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AMD Announces Catalyst for Windows 8.1 Release Preview

With Microsoft readying a Release Preview of its upcoming Windows 8.1 operating system; AMD jumped in with a specialized Catalyst driver. Windows 8.1 features an upgraded display driver model, WDDM 1.3, which lets users take advantage of a few new features. GPUs based on AMD's Graphics CoreNext architecture will be supported by Windows 8.1 over WDDM 1.3, while older VLIW4 and VLIW5-based GPUs (Radeon HD 6000 series and older), will be supported over older WDDM 1.2 based drivers.

Windows 8.1 brings some enhancements to PC graphics, with support for Microsoft's own standardized wireless display technology; 48 Hz dynamic refresh rates for video playback, V-sync interrupt optimization, video conferencing acceleration, and a new instruction to the DirectX 11.1 API, named "tiled resources." Like the operating system itself, AMD's Windows 8.1 Preview Catalyst driver is a beta, and its use comes with no warranties. Microsoft expects to launch Windows 8.1 later this year, reportedly available as a free upgrade for current Windows 8 users.

DOWNLOAD: AMD Catalyst Windows 8.1 Preview Driver

Lists of AMD GPUs supported by WDDM 1.3 and WDDM 1.2 follow.

MSI Unveils Z87-GD65 Gaming Motherboard

In its 33rd year and as Asia's largest B2B (Business to Business) computer exhibition, COMPUTEX TAIPEI 2013 is kicking off on June 4. Today, the winning list of Best Choice Award, the official award of COMPUTEX TAIPEI, is unveiled. MSI's Z87-GD65 GAMING motherboard and Funtoro HD MOD (Media on Demand) vehicle infotainment system have proudly stood out from over 400 competitions. The only Golden Award winner in the IC & Components category, the Z87-GD65 GAMING motherboard literally sparkles in every way and proves MSI to be a true pioneer of mid-range/high-end motherboards.

The Best Choice Award has always focused on Functionality, Innovation and Market Potential as the main judging guideline. Bringing the Z87-GD65 GAMING to global gaming enthusiasts' attention, the Best Choice Golden Award also highlights the industrial and official affirmation toward MSI's technical innovation and design capabilities. Specifically designed for operators and passengers of long-distance coaches and high-end tour buses, the HD MOD System integrates infotainment and telematics in one pack and is clearly the top choice for multimedia entertainment on mass transportation.

AMD Welcomes Raja Koduri as Corporate Vice President, Visual Computing

AMD today announced that Raja Koduri, 44, has rejoined the company as corporate vice president, Visual Computing, reporting to Mark Papermaster, senior vice president and chief technology officer. In his new role, Koduri will have overall responsibility for driving AMD's innovation in visual and accelerated computing.

"Maintaining AMD's position as a leader in visual computing is the key to our long-term success. As one of the industry's foremost experts in developing leading-edge visual computing solutions, Raja brings exceptional vision and strength to AMD's world-class engineering leadership team," said Papermaster. "Given his past record of success, Raja will help AMD lead the way in visual and accelerated computing and ensure we continue developing the industry-leading graphics IP that forms the foundation for our future growth."

Current State and Future of AMD Radeon Graphics: Teleconference Transcript

You may have read our report from earlier today, covering the main points that AMD was trying to make in its recent teleconference with the European press (which includes us). While in the call, we were a little jolted by the choices of words some of AMD's executives used to describe their company's consumer graphics outlook for 2013, how they believe they can hold out for almost the entire year with little or no major updates to their product stack, and more interestingly, a few above-the-belt jabs at NVIDIA and its upcoming GeForce GTX Titan product.

The crux of AMD's emergency meeting with the press was to bust some misconceptions spread in the press over the last couple of weeks, to tell them a Graham's Number of times that they still hold the fastest single GPU on the planet, which powers the fastest graphics card there is (ASUS ARES II). The most ironic part of AMD's emergency meeting with the press was the one in which they called GeForce Titan NVIDIA's emergency/knee-jerk reaction to AMD's getting cozy with game developers, and netting some of the biggest PC game launches of the season for its Never Settle Reloaded bundle.

