For a brief time yesterday, we noticed that Newegg had the MSI Radeon HD 7990 (R7990-6GD5) dual-GPU graphics card on sale for $550 after a $30 rebate card. The price has since gone back up to $890, but there are still a few deals to be found, and perhaps more on the way. That's pretty impressive when you consider these cards were hovering around $1,000 just a little while ago.
Valve confirms Steam boxes will also support Intel and AMD
When Valve finally unwrapped the specs of the 300 beta Steam Machines last week, many assumed that Nvidia would have a lock on Valve’s Linux-based gaming machines. Today though, Valve broke cover yet again telling us that Steam Machines would support the three primary graphics vendors today.
It seems like we're always saying it's a great time to be a PC gamer, and certainly that holds true today. Part of what makes that true right now is a series of price cuts by Nvidia on a handful of graphics cards, including the company's GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost 1GB, GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost 2GB, and GeForce GTX 660. Many Boost cards come with a $75 in-game credit voucher, and most 660s come with a voucher for a free copy of Batman Arkham Origins, while supplies last.
Last month, AMD announced an all-new GPU dubbed the HD 7790 1GB based on new silicon named "Bonaire" that, at $150, was designed to slot in between its HD 7770 and the more-expensive HD 7850. Not surprisingly, Nvidia then announced a revamped “Boost” version of its GTX 650 Ti, with added support for dual-card SLI, higher clock speeds, and a 2GB frame buffer, countering AMD’s effort and shoring up what both companies refer to as the "GPU sweet spot." This month, AMD counterattacks Nvidia's counterattack with a 2GB version of the HD 7790 from Sapphire, leveling the playing field and raising the stakes by including a super-sweet game bundle. Can Nvidia's revamped 650 Ti Boost dominate the midrange GPU field, or is AMD's new silicon the better deal? And how do they measure up to the former champs in this price range? To help settle this feud once and for all, we benchmarked not just the new guys, but all of the cards in this tax bracket.
Note: This article was originally featured in the July 2013 issue of the magazine.
40 pictures that will make you wish you were there
AMD recently unveiled its new line of graphics cards that includes its new top tier R9 290X GPU, but this wasn’t some simple press release announcement, not be a longshot. To commemorate the announcement of its Hawaii GPUs, AMD invited over 100 tech journalists from all around the world to Hawaii for its GPU 14 Tech Day conference. For the journalists there, getting to attend the event was just as exciting as the announcements.
The red team says that with Mantle, its new flagship GPU will “ridicule” the GeForce Titan
With AMD unveiling its new series of GPUs, many gamers want to know how well it performs, namely against Nvidia’s flagship GeForce GTX Titan graphics card.
We had a chance to sit down with AMD Product Manager Devon Nekechuck to see how AMD’s new top dog R9 290X stacks up against the green team’s best single-GPU offering. According to Nekechuck, even though the R9 290X uses a 438 square mm die, which is significantly smaller than the Titan’s GK110 offering, which measures in at 550 square mm, it “will definitely compete with the 780 and Titan.” When we asked what this means in real-world terms, he stated, “with Battlefield 4 running with Mantel (AMD’s new graphics API), the card will be able to ‘ridicule’ the Titan in terms of performance.”
Sometime in the near future, AMD will hold a press event to spill the beans on its next generation Radeon graphics card series. In the meantime, we're left to speculate what the Sunnyvale chip designer has up its sleeve, and much of the speculation has pointed to a die shrink to 20nm. As it turns out, however, AMD has no such plans to pursue 20nm GPUs in the immediate future.
We’ve always said that building on a budget takes far more skill and savvy than building without financial constraints. Every single component choice has to be carefully weighed for its potential benefits and drawbacks. As if that weren’t enough, budget builders have to decide between three prospective platforms: Intel’s LGA1155, and AMD’s AM3+ and FM2. With so many permutations possible, and so much room for error, a cash-strapped builder’s got to wonder which thrifty path offers the best all-around performance. We can think of no better way to answer this important question than with a down-and-dirty DIY dust-up.
Note: This review was originally featured in the June 2013 issue of the magazine.
Don't be surprised if Nvidia launches another budget GPU in 2013
It was previously rumored that Nvidia might end the year with a bang by unveiling a GeForce GTX Titan Ultra and/or GTX 790 graphics card, but maybe the GPU maker also has something a little more affordable up its sleeve. A GPU-Z screenshot posted to a Chinese-language website indicates that a GeForce GTX 750 Ti is in the works, serving as a successor to the GeForce GTX 650 Ti launched last year.
We don’t pay too much attention to the sub-$200 GPU market, but this month both AMD and Nvidia announced new boards at around the $150 mark that offer features previously only found on more expensive GPUs, including multi-GPU support and GPU clock boosting (for Nvidia). These new features suddenly made these budget boards very interesting, especially when dual-card setups are taken into consideration. Naturally, we pitted the new cards against one another in a Sweet-Spot showdown.
Note: This feature was originally featured in the June 2013 issue of the magazine.