NVIDIA GeForce2 GTS Preview
With a major update to this preview, I've been able to cover most of the features being offered by NVIDIA's GeForce2 GTS along with documenting the increase in performance over the GeForce 256 DDR. Unlike the move from NVIDIA's TNT to their TNT2/TNT2 Ultra, the move from the GeForce 256 to the GeForce2 GTS represents a step forward in new technology with the NVIDIA Shading Rasterizer and HDTV processors.
You can be assured that more previews and reviews of the GeForce2 GTS will appear to assist those of you looking to upgrade your graphics card or figure out what card to get in a new system. I would recommend starting with the collection of links over at G256.com.
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The competion in the 3D graphics market is beginning to heat up once again as new products from other vendors are beginning to appear. Whatever you may end up purchasing, just make sure you do your homework and make an informed decision.
I would also like to mention that representatives from Elsa and Creative Labs were able to meet with us during our visit with NVIDIA. Unlike the delays that plagued the GeForce hitting the retail shelves (especially the DDR models), the GeForce2 GTS time to market will be shortly after NVIDIA's official unveiling of the product.
ELSA stated that their GLADIAC GeForce2 GTS cards will be available for purchase on May 6 at stores including Fry's, Best Buy, EggHead, and Electronics Botique. At the time of our meeting, prices had yet to be finalized, but we were left with the following information:
- ELSA GLADIAC 32 - under $350
- ELSA GLADIAC 64 - under $450
- ELSA GLADIAC 32 PCI - under $350
All of the GLADIAC cards have the capability of video in/out and the VIVO module can be ordered at shopelsa.com. For a software bundle, ELSA will pick 10 of the hottest games of the season and you will be able to choose two of them (full versions). In addition, three more full version titles can be purchased at extremely low prices (around $7-$10 each). ELSA will continue to offer their snazzy 3D Relevator glasses which will work under DirectX and OpenGL. Infrared models will be available for $99, while the wired will cost $69.
Creative Labs also spoke with us and mentioned that their GeForce2 GTS based card would be named the Annihilator 2. No specific retail dates for product availability or prices were announced, but with Creative's track record, they should be very agressive with their schedule and price.
After mentioning complaints about the lengthy delays in releasing updated drivers for their Annihilator cards, we were told that will be addressed with the Annihilator 2. Creative is planning to release a set of drivers called FastTrack, that resemble NVIDIA's reference drivers, and will be available within a few days following reference driver updates.
Creative will continue to offer their Blaster Control display software which will closely resemble the 3D applets in their Sound Blaster Live! drivers. Updates to the Blaster Control drivers will be less frequent. Creative's popular Annihilator newsgroup will continue to be supported by technical support personnel as well.
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