May 2004

5/31/04

Updated NV45 Report - 5/31/04 @ 11:17 pm - By: MUYA - Source: DSC
AnandTech has published new and updated information about the NV45. They found out that the model being demonstrated is based on NVIDIA's High Speed Interconnect (HSI) AGP-to-PCI Express bridge. The article mentions core and memory speeds and contains pictures of the GPU and the mysterious power connector.


AMD Athlon Review - 5/31/04 @ 8:38 am - By: MUYA - Source: Email
T-Break has scored a major exclusive with previews of AMD's Athlon64 3800+ and FX-53 processors. Both support dual channel memory controllers on-die like the Opterons and use Socket 939, which negates the necessity of using expensive registered memory. This differs from a Socket 754 Athlon64, which has a single channel on-die memory controller.

At $733 for the Athlon FX-53 (1MB L2 Cache) and $689 for the Athlon64 3800+ (512KB L2 Cache), the CPUs may alleviate the CPU limited conditions we have seen with the GeForce 6800 Ultra and Radeon X800 XT GPUs. I am sure MikeC is looking into one of these

Today, AMD is sorting that problem by releasing their new Socket 939 based CPUs. Again, we see two flavors- the FX53 and the Athlon64 both of which offer a dual channel memory controller that can work with normal non-ECC type of memory modules. The only difference between the two CPUs is the amount of L2 cache- while the FX has a full 1MB, the Athlon64 3800+ only offers 512k L2 cache- based on AMD’s newcastle core. Both these CPUs are clocked at 2.4GHz. We take both of these CPUs out for a ride today. Lets take a look at the testbed.

MikeC: Hey MUYA, watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat :)
MUYA:


Monday Roundup - 5/31/04 @ 8:28 am - By: MUYA - Source: Various
News and Articles
Video Card & Display Reviews
CPU, Motherboard, Memory and System Reviews
Case, Power Supply, Cooling, and Mod Reviews
Storage Reviews
Audio, Multimedia and Digital Player Reviews
Input Device and Accessory Reviews


GeForce 6800 Status - 5/31/04 @ 7:22 am - By: MikeC - Source: Various
The most recent status on the GeForce 6800 came to us from VR-Zone back on May 25th. The information they received from NVIDIA was that the GeForce 6800 Ultra and GeForce 6800 were being shipped. While that information may be accurate, the actual quantity being shipped was not mentioned.

We believe that NVIDIA had targeted the GeForce 6800 Ultra to be available toward the end of May. However, on May 12th, IBM reported that it was having difficulty with chip yields at their $3 billion plant in East Fishkill, New York. IBM stated that design issues led to a decline in yield, but reported that the number of defects have decreased in the past few months. This information does suggest that previous delivery dates were provided by NVIDIA with a degree of uncertainty and the ability to deliver the NV40 in volume would be affected.

Last Friday Credit Suisse First Boston reported that that foundry constraints continue to limit NVIDIA's flexibility. They mention the limited availabilty to increase wafer allocation at the IBM plant and that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) could be used to as an alternative in securing additional wafers. This story was reported at X-bit Labs yesterday.

On the other hand, ATI was able to deliver initial shipments of their X800 Pro. Some folks were able to pick one up at CompUSA earlier this month at the reduced price of $359.99, but you had to act fast. Since then it has been difficult to find the X800 Pro in stock. The popular on-line retailer Newegg is expecting a delivery on June 1, but has marked up the price to $475.00. CompUSA has a pre-order price of $499 for the X800 XT, which is expected to arrive on Monday, June 21.

Being one of a handful of people lucky enough to have a GeForce 6800 Ultra, I will say that it is well worth the wait if you are considering a high-end graphics card.

Update: A brief commentary that was written by Jim Healy, President and CEO of LogicVision about the situation between NVIDIA and IBM was recently posted at EETimes. The following is an excerpt from the article.

Yield is not the designer's problem, but as companies move toward an increasingly integrated approach to semiconductor design, yield becomes everybody's problem.


Thief 3 Test Drive - 5/30/04 @ 8:26 am - By: MikeC - Source: N/A
Are you interested in how the demo of Thief 3 looks and performs on the GeForce 6800 Ultra?

Then click the above image to read my report after playing through the first training level.


OpenGL 2.0 Soon - 5/29/04 @ 7:23 am - By: MikeC - Source: Browsing
The OpenGL ARB (Architecture Review Board) meeting notes from March 2-3, 2004 have been posted at OpenGL.org. OpenGL 2.0 will be released at SIGGRAPH 2004 and will feature the OpenGL Shading Language, new shader extensions and a variety of other enhancements.

A feature that is planned on being supported is two-sided stencil, which is being used in Doom 3 to draw shadows. Two-sided stencil, which is also supported in DirectX 9, increases performance by eliminating multiple passes as two sets of stencils are maintained - one for front-facing triangles and the other for back-facing triangles. With this technique, only a single pass is drawn per shadow volume, per light. 

NVIDIA was represented at the meeting by Nick Triantos, Pat Brown, and Paul Puey.

DOOM 3: The Legacy is expected to be released on June 14, 2004.


It's Almost That Time - 5/29/04 @ 3:34 am - By: MikeC - Source: Forums
We are beginning to see signs of the GeForce 6800 Ultra becoming available. In fact, randsom spotted eVGA's e-GeForce 6800 Ultra Extreme Edition, which will be shipping on June 4, 2004.

However, due to limited supplies of the Extreme Edition at this time, eVGA.com is offering a weekly drawing to purchase the card.

The bundle includes the following items:

  • Timbury Fan Sticker
  • eVGA.com Driver CD
  • Far Cry CD
  • Supreme Service Pack

And after registering the card:

  • eVGA.com e-GeForce 6800 Ultra Extreme Edition T-Shirt
  • Extreme Edition Website Member Access
  • $50 eVGA Bucks
  • $10 Starbucks Gift Card
  • Full Version NVDVD 2.0


Day After Tommorow - 5/29/04 @ 1:03 am - By: MUYA - Source: E-mail
NVIDIA have announced that the stunning visual effects in the 20th Century movie "The Day After Tommorow" was made possible with the combination of NVIDIA and Crack Creative. Crack Creative who are a production design and effects company heavily utilized Quadro FX workstation cards during the creation of the special effects for the film.

Crack Creative artists, working with the NVIDIA Digital Film group and computer systems driven by state-of-the-art NVIDIA Quadro® FX graphics boards, provided the filmmakers with the ability to design, view, and select scenes early on in the creative process. Crack Creative’s designs included the Los Angeles twisters, the Manhattan tidal surge, views of the storms from outer space, images of wolves scavenging for food, and other key scenes.


NV40 Reviews - 5/27/04 @ 11:36 am - By: MUYA - Source: Browsing
Two reviews of the newly launched next generation 3D chipsets from NVIDIA and ATI have popped up today on the web. The first is a shootout between reference GeForce 6800 Ultra and X800 PE cards at Hartware. Plenty of performance numbers to chew over especially with anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering on.

3D Velocity also give their perspective on GeForce FX 6800 Ultra. They have plenty of IQ analysis here with screenshots as well as benchmarks.


