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Sapphire Announces the HD 7750 ULTIMATE

SAPPHIRE Technology has just introduced a passively cooled card in its new HD 7700 series - the SAPPHIRE HD 7750 ULTIMATE is the first totally silent card to embody all the features of this new generation of products based on the revolutionary new graphics GCN (Graphics Core Next) architecture from AMD.

The SAPPHIRE HD 7750 ULTIMATE is the first card in this generation to use a passive heatpipe and heatsink cooler to deliver totally silent cooling, and increased reliability as it has no mechanical moving parts. It shares all the features of the HD 7700 series and the highly acclaimed GCN graphics processing architecture making it ideal for HTPCs and any general purpose PC where operational noise needs to be kept to a minimum.

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.

MAINGEAR Adds AMD Radeon HD 7700 Series Graphics Options to Its Desktops

MAINGEAR, an award-winning PC system builder of custom desktops, notebooks, and workstations, now offers PC enthusiasts the AMD Radeon HD 7750 and HD 7770 graphics solutions in their award-winning desktop systems.

MAINGEAR will offer the option of choosing AMD Radeon HD 7700 series cards, which is AMD's latest mainstream variant of their 7000 series GPUs, on their desktops. The new AMD Radeon HD 7700 series graphics cards offer the world's most advance graphics with the industry's very first 28 nm GPU design at an affordable price point.

Similar to the AMD Radeon HD 7900 series, the AMD Radeon HD 7770 also offers 1 GB GDDR5 video memory, 1 DVI, 2 mini-display ports, and 1 HDMI output, as well as superior performance with dual card configurations thanks to AMD CrossFire technology. The AMD Radeon HD 7750 sports a single slot design, sips a mere 55W, and supports 1 DVI, 1 HDMI, and 1 DisplayPort output. Both the AMD Radeon HD 7900 and 7700 series graphics supports DirectX 11 and with AMD Eyefinity, and gamers and creative professionals can enjoy support for up to 6 displays for immersive entertainment and enhanced productivity.

AMD 2012 CPU Roadmap Unveils FX-X300 and A10 Series

AMD is pushing on with a desktop product lineup that's leveraging its Piledriver CPU and Graphics CoreNext GPU architectures in 2012. Apparently, the company will have a faster product development cycle to catch up with Intel's "Tick-Tock", as revealed in a roadmap slide scored by DonanimHaber. The current product lineup will remain unchanged in the first quarter of 2012. Then in the second quarter, AMD will launch a few more socket AM3+ FX-8000, FX-6000, and FX-4000 series eight, six, and four-core processors; along with the much talked about "Trinity" accelerated processing unit.

The fastest "Trinity" APUs will get a new brand identifier, the A10-5000 series. These APUs will pack next-generation "Piledriver" modular cores and Radeon HD 7600D series graphics. Around this time, AMD will also launch the Brazos 2.0 low-power APU for netbooks, nettops, and embedded computing devices. Brazos 2.0 will get the E2-1000 series branding. The big change is reserved for the third quarter of 2012, when AMD launches the successor of its less-than-lucky AMD FX "Bulldozer" processor family.

AMD Introduces the FirePro V3900 Professional Graphics Card

AMD today launched the AMD FirePro V3900, which enables best-in-class workstation experiences at an entry-level price point. By leveraging AMD's latest graphics features, including AMD Eyefinity technology, the AMD FirePro V3900 provides up to 95% better application performance than the competition. The AMD FirePro V3900 will be available in select workstation systems today and will be sold for USD$119 MSRP at select online resellers.

"The AMD FirePro V3900 is the most powerful entry-level professional graphics card on the market today," says Sandeep Gupte, general manager of Professional Graphics, AMD. "Armed with advanced multi-display capability of AMD Eyefinity technology, extensive certifications for professional applications and blazing fast performance, it offers best-in-class value for our technical and business customers."

Mouse Computer Launches New Desktops with 23-inch IPS Displays

Japanese company Mouse Computer announced two new desktop PC models featuring the latest hardware and Iiyama ProLite X2377HDS-B IPS LED-backlit LCD display. The 23-inch IPS display provides 1920 x 1080 resolution with a response time of 5 ms. The first of the two desktops featuring it is the LM-iS615B-P23S, and the other is LM-i735X-P23S (pictured in this order below).

The LM-iS615B-P23S features a micro-ATX slim-tower measuring 100 x 393 x 364 mm (WxDxH). It is driven by Intel Core i5-2500 processor, with 8 GB dual-channel DDR3-1333 memory. It lacks discrete graphics, and relies on the embedded Intel HD 3000 graphics. Storage is care of a 500 GB 7200 RPM HDD and DVD-RW drive. It is powered by a 300W PSU. Windows 7 Home Premium x64 is the OS of choice.

Intel Tapping Into Entry-Level Workstation Graphics With HD P3000 Series

While its processor-integrated graphics solutions may not be a match for those from NVIDIA and AMD in terms of client applications such as gaming, Intel thinks it has a shot at the entry-level workstation graphics segment, dominated by the likes of NVIDIA Quadro FX 580 and AMD FirePro V3800 series. Workstation GPUs differ from consumer ones as they are accompanied by more API features, are certified by professional 3D modelling software, and are designed to minimize rendering errors since these renders go on to take shape as millions of dollars worth skyscrapers, for example.

Intel thinks that after the performance success of SNA, it has achieved an acceptable level of performance with its integrated graphics design to take it professional. It is doing so by creating workstation-variants of the "Sandy Bridge" and future "Ivy Bridge" silicons in the Xeon E3-1200 series, and giving their integrated graphics increased functionality. The result is a variant of Intel's HD graphics 3000 series, called Intel HD Graphics P3000 series (P denoting professional). Intel is applying for certification by 3D modeling software developers (it's important, because engineers look for these certifications before picking their hardware). The status of its certification with various vendors is detailed in the first slide below.

Anno 2070's Draconian DRM: Ubisoft Loosens Restrictions. Slightly

Last week we brought you news of Ubisoft's hard three machine activation limit on Anno 2070 and how it scuppered a review by Guru3D when they swapped out graphics cards. Guru3D's post then went viral on the web and it appears that this has put sufficient pressure or 'heat' on Ubisoft to relax the restrictions just a tiny bit, since they weren't going to use any more Ubisoft games for benchmarks. So what have they done? Allowed an unlimited number of graphics card swaps. That's it, everything else stays the same, so if other components such as the CPU, motherboard etc are changed, then one will still run into this frustrating brick wall and have to get in touch with customer support to reset the activations.

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.

Anno 2070's Draconian DRM: Guru3D's Graphics Card Review Killed Off

Anno 2070's Draconian DRM: Guru3D's Graphics Card Review Killed Off (UPDATED)

Hilbert Hagedoorn of well-known PC tech review site guru3d.com recently bought a copy of Ubisoft's Anno 2070 and wanted to use it in one of his graphics card reviews. However, he became badly unstuck. This game comes on the Steam platform and the store page states: "3rd-party DRM: Solidshield Tages SAS 3 machine activation limit". Unfortunately for Guru3D, they found out exactly what this means, which resulted in just one performance graph, an aborted review, an unplayable game - and bad publicity for Ubisoft once again. They have published an article about their experience, pledging not to use their titles again because of this DRM.

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).

Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 Custom-Design Graphics Card Pictured

Here is the first picture of a non-reference design Radeon HD 7970 graphics card. Made by Gigabyte, the GV-R797OC-3GD is a factory-overclocked graphics card, which makes use of a custom Ultra Durable VGA+ PCB by the company, and a custom-design triple-fan WindForce cooler. Its Ultra Durable VGA+ PCB makes use of 2 oz copper layer for better electrical stability and heat distribution, ferrite-core chokes, low RDS (on) MOSFETs, hand-picked high-performance GDDR5 memory chips, etc.

