NVidia Riva 128 Reference Board - The 3D Champion And Gaming Card No. 1
NVidia supplied me with their latest RIVA 128 reference board, using the new chip revision B. This chip speaks to its onboard video RAM (SGRAM) via a 128 bit data path at 100 MHz, offering the amazing through put of 1.6 GB/s. This is actually only valid for 4 MB cards, 2 MB cards (which hopefully will never come out) will only use 64 bit and even if you upgrade to 4 MB it will stay the same. The high memory bandwidth as well as the design of the Riva 128 give this card an amazing 3D power, making it the fastest 3D chip for PCs currently available. The chip even offers video compression, and video in/out as well. The blindingly high 3D performance teams up with a very decent 2D performance, being as fast as the Matrox Millennium in all Business Winstones except under NT at true color. However this is certainly not important to any of the gamers, which impossibly can go without this chip. Cards like Diamond's Viper 330 and Elsa's Victory Erazor will use the NVidia Riva 128 and Diamond already told me that their card is at least another 20 3D Winmarks faster than NVidia's reference board. The picture quality of the Riva 128 chip is as good as the one of 3Dfx's Voodoo, it even supports more 3D features than the Voodoo. Whoever is a die hard gamer will have to buy this card. There are two little let downs as well though, the card can't use more than 4 MB video SGRAM, which limits the highest 3D resolution to 960x712 pixels. In 2D it can go up to 1600x1200 in high color at decent refresh rates, but the picture quality isn't as good as of the other cards in the test (the Windows desktop seems slightly hazy and blurred), which might be improved in future versions.
The picture quality of the Riva 128 chip is just as great as of the 3Dfx Voodoo chip, there's nothing to complain.