Photos by Banjarconverto on Buzznet

Monday, September 14, 2009

I like what I read about AMD DX11 GPU! (Read: the successor of RV770 is almost here)

Good things are coming from AMD in the near future, I guess. And the future is not so distant far away, as I am talking as close as DirectX11.

One of the features and capabilities of the next-gen GPU from AMD is the ultra high resolution gaming. Sounds familiar, so what's different about it? I'm talking 7800x3200 resolution driven all the way by a single GPU!

Since we don't have any single LCD monitor currently that support that resolution, we need about 6 30" display to achieve it. This is handled successfully by the new DX11 GPU.

The ability to display a Single Large Surface (SLS : a multi-monitor done right!) at such resolution is going to accelerate an already existing phenomena in the gaming scene: multi-display setup. I personally think that gamers gaming with at least 2 display panels is really nothing new, but so far there's not much that really drives most gamers to buy more than one single big display. The arrival of the next gen GPU from AMD might be a catalyst for this to happen.

The combination of display supported are very exciting, starting from up to 3 displays (supported by the low end variation of the DX11 GPU) and up to 6 for the high end. If I had to imagine, 3 display setup might provide a very wide landscape view and I might want to use this on any favourite FPS game that I have. With a bit of curvy setup, it will give a sense of surround view, adding realism to the gameplay!

AMD had similar intention in mind, and calling all the capabilities above as 'Eyefinity', they plan to achieve a similar effect as Holodeck (Trekkies required!) and the GPU has put forward its first step into one.

Read more on AnandTech's preview into Eyefinity here.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

At last, I have completed (sort of) Test Drive Unlimited!

It has been nearly 10 months since the last time I wrote in the blog. During that time, many video cards have emerged in the market (some probably got obsoleted at this moment), many exciting games have flocked the hard drive of gamers around the world.

I myself have been busy with my life and the family. Yes, it takes a childbirth, reassignment to another department, two overseas outstations, one car timing belt change, a move to the new house and an H1N1 virus outbreak to get me writing the new entry.

However, I'm still playing the games that are long pending in the PC. One of them is Test Drive Unlimited, and I'm happy to say that I've finally kind of completed the single player portion of the game. As I don't actually utilize the multiplayer part (the broadband is kind of suck!), I can never achieve 100% completion, but nonetheless, I'm already contented with it.

So what's next? Let me see, there are GRID, Bioshock and Far Cry 2 that need to be completed.
Oh well! See you around!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Crysis Warhead and snapshots galore!

Yeah, I did buy the expansion of Crysis, Crysis Warhead just for the kicks of it. The game basically centers around Psycho, Nomad's teammate and what happens on the other side of the story in Crysis.

The game storyline , I think is shorter than Crysis and doesn't deal with much complexities as what we've seen in Crysis. Psycho basically has much more direct actions in combat, straight-forward missions. However, all these come with some twists and attractions: we are given some hints on Psycho's background and histories as we progress through the game. Another added element in Crysis Warhead that is I think not present in Crysis is the emotional and characterization aspects of the main subject, which in this case, Psycho.

Psycho, isn't really as 'psychotic' as the call sign seem to imply. He is portrayed as upholding a true code of honour during combat, having true sense of friendship and integrity as a true soldier. Of course, some of it may break down in the event of disappointment and frustration.
There are some dramatic scenes in Crysis Warhead that seems to strengthen those aspects above.

Despite all that, Crysis Warhead doesn't hold much surprise as an expansion of the original game but that might not be unexpected. There are clues to the continuation of the story at the end of the game (Crysis is a trilogy anyway) that we can put them as the cause for the second installment of the trilogy. At least, that's what I want to think of them.

Performance wise, my system maintains an average of 35-40 fps in the normal scenes, and this could drop to 17+ during intense combat scenes and when entering the snowy environment in the game. I didn't change the graphics settings set by the in-game detector but they are all set to 'Gamer'. I was playing at 1024x768 with 2X anti-aliasing. Yeah, pretty lame.

