Later today (around 15:00 local time) NVIDIA’s NDA will crumble and the first reviews of the GTX 1080 GPU will drop. Not only is it one of the most hyped up generation of cards by being the first consumer graphics card to use the 16nm FinFET process, but NVIDIA’s Jen-Hsun Huang gave a very passionate (if unrehearsed) live stream at DreamHack, promising “irresponsible amounts of performance”.
Now as many local gamers wail at the hammering of our beloved Rand, and the concomitant reverberations on local pricing, there is a technology being released with Pascal that does not require you to mortgage the Wendy house or sell that last kidney of yours. As my tech boner quivers at the thought of having a GTX 1080 purring away in my computer, the thought of dropping upwards of 15K for a single GPU sends my bank balance (and sanity) into a tailspin. For many of us, that level of graphics card is irrevocably out of reach. Most people will be obviously focusing on the outright performance, but for many NVIDIA users, some new technology and features will unlock later today.
However, with the launch of Pascal, NVIDIA has also given the gaming world a new technology suite that I feel is going to make gaming just a little bit more interesting and personalised. Named after photographer Ansel Adams, NVIDIA’s Ansel aims to give gamers increased control over advanced in-game photography, and that includes insane high definition screenshots and 360 degree VR viewable images. Even more spectacular is that this technology is available to people who still use GPUs bought 4 years ago, which means all the way down to the 600 series of graphics cards. Me and my GTX 970 are quite chuffed about this.