A peek at the GeForce FX

I saw over on Slashdot that TweakTown has thrown up some notes from the floor of the Australian Game Developers Conference. Now, if your reaction is like mine, you just finished yawning, but this is actually a big deal. Why? Because NVIDIA was there, and they were showing off the GeForce FX.

For those who are interested, the article has links to videos of a couple of the GeForce FX demos, and anybody who's seen video card demos knows that seeing them in motion is a lot more impressive than screenshots. However, what really caught my eye was the section where the TweakTown guys convinced the NVIDIA reps to take the cover off one of the demo machines and let them have a look at the card itself. Here's one interesting quote:

These shots give us a good idea of just how much space these monsters are going to take up inside our cases. As you can see, the heat pipe cooling technology is going to cover two of your first PCI slots – whether you like it or not, start to get used to the fact guys.

If this is true, it's pretty big news. However, based on the pictures in the article, it looks to me like the cooler is only taking up the first PCI slot; looking at the back of the PC, it's only taking up the first PCI slot's backplate. I suppose it's possible that the cooler hangs lower internally, but I doubt NVIDIA would do this if they could avoid it. One more quote:

While we couldn’t see it, the fan cooling the heat pipes was very loud – we are talking almost Delta-like volume levels. Possibly, as we get closer to seeing these cards in retail, nVidia may tweak the cooling systems to a more noise tolerable level – at least I hope so.

When quizzed by a gamer at the sound levels coming from the back of the card, an nVidia rep was quick to suggest that it wouldn’t matter much because gamers would be using headphones during their gaming.

Our own Dr. Damage predicted last month that the GeForce FX would likely have a loud cooler, and it sounds (no pun intended) as though he was right. The NVIDIA rep's response to the issue is certainly . . . interesting.

A final bit of news as that the cards may be available in limited numbers before the end of the year. If you're waiting with bated breath, move that sound card down a slot; you might not have to wait much longer.

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