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AMD Readies Trio of New Radeon HD 7900 Series SKUs

Apart from a few Radeon HD 7970 "X2" dual-GPU graphics cards, and a few non-reference design HD 7970, we didn't hear much about new Radeon SKUs, at Computex. AMD or its partners never even talked about the Radeon HD 7990. It appears now, that the company is working on three new SKUs that will likely replace existing ones, in a bid to replenish the competitiveness of its "Southern Islands" GPU family. The three new SKUs include the Radeon HD 7990, of which we've been hearing for a greater part of this year; the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition, which we knew was taking shape for some time now; and the new Radeon HD 7930.

Launch of the Radeon HD 7990 has been facing quite a few delays. We can't imagine technical hurdles with regard to board design, but the performance yield, and performance-per-Watt figures the SKU will have to produce, to ever make it to the market. The HD 7990 has the tough task of performing within an acceptable range of the GeForce GTX 690, on both these fronts.

HIS Radeon HD 7970 X2 IceQ Graphics Card Pictured

We knew back in May, that PowerColor isn't the only AMD AIB partner with a custom-design dual-HD 7970 graphics card (≠ HD 7990) in the works, and that other partners are also attempting high-end dual-GPU designs. We got to see one of those at Computex, courtesy of HIS. Called the HIS HD 7970 X2 IceQ X2, is a 100% custom-design (cooler and PCB) dual-GPU graphics card, which makes use of two 28 nm "Tahiti" GPUs in an internal CrossFire configuration.

Like the PowerColor HD 7970 X2 Devil 13, the HIS HD 7970 X2 IceQ X2 draws power from three 8-pin PCIe power connectors, and packs two "Tahiti" GPUs with all components enabled. The two GPUs could have clock speeds higher than even single-GPU HD 7970, although HIS did not finalize them. HIS implemented a super-sized triple-slot variation of its otherwise dual-slot IceQ X2 cooler. Its card has a different display output configuration from PowerColor's, with one dual-link DVI, and four mini-DisplayPorts. Earlier today, we confirmed that PowerColor's card will reach the market only by late-July. HIS, on the other hand, wants to beat PowerColor to it, and is confident of launching the industry's first HD 7970 X2.

Key Details About PowerColor HD 7970 X2 Devil 13 Surface

We've been hearing about PowerColor's Radeon HD 7970 X2 Devil 13 dual-GPU graphics card since late-May. A little earlier at Computex, we got to see the card taken apart. We spoke at lengths to reliable sources about the card. To begin with, PowerColor plans to clock the two "Tahiti" GPUs in excess of 1050 MHz (above even the single-GPU HD 7970, and its 925 MHz core clock). Next up, PowerColor will manufacture the card in limited quantities, and will release it to market towards the end of July. Lastly, the PowerColor HD 7970 X2 Devil 13 will be priced around €1,200 (including VAT), its US pricing will be around $1,200. You've heard it first on TechPowerUp!

ASUS Shows off ROG Matrix 7970 Graphics Card

ASUS showed off its newest high-end single-GPU graphics card, the Republic of Gamers (ROG) Matrix 7970. The card will be ASUS' addition to a new wave of highly-overclocked Radeon HD 7970 graphics cards (we're talking ≥25% factory-OC), by AMD AIB partners, to compete with GeForce GTX 680. ASUS did not disclose the clock speeds the Matrix 7970 ships with, but listed out its exclusive features, such as VGA Hotwire (read and control voltages at a hardware level), TweakIT (hardware voltage-speed control using buttons, one-push fan override), ProbeIT (voltage fan-speed monitoring points), a 20-phase Digi+ VRM with software control using GPUTweak software, and the software itself, which comes with a plethora of tweaking options.

PowerColor HD 7970 X2 Devil 13 Taken Apart

Here are the first pictures of PowerColor's ambitious Radeon HD 7970 X2 Devil 13 dual-GPU graphics card taken apart. The pictures reveal a PCB that's both longer and taller than that of the HD 7970, to create room for two 28 nm "Tahiti" GPUs, a total of 24 GDDR5 memory chips (12 on each side), a PLX PEX8747 PCIe 3.0 bridge chip, and a VRM that consists of 5+2+1 phases per GPU system. The card draws power from three 8-pin PCIe power connectors. The VRM consists of solid-state chokes and Renesas Driver-MOSFETs. Display outputs include two each of DVI and mini-DP, and an HDMI. Each GPU system has a pair of BIOS'es (performance and failsafe).

