We were just as shocked as you all to see live NV45 demonstrations at Computex, so we made it top priority to get some more information on NV45.

First of all, it seems that at least some of the samples of NV45 that NVIDIA handed out are running at 350MHz with 1GHz GDDR3 memory, which is slower than the current NV40 GPU. Granted we are not dealing with final hardware, but the fact that NVIDIA is running these parts at a lower clock is interesting.

NVIDIA did a similar thing with NV35, they ran it initially at much lower clock speeds than NV30 to show that even at lower clock speeds it could outperform NV30. We can't help but wonder if NVIDIA has done any internal tuning on NV45 that would make performance at the same clock, go up. Unfortunately, architectural details are sparse at best, but we're working hard to get them if we can.

The next topic of discussion is PCI Express. The NV45 card we already pictured is clearly a PCI Express x16 card, but we could not find an external bridge chip, meaning that NVIDIA had produced a native PCI Express NV45. We were incorrect in that assumption, which we revealed by taking the heatsink off of NV45:


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Underneath the heatsink you'll see the NV45 GPU, as well as a separate die on the same package.

The second, smaller die is NVIDIA's High Speed Interconnect (HSI) which is an AGP-to-PCI Express bridge, meaning that NV45 is still an AGP part. Granted this isn't a negative thing, but we're just trying to set the record straight - NVIDIA's AGP/PCI Express plans have not changed.


Click to Enlarge

Note: we've had to blur or cut out various markings on the card itself to protect our sources, nothing else has been modified in these pictures

The mysterious power connector...
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  • SpaceRanger - Tuesday, June 01, 2004 - link

    Could the 6-pin plug be part of the BTX specification, or am I getting my specifications confused? Reply
  • Icewind - Tuesday, June 01, 2004 - link

    Ok, im officially confused. WTF is Nvidia trying to accomplish with this. NOW we have to buy a new PSU to support this power connector?

    Sigh, i'll be sticking with good old maple leave ATi I think.
    Reply
  • adelies - Tuesday, June 01, 2004 - link

    It's a power connector.

    3 pins for +12V, 2 gnd pins, & one sense pin. According to PCI-E spec, graphic card consumes more than 75W need this power connector.
    Reply
  • Dasterdly - Tuesday, June 01, 2004 - link

    Looks like a 3 phase molex power conn. Reply
  • DoctorM - Tuesday, June 01, 2004 - link

    Doh, you're right it's 6-pins not 4 like on the +12v line.

    A 6-pin auxillary connector could deliver the power needed with an adapter cable, but why would you change the connection if it's already part of the ATX standard (v2.03 I believe.)

    Wasn't that originally developed as an aditional AGP power connection?

    Ok, so I'm officially stumped (and stupid for the previous 4-pin conjecture).
    Reply
  • glennpratt - Tuesday, June 01, 2004 - link

    If they can standardize the plug and make an adapter for old hardware I'll be OK with it. Otherwise... Reply
  • Chuckles - Monday, May 31, 2004 - link

    I just noticed something rather interesting regarding the 6-pin power connector.

    ATI's partner PCI-E cards have the mounting holes for a similar power plug on their cards, as illustrated in the following picture:
    <http://images.anandtech.com/reviews/shows/computex...
    Notice the holes in the upper right-hand corner of the card.
    Reply
  • DoctorM - Monday, May 31, 2004 - link

    Call me crazy, but that extra power connector looks just like the +12v Atx power connector on motherboards.

    That would explain the need for a big heat sink, there's probably a power transformer underneath.

    Looks like the double 4-pin molex thing wasn't enough.

    Now where can I get a Y-connector.
    Reply
  • l3ored - Monday, May 31, 2004 - link

    who is computex's targetted audiance? why is it held in taiwan? Reply

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