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Graphics Card Tidbits Part V

Graphics Card Tidbits Part V - Update

Today in a week we will be enlightened on what NVIDIA was working on during the last few months. Will there be a GeForce 8800 Ultra or a 8850 GTX or a dual GPU card very likely named 8850 GX2? The names put aside, NVIDIA will give AMD/ATI again a run for their money, though things could change very likely another week later. It's all over town already that Tunisia will be the birthplace for AMD's first product troika (K10 CPUs, RD790 Chipset and R6x0 GPU family) on April 23rd. The invited crowd, most of them being journalists, will among other things, get shown Techdemo which Fuad got a screenshot from. He's got a second file as well, probably out of an official Powerpoint presentation, that finally solves the naming scheme riddle of the R600 high end cards. AMD's upcoming high end boards will be called X2900-Series.

Company of Heroes 2 Will be DX10 Ready?

THQ has announced that the sequel to last year's Company of Heroes will be DirectX 10 ready. The proprietary Essence Engine of the original Company of Heroes series, developed in-house by Relic, will be upgraded in COH2 to support a dynamic weather system and more realistic physics, as well as the graphical joys of Shader Model 4.0. Since the game will be DirectX 10 ready, it will be playable only with Windows Vista OS. The game will be out in Q3 2007, until then enjoy the newly released Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts expansion pack.Source: theINQ

ASUS C90 customizable notebook details

The biggest shortcoming of notebooks has been the limited upgradability. ASUS is looking to change all that with the C90, which lets you upgrade all the major parts: CPU, memory, graphic card, hard drive & optical drive. While you may think, that some of these can already be upgraded in todays notebooks, ASUS will make it really simple to do with the new C90. Click on "Read full story" for the detailed specs.

BitTorrent planning on launching ad-supported downloads

That is, on their legitimate movie and music delivery service, not the extremely-misused data transfer protocol. Some of you may have heard of a BitTorrent store. BitTorent has caught onto the idea that people are used to BitTorrent being associated with free content. And so, to keep themselves out of legal trouble while still offering free movies/music, the legal version of BitTorrent will support an advertising plan similar to YouTube's. BitTorrent will post the free content as soon as it's done testing their advertising scheme, which is done with the help of YuMe networks.Source: Nordic Hardware

NVIDIA will create clever market name for CUDA

AMD's ATI has a fancy name for their graphics card computing solution (Stream computing), so why doesn't NVIDIA? Since the CUDA name isn't exactly very appealing to the consumer market, NVIDIA is planning on renaming the CUDA incentive when it has something more ready for public release (such as a Folding@Home client). Rumor has it that NVIDIA will call their GPU-accelerated computing solution "GPU Computing", but we will see when NVIDIA actually releases clients to the average user.

For those of you that don't know, CUDA is a C compiler that compiles software so that it can be run/accelerated using an NVIDIA GPU as a processor.Source: The Inquirer

Graphics Card Tidbits Part IV

There's a lot to be told about the latest graphics card news. At first Sanjin Radoš from Fudzilla wrote a small preview about the Sapphire X1950 Pro Dual. This card, as the name already implies, is powered by two Radeon X1950 Pro chips attached to each other using a special bridge chip. Every GPU (clocked at 580 MHz) has 512MB of GDDR3 memory clocked at 1400 Mhz at its disposal, using the right motherboard (ATI or Intel chipset) you will be able to get a 2GB CrossFire setup that probably outperforms even NVIDIA's 8800GTX card. In the article are some 3DMark06 scores that might get your wallet fear you again - the cards price will be around 500 Euros. The previewed sample was made by Sapphire and this will be earlier on the market than ASUS' design.

The next card in the row is another X1950 Pro card, this time a single chip one. It's from Jetway and it comes with GDDR4 memory clocked at 2200 MHz. Though price is still unknown but the more expensive GDDR4 memory will definitely improve the overall performance of the card.

ATI R600 Ready to Ship

AMD’s sales chief, Henri Richard, has announced that ATI’s flagship DirectX 10 graphics card could be ready to ship today, and has given an interesting new reason for its long delay. Here’s what he had to say:
“The R600 will be out in the second quarter. The reason we decided to delay the launch was that we wanted to have a complete DX10-enabled solutions top-to-bottom. A lot of people wrote that the reason it is delayed is because of a problem with the silicon, but there is no problem with the silicon. We are demonstrating it. We can ship it today. But if you think about it, looking at where the market is at, the volumes are going to be in the RV610 and RV630, so it makes sense for us to do a one time launch of the entire family of DX10 enabled products.”
So apparently there weren’t any technical problems, ATI just wanted to release the entire range at once – interesting when you consider this has let NVIDIA get a lengthy head start with its 8800 cards. Sounds like a poor excuse to me.Source: HardwareZone

TheInquirer Tokyo Travelogue

Dean Pullen from our lovely Internet news rumor mill TheInquirer just finished a three part story about his trip to Tokyo. On that trip he took a lot of pictures from all the places where the very latest high tech computer parts usually spawn first: Akihabara.
Get yourself relaxed and enjoy plenty of pictures of this unique place in our technophile world.Part I | Part II | Part III