ASUS ROG ZEUS Fuses LGA2011 Motherboard with Dual-GPU Graphics

ASUS displayed a nerdtastic motherboard design concept, at Computex. Called the Republic of Gamers ZEUS, ASUS' creation is a socket LGA2011 motherboard with a dual-GPU graphics hardware soldered onto the board, in the place otherwise assigned for expansion slots. The top half of the ZEUS resembles that of a conventional LGA2011 motherboard, with the processor being powered by a 10-phase Digi+ VRM, and eight DDR3 DIMM slots. ASUS somehow made the platform support up to 128 GB of unregistered DIMM DDR3 memory (double the 64 GB limit of the Sandy Bridge-E HEDT platform).

The second half of the motherboard has the X79 PCH, and two PCI-Express 3.0 GPUs in dual-GPU configuration. ASUS hasn't revealed which GPUs these are, but sources predict it's a pair of AMD Radeon HD 7970 (Tahiti XT) or HD 7870 (Pitcairn XT). Each GPU system has its own set of memory, and a set of 8-pin + 6-pin PCIe power connectors. The display outputs of this dual-GPU setup are given out on the rear panel, as two mini-DP + Thunderbolt ports, and one each of HDMI and standard DP. The ZEUS even has as many as 8 SATA 6 Gb/s ports, four SATA 3 Gb/s ports, and 12 USB 3.0 ports, besides two Thunderbolt 10 Gb/s ports. For now, ASUS' monstrosity is a design concept, and the company is undecided about launching it to the market. If nothing, the ZEUS serves as a testament of ASUS' mammoth engineering potential.

Source: VR-Zone

PowerColor Radeon HD 7970 X2 Devil13 Graphics Card Detailed

Last week, we were teased with the first picture of PowerColor's Vortex III cooling solution. A little later that week, we also got reports that AMD's add-in board (AIB) partners are working on off-spec dual-GPU graphics accelerators, calling them "Radeon HD 7970 X2", even as AMD's own HD 7990 is on course. It turns out that the card the Vortex III is designed to cool is PowerColor's newest high-end creation, the Radeon HD 7970 X2 Devil13.

Decked in red and black, the card is a custom-design dual-GPU graphics card from PowerColor, which incorporates two 28 nm Tahiti GPUs in CrossFire configuration. The GPUs have all their components enabled, and clocked on par with single-GPU Radeon HD 7970. The two GPU systems cumulatively hold 6 GB of GDDR5 memory (3 GB per GPU, over 384-bit wide interface). The card draws power from three 8-pin PCI-Express power connectors, and has a rated TDP of 525W. The card will be exhibited at Computex, where it will be further detailed.

Source: DonanimHaber

AMD AIB Partners Said to be Working on "HD 7970 X2"

Although AMD has plans to unveil its dual-GPU Radeon HD 7990 some time during Computex 2012, next month, it is reported that its add-in board (AIB) partners will be rolling out custom-design dual-GPU graphics cards labelled "Radeon HD 7970 X2." These cards most likely feature a pair of 28 nm "Tahiti" GPUs with high GPU clock speeds (perhaps above those of the HD 7990, perhaps even over 1 GHz). The new cards could then target the performance levels of NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 690 at competitive prices. It could also be AMD's strategy to give the onus to AIB partners to come up with "off-spec" dual-GPU cards to compete with GTX 690 in terms of performance, while maintaining an "on-spec" Radeon HD 7990 that seeks a higher price-performance ratio than that of the GTX 690.

Source: DonanimHaber

PowerColor Teases with Vortex III Cooling Solution

Keeping up with a trend pioneered by the likes of ASUS, ZOTAC, and others, PowerColor is working on a high-performance albeit triple-slot graphics card cooling solution called Vortex III, which the company plans to implement on upcoming Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition graphics cards. A teaser picture, which reveals quite a bit about the new cooler, was posted by DonanimHaber. The picture reveals the cooler to use a black+red color scheme matching with a black colored PCB, a design that appears to occupy three expansion slots, and three fans ventilating a large aluminum fin heatsink below them. PowerColor is likely to exhibit new graphics cards that implement the Vortex III cooling solution, at Computex 2012.

Source: DonanimHaber

AMD Readies Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition

AMD's Radeon HD 7970 could not hold on to the single-GPU performance crown for too long. It lost it to NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680, and the upcoming GeForce GTX 670 threatens to damage its competitiveness even further. Reports suggest that AMD is working on a new Tahiti-based graphics card SKU, the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition. AMD unveiled the "GHz Edition" moniker to denote SKUs that come with engine clock speed ≥1 GHz. The new HD 7970 GHz Edition will come with reference core clock speed of 1050 MHz.

