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Mr.Tweak
01-27-2003, 09:49 AM
nVidia (http://www.nvidia.com) was kind enough to answer a few of our questions (and some of the ones which YOU guys wanted answered) which we had for them regarding their upcoming GeForce FX (http://www.nvidia.com/view.asp?PAGE=geforcefx) product.

<center>http://images.tweaktown.com/news/news_gffxl.jpg</center>

From the outset, the aim of the interview was to gain some clean-cut answers once and for all so we all know what to expect from nVidia's next GPU:


TT - When will we see retail cards on the market (in Australia, Europe and the United States), in what sort of quantity and at what cost?

nV - We are sampling now. Expect to see systems and boards based on the GeForce FX GPUs in February, prices will start at around $399 US.



TT - We understand there may be several different versions of the GeForce FX. What are they called, how do they differ from each other and will they all be released at the same time - or will faster, enhanced versions be kept hidden under covers to combat future products from your competitors?

nV - We will have two versions of GeForce FX - the NVIDIA GeForce FX 5800 Ultra and the NVIDIA GeForce FX 5800. The GeForce FX 5800 Ultra is the faster of the two GPUs.



TT - Is it true that all GeForce FX cards will be manufactured by nVidia, much like what ATi has done in the past?

nV - The NVIDIA business model has not changed. We are not producing boards.



TT- Which manufacturers have licenses to manufacture their own cards, differentiating from your own reference design?

nV - All of our add-in-card vendors have the ability to produce their own cards.



TT - Speaking of the reference design, the pictures we’ve been seeing on hardware sites (including ours, from the Australian Game Developers Conference which <a href="http://forums.tweaktown.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=6811" target="_blank">we saw</a> in Melbourne last month) - will this be similar to the final release or have you added any changes such as ViVo, for example?

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nV - Yes - the pictures that are on the web are a good indication of what the final board will look like.



TT - The cooling devices we’ve seen on GeForce FX cards are quite big and complex, why? Are you experiencing heat problems produced by the 0.13 micron process based NV30 core and / or DDR-2 memory - if so, can these be attributed to production delays?

nV - Enthusiasts are accustomed to elaborate cooling systems, and view it as a badge of honor. Our silent running feature built-in to the GeForce FX is truly innovative. GeForce FX senses the activity in the 3D pipeline and adjusts the cooling system accordingly. The fan may not even come on during normal use, as the heat-pipe and heat-spreader may provide the needed heat dissipation.

The move to 0.13u did introduce some delays. However, the transition to .13u was critical to keeping the heart and soul of GeForce FX. The manufacturing times for 0.13u processing and flip-chip packaging are much longer than 0.15u and wire-bond packaging, and while these technologies are critical to making GeForce FX run as fast as it does, they are also the biggest reasons for delaying our availability date to February.



TT - Will all GeForce FX cards require such extravagant cooling devices on release, devouring precious PCI space like we’ve seen so far?

nV - No - not all GeForce FX cards will require the cooling device.



TT - With heat associated with the GeForce FX seeming to be a bit of an issue, what plans does nVidia have for a mobile version?

nV - We can not discuss unannounced products, but history will tell you that NVIDIA likes to leverage our graphics core technologies in many different spaces. We have already announced the Quadro FX products of the workstation space. I do not think it will surprise anyone when the CineFX architecture finds its way into the mobile space.



TT - Rumor has it you will be using a complex 12 layer PCB compared to ATI’s Radeon 9700 series, which uses only 8. Is this a requirement of DDR-II memory, operating at 1GHz, for stability or something else? Possibly for yielding faster clock speeds in the future?

nV - As you know - we don’t comment on rumors.

TT - Too bad then...



TT - Over the last few days several companies released specification and system requirements for the GeForce FX. Most notable is the 350 watt power supply requirement - will the GeForce FX actually require a minimum of 350 watts to operate in a stable environment or is this just a precaution?

nV - You hit the nail on the head. The card itself needs less than 75W but when combined in a typical enthusiast system with high performance CPUs, multiple hard drives or DVD/CD players, the total system requirements will tend to need a 350W supply. There may be individual configurations that could get away with less but when you buy your Ferrari you don't want to forget to fill up the gas tank.



