Today Nvidia has officially announced their new flagship GPU, the first form the 700 series – GeForce GTX 780 based on the GK110 Kepler architecture and manufactured using 28nm process. You can say that the new Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 is a more affordable lite version of the GTX TITAN announced not long ago, based on the same GK110 GPU, but with a little less video memory and a bit less CUDA cores. Other than that the things are looking very similar to what the GTX TITAN offers. You should have in mind though that the new GTX 680 is not here to replace the GTX TITAN, but to succeed the older GTX 680 (GK104) and looking at the specs it does that quite nicely… Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 Specifications: Graphics Card: GeForce GTX 780 3GB Graphics Processing Clusters: 4 or 5 Streaming Multiprocessors: 12 -4 CUDA Cores: 2304 +768 Texture Units: 192 +64 ROP Units: 48 +16 Graphics Clock: 863 MHz -134 GPU Boost Clock: 1058 MHz -158 Memory Clock (Data rate): 6008 MHz L2 Cache Size: 1534KB +1024 Total Video Memory: 3072MB GDDR5 +1024 Memory Interface: 384-bit +128 Total Memory Bandwidth: 288.4 GB/s +96.14 Texture Filtering Rate (Bilinear): 165.7 GigaTexels/sec +36.9 Fabrication Process: 28 nm Transistor Count: 7.1 Billion +3.56 Connectors: Dual-Link DVI-I, Dual-Link DVI-D, HDMI 1.4 High Speed, DisplayPort 1.2 Form Factor: Dual Slot Power Connectors: 1x 8-pin, 1x 6-pin Thermal Design Power (TDP): 250 Watts +55 Thermal Threshold: 95 degrees C -3 Bus Interface: PCI Express 3.0 * The superscript numbers in green and red show the change as compared to the specs of GTX 680.
The Stereoscopic Displays and Applications Conference has just announced that they will be holding the first SD&A Stereoscopic Game Competition at the February 2014 conference in downtown San Francisco. No, this is not a stereoscopic 3D game playing competition, instead the aim of the competition is to encourage the creative use of stereoscopic depth in exciting new game designs. A panel of expert judges will review the game designs and the winner will receive a cash prize of $1000.
Usually when you want to play games in stereo 3D mode you get all the required hardware and software in order to be able to play as many games as available and working well in stereo 3D mode, however there are exceptions. One such exception is if you only play an online racing simulator such as iRacing and you need to make it more realistic by playing in stereoscopic 3D mode. DDD has released a special limited version of their TriDef 3D package that is especially meant only for players racing in the iRacing online racing simulator. The TriDef 3D for iRacing will only support tht game and is available for $4.99 USD, it will work with Line Interlaced (FPR) displays, HDMI 1.4 3D TVs/monitors (if your graphics card supports AMD HD3D) and Anaglyph glasses. Of course if you already have a full TriDef 3D license you can also play the game in stereoscopic 3D mode, furthermore the online racing game iRacing is also supported by 3D Vision with an Excellent rating for the stereoscopic 3D compatibility it offers
Time for a comparison as promised in the post about the new GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost GPU that looks very promising as an affordable solution for people willing to play in stereo 3D mode at a resolution of 720p. The direct competitor for the GTX 650 Ti Boost is the Radeon HD 7790, so I took one of these cards and compared the results it provides in 720p stereo 3D mode using the latest TriDef 3D driver to the results of the GTX 650 Ti Boost using 3D Vision. I’ve also compared both cards in 1080p 2D mode with the same games, because the Radeon HD 7790 is also a good option for people with tighter budgets that want to be able to get high detail levels at 1080p resolution in non-stereoscopic 3D mode, just like the GTX 650 Ti Boost is. Starting with 720p stereoscopic 3D results, you ca clearly see that apart from Far Cry 3 where the average framerate is very close for both cards and the game Tomb Raider where the Radeon is slightly faster in the other games the GTX 650 Ti Boost performs significantly better.
