Eurocom says its new Racer laptop is "the most powerful 15-inch notebook on the planet," a claim which hinges on how you opt to configure it.
It certainly doesn't hurt that the Racer is built around Intel's new Sandy Bridge platform, but the real treat for gamers is that "the Eurocom Racer will support up to a 100W GPU which will allow it to run up to an Nvidia GeForce GTX 485M, AMD Radeon Mobility HD 6970M, or Nvidia Quadro FX 3800M graphics solution," the OEM says.
Other configuration options include up to 32GB of DDR3-1333/1600MHz RAM (four RAM slots), two drive bays with support for up to 1.75TB of storage, a 9-in-1 memory card reader, a pair of SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, eSATA, HDMI out, Firewire, audio jacks, Wireless-N, and a 1920x1080 resolution on the Racer's 15.6-inch backlit LED display.
The Eurocom Racer will start shipping on February 1, 2011. No word yet on price.
Nvidia designs graphics processors and TSMC manufactures them. Between the two, they've managed to ship a billion GeForce graphics chips, an impressive milestone that took less than 12 years to reach, the two companies said in a joint statement.
"Since inventing the GPU more than a decade ago, Nvidia has driven innovation in these processors at a rate virtually unmatched in the technology industry," said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and chief executive office, Nvidia. "With our close partnership with TSMC, the complexity of these devices has increased more than 1,000 times, enabling enormous progress in computers ranging from handhelds and PCs to workstations and data centers."
Nvidia is what's referred to as a fabless company, meaning they don't own any chip fabrication plants. Like other fabless companies, Nvidia contracts manufacturing through one or more foundries -- in this case, TSMC -- as opposed to companies like Intel, which both designs and builds its own chips.
If you plug 11188-01-40G into Google, you'll find it references a Sapphire HD 6950 videocard with 1GB of GDDR5 memory, or half the amount of a standard 6950 part. You can already find a handful of U.K. vendors selling the new card, though it hasn't shown up on familiar U.S. sites like Newegg just yet.
The obvious upshot here is that these cards will cost less than their fully equipped brethren. Sapphire's above mentioned model is the only one we've found, but so far it doesn't appear anything other than the amount of RAM has changed; clockspeeds and other features still match up.
While Sapphire appears to be leading the charge, German website HT4U.net says other vendors will soon follow, offering both HD 6950 and 6970 cards less memory.
Would you be interested in a Cayman card with 1GB of memory?
The fastest single videocard on the planet belongs to AMD, but that's only because the HD 5970 sports a pair of GPUs under the hood. Nvidia, meanwhile, owns the single-GPU performance crown with its GTX 580 videocard, but it may soon steal the overall performance crown from AMD, too.
According to Tech Report, EVGA is all too happy to show off Nvidia's next dual-GPU monster, though the company isn't willing to give many specifics. As an exclusive Nvidia partner, we suspect what you're seeing is a dual-GPU GeForce 500 series card -- probably a GTX 595 -- equipped with two GF110 GPUs.
From the pictures, we can see there's at least 1GB of memory (and probably much more), three DVI outputs, and a pair of eight-pin power connectors. Cooling is provided by a custom heatsink with three fans.
The fellas over at TechPowerUp have posted a guide detailing how to mod a Radeon HD 6950 (Cayman Pro) videocard into a Radeon HD 6970 (Cayman XT), both of which are based on the same GPU design. The main difference comes down to the number of shaders -- 1408 on the 6950 and 1535 on the 6970.
According to TechPowerUp, the 6950's missing shaders are the result of a deactivation scheme in the card's BIOS. That's good news for modders, as unlike hardware locks, software locks are usually easy to reverse.
Bear in mind that you're on your own should something go wrong, but according to the guide, activating those dormant shaders involves nothing more than flashing the BIOS. Once you're finished with that, you can goose the clockspeeds to match that of a 6970 videocard.
TechPowerUp tested its method on 14 cards from 7 different vendors and in each case determined that the mod "unlocks and works fine" without any errors.
