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NV45 is Nvidia's PCI Express X16

Catching the buses
Tue Feb 10 2004, 09:51
NVIDIA IS BEAVERING away creating the NV45, a chip which uses PCI Express and marks a break of tradition for the graphics gnome.

Nvidia will break the habit of a short lifetime to call the next rev the Nx5. In a way, this is an update since it ushers in the dawning of the Age of PCI Express, backed by Chipzilla, Chimpzilla, Marmosetzilla and even the legion of mobo vendors.

Nvidia again will claim that NV45 is DirectX 9.1 compliant but let's clear things up by saying that there is no such thing as DX 9.1 only 9.0c. Let me stop right here and say performance wise it will equal the NV40 -- the only difference is a PCI Express interface.

There will be two implementations of NV45 chips, as always. NV45 U implies Ultra and NV40 where Ultra will end up faster than 500, which is what Graphzilla is aiming for. Memory characteristics will be the same as the NV40, eight memory chips, 8x32BGA -144 GDDR 3 memory running at up to 600 MHz, 1200 MHz effectively. NV45 comes equipped with 256MB of 256Mbit GDDR3 memory, and not GDDR 2 like we suggested before. What's the difference? Even the vendors don't seem to know yet.

Nvidia will call its NV45 board the PCI Express Enthusiast board and this baby will cost you $499. As the $ is to the €nron, so the €nron is to ster£ing.

Production starts in April, not long after the Poisson d'Avril emerges.

Nvidia validated PCI Express marchitecture back in December and is working closely with Intel labs. Intel actually co-validates Nvidia cards and so far both parties are happy. PCI Express x 16 is already tested on Gruntsdale and Tumwater and t all fine with D3D and OpenGL on this cards. Gruntsdale and Alterationwood will be called the 925X2 and 915P2 and Tumwater will be a server chipset. This chipset will be named E7515 and will cost $€£100 a piece when available.

Nvidia has already sent over 500 boards to its customers to be able to prepare for the dawning of the Age of PCI Express.

Nvidia has put its PCI Express generation of cards under a Q2 hat but we suspect that NV45 might be announced together with NV40 so let's say it will be launched at SnoBIT in Hangover in March.

What's NV19, NV37, NV41 and NV43? We will tell you that later because Graphzilla has exhausted us yet again, but it has a lot to do with PCI Express 16. [At least Nvidia didn't break your arm like ATilla, Ed.] µ


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