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NVIDIA: Too Fast For Us? - Comments, Part II
Author: Torsten Daeges       Date: March 14th 2001
Page: 1

The "nVidia: Too Fast For Us?" article has generated an enormous amount of feedback from our readers. Since we found the comments to be very interesting and fascinating contributions to the subject, we had to post them for you to read. Some of them exceed the original article in length, style and content - and I think you'll like them.

This is part II of the comments. You can check out part I here.

Paragraphs in blue are my replies to the readers and the yellow parts are what they replied to my replies again.


"While many of you are saying, "What about Geforce3?" there is really no need for the card at the current time especially consider the price at current market levels."

- Kyle Bennett, [H]ard|OCP


Torsten,

I thought your article/comment regarding Nvidia and the new faster chip every 6-months was pretty dead-on.

But I have a problem with your comment about the price issue. Nvidia products do seem to be getting more and more expensive with each release, and that is what IMO will be the biggest stumble for Nvidia. However, I can also recall when SLI was available first, it went easily for $500.00US. Yet users were plunking down that kinda dough for it too.

Either way, your article was very refreshing and I enjoyed it. Thank you,

- Edward


Hey, I just wanted to say, that you wrote a very good article. Personally I'd like to see if they realease a GeForce3 MX, then we really can't complain about the pricing/costs. I think they are doing a very good job with their product cycles, and they are doing what they need to do to stay on top. If they slowed down, and didn't release products as often, and didn't make leaps in technology, where would they be now? In 2 years? Probably would have been bought up by 3Dfx or ATI. They are on top, and in order to stay there, they need to come up with more and more new technologies so they don't get passed by anyone else... side effect, games run insanely fast, probably faster than anyone could need... except for in high-resolutions, where it's always been a problem, or with FSAA. And what about there new Hyper-Transport technology (i think that was the name), it's great for the video card, but even greater that it's being licensed (for free to!) to other manufacturers so they can use it in motherboards, and such. Prices go up of course, because like you said, manufacturing cost a lot more on newer technology because it's not in such high-demand, and the mass production facilities (fabs) aren't producing it as efficiently yet. But, it's not for those people without money, it's for those with cash to blow. Me, I'm happy with my MX, until a GeForce3 MX comes out, or I hit the lottery, i'm not upgrading either, but there are enough people with enough to spend that it gives nVidia a chance to make money, and then lower prices for the more average folks. If they didn't sell the products out for such high prices to start with, prices wouldn't drop as far as they do, so you see, it's all for the better for the average user, and the people with money are the ones getting ripped off, but they have enough money where it doesn't matter anyways. I'm a game developer, and unless nVidia is going to send me a GeForce3, I'll be writing games for the GeForce2 class (feature set wise) cards until prices drop enough to get me a GeForce3. This is exactly the reason most game companies don't get games out to support the latest cards for 12 months.

- Billy


May I offer, I am happy to buy the new product, I have 2 GeForce2 cards and an older TNT2Ultra. All 3 are in home computers, I will move my G2 to replace the older TNT2 card. I am very happy at the pace NVIDEA is going. You need to remember, we could all still be using Voodoo2 cards. Most people thought they were good enough, not me and not a lot of others. While you think they should keep their prices low, they are. The Geforce 2 MX and GTS/ULTRA etc, are dropping in price. The G3 will also drop in price. So what if the majority of people stay 1 to 2 generations behind, works for me and NVDA. Games will be programmed from the G2 to the TNT2. G3 users like myself will enjoy the cream to come from the new releases too. When they release the next one in 6-8 months, well one word will sum it up..Yummy for NV25. Let them release and let them program, I want it all!

- Mark


Hi,

I read your article and i agree. The high prices of all NVidia's top end card is a little out of control, and the demise of 3dfx and the poor showing by many other manufacturers mean that NVidia can now pretty much charge what they like.

Personally, I think the GF3 will be obsolete before it is even given a chance to show what it can do, how? Well, consider that DOOM3 won't be out for a year or so, and most other games won't start to support the chip for at least 6 months, THEN - the GF4 will be near to completion.

So the GF3 will have existed in a time period where no games were specifically designed with it in mind or actualyy require it to look good, since developers cannot limit their market to a few rich guys with the latest card.

Weird situation really.

- John


I completely agree with you about the GF3, it would be totally insane to get one now, or even 6 months from now. Most games don't even fully use the features on a Geforce let alone a Geforce2 or 3. I guess for those who need to run their FSAA at psycho resolutions or actually need more than 100FPS in full quality 32Bit Textures/Color for their games, it must be a godsend. I however plan on keeping my GTS until at least DOOM3 comes out, pending it does not run the game like frozen poo sliding down an ice wall on a cold day in Antartica on my current system. =)

Speaking of Video Cards, Clan iLs is making one, yeah its totally "Next Generation" too.

