Nvidia: why it is worth updating your graphics card, even if you have done it recently

Last week, Nvidia gave a presentation on new solutions for anyone passionate about the advancements in computer graphics. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to release the material right after the presentation, reassuring myself that my colleagues, either on the site or on other sites, would be on the safe side. But for some reason, everyone limited themselves to only scanty news with prices and the listing of important data a la how many billions of transistors in new cards. 28 billion, if you are interested, that is, everyone on the planet can be given 3.5 transistors. Although who cares, how much, and who will prove that exactly 28 billion, suddenly 1 less?

However, Nvidia’s presentation had a lot more interesting things that need to be shared. I would like to tell you about the presentation from the philistine point of view, that is, from the side of the consumer who just wants to turn it on and so that the screen will immediately pacify in an Orthodox way.

The presentation turned out to be rich, interesting and cozy, because Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang is announcing new products for the second time, making a stream from his kitchen. However, his cuisine is such that it is not a shame to receive foreign delegations there.

Nvidia: why it is worth updating your graphics card, even if you have done it recently

Content

  1. Why is Nvidia such an expensive company?
  2. About new displays and solutions for gamers
  3. Machinima
  4. Second generation: next level RTX
  5. New RTX 30 Series Cards
  6. Why is everyone so excited about the new cards?
  7. What about the competitors?
  8. Conclusion

Why is Nvidia such an expensive company?

By the way, recently everyone was discussing the news that Nvidia shares rose significantly in price and the company’s capitalization exceeded Intel’s value. Nvidia is about $ 100 billion more expensive than Intel.

Why do investors believe in Nvidia? It’s simple: because in the hardware market, the company is the main innovator and supplier of joy. All modern films are shot on a chroma key and are possible thanks to Nvidia products, at the presentation in the spring, Nvidia launched big data solutions, which became very successful because they are super competitive. Another point is that the company introduced real-time ray tracing (RTX) technology back in 2018, which the rest of the industry still cannot replicate. Although it has been 2 years that the high-tech market is considered an eternity.

By the way, this time Nvidia announced the launch of RTX in Fortnite. Fortnite is played by over 350 million people worldwide. Let’s see how the Xbox and PlayStation 5 will behave, but so far it looks like thanks to Nvidia the picture on the computer will be much better than on consoles.

Nvidia: why it is worth updating your graphics card, even if you have done it recently

A few words about COVID-19 as an example of Nvidia’s computing power

Let’s start with news that is not particularly important to a particular customer, but captures the imagination if you try to imagine.

Back in late March, Nvidia decided to take part in decoding the coronavirus code. The project is called Folding @ home. Participants downloaded a program that used the power of their video cards and calculated their own little piece of data. At first, the program was downloaded by 700 computers. And the power was 000 exoflops. But over time, the peak processing power was more than 1.5 exaflops, or 2.4 x 2.4 ^ 10 operations per second. That is, it is almost 18 times more powerful than the current top 2 supercomputers combined.

Nvidia: why it is worth updating your graphics card, even if you have done it recently

About new displays and solutions for gamers

Screens

Nvidia has G-Sync technology to avoid tearing in games by synchronizing the screen refresh rate to the FPS (frames per second). In general, this technology is important for competitive games like CS or Valorant. These games have relatively simple graphics, thanks to which high FPS are available. Coupled with displays with a high refresh rate, this gives a smoother picture. Relatively speaking, in the picture below, at a low refresh rate, the “target” will slip past the sight, since the screen simply will not draw. Nvidia introduced 360Hz screens and the “target” will be rendered.

The screens are already made by Acer, Dell, ASUS, MSI. By the way, I have a theory that ordinary people will understand the pleasure of high refresh rates in games using smartphones. Still, in laptops, such screens are quite rare, and in phones, frequencies of 90 and 120 Hz are already becoming the norm. And having played at 120 Hz in the same Call of Duty Mobile, you will immediately understand the difference and want it to be so always and everywhere. However, I do this text on a Dell G7 with a 300 Hz screen. And even in Microsoft Word, 300 Hz is not a hunchback.

