|In the long run it really doesnâ€™t matter what I, or anyone
else for that matter think of these graphics cards. The truth
is all in which one outperforms the other. So check out these
reviews below to see who the final victor will be in this round!
|There are 125,000,000 transistors in Nvidiaâ€™s next Graphics chip, The GeForce FX.
Thatâ€™s 3 times the size of a Pentium 4 2.0 Ghz chip. This chip can render in excess of
100 Dinosaurs from Jurassic Park at 100 FPS. It also has more floating-point power than a
Cray SV-1 supercomputer. There is one more thing about it that is different from anything
Nvidia has done in a long while. Its 2nd best.
For the last 4+ years Nvidia has been widely know as the leader in consumer 3D graphics
technology. Over that span, Nvidia has basically run all other companies out of contention
with their aggressive launch cycle. Starting with the TNT2 Nvidia began to introduce a new
chip every 6 months and refresh the chip (add some speed) 3 months after launch. This
product cycle has often been too much for the competition and once the original GeForce
was launched in 99â€™, it seemed Nvidia had taken the lead for good. When Nvidiaâ
€™s #1 competitor, 3DFX, crumbled in December of 2000 it seemed that minor leaguers
ATI, Matrox and SIS were doomed to a life of 2nd best and worse. Time after time Nvidia
was a minimum of one step ahead of everyone else. When the GeForce 4 was launched,
the closest competitor was ATI who was launching the Radeon 8500 which paled in
comparison to the 4th GeForce chip.
Then something happened. A hiccup if you will, that caused Nvidia not to refresh the
GeForce 4 in June as had been the case for several years before. Instead Nvidia said that
their next chip, codenamed NV30, would be the next offering from their camp and although
this slight delay/error may not have hurt Nvidia too much in past years, this time it buried
them. Why? Because there was something different about this time. Lets say that Nvidia
had missed the refresh of the GeForce2 (the GeForce 2 Ultra). Nothing else was beating
the original GeForce 2 in performance so missing the update wouldnâ€™t have changed
much in the grand scheme of things. (Nvidia did not miss this refresh and gained an even
bigger performance lead over the competition with the GeForce 2 refresh).
This time though one of those â€œotherâ€œ companies was about to bite back. ATI had
been relatively quiet since the launch of their 8xxx line of cards, but little did anyone really
know that their next chip might be the one that could challenge the mighty Nvidia. When
Nvidia announced that the refresh of the GeForce 4 line would be late, or non-existent, ATI
announced that their next chip, codenamed R300, would be out around August of 2002.
With complete DirectX 9 support, AGP 8x, a 325Mhz core clock (compared to 300Mhz
of the best GeForce4), and nearly twice the memory bandwidth of the top of the line
GeForce 4, the R300 was a killerâ€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦.on paper.
The real trick would be to launch a card that could actually beat Nvidiaâ€™s best offering.
Long story short, when August rolled around Nvidia once again delayed, this time saying the
NV30 would not launch until November. ATI, in the meantime, did launch the R300, now
known as the Radeon 9700. Howâ€™d it do? In a word, fantastic. For the first time in 3
years Nvidia did not have the fastest gaming video card out there. In fact, it wasnâ€™t
even close. The Radeon 9700 was trouncing even the top oâ€™ the line GeForce 4 in
every benchmark that could be thrown at it.
But its ok right? Nvidia may be late but when they do come through its gonna be big right?
Bigger than anything ATI could possibly comprehend right? Its now after February 1st and
there is still now sign of Nvidia's next offering on store shelves. This next offering, dubbed
GeForce FX, must be a beast though since itâ€™s taken so long and there have been so
many delays yes? Well, it is beastly, at least when you look at it. The massive heat sink
used to cool the advanced chip is so large that it takes up an extra slot in your PC. This
amount of cooling is necessary to cool this new technology. Nvidia decided that for this
next GeForce they would implement several huge changes, DDR II, 3DFX technology and
a .13 micron chip. It was that last one, the change to the.13 micron die, that was the
biggest cause for delay. The company that Nvidia uses to produce its chips (TSMC) was
new to this die size and it a major amount of time was needed to get it right and then to get
yields (the amount of chips that actually work per silicon wafer) up to a good percentage.
So, now we wait for this new card to come out but in the meantime we are starting to see
reviews and benchmarks of the GeForce FX and its becoming clear that while it does seem
to be faster than the Radeon 9700 pro, its by such a small margin that it may not even be
worth the buy. It seems that the heir to the graphics card throne may be slipping to ATI.
Me? Iâ€™ve been buying Nvidia graphics cards exclusively, since the TNT came out. At
the moment I have 11 PCâ€™s on my home network. 10 of them (including 2 laptops)
have Nvidia cards in them. My own personal machine has a Radeon 9700 pro in it.
|While it seems that Nvidia is down,
they are surely not out and weâ€™ll
be postinâ€™ the latest info in this
back and forth battle as we get it so
-Lookin for pics of the next ATI chip, the R350?? well we
dont have pics...........but we do have pic (as in 1). Check it out
-And oh yeah, while the pics below feature fans, the final
production version are rumored to work just fine with just
passive cooling....................so put that in your pipe and smoke