BrainLazy managed to get a seat front and center at NVIDIA's big unveil panel. It was a process that involved camping out the line and eating burritos while standing, but small price, really. The whole event had a very "sports stadium" atmosphere. Three massive screens, sports jerseys, t-shirt cannons, and those annoying slappy noise makers. The works. Every attendee was provided with a pair of 3D glasses. That was a good sign.
After Drew Henry hit the stage and gave his obligatory love letter to the audience, the good stuff began. He held up a finished and functional GTX 480, the same one that was powering some of their display machines on the floor. Impressive numbers started to flow. 3 billion transistors, which is like 4 quad core i7s combined. This, he assured us, would let us "blow some shit up." The 480 sports a 1.5 Gig frame buffer, while its little brother the 470 still has an impressive 1.2 Gigs. On a broad swath of games including Battlefield Bad Company 2 and Just Cause 2, the performance averages 1.75x the performance, and in some games it was over 2x the performance. This would allow us to "tear shit up." Along with the graphical chops was 2.5x the physics processing power. Among all of the things these specs allow the card to achieve is real time, interactive ray tracing. This was demoed, using car from the Need for Speed series. The demo used a program called Design Garage that will be provided with every card.
Now it was time to put on the glasses. Full 3D demos, utilizing all three screens, were displayed for Battlefield Bad Company 2, World of Warcraft, and Metro 2033. The 3D effect was impressive. Riding a flying mount and having the landscape of WoW spread out around you in a massive three screen panorama is a sight to behold. A "game" will also ship with the card. Even though it was a thinly veiled demo, it did its job well, showcasing physics, particle effects, vast scope, speed, and many many explosions. Really, any game with a chicken cannon gets a thumbs up from me.
We were told that the cards will be in stores in two weeks… but some people won't have to wait that long. There was a give away to the audience member lucky enough to have the magic 3D glasses, and guess who had them! That's right, BrainLazy has scored a GTX 480, so keep your eyes here in the coming days for some hard, hands on info.