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Sapphire HD 7950 3 GB Pictured

Pictures of the Sapphire HD 7950 3 GB graphics card have been leaked on the Guru3D forum by user asder00. No further details or specifications were given other than "Product name: Sapphire HD7950 3G GDDR5 PCI-E HDMI/DVI-I/DUAL MINI DP OC VERSION".

As can be seen by the cooler, this is a non-reference design - at least for the cooler. The cooler is coloured black, has a very modern, sharp, angular and somewhat futuristic look to it and sports two large Sapphire-branded fans. Of course, it has heatpipes and five are visible. The design of this cooler suggests that it should work quietly and cool efficiently. Connectivity is aided and abetted by one DVI port, one full size HDMI port and two mini-DisplayPorts, like on its bigger brother the HD 7970. Moving on to the box, one can see that it has a 384-bit bus and 3 GB GDDR5, again like the HD 7970. The box also shows a logo with "OverClock" written boldly in white on it. The inevitable attractive lady box art in this instance has her wearing a grey top, a partial face mask and a helmet from what looks like the wars of yesteryear, plus she is carrying a rifle over her shoulder.

Laptop Prototype Uses Eye and Keyboard Combi Control For Fast Input With Windows 8

c|net has tried out a laptop prototype from Tobii at the Consumer Electronics Show, that can be controlled with the eyes - and it works. The reporter, Rafe Needleman, was initially sceptical, as the eyes are only designed for input not output, but it turned out to be very fast and intuitive for him. It works by having the user press the Windows key, look at a tile and then release the key to activate the tile. The use of the keypress prevents one's eyes, which tend to dart around in normal use, from scrambling input to the laptop. As the user's gaze darts over the screen, the system gives an indication as to which tile is currently selected by the user's gaze to ensure accurate tile selection by the user.

To achieve this feat, the modified laptop uses two infra red emitters and two special IR cameras along the Windows 8 customer preview released a while back. They use "the reflective point of the retina, plus the glint off the cornea" Rafe was told. From this, the computer builds a 3D model of the user's gaze to work out where they are looking on the screen. Rafe concluded, "I did not expect to like it, but I did. It is intuitive to use, and very fast. Tobii has done a good job of making your glances into workable input signals."

Microsoft Works On Star Wars-Style 3D 360-degree Holographic Interactive Displays

No, you're not dreaming. The flickery 360-degree 3D displays envisaged in the Star Wars movies now exists as a prototype project from Microsoft. Called the Vermeer Interactive Display, the research project combines Microsoft's Kinect motion sensing technology to allow you to directly 'touch' and interact with the virtual image being projected, which Microsoft describes as a '3D volumetric/light field display'. In essence, it works by creating an image between two facing parabolic mirrors, which then creates the optical illusion of a colour 3D image floating above them, which can be viewed all the way round. So, could this technology eventually be applied to PC gaming giving an immersive interactive experience not seen before? What kind of graphics power would be needed to drive it? The video below gives a fascinating demonstration of this new technology.

LG Unveils Stylish New 3D Glasses for 2012

LG Electronics (LG) announced today that its newest collection of 3D glasses, including a pair designed by renowned eyewear designer Alain Mikli, will be introduced in the first quarter of 2012. The new 3D glasses -- the F310, the clip-on F320 and the Alain Mikli F360 -- are lighter and more comfortable to wear while upgraded design features such as curved lenses and clean frame structure have transitioned 3D glasses from burdensome requirements to stylish fashion accessories.

"Compared to active shutter glasses, LG's 3D glasses are far more comfortable to wear and much more affordable, making it possible for large groups and entire families to watch 3D programs and movies together," said Havis Kwon, President and CEO of the LG Home Entertainment Company. "LG is addressing two of the biggest barriers to 3D acceptance head-on and we're confident consumers will react favorably to our strategy in the coming year."

Christmas Special: The PC Technology of 2011

Welcome to the TechPowerUp 2011 PC technology Christmas special. We hope that you will enjoy reading it while tucking into your turkey, Christmas presents and a little too much wine... In this article, we go through the technology of 2011 that has had the most significance, the most impact and was generally the most talked about. It's not necessarily the best tech of 2011 which is the most significant though, since lemons can be just as significant as the ground-breakers in how they fail to deliver - and the backlash that goes with it.

