Nvidia launches A New Dawn Demo

By on July 24, 2012
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Burn your GTX 600 series card out!

In 2002 Nvidia showed off their latest and greatest graphics card, the GeForce FX 5800 Ultra, with a tech demo called ‘Dawn’. The demo showed off a fairy going about her way, but what made it impressive was, of course, the amount of processing power being shown off. Dawn’s realistic facial expressions, lighting effect and environmental complexity were an incredible leap over the ageing DX8 standard, and the FX 5800 Ultra was the king of DX9 cards at launch.

Old Dawn

Ten years later, with eight generations of graphics card under their belt, Nvidia has launched ‘A New Dawn’ tech demo for their latest DX11.1 graphics card, the GTX 600 series. Aimed primarily at the GTX 670 running in SLI, as well as the GTX 680 and GTX 690, this new demo will break a sweat on even the most powerful of gaming rigs.

New Dawn

Some very interesting differences between the two demos can be seen in the table below:

Just the amount of hair strands triangles being pushed out is incredible. And as Nvidia pointed out, the new layers of lighting on skin is what makes the facial expression so believable, it’s not unrealistically shiny or smooth.

It’s always nice to see how far things of progressed from the yesteryear. You can have a look at the original Dawn demo and try out the New Dawn demo as well.


From auditing to editing, I now test and analyze the latest gadgets and games instead of the latest financial statements. Both jobs are equally intense and rewarding. When I'm not burning up hardware in the name of science, you'll find me nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.

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