In this Issue:
Nexus 7 Impresses Walt
Introduced just last week, Google’s Nexus 7 tablet is the first consumer device to run the new Android “Jelly Bean” operating system. It is a hit. Even the Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg likes the Nexus.
“Overall, however, Google and Asus have produced a very good tablet in the Nexus 7, one I can recommend.”
Leveraging NVIDIA’s new low-cost KAI platform, the Nexus 7 highlights no-compromise performance, system-level optimizations and the best of Google in a beautiful, full-featured Android tablet that costs just $199.
Win 8 Leadership
NVIDIA is ready for Windows 8. So ready in fact that Microsoft picked NVIDIA Tegra for Surface, the company’s first branded family of PCs. The new Surface for Windows RT will run the Windows RT operating system and be powered by an NVIDIA Tegra processor.
“The Surface comes in two versions. Microsoft said the model using Windows RT—a variant of the Windows 8 operating system—and chips from NVIDIA Corp. should arrive first and be in line with pricing of similar tablets.”
The fact that the only two Windows RT consumer devices that have been announced both use NVIDIA Tegra illustrates our Windows RT readiness. (Microsoft Surface for Windows RT and the Asus Tablet 600).
NVIDIA has years and years of experience in the Windows driver development, and it is paying off. Our competition can’t say the same:
“Windows 8 RT is intended to run on ARM-based microprocessor architectures, which now dominate the mobile device space. But according to reports, Microsoft is having difficulty getting the operating system up and running on popular ARM implementations from Qualcomm and Texas Instruments (TI).
Analysts have speculated that the problems lie in the device drivers that the chip-makers need to build to ensure that Windows 8 RT runs properly on their architectures.”
That means the Windows RT advantage goes to the Green Team.
“Patrick Moorhead, a former executive at chip-maker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and now an analyst, has suggested that NVIDIA's experience in writing device drivers for its graphic cards gives it a significant headstart over rivals Qualcomm and TI.
That, he said, is the reason why Microsoft's own recently unveiled tablet, the Surface, is based on a NVIDIA ARM-based architecture rather than competing ARM-based chipsets.”
Need some Windows out goodness for your desktop PC? We got you covered there too. You can grab our WHQLed Win 8 drivers for our desktop GPUs on our website.
“WHQL-certified drivers for a pre-release operating system? You bet. NVIDIA has posted its latest batch of GeForce drivers for the Windows 8 Release Preview, and the drivers are stamped with the seal of approval from Microsoft's Windows Hardware Quality Labs. You can grab the 64-bit version of the new 302.82 drivers here and the 32-bit one here.”
A Puddle You’ll Want To Splash Around In
Every so often a mobile game comes around that can make a real splash. With Tegra-optimized games, such as the recently released Tegra-exclusive Puddle THD, it seems to happen with great frequency as the Tegra 3 quad-core 4-PLUS-1 processor really brings out the best in mobile gaming.
Puddle THD puts players in control of a brilliantly designed physics-based puzzle/platform game where they must guide a puddle of fluid to its target destination, not by moving the fluid, but by tilting the game environment. The game has been incredibly well received, leaving a number of outlets raving about both the game and power of the Tegra 3 processor:
“There is power behind Tegra 3 gaming, and with Google's [Nexus 7] hitting the market this month, more and more people will be eschewing their consoles and iPads for the Android experience.”
“Puddle THD is one of those games with amazing graphics that really outlines what the Tegra 3 CPU has to offer.”
“Connect your tablet or phone to a television and you might as well be booting up your Xbox.”
“This game is a big winner.”
Desktop GPU Face-Off, We Win
Bragging rights are big at the highest-end of the gaming GPU space. So the Verge took a look at the top single GPU offerings from NVIDIA and AMD.
AMD’s Radeon HD 7970 got a score of 6.
“The Radeon HD 7970 started life with a higher MSRP than its NVIDIA nemesis — it's now actually cheaper, but these prices fluctuate regularly — chews up more power, and needs more space inside your case. It has 3GB of onboard memory, but you can’t tell the difference between that and the GTX 680’s 2GB — with our reasonably specced midrange rig, we encountered other performance bottlenecks before we could push the card to use a video buffer larger than 2GB. The fact the Catalyst Control Center caused Max Payne 3 to malfunction was a real disappointment for us, particularly when the difference in performance nowadays is growing into a matter of drivers and software rather than pure firepower. Our Sapphire variant of this card is also equipped with a noisier cooler than the GTX 680, making the final choice among these two heavyweights a relatively straightforward one.”
NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 680M got a hefty score of 9.
“NVIDIA’s GTX 680 is an incredibly elegant upgrade.”
So the choice is easy.
“More affordable cards are in the pipeline from both NVIDIA and AMD that will offer better value for money, but if you’re keen to get the very best single-GPU card on the market today, this is the one to choose.”