January: Intel Sandy Bridge i5 & i7

Released on January 9th, the new Intel Core i5 & i7 processors were based on Intel's second generation Core architecture built on a 32 nm production process (HEXUS review). They included an IGP (Integrated Graphics Processor) physically on the same piece of silicon along with HyperThreading. These new dual and quad core processors soundly beat all previous generations of Intel processors in terms of processing performance, heat, power use, features and left AMD in the dust. Therefore, Intel badly needed some competition from AMD and unless you have been living under a rock, you will know how that turned out in October with the launch of Bulldozer. Sandy Bridge was a sound win and is generally considered to be the only architecture worth considering at this point. The i5-2500K is currently at the sweet spot of price/performance. It comes at a stock speed of 3.3 GHz, but typically overclocks to an amazing 4.5 - 5 GHz with a decent air cooler and without too much difficulty in getting there. Models in the budget i3 range were released at various times later. See this Wikipedia article for details.

LG and Intel Sign Strategic Alliance for Intel Wireless Display Technology (WiDi)

LG Electronics (LG) and Intel entered into a strategic alliance to adopt and jointly promote Intel Wireless Display (WiDi) technology. Intel WiDi will be embedded into next year's LG CINEMA 3D Smart TVs, making them the first in the TV industry to feature Intel WiDi technology. Intel WiDi is a wireless connectivity inter-face which allows for instant, high-definition viewing of content stored in notebooks and other external mobile devices on large screen TVs, projectors or monitors.

"Through this strategic alliance, CINEMA 3D Smart TV users will be able to access a wider variety of content in a more convenient manner," said Seog-ho Ro, Senior Vice President of LG Home Entertainment Company's TV Business Unit. "Intel WiDi will be one of several features that will enhance the user convenience of our CINEMA 3D Smart TVs, further differentiating our products from the competition."

DDR4 May Use 3D Stacking Technology

Micron Technology, one of the biggest DRAM companies, has announced that it's working the JEDEC standards organization for computer memory, to standardize a new DRAM interface and die-stacking technology called three-dimensional stacking, or 3DS, which may be incorporated into the upcoming DDR4 standard. X-bit labs has a nice summary of how 3DS works:
The idea behind 3DS is to use specially designed and manufactured master-and-slave DRAM die, with only the master die interfacing with the external memory controller. 3DS technology uses optimized DRAM die, single DLL per stack, reduced active logic, single shared external I/O, improved timing, and reduced load to the external world. This combination of features can improve timing, bus speeds, and signal integrity while lowering both power consumption and system overhead for next-generation modules, according to Micron.

Intel Has 14 nm Test Circuits In The Lab, Limited Teaser Info Released

Nordic Hardware has scored an exclusive interview with Pat Bliemer, Managing Director of Intel Northern Europe to discuss the technology following on from the 22 nm one used in the upcoming Ivy Bridge processors. Unfortunately, Bliemer was light on the technical details of this technology and didn't say when it would see the light of day, except to say that it will make fuller use of the Tri-Gate tech being used in the Ivy Bridge processors and that test circuits are running.
We need to keep going and you can trust me that in our labs we actually have the next generation after 22nm running, so we need to keep going.[...]I cannot really disclose more about that other than that in a laboratory-environment, absolutely we do have the path, our engineers do have the path to actually go and produce 14nm products. There are many variables that you can play with of course it is not the right name for it and the engineers would not like it when I say play, that you can influence to actually go and stay to that model. And I think the breakthrough we had now with the 3D metal gates, just the design of the gate will actually allow for much more efficient thermals and power.
Back in July, we looked even further ahead and reported that Intel aims to have 10 nm-based processors by 2018 and that the 14 nm tech is due for release around 2014. Watch this space.

IBM to Produce Micron's HMC in Debut of First Commercial, 3D Chip-Making Capability

IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Micron Technology, Inc. announced today that Micron will begin production of a new memory device built using the first commercial CMOS manufacturing technology to employ through-silicon vias (TSVs). IBM's advanced TSV chip-making process enables Micron's Hybrid Memory Cube (HMC) to achieve speeds 15 times faster than today's technology.

Micron's Hybrid Memory Cube features a stack of individual chips connected by vertical pipelines or "vias," shown above. IBM's new 3-D manufacturing technology, used to connect the 3D micro structure, will be the foundation for commercial production of the new memory cube.

IBM will present the details of its TSV manufacturing breakthrough at the IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting on December 5 in Washington, DC.

