Radeon HD 6790 review
We review the Radeon HD 6790, a card that is designed to compete with NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 550 Ti. The HD 6790 is based on AMD's 40 nm "Barts" GPU which is the very same graphics processor used in the Radeon HD 6850 and HD 6870. Next to that this product comes with a full 256-bit wide memory bus giving it very nice memory bandwidth, really aside from slicing some shader processor clusters and ROPs away, this is a R6800 series card.
All in all we think this is a lovely little mid-ranger for just 129 EUR, read the article right here.
Intel 10-core Xeon processors inbound
Intel widened up its Xeon lineup with numerous new processors, 29 of them all flavored and seasoned on the 32nm node. A couple of them have ten cores, that's 20 threads ! The rumor of a ten-core processor of course was already surfacing every now and then.
Check 'r out, Intel's 10-core Xeon chips start at 2.0 GHz and go up-to 2.4 GHz in terms of clock frequency.
The 10-core processors have 24MB or 30MB of L3 cache, a 105W or 130W TDP, and come in an FC-LGA8 (LGA 771) package. The cheapest of the 10-core is $2,558, while the top of the tops costs $4,616 (!)
Intel competes in the server chip market with Advanced Micro Devices, which in the third quarter will start shipping a 16-core Opteron processor code-named Interlagos, which is based on the new Bulldozer architecture.
The 10-core Xeon chip is made using the 32-nanometer manufacturing process, an improvement from the Nehalem-EX chip, which is made using the 45-nm process. The chip is based on the Westmere architecture, which is a manufacturing refresh of the older but oh so successful Nehalem micro architecture.
Marvell to release DragonFly Virtual Storage Accelerator
ComputerWorld reports that Solid-state drive chip maker Marvell Technology announced that later this year it will release an accelerator card designed to deliver a tenfold increase in storage network throughput by caching and sorting data at the server before sending it to back-end arrays.
The new product, the DragonFly Virtual Storage Accelerator (VSA), was designed for the virtualized server environments that have been saturating storage networks in recent years, Marvell said in an announcement at the Storage Networking World conference here.
"Virtualization solved a big problem in past: It addressed low server utilization rates. But it also created a new problem: When you have many virtual machines in a server, it can bottleneck performance on one of three things -- the CPU, the network bandwidth or storage I/O," said Shawn Kung, Marvell's director of product marketing.
The DragonFly Virtual Storage Accelerator
The number of chip sockets is increasing, clock speeds are improving and Gigabit Ethernet LANs are growing more common -- therefore the biggest performance problem typically lies with storage I/O, Kung explained.
"Even if each individual [virtual machine] has a workload profile that's sequential, the combination of so many VMs all trying to write I/O to the back end results in the arrays seeing a very highly randomized write pattern," Kung said.
The DragonFly VSA card comes in a PCI Express (PCIe) form factor, allowing it to be used in servers regardless of the protocol used to attach to back-end storage, Kung said.
The DragonFly is powered by what Marvell calls its "HyperScale" embedded processor technology, an ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) that controls nonvolatile RAM as L1 cache and SSD chips as L2 cache to maintain highly consistent writes by placing them in sequential order, according to Kung.
Gole was referring to the fact that NAND flash memory in SSDs requires that every time a new data write comes in from a host system, an old block of data on the memory must be marked for deletion -- a process known as the erase-write cycle. When all blocks have been written to, firmware in the controller then sets about deleting data in stale blocks -- a process known as garbage collection. Garbage collection can severely hamper the performance of SSDs over time, and flash drives can only sustain so many erase-write cycles -- typically 10,000 for consumer-class drives and 100,000 for enterprise-class drives.
Gole also pointed out that, unlike storage acceleration appliances that use SSDs and in some cases DRAM as a cache in front of storage arrays, the DragonFly VSA scales linearly because as more cards are added to servers, the processing and storage capacity increases.
The DragonFly VSA is undergoing initial tests with select Marvell customers. It's expected to go into beta testing this summer and will be available about three months after that, Kung said. Pricing has yet to be set, he said, but added that the cards will sell for around the same price as a Fibre Channel host bus adapter -- or just over $1,000.
Cooler Master SPAWN mouse review
Today we peek at a new offering from Cooler Master, the Spawn mouse that falls into the CM Storm series.
It's a mouse that fits guys like myself really well, big hands thus big mouse, good rubberized grip and not too much fuzz with LEDs and pro-active stuff. It does come fully programmable and the memory inside the mouse to save it in.
Check out the article right here.
MSI Radeon HD 6790 rears its head
We presume MSI will offer a couple of different versions and the pictures we have are of the most basic model which we believe will be called the R6790-2PM2D1GD5 going by MSI's standard naming scheme. We'd also expect to see an OC version at some stage and maybe even a Cyclone or Twin Frozr II version. MSI has gone for a high-end rear I/O layout with a pair of DVI ports, a pair of mini DisplayPorts and an HDMI port. The cooler features three heatpipes and is of the same design as MSI uses on a couple of its Radeon HD 6850 cards says vr-zone.
As for the specifications, well, we're expect this to be a stock card so expect the GPU to be clocked at 840MHz, the memory at 4.2GHz effectively, 800 shaders, 40 texture units, 32 ROPs and a 256-bit memory interface. AMD is said to be launching the Radeon HD 6790 series on the 5th of April.
