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Reviewed: Annihilator Pro
Author: Kyle Maulden       Date: December 29th 1999
Page: 3

The next major feature of the GeForce is Hardware Transform and Lighting. This is a unique feature, that offloads the transform and lighting calculations from the CPU, onto the graphics chip. This load can be quite a bit too. Creative Labs claims Hardware T&L removes 20 - 50% of the processor usage, enabling the CPU to perform other operations to help your games move faster. On this page are many screen shots of nVidia tech demos, as well as the Dagoth Moor Zoological Gardens demo that was included with the Annihilator Pro.

There are already games such as Test Drive 6 out that will take advantage of Hardware T&L, and the performance increase is more than notable.

If you take a closer look at the screenshots above of Zoological Gardens, you will notice the tremendous amount of details. The detail, and excellent lighting effects make up an environment that may confuse you with reality. With previous 3D accelerators, developers were limited to around 20,000 polygons in a scene. But now, using Hardware T&L, the developers of Experience (the Zoological Gardens demo was made by the same people making Experience) to use over 80,000 polygons in a scene! And all this was done without the frame rate dropping below 35fps at 1024x768 at 32 bit!

Notice on the middle picture, the lighting from the flowers reflecting all over the wall among the small, darkened area. Also in the first picture, the entire ocean is animated with a wavy effect, and the sun even moves in real-time, slowly casting light over the mysterious world.

Just check out that gorgeous fire in the middle screenshot! Let's see you find something that looks even half as realistic as that in any other game. It's hard to see, but if you take a close look at the bug thing in the front in the middle picture, you'll notice the usage of Cube Bump Mapping on it, as it's shell reflects the surroundings.

Last are shots of two of nVidia's included tech demos. The tree demo pushes the GeForce card to it's absolute limit. Yes, it's even possible to bring down the GeForce to 1fps if you increase the tree depth enough. But on the other hand, the above pictures were taken using 8 light sources, and the GeForce ran this scene at around 7 - 8fps. Try the same scene though on a TNT2 Ultra, and you'll be slugged down to less than 1fps! The last shot if of the Wanda demo. Another fine example of what hardware T&L can do. Each individual strand of her hair glistens when she swings her head back and forth, and her entire body moves in perfect motion, not slowing down a bit. Now that you've been acquainted with two major features of the Annihilator Pro, we can move on.

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Added:  Wednesday, December 29, 1999
Reviewer:  Kyle Maulden
Score:
Page: 3/10

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