Review: EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW2
We check out the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW2 iCX 8G, and heck yeah this is not your regular one. Meet the all custom, cooled and tweaked EVGA "For-The-Win2" Edition. This SKU is a more premium version that comes with some new features, e.g. read sensors everywhere!
Read the full review here.
AMD Releases Catalyst 12.1 WHQL Driver Download
AMD has made available the first WHQL-certified graphics drivers of 2012, the Catalyst 12.1. This release includes support for Radeon HD 2000, HD 3000, HD 4000, HD 5000 and HD 6000 series desktops (and mobile) cards (but not the HD 7970), for Radeon 3000 and HD 4000 chipsets, and features the following:
AMD HD3D technology support enhancement
- Enables support for AMD HD3D technology in conjunction with AMD CrossFireX configurations
- Delivers a new Stereo 3D mode over HDMI 1.4a connections - 1080p at 30Hz is now enabled on supported display
AMD Catalyst Control Center / Vision Engine Control Center enhancements - Application Profiles
- AMD Catalyst 12.1 Preview driver enables users to create per application profiles to individually control 3D and CrossFireX settings for Direct3D applications
- Please be sure to select the "Restore Factory Defaults" option under the Catalyst Control Center Preferences menu before using the new application profiles feature - this ensures there are no compatibility issues between previous drivers and the new AMD Catalyst 12.1 Preview driver with regards to application profiles
AMD Catalyst Control Center / Vision Engine Control Center enhancements - Video UI improvements
- AMD Catalyst 12.1 Preview driver includes user interface enhancements to simply adjustment of video color and video quality controls.
We have a discussion thread open over here.
Wii U 'Twice as Powerful as Xbox 360
Develop is reporting that the Wii U will be roughly twice as powerful as the Xbox 360. Nintendo's next generation hardware will be roughly twice as powerful as Microsoft's current system, the Xbox 360, according to a studio source speaking to Develop.
The person, communicating anonymously from a studio currently building a Wii U title, said the new Nintendo console could achieve roughly twice the processing and graphical potential of Microsofts current generation machine.
While twice the power of an Xbox 360 is broadly above market expectations, Develop's source claimed this is in fact less than some studios had expected. "I've heard [a project designer] complain it's underpowered compared to what Nintendo announced, resulting in people having to de-scale their plans," the source added.
Nintendos persistence with non-disclosure agreements means that it has been difficult for Develop to cross-examine the sources claim, which was made late last year.
However, yesterday a separate insider source told IGN that the next generation Xbox will be "six times as powerful" as its predecessor the key addition being that this will mean it yields a "200 per cent greater performance than Wii U".
That unverified calculation, if true, echoes claims from the Develop source who claims the Wii U is far more powerful than current expectations.
Xbox 720 Will get GPU based on Radeon 6670
The next-gen Xbox will ship to retailers in late October or early November of next year with six times the processing power of the Xbox 360, sources close to the project have told the lads from IGN:
Following initial reports sources have confirmed that mass production of the system's GPU will indeed begin by the end of 2012 but will not, however, be based on AMD's 7000 series Southern Islands GPU. Instead, the processor will be derived from the 6000 series, which was introduced last year. More specifically, it will be akin to the Radeon HD 6670, which offers support for DirectX11, multidisplay output, 3D and 1080p HD output. The chip currently has a market price of upwards of $79.99.
In real terms, the Xbox 720's raw graphics processing power is expected to be six times that of the Xbox 360 and will yield 20-percent greater performance than Nintendo's forthcoming console, the Wii U.
Developers are likely to receive development kits based on the system's final configuration in August. Projected pricing for the console was not provided.
CM 690 II Advanced Black & White Edition
Cooler Master, an industry leading chassis, thermal solution, power supply, peripheral, and accessory manufacturer, today announces the trendy and stylish CM 690 II Advanced Black & White Edition based on the feedback from market.
Optimized Cooling System
Time tested as a titan among mid-tower cases, the CM 690 II makes it possible to take advantage of excellent airflow and water cooling options to vastly reduce temperatures on system components. The roomy interior space of CM 690 II Advanced Black & White enables users to install up to 10 fans, with enlarged mesh design for superb ventilation. Users can accommodate 120x240mm radiator at the top and bottom for superior cooling performance. It also supports up to 2 radiators for water cooling units, and larger CPU cooler, such as Hyper 612 PWM.
