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Written by: David "Spunk" Grampa - January 30, 2000
Last updated by: Dan "Tweak Monkey" Kennedy - December 13, 2002
If you think of any terms to add to this dictionary, please e-mail us!
Game Engine - Graphics Pipeline
Game Engine - See engine. The programming code behind a game.
GeForce - NVIDIA was 'put on the map', so to speak, with its GeForce line of card. Although the TNT and Riva 128 cards were both quite successful and firmly planted NVIDIA in the graphics industry, the original GeForce was the product that pushed NVIDIA to the top. The GeForce naming scheme continued with the GeForce2, GeForce3, and GeForce4 product lines. The future of the naming convention is currently being questioned with "NV30" just around the corner (as of the last dictionary update).
Gigabit - 2^30 bits, or 1,073,741,824 bits. Often appreviated by "Gb" and generally it's referred to as "about a billion bits" or "about a thousand megabits".
Gigabyte - - 2^30 bytes, or 1,073,741,824 bytes. Often appreviated by "GB" and generally it's referred to as "about a billion bytes" or "about a thousand megabytes". Currently, this measurement is most often used for hard drive storage capacity.
Glide3D (Glide) - 3dfx's own proprietaryAPI . Although it is easy to program and much simpler than Direct3D, it was killed off due to lack of support from other video chips (hence, a lack of support from developers), and its overly simple instruction set that greatly limited its abilities and expansion.
Gouraud Shading - Gouraud shading really is not anything more than a graphics cards ability to shade 3D polygons.
GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) - NVIDIA's nickname for the graphics chips starting with the GeForce 256 product line, that claim to take load off the CPU for lighting and vertex processing. NVIDIA's definition (as of Oct. '99): "A GPU is a single-chip processor with integrated transform, lighting, triangle setup/clipping and rendering engines that is capable of producing a minimum of 10 million polygons per second."
Graphic Aperture Size - A setting often found in a system's BIOS setup, AGP aperature size is the amount of system memory reserved for an AGP graphics board. Most games function best with about 1x to 2x the graphic card's memory for AGP aperture size (e.g. 32 MB on a 16 MB board).
Graphics Pipeline - The path that information must travel to reach your monitor and/or back again is called the 'graphics pipeline'. Usually starting at the CPU, then going through the motherboard and then through a PCI or AGP slot to the graphics accelerator and back out through a cable to your monitor. The faster the graphics pipeline, the quicker data can be displayed on your monitor.