videocards en Nvidia the Big Winner in Q3 GPU Shipments; AMD, Intel Both Losers <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u69/geforce_gpu.jpg" alt="GeForce Graphics Card" title="NVIDIA GeForce Videocard" width="228" height="170" style="float: right;" /><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Jon Peddie Research</strong></a> (JPR) released GPU shipment statistics for the third quarter of 2012, and while the numbers were all over the map, it was mostly good news for Nvidia (more on that in a moment). Discrete GPU shipments held steady at 34.3 million units, up 4.5 percent sequentially but down 5.2 percent compared to the same quarter one year ago. There was also a 4.5 percent dip in overall graphics shipments in Q3 compared to last year, JPR says.</p> <p>"The news was terrific for Nvidia and disappointing for the other major players," <a href="" target="_blank">JPR said</a>. "From Q2 to Q3 Intel slipped in both desktop (7 percent) and notebook (8.6 percent). AMD dropped (2 percent) in the desktop, and (17 percent) in notebooks. Nvidia gained 28.3 percent in desktop from quarter to quarter and jumped almost 12 percent in the notebook segment."</p> <p>Nvidia did very well for itself in what was otherwise "not a very good quarter." GPU shipments overall declined 1.45 percent sequentially and 10.8 year-over-year. It is interesting to note, however, that GPUs shipped more than PCs. The reason is because of "double attach," meaning some PCs shipped with both discrete and integrated graphics solutions.</p> <p>"The turmoil in the PC market has caused us to modify our forecast since the last report; it is less aggressive on both desktops and notebooks," JPR said. "The popularity of tablets and the persistent recession are the contributing factors that have altered the nature of the PC market. Nonetheless, the CAGR for PC graphics from 2011 to 2016 is 3.6 percent, and we expect the total shipments of graphics chips in 2016 to be 608 million units."</p> <p>Though Nvidia was the biggest winner in Q3, it's 18.5 percent share of the GPU market still trails both Intel (59.8 percent) and AMD (21.2 percent).</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> amd gpu graphics graphics cards intel Jon Peddie Research jpr nvidia videocards News Mon, 26 Nov 2012 20:10:07 +0000 Paul Lilly 24566 at Possible Radeon HD 8870 and 8850 Specs Leaked to the Web <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u69/radeon_hd_7970_ghz_edition_0.jpg" alt="Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition" width="228" height="195" style="float: right;" />The never ending GPU wars between <a href=""><strong>Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)</strong></a> and Nvidia means there's always something newer, better, and faster right around the corner. Neither player likes to tip their hand ahead of schedule, but the Internet is the ultimate tattletale, and right now it's telling us what to expect from AMD's upcoming Radeon HD 8870 and 8850 parts. If the source is to believed, that is.</p> <p>According to <a href="">V<em>'s</em> source</a>, which is the same one that leaked Tahiti specs a few months before launch, AMD's Radeon HD 8870 will be as fast as Nvidia's GeForce GTX 680. Based on AMD's Oland XT GPU, the 8870 boasts 3.4 billion transistors (up from 2.8 billion found in the 7870), a 1050MHz base clockspeed, 1100MHz boost clockspeed, and 25 percent better memory bandwidth (192GB/s) compared to the 7870. The card will carry an MSRP of $279.</p> <p>AMD's Radeon HD 8850 is based on Oland Pro and has the same number of transistors and memory bandwidth as the 8870, but slower clockspeeds (925MHz base and 975MHz boost). It will sell for $199 (MSRP). It will be comparable to Nvidia's GeForce GTX 670 part.</p> <p>Regarding a launch date, early info points to around January 2013.