September 24, 2014

NVIDIA Unleashes the Gaming Beast: Maxwell Powered GeForce GTX Graphics Card

By: Neo Vilson Wong

On the 19th of September 2014, NVIDIA has launched their yet most powerful gaming graphics card yet in its regional briefing at Bangkok and we're lucky enough get invited to attend this glorious moment - Say hello to the new NVIDIA Maxwell GPU. 

NVIDIA's Senior Director of Technical Marketing, Nick Stam holding the lastest Maxwell powered GeForce GTX980 to the media.

The NVIDIA girls posing with the latest GeForce GTX 980.

As the presentation starts, we're expecting new technology being introduced aside of the new GTX 980 and GTX 970.

Specifications of the new GeForce GTX 980 and GTX 970 explained.

The comparison of the GTX 980 with the past generation GeForce GTX 680 and GTX 780 has shown huge improvement in terms of performance and power consumtion.

Energy efficiency compared, seems to be a good news to those who are still on a Kepler based GeForce cards.

A graph showing the huge improvement from the Kepler powered GTX 680 to Maxwell powered GTX 980 in terms of performance and efficiency. The key behind is that Maxwell GPU are designed to utilize CUDA cores more often and larger cache to reduce request to GPU RAM, which leads to better performance and less power consumption.

Aside of that, the new compression engine, higher memory bandwidth and doubled number of ROPs also further improves the performance of the GTX 980.

While everyone was hyped up with the new GTX 980, NVIDIA added more on 3 new feature known as MFAA, DSRVXGI and VR Direct

Multi-Frame Sampled Anti-Aliasing (MFAA) improves edge quality with a minimal performance cost, and helps you enjoy anti-aliased games at ultra high resolutions like 4K.

Dynamic Super Resolution (DSR) renders a game at a higher, more detailed resolution and intelligently shrinks the result back down to the resolution of your monitor, giving you 4K, 3840x2160-quality graphics on any screen. 

Voxel Global Illumination (VXGI), is a stunning advancement, delivering incredibly realistic lighting, shading and reflections to next-generation games and game engines. NVIDIA demonstrated this technology by simulating the famous moon landing scene.

VR Direct is basically NVIDIA's approach to take on the virtual reality world and provide even better gaming experience foe the end users. VR Direct is made to work with GeForce Experience and its optimization profiles for games made for virtual reality headsets like Oculus Rift.

NVIDIA has also introduced the GameWorks SDK for game developers to further enhance graphics quality for their games to make full potential of the new GeForce GPUs. Developers will be able to make their games look more realistic with features such as following:
  • HBAO+ Enhanced Horizon Based Ambient Occlusion 
  • TXAA Temporal Anti-aliasing 
  • Soft Shadows Improves on PCSS to reach new levels of quality and performance, with the ability to render cascaded shadow maps 
  • Depth of Field Combination of diffusion based DOF and a fixed cost constant size bokeh effect 
  • FaceWorks Library for implementing high-quality skin and eye shading 
  • WaveWorks Cinematic-quality ocean simulation for interactive applications 
  • HairWorks Enabling simulation and rendering of fur, hair and anything with fibers 
  • GI Works Adding Global Illumination greatly improves the realism of the rendered image 
  • Turbulence High definition smoke and fog with physical interaction as well as supernatural effects 
  • PhysX FleX is a particle based simulation technique for real-time visual effects. 

The best part is, everyone gets to experience the VR Direct and we must say it's truly awesome and  we're really looking forward to see it to be widely available in the nearest future.