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GeForceFX: NVIDIA goes Hollywood?

GeForceFX - NVIDIA Goes Hollywood?

At Comdex Fall 2002, NVIDIA will unveil the heir to the highly successful GeForce4 Ti line of graphics chips, which was in turn presented to the public in complete detail in February of this year. Now NVIDIA seems to be copying its main competitor ATi's modus operandi, presenting its new chip, dubbed GeForceFX and code-named NV30, in stages. At Comdex, NVIDIA will only be revealing details on the chip's technologies and features, which far surpass the DirectX 9 specification. There will not, however, be any concrete information on performance or the card versions that will be produced - not to mention testing samples.

This makes it nigh on impossible to answer the big question everybody is asking and has been pondering for months now. Will the role of technology and performance leader revert from ATi, who captured it several months ago with its Radeon 9700 PRO, back to NVIDIA and its GeForceFX? I'd like to save that question and its answer for the end of this article, and cover the GeForceFX's new features and capabilities first.

NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti4600NVIDIA GeForceFXATI Radeon 9700 PRO
Chip Technology256 bit256 bit256 bit
Process0.15 Micron0.13 Micron0.15 Micron
Transistors63 Mio125 Mio~107 Mio
Memory Bus128 bit DDR128 bit DDR2256 bit DDR
Memory Bandwidth10.4 GB/s16 GB/s19.8 GB/s
Pixel Fillrate1.24 Gigapixel/s~4 Gigapixel/s2.6 Gigapixel/s
Anti Aliased Fillrate4.8 Billion AA Samples/s~16 Billion AA Samples/s15.6 Billion AA Samples/s
Max FSAA Mode4x8x6x
Triangle Transform Rate69 M Triangles/s350 M Triangles/s325 M Triangles/s
AGP Bus1x/2x/4x1x/2x/4x/8x1x/2x/4x/8x
Memory128 MB128/256 MB128/256 MB
GPU Clock300 MHz~500 MHz325 MHz
Memory Clock325 MHz (650 DDR)500 MHz (1000 DDR2)310 MHz (620 DDR)
MemoryBGA 2.8nsBGA 2.0nsBGA 2.9 ns
Vertex Shader2FP Array4
Pixel Pipelines488
Texture Units Per Pipe211
Textures per Texture Unit4168
Vertex S. Version1.12.0+2
Pixel S. Version1.32.0+2
DirectX Generation89.0 (+)9
FSAA ModiMultiSamplingMultiSamplingMultiSampling
Memory OptmizationsLMA IILMA II OptimizedColor CompressionHyper Z III
Display Outputs222
Chip Internal Ramdacs2 x 400 MHz2 x 400 MHz2 x 400 MHz
Chip External Ramdacs---
Bits per Color Channel81010
Special-TV Encoder On-ChipExtended ProgammabilityAdaptive FilteringTV Encoder On-Chip; FullStreamAdaptive Filtering
Estimated Price~ $200-300Not specified$399