The GeForce2 GTS Has Arrived!

And A Look At Leadtek's Winfast GeForce2 GTS


By Dave "Davo" Altavilla

This week has been relentless.  It is as if the WinHEC conference is the designated battle ground for the PC Graphics Industry and the war has been waged with a vengeance.  Now if only we media types can keep up with the onslaught of announcements without burning out, life will be pretty good. 

Tonight the NDA for NVidia's next generation processor has been lifted.  The following information will be presented as a two part piece.  A look at the GeForce2 GTS GPU itself and also a card soon to be available from Leadtek, the Winfast GeForce2 GTS.  First lets take a look at what we know about NVidia's new 3D silicon power house.

Specifications / Features Of The GeForce2 GTS

Blinding Speed

  • .18 Micron Core
  • 200MHz. Core Clock Speed
  • 256-bit Graphics Engine 
  • 1.6 GTexel per second throughput
  • DDR SDRAM Interface rated up to 166/333MHz. DDR for 5.3Gb/Sec Memory Bandwidth
  • Future 200MHz DDR Capable
  • 350MHz. Integrated RAMDAC for high resolution support of up to 2048X1536 resolutions
  • Per Pixel Shader 
  • 8 texture-mapped, filtered, lit texels per clock  cycle  with "Hypertexel" Technology 
  • High Definition Video Processor 
  • 2nd-generation T&L Engines 
  • High Performance Hardware Anti-aliasing 
  • Integrated TMDS - Transmission-Minimized Differential Signaling Transmitter
  • Double Data Rate (DDR) Memory 
  • AGP 4X with Fast Writes & Execute Mode 
  • DVD Motion Compensation
  • NTSC/PAL TV output encoding 
  • DVI interface encoding
  • 32-bit color, Z/Stencil buffer
  • Cube Environment Mapping
  • Dot Product 3 Bump Mapping
  • Vertex Skinning 
  • High Quality Texture Filtering, including  Anisotropic 
  • Advanced per-pixel, perspective-correct texturing and shading
  • DirectX Texture Compression Support
  • S3TC Texture Compression Support 

An impressive set of specs to say the least.... What stands out for us here is the 200MHz. Core Clock Speed and 1.6 GTexel throughput.  The GeForce2 is capable of 8 texels per clock cycle and with T&L support and hardware supported FSAA.  There is no telling what kind of an impact FSAA has on the performance but we should be getting a card from Leadtek shortly that will allow us to bring you full detail.  Regardless, from a pure horsepower and muscle perspective, the GeForce2 GTS is the most impressive single chip product to date. 

Relative Performance Characteristics
Raise the bar

In lieu of a card available for actual benchmarks, we were able to score the following chart, from an inside source.  It should give you an indication of the relative performance of the GeForce2 GTS.  We don't have any information on the system configuration here or even what resolution or color depth these tests were taken at.  However, it is a side by side comparison and should give you an indication of what to expect in performance increases over current NVidia based product.

Click image for full view

Those Quake3 numbers look an awful lot like 1024X768X32 with max textures, for example on the GeForce DDR card.    What is impressive is that we see the GeForce2 GTS brings a 20% frame rate increase over a 64MB GeForce DDR card.  Also, take note of the 240MHz. core clock scores for the GeForce2 GTS, which gain you another 5%.  It seems we are either in store of a higher speed bin release later in the year or this chip really overclocks.  Perhaps a combination of both?  We can only speculate at this time. 

That is until we get a hold of the Winfast GeForce2 GTS!

Click image

Here is the run down on this great looking new board from Leadtek.

  • 2nd-generation GeForce GPU with Giga Texel Shading Architecture
  • 8 texels per clock with Advanced Hypertexel pipelines 
  • Most complete DirectX7 hardware implementation for the highest gaming quality and frame rate
  • High Definition Video Processor for the fastest DVD, 2D and video processing
  • 32MB DDR memory rated at 6ns.
  • DVD playback package
  • Optional TV output and DVI Interface
  • Winfast DVD Software
  • Colorific Monitor Color Calibration Software
  • Windows 2000, Windows NT 4.0
  • Windows 98 and Windows 95 display drivers 
  • DirectDraw, Direct3D, DirectVideo, ActiveX
  • OpenGL ICD for Windows 95, Windows 98,  Windows 2000, Windows NT 4.0
  • Fully PC00, PC99 and PC99a compliant
  • AGP (4x/2x) w/ Fast Writes
    *(3.3 Volts, 5 Amps, AGP version 2.0 required)

As you can see in the above shot, the folks from Leadtek don't cut any corners.  The heat sink used on this card is oversized and heavy duty.  It is reminiscent of the golden color sink they have used in the past on their Winfast GeForce DDR Plus card.  This is an excellent cooling solution and should allow for solid overclocking.  Also, the addition of TV Out will beg you to find a way of incorporating your computer as part of your living room entertainment center.  The enhanced DVD support ( stated to be even better than the original GeForce) will certainly add to the value of the package and it will be interesting to see what could be Digital Video perfection.

We'll get more details about the GeForce2 GTS and Leadtek Winfast product,  to you as they become available.  We are expecting a board here this week.  They should also be in the retail channel in 2 weeks or less!  Cross your fingers.  It will be another long weekend for us here at  Stick around!

For additional details on the Winfast GeForce2 GTS, visit the Leadtek site here.

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