The Absolute MORPHEUS GeForce3
Great minds in 3D Graphics come together and make it happen

By Dave Altavilla

In late 1999, a then fledgling company by the name of Absolute Multimedia, made its mark on the 3D Graphics scene with a brand of nVidia TNT2-M64 and GeForce based products.  The Absolute Multimedia product offering gained a fair amount of acceptance in the market place.  In addition, high praise from various media channels, were given with respect to the product's quality and innovation.  Although standard reference designs were used from a circuit layout standpoint, the product had innovative cooling solutions and a host of features that allowed them to stand out in a sea of "me too" products.

Like a sign of the times, companies are changing and evolving rapidly to adapt to the huge swings we have seen in the market recently.  Early in the first quarter of 2001, the core assets of Absolute Multimedia were sold to a company by the name of 3D Power.  Comprised of industry veterans in 3D Graphics, including several ex 3dfx employees, Absolute/3D Power set out once again to shake up the mix against  "run of the mill" products in the market place.

This is a HotHardware evaluation of 3D Power's Absolute MORPHEUS (must have the caps there) GeForce3.  As a side note, the name of the card is not supposed to be related to the character from the movie "The Matrix".  Rather, we were told it was in reference to the God (maybe Greek?) of Dreams, Morpheus.  So, now you know.  Read onward from here,  to learn more about this interesting new 3D Graphics card and see if it is worthy of your nocturnal desires.

Specifications and Features Of The MORPHEUS GeForce3
We'll take that reference design but make it pretty.


Architecture 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 anti-aliasing
  • Featuring Quincunx AA mode
  • Integrated hardware transform engine
  • Integrated hardware lighting engine
  • DirectX and S3TC texture compression
  • Dual cube environment mapping capability
  • Reflection maps





  • 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

  Software Package:

  • Install / Driver CD-ROM manuals.
  • Full version of Dronez
  • Full version of MDK2
  • Full Version of No One Lives Forever


Well now, isn't that refreshing.  Sure, the layout of the main circuit design on this GeForce3 card, is pretty much standard issue nVidia reference material.  However, that's where the similarities end.  First and foremost, as fine culinary experts would say, "presentation is everything".  Although, this is just a mere PC Graphics card, by the looks of the finely milled wooden box it ships in, one would think the contents are good enough to eat.


Then of course there is the cooling solution that was utilized here for the GPU itself and the DDR SDRAM chips.  This is by far the best equipped card in this regard, we have seen to date.  Let's have a closer look.


click for full view




In far right hand shot, you'll notice that there is a DVI Out Connector on the face plate as well as TV Out.  However, not all shipping retail versions will have this.  Some may come with VGA and TV Out only, as did our test card.




Beautiful, that would be the one word that describes the setup and this card.  With its purple colored orb style cooler called the "Ice Cube", that resides on the GPU and copper colored SDRAM heat sinks, there is one thing for sure, this card means business.  We'll see just how far this tricked out GeForce3 can go, later on in this article.  We're willing to bet looks aren't the only thing it's got going for it.


Finally, another very nice touch that 3D Power has put on the MORPHEUS, is the game bundle included.  Full versions of Dronez, MDK2 and No One Lives Forever, are tossed in to sweeten the deal.  It's nice to be able to see the benefits of bleeding edge technology, that the GeForce3 will bring and including games like Dronez, makes perfect sense.


To say that we were impressed with the quality, looks and features of this card, would be an understatement.  However, we come from the school of "show me the money" here at HotHardware, so let's pop the MORPHEUS in the socket and see if dreams can become reality.




Drivers, Features, and AA