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MSI Announces Next Generation R7970 Lightning Graphics Card

Leading international graphics card and mainboard maker MSI today announced the release of the MSI R7970 Lightning, the new heir to the throne of Lightning graphics cards. Equipped with AMD's 28 nm Radeon HD 7970 GPU, the MSI R7970 Lightning features an all-new Unlocked Digital Power Architecture that incorporates an Unlocked BIOS, Digital PWM Controller, and Enhanced Power Design to boost overclocking potential to new heights and make overclocking easier than ever.

In an industry first, the proprietary "GPU Reactor" power supply module reduces power supply noise and also boosts overclocking stability as well. To keep this beast cool, the MSI R7970 Lightning utilizes the latest Twin Frozr IV Thermal Design equipped with Dust Removal Technology. The dual 10 cm fans with Propeller Blade Technology generate massive airflow for fast heat dissipation while remaining whisper silent. The two form-in-one heat sinks improve cooling for memory and the power supply module as well ensure structural integrity.

AFOX Readies Single-Slot Radeon HD 7850

At CeBIT, AFOX showed off the industry's first single-slot, air-cooled graphics card based on the Radeon HD 7850 GPU. Carrying the model number AF7850-1024D5S1, AFOX' creation sports a similar cooling assembly as the one on the AF6850-1024D5S1, an HD 6850-based graphics card. The cooler uses a big lateral-flow blower that directs air through a dense aluminum fin-channel array, where heat gets dissipated onto it. Heat is drawn from key components such as the GPU, memory, and VRM, using a vapor-chamber plate.

There's a small catch with AFOX' design, though. The memory amount is halved to 1 GB, although it still sits across a 256-bit wide memory interface. We don't expect a significant performance penalty for that. Further, the memory clock speed is reduced from the reference speed of 1200 MHz to 1125 MHz (4.80 GHz eff. to 4.50 GHz eff.), although the core speed stays the same, at 860 MHz. The display IO is an interesting mix of one dual-link DVI, one full-size HDMI, one mini-DisplayPort, and one full-size DisplayPort.

Spire Introduces the SkyMax High-end DT Heat-pipe VGA Cooler

Introducing the SkyMax high-end DT Heat-pipe VGA graphics array cooler. This triple-fan VGA cooler utilizes five (5) copper heat-pipes that quickly transfer the heat away from the GPU heat source. The SkyMax offers powerful cooling solution for the latest Nvidia and ATI Graphic processors up to 180 W TDP.

The five heat-pipes utilized are high performance sintered powder heat-pipes which guarantee swift heat transfer. The SkyMax is equipped with three (3) DC fans, one (1) 90 mm centre fan and two (2) 80 mm fans which generate a huge air pressure of 36.5 CFM. This VGA Cooler is supplied with a complete set of mounting accessories such as clips, screws, S420 thermal interface material, MOS and RAM heat-sinks. Due to the open heatsink design the air can easily cool the entire Graphic Card. You can easily install this VGA cooler onto your Gforce and Radeon chipset based graphic cards. Powered by innovation and performance guaranteed the SkyMax is the professional solution for pc enthusiasts and gamers alike - offered to you by Spire.

VTX3D Launches HD7800 Series for Hardcore Gamers

VTX3D, a leading brand of graphics card maker today adds the latest HD7800 series to its premium graphics cards selection. Being a new force of HD7000 family, both models of HD7800 series feature revolutionary GPU design, the latest PCI Express 3.0 platform, also advanced DirectX○R 11.1. All these cutting-edge technologies make VTX3D HD7800 series as a perfect choice for PC enthusiasts.

Based on the AMD 28 nm processor, the VTX3D HD7800 series includes two models with 2 GB of GDDR5 memory. VTX3D HD7870 GHz Edition runs at clock speed of 1000 MHz, and HD7850 are clocked at 860 MHz, both together with 4.8 Gbps for the memory delivering class leading performance. What's more, the VTX HD7800 series is ready for CrossFire mode, gamers can get exceptional performance scaling with a second GPU.

