Elsa Gladiac Ultra - HotHardware

Elsa Gladiac Ultra

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The Elsa Gladiac Ultra
It sure is fast...but you'll pay for it!

 
By Marco "BigWop" Chiappetta - November 14, 2000
 

Anyone who remotely follows the PC hardware scene has no doubt become familiar with nVidia and their very aggressive product cycles.  Ever since the Riva 128 was released, nVidia has consistently and quickly released a new product every 6 - 8 months, that is faster and more feature rich than it's predecessor.  Not all of these releases are for completely new products though.  Some of these products are referred to as a "refresh" release.  Take the TNT2 Ultra for example.  The TNT2 Ultra did not offer any new features over the standard TNT2.  It was simply a TNT2 with a higher clock speed.  The Elsa Gladiac Ultra that we are looking at here today is equipped with nVidia's latest chipset, the GeForce 2 GTS Ultra.  Like the TNT2 Ultra, the GeForce 2 Ultra offers all of the same features as it's older brother the standard GeForce 2 GTS.  However, thanks to a refined process at their fabrication partner TSMC, it has a significantly higher clock speed. 

nVidia has not had any trouble finding OEMs to produce cards using all of these new chips.  One of their loyal supporters has always been Elsa.  Elsa as a company is much better known throughout Europe than they are here in the United States.  Although Elsa has not modified nVidia's reference design with any of their products, they have consistently produced fast, stable boards and get them on store shelves very quickly.  This excellent execution has garnered Elsa some praise as of late and they are gaining market share on this side of the Atlantic.  Their execution and loyalty did not go unnoticed to nVidia.  On July 26, 2000 it was announced that Elsa and nVidia would also form a strategic partnership in hopes of becoming a more dominant force in the workstation market. 

Well, we know that nVidia is capable of making one heck of a 3D chipset and that Elsa sure likes implementing nVidia's parts.  Let's find out what the Elsa Gladiac Ultra is made of!

                   

Specifications Of The Elsa Gladiac Ultra
A New Reference board to get used to

The Board:

  • NVIDIA GeForce2 GTS Ultra GPU

  • 250MHz Core Clock speed

  • High-Performance 4NS DDR memory

  • 230MHz (460MHz Effective) Memory Clock speed

  • AGP 4X with Fast Writes

  • 32-bit color ARGB with destination alpha

  • Cube environment mapping and Anisotropic texture filtering

  • Optimized Direct3D and OpenGL acceleration

  • Complete DirectX 7 support

  • Advanced support for DirectDraw

  • Hardware color space conversion (YUV 4:2:2 and 4:2:0)

  • 5-tap horizontal by 3-tap vertical filtering

  • 8:1 upscaling and downscaling

  • Per-pixel color keying

  • Multiple video windows with hardware color space conversion and filtering

  • DVD sub-picture alpha blended compositing

  • Video acceleration for DirectShow, MPEG-1, MPEG-2,and Indeo

  • RAMDAC/Pixel Cycle: 350 MHz

  • Memory: 64MB DDR RAM

  • Bus Systems: AGP 2x/4x (including fast writes and execute mode) or PCI

  • Standards: DPMS, DDC2B, Plug & Play

  • BIOS: VESA BIOS 3.0 supportHorizontal SYNC Signals: 31.5Hz - 108.5Hz

  • Vertical Refresh Rate: 60Hz - 200Hz

  • Plug and Play installation

Included:

  • ELSA GLADIAC ULTRA gaming accelerator card

  • Installation CD-ROM with on-line users manual

  • Elsa 3D Revelator Glasses 

  • Hard-copy installation manual

  • Software drivers for Windows® 98, Windows® 95, Windows® 2000, Windows® NT 4.0, Windows® Millennium Edition, and Linux

  • Windows utilities including ELSA WINman Suite and ELSA 3D Settings

Optional Items:

  • Video In/Out Module

Warranty and Support:

  • The ELSA GLADIAC ULTRA is backed by a 6-year warranty

  • Online registration at www.elsa.com/america

  • Technical support - toll free 5 days a week at 800.272.ELSA or

  • Sup-us@elsa.com

 

If you?ve been comparing the specification list of other GeForce 2 Ultras, I?m sure you?ve noticed that they are all very similar.  There are some rumors floating around the net that we hardware review sites received ?juiced? reference boards from nVidia with 4ns RAM running at 500MHz.  The rumors also stated that many Ultras would ship with 4.5ns RAM.  Well, let us assure you that the Elsa Gladiac Ultra is guaranteed to ship with 4ns RAM.  It is printed prominently on their box.


It's under there somewhere...

We?re unsure what speed RAM will be shipping on competing products.  Perhaps Elsa and nVidia?s special relationship made access to the premium RAM easier for Elsa.  We?ll let you know as we find out more. 

There are also a few ?goodies? that either ship or are optional with the Gladiac Ultra.  The card ships standard with a decent software bundle, a $75 US set of wireless 3D Revelator Glasses?

   

?and there is an optional video in / out module available for $39 US.  We opted to get the whole package for review.  If you?ve got the cash for a major purchase like the Gladiac Ultra, we assume you?d want the works!

Installation and Drivers

 

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