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nvidia-geforce-gtx-logo
Hardware

NVIDIA is nearing the launch of their second generation of Maxwell graphics card which are rumored to launch in Septmeber. While we have all known the second generation of Maxwell cards as the GeForce 800 series, it’s now reported by Videocardz that NVIDIA would instead use the GeForce 900 series branding for the graphics cards featuring their next generation Maxwell architecture which will include the GeForce GTX 980 and GTX 970. GeForce GTX 980

NVIDIA Rumored To Launch GeForce GTX 980 and GeForce GTX 970 Maxwell GPUs

A few days ago, a leak emerged of two upcoming mobility based GPUs based on the Maxwell architecture. The GPUs included the GeForce GTX 980M and GeForce GTX 970M. While it was previously assumed that NVIDIA’s mobility generation of Maxwell chips would be codenamed GeForce GTX 880MX and GeForce GTX 870MX that would have caused some confusion in the market, NVIDIA planned to keep their lineup simple by skipping the 800 series branding and moving on with the GeForce 900 series branding scheme. But NVIDIA seems to be not only skipping the GeForce 800 series naming scheme for the mobility lineup but they are doing the same for the desktop lineup. Hence the products which were supposed to be called the GeForce GTX 880 and GeForce GTX 870 would now be called GeForce GTX 980 and GeForce GTX 970 instead.

So according to the report, the Maxwell generation of graphics cards will now be branded as the GeForce 900 and GeForce 900M series. The two graphics cards from NVIDIA were supposed to be launched during sometime in September and the launch schedule will remain that way. The press event for the cards is going to take place between September 9th – 10th while the NDA is supposedly going to lift on 19th September on both cards. As for the specifications, we don’t have any new information aside from the rumored specifications we reported in the GeForce GTX 880 and GTX 870 leaks but the cards will end up with 4 GB of GDDR5 memory running on a 256-bit bus interface. If the reported date is correct, then we might see some reference designs prior to launch but aside from that we will have to wait to see if the information is legit or not.

Its not everyday that you decide to upgrade the heart of your gaming rig, but I bet that when you do so, accidentally getting a ‘fake’ card isn’t a thought that crosses your mind. Unfortunately for some German gamers, this proved to be a very depressing mistake. In Germany, Counterfeit GPUs under the SKU name “Nvidia GTX 660 4096 BULK” have been selling by the the thousands if reports are to be believed.  GTX 660 4096 BULK Fake Nvidia GPU

Counterfeit GPUs Named “GTX 660 4096 Bulk” Flood German Markets

There have been counts of fake GPUs in the past too, and it is slightly alarming that the severity of these incidents is escalating, along with the fact that they are growing in numbers. You can see the hi resolution picture of the GPU above and it looks some kind of very cheap ITX version with a Zotac GTX 440 cooler. Infact, GTX 440 is the correct guess because the actual die inside the cards is the GF106 chip. This is the same chip that was present in the GTX 440.  The so called GTX 660 only has about 144 Cuda Cores all clocked at about 900 Mhz. It features a 128Bit Bus interface and DDR3 Memory. So you can be rest assured that this is a very very bad buy indeed. Now heise.de, the same guys that broke the news i believe, took one GPU apart and took some snaps of the core which are visible below:

Tesla K80 logo
Hardware

NVIDIA is gearing up for a big launch in its Tesla line of professional graphics cards with the upcoming Tesla K80. In a leak, Videocardz managed to spot references of the Tesla K80 graphics card along with a few GPUs based on the Maxwell architecture however launch dates for the new cards are not known at the moment so we will get on with the specifications.NVIDIA Tesla K80 GK210-DUO

NVIDIA Tesla K80 “GK210-DUO” Graphics Card Heading Out To The Professional Market

Since the Tesla K80 is a dual-chip graphics card, it will feature two GK210 chips which are codenamed as the “GK210-DUO”. The Tesla K80 will essentially be two Tesla K40s on a single board which will result in improved performance and efficency as compared to using two separate Tesla K40 cards. The specifications will include two GK210 chips featuring 5760 CUDA cores (2880 CUDA Cores each), 448 TMUs and 96 ROPs. Judging from the Tesla K40 board, we can expect a memory size as high as 24 GB on the Tesla K80 board since the Tesla K40 featured 12 GB of GDDR5 memory. The memory will be featured along a 384-bit bus interface and will feature a TDP of around 375W, similar to the GeForce GTX Titan Z.