AMD Working on a Real GPU Dynamic Overclocking Technology

While digging through documentation for the latest version of AMD Display Library (ADL), we discovered evidence that AMD is working on a real GPU dynamic overclocking technology akin to NVIDIA's GPU Boost. Such a technology could manipulate GPU (and possibly memory) clock speeds, and voltages across multiple power states, taking into account processing load and temperatures. ADL allows third-party applications low-level interactions with AMD display drivers. Current generation Radeon graphics cards use Overdrive 5 and the feature-set it comes with, and so the new technology, along with Overdrive 6 could feature on upcoming generations of AMD GPUs.

Listed under Overdrive 6 capabilities, AMD documented three new definitions, one which indicates that a GPU's core/engine clock can be changed within a range (ADL_OD6_CAPABILITY_SCLK_CUSTOMIZATION), one that its memory clock can be changed within range (ADL_OD6_CAPABILITY_MCLK_CUSTOMIZATION), and one that monitors its activity/load (ADL_OD6_CAPABILITY_GPU_ACTIVITY_MONITOR). The three are ingredients of a dynamic OC technology in the works.

Club 3D Announces Radeon HD 7750 4GB and 1GB DDR3 Graphics Cards

Club 3D presents today its latest addition to the Radeon HD 7000 series, the Radeon HD 7750 4GB DDR3 and 1GB DDR3 graphic cards. The Radeon HD 7750 4GB DDR3 offers an incredible amount of frame buffer for those budget minded gamers.

Both cards utilize a custom cooler design with a single slot 50mm fan that ensures the card to remain cool at 57 ⁰C on average when gaming, extending the lifespan of the card and operate stable at high speed. The HD 7750 4GB also consumes 3W less power under load and is fully powered through the PCI Express interface, meaning it does not require an external power connector, offering more compatibility with older generation power supplies. Run games at full HD by upgrading from your old onboard graphic card and boost performance by up to 7x compared to previous generation Radeon graphic cards. Add more and faster memory and enhance your internet experience, watching online video's, photo and video editing has never been this smooth and fast, experience true speed with the Club 3D Radeon HD 7750 4GB DDR3.

AMD Updates Radeon HD 7950 to Thwart GeForce GTX 660 Ti

AMD is preparing to update the specifications of its Radeon HD 7950 graphics processor to make it more competitive in the sub-$400 market segment, particularly against NVIDIA's upcoming GeForce GTX 660 Ti graphics processor. The update is much like that of the Radeon HD 7750, which got its core frequency increased from 800 to 900 MHz in a specifications update. The company released a new BIOS ROM image file which works on all AMD reference design Radeon HD 7950 graphics cards, which implements the new specifications.

The new specifications sees the GPU core frequency increased to 850 MHz (from 800 MHz), and introduces PowerTune with Boost, which sends the GPU clock speed up to 925 MHz, when applications demand it. The memory frequency stays unchanged, at 1250 MHz, and so do the physical specifications of the GPU, such as stream processor, TMU, and ROP counts. All Radeon HD 7950 graphics cards manufactured from mid-August will feature the new specifications, prices will remain unchanged. If you're familiar with manually updating the BIOS, you can check it out (at your own risk) from our VGA BIOS Database. Set your card's BIOS selector switch to "1" (if available), and update the BIOS. It works only with AMD reference-design HD 7950 cards.

DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon HD 7950 Specifications Update BIOS

AMD Gaming Exec Departs Chip Maker for Rival NVIDIA

The executive overseeing Advanced Micro Devices Inc.'s (AMD) relationship with videogame-console makers has left the company to join rival NVIDIA, taking with him years of experience in the competitive field. Bob Feldstein, who joined AMD when the company acquired graphics-chip maker ATI in 2006, has taken on the role of vice president of technology licensing at NVIDIA. He most recently served as AMD's corporate vice president of business development and also led the company's Boston Design Center, which focuses on design engineering for AMD's various chips.Source: The Wall Street Journal

AMD Launches Next-Generation FirePro W600 Graphics Card

AMD today announced immediate availability of the AMD FirePro W600 professional graphics card, the company’s first professional graphics card to leverage AMD’s Graphics Core Next architecture and 28nm production technology, for use in high-resolution, content-rich, multi-screen display wall environments. With this launch, AMD is addressing a growing need for large, dynamic screens that are easily updated with new content.

