iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






January 2002 3Digest - NVIDIA GeForce3 Golden Sample

By Andrey Vorobiev

This chip is presented by Gainward CARDEXpert GeForce3 Powerpack!!! VIVO Golden Sample 64 MBytes, AGP.


  • NVIDIA GeForce3, 220 MHz clock rate;
  • 64 MBytes DDR SDRAM memory in eight EliteMT 3.8ns microchips, 240 (480) MHz clock rate, 128-bit bus;
  • Peak fill rate in the multitexturing mode without optimizations is 880 megapixels/sec and 1760 megatexels/sec.

I've observed this GPU in the article about NVIDIA GeForce3, thus all interested in it may find the details there. And here we'll observe the variant from Gainward with a 20 MHz higher clock rate (of both memory and chipset). As I've mentioned in the GeForce2 MX400 4ns, GeForce2 Pro 4.5ns sections, Gainward company releases the "Golden Sample" line, consisting of cards equipped with selected GPUs and faster memory. A pity, but the application of the "golden" title to this exact card is rather doubtful, as almost all GeForce3 cards work at 20 MHz higher clock rates, and 3.8ns memory is the same as on others. This exact card has a VideoIn VideoOut module (VIVO) onboard. You may read about this videocard here.

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 GeForce3 cards, there's no sense in comparing drivers separately for each of them. See NVIDIA GeForce3 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.

All other perfomance aspects are in the NVIDIA GeForce3 section, so you should read it for more information.

2D quality is very good and even excellent. 1600x1200x85 Hz mode is comfortable from the point of picture quality. We had no samples of this card with bad 2d-quality (except for MSI StarForce822, that showed slightly worse 2D-quality). So it's hard to draw any conclusions, but the 2D-quality of almost all GeForce3 cards is even better than that of GeForce2 Ultra cards. 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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