By far the most common question we get asked here at Maximum PC is: “should I upgrade”? The answer to this one is never easy, however AMD just dropped word that should make anyone on the hunt for a new GPU sit up and take notice. The price of the 7000 series parts are about to see another price cut, and they are finally starting to make a pretty compelling price vs. performance case for themselves vs. Nvidia.
Graphics professionals need big-league processing power, and AMD aims to scratch that itch with its FirePro line of GPUs. Earlier this week, the company announced the launch of the FirePro W600, the first of the line to incorporate AMD's 28nm and GCN technology. Hopefully you didn't run out and buy one immediately, because today AMD showed off that card's big brother, the FirePro W9000, and it's a memory-filled beast. And hey, did we just see the first Radeon 7990, too?
When it comes to picking a video card these days the number of choices is pretty overwhelming. If on the other hand you are mortally allergic to the sound of fans, your list suddenly shrinks to a pretty pathetic set of offerings. Sapphire saw an opening, and was showing off a passively cooled Radeon HD 7770 at this year’s Computex.
Another day, another new graphics driver. But rather than being yet another beta driver, the AMD Catalyst 12.4 driver is fully WHQL certified and brings a bevy of useful new features to the virtual table, including Radeon HD 7000 series support for Windows XP, openSuse 12.1 and the just-released Ubuntu 12.04.
My first X79 build, back in November 2011, was pretty modest. Well, as modest as a PC with a 1,000-dollar processor can be. It performed well in CPU-intensive benchmarks, but it had only a single GTX 580, so it did about a third as well as top-tier systems in graphics tests.
Back when I built that PC, the Core i7-3960X was the only Sandy Bridge-E CPU available to us, and the GTX 580 was the fastest single-GPU card on the market. Well, this time I’m going to build a Sandy Bridge-E system with the new quad-core Core i7-3820 and the new fastest single-GPU videocard on the market: AMD’s Radeon HD 7970.
Wait, just kidding. I’m not going to use a 7970. I’m going to use three of ‘em!
A handful of things in life are certain: death, taxes (you better hurry!) and, after seeing the Nvidia GTX 680 drop for just $500, the eventual lowering of AMD Radeon 7900 series prices. That was the common theory, anyways, but several weeks have passed with nary a word from AMD. Could conventional wisdom be wrong? Nope! AMD was just biding its time. Today, the company slashed the prices of not only the 7900 series GPUs, but the low-end Radeon 7770, too.
AMD has made available a new version of its Catalyst driver suite that now fully supports the Radeon HD 7900, 7800, and 7700 series of graphics cards. Outside of boosting support for the latest graphics cards, Catalyst 12.3 is a fairly light update with no mention of any performance improvements, though it does fix a handful of issues some gamers have been experiencing in Windows 7, Vista, and XP.
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.
Microsoft wasn't the only company releasing Windows 8 Consumer Preview software yesterday. If you're rocking a Radeon graphics card, you'll be happy to hear that AMD rolled out new Catalyst drivers specifically tailored for the prerelease OS, complete with support for Windows 8's WDDM 1.2 features.
AMD is giddy as all get-out today over the arrival of its Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition and HD 7750 graphics cards, the first of which is the world's first graphics card equipped with a 1GHz GPU, the Sunnyvale chip maker claims. The 7750's special talent is that it doesn't require its own separate power connector and pushing gaming grade pixels while staying under 75W.