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Adobe Reader 8 Gets a Boost from NVIDIA® GPU-Acceleration

 
 
by Scott Steinberg

Adobe Never mind recycling. Imagine a world where paper is quite literally, a thing of the past. Brace yourself, as the dream becomes reality: Thanks to Adobe's Reader 8, Acrobat 8 product line, and NVIDIA's graphics technology, it's now possible for both individuals and entire organizations to share and seamlessly browse any document in digital form without skipping a beat.

Consider - with 525 million-plus copies of freely-downloadable Adobe Reader software (capable of decoding and displaying PDF files, the de facto standard for secure, dependable electronic information exchange) circulated across 10 operating systems in 26 languages in the past 2 years alone - it's already mankind's leading archival solution. But the release of version 8 is further cause to celebrate, heralding the arrival of a momentous upgrade. Building upon the recent performance improvements of Adobe Reader, Adobe Reader 8 users can turbo charge Reader 8 by turning on 2D graphics processing unit (GPU) acceleration.

Acrobat Acrobat "Benefits and enhancements are immediately obvious," explains Pam Deziel, director of platform product marketing for Adobe. "Panning, scrolling, zooming…Virtually every major function in Adobe Reader 8 that takes advantage of the GPU will receive a tangible boost in performance."

As those equipped with a Shader Model 3-class GPU (e.g. the ones found in NVIDIA® GeForce 6 series and above) are sure to instantly notice, such improvements are not only pronounced, they're also strikingly poignant, improving the hands-on user experience to a degree that sheer practicality demands every computer owner from amateur enthusiasts to modern professionals make the investment in increased visual fidelity.

"Panning, scrolling, zooming…Virtually every major function in Adobe Reader 8 that takes advantage of the GPU will receive a tangible boost in performance."
Adding a GPU - a secondary processor which helps your PC juggle the heavy computational load that powers advanced 2D/3D graphics - doesn't just aid when sifting through massive, text-heavy manuscripts like e-books and course catalogues (all of which can currently range in length to more than a whopping one million 400 x 400-inch pages). It also conveys extra benefits including sharper coloring and higher-resolution output, not to mention increase in speed with which you can zip around lush graphical productions such as street maps, brochures and product manuals.

As a result, skimming through digitized documentation becomes no different - and, in many cases, easier - than holding the real-world equivalent right before your eyes. Faster handling of images and better behind-the-scenes number crunching doesn't just guarantee enhanced productivity either. It also means smoother, more fluid scrolling: A must in today's increasingly data-driven era, where consumers and corporations alike require that mounds of exhaustive information be conveyed at a glance.

Forget waiting for individual screens or entire sections of documents to load. Adobe Reader 8 users packing an NVIDIA graphics card can instantly skip from one page to the next, quickly parse intricate charts and figures and navigate even the most complex sales presentation. Or, for that matter, plan ahead for any road trip by painlessly pulling up detailed maps and effortlessly zooming from nationwide to avenue-specific views with a click.

"Adobe provides users the opportunity to enjoy the broadest range of rich, graphical applications. Coupled with an NVIDIA GPU, we're also pleased to offer the absolute best possible performance."
"Not only consumers, but also creative professionals can benefit from this superior level of performance," says Deziel. "Graphical productions of any sort will enjoy perceptible enhancements, with complex images getting the biggest jumpstart. Previously, large PDF files with loads of layers and details may have had to be simplified or even broken into separate files in order to gain the performance improvements designers can achieve today".

"NVIDIA graphics cards let users do more with PDF files, and faster," she continues. "Things people may have avoided in the past, such as deeply detailed zoomable maps, are now easily displayed. Reader 8 and NVIDIA's new GPU puts users in a place where file size and performance constraints are more theoretical than actual."

Just ask real estate agents, who religiously rely on meticulous representations of home layouts or blueprints to give prospective buyers a sense of majesty and grandeur. Or, for that matter, the U.S. Geological Survey, whose comprehensive PDF files warehouse visual diagrams that track the areas of our nation most prone to suffer from severe earthquake impacts.

Everyday users are pushing the bar further daily too. The dawn of Windows Vista and Web 2.0 have raised public expectations, Deziel explains. Professionals and computing enthusiasts alike now require not only greater convenience from digital document storage … they also demand richer, more visually-immersive interactive experiences of all kinds - the sort of hyper-engrossing forays into cyberspace only a cutting-edge graphics processor provides. Small wonder then that going forward, from Acrobat Standard to sister products Professional, 3D and Elements, the whole Acrobat 8 family will offer optional 2D GPU acceleration.

Having purchased and installed a supporting graphics card, activating these features is easy. Using your on-screen cursor, simply browse the EDIT menu and select PREFERENCES. Choose the PAGE DISPLAY tab. Under the heading RENDERING, check the box next to USE 2D GPU ACCELERATION. Click OK to start exploring the horizon-broadening (and visually arresting) future of information storage, sharing and retrieval.

As for what developments coming months will bring?

"Get ready for a whole new set of experiences," says Deziel. "Adobe provides users the opportunity to enjoy the broadest range of rich, graphical applications. Coupled with an NVIDIA GPU, we're also pleased to offer the absolute best possible performance."

 
 
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