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- Crysis 2 DX11, performances & tessellation
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 & Asus DirectCU II TOP
- Optical LightPeak on the Sony VAIO Z!
- AFDS: Microsoft announces C++ AMP
- AFDS: Back to the future of AMD GPUs
- Radeon HD 7000M, GeForce 600M: renaming
- High-end GeForce GTX 580 roundup
- GTX 580 3GB vs 1.5GB, SLI, surround
- The impact of PCI Express on GPUs
- H.264 encoding - CPU vs GPU
- Review: AMD Radeon HD 7950
- Asus HD 7950 DirectCU II: fault report!
- AMD Radeon HD 7970 & CrossFireX review
- Understanding 3D rendering with 3DMark 11
- Catalyst 12.1 preview: profiles at last!

 Radeon HD 7000M, GeForce 600M: renaming
  Posted on 09/12/2011 at 00:01 by Damien
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AMD and NVIDIA have both just introduced their new mobile ranges: the Radeon HD 7000Ms and the GeForce 600Ms. Are we talking 28 nanometre fabrication processes? New architectures? New features? Higher performance? No, none of the above! For Christmas, AMD and NVIDIA have decided to resort to a technology that seems to be becoming something of a tradition: renaming. This is a nice present for consumers who will thus be billed new prices for old range products!

We can only condemn this strategy, conceived by AMD, NVIDIA and PC laptop manufacturers to fool your average consumer who is likely to believe he or she is acquiring new hardware. While such practices would cause a scandal in many industries, the little world of GPUs seems to be immune.

Little matter whether new products are ready on time or not, NVIDIA systematically launches a new range of mobile GPUs at the end of the year or the beginning of January to accompany the arrival of new PC laptops. This year, nothing is ready in either of the rival camps, which means another renaming process that unfortunately AMD has also decided to adopt. A year ago, AMD also did some renaming, but alongside the introduction of new GPUs while NVIDIA renamed the 400M range as 500Ms even though the 400Ms had only been introduced just a few months earlier, with, it’s true, an increase in reference clocks on some models.

In 2012, NVIDIA has decided to rename the entry level 500M series so as to create a 600M range:

The two variants of the GeForce GT 635M are thus equivalent to the variants of the GeForce GT 555M, the first itself already a renamed variant of the GeForce GT 445M. The GeForce 610M is for its part a renamed GeForce GT 520MX introduced in the spring and based on the ultra low end GF119 GPU. The situation with the GeForce GT 630Ms is somewhat more complicated. One of the variants is a renamed GeForce GT 540M, while the other is a new one. It’s a GeForce GT 445M/555M/635M with a memory bus cut down from 192 to 128 bits.

You'll note by the way that as if giving an identical product two different names wasn’t enough to confuse the consumer, NVIDIA has also given these same names to different products…

In the AMD camp, the entry level and mid-range models in the HD 6000M range which weren’t themselves originally renamed, now become Radeon HD 7000Ms:

The Radeon HD 67x0Ms and 66x0Ms thus become Radeon HD 76x0Ms, but we don’t yet know which models will be affected nor if the clocks will be modified. In parallel, AMD is introducing the Radeon HD 75x0Ms which will be based on the same GPU as the Radeon HD 67x0Ms, 66x0Ms and 76x0Ms but with the memory bus cut down from 128 to 64 bits. In the entry level segment, the Radeon HD 64x0Ms now become Radeon HD 74x0Ms, also with as yet unknown clocks.

Note that none of these aspects of the spec is guaranteed, with AMD and NVIDIA both modifying clocks and memory to adapt to the thermal envelope and budget required by PC laptop manufacturers. For example, the Radeon HD 6770M used on the Apple MacBook Pro 15’’ is clocked at 675 MHz instead of the 725 MHz announced.

For the real innovations, we’ll have to wait until spring. That’s when the new GPUs will come on stream higher up the range from the Radeon HD 76x0Ms: Cape Verde and Pitcairn. Although NVIDIA was some way behind AMD in the introduction of 28 nanometre technology, the rumours have it that a small Kepler generation GPU will also be introduced in the spring.

 High-end GeForce GTX 580 roundup
  Posted on 26/10/2011 at 00:00 by Damien
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Armed with a new test protocol, we have looked at six high-end GTX 580s. The Asus Matrix Platinum, EVGA Classified, Gainward Phantom, Gigabyte SOC, MSI Lightning and Zotac AMP²! Edition will fight the reference card…

> Roundup: a review of the super GeForce GTX 580s from Asus, EVGA, Gainward, Gigabyte, MSI and Zotac

 GTX 580 3GB vs 1.5GB, SLI, surround
  Posted on 24/10/2011 at 00:00 by Damien
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While preparing a GeForce GTX 580 roundup, we wanted to see if the 3 GB variants, which are starting to become more common, offer any real advantage. We carried out a few tests at very high resolution as well as in surround, all with antialiasing, which significantly increases video memory demand.

> GeForce GTX 580 3GB vs 1.5GB test, SLI and surround

 The impact of PCI Express on GPUs
  Posted on 26/09/2011 at 16:40 by Damien
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With the different AMD and Intel platforms offering varying numbers of PCI Express lanes, the impact of this bus on graphics performance is often the subject of discussion. Are the PCI Express 2.0 x8 and x16 equivalent in terms of performance on our 3D cards? What’s the impact of a x4 interconnect width, and what are the differences between lanes that are directly linked to processors and those which transit via the southbridge? So many questions that we’re going to try and answer in this article!

> The impact of PCI Express on GPUs

 H.264 encoding - CPU vs GPU
  Posted on 18/08/2011 at 01:19 by Damien
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Video encoding is often thought to be the most common general public application for GPGPUs. We’ve decided to give you a roundup on performance, speed and quality of the various solutions!

> H.264 encoding - CPU vs GPU: Nvidia CUDA, AMD Stream, Intel MediaSDK and x264

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