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World's First 2GB Graphics Card Is Here

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the way-too-much-overkill dept.

Graphics 400

An anonymous reader writes "TUL Corporation's PCS HD4850 is the world's first graphics card to offer on-board 2gig video memory. The card is based on RV770 core chip, with 800 stream processors and 2GB of GDDR3 high-speed memory." That's more memory than I've had in any computer prior to this year — for a video card.

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I'm the first one (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24197267)

I'm the first one

First Wii reference. (2, Insightful)

twitter (104583) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197655)

It's funny how little hardware is required to make playable games. The Wii [wikipedia.org] , for example, gets buy with an 800 MHz PowerPC and 88MB of RAM and 24 MB for the GPU. More is always better, but sooner or later it's going to be overkill.

Why do you do this? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24198045)

I saw this [slashdot.org] posted elsewhere and took the time to read through it. I think the evidence presented there is very much incontrovertible.

Honest question, why do you do all that? Don't you have better uses for your time? A family? Hobbies?

Re:First Wii reference. (3, Insightful)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 6 years ago | (#24198217)

Whether a game is playable or not is irrelevant to this particular debate - if you want games to look better, or better-looking games to run faster, then you need more power.

I can't believe I have to actually explain that.

2GB of memory for a videocard, eh? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24197275)

Great for the pointless eye-candy first-person shooters. For everything else, there's MasterCard.

you have no idea (2, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197321)

the 'eye candy' in that 'the pointless eye candy first person shooter' term of yours becomes SO real that it boggles your mind. i dont like fpses. but then again, that kind of graphics, makes some fpses worth playing.

Re:you have no idea (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24197437)

i dont like fpses. but then again, that kind of graphics, makes some fpses worth playing.

And that right there sums up the problem with the gaming industry. Game producers don't even need to worry about whether their game is any good simply because some people will play it just because it's shiny (unity100, I'm looking right at you).

Re:you have no idea (5, Interesting)

Jasonjk74 (1104789) | more than 6 years ago | (#24198057)

i dont like fpses. but then again, that kind of graphics, makes some fpses worth playing. And that right there sums up the problem with the gaming industry. Game producers don't even need to worry about whether their game is any good simply because some people will play it just because it's shiny (unity100, I'm looking right at you).

That's one of the easiest ways to be modded +5 insightful on /., just complain about games with good graphics not having any creativity. What about the games with bad graphics and bad gameplay? The two are not mutually exclusive. Games are a visual medium, they are supposed to look good.

Re:you have no idea (4, Insightful)

Torvaun (1040898) | more than 6 years ago | (#24198293)

How about games with good gameplay and bad graphics? Those exist too, and they are better than games with good graphics and bad gameplay.

Re:2GB of memory for a videocard, eh? (5, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197559)

Actually, it's pointless for FPS style games. They'll never use even a GB of that memory effectively because the games are designed around people with 512MB at the high end. The only reason I see to buy this card is maybe there are drivers optimized for professional work where the memory requirements are much higher (3D modelers and the like).

Re:2GB of memory for a videocard, eh? (5, Informative)

TheEmrys (1315483) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197765)

Depends on the resolution. If you are playing at 2560x1920, with AA and AF at high levels, and texture details set high, you can eat up quite a lot of memory.

And also.... (3, Insightful)

DrYak (748999) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197775)

where the memory requirements are much higher (3D modelers and the like).

Also medical imagery (specially volumes, like MRI and CT).
And GPGPU (using Brook+) to perform complex calculation on huge datasets.

And maybe.... (2, Funny)

DrYak (748999) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197823)

...and maybe also playing Crysis 2.
With all settings put to "low".
And with Aero disabled.

Re:2GB of memory for a videocard, eh? (1)

kabocox (199019) | more than 6 years ago | (#24198271)

Actually, it's pointless for FPS style games. They'll never use even a GB of that memory effectively because the games are designed around people with 512MB at the high end. The only reason I see to buy this card is maybe there are drivers optimized for professional work where the memory requirements are much higher (3D modelers and the like).

