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More NV40 details emerge

Samples this month, hype building
Mon Feb 09 2004, 15:50
NVIDIA'S UPCOMING graphics chip, NV40, supports the Shader models 3.0 that Nvidia claims are in DirectX 9.1 and which, in the real world, are in DirectX 9.0c. Still, Nvidia's fearless marketeers are also claiming that the chip has three times the performance and eight times faster shaders than the NV35—Geforce FX 5950. Hmm.

It's even more interesting that Nvidia claims that its card will end up four times faster in Doom 3 and seven times faster in Half Life 2. Well, even if those numbers are ridiculously high, you might expect that NV40 will have much more efficient shaders than NV38 had. NV40 is still AGP but we know something about their PCI Express chip and we will tell you about this later. In the meantime, it's NV40's day of glory.

NV40 will use GDDR 2 or 3 memories as its memory controller is capable of both and Nvidia aims to get to 600MHz milestone - or should we say 1200MHz effectively. We heard before that it might end up faster but, in our view, that's simply impossible, since the PCB design would end too expensive and complex to produce. Another reason might be that it's not that easy to clock your card at more than 1200MHz. The card will have eight memory chips, 8x32BGA -144 GDDR memory.

There will be two implementations of NV40 chips - as always NV40 U implies Ultra, where Ultra will end up faster. It's still too early to know the clock speeds of this solution but more then 500MHz is what Nvidia hopes for. We mentioned that they had silicon up and running at 300MHz but you can be sure the final stuff will end up faster.

This time Nvidia wants to make cards more silent than NV30 and we're not being too ingenious when we guess this is what the phrase 'Silent Running' is all about. Even Nvidia now knows that people like quiet graphic cards.

Nvidia calls its NV40 board an "enthusiast" board since it will come at high end price. Boards will be samples this month, February, with availability in April. The card will have two monitor outs with both DVI, VGA and combinations are possible [two DVI, two VGAs, VGA and DVI] and, of course ,TV out.

Launch date so far remains Cebit's Thursday 18th of March. It's not the first and obviously not the last time that we will write about NV40. Stay tuned, there will be more. µ

See also:
NV 40 will rock at 450 to 550MHz


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