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="">Facebook</a></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> amd Build a PC gpu graphics cards Hardware radeon hd 8850 radeon hd 8870 videocards News Thu, 20 Sep 2012 15:39:59 +0000 Paul Lilly 24193 at AMD Issues Another Round of Radeon HD Price Cuts <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u69/7970.jpg" width="228" height="120" style="float: right;" />Summer might be coming to an end in the coming weeks, but the GPU price wars between AMD and Nvidia are just starting to heat up. To wit, AMD rolled out a series of price reductions in July for its Radeon HD 7970, 7950, and 7870 graphics cards, and now that Nvidia has made Kepler affordable with its GeForce GTX 660 Ti part, AMD is once again responding in kind with another round of cuts.</p> <p> First, lets take a look at what happened in July:</p> <ul> <li>Radeon HD 7970: $480 down to $430</li> <li>Radeon HD 7950: $400 down to $350</li> <li>Radeon HD 7870: $350 down to $300</li> </ul> <p>On top of those $50 price cuts, AMD shaved another $20 off certain models. A quick glance online shows the Radeon HD 7970 going for $410 street and the Radeon HD 7950 for $320 street (the Radeon HD 7970 is unaffected by the latest round of cuts).</p> <p>Nvidia's GeForce GTX 660 Ti, which competes with AMD's Radeon 7950 GPU, sells for about $300 street (and up, depending on model). You can see how it fares in our <a href="">recent roundup</a> of three GTX 660 Ti cards.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="">Facebook</a></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> amd Build a PC gpu graphics cards Hardware price cuts radeon videocards News Tue, 21 Aug 2012 16:09:09 +0000 Paul Lilly 24022 at AMD Announces New FirePro GPUs, Lays Claim to Planet's Most Power Workstation Cards <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u69/amd_firepro.jpg" width="228" height="187" style="float: right;" />The spunky chip designers at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) <a href="">just launched</a> the company's latest line of GPU work horses, claiming the new FirePro parts are the fastest workstation graphics cards the world has ever seen. Leading the pack is AMD's FirePro <a href="">W9000</a>, a $3,999 graphics solution that offers 4 TFLOPS of single precision floating point performance, 1 TFLOP double precision, and a GPU that's capable of pumping out 1.95 billion triangles per second.</p> <p>AMD's FirePro W9000 is equipped with 6GB of GDDR5 memory with ECC support on a 384-bit bus. It has six mini DisplayPort connectors and can drive resolutions up to 4096x2160, AMD says. Target markets for this one include high performance CAD engineers, media designers, and digital signage professionals.</p> <p>Three other FirePro cards round out the latest additions, including the <a href="">W8000</a> ($1,599), <a href="">W7000</a> ($899), and the <a href="">W5000</a> ($599). The least expensive of the bunch has 2GB of GDDR5 memory on a 256-bit bus (but without ECC support) and can deliver 1.3 TFLOPS of single precision and 79.2 GFLOPS of double precision floating point performance.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="">Facebook</a></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> amd Build a PC firepro gpus graphics cards Hardware videocards w5000 w7000 w8000 w9000 workstations News Tue, 07 Aug 2012 13:25:38 +0000 Paul Lilly 23923 at Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 and 550 Graphics Cards Nearing End of Life (EOL) Status <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u69/geforce_gtx_560_1.jpg" width="228" height="179" style="float: right;" />Technology and Lindsay Lohan don't seem to have a lot in common, but like the oft troubled celebrity, technology seems to always age faster than anyone thought possible. In a sense, there's no such thing as future proofing. We bring this up because a pair of popular mid-range graphics cards from yesterday -- Nvidia' GeForce GTX 560 and 550 parts -- are on the verge of becoming obsolete tomorrow.</p> <p>By obsolete, we don't mean they'll suddenly stop pumping out playable framerates in whatever games you're currently playing. Instead, we're referring to <a href=""><em>'s</em> report</a> that Nvidia is getting ready to tag both cards with an EOL (End of Life) label.</p> <p>Nvidia's hardware partners have reportedly already received their final order notices as the GPU maker looks to offload existing stock and make way for its upcoming GeForce GTX 660 and 650 series. One of the first of these is rumored to be a GK104-based GeForce GTX 660 Ti slated for an August 16th launch.