recent announcement by Dell that they will be supplying
a GeForce card with 64MB of DDR (Double Data Rate) memory
in their high-end systems, a few questions arose. Some
of those have been answered (i.e. it is not a NV15) in
this SharkyExtreme Preview. However, two questions deserve
a little more exploration; Why a 64MB card? and Why now?
"Why a 64MB card?" is really a no-brainer
- simply put, it's performance. Depending on the application,
64MB offers higher detail settings and greater resolutions
without a performance hit. In Quake III, using Dell's
in-house supplied benchmarks (view them with caution
because they weren't supplied by an independent source),
the difference can be incredible. The larger textures
used by Quake III overwhelm the local 32MB of memory
and force the system to rely on the slower AGP texturing.
In independent tests done with the 64MB Quadro GeForce,
the results were similiar. Ah, the Quadro...that leads
into the second question.
now?" is not as easy to answer and had me scratching
my head because of two factors; the Quadro and the upcoming
NV15. Elsa was given exclusive rights to produce Quadro-based
cards. The Quadro was nVidia's solution for CAD and
Graphics needs. It utilizes 64MB of DDR memory and has
some architecture enhancements for the graphics market.
Also, it is clocked slightly faster than a standard
DDR GeForce. However, this specialization comes at a
premium price, $900 list/$650 street. Elsa cannot be
happy that there will be a competitor at roughly half
the price. I'm surprised the agreement with Elsa even
allows it. The other factor is the upcoming NV15 from
nVidia. They have been quoted saying that the NV15 was
on track for a March-May release. If the NV15 is imminent,
why authorize a product that will compete with their
new technology? That seems to make no sense....UNLESS
the NV15 has been delayed. With the information I have
available to me, that is the only conclusion that fits
the scenario. If the GeForce Plus can have the market
for 3 or 4 months, then it might justify the "50
engineers" Dell assigned to the project.
missed anything, please let me know. I welcome any feedback,
for feedback on this editorial and I received some good
thoughts. This one is from Peter S.
the rumors and everything else going around, nVidia
does have the NV15 (or whatever their spring product
is called) finished and almost ready to go.
But, the lack of any serious competition (closest
being the ATI MAXX card and the Viper II, neither
of which can really beat a DDR GeForce card) could
influence them to hold off releasing their next product
until the Voodoo5 is almost out the gate, or something
else that appears to give them real competition.
It makes good business sense, since it means they
can sell their older chips for a premium price for
an extra few months.
is true, then nVidia may have to modify their fall release/spring
refresh schedule, something they've taken great pride
in. Still, the GeForce has no real competition at this
people feel that Elsa has nothing to be concerned about.
Here is a typical response:
are other differences between the GeForce and Quadro
chips besides a slight clock difference and memory
size. The Quadro has a slightly different architecture,
and accelerates in hardware certain features that
are important in the professional market, bus useless
for games. The only example that I can think of off
the top of my head is line anti-aliasing, which is
a must-have for viewing wireframe models. I
don't think Elsa is worried.
feel Elsa can't be happy about this, but maybe it's
not as bad as I think.