I always thought that FPS was the genre that was really pushing this gotta have a massive video card thing. I couldn't even tell you what my video card is other than nvidia something. I've got 512MB of main memory. The only two games that I really hurt playing on my system are simcity4 and civ4. Both are perfectly playable, but Civ4 crawls way sooner than most civ games. Used to be you'd expect those end game turns to take 15-20 min to complete. Now it's those beginning to mid game turns taking that long.

SimCity4 will load and play. It'll take "awhile" to load though. I've gotten off the entire PC gaming thing lately. Last Christmas my wife got me like 12 PS2 RPGs. I've yet to make it through about half of them.

Go to walmart and see that desktop/laptop that they are selling for about $500. That's what game makers really want to be their base line target audience. Oh, they'll make it where $3500 rigs will make their product really shiny, but when it comes down to it, that'll always be a niche audience. It's those masses of PC owners that the game makers really want to sell to.

Re:2GB of memory for a videocard, eh? (0, Troll)

Kamokazi (1080091) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197609)

Actually no game currently utilizes that much video memory (unless one does some funky pre-loading I haven't heard about). Heck few even use more than 512MB.

Re:2GB of memory for a videocard, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24198101)

Last years ATI FireGL V8650 has 2GB of video memory. THEY were the first in the industry with 2GBs.

Come on guys.

But (1)

aeskdar (1136689) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197291)

But will it run crysis?

Bottlenecks? (5, Insightful)

Squapper (787068) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197293)

The article mentions that too little video memory can be a bottleneck. But wouldn't squeezing 2 gigs of memory on a graphics card simply move the limiting bottlenecks elsewhere?

Re:Bottlenecks? (4, Insightful)

Applekid (993327) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197443)

But wouldn't squeezing 2 gigs of memory on a graphics card simply move the limiting bottlenecks elsewhere?

Well, sure. No matter how good your gaming rig is there's always going to be a bottleneck. And if it's an older game that runs 200 fps at full detail, then the bottleneck is the game itself capping maximum poly/texture counts (ie. the detail itself).

But the whole point of having and maintaining l33t gamer systems is to continually shift that bottleneck somewhere else which is also farther up the scale of performance so you keep getting a better gaming experience with each iteration.

Re:Bottlenecks? (4, Interesting)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197447)

The article mentions that too little video memory can be a bottleneck. But wouldn't squeezing 2 gigs of memory on a graphics card simply move the limiting bottlenecks elsewhere?

I understand your question, but the whole point is that sometimes a game can be sluggish only because there is not enough memory and not even remotely close because of core performance. Today's games and the future brings us more games that utilize all the extreme amounts of memory, which ultimately results in greater textures and more variety.

But to answer your question: there's always going to be at least one bottleneck, but by adding more memory, at least they raised the bar a bit. Not that today's games are going to run much faster with this, but upcoming titles will.

Re:Bottlenecks? (1)

EricR86 (1144023) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197721)

Not that today's games are going to run much faster with this, but upcoming titles will.

I'm not entirely sold on that point. I'd imagine that developers already try to throw as much rendering information into the card's memory as-is allowing for the "overflow" to be stored in system memory. But I would imagine this process is done transparently by the driver anyway (AFAIK). Removing this "overflow" for most current games could improve performance by the same amount as any other newer games that come to market.

Re:Bottlenecks? (1)

Bibz (849958) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197457)

Maybe, but if it was the bottleneck, then the "new" bottleneck will be less restrictive than the memory was.

Re:Bottlenecks? (3, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197463)

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. You beef up the weakest link. The chain still has a weakest link, but the overall strength is raised.

Re:Bottlenecks? (1)

qw0ntum (831414) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197485)

Maybe, but you've eliminated this one... There's always going to be a limiting factor somewhere, you've just reduced the effect that too little memory will have.