</p> <p>If you're a bargain hunter who doesn't mind investing in last generation hardware, keep your eyes peeled for price drops on GTX 550 and 560 parts.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="">Facebook</a></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Build a PC geforce graphics cards gtx 550 gtx 560 Hardware nvidia videocards News Mon, 30 Jul 2012 16:19:44 +0000 Paul Lilly 23870 at XFX Radeon HD 7970 Black Edition Review <!--paging_filter--><h3>‘We don’t need no stinkin’ reference design!’ says XFX</h3> <p>It's not unusual&nbsp;to see factory-overclocked videocards ship with custom cooling solutions a few months after a GPU launches. But XFX didn’t waste any time with its Radeon HD 7970 Black Edition—a factory-overclocked card with a custom cooling solution that aims to take the performance crown. Based on what we’ve seen to date, XFX has delivered the fastest single-GPU card on the planet.</p> <p>The Radeon HD 7970 is AMD’s latest GPU, with support for DirectX 11.1 and OpenCL 1.2. It’s a brand-new architecture—completely different from past AMD GPUs—built on TSMC’s 28nm manufacturing process and sporting a staggering 4.3 billion transistors. In AMD’s reference design, the 7970’s core runs at 925MHz, and its GDDR5 memory is clocked at 1,375MHz. XFX ups the ante significantly, pushing the core clock speed to a whopping 1GHz and running its 3GB of memory at 1,425MHz.</p> <p>As you might imagine, the results are nothing short of amazing. We’re seeing genuine performance milestones here, including a 3DMark 11 performance score higher than 8,000 (for a single GPU), Far Cry 2 hitting 100fps at 2560x1600 with 4x AA, and Batman: Arkham City heading north of 50fps at the same resolution and AA settings. On top of that, the idle system power is just 124 watts, and a dark idle (when Windows 7 blanks the screen) draws 110 watts. Push the card and you’ll see system power consumption climb to 349 watts, but that merely puts its overall power draw into Fermi territory. XFX’s Radeon HD 7970 Black Edition is substantially faster than EVGA’s super-overclocked 3GB GeForce GTX 580 Classified, and it’s outfitted with just two PCIe power connectors (one 8-pin and one 6-pin). EVGA’s card requires three power connectors.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u152332/graphics_showcase382_small.jpg" width="620" height="413" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>The XFX Radeon HD 7970 is surprisingly quiet—nearly silent at idle—considering it’s outfitted with twin cooling fans.</em></p> <p>XFX’s dual-fan custom cooler, housed within an attractive brushed-metal housing, looks much more elegant than most of the competition. Despite using two fans, this card was noticeably quieter at full load than XFX’s Radeon HD 6970, and it was almost inaudible at idle.</p> <p>Aside from carving its logo into the bracket, XFX took no liberties with the outputs: The mounting bracket has two Mini DisplayPort 1.2 connectors, one HDMI 1.4a, and a dual-link DVI. Use a combination of DisplayPort- and DVI-capable displays, and the card can support three-panel Eyefinity setups up to 2560x1600. Use one or more 1920x1200 (or lower res) monitors, and you can also tap the HDMI for a four-panel setup. And when DisplayPort 1.2 monitors and hubs ship, this card will be capable of supporting as many as six displays.</p> <p>The XFX Radeon HD 7970 Black Edition has all the hallmarks of a winner: superb performance, relatively low power consumption, and better-than-average noise levels. It’s pricey, at $600, but no more so than other cards in its class. If you crave the fastest single-GPU card in the world, it’s here—and it includes the twin bonuses of easy multi-monitor support and high efficiency.