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Free Call of Duty 4 map pack brought to you by Nvidia!

Infinity Ward's Community Manger (Robert Bowling) has posted some good news on his blog about the forthcoming CoD4 Variety Map Pack. Nvidia is sponsoring the June 5th release which means that the map pack will be available to PC users for free! Hurray! 

The map pack will include four new maps which are named Broadcast, Chinatown, Killhouse, and Creek. There will also be a patch (1.6) to allow the new maps to work while also fixing a server crash issue that has been reported by the community.

The map pack has been available for the consoles since April, so if you PC users want to see what these new maps look and play like, check out the videos in this IGN article

 

Chinatown

Computex 2008: GeForce GTX 280 pics and specs!

VR-Zone has several pictures of the GTX 280 for your viewing pleasure, including a GPU-Z screenshot. Don't forget to check out this article either.

Thanks to that GPU-Z screenshot, I was able to add the GT200 chip and the GeForce GTX 280 and GeForce GTX 260 to our database. So now that we have the GTX 280 in da house you guys can do cuhrazy things like, comparing it to the 9800 GTX.

In related news, Hexus found some placeholders at Gigabyte's booth that reveal some tasty tidbits about the Radeon HD 3950, Radeon HD 4850, GTX 280 and GTX 260. If the HD 3950 is supposed to be an improvement over the HD 3850, the 3950 must have much higher core and memory clocks, because it still has (only) 512MB of 256bit GDDR3. In the magical realm of the GTX 260, we see that there is 896MB of 448bit GDDR3 for as far as the eye can see! 

Some Computex 2008 nuggets to chew on.

I have gone all around the Webernet and located all the neato video card stuff from Computex 2008. Except for the MSI and Biostar VGA walls, the rest of these links feature cards that are not available yet. Please to enjoy:

Gigabyte HD 4850 photo from t-break.
Gigabyte HD 4850 article from Hexus.

MSI's VGA wall from TweakTown.
Biostar's VGA wall from TweakTown.
Gainward GTX 280 box shot from TweakTown.

New 9600 GT (Matrix) from Asus from t-break.
ECS watercooled 9800 GTs from t-break.

Passively cooled Point of View 8800 GT and Wall-E game promotion from Guru3D.
The 2GB MSI 9600 GT Diamond from Guru3D.

UPDATE 6-05-08:

GTX 260 Tech Demo Video from TweakTown
GTX 280 Video from Tom's Hardware.

HIS puts a DisplayPort connector on a HD 3450 from Hexus.
Nvidia's 13 new mobile GPUs from Hexus.

A new ECS 9600 GT and a closer pic of one of those watercooled 9800 GTs from Guru3D.
HIS AGP HD 3870 from Guru3D.
 

KFA2 brings you serious performance up & Newegg isn't perfect.

Why don't these manufacturers just hire someone who speaks English as their native language? They could give me 25 cents for every typo I correct.

KFA2 9600 GT 1GB

I have been saving this Newegg thing for a few days, looking for an opportunity to post it. Newegg is under the impression that Sapphire has made a Radeon 9600 Pro for your PCI-Express slot. No. NO!

There is no reason to make a PCI-E 9600 Pro. Notice that there is no shot of the 9600 Pro box on that Newegg page. Also notice that the card in Newegg's pic looks exactly like a Sapphire X1300 PCI-E.

The moral of this story is as follows: Even totally kick ass sites like Newegg can make humorous mistakes from time to time.

Your final Computex 2008 update.

The major news that I just read is that the launch of the HD 4850 has been delayed! The launch has been moved back one week to June 25th according to Tech ARP. Here is the rest of the Computex news:

Elsa's Gladiac 9800 GT from TewakTown.
Naked HD 4850 pics from bit-tech.
Nvidia's late 2009 generation (D12U) will be the first to have GDDR5 from bit-tech.
Shiny ELSA 9600 GT, Galaxy Low Profile 9600 GT, and 2GB Galaxy 9600 GT from Hardware Zone.
 

PCI Express 3.0 will not piss you off.

The concept of the next PCI Express version could be potentially distressing to people like us, but thanks to Jeebus, it does not sound too bad. So prepare yourself for a heaping helping of good news!

3.0 will be backwards compatible with 2.0 and will use the exact same slot design that we have right now. 2.0 has a transfer speed of 5-gigatransfers per second, whereas 3.0 can transfer at 8-gigatransfers per second. The specifications for 3.0 will not be done until late 2009 and testing will be completed in the second half of 2010. Therefore, motherboards with 3.0 will not be available until late 2010 or later, so we won't "have" to upgrade our motherboards for a while.

Engadget article.

 

PCI Express logo.

Nvidia will discuss future GPU products on June 16th webcast.

I will not be able to call in to the conference call, but I will listen to it and share any interesting or exciting things with you guys. If you want to participate live you can. Just go to this site at 10AM Pacific (1PM Eastern) on June 16th. Heed my warning though, most of it will probably bore you to tears.

