Nvidia is expected to announce the world's first DirectX 10-compliant graphics chip, the GeForce 8800 (codenamed G80), in the middle of November, graphics card makers revealed.
With Shader Model 4.0 support, DirectX 10 will improve visualization and rendering capabilities utilized in PC games, also reducing CPU overhead, according to the makers. It means that game developers will get additional space to make their games more sophisticated, said the makers.
However, demand for the new graphics processing unit (GPU) will depend on penetration rate of the new Windows Vista OS and availability of new PC games supporting DirectX 10, the makers indicated.
Since DirectX 10 is positioned as a Vista-only solution, with presumably no ability to work with previous Windows versions, Nvidia's move to launch the GeForce 8800 in November should rather be considered as a symbolic step, said industry sources. So far, Microsoft only promised that Windows Vista will run DirectX 9.0, allowing to later upgrade it to DirectX 10 via Windows Update.
When Microsoft releases a DirectX 10-capable OS, ATI will perhaps catch up with the competition, the sources added. ATI's next-generation R600 chip, which is also expected to support DirectX 10, is expected in the market in 2007.