The world of technology is really a series of chess matches between various rivals, each one making moves based on a playing board created by the other, all in an attempt to gain an edge and, if possible, declare checkmate (without running afoul of antitrust laws, of course). Two of the bigger participants are AMD and Nvidia, and to counter AMD's recent Radeon HD 7000 series launch, Nvidia may opt to release its upcoming GeForce GTX 680 graphics card a month early.
If you've been postponing your graphics card upgrade until AMD ships its Radeon HD 7950 GPU, go grab a pen or permanent marker and circle January 31, 2012 on your calendar. That's the day it will reportedly go on sale, following the launch of AMD's Radeon HD 7970 videocard, which is available to purchase right now for around $600.
It’s CES time! You know what that means: a ton of new, awesome looking tech is going to be unveiled this week, some of which will never actually see the light of day, and the things that actually end up launching won’t hit the streets for a while yet. Before we dive too deeply into the future, let’s take a look at something that’s actually in the here and now. Today, Radeon HD 7970 graphics cards actually started shipping. Early adopters rejoice!
For those of you who prefer not to roll your own gaming machines and would rather have a boutique system builder do it for your, Maingear, based out of New Jersey, announced it has begun equipping its Shift and F131 rigs with AMD's new Radeon HD 7950 and 7970 graphics cards (check out our performance preview of the 7970 here), and will soon be offering them in its Vybe series.
While most of us were sitting around watching football and ringing in the New Year over the holiday weekend, our friends over at VR-Zone were getting their geek on by modding and benchmarking AMD Radeon HD 7970 graphics cards. They started with a single HD 7970 board, of which they quickly modded with a special BIOS that allowed them to bump up the core voltage from 1.15V to 1.25V.
Every PC gamer who doesn't have an aversion to AMD would love to own a dual-GPU Radeon HD 7990 when it ships in March 2012, but not everyone can afford (or justify) an $849 investment on a graphics card. By that same token, $549 for a Radeon HD 7970 is also beyond some people's budgets, which is why AMD will also release a Radeon HD 7950 based on its Tahiti Pro chipset. Two questions come to mind: How much and when will it launch?
On hindsight, one of the wisest decisions AMD ever made was acquiring ATI Technologies, a costly and controversial move at the time, but one in which the Santa Clara chip designer has been kicking ass with ever since. This point is underscored with AMD's Radeon HD 7000 series (see our Radeon HD 7970 preview here), a killer GPU family that will culminate with the Radeon HD 7990, a monster of a card with two 7970 GPUs and 6GB of total graphics memory.
A slide leaked on Orb-Hardware reveals some pretty gnarly specifications for AMD's upcoming Radeon HD 7970 card. If the slide is accurate -- and Orb-Hardware thinks it is, though admits it's a "little bit old" -- the Radeon HD 7970 will come with a core clockspeed of 925MHz and a whole bunch of onboard memory (3GB of GDDR5 to be exact).
AMD this week rolled out a couple of new Catalyst driver packages to play with, one of them a finished build (Catalyst 11.12 WHQL) and the other a preview driver with support for AMD HD3D technology in conjunction with CrossFireX configurations and a new Stereo 3D mode over HDMI 1.4a (Catalyst 12.1). Release notes highlights after the break.
One hit wonders stick in our collective consciousness, but it pays to diversify – just ask MC Hammer. Along those lines, Zalman – which you probably know mainly for its lineup of cooling gear and PSUs – may be preparing to spread its wings and expand into the ultra-competitive world of Radeon graphics cards, if some slides leaked to the Web over the weekend turn out to be legit.