NVIDIA GeForce2 Ultra

by Anand Lal Shimpi on August 14, 2000 9:01 AM EST

As we discovered in our Detonator3 investigation, the new drivers decrease performance at lower resolutions where memory bandwidth limitations don’t kick in quite yet.  Because of this, the ATI Radeon jumps to the very top of the chart with the rest of the NVIDIA cards trailing behind followed by the 3dfx Voodoo5 5500. 

The 64MB GeForce2 Ultra actually comes out slightly behind the 32MB GeForce2 GTS because the latter features DDR SGRAM while all 64MB cards use DDR SDRAM.  The differences between SGRAM and SDRAM vanish at the higher resolutions however.

At 1024 x 768 the GeForce2 Ultra immediately begins to take over, boasting frame rates above 100fps in both 16-bit and 32-bit color.  Because of its 7.3GB/s of memory bandwidth, the Ultra laughs at what we once considered to be a memory bandwidth limited setting.

You definitely get what you’re paying for with the GeForce2 Ultra, at 1280 x 1024 x 32 the card’s 81.8 fps is definitely playable and almost as fast as the GeForce2 GTS is in 16-bit color. 

Nothing comes close to being able to touch the Ultra at 1600 x 1200 x 32, the card is just barely capable of hitting 60 fps at that resolution which is definitely playable.  While some may not be interested in running at that high of a resolution, it does make running at 640 x 480 or 800 x 600 (32-bit) with 2X FSAA enabled, very playable. 

The Test OpenGL Performance - Quake III Arena - Pentium III 550E
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