Big Fat Cards – nVidia’s New GPU Tech
Every year, computer technology increases exponentially. This is especially true for Graphical Processing Unit (GPU) technology.
Recently, nVidia, the leader in PC video card technology, unveiled its new x260 and x280 video cards. These new cards are powerhouses of technology, combining incredible amounts of onboard memory with ingenious software that allows these cards to utilize system resources in innovative and dynamic ways. For instance, if you have an nVidia 8 series or later card, you can leave that in your system. The 200 series card’s drivers will then re-write the programming for the old card (which is really just a processor and some circuits anyway) to handle ancillary things like physics and background processes. This frees up tons of space on the main video card to run at super high resolutions, particle simulations, animations and high-resolution textures.
The x260 is set to retail at $650 I believe, a hefty investment for any gamer or animator. However, like all new technology, as new things develop the price will likely drop rapidly. Generally, one can expect a video card’s price to drop to around $100 within the first two years – no matter how powerful it was when it first came out, even the greatest tech can be made better. It is both good and bad – on the one hand, gamers and animators that keep up to date can stay on the cutting edge of technology, however, years later when the card they paid $500 for is now $79.99, they may get a little miffed. For a late adopter like me, though, this is great – now that the 200 series is here, I can get an 8 series card for under $200!