Video Cards

  • New reviews have GeForces pulling ahead of Radeons

    New reviews have GeForces pulling ahead of Radeons


    I’ve been trumpeting Radeon superiority in this video card generation for months, but it seems that the seesaw is tipping the other way now and NVIDIA is back on their game. Doubtless the cost-for-performance of the 48xx series early on caused NVIDIA to panic and drop prices, but now that the platforms have matured a little bit, drivers have been updated, and new games are being tested… Read More

  • G4saurus Defectus: AMD snipes at NVIDIA in viral cartoon

    I think you have to be a real hardware geek to find this stuff funny, so it’s no surprise that it made me smile. Although it’s not exactly credited, it’s pretty clear that this is a low-key effort by AMD to discredit NVIDIA — the cartoon casts a bediapered dinosaur as NVIDIA’s troubled last generation of video cards and makes fun of their limited and faulty… Read More

  • AMD teaming up with Celsia for better passive cooling

    AMD teaming up with Celsia for better passive cooling


    In systems where both energy limitations and heat flow are major considerations, passive cooling has been an increasingly popular solution, though not always the best one. Heatsinks are often just not enough to do the job, but as they become more sophisticated they are closing the performance gap with active heat reduction like fans or piping. Celsia has made the heatsink into something… Read More

  • Radeon 4870 with 1GB of DDR5 – is it worth it?

    Radeon 4870 with 1GB of DDR5 – is it worth it?

    Every so often, hardware makers strike out in a new direction, improving their product in an almost random manner — double the shader processors! stick two cards together! — and sometimes it actually has good results. The big move happening right now is a vast increase in the amount of RAM available to the video card, even though that’s not really what’s limiting… Read More

  • Study on video card failures: "It's the solder, stupid"

    Study on video card failures: "It's the solder, stupid"

    A couple weeks ago we posted about allegations of widespread solder failure in NVIDIA graphics cards. This is further confirmation of that, as a study done at my alma mater comparing high-lead (90% lead, 10% tin) and eutectic (60% lead, 40% tin) found that under controlled circumstances, “…plastic energy produced in the high-lead layer is about 100 times larger than in the… Read More

  • Thousands of Radeon cards found faulty – who's to blame?

    Thousands of Radeon cards found faulty – who's to blame?

    When a serious hardware problem occurs, the buck always passes a few times before it finds a solid resting place. In the recent case of NVIDIA, it was remarkably simple, as the company itself (it seems) was responsible for pushing the bad solder that was cracking. But now we have several thousand Radeon 3800 cards that are faulty, and the finger is not quite so easy to point. Of course, first… Read More

  • Next NVIDIA generation features faulty last-gen solder?

    Next NVIDIA generation features faulty last-gen solder?

    NVIDIA’s “abnormal” number of GPU failures have been the subject of much discussion and speculation during the last couple months. The culprit seems to have been the high-lead solder, which everybody rightly assumed NVIDIA would abandon — after all, it’s cost the company hundreds of millions in direct costs and probably far more in lost sales, lost brand… Read More

  • NVIDIA and AMD are the Hummers of the tech industry

    NVIDIA and AMD are the Hummers of the tech industry

    While the world oohs and ahhs to tiny laptops and green benchmarks, there is a sort of blind eye turned to the excesses of extreme gamers. This interesting article points out that as everyone else is going lighter, smaller, and more efficient, video cards are getting bigger, guzzling power, and even multiplying themselves. A cutting edge card will draw nearly 300W at maximum, which is what we… Read More

  • MSI drops single-slot, water-cooled, overclocked GeForce 280

    MSI drops single-slot, water-cooled, overclocked GeForce 280


    Will wonders never cease? It wasn’t so long ago that water-cooling your CPU or video card meant expensive modifications at the risk of ruining your whole setup. This MSI GeForce N280GTX is already set up with water cooling, and what’s more, it only takes up one slot! Now you can actually have dual water-cooled GeForces, something that sounds like something you upgrade your… Read More

  • AMD vs NVIDIA: the eternal struggle extends to the budget level

    AMD vs NVIDIA: the eternal struggle extends to the budget level

    The video card scene right now is like watching a boxing match. AMD dealt NVIDIA a solid shot to the face with the 4870 and 4850, causing NVIDIA to lower their prices in an evasive maneuver. NVIDIA has responded by throwing cards at the budget segment under $75. AMD of course disparaged this move, saying it was “quick and dirty,” and said something I feel is insightful: “If… Read More