TT - For our final two questions, we’ll sway away from the tech side of things. Where did the FX name come from? An educated guess would say it came from the 3DFX part of nVidia; maybe you can give us a bit more detail on the naming scheme and why something a little more creative wasn’t used instead.

nV - GeForce FX is a combination of technology invented at NVIDIA and technology invented at 3dfx. When NVIDIA purchased the 3dfx technology assets, over 100 engineers from 3dfx were offered positions at NVIDIA and those engineers were immediately deployed across all of the products in development at that time. The 3dfx engineers were starting a product called Fusion at the same time that NVIDIA engineers were starting their new GPU. The team formed from the combined group took the best elements of each architecture and created GeForce FX. We feel that it's a nice way to acknowledge the passion and technical contributions that the former 3dfx employees have brought to NVIDIA.



TT - And finally, the benchmarks which Maximum PC published earlier this month, can you confirm these are accurate and correct?

nV - They were accurate several months ago when the system was tested. That was very early in the development cycle. We have done a lot of work since then.


Thanks for your time Hazel and I hope this has cleared up some of your questions regarding the GeForce FX - Feel free to add your comments to this thread.

nutty
01-27-2003, 10:07 AM
Nice A couple of questions I wanted to know answers to
One was the cooling system
the other was the mobile FX:)
Great Work :cheers:

Wiggo
01-27-2003, 10:34 AM
More ppl should take notice of this bit but.... :D
[b]There may be individual configurations that could get away with less but when you buy your Ferrari you don't want to forget to fill up the gas tank. <center>:cheers:</center>

Saber
01-27-2003, 10:39 AM
Yeah, but with all the benchmarks coming out Monday morning at 8am, what will NVIDIA say when they show the GFFX can barely beat the 9700Pro.

http://www.tecchannel.de/hardware/1109/


For those of us wondering why NVIDIA hasn't done their normal crap talking ahead of time ( they have never been shy in the past ) about how bad their card will beat everyone elses and their precious 6 month product cycles....

NVIDIA fans are in for a severe slap in the face, courtesy of the company they all love...NVIDIA.

<ouch>

ICUBB
01-27-2003, 12:11 PM
Would that be like the slap in the face ATI is responsible for to it's customers? How do you ship a card that supports 8x AGP and then tell everyone it doesn't work and you need time to fix it, ATI is still 2nd class.

NeiGH
01-27-2003, 01:20 PM
I'm gonna reserve my opinion on this topic until solid results are avaliable... Not that it matters, I can't afford one anyway.:cry:

negomike
01-27-2003, 01:26 PM
Actually, I think lot of people and I know would have bought and would still by the 9700 card but I want a certain amount of assurance in the area of driver support.

I want to upgrade when I want too, not because my card is no longer supported.

Also, the hardware doesn't, if the software doesn't work.

When ATI starts showing that it's driver teams are getting close to nVidia, then I will happily put one of their boards in my computer.

As far as hardware goes it does seem that at the moment ATI has better hardware. The 9700 is in the same ballpark of "power" as the FX, but you can run it almost silently with the aid of Zalman ZM80A-HP VGA Cooler.

In fact if the FX is truly un-silence able and really noisy I may got a GF4 or a 9700(Though that is less likely because I don't want to deal with driver issues.)

:argue:

Saber
01-27-2003, 01:42 PM
Would that be like the slap in the face ATI is responsible for to it's customers? How do you ship a card that supports 8x AGP and then tell everyone it doesn't work and you need time to fix it, ATI is still 2nd class.

works well enough to beat the GFFX....

duh.

negomike
01-27-2003, 03:47 PM
Now I really don't know which video card to get.

The FX had a 45% lead n 3ds Max-01, I will be using Maya PLE and XSI, does this mean it will also have a 45% lead there?

Do I go for the vacuum cleaner with reliable software or do I go for a silence-able great piece of hardware with less trustworthy software.

