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3D Blaster Riva TNT2 Ultra - Page 1/3
Rating : N/A Review Date : July 28, 2000

Umax scannerIntroduction

The TNT2 Ultra is no stranger to many of us. This board has been around for more than a year and still has the power needed to run today's most depending games/software. With Geforce 2 GTS already out on the market you can expect the prices for these cards to drop even further making it a perfect upgrade for those who are on a budget. The TNT2 Ultra when it first was released was intended to take on the entire 3dfx Voodoo 3 lineup in term of performance and features. Though nVidia initially planned to set at 175 Mhz and feature onboard memory clocked at 200Mhz, this was not what happened as we all know. When the final production unit was released nVidia realised that many manufacturers would encounter problem if they stuck to the 175/200 specs, so instead of producing more revisions the company brought the speed for the TNT2 Ultra down to 150Mhz for the core and 183Mhz for for the memory. Apart from the card manufacturers were given the option of tweaking the reference design and increase the clock speeds of the Ultra TNT2 cards if they were so inclined.

The 3D Blaster

Creative Labs just like many manufacturers have decided to build according to the reference design offering a TV-out based on the Brooktree 869 controller and 32MB of 5.5ns EliteMT SDRAM. The TNT2 Ultra chipset isn't as fast as the Voodoo3 cards but the performance is very close and it supports higher color depth. Another thing about the Creative 3D Blaster is the Unified Software, part of Creative's driver suite, incorporates the Gilde D3D wrapper. Basically, Glide calls are translated to TNT-friendly D3D calls through a software layer. The results are mixed, yes you can play Glide games on the 3d Blaster but they don't always look as good or run as reliably as they do on a 3dfx card.

Technical Specifications

Architecture Highlights
* Peak fill rate of 300 million bilinear filtered, multi-textured pixels per second
* Over 9 million triangles per second at peak rates
* 2.9 GB/sec total memory bandwidth
* 100% hardware triangle setup engine
* TwiN-Textel (TNT) dual 32-bit 3D rendering pipeline
* 2 texture mapped, lit pixels per clock cycle
* Single pass multi-texturing support (DirectX®6.X and OpenGL® ICD)

3D Features
* Hardware triangle setup engine
* 2 texture-mapped, lit pixels per clock cycle
* Single pass multi-texturing support enables features like bump mapping, reflection mapping, texture modulation, and procedural textures
* Per-pixel perspective correct texture mapping
* Full scene, order independent anti-aliasing
* 32-bit Z and stencil buffer

2D Features
* Hardware acceleration for all Windows GDI operations
* Fast 32-bit VGA/SVGA support
* Multi-buffering (up to quad buffering) for smooth animation and video playback

Video Support
* Advanced support for DirectDraw
* Hardware color space conversion (YUV 4:2:2 and 4:2:0)
* Multi-tap X and Y filtering

Card Specifications
* AGP 2X with sideband support
* Analog VGA output
* TV output with S-Video connector (composite adapter cable included)
* VESA DDC2B compatible

* Drivers for Windows 95 and Windows 98 (DirectDraw®, Direct3D, OpenGL)
* Drivers for Windows NT® (DirectDraw and OpenGL)
* VBE 2.0 compliant


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