Last year when Nvidia released the GeForce GTX 650 Ti it has turned out to be a decent budget card for 720p stereo 3D gaming that could also perform well in 1080p 2D mode, though with some compromises in details and no AA filtering for the higher resolution. Recently Nvidia has released an updated version of the GTX 650 Ti, the GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost, a new GPU that promises a bit better performance and some extra features. If you remember the GTX 650 Ti did not support Boost Clock and SLI and the new GTX 650 Ti Boost model adds support for these and though the number of CUDA cores remains the same, there are a few extra ROPs, and the GPU is running with a bit higher frequency along with a wider memory bus and faster memory
You’ve probably noticed that I’ve been playing mostly with the Oculus Rift Dev Kit since I’ve got my unit and the good thing is that even though so far only about 2K development kits were shipped the community is very active and there are new development around the Rift all the time. Now, since the Rift covers your vision completely and when you put on headphones for the sound you kind of get completely cut off from the “real world”, and though that this has advantages it also brings some disadvantages. Like having a hard time finding the keyboard or the mouse on your desk without taking off the Rift, so I’ve decided to see what can we do to easily get around this problem. The solution is actually quite simple – add a webcam with a wide angle lens so that when you are wearing the Rift you can switch to the camera and see your desk or what is happening around you. I’ve had a suitable webcam around and by replacing the standard lens with a wider angle one I got this simple and easy to use solution working almost perfectly
Even though the main focus of the Oculus Rift is virtual reality experiences, many users would also want to be able to use this HMD device for other simpler things like playback of 2D and 3D video as well. The good news is that the latest version 2.0.5 of the Stereoscopic Player released earlier this month brought support for 2D and 3D video playback on the Rift, of course there is no support for the head tracker, but you don’t need it for video playback anyway. To enable the right viewing mode just select Oculus Rift in the Settings under the Playback Options panel and the videos you open either in 2D (monoscopic) or in 3D mode (stereoscopic) will be rendered with the correct optical distortion required by the Rift. The playback of both 2D and stereo 3D videos with the Stereoscopic Player on the Rift works quite well with 3D videos obviously being more impressive than the flat 2D ones that just show the same image for each eye. A stereo 3D video with more depth can look quite impressive when viewed with the Oculus Rift.
The team at Oculus has reported that they’ve managed to ship roughly 1850 development kits worldwide so far (out of which 500 internationally) with another ~2000 arriving at doorsteps around April 26th, but it could be a few days earlier or later depending on international customs. Of the upcoming ~2000 unit batch, ~500 will be shipped to Europe, ~500 will be for Asia/Oceania, and the rest will be to the Americas. These units will also be the first delivered via the new EU/Asia/Oceania fulfillment network, which should help reduce delivery times and costs. So it will take some time until all of the 10K+ units get shipped. Fortunately I’ve already got my unit, even though I’m based in Europe, the early backers with DIY kits like me apparently had priority
If you are interested in the Oculus Rift, but have not yet ordered a development kit you are probably wiling to try it out before making a final decision, just have in mind that we are talking about a product intended for developers and VR enthusiasts and not for consumers (yet). As promised my Oculus Rift dev kit is available for everyone willing to try it out and who happens to be living in Bulgaria, or in a nearby country or passes by Sofia. I’ve setup a system with some of the available demos and below is the address where the Oculus Rift demo is located in Sofia, Bulgaria (Europe)
After I’ve had a day to test out and play with my Oculus Rift dev kit I’m ready to share some of the first impressions I’ve got from the device by trying out some of the still very few demos available as well as the first game that supports it – Team Fortress 2. Since I do wear prescription glasses as I’m a bit nearsighted, with -1.25 diopters what seemed to work best with the Rift was the middle B set of lenses as the A set produces a blurry image for me and the C set is a bit too much. I’ve also tested trying to fit my prescription glasses inside the Rift as they are pretty compact in size (the do fit inside), the effect I get with them inside using the A set is pretty much the same as when using the B set without the glasses. I prefer to use the B set of lenses as it is more comfortable than to try to wear my glasses inside the rift and if you wear larger prescription glasses you may have trouble fitting them inside. You should have in mind that wearing glasses when using the Rift or using the B and C sets of lenses does lead to a slight reduction in the FOV you get.