Too Much Of A Good Thing? The Lowdown On 128 MB GeForce3 Ti200 Cards


These results speak very clearly. 128 MB are practically useless in current games. It's safe to say that getting a 128 MB Ti200 is not worth the extra money. Any advantages these cards have are purely theoretical. While I concede that 4x FSAA is possible up to 1600x1200 on a 128 MB card, the expected framerates of roughly 25fps make this setting practically worthless. I rest my case.

Nonetheless, keep one thing in mind. Back when Quake3 was released, many people, experts included, claimed that 16 MB on a TNT card would be enough, and that the 32 MB of a TNT2 card would be useless. Sounds a lot like that "640 kB" idea, doesn't it? Looking back now, they were obviously proved wrong. Since then, no one has ever doubted the usefulness of 32 MB. Could we be at a similar point again now, with 128 MB cards? Hard to say. Id Software's next big title is surely going to set some new standards, as early videos have already shown. The question remains whether the Ti200 can exploit this potential in complex game engines or if the memory advantage is lost for lack of sufficient rendering power.

To summarize: none of the cards tested here is a bad choice or in any way disappointing. The Leadtek WinFast Titanium 200 TDH earns points for its extravagant and elegant cooling and its hardware monitoring functions. Gainward's "GeForce3 Power Pack!!! Ti/500 TV Jumbo Golden Sample," on the other hand, offers the higher performance. Then again, both companies offer comparable 64 MB models as well...

In the end, it's a matter of price. The 4ns 128 MB Leadtek card costs about $35-40 (more than the corresponding 64 MB card). A Ti500, on the other hand, will set you back a full $200 more. Gainward's pricing scheme is similar. So, what's the verdict? If you want to be on the safe side and wish to be prepared for future games, then a 128 MB card is a solid choice. Otherwise, stick with a 64 MB version and invest the money you save into other components - like system memory, for example. After all, you can never have to much RAM.