Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Geforce® Gtx 690 is Nvidia’s fastest graphics card ever. 

It combines the groundbreaking new Geforce architecture with raw dual gpu power to provide truly game changing performance. 

Get superior gaming technology that’s meticulously designed inside and out for the fastest, smoothest, richest gaming experience.

It is one of the fastest graphic cards and gives a truly amazing performance. 

This wonderful graphic card is designed in such a way that it gives the smoothest and fastest gaming experience. 

It has a base clock of 915 MHz and boost clock of 1019 MHz, while memory clock is of 6008 MHz. 

It is a Pci express 3.0 graphic card with 3072 cuda cores.

Key features :

Nvidia Smx engine
Nvidia Gpu boost
Nvidia adaptive vertical sync
Nvidia surround
Supports four concurrent displays; three dual-link dvi connectors, one mini display port 1.2*
Microsoft DirectX 11 with Direct Compute 5.0 support
Nvidia PhysX Technology
Nvidia 3D vision ready**
Quad Nvidia Sli ready
Nvidia Cuda technology
Pci express 3.0 support
Opengl 4.2 support
Opencl support

Memory Specs :

Memory detail : 4096 mb gddr5
Memory bit width : 512 bit
Memory clock : 6008 mhz
Memory speed : 0.33 ns
Memory bandwidth : 384.52 Gb/s

Core specs :

3072 Cuda Cores
Base clock : 915 MHz
Boost clock : 1019 MHz
Bus : Pci-express 3.01
Quad sli ready
Texture fill rate : Tba Gt/s

Monday, September 24, 2012

Mainboard and graphics card maker Msi has announced the release of the Gtx 650 power edition graphics card. 

According to the press release, the Msi Gtx 650 boasts a number of new features, such as the Msi power edition architecture, which provides overclocking support and transthermal cooling that allows better control over the temperature of the card. 

Msi also claims that the Gpu is built with Msi Military Class III components, which would give it high quality and stability. 

The card also allows users to install an extra fan to it for better cooling.

Msi''s Gtx 650 power edition is based on the Msi Power Edition architecture : support for Afterburner's Triple Overvoltage function, adjustable Gpu/ memory/ Pll voltages, completely liberating the graphic cards capacity, increasing overclockability by up to 27 percent. 

The new Pwm design strengthens power capability 33 percent more than the reference board maintaining stability during overclocking.

Msi Gtx 650 Power Edition features the TransThermal cooling design that allows users to tailor the fan setup to the outside environment. 

Double airflow mode uses a special mechanical design for attaching the fan to the existing heat sink module and increasing airflow to effectively reduce the Gpu temperature. 

The external fan can also be placed next to the existing module in the dual fan mode. 

The increased coverage improves cooling for the power supply module and components. 

The Gtx 650 Power Edition also comes with Msi's proprietary dust removal technology. 

The fan automatically runs in the reverse direction at start-up every time to remove dust and optimise cooling performance. 

Msi’s Propeller Blade technology supposedly increases airflow by 20 percent compared to conventional fans and also expands the cooling area. 

Effective temperature can be reduced by up to 9 degrees Celsius and noise levels can be reduced by up to 16.8dB.

The Msi Gtx 650 is made using Msi Military Class III materials. 

A third-party laboratory simulated the user environment and conducted seven rigorous tests on compliance with the Mil-Std-810g standard. 

Msi Gtx 650 power edition uses Tantalum Core Hi-c Cap and SFC can generate 30 percent more power. Solid state capacitors also have a service life of up to 10 years. 

The choice of materials reflects Msi's commitment to its products. 

Regardless of the overclocking or the gaming environment, MSI aims to provide consumers with a smooth and dependable environment.

The Gpu also has the latest drivers available on Nvidia’s website, which offers more optimisations for current-generation games. 

The driver update comes highly recommended for the upcoming games Borderlands 2, and the expansion pack to World of Warcraft.

Monday, September 17, 2012

What is coming in 2.013

The bulk of products that Advanced Micro Devices will be shipping in 2.013 will be made using 28nm process technology, according to plans for the year 2.013 that were disclosed at the company's Financial Analyst Day. 

AMD expects to roll-out three brand-new architectures next year : steamroller high-performance x86, Jaguar low-power x86 and Sea Islands family of graphics chips.

All product lineups that Amd promises to release next year will be substantially different from what is available today, hence, they will not be just product shrinks or refreshes. 

28nm process technology alone is likely to allow Amd to boost performance and feature-set of its chips without increasing power consumption compared to existing solutions that are made using 32nm or 40nm fabrication processes. 

Unfortunately, Amd did not disclose which of its 28nm chips will be made at Globalfoundries and which at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company.

The new Steamroller x86 high-performance cores will improve performance by boosting efficiency of execution and will also include design elements from low-power architectures to reduce power consumption. 

While it is unknown whether code-named Kaveri accelerated processing unit will turn the page for Amd in terms of x86 performance, the company hopes that further integration of x86 and stream processing architectures will boost overall user experience.

The forthcoming Jaguar low-power x86 architecture is expected to boost performance while trimming energy consumption, which will let Amd to better compete for tablets and similar devices. 

Thanks to thin process technology, Amd's code-named Kabini and Temash APUs will also integrate input/output capabilities, which will greatly simplify system design.

Finally, the code-named Sea Islands graphics processors promise to bring "major GPU architecture enhancements" and skyrocket performance for both graphics and computing.

