Gigabyte GeForce GTX 285 review | test
Here we test the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 285. A product that is clocked at reference speeds and comes with a very average bundle. With this reference based product in mind we were interested to see what we could save in terms of money if we just did not opt for an overclocked, xxx, OC, SSC and what not editions. It's interesting to see how well AIBs monetized the passion we all share; overclocking. So from that point of view it should be interesting to test the reference based product with no whistles and bells, and see if we can tweak it a little ourselves.
The trick is however, it's really affordable and as we learned .. very overclockable. Why not make your own OC model and forget about the premium price you have to pay for the pre-overclocked products ?
Click here to read the full Guru3D review.
ATI Releases R700 Family Architecture Details
AMD released a 392 pages strong PDF outlining the R700-Family Instruction Set Architecture, this week. It includes documentation for the RV710 (Radeon 4350/4550), the RV730 (Radeon 4670/4650), the RV740 (Radeon 4770/4750), the RV770 (Radeon 4870/4850/4830), and the RV790 (Radeon 4890).
"This document describes the instruction set architecture (ISA) native to the R700 family of processors. It defines the instructions and formats accessible to programmers and compilers. The document serves two purposes:
- It specifies the instructions (including the format of each type of instruction) and the relevant program state (including how the program state interacts with the instructions). Some instruction fields are mutually dependent; not all possible settings for all fields are legal. This document specifies the valid combinations.
- It provides the programming guidelines for compiler writers to maximize processor performance.
This document is intended for programmers writing application and system software, including operating systems, compilers, loaders, linkers, device drivers, and system utilities; it is specifically for those who want to maximize software performance. It assumes that programmers are writing compute-intensive parallel applications (streaming applications) and assumes an understanding of requisite programming practices."
One interesting detail is the missing burst reads in memory read instructions of the RV770:
"Burst memory reads are not supported by the RV770; however, the 710, 730, 740, and 790 do support it. Chips after R770 support burst reads in memory-read instructions. This allows up to 16 consecutive locations to be read into up to 16 consecutive GPRs."
Provided that ATI is going to take advantage of this feature in the RV790 with their drivers, the Radeon HD 4890 should be able to work more efficiently than the RV770 series (Radeon 4870/4850/4830).
Windows 7 Release Candidate to ship in May
Someone with slipery fingers at Microsoft has prematurely let slip when the company plans to push out the Release Candidate version of Windows 7 by posting the download page early.Microsoft has refused to comment on when users can expect to see a near-ready version of Windows 7 arrive but many observers were expecting an April release.
Well, the cat's out the bag and the Windows 7 RC won't be available until May.
The download page appears to still be live at time of writing.
The download page reveals that the RC will be available until June this year, there's no limit on product key and it's set to expire in June 2010.
It also details hardware spec requirements for the operating system, including a PC running a minimum 1 GHz 32-bit or 64-bit processor or higher, 1GB of system memory and support for DirectX 9 graphics with 128MB memory. So there you have it, Microsoft has inadvertently set the clock ticking but many will be wondering if it can stick to the schedule this time[ via register].
Nvidia may purchase VIA
VIA Technologies plans to sell 300 million new shares at a price ranging from NT$9-12 (US$0.27-0.35) per share through private placement, the company has announced. Nvidia is reportedly in talks with VIA to take up a portion of the new shares, according to market sources.
VIA commented that possible candidates for the private placement will be made clear after a shareholder meeting scheduled on June 19. Nvidia declined to comment market speculation.
In additional news, VIA also announced plans to invest an extra NT$900 million into its optical storage making subsidiary, VIA Optical Solution.
NVIDIA nForce 980a SLI Reference Platform Motherboard
An interesting snippet of news was found at techpowerup today. NVIDIA is in a bit of a struggle with Intel as you guys know. So they are pursueing AMD Phenom II ... and why the heck not ? great processors really.
The company published the product page on its website, and has pictured its reference design motherboard based on the chipset. The motherboard carries the "designed by NVIDIA" marking, which makes it a design that several of its AIC partners such as EVGA, XFX, Zotac, etc., can use simultaneously.
