News Posts matching "CrossFire"

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Third Long PCIe Slot On High-End Z77 Boards Wired to CPU, Works Only with Ivy Bridge

It turns out that the "third" long (physical x16, electrical x4) PCI-Express slot on most higher-end Z77 chipset-based motherboards, across vendors, are wired to the CPU, and not the Z77 PCH, as the media assumed. Early buyers of these motherboards were greeted by an informative sticker stuck to the third slot, which tells them that to use the third slot, a 3rd Generation Core "Ivy Bridge" processor must be installed, although the motherboard very much supports 2nd Generation Core "Sandy Bridge" processors.

This can be explained by taking a close look at the block diagram of Intel Z77 Express system. Z77, in combination with "Ivy Bridge" processors, allows the CPU root complex to drive three devices. Its single PCI-Express x16 link can be arranged in three ways: x16/NC/NC; x8/x8/NC; and x8/x4/x4. As you can see, the third long slot is taken into the configuration. Intel figured out that since PCI-Express 3.0 x4 offers bandwidth comparable to PCI-Express 1.0 x16 to gen 3-compliant graphics cards, it's wise if the third electrical x4 slot is also wired to the CPU's PCIe root complex. This renders most high-end LGA1155 motherboards with such CPU-driven third x16 (x4) slots 3-way SLI/CrossFireX-capable. Sweet.

Source: PC Watch Akiba

AMD Releases the Catalyst Application Profiles 12.3 CAP 1

As the month of March is drawing to a close, AMD has decided to release a fresh batch of Catalyst Application Profiles that should go great with the latest Catalyst release. The 12.3 CAP 1 package weights in 0.5 MB and includes the following profiles:

- FireFall: Resolve corruption when enabling Anti-Aliasing through the Catalyst Control Center on single GPU configurations
- Test Drive Unlimited 2: Improves CrossFire performance
- Ridge Racer Unbounded: Fixes full screen corruption for single GPU configurations
- Stacking: Resolved image quality issues when enabling Anti-Aliasing through the Catalyst Control Center on single GPU configurations
- Dirt 3: Fixes corruption found in particular scenes when CrossFire is enabled

The 12.3 CAP 1 can be downloaded from this page.

Eurocom Unleashes the Panther 4.0

Eurocom has unleashed the beast, the Panther 4.0 is here! The most powerful mobile computer ever conceived. It is powered by the Intel X79 Sandy Bridge-E Core Logic and Core i7 3960X Processor Extreme; RAID 0/1/5/10, with NVIDIA GeForce SLI and AMD Radeon CrossFireX support. The Eurocom production team has recently finished the EUROCOM Panther 4.0 teaser video, with information about the specs, innovations and technologies, along with a look inside the beast.

PowerColor Radeon HD 7970 Vortex II Detailed Some More

In anticipation of the official launch, PowerColor has served up a fresh batch of pictures depicting its Radeon HD 7970 Vortex II Edition graphics card. Besides providing fresh photos, PowerColor has also confirmed that this new Tahiti-powered card will have its GPU set to 1100 MHz (up from the stock 925 MHz) and the 3 GB of on-board GDDR5 memory clocked at 5700 MHz (5500 MHz stock).

In addition to higher clocks, the HD7970 Vortex II features a dual-slot cooler with two fans (allowing for a little airflow adjustment) and three heatpipes, a backplate to speed up heat dissipation, 2048 Stream Processors, a 384-bit memory interface, a PCI Express 3.0 x16 bus interface, CrossFireX and Eyefinity support, and five display outputs (DVI x 2, HDMI x 1, mini DisplayPort x 2).

The HD7970 Vortex II Edition is expected to become available next month. Its price tag is still unknown.

SAPPHIRE Introduces HD 7970 Dual-X OC Edition

SAPPHIRE Technology has just release a new factory overclocked version of its high end graphics card based on the highly acclaimed graphics GCN (Graphics Core Next) architecture from AMD.

The SAPPHIRE HD 7970 OC Edition features SAPPHIRE’s new dual-extractor technology - Dual-X - a highly efficient multi-heatpipe cooler with dual fans providing quiet and very cool operation during normal operating conditions, and superb cooling performance even under extreme load. The HD 7970 from AMD is the most powerful single chip GPU ever built - it has a new internal structure with 32 compute units and a total of 2048 Stream processors. The SAPPHIRE HD 7970 OC Edition ships with a raised core clock speed of 950MHz, and 1425MHz for the memory. Its Dual BIOS switch allows users to select the higher performance settings of 1GHz core and 1450MHz memory, making the fastest card in its class. This setting also uses a more aggressive fan profile and raises the limits for maximum overclocking.

