The GeForce 256 was a graphics card developed by NVIDIA, which cemented NVIDIA's role as the dominant force in the consumer graphics industry. The first in the GeForce card line, it was released in August, 1999. The GeForce 256 was the most advanced card of its time, easily beating its main competitor, 3Dfx's Voodoo card line.

Two versions retailed, one with normal SDRAM and one with DDR SDRAM. It had 64 megabytes of memory, and also was the first card to include hardware transform and lighting, commonly known as a T&L engine. The engine required programmers to code specifically for it, which led many commentators to deride it as a frivolous accessory. It is worth noting that some three years after the GeForce 256's introduction, game developers began to treat hardware T&L as a common feature in cards, i.e. one not limited to a minority of the market. This gives an indication of the actual pace of progress in the computer industry.