 

Spider-Man

Juicy HD 4850 and GTX 280 morsels.

I post 'em as I sees 'em.

A scan of the first GTX 280 review from PC gamer! Check out the game benches at the bottom.

 

2 GTX 280's on the following system:

Intel Core 2 Extreme QX 9770 @ 3.2 Ghz
4 GB of Corsair Dominator 1800 Mhz RAM
Western Digital Velociraptor 300 GB 10k RPM HDD
2x NVidia 280 GTX's in SLI
NVidia 790i Ultra SLI motherboard

3DMark06 score of "17k" 

Crysis at Very High Settings @ 1440x900, 4x AA

GPU Test: 38 FPS
CPU Test: 35 FPS

3DMark06 score with processor overclocked to 4.2GHz is "22k" 

Please note the graphics cards are using beta drivers and that game performance will improve when WHQL drivers are released.

OCWorkBench HD 4850 photo.

PowerColor HD 4850 pics and 3DMark06 benchmark from Hong Kong.

Intel Core 2 Extreme X9650 @ 3.0 Ghz
2 GB RAM
1x PowerColor HD 4850

3DMark06 score of 15,194

The card was sold for what is equal to $210 US.

GeForce GTX 280 and GTX 260 launch!

Today is day that Nvidia loyalists have been waiting for. I will spend as much time as I can bringing you guys all the specifications and reviews that you expect. To kick things off, here is Nvidia's GTX 280 page and their GTX 260 page.

I was just adding some cards and I noticed three things about Evga. Thing 1. they are no longer using their e-GeForce name on their cards. Thins 2, they have a FTW (For the Win) edition now, which is apparently the highest clocked model now instead of SSC. Thing 3, they made 5 models of GTX 280 for us, including a watercooled model. Sweet!

 

GTX 280 SLI

GPUReview's GTX 280 & GTX 260 overclocking round up!

Here is my awesome little chart for you:  

Overclocks

 

Now after looking at those puny numbers. Check out this thread where a troubled young man has used the power of Liquid Nitrogen to clock his 3-Way SLI GTX 280 setup to 1,024MHz Core, 2,059MHz Shader and 2,396MHz Memory.

XFX launches their newly redesigned site.

Earlier today I was unable to visit XFX's site to look for their new cards because it was down. However, XFX was nice enough to have a message up telling visitors that the site was down because they were about to launch a completely redesigned webpage. Before you go check it out please turn down your PC's volume level because you will be assaulted with scraping metal noise and some super tinny keyboard generated music.

Is your volume turned down?

Ok then, click here to experience XFX's new home

(Good luck with parsing their site now Mike!) 

Nvidia's UMAP policy. (Or why Nvidia hates online shoppers.)

[H]ard|OCP has posted a fabulous article about how Nvidia is forcing e-tailers like Newegg and TigerDirect to make it harder for you to compare Nvidia video card prices. Here you can read a document from Nvidia on their UMAP (Unilateral Minimum Advertised Price) policy and how Nvidia will destroy the testicles of those who attempt to thwart their evil designs (like Newegg). I strongly suggest you read the short 2 page article but I will try to break it down for you.

Read The Full Article

Leaving good comments has its perks...

Our commenting system is basically a moderated affair. When a comment is submitted, it does not get displayed to other users until I (or Mike) approves it. However, some people have been leaving quality comments on our site for so long that we feel like we can can trust you. When that happens, we flip a magical invisible switch that allows everyone to see your comment as soon as you post it! Amazing!

The reason that I am posting this information is because I just flipped the magic switch for several people. Please remember that with great commenting power, comes great commenting responsibilty. If you try to sneak things into your comments that you know are not allowed you will lose your auto-approval power forever.

Another reason I am posting this is to encourage other commenters to comment often and to comment well so that they may have the auto-approval power. I don't think there are any more people for me to bestow this gift upon right now, but I will try pick some more people next month for this honor.

Here is a list of everyone who has "the power":

        
  • Evil Incarnate (Me)
  • Mike
  • MrWizard6600
  • aliquidparadigm
  • Mach5Motorsport
  • David
  • Radiator
  • wyz135
  • WhistleHeat
  • -RK
  • Sunny

HD 4850 & HD 4870 NDA has been lifted.

That's not exciting as it sounds though. The few sites that have decided to post some content are saying that they are not quite ready to give a full fledged review at this time. Legit Reviews for example, can not get their RV770 driver installed properly. Their little 4 page preview also contains some pics of the Sapphire HD 4850 and some ATI slides from the Cinema 2.0 event.

PC Perspective was a little bit luckier with their MSI HD 4850. They were able to get their drivers installed and they had enough time to test 2 games and 2 3DMark benchmarks.

TweakTown was super prepared I guess. They have an 11 page review up that features 2 HD 4850's in CrossFire. It seems like 2 HD 4850's come close to the performance of a single GTX 280 in a few games for about $240 less than a single GTX 280. That's good those for those that already own a CrossFire motherboard, but for people like me..that is about how much I would have to spend to buy a new motherboard that supports CrossFire.