I'm going to work on this thing as well as play; I need to be able to hear myself think!
:angryfire :angryfire :angryfire


Add in the price difference of $300 vs. $400
Or just go for a GF4 4200?!?!
Or a 9500 and try and make it a 9700?!?!

Oh, boy. Guess I'll wait for some more benchmarks.
:(

If ATI can deliver on drivers...
But then there is that 45% in max...

Man I was so hoping for a 9700 killer, much easier decision then.
Sigh, sorry for the rant.
:scream:

Mr.Tweak
01-27-2003, 06:19 PM
Anand made a good point in his review - ATI have a 3 month advantage in driver development, with some driver work I think we'll see the GeForce FX 5800 Ultra performing a little faster than we all would have hoped.

Beefy
01-27-2003, 06:47 PM
I also think that people should hold off until we see some public release products and what nVidia has done by then...

digitalwanderer
01-27-2003, 10:22 PM
Now I really don't know which video card to get.....

Add in the price difference of 0 vs. 0
Or just go for a GF4 4200?!?!
Or a 9500 and try and make it a 9700?!?!

The 9500! Use Unwinder's soft9700 and it's an easy reversible mod attempt. I've been hearing an awful lot of success stories with it, and almost no nightmares. The price difference would then be looking a whole bunch more like 0 vs 0....which changes the argument considerably, IMHO.

I think it's the way for the budget minded gamer to go without a doubt, it's the way I think I'm going now.



[B]If ATI can deliver on drivers...


Man, I do NOT want to become known as an ATI fanboy again; but their driver department has REALLY picked up in the last 6 months or so and the latest set of Cat3a, (or rev2, or whatever), are truly sweet and rock solid for me with no additional tweakage needed after the install....a big time first for ATI with me. They've also been very active in the viddy community coming on boards lately and posting help/input/suggestions, which also scores some major points with me. (nVidia won't even return my e-mail. :( )

ATI has improved, I hope the recently disclosed financial scandal doesn't kill it.

Saber
01-28-2003, 12:03 AM
I also think that people should hold off until we see some public release products and what nVidia has done by then...


uhhhh, O.K.


even if NVIDIA tweaked a PHENOMENAL extra 20% out of their cards, they are still not worth buying over a 9700Pro which is WAAYY cheaper.

Then we have the issues of the GFFX's heat output:

http://www.hardocp.com/article.html?art=NDIx

....what a letdown this has been.

ry71984
01-28-2003, 07:59 AM
hmm I think i'd rather have a card that's been out for awhile and has good drivers than to get a card that costs a 100 bucks more and hasn't really tested out and made new drivers for it yet.

I think I'll go with the ATI Radeon 9700 pro after the new line of video cards is out from ATI...talk about discount heaven

Top_gun
01-28-2003, 08:18 AM
I might just get the Radeon 9700 Pro when the Geforce FX comes out (if it drops to a lower price of course later this spring)

Mr.Tweak
01-28-2003, 08:44 AM
if ATI choose to lower the price of their Radeon 9700 Pro, nVidia are in some real trouble.

-=DuST=- Wembls
01-30-2003, 09:45 AM
I would go with Nvidea Till the end... History, expirence. Kinda relates to IE vs Netscape, or US vs Terrorist.. Just kidding.. NVidea like Intel and AMD, might have just releasted enough to keep the dough rolling in, but is keeping competion at bay for kicks. Just something to think about.. when you play cards you don't always lay down your best cars first! :shoot:

ristogod
01-30-2003, 01:41 PM
If you really want to know the truth about the new FX, just read the review at www.anandtech.com.

It shows that the FX can barely beat the 9700 Pro. And it only beats it in average framerate. The minimum framerate is consistantly held higher by the 9700 Pro. Where as the FX goes through dramatic highs and lows in framerate.

Along with the fact that the FX is extremely lould, runs very hot, is not easily overclocked, takes up 2 slots in your computer, delivers lower video quality, and cost alot to make, I can't understand why anyone would want to have this card. Especially when the R350 is so close to being released itself.

With both the FX and R350 boards hitting the market at about the same time, and probably costing the same price, it would seem that the R350 is the better choice.

