by Anand Lal Shimpi on March 22, 2001 9:00 AM EST

Final Words

We are still very impressed with the GeForce3, and applaud NVIDIA for architecting a wonderful chip and the technology behind it. However the fact remains that in spite of how great the technology is, the GeForce3 isn't something we can recommend at this point in time.

The only real performance advantages the GeForce3 currently offers exist in three situations: 1) very high-resolutions, 2) with AA enabled or 3) in DX8 specific benchmarks. You should honestly not concern yourself with the latter, simply because you buy a video card to play games, not to run 3DMark on although there will be quite a bit of comparing of 3DMark scores of the GeForce3 regardless of what we think.

The AA quality and performance of the GeForce3 is quite attractive, but at a $500 asking price it quickly loses its appeal as does the charm of high frame rates at very high resolutions.

If you must purchase a card today and aren't going to replace it for the next two years, then the GeForce3 is not only your best bet, it's your only choice. But if you can wait, we strongly suggest doing just that. In 3 - 4 months ATI will have their answer to the GeForce3, and in 3 months following that, NVIDIA will have the Fall refresh of the GeForce3 running on a smaller process, at a higher clock speed, offering more performance and features at a lower cost.

Between now and the release of the GeForce3's successor, it is doubtful that there will be many games that absolutely require the programmable pixel and vertex shaders of the GeForce3. If you've got $500 to kill, the GeForce3 is a luxury item right now, but in 6 - 12 months, you'd be foolish to get caught without a programmable GPU under your case. The best move here is to wait until games need it, and then pick up the best you can at that point.

Until then, there are a number of cheaper alternatives to tide you over.

DX8 Performance - Aquanox
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