We're starting to see some unique twists on Nvidia's recently launched GeForce GTX 680 graphics card, including a model from Gainward that's been outfitted with the company's new Phantom II cooler. According to Gainward, the new and improved Phantom II cooler offers better thermal performance, runs quieter, and is more structurally sound than the previous generation Phantom.
It's been exactly a week since Nvidia officially launched its Kepler architecture with the release of the GeForce GTX 680 GPU, and though parts are in short supply (a quick glance at Newegg shows that every single SKU is out of stock), manufacturers are nonetheless trying to stand out from the crowd. Palit's fashion statement comes in the form of a triple fan GeForce GTX 680 with alternating blade rotations.
Great news everyone, Kepler is here! Of course, you already knew that because you have MaximumPC.com bookmarked, right? And if you have MPC bookmarked, then you must have starting reading through our "Kepler Unveiled: Nvidia's GTX 680 Benchmarked In-Depth!" article (and if you haven't, be sure to check it out) the moment the NDA lifted this morning. But do you know which system builders are carrying them?
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.
AMD's already released high-end and low-end versions of its new Radeon 7000 lineup, but we've barely heard anything about Nvidia's upcoming Kepler GPUs. When will the first 6xx products launch? Heck, what season will Kepler launch in? Your guess is as good as ours. (At least there are spec rumors floating around.) We know one thing for certain, however; the yields of the 28nm wafers used to make Kepler GPUs have been horrible, and it's going to cost Nvidia big in the upcoming months.
Anticipation for Nvidia's upcoming Kepler launch is running high these days. Rumors and early reports suggest Kepler's going to be king of the GPU castle when it's released, promptly stealing back the performance crown that sits atop AMD's Radeon HD 7970, but details have mostly been sparse. That is, until now. A full lineup of Kepler graphics cards has been leaked to the Web, complete with release dates and prices.
Nvidia may give Ultrabooks a major shot in the arm. The GPU maker is reportedly working on a version of Kepler designed specifically for Intel's new form factor for notebooks, which is great news if integrated graphics tend to make you sad. Details are fairly scarce, but the idea of a discrete next-generation GPU nestled inside a slim Ultrabook is certainly an intriguing proposition.
Multiple reports up to this point suggest Nvidia will steal back the performance crown from AMD when Kepler arrives, a notion that was highlighted when longtime Nvidia critic, Charlie Demerjian, sang high praise for Kepler at SemiAccurate. But what might be most telling is Nvidia's willingness to talk a little smack before Kepler comes to town, as has been reported.
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.
The onslaught of smartphones, tablets, and sundry cloud-based devices might give us ways to be “connected” in more places at more times, but they don’t lessen the wonders to behold in a full-fledged PC. Not by a long shot.
In fact, despite all the dire prognostications about the PC, our personal computers are poised to get a major boost in performance, thanks to all the new technologies and components coming to fruition next year. We’re going to give you the complete rundown on what to expect—can someone say fastest CPU ever?—so you can start plotting your next build now.
Oh, we’ll still see plenty of tablets, to be sure, and we’ll tell you how those happening slabs will change, but we’re also going to see a major push by Intel to make stylish, super-portable, super-affordable laptop PCs an even more compelling option.
Yes, there’s a lot to look forward to in 2012. And you can start peeping at what lies ahead by hitting the jump!