I already stated that from a feature 'point of view' nothing has shifted rather incredibly, except performance. Hey, games are moving out of the cave and into the forest, we need more performance to display these nifty rendered and incredibly complex scenes. So, you still have your Shader Model 3 and not 3.0a (which doesn't even exist according to Microsoft specifications).
Next to that we see small improvements that of course have been made to what we can consider standard NVIDIA technology these days in the form of CineFX 4.0 engine and Intellisample 4.0 Technology.
Let's quickly browse through the most dull page of this article, GeForce 7800 GPUs specifications.
NVIDIA® CineFX 4.0 Shading Architecture
Vertex Shaders ° Support for Microsoft DirectX 9.0 Vertex Shader 3.0 ° Displacement mapping ° Geometry instancing ° Infinite length vertex programs
Pixel Shaders ° Support for DirectX 9.0 Pixel Shader 3.0 ° Full pixel branching support ° Support for Multiple Render Targets (MRTs) ° Infinite length pixel programs
Next-Generation Texture Engine ° Accelerated texture access ° Up to 16 textures per rendering pass ° Support for 16-bit floating point format and 32-bit floating point format ° Support for non-power of two textures ° Support for sRGB texture format for gamma textures ° DirectX and S3TC texture compression
Full 128-bit studio-quality floating point precision through the entire rendering pipeline with native hardware support for 32bpp, 64bpp, and 128bpp rendering modes
64-Bit Texture Filtering and Blending Full floating point support throughout entire pipeline Floating point filtering improves the quality of images in motion Floating point texturing drives new levels of clarity and image detail Floating point frame buffer blending gives detail to special effects like motion blur and explosions
NVIDIA® Intellisample 4.0 Technology Advanced 16x anisotropic filtering (with up to 128 Taps) Blistering- fast antialiasing and compression performance Gamma-adjusted rotated- grid antialiasing removes jagged edges for incredible image quality Transparent multisampling and transparent supersampling modes boost antialiasing quality to new levels Support for normal map compression Support for advanced lossless compression algorithms for color, texture, and z-data at even higher resolutions and frame rates Fast z-clear
NVIDIA® UltraShadow II Technology
Designed to enhance the performance of shadow-intensive games
NVIDIA® SLI Technology Patented hardware and software technology allows two GPUs to run in parallel to scale performance Scales performance on over 60 top PC games and applications
NVIDIA® PureVideo Technology Adaptable programmable video processor High-definition MPEG-2 and WMV9 hardware acceleration Spatial-temporal de- interlacing Inverse 2:2 and 3:2 pull-down (Inverse Telecine) 4-tap horizontal, 5-tap vertical scaling Overlay color temperature correction Microsoft® Video Mixing Renderer (VMR) supports multiple video windows with full video quality and features in each window Integrated HDTV output
Composited Desktop Hardware Engine Video post-processing Real Time desktop compositing Accelerated antialiased text rendering Pixel shader driven special effects and animation Advanced Display Functionality Dual integrated 400MHz RAMDACs for display resolutions up to and including 2048x1536 at 85Hz Dual DVO ports for interfacing to externa l TMDS transmitters and external TV encoders Full NVIDIA® nView® multi-display technology capability
API Support Complete DirectX support, including the latest version of Microsoft DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 3.0 Full OpenGL support, including OpenGL 2.0
On the next page we have a look at a couple of these features. But not before I show an actual photo of the GeForce 7800 GTX to satisfy your gaming urge.
Live in action, the Point of View GeForce 7800 GTX
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