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News of the day

  • NVIDIA officialises SLI for AMD platforms
  • The Radeon HD 5700s become 6700s across the board
  • Intel SSD 311: 20 GB of cache for the Z68
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     NVIDIA officialises SLI for AMD platforms
      Posted on 28/04/2011 at 18:37 by Guillaume
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    The rumours according to which SLI is being licensed for use on the forthcoming 990 FX and 990X AMD platforms were correct: Nvidia has just made this official on its blog. The announcement gives very few details but we know that in addition to the 990 FX and 990 X chipsets, the 970 chipsets are also included. Asus, Gigabyte, MSI and Asrock will be selling these SLI compatible cards.

    Note that NVIDIA has taken the opportunity to weigh in against AMD (its main competitor on the graphics card market), saying “Intel CPUs have been the gamers’ choice” over the last few years. The optimists may prefer to see in this announcement proof of the fact that NVIDIA sees the forthcoming Zambezi CPUs and the Bulldozer architecture in a positive light. The Zambezis are likely to be launched in under two months!

     The Radeon HD 5700s become 6700s across the board
      Posted on 28/04/2011 at 12:52 by Damien
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    AMD has just announced that the Radeon HD 5700 retail cards are to be moved into the 6000 range, bringing the retail range in line with OEMs. This change has been an open secret for the last few months though it was denied to the end in the hope that this would delay and even, with any luck, smother criticism thanks to all the waiting. AMD is however making out that it is trying to show willing and has announced on the Radeon HD 6700 product pages that these cards are based on the same hardware as the Radeon HD 5700s.

    Note that while the inclusion of HDMI 1.4a support in the product specs may seem to be a development on the HD 5700 series, this isn’t the case as support of the standard is purely at a software level and was already deployed six months ago on all the Radeon HD 5000s.

    In reality the only difference comes from the fact that AMD is authorising graphics card manufacturers to reduce the GDDR5 clock from 1150 MHz to 1000 MHz on the Radeon HD 6750. The Sapphire and PowerColor models implement this change and performance levels will therefore be slightly down on the Radeon HD 5750.

    The Sapphire Radeon HD 6750 1 GB.

    It does of course remain to be seen if AMD, its partners and resellers take advantage of the renaming to increase the asking price for the Radeon HD 6700s, which are no different to the Radeon HD 5700s, apart from the reduced performance on the Radeon HD 6750!

     Intel SSD 311: 20 GB of cache for the Z68
      Posted on 28/04/2011 at 11:18 by Marc
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    According to Nordic Hardware Intel is set to launch a new SSD, the Intel 311, at the same time as the Z68 Express chipset. With a capacity of just 20 GB, it has in fact been designed to be used with the SSD caching feature, Smart Response Technology, which will be available in the Intel Rapid Storage Technology 10.5 drivers

    The principle is similar to the one used with hybrid hard drives by analysing hard drive accesses and placing the most used data on the flash drive. Here it is placed on a discrete physical peripheral, but the two drives (HDD and SSD) are recognised as just one peripheral (the size of the hard drive) by the system.

    The gains announced in practice are impressive and the level of performance is similar to what you get on an SSD, but as is the case with hybrid drives, not necessarily representative. Naturally, when you launch the same test several times in a row, the data is placed on SSD and is then accessed more rapidly.

    With just 20 GB of flash however, while more than on a hybrid drive, space is limited and it’s difficult to say what level of performance users will get… apart from the fact that it will be in between what you get on an HDD and an SDD, closer to the first if you’re handling a lot of data and closer to the second if you’re not handling very much.

    It remains to be seen if this technology will be limited to the Z68 chipset, which would be purely a software limitation, or if it will also be available on other Intel Series 6 chipsets, or even Series 5. It would be a shame to limit it when the Z68 Express allows the grouping of P67 and H67 features.

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