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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [02.12.01]
Manufactured by: Leadtek
MSRP: $350


Under The Hood

More and more often, we are seeing video card manufacturers go from gluing the heatsink to the chipset, to using thermal paste, and fastening the heatsink externally.  It's obviously better to have thermal paste between the heatsink and chip than it is to have some cheap glue, but using external pins also makes it easier to install other heatsinks, and replace them more frequently.  Thanks for caring, Leadtek!

We have also seen manufacturers try to please us by applying heatsink paste, though most fail miserably, either installing far too little, or having a heatsink that is so warped, it doesn't make contact with the chip.  This is NOT the case with the "Enhanced" GF2GTS64MB! As you can see, Leadtek also installed a built-in temperature-probe.  Nice touch as well! I am really beginning to like this card.

I Have To At Least MENTION The Specs

I know you hate it when hardware reviewers use up an entire page (or TWO!) just to show you the specs you can easily check out yourself.  I hate that too.

I will go through the very basics of the GeForce 2 chipset, and why it is better than the GeForce 2 DDR (and slower than the GeForce 2 Ultra).  One of the big improvements the GF2 core has over the original GF is the ability to process 2 textures per pipeline in a single clock, where the GF could only process 1.

So now that Nvidia has the middle-end market covered with the GeForce 2 MX, and the high end covered with the GeForce 2 GTS, what about the "Super Ultra High End" Market? Enter the GeForce 2 Ultra.

The Numbers

I like using this chart I made up in my NVidia card reviews, because it gives a great at-glance look at the differences between the chipsets.

GeForce 256 GeForce 2 MX GeForce 2 GTS GeForce 2 Ultra
Core Name NV10 NV11 NV15 NVDesperate
Rendering Pipelines 4 2 4 4
Texels/Clock 1 2 2 2
Fill Rate (Texels/sec) 480 Million 700 Million 1600 Million 2000 Million
Core Clock Speed 120 Mhz 175 Mhz 200 Mhz 250 Mhz
Memory Clock Speed 166 SDR/333 DDR 166 Mhz SDR 333 Mhz DDR 460 Mhz DDR
Memory Bandwidth 2.7 GB/4.8 GB/sec 2.7 GB/sec 5.3 GB/sec 7.36 GB/sec

As you can see, the GF2 Ultra is basically a faster GeForce 2 GTS.  The core comes clocked at 250 Mhz, while the memory comes clocked at 460 Mhz.  In our overclocking tests, the memory speed had a MUCH larger effect on frame rates than anything.  This can be attributed to the huge difference in memory bandwidth. The improvement was mainly found in higher resolutions (1024x768+) and in 32 bit applications.

And Now - The Card Itself

Now it's time to throw some real numbers at you - BENCHMARKS! First off, here are the system specs, and our benchmarking process.  I'll make this real simple for you (again, no page wasted on showing you OUR specs!):

The System

AMD Athlon 1000 Mhz ([email protected])
Abit KT7-RAID Motherboard (Via Apollo Pro K7T - reviewed here)
256 MB PC133 CAS 2 SDRAM
2 x 30 GB IBM 7200 RPM ATA/100 Hard Drives in RAID 0
Aureal Vortex 2 Sound Card

The Software

Windows ME
Via 4-in-1 4.27
Latest Leadtek Drivers (based on 6.66 Detonators)
NVidia 650 Detonator 3 Drivers (on the 32 mb card)
Mad Onion's 3DMark 2000
Quake 3 1.17 Timedemo 1

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