EVGA Offers Quick Peek at 7 Series (LGA 1155) Motherboard

While rival manufacturers flooded CeBIT with their Z77 motherboards, EVGA has been rather low key and only today decided to give us a look at what it's preparing for next's month's Ivy Bridge launch. Seen below is one high-end LGA 1155 board EVGA is currently working on. There's no name to go with the image (best guess is Z77 FTW) but plenty of specs can be identified like, well, the Ivy-ready LGA 1155 socket, four DDR3 memory slots, 10-phase power, two 8-pin power connectors to 'feed' the processor plus two 6-pin PCIe plugs catering to graphics cards, a PCIe bridge chip (likely made by PLX), and five PCI-Express x16 slots (at least two should be PCIe 3.0) providing SLI and CrossFireX capabilities.

EVGA's incoming motherboard also includes PCIe disable switches, a debug LED, an angled 24-pin ATX power connector, four SATA 6.0 Gbps and four SATA 3.0 Gbps ports, Gigabit Ethernet, an undetermined number of USB 3.0 ports, Power, Reset and Clear CMOS buttons, 7.1 channel audio, and it seems even a Thunderbolt port. Now where's that 'Like' button?

ASUS Makes Z9PE-D8 WS 2P-LGA2011 Motherboard Official

ASUS made its workstation-grade Z9PE-D8 WS motherboard official. The board is built for 2P Xeon E5-2600 series processors in the LGA2011 package, is based on the Intel C606 "Patsburg" chipset, and is built in the 30.5 x 33 cm EEB form-factor. Each of the two sockets is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots, supporting quad-channel memory, each. Up to 256 GB of registered DDR3 memory is supported.

Expansion slots include four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 (blue), two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 (electrical x8, top two black), and one PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (electrical x4, bottommost black). 4-way SLI and CrossFireX are supported. Storage connectivity includes six SATA 6 Gb/s (two from the PCH, four from two Marvell 9230 chips), and eight SATA 3 Gb/s (all from the PCH). An ASPEED ASMB6 provides basic display and iKVM functions. Realtek ALC898 provides 8-channel HD audio. There are two gigabit Ethernet interfaces, driven by Intel 82574L chips. The Z9PE-D8 WS from ASUS is priced around US $630.

Gigabyte G1.Sniper 3 Z77 Motherboard Pictured

How time flies. It's been just a little over an year since Gigabyte unveiled its G1.Killer series of gamer-overclocker oriented motherboards, including the G1.Sniper, and now it's already at G1.Sniper 3. While the original G1.Sniper was based on the X58 chipset supporting LGA1366 processors, the the Sniper 2 based on Z68 chipset, supporting LGA1155 processors, the Sniper 3 stays put on the LGA1155 platform, but makes use of the brand-new Z77 chipset. The motherboard is designed to drive up to four graphics cards in 4-way CrossFire/SLI configurations. It takes advantage of a PLX PEX8747 bridge chip, which takes in one PCI-Express 3.0 x16 link, giving out two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 links, it even has a native multiplex that splits its second downstream x16 link to two x8 links. This way, the G1.Sniper 3 is ready for 4-way action with the latest PCIe Gen. 3.0 graphics cards.

AMD Catalyst Application Profiles 12.2 CAP 1 Up For Grabs

Radeon owners can now download a fresh batch of Catalyst profiles bringing improved performance in the latest PC games. This new CAP release includes the following profiles:

- Mass Effect 3 - Improves CrossFire performance
- Path of Exile - Improves CrossFire performance
- Darkness 2 - Resolves flickering issues on single GPU configurations when Anti-Aliasing is forced on in the Catalyst Control Center
- Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - Resolves character texture corruption seen using single GPU configurations when Anti-Aliasing is forced on in the Catalyst Control Center
- Wargame: European Escalation (DirectX 9 version) - Improves CrossFire performance
- Wargame: European Escalation (DirectX 11 version) - Resolves flickering observed when running in CrossFire mode
- Mount Blade: Disables CrossFire to avoid corruption as the title has a capped Frame Rate
- L.A. Noire (DirectX 11 Version) - Improves CrossFire performance, and resolves flickering seen in shadows

The AMD 12.2 CAP 1 can be downloaded via this page.

