iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






January 2002 3Digest - NVIDIA GeForce2 GTS

By Andrey Vorobiev

This chip is presented by Hercules 3D Prophet II GTS 32 MBytes AGP videocard.


  • NVIDIA GeForce2 GTS chip, 200 MHz clock rate;
  • 32 MBytes DDR SGRAM memory in 4 Samsung 6ns microchips, 166 (333) MHz clock rate , 128-bit bus;
  • Peak fill rate in the multitexturing mode is 800 megapixels/sec and 1600 megatexels/sec.

Wasn't overclocked.

This card is the improved GeForce2 GTS chip released 1.5 year ago. Actually it's improved GeForce256 with a higher clock rate and two TMUs per rendering pipeline. The speed of T&L block has increased according to the increased clock rate. But the relatively slow 166 MHz DDR memory cuts the perfomance almost by half in 32-bit mode. Nevertheless, it has been the best 3D-accelerator a year ago and now it's in the middle between GeForce2 MX (lower) and GeForce2 Pro (higher). The manufacture of these cards has been stopped and they are being replaced by faster GeForce2 Pro.

For the 20th of January 2002 the latest drivers from NVIDIA are 16.30, 23.12, 27.00 and 27.20. As the drivers differences are equal for all GeForce2 GTS/Pro/Ultra cards, there's no sense in comparing drivers separately for each of these cards. See NVIDIA GeForce2 Pro 64 MBytes 5ns section for more information about drivers.

And now I want to attract your attention to another important 3D feature - filtering. As many of you know, all chipsets support bilinear filtering that is an important instrument in MIP-mapping, some chipsets support trilinear filtering (true, not the approximation) and only few support anisotropic filtering.

Due to the fact that GeForce2 and GeForce3 do support anisotropic filtering, I recommend you to pay attention to the article about this feature.

There's no criticism about 3D quality in all the games tested. I want to mark perfect image quality and good speed in FSAA 2x2 (certainly, at low resolutions):

You can compare screenshots with reference ones (NVIDIA GeForce3).

Games / Cards 1 2 3 4 5 6

Games / Cards 7 8 9 10 11 12

Games / Cards 13 14 15 16 17 18

Games / Cards 19 20 21 22 23 24
NVIDIA GeForce2 GTS - -

Games / Cards 25 26 27 28

Game list:

  • 1. Return to Castle Wolfenstein
  • 2. Unreal2 - for GeForce cards, Unreal - for all other
  • 3. Comanche4
  • 4. No One Lives Forever
  • 5. Serious Sam
  • 6. Colin McRAE Rally2
  • 7. Red Faction
  • 8. Rally Trophy
  • 9. Sacrifice
  • 10. Venom
  • 11. Need For Speed V (Porshe 2000)
  • 12. Real MYST
  • 13. Blade of Darkness
  • 14. Giants
  • 15. 3DMark2001: Game1
  • 16. 3DMark2001: Game2
  • 17. 3DMark2001: Game3
  • 18. 3DMark2001: Game4
  • 19. 3DMark2001: Dot3
  • 20. 3DMark2001: EMBM
  • 21. 3DMark2001: Vertex Shaders
  • 22. 3DMark2001: Pixel Shaders
  • 23. Black & White
  • 24. Undying
  • 25. Anachronox
  • 26. Max Payne
  • 27. AquaNox
  • 28. Serious Sam II

2D quality is outstanding. Soaping effects can be seen only on some low-quality monitors in 1600x1200. But there are some low-quality cards present that give soaping effect on good monitors. And I shall mark that 6.* version drivers are not compatible with the software for sound cards based on Yamaha processor, as well as with SoftXG100 software synthesizer. Start or Close Window buttons can be spoiled by some "garbage" in 2D mode.

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