The core and memory clock speeds are currently unknown but NVIDIA’s previous Tesla K10 which was based on two GK104 cores featured lower clock speeds compared to its consumer counterpart, the GeForce GTX 690. For cooling, the card can adopt a passive heatsink design if the thermals are under control. The other variants that have been leaked include several upcoming Maxwell based graphics cards for the Quadro and Tesla series that include the recent GM107 based cards including the GM204 based series which will be branded as the Tesla M and Quadro M series.

[Op-Ed] I just wanted to share a short update on the Maxwell mobility front and a follow up to our original article. As I have already told you before Nvidia is gearing up for a big reveal sometime around the Second Week of September and this will probably include details about the Maxwell Mobility series too. However,  some solid rumors spotted by Cloudfire (NotebookReview) seem to indicate that the GTX 980M and GTX 970M will launch around 11th October, which is after the time the Nvidia Reveal is scheduled.Maxwell-GTX-880-

The Curious Case of the GTX 900 Series Nomenclature in Maxwell Mobility

I have to say, the naming of the Maxwell Mobility series has been bugging me ever since it was revealed. I just don’t get why Nvidia would name the mobility series 9xx. Sure, it makes sense in itself because Nvidia is shifting to a new architecture, but it does not make marketing sense because you would then have a nomenclature that indicates the mobility chips are stronger the the Desktop variants! Introducing a new architecture by adding the “MX” suffix is perfectly fine as fine goes, and they have used this trick in the past too, so why stop now? I have expressed my hunch for something fishy previously as well and I would like to elaborate on it once more.

The rumor that I mentioned earlier was spotted by the user Cloudfire on OEM Forums. It states that the GTX 980M and GTX 970M are scheduled to be listed in OEMs on the 11th of October. This is around three weeks after the time the Nvidia Reveal is supposed to take place. Now there are a couple of obvious implications on why Nvidia is going with this nomenclature. Note that these implications are not mutually exclusive. Option 1 is that Nvidia is doing this just to product differentiate between the mostly Kepler based 8xx series and the mostly Maxwell based (probably) 9xx series. This one is of course the most probable.  Option 2 is that Nvidia is introducing 20nm based Maxwell and once again wants to product differentiate completely with the 8xx series. There is evidence to the 20nm Mobility claim and though, logically, it appears probable, the evidence is stacking towards this. Option 3 is that Nvidia has done something radical and extended the digitus medius to the leak scene. This scenario includes the GPUs being entirely 20nm, or the desktop GPUs being named GTX 900 Series too, or both.

TSMC Logo
Hardware

[Rumor] This new rumor comes directly from appleinsider.com which has been quite an accurate source of leaks in the past. According to the guys over at appleinsider.com TSMC is in the process of accelerating its 16nm process in a bid to win the contract of manufacturing Apples A9 design.

TSMC

TSMC to Start Volume Production of 16nm Node in Q1 2015

This report comes after rumors of Apple ditching TSMC in favor of going back to Samsung due to the maturity of Samsung’s & 14nm process. Of course if this does end up happening it’s going to leave a fairly large dent in TSMC’s bottom line especially after it won the valuable contract to make Apple’s 20nm chips..

