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.
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.
Wouldn't it be awesome if there were do-overs in everyday life like there are in some sports? That's pretty much what EVGA is offering through a line of graphics cards that now feature "Double BIOS," the marketing name for what's essentially a secondary BIOS in case you screw something up. It's also there to support experimentation with custom BIOSes, and should something go wrong, BIOS recovery is a flip of the switch away.
You don't see too many graphics cards that combine a standard heat sink with a water block. One of the most recent companies to take this is approach is Asus, which offered up a sneak peek of its upcoming GeForce GTX 770 Poseidon graphics card under its Rebublic of Gamers (ROG) brand. It features the firm's new DirectCU H2O design which can be used in a standard air or liquid cooled setup, offering gamers a bit of flexibility as their rigs change over time.
We were wrapping up our annual Dream Machine issue so we could only spare three armchair experts this time around: Our host and Senior Editor Josh Norem, Deputy Editor Gordon Mah Ung, and Associate Editor Tom McNamara. We still managed to blather on as usual, however! Our topics for Episode 206 of the Maximum PC Podcast included the new GTX 760 video card from Nvidia, Microsoft's upcomingXbox One console, and AMD's current strategies.
Just before the release of the GeForce GTX Titan this month, AMD held a conference call with tech media to reiterate its position in the market today, its plans going forward, and to drive home one particular point: AMD has the fastest hardware available, period. At the time of the call, we thought, “Well, that’s debatable.” But AMD pressed on, and further clarified its position by stating that the Asus Ares II was the fastest GPU available, bar none. Since most of us on the call hadn’t seen that card, and most people never will since only 999 were produced, we didn’t dispute the claim, nor did we have the data to know if the claim was correct. Well, about a week later, the card arrived from Asus and now that we’ve run the benchmarks, it looks like AMD was telling the truth—the Ares II is without a doubt the fastest single-card GPU available. So step aside, Nvidia GeForce GTX 690, there’s a new sheriff in town, and it’s not only faster in benchmarks, it runs cooler and quieter, to boot.
Note: This review was originally featured in the April 2013 issue of the magazine.
Video card vendors have an overclocking frenzy with Nvidia’s newest GPU
Nvidia dropped its new GTX 760 this week and gave gamers a cheaper 700-Series card in the process. MSI, Gigabyte, Asus, and EVGA have all recently announced overclocked $260 versions of the card as a result.
Perhaps things were getting a little awkward for Club 3D in trying to maintain a relationship with both AMD and Nvidia, two competing GPU makers. Whatever the reason, from this point forward Club 3D is solely in AMD's corner and will no longer be producing video cards with Nvidia's silicon. Club 3D provided an official statement on its decision, noting that it's been a long ride serving both companies, but that it now wants to put all its focus on developing AMD cards.
In Episode #204 of the Maximum No BS Podcast, Maximum PC Deputy Editor Gordon Mah Ung strikes back after being on hiatus from episode #203. Joining Gordon on this Podcast are podcast host Senior Editor Josh Norem, Associate Editor Tom McNamara, and intern Chris Zele.
Over the past several weeks, AMD has been making a conscious effort to help its hardware partners work through any supply issues they may have been dealing with in regards to the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition graphics card. A company spokesman reached out to Maximum PC today to let us know those efforts have begun to "bear fruit," and indeed a quick peek at Newegg reveals one of the lowest prices we've seen for a 7970 GHz card.