Thursday Roundup - 5/27/04 @ 11:17 am - By: MUYA - Source: Various
News and Articles
Video Card & Display Reviews
CPU, Motherboard, Memory and System Reviews
Case, Power Supply, Cooling, and Mod Reviews
Storage Reviews
Audio, Multimedia and Digital Player Reviews
Miscellaneous Reviews


S.T.A.L.K.E.R Preview - 5/26/04 @ 8:01 pm - By: MikeC - Source: Browsing
The crew over at Eurogamer have posted a preview of S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Shadow of Chernobyl. The preview centers around a demonstration of the first DirectX 9 build of the game that was being given by GSC's head of communication Oleg Yavorsky.

I was watching TechTV's X-Play last week and happened to see one of the E3 reports, which had video footage from the game. The visuals in S.T.A.L.K.E.R look promising and it appears that DirectX 9 will be making a significant impact in the near future.

All this graphical frippery is great, there's no question of that, but we were wondering what owners of GeForceFX or GF4 generation cards might miss out on? "Well, for a start, the game will ship with DX 8 and 9 renderers and the game will adapt automatically to what you've got, so it will scale to the available power.

What do you lose? A gigantic number of polygons as well as soft dynamic shadows and soft lighting and this heavy bump mapping. On DX 9 cards we're running up to three million polygons per frame." Unbelievably, the demo unit runs at just 800x600, but you'd swear it was double that.


Test Drive The NV40! - 5/26/04 @ 1:55 pm - By: MikeC - Source: Email
From May 24 through June 20, NVIDIA will be displaying their GeForce 6800 GT at 30 game centers across the US.


Each of the 30 game centers will have on display a graphics card featuring the GeForce 6800 GT GPU, which you can take on a test drive.


64-Bit Driver Shootout - 5/26/04 @ 12:09 pm - By: MUYA - Source: Amazon Int.
GamePC has an interesting comparision of Windows XP 64-bit drivers for graphics cards from ATI and NVIDIA. The drivers are taken for a spin on AMD's Athlon 64 2800+ and graphics cards from the previous generation, namely the GeForce FX 5950 Ultra and Radeon 9800 Pro. However, they do not paint a pretty picture at this time in regards to 64-bit driver performance gains.

Unfortunately, even with these latest 64-bit driver releases, we’re still not seeing the rumored 10-15% performance gains which many expected to see when upgrading to a 64-bit operating system. We are starting to see glimmers of hope though, as slight performance increases are showing in edge case scenarios.

Of course, these drivers are still classified as beta, but we are getting closer and closer to having a finalized OS and finalized drivers – we would have hoped that by now we would start to see some of the fruits of the industry’s 64-bit laboring come to fruition in the form of higher performance numbers. It’s looking more and more like the promised performance gains will likely come in the form of 64-bit optimized game executables instead of 64-bit drivers.


GeForce PCX 5750 - 5/26/04 @ 11:57 am - By: MUYA - Source: Amazon Int.
MSI have revealed their PCI Express hand by offering their latest addition to their product portfolio, the GeForce PCX 5750. It also boasts "Dynamic Express OverClocking". Click on the headline to read their PR.


Wednesday Roundup - 5/26/04 @ 2:51 am - By: MUYA - Source: Various
News and Articles
Video Card & Display Reviews
CPU, Motherboard, Memory and System Reviews
Case, Power Supply, Cooling, and Mod Reviews
Storage Reviews
Audio, Multimedia and Digital Player Reviews
Miscellaneous Reviews


Inno3D 5700U Review - 5/25/04 @ 8:17 pm - By: MikeC - Source: N/A
Steve Angelly, aka Rytr in the forums, has completed a review of the Inno3D Tornado GeForce FX 5700 Ultra with GDDR3 memory. While the GeForce FX 5700 is currently listed by NVIDIA as their lowest high-end part, the record breaking performance of the new GeForce 6 series will result in a significant impact on the targeted market for NVIDIA GPUs.

Inno3D Tornado GeForce FX 5700 Ultra GDDR3

In fact, the GeForce FX 5700 Ultra could be re-categorized in the low mid-range or even the upper low-range. Click the headline to check out the review!


GF 6800U Shipping - 5/25/04 @ 4:24 am - By: MikeC - Source: Forums
Based on a conference call with NVIDIA, VR-Zone is reporting that the GeForce 6800 Ultra and 6800 are shipping now. The GeForce 6800 GT will be shipping soon.

The power supply requirements have been relaxed and we are expected to see increased performance in the coming months as NVIDIA continues to fine-tune the ForceWare drivers and compiler for the GeForce 6 series architecture.

No word on when an official ForceWare driver set for the GeForce 6 series will be available, but I'll check into that.


Monday Roundup - 5/24/04 @ 1:08 pm - By: MUYA - Source: Various
News and Articles
Video Card & Display Reviews
CPU, Motherboard, Memory and System Reviews
Case, Power Supply, Cooling, and Mod Reviews
Storage Reviews
Audio, Multimedia and Digital Player Reviews
Input Device and Accessory Reviews
Miscellaneous Reviews


Weekend Roundup - 5/23/04 @ 3:27 am - By: MUYA - Source: Various
News and Articles
Video Card & Display Reviews
CPU, Motherboard, Memory and System Reviews
Case, Power Supply, Cooling, and Mod Reviews


NV40 Preview - 5/21/04 @ 12:53 pm - By: MUYA - Source: Browsing
The amicable Josh has finally published his preview and coverage of the San Franciso launch of NVIDIA's NV40. If you want to revist the technicalities of the NV40 then, please do so by clicking the headline.


Friday Roundup - 5/21/04 @ 12:42 pm - By: MUYA - Source: Various
News and Articles
Video Card & Display Reviews
CPU, Motherboard, Memory and System Reviews
Case, Power Supply, Cooling, and Mod Reviews
Storage Reviews
Input Device and Accessory Reviews


ATI X800 Filtering - 5/20/04 @ 7:23 pm - By: MikeC - Source: Email
The Tech Report sends word of an investigation into recent events surrounding texture filtering on ATI's recently announced Radeon X800 series of graphics processing units.

There's been quite a bit of discussion on this controversy in various forums and the Tech Report sums up their findings as follows:

Whatever the merits of ATI's adaptive trilinear filtering algorithm, ATI appears to have intentionally deceived members of the press, and by extension, the public, by claiming to use "full" trilinear filtering "all of the time" and recommending the use of colored mip map tools in order to verify this claim.

Encouraging reviewers to make comparisons to NVIDIA products with NVIDIA's similar trilinear optimizations turned off compounded the offense. Any points ATI has scored on NVIDIA over the past couple of years as NVIDIA has been caught in driver "optimizations" and the like are, in my book, wiped out.


Thursday Roundup - 5/20/04 @ 1:01 pm - By: MUYA - Source: Various
News and Articles
Video Card & Display Reviews
CPU, Motherboard, Memory and System Reviews
Case, Power Supply, Cooling, and Mod Reviews
Storage Reviews
Miscellaneous Reviews


NVIDIA Interview - 5/19/04 @ 9:35 am - By: MUYA - Source: Email
3D Center has posted an interview with NVIDIA´s Luciano Alibrandi, European PR manager. Click the headline to read the entire interview. Here's a bit on a hot topic of late - anisotropic texture filtering.

