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MSI Introduces FR600 3D Cinema Entertainment Notebook

MSI just rolled out the FR600 3D multimedia notebook computer equipped with the latest 3D graphics technology and cinema-quality THX TruStudio Pro smart wrap around sound. Put on a pair of 3D glasses and enjoy an all-new 3D multimedia experience with true-to-life graphics whether you’re playing videos games, watching films, or browsing through a photo album.

MSI Marketing Director Sam Chern points out that the 15.6” FR600 3D laptop boasts the latest raised totem seal coating technology to protect it against scratching and smudges. The inside cover comes with silver components that stand out in contrast with the jet black color theme. What’s more, under the hood, you’ll find Intel’s powerful Core i5 processor as well as MSI’s own TDE technology for the ultimate in 3D multimedia performance.

Radeon HD 6870 PCB and GPU Pictured

The fine folks at IT168 revealed the first pictures of the Radeon HD 6870 PCB with its cooler completely off, and in its production livery (black). Also let out is the first [clear] picture of the GPU itself. The PCB was first pictured in its nascent qualification sample form, with a development GPU cooler on. The final version of the PCB sticks to its qualification sample for the most part, it has VRM components positioned forwards, trailed by the GPU and its memory. The card makes use of a 4+1+1 phase VRM. All eight memory chips are on the obverse side, each with its own 32-bit wide path, since there's a 256-bit memory interface.

The GPU package is of the same dimensions as the Cypress package, albeit a smaller die. We're getting to hear that Barts is pin-compatible with Cypress (meaning that a Barts GPU can be placed onto a Cypress PCB, given the appropriate BIOS, and it will work), however, no AIB is likely to reuse Cypress PCBs other than for Eyefinity6 designs, because while Barts can make do with a 6-layer PCB, close to every existing Cypress PCB is an 8-layer one, and that Cypress PCBs lack the second mini-DP connector. The die is placed diagonally on the package (à la Cypress and R600), it is rectangular, while the Cypress die is more or less square. ChipHell.com contributor musicinlove did a nice size measurement and comparison. Finally, the AMD "arrow" logo is etched onto the die, it's curtains down for ATI.

Source: IT168

AMD/ATI Planning new mid-range video card: the RV670

If you look at the current offerings from AMD/ATI, you can see that there is quite a large gap between midrange and high-end video cards. In contrast to the previous offerings, where the gap between X1950GT and X1950XTX was somewhat small, the Radeon 2900XT is easily two to three times as powerful as the Radeon 2600XT. Fortunately, AMD/ATI is planning to remedy this by developing the RV670. The current rumors say that it will be a 65nm chip, clocked similarly to the HD 2900, but with an unknown amount of ROP's, or TMU's. We should hear more about this chip in Q3, and if all goes well, it will be released by this Christmas.Source: Nordic Hardware

CoolIT Systems Announces Reference Series Liquid Cooling for AMD Radeon HD 2900 XT

CoolIT Systems announced the first product in the new Reference Series liquid cooling systems to quietly and effectively cool a Crossfire configuration of AMD’s new high performance graphic card, the ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT. This factory sealed, maintenance free single slot system will be on display by appointment for the first time at Computex in Taipei June 5th – 9th.
Using this microchannel technology in a closed loop liquid cooling design, CoolIT are enabling users to exploit the full potential of AMD's latest GPU's such as the ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT and ATI processors to come.
said Dr. Gamal Refai-Ahmed, AMD Fellow and lead thermal architect, AMD Graphics Product Group.

Source: CoolIT Systems

Valve Black Box coupons still valid for R600 buyers

The recent news of the retail black box cancellation has raised the question if buyers of the HD 2900 XT, who also received a coupon for a free "Black Box" will receive an upgrade to the orange variant. Valve has now confirmed that only the retail offering has been axed and anyone with a coupon will still receive the same games as found in the Valve Black Box. Sorry guys - no free Episode One and Half-Life 2 for y'all.Source: TheINQ

Aqua Computer aquagratiX R600 GPU Water-block

On schedule to the release of the Radeon 2900 XT Aqua Computer also launched separate watercooling GPU block called aquagratiX R600. This composite cooler unites the functions of GPU and memory cooler in an elegant and very flat lightweight water cooler. In addition the voltage regulators are also cooled effectively. The cooler as well as the core are manufactured from aluminum and were anodized in black (cooler) and silver (core). The aquagratiX R600 is designed to fit only reference design Radeon 2900 graphics cards.