</p> amd ati gpu graphics card Hardware maximum maximumpc nvidia pc Review video videocards XFX Radeon HD 7970 Black Edition Reviews Videocards Mon, 28 May 2012 11:25:15 +0000 Loyd Case 23423 at Graphics Shipments on the Decline, Jon Peddie Says <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u69/graphics_shadow.jpg" width="228" height="174" style="float: right;" />You can't hardly buy a processor any more without also purchasing a graphics chip. That's because many of today's CPUs sport integrated graphics, a relatively new development as both AMD and Intel push their respective CPU+GPU solutions onto the masses. But despite each company's efforts, along with a constant flow of discrete GPU solutions from AMD and Nvidia, graphics shipments are down overall.</p> <p>According to data from Jon Peddie Research, combined graphics shipments declined 0.8 percent in the first quarter of 2012 when compared to the previous quarter, and slipped 3.38 percent from one year ago. No need to hit the panic button, JPR says.</p> <p>"Although this did not shape up to be a great quarter for the suppliers, it actually wasn't as bad as it could have been. We found that shipments during the first quarter of 2012 behaved according to past years with regard to seasonality, declining from the previous quarter; however, this quarter's decline (of 0.8 percent) was less than the ten-year average of 3.1 percent," JPR points out. "If we use graphics as an indicator, the industry seems to be recovering from the floods in Thailand."</p> <p>AMD actually grew its graphics shipments in Q1, by 0.3 percent, while Intel slipped 1.3 percent and Nvidia tumbled by 4.5 percent sequentially. How did AMD do it? According to JPR, "AMD had a gigantic increase of its desktop APUs of 84 percent," which more than made up for a "modest&nbsp; 2.6 percent decline in notebook APUs."</p> <p>JPR's findings include both discrete and integrate graphics for desktops, notebooks, netbooks, and industrial systems. Handhelds, x86 servers ,and ARM-based tablets, smartbooks, and servers are excluded.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="">Facebook</a></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> gpu graphics graphics cards Hardware Jon Peddie Research jpr videocards News Tue, 22 May 2012 13:24:17 +0000 Paul Lilly 23368 at Kepler Keeps on Coming as Nvidia Officially Introduces GeForce GTX 670 <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u69/geforce_gtx_670.jpg" width="228" height="231" style="float: right;" />Nvidia today rolled out the welcome mat for the newest addition to its Kepler family, the GeForce GTX 670. The new 670 is "engineered from the same DNA as the recently announced GTX 680," but is a more affordable part with prices starting at $399 for cards built around Nvidia's reference design. And according to Nvidia, the 670 is a full 45 percent faster in gaming performance than the closest competitive product (i.e., AMD's Radeon HD 7950).</p> <p>"Plus, the GeForce GTX 670 ties the competition's much higher-priced flagship product on 25 of the world's most popular games and benchmarks, a testament to the overall performance efficiency of the Kepler architecture," <a href="">Nvidia claims</a>.</p> <p>In other words, the GTX 670 is all that a bag of chips, in Nvidia's eyes. Performance claims aside, the GTX 670 sports 1,344 CUDA cores, 112 texture units, and 32 ROP units. It has 2GB of GDDR5 memory clocked at 6,008MHz on a 256-bit bus resulting in 192.2GB/s of memory bandwidth. The GPU has a base clockspeed of 915MHz and a boost clockspeed of 980MHz.</p> <p>For comparison, the GTX 680 features a few more CUDA cores (1,536), more texture units (138), and a faster GPU (1,006MHz base, 1,058MHz boost). The GTX 680 is also a longer graphics card; the GTX 670 measures 9.5 inches long.</p> <p>Technically, the GTX 670 is available to purchase now, but like all Kepler cards, that's contingent on being to find the darn thing in stock.</p> <p><em>Image Credit: Nvidia</em></p> Build a PC geforce gtx 670 graphics cards Hardware kepler nvidia videocards News Thu, 10 May 2012 13:34:02 +0000 Paul Lilly 23299 at Nvidia Plays Hardball with TSMC, Wins Priority Status for 28nm Chips <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u69/tsmc_worker.jpg" width="228" height="195" style="float: right;" />Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) may have underestimated the challenges involved with churning out 28nm parts, or perhaps the company is simply inundated with orders. In the end, it doesn't really matter what the problem is, as far as clients go, and when Nvidia reportedly threatened to place orders with TSMC's competitors, suddenly the GPU maker was bumped to the front of the line.