This week’s GPU Flashback Archive article is all about the GeForce 3 series of graphics cards from NVIDIA, a company that by this stage in history was recognized as industry leader in GPU development and innovation. The third iteration of its GeForce brand launched with a hiccup or two in early 2001 and enjoyed status as the company’s top tier offering for around a year before it was usurped by its successor, the mighty GeForce 4 series. Let’s take a peek at the new technologies and innovations that arrived with GeForce 3, the cards that proved to be most popular with overclockers on HWBOT and of course, the notable scores and benchmarks that it spawned.
First let’s set the scene. NVIDIA’s arrival on the graphics card market in the late nineties had been wholly disruptive. After TNT and RIVA series cards, NVIDIA blew the doors of the industry with its first GeForce series and simply didn’t look back. By the time we arrive at the GeForce 3 series, we find that Matrox had left the market to focus on more niche markets while S3 Graphics were basically clinging on by their front teeth. NVIDIA eventually put an end to 3dfx and their classic Voodoo cards by buying the company out. Only ATi endured, and we all know what eventually happened to them.
We return for our next episode of the GPU Flashback Archive with another classic graphics platform from NVIDIA, the GeForce2 series. It was unleashed on the scene in early 2000 and proved conclusively that NVIDIA had become the number one graphics company on the planet. Let’s take a look at the GeForce2 series as a whole, the cards that were popular at the time and of course a few of the scores that have been submitted to the HWBOT database using GeForce2 cards.
With the launch of the NVIDIA GeForce 256 card series in late 1999, the company had truly announced its presence on the graphics card market. Competing cards from ATI, S3, Matrox and 3dfx could not compete with the GeForce 256 DDR. Based on the NV10 GPU, it was the first to offer a hardware solution for T&L (Transform and Lighting) tasks, offer fastest ever vertex shading and probably the best gaming experience that anyone could imagine. NVIDIA stayed true to their core company identity and continued to follow a pretty aggressive product launch cadence. The GeForce brand was expanded to include the GeForce2 series just six months later, in sharp contrast to the release schedule the company keeps today.
Our GPU Flashback Archive series continues today with what can only be described as a pivotal moment in GPU history. The NVIDIA NV10 was in fact the first chip to be called a GPU, a term coined by NVIDIA themselves back in 1999. Let’s take a look at the chip itself and the two cards that were produced using it, plus a few of the more notable score submissions that have been made using first ever generation of NVIDIA GeForce branded cards.
The NVIDIA RIVA series put the company firmly on the graphics card map, proving that the silicon they were producing could compete with offerings from other companies. It’s important to remember also that at the end of the nineties, you could purchase a card from one of several companies including ATI, S3, Matrox and Voodoo. NVIDIA as we all know would go on to become leader of the GPU market and one of the most successful companies in the industry. The direction taken with the first GeForce-branded GPUs, the GeForce 256, reflects NVIDIA’s bold and ambitious approach as a company generally. The GeForce 256 was unique, offloading geometric calculations to a specific engine while also increasing the amount of fixed pixel pipelines. The outcome was the first Direct3D 7-compliant card, one that offered a genuine leap in 3D gaming performance.
Having exhausted most of history’s CPU platforms and motherboards, this week we are launching a new series of historical articles that focus on Graphics Cards, GPUs and 3D benching. The series kicks off with arguably the first successful, commercial GPUs from industry leader Nvidia, the Nvidia RIVA series. Join us as we take a look at the technologies that arrived with the RIVA series of graphics cards, the most popular cards that have been used by overclockers on HWBOT and also a few of the more notable score submissions that have been made using Nvidia RIVA cards.
The Nvidia RIVA 128 graphics chip (codenamed the NV3) was the first version of the RIVA GPU series. It arrived on the scene in April of 1997 and was arguably the company’s first ever commercially successful graphics processing unit. The RIVA 128 was actually a departure from the very first Nvidia GPU series, the ST-G-2000 (NV1) being the first GPU on the market from Nvidia that could manage both 2D and 3D video acceleration. Unlike its predecessor the Nvidia RIVA was designed specifically to accelerate rendering of Direct3D 5.0 and OpenGL 1.0 API workloads.
