I upgraded my computer today from a 350mhz P2 to a 1.7gig P4 and a GeForce3. It's the GeForce3 that's making me pee my pants. Oh, my GAWD!!! It comes with a few demos from NVidia to show off what the thing can do. You can check out videos of the demos here. Unfortunately you won't get the full "pee in your pants" effect from watching the videos since they are much lower resolution then the real thing so you can't see the details but seriously, we're, talking RENDER quality. Okay, maybe 1996 render quality but seriously, if you see the Zoltar demo live, except for a few problems around the edges (like for example the transition from eyelid to eyeball), this is the kind of image I'm used to seeing from most pre−rendered scenes. All his wrinkles, wiskers, blemishes etc on his skin, the embossed cloth on his robe. Jaw dropping. Here's a close up screenshot where you can see some of the details but again, live it's just amazing.
One thing in the demo that's not on the video unfortunately, there's a part where they texture the chameleon in like arteries and veins. On a previous generation 3D card it would clearly look like cellophane wrapping paper with veins drawn on it wrapped around the chameleon but on the GeForce3 with realtime bumpmapping and pixel shaders the effect is like the veins actually have volume. Like you are looking at a model of veins and not just a texture of veins. It's a whole new level of realtime detail.
This one is not as cool as a demo but it's probably easier to see some of the effects that a GeForce3 can do.
I'm wondering what effect it will have on games. When will the first games that really effectively use the GeForce3 hit the shelves and also, is this the chip in XBOX or is XBox one generation behind?
Regardless, this kind of technology leaves the current consoles in the dust. It's like night and day. PS2 was supposed to be a huge increase in power but if you compare the majority of Dreamcast games to PS2 games it just doesn't seem like that big of a jump but this, this is truely a jump. This is *next generation 3D*
Even John Carmack said something to the effect that he hasn't seen this kind of jump in coolness since Voodoo 2 which was like what 4 years ago?