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Seasonic FOCUS PLUS PSUs Encounter GPU Compatibility Issues

It has been confirmed by Seasonic that their FOCUS PLUS power supplies are experiencing potential conflict with a select number of graphics cards. In regards to NVIDIA, the compatibility issue is currently limited to the ASUS GeForce GTX 970 STRIX. In limited instances, this particular graphics card can encounter a black screen under heavy load. Testing by Seasonic has determined that the issue is caused by higher than normal ripple when the GPU is heavily stressed. They also determined that solving the problem simply required using modified PCIe cables that feature enhanced shielding.

When it comes to AMD GPUs things are a bit more problematic. Both of AMD's Vega 56 and Vega 64 series of graphics cards with serial numbers before January 2018, can experience system shutdowns when paired with a FOCUS PLUS power supply. The issue is caused by higher than normal peak current being emitted by these graphics cards when under heavy load. This results in the power supply's internal protection safety being triggered. Considering Seasonic's popularity the fact these power supplies are encountering problems is likely going to be a hit to their brand image. At least they are stepping up to the plate having admitted to the problem while also investigating the root causes. They are also encouraging anyone that is encountering issues to contact them for assistance.

NVIDIA GTX 970 Memory Class-action Claims Now Open

As a follow-up to the late-June 2016 decision by NVIDIA to enter a settlement with owners of GeForce GTX 970 graphics cards over the 2015 class-action lawsuit over falsely advertised memory amount, a website ominously named gtx970settlement.com sprung up by the law firms representing the class. This website connects legitimate owners of the GeForce GTX 970 graphics card to the class, and enables them to claim the USD $30 in damages NVIDIA agreed to pay each member of the class. You have to be a resident of the United States to enter the class, because the court adjudicating the class-action lawsuit only has jurisdiction over the US.

NVIDIA Settles Class-Action Lawsuit Over GTX 970 Memory

NVIDIA settled in a 2015 class-action lawsuit against it, for misrepresenting the amount of memory on GeForce GTX 970 graphics cards. The company has agreed to pay every buyer of the card USD $30 (per card), and also cover the legal fees of the class, amounting to $1.3 million. The company, however, did not specify how much money it has set aside for the payout, and whether it will compensate only those buyers who constitute the class (i.e. buyers in the U.S., since that's as far as the court's jurisdiction can reach), or the thousands of GTX 970 buyers worldwide.

"The settlement is fair and reasonable and falls within the range of possible approval," attorneys for the proposed Class said in the filing. "It is the product of extended arms-length negotiations between experienced attorneys familiar with the legal and factual issues of this case and all settlement class members are treated fairly under the terms of the settlement." The class alleged that NVIDIA falsified the amount of memory a GeForce GTX 970 GPU can really use, when an investigation found that it could only address 3.5 GB of it properly. NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang apologized to buyers about the issue and promised that it would never happen again.

NVIDIA Cuts Prices of GTX 980 Ti, GTX 980, and GTX 970

In the wake of its GeForce GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 graphics card launches, NVIDIA decided to cut prices of its previous-generation GeForce GTX 980 Ti, GeForce GTX 980, and GeForce GTX 970 graphics cards, in a bid to clear inventories. The $379 and 150W GTX 1070 is faster than the GTX 980 Ti and the GTX Titan X, rendering them obsolete. The price of the $620 GTX 980 Ti has been cut by $125, and is now down to $495~499. The GTX 980, on the other hand, sees its price cut by $75, bringing its price down from $399 to $324, less than the launch-price of the GTX 970. The smash-hit GTX 970, at the dusk of its market life, sees its price cut by $25, bringing it down from $289 to $265.

Hitman DirectX 12 Support Restored with Latest Patch

IO Interactive today released a 130 MB patch for the PC version of Hitman (2016), through Steam. The patch fixes DirectX 12 API support, which was broken by the recent April 26th update, that installs the game's second episode "Sapienza, Italy." After the update, Hitman appears to be working in DirectX 12 mode, in both its in-game benchmark, and the game itself, on both our GeForce GTX 970 SLI (365.10 drivers) and Radeon R9 290 (16.4.2 drivers) machines.

