Visiontek GeForce 3 Review (Page 1 of 5)
Product sample provided by: Visiontek
Date posted: 6/20/01
Introduction? Does the GeForce 3 even need to be introduced? Anyone that has been following the 3D accelerator industry for the past few months would almost have to be deaf and blind to not have at least heard about the successor to the nvidia's own GeForce 2. Okay okay, perhaps some of you live in deepest darkest Africa and are still waiting for news of the Riva 128's release. ;) In any case, the GeForce 3 has been a much anticipated product. and we are overjoyed to finally see the thing hitting shelves. The folks at Visiontek were kind enough to send us a sample of their new retail card.
The GeForce 3
In the old days there were a number of companies jostling for position in the video card kingdom, and although I do wish that there was more competition in the area, I do feel that nVidia is doing an excellent job of keeping the consumers needs met. They are producing very high end cards as well as lower priced budget adapters, and now with the upcoming nForce, the area of integrated video will be well covered by them as well.
I remember reading about the first GeForce cards, nothing held a candle in its presence, it was not long before they outdid themselves again. This trend has continued all the way through to our present time. In fact, the ATI Radeon was probably the only card that gave the GeForce 2 a run for its money. In spite of the fact that their GeForce 2 Ultra was nearly untouchable performance wise, nVidia decided that they were due for yet another installment in their product line. This time around they have decided to focus on enhancing the image quality above all else. Now let us look at the features designed to accomplish their goals.
Specifications and Features
Along with its unmatched fill rates and advanced chip architecture, the GeForce 3 also totes some impressive features that are intended to increase performance and image quality. Some of these software features only come into play when the application being used has been written to take advantage of it. However, some of the other features such as high-resolution antialiasing (HRAA) can be forced on older games and applications as well as newer ones. Here are some of the key features...
Enables dynamic, breakthrough effects, which deliver the next leap in realism to 3D graphics. Users will experience a virtually infinite number of special effects via the Vertex Shader and Pixel Shader engine components.
Injects personality into characters and scenes by allowing characters to move and show facial emotion, materials to stretch, and scenes to come alive.
Creates ambiance with materials and surfaces that mimic reality. Pixel shaders alter lighting and surface effects that replace artificial, computerized looks with high-impact organic surfaces.
Lightspeed Memory Architecture
Makes GeForce3 the fastest GPU ever produced, and generates the power to deliver earth-shattering performance at all resolutions.
High-Resolution Antialiasing (HRAA)
Produces the best visual quality and performance for all applications. HRAA delivers a high level of detail and crisp, clean lines at high frame rates, featuring the Quincunx AA mode.
Microsoft® DirectX 8.0 Compatibility
Ensures compatibility with the next generation of 3D applications to hit the market. The GeForce3 GPU supports DirectX 8.0 features and special effects for the ultimate 3D experience.
World's Fastest DDR Memory Interface
7.36GB per second memory subsystem ensures peak performance and the smoothest frame rates ever.
High-Definition Video Processor (HDVP)
Turns your PC into a full-quality DVD and HDTV player.
AGP 4X/2X and AGP Texturing Support
Takes advantage of new methods of transferring information more efficiently, and allows content developers to use high-quality, 32-bit color textures and high-polygon-count scenes.
Microsoft DirectX and OpenGL® Optimizations and Support
Delivers the best performance and guarantees compatibility with all current and future applications and games.
Unified Driver Architecture
Guarantees forward and backward compatibility with software drivers. Simplifies upgrading to a new NVIDIA product because all NVIDIA products work with the same driver software.
TV-Out and Video Modules
Gives end users the option of big-screen gaming, digital timeshifting VCR, and video-editing applications.