One thing I've noticed over the last few months is an increased focus on mini ITX builds. New cases like In Win's funky D-Frame Mini and Corsair's LAN-friendly Graphite Series 380T underscore a growing desire to build high-end systems with smaller footprints, but what about the parts that go inside them? It's mostly an issue with graphics cards, and while some mini ITX cases can accept full-length cards, others don't have the space. For those that fall into the latter category, Asus just expanded its mini ITX graphics card line with a shortened version of the GeForce GTX 960.
With the recent launch of Nvidia's Maxwell-based GeForce GTX 970 and 980 graphics cards, the pressure is on AMD to respond, especially since we haven't heard much about its Tonga XT architecture as of late. One alternative to releasing a new graphics card that's proved popular is giving away free games, and rumor has it AMD is getting ready to announce a new Never Settle bundle.
Plus: AMD's commitment to high-end CPUs, DDR4, 5-way GPU support, 20nm GPUs, and more!
In a bit of a surprise to us, AMD and Origin PC wanted to come in together for episode 231 of the No BS Podcast. As you may recall, this is surprising considering that last October, Origin PC’s Co-founder and CEO Kevin Wasielewski announced that it would be dropping AMD graphics cards from its systems, stating, “This decision was based on a combination of many factors including customer experiences, GPU performance/drivers/stability, and requests from our support staff,” and whom also then added, “Based on our 15+ years of experience building and selling award winning high-performance PCs, we strongly feel the best PC gaming experience is on Nvidia GPUs.”
Market research firm Jon Peddie Research (JPR) said the decline in add-in graphics boards (disrete graphics cards, in other words, as opposed to integrated GPUs) during the first quarter of 2014 was "disappointing, but seasonally understandable." On a sequential basis, AIB shipments dropped 6.7 percent, though on a year-to-year basis, they're only down 0.8 percent, compared to desktop PCs as a whole, which declined 1.1 percent.
Nvidia already owns the single-GPU performance crown, having plucked it back from the competition with the release of the GeForce GTX 780 Ti graphics card two months ago after AMD snatched it from atop the GeForce GTX Titan's head. Now that it's back where Nvidia feels it rightfully belongs, the GPU maker has no plans of letting it go any time soon and will defend its crown with the upcoming launch of the GeForce GTX Titan Black Edition and dual-GPU GeForce GTX 790 video cards.
Not all Radeon R9 Series cards come with Battlefield 4
There's been quite a bit of confusion over AMD's updated game bundle for the holiday season. The Sunnyvale chip designer laid out the details earlier this week, and the way it was worded, it sounded like all customers who purchased a Radeon R9 Series graphics card on or after November 13, 2013, would receive a complimentary copy of Battlefield 4. Unfortunately that's not the case -- retailers and add-in board partners ultimately decide which Radeon R9 SKUs will come with a copy of BF4, AMD says.
AMD and Nvidia go to war, Intel's Broadwell chipset gets delayed, Battlefield 4, and more!
The Maximum PC Staff returns for episode #212 of the No BS Podcast! This time around we discuss the AMD Radeon R9 290X as well as the increasingly potent GPU war between AMD and Nvidia. We also chat about Intel delaying its 14 nanometer Broadwell chipset, Battlefield 4, and the results of some performance testing we did with the game in the lab. Finally, we wrap things up by answering some reader questions and delivering our editor picks before topping it off with Gordons' rant.
Traditionally speaking, bundled games with graphics cards have run the gamut from pretty crappy to totally awesome, with most skewed towards the former. Consistently leaning towards the latter, however, have been AMD's Never Settle bundles, in which Radeon HD graphics card owners have been rewarded some sweet titles. For the first time, it looks as though AMD's Never Settle Forever promotion will extend beyond the Radeon HD 7000 Series.
AMD has some big plans for its Radeon graphics cards, details of which have been trickling out over the past couple of weeks. As a primer, we highly recommend checking out our Live Blog coverage of AMD's GPU14 Tech Day 2013 along with Maximum PC Online Editor Jimmy Thang's photo gallery from his visit to Hawaii where the event was held (work can be so grueling sometimes!). Unfortunately those pesky NDAs prevent us from sharing details of AMD's R9 290X and 290 video cards, but in the meantime, we have full specs on no less than five other Radeon R9 and R7 Series parts. Let's get to it!
Well now, here's an interesting development. We received a note from Kevin Wasielewski, co-founder and CEO of boutique system builder Origin PC, alerting us that his company is no longer offering customers an option to configure rigs with AMD graphics cards. All traces of AMD brand GPUs are being removed from the website, and from here on out, Origin PC is dealing exclusively with Nvidia for graphics. Supposedly this isn't a marketing ploy, but a decision that was made for a number of reasons.