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AMD A-Series APUs Tested Against Sandy Bridge CPUs at Gaming on IGP

What happens when you pit Intel's "Visually Smart" Sandy Bridge processors against Radeon-enriched AMD Fusion A-Series accelerated processing units? They do terribly at gaming on integrated graphics. Surprise! That is notwithstanding the fact that AMD is pitching its A-Series Fusion APUs to be a lot more than CPUs with embedded GPUs, they're pitched to be processors that make lower-mainstream graphics pointless, and to alter the software ecosystem to be more GPGPU intensive, so applications could benefit from the over 500 GFLOPs of computation power the 400 stream processor DirectX 11 GPU brings to the table.

A leaked presentation slide shows AMD's performance projections for the A-Series GPU, tests included GPU-heavy DirectX 10 titles such as Crysis Warhead and Borderlands; as well as DirectX 11 ready titles such as Dirt 2. AMD's quad-core A8-3850, A8-3650 and A8-3450 were included alongside Intel's dual-core Sandy Bridge Core i3-2100, and quad-core Core i5-2300, Core i5-2500K. The Atom-competitive E350 Zacate dual-core was also in the comparision, perhaps to show that it is nearly as good as Intel's much higher segment Core series processors at graphics.

GF100 512 Core Graphics Card Tested Against GeForce GTX 480

NVIDIA seems to have overcome initial hiccups with the GF100 graphics processor, and could release a new graphics card that makes use of all 512 CUDA cores, and 64 TMUs on the GPU. The GeForce GTX 480 was initially released as a top SKU based on the GF100, with 480 out of the 512 CUDA cores enabled. What NVIDIA calls the new SKU is subject to some speculation. While GPU-Z screenshots show that the 512 core model has the same device ID (hence the same name, GeForce GTX 480), leading us to believe that this is a specifications update for the same SKU à la GeForce GTX 260 (216 SP), it seems possible that the release-grade models could carry a different device ID and name.

Expreview carried out a couple of tests on the 512 core "GTX 480" graphics card, and compared it to the 480 core model that's out in the market. NVIDIA GeForce 258.96 drivers were used. The 512 core card got a GPU Score of 10,072 points compared to 9,521 points of the 480 core card, in 3DMark Vantage Extreme preset. The additional TMUs showed an evident impact on the texture fillrate, 41.55 GTexel/s for the 512 core card against 38.82 GTexel/s for the 480 core card.

More GeForce GTX 465 Details Surface

More details have surfaced about NVIDIA's upcoming GPU which is on the low-end of the GeForce GTX 400 series, the GTX 465. Chinese website published some lesser known specifications about the GPUs, which pieced together with known details more or less completes the picture. The GTX 465 has not four, but five streaming multiprocessors (SMs) disabled from the GF100 core, yielding 352 CUDA cores (against the earlier known number of 384). With a 256-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface, the GPU has 32 out of 48 ROPs enabled, and makes use of 1 GB of memory.

Out of the few benchmarks the GTX 465 was put through, it scored 5488 points in the eXtreme preset of 3DMark Vantage, which is roughly 20% less than what a GTX 470 would manage. It is said to have outperformed the ATI Radeon HD 5870 in Far Cry 2, while was slower than Radeon HD 5830 in Crysis Warhead. The GeForce GTX 465 will be launched on the 3rd of June, at the Computex 2010 event.


Intel IGPs Use Murky Optimisations for 3DMark Vantage

Apart from being the industry's leading 3D graphics benchmark application, 3DMark has had a long history of 3D graphics hardware manufacturers cheating with their hardware using application-specific optimisations against Futuremark's guidelines to boost 3DMark scores. Often, this is done by drivers detecting the 3DMark executable, and downgrading image quality, so the graphics processor has to handle lesser amount of processing load from the application, and end up with a higher performance score. Time and again, similar application-specific optimisations have tarnished 3DMark's credibility as an industry-wide benchmark.

