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It's a GPU

One thing that nVidia would like everyone to know right up front is that they no longer call their units video cards. They like the term GPU and that stands for Graphic Processing Unit. It is no coincidence that the term GPU closely resembles CPU. nVidia would like to make it plainly obvious that their video cards move much of the load of graphic rendering off the CPU and onto the GPU. While the original GeForce chipset did a good job of improving performance with this approach, it became obvious that higher core clock speeds and memory performance were necessary to keep improving performance. You can only push a core speed so far though, and it took a move to the .18 micron architecture of the GTS chipset to keep improving performance. Avid overclockers already know that a move to a smaller architecture has immediate benefits not only in performance, since more transistors can be added in the same space, but that lower heat production is also a benefit.

The core of the GTS cards now can run 200 MHz from the factory. While that alone is an improvement, nVidia improved the inherent design and added the ability to have more operations processed on the GPU. While the terminology may seem confusing, the GeForce GTS chipset is capable of such operations as bump mapping, shadow maps, shadow volumes, volumetric explosion, vertex blending, waves, refraction, and on and on. What is truly impressive here is that up to 7 operations can be performed in a single pass. Want more information on all those possible operations? nVidia has a great area on their site devoted to the explanation of many of these concepts.

One great thing that was available on the original GeForce DDR cards is their DDR memory. While it gets harder to clock memory speeds higher and higher, nVidia chose to go with memory that effectively double its performance. The memory on the GTS cards is clocked at 333 MHz by default. DDR memory is definitely going to be popping up on products as far ranging as even the system memory of future motherboards. Another thing that nVidia would like people to take notice of are the initials GTS. They stand for Giga Texel Shader. A Giga Texel of rendering ability is a huge improvement over the original GeForce chipset. So it should be plainly obvious that the GeForce2 GTS cards should be a large improvement over the original GeForce cards. So what makes the Outrageous GeForce2 GTS different from the competition?


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