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Nvidia and ATI have received GDDR5 shipments.

DigiTimes would like you to know that Samsung has recently delivered the first uberfast GDDR5 samples to "major graphic processor companies last month" and that "mass production is expected in the first half of 2008". DigiTimes says that GDDR5 can trasfer data at 6 gigabits per second and that a 512MB chip can move images at 24 gigabytes per second. Apparently 1.2GHz GDDR3 has a bandwidth of 9.6 gigabytes per second.

 

Police Academy 5

Asus brings you a 8800 GT with 1GB of GDDR3.

Do you accept it? I would, especially if they brought it to me for free. I saw this press release yesterday but there were no pictures and specs yet so I refrained from posting a story. Today the press release has appeared on Asus' site and now I have a picture and the specifications, which I present to you in this lovely hand-crafted PNG image: 

Asus 1GB 8800 GT
 
This card has other notable features besides the large memory size. According to Asus, the special "ASUS Glaciator Fansink has an operating level of 25dB while reference design boards have 50dB" and it also keeps the GPU 7ºC cooler than reference cooling. The card also comes with the Asus SmartDoctor utility that allows you to overclock the shader processor independantly from the core.
 
So what do you guys think? Does this make up for Asus' Magical indiscretions? Will the extra 512MB give you better Crysis performance?

Asus Extreme N8800GTS 512 (G92) review, benches & pics!

Legion Hardware has a nice 13 page review up for the Asus 512MB 8800 GTS. The results are looking very nice indeed. In some games, the new GTS can out perform the GTX, and where it is not better than the GTX, it is still damn close. The GTS also accomplishes the mission of being more powerful than 8800 GT:

"Measuring the performance of the GeForce 8800 GTS 512 has been difficult, as we found it to be slower than the GTX in some tests while faster in others. Furthermore, while the 8800 GTS 512 did remain constantly ahead of the 8800 GT, the winning margin constantly changed depending on the game. For example, the 8800 GTS 512 was 7% faster in Quake Wars and 13% faster in S.T.A.L.K.E.R, while there was a 38% performance advantage seen in F.E.A.R!"

Legion Hardware does have some pics of the card in their review, but they are not as striking as the ones taken by Xevipiu on the OCXtreme forums. In the same thread he also provides data on several 3DMark 06 runs and (unlike Legion Hardware) he overclocks his card. So far his highest 3DMark 06 score is 16,927 with the core at 831MHz (stock 650), shader at 2,001MHz (stock 1,625) and memory at 2,060MHz (stock 1,940). Apparently he has reached those speeds using the stock cooler in an open air environment (not in a PC case) Amazing!

UPDATE:

TweakTown has a new article that compares the regular, stock clocked Asus 512MB 8800 GTS with the overclocked version. The overclocked version does perform better of course and I have added it to our database.

Xevipiu pic of his Asus Extreme EN8800GTS 512

Forsa didn't get the memo...

Forsa apparenlty did not hear that the new 512MB 8800 GTS is launching one week later than the orginal date. But, that means they are the first ones to have their site up for the new G92 8800 GTS. They were not the only ones that did not get the message though. The Legion Hardware review I linked in the last story has been pulled down because the NDA was extended. Our 512MB 8800 GTS page now has three cards listed. Two from Asus that I found all the specs on and the one from Forsa.

Unreal Tournament 3 and framerate smoothing.

[H]ard|OCP has an excellent article on Unreal Tournament 3 performance using 6 different graphics cards (8800 GTX, 8800 GT, 8800 GTS 320 & 640, HD 3870 and HD 3850). The article is a great read and is very informative, but the best part is the information on UT3's framerate smoothing option that is only changeable through the game's UTEngine.ini file.

"bSmoothFrameRate=TRUE

MinSmoothedFrameRate=22

MaxSmoothedFrameRate=62

The first option, bSmoothFrameRate, is responsible for keeping framerate peaks down to lessen the spikes in performance. Ostensibly, this is done to make the gameplay feel smoother. We wanted to know exactly how much it affects performance, and if there is any good reason to disable it. To test it out, we set it to FALSE and re-ran the Apples-to-Apples test on our trusty GeForce 8800 GTX."

HardOCP graph

Notice how with the option turned off (yellow) you do get much higher framerates that are not limited to 62, but the framerate is also much more erratic. There is a 70FPS difference between the highest and lowest framerate on that yellow line. Then look at the blue line and notice how little the line swings up and down. That line indicates a much smoother playing experience.