Ivy Bridge Official Benchmarks – Markedly Better Performance Than Sandy Bridge

Previous preliminary reports have suggested that the forthcoming Ivy Bridge CPUs will have single threaded performance on par with the existing Sandy Bridge CPUs and will mainly deliver improvements to power consumption and integrated graphics - nothing for PC enthusiasts to get excited about. However, in leaked documents sent to partners, Intel have now revealed official performance figures for IB and they look rather good. They've produced a raft of benchmarks, which reveal improvements such as 56% in ArcSoft Media Expresso, 25% in Excel 2010 and a 199% gain in the 3D Mark Vantage GPU benchmark. Unfortunately, they haven't released any benchmarks based on high performance 3D games, but it's probably safe to say that they will be similarly improved. Now, on to the benchmarks, which compare their new 3.4 GHz i7-3770 (4 cores + HT) with the current 3.4 GHz i7-2600, also with 4 cores + HT:

NVIDIA GeForce 290.36 Beta Drivers Released

The latest beta drivers and the first in the 290 series have been released by NVIDIA today, supporting all graphics cards since the venerable 6-series. Their main new feature are official support for enabling ambient occlusion settings in the control panel separately for specific games and enabling NVIDIA Surround on the new X79 SLI-certified motherboards. Ambient occlusion (AO) is settable for uber-popular games The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. So, what does AO do? We'll let Andrew Burns of NVIDIA explain:
If you're unfamiliar with Ambient Occlusion, it is most easily described as a way to make in-game shadowing more realistic, and therefore better.
What he doesn't say of course, is how it kills your frame rate, especially on lower end hardware. Anyway, there's all the usual goodies in this release: 3D Vision game profiles for games such as MW3, Diablo 3 & LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 (yes really). There's a HD audio update and nine fixes too, including one for random flickering of the Windows boot logo as it's loading or fading away and a fix for the mouse cursor flickering and shaking in games such as Crysis 2 & Deus Ex when SLI is enabled when using 3DTV Play. The NVIDIA product release page is here and they have a snazzy-looking driver selector here. The release notes follow.

Ivy Bridge Early Sneak Performance Peek: Any Faster Than Sandy Bridge?

Intel's Ivy Bridge line of processors are not due for release until spring 2012, but it looks like Chinese website Coolaler has scored a sneak peak at the performance level of Intel's 22 nm Ivy Bridge platform by testing an engineering sample of a quad core CPU. The screenshot shows CPU-Z & Task Manager (no HyperThreading) readouts, while the AIDA64 Cache & Memory benchmark has been run. The CPU used is a 2 GHz sample as shown by the photo, which CPU-Z reports as running at its 2.4 GHz turbo boost speed (20% overclock) on a Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD7-B3 motherboard. Rough and ready verdict: about the same speed as the current Sandy Bridge, but with a significantly enhanced northbridge and graphics core. The AIDA64 scores are actually slightly lower than the current SB scores, but this is likely because the CPU is running unsupported and unoptimized due to a mobo BIOS that's not made for it and a benchmark that cannot measure its true performance. Note the memory speeds, which were run fast at 2134 MHz 6-9-6-24 CR2, further indicating lack of optimization, since these timings suggest somewhat better performance than what was measured.

DisplayLink Chip Powers Japan’s First USB 3.0 Graphics Adapter from I-O DATA

DisplayLink, the leading provider of technology for virtual and USB-connected computing, and I-O DATA DEVICE (www.iodata.com) today announced the availability of the I-O DATA USB-RGB3/D USB 3.0 to DVI display adapter. Incorporating the DisplayLink DL-3100 chip for connectivity and virtual graphics, it is the first USB 3.0 enabled display adapter to ship in Japan.

"And this is as true in Japan as any other technology-embracing market."

Featuring the robust DisplayLink 3.0 video compression and support for resolutions up to 2048 x 1152, including 1080p, even the newest notebooks, netbooks and PCs can enjoy the benefits of multi-screen computing. And with the throughput of SuperSpeed USB 3.0, those monitors will display high-performance, full-screen HD video, 3D games, rich 2D graphics and multi-channel audio.

NVIDIA SLI & Intel Core I7 Extreme Ed. CPUs Power World's Fastest Desktop Gaming PCs

NVIDIA today announced that system builders worldwide are now shipping the fastest PC gaming platforms ever built, thanks in part to NVIDIA SLI technology and the just-released Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition processors and X79 chipset-based motherboards.

