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Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 Custom-Design Graphics Card Pictured

Here is the first picture of a non-reference design Radeon HD 7970 graphics card. Made by Gigabyte, the GV-R797OC-3GD is a factory-overclocked graphics card, which makes use of a custom Ultra Durable VGA+ PCB by the company, and a custom-design triple-fan WindForce cooler. Its Ultra Durable VGA+ PCB makes use of 2 oz copper layer for better electrical stability and heat distribution, ferrite-core chokes, low RDS (on) MOSFETs, hand-picked high-performance GDDR5 memory chips, etc.

The cooler makes use of a combination of heatsinks and aluminum fin arrays to which heat from the GPU, memory, and VRM is fed by copper heat-pipes, and ventilated by three fans. Gigabyte also has a reference-design graphics card, which uses a reference-design cooling assembly, and most likely also a reference design PCB, except that it's colored red. It's not likely that red color PCB will be standard among AIB-branded retail cards, because the HIS and MSI cards pictured by OCUK recently, were found to have black-colored ones. There's no word of the pricing or clock speeds.

Source: HardwareLuxx.de

More HD 7770 Leaks: Pictures, Plus 3DMark Benchmarks

Not quite two weeks ago, we reported on leaked pictures of AMD's upcoming Radeon HD 7770 mid-range graphics card based on the new Southern Islands architecture and listed its basic specs. Well, the leaks keep coming and bigpao007 of ChipHell has leaked more pictures with some benchmarks to go with them. The test setup consisted of an Ivy Bridge ES CPU – Core i5-3550K at 3.3Ghz and Z77 chipset-based motherboard. The driver used was the AMD Catalyst 8.940 RC2, giving the following 3DMark benchmark results:

Christmas Special: The PC Technology of 2011

Welcome to the TechPowerUp 2011 PC technology Christmas special. We hope that you will enjoy reading it while tucking into your turkey, Christmas presents and a little too much wine... In this article, we go through the technology of 2011 that has had the most significance, the most impact and was generally the most talked about. It's not necessarily the best tech of 2011 which is the most significant though, since lemons can be just as significant as the ground-breakers in how they fail to deliver - and the backlash that goes with it.

January: Intel Sandy Bridge i5 & i7

Released on January 9th, the new Intel Core i5 & i7 processors were based on Intel's second generation Core architecture built on a 32 nm production process (HEXUS review). They included an IGP (Integrated Graphics Processor) physically on the same piece of silicon along with HyperThreading. These new dual and quad core processors soundly beat all previous generations of Intel processors in terms of processing performance, heat, power use, features and left AMD in the dust. Therefore, Intel badly needed some competition from AMD and unless you have been living under a rock, you will know how that turned out in October with the launch of Bulldozer. Sandy Bridge was a sound win and is generally considered to be the only architecture worth considering at this point. The i5-2500K is currently at the sweet spot of price/performance. It comes at a stock speed of 3.3 GHz, but typically overclocks to an amazing 4.5 - 5 GHz with a decent air cooler and without too much difficulty in getting there. Models in the budget i3 range were released at various times later. See this Wikipedia article for details.

Sharkoon Announces T28 Case for Long Graphics Cards

Sharkoon presents another series of cases: Available in three color editions, the Sharkoon T28 offers a lot of space especially for hard drive installation, thankfully due to the removable hard drive cage, and also perfect for extra-long graphic cards.

Externally the Sharkoon T28 offers a black body and a rectilinear mesh front design. Power and Reset buttons are elegantly chromed. In regards to the front connectors, Audio In/Out stands ready between three USB2.0 ports and a USB3.0 interface. An acrylic window on the left side panel gives an insight into the interior of the colored mainboard tray. Choose from three color editions: Red, green, and for the first time after numerous customer suggestions, blue. Also, the operating and hard drive LEDs illuminate in the edition color as well as the three pre-installed 120 mm fans. Two fans rotate in the front, the third in the back. All possess a 4-pin power supply and a 3-pin mainboard connector.

Apple Outsources IP Disputes to Patent Trolls

These are some lively times at Apple's legal department. The company is locked in intellectual property disputes with multiple companies, in multiple countries. Some of these are familiar foes such as Motorola Mobility and Samsung, others regional and lesser-known. The one thing patent disputes do, to all parties involved in them, is dent PR. Every legal dispute attracts or at lease leaves scope for bad press, and more often shapes public opinion against the disputing parties.

