nVIDIA's New GeForce4 Ti and GeForce4 MX
The NV25 and NV17 Debut

By Dave Altavilla
2/6/02

  
With all this new technology and horsepower under the hood, it is to be expected that NVIDIA is going to raise the bar once again with respect to not only frame rate but image quality and realism.  There are several new features and capabilities of the GeForce4 family of products.  We'll cover them briefly here.

More Features of the NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti and MX
NVIDIA's New Song Sheet Continues
 

NVIDIA's GeForce4 Ti Die Map:

 

Physically represented here, we see the GeForce4 Ti's Dual Vertex Shaders that make up the "nfiniteFX II" Engine, as well as it's Accuview AA Engine, Texture Units and 4 way memory cross bar controller.  The GF4 Ti's memory controller incorporates NVIDIA's LMAII (Light Speed Memory Architecture II) technology with 4:1 lossless Z-Data Compression, the Quad Cache architecture that we spoke of earlier and second generation Occlusion Culling. This version of Occlusion Culling, allows the GPU to eliminate rendering of hidden surfaces and objects that are not visible in the background of a scene.

 

NVIDIA's GeForce4 MX Die Map:

 

In this map of the GeForce4 MX, the Pixel and Vertex Shaders are missing but are replaced with a TV Encoder and a full MPEG 2 Decode Processing Engine, with on board Motion Compensation and IDCT (inverse discrete cosine transform).  NVIDIA's thought process was that the MX product needed the MPEG2 features on board since "budget" systems can benefit from the hardware assist of this engine when playing digital video.  The GF4 Ti product does not include the full MPEG2 Decode stack.  In higher end systems the CPU can handle the extra payload for MPEG2 decode in software, with relative ease.  Finally, the GF4MX also includes LMAII technology but does so with a 2 way cross bar controller, versus the 4 way controller in the Ti product.

nView Technology:
Simply put, NVIDIAs Multi-Monitor and Dual Independent Display technology, now called "nView", has been polished up nicely.  It seems as though NVIDIA has taken their solution here to the maturity and feature level, formerly only available from the folks at Matrox.  nView  is available on both the GF4 Ti and MX and enables the following:

  • Multi-desktop tools

    • Multi-desktop integration

    • Full featured interface including explorer
      browser with birds-eye views of desktops

    • Toolbar control available as well for those
      needing a streamlined, low real- estate interface

  • Window management

    • Individual application control

    • Window & dialog repositioning

  • Application management

    • Transparency & colored transparency window options

    • Extends functionality of all applications

    • Pop- up menu control

One thing that really caught our eye here was the transparent window feature.  Perhaps this is more of a novelty right now to us but in the future we could see getting very comfortable with this new tool.

 

nfiniteFX II Engine:
This feature is exclusive to the GeForce4 Titanium.  It is NVIDIA's second generation Pixel and Vertex Shader Engine with full DirectX 8.1 compliance.  This time, with the GF4 Ti, the engine is driven by Dual Vertex Shaders, where formerly in the GeForce3, there was only one Vertex shader.  These shaders together are capable of processing up to 136 million vertices per second.  This allows for developers to implement significantly more detailed and complex scenes than ever before.  More polygons, higher levels of character skeletal detail and more densely populated scenery, is promised to be driven at smooth frame rates.  Here are a few NVIDIA demo shots to give you an idea of what the GeForce4 is capable of rendering.  Click images for full viewing...
 

NV's Wolfman
 

Tiger Woods 2002
 

Morrowind
 

Although the actual game titles seen here are very impressive, NVIDIA's own technology demo and team mascot, "Mojo Wolf" is perhaps the most impressive, with a glimpse of the massively complex structures that can be rendered in real-time on the PC, with the help of the GeForce4.  Take a look at the fuzzy hairs protruding all around the Wolfman's face.  Clearly NVIDIA's vision is one of a whole new realism, with this technology demo.  Finally, the water hazard that Tiger is chipping over, in the Tiger Woods 2002 screenshot, was co-developed by NVIDIA with Electronic Arts.  Once again, the realism is taken up a notch by the NVIDIA team.

 

Accuview AA,