Today we find the GPU Flashback Archive delving into the not so distant past to focus on the NVIDIA 900 series of graphics cards, the first to use NVIDIA’s new Maxwell architecture which had already seen the light day in mobile GPU solutions, an indication of the direction that the company were taking at the time. Let’s take a look at the cards that were launched as part of the 900 Series, the improvements and changes that Maxwell brought and some of the more memorable scores that have been posted on HWBOT.
The first question one may well have regarding the NVIDIA 900 series is simple - what happened to the 800 series? To answer the question fully, you must first look at the direction that NVIDIA was moving at the time. A movement to expand its product offerings in order to compete in the quickly expanding mobile SoC market. The suddenly ubiquity of Android-based smartphones around the globe was fuelled in part by the development of mobile SoCs from Qualcomm, Samsung, Mediatek, Marvell, Allwinner and others. The traditional feature phone was quickly being replaced by smartphones that now required improved multi-core CPU performance, HD display support and, importantly from NVIDIA’s perspective, decent enough graphics processing to actually play 3D games. Intel and NVIDIA were two companies with plenty of R&D and marketing budget who sought to enter a new market to help bolster revenues during an inevitable slow down of desktop PC sales, a traditional cash cow for both.
The GPU Flashback Archive series continues today with a recap of the NVIDIA GeForce 700 series, a series refresh which heralds part two of the Kepler family of GPUs. We can also remember it as a time when NVIDIA launched their first ever GTX Titan card and with it, a new pricing and retail strategy for truly high-end graphics card products. Let’s take a look at the new Kepler architecture GPUs, the cards that were popular with HWBOT members and some of the more memorable scores that have been posted since launch.
The 2011-2013 period of history saw NVIDIA implement a more regular cadence to their high-end product launches and refreshes. One that saw the company launch a new GPU architecture every two years, with new product lines arriving each year. This means deriving two product lines per architecture with an improved version offered the second time out. This is what we saw with Fermi, an architecture whose potential was full realized at the second attempt. With the GeForce 700 series, which arrived proper in May 2013 with the arrival of both the GeForce GTX 780 and GTX 770, we have something different. The new cards arrived using a much bigger version of the Kepler architecture compared to what we saw on the NVIDIA 600 series.
The GPU Flashback Archive arrives today at the NVIDIA 600 series that debuted in Spring of 2012. The new range of cards showcased a new graphics architecture design and the beginning of what we might describe as the Kepler era. Let’s take a peek at the changes that the new design heralded as well as a close up view of on the GeForce GTX 680 card, the most popular 6-series card with HWBOT members historically speaking. Before we look at some notable scores that were made with the GeForce 680, let’s first kick off with an overview of what innovations arrived with the new Kepler architecture.
If we cast our minds back to 2012 we can recall a era when NVIDIA and AMD were virtually neck and neck, with successive graphic card launches from each company swinging the performance crown from side to side. The arrival of Kepler in many ways represents the beginning of the end of the competitive duopoly that is clearly absent today. Kepler helped NVIDIA push ahead of AMD in terms of graphics processor design, creating a performance lead which AMD still finds insurmountable, despite the arrival of their latest Vega-based cards. Let’s take a look at Kepler in a little detail.
This week the GPU Flashback Archive sets its sights on the GeForce 500 series from NVIDIA. Arriving in late 2010, the 500 Series was the second round of graphics cards based on the Fermi architecture which had limped over the line in the previous generation, ostensibly due to fabrication and yield issues. The new flagship GTX 580 arrived with a more polished take on the Fermi design that help NVIDIA combat the threat from AMD and their popular Radeon 5000 and 6000 series cards. As ever, let’s take a look at the new GPU, the new flagship card and a few of the outstanding scores that have been submitted to HWBOT.
To say that the NVIDIA 400 series graphics cards launch was less than smooth, would be a total understatement. The GF100 Fermi architecture GPU in fact arrived six months late with a significant number of cores hacked off. Blame was laid at the door of fabricators TSMC and a 40nm manufacturing process that clearly hadn’t been optimally adapted for NVIDIA’s Fermi, a monster chip boasting 3 billion transistors and a 529mm² die. While cards such as the GTX 480 had actually done well to make NVIDIA competitive in performance terms, the GTX 580 and its GF110 GPU was rather quickly shoved out the door just eight months later as a revised and improved version of the original.
This week in our GPU Flashback Archive series we cast our minds back to a very popular and well loved graphics card series, the GeForce 400 series. NVIDIA launched the GeForce 400 series in March 2010 armed with a new Fermi architecture that it hoped would help it compete with the successful AMD Radeon 5000 series. Let’s look at the new features that Fermi offered, the cards that were popular and the scores that were submitted to HWBOT in this era.
