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Khronos Releases Final WebGL 1.0 Specification, Brings Accelerated 3D without Plugins

The Khronos Group released the final WebGL 1.0 specification to enable hardware-accelerated 3D graphics in HTML5 Web browsers without the need for plug-ins. WebGL defines a JavaScript binding to OpenGL ES 2.0 to allow rich 3D graphics within a browser on any platform supporting the industry-standard OpenGL or OpenGL ES graphics APIs. WebGL has the support of major silicon and browser vendors including Apple, Google, Mozilla and Opera with multiple browsers already shipping with WebGL implementations including the beta releases for Mozilla Firefox 4.0, all channels of Google Chrome 9.0, an Opera preview build, and Apple Mac OS Safari nightly builds.

WebGL leverages the pervasive availability of OpenGL ES 2.0 graphics on almost all browser-capable desktop, mobile and embedded platforms and the recent developments in Web technology including the massive increases in JavaScript performance. The ability for Web developers to directly access OpenGL-class graphics directly from JavaScript, and freely mix 3D with other HTML content, will enable a new wave of innovation in Web gaming, educational and training applications and graphically rich user interfaces to make the Web more enjoyable, productive and intuitive.

ZOTAC Takes GeForce GTX 560 Ti Series to New Performance Heights with AMP! Edition

ZOTAC International, a leading innovator and the world’s largest channel manufacturer of graphics cards, motherboards and mini-PCs, today takes the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 560 Ti series to new performance heights with the supercharged GeForce GTX 560 Ti AMP! Edition. The ZOTAC GeForce GTX 560 Ti AMP! Edition aims to maximize performance without sacrificing visual quality or stability for an unbridled gaming experience.

“ZOTAC strives to deliver a quality gaming experience with all of our products. With the GeForce GTX 560 Ti AMP! Edition we wanted to maximize performance without sacrificing visual quality or stability for our end users,” said Carsten Berger, marketing director, ZOTAC International. “After carefully tuning the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 580 AMP! Edition, we are able to deliver the highest clock speeds capable of passing our rigorous DirectX 11 testing procedure without a single graphical artifact.”

VIA Launches VIA eH1, Embedded Industry's First Dedicated Graphics Card

VIA Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator of power efficient x86 processor platforms, today announced the world's first graphics card designed specifically for the embedded market with the VIA eH1, a DX10.1 compliant, multi-display card that thrusts any system with a PCI Express slot into a new realm of graphics and video capability.

The VIA eH1 comes with a three year product longevity guarantee and is the most power-efficient discrete graphics and video solution on the market today. The VIA eH1 AIB features an advanced DirectX 10.1, OpenGL 3.1, OpenGL ES 2.0 compatible 64-bit architecture and offers multi-stream 1080p HD video decoding and Stereoscopic 3D rendering capability. This makes it the ideal solution for a range of embedded applications that require advanced graphics and video on multiple displays.

AMD Announces Catalyst 10.10c Hotfix Driver Update

AMD gave out the latest hotfix driver update to its recently published Catalyst 10.10 WHQL, which is a whole lot more than being just a hotfix, this time. A hotfix update is usually given out by AMD if it misses out on addressing a couple of important issues with a recently published Catalyst WHQL driver update. Catalyst 10.10c Hotfix adds early OpenGL 4.1 support, and surprisingly adds multiple game-specific performance improvements (unusual for a Hotfix).

DOWNLOAD: AMD Catalyst 10.10c Hotfix
Details are as follows:

AMD Aims to Deliver Perfect Graphics Cards for Gamers with New Radeon HD 6800 Series

AMD today introduced the next generation of PC gaming, the AMD Radeon HD 6800 series, designed to be “perfect graphics cards” for gamers by delivering unprecedented game performance starting at $179 SEP. The new AMD Radeon HD 6800 series graphics cards provide more than 30 percent greater game performance than competing products, harnessing AMD’s second-generation Microsoft DirectX 11-capable architecture, best-in-class energy efficiency, and an unmatched feature set, including AMD Eyefinity multi-display technology. The AMD Radeon HD 6800 series is available immediately from etailers worldwide.

