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nVidia Video Chipset Comparison



Benchmark Comparison



Robert Richmond

Product Analysis & Conclusion

Even when testing with two of the most demanding games currently available, it is surprising to note that the TNT-2 Ultra offers more than acceptable performance at resolutions and colour depths upto 1024x768 for 16-bit and 800x600 for 32-bit. In comparison, newer generation games, such as the T&L-enabled Evolva, are better suited for the GeForce architecture. However, those interested in older games, such as Quake2/3, Unreal Tournament, or Counterstrike, have little need for upgrading to a more powerful video card, other than to possibly gain better high-resolution support.

For those seeking improved performance for a low initial cost, the GeForce-2 MX offers an excellent entry-level solution. The MX combines enough performance to sustain acceptable 3D frame rates with an advanced feature set for the maximum in compatibility and visual experience. However, if one already owns a GeForce256-based video card, then I honestly do not see the need to upgrade to the MX architecture. Even the low-end GeForce256 SDR performed above my initial expectations during testing. Still, I could not recommend purchasing a GF-256 video card over a similarly priced GeForce-2 MX. The MX may currently prove slightly slower than the GF-256 DDR at higher resolutions, but its support for per-pixel shading and second-generation T&L will prove to be the superior solution in the long term, as games evolve to support these advanced options.

Expect the GeForce-2 GTS and PRO options to move into the upper ranges of the entry-level market in the upcoming weeks. Even with the most demanding titles available, these two chipsets should prove more than capable of offering acceptable performance up to 1024x768x32. At the upper end of the spectrum, the high prices associated with the GeForce-2 Ultra are now consistently falling. As the GF-3 becomes more aggressively marketed, expect the Ultra to quickly take over the mid-range 3D market for nVidia. In the upcoming months, the GF-2 Ultra will likely represent the greatest performance value for anyone seeking a mid-range video solution.

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Robert Richmond



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