Compared to previous product launches from NVIDIA, the GeForce 400 series launch did not go as smoothly as hoped. September 2009 saw AMD come out with their Radeon 5000 series which made a solid case against NVIDIA 200 series offerings. It would be January before NVIDIA really started wooing tech media with tales of its forthcoming Fermi architecture lineup. It would be March 2010 before tech media actually got their hands on the new cards and several weeks after that before enthusiasts would be able to actually buy one. This was not the typical NVIDIA launch. Reasons for the delay certainly seemed to lie with issues with actual fabrication at TSMC who were not providing the yields expected on their new 40nm process. This was a problem that particularly hurt NVIDIA due to the fact that the new Fermi GPU, the GF100, was actually very large. When the GeForce 400 series finally arrived in the form of the GeForce GTX 480 and GTX 470, by most calculations they were six months late.
Hot on the heels of the latest mandatory update to 3DMark Time Spy to version v2.4.4254 on February 5th, Futuremark have today just released an update to version v2.4.4264. The update address issues problems with the submission process. Crucially, the new version of the 3DMark suite, along with latest SystemInfo version 5.4 is now also mandatory for all HWBOT submissions:
3DMark v2.4.4264 Changelog
- Improved score validation checks. Result submits from previous versions will no longer be eligible for the 3DMark Hall of Fame.
3DMark v2.4.4254 Changelog
- The installer is now available in Japanese, Korean, and Spanish.
- To meet our improved score validation checks, hardware monitoring information is now required for competitive submissions to the 3DMark Hall of Fame.
- Restored the 3DMark splash screen when starting the application.
- Fixed a crash that could occur when the system returns unexpected values for the amount of video RAM.
Here’s an odd one for this week’s trip down memory lane and it harks back to a day in February 2011 when we posted a story about a company called Corvalent, an industrial motherboard and systems manufacturer who attempted a pretty cool project that used treated water to submersion-cool an entire system. It’s not the most conventional approach by to system cooling, but when you see the Core i3 processor literally simmering away inside the transparent chassis, it certain is elegant. You can check out the video from 2011 which remains available on YouTube here. The following are notes from Corvalent that explain the rationale behind the project:
This is a video of an engineering experiment we conducted cooling a computer by completely submerging it in liquid. This liquid submersion cooling system is NOT using mineral oil, or any type of oil cooling. This experiment was done using a chemical made by 3M called Novec™ 7000. It has a low boiling point, and leaves no residue or any trace whatsoever behind on the motherboard. The board was equipped with an i3 processor, running at 100% load. Very interesting cooling results, and strange to see a computer processor without a heatsink, boiling liquid to keep cool.
The idea of cooling computers through liquid submersion, has been around for about 50 years... but it has been generally reserved for the more exotic supercomputers and never really caught with mainstream users. Perhaps it's because we in the technology world are all wired at an almost primal level to believe that: "Liquid + Computers = BAD". In any case, the concept is slowly catching on, particularly with some in the video gaming community who are using mineral oils as a non-conductive liquid to totally submerge a computer in. The mineral oil idea is interesting... but I can't imagine the unholy mess that comes about when it's time to upgrade or make a change, plus, mineral oil isn't exactly the best for heat exchange.
Today we are pleased to announce the return of the Old School is Best School contest on OC-ESPORTS, a team overclocking contest created specifically for overclockers that enjoy revisiting very old, classic hardware and benchmarks. Each month-long round features three to four stages that will have you raiding your lofts, man caves and cellars in search of CPUs, boards and memory from a bygone age. Let’s have a look at what we have in store for you in Season 4, which kicks with Round 1 and a challenge centered on the classic Socket 7 which actually hails from a time before many of our Rookie members were born.
Round 1: Socket 7 (1997) - February 15th - March 15th - Round 1 of the Old School is Best School contest is all about the classic Socket 7 which harks back to 1997. This means benching with Intel P5 Pentium MMX and AMD K6 architecture processors. All CPUs however must be manufactured using the 0.35 micron fabrication process. Benchmarks include CPU-Z - Max CPU in Stage 1, SuperPi 1M in Stage 2 and CPU-Z - Percentage OC for Stage 3. Verification screenshots and system pictures are required for each stage.
Dennis Garcia and Darren McCain are back with their latest podcast. Hardware Asylum Episodes 84 offers a look at the Zotac GTX 1070Ti Amp Extreme and the latest updates to Battlefield from EA. Here are the show notes:
ZOTAC GTX 1070 Ti AMP Extreme - There are very few video card makers that actually spend the time to build a custom video card. Custom is a pretty broad statement because any changes from a reference design are considered custom however there is custom and then there is CUSTOM and the later is what we are talking about here. The Zotac GeForce GTX 1070 Ti AMP Extreme is a GTX 1070 Ti based video card that has been specially designed for overclocking similar to what EVGA has done with the Classified and Kingpin editions. They feature a over engineered PCB and swap components out for better performance.