Apple learned a new trick in the trade which at least two recent events with very different outcomes, may have helped shape. First, it recently thwarted display IP infringement claims by S3 Graphics thanks to timely help by GPU supplier AMD, and second, it suffered a setback with regards to some brand names claimed by Chinese company ProView. You see, the ups and downs of IP disputes can have some very varied effects on the company's image. Apple's new trick is simple: make a different company, with a much different brand name, to handle those IP disputes on behalf of Apple, so brand Apple isn't directly dragged into the mess. Enter your friendly neighbourhood patent-troll, Digitude.

Battlefield 3: Massive PC Only Update Released

It looks like developer DICE has been doing a lot of listening to its customers, as the large number of complaints over in-game glitches has produced an almighty patch, fixing just about everything, including the kitchen sink, while making lots of little tweaks to improve gameplay and the user interface. On top of that, the patch is PC only for now as the console versions are taking "a bit longer due to [the] console certification process".

Bugfixes include such goodies as a "Black Screen" fix for an issue occurring on some PC Configurations; spawn protection improvements; increasing the damage from the 44 Magnum slightly; sharing your profile and stats with new Battlelog functionality; profile integration with Facebook, Google+ and Twitter and lots more. The full list appears below.

Apple Defends Patent Claims by S3 Graphics Thanks to Timely Help by AMD

The world of corporate disputes is a funny one. S3 Graphics filed a compliant against Apple for infringing four of its patents related to its graphics IP. Later this year, ITC announced a verdict ruling in favor of S3 Graphics around the same time S3 Graphics was being purchased by HTC. In a spectacular turn of events, on November 21, ITC took a U-turn by overruling the favorable verdict and dismissing S3 Graphics' case.

Commentators note that AMD's intervention into the case as a non-party may have played a key role, AMD claimed the patents in question to be its own, later Apple sought dismissal of the case based on the grounds of AMD's claims. ITC denied AMD and Apple requests to publicly disclose the details of the patents in question, so the the public would't find out what patent claims were used against S3 Graphics. AMD is currently the principal supplier of GPUs for Apple's Mac products, though there are now rumors that with the next generation of Macs, Apple could change its GPU supplier to AMD's rival NVIDIA.Source: VR-Zone

DisplayLink Chip Powers Japan’s First USB 3.0 Graphics Adapter from I-O DATA

DisplayLink, the leading provider of technology for virtual and USB-connected computing, and I-O DATA DEVICE (www.iodata.com) today announced the availability of the I-O DATA USB-RGB3/D USB 3.0 to DVI display adapter. Incorporating the DisplayLink DL-3100 chip for connectivity and virtual graphics, it is the first USB 3.0 enabled display adapter to ship in Japan.

"And this is as true in Japan as any other technology-embracing market."

Featuring the robust DisplayLink 3.0 video compression and support for resolutions up to 2048 x 1152, including 1080p, even the newest notebooks, netbooks and PCs can enjoy the benefits of multi-screen computing. And with the throughput of SuperSpeed USB 3.0, those monitors will display high-performance, full-screen HD video, 3D games, rich 2D graphics and multi-channel audio.

AMD Fails to Halt S3 Graphics Patent Lawsuit Against Apple

In late September, S3 Graphics, still a subsidiary of VIA Technology and soon to be transferred to HTC, dragged Apple Inc. to court over charges of patent infringement related to graphics component IP of nearly all Apple products, including iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and iMac. Last month, AMD, now a main supplier of graphics processors for Apple's Mac products, intervened with a counter lawsuit claiming it owned the patents that S3 has asserted against Apple, and sought an immediate halt to S3's patent case against Apple.

In an October 28 filing with the ITC, S3 says that a federal judge struck down a request for an immediate halt into S3's case, but the Commission is scheduled to release its final decision on November 15. The case struck down is (rather was) Advanced Micro Devices Inc. v. S3 Graphics Co., 11cv965, U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware (Wilmington).Source: Bloomberg

AMD Catalyst 11.10 WHQL Released

AMD today released its latest official version of Catalyst, a software suite that provides drivers for AMD/ATI Radeon graphics processors, A-Series APUs, 7-series and 8-series integrated graphics, and related system software. Catalyst 11.10 WHQL launched today has essentially the same change log as the 11.10 Preview 3 driver, except that it's WHQL-signed. Catalyst 11.10 WHQL is the driver to have when playing some of the latest titles such as Battlefield 3 and Rage.

Catalyst 11.10 WHQL brings in a few new features, too, such as support for 5x1 Eyefinity, with maximum resolution increased to 16000 x 16000 pixels on Radeon HD 6000 series GPUs, and in DirectX 11 applications, and improved Vision Engine Control Center / Catalyst Control Center applications (VECC is installed for A-Series APUs and Chipset IGPs, CCC is installed for discrete Radeon GPUs).

