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?)
Another day, another pair of new AMD Radeon HD graphics cards, this time from Sapphire and PowerColor. The two offerings are from opposite ends of AMD's assault on the entire price point spectrum -- the PowerColor being a 7770 card, and the Sapphire a high-end 7970 -- but they're both capable of hitting 1GHz speeds out of the box.
With a nary a peep from rival Nvidia, AMD today rolled out two additional 28nm graphics cards, both of which are built around the Pitcairn GPU that nestles into the mainstream spot just below Tahiti. The new cards are the Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition ($349) and Radeon HD 7850 ($249), and they both feature AMD's 28nm Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture specifically designed for general computing.
If your AMD-based build keeps getting all hot and bothered, your rampant "incognito mode" Chrome browsing isn't to blame -- you've probably got a problem with thermals. Pouring a bucket of ice cold water over your PC isn't recommended, but that's not to say that a little aqua can't help cool things down. PowerColor just announced what it claims is the first Radeon HD 7970 with a liquid cooling waterblock built right onto the card.
Following AMD's official unveiling of its Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition and 7750 graphics cards, boutique system builder Maingear announced it already has stock on hand is offering the chip maker's new Cape Verde graphics cards as options in its Shift and F131 gaming desktops. Maingear also plans to shove the mainstream parts into its Vybe desktop "in the near future."
There's a new version of TechPowerUp's GPU-Z utility available to download, v0.5.9. The newest build has no trouble recognizing AMD Radeon HD 7750 and 7770 graphics cards, and support has also been added for GF108-based Nvidia GeForce GT 520, GTX 555 (non-mobile), GeForce 305M, and 610M GPUs. Some long overdue love was finally given to Packard Bell, which is recognized as a PCI vendor in the latest version of GPU-Z.
Maybe the Radeon HD 7970 graphics cards launched earlier this month wasn't quite your cup of tea. At $550, you should make damn sure your proverbial tea meets your tastes before you buy it. But that's the thing about graphics cards; like tea, they come in a variety of flavors. Today, AMD launched its second 28nm next-gen GPU, the Radeon HD 7950, another high-end offering -- but this one costs $100 less than its 7970 sibling.
AMD might be in for a dogfight when Nvidia's Kepler architecture leaves the porch. Early reports suggest Nvidia has a real winner on its hands and that Kepler is such a strong performer, even Nvidia's mid-range cards will give AMD's high-end GPUs a run for their money. The information available is vague and scattered, but it all points to Nvidia stealing back the performance crown.