NVIDIA 1080 Released

May 7th NVIDIA released two new video cards; GTX 1080 and GTX 1070. The 1080 seems to be the most impressive card going, at least for the moment.


GTX1080 – Image by: NVIDIA

These cards sell for GTX 1080 US$599 and the GTX 1070 for $379. It sounds expensive, but these cards outperform anything else being made by a large margin. The Titan X is listed on Amazon for $1,149. The GTX1070 outperforms the Titan X. It outperforms the 980 by nearly 2 times and generates VR imaging at more than twice the rate. Continue reading

State of Graphics: DirectX 12 & Vulkan

In Second Life we run on OpenGL. Most Windows games run on DirectX. Microsoft has announced DirectX 12. It will essentially make NVIDIA 500 series and older cards obsolete. To use DX12 you’ll need a 600 or newer series card. This video explains what is happening. OpenGL is not left out.

It looks like ATI/AMD is making a replacement for OpenGL called Vulkan. It sounds like Vulcan is targeting more devices than DirectX 12. I expect to see Vulcan working on an Android mobile device way before DX12. I still have serious doubts we will see real time 3D render of good quality on mobile devices in the near future.

So, is the Lab planning to upgrade SL to Vulkan? I don’t know. I’ve asked. Vulkan is open source.

Word is OpenGL will still be developed. I think that odd. OpenGL is referred to in one place that came up in my research as a high level API, higher than Vulkan. The basic geek speak uses high and low to refer to how close you are to the hardware… the closer you get to the hardware the more programming you have to do. With higher level languages the more the language does for you.

Think of it this way… a low level addition command would be written as: place this value in Reg#1 and this other value in Reg2 then preform an XOR operation on then and place the result in Reg3 then move Reg3 to memory as variable X. A high level language would let you write the code as A + B = X and handle all the registers, operations and moves for you.

There are good reasons for using higher and lower level languages and API’s. But, generally we want API’s that produce more overall efficiency. From the other stuff said about Vulkan I would think it should be called a higher level API…. it does way more for the programmer. Whether it is higher or lower it is the next gen descendant of OpenGL.

For those of us playing in SL this means little today. But, suggests that play in Sansar will mean we will need a 600 series card or higher.

If you are looking for more details start at the Wikipedia: Vulkan API.


nVidia Drivers 306.97 Released

The last driver out was 306.23 released on September 23rd. This newer 306.97 was released on October 10th. I’ve been running the 306.23 since the September release. I haven’t seen any problems in Second Life™ with 306.23. Unless the Pathfinding Characters failing to render correctly in the SL Development Viewer is related to the driver, which doesn’t seem to be the case, more later.

nVidia Driver Updates 306.97

I have seen the behavior of my Vista-32 change with 306.23. There seems to be a serious video lag in several places. Moving icons on the desktop is one place. Moving the icon appears to leave a copy of the icon behind. It can take 10 to 30 seconds or longer for the left-behind-icon to disappear. In some cases I have to do something to make the screen update before it goes away.

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NVIDIA Drivers Update Problems

In the previous article, nVidia Update and Goodies, I talked about the release of a new 295.73 version driver. Now we are getting reports of nVidia Driver 295.73 causing Second Life Viewers to crash. The Firestorm/Phoenix Development team is reporting Firestorm users with GTX460 cards and 295.73 are having problems.

This is not the first time we have had problems with nVidia 460 cards. See: nVidia Driver GTX 460 Problems.

For Those using nVidia 450 and 460 cards it is advised they roll back to driver version 285.62 WHQL.

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