More User-friendly Design with Improved Expansibility
Keeping the ideal filter design of previous generation, the new CM 690 II series is also equipped with filters on all meshed area and bottom for easy maintenance. With the tool-free 5.25
AIDA64 Version 2.20 out for grabs
FinalWire released updated AIDA64 Extreme Edition software, a streamlined diagnostic and benchmarking tool for home users; and the immediate availability of AIDA64 Business Edition 1.50 software, an essential network management solution for small and medium scale enterprises.
The new AIDA64 update implements AVX-optimized benchmarks for the upcoming Intel Sandy Bridge processors, adds a brand new video encoding benchmark, and supports the latest AMD and nVIDIA graphics processors.
New features & improvements
- OpenCL GPGPU Stress Test
- Support for Intel Atom "Cedarview" processors
- Support for Intel Core "Ivy Bridge" APUs and Intel 7-Series chipsets
- ACPI 5.0 and OpenCL 1.2 support
- GPU details for AMD Radeon HD 7970 and nVIDIA GeForce GT 640
AMD A6 3500 triple core APU review
We look at entry level hardware, for a great deal you get some processor power and actually quite some decent GPU power all harbored inside that processor. We'll go even weirder though, as today we'll be testing a triple core APU, yes that is an APU with three physical CPU cores activated, instead of the four you expected.
The three CPU cores product was actually announced last year already but now finally seems to be available in good volume in the stores, at the nice price of only 70 EUR here in the Netherlands.
Read the article here.
Nvidia: We Expected More from the Radeon HD 7900 Series
Okay .. Awkward .. Now AMD had a pretty good launch with the Radeon HD 7970, NVIDIA however isn
AMD Financial Results for 2011 and Q4
AMD did reasonably well over the course of the fourth quarter, 2011, as well as the year as a whole.
That isn't to say that it actually made much profit, quite the opposite in fact, for October-December at least. There was a net loss of $177 million (136 million Euro, give or take), though it did not come about as a consequence of weak sales.
The marketing performance actually wasn't too bad, with revenues staying flat compared to the third quarter ($1.69 billion / 1.29 billion Euro). Also, for the whole year, revenue increased a small bit, ending up at $6.57 billion (5.04 billion Euro).
That said, the reason AMD incurred a loss this past quarter instead of profiting was the impairment of investments in Globalfoundries ($209 million / 160.5 million Euro loss). There were also some restructuring changes to cover, so the Sunnyvale, California-based corporation spent $98 million on that (75.26 million Euro).
If one factors in whatever monetary returns AMD managed to accrue, that leaves the CPU, APU and graphics card maker with a loss of $177 million for Q4 2011. Fortunately, the whole year didn't fare as bad, with the net income being of $491 million (377 million Euro), meaning $20 million / 15.3 million Euro above the sum of 2010 ($471 million / 361.72 million Euro).
Over 30 million APUs were shipped in 2011, belonging to the A, C and E lines, while the Bulldozer-based Opteron 6200/4200 CPUs enabled the server business to thrive. This fits with how Linley Group recently dubbed the 6200 as the best server processors currently available.
For the first quarter of 2012 (January-March), Advanced Micro Devices expects to face a revenue drop of 8%, give or take 3%.
XFX halts DoubleLifetime Warranty
It was noticed that with the AMD HD 7000-series release, XFX has silently moved away from their Double Lifetime Warranty and has instead moved to a more basic coverage model.
XFX explained that the Double Lifetime warranty isn't sustainable and they decided to pull it starting at the HD 7900-series cards release. This is what the warranty policies of XFX' HD 7900 graphics cards look like:
- Cards with Double Dissipation (Double D) or whose product number ends in "R" get Lifetime warranty if registered within 30 days.
- All other cards (ex: HD 7970 Core Edition; FX797ATNFC) get 2 Year Warranty
EVGA releases $100 EPower Board
EVGA released a new piece of silicon called the EPower Board, it basically is a VRM board that you can use with motherboards and/or graphics card (some soldering required). All this to apply more watts required for uber-overclocking.
