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Together we will build the bridge to the AGP generation.

The "bridge" in this case happens to be a bridge chip. DigiTimes is the intrepid tech site bringing us the wonderous news today. The new A05 bridge chip will allow the 8400 and 8600 series (No 8500 series?) to work with your tried and true AGP motherboard. Apparently the A05 will be able to work its dark voodoo magic with the soon to be released G92 and G98 as well.

Now check out my crappy joke pic made with MS Paint! (If you can do better, please leave the URL for your pic in the comments.)  

My crappy paint joke.

Some AGP Radeon HD 2000 series cards now available, & this time they are cheaper!

Wayyyy back on August 10th I posted a story about these video cards being available at Best Buy and Circuit City. Well now you can get 'em via your favorite online retailer for $40-$70 dollars less than those guys! Rejoice!

Newegg VisionTek HD 2600 Pro 256MB DDR2 for $119.99
Newegg VisionTek HD 2600 Pro 512MB DDR2 for $109.99 (Twice the memory for $10 less!?!?)

Newegg VisionTek HD 2400 Pro 256MB DDR2 for $82.99
Newegg VisionTek HD 2400 Pro OC 256MB DDR2 $69.99 (180MHz core clock increase for $13 less!?!?)

EDIT:

I checked, and the prices for these cards at Best Buy and Circuit City are the same as they were back on August 10th. 

EDIT 2: The 2nd Coming!

Newegg added a $30 mail in reabte to the 512MB version of the AGP 2600 Pro, which now makes it $10 less than the 256MB version. (Thank you to both anonymous commentors for that.)

HA! The mail in rebate is only good from September 5th to September 19th. What is funny about that? Newegg did not have this card for sale until September 7th. I find that to be funny.

AMD to shrink the chips & increase the clocks of its midrange cards.

Early next year AMD will reportedly have improved verisons of the the HD 2400 and HD 2600 on store shelves. Both series will be shrunk from a 65nm process to a 55nm process and their core clock speeds will be increased to 800MHz. The RV635 and RV620 based cards will feature the new Display Port connection and are rumored to be launched as the Radeon HD 2650 and 2500, respectively. Thanks be to DigiTimes (again) for the good news.

Overclocked HD 2400 Pro AGP now available (& cheaper than the non-OCed version)!

I wanted to make sure that those persons interested in these cards did not miss this latest addition to Newegg's offerings.

Newegg VisionTek HD 2400 Pro OC 256MB DDR2 $69.99

Newegg also has pictures up for these AGP cards as well. Go check'em out.

512MB vs 256MB on the 8600 GTS equals a waste of money.

[H]ard|OCP has a new article up comparing three 8600 GTS cards. The Evga Superclocked 512MB version, the stock Evga 512MB version and the stock Nvidia 256MB version. They tested 5 popular games and found that they were unable to increase any settings in any of the games because of the increased memory size. Even I was surprised at how little difference there is between the three cards. If you wondering if more memory on your 8600 GTS will be worth it, read this article please.

894 pages of AMD GPU specs for you to peruse.

OH GOD! I wish I could read! [Weeping]

Oh wait... I can! But you know what? I have better things to do than reading almost 900 pages of GPU specifications. But maybe you don't. Maybe you like this sort of thing. Maybe GPU specifications put you in "the mood". That is why I am posting this. Here you go, download these massive PDFs and have yourself a good 'ol time!

 

Reading is FUNdamental!

This message is brought to you by Phoronix

 

Sam the Snail

AGP VisionTek HD 2600 XT now available. Radiator approves.

Apparently when our very own Radiator asked, "What's keeping them from releasing the HD 2600 XT AGP?" Newegg was listening (When aren't they listening? I bet they can hear my thoughts right now!). Now you can finally purchase an AGP HD 2600 XT from a trusted source. Huzzah!

Newegg VisionTek HD 2600 XT 512MB GDDR3 for $169.99  

The card appeared on their site sometime between yesterday afternoon and this morning. 

Intel bought Havok & apparently we are all doomed. DOOMED!

The sky is falling and it is being rendered in real time by Intel's Havok physics engine! Run! Run for your lives! Lock your doors and board up your windows! Kiss your pets goodbye!

Some people are a little too analytical and paranoid when it comes to business deals like this. From [H]ard|OCP:

"Intel’s own gaming GPU is soon to be in the market and now Intel owns the biggest and most widely adopted solution when it comes to software physics and likely soon to be hardware accelerated physics? I would suggest that there is a lot of discussion this morning at NVIDIA and AMD alike. Intel just pulled off a coup in the discrete graphics market and has not even entered it yet. NVIDIA is looking to have more to lose than any company right now in this equation. Its "platform" has no CPU and just likely lost a physics processor adaptation. It will be interesting to see what becomes of all of this. Did Intel just get the bargaining chip they need to bring SLI to Intel motherboard chipsets? Does Intel even care anymore?"

I am not worried. Intel will "share" Havok with Nvidia and AMD. I think they will all play nice with each other for the most part. If something really bad happened and Intel took all the CPU/GPU/Physics business for themselves, wouldn't the government step up and prevent them from becoming a monopoly? I know the government would not like the idea of buying all their PC hardware from one company that could charge them whatever they want.