I have played a lot of UT3 and I did not know about this option until now. I can honestly tell you that I am very pleased with how smooth and pretty the game is and I will not be changing this ini option. In closing I would like to leave you with this quote from the last page of the article:

"The FPS smoothing feature was interesting, and further proves how important it is to look at gameplay performance experienced from video cards rather than raw average framerates in comparison. Just because a certain video card may produce overall higher framerates (the 8800 GTS/3850/3870 in this evaluation) doesn’t mean they are inherently faster. With FPS smoothing enabled the GTX resulted in what looks like slower framerates, but those framerates were smoother. It is now time, more than ever, to concentrate on real-world gameplay experiences delivered by video cards rather than looking at average framerate bar charts to compare performance."

Gainward has 1GB 8800 GTs too!

Asus is not the only crazy company strapping 1 gig of GDDR3 onto the 8800 GT. Gainward has two (count them two!) 1GB 8800 GT models listed on their site. Behold the Bliss 8800 GT 1GB and the overclocked Bliss 8800 GT 1GB Golden Sample.

Gainward 8800 GT 1GB Golden Sample

8800 GTS 512MB launch brings more confusing news.

Happy release day everyone! I have added all the cards that I have found specifications for so far and I hope to add a few more before the day is done. Of the 14 cards we have listed, 6 are available right now from Newegg. That is pretty cool. Now it is time for the not so happy news...

[H]ard|OCP received some puzzling information from BFG today that is turning my smile upside down:

"I just got off the phone with BFG Tech and NVIDIA has been doing some strange things lately. As of this morning, the GeForce 8800 GTS 640MB (unsure on the 320MB) will have its stream processors officially increased to 112, the same as the GT. This should put the GTS back ahead of the GT as per the paper specs."

Waaaaa?!?! So does this mean that all 640MB 8800 GTSs on shelves and in our PCs will now have 112 shaders? Are they going to unlock them via a BIOS/driver update somehow? Will only new 640MB 8800 GTSs have 112 shaders? Either way this is going to cause some headaches for us here at GPUReview.com.

I am going to go review hunting now and I hope to bring you one of my patented overclocking tables once I find enough reviews that have overclocking data in them.

GPUReview's 512MB 8800 GTS overclocking round up!

Once again I deliver what I have promised! Behold!

8800 gts chart

Here are my column explanations:

Column H is the percent above the value listed in column B, which is the core clock the card has out of the box. Column I is the same deal as Column H, only this time it is the memory speed. Column J is the same thing but for the shader clock. Only three sites listed an overclock for the shader in their review. Column K, L and M are the percentages above the reference clocks for the card... which are 650 for the core, 1,625 for the shader and 972 for the memory.

Child's Play charity, improving the lives of sick kids since 2003.

I proudly exclaim that I a fan of both Penny Arcade and the great men behind it, Jerry and Mike. For the very few who have never heard of Penny Arcade I shall attempt to sum it up with the following sentences. Penny Arcade is a very popular humorous online gaming comic written primarily by Jerry Holkins and illustrated by Mike Krahulik. They hold a massive gaming expo every year at the end of August (I went last year and I'm going back this year) in Seattle called PAX, where everyone in the world is welcome. They also are the creators and organizers of Child's Play which is an annual charity that gives sick children all over the world the gift of joy every Christmas.

Enough digression already. I am writing this about Child's Play. I was just reading about the uber successful ($225,000) Child's Play dinner that was held last night in Seattle. I went looking for some more details about what went on at the dinner and I noticed that on the Child's Play site they are encouraging media type people (like me I guess) to spread the word about Child's Play and the generosity shown by the gamers that support it. How could I refuse?

 
Child's Play

I hereby encourage all of you to give what you can in support of this very worthwhile charity. You can donate raw cash through PayPal, you can send donations to the Child's Play HQ in the mail, you can sell things on Ebay and donate the proceeds directly to Child's Play, you can purchase specific gifts on Amazon for kids at your local hospital, or you can go show support by volunteering at your local hospital. If you are strapped for cash and/or time, you can encourage your local news outlets (TV, paper) to do a story about Child's Play. I have donated some cash via PayPal and also purchased a few things on the Amazon wish lists and guess what? It felt good.

Child's Play is about helping sick kids, but it is also about showing the world (and press) that gamers are not antisocial crazy people that like to shoot innocent people at schools and churches. I know you guys enjoy playing the occasional video game, so I hope you can see why this is so important.

Happy Holidays!