This warranty-voiding device features a 10-phase main output, a 3-phase secondary output, digital PWM (for the main output), three 6-pin PCIe power connectors, plus EVBot and fan support.
The EPower Board costs $99.99 and is "intended only for advanced users with electronics experience."
EVGA "The Untouchables" EPower board is a separate VRM board to provide additional power for target devices, such as videocard, motherboard or other devices which may need high-current low-voltage power source.
The EVGA EPower board is designed to operate with two voltage outputs:
VCORE output - Voltage adjustment range of 800mV to 2000mV. Current source up to 400A.
VDIMM output - Voltage adjustment range of 1000mV to 5000mV. Current source up to 80A.
AWG12 or AWG10 Copper Wire with Insulation
60W or 80W Soldering Iron
Digital Multimeter for Resistance and Voltage Checks
EVGA EVBot with X58 Firmware
80 or 120mm +12V DC FAN with 3-pin header for VRM Cooling
Flux and Solder for Wire Joints
PowerVR working on real-time ray-tracing accelerator card
Anyone remember PowerVR Kyro II based cards ? Well, Imagination Technologies is planning to make a return to the discrete graphics card market in the second half of this year. Last year the company acquired ray-tracing firm Caustic Graphics, and the plan is to use this technology in a GPGPU workstation card that promises to deliver real-time ray-tracing.
Last year, Imagination Technologies acquired Caustic Graphics, a small start-up company out of San Francisco which was working hard on creating an accelerator that would make real-time ray-tracing a reality. The company managed to create two generations of products which were more technology demonstrators than anything else, but their FPGA chips worked.
Following the acquisition, Caustic continued working hard on building commercial purpose for its technology and on CES 2012, we managed to see the birth of commercialization. By using OpenRL Brazil 3.0 software dev kits (SDK), Imagination Technologies are in the final stages of bringing a real-time ray-tracing accelerator card to market.
Origin Signs 11 publishers
EA sent out a press release announcing their Origin service is expanding further beyond its EA-exclusive origins to add games from 11 more publishers:
REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Electronic Arts (EA) Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) announced today that Origin, EA's direct-to-consumer gaming platform, will soon feature PC downloadable games from Trion Worlds, Robot Entertainment and nine other game publishers. Starting today, Trion's MMORPG Rift is the first new title added to Origin for purchase and download by PC gamers, with many more titles coming soon.
Origin is focused on providing choice to consumers and the games they play
Additional titles from publishers CD PROJEKT RED, Freebird Games, Recoil Games, Autumn Games, 1C Company, inXile entertainment, Paradox Interactive, Core Learning Ltd. and N3V Games will be available on Origin in the coming months. Origin is focused on providing choice to consumers and the games they play, said Craig Rechenmacher, Vice President of Business Development and Marketing for Origin at EA. From blockbuster franchises to high-quality independent titles, we're bringing the industry's best content to one place. We're excited to welcome new partners and a diverse new line-up of titles to Origin today. More information about individual titles and release dates will be available on www.origin.com.
The digital versions of Rift have seen incredible success, and Origin offers an ideal direct-to-consumer avenue for gamers interested in experiencing the rich world of Telara, said Jim Butler, Trion's Senior Director of Global Marketing. Origin has established itself as a destination for top titles currently available in the evolving digital marketplace, so it's definitely a place that Trion wants to be.
Origin offers digital downloads of more than 100 PC titles from EA and other leading game publishers. In addition to providing fast and safe game downloads and social connectivity to your gaming friends, Origin features live streaming demos, free-to-play games and cloud saves to save games and gameplay achievements online and access them from multiple PC gaming systems.
Assassin's Creed Revelations DLC 2 Released
The Mediterranean Traveller Map Pack enriches the Assassin's Creed Revelations multiplayer experience with features that include:
- All-new multiplayer maps to maneuver through: Jerusalem, Constantinople and Dyers
- Fan-favorite Italian Renaissance maps from Assassin's Creed Brotherhood to revisit: Firenze (Florence), San Donato and Siena
- All-new Trophies and Achievements to earn
The addition of six multiplayer maps introduces new gameplay opportunities through each map's varied terrain, perches and hideouts. The new collection of Trophies and Achievements will allow players to try their hand at kills and escapes that are as impressive as they are effective.
