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VisionTek GeForce2 Ultra

By: Brian Gray - January 21, 2001

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Introduction

While many gamers are new to the VisionTek name, odds are if you have a Micron or Gateway system with an NVIDIA based card, odds are you are already a VisionTek customer. I would have to say that VisionTek is largest video card maker that no one has ever heard of.

VisionTek has made a recent push to enter the retail market. The move to the forefront has raised a few brows, especially those looking for the best combination of price and performance. VisionTek's already large OEM customer base allows a lower price to the retail customers. We continue to see the VisionTek card going for less than the competition, or at the same price point but with added features like DVI out and S-Video out.

The GeForce2 Ultra

We are going to go ahead and run through the specs of the GeForce2 GTS/Pro/Ultra family as a refresher.

GeForce2 Ultra Specifications

  GeForce2 GTS GeForce2 Pro GeForce2 Ultra
Process Technology .18 micron .18 micron .18 micron
Core/Memory Speed 200MHz/333MHz 200MHz/400MHz 250MHz/460MHz
Memory Amount 32/64MB 64MB 64MB
Memory Bandwidth 5.3GB/Sec 6.4GB/Sec 7.4GB/Sec
Pixels/Clock 4 4 4
Pixels/Second 800 Million 800 Million 1000 Million
Texels/Clock 8 8 8
Texels/Second 1600 Million 1600 Million 2000 Million
Polygons/Second 25 Million 25 Million 31 Million

Again, the main advantage the Ultra brings to the table is the additional memory bandwidth. While the additional bandwidth does not quite liberate the GeForce2 chip of all bottlenecks, 7.4GB/s does free up NVIDIA scalable GPU in the speed-binned GTS to run at the highest resolutions ever seen by gamers.

The VisionTek Ultra makes the resolutions a little more affordable and unlike many other Ultras, includes a myriad of configurations. More on that in the interview with John Malley of VisionTek later in the review.

The Next Generation

The GeForce2 Ultra is the fastest video card on the retail market. However, there is another generation of graphics chip coming very soon, the NV20. The biggest question for this review's readers should be, "Should I upgrade now?"

It is a great question, a tough question. So how should you go about answering that question. We are going to take a look at the games and benchmarks and also factor in some overclocking. We all know that everything in our PC's will be obselete next week, but we have to make good decisions about what we buy for longevity.

In the next few pages, you will see why I recommend the VisionTek Ultra as the best upgrade choice for hardcore gamers right now.

Next Page: The Card

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Last Updated on January 21, 2001

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