3DCenter: The pattern of the anisotropic filtering of the GeForce 6800 range is similar to that of another well-known company. Formerly, Nvidia offered much better quality (with a more severe performance hit, of course). Is this new pattern fixed in hardware, or can we expect an option for full, "old-school"-anisotropic filtering in future driver releases?

Luciano Alibrandi: The GeForce 6800 hardware has a simplified hardware LOD calculation for anisotropic filtering, compared to the GeForce FX. This calculation is still fully compliant with the Microsoft DirectX specification and WHQL requirements, as well as matching the requirements for OpenGL conformance. This optimization saves both cost and performance, and makes the chip run faster for anisotropic filtering as well as be less expensive for consumers. Consequently, it may not be possible to re-enable the GeForce FX calculation in this hardware generation. We'll look into it.

I'd like to point out, though, that when our anisotropic quality was FAR better than the competitive product, no one in the website review community praised us for our quality of filtering – they only complained about the performance. In the future, we will plan to make a variety of choices available from maximum (as nearly perfect as we can make) quality to the most optimized performance.

It's also interesting to note that although you can run tests that show the angular dependence of LOD for filtering, it is extremely difficult to find a case in a real game where the difference is visible. I believe that this is a good optimization, and benefits consumers.


David Kirk Interview - 5/19/04 @ 9:29 am - By: MUYA - Source: Email
The lads from Neoseeker let us know about their NV40 Technology preview and an interview they had with NVIDIA's Chief Scientist, David Kirk a couple of days ago.

Neoseeker: Branching and looping are new introductions into PS3. One feature of pretty much every programming language is the ability to branch and loop. It was mentioned that the Nalu demo uses a single shader for the both the skin and scales. If you were to have had to write Nalu in PS2 what would have been the challenges that the developer would have had to overcome in terms of language limitations (we'll ignore the instruction limit for now).

David Kirk: Without branching and looping in complex shaders, each branch path or loop pass has to be rendered as a separate pass, with alpha test to suppress the pixels that shouldn't be rendered in that pass. Consequently, without Shader Model 3.0, Nalu would have been 1/2 or 1/4 the speed, as well as lower quality.

Neoseeker: In this next generation that NVIDIA will be the only company supporting PS3. One of the goals for common APIs like DX and OpenGL are to abstract hardware details from developers. Obviously there is a bit of a divergence in terms of hardware capability. With pressure to finish games relatively on time especially for smaller development houses, what is your view on support for architecture unique features like PS3 instead of just PS2 support? Are developers going to make the effort to support PS3 over PS2 as it will arguably limit their market.

David Kirk: Anything that can be programmed in PS 2.0 just runs in PS 3.0 with no changes. It just runs faster, and looks better. Anything that can be programmed in PS 3.0 can be converted into multipass versions for PS 2.0. It just runs more slowly and looks less good. Developers always support the high end and most advanced API and effects, because it's their marquee demo. They want their game to look as cool as possible. Dumbing down the shaders to run on PS 2.0 can be accomplished in the same way as lower end, older generation hardware has always been supported. The developers creates a simplified path for older hardware. Developers do that now, to support DX8 hardware, and this is even easier. The best analogy is back to when multitexture was introduced. You could make the same effects with more passes - it was just slower. It was also easy for developers to create both paths.

Neoseeker: How difficult is it to port PS2 shaders to PS3?

Dead easy. They just run, without modification :)


Creative SC Contest - 5/19/04 @ 9:25 am - By: MUYA - Source: E-mail
Just to clarify, Philip from Creative sent me an email explaining that their Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorow "Deadly Hide & Seek" competition will be a flash game where you have to try and detect an enemy spy. And the prize is Alienware system loaded with an Intel Pentium 4 EE. Clik on the headlines for more details and thanks to Philip for emailing me ;)


Wednesday Roundup - 5/19/04 @ 9:15 am - By: MUYA - Source: Various
News and Articles
E3 Coverage
Video Card & Display Reviews
CPU, Motherboard, Memory and System Reviews
Case, Power Supply, Cooling, and Mod Reviews
Audio, Multimedia and Digital Player Reviews


Tuesday Roundup - 5/18/04 @ 7:08 pm - By: MUYA - Source: Various
News and Articles
Video Card & Display Reviews
CPU, Motherboard, Memory and System Reviews
Case, Power Supply, Cooling, and Mod Reviews
Storage Reviews
Audio, Multimedia and Digital Player Reviews


NV40 & R420 Reviews - 5/17/04 @ 2:05 pm - By: MUYA - Source: Browsing
While browsing for links for the roundup I came across two reviews of the recently launched new generation GPU/VPU based cards. First, VR-Zone (albeit late) has a GeForce 6800 Ultra (NV40) review up. However, they did manage to pack in a lot of currently available games to benchmark with lots of antialiasing and anisotropic filtering thrown in. They compare the GeForce 6800 Ultra with the previous generation and ATI's latest mainstream contender, the Radeon X800 Pro.

The performance of the NV40 is clearly displayed in the gaming benchmarks and has completely overwhelmed the previous NV3x architecture. The clear benefits of a higher performing GPU comes when FSAA and Anisotropic filtering are enabled at a level where 4xAA and 8xAF are very comfortable on the NV40. The pixel and vertex shader power of the NV40 are much evident in many DirectX games with more than doubled performance over the NV3x while OpenGL games which is much more CPU bound saw approximately 1.5x performance gain.

GamePC on the other hand reviews the Sapphire Radeon X800 Pro. They mostly stress test the new VPU based card at 1600 by 1200 with 4X antialiasing and 8X anisotropic filtering to show its capabilities.

The Radeon X800 Pro card does not seem to be incredibly revolutionary in terms of performance or design, but instead is a refined product with an incredible amount of power and a solid driver set right out of the box. ATi’s ability to get these cards on the market so quickly is very impressive, and while prices are likely to remain high while these cards are still new, we’re already seen a lot of demand for these products.


NVIDIA's MXM - 5/17/04 @ 1:44 pm - By: MUYA - Source: Various
NVIDIA today have launched their Mobile PCI Express Module (or MXM in short) for the mobile platforms. In a nutshell, NVIDIA MXM initiative allows for a slightly easier mobile GPU upgrade path for the PCI Express mobile platform. This technology will benefit the new notebooks with NVIDIA's new line of mobile GeForce 6XXX series. This technology was jointly by NVIDIA and some of the top laptop manufacturers. The key benefits of MXM has been summarised as:

The MXM specification is designed with several key objectives:

  • Fast time to market for PCI-Express-based notebooks
  • Multiple notebook configurations based on a single motherboard design
  • Flexibility and choice between multiple graphics vendors or solutions
  • Optional capability for enduser upgradeability
  • MXM will be the main delivery vehicle for NVIDIA’s next-generation GeForce Go mobile GPU for PCI-Express notebook PCs.
This technolgy is previewed by a host of websites which I have linked below:


Monday Roundup - 5/17/04 @ 1:00 pm - By: MUYA - Source: Various
News and Articles
Video Card & Display Reviews
CPU, Motherboard, Memory and System Reviews
Case, Power Supply, Cooling, and Mod Reviews
Storage Reviews
Audio, Multimedia and Digital Player Reviews
Input Device and Accessory Reviews
Miscellaneous Reviews


Far Cry PS3.0 Video - 5/16/04 @ 5:48 pm - By: MikeC - Source: jAkUp
At least weeks E3, forum member jAkUp had an opportunity to play a Pixel Shader 3.0 patched version of Far Cry on a GeForce 6800 Ultra at NVIDIA's booth. A friend of jAkUp recorded a video of the event, which were have of copy of on the nV News server. Click the headline to get the link to the ~10MB .wmv formatted video clip in post #128.

