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AMD Catalyst 13.8 Beta V2 Drivers Released

AMD released the second edition of Catalyst 13.8 Beta driver suite, marked by "V2." The drivers bring with them a bucket-list of game specific performance improvements, beginning with up to 25 percent on Saints Row 4 at 1920 x 1080 and Ultra settings enabled; up to 9 percent on Splinter Cell: Blacklist at 2560 x 1600 and Ultra settings; improvements on single-GPU and CrossFireX performance with Final Fantasy XIV; improves single-GPU performance on RIPD; CrossFire performance on Minimum and Castlevania Lords of Shadow.

Catalyst 13.8 Beta V2 also fixes image quality issues with Van Helsing, display corruption when enabling anti-aliasing through Catalyst Control Center, for Far Cry 3 and FC3: Blood Dragon; random corruption issues on Doom 3 BFG Edition, and CrossFire frame-pacing issues with World of Warcraft, Sniper Elite, Watch Dogs, and Tomb Raider.

DOWNLOAD: AMD Catalyst 13.8 Beta V2

ASUS Introduces Maximus VI Formula Z87 Gaming Motherboard

ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) today announced Maximus VI Formula, an ATX gaming motherboard ready for the latest 4th generation Intel Core processors and packed with exclusive ROG features.

Based on the new Intel Z87 chipset, Maximus VI Formula is brimming with the kind of innovative and exclusive features that ROG fans expect. CrossChill hybrid air and water-cooling gives efficient heat dissipation for extreme overclocked performance, SupremeFX Formula onboard audio with a dedicated 600ohm headphone amplifier ensures immersive high-quality audio and a mini-PCIe Combo II card adds dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi for next-generation wireless networking. Maximus VI Formula also features Extreme Engine DIGi+ III technology and high-quality electronic components for precise power delivery with stable performance.

MSI Unleashes Z87 XPOWER Flagship LGA1150 Motherboard

Z87 MPOWER and Z87 MPOWER MAX, two of MSI's top overclocker-targeted socket LGA1150 motherboards, are joined by the company's new flagship motherboard, the Z87 XPOWER. Built in the XL-ATX (345 x 264 mm) form-factor, this board gets you the best MSI has to offer, and is ideal for both CPU and VGA overclocking benches. The CPU is powered by a gargantuan 32-phase digital-PWM power supply, which draws power from two 8-pin EPS connectors, in addition to the 24-pin ATX, and an optional 6-pin PCI-Express connector.

The CPU socket is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots, supporting up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR3-3000+ memory, and a PLX PEX8747 PCI-Express gen 3.0 bridge chip, which gives out four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots, two of which are x16 capable, all four of which are x8-capable. One of the five x16 slots, the second one from top, is directly wired to the CPU, and plugging a graphics card on that slot will bypass the bridge-chip. This slot is ideal for when you have just one card. Two PCI-Express 2.0 x1 slots take seat between the x16 slots, wired to the PCH. In addition to 4-way NVIDIA SLI and 4-way AMD CrossFireX, the board includes Lucid Virtu MVP 2.0 software.

"Thief" Optimized for AMD Technologies

AMD today announced exclusive collaboration with Square Enix to optimize "THIEF" for the Graphics Core Next architecture in select AMD Radeon graphics processors, as well as the x86 and graphics architectures featured in AMD A-Series APUs. Developed in conjunction with the AMD Gaming Evolved program, "THIEF" will extensively leverage the advanced capabilities of AMD Radeon graphics processors, including AMD Eyefinity multi-display technology for panoramic gaming, AMD CrossFire multi-GPU technology for supreme performance, and state-of-the-art DirectX 11 rendering for pristine image quality.

"The 'THIEF' franchise has a storied history that we are proud to join in this latest installment," said Matt Skynner, corporate vice president and general manager, Graphics Business Unit, AMD. "We are even more pleased to work so closely with their development team to realize the vision for these games with the incredible gaming performance of a PC powered by AMD Radeon graphics. And as the exclusive hardware partner for 'THIEF,' we continue to demonstrate that the best experience for gamers and developers lives at AMD with the Gaming Evolved program."

