We now have looked at one solution of the memory bandwidth problem. But we haven't looked at PowerVR's infinite plane technology. I will leave that to Kristof. He is very busy with testing the Kyro card and when the time comes we will see a review of it. Then we can see and compare with the GeForce, if the technology used on Kyro really works. I have thought about benchmarking the Neon 250 and comparing it to a GeForce II. But that has no use at all. The Neon 250 is not capable of running tri-linear filtering at good frame rates and it doesn't support S3TC. On top of that it renders all textures in 16bit color and uses a MiniGL. So that would be very difficult and unfair to compare with other cards.

Another solution was placing more memory onboard. We see memory growing very quickly nowadays. And that is a good thing. With large textures, FSAA and other features you need more and more ram.

When we look at all the solutions to the bandwidth problem, Virtual Texturing is a very good one. It has no image effects, which makes VT a better solution as Texture Compression. TC delivers artifacts to the image quality. When you have a GeForce I or II, try disabling TC in Quake III Arena (look in your cfg file for seta r_compress_textures: 1 is on 0 is off) and look at the difference. As I said TC is not for free, as nothing in 3dhardware comes for free.

However VT is only a solution to a certain end. When working with larger and larger textures, VT alone will not be enough. Combined with faster ram it would be a great solution. I have heard that Quad Dram is coming, enabling 4X the bandwidth as normal SDRam.

As for NVidia, who still are claiming that they don't need infinite plane technology (which could be true), they have to see their current problems and find a good way in solving it. Faster ram isn't the right one. VT could be the right thing for NVidia.

What I would love to see from 3Dlabs is a Quake III Arena demo on a 3Dlabs card with VT on, to prove the advantage. This is what Carmack has also said, that he would love to play with VT. So 3Dlabs: contact Carmack! And contact me to see the demo.

You can send your remarks to me or place them in the boards.