3Dlabs Oxygen GVX1
High-end action going down
The Permedia chipsets, which were well-known enough in their time, come from 3Dlabs. If you've never heard of them, that's okay. Not a lot of people are too familiar with them. Back in the days, there was fierce competition among video card chipsets. Granted, there is still fierce competition today, but back then, there were more competitors. The Permedia 3 chipset, the latest chipset from 3Dlabs, has been expected to some fair degree by a good number of people out there.
If you've never heard of the Oxygen line of cards from 3Dlabs, don't feel bad either. Most people probably haven't. I mean, when considering your gaming rig, and what video card you are going to put in it, how often do you look at video cards that cost upwards from $300? The Oxygen VX1 is a $299 video card. This already costs more than, say, the current price of a PIII 450. However, seeing as how the current crop of high-end gaming video cards are around $250 anyway, that's not insane. Fine, then how about the card that we have here? It's the Oxygen GVX1, and costs four times as much, at $999. (!)
Being a strong force in the graphics workstation market, the Permedia 3 was also supposed to bring a good deal of 3D rendering capability to the table as well. 3Dlabs themselves aren't a well know name in the gaming video card market that we've become all too familiar with in the past couple of months. The reason for that is simple. They are not a company that has heavily targeted the entertainment sector of video and graphics acceleration, instead catering to the graphics professionals.
It's a cool G for this video card. What makes it so special? Well, to put some of the more advanced features out on the table early on, the Oxygen GVX 1 has 100% hardware acceleration for geometry and lighting. Now what other features does it have, and what the heck does that hardware acceleration mean?