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ASUS Launches Trio of Ivy Bridge-Powered Desktops

ASUS launched a trio of Republic of Gamers TYTAN series gaming desktop models. These include the CG8580, CG8270 and CM6870. The TYTAN CG8580 utilizes ASUS' signature ROG chassis. It is powered by Intel Core i7-3770K quad-core processor overclocked to 4.60 GHz, with ROG Turbo Gear function that handles on-the-fly overclocking. Handling the graphics is NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680. Up to 16 GB of dual-channel DDR3 memory, and up to 10 TB of storage are available as options. A Blu-ray ROM + DVD-RW combo drive is part of the package.

Next up is the CG8270, with a refreshing new slanted chassis design. It comes with a variety of Core i5 and Core i7 "Ivy Bridge" processor options. NVIDIA GeForce GT 640 comes standard, higher GeForce GTX models can be opted for. Up to 4 TB of storage, and BDR+DVD-RW combo drive can be opted for. Lastly, there's the CM6870, which is designed to strike a balance between gaming and media creation/consumption. It packs similar hardware loadout as the CM8270, but with a media-optimized chassis that packs a multi-format card reader; and apart from NVIDIA GeForce, AMD Radeon graphics options are available. With the latter two, ASUS-branded monitors, keyboards, and mice can be opted for.

Source: PCLaunches

AMD Brazos 2.0 Powered Acer Aspire Pictured

Here are some of the first pictures of Acer Aspire E1-421, which caught the eye of a shopper in Asia. Its most distinctive feature is AMD E1-1200APU "Brazos 2.0", driving the machine. The dual-core APU is clocked at 1.40 GHz, and packs Radeon HD 7310 graphics. Other vital components include 2 GB of DDR3 memory, and 320 GB HDD storage. A DVD SuperMulti drive handles removable storage. The notebook's 14-inch screen packs 1366x768 pixels resolution, the GPU utilizes 256 MB from the system memory. 802.11 b/g/n WLAN, and a 6-cell battery make for the rest of it.

HIS Radeon HD 7770 IceQ X iTurbo X Debuts

HIS launched its newest custom-design Radeon HD 7770 graphics card, the HD 7770 IceQ X iTurbo X. The card comes with factory-overclocked speeds of 1170 MHz core, and 1250 MHz (5.00 GHz effective) memory, against AMD reference speeds of 1000/1125 MHz (core/memory). Based on the 28 nm "Cape Verde" silicon, Radeon HD 7770 packs 640 Graphics CoreNext stream processors, and is wired to 1 GB of GDDR5 memory across a 128-bit wide interface.

The card features HIS IceQ X cooling solution, which is a slight variation of the one featured on its previous-generation HD 6770 IceQ X (changes in color, heatsink shape, heat-pipe shape). Apart from a mostly black-colored cooler shroud, the card also appears to feature a black-colored PCB. The card draws power from a single 6-pin PCIe power connector. Display outputs include two each of DVI and mini-DisplayPort, and an HDMI port.

Source: Expreview

AMD Releases the Catalyst 12.4 WHQL Driver

AMD has today let loose the newest Catalyst release, the WHQL-certified Catalyst 12.4 which includes the 8.961 graphics driver and features support for the Radeon HD 2000, HD 3000, HD 4000, HD 5000, HD 6000 and HD 7000 Series desktop cards.

Download links Windows 7/Vista (32-bit) | Windows 7/Vista (64-bit) | Windows XP (32-bit) | Windows XP (64-bit)

Catalyst 12.4 Release Highlights

New Features

Windows XP support for the AMD Radeon HD 7900 Series, AMD Radeon HD 7800, and AMD Radeon HD 7700 Series
- In addition to Windows 7 and Windows Vista support, Catalyst 12.4 now also introduces Windows XP (64-bit/32-bit) support for the AMD Radeon HD 7900, AMD Radeon HD 7800, and AMD Radeon HD 7700 Series

Super Sampling Anti-Aliasing: Level of Detail (LOD) Image Quality enhancements
- Supported on the AMD Radeon HD 7900, AMD Radeon HD 7800, and AMD Radeon HD 7700 Series
- LOD Image quality enhancements have been improved when enabling Super Sample Anti-Aliasing and Adaptive Anti-Aliasing through the AMD Catalyst Control Center for DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 applications.
- Applications must support in game Anti-Aliasing for the feature to work (Forced on Anti-Aliasing through the Catalyst Control Center is not supported for DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 applications)

AMD to Drop Support for Pre-HD 5000 GPUs with Catalyst 12.7

AMD will conclude driver updates for pre-Evergreen, or pre-Radeon HD 5000 (that's HD 2000, HD 3000, and HD 4000) series GPUs, starting this summer. The change could take effect with Catalyst 12.7 (around July). Users of these older GPUs can use the (then) latest driver (Catalyst 12.6) to run their older DirectX 10/10.1 graphics cards. The elimination of pre-Evergreen GPUs could also slim down the driver package a bit, in terms of file-size.

Source: Phoronix

MSI Launches New Radeon Power Edition Series Graphics Cards

Leading international graphics card maker MSI today officially released three R7000 Power Edition graphics cards: the R7850 Power Edition 2GD5/OC, R7770 Power Edition 1GD5/OC and R7750 Power Edition 1GD5/OC. The MSI Power Edition cards all support MSI's exclusive Triple Overvoltage function and improved PWM to boost over clocking potential up to 45%1. The R7850 Power Edition 2GD5/OC is equipped with MSI’s new Twin Frozr IV Thermal Design recently exclusive to the R7970 Lightning.

The dual 8cm Propeller Blade technology fans create powerful airflow and rapid heat dissipation to reduce GPU temperature by up to 22℃2. The R7770 Power Edition 1GD5/OC and R7750 Power Edition 1GD5/OC feature the all new MSI TransThermal thermal design. The MSI TransThermal thermal design allows customization of their graphics cards fan setup: Single fan, Dual fan and Stacked fan setup3. MSI’s TransThermal comes with both Dust Removal and Propeller Blade technologies. Fans can also The MSI R7000 Power Edition series graphics cards’ exceptional overclocking performance, all-new cooling module design and the latest Military Class III components make it the best choice for gamers.

AMD Finalizes Radeon HD 7900, HD 7700 Series Price Cuts, Bigger Than Expected

AMD reportedly finalized the adjusted prices. The price cuts were first reported in a little earlier this month. The price of Radeon HD 7970 was slashed by as much as US $70, sending it down to $479, $20 behind that of the GeForce GTX 680. That of the Radeon HD 7950 was cut by $50, which will send its price down to $399. Lastly, the price of Radeon HD 7770 went down by $20, it is priced at $139. Although not formally part of these price cuts, the Radeon HD 7870 is now available for as low as $330.

Source: VR-Zone

Xbox Durango Packs 16-core PowerPC CPU

A report in the the latest issue of Xbox World print magazine suggests that developer kits (devkits) of Durango (next-generation Xbox console), were implementing a "state of the art" 16-core IBM PowerPC CPU, its companion graphics processor is AMD-made, spec'd equivalent to AMD Radeon HD 7000 series, as previously reported. The 16-core CPU is said to have been implemented with a far-sight on the platform's longevity. "It's a ridiculous amount of power for a games machine - too much power, even. But remember, Kinect 2 could chew up four whole cores tracking multiple players right down to their fingertips, so it'll need a lot of power," the Xbox World article commented.

Source: CVG

Eurocom Unleashes the Panther 4.0

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

FinalWire AIDA64 v2.30 Released

FinalWire today released the latest version of AIDA64, version 2.30. This release is set around enhancing the desktop gadget, improving the UPS and smart-battery monitoring capabilities, and adding support for newly-released hardware, such as the latest GPUs from AMD and NVIDIA; and the latest Intel SSDs. AIDA64 is proprietary software, and is available through FinalWire's online store.

DOWNLOAD: FinalWire AIDA64 2.30 EXE (installer), ZIP Package

The condensed change-log follows.

Arctic Reveals the Accelero Xtreme III VGA Cooler

The Arctic team has now confirmed that a new Accelero Xtreme VGA cooler is in the works and will reach stores in late May. Known as Accelero Xtreme III, the incoming product has a cooling capacity up to 300 Watts, it measures 288 (L) x 103 (W) x 50 (H) mm, and has 84 aluminum fins, five 6 mm copper heatpipes, three 92 mm (Fluid Dynamic Bearing) fans working at 900 to 2000 RPM, and a copper base with pre-applied MX-4 thermal compound.

