We were busy little bees this time and could only spare three people: host and Senior Editor Josh Norem, Associate Editor Tom McNamara, and legendary intern Chris Zele. Ironically, we spent most of our time jabbering on about Nvidia's newest high-end video card, the GTX 780. We didn't have the MSRP in time for the taping of episode #203 of the Maximum PC No BS Podcast, but you can't let missing things like "facts" stop you from having an opinion!
We're closing in on Cinco de Mayo, which celebrates Mexico's Battle of Puebla fought on May 5, 1862, a victory against overwhelming odds and an important step towards Mexican independence from European rulers. These days, it's a popular holiday for getting drunk, dancing and making loud noises, but maybe that's just me. I think I'm gonna play it low-key this year instead, and take the opportunity to update our Best of the Best hardware with a couple new entries: the EVGA GeForce GTX Titan and AMD's Radeon HD 7850.
Free performance gain, if you don't mind beta software.
If you like to live on the edge by installing pre-release software, risks be damned, and own an Nvidia-based graphics card, today's your lucky today. Nvidia just released new 320.00 beta drivers for GeForce graphics cards, and if you install them, the GPU maker says you can enjoy performance gains up to 20 percent. Most of the gains won't be quite as high, though several titles receive a shot in the arm from the new drivers.
Five new notebook GPUs comprise the GeForce 700M family.
Ron Burgundy once said you have to keep your head on a swivel when you find yourself in a vicious cock fight, but the same is true when wading through tech news on April Fool's Day. That said, everyting (Edit: almost everything) we post today is real, or believed to be real, starting with Nvidia's rollout of five mobile GPUs based on its new GeForce 700M line. We actually spoke with Nvidia last week about these new chips and were told the 700M line runs up to 30 percent faster, on average, than their 600M line.
Nvidia's latest drivers boost performance by up to 65 percent, the GPU maker claims.
Today's a monumental day for gamers, You have the release of Nvidia's GeForce Titan graphics card, Crysis 3 is finally here, and related to them both, Nvidia has made available new WHQL drivers optimized for the aforementioned game, along with Far Cry 3, Assassin's Creed 3, and other popular titles. If you're planning to pick up Crysis 3, Nvidia says its new GeForce 314.07 drivers will improve single-GPU and multi-GPU performance by up to 4.7 percent and 65 percent, respectively.
A massive GPU that’ll be hard to find, and even harder to beat
Today Nvidia is pulling the wraps off the GK110-based GeForce GTX Titan, a single-GPU card that is expected to easily capture the title of Baddest Ass GPU in the world when benchmarks are released this Thursday, February 21st. The Titan is Nvidia’s “Big Kepler” GPU, and has double the transistors and almost double the CUDA cores of the mid-range GK104 chip found in its flagship GeForce GTX 680 GPU. Though it runs at a lower clock speed in stock trim, it should still offer a sizable performance improvement over the already capable GTX 680.
Score up to $150 of in-game credit when you buy a GeForce GTX 660 or higher videocard.
Here's an interesting nugget Nvidia dug up to support its latest upgrade promotion. According to the latest Steam hardware survey, 36 million gamers don't own a strong enough graphics card to play World of Tanks, Hawken, or Planetside 2 at 1920x1080 with High settings. The reason Nvidia chose to focus on those three free-to-play (F2P) play titles is because it's offering $75-$150 of in-game credit when you upgrade to a qualifying GeForce graphics card from a participating vendor.
We highlight the hardware that gets you the most performance per dollar spent
We all know that, generally speaking, buying the newest top-end part gets you the most performance. But in most cases, the premium you pay for that part covers a whole lot of other stuff as well that has no bearing on frame rates or video encoding times. We’re talking about the added cost of covering research and development, product marketing, lower production yields, etc. That high price also includes a vanity tax, if you will—the extra charge incurred by folks who simply want to have the latest hardware, hot off the fab, for bragging rights.
Note: This article was taken from the December 2012 issue of the magazine.
Gaming laptops tend to push garish, over-the-top designs these days; the second-generation Razer Blade throws these clichéd conventions out the window. The result is a 16.8x10.9x.88-inch minimalist laptop that resembles a large matte-black MacBook Pro. This doesn't mean the Blade looks plain, however. Its alluring green LEDs coupled with its slick LCD trackpad give this Blade a killer edge.
Note: This review was taken from the Holiday issue of the magazine.
LucidLogix Virtu Makes Hybrid Graphics on the desktop possible
Historically, integrated graphics, with their notoriously lackluster performance, have been of little interest to power users. But perceptions began to change with Intel’s Sandy Bridge, and later its Ivy Bridge, microarchitecture. While Sandy Bridge’s DX10-class, Intel HD 2000/3000 graphics engines aren’t cutting-edge by any means, they offer enough performance for many mainstream PC users, and consequently, helped Intel gain market share in the graphics race. Ivy Bridge further improves the situation with a more powerful graphics core outfitted with additional execution units and DX11 support. Whereas Intel’s HD 3000 offers 12 EUs, Ivy Bridge’s HD 4000 engine has 16.