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RV670 (HD 2950 Pro) coming to the public on November 19th.

Apparently both of these new cards will be branded as HD 2950 Pros even though the faster "Gladiator" HD 2950 Pro was called the HD 2950 XT back on Spetember 21st. Other than that, the only new information that DigiTimes has provided is that these cards are launching on November 19th.

Official Unreal Tournament 3 system requirements are here, and odd.

Stolen directly from the headlines of one of my favorite gaming sites, (Kotaku) I give you the official and very weird system requirements for Unreal Tournament 3:

Minimum System Requirements
• Windows XP SP2 or Windows Vista
• 2.0+ GHZ Single Core Processor
• 512 Mbytes of System RAM
• NVIDIA 6200+ or ATI Radeon 9600+ Video Card
• 8 GB of Free Hard Drive Space

Recommended System Requirements
• 2.4+ GHZ Dual Core Processor
• 1 GBytes of System RAM
• NVIDIA 7800GTX+ or ATI x1300+ Video Card
• 8 GB of Free Hard Drive Space

Notice how the recommended system does not list an operating system. Apparently you don't need one! I'm kidding, I am sure it was just a mistake. What I really find strange is that they are suggesting a Nvidia 7800 GTX or higher or an ATI X1300 or higher video card. Since when are those two cards even remotely comparable? The game is a Nvidia TWIMTBP (The Way It's Meant to be Played) game and yet they are telling you that lowly X1300 is just as good as a 7800 GTX. Seems to me like it should be the other way around. I think they should have recommended at least a X1650 XT or maybe even something from the X1800s. What do you guys think?

It would have been nice of them to include the system requirements necessary for running the game in DirectX 10 mode as well. For those people who are not as knowledgeable as us.

Unreal Tournament 3

GeForce 8800GT / G92 Pics!

The 8800GT appears to be a little closer at hand than I realized. Fudzilla has a picture of the thing, and it's a standard nVidia press photo. This means two things: the card will be released soon, and it's going to be a major press event. Check out the pics here.

Edit: More pics here

GeCube's HD 2900 GT page is live.

GeCube has just added the page for their new HD 2900 GT. The 2900 GT is similar to the new 2900 Pro, but it is only 256 bit and it has 240 shaders instead of 320. So expect it to be at least $20 cheaper than the Pro when it makes it way to retail... which should be happening soon.

I wonder how the HD 2900 GT and 8800 GT will fair when they are compared? It will be the battle of the GTs! 

GeCube HD 2900 GT 

A new version of GPU-Z is available.

Many of you may have heard of a program known as CPU-Z. It is a free small program that displays a lot of useful information about your CPU, motherboard and memory. Here is what the front tab of CPU-Z looks like:

CPU-Z front

techPowerUp! has developed a similar utility for graphics cards and they call it GPU-Z. You can download the latest version 0.0.6 right here. Here is what the front tab of GPU-Z looks like:

GPU-Z front

To be clear, these little utilities display (usually VERY accurate) information about your system. They do not allow you to overclock or change any settings.

EDIT:

A GPUReview commenter by the name of Jimmy 2004 has provided us with a link to the GPU-Z section in the techPowerUp! forums. He adds, " ...it's a very early version so plenty of people are finding some issues, and if you report any you are having along with your hardware specification it should help speed up the development."

EDIT  2:

They have version 0.0.6 ready already. I changed the link in the story. 

Nvidia's 8800 GT (G92) launch will now occur 2 weeks early.

DigiTimes says that according to graphics card makers, Nvidia is going to launch its 8800 GT part on October 29th in order to compete against ATI's November 19th launch of the HD 2950 Pro (RV670). Nvidia was going to launch the 8800 GT on November 12th, one week before the HD 2950 Pro, but now they are launching a full 3 weeks earlier (assuming both Nvidia and ATI meet their marks). Will the early bird (Nvidia) catch the worm (lots of munnies)? And will the bird (Nvidia) find the worm (munnies) to be quite delicious and satisfying?

In other news, Nvidia will launch G98 as a replacement for the 8600 series. There is no launch date currently set for the G98. 

 

Frank Ludwig's Early Bird Poem

3DMark 8800 GT vs 8800 Ultra comparison.

I am back from the vacation that I never told you about! Hurray! I spent several awesome days playing the totally sweet games that are contained within the confines of the Orange Box and watching some movies that I meant to see earlier, but never did. Now it is news time!

I found this lovely thread over at the [H]ard|Forums just now. Apparently one of the persons at Expreview has decided to (join the [H]ard|Forums and) post some 8800 GT vs 8800 Ultra comparison data in English. According to the data provided, the 8800 GT trails the Ultra by only 17% in 3DMark06. For those of you that love reading languages other than English, you can see Expreview's write up here.

 

Expreivew 8800 GT card pic.

