More HW articles
ATI 4850 accidental viewing, http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Radeon-4850-4870,5667.html
looks to be another solid mid-range offering.
nVidia GT200 early benchies, http://anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3334
"Communication between the driver and the front-end hardware has been enhanced through changes to the communications protocol. These changes were designed to help facilitate more efficient data movement between the driver and the hardware. On G80/G92, the front-end could end up in contention with the "data assembler" (input assembler) when performing indexed primitive fetches and forced the hardware to run at less than full speed. This has been fixed with GT200 through some optimizations to the memory crossbar between the assembler and the frame buffer."
could help explain the puzzling performance pattern of GPUs of the same generation appearing to be locked at a certain frame rate when using FSX and the high-end variant showing not much performance benefit. I have been attributing this to being Draw-call bound in the driver, but it could be this contention mentioned instead. FSX benchmarks on this GPU might be interesting.
GTX 280 Review Links, http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=12100, so pick your poison as far as the reviewer you trust :-).
FSX results, http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/nvidia-gtx-280,1953-15.html, appears the driver isnt ready for prime-time yet.
Key quote - "We have a clear winner, but not an awardable one: the Asus P5E3 Premium was the only motherboard in this comparison to pass every single test, because the remaining boards failed (or partially failed) four-DIMM compatibility. But we realize that some builders will never use more than two memory modules, and that the higher capacities available with DDR3 make large dual-channel kits a better option."
Know what you wan to do before you purchase, as the 2 vs 4 DIMM issue could be key.
Key quote - "Once again we have no clear winner in a motherboard comparison, as most models were good in at least one area. Gigabyte had the highest FSB overclocking stability; DFI provided the best CPU overclocking; Asus supported the highest memory speeds; and Intel had the best overall performance. So which motherboard would we buy? It really depends on how we planned to use it."
Key Quote - "We've said it before and we have no problem repeating that the best reason to buy DDR3 now is to remove any CPU overclocking limitations imposed by slower RAM. Anyone considering insanely-priced DDR2-1200 or faster modules will find better value in several DDR3-1333 devices."
As we get CPUs ( Nehalem ) and mobos ( X58 ) that can use the faster rates available with DDR-3 and as DDR-3 both migrates from 2x512 to 1x1024 and gets lower CL latency it will be interesting to see if the faster memory isnt friendlier to performance than it is today.