Nvidia’s Sr. Vice President, Investor Relations, Mike Hara, has played down the significance of DirectX 11 at the Deutsche Bank Securities Technology Conference. Instead, Mr. Hard insists technologies like CUDA, PhysX and Stereo 3D Vision are the future.

“DirectX 11 by itself is not going be the defining reason to buy a new GPU. It will be one of the reasons. This is why Microsoft is in work with the industry to allow more freedom and more creativity in how you build content, which is always good, and the new features in DirectX 11 are going to allow people to do that. But that no longer is the only reason, we believe, consumers would want to invest in a GPU,” explains Mr. Hara.

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Nvidia’s Sr. Vice President, Investor Relations, Mike Hara, has played down the significance of DirectX 11 at the Deutsche Bank Securities Technology Conference. Instead, Mr. Hard insists technologies like CUDA, PhysX and Stereo 3D Vision are the future.

“DirectX 11 by itself is not going be the defining reason to buy a new GPU. It will be one of the reasons. This is why Microsoft is in work with the industry to allow more freedom and more creativity in how you build content, which is always good, and the new features in DirectX 11 are going to allow people to do that. But that no longer is the only reason, we believe, consumers would want to invest in a GPU,” explains Mr. Hara.

“Now, we know, people are doing a lot in the area of video, people are going to do more and more in the area of photography… I think that the things we are doing would allow the GPU to be a co-processor to the CPU and deliver better user experience, better battery life and make that computers little bit more optimized.”

It is clear Mr. Hara is pushing CUDA and compute shader performance over gaming performance.

“Graphics industry, I think, is on the point that microprocessor industry was several years ago, when AMD made the public confession that frequency does not matter anymore and it is more about performance per watt. I think we are the same crossroad with the graphics world: framerate and resolution are nice, but today they are very high and going from 120fps to 125fps is not going to fundamentally change end-user experience. But I think the things that we are doing with Stereo 3D Vision, PhysX, about making the games more immersive, more playable is beyond framerates and resolutions. Nvidia will show with the next-generation GPUs that the compute side is now becoming more important that the graphics side,” concluded Mr. Hara.

To be fair, Mike Hara makes a lot of sense in saying framerates aren’t the primary concern – even current generation GPUs churn out playable framerates in almost all games across all common resolutions, mostly due to games being led by consoles than anything else. We must remember, though, that it was AMD/ATI who put forth the cost/performance, performance/watt policy starting with the HD 3800 series, continuing to HD 4800, whereas Nvidia insisted on outright performance on a large, hot monolithic die with the GTX 200 series. Moreover, rumours suggest GT300 may be a monster of a chip – rather than a cool, efficient one. Either Nvidia have done a total U-turn or Mr. Hara’s statement is contradictory to Nvidia’s policy.

Moving to the argument that the compute performance is more important than graphics performance – first and foremost, a GPU is designed for graphics – and most GPU consumers intend to play 3D games using them. Stream processing on general applications can be a great bonus – in fact many creative personnel may choose a GPU solely for stream processing purposes, but the majority of consumers are still gamers. Perhaps Nvidia believes there’s greater potential in the stream processing market? Besides, DirectCompute 11 and OpenCL can do what CUDA does – with a much wider acceptance, although efficiency and ease-of-coding is debatable at this point. PhysX and Stereo 3D Vision are cool features which enhance gaming experience, no doubt, but so do certain DX11 features (such as Tessellation), Havok and ATI Eyefinity. It is fair to say though, that at this stage, these are technologies of the future, and none of them have gained widespread acceptance thus far. We will have to wait and see which of these take off. There should not be any doubt though – GPUs are primarily intended for rendering 3D games, and we hope GT300 can do just that with great aplomb.

Reference: Xbitlabs