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nVidia to buy 3dfx
December 17th 2000, 00:56 CET by Needle

Earlier today, 3dfx Interactive released their fiscal 3rd quarter results. In it, the company details its plans for yet another round of cost-cutting measures, which now include selling its graphics chip business to rival NVIDIA Corporation.

The deal, worth a reported $70 million in cash and $42 million in NVIDIA common stock, will see NVIDIA aquire all assets related to 3dfx's graphics chip business, including all trademarks, brand names, patents and current chip inventory. 3dfx's graphic board business is not part of the deal.

Expected to be completed by early 2002, 3dfx's board of directors are recommending that shareholders approve the sale to NVIDIA. Upon completion of the deal, the patent infringement lawsuits will be abandoned and 3dfx will be dissolved.

With the number of graphics card companies getting smaller every day, this shouldn't come as much of a surprise. But what does this mean for consumers? NVIDIA, the now undisputed king of the 3D accellerated hardware war stands virtually unopposed as the only major chip-maker with a strong reputation for serious gaming. With their biggest rival out of the way, how do you think the lack of competition will affect the price and quality of NVIDIA's chipsets, if it does at all?
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#1 by "Andy"
2000-12-17 00:57:04
andy@meejahor.com
Today I finally figured out one of David Blaine's illusions!

Just beating the first-posters. :-)
#2 by "None1a"
2000-12-17 01:24:22
none1a@home.com
<b>Needle</b> (#0):
<quote>With their biggest rival out of the way, how do you think the lack of competition will affect the price and quality of NVIDIA's chipsets, if it does at all?</quote>

Not at all ATI has finaly started to get some good chip out, and with Nvidia trying to capture the same market ATI has always dominated this is be a good fight. Nvidia's always push the bounds of technology I wouldn't expect them to stop pushing those bounds if for nothing less to risk losing the retail makert they'll now hold nearly all of. Ati, matrox or some one else could aways take that away from them, and even at just 10% of the overall market that can aid in profits quite a bit (lets say the OEM market ends up a 50-50 split even 8% of that 10% would make all the difference).

<b>Andy</b> (#1):
<quote>Today I finally figured out one of David Blaine's illusions!
Just beating the first-posters. :-)</quote>

Wow, Blaine's much better then I gave him credit for then.
<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#3 by "ryszard"
2000-12-17 01:30:03
systemstudio@tweak3d.net
ATI need to get their act together driver wise otherwise all the good chips in the world wont help 'em.  The Radeon is a quality chip, but the drivers, especially the Win2K ones, are pretty poor.

Anyway, I'll stick with ATI for my next graphics card upgrade.  From what I can gather, Radeon II should kick some ass.  But if the drivers suck again, I'll be forced to look elsewhere, and that probably means NVIDIA.
#4 by "Andy"
2000-12-17 01:38:11
andy@meejahor.com
I'm sticking with ATI too, but that's partly because I need my card to have a good TV tuner. (Don't want a separate tuner.) I've got an All-In-Wonder (Rage 128) at the moment and it's great for desktop, TV and games.

As for ATI drivers, everything you've heard in true. Terrible. I'm still using the drivers I got in the box. Every release since then has 'fixed' something (that was working fine anyway) and broken something else. This is the reason I haven't upgraded to Win2K yet.

When a hardware company's failure to produce decent drivers are preventing you from upgrading your OS, that's a pretty bad situation, but I tolerate it because the card itself is very good and I don't *need* to upgrade yet. Not happy about it, though.
#5 by "None1a"
2000-12-17 02:21:31
none1a@home.com
<b>Andy</b> (#4):
<quote>As for ATI drivers, everything you've heard in true. Terrible. I'm still using the drivers I got in the box. Every release since then has 'fixed' something (that was working fine anyway) and broken something else. </quote>

Tell me about it, my mom's system uses a Rage Pro, but with no opengl drivers. Installing the latest drivers adds really crappy OGL, which is workable for games but trying to run 3dstudio on it produces odd results (it's a little hard to work when the wireframe keeps dissapering).