DOWNLOAD: AMD Catalyst 11.10 WHQL for Windows 7 and Vista 64-bit | Windows 7 and Vista 32-bit

Are Improving Integrated Graphics Slowly Killing Off Discrete Graphics Cards?

Intel started the trend of improving integrated graphics with their second generation LGA1155 socket Core i3, i5 & i7 line of processors. Depending on the model, these processors sport integrated HD2000 or HD3000 graphics right on the processor die, which nowadays give acceptable performance for low-end gaming and can play Full HD 1080p video perfectly. This trend is increasing with the upcoming Ivy Bridge processors, which will be able to support a massive 4096 x 4096 pixel display, as we reported here. AMD now also have equivalent products with their Llano-based A-series processors. So, where does this leave discrete graphics cards? Well, the low end market is certainly seeing reduced sales, as there really isn't enough of a performance difference nowadays to always warrant an upgrade from an IGP. As integrated graphics improve further, one can see how this will hurt sales of higher end graphics cards too. The problem is that the bulk of the profit comes not from the top-end powerhouse graphics cards, but from the low to mid-end cards which allow these companies to remain in business, so cannibalizing sales of these products to integrated graphics could make high-end graphics cards a much more niche product and crucially, much more expensive with to boot.

Modern Warfare 3 new trailer, Redemption SP. Graphics as good as BF3?

There’s a great new single player trailer just out for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. It continues the story from the previous game and looks excellent, as you might expect. However, since it’s coming out at the same time as Battlefield 3, one can’t help compare the graphics quality between the two. MW3 seems to look like an evolutionary improvement, but still looks like "computer generated graphics", while BF3 appears to define a whole new level of realism which isn’t that hard to mistake for the real thing if it's not looked at closely. Go watch it over at Guru3D at 720p and decide for yourselves. Note that watching the video directly on YouTube requires a free account registration due to the strong nature of the content, but not on Guru3D.

Source: Guru3D

EVGA GTX 580 Classified + watercooling Doubles Core Clock Speed!

The EVGA GTX 580 Classified 3072MB, previously announced on TechPowerUp, is now available to buy according to this forum post by an EVGA product manager - in limited quantities, of course. According to Gaming Blend, this card can amazingly reach a doubled 1.6GHz core clock when overclocked using waterblocks - GTX 590 eat your heart out! This card also has custom designed VRMs to take all the extra power that the card will use, which means that they won't squeal when the card is overclocked hard and also when running intensive applications such as Folding@Home.
UPDATE: Turns out that 1.6GHz overclock was actually achieved using LN2, not water. To confirm it, click the EVGA promo link after the jump and see the extreme cooling section video, or just skip directly to the YouTube video here.

Homefront Sequel to be Given the Crytek High Quality Graphics Treatment

Homefront creator KAOS studios shut its doors in the summer, leaving the sequel without a developer - and players of the cliffhanger ending of the first game well, hanging. However, publisher THQ has hired Crysis 2 developer Crytek to develop the sequel (Homefront 2?) which is expected to be out in 2014 for PC and console platforms. This is perhaps unsurprising, as Crytek recently made a very impressive DX11 upgrade for Crysis 2, as reported by TechPowerUp (with video) so this appointment is likely to make the next Homefront visually exciting at least and will do its bit to help keep up the graphics quality of games written for the PC. I'm looking forward to their high quality DX11 graphics that will push our PC's to the limits and once more give us a reason for upgrading to the latest hardware. They now just need to concentrate on making the gameplay as good as those graphics.

ColorFire Shows Off Xstorm HD 6850 X2 4 GB Graphics Card

Asian graphics card manufacturer known for its intriguing designs, Colorful, after a brief gap of four months, unveiled its latest graphics card in the works, under its Radeon-centric ColorFire brand. Called the ColorFire Xstorm HD 6850 X2 4GB, its name pretty much spells out what it's about : a dual-GPU (CrossFire on-a-stick) graphics card with two Radeon HD 6850 GPUs, and 4 GB of total memory (2 GB per GPU system). It's not just the specifications that earned Colorful/ColorFire its popularity, it's their nerdtastic choice of components. This card is no exception.

Sapphire Announces Pure Platinum A75 Motherboard for AMD A-Series APUs

SAPPHIRE Technology, a leading manufacturer and global supplier of graphics, mainboard and multimedia solutions has just introduced a new mainboard developed to support the latest A-series Fusion APU family from AMD.

