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eVGA e-GeForce2 Ultra Review - OpenGL Performance

By: Jonathan Martini - March 7, 2001

 

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OpenGL Performance

You all know Quake 3 Arena timedemo results have to be included in every review as it's the most demanding OpenGL based game available and is so widely used that a review without it would be useless to allow a comparison of cards. Keep in mind that high quality sound was enabled which provides a true measure of game performance.

Note: Upgrading Quake to the 1.27 version made it impossible to run timedemo benchmarks. Luckily there's a converter that will allow the good old demo001 benchmark to run in the latest version of Quake 3. These results are from the 1.27h modified version, so they cannot be compared with the results of previous iterations of Quake 3.

To continue the trend I began with Evolva, I'll use MDK2 to show off another of the many features available in the GeForce architecture scaling all the way back to the original GeForce256; Transform & Lighting.

Quake 3 Arena

Quake 3 Arena Performance

The Ultra's Quake 3 performance is great across the board utilizing the MAX quality setting with all the eye candy such as upped geometry as well as the highest texture quality. With a slightly faster processor, I see no reason not to play at 1280x1024 @32bits with the max quality settings, but as it stands now, I'll be sticking to 1024x768.

GeForce2 Ultra Vs. GeForce2 GTS @ 16bits

The 16bit settings barely work up a sweat for these cards at the max setting...

GeForce2 Ultra Vs. GeForce2 GTS @ 32bits

... though the 32bit setting is another story as the Ultra takes a lead beating the GTS by more than 20 frames per second at 1024x768.

GeForce2 Ultra 2x2 Lod Bias FSAA Performance

Is FSAA the future of gaming? That question has yet to be answered, but NVIDIA's Quincunx might be a turn for the best. The GeForce2 Ultra uses the tried and true super-sampling method which doubles the on-screen action, then halves it on the way out. No doubt this feature needs a big memory footprint to be accessed and the Ultra's 64 meg buffer quickly overflows with texture data. The performance hit of FSAA is still huge, though the image is extremely crisp and smooth. I've been toying around with it and wouldn't settle for anytrhing less than 800x600 @16bits for solid fragging.

MDK2

MDK2 Performance - T&L Enabled

MDK2 supports probably the most controversial feature that the GeForce256 debuted with; on-board T&L. The implementation of this feature in MDK2 firmly proves that this feature belongs on the GPU. It's needless to mention that the GeForce2 Ultra's second generation T&L engine improves upon this feature. Performance in MDK2 is outstanding, with the Ultra keeping the frames hovering around 100 fps at 1280x1024 once again with all detail levels set to the max. My new monitor supports 1600x1200 and I must admit that I was astounded that the Ultra was still capable of keeping the frame rate nice and smooth hover just below 100 fps @16bit. In fact, 2048x1536 was playable with the performance hovering around the mid sixties. This is power gentlemen!

GeForce2 Ultra Vs. GeForce2 GTS @ 1024x768

Both GeForce2's laugh at these measly settings ;)

Next Page: Overclocking

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Last Updated on March 7, 2001

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