“Whether we are checking flight times at the airport or watching the latest ads on massive screens in city squares, digital signage has quickly become an important and ubiquitous part of our lives,” said Matt Skynner, corporate vice president and general manager of AMD Graphics. “To enable these displays, the digital signage industry demands technology that can be regularly refreshed with new, feature-rich content. With the launch of the AMD FirePro W600 professional graphics card, AMD is helping advance the digital display wall industry by providing suppliers and developers with impressive display density, performance and exceptional value.”

AVADirect Releases AMD HD 7970M For Gaming Notebooks

AVADirect, a leading custom computer integrator, has begun offering the AMD HD 7970 mobile graphics card for sale on their website. AVADirect is one of the first outlets to offer the AMD HD 7970M in Clevo P150EM and P170EM gaming notebook models. AVADirect has already begun taking pre-orders and plans to ship out the notebooks with dedicated AMD HD 7970M graphics cards to expecting customers within 2-3 weeks.

As mobile graphics cards continue to shape the way gamers look at mobile solutions, such as NVIDIA's mobile GTX 670 and 675 graphics cards, AMD closely follows with the HD 7970 mobile graphics card solution. As it appears, from data previously leaked and officially released by AMD, the HD 7970 provides a considerable amount of performance over an NVIDIA GTX 580M SLI setup; this is an unbelievable increase in performance, especially with the 7970M being $120+ more expensive than a single GTX 675M. Cost to performance ratio is exactly where an enthusiast wants, and makes it easy to consider over current mobile NVIDIA solutions. Specifications for the AMD HD 7970M can be seen below.

TechPowerUp GPU-Z v0.6.0 Released

TechPowerUp released the latest version of GPU-Z, the PC enthusiast community's favorite graphics subsystem information and diagnostic utility, which gives you up to date information about your installed graphics hardware, and helps you monitor clock speeds, voltages, temperatures, and even exotic readings such as video memory usage and ASIC quality (on supported graphics cards). Version 0.6.0 introduces a host of new features, including refined support for upcoming NVIDIA Kepler architecture GPUs, such as GeForce GTX 680, and GeForce GT 6x0M; and the recently-launched AMD Radeon HD 7800 series.

GPU-Z also embraces an installer, which places shortcuts, and an uninstall entry. GPU-Z can very much also be used as a portable, standalone utility, without needing an installation (just choose not to install, and use it standalone instead). AMD altered a high-level API with its Catalyst 12.2 drivers, which GPU-Z conventionally uses to talk to the hardware. Those updating from older Catalyst versions to 12.2 won't see its effects on older GPU-Z versions, but those with Catalyst 12.2 "clean-installed", might. GPU-Z 0.6.0 addresses this issue, and should now work normally with systems running Catalyst 12.2 clean-installed. A large number of other changes were made with version 0.6.0.

DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp GPU-Z 0.6.0, TechPowerUp GPU-Z 0.6.0 ASUS ROG-Themed

SAPPHIRE Introduces HD 7970 Dual-X OC Edition

SAPPHIRE Technology has just release a new factory overclocked version of its high end graphics card based on the highly acclaimed graphics GCN (Graphics Core Next) architecture from AMD.

The SAPPHIRE HD 7970 OC Edition features SAPPHIRE’s new dual-extractor technology - Dual-X - a highly efficient multi-heatpipe cooler with dual fans providing quiet and very cool operation during normal operating conditions, and superb cooling performance even under extreme load. The HD 7970 from AMD is the most powerful single chip GPU ever built - it has a new internal structure with 32 compute units and a total of 2048 Stream processors. The SAPPHIRE HD 7970 OC Edition ships with a raised core clock speed of 950MHz, and 1425MHz for the memory. Its Dual BIOS switch allows users to select the higher performance settings of 1GHz core and 1450MHz memory, making the fastest card in its class. This setting also uses a more aggressive fan profile and raises the limits for maximum overclocking.

