nVidia is finally starting to offer DirectX 11 cards to users who want the very latest 3D games support. The MSI N480 GTX-M2D15 is one of the first to launch, offering a 1.5GB card for around £400 ex VAT.
Built around the 40 nanometre nVidia GF100 Fermi GPU, it supports OpenGL 3.2, 480 nVidia CUDA cores and GDDR5 graphics memory. Afterburner software provided with the MSI graphics card allows for managed overclocking for yet faster performance. Users can boost the voltage of the card (a process known as GPU overvoltage) to improve framerates and gameplay but can also use a Kombuster tool to help establish the card's most stable and sustainable settings.
Rival ATI has had Direct X 11 graphics cards on the market for yonks, but nVidia is only just launching its DX11 cards. Direct X 11 technologies specific to nVidia versions include 3D Vision Surround, PhysX and CUDA, which offloads much of the graphics-processing duties to the graphics card, allowing the main PC processor to focus on other tasks.
The MSI N480 GTX M2D15 and its N470 GTX M2D15 sibling are set to go onsale in the UK from the start of April and will be available through component retailers such as Novatech, CCL Online, Scan Computers and eBuyer.
See also: graphics cards reviews