by Michael Diamond

Win7-1 Windows 7 is about to launch. It’s going to let people harness the power of GPUs to turbo-charge general computing as well as digital media applications and gaming. It’s an OS that Microsoft can be proud of, and it’s one that should delight customers.

GPUs are included at the core of Windows 7, where for the first time the OS allows the CPU and the GPU to create a co-processing environment. The CPU operates on sequential codes and the GPU handles massively parallel processing. As a result, Windows 7 PCs can offer new and faster applications with a lot more bang for the buck.
Win7-2 Windows 7’s DirectCompute API is used for GPU-accelerated compute applications, such as video playback, video editing, video conversion, 3D web browsing and PC gaming.  It leverages the processing power of the GPU to dramatically accelerate applications. This is great news for NVIDIA’s installed base of up to 180 million DirectCompute GPUs. And just wait until GPUs built on the new Fermi architecture hit the street.

There are three key Windows 7 scenarios that the GPU is central to. Microsoft calls these “More Media, More Places,” “Simplify My Life” and “Power Gaming.”


More Media, More Places
Windows 7 users are going to see big enhancements in the way they consume video and high-def TV thanks to GPU co-processing.

• Get smooth playback of high-definition videos in Windows Media Player, thanks to Windows 7 native H.264 support and built-in GPU decoding  acceleration.
• Get up to 6x faster performance when you drag-and-drop transfer and convert HD videos from your desktop to your portable media player using  built-in GPU acceleration.
• Experience up to 5x faster performance when you enhance and stabilize home-made videos using applications like MotionDSP vReveal.
• Watch high-definition digital broadcast TV in Windows Media Center with GPU-accelerated H.264 or MPEG-2 playback.

Simplify My Life
Windows 7 enables applications that simplify and enhance your PC experience.

• Windows 7 uses 50 percent less memory consumption per window using the new Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM). v1.1. GDI (Graphics Device  Interface) acceleration uses only a single copy of each window that is stored in graphics memory, removing the need for a duplicate copy in system  memory.
• Windows 7 features even more responsive touch control. If you have a PC that supports multi-touch, you’ll be able to enjoy everything in Microsoft  Touch Pack for Windows 7 as well as GPU-accelerated applications like Cooliris and Super Loiloscope.

Power Gaming
Windows 7 has more features for game developers, plus speed and performance improvements for gamers.
• DirectX 11, has GPU tessellation that enables more graphics detail, multithreading to remove CPU bottlenecks, improved HDR (high dynamic range) format for texture compression and Shader Model 5.0 for better programmability for developers
• SLI runs up to 10 percent faster on Windows 7 versus Windows XP.
• You can get up to 500 percent faster gaming performance with physics effects on the GPU using GPU Computing.
• And Windows 7 enables eye popping immersive gaming effects with 3D Vision stereoscopic gaming.

Win7-4 Whatever scenario you use it for, Windows 7 offers faster performance and an improved experience.