  

Expreview data chart.

 

Marketing blunders that make you wonder...

Oh Johnathan " Fatal1ty" Wendel. Did you agree to this sort of thing when XFX paid you oodles of money to use your name for a line of "world’s fastest in their class" graphics cards? I am talking about the new (appeared on the XFX site today) XFX GeForce 8500 GT Fatal1ty video card. 8500 GT! Really?! Is XFX going to release a super overclocked 8400 GS next? Who knows? XFX seems to be able to slap Wendel's name on any video card they want, especially mid range and budget video cards. I would love to get some raw data on how many noobs you can pwn in the latest games if you buy the Fatal1ty branded 8500 GT.

XFX has not chosen to brand high end cards with the Fatal1ty name lately. In the 8000 series they have the 8500 GT, a silent 8600 GT and a 320MB 8800 GTS. Why choose the 320MB GTS? Why not the 640MB version? After all some reviews have shown that there can be visual quality differences between the 320MB and 640MB version when both cards are utlized to their maximum potential. Well at least the 8800 GTS is the fastest clocked 8800 GTS like XFX claims. Yet on that same page, XFX said the following: "The speed of light pales in comparison to the world's fastest 8600 GT." Notice how they did not say that their Fatal1ty 8600 GT is the world's fastest. They did not say that because saying that would be a lie. The world's fastest 8600 GT is either this non-Fatal1ty branded 8600 GT from XFX that is available only in Korea or this 8600 GT from Elsa. Back to this page one more time, you will see that they have yet to fabricate some marketing mumbo-jumbo (white lies) for the new 8500 GT.

I shall end my rant with this plea. Please XFX. Please release some kick ass high end Fatal1ty branded video cards like a 8800 GTX, Ultra or even a 640MB 8800 GTS. We all know that the midrange segment is very popular, but using the Fatal1ty name to convince un-informed persons that they can play at Wendel's level with a midrange video card is wrong. 

Do you agree or disagree with me guys? Let me know by posting a comment. 

 

Fatal1ty logo.

No HD 2950 card for you! Here is a HD 3800 instead.

VR-Zone is reporting that new ATI cards featuring the RV670 chip have been re-branded. I cannot access their site from work so the only details that I have are from [H]ard|OCP's short story. I was able to discover that GeCube is the AIB partner that has the HD 3800 listed on their site. Sadly there is nothing there but the HD 3800 page.

Along with this change, ATI has sworn that they are abandoning the whole GT, Pro, XT, XTX thing for a new numbering system. Now we will have cards like the 3860 and 3640. I wonder if they will go so far as 3865 and 3647? Nah, I don't think they will. I am all for this change. I think it will be easier for everyone involved. What do you guys think? 

 

Ficitional humorous image.

Vote Stephen Colbert for President of the United States.

That is right. With Mike's permission I am putting all the resources and clout of this website firmly behind the Colbert Presidential effort. I encourage all of you to vote for Stephen Colbert if he makes it onto the Presidential ballot in the 2008 election. Remember, Stephen is not the person he portrays on his show. He is an intelligent man who I think will allow the best interests of the American people to guide in him in his decisions as President. After all, he has spent his entire TV career chronicling how NOT to be a great President. He is also much more tech and Internet savvy (in real life) than all the other candidates combined.

AP story.
E!Online Story
Colbert Nation  

Foxconn first to list the 8800 GT. No really. Foxconn.

Frankly I was surprised. Foxconn has always just...I don't know... been there. They never were the first to list a new card and they are not known for their overclocking prowess (they do overclock though). I was kinda expecting Evga, BFG, XFX or maybe MSI or Asus to be the first to list the 8800 GT. Go figure. Well you can see the site right here. The card looks really colorful and I like the jester on it.

UPDATE: Foxconn has removed their 8800 GT page now. Sorry, I don't have any pics of the site. It should be back soon I hope.

Foxconn 8800 GT

 

 

Play some games with me (and Gadwall)!

A long time ago I posted my clan's information and asked you guys to come play some Half Life 2 Deathmatch with me. Well now that the Orage Box is out, GPUReview commenter Gadwall and I are playing a lot of Team Fortress 2. If you guys are into TF2 and you can follow the following rules you are welcome to join us.

The Rules:

  • No swearing or hate speach allowed at all. No sexually explicit language either. Occasional use of the lesser swears is permitted. Do not attempt to circumvent the text chat swear filter. We run a family friendly server.
  • We like to use our mics. It would be awesome if you used yours as well to communicate important game related information to your team.
  • We are not a competitive clan. Please do not ask use to scrim (scrimage) with you over and over and over again. If you do we will just ban you. You may ask us once, then we will tell you no.
  • You can small talk with me about video cards and the site a little but do attempt to engage me in a long conversation. I will be happy to talk with you by other means so just ask me.