The combination of NVIDIA SLI technology -- which allows for multiple GPUs to run on a single PC -- and new X79-based motherboards allow gamers to customize their PC experience with up to four NVIDIA GeForce GTX GPUs, including the GeForce GTX 580 and GTX 570, the world's fastest DX11 GPUs. Licensed by the world's leading motherboard manufacturers -- including Intel, ASUS, ASRock, EVGA, Foxconn, Gigabyte and MSI, SLI technology is crucial for playing this year's hottest graphics-intensive games, such as the recently released Battlefield 3 and upcoming Batman: Arkham City with detail, resolution and immersion settings cranked up.

The New EVGA Dual GTX 560 Ti That Thinks It's A GTX 585

EVGA has just announced a new dual GPU card based on the GF114 GPU - check out the product launch page here and the product page here. If their performance graph on that launch page is accurate, then the card is around 30% faster than a GTX 580 when running the Unigene Heaven benchmark. The output panel contains three DVI connectors for NVIDIA 3D Surround, along with a mini HDMI port. The cooler has three fans, which should make for a well-cooled and reasonably quiet card. The marketing blurb says:
Introducing the EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 2Win
It may not be called a GTX 585, but it's the next best thing. This card harnesses the power of two EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti GPU's for blistering fast DirectX 11 performance, including tessellation performance that destroys the competition. Experience a whole new level of interactive gaming and combine up to three displays off a single card for the ultimate in 3D entertainment, or disable Surround and combine up to four displays for maximum productivity. With these features and more, the EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 2Win gives you double the GPU's and double the win!
Translated, this means that your life isn't worth living without one of these babies in your rig. Apparently.

Are Improving Integrated Graphics Slowly Killing Off Discrete Graphics Cards?

Intel started the trend of improving integrated graphics with their second generation LGA1155 socket Core i3, i5 & i7 line of processors. Depending on the model, these processors sport integrated HD2000 or HD3000 graphics right on the processor die, which nowadays give acceptable performance for low-end gaming and can play Full HD 1080p video perfectly. This trend is increasing with the upcoming Ivy Bridge processors, which will be able to support a massive 4096 x 4096 pixel display, as we reported here. AMD now also have equivalent products with their Llano-based A-series processors. So, where does this leave discrete graphics cards? Well, the low end market is certainly seeing reduced sales, as there really isn't enough of a performance difference nowadays to always warrant an upgrade from an IGP. As integrated graphics improve further, one can see how this will hurt sales of higher end graphics cards too. The problem is that the bulk of the profit comes not from the top-end powerhouse graphics cards, but from the low to mid-end cards which allow these companies to remain in business, so cannibalizing sales of these products to integrated graphics could make high-end graphics cards a much more niche product and crucially, much more expensive with to boot.

ViewSonic Introduces New Ultra-fast 3D LED Display

ViewSonic Corp., a leading global provider of computing, consumer electronics and communications solutions, today expanded its 3D display leadership, announcing the immediate availability of its V3D231 LED monitor.

This 23-inch3D-Ready LED monitor features an ultra-fast 2 ms video response time, making it perfect for enjoying a crystal clear 3D gaming and video experience. Paired with a native 1920x1080 full HD resolution and 20,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, users can expect great color accuracy and picture detail, making for unsurpassed 3D image quality.

Guru3D Has MSI Afterburner 2.2.0 Beta 8 Up For Grabs

Today we release an updated Beta revision of Afterburner, this application successfully secured the leading position on graphics card utilities. We're happy to see MSI Afterburner is leading the overclock applications. MSI Afterburner 2.2.0 Beta 8 is ready.
There's quite an extensive change list too, including things like faster startup and unlocking of additional hidden video capture formats. Go get it here.

In Development: Full-On, High Performance 3D Gaming Right In Your Web Browser

Mozilla are developing a full-on 3D game engine for their Firefox browser. It looks like having a viable high performance game engine built right into the browser could allow first person shooter type games to reach a much wider audience and possibly even raise the bar for integrated graphics - we're already seeing this with the upcoming Sandy Bridge E processors. The project is called Paladin, which is developing the Gladius 3D gaming engine. To help test it, a basic 3D game, RescueFox has been prototyped, although that's not going to be developed further, but forking is welcomed. We'll let the Mozilla development blog take it away from here.