Despite the settings, I still enjoy the game and to me, the graphics is still smooth and non-stuttering. Hardcore gamers with 24 inch LCD might demand more than this.

I give this game 7/10 rating (since when do I give ratings to games?). Next in line, Far Cry 2 and NFS: Undercover!


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Radeon HD 4870 1GB

I think I did mention in a previous entry that AMD will release a few variants of HD 4xxx with higher onboard memory.

Now AMD has released Radeon HD 4870 1GB, which most probably benefit those who play games at ultra high resolution (I'm talking 1920x1200 and above!). The card probably is meant to respond to the release of GTX 260 Core 216 not so long ago.

AnandTech has it reviewed here!

I give a clue though: this card beats GTX 260 Core 216 in Crysis! Although that is not a good indication for an overall performance. I suggest you to head over to the review and compare it with GTX 260 Core 216, heck, better still, include GTX 280 as well! You'll be surprised..for a card that cost around MSRP$300, I can call it a winner, once again.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

It's very mouthful: GeForce GTX 260 Core 216

The name above, added with the manufacturer's name and the amount of memory onboard can become a very long product name. It's NVIDIA's recent bad habit of adding a peculiar product in between the main ones, cluttering the product line-ups and confusing the customers.

So here we have GTX 260 Core 216, which obviously means that it has 216 SPs. That is 24 SPs more than the regular GTX 260. Purpose of existence? To pit it dead-on with HD 4870 in price-to-performance ratio competition.

Bearing $274 price tag, it is NVIDIA's hope to regain some market share from AMD, in the high end spectrum. Whether it works or not, only benchmarks will tell. AnandTech has it covered here.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Radeon HD 4670 - Sweet spot in the middle tier

I think I'm beginning to love the lower to midrange video cards now. At $79, this card is bang on! RV730 XT is the codename for HD 4670, which is the replacement for the previous series midrange card, HD 3650.

Read here for the full review.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Radeon HD 4870 X2

It's out, and it's reviewed by AnandTech!

Included in the review is the incoming graphics cards from AMD : HD 4850 X2 and 1 GB HD 4870 (we've got only 512 MB HD 4870 currently). Another surprise is the 1 GB version of HD 4850, which I suspect will make that card even more hit among gamers.

And I'm still here, banging 8800 GT in GRID! :)

VIA departure from chipset arena

More and more companies are going out of their positions in the industry right now. VIA, once a well-known 3rd party chipset manufacturer, is saying goodbye to the field. I guess that they must have been feeling a tremendous competition from Intel and NVIDIA, as these two giants basically have provided a complete solution for each Intel and AMD platform.

So goodbye my friend. I still remember your KT266 and PT880 chipset that I had before. Well, they served me well.

Read here for more.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

GRID is mine, and it's time to play!

Finally, I've got my copy of Race Driver GRID. As much as I'm very eager to play it, I'm still stuck with some important assignments, so I'll see if I can manage to slip some time for the game.

Anyone who has played the game, I welcome you to share your experience here. Thanks..

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Own notes for 9800 GTX+, GTX 280 & 260, HD 4850 & 4870

This is an excerpt from AnandTech:


GTX 280 GTX 260 9800 GX2 9800 GTX+ 9800 GTX 8800 GTS 512 8800 GT
Stream Processors 240 192 256 128 128 128 112
Texture Address / Filtering 80 / 80 64 / 64 128 / 128 64 / 64 64 / 64 56 / 56 56 / 56
ROPs 32 28 32 16 16 16 16
Core Clock 602MHz 576MHz 600MHz 738MHz 675MHz 650MHz 600MHz
Shader Clock 1296MHz 1242MHz 1500MHz 1836MHz 1690MHz 1625MHz 1500MHz
Memory Clock 1107MHz 999MHz 1000MHz 1100MHz 1100MHz 970MHz 900MHz
Memory Bus Width 512-bit 448-bit 256-bit x 2 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit
Frame Buffer 1GB 896MB 1GB 512MB 512MB 512MB 512MB
Transistor Count 1.4B 1.4B 1.5B 754M 754M 754M 754M
Manufacturing Process TSMC 65nm TSMC 65nm TSMC 65nm TSMC 55nm TSMC 65nm TSMC 65nm TSMC 65nm
Price Point $650 $400 $500 $229 $199 $280 $170 - $230


I'm a bit busy at the moment with my job that I need to spend a special time to read the reviews of 9800 GTX+, GTX 280 and 260, AMD Radeon HD 4850 and 4870. Definitely an enticing times ahead in GPU scene!

