Graphics Cards Guide

NVIDIA GeForce 6200 with TurboCache

NVIDIA GeForce 6200 with TurboCache



How TurboCache Works And The Benefits

How TurboCache Works And The Benefits

The TurboCache technology was engineered such that graphics cards need only be equipped with a tiny amount of local memory (such as the two new cards) while further memory is borrowed when it is required from the system's main memory to fulfill its complete frame buffer needs. The beauty of this technology is that it sees both the graphics card's local memory and the system memory as a single frame buffer. For now, TurboCache is designed for a combined frame buffer size of 128MB and in the case of the new GeForce 6200 models with TurboCache, they only require a maximum of 96MB to 112MB of your main system memory. It's sort of like Intel's Dynamic Video Memory Technology (DVMT), except that your system properties will always report the system's full installed memory size and the graphics adapter will always report a full frame buffer size of 128MB regardless of the fact that it may not even be using any more than the card's local memory when running in the Windows desktop.

The fact of the matter is that system memory is dynamically allocated to the graphics adaptor when required and de-allocated to the system as soon as it is not needed. To manage this, a new TurboCache Manager (TCM) seats at the software (driver) level and works seamlessly with the new memory management unit (MMU) built into the GeForce 6200 with TurboCache.

Besides efficient texturing from system memory, another very crucial aspect of NVIDIA's TurboCache is that it enables rendering to/from the system memory directly. The PCIe x16's large upstream bandwidth (which is equivalent to the downstream of 4.0GB/s) is definitely an enabler of this feature, but with NVIDIA's patented hardware and software technology, it is now a reality. Essentially, this enables almost all the data and buffers (back, Z, shadow, glow, blur etc.) to be dynamically located either on local memory or the system memory with exception of the front buffer that consists of the data to be refreshed to screen. So with the ability to perform both read and write seamlessly and simultaneously to the system and local memory, the TurboCache technology has effectively extended the graphics card's frame buffer and saves both graphics memory cost and power consumption. The use of TurboCache based GPUs in future notebooks was strongly highlighted by NVIDIA and it is not difficult to see why as every watt saved goes a long way in extending the battery life (not to mention space, complexity and cost of the graphics module).