 

We have 4 Source games on our server right now. You can access them all from the KillazInc website. The most popular server right now is Counter Strike: Source followed closely by Team Fortress 2. My Steam name is mentok1982 and in TF2 I always play as a medic. To make it easier for me to see that you guys are GPUReview.com readers, you could add the letters "GPU" in your player name if you want. You can change your player name in the Options menu for the game. 

First GeForce 8800 GT review.

Expreview has the first full review of a reference 8800 GT. I recommend using the Google translated version right here if you can't read Chinese. The translation is not perfect but it is adequate. Apparently the 512MB 8800 GT performs just under the 8800 GTX (and above the 640MB 8800 GTS and HD 2900 XT) in most games and in 3DMark06.

According to the article's GPU-Z readout, it looks like the 8800 GT will indeed have 16 Raster Operators (ROPs) and 16 Texture Mapping Units (TMUs). That gives the 8800 GT a pixel and texture fill rate of 9.6Gigs a second. I have corrected those figures in our database of course. See the comparison of the 8800 GT and 8800 GTS right here.

The reviewer was able to overclock their 8800 GT from 600/900 to 740/1,100 and retain ATI Tool stability. They had to reduce the overclock to 730/1,000 to retain 3DMark06 stability. If you use the comparison page I linked above and overclock the 8800 GT to 730/1,000, the 8800 GT will match the GTS's memory bandwith, surpass the GTS's pixel fill rate and come very close to the GTS's texture fill rate.

 

Expreview's GPU-Z screen.

 

Nvidia improves the nation's best virtual reality simulator.

The virtual reality room known as C6 is located at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa (where I got my degree in MIS). Nvidia worked closely with Mechdyne to redisgn the room which now has a resolution of over 100 million pixles (2560 x 1600 = 4,096,000 pixels). The room is powered by what appears to be (from the picture) 48 HP computers (with AMD processors) that each have 2 Nvidia Quadro cards. The images are displayed by 24 digital Sony projectors and the room is wired with 8 channel audio as well. Ultrasonic motion tracking technology is used to track the movements of the people inside C6.

When I was at ISU, C6 was still the "best" in the country, but it was not as cool as it is now. Unfortunately for me, I never got a chance to see or use C6. They are not too keen on letting just anyone use such an expensive facility.

Here is a story from Engadget from May 10th 2006 when the upgrade process began. There is also an article at ISU's site from May 2006. And finally the updated C6 information page at ISU.

For an exterior shot of C6, click here.

 

C6 Old and New

 

8800 GTs All Over Newegg.com

Several different retail versions of the 8800GT have shown up on Newegg.com in the past day or so. They're listed as "deactivated' and no prices are given, but we get a glimpse of the different retail versions of the 8800GT that will be available in the coming days. Among them is an EVGA clocked at 700MHz/2GHz which is listed as being fanless (no pictures to back that up though), and an MSI and XFX both at stock clocks with the stock cooler:

XFX GeForce 8800 GT

XFX GeForce 8800 GT OC

Evga GeForce 8800 GT OC Fanless

MSI GeForce 8800 GT

For more info, see this thread over at the [H]ard|OCP forums. 

UPDATE: I have added these cards to our list. They will be photoless and linkless until their manufacturers put up their web pages. 

UPDATE 2 The Second Coming: I found the details and a large picture of the Gigabyte 8800 GT box and card in this thread over at the [H]. Details are in the first post and the pics are now in posts number 5 and 39. 

We now have 6 cards listed on the 8800 GT page which is pretty awesome considering it has not been officially launched yet. 

UPDATE 3 This Time, It's Personal: Newegg has changed all four of the above links to send people to the Newegg page for each of the manufacturers. For example, the two XFX cards now link to the list of all the XFX cards Newegg has except for the 8800 GT. Since those Newegg links are no longer there I used a Google product search to see what I could find.

PCSuperDeals PNY GeForce 8800 GT (VCG885512GXPB) $244.92 Pre-order (In Stock Alert available)

PCSuperDeals PNY GeForce 8800 GT (VCG88512GXPB) $245.06 Pre-order (In Stock Alert available)

AlwaysLowest PNY GeForce 8800 GT (VCG88512GXPB) $249.02 Pre-order

EXcaliberPC PNY GeForce 8800 GT $252.31 Pre-order (In Stock Alert available)

Colamco PNY GeForce 8800 GT (VCG885512GXPB) $258.22 Pre-order

Triointernational PNY GeForce 8800 GT (VCG88512GXPB) $262.20 Pre-order (In Stock Alert available)

Triointernational PNY GeForce 8800 GT (VCG885512GXPB) $269.93 Pre-order (In Stock Alert available)

BLT MSI NX8800GT-T2D512E OC $242.70 Pre-order (40 coming by 11-09)

AlwaysLowest MSI NX8800GT-T2D512E OC $245.51 Pre-order

PCSuperStore MSI NX8800GT-T2D512E OC $245.54 Pre-order (ETA 11-09 In Stock Alert available)

CompSource MSI NX8800GT-T2D512E OC $249.00 Pre-order

TechDepot (by Office Depot) MSI NX8800GT-T2D512E OC $271.95 Pre-order

Aside from EXcaliberPC and TechDepot I cannot vouch for any of these sites. Please check ResellerRatings before you use any of the above sites. I did not include 2 sites that I found. One because the site looked like it was designed in 5 minutes and the other because the price was $40 too high.

ZipZoomfly has the 8800 GT for sale and it is in stock!

This was posted at midnight last night at [H]ard|OCP , so I am guessing that there are not many left. You can buy the stock speed XFX GeForce 8800 GT right now for only $279.99. That price includes free shipping. If you need your 8800 GT right away, here is your oppotunity.

Join GPUReview's Steam Community group.

I have started a GPUReview.com group in Steam! I am the owner of the group and Mike is our first officer. We do not have our own server so if you see a group member playing a game that you want to play, just right click their name in the friend's list and choose Join Game. Out tag is [GPUr] so if you want, you can add it to your in game name using the options menu.

How to Join:

To get in the group you must contact either Mike or myself. I would recommend contacting me because Mike is really busy with school. You can leave your steam name in the comments section for this story or you can send your info to me through steam chat. You will find the steam name for both Mike and I in the first comment to this story.

How to Stay in the Group:

Our goal in this group is to have playing games with other readers of this site. We are not a competitive group. Be nice to everyone you play games with and make sure to follow all the rules of the server you are playing on. However, there are some general rules that all members of our group should follow.

 

  1. No swearing or hate speech allowed at all. No sexually explicit language either. Occasional use of the lesser swears is permitted. Do not attempt to circumvent things like text chat swear filters.
  2. Skill is not a prerequisite to join our group. Please do not make fun of our taunt players that are not as skilled as you.
  3. We enjoy using our microphones to relay useful information to each other during games. When we are not under attach we also just chit chat a little. Unless someone is being unbelievably annoying, do not tell them to shut up. If they are going on and on about things that do not have to do with the game you can either mute them or you can ask them to use their mic only for communicating things related to playing the game.
  4. Do not be an ass hat, jerk, dick, tool or douche.

If Mike or I get reports from any member of our group or my clan ([kI]) that a member of our group is not obeying either the rules of the servers or our rules they will be removed from the GPUReview group.

We need a picture for our Steam group.

We should have a picture for our group. The largest size we can have is 184x184 pixels. If any of you photoshop heros can make us something cool using the logo from the picture below (not the load images part), that would be sweet. Leave a link to your masterpiece in the comments. Mike and I will choose our favorite.

 

GPUReview logo.

The 8800 GT Has Arrived

We've all been drooling over the leaked specs and svelt price point for weeks now. Today the myth becomes reality, and it's pretty much eveything we hoped it would be. We'll be getting all the retail versions on our card page along with reviews from around the web and some pricing from Newegg.com. I've read most of the reviews at this point, and the card is pretty much exactly what everyone was anticipating. From what I hear RV670 won't quite be able to match it performance-wise (but RV670 *will* have DX10.1) so if you're in the market for a new video card, every excuse you had for not doing so just go thrown out the window (unless of course you just plain don't have $250). I already ordered mine...:)

GeForce 8800 GT Specs, Reviews, and Pricing  

GeForce 8800 GT

Nvidia increases the number of stream processors on new 8800 GTSs.

When I was adding the new 8800 GTs yesterday I noticed that Evga and BFG had new 8800 GTSs listed. BFG's is listed with "112 Stream Processors" and Evga's are listed with stream processors of "96+" instead of the usual "96". Then Mike pointed me to the last paragraph of [H]ard|OCP's 8800 GT review. BFG also drafted a short press release for [H]ard|OCP on the subject which also stipulates that their new card will only be available from CompUSA. That is really all the information we have right now. I have made a new reference card type for these new 8800 GTSs. The only specification I have changed is the stream processor count for now. If you guys find more news about this please leave us a comment.

BFG GeForce 8800 GTS EE OC
Evga GeForce 8800 GTS
Evga e-GeForce 8800 GTS KO
Evga e-GeForce 8800 GTS SSC

UPDATE: There is a thread in the Evga forums were moderator EVGATech_JacobF is being very vague.

UPDATE 2 Update Harder: Some Ncix staff members have confirmed with Evga that these new 8800 GTSs are the ones that were rumored to come out in November. They also said it had a G92 core...

The people in this [H]ard|Forum thread have been doing a good job of staying on top of this stuff... 

BFG New 8800 GTS specs
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