3D Vision Blog

A normal user's look into the world of 3D Stereo Technologies

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New GPU from Nvidia Announced Today, the GeForce GTX 670

May 10th, 2012 · 4 Comments · General 3D News


After the announcement of the top models from the new Kepler architecture – GeForce GTX 680 and GTX 690, Nvidia has just announced another a bit more affordable, but still high-end GPU in terms of features and performance. Today comes the announcement of the new GeForce GTX 670, definitely an interesting product coming with a $100 USD lower recommended end user price and a just slightly slower than GTX 680. The new GeForce GTX 670 should still be a bit faster, in terms of performance, as compared to a GeForce GTX 580 – the previous generation’s top model single GPU graphics card, as well as being with lower power consumption and thus producing less heat and noise. At $399 USD the GeForce GTX 670 should be very attractive alternative to the $499 USD price of the GeForce GTX 680, and with a performance difference of up to just about 20% between the two. Not to mention that overclocking the GeForce GTX 670 you should be able to achieve similar performance to that of a stock GTX 680 and even surpass it with a bit, so definitely a good deal. Now, what we only need is Nvidia to actually provide enough GPUs on the market, so that there won’t be shortages like with the GTX 680 that will also push the price of the GTX 670 higher than the recommended one…


Specifications of GeForce GTX 670:

Graphics Card – GeForce GTX 670 2GB
CUDA Cores – 1344 +864
Texture Units (TMU) – 112 +52
Raster Operator Units (ROP) – 32 -8
Graphics Clock (Base) – 915 MHz +183
Graphics Clock (Boost) – 950 MHz
Texture Fill Rate (Bilinear) – 102.5 billion/sec +58.6
Standard Memory Configuration – 2048 MB GDDR5 +768
Memory Interface Width – 256-bit -64
Memory Clock – 3004 MHz (6008 effective) +1104 (2208)
Memory Bandwidth – 192.2 GB/sec +40.2
Fabrication Process – 28 nm -12
Transistor Count – 3.54 Billion +0.54
Connectors – Dual-Link DVI-I, Dual-Link DVI-D, HDMI 1.4 High Speed, DisplayPort 1.2
Form Factor – Dual Slot
Power Connectors – 2x 6-pin PEG
Power Consumption – 170W TDP -49
GPU Thermal Threshold – 97 degrees Celsius
Bus Interface – PCI Express 3.0

* The numbers in red and green represent the upgrade or downgrade of the specific parameter in the GTX 670 as compared to the GTX 570!

The GeForce GTX 670 based on the same GK104 GPU that is being used in the GTX 680 with the difference being that the GTX 670 has one SMX block disabled. This means a bit less CUDA cores, fewer texture units, and a GPU clock frequency a bit lower in the GTX 670, although the memory clock frequency and amount available remain identical. This results in 25W of power consumption less in the GTX 670 (under maximum load), while at the same time the performance does not suffer a lot and can be compensated with a bit of overclocking as the new GPU should also be very capable in terms of overclock like the GTX 680. And just like its bigger brother, the new GeForce GTX 670 cards do come will all the new features introduced with the GTX 680 such as GPU Boost, Adaptive Vertical Sync, FXAA and TXAA, Single card driving up to four monitors and capable of running 3D Vision Surround setup and so on. And although a single GeForce GTX 670 supports 3D Vision Surround I’d still recommend to go at least for two such cards if you plan on building a three 3D-capable display gaming setup in order to be able to play comfortable even in more demanding games with high details.

If you plan on playing games in stereoscopic 3D mode with a single card on a single 3D monitor, then the GeForce GTX 670 should be more than enough for most people, performance wise, and although a GTX 680 could be slightly better, you should be Ok even with a GTX 670. But the real question is if you should upgrade your old GPU to a GTX 670 and the answer is it depends. If you have a GTX 570 or GTX 580 already an upgrade to GTX 670 would not bring that much of an improvement, sure you will get some extra performance combined with lower power consumption, but the difference probably won’t be that high and you might get up a bit disappointed in the end. If you have a GTX 470 or GTX 480, going for a GeForce GTX 670 video card would definitely help more, and I’m not talking only about performance improvement, but the more important advantage would be in the fact that you’ll be getting a much cooler and more silent operating video card. Upgrading from a GTX 460 or a GTX 560 / 560 Ti would really bring up a lot of extra performance that would definitely improve the experience when playing games in stereoscopic 3D mode. If you are in the GTX 460 / 560 domain however you might want to wait a bit more and get the GTX 660 that will very likely be the next thing that Nvidia will be announcing sooner than later if they continue to follow the traditional logic in launching new products. And a GTX 660 based on the Kepler architecture might prove to be among the best price/performance options (for stereo 3D gaming as well) on the market if/when launched, because the GTX 670 is still considered a high-end card with a high price. Looking at the simplified design of the reference GTX 670 cards you can expect that the GTX 660 will be with the same PCB and will have another SMX block disabled, couple that with a price of $249 and things might be looking very good. Now, we’ll have to wait and see some benchmarks from the new GTX 670 in stereoscopic 3D mode as well as the new cards should be immediately available on the market starting today…

The GeForce GTX 670 is available in Newegg, while GTX 680 is still out of stock…

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Playing the Game Blades of Time in Stereo 3D Mode with 3D Vision

April 30th, 2012 · 12 Comments · Stereo 3D Games


Blades of Time is a new hack and slash type action-adventure game developed by Gaijin Entertainment, the same company that has made the game X-Blades, and the two games actually share way too many similarities, although they are not really related officially in the form of a sequel/prequel. Considering how good X-Blades looks in stereoscopic 3D mode with 3D Vision I was eager to see will Blades of Time also have a good stereo 3D compatibility. The game offers detailed environments, a lot of effects and fast action which makes it a great candidate for a nice experience in stereoscopic 3D mode, and even though it has not be designed to be a stereo 3D title it actually does quite Ok.