Sapphire Launches HD 7800 Series

The new SAPPHIRE HD 7800 series of graphics cards is based on the third family of GPU's from AMD built in its new 28nm process and featuring the highly acclaimed GCN graphics processing architecture. The new HD 7870 and HD 7850 GPUs have an optimised internal structure sharing many of the features of the high performance HD 7900 series already released but with fewer Stream processors and a new high speed 256-bit memory interface to the latest DDR5 memory types. It is aimed at mainstream gamers looking for excellent performance together with good value and all the latest features.

Two models of the HD 7870 are being introduced by SAPPHIRE at launch. The first is the SAPPHIRE HD 7870 which will ship with a core clock speed of 1GHz, and will be known as the SAPPHIRE HD 7870 GHz Edition. It is equipped with 2GB of the latest DDR5 memory clocked at 1200MHz (4.8Gb/s effective). At the same time SAPPHIRE is introducing a higher performance model, the SAPPHIRE HD 7870 GHz OC Edition, in which both core and memory are factory overclocked and the PowerTune limits are raised to allow even further performance tuning. Both models are equipped with 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.

Kepler Unbeatable: NVIDIA

The tiresome wait for NVIDIA's next-generation GPU is drawing to a close. Or so suggests a Facebook wall post by NVIDIA Italy, which reads (in Italian, of course):
Aspettando Kepler... pazienza, pazienza, pazienza che il momento giusto arriverà, e allora... non ce ne sarà più per nessuno! :-)
That can be translated as "Waiting for Kepler ... patience, patience, patience, the right time will come, and then ... it will be unbeatable (sic)." From various sources we're hearing that there will be hectic activity surrounding the launch of NVIDIA's next-gen GPU in the weeks to come.

Jon Peddie Research: Graphics Add-in Board Shipments Down 6.5% in Q4

Jon Peddie Research (JPR), the industry's research and consulting firm for graphics and multimedia, announced estimated graphics Add-in Board (AIB) shipments and sales' market share for Q4'11. The JPR AIB Report tracks computer graphics boards, which carry discrete graphics chips. They are used in desktop PCs, workstations, servers, and some other devices such as scientific instruments. They may be sold as after-market products directly to customers or they may be factory installed. In all cases, they represent the higher-end of the graphics industry as discrete chips rather than integrated processors.

Overall shipments of graphics AIBs for the quarter came in above the last quarter at 16.1 million units compared to 17.2 million for Q3'11.

The evolution of the graphics market has resulted in two camps - suppliers of graphics AIBs: those which carry NVIDIA graphics chips and those which carry AMD chips. NVIDIA GPU-based boards increased by 3.7% from Q3 while AMD-based boards decreased 3.6% for the same period. Sales of AIB products have been directly impacted by the rise in economic growth in the BRIC countries, and in particular in China where there is a strong preference for discrete graphics AIBs.

Jon Peddie Research Reports Q4 Graphics Shipments

Jon Peddie Research (JPR), the industry's research and consulting firm for graphics and multimedia, announced estimated graphics chip shipments and suppliers' market share for Q4'11.

We found that shipments during the fourth quarter of 2011 behaved according to past years with regard to seasonality, the new seasonality that has developed since the economic crash of 2008. Prior to that shift, Q4 was a seasonally up quarter, since 2008 it's been a seasonally low to down quarter-and this year it was down the most since 2008. A lot of it was blamed on the floods in Thailand, but general economic malaise still permeates the industry.

23 Universities and Institutions Added As NVIDIA CUDA Research/Teaching Centers

Today, NVIDIA welcomes 23 universities and research institutions to its family of CUDA Research Centers and CUDA Teaching Centers.

