Gigabyte GVGF3000 64MB GeForce 3 - HotHardware

Gigabyte GVGF3000 64MB GeForce 3

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The Gigabyte GV-GF3000 64MB GeForce 3
Prepare Yourself...

By, Marco "BigWop" Chiappetta
May 15, 2001

With the impending release of any new product, there is an inevitable barrage of spin and marketing hype surrounding it. When nVidia officially unveiled the GeForce 3, the "spin-miesters" really went to work, as almost every "high-tech" publication began touting the new chip's capabilities and features.

There was something different about the GeForce 3's launch though. Usually, for every person praising a new product you'll find another condemning it. Ill fated 3dfx's launch of the Voodoo 5 comes to mind, for every person praising the quality of the Voodoo5's FSAA, another would call it useless because of the performance penalty. This was not the case when nVidia announced the GeForce 3 and the capabilities of their new "nFiniteFX" engine. The GeForce 3 is the first truly DirectX8 compliant chipset, offering new features, an improved memory architecture and a new FSAA method. Virtually every developer and industry insider was impressed by the GeForce 3, claiming new levels of realism were finally attainable on the desktop. It seemed the only negative feedback was on the price, which was supposed to hover in the $500+ range. Needless to say, we were anxious to get one of these cards in the HotHardware labs to experience it's capabilities first hand.

Gigabyte was the first company to come through, supplying us with a sample of their new GeForce 3 based GV-GF3000.


Specifications Of The Gigabyte GV-GF3000
Finally! Something New!
GeForce3 FEATURES:
  • nFiniteFX engine for full programmability
  • Lightspeed Memory Architecture for unmatched performance
  • Surface engine for high-order surfaces and patches
  • Programmable Vertex Shader
  • Procedural deformations
  • Programmable matrix palette skinning
  • Keyframe animation interpolation
  • Morphing
  • Fog effects (Radial, Elevation, Non-linear)
  • Lens effects (Fish eye, Wide angle, Fresnel effects, Water refraction)
  • Programmable Pixel Shader
  • Phong-style lighting for per-pixel accuracy
  • Dot3 bump mapping
  • Environmental bump mapping (EMBM)
  • Procedural textures
  • Per-pixel reflections
  • HRAA?high-resolution antialiasing
  • Featuring Quincunx AA mode
  • Integrated hardware transform engine
  • Integrated hardware lighting engine
  • DirectX and S3TC texture compression
  • Dual cube environment mapping capability
  • Reflection maps
Continued:
  • Accurate, real-time environment reflections
  • Hardware accelerated real-time shadows
  • True, reflective bump mapping
  • Z-correct bump mapping
  • Phong-style lighting effects on bump maps with reflections
  • High-performance 2D rendering engine
  • Optimized for 32-, 24-, 16-, 15- and 8-bpp modes
  • True-color hardware cursor with alpha
  • Multi-buffering (double, triple or quad) for smooth animation and video playback
  • High-quality HDTV/DVD playback
  • High-definition video processor (HDVP) for full-screen, full-frame video playback of HDTV and DVD content
  • Independent hardware color controls for video overlay
  • Hardware color-space conversion (YUV 4:2:2 and 4:2:0)
  • Motion compensation
  • 5-tap horizontal by 3-tap vertical filtering
  • 8:1 up/down scaling
  • Per-pixel color keying
  • Multiple video windows supported for CSC and filtering
  • DVD sub-picture alpha-blended compositing

CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE...
           


REFERENCE GeForce 3

If you have seen reviews of any other GeForce 3 based cards, you're probably thinking the GV-GF3000 doesn't look like all the others...and you'd be right.  The card we received was a pre-production model.  Our contacts at Gigabyte informed us that final shipping product will have a different cooler on the chipset and heatsinks on the RAM, similar to the reference board above.

Performance of the final shipping product should be no different than what you'll see on the next few pages.  Here at HotHardware, we prefer to review products that are exactly what consumers would find at retail, but we made an exception in this case. (Please forgive us) :)  There is some good that comes from pre-production hardware though...

             

Easy access to the components!  Our board was using an A3 stepping GPU, final boards will be using the A5 stepping.  The RAM was EliteMT DDR SDRAM rated at 3.8NS.  The default clockspeed for the 57 million transistor core is 200MHz, while the RAM is clocked at 460MHz (230MHz DDR).

What's the Big Deal?

 

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