Nvidia shows off Kepler GPU’s power

Not to mention FXAA, its new streamlined anti-aliasing process
Darren Allan

March 12, 2012
Samaritan Demo

The GeForce GTX 580 is currently the king of PC graphics on the Nvidia side of the equation.

However, the company is about to launch its new Kepler GPU inside the next few weeks, with the 580 starting to come in for price cuts in advance of this.

And some interesting news has emerged about the power of the Kepler range, with Nvidia boasting about a demo of Epic’s Samaritan game at the Game Developer Conference (GDC) last week.

Previously, Samaritan’s leading edge visuals took no less than three GTX 580s to run the demo in question, which you can see here on YouTube.

At GDC, however, Epic and Nvidia had it running on a single Kepler video board. So does that mean the next-gen graphics tech from Nvidia is three times as powerful as the top-end GTX 580?

No, that isn’t the full story, but the Kepler board is clearly very impressive. As well as the Kepler card, the demo has been optimised, and Nvidia has introduced new FXAA technology (Fast Approximate Anti-Aliasing).

FXAA is a new shader-based anti-aliasing technique which is a far more optimised process, and indeed could mean that Samaritan might run on a single GTX 580 – maybe – or certainly just twin SLI cards as opposed to three.

Both Kepler and FXAA seem to make a compelling argument for taking the Nvidia route, although we’ll wait for the real world benchmarks to roll in before we start declaring Nvidia is winning the graphics war.


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