Source: Aqua Computer

ATI Drivers for Radeon HD 2900 Series

The following driver version 8.37.4.3 is provided as an update to the driver software that currently ships with the Radeon HD 2900 series products. The download file contains the display drivers and Catalyst Control Center. This driver applies to the following operating systems: Windows XP Home/Professional/Media Center Edition/Professional x64 Edition and Windows Vista 32/64-bit. For more information please refer to the release notes.Source: AMD/ATI

SAPPHIRE Goes TOXIC with Watercooled HD 2900 XT

Building on the success of its TOXIC range of water cooled graphics solutions, SAPPHIRE Technology is set to launch its fastest graphics product yet – the new SAPPHIRE HD 2900 XT TOXIC. The SAPPHIRE HD 2900 XT TOXIC features the latest unified shader architecture with 320 shaders, the world’s first 512-bit memory bus, native DX10 and Shader model 4.0 support. The new SAPPHIRE HD2900 XT TOXIC also features a drive-bay mounted water cooling system with integrated reservoir, pump and radiator system, efficient enough to cool not just the graphics card, but optionally a CrossFire pair of SAPPHIRE HD 2900 XT cards. SAPPHIRE is already shipping standard editions of its HD 2900 XT and is expected to ship the TOXIC version in the coming weeks.

Source: Sapphire

ASUS Announces EAH2900XT/G/HTVDI/512M with Special 4 Game Bundle

ASUS has released the new EAH 2900XT/G/HTVDI/512M–a cutting-edge graphics card that features the latest generation AMD HD2900XT GPU. The new ATI Radeon HD 2900 GPU is designed to unleash the gaming power of DirectX 10; and excellent audio/video experience through HDMI support enabled by Avivo HD technology–providing gamers with an unparalleled gaming experience. The release of the ASUS EAH2900XT will come bundled with 4 explosive game titles which include the highly anticipated first person shooter game S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Shadows of Chernobyl, and Valve´s "The Black Box" game bundle suite–consisting of 3 first rate games: Half Life 2: Episode Two, Team Fortress 2 and Portal.

HD 2900XT Cooling Design Note

Many people out there who are keen on getting one of AMDs R600 cards already have a watercooling setup I guess. Other people who plan to purchase such a card might plan on going the watercooling road as well and for these people the following note is highly interesting. The metal shim around the HD 2900XT cards is taller than the core, not flush nor is the opposite the case. Take a close look at the pictures below, some of you might have thought the core is raised higher than the shim by mistake. To proof the stated fact following a quote of Shamino from VR-Zone:
too bad the shim around the GPU is taller than the core
If you plan to use a water cooler in order to cool the card, which makes sense according to the preliminary thoughts regarding power consumption, you should double check if your cooler fits onto the card. It has to be either very narrow or needs a recess to be milled on it following the outer edge to some degree. Shown on the last picture is the DangerDen MAZE5 GPU block which served such recess in order to be compatible to the first X800 cards. The last solution would be to remove the shim, which will void the warranty of course.

Source: VR-Zone Forum Post

Blank ATI HD 2000 Review at VR-Zone

On May 14th, six days from now, the non-disclosure agreement (NDA) regarding AMDs HD 2000 graphics card lineup will be lifted and everyone will be informed about it by various websites and print magazines. As this day comes closer and closer more and more bits of information and misinformation get published around the internet. The VR-Zone seems to have a comprehensive article in the works right now, judging on the traces they left on their website. There you will find headlines but no pictures or additional text about HD 2400, HD 2600 and HD 2900 products and even one about mobile graphics solutions called Radeon Mobility 2000 Series. Furthermore there is evidence about DirectX 10 demos, special antialiasing modes, Overclocking and 'UnReal Overclocking' - whatever that means. Interestingly there isn't a chapter dedicated to a HD 2900 XTX yet.
Of course we here at techPowerUp! will have a decent review online by May 14th, but don't expect us to come up with a similar approach like the VR-Zone in the meantime.Source: VR-Zone

