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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [06.23.00]
Manufactured by: Elsa
MSRP: $329


The Numbers Please...

Okay, here's what you've all been waiting for.  I spend hours doing these tests, so pay close attention to them!

We included overclocked benchmarks as well as stock speed benchmarks.  I'll put our scores from a recent GeForce DDR card for reference (in case you're dying to find out if there is really a big upgrade here).

First let's look at the test system:

  • CPU: Intel Pentium 3 550e @ 770 MHz (140 Mhz FSB)
  • Motherboard: Tyan s1854 (Via Apollo Pro 133a)
  • Sound: Diamond MX300 (Aureal Vortex 2)
  • Hard Drive: Maxtor 7200 RPM 13.8 gb (ATA/66 Enabled)
  • Ram: 128 mb Micron PC133 SDRAM (CAS3)

First, we ran Quake 3 in High Quality and Normal modes.  The latest beta drivers were used (those being 5.30, which are actually quite faster than the latest official drivers, 5.22).  The only settings we changed were the resolutions.  A3D was also disabled.  Everything in Quake 3 was left at default except S3TC, which was turned OFF.

We ran Quaver.dm3 (courtesy of The Reverend) because it's quite a bit more taxing than the default Q3 demos. 

Quake 3 Quaver, High Quality / 32 bit

Gladiac Stock Gladiac Overclocked GeForce DDR Stock
800x600 83.3  87.0 72.1 
1024x768 63.9  72.8 52.1
1280x1024 37.6  43.8 31.6 

Quake 3 Quaver, Normal Quality / 16 bit

Gladiac Stock Gladiac Overclocked GeForce DDR Stock
640x480 87.4  89.0 81.6 
800x600 87.5 87.9 81.4 
1024x768 86.4 87.1 70.4 
1280x1024 77.4 81.3 47.9 

Now for some 3dMark 2000 benchmarks.  A lot of people are highly confused when it comes to these.  For review purposes, I am NOT testing with hardware TnL enabled.  3DMark 2000 is one of the only 3d programs out there to use hardware TnL, and the scores are therefore NOT indicative of real-world benchmarks.  I WILL leave them in there, just for reference.  If you are comparing these scores with another card, please use only the NON-HARDWARE TnL SCORES.


Gladiac Stock

Gladiac Overclocked

GeForce DDR Stock

16 bit




16 bit w/ T&L




32 bit




32 bit W/ T&L




So there you have it.  I'm not saying that these are numbers to live and die by, but they give you a bit of an indication as to how much faster the GeForce 2 is than the GeForce DDR.  The answer is: Not much.  It really does pull away in the high resolution, low bit-rate applications though.  6344 is an awesome 3DMark, but should not be taken seriously when comparing to non-hardware TnL cards.  4794 is still pretty damn high though :) I can't wait to see what a Voodoo5 5500 gets!

Overall, reviewing the Elsa GLADIAC turned out to be a great experience for me.  I noticed no weird 'issues' that others have mentioned; the card ran flawlessly, even when overclocked.  This card continued to blast all our previous benchmark records, and was overall a joy to use.

There is just so much heat between NVidia and 3dfx these days though, that a whole slew of marketing terms are thrown around, confusing the general public.  You may have thought all those acronyms I listed on page 3 were a joke, but they are all really used in GeForce 2 press releases and product info!

If you look past those silly acronyms though, you have a VERY fast video card that is very stable, and overclocks well.  I highly recommend the Elsa Gladiac, and it even receives our "I am Hardcore" award for being such a kick ass product for us hardcore gamers! Congrats Elsa!

  • Does benefit from some features, such as S3TC and DDR ram
  • Great Bang for the Buck
  • NVidia makes the best drivers in the biz
  • They also make the fastest video cards today
  • Very stable card
  • Cool software bundle, once the promo begins
  • Overclocks very well!
  • Elsa did lower their MSRP by $20 recently

  • Nothing really new compared to a GeForce 2
  • Very Expensive, even with the recent reduction in price
  • Besides the software promo, nothing different from any reference board
  • FSAA support sucks, especially in D3D games

Final Score: 92%