NVIDIA to Bundle "Tom Clancy's The Division" with Select GeForce Graphics Cards

NVIDIA is preparing its next GeForce GTX bundle for performance-thru-enthusiast segment graphics cards. The company is currently giving away copies of "Rise of the Tomb Raider." It's reported that soon, select NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970, GeForce GTX 980, GeForce GTX 980 Ti graphics cards, and notebooks with GeForce GTX 970M and GTX 980M, will be bundled with copies of "Tom Clancy's The Division." The bundle will only be applicable in select regions, and through participating retailers.

KFA2 Announces the GeForce GTX 970 EXOC Sniper Edition Graphics Card

KFA2, Galaxy's EU wing, announced the GeForce GTX 970 EXOC Sniper Edition graphics card. EXOC is KFA2 equivalent for Galaxy's "Hall of Fame" edition moniker, denoting the company's highest factory-overclock tier. The card features a custom-design 27 cm long PCB, with a 2-slot thick air cooler that makes use of a dense aluminum fin-stack, to which heat drawn directly from the GPU die is fed by 8 mm-thick nickel-plated copper heat pipes; ventilated by a pair of 90 mm spinners that stay off when idling.

The GTX 970 EXOC Sniper Edition comes with factory-overclocked speeds of 1178 MHz core, with 1329 MHz max GPU Boost frequency, and an untouched 7012 MHz (GDDR5-effective) memory, against reference speeds of 1050 MHz core and 1178 MHz GPU Boost. KFA2 plans to sell the card at 349€ (including all taxes), when it hits the shelves later this month.

AMD Slashes Radeon R9 Nano Price

AMD gave its premium small-factor gaming graphics card, the Radeon R9 Nano, its first major price cut. The card now starts at US $499, down from its launch price of $649. At $499, the R9 Nano is priced on par with its similar-performing albeit bigger and noisier sibling based on the "Fiji" silicon, the Radeon R9 Fury. The company's flagship single-GPU card, the R9 Fury X, remains at $599, its price was gradually reduced from its launch price of $649.

The three SKUs appear to be positioned to compete with NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 980, and offer cost-effective alternatives to the $629 GTX 980 Ti. Elsewhere in the lineup, the Radeon R9 390X starts at $379, and has its guns trained on the GTX 980 and GTX 970. Its smaller sibling, the Radeon R9 390 starts at $299.

NVIDIA Announces Rise of the Tomb Raider Bundle

The turnaround in developer relations for NVIDIA, propelled by its GameWorks software and a refreshed "The Way It's Meant to be Played" (TWIMTBP) program is best exemplified with the upcoming "Rise of the Tomb Raider." A sequel to the 2013 franchise reboot by Square Enix, which brandished the "AMD Game!" logo, and even bundled with certain AMD Radeon graphics cards; the new Tomb Raider not only features the NVIDIA logo, but will also be bundled with select GeForce graphics cards under the new "Discover the Legend Within" bundle.

NVIDIA is giving away "Rise of the Tomb Raider" with GeForce GTX 980 Ti, GTX 980, and GTX 970 graphics cards. This includes cards sold in the retail channel, as well as gaming desktops that come with those cards pre-installed. On the notebook front, select notebooks running the GTX 980, GTX 980M, and GTX 970M will also give you a key to the game. The bundle extends to participating retailers and OEMs only.

AMD Readies 4 GB Variant of the Radeon R9 390

In a bid to step up the pressure on NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 970 and the product-stack below it, AMD is getting its add-in board (AIB) graphics card partners to launch cost-effective variants of the Radeon R9 390, with 4 GB of memory, instead of the 8 GB that was standard to the SKU. These cards feature 4 GB of memory across the chip's 512-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface, and could help AMD and its partners shave a few dozen Dollars off the standard version, which is currently selling for as low as $309.

