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NVIDIA unleash GeForce GTX 200 GPUs

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June 17, 2008

NVIDIA's new family of graphics processors

NVIDIA's new family of graphics processors

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June 17, 2008 NVIDIA’s new family of GeForce GTX 200 graphics processors (GPUs) - which includes the GeForce GTX 280 and GeForce GTX 260 GPUs - include NVIDIA CUDA technology and the new CUDA runtime for Windows Vista, which allows programmers to offload the most intensive processing tasks from the CPU to the NVIDIA GPUs. The GPUs also deliver 50% more gaming performance over the Company’s previous NVIDIA GeForce 8800 Ultra GPU with impressive shading horsepower at resolutions as high as 2560 x 1600.

Rendering 3D images in real-time is just about the most mathematically intensive task a PC will ever undertake, but as PC applications become increasingly visual, many ordinary tasks will benefit from the graphics horsepower provided by the GPU, including editing photos, simply running a new operating system such as Windows Vista or encoding and playing high-definition videos. Recognizing this the new cards feature NVIDIA’s PureVideo HD Technology, which delivers a combination of HD video decode acceleration and post-processing for unprecedented picture clarity, smooth video, accurate color, and precise image scaling for movies and video. The GPUs also take advantage of massively parallel, general-purpose computing architecture to transcode high-quality video 18 times faster than with CPU-only implementations.

An increasing number of applications are also being written that use the GPU for straight, non-graphical computational tasks. Stanford University’s distributed computing computational program Folding@Home, combines the computing horsepower of millions of consumer GPUs to simulate protein folding to help find cures for diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. With the computing processing power of the GeForce GTX family, applications such as Folding@Home and others can run upwards of 140 times faster on an NVIDIA general-purpose parallel processor than on some of today’s traditional CPUs.

But gamers need not fear NVIDIA is ignoring its gaming roots. NVIDIA believes the CUDA general-purpose parallel processing mode will usher in a new generation of ultra realistic games by using the power of the “CUDA Computing” mode to simulate realistic, physically accurate effects then render images using the “GeForce GPU” mode. NVIDIA GPUs are also the only ones to support PhysX technology, the world’s most pervasive physics engine that allows developers to incorporate effects such as rigid body dynamics, collision detection, and cloth simulation. The cards’ 3-way NVIDIA SLI Technology also offers impressive performance scaling by implementing 3-way alternate frame rendering (AFR) to provide what it claims is the world’s fastest gaming solution under Windows Vista.

Graphics cards featuring GeForce GTX 280 GPUs are available now while Graphics cards featuring GeForce GTX 260 GPUs will be available starting on Thursday, June 26, 2008. Suggested retail pricing for the GeForce GTX 280 and GeForce GTX 260 GPUs are USS$649 and $399, respectively. For further info visit NVIDIA.

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.   All articles by Darren Quick
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