Inno3D Home Page Inno3D Home Page

FAQ News Search Archive Forum Articles Tweaks Technology Files Prices SETI
Visit NVIDIA's home page.
Favorite Pics
Click to Enlarge
Articles/Reviews
OCZ Tech Titan 3
Absolute MORPHEUS
1.0GHz Pentium III
eVGA MX Shootout
nForce Preview
AMD AXIA CPU
VisionTek GeForce3
2001 Spring Lineup
GeForce3 Preview
eVGA TwinView Plus
VisionTek GF2 Ultra
OCZ GeForce2 Pro
Winfast GeForce2 MX
GeForce2 vs Quake3
Linksys Cable Router
GF2 FSAA Shootout
GeForce2 MX Preview
Benchmarking Guide
Quake 3 Tune-Up
Power DVD Review
Live! Experiences
Sponsors
Memory from Crucial.com


FastCounter by bCentral

 Visitors Are Online
Powered by Perlonline.com
Drivers/FAQ
NVIDIA
3D Chipset
Gamers Ammo
Reactor Critical
GeForce FAQ
Associates
Dayton's Misc.
G-Force X Sweden
Maximum Reboot
Media Xplosion
NVchips-fr
nV Italia
Riva Station
3D GPU
nV News Home Page

Creative Labs Annihilator 2 Review - Blaster Control 4.01

Skip To:

Blaster Control Software

So what sets the Annihilator2 apart from other GeForce2 GTS based cards? Besides the price?

The Drivers. Blaster Control has one of the slickest interfaces I've come across. It all starts at the Windows taskbar where you are graced with the little tee-pee icon from Creative Labs. Right clicking on the icon brings up the following options menu:

Blaster Control

TaskBar Menu

Here you will find all of the typical controls, such as desktop resolution and screen saver preferences. You may notice the Manage Shortcuts at the top of the menu. When you launch an application, Blaster Control will change your desktop settings accordingly. Pull up that giant spreadsheet and the software will set your desktop resolution to 1600x1200 to view the whole thing. Close the program and you go back to your default settings.

You can modify refresh rates, monitor settings, desktop resolutions and activate the virtual desktop. For those of you without experience with a virtual desktop, your actual workspace is larger than your desktop resolution. By panning the desktop, you can increase your effective work area when cutting and pasting together your Annihilator2 review. These drivers are geared towards the average user and not the rabid overclocked my toaster gamer.

Blaster Control Display Center

Now for the fun stuff. I've included several screenshots of the Blaster Control interface. All of the full-size screenshots can be navigated in a new browser window by clicking on the image below.

Blaster Control Display Center

Click to see full driver window.

This is the Blaster Control Display Center. You have access to various settings for tweaking, running diagnostics, checking system information, and even a utility to check for updated drivers. Here's a sample from the Tweak Center:

Blaster Control - Tweak Center

 Click to see full driver window.

The screenshot shows one of the GeForce2 tweak applets. Here comes my only beef with Blaster Control - no core clock adjustments. However, there is a memory clock slider, which can help boost performance quite a bit. Blaster Control allows you to clock the memory up to 366MHz, which is a fairly hefty gain.

Blaster Control - OpenGL

 Click to see full driver window.

This screenshot is from an OpenGL control applet. Notice that Blaster Control has full scene anti-aliasing as an option, but you'll have to change registry settings to up the quality from 2X sample to 4X sample. The folks at Creative and NVIDIA say that a new interface featuring full FSAA tweakability is on the way.

Blaster Control Diagnostics

Blaster Control - Diagnostics

 Click to see full driver window.

The Blaster Control also includes a Diagnostics section which can be used to verify driver version numbers and check the system for potential incompatibilities. From the diagnostics screenshot, you may notice the AGP Transfer mode defaulted to AGP 1X.

From what I understand, Creative defaults the setting to AGP 1X to insure stability on first install. Following a successful install, the setting can be cranked up to 2X or 4X depending on supported AGP modes on the motherboard. Certain types of Athlon motherboards still require the AGP 1X setting, and I don't blame Creative for making the first install a compatibilty mode. If anyone out there with an Annihilator2 installed straight to AGP 2X, let me know.

Blaster Control - Diagnostics

 Click to see full driver window.

Blaster Control - OpenGL Diagnostics

 Click to see full driver window.

In these two Diagnostics screenshots, you see the driver version numbers. This info is handy when troubleshooting. In my opinion, Creative supports users more than any other card maker and offers technical support in the Creative Labs Annihilator newsgroups. Bill Ball and his cronies are a wealth of info, and deserve notice.

Next Page: FastTrax

Skip To:

 
Last Updated on June 28, 2000

All trademarks used are properties of their respective owners.