The perpetual war for supremacy between AMD and Nvidia constantly leaves enthusiasts dodging shrapnel: When you want the best video card you can afford, why buy one now instead of waiting for the better one the competing chipset designer will undoubtedly release in a few months? This leaves reviewers in a tough spot, too, as we're constantly proclaiming that nearly every new card is the fastest ever. But because you can only live in the world you live in, we're obliged to go there. So, here goes once again: The just-released AMD Radeon HD 7970 ($549 list) is the latest fastest and most feature-rich single-GPU card ever, surpassing our previous Editors' Choice winner, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 580.
Though we have little doubt that Nvidia will yank back that title with its next generation of cards, the 7970 is an impressive achievement for the moment. (It's rumored to become widely available by early January of 2012.) The inaugural member of the Southern Islands family, it utilizes a fresh architecture AMD refers to as "Graphics Core Next." Based on a new 28nm process technology and utilizing more than 4.3 billion transistors, Graphics Core Next uses a revised instruction set architecture, gives each compute unit the ability to simultaneously execute instructions from multiple kernels, and delivers an increased number of instructions per clock cycle per square millimeter of GPU space. The result, so AMD claims, is "designed for high utilization, high throughput, and multitasking."
The Radeon HD 6790 is positioned between the upper-end-mainstream Radeon HD 6770 and the lower-end-enthusiast Radeon HD 6850, intended for users running at midrange resolutions (such as 1,680-by-1,050) and detail settings. The card offers 1.34 teraflops of compute power; has a core clock speed of 840 MHz, 800 stream processors, 40 texture units, and 16 ROPs; and is loaded with 1GB of GDDR5 frame buffer, operating at 4.2 Gbps on a 256-bit memory path.
AMD's press materials for the 6790 identify the 6790's TDP as about 150 watts—more than the 6850, and approximately in the same league as the card above that one, the Radeon HD 6870 (151 watts). AMD's reference spec for the card suggests it will require two six-pin connectors from a power supply, though the company says that some models will be available using only one.
The months-long jockeying for position between AMD and Nvidia has led to this moment: Who has the faster flagship video card? Nvidia held the crown for a long while thanks to its powerful and polished GTX 580, still the best single-processor card on the market. But when AMD released its dual-GPU Radeon HD 6990 earlier this month, and it delivered blistering benchmark results along with a sky-high $699 list price and an ultra-noisy fan, it looked like AMD might own the top tier this generation. Now that Nvidia has released its own dual-GPU card, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 590 (also $699), we definitively know the answer: AMD just wins the performance crown. Nvidia's card has some solid reasons to recommend it—much better noise characteristics, it will fit in a (slightly) wider variety of cases—but for this much money you probably want the fastest card there is. And the GTX 590, in spite of its virtues, is not quite it.
The GTX 590 is, however, packed with power. You'd expect that from any two-GPU card in general—the last one Nvidia released was the GTX 295, in early 2009—and especially from one that essentially fuses two powerful GF110 GPUs (the kind used in the GTX 580). It sports a total of 1,024 CUDA processing cores, 128 texture units, 96 ROP units, and 32 tessellation engines for making the most of one of the most sought-after DirectX 11 (DX11) features. The card's graphics clock runs at 607 MHz, its processor clock at 1,215 MHz, and its memory clock at 3,414 MHz. It's loaded with 3,072MB of GDDR5 memory for the frame buffer, which operates over a 384-bit memory interface.
Hot on the heels of AMD's recently released Radeon HD 6990, Nvidia introduced its own new flagship video card today, the GeForce GTX 590.
Nvidia's first dual-GPU video card since the GTX 295 in early 2009, the GTX 590 unites a pair of GF110 GPUs (the kind used in the GTX 580, the fastest single-GPU card on the market) on a single card. This means you get of 1,024 CUDA processing cores, 128 texture units, 96 ROP units, and 32 tessellation engines. The card's graphics clock runs at 607 MHz, its processor clock at 1,215 MHz, and its memory clock at 3,414 MHz. It's loaded with 3,072MB of GDDR5 memory for the frame buffer, which operates over a 384-bit memory interface.
