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Thread: NV40




  1. #131
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    NVIDIA's NV40 mimics a 16x1-pipeline architecture with just eight pipelines
    Exclusive: Vertex Shader 3.0 workaround

    Investigative journalism is not an easy thing. But we do what we have to do just as Nvidia and ATI need to make their chips. Our job is to post news as exclusive as possible, this is occasionally at the risk of jeopardising communications with the company that we write about. Still we have to do it.
    Anyhow, we have something that you all have been waiting for.

    It was easy enough to state that NVIDIA's NV40 was an eight-times-two pipeline architecture before and now claim it's 16x1, but it was very hard to find out how this chip actually works without being able to speak with the company's David Kirk and ask him all the nasty questions. We donít sign NDAs, thatís our problem. If we did, we'd know, but we wouldn't be able to tell you. As it is, we can post this stuff as soon as we get it.

    So, the claim that we made more than once that NV40 is 16x1 chip is partially true and but the claim that I made previously that the chip is 8x2 is also true. How's that possible?

    NV40 will score magnificent 6500 Mtexels per second in 3Dmark01 whereas ATI's Radeon 9800PRO will give you around half that, but there is a catch here.

    We understand that the NV40 will actually only have eight physical pipelines, but these will appear act like 16 in certain games and, indeed, in 3DMark 2001 Nvidia was telling people how 3DMark01 is a very nice benchmark since they can render 16 textures per pass in it, using only eight pipelines. What Nvidia is using is the ability of the Vertex Shader model 3.0 (known as PS 3.0 or VS 3.0) where the Shader can actually render textures as a virtual pipeline but can only render them without filtering information.

    But, in modern games you always apply Bilinear, Trilinear or Anisotropic filtering to textures that you render, otherwise they will have some visual malformations. This is why, in normal games, eight pipelines will be able to render eight textures in single texturing pass and possibly even 16 if you render both textures in same pass using an 8x2 architecture.

    What we understand Nvidia is doing is processing eight textures by pipelines while the other eight textures get processed by the Vertex Shader 3.0. If they decide to use this in modern games this would roughly mean that they can render every second texture properly, which would mean that you would be able to notice the difference. However, this can be tweaked in the driver if they decide to go that way, but image quality would have to be sacrificed for that.

    To get into more details, the Vertex Shader model 3.0 feature has the ability to fetch textures but you could use your VS 3.0 only where you donít have any geometry - when you have to process just pixels. This cannot be used in modern games as you process just point sample textures. In 3DM2001SE you get such high numbers because you deliver 16 pixels per clock.

    We asked Nvidia to comment but since they havenít announced NV40 they sdaid they can't comment on "unannounced products". But we expect they will be able to tell us more then they launch on 14th in the old continent.

    ATI's R420 offering remains at 12x1 architecture which makes this games-running business very complicated, since you cannot bring any final judgement about who will win the chip speed race.

    However, we expect NV40 to deliver 16x1-like performance in Doom 3 (or should we say 16x0, which is how people call NVIDIA's approach) where they render all the information except Z or colour features. This will be used by Doom III and games based on this engine.

    It's likely that Nvidia will launch up to two weeks prior to R420's introduction.

    The Inquirer

  2. #132
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    Going by the trace lines on the PCB, it appears that the NV40's cooler could be very similar to the current 9800 XT one.
    Although unconfirmed, I understand that the primary task for the second molex is to power the cards fan.

  3. #133
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    is there any place that monitors the launch dates of these new cards?
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  4. #134
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    JSN: Not really, The NV40 will be launched on the 13th of April at a NVIDIA sponsored LAN in San Francisco. The latest rumours suggest that the R420 will be launched two weeks after it.

  5. #135
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    Oh really? I thought R420 was gonna be released earlier than NV40....

    oh, well... 2 weeks to go... :drool: :drool: :drool:
    [size=9If there's a pensieve fear, a wasted year, a man must learn to cope.
    If his obsession's real, suppression that he feels must turn to hope - DT

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  6. #136
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    No, ATI wants to hold off as long as possible before launching R420 because the margins on current cards are much higher.

    Since they supposed have their new card ready to ship, supposedly unlike nVidia, they can wait till nVidia launch. Launch their cards after nVidia, BUT have their cards on the shelves first.

    I believe, correct me if I'm wrong, that ATI generally try to have the products on the shelves within two weeks after their launch, unlike nVidia.
    If the stuff in glow sticks is truly toxic then why do they make so many flavors?

  7. #137
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    SmokeyTheBalrog: No you are quite correct, even if NVIDIA launches first, ATI will have their cards ready in greater numbers and in the stores quicker. If ATI launch the R420 now, they are simply competing against their own R360. It's better for them to maximise profits and continue selling the R360 until NVIDIA's NV40 hits the shelves. Only then will ATI launch the R420.

  8. #138
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    mmmm, that's interesting, makes a whole lot of sense tho.
    But r u suggesting R420 will hit the shelves later too?
    [size=9If there's a pensieve fear, a wasted year, a man must learn to cope.
    If his obsession's real, suppression that he feels must turn to hope - DT

    rig:
    P4C800-Deluxe 2.8 C (+Vantec Aeroflow)
    Sapphire 9700 Pro
    4x256MB Kingston KVR400C25
    Audigy 2
    2x80GB Maxtor DM9 RAID 0
    Enermax 433W
    ALL AIR, no Vmod

    3DMark2001 = 20954
    3DMark2003 = 6038
    Sandra Mem = 6028/6018[/size]

  9. #139
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    benny_mankin: Not really, I'm just suggesting that ATI will continue to sell their R360 cards for as long as possible. NVIDIA has a history of doing paper launches, so ATI will want to know the NV40 is actually available before launching their new card. ATI's R420 should be available (in quantity) first.

  10. #140
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    Sounds good to me :D
    btw, check this and this out guys.

    One written by ATIfanatic, the other by NVidiot :roll:
    [size=9If there's a pensieve fear, a wasted year, a man must learn to cope.
    If his obsession's real, suppression that he feels must turn to hope - DT

    rig:
    P4C800-Deluxe 2.8 C (+Vantec Aeroflow)
    Sapphire 9700 Pro
    4x256MB Kingston KVR400C25
    Audigy 2
    2x80GB Maxtor DM9 RAID 0
    Enermax 433W
    ALL AIR, no Vmod

    3DMark2001 = 20954
    3DMark2003 = 6038
    Sandra Mem = 6028/6018[/size]

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