Product FAQ


These are some of the most frequently asked corporate/general questions we have received over the past few months. If you have any additional questions you need answered please email us at info@nvidia.com.


QUESTIONS:

1. My team plans to develop a new style 3D game in a PC and arcade environment. What shapes does the NV1 support?

2. What is a QTM? Are there any tools that convert 3DS (3DStudio File format) to QTM?

3. I read that the Diamond 3D EDGE card with your accelerator chip is slow under DOS. Is that a problem of the chip itself or can we expect cards with better DOS performance from other manufacturers?

4. Will Diamond's 3D EDGE card run with my older games, like Nascar, Magic Carpet, or Fifa 96?

5. Will Diamond's 3D EDGE give me better game performance because they are in 3D or will only new games developed specifically for the card run on the EDGE?

6. Other than Win95, what environments does the NV architecture support?

7. When I have a problem what is the best way to report it?

8. Can I use the Diamond 3D EDGE card in Windows 3.1?

9. Will more Sega games be available for the NVIDIA accelerator?

10. How does the NV1 stack up on the audio front, compared to its competitors?

11. I am in the market for a new graphics card. I own a Sony Playstation and would like see my PC equal, if not surpass, its graphics and sound capabilities. I have read many articles that seem to give NVIDIA's 3D, audio, and input acceleration the advantage over competitors. Which flavor of an NVIDIA-based card do you recommend, VRAM or DRAM, 1MB, 2MB, or 4MB ?

12. Does your board run under Windows NT in a MIPS platform?




QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:

Q. 1. My team plans to develop a new style 3D game in a PC and arcade environment. What shapes does the NV1 support?

A. NVIDIA supports standard polygons used in content created for the PC, next-generation game consoles, and arcades: triangles and rectangles. In addition to these traditional polygons, NVIDIA supports a third graphic primitive, known as a curve (or QTM) for advanced content quality and interactivity on a PC.

Q. 2. What is QTM? Are there any tools that convert 3DS (3DStudio File format) to QTM?

A. QTM is NVIDIA's patent pending technique for blending and smoothing surfaces and implementing perspective-correct textures for rendering textured curved surfaces as well as conventional textured flat polygons. These higher quality photo-realistic graphics polygons create smoother curved environment, with a significant reduction in the amount of CPU work required by the host, resulting in markedly higher frame rate and on-screen content. If you're interested in converting 3DStudio triangle models to quadrilaterals, Vancouver, Canada based Animetix makes a product that will not only do this for you but it also will boost the performance of your NV1 based product. This is not required for triangle based games as they already run fast under the NV architecture. In addition, SoftImage and Hash make tools for enhancing the animation of your game content.

Q.3. I read that the Diamond 3D EDGE card with your accelerator chip is slow under DOS. Is that a problem of the chip itself or can we expect cards with better DOS performance from other manufacturers?

A. The Diamond EDGE 3D card will support and run DOS-based games (that have not been specifically enhanced for the Diamond EDGE 3D) at the same or better performance than other leading 2D graphics-only cards. In addition, the Diamond EDGE 3D will enhance the audio of those games from SoundBlaster to advanced wave-table synthesis audio. If a DOS-based game has been specifically enhanced for NVIDIA, of course, everything from the 3D to audio to input response will be significantly improved.

Q. 4. Will Diamonds 3D EDGE card run with my older games, like Nascar, Magic Carpet, or Fifa 96?

A. Yes. Essentially, almost every single DOS game made will be displayed and enhanced with wavetable synthesis by the Diamond EDGE 3D. For audio, you can play MPU-401 MIDI sounds (generally, the soundtrack) old DOS games will work on the Diamond 3D EDGE. For audio, you can play MPU-401 MIDI sounds (generally, the soundtrack) through the NV1 chip on the Diamond 3D EDGE, but DOS digital audio requires a DOS sound card. The EDGE comes with cabling and instructions for hooking the output of your existing ISA sound card into the EDGE, and a DOS mixer application to adjust the relative volumes.

Q.5. Will Diamonds 3D EDGE give me better game performance because they are in 3D or will only new games developed specifically for the card run on the EDGE?

A. Yes and yes. The simple answer is this: DOS applications will play as they would on any leading graphics card and be enhanced with advanced wavetable audio; Windows 95 applications using DirectX and Direct3D APIs in Windows will be significantly accelerated and enhanced, since NVIDIAs NV1 accelerates every component of Windows DirectX: 3D, audio, video, and input and those applications written especially for the NV architecture (such as the Sega Saturn ports) will be lightning fast and utilize every aspect of the NV1s technology set.