More HD 2900XT Cards Spotted and Priced

The blokes from TechOne | HDTV got hold of a picture of an HD 2900XT card from Sapphire. The interesting part of this board is the cooling unit, which is obviously different from the reference design we have seen earlier. It features three heatpipes and the blades of the radial blower are bigger than on the reference design which usually should lead to a lower overall noise.
Meanwhile some German shops began listing ASUS and Sapphire HD 2900XT cards but the shops took the offers down for some unknown reasons. Though I missed to make a screenshot when I first came across the online shop grafikkartenpower.de which still has a 2900XT category, I remember the price which was 365.90 Euro. Furthermore the European pricegrabbing machine Geizhals.at still has the speeds of GPU and memory online, 757MHz respectively 828MHz (1656MHz effectively). At the moment this information is still to be taken with a grain of salt though until the world wide NDA is lifted on May 14th.

Sources: Sapphire picture at TechOne | HDTV | ASUS HD 2900XT at Geizhals.at | Sapphire HD 2900XT at Geizhals.at

AMD GPU Clock Tool - Works on R600 !

GPU Clock Tool - Works on R600 !

Ever since R600 samples were handed out by AMD, people have been asking me for R600 support in ATITool. It's coming along nicely, but is not quite ready yet.
In the meantime you can use this nifty little tool from AMD. It can change 2D/3D clocks and lets you monitor temperatures of the card. It also works on RV610, RV630 and all previous products like the R5xx Series. It works under 2k, XP, Vista, 32-bit & 64-bit.

Download (440 KB)

First R600 Launch Evidence - HIS Radeon HD 2900XT 512MB GDDR3 VIVO PCIe

HIS - Hightech Information System Limited jumped the gun when preparing their website for the upcoming AMD R600 graphics cards. The following link leads to their online product presentation website for the HIS Radeon HD 2900XT 512MB GDDR3 VIVO PCIe and pretty much confirms nearly all the rumors we heard about this particular chip during the last few weeks and months.

IMAGES AND INFORMATION REMOVED AT REQUEST OF HIS

Radeon HD 2900 XT has 102.4 GB/s bandwidth

Fudzilla claims that the Radeon HD 2900 manages an impressive 102.4GB/s memory throughput. The card uses a 512 bit memory interface and 1600 MHz GDDR3 memory. The core was clocked at 800 MHz. For comparison, NVIDIA's G80 with its odd 384 bit memory controller scores 86.4 GB/s.

The new HD 2900 XTX with GDDR 4 memory clocked at 2200 MHz, as originally planned, can theoretically have 140.8 GB/s. Both cards have twice or close to twice more memory bandwidth from ATI's Radeon X1950XTX card. This card was limited to a now modest 64GB/s.

Editors note: The NDA on the R600 makes it impossible for anyone to release accurate benchmarks of the R600. In fact, the NDA is so strict, we'll be lucky if the leaked R600 pictures have any accuracy. The theoretical memory bandwidth was attained by simple math: 512bit * 1600MHz / 8bit = 102.4GB/s.Source: Fudzilla

More Radeon HD2900XT benchmarks - Crysis demo and 3DMark06 again

More Radeon HD2900XT benchmarks - Crysis demo and 3DMark06 again - Update

Another day another benchmark score and this time again from a Turkish website. BilgiUstam got some results for 3DMark06 and for the first time from another application: a Crysis demo. They compared the Radeon HD2900XT to a GeForce 8800GTX on the same test platform.

Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6800
Asus P5W DH
2×1GB PC2-6400 (5-5-5-12)
Western Digital Raptor 150

To sum it up: While the G80 card was faster in the theoretical benchmark 3DMark06, the R600XT outperformed the G80 card everytime by a slight margin in the Crysis tests.

Update: Here we have some more screenshots from PCINLIFE showing how the R600 card performs in 3DMark06 using 1280x1024 and 1600x1200 as resolution. This time the test platform was powered using an Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 (2x 2.40GHz) and 2GB of RAM. OS was Vista Ultimate together with the ATI Driver 8.351. The whole system managed to get 9685 3DMarks at the 1280x1024 res and 8756 3DMarks at 1600x1200. Not that bad considering the rather slow CPU.
The last shot is from the same setup now with 8x Antialiasing and 16x Anisotropic Filtering enabled. Sadly you can only guess the whole score because the first digit was painted over.

