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Pushing The 512MB Barrier On Video Cards

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the ones-normal-people-can-buy-that-is dept.

Graphics 525

Hack Jandy writes "Remeber your ancient TNT graphics card that had 16MB of memory? ATI is pushing the texture barrier by incorporating 512MB in their newest X850 video card lineup. The catch? Even ATI acknowledges there will probably be no performance benefits to bumping the memory support from 256MB to 512MB as the cards are 'intended to demonstrate the next-generation capability to gamers." An anonymous reader points out that Gainward (which sells NVidia-based graphics cards), will shortly introduce its own 512MB card, according to Hexus.net.

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Never had one. (2, Funny)

JFMulder (59706) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759673)

But I remember upgrading my Cirrus Logic video card to a whooping 2 megs in 1995.

mspaint (1)

dassbaba (841910) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759747)

That isn't even enough to run AA on mspaint. kekeke. ^_^

Re:Never had one. (1)

SirXavier (861670) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759757)

I remember when i work on my pc he have a video card S3Savage 32 but is not very good

Re:Never had one. (1)

mikael (484) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759769)

I remember the fun of removing the EPROM chips and RAM chips in order to upgrade my Hercules Graphics Station Card from 1 Mbyte to 2Mbyte. It's a pity something similar couldn't be done with graphics accelerator cards these days.

Re:Never had one. (1)

paganizer (566360) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759825)

My prefered video card back in the day, yo, was the trident T9000 with 512k of RAM. simple, always worked.
Being in the Industry pipeline, as I was, I was able to get a 9680 with 4mb of Vram back in the last days of '95... I was the shit.

Re:Never had one. (1)

grolschie (610666) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759891)

How much RAM did a CGA/VGA card have?

512 is better (5, Funny)

mrtroy (640746) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759676)

Because it is bigger than 256.

TWICE as big!!!

If my email tells me anything, size DOES matter.

Re:512 is better (5, Insightful)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759706)

"If my email tells me anything, size DOES matter."

Seeing as how most of the 'realism' of a 3D game comes from detailed textures, yes, size of texture ram does matter.

Re:512 is better (5, Insightful)

maglor_83 (856254) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759759)

I find most of the realism comes from the physics engine. The texture just makes it look a bit prettier, but by no means makes the game any better.

Re:512 is better (5, Interesting)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759883)

"If my email tells me anything, size DOES matterI find most of the realism comes from the physics engine. The texture just makes it look a bit prettier, but by no means makes the game any better."

I didn't say it makes the game better. And yes, I should have defined 'realism' a little more clearly. I meant the rendered visuals of it, not the motion of it. You can do a lot more to make an image 'photo-real' with greater texture resolution than you can do with faster processing etc. Ask anybody who's played Doom 3. The normal mapping in that game, love it loathe it, did a great deal more to the visual detail of the game than adding a few more polygons to the scene.

Re:512 is better (1)

bsharitt (580506) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759904)

Even if the physics are realistic, if the textures look like crap, that kind of hurst the whole illusion of realism.

But what about Doom 3 (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11759683)

Doom 3 has a graphics mode that requires 512MB video card ram. And rumor has it its really swwweeeettt!

Re:But what about Doom 3 (0, Flamebait)

Juice2504 (744291) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759724)

It is such a shame the game is a load of rubbish.

Maybe Id's taking a year off dead for tax reasons. (5, Funny)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759870)

"It's the weird color-scheme that freaks me. Every time you try to operate one of these weird black controls, which are labeled in black on a black background, a small black light lights up black to let you know you've done it."

Re:Maybe Id's taking a year off dead for tax reaso (2, Funny)

sport_160 (650020) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759944)

Don't push it again.

Different things pushing memory increases (4, Insightful)

suso (153703) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759684)

"Remeber your ancient TNT graphics card that had 16MB of memory?

Man you were lucky. I had to deal with a 1MB video card in my job workstation.

Honestly, its not all that impressive to see these high numbers for video card ram. Different needs pushes the limit nowadays. It used to be pushed to deal with higher color palettes at higher resolutions. Now its all about texture mapping.

Re:Different things pushing memory increases (1)

dago (25724) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759711)

That's it, remembering that you had to "compute" the max resolution & color depth and eventually make compromises ...

