PNY on Monday announced it was working with Asetek to "deliver liquid-cooled, high-end graphics cards that far outperform equivalent air cooled models," but stopped well short of providing any real details, like which cards would get the Asetek treatment and for how much. It looks like PNY was just waiting for the right moment, that moment being the E3 Expo that's now taking place, and has answered all the questions we had.
PNY builds videocards. Asetek develops all-in-one liquid cooling solutions. Together, the two hope to "deliver liquid-cooled, high-end graphics cards that far outperform equivalent air cooled models," not just in cooling performance, but also in noise control. PNY graphics cards powered by Asetek's sealed water cooler already attached will make up the videocard maker's extreme performance line, and give consumers a maintenance free liquid cooled solution that's just as easy to instal as an air cooled graphics card.
Nvidia is steadily filling in the gaps in its product line. Late last year, Nvidia had the GTX 460 768MB and GTX 460 1GB cards. The 1GB GTX 460 was effectively replaced at the $250-$270 price point by the GTX 560 Ti. Now the company is delivering the GTX 560, which will be priced from $199 - $220.
Palit's GTX 560 offers 2GB of frame buffer, if that's what you're into.
Unlike the GTX 460 768MB cards, which only offered a 192-bit memory bus, the GTX 560 supports a 256-bit wide bus. The Palit card is slightly unusual in supporting a 2GB frame buffer, but its specs are otherwise pretty stock. It’s not factory overclocked, but given the tweaking and streamlining that are part of the improvements of the GF114 (560) over the GF104 (460), we do expect some performance benefits. The GTX 560 does have eight fewer shader units than the GTX 560 Ti.
AMD originally intended its Radeon HD 6750 and 6770 graphics cards for the OEM market, meaning they'd show up in pre-built systems from the likes of Dell, HP, and others. More recently, the chip maker confirmed these parts would also show up in the retail market, and it took all of 2 seconds for that to happen. MSI just announced three new videocards based on the HD 6700 architecture, including the R6770-MD1GD5, R6750-MD1GD5, and R6750-MD512D5.
AMD on Wednesday rolled out new Catalyst drivers for Radeon HD 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000, and 6000 series graphics cards, and Radeon 3000 and 4000 series chipsets. The new Catalyst 11.4 suite adds a handful of new features, such as new task-based Display Management controls, easier Eyefinity setup, and a new Catalyst update notification system that lets AMD graphics card owners know when updated drivers are available.
So what if Nvidia and AMD make unlikely bed fellows, and who cares that the two are currently duking it out in the discrete graphics market? Certainly not Joe Gamer, the unbiased enthusiast who only wants to build the best gaming machine his budget will allow. Unfortunately for Joe, his decisions have always been partially dictated by artificial compatibility constraints, and the decision to roll with multiple Nvidia or AMD graphics cards depends on his choice of platform. Not anymore, folks!
AMD appears to be attacking the entry-level and mainstream graphics card market with a vengeance. The chip maker last week rolled out is ultra-affordable Radeon HD 6450 priced at $59, which coincided with the launch of Nvidia's budget-oriented GeForce GT 520. Now AMD is following up that launch with the release of two more sub-$100 videocards, the Radeon HD 6570 and 6670.
The Asus ENGTX 560 Ti DirectCU II is that once-rare bird: a factory-overclocked card at the beginning of a GPU's life cycle. Once upon a time, you wouldn’t ever see an overclocked graphics card. Then they started to appear—usually when a particular generation of GPUs neared the end of its run. Today’s hyper-competition between AMD and Nvidia now dictates that overclocked cards come out of the woodwork as soon as a product launches. If it’s an epidemic, it’s one we like, because manually overclocking graphics cards is a headache and generally more perilous than CPU overclocking.
With its iteration of Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 560 Ti, Asus decided to revamp its DirectCU cooler. Like previous iterations, this second generation DirectCU II runs the heat pipes in direct contact with the GPU, rather than relying on a dissipation plate to transfer heat to the pipes. Asus suggests this is a more efficient way to move heat away from the chip’s hotspots. As with most modern premium graphics cards, Asus uses high quality components throughout, which increase the longevity of the card while minimizing electronic noise that can interfere with image quality.
Today, Nvidia announced its new sweet-spot GPU. Our Lab tests reveal that the GTX 560Ti, an updated and beefed up version of the GTX 460 - Nvidia's previous sweet-spot graphics processor - is a solid performer. Our initial numbers are after the jump, but the short version is that, much like previous reports indicated, the GTX 560 Ti is a reengineering of the GTX 460, a card that we gave high marks in late 2010 for its power and competitive price.
The GTX 460 boasted 336 CUDA cores, and was stock-clocked at 650MHz. The GPU overclocked particularly well; factory-OC’d models like Gigabyte’s 715MHz GV-N460OC-1GI GTX 460 easily trounced their price-point competition until the introduction of the Radeon HD 6870.
The GTX 560Ti kicks the CUDA cores up to 384 and the stock clock up to 822MHz, with factory-overclocked cards hitting north of 900MHz and as high as the 1GHz mark. Catch our first benchmark runs after the jump.
To the PC doubters and doomsayers throughout the land, we have but one thing to say. You are incorrect. Misguided. Flat-out wrong. As we started to investigate the technologies, products, and processors that will appear in PCs and related devices in the year ahead, we realized that, from this moment on, our beloved Personal Computer is more important and more relevant than ever.
It’s not that the times aren’t changing. They most assuredly are, and the infusion of so many new platforms and usage models into the home and the personal-computing equation is concentrating a lot of power and flexibility in our hands.