3dfx supporters have it made, theres only one way to get your hands on a Voodoo3, you pick what clock speed you want, 143 or 166, and buy the respective card, the 2000 or 3000. The 3dfx/STB merger left many graphics card manufacturers that relied on the sales of 3dfx products out in the cold as it left them with only one option for a competitive gaming solution, NVIDIA. Luckily the TNT2 was a success and companies like Diamond and Hercules that are primarily graphics card manufacturers could enjoy the benefits of a product that gamers wanted. On the downside, unlike the Voodoo3, you have to deal with many manufacturers making similar TNT2 based products all in competition with each other, leaving you, the consumer, like a fish out of water when it comes to which board is right for you.
Unlike motherboards, TNT2 based graphics cards are not as tailored to a particular users needs as manufacturers would like them to be. The fact of the matter is that most TNT2s are the same, the main differences being default clock speed, cooling methods, overclocking potential, drivers/support, and software bundle. The latter is probably one of the least important factors youll have to take into consideration, as the value of a software bundle is a very subjective factor in any buying decision involving a video card. Luckily there is a solution, AnandTech rounded up a handful of the most popular TNT2 based boards, regardless of clock speed, and used them as both a helpful aid and example of what to look for in a TNT2 board. With the amount of OEMs out there manufacturing TNT2 based products, a comparison of every last TNT2 board would be a little overboard, however with a little extrapolation on the part of you, the consumer, making a buying decision based on the performance of the boards compared here shouldnt be a difficult task.
Without further ado, lets get to the roundup
Not unlike your favorite scoop of ice cream, the TNT2 is available in a few distinct flavors. The most basic distinction between TNT2 boards is the clock of the chip itself, the NVIDIA definition of the TNT2 states that it should operate at a default clock frequency of 125MHz with a memory clock of 150MHz. The standard TNT2 is available in two configurations, both clocked at the same 125/150 frequency (core speed/memory speed), the 16MB and 32MB versions. Although there is a large debate over the benefits of 16MB of local graphics memory on your TNT2 versus 32MB, the answer to the question can be found in the outcome of a similar debate that took place with the Voodoo2 about a year ago.