AMD and Rockwell Collins Help Improve Situational Awareness

AMD today announced Rockwell Collins, a leader in innovative communications and avionics systems for the aerospace and defense industries, has selected the AMD Radeon E2400 embedded graphics processor for inclusion in its highly-intuitive, integrated flight deck solution, Pro Line Fusion. Chosen for its advanced 3D graphics rendering capabilities, the AMD Radeon E2400 helps generate realistic graphical models of the external aircraft environment to help improve awareness of terrain, obstacles and runways in low visibility conditions. With this technology, pilots can now have key information at their fingertips, enabling them to make informed decisions during every phase of flight.

“The rapid and accurate visualization of data and access to information are essential for professionals in the aerospace and defense industries,” said Richard Jaenicke, director, Embedded Client Business, AMD. “The AMD Radeon E2400 was specifically designed to meet customers’ demand for high-quality graphics with a stable, long-lasting supply, making it ideal for system designers such as Rockwell Collins.”

AMD Radeon HD 7990 Clock Speeds, Chip-Configuration Surface

Closely trailing the launch of NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 680, and keeping up with its own streak of launching a new graphics card line each month since January, AMD will unveil its Radeon HD 7990 graphics card in April, or so it's reported. INPAI reports the clock-speed and chip-configuration of the upcoming dual-GPU monstrosity. The Radeon HD 7990 packs two 28 nm "Tahiti" GPUs as a "Crossfire on a stick" solution. The Tahiti chips will be clocked at 850 MHz (core), and 1250 MHz (5.00 GHz effective) memory.

The chip-configuration of each of the two Tahiti chips will be the same as that on the Radeon HD 7970, with 2048 Graphics CoreNext stream processors, 128 TMUs, 32 ROPs, and 384-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface, holding 3 GB of memory, each. The total memory on the card will hence be 6 GB. With the Radeon HD 7970 refusing to budge from its US $549 price-point, it's quite natural that the Radeon HD 7990 will be priced very high. It is gunning to retain the performance crown that's currently disputed between the Radeon HD 6990 and GeForce GTX 590.

Source: INPAI

AMD Preparing A4-3420 Socket FM1 APU

AMD is close to launching a new value accelerated processing unit (APU) in the FM1 package, the A4-3420. This model has been available in OEM/tray package to system manufacturers since January, but now AMD is releasing it to the retail channel, in the PIB (processor in a box) package. This chip has two x86-64 cores clocked at 2.80 GHz, and Radeon HD 6410D graphics with 160 stream processors, with its engine clocked at 600 MHz. The L2 cache size is 512 KB per core. It packs an integrated memory controller supporting dual-channel DDR3-1600 MHz memory, and a PCI-Express 2.0 root hub for discrete graphics. Its rated TDP is 65W. Expect a US $65 price.

Source: DonanimHaber

GK104 Transistor Count and Exact Die-Size Revealed

A part of the reason why NVIDIA's performance-segment GK104 is gunning for the performance crown from AMD's Tahiti GPU could be hidden behind two of its key specifications: transistor count, and die-size. 3DCenter.org compiled these two specifications for the GK104 from reliable sources, which pin the transistor count at 3.54 billion, and die-area at 294 mm². This yields a transistor density of 12 million per mm², which is slightly higher than that of AMD Tahiti, slightly lower than that of AMD Pitcairn, and certainly higher than previous-generation chips from both AMD and NVIDIA. If GeForce GTX 680 does in fact end up competitive with AMD's Radeon HD 7900 series, it could serve as a tell-tale sign of NVIDIA's Kepler architecture being a more efficient one.

Source: 3DCenter.org

AFOX Readies Single-Slot Radeon HD 7850

At CeBIT, AFOX showed off the industry's first single-slot, air-cooled graphics card based on the Radeon HD 7850 GPU. Carrying the model number AF7850-1024D5S1, AFOX' creation sports a similar cooling assembly as the one on the AF6850-1024D5S1, an HD 6850-based graphics card. The cooler uses a big lateral-flow blower that directs air through a dense aluminum fin-channel array, where heat gets dissipated onto it. Heat is drawn from key components such as the GPU, memory, and VRM, using a vapor-chamber plate.