The cooler makes use of a combination of heatsinks and aluminum fin arrays to which heat from the GPU, memory, and VRM is fed by copper heat-pipes, and ventilated by three fans. Gigabyte also has a reference-design graphics card, which uses a reference-design cooling assembly, and most likely also a reference design PCB, except that it's colored red. It's not likely that red color PCB will be standard among AIB-branded retail cards, because the HIS and MSI cards pictured by OCUK recently, were found to have black-colored ones. There's no word of the pricing or clock speeds.

More HD 7770 Leaks: Pictures, Plus 3DMark Benchmarks

Not quite two weeks ago, we reported on leaked pictures of AMD's upcoming Radeon HD 7770 mid-range graphics card based on the new Southern Islands architecture and listed its basic specs. Well, the leaks keep coming and bigpao007 of ChipHell has leaked more pictures with some benchmarks to go with them. The test setup consisted of an Ivy Bridge ES CPU - Core i5-3550K at 3.3Ghz and Z77 chipset-based motherboard. The driver used was the AMD Catalyst 8.940 RC2, giving the following 3DMark benchmark results:

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.

Sharkoon Announces T28 Case for Long Graphics Cards

Sharkoon presents another series of cases: Available in three color editions, the Sharkoon T28 offers a lot of space especially for hard drive installation, thankfully due to the removable hard drive cage, and also perfect for extra-long graphic cards.

Externally the Sharkoon T28 offers a black body and a rectilinear mesh front design. Power and Reset buttons are elegantly chromed. In regards to the front connectors, Audio In/Out stands ready between three USB2.0 ports and a USB3.0 interface. An acrylic window on the left side panel gives an insight into the interior of the colored mainboard tray. Choose from three color editions: Red, green, and for the first time after numerous customer suggestions, blue. Also, the operating and hard drive LEDs illuminate in the edition color as well as the three pre-installed 120 mm fans. Two fans rotate in the front, the third in the back. All possess a 4-pin power supply and a 3-pin mainboard connector.

Apple Outsources IP Disputes to Patent Trolls

These are some lively times at Apple's legal department. The company is locked in intellectual property disputes with multiple companies, in multiple countries. Some of these are familiar foes such as Motorola Mobility and Samsung, others regional and lesser-known. The one thing patent disputes do, to all parties involved in them, is dent PR. Every legal dispute attracts or at lease leaves scope for bad press, and more often shapes public opinion against the disputing parties.

Apple learned a new trick in the trade which at least two recent events with very different outcomes, may have helped shape. First, it recently thwarted display IP infringement claims by S3 Graphics thanks to timely help by GPU supplier AMD, and second, it suffered a setback with regards to some brand names claimed by Chinese company ProView. You see, the ups and downs of IP disputes can have some very varied effects on the company's image. Apple's new trick is simple: make a different company, with a much different brand name, to handle those IP disputes on behalf of Apple, so brand Apple isn't directly dragged into the mess. Enter your friendly neighbourhood patent-troll, Digitude.

Battlefield 3: Massive PC Only Update Released

It looks like developer DICE has been doing a lot of listening to its customers, as the large number of complaints over in-game glitches has produced an almighty patch, fixing just about everything, including the kitchen sink, while making lots of little tweaks to improve gameplay and the user interface. On top of that, the patch is PC only for now as the console versions are taking "a bit longer due to [the] console certification process".

Bugfixes include such goodies as a "Black Screen" fix for an issue occurring on some PC Configurations; spawn protection improvements; increasing the damage from the 44 Magnum slightly; sharing your profile and stats with new Battlelog functionality; profile integration with Facebook, Google+ and Twitter and lots more. The full list appears below.

Apple Defends Patent Claims by S3 Graphics Thanks to Timely Help by AMD

The world of corporate disputes is a funny one. S3 Graphics filed a compliant against Apple for infringing four of its patents related to its graphics IP. Later this year, ITC announced a verdict ruling in favor of S3 Graphics around the same time S3 Graphics was being purchased by HTC. In a spectacular turn of events, on November 21, ITC took a U-turn by overruling the favorable verdict and dismissing S3 Graphics' case.