My last year of high school they had some gateways setup in the multimedia lab (which was primaraly with Macromedia Director), just one problem the stupid ATI drivers crashed the systems every single time you'd try to play a director movie on them. The solution turn graphics accleration off.  <i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#6 by "MrSparkle"
2000-12-17 02:26:29
jlm441@psu.edu
Nvidia has seriously gained ground from only a few years ago from competing with 3dfx in the voodoo1 days (1997?)
who were the leaders then, to owning them (now). Scary kinda...

So does that leave Ati, Matrox , bitboys' Glaze3d (vaporware) as the only major competitor?
#7 by "AmbushBug"
2000-12-17 03:21:37
ambushbug@portalofevil.com
ahahha, I was just going to say.. watchout of the Bitboys Oi!

:)
#8 by "Fortyseven_BTEG"
2000-12-17 03:50:27
47@apple2.com
Today I finally figured out one of David Blaine's illusions!


I did a search for people revealing his tricks on the web a couple weeks ago...apparently a lot of his peers can't stand him, since (from what they say) most of his tricks aren't special at all (to them).  But the magicians who do like him, say that his strength isn't in his tricks, but in his presentation: bringing it to the streets in plain clothes, instead of on stage.

I guess it's akin to someone getting their shareware by-the-numbers 3D Pacman clone getting on a PC Gamer CD, while the outraged guy who's writing his grand opus Sierra-style 2D adventure game gets ignored...

Personally, I like 'em.  Normally I don't really get into magicians, because I'm always analyzing the scene, trying to figure out how they could have done it.  It's enjoyable to my geek-senses, but not as entertainment.  With this guy, I was able to just suspend belief because, well, I dunno...his stuff was enjoyable.  I actually sat there with the VCR going frame by frame and *POP* that goddamn card popped right to the top.  Still don't know how that was done.  >:/  I do know how the levitation trick was done, though...  One of the sites I was on spolied the trick on it.  It's not a new one, apparently. :)
#9 by "Andy"
2000-12-17 04:09:18
andy@meejahor.com
<b>Fortyseven_BTEG</b> (#8):
<quote>
I actually sat there with the VCR going frame by frame and <B>*POP*</B> that goddamn card popped right to the top.
</quote>
The one with the folded card? I had an idea how that one is done, but I can't repeat it myself so I'm probably wrong.
<quote>
I do know how the levitation trick was done, though... One of the sites I was on spolied the trick on it. It's not a new one, apparently. :)
</quote>
Ooh, do tell! Again, I've got an idea, but it seems a bit complicated.

Suppose I'm right, though -- he couldn't do it on soft ground, right? And if it is what I'm thinking, that would also explain why he does the "too much of a strain" set-up and sometimes falls backwards.

The one I've definitely figured out is how he puts his hand flat on the ground and twists it around 720 degrees. Not exactly the most impressive stunt, but at least it's one I can do! Tried it and it's easy, just a good old visual trick.
#10 by "wabut"
2000-12-17 04:15:16
wabut@yahoo.com
Didn't they show how to do the levitation trick on those Masked Magician shows on Fox? I know I saw it somewhere. If I did it see it on that, and I'm not just going crazy, the way they showed how to do the levitation trick is really really lame..
#11 by "Andy"
2000-12-17 04:22:32
andy@meejahor.com
Well here's one explanation...

<a href="http://www.geocities.com/Broadway/Stage/7308/balducci.html">http://www.geocities.com/Broadway/Stage/7308/balducci.html</a>

Nothing like what I was thinking of.

I actually like my way better! But it needs equipment. Certainly workable, though, I would imagine, but as always it all comes down to how it's performed, and that's why Blaine's so good. He's got the performance spot-on.
#12 by "BloodKnight"
2000-12-17 04:41:24
bloodknight@somethingawful.com
<b>Andy</b> (#11):
<quote>Well here's one explanation...

<A href="http://www.geocities.com/Broadway/Stage/7308/balducci.html">http://www.geocities.com/Broadway/Stage/7308/balducci.html</A>

Nothing like what I was thinking of.

I actually like my way better! But it needs equipment. Certainly workable, though, I would imagine, but as always it all comes down to how it's performed, and that's why Blaine's so good. He's got the performance spot-on.</quote>

Anyone with intelligence would have known that there was something very odd with that trick.  Its pretty damn obvious when they change camera angles ALL THE FRIGGING time just before he actually goes up.  Bullshit
<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#13 by "Fortyseven_BTEG"
2000-12-17 05:28:28
47@apple2.com
Yeah!  The Balducci Levitation!  That's the one (and the page I saw it on, btw)...

