NVIDIA Strikes Back - The GeForce2 Ultra 3D Monster


The results of the benchmarks show it clearly, NVIDIA's new GeForce2 Ultra is declassing the whole competition. Frame rates of around 100 fps at 1600x1200 / 16-bit color on a PC haven't been seen by any of us ever before. Finally even 1600x1200 at 32-bit color is becoming seriously playable, with the GeForce2 Ultra scoring over 50 fps in most of the games we've tested! We had all reasons to omit results at screen resolutions of less than 1024x768, because even the weirdest 'hard core gamer' would be crazy playing any game at less than that with NVIDIA's latest 3D-card. If you should indeed fancy FSAA, for some to me unfathomable reason, then the GeForce2 Ultra has got that for you as well. However, you should maybe rather invest in a high-class monitor and take advantage of the excellent detail offered by a resolution of 1600x1200 at true color.

NVIDIA has managed it once more to leapfrog 3dfx. If you look at the results you will notice that GeForce2 Ultra scores more than double the frame rates of a Voodoo5 5500 at high resolutions. Voodoo5 6000 will hardly score more than double of the 5500, due to its design. Therefore it is most likely that NVIDIA will actually keep the 3D performance crown even by the time that 3dfx finally releases the 6000. This is bad news for 3dfx, since their part will most likely be more expensive than the already luxury GeForce2 Ultra as well.

So far everyone who saw the GeForce2 Ultra in action was amazed by its performance. It is almost too fast for today's games. However, for me this Ultra-version of the GeForce2 chip is finally the product that I expected when NVIDIA released GeForce2 GTS less than 4 months ago. It comes at mind a blowing $499 US, which won't be affordable to a whole lot of people. If you should indeed spend this rather huge amount of money for a graphics card you will get the fastest and technically most advanced 3D-accelerator money can buy right now. Make sure that you play a lot of games on it, to make the investment worthwhile!

Should you buy this card or not? Well, I guess you can answer this question by yourself best after you had a good look into your wallet. If you only go for the best and if price is no worry for you then go ahead and buy this card. For 'normal' people the price tag of $499 is a very bitter pill to swallow, but obviously someone is supposed to buy 3dfx's Voodoo5 6000 as well and that one's supposed to go for $600, without any T&L or per-pixel-lighting support.

NVIDIA's next chip 'NV20' is already waiting 'around the corner' and this one will sport a complete new set of features, all for DirectX 8. Nowadays you wonder if Microsoft's DirectX is driving NVIDIA or if it isn't really the other way around. Most 3D chip makers haven't even caught up with DircetX 7 yet ...

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