What is a bit surprising is that a high-performance FX-class x86 chip featuring Steamroller cores is absent from the 2.013 plan, but the Steamroller will still become available with the code-named Kaveri accelerated processing unit. 

Apparently, Amd plans to continue selling its enthusiast-class FX chips code-named Vishera with Piledriver cores due to be introduced in 2.012 next year as well.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Ati Radeon Hd 7970 Ghz edition

Amd has released a card that's just, well, better: the Amd Radeon Hd 7970 GHz Edition.

Since it released the original Radeon Hd 7970, in december last, the top single-GPU graphics card crown has slipped from its once mighty, and once mightily expensive, head. 

Nvidia waited, holding its breath until March, when it released its top consumer spin of the new Kepler architecture, the Nvidia GeForce Gtx 680.

That came in slightly undercutting the Radeon card and just about pipping it to the benchmark crown in most of our tests. 

Not just that but the Nvidia GTX 680 managed it with a far smaller and more efficient GPU.

To most of us that came as something of a surprise.

AMD traditionally had the reputation of releasing the more efficient GPUs of a generation with Nvidia usually the ones employing a brute force approach with a big, hot and powerful chip at the heart of its latest architecture.

That switch wasn't the only one of this latest generation either. 

AMD's Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture which makes up the Southern Island series of HD 7000 graphics cards was conceived with a view to creating a much more compute focused card. 

Previous to this architecture Amd had focused on creating pure gaming cards with only a faint nod towards GPGPU processing.

Nvidia, on the other hand, chose performance per Watt for its consumer cards and sacrificed the GPGPU computing power that had been central to the Fermi architecture. 

This cut-down GPU though was still a great gaming chip, as the Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 showed, leaving the Tesla team, with the GK110 K20, to the pro-graphics compute shizzle.

Still, it managed to best AMD's top card in most gaming benchmarks leaving it with the runners up prize.

Until now.


The AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition is the Texan company's counter offer to gamers in light of the slight lead Nvidia managed with the GTX 680. 

And to be fair, it's come up with quite an interesting proposal.

The salient point here though is that AMD has reclaimed the outright single-GPU performance crown of this generation. 

Obviously that's discounting the twin-GPU toting Nvidia GTX 690, which has almost cheated its way to the top of the graphics card pile.

Though AMD had planned an assault on even that position, promising us the card once code-named as New Zealand. 

You know, the place that has two Southern Islands making up the country.

Still, for whatever reason that card is off the table now with AMD focusing its efforts on bolstering the Tahiti GPU-sporting HD 7970 and making it the top single-GPU card around.

How has it managed this feature?

Well, the simple answer is overclocking. 

We told you it was simple.

But this isn't quite the traditional card speed bump, or manufacturer-supported factory overclocked card you might normally expect. 

Nothing has actually changed regarding the GPU itself.

AMD is still taking them from the same wafers, with the same designs, but it has taken the six months of learning that went into the subsequent Pitcairn and Cape Verde GPUs and applied it to the flagship chip. 

Basically the GPU manufacturing process has matured and so has the technology and, most importantly, the software.

This has enabled AMD to get more top-end Tahiti cores out of the wafers and so is offering the AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition with a clockspeed of, you guessed it, 1GHz.

Though that's not strictly true.

In reality the clockspeed you're realistically going to get when gaming is actually 1.05GHz.

That extra 50MHz coming from something AMD is calling PowerTune with Boost. 

The idea being similar in concept to Nvidia's GPU Boost, with some new hardware on the PCB monitoring the voltage and offering extra power, up to that 1.05GHz mark, when the thermal headroom allows.

In our testing that was all of the time, even with the standard reference cooler design. 

Our reference AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition sat at a stable 1.05GHz for the entire time the GPU was pushed to 100% load.

The only other real addition of note to the card is the 3GB of GDDR5 graphics memory has been given a bit of a speed boost too. 

The stock card has a 1,375MHz speed for its memory while the AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition comes with the VRAM running at a healthy 1,500MHz.

That's not all though as the type of memory used has been changed too. 

This time it is using the faster 6Gbps VRAM over the 5.5Gbps chips it had been rocking, the same speedy memory the Nvidia GTX 680 is sporting then.

Thanks to AMD's faster 384 bit memory bus though the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition has a massive 288GB/s memory bandwidth compared with the 192GB/s of the top single-GPU Nvidia card. 

That means at the higher end of the resolution spectrum the AMD card now seriously has the edge.

This video card is great because it has : 

Lightning fast performance
Great compute performance
Top GPU on the block
Ant it is incredibly expensive
And has a great value with it

Capabilities  : 

GPU - Tahiti XT
Process - 28nm
Clockspeed - 1,050MHz
Memory capacity - 3GB GDDR5
Memory bus - 384-bit

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Asus has never been a company to shy away from offering over-the-top, custom products that command a price premium. 

Here's proof. Perhaps it’s because the company is large enough, and thus, has the resources to cater to virtually all market segments, big or small. 

Or perhaps the top brass at Asus just likes inducing slack-jawed stares from PC enthusiasts. Whatever the reason, we hope they keep it up because testing this kind of stuff and showing it to you all is freakin’ fun.

A case-in-point is the Asus MARS II graphics card, which packs a full GeForce GTX 580, dual-GPU SLI configuration onto a single PCB. 

