Nvidia has been pretty tight lipped when it comes to Fermi's performance numbers, but as the March 26th launch date approaches, a few additional details are starting to leak out. This time it's a video documenting some early benchmarks, giving us our first real peak at Fermi's performance. Of course we would be remiss if we didn't mention that the Heaven benchmark utility demonstrated in the video was administered solely by Nvidia themselves, and as such, the results should be taken with a grain of salt until we've had our own opportunity to put it through its paces.
The demo shows the GTX 480 pushing out some pretty impressive frame rates, even besting the ATI 5870 results they claim to have run earlier, but it certainly doesn't look like as big a margin as we were hoping for. The GTX 480 as you might recall is going to be the companies new high end offering, and although no pricing has yet been announced, rumors have put it somewhere in the $700 USD range. The Radeon 5870's by comparison can be found starting at around $380. If the rumored pricing ends up being true the more realistic comparison would be the Radeon 5970 vs. the GTX 480.
Only time will tell if the GTX 480 & 470 cards are as hot or as expensive as we fear, but one thing is for certain, the silence and vague details isn't helping their cause. Click the jump to check out the video for yourself. Did the demonstration win you over?
The USB 3.0 rollout is long overdue and the overwhelming popularity of external drives as a backup medium is part of the reason why. Sure, those fancy new ports will work with your mouse, but if that's what you're waiting for, your kind of missing the point. If however you have access to an eSATA port for your external drive, you might want to hold off on USB 3.0 upgrades, at least for now.
A new benchmark released by the crew over at CrunchGear has revealed that USB 3.0 leaves a bit to be desired speed wise, at least in its early iterations and needs a bit more time to mature. Transfer speeds so far have been much slower than the theoretical maximum, but hopefully this will improve over time.
Of course USB 3.0 isn't all about speed. The new bus specification is also intended to accommodate the next generation of power hungry gadgets and drives, and also holds a pretty healthy advantage over eSATA when you start looking at long cable runs. The point here is not to rag on USB 3.0, rather it is simply intended as a friendly reminder that eSATA isn't obsolete just yet.
The suits over at Sun Microsystems are claiming new world records from the company's new Fire X4640 server built around six-core AMD Opteron chips.
Sun says the Fire X4640 uses up to eight six-core AMD chips in 4RU, "making it the most compact 24- to 48-core system available from tier one vendors." The company claims up to a 65 percent performance boost over previous-gen Sun Fire X4600M2 server, along with up to half a terabyte of memory in 64 memory slots.
As to the in-house benchmarking, Sun says the Fire X4640 server set an eight-processor world record with 10,000 SAP SD Benchmark users running the SAP enhancement package 4 for the SAP ERP 6.0 application. Versus the competition on the two-tier SAP SD Standard Application Benchmark, Sun says its new server offers up to 33 percent better performance than a 16-processor NEC Express 5800 server, 2.7x the performance of a four-processor IBM System 550 server, and runs 21 percent faster than an eight-processor HP ProLiant DL785 G6 system.
If you have a shiny new DirectX 11 card taking up space in your case, this may be of interest to you. The first DX11-specific benchmark has been released by Unigine Corp. The demo is called “Heaven” and runs on the company’s proprietary Unigine engine.
Unigine have released two previous GPU benchmarking demos called “Sanctuary” and “Tropics”. Like those programs, the new DX11 benchmark is available for free. Heaven has support for OpenGL, DirectX 9, 10, and 11. So regardless of your hardware, it should run as long as you have at least 256 MB of VRAM. There’s even support for AMD’s new Eyefinity technology.
You will, however, need .NET framework 2.0, OpenAL, and your card’s latest stable drivers. If you want to take your card for a spin, you can get the Heaven demo here.
It’s no secret that we here at Maximum PC are fans of Intel’s new Core i7. In fact, Intel has held a place of distinction in our best of the best round up pretty consistently now ever since Athelon’s day came and went several years ago. Despite this fact, we are pretty fickle with our affections, and are all secretly still rooting for the underdog. We are also the first to admit that we are glad AMD is still around to keep Intel on its toes. Though both Phenom & Phenom II failed to set the world on fire, we were all pretty impressed when we discovered how much overclocking headroom we received as a result of the die shrink. We were even more excited when we saw the videos of AMD pushing the new CPU past 6.5Ghz, setting a new record in terms of clock speed.
Intel however, never wanting to concede its speed crown, was quick to go on the attack. In an email exchange with TGDaily, an Intel employee pointed out that the AMD 3DMark score of 45,474 submitted on January 12th 2009 was actually 1,170 points lower than a Core i7 score turned in by Intel just 8 days earlier. He also stated that the AMD results were achieved with unapproved drivers, and curiously were only run when the clock speed was at 4.481 Ghz. So as for who holds the 3DMark speed crown, I guess it all depends on who you ask.
It’s good to know that even if Phenom II didn’t quite bring them up to where they need to be, at least they have Intel taking notice of them again. And I for one can’t wait until I see the portable liquid helium cooling system that lets me duplicate these AMD scores at home! They are working on that right?