ASUS Announces its Mainline Z87 Classic Series, with a New Look

ASUS announced a fleet of socket LGA1150 motherboards, covering its mainline (classic), Republic of Gamers (ROG), and The Ultimate Force (TUF) lines. With this series, ASUS is adopting a new color scheme for its mainline motherboards, breaking away from the black PCB with blue heatsinks scheme it maintained since the first LGA1156 motherboards, almost four years ago. The new mainline motherboards from ASUS feature black PCBs with golden-colored heatsinks covering the VRM and PCH, and simpler naming. ASUS' first wave of Z87-based mainline (classic) motherboards include the entry-level Z87-C and Z87-A, mid-range Z87-PLUS and Z87-PRO, and premium Z87-DELUXE.

GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 5 and G1.Sniper M5 Motherboards Pictured

At a media event held in its Taipei headquarters, GIGABYTE demonstrated its AMP-UP integrated audio solution that will feature on some of its upcoming motherboards. On that pretense, it even got to show of two of its top socket LGA1150 motherboards, built for Core "Haswell" processors, the G1.Sniper 5, and the G1.Sniper M5. Positioned in gamer-overclocker targeted G1.Killer series, the two boards are based on Intel Z87 Express chipset. The G1.Sniper 5 is the larger standard ATX motherboard; while the M5 is a compact micro-ATX offering. The pictures also confirm that socket LGA1150 retention module and bolt-spacing is identical to sockets LGA1155 and LGA1156.

The G1.Sniper 5 appears to feature a 16-phase VRM, which uses ferrite-core chokes, and the same International Rectifier PowIRstage components as Ultra Durable 5 motherboards from the previous generation. This time around, the CPU plays a greater role in voltage regulation. The driver-MOSFETs on the board are cooled by an active fan-heatsink, which also has a liquid channel running through it, so you could make it part of your CPU loop. Thankfully GIGABYTE didn't let its imagination run away with designs of the other heatsinks on the board, one of which cools the Z87 Express chipset, and the other we imagine, a PLX PEX8747 48-lane PCI-Express 3.0 bridge chip. This chip gets you 4-way SLI/CrossFireX support.

AMD Catalyst 13.4 WHQL Drivers Released

AMD launched its first WHQL-signed Catalyst Software Suite in three months, with the Catalyst 13.4 WHQL, coinciding with the launch of Radeon HD 7990, earlier today. The Catalyst Software Suite installs device drivers and system software for AMD Radeon GPUs, IGPs, and integrated HDMI audio devices, in additional to AMD APP runtime environment, and certain media acceleration software.

DOWNLOAD: AMD Catalyst 13.4 WHQL for Windows 8/7/Vista 64-bit, Windows 8/7/Vista 32-bit, Windows XP 32-bit, Windows XP 64-bit

The change-log for Catalyst 13.4 WHQL follows.

Radeon HD 7990 CrossFireX Smiles for the Camera

An anonymous tipster left an interesting picture on our doorsteps. It shows a pair of Radeon HD 7990 "Malta" reference-design graphics cards chugging along inside an enthusiast PC. AMD surprised us late last month, when it showed off a reference-design Radeon HD 7990 dual-GPU graphics card, at the Game Developers' Conference (GDC) event. The cards in this new picture appear to be identical to the one AMD showed. The "Radeon" embossing appears pretty clear on both cards, so one can't mistake them for FirePro S10000.

Bearing a new internal codename "Malta," compared to last year's various dual-HD 7970 contraptions that were codenamed "New Zealand," the new Radeon HD 7990 is being designed to be far more energy efficient, and quiet. While the various "New Zealand" cards often featured three 8-pin PCIe power connectors and triple-slot cooling solutions, "Malta" makes do with just two 8-pin power connectors, and a dual-slot cooler. We've been talking to a lot of reliable sources in the industry, and nobody has any clue about a tentative launch date.

