Update: Now with more screens and information on Nvidia battery boost
When Nvidia unveiled its first Maxwell-based graphics cards during its GAME24 event, the company trumpeted increased performance alongside power efficiency, allowing for high-end video cards that run cooler and quieter. That's the kind of combination that's ideal for mobile gamers, and if you've been waiting for Maxwell to arrive on laptops, your wait is over -- Nvidia this morning launched its GeForce GTX 970M and 980M notebook GPUs.
We got Acer's XB280HK monitor in, which is the company's 28-inch 4K G-Sync unit. For now, it's the only 4K G-Sync unit that you can buy. G-Sync is a technology from Nvidia that sycronizes your monitor's refresh rate with your video card's refresh rate, which eliminates screen tearing (but it's not compatible with all GeForce cards). 4K resolution, at 3840x2160, is four times as many pixels as 1920x1080, so it needs a lot of horsepower to play a game. We tested the monitor on one of our GeForce GTX 980 video cards running Batman: Arkham Origins, a game that's optimized for Nvidia graphics. Your guide in the Youtube video is Tom McNamara, our Technical Editor.
Taking a trip to 'Hawaii' just got a bit more affordable
Competition is fierce in the graphics card market, and while we've seen AMD and Nvidia duke it out with bundled game offers, it's the price wars that truly get our attention. Speaking of which, Nvidia certainly got AMD's attention when it launched Maxwell during the company's GAME24 event, which saw the release of the GeForce GTX 970 and GTX 980 for $329 and $549, respectively (MSRPs). AMD has just responded by cutting the price of its Radeon R9 290 and 290X Hawaii cards.
Nvidia earlier this month launched a 24 hour celebration of PC gaming called GAME24. In addition to being the first GAME24 of (hopefully) many more to come, it was also the first live streamed 24-hour global celebration of PC gaming. By the numbers, it was a success -- GAME24 attracted more than 1.3 million gamers from nearly 150 countries who tuned into the live stream to see tech talks, a 24-hour modding competition, and more.
For those of you who've been waiting for Nvidia to start shipping its Shield gaming tablet with 32GB of on-board storage and 4G LTE connectivity baked in, the wait is now over -- you can order the Shield 32GB LTE gaming tablet for $399 direct from Nvidia's website. That's twice as much storage as the 16GB model, plus you get LTE connectivity in addition to Wi-Fi access, additions that come at a $100 premium.
There’s really nothing wrong with excess. Who would complain, after all, of having an excess of money, an excess of vacation, or an excess of hugs? We say the same for this year’s Dream Machine, which makes absolutely no apologies for having an excessive amount of hardware.
Note: This article was originally featured in the September 2014 issue of the magazine.
So, you've gone out and acquired one or two of Nvidia's new Maxwell-based GeForce GTX 980 or GTX 970 graphics cards, is that right? As our benchmarks show, you'll be happy with your purchase, and you may even see better results than we did when applying the latest WHQL-certified drivers. No need to wait -- Nvidia's GeForce 344.16 WHQL drivers are now to available to download and install.
4K and SLI tested on Nvidia's high-end Maxwell card
Sometimes things don't go according to plan. Both AMD and Nvidia were supposed to have shifted to 20-nanometer parts by now. In theory, that's supposed to get you lower temperatures, higher clock speeds and quieter operation. Due to circumstances largely out of its control, Nvidia has had to go ahead with a 28nm high-end Maxwell part instead, dubbed GM204. This is not a direct successor to the GTX 780, which has more transistors, texture mapping units, and things like that. The 980 is actually the next step beyond the GTX 680, aka GK104, which was launched in March 2012.
Supposed benchmarks of Nvidia's forthcoming GeForce GTX 980, GTX 970, and GTX 980M GPUs were leaked to the web earlier this week, and presuming they were real, it would seem that Nvidia is planning to skip right over the 800 Series and jump right into the 900s. Lest there be any lingering doubt, what looks to be an official press image of Zotac's GeForce GTX 970 graphics card is making its way through cyberspace.
Here's a look at how Nvidia's next batch of graphics cards might perform
How about we kick off the work week with some rumors, speculation, and purportedly leaked info, shall we? Sure, why not! What we have tumbling out of the rumor mill today is the notion that Nvidia is going to launch its GeForce 900 Series cards based on its Maxwell architecture on September 19. Specifications are hard to come by, but in the meantime, some supposed benchmark scores of Nvidia's forthcoming GeForce GTX 980, GTX 970, and GTX 980M are making the rounds in cyberspace.