They say fate's a fickle mistress, but destiny's got nothing on the free market. For every Microsoft-esque success story, there's the burnt out husk of Sun Microsystems (R.I.P.). The really interesting tales have nothing to do with overwhelming successes or overwhelming failures, though; any budding novelist can tell you that a good story needs some tension.
OCZ left the system memory market to focus on solid state drives in part because it grew tired of razer thin profits in the struggling DRAM sector. Memory makers choosing to weather the profit drought would probably like it if more vendors packed their bags and left. Too bad for them, AMD has decided to crash the memory party, bringing the weight of its own brand name to the already highly competitive DDR3 memory market.
Remember the Radeon HD 5830? That videocard filled a certain price point, but it was actually the same GPU used in the high-end HD 5870, with a large chunk of the die disabled. Enter the Radeon HD 6790. At first blush, it’s similar in concept to the HD 5830. AMD took its Barts GPU (used in the Radeon HD 6870 and 6850) and disabled a big chunk of it. Voilà: the Radeon HD 6790.
AMD's launch of two Llano A-series desktop APUs yesterday comes a little over two weeks after the CPU/GPU maker made available its Catalyst 11.6 driver package. For whatever reason, AMD chose not to bake in support for its then soon-to-be-released A8-3850 and A6-3650 APUs, but don't despair, there's a hotfix available if you plan on running one of these chips.
PowerColor today said it "aims to blow gamers' minds" with its very first dual-GPU solution with AMD's Bart XT graphics engine, the PowerColor HD6870X2. As the name implies, this dual-GPU graphics card sports two 6870 graphics chips under its dual-fan cooling apparatus. That equates to 2,240 stream processing units and 4.03 teraFLOPS of computing power.
Popping up over the weekend is a somewhat blurry photo (cleaned up as best we could) of a completely naked dual-GPU prototype of AMD's Radeon HD 6870. The full frontal snapshot shows two Barts GPUs positioned in the middle of a long slab of PCB. Each GPU boasts 1,120 stream processors for a total of 2.240, and each with its own 1GB of GDDR5 memory, also visible in the picture.
Maybe Gigabyte got bit by the overclocking bug, or perhaps the top-tier motherboard and graphics card vendor got its mitts on some better silicon. Whatever the case may be, Gigabyte is getting ready to release a second, factory overclocked Radeon HD 6970 videocard, the GV-R6970OC2-2GD. This latest variant will ship with its GPU revved up to 920MHz, up from 880MH stock (and 900MHz for the R6970OC), while the 2GB of GDDR5 remains at 5500MHz.
AMD originally intended its Radeon HD 6750 and 6770 graphics cards for the OEM market, meaning they'd show up in pre-built systems from the likes of Dell, HP, and others. More recently, the chip maker confirmed these parts would also show up in the retail market, and it took all of 2 seconds for that to happen. MSI just announced three new videocards based on the HD 6700 architecture, including the R6770-MD1GD5, R6750-MD1GD5, and R6750-MD512D5.
Need a videocard but find yourself cramped for space? Unfortunately for you, many of today's mid-range to high-end graphics cards take up two slots, a necessary evil in order to cool today's increasingly power (and power hungry) GPUs. Fortunately for you, most board partners also like to experiment with their own designs, ditching reference blueprints in favor of their own cooling creations. It was this mindset that led Powercolor to launch the first single-slot Radeon HD 6850 videocard.
AMD appears to be attacking the entry-level and mainstream graphics card market with a vengeance. The chip maker last week rolled out is ultra-affordable Radeon HD 6450 priced at $59, which coincided with the launch of Nvidia's budget-oriented GeForce GT 520. Now AMD is following up that launch with the release of two more sub-$100 videocards, the Radeon HD 6570 and 6670.