A quick glance at this monolith should reveal to even the most casual PC users that the MARS II is no ordinary graphics card. 

Heck, there isn’t a single thing about the Asus MARS II, from its specs, to its sheer size, and its huge price tag, that can be considered mainstream. 

The MARS II is as over-the-top and as custom as they get and it’s also going to be a limited edition, with only 999 cards slated for production.

Luckily, one of those 999 cards (number 545 to be exact) found its way into the HH labs and we’re able to give you the full scoop on this beast. 

Dissect the Asus MARS II and evaluate its performance, here’s a look at its packaging and accessory bundle. 

For the most part, it’s pretty standard fair.  

Included with the card are a couple of 8-pin PCI Express power adapters, a DVI-to-VGA adapter (for the insane user who uses a $1500 graphics card with an analog display), a driver and utility CD (with Asus' excellent GPU Tweak tool), a RoG case badge, a speed-setup guide, and an extended length SLI bridge.

In addition to the aforementioned items though, Asus also throws in a couple of noteworthy goodies. 

First is an aluminum plate that’s individually laser-engraved and sequentially numbered to certify the card’s limited edition status. 

Second, there are a couple of spacers that Asus calls “PCIe Sustainers”. 

These spacers adhere to the bottom of the card and rest upon adjacent expansion slots to ensure the MARS II sits perfectly straight and upright in its slot. 

Why would you need spacers to help keep the card sitting upright? 

Because the thing weighs over 5lbs. 

Specifications : 

Graphics Engine NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 x2
Bus Standard PCI Express 2.0
Video Memory 3GB GDDR5 
Engine Clock 782MHz
Memory Clock 4008MHz (1002MHz GDDR5)
Memory Interface 384-bit x2
D-sub Max. Resolution 2048 x 1536 
DVI Max. Resolution 2560 x 1600 
D-sub Output Yes x 1 (via DVI-to-D-sub adaptor) 
DVI Output Yes x 2 (Native dual link DVI x2) 
HDCP compliant Yes
HDMI Output Yes x 1 (Native HDMI 1.4)
Display Port Yes x 1 (Regular DisplayPort)
Adaptor/Cable Bundled 1x Limited Edition aluminum ID plate
2x 8-pin to 6-pin Power Cable
1x DVI-to-D-sub adaptor
1x Exclusive 12cm SLI bridge
Software Bundled ASUS utilities and drivers; GPU Tweak
Dimension 13 inch x 6.2 inch x2.5 inch(3slot)

To have the best cooling performance ASUS ROG MARS II extends the Fan sink to 3 slot, please check your motherboard slot space and Chassis Dimension before Purchasing.

ASUS ROG Rampage III Extreme or Rampage III Extreme Black Edition Mainboard is recommended for best Synergy.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

If your frame rate needs are a lot more modest (or your budget is under $200), the two cards Amd announced in february are worth considering, as well. 

The Radeon Hd 7770 Ghz edition is our pick here for serious gamers. 

At $159, it's notably pricier than the $109 Radeon Hd 7750. 

But the HD 7770 offers much more gaming muscle, making it a good choice for those who game at resolutions of 1,680x1,050 or lower, and who don’t want to dial back many in-game settings. 

Gamers who intend to play at 1080p (true high-def) resolutions on a single monitor and who are willing to switch off some in game eye candy to get smooth frame rates at a fair price will find a lot to like in the HD 7770 card, as well.

Amd, though, calls the “sweet spot” of 2.012 gaming performance its cards that lie between the ultra enthusiast 7900 series (priced above $400) and the under-$200 7700-series mainstream cards. 

And here, we have to give Amd the nod. 

We think the company's right on that score, with its pair of 7800-series cards announced the first week of March 2.012. 

The Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition, at $349, easily bests Nvidia’s comparably priced Geforce GTX 500-series offerings, and in some cases it bests the $500 Geforce GTX 580. 

That's impressive. 

At $249, though, the somewhat lesser Radeon Hd 7850 is our favorite pick of all of Amd’s current release wave. 

It has the same features as the other 7000 series cards; it only requires a single six-pin power connector; and it sips much less power than comparably performing Nvidia cards. 

Oh, and did we mention that its performance in our tests was mostly level with (and sometimes better than) the much costlier Geforce Gtx 570? 

That was the clincher with this Editors' Choice-winning card.

If you’re looking for the real sweet spot of value and performance in a graphics card in the spring of 2.012, the Radeon Hd 7850 is it, in our opinion at least until Nvidia unveils its own new cards in this price range. 

More on that, we suspect, later in the spring.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Sapphire Hd 6800 series features the second generation of graphics technology from Amd designed to support all the features of Microsoft DirectX 11 and DirectCompute 11. 

The new Gpu’s are built in Amd’s 40nm process to deliver high performance with low power consumption. 

Advanced hardware features include an enhanced tesselation unit, dedicated hdr texture compression, multi-threaded communication with system Cpu cores, embedded support for many of the DirectCompute 11 instructions, 3D stereoscopic support and HDMI 1.4a.

Overview : 

Dual-Link Dvi

Equipped with the most popular Dual Link DVI (Digital Visual Interface), this card is able to display ultra high resolutions of up to 2560 x 1600 at 60Hz.
Hdmi (with 3D)

Support for Deep Color, 7.1 High Bitrate Audio, and 3D Stereoscopic,  ensuring the highest quality Blu-ray and video experience possible from your PC.