Re:Different things pushing memory increases (2, Funny)

mizhi (186984) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759923)

I remember when we had deal with 256 lbs of slate that we scratched with sharp pebbles. Monochrome displays that refreshed at .00075 hz. To get color, we had to go kill something.

meh.

My memory increases (2, Interesting)

famazza (398147) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759936)

  • 1992 - 286 (third world country) - Trident 256KB

  • 1995 - 486 - Trident 1MB
    2001 - K6II - Diamond 32 MB
    2004 - Atlhon XP - ATi 128 MB

Probably I'll reach 512 MB in 2010.

I have 512K Trident you insensitive clods!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11759688)

On ISA bus.

Fast and Big mem (5, Funny)

Fox_1 (128616) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759692)

with 16 pixel and 6 vertex pipelines clocked at 540MHz. The graphics card's 512MB of DDR3 SDRAM operate at 1180MHz speed and have 256-bit memory interface.
Kinda sad but this card is more powerful then my PC on it's stats alone

Re:Fast and Big mem (4, Insightful)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759864)

Kinda sad when your video card has more ram than first/second/third computer had disk space (combined). Your processor has more cache than your first comp had ram. And I'm waiting for the day that a processor has more cache than my first comp had disk space.

Re:Fast and Big mem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11759914)

my first computer didn't have a harddisk... unless you counted the tape drive as the harddisk.

Voodoo (1)

fizz (88042) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759694)

the reminds me of the 3d only video cards where you needed to pick a good companion for your 3dfx card. Although 16meg was a bit much for just 2d at the time, its not a needed item in a pc (a video card with more than 64 megs of ram).

Re:Voodoo (1)

FuturePastNow (836765) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759860)

16 megs is still a bit much for a PC if all it is used for is office work. Hell, my dad's computer has two megabytes of Intel Extreme! graphics. You don't need any more than that unless you play games, and even that is enough for any game made before 1998.

Is there any benefit (1)

demonbug (309515) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759696)

to bumping the video memory from 128 to 256? Seems silly at this point to go up to 512. Ah well - I'm sure they won't have problems finding kids whose parents will buy these for them.

Re:Is there any benefit (1)

koreaman (835838) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759853)

Well there is a big difference between 128 and 512, but not that big of a difference between 256 and 512. And even though there aren't now (not counting doom3), I imagine someday in the future there will require this type of thing.

Re:Is there any benefit (2, Interesting)

TLLOTS (827806) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759879)

Actually there is, but you'll only like to see any real benefit in terms of games etc. at a much later date since games are typically created for the most common hardware, not the best hardware. I have no doubt that in time there will be many many games that will demand over 1GB of ram on our graphics cards, but that will be sometime off.

Of course with other applications for graphics cards being sought now as well, using them in scientific computing tasks etc. this may very well be useful even today. I guess time shall tell ultimately.

translation (5, Insightful)

British (51765) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759703)

Even ATI acknowledges there will probably be no performance benefits to bumping the memory support from 256MB to 512MB as the cards are 'intended to demonstrate the next-generation capability to gamers."

Translation: Even though it's not practical, we'll sell it since gamers will buy it.

Re:translation (1)

CarlinWithers (861335) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759784)

or con their parents into buying it.

Re:translation (4, Funny)

sosume (680416) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759796)

Translation: Even though it's not practical, we'll sell it since gamers will buy it.


l4m3r> W00t, I got me new gfx :D
l0zr> What, cant be faster than my x800, lamo!
l4m3r> but wait, its got half a gig of ram!
l0zr> wooooah, joo r000lz!
l4m3r> lets play quake 1!
l0zr> yeah, th4ts sooooo 0ldsk00l!

Re:translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11759943)

w4n7 70 cy83r?

Re:translation (1)

rootofevil (188401) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759817)

"idiot" - i think you dropped this, it looks like it fits in between "since gamers"

not all gamers are stupid enough to buy a card that will give them no performance gain. just most of them.

No performance benefits? (4, Informative)

Peter Cooper (660482) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759710)

The catch? Even ATI acknowledges there will probably be no performance benefits to bumping the memory support from 256MB to 512MB

There certainly will be if you want to run Doom 3 (or Half Life 2 - I think?) with totally maxed out texture quality. From all the hoop-la I remember surrounding the Doom 3 launch, even 256MB of memory isn't as much as Doom 3 in Max mode will want to use.