AMD Rushes Out Catalyst 13.2 Beta 5 Driver to Correct 3DMark CrossFire Scaling Issue

AMD rushed out a new beta version of its Catalyst driver suite, which addresses the issue of improper performance scaling on the new 3DMark, on CrossFire multi-GPU setups. The new Catalyst 13.2 Beta 5 adds a CrossFire profile for 3DMark v1.00 launched on Monday (04/02). Along the way, it also introduced a couple of performance improvements in some highly specific scenarios. For systems running Far Cry 3 at 2560 x 1600 pixels, with 8x AA, performance could go up by 10 percent. With a refined profile, the driver could dole out up to 40 percent higher performance in Crysis 3, on CrossFire setups.

DOWNLOAD: AMD Catalyst 13.2 Beta 5

AMD Releases Catalyst 13.2 Beta Targeting Crysis 3 MP Beta, Frame Latency Issues

Hot on the heels of NVIDIA's GeForce 313.95 Beta drivers, AMD launched Catalyst 13.2 Beta, targeting EA's release of Crysis 3 multiplayer open-beta. The driver improves performance by up to 15 percent, but in highly specific scenarios, vaguely put by AMD as "in high MSAA cases." There is no general performance improvement announced, but that future Catalyst releases could address performance. Catalyst 13.2 Beta also addresses frame latency issues related to three titles, TES5: Skyrim, Boderlands 2, and Guild Wars 2. Single GPU performance for Devil May Cry is improved by up to 50 percent. CrossFire systems running Crysis 2 could see a 10 percent performance improvement. Lastly, a texture-flickering issue seen with DirectX 9.0c applications is resolved.

DOWNLOAD: AMD Catalyst 13.2 Beta

TechPowerUp GPU-Z 0.6.7 Released

TechPowerUp released version 0.6.7 of GPU-Z, the popular graphics subsystem information, monitoring, and diagnostic utility. The new release brings some feature-additions, support for more graphics processors, and stability improvements. To begin with, we made room in the GPU-Z window to display TMU (texture memory unit) count. Support for a large number of recently-launched GPUs, including Radeon HD 7870 "Tahiti LE," mobile GeForce 600 series MX, and from Quadro family, were added.

TechPowerUp GPU-Z 0.6.7 also brings a few UI enhancements. To begin with, GPU-Z remembers window position from its previous session, cutting you time for positioning it right for screenshots. Next up, when minimized, its tray icon does more than just show you the app is running. Its tooltip (visible when hovered), displays some important sensor data. A new "-tab" command line parameter allows proverclockers to script-launch GPU-Z showing a specific tab. Among the bugs fixed are one related to a crash occurring on CrossFire setups (a Catalyst-related bug), another crash occurring on NVIDIA setups when updating sensor data (GeForce driver-related bug), temperature reading on AMD "Llano" APUs is improved.

DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp GPU-Z 0.6.7, TechPowerUp GPU-Z 0.6.7 ASUS ROG Themed

The change-log follows.

NZXT Announces HALE90 V2 Line of Premium Power Supplies

NZXT announced the HALE90 V2 line of premium full-modular PSUs. The 80 Plus Gold-qualifying PSUs come in three variants, 1200W, 1000W, and 850W. As mentioned before, the three feature completely modular cabling, IC-assisted DC-DC switching, a powerful 5VSB rail to help the growing demand for USB-charging, a single 12V rail topology, and a 135 mm fan. The 1200W model has enough PCIe cabling for quad-SLI/CrossFireX setups, 1000W for triple-SLI/CrossFireX, and 850W for dual-SLI/CrossFireX. The 1200W, 1000W, and 850W models are priced at $270, $230, and $190, respectively.