Great job jAkUp!


Tech News Stories - 5/14/04 @ 5:02 pm - By: MikeC - Source: Browsing
There two articles below contain information that are making a positive impact on the production of new graphics chipsets that are being manufactured for ATI and NVIDIA.


Quadro 700 & 500 - 5/14/04 @ 1:06 pm - By: MUYA - Source: E-mail
Brian over at Amazon International has a review of a Supermicro P4 SCT i875 chipset motherboard up. Normally I would post such links in a roundup. However, interesting to note in this review is probably the first of sorts, preview of PNY's Quadro FX 700 and, Quadro FX 500. The Quadro FX 700 is a NV35GL GPU based workstation and the Quadro FX 500 is built around a NV34GL GPU. For the curious, click on the headline to read the review.


Creative SC Contest - 5/14/04 @ 12:55 pm - By: MUYA - Source: Email
Philip sends us word that Creative have a new contest for you folks out there, the Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorow "Deadly Hide & Seek" competition. I presume you will be facing up against other contestants in multiplayer mode on this game. you stand to win a new Alienware Area 51 gaming system which includes a GeForce 5950 Ultra and an AthlonFX CPU! Sign up as the last date for entry is 31st May. This contest will be This particular contest is open to folks worldwide. Click on the headline to find out more.

Prizes Include;

  • Alienware "Area-51 Extreme" gaming system, featuring the Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro, Creative Gigaworks S750 speakers and the Alienware Extreme Edition GeForce FX 5950 Ultra 256MB
  • Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Pandora Game
  • Alienware t-shirt


Radeon X800 Pro - 5/14/04 @ 12:47 pm - By: MUYA - Source: Email
Hexus have reviewed an ATI X800 Pro and compared it the old 9800Xt and the new X800 XT. As it should be with such reviews, performances with all manner of antialising and anisotropic filtering on differing resolutions are compared. Click on the headline to read the review.


Friday Mini Roundup - 5/14/04 @ 12:34 pm - By: MUYA - Source: Email
Sorry folks for my tardiness as I will only be doing a mini inbox roundup today. Just too tired and have to work tommorow too. Enjoy.
Mini Roundup


E3 Image Gallery - 5/14/04 @ 10:28 am - By: MaxPower - Source:
Jarred has provided his photos from Day 2 at E3. You can start from Day one or continue where Day 2 photos begin. Thanks again Jarred!


MillionManLan 3 - 5/13/04 @ 1:28 pm - By: MUYA - Source: JuiceZ
MillionManLan 3, hosted by Lanwar, will take place between June 24th through the 27th. This event will is sponsored by NVIDIA and BFG Tech and as such they will be distributing lots of prizes to the winners and participants. Both sponsors will demonstrating their products as well as demonstrating games.

Over 1000 competitors are expected to take part and one of them will be our resident forum administrator JuiceZ. As he tells me, there aren't many seats left so if you want to enter, do so quickly! Click on the headlines for more info.


AthlonXP & X800 Pro - 5/13/04 @ 1:11 pm - By: MUYA - Source: Browsing
Most people cannot afford the latest and greatest Prescott or Athlon 64 platforms. Likely most are still gaming on yesterdays CPUs like an AthlonXP and were wondering how would those newly launched cards based on the latest GPUs perform with yesterday's systems. Well, ponder no more as the FiringSquad investigates the performance of a Radeon X800 Pro with Athlon XPs ranging from a 2100+ rating to 3200+.

On the processor side we’ve rounded up AMD’s Athlon XP line first, with plans for a follow-up story for Pentium 4 users to follow. Processors range from the venerable 2100+ to AMD’s top-of-the-line Athlon XP 3200+. We’ve also included 2500+ and 2800+ CPUs (both using AMD’s “Barton” core), to fill in the middle. Another feature we’ve added is testing at 2048x1536 in a few applications.

And just in case you’re not familiar with the term “CPU-limited”, we’ll provide a quick refresher. Quite frankly, in many titles the graphics card is held up waiting on the CPU. You can see this in benchmarks where you hit the same frame rate regardless of graphics settings (such as increasing screen resolution). As soon as a faster CPU is inserted, the frame rates increase.

This is a situation you’d like to avoid if you’ve just plunked down $400 or $500 on a brand new graphics card, as you’re not getting the most from your money.


Thursday Roundup - 5/13/04 @ 12:28 pm - By: MUYA - Source: Various
News and Articles
CPU, Motherboard, Memory and System Reviews
Case, Power Supply, Cooling, and Mod Reviews
Storage Reviews
Audio, Multimedia and Digital Player Reviews


E3 Image Gallery - 5/12/04 @ 11:35 pm - By: MaxPower - Source:
Thanks to one of our forum members, Jarred, for taking 55 photos from Day 1 at E3 2004. I have the these first 55 photos from Day 1 posted and will continue to update the gallery so check back throughout E3! Thanks again Jarred!

UPDATE: We have another forum member, jAkUp, who has an E3 photo thread in our fourms with some interesting commentary as well. Check it out as it will also grow each day. Thanks jAkUp!


NVIDIA Q&A Session - 5/12/04 @ 8:11 pm - By: MikeC - Source: NVIDIA
We have posted a question and answer session with NVIDIA's Tony Tomasi, Senior Director of Desktop Product Management and Ujesh Desai, General Manager of Desktop Graphics Processing Units.

As expected, the topic of conversation is the GeForce 6 Series and some of the questions are technical in nature. A summary of the topics include:

  • Differences in FP16 and FP32 performance
  • z/stencil-only rendering rates
  • Discovery of a driver bug using Marko Dolenc's fill-rate tester
  • Questions about Far Cry performance and Shader Model 3.0
  • Clarifications concerning the benefit of Shader Model 3.0 over Shader Model 2.0
  • The relevance of mixed precision calculations
  • Static and dynamic branching performance metrics
  • Favorite feature of the GeForce 6 Series
Click the headline to check it out!


Wednesday Roundup - 5/12/04 @ 1:13 pm - By: MUYA - Source: Various
News and Articles
Video Card & Display Reviews
CPU, Motherboard, Memory and System Reviews
Case, Power Supply, Cooling, and Mod Reviews
Storage Reviews
Input Device and Accessory Reviews


Doom 3 This Summer - 5/11/04 @ 2:48 pm - By: MikeC - Source: Browsing
It's official. Doom 3 will be coming out this summer.

