Graphic Improvement

Few would dispute the notion that Nvidia's GeForce3 (408/615-2500, www.nvidia.com ) marks a quantum leap forward in graphics cards. Thanks to a proprietary chip technology called the NfiniteFX engine, the GeForce3 lets programmers create rich 3-D worlds.

NfiniteFX gets its kick from Vertex Shaders and Pixel Shaders, which allow programmers to build detailed motion and realistic surfaces into games. The GeForce3 is also twice the speed of most available graphics processors.

But to get optimum performance, programmers need to write specifically for the GeForce3. Some gamers fear that developers won't work on GeForce3-enhanced games for the Mac: the size of the market may not justify the cost.

Still, those games will come, thanks to an unlikely source-PCs. Porting PC games written for the GeForce3 won't require the resources needed to write those games for the Mac. "We haven't seen too much of the driver stuff yet," says Aspyr CEO Michael Rogers, "but I feel like people are going to jump on it pretty quickly because it's such a noticeable difference." Aspyr will update its titles, and Rogers expects others to do the same.

Nvidia says it's doing all it can to prepare developers for the GeForce3. Says Spokeswoman Diane Vanasse, "GeForce3 has full support for legacy applications, so the end user will see an immediate benefit if they decide to upgrade."

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