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HIS Launches Two New HD 3850 AGP Cards

Admittedly HIS isn't the first company to launch an AGP HD 3850 (SAPPHIRE, PowerColor and GECUBE already have, possibly others), but it is refreshing for any users still running an AGP platform to see new cards being released. HIS has introduced two versions of its AGP HD 3850 - a standard version running at reference speeds and an IceQ 3 Turbo version overclocked from 668MHz to 720MHz core frequency and 1656MHz to 1820MHz memory. Both feature 512MB GDDR3 memory and use the AGP 8X interface. The cards come equipped with all the standard HD 3850 features that you would expect, such as DirectX 10.1 support and AVIVO, although pricing is not listed on HIS' website. It's slightly surprising to see AGP models still being released, as you would have thought most people that are likely to upgrade to a card like this would already have a PCI-Express motherboard, but HIS obviously thinks there is still a market for these cards.

NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GTX Priced

According to NordicHardware, several leaked slides have revealed the price of NVIDIA's upcoming GeForce 9800 GTX card to be $349 (one even said $299-$349, but the higher value seems much more likely). The card should go on sale on March 25th, and the reference specifications have a G92-420 core running at 675MHz with 512MB of GDDR3 memory at 2000MHz.

GeForce 9800 GX2 Goes on Sale

NVIDIA's upcoming GeForce 9800 GX2 graphics card is now available to pre-order from shopblt.com, for a price of $598.41. Although the release date is still unconfirmed, the site has an estimated time of arrival as 03-22-2008, which could well be the official launch day. The actual card being listed is from PNY Technologies, although no extra details are given.

GeForce 9800 GTX Close-Up Pictures

There are not many details on this unfortunately, but WE.PCINLIFE seems to have acquired a number of close-up images of NVIDIA's upcoming GeForce 9800 GTX, which will be the company's first high-end single GPU 9 series graphics card. There are 18 pictures in all, with some of the better shots shown below.

More 9800 GX2 Pictures Released

German site Allround-PC.com has acquired a few new pictures of NVIDIA's upcoming 9800 GX2 graphics card, which is set to become the company's flagship consumer card when it's released next month. The card will have two 65nm GeForce 8800 GPUs working in SLI on a single card, with a 600MHz core, 1GHz GDDR3 memory and a 1.5GHz shader clock. The pictures are below.

ASUS Launches Silent HD 3650

Catering to users who require quiet computing environments, ASUS has today introduced the latest thermal solution - the V-Cool Heatsink, which will be incorporated with the EAH3650 SILENT/HTDI/512M and EAH3650 SILENT/HTDI/256M graphic cards. Featuring the V-Engine concept and Intercooler technology, the V-Cool Heatsink guarantees an absolutely quiet and efficient heat dissipation that enables the most stable performance.

AMD Releases Statement in Regards to Imminent GeForce 9600 Launch

AMD is taking the whole concept of a next-generation product flying out of NVIDIA's factory doors with an unnerving level of calm. The main points of a press conference...
  • The 9600GT, in benchmarks scores roughly between an HD3850 and an HD3870. The HD3850 can be had for $169USD, and the HD3870 can be had for $189USD. Suggested MSRP for the 9600GT: $169-189USD.
  • The current offerings from AMD are more feature rich than the 9600GT. Such features are DirectX 10.1, 55nm manufacturing, and built-in HDCP encoding.
  • AMD's offerings currently beat the 9600GT in terms of heat, power consumption and noise.
The validity of the second point can be debated, considering DX10.1 games are still a ways away, and most users are hard-pressed to find the exact difference between DX10.1 and DX10.

Confirmed: 9800GT Will Support 3-Way SLI

Well, really, the title says it all. Everyone buying a 9800GT will get the great and wonderful 3-way SLI technology, should they desire to run three graphics cards in one PC. While the 9800GT does run off of the G92 core, what really sets it apart to allow for three-way SLI is the second SLI connector on each card, and quite a few modifications to the G92 chip. The entire GeForce 9x00 series should be released by the middle of March.

