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Creative Labs Annihilator Pro Review

Installation


What You Get

Before going over the installation of the Annihilator Pro, let's cover a couple of items first. Included with your purchase are a few goodies Creative throws in to demonstrate the capabilites of the Annihilator Pro:

  • NVIDIA's High IQ sampler CD which contains a variety of technical demos - download


  • The Dagoth Moor Zoological Gardens playable demo - download


  • Evolva Scout which is a playable demo of the soon to be released Evolva - read our preview

Boxter Demo

Boxter demo: Click to enlarge - 94K
DMZG Demo

DMZG demo: Click to enlarge - 458K

Although the first two items have been made available over the Internet, it's still a nice suite of transform and lighting enabled software which will keep you entertained for a while. Creative also bundles:

  • Electronic Art's Need for Speed 4


  • InterVideo's WinDVD Player


  • Colorific and 3Deep color calibration software from E-Color

Overall, it's a decent software bundle. But with a top of the line graphics card like the Annihilator Pro, including the full version of Quake 3 Arena would have been the bundle dreams are made of. I'm not really complaining here, but as you will soon find out, the Annihilator Pro and a game like Quake 3 Arena make for a seriously lethal gaming combination.


Specifications

The detailed specifications for the Annihilator Pro are provided at Creative's web site. Here are a few highlights:

  • Features NVIDIA's 256-bit Graphics Processing Unit
  • Contains 32MB of high performance DDR memory operating at 300MHz
  • 4.8 GB/second of graphics memory bandwidth
  • QuadEngine which processes transform and lighting calculations and reduces CPU load
  • QuadPipe architecture with four independent 3D rendering pipelines capable of delivering up to 480 million pixels per second
  • Single pass multi-texturing, capable of delivering 4 texture mapped lit pixels per clock cycle, in true color 32-bit rendering
  • Hardware acceleration for Direct 3D and OpenGL applications
  • Video and DVD playback with motion compensation decoding

Well, here I sit, writing these specs and I have yet to actually install the Annihilator Pro in my system. Am I excited or what?

Click to enlarge - 295K

Image provided courtesy of t-break.


Installation

Installation of the Annihilator Pro was straightforward. Creative includes a helpful 19-page installation guide for Windows 95/98 and NT 4.0, 5 pages of which are devoted to troubleshooting.

Before removing my existing card, I uninstalled NVIDIA's reference drivers and switched to the standard Windows VGA drivers. Then I turned the system off, removed the existing card, and installed the Annihilator Pro making sure that the card was firmly seated into the AGP slot.

I followed the installation instructions for Windows 98 exactly as they were written in the installation guide. Turn on the computer, Windows 98 detects new hardware, install the drivers from the installation CD, and reboot.

Annihilator Pro installation software

I did have one minor glitch when Windows loaded informing me that "NVQTWK.DLL" was missing. This was some residue left over from NVIDIA's reference drivers and a quick delete of a registry entry cured that problem.

Next Page: 3D Blaster Control Panel


Last Updated on December 30, 1999

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