Legit Video Card Reviews
NVIDIA GF100 Fermi Architecture and Performance Preview
|Date:||Wed, Jan 20, 2010 - 12:00 AM|
|Written By:||Nathan Kirsch -|
Demo Time: Ray Tracing & Tessellation
NVIDIA also showed us a demos that we recorded as they showed them to us. So, you can watch they ones you want and hear NVIDIA explain the demos to the media in our press briefing.
Ray tracing is seen by many as the future of graphics, either by itself or in conjunction with rasterization. With GF100, interactive ray tracing becomes possible for the first time on a standard PC. Ray tracing has typically been challenging to run efficiently on the GPU. Ray tracing operates recursively, whereas GPUs mostly operate iteratively. Rays have unpredictable directions, requiring lots of random memory access. GPUs typically access memory in linear blocks for efficiency.
GF100’s compute architecture was built specifically with ray tracing in mind. GF100 is the first GPU to support recursion in hardware, enabling efficient ray tracing and a host of other graphics algorithms. GF100’s L1 and L2 caches greatly improve ray tracing efficiency by improving performance for fine-grained memory accesses. The L1 cache enhances memory locality for neighboring rays whereas the L2 cache amplifies bandwidth to the framebuffer.
GF100 excels not just at standard ray tracing, but also at advanced global illumination algorithms such as path tracing. Path tracing uses a much larger number of rays to collect ambient lighting information from the scene. Early evaluations of path tracing show GF100 performing up to four times faster than GT200.
To sustain performance, a game may use ray tracing selectively. For example, rasterization can be used to perform a first pass on the scene. Pixels that are identified as reflective may be further processed via ray tracing. This hybrid model of rendering enables fast performance with great image quality.
The Hair demo uses tessellation, geometry shaders, and physical simulations.
The Water demo (right) uses tessellation in large environments.
Next Page - Demo Time: 3D Vision Surround & PhysX
Page 1 - GF100 Fermi Details Emerge
Page 2 - GF100 Architecture In-Depth
Page 3 - Demo Time: Ray Tracing & Tessellation
Page 4 - Demo Time: 3D Vision Surround & PhysX
Page 5 - GF100 Performance Numbers
Page 6 - Final Thoughts on GF100