Midrange GeForce 9 Cards Could Arrive on February 21

According to several graphics manufacturers, the first midrange cards from NVIDIA's GeForce 9 series will start finding themselves on market shelves on February 21st. Please take this with a grain of salt, as the old saying goes, because NVIDIA refused to comment on this, citing that they cannot comment on unreleased products. Keep in mind, also, that only a few makers will be pushing out GeForce 9 cards on the 21st. The early birds will price their cards around US$169-189 MSRP, pushing the cards they are replacing (8600GTS) down to US$139-149 MSRP. For those of you who would like an introduction to the 9600 series...
The 9600 GT adopts a 65nm process and is manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). The GPU sees an increase in processing units, 64, and memory bus width, 256-bit, over previous 8600 GTS cards, 32 and 128-bit. The GPU's performance should see an increase of over 40% compared to the 8600 GTS. The new GPU also introduces Dual-Streaming Decode technology which allows two high-definition image decoding processes to be performed at the same time and provides picture in picture (PIP) functionality.

EVGA Launches Overclocked 8800GT AKIMBO

It's time to suit up and join the front lines with the fastest 8800GT card in its class, the EVGA 8800GT AKIMBO card: Featuring a 65nm GPU with an astonishing GPU Core clock of 720MHz, the exclusive dual slot heat sink and fan drops temperatures as much as 25 degrees Celsius, keeping your card cool and ready to perform at any given notice. Your new secret weapon supports 2-way SLI and the latest PCI-E 2.0 standard, now is the time to lock, load, and game. Frag it up with the EVGA 8800GT AKIMBO card.

ATI RV770 'On Par' With Expectations

With the launch of the GeForce 9 series getting closer and closer, AMD is hard pressed to find something to keep themselves competitive. While the RV670 and R680 are regaining some much needed market share, they will both pale when the GeForce 9 series is released to the public. Thankfully, AMD is not going down without a fight. About the same time as the GeForce 9 series is released, AMD is releasing a little something called the RV770. At this point, it appears that the RV770 is about 50% faster than the current HD3870, which is certainly respectable. How this compares to the GeForce 9 series is still a mystery. The release of CrossFire X technology ought to really help benchmark numbers, assuming AMD can make buying four AMD GPUs cost about as much as two from NVIDIA.

Fudzilla Tests 'Hybrid CrossFire', Gets Powerful Results

The current drivers available from ATI (Catalyst 8.1) support an interesting new mode: interoperability between an HD3870 and an HD3850 in CrossFire mode. Fudzilla had both the time and resources to test this out, so they did. Before the test results are considered, please remember that these are just initial drivers. Both Catalyst 8.2 and 8.3 will offer more impressive CrossFire results. To make a long story short, and to sum up a lot of bar charts, AMD is well on their way to making Hybrid CrossFire a feasible solution for a lot of people, especially once more graphics cards can be mixed-and-matched. Please check out Fudzilla for all the benchmarks.

The most notable increase was 50% in Half Life 2. NVIDIA does not have anything comparable to Hybrid CrossFire.

SAPPHIRE Launches 1GB HD 3850

SAPPHIRE Technology, industry leader in graphics upgrades for the PC, has just launched a new version of its successful HD 3850 with enhanced memory configuration of 1GB.

The new SAPPHIRE HD 3850 has 1GB of GDDR3 memory, running at 829MHz (1.66GHz effective). It has a core clock speed of 703MHz, higher than the standard model, which together with the large onboard memory delivers exciting levels of graphics performance especially in games or applications where large volumes of texture or data are involved.

AMD Will Not Release R700 Micro-Architecture Until 2009

AMD recently unveiled plans to put out R680, RV635 and RV620 chips, which would power high-end, mid-range and budget cards, respectively. While this is all well and good, AMD said that the anticipated R700 series of graphics chips would not be put out until at least 2009. This decision will hopefully give AMD a chance to return to profitability. The long wait for a new graphics family will also give AMD more time to ensure that they're putting out a high-quality product that will dominate the market. During the event that this was discovered at, AMD also put out some details of the upcoming Leo platform. For more about the Leo platform, please check the source link.

