Especially when it makes sense.. like making it easier to write simpler drivers that are as
effective as the old ones. (and making that code more portable) Or making it possible to
support APIs other then just OpenGL. Or making it easier for programmers to utilize the GPU
for things other then just making games go fast.
The thing is is that the video card is no longer just useful for accelerating 3D rendering or
making movie playback smooth.
The GPU is more and more a co-processor for your computer then anything else. A GPU has a
massive amount of floating point performance and it usually has a fat wad of memory that has a
extraordinary amount of bandwidth between it and the GPU. For certain tasks a 300 dollar video
card can blow away a cluster of x86 machines.