Posted 05 June 2007 - 12:33 PM
That is not so dumb an idea as it might at first seem. A graphics card is a motherboard with a graphics processor and some memory. It theory I think it could be doable. But there are some severe technical drawbacks.
A simple one is space. Graphics cards are quite cramped already. Then there is memory bandwidth and latency. You get around 10 GB/s of bandwidth from the RAM interface we are using on motherboards now. My graphics card has 86 GB/s of bandwidth. Some go up to 140 GB/s. So a graphics card with add-in memory would have an incredibly big bottleneck around the memory bandwidth.
As for the quad-core and 8 GB of memory: It isn't nearly as impressive as it at first sounds. A CPU normally has one or two (or four) big, complex general purpose cores. A GPU is a specialized processor and has no need of big general purpose cores. My graphics card has 128 small, simple stream processors. Compared to that four cores isn't much.
So a graphics card with plug-in GPU an memory would be bigger, slower and more expensive that what we have today. Then there are a bunch of other business issues in the way.
Looking to the future, things may change. Technology will improve. Someday we will have an plug-in interface with hundreds gigabytes of bandwidth. But then the whole point with a graphics card will be moot. Instead we will have stuff like AMD's Fusion project. It is about replacing a couple of the cores in our multi-core CPU's of the future with specialized graphics cores, and so the motherboard becomes the graphics card.
"Anyone who cannot form a community with others, or who does not need to because he is self-sufficient [...] is either a beast or a god." Aristotle
Intel Core 2 Quad | XFX 780i SLI | 8GB Corsair | Gigabyte GeForce 8800GTX | Auzentech X-Fi Prelude| Logitech G15 | Logitech MX Revolution | LG Flatron L2000C | Logitech Z-5500 Digital