Also earlier in this thread some one made the comment that ATI is second rate because ATI had problems running their cards in 8XAGP? I've run 3 different 9700 Pro cards in a variety of systems. The only one that had any problem with 8XAGP was the VIA KT400 chipset board. After changing over to a nVidia nForce2 board all stability problems in 8XAGP were cleared up. So the problem was never ATI, but the supporting technologies around it.

Your a fool to say that ATI is second rate. Don't blindly follow the nVidia bandwagon simply cause they have marketing power and everyone else is doing it.

negomike
01-30-2003, 02:30 PM
If you really want to know the truth about the new FX...
Your a fool to say that ATI is second rate.

Gee I didn't know they were already casting for Doctor Doom.
:p

Mr.Tweak
01-30-2003, 04:33 PM
Your a fool to say that ATI is second rate. Don't blindly follow the nVidia bandwagon simply cause they have marketing power and everyone else is doing it.

ATI should hire you in their marketing dept - such passion.

SamuraiCatJB
01-30-2003, 10:03 PM
uhhhh, O.K.


even if NVIDIA tweaked a PHENOMENAL extra 20% out of their cards, they are still not worth buying over a 9700Pro which is WAAYY cheaper.


I think this is a difficult thing to judge not knowing someone's intended use. I myself am NOT a gamer (okay, I play maybe an hour a week at most), I am a VR/CG programmer and I do "play research" at home (toying with technologies and how to use them in new ways). In my work, at work, ATI has consistently run 50% or more behind the nVidia for my overall VR product. The nearest competetor to the nVidia for running my product is the Wildcat III, which is only 20% behind the Quadro 900. But this is for MY product. It abuses graphics cards like mad, full textured 3D, lighting, etc, but also anti-aliased lines (and lots of them), textured particles effects (soon shaders in these -- I am behind on using shaders *sigh*), the sheer complexity for some reason overwelms all graphics cards, even on a Quadro4-900 I only pull 87fps max (ever)....

So saying that an ATI 9700 is ALWAYS the way to go is not accurate. I will buy a GeforceFX at work (have already pre-ordered), and I will eventually double check that no other card handles it.... All I really care about is my work, doesn't do me any good to have a card that does 20% better on Quake III if it does even 20% worse on my own product line....

In addition... I am not saying nVidia is always better... I say, find out how well it performs for what each person wants to use it for. :angel:

negomike
01-30-2003, 11:55 PM
Quadro4-900 I only pull 87fps max (ever)....


How does the FPS and IQ compare between a Quadro4 and GF4?

Do you have a demo movie or something we could see?:geek:

therealist
01-31-2003, 12:38 AM
This is my first post, but I must say, anyone interested in a 9700 or a Gefroce FX must have lots of money to blow. The cards suck, overhyped, falsely advertised and whats more important is the continuous 'lack of right questions' like this interview. I mean who are these people asking the questions? Have they ever played games? Are they even concious of what consumers are looking for or do they look at it like we are all moneybags just waiting to fill Nvidia and ATI's vault with more loot??

There is absolutely no mention of the noise generated by the Nvidia card. Tom's Hardware actually has sound files for you to listen to. It's amazing I think the Geforce FX is actually noisier than my PC with 6 fans. The 9700 has nice cooling, mind you.

There is no question of why 8x AGP? if your card doesn't even use it. FALSE ADVERTISING. I can't sell a car stating a V8 but really only 6 cylinders are going to work on the car.

What justifies your pricing?

I mean these are 2 basic questions obviously intended to be left out. Nah, I'm not getting these overhyped lackluster cards. I will wait for the newer ones in 6months time to replace these.

And unlike some people. I appreciate my hard earned money, I'm not into blowing it on a video card. Perhaps when these cards are down to a $200 price I will consider, but you can be assured these things are going to be hugely overpriced. Look at ATI, they are rumored to be slashing their prices close to 30%...

deancarey
01-31-2003, 01:47 AM
Nvidia say: "...Our silent running feature built-in to the GeForce FX is truly innovative. GeForce FX senses the activity in the 3D pipeline and adjusts the cooling system accordingly. The fan may not even come on during normal use, as the heat-pipe and heat-spreader may provide the needed heat dissipation..."

