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Guillemot 3DProphet GeForce SDR

"Of most note hear is easily the chip at the very heart of the card, namely the Geometry processor"


Before we enter into any deep discussion about the item in question, I'd just like to take this opportunity and apologise. Why you ask? Well quite simply because this review is well over two months late. This is in part due to a mix-up at Guillemots end and the rest to do with hardware problems at ours. Our problem was down to the Asus K7M board not enabling AGPx2 Transfers, while the board could still work better than most, we obviously couldn't review it. Thankfully the situation was resolved by using a MicroStar MS-6167 Slot-A board.

The Ironic thing is by the time we got the new hardware and had installed it, the GeForce was up and running on our Pentium3 system. Still that's life and we have a job to do, so lets get to it! It's just a pity the card didn't have a bigger fan and heatsink as you get the impression that the included one just can't cut the mustard.

A GeForce is for life, not just for Christmas

What's a GeForce you ask? Well it's Nvidia's (NVs) sequel to the TNT2 series and as we have come to expect from Nvidia, innovation has never been higher! How do 32MBs onboard RAM, a 350MHz RAMDAC with TV-Out capabilities, a 256-bit rendering engine, integrated geometry transform and lighting (TnL [DirectX7 / OpenGL]) and a four-pixel-per-clock rendering pipeline sound? Not to mention support for AGP4X and Fast Writes, newer DirectX7 features like cube environment mapping, vertex blending and projective textures and as a plus it's optimised for software DVD acceleration and video playback.

Of most note hear is easily the chip at the very heart of the card, namely the Geometry processor. This is essentially a second processor, specifically designed to process and cope with complex mathematical and 3D Instructions. The idea being that you can take the load away from the primary CPU and create better output at the same time because the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) is specifically designed to cope with such instructions. As such Geometry data is now routed through the GeForce (GF) instead of the CPU as usual, speeding things up dramatically and allowing you to create more complex and interesting scenes.

So long as the game or application has been written in DirectX7 or a specially coded OpenGL driver interface, then TnL (Transform and Lighting) can be taken advantage of. Of course there is just one small problem, Geometry data is the only thing to really get speeded up. The problem being that Geometry is not the only area in which a game requires acceleration, Fill-Rate comes into the equation almost as much.

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