Review By Kalyan Rai - December 13, 2004 Edited By Ed Piotrowski
Straight away you can notice the huge cooling solution that this card utilizes. Designed by Leadktek's engineers and termed "Air Surround Cooling," this all copper heatsink/fan combo weighs more than 750 grams. Leadtek says this cooling setup allows for "Maximum Overclocking Headroom," and it does just that (more on this later). The card itself is about one inch longer than my old ATI Radeon 9700 Pro and certainly weighs quite a bit (as you would expect).
The cooling solution consists of two copper blocks. The front block is mounted onto the PCB covering the GPU and memory modules. This block is depressed in the center where a 60mm fan sits. The fan is rated at a near-silent 28 dB (or so Leadtek claims) while operating. The center portion is surrounded from three sides by large fins rising from the block. It is through these fins that air sucked in by the fan is blown out, thereby increasing efficiency of heat dissipation.
The smaller of the two copper blocks is attached to the back of the card. The block has indentations running horizontally and vertically on it to dissipate heat. Between it and the PCB, there are apparently thermal pads located on the exact opposites sides of where the memory modules are placed.
All in all, the front part of the cooling system protrudes enough to take up the PCI slot next to the AGP slot. Some might find that an inconvenience but, these day when most things are integrated, you will probably have enough PCI slots left should you need to use one. The A400 Ultra TDH, like all GeForce 6800 Ultra cards, are equipped with two DVI connectors for dual-monitor goodness.
The bundled software is quite superb. You get two very decent games in Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow on DVD and Prince of Persia: Sands of Time on 2 CDs and two average games, Gun Metal and Big Mutha Truckers on cardboard multipack. You also get Leadtek's own Winfast utility CD including dated drivers, WinFast DVD player software and WinFox 2.0, Leadtek's monitoring and tweaking software. Also in the box is your standard complement of power supply extension and TV-Out cables along with two DVI-to-VGA adapters.
A requirement for all GeForce 6800 Ultra-based cards is the use of two molex connectors. These cards also require a decent power supply rated above 380W. The primary molex on the card must be connected to a clean line from the PSU. The second can be used as a daisy chain with another device. A medium-speed case fan would work, but it would be wise to avoid connected it on the same line as an optical drive.
What's in the Box
TEST SETUP AND NOTES
The system used to review the Leadtek A400 Ultra TDH consists of the following components:
AMD Athlon XP (Barton core) 2800+ @ 2.2GHz
Abit NF7-S rev. 2.0 motherboard
2x 512 mb GeiL memory (2.5-3-3-6 timings)
Philips 170B4 17-inch LCD monitor
NVIDIA nForce 4.27 drivers
NVIDIA Forceware 61.77 graphics drivers
Testing was conducted at resolutions of 1024x768 and 1280x1024 in 32-bit color. To evaluate gaming with no compromises, image quality was set to "High Quality" in the driver control panel. This turns off anisotropic and trilinear texture filtering optimizations. Anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering, with the exception of Far Cry, were set with the driver control panel.
Games tested in this review include the following: