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NVIDIA nTeresting News 01 April 2011 E-mail
Friday, 01 April 2011

NVIDIA nTeresting News 01 April 2011

In this Issue (no jokes here):

  • LucasFilms does cool special effects on GPUs now.
  • The new 270.51 drivers fix issues and bring big performance jumps to NVIDIA GPUs, notebooks and SLI rigs.
  • Acer and Asus all showed off new Tegra tablets this week, and the graphics power of NVIDIA Tegra is taking handheld gaming to new heights.
  • It is easy to get hooked on 3D gaming, and Crysis 2 is a great place to start.
  • 3D Vision Surround displayed across a huge wall. I want.

Use the GPU, Luke
GPU Computing is the use of the massively parallel architecture of the graphics processing unit (GPU) as a computational engine using high level languages and APIs. That is how LucasFilms makes their films.

"Next came a new tool called Plume, used to simulate the movements of fluids. It's written to take advantage of a newer NVIDIA parallel computing technology called CUDA. Suddenly, the work required to create deeply complex visual effects involving images of fire or water sped up considerably because the software written for Plume could talk directly to the graphics chip itself."

CUDA is the name of NVIDIA's parallel computing hardware architecture. NVIDIA provides a complete toolkit for programming the CUDA architecture that includes the compiler, debugger, profiler, libraries and other information developers need to deliver production quality products that use the CUDA architecture to folks like ILM. The CUDA architecture also supports standard languages and APIs for GPU Computing, such as OpenCL and DirectX Compute.

Drivers, People Like Them
Drivers are the forgotten hero of the GPU world. Regardless of how good a GPU is at launch, it will yield diminishing returns if you do not continue to tune drivers for it long after launch drivers. This week we released the 270 .51 driver set. What it lacks in a sexy name, it makes up for with sexy performance jumps, like 11% on the GeForce GTX 580 in our two Just Cause 2 tests, 7% in Civilization V, 6% in Far Cry 2 SLI, 5% in Civilization V SLI, 5% in Left 4 Dead 2 and Left 4 Dead 2 SLI, 4% in H.A.W.X. 2 SLI, and 4% in Mafia 2 SLI. Free performance is always appreciated by customers:

"This driver seems to be awesome!! :)

"It's like driving a Cadillac."

Drivers can fix bugs and add performance to games like Dragon Age 2. That is why we place an emphasis on driver quality, and our customers love it.

"All I can say is that Dragon Age 2 is finally playable with everything maxed out, DX11, high-res textures on a GTX580. I'm a happy panda now."

We even make SLI better with this driver.
"SLI Scaling is also improved from already impressive levels seen when GTX 480 launched and now enables a lot of good gameplay experience in 2D, 3D and 3D Vision Surround mode with three displays enabled. In 3D Vision Surround, there was no visible improvement in Batman: Arkham Asylum and Far Cry 2, but the difference between Rel 260 and Rel 270 is just staggering in games such as Call of Duty: Black Ops - 360% improvement, Left 4 Dead 2 (350% faster), with Alien vs. Predator, Burnout Paradise showing 200% improvement in framerate."

And with the NVIDIA Verde driver program, NVIDIA-based notebooks get upgraded, too.

"If you have an NVIDIA GPU in your notebook you might want to check out these drivers! These new drivers are the first Verde drivers to support GeForce 500M GPUs (GeForce GT 555M, GeForce GT 550M, GeForce GT 540M, GeForce GT 525M, and GeForce GT 520M GPUs), include a new "NVIDIA Update" feature, have a wealth of bug fixes and they increase performance for GeForce 400 Series and 500 Series GPUs in several PC games vs. v266.58 WHQL drivers! "

Customers need new drivers in order to be able to take full advantage of the latest visual computing applications, so we give it to them. The strength of our Verde driver program pays dividends for our customers long after they make their purchases.

It's Raining Tegra
Tegra-powered tablets are dropping like rain! Acer uses Tegra in their new Iconia line, coming to AT & T with 4G:

"As we've already seen, there are both Android and Windows tablets thrown in the mix in the new Iconia range, the most interesting being the 10-inch A500 Android tablet running Honeycomb. Running vanilla Android, but customised with a few Acer apps, the A500 features a proprietary docking port, an HDMI output, both USB and Micro USB ports (the former for storage, the latter for charging and syncing) and is powered by a dual core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor."

Want something with a keyboard? Coming soon, the Asus Eee Pad Transformer may be for you.

"One of the common criticisms of tablets is that productivity is hampered by on-screen keyboards; for anything but light typing, a physical keyboard is much preferable. The Eee Pad Transformer solves this issue by offering the full keyboard attachment, which also almost doubles the battery life of the slim tablet to up to 16 hours.

The Eee Pad Transformer runs the tablet-friendly Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) and packs NVIDIA's Tegra 2 chipset (dual-core CPU plus NVIDIA GeForce GPU), with full support for Adobe Flash and full 1080p HD video playback. It's a thin 0.51 inches and weighs a mere 1.49 pounds."

Tegra is so powerful, it's bringing never-before-seen experiences to your super phone and tablet. First we showed off multi-player, cross-platform gaming with Dungeon Defenders, the first Android game built on Unreal Engine 3. Then the Tegra Zone app debuted on the Android Market, providing quick access to the richest games for your Tegra-powered mobile device. One of the newest games coming soon to Tegra Zone is Riptide GP. This futuristic wave racing game was previewed at the CTIA Wireless show last week, and was named best game of the show by Phandroid:

"It's so graphically rich and too much fun to put down. The physics in this game are looking great and it isn't even ready for primetime yet."

3D Vision is Addictive
Once you start playing 3D games with NVIDIA 3D Vision, you won't stop.

"The crispness and refinement in the game's characters were surreal; unlike the old-school and somewhat corny objects-flying-at-your-face style of 3D, 3D Vision utilizes a synchronized 120Hz refresh rate and depth levels to control the detail of the games and the wearer's perception thereof. In league with GN's hardware editor, we can confidently state that 3D gaming will be the way of the future -- perhaps even a more mainstream market within the next eighteen months."

Especially if you start with Crysis 2.

"... Crysis 2 in 3D is amazing. The effect doesn't go overboard--even on highest settings--and doesn't strain the eyes. In 3D, every set-piece moment in the game jumps out with gorgeous clarity. If you have the equipment or if 3D has piqued your interest, Crysis 2 does a great job of showing off the tech."

BIG 3D Vision Surround
Want to have a wall size 3D Vision Surround set-up? Linus shows you how, with a gaming rig, a GeForce GTX 590 and three projectors.

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# RE: NVIDIA nTeresting News aberkae 2011-04-01 12:44
what about shogun 2 total war? Nvidia's gpu performs poorly
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# beta driversaberkae 2011-04-01 12:53
These are the 2nd set of beta drivers where is the official ones?

they come out with more gpus then official drivers these days lol.
eg. since January Nvidia launched the gtx 590, 560 ti and 550ti, but no official new drivers.
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