Activision, Inc. confirmed today that id Software's highly anticipated DOOM 3, will be released this summer for the PC. The latest installment in one of the most successful franchises in gaming history, DOOM 3 utilizes id's revolutionary new 3D graphics engine to draw players into the most frightening and gripping gaming experience ever created.


NVIDIA News Bits - 5/11/04 @ 1:09 pm - By: MUYA - Source: E-mail
NVIDIA have announced that Personal Cinema FX 5700 Series is now shipping worldwide. Built around a NV36 the Personal Cinema FX 5700 is ideal for HTPC enthusiats as it supports full DVR functionilty along with Personal Cinema's multimedia capabilties as well as 3D graphics.

NVIDIA Corporation, the worldwide leader in visual processing solutions, today announced that NVIDIA Personal Cinema FX 5700 series is now shipping. The newest product addition to the NVIDIA Personal Cinema product family provides consumers with an easy and affordable way to transform their desktop PCs into digital entertainment centers by combining full digital video recorder (DVR) functionality and video editing software with the power and performance of the award-winning NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 graphics processing units (GPUs).

A complete multimedia hardware and software solution, NVIDIA Personal Cinema includes an integrated TV tuner/graphics card with support for digital (DVI) and analog (VGA) monitors, a multifunction remote control (with USB receiver), a media hub that allows for easy connectivity of audio/video peripherals, and the new NVIDIA® ForceWare™ Multimedia software application. The addition of the GeForce FX 5700 model to the Personal Cinema family also features component-out video support for both high definition (HD) and progressive scan/standard definition (SD) TV formats.


NVIDIA have also announced that them sweet lookingShuttle XPC SFF PC range featuring NVIDIA hardware will be directly available from Shuttle soon. These include nForce motherboards for Athlon 64s and Athlon XPs as well as NVIDIA GPU powered graphics cards.

NVIDIA Corporation, the worldwide leader in visual processing solutions, and Shuttle Computer Group Inc., a leading provider of motherboards and small form-factor PCs, today announced the immediate availability of Shuttle’s new fully-equipped XPC Systems, featuring Shuttle’s world-renowned small form-factor PC designs, AMD Athlon 64 and AMD Athlon XP processors, and NVIDIA’s award-winning GeForce graphics processing units (GPUs) and NVIDIA nForce 3 and NVIDIA nForce2 media and communications processors (MCPs). The new XPC systems will be on display at the NVIDIA booth—#324 in the South Hall—at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) being held this week at the Los Angeles Convention Center.


Tuesday Roundup - 5/11/04 @ 12:52 pm - By: MUYA - Source: Various
News and Articles
Video Card & Display Reviews
CPU, Motherboard, Memory and System Reviews
Case, Power Supply, Cooling, and Mod Reviews
Storage Reviews
Miscellaneous Reviews


350W For 6800 Ultra - 5/10/04 @ 8:38 pm - By: MikeC - Source: Private Message
Thanks to mortaldivine for sending word that NVIDIA will be lowering the power supply requirements for the GeForce 6800 Ultra to 350W. This information was posted in an interview with Ujesh Desai, General Manager of Desktop GPUs for NVIDIA, over at Gamespot.

A good quality 350 Watt power supply with a sufficient 12V rail pull can support the 6800 Ultra standard clocks of 400/550. A lot of reviewers have already shown that they are running on 350 Watt power supplies with no problems. Overclockers will still want the big power supply and will want to connect both molex connectors. We are putting production tests in our manufacturing line to ensure this [new 350W requirement] is the case and will be lowering the spec.


NVIDIA Does E3 - 5/10/04 @ 4:41 pm - By: MikeC - Source: Email
NVIDIA is making headlines at E3 as more than 500 PCs equipped with NVIDIA’s latest generation GeForce 6800 GPUs will be used by over 30 game publishers and developers.

Drop by booth 324 at the South Hall to check out a collection of more than 45 new games running on the GeForce 6800. They are showcasing new titles that plan to support Shader Model 3.0 including Armies of Exigo, Damage, Inc., EverQuest II, Far Cry, Painkiller, Pirates of the Burning Sea, S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Shadow of Chernobyl and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005.

You can also check out and order Compaq's X Gaming PC, which is designed for high-end gaming. Slated for availability in July, the customizable Compaq X Gaming PC will be among the first wave of PCs to feature the combined processing power of the GeForce 6800 Ultra GPU and NVIDIA nForce 3 250Gb media and communications processors (MCP).

That's a killer platform!


NV40/R420 Shootout - 5/10/04 @ 1:45 pm - By: MUYA - Source: Email
Nordic Hardware has a review of the Radeon X800 XT and compares performance to the GeForce 6800 Ultra in a shootout of the new heavyweights of the graphics market. All manner of games and benchmark applications using antialiasing and anisotropic filtering are utilised by Nordic Hardware to gauge the performance of both GPUs. Click on the headline to check it out.


NVIDIA and Unreal 3 - 5/10/04 @ 1:30 pm - By: MUYA - Source: Email
NVIDIA have issued a press release announcing that they will be showcasing Epic's Unreal Engine 3 at E3. If you recall that Unreal Engine 3 was shown during the NV40 launch. A key part of NVIDIA and Epic's collaboration at E3 will be to highlight the use of Shader Model 3.0.

NVIDIA Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA), the worldwide leader in visual processing solutions, and Epic Games today announced the first public showing of Unreal Engine 3, the premier game engine for powering a new generation of games, at this week’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). Designed to dramatically raise the bar of visual quality in 3D games, Unreal Engine 3 is the first game engine to take full advantage of Shader Model 3.0—a key feature of Microsoft DirectX 9.0—enabled only by the NVIDIA GeForce™ 6 Series of graphics processing units (GPUs). The Unreal Engine 3 demonstration will be shown in a showcase theater located exclusively in the NVIDIA booth (South Hall, # 324). The demos will run every 15 minutes, starting when the show opens each day.


New nForce Drivers - 5/10/04 @ 1:19 pm - By: MUYA - Source: DSC
Coinciding with the launch of the new nForce2 Ultra 400GB Socket A chipset, NVIDIA have released a new set of drivers for the whole nForce platform. Click on the headline to downlod the Windows XP version.

Release Notes

  • WHQL certified kit
  • Unified drivers with support for nForce, nForce2, and nForce3 products. This package does not include support for dual-processor systems.
  • General compatibility fixes
  • Audio Driver Improvements
    • Introduced NVMixer – replaces SoundStorm Control Panel for all audio configuration tasks. Note that NVMixer operates best when run at 1024x768 16-bit color
    • Introduced improved AC ’97 / Soft Audio driver – adds EQ, speaker cloning, and speaker wizard support
    • Introduced Speaker Wizard – incorporates all NVSwap features, ensures correct speaker setup on analog or digital speaker systems
    • Introduced Cinesurround – virtual 5.1 mixdown to headphones or 2 speakers
    • Introduced new Environments – simple, preset driven sound environments
      Enhanced ASIO support and added support for AC ’97 / Soft Audio systems
    • Added user adjustable “rear channel creation” support – adds off, clone, reverb and delay
    • Added support for Realtek ALC655 codecs, Realtek ALC658 codecs, and 7.1 support for Realtek ALC850 codecs
    • Added support for WMV-HD audio streams and WaveFormatExtensible calls
    • Improved playback of mono content
    • Addressed audio issues in numerous games and applications
  • Storage Driver Improvements:
    • Support for Serial ATA controllers
    • Full NVIDIA RAID functionality on supported platforms
    • Improved compatibility with 3rd-party drive management, CD ripping and recording software.
    • Automatic DMA-mode fall-back when data errors are present due to poor cabling
    • Improved handling of various storage device

Windows 9X users can download the new drivers here.