For gamers and enthusiasts who aren't willing to settle for just an ordinary video card—you know, the kind with only one GPU—the Radeon HD 6990, which AMD is releasing today, could be the next must-have product.
As the 6000-series replacement for 2009's ATI Radeon HD 5970, the 6990 boasts a pair of powerful graphics processing units (GPUs), and some of the speediest specs on the market: compute power of 5.1 teraflops, a core clock speed of 830 MHz, 3,072 stream processors, 192 texture units, 64 ROPs, and 4GB of GDDR5 frame buffer running a long a 5-Gbps, 256-bit memory path. For adventurous users who want even faster frame rates, a switch on the card itself can automatically overclock the card to still-higher levels of performance.
Newegg has got a nice sale on the high end gaming card, the BFG Tech GeForce 9800 GT with 512MB RAM. The card is HDCP-ready, supports SLI, and plugs into a PCI Express 2.0 port. It’s aso a low profile size, so the card doesn’t block any other slots in your system. Even better, it’s eco-intelligent, so it uses 30% less power than similar cards from other manufacturers. The card typically sells for $100, but with Newegg promo code VGA51315, you’ll get a 15% discount, plus free shipping. You can pick up the BFG Tech GeForce 9800 GT from Newegg for $84.99 now.
As always, you can find all sorts of Newegg promo code and deals on our forums.
Read More | BFG Tech GeForce 9088 GT Newegg promo code
Newegg has a deal on the PNY GeForce GTS 250 video card. This one has 1GB of DDR3 RAM, supports HDCP, and supports SLI. If you pick up two of them, that means they’ll play nicely together for an even nicer performance boost. You can pick up the PNY GeForce GTS 250 for $119.99, a good $30 off the original price. Take a look at the PNY GeForce GTS 250 on Newegg to get the savings.
As always, you can find all sorts of Newegg promo codes and deals on our forums.
Read More | PNY GeForce GTS 250
Newegg has a great deal up for the BFG Tech GeForce 9800 GT OC 1GB NVIDIA video card. It’s a PCI Express 2.0 card that supports SLI, is HDCP-ready, and has a stellar 1GB of GDDR3 video RAM. Take a look at the BFG Tech GeForce 9800 GT OC on Newegg to get the savings, and you even get a free copy of Call of Duty: World at War.
As always, you can find all sorts of Newegg promo codes and deals on our forums.
Read More | Newegg: BFG Tech GeForce 9800 GT OC
Just came across this Newegg deal on the Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 video card that we had to share. The card typically sells for $140, but you can pick one up, today only, for $114.99. The Radeon HD 4850 sports 512 MB RAM, plugs into a PCI Express 2.0 slot, and supports HDCP. You’ll find an HDMI out on this card, and it also supports CrossFire, if you wanted to buy two and make them work in tandem.
As always, you can find all sorts of Newegg coupon codes and deals on our forums.
Read More | Newegg: Sapphire Radeon HD 4850
We are back with another list of the latest Newegg deals, and they are even throwing gas cards in with some of their stuff! Peeps the AMD Phenom X4 package:
- Olympus Stylus 1050SW Champagne Digital Camera - $217.99 (promo code “CAMERA114FS”) Expires 1/31
- GeForce GTX 285 1GB 512-bit GDDR3 Video Card - $349.99 (promo code “XNZDFF30”) Expires 1/22
- Kodak EasyShare 9.2 MP C913 Silver Digital Camera - $79.99 - Expires 1/31
- AMD Athlon 64 X2 BE-2400 Dual Core Processor - $34.99 - (promo code “AMD1145”) Expires 1/31
- AMD Phenom X4 9950 Quad-Core Processor - $169.99 + $100 gas card - Expires 1/31