The RIVA 128 was fabricated on the 350nm manufacturing process, supported both PCI and AGP 2x interfaces and arrived with the GPU clocked at 100MHz with 4MB of SGRAM (Synchronous graphics RAM) also clocked at 100MHz with a memory bus width of 128-bits. Cards based on the RIVA 128 GPU were able to rival equivalent offerings from industry leader Voodoo.
The final article in our Motherboard Memory Lane series brings us right up to date with a look at the current AMD AM4 platform. AM4 series motherboards support AMD Zen architecture CPUs, a new platform which AMD hoped would finally elevate the company back into the upper-mainstream PC component ecosystem, a place that had been utterly dominated by Intel for most of the last decade. The platform arrived with a new socket, new chipset series, new AMD Ryzen CPUs and a newly invigorated sense of purpose. Let’s take a look at the key platform features, the motherboards that are currently most popular and the CPUs that are being used to make some very decent scores on the HWBOT database.
The first systems to use the AMD AM4 Socket were in fact built by OEMs HP and Lenovo in late 2016 who were given exclusive access to the new platform. It arrived with Bristol Ridge-based APUs that featured Excavator cores, the last iteration of AMD’s Bulldozer CPU architecture. As far as the mainstream DIY PC consumer and enthusiast space, it barely registered a blip on the radar. We were all far too preoccupied with waiting for Zen to arrive.
The 18-core / 36-thread Intel Core i9 7980XE processor has only been with us for just under 24 hours and already we’ve seen plenty of World Records and Global First Places tumble. After looking at some scores from rsaninno (Italy), der8auer (Germany) and Alex@ro (Romania), today we turn our attention to the work of two mighty American overclockers, Splave and K|ngp|n.
Master multi-GPU pusher K|ngp|n (US) has also been taking advantage to the incredible performance of the new Core i9 7980XE to break some popular 3DMark benchmark World Records. In 3DMark Fire Strike he the new World Record stands at 58,024 marks with Vince using 4x GeForce GTX 1080 Ti cards clocked at 2,354MHz (+59.05%) / 1,595MHz (+15.92%) and a Core i9 7980XE pushed to 5,720MHz (+120%). Using the same rig he made a score in 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme where he now holds the World Record with a score of 49,352 marks, while in 3Dmark Fire Strike Ultra he holds sway with a score of 31,946 marks. Finally, in 3DMark Time Spy he has the World Record with a score of 37,596 marks.
It's high time get more familiar with the newest Intel HEDT platform - LGA 2066 and X299 chipset. To be honest I hoped that some other overclockers, who were benching ROG X299 platform more often than I was able to or got access to more models of CPUs than I had, would share their extra knowledge so I could learn something extra to avoid rookie mistakes, but it's already 3 months from the launch and meanwhile I learned some tricks. Maybe they will learn something from me instead.
Rampage VI Apex - The hero of this guide is Asus Rampage VI Apex edition motherboard which continues legacy of Apex line originating from Z270. Looks like from now on the highest model even in HEDT segment in naming/pricing is no longer the best option for LN2. Please remember that Rampage VI Extreme has only 8PIN EPS + 4PIN in contradiction to Rampage VI Apex (2x 8PIN EPS) and Extreme version doesn't support Kabylake-X CPUs, it means that some components from VRM are removed. Moreover Extreme has 8 DIMM design which is less effective for high memory overclocking. The main difference between SKLX and KBLX CPUs in terms of power design is of course FIVR, which motherboard vendors love and XOC community hates. Why there are two totally different points of view? It dates back to LGA 1150 times, vendors claimed from their point of view FIVR is great - easier to design a board, cheaper to produce and lower RMA rates cause FIVR doesn't stress VRM that much. Extreme overclockers hate it cause of two major things: ColdBootBug and ColdBug. I say it's life, we just have to adapt to less easy-going benching.
