Menu
Nvidia dumps 240 cores in new graphics processor

Nvidia dumps 240 cores in new graphics processor

Nvidia on Monday announced a new graphics processor with 240 computing cores, allowing PCs to run three-dimensional games and scientific applications.

Nvidia on Monday announced a new graphics processor with 240 computing cores, giving PCs the horsepower needed to run three-dimensional games and scientific applications.

The new GeForce GTX 280, the largest GPU ever built by Nvidia, includes 1.4 billion transistors and delivers 933 gigaflops of performance. It succeeds the GeForce 8800 GTX, which had 128 cores and delivered 518 gigaflops of performance.

The GPU will bring a new level of realism to gaming, with better character detail and more natural character motion, said Jason Paul, senior product manager at Nvidia.

Users can leave general purpose computing to the x86 CPU and unload advanced processing to the GeForce GTX 280, which will take care of applications like video transcoding and surfing the Web using three-dimensional Web tools, Paul said.

"What you have today are great three-dimensional games [and] high-definition video playback, but now you'll see the GPU becoming the heart of the optimized PC. It's going to provide the second processor of the PC," Paul said.

The chip includes support for PhysX, a hardware and software engine that adds physical reality to existing games, like smoke billowing from an object after an explosion, or the behavior of a rock after it hits a target.

New to the GeForce GTX 280 architecture is support for double-precision, 64-bit floating point computation that can deliver the horsepower necessary to perform high-end scientific applications, Paul said.

Nvidia may paint this as a more powerful alternative to the CPU, but this is a specialized processor designed for high-performance computing applications like weather predictions and, in some cases, CAD programs, said Jon Peddie, president of Jon Peddie Research. "This is not a general-purpose replacement for x86 processors, this is a specialized processor to take apps originally running on an x86 and now they can run it on a GPU," he said.

People have had to run scientific applications on scalar processors like the x86 chip because they couldn't afford high-end vector processors like the ones found in IBM's supercomputers, Peddie said. With the new Nvidia chip, vector processors can now be built into a home PC, Peddie said.

"This is such an incredible technology. We can go out and buy a teraflop computer for under $1,000," Peddie said.

However, a vector processor should be limited to high-performance computing because x86 chips are capable of handling general-purpose computing, Peddie said. The GeForce GTX 280 GPU can be used as a high-end gaming machine chip or on workstations to process graphics-intensive applications.

Today's applications are mostly designed for x86 processors and will need to be recompiled to take advantage of GeForce GTX 280, Peddie said. Nvidia provides CUDA, a tool that allows programmers to design and port programs to run on the new GPU.

The GeForce GTX 280 is available for US$649.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Featured

Slideshows

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

Partners are actively building out security practices and services to match, yet remain challenged by a lack of guidance in the market. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable - in association with Sophos - assessed the making of an MSSP, outlining the blueprint for growth and how partners can differentiate in New Zealand.

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ
Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

The leading players of the New Zealand channel came together to celebrate a year of achievement at the inaugural Reseller News Platinum Club lunch in Auckland. Following the Reseller News Innovation Awards, Platinum Club provides a platform to showcase the top performing partners and start-ups of the past 12 months, with more than ​​50 organisations in the spotlight.​​​

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018
Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

HP has honoured its leading partners in New Zealand during 2018, following 12 months of growth through the local channel. Unveiled during the fourth running of the ceremony in Auckland, the awards recognise and celebrate excellence, growth, consistency and engagement of standout Kiwi partners.

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ
Show Comments