Built for DirectX11 Tessellation

The last innovation that fundamentally altered 3D realism was pixel shading. The next great breakthrough is tessellation. The central feature of DirectX 11 and used in critically acclaimed games like Metro 2033 and Civilization V, tessellation allows the game designer to pack an enormous amount of geometry in the scene without sacrificing performance. Tessellation enables a wide range of visual effects that have previously been out of reach, such as:

  • Organic characters with perfectly smooth curves
  • Super fine surface detail such as thorns, nails, and skin aberrations
  • Vast terrain rendering with complex geometric detail
  • Dynamic level of detail with seamless transitions

Based on NVIDIA’s revolutionary Fermi architecture, GeForce GTX 400/500 series GPUs handle tessellation unlike any other GPU. Instead of using a single serial unit for tessellation, Fermi based GPUs perform tessellation across up to 16 parallel engines. The result is a breakthrough in tessellation performance—up to 2 billion triangles per second, or 8x faster versus competing GPUs.

Tessellation makes it possible to create vast cities with almost unlimited detail as shown in the Endless City Demo.

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PhysX is the only physics engine that taps into the power of the GPU for physics computation. Used by the ubiquitous Unreal Engine, PhysX has been at the forefront in bringing physically simulated effects to games. In Mafia II, PhysX was used to create fluid flowing character clothing. In Batman: Arkham Asylum, PhysX introduced interactive smoke, GPU rigid bodies, and debris. In Dark Void, PhysX modeled the complex turbulence effects of the jetpack.

Behind PhysX is the power of the GPU. With Fermi, we set out to push the boundaries of GPU physics further. Not only did we double the number of CUDA cores over the prior generation, we designed a new cache architecture that provides enormous bandwidth on-chip. The result is greatly improved performance and efficiency. Physics simulations with over a hundred thousand particles can be achieved in realtime. Physics intensive titles like Dark Void perform up to twice as fast as previous generation GPUs.

PhysX simulates smoke using detailed fluid dynamics models. Complex effects such as turbulence are depicted with incredible finesse and accuracy.

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NVIDIA 3D Vision Surround

NVIDIA 3D Vision Surround dramatically expands both the width and depth of the gaming experience. NVIDIA 3D Vision combines high-tech wireless 3D glasses and advanced software that automatically transforms over 400 PC games into full stereoscopic 3D. The added third dimension breathes new life into classic titles such as Unreal Tournament 3 and completely transforms new, 3D optimized titles such as Call of Duty: Black Ops and Battlefield Bad Company 2.

When NVIDIA 3D Vision is extended to surround mode, the game can be played across three monitors, enabling a vast field of view. In first person shooters, enemies on the flanks can be spotted ahead of time. In flight simulators, a full virtual cockpit with side windows can be experienced. With a combination of 3D and surround, NVIDIA 3D Vision Surround provides the most immersive gaming experience of any platform to date.

NVIDIA Surround combines multiple displays to act as one larger display to create a panoramic view
in 3D games.

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Realtime Raytracing

Considered by many as the holy grail of graphics, ray tracing produces images with perfect reflections and refractions, accurate shadows, and photorealistic lighting. It is the rendering technique of choice for graphics professionals, but up until now, it has been limited to non-realtime applications. Thanks to Fermi’s advanced compute architecture, GeForce GTX 400/500 GPUs are able to perform raytracing in realtime, at up to 15 frames per second. For even higher visual realism, the GPU can also perform pathtracing for true global illumination. The results are images so refined that they are indistinguishable from scenes in computer generated films.


A Bugatti Veyron rendered with path tracing using NVIDIA OptiX technology. OptiX integrates easily with game engines, allowing racing games to leverage ray tracing for near-photorealistic glamour shots in gallery mode.

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