[Press Release] HWBOT Joins Intel, ASUS, Seasonic and HyperX, Showcasing the Outstanding Performance of the Latest Multi-Core Intel® Core™i9 7980XE Extreme Edition Processor
September 25th, 2017 – HWBOT, an organization regulating international overclocking competitions and rankings today announces the ‘Performance Matters – Multicore Madness Moscow’ event. Showcasing the latest Intel® Core™-X series processors, including the latest Intel® Core™ i9-7980XE Extreme Edition processor, HWBOT and partners offer media and press partners the exclusive opportunity of seeing the latest multicore processors pushed to record breaking performance levels in a live setting.
The headline performer of the event will be the forthcoming Intel® Core™ i9-7980XE Extreme Edition processor, the first ever consumer processor with 18 CPU cores and 36 workload threads. With copious amounts of Liquid Nitrogen on hand, we invite media to witness Multicore Performance, like you have never seen before.
“Building on the enormous success of previous Performance Matters events on this year’s HWBOT World Tour, it’s fantastic to again have the opportunity to work with partners Intel to showcase the latest High-End Desktop platform products”, commented Pieter-Jan Plaisier, Director at HWBOT. “We are excited to see today’s high performance systems pack more CPU cores than ever before, bringing unprecedented performance to a mainstream consumer audience.”
“The ROG brand is all about breaking boundaries and pushing performance to the maximum,” commented Vlad Zakharov, ROG Marketing Director Russia, ASUS ROG. “Events like this vindicate our commitment to ensuring ROG motherboards offer gamers, enthusiasts and overclockers the ultimate multi-core-driven, high-performance experience.”
Today we are very happy to announce the winners of the Montreal 2017 Challenge Giveaway contest. In celebration of the seventh HWBOT World Tour stop of the year in Montreal, Canada we teamed with partners Seasonic and Alphacool to bring you a fantastic opportunity to win some great prizes. It all kicked off on July 21st, with HWBOT fans and social media followers asked to click the link below to enter the Montreal 2017 Challenge. The contest was essentially a Giveaway where the more social media actions you completed, the better chance you had to win.
Seasonic Snow Silent 750 PSU - The latest Seasonic Snow Silent 750 PSUs will be used to power the Overclocking World Championship Qualifier contest as well as Overclocking Workshop systems that we setup at EGE. Seasonic Snow Silent 750 power supplies boast 80 Plus Platinum efficiency and a completely silent operation below 50 % system load. The proud winner of Snow Silent 750 PSUs is a social media follower known as Wilco B.
Alphacool Eisbaer 420 AIO CPU Cooler - Alphacool is fundamentally revolutionizing the AIO cooler market. Where traditional AIO CPU-coolers are disposable products which are neither upgradeable nor refillable, the Alphacool “Eisbaer” is modularly built and can be upgraded, rebuilt or refilled at any time and bring efficient cooling for your processor, no matter how hard you push it. The winner of the Alphacool Eisbaer 420 AiO is a social media follower known as Andreas G.
Der8auer was one of a handful of overclockers who were invited to the ASUS Labs in Taipei to lend his assistance to the ROG team a few weeks ago. The team were invited to push the latest Core-X processors from Intel using the ASUS ROG Rampage VI Apex motherboard, the X299 platform of choice for many overclockers right now. Today Roman has published a video in which he expounds his opinions on what he describes as the new ‘King of the Hill’, the Intel Core i9 7980XE.
The new flagship processor from Intel is a total beast. AMD fans will point to Threadripper being a better value offering with the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X offering 16-cores and 32-threads for around half the price of the new Intel flagship. However it does not change the fact that with the Core i9 7980XE, Intel have fully regained their performance crown, and as Roman explains, it’s not just because it has two more cores.