TechPowerUp GPU-Z v0.5.9 Released

TechPowerUp today released the latest version of GPU-Z, the popular graphics subsystem information and diagnostic utility. GPU-Z briefs you on the graphics hardware installed in the system, and lets you monitor clock speeds, voltages, temperatures, fan-speeds, and other information in real-time. The new version adds full-support for AMD's Radeon HD 7700 series "Cape Verde" GPUs (HD 7770 and HD 7750) that are bound for launch a little later this month. The new version also has an updated ASIC Quality calculation formula that makes reading on NVIDIA GPUs more reliable.

Other important updates include voltage monitoring support for Radeon HD 7970 and HD 7950; support for some rare GeForce GT 520 variants that are based on GF108, GeForce GTX 555 (OEM), GeForce 305M, and GeForce 610M; and more reliable memory size reading for AMD Radeon graphics cards with large memory sizes. Sensors now refresh in the background by default (and not just when the Sensors tab is in the foreground). The board ID is now displayed along with the BIOS version string.

DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp GPU-Z 0.5.9 | TechPowerUp GPU-Z 0.5.9 ASUS ROG-Themed

The complete change-log detailing even more updates follows.

First 7950 Listed for Retail

The first of many retail listings for the 7950 are up today thanks to the online distributer PROVANTAGE. Not much is known but the high retail price of $481.58. Time will tell if this is just the normal mark up for a pre-release item or if this is in fact retail. Ironically the picture they display is that of a ATI HD4850. The listed specs are as follows: HD 7950 3072MB DDR5 384BIT PCI Express DVI.

Source: PROVANTAGE

New Radeon Pictures Leaked: HD 7770

First pictures of AMD's mainstream card, HD 7770, have now been leaked online. This card is the first major upgrade to the HD 5770 in two years, since the HD 6770 was just a rebrand. It features the Cape Verde GPU, which replaces the Juniper GPU used in the HD 5770/HD 6770. The card looks somewhat different, with a large fan sitting on top of the GPU, blowing directly onto it and the card's length is the same as the HD 5770, at around 8.25 inches.

Radeon HD 7970 Raw Specs Leaked

If slide leaked on Orb-Hardware is to be believed we GPU consumers are in for a pretty big treat in the next month or so. The slide shown below states that the AMD 7970 will have a default core clock speed of 925MHz and a whopping 3 GB of GDDR5 memory.

It also sports a 3.5 TFLOPs precision floating point. Which would put it well beyond the NVIDIA flagship single GPU solution. The slide states the a ROP count of 32, against an earlier speculated count of 48. This could be because AMD may have delinked ROP clusters from memory bus. The cooler itself is under the trademark AMD black shroud so there is no way to see if it uses the rumored "vapor chamber" as seen in after market solutions.

Looking past all the beastly prowess of this slide one cannot help but think about power draw. The "leaked" slide states the 7970 will have a peak power draw of 300 W and an idle draw of 3 W. We will have to wait for review to see if any of these amazing stats are true.

Source: OBR Hardware

AMD Catalyst 11.11 WHQL Driver Suite Released

Well, this 11.11 release doesn't list any performance improvements unfortunately. It contains just one new unexciting feature and a few fixes, but still has quite a long list of known issues. The new feature is Adobe Flash Player 11 hardware accelerated graphics support, including the A-series and E-series APUs. Fixes include things like Rage texture corruption, bezel compensation working correctly in Far Cry 2 and a screen tearing fix for displays in clone mode. Therefore, if your setup is working fine, there's no rush to update to this driver in case it breaks something. Note the following CAP 1 profile updates added to this release:

- Battlefield 3: Tweaks to the CrossFire profile
- Global Ops: Commando Libya: Improves CrossFire performance
- Driver San Francisco: Disables CrossFire

DOWNLOAD: AMD Catalyst 11.11 WHQL for Windows 7/Vista 64-bit, Windows 7/Vista 32-bit, Windows XP 32-bit, Windows XP 64-bit

DOWNLOAD: Release Notes

The Technology Behind AMD's New Liquid Cooling Based Heatsinks

Following our article yesterday about AMD using new high performance liquid cooling technology for their upcoming 7900-series graphic cards, TechPowerUp can now bring you a detailed insight into how this technology works, which has been developed by Vapro Inc. The following slides will help to explain this technology.