4 GB of memory would make the R9 390 a complete re-brand of the R9 290, if not for its clock speeds. The custom-design variants of the 4 GB R9 390 ship with clock speeds that are 10% higher than those of the R9 290, and the performance was found to be proportionately higher, by Expreview. Of the three cards spotted crawling their way out of product launch pipes in China, the ones from XFX and PowerColor retain the design and packaging of their 8 GB siblings; while Sapphire mated the chip with a new dual-fan cooler with a meaty, split aluminium fin-stack heatsink.

EVGA Announces the GeForce GTX 970 HYBRID Graphics Card

The Award Winning EVGA HYBRID line is now available on GeForce GTX 970. The EVGA GeForce GTX 970 HYBRID GAMING is an "all in one" water cooling solution that significantly lowers the GPU operating temperature. Best of all? The water cooler is completely self-contained, with an included 120mm radiator and fan. No filling, no custom tubing, no maintenance. Just plug in and play!

Of course, the GeForce GTX 970 HYBRID GAMING is also powered by the next-generation NVIDIA Maxwell architecture, giving you incredible performance, unmatched power efficiency, and cutting-edge features. Maxwell is the most advanced GPU architecture ever made, designed to be the engine of next-generation gaming. Inspired by light, it was designed to solve some of the most complex lighting and graphics challenges in visual computing.

Corsair Delivers the Hydro Series HG10 N980 and N970 Cooling Brackets

Corsair, a world leader in high-performance PC hardware, today announced the immediate availability of its new Hydro Series HG10 GPU N980 and HG10 N970 cooling brackets for NVIDIA GeForce GTX GTX 980 Ti, Titan X, GTX 980 and GTX 970 graphics cards. Easy to install and compatible with any Corsair Hydro Series liquid CPU cooler (sold separately), the HG10 N970 and N980 help to substantially reduce your GPU's temperature, allowing for greatly increased overclocking headroom and providing as much as a 25% clock speed increase.

Designed to work with any stock PCB layout NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti, Titan X, GTX 980 or GTX 9701, the HG10 N970 and HG10 N980 replace the existing air cooling of the graphics card with a precision engineered aluminium bracket, allowing users to them fit a Corsair Hydro Series liquid CPU cooler directly to the GPU. With modern graphics cards outputting over 250W of heat, a liquid cooling system is a more efficient and powerful way to keep your graphics card cool. Lower temperatures mean users can overclock their GPU with fewer thermal limitations, allowing for improved performance and higher frame rates, all while running quieter than a standard air-cooler.

GIGABYTE Unveils GeForce GTX 970 Twin-Turbo Graphics Card

GIGABYTE unveiled the GeForce GTX 970 Twin-Turbo graphics card (model: GV-N970TTOC-4GD), a custom design GTX 970 card equipped with a lateral blower-type cooling solution, which pushes hot air out of the case, through its I/O shield air-vents. There's just one blower, but what makes it "twin-turbo," according to the company, is that it has intakes on both sides of the card, thanks to the company opting for the short GTX 970 PCB.

The card offers factory-overclocked speeds of 1101 MHz core, 1241 MHz GPU Boost, and an untouched 7012 MHz (GDDR5-effective) memory. The card is also sold in a non-OC SKU, which sticks to NVIDIA reference clocks of 1076 MHz core, and 1216 MHz GPU Boost. The card draws power from a single 8-pin PCIe power connector. Display outputs include three DisplayPort 1.2, and one each of HDMI 2.0 and dual-link DVI. The non-OC SKU is expected to be priced at US $300, with the OC SKU about $10 more.

AMD Radeon R9 Nano to Feature a Single PCIe Power Connector

AMD's Radeon R9 Nano is shaping up to be a more important card for AMD, than even its flaghsip, the R9 Fury X. Some of the first pictures of the Fury X led us to believe that it could stay compact only because it's liquid cooled. AMD disproved that notion, unveiling the Radeon R9 Nano, an extremely compact air-cooled graphics cards, with some stunning chops.