I hope that everyone who is reading this and the other news posts regarding the R600 performance numbers is judging on it with a good portion of common sense. The final cards aren't on the market and the Non Disclosure Agreement wasn't lifted yet.

Source: BilgiUstam

AMD R610/630 renamed from X2x00 to HD 2x00 series, more details and rumors unveiled

While we already reported that the X2900 got a name change to the HD 2900 series, The Inquirer sought to find out what happened to the rest of the Radeon line-up. Here are the latest R6x0 rumors, along with their new names.
  • RV610LE will be called the HD 2400 Pro. This can support HD playback in 720P (1280x720) resolutions, and comes with up to 256MB of 64-bit DDR2 RAM clocked at 800MHz.
  • RV610PRO will be known as the HD 2400 XT. It should come with 128-bit GDDR3 RAM, and support full 1080P (1920x1080) HD playback.
  • RV630PRO will be known as the HD 2600 Pro. It is basically an RV610LE with a fancy memory controller, higher clock speeds, and the ability to play 1080P HD content.
  • RV630XT will be known as the HD 2600 XT. It is a higher-clocked version of the RV630PRO, with the ability to support higher-clocked and more memory.
All of these cards should come with a native HDMI port, can be ported to AGP, and have HD audio codecs.Source: The Inquirer

More R600 3DMark06 figures appear - 12K with the XT

Our last findings on how fast R600 cards perform in 3DMark06 caused a lot of buzz. Let's see how the following tidbit shapes up:
The VR-Zone has some numbers they couldn't keep for themselves regarding a Radeon X (sorry...), HD 2900 XT coupled with a Core 2 Extreme QX6700 (quad core) processor. They say with the latest 8.361-RC4 drivers they got around 12K with that R600XT card which is faster 2000 points higher than the scores from FX57.net. They price of this card will be 399USD which would be quite a bargain.Source: VR-Zone

R600 external is Lasso

We reported a while back that ASUS isn't the only one developing a solution for external graphic cards - ATI is in the game too, with its Lasso technology.

Fudzilla has more information regarding Lasso. It will be supported by the external version of the R600, and will allow you to link more than 2 cards for mindblowing graphics performance. Even odd numbers of cards should be supported - connecting five R600 GPUs should pose no problems.

The external R600, codenamed Lasso, connects to the computer via an external PCIe port.Source: Fudzilla

R600 3DMark06 scores

The Turkish website FX57.net spilled the beans today. They allegedly tested the R600XT and XTX model on a Conroe 2.93Ghz with 2GB DDR2-800 RAM together with an Intel i975x motherboard. They came up with the following results in 3DMark 06:

Radeon HD 2900 XTX: 12k | GeForce 8800GTX: 10.5k
Radeon HD 2900 XT: 10k | GeForce 8800GTS: 9k

The operating system used was Windows Vista. They used the Catalyst 7.1 (8.33) which seems rather strange, other reviewers report about issues with drivers, so newer ones should be more likely to be used for testing/benchmarking. That could mean the results are not that meaningful at all. Either the scores are made up or there's a little bit of headroom for newer drivers. Decide for yourself...Source: FX57.net

Mysterious R600 demo looks like Call of Juarez

A few days ago we reported about a demo that shows the special DirectX 10 effects the R600 will support. Now I came across a forums entry at Beyond 3D which says this demo would look like Call of Juarez, a Western-themed first-person shooter from the Polish game developer Techland. Just out of pure curiosity I looked for some reference material and it turns out to be a correct statement. Just look at the attached screenshots from IGN PC the wooden hut in Fudzillas shot (first picture) looks exactly like the one in the IGN PC shot (second picture). The fence in the tech demo looks exactly like the fence in the other IGN PC screeny. Though the lighting and the details on the stones in front and the steep hill on the far side look different because these are the enhancements made in order to show the beef-up using the DX10 routines. After all, if this is a tech demo it's made of content out of Call of Juarez.
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