It will be using the "Revlolutionary" m.p.t.y.c.p.t.t.m.r.f.t.s.m.a. Engine.

The "More power than you can possibly throw ten million rabid fruit tossing spider monkey's at" engine =). (Stuart Kicks Ass)

You see, we are working directly with Cyrix to develop this "New Technology" technology, for we liked their "Imagination Engine" soo much that we decided to license it for use in our new card. You see it knocks you unconscious in 10 minute invervals while it does FPU intensive stuff like Quake3. This way when you wake up the round is over, and you score a random place between 3rd and 1st, always. Not only will it deliver "Blazing" speed, it will give you "Game" too.

Umm.... I don't know where the hell that came from.......... Caffine much yes, q3f good, yes, good....

!!!reverof xiryc,

- gHoSt[iLs]


I will concede you have a point on the price issue. At the same time the argument is made why should we even buy the latest and greatest if there aren't games to support them. True then buy the previous generation card which is still extremely fast and use it. Chances are that the new gen card would have pushed the prev. gen card back in price to a very reasonable level. You still get hellva speed and features and a good $$. I don't know why you would want a company to stop innovating. Intel and AMD keep pushing out faster and faster procs. and no one complains. Wait for another company to come along and give Nvidia some good competition and then I think you will be glad they have a great dev team and keep making highly competitive products. I would rather them (in this period where compeition is little to none) to keep making produts with tons of speed and features instead of being stagnant and just jacking the price up. Nvidia is bleeding edge. Just because the rest of the industry isn't keeping up don't dog them for that.

My $.02

- Bryan


Torsten:

You are absolutely correct. There is no way in hell that I am going to pay $500-$600 for a videocard. It's insane. I have a Asus GeForce v6600 in one computer and a 3Dfx Voodoo 5 in my main computer. Frankly though the frame rates may not be as high on the Voodoo 5, (Who cares) it is a far more stable card. Now that 3Dfx is gone (which totally sucks) Nvidia is the obvious leader in the industry. But if they are not careful they may just price themselves out of business. In my opinion I do not care for nvidia cards and do not have any intention of ever buying another product from them. Time will tell...and I am not ruling out anything. If this card is everything they say it is and it is so earthshaking, maybe when the price comes down and they get some stable drivers I won't have a choice. I personally don't give a hoot about frame rates. I would rather have a card that works well with all games and renders beautiful images. Just my opinion.

Thanks

- Jeff


I think that you are right about not needing to buy the newest and latest graphics card because it will take a while for the technology to catch up enough to actually benefit from the hardware. I currently have a voodoo 3 in my pc, and my framerates are only an issue for the anal. What I find interesting is that cards are coming out so fast now, the technology of the previous cards are not being used to thier fullest potential. Think of the paltry specs of the playstation1 and look at how far they took the technology for their games. I think it is safe to say that they used the technology of the playstation to it's fullest potential. Does this happen as much in the world of pc gaming? In this sense, I believe the rapid release of newer computer technology is actually keeping pc gaming from achieving it's utmost potential. Will the X box bring a change in this? I guess we will just have to wait and see...

- possum_back


Interesting editorial. I agree with most of it, including the fact that not everyone ought to get a geforce 3 today, since we can't all afford it. However, I disagree entirely with this:

"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."

Pretty much every 3D app will take advantage of the geforce3 features in the following ways:

  • Higher frame rates at the resolution / quality you typically run at. If you get in a fragfest with a dozen other players and the smoke trails are flying, you are not getting 80 Hz - not even on a geforce 2 ultra. If you care about your performance, buy this card.
  • Higher resolution at a given frame rate. Every increase in screen resolution is an important increase in visual quality. The only reason you aren't playing your game at a higher resolution now is that your card can't handle it, so get one that can.
  • Higher quality visual effects. Current games may not have been made for the Geforce 3, but they usually have texture, polygon, and effects quality sliders that you don't have cranked up all the way. Why not? Because your card can't handle it. So buy one that can.
  • Antialiasing. Don't you just hate the crawling effect of nearly-horizontal edges in the scene, especially when there's a fence or a weapon in the distance and you're moving slowly towards it? It just looks like crap. Antialiasing is the only solution. Higher resolution doesn't even solve the problem. Your game doesn't have to know anything about it. You just buy a better card and you get better quality.

Also, it won't be a year before there are games that take advantage of the new features. Think of Nvidia's strong relationship with game developers. They are certainly working with them to introduce upgrades to current games that use the new features to give better quality. For example, it's really easy for a game developer to crank up the number of particles in a particle system by a factor of ten and release a patch. It's almost as easy to add another rendering pass to give more realistic surface appearance and so on.

