NVIDIA GeForce graphics card users, remember Dawn? It was an NVIDIA technology demo from 2002 that consisted of an animated forest fairy that operated in real time. The demo was designed to run on DirectX 9.0-based graphics cards from NVIDIA, such as the GeForce FX 5800, a high-end graphics card at the time (or otherwise fondly remembered as the "Dustbuster").
Now 10 years later, NVIDIA has resurrected Dawn by way of a new demo called “A New Dawn”. Naturally, the Dawn of today is way advanced than the one in 2002, though still as skimpily dressed. For one, the original Dawn had our winged fairy in a giant environmental cube map, whereas A New Dawn is set in a full 3D environment. Also, the original Dawn’s hair was made up of 1,700 static strands, compared to 40,000 tessellated strands on the new Dawn. Of course, all these (and more) are made possible by DirectX 11 tessellation.
Here’s a screen grab that compares the old Dawn with the new one from the GeForce website:
The minimum requirement for running this demo is a GeForce GTX 670 or 680 graphics card, but some intensive graphical features would be turned off. To witness the new Dawn in her full splendor, there’s an Ultra Mode that targets systems running a GeForce GTX 690, or a pair of GTX 670 (or 680) running in a 2-way SLI configuration.