Representatives from NVIDIA Corporation have announced the release of two new product families meant to give users a hardware foundation to build definitive gaming PC platforms: the GeForce 8800 graphics processing unit, and the NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI media and communications processor, designed specifically for Intel Core 2 Quad and Core 2 Duo processors.
The GeForce 8800 series is the first to natively support the upcoming DirectX 10, included with Microsoft's Vista operating system. Amongst its feature set is a new unified shader architecture of up to 128 parallel 1.35GHz processors, a new Quantum Effects physics system, and simultaneous 16x anti-aliasing and 128-bit HDR lighting.
NVIDIA has worked with game developers to design its next-gen GPU series, enabling designers to take full advantage of its feature set. As such, a number of forthcoming PC titles - Crysis, Hellgate: London, World in Conflict, Company of Heroes, Microsoft Flight Simulator X,
and Age of Conan
have been shown running on the 8800 series card.
The other half of NVIDIA's new next-gen gaming solution is its NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI MCP for Intel Core 2 Quad and Core 2 Duo-based PCs. The motherboard solution includes Gigabit Ethernet ports, support for SLI-ready memory DIMMs, and a third PCIe graphics slot for multi-display environments. With its own set of overclocking features, the 680i can more than double the FSB speed of many Intel Intel Core 2 Duo CPUs. NVIDIA is also planning to design and manufacture its own line of 680i SLI-based motherboards and is offering them to select hardware partners as part of a new "designed by NVIDIA" program.
“We set out to build the ultimate platform for PC gaming and high-definition video,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO at NVIDIA. “There is no better way to experience Windows Vista, DirectX 10, HD-DVD, and Blu-ray than with a PC powered by GeForce 8800 and nForce 680i SLI. Our announcement today is the culmination of four years of research and development and represents the biggest technological leap we have ever made. Gamers are going to be blown away."