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A Glance At NVIDIA's 2006 Plans

Just yesterday, we had a conference call with Ujesh Desai, NVIDIA's General Manager of GPU. He wanted to give us some updates on NVIDIA's latest GPU developments as well as some glimpses of what NVIDIA has in store for us in 2006.

Although over 95% of what was discussed cannot be revealed, we can touch on some topics, including some which were mentioned at the recent NVIDIA press event in Singapore. Still, what we can reveal are interesting enough. Just imagine what we were not allowed to reveal! Let's take a look!


Quad SLI

If you are wondering what's the point of going Quad SLI, NVIDIA has that covered. In 2006, they are going to be advocating the benefits of Extreme HD Gaming. HD here referring to High Definition.

He pointed at Xbox 360 which only supports a HD resolution of 1280x1024. While that may be something for console users, many PC gamers are already playing at resolutions of 1600x1200. So, it isn't farfetched for NVIDIA to promote the Extreme HD resolution of 2560x1600 this year. In fact, such a high resolution would currently be the only way to actually utilize the Quad SLI's massive processing capabilities.

Of course, the availability of LCD panels that can support such extreme resolutions are currently few and extremely limited. Still, NVIDIA is confident that Dell and Apple will, in 2006, be able to increase delivery of their 30" panels that support such resolutions. Alternatively, you can settle for 24" panels that support 1920x1200.

But let's come back to Quad SLI itself. Unlike what some people predicted, Quad SLI will not be a one-off technology demo or even shipped exclusively in Dell's XPS 600 Renegade PC (if and when it is made available). Instead, NVIDIA intends to make Quad SLI available to everyone in spring!

Instead of being a technical side-show, the GeForce 7800 GTX Quad SLI will actually be part of the NVIDIA roadmap, as NVIDIA's ultimate graphics solution. In fact, in NVIDIA's roadmap, it appears to beat even the future GeForce "Next". Just how powerful it is? Take a look at the chart on the right!

Great numbers but do note that this Quad SLI solution will "sap" more CPU power than a standard SLI solution. You need to use absolutely the fastest processor available if you want to properly run Quad SLI.

Talking about power, although the Quad SLI setup at CES 2006 used external power supplies to run the cards, NVIDIA is expected to support both external power as well as internal power in their retail Quad SLI solution. So, if you have a 1KW power supply, you are set for Quad SLI, but you need not fret if you only have a 400W PSU. You can always use external power supplies.

Of course, the ultimate question would be just how much will Quad SLI cost? Unfortunately, we will have to wait until spring to see just how expensive NVIDIA's Quad SLI solution will be when it debuts in the retail market.


SLI For Notebooks

NVIDIA is going into SLI overdrive. Even notebooks will soon support SLI!

Jean-Marc Ludwig, NVIDIA's Product Line Manager for nForce spoke a little about it during the nForce4 Press Briefing in Singapore recently. It was one of the SLI-related projects that NVIDIA was actively working on.

During the conference call, Ujesh also touched a little on this project. Unfortunately, we cannot say anything about this just yet. Well, except that it's just on the horizon.

More details will be forthcoming shortly. We will keep you updated on this exciting development.


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