TSMC has more than one 16nm process in the works, the standard 16 FinFET version and the 16 FinFET+ version. The report doesn’t specify which process specifically that TSMC is looking to bring earlier to market. My guess is their going to try to push both. What I find most interesting about this development is its implications on Nvidia’s & AMD’s next generation 16nm GPUs. If TSMC manages to bring its 16nm earlier to market this could mean a huge win for gamers especially after this stagnation in the GPU market. 28nm GPUs have been around & selling in the market for nearly 3 years now and customers are growing ever more thirsty for truly next generation products on a more advanced process node.

Thumbnail
Hardware

[Editorial] Today we’re going to bring you on a journey that will get you one step closer to seeing the world in the eyes of AMD and Intel and reflect on how different yet quite similar those images truly are. To understand the philosophies of both companies we have to also understand the architectures inside the products they make and get to know the reasons behind the decisions made in designing those architectures intimately.

Intel and AMD Microarchitectures – Exploring the Past, Present and the Future (Part I)

Lets start from the beginning, in 2006 AMD made the decision to buy ATi with the vision to fuse GPU cores and CPU cores into a single piece of silicone called the Accelerated Processing Unit or APU for short. AMD called this effort “Fusion” and it was the company’s main advent from buying ATi. In 2010 Intel released the first processor to feature integrated graphics but just like the company’s first effort to make a dual or a quad core processor the resulting product was a multi-chip module or an MCM for short. Intel called this design Clarkdale & it was not a fully integrated monolithic solution. The graphics portion had its own separate die and it was connected to the main CPU die using an interposer.

[Rumor] We have dealt with shipping data many times in the past and their authenticity has always been rock solid. However, even though this particular post stems from shipping entries, unlike its siblings, it is not confirmed and is based primarily on speculation over at 3DCentre Forums. However, the logic of the speculation is relatively solid as speculation goes, so it is definitely worth a look into.Maxwell-GTX-880-

Shipping Data Hints that Nvidia GM200 Maxwell Based GPUs will Retain 384 Bit Bus

So far all the leaks based on shipping data we have posted were 100% accurate so far. And for good measure too, since Nvidia cant really fake shipping data.  However, where previous data explicitly stated whatever we were posting about this particular post doesn’t do that. It is because of this reason that you need to take this at face value. Basically, the shipping entry in question states the following: “SFCBGA45X45-M53X53-0.8-2397 GUIDE PLATE (GM200/GK210/GK180/GK110), 10101188100″ with a few permutations. The argument goes like this, the GK110 featured a 384Bit Bus and while the GK210 and GM200 cores haven’t been released, since the same component is listed for all of these, we are looking at 384Bit Bus Width.

[Editorial] Remember that piece we did on Nvidia’s Research Paper? the one that claimed that the GM200 flagship core would be launching in this year? Well turns out there was something to it after all. I was doing my habitual cursory inspection of the shipping data at Zauba.com and I spotted the entry we have been waiting for. The Customer Sample of the GM200 core. The Customer Sample means that most of the internal testing of the GM200 is now complete and they are now refining the end product.

gtx titan ii gm200 gpu

Nvidia GM200 ‘Maxwell Flagship’ Core Internal Testing Finished – GTX Titan II Coming Soon

Now I am not sure whether I have told you guys this before but Nvidia is hosting a very big reveal event on 10 – 12 September next month and this is where the second generation Maxwell will make its debut. Nvidia will be hosting a reveal event and we will probably see the GTX 900 Mobility series unveiled too. However, we just might even see the next iteration of the Titan series at the reveal too, considering the fact that shipping data shows the GPU is now completely ready. Do keep in mind that I do not know what the card will be called, but Titan II seems like a good name as any. Here is the shipping entry from Zauba.com  that confirms that the GM200 aka the Titan II GPU are now exiting the internal testing state:

Galaxy HOF Logo
Hardware

Galaxy Microsystems unveiled their GeForce GTX 750 Ti HOF, which was undoubtedly the fastest and an insanely custom designed GTX 750 Ti card that I have ever seen back at Computex 2014. We just saw a glimpse of the card during the event but GamerSky has managed to grab one and done a comprehensive testing of the card itself just to reveal that the card can hit insane clock speeds on air without any voltage adjustments of OC profiles.Galaxy GeForce GTX 750 Ti HOF  1

