GeForce 8800 FAQ

Q: What are you announcing today?
A: Today we are announcing the Definitive Gaming Platform which includes the new NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX and NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS graphics processing units (GPUs)-the industry's first Microsoft® DirectX® 10 unified architecture GPUs-and the new NVIDIA nForce® 680i media and communications processor (MCP).

Q: What makes this the Definitive Gaming Platform?
A: This platform features the ultimate gaming solution:

  • Dual GeForce 8800 GTX-based graphics card running in NVIDIA® SLI™ mode
  • NVIDIA nForce 680i motherboard, which is architected for maximum performance with features such as massive overclockability, SLI technology, and excessive front-side bus speeds.

Q: How many graphics processing units are you announcing today?
A: Today we are announcing two new GPUs based on the new GeForce 8 Series architecture. They are the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX and GeForce 8800 GTS GPUs.

Q: How much do the new GPUs cost?
A: You will find GeForce 8800 GTX- based graphics cards selling for around $599 and GeForce 8800 GTS- based graphics cards selling for around $449 through e-tailers

Q: Do these new GPUs support DirectX 10?
A: Yes. The GeForce 8 Series GPUs are not only the first shipping DirectX 10 GPUs, but they are also the reference GPUs for DirectX 10 API development and certification.

Q: Is this a new architecture or a spin of the GeForce 7 Series architecture?
A: This is a completely new DirectX 10-compatible, unified architecture.

Q: Is this a hard launch with immediate availability?
A: Yes. GeForce 8800 GTX- and GeForce 8800 GTS-based graphics cards are available today from leading e-tailers and retailers.

Q: Is a single GeForce 8800 GTX GPU faster than dual GeForce 7900 GTX GPUs running in SLI mode?
A: Yes.

Q: Is a single GeForce 8800 GTX GPU faster than a single GeForce 7950 GX2 card?
A: Yes.

Q: Do the new GeForce 8800 GTX and GeForce 8800 GTS GPUs support SLI technology?
A: Yes. All GeForce 8800 GPUs support NVIDIA SLI technology.

Q: How many slots do these boards take up?
A: The GeForce 8800 GTX and GeForce 8800 GTS-based graphics cards occupy two slots each.

Q: What are the key specifications of the GeForce 8800 GTX and GeForce 8800 GTS GPUs?

  GeForce 8800 GTX GeForce 8800 GTS
Stream Processors 128 96
Core Clock (MHz) 575 500
Shader Clock (MHz) 1350 1200
Memory Clock (MHz) 900 800
Memory Amount 768MB 640MB
Memory Interface 384-bit 320-bit
Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec) 86.4 64
Texture Fill Rate (billion/sec) 36.8 24

Q: What kind of memory do the GeForce 8800 GTX and GeForce 8800 GTS-based graphics cards use?
A: High-speed GDDR3 memory.

Q: Will you offer 512MB or 256MB versions of the GeForce 8800 GTX or GeForce 8800 GTS?
A: Not at this time.

Q: Do these GPUs support HDCP?
A: Yes. All NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX- and GeForce 8800 GTS-based graphics cards are HDCP capable.

Q: Do the GeForce 8800 GPUs feature NVIDIA® PureVideo™ HD technology?
A: Yes. All NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GPUs feature PureVideo HD.

Q: Have you changed the way you approach antialiasing with GeForce 8 Series GPUs?
A: Yes. We have added new 8x and 16x antialiasing (AA) levels that deliver outstanding image quality at lightning-fast frame rates. The NVIDIA Control Panel also now supports the following three antialiasing modes:
    a) Application Controlled - AA is completely controlled by the in-game settings.
    b) Application Override - AA is completely controlled by the NVIDIA Control Panel. In-game settings are ignored.
    c) Application Enhanced (new) -AA setting (i.e. 4x, 8x, 16x, etc) is determined by the NVIDIA Control Panel, but the application determines whether AA is on or off and what surfaces AA is applied to. This mode allows for applications to take advantage of the GeForce 8800 GPUs' new 8x and 16x AA in a more reliable, compatible manner than the Application Override mode. This is the recommended mode for all applications.