The Radeon R9 Nano is a feat similar to the NUC by Intel - to engineer a product that's surprisingly powerful for its size. The card is 6-inches long, 2-slot thick, and doesn't lug along any external radiator. AMD CEO Lisa Su, speaking at the company's E3 conference, stated that the R9 Nano will be faster than the Radeon R9 290X. That shouldn't surprise us, since it's a bigger chip; but it's the electrical specs, that make this product exciting - a single 8-pin PCIe power input, with a typical board power rated at 175W (Radeon R9 290X was rated at 275W). The card itself is as compact as some of the "ITX-friendly" custom design boards launched in recent times. It uses a vapor-chamber based air-cooling solution, with a single fan. The Radeon R9 Nano will launch later this Summer. It could compete with the GeForce GTX 970 in both performance and price.

AMD Radeon Graphics Roadmap for 2015 Leaked

It looks like AMD's desktop discrete GPU lineup for 2015 will see a mix of rebrands, re-codename, and one big new chip, all making up the new Radeon R7 300 and R9 300 series. Cards based in this lineup should begin rolling out this month. Leaks from OEMs such as this one, suggest that the first of these should begin rolling out as early as June 16.

The spread is pretty cut and dry. "Hawaii," the chip driving the R9 290 series, will not only get a new codename as "Grenada," but also a seamless rebrand to the R9 390 series, with Grenada Pro making up the R9 390, and Grenada XT making up the R9 390X. One possibility could be AMD taking advantage of low 4 Gbit GDDR5 chip prices to cram 8 GB of standard memory amount, across Grenada's 512-bit wide memory interface. The R9 390X will compete with the GeForce GTX 970, while the R9 390 will offer an option in the vast price and performance gorge between the GTX 960 and GTX 970.

NVIDIA Gives Away "The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt" to GeForce GTX TITAN-X Owners

NVIDIA is giving away game codes to "The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt," to new and existing owners of GeForce GTX Titan X graphics cards, provided they simply install and "beta test" GeForce Experience. To participate, all GTX Titan X owners need to go is install the latest GeForce Experience, and the latest GeForce drivers, and then click on a "redeem rewards" button in the app, and follow these steps to get a Steam key to the game. The company is already giving away the game with new purchases of GeForce GTX 960, GTX 970, GTX 980, and notebooks with GTX 970M and GTX 980M graphics.

NVIDIA Also Releases GeForce 352.86 WHQL Game Ready Driver

In addition to the first WHQL-signed GeForce driver for Windows 10, NVIDIA released GeForce 352.86 WHQL Game Ready Driver for other Windows versions. This driver adds optimizations for "The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt," which will release tomorrow (19th May). The driver also adds SLI profiles and GeForce Experience optimal settings for the game. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is part of NVIDIA's "Two Times the Adventure" game bundle, in which buyers of NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 960, GTX 970, and GTX 980 graphics cards; and notebooks with GTX 970M and GTX 980M, receive game codes for free. The game have also has some inherent optimizations for NVIDIA GeForce GPUs, with its Game Works varnish, which adds PhysX effects, turf effects, and HBAO+.
DOWNLOAD: Windows 8/7/Vista 64-bit | Windows 8/7/Vista 32-bit | Windows XP 32-bit | Windows XP 64-bit

Shutters Up for GeForce Garage in Poland, More Countries to Follow

Ahead of summer builds and upgrades by PC enthusiasts, NVIDIA announced an interesting new social media challenge, called the GeForce Garage. Open to residents of Poland now, NVIDIA plans to take it to several other markets very soon. The challenge is simple - build a gaming PC, make a video of yourself doing that, try to offer interesting / useful commentary while building it (eg: an interesting way to manage cables, cooling/ventilation, mods, post-build OC, benchmarks, etc.) Post it on YouTube, and share it with NVIDIA. Show the world that building a gaming PC can be as fun as cooking up something special and rewarding. It doesn't matter what hardware you use in your build, and it needn't be an extravagant build. Three of the best entries will win some cool new gear from NVIDIA, with notable mentions of participants. The winner gets an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 and a Shield Tablet; first runner up gets a GeForce GTX 970, and the second runner up gets a GeForce GTX 960. Friends from Poland, this way please.