This time around, it's neither of the two graphics giants in the news for the wrong reasons, it's Intel. Although the company has a wide consumer base of integrated graphics, perhaps the discerning media user / very-casual gamer finds it best to opt for integrated graphics (IGP) solutions from NVIDIA or AMD. Such choices rely upon reviews evaluating the IGPs performance at accelerating video (where it's common knowledge that Intel's IGPs rely heavily on the CPU for smooth video playback, while competing IGPs fare better at hardware-acceleration), synthetic and real-world 3D benchmarks, among other application-specific tests.

AMD Announces ATI Catalyst 9.6 Driver Suite

AMD announced the availability of ATI Catalyst version 9.6 driver suite, that provides driver support for ATI Radeon series graphics processors (driver version 8.62), Hydravision, AMD Southbridge/Chipset driver, and Catalyst Control Center (version 8.62). The new version brings along the following application-specific performance increments:
  • Company of Heores – performance gains of up to 25% for the ATI Radeon HD 4600 Series, and performance gains of up to 10% for the ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series.
  • Crysis Warhead – performance gains of up to 11% for ATI CrossFireX configurations.
  • Crysis – performance gains of up to 13% for ATI CrossFireX configurations.
  • World in Conflict – performance gains of up to 30% for settings are were previously CPU limited.
The Linux version of this driver suite adds production support for SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED) and SLED 11. It also provides early support for RedHat Enterprise Linux 4.8.
DOWNLOAD: ATI Catalyst 9.6 for Windows XP 32-bit | Windows 7/Vista 32-bit | Windows XP 64-bit | Windows 7/Vista 64-bit

Release Notes can be read here

Corsair Notes 6GB of Memory Significantly Beneficial for Gaming PCs with Core i7

Today, Intel made its newest piece of silicon, the Core i7 series processor official with the introduction of three models based on the newer architecture, and socket. One of the significant feature-additions for Core i7 is the 192-bit wide DDR3 memory bus, meaning that memory modules in groups of three or six can be used to make use of the triple-channel memory controller the processors come with.

For memory vendors, it means selling kits consisting of three or six modules of 1 GB or 2 GB per module, resulting in 3 GB, 6 GB or potentially, a 12 GB kit (consisting of six 2 GB modules). Corsair, on its part, has been advertising the benefits of 4 GB system memory in the recent past, in a bit to sell its 2x 2GB kits. One of the important benefits Corsair noted was, that it benefited today's games. Come Core i7, and Corsair thinks 6 GB of memory would significantly benefit gaming PCs based on the Core i7 processors. The company released a whitepaper, in which gaming performance between Core i7-based systems equipped with 3 GB and 6 GB of memory were compared.

Crysis Warhead Post-release Hardware Tests Show Neutral Improvements

Crytek has worked closely with NVIDIA in the development of the Crysis franchise, and it is a known fact that the original title was optimised for GeForce hardware. The original title, however, was criticised for being too demanding with hardware requirements, which may have contributed to the luke-warm sales of the game. With Crysis Warhead however, Crytek promises to have improved the game engine to work better with today's hardware. PC Games Hardware (PCGH) put the new game to test, not with the prime objective to review it, but to review its performance with today's hardware. There are positives that can be drawn from the findings of the review. The first being, that the game performs to the potential of installed hardware, be it GeForce or Radeon. There were very minor deviations of the hardware's performances from synthetic tests that show their capabilities. For example, Radeon HD 4870 performed neck and neck with GeForce GTX 260 in the "gamer mode", with the former achieving a higher minimum frame-rate. This was also seen with the game's "enthusiast mode" albeit the GeForce chipping away with a higher average frame-rate. The trend continued with the rest of today's GPUs, which indeed is a positive sign.

Crysis Warhead Now Available Via Steam

Crysis Warhead is now available for purchase via Steam and to play for gamers in North America. In addition, the original Crysis is now available for purchase and play by gamers the world over. Outside of North America, Crysis Warhead will become available for play tomorrow (Thursday) via Steam.