AMD Releases Catalyst 11.9 WHQL

Here's the latest Radeon Catalyst driver suite for all you Radeon graphics card fans! It has one major new feature:
Enables AMD HD 3D technology support on DisplayPort panels, such as the Samsung 750 and 950 series 3D displays
which sounds very cool and is begging to be reviewed and benchmarked, plus quite a few fixes:

LG Announces 3D-Capable XNote A530 Performance Notebook

LG announced its first 3D-capable notebook, the XNote A530. Two of its biggest selling points are the 15-inch LED backlit display that's capable of 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution, and stereoscopic 3D webcam, that uses two individual cameras to build a stereo 3D video stream, backed by LG's software. The XNote A530 is powered by "Sandy Bridge" 2nd Generation Intel Core i7 processor and NVIDIA GeForce GT 555M graphics. A Korean press release also mentions that the notebook will back 3D PT software, that allows users to make stereo 3D presentations that can be displayed using 3D-capable displays and projectors. The company did not announce pricing and availability details.

LG Leading The Way In Glasses-Free 3D

LG Electronics (LG) today unveiled the world's first glasses-free monitor utilizing eye-tracking technology to maintain an optimal 3D image from a range of viewing angles. The 20-inch D2000 monitor was developed as a fully func-tional entertainment display capable of reproducing games, movies and images in all their realistic glory.

"With a full line-up of 3D TVs, laptops, projectors and smartphones, LG Electronics is by far and away the industry leader in all things 3D." said Si-hwan Park, Vice President of the Monitor Division at LG's Home Entertainment Company. "LG's position has always been that 3D will and must eventually function without glasses. The D2000 is a look at what the future has in store."

Toshiba Announces Qosmio F750 Glasses-Free 3D Laptop

Toshiba UK today announces the launch of the Qosmio F750 3D - a revolutionary new laptop with the ability to display mesmerizing 3D images without the need for 3D glasses. The Qosmio F750 3D can also display a combination of 2D and 3D images on screen at the same time, while a range of powerful, high-performance multimedia features ensures the laptop is perfect for even the most demanding tasks.

The Qosmio F750 3D is designed for those looking for the ultimate 3D experience. Like the world's first glasses-free 3D television - the Toshiba REGZA GL1 - the Qosmio F750 3D uses a special lenticular 3D screen to give users the freedom to experience all the benefits of 3D entertainment, without the restrictions of having to wear 3D glasses. Glasses-free 3D technology adds a truly immersive element, perfect for experiencing 3D in a more natural and comfortable way, particularly for those that may already require prescription glasses. The 39.6cm (15.6") screen also offers Full HD resolution for clear, vivid images, while a 120Hz refresh rate eliminates blur or ghosting with the fast moving images seen in action films and games.

Mitsubishi Intros New 3D-ready DiamondCrysta 23-inch Monitor

Japanese display maker Mitsubishi released its latest addition to the DiamondCrysta series, the RDT233WX-3D. This 23-inch LED-backlit LCD monitor with stereoscopic 3D capabilities uses an in-plane switching (IPS) panel that can provide 178°/178° viewing angles. With full-HD resolution (1920 x 1080), the panel features response time of 3.8 ms (GTG), a honest-sounding 5,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio (1,000:1 static contrast), and its display inputs include HDMI 1.4, DVI, and D-Sub.

The Mitsubishi DiamondCrysta RDT233WX-3D features stereo 3D support, and bundles a pair of 3D glasses; Giga Clear II image enhancement engine that adjusts various image parameters dynamically to give out the best image quality; and PIP (picture-in-picture) function. 2W stereo speakers are embedded. Its stand is designed to allow height and tilt adjustments. Slated for release by the end of May, the Mitsubishi DiamondCrysta RDT233WX-3D is expected to be priced at 52,800 JPY (US $645).

Toshiba Intros the First Glasses-free 3D Laptop Able to Simultaneously Display 2D, 3D

Toshiba Corporation today unveiled "dynabook Qosmio T851/D8CR", the world's first glasses-free 3D notebook PC able to display 3D and 2D content at the same time on one screen. The new PC will be available in the Japanese market from late July.

Dynabook Qosmio T851/D8CR employs Toshiba's distinctive 3D Window technology to realize the world's first glasses-free 3D portable PC able to simultaneously display 3D and 2D content in separate windows in a single screen. Users can watch high-quality 3D images or enjoy 3D games in one window without any need for wearing dedicated glasses or installing a dedicated panel over the display, while at the same time working, browsing the internet or sending e-mail in another window.
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