“AMD is the market share leader by a landslide in DirectX 11 graphics,” said Matt Skynner, corporate vice president and general manager, GPU Division, AMD. “Through our sweet spot strategy and our open, industry standards approach, we’ve worked to deliver the best possible experience for gamers. Today, our laser focus on gamers continues with the introduction of what we think is far and away the best graphics card series today, the AMD Radeon HD 6800 series. With exceptional game performance, an unrivaled feature set including breathtaking DirectX 11 gaming, AMD Eyefinity multi-display technology, AMD Accelerated Parallel Processing, and more, the AMD Radeon HD 6800 series will have all gamers wanting to get Radeon in their systems.”

New NVIDIA Quadro Graphics Bring the Power of Fermi Architecture to All Professionals

NVIDIA announced today the expansion of its award-winning line of NVIDIA Quadro professional graphics solutions based on the NVIDIA Fermi architecture. The mid-range Quadro 2000 with 192 NVIDIA CUDA processing cores and the entry-level Quadro 600 with 96 CUDA processor cores now bring the computational and visualization benefits of the breakthrough Fermi architecture to all segments of the market.

The Quadro 2000 delivers 1.5 times the geometry performance of the previous Quadro graphics processing unit (GPU) mid-range solution and utilizes the new NVIDIA Scalable Geometry Engine technology to deliver dramatically higher performance across leading CAD and DCC applications such as SolidWorks and Autodesk 3ds Max.

AMD Releases FirePro V9800 Professional Graphics Card

AMD released the FirePro V9800 professional graphics card. This is the company's top professional offering, based on the 40 nm Evergreen architecture. The GPU features 1600 stream processors, 256-bit GDDR5 memory interface connecting to 4 GB of memory, and display outputs that include six mini-DisplayPort connectors. The card supports the latest industry-standard 3D APIs including Microsoft DirectX 11, OpenGL 4, and includes support for OpenCL GPU-compute API. The card is meant for mission-critical environments such as oil and gas exploration, 3D medical imaging, design and engineering, and 3D content production. Apart from supporting the ATI Eyefinity6 technology, it also packs support for stereoscopic 3D technologies. The card will be sold directly under the AMD brand by board partners, it is priced at US $3,500.

SPARKLE Unveils GeForce 210/GT220/GT240 PCI Express x1 Graphics Cards

SPARKLE Computer Co., Ltd., the professional VGA card manufacturer and supplier, today unveils the SPARKLE GeForce 210/GT220/GT240 PCI Express x1 Graphics Cards, creating upgrade possibility for user's generic PC, providing 1080p HD video acceleration, DX10.1 gaming and premium Windows 7 experience for ordinary users.

With latest PCI Express technology, SPARKLE GeForce 210/GT220/GT240 PCI Express x1 Graphics Cards use PCI Express x1 bus type, they can be added on the motherboard which have at least one PCI Express x1 slot as the second graphics card, providing multiple monitors supports for computer users and certain industries, in addition to industrial users, they also support the upgrading of Intel Pine Trail motherboard which has only one PCI Express x1 slot.

GeForce GTS 450 CUDA Core Count, Clock Speed Surfaces

Well placed sources seem to have finally pieced together specifications of NVIDIA's GeForce GTS 450 graphics card, the company's mid-range offering that competes with ATI Radeon HD 5700 series products. In the run up to this, we've come across reports showing that the SKU is based on a GPU codenamed GF106, then we came across NVIDIA reference design PCB drawings, followed by clock speeds, and finally, pictures of the GPU itself revealing quite a bit about the die size. The most recent report affirms the specs we know till now, plus revealed the CUDA core count, which is 192. The CUDA cores are clocked at 1566 MHz, and that the memory is clocked at 902 MHz (3608 MHz effective).