G92-Based 8800GTS 512 Could Possibly Arrive December 11th

It would seem as though NVIDIA is celebrating the day that I get my full drivers license, sans passenger restrictions, by releasing the revamped NVIDIA GeForce 8800GTS 512, based on the impressive G92 micro-architecture. The new 8800GTS 512 will only come in one flavor, which, as the name suggests, will sport 512MB of 256-bit VRAM. This is opposed to the previous versions, which ship with either 320MB or 640MB of 320-bit VRAM. The new 8800GTS 512 will come with 128 Stream processors, a welcome improvement from the previous 96 Stream processors. The new 8800GTS also has another welcome surprise: an engine clock of 650MHz, higher than any 8800 series GPU before it. Current rumor has it that the 8800GTS 512's 512MB of VRAM will be clocked at roughly 1.96GHz. The 8800GTS 512 should be available on December 11th for between $299 and $349 USD.

HKEPC Claims Honor of First HD 3600 Series Picture

Nothing confirms a graphics card's existence quite like pictures. HKEPC, along with some confirmed facts as to what we can expect to see from and when we can expect to see an HD 3600, published the first HD 3600 picture. Here are the confirmed facts:
  • The RV635 will be a 55nm part.
  • The RV635 will run DirectX10.1, have Shader Model 4.1, and be fully compatible with PCI Express 2.0.
  • The RV635 will have 24 Stream Processors, 120 Stream Processing Units (ALU), 16 Texture Address Units, eight Texture Filter Units and four ROPs.
  • The RV635 will be paired with an unknown quantity of 128-bit GDDR2/3/4 VRAM.
  • The RV635 will be split into two groups, the XT and PRO. The RV635XT will be dubbed the HD 3670, and will be clocked at 800/1600 core/memory, respectively. The RV635PRO will be dubbed the HD3650, and clocked at 650/1000 core/memory, respectively.
  • The RV635 will begin mass-production in mid-December, and begin shipping in January.

AMD to Cut Prices of HD 3800 Series

While the HD 3800 series is already available at a relatively low price (the 3850 has an MSRP of $180USD, while the 3870 has an MSRP of $220USD), AMD is considering cutting the price down to even lower amounts. There is no word as to how low AMD will go, but cheap, high power graphics cards just in time for Christmas may be exactly what AMD needs to re-claim market share from NVIDIA and their $300 8800GT. AMD increased their market share with a similar maneuver last year, by releasing value-oriented and powerful X1950 and X1650 graphics cards. This move increased AMD's market share by 2.1%, giving them 23% market share this time last year. NVIDIA has their own plans to get holiday sales, and hopes to churn out enough G92 chips to meet demand.

'Radeon HD 3600' Details Leaked

While the current RV670 chips are selling like hotcakes, AMD is working on putting out mid-range and low-end parts for those market segments. The successor to the HD 2600 series, according to graphics card manufacturers, will be called the HD 3600 series (big surprise). The 3600 series will come in two versions, an XT model and a Pro model. The XT will be clocked at 800MHz, and the Pro will be clocked at 600MHz. Both will be attached to 128-bit VRAM, which will run at an unknown clock speed. The Pro will have GDDR2, while the XT will have GDDR3. Both will support DirectX10.1, and the micro-architecture itself is codenamed "RV635". The RV635 should be launched with the RV620, the successor to the HD 2400 series. The RV620 should be dubbed the HD 3400 series.

How Much Graphics Memory do You Really Need?

As monitors get bigger, run at higher resolutions, and video games require ridiculous amounts of graphics memory to run at respectable settings, both AMD and NVIDIA have shoved more and more graphics memory into their cards. However, how much is enough? The folks at YouGamers did some serious tests, and discovered some interesting facts about VRAM. While AMD and NVIDIA both want you to think that humongous amounts of VRAM will magically make your games run at 1920x1200, YouGamers discovered that quantity is not what really matters. If you want to run the most stressful games at the highest resolutions possible, you will see much more benefit from getting faster graphics card memory, or simply a faster graphics card. You can read the full investigative article here.

ATI Radeon HD 2900GT Silently Launched

While NVIDIA launched the 8800GT to much fanfare, hype, and success, AMD is attempting a different approach to get HD 2900GTs out into the public. AMD created the chips, released the specs, made sure that retailers had a ample stock at a fair price ($170USD on Newegg for the Sapphire version). The Sapphire 2900GT has 700 million transistors, is built around an 80nm micro-architecture, has 256-bit 4-channel GDDR3 memory, unified superscalar shader architecture, 240 stream processing units, and full DirectX10.0 support. The Sapphire card is clocked at 600/1600, core/RAM, respectively.