AMD Fiji XT Reference PCB as Short as GTX 970 Reference, R9 295X2 Performance

AMD's upcoming Radeon R9 390X graphics cards will ship in two SKUs - an air-cooled one, with a moderately long reference design board (though not as long as the R9 290X), and a new Water-Cooled Edition (WCE) SKU, which will feature a very compact PCB - one that could be no bigger than that of the GeForce GTX 970 reference. This is possible because of AMD's HBM implementation. The 8 GB of memory on this card is present on the GPU package, as bare 3D-stacked DRAM dies, surrounding the GPU die, with an IHS covering everything; rather than the GPU package being surrounded by memory chips. Below is a mock-up of the card by ChipHell. It's not a picture. The radiator is off-proportions, the Radeon logo is misaligned, and the PCIe I/O is misaligned, etc. It should still give you a good idea of what the card looks like, particularly its length. Other specs on hand so far, include 4,096 GCN 1.2 stream processors, 256 TMUs, 128 ROPs, and a 4096-bit wide HBM interface, which at 1.25 GHz memory clock, will offer memory bandwidth of 640 GB/s.

While Fiji package will be bigger than that of, say, "Hawaii," overall the setup is more space-efficient, and conserves PCB real-estate. The PCB hence only has the GPU package and the VRM. AMD is doing away with the DVI connector on its reference PCB. It will only feature three DisplayPort 1.2a and one HDMI 2.0a. The WCE variant will feature a pump+block covering the GPU package, which will come factory-fitted to a 120 x 120 mm radiator. The air-cooled R9 390X will be longer, but only to house a heatsink and lateral blower. The single-GPU card could offer performance comparable to the dual-GPU R9 295X2, which is faster than the GeForce GTX TITAN-X. AMD CEO Lisa Su, speaking at the Investor Day event, in New York, on 6th May, hinted that the product could launch on the sidelines of either Computex 2015 (early-June) or E3 (mid-June).
Image Courtesy: ChipHell. Many Thanks to GhostRyder for the tip.

NVIDIA Announces "Two Times The Adventure" Game Bundle

NVIDIA announced its latest game bundle for buyers of its GeForce GTX 900 series graphics products. Called "Two Times the Adventure" bundle, it includes two of the year's most anticipated PC titles - "The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt," and "Batman: Arkham Knight." New buyers of GeForce GTX 980 and GTX 970 graphics cards, from participating retailers, will receive game coupons to both the games, which can be redeemed on Steam. New buyers of GeForce GTX 960, and notebooks with GeForce GTX 980M and GTX 970M, will receive game codes to just "The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt."

Codes for both games, if activated on Steam before their launch dates, will count as pre-orders, so you can pre-load and start playing on the launch dates. Both games come with NVIDIA's GameWorks varnish, which enables a few GeForce-exclusive eye-candy, such as HairWorks (GPU-accelerated hair effects) in The Witcher 3, PhysX-accelerated destruction and cloth effects, and HBAO+ in both games. The Witcher 3 releases on May 19, and Batman: Arkham Knight on June 23.

GALAX Launches Liquid-Cooled HOF GTX 970 and GTX 980 Graphics Cards

GALAX, a leading manufacturer and innovator of extreme performance gaming hardware, today announced the long awaited custom water-cooled HOF series. Pushing the limits is the Hall of Fame series' reason for being-fueling the passion for World record breaking overclocks and peerless in-game performance. This passion is rivaled only by GALAX's dedication to engineering the most capable, powerful and uncompromised hardware for the task, and the results have earned HOF series graphics cards a reputation as the best since their global debut in 2013.

Working in-conjunction with Diamond Cooling based in Europe, specialists in all things custom and cool, GALAX has developed a water cooling solution designed to fully unleash the raw potential of the GTX 980 and 970 HOF graphics cards with the unprecedented cooling capacity needed for extreme overclocks.

