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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [02.29.00]
Manufactured by: Creative Labs 



First of all, here are the specs of the test PC:

  • Intel Pentium 3 "Coppermine" 733E CPU (Overclocked from 550 MHz)
  • 128 MB PC100 RAM
  • Tyan s1854 Trinity 400 Motherboard Revision "D"
  • AGP 4X enabled, AGP Fast-Writes enabled
  • Diamond MX300 Soundcard (using latest drivers from Aureal)
  • Pioneer 6X DVD ROM

And here are the Quake 3 settings used:

  • 1024x768
  • 3/4  Quality Textures
  • Bilinear Filtering
  • A3D Disabled
  • demo001.dm3

Core Speed Memory Speed Framerate 32 bit Framerate 16 bit
120 300 55.4 71.3
120 340 60.1 73.6
133 300 56.3 74.8
133 340 62.7 74.9

Now that we have some benchmarks to base judgment on, we can see that upping the memory frequency by 40 MHz offers a nice gain, especially in 32 bit.  I couldn't get the core speed up very high though, and even when I did get it to 133 MHz, it started to slow down from the heat.

Note that your speeds will probably be higher, as I am using a motherboard that is somewhat slower than current boards using the BX chipset.  Ah, the price to pay for 733 MHz ;).

Who's to complain, though? Look at those speeds! over 60 FPS in 1024x768 is definitely an awesome benchmark! Now let's take a final look at the CLAP.

I know it looks like I beat on the CLAP a little bit, but really, I was overall quite pleased with it.  You'll have absolutely no trouble finding one, and when you do, it'll be very stable, and you'll be able to use NVidia's Detonator drivers right away (something I truly appreciate, after the whole Canopus fiasco).  Also, with a reference design, cooling solution manufacturers will love being able to design heatsinks for one design, rather than custom-making several sizes etc.  This keeps the price way down.

Also, although the software bundle sucks ass, how many hardcore gamers don't already have most of the games they need? It'd be nice to get a freebie once in a while, though ;).

I'll try to get a hold of a high-end GeForce cooler in the future, and we'll see just how high we can overclock this sucker.  As it is, with the stock heatsink/fan unit, you won't get it very high.  You should be able to get an immediate 33 MHz on your ram, and maybe even higher.  

  • Widely available all over the world
  • The GeForce 256 "GPU" is FAST
  • DDR ram means no huge slowdown in 32 bit apps
  • Bundled with an excellent software DVD player
  • Reference design keeps it stable and compatible

  • Expensive as hell
  • Shitty heatsink/fan
  • Mostly useless software bundle

Final Score: 85%