Re:Bottlenecks? (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197517)

There is always a bottleneck, somewhere.

If you want to call it that. Otherwise, I call it the weakest link in a chain, which seems more appropriate, because bottleneck implies substantial slowdown at a single point along the way, where a weak link indicates something that could be improved, but otherwise is functional.

At some point, all the graphic eye candy and having 50K FPS refresh at 8000 x 6000 is pointless. Unless you're playing in a holodeck, that is.

Re:Bottlenecks? (4, Insightful)

El Gigante de Justic (994299) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197579)

Yes, it could, unless you're running a 64-bit OS and processor. Most computers, which are 32-bit, have a total or 4 GB of addressable memory space, which includes video memory, sound card memory (if you actually still use one) and system RAM. Therefore, if you put in a 2GB video card, you can't make use more than 2 GB of system RAM.

The 4GB address limit is probably the best argument for why we should see more progression to 64 bit computing, but there isn't yet enough demand in the market to force the issue for at least a few more years.

Re:Bottlenecks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24197793)

Actually, your max ram would be less than 2GB. The processor, hard drives (think DMA) and other devices take up RAM addresses.

Re:Bottlenecks? (1)

mmkkbb (816035) | more than 6 years ago | (#24198253)

Most computers, which are 32-bit, have a total or 4 GB of addressable memory space, which includes video memory, sound card memory (if you actually still use one) and system RAM. Therefore, if you put in a 2GB video card, you can't make use more than 2 GB of system RAM.

Why would these devices' memories be mapped directly into system RAM?

Re:Bottlenecks? (1)

snarfies (115214) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197581)

Couldn't you make that same argument for EVERY component? If your CPU is the biggest bottleneck in your computer, and you replace it with a shiny new one, then something else (your 1 gig of RAM, what have you) will become the biggest bottleneck.

Re:Bottlenecks? (1)

qoncept (599709) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197855)

Sure, but isn't that how performance is improved? Through removing bottlenecks one at a time?

Re:Bottlenecks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24197881)

Don't read too much into it. I believe that this tweak was motivated by the marketing heads and has absolutely no solid technical background to begin with. It was a marketing manoeuvre targeted at those potential clients who believe that 2x is always assuredly better than 1x, specially in bragging rights.

Re:Bottlenecks? (1)

mikael (484) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197967)

Not really. The graphics card has 800 stream processors all running off cached texture memory to cached framebuffer memory (deferred rendering). Instead of simply fetching pixel data direct from texture memory and writing it directly out into framebuffer memory, the graphics card will maintain a texture cache (the current textures being used), and a framebuffer cache (the current area of the framebuffer being rendered). Then when there is no more pixels to be written, the framebuffer cache is written back into the framebuffer.

There is no upper limit on how much texture memory needed. For many applications like volume rendering with floating point data, the only limit is the amount of texture memory available.

Grammar Nazis, man your stations! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24197317)

> from the way-too-much-overkill dept.

AKA, the recursive tautology dept.

Those tubes.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24197345)

are defiantly going to be used now!

Wow.. (-1, Flamebait)

Higaran (835598) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197351)

That's more memory, than I think I've had in all the 5 or 6 computers I've had over the years, including the one I have right now that has 1gb card. I don't even put that much ram into pc's, I bet that this thing would have enough power to run all the AERO stuff in vista.

Re:Wow.. (4, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197557)

I bet that this thing would have enough power to run all the AERO stuff in vista.

Jesus, my ex's laptop runs Vista with Aero effects turned up to maximum with no problems and a crappy NVidia mobile GPU. This stupid "Aero eats your resources" meme needs to die.

By all means whale on MS, but at least do it for the right reasons.

Re:Wow.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24197729)

By all means whale on MS, but at least do it for the right reasons.

Clippy, Bob, Windows Media (WMV/WMA), PlayForSure, Xbox and Xbox 360 (both failures, in design and profits), Zune, Windows ME, Windows Vista.