AMD needn't tinker with memory clock speed, as it already has a 384-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface compared to the GeForce GTX 680 and its 256-bit memory bus width. Sources told Atomic PC that improved yields and manufacturing processes have benefitted Tahiti just as well as GK104, and ES Tahiti chips from the latest batches "easily" hit 1250 MHz core. These batches could make custom-design graphics cards with extremely high core clock speeds possible.

Sources: Atomic PC, Engadget

TechPowerUp GPU-Z 0.6.1 Released, Announcing New PowerColor GPU-Z Giveaway

TechPowerUp today announced GPU-Z 0.6.1, and with it, a new graphics card giveaway in partnership with PowerColor, in which you could win some of the fastest and coolest Radeon HD 7000 series graphics cards in the industry. Version 0.6.1 of GPU-Z adds support for some new GPUs on the horizon, such as NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690, GeForce GTX 670, GeForce GT 640 (desktop), GeForce GT 630, GeForce 605, GeForce GTX 675M (mobile), and GeForce GTX 670M; AMD Radeon HD 7970M (mobile), and Radeon HD 7450 (desktop); Intel HD 4000 and HD 2500 "Ivy Bridge". GPU-Z 0.6.1 improves NVIDIA GPU Boost clock speed detection. A host of other stability and reliability changes were made (refer to the change-log below).

With GPU-Z 0.6.1, TechPowerUp is teaming up with PowerColor to present to you this year's first GPU-Z Giveaway, in which you could win some great graphics hardware. Up for grabs are PowerColor HD 7970 PCS+ Vortex II, PowerColor HD 7870 PCS+ Vortex II, and the yet-unannounced PowerColor HD 7770 PCS+ Vortex II. To participate in the Giveaway, simply run GPU-Z 0.6.1 (main version), click on the "PowerColor Giveaway" tab, and follow the instructions. Entries are open till June 01, 2012; multiple entries may lead to elimination. Good Luck!

DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp GPU-Z 0.6.1 | TechPowerUp GPU-Z 0.6.1 ASUS ROG Edition

The complete change-log follows.

Club 3D Introduces its PokerSeries after Launch of HD 7870 JokerCard

Following the introduction of Club 3D Radeon HD 7870 Joker card with DiRT Showdown yesterday, the company today introduces its brand new "Poker Series". With its new "PokerSeries" Club 3D offers a new level of special graphics cards that deliver the best performance, newest features and best coolers. PokerSeries graphic cards present our highest demands.

AMD Unveils "Three for Free" Offer for Radeon HD 7900 Series

We are not new to AMD and NVIDIA bundling games and software in retail-channel graphics cards sold across all AIB partners. The most recent of these was DiRT 3 bundled by various AMD Radeon models. The latest such offer is dubbed "Three for Free", and is aimed at making getting a Radeon HD 7900 series graphics card a more juicy deal, on top of price cuts.

"Three for Free" is a bundle of three new PC game titles that are part of AMD Game ecosystem, which consists of DiRT Showdown, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and Nexuiz. All new batches of Radeon HD 7900 series graphics cards sold by various partners, that's Radeon HD 7950 and Radeon HD 7970, will include a coupon with product keys for the three games, which can be redeemed on Steam as digital downloads. This offer is already active in the Europe, and will come soon to North America.


Source: AMD Game Blog

Team Katana Japan Sets 3DMark 11 Extreme Record with 1747/7884 MHz @ 1.895V HD 7970

Team Katana Japan set a new 3DMark 11 Extreme Preset single-GPU world record using their Radeon HD 7970 graphics card clocked at staggering clock speeds 1747 MHz (core) and 1971 MHz or 7.884 GHz effective (memory). These clock speeds were sustained using volt-modding (to maintain the right voltage stable), and liquid nitrogen cooling. The volt-mod was designed to override the OCP (over-current protection), and over-heat protection of the graphics card's VRM. The target core voltage was 1.895V.

The setup went on to bag a 3DMark 11 Extreme Preset single-GPU world record, where it scored X3757.69 points, bagging 1st Rank in HWBOT's "GLOBAL 1X GPU RANK" and "Radeon HD 7970 rank". Find the validation here. The GPU remained in the range of -145.0 °C (idle) -137.0 °C (load). The rest of the setup included a Core i7-2600K clocked at ~5.00 GHz, ASUS Maximus IV Extreme (P67), and a 1200W PSU.


