Nvidia Releases GeForce GTX 480 Gaming Processors

 
 
By Nathan Eddy  |  Posted 2010-03-29 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Nvidia unveils gaming-centric GPUs designed with tessellation performance in mind, a key component of Microsoft's DirectX 11 development platform for PC games. The company said the processors will be available mid-April with full support for computing under Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system.

Chip maker Nvidia officially launched its latest flagship graphics processors, the GeForce GTX 480 and GeForce GTX 470, designed with tessellation performance in mind-a key component of Microsoft's DirectX 11 development platform for PC games. Tessellation techniques are often used to manage data sets of polygons and divide them into suitable structures for rendering, and Nvidia said game developers can take advantage of GeForce GTX 480 GPU's ability to increase the geometric complexity of models and characters, resulting in a more richly detailed game environment.

The GTX 480 is joined by the GTX 470 as the first products in the company's Fermi line of consumer products. They will be available in mid-April, with the remainder of the GeForce 400-series lineup being announced in the coming months, filling out additional performance and price segments. The GTX 480 and GTX 470 GPUs include support for real-time ray tracing and Nvidia 3D Vision Surround, which provides an immersive gaming experience.

The company's PolyMorph Engine, a scalable geometry processing engine built from the ground up for DirectX 11 tessellation, also includes high-speed 32x anti-aliasing smooth edges for improved visual quality and is capable of rendering more than 746M pixels per second at full HD 1080p for a 5,760-by-1,080 gaming experience. Nvidia also offers software that automatically converts more than 400 games to stereoscopic 3D, part of the company's 3D Vision Surround technology that expands the gaming real estate across three monitors in full stereoscopic 3D.

The processors also boast two times the PhysX technology performance over prior generation GPUs and feature a GigaThread scheduler, which allows up to 10 times faster switching between graphics and physics processing, enabling more complex effects to be rendered in real time. They also offer complete language and API support, including CUDA C/C++, DirectCompute, OpenCL, Java, Python and Fortran, for a broad compatibility with GPU-accelerated applications. In addition, the processors offer full support for GPU computing under Microsoft Windows 7.

Mike Angiulo, general manager of Windows planning and PC ecosystem at Microsoft, said the GeForce GTX 480 is something they've been eagerly anticipating. "Microsoft designed DirectX 11 for Windows 7 with native support for GPGPU, tessellation and improved multithreading," he said. "Nvidia clearly embraced this and designed the GTX 480 with a scalable tessellation architecture in a multicore environment to bring game development to a new level. And, we think developers will be impressed to see how they can truly take advantage of the power of DX11 to create compelling games, as well as multimedia applications."



 
 
 
 
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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