Futuremark originally delayed the release of its much anticipated 3DMark 11 benchmark in order to "fix a couple of difficult bugs rather than patching the benchmark immediately after launch." Mission accomplished, as today's update to version 1.01 doesn't quite qualify as "immediately," though it does come just two weeks after the benchmark went live.
"Unfortunately such wide scale use has brought to light a few issues that weren't caught by our own testing," Futuremark told us in an email. "So today we are releasing an update to 3DMark 11 to fix those problems and add a couple of requested features. Note, until Nvidia release new drivers SLI will continue to be unavailable in 3DMark 11."
There are eight fixes and feature additions for all editions for 3DMark 11, three for the Advanced and Professional editions only, and three for the just the Professional edition.
Barring any subsequent hotfixes, AMD graphics card owners have one last driver package to download and install before 2010 comes to a close, Catalyst 10.12.
AMD's newest drivers add support for DivX on the Radeon HD 6800 Series of cards, support for OpenGL 4.1, and includes the AMD Stream 2.3 SDK release. Each one of these comes with their own subset of improvements, particularly OpenGL 4.1, which introduces a bunch of new features and performance improvements.
Installing the Catalyst 10.12 driver suite also stomps out several known issues for Windows 7, Vista, and XP, everything from solving random tearing issues (when playing back XVID files on an extended display) to getting rid of the intermittent hanging issue in Dragon Age Origins.
If you're wondering which is the faster videocard, Nvidia's GeForce GTX 580 or AMD's Radeon HD 6970, don't take this as the end-all-be-all. But for what it's worth, Nvidia's crown jewel came out ahead of AMD's upcoming Cayman part in the newly released 3DMark 11 benchmark during Fudzilla's limited round of tests.
Fudzilla said the HD 6970 scored lower than 8,000 at entry settings while the GTX 580 posted 8700 in the same test. The GTX 570 scored just above 8,000.
At the performance level, AMD's Cayman card posted a score around 5,300, while the GTX 580 scored a little below 6,000 and the GTX 570 managed 5,250. Things leveled out a little bit at the Extreme settings, with the HD 6970 posting 1,800, while the GTX 580 scored 1,950.
You should have no trouble getting your game on this holiday shopping season. Let's recap your latest options. OnLive just launched its Micro Game console for $99, Nvidia recently outed its GeForce GTX 570 GPU, and according to DigiTimes, AMD is preparing to launch its new Radeon HD 6970 and HD 6950 graphics cards (Cayman) in the third week of December.
Citing un-named sources, DigiTimes says AMD's HD 6970 isn't quite up to par with Nvidia's GTX 580 videocard, so you can figure AMD's part to cost around $50 to $70 less. Previous rumors suggest this flagship part will come with 2GB of memory on a 256-bit bus chugging along at 1375MHz, 96 texture units, 32 ROPs, and a core clockspeed of 880MHz.
How many of these cards will actually be available in December remains to be seen. There's already talk that initial shipment volumes will be limited, so if you're holding out for one of these parts, get your trigger finger ready starting December 15th.
News and rumor site Fudzilla claims to have received confirmation that AMD's dual-GPU Radeon HD 6990 videocard, otherwise known as "Antilles," won't show up on store shelves until the first quarter of 2011.
As the water cooler banter goes, AMD originally wanted to ship its dual-chip card before the end of the year, and if that's true, it raises of the question of why it's being postponed. It could be that AMD wants to fine tune the architecture and drivers, or maybe there's a problem that requires additional time to address. It's all speculation, with the only thing we know for sure (assuming Fudzilla's sources are solid) is that there won't be any Radeon HD 6990 cards in Santa's sleigh this year.
A recently leaked slide of the HD 6990 part reveals that the card will come with 3840 stream processors, 4GB of GDDR5 memory, and deliver up to 6.0TFLPS. Under load, the HD 6990 is supposed to draw a manageable 300W, and 30W when idle.