Second Generation NVIDIA Unified Architecture:
Second-generation architecture delivers 50% more gaming performance over the first generation through 240 enhanced processing cores that provide incredible shading horsepower.
GeForce GPU support for NVIDIA PhysX technology enables a totally new class of physical gaming interaction for a more dynamic and realistic experience with GeForce.
NVIDIA SLI and 3-way SLI Technology:
Industry-leading, 3-way SLI technology offers amazing performance scaling by implementing 3-way alternate frame rendering (AFR) for the world’s fastest gaming solution under Windows Vista.
Microsoft DirectX 10 Support:
DirectX 10 with full Shader Model 4.0 support delivers unparalleled levels of graphics realism and film-quality effects for today’s hottest games.
NVIDIA CUDA Technology:
CUDA technology unlocks the power of the GPU’s processing cores to accelerate the most demanding system tasks—such as video transcoding—delivering up to 18× the performance of traditional CPUs.
PCI Express 2.0 Support:
Designed for the PCI Express 2.0 bus architecture offering the highest data transfer speeds for the most bandwidth-hungry games and 3D applications, while maintaining backwards compatibility with existing PCI Express motherboards for the broadest support.
Massively multi-threaded architecture supports thousands of independent, simultaneous threads, providing extreme processing efficiency in advanced, next-generation shader programs.
NVIDIA Lumenex Engine:
Delivers stunning image quality and floating-point accuracy at ultra-fast frame rates.
16× Antialiasing Technology:
Lightning fast, high-quality antialiasing at up to 16× sample rates obliterates jagged edges.
128-bit Floating Point High Dynamic-Range (HDR) Lighting:
Twice the precision of prior generations for incredibly realistic lighting effects—now with support for anti-aliasing.
OpenGL 2.1 Optimization and Support:
Provides top-notch compatibility and performance for OpenGL applications.
Dual Dual-link DVI Support:
Able to drive the industry’s largest and highest resolution flat-panel displays up to 2560 x 1600 and with support for High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP).
NVIDIA PureVideo HD Technology:
The combination of high-definition video decode acceleration and post-processing that delivers unprecedented picture clarity, smooth video, accurate color, and precise image scaling for movies and video.
Discrete, Programmable Video Processor:
NVIDIA PureVideo is a discrete programmable processing core in NVIDIA GPUs that provides superb picture quality and ultra-smooth movies with 100% offload of H.264 video decoding from the CPU and significantly reduced power consumption.
Dual-Stream Hardware Acceleration:
Supports picture-in-picture content for the ultimate interactive Blu-ray movie experience.
Dynamic Contrast Enhancement & Color Stretch:
Dynamically provides post-processing and optimization of high definition movies for spectacular picture clarity.
NVIDIA HybridPower Technology:
Lets you switch from the GeForce GTX 280/260 graphics card to the motherboard GeForce GPU when running non graphically-intensive applications for a quiet, low-power, PC experience.
NVIDIA has incorporated a number of improvements into the architecture of their GeForce GTX 200 GPUs. No doubt the most obvious addition that most gamers will notice are the additional stream processors, up from 128 in GeForce 8800 GTX, to 240 in NVIDIA’s flagship GeForce GTX 280. But NVIDIA has integrated a number of other architectural enhancements that aren’t as easy to quantify, such as improved geometry shading and stream out performance, larger register file sizes, and improved texturing performance. GeForce GTX 200 GPUs also support over twice the number of threads in flight when compared to GeForce 8800 and boast more efficient instruction scheduling and instruction issue than 8800. The GTX 200 is also NVIDIA’s first GPU to support double-precision floating point. We’ll go over all these changes in a little more detail on the next page.
These improvements don’t come cheap. As you can see, inside the GTX 200 are 1.4 billion transistors! That’s over twice the number of transistors as GeForce 8800 GTX, which contained 681 million transistors. Even Intel’s quad-core Penryn processors top out at 820 million transistors, and they’re built on a 45-nm manufacturing process. The GTX 200 contains more transistors and is built on a larger, 65-nm process. No doubt about it, this is one huge chip.
One important item we should note about GeForce GTX 200 is DirectX 10 support. Like GeForce 8/9 series GPUs, the GTX 200 lacks support for DirectX 10.1. According to NVIDIA: “we considered DirectX 10.1 support during the initial GPU design phase and consulted with key software development partners. Feedback indicated DirectX 10.1 was not important, so we chose to focus on delivering better performance and architectural efficiency.”