Canon EOS 5D Mark III Full-Frame DSLR Spotted
Antec Three Hundred Two PC Chassis
Antec announces the Three Hundred Two enclosure, the latest addition to their Gaming Series. This sleek, black chassis is designed to handle today's and tomorrow's high-performance systems that are custom built for gamers from the inside-out.
The Three Hundred Two enclosure is perfect for gamers, system integrators and casual builders alike because of its extensive cooling advantages and expandability.
High Performance Cooling Advantages - The Three Hundred Two is built for maximum cooling thanks to its perforated front bezel, included dual TwoCool fans, and four optional fans, including a 120 mm CPU exhaust fan behind the motherboard, to ensure gamers can play beyond the long hours of the night.
Extensive Compatibility and Expandability - The Three Hundred Two utilizes eight expansion slots for up to three 12.5" (318 mm) graphics cards for compatibility with the largest GPUs.
LucidLogix Hydra About to Be Axed
LucidLogix' Hydra system-on-chip devices may have just made the difference clear between a revolutionary breakthrough and something that is 'just' a breakthrough. The Hydra 200 SoC, first used in the MSI Hydra 200 Big Bang Fuzion motherboard, seemed to fit the bill of a revolutionary technology perfectly when it emerged for the first time.
With the ability to allow AMD and NVIDIA graphics cards to work in tandem, regardless of model, it seemed to be just what everyone was waiting for. Unfortunately, the great idea turned out not to be so well received, even though initial appreciations were high.
In the end, the performance of Hydra-enabled multi-card setups was inferior to that of 'pure' AMD CrossFire or NVIDIA SLI configurations.
Now, there are genuine concerns that nothing more will come of the idea. Looking back, it seems as though the way the whole idea was approached wrong. Only some high-end motherboards actually got landed with Hydra, but the price premium made CrossFireX and SLI models all the more appealing. After all, if people could afford a high-end platform, they could just as easily afford a pair of AMD or NVIDIA cards as well.
It doesn't help the technology's situation that MSI announced it had decided not to include Hydra SoCs on future products. All in all, cross compatibility for video cards was one of those dreams that proved not to be all they were cracked up to be when they finally came true.
On the bright side, Lucid, as a company, doesn't have to worry about its wellbeing, since the Virtu and XLR8 technologies have been fueling its finances quite readily. At this point, it is almost a certainty that LucidLogix will just go ahead and abandon the whole hardware side as obsolete. If nothing else, NVIDIA and AMD can sit back and breathe a sigh of relief.
Cougar Evolution BO PC Chassis
German company Compucase, the guys behind Cougar is about to release a new chassis called the Evolution BO. This 'Super Midi-Tower' is a variation of the already-available Evolution model and features a black/orange color scheme, a steel structure, support for micro ATX and ATX motherboards, and a top-mounted 3.5-inch/2.5-inch SATA drive dock.
The Evolution BO measures 223 (W) x 523 (D) x 514 (H) mm, and has an I/O panel with two USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports, a built-in fan controller, six external 5.25-inch bays (with tool-free mounting systems), four internal 3.5-inch trays, eight PCI slots, one 120 mm Vortex HDB fan installed at the rear (up to six more fans can be installed), and two pre-drilled holes for watercooling tubing (found at the back). The Evolution BO will hit stores priced at 99 Euro.
StormST Still Tower Gamer Edition PC
Japanese PC manufacturer StormST releases their Still Tower Gamer Edition desktop PC, which is configured to offer decent features and performance at a value price point. It's more of a "pre-integrated PC", since even its chassis is sourced from other brands. The chassis is an NZXT H2 (white or black) silent case.
Innards include Intel Core i7-2600K processor cooled by SCYTHE APSALUS2 120 closed-loop water cooler, ASRock Z68 Pro3 motherboard, 8 GB (4 GB x2) DDR3-1333 MHz memory, ELSA Gladiac GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1 GB graphics, Intel SSD 320 Series 80 GB holding the OS and Program Files, 2 TB storage HDD holding Users and Documents folders, Pioneer DVD writer, Antec Earthwatts Green 650W PSU, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OS. All this, for 129,780 JPY or US $1,685.