NVIDIA has announced the availability of the next generation of graphics cards. The GeForce GTX 980 and 970 are Maxwell based high performance GPUs, which was leaked to be some of the most powerful around. Aside from the expected bumps in performance, these cards are equipped with the new Voxel Global Illumination technology to improve on in-game lighting effects. They also implement some new features for the impending VR headset revolution.
Maxwell is the next generation of GPU architecture from NVIDIA, and represents the successor to the Kepler architecture. With this, NVIDIA intends to solve complex lighting and graphical challenges in visual computing. Essentially, the GTX 980 and 970 will both provide realistic lighting to games to increase the immersion level.
The cards are also fitted with Multi-frame Sampled Anti-Aliasing (MFAA) and Dynamic Super Resolution (DSR). MFAA reduces the processing power needed to enable Anti-Aliasing, which NVIDIA claims will allow for 4x AA at the cost of 2x AA. DSR on the other hand aims to deliver higher image quality on standard 1080p displays. It will allow the GPUs to render graphics at 4K resolution, then scale it down to the native resolution of the display. Which in theory should deliver a sharper image than simply rendering at 1080p.
VR Direct is NVIDIA laying the groundwork for the expected boom in VR gaming headsets like the Oculus Rift. The feature covers a few things like allowing SLI configurations to output for the VR headsets, while implementing something called the Asynchronous Warp. This will apparently cut down latency and prevent users from getting motion sickness by quickly adjusting frames when the user moves his head without having to re-render images.
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 and GTX 970 GPUs are now available in stores. Pricing is expected to start at US$549 for the GTX 980 and US$329 for the GTX 970.