Puget Systems announced last week the creation of Puget Labs with grand plans to test and benchmark products, publish the results for all the world to see, and offer up explanations as to why a particular brand of RAM or hard drive or videocard or whatever didn't make the cut for one of the boutique builder's systems. Puget's goal is complete transparency between the system builder and its customers, and by taking this approach, we felt it was only a matter of time before the fireworks start to fly. It took just two days.
Power users who like to live on the bleeding edge have been able to download Nvidia's GeForce 280.26 drivers in beta form for some time now. As for everyone else who owns an Nvidia graphics card? Your day has come. Nvidia's latest drivers, which put a heavy emphasis on 3D Vision support, are now WHQL certified and ready for mass consumption.
When we took a look at the reference version of AMD’s Radeon HD 6990, we found a board that was impressive on a number of fronts, though not all the impressions were positive. The HD 6990 builds in two full Radeon HD 6970 GPUs onto a single board, each with its own 2GB of frame buffer. In our initial testing, performance looked to be very fast, but the reference board was also pretty noisy under load. At last, XFX shipped us an actual retail Radeon HD 6990, so we’re finally able to render a verdict on AMD’s killer card.
Failed hardware is just a part of life, simple as that. You can nudge the odds in your favor by ensuring adequate cooling and keeping that foot long energy drink away from the edge of your desk so that if it spills it won't ooze into your mid-tower chassis, but there's no foolproof way to guarantee your hardware won't give up the ghost. When that happens, your next line of defense is a warranty, and graphics card maker Galaxy just announced it's offering an "extended warranty" period on its videocards. Cards purchased on or after August 1, 2011 are now backed by a 3-year warranty.
AMD on Wednesday made available it's Catalyst 11.7 driver package for Radeon graphics card owners, and in doing so, the chip maker fixed a barrel full of issues, many of them related to Windows 7. AMD said the Catalyst 11.7 package addresses any and all quirks with mouse cursor lag, and if you've been experiencing system hangs on specific HDMI and DisplayPort displays using the previous driver package, 11.7 will fix that too.
If you hear Taps playing in the background, don't panic and think it's meant for you. According to AMD, it's entry level discrete graphics cards that aren't long for this world, not when you have accelerated processing units (APUs) that are more than capable of pushing pixels around your screen. And don't go shedding any tears for low-end videocards, AMD says it's all for the best.
Try not to look smug as you reach around and pat yourself on the back if you're the type of user who, come hell or high water, absolutely refuses to touch new driver and software updates with a 10-foot pole until they've been tested downloaded by others and verified to work. Also get ready to welcome a few more to your ranks after AMD's Catalyst 11.6 driver caused some systems kick it old school with a blue screen of death.
EVGA's Jacob Freeman decided to post a handful of pictures of the company's upcoming GeForce GTX 580 Classified videocard. This beastly looking graphics card sports a funky heatsink/fan design and several high end goodies for overclockers that you've come to expect from EVGA's Classified line. Hit the jump to find out how this card differentiates itself from EVGA's seven other GTX 580 SKUs.
Remember all the hoopla leading up to Nvidia's Fermi launch? We were teased with leaked photos, benchmarks, and several delays due to reported defects. Nvidia eventually ironed out whatever bugs it needed to in order to get Fermi to market in the form of a GTX 480, a fast videocard with a group of stream processors disabled. It also ran hot and a little bit loud, ultimately leading us to declare the the GTX 580 "the real Fermi" (see our review here). We're expecting a much smoother rollout to Fermi's successor, though it appears delays are still part of the game.
PowerColor today said it "aims to blow gamers' minds" with its very first dual-GPU solution with AMD's Bart XT graphics engine, the PowerColor HD6870X2. As the name implies, this dual-GPU graphics card sports two 6870 graphics chips under its dual-fan cooling apparatus. That equates to 2,240 stream processing units and 4.03 teraFLOPS of computing power.