By using liquid cooling based heatsinks, the following performance advantages are achieved: improvement of thermal resistance, handling of high heat flux and power and easy to manufacture.

AMD Catalyst 11.10 WHQL Released

AMD today released its latest official version of Catalyst, a software suite that provides drivers for AMD/ATI Radeon graphics processors, A-Series APUs, 7-series and 8-series integrated graphics, and related system software. Catalyst 11.10 WHQL launched today has essentially the same change log as the 11.10 Preview 3 driver, except that it's WHQL-signed. Catalyst 11.10 WHQL is the driver to have when playing some of the latest titles such as Battlefield 3 and Rage.

Catalyst 11.10 WHQL brings in a few new features, too, such as support for 5x1 Eyefinity, with maximum resolution increased to 16000 x 16000 pixels on Radeon HD 6000 series GPUs, and in DirectX 11 applications, and improved Vision Engine Control Center / Catalyst Control Center applications (VECC is installed for A-Series APUs and Chipset IGPs, CCC is installed for discrete Radeon GPUs).

DOWNLOAD: AMD Catalyst 11.10 WHQL for Windows 7 and Vista 64-bit | Windows 7 and Vista 32-bit

AMD Radeon Gets Battlefield 3 Ready, Too

Just hours after NVIDIA released its Battlefield 3 optimised GeForce driver suite, AMD is ready with a similar piece of software of its own, the AMD Catalyst 11.10 Preview. Preview drivers are essentially BETA hotfix drivers. The new Catalyst software suite makes your ATI/AMD Radeon graphics card (that meets minimum/recommended requirements) optimized for Battlefield3. Its changelog follows:
  • Improves performance in Battlefield 3 Open Beta release for both non-Anti-Aliasing, and application enabled Anti-Aliasing cases on the AMD Radeon HD 6000 and AMD Radeon HD 5000 Series for single GPU configurations
  • Enables support for Eyefinity 5x1 display (portrait and landscape) configurations using the AMD Radeon HD 6000 and AMD Radeon HD 5000 Series
  • Vision Engine Control Center: User Interface enhancements have been implemented for the CrossfireX, GPU Overdrive, and Information Center pages.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Catalyst 11.10 Preview Driver Suite

Thermaltake Introduces Chaser MK-I LCS Case with Liquid Cooling System

Thermaltake, being the industry pioneer brand in thermal solutions, carrying the corporate vision of “building Thermaltake Technology into a cultural brand for the enjoyment of entertainment, e-Sports, technology, and lifestyle” and continues to drive toward the corporate mission of “delivering the perfect user experience” for all man kinds. Beginning of this year Thermaltake has sent the Chaser MK-I with air cooling system (ACS) out on a mission into the universe for all e-Sports enthusiasts to counteract all heat issues.

This Fall, the new Chaser MK-I returned to the base with its indestructible form and dynamic appearance which is ready to be equipped with an alternative thermal solution - the liquid cooling system (LCS) and be transformed into the new Chaser MK-I LCS to serve a greater good for the most discerning PC gaming purists.

Gigabyte GA-Z68-UD3H-B3 Motherboard Pictured

It is becoming increasingly clear now, that Gigabyte will have two parallel lines of socket LGA1155 motherboards based on the same Intel Z68 B3 chipset, one that does away with display connectivity to make room for other ports and is geared for discrete graphics, while the other has display connectivity at the expense of additional ports on the rear panel, and also gives you everything you'd expect from Z68, including overclocking. In mid-April, pictures of GA-Z68-UD3P-B3 surfaced, which is a motherboard of the first kind explained above. Now, there's deck of pictures of the GA-Z68-UD3H-B3, its counterpart of the second kind.