So as a quick recap of the tech specs of the GeForce GTS 450, it's based on the new 40 nm GF106 silicon, the die area is roughly 240 mm². The GPU has 192 CUDA cores, and a 128-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface holding 1 GB of memory. The core is clocked at 789 MHz, and memory at 902 MHz (3608 MHz effective), translating into 57.8 GB/s of memory bandwidth, CUDA cores at 1566 MHz. It supports 2-way SLI, and gives you access to the latest PC graphics technologies, including support for DirectX 11 and OpenGL 4.x, along with support for a wide range of NVIDIA-exclusive technologies. NVIDIA's GeForce GTS 450 will be released by mid-September.Source: Heise.de

AMD Releases ATI Catalyst 10.8 WHQL Software Suite

AMD kept up with its monthly driver update cycle, and released the ATI Catalyst 10.8 software suite. The software installs the latest WHQL-signed drivers for ATI Radeon GPUs, AMD Chipsets, and other ATI Multimedia products. The new version packs a set of game-specific performance improvements, and a few feature updates. To begin with, Far Cry 2, Left 4 Dead 2, and Stormrise, each got GPU configuration specific, mostly single-digit performance increments.

New features include full-support for the OpenGL ES 2.0 API, greater control over video quality by means of a checkbox control from Catalyst Control Center. This is particularly of importance, as AMD seems to have taken notes from the press coverage, such as our Video Enhancement Quality Tests. There are image-quality improvements for StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, that includes anti-aliasing support. An update also claims to greatly improve overall performance of Eyefinity setups that use 4-way/Quad CrossFireX (or CrossFire involving four GPUs).

DOWNLOAD: ATI Catalyst 10.8 WHQL for Windows 7/Vista 64-bit, Windows 7/Vista 32-bit, Windows XP 32-bit, Windows XP 64-bit

A detailed list of important updates follows.

New NVIDIA Fermi-Class Quadro Launches the Era of Computational Visualization

NVIDIA today launched the era of the 'computational visualization workstation' for designers, engineers, researchers and animators by introducing its Quadro graphics processing units (GPUs) based on NVIDIA Fermi architecture, and by also introducing the new NVIDIA 3D Vision Pro solution. The new Quadro GPUs deliver performance that is up to five times faster for 3D applications and up to eight times faster for computational simulation, shattering previous benchmarks.

The NVIDIA Quadro Plex 7000 array, and Quadro 6000, Quadro 5000 and Quadro 4000 GPUs feature the new NVIDIA Scalable Geometry Engines and leverage NVIDIA Application Acceleration Engines (AXE) to enable the world's fastest performance across a broad range of CAD, DCC and visualization applications. Rated at an unheard of 1.3 billion triangles per second in raw performance, the Quadro 6000 enables users to interactively work with models and scenes that are five times more complex than ever before.

Khronos Drives Evolution of Cross-Platform 3D Graphics with Release of OpenGL 4.1

The Khronos Group today announced the immediate release of the OpenGL 4.1 specification, bringing the very latest graphics functionality to the most advanced and widely adopted cross-platform 2D and 3D graphics API (application programming interface). OpenGL 4.1 is the sixth update to OpenGL specification in two years, continuing the rapid evolution of this royalty-free specification. This new version continues to maintain full backwards compatibility to enable developers to begin using new features whenever they choose, while portably accessing state-of-the-art GPU functionality across diverse operating systems and platforms.

The OpenGL 4.1 specification has been defined by the OpenGL ARB (Architecture Review Board) working group at Khronos, and includes the GLSL 4.10 update to the OpenGL Shading language and is accompanied by a number of extensions introducing cutting-edge functionality to the OpenGL standard. The full specification is available for immediate download here.

EVGA Announces GeForce GTX 460

Next-generation gaming has officially arrived with the introduction of the EVGA GeForce GTX 460. Built from the ground up for DirectX 11, this card delivers the ultimate next generation gaming experience. With up to 4x the DirectX tessellation performance of the competition, the EVGA GeForce GTX 460 packs incredible detail and blazing fast fames into your games. Now you can have it all, without blowing your budget.

In addition, full support for NVIDIA 3D Vision, Surround Gaming, PhysX and CUDA technologies make this card the ultimate value for the gaming enthusiast. And of course with EVGA's award winning support, utilities and community; the EVGA GeForce GTX 460 delivers the ultimate package.

