Meet the Extreme High Definition: 2560*1600 in Action
Virtually all computer games today are running pretty fine in 1600x1200 resolution with anisotropic filtering and all the quality settings set to the maximum on a Radeon X1900 XT graphics card, however, there are quite a number of advanced users who want to enjoy their video games on 24” or 30” displays with 1920x1200 or 2560x1600 resolution. Nvidia believes that for this kind of customers even two graphics cards are not enough and four will be exactly what will satisfy their demanding needs.
Nvidia calls 2560x1600 resolution as XHD, or extreme high definition, and especially targets its quad SLI offering at those, who happen to own a large screen 30” display and want to play the games in native wide-screen resolution.
In addition to truly impressive image quality that the 2560x1600 resolution provides, wide-screen displays with 16:9 or 16:10 ratio give games ability to have wider field of view, which makes the overall gaming experience even more immersive, while professional gamers may see more opponents and thus, become more successful in online gaming. In fact, even adorers of strategy games will take advantage of a wide-screen display.
While the advantages of 30” displays are indisputable, there are several points that should be considered:
- 30” displays from Apple or Dell cost starting from $2500
- Matrixes used on large displays are not truly fast for rapid gaming
- Very few games today support resolutions higher than 1600x1200, but those, who actually do, support 1920x1200 and 2560x1600 nearly for sure.
Meet the Sleeping Beauty: 32x Antialiasing Checked Out
Keeping in mind the following points and also considering another target group for quad SLI – those with smaller monitors who still demand extreme quality of 3D on their screens – Nvidia introduced a new method of antialiasing called SLI AA 32xs. There are quite some 20”+ displays on the market that only support 1600x1200 resolution, which is good by itself, but may not be enough enthusiasts, who constantly want more. Therefore, bringing a more advanced antialiasing pattern was certainly a quite logical option for Nvidia Corp.
As explained above, the SLI AA 32xs is a “mix” of four frames with 8xs (4x multi-sampling + 2x supersampling) FSAA algorithms. Nvidia’s 8xs is known for being very performance hungry, additionally, in case of 4 GPUs there is additional performance hit caused by necessity to blend the frames into one.
In fact, 32xs antialiasing along with a high resolution provides virtually the most astonishing image quality that we have ever seen. For instance, in Half-Life 2 the scenes truly look like photographs, whereas the woods of Elder of Scrolls: Oblivion impress with their detail and accuracy. Unfortunately, you have really be careful with enabling the SLI AA 32xs on the GeForce 7900 quad SLI right now, as in quite a lot of titles it cannot guarantee smooth framerate, thus, becoming a sleeping beauty, which will be awaken by the next-generations of GeForce graphics chips.