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Nvidia Touts Physics, But Financial Trouble Ahead

Santa Clara (CA) - Owners of a GeForce 8-series or higher graphics card can squeeze more eye candy out of their hardware as Nvidia has released a demo pack consisting of a full game, acceleration demos and Stanford’s Folding@Home distributed computing client that showcase the physics and floating point horsepower of the company’s graphics cards. Analysts expect a steep decline in revenue to overshadow the company’s technology later today.

If you own one of the 80 million CUDA-capable graphics cards and have installed Nvidia’s WHQL driver version 175.xx or higher, but just haven’t had a chance to test the PhysX of your hardware, you can now simply download Nvidia’s first "GeForce Power Pack", which is promoted as a promotion package for Nvidia graphics cards.

The competition between Nvidia’s and AMD’s graphics cards is getting more intense again and while Intel is still discussing its Larrabee graphics card only on paper, Nvidia is stepping up its efforts to showcase the capabilities of its graphics technology. The first "Power Pack" has the sole purpose to get GeForce card owners interested in PhysX acceleration: According to Nvidia, in the PhysX-enabled levels of Unreal Tournament 3, the GeForce 9800 GTX+ runs 180% faster than on the AMD Radeon HD 4850.

The package is offered free of charge and includes the full game "Warmonger", an Unreal Tournament 3 PhysX Mod Pack, a sneak peek at the upcoming Nurien social networking service that is based on the Unreal Engine 3, Nvidia’s "The Great Kulu" tech demo, a first look at the upcoming game Metal Knight Zero, a "Fluid" tech demo-a simulation of realistic fluid effects with a variety of liquids, as well as Stanford University’s Folding@home distributed-computing, protein-folding client and a trial version of Elemental Technologies’ Badaboom video transcoder.

Later today, Nvidia will also report its Q2 financial results. Wedbush Morgan analyst Patrick Wang expects a "weak [performance] driven by share loss and ASP pressure on desktop GPU". Wang told investors that Q2 revenue should be about $913 million, down 21% from the previous quarter. Wang believes that the pressure on Nvidia will not disappear anytime soon, especially because of AMD’s/ATI’s strong product launches. Wedbush Morgan does not "potentially expect margins to meaningfully recover until mid-C09, with the arrival of Nvidia’s next-generation GPU architecture (NV70)."