Enjoy the benefits of the latest generation display interface, DisplayPort. 

With the ultra high HD resolution, the graphics card ensures that you are able to support the latest generation of LCD monitors.
Single-Link DVI-D

Supports Digital monitors up to 1920x1200 resolution.

Amd Eyefinity

Amd Eyefinity technology maximises your field of view across up to three displays, fully engaging your peripheral vision.  

For gamers this puts you right IN the game and for other applications it helps to increase productivity by maximising your visual workspace so that you can see more windows simultaneously.  

Amd Eyefinity technology is also ideal for multimedia applications as it allows you to keep several ‘palettes’ or ‘panels’ open over a larger workspace whist you edit your images or videos.

Specifications : 

Output 1 x Dual-Link DVI
1 x HDMI (with 3D)
1 x DisplayPort
1 x Single-Link DVI-D
Gpu : 775 MHz Core Clock
40 nm Chip
960 x Stream Processors
Memory : 1024 MB Size
256 -bit GDDR5
4000 MHz Effective
Software : Driver CD
Accessory : CrossFire™ Bridge Interconnect Cable
DVI to VGA Adapter
6 PIN to 4 PIN Power Cable
HDMI 1.4a high speed 1.8 meter cable(Full Retail SKU only)

Advanced Gddr5 Memory Technology

Gddr5 memory provides twice the bandwidth per pin of Gddr3 memory, delivering more speed and higher bandwidth.

40nm Process Technology

Cutting edge manufacturing process allows for efficient, high performance parts which use less power than their predecessors.

Amd Avivo HD (DVD/HD-DVD/Blu-ray Playback)

Watch the hottest Blu-ray movies or other HD content at full 1080p display resolution and beyond and enjoy a more feature rich experience with enhanced Unified Video Decoder(UVD)
Amd CrossFireX™ Multi-GPU Technology

Triple or Quadruple gaming power with AMD CrossFireX™ Multi-GPU Technology.AMD CrossFireX technology supports up to four graphics cards to be used in a single system.
PCI-Express 2.0

The latest PCI-Express 2.0 specification doubles data throughput from 2.5Gbps to 5Gbps allowing you to exploit the full performance potential of your graphics card.
Amd Hd3d Technology

Enjoy the most immersive experience possible with full support for High Definition Stereoscopic 3D, a technique that presents 2D images (movies, games, photos) in a format that creates the illusion of three-dimensional depth when using compatible 3D displays / glasses / software. 
Microsoft DirectX® 11

Get intense gaming performance and unrivalled image quality with stunning 3D visual effects, realistic lighting and lifelike imagery with SAPPHIRE graphics cards supporting DirectX®11. 

New features in DirectX®11 such as Hardware Tesselation, HDR Texture Compression, Multi-threading support and DirectCompute bring lifelike gaming and an experience never possible on a PC before.
OpenGL® 4.1

Supports the latest OpenGL API (Application Programming Interface) to accelerate performance of applications outside of DirectX®, i.e. Adobe Autodesk 2D/3D graphic design.
Shader Model 5.0

Supports the latest Shader Model 5.0 feature set including VTF (Vertex Texture Fetch) which is a key feature used extensively in many of the games that ship today. 

Without support for this feature the game will fall back to a lesser shader path resulting in the loss of cool, lifelike effects made possible by Shader Model 5.0

Amd Catalyst Control Center™

The Amd Catalyst Control Center™ software application gives you complete control over the performance and visual quality of your SAPPHIRE AMD Radeon™ based graphics card allowing for the best experience on your PC.

Accelerated Video Transcoding

Massively parallel architecture and support for common shader transcoding instructions accelerates video encoding / transcoding way beyond what was possible with the CPU only.

(Requires application support for AMD Stream technology and Digital rights management restrictions may apply)

Dolby® TrueHD and DTSHD Master Audio™ Support

Support for copy protected, high bandwidth, 7.1 channel surround sound over HDMI. 

Get a fully immersive, high definition audio experience with the latest Blu-ray movies. 

Requires a DVI to Hdmi dongle on some models, an HD capable monitor and a Blu-ray drive.

Anti-aliasing features

Supports advanced AA (Anti-aliasing) features to maximise your enjoyment of high definition gaming.

Multi-sample anti-aliasing (2, 4 or 8 samples per pixel)
Up to 24x Custom Filter Anti-Aliasing (CFAA) for superior quality
Adaptive super-sampling and multi-sampling
Gamma correct
Super AA (AMD CrossFireX™configurations only)
All anti-aliasing features compatible with HDR rendering
Physics processing support

Accelerates the performance of Fluid Dynamics, Cloth Simulation, Soft or Rigid Body Dynamics, Universal Collision Detection, Hair Simulation and Finite Element Analysis for the most lifelike gaming experience.
Amd PowerPlay™

Dynamically manage power efficiency and take control of your performance with AMD’s revolutionary AMD PowerPlay TM power management technology delivering high performance features when needed and conserving power when the demand on the graphics processor is low. 

