If you want to get a jump start on upgrading the drivers for your AMD Radeon videocard, you can head over to AMD and grab the Catalyst 12.2 pre-certified drivers today. AMD says these drivers are identical to the upcoming certified release, just without Microsoft's official blessing, which will come later this month or in early March. In other words, this isn't beta code, the drivers just haven't gone through the certification process yet.
PowerColor has proven to be quite the tease these past few weeks by leaking pictures of custom cooled AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series graphics cards, including one with a waterblock. More recently, PowerColor posed a dual-fan Radeon HD 7970 videocard for a single-shot photo shoot, which apparently served as a short precursor to its official debut.
We met with AMD yesterday afternoon to discuss today's launch of the Sunnyvale company's FirePro V3900 graphics card, and the takeaway from that meeting is that this is a high-value, half-height card that brings some respectable horsepower to the entry-level professional graphics market. Priced at a mere $119, you can think of the V3900 as a Radeon HD 6570 dressed in business attire.
Anticipation for Nvidia's upcoming Kepler launch is running high these days. Rumors and early reports suggest Kepler's going to be king of the GPU castle when it's released, promptly stealing back the performance crown that sits atop AMD's Radeon HD 7970, but details have mostly been sparse. That is, until now. A full lineup of Kepler graphics cards has been leaked to the Web, complete with release dates and prices.
Thanks to the wonder of social networking, we're able to catch an early glimpse of PowerColor's upcoming 'LCS HD7970' graphics card. PowerColor posted a photo of the liquid cooled card on its Facebook page with a promise that "Something cool is coming soon!" That "something cool" is a Radeon HD 7970 videocard stripped of its air cooled heatsink and replaced with a single-slot full cover water block from EK Waterblocks.
Picture this: You're driving along in a remote area clear of people, animals, and other cars. There's a posted speed limit with a couple of bullet holes in it. Do you tap the break and adjust your speed accordingly, or take a potshot of your own at the sign and slam the gas pedal in defiance? No matter which way you answer it, PowerColor has a Radeon HD 7950 SKU tailored just for you.
From preview to stable, AMD put the finishing touches on its Catalyst 12.1 driver package and has made it available as a stable download. Curiously missing in the release notes is implicit support for AMD's new Radeon HD 7970 graphics card, or any of the other unreleased 7000 Series, and the same applies to the 12.2 preview release, which also just became available.
One of the big draws to buying an XFX brand videocard is the modder friendly warranty that lets users swap heatsinks and overclock their GPUs without voiding the so-called 'Double Lifetime Warranty,' which is marketing speak for a lifetime guarantee that's transferable to a second owner (provided you registere your card within 30 days of purchase). Now we're hearing that this awesome backing won't apply to AMD's new Radeon HD 7000 series.
If every PC gamer had $550+ to spend on a graphics card, AMD's Radeon HD 7970 would be the hottest selling GPU around. Not everyone does, however, and for some people, AMD's upcoming Radeon HD 7950 presents a compelling compromise between owning a card based on Santa Clara's next-generation GPU architecture and pocketing a few extra bucks in the process. Your time is coming.
Multiple reports up to this point suggest Nvidia will steal back the performance crown from AMD when Kepler arrives, a notion that was highlighted when longtime Nvidia critic, Charlie Demerjian, sang high praise for Kepler at SemiAccurate. But what might be most telling is Nvidia's willingness to talk a little smack before Kepler comes to town, as has been reported.