AMD Also Delivers the Catalyst Application Profiles 12.1 CAP 3

An updated pack of Catalyst Application Profiles is now available for download and it includes profiles for the following five games:

- Alan Wake - Improves CrossFire performance
- Syndicate - Improves both single GPU and CrossFire performance
- Darkness 2 - Improves CrossFire performance
- Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - Improves CrossFire performance for the AMD Radeon HD 6000 Series to avoid negative scaling at low resolutions
- Natural Selection 2 - Fixes shadow map flickering issue seen with CrossFire enabled

To get the Catalyst Application Profiles v12.1 CAP 3 see this page.

AMD Intros Catalyst Application Profiles 12.1 CAP 2

AMD released its latest Catalyst Application Profile update for AMD Catalyst, version 12.1 CAP 2, as it's called, adds application-specific CrossfireX optimizations to the driver, which lets the driver effectively use two or more AMD Radeon GPUs working in tandem optimally. It also fixes any bugs that exist with current optimizations. 12.1 CAP 2 includes profiles for the following applications:
  • Star Wars: The old republic : Improves CrossFire performance and resolves flickering seen on Map
  • Unigine Tropics – Resolves flashing shadow reflections with CrossFire enabled
  • Wargame: European Escalation: Improves CrossFire performance
DOWNLOAD: AMD Catalyst Application Profiles 12.1 CAP 2

ASUS Launches the Radeon HD 7970 DirectCU II TOP Graphics Card

Ushering the finest and most capable graphics card based on new AMD "Tahiti" 28nm GPUs, the ASUS HD 7970 DirectCU II TOP uses a factory-overclocked core and 3 GB of GDDR5. It is cooled by the exclusive DirectCU II, a dual fan thermal design with six copper heatpipes and a large dissipation area that leads to the lowest temperatures and quietest operation of any HD 7970 card.

ASUS DIGI+ VRM 12-phase digital power delivery comes to graphics cards improved with Super Alloy Power components, while overclockers are bound to appreciate the inclusion of exclusive VGA Hotwire hardware overvolting and GPU Tweak software tuning. The new cards further support adapter-free AMD Eyefinity 6.

AMD Rolls Out New Radeon HD 7900 Graphics Driver

Sunnyvale-based heterogeneous computing promoter AMD has today made available an updated driver for its recently-released Radeon HD 7970 graphics card. Dubbed 8.921.2 RC11, this fresh driver brings the following:

Super Sampling Anti-Aliasing and Adaptive Anti-Aliasing Preview support for DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 applications

- AMD Radeon HD 7900 users can now enable Super Sample Anti-Aliasing and Adaptive Anti-Aliasing through the AMD Catalyst Control Center for DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 applications.
- Applications must support in game Anti-Aliasing for the feature to work (Forced on Anti-Aliasing through the Catalyst Control Center is not supported for DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 applications).

Gigabyte's Custom-Cooled, Overclocked Radeon HD 7970 Gets Official

Gigabyte Technology has now added to its website a second Radeon HD 7970 graphics card, the (previously-leaked) model codenamed GV-R797OC-3GD which features a dual-slot, triple-fan cooler, a custom PCB, and a GPU clocked at 1000 MHz (the standard frequency is 925 MHz).

Gigabyte's customized HD 7970 also has an Ultra Durable VGA construction (2oz copper PCB, Tier 1 memory, Japanese Solid Capacitor, Ferrite Core Chokes, Low RDS (on) MOSFET), a 384-bit memory interface, 3 GB of GDDR5 VRAM set to 5500 MHz (no overclock here, unfortunately), DVI, HDMI and dual Mini DisplayPort outputs, and CrossFireX support. The GV-R797OC-3GD's price tag has yet to be revealed.

ASUS Launches ROG Rampage IV GENE X79 mATX Gaming Board

Rampage IV GENE continues the legacy of Republic of Gamers motherboards by delivering gamers with enhanced performance that places a premium on fidelity and speed. SupremeFX III EMI-shielded audio guarantees better in-game sound, Intel Ethernet LAN and ROG GameFirst technology boost online multiplayer performance, while ROG Extreme Engine Digi+ II digital voltage regulation promotes improved overclocking.

The board further uses Black Metallic capacitors and NexFET Power Block MOSFETs for added durability and heat resistance. Unlike budget micro ATX boards, it supports 2-way NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFireX.

