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News of the day (January 19, 2010)


 196.21 WHQL drivers from NVIDIA
  Posted on 1263910335 by Benoit

NVIDIA has just made available a new version of its Windows 7 / Vista / XP drivers with Microsoft WHQL certification. The 196.21s replace November’s WHQL and upgrade to the latest version (9.09.1112) of the PhysX API.

SLI support has been improved in this version as well as support for multi-GPU cards. Adds: Avatar , Battlefield: Bad Company 2, City Bus Simulator, Dirt 2, Ferrari Virtual Race, GREED: Black Border, Mass Effect 2, Mortal Online, Ninja Blade, Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising Demo, Planet 51, RUSE, Serious Sam HD, and Wings of Prey. Note also the correction of bugs as detailed in the release notes.

No great changes, then, but a welcome update nevertheless, especially as NVIDIA often gives us Beta drivers first. Owners of GeForces 6,7,8,9,100,200 and Ion GPUs can download the drivers from the following links:

- Windows 7 Vista (32 bits / 64 bits)
- Windows XP (32 bits / 64 bits)



 Epia-T700: seulement 6x6cm
  Posted on 1263906895 by Benoit

One of the specialities of Via is, without contest, the announcement of smaller and smaller platforms. After the ITX (21.5 cm by 19.5), the Mini-ITX (17 cm by 17), the Nano-ITX (12 cm by 12) and the Pico-ITX (10 cm by 7.5), Via have recently announed the Mobile-ITX (6 cm by 6).

Via has now unveiled the EPIA-T700, a full X86 in the Mobile-ITX form factor. Designed first and foremost for the medical, military and automobile sectors, this 6 cm square is equipped with a 1 GHz Eden ULV processor, the VX820 chipset, 512 MB of DDR2 and a Chrome9 DX9 graphics chip. It comes with a card and supports DVI and USB 2.0 (not built onto the motherboard however).

Lack of power means the EPIA-T700 will be reserved for very specific uses where the small form factor, X86 compatibility and low energy consumption (12W) are important.


Although Via has not been making X86 processors and chipsets for the general consumer for some time, the firm is still very active in the domain of controllers and integrated systems.



 Radeon HD 5830: update on the rumour mill
  Posted on 1263895943 by Benoit

When the 5xxx range was launched, ATI surprised us all by announcing its high (5870/5850) and mid (5750/5770) ranges very close together. With attractive price/performance ratios overall, there is nevertheless quite a gap between the two ranges. From €130/150 for the 5770 we jump to €250 for the 5850, quite a difference both in terms of price and performance.

There has been no shortage of rumours that ATI were about to remedy the situation with the launch of the Radeon 5830, some sources saying that it would be out at the beginning of February. Part of the 58xx range, performances should be pretty good with the smart money on a cut down 5850. Reportedly with 1280 stream processors (288 vec5 units) instead of 1440 (256 vec5 units) and GPU clocks down quite a bit, it retains the 256-bit memory bus to avoid too much of an impact on performance, especially at high resolution. We don’t have any info on the number of ROP units but it isn’t too outlandish to think there’ll be 32, like on the 5850/5870 so as to keep a certain homogeneity in the 58xx range. Some of the rumours put forward a launch price of €239. With this sort of spec at this sort of price, this hypothetical 5830 could well represent one of the best buys in the range in terms of price/performance ratios, as long as there’s enough availability.

Other rumours are talking about it giving slightly superior (even equal) performance to the 4890, with 40nm, DirectX 11 and Eyefinity on top, which would place the 5830 at equal distance between the 5770 and the 5850, which would make sense.


Of course this is all just rumour and speculation right now and can’t be taken as gospel. We’ll just have to wait and see if the 5830 appears at the same time as the 5500 and 5400, which are slated for February.



 Report: AMD Radeon HD 5970
  Posted on 1263892650 by Damien

After the Radeon HD 5800s and 5700s, it's over to the Radeon HD 5970 to make its appearance. A bi-GPU Radeon HD 5800 model, it completes the top end of the AMD range of cards and should reinforce current AMD domination.

> Report: AMD Radeon HD 5970



 Report: AMD Radeon HD 5770 and 5750
  Posted on 1263891561 by Damien

As expected AMD is keeping up the pressure and rolling out its DirectX 11 graphics cards in the mid-segment. Just 3 weeks after the arrival of the Radeon HD 5800s, the Radeon HD 5700s are already here. Will they manage to shake up this ultra-competitive segment?

> Report: AMD Radeon HD 5770 and 5750

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