While everyone else in the country is chattering about November 7’s election results, we geeks are talking about what really matters: the world's first DirectX 10 videocards.
Okay, I’m joking, but I do think DirectX 10 and Nvidia’s new GeForce 8800 GTX and 8800 GTS videocards are going have a tremendous impact on the PC market, especially—but not exclusively—in the gaming arena.
Epochal developments such as the shift to a unified shader architecture, the addition of a geometry shaders to the 3D pipeline, and the introduction of Microsoft’s Shader Model 4.0 are going to change all our assumptions about what’s possible in PC graphics. And the even better news is that we won’t have to wait for Windows Vista and DX10 to realize at least some performance gains.
Nvidia suffered a minor glitch in the launch of the new product when they discovered that some third-party manufacturers had built cards with one incorrect resistor value. The problem reportedly causes screen corruption when the processor is under heavy load, but we didn’t encounter it with the review units we received. Nvidia was sufficiently concerned about the public’s perception of the matter that they released this statement to the press: “All boards with this problem were purged from the production pipeline. Product on shelves is fully qualified and certified by Nvidia and its board partners. We and our board partners stand behind these products and back them with our full warranty.”
We’re working on an in-depth story about DirectX 10, new videocards based on Nvidia’s 8800-series GPUs, and how we think ATI and Ageia will react to this development for our January issue. Look for it on newsstands!