The card trick, if I remember correctly, was one where the vicitm would write something on a random card, and he'd shove it into the deck, and then someone would tap the top of the deck and the marked card would pop to the top.  (Or something very similar to this, it's been a while.)
#14 by "Glock"
2000-12-17 06:01:45
glock17@tampabay.rr.com
I thought this was about 3dfx's IP and tech being bought out by Nvidia....
#15 by "WarrenMarshall"
2000-12-17 06:55:30
warren@epicgames.com
Glock (#14):
I thought this was about 3dfx's IP and tech being bought out by Nvidia....

Apparently not many people are interested in talking about that.  I mean, what is there to say really?

---

Warren Marshall
Level Designer/Programmer/Corporate Shill
Epic Games (www.epicgames.com)<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#16 by "None1a"
2000-12-17 07:42:06
none1a@home.com
<b>WarrenMarshall</b> (#15):
<quote>Apparently not many people are interested in talking about that. I mean, what is there to say really?</quote>


I don't know the 3dfx fans are starting to move a bit more now. Some are vowing to vote no on the sale (not that i'd matter since most investors will just do a proxy vote and the board of directors will deside anyway).

There was an odd post on the 3dfxgamers message board, some thing about national security being underminded by the sell out to Nvidia, conserning the VSA-100 chips used in trainers, and oddly the person clames Apache's as well (hay legion88 looks like their up to their old tricks again).<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#17 by "Glock"
2000-12-17 08:01:53
glock17@tampabay.rr.com
The 3dfx fanboys are horrible.  They treated us Nvidia owners two years ago like shit.  

"Oh your video card is slow because 32-bit is not needed"

"You suck because you didn't buy 3dfx"

and on and on.  3dfx fanboys are the worst.  Btw, I don't mean 3dfx fans, just the fanboys....

To the "gFarce" person in the VE forums....Who's the bitch now? :D
#18 by "GeorgeBroussard"
2000-12-17 08:16:42
georgeb@3drealms.com
Voodoo cards are dead and buried.  Your Voodoo 5's will hold up until the NV20 ships.  Was a nice run for 3Dfx.  

Enter nVidia, the Creative Labs of 3D accelerators.  Move to GeForce 2 cards.  Do it now.
#19 by "CreoleNed"
2000-12-17 08:29:24
cned@telus.net
Except for the bit about moving to GeForce 2 cards (I think there will be a few reasonable choices out there, even with 3dfx gone), George has hit it pretty much square on the head. What's amazing is that it seems like 3dfx has been around forever, but it was really just four years ago that the original Voodoo chipset debuted in the Monster 3D and Righteous 3D. Scary how quickly the market really has changed. And to think back then Nvidia was flogging their NV1, a card that awkwardly combined 3D graphics, sound and a gameport (remember the Diamond Edge? :)

Not many people may be fascinated by the end of 3dfx, but it will have a major impact on hardware and that will affect gamers. How, exactly, remains to be seen. If Nvidia really has become the CL of video cards, well...Creative hasn't really done much to improve PC sound since they pretty much cornered the market. I'd like to think more progress will be made on the video end, at least.
#20 by "BabiG"
2000-12-17 09:06:25
yankeebabu@india.com
I honestly don't see how the nvidia fanboys are any better...only difference is the [company name] in the post, I don't think any side was particularly civil to the other.

And its true, David Blaine's stuff is pretty standard, he just presents it well. There were tricks in there that've been in magic books for at least 75 years (no really, I've read them...that's how I spoiled it for everyone watching with me. =)) Some of them I'm not sure how to do, but others, like where they pick a card and he throws the deck and the picked card is stuck on the wall, are variations of older stuff (like the one I know instead of throwing it at a wall, you put a rubberband over the deck and throw it at the ceiling...not as flashy, but you don't have to pick up all those cards). It may sound like I'm belittling his stuff, but I'm not...the hard part of magic isn't the tricks(sorry, 'real' magicians don't say tricks, rather 'illusions' or 'feats') but selling the tricks to an audience, and that's the part I'm bad at...

