iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






January 2002 3Digest - NVIDIA GeForce2 Ultra

By Andrey Vorobiev

This chip is presented by Leadtek WinFast GeForce2 Ultra 64 MBytes, AGP videocard.


  • NVIDIA GeForce2 Ultra chip, 250 MHz clock rate;
  • 64 MBytes DDR SDRAM memory in eight EliteMT 4ns microchips, 230 (460) MHz clock rate, 128-bit bus;
  • Peak fill rate in the multitexturing mode is 1000 megapixels/sec and 2000 megatexels/sec.

Overclocks to 320/260 (520) MHz (see summary diagrams).

Cards based on GeForce2 Ultra have been released in the fall 2000 and have become the fastest 3D accelerators for that moment. Unlike GeForce2 Pro, these cards had increased chipset clock rate along with increased memory clock rate. The fastest 4ns DDR memory with 230 (460) MHz clock rate has made these cards not only the fastest, but also the most expensive. The relatively low percent of release of these chips with guaranteed 250 MHz clock rate hasn't made them any cheaper and less popular. Only with today's appearance of GeForce3, the tendency of price reduction has showed up, but very reluctantly.

But market trends show that production of such very expensive cards with the same cost price as of newer GeForce3 cards is already unprofitable, and manufacturers begin to cancel their production. Therefore these cards begin to disappear from sales, but this process will take a long time. GeForce2 Ti release will whip up ultras' from markets as this card shows almost the same perfomance at a lower price.

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 concerning 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 2x:

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
NVIDIA GeForce2 -

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

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. Good ones allow to work in 1600x1200x75 Hz and even 85 Hz. But a number of cards from some other manufacturers might cause unpleasant horizontal blinking waves or flicker. This happens due to inner computer foils and doesn't occur always, but in some resolutions only.

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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