Q: How many transistors do the NVIDIA GeForce 8 Series GPUs have?
A: 681 million

Q: What manufacturing process do the NVIDIA GeForce 8 Series GPU use?
A: 90nm

Q: Where are the NVIDIA GeForce 8 Series GPUs being manufactured?

Q: What does unified shader core mean?
A: Historically, GPUs have had dedicated units for different types of operations in the rendering pipeline, such as vertex processing and pixel shading. With the unified architecture of the GeForce 8 Series, NVIDIA designed a single floating point shader core with multiple independent processors. Each of these independent processors is capable of handling any type of shading operation, including pixel shading, vertex shading, geometry shading, and physics shading. GeForce 8800 GPUs can dynamically allocate processing power depending on the workload of the application, providing unprecedented performance and efficiency.

Q: What is NVIDIA GigaThread™ technology?
A: GigaThread is a new technology that enables thousands of independent threads to execute in parallel inside of the graphics core. This delivers extreme processing efficiency in advanced, next-generation shader programs.

Q: What is stream processing?
A: Stream processing is a relatively new computing paradigm that enables parallel processing of a defined series of operations on multiple data streams with extreme levels of efficiency and performance. The shader core of the GeForce 8800 GPUs is comprised of 128 1.35GHz stream processors all working in parallel to deliver unmatched gaming performance. Streaming is the most efficient architecture for graphics. Streaming has evolved with graphics and the GeForce 8 Series is the next generation of a streaming architecture. The GeForce 8800 is a unified architecture where geometry, vertex, and pixel programs share common stream processing resources.

Q: Do these GPUs support Shader Model 4.0?
A: Yes. GeForce 8800 GPUs deliver full support for Shader Model 4.0.

Q: What are the key difference between DirectX 9 and Direct X 10?
A: DirectX 10 introduces a number of important new features including:

  • Geometry shaders
  • Stream output
  • Next-generation geometry instancing
  • Significantly reduced CPU overhead during CPU-to-GPU transactions

These features combine to deliver unparalleled levels of graphics realism and film-quality effects all rendered in real-time on the GPU.

Q: What is stream output?
A: Stream output is a new feature of DirectX 10 that allows data to be passed directly from either the vertex or geometry shader straight into frame buffer memory without having to pass through the entire rendering pipeline. The output can then be fed back through the pipeline to allow iterative processing and advanced shader effects such as particle systems and physics effects.

Q: What are geometry shaders?
A: Geometry shaders are a new feature of DirectX 10 that allow for dynamic creation of geometry on the GPU. Until now, graphics hardware only had the ability to manipulate existing data on the GPU. With the introduction of geometry shaders, the GPU can now create and destroy vertices output from the vertex shader. This capability allows for new features such as displacement mapping with tessellation and GPU-generated shadow volumes that deliver an even more true-to-life gaming experience.

Q: What is the NVIDIA® Lumenex™ engine?
A: The NVIDIA® Lumenex™ engine is a portion of the GeForce 8800 GPUs dedicated to delivering incredible image quality, including 16x full-screen antialiasing, 128-bit floating point high-dynamic range (HDR), and support for 2560x1600 resolutions at amazing frame rates.

Q: What is NVIDIA® Quantum Effects™ technology?
A: NVIDIA Quantum Effects is a new technology designed to enhance simulation and rendering of physics effects on the graphics processor. Through an advanced shader core architected for physics computation, GeForce 8800 GPUs are able to deliver amazing visual effects such as smoke, fire, and explosions at faster frame rates than ever before. By having this dedicated capability on the GPU, the CPU is freed up to run the game engine and AI, improving overall gameplay.

Q: Why does the GeForce 8800 GTX graphics card have two SLI connectors?
A: The second SLI connector on the GeForce 8800 GTX is hardware support for potential future enhancements in our SLI software functionality. With the current drivers, only one SLI connector is actually used. Users can plug the SLI connector into either the right or left set of SLI fingers.