Re:Wow.. (2, Insightful)

Klaus_1250 (987230) | more than 6 years ago | (#24198289)

Some of us actually miss Clippy.

To add to your list: Internet Explorer (for lack of security and disregard for following standards), OOXML (design, corruption of standarisation process, non-implementation), abuse of office furniture (notably chairs), abuse of monopoly (at least according to the EU), overpricing (settled for a billion dollar), ... Pretty sure this list of right reasons can go on for a while.

Re:Wow.. (1)

v1k (958019) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197861)

>By all means whale on MS, but at least do it for the right reasons.

Hehe you said whale. Because Vista is a whale. I get it.

Re:Wow.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24197929)

By all means whale on MS, but at least do it for the right reasons.

Or, if a whale is too heavy, just slap MS around a bit with a large trout.

Re:Wow.. (1)

sdpuppy (898535) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197791)

Well, then maybe some of that memory could be assigned for use with running programs and we can call it "Shared Video Memory"

uh, yeah it's been done before, but the other way around.

Re:Wow.. (3, Informative)

dave420 (699308) | more than 6 years ago | (#24198015)

Can we ditch this Aero meme now? It's not accurate, it was never accurate, and it makes everyone involved (including me by association) look like a complete retard. Aero works perfectly well on many low-end video cards produced in the last 4 or 5 years.

Better definition than real life. (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197361)

Anyone got the math for how much video memory you'd need to render a landscape at high enough resolution with a large and complex enough environment to fool the human eye?

Re:Better definition than real life. (1)

Squapper (787068) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197395)

That's more about the stream processor's ability to render complex shaders efficiently, than it is about the video memory.

Re:Better definition than real life. (1)

Daryen (1138567) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197653)

Anyone got the math for how much video memory you'd need to render a landscape at high enough resolution with a large and complex enough environment to fool the human eye?

The short answer is, no. The explanation is as follows:

From what I understand after reading a bit of Wikipedia, the human eye doesn't have a "resolution" like games. You'll notice that you can see more of things that are closer than of things that are far away. Therefore we have angular resolution which is more accurate towards the center of our field of view, and closer to our eye. According to Wikipedida that is:

50 CPD (1.2 minute of arc per line pair, or a 0.35 mm line pair, at 1 m).

In addition, I think that the number of colors we can "see" vastly exceeds what current monitors can render, although IMHO we have already exceeded (using only 6 million colors) the noticeable difference between one color and another. I'll grant that it is still entirely possible that a higher number of colors could look more "real" even if we aren't able to directly distinguish between 1/6,000,000'th of a difference in color in the same sense that 120 fps looks better than 60 fps even though we aren't able to count the frames.

Re:Better definition than real life. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24198005)

Anyone got the math for how much video memory you'd need to render a landscape at high enough resolution with a large and complex enough environment to fool the human eye?

The short answer is, no. ...
50 CPD (1.2 minute of arc per line pair, or a 0.35 mm line pair, at 1 m).

That looks like math to me. ;)

Re:Better definition than real life. (1)

feedayeen (1322473) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197685)

Anyone got the math for how much video memory you'd need to render a landscape at high enough resolution with a large and complex enough environment to fool the human eye?

We already have more than enough to do that. We need better level of detail algorithms so we stop wasting the processorsâ(TM) valuable time rendering those leaves 27 miles away.

Re:Better definition than real life. (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197899)

that's not a limitation of computer hardware, but of the game designers' effort and time.

Re:Better definition than real life. (2, Interesting)

mikael (484) | more than 6 years ago | (#24198203)

The human eye has about 100 million rods and cones. You need a 100 megapixel framebuffer (around 10,000 by 10,000 pixels to achieve this.

There was an article in the Independent newspaper about Virtual Reality a long time ago. In the article, one of the researchers stated that photorealistic quality was defined as 80 million textured triangles/second.