Useful links:
GeForce 9800 GTX+
GeForce 280 and 260
HD 4850 & 4870

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Video: GT200 tech demo

Here is a tech demo video of NVIDIA's GT200 made by Tom's Hardware (where is Thomas Pabst anyway nowadays?).

Another clip made by VR-Zone, comparing the performance of GTX280 and 260 against HD 3870 X2. Kinda skeptical though, although it's nice if they're true.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Radeon HD 4850 early pics

OCWorkBench has hosted an early photo of RV770's Radeon HD 4850, which seems like a single-slot graphics card solution. It is said to sport 512 MB GDDR3 memory, with a price around $180-$200. June 18 is currently the set date for HD 4850 hard launch, so expect gamers to have their hands on this card on the same day it launches.

This could be a great start for gamers expecting to play Far Cry 2, maybe? And I just found out that NVIDIA will be launching GTX 280 and GTX 260 on June 17. Now, I'm not the owner of 9800 GTX, but somehow I do feel slightly ripped apart thinking that maybe 9800 GTX is just a stop-gap solution. This is only my opinion, but 9800 GTX didn't enjoy a long reign of power as long as 8800 GTX before it got replaced. If GTX 280 and 260, which use entirely new architecture (not G92 derivatives) perform better (which they should!), then I guess I'll be reading the same pages of riots in the tech community forums.

Visa and MasterCard are going to be very busy this mid summer...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Summer glow in the graphics industry: GT200 or D10U?

After some time in comatose, computer graphics industry is about to witness once again, a head-to-head competition between NVIDIA and AMD. Remember these names: GT200, RV770.

To make it more interesting, let's have a look at these figures from NVIDIA:

D10U-30 and D10U-20.....
240 shader procs and 192 shader procs.....
512-bit memory and 448-bit memory......

more stories on DailyTech!

One thing I'm not sure is whether those above are based on GT200, as it was revealed that GT200 will appear as GeForce 9900, as mentioned here. As you go along, you will see these names: GeForce GTX 280 and GeForce GTX 260 are referred to D10U-30 and D10U-20 respectively. Well, go figure..

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Race Driver GRID demo : a preview

I just have downloaded a demo of Race Driver GRID, a soon-to-be-released racing game by Codemasters. I gotta admit that since the frustration due to buggy NFS Pro Street, I didn't play much racing game (except Juiced 2 HIN, which I haven't completed it anyway!) until now. Anyway, I just cross my fingers, hoping this demo would at least bring some good gaming time for me.

It's a 893 MB worth of demo, so yeah..probably an early indication of a well-packed, solid game, perhaps? So, went through installation procedures and then I executed the game straight away. I don't even bother to update my PC with the latest graphics driver or some sort. Let's see if this unoptimized gaming rig can run the game smoothly or not.

Okay, to begin with, I should mention that the menu is easy to navigate, direct and clear. Maybe I have to make an exception on the control settings for the controller (keyboard). Usually, you use Esc and Enter to basically change the settings, accept it and then escape from the setting menu. This time, you have to use Control to initiate the change, then Enter to change and accept it, before getting out of the settings. Try it for yourself and you'll understand it.

With default graphics settings at 1280x1024 res, I ran the game. I'm glad to say that my unoptimized PC ran this game at an average of 45-55 fps. with framerates that never went below 38 fps. It's a butter smooth graphics in my observation, thanks to 8800 GT under the hood. Anyway, this is not the maxed out settings allowed in the game. You have various graphics related tweaks to make the best graphics out of this game.