AMD’s A-series APUs combine - on a single chip - a Quad core CPU, interface circuitry equivalent to a Northbridge and a DX11 graphics core equivalent to a desktop level graphics card, and also incorporating a 3rd-generation UVD (universal video decoder) for the accelerated decoding of HD and Blu-ray content, including stereoscopic 3D support. This APU series together with the A75 chipset, which has native support for the latest interface standards, such as SATA 6G and USB 3.0 as well as USB 2.0 and PCI-Express Gen2, makes a powerful combination that delivers all the features required in a state-of-the-art PC.

Gigabyte Updates HD 6970 WindForce 3X Graphics Card with Proadlizer

Gigabyte is constantly revising designs of its already-launched graphics cards. This time around, it's the Radeon HD 6970 WindForce 3X (GV-R697UD-2GD). This custom design graphics card sticks to AMD's reference clock speeds, but creates some overclocking headroom with its WindForce 3X cooler, and a strong VRM on the PCB. The new revision 2.0 packs an NEC/Tokin Proadlizer, which is a high-grade multiphase capacitor, that helps in conditioning the power to the GPU.

Apart from this small yet important change, everything else is the same. The PCB uses Gigabyte's Ultra Durable VGA+ construction, which includes 2 oz copper PCB, low RDS (on) MOSFETs, ferrite core chokes, hand-picked tier-1 GDDR5 memory chips by Samsung or Hynix, hand-picked GPU, and clock speeds of 880 MHz core and 5.50 GHz GDDR5 effective memory. There is 2 GB of memory. Expect the new revision to cost roughly the same as the original.

PNY Debuts Liquid Cooled Graphics at E3

PNY Technologies, Inc. ("PNY"), a global leader in flash memory cards, USB flash drives, solid state drives, High Speed HDMI cables, computer memory upgrade modules, as well as consumer and professional graphics cards, today announced the debut of an innovative product line of Liquid Cooled Graphics Cards. PNY's new Liquid Cooled Graphics solution will be showcased at E3 2011 from now until June 9th.

PNY and Asetek, a leader in CPU thermal management, have combined forces to launch a high-end Liquid Cooled Graphics solution geared towards gaming enthusiasts. Consumers will receive a fully integrated XLR8 GeForce GTX liquid cooled graphics system, with a combination GPU/CPU cooling version available as well. Engineered with a closed loop system, and built with an Asetek sealed water cooler already attached, the PNY design offers consumers an out-of-the-box ready, simple to install and reliable product.

AMD Paves the Way for the Next Gen. of Supercharged Desktop PCs with 9-Series Chipset

AMD today launched its 9-Series chipset line-up today, helping PC builders to develop next generation high performance desktop platforms. The company also unveiled its 2011 HD Tablet Platform, based on the AMD Z-Series Accelerated Processing Unit (APU), enabling vivid media display and content creation capabilities for the fast-growing market of Microsoft Windows-based tablets. These new AMD products are designed to enable more immersive digital experiences for the PC and tablet markets.

“As consumer appetites for more compelling, lifelike visual experiences increase, there is greater need for high performance, smooth, vibrant graphics as well as unparalleled computing power,” said John Taylor, product marketing director, AMD. “From tablets to desktops, AMD is making powerful computing accessible to everyone.”

Club 3D Announces New Radeon HD 6750 1GB GDDR5

Club 3D B.V. announces the introduction of the Radeon HD 6750 video card based on the Juniper LE chipset, AMD’ second generation DirectX 11 cards. Play the latest games in amazing detail with Club 3D Radeon HD 6750 Graphics. With winning performance, advanced technologies and full second generation DirectX 11 support, you’re ready to dominate the competition. Now with AMD APP acceleration you can enable smoother video playback, improve your video image quality and enhance your applications performance.

With the latest UVD hardware on board, it considerably reduces the CPU load delivering and decoding stunning Blu-Ray and H.264 content. HDMI has been upgraded to 1.4a for 3D content making it the perfect choice for a HTPC.

Matrox Introduces Avio Series Dual-DVI Fiber Optic KVM Extender Solution

Matrox Graphics Inc. today unveils Matrox Avio Series, a new line of fiber optic KVM extenders for graphics intensive design and visualization applications within the process control, automotive, oil & gas, and government and military markets. The KVM extender transmitter/receiver pair enables users to secure the host computer in a climate-controlled machine room by capturing the system’s I/O functionality and extending it up to 1000 meters over a single fiber optic cable.