Lenovo Jumps the Gun with Radeon HD 8950

A recent press-release by Lenovo announcing the Erazer X700 gaming desktop may not have sounded like much, but it turns out the company is enthused by AMD, particularly AMD CrossFireX, because it is an early design win for AMD's next-generation Radeon HD 8000 series family. The specifications sheet of the Erazer X700 blurts out the graphics subsystem to consist of "up to dual Radeon HD 8950 3GB" as a graphics option next to dual- GeForce GTX 660 SLI. Given that Lenovo chose not to wait until any of the other big tech trade-shows of the year to announce this, it wouldn't be far-fetched to imagine a new AMD Radeon family launch within Q1, 2013. The other more obvious explanations are that Lenovo committed a brutal typo, or it plans to re-brand the Radeon HD 7950, an act that should be made a human-rights violation.

Source: VideoCardz

AMD and Ubisoft Collaborate to Deliver the Ultimate Far Cry 3 PC Gaming Experience

AMD today announced its collaboration with Ubisoft to support the highly anticipated next chapter in the "Far Cry" franchise, "Far Cry 3," launching today in North America. Developed in conjunction with the AMD Gaming Evolved program, "Far Cry 3" is fully optimized for a premium PC gaming experience, harnessing the power of AMD Radeon graphics including native support for AMD Eyefinity and AMD CrossFire technologies, enabling industry-leading multiscreen experiences and high-performance gaming. By working closely together, AMD and Ubisoft have enhanced the "Far Cry 3" experience, allowing gamers to become fully immersed in an epic struggle to survive in one of the most lawless and challenging PC gaming environments to date.

"AMD and Ubisoft have worked together to make 'Far Cry 3' a state-of-the-art gaming experience on the PC, the world's most powerful gaming platform," said Matt Skynner, corporate vice president and general manager, Graphics Business Unit, AMD. "The AMD Gaming Evolved program aims to put gamers and developers first, and we're making sure we deliver on our promise. By working with industry-leading developers like Ubisoft, we're not only helping to develop cutting-edge titles, we're also advancing the state of PC graphics for gamers."

Club 3D Announces royalKnights CrossFire Bundles

Club 3D, a worldwide supplier of high performance components to the PC gaming hardware market, unveils today its new Crossfire bundles. To meet the demands of the most fanatic gamers, Club 3D has assembled 3 crossfire bundles. These bundles are cherry picked to bring you the best games, the best performance and the most fun. The crossfire bundles are:
  • The 2x Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition
  • The Radeon HD 7850 royalKnights
  • The Radeon HD 7870 royalKnights

Gigabyte Announces the Z77X-UD4H Motherboard

Gigabyte launched the Z77X-UD4H, a new socket LGA1155 motherboard model designed to fill the gap between the $155 Z77X-UD3H and $190 Z77X-UD5H. It is built with Gigabyte's Ultra Durable 4 construction, featuring 2 oz copper layer, temperature, humidity, and electrostatic protection features. The LGA1155 socket is powered by a 11-phase VRM that draws power from an 8-pin EPS connector. The socket is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots, and three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (electrical x16/NC/NC, x8/x8/NC, x8/x4/x4, depending on how they're populated). 3-way NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFireX are supported. Other expansion slots include three PCI-Express 2.0 x1, and a legacy PCI.

Straightaway, you'll notice that Gigabyte did away with the mSATA slot featured on the Z77X-UD3H and Z77X-UD5H. In addition to the two SATA 6 Gb/s and four SATA 3 Gb/s ports that the Z77 PCH provides (all of which are wired as internal ports), Gigabyte added two additional 2-port SATA 6 Gb/s controllers, which provide two each of internal SATA 6 Gb/s, and eSATA 6 Gb/s. The board features a total of eight USB 3.0 ports, six on the rear panel, and two by headers. In addition to the four ports the Z77 PCH provides, a 4-port VLI-made host controller is used.