Current Blu-ray Players Could Become Obsolete

Although Blu-ray is still quite fresh on the shelves, owners of Blu-ray players may be concerned about news that the Blu-ray specifications are set to change this autumn. Although these players should remain adequate for general viewing, changes to BD-Java specifications mean that current devices may not be able to take full advantage of interactive features, including picture-in-picture. Unlike HD DVD players, many of the Blu-ray players don’t all have Ethernet ports to let users upgrade the firmware, so users could be left stranded – it isn’t even clear if those that can take advantage of firmware upgrades will be compatible with the new specifications. Manufactures have confirmed that new disks will still play in first generation players, but early adopters may still be disappointed that their expensive hardware has become out-dated so quickly.Source: DailyTech

Graphics Card Tidbits Part III

Today it's all about highest end stuff, nearly. And as usual one of our main sources is Fuad Abazovic who is still very close to ATI it seems. Anyway, let's start:
The R600 powered cards will come in two flavours, one equipped with GDDR3 and the faster one with GDDR4 memory. The news is that the GDDR4 memory will be clocked at 2100MHz which is 100MHz faster than previously reported. The GPU core clock will remain at around 800MHz. But if you are keen on the GDDR4 board you will get a premium waiting time besides the premium price and performance - the GDDR3 card will be introduced first, a 'couple' of weeks earlier. As both GPU coolers for the two R600 variants will be the same its quite interesting to know that this advanced 2-slot air cooler is not louder than the Radeon X1950XTX cooling solution.

Malaysian K9 unit sniffs out pirated DVDs

Most of us know the kanine units from Airports, which are suppose to sniff out illegal substances. Lucky and Flo are trained to find pirated DVDs. The Malaysian authorities managed to bust a three million USD pirating ring in the recent past and now have managed to uncover another 430,000 USD pirating operation after the police did not find anything during the first search. It would be interesting to see the success if the dogs are used in Airports on flights from Asian countries to the US.

Source: Reuters

Graphics card tidbits Part II

In the first part of Graphics card tidbits we covered TSMC's new 55nm process, NVIDIA's 32 hidden stream processors in its 8800 cards and the memory speed of the GDDR4 equipped R600 boards (2000MHz).
Now let's get it on: We learned that a tested R600 prototype is clocked at 800MHz (GPU) and scores 11400 3DMarks in 3DMark06 (probably the GDDR4 version). The PC this card was plugged into was equipped with a quad core Intel QX6700 and 2GB of memory. For the sake of comparison Fuad and his guys took a GeForce 8800 GTX in a similar system and got around 10600 3DMark out of it.
Another interesting news post at Fudzilla is about the GPU and memory speeds of the NVIDIA 8600 GT. While it's faster brother the 8600 GTS clocks at 675 MHz core / 2000 MHz memory the GT ends up at 540 MHz core and 1400 MHz memory. Both cards are based on the G84, come with a 128 bit memory controller, GDDR3 memory and will be introduced to the market at April 17th.
Last but not least one note about the G100, NVIDIA's future generation graphics chip. This one will support Cuda 2 which uses unified shaders for its scientific calculations.Source: Fudzilla

Command and Conquer 3 Patch is near

Within a couple of hours the makers of Command and Conquer 3 will come up Patch 1.2 to fix certain issues. Electronic Arts realized the launch of the latest C&C sequel hasn't "been completely smooth" so to make everyone happy they are right now working hard to address reported problems like disconnects or freezes in game lobbies, the lobby refresh time and quirks with the built-in updater. So stay tuned and check the official C&C Tiberium Wars Website.Source: Official Command and Conquer 3 Forum

Graphics card tidbits

TSMC's 55nm Process and other Graphics card tidbits

The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) announced yesterday that they readied there 55nm process technology. While a shrink from 65nm to 55nm doesn't sound much it still brings significant cost savings to companies like ATI who order thousands of GPUs. Using a new process technology in general means you can get more chips out of the same silicon wafer - that alone makes the chips cheaper. The switch to 55nm is a so called 'direct shrink' which will not require a whole redesign of the chip architecture. TSMC says chips would run with 10 to 20% less power at the same speed which in turn could be read as a higher working frequency at the same power level.

R600 DDR 3 works at 1600 MHz

On the highly anticipated R600 card, Fudzilla expects the on-board DDR3 modules to work at a modest 1600 MHz. We must however keep in mind that the R600 has a 512 bit memory controller, and that it will therefore have some impressive bandwidth.

As we already know, the GDDR4 version will come later and should have a clock even higher than 2000 MHz milestone. The core of the R600 from ATI will tick away at 750 to 800 MHz.Source: Fudzilla

More X2900XTX watercooling details

Last Saturday we brought you the first pictures of a watercooling setup that it's obvious target is the OEM market. Now the VR-Zone reveals two more closeups of this particular card and a few more technical details. The stock air cooler will allow the user to clock the graphics core up to 850MHz, whereas the watercooled one will hit it's limit above that.