Steve McBarnes 

UPDATE:

You can also donate over at Cheap Ass Gamer. They are having a raffle that gives donaters 1 entry for every $5 they donate through their donation widget. Some of the prizes are very nice and all of them are gaming related. I see a Premium HDMI Xbox 360, a Wii, a $500 Amazon gift certificate, and your choice of a DS Lite or PSP. Donate and win with CAG!

FYI, 112 shader and 96 shader 8800 GTS SLI.

[H]ard|Forum user TerranUp16 brought up a very interesting question about a specific 8800 GTS 112 shader implication. What happens when you attempt to SLI an old 96 shader 8800 GTS with a new 112 shader 8800 GTS? Luckily for TerranUp16 and for us, [H]ard|Forum user XFXSupport (a XFX representative) was right there with the answer:

"The previous and new versions of the 8800GTS 640MB can be used in SLI together. When SLI is enabled the newer version will run as if it had the same amount of Streaming Processors as the previous version, kinda clock itself down a bit."

Using this new information I have made you this pretty picture which is based on the stop light concept. It should be noted that 320MB 112 shader GTSs have not been announced.

8800 GTS SLI chart

 

Tales From the Parser II

Holy balls! There is so much news that I HAVE TO post today. This is just the first of at least 3 stories I need to do. (Takes a deep breath) Here we go!

In the parser this morning I found some neat stuff that I thought was cool enough collectively to post. We now have the XpertVision 1GB 8800 GT which is supposedly overclocked (Super+), but they don't say what the clock speeds are (those jerks). The XpertVision and Palit sites are normally clones of each other so there should be a Palit version of this card soon.

In our Newegg inventory parser I found the Sapphire X1950 Pro Dual 1GB which is two X1950 Pro GPUs on one sexy video card. That card was not in our database because Sapphire still does not have a page up for this card. It is neat, but much more expensive than buying two separate X1950 Pros.

PowerColor has shocked the UNIVERSE and listed the first silent HD 3870. Very large aluminum heatsink you guys. 

Leadtek has a new 8800 GT with a super special Zalman cooler that is:

20 °C Lower than NV Reference Cooler
Lower GPU temperature + lower memory temperature + lower mosfet temperature = "stable" system + more OC potential.
 

Leadtek's Zalman tests

 

Quick! Someone buy me two more 8800 GTXs!

I apologize for not posting this yesterday but I was very busy at my real job. There is now official 3-Way SLI for everyone!**

**For everyone with an Intel 680i motherboard with three PCI-Express slots, a PSU with 1,000 Watts or more, three 8800 Ultras or three 8800 GTXs, and this special 3-Way SLI connector that may or may have not shipped with your video card(s) or motherboard.

I have the Abit IN9 32X-MAX 680i Intel motherboard, an Enermax 1,000 Watt Galaxy PSU and one Evga 8800 GTX right now. So all I need is about $900 dollars so that I can get two more 8800 GTXs and the 3-Way SLI connector. Please get on that right away dear readers.

If you think this story has enough links already, prepare yourself for enough links to choke a yak.

Featured 3-Way SLI Desktop Systems
The 3-Way SLI Press Release
HotHardware Review (HL2 Episode 2, Company of Heroes, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, Crysis coming soon)
PC Perspective Review (Bioshock, CoD 4, Call of Juarez, Company of Heroes, Lost Planet, UT3, World in Conflict, and Crysis)
bit-tech Review (Crysis, Bioshock, Company of Heroes, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars)
Firing Squad Review (Crysis, Bioshock, Company of Heroes, CoD 4, Lost Planet, Oblivion, F.E.A.R, HL2 Episode 2)

 

3-Way SLI

R680 (HD 3870 X2) will launch January 28th 2008.

There are many sites that are reporting on the R680, RV620 and RV635 today. What I understand is this sentence from DailyTech's story:

"Representatives from AMD would not confirm that the R680 is essentially two RV670 GPU cores on the same board, though the company did confirm that each core has the same specifications of an RV670 processor."

I have underlined the important parts of that sentence. So the R680 is not essentially two RV670 cores yet each core is a RV670. That sounds like there is more than one RV670 core on there, and there are not two of them. That makes me think there are more than two RV670 cores on the R680. What do you guys think about this sentence?

Guru3D's article tells us that the RV620 and RV635 are "nearly identical" to their RV610 and RV630 brothers. The XT Review article (try to read around the stoopid ads) actually give us release dates for these new parts. January 28th for the R680 and January 23rd for the RV620 and RV635. 

A slide.

After market GPU heatsink cooler roundup.

