Holy marketing, Batman, have you seen what Zotac has done with its GTX 285!? In a move sure to delight Dark Knight fans, the graphics card maker today announced a new limited edition GTX 285 featuring artwork of Gotham City's caped crusader on the heatsink.
"Batman: Arkham Asylum adventure has received glowing reviews from press all aorund the world just like our Zotac GeForce GTX 285 has. Putting them both together to make the Zotac GeForce GTX 285: Batman Edition was an obvious combination for us," said Carsten Berger, marketing director, Zotac International.
More than just a pairing of artwork to graphics card, Zotac is also bundling in a coupon for a full copy of Batman: Arkham Asylum, which gamers can redeem at Nvidia's nZone, Zotac says.
Perhaps somewhat of a missed opportunity, Batman will have to fight crime using Nvidia's reference clockspeeds. The GTX 285 comes clocked at 648MHz on the core, 1,242MHz on the memory, and pumps the shader clock at 1,476MHz, which are all identical to a stock GTX 285.
In exactly one week from now, AMD is expected to launch its ATI Radeon HD 5850 and 5870 videocards, which as it turns out will be a precursor of more 5000 series cards to come. And you won't have to wait long, either.
According to news and rumor site DigiTimes, un-named sources at graphics cards makers have been chirping about a new series of ATI Radeon HD 5700 GPUs just around the corner. Codenamed Juniper XT and LE, the Radeon HD 5770 and 5750 should be in stores sometime in October. Both will come with 1GB of GDDR5 video memory on a 128-bit memory bus and support the recently announced multi-monitor Eyefinity technology.
Then in November, AMD will update its flagship offering with the R800-based Radeon HD 5870 X2. The reason for the slight delay, says Fudzilla, is that AMD is trying to figure out how to power and cool the dual-GPU card, which reportedly carries a TDP of 376W. By comparison, the HD 4870 X2's rated TDP is 286W.
In addition to its desktop lineup, AMD will also port its HD 5000 series over to notebooks, including the ATI Mobility Radeon 5400 for entry-level systems, 5600 for mainstream, 5700 for performance, and 5800 for high-end laptops.
Today’s graphics cards can barely handle one 30-inch monitor in gaming. Pushing around 2560x1600 pixels is a challenge for current-generation GPUs. While it’s true that each new generation of graphics cards can push performance, we weren’t quite prepared for the preview AMD gave us of its upcoming DirectX 11–capable graphics hardware.
AMD ushered us into its Sunnyvale, CA, test lab, where it had a high-end system set up with a single graphics card. AMD would only disclose that the card had a single GPU, and was one of the company’s upcoming DirectX 11–capable chips—nothing about the amount of video RAM, clock speeds, or anything else. This particular graphics card also sported six DisplayPort connectors. Attached to each DisplayPort connector was a 30-inch Dell display. The whole affair was configured as a single, 7680x3200 monitor. That's 24.6 megapixels!
Sure, you say, you can hook up six monitors and run Windows… but can it do 3D?
According to Legit Reviews, who is out wining and dining with AMD at the AMD Evergreen Vision launch event, the chip maker plans to launch a pair of new videocards on September 22nd, the ATI Radeon HD 5870 and HD 5850.
AMD hasn't yet said a whole lot about its upcoming graphic cards, but news and rumor side Fudzilla feels pretty confident the RV870-based HD 5870 will come clocked at 825MHz and boast 1,600 shaders, which is twice as many as RV770. It will also pack as many as 2.1 billion transistors, which is more than twice as many as RV770.
Other purported specs include an unspecified amount of GDDR5 memory clocked at 1.3GHz and 150GB/s of bandwidth.
The less powerful HD 5850 is expected to come clocked at 725MHz and ship with 1,440 shaders, while the same GDDR5 memory will race along at 1GHz. Both cards will come with 32 ROPs, Fudzilla says.
With all the hoopla surrounding lifetime warranties by the likes of EVGA, BFG, and XFX, you probably don't own a Foxconn-branded videocard anyway. But in case you do, you may want to hold onto it as a nostalgiac keepsake, because pretty soon, there won't be any new Foxconn-branded videocards.
Foxconn said it's getting out marketing its own brand and has instead rearranged its Channel Service Division (CSD), along with most of its 9,000 employees, to its OEM division.
