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Video Cards

7900 GTX specification confirmed

[update] Memory specification originally posted (2.0GHz)?looks to be?incorrect, i fully blame the source, who emailed me today revoking that claim and insinuating it to be more closer to 1600 MHz, just like many other sites have stipulated, grrrr! It does make me wonder where this figure came from in the first place though…. A source has let us know the specifications for the upcoming 7900 GTX. The part will allegedly have the following specification: 7900 GTX Specification Core Clock: 650 MHz Mem Clock: 1.6 GHz Memory Bandwidth: 51.2 GB/s Memory Size: 512 MB / 1024 MB Pixel Pipes: 24 I?m not sure if the 1024 MB part?is going to?be available at launch or if Nvidia are going to wait until ATI commit a timeline for there 1GB part, which is rumoured to be coming sometime around April or May. The launch date for the 7900 GTX is?the first week of?March, and early predictions are that it?s?faster than the X1900 XTX, but only time will tell?

Gainward gives the ‘goes like hell’ treatment to the 7800GTX 512MB

I’m sure many of you are aware of Gainward?s new ?goes like hell??cards which can only be described as their ?Golden Sample? brand on steroids. It denotes a special version of a specific card that is not just heavily overclocked, but also changes the memory specification (the actual chips are swapped out for faster IC?s). This is then stamped on a custom designed red PCB. Gainward currently have a 6800GS GLH and a 7800GT GLH both based on these principles, and believe me, they are stupendously fast, easily the fastest in there respective categories by a mile. This brings us neatly to a new card allegedly coming from Gainward soon, a 7800 GTX 512MB ?Goes like hell?. This is not a suped up 256MB GTX, this is a suped up GTX 512MB, the card that is nowhere to be seen in the retail channel and is clocked at 550/1700MHz. Gainward?s GLH version is rumoured to be clocked somewhere around 600-650 MHz on the core and a mind blowing 2.2 GHz on the memory. If this turns out to be more than a rumour it will most likely be faster than a 7900 GTX.

NVIDIA GeForce 7300 gets Selected for Mainstream PCs

While all attention?has turned to the possible lauch of the Geforce 7800GS in February and the fact that?users around the net are?adamant they have already managed to buy one, NVIDIA announced today that some?of the world?s leading PC OEM and system builders have begun shipping the new NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GS and GeForce 7300 LE graphics processing units (GPUs) as a superior performing alternative to integrated graphics. "In contrast to the lackluster response to most integrated graphics solutions, our customers have been excited about the exceptional high-definition video playback and advanced 3D graphics feature set the GeForce 7300 GPUs bring to today?s?mainstream PCs," said Jeff Fisher, senior vice president of the GPU business unit at NVIDIA. He also added that the GeForce 7300 GPUs will help future proof entry-level systems because they offer NVIDIA PureVideo? technology, and DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 3.0 support for the upcoming Microsoft Windows Vista operating system.

Next DirectX to force Standard Precision

Apparently Microsoft?s DirectX team plans to drop partial precision capabilities in the next version of DirectX, not sure if that’s 9.0L or 10. This means both ATI and Nvidia will finally be forced to render using 32 bit floating-point precision, which in turn means many of the unscrupulous tactics used by both to gain performance advantages are now gone ? I can guarantee ATI are smiling right now? Dropping to different levels of floating-point precision has been a favourite trick of both ATI and Nvidia for quite some years, allowing higher frame rates in important benchmarks – Nvidia arguably being the ?king? of these shady practices. Partial precision can be used to limit the bit precision of pixel shader processes on the fly. Optimisations can then be achieved by switching to 24 or even 16 bit precision for better performance albeit at a price to image quality if compared against true 32bit floating-point rendering, which apparently ATI now use anyway with there latest cards. With DirectX 9 the use of partial precision was left to the game or graphics driver, now this ability will be stopped, leaving in it?s place 32 bit floating-point rendering only. All this boils down to better image quality for us all, and no more false marketing.. With Microsoft putting an end to this, both Nvidia and ATI will now have to compete on a level playing field, with some of the major issues of Nvidia Vs ATI image quality now destined to become a distant memory, and I for one ...

Asus develops innovative cooling system

Asus has released a new graphics card based on the 6600 core which throws conventional PCB design out of the window in the pursuit of dramatically cooler running GPU?s. ReverseCool technology – as it will be known – involves the simple process of moving the majority of the heat producing core logic to the underside of the PCB. This way, the hot air will rise up and away from the graphics card, theoretically to be expelled by chassis exhaust fans. Typically, graphics cards are built with most of the major components on the topside of the PCB and in turn face downwards once installed. Due to the fact that hot air rises, our graphics cards have been blowing hot air downwards, only for it to rise back onto the card. ?With Asus? exclusive ReverseCool technology, the EN6600TOP Silent can be more than 30 degrees cooler than generic GF6600 and provide the quietest 0DB environment?, the company claims. However, as always, it would be wise to wait for independent reviews of the product before considering this as indisputable! Apart from the innovative cooling system, the card is otherwise a standard Geforce 6600 DDR2, with a 400mhz core clock, and 256mb DDR2 ram running at 800mhz along with 8 pixel pipelines and 4 vertex pipelines. It comes with one DVI, one D-SUB and a TV-Out port. Pricing details have yet to be announced, but the card is listed on the Asus website HERE

R580 Details – Nvidia be afraid….

