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Gainward Ti/500 XP GeForce3 Review
By: Pakman - January 17, 2002

Overclocking Capability

This is where this card leaves most others in the dust. First off, consider that you have a cherry picked, bin sorted GeForce3 core to work with. It comes at a standard clock of 240MHz. Then add a cooler with a decent sized fan, and razor thin cooling fins to keep the heat off. Then use RAM heatsinks on 64MB of quality 3.8ns DDR RAM which comes at a default clock of 500MHz. What does this all add up to? One heck of a fine overclocking card. I ran several batch loop tests to determine where I found the true sweet spot for this card was. That is, a clock ratio that will not fail and is safe to run at. The result was 250MHz core coupled with a 590MHz memory clock. This card actually could pull 600MHz on the memory, but would fail after a lengthy testing period. The core could also have been set higher, but I have found that the increase in card temperature due to core overclocking, is not worth the loss of memory overclockability due to the added heat source from the core. 

So, the sweet spot which I found was 250/590 for the clock speeds. I've never seen a card that clocks as well as this card does. This card is designed with us video fanatics in mind.

One thing which I feel that I should point out is that with the extremely thin cooler fins, this card may require more frequent dusting then most other cards coolers. This is due to them creating almost a strainer in their design, and may load up with dust faster than others do. It's a great design and works well. Just check it from time to time and give it a little shot of air when called for. I wish that other companies would adopt this design for their coolers, it makes a lot of sense and works well.

 

Performance

Test System:

  • ABIT KR7A (KT266A) motherboard

  • AMD Athlon XP 1800+ CPU

  • 512MB Crucial PC2100 DDR

  • Maxtor 60GB  7,200rpm ATA-100 HD

  • Creative Audiogy sound card

  • Windows XP Pro OS (fresh installation)

All tests where performed at  32 bit color depths and textures, with v-synch disabled. NVIDIA  Detonator XP 23.11 drivers where used. I will not go into an analysis of DVD performance in this review. I am sure that with the free DVD software provided with the card, it should play DVD's just fine. I just don't use my computer to play DVD's on or to edit video with, so excuse the absence of discussion of these features in my review. 

 
Quake 3

Not too bad in OpenGL huh? With the power that this card has, you can turn up the FSAA or anisotropic filtering without having to worry about slowing the graphics down too much. 

3DMark2001

 

Pretty good little card, eh? It's no slouch in the DirectX department.

 

 

Next Page: Conclusion

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Last Updated on January 17, 2002

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