The GA-Z68-UD3H-B3 features a much lighter CPU VRM, consisting of 7 phases, against 14 on the UD3P. It gives you the same expansion slot layout consisting of two PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (x8/x8 when both are populated), supporting ATI CrossFire and NVIDIA SLI, three PCI-E x1, and two PCI. Gigabyte made full use of the display connectivity options that come with Sandy Bridge, there is one each of DVI, D-Sub, HDMI, and DisplayPort. Audio is at the helm of Realtek ALC889 8+2 channel HD audio CODEC, with optical SPDIF output.

AMD Catalyst 11.5 WHQL, 11.5a Hotfix Driver Suite Released

It's not even 15th of the month, and AMD already released its monthly update of the Catalyst driver suite, which is normally reserved for the last week of the month. Catalyst 11.5 WHQL doesn't come with any performance enhancements as such, but apparently AMD found that a certain feature-enhancement in HydraVision was important enough to warrant a WHQL release. HydraGrid feature found in HydraVision is now aware of custom (user-created) Bezels. There's now also a "Automatic Grid" option that aligns to the user defined Eyefinity display layout.

The rather dull WHQL release is backed by a Hotfix release that comes with a lot more outstanding issues. Catalyst 11.5a Hotfix update includes fixes concerning quality of videos GPU-transcoded from H.264 clips to MPEG2 Blu-ray video, intermittent cursor lag, performance and quality enhancements for the upcoming game Brink, and flickering noted by Radeon HD 6600 series graphics cards with DDR3 memory running in DX9.

DOWNLOAD: AMD Catalyst 11.5 WHQL for Windows 7/Vista 64-bit, Windows 7/Vista 32-bit, Windows XP 32-bit, Windows XP 64-bit

DOWNLOAD: AMD Catalyst 11.5a Hotfix Update

Gigabyte Readies Feature-Packed Z68 Micro-ATX Motherboard

Among a large selection of new Intel Z68-based socket LGA1155 motherboards taking shape at Gigabyte, is a cracker of a micro-ATX motherboard called GA-Z68MX-UD2H. Based on the Cougar Point B3 Z68 chipset that combines the overclocking capabilities of P67 and integrated display features of H67, the GA-Z68MX-UD2H squeezes in as many features as one can onto the 240x240 mm PCB. The LGA1155 socket is powered by a 7-phase VRM, and is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots for dual-channel DDR3 memory.

Expansion slots include three PCI-Express 2.0 x16. The first and third are wired to the LGA1155 socket, with electrical configurations of x16/NC or x8/x8, depending on if the third slot is populated. A PCI-E x1 and another x16 slot separates the two, creating room for graphics cards with dual-slot coolers on the first slot. The second x16 slot is electrical x4, and is wired to the Z68 PCH along with the x1 slot. Both NVIDIA SLI and ATI CrossFire are supported.

ASUS M5A Series Socket AM3+ Motherboard Lineup Detailed

Here is the complete socket AM3+ motherboard first-wave of ASUS, the M5A series, short and sweet. Based entirely on AMD 9-series chipset, including 9-series southbridge chips, the first-wave caters to gamer, performance, and enthusiast market segments, and only includes those chipset models that rely on discrete graphics (leaving out AMD 980G, 990GX). The lineup even includes models from ASUS' gamer/enthusiast-oriented Republic of Gamers (ROG) family, and The Ultimate Force (TUF) family.

The lineup starts with three models based on AMD 970 + SB950 chipset, which is a single discrete graphics card platform. The M5A97 is the entry-point, it bases itself entirely on what the chipset offers, plus two USB 3.0 ports. Moving up is M5A97 Pro, which has everything its little sibling has, plus a stronger 6+2 phase Digi+ VRM, and two eSATA ports. The M5A97 EVO, which was pictured a little while ago. This has everything the Pro variant has, plus two front-panel USB 3.0 ports, and FireWire.
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