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

OpenGL Performance - MDK2

MDK2 is an aging 3D person shooter title that has a lot of FPS characteristics to it. At the same time, this is the very type of title that won't see a major performance increase from the GeForce3. Starting at 640 x 480 x 32, the GeForce3 is no better than a GeForce2 GTS, Pro or Ultra since at this low of a resolution there are no memory bandwidth bottlenecks.

At this low of a resolution the performance really comes down to CPU performance and driver issues. Since all of the cards are on the same CPU, there is virtually no difference between any of the NVIDIA solutions and there don't appear to be any driver related issues either.

As we crank up the resolution, the GeForce3 begins to step ahead. Remember that the GeForce3 has the same amount of theoretical memory bandwidth as a GeForce2 Ultra, however it is simply more efficient at its usage of it. NVIDIA's Lightspeed Memory Architecture, including their Hyper-Z like features are helping its performance here.

The improvement isn't too great, since it only translates into about a 6% increase in frame rate over the GeForce2 Ultra.

What is worth noting is that the Kyro II hasn't changed in performance at all between 640 x 480 and 1024 x 768, while even the GeForce3 took a small performance hit. As a quick refresher, the Kyro II is a tile-based rendering chip which translates into extremely efficient management of memory bandwidth and fillrate power.

At 1600 x 1200 the GeForce3 is finally able to pull away from the GeForce2 Ultra, offering a 22% performance improvement courtesy of nothing more than the GeForce3's efficiency improvements. A 22% boost at 1600 x 1200 is impressive, but worth $500?

OpenGL Performance - Quake III Arena Real-World Fillrate
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