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.
With home theater PCs becoming increasingly commonplace and the line between computers and fully fledged media centers continuing to blur, we can't think of a better time for AMD to bring back ATI's once popular All-In-Wonder series. Apparently AMD has seen the writing on the wall too, and today announced the AIW's return, now with HD.
It's been a long two years since the last time an All-In-Wonder videocard surfaced, and to see what enticing enchancements AMD has in store for its comeback, you'll have to click through the jump.
On the eve of the GeForce GTX 280 launch just last week, ATI unveiled a bombshell—a brand-new GPU architecture that utilized better process technology and a more power efficient design to outperform Nvidia's gargantuan new GPU. ATI eschewed the huge, hot monolithic GPU for a more compact, but modular core. With twin goals of decreased power consumption and more efficiency per die area, ATI looks poised to dethrone Nvidia, and all without building a videocard that sports an aural footprint roughly equivalent to a Dyson vacuum cleaner.
With the new RV770 GPU comes two products, the $200 Radeon 4850 and the $300 Radeon 4870. While their prices vary wildly, the videocards all use the same GPU. Click the jump to find out exactly what makes it tick.
Being a gamer has never been so good, and it stands to only get better this summer as AMD and Nvidia continue their GPU chess match. Nvidia went for the checkmate by announcing the new 9800GTX+, which features a die shrink and faster clockspeeds than the original 9800GTX, but AMD was quick to respond by releasing the HD 4850 a week ahead of schedule. Now it appears AMD is telling its graphics board partners to go ahead and overclock the new part, who are all too happy to oblige with a second wave of HD 4850 videocards expected to debut by the second week of July. Combined with the recent rumor that the new 4xxx series GPUs will play nice with last generation's 3xxx series in a CrossFire configuration, could this mean we're finally witnessing a more aggressive AMD? Either way, it's your move, Nvidia.
AMD surprised the gaming community by releasing its HD 4850 a full week ahead of schedule, and with the HD 4870 only days away from an official debut, its too late for an encore. That's okay because AMD might have another trick up their sleeve, this one more surprising than the last. Keep reading to see what magic the the sorcerers from Santa Clara have in store.
We've become all too accustomed to watching release dates go by the wayside, only to wait weeks (or even months!) until a released product appears on store shelves. These paper launches are the bane of system builders anxiously anticipating an upcoming upgrade, and major kudos goes to AMD for releasing its HD 4850 almost a full week ahead of schedule! First run batches come equipped with GDDR3 RAM with GDDR5 expected later this year, along with all the requisite goodies (CrossFire, PCI-E 2.0, DirectX 10.1). Mail-in-rebates have already started popping up, pushing pricing down to into $170ish territory. The ahead-of-schedule release comes just one day after Nvidia announced its 9800GTX+ refresh, which the company claims will outperform the HD 4850.
Owning the performance crown isn't enough; Nvidia wants to rule the mainstream, too. The GPU maker's highly popular G92 core has nearly defined the term 'bang-for-buck,' and Nvidia plans to tweak the core one more time to steal some thunder away from AMD's upcoming Radeon HD 4850. The new 9800 GTX+ will shrink the G92 core from 65nm to 55nm, and push the core, shader, and memory clockspeeds to 738MHz, 1836MHz, and 1000MHz respectively. The new card will retail at $249. And if that wasn't enough, the original 9800 GTX will drop down to $199. In other words, game on, AMD.
There's never been a better time to get more GPU bang for your gaming buck, but if you're shopping for an Nvidia graphics card, be prepared to be inconvenienced. Why? Because for some inexplicable reason, Nvidia has decided to enforce Manufacturer Advertised Pricing (MAP), which prevents e-tailers from advertising a price below a pre-determined cutoff point. So instead of seeing the actual price you can expect to pay, you must first add the item to your shopping cart before seeing the final cost. E-tailers that choose not to comply will face a series of penalties, but it's you, Joe Consumer, that really pays for this new pricing strategy.
If you’re already gaming with a G92-based 8800 GTS, there’s very little reason to move up to a G92-based 9800 GTX such as PNY’s XLR8. The architecture in both GPUs is nearly the same, with 128 stream processors, a 256-bit interface, and 512MB of GDDR3. Slightly faster clock speeds yield only a modest bump in performance. That’s not to say the 9800 brings nothing to the table, but you’ll have to decide for yourself whether its offerings are worth the price.