NVIDA has unveiled its most powerful graphics processing units (GPU), the GeForce GTX 280 and 260. The GTX 280 has 240 multi-threaded cores and can process video 18 times faster than the latest CPUs. It has 1.4 billion transistors and is capable of nearly a teraflop.
Rendering 3D images in realtime is just about the most mathematically intensive task a PC will ever engage in, and these GPUs are aimed at applications that have become increasingly visual, according to NVIDIA.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280
"GeForce GPUs will soon deliver the biggest boost in processing power weive seen in the history of Folding@Home,?"said Vijay Pande, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Stanford University. "The GeForce GTX 280 GPU runs Folding@Home 45 times faster than the latest 3GHz Core2 Quad CPU."
- 2nd Generation NVIDIA Unified Architecture: Delivers 50% more gaming performance over the Company?s previous NVIDIA GeForce 8800 Ultra GPU through 240 enhanced processor cores that provide incredible shading horsepower at resolutions as high as 2560 x 1600.
- 3-way NVIDIA SLI Technology: Industry leading 3-way NVIDIA SLI technology offers amazing performance scaling by implementing 3-way alternate frame rendering (AFR) for the world?s fastest gaming solution under Windows Vista.
- NVIDIA PureVideo HD Technology: The combination of HD video decode acceleration and post-processing delivers unprecedented picture clarity, smooth video, accurate color, and precise image scaling for movies and video.
- NVIDIA CUDA Technology: With the power of NVIDIA CUDA technology and the new CUDA runtime for Windows Vista, programmers can now offload the most intensive processing tasks from the CPU to the NVIDIA GPUs, putting the power of up to 240 multi-threaded processor cores to work.
The GeForce GTX 280 is immediately available and is priced at US$649. The GTX 260 will be available June 26 and is priced at $399.
NVIDIA didnit say if the 280 or 260 would be compatible with the Apple Mac Pro -- thatis Appleis decision. Mr. Del Rizzo did, however, point out that these GPUs support OpenCL and that their CUDA language is one of the key components used to create OpenCL.
Currently, the fastest consumer level NVIDIA GPU for the Mac Pro is the GeForce 8800GT, rated at about 500 gigaflops. However, Apple does offer the option for the NVIDIA Quadro FX 5600 with 1.5 GB or VRAM for an additional US$2,850 for the speed obsessed.