Bij ZDNet hebben ze een flinke videokaarten round-up online geplant, maar liefst 12 kaarten zijn gereviewed. Alle kaarten zijn vervolgens getest vanuit 3 perspectieven; gaming, entertainment en business performance. De winnaars in dezelfde volgorde zijn de Creative GeForce kaart, de Voodoo3-3500TV en de G400 van Matrox.
There's a fundamental shift occurring in the world of graphics cards. A few years ago, graphics hardware for business was costly, and most advances were developed to speed up business PCs. Consumer PCs -- the few that existed -- used lower-cost graphics hardware. That changed as 3-D functionality began appearing in graphics chips. Now, home PCs are the ones that need the pricier graphics cards, particularly PCs bought or upgraded by hardcore game players. The needs of businesses are more modest, though some business-oriented 3-D applications are beginning to arrive.
The net result is an unprecedented amount of graphics horsepower in both home and business PCs. The power found in the new nVidia GeForce 256 (read how it works) was formerly relegated to high-cost, specialized chip sets for computer-aided design or 3-D modeling. But if you think these cards are for gamers only, you're wrong. All of these cards will prove highly capable for most graphics applications, ranging from standard business applications to graphics editing apps like Photoshop or CorelDraw. Despite the marketing focus on 3-D graphics, all of the new cards have additional features that enhance their usefulness in both business and consumer markets. Accelerated video is now commonplace; many cards even support motion compensation for better DVD playback. And ATI has added hardware-assisted iDCT (inverse discrete cosine transform) capability to aid the MPEG-2 decoding process. The large frame buffers on today's retail cards (16MB and 32MB cards are common now) coupled with higher clock rates make them ideal solutions for image processing and photographic editing. All the new cards now support video overlay as well, which makes them ideal multimedia solutions and excellent digital video editors. Finally, cards like the Creative Labs 3D Blaster Annihilator, with its powerful transform and lighting-speed engine, can do yeoman's work in entry-level 3-D modeling or CAD applications.