A much more informative link.. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24197385)

http://www.powercolor.com/eng/NewsInfo.asp?id=259

That's cool but... (2, Informative)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197433)

The R700 has dual GPUs on a single board, competes very well with nVidia, and here's the really cool part: It has nearly TWO BILLION transistors.

Re:That's cool but... (5, Funny)

fr4nk (1077037) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197597)

Somehow I don't think that those two billion transistors will be cool.

Re:That's cool but... (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 6 years ago | (#24198291)

So, it's hot!

Finally (3, Funny)

Rinisari (521266) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197445)

I can finally do the Explode open/close window Compiz effect on my 10 MP display!

Huh (4, Insightful)

colmore (56499) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197451)

I'm still rockin 512 megs and doing fine - main system I mean. Integrated graphics.

The only reason this kind of thing bothers me a bit is that I imagine it's pushing videogames further and further into the world of being 1,000 employee, NASA sized engineering projects. Rather than charming little projects that say, that husband and wife that were Sierra could do on their own and be competitive.

This kind of reliance on jet-powered hardware kind of insures that the game is going to be all megacorporations working from market research.

what a load of drivel (-1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197585)

Where was counterstrike developed? Thanks for playing but you failed at scaremongering.

Re:what a load of drivel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24197781)

That was 9 years ago. Can you name anything as successful(from such a small team or limited resources) since? I think you just proved the OP's point.

Re:what a load of drivel (1)

thedak (833551) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197821)

Counterstrike was also developed 9 years ago. "Cruise ships are massive projects requiring robotics and the workforce of a third world country" "Where was the titanic developed?" Yeah.. it was 9 years ago, not exactly a perfect example.

Re:what a load of drivel (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24198031)

CounterStrike didn't have a physics engine. CounterStrike didn't have a graphics engine. It piggybacked off Half-Life, made by Valve, using heavily tweaked Quake2 engines from id.

So...if you want to exclude the foundation of what makes the game work, sure, CS was a small team project

Re:Huh (1)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197687)

Game development will always have room for the little guy, as long as he is making fun games.

Re:Huh (1)

cowscows (103644) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197719)

There's nothing that a small group of programmers could do back then that they can't do now. It might be a little harder to stand out amongst the crowd, particularly if the crowd that you're most worried about is the big gaming magazines/websites. But you can still throw together a good game if you've got the time and the talent.

The tools do seem to lag behind the hardware potential a good bit, but they continue to improve and even individuals who dabble in this sort of stuff as a hobby can have access to some pretty cool stuff to help them make a game. Sure, it's probably not feasible to build your entire game ground up from scratch, but I doubt even the biggest companies really do that anymore.

There is plenty of room in the market for smaller games. If they're fun, word will get out, and people will play them.

Re:Huh (2, Interesting)

erudified (958273) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197947)

I tend to agree with the other poster who mentioned Counterstrike.

I'll take it a step further, though, and say this: I believe game development by mom & pop shops is about to enter a golden age.

High quality open source engines like Cube 2 (as well as many others) and a greater emphasis on procedural content generation (I give it a year or two before high quality open source libraries for this are available) will enable small developers to take advantage of these (somewhat insane!) hardware capabilities. You don't need ridiculous poly counts to have great gameplay, the Wii has proved that beyond any doubt. The open source world is very well equipped to provide small developers with huge sets of textures and models under licenses (e.g., creative commons) that will enable awesome things that we can't even imagine yet. I believe we will end up with more open gaming platforms as a result of these developments.

In short, no offense, and maybe I'm just an optimist, but I think you're 100% wrong ;)

Re:Huh (1)

kabocox (199019) | more than 6 years ago | (#24198025)

The only reason this kind of thing bothers me a bit is that I imagine it's pushing videogames further and further into the world of being 1,000 employee, NASA sized engineering projects. Rather than charming little projects that say, that husband and wife that were Sierra could do on their own and be competitive.

Um, come on games like Jewel Quest will always be more profitable and easier to create than Final Fantasy or heck next Mario game. Look at Tetris and solitaire games at the other big examples.