This seemless technology dramatically reduces the overall power consumption allowing for break-through energy efficiency.
3rd Generation TeraScale Engine

Massive arrays of on-chip compute units offer the latest in graphics functionality and performance allowing you to enjoy what you are watching at the highest quality possible.
Amd Advanced Parallel Processing technology

Accelerate the most demanding applications by offloading parallel data compute tasks from the CPU to GPU, dividing the tasks as evenly as possible for improved system performance and reliability.
Display Flexibility

Offers an incredible choice of the latest display connectivity options natively on the board, including dual-link DVI-I, 

DisplayPort and HDMIalong with adapters to ensure compatibility with your legacy analogue vga monitor.
TriXX Utility

TriXX helps users to get the optimum performance from compatible Sapphire graphics cards in any application by allowing them to monitor, tune and save different settings of key parameters for the card.

Enhanced Unified Video Decoder 3 (UVD 3)

Watch the hottest Blu-ray movies or other HD content at full 1080p (and beyond !) display resolution. 

Enjoy a feature rich video experience with enhanced Unified Video Decoder 3 (UVD 3), offloading the bulk of the video decoding tasks from the CPU to the GPU allowing for a cooler, quieter and more balanced system.
Enhanced Internet Browser Applications

Not just for video and games, the power of your GPU can now accelerate the latest versions of some Internet browsers (IE9/Mozzilla FireFox) utilising Direct 2D rendering for a faster and more responsive browsing experience including high quality image rendering and media playback.

Windows® 7 support

Whql (Windows Hardware Quality Labs) Certified drivers and logos are available for all Sapphire HD2000, HD3000, HD4000 and HD5000 series cards ensuring compatibility and reliability with Microsoft Windows 7.
Amd App Acceleration

Amd App Acceleration is a set of technologies designed to improve video quality and enhance application performance. 

Full enablement of some features requires support for OpenCL, DirectCompute or DirectX Video Acceleration (DXVA).

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ati Radeon Hd 6970 2Gb

Manufacturer Ati

US price (as reviewed) $369 (ex tax) MSRP

Specifications :

The previous Radeon HD 6800-series got our hopes up in two ways,firstly it sounded like it’d be more than a mid-range GPU that went toe-to-toe with Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 460 cards, and secondly it wasn’t all that new. 

But while the Barts GPU of the HD 6800 looked more like an overclocked HD 5830 with a tweaked front-end unit, the Cayman GPU of the Radeon HD 6900 is a completely new design throughout.

Before we plunge into the details of the new GPU, let’s clear up the naming. 

We’re sticking with calling these cards ATI Radeons because that’s what most people know them as, and AMD has said that it’s fine with it partners gradually transitioning from ATI to AMD Graphics until 2.011. 

We still plan to switch when AMD’s Fusion APU is launched in early 2.011, as it’ll be silly to talk about a single piece of silicon that has both AMD and ATI technology.

Previously ATI has reserved the HD x900 family branding for its dual-GPU cards to give a bolder indication to the customer that a dual-GPU card should be much faster than a single-GPU HD x800-series card. However, because ATI needed the HD 5700-series to exist with the HD 6000-series, ‘Radeon HD 6800’ was already taken. 

The Radeon HD 6950 2GB and Radeon HD 6970 2GB are therefore both single-GPU cards. 

There is a plan to release a dual-GPU card based on two Cayman GPUs which we assume will be called the Radeon HD 6990 4GB. 

With the names out of the way, let’s stuck into what’s inside the silicon that makes a Cayman worthy of its HD 6900 name.

A Dual Front-End Design

While Nvidia went nuts with its Fermi design, breaking apart the elements of a typical GPU front-end and scattering them throughout the chip, 

ATI has been much more reserved. 

However, we’ve been expecting ATI to get a bit more radical for a while – after all, a GPU with only one tessellator and one setup engine is starting to look a bit anachronistic these days. 

While the Barts GPU added merely had a tessellator upgrade (to what ATI is called its 8th Gen Tessellator, which allows off-chip buffering) the Cayman design of the Radeon HD 6900-series has two entire front-end units.

There are some obvious advantages of having two front-end engines: you get two setup engines, two 8th Gen Tessellators, two geometry engines and the ability to send twice as much work per clock to the stream processors than before. 

ATI claims that the HD 6970 2GB has up to three times the tessellation rate of the HD 5870 1GB. 

These two front-end units can also load-balance the work flowing to them, and ATI has implemented ‘asynchronous dispatch’.

The new Cayman GPU of the Radeon HD 6970 2GB has two Fron-End Engines.

Asynchronous dispatch is like the ability of Nvidia’s Fermi GPUs to work on two distinct kernels simultaneously. 

However, ATI says that its technology is ‘completely new in the marketplace’ as it allows multiple, different programs to execute on the GPU at the same time. 

‘It’s not like other solutions where you [only] have one program that can spawn multiple kernels to run on the graphics card, you can genuinely have multiple, different applications running on the GPU at the same time’ Dave Bauman, Senior Product Manager, told us.

This should make the GPU more flexible for general-purpose work, the GPU will act more like a modern CPU. 

The two bidirectional DMA (Direct Memory Access) engines of the GPU are also pitched as enhancing the GPU Compute capabilities of the GPU, as they allow two simultaneous reads or writes or a simultaneous read and write per unit.

However, we’re unsure of the need for such advanced capabilities when it comes to gaming. 

A game runs as a single application, meaning that Nvidia’s technology is perfectly adequate, a game can invoke a DirectCompute kernel and throw it, as well as DirectX shader code, at Fermi GPU without concern.

