Apparently there are many HD 2400 and HD 2600 chips with BIOS problems due some buggy AMD diagnostic and validation software. The issue has been encountered by makers like ASUS, MSI, and Gigabyte and one company has already recalled 20,000-30,000 units so far. Most of these defective units are either already in the "channel" or already on their way back to the makers. Apparently very few defective chips are on video cards that are currently in the hands of customers (Maybe that's because few people have purchased a HD 2400 or HD 2600. Ooo burn!). DigiTimes has any additional information that you may require.
For those you that are prepping kick-ass PCs for the release of Crysis, you now have a firm deadline to meet. The GeForce 9800 series is rumored to be available that month, but I for one think you will be fine running at lease one 8800 GTS or GTX.
The Asus 8600 GT with its own 5.25" overclocking bay is now on Asus' website. Rejoice! There are some really good details on the overclocking bay. I have captured the meaty details in the picture below:
I just finished running the parser and adding some new cards. While doing so, I came across two very fast HD 2600 XTs from MSI. The clock speeds for the RX2600XT Diamond 256MB GDDR4 and RX2600XT Diamond 512MB GDDR4 are 850/1,150. I looked around the database and it appears that these cards now hold the record for fastest core and memory speeds. Can any of you prove me wrong?
Thanks to one of our anonymous commenters for bringing this to my attention. Circuit City and Best Buy finally have some AGP versions of the Radeon HD series available. I also looked at Newegg, CompUSA, Fry's, ZipzoomFly and TigerDirect but I found nothing at any of those retailers. Here is what I found:
The VisionTek HD 2600 Pro at Circuit City and Best Buy are identified by the same model number (A2600P256AGP) but Circuit City says the card has GDDR4 memory and Best Buy says it has DDR2 memory. The box pictures on both of the sites show that the card has DDR2 memory.
[H]ard|OCP has posted a short and sweet review of BFG's ThermoIntelligence cooling technology. ThermoIntelligence is BFG's attempt to improve on Nvidia's stock cooling designs. Did they succeed? You'll have to read the article to find out.
There are two BFG graphics cards availbale right now that use ThermoIntelligence. They are the GeForce 8600 GTS OC (BFGE86256GTSOCFE) and the GeForce 8600 GTS OC2 (BFGE86256GTSOC2FE). The OC2 model is currently available at Newegg for $249.99 which is $30 more than the stock cooled (yet still overclocked) BFG 8600 GTS.
As some of you may or may not know, Nvidia was once again at the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) again this year. Since I attended for the first time this year, I knew I just had to introduce myself to persons over at Nvidia's booth. All of Nvidia's booth peoples were very nice and very knowledgable but Rick and I ended up spending some quality time together. Rick is currently the PR (Public Relations) Manager of Nvidia's Notebook segment. When we were talking, I had to admit to him that we have not gotten around to adding the most recent Nvidia (or ATI) notebook graphics cards to our site yet (we will Rick, I promise!).
On Tuesday I will have more time to tell you about Rick and the stuff we talked about and did together. I have some pictures and some audio I will be sharing with you guys. Right now I am going to continue to enjoy the rest of my vacation here in Seattle. Meet me back here on Tuesday OK?
Note: I will of course not allow my relationship with Rick to compromise my journalistic integrity here at GPUReview.com.
Because of my return flight I was awake for more than 28 hours once I got back on Tuesday. So yeah, once I got home I slept until this morning. I will post the stuff I promised tonight.
EDIT 2: The Editening
I have taken a few precious seconds to upload a new picture of Rick (and me) for you folks. If you look at the white pin that I am wearing, you may learn something about me. If you choose to utilize this information let me say this: I only have one game right now but I would enjoy chatting with you. Also, this has to be the best picture of me that I have ever seen. I am glad I made the effort to be clean shaven and slathered with antiperspirant (even though I was unable to "hook up" with one of the 40 females that were in attendance) while I was at PAX.
I wanted to make this a separate news post because the other news post was long enough.
The first day of PAX I made my way to Nvidia's booth as soon as the exhibition hall. That is where I introduced myself to Mr. Rick Allen and his fellow Nvidia employee (strangely, I never saw this other guy again). I told him that I worked for GPUreview and I asked them if they ever heard about it. They said they had not. :( After I actually described the site to them (including the green and white colors) they thought it sounded familar. I attempted to connect to a unsecured WiFi signal using my PSP so that I could show them the site. I failed. :( Ubisoft was supposed to be sponsoring free WiFi for PAX (and they did) but it was early on the first day and I could not locate it. Rick gave me one of his coveted business cards and I made some graphics card small talk.
I asked them about what water blocks they use in their testing systems because I was thinking about watercooling my system once I add my second 8800 GTX. They told me that they either get Danger Den waterblocks or BFG waterblocks (which are made by Danger Den and then branded by BFG). We talked about Bioshock and how great it is, they had the Bioshock demo on several of the machines at their booth along with Lost Planet. I thanked them for releasing the 163.44 Beta drivers for Bioshock and before moving on to the rest of the booths, I told them that they would see me again.
The next day was Saturday and I had so many panels and such to go to, I never made it into the exhibition hall. I did however get 9th place in the Half life 2 Deathmatch tournament in which over 100 people participated. Yeah for me! I did however go to the Hardware Panel at 9PM that night. It was hosted by Adam Dalke (I know him as ElectricTurtle) and the guests were Mike Balm?? (Intel), Rick Allen (Nvidia), Josh Latendresse (Astro Gaming). I have a recording of that panel and I will share it with you once I can find a place to upload a 54MB MP3. Most of the questions were directed to Rick or Mike so if you want to hear what those guys have to say on some important topics make sure to check it out.
After the panel was over I asked Rick a question that I thought up during the panel and that I was unable to ask him during the panel (the microphone line was long). I asked if he knew the guys that are responsible for dreaming up the cards in the 8500 and 8600 series. He said that he did. I then asked him how those guys feel when Nvidia's partners strap cheap ass DDR2 or DDR on a card that is supposed to have DDR3 on them. Does it make them sad? His answer was not so simple, but the gist of his answer was, yes it makes them sad. Rick (and I) both know the reason why it is done, but there are some people that wish that they did not do it.
PAX 2007 Hardware Panel
Right Click to Download it and make sure to have your volume turned up all the way.
I then asked Rick if he was doing anything after the panel because I wanted to take him to the PC Freeplay Area so I could show him GPUReview. He said that would be great. :) I let the rest of the panel attendees ask Risk their questions (in fact I helped Rick answer them) and then we went up 2 floors to the PC Freeplay Area.
(There is more to tell, but I really want to play some Bioshock right now.)
DigiTimes is sticking their journalistic neck out onto the chopping block by reporting on a specific date (November 12th) for the launch of the G92 parts. In this analogy, if DigiTimes is wrong, Nvidia fans will get to behead Monica Chen. Check out their (very) short news post for some of the neato G92 features.
Props to Rick for keeping his mouth shut on all things related to the G92 series while we were at PAX. Something interesting that he emphasized more than once during the Hardware Panel is that the price points are pretty much fixed, but as new cards come out customers will be getting better performance (and maybe less heat due to fab shrinkage) at each price point.
Apparently VR-Zone has some addtional details, so check it out.