Not new, just faster

Let's start with NVIDIA's new flagship, the GeForce3 Ti 500.  The GeForce3 Ti 500 is supposed to offer "1.5x GeForce3 performance at [the] same price"; as you'll see from our benchmarks, this isn't exactly the case when you test both cards on a level playing field. 

The GeForce3 Ti 500 is akin to the GeForce2 Ultra in that it is a lower yield, higher clock speed part coupled with faster than normal memory.  More specifically, the Ti 500 is clocked at 240MHz core and features 250MHz DDR SDRAM (effectively 500MHz).  Compared to the original GeForce3, the Ti 500 has a 20% higher clock speed and almost a 9% higher memory clock.  You can already tell that there's no way the Ti 500 will be 1.5x faster than the GeForce3.  This card will be priced at $349.99 - $399.99.

NVIDIA's GeForce3 Ti 500 Reference Board


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The next and possibly most interesting card out of this lineup is the GeForce3 Ti 200.  This is actually a much easier chip for NVIDIA to make since it features a lower core clock speed than the original GeForce3.  A lower core clock speed means that more chips can be sold thus reducing the cost of manufacturing.  The GeForce3 Ti 200 core is clocked at 175MHz and the memory clock is reduced to 200MHz DDR (400MHz effective).

The reason NVIDIA can claim "GeForce3 performance" out of this part is because in most real-world cases you are memory bandwidth limited, not fill rate bound meaning that core clock speed isn't as important.  The reduction in memory bandwidth does reduce overall performance however making it unlikely that the GeForce3 Ti 200 would be able to keep up with the GeForce3. It'll be close, but definitely no cigar. The GeForce3 Ti 200 is intended to compete with ATI's Radeon 7500 and is priced at $199.

Both of the GeForce3 Ti cards share the same features as the original GeForce3; for more information on those features have a look at our original GeForce3 Technology Overview.

NVIDIA's GeForce2 Ti 200 Reference Board


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The final card being released is the lower end GeForce2 Ti 200.  This card bumps the GeForce2's clock speed back up to 250MHz (where the Ultra debuted at) while keeping the memory clock at 200MHz DDR (effectively 400MHz).  This card will be priced at "GeForce2 Pro levels" meaning $149 - $179.  The feature set of the GeForce2 Ti 200 is identical to the GeForce2 Pro.
Index Playing the clock speed game

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