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kobe bryant

Hardware support for algorithms

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Can anyone tell me How does hardware support a rendering technique, for example DX 9 cards (NVIDIA 7800, RADEON X850XT) supporting shader model 3.0.

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i guess i am, as well as other non shader algoritms. For instance a DX 7 Card cant support SM 3.0 but A DX 9 card can, what allows the card to support that enhanced functionality?

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Well, the hardware is totally different. Modern GPU's (aka shader driven ones) have a series of ALU's that are used to run the shader instructions (over simplified - but you get the idea), and hence are programmable. Earlier GPU's - aka fixed function ones - don't have this at all, and are essentially "hardwired" in what they can do, all you have control over is what path is used. The Geforce 3/4 series of cards - even though they could support PS1.3 were still hardwired, in essentially a switches and dials type configuration.

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