Blades of Time does not yet have a 3D Vision profile, but even without one the default settings work Ok, you may do a tiny bit of convergence adjustment as a fine tuning and then you can start pushing the depth really high. With that said though, there are some issues in stereo 3D mode that you should be aware of, like the problem with the shadows not properly rendered in S3D, but you can disable them from the Options menu. The other problematic thing is related to the text being displayed on the screen when in stereo 3D mode, the same goes for some other HUD elements as well as the crosshair when shooting with a gun. Other than that, the item icons also render in 2D, but that s a minor thing. If you plan to push for the maximum depth for the normal more distant view you may have to be aware that when using the compass and in other closeup modes you may have trouble in stereo 3D mode, but even with moderate depth level the things look quite well when rendered in stereoscopic 3D mode. So Blades of Time might not be the greatest title of all time or a very special game, but it could be a fun thing to play for a while and waste some time, and doing it in stereoscopic 3D mode makes it even better. Hopefully the developer of the game will pay some attention to the stereoscopic 3D gamers and release an update addressing the issues in S3D mode and meanwhile there is a demo of the game that you can download and try before deciding if you want to get the full game or not…

To download the demo of the game Blades of Time from Steam and try it out…

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GeForce GTX 690 is a New Dual-GPU Video Card from Nvidia

April 29th, 2012 · 4 Comments · General 3D News


Nvidia has been teasing us for a while now about going to introduce something new and they did it – the new GeForce GTX 690 dual-GPU graphics card, based on the new Kepler architecture. I could easily say that the GTX 690 is a worthy successor to the GTX 590 from last year, but since the 590 had some issues at first, I better say that the GTX 690 is more like the GTX 590 done right – much better cooling, less power and heat, and a lot more performance. But let us look at the specs first, before continuing talking about the new Dual-GPU card…

Nvidia GeForce GTX 690 Specifications:

Graphics Card: GeForce GTX 690 4GB
Graphics Processing Clusters: 8
Streaming Multiprocessors: 16 -16
CUDA Cores: 3072 +2048
Texture Units: 256 +128
ROP Units: 64 -32
Graphics Clock: 915 MHz (1019 Boost) +308
Memory Clock (Data rate): 6008 MHz +2594
Total Video Memory: 4096MB GDDR5 +1024
Memory Interface: 512‐bit +128
Total Memory Bandwidth: 192 GB/s per GPU+32
Fabrication Process: 28 nm +12
Transistor Count: 7 Billion total +1
Connectors: 3x Dual‐Link DVI, 1x Mini-DisplayPort 1.2
Form Factor: Dual Slot
Power Connectors: 2x 8‐pin PCI-E Power
Recommended Power Supply: 600 Watts
Thermal Design Power (TDP): 300 Watts -65

* The superscript numbers in green and red show the change as compared to the specs of GTX 590.

So, looking at the specs it is pretty much two GTX 680 GPUs on a single card, though the operating frequencies of the GPU (the normal and the boost one) are lower than on the GTX 680, but that is something needed in order to fit in the 300W TDP. And the GTX 690 should is able to handle quite a bit of overclocking like the GTX 680, so you should be easily able to compensate the difference in frequencies. So if you still haven’t upgraded to GTX 680, you might want to consider going for a single GTX 690 instead of two GTX 680s in SLI, or why not even two 690s in Quad SLI.

The question here however is what would you need a GTX 690 for when talking about stereoscopic 3D gameplay, clearly if you plan to play games in a triple display setup using 3D Vision Surround going for a GeForce GTX 690 (or two GTX 680 for that matter) is a must, even though a single GTX 680 is capable of supporting a 3D vision Surround. For a surround setup you not only need the outputs, but also the performance to back the tripled resolution as compared to using a single 3D display, and while a single GTX 680 can do a very decent job, playing at maximum detail levels on more demanding games would be more comfortable with two cards or the new Dual-GPU solution. The GeForce GTX 690 is also a great choice for everyone thinking about playing on 2D displays with higher resolutions such as 2560×1600 with maxed out graphics settings.

The recommended end user price of the GeForce GTX 690 is $999 USD, and the first cards are expected to be available starting May 3rd in limited quantities, with more coming up on May 7th, so just a few more days left. And considering the price is pretty much the same as of two GTX 680 cards, the GTX 690 could indeed be a good alternative, but lets see some in-depth reviews of the card first before making the final decision as it has only been just announced from Nvidia and there are no reviews available yet.

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