Guru3D has a huge 20 page HD 4850 CrossFire review ready for your eager consumption. The one PowerColor HD 4850 and another HD 4850 from a manufacturer I have never ever heard of... Force3D. Apparently they have been around since January 2008. I will get all of Force3D's products added as soon as I can by the way...

HotHardware has a short one pager featuring the results from 2 games and 2 3DMark benchmarks. The article also contains some information that I will talk about in my next news post .

I found the following quote from the Tech Report's Scout Wasson to be funny, yet true:

...What remains now is for us poor slobs in the press to get the products tested and to publish our findings as soon as we reasonably can...

...At press time, the precise effects of these events on my health were unclear, but doctors expressed grave concern.

This news post is getting too long. I did not think this many sites would take advantage of the NDA removal. Here are some quick links to finish this post off:

techPowerUp MSI HD 4850 review.

techPowerUp PowerColor HD 4850 review.

Hexus Sapphire HD 4850 review.

Nvidia shows they can make 55nm parts too. The 9800 GTX+ is born.

Yes Nvidia is trying to combat ATI's NDA removalby announcing their own 55nm part. Behold the wonder that is the 9800 GTX+! PCPerspective has laid out the specs of this card as follows:

     
  • MSRP: $229
  • Core clock: 738 MHz
  • Shader clock: 1836 MHz
  • 512MB GDDR3 Memory @ ~1000 MHz
  • 2- and 3-Way SLI support
  • kick in the ass

I think $229 is pretty awesome because the best price for a "normal" 65nm 9800 GTX at Newegg right now is, wait for it... $229.99!

PCPerspective also posted pics of a naked 9800 GTX+ in order to prove its 55nmness.

I will add this new card to the database right now, because I care. Some people even say that I sometimes care too much...

The 9800 GTX+ page is up so now you can do wacky things like comparing the 9800 GTX+ to the tried and true 9800 GTX. Or maybe you would prefer the 9800 GTX+ vs the HD 4850...

The first 9800 GTX+ and HD 4870 pages show themselves.

Jetway has broken all the rules (I guess) by letting their HD 4870 page out of the bag. This particular model only has 512MB of GDDR5 and according to them it (and their HD 4850) has only 480 shader processors. That must be a mistake on their part.

On the 9800 GTX+ side we have Inno3D and Galaxy representin'. Galaxy never lists the speeds for their cards but the Inno3D model has a memory speed of 1,100MHz (2,200 DDR) which is great because places like PC Perspective only had ~1,000MHz listed for the GTX+. The original 9800 GTX had a 1,100MHz memory speed, so I'm glad that at least some GTX+s will be that fast as well.

Here is a picture of the Jetway HD 4870 for you:

 

Jetway HD 4870

4X HD 4850 CrossFireX review.

TweakTown has gathered $800 worth of 4850s together to provide you the following information.

In 3DMark06, 3DMark Vantage, and Unreal Tournament 3:

4 HD 4850s are better than 3, and 3 HD 4850s are better than 2.

 

In Cinebench R10 and all the other games that they tested:

4 HD 4850s are worse than 3, and 3 HD 4850s are worse than 2.

Why I hate Abit and Nvidia.

I am currently in the middle of doing GPUReview's first video card review (don't get too excited). I decided to purchase a GTX 280 to replace my 8800 GTX and I thought it would be a good idea to compare the two cards in a few games. Well I finished all my 8800 GTX testing early last night and I went about installing my brand new Evga GTX 280.

I removed my 8800 GTX, took some comparison photos of both cards and then installed the GTX 280. I turned my PC on and I was greeted by the lack of any picture on my monitor... 

Read The Full Article

HD 4850's are now at Newegg.

A whopping 8 of the 13 HD 4850s in our database are now available at Newegg for $199.99 as of this writing. So if you are in the market for one now is your chance to spend your hard earned dolla'.

 

Newegg's HD 4850 announcement

 

EDIT:

Sapphire's card just went down to $194.99 by way of an instant savings. If you ask me, Diamond's card is the best looking HD 4850 (I don't think I've ever seen such a cool card from Diamond) on the market. Check it out in all its skullrific glory:

 

Diamond's HD 4850

EDIT 2: The Editening

GPUReview reader Grey Fox would like us all to know that Newegg has a few HD 4870s listed, but they are not in stock, yet... Keep an eye on them, I am sure they will be available soon.

GPUReview's HD 4850 & HD 4870 overclocking round up!

I hope some more HD 4870 overclocking results show up soon, but until then, here's what we got so far. Congrats to Guru3D on taking the HD 4850 crown. Also, GDDR5 running at 4,400MHz is very shiek this season. That takes the memory bandwidth of that HD 4870 from 115.2 GB/sec to 140.8 GB/sec.

 

HD 4850 and HD 4870 overclocks.
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