There's a small catch with AFOX' design, though. The memory amount is halved to 1 GB, although it still sits across a 256-bit wide memory interface. We don't expect a significant performance penalty for that. Further, the memory clock speed is reduced from the reference speed of 1200 MHz to 1125 MHz (4.80 GHz eff. to 4.50 GHz eff.), although the core speed stays the same, at 860 MHz. The display IO is an interesting mix of one dual-link DVI, one full-size HDMI, one mini-DisplayPort, and one full-size DisplayPort.

Source: VR-Zone

Sapphire Toxic Radeon HD 7970 with 6GB Memory Showcased

The fact that Sapphire has been working on a Radeon HD 7970 graphics card with an obscene 6 GB of memory has been known since the end of 2011. The said card, the Sapphire Toxic HD 7970 6GB, has already taken shape, and was spotted running at CeBIT. Such as it is, AMD utilizes 2 Gbit GDDR5 memory chips in numbers of 12 to achieve 3 GB of memory across a 384-bit wide memory interface, on its HD 7970. Higher density GDDR5 chips are not available, at least not in bulk. So the only way Sapphire is doing 6 GB is by piggy-backing two 2 Gbit chips across 32-bit wide paths, each. As a result, these cards have memory chips on both sides of the PCB, obverse and reverse, and require a metal back-plate to keep the chips on the reverse side cool. The only reason we see consumers needing 6 GB of video memory today, is multi-monitor gaming. Even there, the impact of the increase to 6 GB memory (from 3 GB) is debatable.

Source: ComputerBase.de

AMD "Tahiti" Successor is Codenamed "Tenerife"?

An AMD presentation slide was scored by OBR-Hardware, the site did not vouch for the authenticity of the slide, but reveals a new GPU codename, "Tenerife". The slide rings many bells. First, we know from a recent report by VR-Zone, that a new family of GPUs succeeding "Southern Islands" is codenamed something along the lines of "Sea Islands". Second, the source speculates the stream processor count of Tenerife to be 2304, which falls in line the "actual" stream processor count of Tahiti, that was revealed by a leaked company document belonging to Sapphire, which created some controversy in early January, which AMD later went on to quash.

The slide mentions "Tenerife" as being based on "Enhanced Graphics CoreNext" architecture, probably a tweaked-up GCN, which will probably characterize "Sea Islands" family. Enhanced GCN is mentioned as having 20% higher performance over the current architecture. The next most interesting bit is the mention of a tentative launch, mentioned as Q3-2012, at the earliest. This falls in line with speculation of Radeon HD 8000 series making it to the market no later than this year. The question here is could "Tenerife" be the GPU AMD builds its "Radeon HD 8900" series on, or could AMD do a "Radeon HD X1900" by surprising the high-end segment with a new GPU in the current series? "Tenerife" is probably named after the biggest of the Canary Islands, Spanish offshore territory.

Source: OBR-Hardware

HIS Announces its Radeon HD 7800 Series Graphics Cards, Including Three IceQ X Models

HIS kicked off its Radeon HD 7800 series with a trio of graphics cards under its coveted IceQ family. These include the HIS HD 7850 IceQ X, the HIS HD 7870 IceQ X, and HIS HD 7870 IceQ iTurbo. The first two use proven IceQ X cooling solutions that have been used on previous-generation graphics cards by HIS, which have just different cooler shroud color-scheme of black+silver.

The HD 7850 IceQ X features clock speeds of 860 MHz core and 1200 MHz (4.80 GHz effective) memory, in line with AMD reference clock speeds, while the HD 7870 IceQ X features 1000 MHz core and 1200 MHz (4.80 GHz effective) memory, also in line with AMD reference. Then there's the HIS HD 7870 IceQ iTurbo, featuring a gargantuan new cooling solution never before seen. This cooler uses an aluminum channel heatsink, to which heat is fed by four 8 mm-thick copper heat pipes, through which air is blown by a lateral-flow fan. Interestingly, this card, too, sticks to AMD reference clock speeds.

