After the clusterhump surrounding Microsoft's Surface strategy that resulted in the Redmond outfit taking a $900 million charge on unsold inventory, you might not think Steve Ballmer and company would be all that eager to release a second generation slate. Not only is there strong evidence to support the notion that Surface 2 is coming, but there are even details on what hardware will be inside.
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.
Purchase qualifying Nvidia graphics card, receive Batman: Arkham Origins
If you're looking to pick up a new video card and are interested in playing Batman: Arkham Origins, now's the best time to jump on a preorder. Nvidia has joined forces with Warner Bros. to provide digital copies of Batman: Arkham Origins with any qualifying purchases of GeForce graphics cards through participating retailers.
Before you go spending a grand or more on Nvidia's GeForce GTX Titan graphics card, you should take a close look at MSI's new GeForce GTX 780 Lightning. This is one hell of a beastly card with MSI's "Triple Force Architecture", dual BIOSes, overclocked specifications, and a 20-phase (16+3+1) power design in case you want to goose clockspeeds even further. It also features MSI's Military Class 4 components.
Add "GeForce GTX Titan Ultra" to your holiday wish list (just in case)
Nvidia hasn't said whether or not more video cards are on tap for 2013, but would anyone really be surprised if there were? You shouldn't be. The holiday shopping season is still several months away and rumor has it Nvidia may end the year with a bang by launching a high-end model such as the GeForce GTX 790. The GTX 790 could end up being a Titan Ultra card or it could be a graphics card with dual GK110 GPUs.
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Blacklist is now available to purchase for PC (and the usual crop of consoles), and if you've already grabbed your copy or plan to pick it up, you might want to check out the latest beta drivers for your graphics card. It doesn't matter whether you roll with AMD or Nvidia, both GPU makers released new beta drivers aimed, in part, at optimizing performance for Blacklist.
According to newly released data by Jon Peddie Research (JPR), AMD was the big winner in the GPU sweepstakes in the second quarter of 2013, at least in terms of market share growth. AMD bumped up its share of the GPU market to 21.9 percent, a gain of 10.9 percent sequentially, while Intel grew a more modest 6.2 percent sequentially for a 62 percent stranglehold on the market.
UPDATE: Nvidia denies knowing anything about a possible PC port
Rockstar Games has a habit of making PC gamers wait for ports of its popular Grand Theft Auto franchise, and given the publisher's lack of information regarding its upcoming Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V) release to Windows, we weren't really anticipating an exception. Until now, that is. After reading some comments Nvidia made about upcoming titles, we're optimistic that GTA V will crash the PC party sometime this fall.
Nvidia this week reported $977.2 million in total revenue for its second quarter of fiscal 2014 ended July 28, 2013, up 2.4 percent from $954.7 million the prior quarter though down 6.4 percent from $1.04 billion in the same period a year ago. This led to a 23.8 percent sequential jump in profit to $96.4 billion, or $0.16 per share. Not too shabby considering Tegra sales fell off a cliff last quarter.
Microsoft found out the hard way that it's not so easy competing in the hardware space, just as Acer warned. On the flip side, Google proved that success stories are possible by launching its own brand Nexus 7 tablet (built by Asus), which is widely considered the best Android tablet available. Now there's talk that Nvidia might jump into the hardware space with an Android tablet of its own.