I just completed a few rounds of the demo and...oh yeahh, you got 3 circuits and 3 cars to try on this demo. What can I say is.......I think this game is going to cure my frustration!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Ever heard of GeForce 9600 GSO??

If you ever come across this product, it is actually a rebadged 8800 GS. Yes, somehow NVIDIA wants to make it into the 9000 series even though 8800 GS had its brief moment in the market

I keep reminding myself of the current trend of product introduction into the market. Sometimes, those products are not really worth what they are hype for. Tough times for gamers,

Thursday, May 01, 2008

GTA 4: Not Yet For PC

Normally I don't cover console games but as eventually some of them are available on PC platform, I think I should make this official here: Grand Theft Auto 4 is out! Of course, currently it's for XBOX 360 and PlayStation 3.

I played a few GTAs before: III, Vice City and San Andreas. For me, the best one was Vice City and San Andreas came close f*ckin' second (like quoting Naveen Andrews in Grindhouse: Planet Terror!).

I saw Anand's review here. He rarely does game reviews himself, but he did the review of GTA 4 unlike any typical game reviewer. It's more like a personal thoughts: you can agree and disagree at the same time. I suggest you guys go and have a look at it.

Like what Anand mentioned towards the end of the review, there's no reason why GTA 4 won't make it to PC; it's just a matter of when.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Vista Exclusive: 3DMark Vantage

Friday, April 25, 2008

A Static

I guess there's not much happening around the graphics industry right now. I looked around at my regularly visited websites and there's nothing interesting to mention about graphics card at the moment. Yes, there are reviews everywhere, but they are basically the same card from different manufacturers, so I leave that for anyone to browse on their own.

There are still many more games that I haven't played on my PC since I'm stuck with some side projects of my own. And I haven't completed Crysis till now.

We'll see this trend in the upcoming weeks.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Greatest punch line ever: NVIDIA vs. Intel

This is old news, but recently there has been 'slide show' wars between NVIDIA and Intel regarding the future of computer graphics.

Larrabee marks the end of current graphics technology. This statement really makes Jen-Hsun Huang jumps off his seat.

Then they started pointing fingers to each other, highlighting flaws from each other's camp. Now here comes greatest punch line I've ever heard in this industry:

"How much faster can you render the blue screen of death?"

Some people might say," Well, look who's talking?".

Want full stories? Head over here.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

GeForce 9800 GTX arrives: NVIDIA product launching fest continues!

It seems kind of ironic to have GeForce 9800 GTX launching day happens on April Fool's Day. However, it didn't fool anyone as the card is really here among us. To make it better, it's a hard launch with immediate availability of the card in major retail stores. Gamers rejoice!

Here's a rundown on the specs of 9800 GTX:

Graphics Chip: G92 (65 nm, 754 million transistors)
No. of Stream processors: 128
Core Clock: 675 MHz
Shader Clock: 1688 MHz
Memory Size: 512 MB
Memory Clock : 1100 Mhz (2.2 GHz effective)
Memory Interface: 256-bit
Memory Bandwidth: 70.4 GB/sec
Texture Fill Rate: 43.2 GTexels/sec
ROPs : 16
Texture Filtering Unit: 64
Form Factor : 2-slot
Power Connector: 6-pin X 2
Max. Power Consumption: 156W

This card runs on PCIE 2.0 bus, although I suspect it still functions on PCIE 1.0.

Looking at the specs above, what can you see? Something familiar? Yes, GeForce 9800 GTX is very much a 8800 GTS 512MB, with a major difference being the core clock speed (675 against 650) and the resulting shader clock speed. The memory clock also receives a bit of a bump (1100 against 970 in 8800 GTS 512).

GeForce 9800 GTX is going to sell around $299-$349.

Reviews are already around (that's fast!), so take your pick from these various sources:
To be honest, I'm not even sure if it has been an exciting array of product launches from NVIDIA. I mean, 3 variants of G92-based cards after 8800 GT doesn't really hype things up for me anymore. What do you think?