2D / 3D acceleration, integrated sound card, games, and what else?


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Developed in collaboration between Nvidia and Sega, the 1MB Diamond Edge 3D shipped in 1995 for $249.99 with an adapter plate attached to a graphics card that added two Sega Saturn controller ports. Bundled games included Saturn titles such as Virtua Fighter Remix and Panzer Dragoon, which were ported to Windows 95.

Like the actual Saturn, the 3D diamond edge Graphics provided By drawing quadratic texture maps instead of using triangles or polygons. The graphics portion of Diamond Edge 3D was handled by Nvidia’s 60MHz NV1 chipset (manufactured by SGS-Thomson as STG2000), while the onboard MIDI audio engine provided 32 channels and only 350 MIPS playback capabilities.

The combo pack proved unpopular among PC builders at the time, who found better performance and value in purchasing discrete graphics accelerators (ATI Rage, Rendition Verite, etc.) and sound cards. An actual Sega Saturn console was not initially part of the package but was added later to unsuccessfully sweeten the deal.

Nvidia’s next effort will be more successful in the form of RIVA 128 (Real-time Interactive Video and Animation), designed as a triangular polygon-based 3D accelerator powered by Direct3D and OpenGL APIs. It is built on a 350nm manufacturing process and clocked at 100MHz.



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