The tension has been mounting. The world and yours truly expected the unveiling of what would undoubtedly be the king of the 3D graphics market in August of last year. Unfortunately, much to our disappointment, all we saw was a handpicked GeForce2 GTS variant and some new drivers from NVIDIA. Discussion was rampant across the web about NVIDIA's "missed" product cycle, and although some were unwilling to accept the fact that the elusive NV20 wasn't going to surface for another 6 months there was little that could be done about it.

The opportunity was there; 3dfx, ATI or even Matrox had the chance to step forward and take the limelight. And although we had expected ATI to step forward with at least a Radeon MAXX last Comdex, all that came out of the 3D graphics market was NVIDIA's acquisition of 3dfx.

We actually owe NVIDIA an apology. When we learned that the NV20 was to be pushed back a full product cycle and to take its place was the GeForce2 Ultra, we definitely gave them a hard time. However, as you are about to see, there was no way that the NV20 could have made it out last year for the very reasons NVIDIA gave the public: mainly that DirectX 8 wasn't ready and that they were still waiting on the 0.15-micron process to come up to speed for this particular chip.

Fast forwarding to the present day, NVIDIA just recently unveiled the 'NV20' as the GeForce3 in Tokyo last week…to an all Mac audience. There was quite a bit of commotion surrounding this release simply because it is in fact the PC industry that has put NVIDIA where they are today, but there's no reason to get upset, the GeForce3 will be out for the PC at the same time if not earlier than the Mac community gets it. The biggest question we'll have to ask is what games will be out that will take advantage of it and unfortunately that requires much more speculative of an answer.

Alas, we are getting ahead of ourselves; we're talking about buying a card we know nothing about. Luckily that is all going to change today; what you are about to see is quite possibly the most interesting product to come to the 3D graphics market since the introduction of 3Dfx's (with a capital D) Voodoo graphics accelerator. We've kept you waiting long enough, without further ado, let's have a look at NVIDIA's GeForce3: The Infinite Effects GPU.

Brute Force vs. Elegance & Finesse

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