Along the way, Nvidia introduced the Nvidia Reflex technology. This is a thing for game developers that will allow them to reduce the delays that occur from the moment the mouse is clicked to the action being displayed on the screen.

Nvidia: why it is worth updating your graphics card, even if you have done it recently

For a better understanding, watch the example in the video below. I set the timer to start at 58 seconds. The video is in English, but it is understandable without words.

Gadgets for streaming

Unexpectedly, it turns out that there are 1.5 billion gamers and as many as 20 million streamers in the world.

Nvidia: why it is worth updating your graphics card, even if you have done it recently

For streamers, Nvidia has introduced streaming apps. Available in September. The application has a few nice things, looking at which, I thought it would be cool if Nvidia made its own analogue of Skype.

The app can do 3 cool things. The first is to change the background. At the same time, judging by the demo video, Nvidia is better at replacing the background than Skype or Zoom.

Secondly, it is noise reduction. As an example, they showed a girl who dries her hair with a hairdryer, and a guy is broadcasting nearby, but no noise from a hairdryer is heard.

Nvidia: why it is worth updating your graphics card, even if you have done it recently

Thirdly, it is a tracking camera. That is, you can deviate left and right, and your webcam, as a real operator, will follow by moving the picture.

The coolest thing is that these are all software pieces, that is, they will work with any microphone and webcam. I would like to believe that such things will stimulate manufacturers to put better quality webcams at least in gaming laptops.

Nvidia: why it is worth updating your graphics card, even if you have done it recently

Machinima

This is news for developers, but you and I will reap the benefits. Machinima is the use of computer graphics to create cinematic quality content. Machinima makes a picture using only the capabilities of a particular computer and game engine.

Thus, Machinima is inferior in quality to 3D animation. Nvidia says things are about to change. The company offered its version of the NVIDIA Omniverse Machinima cinematic platform. To put it as simply as possible, static XNUMXD objects are taken, and the animation for them is done by artificial intelligence. That is, if before just a tree stood, now its leaves will rustle. To understand what exactly this is about, watch the minute video below. The picture is super juicy.

Nvidia: why it is worth updating your graphics card, even if you have done it recently

Second generation: next level RTX

The main driver behind such a powerful advance in technology is Nvidia’s use of artificial intelligence (AI). AI allows you to give a more detailed picture, spending less resources. So, for example, DLSS 2.0 allows the video card to display a 1440p image, and display 4K on the screen. At the same time, DLSS produces a picture in quality better than if the video card itself rendered 4K.

Nvidia: why it is worth updating your graphics card, even if you have done it recently

You can see other examples in the pictures below. This is a translation of an ordinary video into 3D, animation of the physics of objects (it is not clear in a static picture, but they show how a cloak flutters in the wind). Another great example is when AI based on audio makes facial expressions, choosing emotions.

Nvidia: why it is worth updating your graphics card, even if you have done it recently
Nvidia: why it is worth updating your graphics card, even if you have done it recently

At the presentation, the 2nd generation RTX was presented, created on the new AMPERE architecture. The word Samsung on the slide below says Nvidia is stamping at Samsung’s factory using 8nm technology. This is a great success for Samsung. There is a small fly in the ointment, which, due to problems with technology, could not be done using the 5 nm process. Rumors circulated, or maybe they were not going to. Apparently, an update will be made in a year. For Samsung, the partnership with Nvidia is a big success, especially considering the recent loss of Qualcomm, which decided to churn out its 5nm chipsets at TSMC.

Nvidia: why it is worth updating your graphics card, even if you have done it recently
Nvidia: why it is worth updating your graphics card, even if you have done it recently

As you can see, Nvidia says the new Ampere architecture is generally 2x cooler than Turing, which is the current samples on the market. In various exercises, the new architecture achieves a performance increase of 4-8 times.