EVGA Gives Away Free Add-on Backplate with its GTX 970 Lineup

Spring is in the air, and to celebrate EVGA is throwing in a FREE backplate for the EVGA GeForce GTX 970 SSC (04G-P4-3975-KR) and EVGA GeForce GTX 970 SC (04G-P4-2974-KR) graphics cards at participating ETAIL/RETAIL for a limited time! When purchased at participating locations, the backplate will automatically be included with the purchase, all you need to do is a simple installation. (Instructions included). A backplate acts like a backbone on your card, boosting rigidity by providing extra support to the PCB, protecting critical components, reduces GPU temperatures, and most of all, looks great! Offer ends April 30th.

ASUS Announces GeForce GTX 970 Turbo Graphics Card

In addition to the GeForce GTX 980 20th Anniversary Edition, ASUS rolled out a snappy new GeForce GTX 970 graphics card, the Turbo GTX 970. ASUS started off its GTX 970 lineup with the top-flow heatsink based GTX 970 Strix, topping it up with the GTX 970 DCU2 Mini. What the company was lacking was a card with a conventional lateral-blower based cooler, which exhaust hot air directly out of the case. That's where this product comes in.

The Turbo GTX 970 appears to be based on the same short PCB as the GTX 970 DCU2 Mini, but strapped to a longer lateral-flow cooling solution, featuring a dense aluminium fin-channel heatsink, and a base-plate drawing heat from the memory and VRM, ventilated by the blower, which pushes air right out of the case. ASUS offers factory-overclocked speeds of 1088 MHz core with 1228 MHz GPU Boost. If this card is indeed based on the DCU2 PCB, then its power inputs include just one 8-pin PCIe power connectors. If however, it's derived from NVIDIA's cost-effective reference PCB (which has been modified and used by brands such as ZOTAC and Palit), then it could feature two 6-pin power inputs. Display outputs include two dual-link DVI, and one each of HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.2 connectors.

TechPowerUp GPU-Z 0.8.2 Released

TechPowerUp released the latest version of GPU-Z, the popular video hardware information and diagnostic utility. Version 0.8.2 brings with it a vast number of changes, support for new hardware, and bug-fixes. To begin with, the user-interface of GPU-Z received a major update, with the addition of a "Lookup" button that takes you to our GPU Database page corresponding to your GPU. The app can now tell you if your drivers are WHQL-signed. GPU manufacturer logos are updated.

Among the new hardware supported includes NVIDIA GeForce TITAN-X, GTX 980M, GTX 970M, GGTX 965M, GTX 845M, GTX 760 Ti OEM, GTX 660 (960 shaders), GT 705, GT 720, GT 745M, NVS 310, and Grid; AMD Radeon R9 255, FirePro W7100, HD 8370D, AMD R9 M280X, and R9 M295X; and Intel "Broadwell" integrated graphics. Specifications are revised for GeForce GTX 970.

A large number of bugs were fixed, and overall usability improved, including notably GPU-Z now supports Windows 10. We implemented a new working way of extracting BIOS from NVIDIA GPUs on systems with WIndows 8 and higher, to avoid a system hang. A large number of bugs were fixed, and overall usability of the app improved, as detailed in the change-log.
DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp GPU-Z 0.8.2 | GPU-Z 0.8.2 ASUS ROG-themed

The Change-log follows.

NVIDIA Starts Giving Away The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt with Select Products

NVIDIA started giving away game keys to the month's hottest new game release, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, with new purchases of select graphics cards. The company is coordinating with its AIC (add-in card) and notebook partners to give away keys that can be redeemed on Steam, with GeForce GTX 960, GeForce GTX 970 and GeForce GTX 980, on the desktop platform; and notebooks with GeForce GTX 970M (and above). The Witcher 3 is built with NVIDIA GameWorks, offering a few GeForce-exclusive features, such as HBAO+, HairWorks, and PhysX.
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