AMD Catalyst 12.11 Beta 7 Available

AMD released Catalyst 12.11 Beta 7 software suite. The release is specifically designed to improve CrossFire scaling for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. It includes all changes of older Beta releases, and is based on the "Never Settle" Catalyst 12.11 driver, which is proven to improve performance on Radeon HD 7000 series graphics processors based on the Graphics CoreNext architecture.

DOWNLOAD: AMD Catalyst 12.11 Beta 7

AMD Catalyst 12.11 Beta 4 Now Available

AMD rolled out two successive quick fixes to issues related to Medal of Honor: Warfighter, when running its performance-optimized Catalyst 12.11 "Never Settle" drivers. An application crash was observed when Medal of Honor: Warfighter is run on systems with Radeon HD 7000 GPUs running in CrossFire configurations, with anti-aliasing enabled at the same time. The company pulled Catalyst 12.11 Beta 3 from its websites, AMD Support and AMD GAME, replacing it with the new Beta 4.

DOWNLOAD: AMD Catalyst 12.11 Beta 4

AMD Releases the Catalyst Application Profiles 12.10 CAP 1

In addition to delivering the Catalyst 12.10 and Catalyst 12.11 Beta drivers, AMD has today rolled out an updated Catalyst Application Profiles (CAP) package, known as the 12.10 CAP 1. This release features the following profiles:

- Crysis 2: Resolves performance issues seen in CrossFire mode
- Darksiders 2: Resolves screen flickering seen in CrossFire mode
- Max Payne 3: Resolves Menu flickering when Anti-Aliasing is enabled through the Catalyst Control Center
- FIFA 13: Improves CrossFire performance, and improve single GPU performance
- Project C.A.R.S.: Resolves screen flickering seen in CrossFire mode
- Natural Selection 2 - Resolves Menu flickering when Anti-Aliasing is enabled through the Catalyst Control Center

The 12.10 CAP 1 can be downloaded from this page.

AMD Announces Retail Availability of A-Series "Trinity" Desktop APUs

AMD today announced retail and distribution channel availability of its second generation AMD A-Series Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) for desktop, small form-factor and home theater PCs. These new APUs target do-it-yourself (DIY) PC builders, mainstream gamers and value-added resellers who want to upgrade their PC infrastructure with affordable performance, discrete-level graphics, multiple cores and fast processing for outstanding responsiveness.

The second generation desktop AMD A-Series APU is available at prices ranging from $53 to $122 USD. Compared to similarly priced competitive offerings, the new APUs offer more cores, more speed, best-in-class entertainment experiences and an easy upgrade path based on a stable socket infrastructure. AMD APU users also gain access to the AMD AppZone and a comprehensive list of accelerated applications that leverage the full compute power of the APU. With hardware-accelerated support for DirectX 11 on AMD Radeon graphics and AMD Eyefinity technology delivering a more immersive experience, the AMD A-Series APUs are the ideal solution for systems running the highly-anticipated Microsoft Windows 8 and today's Microsoft Windows 7 operating systems.

AMD Delivers the Catalyst 12.9 CAP 1

CrossFire users can now get their hands on a new pack of Catalyst Application Profiles, courtesy of AMD of course. This fresh release is called 12.9 CAP 1 and brings the following updates:

- World of Warcraft - Mist of Pandaria (DX11, DX9): Fixes texture flickering observed when enabling high graphics settings with CrossFire enabled
- World of Warcraft - Mist of Pandaria (DX9): Resolve corruption when enabling Anti-Aliasing through the Catalyst Control Center (Anti-Aliasing should be enabled through the applications settings)
- World of Warcraft - (DX9): Resolves performance issues observed with the 64-bit variant of the client
- Tribes Ascend: Improves CrossFire performanceen running in CrossFire mode
- F1 2012: Improves CrossFire performance, resolves texture flickering in reflections

The 12.9 CAP 1 can be downloaded from this page.

