NVIDIA GeForce3 Roundup - July 2001by Matthew Witheiler on July 25, 2001 11:39 PM EST
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When NVIDIA's GeForce3 graphics chip was introduced 5 months ago, many questioned if the video card industry was ready for such a powerful chip. There was no question that the GeForce3 was the most powerful graphics processor to date, changing the video chip from a fixed function processor to a programmable one. No, there was no doubt that the GeForce3 marked a significant advancement in video chip design, but would games ever take advantage of this power and would consumers be willing to shell out the high price of a GeForce3 card? Only time would tell.
And tell it did. As time passed, the enthusiasm surrounding the GeForce3 graphics chip only grew. First came the promise that games due out before the end of the year would feature support for the GeForce3's advanced features. This caused many to consider a GeForce3 based video card in anticipation of Christmas gaming titles that NVIDIA claims will not only run better but also look better on the GeForce3 graphics processor.
Next came price drops of such a massive proportion that they may as well have been called price plummets. Initially priced at $500 for a bare GeForce3 video card, prices have since fallen over $150 for an average GeForce3 price of around $340, although some can be found as low as $305. These series of price drops played a significant role in bringing the GeForce3 to many home systems. Prices of the GeForce3 now lie in the territory that a few months ago was held by the GeForce2 Ultra, making the price much easier for many to swallow.
These two events have drastically altered the appeal of the GeForce3 from a card reserved only to those with money to flaunt to a card suitable for those looking for a powerful system, even on a budget. GeForce3 card availability has also risen sharply in the past few months, making GeForce3 cards not only cheaper but also easier to find.
With these advancements, it is no surprise that many out there are contemplating which GeForce3 based card to buy. Like other NVIDIA products, it seems that every manufacturer and their brother is making a GeForce3 video card of some sorts. Naturally, this makes the decision of which GeForce3 card to get much more difficult, as aspects such as price, overclockablity, features, performance, image quality, and more all play crucial roles in the purchasing process. Today we look at a collection of some of the more popular GeForce3 cards on the market, pairing 7 GeForce3 cards head to head in order to determine which card is deserving of your money.
Please note that this roundup does not serve to compare the GeForce3 graphics chip with other solutions out there. Rather, this article is an intra-chip roundup that includes a collection of GeForce3 cards. For information on how the GeForce3 line compares with other offerings, please see our NVIDIA GeForce3 review. We strongly suggest you read this article before delving into the vast array of GeForce3 cards available on the market today.