There's been plenty of chatter about AMD's upcoming HD 6000 series, but not much in the way of what Nvidia's been up to. Will Nvidia have anything to counter AMD's new graphics cards?
According to the latest water cooler talk, Nvidia is getting close to announcing its GeForce GTX 580. This card will use the GF110 GPU and supplant the GTX 480 as Nvidia's flagship videocard.
The GTX 580 will come with 512 CUDA cores, 128 texture units, and probably 2GB of GDDR5 memory on a 512-bit memory bus. German site 3dcenter.org also lists other GF110 GPUs with as many as 768 CUDA cores. Depending on the GPU, performance is expected to be anywhere from 5 percent to 50 percent faster than the GTX 480.
Recent rumors suggest AMD has settled on calling its upcoming Barts XT and Barts PRO videocards the Radeon HD 6870 and 6850, respectively. That would make sense, except for one not-so-minor detail: these cards are intended to replace AMD's Radeon HD 5700 series, not the 5800 series.
That won't affect Maximum PC readers, but for gamers who don't have the time or desire to keep up with such things are likely to end up confused thinking the 6870 and 6850 trump the 5870 and 5850. That's not going to be the case.
Now we're hearing chatter that AMD plans to dub its Cayman XT and Cayman PRO variants Radeon HD 6970 and 6950, respectively. These will be AMD's top-end graphics cards, but unlike the Radeon HD 5970, these are both single-GPU parts.
The Cayman parts are expected to launch in late November.
For those of your running multiple ATI Radeon videocards in a CrossFire configuration, AMD this week posted a new ATI Catalyst Application Profile (10.9a). The update includes CrossFire performance boosts for a handful of titles, including:
AMD would never admit it, but the world's No. 2 chip maker would probably love to trade places with Intel (most corporations would). While Intel just finished posting its first ever $11 billion quarter, AMD just announced revenue of $1.62 billion for the third quarter of 2010. That includes a net loss of $118 million, or $0.17 per share.
"AMD's third quarter performance was highlighted by solid gross margin and a continued focus on profitability, despite weaker than expected consumer demand," said Dirk Meyer, AMD president and CEO. "Our strategy to deliver platforms with superior visual experiences continues to resonate. We look forward to building on the momentum when we begin shipping our first AMD Fusion Accelerated Processor units later this quarter."
Despite weaker than expected demand, AMD's graphic business for the quarter showed a 33 percent improvement over the same quarter one year ago.
ViewSonic today announced the launch of its first 24” 3D-LED Monitor. The V3D241wm-LED is AMD-certified for compatibility with Radeon graphics cards and ships with a pair of active shutter glasses. This is where things get weird, or shall we say wired, as the company has opted for wired 3D glasses in an age in which we are beginning to dream about wireless electricity with some conviction.
Coming back to the ViewSonic V3D241wm-LED, it boasts a 1920 x 1080 Full HD resolution, 120Hz frame rate, 2ms response time, 300 nits brightness and a contrast ratio of 20,000,000:1. The monitor is priced £330 (or about $525) in the UK. No word on a possible North American launch.
By hanging out at the rumor mill, we recently learned AMD plans to ship its next-generation HD 6870 and HD 6850 graphics cards on October 22nd, just over a week from today. Before we left, we heard some more interesting chatter.
Keep in mind that none of this is coming from AMD, but it appears the company who killed off the ATI brand is playing shenanigans with the upcoming cards' model numbers. At a glance, you would expect the 6870 and 6850 to replace the 5870 and 5850, but you'd be wrong, through no fault of your own. Placing logic in a burlap sack, beating it senseless, and throwing it into a river, AMD's 6870 and 6850 will reportedly replace the Radeon 5700 series.
Chinese-language website XFastest.com has the skinny on the new parts. According to XFastest, the 6870 has a 900MHz core clock, 960 stream processors, a 256-bit memory bus, and GDDR5 cranked up to 4200MHz (effective). This one will likely end up selling for $250.
As for the 6850, this one features a 775MHz core clock, 800 stream processors, and GDDR5 clocked at 4000MHz (effective), as well as the same 256-bit memory bus.
XFastest has the 6870 scoring below a 5870 in 3DMark Vantage (P17,924 versus P16,270), while the 6850 scored below a 5850 (P15,593 versus P14,872).
If you can hang tight for another week and a half before upgrading your GPU, you'll have more options to play with. That's assuming news and rumor site Fudzilla is correct in saying AMD's HD 6870 and HD 6850 will launch next Friday, October 22nd.
AMD purportedly has already begun shipping parts to vendors, meaning this won't be a paper launch. How well the cards end up selling, however, will depend on how well they compete with current-gen parts.
Both cards are being built around AMD's Barts core (PRO  and XT ), with the faster Cayman core reserved for high-end parts later this year, likely the HD 6890 and/or 6970/6950. Both the 6870 and 6850 are expected to ship with 1GB of GDDR5, HDMI, DVI-I, DVI-D, and DisplayPort outputs (two DisplayPorts on the 6870).
Oracle's chief executive Larry Ellison recently said his company would like to make some acquistions in the technology sector, adding that a microchip company would look mighty fine in Oracle's portfolio. Could AMD be a target? Would the world's No. 2 chip maker even be open to buyout? The answer to both questions is 'maybe.'
"AMD is not for sale, but we are happy to listen to any proposal which is in the interest to our shareholders," chief executive Dirk Meyer said during an industry conference in Barcelona this week.
Shares of AMD haven't exactly been scintillating as of late, but the chip maker hopes to turn that around with the introduction of its Fusion chips, which integrate graphics onto the CPU. The company is also facing increased competition from ARM, though Meyer said he doesn't really view ARM as a threat to its bottom line.
Nvidia has been soaking up all the positive press lately, and with just cause. The GTX 460 has proven itself to be a solid competitor against the midrange AMD 5000 series GPU’s, and the upcoming launch of the new GT 430 will round out a very capable portfolio of DX11 parts.
ATI remains competitive for the moment, but many have been left wondering when they would announce their follow up to Fermi, the answer it would seem is very soon. The last rumor we heard was that the AMD 6000 series cards would be hitting the streets sometime in November, and we can now further validate this date based on new reports citing that the company plans to release all the technical details on October 19that its annual Technical Forum and Exhibition show in Taipei.
The first card expected to be announced is the AMD 6870, a replacement high end enthusiast part, however even this rumor is contradicted in a few sources we found. Either way if you have been hovering your mouse cursor over the 1-click buy button lately this is one of the rare instances where it might actually pay off to wait a couple weeks to see what happens. At the very least it’s reasonable to expect that the current 5000 series cards will see a long awaited price drop, something I’m sure many of you have been waiting for.
Will AMD continue to place the emphasis on performance per watt, or simply go for the home run? Let us know what you expect the 6000 series to deliver after the jump.
Word from behind the lines where graphics cards are produced is that AMD recently postponed the launch of its Radeon HD 6000 series, pushing back the release from October 12 to sometime in November.
This gives Nvidia a short Window to steal some market share that would have otherwise gone towards AMD next month. To help do that, Nvidia plans to launch its new entry-level GeForce GT 430 in October, while also trimming the price on its existing GeForce GT 220 and GTX 460 graphics cards.
Getting back to AMD, sources say the company's HD 6000 series will use a 40nm manufacturing process as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) opted to skip over its 32nm R&D for GPUs and advance directly to 28nm. This would seem to give some weight to the leaked AMD slide that we posted yesterday.