Fermi GF100: The new DirectX 11 and Ray Tracing tech demos
Nvidia has used the technology preview of GF100 Fermi to introduce several new tech demos. PC Games Hardware shows pictures and videos of the new technology demos.
When a chip manufacturer releases a new generation of graphics cards, the appropriate technology demonstrations (or tech demos) have become more or less obligatory. They are supposed to show the features and capabilities of the new devices - even if similar games don't exist. Therefore Nvidia introduced diverse new tech demos in course of the GF100 Fermi launch. Two features, DirectX 11 Tessellation and Ray Tracing, are the most important ones. PC Games Hardware took a look at the new tech demos and presents in form of screenshots and videos.
Fermi tech demo: Supersonic Sled
In Supersonic Sled the important objects aren't only modeled with Physx, but Nvidia also uses the DirectX 11 Tessellation feature to create a detailed background scene. If used incorrectly, the sled can fall apart, the pilot can be sent flying through the air or do the wildest acrobatics. Or the exhaust stream is affected by the thermal shields.
It is said that due to the simulated vibrations of the engine, which is continuously changing the physical status, there won't be two identical runs. When asking Sean Cleveland (at the beginning of the video) we learned that although there are three Geforce GF100s in the test system, only one of them is used to run the tech demo. In the wireframe mode with active visual display of the Physx objects including the vectors, the demo is lagging noticeably from time to time - but not if the normal display mode is active. A new version of the demo, which has not been shown publicly, solved the lag problem.
[Fermi tech demo: Optix Ray Tracing
With the Fermi architecture launch at the GTC 2009 Nvidia showed a Ray Tracing demo based on the in-house Optix Engine. Nvidia compared the demo on two systems one powered by the GF100 and one with a Geforce GTX 285 (right display). On the Fermi card the demo was running at 1920 x 1080 with up to five light refractions (Bounces) per ray.
Fermi tech demo: Hair Rendering
In this tech demo Nvidia combines Tessellation, Geometry and Compute Shaders to calculate realistic hair. By the way: Demos dealing with hair have quite a tradition at Nvidia - you might want to take a look at the article All tech demos from Porsche Boxster to Bugatti Veyron.
Fermi tech demo: Water Demo
In this demo Nvidia uses the GF100 to shows the advantages of DirectX 11 Tessellation. Not only the water, but also the surfaces of the islands are formed with a wireframe model, which is independent to the distance and can be refined on the graphics chip.
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