AMD Rolls out the Catalyst 12.8 CAP 3

While working away on a new driver release (the Catalyst 12.9 beta which is expected next week) AMD has made available a fresh batch of Catalyst Application Profiles. The 12.8 CAP 3 can be found here and features the following:

- Borderlands 2 - New CrossFire profile
- Guild War 2: Resolves grass texture corruption observed when changing graphics settings in a CrossFire configuration
- World of Warcraft(DX9): Fix the flickering observed when view distance is changed to fair in graphics settings when CrossFire is enabled
- Depth Hunter: Resolves shadow flickering seen when running in CrossFire mode
- Dirt Showdown - Resolves flickering seen in CrossFire mode
- Stalker Call of Pripyat - Resolves flickering seen in CrossFire mode
- War of Roses - Fixes flickering seen in CrossFire mode

AMD Introduces the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition

Today AMD launched the world’s fastest graphics processing unit (GPU), the AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition. The AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition uses AMD’s innovative Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture to deliver astonishing performance and breathtaking image quality, providing world-class gameplay at the highest resolutions in the most demanding games such as Battlefield 3, Deus Ex: Human Revolution and DiRT Showdown.

“The AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition rounds out our award-winning GCN family, providing world-class gameplay thanks to the industry’s fastest single GPU,” said Matt Skynner, corporate vice president and general manager, GPU Division, AMD. “Gamers have been hungry for our AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series since our launch last December. We have been able to meet that growing demand as we expanded our AMD Radeon HD 7000 offerings and brought the industry’s most advanced graphics across a complete family of leading-edge desktop and notebook graphics cards.”

HIS Radeon HD 7970 X2 IceQ Graphics Card Pictured

We knew back in May, that PowerColor isn't the only AMD AIB partner with a custom-design dual-HD 7970 graphics card (≠ HD 7990) in the works, and that other partners are also attempting high-end dual-GPU designs. We got to see one of those at Computex, courtesy of HIS. Called the HIS HD 7970 X2 IceQ X2, is a 100% custom-design (cooler and PCB) dual-GPU graphics card, which makes use of two 28 nm "Tahiti" GPUs in an internal CrossFire configuration.

Like the PowerColor HD 7970 X2 Devil 13, the HIS HD 7970 X2 IceQ X2 draws power from three 8-pin PCIe power connectors, and packs two "Tahiti" GPUs with all components enabled. The two GPUs could have clock speeds higher than even single-GPU HD 7970, although HIS did not finalize them. HIS implemented a super-sized triple-slot variation of its otherwise dual-slot IceQ X2 cooler. Its card has a different display output configuration from PowerColor's, with one dual-link DVI, and four mini-DisplayPorts. Earlier today, we confirmed that PowerColor's card will reach the market only by late-July. HIS, on the other hand, wants to beat PowerColor to it, and is confident of launching the industry's first HD 7970 X2.

New Details on ASUS ZEUS Emerge

A star attraction at the motherboard section of ASUS booth was its ZEUS Dual-GPU X79 concept motherboard. We got a chance to talk at lengths with people at ASUS about the exhibit, and learned a few details beyond what we already know. To begin with, ASUS is likely using a pair of "Southern Islands" family discrete mobile GPUs, not desktop ones. Further, it's likely that the GPUs are 28 nm "Pitcairn" based. The two GPUs are installed in CrossFire configuration. The next big detail is that the design focus on [evidently] isn't the integrated dual-GPU, but to demonstrate the first Thunderbolt-equipped X79 motherboard. The ZEUS has not one, but two Thunderbolt ports. The third (and most depressing) detail is that it's "highly unlikely" that the ZEUS will ever make it to the market. Think of it as yet another tradeshow concept by a big company. Perhaps ASUS doesn't want the ZEUS to end up like the ROG GSurf-365, its first off-beat ROG motherboard, which went beyond the show-floor but didn't have market-success.
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