Editor in Chief, Thomas Pabst
NVIDIA fans may have been questioning the ability of the GeForce2 chipset (see Tom's Take On NVIDIA's New GeForce2 GTS ) since the release of ATi's 64 MB Radeon a few weeks ago. ATi's stab at NVIDIA with this new product seemed very painful until we did a true comparison using the 64 MB version of the GeForce2 (GF2) at which point the cards both seem to have some advantages.
Picking a true performance winner between the two is a debatable subject but going strictly by test scores, the GF2 64 MB edges out the 64 MB Radeon. One of the biggest issues found and explored (see The Fastest GeForce2 GTS Card - Gainward's CARDEXpert GeForce2 GTS/400 ) with the GF2 was its obvious issue with memory limiting performance. The Radeon suffers less in this area with its Hyper Z technology (see ATi's New Radeon - Smart Technology Meets Brute Force for more detail).
While that high-speed memory provided tremendous performance improvements, increased core speeds did nearly nothing. Gainward's failure to deliver an actual product with 5ns memory left the field open and Supermicro Systems (SUMA) has picked up the ball and put together a 5.5ns, memory-equipped GF2 product. With SUMA's Platinum GF2 GTS 64 MB SE in my possession, I've decided to put the board through our rigorous testing and give you the scoop on this promising newcomer.
SUMA is a Korean company that specializes in making multimedia products from video cards (producing boards based on early 3dfx chipsets) to MP3 players. You won't recognize its name since it's mostly done contract work for the companies who actually sold the product to the retail channel around the world. Some of the companies it's done work for are: 3dfx, AOpen, NVIDIA, and Voyetra. Apparently it's now selling products using its own name and when it comes to the US market, video is the main focus (in Korea much more is offered). Being that this is the first time we've reviewed its product, I can't really comment on the past quality of its products but I do know that it's been in business a long time and it has grown substantially.
I was given a near shipping release package of the GF2 64 MB GTS SE that will only vary slightly from what you'll see on store shelves. I was shipped a driver CD, early prototype board (released version will have a black PCB), and instructions. The final package will also include a DVD software player (WinDVD 2000). There isn't much to the package and that's the way most high-end gamers like it. Plain and simple as the performance is all you care about.