Re:Huh (1)

Jasonjk74 (1104789) | more than 6 years ago | (#24198143)

I'm still rockin 512 megs and doing fine - main system I mean. Integrated graphics.

The only reason this kind of thing bothers me a bit is that I imagine it's pushing videogames further and further into the world of being 1,000 employee, NASA sized engineering projects. Rather than charming little projects that say, that husband and wife that were Sierra could do on their own and be competitive.

This kind of reliance on jet-powered hardware kind of insures that the game is going to be all megacorporations working from market research.

Another example of the easy way to get modded +5 insightful trend: Graphics technology is supposed to advance. I can't believe all the luddite sentiments I read here on /. If the news were that some open source developer is utilizing 2GB video cards and a bunch of games were coming to Linux (as if that will happen), everyone would be applauding all this innovation.

Impressive! (4, Funny)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197459)

With graphics cards like this, Duke Nukem Forever will be damn good when/if it comes out! :-)

Re:Impressive! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24198169)

My only concern is that it goes to 11.

"FIRST" 2GB card? Err... (5, Informative)

TK2K (834353) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197465)

Workstation cards have been multi-gigabyte for ages! the ATI FireGL V8650 which was released a while ago is 2GB.

Re:"FIRST" 2GB card? Err... (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197871)

This just shows how much Slashdot is geared towards software engineers. Mechanical engineers like me have been playing with 2 gigs of video memory since the Onyx 3000 [sgi.com] . Honestly though 2 gigs of memory would be pretty sweet I use a Firegl 7300 series [amazon.com] sometimes and it still lags with some of the more complex assemblies I've tinkered with.

UNIX did it a decade ago (2, Informative)

Imagix (695350) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197467)

Didn't the Silicon Indy (or was it the Onyx) have a 2 GB video card? Glancing over the specs, the SGI Onyx4 could have up to 8 GB of graphics memory. Note that these machines are on the order of a decade old.... Granted, not exactly home gear, but still this isn't the "World's First 2 GB Graphics Card". So in fine tradition... another thing that UNIX had already done 10 years ago. (Hmm... maybe it was closer to 15....)

Re:UNIX did it a decade ago (0, Redundant)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | more than 6 years ago | (#24198059)

Didn't the Silicon Indy (or was it the Onyx) have a 2 GB video card? Glancing over the specs, the SGI Onyx4 could have up to 8 GB of graphics memory. Note that these machines are on the order of a decade old.... Granted, not exactly home gear, but still this isn't the "World's First 2 GB Graphics Card". So in fine tradition... another thing that UNIX had already done 10 years ago. (Hmm... maybe it was closer to 15....)

IIRC the Onyx with the RealityEngine2 could have up to 2 Gig. I do remember the InfiniteReality could have 2 Gig on board.

PC technology, bringing 10 year old technology to today.

Finally... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24197469)

...I'll be able to play Duke Nukem Forever on my Pentium II!

Market need? (4, Insightful)

electrosoccertux (874415) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197481)

Is there any market "Need" for this, to be able to play your games better, or is this simply filling the "uber-leet-most-money-I-can-spend" market?

Re:Market need? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24197679)

Is there any market "Need" for this, to be able to play your games better, or is this simply filling the "uber-leet-most-money-I-can-spend" market?

Sure, better higher definition textures for one. To quote TFA:

Memory size makes a great impact on performance, even a powerful GPU can suffer from bottlenecks due to slow and insufficient video memory. The more the memory buffer, the more the data graphics can be saved - thus eliminating the need to access system memory and providing faster graphical performance. To satisfy the latest and upcoming games requirements, PowerColor PCS HD4850 2GB can fulfill high video memory request of those games and delivers high throughput for interactive visualization of large models and high-performance for real time processing of large textures and frames, enables the highest quality and resolution full-scene anti-aliasing

Moving the bar (2, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197749)

and I for one am glad to see products like this all the time. While I may not buy them they do move the bar further which usually brings the the lower range items down from the stratosphere in pricing.