That doesn't mean Foxconn will suddenly disappear, however. The company still expects to ship 6-7 million of its own-brand motherboards in 2009, which is a whopping 5 million more than it shipped in 2008. As for videocards and other OEM products, the company expects shipments to reach 30 million units, those products just won't bear the Foxconn brand.
Technology moves forward at a rapid pace and any parts you buy today could very well turn obsolete in six months, let alone six years. But if Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang's predictions turn true, the order of magnitude in which graphics technology is set to explode is like nothing we've seen in recent history.
According to Huang, GPU compute is likely to skyrocket by 570x over its current capabilities in the next six years. And never one to pass up a chance to take a dig at Intel and its CPU business, Huang also pointed out that 'pure' CPU performance will be limited to just 3x in same time frame.
If Huang's crystal ball proves flawless, there won't be any question whether or not upcoming GPUs can run Crysis. But gamers won't be the only ones to benefit from the additional horsepower. Huang pointed out a number of "real-world" GPU applications, such as interactive ray tracing, CGI, and others.
According to Jon Peddi research, growth in shipments of discrete videocards might mean the recession is winding down. It's also good news for AMD, whose graphics market share has been on the rise thanks to a combination of stabilizing pricing and a hot-selling Radeon product line.
This allowed AMD to snag a larger share of the overall market, which increased to 34 percent for the quarter. But it's not all bad news for Nvidia, who despite slipping four points still owns the lion's share at 64 percent.
All told, Jon Peddie Research said that 16.81 million discrete videocards where shipped in the second quarter of 2009, which is a 3 percent increase from the first quarter, but still down 15 percent over the same quarter one year ago. But JPR believes the worst is over, noting the numbers "demonstrated some much-needed firmness in Q2'09, adding more evidence that demand has bottomed and a recovery is in the offing."
If you've waited this long to upgrade your graphics card, you might as well finish off the summer with whatever GPU you've been getting by with. That's because both AMD and Nvidia plan to release new videocards this fall..
According to news and rumor site DigiTimes, Nvidia's upcoming 40nm GeForce 210 (GT218) GPU-based cards will start shipping in October thanks to improved yields at foundry partner Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing company (TSMC).
Detailed specs remain light, but the GeForce 210 will come with either DDR2 or DDR3 memory and offer up support for DirectX 10.1 and Shader Model 4.1, sources say. Nvidia will follow up the GT218 launch with GT230 and GT300 parts in the fourth quarter of this year.
As for AMD, the CPU/GPU maker will finally launch its RV870 GPU this fall, possibly as early as September.
Three years from now, two-thirds of all new desktop systems will be mutli-GPU capable and of those, 30 percent will be rocking multiple graphics chips. Or at least that's the not-too-distant future Jon Peddie Research Group (JPR) laid out last week in a report on the history, technology, and future of multi-GPU computing. But are we really on the verge of widespread multi-GPU computing?
Not so fast, says Arstechnica. The JPR report points to the desire for high performance computing as the driving force for multi-GPU setups, noting high performance workloads are highly parallel and unsuited for CPU applications. But according to Arstechnica, JPR hasn't thought through the manufacturing angle.
"GPUs are composed of many parallel processing units, so any multi-GPU system involves simply ganging together still more of such small, simple processor cores," Arstechnica writes. "Because the cores are small and the workload is parallel, there is no limit on core count analogous to the limit on the number of processors that can profitably be used in a single x86 CPU. The limits on single-die GPU horsepower are manufacturing limits."
But it's not just about manufacturing. As Ars points out, only two percent of all desktop PCs sold last year came with multiple GPUs, and in Q4 of last year, only 15.2 million out of 38.5 million PCs sold came with even a single discrete graphics card. It's hard to imagine such a dramatic shift towards multiple GPUs in just three short years from now.
There's more to Ars' argument, which you can read here.
You can finally find Nvidia's dual-GPU GTX 295 videocards in stock at pretty much any e-tailer who carries the part, but if you've waited this long, you might want to consider holding out a few more months. According to the latest rumblings, Nvidia plans to replace the flagship part with a dual GT300 card.
News and rumor site Fudzilla claims to have confirmed the rumor, but other details, including exactly when it will ship, remain sparse. If all goes to plan, Nvidia might have a demo ready in late Q4 2009 and start shipping in January 2010, but that remains to be seen.
The new card will apparently be DirectX 11 compatible and built to run parallel processing CUDA, DirectX compute, or OpenCL. It will also go toe-to-toe with AMD's upcoming dual RV870 card.