XFX 8800 Ultra XXX Edition Video Card Review :: XFX 8800 Ultra XXX Edition Features

05-25-2007 · Category: Hardware - Video Cards

By Doc Overclock
  • 675 MHz Core
  • 1.15GHz memory (2.3GHz effective)
  • 1.5GHz Stream Processor speed
  • 128 Stream Processors
  • 24 ROPs
  • 64 Texturing units
  • Up to 8x MSAA
  • Coverage Sample Anti-aliasing
  • Pixel Shader 4.0
  • Vertex Shader 4.0
  • 128-bit HDR
  • Unified Shader Architecture
  • Near perfect Angle Independent Anti-Aliasing
  • 384-bit memory interface

XFX 8800 Ultra XXX Edition Video Card Review
XFX 8800 Ultra XXX Edition Video Card Review

DirectX 10 games and demos are about to hit with the release of the Lost Planet demo and the Call of Juarez demo, the new API for graphics is about to hit the forefront. Previous APIs allowed the user to have hardware that didn't meet the requirements for the API default to the lower one i.e. Shader Model 1.3 hardware (GeForce 3) could run under DirectX 9.0c but not the Shader Model 3 path, defaulting to the SM 1.3 path. With DirectX 10 you either run under DX10 path or DX9 path, there is no fallback.

The 8800 Ultra consists of 681 million transistors on TSMC's 90 nanometer low-k process, just like the 8800GTX card. The card is clocked at 675MHz, a definite upgrade from the 8800GTX which was clocked at 575MHz for the default clocked reference card and 630 MHz for the 8800 GTX XXX Edition card, which was one of the fastest 8800 GTX cards available. The Ultra XXX Edition is XFX's ultimate 8800 Ultra card, with slower versions also on the market.

The key features of DirectX 10 include Pixel Shader 4.0, Vertex Shader 4.0, Geometry Shading and more. Pixel Shader 4.0 allows for 65,536 Pixel Shader operations in a single pass. Other differences include up to 4096 Temporary Registers, 128 textures, 8 render targets a unified Shader instruction set for both Pixel and Vertex Shaders and the ability to use Constant Buffers.

The Vertex Shader 4.0 specification includes a higher number of instruction slots, higher number of constants and better support for Geometry Instancing.

A new Shader was introduced with DirectX 10, the Geometry Shader. The Geometry Shader can create new primitives from existing primitives like pixels, lines, and triangles. Typical uses of a geometry Shader include point sprite generation, geometry tessellation, shadow volume extrusion, single pass rendering to a cube map.

The 8800GTX was the first NVIDIA card to fully support 8x MSAA in a single pass, with 4x MSAA done in a single clock cycle. Earlier NVIDIA hardware was capable of 2x MSAA in a single clock cycle with 4x MSAA the maximum that the hardware supports. NVIDIA introduced Coverage Sample Anti-Aliasing with the 8800 GTX which takes extra samples if triangles intersect the coverage sampling point. 8x AA is 4x MSAA+4 coverage samples, 8xQ is true 8x MSAA, 16x is 4x MSAA+12 Coverage samples and 16xQ is 8x MSAA+8 Coverage samples.

DirectX 10 games will be released in the upcoming months. Lost Planet, an Xbox 360 game was the first to officially release a DX10 demo as well as the DX9 demo. Hellgate: London, Crysis, and Call of Juarez are just three of the games slated to run DirectX 10 graphics and all will be released later this year. To fully appreciate the new games in their entire visual splendor requires a DX10 video card like the NVIDIA 8800 Ultra or HD 2900XT cards from ATI.