU can be overclocked higher or simply work without being as loud and hot as a reference design. With this in mind, Benchmark Reviews tests the GIGABYTE GV-R685OC-1GD AMD Radeon HD 6850 video card. We’ve already tested some HD 6850 GPUs before, but GIGABYTE offers their newest design with the Windforce 2x GPU cooler and Ultra Durable VGA technology. Additionally, this is the factory OC version which brings 820MHz (against 775MHz) GPU Core clock and 4200MHz (instead 4000MHz) GDDR5 Memory clocks. Let’s analyze the GV-R685OC-1GD model and see if it can be a serious contender against reference HD 6850 and GTX 460 graphics cards.

In October 2010 AMD launched the HD 6800 GPU series. The 6850 is one of the AMD’s latest DX-11 video card, and uses an updated Cypress back-end to offer ‘Barts’ GPU architecture. Built to deliver improved performance to the value-hungry mainstream gaming market, the $189 GV-R685OC-1GD AMD Radeon HD 6850 video card supplements the 5800-series counterparts. The most notable new feature is Bart’s 3rd-generation Unified Video Decoder with added support for DisplayPort 2.1a. AMD’s UVD3 accelerates multimedia playback and transcoding, while introducing AMD HD3D stereoscopic technology with multi-view CODEC (MVC) support for playing 3D Blu-ray over HDMI 1.4a.

This is a guest article written by our content partners at Benchmarkreviews.com

Read on @ Benchmark Reviews

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Gigabyte ATI Radeon HD6850 1 GB $199.99 on Amazon