Being an early adopter doesn't always net you bragging rights. Just ask your neighbor how his HD-DVD player is working out for him, or your co-worker what he bought with his Apple gift card after being one of the first to own an iPhone. And in the world of PCs, being the first to own a Geforce GTX 280 means you're stuck watching others pay $499 for the same videocard you plopped down $649 for just weeks ago.
It's because of this that XFX's latest announcement comes as an epic win for its customers. The company says it wants to "thank you for your loyalty and believing in the XFX brand," and to prove it, XFX is issuing up to $120 cash back for anyone who purchased an XFX-brand Geforce GTX 280 or 260 videocard between June 16, 2008 and July 11, 2008. This from the same company that offers a double-lifetime warranty on all its videocards.
You knew it would happen sooner or later, the only question being which company would be the first to offer a 2GB graphics card? PowerColor answers that question today by annoucing the world's first videocard carrying a 2GB frame buffer. Or more accurately, the world's first desktop graphics card packing 2GB of memory, as workstation cards have already reached that milestone.
The fat frame buffer will first appear on PowerColor's PCS HD4850 built on ATI's RV770 core and use GDDR3 memory instead of the newer (and more expensive) GDDR5. PowerColor advertises a "massive memory bandwidth up to 57.6GB/sec" capable of "providing faster graphical performance," though it remains to be seen what impact the additional memory will have on gaming performance. Along with the added memory, PowerColor also says the new card will utilize its Professional Cooling System (PCS), which the company claims will result in up to a 10C drop in temps.
PowerColor certainly seems exciting over its announcements. Question is, are you?
My trusty PC is long in tooth, and it’s 7900GT just no longer serves well enough for my gaming desires. I’ve taken to dropping items in my New Egg cart on the weekends and putting together my own Dream Machine, only to sigh and dump everything out when I realize that my wife would only strangle me for spending that much on anything short of diamonds for her. Hey, I live in Vermont, the women out here are tough.
Fortunately Nvidia has introduced new prices on the GeForce GTX 280 and 260 to be even more competitive with ATI’s line. The GeForce GTX 280 is now available for around $499. The GeForce GTX 260 is now going for around $299.
So maybe I can slip one of those into my current rig before she gets the credit card bill. After all it is better to beg forgiveness, than ask permission. At least I’ll have a nice new videocard to console myself with afterwards.
No, this wasn’t a typo, GPU manufacturer Albatron Retrotechnology is actually releasing the Nvidia 8400, 8500, and 8600 for the PCI, not PCI-Express architecture. What kind of performance can we expect from these “phat” cards riding the skinny bus?
Click the jump to find out, and why even power users might want one.
When it rains, it pours, and Nvidia could use a good downpour to put out the flames. Perhaps literally. Just last week Dave Murphy reported Nvidia was setting aside $150 to $200 million to cover warranty and repair costs associated with an "abnormal failure rate" in its mobile graphics cards, news of which sent Nvidia stock spiraling downward. Now there's speculation that the failures might not be limited to just a specific batch of notebook GPUs.
Rumor, news, and review site The Inquirer is saying that "all the G84 and G86 parts are bad. Period. No exceptions." That includes both mobile and desktop parts. According to The Inq, both use the same application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC), and both ASICs are plagued by a heat related problem originating from an un-named substrate or bumping material. Because of this, The Inq surmises more failures are iminent. But are they?
Find out what Nvidia has to say about the failures after the jump.
It looks like stock prices aren't the only thing falling over at Nvidia. Competition continues to heat up in the latest round of GPU leapfrog, and reports flanking from across the web over the weekend were claiming Nvidia would issue price cuts to its add-in board partners (AIBs). The GTX 260 was to be the beneficiary of a $30 chop, while the high-end GTX 280 was to get slashed by $90. Even the 9800 GTX was to receive a $17 snip. Scouring Newegg's selection, it appears the reports were right on the money.
Thanks to Nvidia's annoying Manufacturer Advertised Pricing (MAP) policy, you'll need to do a bit of extra clicking to see the new pricing structure. But assuming your index finger is up to the task, you'll spot several GTX 280 cards selling for $499, and even lower after rebate. GTX 260 videocards have dropped down to $329, and a small handful of 9800 GTX cards have dipped below the $200 mark.
Nvidia shares dropped by a fourth today after the company announced it was setting aside a one-time hit of $150 to $200 million dollars to cover warranty and repair costs associated with an "abnormal failure rate" on its mobile graphics cards. The exact sources of the increased GPU problems are unknown at this time, although Nvidia believes the cards' increased thermal issues stem from weaker manufacturing and packing materials.
According to a DigiTimes report, Gainward, a longtime Nvidia add-in-board (AIB) partner, is cozying up with ATI in preparation to launch Radeon HD 4850 and 4870 series videocards, with HD 3800 series to follow soon afterward. If true, Gainward's decision to play the field could set the tone for other exclusive Nvidia partners to do the same, and there's never been a better time to consider making the jump.
AMD left themselves open to much criticism when it acquired ATI, and with good reason. With Intel taking back the reigns in the CPU war and AMD struggling with increased debt, jumping head first into graphics may have seemed a curious decision at the time. It didn't help matters when the suits in Santa Clara all but surrendered the high end market to Nvidia, and for a long time, many wondered if not only AMD would fall, but if it would take ATI down with them. Now it appears the tides are finally turning.
Click through the jump to see why Gainward's reported decision could be such an important one.
Chances are you own at least one high tech, handheld gadget, whether it be an iPod, iPhone, PSP, or other device capable of playing back movies. It's also a safe bet to say you probably don't look forward to transcoding your favorite flicks into a compatible format, particularly when dealing with HD content. That's what makes CyberLink's achievement so noteworthy.
Computers are a cutthroat business, and often times compatibility has nothing to do with the technology at hand, but licensing agreements and corporate politics. All that stands between SLI on an Intel motherboard (or CrossFireX on Nvidia silicon) are drivers and a BIOS tweak. Don't believe it? Look at HP's Blackbird 002.
Now take that same concept and apply it to the heated GPU wars. With AMD gobbling up Havok and Nvidia acquiring AGEIA, the race is on to not only deliver the fastest graphics card, but physics acceleration too. Of course, developers would prefer one standard, and Nvidia indicated it would make PhysX available for free through its CUDA SDK, but if ATI had any plans of going that route, it appears they've been beaten to the punch.
To learn more about the modified drivers and where and when you can get them, click through the jump.