What happened to video cards?

in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Just a couple years ago when I was looking around at video cards, low end cards had 4 or 8 pixel pipelines, and high end cards had 16 or 24.

For a couple years I hadn't kept up to date with video card development, and I was just looking at the specs of the Nvidia 8 series and 9 series, and they have up to 256 pixel pipelines????? Am I wrong? Does "256 stream processors" mean something else? The mac version of the 8800GS has 112! Are these cards actually 16 times faster than my 16 pixel pipeline X1900XT?

If those numbers don't refer to pixel pipelines, then where is the info for how many pixel pipelines these new cards have?

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