Guru3D Reviews World's First Wireless Graphics Card
February 14, 2011
By Andrew Burnes
We have wireless mice, wireless routers, wireless keyboards, wireless game controllers, and even wireless speakers, but how about wireless graphics cards? Such a marvel now exists thanks to KFA2 and Galaxy, who have created the world’s first wireless GPU that will soon be available for purchase in limited numbers. With a rated range of 100 feet, the KFA2 GeForce GTX460 WHDI 1024MB PCIe 2.0 untethers you from the PC and even transmits audio from games and movies in Dolby Digital 5.1. What’s more, KFA2’s system will also support --in a forthcoming firmware update-- the use of USB keyboards and mice away from the PC, allowing you to create a completely silent gaming room free from the whirr of a dozen high-powered computer fans.
KFA2 achieves this technological breakthrough through the use of the Wireless Home Digital Interface standard, five large antennas, and a HDMI receiver that plugs straight into the TV or monitor. Utilising the 5GHz wireless ‘n’ specification the KFA2 sports latency of less than one millisecond, ensuring gaming is a fluid experience unhindered by input lag, with transmitted visuals identical to those of wired graphics cards courtesy of the WHDI technology that beams an uncompressed, lossless picture across the airwaves.
But what does all that techno babble mean? The technology powering the transmission of the graphics card’s output is WHDI, a wireless High Definition video standard developed and promoted by AMIMON, Hitachi, LG, Motorola, Samsung, Sharp, and Sony. By utilising the less populated 5GHz data band the WHDI standard avoids much of the interference caused by today’s other wireless technology, most of which operates on the 2.4GHz band. Microwaves and other every-day items also transmit at 2.4GHz, and if the WHDI technology had utilised this same spectrum the flawless transmission of the graphics card’s output would likely be impossible. To use the 5GHz band and to ensure that the output shown on screen is identical to the output of the graphics card, the WHDI technology also utilises a wireless ‘n’ modem, which boasts data transmission speeds of 600Mbit per second, compared to the 54Mbit per second offered by previous ‘a’ and ‘g’ standards. Ultimately, the numerous technologies come together to transmit the data via five large antennas to a receiver plugged directly into the TV or monitor through the HDMI port, resulting in an uninterrupted 1:1 experience, indistinguishable from a normal, wired setup.
The raw gaming performance of KFA2’s card is similarly unhindered, with Guru 3D’s benchmarks placing the wireless GTX 460 on equal footing with its more conventional, wired brother. And thanks to its custom cooling solution the WHDI card can be heavily overclocked, placing it within sniffing distance of a stock GTX 560 Ti.
Overall, Guru 3D’s review had nothing but praise for KFA2’s wireless world first, and in the near future several of the big manufacturers are expected to launch WHDI televisions, further enhancing the possibilities of this exciting technology. The only question that remains is that of the price – KFA2 is tight-lipped at this time, but we can’t imagine the premium being too large when the KFA2 GeForce GTX460 WHDI 1024MB PCIe 2.0 goes on sale next month.
Update: PC Perspective has reviewed the U.S. version of the card, the Galaxy GeForce GTX 460 1GB WHDI Edition, which is available for purchase through Newegg for an eye-watering $469.99 (Galaxy’s wired GTX 460 costs just $169.99).