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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti Review

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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti Closer Look:

With virtual reality gaining steam, NVIDIA is currently maximizing its hardware to drive the next generation of VR devices. Let's look a bit more at what NVIDIA has to say.

GameWorks VR:

"NVIDIA is working with hardware and software vendors in the VR space to ensure that gamers can seamlessly enjoy VR on the GeForce platform. As a result of this effort, our engineers have developed a number of technologies that are designed to provide the best VR experience for our users. With our GameWorks VR initiative, we’ve provided a complete set of APIs and libraries for VR handset manufacturers and game developers. In order to provide an immersive VR experience, VR headsets utilize an advanced optics system that includes a high resolution display and a lens which rests in front of the display, inches from the end user’s eye. This lens is the key to creating the focus and field of view needed to provide an immersive experience. It transforms the light from the display to a wide field of view that’s focused on the user’s eye. The display renders a warped “fisheye”-like image in order to match the optics of the lens: the center of the image is enlarged, while the periphery compressed. The end result looks correctly proportioned to the user’s eye allowing them to focus on the center, and provides a wide field of view.Because GPUs have been designed to render to a 2D screen, they can’t natively render the warped/fisheye images that are required for VR."

 

 

"Instead, the GPU renders the image normally and warps the periphery of the image just before it’s sent out to the display.While this solution works for VR, it isn’t very efficient. Because the GPU renders the entire 2D scene in full detail, a lot of pixels are essentially thrown away when the GPU warps the image for the VR display: when the GPU warps the image, many of the pixels in the periphery of the scene aren’t used. In the middle of the image, the rendering is efficient – the resolution is about the same as the final warped image resolution. However the periphery is not rendered efficiently; there are many more pixels shaded than are actually used in the final warped image. NVIDIA Multi-Res Shading has been developed to improve the GPU’s efficiency when rendering graphics for VR. Multi-Res Shading utilizes the multi-projection engine that is found in our latest GM2xx Maxwell GPUs.NVIDIA Multi-Res Shading works by subdividing the image into separate viewports. Each viewport is scaled to a different size based on the maximum sampling resolution needed within that portion of the image. The center viewport stays the same size, while the outer viewports can be scaled down to match the lower resolutions in the periphery. Maxwell’s multi-projection engine accelerates the geometry broadcast stage that’s used to create the various viewports. Instead of re-rendering the scene in multiple passes for each viewport, Maxwell’s multi-projection engine renders the geometry, tags it and broadcasts it out to the appropriate viewports all in a single pass. NVIDIA’s Multi-Res Shading provides a 1.3X-2X improvement in pixel shader performance compared to traditional rendering for VR. It’s available as part of the GameWorks SDK for VR game developers."

   

 

"The GeForce ecosystem provides the ultimate gaming platform for VR. GeForce GTX GPUs deliver the best game performance, and thanks to new graphics features found in our latest GM2xx Maxwell GPUs like multi-projection, GeForce GTX GPUs provide the most advanced features for gamers available and even better performance for VR. It’s about more than just hardware though. The GeForce gaming platform includes the best software in the industry as well. Through GeForce Experience we provide users with Game Ready Drivers that are available the moment the hottest new game titles are released, with up-to-date SLI profiles and the latest performance optimizations. In addition, GeForce Experience includes Optimal Settings which are tailored for each user’s particular hardware configuration so that games run at the perfect frame rates for an enjoyable experience. This is an important point for VR in particular, as high frame rates and smooth frame delivery are critical requirements that are needed in order to deliver a good gaming experience for VR: excessive stuttering can give the VR user headaches or make them sick to their stomach. So it’s highly important that the graphics driver powering the GPU has been optimized for VR usage, and with optimal settings, the user doesn’t have to poke around and experiment with different settings until they find the right combination that doesn’t make them feel sick when gaming on their VR headset. Finally, with GameWorks VR, NVIDIA provides a set of APIs and libraries for VR makers and game developers that will help them improve their VR performance. Multi-Res Shading is a key example of this."

 

There is a lot of tech going on behind the scenes to make all this work, and the upcoming move to Windoows 10 and DX 12 will prove mighty interesting when it all shakes out.

 

Source: NVIDIA GTX 980 Ti documentation




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