After the simple white box shows up, I get a bit concerned that this card would be stripped down. I was glad to see upon removing the static bag that my fears were not justified.
OCZ loads the plain white box with not everything you need but probably everything you want.
The Pro's layout is similar to, if not the same as, the standard 64MB card. Each manufacturer has subtle changes to power layout or resistor values, but for the most part this card follows reference design. The PCB is a deep yellow color with greenish traces, giving you a hint to the OEM the makes the card for OCZ. (Well respected maker, you may be surprised to know, but I promised not to come out and say who it is, heh.)
There are a couple of things you notice off the bat. That IS a Thermaltake Blue Orb Chipset cooler. That IS a TV-Out.
The memory on the card is EliteMT 5ns DDR SDRAM, clocked at the PRO default of 400MHz.
Unlike the Ultra, the memory on the Pro does not get warm to the touch. It never felt cold, but it did not seem to get over human body temperature when using the incredibly scientific, touch it to see if it is hot method. One of these days, I may get an infra-red thermal probe, but for now, the fingertip test is good enough.
OCZ just informed me that the production card does have RAM heatsinks. These heatsinks are very similar to the RAM heatsinks found on the Ultra and in preliminary testing have added 10MHz of overclocking headroom.
OCZ decided to grace the GeForce2 chip with the Thermaltake Blue Orb chipset cooler. It is the Overclockerz Store after all, eh?
The Blue Orb does a very good job of cooling the GeForce2 chip underneath, with a minimal amount of drama. It's quiet and efficient and a nice bonus to buyers of the card.
The TV-Out card is removable and you find that, like most other GeForce2s with TV-Out, TV-Out duties are handled by the Brooktree Conexant BT869.
Another pleasant surprise was the number of cables included for use with the TV-Out. S-Video, S-Video to composite adapter, composite extension.
There is also a 3-pin to 4-pin adapter for the Blue Orb. More on this later.
So is anything missing? Most companies do not have the resources to improve upon NVIDIA reference driver sets like Creative Labs, but many try anyway. It seems to me a waste of effort as the only company I have ever installed and perferred the manufacturer's drivers were Blaster Control and Fast Trax by Creative. OCZ decided to stick with the reference drivers to ease driver upgrades and lower costs just a bit. If you buy one that has an outdated set of drivers on the CD, you can download the latest reference drivers from us.
After familiarizing myself with the card itself, I decided to ask their Head Overclocker in Charge a few questions, including ones about tech support, software bundle and the Blue Orb.
Next Page: OCZ Q&A