In his video Roman reveals a great of detail about his experiences with the new chip. For example, if you want to get the most from the new Skylake-X chip, you will need to delid it and replace the thermal paste. For extreme, sub-zero overclocking, Roman recommends using Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut which is designed specifically to operate at extreme temperatures. Whereas you usually need only a little thermal paste, testing has proved that with the new Intel High Core Count silicon, it’s best to simply apply as liberally as possible. Just cake it on! If not, you may be missing out on as much as 3-400MHz of performance. Another tactic that Roman experimented with is direct-die mounting. Mounting the cooler or LN2 pot directly to the die usually causes the CPU’s PCB to bend just a little, a fact that means poor contact with the socket pins beneath the chip. To prevent this from happening Roman created a modified heat spreader that allowed for direct mounting without bending the CPU.
Roman goes on to reveal more about his experiences with the new 18-core beast of a processor including FIVR and cold bug issues. If you want to get up to speed with extreme overclocking with the new flagship from Intel, you really should check out this video.
Just a few hours ago the press embargo was lifted on the new 18-core, 36-thread Intel Core i9 7980XE and i9 7960X, Core i9 7940X processors. You can catch one of the first reviews of the new HEDT chips here on Anantech where as usual Ian Cutress gives us a full technical appraisal. The new Extreme Edition chip, as you would expect offers some pretty exceptional performance. In fact it has already been put to good use by a handful of Elite overclockers who were invited to the ASUS labs in Taiwan to give the new silicon a test drive using the ROG Rampage VI Apex motherboard. ASUS are happy to report that the team managed to break 6 World Records and 16 Global First Placed scores using Intel's new Core-X memebrs. Here’s a sample of an article published on the ASUS ROG site:
Today, Intel is releasing the remaining members of the high-core-count (HCC) X-series family. We’ve already put the Core i9-7940X (14-core) and i9-7980XE (18-core) CPUs to the test in order to find out where the limits of these two chips stand, and we set six new World Records (WR) and 16 Global First Place (GFP) scores in the process.
Overclockers der8auer (Germany), rsaninno (Italy) and alex@ro (Romania) have clearly been enjoying the new CPUs from Intel. You can find all the details related to the Core i9 7980XE processor and the new record scores made here on the ASUS ROG site.
Episode 12 of the OC Show was broadcast live on the OverClocking-TV TwitchTV channel at its regular Friday night time slot last week. Show host Trouffman was joined by guests Toolius and Buildzoid, who together took on a mammoth list of overclocking related topics. Firstly however, Toolius kicks off the show with a rundown of what is going on OC-EPSPORTS where Gunslinger and jccman1965 are battling it out for top spot in the Pro OC Division of the Road to Pro series. Once again we see ikki from Japan leading in Divisions I and II, an exceptional performance especially as he is also in the running to finish well in Division III. Toolius also gives an overview of the Team Cup 2017 contest and the recent ASUS OC Showdown Team Edition 2 contest that just got underway.
The topic then turns to the GALAX GOC 2017 Qualifier contest which has encountered some issues with the required hardware not getting into overclockers hands until late. Right now we have 13 overclockers competing for a spot in the GOC 2017 Finals which will take place in Thailand, this November. Contest leader ikki (that man again) has been pushed out of top spot by bob(nz) (Australia), Rauf (Sweden) and rsaninno (Italy). With only six days left, there is still plenty of time for sandbaggers and late arrives to make their mark.
The guys also discuss the Intel Overclocking Unlocked contest which took place in Bangkok Thailand over the weekend. Although not part of the official World Tour, it’s another example of ambient, team and individual OC contest being organized by industry partners Intel, ASUS and others with the help of HWBOT who are there moderating the contest.Other topics that are touched on Episode 12, is the decision from AMD to give Raja Koduri a sabbatical. There’s also plenty of talk regarding Intel’s Core i9 7890XE processor which launches this week and some chat about the new EVGA ‘Untouchables’ EPOWER V power board, which was announced last week for a retail price of $249 USD.
