Maximum PC - All Articles en Leaked Roadmap Details AMD's Unreleased 'Godavari' APU Line <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/amd_a_series.jpg" alt="AMD A Series" title="AMD A Series" width="228" height="136" style="float: right;" />A dozen APUs are planned for this summer</h3> <p><strong>A Chinese-language website has posted what it claims is a legitimate roadmap of AMD's forthcoming "Godavari" APUs</strong>. You can think of Godavari as a Kaveri refresh, as the new parts will feature the same Steamroller architecture for both the CPU and GPU portions. If the leaked roadmap proves accurate, AMD is planning to release a dozen Godavari APUs this summer, culminating in the A10-8850K.</p> <p>That unlocked part will feature four cores (and a four thread design) clocked at 3.7GHz base and 4.1GHz boost. It will also have a Radeon R7 graphics core based on AMD's Sea Islands GCN architecture with 512 streaming scores and 856Mhz clockspeed. Other bits include 4MB of L2 cache, DDR3 memory support up to 2,133MHz, and a 95W TDP. According to <em><a href="" target="_blank">wccftech</a>, </em>pricing will close to the current generation A10-7850K APU at about $149.</p> <p>Most of the 12 new chips will be branded as AMD's A-8000 series and will remain compatible with current boards based on the FM2+ platform via BIOS updates. It's not yet known what internal optimizations AMD might be making with Godavari, though from the roadmap, the new chips will feature faster clockspeeds without bumping up TDPs. Performance should improve anywhere from 5 percent to 15 percent.</p> <p>Two of the new chips will be branded as Athlon parts. They include the Athlon X4 870K, a quad-core part clocked at 3.5GHz base and 3.7GHz boost with 4MB of L2 cache and a 95W TDP, and the Athlon X4 850K, also a quad-core chip but clocked at 2.9GHz base and 3.2GHz boost and with a 65W TDP.</p> <p>You can view the <a href="" target="_blank">full roadmap here</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> amd apu Godavari Hardware processor roadmap News Thu, 29 Jan 2015 17:44:52 +0000 Paul Lilly 29333 at Qantas Teams with Samsung to Test Virtual Reality on Airplane Flights <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/qantas_samsung_vr.jpg" alt="Qantas and Samsung VR" title="Qantas and Samsung VR" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />Join the mile high VR club</h3> <p>Imagine that you're 40,000 feet above the ground, but instead of peering out a small oval window and looking at clouds (or darkness), you turn your head and see a dingo wandering about. Don't worry, it's not on the plane's wing feasting on wires and electronics, he's in your Gear VR headset. This is what Australian airline Qantas is working towards. <strong>Along with Samsung, Qantas has launched a new trial entertainment service that gives fliers a Gear VR headset during their flight</strong>.</p> <p>At the outset, the initiative is being tested in Sydney and Melbourne International First Lounges, along with first class cabins on select A380 services. The trial will last for three months, after which Qantas will assess customer feedback, presumably so it can decide whether to expand the program or nix it.</p> <p>Qantas sees multiple possibilities here. From a marketing standpoint, the company can partner with third-parties to provide 3D content that might inspire tourism to a particular attraction or region. In fact, Qantas is already working with Tourism NT, which will provide a special 3D experience from Kakadu National Park. Whether or not they'll include dingoes in that experience isn't known, but there's plenty to experiment with there.</p> <p>For live-action content, Qantas has partnered with Jaunt -- it's not clear exactly what the company has in store, though it will include "destination footage."</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/qantas_samsung_vr_first_class.jpg" alt="Qantas and Samsung VR in First Class Cabin" title="Qantas and Samsung VR in First Class Cabin" width="620" height="413" /></p> <p>"From an inflight entertainment perspective, it’s an industry first," <a href="" target="_blank">said Olivia Wirth</a>, Qantas Group Executive, Brand, Marketing &amp; Corporate Affairs. "Qantas is committed to being at the forefront of innovation to give our passengers the very best and latest in-flight experiences, like accessing the virtual worlds of their favorite Hollywood blockbusters from the comfort of their seat 40,000 feet above the ground."</p> <p>The initiative will kick off in mid-February in the First Class Lounge in Sydney and Melbourne, and in mid-March on select A380 flights between Australia and Los Angeles for first class fliers.