Leadtek WinFast GeForce3 TDH
Jonathan Martini -
November 2, 2001
Here's a small pic of everything that Leadtek has included within their box:
Leadtek GeForce3 TDH
Installation CD which includes: WinFast DVD, Colorific, Cult 3D & 3Deep.
Quick Installation manual
40-paged Instruction manual
S-Video to Composite Adapter
2 Full Version Games: Dronez & Gunlok
The whole package truly arrives fully-loaded. On to some of those special
I know some of you are wondering why I'm devoting a section of this review to a feature found on quite a number of cards. Well, it's because this is the first implementation of TV-Out I've seen that supports an output resolution of 1024x768.
The WinFast GeForce3 TDH uses the Conexant 871 TV encoder which
is comparable to the Conexant 869 or Chrontel 7007 that most
competitors use which only support up to 800x600. It's great to see
that Leadtek is differentiating this product from the shelves full of GeForce3 clones.
There's something about watching movies on TV. Gone are the ugly color warping
and banding visible on high resolution monitors. The few movies I tried
looked MUCH better on the TV. If I could place a TV in my study, then I
would for this sole purpose. But Windows and the Internet on a TV... No thanks.
A unique aspect of high-end Leadtek cards is the inclusion of their set
of three diagnostic LEDs which are located at the upper corner of the PCB.
lights are dubbed ERR, PWR & AGP4X. Under normal circumstances the PWR and AGP4X
lights should be lit (if your motherboard supports AGP4X).
The above image shows the PWR and AGP4X LEDs in action.
The most visible addition to the card are the heatsinks which contains over 20 fins
spanning a very large area. To the well trained eye, the fan may seem smaller
than usual when compared to the size of the cooler. Actually, it is smaller than
the one on eVGA's GeForce3, but the fan contains 4 additional blades and spins
over 5000 times per minute. Note that the fan is located in the center of the
heatsink, which isn't above the GPU, but rather between the two black pins that hold the heatsink in place.
The fan is powered by a 3 wire connector and can be monitored using Leadtek's built-in monitoring chip.
Leadtek's card features Hardware Monitoring courtesy of an onboard Winbond chip (W83783S) connected to a thermistor. The thermistor is located on the left edge of the heatsink and extends underneath the heatsink. The chip is capable
of monitoring various on-board settings such as two different temperatures (chip
edge and center), as well as GPU and memory voltage settings. The
on-board fan is connected by a 3 lead wire - 2 of the wires provide the power to rotate the
fan and the third relays information about the fan's rotation speed. With high-end video cards becoming increasingly expensive, it's encouraging to see certain manufacturers provide hardware monitoring.
Another important area that Leadtek has listened to the customer and
improved upon the reference design is in 2D image quality. NVIDIA's has been under scrutiny
when it came to 2D with their older GeForce2 lineup, and we even had a forum thread
about 2D problems GeForce2 Ultra owners were experiencing with their cards.
While I haven't been at the helm of a Matrox powered system for well over
two-years I can't compare the sharper 2D images, especially at high resolutions,
that Matrox is famous for. But I can admit that the 2D quality of my eVGA
GeForce3 is somewhat clearer than that of my GeForce2 Ultra at higher
resolutions. The Leadtek TDH has a slightly sharper image at 1600x1200.
OCZ's Titan3 also features improved 2D quality through modified RFI filters, whereas Leadtek's approach was to provide the core with roughly the
same voltage level as it has at lower resolutions (where 2D quality is better).
Here's hoping Leadtek's GeForce3 Ti series of cards will also support this feature!
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