Re:No performance benefits? (1)

sosume (680416) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759833)

There certainly will be [performace benefits] if you want to run Doom 3

Penalties maybe, because twice the amount of ram has to be copied... but benefits? How can you tell?

Re:No performance benefits? (2, Interesting)

Neophytus (642863) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759863)

That's more like it - games being designed beyond current specs! I'm sick of finding a game looks "dated" not a few months after it's release because the developers capped the top specs at what I can still run on (admittedly good) 2003 hardware.

Re:No performance benefits? (2, Insightful)

FoolishBose (697302) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759889)

If you use uncompressed textures on Ultra setting, it tries to use 512 MB of video memory. I really doubt that the difference quality is really noticeable during actual gameplay. However, hardware review sites love to take screenshots and magnify them 1000x to analyze the lines on ceiling tiles, so I guess it will make them happy.

16 MB ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11759713)

i still remember (and HAVE!) 1mb Cirrus Logic and 2mb S3 Virge graphics cards.

sorry, i started at 1mb ;-)

Well make it useful in a creative way (5, Interesting)

FerretFrottage (714136) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759716)

Why not create special drivers that allow you to use the unused vid ram as a ramdisk? If a game requires more than 256MB, then default the temp area back to file storage, but if you are only using 128-256MB for video, then let me do something useful with the remainder.

Re:Well make it useful in a creative way (4, Informative)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759765)

You mean like this [kerneltrap.org] (2002)?

Or also seen here [linuxnews.pl] .

Re:Well make it useful in a creative way (1)

rainman_bc (735332) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759768)

IIRC that used to exist for the old voodoo cards.

Ram is so cheap now that there's almost no point.

Re:Well make it useful in a creative way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11759877)

I have an even better idea: We could just add it to the main memory! This immense technological advance would mean programs, data, cache and textures would be in the same memory, balancing all the needs you'd have. The box of a motherboard would then read, e.g. "videoram: XXX MB (shared)". I only wonder if it would be as fast.

A use for this (5, Interesting)

ZWheel (410394) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759717)

I seem to remember someone writing a linux kernel module that lets you use extra video mem as a very fast virtual drive.

Re:A use for this (1)

DarkTempes (822722) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759940)

would make for some nice additional (fast) swapfile space =)

Won't Doom3 take advantage of 512?! (0, Redundant)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759718)

It seems that I read that Doom3 has an high-quality option for cards with 512 megs of memory. I could be wrong, though. I can't find any information about it online.

Re:Won't Doom3 take advantage of 512?! (1)

Psycho77 (695148) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759941)

I thought i saw that too, Doom3 will take advantage of the 512megs, for high quality texture, or its twice faster, since with 512 they dont have to compress anything. Forgot, but yeah ! I need 512 megs now :)

Now... (5, Funny)

inertia@yahoo.com (156602) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759722)

Even ATI acknowledges there will probably be no performance benefits...

Now if we can just get those razor manufacturers to say the same about that 5th blade.

possible max (2, Interesting)

BibelBiber (557179) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759726)

What would actually be the possible maximum for graphic cards memory to use in terms of texture and so on. Is it depending on screen solution or on other things?

Re:possible max (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11759909)

There is no possible max as such, same for how much RAM your PC could use. Games and software are just designed around the average card available on the market at the time.

The average texture size has been increasing for awhile and with more detail packed into your average scene you need textures loaded, so the memory space is important.

Scientific Applications (5, Interesting)

ghoti (60903) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759729)

This may not do much for games, but for scientific applications, especially visualization of large datasets, this is great. The visualization community has been using the advances made for gaming over the last years, and it's amazing what you can now do on the GPU: flow simulation, interactive visualization of large volumetric datasets with complex transfer functions, shading, etc.
For these applications, the more memory, the better.

Re:Scientific Applications (1)

Blue-Footed Boobie (799209) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759855)

Bah, people doing scientific research and data-vis aren't going to be using consumer 'gamer' class cards. They will be using workstation class video cards with certified drivers and much higher programmability...and those have already broken the 512mb barrier.

Kinda like the Wildcat I mentioned elsewhere in this thread...

Re:Scientific Applications (1)

jackbird (721605) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759865)

For offline rendering, it'll be great too. Granted, nVidia's Gelato , currently the only game in town, is, uh, unlikely to work with the ATI card, but perhaps we'll see a more platform-agnostic offering in the future.

