Creative Labs has long been known for their Sound Blaster line of sound cards. Just about every sound card released in the past 8 years has touted Sound Blaster compatibility and even Creative Labs website is www.soundblaster.com. As the need for Sound Blaster compatibility has faded with Windows providing a standard sound interface to programs, Creative Labs has begun to turn towards other markets to sell products in.

One such market is the graphics card market that Creative took by storm with the 3D Blaster Voodoo2. Creative's huge retail presence and advertising budget immediately put them on the graphics card map. After the 3dfx/STB and S3/Diamond mergers, the only major graphics chip maker is NVIDIA, who Creative has turned to for their latest in their 3D Blaster series of graphics cards. The most recent is the 3D Blaster TNT2 Ultra, following Creative's no nonsense product naming strategy in the graphics card market. But with NVIDIA the only major graphics chip player left, there is tons of competition in the TNT2 market. Today, we find out how the Creative Labs TNT2 Ultra offering fares in the face of heavy competition.

Card Specifications
(courtesy Creative Labs)

Architecture Highlights

  • Peak fill rate of 300 million bilinear filtered, multi-textured pixels per second
  • Over 9 million triangles per second at peak rates
  • 2.9 GB/sec total memory bandwidth
  • 100% hardware triangle setup engine
  • TwiN-Textel (TNT) dual 32-bit 3D rendering pipeline
  • 2 texture mapped, lit pixels per clock cycle
  • Single pass multi-texturing support (DirectX®6.X and OpenGL® ICD)

3D Features

  • Hardware triangle setup engine
  • 2 texture-mapped, lit pixels per clock cycle
  • Single pass multi-texturing support enables features like bump mapping, reflection mapping, texture modulation, and procedural textures
  • Per-pixel perspective correct texture mapping
  • Full scene, order independent anti-aliasing
  • 32-bit Z and stencil buffer

2D Features

  • Hardware acceleration for all Windows GDI operations
  • Fast 32-bit VGA/SVGA support
  • Multi-buffering (up to quad buffering) for smooth animation and video playback

Video Support

  • Advanced support for DirectDraw
  • Hardware color space conversion (YUV 4:2:2 and 4:2:0
  • Multi-tap X and Y filtering

Card Specifications

  • AGP 2X with sideband support
  • Analog VGA output
  • TV output with S-Video connector (composite adapter cable included)
  • VESA DDC2B compatible

Drivers

  • Drivers for Windows 95 and Windows 98 (DirectDraw®, Direct3D, OpenGL)
  • Drivers for Windows NT® (DirectDraw and OpenGL)
  • VBE 2.0 compliant

Refresh Rates

  No. of Colors
Refresh
Rates (Hz) Resolution
256 64K 16.7M
640x480 60, 70, 72, 75, 85, 100, 120, 140, 144, 150, 170, 200 60, 70, 72, 75, 85, 100, 120, 140, 144, 150, 170, 200 60, 70, 72, 75, 85, 100, 120, 140, 144, 150, 170, 200
800x600 60, 70, 72, 75, 85, 100, 120, 140, 144, 150, 170, 200 60, 70, 72, 75, 85, 100, 120, 140, 144, 150, 170, 200 60, 70, 72, 75, 85, 100, 120, 140, 144, 150, 170, 200
1024x768 60, 70, 72, 75, 85, 100, 120, 140, 144, 150, 170 60, 70, 72, 75, 85, 100, 120, 140, 144, 150, 170 60, 70, 72, 75, 85, 100, 120, 140, 144, 150, 170
1152x864 60, 70, 72, 75, 85, 100, 120, 140, 144, 150 60, 70, 72, 75, 85, 100, 120, 140, 144, 150 60, 70, 72, 75, 85, 100, 120, 140
1280x1024 60, 70, 72, 75, 85, 100, 120 60, 70, 72, 75, 85, 100, 120 60, 70, 72, 75, 85, 100
1600x1200 60, 70, 72, 75, 85 60, 70, 72, 75, 85 60, 70, 72, 75
1920x1080 60, 70, 72, 75, 85 60, 70, 72, 75, 85 60, 70, 72
1920x1200 60, 70, 72, 75, 85 60, 70, 72, 75, 85 60, 70

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The Card

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