After four months in beta, Microsoft today released its Silverlight 3 web application framework. A direct rival of Adobe Flash, the newest version of Silverlight supports Internet Explorer 6/7/8 and Firefox 2/3 in Windows, and Safari 3/4 on the Mac platform (Opera and Chrome users are left out in the cold).
Silverlight 3 sports a bevy of new features and APIs, not the least of which is support for GPU hardware acceleration. It also includes new codec support (H.264, AAC, MPEG-4), improved logging for media analytics, deep linking, improved text quality, multi-touch support, and a bunch more.
According to Microsoft, "Silverlight 3 also ushers in a new generation of high-quality and high-definition video experiences with true high-definition video in full-screen mode, with stutter-free live and on-demand video." In addition, Silverlight's Smooth Streaming technology allows users to start playing HD content at any point in time, instantly.
Without any press releases that we could find, Nvidia has launched a pair of low-level graphics cards, both of which are being aimed at the OEM market.
The first is the GT220, a half-height card with 48 processor cores chugging along at 615MHz (GPU) with 1GB of GDDR3 memory running a 790MHz on a 128-bit memory interface. That adds up to 25.3GB/s of memory bandwidth. For what it's worth, the OEM card also boasts support for DirectX 10.1.
Also launched is the G210, another half-height OEM card sporting DirectX 10.1 support. As you might have surmised from the number scheme, the G210 checks in with lower specs than the GT220. Specifically, 16 processor cores with the GPU clocked at 589MHz, and 512MB of DDR2 memory clocked at 500MHz on a 64-bit bus. The lower clocks and bus chops the memory bandwidth down to 8GB/s.
No word on price or which OEMs are expected to carry the new cards.
AMD's new ATI Graphics Scout is a visual wizard designed to help you find the "perfect" ATI GPU for your needs. Graphics Scout provides feature selections in four categories: video applications, pictures and photos, games, and office applications. Select the most important feature or features in some or all categories, and Graphics Scout (which resembles a Star Wars R2-D2 with a flat-panel upgrade) suggests a suitable match.
Earlier this week, The Inquirercomplained that Graphics Scout was pushing out some questionable suggestions. Thankfully, as an update to the original story indicates, ATI's been making some changes, and in our tests today, it made recommendations that make sense:
When we selected video editing, photo editing, DirectX 10+ gaming, and Microsoft Office applications, it suggested the top-of-the-line HD 4890.
When we changed our mind and selected big-screen TV connections with Blu-Ray support, photo viewing and editing, online gaming, and web browsing, Graphics Scout suggested the mid-line HD 4550.
The ability to move up and down the GPU line to see what upgrading or downgrading the recommended selection is handy, as is the ability to compare any other card with the recommended card. For its intended UK audience, Graphics Scout is great, as it provides links to various UK dealers. For users in other countries, it's still useful, but you'll need to use a site such as Cnet's Shopper.com to find actual products for sale. Take Graphics Scout for a spin and join us after the jump to chime in on its recommendations.
Some recent reports have suggested that Nvidia is planning to launch their new 40nm GeForce GT 220 and GeForce G210 GPUs at the end of September.
Until now, Nvidia has had to delay the launch of their 40nm GPUs due to low yield rates from TSMC. But, recently the rate has improved a great deal, allowing Nvidia to schedule a launch before the end of the year and most importantly – in time for the holidays!
Think your dual-GPU GTX 295 videocard is anything to write home about? It's still the king of desktop videocards, but it does't come anywhere close to offering 800 teraflops of processing power. That's the amount a Japanese company has to work with, which has mashed together nine 73-core chips into a single system. And as daunting as that may sound, it fits inside a typical ATX desktop setup.
Before anyone asks, the answer is 'no,' it won't run Crysis. Not because it can't, but because it's not aimed at gaming. Those 800 TFLOPs of number crunching provide real-time ray traced rendering and is being aimed at automotive design.
As for how the 45nm super GPU works, Arstechnia has put together a fantastic article describing all the gritty details, includng the complex bus directing all that traffic.
Give it a glance here, then hit the jump and tell us what you'd like to use this kind of GPU computing power for (Folding, anyone?).
At long last, Nvidia may finally adding DirectX 10.1 support to its videocards, assuming Fudzilla is right on the money. According to the news and rumor site, Nvidia's GT200 will be refreshed to a 40nm manufacturing process and the new chips will sport DX10.1.
To date, ATI has been the only one to offer DX10.1 support on some of its videocards (yes, we're completely ignoring S3's Chrome series), a minor extension to DX10 that thus far hasn't meant much for gamers. To to fuel the conspiracy flames, that could change with Nvidia jumping on board. Remember that DX10.1 instructions did at one point show a performance boost on ATI cards in Assassin's Creed, but after a patch removed support for the instruction set, some accused Ubisoft of bowing to pressure from Nvidia after the GPU maker sponsored the title with its The Way It's Meant To Be Played program.
In any event, it looks like refresh will come on the tail end of summer or early fall.
PowerColor this week announced a new series of videocards it says are "environmentally friendly and cost efficient to the consumer." Kicking off the new Go! Green series is a pair of ATI cards - the HD 4650 and HD 4350.
Both cards come equipped with PowerColor's custom Silent Cooling Solution (SCS) passive heatsink, with the HD 4650 version adding heatpipes to the mix (SCS3). Partially as a result, PowerColor claims its HD 4650 consumes 38 percent less power than an Nvidia GeForce 9500GT videocard, while the HD 4350 boasts a 24 percent power savings over the Nvidia GeForce 8400GS. Likewise, the HD 4650 and HD 4350 offer up to 22 percent and 36 percent better performance than each one's respective Nvidia equivalent, PowerColor claims.
Availability is expected in July, but no word yet on price.
During a press conference at Computex, AMD gave the world's first official DirectX 11 GPU demonstration, saying the new API will debut before the end of 2009. When it does, AMD promised it would beat the competition to the punch and "deliver DirectX 11 first."
"Games and other applications are about to get a lot better as a result of AMD's new graphics hardware and DirectX 11," AMD stated in a press release. "DirectX 11 features such as tessellation will bring consumers higher quality, superior performing games making use of 6th generation AMD technology."
AMD also said its DX11-based videocards will improve Windows 7 performance in a wide number of applications and in a way that's "completely transparent to users," such as accelerating the conversion of video playback on portable media players.
Nivida and Super Micro have worked together in order to create a 1U server that ties together the power of massively parallel Tesla GPUs with multi-core CPUs. The system is said to deliver 12 times the performance of a traditional quad-core CPU-based 1U server.
The SuperServer 6016T-GF-TM2 is on display at Computex this week. “Our new Tesla GPU-based SuperServer 6016T-GF Series delivers a much higher performance-per-watt and per-rack than any other 1U solution in the market today," said Don Clegg, Super Micro‘s Vice President of Marketing. "This 2-Teraflop SuperServer meets the most demanding enterprise data center requirements for reliability and manageability."
Reportedly, Brazilian energy company Petrobras has already installed a cluster of 190 Tesla GPUs and is seeing a 5x to 20x improvement over their previous, multi-core CPU-based clusters.