I remember people clearly harping about cards with 32mb, or 64, or oh god no one will ever need 256.

Look at how much more resolution today's and tomorrows displays are bringing to us, then turn and realize how much memory it takes to address all of that.

Re:Market need? (1)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197915)

Clearly yes. There are a lot of people out there who are very willing to spend large amounts of cold hard cash to outdo the joneses, even when their "one-up" doesn't make any sense at all. This product is intended to supply the e-penis market instead of any concrete technical need.

Re:Market need? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24197943)

Need: Workstations dealing with large CAD or photoshop files on large displays. Especially the CAD, though.

Re:Market need? (1)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197983)

You're right. Even Crysis is happy with 512MB at even the highest detail levels, up to a respectable resolution like say, 1680x1050. Even at 1920x1200 I'd say 2Gb would still be far in excess of the requirement.

Another demographic it might appeal to is the 'higher number equals better" crowd who might pick it up in a store on impulse.

My issue with cards like this is that, by the time a game comes around which actually needs 2GB of onboard RAM, the card will probably not have the raw performance to play it at a reasonable framerate at settings that would actually utilise the resource. I'm pretty sure it's not the first of its kind either; there was a 256Mb Geforce 6600, etc.

Not a soothsayer (1)

wild_quinine (998562) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197503)

But in all honesty, the number of games released each year for the PC that *require* a card like this to run at high settings can be counted on one hand. I'm pretty sure that didn't used to be the case.

I am not a soothsayer here once again to predict the death of PC gaming (once again). The PC is still a wonderful platform for development, flexibility, versatility, and complexity when compared to the consoles. Games will always keep coming for the PC, and not just MMOs, but all manner of wonderful things.

But I will say this: things aren't looking great for the hardware.

The recent nose dive in all but the very highest end card prices tells an interesting story, I think. The relative dearth of genuinely triple AAA graphically intensive titles tells another. The slow uptake of DX10, the slow uptake of Vista, the pissweak 'Games for Windows' label, and the smaller shelves in retail stores, as everything goes online...

This hardware is not required.

Re:Not a soothsayer (1)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197825)

the number of games released each year for the PC that *require* a card like this to run at high settings can be counted on one hand

Nope! Even limbless amputees can hand-count that figure.

Re:Not a soothsayer (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 6 years ago | (#24198091)

That's funny. The PC games industry (which is essentially all Windows gaming) is expanding by billions of dollars per year. Just because it's not running on Linux doesn't mean it doesn't exist :)

FRIST P0ZT (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24197509)

hahaha 1 P0ZT!!!

What were they thinking? (1)

SirLestat (452396) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197511)

From TFA: "even a powerful GPU can suffer from bottlenecks due to slow and insufficient video memory" ... but they decided to use GDDR3 rather than GDDR5 and use HD4850 rather than HD4870. Way to go !

Re:What were they thinking? (1)

ifrag (984323) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197643)

I was expecting to see the 4870 as well. That was a bit of a shock. Unfortunately there are actually people who are not as knowledgeable who will think that more RAM on the video card immediately equates to better performance.

Whenever I tell someone I got a new video card the first question out of their mouth is usually "how much ram does it have?" as if that's all that matters. There is still a lot of people out there who don't bother thinking about all the other variables and just focus on that one statistic because it's one that is usually included in the title of the card.

Re:What were they thinking? (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197887)

Go look at Powercolor.com. There's a 4870 version with GDDR5 as well. The Slashdot poster just chose to post about the strange lower end uber memory part.

Re:What were they thinking? (1)

mikael (484) | more than 6 years ago | (#24198093)

There's a guy in our work who is working on advanced lighting models (BRDF, BTF). He grades graphics cards by the amount of texture memory and the number of texture units available divided by the cost of the card.

My (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24197515)

flash drive has more storage. Wake me up when we get 2GB of L2 cache.

Wolfenstein (4, Funny)

Nerdposeur (910128) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197611)

Finally, I will be able to play Wolfenstein 3D in all its beautiful glory!

Crysis? (1)

sanosuke001 (640243) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197613)

Can it run Crysis?

32-bit address space limitations (5, Interesting)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197633)

We're really beginning to feel it now. With this card, you're limited to around 1,750MB of RAM on a 32-bit Windows system; 4GB minus the 2GB on the card, minus all the other mapped stuff which amounts to 250MB on my computer.

In summary, I for one welcome our new 64-bit overlords...

Re:32-bit address space limitations (-1, Troll)

raijinsetsu (1148625) | more than 6 years ago | (#24198183)

Ahh... If only it were as easy as switching to 64 bit. *nix: no problems there. It's the main "gaming" OS, Windows, that doesn't support that much memory, even on their 64-bit platform. If I remember correctly, Vista Home is capped at 4gb, and Vista Ultimate 8gb. I'd say this is a useless card.

Re:32-bit address space limitations (2, Informative)

bucky0 (229117) | more than 6 years ago | (#24198251)

Graphics card memory won't be normally addressable with regular CPU opcodes, would they? You have to manually pipe data across the PCI/AGP/PCIe busses to make it to the card. They certainly don't sit in process address space.

Pointless (2, Insightful)

Teejaykay (1107049) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197681)

What's the point with 2Gb of GDDR3, or even 1Gb in that price segment? Even a 512MB HD 4850 is good enough for the people most likely to buy it (aka people with no fancy, high-resolution wide screen TFT monitors) -- it's certainly good enough to play stuff at at 1280x[whatnot]. (Yes, hello, it is I.) In that range, with this card, I'd wager the bottlenecks'll just be elsewhere; the CPU, the RAM, heck, maybe the GPU's memory bandwidth. Even if the GPU were the source of the bottleneck, just get a HD 4870 than this, really.

It's nicely marketed, of course, much like selling Doc Legit's Miracle Snake Oil, which'll put hair on your head again, cure your hemorroids, caffeine addiction and make your keg into a six pack again. :P

No GPU will ever need more than 640k of ram... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24197725)

Right?

What is really driving this... (1)

TK2K (834353) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197795)

I would venture to say consumerism is not the driving force. As far as I understand it, the vast majority of graphics tech is a pushed from the top down. Let me explain.
Workstation cards have always been more powerful than consumer cards due to the nature of their work. Often the consumer version is simply just a toned down version with baseline functions removed.
So in short, this is trickle down tech from the professional market. They're releasing them because they can make money at it, and because there IS a demand for it.
In the old days computers were tools, then they were tools with fun stuff on them. Now we have a whole category of people referred to as 'computer jocks' who instead of buying an expensive car and driving it through campus blow money on computer related stuff even though they don't need to.

But... (1)

Temtongkek (975742) | more than 6 years ago | (#24197951)

Does it run Linux?

Useless. (1)

JohnnyBigodes (609498) | more than 6 years ago | (#24198013)

Useless.

As the Tech Report [techreport.com] benchmarked some time ago, more than 512MB on any non-workstation graphics card at this point in time (and probably for some time too) is nothing more than useless.

This is just made to hunt those that don't know any better... "OMG 2GB RAM TEH IS FASTUR!!!!"

BAD IDEA for WinXP, Win2K - takes half your mem (1)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 6 years ago | (#24198185)

This will suck up 2 gigs of addressable memory space out of your 4 gig total. So even if you have a bazillion gigs of ram, your OS will only see 2G.

Is it really worth slowing down ALL your performance just to have your games run a little faster? Better hope those games don't require much memory, or that you are running a 64-bit OS!

Pure Marketing (1)

inotocracy (762166) | more than 6 years ago | (#24198247)

Whats the point of a 2GB 4850? 4870X2 sure, but a single 4850? Marketing at its best.
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