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AMD Cuts Prices of Radeon R9 285

As the Spring PC upgrade season heats up, AMD decided to woo mainstream gamers away from NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 960, by working with retailers in the EU to introduce price-cuts on its Radeon R9 285 graphics card. The card can now be had for under 180€ (incl taxes). The GTX 960, in comparison, starts at 192€ (incl taxes). The R9 285 offers higher performance than the GTX 960. It is, however, let down by higher power consumption and noise figures. Based on the 28 nm "Tonga" silicon, the R9 285 offers 1,792 stream processors based on AMD's Graphics CoreNext 1.2 architecture, 112 TMUs, 32 ROPs, and a 256-bit wide memory interface, holding 2 GB of memory.

Source: Hardware.fr

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti Silicon Marked "GM200-310"

NVIDIA's upcoming high-end single-GPU graphics card, based on the GM200 silicon, which debuted with the GTX TITAN X, will feature a silicon marked "GM200-310." The SKU will be named GeForce GTX 980 Ti, and is more likely to be priced around the $600-650 mark, than replacing the $550 GTX 980 off the shelves. Going by the way NVIDIA re-positioned the GTX 780 to $499 with the introduction of the GTX 780 Ti, we imagine something similar could happen to the GTX 980. From what we gathered so far, the GTX 980 Ti will be based on the GM200 silicon. Its CUDA core count is unknown, but it wouldn't surprise us if it's unchanged from the GTX TITAN X. Its different SKU numbering shouldn't be an indication of its CUDA core count. GTX 780 Ti and GTX TITAN Black had different numbering, but the same CUDA core counts of 2,880.

The card will feature 6 GB of GDDR5 memory across the chip's 384-bit wide memory interface. It will feature five display outputs, similar to that of the GTX 980. Unlike with the GTX TITAN X, NVIDIA partners will have the freedom to launch custom-design GTX 980 Ti products from day-one. There are two theories doing rounds on when NVIDIA plans to launch this card. One suggests that it could launch in mere weeks from now, probably even on the sidelines of Computex. The other suggests that it will launch towards the end of Summer, as NVIDIA wants to make the most cash from its existing GTX 980 inventory.Source: VideoCardz

Eurocom Ships Shark 4 Ultraportable Notebook with GTX 960M Graphics

Eurocom has launched and is now shipping the 15.6" Shark 4 Ultraportable laptop with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M graphics with 2 GB GDDR5, Intel Core i7-4720HQ processor and an optical drive, all in a slim 1.1 inch chassis. "The EUROCOM Shark 4 is another impressive addition to our line of thin and light upgradeable, ultraportable laptops designed to offer high levels of performance in addition to sleek and classy designs as well as ultra-portability and ease of use." Mark Bialic, Eurocom President.

The EUROCOM Shark 4 is one of the few new laptops with an optical drive - we recognized this need for many customers so we listened by offering the Shark 4 with an upgradeable optical drive that can be a DVD drive, Blu-Ray drive or an additional storage drive bay. Upgradeability is a core tenet of all Eurocom systems; the Shark 4 is no different with upgradeable memory, storage, display, wireless card and keyboard. The EUROCOM Shark 4 supports two memory modules for up to 16 GB of DDR3-1600 memory and one M.2 SSD SATA PCIe Gen2 x2/x4 and two 9.5 mm HDD/SSD SATA for up to 2.512 TB of storage.

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 352.63 Beta Driver for Windows 10

NVIDIA released GeForce 352.63 Beta, a driver it recommends for all your pre-release Windows 10 testing. Tailored for WDDM 2.0 and DirectX 12, these drivers cover GeForce GPUs based on "Maxwell" and "Kepler" architectures only (GTX 900 series, GTX 700 series, and GTX 600 series only). It's still a wide selection of GPUs, which NVIDIA already announced will support DirectX 12. Grab your drivers from the links below:
DOWNLOAD: GeForce 352.63 Beta for Windows 10 64-bit: Desktop Discrete GPUs | Notebook Discrete GPUs

Reddit Discovers a Neat Performance Improving Trick for NVIDIA Users

An honorable citizen of the PC Master Race on Reddit discovered a neat little trick with which NVIDIA GeForce users could score a tiny but potentially useful frame-rate increase. The user discovered that disabling the "NVIDIA Streaming" Windows service (which is set to start-up automatically and always run, by default), results in a 3-5% frame-rate increase. It may not be much, but the increase could prove to be the difference between "playable" and "slide-show," particularly with machines built on a shoestring budget.