</p> <p>It's been rumored that Nvidia considered giving 28nm orders to Samsung and/or Globalfoundries, and in attempt to stop that from happening, TSMC "has given priority to Nvidia for 28nm capacity," <a href=""><em>DigiTimes</em></a> reports. Nvidia's recently launched Kepler series is built on a 28nm manufacturing process, and as any gamer will attest, finding a Kepler card in stock is an exercise in frustration.</p> <p>By being bumped up to priority status, the GPU shortage should begin to ease in the coming weeks. This is especially important for Nvidia as it begins to flesh out its Kepler line with an upcoming GeForce GTX 670 graphics card. Meanwhile, Qualcomm has also been given priority status after it, too, threatened to outsource production to competing wafer fabs.</p> <p><em>Image Credit: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd.</em></p> 28nm gpu graphics cards Hardware kepler nvidia taiwan semiconductor manufacturing company tsmc videocards News Wed, 09 May 2012 13:40:01 +0000 Paul Lilly 23290 at AMD Puts Radeon HD 7870, 7850 into the Lineup to Run Mainstream Play <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u69/radeon_ghz.jpg" width="228" height="186" style="float: right;" />With a nary a peep from rival Nvidia, AMD today rolled out two additional 28nm graphics cards, both of which are built around the Pitcairn GPU that nestles into the mainstream spot just below Tahiti. The new cards are the Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition ($349) and Radeon HD 7850 ($249), and they both feature AMD's 28nm Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture specifically designed for general computing.</p> <p>"Engineered for supremacy, designed for efficiency and packed with incredible features, the AMD Radeon HD 7800 series offers more than the just world’s most advanced graphics: it offers the incredible performance every gamer deserves," said Matt Skynner corporate vice president and general manager, GPU Division, AMD. "AMD continues to lead the industry in desktop graphics innovation with unrivaled computing and unequaled technologies like our game-changing GCN Architecture."</p> <p>Nvidia's retort is Kepler, a next-generation architecture of its own that's been much hyped and is scheduled to launch later this quarter. Meanwhile, the <a href="">Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition</a> boasts a 1GHz engine clockspeed and 2GB of GDDR5 memory racing along at 1.2GHz on a 256-bit wide bus. It has 20 Compute Units (1,280 Stream Processors), 80 Texture Units, 32 Color ROP Units, and supports the usual assortment of modern day APIs.</p> <p>The toned down <a href="">Radeon HD 7850</a> sports an 860MHz engine clockspeed, the same memory specs, 16 Compute Units, 64 Texture Units, and the same number of ROP Units.</p> amd Build a PC graphics cards Hardware radeon radeon hd 7850 radeon hd 7870 videocards News Mon, 05 Mar 2012 14:02:46 +0000 Paul Lilly 22840 at Maingear Now Serving Radeon HD 7700 Series Graphics Options to Satiate Mainstream Appetites <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u69/maingear_systems.jpg" width="228" height="188" style="float: right;" />Following AMD's <a href="">official unveiling</a> of its Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition and 7750 graphics cards, boutique system builder Maingear announced it already has stock on hand is offering the chip maker's new Cape Verde graphics cards as options in its Shift and F131 gaming desktops. Maingear also plans to shove the mainstream parts into its Vybe desktop "in the near future."</p> <p>"We are excited to offer an affordable 28nm GPU design from AMD, and the AMD Radeon HD 7700 series cards offers great performance and features to a wider audience." <a href=";id=5d8a399a21&amp;e=90a3574afe">said Wallace Santos</a>, CEO and Founder of Maingear. “With AMD’s Radeon™ HD 7770 GHZ Edition, gamers will be very excited with the performance they get for their dollar."