Attack of the GeForce 3 Previews
5:16 PM | Lucian Fong | Comment on this story
With the expiration of the GeForce 3 NDA comes a slew of technology previews from many PC web sites. With the exception of Digit-Life, these preview do not contain any benchmarks, only explanations of the various features and specifications of NVIDIA's newest GPU. Granted, benchmarks are important because they provide everyone with hard numbers, but what excites game developers like id's John Carmack and Epic's Tim Sweeny, is not so much the raw performance (fillrate, core clock speed), but the feature set and flexibility of the GeForce 3. This was evident during John Carmack's DOOM engine demonstration at MacWorld Tokyo. He was very pleased with it's ability to render characters with an amazing amount of detail and the ability to project lights from many different sources, creating dynamic shadows.
Most of these previews contain the same, fairly in-depth analysis of the GeForce 3, but if you to get down and dirty with your hardware, check out the 35 page preview at Tom's Hardware. AnandTech and SharkyExtreme also have excellent articles, but FiringSquad's is short, concise, and to-the-point.
Looking for benchmarks? Then head on over to Digit-Life, where they pit the GeForce 3 against the GeForce 2 Ultra and Radeon DDR in an exhaustive benchmarking suite. Although this may seem a bit unfair, it shows the improvements that NVIDIA has made over the GeForce 2. Mac gamers might be interested in the MSAA (Multi-Sample Anti-Aliasing, similar to FSAA) comparisons since 3dfx was heavily touting this feature in their Voodoo5 cards. According to Digit-Life, NVIDIA's Quincunx AA method was able to produce a "jaggy-free" image at a very playable framerate. Beware, their preview is not sectioned, instead, it is one very long HTML page.
Also, NVIDIA has their own GeForce 3 webpage, of course, with movies and pictures showing off their GPU in action.
NVIDIA GeForce 3 Website
Unfortunately, IMG was unable to provide you with our own analysis of the GeForce 3 because neither us nor other Mac-centric web sites were given any details on these cards -- despite the fact that it is painfully obvious dozens of PC sites have had specs and actual cards to work with for weeks. Make sure you at least visit the GeForce web site and download the example movies -- it will totally change your ideas of what game graphics can (and will) be like in the near future.
GeForce 3, DOOM Engine Demoed in Tokyo
GeForce 3 Conference Call Notes
GeForce 3 Preview at Tom's Hardware Guide
GeForce 3 Preview at AnandTech
GeForce 3 Preview at FiringSquad
GeForce 3 Preview at SharkyExtreme
GeForce 3 Preview/Benchmarks at Digit-Life
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