...And its name shall be GeForce FX.
nVidia today put an end to rumours and hearsay by officially announcing that their top-end card, formerly known as NV30, will henceforth be referred to as GeForce FX. As a result of the announcement, details of the card, leaked by a variety of sources, suggest that the chip will be the fastest yet.
The story so far:
-nVidia decided to use the .13 micron process for the new card. This led to a costly delay, in order for technical difficulties to be overcome. The advantage of the process however, is that the chip will not be limited to 400MHz and nVidia insiders are fairly sure that it will peak around 500MHz.
-GeForce FX will also use DDR II memory running at 500MHz or 1GHz effective, making it the fastest memory so far.
-nVidia's new baby will feature eight pipelines and two TMU's, one more than ATI, allowing it to render 16 textures per pass.
-Design efficiency will allow the card formerly known as NV30, to produce 200 million triangles per second.
-The new chip will deliver 48 GB/s, double what ATI's RADEON 9700 PRO does, even though it does use DDR 256 bit memory, nVidia will use 128 bit memory.
-According to nVidia, fast machines should yield a score of 21000 to 22000 on 3dmark 2001 SE.
-Again, according to nVidia, color precision will better what was used on Toy Story 2 by utilizing film-quality color precision, producing higher precision 64 and 128 bit color.
Computer games today are fast and exciting, yet they still lack the ability to engage us emotionally, said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO at NVIDIA. With the GeForce FX GPU, game developers now have the power to create awe-inspiring visuals and bring character emotion to life. GeForce FX enables a new type of interactive expression we call cinematic computing.
The word cinematic is the term both graphics competitors have decided to focus on. Admittedly it adds a very exciting concept to gaming, even suggesting, ever so slightly, that games on these new cards will seem like movies.
The nVidia GeForce FX GPU is the result of ten years of passionate effort by the best 3D graphics engineers in the business and includes technologies invented at NVIDIA and 3dfx, Huang continued. The GeForce FX GPU delivers unprecedented 3D graphics performance and the NVIDIA Unified Driver Architecture ensures the reliability and quality that has become the hallmark of NVIDIA GPUs.
What the endless list of features does, is to sugar-coat the pill, the active ingredient of which is its price, which will confine the new card to existing merely as the drooling center-piece of most PC hardware stores.
The launch of the new card was followed by a strong sign of support by the gaming industry almost in its entirity. To find out which luring upcoming titles will feature enhanced support for the new chip, read on by following the link below and to your right...
Immediately follwing the GeForce FX graphics processing unit (GPU), announcement, gaming giants such as id Software, Epic Games and Legend, as well as publishing powerhouses including Electronic Arts, Microsoft Game Studios, Konami Corporation and Ubi Soft Entertainment, to name a few, announced their support. All these companies plan to leverage the power and performance of the nVidia GeForce FX GPU to further bridge the gap between games and Hollywood productions, the word Cinematic comes to mind again.
nVidia claim that the GeForce FX GPU will be the first GPU to enable real-time, cinematic-quality graphics and special effects on desktop PC's.
By providing the industry's best game developers with future-generation hardware and software tools, we're hoping to unleash no-holds-barred creative talent and take 3D games to a whole new level, said Bill Rehbock, director of developer relations at nVidia. The game industry has long held nVidia in high regard for having the best developer support and GPU quality. When you add the GeForce FX GPU to the equation, games will be both stunning and stable. Consumers are the real winner.
Designed with game developers in mind, the GeForce FX GPU provides higher levels of programmability and performance, allowing stunning 3D worlds and characters to come to life as never before. For consumers, desktop PCs outfitted with GeForce FX GPUs evolve into the ultimate gaming rigs, with the perfect blend of processing power and feature set for experiencing games the way they are meant to be played.
The GeForce FX GPU is incredibly fast, said Gabe Newell, founder and president of Valve Software. Over the last few years, NVIDIA has spoiled us with regular performance leaps, but this time we're talking ridiculously fast. Game developers are going to have to look to movie quality production values just to absorb all of the horsepower that NVIDIA is giving us.
With Command & Conquer Generals we wanted to bring a Hollywood action experience to the real-time strategy genre, said Mark Skaggs, general manager at EA Pacific. nVidia's GeForce FX GPU couldn't have come along a better time. We're looking forward to leveraging the power and features of the GeForce FX GPU to deliver the best possible experience to gamers.
The strengths of the GeForce FX GPU will allow gamers to experience Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell exactly the way the designers intended, said Jay Cohen, vice president of publishing at Ubi Soft Entertainment. Gamers will be able to participate in the stealth action by crouching in dynamic, soft shadows and they can use glow effects and thermal vision to carry out their missions undetected. This kind of technology allows players to become immersed in the gaming experience like never before.
Stuart Moulder, general manager of Microsoft Games Studios adds: Now everybody really needs the best visual effects they can have for their games to really shine, whether it's a strategy game, or a first-person action game, or a sports title. You need great lighting effects, you need to be able to make characters look realistic and human, and that's true for any genre of game now.
With the GeForce FX GPU we now have very, very accurate lighting, said Tim Sweeney of Epic Games, makers of the renowned Unreal Engine. You'll be able to see the shadow of the character's nose sweep across his face as the light moves around and it'll be very smooth and realistic.
We are deeply impressed by the performance characteristics of the latest NVIDIA GeForce FX GPU. Its processing power combined with an extremely high visual quality is fantastic, said Ingo Frick, technical director at Massive Entertainment. The high internal precision of the graphics data, as well as the variety of new antialiasing techniques, leaves nothing to be desired. This technology enables us to create an almost cinematic yet also interactive world in our current game, AquaNox2: Revelation.
Pixels shaders and vertex shaders I think showed a lot of promise when they came online, but clearly they were limited and it was just kind of a vision of the way things could be, said Mark Poesch, technical lead at Legend. The GeForce FX GPU really is that step where it goes from being a vision of how cool things can be, to being able to actually prove that we can make it real now.
Over the next few months, NVIDIA expects to announce additional details on games primed for the GeForce FX GPU, in addition to other developer and publisher alliances.
You can find loads of nVidia GeForce FX Goodies, such as screensavers, demo's, desktop themes and icons to download by following the Download tab above.