Also, remember the Q3A level that Nvidia introduced with the Geforce 2 GTS? Game developers and third parties can easily do the same thing with the Geforce 3 to increase their game sales and to increase the number of Geforce 3 cards in customer's hands by the time their new game that really uses the Geforce 3 comes out. (I know this argument is weaker than the other. Oh well.:)

- Imaginery Fiend


I don't mean to see harsh but... what a stupid article.

I don't mean to see harsh but... what a stupid eMail. Just kidding, Tom - I just had to.

If the card is too fast for anyone, they simply don't have to buy it. Furthermore, NVidia isn't "supposed" to do anything. If nobody buys their products, they change their business model. I personally found it acceptable to pay $420 for my GeForce 2 Ultra 64MB DDR, which not only runs everything comfortably but has the horsepower to handle the next generation of games (and CPUs).

Perfect. But you're not planning on buying a GeForce 3 when it hits the shelves, right ?

Well, then that's exactly my point.

BTW: The "Too Fast" in the title is not about the chip. Gfx-chips can't be too fast - but nVidia's technological pace could be too fast, resulting in price inflation. After all, the title is: "nVidia - Too Fast For Us", NOT "GeForce 3: Too Fast For Us".

The author should give up on the repressive, anti-technology whining. It's a bore and worse, it's aggravating.

Nothing was "anti-technology" about the article. It was mainly "anti-shelling-out-much-money-if-it's-not-worth-it-yet".

Thanks for your feedback !

Regards,

- Tom


You stated almost EXACTLY what I said in the 3dactionplanet forums awhile back. take a look. "3DFX going boink". www.3dactionplanet.com find the forums link. And, a hardy well done for having the foresight and balls to say what you did. here here! /me taps the table with his short sword in applause.

- Charles (Trunkneck)


Torsten,

Here is how I interpreted the argument in your article:

"The main use for nVidia products is games - and if there are no games for a new product, then it's not worth buying that product (at the time of release) - so nVidia shouldn't be trying so hard to push technology."

Is that what you meant to say? This is a flawed argument for several reasons.

First of all, games are not the only use for a new product. nVidia graphics chips are used in many fields for research, visualization, and development. They are used in architecture, engineering, industrial design, medical, and movie visual effects industries. People in these industries can start taking advantage of the new hardware on the day they get it.

Second, the advancement of computer graphics for the PC must come from the hardware maker. In order for a game to be made for a new graphics hardware feature, the graphics hardware must exist first. Game developers can't make a game for hardware that hasn't been created (unless you're John Carmack - then you design an engine and the hardware developers design their hardware around your engine :0) - but there's only one John Carmack). Graphics advancement can't come from the software designers, or the gamers. The hardware designers have to go out on a limb and push the envelope and then try to get everyone else to follow. It's a tough job. I really admire nVidia for driving the industry as they do.

The console industry is different because the console developers can design their hardware and then hold on to it (only give it to the developers) while they wait for games to be made that support it. Once the games are ready, they release the hardware and software together. Do you think nVidia should do this?

On a more personal note, I've been waiting for the release of the NV20 for a while now. My current video card (at home) is a TNT and I decided about a year ago that I would get the NV20 when it was finished. My philosophy is to wait for a graphics upgrade until you REALLY need one - and then to get the VERY BEST one available. When I got my TNT, it was the best. Now I really need a new card, and the NV20 is the best. I'll be buying mine in about two weeks.

- Ben (Character Animator)

You brought up very good points. You're right, the editorial was written with mainly the average gamer in mind.

And BTW: If you still have a TNT (I also had one 'til I got an MX 3 months ago), it's understandable that you go for a GF3. I just don't understand the people who have to get almost every new generation...

Thanks for your feeback !


nice opinion article,nice someone has the balls to take a chance and release the truth.

- factory 81


Hello,

some valid points there, BUT:

I am going to buy a new PC tomorrow... (Well, actually in 3 or 4 weeks)

So should I buy a MX now (150$) and an GF3 in a year (then perhaps 350$) which sums up to 500$? If you think about it, I might as well spend the $500 right now and profit from the speed-increase compared to the MX. A GF2 is too expensive to include in this calculation (250$ here in Germany at least).

Or do I miss something?

Sincerly,

Markus

Hi Markus,

The following opinion is of mine only, it might not reflect what other GlideUnderground staff thinks. Enjoy:

Well I for one think you should go get a GeForce 2 MX and wait it out, In one or 2 years time you can choose between GeForce 3 and a GeForce 4. So why did I come to this conclusion?