NVIDIA Records First Billion Dollar Quarter

However it happened, NVIDIA officially earned $1.12 billion USD of revenue in the third fiscal quarter alone. NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang had this to say in regards to their recent success:
We are very proud to have achieved our first billion dollar quarter. And, while it is a wonderful milestone to reach, we believe this is just the beginning. Our core businesses are continuing to grow as the GPU becomes increasingly central to today's computing experience in both the consumer and professional market segments.
This milestone is not only the first time NVIDIA has earned more than 1 billion dollars in one quarter, it's the first time any discrete graphics card manufacturer has earned 1 billion dollars in one quarter. NVIDIA attributes their extremely successful quarter to a 33% increase in desktop GPU sales, a 120% in notebook GPU sales, competitive products, and that "the way it's meant to be played" campaign, which has been seen in such blockbuster titles as BioShock and the soon-to-be-released Crysis.

Intel Previews Integrated DirectX10 Solution; Claims 3x 3Dmark06 Performance

Intel is showing off what will soon replace today's GMA3100 and GMA X3500 integrated graphics solutions: the GMA X4500. The X4500 will be built into the G45 chipsets, part of the "Eaglelake" family. The X4500 will also support DirectX10.0 and SM4.0, making it a prime candidate to run 3DMark Next when it is released. Until then, Intel claims that the X4500 will run roughly three times faster than the previous GMA3100 graphics solution. Motherboards with G45 chips in them will also support DisplayPort, HDMI, hardware-level HDCP decoding, and DVI. Lastly, the X4500 will support a new version of Intel Clear Video, which should enhance HD-DVD and Blu-ray playback on a PC considerably. Expect to see the G45, as well as the rest of the Eaglelake family, in Q2 2008.

AMD Prepares 'CrossFire X' Technology

While ATI CrossFire technology was introduced in early 2005, delays and the wide adoption of NVIDIA SLI platforms prevented CrossFire from really catching on. AMD hopes to change that by introducing a little ace-in-the-hole that's currently nicknamed 'CrossFire X'. The CrossFire X initiative aims to increase scalability, performance, reliability, and flexibility of CrossFire platforms with the help of the AMD 790 chipsets, PCI Express 2, and new graphics cards. The most noticeable things CrossFire X will do are listed below.
  • 3/4 way CrossFire
  • Allow for two or more completely different cards to be combined under the same CrossFire Platform
  • CrossFire Overdrive, which allows for the dramatic increase of graphics clocks across a CrossFire platform, regardless of how many cards said platform may consist of.
  • CrossFire Hybrid, which allows for the combination of integrated/onboard graphics and graphics card rendering, disabling the latter when it is not needed to reduce power consumption.

NVIDIA Confirms 1.5GHz 8800GT With 112 Shader Processors

While AMD is working hard on putting the finishing touches on the RV670, NVIDIA isn't going to let itself just be forgotten about. In an NVIDIA presentation slide, the 8800GT got confirmed as having 112 shaders working at an impressive 1.5GHz. This is much better than the 96 shaders at 1.2GHz rumor heard earlier. The actual core/memory clocks are still up in smoke though. However, the latest rumors hint that they will be around 600/900 for the core and memory, respectively. The VRAM will be 256-bit GDDR3, the amount of which will be determined by manufacturers. Expect the cards to cost between $199 and $249 USD when they hit retail channels worldwide.

RV670XT Uses 132W, RV670Pro Uses 104W

When gamers heard that the original R600 had a TDP of over 200W, gamers who wanted to play at respectable resolutions and settings went out and bought new power supplies capable of handling such a load, and dealt with the noise that comes with dissipating such a high TDP. Fortunately, these problems are not going to be associated with the RV670, AMD's next high-end graphics card. The RV670XT has a TDP of 132W, and the RV670Pro boasts a modest 104W TDP. Hopefully, these lower heat yields will allow for a quieter cooling solution for these cards. AMD attributes these lower TDPs to a 55nm manufacturing process.
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