Source: Expreview

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

AMD Radeon HD 7900, HD 7700 Series Price Cuts En Route: Report

Despite losing its competitive edge to NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 680, for various reasons AMD was rather slow in adjusting prices of its Radeon HD 7900 series SKUs, the HD 7970 and HD 7950. We are now learning that AMD is preparing the first round of price cuts for its flagship graphics card lineup, since the advent of NVIDIA's Kepler architecture. A Kitguru report pits price cuts of Radeon HD 7970 as much as by US $60 (from $549 to "as low as" $489). The price of HD 7950, on the other hand, is expected to go down by as much as US $55 (that's from $449 to $394). There's also a small price cut in store for Radeon HD 7770, which according to the report, could go down by $15.

Source: Kitguru

DangerDen DD-7970 Water Block Now Available

DangerDen recently announced the worldwide availability of DD-7970, its performance water-block for AMD Radeon HD 7970 (reference design PCBs). The DD-7970 is designed to provide coverage to all hot components on the obverse side of the PCB, including the 28 nm "Tahiti" GPU, 12 GDDR5 memory chips, and the VRM. Its coolant channel passes through the portion of the VRM, the portion over the GPU is ridged to increase surface area of dissipation. Options for the top include clear polycarbonate, and satin-finished copper. The polycarbonate top variant weighs 3 lbs, while the satin-finished copper variant weighs 4 lbs. Both are priced at US $114.95, available through DangerDen's online store.

Japanese BTO Co's Jump The Gun, Launch Z77+Sandy Bridge Desktops

After last weekend's launch of Z77 chipset-based motherboards, several Japanese BTO (built to order) desktop PC makers jumped the gun, and announced new desktops that use Z77 chipset motherboards, but driven by current generation Core i5/i7 "Sandy Bridge" LGA1155 processors. Third-generation Core i5/i7 "Ivy Bridge" processors, at least to the retail channel, aren't too far away. They are slated for the end of this month. Yet, many of these desktops launched today offer processors such as the Core i5-2500K and Core i7-2700K as standard options.

Pictured below (in order), are machines by Mouse Computer (Core i5-2500K comes standard), SHG Galleria (Core i7-2700K and GeForce GTX 680 graphics come standard), G-Gear, and EX Computer AeroStream (Core i7-2700K and Radeon HD 7970 come standard). It is noted that Z77 chipset motherboards haven't significantly altered prices from Z68-based models.

Source: PCWatch

Swiftech Officially Rolls-Out the Komodo HD7970 Waterblock for Radeon HD 7970 Cards

Swiftech today announced the release for retail sales of the Komodo HD7970 waterblock for AMD's Radeon HD 7970 graphics card.

Covering the full-length of the card to protect its fragile components, and featuring an enhanced thermal design, illuminated bridge, and a comprehensive package including single-slot PCI bracket and a back-plate, this is the most sophisticated full-cover waterblock offered by Swiftech to date. Companion accessories complete the offering with optional CrossFireX bridges and adjustable connectors for multiple card configurations.

Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 Toxic 6 GB Detailed

When we saw glimpses of Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 Toxic 6 GB graphics card, we knew Sapphire was prioritizing on aesthetics a lot. That turns out to be the case, as the first pictures of this monstrosity reveal. The PCB and cooler are designed from scratch, by Sapphire. The PCB accommodates 6 GB of memory in 24 GDDR5 memory chips, 12 on each side. To power the factory-overclocked 28 nm "Tahiti" GPU and 24 GDDR5 7 GT/s memory chips takes some really strong VRM. Sapphire implemented an 8+3 phase power supply, that makes use of solid-state chokes (don't whine under stress), and International Rectifier DirectFETs. The VRM draws power from two 8-pin PCIe power connectors.

More details, and a benchmark follow.

Radeon HD 7970 Price Cuts Not Any Time Soon: Report

A lot of prospective buyers of new generation GPUs were counting on the US $499 launch price of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 to result in reactionary price-cuts in the red camp, particularly with the $549 Radeon HD 7970. NVIDIA's GPU is faster, more efficient, and under normal circumstances, should leave AMD with no other option, but to cut prices of HD 7970 to stay competitive. However, that hasn't happened, and according to a HardwareCanucks report, will not happen any time soon.

NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 680 launch wasn't just on paper, there was market-availability on launch-day, although like every other new GPU launch, stocks have been quite limited. Before this launch, AMD and its partners managed to replenish inventories of Radeon HD 7970, making it generally available, while not budging from its ~$549 price. Sources told HardwareCanucks and this situation won't change unless NVIDIA has a more full-fledged lineup of new-generation GPUs against AMD's, or unless the availability of GeForce GTX 680 drastically improves.

