NVIDIA's GTX 750 Ti has been rumored for about a month now, and as of today, most of those rumors are confirmed. Today sees the announcement of NVIDIA's Maxwell GTX 750 Ti, GTX 750, and TITAN Black specs and internal benchmarks; most interestingly, the 750 Ti and 750 introduce potentially game-changing graphics processing to low-TDP, passively-cooled HTPCs.
The 750 Ti, 750, and TITAN Black should all be available as of this posting (release date: 2/18/14).
During our hands-on press preview with Titanfall's PC deployment last night, we put the game through its paces on numerous GPU configurations atop our standardized test bench. Initial test attempts resulted in some frustration and hurdles, but with enough research and troubleshooting, we managed to develop a stable, reliable test bed for Titanfall's PC debut.
If you're yet unfamiliar with Titanfall, check out our (now-outdated) Titanfall Analysis.
In this Titanfall benchmark & analysis, we look at the best video cards for Titanfall, framerates (FPS), performance of APUs, SLI configs, & CrossFire, and more; the graphics devices we tested on Titanfall include AMD's 7850 1GB (+ CrossFire), the A10-5800K Trinity APU (7660D), NVIDIA's GTX 650 Ti Boost 2GB (+ SLI), GTX 760 2GB, and GTX 580 1.5GB (for reference), and Intel's HD4000 integrated graphics processor (IGP) on the 3rd-Gen Ivy Bridge CPUs. This IGP is also found in modern Haswell CPUs.
Note: Titanfall is presently in early beta, so it is highly likely that these numbers will improve as the game nears launch and optimization patches are released. It is also likely that nVidia and AMD will release updated drivers with profiles for Titanfall shortly, at which point we will re-test the game appropriately.
It looks like the first Maxwell GPUs (GM107-300 & GM107-400) are being fabricated with a 28nm process, as found in preceding Kepler chips. We recently reported that the 750 Ti is rumored for a February 18th release date, and noted that the 750 Ti would be nVidia's debut of the Maxwell GPU line.
Anyone who pays attention to the industry knows that nVidia tends to lead with their flagship GPU, releasing lower-SKU cards much later in the year. This time, though, it seems the 750 Ti is opening; we theorized that this is because the 750 Ti is more accessible to the greater whole of PC gamers, and thus has more potential to gain recognition. With this new information, though, I think the reasoning is different: I think nVidia is waiting for TSMC's fabrication capabilities to ramp into 20nm process before shipping higher-SKU devices.
NVidia recently announced its (re-)commitment to shipping with Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, noting that the game will now be included for free with purchases of GeForce GTX 660 or higher SKU video cards.
DisplayPort has been slow to move to the market, but it's growing in marketshare against other video interfaces - including DVI, which DisplayPort supersedes. DisplayPort is one of the most promising connector standards right now, given its ability to transmit audio data, USB data, and its high datarate (21.6 Gbps, over HDMI's 18Gbps). The current iteration of DisplayPort -- which was first produced in 2008 -- is the only video standard presently capable of 4K resolution output at 60Hz with a 30 bits-per-pixel color depth, making it important to the future of 4K displays.
We've recently complained about video card prices skyrocketing due to recent discoveries that AMD GPUs are particularly good at mining Litecoin, a cryptocurrency similar to BitCoin. When this discovery was made, we saw photos floating around the internet of entire stacks of 7970s, R9 290s, and other cards, all purchased with the intention of mining these coins.
This, in tow of the normal holiday season madness, resulted in nearly all current AMD GPUs selling out across the web, all the way down to the 7850. Prices doubled as a result, allowing retailers to reap the demand for a short time -- we've seen 2GB 7850s for $180 on Newegg, where they were just $90 a week or two ago. If you've been wondering why video cards are so expensive right now, this is why.
Welcome to another addition of our Weekly Hardware Sales round-up, affectionately called "Mik's Piks." Now that we're past the Black Friday sales madness, and the Cyber Monday madness, and the Cyber Week madness... we are now onto the "Techdays of Christmas!" This time around I have found some very good deals on a couple cases, a couple video cards (yes, really), some RAM, and a
EVGA's "Classified K|NGP|N" line has become the company's solution for extreme overclockers, similar to MSI's "Gaming" and "Lightning" card differentiations. The new GTX 780 Ti (which we broke-down over here) stands as the best video card for gaming right now, outpacing nVidia's more developer-focused TITAN and AMD's R9 290X.
EVGA has scrapped the reference design for the 780 Ti and opted for their own ACX-enabled active cooling solution. The 780 Ti natively runs at a TDP of 250W, but because overclocking increases wattage sent through the device, EVGA had to design with high power consumption in mind. This means improving the on-card VRM, cooling, and ability to accept higher wattage.
Now that Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and "Cyber Week" (yes, really) are over with, I guess we're looking at "Cyber Winter!" Hell, why not Cyber Year, right? That's certainly how sales work.
Regardless, I've once again scoured the web to find the best weekly deals out there. For this week's article, we've got a cheap (ish) 8GB kit of RAM, a high-end CPU, budget gaming case, and more. Christmas is right around the corner, so let's see what presents we have for you.
Continuing our Black Friday sales coverage (previous: gaming CPU sales), we now look to what is arguably the most critical component of any pure gaming PC: the video card. In this round-up, we'll cover some of the best video cards for gaming in 2013 (and the Black Friday / Cyber Monday sales), including GPUs specifically for Battlefield 4, Assassin's Creed IV, and other games.
This coverage spans the budget range through the high-end and enthusiast options. We're mostly focusing on single-card setups, but will make SLI/CrossFire suggestions as things move along. First, a list corresponding to the below items: