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Nvidia GeForce 2 Ultra Preview (Page 1 of 5)

Posted: August 14, 2000
Written by: Dan "Tweak Monkey" Kennedy


I knew there would be a GeForce 2 Ultra! Maybe it was obvious, but just like with the TNT brand, the old saying comes to mind... "if it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
Nvidia's TNT chip did great. So later, Nvidia made a TNT2. They probably didn't want to make a whole new card after TNT2, but they didn't want to make a TNT3, so they made a TNT2 Ultra. We saw the same success from the GeForce chip as we did with the TNT, so a GeForce 2 was too obvious. And of course, there would be a GeForce 2 Ultra. Okay, okay.. I'm rambling now. I've got 16 hours to test and write about this new chip from Nvidia, so I had better get started.

Do we really need a faster video card than a GeForce 2 GTS right now? I mean, the damn thing screams in nearly everything you can throw at it. It is still leaps and bounds beyond what the average gamer needs, and it's still faster than most of (if not all of) the competition. But have you played Deus Ex on the GeForce 2? What about Quake 3 at 1600x1200x32bpp? These games, with extreme details and/or at high resolutions, are the reason why the GeForce 2 Ultra was created. This card is obviously to fulfill the needs of the true die-hard gamer. So what makes the GeForce 2 Ultra different than its little brother?

Features: GeForce 2 GTS vs. GeForce 2 Ultra

Like the TNT2 vs. TNT2 Ultra, there is not a huge difference (feature-wise) between the GeForce 2 GTS and the GeForce 2 Ultra. Anyway:

GeForce 256GeForce 2 GTSGeForce 2 Ultra
Process Technology.22 micron ().18 micron()Advanced .18 micron
Clocks (core/memory)120/300*200/333*250/460*
Million Pixels/second4808001000
Million Texels/second48016002000
Polygons/sec15 million25 million31 million
Framebuffer16 MB32 MB/64 MB64 MB
Shading Processor--NSRNSR

* Effective memory frequency via DDR memory

As you can see, the biggest difference between the GeForce 2 GTS and the GeForce 2 Ultra is the memory clock speed. Using extremely high-performance DDR memory, the GeForce 2 Ultra manages an impressive 460 MHz (230 MHz * 2) output. The core clock is still 25% faster than the GeForce 2 GTS, but the memory is the big improvement, at over 38% faster than the GeForce 2 GTS. This fillrate increase, however, is notable because it puts the GeForce 2 Ultra at the one gigapixel/sec mark and the two gigatexel/sec mark. Please continue reading on page 2...

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