Source: VR-Zone

G84 and G86 NVIDIA chips late

NVIDIA's mainstream chips should be launched on April 17th, we were already reporting about G86 and G84 here. Now one of The Inquirers says NVIDIA got problems with the latest chip revision and therefore needs to respin it to get rid of the bugs. That will most likely mean that the their launch together with the 8800 Ultra in mid April will be postponed. But I am quite sure NVIDIA will still be first with it's direct R600 rival, AMD/ATI is again later then they admit.Source: TheInquirer

More Black Xbox 360 Claims

The rumours regarding a new black Xbox 360 have been fuelled even more by game magazine Game Informer. Despite the story appearing the April issue of the magazine, the editors are reassuring readers that the story is true and not a cruel April Fools joke on hardcore 360 fans. If the information is true, the new console will feature a 120GB hard drive and HDMI out (as well as being black of course) – but it does not include a HD DVD drive. The console should be priced at $479, and the article claims that the new larger hard drive will be available to current 360 owners at a price of under $200.

Source: Kotaku

Recently showed 8600 GTS scores are a fake

On last Sunday we reported about PCOnline who were showing the worlds first 8600GTS benchmark figures. A few guys nicknamed 'kemo6600' and 'Gam3Ra' over at the XtremeSystems (scroll down to post 15) point out there is something wrong with these figures and the pictures. Admittedly there is something wrong with the pictures in question. There are 4 of them in the thread at XtremeSystems and all of them have a ACDSee EXIF-tag in it (probably for some cropping reasons) besides one! Coincidentally this one picture is the one that states the 3DMark 06 score. If you look carefully at the provided picture you will see the different sub-category scores at the front center and the right window at the back. Look at the picture at the end of this post where I enframed the parts in red.
Anyway there is another way to bust this picture as a fake even if the numbers weren't manipulated. Check out the 3Dmark2006 Score Calculator by M3kk which calculates the final '06 score based on given SM02, SM03 and CPU scores in the same way the real deal arithmetics behind 3DMark06 are doing it. If you enter SM2.0 3249, SM3.0 2070 and CPU 937 you will get 5212 3DMarks only. Now if you calculate using the other values (SM2.0 2356, SM3.0 N/A, CPU 940) it comes up with 3902 3DMarks. The last picture I added show what happens when you combine the most convincing scores (SM2.0 2837, SM3.0 2070, CPU 940) - the 3DMark2006 Calculator v1.2 now renders 4598 3DMarks which is in fact nowhere close to the stated 5488 3DMarks.
You might wonder why I didn't link to the pictures of the source story. That is because the PCOnline is down at the moment and I would really be astounded if the story is still up by the time they go online again. The other reason is that our own picture-upload engine get's rid of the EXIF tags so our own article doesn't give any evidence.

Source: XtremeSystems

R600 is 80 nanometre

Fudzilla spoke with dozen of contacts and can now confirm that the R600 is a 80 nanometre chip. It is not 60 nanometre and it won't be 65 nanometre as going from 80 nanometre to 65 requires a complete redesign of the chip.

R600 was and is 80 nanometre and when it launches it will be 80 nanometre. Remember G80, GeForce 8800 series is 90 nanometre and it still runs great.

It looks like the R600 will be re-branded and probably cheaper than everyone expects but its very unlikely that we are waiting for G80 killer.

VR-Zone says that at the current moment, the R600 card scores no more than 200 points above the GeForce 8800 GTX in 3D Mark 06.Source: Fudzilla and VR-Zone

Ruby over at Youtube

Today in the morning I came across an unannounced Ruby R600 TechDemo uploaded to a YouTube Account. I was now very amazed that it's still there, maybe because of it's very shaky nature and the lack of details. It shows Ruby sitting in a Harrier Jumpjet-like aeroplane jumping out into a mountained, snow-covered landscape. As she rides her snowboard down the hill she get's attacked by strangers using something like a very powerful rocket launcher.
Anyway, I don't want to spoil too much. Watch it yourself.

Update: Hexus.TV has a slightly better version online. There you can see that the TechDemo is called 'Whiteout'.Source: YouTube

Intel Bearlake confirmed, more details released

Way back in October, we posted possible specifications of the new Intel "Bearlake" chipset. Well, Intel has finally confirmed this Bearlake chipset. There will be five variants. These are the X38, the P35, the G35, the G33, and finally the G31.
  • The X38 is designed to work with Core 2 Extreme processors, works with Intel's 45nm Penryn, will use PCI Express 2.0 technology, and "performance auto-tuning", which dynamically overclocks...everything. The X38 will run at an FSB of 1333 MHz, and can handle DDR3 RAM clocked similarly.
  • The P35 will handle all current generation Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad processors, but there is no word as to what else this thing can do.
  • The G35 is just like the P35, except with integrated DX10 graphics. The integrated graphics have a built in HDCP decoder and HDMI output, so that users can plug in an HD-DVD or Blu-Ray drive without worry.
  • The G33 is a slightly cut down version of the G35, but still has the impressive DX10 integrated graphics.
  • The G31 still has the integrated graphics, but is designed for the budget minded customer.
The P35 and G33 will arrive Q2 of this year, and every other Bearlake chipset will be released in Q3.Source: Reg Hardware
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