Old fart... (2, Interesting)

stefanb (21140) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759732)

Remeber your ancient TNT graphics card that had 16MB of memory?
Boy, was I happy when I got my Video 7 VRAM card with a whopping 512 kilobyte of RAM... but this is so long ago, it doesn't seem real anymore.

Cue Monty Python "uphill both ways, and we liked it" skit...

Re:Old fart... (1)

bwcarty (660606) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759774)

640kb of Video RAM ought to be enough for anyone.

Re:Old fart... (1)

Reignking (832642) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759867)

Who needs three dimensions?

Re:Old fart... (1)

AxemRed (755470) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759842)

Hell, I STILL know people using Intel boards with integrated video using 512kb of memory.

Re:Old fart... (1)

mmkkbb (816035) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759878)

Are you sure that wasn't just a video controller with its own on-board RAM?

*remembers the Mac IIci and IIsi where even if you had a video board, slow system RAM would be used for VRAM unless your RAM disk filled it up*

General GPU Programming (5, Interesting)

mjinman (515540) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759735)

The move might not matter a whole lot to the normal gamer, but those of us who are researching/using video cards as fast vector coprocessors love this as it increases the matrix (texture) size we can do operations on. (I especially love it since some of my stuff runs 40x on my Radeon X800 than my Athlon 64 - its all linear algrebra, finite difference codes)

3dfx (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11759741)

Bah, Whatever biznitches.

The first real 3d card: Diamond Monster 3dfx Voodoo, 4MB.

Those rockets in TeamFortress had a glow around them for $300, and it was fantastic.

Re:3dfx (1)

SteveXE (641833) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759885)

I had that 3d card, i bought it for Quake 2 and it ran great, a month later Unreal came out and it ran like shit...it was 4 years until i acually played Unreal and that was on a totally new pc with a Geforce 3. Never again will i let myself get so behind the times in gaming on PC.

So what was my excuse? Well i was only 16, so I couldnt afford anything new and my parents just didnt "get it"

Intel (0, Offtopic)

fembots (753724) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759742)

Intel needs to start using this kind of marketing - pushes out a 10GHz CPU and claims users might not notice any performance improvement.

Re:Intel (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759857)

They do it is called the Prescott.

The good old days ... (1)

rkmath (26375) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759745)

You kids have it all too easy now. We used to give the sysadmin the punchcards and get back a printout the next day. We did REAL programming on those days.
Who needs a video display ...

yeesh (3, Funny)

mattdm (1931) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759746)

"Remeber your ancient TNT graphics card that had 16MB of memory?"

Okay, I knew the average age of slashdotters wasn't exactly "is allowed in most bars", but, yeesh, 1999 is now ancient?

Cue the "I remember whens"!

gnava (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11759750)

CONTAMINATED WHILE world's Gay Niiger users of BSD/OS. A

Almost Absurd (5, Interesting)

ewhac (5844) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759751)

"Would you like to mount unused graphics RAM as a swap device?"

Seriously, what's all that RAM used for when you're not playing games? It's still eating power; you may as well use it for something...

Schwab

Re:Almost Absurd (1)

Storlek (860226) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759916)

Demo coders were using video ram for non-video back in 1992 [pouet.net] .

IIRC, they used video memory for the audio because regular memory wasn't fast enough, and then they used soundcard RAM for the video... or something like that; it's been a while.

consumers being deceived (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11759755)

So many cards today are bloated with RAM that they don't utilize. Case in point: 256MB FX5200. But consumers think they are getting more, and getting people to buy your product is all that matters.

Okay... (4, Interesting)

ndykman (659315) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759760)

Wow. It really says something about the gaming market when you have a card whose outward specifications looks like a P3 machine (and a nice one). 540Mhz Core (CPU) Clock, 512MB of memory. And of course, lots of overclocking.

Here's a question. When will the GPU companies have to start playing tricks when the clock speeds finally give way to things like, oh, trying to cool a damn computer on a card without sounding like a jet plane is in your room becomes an issue. Like, well, now?

In my day... (2, Interesting)

William_Lee (834197) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759764)

We didn't use separate memory for video processing...

We used custom video coprocessors named Denise running at 7 mhz and we liked it.

Back then we didn't need all these fancy colors, 4096 was plenty!

