AMD's new Radeon HD 6000M series is the chip maker's second generation of DirectX 11 capable mobile graphics architecture and is a top-to-bottom solution with GPUs for every performance segment.
These latest GPUs deliver up to 1.3 teraFLOPS of compute power and support up to six displays using AMD's Eyefinity technology. AMD also baked in a few other familiar proprietary technology bits, including its HD3D technology (stereo 3D) and EyeSpeed technology (improved streaming performance).
New GPU series include the HD 6300M, 6400M, 6500M, 6600M, 6700M, 6800M, and 6900M. On the top end, the HD 6900M comes with 960 stream processing units, 48 texture units, 128 Z/Stencil ROP units, a GPU clockspeed of 580-680MHz, and memory clockspeed of 900MHz.
The fellas over at TechPowerUp have posted a guide detailing how to mod a Radeon HD 6950 (Cayman Pro) videocard into a Radeon HD 6970 (Cayman XT), both of which are based on the same GPU design. The main difference comes down to the number of shaders -- 1408 on the 6950 and 1535 on the 6970.
According to TechPowerUp, the 6950's missing shaders are the result of a deactivation scheme in the card's BIOS. That's good news for modders, as unlike hardware locks, software locks are usually easy to reverse.
Bear in mind that you're on your own should something go wrong, but according to the guide, activating those dormant shaders involves nothing more than flashing the BIOS. Once you're finished with that, you can goose the clockspeeds to match that of a 6970 videocard.
TechPowerUp tested its method on 14 cards from 7 different vendors and in each case determined that the mod "unlocks and works fine" without any errors.
The more we learn about Nvidia's Tegra 2 GPU the more we're looking forward to it. Tegra 2 could end up playing a big role in the emerging tablet market, providing a boost in graphics performance over what's currently available today.
According to Fudzilla, the Tegra 2 GPU will sport a Peak Fill Rate with Z reject of 1.2 billion pixels per second and will include a programmable pixel shader. It will also ship with a programmable vertex and lightning engine.
Other tech specs include support for both 4K x 4K and 2K x 2K texture resolutions, Advanced 2D and Vector engines, and in some cases, support up to WSXGA+ (1680x1050) screens with up to 24-bit color.
Futuremark originally delayed the release of its much anticipated 3DMark 11 benchmark in order to "fix a couple of difficult bugs rather than patching the benchmark immediately after launch." Mission accomplished, as today's update to version 1.01 doesn't quite qualify as "immediately," though it does come just two weeks after the benchmark went live.
"Unfortunately such wide scale use has brought to light a few issues that weren't caught by our own testing," Futuremark told us in an email. "So today we are releasing an update to 3DMark 11 to fix those problems and add a couple of requested features. Note, until Nvidia release new drivers SLI will continue to be unavailable in 3DMark 11."
There are eight fixes and feature additions for all editions for 3DMark 11, three for the Advanced and Professional editions only, and three for the just the Professional edition.
Barring any subsequent hotfixes, AMD graphics card owners have one last driver package to download and install before 2010 comes to a close, Catalyst 10.12.
AMD's newest drivers add support for DivX on the Radeon HD 6800 Series of cards, support for OpenGL 4.1, and includes the AMD Stream 2.3 SDK release. Each one of these comes with their own subset of improvements, particularly OpenGL 4.1, which introduces a bunch of new features and performance improvements.
Installing the Catalyst 10.12 driver suite also stomps out several known issues for Windows 7, Vista, and XP, everything from solving random tearing issues (when playing back XVID files on an extended display) to getting rid of the intermittent hanging issue in Dragon Age Origins.
If you're wondering which is the faster videocard, Nvidia's GeForce GTX 580 or AMD's Radeon HD 6970, don't take this as the end-all-be-all. But for what it's worth, Nvidia's crown jewel came out ahead of AMD's upcoming Cayman part in the newly released 3DMark 11 benchmark during Fudzilla's limited round of tests.
Fudzilla said the HD 6970 scored lower than 8,000 at entry settings while the GTX 580 posted 8700 in the same test. The GTX 570 scored just above 8,000.
At the performance level, AMD's Cayman card posted a score around 5,300, while the GTX 580 scored a little below 6,000 and the GTX 570 managed 5,250. Things leveled out a little bit at the Extreme settings, with the HD 6970 posting 1,800, while the GTX 580 scored 1,950.
Like the floppy drive, the VGA port has been one of the mainstays of the PC industry almost from the beginning. And like the floppy drive, the VGA port is on its way out, to be replaced by newer, better technology, TechNewsWorld.com reports.
For the most part, the floppy drive has already been replaced by USB thumb drives. The VGA port is still around, however both Intel and AMD, with the blessing of several computer vendors, said they will phase out support for the soon-to-be legacy connection by 2015.
The reasoning behind this forced retirement is to give DisplayPort and HDMI ports their due. After all, "HDMI and DisplayPort are modern digital interfaces that support higher resolutions and screen sizes," Intel spokesperson Nick Knuppfer points out.
Will you miss the VGA port, or is this move long overdue?
You should have no trouble getting your game on this holiday shopping season. Let's recap your latest options. OnLive just launched its Micro Game console for $99, Nvidia recently outed its GeForce GTX 570 GPU, and according to DigiTimes, AMD is preparing to launch its new Radeon HD 6970 and HD 6950 graphics cards (Cayman) in the third week of December.
Citing un-named sources, DigiTimes says AMD's HD 6970 isn't quite up to par with Nvidia's GTX 580 videocard, so you can figure AMD's part to cost around $50 to $70 less. Previous rumors suggest this flagship part will come with 2GB of memory on a 256-bit bus chugging along at 1375MHz, 96 texture units, 32 ROPs, and a core clockspeed of 880MHz.
How many of these cards will actually be available in December remains to be seen. There's already talk that initial shipment volumes will be limited, so if you're holding out for one of these parts, get your trigger finger ready starting December 15th.
News and rumor site Fudzilla claims to have received confirmation that AMD's dual-GPU Radeon HD 6990 videocard, otherwise known as "Antilles," won't show up on store shelves until the first quarter of 2011.
As the water cooler banter goes, AMD originally wanted to ship its dual-chip card before the end of the year, and if that's true, it raises of the question of why it's being postponed. It could be that AMD wants to fine tune the architecture and drivers, or maybe there's a problem that requires additional time to address. It's all speculation, with the only thing we know for sure (assuming Fudzilla's sources are solid) is that there won't be any Radeon HD 6990 cards in Santa's sleigh this year.
A recently leaked slide of the HD 6990 part reveals that the card will come with 3840 stream processors, 4GB of GDDR5 memory, and deliver up to 6.0TFLPS. Under load, the HD 6990 is supposed to draw a manageable 300W, and 30W when idle.
As Nvidia often does following the launch of a new videocard, the GPU maker has rolled out updated GPU drivers, version 263.09.
Specific to this release is added support for the GeForce GTX 580 and 460 SE videocards, and presumably the just launched GTX 570 (oddly enough, there's no mention of the GTX 570 in the release notes). Otherwise, there doesn't appear to be much else to the 263.09 driver packages.
For what it's worth, the latest drivers install Nvidia PhysX System Software version 9.10.0514 and HD audio driver version 18.104.22.168, neither of which do we envision making you pump your fist in excitement.