Feedbacks welcome here please.


Monday Roundup - 5/10/04 @ 1:07 pm - By: MUYA - Source: Various
News and Articles
CPU, Motherboard, Memory and System Reviews
Case, Power Supply, Cooling, and Mod Reviews
Storage Reviews
Audio, Multimedia and Digital Player Reviews
Input Device and Accessory Reviews
Miscellaneous Reviews


nForce2 Ultra 400Gb - 5/10/04 @ 8:04 am - By: MikeC - Source: N/A
NVIDIA has extended the features of the nForce3 Media Communications Processor to the nForce2 platform. The nForce2 Ultra 400Gb features Gigabit Ethernet, NVIDIA Firewall, and NVIDIA RAID. Although his time was limited, Steve Angelly managed to put together a preview, which can be read here.

Leveraging the award-winning innovative networking, storage, and security technologies unveiled in the Company’s NVIDIA nForce3 250Gb media and communications processor (MCP) for AMD Athlon 64 processor-based platforms, NVIDIA Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA) today announced the immediate availability of the new NVIDIA nForce2 Ultra 400Gb MCP for AMD Athlon XP processor-based motherboards and PC systems.

Featuring the world’s first native Gigabit Ethernet interface, a hardware-optimized Firewall security solution, and native RAID storage support, the introduction of the NVIDIA nForce2 Ultra 400Gb MCP reinforces NVIDIA’s standing with PC enthusiasts, gamers, and technology aficionados, all of whom turn to NVIDIA MCPs to satisfy their overclocking, gaming, and technology requirements for building the most feature-rich, performance-enhanced, and cost-effective PC platforms possible.

"Our MCP business continues to grow strongly as we deliver one of the fastest , most feature-rich, and secure PC platform solutions possible," said Drew Henry, general manager of platform products at NVIDIA. "The new NVIDIA nForce2 Ultra 400Gb MCP extends our networking, security and storage technologies across multiple PC markets, and demonstrates our commitment to provide our customers with PC platform solutions that offer unparalleled system performance, easy-to-use overclockability, and impressive new features, including the industry’s only native Gigabit Ethernet and hardware-optimized Firewall security solutions."

Both the NVIDIA nForce2 Ultra 400Gb and NVIDIA nForce3 250Gb feature NVIDIA’s native Gigabit Ethernet networking, which provides over 200%[1] more networking bandwidth compared to older PCI-based Gigabit Ethernet solutions, while lowering overall CPU overhead. In addition, both MCPs incorporate NVIDIA Firewall, the industry’s first and only hardware-optimized Firewall solution, which is already being called a "must have for your future computing." NVIDIA Firewall, professionally certified by ICSA Labs, provides personal PC protection against network level hacking attacks and other common security risks while delivering the fastest networking performance possible, and is an integral component of the NVIDIA nForce Forceware driver and software package.

Today’s announcement solidifies NVIDIA’s technology leadership in core-logic design, and provides enthusiasts, end-users, and corporate customers exciting new features, performance, and stability for both 64-bit and 32-bit computing environments, harnessing the power of AMD’s award-winning processors—the AMD Athlon 64 and AMD Athlon XP processors. The nForce2 Ultra 400Gb MCP joins the current nForce2 MCP family, whose nForce2 Ultra 400 MCP-T’s compelling features, including the integrated NVIDIA SoundStorm audio processing unit, real-time Dolby® Digital encoding, and Firewire® capabilities continues to capture the attention of gamers and digital media fans worldwide.

NVIDIA has a full family of NVIDIA nForce MCPs for both 64-bit and 32-bit desktop PC markets, including NVIDIA nForce3 Professional for the 1P and 2P workstation and professional segments; NVIDIA nForce3 Go for the mobile notebook market; and NVIDIA nForce2 for the mainstream computing markets. The nForce3 PC systems and motherboards based on the NVIDIA nForce MCPs are currently available from leading manufacturers, including: ABIT Computer Corp., AOpen, ASUSTeK Computer Inc., Biostar Microtech Int’l Corp., Chaintech Computer Co. Ltd., DFI, EPoX International Inc., Giga-Byte Technology, Jetway Information Co. Ltd., Leadtek, MSI, Shuttle Computer Group, Inc., Soltek Computer Inc., and XFX.


NV40/R420 - 5/09/04 @ 6:59 am - By: MUYA - Source: Browsing
Digit-daily have thrown their perpective on an ATI Radeon X800 XT. However, this article also features a comparisions against a GeForce 6800 Ultra card but, not for very much as they were limited in time they had with a sample. For the most part the review concentrates on R420 vs ATI older generation VPU powered cards as well older NVIDIA GPU powered cards. Click on the headline to read the review.

All the previous Hi-end cards are rubbish compared to the new generation of graphic chips. Along with the two-fold performance rise in modern demanding games, all the tests of previous-generation products with minor increase look scanty and mean. We were earnestly promised a two-fold performance rise, and we got it. For the very first time in many years, the consumer has not been deceived.


Weekend Roundup - 5/09/04 @ 6:51 am - By: MUYA - Source: Various
News and Articles
Video Card & Display Reviews
CPU, Motherboard, Memory and System Reviews
Audio, Multimedia and Digital Player Reviews
Input Device and Accessory Reviews
Storage Reviews


Detailed Results - 5/08/04 @ 9:10 pm - By: MikeC - Source: Various
I was going to stop, but the statistician inside me said to keep going.

Consolidated Benchmark Results w/Details


Friday Roundup - 5/07/04 @ 12:40 pm - By: MUYA - Source: Various
News and Articles
Video Card & Display Reviews
CPU, Motherboard, Memory and System Reviews
Case, Power Supply, Cooling, and Mod Reviews
Storage Reviews
Audio, Multimedia and Digital Player Reviews
Input Device and Accessory Reviews


NV Conference Call - 5/06/04 @ 6:00 pm - By: MikeC - Source: Email
In today's investor conference call NVIDIA announced that their first quarter revenue of fiscal 2005 rose to $471.9 million compared to $405.0 million in the same period last year. Jen-Hsun Huang, President and CEO of NVIDIA commented:

"I am pleased that our core businesses delivered steady growth and gross margin continued to improve. We also reached a number of significant milestones in the quarter. The aggressive investments we've made in our GPU, MCP and wireless media processors enabled us to introduce a record number of market changing products."

In a prepared speech, Jen-Hsun spoke at length of the significance of Shader Model 3.0 and the GeForce 6 series of GPUs. The GeForce 6 is a new architecture and the supporting compiler debuts at version 1.0. Jen-Hsun foresees increased performance from future compiler and driver releases. He also praised NVIDIA's engineering team for their work on the GeForce 6.