So what do you guys think about all this? 

Intel's Skulltrail platform, SLI on an Intel motherboard!

The Intel Developer Forum (IDF) is currently happening in San Fransisco right now and some cool stuff is being shown. One of which is Intel's Skulltrail platform which will feature official SLIness from Nvidia. This is just a one time deal for now and Nvidia has not licensed SLI to any of Intel's chipsets. Instead Nvidia has given Intel permission to use SLI on this specific motherboard because Nvidia does not currently offer a motherboard with 2 CPU sockets.

Here is picture from PC Perspective and a link to three pics over at [H]ard|OCP.

PC Perspective Skulltrail pic

PC Perspective also has some good info PCI Express 3.0 and USB 3.0 as well. 

UPDATE: 

HotHardware is saying that Intel and maybe some of their partners may use a nForce MCP on some of the X38 (like Skulltrail) based motherboards. 

Radeon HD 2900 Pro and GT to arrive on this planet soon.

Apparently a few days ago HIS put up a page for the new HD 2900 Pro. For some reason I am unable to access any of HIS' pages from work today so I am currently unable to view the page myself. I do however have some information that I have located elsewhere.

(UPDATE) After running the parser, I discovered that GeCube has a page up for their HD 2900 Pro as well. I don't want to shock you... but it looks exactly like HIS' HD 2900 Pro!

According to techPowerUp!, the HD 2900 Pro is simply an underclocked HD 2900 XT and HIS is recommending a price of $249. techPowerUP! was also awesome enough to post the following picture:

HIS HD 2900 Pro specs Credit to TechPowerUp

HD 2900 Pro and 2900 GT specs

So if the clock speeds of the Pro are 600/1600, what do you guys think the speeds of the GT will be?

Legit Reviews gets up close & personal with Skulltrail.

One of these Skulltrails has 1,950 Watts of power supply juice under the hood!1!!!1 Not all of it was connected, but it was there in case you would like to run 4 8800 Ultra's in Quad SLI. (Must not drool on keyboard.) On the CPU side, the system has two 4.0GHz (overclocked from 3.4GHz) Quad Core (8 Cores @ 4GHZ!!) processors. 

For more details and some pwetty pictures, you'll have to click here

I could not think of something very funny.

Asus 8600 GT OC Gear is now available for purchase.

Remember these?

Story 1.
Story 2.
Story 3.  

The Asus 8600 GT with its own 5.25" overclocking bay is now available on Newegg for the paltry sum of $154.99. Here are some important notes from Newegg's page:

1. Compatible Graphics Card: ASUS Graphics Cards (You can use the panel with other Asus cards!? Joy!)
2. OC GEAR may not apply to some chassis with front door design
3. You are allowed to adjust the Fan Speed only when installing an ASUS graphics card with fan control function.

It is finally available 7 weeks After appearing on Asus' website or about 3.75 months after it was introduced to us by TweakTown on May 28, 2007. Is this still as cool as it was back in May? You should buy it and let us know! 

Asus GeForce 8600 GT OC Gear

Some unconfirmed HD 2950 Pro and HD 2950 XT news.

I just posted the HD 2900 Pro news yesterday and now today techPowerUp! is telling us some delicious information about AMD's new RV670 line up. This new chip will power the new HD 2950 XT and HD 2950 Pro.

The HD 2950 XT will run at 825MHz/2.4GHz with 512MB of GDDR4 RAM. That is an 85MHz increase on the core and a 375MHz increase on the memory. That is pretty significant. There is no way you are gonna be able to clock a GDDR4 HD 2900 XT that high without some extreme cooling.

The HD 2950 Pro will run at 750MHz/1.8GHz with either 512 or 256MB of GDDR3 RAM. That is a 150MHz increase on the core and a 100MHz increase on the memory. I think that is just a big enough increase to be beyond the reach of an overclocked HD 2900 Pro.

What makes these impressive jumps in clock speeds possible is that the RV670 is made with a new 55nm process. Both of these new cards will feature PCI-E 2.0, UVD and a magical next generation CrossFire technology.

This news is "unconfirmed" due to this sentence:

The information HARDSPELL is reporting is not confirmed by any official source close to AMD or ATI, keep it in mind while reading.

Use multiple monitors even if you are using SLI or CrossFire.

[H]ard|OCP just posted a review for Matrox's TripleHead2Go Digital Edition device. They tested it with 2 8800 GTXs in SLI, a 8800 Ultra, a 8800 GTS 640MB and the HD 2900 XT. The maximum resolution is 3840x1024 which is three 1280x1024 monitors lined up. This product is pricey ($329) but for those that already have some kick ass PC gear and want the Surround Gaming experience it may be worth it. Check out the article, it has some groovy 3840x1024 screenshots for your enjoyment.

Now you can own the magical mystery card!

Way back on June 29th I posted a little story about a magical video card that appeared on Asus' website. What is really awesome is that I ended that story with these two sentences:

Can you put a price on a "magic" 8500 GT that has 512MB of underclocked DDR2? I don't think you can!

