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NVIDIA GeForce2 GTS Preview


By: Mike Chambers - April 26, 2000

The GeForce2 GTS (GigaTexel Shader) is NVIDIA's second generation graphics chipset which contains an integrated transform and lighting processor, otherwise know as a Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). Many features originally designed for their first generation GeForce 256 have been enhanced in the GeForce2 GTS. In addition to these enhancements, NVIDIA is leading the way in the 3D graphics industry by adding exciting new features never before seen on a consumer level graphics chipset.

GeForce2 GTS logo

NVIDIA's Shading Rasterizer (NSR) is a new specialized processor and is a significant breakthrough in achieving added realism in 3D graphics as NVIDIA's quest to achieve "Toy Story on-a-chip" continues.

NVIDIA's 2nd Generation GPU


Let's cut to the chase and list the enhancements and new features found in the GeForce2 GTS in comparison to the GeForce 256:

GeForce 256 vs GeForce2 GTS

  GeForce 256 DDR GeForce2 GTS
Process Technology .22 micron .18 micron
Clocks (core/memory) 120MHz/300MHz 200MHz/333MHz
Memory Bandwidth 4.8GB/Sec 5.3GB/Sec
Texels/Clock 4 8
Pixels/Second 480 Million 800 Million
Texels/Second 480 Million 1600 Million
Polygons/Second 15 Million 25 Million
Shading Processor No Yes
Full Scene Antialiasing Yes Yes
Texture Compression Yes Yes

In a period of six months, NVIDIA has not only increased the fill rate by 2-3 times that of the GeForce 256, but has added dedicated Shading and High Definition TV (HDTV) processors while moving to a .18 micron chip fabrication processs.

The move to a .18 micron fabrication process was necessary to gain additional circuit board real estate needed to house the additional 3 million transistors on the GeForce2 GTS which now totals 25 million. The amount of power consumed by the GeForece2 GTS is about 10 watts at the chip level and is significantly less than the GeForce 256. As a result, the recommended core clock speed was increased by 80MHz from 120MHz to 200MHz.

With four graphics rendering pipelines operating simultaneously, the GeForce2 GTS can theoretically achieve a fill rate of 800 million pixels per second. Add in the capability to render eight texels, or textured pixels, per clock cycle, and you end up with a staggering rate of 1.6 GigaTexels (GT) per second.

NVIDIA GeForce2 GTS Reference Card

Memory bandwidth on the GeForce2 GTS provides a modest increase from the 4.8GB/sec throughput of the GeForce 256 DDR to 5.3GB/sec. When asked about the possibiliy of using QDR (Quad Data Rate) memory, NVIDIA replied that due to the extreme cost of QDR memory, it would be ecomonically unfeasible to use on the GeForce2 GTS. However, it's been rumored that 200MHz rated DDR memory, offering clock speeds of 400MHz, may begin to appear during the second half of 2000.

Next Page: Transform and Lighting

Last Updated on May 12, 2000

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