Where the ATI technology will be useful is if many different applications try to use your graphics card, especially if they don’t have the courtesy to wait until you’ve finished gaming before doing so. 

It’s not impossible that anti-virus applications could be written in OpenCL, for example, as virus scanning.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Innovative dual Gpu design is also dramatically quieter than competitive products 

The Nvidia Geforce Gtx 590 is the world's fastest graphics card and the world's quietest dual gpu card too!

Nvidia engineered the Gtx 590 to be the world's quietest dual Gpu product. 

It features a special cooling system and dual vapor chambers which deliver both astounding performance and acoustics. 

Measured with a standard decibel meter, the Gtx 590 clocks in at 48dB, more than two times quieter than the closest competitive product under full graphics load. 

The Geforce Gtx 590 also incorporates a functional Led to let users know the operational state of the Gtx 590 card.

Nvidia today introduced the GeForce® Gtx® 590, the fastest dual graphics card available today which also happens to be the world's quietest too. 

Powered by dual Nvidia Fermi™-class gpus on a single card, the Gtx 590 is designed for über enthusiasts and those looking to build the ultimate PC gaming rig.

With a combined 1024 Nvidia cuda® architecture cores, 3gb of gddr5 memory, 6 billion transistors and over 2200 individual components all packed into an 11 inch dual slot card, the Gtx 590 delivers a staggering 32 tessellation engines that can power today's cutting edge DX11 games at resolutions of 2560x1600 and higher. 

With four separate video outputs on each card, consumers can configure their PC with four independent displays, or they can span their gaming across 3 3D displays, at a resolution up to 5760x1080 for an intense, immersive, stereoscopic gaming experience utilizing Nvidia 3D Vision™ Surround technology.

Like all Nvidia "DX11 Done Right" GPUs, the Gtx 590 delivers the world's fastest performance for dx11 games(i). 

And with Nvidia Sli® technology, the industry's most scalable multi gpu platform, gamers can increase their pc's gaming performance by adding a second Geforce Gtx 590, for an incredible quad sli gaming mode.

Nvidia engineered the Gtx 590 to be the world's quietest dual gpu product. It features a special cooling system and dual vapor chambers which deliver both astounding performance and acoustics. 

Measured with a standard decibel meter, the Gtx 590 clocks in at 48dB, more than two times quieter than the closest competitive product under full graphics load. 

To the human ear, this difference means the Gtx 590 delivers a 3d gaming experience that is typical of a quiet library. In comparison, the competition's product is more on par with a busy freeway.

"The Gtx 590 is the best dual gpu product ever built," said Drew Henry, general manager of Geforce gpu business at Nvidia. 

"With leading performance, support for multi-monitor 3d gaming, quad sli, and an acoustic envelope that begs to be heard for how quiet it is, the Gtx 590 epitomizes what a perfect dual graphics card looks, performs, and sounds like."

With an estimated selling e-tail price starting at $699 Usd, the GeForce Gtx 590 is available starting today from the world's leading add-in card partners, including Asus, EVGA, Gainward, Gigabyte, Inno3D, MSI, POV, Palit, and Zotac.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Video card buying tips


With the popularity of computer gaming video cards are becoming of of the most commonly upgraded components in a computer. 

However, purchasing a computer video card can sometimes be a very confusing and frustrating task. 

Before purchasing a video card, keep the below recommendations in mind.


Today, there are three bus (slots) a video card is capable of connecting to. 

Although with most modern computers today it'll be either PCI-E or AGP. 

Before buying a new video card make sure you get a video card that will be compatible with the available slots in your computer.

PCI-E or PCI-Express was approved as a standard on July 2.002 and is the latest computer bus found in computers. 

PCI Express is designed to replace PCI and AGP and is available in several different formats : x1, x2, x4, x8, x12, x16 and x32. 

AGP or Advanced Graphics Port, is a new standard available on Pentium II and later motherboards. 

Introduced in 1.997, AGP is a 32-bit bus designed for high demanding video cards. 

AGP has a direct line to the computer memory, which allows 3-D elements to be stored in the system memory instead of the video memory and is available in three different standards (1.0, 2.0, and 3.0). 

PCI or Peripheral Component Interconnect, was first introduced in 1.992. 

Although still in use most computers today will have an available AGP slot and should be used instead of PCI. 

How do I know what computer video card I have?

Power supply

Today's video cards are one of the must power hungry devices in your computer. 

Make sure that your power supply will meet the requirements of your video card. 

Many video cards will require a 500W or more power supply. 

If your computer doesn't meet the power requirements you'd need to upgrade the power supply before being able to install the new video card.


Another important consideration when purchasing a video card is the amount of video memory the card has. 

Like system memory, the more memory located on the computer video card in most cases the greater capability of the video card. 

Today, we suggest at the minimum a video card with 2 gb mb of video memory.

Other considerations

Below are some additional considerations you may want to think about when buying a video card.

Ports - Many newer video cards will only have a DVI connection or both a VGA and DVI connection. 

If you're using a video card with a monitor that has a VGA connector it can still be used, but you'll need to also purchase a DVI to VGA converter if not included with your video card.

Chipset - There are dozens of different video card manufacturers. 

However, there are only two major chipset manufacturers; Nvidia and ATI. 

Although both are great manufacturers there can be great big differences between the two as far as performance. 