Galaxy’s Overclock Oriented GeForce GTX 750 Ti HOF Dismantled and Detailed

In terms of technical core specifications, the card features NVIDIA’s first generation Maxwell chip “GM107″ with 640 CUDA cores, 40 texture mapping units and 16 raster operation units. The chip is based off the 28nm process and we expect to see NVIDIA’s second generation Maxwell architecture based cards during September 2014. The GeForce GTX 750 Ti HOF also comes with a 2 GB GDDR5 memory running across a 128-bit interface and memory clocked at the standard 5400 MHz (5.4 GHz effective) clock speed pumping out a total bandwidth of 86.4 GB/s. These are the basic specifications which you should expect from a GeForce GTX 750 Ti but its not the specs that scare me, its the sheer design of this card.

Starting off with the core clocks, this is the fastest factory overclocked design currently with core frequencies rated at 1215 MHz and 1294 MHz boost clock. The Maxwell core architecture is capable of high frequencies which is exactly what Galaxy has done over here but does it leave room for more overclocking? That’s something which only the PCB can decide and this one is beast. The Galaxy GeForce GTX 750 Ti HOF is based off a entry level Maxwell chip which is geared towards budget gamers and the reference model retails for $149 US. The HOF will most certainly retail at a higher price but it comes with a PCB that’s bigger than the one featured on GeForce GTX 770 HOF and a triple fan cooler for the sake of overclocking. Seriously, this card runs around 50-60C on load in the reference designs, the triple fan cooler is pure overkill for a chip of this standard but hey if I am paying an extra for this card, then why complain if Im getting something much better than the standard models.

Today has been a pretty interesting day. We had some major, consecutive updates on the graphics front and even hints of a major surprise from Nvidia. However, folks over at 3d Center (Via Videocardz) have managed to find a research paper that reveals some very interesting things. One of which is that there is a GK 210 core that has yet to be released by Nvidia. One of the authors of the paper is an Nvidia employee so its all official. Oh and Green Officially released the New Quadro Lineup too, but I won’t go into detail about that since the PR is available on many Pubs.

Nvidia Launches World's First ARM 64Bit Powered Tesla K20 HPC SolutionGot tired of our normal Maxwell Flagships poster.

GM200 Delivers 25 GFlops Per Watt, GK 210 Core Appears to be Inbound – Research Paper by Nvidia Employee

So yeah, you though GK 110 was the last Kepler core? Well, sorry to disappoint you but Nvidia seems to be on a roll today and determined to upset the little comforts of life such as common sense. If the research paper is valid, and I see no reason that it might not be, than that would mean this particular Kepler core will be arriving very soon indeed. And from the looks of it it will be more efficient than the GK110. The GM200 is slated to arrive by year end but even though the information is probably legit, keep in mind the general time frame which is either end of 2014 or very early 2015. The GK210 will be most likely featured in Quadro cards but there is a slight possibility that the GK210 might be used in a semi-pro card like the Titan. The actual information about the Nvidia GPUs appears at the end of the Research Paper and its here that we learn of the efficiency of Nvidia Cores and the fact that processing power of GPUs is supposed to be double by 2016. The Nvidia employee in question is Mike Clark, who is an engineer over at Nvidia.

Update: The third possibility I mentioned below seems to be growing more probably by the minute. As pointed out, Chris Low over at Chinese VR.Zone seems to be stating the same: that the Maxwell Mobility series will be based on the 20nm Process. Though such a thing could theoretically happen, it still seems slightly odd to me that Nvidia would go out of their way to design 20nm just for mobility.