New Maps for Battlefield 1 - Everyone knows that the new model for games is to sell the base model and once the players are hooked release new content as tasty DLCs. One of the most popular options is maps that either give you another look into the same game or allows the game designers to include new effects, new gameplay and even new weapons and vehicles.
While paying for DLC is a sore spot with most gamers there is an underlying fruit that can give the general public a taste of what the game studio is doing. For instance a slowing of DLC development might indicate a dwindling in game popularity because there is nothing worse than dumping money into a game that nobody likes. On the other hand a sudden increase in DLC content or a larger DLC release might indicate that the game company is rewarding its players or is bundling all of their remaining releases into a single pack because something big is coming.
I think it’s fair to say that the UK overclocking scene is alive and kicking in 2018 with some of the scene’s most prominent Rookies, Enthusiasts and Extreme overclockers coming to prominence in recent years. All of which is all the more reason to setup a good old fashioned meetup where Brits of the LN2 persuasion can enjoy some solid benching with like-minded folk. The event is being organized by Extreme Leage member Jumper118 (UK) who is currently ranked 8th in Blighty and also has the job of being Team MLG Captain (you can find an interesting interview Jumper118 here from OC-TV).
Dubbed the UK Bench Meet #4 MKII is open to everybody, from total noobs to LN2 veterans and will take place at a game shop in called the Lancaster Board and Sword (Google Maps). The great news is that attendance will set you back a mere £10 per person per day, which is awesome value. The event will run from 10am to 7pm on the Saturday, and then from 10am to 5pm on the Sunday. There are hotels in the Lancaster area, which generally speaking is in the North West of England. Overclockers in attendance will have to take their own gear.
Here’s a quick update regarding one of the more outstanding score submissions that have popped up during Round 1 of the Pro OC 2018 contest over on OC-ESPORTS. Stage 4 of the Division involves competing in the GPUPI for CPU 1B benchmark where current US No.2 Splave is sitting pretty at the top of the table with a World Record score. This was achieved using an Intel Core i9 7980XE pushed to within a whisper of its life. Let’s take a look at the submission in a little detail.
Firstly the rig used. Splave’s motherboard of choice was an ASRock X299 OC Formula, into which he installed his Core i9 7980XE processor. Using a der8auer designed LN2 CPU pot, some Thermal Grizzly thermal paste and a ton of LN2 he then managed to push all 18 Skylake-X cores to a massive 5,929MHz (+128.04%). The result of all this was a new World Record score GPUPI for CPU 1B run in just 59sec 224ms – the first submission on HWBOT that is actually below the 1 minute barrier. Congrats to you mate!
Just out of interest, the new score beats the previous best which was made by elmor (Sweden) with a run in 1min 0sec 176ms. What perhaps makes Splave’s score even more impressive is that he managed to get almost 100MHz out of his CPU than elmor, which at this level of the game, is truly impressive.
You can check out the World Record score from Splave here as well as take a look at his profile page to check in on his other benching sessions. In terms of taking the Round 1 Pro OC Division title however, he still has plenty of work ahead of him, having not yet submitted in Stages 1, 2 or 3. In Stage 5 however he’s looking good for the win with a Global First Place score in Cinebench R15. Using the same rig as outlined above, with the Core i9 7980XE pushed a little more conservatively to 5,829MHz (+124.19%) he managed a score 5,828 cb points, the highest ever with an 18-core CPU. Nice going.
Regarding Round 1 of the Pro OC Division we find three more Americans dominating the table at the moment. Gunslinger (US) sits in first place with a great showing so far in all five stages and a total of 232 points. H2o vs. Ln2 (US) is second with 224 points while jpmboy (US) is third with 208. It will be interesting to see how this develops as we edge closer to the end of March and the conclusion of Round 1. Check out the Round 1 of the Pro OC Division table here on OC-ESPORTS.
This week this turn our attention to a day back in February 2014 when enthusiast PC media Hardware Asylum sat down for a chat with former-HWBOT Director Pieter-Jan Plaisier, better known to many of us as Massman. The interview with Dennis Garcia makes for an interesting listen, covering Pieter’s first experiences of overclocking (using an AMD Athlon XP 2600+ Barton Core btw) and the aspirations and direction that HWBOT were pursuing at that time. Here are the show notes:
Pieter-Jan Plaisier, better known as Massman, is one of the public faces of HWBot.org and wears many hats around the community. His public persona centers on making sure the site is operating correctly on a daily basis and consults with the owner on what direction the site "should" take and where their focus needs to be. If that wasn’t enough Pieter also operates as a chief consultant for live overclocking competitions. This is in an attempt to make each live competition better that the previous.