CUDA Teaching Centers empower tens-of-thousands of students each year with the knowledge and expertise to take advantage of GPUs and their parallel-processing capabilities. These centers receive teaching kits, textbooks, software licenses and NVIDIA CUDA architecture-enabled GPUs for teaching lab computers, as well as academic discounts for additional hardware.

Radeon HD 7800 Series Inbound for March, NVIDIA Kepler in April: Report

AMD's Radeon HD 7800 series performance GPUs that target cost-benefit sweet-spots will be launched in the first half of March. The launch will include Radeon HD 7870 and Radeon HD 7850. The two SKUs are based on a new 28 nm ASIC codenamed "Pitcairn". Little is known about its specifications at this point, from reliable sources at least.

In April, AMD's rival NVIDIA will get its GeForce Kepler family of GPUs, all guns blazing. In April alone, NVIDIA is expected to launch a high-end part, the GeForce GTX 690, a performance part, the GeForce GTX 660, and mainstream part GeForce GTX 640. The three will be based on three new ASICs built on the 28 nm process, the GK110, GK104, and GK106, respectively.

April will be the most interesting month for PC enthusiasts as Intel will launch its third-generation Core processor family, codename "Ivy Bridge". Little is known about AMD's high-end Radeon HD 7990 "New Zealand".

NVIDIA's 2012 GPU Technology Conference Opens for Registration

NVIDIA today announced that registration is now open for its third GPU Technology Conference (GTC) in the U.S., one of the world's fastest-growing events focused on computational science and visualization.

GTC 2012 - to be held in San Jose, Calif., from May 14-17 - is the flagship in NVIDIA's global series of events focused on how the GPU is transforming science. It is expected to draw the greatest minds in the scientific, engineering, research and developer communities from more than 40 nations.

For more information or to register, visit the GTC website.

NVIDIA Reports Financial Results for Annual and Fourth Quarter Fiscal 2012

NVIDIA today reported revenue for fiscal 2012 ended Jan. 29, 2012 of $4.00 billion, up 12.8 percent from $3.54 billion in fiscal 2011. GAAP earnings per share for the year were $0.94 per diluted share, an increase of 118.6 percent over $0.43 in fiscal 2011. Non-GAAP earnings per share for fiscal 2012 were $1.19, up 46.9 percent over $0.81 in fiscal 2011.

Revenue for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012 was $953.2 million, down 10.6 percent from the prior quarter, and up 7.5 percent from $886.4 million in the same period a year earlier.

VTX3D Introduces the HD7970/7950 X Edition Graphics Cards

A leading brand of graphics card maker - VTX3D, today introduces the most well-known X series of VTX3D, HD7970/HD7950 X Edition. The X series is designed to deliver extraordinary performance with factory overclocked setting and unique cooling design.

VTX3D HD7970/HD7950 X Edition incorporates the latest PCI-E Gen 3 to get the maximum performance from your GPU. Both fitted with 3 GB of GDDR5 memory connected via a new high speed 384 bit memory interface. VTX3D HD7970/HD7950 X Edition is clocked at 1050 MHz and 880 MHz respectively, also together with 1425 MHz and 1250 MHz for each memory, fulfilling those who thirst for extreme performance. The HD7970/HD7950 X Edition also features ultra cooling design. With two 92 mm ultra big fan and SSU-shape heat pipe design, this efficient cooling solution maximizes the speed of heat dissipation, but minimizes the noisy level, creating most pleasing environment for gaming.

$25 Raspberry Pi Hobby Computer Doubles iPhone 4S GPU Performance And Beats Tegra 2

We have previously reported on the super cheap ARM-based Raspberry Pi hobby computer that's been under development from the Raspberry Pi foundation. However, it's now going into production and is generating a lot of interest, so gamesindustry.biz interviewed its founder, Eben Upton, about it (free registration required).