</p> <p>Gamers on a budget should be excited too. The addition of AMD's Radeon HD 7770 and 7750 graphics cards gives gamers more affordable options to choose from. Maingear's F131 Stock 990FX, for example, starts at $1,382 ($1,282 currently with a $100 off Winter savings promotion) and includes a GeForce GT 440 graphics card. For $31, gamers can step up to the 7750, and $87 upgrades the GPU to a 7770.</p> <p><a href="">Maingear's Radeon Page</a></p> <p>Image Credit: Maingear</p> amd gpu graphics cards Hardware maingear OEM prebuilt radeon hd 7750 radeon hd 7770 rigs videocards News Wed, 15 Feb 2012 14:48:00 +0000 Paul Lilly 22693 at New Arrival: AMD Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition and 7750 Graphics Cards <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u69/radeon_7770_ghz.jpg" style="float: right;" />AMD is giddy as all get-out today over the arrival of its Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition and HD 7750 graphics cards, the first of which is the world's first graphics card equipped with a 1GHz GPU, the Sunnyvale chip maker claims. The 7750's special talent is that it doesn't require its own separate power connector and pushing gaming grade pixels while staying under 75W.</p> <p>"We were first to 40nm, first to 28nm and now we offer the world’s first GPU at 1GHz; this is a milestone for the graphics industry," <a href="">said Matt Skynner</a>, corporate vice president and general manager, GPU Division, AMD. "AMD continues to deliver superior performance, rich features and world-class power efficiency – we never stop innovating."</p> <p>AMD's new HD 7700 Series features the chip maker's <a href="">Graphics Core Next</a> (GCN) architecture, the same as found in Tahiti, but at lower price points and with a slightly altered Compute Units arrangement. It's a new GPU known as Cape Verde that targets mainstream gamers.</p> <p>The Radeon HD 7770 boasts a 1GHz engine clockspeed and 1GB of GDDR5 memory clocked at 1,125MHz on a 128-bit bus. It has 40 texture units, 16 ROPs, 1.5 billion transistors, 640 stream processors, 100W TPD, and is priced at $159.</p> <p>AMD's 7750 sports a similar feature-set, but has 512 stream processors, 32 texture units, 800MHz core clockspeed, a 75W TDP, and is priced at $109.</p> <p>Image Credit: AMD</p> amd Build a PC graphics card Hardware radeon radeon hd 7750 radeon hd 7770 videocards News Wed, 15 Feb 2012 13:51:11 +0000 Paul Lilly 22691 at GPU-Z Update Fleshes Out Videocard Support, Acknowledges Packard Bell <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u69/gpu_z_rog_0.jpg" width="228" height="159" style="float: right;" />There's a new version of TechPowerUp's GPU-Z utility available to download, v0.5.9. The newest build has no trouble recognizing AMD Radeon HD 7750 and 7770 graphics cards, and support has also been added for GF108-based Nvidia GeForce GT 520, GTX 555 (non-mobile), GeForce 305M, and 610M GPUs. Some long overdue love was finally given to Packard Bell, which is recognized as a PCI vendor in the latest version of GPU-Z.</p> <p>Some other notable highlights include:</p> <ul> <li>Added voltage monitoring for AMD Radeon HD 7950 and 7970 graphics cards</li> <li>Fixed memory size reading for ATI cards with large VRAM</li> <li>Fix for ATI hardware access breaking on Catalyst 12.1</li> <li>Fixed bug that caused updater to show up even though no update available, lagging GPU-Z</li> </ul> <p>There are more than a dozen fixes and feature additions implemented in GPU-Z 0.5.9, which is a favorite tool of ours that we often use to verify specs and clockspeeds. You can learn more and download the newest version by going <a href="">here</a>.</p> gpu gpu-z graphics cards Software utility videocards News Mon, 13 Feb 2012 20:09:47 +0000 Paul Lilly 22669 at Cool Cats at Zalman Will Try Building Graphics Cards <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u69/zalman_graphics_card.jpg" width="228" height="145" style="float: right;" />Zalman is best known for its cooling products, and especially its popular CNPS line of CPU coolers. The company also builds cooling solutions for graphics cards, but why stop there? It's a question Zalman's decision makers asked themselves, and according to a Russian website, the answer they came up with is to try their hand at building videocards as an add-in board partner (AIB).