Q. 6. Other than Win95, what environments does the NV architecture support?

A. There is nothing in the NV architecture that prohibits support for other operating environments. At this time, NVIDIAs focus is on the priorities of our customers, which means Windows 95 and DOS. We expect to release Windows 3.11 drivers soon and will continue to expand OS support where it makes business sense in order to meet our customers needs.

Q. 7. When I have a problem what is the best way to report it?

A. For the most appropriate technical support you need to contact the manufacturer of your card. The most helpful way to report a problem would be to describe the problem in writing allowing the manufacturer to recreate it. As part of the report, include information such as software versions, which drivers you are using, how it fails, how to reproduce it, and details of your hardware and software configuration. Armed with that information, send an e-mail it to the manufacturer. Often times the problem is easily solved by simply reinstalling drivers and then rebooting. Other times it is more complicated and you would need the manufacturers help in solving the problem.

Q. 8. Can I use the Diamond 3D EDGE card in Windows 3.1?

A. NVIDIA started developing drivers for Windows 3.1, but our customers (board manufacturers such as Diamond Multimedia) asked us to focus our efforts on making the NV1 a great Windows 95 multimedia accelerator -- which is precisely what we did. Drivers for Windows 3.1 are currently being worked on and tested and should be available by April.

Q. 9. Will more Sega games be available for the NVIDIA accelerator?

A. Yes, Sega is developing versions of additional Sega Saturn games for the NV architecture, but they have not announced which titles yet. One good window for quickly tapping into that info is via their web site (http://www.segaoa.com/segapc/indexn.html). Sega has a separate effort to port Sega Genesis and Sega CD titles to the generic Pentium PC architecture for which they have already announced Tomcat Alley, Ecco the Dolphin, and Comix Zone. These titles will all be uniquely enhanced for the NV1 accelerator chip because the architecture makes it a phenomenally fast accelerator for all of Windows 95.

Q. 10. How does the NV1 stack up on the audio front, compared to its competitors?

A. The NV1s audio quality is measured in two ways.
First of all, the audio played is advanced wave table synthesis audio, instead of plain FM synthesis. FM synthesis is older technology that uses artificially reproduced sounds that try to closely mimic real sounds, (i.e.: a violin, a guitar). The NV1 uses a 350 MIPs wave table synthesis engine which uses bank of sampled sounds played on a standard MIDI map. You hear a real violin, not a close approximation.
Secondly, the NV1s audio quality characteristics such as frequency response, total harmonic distortion, etc. are far better than an AWE-32, and comparable to a RAP-10. It is, quite simply, one of the best quality audioimplementations on the PC.

Q. 11. I am in the market for a new graphics card. I own a Sony Playstation and would like see my PC equal, if not surpass, its graphics and sound capabilities. I have read many articles that seem to give NVIDIAs 3D, audio, and input acceleration the advantage over competitors. Which flavor of an NVIDIA-based card do you recommend, VRAM or DRAM, 1MB, 2MB, or 4MB?

A. The entire premise of the design, architecture and implementation of NVIDIAs NV1 product is to create the ultimate multimedia experience on the PC by incorporating and concurrently enhancing, every aspect of multimedia: 2D graphics, 3D graphics, video, audio and input. The NV1 is an instant, across-the-board upgrade of every multimedia component under Windows 95. Graphics goes from just 2D, to textured, realistic 3D. 2D GUI becomes DirectDraw hardware acceleration. Video becomes 30 fps DirectVideo acceleration of MPEG and Indeo. Audio goes from SoundBlaster to Advanced Wave Table Synthesis. Analog joystick becomes Digital Input connection of any joystick, including Sega gamepads, racing steering wheels, flight sticks, and other peripherals.
Depending on your requirements (and budget), a 1 or 2MB DRAM version should be ideal for most applications. If you are interested in higher performance, a 2 MB VRAM board is probably for you. The 4MB VRAM board would be preferable only if you want the highest screen resolutions and performance.

Q.12. Does your board run under Windows NT in a MIPS platform?

A. Not at this time. We are focused on the consumer multimedia market, which includes Windows 95 and DOS. The fact that the chip is as fast or faster than many professional graphics solutions is just a happy byproduct of the architecture of the NV1. At this time, we have released drivers for Windows 95, DirectX and Direct3D, and DOS, with Windows 3.1 support release this spring. We have no immediate plans for supporting NT, NT on MIPS, Linux, Mac PCI, Dec Alpha PCI, etc.


HomePage | Product NVormation | Corporate NVormation
NVenting with Nvidia | NVelope Your Senses | NterViews