X-bit has reported that sources close to ATI have said the company has been testing it’s forthcoming R580 part since early July at the very least. According to these sources, ATI has been playing with various clock speeds and then measuring the performance increases. There has been some talk of R580 supporting up to 48 pixel pipelines, 8 or more vertex pipes and ludicrously fast clock speeds, Nvidia be afraid….. The card will also support features already present in R520 such as SM3.0, a 512 bit ring bus, but may also contain GDDR4 memory. It’s unlikely the first R580 part will come with anything like these features.? 48 pixel pipes are simply not necessary to be competitive to Nvidia at the moment. It’s much more likely we will see a 24 pipe part with the usual product refreshes six months to a year down the line which will enable extra pipes as and when needed to stay ahead of Nvidia.

X1800 XT spotted in stock in the UK

Yep yep, the X1800XT is now in stock and you can grab one at Ebuyer. The price is ?389.96 which is?reasonably competitive to the 7800 GTX, especially as it has 512MB memory instead of 256MB. After yesterdays reports coming from TheInq that the 1800XT was going to be priced higher than the expected RRP, it’s no suprise to see it available today at a decent price, though perhaps people were expecting it a little cheaper? Let me know yours thoughts,?write a comment?below 🙂

Radeon X1300 and X1600 Won’t Need Master Cards

Anandtech has an article stating that ATI’s X1300 and X1600 card will not need a dedicated master card to enable?CrossFire, you can use two regular cards instead over the PCI-e bus. This is possible due to a new driver release which allow this to work. Radeon X850 and X1800 cards will still require a master card to enable Crossfire, mainly due to bandwitdh limitations.

X1800XT reaches higher price than expected

ATI has surprised both customers and reviewers by increasing the price of the X1800XT to $599, instead of sticking to the $549 RRP previously announced by the company. When ATI sent the cards for review, the release date was several week away, but they had already set the price of which was $549, about $100 more than the 7800 GTX, but with 256M more memory. The X1800XT, according to a recent ATI memo making the rounds, is now going to retail at $599, and according to one dealer ‘no one can go below that’. If at first sight the card looked like a good deal, now end-users might consider a better look around? Time will tell if this is just smoke or?fire, but this isn’t the first time ATI RRP’s have not been upheld. If ATI keep making mistakes like this while Nvidia chug along doing exactly what they say they will do, they?are going to be hit hard come next quarters financial results.

S3 unveils DeltaChrome S20 series GPUs

Both the?Tech Report and Hexus both have published overviews for the newly announced S3 DeltaChrome series of graphics cards. That?s right, S3 are back! It appears the S3 is targeting the mid-range sector and might be a good contender to?the 6600 GT. This is a good move on S3?s part as this is where the big money is. S3 wll have to offer more performance for a cheaper price to have any impact on ATI and Nvidia. A key factor?for S3?s success with these cards is going to be driver support, and this I fear is where S3 may stumble. Time will tell though, and I for one am looking forward to testing one as soon as possible! You can check S3’s very overloaded website HERE


Sapphire X800 GTO Ultimate

We review a passively cooled performance powerhouse from Sapphire


Gainward 7800 GT Golden Sample

Gainward have another Golden Sample to wet your appetite, could this be the best 7800 GT currently on the market?

G73 Spotted in latest ForceWare

G70 was the codename for the 7800 core. Now G73 has been discovered by NGOHQ who have been snooping around in the latest ForceWare. "It seems that NVIDIA is working on a new GPU architecture for laptops. We discovered that they already added support for the G73 inside ForceWare Control Panel. We believe it would be a mid-range GPU"

ATI’s X1800XT Has Huge Headroom! – 1GHZ Core and 2GHz Memory Broken

From what Eric Demers, lead chip designer?at ATI has hinted, there seems to be a lot of head-room built into the R520, and we’re starting to see its potential around the web now the worlds leading overclockers have there hands on them! Sampsa & Suvanto (who’s names sound like a Trance duo!)?have been able to clock an X1800XT to 1GHz core?and 2GHz on the memory?using LN2. Click the link for more details, but to wet your appetite here’s a screen shot of ATI tool. If you look closely there are small artifacts even in this screenshot so they must have been at the absolute limits here but still, its a great achievement.

X1800 XT Overtakes 7800 GTX Running 1600×1200 with 4xAA and 8xAF

Eric Demeres runs the chip design team at ATI.?He has?now confirmed?some details behind the memory mapping?performance leap in OpenGL. This change is for the X1K family only The X1Ks have a new programmable memory controller and gfx subsystem mapping. A simple set of new memory controller programs gave a huge boost to memory BW limited cases, such as AA (need to test AF). We measured 36% performance improvements on D3 @ 4xAA/high res. This has nothing to do with the rendering (which is identical to before). X800’s also have partially programmable MC’s, so we might?see increases in performance?in the near future. According to Eric Demeres, It’s still not optimal -?"The work space we have to optimize memory settings and gfx mappings is immense. It will take us some time to really get the performance closer to maximum. But that’s why we designed a new programmable MC. We are only at the beginning of the tuning for the X1K’s"

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