MSI and HIS Radeon HD 7970 Pictured, 3-way CrossFireX Tested

Until now, any site that has reviewed the Radeon HD 7970 has done so, using the sample AMD provided. There are very few CrossFire reviews out there, because it's simply too hard to get more than one AMD sample. 3-way and 4-way CrossFire reviews could be even rare, if such reviews even exist to begin with. This will change on the 9th of January, when AMD's add-in board partners are officially allowed to launch their Radeon HD 7970 graphics cards, when retailers can start selling these cards, and for reviewers to end up with enough cards to do CrossFire reviews.

Apparently British retailer Overclockers.uk got its stock of Radeon HD 7970 from at least two manufacturers, MSI and HIS. The site proudly showed off stacks of HIS and MSI Radeon HD 7970 graphics cards (first picture below). We certainly hope those are not all the cards it has in its inventory. OCUK did get a chance to pull three cards out of those boxes, and set up a 3-way CrossFireX setup using an Intel Core i7 "Sandy Bridge-E" system. At least one of those three cards is an MSI card, which isn't much different from the reference card than the MSI badge on the fan. Since the system is PCI-Express Gen 3.0 compliant, we can expect there to be close to no interface bottlenecks. And the guy who set that system up for a few snaps did what every enthusiast would do - run some benchmarks.

AMD Dual-GPU Radeon HD 7990 to Launch in Q1 2012, Packs 6 GB Memory

Even 12 months ago, an Intel Nehalem-powered gaming PC with 6 GB of system memory was considered high-end. Now there's already talk of a graphics card taking shape, that has that much memory. On Thursday this week, AMD launched its Radeon HD 7970 graphics card, which features its newest 28 nm "Tahiti" GPU, and 3 GB of GDDR5 memory across a 384-bit wide memory interface. All along, it had plans of making a dual-GPU graphics card that made use of two of these GPUs to give you a Crossfire-on-a-stick solution. AMD codenamed this product "New Zealand". We are now getting to learn that codename "New Zealand" will carry the intuitive-sounding market name Radeon HD 7990, and that it is headed for a Q1 2012 launch.

This means that Radeon HD 7990 should arrive before April 2012. Tests show that Tahiti has superior energy-efficiency compared to previous-generation "Cayman" GPU, even as it has increased performance. From a technical standpoint, a graphics card featuring two of these Tahiti GPUs, running with specifications matching those of the single-GPU HD 7970, looks workable. Hence, there is talk of 6 GB of total graphics memory (3 GB per GPU system).

AMD Radeon HD 7900 Key Features Listed

We've already been through the specifications of HD 7970 "Tahiti" in some detail that matters to those who can draw a performance hunch looking at them. This latest slide shows you the feature-set this GPU comes with. To begin with, there are three main categories of feature updates: Graphics CoreNext, AMD Eyefinity 2.0, and AMD APP Acceleration. AMD claims CoreNext to be a "revolutionary" new architecture that changes the way the GPU crunches numbers.

For the past five generations (since Radeon HD 2000), AMD GPUs have used the VLIW (very-long instruction word) core arrangement. Even the latest VLIW4 introduced by Radeon HD 6900 series, was an evolution, than a revolution of that. CoreNext replaces VLIW stream processors with super-scalar Graphics Compute cores. This should translate to higher performance per mm² die-area, resulting in smaller GPUs, giving AMD room for greater cost-cutting if the competition from NVIDIA for this generation takes effect. The GPU itself is built on TSMC's new 28 nm silicon fabrication process. Next up, AMD confirmed support for PCI-Express 3.0 interface, that nearly doubles system bus bandwidth over the previous generation.

New Radeon Pictures Leaked: HD 7770

First pictures of AMD's mainstream card, HD 7770, have now been leaked online. This card is the first major upgrade to the HD 5770 in two years, since the HD 6770 was just a rebrand. It features the Cape Verde GPU, which replaces the Juniper GPU used in the HD 5770/HD 6770. The card looks somewhat different, with a large fan sitting on top of the GPU, blowing directly onto it and the card's length is the same as the HD 5770, at around 8.25 inches.