Unigine Releases Heaven 2.1 Benchmark

Unigine launched version 2.1 of its Heaven cross-platform, cross-API 3D Graphics benchmark. The popular free benchmark application uses the builds on Unigine Heaven 2.0, with two major changes. To begin with, it supports OpenGL 4.0, a 3D graphics API that is technologically comparable to DirectX 11. Heaven 2.1 uses all of the latest features of GL 4.0, including hardware tessellation support. The second major change is the support for stereoscopic 3D, including support for several stereo 3D viewing modes such as Analygraph, separate images, 3D Vision, and iZ3D. Several other stability fixes were also introduced.
DOWNLOAD: Unigine Heaven 2.1

AMD Delivers up to Double the Performance Capability with New ATI FirePro Series

Following the launch of the ATI FirePro V8800, the industry's most powerful professional graphics card ever created, AMD today introduced new additions to its next-generation ATI FirePro family -- ATI FirePro V7800, ATI FirePro V5800, ATI FirePro V4800, and ATI FirePro V3800 -- offering professionals in the digital content creation (DCC) and Computer Aided Design (CAD) industries advanced performance and features at every price point. AMD also announced the ATI FirePro 2460 Multi-View, a low profile, quad display graphics solution designed for financial institutions. These latest ATI FirePro solutions are expected to be available from HP, CDW, Newegg, Tiger Direct and other online retailers.

"AMD's new ATI FirePro workstation graphics cards are the world's first workstation class graphics cards to support up to four monitors on a single card -- enabling increased productivity for professional graphics users," said Janet Matsuda, senior director, Professional Graphics, AMD. "Our new ATI FirePro family delivers new value at every price point."

SPARKLE Announces GeForce GTX 480/470 Graphics Accelerators

SPARKLE Computer Co., Ltd., the professional VGA card manufacturer and supplier, today proudly announced the SPARKLE GeForce GTX 480/470 Graphics Cards, which are the most powerful single chip graphics cards on the planet for gaming and beyond. Packing in 3 billion transistors, double the CUDA cores of previous generation GPUs, a high speed GDDR5 memory interface, and full DirectX 11 support, the SPARKLE GeForce GTX 480/470 Graphics Cards are designed for groundbreaking graphics performance. With a revolutionary new scalable geometry pipeline and enhanced anti-aliasing capabilities, the SPARKLE GeForce GTX 480/470 Graphics Cards are the world’s most powerful single GPU graphics cards solution, delivering up to 3 times faster performance than previous GTX 285 single GPU solutions.

With the power of GF100 GPUs, the SPARKLE GeForce GTX 480/470 Graphics Cards bring ultimate DX11 HD gaming experience to high-end gamers. The SPARKLE GeForce GTX 480/470 Graphics Cards place gamers in the center of the action and experience true DirectX 11 gaming cinema in extreme HD (2560x1600) resolutions—all enabled by GF100's revolutionary compute architecture, NVIDIA 3-way SLI technology, and incredible performance in the latest DX11 games including Dirt 2, Stalker:OCP, Alien VS. Predator, Metro 2033 and so on. With 1.5~3 times more performance than prior generation GPUs, the SPARKLE GeForce GTX 480/470 Graphics Cards tear through complex DirectX 10 environments and cinematic effects at blazing frame rates in extreme HD resolutions.

AMD First with OpenGL 4.0 Compliant Graphics Driver

Shortly after the Khronos group announced the OpenGL 4.0, the newest version of the multi-platform graphics API, AMD is out with a preview graphics driver for its ATI Radeon, FireGL, FirePro, and Mobility Radeon graphics accelerators, which includes the OpenGL 4.0 ICD (installable client driver). The driver is available for Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Linux. OpenGL 4.0 is comparable and up to times with Microsoft's DirectX 11 API, it makes use of hardware features such as tessellation on the GPU, per-sample fragment shaders and programmable fragment shader input positions, 64-bit double precision floating point shader operations, etc., and has no restrictions on which later version of Windows it can run on. With OpenGL 4.0 for example, one can expect 3D graphics with the complexity comparable to DirectX 11 on Windows XP.

DOWNLOAD: ATI Catalyst OpenGL 4.0 Preview Driver for Windows 7/Vista, Windows XP, and Linux.