Crysis Warhead Available for PC Starting September 18, 2008

There's one more good news that will make gamers happier. Electronic Arts and Crytek GmbH announced today that Crysis Warhead, the next installment in the award-winning Crysis franchise, has shipped to retailers in North America and Europe and will hit store shelves and participating digital download services starting September 18, 2008 exclusively for the PC. Crysis Warhead takes place alongside the events of last year’s original Crysis, with players taking control of Sergeant “Psycho” Sykes. Crysis Warhead won't require the first Crysis to be installed, it's a standalone game. Electronic Arts will charge $29.99 for it. “The launch of Crysis Warhead marks a significant milestone for the entire Crytek family,” said Cevat Yerli, CEO and President of Crytek. “The team at Crytek Hungary has delivered a dynamic and intense single player experience more than worthy of the Crysis franchise, while the multiplayer team in Frankfurt has revisited and extended multiplayer in the Crysis universe with Crysis Wars. They are both great representations of our studio’s core values of technical excellence, craftsmanship and quality.”Source: Crysis Warhead

Crysis Warhead is Coming to Steam

Crytek and Valve today announced an agreement to bring Crysis Warhead and Crysis to Steam, a leading platform for the delivery and management of PC games and digital content with over 15 million accounts around the world.

"The millions of gamers logging into Steam every week to play today's best PC games are going to love Crysis Warhead," said Avni Yerli, Managing Director at Crytek. "Crytek Hungary has done a terrific job creating this new experience while optimizing CryEngine 2, and we're looking forward to delivering it and the original Crysis as our first offerings on Steam."

EA and Crytek set Deployment date for Crysis Warhead

Electronic Arts Inc. and Crytek GmbH announced today that Crysis Warhead, the pulse-racing new installment of the Crysis universe, will ship to retail stores in North America on September 16th and in Europe on September 12th. Beginning today, gamers can pre-order Crysis Warhead at the EA Store here for only $24.95; $5 less than the full retail price, or receive $10 off when purchasing both Crysis Warhead and Crysis. Crysis Warhead recently recognized by IGN PC as being the Best First Person Shooter and showcasing the Best Graphics Technology of E3 2008.

“We think Crysis Warhead is going to offer a tremendous experience to a wide range of gamers,” said Cevat Yerli, CEO and President of Crytek. “Fans of Crysis are going to enjoy more of the open-ended gameplay, cutting-edge visuals and huge, epic battles from the first game, while also finally finding out what kind of havoc Psycho was wreaking on the other side of the island.

New Crysis Warhead Details Emerge

Some early details about Crytek's Crysis Warhead game have been revealed today by the PC Gamer magazine. Here are all the new key points at a glance:
  • Begins when the original game's Nomad character parts ways with Warhead's new hero, Psycho, and follows him all the way until the two are to reunite again on board the aircraft carrier.
  • Mostly located on the other side of the island.
  • Less linear approach and more sandbox type of gameplay, as opposed to the original.
  • Same nanosuit and the same functions, with more likely to be revealed later (definitely a "surprise" in that matter is promised).
  • Singleplayer campaign to last 8-10 hours.
  • At least two new weapons, the granade launcher and double SMG.
  • Improved enemy AI, betterily able to organize itself and follow tactics.
  • New vehicles incl. Armored Scout Recon (about the size of a jeep with a mounted gun) and a hovercraft, both playable in multiplayer as well.
  • New team-based MP mode and less complex than the original two.
  • Betterily optimized to run faster than the original game on the same hardware.
  • Won't require DX10 for maximum details and full effects.
  • Dialogues done by Bioshock's Susanna O'Connor.
  • Completely stand-alone and as noted by developers, not an add-on but a full title.
  • The possibility of Crysis 2 to rely heavily on Warhead's sales.
Source: Tiscali Games

Crysis Warhead Game Revealed

Two days ago, Crytek published information that it will no longer patch Crysis for "a good reason". Apparantly the good reason is now believed to be called Crysis Warhead, the second game in the Crysis trilogy. If you try to visit Crytek's home page, a teaser image of Crysis Warhead will appear before the actual page, dropping a hint at what's imminent. No other details, such as platforms or a release date, have been unveiled. It's only an image at the moment, but more information will follow sooner or later.

Source: Shacknews
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