Nvidia’s GTX 690 finally has some serious competition
Today the embargo is lifting on the AMD Radeon HD 7990 that was teased back at GDC, so here’s the TLDR version; yes it’s just as fast and a tiny bit quieter than theNvidia GTX 690, and it includes a mega bad ass eight-AAA-game bundle and costs the same price as its nemesis, making it quite a tempting package for those with the budget for it. Whether or not that will be enough to convince anyone to actually buy it remains to be seen of course, but at least AMD can no longer be knocked for conceding the $1,000 GPU market to Nvidia. It also signifies somewhat of a resurgence for AMD, who first came off the bench late last year and early this year with its totally righteous Never Settle game bundles, then attacked the midrange recently with the surprisingly powerful and quiet Radeon HD 7790 card, and is now going for the jugular with the dual-slot and triple-fan HD 7990. Whether AMD wins or loses that battle is slightly less important than the overall significance of this introduction, as in our minds its designed to not only beat Nvidia’s offering, but also to send a very clear signal to hardcore PC enthusiasts everywhere — AMD is still in the game, and doesn’t intend to give an inch of ground to Nvidia any time soon.
Graphics professionals need big-league processing power, and AMD aims to scratch that itch with its FirePro line of GPUs. Earlier this week, the company announced the launch of the FirePro W600, the first of the line to incorporate AMD's 28nm and GCN technology. Hopefully you didn't run out and buy one immediately, because today AMD showed off that card's big brother, the FirePro W9000, and it's a memory-filled beast. And hey, did we just see the first Radeon 7990, too?
Funny thing about the Radeon 7970; despite being a flagship graphics card, the reference model doesn't come clocked at 1GHz out of the box, even though the lower-priced 7770 and 7870 (and the GTX 680) do. Well, that's going to end soon: a new report says AMD is prepping a "GHz Edition" version of the Radeon 7970 to better compete with Nvidia's top-end beast.
Another day, another new graphics driver. But rather than being yet another beta driver, the AMD Catalyst 12.4 driver is fully WHQL certified and brings a bevy of useful new features to the virtual table, including Radeon HD 7000 series support for Windows XP, openSuse 12.1 and the just-released Ubuntu 12.04.
For a lot of Maximum PCers, a single monitor just won't cut it. But if fragging n00bs and juggling spreadsheets is better on two screens, wouldn't it be even better on three? Now imagine how mind-blowing it would be on six screens. Actually, don't imagine it -- do it! TUL's new PowerColor HD7870 Eyefinity 6 is the first 7870 Radeon graphics card capable of pulling of a sextuplet of screens.
AMD's Radeon 7000 series GPUs have officially been out for, what, just over four months now? Time sure flies! But even though you've been able to shove next-gen Radeon cards into a desktop build for over a third of a year, laptop users haven't been quite as lucky, as mobile variants hadn't been announced -- until today. This morning, AMD announced the Radeon 7000M series with three new GPUs built around the 28nm manufacturing process.
A handful of things in life are certain: death, taxes (you better hurry!) and, after seeing the Nvidia GTX 680 drop for just $500, the eventual lowering of AMD Radeon 7900 series prices. That was the common theory, anyways, but several weeks have passed with nary a word from AMD. Could conventional wisdom be wrong? Nope! AMD was just biding its time. Today, the company slashed the prices of not only the 7900 series GPUs, but the low-end Radeon 7770, too.
Another day, another pair of new AMD Radeon HD graphics cards. Didn't we just say that yesterday? In another fine example of how quickly things move in today's age, several companies unleashed a smorgasbord of new AMD Radeon cards today and made our previous statements obsolete. How many cards constitute a smorgasbord? Seven, by our count, and the good news is that most of the new releases are higher-end models.
Another day, another pair of new AMD Radeon HD graphics cards, this time from Sapphire and PowerColor. The two offerings are from opposite ends of AMD's assault on the entire price point spectrum -- the PowerColor being a 7770 card, and the Sapphire a high-end 7970 -- but they're both capable of hitting 1GHz speeds out of the box.
Microsoft wasn't the only company releasing Windows 8 Consumer Preview software yesterday. If you're rocking a Radeon graphics card, you'll be happy to hear that AMD rolled out new Catalyst drivers specifically tailored for the prerelease OS, complete with support for Windows 8's WDDM 1.2 features.