This is why sound cards are no big deal! (4, Insightful)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759781)

Ever wonder why GPUs are such a big deal and sound cards are such an after thought? It's all about numbers. ATI and nVidia can increase clock speed and double memory and make it look really impressive. Sound cards can't really do that.

If I were Creative I'd start including massive amounts of RAM on my cards. Plus, I'd throw a CPU in there too, if there isn't one already, and start hyping the clock speed. I'd even have a program to overclock both.

That way all the ignorant fanboys would start buying them simply for bragging rights.

Re:This is why sound cards are no big deal! (1)

Ahnteis (746045) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759866)

Creative needs to start by working on their drivers/software. Ugh!

Re:This is why sound cards are no big deal! (2, Insightful)

maglor_83 (856254) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759874)

It's all about numbers. ATI and nVidia can increase clock speed and double memory and make it look really impressive. Sound cards can't really do that.

That and the fact most games spend no time on the sound, so they don't make use of anything a sound-card has to offer.

New technology is for tools (1)

krikat (861906) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759787)

People say competition is good for consumers, but it really just pisses me off. All these companies try so hard to be the first person that develops something, that they make it before it's useful. Cool people wait until stuff is obsolete and then buy it.

What's the limit? (3, Funny)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759788)

The most anyone would ever need for video RAM is 640 MB. You can quote me on that.

Re:What's the limit? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11759892)

Then 3Dlabs has them both beat. The Realizm 800 has 640 MB of RAM.

chicken and the egg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11759800)

besides pure mhz, new hardware technology rarely speeds up application performance. ie. sse, sse2, 3dnow, directx versions, etc, etc. the hardware always has to come before the software. so while this may be the case now that 512mb wont help but maybe in 2 years. who would have needed 512mb of ram on a desktop 4 years ago? chicken and the egg

Re:chicken and the egg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11759830)

"rarely speeds up application performance" immediately before applications are optimized to take advantage of that new hardware i meant

How much more? (1)

pickapeppa (731249) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759802)

I tend to be a technological rainbow chaser when it come to video cards. Hopefully the day will come where I get a decently priced card that will run Oblivion (or other next-gen games) OK. I mean, our eye are only so good, at one point will video cards be good enough that no further major innovations are necessary? Bet it won't be long.

Could someone explain to me... (1)

PsiPsiStar (95676) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759804)

... because I'm missing somthing... why would having more memory not be helpful?

Re:Could someone explain to me... (1)

maglor_83 (856254) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759906)

If nothing actually uses that memory. For example, if you had 15TB of RAM (I don't like over-exaggerating), the vast majority would be doing nothing, hence it wouldn't be helpful.

Who had more RAM? (2, Interesting)

dpilot (134227) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759807)

When I first got my G400 and plugged it into my K6-3, the G400 had 32MB and the K6-3 had 64MB. That the two are in the same ballpark seems crazy.

Now the K6-3 is still in service, though upgraded to 192MB. But the new GEForce we got for the kids' computer (equipped with 512MB) came with 256MB, more than my main desktop, and half as much as it's resident machine.

On a more serious note, it would be interesting to understand how transient the data in that graphics card is, and how much main memory you need in the PC in order to pump enough data into the graphics card to really use all of that graphics ram.

Ancient???? (1)

lbmouse (473316) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759808)

Remeber your ancient TNT graphics card that had 16MB of memory?

How rude! That is more memory than my first computer. Remember your somewhat old TRS-80 that had no graphics memory? [trs-80.com]

I can't believe I'm going to admit this, but... (3, Informative)

robyannetta (820243) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759813)

I play EverQuest 2. [flame on]

In the game, I have the option of clicking an "Extreme performance" tab that will tax the hell out of my video card (if it can handle it).

Sony's software has a warning that says "...to be used on video cards with a minimum of 512MB video memory..."

I have a Geforce 6800 with 256MB of DDR3 memory and dual 400MHz RAMdacs. This "Extereme performance" option taxes the hell out of the card. I'm getting one frame per second in this mode!

It is really how much memory you have, or should they just add more processing power to the cards? Perhaps a quad RAMdac?

DOOM 3 (1)

Eisenfaust (231128) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759816)

Might be nice for max quality settings in DOOM 3. The recommended video ram for the settings is 512MB. I guess setting enables uncompressed textures, which is nice, but larger compressed textures would probably be more exciting.

I have 256MB in my X800 Pro which does great, but going up to 512MB might allow developers to put in higher detailed textures. I still notice how poor a lot of texture look really close up, even in the newest games.