The motherboard sports the nForce 980a SLI chipset, paired with the nForce 200 PCI-Express bridge chip. The motherboard features a GeForce 8300-class IGP, with DVI-D and D-Sub outputs. It supports NVIDIA 3-way SLI and Quad-SLI. As an AMD platform, the chipset supports AM2, AM2+ and AM3 socket processors, with DDR3 and DDR2 memory support (depending on the processor). A 5-phase digital PWM circuit powers the processor. The nForce 980a SLI and nForce 200 chips are located adjacent to each other, and are cooled actively by a fan-heatsink. The product design looks production-grade and may attract partners to sell it.
Get famous on Google Earth
Hehe .. too funny really. An 18-year old UK fellah thought the best way to get noticed on Google Earth would be to paint a giant 60 feet phallus on the flat roof of his parent's mansion. His parents only found out after a helicopter pilot contacted newspaper The Sun.
Andy McInnes, a company director, thought it was an April Fool's joke, but his son Rory confessed he had painted the penis artwork on the roof a year ago, after watching a programme about Google Earth.
Check out more info at Telegraph via dvhardware.
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Debut Trailer
Download: Realtek HD Audio 2.20 Driver
The latest download of Realtek's HD audio driver version available for Windows XP and Vista. It supposedly runs under Windows 7 too.
The HD audio driver version for Realtek chips is available for download on our server. This download offers both the Windows XP and Vista binaries, the files contain drivers for the 32 Bit and 64 Bit versions. All Realtek HD audio chips, which are common on many motherboards and in notebooks, are supported. The sound specialist still offers the Beta version 0.1 of the 3D Sound Back Utility which preserves or reactivates 3D sound effects such as Surround, reverb and stereoscopic effects of older games under Windows Vista. Since it is a beta version, the use is used at one's own risk only. You should backup your important files before using the software.
Here is an extract from the change log . Unfortunately improvements of performance are rare for new audio drivers. An uninstall problem in Windows 7 has now been fixed.
Realtek HD Audio Driver support all of Realtek HD Audio Codec in Vista/WinXP/Win2000/Win2003.
Driver Package R2.20
Realtek HD Audio Driver support all of Realtek HD Audio Codec .
1. Vista WHQL Supporting: ALC882, ALC883, ALC885, ALC888, ALC889, ALC861VD, ALC660, ALC662, ALC663, ALC665, ALC260, ALC262,ALC267, ALC268, ALC269, ALC272, ALC273, ALC887
2. Windows 2000/XP WHQL Supporting: ALC880, ALC882, ALC883, ALC885, ALC888, ALC889, ALC861VC, ALC861VD, ALC660, ALC662, ALC663, ALC665, ALC260, ALC262, ALC267,ALC268, ALC269, ALC272, ALC273, ALC887
3. HDMI Device WHQL Support: ATI HDMI Devices
4. OS Supporting: Microsoft WindowsXP, Widnows2000, Windows Server 2003, Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows7 - x86/x64
5. Pack with Microsoft High Definition Audio UAAV1.0a(5013)
1.) Driver :
Download: click here.
Download: Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2.18.0010
This download is a driver providing Microsoft
Download: EVGA Precision v1.6.0
EVGA Precision allows you to fine tune your GeForce graphics card for the maximum performance possible, with Core/Shader/Memory clock tuning, real time monitoring support including in-game, Logitech Keyboard LCD Display support, and compatibility with almost all EVGA (and other) graphics cards.
New multi-GPU systems control approach. Now Precision gives you independent access to thermal monitoring, overclocking and fan control settings of all GPUs installed in the system regardless of SLI mode status. Please take a note that the previous version settings and profiles are not compatible with version 1.5.0+ and will be lost.Version History EVGA Precision v1.6.0 (2009-03-26)
- Now Precision monitoring window can be detached from the main form allowing the user to define custom monitoring window position and size. Double click attached monitoring window to detach it from the main form, double click it one more time or simply close it to attach it back.
- Now Precision provides multi-GPU control for the systems with up to 8 NVIDIA GPUs to ensure compatibility with future SLI systems and provide support for modern 5-GPU Quad-SLI + PhysX systems.
- Optimized multi-GPU profiles loader drastically reduces profiles load time when GPU synchronization mode is enabled.
- Now Precision always sorts GPUs by PCI location to ensure that GPU indices stay the same in the system regardless of operating system, display driver version and GPU display outputs connection.
