over two years now, since the introduction of the original GeForce,
Nvidia has been on top of the competition totally obliterating
beloved 3dfx, and painfully choking ATi to the point of death.
Up until now speed has been the major driving force in the ritualistic
upgrading of our video cards, but things are going to change
starting with the GeForce 3. Offering only a marginal performance
increase over the GeForce 2 Ultra (5-10%), the GeForce3 boosts
new visual features, fully accelerated in hardware, which will
literally blow your mind.
the sudden shift in focus from blazing increased speeds to better,
more realistic visuals? Blame Microsoft's new fangled DirectX
8. Basically the GeForce3 is the first fully programmable video
chipset that takes full advantage of everything DirectX 8 has
to offer. Essentially game programmers now program their own
specific 3d pipelines through the GeForce3. This will lead new
unique visual effects, fully powered by the GeForce 3, in upcoming
those of you who have been living under a rock, Microsoft's
upcoming Xbox will also use a slightly modified version of the
GeForce3. This is great for PC gamers as this will inevitably
lead to many more games taking full advantage of the new visual
features, arriving on both the Xbox and PC. Because of their
glaring similarities developers should have no trouble at all
porting games from the Xbox to PC, and visa versa.
of the first widely available, and least expensive GeFoce3 based
cards is the offering from Visiontek. A somewhat barebones unit
the Visiontek follows Nvidia's reference design PCB almost exactly.
There no software bundle, and only a skimpy manual to guide
you through installation. My unit didn't even come with a driver
CD despite being clearly printed on that package that one should
have been supplied.