During the question and answer session, Jen-Hsun stated that the NV4x product line will have better margins than the NV3x. He added that although the NV40 has 40% more transistors than ATI's R420, the NV40 dye size is only 9% larger. He estimates that the NV40's cost per wafer is 10-15% lower than the R420, which is manufactured using the more expensive low-k dialectric process.

Jen-Hsun referred to the GeForce 6 as being "defect immune" due to the redundancy and reconfigurability of the processor design to enhance yield by recovering from manufacturing defects. This design is based on patented technology that NVIDIA invested heavily in.

In an interesting response in regards to a question concerning power requirements, Jen-Hsun (mistakingly?) stated that the GeForce 6800 Ultra runs fine with one power connector and that the second power connector was only needed to support an "optional overclocking capability." I think he was trying to say that web site reviewers were able to run the GeForce 6800 Ultra on a power supply that generates less wattage than the 480 watts NVIDIA recommends.

The conference call ended with a confusing series of questions from a financial analyst, which eventually led to a somewhat heated discussion. 

Key accomplishments for NVIDIA during the period include:

  • Introduced the most powerful Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) in their history, the GeForce 6800 -- the industry's first superscalar GPU to support Microsoft DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 3.0.

  • Launched production of the NVIDIA nForce 3 250Gb, the industry's first single-chip Media and Communications Processor (MCP) to offer gigabit Ethernet, dual independent serial ATA controllers, industry leading RAID features and hardware security processing.

  • Introduced two exciting new wireless media processors, the GoForce 4000 and 3000, and announced the availability of the AR10 3D core for use in cellular phones. These processors deliver some of the most advanced features available today yet require as little as one-tenth of the power compared to equivalent software-based cameras. Motorola announced the incorporation of the GoForce 4000 in their upcoming new 3G mobile phones.

  • Gross margin improved 220 basis points over the gross margin for the fourth quarter fiscal 2004.

  • Introduced the NVIDIA Quadro FX 4000 and 4000 SDI graphics solutions, enabling NVIDIA's entry into new professional markets including on-air HD broadcast.

  • Announced Gelato, the first 3D final-film renderer to use GPUs to achieve high levels of performance for what was previously slow, offline rendering.

  • Led the PCI Express transition with the only top-to-bottom family of PCI Express GPUs.

  • Purchased assets from iReady that will further enable their server and workstation business opportunities created by our line of NVIDIA nForce3 Professional MCPs.

  • Gained share in both the overall PC market and the desktop PC segment.


GF 6800U Preview - 5/06/04 @ 2:24 pm - By: MUYA - Source: Browsing
The folks at PC Stats have their preview of a NV40 GPU powered GeForce 6800 Ultra reference card up. They utilized quite a varied genre of games to test the GeForce 6800 Ultra at varying resolutions and degrees of antialiasing and anisotropic filtering. The GeForce 6800 Ultra is compared to an ATI x800XT as well as older generation GPU powered graphics cards from both IHVs. Click on the headline to read the preview.

Nvidia's new architecture introduces a lot of potential beyond what we saw with NV3x. To begin, it features a massively parallel 3D pipeline for achieving up to 8x higher pixel shading (a historic weakness of NV40's predecessor) and up to 2x better vertex shading performance.


Thursday Roundup - 5/06/04 @ 2:00 pm - By: MUYA - Source: Various
News and Articles
Video Card & Display Reviews
CPU, Motherboard, Memory and System Reviews
Case, Power Supply, Cooling, and Mod Reviews
Audio, Multimedia and Digital Player Reviews
Input Device and Accessory Reviews


Benchmark Results - 5/05/04 @ 7:48 pm - By: MikeC - Source: Various
I began developing a spreadsheet last night that contains a summary view of yesterday's NV40 and R420 benchmark results.

Consolidated Benchmark Results

I doubt that I will be taking this analysis any further, but it was fun putting together. Remember that the results are subjective since they are based on my opinion.

When someone asks me which graphics card is faster, I always tell them that "it depends..."


ICSA Labs Certified - 5/05/04 @ 2:24 pm - By: MUYA - Source: Email
NVIDIA have released a Press Release stating that NVIDIA Firewall (a hardware firewall solution found in the new nForce3 250Gb chipsets and soon to be released nForce2 MCP-S southbridge chip) has been certified by ICSA Labs. This certification comes after extensive testing conducted by ICSA Labs on NVIDIA's NVIDIA Firewall. Click the headline to read the PR.

“Given the proliferation of hackers, viruses, and worms populating the World Wide Web, security should be a concern for every PC user. Our Lab Services testing process was designed to test the functional and platform security of NVIDIA Firewall in a realistic deployment scenario,” said George Japak, Vice President of ICSA Labs. “We congratulate NVIDIA on developing a solution that offers consumers a solution for enhancing personal security and reducing overall vulnerability levels.”

Below are some quick highlights of NVIDIA Firewall;

  • Driver-based and hardware optimized. This means NVIDIA Firewall kicks in the minute our networking driver connects to the Internet. In comparison to other software, aplication-based firewalls where there is a period of vulnerability when booting up the PC, NVIDIA Firewall kicks in the minute the network driver is loaded, eliminating possible attacks during this process.
  • Contains anti-hacking features to prevent spoofing and other hacker attacks.
  • One-click operation for those who know nothing about firewalls
  • Wizards: help users easily set up their system and firewall to allow things such as a game server, FTP server or client, or Web server.
  • It's free and is a part of NVIDIA's Forceware software package. Customers can download the drivers and software directly from www.nvidia.com.
  • Custom profiles: Support up to three. Depending on user knowledge level, they can drill down as deep as they want.
  • Remote management: you can manage the firewall remotely, using SSL encryption, user name and password, and even network and subnet address.
  • Web-based GUI: Easy to use, and not a Windows application.
  • Export/Import: You can export/import your settings.
  • Logging Cababilities: you can log activity, packets in/out, hacking attempts, etc, export this information to a file for further analysis.
  • Reduced CPU utilization for improved system performance.
  • Great for gaming... no need to turn off the Firewall to play online. NVIDIA Firewall protects you while playing, without any performance hit.


Wednesday Roundup - 5/05/04 @ 9:01 am - By: MUYA - Source: Various
News and Articles
Video Card & Display Reviews
CPU, Motherboard, Memory and System Reviews
Case, Power Supply, Cooling, and Mod Reviews
Storage Reviews
Audio, Multimedia and Digital Player Reviews
Game Reviews
Miscellaneous Reviews


NVIDIA At WinHEC - 5/04/04 @ 1:14 pm - By: MUYA - Source: Email
NVIDIA has released two press releases announcing their presence at WinHEC for which they are also Gold sponsors. NVIDIA will be demonstrating the newly announced GeForce 6 series at their booths.

NVIDIA Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA), the worldwide leader in visual processing solutions, today announced that its recently-released GeForce 6 Series of graphics processing units (GPUs) is the first and only graphics hardware platform to take full advantage of Shader Model 3.0, an integral part of Microsoft DirectX 9.0, the advanced programming interface (API) widely used by developers to create cutting-edge gaming experiences.