Well it turns out I underestimated Asus' ability to bring the magic to their customers at a price that won't make their money disappear. Now if you close your eyes, say the magic words (then open your eyes so you can see) and click on the below link, you may be able to bring some real magic into your life!

Newegg Asus EN8500GT SILENT MAGIC/HTP/512M for $82.99

Magical mystery card returns!

Snarky comments in your Crysis system requirements.

The system requirements for Crysis over at Future Shop's website originally said this up until about 3:00AM Eastern this morning:

* Optical Drive: DVD-ROM
* CPU Speed: At least a 2.8GHz processor. Try something with Dual Cores - that should help. Maybe cut some speed holes in the case and add some fans. Ooh, and some of those neon lights. And stickers - they make it go faster.
* Disk Space: 1.0GB for local play. 6GB for play on the "tubes" (they're not like a truck, you can't just put things on them.)
* Display: Just buy a new video card. Seriously. (Oh, alright: At least an Nvidia 6600 or an ATI x1600 with Shader Model 2.0 - See, told you). It'll do some pretty stuff with DirectX 10 so you might want to upgrade to Vista and a DX10 video card while you're at it. Yes, we finance.
* Memory (RAM): A Hojillion GB (1GB should be good. You really can't have too much RAM though).
* Operating System Compatibility: Windows XP and Vista. Vista is required for all the DX10 prettiness. Not Mac Compatible (well, you could always get a new iMac and dual boot. It's not a bad choice.)

After the person who wrote that was either fired or at least yelled at, the system requirements were changed to the following:

*Optical Drive: 16X CD/DVD Drive
*CPU Type: Intel
*CPU Speed: 933MHz
*Disk Space: 2.0GB
*Display: AGP Video Card with 64MB or more of memory + NVIDIA GeForce 3 or greater or a ATI Radeon 8500 or greater
*Memory (RAM): 256MB
*Operating System Compatibility: Win98/ME/2000/XP, Not Mac Compatible

The minimum requirements that are generally accepted to be accurate by the Interweb community are:

*Optical Drive: DVD Drive
*CPU: Athlon 64 3000+/Intel 2.8ghz
*Disk Space: 6GB
*Display: Nvidia 6600 or ATI X1600 - Shader Model 2.0
*Memory (RAM): 1GB
*Operating System Compatibility: DX9 with Windows XP/Vista DX10 with Vista

RV670-XTX pictures for all the penitent girls and boys.

Cruising around the ATI section of the [H]ard|Forums today I located a thread with some erotic video card images. I give you an unbranded RV670 from CHIPHELL and a MSI RV670-XTX from Coolaler.

RV670-XTX from Coolaler.com.

MSI 8600 GT allows you to overclock the shader processor.

I was not aware how awesome the MSI NX8600GT Twin Turbo was until I read this article at [H]ard|OCP. The page for the card at MSI's site does not tell you about this sweet overclocking button on the bacl of the card. However, this page does.

MSI NX8600GT Twin Turbo
 

The button increases the GPU, memory, and shader speeds from 540MHz, 1400MHz, and 1450MHz to 580MHz, 1600MHz, and 1508MHz when pressed and then swithces it back when pressed again.

 

Image from [H]ard|OCP article

MSI's press release also states that because there are two BIOS chips on the card, enthusiasts can create their own overclocks on one BIOS chip and revert back to the other chip if something goes wrong.

"...the NX8600GT Twin Turbo, has two separate vBIOS on-board which carry two dedicated GPU/Shader/Memory clock settings. Users only have to press a hardware button on the bracket, and then the new (higher) clock setting can be applied without re-flashing the vBIOS chip. Also, these two vBIOS chips give extreme enthusiast a Die-Hard workability (another vBIOS chip as spare) if they want to tweak the vBIOS to find out the ultimate performance parameters between Shader clock and GPU core clock."

So this card is pretty unique. Overclocking button, dual BIOS chips and it lets end users overclock the shader processor. The only question that remains is, how much will it cost? 

Buy the HD 2900 Pro now. (Quick, before it's reviewed!)

Newegg added a ton of new video cards to its store today, but the only card that is truly new is the HIS HD 2900 Pro. It is pretty rare for a card to become available for purchase before reviews have been posted on it. If you guys see any reviews, post the links in the comments so that people can make an informed purchase decision.

Newegg HIS HD 2900 Pro 512MB GDDR3 for $279.99  

EDIT:

Mad props to spydag for finding this "Early Test" review over at TweakTown

Industrious fellow gets working 7800 GTX SLI for only $70.

[H]ard|Forum member Servant of Shodan has basically pulled a MacGyver and turned two non-working $35 7800 GTXs (current price if bought new is over $200) into a functioning 7800 GTX SLI setup. I am amazed and a little jealous. You can read all about his inspiring story right here. Both cards apparently suffered from a burnt out mosfet and functioned just fine after the bad mosfet was removed with force (not THE force, just plain force). You can see Servant of Shodan's gentle, almost surgical precision in the following picture:

Servan of Shodan's 7800 GTX mosfet removal

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