It seemed like a foregone conclusion that Nvidia's GeForce GTX 660 Ti would be based on the GPU maker's 28nm Kepler architecture, and lest there was any lingering doubt, a Swedish overclocking site got its hands on a spec sheet that seemingly confirms as much. If the information is correct, the GTX 660 Ti is essentially a GTX 670 card with a narrower memory bus (192-bit versus 256-bit). Here's what we know.
GPU bragging rights now belong to Sapphire, which claims its new HD 7970 6GB Toxic Edition graphics card features the highest clockspeeds of any consumer grade videocard on the planet. It also has a massive 6GB frame buffer, which is twice as big as your 'run-of-the-mill' Radeon HD 7970 graphics card, if there can be such a thing. Getting back to the clockspeeds, however, this thing comes straight from the factory sporting a 1050MHz GPU (1100MHz via PowerTune Dynamic Boost) and 6000MHz (effective) memory. That's just the beginning.
One of our favorite utilities, GPU-Z, has yet to reach 1.0 status. We're not sure what the holdup is, but in the meantime, incremental updates keep rolling in, the latest one bringing the utility up to version 0.6.3 and adding support for nearly two dozen additional videocards in the process, along with improved Kepler boost clock detection, a handful of fixes, and other changes.
If you've been following the PC scene for awhile, you may recall Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) beating Intel to the punch (if only by a hair) in getting a 1GHz CPU (an Athlon "Thunderbird") into the hands of consumers back in 2000. Here we are more than a decade later and AMD's still talking up its 1GHz achievements, only this time those bragging rights are related ot its GPUs, the newest one being the just launched Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition graphics card built around the company's Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture.
GTX 680’s are still all but impossible to find, however that won’t stop EVGA from taunting the enthusiast community with something even more lust worthy. The EVGA 680 Classified will feature an optional water-cooling block, 14-phase power design, and voltage control inputs to give power users all the flexibility they need to catapult themselves to the top of the 3D Mark Vantage charts.
The boutique system builders over at Origin PC are now equipping EON15-S and EON17-S gaming laptops with Nvidia's latest and greatest mobile graphics chip, the GeForce GTX 680M. Based on Nvidia's Kepler architecture, the GeForce GTX 680M is a high-octane GPU with 1344 CUDA cores, 4GB of GDDR5 graphics memory, and full support for Nvidia's battery-friendly Optimus technology.
The driver team at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) are no longer under pressure to churn out Catalyst driver suites month after month, and will instead drop new updates on gamers "when it makes sense," the Sunnyvale chip designer announced in a blog post today. AMD says its goal is to make sure Catalyst releases provide a "substantial benefit" to gamers, and that means moving away from a rapid release schedule.
Asus has been coming on strong in graphics cards for several years now, though it never offers quite the variety of versions as companies like XFX and EVGA. Typically, Taiwan-based Asus will ship a reference card under its main brand, and then a custom-built, high-end card under its DirectCU brand. At a later date, the company might ship a super-high-end card using the company’s Matrix or Mars sub-brands. Price differences between Asus’s high-end and standard versions are wider, too, so it’s a little easier to figure out which card really is the premium version.
Consider the bog-standard reference-card design. Enthusiasts often sneer at the thought, but the GTX 680 reference design is efficient, quiet, and fast. You often have to spend extra for higher clocks and more fans—and more moving parts and heat often equate to a higher probability of failure.
The EVGA GTX 680 we’re reviewing here is a standard reference card, but EVGA equips it with one of the best overclocking software tools we’ve tested.
You can use Precision to tweak the base clock, Boost clock, voltage, fan settings, and more. The GTX 680 GPU itself offers good overclocking headroom, so a few quick tweaks using Precision should get you 5–10 percent pretty easily.
AMD’S MARKETING pitch for the new Radeon 7800‑series GPUs suggests that “serious gaming starts here.” Built on AMD’s Graphics Core Next, the 7800 series, previously code-named “Pitcairn,” offers impressive performance for less than the price of AMD’s 7900 series. Let’s take a quick look at key features, as compared to the Radeon HD 6870 and 6950 GPUs, AMD’s previous players in the midrange.
The 7870 has 1,280 stream processors—more than the 6870, but fewer than the 1,408 in the Radeon HD 6950. The 7870’s 1,000MHz stock clock speed is 11 percent higher than the 900MHz of the 6870, and twice the 6950’s 500MHz clock. In the Black Edition HD 7870, XFX boosts the core clock an additional 5 percent to 1,050MHz. The 7870 ships with the same 2GB of 256-bit GDDR5 as the 6950—double the 1GB of the 6870.
The Black Edition ships with XFX’s semi-custom dual-fan cooling solution. As with past cards in this class, the HD 7870 requires two 6-pin power connectors. One disappointment: XFX is continuing its policy of leaving out monitor adapter connectors, so if you don’t have a DVI, HDMI, or DisplayPort connector on your monitor, then you’ll need to shell out a little extra for one. It’s mostly not a problem for single-display users, but people with multiple monitors may need to acquire adapters.