AMD Outs Second Catalyst Performance Driver In A Week

AMD rolled out its second Catalyst performance driver update in a week, with the Catalyst 11.11b. It follows Catalyst 11.11a, which was released earlier this week. A performance driver update is what AMD used to call "Hotfixes", they are updates for recently-released WHQL-signed drivers, featuring some performance improvements fresh from the Catalyst developer team. In includes all the changes 11.11a brings to the table, plus the ones listed below:
Elder Scrolls Skyrim
  • New in Catalyst 11.11b: Delivers AMD CrossFire performance scaling for AMD Radeon HD 6000 Series
  • o AMD Radeon HD 5000 CrossFire support will be supported soon in an updated driver
Assassin’s Creed: Revelations
  • New in Catalyst 11.11b: Delivers AMD CrossFire performance scaling
DOWNLOAD: AMD Catalyst 11.11b Performance Driver for Windows 7 and Vista | Windows XP

AMD Rolls Out Catalyst 11.11a Performance Driver

AMD released its latest "performance driver" for Radeon graphics cards, the Catalyst 11.11a. With this release, AMD is using the term "performance driver" to refer to performance-enhancing Hotfix updates it launches between its scheduled monthly WHQL-signed updates. Catalyst 11.11a fixes some outstanding game-related bugs and improves performance and resolves driver-related bugs for a variety of recently-released titles such as Batman: Arkham City, Rage, The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, and Battlefield 3. The rest of the driver is based on Catalyst 11.11.

DOWNLOAD: AMD Catalyst 11.11a Performance Driver for Windows 7 or Vista | Windows XP

A list of changes follows.

AMD 11.11 WHQL Catalyst driver CAP 2 Now Available

AMD has now released the CrossFireX Catalyst Application Profiles 2 for their latest 11.11 WHQL drivers. The improvements apply to just two games:
New profiles added to this release:

- Saints Row 3: Resolves stuttering seen when playing in CrossFireX mode. Also provides Single GPU and CrossFireX performance improvements when running in lower resolution configurations
- Gothic 4 Arcania: Fall of Setarrif: Improves CrossFire performance
There's nothing yet for hit game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim in this release, unfortunately. CAP 2 can be downloaded here.

AMD 1090FX and 1070 Chipsets Disclosed, No PCI Express 3.0

AMD is fine-tuning its product development cycle to deliver a new processor architecture towards the end of each year, and a new chipset towards the beginning of one, maintaining platform compatibility and longevity. The company launched its socket AM3+ compliant 9-series chipset months ahead of its first-generation Bulldozer FX processor family, though it looks like in the year 2012 it will launch a new line of desktop chipset, in all likelihood it will precede the launch of second-generation Bulldozer (codenamed "Piledriver") processors.

In 2012, AMD chipset family will be led by the 10-series chipset. At the very top is AMD 1090FX northbridge, followed by 1070. 1090FX will be designed to give out two PCI-Express x16 links, which can then drive up to four graphics cards. The 1070, on the other hand, gives out just one x16 link, which can drive up to two graphics cards. AMD will scrap its present model of 990X and 970, in which the northbridge is essentially the same piece of silicon, with the 990X having lane switches and supporting CrossFireX. A big revelation here is that the 10-series chipset will not feature PCI Express Gen 3.0. We'd normally expect AMD to be at the forefront of supporting new technologies. If we remember, AMD 790FX was the first AMD platform chipset in the industry to feature PCI-Express 2.0. Also, it is highly likely that AMD's Radeon HD 7000 series graphics, which are slated for later this year, will support PCI-Express 3.0 interface.

MSI Micro-ATX LGA2011 X79MA-GD45 Motherboard Pictured

Here are the first pictures of MSI's socket LGA2011 motherboard in the micro-ATX form-factor. Earlier this week, we got to see through ASRock's X79 Extreme4-M that LGA2011 micro-ATX boards were indeed possible. Called the MSI X79MA-GD45 (MS-7738 V1.1), this board offers all the connectivity possible on a board with such a tight footprint. The LGA2011 socket is powered by a 9-phase VRM. It is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots, two on either sides of the socket, powered by 2-phase VRM. Expansion slots include two each of PCI-Express 3.0 x16 and PCI-Express 2.0 x1. 2-way SLI and CrossFire are supported.

SATA connectivity includes two SATA 6 Gb/s (white), four SATA 3 Gb/s (black). There are no eSATA ports, but four USB 3.0, two on the rear panel, two by internal header, driven by Renesas-made controllers. The rest of the connectivity is fairly standard: 8+2 channel HD audio driven by Realtek ALC892 CODEC with optical and coaxial SPDIF outputs, single gigabit Ethernet driven by Realtek 8111E, and a number of USB 2.0 ports. One of the front-panel USB 2.0 headers is designed for charging portable devices even with the system shut down (yet plugged in). The board will be driven by UEFI firmware, we're getting to see some nifty features for overclockers such as voltage measurement points across a wide range of voltage domains.
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