[Mini-Editorial?] [Tag Error?] Something very weird is happening. Either one our most authentic source, Fudzilla.com, has gone nuts, or Nvidia managed to troll us all. The track record of Fudzilla is simply flawless, so I am not sure what to tag this as. This is most certainly not a rumor. This is either quiet a big mistake on their part or we are in for a brilliantly pleasant surprise. Maxwell-GTX-880-

20nm Geforce GTX 800 Series and Mobility GPUs Launching in Sept – Yeah we know that, Wait What ?!?

We have strict policy about informal headings but I think this ones pretty accurate. I don’t know what to think and this information is making the leak scene pretty surreal. We know for a fact (and even released an article on it) that TSMC has begun 20nm Volume Production; but the last report we got a month ago from TSMC was that the process was not ready for high performance ASIC production, which includes GPUs. That is very strong evidence in favor of the GPUs not being 28nm. Besides, every single publication on the planet has been convinced from various leaks that Maxwell’s 2nd Generation is on the 28nm Process. That is, every pub except Fudzilla. And it is a mark of how much I value their authenticity that I am posting this semi-ed, semi-op, semi-rumor hybrid thing right now.

I hope any lack of decorum, will be forgiven for the entirety of this piece and I will get into what they claim right now. You would recall that a few weeks ago we broke the news that Maxwell Mobility (probably named 900 Series) will be landing in October. You might also remember that we purposefully gave no confirmation on lithography. The actual reason for that is ofcourse that I was just trying to keep my opinion out of the article; but just like every other well informed guy, I had no qualms that the 900 Series would be 28nm. But if Fudzilla is correct than Nvidia’s Mobility GPUs are based on the 20nm Node. This raises a third possibility. That of the GTX Mobility 900 Series being based on the 20nm process while the 800 series is not, the probability of which ill admit is super-low. That would however, conveniently explain the 900 series branding and diminish the misunderstanding to an understandable err. Needless to say, you might want to keep a close eye on Gamescom news for any hint Nvidia might drop on the Maxwell GTX 800 and 900 Series.

Tegra K1 Logo
Hardware

NVIDIA has unveiled the first architecture details of their custom designed 64-Bit Denver CPU which is also their first high-performance SOC design at Hot Chips. It has been almost eight months since NVIDIA launched their new Tegra K1 SOC which features an A15 processor and 192 Kepler cores featuring unparalleled amount of performance and power efficiency against chips from competitors.Tegra K1 Project Denver CPU

NVIDIA’s 64-Bit Denver CPU Architecture Details Unveiled

The first Tegra K1 variant which is based off the 32-Bit ARM15 core has made some name and featured in some hot selling devices such as the Xiaomi MiPad and the NVIDIA Shield Tablet which is the company’s reference and latest Shield branded “handheld” gaming device. However, we have known since launch that there were always  supposed to be two variants of the Tegra K1 SOC, one with the 32-Bit ARM core while the other featuring 64-Bit Denver CPU. Theoretically, Project Denver’s dual core should be much more powerful than the previous 4+1 Cortex A15 based variant.  The ‘Super Dual Core’ as Nvidia calls it is a highly efficient architecture (ARMv8 -A) and the first iteration of ARM to feature 64 bit. A major indicator of its power efficiency is that while the 4+1 Variant features a low power core for non-intensive applications, the Denver Variant only has the 2 cores.

Denver is a dual core at its heart featuring a 7-Way Superscalar micorarchitecture fitted across 192 Kepler GPU cores. It includes a 128 KB 4-Way L1 cache, a 64 KB 4_Way L1 cache and a 2 MB 16-Way L2 cache. Denver also makes use of the new Dynamic code optimization which stores frequently used software routines into a dense and highly tuned microcode-equivalent routines. For this purpose, a 128MB main memory based optimization cache has been configured which reduces the need to re-optimize software routines

nvidia-geforce-gtx-logo
Hardware

The specifications of NVIDIA’s upcoming Maxwell based GeForce GTX 870 have been leaked Coolaler and we already covered the basic details of the card in another article which can be seen here. The NVIDIA Maxwell based GeForce GTX 870 graphics card is one of the three SKUs arriving to consumers in the upcoming months (September and October).GeForce GTX 870 / GeForce GTX 880 MakeUp