[H]ard|OCP has an article that compares the cooling ability, noise, cost per drop in degree Celsius and the looks of seven different coolers. They use all of these coolers on the wonderful GeForce 8800 GT btw. If you are not happy with the performance of the wimpy single slot reference 8800 GT cooler, give this article a read.

 

[H]ard|OCP Cooler Picture

URGENT! Dell 8800 GT customers must read this!

If you purchased a 8800 GT from Dell in November and you have not recevied it you should go to a hardware review site that begins with the letter [H] right now. There is a special deal that you can read about over there that should turn your frown upside down. Please do not take advantage of this deal if you were not boned by Dell. It's just not nice.

UPDATE 12-21-07

Some of you are still wondering what this vague (I did that on purpose) story was about. [H]ard|OCP had noticed that many people who ordered a 8800 GT from Dell way back in November, still had not received their card yet. They talked to BFG about this and BFG decided to give 500 [H]ard|OCP readers with this problem a $100 discount (via a coupon code) on BFG's overclocked 512MB 8800 GTS. This made the card $299, which is more than $30 cheaper than any other 512MB 8800 GTS.

This deal was only meant for [H]ard|OCP readers that were stiffed by Dell. That is why I did not want to link to the deal. Yet I knew that some people that read this site might be [H]ard|OCP readers and they might have ordered a 8800 GT from Dell. So I left you a clue in the form of [H]ard|OCP's "h" with the brackets around it. If you have read [H]ard|OCP (or many of my posts on this site) you would have known what site begins with the letter [H].

I apologize for not providing you with all the facts, but I feel that in this instance it was entirely necessary.

[H]appy [H]olidays!

Nvidia is Forbes' Company of the Year!

Forbes is teh biased! They are all wearing money hats given to them by Nvidia! ATI's current products are soo much better than Nvidia's because...um..because they are made by ATI! Yeah!

Or... there may be other reasons why Forbes has bestowed this award upon Nvidia: 

"The Santa Clara, Calif. firm has 62% of the market for desktop PC graphics cards, up from 57% a year ago, according to Mercury Research. Its archrival ATI stumbled badly last year in the two-company horse race for technical superiority and was bought by chipmaker AMD for $5.4 billion. In a PC industry racked by deflation, Nvidia has managed to increase its gross margin from 29% in 2004 to a current 46%. In the fiscal year ending in a few weeks Nvidia will gross $4 billion, up 33%, and net $900 million, up 50%. Since (Jen-Hsun) Huang took the company public in 1999, Nvidia's shares have risen 21-fold, edging out even the mighty Apple over the same time period. Such accomplishments, over the last 12 months and the past five years, earn Nvidia the title of FORBES' Company of the Year."

PA comic changed by Steve

To see the original comic, click here or the above "wearing money hats" link.

....And we're back.

A thousand apologies loyal readers. The company that hosts our site was having some problems this afternoon. We are back now and (as far as I can tell,) we are stronger than evar!

Man plays Jingle Bells using his graphics card.

HO HO Holy crap! A perfect story to post on Christmas Eve on GPUReview.com. A man uses his graphics card to play a cheerful holiday tune. This holiday gadgetry cheer is brought to by Engadget and UK YouTube.

If you guys live in a place that does not have snow on the ground, you can still have a white Christmas by playing Lost Planet: Extreme Condition or the last half of Crysis on your PC for your snowy winterland fix. 

Radeon 3450, 3470, 3650 details and pictures!

I don't feel well so I am going to make this short. Wayyy back on December 19th foreign hardware site MadBoxPC posted the specs and pics of these three unreleased ATI cards. For an English translation please to be clicking here. Engadget and then [H]ard|OCP brought this to the Internet's attention today. Below is a picture of the 3450 which sports the new fangled DisplayPort port.

 

HD 3450 pic.

Some snazzy non-reference 8800 GTs.

I had the pleasure of adding a few special 8800 GTs to the database today. Three of them are from MSI and one from Elsa. MSI's NX8800GT-T2D1GE-OC and NX8800GT-T2D1GE are both 1GB 8800 GTs with what looks like the slanted 512MB 8800 GTS cooler. 

MSI 8800 GT 1GB

MSI also has a "Zilent" (the Z is for Zalman) 8800 GT as well. 

MSI Zilent 8800 GT

And then there is Elsa's specialness, which looks large enough to be a 3 slot cooler. The cooler looks like ZEROtherm's HC92 CU 8800 cooler that was reviewed in [H]ard|OCP's cooler article from last week. 

Elsa 8800 GT
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