Nvidia: why it is worth updating your graphics card, even if you have done it recently

Continuing the comparison with the previous generation, Nvidia remembered the video that it showed in the spring, in which, relatively speaking, there were all the achievements of AI, RT cores and everything else that is in video cards with the Turing architecture. The Turing architecture rendered images at 720p and 25 fps. Ampere does the same video at 1440p and 30 fps, while giving more depth and 130 separate light zones, while Turing had one common main light dome. For clarity, look at the 2 pictures below. Signature in the lower right corner. And remember that these are not pictures drawn by an artist, but made with a video card. Imagine how cool it will be when such graphics are ubiquitous in games.

Nvidia: why it is worth updating your graphics card, even if you have done it recentlyNvidia: why it is worth updating your graphics card, even if you have done it recently

Another feature is RTX IO, which will deal with texture decompression, removing from games the moments when you look into the distance, and there the image is still being rendered. On some games, loading screens in general may appear (and this is in the open world!). Previously, the processor was responsible for decompression, which accessed the system memory. Now the video card will be responsible for this. Along the way, the highlight is that if earlier the compressed image was first delivered to the decompressor, and only then read and output, now it is read first, then decompression and immediately use. All this allows you to significantly reduce the load on the processor. But for all this magic to work, as I understand it, the latest generations of NVMe SSD drives are also needed. It’s nice that RTX IO will be available on all RTX cards, so everyone can rejoice.

Nvidia: why it is worth updating your graphics card, even if you have done it recently

Watch the video below to see how it all works in Cyberpunk.

New RTX 30 Series Cards

Well, the highlight of the presentation was the demonstration of hardware – the new RTX 30 series cards. The most top-end is the RTX 3090. The size of the card turned out to be some kind of TsAR card. It occupies 3 slots high, 313 mm long and 138 mm wide. In comparison, the 2080 is only 267 x 116mm. Pictures have already appeared on the network showing that the new cards are higher than the Xbox. And the fans there, like Boeing’s turbines, will move the computer. He combined two cards via SLI, unscrewed the bottom of the system unit, and now the computer is like an air cushion … At the same time, Jensen Huang said that the new cards are 3 times quieter than the current ones.

Nvidia: why it is worth updating your graphics card, even if you have done it recentlyNvidia: why it is worth updating your graphics card, even if you have done it recentlyNvidia: why it is worth updating your graphics card, even if you have done it recentlyNvidia: why it is worth updating your graphics card, even if you have done it recently

Well, the characteristics are there to match: up to 24 GB GDDR6X VRAM, support for HDMI 2.1 (this is necessary in order to give a frequency of more than 4 Hz in 60K), 8K HDR with 60 fps gaming. The RTX 3090 card for the ultimate geeks who don’t count the coins in their wallet. And, of course, for professionals in industries where the maximum, both graphic and overall performance, which a video card can give is important.

Nvidia: why it is worth updating your graphics card, even if you have done it recentlyNvidia: why it is worth updating your graphics card, even if you have done it recentlyNvidia: why it is worth updating your graphics card, even if you have done it recently

Comparison of performance Nvidia showed on the graph. However, the RTX 3080 became the flagship. The price remained the same as the RTX 2080 Super. The ordinate (this is vertical) shows the performance gain. Accordingly, 1080 Ti owners may consider upgrading. Well, those who bought the 2080 Super Ti are sad that they just did not wait for new cards.

Nvidia: why it is worth updating your graphics card, even if you have done it recently

For a better understanding, if we compare 2080 and 3080, it turns out that on ultra-settings, on average, Full HD 2080 gives 153 FPS, and 3080 – 241 FPS. And in 4K 69 FPS versus 106 FPS.

Nvidia also showed a comparison of how the new card behaves in Doom Eternal in 4K. So, RTX 2080 Ti produces around 90 FPS, while RTX 3080 – 125-130 FPS. This is great news for gamers looking to put together a 4K gaming kit with a 144Hz monitor.

The first performance comparisons made by non-marketing Nvidia are already starting to appear on the web. More information will be available when the cards finally go on sale on September 17th.