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Gear VR Hardware Qantas samsung virutal reality vr News Thu, 29 Jan 2015 16:50:02 +0000 Paul Lilly 29332 at Bill Gates Talks HoloLens, Drinking Water Made From Human Waste in Third Reddit AMA <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/bill_gates_drinking_water.jpg" alt="Bill Gates Drinking Water" title="Bill Gates Drinking Water" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />Microsoft co-founder talks a little of everything in his third Reddit AMA appearance</h3> <p>Guilty as charged -- we used the bit about drinking water made from human waste as a hook, and we'll do you a solid by not wasting any time getting right down to it. According to Bill Gates, the short answer is that it's "just like drinking any other kind of water, except that people get a little freaked out about it." He also has a sense of humor about it, which he proved by posting a photo in Reddit's <a href="" target="_blank">Photoshop Battles </a>sections.</p> <p>Moving on, <strong>there's quite a bit more to digest from Bill Gates third Reddit AMA session</strong>, including his thoughts on HoloLens, life regrets, and more.</p> <p>As for regrets, even billionaire philanthropists have them, and one that Bill Gates laments is not having learned any foreign languages.</p> <p>"I feel pretty stupid that I don't know any foreign languages. I took Latin and Greek in High School and got A's and I guess it helps my vocabulary but I wish I knew French or Arabic or Chinese," Gates said. "I keep hoping to get time to study one of these - probably French because it is the easiest. I did Duolingo for awhile but didn't keep it up. Mark Zuckerberg amazingly learned Mandarin and did a Q&amp;A with Chinese students - incredible."</p> <p>Regarding HoloLens, Gates think its "pretty amazing" and calls it the "start of virtual reality." At the same time, VR technology has to address the issue of nausea.</p> <p>"Making the device so you don't get dizzy or nauseous is really hard -- the speed of the alignment has to be super, super fast. It will take a few years of software applications being built to realize the full promise of this," Gates said.</p> <p>He also shared some thoughts on Microsoft under the direction of CEO Satya Nadella, though not in great detail. He noted that Nadella gets to take a fresh view of the company, both its strengths and weaknesses, adding that "a new person gets to step back and change the focus in some ways. He is off to a great start."</p> <p>It's an interesting read, as he answers a ton of questions. You can check it out <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>, or filter just his replies by clicking <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> ama Bill Gates Hololens microsoft reddit News Thu, 29 Jan 2015 16:18:09 +0000 Paul Lilly 29331 at Nvidia Will Help Disgruntled GTX 970 Owners Get a Refund, Says a Driver Update is Coming <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/gtx_970.jpg" alt="Nvidia GeForce GTX 970" title="Nvidia GeForce GTX 970" width="228" height="156" style="float: right;" />Upcoming driver could improve GTX 970's memory performance</h3> <p>Nvidia really stepped in a pile of PR poo when it was discovered that there was an internal communication gaffe over the way the GeForce GTX 970 handles its 4GB of onboard memory and the resulting specs. In short, the GTX 970 has 56 ROPs and 1,792KB of L2 cache instead of matching the GTX 980's 64 ROPs and 2,048KB of L2 cache as originally advertised. However, <strong>Nvidia wants to make things right and has offered to help GTX 970 owners obtain a refund</strong>, if need be. Should you go that route?</p> <p>In most cases, probably not. Before reading any further, however, we highly recommend familiarizing yourself with the situation by <a href="" target="_blank">reading this</a>. Don't worry, we won't go anywhere -- we'll be right here when you get back.</p> <p>Finished? Great, now here's the deal. Nvidia stated on its forum that it's working on a driver update that will do a better job managing the memory scheme on the GTX 970, and expects to improve performance. Granted there's only so much that can be done on the software side to address a physical design, but given that Nvidia built the card the way it did, it stands to reason that it also knows how to properly tune it. We'll see.</p> <p>If you ultimately decide that you don't want the card, however, that's your choice, and Nvidia says it will help you obtain a refund if you're unable to do so on your own. Here's the <a href="" target="_blank">full statement</a>.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">"Hey,</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">First, I want you to know that I'm not just a mod, I work for Nvidia in Santa Clara</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">I totally get why so many people are upset. We messed up some of the stats on the reviewer kit and we didn't properly explain the memory architecture. I realize a lot of you guys rely on product reviews to make purchase decisions and we let you down.