Last year it was Biostar -- and not Asus, DFI, or Gigabyte -- who set a frontside bus world record with its Biostar TPower I45 motherboard, and further blurring the lines between traditional enthusiast branding and companies better known for taking the budget end of the spectrum, A-Data -- not OCZ, Corsair, or Kingston -- has just broken a benchmarking record of its own.
"A-DATA® Technology Co., Ltd., a worldwide leading manufacturer in high performance memory products, announced today that its XPG™ DDR3 memory modules have broke a new world record on SuperPi 32m," A-Data stated in a press release. "The record was set by utilizing the DFI Lanparty UT X58 motherboard and XPG X Series v2.0 memory, the DDR3-2133X v2.0 2GBx3 triple-channel kit."
The new record now sits at 6min 40sec 360ms, which required overclocking A-Data's triple-channel DDR3-2133X v2.0 kit to 2237MHz with 8-7-7-21 latencies. A-Data didn't say how much voltage it took to reach that frequency, but if we had to guess, we'd say it ran high. The same kit comes rated at 2.05V-2.15V with 10-10-10-30 latencies at its stock frequency.
In October, we spec’ed out a respectable $800 gaming PC in our monthly Buyer’s Guide feature. While the price and parts looked promising, we had to see for ourselves if this sub-$1000 system could hold its ground against today’s top rigs. After all, if you don’t need to spend your next month’s paycheck on performance parts, why should you?
We had to make some careful choices to keep this machine within our constrained budget, but in the end we were surprised by this little PC’s kick ass performance. Want to learn how to build it yourself? We’ll walk you through our meticulous build process, explain why we chose each component, and give you our final thoughts on the benchmark results this little-PC-that-could throws down.
Intel's Core i7 release hasn't just changed the processor game, it's also ushered in a new era of memory choices. Up until Core i7, power users found themselves pondering whether to slap a 2GB or 4GB kit of RAM into their system, but that was before triple-channel memory. Now the choice (for upgraders and new builders) comes down to 3GB or 6GB, and Corsair looks to shed some light on the decision by performing some in-house benchmarking.
The tests, which were performed using an Asus P6T Deluxe motherboard, Core i7-965 Extreme Edition CPU, two Nvidia 280 GTX videocards in SLI, and two Seagate 320GB 7200.10 hard drives in a RAID 0 array, heavily favored the 6GB kit. Corsair's results were sometimes significant, with the minimum frame rate in World of Conflict jumping by 50 percent when upgrading from 3GB to 6GB, and netting over a 3-fold increase in Crysis Warhead. Even game loading times saw a boost.
"The analysis shows that 3GB of system memory is insufficient to run modern games, such as Warhammer Online and Crysis Warhead, resulting in poor performance," Corsair wrote (PDF). "The lack of memory when using 3GB of RAM results in increased hard disk drive access, sometimes called thrashing. This causes in-game stuttering, which reduces the minimum frame rate."
This isn't the first time Corsair has released internal benchmarks. Previously, the memory maker found that upgrading from 2GB to 4GB provided "significant performance benefits." This time around, Corsair says "the message to enthusiasts who are looking to build a Core i7 system for gaming is clear - installing 6GB of memory will provide significantly higher frame rates and a considerably smoother gaming experience."
Thoughts on Corsair's testing methodology or results? Hit the jump and let us know.
Tick tock? More like ding-dong, mutha—shut your mouth. What baby? We’re talkin’ about Core i7.
Our apologies to Isaac Hayes, but if he were alive, we’re almost certain he would have been tapped to hammer out a theme song for Intel’s most significant CPU launch in, well, ever.
Why is this CPU more significant than the 8088, Pentium, or Pentium M? As the second new chip produced after a series of embarrassing losses to archrival AMD, the Core i7 will answer for the world whether Intel is prepared to ride the momentum of its Core 2 launch with another winning chip or if it’s content to rest on its laurels, as it did with the Pentium 4.
Core i7 also represents a major new direction for Intel, which has stubbornly clung to the ancient front-side-bus architecture and discrete memory controller for years. Indeed, with its triple-channel integrated DDR3 memory controller and chip-to-chip interconnect, the block map of a Core i7 looks more like an Athlon 64 than a Core 2 chip.
Intel actually has three quad-core Core i7 CPUs ready: the top-end 3.2GHz Core i7-965 Extreme Edition, the performance-oriented 2.93GHz Core i7-940, and the midrange 2.66GHz Core i7-920. For the most part, all three are exactly the same except for clock speeds, multiplier locking (only the Extreme is unlocked), and QuickPath Interconnect speed. See the chart on page 42 for details.
The bigger issue is how Core i7 performs. To find out, we ran the Extreme 965 against AMD’s fastest proc as well as Intel’s previous top gun in a gauntlet of benchmarks. Read on for the results.
Continue reading for our comprehensive review and benchmarks!