The guys over at EggXPert (affiliated with my favorite computer store put together a Q&A with some of the staff over at nVidia. I read part 2 today and I have to say I like where they’re going. ATI has some good stuff out right now too, and its a great time if you’re a gamer with or without a budget. Just recently I got an ATI 3450 for an HTPC and I just got an nVidia 9600GT for my desktop which I’ll review shortly.

Read the full Q&A here, but some highlights stood out for me:

4. Xpert: When will NVIDIA try catching up to ATi when it comes to video and movie rendering and quality? Are you interested in designing a GPU dedicated to video encoding/rendering?

Patrick Beaulieu, video technologies product manager: NVIDIA PureVideo HD technology is the best solution on the market for enjoying high quality video playback on your PC. A number of independent sites scored PureVideo HD higher than ATI’s competing technology in their tests with HQV and HQV HD. PureVideo HD also provides unique features like Dynamic Contrast and Tone Enhancements, dual-stream decode acceleration and Blu-ray playback in AeroGlass mode.

For more information, go to

As for video encoding, we’re working on some exciting technology that will dramatically speed up encoding and transcoding. Stay tuned!

This really stood out for me as I do a lot of encoding/decoding. Right now, encoding an hour in Xvid format (2-passes) takes me about a half-an-hour on my quad-core setup. Thats great, but my dual-core setup which I use as my HTPC takes almost twice as long. It would be great to have some encoding “assist” on the GPU to take some of the burden away from the CPU in the same way that it does with decoding. That leaves more CPU power for other things such as actually watching those recordings.

9. Xpert: When do you plan on allowing multiple monitors on an SLI set up? It seems rather silly having four monitor ports but only being able to have one monitor.

Andrew Fear: NVIDIA is committed to adding SLI multi-monitor support. We understand it’s an important feature for enthusiast gamers and will have it available as soon as we can. Please keep checking for information on this feature and when it will be available.

I actually didn’t realize SLI was only for single monitors. Hmmm, learn something new everyday. I would have thought that is part of the point of SLI is to get as much power as you can to play the games with as much eye-candy as possible on as large a screen as possible. With all of the horsepower out there right now, graphically speaking, with just 2 cards in SLI and potentially 3 and 4 card setups this seems like you would play any game at like 100 FPS on one monitor. Just seems like overkill. You can’t tell the difference between 50fps and 100fps or even 200fps can you? Having multiple monitors lets you run some insanely high resolutions, I can envision a 3 monitor setup, the middle facing front and the other 2 are your peripheral vision…

14. Xpert: With all pc components power requirements going up putting a bigger dent in customer’s electric bills, do you think that we will see pc components like video cards become more energy efficient? Or will we be seeing 1,000+ watt power supplies as the norm of the future?

With the increased pressure to turn out “green” components does NVIDIA have any stances concerning the development of future items to support their customers being more “green” (i.e. using less energy tying to power the system / cool the environment, etc.)?

Ujesh Desai: NVIDIA graphics cards in general are extremely efficient in terms of perf/watt. To enable even greater efficiency, we created a new technology called Hybrid SLI. For mainstream users, this technology will provide better performance without requiring large power supplies. For high-end users, HybridPower will enable you to completely shut down the graphics cards when you don’t need them (e.g.: checking e-mail or instant messaging), thereby saving energy and money.

Good trend in my opinion. It wasn’t that long ago that power supplies were in the 200-300w range and all of a sudden they jumped over 400, 600, 700w and up. People would brag about their 1000w+ systems on forums and blogs and whatnot. Intel has been leading the way with great performance at reasonable power requirements. I love the fact that my quad-core, overclocked, spews out less heat than my old Pentium4 2.4Ghz. In a practical and personal sense, the few dollars a month probably won’t make much of a dent in your wallet, but the real result (for me anyway) is in having a quiter system. Less energy means less heat which means less fans to blow out the heat, which means a quieter system. Not only for my desktop PC which is on not so often, but my HTPC which is on 24/7.

1. Xpert: I would like to hear them discuss plans on how we the consumer could have more choices / the ability to customize a video card or mother board so that they match a common theme or style. For example, I would like to be able to choose all black circuit boards with copper heat pipe cooling features that match. We all get tired of seeing the thing we want in the color we don’t want or the video card we want not match the theme we are trying to go with in our cases. There should be a way for “US” to select the color and cooling solution, not the maker. Give us a way to further customize our rig without all this aftermarket stuff.

Ujesh Desai: Cool idea. Logistically this may be tough to manage but it’s something we’ll definitely pass along to our board partners.

I LOVE this idea. Right now my video card is black, the board is green with yellow and blue on it, the CPU fan has blue LEDs on it… I’d love to have a consistent theme for it.

And here’s part 1 of the interview.