Before buying any video card it's a good idea to look up a hardware review on the video card before purchasing it if you're concerned about it's performance.

Size - If you have a smaller computer case fitting some of the new video cards in the computer many not be possible. 

Video cards today are much larger than older video cards because of their increased capabilities and need for cooling fans. 

Make sure your case is going to have room for a new video card. 

The only way to do this is to open the case and physically look.

Warranty - How long is the warranty and what does it cover.

Support - Is the technical support number a free number and is it open 24 hours, 7 days a week? 

You can find contact information for all major video card manufacturers on our video card contacts page.

Price range

The price range can vary depending on the brand of video card, amount of memory, the interface used, and other available options. 

In general prices can range from $100 to $1,500 Usd.

Where to purchase

For best price we often recommend that users purchase all computer hardware online. 

You'll be able to look at other customer reviews and get a much lower price. 

If you're uncomfortable buying online or want to talk to a sales rep you can always visit a local retail store and then buy online.

Asus Gtx 680-Dc2t-2Gd5

Asus Gtx 680 Directcu II : coolest and quietest 28nm card

Cranked 143MHz over reference for an ultimate boost clock of 1201MHz

All new Directcu thermal design utilizes five all-copper heatpipes and 20% bigger dissipation area, achieving 20% cooler and 14dB quieter performance than reference

Acclaimed DIGI+ VRM with 10-phase Super Alloy Power technology delivers precise digital power and enhanced overclocking headroom.

VGA Hotwire allows you to plug and solder wires on the card’s voltage regulators and accurately read and control Vcore, Vmem, and PLL voltages on a hardware level

GPU Tweak utility helps you modify and tune boost clock, power target , and fan performance via an intuitive interface.


Direct cooling for 20% cooler than reference

If the GPU is the heart of a graphics card, then the cooling device would be its lungs. 

Without it, the graphics card would not be able to "breath" smoothly, causing it to break down or even cause the entire system to fail. 

For ultimate cooling, ASUS DirectCU thermal technology developed the ideal heat banishing copper in exclusively designed heat pipes for direct and fast heat dissipation.

Asus Directcu technology

Thick copper heatpipes are accurately positioned in direct contact with the GPU surface so heat is transported and dissipated efficiently to the heatsink - achieving a 20% cooler performance than reference. 

Since heat is carried away faster, fans can spin at a lower speed thus resulting in quieter performance than reference.


Graphics Engine NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
Bus Standard PCI Express 3.0
Video Memory GDDR5 2GB
Engine Clock GPU Boost Clock : 1201 MHz
GPU Base Clock : 1137 MHz
CUDA Core 1536
Memory Clock 6008 MHz ( GDDR5 )
Memory Interface 256-bit
Resolution DVI Max Resolution : 2560x1600
Interface DVI Output : Yes x 1 (DVI-I), Yes x 1 (DVI-D)
HDMI Output : Yes x 1 
Display Port : Yes x 1 (Regular DP)
Accessories 1 x Power cable
1 x Extended SLI cable
Software ASUS Utilities & Driver
ASUS Features DirectCU Series
TOP Series 
Super Alloy Power
Dimensions 11.8 " x 5.1 " x 2.3 " Inch

Note *To have the best cooling performance, Asus Gtx680-Dc2t-2gd5 extends the fansink to 2.5 slots. 

Please double check you Chassis and Motherboard dimension prior to purchase to make sure it fits in your system!

*Note that the actual boost clock will vary depending on actual system conditions. 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Ken Brown, a spokesman for Nvidia, told the media that Kepler silicon will be available this year, but now it seems production of graphic cards will not happen until late 2.012. 

So far, we have been under the impression that Kepler cards could be arriving just in time for Christmas, even if Nvidia already had said at the International Supercomputing Conference in June that the new cards may be delayed by a month or two.

Kepler will be succeeding the Fermi architecture and use a 28 nm production process. 

There have been rumors that Nvidia is struggling with the 28 nm production and that manufacturing is causing the delay. 

Of course, Nvidia isn't commenting on the delay and no chip manufacturer would ever give a statement on yield issues anyway. 

However, Nvidia is under pressure of getting Kepler out on time and especially get to Kepler right. 

The current Fermi architecture was delayed several times and had a less than perfect launch.

According to information released by Nvidia so far, Kepler cards will triple the dual-precision floating point performance of Fermi and hit up to 6 dp GFlops, while its successor Maxwell (scheduled for a 2.013 release) is expected to with almost 16 dp GFlops. 

These are big promises and Nvidia wouldn't want to miss them.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Overclocking is a great way to eke a bit more gaming power out of your computer, and Windows users have quite a few tools to help them do it easily. 

Our favorite of the bunch is the insanely easy to use, feature-filled MSI Afterburner.

MSI Afterburner
Platform: Windows
Price: Free

Features : 

Change your core clock, shader clock, memory clock, and fan speed using simple sliders

Works on nearly any video card, not just MSI-manufactured cards

Turn on voltage tuning for super high overclocks

Built-in access to MSI's Kombustor benchmarking tool

Monitor your clocks, voltage, fan speeds, frame rate, and more from the app's drawer or from an on screen display during games

Save your settings to 5 different profiles for quick loading

Take screenshots and capture videos from your games with hotkeys

Fine tune the automatic fan control so you stay at the temperatures you want

Multiple different skins for changing the interface

Start with Windows or apply settings at boot, so your card is always overclocked

Where it excels

MSI Afterburner is so easy, a caveman could use it. 