PowerColor Radeon HD 7970 Vortex II Detailed Some More

In anticipation of the official launch, PowerColor has served up a fresh batch of pictures depicting its Radeon HD 7970 Vortex II Edition graphics card. Besides providing fresh photos, PowerColor has also confirmed that this new Tahiti-powered card will have its GPU set to 1100 MHz (up from the stock 925 MHz) and the 3 GB of on-board GDDR5 memory clocked at 5700 MHz (5500 MHz stock).

In addition to higher clocks, the HD7970 Vortex II features a dual-slot cooler with two fans (allowing for a little airflow adjustment) and three heatpipes, a backplate to speed up heat dissipation, 2048 Stream Processors, a 384-bit memory interface, a PCI Express 3.0 x16 bus interface, CrossFireX and Eyefinity support, and five display outputs (DVI x 2, HDMI x 1, mini DisplayPort x 2).

The HD7970 Vortex II Edition is expected to become available next month. Its price tag is still unknown.

Did NVIDIA Originally Intend to Call GTX 680 as GTX 670 Ti?

Although it doesn't matter anymore, there are several bits of evidence supporting the theory that NVIDIA originally intended for its GK104-based performance graphics card to be named "GeForce GTX 670 Ti", before deciding to go with "GeForce GTX 680" towards the end. With the advent of 2012, we've had our industry sources refer to the part as "GTX 670 Ti". The very first picture of the GeForce GTX 680 disclosed to the public, early this month, revealed a slightly old qualification sample, which had one thing different from the card we have with us today: the model name "GTX 670 Ti" was etched onto the cooler shroud, our industry sources disclosed pictures of early samples having 6+8 pin power connectors.

Next up, while NVIDIA did re-christian GTX 670 Ti to GTX 680, it was rather sloppy at it. The first picture below shows the contents of the Boardshots (stylized) folder in NVIDIA's "special place" for the media. It contains all the assets NVIDIA allows the press, retailers, and other partners to use. Assets are distributed in various formats, the TIFF is a standard image-format used by print-media, for its high dot-pitch. Apart from a heavy payload, the TIFF image file allows tags, that can be read by Windows Explorer, these tags help people at the archives. The tags for images in TIFF format, of the GTX 680 distributed to its partners in the media and industry contain the tag "GTX 670 Ti".

EVGA GeForce GTX 680 Cracks 1842 MHz Core

Thought the 1800/7700 MHz Radeon HD 7970 OC feat involving an MSI R7970 Lightning was impressive, wait till you see what the punters at EVGA, with K|ngp|n have in store. Armed with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 graphics cards, augmented by EVGA EPower board, and PrecisionX software, the EVGA GTX 680 was able to crack the 1800 MHz core frequency mark, reaching 1842 MHz, powered by a core voltage of 1.212V. Interestingly, the memory clock offset wasn't tinkered with. The rest of the system consisted of a Core i7-3960X clocked at ~5.50 GHz. The bench was stable enough to score 14912 points at 3DMark 11 (performance preset). Compare this, to the R7970 Lightning clocked at 1800 MHz core, 7.70 GHz memory (370 GB/s bandwidth), with no additional soldering except plugging in the GPU Reactor, and a slower Core i7-3960X CPU (clocked at 5.00 GHz), which went on to score P15035. Luckily for EVGA, the overclocking feat hasn't ended, and is still work in progress.

Source: VR-Zone

EVGA GeForce GTX 680 Pictured, Too, $499 Pricing Confirmed

Here is the first picture of EVGA GeForce GTX 680. The best-selling GeForce AIC partner in the US, EVGA, opted for a minimalist sticker design, while sticking to NVIDIA reference board and cooler designs. In fact, all GeForce GTX 680 launched in the first-wave, do. Speaking of first-wave, TechnoReviews managed to screengrab American Retailer Newegg.com listing out nearly all the GeForce GTX 680 models that will be available on launch of the SKU.

The listing confirms the US $499 (before taxes) pricing of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680, because that's how low these cards are available for; they will never price it below NVIDIA-recommended MSRP. Newegg.com applying a $10 margin is quite natural, they've done it with pretty much every major graphics card market-launch this year, including that of the Radeon HD 7900 series. Assuming the GeForce GTX 680 beats Radeon HD 7970, as NVIDIA claims, our educated guess is it still won't start a "price-war" as such. AMD might recalibrate prices of HD 7900 series down 5~10%, but AMD and NVIDIA won't be able to drive prices below a threshold, and that threshold is governed by TSMC, its ability to ship 28 nm chips in volumes big enough, and at prices low enough, to support a price-war between the two GPU giants.


Source: TecnoReviews, Image Courtesy: Newegg.com
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