The feature-rich Avio Series supports uncompressed dual single-link DVI or one dual-link DVI video—at full resolution and frame rate—keyboard, mouse, stereo analog audio, and multiple USB HID and USB 2.0 peripherals, while making available a secondary user to access the host computer from the transmitter unit. Avio’s flexible design is compatible with Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux/Unix operating systems, allowing IT departments to standardize on one solution for enterprise-wide deployments. Matrox will be showcasing the Matrox Avio technology at InfoComm 2011 in Booth 4063, from June 15-17, 2011.

ASUS ROG MATRIX GTX 580 Graphics Card Pictured

Here are the first pictures of ASUS' Republic of Gamers (ROG) MATRIX GTX 580 graphics card, this triple-slot single-GPU monstrosity is designed to humble every other air-cooled GTX 580 graphics card in the market. The card packs a NVIDIA GF110 graphics processor with high out of the box clock speeds. It is ready for overclocking and easy voltage modifications. The card features redundant BIOS ROM chips to provide a fallback if flashing the BIOS fails. Apart from one-touch BIOS selection, there are buttons on the card itself that gives you on-the-fly fan control.

The ROG MATRIX GTX 580 comes with out of the box clock speeds of 816/1632/4008 MHz (core/CUDA cores/memory effective), and packs 1536 MB of GDDR5 memory over a 384-bit wide memory interface. The card features a number of ROG-exclusive features such as iROG and fancy illuminated MATRIX logo. The card is powered by a large 19-phase VRM that draws power from two 8-pin PCI-Express power connectors. The beast is cooled by a large triple-slot fan-heatsink that uses two large fans to ventilate a complex heatpipe-fed heatsink. Display connectivity includes two DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort. There's no word on the availability.

Source: XFastest

KFA2 Launches its New GeForce GTX 560 Graphics Cards with Dual-Fan Coolers

KFA2, the European premium NVIDIA only brand, announced today its launch of the two New Geforce GTX 560 series Graphics cards – The KFA2 GeForce GTX 560 1GB 256bit (standard) and the KFA2 GeForce GTX 560 EX OC 1GB 256bit (Dual flip fan cooler).

The KFA2 GeForce GTX 560 series Graphics Cards are the ideal card for DX11 gaming, are SLI ready and has NVIDIA 3D Vision surround capabilities, PhysX. Produced in a standard model to cater for mass market requirements and a Custom EX (extreme overclocked) OC model to bring the ultimate gaming experience with maximum cooling efficiency using our custom ”Dual Flip Fan” design.

PowerColor Readies Dual-HD 6870 Graphics Card

With no new GPUs in the works by either of the two main manufacturers, AMD and NVIDIA, this year's Computex event isn't going to be a very big exhibition of graphics cards. Instead, Intel's LGA2011 and AMD's AM3+ platforms are going to steal the show. It does leave graphics card manufacturers some attention, if they come up with something really out of the ordinary. PowerColor wants to be one of them. Flexing its in-house engineering muscle, the company is readying a dual-GPU graphics card that makes use of two 40 nm "Barts" GPUs for a CrossFire on-a-stick solution.

The two Barts chips will feature the BartsXT (Radeon HD 6870) configuration, with the card being designed to offer performance on par with HD 6870 CrossFire, with 3-GPU and 4-GPU CrossFireX support, and lower power draw than two single-GPU HD 6870 cards. The PCB design is the same as every dual-GPU AMD card ever made, there are two GPUs sitting on either sides of a PLX-made PCI-Express bridge chip, and each GPU system having its own VRM. There's 1 GB of GDDR5 memory over a 256-bit wide memory interface per GPU. Power is drawn from two 8-pin PCI-Express power connectors. The cooling solution is not pictured, but expect a multi-fan heatsink that spits hot air into the case.

ASUS Shows Off Humongous Radeon HD 6970 DirectCu II Graphics Card

ASUS displayed a huge new graphics card based on the AMD Radeon HD 6970 GPU. The EAH6970 DirectCu is perhaps the largest among the company's graphics cards that use a "direct-copper" GPU cooler in which heat pipes make direct contact with the GPU die. Such is the size of the cooler, that the card requires three expansion slots in your system. To make optimal use of the expansion brackets, ASUS wired out all TMDS links from the GPU, yielding a display connectivity consisting of two DVI and four full-sized DisplayPort 1.2 connectors.

The GPU cooler makes use of a large aluminum fin array which uses at least three 8 mm thick copper heat pipes. The aluminum fins are cooled by the airflow of two 120 mm fans. The card uses 2 GB of high-speed GDDR5 memory over a 256-bit wide memory interface, it packs 1536 VLIW4 stream processors. The card also seems to be using a 9-phase VRM that allows software voltage control. Power is drawn in from two 8-pin PCI-E power connectors.
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