Even without delving into the settings, you can overclock your card just by tweaking the sliders on the main window, hitting apply, and moving on to your game. 

The built-in access to a benchmarking program is great too, and being able to see your fan speeds and FPS levels in-game is super useful, especially when you first start overclocking. 

MSI Afterburner has just about everything you could want from a modern overclocking program.

Where it falls short

My only beef with Afterburner is that the interface is very large. 

Many people probably won't find this to be an issue, but as someone who uses dual monitors to keep an eye on other things while I game including my overclocking settings it irks me that it takes up so much space. 

The interface also seems a little hard to read at times, what with all the cool colors jumping out at you. 

It also only has 5 profiles, and while that's more than I'll ever use, its competitors offer more. 

These are very tiny nitpicks, though, and would only really apply to people in specific situations.

The competition

EVGA Precision is nearly identical to MSI Afterburner in every way. 

It has all the same features (save the one-click access to Kombustor), but is branded with the EVGA logo instead of the MSI logo. 

I prefer it for its interface, which takes up half the size of MSI's and looks a little better. 

However, Precision's voltage tuning is buried in the settings rather than on the main window of the app, which is kind of weird. 

Afterburner's better placement of the voltage tuner and its one-click access to Kombustor is why we think it just edges out Precision, though they both have their perks. 

And seriously, other than that, they're the exact same.

ATITool is another popular program, though it isn't quite as powerful as Afterburner or Precision. 

It has simple core and memory clock sliders, as well as a built-in benchmarking tool, but neither are as good as the above. 

I've included it for completeness, but unless you're having problems with the other two, I'd skip ATITool.

Lastly, if you have an older card, you can try RivaTuner. 

RivaTuner was long the king of overclocking programs, but hasn't been updated in a few years, so it doesn't work with newer cards. 

And, while Afterburner and Precision are built off RivaTuner, RivaTuner has a lot of advanced options like plugins for CPU monitoring, monitoring cheat programs, and others. 

Its interface is not nearly as good as the others, though, so unless you see RivaTuner features you absolutely must have (and have an older video card), Afterburner is still your best bet.

These are the best tools out there for overclocking, but you'll need more than just an overclocking program to make it happen. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Amd Radeon Hd 7850 2 Gb

The Pitcairn little lad has arrived in the shape of the Amd Radeon Hd 7850 and it could well be a pint-sized powerhouse.

The Hd 7850 pretty much finalises Amd's current plans for the southern islands line up, bar the crazy-expensive dual-gpu New Zealand card which is likely waiting on Nvidia's new cards.

We may see some other odd little revisions once Nvidia's kepler cards start trickling out, just to fill some gaps, but this is going to be the last standard card for a while.

The Amd Radeon Hd 7850 is also the card that's arguably got the most chance of being successful out of this family. 

At the price it looks likely to retail at, the sub-£200 mark, it could well be the highest-selling of Amd's enthusiast-class cards.

Like the Amd Radeon Hd 7870 that we've already seen, the Hd 7850 is though going to face a lot of stiff competition at this price-point.

Pitcairn Pro is what you'll learn to know as the Radeon HD 7850, it features 16 Compute Units, 1024 Stream (shader) Processors, 64 texture units and 32 ROPs.  

It's core and memory frequencies fall behind that of the 7870 but is still clocked at a good 860 MHz core with 1.20GHz (4800 MHz effective) on the memory. 

The 7850 tested has 2GB of graphics memory, but for this model we expect to see both 2GB and 1GB memory variants in the stores, again the memory is based on a 256-bit interface.

The 7870 is expected to have an MSRP of $349 USD, whereas the 7850 will be available for $249 (2GB). 

Typically prices in Eur would be slightly lower.

Amd has been focusing on three primary features and key selling points ever since the series 5000 products were released. 

First off, the new graphics adapters are of course Directx 11 ready. 

With Windows 7 and Vista being Dx11 ready all we need are some games to take advantage of Direct Compute, multi-threading, hardware tessellation and new shader 5.0 extensions.

Another big feature of the product that you already learned about is of course eyefinity, the ability to connect many monitors (depending on AIC/AIB choices in outputs) to your videocard and use it in a desktop environment, or to create an incredibly wide monitor resolution to play games in. 

The third big and prominent feature is of course performance for money. 

It's new, it's affordable, it has Amd written all over it.

Head on over to the next page where we'll meet and greet Pitcairn, aka the Radeon HD 7800 series.

While the Hd 7700 series left us feeling overall pretty flat, the same can't be said for Amd's new Hd 7900 series which offered us awesome performance. 

Along with strong numbers, though, we saw the new 28nm based cards run cooler, quieter and draw less power at both idle and load, they impressed us a lot.

We've got our fingers crossed that the Hd 7800 series sits more in line with the Hd 7900 series than it does the Hd 7700 series. 

Of course what's really going to matter is the performance of the new model. 

Before we look at that, though, we need to see what's going on with the card itself. 

While we'd normally start off with the packaging, because we're dealing with a reference card from Amd, we don't have one. 

Once we've looked at the card and taken a closer look at the main specifications, we'll move into our testbed, which then of course leads us into the performance side of things.

Well, that just about covers that, so let's just take a closer look at the card and see what exactly is going on with this new series and model from Amd.