ATI 7000 series graphics coming to the Mac?

Yesterday Apple released a developer preview build of OS X 10.8.3 to its testing community, and upon investigating the build a few people have found it includes new drivers for AMD's high-end Radeon 7000 series graphics cards. People who have tested the build with PC versions of the Radeon 7970 have found that the card is recognized and works, and suggests that possibilities for new hardware offerings from Apple are in the works.

In the past, Apple has switched back and forth between graphics processors from AMD and Nvidia with iterations of its hardware, with its latest … Read more

Samsung adds 3D to Series 7 Gamer laptop

Samsung has spruced up its Series 7 gaming laptop for PC gamers who like some 3D action thrown into the mix.

The 17.3-inch machine has been refreshed with a "SuperBright" 1920x1080 3D LED display, according to Samsung. Fans of 3D movies can also take advantage of the new display courtesy of the unit's Blu-ray drive. And along for the ride is an AMD Radeon HD 7870M graphics card that Samsung says is developed for games and taps into DirectX version 11.1.

The Series 7 Gamer has also gotten a paint job, splashed with a sunny … Read more

AMD adds new mobile graphics chips: Radeon 7700, 7800, 7900

With Intel's new Ivy Bridge third-generation Core i-series CPUs dominating the PC component discussion this week (or really, the last several months), it would be easy to miss today's announcement from AMD about new GPU parts.

AMD's Radeon graphics line, formerly branded under the ATI name, is found in many high-end laptops, including HP's Envy line and Apple's MacBook Pro. The current HD7000 series is now being expanded to include the HD7700M, 7800M, and 7900M.

AMD promises several new features from these updated GPUs, including smoother switching between integrated and discrete graphics. Rival Nvidia has … Read more

iMac graphics firmware update rereleased

If you own an iMac with an ATI Radeon graphics card and have been experiencing system hangs (where the computer stops responding), Apple has a firmware update that might help your situation out.

In the past week Apple has issued a number of firmware updates for various Mac systems, including updates for the onboard EFI firmware on its systems to address various problems with network booting and use of HDCP compliant monitor devices, among other issues.

This firmware release is for the graphics card on some iMac systems, and is a small download that includes a ROM flasher for Radeon … Read more

AMD back on top with new Radeon HD 7970 3D card

There's a lot going on with AMD's new Radeon HD 7970 graphics card.

A new graphics architecture, a new 28-nanometer chip manufacturing process, and a new emphasis on GPU computing. The most important thing is that the new card, code-named Tahiti, is the new 3D gaming king.

AMD announced the card this morning as a result of various leaks appearing around the Web over the last few weeks, but the new card won't be available for purchase until AMD makes its launch official on January 9. When you find it in stores, it will start at $550.

For the price, you will get a 3D card that is faster than Nvidia's current market-leading GeForce GTX 580, at least according to the enthusiast tech review sites who've already tested the Radeon HD 7970. Anandtech, HotHardware, PC Perspective, and others have put AMD's new card through its paces, and I encourage you to check them all out for a deep-dive into performance.… Read more

Samsung Series 7 laptop: First 5 minutes

I've been a big fan of Samsung's laptop designs, going back to the QX401 last year. While I had spent extensive time with the sleek Series 9 and diminutive Series 3, I was away on vacation when the Series 7 was first introduced. Now that one has arrived at CNET's offices, it seemed like a good time to do a quick first take, based on my first few minutes with the laptop.

Sleek metal: clean cut, brushed lines, very solid. The Series 7 is more impressive than I expected, more along the lines of an Apple MacBook Pro, and the way the HP Envy looked to our eyes for the first time. It's also a wide laptop, but that keyboard goes edge to edge. … Read more

AMD releases its 'fastest notebook GPU' too: AMD Radeon HD 6990M

The high-end notebook graphics war is on for 2011. Nvidia was first to fire a shot a few weeks ago, unveiling the GeForce GTX 580M.

AMD has since counterpunched with the AMD Radeon HD 6990M, its new, most high-end laptop graphics card, which the company now claims, as Nvidia did weeks ago, is the "fastest notebook GPU." This time, the edge indeed seems to belong to AMD. The company boasts a 25 percent improvement over the next-fastest notebook GPU. According to slides from AMD showing head-to-head performance benchmarks versus the GeForce GTX 580M, that statement seems to hold … Read more

AMD releases its next-gen Lynx desktop APU

Today, AMD releases the desktop version of its Fusion laptop accelerated processing unit (APU) it launched earlier this month. The quad-core, 2.9GHz A8-3850 ($135) and 2.6GHz A6-3650 ($115) should appear in stores today, accompanied by a motherboard from multiple vendors using AMD's new A75 and A55 chipsets that are required to use the new chips.

Similar in design to Intel's second-generation Core CPUs (aka Sandy Bridge), the A-Series incorporates a graphics-processing core directly into the CPU silicon. The advantage of this design is greater power efficiency than separate CPU and GPU chips offer, as well as … Read more

Sony Vaio Z 13-inch shows up in Europe

Following a few leaks, Sony's new high-end Vaio Z laptop has been announced by the European arm of the Sony Vaio group, a few weeks ahead of its expected American debut.

The 13.3-inch laptop is slim and light, under 17mm thick, but still manages to pack in a full-voltage Intel Core i7 processor (paired with an SSD hard drive). The screen has a 1,600x900-pixel resolution, which is higher than most 13-inch laptops.

But the real interesting part of the new Vaio Z is its docking station. The vertically mounted Power Media Dock not only includes an optical drive and a rarely seen Intel Light Peak port, but also a fully functioning AMD Radeon graphics card, which can be used by the laptop when connected to the dock. Sony, in its European press release, says: … Read more

New graphics cards juice iBuyPower game PCs

There's something wonderfully irresponsible about serious tools repurposed into toys.

It's a little bit of a flippant response to the hard-working realities of life--a proud, defiant pronouncement of "Yes, I have work to do. But I'm going to blow it off for a bit here and be a kid again."

Enter iBuyPower and its line of specially constructed gamer PCs. The hardware seller assembles top-of-the-line components into desktops and laptops designed to ship as all-inclusive gaming systems--ready for play out of the box, no add-ons needed. The company publicly prides itself on keeping up with the constantly evolving imaging and processor requirements of the latest PC games to make sure their bundled systems can always handle the load. … Read more