This would be an important move for ATI, because they could match the performance not only of the GeForce2 Ultra, but also the GeForce3 on current games. For a while, at least, ATI would appear to be at parity with NVIDIA again.
However, fantastical rumors about the Radeon 2 aside, I've had a GeForce3 in Damage Labs here for a few weeks now, and I have to say that it's a stunning achievement. The "static" rendering abilities of the card may be only a little better than the GeForce2 or Radeon, but the chip's ability to bend and deform polygon meshes in real time is mind-blowing. Add in per-pixel shader effects, and it's over. The GeForce3 is the biggest advance in consumer-level 3D since 3dfx's Voodoo graphics. Once these cards hit the shelves for real and price competition heats up, the current rap on themthat they're too expensive and no better than the GF2 Ultrawill fade more quickly than you expect.