0333 101 1000
KMS Components:
02920 713 713
M2m Direct:
020 8676 3030
01282 776 776
SRP: £189.99
Distributor: EntaTech
They say: Gainward’s award winning high-performance/wide-bandwidth hardware design powered
by Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 460 GPU (40nm) integrating 1024MB/256bits high-speed GDDR5 memory
which offers enhanced, leading-edge performance for the 3D enthusiasts.
Specs: 700MHz clock speed, 1024MB memory, 1800MHz memory clock speed, 115.2 GB/s memory
bandwidth, PCIe 2.0 Bus, 400MHz RAMDAC, VGA, DVI, and HDMI connectivity, two cooling fan slots
Overclockers UK:
0871 200 5052
Realtime Distribution:
01480 435 881
Spire Technology:
01202 828 444
Target Components:
01977 739 300
VIP Computers:
0871 622 7500
Graphic detail
Having seen a huge amount of innovation and new technologies introduced in to the graphics card
segment, the sector is enjoying a fresh burst of growth. Andrew Wooden examines these developments
and talks to some of the key players in the graphics card market...
“With DirectX 11
bringing us the best
graphics to date and the
3D revolution in full
swing, it’s certainly an
exciting time for
faithful PC gamers.”
Craig Gore,
KMS Components
WHILE ONE half of the industry is
pushing towards greater mobility and
scaling down what already exists – a
trend that started with netbooks and
culminated in tablets – the other half
is being driven to advanced,
technologically demanding, new
functions – most notably 3D.
The introduction of this new
technology has been predicted to offer
a huge boon to the industry, and no
where is that more apparent than in
graphics cards – which still do the bulk
of visual processing.
As well as breaking new ground,
common PC usages such as gaming
and media editing also require up to
date dedicated graphics cards – making
the components one of the most
common upgrade purchases.
At the moment, DirectX 11 and
Windows 7 are the key driving factors
in the market, allowing users to make
the most of their hardware upgrades.
Advancements such as tesselation,
which is heavily featured in DirectX,
makes for better graphics, but it won’t
do anything without the hardware.
Most commentators agree that this
and other factors, such as general
demand for gaming, is driving the
graphics card market into growth.
“We are fortunate to be right bang
in the middle of the next big thing
right now,” says Craig Gore, graphics
cards, processors and Microsoft
product manager at KMS
Components. “With DirectX 11
bringing us the best graphics to date
and the 3D revolution in full swing,
it’s certainly an exciting time for
faithful PC gamers.”
Peter Yeung, HIS sales and
marketing director, adds: “The revenue
of the gaming market is expected to
surpass that of the music and movie
industries combined within a three
year time frame. The gaming market is
showing year–on–year growth of
significant percentages. New game
releases are more sophisticated, and
more sophisticated content is more
demanding on the PC. New games and
the management of more rich content
on consumers PCs means increased
demand for a more realistic gaming
experience and higher productivity
during content editing. The upgrade
segment is one of the fastest sectors of
the hardware sales market because
users rely on a better graphic card to
view or edit their HD content.”
New product launches will, of
course, also drive up sales.
“The graphics market
will always see a peak
September PCR 73
SRP: £98.99
Distributor: KMS Components
HD 5550
SRP: £65
Overclockers UK,
EntaTech, Realtime
They say: Run up to three individual
displays and resolutions when single
large display is not needed
Specs: 850 MHz GPU clock, DDR5
memory, 4.6GHz memory clock, 800
processor cores, fansink thermal solution
They say: Low
profile graphics
card, perfect for
small form factor
or home theatre
PCs. Consumes
less than 39 watts
under full load, and
provides superior
stability and reliability with
ATI Catalyst software.
Specs: DDR3/GDDR5 memory interface, PCI Express 2.1
x16 bus interface, ATI Stream acceleration technology, 550 MHz engine clock
speed, 352 GigaFLOPS Processing power, 4.4 Gigapixels/sec pixel fill rate
SRP: £239.99
Distributor: EntaTech
They say: The XFX Radeon HD 5850 with Eyefinity Technology, gives the firstever wrap-around in-picture experience to fully immerse yourself in the game, or
maximize your productivity at work.
SRP: £179.99
Distributor: Micro-P
Specs: 1GB GDDR5 memory, ATI Eyefinity technology
with support for up to three displays, ATI Stream
technology, accelerated video transcoding
(AVT), 40nm process, ATI Avivo HD
video and display technology
They say: Full support for Nvidia PhysX technology, enabling a totally new
class of physical gaming interaction for a more dynamic and realistic experience
with GeForce. Designed for the new PCI Express 2.0 bus architecture offering
the highest data transfer speeds for the most bandwidth-hungry games and 3D
applications, while maintaining backwards compatibility with existing PCI
Express motherboards for the broadest support.
Specs: Nvidia GTX 460, 675 MHz GPU, 336 Pixel Pipelines, 400 MHz
RAMDAC, 3600 MHz effective memory, 240Hz max refresh rate
around new product
launches, but the average
trend is an overall growth for graphics
in the entire sector including
integrated platforms such as Nvidia Ion
based computing,” claims James Dean,
Northern European PR at ZOTAC.
