In order to use a software-only DVD solution, your video hardware should have some sort of acceleration to take the task of decoding the sound and video off of the CPU. The GeForce doe s a moderate job of that, being bested only by ATI and their iDCT feature which takes an additional 15-30% off the CPU utilization.
Motion compensation is a performance feature that allows a significant drop in system requirements (PII 266 without dropping any frames). The TNT2 didn't have this, making the GeForce better in terms of DVD. It should be noted that in order to take advantage of this feature, the software decoder must support it.
DVD sub-picture alpha blending is a quality feature supported by the TNT2 and the GeForce (as well as the Rage 128, S3's Savage series and the TNT). Remember all of those menus you click on for navigation in a DVD? Without sub-picture blending these menus would be dithered, crosshatched, and downright ugly.
In the quest for more gaming glory, we ran the ERAZOR X² through hours of the new 3D Mark 2000, battered it with rounds of the retail version of Quake 3: Arena Demo001 and trials of WXP's Dagoth Moor Zoological Garden demo. Let's take a look at our test bed for the whole operation:
Processors: Intel Pentium III 600MHz, Celeron 300A overclocked to 450MHz, and Celeron 300A
Memory: 128MB PC133 RAM
Motherboard: ASUS P3B-F
Hard Drive: Western Digital 13 GB & 5.1 GB
Sound Card: Creative Labs SB Live! X-Gamer
Windows 98 SE with DirectX 7
The following video cards were used with the following sets of drivers:
ELSA ERAZOR X² 32MB DDR SGRAM ver. 4.12.01.0104-0020 (120/301MHz)
NVIDIA GeForce 256 32MB SDR SGRAM ver. Detonator 3.65 (120/166MHz)
NVIDIA TNT2 Ultra 32MB SDRAM ver. 4.11.01.0240 (150/175MHz)