Graphic Cards To Watch In 2013

NVIDIA and AMD remain the high-end GPU (Graphic Processing Unit) makers of the world and as such are the only ones to watch for 2013. While Intel’s integrated Intel HD GPU is gaining traction, it still isn’t readily available as a standalone graphic card. When or if that happens, Intel may be able to get a good following, however, for 2013, all eyes will mainly be on AMD’s next big release of their Radeon series; the HD 8000.

More Details on the HD 8000
>Originally set for release in late 2012, the Radeon HD 8000 “Sea Islands” release is now set for the second quarter of 2013 (sometime in April to June 2013). After a recent roadmap change it has become a bit difficult to confirm actual details regarding the HD 8000 but rumors are pointing towards it using a 28nm fabrication process.

Rather than explain more in depth about their desktop-based discrete HD 8000 “Sea Islands” recent reports have pointed towards the release of the mobile version HD 8000M “Solar System” GPUs for mobile implementation. Set for laptop and All-in-one use the HD 8000M “Solar System GPUs will support DirectX 11.1, OpenCL 1.2 and OpenGL 4.3 with two new chips code named Mars and Venus alongside the Neptune chip.

These HD 8000M “Solar System” chips are set for release at CES 2013. The move to start out with the mobile versions deviates somewhat from the standard discrete desktop first release of such GPU architecture, but perhaps this is due to the gradually shrinking DIY desktop market and rapidly growing mobile market. The new HD 8000M “Solar System” chips will also support HDMI 1.4a, AMD’s EyeFinity technology, 3D/Blu-ray support and other new technologies. AMD have also hinted at the possibility of ARM cores being used alongside their GPUs (like NVIDIA’s Project Denver) but these have mainly been linked to their APU lineup and not the Radeon HD 8000 lineup.

NVIDIA’s 2013 Offerings
A recently leaked slide at ( indicates that their next iteration of the GeForce GPU architecture; Maxwell has been re-set back to 2014 as it originally was. Instead, NVIDIA’s current Kepler GPU architecture is set for a refresh sometime in early 2013. This likely means a consolidation of NVIDIA’s current Kepler-based lineup (including the GTX 680, GTX 690, GTX 670, GTX 660, GTX 660 Ti and the GTX 650) with perhaps some memory or clock speed tweaks.

While it could also mean better power efficiency with a GTX 680 at half the power requirements of a current GTX 680 due to perhaps a die shrink for the 28nm Kepler architecture down to Maxwell’s current 20nm, such a refresh seems unlikely. We’d be thrilled if NVIDIA tried out Project Denver (adding on a separate ARM based core for better performance) with existing Kepler cards but this is even more unlikely.

Other news points towards the GK110 Kepler core being used in the Tesla GPU technologies and the release of NVIDIA’s next Tegra 4 for 2013 which means smartphones and tablets that have even more powerful GPUs. As it is if you already have an NVIDIA Kepler based card, you should probably stick to said card for another year, unless you’re willing to give AMD’s HD 8000 series a run for the money.

Tom Rhoden Jr – Freelance author of articles related to Windows 7, Windows 8, Server 2008 , Server 2012, Microsoft MCSE and MCSA Certification. Over decade of training Consultant as a Network Technician. This article is courtesy of aarons computer