ColorFire shows Radeon HD 6790 Graphics Card
Based on a 4+1 phase VRM and standard chokes and MOSFETs we see a simple design. The cooler uses an aluminum fin heatsink to which heat is fed by three heat pipes. Anyway, check out some of the photos that surfaces through ex-preview.
Mortal Kombat Tag Team Fight Trailer
Oh come on you know you like it :)
G.Skill announces Phoenix EVO SSD
G.Skill International announces its new Phoenix EVO SSD, utilizing the performance leading controller SandForce SF-1222 and high quality 25nm NAND flash chips. The Phoenix EVO drive contains 115GB with rated speed of read/write 280/270 MB/sec, and will be available via G.Skill authorized distribution partners in early April.
Keeping pace with the flash manufacturers
MSI announces full compatibility with future AM3+ processors
MSI is pleased to announce its mainboard compatibility with future AM3+ multi-core processors. AMD
Gigabyte AM3+ Black Socket Motherboards
Zalman N series 128GB SSD review
Being fashionably late to market with this product series the SSD series will sell at 64GB - $169 and 128GB - $289. Performance wise this drive should be as fast as the Vertex 2 series for example. Yep, we peek at the new N series SSDs from Zalman.
The product line we test today is based on the more popular and powerful SandForce controllers, it will offer higher performance, of up to 280 MB/s when reading and 270 MB/s when writing.
Read the full Guru3D review here
NVIDIA Non-Ti GeForce GTX 560 To Ward Off HD 6790 Threat
NVIDIA is readying a new SKU based on the GF114 GPU: the GeForce GTX 560, to counter act AMD's upcoming Radeon HD 6790, and probably higher SKUs in the HD 6800 series.
AMD will unveil its Radeon HD 6790 next week, which will compete with the GTX 550 Ti, and probably seat itself in the market somewhere between the GTX 550 Ti and GTX 560 Ti. It is this gap that NVIDIA is looking to fill, as TPU reports through Heise.
The GeForce GTX 560 is said to have 336 CUDA cores enabled (same configuration as the GF104-based GTX 460 1 GB), 56 TMUs, 256-bit GDDR5 memory interface holding 1 GB of memory. The thing that sets this SKU apart from the GTX 460 is going to be clock speed and overclocking potential, which is known to be higher on GF11x GPUs in general. Unlike HD 6790, there's no set launch date for the "non-Ti" GeForce GTX 560. Tentatively mid-April or early May.
AFOX leaks GeForce GTX 530 details
TC Mag noticed that Hong Kong-based graphics card maker AFOX has leaked details about an upcoming GeForce GT 530 card on its website. Pricing and availability is unknown. Set to be placed under the GTX 550 Ti and maybe priced around $100, the GeForce GT 530 features a GPU clock of 750 MHz, an unknown number of CUDA Cores set at 1500 MHz, a 128-bit memory interface, 1GB or 2GB of DDR3 memory @ 1333 MHz (2666 MHz DDR), is equipped with a reasonably-large, single-fan cooler, lacks SLI support, and provides three display output options - D-Sub, DVI and HDMI.
ColorFire prepping custom Radeon HD 6870 for extreme overclocking
TechPowerUp reports ColorFire is working on a custom Radeon HD 6870 for extreme overclocking. The card offers a large cooling solution with heatpipes and a 110mm fan, and offers voltage measure points with cables, hardware-based voltage adjustment with DIP switches, dual-BIOS, and high-grade VRMs.
Its design revolves around high-grade VRM, powerful cooling, and dual BIOS, each packing overclocked settings. The ColorFire Xstorm HD 6870 is a completely non-reference design card, the GPU is powered by a 5+1 phase VRM that uses POSCAP capacitors. The card uses two BIOS ROM chips that can be selected using a push-switch on the rear panel. The "normal" BIOS packs clock speeds of 940 MHz core and 1100 MHz (4.40 GHz effective) memory, while the "turbo" BIOS runs the card at 1050 MHz core, 1150 MHz (4.60 GHz effective) memory.
IL-2 Sturmovik: Cliffs of Dover Trailer
This launch trailer from IL-2 Sturmovik: Cliffs of Dover shows off 1C: Maddox Games' upcoming combat flight simulator set during World War II's pivotal Battle of Britain:
Battlefield 3 Fault Line Episode III: Get that Wire Cut
DiRT 3 Group B Rally Trailer
Codemasters released a new trailer for DiRT 3 featuring the banned Group B rally cars doing what they were designed to do and showcasing the power and speed that got them banned from the rally circuit.
You can check out the new Group B rally trailer below or head on over to the official website to pre-order the game. DiRT 3 is due out on May 24th for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.
Intel X79 enthusiast chipset specs leak
The chipset that is going to replace the X58 on the long term is going to be X79, and a slie on it leaked yesterday. Intel's next platform for enthusiasts will get a 2011-pin LGA socket, the Sandy Bridge-E (enthusiast) processor that features a massive quad-channel DDR3 memory controller and 32+ lane PCI-Express 2.0 hub, and the X79 chipset.
Intel might actually skip the 6-series chipset family with its next high-end platform chipset as the platform is slated for Q4 2011 already, though Z68 will still be launched, but as a Premium chipset.