And yea I was wondering what was up with that levitation thing...I knew he was doing the thing described in that link (trust me, don't visit unless you're really curious, magic is more fun when you don't know how stuff is done...I've already ruined every magic show for myself...) when they showed him, but the audience was describing him going up a few feet or something, which was odd...
#21 by "BabiG"
2000-12-17 09:15:11
yankeebabu@india.com
And David Blaine is good at the psychology-based illusions too, stuff that I could never pull off, just cause it requires flawless execution/patter. Stuff like the coin in the hand trick (where you immediately can tell which hand is holding a coin).

And good job finding that trick Andy, usually that stuff is hard to find without paying money...There used to be a site called Card Trick Central, was probably the biggest site for free card tricks at the time, I contributed to it a bit (hell I still get e-mail once in a while asking me about a trick)...wonder if its still around, its been a while...
#22 by "paul"
2000-12-17 10:08:36
pbullman@webhitzone.com
GeorgeBrussard said:

Voodoo cards are dead and buried. Your Voodoo 5's will hold up until the NV20 ships. Was a nice run for 3Dfx.
Enter nVidia, the Creative Labs of 3D accelerators. Move to GeForce 2 cards. Do it now.


CreoleNed said:

but it was really just four years ago that the original Voodoo chipset debuted in the Monster 3D and Righteous 3D.


I'm waiting to see how nVidia competes over the next 3 years. The entire tech-chip sector has been on a rollar coaster ride for some time now. I do wonder now that computer sales seem to have leveled off if companies like nVidia will swim much longer or if even nVidia will eventually be bought out by someone bigger. Heck, Microsoft ought to purchase nVidia. Now that Bush is President-Elect, the US government will not continue it's witch hunt of the top software company in the biz.
#23 by "Bracket"
2000-12-17 16:18:58
thebracket@yahoo.com
Gahhhh! Someone said "Diamond Edge"! I was one of the few, dumb people who bought one. Initially, I picked it up because it claimed "complete DirectX support", and I was just getting into DirectX programming. The Virtua Fighter demo that shipped with it looked promising, at least until I discovered that you could get the same graphics on a P166 with software rendering! The NV1 was a funny chip; you had to load a driver to emulate regular VGA in software, the soundcard was good - but not compatible with anything on the planet, and I never could get the gameport to do anything!

All I can say about the NV1 is "thank heaven for 30 day satisfaction guarantees."
#24 by "Andy"
2000-12-17 18:20:57
andy@meejahor.com
<b>BabiG</b> (#21):
<quote>
There used to be a site called Card Trick Central, was probably the biggest site for free card tricks at the time, I contributed to it a bit (hell I still get e-mail once in a while asking me about a trick)...wonder if its still around, its been a while...
</quote>
Here ya go: <a href="http://web.superb.net/cardtric/">http://web.superb.net/cardtric/</a>
#25 by "None1a"
2000-12-17 18:35:33
none1a@home.com
Hum this is interesting:

Nvidia Q3 Net Income: $68.9 million
ATI Net Loss: $128.8 million (atributed mostly to the ArtX buyout)
3dfx Net Loss: $178.6 million

ATI's also on a slightly different timetable that makes direct comparisons a bit harder (their Q3 ended May 31th, every one else October 31th).

Is it a better idea to simply put out the chips and sell them to who ever buys rather then tring to create cards yourself and still produce chips for the OEM market?  <i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#26 by "WarrenMarshall"
2000-12-17 18:56:03
warren@epicgames.com
GeorgeBroussard (#18):
Voodoo cards are dead and buried. Your Voodoo 5's will hold up until the NV20 ships. Was a nice run for 3Dfx.

Enter nVidia, the Creative Labs of 3D accelerators. Move to GeForce 2 cards. Do it now.

Exactly.  The era of 3DFX is over ... it was fun, but it's over.  nVidia's cards are clearly better.  So the stronger survived.  Next.  :)

CreoleNed (#19):
Creative hasn't really done much to improve PC sound since they pretty much cornered the market. I'd like to think more progress will be made on the video end, at least.

That's a good point ... aside from bundling more and more useless software in with the cards that you have no fucking use for, they haven't done much.

