A pixel shader is a software program that is used when processing graphics and it computes color and other graphic attributes of a pixel. It is possible to identify the pixel shader version of the graphics card installed on a computer system. Pixel shaders play an important role in determining which video games can be played on the system. There are various versions of pixel shaders available from two leading manufacturers, nVidia and ATI. As the pixel shader version is directly proportional to the capabilities of the graphics card, it is important to know the pixel shader version on the installed graphics card.
Games will be compatible depending on the version of Pixel Shader implemented in your graphics card.
Therefore it is important to determine the limits of your graphics system.
A Pixel Shader is a graphics function that calculates effects on a pixel level. Depending on the desired resolution, several million extra pixels may be necessary to achieve what is required. This takes a lot of computing power.
Here are the different versions of Pixel Shader with the Direct X version corresponding to the two leading manufacturers, ATI and nVidia, and also for the integrated chips from Intel (although their capacity for gaming is limited):
Pixel Shader 1.0/1.1 (DX 8.0)
nVidia GeForce 3 series
Pixel Shader 1.3 (DX 8.0a)
nVidia GeForce 4 Ti/ 4200 Go series
Pixel Shader 1.4 (DX 8.1)
ATI Radeon 8500-9250 series
Pixel Shader 2.0 (DX 9.0)
ATI Radeon 9500-9800, X300-X600 series
Intel GMA 900/950/3000/3100 series
Pixel Shader 2.0a (DX 9.0a)
nVidia GeForce FX 5000 series
Pixel Shader 2.0b (DX 9.0b)
ATI Radeon X700-X850 series
Pixel Shader 3.0 (DX 9.0c)
ATI Radeon X1300-X1950, nVidiaGeForce 6 et 7, Intel GMA X3000 series
Pixel Shader 4.0 (DX 10)
ATI Radeon X2400-X2900, nVidia GeForce 8 et 9 and GT200, Intel GMA X3100, X3500, X4500 series
Pixel Shader 4.1 (DX 10.1)
ATI Radeon HD 3000-4000 series and Nvidia GT 300, GT 220, GT 240 series