The computer's primary purpose is as a computer science teaching aid in schools and colleges and also for home brew use by enthusiasts who want to tinker with it and make specialized solutions out of it. However, it seems that enthusiasts will have a nice surprise in that the onboard GPU is surprisingly good. The actual ARM implementation is a Broadcom BCM2835 System on Chip (SoC) containing an ARM 11 CPU and a custom graphics core, which has been designed by the Raspberry Pi team, including Upton. In the interview, Upton claimed that it can double iPhone 4S performance and handily beats NVIDIA's Tegra solution, because of its tile mode architecture.

NVIDIA Rushing in Stopgap HD 7970 Competitor This February?

AMD's Radeon HD 7970 seems to have ruffled a few feathers at NVIDIA and it looks like the green team doesn't want too much market exposure for it. A fairly-reliable source at ChipHell learned that NVIDIA's GeForce "GTX 680" part could be launched some time in February. The source says that this part could be competitive with the HD 7970, though not exactly NVIDIA's fastest next-generation GPU in the works. So it has to be something other than the GeForce Kepler 110, that's reportedly slated for March-April. At least the tiny pieces of specifications trickling out seem to reinforce this theory. Graphics cards based on this part apparently have 2 GB of memory, and its core clock speed is reported to be 780 MHz.

Radeon HD 7950 Launch Pulled Into January, GCN-Based MGPUs in Q2

Originally slated for 9th January, and reportedly delayed to February, AMD's second high-end graphics card based on the Tahiti silicon, the Radeon HD 7950 will make it for a late-January launch, sources within add-in board (AIB) partners told DigiTimes. Previous reports mentioned that Radeon HD 7950, when it is launched, will be accompanied with market-availability. In related news, while all Radeon HD 7000M mobile GPUs launched by AMD so far are rebrands from previous generations, it does have designs of 28 nm mobile GPUs based on its new Graphics CoreNext (GCN) architecture in the pipeline, which will take up Radeon HD 7900M/7800M/7700M series, which will be launched in Q2, 2012.

AMD to Release 28 nm Mobile GPUs in Q2

This week the desktop space has officially entered the 28 nm GPU era thanks to the retail release of the Radeon HD 7970. It's a significant milestone for the discrete graphics market and for AMD, but it's only the beginning as the Sunnyvale-based company is currently preparing the arrival of the Radeon HD 7950 and is planning the introduction of the first 28 nm mobile chips.

While the HD 7950 will debut this quarter, the 28 nm GPUs for notebooks will have to wait a little longer, until Q2. The upcoming mobile parts are of course based on the GCN architecture and will bring DirectX 11.1 support, as well as power, image quality and display output enhancements.

The 28 nm mobile cards will (most) likely be added to the recently-introduced Radeon HD 7000M family which also includes multiple 40 nm-based cards (7600M, 7500M, 7400M, 7300M). Look for 28 nm models to be branded Radeon HD 7700M and higher.

Creative ZiiLabs Announces 100 Core CPU

ZiiLABS, a pioneering media processor and platforms company (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Creative Technology Ltd), today unveiled its ground-breaking 100-core ZMS-40 StemCell Media processor optimized for Android. The ZMS-40 combines 96 of ZiiLABS' StemCell media processing cores with four 1.5GHz ARM Cortex-A9 CPUs to deliver stunning multi-tasking application and media processing performance.

By doubling the number of StemCell Media processors compared to the previous ZMS-20, the ZMS-40 delivers twice the peak media performance, while running the larger array at lower clock speeds to achieve the same performance leads to greater energy efficiency and a reduction in power consumption of up to 50 percent. With 2X the performance and 2X the power efficiency, the ZMS-40 delivers ground-breaking media capabilities to handheld devices such as tablets, including ultra-high-resolution H.264 HP decoding of up to 3840x1080 for true 1080p 3D stereo, a rich and interactive desktop browsing experience, 2560x1600 (WQXGA) display resolution support, higher-quality video encoding and immersive OpenGL ES graphics and future support for High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC).

AMD Flogging Dodgy Chips? Gets Slapped With Lawsuit

AMD has been slapped with a lawsuit by Quanta for allegedly selling faulty CPUs & GPUs that were unfit for purpose, since they didn't meet specified heat tolerances and subsequently failed. Taiwan-based Quanta may not have a name that the general public immediately recognizes, however they are actually the world's largest contract manufacturer of notebooks, so this lawsuit is a big deal. They claim that the faulty parts were used in notebooks made for NEC. The lawsuit was filed in a district court in San Jose, California and in the filing, Quanta claims they have "suffered significant injury to prospective revenue and profits". As Bloomberg reports, "the lawsuit also claims breach of warranty, negligent misrepresentation, civil fraud and interference with a contract."

HD 7970 Overclocked to 1.26 GHz: 28 nm Tech Really Stretches Its Legs

Welcome to the first TechPowerUp news post of 2012! Read on for a couple of impressive overclocking feats with the HD 7970 graphics card.

It looks like the new AMD Radeon HD 7970 could be a bit of a dark horse and a lot more potent than its stock specifications would suggest - excellent for creating a competitive graphics card market. The reviews at stock speeds show the flagship HD 7970 to be around 10-15% faster than NVIDIA's flagship GTX 580, which doesn't seem all that impressive since the GTX 580 has been on the market for over a year now. However, what the reviews haven't really shown, is what kind of an overclocking monster the HD 7970 is. It definitely looks like AMD could have easily beaten the GTX 580 by a much bigger margin than they did, had they wanted to and it makes one wonder why they didn't.

VR-Zone have spent the New Year weekend overclocking this beast, having reached a whopping 1.26 GHz core clock speed with their HD 7970 - and decent benchmark improvements to go with it. Also, with the fan at 100%, the card never got above a very comfortable 68 degrees centigrade while running Furmark, which is amazing considering how this test is specifically designed to heat a graphics card to the max - but please see the update at the bottom of the article. The stock cooler may be noisy, but it's certainly very effective: an excellent result which will prolong the working life of the card.

EKWB Teases With Radeon HD 7970 Water Block

Another European company, EK Water Blocks (EKWB), is ready with its full-coverage water block for AMD's Radeon HD 7970 graphics card, the EK-FC7970. Unlike Aqua Computer's AquagrATIx 7900, the EK-FC7970 isn't launched, the company isn't taking orders yet, but it posted a teaser picture on its Facebook page. The picture reveals the block to use copper as its primary material, with an acetal top. It appears to have standard G1/4" threading. As a full-coverage block, it covers all the heat-producing components on the obverse side of the card's PCB, including the GPU, the twelve memory chips, and VRM. EKWB did not give out other specifications, price, or availability.

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.

U.S. Army Attacks the CryEngine

The U.S. Army might be financing one of the most epic videos games ever made that very few people may ever play. The "game" is called Dismounted Soldier Training System and was commissioned by the U.S. government back in May for a staggering cost of 57 million dollars. The contract was awarded to RealTime Immersive Inc. All of this according to PC Gamer. Everything about this simulator is said to be cutting edge but the hardware it runs on. In a GamePro interview with the director of strategic programs at Intelligent Decisions, Floyd West is said to have stated, "With CryEngine 3 being used for Crysis 2 and the capabilities that game engine provides, it allows us to make the most realistic simulation possible. We're able to transport soldiers to accurately recreated locales like Afghanistan and Iraq, where we can simulate everything from visuals to 360-degree sound."

The virtual reality headsets the trainees wear will run from a backpack unit similar to a top of the range gaming laptop, called the 'Man Wearable Unit'. "While the man wearable units aren't running on an off-the-shelf Alienware, the internal components themselves are commercial off-the-shelf CPUs and GPUs like NVIDIA graphic cards and whatnot."

As this is an internal military training simulator we the public may never play it. However that doesn't mean we cannot watch the trailers in awe and wonder if our own rigs could render thousands of kilometers in such massive detail.

Trailer 1 | Trailer 2

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.
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