After sliding the pink foam tray from the wooden box, you pry up a small piece of the foam to get to the static bagged 3D Power card. I decided to play newbie and trayed the installation CD. A nice user interface popped up with a selection marked installation video.
The video takes you through the basics of the video card swap. It is a welcome resource for the timid newbie.
Absolute includes the 12.41 driver set modified to read Absolute MORPHEUS GeForce3 in the display properties applet.
The card is rather striking. Black PCB, gold heatsinks and a purple ORB-style cooler. Components and manufacturing seem to be high quality. The RAMsinks are about twice the height of the standard green offering from NVIDIA and most other manufacturers. Underneath the RAMsinks is Elite's 3.8ns DDR SDRAM. My card, which includes TV-Out, and slotted with a thunk.
The TV-Out works as advertised but I recommend TV Tool if you plan on regular use.
|Benchmarking: A Narrative.
I started the usual battery of tests with overclocking stability by using Quake3 timedemos. I did use NVMax for overclocking and system tweaking. The results? The Absolute/3D Power card peaked at 235MHz core and 535MHz memory. These clockspeeds are on par with or better than most GeForce3s. The RAMsinks did get quite warm to the touch, which conveys the RAMsinks are installed properly.
The increase in clock speed will give you the ability to increase the level of anisotropy with out sacrificing framerates. For example, I play at 1024x768x32 with 32-tap Aniso and Quincunx FSAA with minimum framerate during demo001 of 27 frames per second. The top end of the scale is chopped off with peak framerates of around 80fps. The additional texture filtering improves upon the shortcomings of Quincunx by increasing texture precision. You can see the effects of increased Anisotropy by checking out Mike's GeForce3 Preview, here.
3Dmark 2001 yielded expected results for a GeForce3 running the 12.41 drivers. In fact benchmark-wise, the Morpheus is pretty much the same as any GeForce3 out there. 3DMark 2001 scores ranged from 4700 at default clockspeeds to 5100 when overclocked.
If you have read any of our GeForce3 previews/reviews, you have seen the ballpark benchmarks. Everyone uses different settings, so your results will vary, but the GeForce3 is the fastest 3D graphics accelerator you can buy. Whatever game you play, as long as it was released in the last year or two, it will look better, run at higher resolutions and maintain higher framerates.
I have to apologize for a lack of flashy graphs. A virus ate my workstation and it has been hell to recover. Besides, the power of the GeForce3 gives you entirely too many options to document them all.
Do you like extreme texture filtering? Its got it. Do you want hi-res FSAA? It will do it. There are a multitude of settings variations that all yield the magic 60fps average framerate when running the defacto benchmarks. The most impressive thing is the lack of major slow-downs.
The GeForce3 does not succomb to the memory-bandwidth-bottleneck induced periods of framerates in the teens. It is a sum total of the advanced memory pipeline and the shear processing power of the GeForce3 itself. No longer is the memory clock the only factor for overclocking speed gains. Elevations in core clock will effect performance, similar to the TNT days.
Next Page: Conclusion and some advice...