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home : reviews : GeForce3 Preview : page 2

Joe Glass
February 27, 2001

A new core, a new generation of products
The GeForce3 graphics core is the base for all new products to come from NVIDIA. Like the GeForce2, which spawned products like the GeForce2 MX, the GeForce2 Go, and the GeForce2 Ultra, the GeForce3 will produce similar products in these respective markets. NVIDIA has a top-to-bottom market product strategy with their boards. Using the core as a base, NVIDIA can spend fewer resources in creating separate chipsets. Rather, NVIDIA can take the feature set of their top-of-the-line chipset, and span it across many different markets. And with NVIDIA’s unified drivers, NVIDIA can create a consistent and reliable end-user experience by focusing on one driver base.

What’s with the name?
NVIDIA has been successful in building brand recognition with their GeForce line of products. This began with the GeForce256, and continued consecutively with the GeForce2 GTS, the GeForce2 MX, the GeForce2 MX (Macintosh version), the GeForce2 Ultra, and the GeForce2 Go. Each product was successful in their respective markets and NVIDIA wants to give the NV20 an easily recognizable name from the start. If they were to use a new name, NVIDIA would have a harder time building name recognition from scratch. When I think of the name ‘GeForce’, I think of a video card that has performance, stability, and compatibility. I have a sense of what the product can already do and what previous GeForce products were capable of doing. In the end, it really does make sense to keep the GeForce name.

Making a better pixel
Faster frame-rates don’t mean much if the pixels that represent them aren’t realistic. NVIDIA made significant improvements in this area with their GeForce2 using their NVIDIA Shading Rasterizer (NSR). With it, realistic lighting effects and texture effects can be achieved. Lighting effects such as Dot3 lighting really make lighting much more realistic than ever before.

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