This weekend will see an exciting overclocking contest take place in Bangkok Thailand - the Power of X, Intel Overclocking Unlocked Contest. HWBOT will be helping out with organizing and moderating the contest which will span both days of this weekend and feature both individual and team overclocking. The clicmax of the contest will be 3v3 Semi-Final and Grand Final matches. The contest will be based on Intel's latest Core-X platform with CPUs cooled by ThermalTake AiO coolers. Here are the five, three-man teams that will compete, each of whom represent a local Thai overclocking community:
The event is organized by Intel and HWBOT with the help and support of partners ASRock, ASUS ROG, AOC, MSI, ThermalTake, HyperX and Western Digital. The contest will be centered on Intel’s X299 platform with competing overclockers charged with pushing Intel latest Core i5 7640X processors. Various motherboards will be used by the teams including the ASUS STRIX X299, ASRock X299 Taichi and MSI X299 XPOWER GAMING boards. HyperX Predator DDR4 3000MHz memory will be used with CPUs cooled by ThermalTake Water 3.0 RGB coolers and powered Grand 1050W 80+ power supplies.
HWBOT World Tour partner Seasonic have just launched their latest high-end power supply offerings, the PRIME Ultra series. The new series has already won the Power Supply of the Year 2017 European Hardware Award and pack a number of attractive new features that will be music to the ears of overclockers, system builders and enthusiasts alike. TechPowerUp have the full story:
As graphics cards and motherboards become more efficient, their ever-decreasing power consumption has called for a new power rating variant. The introduction of the PRIME Ultra 550 W Platinum- and Gold-rated units is an answer to these current market trends where most users need high-end, high-efficiency, yet mid-range power capacity power supplies. The PRIME Ultra 550 W in many cases will even provide high enough power to reserve some headroom for future expansion. Customers will find new additions in the retail box of the upcoming PRIME Ultra Series:
Seasonic has included a PSU tester in the box that will let consumers perform a quick and easy jump start on the power supply. When a system is not working properly, it can be particularly difficult to tell the difference between a faulty power supply and other components. With the help of the PSU tester, users will be able to verify whether the new power supply is working properly.
Each PRIME Ultra Series power supply will also ship with a SATA 3.3 adapter to support the "Power Disable" (PWDIS) feature of the newer, high-capacity hard drives. This is an important feature for people who are planning to use the PRIME Ultra to power hard drives of a smaller-scaled server at home or in an office.One of the most noticeable of the upgrades is that the inline capacitors on the cables were removed, which takes away from the bulk and improves cable management inside the system. Other features include:
-The new 180 degree SATA connectors will ensure more flexibility and easier installation.
-Ultra-quiet operation - thanks to the upgraded high-end capacitors and the quiet FDB fan driven by Seasonic's Premium Hybrid Fan Control.
-Low ripple noise and clean power output - due to high-end components
-Compact size to fit smaller cases - 140 mm depth on the lower wattage Gold and Platinum units
[Press Release] Taipei, Taiwan (22 September 2017) – G.SKILL International Enterprise Co., Ltd., the world’s leading manufacturer of extreme performance memory and gaming peripherals, announces a new lineup of Trident Z RGB DDR4 memory kits with enhanced compatibility on the latest AMD platforms. Specifically designed for AMD Ryzen™ and Ryzen™ Threadripper™ platforms, now there are vibrant options up to the popular DDR4-3200MHz CL14 or the massive 128GB (8x16GB) kits at up to 2933MHz. For a full range of memory kit capacity options, the new Trident Z RGB memory kit models are available at DDR4-2400MHz in 2-, 4-, and 8-module kit configurations with 8GB and 16GB modules, which allows for 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB memory kits for your AMD system.
Trident Z RGB Memory Kits on AMD Platforms
AMD currently has two platform offerings, where Ryzen supports dual-channel with 2 or 4 memory modules and Threadripper supports quad-channel memory with 4 or 8 memory modules. To give a boost in memory performance to AMD number-crunching workstations and high-end graphic rendering systems, G.SKILL offers several selections for each AMD platform, including memory speeds of up to DDR4-2933MHz or ultra-high capacity at 128GB (8x16GB). For details on specifications and compatibility support of the new Trident Z RGB kits, please refer to the following table: