Gainward FX PowerPack! Ultra/1800 XP Review - Page 3 of 9
By Clay Angelly - February 1, 2004
This is not
my first review of a Gainward product and so I had some high expectations
for this PowerPack! Ultra/1800 XP. I was not disappointed. Gainward isn't likely a name brand that you'll see on store shelves as
prevalently as some other brands (especially Gainward's "Golden Sample"
versions). Don't let that fool you though, these aren't your typical video
cards. We're talking the age-old quality versus quantity here. Golden Samples
This is one slick looking piece of hardware. Beauty turns out to not
be just skin deep either. The build quality of Gainward products is second to
none. Also worth noting again is that Gainward innovated past the NVIDIA
reference design by making this a single slot solution! So, rejoice all you SFF
case owners out there!
Another Front View
Another decision that I applaud was the orientation of the Molex power
connector (upper right corner of card). Gainward turned it 90°
(just like ATI has been doing all along) which makes for a more graceful
connection for all you wire management junkies out there.
Molex Connector Comparison
The NVIDIA reference design calls for the Molex connector to be oriented perpendicular to the card
which is kind of klunky. Also, not all vendors decide to add the metal support
that wraps around the Molex connection as Gainward has. This give is an added
bit of strength for those of you who plug/unplug these suckers about 15 times a
The back side has what you'd expect in a heat sink covering the backside of
the chipset and memory with one piece of aluminum. There's also the standard
tension support bar to keep things nice and snug.
Wrapping up the physical aspects of this card are the lights. For those of
you who like the BLING BLING...this is for you. There are three red LEDs housed in
each fan which put out a good bit of light (it's enough to give my mid-tower
case a healthy red glow throughout).
Light it Up!
This photo doesn't do the light output justice but it's better than