</p> <p><a href=""></a> has it on some kind of authority that Zalman is partnering up with HIS to kick out its own brand graphics cards and will start mass producing them shortly. Naturally, Zalman will also use its own coolers on the cards.</p> <p>Zalman doesn't plan to play favorites and will build both AMD and Nvidia graphics cards. Specific models include the Radeon HD 6870, 6850, and 6770, and GeForce GTX 560 Ti, 560, and 550 Ti. Prototypes supposedly already exist and will be shown off at CES 2012 in Las Vegas.</p> <p>Image Credit:</p> Build a PC cooling graphics cards Hardware videocards Zalman News Tue, 20 Dec 2011 16:47:34 +0000 Paul Lilly 21862 at Head to Head: Quad SLI vs. Quad CrossFireX <!--paging_filter--><p>Now that both AMD and Nvidia have dual-GPU videocards on the market, quad-GPU CrossFireX and SLI setups are possible—that is, if you have the motherboard, the power supply, the money, and can actually find two dual-GPU cards.</p> <p>Representing quad SLI, we have two relatively compact Nvidia GeForce GTX 590s. In the quad-CrossFireX corner are two of AMD's hulking, foot-long Radeon HD 6990s. Both pairs cost about the same—an astronomical $1,500, give or take—but which is the better option?</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u139222/h2hquadgpu-620.jpg" width="620" height="197" /></p> <h3>Round 1: Standard Performance</h3> <p>We ran our standard game tests on a Core i7-990X six-core PC with an Intel DX58SO motherboard and a 1,200W Corsair PSU. We used the faster CPU so that massive GPU horsepower would spend less time waiting. The 1,200W PSU is needed to drive these monster cards, which require dual 8-pin PCI Express power connectors.</p> <p>Our normal gaming runs are at 1920x1200, with 4x AA enabled and all detail levels maxed out. The synthetics are there for comparison, but we play games, not benchmarks. If you just look at the numbers, the quad-GPU cards are screamers. These settings just aren't challenging.</p> <p>When comparing quad-SLI to quad-CrossFireX, the numbers favor Nvidia, but the frame rates are staggeringly high for both systems. Clearly, Nvidia's done some work with its drivers since the initial release of the GTX 590. Paired GTX 590s won six of nine game tests.</p> <p><strong>Winner: Quad SLI</strong></p> <h3>Round 2: Extreme Performance</h3> <p>Since neither quad-GPU setup had to work hard at 1920x1200 with 4x AA, we had to push them a little harder. After all, if you're spending $1,500 or so for a pair of graphics cards, surely another $1,300 for a 30-inch monitor is within reach.</p> <p>We ratcheted up the pain, pushing our gaming tests (and Unigine's Heaven benchmark) to 2560x1600 and 8x AA. That's 4 million pixels at 8x AA (with 16x AF). Shaders and detail levels were also maxed out, putting tremendous stress on the overall bandwidth of the system.</p> <p>At these extreme levels, we still saw stunning frame rates. The competition seemed a little more even, possibly due to AMD's larger frame buffer (2GB per GPU versus 1.5GB per GPU for Nvidia) and the higher clocks. However, AMD seems to have a problem with Dirt 3, so what might have been a tie goes to Nvidia.</p> <p><strong>Winner: Quad SLI</strong></p> <h3>Round 3: Noise and Power</h3> <p>A good 1,200W PSU is essential for a quad-GPU setup, particularly if you plan on overclocking the CPU and GPUs. That increases the cost of your rig.</p> <p>On pure power draw, the quad CrossFireX draws a little less power under full load—774W versus 800W for the dual GTX 590s. However, the idle-power draw was substantially lower for paired GTX 590s, which drew just 113W at idle versus 171W for quad CrossFireX. Since systems generally run idle most of the time, that power draw can add up.</p> <p>What about noise? At full throttle, both of these setups get pretty loud. But the quad CrossFireX cards, with smaller fans that spin up to very high speeds, sound like small jet engines throttling up for takeoff. AMD's HD 6990s are loud even in single-card setups. Paired 6990s are painfully loud.