NVIDIA will demonstrate the GeForce 6 Series and the capabilities of the Shader Model 3.0 specification on Booth #119

Here is NVIDIA's iternary at WinHEC.

NVIDIA, a WinHEC Gold Sponsor, will feature the following demonstrations on Booth #119:

NVIDIA GeForce 6 Series of GPUs (Graphics Processing Units)

Based on a revolutionary new 3D graphics architecture, NVIDIA GeForce 6 Series GPUs are the first and only GPUs to deliver Microsoft DirectX 9 Shader Model 3.0 support for ultra–realistic image quality and a superscalar 16-pipe design for unmatched performance. NVIDIA’s GeForce 6 Series demonstrations will be powered by an NVIDIA nForce3/AMD Athlon 64-bit system, and will feature NVIDIA’s new "Nalu the Mermaid" character.

NVIDIA GeForce FX PCX 5950 GPU

Based on the award-wining DX9 GeForce FX architecture, this GPU delivers extreme graphics power and performance for gamers. A member of NVIDIA’s top-to-bottom PCI-Express family, the GeForce FX PCX 5950 will be running on an Intel Grantsdale system at WinHEC.

NVIDIA and Microsoft Media Center

NVIDIA provides high-quality video for Microsoft Media Center PCs through NVIDIA TV tuners and MPEG2 encoders and decoders, as well as custom software extensions for ease of use.

NVIDIA Stereoscopic 3D

NVIDIA’s 3D stereo driver provides real-time stereoscopic viewing for virtually all games and applications that use D3D or OpenGL interface, supporting most 3D stereoscopic displays—from low cost anaglyph glasses to autostereoscopic displays. Complimentary glasses will be provided!

Speakers

Attendees will be able to hear NVIDIA speakers at WINHEC, including:

- Tony Tamasi, VP of Desktop Products: Technical breakout session on the "The Future of Cinematic Computing" on May 5 at 2:00 p.m. and on May 6 at 2:45 p.m.

- Cem Cebenoyan, Software Engineer, Technical Developer Relations: Presentation on "Next Generation Shading" on May 4 in the Expo Theater at 12:40 p.m. and 5:40 p.m.

- Oliver Baltuch, Director of Media Center Business: Business track session on "MCE Success Through Innovation" on May 6 at 4:00 p.m.

Game Kiosks

During the show, attendees can drop by NVIDIA’s gaming kiosks to play the latest games on ultra-fast systems powered by NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950U GPUs, NVIDIA nForce 3 MCPs, and AMD Athlon 64 CPUs. Experience today's hottest titles—such as Unreal Tournament 2004, Far Cry, Painkiller, and Halo— "the way they were meant to be played."


Radeon X800 Previews - 5/04/04 @ 8:59 am - By: MikeC - Source: Various
Previews of ATI's Radeon X800 Pro and Radeon X800 XT.


BFG NV30 Winner! - 5/03/04 @ 3:59 pm - By: MikeC - Source: N/A
The winner of the BFG Asylum GeForce FX 5800 Ultra is forum member jnd3. James lives in the great state of Georgia and replied with "Seriously? Woohoo!" when notified that he had won.

Congratulations James! Enjoy your prizes!


GF 6800U Review - 5/03/04 @ 10:43 am - By: MUYA - Source: Browsing
Gamer's Depot reviews a reference GeForce 6800 Ultra powered by NVIDIA"s NV40 GPU. After a quick introduction they jump straight into benches with a few games and benchmark application. The GeForce 6800 Ultra is compared to a Radeon 9800XT at various resolution and degrees of antialiasing and anisotropic filtering. An intersting note is the use of the 61.11 Forceware drivers for this review as this driver boosts performance in certain games as mentioned in this post.

We’re probably happier than anyone to see NVIDIA turn things around – it’s obvious NVIDIA learned from its past and pulled out all the stops on NV40.


Monday Roundup - 5/03/04 @ 10:28 am - By: MUYA - Source: Various
News and Articles
Video Card & Display Reviews
CPU, Motherboard, Memory and System Reviews
Case, Power Supply, Cooling, and Mod Reviews
Storage Reviews


A Few Files... - 5/03/04 @ 9:47 am - By: MUYA - Source: E-mail
Guru3D is hosting a mirror for those folks who want to try the new leaked beta Forceware drivers version 61.11 and 60.80 here.

Feedbacks welcome here.

Interesting to note that with the 61.11 drivers, a performance increase was seen the on NV40 series. The inf file verifies the existence of a GeForce 6800 GT variant in the NV40 lineup which was rumoured recently.

The latest Forceware 61.11 drivers for GeForce 6800 series has substantially improve the gaming scores. The 3DMark2003 Pixel Shader 2.0 test revealed that the Forceware 61.11 improves the Pixel shader performance of the GeForce 6800 further that leads to better overall 3DMark2003 and Aquamark 3 scores. Current games like Tomb Raider and Far Cry that makes heavy use of PS 2.0 have noticeably improvements too. Even Call of Duty based on good old Quake III engine saw some nice performance boost.

3dcenter on the other hand has a few files for your benchmarking pleasure listed below;


P. Shader 3.0 Benefits - 5/03/04 @ 6:02 am - By: MUYA - Source: PM
Demirug at 3DCenter mentions that a rough translation of his article from German to English on pixel shader 3.0 has been posted. The article covers the features of pixel shader 3.0 and techniques that developers can take advantage of to increase performance.


Weekend Roundup - 5/02/04 @ 10:42 am - By: MUYA - Source: Various
News and Articles
Video Card & Display Reviews
CPU, Motherboard, Memory and System Reviews
Case, Power Supply, Cooling, and Mod Reviews
Audio, Multimedia and Digital Player Reviews


Top 10 Testimonials - 5/02/04 @ 1:16 am - By: MaxPower - Source:
I have highlighted ten testimonials in our fourms which are admittedly "old news" in that they were posted on NVIDIA's website close to two weeks ago. However, the following ten specifically address or mention the 3.0 version of pixel and/or vertex shaders. Full PS/VS 3.0 shader support in the NVIDIA 6800 is of increasing interest while the same cannot be said with any certainty regarding the ATI R420 (though we should find out as soon as Tuesday, May 4th).

The main reason for highlighting ten testimonials in our fourms is that they were made by either actual programmers, technical directors, scientists or well known company presidents that have strong programming backgrounds. I maintain that these testimonials should not be quickly dismissed as marketing hype or PR evangilism. I'd ask that you read each of these closely and hope that some informative and constructive discussion/questions could be the result.
Thanks!


D. Siege Gameplay - 5/01/04 @ 4:01 pm - By: MikeC - Source: N/A
Dungeon Siege is a classic hack-n-slash RPG, which has been a favorite of mine. I have used the DirectX 7 based game often to measure performance in processor and graphics card reviews.

Dungeon Siege

During the past week I re-visited Dungeon Siege as I was curious about the performance a high-end system would provide. This led me to write a brief article on how I test gameplay performance in Dungeon Siege.

Looking forward to Dungeon Siege 2!


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