XFX Radeon HD 7800 Double Dissipation Graphics Card Announced

XFX announced its Radeon HD 7870 Double Dissipation graphics card. The card features the same large-version of the company's Double Dissipation cooling assembly that's also featured on some of its Radeon HD 7900 series products, making it a monster overclocker. The Double Dissipation cooler uses an aluminum fin stack to which heat is conveyed by copper heat-pipes, which draw heat directly from the GPU die. The fin-stack is then ventilated by two "GHOST" fans, which are whisper-quiet. The R7870 DD from XFX also features a 5-10% factory-overclock. Slated for market-availability on, March 19 like the rest of the Radeon HD 7800 series products launched today, the XFX HD 7870 Double Dissipation will charge a small premium over the reference design.

AMD Radeon HD 7800 Series Specs. Table Leaked

Japanese media has got a hold of the specifications table of AMD's Radeon HD 7800 series products, the HD 7870 and HD 7850. Hermitage Akihabara has not cited a source as such, so we assume it vouches for the accuracy of this table. The table reveals Radeon HD 7870 as having 1280 stream processors, a 256-bit wide memory bus width (derived from the memory bandwidth and clock speeds figures provided in the table), 80 TMUs, 32 ROPs, and clock speeds of 1.00 GHz core, with 1200 MHz (4.80 GHz effective) memory. This SKU has a typical board power of 175W.

The slide details the HD 7850 as having 1024 stream processors, 64 TMUs, 32 ROPs, the same 256-bit GDDR5 memory interface, with the same memory clock speed as the HD 7870, but with a lower core clock speed of 860 MHz. the board power for the HD 7850 is mentioned to be under 130W. Interestingly, 2 GB is standard memory amount for both cards. The Japanese site mentions the official launch date of HD 7800 series as being March 8, but also goes on to add that market availability (we're assuming they mean the Japanese market), is only expected on/after March 19.

Sources: Hermitage Akihabara, VR-Zone, and 456,000+ search results for "AMD Radeon HD 7800 Specifications" on Google

AMD Catalyst Application Profiles 12.2 CAP 1 Up For Grabs

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

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

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

AMD Posts Special Catalyst Driver for Windows 8 Consumer Preview

AMD posted a new Catalyst driver (8.93.7 RC10) specifically for Windows 8 Consumer Preview. The driver is WDDM 1.2 compliant, and supports all launched AMD Radeon GPUs from HD 5000 thru HD 7000 series (except HD 7900 and HD 7700); AMD A-Series, C-Series, and E-Series APUs; FirePro, and FirePro 3D series products. Highlights include:
  • Native Stereo 3D support: Windows 8 will natively support Stereo 3D for full-screen and windowed gaming, and video applications
  • Unified Video API – Video playback is now integrated within the DirectX 11 API; enabling simultaneous high quality Video and 3D content, and the potential for enhanced video transcoding performance
  • Optimized screen rotation
  • Improved sleep / resume performance
  • Optimized Power Consumption
DOWNLOAD: AMD Catalyst 8.93.7 RC10 for Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Yeston R6870 Game Master Graphics Card Pictured

Chinese company Yeston thinks there's still room for factory-overclocked Radeon HD 6870 graphics cards in the market, it unveiled the R6870 Game Master, designed to have high overclocking headroom. The card uses a custom-design PCB with an 8+1+1 phase VRM to power the GPU. The VRM takes advantage of LFPAK MOSFETs and two NEC TOKIN Proadlizers, which condition power and enhance stability with voltage-assisted overclocking. Out of the box, the card ships with reference clock-speeds of 900 MHz core and 1050 MHz (4.20 GHz effective) memory, leaving it entirely to you to take the clock speeds where you want them to go, instead of being spoon-fed with factory-OC profiles.

Moving on to the cooling, Yeston gave the R6870 Game Master a zesty cooling assembly that spans three expansion slots. It uses a lateral-flow design with a blower pushing air through numerous aluminum channels where heat is dissipated to it. It appears like heat is conveyed to these channels using heat-pipes, and not a hot plate. As a nice cosmetic touch, Yeston gave the card a thick back-plate that is ridged. It helps reduce PCB bending and could assist heat dissipation just a little. Display outputs include two each of DVI and mini-DisplayPort, and one HDMI. Power is drawn from two 6-pin PCIe power connectors. Out now in the Chinese market, the Yeston R6870 Game Master is priced at 1,199 RMB (US $190).

Source: Expreview

AMD Also Delivers the Catalyst Application Profiles 12.1 CAP 3

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

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

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