Nvidia: why it is worth updating your graphics card, even if you have done it recently

Source: Digital Foundry & Eurogamer

Why is everyone so excited about the new cards?

Without spreading my thoughts along the tree, I will list briefly:

  • Nvidia has really taken a big leap forward. Pascal architecture cards – 16 nm and 23 million transistors per mm ^ 2, Turing cards – 12 nm and 25 23 million transistors per mm ^ 2, new Ampere – 8 nm and 56 million transistors per mm ^ 2
  • Take another look at the performance graph. Even the weakest card, the RTX 3070 is more powerful than the RTX 2080 Ti. Moreover, the price is more than 2 times lower. I can’t remember when Nvidia did this to make the lowest card in the new line outperform the highest in the old.
  • Nvidia has kept prices down. New cards, despite new technologies, algorithms and, in the end, twice as many transistors, cost the same.
  • And, of course, the graphics capabilities of the new cards are beyond praise.

Thought why Nvidia kept the same prices.

At the presentation, it was announced that Fortnite now supports ray tracing. The game has 350 million users. This is Nvidia’s greatest opportunity to showcase its achievements and attract new supporters. If ray tracing in Fortnite comes in handy, it will force other manufacturers to integrate a similar solution.

AMD will soon unveil its cards that will also finally support ray tracing. Accordingly, Nvidia is losing the USP, which it flaunted for the past 2 years. And now is not the time to raise the price.

What about the competitors?

You might think the text is overly positive towards Nvidia. But I don’t consider it necessary to restrain myself, since Nvidia is in fact a monopolist in its market. When buying a computer, you can choose Windows or macOS, Intel or AMD, Dell or Lenovo, but when it comes to choosing graphics, there is no alternative. And after the current announcement, who can disagree with this statement? Perhaps only Frank Azor, who works at AMD as the chief architect of gaming solutions and marketing, and described Nvidia’s presentation as “a good announcement.” He also added that he couldn’t wait to launch the new Radeon and how lucky gamers are this year. Well, Scott Herkelman, chief in the AMD Radeon division, reacted amusingly on Twitter to the phrase that AMD graphics could not keep up with Nvidia.

Nvidia: why it is worth updating your graphics card, even if you have done it recently

Intriguing. Especially when you remember that AMD slightly clipped Nvidia’s wings with the release of the Radeon RX 5600 XT and forcing the price of the RTX 2060 to drop. Actually, I am a bit rooting for AMD, their success means discounts from Nvidia.

It should be clarified here that AMD has no goal of outperforming Nvidia in terms of performance. And they can’t. But they are quite capable of delivering 15% worse performance, with ray tracing finally appearing in the expected RDNA 2 graphics. At the same time, make the price $ 50-100 lower. Here, of course, you need to look at how it will work, but there will definitely be clients who want to save money. AMD is following Xiaomi’s strategy, offering a slightly worse product than the flagship, but at an attractive price.

Conclusion

In terms of performance, Nvidia has indeed achieved what is arguably the most significant leap in the history of cards. And this is very joyful. First, the new maps will be relevant for many years. It will take a long time for game makers to fully exploit the potential of the cards. Secondly, this kind of performance will boost the quality of graphics not only in games, but also wherever Nvidia graphics are used. That is, the new superhero “Avengers” or “Arguments” will be even more beautiful and realistic.

It remains behind the scenes how the Max-Q versions of the cards for laptops will look like. And not only Max-Q. For example, I recently did an article about Microsoft Flight Simulator, which ran on an HP Omen laptop with a regular version of the RTX 2070. How will a 3070 or 3080 be crammed, for example? Are we going down the path of thickening and making gaming laptops again? Let me remind you that only recently Lenovo showed a gaming Legion with a thickness of 18 mm and a weight of 1.7 kg, which can be called an ultrabook.

In short, there is a lot of interesting things ahead – real performance tests, mobile versions, presentations of competitors. Will be good.

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