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nVidia: Too Fast For Us ?
Author: Torsten Daeges       Date: March 6th 2001

Following the official announcement of the GeForce 3 on MacWorld in Tokio, there has been some discussions on its features and what an amazing leap in technology it will be compared to the GeForce 2. John Carmack said it's "fantastic", Apple's Steve Jobs called it a "revolution". Everybody seems to be happy. I should be. But I'm not.


Imagine Nintendo would release its GameCube console (a.k.a. Dolphin) today. Suffice to say that there are no games out for the console yet - but let's say it would have the ability to play Nintendo 64 games, possibly at higher speeds. Due to its early release and that the technology in it would still be way more expensive to produce than it will be at its real release date, it would be extremely expensive. Would you buy it ? No ?

Well... then think again. Didn't you think about getting a GeForce 3 when it's out ?

Sure, the GeForce 3 is another undoubtedly great chip from nVidia. A revolution ? Maybe. Innovation ? Most probably. Stunning ? Sure. But so far, only in demos and previews of coming engines.


Everyone who saw the videos of id's John Carmack demonstrating his next generation engine, which will be used by id's upcoming title Doom 3, must have noticed how different this stuff looks compared to todays realtime computer graphics. The amazingly realistic lighting, high polygon models and facial animations of his demo made everyone go "Wow !".
Sadly, Doom 3 and it's engine (which will certainly be licenced to other game developers, just as the Q3A engine was) is in its early development stages and we will not see games with this kind of realism for a long time to come.


Now... while I don't question that the GeForce 3 will find its customers (it's a good product after all), I do have to wonder: Why ? What's the point in getting from enough frames to more than enough frames per second in Quake 3 ? All the games out now and the ones to be released within the year will most probably not make use of the new GeForce 3 features, let alone require them.

Who needs a GeForce 3 now ? Who needs one this year anyway ?


nVidia takes pride in releasing a new cutting edge product every 6 months - and I admire them for keeping up with it while still developing other stuff (like e.g. their mainboard chipsets and the xChips) - but to me it seems that the products are getting more expensive every time. nVidia seems to be coming closer and closer chasing the technological possibilities, making the manufacturing process more and more expensive. It's like they are too early, like technology isn't up to produce their chip-inventions for an acceptable price.

You know... if someone wants to desperately, he can get 10 times the power of a GeForce 3 for his PC today - but he'll have to pay an insane price. And nVidia seems to be going crazy producing faster and faster and more feature-packed products. In the process, they seem to have forgotten that they're supposed to produce graphics solutions with sane pricing, something an average gamer can afford.

Now you could say: "What are you going mad about ? You can always buy an MX !". And you're right. It just bugs me that there are actually people frames-addicted enough to buy the new products as they hit the street. I really shouldn't worry - it's their money. It takes one year for the games industry to catch up with the new features and speed offerings of new chips - so the one-year-old product is most probably enough.


When buying a brandnew nVidia product, you're either mad, a game developer or don't have to worry about money at all. Competition forces nVidia to release their chips in the moment they leave the labs - but it doesn't force you to buy them instantly.

The above is my personal opinion, and may or may not represent the opinion of Glide Underground. All copyrights used in this article are copyright their respective copyright owners. Comments are welcome !

Too Fast For You?

Added:  Tuesday, March 06, 2001
Reviewer:  Torsten Daeges


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