It's less than three years ago when I received an email from the at this point rather unknown company called 'nVIDIA' in July 1997, asking me if I was an 'enthusiastic hardware reviewer' who would like to have an in depth look at their new 3D video chip called 'RIVA128. At this time I hadn't done any 3D card reviews at all and my knowledge of 3D was rather mediocre. I answered with a big YES and received my first 3D card sample in August 1997, starting off a 3D review section at Tom's Hardware Guide as well. Since this time we both have come a long way. Tom's Hardware Guide is still the largest hardware review site on the Internet, leading with double the amount of readers and page requests of its next competitor and NVIDIA has made it to the top of 3D chip makers, after pushing 3dfx from its throne more than a year ago. Since NVIDIA's IPO the stock price (Nasdaq:
NVIDIA's last 3D chip by the name of 'GeForce256' was the top performer in 3D graphics since its release in October 1999 and until now there hasn't been any product that could threaten GeForce in any way. It was GeForce's huge success that kept NVIDIA from panicking to rush out their next chip, which was available as working silicon already in November of last year. Now the competition is getting ready to release their products to finally give GeForce a run for its money, marking the perfect time for NVIDIA to launch their GeForce2 GTS and raise the bar even further.
However, before we just stand in awe of the impressive numbers that GeForce2 GTS is able to report, we should have a close look at it to find out if the product can live up to the high expectations we have of an NVIDIA product.