If you ask an everyday gamer, he'll probably tell you the PC graphics market is basically a two-horse race between AMD's Radeon and Nvidia's GeForce. Ask a financial analyst and you'll get a different answer: the beancounters think that the graphics market is less of a race and more of a massacre, with Intel playing the role of Leatherface and Ivy Bridge's integrated graphics acting as the chainsaw that delivers the death blow.
Whatever Nvidia plans on announcing at the GeForce LAN/NVIDIA Gaming Festival in Shanghai tomorrow, it's going to be hard-pressed to live up to the hype leading up to its unveiling. The PC gaming community has been a-flutter since the first ominous "IT'S COMING" message hit Nvidia's Facebook page over a week ago. Nvidia's just sent a kick-ass custom crowbar and some cryptic confirmations to the Maximum PC offices in anticipation of tomorrow's big news.
AMD's Radeon 7000 series GPUs have officially been out for, what, just over four months now? Time sure flies! But even though you've been able to shove next-gen Radeon cards into a desktop build for over a third of a year, laptop users haven't been quite as lucky, as mobile variants hadn't been announced -- until today. This morning, AMD announced the Radeon 7000M series with three new GPUs built around the 28nm manufacturing process.
Last week, Nvidia teased us with a vague picture of a black cooler shroud with the words "It's coming" emblazoned underneath the Nvidia logo. We still may not know what "it" is, but now we know when it's coming: this Saturday, April 28th at 7:30 P.M. Pacific time. In a new article up on the Nvidia website, the company says it "will be making a special announcement at GeForce LAN / NVIDIA Gaming Festival (NGF) 2012 in Shanghai, China."
It's coming. Or at least Nvidia tells us it's coming. What the heck is "it?" We're not really sure. Nvidia posted those two ominous words on its Facebook page yesterday, underneath a close-up of the black Nvidia logo on what looked to be a graphics card cooler shroud. How mysterious! One source says it knows what the vague announcement portends, however.
Judging from the comments left on various articles, a lot of you have yet to bite into the juicy GTX 680 apple. Some of you flat-out can't find one available; others have been waiting for 4GB models to start rolling out. Good news for the latter camp: today, both Palit and Gainward announced the launch of new GTX 680s with 4GB of DRAM onboard. (You still probably won't be able to find them that easily, though!)
Barring any last minute surprises, Nintendo will be the first of the big three console makers to come out with a next generation living room game system. It's the Wii U, and it will ship with HD graphics support, a funky new tablet controller, and updated guts that, in theory, should have developers excited. It is, after all, a new toy to play with. So why are a handful of developers dissing the Wii U?
If you've dropped the dough on a spiffy new enthusiast-level Sandy Bridge-E processor, you may decide to drop a corresponding level of dough on a spiffy new enthusiast-level Nvidia HTX 680 graphics card. (If so, we salute your Maximum-ness.) There's just one little caveat you should be aware of, however; Nvidia's initial WHQL drivers for the GTX 680 nerfs data transfer levels to slower PCI-E 2.0 speeds, rather than the blazing fast enthusiast-level PCI-E 3.0 x16 speeds the X79 chipset is capable of.
If those spiffy new Kepler-based GTX 680 graphics cards do in fact end up hitting the streets tomorrow, as has been widely rumored, enterprising overclockers will no doubt be looking to tweak their new hardware to even higher levels of performance. Boosting core frequencies should be a cinch for owners of MSI-brand GTX 680s; the company joined forces with Guru3D to release a new Beta version of its Afterburner overclocking utility, complete with support for Kepler GPUs.
Want to know all the deep, dirty and highly technical details about your graphics card that the Windows Experience Index refuses to share with you? Hardcore system tweakers have been turning to TechPowerUp's GPU-Z for just that kind of info for a while now, and today the application got a fresh new coat of paint. GPU-Z v0.6.0 adds, amongst other things, support for many of the new Radeon 7000 hitting the streets -- and support for GTX 600 cards that will supposedly be hitting the streets soon. (Maybe even this week?)