We don't know if Transcend is dabbling in voodoo these days or what's going, but somehow the company figured out a way to cram 2TB of storage into a container that's about the length of a USB thumb drive and only slightly thicker than a penny. Some of the credit also goes to Taiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), which co-developed the 'Thin Card' device.
One thing optical drives and low-end memory modules have in common is that both are dirt cheap. You usually won't, for example, have to downgrade your videocard or processor of choice to accommodate an optical drive or memory kit, not unless you're shopping something fancy like a Blu-ray burner or overclocking RAM. Things are about to get better for budget builders as memory makers look to slash the price of 2GB DDR3 modules to levels so low they might as well give them away.
Nvidia is steadily filling in the gaps in its product line. Late last year, Nvidia had the GTX 460 768MB and GTX 460 1GB cards. The 1GB GTX 460 was effectively replaced at the $250-$270 price point by the GTX 560 Ti. Now the company is delivering the GTX 560, which will be priced from $199 - $220.
Palit's GTX 560 offers 2GB of frame buffer, if that's what you're into.
Unlike the GTX 460 768MB cards, which only offered a 192-bit memory bus, the GTX 560 supports a 256-bit wide bus. The Palit card is slightly unusual in supporting a 2GB frame buffer, but its specs are otherwise pretty stock. It’s not factory overclocked, but given the tweaking and streamlining that are part of the improvements of the GF114 (560) over the GF104 (460), we do expect some performance benefits. The GTX 560 does have eight fewer shader units than the GTX 560 Ti.
Palit has just become the newest member in the 2GB GeForce GTX 460 club, joining Gainward, Sparkle, and Zotac as the only other manufacturers (so far) to slap 2GB on this mid-range Fermi part.
Natrually, memory alone does not a performance part make, and so Palit opted to goose the clockspeeds a touch. The card itself cruises along at 700MHz, up slightly from Nvidia's reference 675MHz clockspeed, while the 2GB of memory runs at 950MHz, up from 900MHz stock.
So far we're not seeing any vendors selling this card in the U.S. We suspect that will change, and in the meantime, a handful of U.K. vendors are charging about £190, or $301 USD for the part. For the sake of comparison, Palit's 1GB version sells for $230 on Newegg, while 460 cards from other manufacturers run anywhere from around $200 to $250.
If all you're looking for is vanilla GTX 460 graphics card, this isn't it. Instead, Zotac's upcoming non-reference GTX 460 strays from Nvidia's blueprint by doubling up on RAM to 2GB, following in the footsteps of Sparkle and Gainward, both of which also recently announced 2GB versions of the same card.
Unlike the other two, however, Zotac kicked the cooling scheme up a notch by slapping on a slightly modified Accelero TwinTurbo Pro VGA cooler from Arctic Cooling. The special cooler sports a dense aluminum fin array through which four 6mm copper heatpipes run through. On top of the fins sit two 92mm fans.
Despite the custom cooling system, it doesn't look like Zotac's version will come overclocked from the factory. According to a GPU-Z screenie over at EXPreview, Zotac's card runs at 675MHz, the same speed as Nvidia's reference design, and 25MHz slower than Gainward's 2GB version.
The big news today is the launch of Nvidia's GeForce GTX 460 videocard, which brings the graphic chip maker's Fermi architecture to the masses with a sub-$200 price tag, at least for lower end part. For a bit more scratch (around $229), there's a higher spec'd GTX 460 that comes with 1GB of memory on a 256-bit bus, compared to 768MB on a 192-bit bus.
As is usually the case, there's always one vendor who has to go over the top, and in this case that vendor is Sparkle. Sparkle announced three GTX 460 cards today, one of which comes outfitted with 2GB or RAM. The question is, does a mid-range graphics part need that much memory?
According to Sparkle, the answer is 'yes' (did you really expect them to say 'no'?), who points out that games like Stalker: Call of Pripyat and Metro 2033 use "insanely" large amounts of bump textures and transparent textures, putting "rigorous demands on the bandwidth and capacities of video memory."
Other than the large frame buffer, Sparkle's 2GB GTX 460 will stick to Nvidia's reference design with a 675MHz core clockspeed, 3600MHz clock, 336 stream processors, and a 256-bit memory bus.
Elpida, a global supplier of dynamic random access memory (DRAM), today announced that it had completed development of a high-density, high-speed 2Gb (that's gigabit, not gigabyte) GDDR5 chip built on a 50nm manufacturing process.
This is Elpida's first foray into the graphics DRAM market, and not a bad way to make a splash. Developed at the company's Munich Design Center in Germany, the 50nm chip uses copper interconnects and boasts low power consumption. By jumping straight to 2Gb, Elpida's chips can be used in everything from game consoles to PC graphics cards, as well as other equipment that can benefit from high-performance memory in areas such as physical simulation, digital image processing, and video conversion, Elpida says.
Elpida's chip, which is rated at up to 7Gbps, will begin sampling to hardware vendors in July 2010. Mass production is expected to kick off in the third quarter of 2010.
Asus is no longer the only graphics vendor offering a Radeon HD 5870 videocard with 2GB of RAM, twice the amount of ATI's reference design. Sapphire has joined the oversized frame buffer party with a 2GB card of its own.
In addition to doubling up on RAM, Sapphire's HD 5870 Toxic Edition card comes factory overclocked to 925MHz on the core, a respectable boost over the 850MHz reference design. Sapphire also goosed the memory to 1225MHz (4.9GHz effective), a small bump over the 1200MHz (4.8GHz effective) reference design.
The card also comes with Sapphire's Vapor-X heatsink. According to Sapphire, you can expect better cooling with a "virtually silent gaming experience," giving you the best of both worlds.
Sapphire today announced a new version of its HD 5850 Toxic Edition videocard. Unlike previous HD 5850 models, the newest model sports 2GB of GDDR5 memory, twice as much as any other 5850 card on the market.
The card also comes factory overclocked to 765MHz on the core and 1125MHz (4500MHz effective) on the RAM. By comparison, ATI's reference design calls for a 725MHz core and 1000MHz (4000MHz effective) memory.
Sapphire's also talking up the "world leading Vapor-X technology" on the 2GB card. According to Sapphire, the Vapor-X cooling solution results in temperatures up to 15C chillier than what you'll get with a reference cooler, while also running up to 10dB quieter.
Hynix today announced what it claims are the industry's first 2Gb (gigabit) GDDR5 chips using the 40nm manufacturing process. Boasting 7Gb/s of bandwidth and processing power of up to 28GB/s with a 32-bit I/O, these rank as the highest density graphics memory available.
But it's not all about sheer speed. Hynix says its new 2Gb chips also impress on the power consumption front. With an operation voltage of 1.35V, energy consumption drops down by 20 percent over previous parts built on 50nm technology, the company claims.
Hynix will begin mass producing the new chips in the second half of next year to coincide with increased demand for high-performance graphics memory.