SPARKLE Unveils Range of GeForce 210/GT220/GT240 Silent Series LP Graphics Cards

SPARKLE Computer Co., Ltd., the professional VGA card manufacturer and supplier, today unveils the SPARKLE GeForce 210/GT220/GT240 Low Profile Silent Series Graphics Cards with low profile design, addressing, fulfilling and exceeding the HTPC users' demand on silent working, power consumption and HD video in small HTPC cases.

The SPARKLE GeForce 210/GT220/GT240 Silent Series Graphics Cards are a half-height video cards suitable for small form-factor, book size and home theatre PCs users that desperately want a dedicated HDMI jack on the cheap.The SPARKLE GeForce 210/GT220/GT240 Silent Series Graphics Cards can be easily installed in narrow space HTPC chassis. So the SPARKLE GeForce 210/GT220/GT240 Silent Series Graphics Cards not only can easily meet the HD video playback and DX10.1 gaming demand from HTPC users, but also can easily satisfy the requirements from SSF, mini-chassis and industry PCs which demand compact and practical graphics cards.

Khronos Announces OpenGL 4.0 Specifications

The Khronos group, at the Game Developers Conference, announced the OpenGL 4.0 API specifications. OpenGL 4.0 is set to rival DirectX 11 in being able to make use of hardware tessellation offered by this generation's GPUs, drawing of data generated by OpenGL, OpenCL, or other external APIs without any intervention from the CPU, support for 64-bit Double Precision Floating Point shader operations, and a number of performance improvements. OpenGL is a multi-platform API that can run on operating environments such as Windows, Linux, Mac OS, certain gaming consoles, as well as a low-resource API for mobile devices. A list of main feature changes in OpenGL 4.0 are as follows:
  • Two new shader stages that enable the GPU to offload geometry tessellation from the CPU
  • Per-sample fragment shaders and programmable fragment shader input positions for increased rendering quality and anti-aliasing flexibility
  • Drawing of data generated by OpenGL, or external APIs such as OpenCL, without CPU intervention
  • Shader subroutines for significantly increased programming flexibility;
  • Separation of texture state and texture data through the addition of a new object type called sampler objects
  • 64-bit double precision floating point shader operations and inputs/outputs for increased rendering accuracy and quality
  • Performance improvements, including instanced geometry shaders, instanced arrays, and a new timer query

Valve to Deliver Steam and Source on Mac

Valve announced today it will bring Steam, Valve's gaming service, and Source, Valve's gaming engine, to the Mac. Steam and Valve's library of games including Left 4 Dead 2, Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike, Portal, and the Half-Life series will be available in April. "As we transition from entertainment as a product to entertainment as a service, customers and developers need open, high-quality Internet clients," said Gabe Newell, President of Valve. "The Mac is a great platform for entertainment services."

"Our Steam partners, who are delivering over a thousand games to 25 million Steam clients, are very excited about adding support for the Mac," said Jason Holtman, Director of Business Development at Valve. "Steamworks for the Mac supports all of the Steamworks APIs, and we have added a new feature, called Steam Play, which allows customers who purchase the product for the Mac or Windows to play on the other platform free of charge. For example, Steam Play, in combination with the Steam Cloud, allows a gamer playing on their work PC to go home and pick up playing the same game at the same point on their home Mac. We expect most developers and publishers to take advantage of Steam Play."

ATI Catalyst 9.12 WHQL Released

AMD released its latest version of the ATI Catalyst Software Suite to date, Catalyst 9.12 WHQL, which provides drivers and system software for the company's ATI Radeon graphics processors, AMD 7-series chipset IGPs, ATI multimedia products, and the AMD FireStream GPGPU processors. Version 9.12 announced today, comes with expanded GPU support for DirectCompute 10.1 for specific GPUs, includes performance increments, OpenGL 3.2 extension support, along with the usual application-specific fixes.

To begin with, application-specific performance increments include an overall performance improvement as high as 9% on the ATI Radeon HD 5800 Series and ATI Radeon HD 5700 Series, for 3DMark Vantage. GT1 – Jane Nash performance improves as much as 15% and FT4 – GPU Cloth improves up to 15%. Performance improves as much as 6% on single card configurations for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. – Call of Pripyat. The release provides DirectCompute 10.1 support for ATI Radeon HD 4800 and HD 4700 GPUs in both single and multi-GPU configurations. Lastly, this release adds support for certain OpenGL 3.2 extensions for all GPUs from Radeon HD 2000 series and upward (HD 3000, HD 4000, and HD 5000).