</p> <p><strong>Winner: Quad SLI</strong></p> <h3>Round 4: Ease of Use</h3> <p>Both quad-GPU systems had trouble running Dirt 3. The Nvidia setup could run the game but not change resolution in-game, while the CrossFireX setup wouldn't run at all. Single- and dual-GPU systems run the game flawlessly.</p> <p>With the AMD quad setup, you'll need to occasionally download game profiles for CrossFireX. Nvidia builds these into driver updates, but the green machine is now updating drivers on a monthly schedule to match AMD.</p> <p>Flexibility of installation is a problem, too. The Radeon HD 6990s are a full 12 inches long, while the GTX 590 cards are 3/4 of an inch shorter. That 3/4-inch makes a difference in some cases. So you'll need to pay attention to your internal case dimensions.</p> <p>In the end, the dual GTX 590 setup is simpler to manage, easier to install, and better mannered.</p> <p><strong>Winner: Quad SLI</strong></p> <h3>And the Winner Is…</h3> <p>Quad-GPU setups define the extreme in graphics hardware. If you're running games on multiple displays, with stereoscoic 3D turned on, quad GPUs will give you the horsepower to hit smooth frame rates.</p> <p>If you're running on a single display, though, quad GPUs might be more hassle than they're worth. Toss in the excessive power, the hot air filling your room, and the loud fan noise, and you may want to reconsider—and that's before you see the price tag.</p> <p>In the end, unless you are running an extreme display configuration, a pair of single-GPU cards will give you as much peformance as you need in cutting-edge games. And you can build a dual-GPU rig today without worrying about product availability.</p> <p>If you decide that a quad-GPU is right for you, we're pretty bullish on two GTX 590s in quad SLI. It uses a little more power at full load than the AMD alternative, but it's easier to manage and install and seems to have fewer issues with games.</p> <div class="module orange-module article-module"><span class="module-name">Benchmarks</span><br /> <div class="module-content"> <div class="module-text full"> <div class="spec-table orange"> <table style="width: 627px; height: 270px;" border="0"> <thead> <tr> <th class="head-empty"> </th> <th class="head-light">2x Asus GTX 590 (Quad SLI)</th> <th>2x Radeon HD 6990 (Quad CFX)</th> <th>2x Asus GTX 590 (Quad SLI)</th> <th>2x Radeon HD 6990 (Quad CFX)</th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td>&nbsp;</td> <td colspan="2"><strong>1920x1200 with 4x AA</strong></td> <td colspan="2"><strong>2560x1600 with 8x AA</strong></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="item">Unigine Heaven 2.5 (fps)</td> <td class="item-dark"><strong>90</strong></td> <td>84</td> <td>50</td> <td><strong>54</strong></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="item">F1 2010 (fps)</td> <td class="item-dark"><strong>106</strong></td> <td>95</td> <td><strong>95</strong></td> <td>89</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="item">Battleforge DX11 (fps)</td> <td class="item-dark"> <p><strong>182</strong></p> </td> <td>160</td> <td><strong>124</strong></td> <td>88</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="item">Far Cry 2/Long (fps)</td> <td class="item-dark">157</td> <td><strong>180</strong></td> <td>137</td> <td><strong>176</strong></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="item">Hawx 2 DX11 (fps)</td> <td class="item-dark"><strong>248</strong></td> <td>210</td> <td><strong>215</strong><strong></strong></td> <td>197</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Just Cause 2 (fps)</td> <td>63</td> <td><strong>80</strong></td> <td>60</td> <td><strong>67</strong></td> </tr> <tr> <td>Dirt 3 (fps)</td> <td>141</td> <td>&nbsp;DNR (0)</td> <td>94</td> <td>DNR (0)</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><em>Best scores are bolded. Our test bed is a 3.47GHz Core i7-990X Extreme Edition in an Intel DX58SO2 motherboard with 12GB of DDR3/1333 and a 1,200W Corsair AX1200 PSU. The OS is 64-bit Windows Ultimate.</em><em><br /></em></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> amd Crossfire head to head nvidia sli videocards 2011 October 2011 From the Magazine Features Fri, 18 Nov 2011 18:42:17 +0000 Loyd Case 20027 at