Buing NVidia Cards? Which One?

My GeForce 256 just died and I need to replace it ASAP. I want to pick up a used card for now and replace it when the GeForce3 cards start shipping. The problem I am having is that there are so many different GeForce variants and I don’t understand the differences between them. NVidia’s website doesn’t help … I have found specs for only the newer cards there. Can anyone tell me the difference between these cards?

GeForce 256
GeForce2 MX
GeForce2 GTS
GeForce2 Ultra
Quadro2 MXR


I’m certainly not an expert but, imho, the MX cards are very good and quite inexpensive. I would recommend it, but if your just going to wait until the GF3 comes out, you might just want to grab the cheapest one you can find, all GeForce cards are good

Quadro card are profesional cards and so are expensive, you can infact convert a gf2 ultra into a quadro2 pro, don’t know what side effecvts there would be and how successful it is. Gf2s increase in power from mx->GTs-> Ultra, dont know about just a GF2 - does it exist? And a GF256 predates a GF2 I think.

If you wish you may take a look at the following sites: www.tomshardware.com, www.anandtech.com
there are excelent reviews of video cards from NVidia and other companies. Of course if you want max performance and you have a lot of money go for GF2 Ultra. If you have limited funds, I suggest you GeForce2 MX - it is excelent card for about 90-130$ (dependent on the card maker). Somewhere in the middle is GF2 GTS - about 200-220$ it is nearly 100% faster than MX, but about 50% slower than Ulta. Quadro cards are for CAD and modeling tools users and are more expensive, but faster for wireframe scenes.
In any way, check these two sites - they have the info you’ll need.
Hope this helps

Thanks for all the responses folks. I bought a VisionTek GeForce2/GTS 32Mb DDR at www.outpost.com for $189.99 last night. It arrived at my house this morning roughly 14 hours after I ordered it … free shipping to

I figured that I could spring for the dough considering the great performance of this card. I still intend to buy a GeForce3 but this interim card will allow me to wait a little longer, hopefully long enough for the GeForce3 cards to drop in price.

Thanks again,
Paul Leopard

BTW, after some research, I believe the cards can be ranked according to their performance as follows. If I am wrong, someone please correct me.

  1. Quadro2
  2. Quadro2 MXR
  3. Quadro
  4. GeForce2 Ultra
  5. GeForce2 GTS
  6. GeForce2 MX (SDR version of GeForce2?)
  7. GeForce 256 (same as the card that just died)
  8. TNT/Ultra2 (my original card)

Don’t buy a Quadro, it’s too expensive.

The Quadro is the same card as the normal one with games, the Quadro is just quicker with 3D pro applications like 3D Studio Max.

Buy a GeForce 2 GTS or a GeForce 2 Ultra if you have got enough money.

what about the vanta + tnt2/m64 whats the better one. + why aint there any important specs (bandwidth etc) in the vanta pdf file from the nvidia website, the geforce + other cards specs pfd files have them.

The Vanta is 1/2 the performance (if not more) than the TNT2. This is a popular card for those cheap OEMs though.

Geforce 2 is a good choice, I am strongly thinking of getting one, but I see GF2s now for about $140-150 on pricewatch…

I’ve got a GeForce2 GTS 64mb, and I’m a very happy man.
I’ve been using GeForce2 ULTRA’s at work and they are pretty fantastic - massively increased performance (I haven’t done any benchmarking, but my app seems to run far faster than a normal GeForce2).
One other thing about the ULTRA that I haven’t seen mentioned anywhere is that it renders GL_LINES 100’s of times faster than a normal GeForce2 - but I understand that doing that cheeky transistor thing on the normal GeForce2 to turn it into a Quadro has the same effect - making the line drawing far faster.

CONCULUSION - Get a GeForce2 ULTRA if you can afford it.
Get a GeForce3 if you’ve got money to burn.

For consumer game use, I would encourage:

  1. GeForce2 Ultra
  2. GeForce2 MX

If you’re using it for CAD or DCC, a Quadro2 would be best.

If you’re a programmer, GeForce3 is it.

Thanks -