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Sharky Extreme : December 16, 2004





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According to Dan Vivoli of NVIDIA, enhancements were made in the architecture such that the TNT2 is 9% to 14% faster than TNT, clock-for-clock. He did not specify the changes made. To verify this, a few games were tested on TNT (Viper 550, 16 MB SDRAM) and TNT2 (Viper 770, 32 MB SDRAM) boards, both boards being clocked at 100 MHz core and 110 MHz memory. The bar charts show TNT framerates expressed as a percentage of TNT2 framerates for 'Unreal', 'Expendable' and 'Quake2'. In general, the performance delta between the TNT and TNT2 is amplified with rising memory footprint and bandwidth. The differences between TNT and TNT2 are most marked at 1024x768x16, 800x600x32 and 1024x768x32. 'Expendable' shows the largest percentage drop of the three games tested.

16-bit

   640x480
   800x600
   1024x768
32-bit

TNT2 does appear to have greater fillrate efficiency than TNT. Besides architectural improvements, another factor in its favour is the doubling of the memory bank over that of TNT. The available texture memory on a 16 MB TNT is tabulated below:

resolution,
colour depth

framebuffer
(doubly buffered)

z-buffer
(16-bit or 32-bit)

available texture memory
on a 16 MB TNT

800x600x32

3.8 MB

0.9 or 1.9 MB 11.3 or 10.4 MB
1024x768x16

3.1 MB

1.5 or 3.1MB 11.4 or 9.9MB
1024x768x32

6.1 MB

1.5 or 3.1MB 8.3 or 6.8 MB

It does not appear that the additional 16 MB of SDRAM on the TNT2 'ultra' could account for the differences noted. The advantage of a larger memory bank is probably only apparent at 1024x768x32 and above.





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