Elsa Erazor III
You're undoubtedly aware of the ever-increasing buzz factor around today's upcoming 3D cards. Easily one of the hottest debate topics in any message board or forum, the TNT2 vs Voodoo3 battle has left more than a few of us with our heads spinning with 3D terminology and dreams concerning fill rates and frames per second measurements. This consigns some of us to a soft of limbo, questioning whether we should upgrade at all. Of course, being the gamers we are, our curse is the compelling urge to get the latest and greatest in hardware, in order to keep up with the latest and greatest in software.
The TNT2 chipset is one such development that has spawned much hype, and a fair share of controversy in the gaming and hardware industry. Most of the hype stems from the outstanding performance of the original TNT chipset; as many of you know (and probably use), the TNT chipset provided a great 2D/3D integrated solution for a good price. Although it didn't blow away 3Dfx like it was originally slated to do, it got a solid backing from users who either wanted an integrated graphics solution, or the outstanding image quality of the TNT. The battle evolved into buying a Voodoo2 for raw FPS speed, or getting the TNT for image quality.
The controversy stems from the nature of these next generation chipsets. There is already a fair share of information, whether it be true or purely speculative, regarding the statistics and features of the next generation chipsets from nVidia and 3Dfx, beyond the Voodoo3 and TNT2. Is there truly such thing as the Voodoo3 4000? What is the NV10 chipset? If the rumors are true, then the chipsets we are looking at now are merely "placeholders" for the next, truly revolutionary graphics chipsets, as neither the Voodoo3 nor the TNT2 departs drastically from its roots. The Voodoo3 has been widely dubbed a "Banshee 2", and the TNT2 is basically a smaller, faster TNT1, with slightly tweaked rendering pipelines. Both chipsets are great, but not revolutionary.
The battle, as ever, rages on with the introduction of both nVidia and 3Dfx's next generation chipsets. The Voodoo3 has a slight advantage in terms of being first-to-market, but there are more than a good handful of people waiting for the release of more TNT2 cards, and especially the TNT2 Ultra. Of course, it would be perfectly illogical to add more cards to this melange, so the G400 and Savage4 are hanging around, too, with their own special buzzword features and claims. The G400 supports hardware accelerated environment-mapped bump mapping, and the Savage 4 uses S3TC texture compression. However, the story of the day is TNT2, and Elsa's Erazor III steps up to the FiringSquad.