Looking back at the biggest feature stories of the past year
2013 was a big year for technology, specifically for the enthusiast PC market. We saw a bunch of new high-end graphics cards come out in addition to a new major CPU line from Intel and even a new, updated OS from Microsoft.
The red team says that with Mantle, its new flagship GPU will “ridicule” the GeForce Titan
With AMD unveiling its new series of GPUs, many gamers want to know how well it performs, namely against Nvidia’s flagship GeForce GTX Titan graphics card.
We had a chance to sit down with AMD Product Manager Devon Nekechuck to see how AMD’s new top dog R9 290X stacks up against the green team’s best single-GPU offering. According to Nekechuck, even though the R9 290X uses a 438 square mm die, which is significantly smaller than the Titan’s GK110 offering, which measures in at 550 square mm, it “will definitely compete with the 780 and Titan.” When we asked what this means in real-world terms, he stated, “with Battlefield 4 running with Mantel (AMD’s new graphics API), the card will be able to ‘ridicule’ the Titan in terms of performance.”
Nvidia's newest GPU was built to provide maximum horsepower to small gaming PCs, so we built a Mini-ITX system to see if the card would fit, and if it could keep cool and quiet under pressure
The Mission Nvidia's GeForce GTX Titan video card has a serious cool factor. It's the fastest single-GPU card on the market, for one thing. And it beats the competition without sounding like a fighter jet or getting hot enough to trigger a meltdown. Finally, at 10.5 inches, it's shorter than the reigning single-card champ, the GTX 690, by half an inch, making the Titan suitable for deployment in small form factor (SFF) builds. In fact, when Nvidia launched this card, it specifically pointed out that it was designed for use in SSF rigs, so we just had to see how things would play out in a Mini-ITX environment. And why stop with the card? We figured we might as well throw in a nice CPU, motherboard, a fast SSD, and some extra cooling so we could dabble in overclocking. Even though we started off with the innocent goal of gauging the experience of building a Titan-based SFF rig, in the end we decided to see just how far we could push this tiny system, and came away surprised by how much performance can be had in a rig with such a small footprint.
Note: This feature was originally featured in the June 2013 issue of the magazine.
We're closing in on Cinco de Mayo, which celebrates Mexico's Battle of Puebla fought on May 5, 1862, a victory against overwhelming odds and an important step towards Mexican independence from European rulers. These days, it's a popular holiday for getting drunk, dancing and making loud noises, but maybe that's just me. I think I'm gonna play it low-key this year instead, and take the opportunity to update our Best of the Best hardware with a couple new entries: the EVGA GeForce GTX Titan and AMD's Radeon HD 7850.
A massive GPU that’ll be hard to find, and even harder to beat
Today Nvidia is pulling the wraps off the GK110-based GeForce GTX Titan, a single-GPU card that is expected to easily capture the title of Baddest Ass GPU in the world when benchmarks are released this Thursday, February 21st. The Titan is Nvidia’s “Big Kepler” GPU, and has double the transistors and almost double the CUDA cores of the mid-range GK104 chip found in its flagship GeForce GTX 680 GPU. Though it runs at a lower clock speed in stock trim, it should still offer a sizable performance improvement over the already capable GTX 680.
The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory today announced the completion of Titan, a supercomputer capable of processing more than 20,000 trillion calculations per second. That's equivalent to 20 petaflops, which is 10 times more powerful than Jaguar, ORNL's previous flagship supercomputer. All that power will be put to use to research energy, climate change, efficient engines, materials, and to play Crysis. Wait, what?
As is its way, Blizzard has scarcely uttered a peep about its next MMO opus, codenamed “Titan.” The notoriously secretive developer may, however, have provided us with a rather large hint via a job listing on the prowl for someone who can “Work with major consumer brands to facilitate product placement and licensing within the world of Blizzard Entertainment's next-gen MMO that enhances the gameplay experience." You don't often see Orcs, for instance, drop their battle axes to pick up their T-Mobile Sidekicks and respond to a text. So then, odds are that the ads will make sense one way or another, which pretty much narrows the setting down to present or near-future. Well, unless World of Warcraft 2: Electric Boogaloo Fueled by Dew is on the way. But that's a world we'd prefer not to live in. Or think about. Ever again.
After raking in more money than many small nations from a single game – not to mention getting to meet Mr. T – most people would become complacent. Not Blizzard, though. The PC behemoth's officially going full-steam ahead with its next massively multiplayer megaton, and it's certainly not being shy about its pie-in-the-sky plan: to “eclipse” World of Warcraft.