DOWNLOAD: ATI Catalyst 9.12 WHQL for Windows 7/Vista 32-bit | Windows 7/Vista 64-bit | Windows XP 32-bit | Windows XP 64-bit

For more information, refer to the Release Notes document.

PNY Showcases New NVIDIA Quadro FX 380 LP at Autodesk University

PNY announced today that it is premiering its new NVIDIA Quadro FX 380 LP (Low Profile) by PNY professional graphics solution at the NVIDIA booth (#319) during Autodesk University. PNY will be demonstrating the NVIDIA Quadro FX 380 LP powering Seneca Data’s Nexlink workstation running Autodesk AutoCAD. Design professionals attending the show will experience how the Quadro FX 380 LP and its optimized performance drivers for AutoCAD can increase their productivity, with up to a 10X acceleration in AutoCAD 2009 versus consumer graphics cards.

”Seneca Data prides itself on delivering the most powerful and cost-effective CAD solutions in the market. With the introduction of the entry-level NVIDIA Quadro FX 380 LP by PNY graphics solution, our Nexlink systems can deliver performance, stability, ISV certification and display quality at an affordable price,” said Mike Smith, VP of OEM and Engineering Services, Seneca Data.

MSI Unveils its Top-of-the-line R5970-P2D2G Graphics Card

World renowned graphics card and mainboard brand and manufacturer, MSI, captured the hearts of powerful performance enthusiasts after unveiling its all-new R5800, R5700 series of graphics cards. Today, MSI unveils its top model, the R5970-P2D2G graphics card, which not only equips two advanced 40nm GPUs, but also utilizes 3200 stream processors (SPs)*, and 2 GB 512 bit** GDDR5 graphics memory, making it the best performing card on the planet today!

Additionally, MSI's R5970-P2D2G graphics card features ATI Eyefinity triple-display output technology, allowing gamers to get fully immersed in the latest DirectX 11 environments. The card also offers PowerPlay power-saving functionality that shows remarkable power-saving when the machine is in stand-by. Equally noteworthy is MSI's own "Afterburner" overclocking software that allows the user to adjust both the voltage and overclocking settings for better performance. With CrossFire X enabled, the dual GPUs offer outstanding, stable performance that redefines fast. Without a doubt, this card will be the first choice of performance enthusiasts.

AMD Introduces ATI Radeon HD 5970: Fastest Graphics Card in the World

AMD today announced the flagship installment in the award-winning line of graphics cards, the ATI Radeon HD 5970, the fastest card ever created. The new ultra high-end model joins a growing list of the world’s first and only graphics cards to fully support Microsoft DirectX 11 technology and ATI Eyefinity multi-display technology.

Designed to support the most demanding PC games at ultra-high resolutions and image quality settings, the ATI Radeon HD 5970 has unlocked overclocking potential, granting access to every bit of power the card has to offer through ATI Overdrive technology. Now shipping from retailers and available in the channel, the ATI Radeon HD 5970 also launches today in new Alienware Area-51, Area-51 ALX and Aurora desktop PCs.

EVGA Announces GeForce GT 240 Series

EVGA announced the EVGA GT 240 series. Upgrade today to the EVGA GT 240 and experience picture-perfect photos, vibrant videos and great games like Borderlands, WoW, Sims 3 and Darkest of Days. GPU Accelerated Flash means flawless HD videos on websites like YouTube and Hulu with the new GPU-accelerated Adobe Flash 10.1, and of course crystal-clear BluRay in 1080p with True-Fidelity 7.1 Surround Sound are 100% supported.

Experience NVIDIA PhysX technology on Batman: Arkham Asylum, Darkest of Days, and other GPU PhysX titles with speeds 2x faster than the competition. Enjoy 40% faster HD gaming on other popular titles like Borderlands and Darkest of Days. Leverage 96 processor cores to run the latest GPU-accelerated applications like MotionDSP vReveal, Cyberlink MediaShow with Face tagging, and many more at speeds up to 50% faster than prior generation.
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