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Nvidia logo HD

Nvidia isn’t saying much about their new Maxwell graphics cards due out this year but apparently they don’t need to – the shipping details of the engineering samples they’re moving around do the job quite well already. According to new shipping manifests from India’s customs offices, Nvidia is now also moving around a GM200 GPU, rumored to be the successor to the GTX Titan. Hit the jump for more details.

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nvidia_teaser_1

So you may be wondering what Nvidia is cooking up next on the GPU front and the answer is, not susprisingly, Maxwell. But it’s not Maxwell as you might know it. Spyshots of an engineering sample of the GTX880 have leaked thanks to Chinese website Gamerspy and a few things can be learned about what we can expect from Maxwell. Bare in mind that this is an engineering sample you’re going to see in the article below – the final GM204 GPU won’t look like this at all, nor will it necessarily be called the GTX880.

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Nvidia logo HD

With 4K TVs on the horizon and 4K monitors getting cheaper by the month, one of the limiting aspects of the new resolution standard is HDMI 1.4a – the standard that’s been around since 2010, which gave HDMI some new tricks for viewing 3D content. Although the HDMI forum was thinking ahead and allowed the standard to render to resolutions up to 4096 x 2160 at 30Hz, it’s not exactly an ideal solution for desktop use, which requires 60Hz by default.

Nvidia has now announced that they have a workaround in place that will be pushed out to their drivers very soon and it allows for viewing UltraHD 4K content at 60Hz over a regular, old HDMI 1.4a connection. Sounds too good to be true, eh? There’s a big catch to what they’ve done here.

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nvidia grid teaser

Nvidia thus far hasn’t allowed for any kind of hands-on tests with GRID, their video streaming technology that gives you a full desktop workspace that is virtualised, hosted up in the cloud somewhere on a server equipped with Nvidia Quadro or Tesla GPUs. These are typically all fitted into a single 2U rackmount server and deployed into a network that has users that either require complete desktop virtualisation or hosted 3D applications, which can be used to save some companies on license fees, energy requirements and desktop space.

But GRID has so many possible applications that it’s mind-boggling how much you can do in this one demo. The server instance that hosts Nvidia’s free GRID demo is on Amazon’s Web Services and the client to access it is designed by VMWare. Instances are limited 24 hours per instance, but you can have multiple goes at it to get an idea if it’ll do anything for you or not. Hit the jump to find out more.

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xiaomi tegra tablet

Nvidia’s next successor in the Tegra family is called Tegra K1 and it’s important for the sold reason that it’s the first ever ARM-based product Nvidia’s ever produced that includes graphics hardware that is identical to what they currently have on the desktop market. K1 stands for “Kepler One” and that’s because it includes exactly one Kepler shader unit, comprising of 192 CUDA cores, 4 ROPs, 8 texture units, a 64-bit memory bus and full support for OpenGL, DirectX 11, CUDA 6 any any other API you can think of that runs on regular kepler hardware. The first tablet running Tegra K1 hardware will be the Chinese-designed-and-built Xiaomi MiPad, the company’s first-ever tablet.

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With Nvidia’s Shield gaining some traction among developers interested to see what its Tegra-based hardware can do, Valve has hinted that they’re adding another title to the little handheld-that-could: Half-Life 2 (and all of its two episodes). Across the world game journalists have been reporting that they’ve received Nvidia-logo’d neon green crowbars with the words, “What would Gordon do?” and a Nvidia Shield logo next to it. The Shield is currently only available in the US and Canada for $199 and some of the most popular classics like Grand Theft Auto III, Vice City and San Andreas and Portal are available on the console starting today.

Nvidia Half-Life crowbar teaser

To get your own you’d have to import it and to get the most out of it you’d need a robust Wi-Fi network at home with a Geforce GTX660 or better GPU. The Shield can be a handheld console or a streaming device and can also be hooked up to a Bluetooth gamepad and a HDMI cable into your TV to turn it into a home console for streaming from your PC over a wired or wireless network.

Source: Tech Report

If you really wanted one of those Geforce GTX Titan-Z dual-GPU graphics cards, you’ll probably have to wait for a bit longer to be able to spend the ridiculous US $3000 needed to buy one. According to Videocardz, the card has been delayed because of a last-minute change in the design of the GPU’s cooler, moving from using one that consumes 2.5 PCI expansion lanes to a full-on triple slot cooler, probably to help with taking away all the heat from two Geforce GTX Titan Black cores. With AMD’s Radeon R9 295X2 already out and selling for half the retail price of a Titan-Z, Nvidia’s going to have to do a lot more than re-engineer a fancy cooler just to keep consumer interest high.

Nvidia GTX Titan Z comparison

Source: Videocardz

System-builders-600-x-272

The System Builder’s Guide has been around for roughly two years. I started writing this bi-monthly column in March of 2012 and before that I contributed to the System Builder’s thread on the NAG Forums together with JP “Chevron” Dormehl since its inception in 2009. I’ve been writing and compiling these guides ever since and it’s mostly been unchanged in the presentation – a wall of text, some options in green highlights that were linked and a little total at the bottom. Starting from this month to coincide with the April issue of NAG Magazine’s 2014 revamp, I’m switching the look a little bit to something that’s easier to understand and nicer to look at. I can’t promise there won’t be walls of text but I can promise it will be prettier. Follow me after the jump!

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Nvidia logo HD

AMD’s Mantle has had a lot of media coverage over the past few months for it’s ability to almost completely eradicate all traces of CPU bottlenecks when you’re pairing a high-end GPU with something like a Core i3 or i5 or FX processor. Mantle removes a lot of API bloat and prioritises multi-threaded code, resulting in games that aren’t limited in single-core performance but this requires a lot of work and, occasionally, a complete re-engineering of a game engine in order to support the renderer.

Nvidia, not content with letting AMD get the performance crown on unequal grounds, has been working in the shadows to improve performance on Geforce graphics cards with results that could rival Mantle’s offerings. But there’s a little more to it than that.

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nvidia gtx titan Z announcement

Right up until last night, no-one knew of Nvidia’s plans for the future or their rollout of next-generation products. Apart from some advancements on the Tegra side of things and the tiny Maxwell launch with the Geforce GTX750 and 750 Ti, along with discussions on DirectX 12 support and their commitment to OpenGL and Linux gaming, the company hasn’t had much to say this year – all of this, aside from the Maxwell launch, was largely unsurprising. But the opening discussion by Jen-Hsun Huang at the 2014 annual GPU Technology Conference revealed an incredibly far-reaching plan and the realisation that Nvidia is far from running out of ideas.

Aside from new roadmaps and product ideas and technologies, the company also hinted at a lot of changes in direction in between the lines and I’d like to take you through the announcements as well as discuss the implications of some of them. Follow me after the jump!

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