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Nvidia GeForce 2 Ultra Preview (Page 2 of 5)

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

Features (cont.)

So, if the memory is 38% faster than the GeForce 2 GTS and the core speed is 25% faster than the GeForce 2 GTS, how is this card going to perform? Well, before we begin with benchmarks, consider the following:

The biggest performance bottleneck on the GeForce 2 GTS was the memory. Now that the memory is significantly faster and the Detonator 3 drivers have been released (which also optimized the memory interface substantially), performance of the GeForce 2 Ultra can be nearly double that of the GeForce 2 GTS (as it was at launch). This was Nvidia's goal: to match or break Moore's law every six months instead of every two years. And compared to the GeForce 2 GTS when using the same drivers, the GeForce 2 Ultra should still be significantly faster due to the optimized memory and higher clock speed. Like I said, this card was built for gamers. Did I mention that the card also comes with a 64 MB framebuffer, standard? Who needs this kind of speed? Gamers. Who else would need enough power to crank out 55 FPS at 1600x1200x32bpp Quake3 with all settings turned up? (More on that later!)

Subtle Differences

There are other small differences that can be seen on the face of the GeForce 2 Ultra that separate it from the GeForce 2 GTS. Here's a pic of the shiny green card:

Click to enlarge

There is no memory on the back of the card. All 64 MB is placed as eight chips on the front of the card. Another interesting feature that Nvidia decided to include in the reference design was the memory heatsinks. On my card these are black, but anyway, since Nvidia added memory heatsinks to the reference design, we can expect to see the OEM versions with memory heatsinks as well.

On my card, the GPU's heatsink is bright Nvidia green, and the fan is rather small and dinky looking. Heat issues seem to be present... as at a LAN party, with an open 'case', we noticed the card was very hot after only about an hour of play. The so-called 'advanced .18 micron' process made 250 MHz stable, but we didn't even attempt to overclock the card with the default cooling since it was already very hot.

Now, you're probably drooling for benchmarks right? Only 15 more pages of nonsense before we get to them! Just kidding -- read on to page 3. :)

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