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">It sucks because we're really proud of this thing. The GTX 970 is an amazing card and I genuinely believe it's the best card for the money that you can buy. We're working on a driver update that will tune what's allocated where in memory to further improve performance.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Having said that, I understand that this whole experience might have turned you off to the card. If you don't want the card anymore you should return it and get a refund or exchange. If you have any problems getting that done, let me know and I'll do my best to help.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">--Peter"</p> <p>It's important to note that Peter says he'll do his best to help, which is different than saying Nvidia will take care of things. In other words, if you're having trouble getting a refund, there's a chance you'll be stuck with it anyway. However, given the PR hit Nvidia's already taken on this one, we suspect those scenarios will be few and far between, if at all.</p> <p>For most people, what this boils down to is that your GTX 970 is going to get even faster courtesy of some forthcoming optimizations.&nbsp; And for the few that are truly affected by the way the GTX 970 handles memory above 3.5GB, you now have someone at Nvidia that's willing to help you obtain a refund.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Build a PC driver geforce gtx 970 gpu graphics card Hardware nvidia Video Card News Wed, 28 Jan 2015 19:13:53 +0000 Paul Lilly 29330 at Microsoft Sticks a Fork in Surface 2 and Windows RT <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/surface_2_4.jpg" alt="Surface 2" title="Surface 2" width="228" height="133" style="float: right;" />Windows RT becomes a footnote</h3> <p>Looking back through the years, it's pretty easy to pick out certain forgettable versions of Windows. You know the ones -- Windows ME, Windows Vista (before the first Service Pack), and now Windows RT, the most recent of the bunch. <strong>Microsoft has reportedly stopped producing Surface 2 tablets</strong>, which also means that the future of Windows RT is nonexistent at this point. You'll have to excuse us for not weeping.</p> <p>Microsoft has moved on, with the Surface Pro 3 contributing heavily to $1.1 billion in Surface revenue during Microsoft's most recent quarter, up 24 percent year-over-year. Surface Pro 3 tablets outsold Surface 2 during the quarter by a ratio of three to one, making it an easy decision for Microsoft to focus on its newest hardware and leave the old behind.</p> <p>"We are no longer manufacturing Surface 2; however, those still eager to buy Surface should visit Microsoft Retail Stores,, third-party retailers, and resellers for the latest availability," <a href="" target="_blank">Microsoft told <em>The Verge</em></a>.</p> <p>Windows RT has been a dead OS walking almost from the moment it arrived. Microsoft already had the challenge of convincing users to adopt a brand new interface in Windows 8, but to also pile on a gimped version that couldn't run x86 programs was too much to ask. As a result, Microsoft ended up taking a <a href="">$900 million charge</a> on unsold Surface RT inventory a year and a half ago.</p> <p>Manufactures could still build devices running Windows RT if they really want to, but with even Microsoft giving up on the OS, there wouldn't be much point.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Hardware laptop microsoft notebook operating system OS Software surface 2 tablet windows rt News Wed, 28 Jan 2015 18:27:13 +0000 Paul Lilly 29329 at Former Opera Boss Just Built a New Browser Called Vivaldi <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/vivaldi.jpg" alt="Vivaldi" title="Vivaldi" width="228" height="182" style="float: right;" />New browser seeks feedback from power users</h3> <p>Jon von Tetzchner, co-founder and former CEO of Opera Software, is back in the browser game with a new startup. It's called Vivaldi Technologies, of which Tetzchner is also the co-founder and CEO of, and <strong>he's just made a technical preview of his Vivaldi browser available</strong> to the public. While still early in development, it's already fleshed out with features that may attract Opera fans, like mouse gestures and a speed dial interface for displaying your favorite tabs on the new tabs page.</p> <p>Why build a new browser? Tetzchner explains that he's disappointed with the direction Opera has taken in recent years, noting that it's no longer serving its community of users and contributors who helped build it.