---

Warren Marshall
Level Designer/Programmer/Corporate Shill
Epic Games (www.epicgames.com)<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#27 by "BloodKnight"
2000-12-17 19:16:12
bloodknight@somethingawful.com
The day V5 no longer runs 60 FPS in high detail on a p3 600, soon 850, is the day I get Nvidia<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#28 by "WarrenMarshall"
2000-12-17 19:48:30
warren@epicgames.com
BloodKnight (#27):
The day V5 no longer runs 60 FPS in high detail on a p3 600, soon 850, is the day I get Nvidia

Well, since nvidia bought 3dfx ... I would say you already have an nvidia card.  :)

---

Warren Marshall
Level Designer/Programmer/Corporate Shill
Epic Games (www.epicgames.com)<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#29 by "BloodKnight"
2000-12-17 20:52:49
bloodknight@somethingawful.com
<b>WarrenMarshall</b> (#28):
<quote><B>BloodKnight</B> (#27):

<quote>The day V5 no longer runs 60 FPS in high detail on a p3 600, soon 850, is the day I get Nvidia</quote>
Well, since nvidia bought 3dfx ... I would say you already have an nvidia card. :)

---

Warren Marshall
Level Designer/Programmer/Corporate Shill
Epic Games (www.epicgames.com)</quote>

So damn true :)

But I meant a real nvidia with GeForce labelled onto it.  With the cheap drivers and numerous problems
<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#30 by "BabiG"
2000-12-17 23:27:48
yankeebabu@india.com
Yea, I hope some of the 3dfx QA Team goes to nvidia or something...I've bought 2 nvidia based cards and two 3dfx based ones, but I've had to return both of the nvidia ones. My system isn't the most standard system I know (I have 96 megs of generic ram for example among other things), but the two 3dfx cards installed perfectly, the two nvidia cards I've had many many problems with. The TNT I couldn't get out of 640x480x16 (colors, not bits), and returned after 2 weeks of fiddling with suggestions from every hardware related msg board/usenet group on the planet. When I bought a voodoo3 later, I could hardly believe it when it was done, it just installed and worked. Geforce SDR also had problems (if you noticed, I always buy behind the curve...I'm not too hardcore as far as performance goes, the v3, what I have now, does decently in all games, I don't feel the need for anything yet. And I want something at least 150% faster before I get a new card, none of this $400 for a 15% increase crap...), it really despised my WinTV TV Tuner Card...which is really weird cause other people have it working. I didn't want to do the driver shuffle though, so I returned it the next day.

I know, chances are its just me, people have problems with 3dfx cards too, my hardware sucks get what everyone else has, etc., but based only on my experience, 3dfx cards work and nvidia cards don't. =) Nvidia's tech support didn't help my opinion much either...3dfx's tech support may have sucked too, but I never had to call them. =)

Andy (#24):
Here ya go: http://web.superb.net/cardtric/


Thanks..seems like its still around, but hasn't been updated in a long time. Sucks that he passworded the 'Hard' section, that's where my two tricks were. =(
Oh heh, my force is still there, if you look at the terminology page...when you click on 'force' the one I submitted comes up first, along with my now heavily spammed old email address...man, my writing skills bite. =)
#31 by "SteveBauman"
2000-12-17 23:29:24
steve@manic-pop-thrills.com
I don't get it. I hear about their "cheap" drivers and "numerous" problems, but I've never had a problem running a game with a TNT2, now a GeForce 2.  Ever. In fact, I can't even remember a game that wouldn't work with my computer in the last, I dunno, 5-6 years. And I do play a lot of different games (like most of them).

Also, Creative hasn't improved soundcards... um, how exactly should they be improved? Should they give you a sucker-punch to the kidneys? I dunno if people are like me, but I can't even detect 3D sound... I even have problems detecting some stereo imaging, whether it's A3D on an Aureal card or DirectSound3D or whatever. I bought a Live Value about four years ago and I can't figure out why I'd want to upgrade it.

The side benefit of this purchase may be that technology development will SLOW down, which might be a very good thing(tm). People bitch and moan about having to upgrade all the time, so maybe now you won't have 3dfx and Nvidia in a pissing match to push things on the market first, meaning half-assed incremental hardware improvements with spotty drivers. And with hardware slowing down, you might see developers not chasing tech and focusing on gameplay, which is why console games are often more refined, especially later generation versions.

Once DX8 enchancements hit all video cards, you'll have a lot of graphic power. Maybe it'll be nice to wait a couple of years for DX9 for whatever major changes may happen.
#32 by "SteveBauman"
2000-12-17 23:32:32
steve@manic-pop-thrills.com
Nvidia's tech support didn't help my opinion much either...

It's not fair to compare 3dfx and Nvidia tech support since Nvidia doesn't offer support for cards; they're merely a chipset vendor. You rely on the tech support of the Diamonds, Hercules and Elsas of the world.
#33 by "Quicken"
2000-12-18 00:22:24
geoffrey@access.com.au
Can't say I'm very happy about the news. Don't get me wrong the latest card I bought was nVidia. But 3dfx have always tried to innovate and focus on the 3d gaming markets needs/desires. nVidia have run a very good business model on simply incorporating all the key features that are as fast as possible but havenít done near as much to get new ideas out onto the shelves. Yes there are other chip/card manufacturers but not as many as there were and most have been around for ages and are still stumbling around like blind fools (sorry ATI has never impressed me). So that makes nVidia the new, undisputed, king. Lets hope he stays a nice one or we'll be praying for an assassination.
#34 by "YeahRight"
2000-12-18 01:20:53
dmanon@hotmail.com
To me it was sad news. 3dfx and John Carmack brought pioneered tha biggest change in gaming when
glQuake was released with the 3dfx mini-driver. I still remember , and have, my first Monster 3D. I bought
ii a week after it hit the market. That whole time was magic. The game, the community.... damn. Until then
what did we have DX3..argh. That whole symbiotic relationship made OpenGL a viable API and forced
Microsoft to finally improve DX to a point of being a decent product. I guess my only worry now is that
with only one major player in the market what is going to happen to the prices. When 3dfx was the only player
there boards where 300$ a pop for the current generation board. Lately I haven't minded upgrading every 6 months
when you can get a brand new board for 90-120$. Wonder how much the NV20 is  gonna cost now without the
competition provided by Rampage. Competition is vital. Without Aureal to light a fire under Creative's but we
would still be using SB16/32/64. Creative is still in the mind set that everyone wants to create and listen
to MIDI files. I loved my MX300 and still use it. Playing Theif and Half-Life with a SBLive is like sticking your head in a
trash can when you play. Occlusion sucks, it is just massive reverb and chorus effects. The loss of pioneering talent in
gaming hardware has been staggering lately. Aureal, 3dfx, Thrustmaster, SpaceOrb, and Sega...we are Borg you will be
assimilated
#35 by "CreoleNed"
2000-12-18 02:05:09
cned@telus.net
Steve, I think the lack of real innovation in PC audio has left us kind of blinkered to what *could* be done. I agree on the 3D sound -- I often find it hard to discern, even with headphones on. This is one area alone that could stand dramatic improvement and it has the opportunity to truly add a new dimension to gaming. Think about it -- how many games make audio cues a vital part of the experience? Very few, really. How many rely on 3D sound, where knowing where the sound is coming from is as important as hearing it? None, that I can think of. Thief and games like it rely on sound cues, yes, but is it 3D? If it is, my ears can't tell the difference.

We could see further improvements to CPU usage. Sound cards today typically don't eat up too many cycles, but less is always better. There are many ways to improve the design. It's just that what we've seen so far has been pretty timid and there doesn't seem to be a drive to really make PC sound any better. Is it because CL is the de facto standard? Maybe.

And I actually kind of agree on the video card issue. Cards have been getting faster, but not by magnitudes. Prices, however, have been climbing rapidly, due to the use of DDR ram and such. It'd be nice to hit a plateau and see what designers could do with some of the top-end stuff, without having to worry that their work will be undermined by even faster hardware with more features six months down the road. This is similar to what happens with console development now. Any given platform has a shelf life of, say, three to five years. During that time, the hardware is set. Every developer knows exactly what they're dealing with. With a fixed target, they can optimize for it and ring every drop of performance out of the hardware. Hence, we see remarkable things being down in the second or third generation of any console's titles. With an established base that won't change, developers don't have to constantly chase a target. And maybe that's a good thing.

On the other hand, none of this makes much difference if all you want to play is Rollercoaster Tycoon. Although even there, better graphics would never hurt.
#36 by "WarrenMarshall"
2000-12-18 02:18:07
warren@epicgames.com
CreoleNed (#35):
We could see further improvements to CPU usage. Sound cards today typically don't eat up too many cycles, but less is always better. There are many ways to improve the design. It's just that what we've seen so far has been pretty timid and there doesn't seem to be a drive to really make PC sound any better. Is it because CL is the de facto standard? Maybe.

Right, this is what I'm saying ... I think they could do SOMETHING other than write yet another application to put on the CD they include with the card.

---

Warren Marshall
Level Designer/Programmer/Corporate Shill
Epic Games (www.epicgames.com)<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#37 by "None1a"
2000-12-18 02:29:54
none1a@home.com
<b>WarrenMarshall</b> (#36):
<quote>Right, this is what I'm saying ... I think they could do SOMETHING other than write yet another application to put on the CD they include with the card.</quote>


Not only that take a look at the Platinum 5.1, the only good new features is Dolby Digital (and it's not like that's going to be of much use for games, or even movies since a good decoder card will do the same thing) the rest is simply more audio inputs and outputs then any sane person needs. All this pointless overkill cost you an extra $100 over a simple Live card (which is getting harder and harder to find). <i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#38 by "SteveBauman"
2000-12-18 03:52:19
steve@manic-pop-thrills.com
This is one area alone that could stand dramatic improvement and it has the opportunity to truly add a new dimension to gaming. Think about it -- how many games make audio cues a vital part of the experience?

God, I hope there won't be many games that go too far with audio. The vast majority of people don't have proper speakers, and I suspect a fair amount of people are like me and just have their PCs in a room and play games with the TV and/or stereo on. I'm a hardcore gamer, and audio is obviously important, but I hope it never becomes so important that I'm forced to play with headphones on or isolate myself from my house or something.

Then there's the hearing impaired, or the people like me who've been to too many concerts growing up... (also known as the "soon to be hearing impaired").

We could see further improvements to CPU usage. Sound cards today typically don't eat up too many cycles, but less is always better. There are many ways to improve the design. It's just that what we've seen so far has been pretty timid and there doesn't seem to be a drive to really make PC sound any better. Is it because CL is the de facto standard? Maybe.

Ah, the CPU utilization is good, but you'll never see major upgrades in sound because people see no compelling reason TO upgrade their sound card. Sound is sound, right? I've had two sound cards in the last eight years or so; a Sound Blaster 16 and a Live. And that's it. And I have no intentions of swapping out the Live anytime in the near future because, while I like good audio, I'd rather spend money on other things.
#39 by "SteveBauman"
2000-12-18 03:54:40
steve@manic-pop-thrills.com
Right, this is what I'm saying ... I think they could do SOMETHING other than write yet another application to put on the CD they include with the card.

I suspect there's not, nor has there ever been, much of a market for sound card upgrades, and all of those dumb apps are for newbie users (though the 5.1 Live Platinum comes with over well $100 worth of full games, and not dogs, A-list stuff).

So long as their machines make noise, I suspect most people aren't keen on upgrading. Graphics make a greater impact to more people...
#40 by "WarrenMarshall"
2000-12-18 04:06:59
warren@epicgames.com
SteveBauman (#39):
So long as their machines make noise, I suspect most people aren't keen on upgrading. Graphics make a greater impact to more people...

I agree with you.  I just can't help but think they could do something if they really applied themselves ... who knows what though.

But yeah, I've only had a few sound cards in my life ... maybe 2 or 3.  All SoundBlasters of some sort.  As long as I get sound and it's decent, I don't really care.  *shrug*

---

Warren Marshall
Level Designer/Programmer/Corporate Shill
Epic Games (www.epicgames.com)<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#41 by "Demonicuss"
2000-12-18 05:53:07
dwendorf@usa.net
Aww crap!

And here I am all ready to buy a new Graphics card for my Craputer (HP 550 Celeron 96Ram Intel 82810 vid card which sucks and no AGI slots, just PCI) and now I have to know:  Any GeForces out there that run on PCI slots?
#42 by "GhostinmyShell"
2000-12-18 06:08:03
ghostinmyshell@triad.rr.com
#41 I know there are PCI geeforce mxs out there...although a bit rare in retail...might have to order online...
#43 by "VeeSPIKE"
2000-12-18 07:50:57
appliedavoidance@mindspring.com
<b><u>None1a</u></b>, in the delightfully enlightening post <b>#37</b>, babbled the following:
<quote>the rest is simply more audio inputs and outputs then any sane person needs. </quote>

Actually, the LiveDrive was one of the principal reasons why I got the Platinum over the other SBLive cards. Not having to root around behind my box, which is in a bad place to begin with, when I want to plug in a set of headphones or a Microphone was worth it to me.

Granted, I'll probably never use the other ports, but I have what I want out of it at the moment, it was worth it.

<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#44 by "Ozymandis"
2000-12-18 10:07:16
rcrisl1@gl.umbc.edu
I think this nVidia/3dfx thing makes for rather troubling thinking when you combine this with nVidia/Microsoft's Xbox plans.  What does this mean for PC gaming?  Nothing good I'm sure.

I'm going to miss 3dfx, even if SLI'ing chips is just as silly as Double Data Rate or Quad Data Rate memory is cost/performance-wise for fixing the problem of bandwidth limitations
#45 by "godZero"
2000-12-18 10:23:16
godzero@gmx.de
Creative Labs _HAVE_ improved their chips significantly. For instance, SBLive! is full duplex("real" separated simultaneous playback and record, not multiplexing between them), 96 kHz, 24 bit sound, digital SPDIF interface etc.

Let's not even mention that SB Live! has the _best_ and _cleanest_ clock of all cards, even better than most professional products in $1000 price range. Great for cheap home recording.

Between SB16 and SB 64, that's where nothing happened. SB 128 added EAX(1.0), but wasn't full duplex.
#46 by "CreoleNed"
2000-12-18 10:25:42
cned@telus.net
God, I hope there won't be many games that go too far with audio. The vast majority of people don't have proper speakers, and I suspect a fair amount of people are like me and just have their PCs in a room and play games with the TV and/or stereo on. I'm a hardcore gamer, and audio is obviously important, but I hope it never becomes so important that I'm forced to play with headphones on or isolate myself from my house or something.


I'm not suggesting every game needs "rockin' 3D audio!" That would be silly, of course, but I don't see a downside to soundcards offering the possibility for such games. Right now, we aren't seeing that happening. And I'd imagine playing something like Thief with the TV on in the background might not work that well, even for a hardcore gamer. :)

I doubt we'll see any major improvements to PC sound in the near term. It works and people seem content with what they have. I almost think people would say the same about video cards, except new games always find ways to bring the latest iron to its knees.
#47 by "godZero"
2000-12-18 10:28:35
godzero@gmx.de
BTW, I guess you understand that I didn't buy SB Live! for gaming. In that case, I'd go with ESS or Philips. The new Philips card is a real monster. You'll forget about Aureal, CL and the others when you hear it. It's not even very expensive.
#48 by "godZero"
2000-12-18 10:35:46
godzero@gmx.de
nVidia buying 3dfx is the worst news I've heard in a long time. The prices for the new cards will be cosmic. The old cards won't get cheeper anytime soon.

Let's just hope that ATI keeps the competition going. Or Glaze3D, if it shoud really exist...
#49 by "Speed"
2000-12-18 12:48:56
speed@pandora.be
I think nVidia is defenitely the best chip maker out there, but their DirectX-compatibility really sucks.
My Geforce DDR (Creative Annihilator Pro) plays non-DirectX games perfectly, but whenever a game uses DirectX, I get these weird lines all over my screen. I've had this since DirectX7.0a and now with DirectX 8.0 i still have it.
It's not a hardware problem since I tried another (new) card aswell with the same result.
Also several drivers have been installed, and although installation of a new driver improves of the situation, it doesn't get rid of it.
That said about nVidia drivers.

Now about #DF/X : I wonder what they expect to earn money with...
#50 by "ZothOmmog"
2000-12-18 16:17:48
zoth-ommog@gmx.net
Ye olde godZero wrote in post 45
Between SB16 and SB 64, that's where nothing happened.


Well, apart from the SB 32 and SB 64 having a ROM wavetable, which, in my ever-so-humble opinion, really rocked back then ...
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