Computers are a cutthroat business, and often times compatibility has nothing to do with the technology at hand, but licensing agreements and corporate politics. All that stands between SLI on an Intel motherboard (or CrossFireX on Nvidia silicon) are drivers and a BIOS tweak. Don't believe it? Look at HP's Blackbird 002.
Now take that same concept and apply it to the heated GPU wars. With AMD gobbling up Havok and Nvidia acquiring AGEIA, the race is on to not only deliver the fastest graphics card, but physics acceleration too. Of course, developers would prefer one standard, and Nvidia indicated it would make PhysX available for free through its CUDA SDK, but if ATI had any plans of going that route, it appears they've been beaten to the punch.
To learn more about the modified drivers and where and when you can get them, click through the jump.
From the same company who brought enthusiasts sub-zero CPU temperatures through its Vapocill cooling sytem, and, more recently, was chosen by HP to handle cooling duties for the Blackbird 002, Asetek now sets its sights on the Radeon HD 4870 and becomes the first to offer a liquid cooling solution for ATI's new flagship videocard. Not settling for simply being first, Asetek looks to set the bar high by touting a GPU temperature reduction by as much as 26 degrees, while operating at a fairly quiet 30 dBA, all in a single-slot cooling package.
On the eve of the GeForce GTX 280 launch just last week, ATI unveiled a bombshell—a brand-new GPU architecture that utilized better process technology and a more power efficient design to outperform Nvidia's gargantuan new GPU. ATI eschewed the huge, hot monolithic GPU for a more compact, but modular core. With twin goals of decreased power consumption and more efficiency per die area, ATI looks poised to dethrone Nvidia, and all without building a videocard that sports an aural footprint roughly equivalent to a Dyson vacuum cleaner.
With the new RV770 GPU comes two products, the $200 Radeon 4850 and the $300 Radeon 4870. While their prices vary wildly, the videocards all use the same GPU. Click the jump to find out exactly what makes it tick.
Being a gamer has never been so good, and it stands to only get better this summer as AMD and Nvidia continue their GPU chess match. Nvidia went for the checkmate by announcing the new 9800GTX+, which features a die shrink and faster clockspeeds than the original 9800GTX, but AMD was quick to respond by releasing the HD 4850 a week ahead of schedule. Now it appears AMD is telling its graphics board partners to go ahead and overclock the new part, who are all too happy to oblige with a second wave of HD 4850 videocards expected to debut by the second week of July. Combined with the recent rumor that the new 4xxx series GPUs will play nice with last generation's 3xxx series in a CrossFire configuration, could this mean we're finally witnessing a more aggressive AMD? Either way, it's your move, Nvidia.
AMD surprised the gaming community by releasing its HD 4850 a full week ahead of schedule, and with the HD 4870 only days away from an official debut, its too late for an encore. That's okay because AMD might have another trick up their sleeve, this one more surprising than the last. Keep reading to see what magic the the sorcerers from Santa Clara have in store.
Compared to AMD’s gracefully engineered Radeon 3870 X2, Nvidia’s GeForce 9800 GX2 (represented here by Gigabyte’s implementation) is something of a kludge. But when we consider the performance that Nvidia’s design delivers, it’s hard to complain about elegance.
I’ve been skeptical of multi multi-GPU support since the days of
Nvidia’s original Quad SLI. Back then, bad drivers, a lack of game
support, and 30-inch panels that cost a month’s pay made the prospect
AMD’s Radeon HD 3870 is a fine GPU for the money. It doesn’t outperform Nvidia’s GeForce 8800 GTX, and it lags far behind the extravagant 8800 Ultra, but it does deliver a phenom— er, make that a tremendous price/performance ratio.