What is an R700 GPU?
So we’ve all heard the rumors about Nintendo’s upcoming Wii U console, and how it’s going to be some strange tablet-y thing with a touchscreen and analog sticks and a microwave and a cat. Or something. It’s all very interesting and strange and I don’t really care because it’s going to be obsolete the minute you finish the next Zelda title. Here’s why.
The rumor mill started saying early on that the Wii U would use an AMD/ATI Radeon R700 GPU, and it’s been all but confirmed by Nintendo. But what does that mean? What is an R700 GPU?
Complicated and relevant nonsense
Let’s start with the basics. A GPU is a Graphics Processing Unit, that is the chip in a computer or console that processes geometry, textures, lighting, and postprocessing effects and composites them into the image that you see on your screen when you play a video game. Modern GPUs use dozens or hundreds (or even thousands) of tiny, specialized microprocessors called “shaders” to execute the complex mathematical operations that turn a collection of binary digits and code into an actual image. A system’s GPU is the primary determinant of the quality of graphics that it displays. [Read more...]