In the Forums...
Posted: April 18, 1999
Written by: Dan "Tweak Monkey" Kennedy
Estimated retail price: $199.99
NVIDIA strikes again! To battle 3Dfx's Voodoo3 chipset, NVIDIA has launched the long awaited sequel to their award winning TNT chipset: the TNT2. Although it's little more than a faster version of the TNT, it has all the right features in just the right places. How does this upcoming monster compare to 3Dfx's new cards? Read on to find out.
Note - Some of these features may change before the product is released.
The 2D features and the video subsystem / interface are both up there with the best in the TNT2's class. NVIDIA incorporated solid DVD playback, and support for numerous video CODECs. The true AGP support could possibly lead to future utilization and performance increases. The card boasts a massive 32 MB SDRAM, running at 183 MHz. The 300 MHz RAMDAC allows usage of high refresh rates at even the highest supported resolutions. NVIDIA included GDI hardware acceleration, a technology that many chipset manufacturers neglect to ensure Microsoft's WHQL certification. TNT2 also has the ability to utilize Digital Flat Panel interface, and retail versions of the TNT2 will support high quality TV-Output.
The TNT2 supports OpenGL, DirectDraw and Direct3D. The TNT2's OpenGL ICD is just like the TNT's: near perfect. NVIDIA is one of the few companies that has a fast, 3D gaming card with a non-beta OpenGL ICD on the market. All OpenGL games I tried worked fabulously, and all additional applications are reported to work very well. Just like the TNT, the Direct3D support is excellent for the TNT2. I have yet to see a problem with a Direct3D game. The one API that some people may want in the TNT2 that isn't there is Glide. Luckily, as support has increased tremendously over the last couple years, OpenGL and Direct3D will give gamers the chance to play just about every new game on the market accelerated, right out of the box.
One issue that concerns me with the TNT2 is 3DNow! support. Although I do not have an AMD system to test the 3DNow! support with, I am assuming the support is much better than it was for the TNT. The TNT2 will be "optimized for Pentium III's KNI and K6-2/K6-3's 3DNow! technologies." NVIDIA has sworn to work hard to support AMD in the future, and I hope that's the case.