Often it’s the GPU manufacturers,
mainly Nvidia and ATI, that push the
direction of the graphics card market,
in the same way that Intel and AMD’s
CPUs often direct the general PC
market. AMD (the owner of ATI) has
made a particular splash with its
74 PCR September
Fusion launch this year. The firm
claims it will kick start the ‘accelerated
processing unit era,’ and that the new
chips represent a ‘seismic shift’ for the
computer industry, comprising
processing capabilities previously
spread across the CPU and the GPU
onto a single die cast.
“After the stunning live
demonstration we gave at Computex, it
has become very clear to the market
that 2011 is the year of Fusion,” Craig
Connell, regional sales manager for
Northern Europe at AMD tells us.
“When AMD bought ATI in 2006, it
gained one of the world’s best
microprocessor engineering teams.
Immediately, the branding for AMD
Fusion began and that culminated in
the public demonstrations that
everyone has seen across the web.
Without a doubt, AMD Fusion will
revolutionise the market.”
While this will no doubt have an
impact, most are confident the holistic
approach will not dent the discreet
graphics card market any time soon.
“In terms of AMD Fusion, I don’t
think this will have any impact on the
high-end discreet graphics market. ATI
seem to have a firm commitment to
driving the high end graphics card
market,” says M2m Direct’s sales and
marketing manager, Hitesh Kothary.
“Fusion may perhaps take territory in
the low-end, low power, eco arena.”
There’s no doubt 3D is going to be a
major driving force in the next
generation of graphics cards. As
mentioned, the potential of the sector
on all aspects of the PC are significant
– however high initial costs may mean
it takes a while to make a significant
impact on graphics cards.
Glen Rhodes, product
manager at Target says:
SRP: £209.99
Distributors: Realtime Distribution, KMS Components
They say: ZOTAC Boost Premium harnesses every aspect of your ZOTAC
GeForce GTX 460 series graphics card and features five applications to
enhance and edit high-definition video, experience and enjoy the web like
never before and access digital entertainment content
SRP: £179.99
Distributor: Target
They say: Ultra durable
VGA board reduces
voltage ripples in normal
and transient state, thus
effectively lowers noises
and ensures higher
overclocking capability
Specs: 1024 MB GDDR5 memory, 810 MHz core clock, 1717 MHz shader
clock, 4000 MHz memory clock, 256 bit memory interface, dual-link HDCP
Specs: GTX 470 graphics
processor, 400 graphics adapter
RAMDAC, 607 processor clock speed, 448
stream processors, 1215 shader clock, 1280
maximum graphic adapter memory, 3348
memory clock speed
SRP: £145
Distributor: Realtime Distribution
They say: The first graphics card to
support ATI Eyefinity on three screens
without the need for a DisplayPort
monitor or expensive active adapter,
and up to four screens from one card
Specs: 800 Stream processors, 1GB
GDDR5 memory, 850MHz clock
speeds, 4.8GHz effective
memory, dual heatpipe
cooler and profiled fan
with dust resisting
sealed ball bearings
© Copyright VIP Computer Centre Limited. 2010.
Information correct at time of publication E&OE
“3D Gaming is probably
considered as the next big
step in PC gaming, although the cost
of buying a new GPU, a 3D capable
monitor and probably an upgrade to
the processor, power supply and
motherboard will be an expensive one,
and it probably won’t be the ‘next big
thing’ till the prices come down and
enter the mainstream.”
SRP: £224.99
Distributor: VIP Computers
They say: The KFA2 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 graphics card sets the new
standard for high performance gaming in the latest DirectX 11 games.
Specs: 1GB video memory, GDDR5 memory, 810MHz engine clock, 256-bit
memory interface, 46 stream processing units, 400MHz RAMDAC, 2560x1600
maximum resolution, hinged fan for easy cleaning
Meanwhile PC gaming – which is
probably the largest driver in PC 3D
tech – has been called into question
over the years. With the explosive
uptake in consoles, many publishers
have shifted attention towards the
Xbox 360 and PS3 rather than
Windows based gaming – leading to
recurring claims from those outside the
PC industry that ‘PC gaming is dead’.
The opinion within the industry is
diametrically opposed to this.
“I don’t know who’s been saying
that PC gaming is dead but we’re
certainly not seeing that in our sales
figures,” says Matthew Parrish, VIP
product manager. “Of course we can’t
forget the impact of content in this
market – after all, there is no need for
a gamer to upgrade if they have no
problems running their current
software. New games that push the
limits of performance always stimulate
hardware sales, which is why the
launch of Category A titles in the runup to Christmas will help to boost
graphics sales.”
Bill Donnelly, global PR director at
Sapphire Technology adds:
“Far from it. The console
KFA2 Graphics Cards...
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as Standard!
KFA2 NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 460 EX OC Edition
VIP Order Code: 102956
KFA2 NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 460 LTD OC Edition
VIP Order Code: 102958
Sales: 0871 622 7500