The service enables you to stream your game to an NVIDIA Shield handheld console, and unless you actually own one, we don't see the utility in "nvstreamsvc.exe" running at all times, especially if it has a performance penalty of any measure. To disable this service, simply look up "NVIDIA Streamer Service" in Windows Services (type "services.msc" in Run), and disable it by setting its "start-up type" to "Disabled," in its properties, and restarting your machine. This service is also required for ShadowPlay, and if you use that feature, you could set the service for "Manual" start-up.
Source: Reddit, Many thanks to dj-electric for the tip.

Eurocom Launches 13.3-inch M4 Ultraportable

Eurocom has launched the 13.3" M4 high-performance, upgradeable, ultraportable laptop, now with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M graphics, Intel Core i7-4940MX upgradeable processors and QHD+ 3200-by-1800 13.3" display while only weighing 2 kg. "The EUROCOM M4 is the culmination of all of our experience in putting the most powerful computer components in the world into small form factor laptops. The M4 is a very slight 13.3" ultraportable but has the power of a mobile supercomputer." Mark Bialic, Eurocom President.

Customers now have the option of choosing between three levels graphics technology in the M4, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 860M and 765M. This gives customers the ability to choose the perfect graphics performance for their needs. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M GPU provides a potent combination of immersive features and performance for all your games, applications, and entertainment; while also providing intelligent power features to extend battery life. "The EUROCOM M4 offers a very compelling combination of ultra-portability, hgh performance graphics, processors and memory and an ultra-crisp 3200x1800 QHD+ display. For those on the go that require high performance, the EUROCOM M4 is the best choice." Mark Bialic, EUROCOM President.

CyberPowerPC Announces Trinity Gaming Desktop

CyberPower Inc., a global manufacturer of custom gaming PCs, gaming laptops, and performance workstations, today announced it is taking orders for its Trinity gaming PC, a striking new concept in gaming PC design that splits the common hulking tower enclosure into three distinct "blades."

The CYPOWERPC Trinity is both an exercise in radical case design and a case study on the benefits of component compartmentalization. While the case defies imagination, there is a method to the madness of segregating certain components from others in order to dissipate heat while not sacrificing performance.

HP Introduces WS Storage Advancement, Mobile WS and Professional Displays

HP today introduced technology advancements designed to help artists, creatives and developers more quickly and efficiently bring designs and products to life. "As the leader in the workstation industry, we continue to develop customer inspired innovative solutions that solve real-world business needs," said Jeff Wood, vice president of product management, Workstation & Thin Client Business, HP. "Solving the storage bottleneck, delivering a light full-performance mobile workstation and allowing creative professional advanced visual solutions will bolster customer design workflows."

NVIDIA Announces GeForce 350.12 WHQL Game Ready Drivers

NVIDIA released its latest "Game Ready" marked and WHQL-signed GeForce drivers, in the run up to a big game release - Grand Theft Auto V (GTA-V), in this case. NVIDIA also took the opportunity to bump its version numbering to R350, with the GeForce 350.12 WHQL numbering these drivers are being released with, today. These drivers come with a boat-load of optimizations for GTA-V, including SLI profiles, Dynamic Super Resolution (DSR) support, and GeForce Experience optimal settings. GTA-V supports NVIDIA-exclusive features such as MFAA, TXAA, percentage-closer soft-shadows (PCSS), 4K surround, and more. The R350 driver series also introduces OpenCL 1.2 support.
DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 350.12 WHQL Game Ready for GTA-V: Windows 8/7/Vista 64-bit | Windows 8/7/Vista 32-bit | Windows XP 32-bit | Windows XP 64-bit

Colorful Announces GeForce GTX 960 BURI-Mini Graphics Card

Colorful Technology, the biggest NVIDIA AIC in China, announced its ITX edition GTX960, named the iGame GTX960 2GD5 BURI-Mini. The card is 168 mm in length, and it can be easily installed in congested ITX and mATX cases.

Colorful iGame GTX960 2GD5 BURI-Mini features Colorful-designed cooler, with two 8 mm and one 6 mm heat-pipes. On the PCB, Colorful uses 5 phases VRM, which is equipped all POSCAP capacitors. Like the other iGame series cards, this one also provide two different clocks models. In power efficiency mode, it runs at 1127/7010MHz; and in performance efficiency mode, the clock is set at 1152/7010MHz.