What a load of ol' dog doo-doo. In every single benchmark test, the results were the same - wear a pair of protective ear muffs because the noise off the fan is ridiculous, even in 2D mode.

SamuraiCatJB
01-31-2003, 04:20 AM
How does the FPS and IQ compare between a Quadro4 and GF4?

Do you have a demo movie or something we could see?:geek:

the FPS is close, I gained on the average 10% from the G4-4600 to Q4-950, I cannot say how the Quadro4-750's compare as they are on a lower end machine, so I wouldn't want to make a judgement there. Also since my system is flying real-time and moving, its hard to judge IQ at 400 knots.... side by side the IQ on the Q4 looks (subjectively) a little better, especially in anti-aliasing. But when I am flying fast, I don't notice a diff. For most operations, we run frame-synced at 60fps, on the G4 it ocassionally drops to 54, though not often. on the Q4-950, I never see it drop, that was the clincher for one of the customers that paid for it, pretty much constant frame rate on my stuff.

movie? uhmm... hmmm... I am working on it.... :) the problem is capturing it. I do not like the movies we have (I am my own worst critic), so still working on it. :)

negomike
01-31-2003, 07:16 AM
Nvidia say: "...Our silent running feature built-in to the GeForce FX is truly innovative.

Yeah, so is their interpretation of silent.
And what the hell is with a silent running feature?

Dive! Dive!

Can you hear them Johnsy. Yeah, but....it's weird...

What are they all singing again?

No, it sounds like a giant hairdryer.

:laugh:

deancarey
01-31-2003, 09:59 PM
Yeah, so is their interpretation of silent.
And what the hell is with a silent running feature?

Dive! Dive!

Can you hear them Johnsy. Yeah, but....it's weird...

What are they all singing again?

No, it sounds like a giant hairdryer.


Hairdryers? Their development doesn't stop there. I hear nVidia has won the contract for supplying jet engines to USAF!

I gotta stop giving 'em stick, although they have become a tad complacent. I mean, they must 'ave handed out their FX card to the top benchmarkers with a smug look on their faces only to have the card handed back (with heat protective gloves on, of course) accompanied by a "...come on, where's the real FX card, this one sucks..." response.

negomike
02-01-2003, 12:59 AM
Hairdryers? Their development doesn't stop there. I hear nVidia has won the contract for supplying jet engines to USAF!

True! In fact, due to their "silent running" the US government is considering replacing the engines in the stealth fighter with'em. Though worries of new sound guided projectiles might eliminate any...uh... "advantage"

SamuraiCatJB
02-01-2003, 12:52 PM
True! In fact, due to their "silent running" the US government is considering replacing the engines in the stealth fighter with'em. Though worries of new sound guided projectiles might eliminate any...uh... "advantage"

you've never heard a "stealth" have you? :) they make nVidia sound quite. :D maybe they really DID have that contract?? :rolleyes2

Wordbiker
02-08-2003, 01:31 AM
Just an "everyman" take on this argument....
I would consider myself an average user, and it seems as though this argument is just like a Ford vs. Dodge vs. Chevy, etc, etc....
All that really matters to me is if the freakin' thing RUNS, and whether they back up the product. Admittedly, hardware development is fascinating, and it pays to read about what is coming up, but software is SO much behind hardware development that I can't possibly get the full use of ANY new GPU. It reminds me a lot of my time as a mountain bike mechanic, and racing along guys that spent thousands of dollars tricking out their bikes with the latest gear, and I'd still smoke them uphill and down. The side benefit being that I could always buy their perfectly good but obsolete (to them) parts at a real bargain. I think I'll stick with my plan of waiting for the hyaenas to tear apart the carcasses, wasting their money on having what is brand new for the prestige only afforded by other hyaenas, and upgrade when I can't use the apps that I want to. I am really glad that there's folks willing to make ATI and nVidia gobs of money buying their most expensive products so that folks like myself can reap the benefits when the price drops and the true winners show their mettle. Thanks guys and gals! :cheers: