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  • For the past few months, the fastest gaming video card available has been a GeForce 256 with 32MB of DDR SGRAM. By mixing a powerful hardware accelerated transformation and lighting engine with an impressive 480 million pixel/second fill-rate, NVIDIA has shown the world a recipe for success in the 3D gaming accelerator wars.

    But for some of us, that just isn't enough. Enter Dell Computer Corporation.

    Dell has revealed to us their plans for a new GeForce 256 sporting 64MB of DDR SGRAM, twice that which can be found in any other SDR or DDR GeForce available today. This new GeForce 256 will be available as an option to new Dell Dimension purchasers. The card itself will carry a $356 price tag, which may seem hefty but when compared to a $900 NVIDIA Quadro with the 64MB (The Elsa GLoria II uses 64MB of SDR SDRAM) it looks more reasonable. The card, which will be launched as an add-on for new Dell systems, will be available for only a short period beginning Monday February 21st and lasting until the middle of March.

    According to Dell, who allocated 50 of their own engineers to the project, manufacturing of the card has been outsourced to an unnamed OEM. This card is not what you'd call an OEM-lite version. With a DVI support for Dell's Flat Panels and 64MB of memory, it has the makings of the gamer's "card of choice" for the next while. Dell engineers are hoping that the extra memory will push the envelope even further, allowing gamers to turn on the graphical features and push up the resolution without the performance hit that you would otherwise get with 32MB. They claim a 28% to 32% increase between an SDR GeForce and their 64MB DDR board in their own in-house benchmarks.

    By doubling the available memory over the competition, Dell's 64MB DDR SGRAM GeForce 256 will be able to run at higher resolutions, with larger and more textures than any competing card without having to resort to texture compression. These three benefits result in better looking, more realistic and more exciting graphics.

    Cutting-edge games such as Quake III Arena use large textures at their higher detail settings and when large textures are combined with high resolutions, 32MB cards run out of memory and either cannot run or have to use performance robbing AGP texturing. With 64MB of memory, Dell's high resolution performance ceiling should be significantly higher.

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