NVIDIA Rolls Out GeForce 350.05 Hotfix Driver

Despite WHQL-signed driver releases almost every other week, NVIDIA still seems to find time or reason for stopgap releases such as the new GeForce 350.05 Hotfix drivers, which quickly address a pressing issue with the latest WHQL-signed drivers (349.88 in this case). The driver fixes a crash with DirectX error message on Battlefield: Hardline. It also fixes a crash with Dragon Age: Inquisition. Expreview reports that NVIDIA also quietly slipped in OpenCL 1.2 support with the new driver, which could be one of the highlights of NVIDIA's upcoming R350 drivers.
DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 350.05 Hotfix

ASUS Announces GeForce GTX 970 Turbo Graphics Card

In addition to the GeForce GTX 980 20th Anniversary Edition, ASUS rolled out a snappy new GeForce GTX 970 graphics card, the Turbo GTX 970. ASUS started off its GTX 970 lineup with the top-flow heatsink based GTX 970 Strix, topping it up with the GTX 970 DCU2 Mini. What the company was lacking was a card with a conventional lateral-blower based cooler, which exhaust hot air directly out of the case. That's where this product comes in.

The Turbo GTX 970 appears to be based on the same short PCB as the GTX 970 DCU2 Mini, but strapped to a longer lateral-flow cooling solution, featuring a dense aluminium fin-channel heatsink, and a base-plate drawing heat from the memory and VRM, ventilated by the blower, which pushes air right out of the case. ASUS offers factory-overclocked speeds of 1088 MHz core with 1228 MHz GPU Boost. If this card is indeed based on the DCU2 PCB, then its power inputs include just one 8-pin PCIe power connectors. If however, it's derived from NVIDIA's cost-effective reference PCB (which has been modified and used by brands such as ZOTAC and Palit), then it could feature two 6-pin power inputs. Display outputs include two dual-link DVI, and one each of HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.2 connectors.

ASUS Announces the Fastest GeForce GTX 980 Graphics Card

ASUS announced what it claims to be the fastest GeForce GTX 980 graphics card out of the box. Called the ASUS GTX 980 20th Anniversary Gold Edition, this card marks ASUS' 20 years of presence in the PC graphics card market. Based essentially on the GTX 980 ROG MATRIX Platinum, this card features a black and gold color scheme, and a higher factory-overclock than its ROG sibling. Its cooler shroud and back-plate feature matte-black and gold-painted metal panels. The rear I/O shield is matte-black, while the connectors are gold-plated.

Under the shroud, the card features the company's largest trim of the DirectCU II cooler, featuring matte-black aluminium fins, and matte black copper heat pipes, ventilated by a pair of 100 mm spinners, which stay off until a temperature threshold of 65°C is reached. Given the size of that heatsink, we reckon a large silence headroom, even while casual-gaming, before the fans begin to spin.

Japanese OEM Tosses Out GTX TITAN X Heatsink for AIO Liquid Cooler

Japanese OEM gaming PC builder Sycom addressed the biggest shortcoming of reference NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN X - heat (which runs into a thermal throttle too often), and the resulting noise (rivaling that of a Radeon R9 290X reference), by innovating a new all-in-one liquid cooling solution. Found on the company's G-Master Hydro series gaming desktops, these modified GTX TITAN X cards look reference, except a cut-out on its top, through which coolant tubes pass through.

The loop itself appears to be basic Asetek fare, with a round pump-block cooling the GPU, with its heat being dissipated by a 120 mm x 120 mm radiator. The memory and VRM is cooled by a base-plate that's ventilated by the NVTTM (NVIDIA time-to-market) reference cooler's main blower. Given that the GPU will run cool, we imagine that the blower will not be as noisy. NVIDIA restricts its add-in card partners from coming up with custom-design cards, but this mod appears to be by an OEM, and these cards won't be sold in the retail channel. It could fall into the same gray area that allows EVGA to sell its HydroCopper variants.


Source: Hermitage Akihabara

Futuremark Releases 3DMark Update with API Overhead Feature-set

Futuremark is excited to introduce our new 3DMark API Overhead feature test - the world's first independent test for measuring differences in DirectX 12, DirectX 11 and Mantle API performance. It's also the very first public application to use DirectX 12 full stop. This is cutting edge stuff! Developed with input from AMD, Intel, Microsoft, NVIDIA, and the other members of our Benchmark Development Program, the 3DMark API Overhead feature test lets you compare the performance of DirectX 12, DirectX 11, and Mantle.

The purpose of the test is to compare the relative performance of different APIs on a single system, rather than the absolute performance of different systems. The API Overhead feature test is not a general-purpose GPU benchmark, and it should not be used to compare graphics cards from different vendors. (We are working on a DirectX 12 benchmark with game-like workloads, which we expect to release soon after the public launch of Windows 10.)

DOWNLOAD: Futuremark 3DMark v1.5.884

EVGA Announces the GeForce GTX 980 HYBRID

Introducing the EVGA GeForce GTX 980 HYBRID, an "all in one" water cooling solution that significantly lowers the GPU operating temperature. Best of all? The water cooler is completely self-contained, with an included 120mm radiator and fan. No filling, no custom tubing, no maintenance. Just plug in and play! The EVGA GeForce GTX 980 HYBRID is available as a complete unit, or upgrade kit.

Of course, the EVGA GeForce GTX 980 HYBRID is also powered by the next-generation NVIDIA Maxwell architecture, giving you incredible performance, unmatched power efficiency, and cutting-edge features. Maxwell is the most advanced GPU architecture ever made, designed to be the engine of next-generation gaming. Inspired by light, it was designed to solve some of the most complex lighting and graphics challenges in visual computing.

AMD Bets on DirectX 12 for Not Just GPUs, but Also its CPUs

In an industry presentation on why the company is excited about Microsoft's upcoming DirectX 12 API, AMD revealed its most important feature that could impact on not only its graphics business, but also potentially revive its CPU business among gamers. DirectX 12 will make its debut with Windows 10, Microsoft's next big operating system, which will be given away as a free upgrade for _all_ current Windows 8 and Windows 7 users. The OS will come with a usable Start menu, and could lure gamers who stood their ground on Windows 7.

In its presentation, AMD touched upon two key features of the DirectX 12, starting with its most important, Multi-threaded command buffer recording; and Asynchronous compute scheduling/execution. A command buffer is a list of tasks for the CPU to execute, when drawing a 3D scene. There are some elements of 3D graphics that are still better suited for serial processing, and no single SIMD unit from any GPU architecture has managed to gain performance throughput parity with a modern CPU core. DirectX 11 and its predecessors are still largely single-threaded on the CPU, in the way it schedules command buffer.

AMD Announces FreeSync, Promises Fluid Displays More Affordable than G-SYNC

AMD today officially announced FreeSync, an open-standard technology that makes video and games look more fluid on PC monitors, with fluctuating frame-rates. A logical next-step to V-Sync, and analogous in function to NVIDIA's proprietary G-SYNC technology, FreeSync is a dynamic display refresh-rate technology that lets monitors sync their refresh-rate to the frame-rate the GPU is able to put out, resulting in a fluid display output.

FreeSync is an evolution of V-Sync, a feature that syncs the frame-rate of the GPU to the display's refresh-rate, to prevent "frame tearing," when the frame-rate is higher than refresh-rate; but it is known to cause input-lag and stutter when the GPU is not able to keep up with refresh-rate. FreeSync works on both ends of the cable, keeping refresh-rate and frame-rates in sync, to fight both page-tearing and input-lag.

MSI Announces its GeForce GTX TITAN X Graphics Card

As one of the world's leading brands in graphics cards, MSI is pleased to announce the availability of the impressive MSI GeForce GTX TITAN X. The full potential and power of the NVIDIA Maxwell GPU is now available to enthusiasts everywhere. Housing the world's most powerful GPU, the NVIDIA Maxwell GM200, the TITAN X features 3072 CUDA Cores and 12GB GDDR5 memory on a 384 bit bus. Making this card the ultimate choice for gamers looking for a smooth 4K gaming experience.

The true capabilities of the MSI GeForce TITAN X can be unleashed by using the MSI Afterburner overclocking utility. Allowing the adjusting of the core and memory clock speeds to explore the limits of this incredible beast. The MSI GeForce GTX TITAN X is the best choice for high-end gamers.