- EVGA On-Screen Display Server has been updated to version 3.2.0. Similar to the previous version of Precision, new server also features new skin format v1.1 adding bitmap effects support to the skin compiler.
- Added new black skin edition.
Download: click here
Daily deals Mar 27 2009
So for the daily deals we often revert to CPUs, power supplies, memory and graphics cards. For this bulletin I wanted to do something else, PC cases.
A chassis is always a personal choice, so this it is a bit of a daunting challenge to point you to some nice deals. None the less, I hope you like my choices, the prices are among the best I found on the web for you. Check it out:
- Antec Skeleton Mini Tower - You hate it or love it, the design however is really controversial. Just have a look at the design if you do not know what I am talking about. It is selling for $149.99
- Cooler Master Cosmos S Black Full Tower - This one I own myself. I adore it, I love it a little really. It's so stylish and the space is just amazing. Not cheap though, the best price I could find is $199.99, but worth every penny.
- ThermalTake Bach Media Lab Black HTPC - If you want to build a classy HTPC and do not want to spend hundreds of dollars, then check out this chassis. It's design is classy, black and I actually won it's little sister, the Mozart. I never regretted that purchase. Check out the price link to see the sheer design for a really nice HTPC, and it's only $115.27, a really fair price.
- Lian-Li Lian Li Silver Aluminum PC7 A Plus - There's no PC Case deasl page possible without at least one Lian Li chassis, pure aluminum baby. Typically very expensive, however check it out ... The PC-7A PLUS Classic I spotted for $96.77, very classy stuff really.
- NZXT Tempest Black - The last chassis I like to point out is one from NZXT, known for quality products. They really think through their PC cases. The tempest has a stunning design really. We found it for $99.99, go check it out.
That's it for this update, have a great weekend you guys :)
SPARKLE Calibre X250/X250G Graphics Card with Abundant OC Capability
Sparkle send out a press-release earlier this week. It's a new GTS 250 they are offering. Overall Sparkle always has unique product designs, and this one doen't fail that concept either. Have a look at the press release and then observe that .. well downright weird cooler, honestly I have no clue how manby PCI slots that thing is gonna eat, I estimate more than two though:
SPARKLE announced the Calibre X250 512MB/X250G 1GB GDDR3 Graphics Card with Calibre Dual Fly Fan and SPA Tune OC software, extending the DirectX 10 gaming performance of GeForce GTS 250 GPU to a new level, bringing vivid DX10 gaming graphics on a mainstream consumer computing platform.
Calibre X250/X250G Graphics Card features a 55nm chip process from TSMC. The core speed is raised from 738MHz to 761MHz, the shader clock is raised from 1836MHz to 1911MHz, making it can deliver unrivaled graphics performance in the hottest games including Far Cry 2, Mirror
NVIDIA APEX Technology Accelerates Physics Creation Pipeline for Developers
NVIDIA Corporation today announced NVIDIA APEX, a dramatic new capability to its PhysX technology development software development kit (SDK), that provides artists, level designers, and game developers with a set of easy-to-use tools that streamline the process of implementing scalable physics across multiple platforms for next-generation titles.
With NVIDIA PhysX technology, game developers can design worlds that literally come to life: walls can be torn down, glass can be shattered, trees bend in the wind, and water flows with body and force. Designed as a modular framework that works in concert with existing PhysX SDKs, NVIDIA APEX makes it easy for developers to add detailed physics effects to their games and helps them optimize the gaming experience across multiple platforms with a simple "author once" cross platform content creation feature. This enables APEX to not only help developers accelerate the time it takes to author new games, but will also help them reduce overall development costs in the process. The APEX toolset will be available free of charge for licensed NVIDIA PhysX developers and is already being integrated into some of the world's most popular development libraries and game engines, including Emergent Game Technologies' Gamebryo LightSpeed.
"APEX is a powerful addition to NVIDIA PhysX technology," said Geoffrey Selzer, CEO of Emergent Game Technologies. "World-class technology, however, is only one piece of the solution. We chose to partner with NVIDIA for APEX/LightSpeed integrations due to their combination of best-of-breed technology and their culture of being of service to the industry which parallels our own. NVIDIA's commitment to partners, technology, and developers has been demonstrated not only through collaborative relationships like ours, but through their holistic point-of-view about what the industry needs to thrive. PhysX, APEX, and LightSpeed will provide a breakthrough for designers, artists and engineers reenergizing creativity in the game industry."
