Eight different chipsets, 6 processors, 5 tests, 3 resolutions, 1 winner...
...prepare for the visual ride of your life.

Out with the old and in with the new, it is this spring cleaning attitude that drives the markets we so dearly scrutinize during every minute of our dedicated hobby time.  When referring to the newest automobiles, the latest fashion trends, or even the most popular music, parting with the old and heading towards the world of the new is relatively easy and painless (unless, of course, you have that pair of 70's style socks you just can't bring yourself to get rid of).   Unfortunately, many of us are blessed with a hobby that not only changes at a rate barely faster than the market can handle, but at the same time, a hobby whose maintenance costs prohibit the mindless process of trial and error when it comes to which parts to add to your collection.  

The hobby in question is none other than that associated with being a PC hardware enthusiast.  While the title itself seems good enough to qualify as a previous employer entry on a job application, a hardware enthusiast usually has to face the facts and utter the phrase "out with the old and in with the new" every now and then; and when that time comes, the wallet is the first to suffer.   In looking towards the new, we usually forget about the differences between the new and the old, and since the budget of the average hardware enthusiast doesn't include the cost of every single product on the market, a roundup of all products up to the current generation is necessary to keep in touch with the past while concentrating on the present.

In this particular case, one of the most rapidly evolving factions of PC hardware, Video Accelerators, have become the topic for much discussion among enthusiasts and casual users alike.  What card is best for me?   What are the real differences between all of the next generation chipsets?   And the most frequently asked question, what kind of performance improvements can I expect over my current video card? 

In order to answer all of those questions, and more, AnandTech traversed the paths of performance starting with the original 3Dfx Voodoo chipset to the latest offerings from S3 and nVidia among others.  A bumpy road, it may have been, the trip was well worth it, and to find out why, keep your attention focused as AnandTech unravels the universe of the video accelerators of today and yesterday with the most in-depth comparison ever performed its labs:

Eight different chipsets, 6 processors, 5 tests, 3 resolutions, 1 winner...prepare for the visual ride of your life.

An Evolving World
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