GeForce 3 is a tad expensive now, and for the price and what games we have now a day (as mentioned in the article) it's just not worth it. I would predicted that no game will take full advantage of the card until 1 years time. So by then when you purchace the GeForce 3, you can use it to it's advantages, and also pay a lower price. The MX is sufficient for regular games, and if you're a hardcore 3D gamer, it isn't all that bad either. And to think further, if you wait even longer you could even pick up a GeForce 4. It would be cheaper than picking a GeForce 3 now then picking up another GeForce 4 in 2 years time when GF4's price comes into a tad more reasonal price range. ($500+$350 = $850!! where as the MX + GeForce 4 would give your previous calculation of $500) That would give you 2 cards at the price of one.

There is almost no point in grabbing a GeForce 3 now, over 3/4 of it's features would just sit there and collect dust. Getting an MX now would ensure that you can actually have the option of purchasing a 'non' reference design GeForce 3 board in 1 years time or even a GF4 in 2 years time. And by that time you would own 2 cards, 2 generations of GeForce, and owning 2 is better than one. You can pop the MX in an old system and the new one in a future upgrade system.

So let me sum up the advantages:

  • MX is cheaper
  • You would end up having 2 cards at the price of $500 (2 is better than one)
  • You would have the option of buying 'non' reference design boards
  • Most of the Drivers and the bugs would be worked out of the boards

My TNT2 is sufficent enough for me, I'm not even giong to pick up a GeForce 3 anytime soon. So why waste your money on the most expensive stuff if you aren't really going to use it?

- Alex Wong (GU-Staff)


I bought a GTS 2 because of the hype and let me tell you my Voodoo5 went back in soon after. The GTS was alot more stronger in some games and just totally sucked in others. (X-wing alliance, Need for speed 3) It's image quality was not as colorful or as bright or as sharp as my Voodoo5 in tombRaider and alot of other games. Even though this card wasn't the best card I've ever owned or could it go really high in resoluions I still loved it."And it looked great!~ FSAA

Now I own a Radeon 64meg DDR and let me tell you one thing " This card is the best graphic card to date and I highly recommend it, The card will run every game and run then unbelievably well. So get a Radeon I say !! it's cheap in it's cost for performance and looks the best I've ever seen in games and NO!~ card can match it.

- Dabsongreg


So much for the theory that the card needs to be available with these new features before game developers will start making games that support those features. Yes it seems like they're wasting their money creating stuff that we can't afford but if they don't who will and game developers aren't going to create features if there are no cards to support them. Seems like who came first the chicken or the egg, but eventually someone has to go first and it should be video cards.. that way we don't have to buy a game and wait 6 months for video card manufacturers to make cards that support it. I think the plan is working good.. maybe nvidia is getting ahead of themselves but it's not doing any harm yet is it? Anyways, those are my thoughts..

john


Hallo.

99% do not have a monitor bigger than 17"" and 1024x768. Who is playing 1600x1280? Not many.

Yes there are actually people frames-addicted enough. And they never use a soundcard and so on.

Just couting frames. Like kids.

KR

- Birger


I completely agree with your comments. I'm building a new 1.33 Ghz Athlon System for my development platform and the odd game-playing urge. I've decided to go with a Voodoo5 5500 video board. No, this isn't some adolescent 3DFX vs. nVidia act of defiance. I've decided to go with a Voodoo5 5500 because, right now, it has the best balance of price, usable features, and performance (3DFX's demise notwisthstanding). For $125 I was able to buy a fast card that has excellent 2D and let's me see what that Hardware AA fuss was all about a few months back. Keep in mind, we're STILL waiting for games which take advantage of the GPU in the original GeForce. Now we're supposed to believe that the new GeForce3 is the best thing since sliced-bread. Well, I believe it WILL be, I just don't believe there will be any games that take advantage of the GeForce3 until X-Box is released, and even then, it may be a time afterwards.

Cheers!

- Sean


It would seem that animation professionals who use maya and 3d studio could really benefit from this card... it is much cheaper than high-end alternatives. I agree that it is really not suitable to a gamer at it's cost. If a gamer is going to pay $500+ for a video card... it should come with an hdtv tuner card as well... or maybe a dvd drive. It doesn't... so no need to buy it now.

- Rich


Just my own two cents on your commentary.

1. Every product has to have a release date.

2. Every product, when released, usually sells for a much higher price than it will in 3-6 months.

3. In 3-6 months, the price is likely to be much more reasonable, therefore, normal consumers will buy it.

4. In a year, the price is likely to be rock-bottom, accessable to even the cheapest of cheapskates.

It's just a normal product cycle, just like any other. When Intel released the P3, it was insanely expensive. After a while, it got cheaper and became the norm. Now, the original P3s are so cheap, you can pick one up for pocket-change.

- Brian


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Too Fast For You? -Letters 2


Added:  Wednesday, March 14, 2001
Reviewer:  Torsten Daeges

Page: 1/3

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