In this interview we talk with Pieter about his start into overclocking and you might be surprised to know that it wasn't to increase gaming performance but rather to be faster than the other guy. Yes, that’s right, Massman was a competitive overclocker from the start and that dedication shows in what he has done for HWBot.
Current HWBOT Elite League No.1 k|ngp|n (US) has again been busy pushing his collection of NVIDIA Titan V cards. Just yesterday in fact he managed to push past his own previous best in the single-GPU 3DMark Time Spy rankings, pushing the Global First Placed score out from 17,293 marks to 17,413 marks. You may have missed his recent exploits with 4x Titan V cards, a session which yielded the first ever sub-1 second score in the eminently scalable GPUPI 1B benchmark. Let’s take a look at the hardware and the configuration used in the making of this new World Record score.
The fastest ever GPUPI 1B score submitted to HWBOT now stands at 0sec 996ms. The four NVIDIA Titan V cards and their Volta architecture GV100 GPUs were pushed to a simply incredible 2,900MHz, which is +141.67% beyond the card’s baseclock. The card’s 12 GB HBM2 memory was also tweaked to 900MHz (+5.88%). Other components include an EVGA X299 DARK motherboard and an Intel Core i9 7960X 'Skylake-X' processor pushed to 3,456MHz (+23.43%). With a TDP of 250 watts a piece, it’s also fair to mention that the power hungry Titan V cards required a fair bit of power. Thankfully Vince had access to EVGA’s SuperNOVA 1600 T2 PSUs which are rated for 1,600W. What’s less clear however, is exactly how many were used!
A few weeks ago we noted how NZXT had entered the motherboard market, launching their take on Intel’s Z370 platform with the aptly named N7 Z370 motherboard. Working for Gamers Nexus, Buildzoid from Actually Hardcore Overclocking decided that this new player in the market deserved a closer look. What we have today is in fact a very detailed review of the N7 Z370 board in the form of a review of the board’s VRM design, possibly the most crucial aspect of any motherboard from an overclocking perspective.
Buildzoid starts off by identifying all the components that actually make up the VRM area of the motherboard. He shows us which specific controller ICs are responsible for delivering power to the CPU, the IGP and system memory controller. The ICs actually come from International Rectifier, making up an 8-phase VRM design with a doubling scheme – a common configuration on Z370 boards. The Infineon MOSFETs are good quality however, as are the chokes all which means, it should be solid when pushing the latest Coffee Lake chips.
Buildzoid goes on to calculate maximum current output for the MOSFETs adding thoughts about power consumption needs, VRM heat output and cooling. For example, he notes that there is a degree of overkill regarding the System Agent, IO and IGP VRM design. As well as thoughts on memory overclocking, he also gives us an overall conclusion of the board’s quality level.
[Press Release] G.SKILL International Enterprise Co., Ltd., the world’s leading manufacturer of extreme performance memory and gaming peripherals, is thrilled to announce the world’s fastest Trident Z RGB memory kit at an extreme speed of DDR4-4700MHz CL19-19-19-39 1.45V 16GB (2x8GB) . Not only is this kit the first retail DDR4 memory kit to reach DDR4-4700MHz, it’s also the first RGB-enabled kit to reach this extremely high level of frequency speed. This ultimate memory kit is achieved with highly-screened, high-performance Samsung DDR4 B-die ICs and validated on the MSI Z370I GAMING PRO CARBON AC motherboard and Intel® Core™ i7-8700K processor.
strong>Reaching the World’s Fastest Memory Frequency with RGB -
Ever since the first release announcement of the G.SKILL Trident Z RGB series at the end of 2016, DDR4-4266MHz had reigned as the highest frequency speed for an RGB memory kit. Over the past year, the G.SKILL R&D team has been dedicated to break through this technology bottleneck and aimed to provide an even higher speed RGB memory to PC enthusiasts. Today, all the hard work is finally paying off. G.SKILL successfully developed the world’s fastest RGB memory kit at a blistering DDR4-4700MHz, while maintaining ultra-low timings at CL19-19-19-39.
strong>Engineered for Reliability -
Designed for high-stability, this Trident Z RGB DDR4-4700MHz memory kit has proven itself through stress-testing on the MSI Z370I GAMING PRO CARBON AC motherboard and Intel® Core™ i7-8700K processor.