</p> <p>"So we came to a natural conclusion: We must make a new browser. A browser for ourselves and a browser for our friends. A browser that is fast, but also a browser that is rich in functionality, highly flexible and puts the user first. A browser that is made for you," Tetzchner explains.</p> <p>The build that's available is the first technical preview, and it's intended to show the direction the browser is headed towards. It's missing some key features and needs a lot more optimizing, though even in its early form, there's quite a bit to play with. You'll even find some new goodies, like being able to combine multiple sites into a single tab -- a feature that could come in handy if you're looking to organize similar sites.</p> <p>You can take notes, too, leaving yourself reminders of why you thought a site was worth bookmarking, or for any other reason.</p> <p>As this is a work in progress, the Vivaldi team is seeking feedback. If you're interested in kicking the browser's tires and (optionally) offering up your thoughts, <a href="" target="_blank">head here</a> and give it a download.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> browser Internet jon von tetzchner Opera Software Vivaldi News Wed, 28 Jan 2015 17:53:43 +0000 Paul Lilly 29328 at YouTube Punts Adobe Flash in Favor of HTML5 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/html5.jpg" alt="HTML5" title="HTML5" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />A major win for open standards</h3> <p>Thanks to the continued advancements into HTML5, <strong>YouTube has decided to kick Adobe Flash to the curb</strong> and default to the open standard instead for playing videos. YouTube would have made the move earlier, but said there were limitations that prevented HTML5 from becoming its preferred platform -- most notable was the lack of support for Adaptive Bitrate (ABR) that allows the streaming site to show more videos with less buffering.</p> <p>"Adaptive Bitrate streaming is critical for providing a quality video experience for viewers - allowing us to quickly and seamlessly adjust resolution and bitrate in the face of changing network conditions," YouTube explained in a <a href="" target="_blank">blog post</a>. "ABR has reduced buffering by more than 50 percent globally and as much as 80 percent on heavily-congested networks. MediaSource Extensions also enable live streaming in game consoles like Xbox and PS4, on devices like Chromecast and in web browsers."</p> <p>YouTube said it's been working with browser vendors over the last four years, along with the broader community to close the gaps and get to this point. Now satisfied with the state of HTML5, YouTube now uses the HTML5 &lt;video&gt; tag by default in Chrome, Internet Explorer 11, Safari 8, and in beta version of Firefox, the Google-owned streaming site said.</p> <p>"We're also deprecating the 'old style' of Flash &lt;object&gt; embeds and our Flash API," YouTube added. "We encourage all embedders to use the &lt;iframe&gt; API, which can intelligently use whichever technology the client supports."</p> <p>By making the switch the HTML5 for video, YouTube joins content providers like Netlifx and Vimeo, along with companies such as Microsoft and Apple, that have backed the open standard.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Adobe flash html5 streaming video youtube News Wed, 28 Jan 2015 17:24:41 +0000 Paul Lilly 29327 at Asus ET2040 All-in-One PC Stays Running if You Trip Over the Power Cord <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/asus_et2040.jpg" alt="Asus All-in-One ET2040" title="Asus All-in-One ET2040" width="228" height="176" style="float: right;" />An all-in-one with a built-in battery backup</h3> <p>As far as we're concerned, every all-in-one PC should have a built-in battery backup, especially now that they're becoming thin and light enough to move from room to room with relative ease. <strong>Battery backup is one of the features found on Asus' ET2040 AIO</strong> (stays running on battery for up to an hour), though that's not the only thing unique about this system. It also ventures off the beaten path by recognizing gestures without having to touch the screen.</p> <p>Using the Hand-Gesture Recognition Software (HGSR) in conjunction with the built-in camera, you can perform gestures in front of the AIO and do things like play songs, adjust player settings, zoom or rotate photos, and more without leaving behind finger smudges on the display (which is non-touch, by the way).</p> <p>Those are some neat amenities on what's otherwise a mostly underwhelming AIO, albeit one that's sufficiently spec'd for a secondary PC or a general purpose machine.</p> <p>The ET2040 comes with a 19-inch HD (1366x768) non-touch display, Intel Pentium J2900 quad-core processor clocked at 2.41GHz to 2.66Ghz, 2GB of RAM, 500GB hard drive (5400 RPM), 802.11n Wi-Fi, 1MP webcam, three USB 3.0 ports, three USB 2.0 ports, HDMI output, 3-in-1 card reader, Windows 8.1 with Bing, and a few other basics.</p> <p>For the time being, this one's only available in India for 25,000 Rupees (about $407 in U.S. currency). Asus didn't say when or if it plans to make the <a href=";node=5731179031" target="_blank">ET2040</a> available stateside.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> all-in-one asus ET2040 Hardware OEM rigs News Wed, 28 Jan 2015 16:37:27 +0000 Paul Lilly 29326 at Newegg Daily Deals: Intel Core i5 4460 Haswell, Acer 24-Inch LED Monitor, and More! <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u69/intel_core_i5_4460.jpg" alt="Intel Core i5 4460" title="Intel Core i5 4460" width="300" height="234" style="float: right;" /><img src="/files/u154082/newegg_logo_small.png" alt="newegg logo" title="newegg logo" width="200" height="80" /></p> <p><strong>Top Deal:</strong></p> <p>A warm bath on a cold winter day. Napping in the middle of the afternoon. Downing a bottle of suds as your favorite sports team decimates its opponent. These are things that leave us satisfied. As does building a new PC. We can't help you with the first three, but as for rolling your own rig, a good place to start is with today's top deal for an <a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-CPU-N82E16819117302-_-0128&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Intel Core i5 4460 Haswell CPU</a> for <strong>$180</strong> with free shipping. This is a quad-core chip clocked at 3.2GHz-3.4GHz, and when paired with a fast GPU, you can have a smoking fast gaming machine on your hands.</p> <p><strong>Other Deals:</strong></p> <p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-INT-HDD-N82E16822178392-_-0128&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Seagate NAS HDD 3TB 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive</a> for <strong>$110</strong> with free shipping (normally $120 - use coupon code: [<strong>ESCAKNV28</strong>])</p> <p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-EXT-HDD-N82E16822236517-_-0128&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Western Digital Elements 1TB USB 3.0 External Hard Drive</a> for <strong>$60</strong> with free shipping (normally $65 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAKNV25</strong>])</p> <p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-SSD-N82E16820167189-_-0128&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Intel 530 Series 2.5-inch 480GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive</a> for <strong>$210</strong> (normally $230 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAKNV26</strong>])</p> <p><a href=";cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-DISPLAY-N82E16824009700-_-0128&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Acer 24-inch 6ms HDMI Widescreen LED Backlight LCD Monitor</a> for <strong>$110</strong> (normally $120 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAKNV34</strong>])</p> Daily Deals daily deals Newegg Wed, 28 Jan 2015 13:37:50 +0000 The Maximum PC Staff 29325 at Gamers Petition for GeForce GTX 970 Refund Over Error in Specs <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/nvidia_geforce_gtx_970.jpg" alt="Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 Diagram" title="Nvidia GeForce GTX 970" width="228" height="184" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>Internal miscommunication at Nvidia led to confusion over the GTX 970's specs</h3> <p>Sometimes the tech world can be like a geek version of a soap opera, and this is one of those times. The main characters in this case are Nvidia and the GeForce GTX 970. If you're looking for a quick summary of events, it's this: Gamers noticed a slowdown in performance when games tried to access more than 3.5GB of memory on the GTX 970. This in turn led to Nvidia explaining a new memory architecture in the GTX 970, along with clarification of specs that were different than originally reported. In light of all this, <strong>there's a petition floating around demanding a refund for anyone who purchased a GTX 970</strong>, but to really understand what's going on, a deeper explanation is necessary.</p> <p>This all began a week ago when users on various forums began investigation a memory issue with the GTX 970. At a glance, it seemed that the card was only using 3.5GB of its 4GB of GDDR5 memory. Upon closer look, it was discovered that a serious performance drop could occur when accessing that final .5GB of VRAM, which isn't an issue on the GTX 980.</p> <p>To clarify what was happening, Nvidia issued the following statement:</p> <p>"The GeForce GTX 970 is equipped with 4GB of dedicated graphics memory. However the 970 has a different configuration of SMs than the 980, and fewer crossbar resources to the memory system," Nvidia said. "To optimally manage memory traffic in this configuration, we segment graphics memory into a 3.5GB section and a 0.5GB section. The GPU has higher priority access to the 3.5GB section. When a game needs less than 3.5GB of video memory per draw command then it will only access the first partition, and 3rd party applications that measure memory usage will report 3.5GB of memory in use on GTX 970, but may report more for GTX 980 if there is more memory used by other commands. When a game requires more than 3.5GB of memory then we use both segments.</p> <p>"We understand there have been some questions about how the GTX 970 will perform when it accesses the 0.5GB memory segment. The best way to test that is to look at game performance. Compare a GTX 980 to a 970 on a game that uses less than 3.5GB. Then turn up the settings so the game needs more than 3.5GB and compare 980 and 970 performance again."</p> <p>Nvidia Senior VP of GPU Engineering, Jonah Alben, <a href="" target="_blank">spoke with <em>PC Perspective</em></a> and broke things down even further with a quite a few technical details. He also offered a helpful diagram, seen below.</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/gtx_970_diagram.jpg" alt="Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 Diagram" title="Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 Diagram" width="620" height="479" /></p> <p>As you can see in the graph, there are 13 enabled SMMs, each with 128 CUDA cores for a total of 1,664. There are also three that are grayed out -- they've been disabled from the full GM204 found on the GTX 980. But what's really important is the memory system, which is connected to the SMMs through a crossbar interface.</p> <p>"That interface has 8 total ports to connect to collections of L2 cache and memory controllers, all of which are utilized in a GTX 980. With a GTX 970 though, only 7 of those ports are enabled, taking one of the combination L2 cache / ROP units along with it. However, the 32-bit memory controller segment remains," <em>PC Perspective</em> writes.</p> <p>There are a couple of takeaways there. First is the GTX 970 has less ROPs and L2 cache than the GTX 980 even though it was reported otherwise. Why? Nvidia blames the gaffe on an error in the reviewer's guide, which is usually a PDF (or actual paper) containing detailed info on a product prior to its launch that manufacturers send out to reviewers, and a misunderstanding between the engineering team and the technical PR team on how the architecture actually functioned.</p> <p>Bottom line is, the GTX 970 has 56 ROPs and 1,792KB of L2 cache instead of 64 ROPs and 2,048KB of L2 cache like the GTX 980.</p> <p>That's actually not as big of a deal as it sounds, as the SMMs are the true bottleneck, not the ROPs.</p> <p>"A quick note about the GTX 980 here: it uses a 1KB memory access stride to walk across the memory bus from left to right, able to hit all 4GB in this capacity," <em>PC Perspective</em> writes. "But the GTX 970 and its altered design has to do things differently. If you walked across the memory interface in the exact same way, over the same 4GB capacity, the 7th crossbar port would tend to always get twice as many requests as the other port (because it has two memories attached). In the short term that could be ok due to queuing in the memory path. But in the long term if the 7th port is fully busy, and is getting twice as many requests as the other port, then the other six must be only half busy, to match with the 2:1 ratio. So the overall bandwidth would be roughly half of peak. This would cause dramatic underutilization and would prevent optimal performance and efficiency for the GPU."</p> <p>There are a LOT more details to digest, and rather than continue to quote bits and pieces, we suggest you read <em>PC Perspective's</em> <a href="" target="_blank">detailed report</a>. If after doing so you come to the conclusion that it's much ado about nothing, great, there's nothing more to see here. However, if you fall on the other side of the fence and feel duped, you can check out and sign the <a href="" target="_blank">petition at</a>.</p> <p>Our take? It's an unfortunate situation Nvidia created for itself, and gamers have a right to be angry over the misreported specs. At the same time, it appears that the impact on real-world performance is negligible, at least for now -- this could be a bigger issue as higher resolution game play becomes more common. Even still, it remains a great card for the price.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Build a PC Gaming geforce gtx 970 graphics card Hardware petition Video Card News Tue, 27 Jan 2015 20:07:53 +0000 Paul Lilly 29322 at