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 347.88 WHQL Game Ready Driver

Hot on the heels of its flagship GeForce GTX TITAN X graphics card, NVIDIA released its latest "Game Ready" GeForce driver. Version 347.88 WHQL comes with support for the GTX TITAN X, and comes with optimizations for "Battlefield: Hardline," the season's hot new online FPS, these include single-GPU optimizations for the game, an SLI profile that lets the game take advantage of SLI multi-GPU setups, and an update on how the game plays with 3D Vision Surround. The driver also adds SLI profiles for "Life is Strange," "Trine 3," "Medieval Engineers," and "Zombie Army Trilogy."
DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 347.88 WHQL for Windows 8/7/Vista 64-bit | Windows 8/7/Vista 32-bit | Windows XP 32-bit | Windows XP 64-bit

Palit Announces its GeForce GTX TITAN X

Palit Microsystems Ltd, the leading graphics card manufacturer, releases the newest super-powered graphics card: Palit GeForce GTX TITAN X, and it is the most advanced GPU the world has ever seen. GeForce GTX TITAN X is the ultimate graphics card built for the most demanding gaming enthusiast. It's powered by NVIDIA Maxwell architecture and combines the latest technologies and extreme performance.

TITAN X is the ultimate GPU. Built for the most demanding enthusiast, it combines the technologies and performance of the new NVIDIA Maxwell architecture in the fastest and most advanced graphics card on the planet. TITAN X is meticulously engineered and crafted with the highest-grade components, providing unrivaled acoustic, thermal, and power-efficient performance. It's the perfect GPU to experience extreme resolutions, including 4K and beyond.

EK Releases GeForce GTX TITAN X Water Blocks

EK Water Blocks, Ljubljana based premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer, is proud to introduce Full-Cover water block for NVIDIA reference (NVA-PG600) design GeForce GTX TITAN X graphics card. EK-FC Titan X directly cools the GPU, RAM as well as VRM (voltage regulation module) as water flows directly over these critical areas thus allowing the graphics card and it's VRM to remain stable under high overclocks.

EK-FC Titan X water block features EK unique central inlet split-flow cooling engine design for best possible cooling performance, which was introduced for the first time with the EK-FC980 GTX. Such system also works flawlessly with reversed water flow without adversely affecting the cooling performance. Moreover, such design offers great hydraulic performance allowing this product to be used in liquid cooling systems using weaker water pumps.

EVGA Announces its GeForce GTX TITAN X HydroCopper

The EVGA GeForce GTX TITAN X combines the technologies and performance of the new NVIDIA Maxwell architecture in the fastest and most advanced graphics card on the planet. This incredible GPU delivers unrivaled graphics, acoustic, thermal and power-efficient performance. The most demanding enthusiast can now experience extreme resolutions up to 4K-and beyond. Enjoy hyper-realistic, real-time lighting with advanced NVIDIA VXGI, as well as NVIDIA G-SYNC display technology for smooth, tear-free gaming. Plus you get DSR technology that delivers a brilliant 4K experience, even on a 1080p display.

ZOTAC Announces its GeForce GTX TITAN X

ZOTAC International, a leading innovator and manufacturer of graphics cards and mini-PCs, today crowns the ZOTAC GeForce GTX Titan X the king of the new generation of gaming. Continuing the legacy of previous Titans, the ZOTAC GeForce GTX Titan X is designed with precision for acoustic, thermal and power efficiency performance. The result is a graphics card that delivers extreme resolution with intricate details.

"We are pleased to be working closely with NVIDIA to bring 4K gaming to the market with the ultimate single card solution," says Tony Wong, CEO, ZOTAC International. "The ZOTAC GeForce GTX Titan X will bring to the most demanding enthusiasts its unrivaled performance on a single GPU. With its technological innovations, this graphics card represents a giant leap towards the virtual reality space."

NVIDIA Launches the GeForce GTX TITAN X

NVIDIA formally launched the GeForce GTX TITAN X, its flagship graphics card based on the "Maxwell" architecture, following its GDC 2015 unveiling. Based on the new 28 nm GM200 silicon, the GTX TITAN X packs 3,072 CUDA cores, 192 TMUs, 96 ROPs, and a 384-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface, holding 12 GB of memory. With 50% more graphics processing muscle over its previous-generation (7.1 TFLOP/s), the card retains its 250W TDP rating, of its predecessor. The GTX TITAN will launch in reference-design, and will be priced at US $999.
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