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Written by: Ed Lau [05.21.03]
 Edited by: Carl Nelson

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nVidia Graphics Inferno (cont.)

It was great to see them poke fun at themselves because they obviously screwed up with the 5800 Ultra.  However, it looks as though they're on the right track to redeeming themselves with the 5900 Ultra, which will use a much quieter heatsink fan and once again puts NVIDIA on top in terms of performance.  The marketing guys demoed the card with three short...demos.  The first would feature Dawn's sister, Dusk dancing in her little leather outfit...which, with the flip of some switches and some bars, would turn to a vinyl outfit.  This was the first feature that nVidia was showing: textures.  I have to admit, the demo was very impressive in the way that it rendered textures.  The wall could be displayed as bumpy or smooth.

The second feature of the card would be the way it handles shadows.  The Dusk demo showed shadow rendering like I've never's hard to describe.  It was incredibly real.  "Soft" shadows were done beautifully, like when the sun passed through a ladder in the second demo, rendering a gas station in the middle of the desert.

The third feature was the rendering of fire, which showed some of the best fire effects I've ever seen.  However, when they said that the smoke effect was also improved...I didn't see it.  I thought the smoke looked very out of place in the demo but nevertheless, the fire looked great.  The third demo was of some flaming demon dude which they described as "inspired by the balrog in LOTR", forging something on an anvil.

Anyways, when all the techie talk was done, Smashmouth came out and brought down the house.  I'm not exactly a huge Smashmouth fan.  I mean, I like the music but I wouldn't consider myself a fan.  However, these guys ROCKED. 

And...after drinking the equivalent of like...15 Vancouver Jack and Cokes (among other drinks...), I called it a night and headed home.  Don't worry, I've got a superhuman liver.

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