Another key component of APEX is the support for new plug-in modules, each of which provide a "high level" interface enabling artists and level designers to facilitate turnkey physics content creation with little or no programmer involvement. At GDC, NVIDIA is showcasing three new modules
GlacialTech Launches 5610 Plus PWM & 5610 Plus Silent CPU Coolers
GlacialTech, a diverse provider of cooling, power supply, and PC enclosure solutions for consumer and industrial applications, and a world-class provider of cost effective cooling components and chassis launches the latest 5610 Plus PWM CPU cooler and 5610 Plus Silent CPU Cooler. The unique design incorporates a specially aligned sinter heat-pipe combination of two pipes that dissipate the heat from the CPU directly into the heat sink fins. From there, the Silent version's fan quietly and efficiently brings the temperature down.
GlacialTech has implemented a cost effective and useful way to keep your processor cool. When running resource hungry applications and you have the PWM version installed, turn up the RPM to 2700 to manage your heat dissipation more effectively. While the PC is idle or doing non-intensive work, turn the RPM back to 800. This is how you manage your power consumption, your decibels and your overall peace of mind. Alternatively, the users have the option to purchase the Silent version as GlacialTech offers you the variety and options to suit your needs.
- Quality Aluminum design with Copper base
- High density aluminum fin
- PWM version: Enhanced speed adjustable one 9cm axial Fan with bullet blade
- Silent version: Fixed speed two 9cm axial Fans with bullet blade
- Two sinter heat-pipes with nickel coating
- Weight / noise performance
- Easy to install
- Multi-platform (Intel LGA775, LGA1366, AMD AM2)
Looks good, only two heatpipes though which is very little if you crave enthusiast performance.
NVIDIA files countersuit against Intel for breach of contract
NVIDIA Corporation today announced that it has filed a countersuit in the Court of Chancery in the State of Delaware against Intel Corporation for breach of contract. The action also seeks to terminate Intel's license to NVIDIA's valuable patent portfolio.
NVIDIA's countersuit was brought in response to a filing by Intel last month in the Delaware court, alleging that the four-year-old chipset license agreement does not extend to Intel's future generation CPUs with "integrated" memory controllers, such as its Nehalem processor.
"NVIDIA did not initiate this legal dispute," said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO of NVIDIA. "But we must defend ourselves and the rights we negotiated for when we provided Intel access to our valuable patents. Intel's actions are intended to block us from making use of the very license rights that they agreed to provide."
NVIDIA entered into the disputed agreement in 2004 to bring platform innovations to Intel CPU-based systems. In return, Intel took a license to NVIDIA's rich portfolio of 3D, GPU, and other computing patents. NVIDIA had been attempting for more than a year to resolve the disagreement with Intel in a fair and reasonable manner.
Windows Vista SP2 to be available within weeks
The second Service Pack for Windows Vista should be available within a couple of weeks. DailyTech wrote today that Microsoft has delivered the RTM (Release to Manufacturing) Escrow build to Connect beta testers. Windows Vista SP2 will add Blu-ray recording, WiFi updates, and various bug fixes and tweaks.
The new service pack delivers many much anticipated features, along with numerous tweaks and bug fixes which should strengthen the Vista experience. Among the hottest additions in the new pack is the ability to record in Blu-Ray format for the first time in Windows. Other key additions include Bluetooth v2.1 connectivity, Windows Connect Now (WCN) Wi-Fi Configuration wireless functionality, faster Wi-Fi resume times after hibernation, Windows Search 4.0, and the ability to configure the maximum number of TCP connections.
GDC: Unreal Engine 3 Features [movie]
At GDC 2009, Epic has once again decided to show off the considerable leaps and bounds made to its Unreal Engine 3 technology. As always .. it looks good alright. Check it out.
Pirate Bay to roll out secure 5 euro per month VPN service
Heh .. these guys do not stop do they. The Pirate Bay is planning to launch a paid VPN service for users looking to cover their tracks when torrenting. The new service will be called IPREDator, named after the Swedish Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive (IPRED) that will go into effect in April. IPREDator is currently in private beta and is expected to go public next week for