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Nvidia's NV 30 will use DDRII memory, clocked at 1GHz

Radeon buster in time for Christmas
Fri Oct 18 2002, 10:37
IN THE GRAPHICS CARD BUSINESS, a good chip alone is not enough to make a good card. Of course, you need memory on the card that runs as fast as it possibly can.

But even that's still not enough. The third key element is finding the most effective way to use the memory on the card, which leads us into marchitecture territory, since the memory implementation is often hidden behind many marketing names, such is LMA [Light speed memory architecture, as used on the Geforce 4 aka NV25 and 28].

Since many of you still have doubts about the NV30, we are about to disclose the final part of the NV 30 puzzle -- its own, unique memory secrets.

As we previously said, the NV 30 will have only 128-Bit interface which is half the speed of the one used on the fastest gaming card around, ATi's Radeon 9700 PRO.

What we haven't yet mentioned is what kind of memory it sports and what is the actual clock speed of it. That's where the surprise comes in. Assuming that the NV 30 would use standard DDR memory was a big mistake. The NV 30 will use DDR II memory, the (r)evolutionary memory marchitecture. But there's even more.

Many thought that Nvidia will use 700 MHz to 800 MHz memory which is not true, at least for the fastest implementation of chip, as we expect several cards based on same core.

The fastest NV 30 will work on the nice round number of 1000MHz, bringing graphics memory to a 1GHz speed for the first time in history.

One of the key questions is, who has this kind of memory? And if you search the net for a while you will find that Samsung promised volume production of this DDR II memory capable of up to 1GHz speeds in Q1 2003.

This means that some volumes will exist for December, when this card should appear on the shelves. Nvidia's CEO, Jen Hsun, never said that there will be loads of cards but there will be some cards shipping and on the shelves for that time.

DDR II memory at 1000MHz -- almost 400 MHz faster than the memory used on the Radeon 9700 PRO -- are key elements of the NV30's architecture that Nvidia expects will help it blow ATi's offering out of the water.

So, I guess we've told it all now, except for the name of this product. And it's very unlikely be called Geforce 5. µ


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