If theres anything that kills video performance its running out of video ram, so I can see why 512MB might be reasonable on the bank-buster model.

Well... (1)

Blue-Footed Boobie (799209) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759822)

People who are doing serious CAD/3D-Graphics work ahve had a 640mb video card availiable to them for some time. It's not even that pricey...

It's the 3D-Labs Wildcat Realizm 800 [3dlabs.com] , and it's PCI-Express too.

Shoes to fill out (4, Informative)

MyIS (834233) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759831)

I think this is great. And there is already software to fill out these new specs too.

There is a next generation of engines that make the gap smaller and smaller between real-time graphics and rendered animated films. Take a look at this Unreal Engine 3 page [unrealtechnology.com] for example.

What makes these new engines exciting is not just the fancy graphics. Increasing the resources on the hardware ultimately allows for a much more streamlined art pipeline, easier engine development and overall a faster and simpler product creation.

Not Really Pushing the Envelope.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11759844)

3DLabs VP990 Pro is a 512MB card that has been out awhile. They're also AGP based.

1K you damm young wipper-snappers (1)

ukoda (537183) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759854)

My first video card had 1K, not 1MB. It was an ETI kit set for the S100 bus and gave 64 x 16 characters and 128 x 48 graphics.
Monty Python Quote
And you tell the young people today that and they won't believe you !

Ancient video cards (1)

DeadBeef (15) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759856)

> Remeber your ancient TNT graphics card that had 16MB of memory?

I don't think anything with 16mb qualifies as ancient. I still have cards like that in use in firewalls etc. Ugh, people put video cards in PCI slots before AGP, and ISA slots before that ( I'm sure other weird and wonderful buses before that ). Anyone else remember how many characters per second their old beasts could do?

IT"S ABOUT TIME! (0)

NRAdude (166969) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759861)

The lesser expense of improving a graphics accelerator is to increase the ammount of RAM. To this day, only 3DLabs provided a retail-available graphics accelerator with 512MB RAM in their VPU960 product.

It's not the days of cheap-bastard syndrome, where the increase of RAM adds %75 of the value of a product, like back when SGRAM was featured. Yet, when RAM was expensive, all the graphics adapters were extendable by featuring a RAM socket. Just as was the AT motherboard form factor being much better than the ATX footprint, so was graphics adaptor extendability than today's space heaters and leif blowers.

Doom3 aside.

Working on 2-4 MB every day, you insensitive clod! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11759886)

SNCR
Remember your
ancient TNT graphics card that had 16MB of memory?

The extra 256Mb is useless? (2, Funny)

winkydink (650484) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759902)

I guess then its only purpose is to help make up for other, um, shortcomings?

Pffftt.... (1, Redundant)

Nonillion (266505) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759905)

512k should be enough video ram for anybody..

Does this come with nicely chromed exhaust pipes? (1)

Zyblor (757960) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759911)

Is it only me, or does this seem like the gpu industry is pushing the 512mb purely for the sake of selling a few more $500+ video cards. I'm waiting for the latest and greatest card with giant chromed 'cooling' fins.

640k (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11759915)

You'll never need more than 640k...

So..... (2, Interesting)

TrevorB (57780) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759918)

If it has 512MB of memory, and a hefty GPU, can it run Linux?

Not Funny (2, Funny)

spin2cool (651536) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759929)

I still use a 16 MB card, you insensitive clod!!

16 meg cards ain't THAT old! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11759930)

Remeber your ancient TNT graphics card that had 16MB of memory?

Better watch what you say. Some of us still use old graphics cards. I view slashdot everyday from an 8 mb video card and it works just fine. Correct me if I am wrong but isn't the linux audience quite large here? With a large audience of linux users your bound to have some if not most of them on older hardware such as video cards that old and older!

~ Nick Manley

Nothing new here... 512mb is common... (2, Informative)

purduephotog (218304) | more than 9 years ago | (#11759939)

... on higher end video cards, that is.

3D Labs WildCat VP990 Pro 512mb
Quadro FX4400 PCI-EXPRESS SLI 512MB.
I think Dome makes the 3rd card I'm thinking of - 512mb there too (or maybe we asked them to, I can't remember).

So .... yeah. 512mb in a CONSUMER card? Sounds good. But that's really nothing new at all for professional cards....
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