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870 “Maxwell” Specifications Analysis

Last time, I did the analysis of the leaked GeForce GTX 880 PCB which was in engineering state and found out some intriguing details such as the 256-Bit memory bus, the GM204 chip being larger than GK104 while being based on the current 28nm process node. We didn’t get to see any specifications of the card itself aside from a few details we were able to gather from the pictures. Today, we have a different sort of leak in the form of a screenshot which shows the GPU-z program running parallel to a 3DMark 11 score of an unknown graphics card.

The leaker from the main source has mentioned that the graphics card in question is NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 870 which is the skimmed down variant of the GeForce GTX 880 graphics which will be available to consumers in the upcoming months. The GeForce GTX 870 boasts the second generation Maxwell architecture and will feature the GM204 core architecture which will become the foundation of the flagship GeForce GTX 880 too. The GeForce GTX 860 is also expected to launch in Q4 2014 but it isn’t expected whether the card will feature GM204 core or the GM206 core but let’s forget that for a moment and focus on the details we have in hands.

Hey folks, looks like the leak period of the Maxwell Geforce 800 Series has finally started because specifications and benchmarks of the GTX 870 have leaked out. Even though the leak comes from a source (Coolaler.com) that has leaked authentic information in the past, I would still recommend just the tiniest pinch of salt just in case. Maxwell-GTX-880-

Geforce GTX 870 Specs and Performance Leaked – 1664 CUDA Cores, 4GB GDDR5, 256Bit BUS and 4GB GDDR5

The entire leak consists of a couple of screen shots and at close inspection everything appears to be legit with not a hair out of place. As expected, the GPU core, which is GM204, is not properly recognized and the name detected shows Nvidia’s internal nomenclature. I ran the name “Nvidia 17D-20″ in a few databases but it didn’t net me anything else. This probably the engineering sample of the 870 and the code allocated to the GPU is 13C2. I am guessing that the 13 Stands for 13 SMMs and C2 stands for Consumer Chip no. 2. I am assuming the actual flagship will be named either 16C2 or 17C2 depending on the amount of Streaming Multiprocessor Maxwells (SMMs). A lot of other specs are not properly recognized and this is to be expected since there is no way that the GPU-Z tool has been updated to support Maxwell GPUs yet. The screen shots not only show the specifications but also reveal the 3D Mark Extreme and Performance scores as well, which is great because it allows us to rank the GPU among Nvidia’s existing cards. Since they are using an i7-4820K we can assume no CPU Bottleneck. Without any further ado, here are the complete specs of the high end Geforce GTX 870:

Remember how some sites claimed that Project Denver is pretty much dead? And how we kept on posting news about it regardless? Well, guess again, because Nvidia has just scheduled an event under the banner of “NVIDIA’s Denver Processor”. So unless they have scheduled an entire event just to say that the project is canceled, this here is the official reveal of Nvidia’s homegrown “super dual core”.Tegra K1 Project Denver

Nvidia To Reveal Details About Project Denver ARMv8 Processor Next Week – Tegra K1 Feature Expected

Project Denver is basically Nvidia’s attempt at creating a home grown processor based on the highly efficient 64bit ARM v8 architecture. Now I can say with 99% certainty that the processor will make its debut in the second variant of the Tegra K1 SoC. Also I can see a Tegra K1 lecture listed immediately before the Denver event, so there’s that. Theoretically, Project Denver’s dual core should be much more powerful than the previous 4+1 Cortex A15 based variant.  The ‘Super Dual Core’ as Nvidia calls it is a highly efficient architecture (ARMv8 -A) and the first iteration of ARM to feature 64 bit. A major indicator of its power efficiency is that while the 4+1 Variant features a low power core for non-intensive applications, the Denver Variant only has the 2 cores.Here is the event in question and the hosts of the show:



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