  • Mythbusters' GPU vs. CPU demo: 1100 paintballs make the Mona Lisa in 275ms

    Well, this really is awfully misleading, but it sure is awesome. The idea is that a normal CPU processes things one at a time, like the single-paintball robot, and a GPU has parallel processors that can do (in this case) 1100 times the work in a single stroke. Well, considering CPUs are moving to serious multi-core architecture and GPUs are being used to do CPU work, the whole demonstration is… Read More

  • AMD talks up DirectX 10.1 gains and features

    AMD is, I think, releasing press releases just for giggles. This one is pretty insubstantial, but it linked the neat demo video above so it’s worth mentioning. Essentially, AMD is attempting to extend its current (and possibly short-lived) dominance by emphasizing how well the conquering 4800 series works with DirectX 10.1. I have to say, the lighting tools shown in the extremely long… Read More

  • "Lucid" chip tech enables GeForce/Radeon cross-SLI

    "Lucid" chip tech enables GeForce/Radeon cross-SLI


    SLI rendering has gained a lot of popularity lately, even to the point where people are making SLI rigs of pre-SLI’ed cards like the 9800GX2 and the 4870X2. The problem is that drivers and motherboards aren’t really set up to take advantage of two cards. Sure, it works a lot better than one card, but Hydra feels that it’s time mobos got an integrated SLI controller that… Read More

  • AMD doubles the 4870 fun, still under $400

    AMD doubles the 4870 fun, still under $400


    I’ve been saying this a lot this year: it’s a good time to be in the market for a video card! NVIDIA and AMD are firing volley after volley of significant improvements and price reductions. Although NVIDIA’s on-GPU physics processing is compelling, AMD’s new 4870 X2 (essentially two of the impressive 4870 cards stuck together) provides an insane amount of power for… Read More

  • NVIDIA's PhysX-on-GPU demos go live

    NVIDIA's PhysX-on-GPU demos go live


    Those special PhysX-enabling drivers and demos we told you about a couple days ago are now live on NVIDIA’s site. If you have a GeForce card of any recent vintage (think 8-series and higher), go get set up now! I can’t from my MacBook Pro, but as soon as I get home I’m going to throw down on a little Warmonger; the new Red Faction whetted my appetite for destruction and… Read More

  • Nvidia committing to newfangled 55nm process

    Nvidia committing to newfangled 55nm process


    Son, I remember the days when chips were 55 meters! Ain’t no one ever even heard of a nano back then. Had troops o’ monkeys cartin’ ice packs to and from the walk-in freezer just to keep that machine from meltin’ down and burying us all in hot copper — dag nabbit! Seriously, though. Nvidia’s newest, fastest cards are being done on a 55nm process, which… Read More

  • ATI's Radeon 4870 hit NVIDIA so hard their prices fell down

    ATI's Radeon 4870 hit NVIDIA so hard their prices fell down


    Damn, when I first heard about the GeForce 260 and 280 I thought it was checkmate. No one expected much of the new line of Radeons in the first place given ATI’s lackluster offerings lately, and combine that with the improvement in the 65nm 280 — I think I was justified in thinking so. But the Radeon 4850 came out a little later and jaws dropped. It offered nearly the performance… Read More

  • Matrox comes out of its cave, offers new video cards

    Matrox comes out of its cave, offers new video cards


    You may remember Matrox. They were a significant competitor back in the days when the graphics card scene was TNT2 vs. Voodoo3. The dark horse was always Matrox, whose dual-display-oriented cards always perplexed and intrigued me. I still don’t use more than one monitor but it’s far more common these days, with people like our own Doug, who is rocking I believe four monitors at… Read More

  • Today's a good day to upgrade your video card

    Today's a good day to upgrade your video card


    Or maybe over the next week or so. With the release of the ATI HD 4850 and NVIDIA’s new 55nm-based 9800GTX+, the price/performance ratio is really nice right now. Of course, as with all components, the longer you wait, the better the deal is, but if you’re looking for an upgrade right now, these new releases will drop quite a few prices across the board. The 4850 is available for… Read More

  • NVNews reviews the insane new NVIDIA GTX 280 "FTW Edition"

    NVNews reviews the insane new NVIDIA GTX 280 "FTW Edition"


    I could tell you about the list of improvements as long as my arm, including vastly increased memory bandwidth, 65nm fabrication, and huge increases in shader and thread counts. I could bore you with more technical specs and statistics. But I think what you really need to know is that it runs Bioshock at 2560×1600 with 4x anti-aliasing and 8x anisotropic filtering at nearly 60fps. If… Read More