Tom's Take On NVIDIA's New GeForce2 GTS

Benchmark Results

Now it's really about time to look into the benchmark results of GeForce2 GTS, to see how it fares against its predecessor GeForce, the high-end GeForce called 'Quadro' with no less than 64 MB of video memory and finally the closest competitor of GeForce that's currently available, ATi's Rage Fury MAXX.

A) 3D Card Benchmarks

In this first benchmark section I was using a Pentium III 1000 processor, the rare Giga-Pentium III, in above listed configuration. This section is supposed to compare GeForce2 GTS with other 3D chips.

3D Card Benchmarks - Quake 3 Arena Demo001

Although Quake 3 arena isn't out for that long it's already a classic, especially in terms of benchmarking. Demo001 may not be the toughest demo, but it gives you a good idea of 3D card performance, since it's not only depending on the CPU.

While GeForce2 GTS seems to have a problem at low resolutions, it scores way ahead of the competition in the high resoltion area. The scores at 1600x1200 paint the picture we would expect from the fill rate numbers. GeForce2 GTS scores 63% higher than GeForce with 66% higher fill rate. 57.2 fps are certainly a good basis to play Q3A at 1600x1200.

At the low resolution GeForce2 GTS is most likely impacted by its young drivers, which is the only reason why it would score less than GeForce. We should not forget that even though all the three NVIDIA cards were using the same rev. 5.16 driver, the binaries used for the different cards are not the same. Thus the GeForce part of 5.16 is certainly very mature while the GeForce2 part is still very young.

At High Quality, including 32-bit color, GeForce2 GTS does not look as great compared to GeForce. Why is that? As already mentioned in the technical introduction, GeForce2 GTS has only got a 10% improvement over GeForce in terms of memory bandwidth. At high resolutions and 32-bit color the memory is the limiting factor and the only reason why the scores are not identical to the results at 16-bit color. Quadro is using the same speed memory as GeForce2 GTS, clocked at 333 MHz. This is why it scores almost identical to GeForce2 GTS at the high resolutions.

All in all GeForce2 pushes the playability at 32-bit color to 1152x864 or even to 1280x1024. 28,4 fps are still not good enough to play at 1600x1200x32, thanks to the 'slow' memory.