Commentators note that AMD's intervention into the case as a non-party may have played a key role, AMD claimed the patents in question to be its own, later Apple sought dismissal of the case based on the grounds of AMD's claims. ITC denied AMD and Apple requests to publicly disclose the details of the patents in question, so the the public would't find out what patent claims were used against S3 Graphics. AMD is currently the principal supplier of GPUs for Apple's Mac products, though there are now rumors that with the next generation of Macs, Apple could change its GPU supplier to AMD's rival NVIDIA.

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.

AMD Fails to Halt S3 Graphics Patent Lawsuit Against Apple

In late September, S3 Graphics, still a subsidiary of VIA Technology and soon to be transferred to HTC, dragged Apple Inc. to court over charges of patent infringement related to graphics component IP of nearly all Apple products, including iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and iMac. Last month, AMD, now a main supplier of graphics processors for Apple's Mac products, intervened with a counter lawsuit claiming it owned the patents that S3 has asserted against Apple, and sought an immediate halt to S3's patent case against Apple.

In an October 28 filing with the ITC, S3 says that a federal judge struck down a request for an immediate halt into S3's case, but the Commission is scheduled to release its final decision on November 15. The case struck down is (rather was) Advanced Micro Devices Inc. v. S3 Graphics Co., 11cv965, U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware (Wilmington).

AMD Catalyst 11.10 WHQL Released

AMD today released its latest official version of Catalyst, a software suite that provides drivers for AMD/ATI Radeon graphics processors, A-Series APUs, 7-series and 8-series integrated graphics, and related system software. Catalyst 11.10 WHQL launched today has essentially the same change log as the 11.10 Preview 3 driver, except that it's WHQL-signed. Catalyst 11.10 WHQL is the driver to have when playing some of the latest titles such as Battlefield 3 and Rage.

Catalyst 11.10 WHQL brings in a few new features, too, such as support for 5x1 Eyefinity, with maximum resolution increased to 16000 x 16000 pixels on Radeon HD 6000 series GPUs, and in DirectX 11 applications, and improved Vision Engine Control Center / Catalyst Control Center applications (VECC is installed for A-Series APUs and Chipset IGPs, CCC is installed for discrete Radeon GPUs).

DOWNLOAD: AMD Catalyst 11.10 WHQL for Windows 7 and Vista 64-bit | Windows 7 and Vista 32-bit

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.

Modern Warfare 3 new trailer, Redemption SP. Graphics as good as BF3?

There's a great new single player trailer just out for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. It continues the story from the previous game and looks excellent, as you might expect. However, since it's coming out at the same time as Battlefield 3, one can't help compare the graphics quality between the two. MW3 seems to look like an evolutionary improvement, but still looks like "computer generated graphics", while BF3 appears to define a whole new level of realism which isn't that hard to mistake for the real thing if it's not looked at closely. Go watch it over at Guru3D at 720p and decide for yourselves. Note that watching the video directly on YouTube requires a free account registration due to the strong nature of the content, but not on Guru3D.

EVGA GTX 580 Classified + watercooling Doubles Core Clock Speed!

The EVGA GTX 580 Classified 3072MB, previously announced on TechPowerUp, is now available to buy according to this forum post by an EVGA product manager - in limited quantities, of course. According to Gaming Blend, this card can amazingly reach a doubled 1.6GHz core clock when overclocked using waterblocks - GTX 590 eat your heart out! This card also has custom designed VRMs to take all the extra power that the card will use, which means that they won't squeal when the card is overclocked hard and also when running intensive applications such as Folding@Home.
UPDATE: Turns out that 1.6GHz overclock was actually achieved using LN2, not water. To confirm it, click the EVGA promo link after the jump and see the extreme cooling section video, or just skip directly to the YouTube video here.

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